It is the tool that determines language and that leads to seek new rules of communication. Within the framework of these rules, it is then possible to convey content that is favorable or contrary to the development of democracy.
The fact that one or the other content passes depends not only on the ability and willingness of those who own the property or in any case the exclusive use of the communication tools, but also on the way in which the end user receives them. Ownership of such means can be public or private (the public , in capitalist societies, but also in “real socialism” was like this, coincides with the state , and the State is, as is known in contestative circles, an instrument at the service of a particular class: the bourgeoisie, which maintains that the state is actually at the service of all citizens).
The fact that the state is at the service of a particular class is demonstrated, moreover, by the use made of these means of communication. The ability to use them most of the time depends on a will contrary to democracy, the development of human relationships, respect for legality. Having to choose what to represent and legitimize, between capital and labor, the dominant media have no doubts whatsoever.
Those who are most capable of using them are often the ones who have the least interest in developing democracy. He wants to use the media as a means of persuading the masses in order to acquire or retain or increase his political or economic power. It is not uncommon to start from acquiring economic power with private media in order to then transform it into political power, after which, inevitably, the two powers influence each other, increasing both enormously.
Contemporary capitalist states are administered by a bourgeois class that uses television above all to acquire and manage social consensus. This tool was chosen because it is easy and daily to use, not particularly expensive, and because the user is quite passive towards it.
With the remote control, the user has the illusion of being able to choose their own content; this illusion increases when he is offered to pay an additional fee to see things not possible through traditional public and private channels. The “quality conditionings” are accessible only by paying separately.
Private televisions pride themselves on not charging any fees, but then they make advertising their main source of financing, and this becomes so pervasive as to make the vision of anything unbearable, without considering that the costs of that advertising are paid to the consumer when he goes to buy the advertised products, which obviously cost much more than those that are not.
In order not to be influenced by the television, the user just has to keep it off or even lead the cables by not paying the fee. Alternatively, today it can choose the web (which also allows the use of various television channels), the costs of which are those relating to the subscription of a sufficiently fast connection, and where the choice of content, the possibility of managing it in various forms and user-interaction are decidedly superior. Currently, television perceives the Internet as a dangerous competitor, to which it tries to react in various ways (from denigration to the exploitation of resources available on the net, up to the setting up of sites that duplicate content transmitted over the air).
State television tried, in the seventies, to divide into party channels: the first Christian Democrat, the second Socialist, the third Communist. But the result was unsuccessful, being this instrument controlled more than by parliament by the same government in charge, which in the last half century, even if it has been on the left, has never been able to do without dividing power with forces moderate in the center, to the point that today the left no longer exists even in parliament. Today television is the media with more homologated and conformist information than any other medium, so it is completely useless. For users without in-depth needs, television is used only to listen to news that is equivalent, as a content level,
If the web were able to replace television for the control of consent, the dominant powers would have already done so, leaving the various forms of entertainment (films, documentaries, varieties, reality shows …) to a pay-TV. that require viewing on a large screen. Unfortunately, the problem is that reading texts on the monitor, in the long run, is annoying or tiring, even if you can always opt for their printing or for reading newspapers and magazines to choose from on newsstands or to be received at home by subscription. The news of the web should be listened to on television, but safeguarding the various operations that can be performed on the computer: saving, printing, interacting, searching for occurrences.
The television itself does not allow any reading of its news, except for that service related to its audiovisual content called teletext, generally little used because it is not particularly versatile in its use, although kept constantly updated.
In any case, as far as reading is concerned, there is greater scope for choosing content by turning to newspapers, which, being mainly supported by public funding, can avoid the inevitable type-approval that would occur if they were to be based only on resources internal.
In fact, if they were removed from state funding, they could not stand upright with advertising (which is almost exclusively the prerogative of television), nor with subscriptions (too expensive for an individual reader), nor with impromptu purchases at newsstands or other distribution centers. Many newspapers and other periodicals (especially those not supported by the industrial world) should necessarily close and, in the face of such an event, popular protests would hardly arise, also because today the same content conveyed through paper can be obtained digitally , through the web, at a price included in the cost of connectivity. The web was born as a free exchange of materials: paying for information has not yet given the expected results.
In newspapers, it must also be said that their ability to influence the masses, despite the greater choice they offer, is much lower than that of television, both because their reading is more tiring than the audiovisual content, and because fatigue is not it is only technical (the very small print characters, placed on very narrow columns), but also intellectual (the language of journalists, especially for politics and economics but also for cultural pages, supposes a previous study that not all they can have).
