Total Propaganda: From Mass Culture to Popular Culture

By Alex S. Edelstein | Go to book overview

28
ENDPROP The Road Ahead

This book was easier to begin than it was to end. And to borrow a phrase from software guru Bill Gates, there's a long road ahead.

The foremost question is whether forces in the popular culture impel it toward the oldprop or the new. The diversity in the popular culture makes it certain that it is not headed in a single direction, either all oldprop or all new. What is more, the boundaries of the popular culture are being pushed outward rather than receding inward, a promise of change rather than stasis. We can be certain that the synergies that the popular culture reflects, and the energies that it brings, will contribute to a growing consciousness of total propaganda.

On the downside, oldprop has dominated entire arenas of public discourse. Militia posturing has threatened nearby communities, angry talk-radio has minimized and dehumanized its enemies, church burnings have denied human and religious rights, and the shrillness of moral and religious zealots on abortion have given rise to an oldprop that shows few signs of abatement.

These and other currents continue to raise troubling questions as to the perceived efficacy of the popular culture. It has been questioned by those who are convinced -- albeit mistakenly -- that national elections no longer produce candidates who can be admired. A cacophony of media criticism has held that voting choices have deteriorated from choices among quality candidates to settling for the "least worst" candidate. Voters are judging candidates on the basis of who might be the least frightening or harmful to them, not

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