see the excellent film Wag the Dog, with Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman!  Soundtrack by Mark Knopfler, too!

"War is show's a pageant..."

"If you give a man the correct information for seven years, he may believe the incorrect information on the first day of the eighth year when it is necessary, from your point of view, that he should do so.  Your first job is to build credibility and the authenticity of your propaganda, and persuade the enemy to trust you although you are his enemy."

Psychological Warfare Casebook, Operations Research, Johns Hopkins University, 1958

"Psychological warfare is at best a cumbersome and pretentious label for an important modern political and military weapon, the use of mass-communication...and is one of the few completely legitimate weapons which can on occasion be directed against an entirely civilian and non-combatant target."

E. W. Barrett, Truth is Our Weapon

"Why of course the people don't want war...the people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders...that is easy.  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."

Hermann Goerring, Third Reich

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.  It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the state."

Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels, Third Reich

"The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional basis of the great masses an finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses.  The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence small, but their power of forgetting is enormous.  In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand or believe..."

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

"Psychological warfare was used originally if you were in an actual war disorient, confuse, upset, and make more vulnerable the populations of the adversary side...Now, in the same sense, some of the same principles can be transferred and can be applied not against somebody who is on the other side in a war but against groups that for whatever reason you wish to impart certain kinds of outlooks to or to change their outlooks get them confused.  So in a sense we're all getting psychological warfare all the time...Our own domestic population is regarded as a target for a whole vast range of these types of stimuli..."

Herbert Schiller, media analyst, UC- San Diego

"Non-rational not consonant with anybody's enlightened self-interestg, but is dictated by, and appeals to...passion...propaganda in favor of action dictated by the impulses that are below self-interest offers false, garbled, or incomplete evidence, avoids logical argument and seeks to influence its victims by the mere repetition of catch words, by the furious denunciation of foreign or domestic scape-goats, and by cunningly associating the lowest passions with the highest ideals, so that atrocities come to be perpetrated in the name of God...The power to respond to reason and truth exists in all of us...But so, unfortunately, does the tendency to respond to unreason and falsehood - particularly in those cases where the falsehood evokes some enjoyable emotion, or where the appeal to unreason strikes some answering chord in the primitive, subhuman depths of our being...What happened is the development of a vast mass-communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true or the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant."

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

"The deliberate creation of unreality is one of the most pivotal social forces shaping our time...As the reality of the outside world has become increasingly complex, especially in the years since World War 2, we have developed a fascination with unreality that is virtually psychopathic.  The purpose of this transfiguration of common sense - our fascination with it - is to avoid coping with a complex world...Everything in contemporary America is an entertainment, from sporting event to big business, politics, certainly religion, and even academia…Unreality One refers to the fact that we are now so close to creating electronic images of any existing or imaginary person, place or thing that an electronic image and a real person can interact at the same time on a computer screen or TV so that a viewer cannot tell whether one or both of the images are real or not.  Unreality Two is akin to Pseudo-Reality.  It is the deliberate denial and distortion of reality, i.e., complexity, through the massive infusion of entertainment into every aspect of society which on its surface purports to deal with reality….In this rampant context of no context, if not deliberately orchestrated confusion, the only constant is the personalities of the TV news and anchors and reporters…When ideas and events themselves no longer carry any badge or mark of instant coherency and credibility, then the cohesion we need to make sense of our lives has to be carried by some other elements in our society…what better supplier of continuity could there be than the pleasant faces who make pablum out of chaos and soothe our fragile egos by masquerading as our ‘friends.’?”

Warren Bennis and Ian Mitroff, The Unreality Industry

"And here at what the 'War on Terrorism' is all about.  It is not about money.  It is not about oil.  And it is not about religion.  It is about control.  And the ultimate level of control, the type of control that is necessary in order to completey manufacture te reality that we all perceive - the reality that is so far at odds with the objective reality of global corporate rule, otherwise known as global fascism - is control of the human mind."

David McGowan, author, Derailing Democracy

"The scientist of distressed by the fact that the results of his scientific work have created a threat to mankind since they have fallen into the hands of morally blind exponents of political power.  He is conscious of the fact technological methods, made possible by his work, have led to a concentration of economic and also of political power in the hands of small minorities, which have come to dominate completely the lives of the masses of people, who appear more and more amorphous.  But even worse:  the concentration of economic and political power has not only made the man of science dependent economically, it also threatens his independence from within:  the shrewd methods of intellectual and psychic influences which it brings to bear will prevent the development of independent personalities."

