Sunday, January 26, 2014

USA Democracy, State-Corporate Complex, & Bernays Propaganda [and a Note on Chris Hayes]

First, a note on my previous post and Chris Hayes.  After viewing about an hour's worth of MSNBC Chris Hayes clips on YouTube, I've concluded that Mr. Hayes appears to have two different personas.  When he's a guest on Democracy Now and other non-corporate venues, talking about Twilight of the Elites, his message hits the mark & he definitely has credibility.  On his own show on the prostitute corporate medium MSNBC, he's mostly an apologist for Obama...and fails to recognize (or perhaps conceals the recognition) that Obama is part of the Meritocracy that he deplores so in his book.  That's my take on it, anyway.
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Let's begin by recognizing the unfortunate fact that the USA is no longer a Constitutional Republic.  About half of everything that the Fed Gov't (at the highest levels) does is unquestionably unconstitutional.  In large part, both Democrats and Republicans ignore the Constitution and instead pass laws or issue Executive Orders that they believe trump the Supreme Law of the Land.  Once in a blue moon, to their credit, they do get things right.  For example, just recently a Congressional Panel determined that the NSA's bulk collection of data is illegal.  That's rare.  Of course, don't look for anything significant to be done about that finding.

Despite the propaganda from the Gov't and Corporate Media, and despite the belief of most of our population, let's also recognize that neither is our form of gov't a Democracy...at least, not a genuine Democracy.

Not long after WW I, Walter Lippmann, writing about politics in America, described the general public as "ignorant, meddlesome outsiders" who should only be "spectators" in the political process and leave such matters to the ones who know what they're doing...in other words, the smart, informed people...the Meritocracy.  Lippmann was part of the intelligentsia at the time; he was known as the "Dean of American Journalism"...and was a so-called "Progressive".  So much for American style Democracy, at least, from his point of view (which was quite influential).

In 1928, Edward Bernays found a publisher for his book, Propaganda: Molding the Public Mind.  In it, he made the case that propaganda is essential to the successful functioning of any Democracy.  He said that the true rulers of the country are the ones who control the propaganda; the elites bought the proposition lock, stock, & barrel.  Bernays later was recognized as the Founder of the Public Relations industry.  His type of propaganda played a major role in our Govt's overthrow (in the '50s) of the democratically elected President of Guatemala.

The State-Corporate Complex flourished in the '50s and '60s...and beyond.  Ike warned us about it, but We the People pretty much ignored his warning.  The molding of the public mind was in full swing by then, with one of the promotions being that we lived in a "Democracy".  The elites' version of democracy is this:  every two years or so, the "ignorant, meddlesome outsiders", aka, the "spectators" truck on over to a designated site and pull one of two levers...and then go home.  Each lever represents a candidate chosen, groomed, and financed by the Meritocracy...and sold to the public via Edward Bernays style propaganda.  The public doesn't really know where either candidate stands politically...because all info given to the public is based on polls, studies, & focus groups that determine just what it is that the public wants to hear.  Adjustments are made for the phony differences between the two candidates.

By the '80s, voters weren't even really "spectators" anymore...because the Reagan and Thatcher administrations became private and secretive.  How many of you know about the Reagan-Thatcher concoction known as the "Washington Consensus"...it had a major impact on the world.  It promoted Neoliberalism around the globe, much to the dismay of most third world countries.  Not too many folks "spectated" that one.

By the '90s, transnational corporations (via institutions such as the GATT, WTO, IMF, and World Bank---that are completely secretive & absolutist--- as well as so-called "Free Trade Agreements") were creating a completely non-democratic, worldwide economic structure whose rules trumped U.S. laws.  That's continuing on steroids today.  So much for American style Democracy.

During all of this time, right through to the present, the American public (and the world public) is fed a steady diet of propaganda which basically and simply says, this is all good for you...and it will "create jobs".  What a deceit and a scam.

So, what's to be done about it?  Well, the first step is to stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid.  I'll say it 'til I'm blue in the face.  :)

Just my opinion.

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