I enjoyed reading the sections given here about propaganda and its history. One topic is not covered: Is all persuasion in some degree propaganda? Speech is persuasion in nature, and some argue that all speech is political. It seems easy to look at political speech and see much of it, for example in the appeal to emotions, as propaganda. Certainly nearly all advertising and the spin masters of PR firms would also qualify.
- It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion.
- attributed to Joseph Goebbels
Footnoting edits, showing quotations removed 1
On April 25, with this edit, I removed three individual quotes:
- The Vietnam War is a classic example of America's propaganda system. In the mainstream media--the New York Times, CBS, and so on-- there was a lively debate about the war. It was between people called "doves" and people called "hawks." The hawks said, "If we keep at it we can win." The doves said, "Even if we keep at it, it would probably be too costly for use, and besides, maybe we're killing too many people." Both sides agreed on one thing. We had a right to carry out aggression against South Vietnam. Doves and hawks alike refused to admit that aggression was taking place. They both called our military presence in Southeast Asia the defense of South Vietnam, substituting "defense" for "aggression" in the standard Orwellian manner. ( Noam Chomsky in Propaganda, American-style, ZPub (1987))
- The media want to maintain their intimate relation to state power. They want to get leaks, they want to get invited to the press conferences. They want to rub shoulders with the Secretary of State, all that kind of business. To do that, you've got to play the game, and playing the game means telling their lies, serving as their disinformation apparatus.(Noam Chomsky, Chronicles of Dissent; Non-Conspiracy Analysis of Propaganda System(24 October 1986))
- The real purpose of state secrecy is to enable governments to establish their own self-interested and often mendacious version of the truth by the careful selection of “facts” to be passed on to the public. They feel enraged by any revelation of what they really know, or by any alternative source of information. Such threats to their control of the news agenda must be suppressed where possible and, where not, those responsible must be pursued and punished.
Revealing important information about the Yemen war – in which at least 70,000 people have been killed – is the reason why the US government is persecuting both Assange and Zikry.(Patrick Cockburn, Why the US is Persecuting Assange? CounterPunch (4 June 2019))
I removed these three quotes as off-topic. Instead of being "about" propaganda, they are one-sided negative assertions about the sock team's usual punching bags: US government, news media, state secrecy, and foes of Julian Assange. By the way, I am old enough to have been an active dove on the Vietnam War and Chomsky's assertion that doves agreed the US had a right to kill people in South Vietnam is so outrageously false as to cast doubt on the truth-value of his many other assertions, poured into Wikiquote by the gallon by socks.
In this same edit/diff, I removed a long passage of editorializing and finger-pointing by Chomsky from a 1991 pamphlet available online:
- The issue is whether we want to live in a free society or whether we want to live under what amounts to a form of self-imposed totalitarianism... admiring with awe the leader who saved them from destruction, while the educated masses goose-step on command and repeat the slogans they're supposed to repeat and the society deteriorates at home. We end up serving as a mercenary enforcer state, hoping that others are going to pay us to smash up the world.
- The role of the media in contemporary politics forces us to ask what kind of a world and what kind of a society we want to live in, and in particular in what sense of democracy do we want this to be a democratic society? Let me begin by counter-posing two different conceptions of democracy. One conception of democracy has it that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means to participate in some meaningful way in the management of their own affairs and the means of information are open and free. If you look up democracy in the dictionary you'll get a definition something like that.
- An alternative conception of democracy is that the public must be barred from managing of their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrowly and rigidly controlled. That may sound like an odd conception of democracy, but it's important to understand that it is the prevailing conception.
- The picture of the world that's presented to the public has only the remotest relation to reality. The truth of the matter is buried under edifice after edifice of lies upon lies.
- Let's begin with the first modern (U.S.) government propaganda operation. That was under the Woodrow Wilson Administration. Woodrow Wilson was elected President in 1916 on the platform "Peace Without Victory." That was right in the middle of the World War I. The population was extremely pacifistic and saw no reason to become involved in a European war. The Wilson administration was actually committed to war and had to do something about it. They established a government propaganda commission, called the Creel Commission which succeeded, within six months, in turning a pacifist population into a hysterical, warmongering population which wanted to destroy everything German, tear the Germans limb from limb, go to war and save the world.
- That was a major achievement, and it led to a further achievement. Right at that time and after the war the same techniques were used to whip up a hysterical Red Scare, as it was called, which succeeded pretty much in destroying unions and eliminating such dangerous problems as freedom of the press and freedom of political thought. There was very strong support from the media, from the business establishment, which in fact organized, pushed much of this work, and it was, in general, a great success.
- The progressive intellectuals, people of the John Dewey circle ... took great pride, as you can see from their own writings at the time, in having shown that what they called the "more intelligent members of the community," namely, themselves, were able to drive a reluctant population into a war by terrifying them and eliciting jingoist fanaticism.
- The means that were used were extensive. For example, there was a good deal of fabrication of atrocities by the Huns, Belgian babies with their arms torn off, all sorts of awful things that you still read in history books. Much of it was invented by the British propaganda ministry, whose own commitment at the time, as they put it in their secret deliberations, was "to direct the thought of most of the world." But more crucially they wanted to control the thought of the more intelligent members of the community in the United States, who would then disseminate the propaganda that they were concocting and convert the pacifistic country to wartime hysteria. That worked. It worked very well.
- And it taught a lesson: State propaganda, when supported by the educated classes and when no deviation is permitted from it, can have a big effect. It was a lesson learned by Hitler and many others, and it has been pursued to this day.
The very last sentence amounts to a quotable quote by Chomsky, so I am putting that one sentence back into the article, although without the POV-pushing bolding. The article still contains 5 quotes from Chomsky, each with a link to the Wikiquote page devoted entirely to Noam Chomsky, so I hope I will not be accused of "censoring" the article when I am merely trying to trim its unbalance. HouseOfChange (talk) 17:26, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
Footnoting edits, showing quotations removed 2 (G section)
On April 25, with this edit, I removed the following quotes. The first is unsourced except to YouTube in addition to being non-notable. The second is not about propaganda. The third is too long, although I could have trimmed it instead of removing it I did not. (There is still a quote from Goebbels in the G section as well as one from Goering, so I do not think the loss is very stark.) The three quotes from Glenn Greenwald are not "about" propaganda, they are "about" a 3/10/2019 NYT correction of a claim by Mike Pence about an event on 2/23/2019 used to say how evil the US and mainstream media always are. Below are the quotes I removed. HouseOfChange (talk) 17:43, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
- Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? ' Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.... All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
- One should not as a rule reveal one's secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. the English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
- Joseph Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik" ("Churchill's Lie Factory"), 12 January 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1941), pp. 364-369
- To attract people, to win over people to that which I have realised as being true, that is called propaganda. In the beginning there is the understanding, this understanding uses propaganda as a tool to find those men, that shall turn understanding into politics. Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people what we think is right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things from what I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.
- Joseph Goebbels, Speech on 9 January 1928 to an audience of party members at the "Hochschule für Politik", a series of training talks for Nazi party members in Berlin
- Every major U.S. war of the last several decades has begun the same way: the U.S. government fabricates an inflammatory, emotionally provocative lie which large U.S. media outlets uncritically treat as truth while refusing at air questioning or dissent, thus inflaming primal anger against the country the U.S. wants to attack...This was exactly the tactic used on February 23, when the narrative shifted radically in favor of those U.S. officials who want regime change operations in Venezuela... they vehemently stated that the trucks were set on fire, on purpose, by President Nicolas Maduro’s forces.
- That lie – supported by incredibly powerful video images – changed everything. Ever since, that Maduro burned trucks filled with humanitarian aid was repeated over and over as proven fact on U.S. news outlets. Immediately after it was claimed, politicians...U.S. news stars and think tank luminaries...took a leading role in beating the war drums.
- The U.S. media, by design, does not permit dissent on U.S. foreign policy, particularly when it comes to false claims about U.S. adversaries. That’s why skeptics of U.S. regime change in Venezuela, or dissenters on the prevailing orthodoxies about Russia, have largely been disappeared from mainstream media outlets, just as they were in 2002 and 2003. That’s not because U.S. media stars are ordered to do this. They don’t need to be ordered. They know propaganda is their job...
Footnoting edits, showing quotations removed 3 (H section)
On April 25, with this edit, I removed five quotes by Edward S. Herman. The first two are not "about" propaganda; they are about Russia v Ukraine. The other three show Herman promoting himself and his work with Chomsky in tedious mundane language. Not notable, not quotable. But here they are, below. HouseOfChange (talk) 17:56, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
- It is enlightening to see how pugnacious the U.S. establishment...has been in dealing with the Ukraine crisis. The crisis arguably began when the Yanukovich government rejected an EU bailout program in favor of one offered by Russia. The mainstream media (MSM) have virtually suppressed the fact that the EU proposal was not only less generous than the one offered by Russia, but that, whereas the Russian plan did not preclude further Ukrainian deals with the EU, the EU plan would have required a cut-off of further Russian arrangements. And whereas the Russian deal had no military clauses, that of the EU required that Ukraine affiliate with NATO. Insofar as the MSM dealt with this set of offers, they not only suppressed the exclusionary and militarized character of the EU offer, they tended to view the Russian deal as an improper use of economic leverage, “bludgeoning,” but the EU proposal was “constructive and reasonable” (Ed., NYT, November 20, 2014). Double standards seem to be fully internalized within the U.S. establishment. The protests that ensued in Ukraine were surely based in part on real grievances against a corrupt government, but they were also pushed along by right-wing groups and by U.S. and allied encouragement and support that increasingly had an anti-Russian and pro-accelerated regime change flavor.
- Edward S. Herman in War is Our Business and Business Looks Good, Z Magazine (28 June 2014)
- The sniper killings of police and protesters in Maidan on February 21, 2014 brought the crisis to a new head. This violence overlapped with, and eventually terminated, a negotiated settlement of the struggle brokered by EU members that would have ended the violence, created an interim government, and required elections by December. The accelerated violence ended this transitional plan, which was replaced by a coup takeover along with the forced flight of Victor Yanukovich. There is credible evidence that the sniper shootings of both protesters and police were carried out by a segment of the protesters in a false-flag operation that worked exceedingly well, “government” violence serving as one ground for the ouster of Yanukovich. Most telling was the intercepted phone message between Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Paet, and EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Upton, in which Paet regretfully reported compelling evidence that the shots killing both police and protesters came from a segment of the protesters. This account was almost entirely suppressed in the MSM... There is also every reason to believe that the coup and establishment of a right-wing and anti-Russian government were encouraged and actively supported by U.S. officials.
- Edward S. Herman in War is Our Business and Business Looks Good, Z Magazine (28 June 2014)
- What is the propaganda model and how does it work? The crucial structural factors derive from the fact that the dominant media are firmly imbedded in the market system. They are profit-seeking businesses, owned by very wealthy people (or other companies); they are funded largely by advertisers who are also profit-seeking entities, and who want their ads to appear in a supportive selling environment. The media are also dependent on government and major business firms as information sources, and both efficiency and political considerations, and frequently overlapping interests, cause a certain degree of solidarity to prevail among the government, major media, and other corporate businesses. Government and large non-media business firms are also best positioned (and sufficiently wealthy) to be able to pressure the media with threats of withdrawal of advertising or TV licenses, libel suits, and other direct and indirect modes of attack. The media are also constrained by the dominant ideology, which heavily featured anticommunism before and during the Cold War era, and was mobilized often to prevent the media from criticizing attacks on small states labelled communist.
- The model does suggest that the mainstream media, as elite institutions, commonly frame news and allow debate only within the parameters of elite interests; and that where the elite is really concerned and unified, and/or where ordinary citizens are not aware of their own stake in an issue or are immobilized by effective propaganda, the media will serve elite interests uncompromisingly... Many liberals and a number of academic media analysts of the left did not like the propaganda model. Some of them found repugnant a wholesale condemnation of a system in which they played a respected role; for them it is a basically sound system, its inequalities of access regrettable but tolerable, its pluralism and competition effectively responding to consumer demands.
- In retrospect ... it is quite possible that nothing we could have done would have prevented our being labelled conspiracy theorists, rigid determinists, and deniers of the possibility that people can resist (even as we called for resistance). The propaganda model still seems a very workable framework for analyzing and understanding the mainstream media—perhaps even more so than in 1988. As noted earlier in reference to Central America, it often surpasses expectations of media subservience to government propaganda. And we are still waiting for our critics to provide a better model.
Footnoting edits, showing quotations and images removed 4
On April 25 with this edit I removed images as well as more text. For the text choices: off-topic, non-notable, not-quotable were the most usual reasons. It looks as if somebody lifted into this article a lot of material related to Illusion rather than to propaganda per se. The article stil has many images, I removed a few for more reader-friendliness, including an utterly off-topic image from Abu Ghraib (not shown here either), one of the socks' pet themes together as is the off-topic open-mouthed screaming face. HouseOfChange (talk) 18:13, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
I removed part (shown in italics) but not all of the following quote, and removed some bolding:
- Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs, through his conscious and his unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public life. It furnishes him with a complete system for explaining the world, and provides immediate incentives to action. We are here in the presence of an organized myth that tries to take hold of the entire person. Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence. This myth becomes so powerful that it invades every arena of consciousness, leaving no faculty or motivation intact. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude.
- Jacques Ellul, in Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1962), as translated by Konrad Kellen & Jean Lerner (1965)
- But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists … By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice.
- All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.
- No matter what an amount of talent employed in the organization of propaganda, it will have no result if due account is not taken of these fundamental principles. Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. Here, as in innumerable other cases, perseverance is the first and most important condition of success.
- According to Chomsky, the Doomsday Clock setting at 100 seconds to midnight is based upon: (1) global warming (2) nuclear war and (3) disinformation, or the collapse of any kind of rational discourse. As such, number three makes it impossible to deal with the first two major problems. Along those lines, within the Republican Party there’s virtually a disappearance of any pretense of rational discourse. Twenty-five (25%) percent of Republicans believe the government is run by an elite satanic group of pedophiles. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans believe that the election was stolen. Only fifteen percent (15%) of Republicans believe that global warming is a serious problem. Therein lies an insurmountable problem to solving the main issues that continually tick the clock ever closer to a disaster scenario that will likely be unprecedented in the annals of warfare and environmental degradation. As a result, Chomsky says: “We’re living in a world of total illusion and fantasy.” Accordingly, “Unless this is dealt with soon, it’ll be impossible to deal with the two major issues within the time span that we have available, which is not very long.”
- Amid a media crackdown in Russia, demonstrators are taking to the streets to protest the country’s war on Ukraine. Encrypted tweets and surreptitiously shot videos posted to Reddit and Telegram show Russian police out in force to silence dissent, even approaching passersby and demanding to check their phones. In Moscow, a woman was reportedly arrested on her 80th birthday. One Telegram clip captures a pensioner in Kaliningrad shouting at an officer: “I am a survivor of the Leningrad Blockade! My father died at the front [in World War II]!” The officer replies “And now you are supporting the Ukrainian fascists?” only to be drowned out by a crowd, crying “They are not fascists, they are our friends!”
Anticipating that popular unrest could continue to grow as economic sanctions deepen, the Russian government is clamping down on free speech, independent media, and online opportunities for unsupervised, big-group information exchange. Media establishments inside Russia have been shut down for refusing to report only government-approved, highly deceptive versions of events in Ukraine. Western outlets such as the BBC have left the country. Anyone who passes on information that contradicts official sources now faces up to 15 years in jail; the new law prompted the Chinese-owned platform TikTok to suspend operations. Kremlin authorities have blocked access to Facebook and Twitter.
Russians are scrambling to learn more about what is happening and what they can do. Should they obey their country’s laws, or defy them in acts of conscientious objection? Should families remain in their homeland or try to flee? Their decisions will be a test of the power of propaganda in a social media age, and of the ability of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime to shape values and beliefs strong enough to withstand crisis. Many theorists claim that hard times can lead to citizen protest, and sometimes even to political change. But the Kremlin is banking on its ability to control the message and, instead, fuel a sense of outraged unity.
- It’s not okay to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe the US is pouring weapons into a foreign nation to defend freedom and democracy.
It’s not okay to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe serious military conflicts consist of Good Guys fighting Bad Guys like a children’s cartoon show.
It’s not okay to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe a war is being fought between an evil monster who is the same as Hitler and a virtuous sexy comedian of surpassing bravery and wisdom.
It’s not okay to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe the same western media institutions who’ve lied about every war are now telling the truth about this one.
It’s not okay to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe we’re seeing an unprecedented wave of censorship because the European Union, Silicon Valley megacorporations, and TV service providers want to protect everyone from “disinformation”...
It’s not okay to be a grown adult in 2022 and be fine with only knowing one side of the story.
It’s not okay to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe anything which doesn’t align with what the TV tells you about this war is “Russian propaganda.
- The “Conqueror from Berlin,” as he has named himself, has completely conquered Germany. And not only that. Unfortunately, many, all too many Germans living abroad, also have fallen for the cunning propaganda.