Albert Einstein, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 1952

“Ad Alley’s wizards have firmly established themselves as both the creators and the controllers of our consumer culture…at the heart of Madison Avenue’s new, elaborately engineered system of persuasion lies one fundamental premise:  each group in our society has its weaknesses and deep-seated emotional needs…One of the most widely used psychographic approaches on Ad Alley today…is VALS (Values and Life-Styles)…The world according to VALS is simple:  there are essentially five basic groups of citizens in this nation – Belongers, Emulators, Emulator-Achievers, Societally Conscious Achievers, and the Need-Directed.  Each segment of VALS-society is driven by its own special demons, demons that the advertising industry seeks to exorcise with its 30-second television commercials and print ads…”

Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness

“A propaganda model suggests that the ‘societal purpose’ of the media is to inculcate and defend the economic, social, and political agenda of the privileged groups that dominate the domestic society and state.  The media serve this purpose in many ways:  through selection of topics, distribution of concerns, framing of issues, filtering of information, emphasis and tone, and by keeping debate within the bound of acceptable premises.”

Noam Chomsky, Thought Control in a Democratic Society

“If in some Orwellian future there were One Big Owner, he might be benevolent, in his own opinion, as indeed, Orwell’s Big Brother was – in his own opinion.  Big Brother let the public see and hear a variety of things he deemed useful – where there is centralized control, it is the One Big Owner who makes the choices…Each year is more likely that the American citizen who turns to any medium – newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, books, movies, cable, recordings, video cassettes – will receive information, ideas, or entertainment controlled by the same handful of corporations, whether it is daily news, a cable entertainment program, or a textbook…Media giants have become so powerful that government no longer has the will to restrain them…Now that media owners are so large that they are part of the highest levels of the world economy, the news and other public information become heavily weighted in favor of all corporate values.  The new corporate ethic is so single-minded about extreme fast profits and expanded control over the media business that it is willing to convert American news into a service for the affluent customers wanted by the media’s advertisers instead of a source of information significant for the whole of society.”

Ben Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly

“Consider the ramifications if the death of nature is a carefully planned, well thought-out and deliberate act by the faceless rulers of Earth.  The forces of global totalitarianism may actually believe they can replace all forms of life with man-made simulations…totalitarianism seeks literally for the control of the totality.  There are wholesale substitutes for nature, man-made fabrications composed of false versions of life-forms and life-processes, already being forcibly superimposed on natural reality.  The darkest conceivable plan is at work here.  In order even to realize the full magnitude of this evil, it is necessary as never before to fathom what nature really means for the spiritual and material existence of the human race.  Nature is free.  The forces of totalitarianism have understood, that for this very reason, nature has to go.  Until now, the dominant power structure has been unable to do anything about this dangerous oversight.  Because not only is nature itself free, it is the source of all practical freedom for our species.  Nature is the living body of the world, the source of all human physical existence:  the fount of our health, well-being, material security, and individual freedom…[the forces of global totalitarianism] have in mind to completely remove humanity from God’s creation, and to force mankind into total dependency on their replacements.  And then to control us absolutely through these very substitutes for natural existence they plan to sell us.

Diane Harvey, “Global Totalitarianism and the Death of Nature”

“The first rule for maintaining control over other human beings is to powerfully discourage individual mental development through impressing the notion of superior external authority…the power to manipulate minds is becoming so sophisticated that only the most circumspect are surviving as reasonably free thinkers.  As increasingly diabolical power consolidates in fewer and fewer hands, access to alternative information becomes a determining factor in human life…That Thing out there still referred to as a civilization – the Corporate/Military/Government Mind – has been methodically laying waste to reality in every respect.  And its main technique is through incessantly feeding the public an entire world-view made out of toxic substitutes for information and truth.”

Diane Harvey, “The Peoples’s Republic of Information


“A world of unseen dictatorship is conceivable, still using the forms of democratic government.”

Kenneth Boulding , University of Michigan , quoted in The Hidden Persuaders

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”

President Theodore Roosevelt, 1906

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

 Abraham Lincoln , 1865

“I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime.”

 Albert Einstein, 1947

 “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

on the threat to democracy by corporate power:

“... the United States has given frequent and enthusiastic support to the overthrow of democracy in favor of ‘investor friendly’ regimes.

“The World Bank, IMF, and private banks have consistently lavished huge sums on terror regimes, following their displacement of democratic governments, and a number of quantitative studies have shown a systematic positive relationship between U.S. and IMF/World Bank aid to countries and their violations of human rights.”

