by Arianne Dragoo
In his book, Propaganda, Edward L. Bernays wrote, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” He goes on to add, “We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”
Does this frighten you? It should. As a society we find ourselves surrounded by enemy lines. Lines which move and shift like shadows governed by the sun. We live in an age of information but it is a House of Mirrors. Instead of being self-guided, we are herded as if to the slaughter. Why the misuse of information? Who is pulling the strings of Major Media? Why is Major Media willing to be manipulated?
Since when did an individual or entity who, driven by greed, ever have the interests of others in mind?
And what makes our thoughts and opinions so damn valuable? I will allow the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, & Cultural Organization) answer just that, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”
You may argue that the UN is an organization established to promote peace but the fact remains that whatever means used psychologically to promote peace can be used to promote and perpetuate conflict.
This doesn’t mean that all Media platforms are false. What this line of reasoning suggests is that we wisely choose where our stream of information is coming. Compare facts and information domestically and internationally in hopes of discovering sources devoid of agenda.
We live such chaotic lives, it’s a luxury to be able to coast through certain aspects of it. One aspect we cannot afford to coast pertains to information. Sure it’s easy to feast on what Major Media sets before us, but should it be trusted? Have they gathered and prepared the facts properly? Would you return to a restaurant that received a low health score before knowing that they addressed and corrected all violations? Or would you spin the roulette wheel? As a society we are doing the latter and it has led to outbreaks of instability and doubt. Seek a safe place to dine your mind. At first this suggestion seems daunting, but in time you will discover who to trust and find sources handling information respectfully and being propelled by truth.
In a speech titled, The President and the Press, John F. Kennedy spoke of “common responsibilities in the face of common danger” and the “requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President”. Those requirements being, “first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.”
JFK continues, “I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities”. He goes on to add, “I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people.”
“It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security”
And he concludes, “it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”
Our current cycle repeats itself because he who controls minds controls war, and he who benefits from war will try and control minds