Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Brainwashing in the U.S.A.

"The propagandist in the United States starts with advantages deriving from independent features of American society which predispose its members to adopt - or accept - a dualistic, Manichean world-view. This is a world-view dominated by the powerful symbols of the Satanic and the Sacred (darkness and light). A society or culture which is disposed to view the world in Manichean terms will be more vulnerable to control by propaganda. Conversely, a society where propaganda is extensively employed as a means of social control will tend to retain a Manichean world-view, a world-view dominated by symbols and visions of the Sacred and the Satanic.

"In addition, U.S. society has a pragmatic orientation. This is a preference for action over reflection. If the truth of a belief is to be sought in the consequences of acting on the belief, rather than through a preliminary examination of the grounds for holding it, there will be a tendency to act first and question later (if at all - for once a belief is acted upon the actor becomes involved in responsibility for the consequences and will be disposed to interpret the consequences so that they justify his belief and hence his action). If it is that American culture, compared with most others, values action above reflection, one may expect that situation to favour a Manichean world-view. For acknowledgement of ambiguity, that is, a non-Manichean world where agencies or events may comprise or express any complex amalgam of Good and Evil - demands continual reflection, continual questioning of premises. Reflection inhibits action, while a Manichean world-view facilitates action. On that account action and a Manichean world-view are likely to be more congenial to and to resonate with the cultural preference found in the United States. . .

"The Manichean dichotomy that has been most powerful - as a means of social control - in respect of both domestic issues and foreign policy issues is not God/Heaven versus Devil/Hell but the secular equivalent of these. Thus on the one hand an extravagant idealization of the Spirit of America, the Purpose of America, the Meaning of America, the American Way of Life - the transcendent values by which America is represented to the world as the Manifest Destiny of the world in Piety and Virtue . . . On the other hand the extravagant negative idealization of Evil secularized in communism/socialism as sui generis, in all places and at all times, malevolent, evil, oppressive, deceitful and destructive of all civilized and humane values.

"The most cursory acquaintance with American political propaganda will suggest that the psychological power of almost all such propaganda derives from a calculated exacerbation of American national sentiments. Notions like the American Way of Life, the Meaning of America, the Spirit of America, become symbols with the irrational power of the Sacred, and from an equally calculated exacerbation of American apprehension about the 'alien ideology' of communism and all its allegedly un-American characteristics, communism/socialism etc., become symbols of the Satanic. So long as these symbol-identifications can be maintained in popular sentiment it is a simple matter to curb popular demand and support for significant reform of the institutions and conditions of American society. By associating welfare provisions and other (selected) government interventions with Socialism/Communism and conversely the Free Enterprise system with Loyalty, Patriotism, Freedom, the American Dream, the American Way of Life, propagandists are doing no more than manipulating appropriate Satanic and Sacred symbols.

"The manipulation of patriotic and nationalist sentiments has, above all else, given American anti-communism its remarkable psychological force as a means of social control. Peacetime 'patriotic' hysteria such as characterized the McCarthy period is a phenomenon largely peculiar to the United States among Western countries which have any extended experience with democratic forms of government. Fear of communism as Satanic is largely derived from hypersensitive nationalism. In popular consciousness it comes largely from the representation of communism as threatening the cherished, the secular-sacred idealized 'American Way': threatening, in a word, 'national security' - a term conceived of as broadly as the Middle Ages conceived of defence of the faith against threats and seductions from heretical ideas and agencies.

"It is no new notion, of course, that American anti-communism during the postwar decade (WWII - ed.) took on a medieval temper. Nonetheless some illustration in passing may be useful to remind us just how regression toward a superstitious, magical world-view may be induced under the influence of aggravated nationalist faith. In the nineteenth century those who refused to accept the diabolism of old women were pilloried as 'patrons of witches'. In the decades after 1946 anyone who argued against the diabolical view of communism was likely to be pilloried as 'soft on communism' or as a 'communist fellow-traveller'. (Today, sustained by an avalanche of Wall Street cash, Obama is denounced as the reincarnation of Karl Marx - ed.)

"In the sixteenth century witches were regarded as possessed by (that is, as obedient to remote and magical control by) the Devil. In 1955 a reputable American journal that catered to intellectuals editorialized: 'that [Ho Chi Minh] is our enemy is obvious. He belongs to that particularly dangerous species of men whose nervous system has been rewired to make it obedient to remote control from Moscow' ('Who-What-Why' 1955:8).

"During the past sixty years this form of crass stereotyping was made tolerable because of the defeat of a culture of critical consciousness."

------Alex Carey, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy - Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Occupation Of Our Minds

The control of consciousness by agents of the 1% assumes greater moves toward mental fascism as the system experiences breakdowns in several places at once. Previous problems were in local or national political economies but globalization  - what Karl Marx analyzed as capitalism a century before it became the present acknowledged monster - has seen its domination encountered with democracy seeking people and an equilibrium seeking nature, simultaneously. The national recessions bordering on global depression bring with them a reaction from rulers threatening political repression causing further social depression. Domination through warfare gets worse, as does the contamination of the public mental state through controlled information flow.

While Americans have their heads twisted with a pointless debate over a program to give more billions of tax payer dollars to private health insurance blood suckers – what is called “obamacare” by marketeers – the nation moves closer to another open war in Syria, with Iran to follow if the fanatic Usrael caucus has its way. As the public is thrown into further division over the murder of a Florida youth by an armed vigilante and a weapons crazed sector is posed against gun controllers, a multi billion dollar military force wreaks havoc all over the globe and the occupation of public minds with the subjects of private division becomes more deadly.

 As growing forces of democracy strive for unity and take steps towards creating the real thing to counter the wealth controlled farce going under its name, the American presidential comedy-horror show blends reality TV with hilarious farce. It occupies the psychological time of many while most Americans are physically occupied with trying to find work, get an education or extend their lines of credit to go more deeply into patriotic debt. The clash between material reality and the surreal messages that crowd into public consciousness is almost as deadly as that between the crippling poverty and cruel hardship lived by billions of people while a relative handful of billionaires live in a luxury unknown to past messianic despots worshiped as gods by people who were said to be primitive. We are civilized?