All societies coexist with elements of propaganda, in one form or another. Most typically, politicians use propaganda in order to win over the credulous, while anathematizing their enemies. Yet, the level of propaganda now regularly encountered in the United States is truly staggering. For a recent example consider how Obama presents himself as godlike when in a 2008 speech he promised:
I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.
Barack later claimed himself fourth best president of all time. How reminiscent of a Roman Emperor who burnished his legend by publishing his Deeds of the Divine Augustus, describing his reign on a bronze plaque in Rome,
By a senate decree, my name was included in the Saliar Hymn, sanctified by a law that I would be sacrosanct for ever…The senate consecrated the altar of Fortune the Bringer-back before the temples of Honor and Virtue and the priests and Vestal virgins to offer yearly sacrifices on the day when I had returned to the city from Syria and it named that day Augustalia after my cognomen…
Or, consider presidential historian Michael Beschloss claiming Barack the smartest president ever. This is like the panegyrics composed about such leaders as Stalin, presented as a loving father-figure, and wise leader, depicted in countless myths and on heroic posters—fearlessly steering the ship of state, or lovingly holding aloft children.
But negative propaganda is perhaps the chief problem in America, as a complicit media conspires to make it almost impossible for unpopular topics to receive a fair hearing. Or, for Conservative candidates to be presented accurately. Consider how each 2012 GOP presidential candidate was exposed as some kind of a monster or fraud, in an attempt to drum them out of the contest. Even the Conservative media engages in the bloodletting (see Media Attempt to Pick-Off All GOP Candidates, One-by-One & US of Propaganda Unleashes Unholy War Against Newt Gingrich). This essay further examines America’s leftist propaganda regime.
“Propaganda,” as defined by Webster is:
The spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. Or; Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also, a public action having such an effect.
Edward Bernays also gave an introduction to the subject in his Propaganda:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. This constitutes an invisible government, 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.
For Bernays, Dr. Sigmund Freud’s nephew, propaganda is needed for a proper functioning democracy, so individuals can become a manageable whole. Yet, this progressive idea contradicts the Founders’ belief that a society became liveable by pursuing virtue, and not by simply being manipulated into following some mastermind’s hidden persuaders. (see United States of Propaganda Unleashes Unholy War Against Newt Gingrich)
Jacque Ellul notes in Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes —the goal of a highly effective propaganda campaign is to inundate the message on every conceivable level. In communist regimes this meant employment of radio, print media, TV, the Arts, and grand works of the personality cult—like enormous statues and colorful posters. Further, the propagandist seeks to block any debate over the topic.
In researching techniques of influence, one repeatedly encounters the same list of methods: the “seven most common” methods of propaganda, by The Institute of Propaganda Analysis. These are “Name Calling, Glittering Generalities, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, Band Wagon.”
But instead of just seven, there are many effective tools. Fallacies used against a person or idea make them less credible, including: the Personal Insult (ad hominem), Appeal to Ridicule, Poisoning the Well, Straw Man, etc.
Delivery methods of propaganda make a huge difference in how people exposed to them receive the information. For example, a scientist who unemotionally delivers “facts” leading to a conclusion appears more credible than an angry demonstrator, yet both can be biased in their conclusions.
Immersion in “total propaganda,” as Ellul describes is certainly the ticket for persuasion, as it creates the appearance of reality, even if totally contrived. For example, until Climategate cracked the facade of unanimity, the Global Warming cabal appeared to represent the utter face of universal truth.
The Nazis were unparalleled masters of propaganda. One writer lists the ten most effective elements of their propaganda techniques as: Posters & Symbolic Imagery; Antisemitism—Scapegoating of Minorities; Radio—Controlling Mass Media; Film & Cinema—Controlling the Social Sphere; Newspapers—Controlling the Press; Mein Kampf—Mythologizing the Party; Anti-Communist Propaganda - Demonizing Political Opposition; Mythology, Folktales and Religion - Focus on a National Myth; Music and Opera - Absorbing High Culture; & The Fuhrer.
While anyone can employ propaganda, yet progressives are far more likely to employ these techniques. In fact, it is positively inevitable they do so. Why? Because leftism is a highly illogical description of life, and therefore, less supported by the average person. For instance, to be a committed Marxist, one must believe all the rich are thieves, all the poor mere victims, and that only the redistribution of wealth can bring any justice to society. Yet, pollster Gallup reports twice as many Americans self-identify as Conservatives as they do Liberals. This is because the dictates and claims of leftism go against both personal experience, common sense, and historical results. Therefore, people must be “educated” into believing these tenets.
What’s intriguing about today’s propaganda is that despite the West’s many sophisticated democracies, which depend upon an unbiased media, we observe the press devolving into cheerleaders for socialism. How this occurred, in a nutshell, is simply that journalism—much like universities—was targeted as a strategic place to foment leftist ideas.
For example, as explained by Paul Johnson in Intellectuals, British intellectual Victor Gollancz decided to promote communism with his Left Book Club. This organization selected works promoting progressive ideology, and its massive success made possible the creation of the British socialist Labour party.
Undoubtedly, Marxists want journalists to disseminate their ideas upon the world, which has been highly successful. Such socialists realize the average person does not naturally believe and must be “persuaded” into such ideas. This explains Karl Marx’s attraction to writing and publishing. But first, there must be laid a foundation for leftism, being progressive education leaving young students ripe for propagandizing. This was John Dewey’s specialty.
We know Karl Marx (1818-1883) defined himself as a humanistic government missionary since he began his main work on economics, Das Kapital, before studying the subject. In other words, Marx wanted to become the preeminent teacher of a subject of which he knew nothing. Unfortunately, this is typical of leftist “experts.”
Paul Johnson describes the Jewish, anti-semitic Marx as having the ardor of a religious zealot (see Socialism’s God—Karl Marx: Was He Stupid, Insane…or Possessed?) Johnson writes of Marx, who claimed to be a scientist and an open-minded researcher:
But in a deeper sense he was not really a scholar and not a scientist at all. He was not interested in finding the truth but in proclaiming it. There were three strands in Marx: the poet, the journalist and the moralist. Each was important. Together, and in combination with his enormous will, they made him a formidable writer and seer. But there was nothing scientific about him; indeed, in all that matters he was anti-scientific.
Karl Marx fits the stereotype of so many later Marxists—the True Believer so busy converting the world to their ideas that have no time for careful study or presentation of the truth, nor any interest in the disinterested honesty that professional journalism presupposes. Eric Hoffer writes of this (see Obama & the Eighty-One Percent True Believers) bent towards mindless devotion in The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements, defining a “true believer” as “the man of fanatical faith who is ready to sacrifice his life for a holy cause.”
Marxist journalists are mindless fanatics devoted to bringing in the final age of paradise via world socialism (see Obama, the Duke of Babylon & the Christian Origins of Marxism). A classic example is Dan Rather destroying an entire career in the Rathergate scandal.
Overall, we realize that since atheist Marxism has no church or seminary, it must recruit its evangelists from the secular world. It achieved splendid success in the university system, from Hollywood, and via journalism, encompassing all elements of the media. But a desire accept such propaganda presupposes an audience dumb enough to receive it, which is where Prof. John Dewey comes in.
John Dewey (1859-1952) is the most influential American theorist of education, creating the foundation for our current public school teaching practice and ideology. So who was John Dewey? He was progressive, and probably a full-blown Marxist. His educational theories opposed the intense, classically-oriented training of the Founders, highlighting rhetoric, debate, logic, composition and ancient languages.
Instead, Dewey believed naturalist philosophy must found education, including Darwinism, Psychology and German Idealism, aka Hegel and Marx’s theories. These must be used for a new “pedagogy”, ie teaching theory. Unsurprisingly, progressive Dewey was a drafter and signator of the original Humanist Manifesto. He preferred teaching from a humanistic perspective, including both Darwinist naturalism and humanistic socialism as foundation. His teaching theory creates education that eschews rhetoric and logic over felt-learning and real-world experience.This damaged children’s ability to learn reading, writing and arithmetic, unfortunately. Says Blumenfeld,
In order to develop children sympathetic to socialism, Dewey analyzed the traditional curriculum that sustained the capitalist, individualistic system and found what he believed was the sustaining linchpin—that is, the key element that held the entire system together high literacy. To Dewey, the greatest obstacle to socialism was the private mind that seeks knowledge in order to exercise its own private judgment and intellectual authority. High literacy gave the individual the means to seek knowledge independently. It gave individuals the means to stand on their own two feet and think for themselves. This was detrimental to the “social spirit” needed to bring about a collectivist society.
Dewey wrote in School and Society,
The mere absorbing of facts and truths is so exclusively individual an affair that it tends very naturally to pass into selfishness. There is no obvious social motive for the acquirement of merely learning, there is no clear social gain…
In other words, Dewey thinks society should offer a meagre free education, focusing on experience and feeling, over logic and argument. Ellul writes such “fact” oriented education withholding training in independent thinking and analysis are an absolute precursor to creating a kingdom of propaganda, to establish a socialist paradise on earth.
America lies under siege, in a state of propaganda. Until we defend against all the crazy brainwashing encouraging us to support a socialist state, we will be stuck on the road headed for disaster. So now we must all do our part to help staunch the tide of socialism while we fight to return our republic to her rightful owners—American patriots.
Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell
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