Sunday, February 1, 2015

Extinct real, enter virtual..

Barkha Dutt, leading Indian Media personality, had her article today ( 31st Jan,2015) in Hindustan Times, titled, ' Telling it like a good story'. She was depicting the near extinct of real, and the entry of virtual in modern political arena; she quotes Bernard Manin, Professor of Politics at New York University, that ' the most recent variation of image-and media-driven democracy is as legitimate a form of representative government as previous models' (ie. parliamentary and party democracies) It simply means, taking smart,full advantage of the high-tech 'image-building service' that modern media offer has become a new art and science in politics ! Those leaders who master the above art and science can only make it to the top !

She judges that both US president Obama and Indian PM Modi have acquired mastery in the above field at equal degree. She was referring to the former's recent visit to India to attend her Republic day celebrations.

A few human-interest questions arise from her above observation:

1) Were these Political leaders inventing a new method of influencing voter-mind, or were they simply and smartly utilizing the highly 'innovative possibilities' of 'virtual reality' that modern media have invented in their market ? In other words, does it mean the shifting of the traditional Media priority from roles such as 'peoples-voice', 'democracy watch-dog' the society, to that of creating innovating new products and possibilities in their niche market-place ? ( that of image building and its sustaining, and creating a 'virtual world' for its own sake ? )

The huge media budgets behind both in the US president elections, and also in the recent Modi win in the Indian Election is now in the public awareness. So, we could realize the motive behind the fierce fight in the media market to share the hugely-expanded 'market-size'of image-building business, and that of creating 'virtual reality' !

2) If contract-killers offer more innovative methods of annihilating victims, with minimum chance of getting caught, who should be held more accountable for going for such methods; the actual contact givers or the product-creators ? Definitely, both parties are equally responsible for the 'paradigm-shift' in the technology aspect in the market.The products are always specifically intended for the special needs of the market.

3) The large possibilities of Media in cover-up tactics, by issuing purposely confusing statements and images, every failure and lapses could be made good before the public eyes ! Here, Barkha's claim that, ' this is not to say that only packaging and theatrics determine your political fate in the brave new world; eventually there is escaping the judgment of performance' loses relevance. People have no role in creating such judgement, as it is also done in media reports, images, studio-debates and social-media circles. We know that, every political party has special task-force exclusively to post comments and likes in social-media circle, to create VIRTUAL REALITY in-favour of their respective political parties.

It is now well known that the fall of UPA-2,( the 2nd term Congress led government under PM Manmohan-Singh) and its systematic maligning in public-eye was a deliberate and systematic creation of certain media groups, perhaps under collusion with opposition political parties. So, Barkha's stand that 'genuine performance judgment' by people is a myth. Virtual has totally eclipsed the real in modern world.

Assault of the Virtual in the real life sphere

Apart from the total take-over of the REAL in the political sphere, its almost total take-over of human-beings in real life sphere is also well evident. The increasing incidents of marriage break up could be cited as one example. What modern youngsters get married to are virtual-entities, not real-life human-beings/partners !

The non-stop of pumping of virtual images of successful men and women in media advertisements forces modern young men and women to internalize a suitable image from the multiple options, abandoning their real selves. These virtual creatures search for equally 'virtual' partners in marriage, for virtual sex, and virtual social needs.

Who can bypass real, existential energies of human-relations and life ? Forces of Free-market ideology wants every man and women to be ideal consumers. This purpose is served only when every one of them go for some or other of the multiple images of such virtual-creatures pumped into the market-place 24x7, all over the globe. The ideal of Globalization is nothing but such grand vision of the Free-market forces.In this sense, Globalization does not mean anything beyond a grand, globalized-market place' for products and services !

These virtual marriage partners, when live together under one roof, away from the market-place's synthetic images for a few weeks and months, naked realities of real life face them up-front. Most of them fail to cope-up with the sudden exposure to real life-situations, and demands of two raw-human beings living together. So, 50 to 55 % marriages end in premature break-up today. This trend was confined to Europe and USA earlier, but thanks to Globalization, it is true even in countries like India.

Take-up the life of our adolescent population. They too are serious victims of the assault of the 'virtual' realities. Images of the world as a market place of glitter and show engulfs them, and there is little opportunity for them to taste the virgin reality of life ever. In real life situations, it is impossible to sustain, playing virtual card for long. So, these youngsters too, fall victims to the assault of the virtual-world very early in life. Millions of images pumped into the world act in the form of a 'language' for young people, to 'enact' life in certain ways, away from their nature-given traits. Like modern politicians, they attempt to create virtual-reality around their persona, for effectively marketing themselves in the world.

As a conclusion, we could say that what orphans modern world more than any thing is the shift of professional priority of modern Media from their traditional role as 'peoples' voice' and similar specific pro-people and pro-mankind roles in the world, to the above referred role as creators of 'virtual-reality', whether it is for paid-projection of political-leaders as 'saviours' of people in the voter-market, or creating similar synthetic realities for products and services of the industry, or even for mere brand-image creation purpose of corporate-entities.This shift of priority of media leaves modern world at the mercy of many dubious agencies and dark-forces, in exploiting it for personal and large-group gains. World lost her one and only proclaimed agent of ensuring intellectual sanity and plain sense of Reason !.

Noam Chomsky's celebrated work titled ' Manufacturing consent' is forthright in establishing the integral role of Media in taming and controlling the minds of peoples' class; See part of one of his speeches below:

" Walter Lippman, who was the dean of American journalists, is the man who invented the phrase manufacture of consent. He described the manufacture of consent as a self-conscious art and a regular organ of popular government. This, he said, is quite important, this is a revolution in the practice of democracy, and he thought it was a worthwhile revolution. The reason is, again, the stupidity of the average man. ...This is in Walter Lippman's book Public Opinion, which appeared shortly after World War I "  ( read the entire text of the speech at link:

How could our so called 'OPEN-WORLD' remain calm and cool,in accepting modern democracy and media as celebrated signs and blessing of the political system of 'EQUAL-HUMAN-BEINGS' ?  What we worship, out of our ignorance and foolishness is, our-own fetters and noose !

Please share the following blogs for additional reading on related themes:( other blogs in the same series also has few direct posts)

Authored by: Abraham J. Palakudy

He is an ardent seeker/researcher in subjects like Philosophy, Mind&Reason,Spirituality,polity etc
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