Monday, June 02, 2008

Authoritarianism and the Communication

This argument is quite facile, but, then again, so are most people, and what I'm going to talk about is not advanced authoritarian precepts, just popular authoritarianism.

Is either party more authoritarian than the other?  If you ask me, the Republicans surely want to project authoritarianism, but technically the Democrats are the ones who want to increase the size of government.  One appears more like the authoritarianism of the individual, while the other is that of the institution.  To say that either group is more authoritarian than not is not the same as saying either is absolutely authoritarian.

What do I mean by authoritarian?  Well, for the purposes of this post I am only going to discuss communication between the government and the people.  The authoritarian seeks to both a) communicate widely and, b) has no interest in any feedback.  The anarchist, for just one contrast, would have no interest in communicating widely, but also no interest in any feedback.

I see older forms of communication, most specifically radio, television and newspapers, as being inherently authoritarian.  I've always felt radio was the most authoritarian, because of the history with both Adolph Hitler and the genocide in Rwanda.  Perhaps there is something more powerful about the disembodied voice that is lost on television.

Newspapers have been slightly less authoritarian, because it is so much easier to start alternative newspapers compared to radio or television.

In sharp contrast with this form of communication is the internet, where feedback for many or most is websites is immediate and unfiltered. 

No comments: