06 August 2010

The Transformative Power of Propaganda

How sad to find unbelievers who desiring to understand the world and find the truth, have a better understanding of human nature and the corruption of power than many of the agenda-driven members of the Christian community.

As I often say, Leftists sometimes ask the right questions, the very ones the Right is afraid to ask or refuses to entertain. Does the Left come up with the right answers? Sometimes, but often not. But I can guarantee the Right will never come up with good answers or workable solutions because they refuse to engage, ask necessary sometimes ugly questions, and deal with the world as it is. They keep pressing for their idealist fantasy which smacks of the Utopianism they like to accuse their opponents of.

As Christians, we want the truth, warts and all, and we want solutions which will work for the peace of the city and the peace of the Church.

As one person put it recently, "Goebbels and the Nazis were just amateurs."

Indeed the present propaganda machine of the Empire far exceeds their wildest dreams. They would be quite envious of the American machine. Sadly, it is the Sacralist think-tanks and literature which represent the extreme arm of this....the most outrageous prevarications reserved for the most gullible segment of the population, conservative Christians.

I find more truth in this paragraph below than in a hundred pages of Sacralist historical interpretation or political commentary. This made me laugh, because it is so true and I wanted to share it. But it also saddens me that a lost man can see this while so many who have the Holy Spirit cannot.

"Cold War propaganda served the purpose of intimidation for many years, "scaring Hell out of the American people" in a style that was "clearer that truth," as the influential Senator Arthur Vandenberg and his mentor Dean Acheson advised in the late 1940's. Inundated by the deluge, much of the population lives in dread of foreign devils about to descend upon them and steal what little they still have. Through the 1980's, the United States became an object of no little derision abroad as the tourist industry periodically collapsed because Americans, frightened by images of crazed Arabs, were afraid to venture to Europe, where they would be far safer than in any American city. During the Gulf conflict, the terror was palpable; one could find wealthy towns a hundred miles from nowhere that were fortifying themselves in fear of Arab terrorists, if not Saddam himself. Meanwhile, a flood of propaganda about our unique generosity and the ungratefulness of the wretches who benefit from it has led to a cultural condition in which almost half the population believes that foreign aid is the largest element of the federal budget and another third select welfare as the chief culprit, also far overestimating the proportion that goes to Blacks and to child support; less that a quarter give the correct answer, military spending, and surely few are aware that these expenditures are in large part welfare for the rich, much like the minuscule 'aid' program that is one of the miserly in the developed world."

Noam Chomsky

World Orders Old and New p. 20

copyright 1996 Columbia University Press.

No comments: