Thursday, January 17, 2008

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (with an Introduction by Mark Crispin Miller)

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (with an Introduction by Mark Crispin Miller) is a classic propaganda text by the so-called "Father of Public Relations." Published in 1928, it is an interesting read, but certainly reflects the time in which it was written. As pointed out in the introduction, this work is philosophically Positivist (in the deterministic classic sense as opposed to the Modern). As it was written during the development of the Copenhagen Interpretation, such faults will not be remarked upon further.

Edward Bernays, who was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, was deeply involved with the U.S. Committee on Public Relations, which was responsible for propagandizing US involvement in World War I. It was partially due to these activities that the word Propaganda began to be regarded with negative connotations. This book was his attempt (which obviously failed) to restore its neutral meaning.

Even if one views his advocacy for the blatant manipulation of the public mind as disturbing, his honesty concerning doing so is refreshing. He also believed that the propagandist required a certain idea of ethics to avoid going too far. (He did abandon his advocacy for cigarettes once the health effects were irrefutable.) He believed that propaganda could be used for good or bad, and was correct in believing so. However, even good uses, such as public health campaigns, were not enough to remove the taint from the word propaganda. Hitler sealed its fate.

Basically, this book is an attempt to sell his craft to the rich and powerful. One way or another, he certainly succeeded. For a look into the thinking of a master of propaganda, the book is worth reading for that reason alone.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Serf Wages

I also couldn't believe it when I read this:
Will work for taxes
By The Mogambo Guru

From AP, we can't believe our eyes when we read, "Plan Would Let Seniors Work to Pay Taxes". It seems that in Greenburgh, NY, the damned local government is eating the financial guts out of its citizens. For example, a 76-year old woman named Audrey Davison lives alone, gets a US$620 Social Security check per month ($7,440 a year), and has to pay $12,000 a year in property taxes on the house that she has lived in for 43 years!

Instead of the town saying, "Oh, my God! What kind of ravenous vampires have we become?" and lowering their damned spending and the damned taxes, "The town is pushing a program that would let seniors work part-time, for $7 an hour, to help pay off some of their property taxes."

Some bozo named Scott Parkin, who for some reason is the spokesman for the National Council on Aging, said that the program "sounded interesting" to him, "as long as it wasn't limited to menial work." Apparently, easy "make-work" labor for old people is insulting, but gulag-style, back-breaking forced-labor is okay! With whips! Hahaha! "And if they fall under the load, grind them into pet food and take their houses!"

He doesn't answer my question directly, but with a little clever editing, I can make it appear that way when I now insert his quote, "It's certainly in line with what we stand for, keeping seniors involved in work or volunteering as a part of healthy aging." Hahaha! Forcing old, sick people to work to pay their taxes is "in line with" what the National Council on Aging stands for! Hahaha!

Even more astonishing, he went on to say that he would, "Eventually ... like to see the county and the local school districts adopt similar plans!" I can't believe what I am reading!

I thought that I had misread it, but then he said, "If we got seniors working for the schools, there might be a more intergenerational feeling there", and apparently with all the forced labor to do the work, "It might be easier to pass the school budgets."

JMR Wayne T agrees with me when he says, "This is surely in the top five most horrible examples of Government abuse of its citizens I have ever seen. This is beyond Communism, this is serfdom."

(Read the rest Here.)
$7/hr is certainly serf wages, especially for retired professionals or trades people. So in this regard, menial labor is actually preferable. It's revolting to contemplate that anyone could seriously consider such a scheme, let alone approve of it. The manacles are always in the details.

Now, that's just plain revolting!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Russell Means: This Property is Condemned. The Lawfare continues with a declaration that the Lakota have the right to impose liens on government property. It will be instructive to see where this situation leads.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sun Tzu - The Art of War

Sun Tzu - The Art of War. I've never sat down and read the whole thing straight through. I found this handy Small Edition that easily fits in my pocket. A great gift for your warmongering brother-in-law.

Take control of the strategic balance and move. The one who understands the tactics of the circuitous and direct will be victorious.