Submitted by: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger
The two major themes that run through most of my guest blogs here are the idea that we are being manipulated by a Corporate Oligarchy, whose aim is to re-establish Feudalism in an American format. The second theme is my belief that their method of control is perpetrating this revision of America through manipulation of the National myths to which we have all been exposed. They have worked hard and somewhat successfully to take the myths and turn them into memes. One myth that I’ve recently written about is the “American Dream” that all of us have an equal chance of fulfilling all our aspirations based on our innate abilities and hard work alone. One meme that has been developed from this is that our Elite 1% are entrepreneurial heroes, who are the only “job creators” worth mentioning. The truth is that most of the 1% inherited their wealth, like the Koch Brothers or Donald Trump, while many others were born in privileged settings and rose in the world through their contacts with others from the same background.
Gene Howington, a friend and another guest blogger, has approached the same territory with his four part series of discussions of propaganda methodology. Gene and I are running on parallel tracks getting at the same thing and interestingly both of us set out on our parallel paths independent of discussion with the other. Gene and I have both touched on the mechanisms that are being used and in Gene’s case eve the science of the manipulation, but I think both of us have missed the specific science that has been adopted by corporations and used to perform this attempt to control. Today I came across an article at Alternet.org http://www.alternet.org/ that flashed the proverbial light bulb in my brain. When I read it my thought was, of course……. .Why haven’t I as someone trained in mental health seen this connection before? I will present extensive quotes from the article and then link it. I think it is important enough that everyone who visits here should read this article through.
“The corporatization of society requires a population that accepts control by authorities, and so when psychologists and psychiatrists began providing techniques that could control people, the corporatocracy embraced mental health professionals. In psychologist B.F. Skinner’s best-selling book Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971), he argued that freedom and dignity are illusions that hinder the science of behavior modification, which he claimed could create a better-organized and happier society.”
“During the height of Skinner’s fame in the 1970s, it was obvious to anti-authoritarians such as Noam Chomsky (“The Case Against B.F. Skinner”) and Lewis Mumord that Skinner’s worldview—a society ruled by benevolent control freaks—was antithetical to democracy. In Skinner’s novel Walden Two (1948), his behaviorist hero states, “We do not take history seriously,” to which Lewis Mumford retorted, “And no wonder: if man knew no history, the Skinners would govern the world, as Skinner himself has modestly proposed in his behaviorist utopia.” As a psychology student during that era, I remember being embarrassed by the silence of most psychologists about the political ramifications of Skinner and behavior modification.”
This article is titled: “Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate and Control?” and it is written by Bruce E. Levine . After some explanation of the methodology used to manipulate us, Mr. Levine goes on to provide the background of the Psychologist who most influenced B.F. Skinner and surprisingly, or perhaps not, this man gave up his profession to become an Executive with the famous J.Walter Thompson advertising Agency in the 1940’s.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Walter_Thompson_Company
“[B.F.]Skinner was heavily influenced by the book Behaviorism (1924) by John B. Watson. Watson achieved some fame in the early 1900s by advocating a mechanical, rigid, affectionless manner in child rearing. He confidently asserted that he could take any healthy infant, and given complete control of the infant’s world, train him for any profession. When Watson was in his early 40s, he quit university life and began a new career in advertising at J. Walter Thompson.
Behaviorism and consumerism, two ideologies that achieved tremendous power in the 20th century, are cut from the same cloth. The shopper, the student, the worker, and the voter are all seen by consumerism and behaviorism the same way: passive, conditionable objects.”
How exactly do we get from B.F.Skinner’s psychological theories to an anti-democratic manipulation?
“For Skinner, all behavior is externally controlled, and we don’t truly have freedom and choice. Behaviorists see freedom, choice, and intrinsic motivations as illusory, or what Skinner called “phantoms.” Back in the 1970s, Noam Chomsky exposed Skinner’s unscientific view of science, specifically Skinner’s view that science should be prohibited from examining internal states and intrinsic forces.
In democracy, citizens are free to think for themselves and explore, and are motivated by very real—not phantom—intrinsic forces, including curiosity and a desire for justice, community, and solidarity. What is also scary about behaviorists is that their external controls can destroy intrinsic forces of our humanity that are necessary for a democratic society.”
The “conditioning” of many Americans, the fruit of which we’re now seeing starts with our children:
“Behavior modification can also destroy our intrinsic desire for compassion, which is necessary for a democratic society. Kohn offers several studies showing “children whose parents believe in using rewards to motivate them are less cooperative and generous [children] than their peers.” Children of mothers who relied on tangible rewards were less likely than other children to care and share at home.
How, in a democratic society, do children become ethical and caring adults? They need a history of being cared about, taken seriously, and respected, which they can model and reciprocate. Today, the mental health profession has gone beyond behavioral technologies of control. It now diagnoses noncompliant toddlers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and pediatric bipolar disorder and attempts to control them with heavily sedating drugs. While Big Pharma directly profits from drug prescribing, the entire corporatocracy benefits from the mental health profession’s legitimization of conditioning and controlling.”
I hope my quotations have given you enough of a taste of this article to cause you to follow this link and read it in its’ entirety, with the various backup evidence it offers. It will take perhaps 5 minutes of your time, but I think that time will be well worth it to you. http://www.alternet.org/why-are-americans-so-easy-manipulate-and-control?page=0%2C2&paging=off
Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger