Taking the Risk out of Democracy:
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
While this might not seem exactly metaphysical, it is very important for us all to grok the mechanics of propaganda and manipulation. Alex Carey’s book is key to understanding how we as Americans have been lied to and manipulated to --- and thus fits into the predictions from the ancient Sanskrit text the Linga Purana concerning our current Age of Confusion, the Kali Yuga:
*People will prefer to choose false ideas.
*Base [low minded] men who have gained a certain amount of learning (without having the virtues necessary for its use) will be esteemed as sages.
*Thieves will become kings, and kings will be the thieves.
*Rulers will confiscate property and use it badly. They will cease to protect the people.
Taking the Risk out of Democracy, Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty by Alex Carey, sheds some light on the demons in the closet of the United States of America.
As Mr. Carey informs us, "The common man' … has never been so confused, mystified and baffled; his most intimate conceptions of himself, of his needs, and indeed the very nature of human nature, have been subject to skilled manipulation and construction in the interests of corporate efficiency and profit."
This book tells us that we the American people have been subjected to a 75-year long multi-billion dollar intentional assault on our freedom to think and to choose.
"... propaganda techniques have been developed and deployed (in the United States)... to control and deflect the purposes of the domestic electorate in a democratic country in the interests of the privileged segments of that society."
What is propaganda?
"Propaganda is the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbols... Collective attitudes are amenable to many modes of alteration… intimidation... economic coercion... drill. But their arrangement and rearrangement occurs principally under the impetus of significant symbols; and the technique of using significant symbols for this purpose is propaganda." (Laswell, Bradson, and Janowitz 1953:776-80).
These significant symbols are the catch phrases by which we human beings can be aroused to anger, to go to war, or merely to consume. Phrases like the American Way, the Free Enterprise System, the American Dream, and the global economy are meant to empower our faith --- as opposed to creeping socialism, the red menace, and a national threat.
Significant symbols are "symbols with real power over emotional reactions, ideally symbols of the Sacred and the Satanic."
People are polarized by these symbols. They see life in terms of good and bad, black and white, and thus are more easily manipulated. The "enemy" out there may indeed seem evil. But in the solitude of our own hearts, we know that we are all a mix of both. None of us is so clearly saint or sinner. Instead of emotionally polarizing we could have a dialogue, a discussion; and yet, it seems we can be manipulated by propaganda into thinking almost anything.
Alex Carey suggests that we Americans might be the most brain washed country on the planet! One professor in Carey's book, Professor Harwood Childs, states, "Americans are the most propagandized people of any nation."
I know you are thinking, "Hey! Only the bad guys use propaganda. Only our enemies use propaganda." And you are right, they do. But sometimes the bad guys are right in our own back yard and we don't even see them. Who are these 'geniuses' that believe they have the right to manipulate our thinking?
In the early days of World War I, we the America people - like any intelligent group of human beings - didn't want to go to war. So we had to be convinced, or coerced, and this was done very effectively by a campaign launched by President Woodrow Wilson, Walter Lippman (an eminent journalist), and Edward Bernays (who just happened to be the nephew of Sigmund Freud). I can always remember Bernays' name because it sounds like that really fattening sauce I occasionally spread all over anything before I hit middle age.
Lippman and Bernays were truly brilliant at brainwashing. Bernays is famous for saying, "If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it." [from Toxic Sludge is Good for You! Common Courage Press]. Bernays called this "engineering consent."
I don't know about you, but I sure like to spend my week-ends thinking about controlling the group mind. What are these weirdos thinking? The reason none of us know that these things are going on is because none of us is capable of thinking like this!
The World War I propaganda campaign of Mr. Lippman and Mr. Bernays "produced within six months so intense an anti-German hysteria as to permanently impress American business (and Adolph Hitler, among others) with the potential of large scale propaganda to control public opinion."
Bernays found a very practical use for his Uncle Sigmund's science of psychology. "When the war ended, Bernays later wrote, business realized that the general public could now be harnessed to their cause as it had been harnessed to the war, to the national cause." (Alex Carey).
This has been going on in the USA since before most of us were born, and propaganda has been used since the beginning of written history. Today we have far more efficient means of distributing propaganda than ever before. The television, the radio, and the media in general have made it easy for the masters of ‘spin’ and the public relations firms with their armies of lawyers, lobbyists, and paid-for-scientists to tell us what to think so that we will all be good little consumers. The true religion of the West is consumerism, and we are working night and day to spread that religion to our brothers and sisters around the world.
Every man, woman and child on the planet now has a right to shop at a mall and eat burgers & fries, whether they want to or not. Was that in the Bill of Rights? Oh, yes, of course "the pursuit of happiness" is---having more things!
In 1927, Harold Lasswell wrote "Propaganda Techniques in World War I" and suggested that, "familiarity with the behavior of the ruling public (meaning those who had so easily succumbed to the propaganda) has bred contempt... as a consequence, despondent democrats turned elitist, no longer trusting intelligent public opinion, and therefore should themselves determine how to make up the public mind, how to bamboozle and seduce in the name of the public good..."
As Alex Carey points out, "propaganda has become a profession. The modern world is busy developing a corps of men who do nothing but study the ways and means of changing minds or binding minds to their convictions."
There is nothing in our culture that encourages a person to think independently. Tell your family and friends that you are going off to think, and they will think you are crazy.
We in the West have had to access Eastern religions to realize that pursuits like meditation and contemplation are actually fertile uses of our time. We are encouraged to keep busy [deluded!] from the time we can walk until the day we die. Parents now send their babies to schools.
What would happen if the human species were free? What would happen if we were not coerced, herded, and manipulated? What if each of us wanted to and had time to think, to become who were are, to cultivate our uniqueness and commune with our Source, the God that lives with-in each and every one of us? What might we become? Is that what ‘they’ are afraid of? They must be afraid of something to have expended so much energy, money, and time all these years to keep us in such a narrow frame of expression.
These bozos who specialize in controlling and brain-washing us can only despise themselves more than they so obviously despise and distrust us. Next time you spend a few hours absorbing mindless entertainment-and-advertising (they are never separate) designed to make you go out and consume more, more, more --- stop for just a minute and think who you might be.
The corporatist elite continues to get away with the lies and the contempt.
Isn't it time that we the American people grew out of our adolescent denial and faced our own demons? If we confront our responsibility for our freedom, we might not lose it. I love my country. Where else can a gal say what's on her mind?
Taking the Risk Out of Democracy,
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
Alex Carey, 1997; University of Illinois Press
© Thel Dar Publishing