Everyone wants to be part of “the group”. America is all about “Group Think”, belonging to the “In Crowd”, the “Social Network”. Marketing knows this. That’s why marketing is able to so very easily manipulate groups, is able to get huge herds of humans to buy even the most inane of products, services and ideas. It doesn’t matter that the products, services and ideas may be dumb, overly expensive or unnecessary. All that matters is that this is what “the group” wants. Why does the group want it? Because marketing has taught the group to want it.
When viewed objectively, all one sees in marketing is human beings as huge herds of conforming morons, everyone reinforcing everyone else on even the most absurd of notions floating out there somewhere in never-never land.
Most people today associate marketing with economics, but this is far too simplistic. Marketing has always been every bit as interested in politics and social change as in economics. Regardless of the arena, it’s all about social manipulation. There is a very straight line going back from contemporary modern (and highly sophisticated, super-computer-aided) “marketing” to more fundamental 1970s marketing, to 1950s “advertising”, to 1930s “propaganda” (both that propaganda used by the Nazis and by the Communists, as well as, of course, by the US government). Over the years, those engaged in this field have built on the work of those before them to raise the “artful science” to ever more sophisticated levels, ever greater effectiveness, ever greater probability of success – which today far exceeds that of those who originated the modern game a century ago, including those on both extremes of the political spectrum who used it for maximum self-serving political effect.
Over the last century, marketing (in economics) recognizes these milestones:
- 1922 – radio advertising
- 1941 – television advertising
- 1955 – telemarketing
- 1980 – relationship marketing
- 1985 – “guerilla” marketing
- 1996 – “viral” marketing
Notice how long those sub-fields have been around. There are very similar milestones on the propaganda side of the equation. At the foundation of it all is the objective to manipulate human behavior by influencing known principles of human psychology and group dynamics. Propaganda is often associated with dishonest activity of rulers of nation states, but the definition of propaganda is exactly the same as marketing, i.e., to disseminate information in various forms aimed at influencing opinions or behaviors (or both) in large numbers of people. “Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.” This is precisely what marketing seeks. Marketing is simply propaganda under a different label; both have advanced together simultaneously, hand in hand.
Since certain activity (i.e., outright falsehood, deliberate defamation, incitement to harm, etc.) under either label (marketing or propaganda) is potentially subject to law suit or criminal charges in this country, there have now developed many new nuanced ways to accomplish the same objectives, including “political spin”, creating “buzz”, “whispered character assassination”, supremely cowardly anonymous defamation, etc., and also accomplishing such objectives with really great speed through maximum effective use of the internet, usually anonymously. Some such efforts end up being classified as “urban myths, legends, hoaxes or rumors”, but all are simply new labels for old propaganda techniques, just as “marketing” is a re-labeling of “propaganda”.
Re-labeling, in fact, has become one of the most popular ways to give the impression of “something new”; it’s a marketing technique. Today you can manufacture whole careers by re-labeling – can even re-invent wheels simply by giving “wheels” a different label.
Marketing is propaganda. Propaganda is marketing.
Media matters. It used to be that most marketing and propaganda was delivered by pamphlets, newspapers, magazines and movies. Most if it, because of the medium, had to be directed toward rather literate audiences. Then came radio and TV, and the business, able to reach huge passive audiences that didn’t even have to read, literally exploded. Now we have the internet, and the sky’s the limit. At first glance, it would seem that the free-wheeling internet, with all its many and various channels and devices and social networks, would present formidable challenges to marketing geniuses.
Not so. Marketers and propagandists have been rather quick to move in to this relatively new communications medium and are steadily increasing their ability to fully exploit it for their purposes, and, especially inviting, to a market that doesn’t even have to be literate. The thinking is that if they can sell their idea or product or person to a key figure in a network, that key figure will then do most of their subsequent work for them. (Some even recruit the key figure as an agent.) And they seem to be correct. There is also developing a whole industry that creates visual aids for marketing and propaganda, including doctored documents, pictures, audio and video that can be easily manipulated and transmitted over the internet to large groups – to reach, and affect, even the completely illiterate. Just in a nation of 310,00,000 people, the possibilities are limitless. This is especially true in a society whose schools spend much more time and effort teaching young malleable minds what to think than how to think.
“And furthermore, I read it on the internet.” is just about the dumbest statement anyone can make as verification of some notion, and yet many millions of poorly educated or exceptionally lazy people do so every day. This is especially true of really huge herds of people united in social media like Facebook where all members of the herd are taught constantly what to believe and what not to believe – just like in tightly controlled fascist societies. Knowing how to think is definitely not a prerequisite for membership. On the contrary: in the relentless pursuit of acceptance, approval and popularity, knowing what to think, what the group wants you to think, becomes of paramount importance. The one thing the herd will not tolerate is an outlier – someone with an independent mind who dares to challenge the “group think”. Those who know how to think rarely are destined for popularity in “likes” or “trends” in social media. There, it’s ALL about conforming to the herd mentality, the group think. And the one trait most common to all herds is the lowest possible common denominator that easily embraces all members. This enables individual members to surrender as much intellectual effort as possible and have the group do all the work, and usually on a quite elementary level. (Rarely is it really “the group” that is doing the work, but rather key players with knowledge of group dynamics, marketing and propaganda who manipulate the group for their own ends.)
“Marketing” today has a positive connotation among the public, while “propaganda” has a negative connotation. “Marketing” is associated with selling cars, while “propaganda” is associated with selling dogma. The former has an apparent economic justification, while the latter has an apparent political objective. These difference are solely the consequence of marketing – marketing itself. The two are, in fact, indistinguishable, and both ultimately do have an economic objective.
Marketing is today every bit as critically important to manufacturers of cars as it is to political action committees, special interest groups, political/social lobbies, and even what now passes as “news” media – to everything from coal mining interests to women’s “issues”, even wars. There is no organized group entity in America, from business, through government, to special interest organizations, that does not use marketing to its own self-serving advantage.
Politics, for example, is all about fomenting and marketing fear – 90% of which is illusion – for profit, among huge herds of cowering humans who want to be fearful, who want to be able to blame someone else for their own problems, failures and short-comings, who want to be protected from the challenges and unpredictability of life. Such pathetic people need government, including soldiers, to fill up the giant holes in their own impotent selfs … in the “land of the free, home of the brave.” It’s all about “Life” – as one long Hollywood horror movie. “You need government to look under the bed for you. I can get you back to the womb better than this other politician can. Besides, you’re just too stupid and helpless to do anything for yourself” – while you comically crow with blustery machismo and queenly arrogance, from the crib. People, it seems, actually need marketing.
But what exactly is marketing, and how does it work?
Conscious Rather Than Subconscious
An important part of marketing involves a wide range of techniques that appeal to the subconscious, such as product placement, packaging, colors, scents, feel, suggestion, even the particular type-set used on a page or sign, but here we are concerned with those techniques that involve the conscious mind.
It is quite difficult trying to study “principles of marketing” when the effort is always made to connect “marketing” solely in some fashion to straightforward economics, i.e., selling merchandise. Most view such purposes in a positive light, even when the net effect is clearly negative – for example with incessant marketing of prescription drugs that turn huge populations into drug-addicted hypochondriacs. Things quickly get very vague and nebulous, especially when you see the exact same techniques in a wide range of other “selling” endeavors. Marketing is used primarily to give an economic advantage to whomever is using it, for whatever ostensible purpose. The problem is that it is not economics that forms the foundation of marketing; propaganda does. So, to understand marketing without all the self-serving deception intended to keep the field “noble”, all you have to do is study, openly and honestly, propaganda.
The discussion of propaganda (or, interchangeably, marketing) techniques used to influence the conscious mind contained in a supplemental post tries to stick to the sociology of group dynamics and behavioral psychology, without wandering into philosophy, which in such discussions can be very inviting. (This writer, schooled in both sociology and psychology, tends to rely heavily on philosophy and logic to make his value judgments – which he believes is absolutely indispensable. Besides philosophy, many people formerly relied on religion to assist in their value judgments, but in today’s mostly secular Western world both philosophy and religion have been significantly sidelined – to be replaced by nothing much at all beyond self-serving politics. Such dynamics in a social setting should never be viewed in isolation without considering their broader consequences on the whole.)
Once you understand the objective and have mastered the techniques, you can sell anything, even pure nonsense, to almost anyone, even huge herds of supposedly “educated” Americans. Literally no one is immune; it takes a great deal of effort, mental discipline, and independent research and analysis, just to reduce its effectiveness on any particular individual. This is because the target audience is already very well known even before the marketing is launched. When you realize that everything “real” is now actually perception, nothing more than the product of marketing, then you have to wonder what’s next, if maybe, for example, certain of us who are “special” can simply ascend to the throne as a “natural birthright”; if clones are no more fake than what we already are; if we can be replaced by machines who understand more, and can accomplish more and better, than we can and do, etc.. (If you go too far with this thread, you begin to go mad. Still, in the world of marketing, literally nothing is impossible.)
I sometimes wonder if it’s marketing that is responsible for our schools now doing such a miserably poor job of teaching our kids how to think, analyze, reason, apply sound logic, etc., even do basic math. When I first consciously encountered reason and logic as objects of serious scrutiny, it was in the ninth grade while diagramming English sentences and applying simple geometry, each in separate classes. Then a gifted male teacher showed me how to combine English composition with fundamental geometry to build a sound case in writing, and I was off to the races. (Marrying similar mental processes involved in these two separate fields force an easy fundamental codependence between thinking and logic to illustrate reasoning – on ever more complex levels. The physical and visible nature of geometric principles are rather easy to see and grasp.) Then came mathematics, trigonometry and physics. In college they added philosophy to all this and threw in critical logical analysis and analytical research, applied statistical analysis, sub-group deviations, exhaustive peer review, etc.. But that was long ago. Today it’s not easy finding younger people who learned these things as an integral part of their educations, especially in high school but also in college. Most debates are now “won” on the basis of emotion, not logic. And various types of computers now do most of the “thinking”.
Marketing is how we became a throw-away toy culture; how appearance now easily trumps substance, and emotion trumps logic; how materialistic consumerism reigns supreme throughout the land; how we became a nation of fat hypochondriac drug addicts seeking to live forever while devouring chemical concoctions labeled as “food”; how we absurdly assume that “someone else” will make the absolutely necessary investments that will ensure our own future; how “keeping up with the Joneses” has become the driving force behind our entire culture; how we can make “heroes” out of victims; praise prolonged valiant efforts that accomplish nothing; honor those who occupy positions of power while simply filling space; why we can continue to milk social “issues” long after their original premises ceased being valid; why it’s possible for those theoretically responsible to walk away from disasters without accountability; why someone who does their job well in front of cameras becomes a national celebrity while others, absent the cameras, just do their jobs well; why this group deserves “social welfare” but that group doesn’t deserve a “hand-out”; why we can regard a thief who snatches a purse as somehow beneath a thief who cheats on his taxes; why whole groups can designate themselves “special” on the basis of nothing, as a simple birthright or “station” in life; why we actually need to manufacture and inflate “heroes” and “icons” and “celebrities” simply to vicariously feed our own sense of self-worth, etc.. It’s all little more than rationalization to serve one’s own self-perception, to make us feel better about ourselves, to inflate our own self-image – on the basis of emotionally generated marketing, and on almost nothing else.
It was marketing that even taught us to PAY for the “privilege” of being subjected to more marketing (on cable and satellite TV, in theaters), even to pay extra for that “privilege” on “premium” movie channels. Marketing (and our public schools) has taught us to be the dumbest herds of humans on the planet – who know very well what to think but have no clue about how to think. It’s truly astounding the degree to which we have surrendered individual mental discipline to the power of group conformity, to dependence on our herd to do our “thinking” for us.
When studying the social sciences psychology and sociology in college decades ago, we sometimes found ourselves engaged in debates over “free will”, “intelligent reason” and the inability of individuals in groups to resist what was then becoming possible in “marketing”, especially considering that marketing was built on advanced propaganda (itself built on psychology and sociology) and was rapidly becoming ever more sophisticated and effective, going far beyond simply making known the existence and availability of a product or service for sale (advertising). “Predictive behavior” was an especially scary area of study. Just what were the moral implications of being able to apply tailored marketing to a known individual or group in such a manner that the subsequent behavior of that individual or group was inevitable, pre-determined? Was it really possible to manipulate humans like lemmings, and then watch them willingly go right over the cliff? Back then it was never quite envisioned that “marketing” would become such an enormously pervasive and powerful aspect of our entire culture, or that the principle driving force would be special interest group lobbies seeking artificial advantage out of thin air, in a democratic meritocracy based on the fundamental concept of equality. (This was not so long after Americans had finally gotten their minds around intentionally designed product planned obsolescence – as a “scandalous” way to continually sell more of the same or similar products to the same market.)
Today there is a half century of advanced science behind marketing, coupled with a very wide range of new tools, including computers, scientific focus groups, extremely detailed surveys, statistical analysis, polling science data, predictive behavior analysis, internet social networks, etc., all aided by highly advanced computer programming and computer “models”. And it doesn’t have to know anything of substance about us; all that’s necessary is to use computer generated “metadata” to track and analyze our past behavior – whatever we do and whoever we do it with is sufficient for highly advanced computer programs to extrapolate whole volumes of irrefutable information about each of us and to make extremely accurate predictions about our next moves under a range of conditions. Actual past behavior is far more valuable, and revealing, than is the content of what we say or write. What we think is not nearly as important as what we do. All that’s then necessary is to plug in the specifically tailored “marketing” to ensure the desired response in action. Politicians who have such information in hand, for example, can easily select the appropriate tailored marketing to ensure the desired vote (behavior) with a very high degree of probability. This is the ultimate control over populations – the right mix of metadata with highly sophisticated social science in super-computers; just add the proscribed propaganda for each voter via social media. Presto! They know with a very high degree of probability what you’re going to do – for example how you will cast your vote – before you have even decided it in your own conscious mind, even if you’re been saying or writing the exact opposite to others. To those employing such methods, behavior is far more important than the content of thoughts. Metadata is real power.
Even the social sciences have changed along with marketing. When I was a student it was not possible to get a degree in the social sciences without mastering a whole battery of courses in advanced math, most especially math involved with statistical analysis and methods of empirical research, including why and how they worked and were absolutely necessary. But today many if not all those courses have been eliminated, or replaced by computer models. Whereas previously you observed behavior and then formed hypotheses you sought to prove about that behavior, it seems now you craft your hypothesis and set about “proving” it by selecting the group and behavior that best fits your hypothesis. This approach makes it possible to “prove” just about anything you want to “prove”. Fed handsomely for decades by attention and money addressing women and minorities, social “science” thus becomes mostly a self-serving adjunct to “marketing”, or propaganda.
Another troubling trend is that our society pays ever higher premium for ever smaller focus of expertise. That is, we become ever more concentrated on ever smaller details (micro) of the picture and fail to really comprehend the whole (macro), how it all fits together, interacts, forms a functioning universe with all its normal standard deviations. There isn’t much need for logical reasoning when you’re only concerned with a spec of dust in the Sahara, if all you’re concerned about is “me” and “now”.
Until recently I believed that our culture’s way of “thinking” today represented a shift from a “hard” masculine logic-based society to a “soft” feminine emotion-based society, as a logical extension of the evolution of our society toward ever more effeminate self-involvement and comfort – a return to the womb, so to speak. The dangerous and highly risky discovering, conquering, building, inventing, defending, etc., – the hard stuff – is over; now all that’s left is to apply the self-serving glossy veneer (before the superstructure disintegrates). Masculine men seemingly had become superfluous, unable even to find worthwhile relevance in the modern world. But lately I’m beginning to wonder if all this isn’t just something that incessant and very sophisticated marketing has taught us all. There’s no doubt that we all have been thoroughly conditioned to simply accept marketing as an aspect of life as pervasive as breathing, and accept it literally during every waking moment of our conscious lives, to not even notice it as it literally shapes who we are. I do believe that it is no accident that marketing is now another of those social “science” fields so heavily dominated by women – who seem much better adept at this sort of nebulous art-science than are (or were) most men. Heretofore men had insisted on a high degree of rigid logic and reasoning, but now emotion dominates literally everything. And, of course, among all the world’s social interest groups, none has made more effective use of marketing than American “feminists”, for well over a half century. They actually believe their own propaganda, and they’ve programmed a whole lot of others to believe it, too. They also actually believe that everyone is stupid. Why do they believe this? Because their schools have taught everyone to be stupid. Just behold all those very senior “feminist” women in government who have been doing such a superb job of “marketing” “Obamacare”, while totally ignoring basic math and the infrastructure necessary to make “Obamacare” actually work. The only way possible for such a scheme to work is by shifting a really huge portion of the responsibility parts to “someone else”, so the only way possible to sell the thing is to lie to those who are needed to approve it and those who will have to pay for it. You lie with a lot of slick propaganda. It’s like building castles in the clouds, on the basis of wishful thinking, and a whole lot of propaganda, and little else. This is very powerful stuff indeed.
To the more than 95% of us who are easily susceptible to this sort of thing:
Perception is everything; truth is irrelevant.
It’s not what is that’s important; it’s what one believes that’s important. (President Clinton, an undisputed expert at marketing, was playing with this very concept when he stated, risking criminal prosecution for perjury under oath, “It depends on what your definition of is is.”) There is much more here than just about anyone anymore realizes. It comes when emotion overwhelms logic. If you actually believe your own lie, well then, even the polygraph machine won’t know you’re lying. And if you’ve been taught to believe it for your whole life, the lie becomes the truth. If you actually believe the nonsense, is it then really even a lie? It’s still a falsehood, still nonsense, but does it make any difference? To whom? “I only want MY ‘truth’!”
We all want what best serves our own self-interests, even if it’s all a delusion. Most of American society today is based on self-serving delusion, and very little else. Because there’s so little of real substance going on, it’s critical to our self-esteem to buy the lies.
“The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before.” – Albert Einstein (1875-1955), German-born Jewish theoretical physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 (and became an American citizen in 1940).
In a 2003 study Yale researchers asked people to evaluate proposed policy changes to reform welfare, with political parties’ endorsements identified for each. The proposed changes were fictional, but test subjects almost always sided with their own political parties – regardless of the content of the changes. They went with their herd regardless of their own views. In another study in 2011 Yale researchers first identified scientists at well respected institutions who were highly regarded experts in areas such as global warming, disposal of nuclear waste and gun control and asked subjects whether they considered each scientist as credible. Subjects almost always favored the scientists whose conclusions matched their own group values – regardless of the facts. Harvard economist Henry Rosovsky: “Never underestimate the difficulty of changing beliefs by facts.” Many very similar studies conducted during the 1950s and 1960s became famous in their day, and were discussed at considerable length in sociology and psychology text books I studied in college, so it’s disconcerting to see them resurrected for a new generation of Americans, a half century later, and achieve the same results. The power of the herd trumps even sound fact, even one’s own beliefs. (See Footnote #1.)
(What’s so disconcerting to it all is the fact that the one driving force behind all the many Baby Boomer protests was their extreme objection to conformity; one would have thought that with so much powerful wind behind their huge sails, the Boomers would have shaped a society wherein conformity was the very antithesis of today’s America. But, incredibly, today’s America is much more wedded to conformity, to herd mentality, group think, than was the America of the Greatest Generation’s era. I guess it all depends on whose herd is forcing the conformity.)
(It’s also greatly disappointing, to me, that these studies are now usually conducted and reported under far less scientific rigor, with little concern for differences found, for example, in age, education, gender, etc., among subjects studied. It’s as if “we” are now all one gigantic homogenous group of identical uni-sex lemmings. But, apparently, our ever sensitive women will accept nothing less: “Everyone thinks just like me!” And, if they don’t, they damned well better. Of course, this is not especially difficult to demand when your group controls and dominates, unchallenged, all fields dealing with childhood development from birth through college for the past thirty years. It’s essentially group think feeding on itself, manufacturing herd delusion. America’s rapidly rising entitled nobility class will tolerate no alternative to its dogmatic “feminist” worldview.)
“Propaganda is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert.” – Adolf Hitler
Some of the terminology in such studies has also been changed, I suppose to impart an impression of “something new”, but the basics remain as firm as they were a half century ago. The behavior shown in such studies is now called “selective perception”. It’s the way otherwise rational people distort facts by putting them through a personal lens of social influence (group pressure and conformity) and end up with a worldview that often even alters reality, in their own minds. Selective perception dramatically affects all of our beliefs. In other words: truth is irrelevant; perception is everything. It is the function of the well trained rational mind to rise above it and arrive at far more objective truth. But this requires effort, training, discipline. The less trained one is in how to think, in methods of objective analysis, however, the more susceptible they are to having their herd do their “thinking” for them – regardless of the truth, regardless of the objective facts.
How in the world did “Single Mother” ever become some twisted badge of honor? Our society is now saddled with ever more tens of millions of these perpetually wallowing “victims” who, naturally, need mountains of someone else’s sympathy, money and assistance – all blaming some guy she quickly sent packing so she could marry Big Daddy Government. Unless she’s a widow, all it indicates is some immature child who has a plethora of rights without responsibilities, makes really stupid choices, is a terrible judge of character, is even worse at adult relationships, and doesn’t give a damn about the consequences of her reckless self-involved behavior to either her children or society. Now that’s just the person whose example we need teaching adult behavior to our young – of BOTH genders. No one is forcing American women to do anything; they are free to make whichever choices they wish – and then live with them. Theoretically, with enough of the right kind of interest group propaganda, you can even make cow dung look and smell like spring lilacs.
In America, due primarily to our deplorable women-dominated public school industry, propaganda generated by political parties and interest group lobbies has become enormously more effective at shaping perception, and thus “truth”, than is individual rational analysis. A whole range of tools to advance the propaganda, from movies to commercials to victim group whining, coalesce around, reinforce and solidify, the prevailing group think. With herds now connected by “social media” this largely brainless process can be accomplished with really great (and dangerous) speed, and the herd then ensures that the resultant “group think” will be extremely resistant to change. Those with neither powerful group crutches or trained intellectual tools of their own, such as America’s boys, are easy prey for the larger omnipresent “group think”. Today, American boys, the nation’s “Last Minority”, are our most vulnerable targets for the self-serving group think propaganda of others. (It’s not difficult to imagine what happens when that propaganda fails to bear out as those boys grow older and discover a whole new “reality” for which they were not properly prepared.) Having been schooled in the basics during an entirely different time, I am constantly amazed at the really huge numbers of Americans who are, quite simply, intellectually deficient, who simply regurgitate so much utter nonsense crafted for them as “truth” by interest group herds. (There are even times when I feel that I am stuck in time with the “Flat Earth Society”. People playing with wonderful 21st century toys don’t even evidence the intellectual sophistication of our original 17th century colonists.) (See Footnote #1.)
“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius (Rome, 164 AD)
Alas, “truth” is now in the eye of the beholder. We Americans live today in an entirely fake universe. “Truth” is whatever makes us feel better about ourselves. “I only want MY truth!” is proclaimed almost hourly. (And, with internet filtering tools, you can have just exactly that.) The reason, of course, is that “You can’t handle the truth!” Americans, naturally, are now the easiest people on the planet for officials to flat-out lie to. With their noses permanently glued to little glowing screens connecting them with their own herds, a “thought” process based almost entirely on emotion, and an attention span no longer than about 20 seconds, anyone can say one thing to them one minute and say the complete opposite to them ten minutes later, and they’d never know the difference. The trick is simply to say it in a manner that the hearer would prefer to hear, at any given moment in time. (It drives me crazy, but apparently most Americans don’t mind it at all.)
From Bleach Blond Botox Betty with the manufactured boobs to Steroid Junky Sports Freak with the manufactured muscles – they’re all as fake as three dollar bills, inside and out. They just don’t know it. With stolen exam answers, comically haughty job titles and incredibly inflated résumés, McMansions owned on tiny margins, .. we all are fake. We can even “re-invent” ourselves whenever we get tired of the former “self” and start all over as a “new me”. Marketing has taught us to accept even the most absurd of our manufactured delusions. Nothing is real. It’s all fake. It’s all a lie. American women and others wallowing in their “victim” status even demand that they be told only nice lies, under all sorts of laws and rules and regulations that prohibit things they don’t want to hear about themselves, that even deny freedom of speech in order to serve their own delusions. In America you can lose your job, even be charged with a crime, for telling a women a truth about herself that she doesn’t want to hear. (Some boys, without a lobby of their own, still know these things intuitively. For people like me, who have spent their whole lives wearing their names and résumés on their chests for the whole world to see, it’s still a little difficult to grasp. I remain the unvarnished sum of the inescapable record of my one life, warts and all, and anyone can call me anything they want to call me, insult and defame me in any fashion they wish, because as an adult male I am not allowed excuses. There’s hardly a day when some arrogant woman on the boob tube doesn’t say something with full impunity which I find exceedingly offensive as a man.) What’s more, we can even be taught to believe our own lies, to wallow in our own delusions, to float in space on absolutely nothing of substance whatsoever. All that counts in this completely narcissistic universe is that we feel good about ourselves, that we can each choose to provide our own self-serving definition of is.
“I am, I said.” (Whatever you say, sweetie.)
Techniques Of Marketing (and Propaganda)
Listed separately at “Marketing And Propaganda – Techniques” are some of the very well established and studied techniques used in propaganda designed to have conscious appeal. It is impossible to differentiate any of them in any real way from techniques routinely used in marketing also intended to have conscious appeal. (If it’s conscious, it has to be processed by the brain, right? Right. So it must be logical, right? Wrong. The key is in how it gets “processed”, and that can be explained by well developed principles of behavioral psychology, social psychology, even psychoanalysis. Here we’ll skip over most of the esoteric “process” part and just show the results of various methods employed. It’s sufficient to know that most of the process involves accepting what one wants to accept, what best serves one’s own self-interests; this is the primary “logic” involved.)
If everyone is “special”, just what is special? (No logic required.) How do groups that are “special” arise in a society based on equality? (Via marketing. Or propaganda. Whatever.)
The descriptions provided for each propaganda technique are purposefully simple. Note the enormous range of techniques available, and then consider how difficult it is for the average person to resist even some of them, especially when they all involve an aspect of “group think” – the natural power of the group to enforce conformity on members, and, of course, the need of the individual to be accepted by the group. Also note that, in almost all cases, the critical key is using self-serving emotion to trump sound logic or reason. It’s often quite an engaging intellectual game to try to identify the technique being used in commercials or marketing campaigns(or politics) and then identify the flaw – before the trick is finished. Most people anymore can’t. (Most haven’t been taught how to really think, to use their brains for anything other than accepting emotional nonsense, parroting the “right” answers, reciting the mandated dogma.)
Every single one of the 48 propaganda techniques listed below is routinely used today in marketing – equally by affinity groups, special interest lobbies, by business and by government, and most especially by political parties. Marketing, of course, can be used for quite positive social purposes, such as in adeptly providing valid information intentionally tailored to reduce group conflict, suspicion, distrust, etc., i.e., as a technique to overcome prejudice and ignorance. But, mainly, the purpose of marketing is to give an economic advantage to the user. However circuitous the subsequent route may be, there is always the potential for economic payoff at the end, and the greater that payoff, the better. We do, after all, live in a capitalistic society. And those with the best marketing will most likely come out on top financially. And if you don’t have to actually earn the financial rewards, so much the better. Greed is the name of the game, for everyone, and advantage is the route. When you can routinely apply these techniques to kids in school, you’ve already won the battle; it’s just a matter of time for your payoff. (See Footnote #2.)
Besides, if you’re a dumb guy getting royally snookered with a sweet smile, you may as well learn how it’s being done. It is, after all, the supremely self-interested propaganda incessantly promulgated by incredibly intolerant American women and their many lobbies that has been solely responsible for single-handedly shaping, from before birth until after college, all those really screwed-up “men” out there. American “feminists” easily put the Nazis to shame with their unchallengeable dogma, intolerance and propaganda serving the self-anointed “special” people.
Even the absurd notion that every woman needs to be presented with a big expensive diamond ring in order for her to consider marrying the dope who’s presenting it is a consequence of propaganda – designed to change values so as to get Americans who were far more interested in spending their money on much more sensible stuff to instead buy rocks. The immediate beneficiary of the emotional propaganda was the private company that controlled the world’s diamond supply – De Beers – and that supply was far greater than global demand. Even worse, future demand looked even more bleak as ominous war clouds rose in Europe. So in 1938 De Beers hired Philadelphia ad agency N.W. Ayer, which successfully turned a failing market into a psychological necessity, all during a period of world war and economic turmoil. Ayer’s game plan was to “create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.” Primarily because it was of benefit to American women, it became the most successful marketing campaign of the entire 20th century. While keeping a tight rein on supply to keep prices high, in just four years, between 1938 and 1942, as millions of American men were pouring into the military for deadly war service in Europe and the Pacific, De Beers reported an astounding 55% increase in US diamond sales. So after the war De Beers institutionalized their gains by controlling the supply while maintaining the demand through emotion. The four iconic words “A Diamond Is Forever” have appeared in every single De Beers advertisement since 1948 – as an excellent, and legal, way for a dumb guy to buy a women’s love. (And, of course, she’ll keep that valuable ring long after the marriage has ended. The love probably won’t last a year, but that rock, and the next guy’s rock, certainly will.) (It’s all part of that “equality” thing.)
Ayer’s campaigns for De Beers in the late-1930s suggested the proper amount for the buyer to spend on an engagement ring was one month’s salary. In the 1980s De Beers reset the norm to two months’ salary, and tens of millions of Americans, who love pushing their values onto the rest of the world, readily bought into that De Beers propaganda, too.
In America you can easily sell any emotional nonsense out there – as long as women benefit.
And, once American women buy it, they’ll make damned certain that everyone else buys it, too.
Just so there’s no misunderstanding: Propaganda, censorship, and group think herd conformity, relentlessly imposed on society by women and special interest lobbies with the full backing of government, schools and media, but not yet the courts, are far more pervasive in the United States today than in Russia, at whom the Americans are always wagging their sanctimonious little fingers.
Many of the techniques listed are also used in effective psychological operation (PSYOPS) efforts to support a military force’s objectives in hostile environments, especially to reduce suspicion, distrust and conflict. For some inexplicable reason, Americans have a certain unease with, even aversion to, the overt use of such techniques by their government (either via the military or via some other government agency) with foreign populations – even though they themselves are bombarded with these same techniques incessantly every day of their lives, including from government and from all political parties, and are just as susceptible to them as anyone else. (It’s mostly American arrogance. These are lemmings taught their whole lives to believe the delusion that they are “special”, “exceptional”, and thus “superior” to those “poor” people overseas who are not, like “me”, intellectually immune to such devious propaganda tricks. They aren’t, of course.) Still, “It’s perfectly ok to manipulate me, but it’s not ok to manipulate them.” Brilliant “reasoning”, especially when your soldiers are dying in war. “It’s only my truth that counts.”
Furthermore, the “marketing” experts who now populate our “journalism” corps are always very quick to anoint such overt government or military efforts with the “propaganda” label, which guarantees a negative reaction from the public, while reserving the “marketing” label, however reluctantly, for their own efforts, to ensure a positive reaction from the public. “Journalists” now, of course, are global leaders in marketing, in advancing their own political agendas. (They claim it’s “to make a better world” – a world according to their “superior” definition of “better”, of course.)
Of course, in psychological operations, to make the most effective use of such techniques requires a comprehensive understanding of the target culture and language; absent that, and many of these techniques easily could have consequences completely different from those desired, and can even be entirely counter-productive. Perhaps this is why a succession of five straight high-powered American women marketing experts appointed as State Department’s “Propaganda Minister” (Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy) accomplished absolutely nothing with the Muslim world during twelve years of war. Those women had the misfortune of being handed the wrong target audience – a huge Muslim universe that hated America. (See Footnote #3.) Their techniques had been, after all, developed to manipulate us – to teach us to become the insatiable materialistic consumer engine that fuels the global economy, to buy into the “correct” domestic political dogma, to make everyone as dumb as possible, while also teaching us to accept literally hundreds of myths about ourselves and especially totally self-serving myths about the “special” groups among us. While the methods and techniques are universal, they must be applied appropriately within the context of the target culture, and this can only be accomplished from a firm foundation in that culture – something absolutely critical which none of those women “experts” at the State Department possessed. (See Footnote #4.) (But they each did end up with an impressive new title on their résumés – for briefly occupying a space in time.)
Their mission was to sell America to those who hate us. Admittedly, it is not easy selling to anyone an America today that is fraught with so many really humongous flaws and problems, superficial popular Hollywood culture or not. Everything about our popular culture screams, “Come, join the free land of eternal milk and honey full of the “beautiful people.” Just ignore all those ugly festering cancers everywhere you look once you get here. “When people start realizing that everything is falling apart at home, just send our military out there to attack some foreign people. That will divert public attention from our domestic incompetence, and put the spotlight on our international incompetence.” How Washington can expect its military to solve all the world’s problems when Washington can’t even solve a single one of our own very many domestic problems totally escapes the rational mind. But it isn’t about logic anymore, is it? It’s all about delusion and emotion. It’s all in the marketing, the propaganda.
Unfortunately there are others out there who know us much better than we do.
The Fourth Estate
We in America have three independent constitutional branches of government: The Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial. The Legislative branch consists of a bicameral Congress (The House, representing the people, and the Senate, representing the states). The Executive branch consists of all those government bureaucratic agencies, including the Department of Defense, that fall under the immediate supervision of the President. The Judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and the rest of the federal law apparatus. Most of the fifty semi-independent states have very similar governmental structures of their own.
But none of it can work the way it was intended – by and for the People – if American citizens are not well informed about the world and about how those three branches, and its members, perform as intended in that world. This requires a very strong fourth element – an independent Press doggedly working on behalf of the People – to provide stability and accountability to the entire structure. The free Press is America’s “Fourth Estate”, the independent “fourth branch”, and it has a great responsibility for which our Constitution bestowed on it powerful freedoms and rights. All four of these branches are employed by and for the People, all the People, not by and for themselves, and not just by and for some of the People.
The Press is the eyes and ears of the People, not of the government. To the extent that the Press lives up to its responsibility is a direct measure of how well the other three branches are performing their jobs on behalf of the People. Its sole function is to seek the unvarnished Truth and provide the People with accurate and unbiased information upon which the People can make informed judgments, most especially when they execute their ultimate power in the voting booth. The Press must never shirk its responsibility to report Truth that might run counter to popular Opinion. When the Press becomes co-opted by any partisan interest, it has failed in its purpose and is no longer worthy of its freedoms. It is then just another organ of interest group Propaganda in a sea of such organs. Marketing dogma is not a proper function of the Press. (See Footnote #5.)
The People, in turn, have the responsibility to take advantage of the tools provided to them by their Constitution, including a free Press, to fully educate themselves, so that they make fully informed decisions with both their votes and their money. It is the People who are in the driver’s seat; if the whole show goes suddenly off a cliff, and it very easily can, they have no one to blame but themselves. The Press is no less accountable than are the other three branches. The people must continually demand that all four branches, including the Press, function as intended by the Constitution; otherwise we are no longer America.
Some things that are totally inexcusable in contemporary America:
Entitlement, Double Standards, Whining, “Special” People, Ignorance, Stupidity.
Sadly, however, all exist in great abundance.
Marketing, or propaganda, has ensured it.
(Every time I return to the US, I have to readjust to the local language; it’s like entering an alternate universe, where all the usual rules of intelligent logic have been altered. After wading through the incessant cacophony of infantile whining, it reminds me of learning to converse with average Chinese citizens during the 1980s, and with Russians during the 1990s, after lifetimes of “twisted reality” imposed on their citizens – of whole societies “growing up” while viewing the world by studying their own glorious navels, through the tightly controlled prism provided to them by their “special interest” governments. I sometimes have the suspicion that the only thing that keeps America going is its sheer size, a sort of ‘energy equals mass times the speed of light squared’ thing. You can have nightmares about what happens to such equations operating on their own on Earth. Such is the wonder, and terror, of “marketing” “me”.)
Footnote #1. Big Herd Power. I’ve noticed that one type of social-psychological study seems to have lasting popularity, even across a range of academic fields, and has been repeated in one fashion or another regularly for over a half century – even though the results are always the same. Two Yale studies, one in 2003 and one in 2011, are briefly mentioned above. Although their interests were in the fields of business and politics, they duplicate studies conducted a half century ago in sociology, psychology and education. Another group dynamics study, this one carried out in 2013 by Yale law professor Dan Kahan, first tested the math skills of 1,100 participants, asked for their political orientation, and then asked them to analyze the results of a bogus study on a divisive political issue. The professor was interested in group conformity, in how popular group political beliefs distort individual perception. This has a wide range of applicability, including in the justice system, even in the courtroom, in jury rooms.
The divisive political issue he chose was whether a gun ban decreased or increased crime. Test subjects had already demonstrated that they could do basic mathematical analysis, so Kahan gave half of them data indicating the gun ban reduced crime, and the other half data indicating the opposite, that banning guns increased crime.
When given data indicating that gun bans don’t work, liberals with good math skills nonetheless said the statistics proved they do work.
When given data indicating that gun bans do work, conservatives likewise lost the ability to do math, and wrongly insisted that the data proved otherwise.
Regardless of solid statistical evidence to the contrary, people still stuck with their original perception, and that perception was shaped by their political group, their own herd – not by facts.
No matter how smart we are, when it comes to politics, “we believe what we want to believe, and neither facts or evidence ever changes that much.” Kevin Drum of Mother Jones summed it up pretty well when he observed, “Politics makes morons of us all.” But actually this dynamic is rather characteristic of most groups. People believe what they want to believe, and they are taught what they want to believe by other members of their group speaking as one. They want to believe it because it’s a price they pay for admission to, and retention in, the group. Regardless of truth, the power of the group to force conformity of beliefs is immense.
This is what makes marketing, or propaganda, so very effective; it relies heavily on known principles of group dynamics, the herd mentality – that are extremely reliable.
You can perhaps imagine what it all looks like to an independent observer standing outside the group. I can tell you that it very often looks like a world gone mad, or at least, whole herds of sentient humans occupying a strange universe unknown to the observer.
The problem here, of course, is the basic premise – that an inanimate object (guns) can achieve an animate event (crime). The presence of guns is actually a common factor in only a very tiny fraction of crime, and that tiny portion would quickly come up with a suitable substitute if guns didn’t exist. Despite what you may think, I am not much of a fan of guns; perhaps I’ve seen more than my share of what humans can do with them to other humans. But they are fascinating devices, aren’t they? Some would even say they are objects of a certain beauty. I remember an occasion when a whole warehouse full of brand new guns was just sitting there doing nothing much at all. Those guns could have remained right where they were for another decade, even for another half century or more, and it wouldn’t have made any difference at all to anything or anyone. They certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. But my job was to blow that whole warehouse to smithereens, make it vanish into the ether, if it began to look like the wrong people would get there before my people could secure it for themselves. It wasn’t the guns that was the problem; it was what the wrong people could do with them. It’s just that simple. Guns don’t do bad things; people do. And people bent on crime, or war, if they are so inclined, can choose from a very wide range of other weapons. But no one is suggesting that all those other possibilities be banned. So, in the end, it’s a false argument, based on a false premise. But truth is irrelevant, and perception is everything – when the power of group membership can exert such enormous influence on individual perception, and make morons of everyone.
