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There is an identifiable ruling elite in control of a massive media apparatus which is being used to manipulate, and to a very large extent, control the minds of the average U.S. citizen.  This manipulation and control explains why our society is rapidly transitioning towards becoming a veritable corporatocracy characterized by an exploitative and oppressive small ruling class and a passive, and increasingly oppressed population.

As both, the collective control of the mind of the average citizen, and the techniques used to exert such control increase, the emerging reality is truly frightening.  As  critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), put it:

Consumption of the easy pleasures of popular culture, made available by the mass communications media, renders people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances.

The inherent danger of the culture industry is the cultivation of false psychological needs that can only be met and satisfied by the products of capitalism...

In contrast, true psychological needs are freedom, creativity, and genuine happiness, which refer to an earlier demarcation of human needs, established by Herbert Marcuse...

One thing that I find interesting is that not too long ago a typical reaction to this claim would be immediate incredulity, and allusions to "conspiracy theories."  However, I'm finding that more and more people are ready to accept this theory, this explanation of how the current ruling elites manipulate the masses, as plausible.

I think that part of the reason is that as the effects of this "system" of propaganda spread, the disconnect between a normal situation and the increasingly absurd reality has become so extreme that it can no longer be ignored by some individuals.

One of the reasons I'm writing this is because I would like to get some feedback from readers about this topic, and especially, about some ideas I have about how to not only counteract the effects of mass media propaganda at an individual level (you), but at a collective level.

It seems to me that the first step would be to become aware of the propaganda: who is behind it; what methods are used to spread it, and the reasons behind it; and what effects it has on the citizenry.

In my opinion one of the fastest way of counteracting the effects of the mass media mind control through propaganda is to limit exposure to it as much as possible.

But that's only a first step.  The next, and very important step, would be to think, mediate, contemplate, with the intention of understanding the degree to which the concept of a free people living in a democracy under the rule of law and the Constitution diverts from the current reality--and why.

My theory is that any given individual of average intelligence engaging in this exercise would come up to very similar conclusions, since once the mind is clear from the massive (and carefully-crafted) amount of propaganda, the absurdities in the current system will become crystal clear.

But what I find more exciting is the potential results of having many of these "awakened" individuals unite and collaborate in finding ways to help other individuals break free of the mind control of corporatist propaganda, and most importantly devise ways to bring down the entire regime behind it.

The main problem with the propaganda we are currently subjected to is not the mind control effects per se, but the motivation behind it.

“It is with knowledge of the human being, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his automatisms as well as knowledge of social psychology and analytical psychology that propaganda refines its techniques.”

– Propagandes, Jacques Ellul

Ultimately the motivation is based on extreme greed, avarice, megalomaniacal disposition, and tyrannical tendencies.  This is typical of ruling elites through the ages, and hence, it should not be surprising.

On the other hand, once a large enough group of individuals "wake up" and become aware of the true evil nature of the current system, and unite to defeat it, the motivation behind it would also be extremely important.

If the motivation is based on trying to bring about a society based on harmonious existence with the environment and with each other, on knowledge and learning, on peace, on sustainability, on democratic principles, and on the U.S. Constitution, then we'll have a very clear demarcation between the concepts of good and evil, or right and wrong, which could be a good enough motivation to help bring about a cohesive, effective, and discipline resistance movement.

A movement that could eventually grow and strengthen to the point where it could bring down the current regime based on the imposition of a Corporatocracy, or a Plutonomy.

I argue that the Occupy Wall Street movement came very close to becoming an effective resistance movement, and that in fact it did accomplish a lot of important things, including consciousness awareness of the defect in the current system.

But I think that most of its adherents remained influenced by the powerful effects of the corporatocracy propaganda machine, which prevented them from forming the type of cohesive, focused, long-term, and disciplined resistance movement necessary to take on the current powerful system.

“These blind slaves are told they are “free” and “highly educated” even as they march behind signs that would cause any medieval peasant to run screaming away from them in panic-stricken terror. The symbols that modern man embraces with the naive trust of an infant would be tantamount to billboards reading, ‘This way to your death and enslavement,’ to the understanding of the traditional peasant of antiquity”

- Michael A. Hoffman II, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare

I look forward to readers' ideas about this subject...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Add 'Competition Mentality', gotta win, beat the (14+ / 0-)

    other guy at all costs, everything is now a contest. Me vs you, Us vs them, rich vs poor, my god vs your god, etc., etc..

