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South-East Europe On The Edge Of Civilization: Use Emotional Side More Than Reflection – Essay

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In the past twenty years, and a little bit more, within the area of former Yugoslavia is a perfect example of Noam Chomsky’s No 6. Strategy of Media Manipulation titled: “Use the emotional side more than the reflection.”

Why? To understand better, let us first go back to the definition given by Noam Chomsky: “Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis, and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas, desires, fears and anxieties , compulsions, or induce behaviors …”

So, starting with the awakening of the “nations” (Serbs, Croats, Muslims, Slovenians, Macedonians, Albanians, Montenegrins) at the beginning of the nineties of the Twentieth Century, saying that they were within the chains of communist regime. But,…

I was there. I was living in that bloody communist country for almost thirty years before democracy arrived on a white horse (or was it black?). Just an example: My mother-in-law, as well as her neighbors – Croats and Serbs – were celebrating with her as a Muslim, the Ramadan Holiday as usual, within the home, with the family or by going to the Mosque. What is the difference? The difference is this: Before the nineties we had religion of ideology and nowadays we have ideology of religion.

So, the difference is that within the secular country(ies) they (read: political and religion leaders) would like to make public what was private twenty-five years ago. Is the relation with God, Allah and/or Buddha private or public? Private, by all means, and a person approaches to God, Allah and/or Buddha with his/her private prayer for something. But, no, here and now we have a public push to have everything in public, full of emotional words given by the side of local imams and/or priests, with the help of politicians that their religion is the best and a superior one and that their religion is the one which will save us all. The others, and different ones, are always the guilty ones for our bad moments of living.

Then, they (religion leaders) have the support of politicians and parties that the children should learn only about “their history,” “their geography,” “their language”, “their culture,” “their literature” without knowing that where there is no interaction with other “cultures” there is no improvement of one’s own culture. Aren’t we all red under our skin? Or was that also part of the communist conspiracy?

The famous “spin” of the current political leaders of all kinds (even former communists, nowadays social democrats) is the lack of compromise. It will be as I say so, or nothing will happen. That has now continued for almost twenty-five years and all major decisiones, for example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been made by the decision of foreigners (i.e. EU High Representative office) when they pushed Parliament to pass the Bill of Importance for the Development of Democracy.

Here, through the emotional reflection, within the area of former Yugoslavia, the politicians have understood democracy as the law of rule, not as the rule of law and responsibility – the responsibility to be judged by the people, of the people, for the people.

Media (il)literacy in the area of former Yugoslavia, within the sense of strategy of No 6. of Noam Chomsky, might be understandable, as Prof. W. James Potter, PhD from University of California – Santa Barbara, Department of Communication underlined in his book titled Media Literacy (Saga publication, USA, 2008), through three strongholds of media literacy reflected simply with respect to the area of South-East Europe – although here we will add “il” and write “Media (il)literacy”:

1. Personal position

The position of the people who vote is very weak, the goals are not determined as being strong, and we cannot control the way or how we use the media and the way or how we process received information. In the area of the former Yugoslavia media literacy is the product. Within the words of Prof. Potter media literacy should be the process.

2. Available knowledge

Available knowledge, according to Prof. Potter, is made of the group of organized information within someone’s consciousness. Also, information is the key ingredient of the knowledge.

But, what if, during twenty-five years somebody (read: politicians and religious leaders) implants wrong, inadequate and superficial information within the peoples’ knowledge?

3. Skills

“Skills are aids and it is gained through the practice. They are like muscles; as much we use it, they are better. If not in use, lost within their efficiency.” (W.J.P. “Media Literacy”, page 41)

So, having the table of media literacy on one side and table of media (il)literacy on other let us see what we get within the area of the former Yugoslavia, when we talk about the seven skills:

1> Analyses

Media literacy, by W. James Potter:

Analyses – breakup of the message within the meaning completeness

Media (il)literacy, by Sabahudin Hadžialić:

Analyses – breakup of the message within meaningless completeness

2> Evaluation

Media literacy, by W.J.P:

Evaluation – assessment of the values of one element, conducted through the comparison of the elements of the message with certain standards.

