Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why Do We Think the Way We Do?

"Journalism," like every other -ism, is an indoctrination of how the world should be seen -- with its adherents at the center of that world, as the bearers of the only true god, or truth. They cannot believe that the ways that they see things, are not a biased point of view, but is "objective" reality -- and therein lies their blindness.

In every field, there has to be a healthy questioning of their assumptions -- and their own authorities, and not merely questioning the authority and credibility of every other -- while their own is left unchallenged. Every great seeker of wisdom and understanding has made this their primary task in the communication of any knowledge.

That is very different from the self-indulgence of journalists relating what they wish others to know and think of them -- as the singularly most caring, compassionate and fair-minded people on the planet. They always seem to express surprise and outrage at the suggestion that they could be biased. That is telling.

But not only journalists think that way -- but everyone thinks and is “taught” in that manner, that theirs is the ONLY way, and nonbelievers should be pitied at best and destroyed at worst. However, what is different is that journalists, with their central role and importance in communicating the information, are tempted to abuse that trust, as people in any self-designating and self-defining field will.

This is largely subject to the politics of that culture -- which is not as altruistic and non-self-aggrandizing as most would have us believe about themselves. That is true for “teachers,: politicians, ministers, lawyers, as well as journalists. They all have their so-called professional ethics, which they offer, gives them automatic immunity and protection against corruption and deceit.

But the truth of the matter is usually something different, with individuals ranging from one extreme of the range to the other, so that no blanket generalization is likely to be helpful and unprejudicial. That’s why the easy reference to one as a “liberal,” “Democrat,” “socialist,” caring, compassionate individual should not be taken at face value, but is what a calculating person wishes one would think -- or better, not question about them.

Meanwhile, the “Republicans,” and other non-believers of the unquestioned purity of their consciences and actions, should immediately be dismissed, as having no other concern but to callously outrage every sensibility “decent” people ought to have.

One should read the news with this healthy inquiry into the nature of the observer influencing and altering the “observed.” That is the way reading is done at the state of the art.

So please pay attention a little more to these things this election season so that the day after the elections are over, we’re not asking, “How the heck do we get such poor leaders to represent us?” There’s a reason things happen.