Public Influence

As the RNC reaches its finality yesterday evening I was again drawn back to Chomsky and one of his talking points in “Requiem For The American Dream.” Quoting from it now:

“Principle 10: Marginalize the Population

One of the leading political scientists, Martin Gilens came out with a study of the relationship between public attitudes and public policy and what he shows is that about 70% of the population has no way of influencing policy. They might as well be in some other country.

And the population knows it. What it leads to is a population that is angry and frustrated and hated institutions. It’s not acting constructively to try to respond to this. There is popular mobilization and activism but in very self-destructive directions.

It’s taking the form of unfocused anger, attacks on one another and on vulnerable targets. That’s what happens in cases like this. It is corrosive of social relations, but that’s the point. The point is to make people hate and fear each other and look and only for themselves and do’t do anything or anyone else.”

This resonates with me at present with the entire election process. My way of dealing with everything is to try to understand how it fits into the bigger picture. Without knowledge, we just seem to be reacting and that is very unhelpful.

I think it’s ok to let off steam initially when the next piece of news arrives (and I’m not going to apologize for doing that). But after that perhaps its time to become more constructive.


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