Propaganda 102: Holly Would and the Power of Images

by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

Graphic art such as posters, paintings and film can be and often are considered works of art. Can propaganda using these mediums be considered art? Propaganda posters are considered art by many and in the design industry “propaganda” is considered a style all its own. Consider these examples and decide if you think they constitute art as well as propaganda.

Join the Turley Force as we discuss yet another facet of propaganda!

This means you!

“We Can Do It!” a.k.a. “Rosie the Riveter” is one of the best known iconic images in American culture.

As the last instalment in this series discussed, not all propaganda is verbal. Some propaganda images have become iconic parts of our culture. Rosie the Riveter is a perfect example of an image created as propaganda that has moved on to become something else altogether in our cultural subconscious. Images, like words, have both denotative and connotative value. The imagery, iconography and symbolism of the subject matter can influence your thinking on a subject as surely as words do and such choices as color, composition and fonts can have an even subtler but equally profound psychological effect on the viewer.

World War I and World War II were pinnacles in the use of the propaganda poster. Most of these examples come from American, British and Russian propaganda from those eras. One of the first thing that becomes apparent when studying the history of propaganda in this medium is that there are thematic commonalities.  Join the military (as the gallery at the beginning of this article illustrates), support the troops/bring them home, commemoration of a date or event, buy war bonds, careful to who you talk to and what about, strength through unity, save materials for use in the war effort, the soldiers are protecting you and/or threatened, the bad guys are really bad (possibly even sub-human).  This is not an all inclusive list of themes to be certain, but the following galleries contain examples of propaganda posters grouped by like theme. Some of them are graphically appealing in their design on a purely aesthetic level. Some of them are direct. Some are appeals to emotion. Some are appeals to nationalism. Some work to define “the Other”. They all carry a message.

Commemorative Messages:

Buy War Bonds:

Be Careful What You Say And Who You Talk To:

Save Materials:

Produce To Support The Troops:

These Are Really Bad Guys:

Does the fact that they carry a message negate their artistic merit? If you answered yes, consider the last instalment of this series on architecture as propaganda and ask yourself that question again.  Does the propaganda power of the Great Pyramid or Abu Simbel automatically negate their artistic merit? I think the only reasonable answer is no. Both are not only amazing works of architecture, but artfully done as well. Now ask yourself does the content of the message matter in your evaluation? Does remoteness in time change your willingness to see propaganda as art? Consider these examples of Nazi propaganda posters.

Can you consider these works on artistic merit or does the message – and its attendant closeness in time – prevent you?

What if a noted and famous artist produced a propaganda painting?  Is that art simply because of the creator’s bona fides in the art world?  Consider the work of famous American painter Thomas Hart Benton.  Titled “The Sowers”, it is part of an eight piece series of paintings Benton did in the 1940’s depicting the violence and barbarity of fascism. From 1942, it is the portrait of a brutish, monster-like man sowing not seeds, but skulls:

“The Sowers” by Thomas Hart Benton

To further demonstrate the style in and of itself, what about propaganda posters designed as a tie-in to entertainment or as direct advertising?

Faux-Propaganda Posters for the (excellent) 2003-2008 television series “Battlestar Galactica”:

Candy Marches On!:

Personally, I’m a fan of Green . . .

Mass media changed the face of propaganda.  Mass produced newspapers, film, radio, television and the Internet all changed the way those with a message they wanted to sell and opinions they wanted to shape went about their mission.  In America, some would say in the world, there is no greater producer of media than Hollywood.  New York places a strong second, but their speciality since the early days of the industry has been television. In a way, film and television – despite their more transitory nature than something like great works of architecture – have become our modern cultural monuments of choice.

Animation is the nexus of graphic arts and film and it has been used for propaganda both here and abroad.  A fair warning, these cartoons feature racist and/or dehumanizing characterizations about whatever “Other” they are trying to portray as the enemy. Although animation is not strictly for children, it holds a strong attraction for them, and these examples can be considered exemplary of one of the lowest tactics of propaganda – that which is aimed at children – and reflecting a maxim in propaganda that it is best to “catch them young”.

Bugs Bunny in Nip the Nips:

Daffy Duck in Daffy the Commando:

A Russian example with subtitles – The Millionaire:

A Nazi war propaganda cartoon aimed at the French to convince them that the Allies were attacking them as well:

Poster for the 1940 propaganda film “Jud Süß”

In cinema, it is no different. The history of film used officially as propaganda traces its roots to World War II. Before the war, Germany was a hub of European cinema. Exploiting this asset, the Nazis had the Ministry of Propaganda under the leadership of Joseph Goebbels driving the production of antisemitic films like “Jud Süß“, “Die Rothschilds” and “Der ewige Jude“.  In addition, the Third Reich was heavily involved in the production of the more nationalistic fare of films like Leni Riefenstahl‘s documentaries.  Of her two most famous works, one is considered the most famous propaganda film in history. “Triumph des Willens” or “Triumph of the Will” is about Hitler and the rise of the Nazi Party to power.  Her second most famous works are the pair of films known collectively as “Olympia” (“Olympia 1. Teil — Fest der Völker ” (Festival of Nations) and “Olympia 2. Teil — Fest der Schönheit” (Festival of Beauty)) that chronicle the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The Nazi co-opting of the German film industry had the not so surprising effect of driving out some of their top talent who fled to Hollywood, such as actress Hedy Lamarr (who also aided the Allied war effort in her role as an inventor – a very interesting and insanely beautiful woman) and directors such as Fritz Lang and Otto Preminger.

In the United States during World War II, we had the Office of Wartime Information (OWI). Despite the fact that the overall net effect of propaganda of World War I was negative with many Americans feeling the propaganda from the previous war was not only misinformation, but possibly human rights violations, the Roosevelt administration went forward with a full media blitz from posters to radio to cinema.  Some of the films were pure propaganda such as the series of films produced by Frank Capra at the behest of General George C. Marshall.  Called “Why We Fight”, the series consisted of seven films made from 1942 to 1945: “Prelude to War” (1942), “The Nazis Strike” (1943), “Divide and Conquer” (1943), “The Battle of Britain” (1943), “The Battle of Russia” (1943), “The Battle of China” (1944), and “War Comes to America” (1945). They made no pretence to be anything other than what they were – propaganda.

Poster for “Casablanca” – 1942.

Other films, however, worked in to the efforts of the OWI and were more commercial in nature. Did you know that “Casablanca” was propaganda? The hero of the film, Rick Blaine, is a man with an anti-fascist past who despite his personal misgivings and personal motivations to the contrary works to help his former lover and her freedom fighter husband escape the claws of the Nazis. The message is distinctly anti-Nazi and anti-fascism. That the film is art is practically without question as when you mention the very term “classic cinema” it is practically synonymous with “Casablanca”.  Other films of the period were similarly slanted in their messages and some, like he 1942 film “Mrs. Miniver” (which told the story of an English housewife during the Battle of Britain and urged the support for the war effort) were even rushed into release at Presidential request.  “The Purple Heart” (1944)  dramatized Japanese atrocities and the heroics of American flyers. “Hitler’s Children” (1943) told the story of an American girl declared German by the Nazi government and her trials and tribulations with the Hitler Youth. “Dive Bomber” (1941) tells the heroic story of a military surgeon working with a Navy flying ace to develop pressure suits to keep pilots from blacking out in steep dives. These are but a few of many such examples of commercial films made with directed political messages. Even after World War II, the Hollywood/Washington propaganda nexus is alive and well.

The tail-end of Red Scare of the McCarthy era and the burgeoning Cold War brought us the rather unusual movie “Zots!” (1962).  “Zots!” tells the story of a language professor who comes into possession of an ancient magic coin that gives him the power to inflict pain, slow down time or kill. In no time at all, Communist spies are out to get him and steal the coin for their own nefarious purposes. Directed by scholck-meister William Castle – best known for his cheesy horror films, “Zotz!” most certainly is a film, but it is so bad I don’t think anyone would mistake it for art.  But anti-Communist propaganda? Without a doubt. The 1960’s and early 1970’s brought the United States the very unpopular Viet Nam War. It also brought us films like the highly unrealistic and jingoistic John Wayne fare, “The Green Berets” (1968). Today we are again involved in an unpopular war and again we have pro-war propaganda from Hollywood in the form of 2112’s “Act of Valor” where an elite team of Navy SEALs embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent. Have you seen a commercial for this film? They are very proud of the fact that it stars not actors, but active duty Navy SEALs. Propaganda at its finest (?).

Television is no better. Much of what passes for entertainment is either direct propaganda or has propagandistic elements. Consider “Dragnet” – possibly the original pro-police propaganda program.  A more modern example? Consider the show “NCIS” and its spin-off “NCIS: Los Angeles”, all of the programming on the Military History channel, and the consequential commercial advertising that supports most networks persuading you to buy things you may or most likely do not need. On most networks you are guaranteed at least twenty minutes out of every hour being devoted to persuade your or change your mind based on the interests of those who may or may not have your best interests at heart. I would say that as Americans you are awash in a sea of never ending propaganda, but the reality of the matter is that mass media has become a practically unavoidable global phenomena. Where mass media goes, propaganda surely follows. It is up to you to think for yourself and not succumb to the subliminal and overt efforts of others to think for you. That doesn’t mean you have to live in a cave. That means you have to consider what you see dispassionately even if it is something you enjoy or that entertains you in some way.

Can propaganda be considered art? I think that some of it most certainly can be, but that it is part and parcel of the idea of persuasion to make the idea being presented attractive. It is not art though merely because it is pretty. Something about it must transcend both the intentional message and the method of presentation to reach something universally human to truly be art.  The perfect example of this is “Casablanca”. Enjoy it. I know I certainly do. However, I also keep in the back of my mind that it is a form of propaganda. Being aware of and asking the right questions about propaganda is the first step in protecting yourself from its undue influence.

Can propaganda be considered art?

Does intent of the speaker color the artistic merit of the piece?

Does remoteness in time affect the relationship of message to artistic merit?

What do you think?

As a reminder: when carrying on the fight to make sure you understand when propaganda is being used to manipulate you, be vigilant, thoughtful and emotionally detached when considering whether something is or isn’t propaganda. And above all . . .

The first line of defense against propaganda is you!

__________________________

Disclaimer: All images used are either public domain or copyright of their respective copyright holder, used without permission and used for not-for-profit educational/illustrative purposes.

~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

The Propaganda Series;

Propaganda 105: How to Spot a Liar

Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Streisand Effect and the Political Question

Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Sound of Silence

Propaganda 104: Magica Verba Est Scientia Et Ars Es

Propaganda 103: The Word Changes, The Word Remains The Same

Propaganda 102 Supplemental: Holly Would “Zero Dark Thirty”

Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Child’s Play

Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Build It And They Will Come (Around)

Propaganda 101: What You Need to Know and Why or . . .

Related articles of interest;

Mythology and the New Feudalism by Mike Spindell

How about Some Government Propaganda for the People Paid for by the People Being Propagandized? by Elaine Magliaro

 

195 thoughts on “Propaganda 102: Holly Would and the Power of Images

  1. Gene, you have outdone yourself. This is a great post and must have been a huge amount of work to round up all those images. I agree with rafflaw as well. Some of the propaganda art is so timeless it has become iconic. Some art which was motivational at the time is now looked on with embarrassment due to racism that was not obvious to us who saw it when it first appeared. Some of it was so powerful that it became part of our personality. For example, having lived through WW-II, I refuse to buy any product with a Mitsubishi marque on it. I just won’t, and I know many of my generation who react the same way.

  2. Thanks, guys. OS, if you only knew, lol.

    I had to do my research twice because one of my computers died a horrid but unceremonious death last week (of course, all the research for this post was on it) and then I had to manhandle WordPress to get the images to display the way I wanted (let’s just say I thought of a couple of new features they need to their next update). Between that and Father’s Day stuff, that’s why this was so late getting posted.

  3. Fabulous piece of work!

    Perhaps it is not only important to calmly consider whether the image is propaganda or not, perhaps it is also important to look at the image, and if it is propaganda, to try to figure out what thousand words the picture is supposed to make you say to yourself (and others).

  4. I actually remember when I first saw the poster about the Doolittle Raider crew being executed. People were enraged, and I remember how angry it made me. I watched a multi-part series on Jimmy Doolittle and the Raiders just a few days ago. I found the anger welling up again when they told the part about the arbitrary execution of captured crew members. By way of full disclosure, I have a painting of the Doolittle Raiders autographed by Jimmy Doolittle himself — in pencil. It hangs over my desk in my office.

    Rhetorical question: The propaganda poster proclaims, “We’ll pay you back, TOJO.” Is it propaganda when the promise is followed up with the promised action? Prime Minister Tojo was hanged on December 23, 1948.

  5. Gene, you mention being tied up today with Father’s Day stuff. You have never mentioned if your dad was still with us. Hope so. I surely miss my father.

    Speaking of mixing Father’s Day and propaganda, here is a comment I posted in one of the Daily Kos community diaries this morning. Father’s Day has not been the same for me since 2007.

    http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1098974/46464061#c86

  6. OS,

    Yeah, he’s still here. Thanks for asking. We went out for lunch yesterday and spent all day today together doing what he wanted: watching classic car auctions on TV at my house (he likes my TV better :mrgreen:).

  7. Where’s the image of George Bush the first telling us all to buy some socks to jump start the economy?

    And where’s the image of George Bush the second telling us to go to Disneyland while we bomb Afghanistan and invade Iraq?

    Shit, what great times we live in.

  8. Gene,
    Been thinking about that Eric Bogle song I linked to. Some of the most powerful propaganda has been music. Folk singers like Bogle have not cornered the market, but are right up there with the best. Eric Bogle has written at least three of the most powerful anti-war songs ever written:

    Green Fields of France
    The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
    My Youngest Son Came Home Today

    We certainly cannot forget the likes of Woody Guthrie, The Weavers, and the writers of countless labor songs. Of course, that poem by Francis Scott Key comes under that heading as well.

    This song and video is one of the most powerful I have ever seen. The Minstrel Boy was piped at the memorial service for one of my grandfathers at the National Cemetery.

    Maybe one of your future offerings will cover music.

  9. Excellent article. I love poster art and propaganda posters (and graphic art in general) so this article was a delight.

    To the question though: If the image has merit as art using it for propaganda generally doesn’t diminish it. Graphic Art has a different purpose though, the image is meant to convey or reinforce a particular pov. It should be (as a teacher once stated about billboards) understandable while passing it at 60mph. It should also make you want to buy the product. The image should convey the message even if you don’t have time to read the blurbs.

    The visual language is one of excess and exaggeration while being abstract regarding editing, remove everything that doesn’t advance the almost subconscious understanding of the message. A good piece of traditional poster art is also (or can be) a good piece of abstract art.

    Thanks for including the Benton piece, I am a fan of his work. He did a series on the war, he thought it was his duty. They are being shown together until August at the UM campus in Columbia MO:

    http://mizzouwire.missouri.edu/stories/2012/year-of-peril/index.php

  10. Gene, Great job!

    Great art comes in many forms as you point out. I wouldn’t consider some of them as good art. Others are excellent. The best art evokes an emotional reaction, ideally, what the artist intended. With propaganda, my emotional reaction frequently is not what the artist intended. I think I feel the manipulation and I resent it. However, that’s still a sign that the art is successful – it’s evoking an emotional response.

    While each of the examples you have given are effective in getting out the message, the one I like the best is WWII American Save office supplies. I like the subtlety of the graphic.

    Interesting that your examples all seem to be government sponsored. There is another genre that includes anti-oppression, anti-war, etc. I had some examples on an old computer that died some time ago. I’ll see if I can find some of them on-line, maybe tomorrow.

    This reminds me, I have an anti-war bit that I need to start working on.

