Entertainment or brainwashing?

Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:18

Originally written: 06 December 2005

Most people understand that advertising pays for television programs. But most believe that if they go off to the kitchen for a snack during the commercials, they avoid the advertising.

A newspaper article out of Los Angeles shows that selling is so important that even the television programming is advertising. According to the Writers Guild of America:
We are being told to write the lines that sell this merchandise and to deftly disguise the sale as a story.
Can it be any more clear that even “entertainment” is just a trick to convince you to buy something? In any other situation, this would be called brainwashing. Maybe we should call it brainwashing in this case, too?

The concept behind such advertising (brainwashing) is sometimes called “Top of Mind Awareness” (TOMA). The idea is that a specific manufacturer or manufacturer’s product will be the first thing which comes into your mind when a product is mentioned. For example, if someone suggests getting a soft drink, and the first thing which comes into your mind is the Chutney Lemonade Company, it is reasonably likely that you will decide to buy a Chutney Lemonade, or a Chutney Cola, or some other soft drink from the Chutney Lemonade Company.

Let us take this a step further. For most people the only social system they ever see in their daily lives, on television, and at the movies, is capitalism. If people hear about socialism, it is almost invariably in a very negative context. Now, if Capitalism’s Gravediggers starts talking about socialism, most people are going to have two thoughts. One is that the only real, practical social system is capitalism. The other is that socialism is bad.

That is the same “Top of Mind Awareness” brainwashing trick. Most people just turn off. They stop listening and never find out what socialists are actually talking about and working to establish.

If you do not like being brainwashed to buy, maybe you should dislike being brainwashed to buy capitalism. You should find out why capitalism does not want you to learn about socialism from socialists.
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