Edward S. Herman , economist, U.S. media and foreign policy critic author of The Real Terror Network


“To be naive and easily deceived is impermissible, today more than
ever, when the prevailing untruths may lead to a catastrophe because they
blind people to real dangers and real possibilities."


Erick Fromm, The Art Of Being


"…the more frequently and fluently a medium is used, the more 'transparent' or 'invisible' to its users it tends to become. For most routine purposes, awareness of a medium may hamper its effectiveness as a means to an end. Indeed, it is typically when the medium acquires transparency that its potential to fulfil its primary function is greatest." 


Marshal McLuhan


"A key role of the mass media is to prevent the public from achieving a
big picture understanding
of how people and planet are systematically
subordinated to short-term profit."


media lens


"The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent. Of course, it is possible for any citizen with time to spare, and a canny eye,to work out what is actually going on, but for the many there is not time,and the network news is the only news even though it may not be news at all but only a series of flashing fictions..."

Gore Vidal

"Following the same course that virtually every other major industry has in the last two decades, a relentless series of mergers and corporate takeovers has consolidated control of the media into the hands of a few corporate behemoths. The result has been that an increasingly authoritarian agenda has been sold to the American people by a massive, multi-tentacled media machine that has become, for all intents and purposes, a propaganda organ of the state."

David McGowan


"What Innis saw most clearly was that the main meaning of electronics was not in the provision of entertainment and information through radio and television. He recognized that the speed and distance of electronic communication enlarged the possible scale of social organization and greatly enhanced the possibilities of centralization and imperialism in matters of culture and politics." (p. 137)




"The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost  continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieve/review by the authorities."


 Zbigniew Brzezinski, CFR member and founding member of the Trilateral Commission, and National Security Advisor to five



Vocabulary to learn and use.

B, C, D, E, F, H, I, M, O, P, R, S, Sy, T, Tr

An advanced level of  terms to describe the prevailing views, behavior and conditions in society today with respect to how we treat one another due to the unseen and pervasive influence of technology in our lives.

Brainwash, to have one's beliefs and views altered by undue persuasive force. Noam

Chomsky says manufacturing consent is old style propaganda in a guise of objectivity,

reductionism, certainty, & fragmentation. Some call this overt & covert aspects of thought

control. Chomsky feels that we are isolated -- atomized victims of modern imagery,

language, & media see the Manufacture of Consent.

commodification , commercialization, or the selling of things; The notion that

any item, person, or place can be interchangeably valued, exchanged, or purchased for

some price. These beliefs are enhanced due to mass production which has fed the growth

of advertising, marketing, and public relations.

conspicuous consumption is the ostentatious display of wealth in order to gain

recognition, increase one's status, intimidate others, or dispel reality.

culture, from the Latin word cultus, to cultivate (raise crops) or to form a cult, refers to

the inherited ethnic identity of all peoples derived from language, nutrition, surroundings,

religious beliefs, social institutions, and material artifacts. As such any culture disturbs,

reinforces and often fabricates new views about nature, the world and the universe,

because ideas embodied in all cultures shape the way we choose to live.

delusional intelligence, refers to some distortion inherent in technology is enhanced by

our ignorance of aesthetic judgment, moral certitude, and decency -- but it is further and

needlessly mystified if we do not understand the rationale, synergy, timing, or varied

aspects of technology.

ecology, is derived from the GREEK word for household: oikos -- residence of the

family : oikumene -- structures & buildings, oikios topos -- the nest or place that best suits

a specific plant. Logos is the study of a body of ideas -- as expressed in particular words

and phrases that comprise the language & viewpoint of ecolacy.

editing can be an example of a manufactured view point by leaving out significant details

and including tangential details that crowd out the focus of an issue, event, or problem.

fabricating consensus is based on our widespread ignorance of media uses, the

influence of technology in shaping our reality, and the illusion that every new product is a

signal of progress.

fictions are accepted explanations for otherwise complicated events or even unreal

circumstances. Fictions refer to unexamined descriptions or meaningless metaphors;

for example: "national security," "friendly fire," "necessity is the mother of invention,"

"perpetual motion," "the common good. "

"human ecology cannot be limited strictly to biological concepts, but it cannot ignore

them. It cannot even transcend them. It emerges from the fact of interconnection as a

general principal of life. It must take a long view of human life and nature as they form a

mesh or pattern going beyond historical time and beyond the conceptual bounds of other

humane disciplines. Or man is in the world & his ecology is the nature of that 'inness'"

according to ecologist, Paul Shepard, 1969.

imagery revolution, [1850 - 1998] Since the purpose of much advertising is to deceive

the motive of much entertainment, broadcasting, and even news coverage, or commentary

is to dull peoples' brains and sell them a perspective of the sponsors, producers, writers, or

anchor persons. The institutions that partake in this are: mass media, newspapers &

magazines, photography, movies, radio, television, computers, internet, & political

imagination requires that the images we see on film, video-tape, or in print be "honest"

portrayals since images and symbols have the capacity to distract us from the reality of the

world. For example since most of the country's population is urban, media advertising

emphasizes the rural and wild setting over urban scenes. Are these images honest

portrayals of our experience? How is imagination manipulated?

misplaced sentiment: is the inability to distinguish true feelings from less sincere

nostalgic yearnings for allegedly simpler times in the past. Sentiments that are seriously

inappropriate include childish fantasies & wish fulfillment instead of realistic feelings about

our accomplishments and failures. The expression of feelings so as to hide from view the

deeper complexities of human emotions. See also: fictions (above).

oikumene, oikoumen, In the ancient Greek tradition oikoumene is the concept of "the

inhabited world," although it had six other meanings. "A peopled place known to

sustain life." Peoples in their surroundings or a habitation; landscape and architecture of


politics of tools, by failing to critically analyze the influence of our media (tools) on

policies, laws, trials, and livelihoods we are prone to manipulation because deception is so

widespread. Any technology exerts an influence on politics either overtly in the form of

debates over censorship, abortion, and finance costs or covertly due to the shaping of our

work, homes and past-times by gadgets, machines and equipment.

reification means treating anything fictional or abstract as though it were actually existing

or real. Treating an abstraction or some ideal as substantially real. The mass production of

images feeds the reification of misplaced sentiment because we do not critically examine the

content of these symbols. Examples of this include: "the masses," "baby boomers," "the

economy," "generation X".

science is our word for knowledge and is derived from the Indo-European word to cut or

divide "skire". [SKEI {from scire: to cut} [GREEK] to separate (/) divide or split.] The

word has a general and specific meaning that depends on the context in which the word is

used. Science is the knowledge we amass about the physical universe's predictable

periodicity. Science is really a method, or way of knowing about our existence.

sybaritic, means -- wantonly indulgent, luxurious display of behavior to avoid work, a

pleasure seeker. Eschewing good taste & ignoring moderation.

An excessive reliance on pleasure to mold behavior. An extremely epicurean perspective on

life. Thomas Hobbes (17th Century) argued we were motivated by the desire for pleasure

and the avoidance of pain.

synergy, synergetic, synergistic, two or more forces acting in tandem have an

impact that is greater than the mere sum of the combined effects. This idea leads to the

notion of the multiplier effect to measure the relative strength of synergistic influences of

technology on the economy, politics, and organizations of societies. Two harmless

depressants when taken independently have a mortal synergy: Alcohol + Barbiturates =


technological autism a form of technical virtuosity in media and transportation has

encouraged us to become out of touch with the actual processes that living things depend

on for their survival and emotional security. This self-indulgent behavior is

somnambulistic, and encourages us to be contented consumers of superficial messages

designed to deaden our feelings. An extreme withdrawal from life based on emotional


technology, is the systematic application of knowledge to expressive, manufacturing, mechanical, industrial, or chemical arts to solve problems.

The applied use of factual knowledge to enhance and accumulate efficient changes in the human use of tools, devices, instruments, utensils, or artifacts in the creation of material culture while assuring survival.

Technology refers to the related series of steps, procedures, tools, and artifacts to make a product that has a market or meets some demand from the population.

Inventions and their related technical and organizational impacts tend to speed up, influence, & accelerate the uses of power over time dramatically changing people, wealth, nature, and ideas.

technical changes refers to five related influences of the capacity of technology change

our milieu. This is because technology:

1), alters or raises the carrying capacity of a place to house a greater density of population.

2), compensates for human frailty.

3), redefines reality and the boundaries of our knowledge.

4), and technical change accounts for the differences in people's material culture.

5), conditions us to behave differently in the absence or presence of machines or mechanical appliances.

trivialize, the skillful ability to divert attention from serious or weighty issues and focus

mass attention on so many inconsequential details that most observers lose track of the heart

of an issue. The irreverent use or deliberate manipulation of meaningful ideas, beliefs,

symbols, or customs in such a way as to diminish the importance of, or actually lose, the

comprehensive narrative that gives coherence to a culture undergoing rapid social change.

advanced vocabulary