Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This Is Your Brain On Propaganda - 4

The War on Eggs
Not long ago the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment to the latest war bill that was being fashioned.

That Amendment claimed to legalize propaganda in the "Homeland" (H.R. 5736, "The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012").

I immediately wondered what they would legalize next, drinking water?

I say that because for anyone not to realize that propaganda is one of the largest businesses in the United States would conjure up memories of the tale of Rip Van Winkle who fell asleep in the mountain woods, but did not awaken from that nap until two decades later in a changed world:
He awakes in unusual circumstances ... Rip returns to his village where he finds that he recognizes no one ... He immediately gets into trouble when he proclaims himself a loyal subject of King George III, not knowing that the American Revolution has taken place; George III's portrait on the town inn has been replaced by that of George Washington.
(Rip Van Winkle). When will the House of Representatives awaken from their stupor to find a world very much unlike the fantasy world they live in?

Have they not read the newspapers where the then president of the Associated Press said:
The Bush administration turned the U.S. military into a global propaganda machine while imposing tough restrictions on journalists seeking to give the public truthful reports about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Associated Press chief executive Tom Curley said Friday.

Curley, speaking to journalists at the University of Kansas, said the news industry must immediately negotiate a new set of rules for covering war because "we are the only force out there to keep the government in check and to hold it accountable."
(Warriors Press For Propaganda). This is nothing new to Dredd Blog or to others who have watched the privatization of the free press, converting it into the corporate media empire:
"Noam Chomsky: One of the most important comments on deceit, I think, was made by Adam Smith. He pointed out that a major goal of business is to deceive and oppress the public.

And one of the striking features of the modern period is the institutionalization of that process, so that we now have huge industries deceiving the public — and they're very conscious about it, the public relations industry. Interestingly, this developed in the freest countries—in Britain and the US — roughly around time of WWI, when it was recognized that enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force. So modes of deception and manipulation had to be developed in order to keep them under control
" ...
(The Deceit Business). That developer, an American who is called "The Father of Spin", was revered by NAZI propagandists.

The same man actually wrote the book "Propaganda".

He was a government-paid propagandist who turned Americans away from being against the first world war, turning them instead to be in favor of that war.

Thereafter, Edward Bernays began the privatization of propaganda, now known as the public relations industry ("PR").

He must be turning over in his grave (see e.g. The Ways of Bernays , Exceptional American Propaganda Inspired NAZI Goebbels,  and A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA).

Previous posts in this series: This Is Your Brain On Propaganda - 3, This Is Your Brain On Propaganda - 2, and This Is Your Brain On Propaganda.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.


  1. Your propaganda series is right on. Hope you don't mind that I provided a link to your blog for the readers of mine:

  2. Thanks Mimi,

    I liked reading some posts on your blog too: Mimi's Musing