If the United States was conquered by the Russians, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Elliott Abrams and the rest of them would probably be working for the invaders, sending people off to concentration camps. They’re the right personality types.
That’s the traditional pattern. Invaders quite typically use collaborators to run things for them. They very naturally play upon any existing rivalries and hostilities to get one group to work for them against others."
Because elections are carefully contrived so that they are like selling toothpaste. In fact, they’re run by the same people who sell toothpaste. I mean when you turn on an ad on television, you don’t expect to get any information. You expect deception. That’s the point. Only economists talk about markets. Business can’t tolerate markets. They don’t want markets in which informed consumers make rational choices. What they want is deluded consumers who will make irrational choices. That’s what hundreds of billions of dollars in advertising are spent on. You don’t get any information about the product.
“But what happens when the same industry sells candidates? Exactly the same thing. I mean, about 10 percent of the crop of voters knew what the stand of the candidates was on issues. What they knew is the delusionary imagery that was created. So Bush is created to be an ordinary guy with his sleeves rolled up and you could have a drink with him in a bar. My guess is he’s taught to make those mispronunciations and grammatical errors; I doubt that he talked like that at Yale. He’s probably taught that way so that ‘them liberal intellectuals’ would make fun of him and then they can say, oh yeah, he’s an ordinary guy just like you, going off to his ranch. That makes him about as realistic as the next ad you could see on television for a lifestyle report."
The terms of political discourse typically have two meanings. One is the dictionary meaning, and the other is a meaning that is useful for serving power—the doctrinal meaning.
Take democracy. According to the common-sense meaning, a society is democratic to the extent that people can participate in a meaningful way in managing their affairs. But the doctrinal meaning of democracy is different—it refers to a system in which decisions are made by sectors of the business community and related elites. The public are to be only “spectators of action,” not “participants,” as leading democratic theorists (in this case, Walter Lippmann) have explained. They are permitted to ratify the decisions of their betters and to lend their support to one or another of them, but not to interfere with matters—like public policy—that are none of their business."
Do you ever doubt your own ideas?
All the time. You should read what happens in linguistics. I keep changing what I said. Any person who is intellectually alive changes his ideas. If anyone at a university is teaching the same thing they were teaching five years ago, either the field is dead, or they haven’t been thinking."