Propagandized in America- the chains of illusion
By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report May 10, 2010
part of a longer article: The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy’s Death Spiral From Greece to the United States
Part of the reason we are in this mess, and the main reason why the American people don’t even know what is happening to them, is that the illusion machine (television) has removed the American population tragically far from reality. The gap between the news we see on TV, and what is actually happening in the world today, is the most severe it has ever been. We have been bred to be completely removed from reality. As famed American philosopher and psychologist John Dewey once said, “We live exposed to the greatest flood of mass suggestion that any people has ever experienced.”
The American people need to understand that creating, manipulating and controlling public opinion through mass media propaganda is a science. As social psychologist Kelton Rhoads wrote in his study, Universal Persuasion, Everyday Influence:
“Make no mistake. There are legions of influence agents operating in our society. They thrive — they exist at the pinnacles of power — by getting you to think things and to do things they want you to think and do… Most people are either unaware of these influences, or when they are, vastly overestimate the amount of freedom they have to make up their own minds. But the successful influence agent knows that if he can manage the situation and choose the correct technique, your response to his technique will be as reliable as the springing of a mousetrap.”
People with power have used this science to divide and conquer the United States. In 1923, Edward Bernays, the Godfather of propaganda wrote: “Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.” William Blum in Rogue State wrote: “Propaganda is to a democracy what violence is to a dictatorship.” Harold Lasswell in 1927 declared: “The new antidote to willfulness is propaganda. If the mass will be free of chains of iron, it must accept its chains of silver. If it will not love, honor, and obey, it must not expect to escape seduction.”
In an extensive study on propaganda, which is also one of the most insightful looks into our modern-day technological society, sociologist Jacques Ellul wrote:
“Governmental propaganda suggests that public opinion demand this or that decision; it provokes the will of a people, who spontaneously would say nothing. But, once evoked, formed, and crystallized on a point, that will becomes the peoples will; and whereas the government really acts on it’s own, it gives the impression of obeying public opinion – after first having built that public opinion. The point is to make the masses demand of the government what the government has already decided to do.”
Famed British philosopher Bertrand Russell summed up the importance of propaganda this way: “It is much easier than it used to be to spread misinformation, and, owing to democracy, the spread of misinformation is more important than in former times to the holders of power.”
Speaking of the “holders of power,” for another historical lesson in how much effort powerful interests put into dominating mass media and controlling public opinion, consider Congressman Oscar Callaway’s report to Congress in 1917 on JP Morgan’s master plan, which has been in effect since 1915:
“In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. An agreement was reached. The policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month, an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.”
Now consider why it is that so many of the most significant issues and problems facing American society are rarely, if ever, discussed on U.S. television…
I could go on for hours about how mass media propaganda is used to manipulate, confuse, distract and divide us. We, as a population, have been acting against our own interests and fighting amongst ourselves, while the Economic Elite, who control our society and media system, are left unquestioned and unchallenged, operating behind the scenes, beyond the spotlight, above the law, concentrating wealth and resources, at our expense, in unprecedented fashion.
For a painfully obvious example, on the day that the crucial “break up the banks” amendment went to the Senate floor, a deal to gut the vital bill to audit the Federal Reserve was struck; the market had a record-breaking drop; Greece was burning and oil was spewing all over the Gulf of Mexico. I couldn’t believe the amount of historically significant news that was occurring! It was Shakespeare on steroids! I turned on the TV news networks and the coverage primarily focused on two things. One: an old football player, albeit one of the greatest ever, allegedly raped and beat a 16 year old girl. Two: a male anti-gay activist “rented a boy prostitute.”
Tweet this: OMG! What a sign of the times!
Never mind an economic crisis that affects millions. Never mind one of the greatest environmental disasters of all time. Never mind the historic vote on a Senate amendment that will have a profound effect on our economic well-being and possibly break up the Financial Oligarchy that caused our crisis and holds our nation hostage. Never mind the behind-the-scenes dealings to gut the audit of the Federal Reserve that secretly dished out trillions of taxpayer dollars.
While Rome burns, the mainstream media distracts us and spins the economic devastation as business as usual, nothing to be worried about. Yeah, the BS unemployment rate went up, but it’s good news people! Good times ahead, so go invest in some stocks and go buy yourself something special at the mall.
Other than to create and control popular opinion and keep us politically passive, the mainstream media exists to keep people consuming and spending their hard-earned money. That is the bottom line.
Every time you turn on the TV, you have to realize that the entire mass media system is an elaborate psychological operation to keep you passive and make you feel secure in spending your money. That’s why TV pundits and talking heads are paid huge salaries; they are experts in duping us and playing us for fools. We are all being played. We aren’t free citizens; we are indebted wage slaves. That may sound much too harsh for a population that has been propagandized for hours a day, every day of our lives, but it is the truth. As the brilliant John Dewey said, “We live exposed to the greatest flood of mass suggestion that any people has ever experienced.”
Who needs reality when you have American Idol, Disneyland and celebrity sex scandals?
Until we can block out these distractions and face reality, our future and living standards will continue to spiral downward.