Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Universal Smedley

"The common people don't want war"
Dr. Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote the song The Universal Soldier.

That generally unknown song was later recorded and made much more generally well known, on the pop charts, by Sir Donovan of England.

In case you have not heard her perform it, that song is shown being performed by Dr. Sainte-Marie in the video at the end of this post.

So what about the photo to the left, is that The Universal Smedley?

Yes and no, that is a photo of General Hermann Goering, a NAZI of the old Germany who became infamous, because, as Robert McNamara pointed out, the Germans lost that war, and those nations who lose the [world] wars are drafted to supply the war criminals in the subsequent war trials.

I will quote General Goering later in this post.

The Universal Smedley is General Smedley D. Butler, who was a U.S. Marine and who is the very epitome of the universal soldier, every bit as much as the blues singer Blind Willie McTell is the epitome of the mainstream media.

I say that because Smedley not only participated in more wars than most mortals, but he was also decorated as much or more during war activities than most mortals.

The catch to this is that General Butler also wrote the book "War Is A Racket", as well as being the first 99% v 1% Occupy Washington D.C. speaker ever.

While doing all that, The Universal Smedley seems to have also coined the phrase "the soldier class" (a.k.a. "the 99%") way back in 1933:
"We are divided, in America, into two classes: The Tories on one side, a class of citizens who were raised to believe that the whole of this country was created for their sole benefit, and on the other side, the other 99 per cent of us, the soldier class, the class from which all of you soldiers came. That class hasn’t any privileges except to die when the Tories tell them. Every war that we have ever had was gotten, up by that class. They do all the beating of the drums. Away the rest of us go. When we leave, you know what happens. We march down the street with all the Sears-Roebuck soldiers standing on the sidewalk, all the dollar-a-year men with spurs, all the patriots who call themselves patriots, square-legged women in uniforms making Liberty Loan speeches. They promise you. You go down the street and they ring all the church bells. Promise you the sun, the moon, the stars and the earth,–anything to save them. Off you go. Then the looting commences while you are doing the fighting. This last war made over 6,000 millionaires. Today those fellows won’t help pay the bill."
(General Smedley Butler, Foreign Service Magazine, Dec. 1933, emphasis added). So, "what is the point Dredd?", you may be wondering.

The point is that talking the talk but not walking the walk is the reason our nation and civilization are in serious trouble.

Listen to one of Smedley's contemporaries:
Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship ... voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
(General Hermann Goering, Gilbert, G., 1995. Nuremberg Diary. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0306806614). The "funny" thing is, the NAZI propaganda meisters say they learned their best propaganda from America.

Dig the song in that light, or dig graves, it has always been our choice after all.

The next post in this series is here.

The music begins at 1:47 ... interview prior to that:

The Donovan version:

Friday, January 27, 2012

U.S.A. Is Number Forty Seven In Free Press Quality

This week we have concentrated on propaganda promulgated by the molders of public opinion in the U.S.A., which includes the main stream media.

We have also revisited the master American propagandist Edward L. Bernays.

Bernays is called by some "The Father of Spin", but Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter described him as a professional poisoner of the public mind, exploiter of foolishness, fanaticism and self-interest (Wikipedia).

Some may wonder why we are concerned with a free press, as they advance the notion that "since this is America we must have the best press in the world, right?"

Besides, they might go on to say, "the freedom of the press is even guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution":
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of ... the press ...
(First Amendment). We can check how well we have been doing with a comparison to the other nations of the world, recorded annually by certain organizations.

The following list of countries are the top 47 nations in the world, in terms of press freedom, beginning with Finland at #1, and the U.S.A. at #47:
Finland, Norway, Estonia, Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Cape Verde, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Ireland, Cyprus, Jamaica, Germany, Costa Rica, Belgium, Namibia, Japan, Surinam, Poland, Mali, OECS, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Niger, Australia, Lithuania, Uruguay, Portugal, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Slovenia, El Salvador, France, Spain, Hungary, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, South Korea, Comoros, Taiwan, United States of America ...
(Reporters Without Borders, 2011-2012, emphasis added). After noticing that two of those nations, Czech Republic and Slovakia, were once part of the former U.S.S.R., you might ask "what laws has congress passed that did this damage to our press?"

The answer is that they have allowed the mainstream press, as well as themselves, to become the property of the 1%, a few for profit corporations, whose first interest is profits for stockholders, not true news for the public.

Furthermore, the U.S. mainstream press is known around the world, and to a lesser extent at home, as a vast propaganda engine (Blind Willie McTell News).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heretics Deny The Dark Matter of Faith - 3

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog once had a series going titled "Heretics Deny The Dark Matter of Faith",  which was moved over to the Ecocosmology Blog.

"Outstanding, and the are mild."
Then, because propaganda was involved in promoting dark matter, another post "Heretics Deny The Dark Matter of Faith - 2", dealt with some of the discord within the ranks of scientists.

Today, that series is continued because it fits in with the recent posts on Dredd Blog this very week that focus on exposing the origins of our institutionalized propaganda.

Once again some cosmic propaganda, in the form of the book The 4% Universe concerning this dark subject matter, is struggling to get out of its cocoon.

The dark matter theory has been published in tons of textbooks, and in reams of scientific papers.

That book attempts to hawk to mere mortals, who do not understand such starry eyed things, that what we see, feel, hear, taste, and measure in experiments (the scientific method) applies so far to only "4%" of the total universe.

The post today will tie all that in with a statement Noam Chomsky made about the subject matter of institutionalization of propaganda:
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.
(Noam Chomsky, emphasis added). Let's remember that the subject is not only "dark matter", but is also the Dredd Blog scientifically rebellious binding of that subject with "faith," because this dark matter is more "scientific faith" than it is provable science.

The big deal in cosmology at the moment is "dark matter", so let's cut to the chase, and let one of the foremost experts explain why this dark matter subject is so hot to trot:
‘We are on the verge of finding out what dark matter is’, Professor Carlos Frenk told the British Science Festival in Bradford. Frenk, director of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, predicts that within the next few months, ‘Either dark matter will be discovered, or our model of the universe is not quite right.’
(Subsequent Paper: Dark Matter). The professor said we will soon be "finding out what dark matter is", "dark matter will be discovered", "or our model of the universe is not quite right"?

What the hell, we don't know what 96% of the universe is, nor have we discovered it yet, but he hope to discover it soon?

The 96% of "things that have not been discovered" are so much more "everywhere" than all that 4% we have discovered, and do know about?

But you can read all about the undiscovered unknown in tons of textbooks and reams of scientific papers?

Well, like Jesus said:  "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel", or like the scientist said: "most of what we 'know' is only belief."

"In the largest survey of its kind to date, astronomers scouring the space around the Solar System for signs of dark matter — the hypothetical material believed to account for more than 80% of the mass in the Universe — have come up empty-handed." (Nature, 4-19-12; cf. Cornell Univ. Library).

It's A Matter of Trust, by Billy Joel

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exceptional American Propaganda Inspired NAZI Goebbels

In a recent post, Dredd Blog discussed the failure of the social engines that produce American knowledge.

Today "we", you readers and I, will again go through some other interesting information associated with some of  that post's listed reasons for the failures of some of these knowledge engines in contemporary American society.

Among several links in that recent post, one link referred to another Dredd Blog post which discussed Edward L. Bernays, who was the nephew of Sigmund Freud.

To begin to expand that background into today's post, let's notice an interesting development, which is that Sigmund Freud has fallen from grace in contemporary educational circles tasked with knowledge production:
In this respect, at least, contemporary hostility to Freud expresses a sound intuition. What Freud offers is a way of thinking in which the experience of being human can be seen to be more intractably difficult, and at the same time more interesting and worthwhile, than anything imagined in the cheap little gospels of progress and self-improvement that are being hawked today.

If Freud has been misunderstood, neglected or repudiated, he would have expected nothing else. He is rejected now for the same reason that he was rejected in fin-de-siècle Vienna: his heroic refusal to flatter humankind.
(Prospect Magazine). That article contains a great discussion of the well known minds that were at work during Freud's lifetime, a time of worldwide stress and tension, not unlike our world today.

Before moving along, I should also mention something often overlooked, Freud's sense of humor and courage, both clearly indicated in that article:
As his correspondence with Einstein confirms, he did not share the hope that reason could deliver humankind from the “active instinct for hatred and destruction,” which was clearly at work in Europe at the time. When he left Nazi-occupied Austria to spend the last year of his life in Britain, he knew that the destruction that lay ahead could not by then be prevented. But fate could still be mocked, and so defied. When leaving Austria, Freud was required to sign a document testifying that he had been well and fairly treated. He did so, adding in his own hand: “I can most highly recommend the Gestapo to everyone.”
(ibid). Edward L. Bernays studied the results of his uncle Freud's research into the nature of the subconscious mind.

