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In 1932 Ronald Knox (Translator of the Bible, Detective Story Writer, Catholic Priest) wrote a book called Broadcast Minds. Its purpose was to answer some of the pundits appearing on the BBC. Knox deals with the claims of Bertrand Russell, H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley, H.L. Mencken, and lesser lights. In chapter one, he anticipates McCluhan and Postman by arguing that while man makes technology, technology then makes man. His definition of “broadcastmindedness” seems prophetic for today’s discussions of social media, etc. Did his prediction come to pass? See here:
The immediate danger I foresee is what I call broadcast-mindedness. By that I mean, primarily, the habit of taking over, from self-constituted mentors, a ready-made, standardized philosophy of life, instead of constructing, with however imperfect materials, a philosophy of life for oneself. In politics it is easy enough to see what this means, as I have suggested above. It means that the great generality of men become good subjects but not, in any real sense, good citizens. They vote, they pay their taxes, they obey the orders of Government departments, they assist the police, under suggestion from without; they do not contribute anything of their own, their own sense of need or experience of life, towards the formation of a general will; they acquiesce in that general will, which is formed by a governing class of experts. I put the mater brutally, not because I am convinced, as Lord Russell appears to be convinced, that this is a state of things towards which we are inevitably moving, but because I want to make it clear what is the logical issue of our present tendencies, if they remain unchecked. The logial issue of our present tendencies, in political life, is a subservience to the expert more complete than the subservience of our ancestors to their Whig overlords in the early eighteenth century.