Monday, November 03, 2008
How will they attempt to form popular opinion?
In times like these, with a communist power (and holder of the world's largest population) experiencing an economic crisis, it helps to understand what their "playbook" may look like in these situations.
"Propaganda" by Jacques Ellul is one of the best books on the subject of fooling the populace, and the following quotation is important today:
"...The more complex, general, and accelerated political and economic phenomenae become, the more do indivduals feel concerned, the more do they want to get involved. In a certain sense this is democracy's gain, but it also leads to more propaganda. And the individual does not want information, only value judgements and preconceived positions...he feels his weakness, his iconsistency, his lack of effectiveness. He realizes that he depends on decisions over which he has no control, and that realization drives him to despair. Man cannot stay in this situation too long. He needs an ideological veil to cover the harsh reality, some consolation. A raison d' etre, a sense of values. And only propaganda offers him a rememdy for a basically intolerable situation."
The answer that the Paper Dragon will provide for its citizens for the current malaise is "its America's fault...the transition from our system to a more open one is a faustian bargain"
Of course, we here in America have been (warning: mixed metaphors coming up) "bombarded" with "massive waves" of "unrelenting" propaganda. Our political "leadership" is listless and unaware of the basic human condition that caused this.
Human beings extrapolate their present condition (be it in plenty or in want) to infinity. Plentiful times cause greed when fear and prudence is justified, and scarce times cause fear when greed and risk-taking is the rule of the day.