Let's start with a definition of the verb, "manipulate" from Dictionary.com.
"1. to manage or influence skillfully, esp. in an unfair manner: to manipulate people's feelings."
Using that definition, a "manipulative system" skillfully and probably unfairly influences people's ideas and feelings.
I don't believe that all politicians lie, but they do present only the facts that they want the public to know. A good example was the invasion of Iraq. The politicians emphasized that they BELIEVED that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They also tied Iraq to the disaster of 9/11 even though there was no evidence that Iraq was involved.
That makes me very suspicious of the increasing warlike and hawkish rhetoric about a possible threat from Iraq. Are some politicians exaggerating and manipulating the U.S. citizens to want to fight a war there?
Health care is another issue. For many years, politicians screamed about the threat of "socialized medicine" whenever any proposal was made for the government plan to provide medical care for everyone.
Are you saying that the government is manipulative by threatening and making society fear of, for example, SARS, Aids, war, etc.?
I didn't say that.
A manipulative government distorts or doesn't report all of the facts. Intelligent voters research and find the facts about these issues.
There's no doubt that SARS, AIDS, and war are facts of life that should be feared. SARS and AIDS affect a minority of Americans. War affects everyone.
Here's another instance of manipulation that occurred recently.
Notice the dates. This bill passed through the House and the Senate and was sent on to the President for signing into law, but he vetoed it. Then the House and Senate voted on it all again and overrode the President's veto.
I wondered why he vetoed it in the first place, and this is my best guess: The original bill was probably a very good one, with straightforward goals and specific targets for redevelopment. But in the process of going through the House and then the Senate the first time, seventy-four (74) amendments were tacked on, many of which had nothing whatever to do with needed water resources in our country. 74!!!!! So I wanted to see what those amendments were all about, and what I found is what people often refer to as "pork" -- unrelated items attached to a bill to benefit a particular congressman's state or district in exchange for his yea vote.
Now THAT'S manipulation!
Here are some more links if you care to follow the process and see "pork" for yourself: