"Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great deal of their time not on the spot, not here and now and in the calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it."
"Aldous Huxley was on the spot in the foreword of his revised 1946 edition of Brave New World - which, perhaps more than any other work of 20th century fiction, predicted the psychological climate of our wired age."
This is Chapter IV, "Propaganda in a Democratic Society", of
Brave New World Revisited, by Aldous Huxley
- A very short (c. 120 pages) book of essays on issues raised in Brave New World.
"Most of the material in this book was published by Newsday
under the title "Tyranny Over the Mind"."
Quoted on the page "Breaking the Trance" on the site of Adbusters.
"All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it."
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
from Chapter VI: War Propaganda
"...in a military State or a feudal State or what we would nowadays call a totalitarian State, it doesn't much matter what people think because you've got a bludgeon over their head and you can control what they do. But when the State loses the bludgeon, when you can't control people by force and when the voice of the people can be heard, you have this problem. It may make people so curious and so arrogant that they don't have the humility to submit to a civil rule and therefore you have to control what people think. And the standard way to do this is to resort to what in more honest days used to be called propaganda. Manufacture of consent. Creation of necessary illusions. Various ways of either marginalizing the general public or reducing them to apathy in some fashion."
"One fundamental goal of any well-conceived indoctrination program is to direct attention elsewhere, away from effective power, its roots, and the disguises it assumes."
-- One might suspect that this is the function of celebrities other than the President of the Galaxy, as well --
"The IPA is best-known for identifying the seven basic propaganda devices:
Name-Calling, Glittering Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking, and Band Wagon."
..."Newt Gingrich's political action committee (GOPAC) mailed a pamphlet entitled Language, A Key Mechanism of Control to Republicans across the country. The booklet offered rhetorical advice to Republican candidates who wanted to "speak like Newt." It was awarded a Doublespeak Award by the National Conference of Teachers of English in 1990. The booklet contained two lists of words. GOP candidates were instructed to use one set of "positive, governing words," (glittering generalities) when speaking about themselves. A second set of negative words (name-calling words) were to be used against their opponents."
-- cf. Friendly Fascism : The New Face of Power in America
by Bertram Myron Gross
-- Or, a 2003 article that briefly covers some of the same ground, Inverted Totalitarianism
by Sheldon Wolin
01 MAY 2003
Author Wolin does not mention Friendly Fascism and may not be familiar with it.
"...it's becoming increasingly difficult to separate the news makers from the news gatherers. Most of North America’s newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations are owned by the same transnational corporations about which they report."
"EVERYTHING MUST GO
WHAT's wrong with McDonald's is also wrong with all the junk-food chains like Wimpy, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy, etc. All of them hide their ruthless exploitation of resources, animals and people behind a facade of colourful gimmicks and 'family fun. The food itself is much the same everywhere - only the packaging is different. The rise of these firms means less choice, not more. They are one of the worst examples of industries motivated only by profit, and geared to continual expansion.
This materialist mentality is affecting all areas of our lives, with giant conglomerates dominating the marketplace, allowing little or no room for people to create genuine choices. But alternatives do exist, and many are gathering support every day from people rejecting big business in favour of small-scale self-organisation and co-operation.
The point is not to change McDonald's into some sort of vegetarian organisation, but to change the whole system itself. Anything less would still be a rip-off."
"...(University of Florida professor) James Twitchell writes in "Lead Us Into Temptation: The Triumph of American Materialism" (Columbia University Press), scheduled for release June 3 (1999).
"We have made the material world the map of value. What religion used to do, what occupations used to do, what bloodlines used to do ... now objects do it," said Twitchell, a pop culture scholar whose previous books include "Adcult USA: The Triumph of Advertising in American Culture" and "For Shame: The Loss of Common Decency in American Culture." (and others -- ed.)
...the shift to consuming labels has a down side: It robs us of our roots and leaves us adrift and anxious. As easy as it is to create our own identity with consumer goods, he says, it's just as easy to create a new one, by switching brands of blue jeans, for instance, which creates an unstable situation.
"Relative to the world our parents knew, this is a world characterized by great anxiety and uncertainty," Twitchell said. "We don't have the anchoring system we once had."
The shift from traditional guideposts to secular ones has been a modern phenomenon, for the most part, driven by advertising, he said. It gained considerable speed with the advent of electronic media and shows no signs of slowing."
