Jerry Mander

American activist

Jerold Irwin "Jerry" Mander (born May 1, 1936) is an American activist and author.


Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1978)Edit

  • Psychiatrist R. D. Laing, among others, has said that the growing incidence of mental illness these days may be explained in part by the fact that the world we call real and which we ask people to live within and understand is itself open to question. The environment we live in is no longer connected to the mix of planetary processes which brought us all into being. It is solely the product of human mental processes. It is real, but only in the way that a theatrical play or a fun house is real. Our artificial environment is there and we can experience it, yet it has been created on purpose by other humans. It is an interpretation of reality; it no longer reveals how nature works and it cannot provide much useful information to human beings who seek to see their own lives as part of some wider natural process. We are left with no frame of reference untouched by human interpretation.
    • p. 87
  • Television is an experience that can be had by virtually everyone at the same time. By substituting for a greater diversity of experiences and unifying everyone with it, it aids commercial efficiency. With all people confined to the same mental and physical condition, a single advertising or political voice appropriate to the common mood can influence everyone.
    • p. 132
  • Television encourages separation: people from community, people from each other, people from themselves, creating more buying units and discouraging organized opposition to the system. It creates a surrogate community: Itself. It becomes everyone’s intimate advisor, teacher and guide to appropriate behavior and awareness. Thereby, it becomes its own feedback system, furthering its own growth and accelerating the transformation of everything and everyone into artificial form. This enables a handful of people to obtain a unique degree of power.
    • p. 133

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