Noam Chomsky is well known for his view points on the tricks of the mass media; the tricks behind the actual freedom of the press. He has set out arguments on “manufacturing consent” and the role played by the American mass media companies in controlling the consent and views of the people in society. He has argued on the power of the mass media companies on American culture, society and also on the political structure of the country. It is the ordinary people themselves who permit the upper elite class to hold dominance over them on all levels.
A society should only create opportunities to do justice to the life and living conditions of the people, through creative works. Instead, human beings are manipulated by the powerful elite class in America and they make ordinary people believe that they are not actually being controlled by them. The powerful elite class is very tactful in exercising control over the society, holding complete ownership as private persons over public resources which are meant for the public use and welfare, and in this way, they increase the profits for themselves. All this while having full managing power over the content of the media and continuing to maintain the myth of freedom of the press.
Even though America is a democratic country, real democracy is not exercised in its full form. In a real democratic country, the common people should have complete freedom to participate and make their own political decision making for the country. They should also hold the choice in making other economic decisions.
He stressed the importance of the common people developing and maintaining an independent mind when it comes to dealing with crucial matters, and not be influenced and manipulated by the powerful elite. The common people should act as per their own interests.
According to Noam Chomsky, people should have the capacity to identify the different forms of authority and the indirect forms of manipulation and influence that the rich elite class has on these ordinary people. They should also be able to identify the various forms of coercion so that they can be able to challenge authorities which are not legitimate ones.
A truly democratic country is that which provides free access and complete freedom to express their own ideas and opinions. Instead, the powerful elite class owns in some way or another all of the institutions and they trick the common people with illusions. The elite class is just 20% of the American society and they have ownership over the public resources of the country and they have ways of using it to fulfil their own ends. Whereas, the common people of the society cover about a majority of the society amounting to 80%, and these people are tricked with illusions where they are made to believe that they have control over the public resources when in fact they do not have it all.
In America, the consent of the people is actually bought or manufactured. Thus Noam Chomsky gave the term ‘manufacturing consent’. The concept of indoctrination is essential for propaganda which plays a vital role in a democratic country like America.
Noam Chomsky has set up a propaganda model with 5 filters which are:
- Ownership of the major institutions: Here the major institutions and corporations of the country are owned by a group of the powerful elite class in society.
- Advertisements: Advertisements are telecasted with the goal to create illusions.
- Opinions of the people: the people with individual and different opinions are not given consideration.
- The debates and the news are all made limited.
- The interests and the attention of the common people of America are often diverted so that their concentration does not lie in the crucial areas and issues.
Thus in a democratic country like America, it is vital that the common people should stand up and challenge the system where the rich are given complete control over all kinds of public resources which are further utilized for increasing their profits many folds.