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Peddlers of Fear

The State and its oligarchal managers utilize scare tactics and narrative techniques among its citizenry for preserving their power. They direct what you should fear. Afterall, what better way to unify a people than to pander to their survival instincts?

The entrepreneurs of fear have all shapes and size. The market for fear is thriving as a wide range of individuals and groups tap into our national insecurities for their self-interest. They harness our anxieties through a wide range of individuals and organizations: Moral Crusaders, Advocacy groups, Expert Panels, Politicians and Journalists. Each of them are advertisers trying to compete for our attention, money or vote by telling us what to fear.

They use a number of narrative techniques:

1) Appeal to Emotions -- emotional accounts trump objective information. For example, the Y2K Bug symbolized society's capacity to scare itself.
2) Repetition -- constant news-cycles reminding the public of a lurking threat. For example, 1990-1998, US crime rate was -20%. Yet, murder stories on TV news was +600%. The more you watch TV, the more unsafe society appears to be.
3) Trend-ification -- Isolated incidents are depicted as "epidemic" or becoming normal. For example, homicide in school-age children is less than 1%.
4) Over-Dramatization -- Things are never improving, but only increasingly getting worse. For example, Global Warming provides drama for the perfect horror script. Almost any new natural phenomenon can be recast as a warning signal for the impending doom.
5) Advocacy of Fear -- To be afraid is to be aware and knowledgable, and not to be in "denial".
6) Be Afraid but Dont Panic -- Fear promotion is combined with the rhetoric of reassurance. The public mind is exposed to erratic emotions. For example, a simple treatable flu should not cause panic... yet its a "pandemic threat alert" of 5 on a scale of 6. Or the terror alert bar is another good example.
7) Misdirection -- Directing attention away from real serious problems. For example, 11 million US children have no health insurance. 12 million US children are malnourished.

The State propaganda system manufactures threats from top-down. The public loses touch with reality and fears the wrong things. Millions of dollars are redirected from real issues to feed our increasing paranoia. For example, less than 10% of US domestic "terrorist cases" have resulted in convictions on "terror-related" charges. In 2003, Congress identified 160 targets for terrorists. In 2009, the Congress identified over 300,000 potential targets for terrorists.

Fortunes are spent to protect us from problems that few will ever encounter while the real problems of society are ignored by an elite incapable of solving them.

Deflecting from Real Popular Issues

The propaganda system is at the service of the State oligarchical managers. Their goal is to hide their self-serving greed and steer public outrage from their crimes.

There are two questions one must ask when any political operation takes place:
1) Who benefits from it?
2) Why now?


For example, the American public was outraged with over $135 millions in AIG bonuses. The Obama administration postured itself with a "getting tough" pose against the greed of the financiers. But the greed goes beyond only the bonuses.

$135 million in AIG bonuses is only less than 0.01% of the $183 billion, in which, the US Treasury gave to AIG as a "pass-through" to its counter parties.

Who recieved the $183 billion through AIG, while the focus was directed on the $135 million in bonuses? At the forefront, Goldman Sachs recieved $13 billion. Goldman Sachs had already recieved a $25 billion hand-out when it recieved the extra $13 billion through AIG. Goldman Sachs is also the company where Treasury Secratary Henri Paulson served as CEO. The same Paulson who crafted a meager 3-page bailout plan for the banking sector.

So while the media headlines and public outrage are deflected toward AIG executive bonuses, a second round of cash is being given to groups that have already recieved massive hand-outs from the Treasury.

Again, who benefits? Why now?

What do politicians gain from going on television to "cry" about AIG bonuses? It makes them appear on the surface as defending the interest of the average American taxpayer. However, underneath the dramatization, they are giving away billions of dollars to their major sponsors and campaign contributors. This is where "getting tough" with financial predators becomes misleading... an exercise in deception to feed populist rage.

As for the timing, the orchestrated outrage over AIG bonuses is a diversion from the much bigger theft of the taxpayers through AIG counter parties. The real AIG scandal is not the bonuses, but that AIG is used as a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects. Damage control has been relegated to AIG through the media's spotlight.

In Need of Enemies

The State and its oligarchs propagate endless pinpointing of enemies for their self-interest.

Conflict is a perpetual reality, and enemies are not figments of our imagination. Yet, somehow we never seem to run out of them. We have new enemies popping up constantly. We seem unable to live even a few years without fighting some perceived foe. Our Nation-state role models contempt and pinpoints enemies as threats to our way of life. Enemies are presented as evil agents of dark forces. They are demons, enemies of God, who incidentally is always on our side. They are criminals, committers of atrocities, sadists. They are agents of death in a cosmic battle of Good vs Evil, Light vs Darkness. Barbarians, destroyers of culture and civilization.

Enemies are good for the US economy...or rather, good for the military mega-corporations and international bankers. The top aerospace and defense corporations consist of dozens of companies employing close to 1 million people. If you include active duty US servicemen, reserve and research and development, about 1 in 4 Americans are employed by the military industrial complex. The Pentagon is the largest asset holder in the US. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrup Grumman... all seek to open up new markets that feed on fresh enemies and pointless, unwinnable wars.

Living in a logic of War makes us invent enemies everywhere. Propaganda is used to dehumanze percieved enemies, so that the public feels no remorse when they are killed. Propagandists seek to alter our understanding through deception and confusion. The aim of Propaganda is to create a false image in our minds and manipulate our emotions, to create a focus for our mistrust and hatred, to stereotype, to over-simplify, to promote the desired reaction. Pinpointing the enemy excludes all relevant facts that may complicate or contradict the promoted argument.

Domestic and foreign lobbies invent our enemies to force their agenda, as to, make it nearly impossible to distinguish our real foes from fabricated ones. Inventing enemies where they don't exist, and attacking neutral targets ultimately leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy of danger. For all the enemies we fight, our biggest enemy remains the enemy within.

Group Warfare

The State and its oligarchal managers have manufactured concepts for identifying ourselves, requirements for war, motives and consequences. What are the requirements for Group warfare?

1) The Ideology -- every group has its ideology, a self-serving view of the world. The Ideology is a worldview, in which, the Group is victimized by real or imaginary opponents that are depicted as oppressors.
2) The Villains -- To be a victim, the Group needs easily identifiable evildoers. For example, redneck, anti-semite, neo-nazi, fascists, fundamentalist, sexist, homophobe, commie, etc. The villains are presented as either evil, stupid or insane. Villains are never presented as merely having a difference of opinion from the Group. The offenders are pathologized as holding irrational hatred. Character assassination becomes an easy way to dismiss critics. Opponents are not just incorrect, but they are "wicked" and "sick".
3) Double Standard -- The Group will consider their opponents' views as criminal and "hate speech". The Group feels entitled to behave in an openly offensive way towards outsiders, while the reverse is not allowed. To justify itself, the Group appeals to Collective Guilt. A guilt for "crimes of the past" passed down through generations.
4) The Objectives -- The Group pretends to correct "past injustices" with plain tribal revenge masquerading as "social justice" or "human rights". In reality, social justice is counter-productive for the Group since it would reduce its legitimacy. This is why the Group's core grievances never seem to be satisfied. The real agenda of the Group is not to correct alleged injustice...but to increase it own power.

What drives the Group is not the ethics of Justice, rather, it is the ethics of Hate. Group warfare is the most effective tool for dividing and conquering society into different tribes in constant confrontation with relentless attacks against basic values of society, destroying nations, and preparing them for Corporate Globalization.

Doublespeak

The State and its oligarchal managers use language to disguise and decieve the public. Meanwhile, the language is encrypted messages understood by the oligarchs themselves. Here are a few examples.

"National interests" -- Not always in the interest of the National public but always in the interest of those in power.
"Attack on Freedom" -- Foreign, freedom-hating "enemy combatants" used as scarecrows, while the real threat to liberty comes from within.
"Pre-emptive War" -- Or as Orwell said, "War is Peace." Basically, we know war is undesirable, and yet, we desire war to prevent a war???
"Conspiracy Theory" -- used by the State to marginalize claims that they are lying to their own people. Even when the theory can be empircally proven or disproven.
"Undocumented Immigrants" -- Immigrants that havn't gone through the hassle of being "documented" yet, as opposed to calling them law-breaking illegal aliens.
"Affirmative Action" -- Racial discrimination mandated by law from victims who rule. Erosion of the majority.
"Hate Speech" -- Often used to dismiss dissent and attempt to control public debate. In reality, no government or group can own free speech.
"The Peace Process" -- A process that will ultimately lead to war.
"Self-defense" -- still the best excuse for aggression.
"Population Transfer" -- A more gentle and tolerable ethnic cleansing.
"Truth in Science" -- Bureaucrats pay only for outcome-directed research.
"Undisputed Scientific Facts" -- no scientist was able to get funding for disputing those "facts".

People percieve truth through the filters of their own self-interest. People will try to tame the truth to serve themselves.

The Puppet Show

Puppet politicians and their public relations punditry are following a pattern of agenda-setting theory.

Two supposed polar opposites, from a 'far right' to a 'far left': GW Bush and Obama. But if we look at the actual facts beyond the political discourse...

*The Patriot Act will not be repealed, but extended.
*No "special friendship" with the American-Israeli Political Affairs Committee will be reconsidered.
*The WTO, NAFTA, NA Union won't be challenged.
*No military base will close. No war will cease.
*Corporate sponsors shall not be disappointed.
*The Federal Reserve debt money system will not be questioned.


But be assured that the State will continue to tighten its grip on its citizens.

Which is more revealing? The similarities or the differences?

The Media constantly tries to remind us of those differences. There are the same old emotional issues, aimed to divide. Conservative vs. Liberal views, in the political theater for public consumption. For example, remember the Liberals' loud moral outrage over Neocon's policies? The policy remains but the indignation has faded. Selected political righteousnes. Incapacity to think beyond tribalism. A two-party paradigm without a real debate about the underlying Elite who control both. The Elite are the economic top 1% with whom the politicians will always side beyond the Media Show, with regard to policy decisions that matter most.

The nature of campaign finance says no politician can ever be "For the People." The 1973 US Supreme Court Case of Buckley v Valeo declared "money as free speech". A campaign financer can give unlimited amounts of money to candidate under the condition of anonymity called 'independent expenditures.'

The democratic executive is a puppet and a tennant with no long-term interest to serve the nation. He/she is simply a renter that will do everything to serve his/her major financiers before his/her term expires.

The Commandments of the State Religion

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman suggest that it a primary function of the mass media in the US to mobilize public support for the special interests that dominate the government and the private sector.

"Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism."

For example, in the former Soviet Union, the penalties for those opponents of the government was psychiatric torture, or exile, or prison, under harsh and grim conditions. In El Salvador, the dissident is likely to be found in a ditch, decapitated after hideous torture.

In Democratic systems, the government finds it neccessary to control not only what people do, but also what they think. The critics reinforce the ruling class manipulation of the public opinion by confining their critique to tactical questions.

To be admitted to the debate they must accept without question the commandments of the state religion:
1) The State is benevolent
2) The State is governed by the loftiest intentions
3) The State is adopting only a defensive stance.
4) The State is not acting in world affairs, but only Reacting to the crimes of others.
5) Even if the "harshest critics" adopt these premises, then the ordinary person will ask, "Who am I to disagree? The leaders know better than I do."


The more subtle methods of indoctrination just illustrated are considerably more significant than outright lying or suppression of unwanted facts.

More than 60 years ago Walter Lippman discussed the concept of "manufacture of consent," an art that is "capable of great refinements" and that may lead to a "revolution" in the "practice of democracy". Edward Bernays described it as "the engineering of consent" as the essence of democracy."

The State media systems cannot call wars an invasion, or even percieve the fact one has taken place. They must use the words, such as: Police action, low-intensity conflict, enforcing international law, rescue mission, peacekeeping operation, etc.

If a journalist or editor from the mainstream media uses the word invasion, he will not be sent to a psychiatric hospital, but he would surely not be able to retain his professional position and standing. Perhaps, the reason why US mainstream television journalists earn millions of dollars in salary each year is to not ask difficult questions. Hush money. "You're paid well. Don't complain."

Here is a breakdown of the manufacturing of dissent within the mainstream media.
A) The Pragmatist -- they argue that the State actions are an acceptable cost. If they are not an acceptable cost, then their critique is limited to the State "unclearly stating goals" or that errors were made in "executing tasks".
B) The Dove -- Usually confines their critique to saying a State action was illusory. But the action was noble and were taken with the loftiest intentions.
C) The Peace activist -- they see State-sponsored war as more than a mistake, but fundamentally wrong and immoral. They are usually potrayed in the mainstream media as unpatriotic and who tear the nation apart. Strangely, they are even demonized.

DRLHyper

If the US was a real free market state, the media and the state would be completely separated; "state influences" would not exist.

DRLHyper Wrote:
If the US was a real free market state, the media and the state would be completely separated; "state influences" would not exist.

There's no such thing. That's like saying that a thing (called the free market) would only be subjected to electromagnetism and not gravity. In order for that free market to exist with its present power and to increase its power, a majority of the legislature would have to be owned by them in one way or the other.
@Commissar
Dude I'm really tired and have got to get some sleep. Will be looking forward tomorrow to read this new thread of yours. Big Grin

DRLHyper

Helsworth Wrote:

DRLHyper Wrote:
If the US was a real free market state, the media and the state would be completely separated; "state influences" would not exist.

There's no such thing. That's like saying that a thing (called the free market) would only be subjected to electromagnetism and not gravity. In order for that free market to exist with its present power and to increase its power, a majority of the legislature would have to be owned by them in one way or the other.

Lobbying is as right as free citizens. Democratically-elected politicians may not have the interests of the people in mind; fortunately, lobbysts can direct them to the correct path.

DRLHyper Wrote:
Lobbying is as right as free citizens. Democratically-elected politicians may not have the interests of the people in mind; fortunately, lobbysts can direct them to the correct path.

I don't see why they would do that, I would think the purpose of most lobbyists is to make money.

DRLHyper Wrote:

Helsworth Wrote:

DRLHyper Wrote:
If the US was a real free market state, the media and the state would be completely separated; "state influences" would not exist.

There's no such thing. That's like saying that a thing (called the free market) would only be subjected to electromagnetism and not gravity. In order for that free market to exist with its present power and to increase its power, a majority of the legislature would have to be owned by them in one way or the other.

Lobbying is as right as free citizens. Democratically-elected politicians may not have the interests of the people in mind; fortunately, lobbysts can direct them to the correct path.

Lobbying should have a law for it, such as being made public with the inclusion of the public media. How many votes can a small party buy compared to the already entranched "traditional" two? Where's the rule of the people in that? It's more of the rule of the archons and their own masters.
@Commissar
Awesome post man! I'll quote you in every discussion relevant about these issues. Wink

DRLHyper

Helsworth Wrote:
Lobbying should have a law for it, such as being made public with the inclusion of the public media. How many votes can a small party buy compared to the already entranched "traditional" two? Where's the rule of the people in that? It's more of the rule of the archons and their own masters.

A small party can not hire as much lobbysts because the government is not operating in a laissez-faire style, rather, it aims to promote regulations to shut down competition. I already presented a document (in another thread however), where big bussiness do not desire competition. Big bussiness are corrupt in their search for power, which is why they want more and more of it. A free market would make the mainteinance of such power too difficult -- hence why they want things like progressive taxation. Progressive taxes only help the rich help richer. How? By preventing emerging companies from rising above their income margings.

Thanks Helsworth. Most of the ideas are not orginal and have been around for years. The latter part was my observations. I will post the source work later.

The idea of the freemarket was brought up in relation to campaigns. I think we need to clearly define what we mean when we speak of the free market.

Should the free market, itself be free? Or free market, as in free from externalities, such as the State?

Unregulated free markets, itself, will eventually lead to inequality and less freedom for all. An impartial State is an externality to maintain freedom in the market. But in the issue of campaign finance, a law, which is inteneded to be fair to all, is actually not fair at all. There is massive inequality in public representation of democracy. It's as if the plutarchs wrote the law to erode the princple of 1 man/1 vote.
DRL you should change your profile description to Adept of plutocracy Hehe
The end game of a free market is oligopoly/monopoly. That state of permanent competition cannot be maintained, sooner or later any competition yields a winner and a loser. Those last corporations standing form Mussolini's fascist concept "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.";
This is every free marketeer's dream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI5hrcwU7Dk
@Commissar
What matters is not who said it first, but who carried it forth into the present Wink

DRLHyper

Helsworth Wrote:
This is every free marketeer's dream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI5hrcwU7Dk

Quote:
And our children will live, Mr Beale, to see that ... perfect ... world in which there is no war nor famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common profit. In which all men will hold a share of stock.

All necessities provided. All anxieties tranquilized. All boredom amused.

***

Truer words have seldom been spoken...


How true! Indeed, every free-marketer's dream! Applaus

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