    We live, we die, TWO TRUTHS-everything else in between is up for grabs and the other Two Truths in between do we choose to live in love or in fear while we race or walk to the finish line?

    One's Life is not a Group exercise, but We are all connected.

    There's a great documentary out called I AM which is awesome.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:04:51 AM PST

    •  I Don't Know Why (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, marina

      but your comment and this Diary made me think of Baraka. The trailer.

      I am sure there are college classes based on what the movie means. For me it is about nature, poverty, and consumption. There is a scene with the most elegantly dressed women in India, digging for rice in a dump yard as huge bull dozer push the trash around them.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:28:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So many people, I think, are so afraid of dying (6+ / 0-)

        and must think They will live longer if they just destroy whatever, or whoever is in their way to riches, approval, religious beliefs, race, happiness, inheritance etc., etc. Hence all the guns, greed, hatred and COMPETITION.

        Give me my piece of the PIE first!

        So sad and needless..

        My soul craves for PEACE and unfortunately, the only successful way I can provide that for myself these days is to walk away from ALL the people and Groups who threaten me with their negativity, their guns, their vengeful gods, their selfish wants, their broken solutions, their hatred, their Contests...

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

        by roseeriter on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:00:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  OMG, where to begin? (13+ / 0-)

    Well, okay, I agree with you: that is the starting point.

    It will take a massive sea-change (redundancy of redundant department?) in popular culture to achieve what you (and I) would like to have happen.  How to achieve that when all of popular culture is owned by the likes of Rupert?

    Here's the problem: Most of us are struggling to get by, and we need our little escapisms to maintain our sanity and equanimity in the face of the plutocrats trying to rob us of our just pay and demand more and more work for tinier and tinier wages.

    Escapisms include beer, TV, weed, sex, and whatever else it takes to bring a bit of joy into a bleak existence.

    And that's the LIBERAL end of it.  Those who follow the authoritarian leaders of the Tea Party are much more deluded.

    So from where I sit, it will take a massive media effort -- bigger, much bigger, than Occupy -- to get people's attention.

    Gail Collins did an op-ed about Occupy in which (I paraphrase) she wrote about sitting in on consensus-only meetings in the 1960s and falling asleep halfway through: and I think she's right.  I loved Occupy: but a leaderless movement is a rudderless boat.

    So there's that.  Humans seem to need hierarchy (but not authoritarianism) to get a real movement going.

    Make of this what you will.  It's just my musings at 4 a.m. Eastern, and I have to go to work again tomorrow afternoon.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:21:57 AM PST

    •  Thank you for sharing that; I tend to agree with (0+ / 0-)

      your analysis.

    •  Sooooo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      To bring it on-line, the Movement needs a Leader.  A Priest, a King, a Hero, a Martyr.  Maybe all of the above.  And until that person steps out of the darkness we're all going to mill about like sheep on a rocky hillside, waiting for someone to take us where there's some decent grass.

      I'm not buying all the garbage about how WE are the leaders, each and every one of us, etc., etc.  The fact is that people who are both good at and willing to do the work to lead a fractious herd of cats are rare, fallible, and tend to burn out quickly.

  •  It is probably best not to confuse the intent (5+ / 0-)

    with the effect.
    Yes, there is a small percentage of the human species that needs to dominate to survive, mostly because they are lacking in the necessary practical (tactile) talents to wrest their sustenance from the earth. Their gift of gab lets them beg, borrow and deceive. Absent that, they are left with no alternative but theft, the predator's characteristic mode.
    I suspect their number seems greater than it is because of the pervasity of their verbosity. Predatory humans make lots of noise, perhaps to disguise what they are actually about.
    That the propaganda persists suggests that it actually doesn't work very well. The dollar lets us quantify the leakage to the non-productive class and determine that it has become too great. The dollar also makes it possible to reverse the process by stopping up the leaks.

    Leaks, it seems, are inevitable. That's why plumbers are always in demand. Nixon had the right idea. He just went after the wrong leaks.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:17:49 AM PST

  •  The Occupy "movement"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, scurrvydog

    ...never came close to anything.  Many couldn't even articulate why they were there, or may have been there for vastly different reasons or for no reason.  And no one even close to being a leader.

    Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

    by dov12348 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:23:04 AM PST

    •  I strongly disagree. (10+ / 0-)

      Occupy brought the extremities of income inequality into the  light of day for public discussion.  Before Occupy, it wasn't a subject anyone was talking about.  Many people were completely unaware of it.

      Occupy literally changed the subject for the presidential election.  

      I've never understood people's obsession with a leader for Occupy.  Considering what they have done to Bradley Manning and others, it's pretty obvious that any "leaders" for Occupy would have become immediate targets of the regime that now operates without habeus corpus, constitutional limits or conscience.

      Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

      by Gustogirl on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:55:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        You are talking results, which on reflection I can't disagree with; I do stand by my thoughts on individual motivations.

        On leadership:  Your points are taken but if it was to turn into anything truly revolutionary they'd need at least one.

        Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

        by dov12348 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:09:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  After reading about the FBI files, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        David Futurama, emal

        I believe that it was a very good thing that there were no real identifiable leaders of the Occupy Movement. It is shocking that our own government had contingency plans to assassinate the leaders of Occupy!  I do not believe that anyone in the Occupy movement had considered that possibility, but IMHO, those who were behind the birth of Occupy understood that if there were identifiable leaders, it would be much easier for the powers that be to stop the movement by arresting and jailing the leaders.  

        I consistently find that those who criticize Occupy fail to understand that it was not a "political" movement in the traditional sense, but it is a social movement.  Occupy may not be as visible now as it was a year ago, but its impact is still with us.  Occupy became the starting point for making people more conscious of little say we have in the decisions that affect each of us on a daily basis. Occupy served to make people aware of the real issue of corporate power in the US.  Education and awareness leads to power for the people as we saw in the recent election.  And that is probably the single greatest gift of the Occupy movement to date.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:21:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  i disagree (5+ / 0-)

      i think the occupy movement was a hair away from making them act to protect themselves from pitchforks. Making them respond is the purpose of a protest. We say the government is fascist? Make them show their fascist actions. That i think is the clearest way to open peoples eyes, to show them what the government is actually about. And that takes making them react to you.

      Strike! Without our work they have absolutely nothing...

      by discontent73 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:58:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anxiety, building anxiety and fear, the constant.. (9+ / 0-)

    refrain, your not..., sexy, good looking, smart enough, athletic enough, interesting, in the "in crowd" in fact your "them", unless your with "us", dress like us, look like us, think like us, buy like us, drive like us, live like us, pray like us, went to the schools "we" went to... It has and always has been about being "in or "out", "us" or "them", the ineffable "we" that are the best, brightest, most faithful, most dependable, etc... Using the fear of exclusion to make us define ourselves as "in", because in is safe, in is secure, in is successful, in is secure and certain about a future where there is no certainty.

    We are manipulated at the very basest levels by a culture that is predicated on the fear of death and exclusion. The propaganda machine is all about using our anxiety and diverting our focus from what would truly make us inclusive, loving beings to what would make us "in" and therefore "safe."

    Fighting the propaganda, is at its root, redefining our culture. Modeling new behavior, including the "other" and not defining ourselves by what we are, or who we are against, but by finding what and who to be for... The propaganda only works if we are afraid, the movement to cure that is not about the media machine, it is about the ourselves.

    Transforming ourselves is the hard task, knowing that we must do that, truly acknowledge that, and work  toward inclusion and love as truths that can be acted upon concretely in every part of our lives, is the way to combat the "propaganda." If I can change myself and model that behavior to others, then the culture will change around me; however, the first reaction is always to say:"I can't do this alone." That is true. For even if you could, it would be useless without effecting the community, building a community that shared that same desire and outcome. Therefor, OWS was a good step in the right direction, for in building MLK's "loving community," we can change the culture and the propaganda machine's leverage...

    This is not new thinking, but it is the hardest thing to do; however, unless we do it, we are going to continue down the same road of political futility, climate destruction, poverty and violence. It is not changing the media that should be our goal, but changing the conversation that the culture has in order to compel even the most intransigent propagandist to deal with a new reality.  