Media (il)literacy, by S.H.:

Evaluation – assessment of the values of one element, conducted through the comparison of the elements of the message without any certain standards.

3> Grouping

Media literacy, by W.J.P:

Grouping – determination which elements are, within the certain point of view, mutually similar; determination wherein one group of elements is different than other group.

Media (il)literacy, by S.H.:

Grouping – determination which elements are not, within the certain point of view, mutually similar; no need to make difference because they are already different from ne to another point of view.

4> Induction

Media literacy, by W.J.P.:

Induction – Establishment of the pattern within the small group of elements and then spreading that pattern on all elements

Media (il)literacy, by S.H.:

Induction – Establishment of the pattern within the small group of elements and then spreading that pattern on all elements. Why this is the same as above? Simple, because, through the using of the Strategy No 6. from Noam Chomsky, emotion works here very well – he is Muslim – he is Serb – he is Croat …they are all the same, because being a Muslim (or Serb, or Croat, etc…) means that he is exactly the part of stereotype as I have about him and/or them.

5> Deduction

Media literacy, by W.J.P.:

Deduction – using of the general principles for the explanation of individual elements.

Media (il)literacy, by S.H.:

Deduction – abusing of the general principles dfor the explanation odf individual elements.

6> Synthesis

Media literacy, by W.J.P.:

Synthesis – connection of the elements into the new structure

Media (il)literacy, by S.H.:

Synthesis – re-connection of the elements into the new structure, based on the implanted knowledge by the side of politicians and religious people of my “nation”.

7>  Abstraction

Media literacy, by W.J.P.:

Abstraction – giving a short, clear and précised description which reflects the essence of the message in less words then the message itself.

Media (il)literacy, by S.H.:

Abstraction – giving a short, clear and précised description which reflects the essence of the message in less words then the message itself. Again “they are all the same and no need to explain it”. Example: “A Muslim is the terrorist – All the Muslims are the terrorists”; “A Serb is the war criminal – All the Serbs are war criminals.”; “A Croat is the aggressor – all the Croats are aggressors.”

So, again, how to fight against Media (il)literacy within South-East Europe, which has its own proper manipulation technique even in the Strategy No 6. as explained by Noam Chomsky?

Of course, by using this devil’s word, it is “simple.” How? Through the establishment of the subject of “Media literacy” in the secondary school, starting from the first year of secondary school, and pointing everything what W. James Potter wrote above and none of what Sabahudin Hadžialić wrote above.

Why? You know what people like Sabahudin Hadžialic are, very well.

They are all from the same kind.

P.S. Next time: Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity

Prof. Dr. Sabahudin Hadzialic

Prof. Dr. Sabahudin Hadzialic was born in 1960, in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since 1964 he lives in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is a professor (two doctoral degrees), scientist, writer & poet (distinguished artist by state), journalist, and editor. He wrote 26 books (textbooks for the Universities in BiH and abroad, books of poetry, prose, essays as well as) and his art and scientific work is translated in 25 world languages. He published books in BiH, Serbia, France, Switzerland, USA and Italy. He wrote more than 100 scientific papers. He is certified peer-reviewer (his citations appear in books and papers of scientists from all continents) for several European scientific journals. He participates within EU project funds and he is a member of scientific boards of Journals in Poland, India and the USA. He is a member of the Board of directors of IFSPD (www.ifspd.org). Also, he is a regular columnists & essayist and member of the Editorial board, since 2014, of Eurasia Review, think tank and journal of news & analysis from the USA. Since 2009 he is co-owner and Editor in chief of DIOGEN pro culture - magazine for culture, art, education and science from the USA. He is a member of major associations of writers in BiH, Serbia and Montenegro as well as Foundations (scientific and non-governmental) Associations worldwide. As professor he was/is teaching at the Universities in BiH, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and India. Detailed info: http://sabihadzi.weebly.com.

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