Besides, I’ve seen far too often what people with guns can do to people without them, and there’s nothing worse than a government using them with impunity against a citizenry that can’t fight back as equals. A disarmed population is a prison population. (Regardless of truth, perception is everything – and that perception alone can psychologically kill a society. I know. I’ve seen it.) So I’d rather society focus on what bad things people can do to other people, regardless of how they do it, regardless of which instruments they use. Maybe we can focus on American hospitals – where human mistakes every year cause almost 100,000 premature deaths, a number over six times higher than people killed by other people with guns in the US. (Over half of US gunshot deaths are deliberate male suicides.) Thus, “hospitals are deadlier than guns.” Crime or mistake, it’s still a human life. And human life is what everyone is talking about, isn’t it? But maybe it wouldn’t be too smart to ban hospitals (inanimate objects) in order to stop mistakes (animate events). It might be smarter to focus on ways to reduce the mistakes that humans make.
(The New York Times reported in December 2013 that a study by the Journal of Patient Safety found that about 440,000 people die as a result of preventable error in US hospitals every year – which makes hospitals the third leading cause of death in America. This number is very significantly higher than previous estimates. Still, 100,000 or 440,000, no one has ever suggested that we apply to hospitals the same rationale we want to apply to guns – or explained why not.)
This is why I seriously doubt that anything I’ve posted here in this blog will change even one American pre-existing opinion. Everyone wants to run with the herd, even if that’s just stupid, and there’s no rule anywhere that says self-serving propaganda has to be brilliant. In fact, the effectiveness of propaganda increases right along with the stupidity of the target population. (Perhaps this is why no one wants to believe, much less admit, that they’ve been deceived by propaganda.)
P.S. Because there are always an infinitesimal number of crazies in any really big society, why does everyone in that society have to pay the price to minimize what those tiny few might do with weapons? Why not focus on how those crazies got crazy in the first place, why they are wandering around out there without treatment or supervision, and why they can get their hands on deadly weapons? Those nut jobs did NOT “create themselves”. Why are our “solutions” so artless, always requiring everyone else to bend to whatever “I” want for “me”, and now? So often we sound like a nation of little moronic dictators, totally lacking in sophistication, a huge gaggle of simple-minded people demanding simple-minded answers. Crazies can use anything from a needle to an airliner as weapons, but no one is demanding that we ban all those other possibilities. The marketing, or propaganda, for them is counter-balanced by the marketing, or propaganda, about guns. Logic takes a back seat to emotion.
Footnote #2: US Media Censorship. In this country literally everything concerning gender in the public media is very tightly censored by women and their many lobbies, including teachers unions (plus by the fact that American women operate 24/7 on hair-trigger ever ready to whine and wail about any possible slight that might be directed in their direction, either intentionally or not). The only time you hear about gender in American social issues is when the self-interested lobbies and mouthpieces for girls and women think they have a case to make about their group suffering some form of disadvantage in a particular arena, no matter how infantile. At all other times gender differences are carefully hidden behind gender-neutral terms like “students”, “children”, “workers”, etc.. This is most especially true of anything having to do with “education” in the US. It is a 100% guarantee that when gender-neutral terms are used for public media in any arena, women have a distinct advantage in that arena they want to keep hidden. This strategy (1) keeps public attention away from addressing better balance in the censored arena where males are behind, (2) gives the public the impression that only females are at a disadvantage in every sector of society, and (3) in the absence of any objective measure ensures that the arena being addressed will be decided in women’s favor. Whining women win.
Women’s lobbies engineer our society’s most pervasive and overwhelming form of censorship and propaganda. To them, it’s all about advancing their rights, while leaving the responsibility parts to those inherently “oppressive” and “evil” men. Any guys who haven’t picked up on such tactics after a half century are the dumbest people on Earth (obviously well trained as boys by self-interested women at home and in “school”). These women’s lobbies wrote the book on propaganda and censorship in America. They get away with it because it’s so incredibly easy, because boys and men have no lobby to encourage better and more honest balance, and, as long as men are so stupid, why not? This has now become so deeply ingrained in the American psyche that even mothers will never defend their own sons on matters of gender, preferring instead to blame the boys for being so stupid, for “creating themselves”. Thanks to women, we now have become a nation of very well-trained male cowards (who are also dumber than dirt).
Did you ever listen to women, including mothers, teaching children about past major historical accomplishments at truly great sacrifice? The Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers, the Civil War, the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railroad, World War I, the Interstate Highway System, even the war in Vietnam and the Brooklyn Bridge, you name it. It’s never “men” who did it; it’s always “men and women” who did it. Exactly what those women did, or who they were, is never mentioned. It’s all done to deliberately belittle male accomplishments, while super-inflating the role of women – in the eyes of the very poorly educated, especially children. It’s a form of deliberate historical revisionism, of self-serving propaganda. (You never hear about the accomplishments of women who managed to have and raise all those responsible men, usually under great adversity. Most men in the past did what they did for women, who were worth the sacrifice – because of the great contributions those women made elsewhere. But those truths don’t fit so well with today’s dogma, so propaganda has to revise “history”.) The only thing left for women to commandeer as their own is to decide just how many women stormed the beaches at Normandy and died in the bloody surf. Ditto for Okinawa. After a half century of this childish self-serving nonsense, you’d think that all those dead men, formerly icons and role models for their sons and grandsons, were just farts in the wind created by those vast armies of American Amazons. All American women are experts at propaganda, but only in their own culture, full as it now is of really dumb and worthless guys. I sometimes wonder what effect on such women revisionists is the fact that guys like me were actually there, and are still here, and, even worse, we still can think for ourselves. Guys like me know the history, know what happened, know the truth, know what’s going on. But it doesn’t seem to bother them at all; they can always just chalk me, and the truth, up to “misogyny” and write me off. It’s just another way “my female side” benefits by destroying “the other side” — while they are still children.
Some people only know how to speak propaganda. It took me years to figure out how to translate the utter nonsense that constantly spews from the mouth of US Representative Nancy Pelosi (Dem, Calif), who remains one of the very most powerful women in America. I’ve even taken published transcripts of her comments and tried to translate them in some logical manner. She uses English words, but she has definitions of those words that are her very own, so it ends up being pure gobbledygook. For a long time I thought she was insane, but I finally figured out that her total world view can be boiled down to this: “I want to confiscate as much taxpayer money as humanly possible from everyone alive under any subterfuge possible so I can dole it all out to women.” That’s it. Nothing else has to make sense to this woman. In fact, whenever she ventures into other areas, such as business, foreign affairs, warfare, education, trade, diplomacy, economics, basic math, the military, logic, etc., she is among the most ignorant people in the country. But inside her world, where she reigns supreme, it’s ALL “The Gospel According To Me”. And “me” speaks her very own language, a secret propaganda code that makes sense only to her initiated secret-society sorority sisters. Together they are VERY effective at getting exactly what they want – trainloads of money – most often under the cheap old cover of “helping children”. Nancy Pelosi and her sisters have been running their scam for a VERY long time, so long that it’s now all automatic, just unthinking reflex motion that doesn’t have to make sense to anyone. “Give me what I want, or I’ll wave my magic staff and turn you into a statue of salt!” (These are professional world-class greedy takers, who contribute nothing to “us”, in the halls of Congress.)
