Here in Texas I pass a sign on my way to school that reads:
“The Bigger the Government, the Smaller the People”
There is a grain of truth in this axiom, reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson saying, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”
Yet this statement implies a false assumption – that shrinking the government returns power to the people. In fact shrinking the government does not really empower the people, but strengthens the government’s historical rival – Big Business.
The sign also reads, “Stop divisive class warfare!”
What an interesting turn of phrase. I presume this being Texas it referred to ‘class warfare’ in the FOX news sense – demanding higher taxes on the very wealthy perceived as ‘punishing success’ (I view it as power bringing responsibility). There’s also the fact that the sign was for an investment securities company.
The first thing I thought of upon reading that however was the opposite – the war of the rich against the middle and lower classes. The elite do not want competitors, they want control – and they wield their significant resources harshly to leverage that agenda.
Perhaps the most frightening thing about propaganda is that it works. Insanely simple – that one can put up a sign literally telling people what to think – and half of the people who read it will believe it without question. Likely this occurs due to the human mind being hard-wired for culture, wherein currently held beliefs are reinforced with little doubt, allowing fallacies of logic to disguise themselves as legitimacy.
There can be no doubt of advertising’s effectiveness – it is a multi-billion dollar a year industry in the US alone. Indeed it is a driving force behind consumer capitalism, creating demand where previously there had been none. Preying on insecurities, hyping “cool” products as status symbols, layering every product message with sex to appeal to the most primal instinct. It is probably a good thing we lack the technology for “smell-o-vision” as I imagine that would be very effective.
Propaganda is outside stimuli affecting the inner desires, it is a form of mind control – though I can hardly blame companies for trying to sell their products, as profit is necessary to survive in a capitalized world with diminished natural resources.
In a way even this blog of mine is propaganda. I don’t believe people innately like being told what to think – but honestly some people just aren’t good at thinking and they accept some external influences without resistance. The programming of living beings. However it is not my desire to “teach” people to see things as I do, but rather to plant seeds of doubt in their own stubborn beliefs. I want people to think for themselves, this writing of mine is born only of my need to express it.
I try not to think that I know things, as difficult as that is, for as much as I might think I know, there is certainly much more that I do not.