The Guardians of Freedom / Regina Coyula

A friend has brought me the Ten Strategies of Media Manipulation, by Noam Chomsky, and in conjunction ?astral? has loaned me “The Guardians of Freedom,” by Chomsky-Herman. I confess that I have read then with the intensity needed for The Way to Paradise by Vargas Llosa, a forced reading of a text that appears to have been written by force. But this is only a comment, not a comparative reading.

I regret not having been more curious about the appearance of Chomsky on Cuban television a few years ago. As much as I try, I can’t visualize this libertarian intellectual in the trench of dogmatism that is the Roundtable television show.

And while the principles of The Guardians of Freedom are designed and written for the mass media and propaganda in the United States, it could be the masthead of the ideologues of my government. With the simple substitution of some proper names and huge mass media corporations; substituting the words communism and rights for their antonyms, we find an outline of the modus operandi of the Cuban media, the form of disinformation and censorship in the daily news of these parts.

This mechanism allows sending a message to great effect and with no chance of being refuted or discussed on equal terms, even to the point of the Orwellian aberration Orwellian of instilling beliefs through arguments that are seemingly solid and widespread, but which are unfounded or contradictory to the truth. Success lies in there being little or no chance of those receiving the message having access alternative information.

In the case of Cuba, this premise, though battered, still stands; because they report what they want and the majority “isn’t for that,” but those who are can inform themselves more and better. And, we must add, more quickly.

I see, moreover, that Noam Chomsky is a valued and highly respected member of the American intelligentsia. Had he been Cuban, he’d be nothing but a “crazy” academic for writing The Guardians of Freedom, a text undoubtedly dictated from an obscure office in Langley.

March 9 2012