There is a huge gap between the public and the political will as represented by the elected officials. The truth of the matter is that information is so controlled and the political will so organized that the public actually do not have a say in what goes on when it comes to policy matters.
As Mills rightly points out, often the information comes to the public after a policy matter has been long decided by those in power – those our public has elected to represent their interests are quite removed from what the public actually needs. This idea is quite strange to us as we believe that it is only in the politically subversive states that policies are made without considering the public opinion. However, upon closer inspection it becomes quite clear that even in a country like ours, which holds high democratic values, public opinion is not only disregarded in a lot of policy matters, but is often influenced and tampered with by a host of ways.
We have only to look at the War on Terror that America has waged as an instance of this. Mass hysteria was created using myriads of methods: mass media was constantly being fed stories of constant and ever present threats by the terrorists, and a nationalistic fervor was created by feeding the public the idea that the terrorists were against the American Way of Life. The public, therefore, wholeheartedly supported the invasion of Afghanistan (we were told Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the Twin Towers, and Al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, operated from Afghanistan). However, what makes the episode take a totalitarian twist is when our own President lied to us about there being Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq – we were told that that the FBI had confirmed this – and the wily dictator of Iraq was just short of using them against us, so we had no choice but to invade Iraq as well.
It was much