Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Manipulating the American Mind

Manipulating the American Mind

by Stephen Lendman

In today’s information age, so different from my early years and young adulthood, it’s simple to stay well informed. 

Yet too few people bother, relying instead on media propaganda, especially so-called television “news,” brainwashing them, assuring they’re good citizens and stay that way, suppressing what everyone most needs to know.

My own brother believes The New York Times and other media like it are reliable sources of news, information and opinion. I haven’t convinced him otherwise, nor gotten him to follow my writing - done pro bono. No one directs what I say or pays me a dime. 

It’s my way late in life to give back for blessings afforded to too few others - especially in America, once a land of opportunity when I grew up, now serving its privileged few alone, most others left out entirely, facing unemployment, underemployment, poverty and for too many appalling human misery.

As long as most people believe what authorities tell them, willful deception promoting their agenda, blotting out disturbing truths, maintaining the myth of America the beautiful, the indispensable nation, the exceptional one, then endless wars of aggression will continue, along with neoliberal harshness and police state control.

It’s hard imagining how anyone believes America is democratic. It never was from inception, for sure not now. Elections are farcical when held, meaningless exercises in theater. Power brokers decide everything. 

We the people having any say is pure myth. It’s never been this way. Today duopoly rule with two right wings is the American way. So is serving its privileged few at the expense of most others.

With the 15th 9/11 anniversary approaching, it’s hard imagining how any American (or anyone most anywhere) believes what I call the mother of all false flags.

Wrongfully vilified “crazed Arabs,” falsely claimed to be led by bin Laden from a cave in Afghanistan weren’t responsible. He was dying at the time in a Pakistani hospital, dead by yearend 2001, widely reported at the time.

Obama did not kill Osama. He died from natural causes. Multiple illnesses affected him. The Big Lie persists about him, instead of explaining Pakistani intelligence recruited him for America as a CIA asset for its proxy war on Soviet Russia in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Academia’s main job is making us good citizens, the late Howard Zinn lamented. He wrote “A People’s History of the United States,” updated numerous times, to teach readers what academia and media scoundrels fail to do.

He “worried (about) students…tak(ing) (their) obedient place in society and…becom(ing) successful cogs in the wheel - let(ting) the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they're doing.” 

He urged “students not (to) become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that’s handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.” 

He said “(h)ow can you have a war on terrorism when war is terrorism?” 

“(W)ar, genocide, and slavery have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience…Our problem is civil obedience” - not the other way around, accepting US horrors harming millions worldwide.

State-sponsored, media proliferated, misinformation and Big Lies substitute for real news, information and analysis everyone needs to know for a society to be free.

Most people mistakenly believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed Jack Kennedy. He was a convenient patsy, having nothing to do with it. Nor did Sirhan Sirhan kill RFK. He’s still alive, aged 72, languishing unjustly in prison, his life destroyed. 

James Earl Ray was falsely accused of killing MLK. Big Lies persist, media scoundrels involved in proliferating them, most people none the wiser.

A criminal cabal in Washington, state capitals and local government continues getting away with high crimes and abuses, flagrantly violating fundamental rule of law principles because most people are too uninformed and indifferent to challenge it.

Jefferson called an educated citizenry “a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”

Madison warned that “(a) popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.”

Jack Kennedy once said “(t)he ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

In a June 1950 commencement address, Boston University president Daniel Marsh said “(i)f the (television) craze continues…we are destined to have a nation of morons.”

Long before it arrived, journalist Walter Lippmann called the public “the bewildered herd.” In policy matters, their “spectators,” not “participants.”

Former media critic Neil Postman said “Americans are the most entertained and least informed people in the world.”

Public ignorance lets America get away with high crimes and abuses at home and abroad, the vast majority of the citizenry ill served so its privileged few can prosper.

Power and profits over governance serving everyone equitably is the American way - democratic values, rule of law principles, and social justice sacrificed to wage endless imperial wars of conquest along with serving monied interests exclusively.

America is an unparalleled enemy of world peace, security and social justice. As long as it’s unchallenged, humanity’s survival remains threatened.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.