The propaganda machine
and the submission of the people to government power
By Christopher Jay Thompson
The power of propaganda well documented in the modern era. Yet most americans, when asked about propaganda are likely to think of its use by “other ” nations. For instance, it’s use by Nazi Germany to gain the support of the average German. Or perhaps the Soviet Union “brain washing” Soviets into “hating American democracy”. Even the Use of propaganda by religious fanatics. Yet, they never for once suspects the possibility of our own government using propaganda to pull the wool over the eyes of the average American. They just don’t see it. Well that’s because of the success of the propaganda machine.
A prime example of the U.S. government using propaganda to pound the public into submission is the “Red Scare” of the Early 1900s. Woodrow Wilson used the implied threat of the “eminent world takeover by the evil communists” as an excuse to destroy the unions and to suffocate the freedom of speech. People were persuaded to give up their freedoms in exchange for “security”. Sound familiar? It should. The Bush(Jr.) administration also asked Americans to sacrifice their freedom so that our government could protect us from the evil terrorists who were “jealous” of our freedoms. How does that make any kind of sense? Give up our freedom to protect our freedom? That is the most idiotic thing I have heard in my life. Sounds like some kind of Orwellian double speak. Yet most Americans fell for it.
There are a lot of parallels between the cold war and the war on terror. One parallel being the use of fear in order to persuade the American people into submitting to martial law. Thus, the great propaganda machine was called in. Anytime we are at war with an adversary or even in a land grabbing competition, as we were with the Soviets; great lengths are taken to dehumanize the enemy. We must always convince the public that the enemy is jealous of our freedom. This will cause the people to allow the government to take all means necessary to protect them. This is sometimes refered to as “manufacturing consent”.
I am by no means condoning the terror attacks of september 11, 2001. It was the most vile and terrifying event to happen in my lifetime. It was an act of evil. Yet, we must ask ourselves a question. What were the circumstances that led up to people getting so enraged as to drive jumbo jets into buildings?Any idiot could tell you it wasn’t jealousy. Jealousy doesn’t cause someone to commit an act that was obviously done out of desperation. We must ask ourselves why, and we must try to find the real answer.
I believe that i is the duty of the people Who know the truth to spread it and to combat the spread of lies. To quote Benjamin Franklin “A nation well-informed men, who have been taught to know and prize the rights that god has given them, cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins “. So it is the Job of the Educated to educate the uneducated.
Even though forms of propaganda have existed for ages, the power of the film medium as a means of propaganda was first realized by Nazi Germany. It was a way to propagandize the masses. It was very useful in aiding the Nazis in the vilification of the Jews. The United States would follow the Nazis’ lead on using film as a means of propoganda. With the Advent of telivision, the U.S. took propagtanda to the next level.Now propoganda could bwe beamed directly into the homes of all Americans. Now the corporations and the government had direct control of the flow of information, particulary the news. Television was employed succesfuly during the cold war to demonize the Soviet Union.
So, as you can see, Propaganda can be a poewrful weapon in the shaping of the minds of the public. The most powerful tactic of the propaganda machine is the installation of fear. People who are afraid are easy to manipulate. Extreme fear causes the logic centers of the brain to shut down. Those of low education and inteligence are more succeptable to this form of mind control. people who are of hight inteligence are less likely to be propagandized. yet even intellectuals fall under the spell of propaganda machine. The best way to resist mind control is to try to completely avoid propaganda.