Footnote #3: Know Your Target Audience: During the first years of the 21st century, there was on TV a very widely distributed commercial selling some “male enhancement” drug. For at least a year it seemed ubiquitous. The commercial began with an attractive woman speaking conversationally to the close camera and asking, “Wanna know a secret?” And, without one second of delay, she continued, “My man has ED.” (I quickly discovered that “ED” was shorthand for “erectile dysfunction”, which apparently everyone but me already knew.) The first time I saw that commercial it sent chills up my spine, and it continued to bother me until it was finally pulled off the air after at least a million airings. If the intention of the attractive woman was to sell the product to men, she was scaring them all off in the first two seconds. Here she was blurting out to the whole world an intimate fact, a “secret”, about “her man” – that the guy was impotent (a difficult and sensitive affliction that now inexplicably affects over one in four American men, often with severe physical and psychological consequences. No, the drug doesn’t cure the problem; it just hides it. (With perpetually whining women sucking up 95% of all health and medical dollars in sight, cancers afflicting men are best “treated” with axle grease and duct tape.)
Is nothing sacred? No wonder men are reluctant to share intimate information with women. This ad was achieving the exact opposite result with its intended target market. No man would have created such an ad. Could women marketing “experts” be that off-base with their understanding of their market? Spending that much corporate money on marketing, this was not likely. In that world, time is measured in seconds. The average cost of producing a 30-second national TV commercial is about $350,000, and then you have to buy the air time whenever you want to run the ad. That figures out to $11,500 per second production costs plus millions more for the air time (at about $110,500 per 30-second prime-time slot). That’s Really Big Bucks. (If you’re buying air time during the Super Bowl or similar event, you can at least triple your estimates.) No corporate entity would ever spend that much money without knowing exactly what it was doing.
So eventually I decided that (1) the ad was indeed constructed by women marketing experts, and (2) the actual target market was NOT men, but women. The woman in the ad was encouraging other women to buy the drug for their trained monkey mates, their warm-blooded dumb dildos. She didn’t care one bit what “men” thought. Neither did the corporation.
Try to imagine the unending firestorm that would have taken place among women if the genders here were reversed, if this drug, intended solely to hide a medical affliction, was designed for women. This is the definition of sexist bigotry – with impunity.
“Equal rights”, “all men created equal”, “equal under the law”….. After a while you begin to understand that American women have managed to use propaganda to turn it all to self-serving bullshit, by inventing a million rights for themselves while conveniently leaving all the responsibility parts for those dumb male dildos.
(Still, never ever tell a woman ANYTHING that you don’t want broadcast to the world; their version of “trust” only works one-way – their way.)
Footnote #4: State Department: “The mission of American public diplomacy is to support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world. The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs leads America’s public diplomacy outreach, which includes communications with international audiences, cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to confront ideological support for terrorism. The Under Secretary oversees the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs and International Information Programs, and participates in foreign policy development.”
This is the exact same mission that politicians decided should not be trusted to military experts who actually knew the target audiences. Not surprisingly, State’s efforts, especially under a succession of affirmative action women secretaries like Hillary Clinton, have been a colossal failure. And this is why State was handed all that extra money and all those extra spaces at the end of the “Cold” War? How many dead soldiers paid the price to inflate the egos and résumés of affirmative action women?
Footnote #5. Freedom Of The Press. Any government effort to restrict the freedom of the press right guaranteed by the US Constitution’s First Amendment is the first major step toward enslavement of the People. Further, the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2010 requires the US Department of State to expand its scrutiny of foreign news media intimidation and freedom of the press restrictions during its annual report on human rights in each country. Signed into law by President Obama, the act amends the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act to highlight foreign governments that seek to intimidate or silence any media opposition. It requires the State Department to identify countries in which there are violations of press freedom, determine whether the government authorities of those countries participate in, facilitate, or condone the violations, and report such actions to preserve the safety and independence of the news media.
But it’s all pretty much a case of the kettle calling the pot black.
Reporters Without Borders’ annual ranking of each country’s press freedom has consistently rated Finland in first place and the US around 40th place, behind such countries as the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Canada, Poland and Uruguay. (Mexico comes in around in 150th place, behind such countries as Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Russia and Turkey.) And the ranking didn’t even consider the incessant propaganda inserted into the American press by social interest groups, and most especially those representing women. As anyone in positions of power, from Beijing to Washington, knows, it is very irritating to have the news media highlight your mistakes and abuses of power, and the first instinct is to silence that criticism, by any means possible, even in America. What’s special about the American press, and a factor not even considered by this 2010 law, is the fact that a great deal of what appears in the American news media is pre-censored and purposefully slanted by self-serving special interest lobbies and their agents. Government doesn’t have to play much of a role in this censorship at all. After a half century, it’s permanently built in. “I only want MY truth!”
Free Fire. “Entertainment” is another form of propaganda. Just consider all those Hollywood “comedy” and “pervert” movies and TV shows. These inane shrines to twisted humanity show up several times every week, primarily because audiences love them. Like romance movies (“chick-flicks”) they are really cheap money machines. They feed what people want to believe about others, reinforce what people believe about themselves. “I am much smarter, and a blameless victim, too!” Of course, since everyone else has a special interest lobby to protect the image of their group, the only free-fire targets left have for decades been white heterosexual males. After fifty years of this incessant stuff, everyone knows that these white heterosexual guys are all raging morons and perverted animals. (I’ve lived with it my whole long life, since I was about ten, so now I’m made of forged steel; you can beat on me all day long and on into morning, and I probably wouldn’t even notice it.) So what happens to their sons? Guess. It’s another case of stupidity begetting greater stupidity. And no group excels at stupidity today more than do white heterosexual males. These guys have literally redefined the word, and, much to the delight of everyone else, their sons are determined to out-do their fathers in stupidity and perversity. Once the one group that set the standards, the one group most admired throughout the world, today there are no standards. American society has become literally a race to the bottom. “I can rationalize anything!” “As a woman child development expert, I can make a very good living out of studying all these creeps who created themselves! It’s “science”!” “I’m a white guy; I can be more stupid than he can. Just watch me!” It’s small wonder why all those bright and better-schooled immigrants can now walk in and assume leadership roles at or near the top almost immediately. There are few things more disconcerting to a guy like me than listening to a recent arrival in America with a very thick “Third World” accent speak with authority to 310 million “First World” people who comprise the “Greatest Nation On Earth” about what’s wrong with what they’re doing, and what needs to be done to fix it – and know that they’re correct. Boy, how “far” we’ve come…
“Dumb” and “dumber”, creating, re-creating, and out-doing, itself, to the bottom.