  11. Sorry, meant to say what inartistic times we live in.

    Where are the visual allegories of the last twenty years; the ones that make us all come together and support bombing the shit out of one of the poorest countries in the world for more than a decade.

    We obviously need more visual artists if we are to keep pace with the past.

  12. A most impressive post.

    This evening Tex and I watched Act of Valor with full knowledge of its propagandic intent. I’m sorry but the scene with those guys in the river, silently swimming, their heads rising out of the water and then disappearing again was damn scary. I found the manner in which they treated “interrogation” to be very interesting. Propaganda on many different levels.

    When you ask the 3 questions:

    “Can propaganda be considered art?

    Does intent of the speaker color the artistic merit of the piece?

    Does remoteness in time affect the relationship of message to artistic merit?”

    I have to consider the one form of propaganda in art (visual) that you did not mention … religious art.

    My answer to all 3 questions is “yes”.

  13. LK/bettykath,

    Thanks. LK, if you like Benton and you get to the KC area some time, they have an excellent installation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It’s an outstanding museum and far above the quality you’d expect in a city the size of Kansas City. I’ve been there many times. Next to BBQ, it’s my favorite thing about KC. It’s not too surprising they have some Benton though. He was a Neosho boy after all.

    gbk,

    I plan on at some point doing and installment on propaganda within the context recent American history – probably one focusing on military matters and one on politics.

    OS,

    I had not planned on doing an installment on music, but you’ve certainly got me considering it. You are right to point to its long history as propaganda in the forms of everything from martial music to folk music to pop music. The problem I see though is thematic (pardon the pun) because of the decentralized nature of how music is made. Aside from martial music and perhaps music for film scores, I doubt there is any real request or organization on the government’s end of things. A great many songs I suspect are nationalistic, patriotic or jingoistic (depending on your view point) as dictated by the feelings and intent of songwriters themselves. But I will certainly look in to the matter.

  14. Blouise,

    I have been mulling an installment on religion and propaganda, but I haven’t settled on an approach to it yet that I think will yield the maximum critical discussion while minimizing the number of zealots coming out of the woodwork.

  15. “I have been mulling an installment on religion and propaganda, but I haven’t settled on an approach to it yet . . .”

    Approach with caution as religion is vested and unquestioned propaganda while propaganda that survives, for whatever reasons, can approach religious belief. This is the gordion knot of human cultural existence.

    I would truly enjoy reading your thoughts on this subject.

  16. Gene,

    It’s a huge subject from the Pope being painted as larger than the Cardinals in a group scene to Christ as the Shepard to Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” and, of course, all the varying Madonnas …. symbolism and propaganda running amok down through the ages.

    By the way … would Hollywood have given Bush an “Act of Valor” movie? Yep, I’m suggesting a purposeful political propaganda message also behind the production.

  17. “gbk,

    I plan on at some point doing and installment on propaganda within the context recent American history – probably one focusing on military matters and one on politics.” (Gene)

    Then, in my humble opinion (which we all know ain’t so humble), you have to get the groundwork on religion laid first. Then you can bring it all home to the context of recent American history. Military and politics without the color of religion is god damned un-Americana!

  18. Blouise,

    Without a doubt “Act of Valor” is propaganda as simply using active duty personnel (not to mention equipment, locales, etc.) would require massive cooperation from the military. What is interesting, but I just didn’t have a way to work it in to the article, was I read that the Pentagon (although they cooperate in the production of a large number of films such as “Top Gun” and “The Hunt for Red October”) refused to cooperate with the production of “The Avengers” (specifically a scenes involving F-22 Raptors). Apparently they could not figure out where “S.H.I.E.L.D.” fit in the command structure and that “bothered” them.

  19. Gene,

    Yes, but a lot of the money came from the “Hollywood” types and they would never have spent it on someone like Bush. “Act of Valor” is, in my opinion, part of the re-elect Obama strategy and very well done in that it is subtle.

  20. “Then, in my humble opinion (which we all know ain’t so humble), you have to get the groundwork on religion laid first.”

    So true; not the humble part, but the which comes first part.

  21. “You can buy North Korean propaganda posters from Cafepress, and North Korea gets the profits.”

    A german shepherd would notice this.

  22. bettykath,
    When I mentioned The Weavers, I had Pete Seeger in mind. Did you know he was an original member of The Weavers?

    The most daunting part of writing a story about music as propaganda art is the sheer volume of it. Every war and every country has its own patriotic songs, just as every war has its own anti-war songs.

    Some great songs came out of the labor movement, one of my favorites being from England, Pound a Week Rise (which means getting a pound a week raise). The most intense version is by Neil Anderson and Rathkeltair. The song was written by Ed Pickford when he was still a teenager. Ed was arrested for performing the song in public.

  23. Can propaganda be considered art?

    Does intent of the speaker color the artistic merit of the piece?

    Does remoteness in time affect the relationship of message to artistic merit?

    What do you think?
    ===========================================
    Very informative post Gene.

    I hesitate to conflate propaganda and art.

    It is like asking considering war to be an art, which is not only propaganda itself, but is the foundation of current American War College dogma.

    It seems to me to be more clear to say that propaganda is promulgated or catapulted as Bush II said, by many formats.

    Art is but one format used to spread propaganda, and it is done in the form of painting, poetry, novels, revisionist history, music, and the rest.

    “It sends a message” is more akin to the format, while “the message” being sent is where the propaganda is.

    For example a soundtrack with a message can be sent via TV, CD, radio, theatrical script, poem, or a novel

    Propaganda is in the message, not the medium.

    I consider most propaganda to be simply deceit of various degrees, from mild to hard core.

  24. Wow Gene, that was an awesome post, and certainly the most scholarly I have seen on this blog.

    As for the questions: I think the founders made a mistake in being so specific about speech being free, I think any form of communication of ideas, opinions, emotions, or state of mind should be free. I really think the core concept is that no matter how negative the emotional reaction to a message might be, we shall not consider that to be harm, the freedom to express oneself trumps any offense taken to that expression. I think that was the intent, and I agree with that intent.

    I would put more constraints on government and corporations, but I am not sure precisely how to word those constraints. Something to make them stick to their knitting: government communications should be about the goals of government as determined by the people; corporate communications should be about the commercial goals of the corporation and nothing else (not politics, or social policy, or foreign policy, or taxation, or any other law).

    So if the country has decided to go to war, then advertising for recruits, to sell war bonds, to conserve food or fuel, to recruit women to factory work, those are all (to me) legitimate advertising. Racism and other forms of bigotry seem out of bounds to me for the government, for the same reason racism and bigotry in the law is out of bounds.

    I put very few restrictions on free expression, only to the truly dangerous expressions of knowledge or recipes quite likely to get somebody (or millions of somebodies) killed. Simple emotional reactions like being offended, insulted or disgusted by an expression is never enough for me to think it should be outlawed. I think that is the price we pay for the right to speak our own mind without censorship.

  25. The social environment is also important to propagandists, because certain social environments are more conducive to propaganda than others are.

    For example, the environment of this blog would not be as toxic to some episodes of propaganda, but would be quite toxic to other episodes of propaganda.

    To give a 1-10 scale of environments, the perfect 10 is war:

    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because [war] comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.“).

    (Greatest Source …). Madison’s phrase “means of seducing the minds” is an obvious reference to propaganda.

    The lowest on the scale for propaganda environments is the energetic free academic environment, where the intents and purposes of propaganda efforts are placed under a powerful microscope, then analyzed from every angle.

    One lingering effect of U.S. propaganda on the U.S. populace is the belief, akin to Orwell’s “war is peace”, that the military protects and creates our freedom.

    That notion really is still with us because we hear from the military propaganda engines that war is what created our freedoms, even though our founders said the opposite.

    The statesmen said war is an extinguisher of our freedoms.

    The increase of war over the past decade, concurrent with the loss of freedoms, is one indication of their foresight.

  26. @Dredd: we hear from the military propaganda engines that war is what created our freedoms, even though our founders said the opposite.

    If the founders said that then they were dissembling, in fact they were engaging in propaganda. Our freedoms would not exist without the American Revolution. It is not propaganda to assert the truth, war was a necessity to separate ourselves from a subjugating authority. Although physical distance might do that (and helped in our case), force or a credible threat of force is often required to achieve freedom, both on the personal scale (e.g. a woman escaping an abusive husband) or the national scale of a territory achieving independence.

    War did create our freedoms, it is what made us free to define our own rights and form of government.

    And anybody that thinks we could dismantle the military in its entirety (and all our militias and any other threat of organized retaliation) and retain our freedom is just delusional, we would be overrun by every brutally murderous looting tin pot despot in no time.

    The military DOES protect our freedom, claims to the contrary are simply ludicrous.

    If anything, the founders warn that any power is amoral and can be used for good or evil. The military is a weapon necessary to protect our freedom, and it is being misused right now, but that misuse does not preclude the necessity of a military. The fact that a hammer can be used as a murder weapon does not mean we should do away with hammers; by that logic we would also be required to do away with fire, knives, rocks, sticks, hands and feet.

    The founders were not infallible and not every quotation or assertion holds up to scrutiny. If you are looking for blind faith in the words of any historical figure, this is not the blog for you.

  27. @Dredd: we hear from the military propaganda engines that war is what created our freedoms, even though our founders said the opposite.

    If the founders said that then they were dissembling, in fact they were engaging in propaganda. Our freedoms would not exist without the American Revolution. It is not propaganda to assert the truth, war was a necessity to separate ourselves from a subjugating authority.
    ================================================
    Tony, that is a classic example of revisionist history.

    India declared its independence from England and no war ensued. They are the largest democracy now, population wise.

    Likewise, the U.S. declared its independence from England, but a war ensued.

    That war did not create the freedoms, otherwise the warmonger nations would have the most freedom.

    Germany has created much more freedoms for itself since it stopped imperialistic warmongering.

    The U.S.A. has lost more freedoms since it began imperialistic warmongering recently.

    The nation now increasingly suffers from social dementia since it began the secular war religion, mixed here and there with theistic religion.

    Madison was spot on when he said “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because [war] comprises and develops the germ of every other [enemy of public liberty]”, culminating his declaration with “Those truths are well established.”

    Those truths are no longer well established in this nation, so public liberty is also less and less well established.

  28. Gene,

    An excellent conclusion to an excellent trilogy. You should consider expanding this into a book, because I’m certain it would be an important book. As to your central question vis-a-vis art and propaganda, my feeling is that almost all art is propaganda of one sort or another. This would include Warhol’s “Campbell Soup Can”. The artist is trying to portray how they see the world and in the process advocating for their vision. As you pointed out in your 2nd article, architecture has been propaganda for thousands of years. In that same vein so was sculpture.

    Your contribution with this series has been to let us understand the sensory inputs we sometimes absorb unconsciously in the world around us. I learned for instance to view TV critically listening to my Father’s caustic comments about commercials, TV shows and even sports broadcasting. He awakened me to critically viewing propaganda efforts I would normally absorb if I didn’t appraise their meaning and intent. Critical thought/viewing is a skill we should be taught in school, but alas almost all schools prefer absorption by rote.

  29. Yep…. Propaganda….we don’t all know it when we see it….but it’s still there…. Or here….

  30. @Dredd: On the contrary, yours is revisionist history.

    You are apparently claiming we could have won independence simply by declaring it. Well we tried that, we called it the “Declaration of Independence,” and that declaration was contested by the King that owned (by the law of the day) the land we were trying to seize for ourselves.

    If we had not met the King’s force with force, we would not be free as we are today, we would have remained subjects of Britain.

    As for India, their independence was a direct result of war too, it was the fallout of WW II, and the effective end of the British Empire. After WW II, Britain had to grant most of its territories independence, it had no strength left to keep them.

    Your reasoning is extremist and flawed. The military is a tool, war is a tool, and tools can be used for good or evil. I do not argue against the notion that war is being misused and being used as an excuse to infringe upon our rights, that is an example of misusing a tool for evil ends. In our case, the evil ends are the psychopathic profit motives of Exxon and friends.

    But the idea that wars are inherently evil is ludicrous, we would not be able to even discuss that notion if it weren’t for wars being fought for just cause.

  31. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 9:59 am

    @Dredd:

    War did create our freedoms, it is what made us free to define our own rights and form of government.
    ===============================
    “We” were originally the 13 colonies with a weak federal government, state rights, and the like.

    Those 13 colonies, now states, comprise the first 169 years of our history, from 1607 to 1776, when finally the Declaration of Independence was issued.

    At that time and the 17 decades before that, much had been done:

    Benjamin Franklin, in 1772, after examining the wretched hovels in Scotland surrounding the opulent mansions of the land owners, said that in New England “every man” is a property owner, “has a Vote in public Affairs, lives in a tidy, warm House, has plenty of good Food and Fuel, with whole clothes from Head to Foot, the Manufacture perhaps of his own family.”

    (Wikipedia, Thirteen Colonies). One hundred sixty nine years of ongoing prosperity in primitive America, with no war to use by warmongers to make the false claim of war producing a free society.

    That success was not all the freedom that the founders wanted. The federalist papers reveal that they wanted some improvements.

    So, a while later they created a “Declaration of …”

    That declaration was not a Declaration of War, it was a Declaration of Independence.

    It created independence, like the declaration of independence in India did, before any war.

    Once that independence was created both in America and in India, no one in either place had to invade England to produce their freedoms.

    India and America wrote their constitutions to do that.

    You also said:

    And anybody that thinks we could dismantle the military in its entirety (and all our militias and any other threat of organized retaliation) and retain our freedom is just delusional, we would be overrun by every brutally murderous looting tin pot despot in no time.

    The military DOES protect our freedom, claims to the contrary are simply ludicrous.

    Straw man mixed with more revisionist history, and a denial of current reality to boot.

    You seem to be willfully ignorant of the fact that the military has not attacked Saudi Arabia for their participation in 9/11:

    It is a crime for members of the government to cover up Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11 because of our addiction to oil:

    The MSNBC videos at the bottom of this post contain, first, discussions of the case between Chris Matthews of Hardball, ex-CIA agent Baer, and NY Times investigative reporter Lichtblau.

    They discuss the sworn testimony of two U.S. Senators, one of whom was a commissioner on the 9/11 Commission, the other was the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee overseeing the 9/11 issues.

    Chris Matthews asks CIA agent Baer why the U.S. government did not go after Saudi Arabia back then, and why they still are not doing so now.

    Agent Baer replied that it is because we needed Saudi Arabia to be on our side in the Iraq war then, they had big oil then, and still have big oil now.

    (Fighting Terrorism For 200 Years – 2). What is wrong with this picture that brought a war against cavemen in Afghanistan, another war against an uninvolved country, all the while letting a guilty country get away with it?

    (Fighting Terrorism For 200 Years – 3). List the freedoms produced by falsely claiming Iraq did 9/11 and had WMD they were going to use on us, then invading that nation which had nothing to do with 9/11?

    List the freedoms produced by not invading Saudi Arabia for doing 79% of 9/11.

  32. bettykath,
    When I mentioned The Weavers, I had Pete Seeger in mind. Did you know he was an original member of The Weavers?
    ———————————–
    Yes. Did you know he left The Weavers b/c the others agreed to promote cigarettes? He thought it was selling out and he wouldn’t do it. When he was brought before McCarthy, et al, he steadfastly refused to name others in any way. He agreed to talk about his music but not other people. They only wanted names. His career was forced to take other paths. During the Viet Nam war he wrote the Big Muddy and Bring Them Home.

    I think there is plenty of material for artistic antidotes to government propaganda.

  33. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 9:59 am

    @Dredd:
    The founders were not infallible and not every quotation or assertion holds up to scrutiny. If you are looking for blind faith in the words of any historical figure, this is not the blog for you.
    ===================================
    I quoted only one founding father in the comment you responded to.

    He wrote the Bill of Rights, is called “The Father of the Constitution”, was a cabinet member, a member of congress, and was the 4th President of the United States.

    If you have any specific critique of him, other than your abstract and useless “blind faith”, “not infallible”, “every quotation or assertion”, and “this blog is not for you”, then you would be saying something, possibly even something meaningful.

  34. Gene H.@ Blouise

    “I have been mulling an installment on religion and propaganda, but I haven’t settled on an approach to it yet that I think will yield the maximum critical discussion while minimizing the number of zealots coming out of the woodwork.”

    We can’t use logic (and caustic, savage sarcasm) to accost said zealots if they’re all in hiding! Bring em on!

    Tony C. @ 9:59 am

    What you said!

  35. Mike Spindell 1, June 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Gene,

    An excellent conclusion to an excellent trilogy. You should consider expanding this into a book, because I’m certain it would be an important book. As to your central question vis-a-vis art and propaganda, my feeling is that almost all art is propaganda
    ================================
    That unique phrase, in this stream of comments, caught my eye.

    Are you aware of the book by George Orwell:

    But since this is Orwell, the book takes on a range of subjects with gusto: power and bully worship

    (All Art Is Propaganda, Orwell, Amazon books). That quote is from a professinal review of his book.

    Bully worship is a great description of the secular religion that at least one commenter on this blog glaringly reveals.

    Bullies are the authoritarians (A) that the sub-authoritarians (B) worship in this “secular religion” dominated exclusively via propaganda.

  36. Gene this is excellent….(haven’t read all the responses yet…) but i second what Mike S. said (and Lottakatz…)…consider a book! This is not just really good research it is timely information….

    As to the questions you asked, my first response is that ‘Art’ is in the eyes of the beholder….Great art elicits a response in the viewer, a response that says more about the viewer than the art itself….Good art elicits a response that is a shoring up of the ‘piece’ itself…..Propaganda is Art that elicits a specific and desired response…but it’s all still art….

  37. Consider the Bully Pulpit as a description of the pulpit of one of the most popular secular religions in current U.S. culture.

    George Orwell wrote about it in prescient prose:

    A liberal intelligentsia is lacking. Bully-worship, under various disguises, has become a universal religion, and such truisms as that a machine-gun is still a machine-gun even when a “good” man is squeezing the trigger … have turned into heresies which it is actually becoming dangerous to utter.

    (Wikipedia, George Orwell). His work is not propaganda, it is counter-propaganda, in the sense that the state has no innate right to propagandize the public.

    Don’t we realize that state propaganda is vastly different from non-state propaganda?

    It is not a mystery how is all this hidden in plain sight:

    Bloggers responding to that thread mentioned that psyops are illegal if they are conducted on Americans (wink, wink – as if making bank robbery illegal stopped bank robbery).

    The Mainstream Media (MSM) has now come clean and said what we have been blogging for years:

    The Bush administration turned the U.S. military into a global propaganda machine while imposing tough restrictions on journalists seeking to give the public truthful reports about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Associated Press chief executive Tom Curley said Friday.

    Curley, speaking to journalists at the University of Kansas, said the news industry must immediately negotiate a new set of rules for covering war because “we are the only force out there to keep the government in check and to hold it accountable.”

    (Huffington Post, emphasis added). That begs the question “don’t we have rules that prevent the military from being a propaganda machine which uses the American press to promulgate its propaganda”?

    Our current national schizophrenia would produce the “answer” yes and no, which is what a past president warned us about.

    (Warriors Press For Propaganda). Bully worship is a religion all will deny, especially those who are evangelists within its inner sanctum.

  38. @Dredd: It created independence, like the declaration of independence in India did, before any war.

    What utter bullshit. No declaration of anything changes reality unless the declaration is accepted by the parties that control you. The Declaration of Independence was a threat, it was a notice to the King that we would no longer abide by his rule. It did not “create” independence, any more than the South became independent by declaring secession, or I could make my home independent of the USA by sending a letter to my state.

    No declaration creates independence unless it is accepted by others, and the only way OUR declaration was accepted was by the King’s implicit admission that he could not subdue us by force. Our independence did not occur by Declaration, the Declaration was a fair warning of our intent to fight, our Independence was actually not ours until it was won by force of arms.

    My comment on the military was not a straw man, it was the direct consequence of your claim and it was entirely cognizant of current reality. You claimed it is false that the military protects our freedoms; if that were true then no military would be necessary to protect our freedoms, and if there were no military of any kind to respond to invasion then I believe, as do most others in this country, that we would be invaded immediately. Which proves the utter foolishness of your claim that the military does not protect our freedom. It is not a straw man if it springs from your own argument.

  39. While thanks for the encouragement to write a book on this subject, who said anything about trilogy? I’m not Tolkien. I plan on doing one of these every other week until I get tired of the subject or a natural end point is reached. John Irving writes by starting with the last sentence and working to that. I don’t work that way. I’ve got at a minimum another three (although I may split one to make four) installments in mind and others under consideration. The project is in someways an exploration for me as well. For example, although I already knew I was going to do a column on images, it wasn’t until Darren Smith brought it up in public that I started thinking about architecture as image (I also happened to be concurrently reading a book about Frank Lloyd Wright) and the last installment of this series was born.

    Unless you’d rather I change the subject. :mrgreen:

    As I’ve discussed offline with OS already, I’ve kind of fundamentally changed the way I approach writing articles for this blog. With a finite number of topical stories to choose from each week (and as Nal noted, the Prof grabs many of the good ones himself), I’ve switched from that mode of story generation (although I’ll still do it from time to time as opportunity and appeal presents itself) to focus on topics that can be presented in a multi-part thematically linked manner that gives me both a broader choice in topics than restricting myself to current events and yet still allows for me to incorporate and/or otherwise address current events. A more “essayist” approach if you will. Judging by the generally positive response, I intend to keep writing this way unless the Prof tells me to stop, the masses rise up against me or I get crushed by a falling starlet, er, satellite. Or its time to feed the feline overlords, but really, how much time does that take? So I’m happy for the positive feedback, but there is indeed more to come.

    Don’t touch that dial!

  40. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    @Dredd: It created independence, like the declaration of independence in India did, before any war.

    What utter bullshit. No declaration of anything changes reality unless the declaration is accepted by the parties that control you. The Declaration of Independence was a threat, it was a notice to the King that we would no longer abide by his rule. It did not “create” independence, any more than the South became independent by declaring secession, or I could make my home independent of the USA by sending a letter to my state.

    No declaration creates independence unless it is accepted by others, and the only way OUR declaration was accepted was by the King’s implicit admission that he could not subdue us by force. Our independence did not occur by Declaration, the Declaration was a fair warning of our intent to fight, our Independence was actually not ours until it was won by force of arms.

    My comment on the military was not a straw man, it was the direct consequence of your claim and it was entirely cognizant of current reality. You claimed it is false that the military protects our freedoms; if that were true then no military would be necessary to protect our freedoms, and if there were no military of any kind to respond to invasion then I believe, as do most others in this country, that we would be invaded immediately. Which proves the utter foolishness of your claim that the military does not protect our freedom. It is not a straw man if it springs from your own argument.
    =====================================
    You are an evangelist for the bully religion Orwell exposed.

    I see that you are backing off from your statement that war creates freedoms.

    Now war only “protects” freedoms.

    You also have not responded to me where I put you to the proofs:

    List the freedoms produced by falsely claiming Iraq did 9/11 and had WMD they were going to use on us, then invading that nation which had nothing to do with 9/11?

    List the freedoms produced by not invading Saudi Arabia for doing 79% of 9/11.

    List, then, since you are in a state of backing off, what freedoms not invading Saudi Arabia for doing 9/11 has protected?

    The bully pulpit chose to invade an innocent weak nation Iraq, but leave alone the one that did it.

    I guess you are saying that whether or not a war is sensible, it will axiomatically create protect human or civil rights which comprise freedom?

    “Create” a response, do not “protect” your avoidance of what I said.

    War does not create freedoms, nor protect them, it endangers them, because war is the bully pulpit spreading its doctrine by force.

    The war you speak of is the one declared by England against the 13 colonies who were doing fine. Did that war give England its freedoms, or did laws and a constitution give England its freedoms?

    You keep leaving India out too.

    Bully worship is a social dementia.

  41. @Dredd: I see that you are backing off from your statement that war creates freedoms.

    ?? No, I believe that. The American Revolution won our freedom, Britain tried to kill us to suppress it, without the aid of France, Spain, and the Dutch as allies and opening up other fronts, Britain might well have succeeded, and we would not be free. The Brits finally surrendered the territory to us in the Treaty of Paris. We lost tens of thousands of men in battle first, so did they. Our liberty was paid for in blood, it was created by war.

    The rest of your post is a true straw man, I have already stated that war is being misused now, I think for profit motives, and not for securing or defending liberty. I have already stated that war is a tool that can be used for evil or for good, force in general is absolutely necessary to counter those willing to use force to subjugate, enslave, control and exploit others.

    I did not leave India out: Britain was decimated and weak, after WW II it knew it could not maintain its empire by force, and so instead it did the intelligent thing and negotiated independence for its territories that was still favorable to itself and its new post-war position in the world, so it would not be isolated in trade or overrun by further war that might kill it altogether.

    I guess you are saying that whether or not a war is sensible, it will axiomatically protect human or civil rights which comprise freedom?

    You are either an idiot or a liar.

    war is the bully pulpit spreading its doctrine by force.

    No it isn’t.

    The facts of life are that force works, crime works, murder works. It is possible to control people by force; the Southern slaves were captured from Africa by force, against their will, and were beaten until they died or worked for people that treated them as property. That wasn’t even “war,” it was just raw, brutal force. And it worked, the plantation owners grew rich, the slaves suffered in misery and for generations died without justice. Force works.

    The primary thing that stops force is force or the threat of it. It took the North to provide the force that stopped slavery in the South. Gandhi-style non-cooperation in the South by slaves resulted in brutality and death. Gandhi’s non-violent strategy did not work for India, either, until the Brits were nearly crushed by World War and had no energy left.

    You do not know what you are talking about, you do not know how to talk about it, you are an extremist thinker. Force and the threat of force is the only thing the psychopaths and sociopaths of the world understand. If you do not understand that, you live in a fantasy world, not the real world.

  42. You two have your own tangent going, but I will say this:

    Dredd, you are showing a lack of proper understanding of predation. Why does a predator take the easiest prey? Because they stand a lesser chance of injury (and often can expend less energy) in acquiring it. The only way to stop predators is to be able to muster enough active or passive force to make the prospective predatory transaction not worth their while.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled tangent . . .

  43. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    You two have your own tangent going, but I will say this:

    Dredd, you are showing a lack of proper understanding of predation. Why does a predator take the easiest prey? Because they stand a lesser chance of injury (and often can expend less energy) in acquiring it. The only way to stop predators is to be able to muster enough active or passive force to make the prospective predatory transaction not worth their while.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled tangent . . .
    ==============================================
    Are you speaking of the bully religion that Orwell wrote about, the one propaganda hides (whose words I quoted upthread)?

    I did not use the word predation nor predator.

    It sounds like advocating social Darwinism.

    Please clarify … it is your pulpit after all.

  44. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    @Dredd: I have already stated that war is being misused now, I think for profit motives, and not for securing or defending liberty.
    =====================================
    Ok, so only good wars create freedom, or protect freedom, or whatever.

    And of course, then, bad wars don’t do that.

    Damn, you were right all the time Tony C.

    So when do we invade Iran to create some more freedoms here in das homeland?

    The one “TRUE bully religion”, gotta luv it.

  45. Art is in the eye of the beholder. What’s art to an artist isn’t the same as what my great-aunt Agnes thought was art (which was Norman Rockwell).

    On a side-note. Another form of propaganda you could include are novelties and knickknacks. For example, such as racist Mammie cookie jars, boot-jacks that show an African-American woman with legs spread, or the plethora of knickknacks that portray African-Americans as apes and other racist stereotypes that were wildly sold during the antebellum and Jim Crow eras. Also, the numerous sexist knickknacks that are still manufactured that portray women in an objective way. The most recent appalling example I saw was a Hillary Clinton nut-cracker. I actually received a catalog in the mail during the 2008 election season that had this as their cover item. Talk about powerful imagery.

  46. @Gene: Yes, blatant lies irritate me. Sorry, I did not intend to hijack this thread to something else. I will let Dredd stew in his own ignorance.

    On your topic, I am not sure where to draw a line between “propaganda” and the dissemination of information. For example, is Rosie the Riveter really propaganda, or an appeal for young women to contribute to the war effort? Is the “Victory Garden” really propaganda, or just disseminating information about how home-grown food could relieve pressure on the food supply for troops?

    When I think of “propaganda” I think of it as a special class of tilted or flat out false messaging. I do not think it covers ALL messaging, it has to mean something more specific than that. The government wasn’t lying about the need for Rosie or food or gasoline conservation. Wikipedia references a NY Times article that says five million victory gardens supplied about 40% of all vegetables consumed in America, by the end of the war.

  47. Dredd,

    No, I’m not talking about bully worship as Orwell did except perhaps tangentially. However, ask of each and every thing what is it in itself? What is a bully? At its basest description, a bully is a form of predator that relies upon force. To properly understand them, you must first realize that is a fundamental part of their nature. Prey or potential prey species (the bullied) have basically three choice: be content to be fearful prey, adapt to become less attractive prey (passive defense) or adapt to become a threat and/or predator in their own right (active defense). While I think Orwell was on to something, I don’t think he had the complete picture. The reaction of fear to predatory behavior is not always worship although it can be. Sometimes the reaction to fear of predatory behavior is isolation through passive defense or counterattack by active defense. The meek may not inherit a damn thing, but an apex predator has only one way to go: down. The entire process of natural selection (specifically in competitive modes) illustrates this principle. And before you say anything about symbiosis, I’m not saying symbiosis doesn’t play a role in natural selection but rather that competition and predation do as well. I think that in relationship to this topic proper – propaganda (since it can be used to harm or defend in both active or passive defense as well as a purely offensive weapon depending upon the intent of the user) – that it is more useful to consider it in through the lens of that line of thinking about naturalistic behaviors, consequences and adaptations than through Orwell’s arguably incomplete analogy to religion if you are discussing the bully/predator.

  48. If a nation creates its independence by declaration, the fact that a bully religion oriented state comes along afterward and destroys that nation does not change the fact that the nation became independent for a time.

    Likewise, the length of the time one is free does not determine whether or not one was free.

    The degree of freedom one experiences is not determined by those who do not like that freedom.

    Short freedom is better than long servitude.

    The propagandists of the bully religion evangelizing from the bully pulpit be damned.

    “Give me liberty or give me death.”

  49. Tony,

    “When I think of “propaganda” I think of it as a special class of tilted or flat out false messaging. I do not think it covers ALL messaging, it has to mean something more specific than that. ”

    That is because you see the word “propaganda” with its full negative value load as discussed in the first installment of this series. Which I don’t disagree with that value loading by the way. Propaganda is a tool that has been horribly misused by our species for horrific ends. That’s one of the reasons I decided to write this series: to make people more aware of what constitutes propaganda, both the bad form the word itself has taken on the value load of and the less harmful version of propaganda – “messaging”. You cannot properly understand the bad use without understanding the good use of a tool, let alone formulate a triage strategy for threat assessment or a defense against it.

  50. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Dredd,

    No, I’m not talking about bully worship as Orwell did except perhaps tangentially. However, ask of each and every thing what is it in itself? What is a bully? At its basest description, a bully is a form of predator that relies upon force. To properly understand them, you must first realize that is a fundamental part of their nature. Prey or potential prey species (the bullied) have basically three choice: be content to be fearful prey, adapt to become less attractive prey (passive defense) or adapt to become a threat and/or predator in their own right (active defense). While I think Orwell was on to something, I don’t think he had the complete picture. The reaction of fear to predatory behavior is not always worship although it can be. Sometimes the reaction to fear of predatory behavior is isolation through passive defense or counterattack by active defense. The meek may not inherit a damn thing, but an apex predator has only one way to go: down. The entire process of natural selection (specifically in competitive modes) illustrates this principle. And before you say anything about symbiosis, I’m not saying symbiosis doesn’t play a role in natural selection but rather that competition and predation do as well. I think that in relationship to this topic proper – propaganda (since it can be used to harm or defend in both active or passive defense as well as a purely offensive weapon depending upon the intent of the user) – that it is more useful to consider it in through the lens of that line of thinking about naturalistic behaviors, consequences and adaptations than through Orwell’s arguably incomplete analogy to religion if you are discussing the bully/predator.
    ======================================
    You have a lot of social Darwinism in you, as does Tony C.

    It is a product of decades of propaganda which has engendered a dementia we all suffer from (social Darwinism was a propagandist view of Darwin’s theories).

    How much is for you folks to determine.

    But it is not a universal opinion:

    The concept that humanity has a violent and evil core is widespread; it is one of the oldest and most resilient myths about human nature. From historical and philosophical beliefs to current popular and scientific beliefs, the view that a savage and aggressive beast is a central part of our nature permeates public and academic perceptions. Given this view, it is a common assumption that if you strip away the veneer of civilization, the restraints of society and culture, you reveal the primeval state of humanity characterized by aggression and violence.

    While there are many reasons for the resilience of this myth, the most powerful one is the simple fact that humans today can and do engage in extreme levels of violence and aggression.

    (Diagnosing The Dogs of War, quoting a book). Anyway, war and propaganda work like one hand washing the other.

  51. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    @Dredd: Damn, you were right all the time Tony C.

    Thank you. I will leave it at that.
    ======================================
    That is dementia for you.

  52. Learn why your mind works like it does, i.e., how much propaganda forms how much of your mind:

    Subsequent posts in the series have mentioned posts in another Dredd Blog series which point out the annual polls of U.S. citizens which consistently indicate that the citizenry believes that the U.S. military is the most competent institution in our society.

    Never mind that 18 of the military / veterans per day commit suicide, totalling 6,570 per year, which amounts to more in one year than all enemies have killed in all the wars over the past decade of war fever.

    Never mind that the DoD admits that 19,000 rapes of women soldiers take place each year, a figure disputed by watch-dog organizations that say the number is far greater.

    Never mind that only about 200 per year of those 19,000 rapists are prosecuted.

    Never mind that when prosecuted those rapists are given misdemeanor, not felony punishments, which are little more than a slap on the wrist.

    Never mind that the military does not produce anything useful to society, because their business is destruction not production, as has been seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and Vietnam.

    Never mind that the military has a hair trigger nuclear system that is prone to error and accidental launch scenarios that would make the human species extinct.

    Never mind that this pathological behavior is all learned behavior, now being taught as an art in The War College.

    I dare say that the U.S. population would not have that opinion of a corporation which had the same statistics of torture, war crimes, suicide, and rape.

    (Etiology of Social Dementia). A mind is a terrible thing to waste, or wasting a mind is a terrible thing?

    You remember the phrase don’t you, but do you remember the sequence of the words?

  53. Dredd,

    Social Darwinist? From the guy who thinks microbes practice religion? Seriously, that carries about as much weight with me as an Objectivist calling me a Communist.

    You apparently have a complete lack of understanding of how evolution and natural selection actually works, Midicholorian Boy.

    I didn’t say anything about good or evil. I framed the issue of properly investigating the matter based on observable behaviors – namely predation. Predation is a real behavior that has real consequences in ecosystems. If you’re too dense to understand the observation that bullies are predators? That is your failing, not mine. Prey may or may not consider their predators evil and it is irrelevant to the natural dynamic in play. The strong prey upon the weak and/or defenseless, but good and evil are relative socially defined concepts. There is no good particle, there is no bad particle. Nature is what it is and has no inherent moral value, but society defines good and evil. If you want to inject your personal pseudo-scientific moralizing about cooperative behaviors into the matter, that is your choice.

    However, if you think I’m a Social Darwinist? You’re simply wrong. Propaganda cannot be discussed without touching upon predation and human psychology. It is intelligently directed persuasive communication, not simply sharing information. It is intelligently directed persuasive communication often directed at predatory ends. That humans are self-predatory (and can be cooperative as well) is simply a fact of nature evident in our observable behaviors. But to ignore natural selection, its relationship to predation and the ecosystem and the resultant manifestations of those dynamics in human social interaction because you hold symbiosis up as some kind of Holy Grail is merely foolish and probably stupid.

  54. Alright, Dredd. Guess which finger that last post earns you? I’m a demented Social Darwinist? Really? That’s the best rebuttal you’ve got to noting (with good reason) that Orwell’s comparison to religion is incomplete for the purposes of discussing propaganda?

    Were you deprived of oxygen as a foetus?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  55. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Dredd,

    Social Darwinist? From the guy who thinks microbes practice religion?
    ========================================
    Of course microbes practice religion.

    Several.

    Including the bully religion, and propaganda.

    It is just that you do not understand the depth and breadth of either one:

    Phytopathogens can manipulate plant hormone signaling to access nutrients and counteract defense responses. Pseudomonas syringae produces coronatine, a toxin that mimics the plant hormone jasmonic acid isoleucine and promotes opening of stomata for bacterial entry, bacterial growth in the apoplast, systemic susceptibility, and disease symptoms. We examined the mechanisms underlying coronatine-mediated virulence and show that coronatine activates three homologous NAC transcription factor (TF) genes, ANAC019, ANAC055, and ANAC072, through direct activity of the TF, MYC2. Genetic characterization of NAC TF mutants demonstrates that these TFs mediate coronatine-induced stomatal reopening and bacterial propagation in both local and systemic tissues by inhibiting the accumulation of the key plant immune signal salicylic acid (SA). These NAC TFs exert this inhibitory effect by repressing ICS1 and activating BSMT1, genes involved in SA biosynthesis and metabolism, respectively. Thus, a signaling cascade by which coronatine confers its multiple virulence activities has been elucidated.

    (Cell – Host & Microbe). Ancient propaganda is older that even Egypt Gene H, your beginning point for propaganda history.

    Let’s see 4.5 billion years compared to about 5-15,000 years.

    A mini-skirt view of history, but very exciting to those looking up your skirt Gene H.

    I won’t censor Tony C and Mike S for looking up your skirt, if you won’t censor me for saying vagina.

    K?

  56. Calling you ignorant about biology and evolution isn’t censoring you, Midichlorian Boy.

    It’s merely accurate.

    M’kay?

  57. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Calling you ignorant about biology and evolution isn’t censoring you, Midichlorian Boy.

    It’s merely accurate.

    M’kay?
    ===================================
    “Censoring you” only appears once in this thread.

    I don’t want to see your vagina, or raise you a dollar.

    Poker yourself, leave others alone.

    I, like Tony C, am excited about all the freedom that is coming via the greatest holy war of all time (Russia is sending the navy to Syria).

    Cream. I feel free, Tony C and Mike S feel you. “It is a liberty walk.” – Miley Cirus

    Only the microbes will survive if the dogs of propaganda get to continue to jerk off.

    MK?

  58. Sorry, but I’m going to call out ignorance wherever and whenever I see it no matter how many times you cite your basic misunderstandings of biology as if they were some sort of profound sociological, philosophical or religions insight. The bottom line is that you don’t understand predation and you don’t understand how it relates to propaganda any better than you understand how predation (or symbiosis for that matter) relates to natural selection. Parade your ignorance all you like. If you have a problem with me pointing it out, I refer you to the 1st Amendment or suggest you get a proper education in the biological sciences instead of using misconstrued and misunderstood science to blow smoke out of your ass.

  59. @Dredd: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

    If you understood plain English, you would understand that statement can only be made by a person that believes they are deprived of liberty and is willing to fight to the death to get it.

    Patrick Henry’s stated alternative in that speech was to continue in chains and slavery to the British; it was an explicit call to men to risk their lives in the use of force to kill British soldiers and thereby win their freedom. Patrick Henry had it right, if the British had not been opposed, freedom would not have been won.

  60. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Alright, Dredd. Guess which finger that last post earns you?
    =======================================
    I am feeling so earnie, so I will guess it is this one:

    Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
    I got forty red, white and blue shoestrings
    And a thousand telephones that don’t ring
    Do you know where I can get rid of these things
    And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son
    And he said yes I think it can be easily done
    Just take everything down to Highway 61

    (War is the Highway 61 of the 1%). Lame is just another way of expressing what “you” don’t know about vagina.

    I mean those in Gene H history, those in the 98% of your genes, those genes which were called “junk genes” for so long by those who knew all about Gene H.

    Those who abandoned balance to become homogeneous.

  61. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    @Dredd: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

    If you understood plain English …
    ==============================
    I understand it quite well.

    English is the common language that separates England from America.

    Plain English is the one that makes them fight each other.

    I see you have mastered it.

    I won’t tell you that it is a function of the greater amygdala.

  62. As always, Dredd is posting nonsense links to his own blog in the vain and selfish hope of getting traffic, or anybody to listen to him. It is so sad, really.

  63. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Sorry …
    ==========================
    Not really.

    That is not doled out to sociopaths or psychopaths.

    Gotta rely on your exceptionalism, the foundation of the bully religion, trumpeted from the bully pulpit.

    Otherwise the type B authoritarians will not hear you sheep dog.

  64. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    As always, Dredd is posting nonsense links to his own blog in the vain and selfish hope of getting traffic, or anybody to listen to him. It is so sad, really.
    ==========================
    Compassion.

    One of the freedoms war creates and protects.

  65. The bully religion bloviating from the bully pulpit has created a new social class, the precariat:

    These days they’re sometimes called the “precariat” — people who live a precarious existence at the periphery of society. Only it’s not the periphery anymore. It’s becoming a very substantial part of society in the United States and indeed elsewhere.

    (Noam Chomsky). The scope of the precariat, when taken to the full human potential, comprises all of the human species.

    I mean in the terms of the “freedom” that propaganda can create through its other hand, war.

    The evangelical cool hand nukes that understand neither war nor propaganda, facilitate the increasing scope of the boundaries of the precariat.

    Not knowing that they are part of the precariat.

  66. What? I was being sarcastic when I said “sorry”? Who’d have thunk it.

    Also, you have no idea what I think about “junk genes”. We’ve never discussed the matter. But then again, speaking from ignorance is your forte, Dredd. Especially when talking about your non-scientific microbe worship.

    Also, that you cannot best me in argument is not because of my reliance upon “my exceptionalism”. You loose your arguments for the same reason Bron does: your evidence – while often valid is also equally often completely misconstrued by you – and your logic are faulty. You know a lot of facts, Dredd, but again you reveal you cannot synthesize them into knowledge. You’re so close to being a good thinker yet you still manage to miss the mark. Sad? That’s what is sad.

  67. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    What? I was being sarcastic when I said “sorry”? Who’d have thunk it.

    Also, you have no idea what I think about “junk genes”. We’ve never discussed the matter. But then again, speaking from ignorance is your forte, Dredd. Especially when talking about your non-scientific microbe worship.

    Also, that you cannot best me in argument is not because of my reliance upon “my exceptionalism”. You loose your arguments for the same reason Bron does: your evidence – while often valid is also equally often completely misconstrued by you – and your logic are faulty. You know a lot of facts, Dredd, but again you reveal you cannot synthesize them into knowledge. You’re so close to being a good thinker yet you still manage to miss the mark. Sad? That’s what is sad.
    =================================
    Sad is what your alter ego Tony C said.

    Compassion is showing through your mini-skirt of this subject matter once again.

    The master of propaganda history, the master of microbial history, runs afoul of a visiting blogger and has to save the sheep.

    The sheep would be Tony and Gene.

    Let’s talk about the 98% of “human genes” I first introduced on this blog as not being human, or junk, but rather microbial shall we?

  68. No, Dredd, the freedom created by war for you is your freedom to believe in complete nonsense, and not be censored for it. Sadness is not a right, it is an emotion. What is sad, in my eyes, is your need for admiration, affirmation, or to be the center of attention, or to have editorial control, or whatever it is that makes you so persistently try to poach readers from this blog to your own.

    Why are you doing that, Dredd? Are you hoping to become an Internet celebrity or something? Do you get advertising revenue for readers? Is it giving meaning to your life, somehow? Does it make you feel like an opinion leader? Do you think you are developing a “following?” Or do you just crave the power to smack down anybody that disagrees with you?

    Whatever. War is a necessity when forced upon us by those that would take whatever they want by force. Such people are born every day, and if they are not met with force they will prevail and enslave us all, because what they want is everything, including the power of life and death over everyone. They won’t be stopped by anything but force, and when they have an army, they won’t be stopped by anything but another army, and that is what WAR is good for: Protecting citizens from murder and despotic enslavement.

  69. Runs afoul? lol The only thing I “run afoul” from you is your ignorance, Dredd.

    How about this . . .

    I’ll determine the topics of the threads for my articles here where I am a guest blogger and you can go bloviate over at your blog all you like about your pet theories without any challenge.

    M’Kay?

    And if you don’t like that? Too bad. You know where the complaint department is, ya hijacker.

  70. bettykath,

    An interesting, appropriate and utterly appalling example of propaganda that raises a possible additional installment: the military exercise as propaganda. Thank you for the valuable contribution.

  71. The video isn’t just a US military show. It’s a NATO show. Lots of foreign troops with weapons putting on a show.

  72. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    No, Dredd, the freedom created by war for you is your freedom to believe in complete nonsense, and not be censored for it. Sadness is not a right, it is an emotion. What is sad, in my eyes, is your need for admiration, affirmation, or to be the center of attention, or to have editorial control, or whatever it is that makes you so persistently try to poach readers from this blog to your own.

    Why are you doing that, Dredd?
    ==============================
    Reality needs to be in most conversations.

    That is not going to happen when warmongers of pseudo-intellectuals bloviate about most anything.

  73. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    bettykath,

    An interesting, appropriate and utterly appalling example of propaganda that raises a possible additional installment: the military exercise as propaganda. Thank you for the valuable contribution.
    ===============================
    “Whoopie frickin do” as the analyst on Saturday Night Live used to say when he came out of his “trailer down by the river.”

    He is no longer with us.

    We have more people marching in military bands than we have in the entire state department working for normal relations between nations.

    Have you ever seen a normal sports events without the military parading around with flags, horns, marching, and the like, as if that was a sporting event?

    Good god people, have your brains been so totally wasted that you no longer have a friggin clue?

    Never mind Tony “war is the womb of freedom” C, or Gene “humans are the beginning of evolution” H.

    Sheesh.

  74. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    No, Dredd, the freedom created by war for you is your freedom to believe in complete nonsense …
    ===============================
    Which war was it that created that freedom of belief?

    And were we all unbelievable before that one?

    Gotta love that evangelist for war Tony C, the epitome of war that Gene H sill does not see as connected to propaganda.

    “Propaganda: it is really just green M&M’s” – Gene H

  75. @Dredd: Reality needs to be in most conversations.

    Agreed, that is why it is impossible to have a conversation with you, you are divorced from it. I am not a pseudo-intellectual, Dredd, I am a real one. You are the fake, given away by your laughable premises, like a declaration of independence creates actual independence like a magical incantation. Good luck, Harry Potter.

  76. Jealous because you haven’t made a valuable contribution to the thread like bettykath did, Dredd?

    Really most unbecoming and indicative that Tony is on the right track in explaining your maladaptive attention seeking behavior.

  77. Tony C. 1, June 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    @Dredd: Reality needs to be in most conversations.

    Agreed …
    ============================
    Good. Now go start a war so we can all be free.

    K?

  78. “‘Propaganda: it is really just green M&M’s’ – Gene H”

    Really, your continued use of straw men is most impressive.

  79. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Jealous because you haven’t made a valuable contribution to the thread like bettykath did, Dredd?

    Really most unbecoming and indicative that Tony is on the right track in explaining your maladaptive attention seeking behavior.
    ========================================
    The bully pulpit controlling preacha of the bully religion determines value via holy “this blog” propaganda.

    This is a good lesson in value propaganda.

    Doncha just love the attention soldier? ATTENTION! VALUE!

    I consider your drivel to be 98% junk gene.

    Let’s talk gene science shall we.

  80. Tony,

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head: magical thinking. It goes a long way to explaining Dredd’s pet theories. He is so inured to the idea that absolute pacifism can work in the world that he’s lost touch with reality. It would also explain his preoccupation with the idea that symbiosis is some kind of Holy Grail that explains all of evolution when it is merely another input for natural selection. A realistic pacifist (like the Dalai Lama who famously said “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” ) knows that pacifism and peaceful resolution are the preferred outcomes, but not always the possible outcomes. Dredd deals with violence (including predation) in the world by trying to ignore it or pretend it is something that it isn’t.

  81. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    “‘Propaganda: it is really just green M&M’s’ – Gene H”

    Really, your continued use of straw men is most impressive.
    ==============================
    Everything here is impressive.

    But I am confident that my impression leaves the imprint of the reality of what is going on behind the keyboard.

    My blog discussed these issues long ago while you were still bullying the targets your skirts were only slightly flashing then.

    You and Tony C are of The Virgin MOMCOM, but spelled “momcom”.

  82. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Tony,

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head …
    =================================
    That is so vulgar coming from someone utilizing a mini-skirt view of evolutionary history.

    Someone take note and rewrite the evolution of mini-skirt history as a cause of freedom producing war.

  83. rafflaw 1, June 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I likek the red M & M’s myself.
    ================================
    Me too, even though it is not as upskirt as the green M & M world.

  84. “I consider your drivel to be 98% junk gene.”

    Then why are you here? Let me guess! To “promote unpopular ideas”? Again, unpopular isn’t the same thing as ridiculous.

    And why should I care what you think? You don’t argue well. Your theories are ludicrous. Your understanding of science is fundamentally flawed and your understanding of politics and law is no better. You are persistently like the guest at a party who keeps yelling over the music “Hey! There’s a party at MY house!” You rarely add value.

    Or perhaps let’s talk about your persistent actions to hijack threads, jackass? I could round up all the guest bloggers and we could discuss your persistent distractions and self-promotion. How about that?

    You do realize this isn’t your blog, right? You aren’t even a guest blogger. You have no editorial say here. If you don’t like getting pounced on when you try to hijack threads? Stop it or run along. Those are your two choices. That free speech, she is a two-edged sword.

    I think nothing of value would be lost if you were to stop posting here altogether, Dredd.

    If any of this presents a problem for you?

    Like I said, you know where the complaint department is.

    The topic here is propaganda. Wandering is permitted. Hijacking is discouraged.

  85. raff,

    In all fairness, I never met an M&M of any color I didn’t like. Except maybe some of the ones with funky fillings – I’m a purist in that regard. Proving again, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. :mrgreen:

  86. Gene H. 1, June 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    “I consider your drivel to be 98% junk gene.”

    Then why are you here? Let me guess! To “promote unpopular ideas”? Again, unpopular isn’t the same thing as ridiculous.
    ——————————————————————-
    To discuss junk gene.

    And why should I care what you think? You don’t argue well. Your theories are ludicrous. Your understanding of science is fundamentally flawed and your understanding of politics and law is no better. You are persistently like the guest at a party who keeps yelling over the music “Hey! There’s a party at MY house!” You rarely add value.
    ———————————————————————
    When are you going to stop bouncing off the echoes in your own out of date head controlled by your grandfather’s dictionary?
    ———————————————————————————–
    Or perhaps let’s talk about your persistent actions to hijack threads, jackass? I could round up all the guest bloggers and we could discuss your persistent distractions and self-promotion. How about that?

    The definition of a hijacked thread of a Gene H post is Dredd pointing out the bully religion bloviated from the bully pulpit.

    lame.
    —————————————————————————————
    You do realize this isn’t your blog, right? You aren’t even a guest blogger. You have no editorial say here. If you don’t like getting pounced on when you try to hijack threads? Stop it or run along. Those are your two choices. That free speech, she is a two-edged sword.
    ————————————————————————-
    I like exercising your free speech. Because it is so like Tony C and bdaman and cool hand luke and pontius pilate.
    ————————————————————————
    I think nothing of value would be lost if you were to stop posting here altogether, Dredd.

    I agree with all of that except your assertion that you think.
    —————————————————————————
    If any of this presents a problem for you?

    How do I tell Gene H.

    We haven’t gotten to the center of this problem yet, which is junk gene.

    Let’s have a chat.

    K?
    ————————————————–
    Like I said, you know where the complaint department is.

    The topic here is propaganda. Wandering is permitted. Hijacking is discouraged.

    I don’t have any complaints.

    I like my chances against propaganda and propagandists.

    I am going to be free soon as Tony C can start the next World War that will bring nuclear freedom to us all.

    Keep him happy.

    K gene?

  87. More self-serving blather and no kind of cogent rebuttal to any of the arguments here about propaganda.

    How utterly predictable.

    Do you think educating people to the nature of propaganda is propaganda? That is by definition anti-propaganda as it gives people the tools necessary to recognize and combat propaganda being used against their best interests.

    So far your rebuttal has consisted of (in summary) “Uh uh!”, “You’re a Social Darwinist!”, “You’re delusional!”, “Tony C is a warmonger!”, “I understand science better than you do but I just can’t prove it!”, “You’re trying to censor me!”, “My stuff is the best, your’s is junk!”, “Grandpa’s Dictionary!” – None of which constitutes an evidentiary or logically based rebuttal of the criticism that Orwell’s religion comparison is incomplete in the discussion of propaganda.

    Tony got you right. You are little better than an attention seeking child.

    Run along, little boy.

    This is an adult conversation about propaganda.

  88. This is important, but don’t forget the private sector equivalent: PR.

    The PR field was largely invented by Edward Bernays, who helped overthrow the government of Guatemala and made smoking attractive to women, among other accomplishments.

    Few people know the name of Edward Bernays, but everybody is familiar with his work.

    The reach of the industry can be studied effectively by examining the corporate profile of Burson Marstellar:

    — “Cleaned up” the image of Exxon after the Valdez oil spill
    — Put a friendly face on the Argentinian death squads
    — Represented Union Carbide after the Bhopal chemical spill in India
    — Worked for the engineering company responsible for the Three Mile Island disaster

    Twisting the truth in pursuit of dollars. These are massive, coordinated propaganda campaigns.

  89. Jesus H Christ … what happened to this thread?! Dredd, I blame you for purposely antagonizing Tony C and Tony C, stop taking the bait. Oh hell, you two aren’t going to listen to me … moving on:

    Gene,

    I have a suggestion that might help you find a focus for the religious art thing … try looking at the way Elizabeth I used the “Virgin Queen” propaganda imagery to fulfill the missing Mary, Mother of God figure absent from the newly formed protestant Church of England complete with halo type hair-dos and one mask that all portrait painters, sculptors etc. had to use so that her image remained constant. It solidified her reign and her Church.

  90. Blouise,

    Interesting idea in re Elizabeth. I was also thinking about using religion and government in conflict as an angle, perhaps using the oppression of Christianity in the Tokugawa Shogunate after the Shimabara Rebellion or the purges of Mao’s Cultural Revolution or the invasion of Tibet. The nexus of religion and propaganda is simply so multi-faceted that the choices for taking a pro/anti stance and building the argument from there is really an embarrassment of riches. The English efforts to promote the Anglican Church though are an excellent example though. I’d kind of like to avoid the Inquisition as an anti- example simply because that is such well worn ground and always attracts the lunatic fringe. I may just jump right in to the modern era though and use historical revisionist fundamentalists like David Barton in some way.

    As far as basic approach for the article goes, this remains the biggest challenge of all the potential topics.

  91. Bravo! this work is of excellent Curator’s quality!
    Pity that today’s standard, yes, even Propaganda’s standards, are demonstrated by Harry and Louise ads for the masses.

  92. @Diogenes: An interesting point there, the Harry and Louise ads. I wonder if they were considered a success or not?

    I am really sick of the “kitchen table” construct in political ads the last few cycles, as in “What are families around the kitchen table talking about / dealing with / struggling with?”

    I know everybody gets it, and in a way that is what bothered me about it, it took on faddish proportions. Which brings me to the Hawkeye Pierce line from MASH. The setup: “Hawkeye, what she wants from you is sincerity.” Hawkeye, enlightened: “Ohhh… I can fake that.”

    So why the faddish proportions? Why did kitchen tables sprout in speeches, debates, ads and sound bites everywhere? Because it was all fake sincerity, false identification with “common” voters. It is as if the boardrooms full of millionaires have no clue how to reach voters, then one of them stumbles upon the “kitchen table” set, and they all seize upon it: “Ohhh, so that’s where the muggles talk their serious stuff. Scrap that seventh green shoot boys, and find me a kitchen table set!”

  93. Indigo Jones 1, June 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    This is important, but don’t forget the private sector equivalent: PR.

    The PR field was largely invented by Edward Bernays, who helped overthrow the government of Guatemala and made smoking attractive to women, among other accomplishments.

    Few people know the name of Edward Bernays, but everybody is familiar with his work.
    ========================================
    Very true.

    He is also known as “The Father of Spin”.

    He worked for the federal government before WW I to get the public to change their minds about it. He changed the public’s mind to favor the war.

    I have a link to a free download of his book “Propaganda”, the purpose of which is:

    It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.

    (A Closer Look …). He was the nephew of Sigmund Freud so he had insights into the workings of the subconscious mind.

  94. Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @Diogenes: An interesting point there, the Harry and Louise ads. I wonder if they were considered a success or not?

    I am really sick of the “kitchen table” construct in political ads the last few cycles, as in “What are families around the kitchen table talking about / dealing with / struggling with?”

    I know everybody gets it, and in a way that is what bothered me about it, it took on faddish proportions. Which brings me to the Hawkeye Pierce line from MASH. The setup: “Hawkeye, what she wants from you is sincerity.” Hawkeye, enlightened: “Ohhh… I can fake that.”

    So why the faddish proportions? Why did kitchen tables sprout in speeches, debates, ads and sound bites everywhere? Because it was all fake sincerity, false identification with “common” voters. It is as if the boardrooms full of millionaires have no clue how to reach voters, then one of them stumbles upon the “kitchen table” set, and they all seize upon it: “Ohhh, so that’s where the muggles talk their serious stuff. Scrap that seventh green shoot boys, and find me a kitchen table set!”
    =============================================
    “Would you like to have a beer with the candidate.”

    Of course in polite company the word “spin” is used in place of “propaganda”, but it is just another move to make propaganda palatable.

    Words are changed faster by spin-propaganda than by the normal everyday discourse of people.

    Take “junk gene” which was used for years to describe 98% of human genes:

    More problematic is the reality that the human genome is still a vast catalogue of the unknown and scarcely known. The Human Genome Project’s most startling finding was that human genes, as currently defined, make up less than 2 percent of all the DNA on the genome, and that the total number of genes is relatively small. Scientists had predicted there might be 80,000 to 140,000 human genes, but the current tally is fewer than 25,000 — as one scientific paper put it, somewhere between that of a chicken and a grape. The remaining 98 percent of our DNA, once dismissed as “junk DNA,” is now taken more seriously. Researchers have focused on introns, in the gaps between the coding segments of genes, which may play a crucial role in regulating gene expression, by switching them on and off in response to environmental stimuli.

    (One Man’s Junk …). What will they do now that we find out that this 98% of the human genome is microbial?

    How did the microbes change our genetic makeup so completely?

    Do we change the dictionary or deny the reality?

  95. E. Nowak 1, June 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Art is in the eye of the beholder. What’s art to an artist isn’t the same as what my great-aunt Agnes thought was art (which was Norman Rockwell).

    On a side-note. Another form of propaganda you could include are novelties and knickknacks. For example, such as racist Mammie cookie jars, boot-jacks that show an African-American woman with legs spread, or the plethora of knickknacks that portray African-Americans as apes and other racist stereotypes that were wildly sold during the antebellum and Jim Crow eras. Also, the numerous sexist knickknacks that are still manufactured that portray women in an objective way. The most recent appalling example I saw was a Hillary Clinton nut-cracker. I actually received a catalog in the mail during the 2008 election season that had this as their cover item. Talk about powerful imagery.
    ===========================================
    Yes, powerful imagery propagating a message.

    As I pointed out above by quoting “Cell – Host & Microbe“, microbes have practiced propaganda for a long time.

    And our culture has had a propaganda “war on microbes” for a long time too, as you can read in the rants in comments contra known microbial abilities.

    Let me translate the article quoted up thread:

    Phytopathogens can manipulate plant hormone signaling to access nutrients and counteract defense responses. Pseudomonas syringae produces coronatine, a toxin that mimics the plant hormone jasmonic acid isoleucine and promotes opening of stomata for bacterial entry, bacterial growth in the apoplast, systemic susceptibility, and disease symptoms.

    That means these phytopathogens send false messages to plants so that those plants will “lower the drawbridge”, i.e., open their stomata so that those propagandist phytopathogens can enter the plants under false pretenses.

    This may be the oldest and most primitive form of propaganda messaging.

    Since our genes are 98% microbial, we may have been influenced by them at some point, in terms of the origin of propaganda.

    This form of false messaging is taught as art in the most unexpected place: The U.S. War College.

    We should stop the war against microbes, as urged by yet another scientist, because 9 out of 10 of our cells are microbes:

    “I would like to lose the language of warfare,” said Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. “It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have co-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.”This new approach to health is known as medical ecology. Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers … by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases, and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes.

    (NY Times). Not a bad idea to get with the science of today and learn the billions of years old saga of the microbes.

    They are dynamic survivors, even engaging in a little spin or propaganda now and then.

  96. @Blouise: Sorry….

    @Dredd: It isn’t junk, we have known for many years it isn’t junk. It also isn’t “microbial” in any useful sense.

    I am formally trained in both genetics and bioinformatics even though it is not my primary field; I have a statistical interest in the topic and I am interested in the nanoscale mechanics where biology becomes somewhat deterministic chemistry.

    The non-coding DNA is highly conserved both across species and within humans. This is a technical term meaning it seems to be protected from the normal rate of mutation, and that happens when mutation is harmful and reduces survivability. Thus, the conserved stretches of non-coding DNA must convey information critical to day-to-day survival, and the question becomes, “what is it?”

    We already have some answers; we have found non-coding regions that are called “promoter regions” that can cause (or prevent) genes to be expressed more strongly or less strongly; with “strong” meaning producing multiple copies. For example the promoter region in one person may cause a gene for a protein to produce three copies instead of one, thus tripling the concentration of that protein in the person, which can cause major changes in physiology (like darker skin, thicker hair, bigger bones, etc). In fact, the main visual differences in people, how they look, all seem to be a result of differences in their promoter regions. The proteins that make a face are not varying, it is the recipe of proteins during development, the relative quantities of protein, that make a face unique. (That and methylation; an epigenetic (non-DNA) means of suppressing the production of proteins).

    The coding DNA, the proteins, are like various building materials, but they do not assemble themselves; the non-coding DNA is orchestrating that somehow. Promoter regions are a very tiny part of that orchestration, but perhaps an example of how the whole thing works.

