Friday, October 12, 2012

The True Majority

I hear politicians and pundits, toss around the term majority often. The moral majority, or even the 99% is truly a misleading tool to wield. But there is one actual majority in America, The Apathetic Majority. Often you find them crouched behind excuses like "busy" or sometimes openly admit they don't care. Often these overly busy people still find time for trivialities such as mind numbing television programs or following sports.

Participatory democracy only works if you participate. There are far too many citizens in our country for everyone to have their interests fully realized. Ideally, if there are enough people who share a common interest, that becomes clout to be addressed politically. In today's political environment however, wedge issues are used to wrangle the voting minority while the only real change happens for the benefit of those who control public opinion.

I believe this apathy has been manufactured by those who have the means to control public opinion to further their own personal agenda. They want you more interested in sports, entertainment and which celebrity is sexing up another celebrity. They want you more interested in the product than the manufacturing process behind it. They want you more interested in "fitting in" by having the symbols of success than standing out and up for what is currently not "popular".

This is not crazy fringe conspiracy, it is based on real science, in fact one of the best funded areas of cognitive science. The marketing industry really wanted to know how people tick and now that they know, they exploit the techniques developed with a level of sophistication that is truly frightening. They can sell products that known to contribute to; obesity, or even cancer, and people "willingly" line up to buy them.

Nothing in our regulatory bodies stops the practice of applying those same techniques to influencing politics through public opinion. Marketeers are willing to manipulate consumers into acting against their very health in the name of corporate profit, and they are willing to manipulate voters into voting against their own interests. The only weapon we have left is research and awareness. Choose apathy at not only your own peril, but at the expense of our collective best interests.

As always I welcome your comments, constructive or otherwise, and will not edit or omit any of them.

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