The musician Frank Zappa (1940-1993) often spoke about politics, usually in defense of Constitutional first amendment protections of the freedom of speech and expression. In The Real Frank Zappa Book (1989), he wrote:
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Politics Is the Entertainment Branch of Industry. C-SPAN’s coverage of governmental proceedings is wonderful. Caution! Buffoons on the Hill! Wallowing in blabber and spew, regiments of ex-lawyers and used-car salesmen attempt to distract us from the naughty little surprises served up by deregulated corporate America.”
Zappa also said “politics is the entertainment branch of industry” in a 1987 interview with Keyboard magazine. The quote means that industry runs government, and all politics (such as elections) are strictly for the public’s entertainment, fooling voters into thinking that the elections matter. The term “military-industrial complex” replaced “industry” in Zappa’s quote ("Government/Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex") by at least 2002.
[This entry was prepared with the research assistance of the Quote Investigator.]
Wikipedia: Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, recording engineer, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.
Well, I think it behooves them to have political thoughts, but let me make a definition clarification here. I say politics is the entertainment branch of industry, and government is what we need.
(This quote is from a music magazine article about Frank Zappa. A more complete citation is in the 2008 book Keyboard Presents The Best of the ‘80s—ed.)
The Real Frank Zappa Book
By Frank Zappa with Peter Occhiogrosso
New York, NY: Poseidon Press
Government in “the New Perfect America”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Politics Is the Entertainment Branch of Industry. C-SPAN’s coverage of governmental proceedings is wonderful. Caution! Buffoons on the Hill! Wallowing in blabber and spew, regiments of ex-lawyers and used-car salesmen attempt to distract us from the naughty little surprises served up by deregulated corporate America.
27 July 1989, Buffalo (NY) News, “The Opinionated World of Frank Zappa” (a review of the book cited above) by Elmer Ploetz:
“Politics is the entertainment branch of industry,” he says, and “wallowing in blabber and spew, regiments of ex-lawyers and used-car salesmen attempt to distract us from the naughty little surprises served up by deregulated corporate America.”
A Small Town for Its Size
By David Collins
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.com, Inc.
“One of the things my artist friends like to point out is that politics, entertainment, and business are the same thing. Like Frank Zappa said: ‘Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.’ It’s all a big sideshow, all set up to divert your attention from the way corporations are screwing the public.”
We Are All Normal (and we want our freedom):
A collection of contemporary Nordic artists writings
Edited by Kaye Sander and Simon Sheikh
London: Black Dog
Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex
Kids Ate my Mom’s Computer
November 6th, 2002 By elburro
Or, keeping in mind the words of Frank Zappa, “Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex”, (yes, I voted though, dammit) I’m going to switch to a subject somewhat closer to my heart: ...
The Times of India
The great Indian game show
Vikas Singh, TNN Aug 18, 2003, 12.00am IST
Either way, Monday and Tuesday promise to bear out Frank Zappa’s observation that the government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.
The Best Liberal Quotes Ever:
Why The Left Is Right
By William Martin
Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks
Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex. — Frank Zappa
The Snark Handbook. Politics & Government Edition:
Gridlock, Red Tape, and Other Insults to We the People
By Lawrence Dorfman
New York, NY : Skyhorse Publishing
Government is the Entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.
-- FRANK ZAPPA
Posted by Lew Rockwell on October 9, 2012 12:43 PM
“Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.” — Frank Zappa
(Thanks to Mark Fee)
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 10, 2012 • Permalink
This is a very intriguing post. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m glad I was able to see this.
Good enough, well constructed and very interesting. I have bookmarked you hopefully you keep posting new stuff. Many thanks to your site.