    We don’t know how, exactly. However, life is clearly structural in nature; both DNA and proteins fold and twist into odd shapes, depending upon chemical and electrical attractions / repulsions, that seem deterministic but are difficult to predict correctly in simulations. But those shapes can act as mating sites (like a lock and key), or bring together different pieces of the genome that react, or pinch off into loops that float away, or whatever. That is how the proteins themselves work, they are three dimensional shapes that connect at sites, change shape when touched by another to open a pore, release a fragment, separate, reconnect, etc.

    The fact that there are microbial correlations is both obvious and irrelevant, it means nothing. By evolutionary theory, we of course expect these systems to have first evolved in microbes near the beginning of the chain of life; heck we’d expect them to begin in the RNA world before microbes, in the earliest replicators. What is being conserved in non-coding DNA (in my opinion) is the same thing being preserved in proteins: shapes that work.

    I think that in the non-coding DNA it is the three dimensional shape of the DNA fragments themselves that gets something done, while other DNA fragments are designed for ribosomal translation into amino acids that crumple up into a protein, where again it is the three dimensional shape that matters.

    Humans share something like 75% of their DNA with carrots, but we are not made of carrots. We both conserved DNA that either directly or indirectly (through proteins) produced shapes that worked in orchestrating the construction of a living thing, and work in building proteins that do work in the living thing. By analogy, whether I am building a garden shed or a palace, the idea of doors, with hinges, knobs, and locks, is a good thing to use. So is the idea of working from a blueprint, or cross bracing for support, or windows that somehow open and close.

    We are not microbes. Microbes were the result of the evolution of shapes that worked in the self-assembly of a self-replicator, and we are still using some of those shapes, and some of our own. There is nothing mystical about genetic inheritance.

  97. Gene H.- I was inspired to do some digging in my memorabilia box. I have some interesting leaflets that we dropped. I’m working on translating them now, and I’ll post pictures of them and the translations somewhere, then link them. Blatant use of propaganda, but in some cases, I agree with their usage. A lot of what we dropped by air were leaflets that said, basically, we’re about to bomb this area, suggest leaving. Others were surrender instructions, which have saved lives. I don’t agree with going in in the first place, but if we do, I’m glad at least some use of propaganda was beneficial.

  98. I see the orchestra is in full assembly, ok guys, don’t make this sound like the organ grinder from the circus. We have enough monkeys for you to do your bidding, get going.

  99. Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

    @Blouise: Sorry….

    @Dredd: It isn’t junk, we have known for many years it isn’t junk. It also isn’t “microbial” in any useful sense.
    ================================
    Science is becoming more and more politicized and opinionated it would seem:

    The term [junk DNA] was introduced in 1972 by Susumu Ohno, but is somewhat outdated (as of 2008), being used mainly in popular science and in a colloquial way in scientific publications. If DNA does not seem to have a function now it may have had a function in the past or may be discovered to have a function in the future. The term ‘dark matter’ is increasingly being adopted to refer to this apparently functionless DNA.

    (Wikipedia, Junk DNA). Would you prefer the description “dark matter?”

    Recent declarations of microbiologists do not appear to be in agreement with you:

    As they look beyond the genome … researchers are … awakening to the fact that some 90 percent of the protein-encoding cells in our body are microbes. We evolved with them in a symbiotic relationship, which raises the question of just who is occupying whom.

    Altogether … 99 percent of the functional genes in the body are microbial.

    … genes in this microbiome — exchanging messages with genes inside human cells …

    … shifts in perspective, occurring throughout cellular biology … seem as dizzying as what happened in cosmology … issues once thought settled are up in the air.

    (The Tiniest Scientists …). I try to quote recent papers because this explosive area of microbiology is moving fast.

  100. Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

    @Dredd: … It also isn’t “microbial” in any useful sense.
    =======================================
    In case you are averse to reading my blog, here is a quote from Chemical & Engineering News, which I quote from in my blog:

    With 100 times more microbial genes present on and in us than our own human DNA, the ability to tabulate the genomes of our microbial symbionts became financially possible only as sequencing became cheaper.

    (Our Microbial Selves, emphasis added). Like I say, just about every day some new blast of research shines through the fog of the past.

  101. Dredd 1, June 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

    @Dredd: … It also isn’t “microbial” in any useful sense.
    ============================================
    Again, since the propaganda against my linking to my research may have influenced you and others not to read certain texts, i.e., my texts, here is another quote and link for your benefit:

    Within the human body, it is estimated that there are 10x as many microbial cells as human cells. Our microbial partners carry out a number of metabolic reactions that are not encoded in the human genome and are necessary for human health. Therefore when we talk about the “human genome” we should think of it as an amalgam of human genes and those of our microbes.

    The majority of microbial species present in the human body have never been isolated, cultured or sequenced, typically due to the inability to reproduce necessary growth conditions in the lab. Therefore there are huge amounts of organismal and functional novelty still to be discovered.

    (Human Microbiame Project). We know far more about Mars than we do our own bodies human ecosystem.

    Other papers point out how microbes shape our brains, especially in the area of the limbic system, the greater amygdala.

    Some of the propaganda activities of microbes could have some impact on our tendency to use propaganda.

  102. “Some of the propaganda activities of microbes could have some impact on our tendency to use propaganda.”

    Dredd,

    Well yes, I won’t discount the possibility, but I respect you too much for me to believe that you’re not purposely trying to hijack this thread into a different direction. Now it could be that your own “selfish genes” are leading you unknowingly in that direction as a survival mechanism as in Dawkin’s book:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene , but since a different Gene has really done an impressive piece of work on propaganda, I think that microbes are a real distraction on this thread and definitely off topic in this context.

  103. Mike Spindell 1, June 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    “Some of the propaganda activities of microbes could have some impact on our tendency to use propaganda.”

    Dredd,

    Well yes, I won’t discount the possibility, but I respect you too much for me to believe that you’re not purposely trying to hijack this thread into a different direction. Now it could be that your own “selfish genes” are leading you unknowingly in that direction as a survival mechanism as in Dawkin’s book:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene , but since a different Gene has really done an impressive piece of work on propaganda, I think that microbes are a real distraction on this thread and definitely off topic in this context.
    ========================================
    I have read his work and the work of those who fully disagree with him.

    He has never commented on the new revolution in microbiology.

    His work is based on the 2% of the “human genome”, written at a time when the 98% of the human genome was considered junk.

    If you want to adhere to the mini-skirt view that only skirts the issue of propaganda, fine.

    I like to deal with the whole picture (4.5 billion years of evolution) which looks at the origins, not just first year propaganda that deals with 5-15,000 years of evolution.

    Each to his own Dieter’s Monkey.

  104. @Dredd: You do not understand what you are reading. The non-coding DNA is not junk, it is only “dark” in the sense that we have not yet decoded how it works, but as I said it is clearly being conserved and in evolution that only happens if it is selective.

    As for the microbes we host, the recipes for those are not encoded in our DNA and have nothing to do with non-coding DNA.

    Symbiotic relationship or not, there is no question of control, you are reading popular science hyperbole; that sounds suspiciously like the June 2012 issue of Scientific American.

    Yes, we have symbiotic microbes that help with various functions, including digestion and immune system and hormonal functions. They have DNA. So what? We eat chicken, beef, pork, and thousands of different plant products to survive, all with their own DNA, too. It doesn’t make it our DNA, you do not have all the DNA needed to build a chicken or an apple tree tucked into your non-coding DNA.

    The reason we have so many symbiotic microbes is actually interesting, it is often because of their primitive, wasteful and inefficient nature: The microbes do a lot of work in breaking something down to get to the little bit of energy they can use, and the broken down product is left behind by them, but the work they did can then be exploited by other microbes or humans. By analogy it is like they peel, slice and core an apple and leave it behind, because they were after the apple seeds, not the apple.

    If microbes were perfectly efficient and did exactly as much work as needed to support themselves and their reproduction, then they really wouldn’t do us any good.

    I believe microbiologists and I are in perfect agreement; I think you do not comprehend what you are reading about. When they say 99% of the functional genes in the body are microbial, that does not mean 99% of the human genome, and so what? You have hundreds of types of digestive microbes in your gut, each with an active genome supporting it, so what else would we expect? I do not understand your breathless excitement about this statistic. It is unwarranted.

  105. Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    @Dredd: You do not understand what you are reading.
    ===========================================
    I am reading you relying on your own authority, and I understand that state of mind quite well.

    You cite to no authority.

    I don’t know if you are a lawyer or not, but what would an appellate court think of a brief by an advocate who cited no authority except his own opinion?

    They would bound a gavel off his forehead!

    Point out the errors of the top scientists I am quoting, with your citations to other, better, or equal authorities, or you really do not have any credibility on this matter IMO.

  106. “He has never commented on the new revolution in microbiology.”

    Because it is irrelevant to the topic of here. If I want to talk you about your off topic pet theories, I’ll come to your blog.

    “His work is based on the 2% of the ‘human genome’, written at a time when the 98% of the human genome was considered junk.”

    Straw man.

    My work isn’t based on genetics let alone your misunderstandings about genetics. I have not (nor do I intend to) use genetics in the analysis of this issue. Why? Because it is irrelevant to the topic and the goal at hand regarding said topic.

    In toto the series is based on linguistics (including etymology), symbology, psychology, sociology, history, politics, law, mass media, cybernetics and neuro-linguistic programming as they relate to propaganda (and all of which are human endeavors in a sociological/psychological context). While that list may not be all-inclusive, it is exclusive of the term and science of genetics.

    You apparently have a reading comprehension problem as well as being generally hard of understanding, Dredd.

  107. Dredd,

    Mentioning Dawkin’s book was irony. As for dealing with 4.5 billion years of evolution, perhaps there would be some value to your points if this was a blog about science and we were trying to guess why propaganda acts as it does. This is a discussion rather on the effect of propaganda on people and not the why of it. There is a good reason for not getting into your theories, interesting as they might be to you, your science does not currently provide the antidotes to propaganda and so we have to struggle with it as best we can by at least identifying its source and purpose.

    “We know far more about Mars than we do our own bodies human ecosystem.”

    Exactly my point. Perhaps in the future this research may have value, but until then it really is off topic and you know it is.

  108. CLH,

    In fact, when you find what you are looking for, get them scanned in and have the translations, if you’ll tell me a good e-mail address to contact you (or I can get the one you post with to WordPress if that’s good for you), I’d like to include them in the forthcoming column on military use of propaganda. If you have no problem with that, of course. I’ll make certain you get attribution (as CLH or your designation of choice) in the article.

  109. @Dredd: I am not an attorney. I am a full time research scientist. My arguments do not require an authority; they stand on their own, they are based on readily available science to those that are interested in it or willing to google for it. As for citations, that is more work than I am willing to do for a person that is going to dismiss it out of hand anyway. I see little point in further conversation; enjoy your magical fantasy. Preferably somewhere else.

  110. Gene H. 1, June 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    “He has never commented on the new revolution in microbiology.”

    Because it is irrelevant to the topic of here. If I want to talk you about your off topic pet theories, I’ll come to your blog.
    —————————————————
    The control freak thinks I was talking about him.

    I was talking about Dawkins.
    —————————————————–
    “His work is based on the 2% of the ‘human genome’, written at a time when the 98% of the human genome was considered junk.”

    Straw man.

    My work isn’t based on genetics let alone your misunderstandings about genetics. I have not (nor do I intend to) use genetics in the analysis of this issue. Why? Because it is irrelevant to the topic and the goal at hand regarding said topic.
    —————————————————–
    Same response to the same control freak.

    I was talking about Dawkins, who Mike S quoted, and who I rebutted.
    ————————————————————–
    In toto the series is based on linguistics (including etymology), symbology, psychology, sociology, history, politics, law, mass media, cybernetics and neuro-linguistic programming as they relate to propaganda (and all of which are human endeavors in a sociological/psychological context). While that list may not be all-inclusive, it is exclusive of the term and science of genetics.

    yawn.
    ————————————————————–
    You apparently have a reading comprehension problem as well as being generally hard of understanding, Dredd.

    That is rich.

  111. Mike Spindell 1, June 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Dredd,

    Mentioning Dawkin’s book was irony. As for dealing with 4.5 billion years of evolution, perhaps there would be some value to your points if this was a blog about science and we were trying to guess why propaganda acts as it does. This is a discussion rather on the effect of propaganda on people and not the why of it. There is a good reason for not getting into your theories, interesting as they might be to you, your science does not currently provide the antidotes to propaganda and so we have to struggle with it as best we can by at least identifying its source and purpose.

    “We know far more about Mars than we do our own bodies human ecosystem.”

    Exactly my point. Perhaps in the future this research may have value, but until then it really is off topic and you know it is.
    =======================================
    Irony … that makes sense to me cause I see you as a strong man.

    I have discussed the effect of propaganda on people in several comments, especially the reason Tony C thinks that war is the source of freedom, and on the worship of bullies prevalent in our society, especially when responding to your statement about most all art being propaganda, wherein I quoted Orwellian “All Art Is Propaganda” wherein he coined the phrase bully worship.

    If this was a master class by a master professor at some university, with rules to guide the discourse, then your other point would be well taken.

    Cite me the rules of commenting here, posting here, and I will consider or reconsider your argument, seeing as how I respect you.

  112. Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @Dredd: I am not an attorney. I am a full time research scientist. My arguments do not require an authority; they stand on their own, they are based on readily available science to those that are interested in it or willing to google for it. As for citations, that is more work than I am willing to do for a person that is going to dismiss it out of hand anyway. I see little point in further conversation; enjoy your magical fantasy. Preferably somewhere else.
    =======================================
    I am not an attorney either, but I know better than to rely on my own authority.

    To the extent that you rely on your own authority is the extent that you are acting foolishly.

    You need to learn to cite authority or you are animating the essence of cultism, which is “trust me.”

    That is quite vulgar to competent researchers.

  113. “The control freak thinks I was talking about him.

    I was talking about Dawkins, who Mike S quoted, and who I rebutted.”

    Then the moron should be more specific in whom he addresses.

  114. Gene, translations are taking a while, I understand and speak arabic a lot better than I read it, and some are in Pastun, the Farsi I’ve already translated. What is your timeframe on your military propaganda article? I’m sending the pictures off to a friend who’s more fluent in Pashtun. Go ahead and use my email I use for posting comments.

  115. @Dredd: You are an idiot. I am not relying on my own authority, I am relying on proven science, but I am also not writing a journal or conference paper, I was having a conversation. With an idiot.

  116. Dredd,

    As far as I know there are no rules except civility and as you well know there is even a wide latitude with that. However, I know that you’re certainly more than intelligent enough to follow the thread’s topic as it plays out. I honestly think Gene’s series on propaganda is important and while you may differ, my personal opinion is that microbial influences on propaganda visual or otherwise is far afield. Now the fact that you have your own fine blog actually supports my position, since there you can write on anything you choose.

    Please understand that I’m not writing this from any position of authority other than my own thinking. This is JT’s blog and my only privilege here is that he honored me and others to write guest blogs on the weekends and when he’s on vacation. Given that, this is merely my opinion and appeal to your position as a long time denizen here.

  117. Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    @Dredd: You are an idiot. I am not relying on my own authority, I am relying on proven science, but I am also not writing a journal or conference paper, I was having a conversation. With an idiot.
    =========================================
    That would be yourself and the control freak.

  118. CLH,

    At least four weeks, probably more like six or eight. The next installment is going to be about print media and/or the Internet. After that I was planning on an entry about language and rhetoric and/or psychology (though I may split them up a bit). So that’s four weeks solid. Beyond that, I have plans certain for entries on propaganda in politics, propaganda for military purposes and the still unresolved in approach propaganda in religion. I’ve also got some ancillary topics I’m holding on to so I can space things out, so really no rush. I’ve got flexibility. Other than the next two which I’d like to do in that order (as I’d like to address the language/rhetoric/psychology aspects before moving into the “in application” discussions), I’m not tied to a fixed order yet. I’ll send you an e-mail in the next couple of weeks to see how you’re progressing. Thanks! This will be a nice addition to the series.

  119. Mike Spindell 1, June 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Dredd,

    As far as I know there are no rules except civility and as you well know there is even a wide latitude with that. However, I know that you’re certainly more than intelligent enough to follow the thread’s topic as it plays out. I honestly think Gene’s series on propaganda is important and while you may differ, my personal opinion is that microbial influences on propaganda visual or otherwise is far afield. Now the fact that you have your own fine blog actually supports my position, since there you can write on anything you choose.

    Please understand that I’m not writing this from any position of authority other than my own thinking. This is JT’s blog and my only privilege here is that he honored me and others to write guest blogs on the weekends and when he’s on vacation. Given that, this is merely my opinion and appeal to your position as a long time denizen here.
    =============================================
    Whatever.

    It is just that I don’t think I can remember any place in the blogosphere where imaginary rules of authority as an adjunct to control-freakism has been so extant in the imaginations of the elite keyboard pounders.

    At least without rules to support that insecurity with at least some sort of appearance of authority.

    I do not subscribe to “my fangs are bigger than your fangs” as an equal to rule based decency, while at the same time denying social Darwinism and posing as a nice art critic of the proper-gander sort.

    It is oids without anything of the uber oid sort to lift up the the only oids by the boot straps.

    This has to be a result of the “deep research” of self-authenticating workers at Disney Land, so I can only cite the wondrous authority of Tony “Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Authority” C to support these assertions.

    That should peer up the mini-skirts around the plastic barnyard of the current thread-bare thread.

    In closing, I will quote guru Shittake: “don’t start no shit and there won’t be no shit.”

  120. Tony C. 1, June 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @Dredd: I am not an attorney. I am a full time research scientist.
    ======================================
    Yeah well I like retired people who are now googlers, but you need to clean yourself up.

    It is shameful to quote yourself as an authority when you clearly are not.

  121. Don’t start none, don’t be none?

    Well then if you don’t want to catch shit for persistently hijacking threads and shameless self-promotion of your blog, Dredd, then why don’t you stop it?

    As to the sharper fangs, it’s not anyone else’s fault you pick arguments you can’t win other than your own. This is a marketplace of ideas – by nature a competitive place. That you bring a ridiculous product to market is your own doing. Ridiculous ideas get . . . ridiculed. Imagine that.

    As to authority? Well Tony having a professional science background rooted in biology certainly makes him a better authority on the subject of genetics and microbiology than you – a computer programmer (or me the amateur scientist for that matter, but since he agrees with me that you don’t know what you are talking about, that’s moot).

    I’d ask how you’d like it if people came to your blog and constantly tried to change the subject of threads to whatever they wanted to talk about instead of the topic at hand and filled their posts with self-promotion. However, since you have squat for traffic over there and you obviously have some pathological need to be the center of attention, you’d probably take any attention you can get. Just like a child acting out or the “Hey! There’s a party at MY place!” guy seeking attention.

  122. Self Promtion, Self Production, Attention Seekers and the organ grinder is not keeping a watch on the pets or is that pest? The Circus is officially out of control, the beast best be caged for the safety of others.

  123. @Dredd: I do not know who you are talking about; I am a full time research scientist working at an accredited large university. I get paid. I have an office.

    It is shameful to quote yourself as an authority when you clearly are not.

    Back at ya, you self-serving jerk that fills your posts with links to your own blog as if they were some kind of authority. Unlike you, I did not quote myself anywhere, I stated my logic, I was clear where I was stating an opinion, and every fact I used was not my own work at all, but easily locatable on the intertubes.

    Type “Junk DNA” into google, and start perusing the links. Here is the one from Wiki you SHOULD have read: Non-Coding DNA.

    I will remind you, and everybody, that YOU wanted to talk about junk DNA, I did that. But you did not REALLY want to have a conversation about it or what it meant or why it was a misnomer, you just wanted to bloviate about your misunderstood drivel about how junk DNA was really microbial DNA (it isn’t) and all your other magical speculations on what that means.

    We are not the authoritarians or control freaks here, Dredd, you are the one seeking fans, readers, to start your little fiefdom, it is you trying to develop some position of leadership by blog, or a following as an author.

    My metaphor goes like this: We just came to a party to discuss Gene’s art, with each other and with Gene, and you said, “Hey lookie there, a party, and the door is open, let me go see if anybody in there wants to save $200 or more on their car insurance …”

  124. Gene,

    Looking forward to the rest of your postings, and I’m taking a cue from Blouise’s excellent suggestion on Queen Elizabeth whereby you might also want to consider the Counter-Reformation as another point of viewing religious art as propaganda. As I’m sure you know, the church codified many rules during the century long Council Of Trent for many things including acceptable artwork and then actively commissioned artists to produce art with the goal of showing Catholicism as an enlightened belief relative to Protestantism.

    As a juxtaposition to this, one only needs to look at Caravaggio’s paintings for the Counter-Reformation of which many were done under commission and then rejected because of his realistic painting style. His themes were acceptable to the church, but his realism was too shocking and dark, not “uplifting” enough. Because we all know angels have white wings not dark gray/black, dammit!

  125. The House of Representatives had a bill (“Smith-Mundt Act of 2012″) floating around within the 2012 budget bill that involved the legalization of foreign propaganda within U.S. boundaries.

    If that means “propaganda” is illegal within the U.S. boundaries at the moment, would the posters Gene has provided in his post be legal or not if done by a foreign government?

    This illustrates a need for the definition of propaganda, in legal terminology.

    Some of the posters Gene provided were done by “The United States War Department“, others were done by foreign governments.

    Evidently the “Smith-Mundt Act of 1948” originally defined propaganda thusly:

    The term ‘political propaganda’ includes any oral, visual, graphic, written, pictorial, or other communication or expression by any person (1) which is reasonably adapted to, or which the person disseminating the same believes will, or which he intends to, prevail upon, indoctrinate, convert, induce, or in any other way influence a recipient or any section of the public within the United States with reference to the political or public interests, policies, or relations of a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party or with reference to the foreign policies of the United States or promote in the United States racial, religious, or social dissensions, or (2) which advocates, advises, instigates, or promotes any racial, social, political, or religious disorder, civil riot, or other conflict involving the use of force or violence in any other American republic or the overthrow of any government or political subdivision of any other American republic by any means involving the use of force or violence. As used in this subsection the term ‘disseminating’ includes transmitting or causing to be transmitted in the United States mails or by any means or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce or offering or causing to be offered in the United States mails;

    (22 U.S.C. § 611(j), emphasis added, repealed in 1995). The point is that without legal definitions of propaganda, especially since “art is in the eye of the beholder”, one can’t get a handle on whether or not propaganda can be conveyed by art can one?

    At least in the sense of government propaganda?

  126. “The point is that without legal definitions of propaganda, especially since ‘art is in the eye of the beholder’, one can’t get a handle on whether or not propaganda can be conveyed by art can one?

    At least in the sense of government propaganda?”

    Nonsense.

    The discussion of art in the sense of fine art or graphic art is an aesthetic discussion. Since the topic is medium and the mediums in question are artistic, legality is not relevant to discussion either of the beauty (or not) or effectiveness propaganda (or any message) through said mediums. “What was the artist trying to say” is a fundamental question in evaluating art. Concurrently, “what is the speaker really saying” is a fundamental question in evaluating propaganda. Legality is a separate issue.

  127. The poster asks:

    Can propaganda be considered art?

    What do you think?

    Depends on the definition of propaganda and who is doing the art and the definition of propaganda.

    Except in the bully religion that is being evangelized by propaganda.

  128. It is respectfully disagreed that anyone is an authority of what constitutes propaganda, unless however, one is an expert in that particular area. Lay opinions are exactly that, non experts.

    Anyone’s lay opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s, unless you happen to disagree with the messenger. This is what’s relatively apparent Dredd. You have no more hijacked this thread than any of the other guests, guest bloggers or troll. Your opinion counts just as theirs. Unless and of course, you have editorial privileges, then that makes your statements more or less moot, as you are not as good. Figure that out and you will be just fine.

  129. Just turn the question around: “Can Art be considered propaganda?”

    Besides being aesthetically pleasing, art can convey a message, and propaganda is just a form of messaging. Using the definition of the word “can,” we could rephrase the question as, “Is it possible for Art to be considered propaganda?”

    That practically answers itself, of course somebody could consider the message conveyed by a piece of artistry as propaganda. So the reverse is true as well: It is possible for propaganda to be considered art; because the nature of a message conveyed by art does not make it non-art.

    That logic does not depend on a legal definition of propaganda, it only depends upon propaganda being classified as a form of message. As for art conveying a message, any song will do, as will any poster with writing on it, and most “heroic” images without words as well. Even instrumental songs can convey a message by association; like “Taps” at a funeral, or unspoken ritual, such as the military honor detail and 21-gun salute for a soldier fallen in battle.

  130. Propaganda was defined at the very beginning of this series. To wit:

    “What is propaganda? Webster’s defines the word as follows:

    propaganda \ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də, ˌprō-\, n.,

    1 capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions (ed. note: Not relevant, but interesting.)

    2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

    3: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

    But that’s not exactly what people feel when they hear the word, is it? Why do most people have a negative reaction to the word “propaganda”? After all, by definition, “propaganda” is much like the verb “to persuade” in meaning.

    persuade \pər-ˈswād\, v., v.t.,

    1: to move by argument, entreaty, or expostulation to a belief, position, or course of action

    2: to plead with : urge

    Etymologically speaking, the word “propaganda” is fairly new as a political science term. “Propaganda” didn’t come into common use as a political science term until World War I. Even then it was not a pejorative in use like it is today. The word originated (some would say unsurprisingly so) as shorthand referring to the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregatio de Propaganda Fide or the “congregation for propagating the faith”. This committee of cardinals was established in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV to supervise foreign missions. The word “propaganda” is the feminine gerund of the Italian verb “propagando” which in turn is derived from the Latin verb prōpāgō, meaning “to propagate”.

    propagate \ˈprä-pə-ˌgāt\, v., v.t.,

    3a : to cause to spread out and affect a greater number or greater area : extend b : to foster growing knowledge of, familiarity with, or acceptance of (as an idea or belief) : publicize c : to transmit (as sound or light) through a medium

    Clearly the largest distinction between persuasion and propaganda is that propaganda is a form of large scale persuasion. Persuasion isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Changing someone’s mind is a better tactic than violence. Persuasion is at the heart of society’s pillar and replacement for self-help justice and dispute resolution, the adversarial court system. Persuasion is an alternative to coercion.

    So what is propaganda? It’s a tool to change people’s minds.”

    If you don’t know the definition of “propaganda” by now, you didn’t read or perhaps didn’t understand the first installment and/or you haven’t been following the topical discussion.

    The definition of art is a more malleable proposition because it involves and aesthetic judgment which is often subjective. The relevant definition of “art” for the purposes of discussion here is “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects”. Aesthetics are matters of, relating to, or dealing with aesthetics or the beautiful as an adjective. As a noun, aesthetics are “a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste and with the creation and appreciation of beauty or: a particular theory or conception of beauty or art – a particular taste for or approach to what is pleasing to the senses and especially sight”.

    Deciding whether propaganda is art is asking a blended question about the nature of beauty from subjective and objective standards as applied to the objective definition (provided above) of what constitutes propaganda in both the value laden and the value neutral meanings of the word.

    An expert is one with the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject and especially gained through experience and study. As propaganda is intimately tied to communication, language and persuasion, a person with the proper expertise to evaluate the subject in an expert manner could come from any number of fields of study and practice from psychology to art history. Given the reliance on language and rhetoric in creating effective propaganda, one such background suitable to be considered expert is someone with the analytical background and rhetorical skills required to understand the nature of persuasive speech – for example a lawyer with a degree in English who has studied the topic of propaganda extensively.

    Validity of opinion isn’t the issue. Everyone is entitled to one. How other’s evaluate the validity and intellectual merit of another’s opinion is equally left up to the audience.

  131. Another aspect of propaganda: outright lies by high level government officials that are intended to drum up support for offensive activities.
    “mushroom cloud”, “wmd”, vial of “anthrax”, etc.

  132. Mommies Boy 1, June 20, 2012 at 11:14 am

    It is respectfully disagreed that anyone is an authority of what constitutes propaganda, unless however, one is an expert in that particular area. Lay opinions are exactly that, non experts.

    Anyone’s lay opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s, unless you happen to disagree with the messenger. This is what’s relatively apparent Dredd. You have no more hijacked this thread than any of the other guests, guest bloggers or troll. Your opinion counts just as theirs. Unless and of course, you have editorial privileges, then that makes your statements more or less moot, as you are not as good. Figure that out and you will be just fine.
    ==================================================
    Currently I am trying to show that there is a legal distinction that engenders a bipartite reality with respect to propaganda.

    Notice, again, the definition congress gave it:

    The term ‘political propaganda’ includes any oral, visual, graphic, written, pictorial, or other communication or expression by any person (1) which is reasonably adapted to, or which the person disseminating the same believes will, or which he intends to, prevail upon, indoctrinate, convert, induce, or in any other way influence a recipient or any section of the public within the United States with reference to the political or public interests, policies, or relations of a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party or with reference to the foreign policies of the United States or promote in the United States racial, religious, or social dissensions, or (2) which advocates, advises, instigates, or promotes any racial, social, political, or religious disorder, civil riot, or other conflict involving the use of force or violence in any other American republic or the overthrow of any government or political subdivision of any other American republic by any means involving the use of force or violence. As used in this subsection the term ‘disseminating’ includes transmitting or causing to be transmitted in the United States mails or by any means or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce or offering or causing to be offered in the United States mails;

    (22 U.S.C. § 611(j)). That had the force of law because it was the law, which may be modified if the current bill is not vetoed or shot down by the Senate.

    Congress regulates art? Congress defines or conflates art with propaganda, and can forbid it?

    “… any oral, visual, graphic, written, pictorial, or other communication or expression by any person … ”

    It would seem that “any” includes art.

    But we can see at once that congress cannot regulate private art that way because of constitutional constraints (1st Amendment, etc.).

    Thus, propaganda can be regulated if it is foreign governments doing the art containing the propaganda.

    However, that would not hold true for American Artists who were doing counter-propaganda to strike back at the Empire.

    One definition, one size if you will, does not seem to fit all.

  133. Gene H. 1, June 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Propaganda was defined at the very beginning…

    But that’s not exactly what people feel when they hear the word, is it? Why do most people have a negative reaction to the word “propaganda”?
    ===================================
    Word meanings change.

    Sometimes so much that if one adheres to them they will become “entertaining”:

    The Voynich manuscript is a handwritten book thought to have been written in the early 15th century [circa 1404] and comprising about 240 vellum pages, most with illustrations. The author, script, and language remain unknown: for these reasons it has been described as “the world’s most mysterious manuscript”.

    (Ancient …). That book could be complete and utter propaganda but the prosecution would have a hard time proving the case.

    Modern propaganda is not our great great great great grandpa’s propaganda.

  134. “Currently I am trying to show that there is a legal distinction that engenders a bipartite reality with respect to propaganda.

    Notice, again, the definition congress gave it:”

    Notice again, that legality and legal definitions are not the topic of this current column. The subject is can propaganda as generally defined (as opposed to legally defined) have aesthetic artistic appeal and/or merit as a visual art form.

    Your second statement is argument by non-sequitur. Semantic drift is not relevant to the topic at hand.

    The word was defined within the proper etymological context and for the purposes of this discussion. If you want to make up the meaning of words, conflate them or use them out of context or prematurely, you go right ahead. It’s one of the thing you are good at doing.

  135. Gene H. 1, June 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    “Currently I am trying to show that there is a legal distinction that engenders a bipartite reality with respect to propaganda.