- Friedrich Kellner, My Opposition (14 October 1939)
- It is hard for us to see beyond the all-enveloping narrative that surrounds us of Western good intentions with occasional mistakes in implementation, versus our horror comic negative mental images of Russia’s President Putin. The latter images are far from the truth but very compelling. The people who create and sustain our mental furniture are top professionals at what they do. They condition our thinking and emotions, through powerful images and memes as well as words.
- Highly intelligent people hate to admit they have fallen for such propaganda, and often get angry when it is suggested to them that they have.
- Unfortunately [contrary to what we've been led to believe], it’s US “diplomacy” which brought the US, Russia, Ukraine, and NATO to the current standoff. As the Warsaw Pact disintegrated and the Soviet Union collapsed, US encouragement for those events included pledges that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization wouldn’t take advantage of the situation to expand eastward. Since then, NATO has inexorably pushed in that direction, nearly doubling the number of member states. Thanks, US “diplomacy.”
Things began coming to a head with the US-sponsored coup in Ukraine that replaced its “Russia-friendly” regime with a “US/Europe-friendly” regime in 2014, courtesy of Barack Obama. Thanks, US “diplomacy.”
Then in 2019, the US withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which forbade the US to place missiles within surprise strike distance of Russia, and Russia to place similar missiles within surprise strike distance of NATO. The US followed up by placing exactly such missiles in Poland, courtesy of Donald Trump. Some “diplomacy.”... Then the US went into overdrive (courtesy of Trump and Biden) against the opening of a pipeline (Nord Stream 2) which would have supplied Russian natural gas to Germany. The pipeline would have been a force for peace insofar as Russia likes to sell natural gas (at a fraction of prices the US can offer), and Germans like to not freeze to death.
- Ukraine: US “Diplomacy” is the Problem. Can it Become the Solution? Thomas Knapp, CounterPunch, February 23, 2022
- Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense. Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.
- Douglas MacArthur, Speech to the Michigan legislature, in Lansing, Michigan (15 May 1952), published in General MacArthur Speeches and Reports 1908-1964 (2000) by Edward T. Imparato, p. 206
- It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear. While such an economy may produce a sense of seeming prosperity for the moment, it rests on an illusionary foundation of complete unreliability and renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than is their fear of war.
- Douglas MacArthur, Speech to the Michigan legislature, in Lansing, Michigan (15 May 1952), published in General MacArthur Speeches and Reports 1908-1964 (2000) by Edward T. Imparato, p. 206, much of this was used in speeches of 1951, as quoted in The Twenty-year Revolution from Roosevelt to Eisenhower (1954) by Chesly Manly, p. 3, and Total Insecurity : The Myth Of American Omnipotence (2004) by Carol Brightman, p. 182
- Propaganda is making puppets out of us. We are moved by hidden strings which the propagandist manipulates.
- It must be borne in mind that everything the propagandist does or says is for effect — most commonly the effect on fools. The public wants not truth but a show?
- Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, I believe, should rule the world.
- William Moulton Marston The Secret History of Wonder Woman, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014) by Jill Lepore
As we watch the media today, we are spoon fed more and more propaganda and fear of the unknown, [[we're led to believe] that we should be afraid of the unknown and have full faith that our government is keeping us safe from the unknown.
But by looking at media today, those of us who are old enough will be reminded of the era of Cold War news articles, hysteria of how the Russians would invade and how we should duck and cover under tables in our kitchens for the ensuing nuclear war. Under this mass hysteria all Western governments were convinced that we should join Western allies to fight the unknown evil that lies to the east.
Later through my travels in Russia during the height of the Cold War with a peace delegation, we were shocked by the poverty of the country, and questioned how we ever were led to believe that Russia was a force to be afraid of. We talked to the Russian students who were dismayed by their absolute poverty and showed anger against NATO for leading their country into an arms race that they could not win.
Many years later, when speaking to young Americans in the US, I was in disbelief about the fear the students had of Russia and their talk of invasion. This is a good example of how the unknown can cause a deep rooted paranoia when manipulated by the right powers.
- Soon we shall begin through the press to propose competitions in art, in sport of all kinds: these interests will finally distract their minds from questions in which we should find ourselves compelled to oppose them. Growing more and more disaccustomed to reflect and form any opinions of their own, people will begin to talk in the same tone as we, because we alone shall be offering them new directions for thought of course through such persons as will not be suspected of solidarity with us.
- The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion (1934) published by Sergei Nilus
- The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?
