There once was a time, a very long time, when large parts of the US population believed unquestioningly in the American Dream: that hard work sufficed to get ahead; that Democrat and Republican political parties represented the full range of political possibilities; that the motives behind US actions in the world were altruistic. Popular movements, righteous education and economic realities have undermined those innocent beliefs. But is the cynicism which has replaced them any better? Through an in-depth look at an animated film from the 1970s, Norm Diamond explores the phenomenon of cynicism and its encouragement in commercial media and elsewhere, as a sophisticated form of social control.
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