fbpx
Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

Fickle Voice of Gods

State of the Union: Unless the “means of propaganda” are balanced by a counter-elite, nothing will fundamentally change.
The New York Times Co. Post An 82 Percent Decline In 2nd Quarter Profi
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“Fifty-five percent say the US Congress should not authorize additional funding to support Ukraine vs. 45 percent who say Congress should authorize such funding. And 51% say that the U.S. has already done enough to help Ukraine while 48% say it should do more,” cites the CNN report of the network’s new poll on public opinion about the war in Ukraine. To compare, around 62 percent said that the U.S. should have been doing more, in February 2022. 

Vox populi is the slow, changeable voice of God. Not just metaphorically. The public is quite often slow to understand some of the more distant ramifications, quite simply because most people are either not very rational, or not given all the variables to make a sound judgement, or as the case maybe, both. Consider the issue of a “No-Fly Zone” over Ukraine, during the early phases of the war. Once it was clear that any NFZ would entail shooting down Russian jets and suppressing and bombing Russian anti-air missile batteries even within Russian borders, the enthusiasm immediately died down. The wisdom of the masses might be slow but the people, like gods, are not stupid. 

Advertisement

The whole poll is interesting, but the more interesting thing is the imbalance between the media coverage of the restrainer side. See the “experts” invited on morning and evening television news. Do you think their suggestions or analysis are reflective of the public mood? If not, why not? Why are only a section of conservatives realists and restrainers on Ukraine, and not a single Democratic lawmaker? What does it say about the state of democracy in this country? Why is the public mood not being reciprocated among the ruling elite, even on the conservative side, even when the public are repeatedly making their preferences clear? The top three contenders of the Republican candidacy for the presidency, are all reticent about further engagement in Europe. The neoconservatives and liberal internationalists have lost the theoretical debate. How is it that there is no major change in grand-strategy of the Republic? 

The realists do not own the “means of propaganda” in a managerial state. And, unless mass propaganda is balanced by a counter-elite, nothing will fundamentally change. The governing ideology is won. The people see that, and approve. But that is irrelevant, unless power changes. And the most important variable therefore, is the time, from now, to the general elections. Catastrophes happen, in between the gray zones of time.