Normal Catastrophes, The Age of Uncertainty and The Industrialization of Thinking

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Instead of offering enlightenment about social reality, the media function as an amusement enterprise and immobilizing machine. Information mutates into infotainment and doesn’t guarantee even the most banal necessities for the citizen.. Advanced civilization is marginalized in many social areas into a sanctuary of the elites.

IN THE AGE OF UNCERTAINTY THE PERMANENT STATE OF ALERT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE SOUL

The first victim of crisis is always our trust in the future. Youth are struck especially hard. Permanent alarm is a social and political problem and not only an individual problem.

Parents prepare their children for life by giving them a primal trust of escaping the whirlpool to unhappiness in whatever may happen to them. The feeling of absolute security is always an illusion. But it is one of the most important illusions because illusions act as defense mechanisms. The system of illusory convictions allows us to function in the world and experience the world as stable, certain and foreseeable.

Pseudo-journalism, junk and marketing combine and dominate public media today.

Journalists are neither representatives of the public nor helpers, lawyers, privileged informants or teachers. They no longer understand themselves as neutral or partisan supporters of the public and their participation in society. They don’t want to organize any dialogues, solve problems from the citizen perspective or mobilize citizens. They also don’t want to weigh themes and evaluate the relevance of a subject. Rather everything has the same value or is rated highest when the interest of the public is the greatest. On one side they are today service providers and on the other side sellers of their end product. The goal of the broadcast is the attention and contentment of the target group. The public information leads to de-politization.

An industrialization of thinking seems to characterize conditions and has taken over in the heads of the men of action. The culture-less universal dummification machine called television actually seems to have become the decisive instrument of a self-destructive process of western democracies. The West sinks with the evening program.

In the middle of the 1970s, US thinker Richard Sennett spoke of the “decline and end of public life.” The increasingly fragmenting television cannot really act any more as the Agora and forum of a telepolitan democracy. Television devolves to the psycho-couch made of glass of the trash talkmaster for repressing the res publica described by Sennett. Social meaning arises out of the emotional life of individuals, the “return to tribal life” and the dominance of individuals who are rated “credible” and “effective” and promoted to the rank of leaders…

Television today hardly offers enlightenment about social reality. Rather it reduces its complexity to a level where not much is left. In a globalizing world, experience is localized and personalized by television. At the same time it is personalized, emotionalized and slandered – like politics with its questions, power relations and connections. There is hardly any attempt to make politics transparent. Depolitization dominates the presentation of politics. Politics is nothing but another jigsaw puzzle in the amusement business of television.

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