Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Everlasting Battle for the Minds of Men

On the 2 disk CD Propaganda & Control of the Public Mind, Chomsky explains things about how the economics work for the rich and powerful. The story they sell the public is that private industries are "rugged individualists" that don't rely of the government. coverDisc One, Track 16 is called "Welfare for the Rich" and here Chomsky exposes the fact that Newt Gingrich was the biggest welfare freak in the country. But Newt wants the welfare to go to the rich. This isn't what is called corporate welfare, this is the system of subsidy of research and development. He explains the way in which our economy works: massive public subsidy and privatization of profit. Technology is developed under the guise of the military and handed over to private power when it works.

cover On Track 22, "Selling Free Enterprise", Chomsky says this is a good book, the first study he has ever heard on this major theme of modern history, the business communities' plans to use public relations industry indoctrinate the population in the "capitalist story": Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism, 1945-60 (The History of Communication) by Elizabeth A. Fones-Wolf. He says the material is pretty revealing. The things that went into creating the "Mohawk Valley Formula". The efforts to drive ideas like public control over industry out of people's heads. Fones-Wolf writes about the leaders of the public relations industry and what they called "The Everlasting Battle for the Minds of Men."

This angry reviewer, who gave the book Selling Free Enterprise one star, was pretty funny: "This book attempts to prove what everyone already knows". One thing I have to say is people should actually read the books they review. I doubt "everyone already knows" the details and the degree of manipulation that the public relations industry carried out in the name of big business. For example, I doubt very much "everyone already knows" that by the early 1950's a third of the material in American elementary schools was coming straight out of corporate propaganda offices and 20 million people a week were watching business-sponsored films. Major efforts were made, every aspect of social life was targeted, and permeated: schools and universities, churches, even recreational programs, all this to fight "The Everlasting Battle for the Minds of Men." The phrase is from the chair of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)'s PR Advisory Committee.

“Politics is the shadow cast by big business over society" - John Dewey

* New blog post to links and more info: Huffington Post article and two Chomsky articles

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