Saturday, August 23, 2014

The fine art of democratic propaganda

"When an American soldier was captured by the Chinese, he was given a vigorous handshake and a pat on the back. The enemy 'introduced' himself as a friend of the 'workers' of America . . . in many instances the Chinese did not search the American captives, but frequently offered them American cigarettes. This display of friendship caught most Americans totally off-guard and they never recovered from the initial impression made by the Chinese. . . . After the initial contact with the enemy, some Americans seemed to believe that the enemy was sincere and harmless. They relaxed and permitted themselves to be lulled into a well-disguised trap [of cooperating with] the cunning enemy." U.S Department of the Army (15 May 1956). Communist Interrogation, Indoctrination, and Exploitation of Prisoners of War. (Pamphlet No. 30-101 ed.). U.S Gov't Printing Office. p.37

The western system has much to learn about how to effectively control us masses. Just imagine your local drug dealer being picked up for a gram of hash he sold to an undercover officer and being taken into the local detachment, no frisking, no handcuffs, stopping for a cheeseburger on the way in, and being treated with great respect for his role in supporting the local economy. They would be very sorry for having to detain him till his court appearance, but then hash could be a vile substance if abused, and they had to be a little cautious about such things. The judge would lovingly offer this poor fellow a way out from constantly looking over his shoulder and they would be willing to support him with the amount it would cost to incarcerate him for one year, so he would not have to survive in such a dangerous occupation. If he agreed he was free to go, but three strikes and he would get a free vacation on the Mars rover in a healthy environment.

“In totalitarian societies where there's a Ministry of Truth, propaganda doesn't really try to control your thoughts. It just gives you the party line. It says, "Here's the official doctrine; don't disobey and you won't get in trouble. What you think is not of great importance to anyone. If you get out of line we'll do something to you because we have force." Democratic societies can't work like that, because the state is much more limited in its capacity to control behaviour by force. Since the voice of the people is allowed to speak out, those in power better control what that voice says--in other words, control what people think. One of the ways to do this is to create political debate that appears to embrace many opinions, but actually stays within very narrow margins. You have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions--and that those assumptions are the basis of the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, the debate is permissible”. Propaganda, American-style by Noam Chomsky

Hanging on. Total obliterating black fog. Fingers frozen numb trapped in a tangle of wiry metal shill. The arms gave up any desire for striving in the distant hazy past. Dead weight this body, limp, drained. Mind senseless beyond pain. Assumptions. Like freedom of thought. What a joke. What do they want? They create quilt. Quilt about questioning foundations built on quicksand. This quicksand miring the legs to the waist, sucking, pulling, disjointing the comatose wrists. Oh mind, oh body! Find that concrete footing, that solid rock. Ease the pain, the agony, the torture of this hypocrisy, this illusion of reality built on fleeting ideologies based on brutal myths from bygone rapturous encounters with the divine.

Democracy, that practice or spirit of social equality. A body of individuals living as members of a community in the state or quality of being equal; corresponding in degree, value, rank, stature. But, but we say. We must lock him up because, because... he stole some bread, he ignored traffic regulations, he mooned a cop. He violated our democratic rights, our rights to own property, to drive unhindered by those damnable pedestrians, to subject ourselves to the long arm of the law. Where along the way did we forgo the freedom to unquestionably not work for the man, or to soak our brains in the opioids of enlightenment, or to joke around with the enforcers of well being?

Dead weight pulling, quicksand sucking. Ah yes, I'll have seven billion cheeseburgers, please, one for everyone, you take Visa, yes? I'll be a hero. Lots of love. Lots of full tummies. Lots of compassion. Lots more hanging in the obliterating black fog. Them powers that be. Bill collectors. On steroids.

Seven billion damnable pedestrians.
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