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:23:37 AM PST

    •  I know "I can't do it alone." Where is the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52, Ray Pensador, David Futurama

      collective group hiding out these days? It sure isn't at dkos anymore.

      "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

      "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

      by roseeriter on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:29:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is within each one of us and I do believe that (5+ / 0-)

        DKOS can be a community that embraces this cultural change. We will either embrace it or fail as humans. We have that choice.

        "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

        by KJG52 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:40:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There seemed to be many such people here before (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KJG52, Free Jazz at High Noon

          Bush's reelection in 2004, meaning people against the war, real pacifists..

          I always thought it is within each of us, but most people don't or cannot or refuse to CHANGE themselves (or even think for themselves). If people all thought the same way things would get better, but we don't.

          I find Changing myself exhilerating and have done it so many times when necessary in my life, especially when bored or feeling stuck in a rut. I think too many like their ruts.

          A teacher once told me I was like an amoeba- very adaptable :) I'll change almost anything about myself in order 'To Do No Harm' to another human being..even change broken political beliefs...just saying.

          "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

          "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

          by roseeriter on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:51:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary (6+ / 0-)

    It's not instant gratification versus delayed gratification, it's real gratification, or I should say gratification of real needs, versus gratification of induced needs.

    If they sell you what you want, you'll be satisfied.  If they sell you what they want to sell you, you'll buy another one tomorrow because you're still unhappy and missing something.

    And so the fate of capitalism depends on selling people things that won't keep them satisfied for more than a few hours.

    States' rights? Corporate rights? Militia rights? Government rights? Hell no! Only individuals have rights. Proud lifelong human supremacist.

    by happymisanthropy on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:36:05 AM PST

  •  I love Ray Pensador!!!!! (7+ / 0-)

    Easily my all-time favorite diarist on here, no contest. I see his name and I feel instantly better, knowing I am not alone in what I have seen and known all around me my whole life: depredation and intentional, psychotic abuse masquerading as benevolence and freedom. I fully agree with every word, syllable and punctuation mark here. Nihilism to the power of Stockholm Syndrome.

    The key is the manufacture of the Overton Window of credibility around any given issue, and who is turning that key in the ignition of public perception. The MSM drives and strives to make outright serfdom the only option people can perceive as credible for themselves. After a few decades of this, the population not only begins to accept enslavement; enslavement becomes a badge of inclusion and credibility to be celebrated in satisfaction and even enjoyment. Life becomes a competition to determine who can kneel before the master most sycophantically, whilst simultaneously projecting a sense of power and autonomy even as the individual doing the kneeling and projecting is crawling in utter supplication.

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 02:46:55 AM PST

  •  Ray, I appreciate your work, but I think you need (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, Ray Pensador

    to provide links or at least the titles of sources you use in diaries such as this.

  •  One day I was riding around the county... (11+ / 0-)

    with my brother. He pointed out a house where someone he used to know lived and died. This person, my brother said, seemed to be well respected around the county, but he couldn't understand why. He never did amount to anything. That small farm was all he ever owned.
       I too own a small farm and have no ambition to add to my holdings, but my brother didn't seem to recognize the inference in his comment that I also don't amount to anything.
        I remember this incident, not because it hurt my feelings to realize my brother probably thinks I don't amount to anything, but because of the sadness I felt learning that my brother must measure his own self worth by the property he has accumulated.
       In some of the ramblings on the right after this election, I believe I caught a hint from the defeated that they felt many of Obama's voters don't amount to anything and therefore shouldn't be voting.
       I think Ray is on to a good line of thinking. We each need to examine how we value ourselves as human beings, and shouldn't let our self worth be influenced by the ad agents of plutocracy.  


    •  Your brother (3+ / 0-)

      only saw what that man "owned", and not what he DID.

      A line of grain to mark the bounds
      A flock of geese to eat it.
      Golden Alexander wept.
      "Though all the world falls to my hand,
          yet nothing will be left."
      "Fear not," his friend replied.
      "Our legacy lies not in what we grasp,
         but what we give away."
      And a hundred wild geese wheeled, winging for the sun.

  •  I start with the premise that you can only (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WattleBreakfast, JohnB47

    overcome evil with good.   If you want to overcome propaganda you have to imagine respectful communication, hard work to research information, and facilitating the voices of every day people as full participants.

