|Get the picture?|
I. Series Background
The epigovernment has been around for a long time.
It was revealed by the "father of spin [propaganda]" in his book titled "Propaganda."
His description of the epigovernment has been taken directly from that book and quoted in this series.
He knew the score and the reality first hand, having worked for the epigovernment, the visible government, big business, and the private empire, for years.
His understanding of psychology (Sigmund Freud was his uncle) helped him to develop mechanisms for mass control through the mass media.
That billion dollar industry is now "sanitized" by the description "The Public Relations Industry" (The Deceit Business).
II. "The Father of Spin" Describes "Epigovernment"
Mr. Edward L. Bernays himself describes epigovernment his way:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.(Epigovernment: The New Model, quoting Edward L. Bernays' book Propaganda). Way too many of us thought that his rap was nothing more than a "conspiracy theory."
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.
They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
We believed that because the controlling culture's mouthpiece, which Bernays made into an institution, told us so (On The Origin of "Conspiracy Theory", 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
III. A Deeper Look
In 1928, when Bernays published his book "Propaganda," the epigovernment already existed, and was already firmly in place.
That is, he was describing an existing social structure that directed and guided an entire culture.
This epigovernment thingy does not seem to be of the nature that Americans think of when they think of "government of, by, and for the people."
That is because it obviously isn't government of, by, and for the people.
So, where, when, why, how, and through whom did it originate?
Here is one clue from Chomsky that caught my eye:
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.(The Deceit Business, emphasis added). Ok, so let's check off the 'where' ("Britain and the US"), the 'when' ("roughly around ... WW I"), the 'why' ("enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force"), and the 'how' ("modes of deception and manipulation").
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"
Which now leaves us with the tough one: the 'whom' (whodunit?).
That one is the tough nut to crack because Bernays described that part of the equation as "an invisible government ... Our invisible governors ... [a] relatively small number of persons" (ibid).
Something hidden in plain sight in the U.S.eh?
IV. The Embryo of Oil-Qaeda
First, let's consider the richest American in the world about that time:
John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in 1897. Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by John D. Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, Jabez Bostwick, chemist Samuel Andrews, and a silent partner, Stephen V. Harkness. As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller's wealth soared, and he became the world's richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars. Adjusting for inflation, he is often regarded as the richest person in history.(A History of Oil Addiction - 2). He wrote a book to describe some of the dynamics taking place in those embryonic, formative years.
It was a book which was picked up by another author:
John D. Rockefeller, in his 1909 Random Reminiscences of Men and Events,(American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of ..., emphasis added). "The Standard" is what Rockefeller called his oil corporation.
recalled, "One of our greatest helpers has been the State Department. Our ambassadors and ministers and consuls have aided to push our way into new markets in the utmost corners of the world." But he left out a key explanation for the government's interest. Standard Oil was the biggest U.S. company, putting a hundred ships to sea, buying and selling oil in Latin America, Germany, and the Far East. It also operated a global intelligence system. "By 1885," according to one historian, "seventy percent of the Standard's business was overseas and it had its own network of agents through the world, and its own espionage service, to forestall the initiatives of rival companies or governments."
Random Reminiscences of Men and Events
That corporation and other corporate segments of Oil-Qaeda, to this day, still consider themselves to be a "private sovereign" (MOMCOM: The Private Parts, 2, 3, 4, 5).
On the British side of this coin (the ruling empire at the time), a synchronization was being instigated around oil:
From the moment he arrived at the Admiralty, a young man of destiny, Churchill started to prepare the fleet for the Battle of Armageddon he believed was inevitable.(The Universal Smedley - 2, quoting several books). Thus, we should be able to see that the embryo of Oil-Qaeda formed way back then, way before we were born.
Then, in 1911, the German Kaiser provoked the Agadir crisis ... Churchill went to the Admiralty and his outlook transformed. He was immediately confronted with the decisive question: to convert the navy from coal to oil ... the "fateful plunge" was made ... in April 1912 ... five oil-burning battleships were approved.
Britain was well supplied with coal [but not oil]. It was the Royal Navy which was the impetus for the development of the oil industry in Britain. The problem was supply and the security of that supply. Initially, the British government purchased shares in the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, subsequently, British Petroleum [BP].
Then, to prevent further disruptions, Britain enmeshed itself ever more deeply in the Middle East, working to install new shahs in Iran and carve Iraq out of the collapsing Ottoman Empire.
Churchill fired the starting gun, but all of the Western powers joined the race to control Middle Eastern oil.
Long before politicians mewled helplessly about the power of “Big Oil”, carbon-based fuels were shaping our very political, legal, intellectual, and physical structures.
For instance, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a pivotal moment in America’s strategic outlook. America, a global hegemon whose empire was weakening, seized the second largest oil deposits in the world as a way of preventing its economic and political decline.
The last declining global hegemon, Great Britain, also engaged in a brutal and highly controversial British occupation of Iraq, in the 1920s, pressed aggressively by the well-known British conservative, Winston Churchill.
V. The Embryo Grew Into A Monster
In later years, a writer observed the essence of what had evolved, and then wrote the essentials down in a book:
"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells or metal mines."(As We Go Marching, by John T. Flynn, 1944, p. 222, emphasis added). The writer at that time saw a persistent cultural characteristic, a pattern of cultural behavior.
Since that embryonic time a half century prior to Flynn, at about the turn of the century when the 1800's turned into the 1900's, careful observers noticed that large and small wars had been fought the world over to control oil.
Flynn himself also noticed that propaganda demonizing those who had "our oil" under their soils, convinced many that those barbarians must be dispossessed of it.
That is still the basis of the western foreign policy trance to this day (Choose Your Trances Carefully, 2, 3).
Untold millions have, by now, died in those wars (The Peak Of The Oil Wars, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).
But, that is just the beginning, because the monster is now hell-bent on also doing ultimate damage to the entire planet (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
As it turns out, those who subverted the American government, then made it into a servant of their needs, did so long ago.
IMO this bolsters and helps to explain, in more detail, the statements in yesterday's post about collective guilt (The Psychology of the Notion of Collective Guilt - 2).
The previous post in this series is here.
Give Oil-Qaeda some slack?