Information Inequality Term Paper

In his book “Information Inequality”¯ Herbert Schiller describes how the increasing privatization and corporate relations directly influence the society’s most highly valued democratic organizations: schools, universities and libraries, newspapers, radio and television broadcasting, and, which is very important, political institutions. The tendency of private takeover of information (which actually means the takeover of power) results in the lack of access to socially necessary information for people, and doubtfulness of the quality of information given to the population.

The system of education from elementary schools to universities is free from outside influence, according to the claims of manipulators.

However, the current situation speaks for itself: all the most highly esteemed educational establishments are gradually turning into corporate for-profit organizations, the real aim of which is not up-bringing of the new intellectually developed generation but gaining more and more profits and sometimes even imposing ideologically loaded concepts into students’ minds.

Science, which more than any other type of intellectual activity has become today an inalienable part of the corporate economy, also aspires to seem independent and neutral. But we all know the financing sources of various research institutions and laboratories, which determine the directions of their researches, the application of their theories and the character of the paradigms created by such science. Schiller warns that we might soon come to the point, when research institutions will resemble commercial corporations rather than sanctuary of sciences.

The fact that practically all the media are business corporations, getting profits from selling their time or columns, does not seem to worry the apologists of objectivity and incorruptibility of informative services. Moreover, various separate newspapers and electronic media are being increasingly bought by international corporations losing in this way their individuality, objectivity, liberty and consequently turning into giant global structures ”“ tools for manipulating people’s minds.

The pluralism of mass media is, in fact, just a myth. The idea of the personal choice existing in the conditions of cultural-informative variety is advertised worldwide as a characteristic feature of the life in the USA. The similar point of view is also peculiar to the system of convictions of most Americans, which makes them especially amenable to the thoroughly conducted manipulation. That is why this myth is the main myth providing the success of manipulation. Choice and variety, though different concepts, but are inseparable from each other; choice is in fact impossible without variety. If in reality there is nothing to choose from, then the choice is either senseless or bears a manipulative character. The choice also bears manipulative character, when there is an illusion of its sense.

All these arguments could have remained just a subjective opinion of a philosopher, if they were not proved by other reliable sources like New York Times, where Christopher Drew and John Markoff show that the overtake of information have spread to the spheres of national security, intelligence and military structures. According to them, there are estimated 88,700 information operations specialists in the military like specialists in electronic warfare and “hacker soldiers”¯ intended to design the programs to protect the computers of the Pentagon and penetrate into the networks of countries-potential enemies. Thus, the cyberwars have now become the reality, and there is no guarantee that such technologies are to protect us, not on the contrary.

The corporate economy’s chase of growing private incomes is methodically reducing the organizations and institutions, which maintain the community interest and the public good. Schiller reveals the data deprivation corporate interests, which are eroding the society. From the sphere of advertising to the networks of cyberwarfare, technologies carry on to be designed in ways that make the social inequality more explicit.

Leave a Reply