Based upon that study of Freud's work, Bernays went on to prove, in my opinion, that Freud was on to something.

If Freud was so utterly wrong, Bernays could not have developed such a finely tuned propaganda engine based substantially upon Freud's work.

An understanding of propaganda unparalleled in world history and admired not only in America, but also admired by the most infamous propagandists of all time:
Bernays work inspired Joseph Goebbels; more than any other individual ...
(PR! A Social History of Spin). Bernays had also written about a certain dinner at his home in 1933:
[Bernays remembers that] Karl von Weigand, foreign correspondent of the Hearst newspapers, an old hand at interpreting Europe and just returned from Germany, was telling us about Goebbels and his propaganda plans to consolidate Nazi power. Goebbels had shown Weigand his propaganda library, the best Weigand had ever seen. Goebbels, said Weigand, was using my [Bernays'] book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me. ... Obviously the attack on the Jews of Germany was no emotional outburst of the Nazis, but a deliberate, planned campaign.
(New World Encyclopedia). Now, let me tie this background of Bernays into the American engines of knowledge production that we have been discussing.

I will begin with a momentary focus on a comment made on Dredd Blog by an American student who had read a Dredd Blog post concerning Bernays:
Although I have an extensive education in the field of social work and likely encountered his theories at some point I do not recall this person.
(A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA - 4, comment by Marcelle). After reading the Dredd Blog post which explained the great impact Bernays has had on American knowledge production (or the lack thereof, depending on your viewpoint), that blogger was somewhat amazed to not have remembered Bernays.

The individual who was such a master of propaganda that he was the favorite of Goebbels, and who is the foundation of American propaganda, does not, like his uncle Sigmund, seem to be mentioned in contemporary American knowledge for some "reason" (wink, wink).

The next post in this series is here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Open Thread

This is state of the onion script day.

Since nothing has changed for decades, the following are recent discussions about the annual fantasy fest we Americans love and hate all at the same time.

The SOTU fantasy fest:

The State of The Onion Script

The State of The Onion Script - 2

Tell Me No Lies

Anonymous hacks FBI - Scotland Yard Conference Call

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Failure of Applied American Epistemology

"Epistemology" is defined as: "a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge; the theory of knowledge, esp the critical study of its validity, methods, and scope" (Dictionary).

The teachings of Epistemology inform us that one of the fundamentals of understanding what we commonly call "knowledge," is the realization that our "knowledge" is substantially a matter of "belief" (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?).

Where the American brand of Epistemology has failed is not in its academic, conceptual, theoretical, or experimental accomplishments and dynamics.

Instead, that failure has been an inability to apply Epistemology as an honest, forthright, and effective tool for the enhancement of a fundamental need in American society and culture.

That fundamental need is the need to know how to use knowledge as a tool to help us govern our nation.

This need exists because we express and project, to the world, that we are a nation with a philosophy of government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

This notion of a government by, of, and for the American people, is seen as an American myth in other countries, and is seen more and more as a myth by Americans themselves.

One damaging aspect of this phenomenon, this failure to efficiently and effectively apply the principles of Epistemology, is that American society and culture have experienced a severe weakening of the ability to properly understand and process information, so as to convert it into knowledge.

This has resulted, at best, in an overblown exaltation of the realm of opinion, combined with an intense diminution of the realm of knowledge; while at worst it has resulted in widespread social detachment from reality, in varying degrees (i.e. various degrees of social dementia; Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his book Strategic Vision, focusing on this failing aspect of American society, writes: "its populace is self-deluded and, frankly, ignorant about the rest of the world").

This dynamic shows up clearly, by coming out of the fog, during American election cycles and wars, but can also be readily observed by consideration of the following:
1) the failure to properly comprehend the effect that government propaganda has had on American "knowledge,"

2) the failure to properly comprehend the effect that corporate propaganda has had on American "knowledge,"

3) the failure of the mass media to effectively apply Epistemological principles,

4) the failure of educational institutions to effectively apply Epistemological teachings,

5) the epidemic spread of the problem due to psychological reliance on government,

6) the growing personality trait of authoritarianism within the populace, and

7) the growing plague of dementia.

In closing this post, Dredd Blog encourages all readers, to the extent that you can, to study Epistemology and Hermeneutics, to ease up on using opinion as a club, to very rarely use the word "truth" as a club, and to wonder some about The Tenets of Ecocosmology.