Monday, March 28, 2011

WWH/Wake 'N' Bake: Lies

Today's lesson is the result of my reading something on Alternet this morning (Monday) about the GOP's "4 Biggest Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)." Apart from being dubious that "repudiate" is the right word there (shouldn't it be "refute"?), it got me a'thinkin'.

This is the age of the "Big Lie." And it's appropriate that it should come back here to roost. Though perfected by the Nazi's and practiced to devastating effect upon the "good Germans with regard to the Jews prior to WW II, it was invented by the Wilsonian war propagandists, Lippmann, Lee, and Bernays, to drive Americans into the previous European war. In a country settled as much as 50% by people of German origins, at that time (German was once ALMOST the national language), they fomented rabid anti-German sentiment from an isolationist people, and won support for Wilson's globalist interventionism. The images of the Huns dripping blood, and a couple of fortuitous submarine attacks, and, hup, ho, quick as Bob's-yer-uncle, there we were in the Argonne.

The Big Lie works on two principles.

The first is predicated on one essential observation about humans: we all lie. Everybody does it. Nobody's proud of it, because it violates a bunch of social conventions, but we all do it one time or another.

Still, it's such a shameful act that most folks don't do it much, and don't tell really outlandish lies, cuz there's social stigma attached to being caught in any lie, but it's greater the bigger, the more egregious the lie is in which one is caught.

Big Lie theory takes this truth and from it spins the practice. If most people lie, but won't tell really big lies, because the opprobrium that affixes is correlated with the size of the lie, then the MOST EFFECTIVE lie will be the BIGGEST lie, because no one would believe that they would LIE --or be LIED TO--about something as huge as that--whatever it is.

Then there's repetition. That's the other big element, and why it seems to me that this era's media were expressly created for the propagation of the Big Lie, the more easily, and more readily, the better. Today it is as if the cabloid media of our current dispensation were invented expressly FOR the use of the use and propagation of the Big Lie, so perfectly does it fit the requirements of the 24-hour news cycle.

There are 168 hours in the week, 8736 in a year, each of which has to be filled by the execs at local, network, and cable/satellite 'stations." And there are countless thousands of media outlets ravenous for content with which to fill those starving hours. They'll put ANYTHING on the air to fill time, if it draws eyes.

So if you can produce a stylish, ginormous LIE and you have an effective marketing force (Fox News, for example), then you can see your LIE multiplied, and repeated endlessly, since there are almost no constraints with respect to "truth" which are routinely applied to USer media productions.

The BIG LIE is one of the most--if not THE most--effective, single propaganda strategy ever devised. Of course, it needed the perfection of the mass-media to become REALLY effective. Without the means of spreading lies across all strata of a society, in many locales, simultaneously, political 'lies' must necessarily have been local and, therefore, subject to local remonstrance and rebuttal. That's easy to do, locally, where pretty much everyone lived in a fishbowl, and proven liars were often ostracized. So out-right, knee-knocking, bald-faced lies were not such common parts of previous politics as they have lately become. But since 1900, with the total domination of the information universe by mass communications (and related, evolutionary technologies), no propaganda device has been used more often, or to greater effect, than Bernays' BIG LIE.

Somehow, it seems that folks have managed to 'grow up' wholly immersed in mediated culture without having learned to recognize the patterns and practices of propaganda. Nobody wants to think they've been "propagandized," as if it were somehow evidence of some personal failing. But propaganda is the ONLY media strategy by which States (and other large, cultural institutions, like churches, corporations, etc) now communicate with their constituents, and so it is shameful that those constituents do NOT seem to know they are ALWAYS being propagandized. And of course this is where the SCUM (SoCalledUnbiasedMedia, the corpoRats) comes in.

The SCUM: In a Corporate State, corporate media are the State Media. Under the regime of the Big Lie, corporate media--conglomerated, consolidated and contained under the weight of the Boardrooms of the nation's largest corporations, which constitute the only important influence group on the affairs of State--merely echo corpoRat orthodoxy.

Even if somebody tries to rebut it, the Lie, having got the street to itself first, always has the advantage, and the critics only serve to enhance its apparent 'truthiness.' At some point--pretty much, now--the State/Corporat lies have entered the lexicon as facts, and any attack on them merely enhances their status.

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