can’t see the forest

A Site for Sore Eyes: The Art of War Propaganda

If you’re at all interested, please take time to visit The Art of War Propaganda, a large and growing archive of military/nationalist and commercial propaganda covering such categories as World War Ii, the cold war era, the “war on drugs,” Castro’s Cuba, and all things Disney.

The word propaganda is derived from a Latin word meaning, roughly, “that which is disseminated.” In early English-language use it was a fairly neutral term for public information, but has come to be identified with the promotion of hidden agendas or with obtusely biased information in service of a given cause. Professor Noam Chomsky has said that propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state; and while it is true that a given individual is likely to identify as propaganda those information sources which run counter to his or her opinions and perceived interests, even those possessed of the slightest modicum of post-conventional thought must acknowledge that information is power in this age when a small handful of national or global conglomerates are in control of so many broad and far-reaching avenues of dissemination. Therefore, information sources can be divided at least superficially into those which are in service of the interests of these conglomerates, and those which are not or are less so than others. One could then identify as propaganda that information which is in the service of wealth and power rather than in the service of minimalizing such interests and maximizing the propensity to deliver objective truths.

In the following video from the above site, Robert McChesny, co-founder of Free Press, discusses the totalitarian nature of modern news media and FOX News in particular in relation to the model of Nazi Information Minister Josef Göbbels. It should be noted that, even in the 1920s and 1930s, Hitler himself wrote of his admiration for the American and British propaganda machines which, to a high degree, had formed and manipulated public opinion regarding the events leading up to World War I. While Nazi Germany exerted direct control over its national media, the public and noncommercial news media of countries such as Canada and the UK continue to illustrate the broad and (usually) admirable achievements of a public-sector news media. In the United States, the news media is subject and servant to the totalitarianism of capital.

Running time: 2 minutes


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