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Re: Control & Sensorship

May 16, 1999 12:23 PM
by Hazarapet

In a message dated 5/15/99 6:27:57 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> In the past, people and governments and organizations -- business,
>  religious, spiritual and other -- and people with vested interests --
>  routinely controlled and sensored and/or distorted the information and
>  facts that reached the public. 

Much too general and vague.  In the past, states and governments did not have 
enough control over their own means of existence to have much control on the 
social flow of information.  Consider an analogy.  The NAZI SS about had a 
melt-down in attempting to implement to Final Solution.  Eichmann saved the 
day for them by being a genius in keeping trains moving with troops to front 
and Jews to the rear coordinated by an extensive communication net.  Imagine 
moving millions of persons while fighting a war without the modern technology 
that permits managing vast logistical operations coordinated by extensive 
communicative networks.  Only the modern state has the technological and 
media resources to effectively censor and control information and people's 
attitudes.  Only a modern state could have pulled off the Holocaust.  There 
have been genocides before but not at such a scale, both in terms of numbers 
killed and geographical area affected, in such a short amount of time.  No, 
censorship and power of the state has increased in our lives.  By contrast, 
ancient societies, with their relatively primitive management hierarchies, 
were from the power perspective more like subsist farmers.  That is, they had 
a marginal and subsistent control over their natural and human resources.  
For the most part, they did not care what the vast majority of the 
population, slaves, thought (if educated) or said.  Given the very limited 
means to manipulate mass opinion, at most, ancient governments could only 
insist on external compliance to the social order dictated from above by fear 
of a big military.  Rome, for example, did not have much control over what 
people thought believed, or wrote but it did maintain order by its legions.  
Remember, the empire was not strictly speaking a political order.  In Roman 
law, it was a private, patrician, equestrial (military class - as opposed to 
the senatorial or landed class), and economic enterprise (sort of like a 
modern corporation).  The Roman Empire was a military-backed mercantilism 
enforced by the legions.  Such control from a modern perspective is extremely 
primitive.  Today, we have the power to shape people's mind, opinions, 
attitudes, consumer and voting habits.


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