    •  Otherwise we become the enemy of ourselves. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's crazy.
      I do agree with Ray whole heartedly. Propaganda, as done in our current media, is designed to cultivate fear and loathing while concealing the influence crafted for the wealth at the heart of our economy.
      And, I agree completely with you cuphalffull, we must take care not to become that which we despise. This site has led the way for truth to be both posited and used to recant the lies and mischaracterizations presented by our corporate controlled media. If we stay true to ourselves, we will overcome. Eventually.

  •  I was wondering if the diarist would be so kind (0+ / 0-)

    as to count the number of corporate-sponsored advertisements that adorn his "anti-capitalist" call to action. And then I was hoping he'd provide us with an explanation as to why it is not completely idiotic to use a blog festooned with ads from the "zombie media" to publish a complete misreading of Adorno?  Lastly, I was hoping he'd explain how and why explicitly anti-capitalist regimes are nevertheless autocratic?

    •  It would seem to me, fou, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador, cynndara

      that were Adorno here, he would thank you for "raising the harsh facts to the level of consciousness."  To change the culture, we must first perceive it as it is, and you've drawn attention to the harsh fact of its pervasive intrusion.  Those of us like myself, who have "subscribed" and don't see the ads (in effect, a way of "unsubscribing"), might not have thought about that.  Consciousness is the first step.

  •  First Everyone Must Live Differently From the Ways (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Azazello

    they live now. [Hands wave] then we all can rationally decide how to live sanely.

    It seems to me that the first step would be to become aware of the propaganda:
    Yep; but that's the tricky bit.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 05:13:31 AM PST

    •  DVR is handy for TV viewers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Ray Pensador

      #1 Cut through the commercials and record only good stuff.
      #2 Realize that every terrorist drama, every hostage drama, is going to represent dark-skinned people or environmentalists as the bad guys. And they all have the same plot. Therefore,
      #3 Why bother watching?

    •  Not tricky at all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      Of course, some people really seem to find it difficult to turn off a TV set.  HEall, I've already figured out exactly where to cut my NEIGHBOR's off if they don't keep it down to a dull roar.

  •  yea- we've been hoodwinked (8+ / 0-)

    “The truly powerful feed ideology to the masses like fast food while they dine on the most rarified delicacy of all: impunity.”  -Naomi Klein

    Welcome to the true globalization, the dynamic information age, and all in the name of democracy and free enterprise: An orchestrated spin-scape where mega-mogul masters design what you and I should think, believe, feel, want…. and owe.

    Meanwhile the rich get richer, and the wealth discretely spreads (is hidden) globally: The Small Select Group of the World Ultra Rich Club. … All chummy with incest and the unquenchable, gut gnawing hunger for godlike power.

    And if that sounds a bit conspiratorial or paranoid, just consider the projections and numbers milling about (and some of these figures are very outdated):

    57% of people talk on line more than in ‘real life.’  Out of the 6 billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a mobile and only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook.  48% of young Americans receive their news via Facebook. 200+ million (1/3 of all users) access Facebook from a mobile device and 91% of all mobile Internet use is “social” related. On average, Americans spend 2.7 hours a day socializing on their mobile device.
    In 2008, a study showed that email was the least honest form of communication. 53% of employers research potential job candidates on social networks. Over a 1/3 said that a social network profile proved that they had lied on their CV.
    One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
    Over 40% of US families spend more than they earn.
    Americans carry, on average, $8400 in credit card debt. If one were to make a 2% payment every month at an annual APR of 15%, it would take about 30 years to pay off and include about $13,000 in interest.

    More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese.
 In 2010, no state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.
    The rate of antidepressant use in the United States increased nearly 400 percent over the last two decadS.

    We as a species are plugged-in, connected, wired-to-the-board, monitor-able, and in debt.
    ‘They’ have fashioned a Matrix-modeled, individually-cyber-designed, comfort cockpit for all of us, each and every one. But unlike the movie, they don’t need us for energy; they need us for debt. Yep, anyone that can pay fees in servicing their debt load is honored with their own connected cockpit. And the view of the friendly skies out the window is styled for each and everyone of us: Video entertainment, friends, lovers, porn, things to buy based on our individual searches, nonsense news to keep us distracted, divided, stupid. Basically, it comes with everything but a catheter.
    But not to worry, with these new hand-held devices that we call ‘phones’ for some reason, we can pee or do pretty much anything while still being ‘connected.’
    We are now engaged in a tyrannically contrived virtual world, our own stylized façade of comfort and mirrors; a place where the only true reality is our addiction to it and the debt that keeps us there.