- To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself...
- That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.
- The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians... shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government... intent on crushing opposition.
- By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient... in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance... Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.
- The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda. The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term “public relations” as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions. In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade – behaviour then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, “Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!” Bernays’ influence extended far beyond advertising. His greatest success was his role in convincing the American public to join the slaughter of the First World War. The secret, he said, was “engineering the consent” of people in order to “control and regiment [them] according to our will without their knowing about it”. He described this as “the true ruling power in our society” and called it an “invisible government”. Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged.
- John Pilger, Inside the Invisible Government: War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump, Information Clearing House, October 28, 2016
- Propaganda is most effective when our consent is engineered by those with a fine education – Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia — and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post. These organisations are known as the liberal media. They present themselves as enlightened, progressive tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-LGBT. And they love war. While they speak up for feminism, they support rapacious wars that deny the rights of countless women, including the right to life. In 2011, Libya, then a modern state, was destroyed on the pretext that Muammar Gaddafi was about to commit genocide on his own people. That was the incessant news; and there was no evidence. It was a lie.... Ukraine is another media triumph. Respectable liberal newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, and mainstream broadcasters such as the BBC, NBC, CBS, CNN have played a critical role in conditioning their viewers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia when, in fact, the coup in Ukraine in 2014 was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.
- John Pilger, Inside the Invisible Government: War, Propaganda, Clinton & Trump, Information Clearing House, October 28, 2016
- Illusions are always illusions of differences. How could it be otherwise? By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. Illusions are travesties of creation; attempts to bring truth to lies. Finding truth unacceptable, the mind revolts against truth and gives itself an illusion of victory.p. 25
Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another MUST fail. p. 385
- Love is a simple thing and a deep thing: it is an act of life and not an illusion. Art is an illusion.
- Groupthink is characterized by a shared "illusion of invulnerability," an exaggerated belief in the competence of the group, a "shared illusion of unanimity" within the group...
- When terrorists attack, they’re terrorizing. When we attack, we’re retaliating. When they respond to our retaliation with further attacks, they’re terrorizing again. When we respond with further attacks, we’re retaliating again.
When people decry civilian deaths caused by the U.S government, they're aiding propaganda efforts. In sharp contrast, when civilian deaths are caused by bombers who hate America, the perpetrators are evil and those deaths are tragedies.
When they put bombs in cars and kill people, they're uncivilized killers. When we put bombs on missiles and kill people, we're upholding civilized values. When they kill, they're terrorists. When we kill, we're striking against terror.
- Norman Solomon, "Orwellian Logic 101 — A Few Simple Lessons", in FAIR (27 August 1998)
- Orwell's 1984 explained that "the special function of certain Newspeak words … was not so much to express meanings as to destroy them." During the week after U.S. missiles hit sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, some Americans seemed uncomfortable. A vocal minority even voiced opposition. But approval was routine among those who had learned a few easy Orwellian lessons...
- At all times, Americans must be kept fully informed about who to hate and fear... No matter how many times they’ve lied in the past, U.S. officials are credible in the present. When they... [say] the bombed pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum was making ingredients for nerve gas, that should be good enough for us....
- Might doesn’t make right — except in the real world, when it’s American might. Only someone of dubious political orientation would split hairs about international law.
- Know ye not then the Riddling of the Bards?
Confusion, and illusion, and relation,
Elusion, and occasion, and evasion?
I mock thee not but as thou mockest me,
And all that see thee, for thou art not who
Thou seemest, but I know thee who thou art.
And now thou goest up to mock the King,
Who cannot brook the shadow of any lie.
- When one illusion doesn't work then we become disillusioned and we go around with our antennae up looking for another illusion.
- Anam Thubten in: No Self, No Problem: Awakening to Our True Nature, Shambhala Publications, 11 June 2013, p. 88.
- Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate "other." p. 15
- Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now (1997)
- If you can recognize illusion as illusion, it dissolves. The recognition of illusion is also its ending. Its survival depends on your mistaking it for reality. p. 20
- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth (2005)
- Back in 1938, when fascism was sweeping Europe, legendary investigative reporter George Seldes observed that “it is possible to fool all the people all the time — when government and press cooperate.” Unfortunately, we have reached that point. p. 156
- Gary Webb, Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press (2002)
- The variety of constraints pressing upon man give rise to the illusion of several distinct species that cannot communicate.