"Der ewige Jude is probably the most manipulated film ever ... there are even strong reasons to believe that it was this ability of the audio-visual media to "(re)produce reality" that brought the decision-makers (Goebbels and Hitler) themselves across what Lifton once called "the Threshold of Genocide" ... Viewing the film produces a ominous warning about what can happen when "produced" reality in a reality-like medium is conceived as the reality itself. In this respect, "Der ewige Jude" has become the ancestor of audio-visual propaganda on TV..."
"The Holocaust has changed human civilization. The knowledge of the fact that it was possible to disestablish and exterminate a certain group of people from the rest of the society simply because they were defined by the authorities as different and dangerous, is a challenge of the outmost importance to the human mind. The systematic mass murder of six million Jews cannot be erased from the history of mankind, but could, should and must be used to discern and warn against structures and developments in present society which could lead to new genocides."
"A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he (sic) writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more:
Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?
But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases ... one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy ... And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance towards turning himself into a machine....
Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trail, or shot in the back of the neck, or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps; this is called elimination of unreliable elements."
Does this sound like
Philip K. Dick to you?
It sure does to me.
Unfortunately site isn't looking real good as of 23 AUG 99
-- many blank pages.
I'm fairly sure it's their problem and not mine.
"I am going to tell you what the real problem is. You should know right off that I am partly to blame.
If you are stressed out, overweight, depressed, or suffering some other disease ... If you are in debt, in a mediocre to horrid relationship, you despise your job, or you hate those Democrats or Republicans ... I am going to tell you what the true underlying cause is. And how to overcome it.
But you won't believe me.
Not at first, anyway. Because it's uncomfortable. It challenges your ego and, even more so, disturbs the strange comfort you have developed with your demons.
... here is the one real reason for most of the emotional, mental and physical difficulties you are faced with today:
You have been tricked into them. Conned. Suckered.
... based on what I've learned directly from many of the world's top leaders and experts across a wide swath of industries, and especially based on what I have seen and done firsthand, I need to tell you something:
You are not overweight because you don't know how to be thin. You are not in debt because you don't know how to save money. You are not stressed out because you don't know how to relax.
You are overweight, in debt, depressed, stressed, or sick because it is incredibly beneficial for certain other people to make and keep you that way.
Far more than you likely imagine, you have been duped into it.
In a previous life I participated in this predominant form of marketing, and rather well. But now that I realize how widespread, disgusting and devastating its impacts are -- how it is by far the most deadly plague of our time ...
The number one rule of today's marketing -- the key secret of those who seek to control your beliefs and habits in order to take your money, your votes, your time or whatever else it is they desire from you -- is to always keep in mind that nobody really believes they can be manipulated. ...
It's funny: most adults will readily agree that the power of marketing has reached monstrous proportions in our society. Most adults will agree that marketing -- in theory a discipline meant merely to build awareness -- has instead become an invasive tool of outrageous control.
But then most will insist it is those stupid others who are really being manipulated by it."
"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. 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."
"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."
"Oh, that is all well and good, but, 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 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."
" The commercial invasion of our public schools has reached epidemic proportions. Students are being bombarded, says Mark Crispin Miller, professor of culture and communications at New York University, by six highly destructive messages: "Watch," "Don't Think," "Let Us Fix It," "Eat Now," "You're Ugly," and "Just Say Yes. "
" In the late 1950s and early 1960s, dozens of psychiatric patients at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, fell under the care of Dr. Ewen Cameron .... Cameron "implanted" a carefully chosen "driving message" (usually a negative message, followed much later by an affirming message) into their heads via speakers or earphones. Each message -- for example, "You have no confidence in yourself. You are weak and inadequate" -- was broadcast continuously for 15 hours a day, seven days a week, for up to two months. ... Immediately following the deprogramming trials, they appeared stunned and disorganized. Many could not remember their own names, or how to eat, or in fact much of anything that had gone on in their lives. Even today, Cameron's former patients report such symptoms as violent mood swings and the inability to concentrate enough to read. ... More than we care to admit, maybe we have already been depatterned, like Ewen Cameron's psychiatric patients. Maybe we are the Manchurian Candidates of the consumer village, wandering through malls with our heads full of messages driving our behavior ("You have no confidence in yourself. You are weak and inadequate."), messages we cannot repeat back even once."