    Notice, again, the definition congress gave it:”

    Notice again, that legality and legal definitions are not the topic of this current column. The subject is can propaganda as generally defined (as opposed to legally defined) have aesthetic artistic appeal and/or merit as a visual art form.

    Your second statement is argument by non-sequitur. Semantic drift is not relevant to the topic at hand.

    The word was defined within the proper etymological context and for the purposes of this discussion. If you want to make up the meaning of words, conflate them or use them out of context or prematurely, you go right ahead. It’s one of the thing you are good at doing.
    =========================================
    I am of the growing opinion that you are in denial about the reality of propaganda as a very destructive force in American society.

    You want to make a comic book feature out of it, which is art, but so is anything else anyone wants to call art.

    It is dysfunctional to both art and the citizen’s duty to understand the utter destructiveness of the propaganda disease.

    It is a disservice in the sense that it is a plastic mini-skirt intended to hide what should be exposed, but reveal what should be hidden.

  136. And I’m under the growing impression there is something very wrong with you and you have no idea why I’m writing this series in the first place.

    Here’s a hint: In toto, the series is not a defense of propaganda, but rather it is illustrating the history and methodology of propaganda so people can learn to evaluate propaganda properly and inoculate themselves against the negative influences. The first article defined the issue, the second and third have been historical examples using architecture and visual arts mediums of communication as examples.

    You have your own space to discuss propaganda in any manner you see fit, Dredd. It’s called “your own blog”. I suggest you worry about the content of it instead of worrying about the content of this blog. I’ll write what I wish and how I wish for this blog within the constraints presented by the rightful owner and that includes structuring presentation of themes and formulating questions around the subject matter of given articles. If you want it done differently here, that’s simply too bad for you. I don’t write to cater to your specific beliefs, desires or neediness nor will I start to do so simply because you want to repeatedly act out seeking attention for yourself.

  137. @Dredd: What is your obsession with mini-skirts?

    The Voynich manuscript probably WAS propaganda. The last thing I saw on it was that it is most likely code but for a foreign language, or mix of foreign languages, used to record the dogma of a secret religion or cult without exposing those secrets to non-initiates. Secret “Mystery” religions were rampant in the middle ages, this is probably a relic of one of them. The herbal stuff is probably about magical potions or medicines (same thing, in the middle ages).

  138. Tony C. 1, June 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    @Dredd: What is your obsession with mini-skirts?

    The Voynich manuscript probably WAS propaganda. The last thing I saw on it was that it is most likely code but for a foreign language, or mix of foreign languages, used to record the dogma of a secret religion or cult without exposing those secrets to non-initiates. Secret “Mystery” religions were rampant in the middle ages, this is probably a relic of one of them. The herbal stuff is probably about magical potions or medicines (same thing, in the middle ages).
    =====================================
    You know.

    Your points about the manuscript are well taken.

    It is also possible that the manuscript did not change with time. Any reflection of language, such as a dictionary, must change with time or suffer the same fate the manuscript did.

    They had the best code breakers, using the best computers and software, to try to figure the manuscript out, to no avail.

    And that illustrates a point about congress trying to define propaganda, and it illustrates a point about Gene asking why do Americans have a dim view of propaganda but the dictionary he used does not.

    It is like the CLE (continuing legal education) principle.

    One has to keep up with meanings to be up to date.

    Otherwise the meanings of things in that dictionary may suffer the oblivion of understanding that the manuscript did.

    Congress defined propaganda, while at the same time forbidding foreign agents to utilize it in any way.

    There is more than one way to look at propaganda, but obviously it is not like M&M’s if they wanted to protect people from it.

  139. “And that illustrates a point about congress trying to define propaganda, and it illustrates a point about Gene asking why do Americans have a dim view of propaganda but the dictionary he used does not.”

    Mischaracterization that leads to a straw man and shows a complete lack of understanding of the value loading of words. To wit:

    “That leaves us with word choice and the idea of ‘value loaded’ words and how it relates to propaganda. What are words loaded with? They are loaded with implication. This is why connotation is the edge of the propagandist’s knife. Word choice is critical. As I noted earlier, the denotation of a word is not the direct province of the propagandist. The edge of the propagandist’s knife so to speak lies in the connotation of words. However, knowing the proper denotation of words – i.e. having a large vocabulary – puts one at a tactical advantage against the propagandist. If one knows the actual meaning of words, it becomes more difficult for the propagandist to use connotation against you.

    For example, consider the use of media outlets like NPR that made a public and conscious decision to refrain from reporting on ‘torture’ – a word with extremely negative denotation and connotation – and instead choosing to use the euphemistic language ‘enhanced interrogation’. Everyone with a conscience thinks torture is a bad thing and torturers are ethically abhorrent people. It’s not only a Federal crime, cruel and unusual punishment is specifically barred by the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. The word choice here is designed to clearly shift public attitudes from ‘those guys need to be prosecuted as criminals’ to ‘maybe they aren’t so bad after all’. NPR (aided by the Bush Administration no doubt) chose words with a neutral/positive value load compared to the word ‘torture’. Connotation plays to your emotional response over your rational response. When the word choice becomes more subtle, the damage of connotations can be even more insidious. Compare:

    war – limited police action
    conquest – liberation
    famine – widespread hunger
    pestilence – outbreak
    death – casualties

    Be aware and suspicious of word choice, certainly. Especially when dealing with adjectives as they have by their nature a great capacity to carry connotation.”

    If I didn’t think propaganda was dangerous, I wouldn’t be teaching people how recognize it for the purposes of inoculation against it. Keep your own words in your own mouth. Oh, that’s right, you have to put your words in the mouths of others because no one pays attention to your words at your own blog.

  140. A new art museum is opening up:

    An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

    The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the independent Broadcasting Board of Governors, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

    (Buzz Feed). The art is called “Impressionism or Else.”

  141. From “Without a Doubt,” by Ron Suskind, The New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004:

    The crowd went wild … when the president finally arrived and gave his stump speech. There were Bush’s periodic stumbles and gaffes, but for the followers of the faith-based president, that was just fine. They got it — and “it” was the faith.

    And for those who don’t get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush … He started by challenging me. “You think he’s an idiot, don’t you?” I said, no, I didn’t. “No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!” In this instance, the final “you,” of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

    What does Bush media guru Mark McKinnon tell us here about the propaganda techniques used by the Bush campaign in 2004? The intended audience? The use of imagery vs words? Methods of inoculation against anticipated counter-propaganda and/or criticism? Why the passing dig at Wall Street, a bastion of Republican Party funding and political support? How can one recognize this sort of propaganda and defend oneself against it? And what does this tell us about those who do not even think they need to try?

    In my opinion, the above quote from Ron Suskind’s now-famous article constitutes the most cynical and appalling thing I’ve ever read about what some American political “leaders” truly think of the American people.

  142. Michael Murry 1, June 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

    From “Without a Doubt,” by Ron Suskind, The New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004:

    The crowd went wild … when the president finally arrived and gave his stump speech. There were Bush’s periodic stumbles and gaffes, but for the followers of the faith-based president, that was just fine. They got it — and “it” was the faith.

    And for those who don’t get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush … He started by challenging me. “You think he’s an idiot, don’t you?” I said, no, I didn’t. “No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!” In this instance, the final “you,” of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

    What does Bush media guru Mark McKinnon tell us here about the propaganda techniques used by the Bush campaign in 2004? The intended audience? The use of imagery vs words? Methods of inoculation against anticipated counter-propaganda and/or criticism? Why the passing dig at Wall Street, a bastion of Republican Party funding and political support? How can one recognize this sort of propaganda and defend oneself against it? And what does this tell us about those who do not even think they need to try?

    In my opinion, the above quote from Ron Suskind’s now-famous article constitutes the most cynical and appalling thing I’ve ever read about what some American political “leaders” truly think of the American people.
    ==================================================
    Indeed, they seem to hold the American people in contempt.

    That is the internal dynamic of the bully religion, because they have a lot of worshipers.

    Thanks for the quote, and as a favor I will give you one that illustrates further the propaganda arrogance they exude:

    ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    (Saint Warmonger the Hero). Just remember that these bozos are merely the puppets.

  143. Gene, no links at all.
    I believe it’s about content, prior comments I made, and perhaps about the BPR. Not important. I know I’m a big-mouth and I have no absolute right to post wherever I start spouting off. (The comment awaiting was re Zimmerman developments overnight; I’ll go over to Sling Trebuchet’s blog later and write out my impressions there. Best regards.)

  144. Malisha,

    I doubt that it is content related. The filtering software isn’t perfect. I’ll check it out.

  145. Mailisha,

    Actually it was content related. The Professor recently added a very small list of words (four to be precise) that trigger moderation. You happened to use one of them. I made a substitution and approved the comment. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  146. Well . . . damn. WordPress strikes again.

    Malisha,

    I approved the comment and then it apparently disappeared into the ether of WordPress. I don’t see where it posted, anyway.

    Try posting the comment again without spelling out “a**hole”.

    Again, sorry for the inconvenience.

  147. Revisionist history is a form of propaganda, however it is not art, unless perhaps accompanied by artwork that aids in catapulting that propaganda.

    Some of the revisionist history is interesting.

    What if the House of Representatives asked Russia, China, or Saudi Arabia to attack the U.S. to remove Obama:

    It is a well-known fact that, despite various attempts, England hasn’t been successfully invaded since the Norman Conquest of 1066, led by William the Conqueror.

    However, the truth is that there was a much more recent conquest, when the Dutch leader William of Orange invaded in 1688, ousting James II, to become King William III. So why do we not talk about the Dutch Conquest of England?

    The reason is that it is generally considered to have been a revolution rather than an invasion, because William was invited to invade by parliament, and although he arrived with a considerable army and navy, there was hardly any actual fighting. As a result, the invasion is usually described as The Glorious Revolution.

    (11 Myths In History Books). I guess we could argue about whether or not propaganda, art, or revisionist history is involved, but I dare some some neoCon elements talk as if they think that would be ok in the context of overthrowing Obama.

  148. Dredd,

    Thanks for mentioning the famous — or notorious — “empire” quote from Ron Suskind’s article, “Without a Doubt,” which appeared shortly before the election of George Dubya Bush to a second term as President of the United States in November of 2004. At the beginning of his book, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, Sheldon Wolin also makes effective use of this quote: .

    The underlying metaphysic to these dreams of glory, of an “American century,” of Superpower, was revealed in the musings of a high-level administration official when he or she attributed a view of “reality” to reporters and then contrasted it with that held by the administration: reporters and commentators were “in what we [i.e., the administration] call the reality based-community [which] believe[s] that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the world works anymore. We’re an empire now, we create our own reality. and while you’re studying that reality — judiciously as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study, too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    It would be difficult to find a more faithful representative of the totalitarian credo that true politics is essentially a matter of “will,” of determination to master the uses of power and to deploy them to reconstitute reality. The statement is a fitting epitaph to Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will — is it a possible epitaph for democracy in America?

    As Professor Wolin observes, this quote boldly — or baldly — states the quintessential totalitarian credo, or underlying metaphysic of the power-intoxicated bureaucrat exulting in his own perceived omnipotence. In my view, however, the Suskind quote I offered above by media guru Mark McKinnon deals with the mechanisms of propaganda designed and deployed by a paid propagandist to advance the totalitarian project of Superpower. In the previous installment of this propaganda project, I quoted Professor Wolin’s two introductory paragraphs where he compared the Riefenstahl propaganda masterpiece to the George Dubya Bush “Top Gun” aircraft carrier landing stunt shortly after launching his blitzkrieg assault on Iraq in March of 2003. I won’t repeat those here, but I would like to add an additional quote from Professor Wolin where he further discusses these two propaganda media extravaganzas.

    Both spectacles are examples of the distinctively modern mode of myth creation. They are the self-conscious constructions of visual media, Cinema and television share a common quality of being tyrannical in a specific sense. They are able to block out, eliminate whatever might introduce qualification, ambiguity, or dialogue, anything that might weaken or complicate the holistic force of their creation, of its total impression.

    In a curious but important way these media effects mesh with religious practice. In many Christian religions the believer participates in ceremonies much as the movie or TV watcher takes part in the spectacle presented. In neither case do they participate as the democratic citizen is supposed to do, as actively engaged in decisions and sharing in the exercise of power. They participate as communicants in a ceremony prescribed by the masters of the ceremony. Those assembled at Nuremberg or on the USS Abraham Lincoln did not share power with their leaders. Their relationship was thaumaturgical: they were being favored by a wondrous power in a form and at a time of its choosing.

    So again I ask, as I did above, what do the comments made by Mark McKinnon reveal about the propaganda strategies and tactics employed by these neo-totalitarians in light of what both Ron Suskind and Sheldon Wolin have written about their ultimate project? I would really like to discuss these questions because I find them fascinating. Frightening, sure, but fascinating none the less.

  149. Michael Murry 1, June 21, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Dredd,
    ….
    So again I ask, as I did above, what do the comments made by Mark McKinnon reveal about the propaganda strategies and tactics employed by these neo-totalitarians in light of what both Ron Suskind and Sheldon Wolin have written about their ultimate project? I would really like to discuss these questions because I find them fascinating. Frightening, sure, but fascinating none the less.
    ================================================
    Ok, let me fuse it with my statement above:

    Revisionist history is a form of propaganda, however it is not art, unless perhaps accompanied by artwork that aids in catapulting that propaganda.

    That way, throwing in a picture of Karl Rove as I do on my post I linked to, will tie in with the artsy/fartsy/propaganda discussion in this post.

    That is, if pictures of favorite political figures accompany the propaganda directed toward a meme complex, it will sink in deeper and last longer.

    I think the answer is “yes” to your question:

    “what do the comments made by Mark McKinnon reveal about the propaganda strategies and tactics employed by these neo-totalitarians in light of what both Ron Suskind and Sheldon Wolin have written about their ultimate project?”

    “We are an empire” appeals to those who are class B authoritarians, who worship bullies, and who are more faith based than they are fact based.

    Nevertheless, we have evidence that the intensity of propaganda is limited to the meme complex it eminates from:

    How misinformed are Republicans about world affairs? If presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s assertion that Russia is “without question our number one geopolitical foe” is any indication, then the answer would appear to be very.

    A new poll supports that theory.

    The poll, constructed by Dartmouth government professor Benjamin Valentino and conducted by YouGov from April 26 to May 2, found that fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded in 2003. By contrast, 27 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats shared that view.

    Jim Lobe, chief of the Inter Press Service’s Washington bureau, reported the finding in his blog on Wednesday.

    The Bush administration’s insistence that the Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction and might give them to terrorists was a key selling point in its campaign to take the country to war. It turned out to be untrue.

    (Yes, Iraq Definitely Had WMD, Vast Majority Of Polled Republicans Insist). The strategy of propagandists, in this context, is to target a core base with the most ludicrous assertions, but water it down to pull in some from outside that base meme complex.

    What do you think?

  150. I ran across this article today that dovetails with the subject of cinema as propaganda. It was written by Eric Alterman, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a CUNY distinguished professor of English and journalism at Brooklyn College and published on the Center for American Progress website. He looks at a film that I, like Professor Alterman before writing his article, was previously unaware of: The Fearmakers (1958) starring Dana Andrews and directed by the brilliant Jacques Tourneur. A very observant piece by Prof. Alterman that I highly recommend, it has now put me on a mission to see the film in question.

    “Think Again: Fearmaking, Then and Now

    By Eric Alterman | June 21, 2012″

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/06/ta_062112.html

  151. Gene H. 1, June 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I ran across this article today that dovetails with the subject of cinema as propaganda.
    =========================
    Good lead Gene. I want to check that out to.

    I have read many articles over time about the strong influence the Pentagon has over “Holly Would” and what they produce.

    Strong surges usually happen when they need a boost of some sort, but there is general propaganda most all of the time.

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