  •  This is not new (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, marina, Ray Pensador, emal, cynndara

    But it's become more and more scientific in the last few decades. Also, it started happening as more and more newspapers/tv stations fell or got bought by big corporations.

    Fortunately, this monopoly on all information outlets got rather stymied when the internet came about. This is why "they" are trying like hell to regulate it.

    The Obama campaign would also teach us a few lessons about getting the information out there. As can the OWS movement and all the .org's out there that have helped change happen.

    The answer and antidote is going to be many-pronged and I am actually hopeful.

    1) One-on-one conversions (done by email or in person or in chat rooms, etc.) This is how Obama did it. It's a numbers game that eventually pays off when you hit the critical mass point. Avoid the lemmings, start with smart people who are saying dumb things but who mean well.
    2) People need to have more than one source of information. This was our Founding Fathers' fix for fighting propaganda. This is why the internet is so important and why we must fight against its regulation.
    3) Those of us who fight this must learn how to communicate and message more effectively. We must gather and store our facts and never try to lie or exaggerate. Trust that the truth resonates in its own time and purveying it as far and wide as possible is the most important task.

  •  Propaganda and Freud's Nephew Edward Bernays (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Ray Pensador


    The Century of The Self Part 4 of 4. from Kia Ora Media Group on Vimeo.

    The page at the link below has an NPR show about this topic.

     Freud's Nephew and the Origins of Public Relations

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 07:06:54 AM PST

  •  The problem is that Americans (4+ / 0-)

    don't recognize propaganda for what it is because it doesn't come from the government. It comes from the private-sector, which is presumed to be benign. The solution is to turn off the box. Read books. Talk to your neighbors. It really is that simple, turn the damned thing off. Your kids will do better in school too.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:12:03 AM PST

  •  lies want to be believed; the truth doesn't care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Futurama, Ray Pensador

    Propaganda is made to be believed; that is its strength relative to truth. Propaganda doesn't hesitate to appeal to people's lowest and/or most romantic tendencies.  Propaganda traffics in fear, greed, and hate, but it also uses pride, hope, love, etc.  It will say whatever it has to in order to get you to buy into its premises.  It prides itself on emotional resonance, on making intuitive sense, and on popularity.

    Truth is like an aristocrat: it expects to be valued, praised, and obeyed simply for being what it is.  It doesn't care about your needs or desires and its retainers expect you to accommodate yourself to it ... and if you don't then there's something wrong with you.  Propaganda is the populist rabble-rouser among ideas; it panders, it validates, it flatters, it tells you that you are good and worthy (and that anyone unlike you is crazystupidevil), that everything you need and want you deserve, and so on.  Truth may have the intellectual high ground and thus see itself as having the moral high ground, but propaganda is the path of least resistance.  

    I guess I'm cynical enough to believe that the truth (and by extension liberalism/progressivism) has a lot to learn from propaganda.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:43:15 AM PST

  •  Good diary, Ray. Some related ideas... (3+ / 0-)

    1. Glorification of social darwinism as part of a divide and conquer strategy. The inevitable fight for limited resources mixed with man's natural greed leads to some amount of social darwinism. However, it is only in the last ten or so years that social darwinism has come to be praised in our culture at every turn. People used to be ashamed of being selfish assholes. Compassion was seen as a good thing to the extent that it would even be faked by those who didn't have it. But we are passed that now. Religion has fostered this too with the new prosperity teachings primarily in the mega-churches - Rick Warren, TD Jakes, Joel Osteen. If you have much, you are blessed, no matter how you got it. Rich as a virtue on its own and poor as a vice or a sin. Eventually, even the poor identify with the rich and support their goals, while suppressing their own - which is the very point of the propaganda.