It is probable that the future of newspapers will be exclusively that of the net, in forms and ways yet to be defined, but which can already be touched by hand as when, for example, cross-cutting searches are made in their archives on certain topics. In fact, the main problem to be solved is not so much that of transferring the contents from paper to digital (this problem has already been solved) or that of transferring public funding from paper to digital (this problem will be solved when all the TV channels are satellite and for a fee), but rather that of how to make digital easily accessible and accessible and at the same time economically advantageous for those who manage it (it is known that a certain category of journalists is no less privileged than politicians and, at the moment,
In order to read the information, the computer must be transformed into a PDA, inexpensive both as a tool and as connectivity, and sufficiently autonomous in power. A PDA with these characteristics and that is not very cumbersome can not only replace the computer in the management of information, but it can also replace newspapers, radio and television. When the user has such PDAs at his disposal, he can certainly manage the information in a more versatile, more performing way.
With a handicap, however, of no small importance. The moment a user turns on the PDA and connects to the network, he will be easily kept under control in his moments, in the choices made in favor of this or that content, as we are already trying to do now, while using the computer, through e.g. the so-called cookies or by intercepting the IP, and as on the other hand has always been done, in a very generic way, through the TV, in order to establish the audience, share etc.
The controls today are already fully feasible in the use of mobile phones, a fortiori they will be tomorrow with PDAs, also managed by the satellite network, which will permanently replace the telephone of the fixed network (or at the most it will go alongside the fiber network optical). Today the illusion is mainly exercised through a medium that does not allow any significant interaction: television. Tomorrow it will be exercised with a means that on a technological level will be much more powerful, capable of satisfying more complex needs. The illusion will necessarily have to be more sophisticated.
To deceive the masses, it will be necessary to focus on the same capacity given to them to interact. We won’t even trust others by looking at ourselves in the mirror.
THE ADVERTISING OF THE DECEIVING SNAKE
Of each word we can say that there is some correspondence, real or virtual. This is why, abstractly, no word in itself is “false”. Words are false when they do not correspond to reality, but to be able to say it, one must first understand the concept of “reality”. We only know that falsehood can be incidental or deliberate, that is, due to ignorance or bad faith.
It cannot be argued that only the words whose correspondence to reality we can “prove” are true. There is no possibility of such a demonstration. And, if it exists, it has a very relative value, that is, limited only to certain environmental conditions of space and time. There is no road sign that cannot be transgressed on the basis of some exceptions. There is no statistical survey that cannot be interpreted in the opposite way.
If I said: I’m writing these lines with a ballpoint pen and not with a fountain pen, I could easily demonstrate it. Anyone, alone, would know how to do it, even observing the writing of others. But in this case we would have determined a truth very poor in content, which does not affect in the least the meaning of our texts, which, moreover, would be identical using any means.
Therefore, it is not even worth dwelling on certain forms of correspondence of words to reality and vice versa. It is not these empirical forms of truth that help us change lives, although undoubtedly with a ballpoint pen I can write faster and without fear of staining the paper or fingers. And with this I do not mean at all that the ballpoint pen was a “progress” compared to the fountain pen, since if we looked at the environmental impact that the plastic of these pens has, we should instead think of a regression, without considering that the cost The final economic result of this writing operation has greatly increased since we started using the pens invented by the Hungarian journalist Bíró in 1938.
So if I said that any word is truer than another, a series of questions should be asked immediately: in what sense? in relation to what? from which point of view? It is only by answering these questions that I can demonstrate (but it would be better to say “show”) how much one word is truer than another.
Let’s take p. es. the word “god”. Atheists believe that it makes no sense, as it cannot be demonstrated. Yet in the name of this word how many stories and how many wars have been waged? how many existences have been changed? A word is true insofar as it is believed. Even with regards to the hippogriff or the minotaur we can say that they never existed, yet they made the men and women of the past dream, made them have fun, made us curious: even today we willingly listen to their myths, which lead us to do reflections on those distant epochs. We like to think that even if they are the result of fantasy, they may have been true.
The human being has a unique way of reasoning, in that he is willing to believe in anything, even in those that are not seen, heard, cannot be touched. One almost thinks that it was not man who invented language, but the opposite. We are determined, indeed immersed in a language that precedes us in time and dominates us with its infinite possibility of senses and meanings, expressed in an equally infinite number of signs and symbols.
Language is the most expressive form of the universe, and its greatness lies in the fact that it is constantly renewed. If there is one thing that cannot be clearly and unambiguously defined, it is precisely the linguistic expression of humans. Its beauty lies precisely in ambiguity, the evidence of which is basically only an act of faith.
One thing appears true only if we believe in it. It is not the “demonstration” that makes us believe in the truth of a thing, but the way it shows itself. How many prohibitions are more effective if they are not imposed strictly, without the possibility of discussion? That’s why, ultimately, words in themselves don’t count: the way they are said matters most .
However, we would be naive if we continued to believe that those words that enchanted us for the way they were said were true, when we know very well that their content is false . We are tired of believing in the tempting snake and its continuous publicity.