Noam Chomsky and 'Advertised Reality'

Bruce Levine on why psychiatrists can't be trusted and why the Soviets fell

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AUTHOR: Bruce E. Levine at Alternet

LENGTH: 2,291 words

THESIS: The American people are victims of "abuse syndrome"--the truth of "how they are being screwed" is not enough to "set them free"

PERPETRATOR: Elected officials and the establishment, generally. Possibly George W. Bush in particular.

CURRENT EFFECT OF SCHOOLS: To teach students to "accept bureaucratic domination and enslaving debt"

REASON FOR SOVIET COLLAPSE: The oppressed peoples "[got] depressed, stay[ed] drunk," and did nothing

WHAT THIS IS CALLED: "A passive-aggressive revolution"

WHY AMERICA CAN'T HAVE A 'PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE REVOLUTION': The mental health establishment won't let us

RECOMMENDATION: Only trust mental health professionals that have "rebelled against their professional socialization"

TOOLS OF SUBJUGATION: The educational system, psychiatric drugs, television, consumerism

SHOCKING REVELATION: "Damn near everything--not just organized religion--has become 'opiates of the masses'"

WHAT WE NEED: Small victories, a morale booster



A major component of the craft of maintaining morale is not taking the advertised reality too seriously. In the early 1960s, when the overwhelming majority in the U.S. supported military intervention in Vietnam, Chomsky was one of a minority of U.S. citizens actively opposing it. Looking back at this era, Chomsky reflected, "When I got involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement, it seemed to me impossible that we would ever have any effect. . . So looking back, I think my evaluation of the 'hope' was much too pessimistic: it was based on a complete misunderstanding. I was sort of believing what I read."

An elitist assumption is that people don't change because they are either ignorant of their problems or ignorant of solutions. Elitist "helpers" think they have done something useful by informing overweight people that they are obese and that they must reduce their caloric intake and increase exercise. An elitist who has never been broken by his or her circumstances does not know that people who have become demoralized do not need analyses and pontifications. Rather the immobilized need a shot of morale.

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