    We have also seen the plainness of what Neil Barofsky called the dilemma of the lead or the gold. If you fight the 1%, or even just property at a local level, you will be punished - you will get the "lead" (bullets or tear gas, tasers, etc.) If you support the 1% without question you will get the "gold". Witness Limbaugh or Hannity. It is clear from watching a day's worth of media that there is nothing that is too far rightward, no opinion, nothing that can be said. These opinions are seen as supporting corporations, money, authoritarianism, and the powers that be. These people aren't punished but are lavished with money. Conversely, there is a wall somewhere around the moderate left that must not be passed if you want to stay on TV or keep a job in the mainstream media. Olbermann, Rather, Cenk, and Helen Thomas have all found that out. Rachel's drift to the center is another result of that IMO. Leftists are not invited, their arguments not part of the national discussion, and moderate lefties better watch their step if they get their foot in the door at all.

    This all goes with glorification of war, its "heroes", and the sort of religion-ifcation of the military. Questioning them or their purposes in any way is near treason. And will get you expelled from the media class. The media is a tool of the elite and they certainly know where their bread is buttered. The best and the brightest need not apply.

    2. Humans need for inclusiveness is constantly used against them. Religion does this. The two conservative political parties do this. Communities do this. The whole Faux News Nation does this. To be one of us, you must be like us. You must follow our lead. Or face being ostracized, a fate worse than death for many. It leads to self-censorship usually at a subconscious level that the person doesn't even realize.

    Heaven forbid if you are the "other", the one that must be hated, the one left out in the cold.

    3. That which is deemed radical and far left is virtually never discussed in the propaganda media except to dismiss it or name-call it. Those who would form the meat and potatoes of a grassroots labor movement don't self-identify with labor, don't want to be "radicals", don't want to rock the boat, lose their jobs, get thrown in jail. You have the carrot of "you might keep your job" versus the stick of ostracism, jail, etc. And in today's America, virtually no one will support you or feel sorry for you if you are destroyed by the viper of the bipartisan national security state. You probably had it coming, goes the thinking. Or, better you than me.

    The threats against radicalization and rebellion are real. Smart people are scared of it and for good reason. Courage is rare and in many situations suicidal.

    This is related, the elevation of lies and suppression of the truth. Valuing myth over science, made up televised and filmed stories over real life, made up desires over real ones. Propaganda - it is winning for sure. We might even say it has won.

    •  David, you described the current situation (2+ / 0-)

      brilliantly.  I especially been thinking about the issue of the need for people to be socially accepted, to be "included" in the in-crowd.   I also understand the threats, many of them subconscious, when it comes to people's need to be gainfully employed in order to survive and thrive.

      I will address this topic in my next diary, and will borrow from you post.   Thank you so much for your contribution to the discussion.

      •  asdf (3+ / 0-)

        No problem, thanks. Feel free to use whatever. I don't write many diaries around here, I don't think they would be well received. But having read many of your diaries, I think we kind of think alike on a number of issues. Except I think you are more hopeful, probably still think peaceful, positive change is possible on a large scale. I don't think it is. I have no faith in my fellow man. He is not courageous. He is not good. He is not smart. He is not original. He is easily manipulated by dark forces with bad intentions, but contemptuous, spiteful, and hardly moved by truly, righteous ones. And I cannot change him.

        I don't believe peaceful revolution is possible. And I don't advocate violent revolution for many reasons, primarily because I think it would be a disaster and make things even worse. Naked self-preservation is also pretty high on the list.

        There are more bad people than good. The ones who are armed, skilled in violence, and want to take over are the worst amongst us, but the very ones who stand the greatest chance of success in a breakdown/revolutionary situation. Of course, most of them are already part of the current security/power apparatus.

        The peaceniks are right. They have always been right. But they will never win because we live in a bad world. Violence must be met with greater violence. Power with greater power, to be defeated. Our side does not have power, would not know how to use it if it did, and would not want to use it if it did. Quite the predicament.

        Anyway, take care.

        •  Once again, brilliant analysis. I pretty much (2+ / 0-)

          agree with you views, and it's not necessarily that I think change can be brought about by peaceful means only.

          I think that "man" is afflicted by all that mention because of ignorance, more than anything else.

          My approach is that if somehow enough people are "informed" and "alerted" about the actual state of affairs, that once they "awaken" they will do the right thing.

          At that point there events will lead where they may, based on what's necessary.

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