Propaganda in the Service of Mammon

Everybody is quite aware of the propaganda prevalent in the world today. Lies by omission and commission are used in conjunction with imagery to push certain lines and agendas. What perhaps isn’t so fully realised is how propaganda works and feeds. And to get a fully understanding one should read Propaganda by Edward Bernays.

In it Bernays explains where propaganda came from, what its uses are and how to employ it effectively. He gives us some remarkable insights. For example, he provides a prescient  summary of how the modern Cathedral works when he says, ‘Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.’ When he talks about how effective propaganda can be, he ominously uses the women’s suffrage movement as an example, saying, ‘If the suffrage campaign did nothing more, it showed the possibilities of propaganda to achieve certain ends.’ And those ‘certain ends’ continue today. But he reveals his true motivation later in the book with the following statement: ‘Social progress is simply the progressive education and enlightenment of the public mind in regard to its immediate and distant social problems.’ Propaganda is a psychological tool that could have been used for the better; unfortunately it has easily been utilised as a weapon.

One of the more interesting aspects of the book is how propaganda has been fully realised within the business setting, even though it was originally used by governments during war time. To effectively persuade consumers, businesses must understand the common sentiments (or what are felt to be common sentiments) of society in terms of likes and dislikes. So a general swell of support is amplified by businesses in their advertising which then affects consumers. See my post in how it relates to movies and advertising. Bernays was extremely influential and his teachings have only become accelerated as politics and business use propaganda in ever more audacious ways. The fact that people in power switch between business and politics clearly shows how the two intertwine. But more than the world of 1984 where governments rule over us, we have to be more wary of the ways in which business influences are decisions, choices and beliefs.

I work for a media company, and recently we were sent around a info deck from J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, a group that follows consumer trends. So if you ever wondered why it seems like advertising companies all seem to push similar vibes, agendas and politics at roughly the same time, this is one of the reasons. I’ve pulled some screenshots from the deck for some brief discussions.

 

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Obviously you can see from the intro that there is will be one of the most pozzed documents your eyes will ever see.

 

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This is definitely a trend I noticed. Accelerationism is in full force. Women don’t want feminist stories any more. They want the next thing! It’s not all about women, it’s about breaking down gender barriers completely and exploring every aspect of sexuality and identification. Interesting that there are so, so many slides directly related to feminism, and the only ones related to masculinity are how to dim it down. For example…

 

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I honestly don’t know about ‘legions’ of men wearing makeup, but that certainly sounds like propaganda to me. Notice how beauty products are ‘transformative’? Everything has to be changed, but only via buying stuff. Apparently makeup has always been to conceal ‘perceived flaws’, but if you are using your face as a canvas, then you are still hiding yourself!

 

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The only time where race is real is when you can make people pay for it, or when it isn’t white people being interested in it. Make no mistake, they will draw every last cent out of your genes and DNA.

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Do I really need to discuss much about the idea behind ‘artificial nature’? Bread and circuses, my friends. In fact, as Bernays notes:

It was the amusement business—first the circus and the medicine show, then the theater—which taught the rudiments of advertising to industry and commerce.

 

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No one seems to question why there is such a rise in mental health like anxiety and depression. Just saying, it might have something to do with materialism? A complete lack of meaning that can only me temporarily filled by consumerism? The two-faced nature of selling psychological health is sickening.

 

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As if you didn’t already know, plus-size is so hot right now. This is so audacious I can’t even tell if that is a deliberate pun in the last paragraph…. Either way accepting who you are is the talk of the weak, and chasing an ideal has been the driving force behind our culture. Sure, the ‘ideal’ pushed by consumerism is false, but combating consumption with more consumption feels self-defeating. A pity the notion of finding yourself has been perverted for propaganda purposes. To blithely state the the average size has increased and not even blink is worrisome. No, we don’t need to accommodate all shapes and forms, we need to try and reduce our clothing size.

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Wow, two awful demographics in one, who would have thought we could sink so low?

 

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And here we have the full force of propaganda in a nutshell. Let’s take a recent Australian example: gay marriage. A huge array of Australian companies have come out in support of gay marriage, urging the government to ‘make the right choice’. This is of course a branding exercise, and if you are seen to oppose such an obviously progressive stance – like Coopers Brewery apparently were – then consumers will ‘vote with their wallet’. You have to be making a political statement in the Current Year if you want to have any chance of gathering an audience.

The fundamentals of propaganda are deeply rooted in psychology — Bernays was a distant cousin of Freud. He notes that:

These special types of appeal can be popularized by the manipulation of the principles familiar to the propagandist—the principles of gregariousness, obedience to authority, emulation, and the like.

Manipulation is the key word. The propagandist can manipulate via emulation in that we humans have a tendency to copy what others are doing. I mean in this in the most basic sense in that we tend to even copy the gestures and body language of those we talk to. We also have a tendency to appeal to authority. Even if we profess to not believe in religion, there is always a Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs. And of course, we want to be seen to be happy and agreeable, so it is best to go along with whatever seems to be positive. Using these basics of the human psyche businesses can use imagery, words and a whole range of weapons to shift opinions and sway the masses.

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Again, this is nothing we didn’t know already, but it just shows the pathology of having no standards. Atomised consumerism is death by a thousand cuts, or in this case, by a thousand subscription services. By the way, there was no slide on single men.

 

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‘Consumers are looking for comfort and reassurance in divided times…’ So let’s continue enforcing that bubble! We’ve all noticed the crackdown against the ‘AltRight’ (I use that term to cover everything not progressive) whether it is actual Twitter bannings or endless opinion pieces giving normie readers the juicy gossip about what goes on in the Dark Web. Expect brands to continue to make themselves sterile.

 

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What can I say, it’s a disgusting mindset. Blasphemies against the Church, insinuated underage vibes… This is degeneracy with full advertiser backing.

 

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Aside from the heresy invoked here, I find it quite an interesting and provocative statement. Is Christianity and the West providing enough female autonomy? Or have we just failed to express to women the power that they do have? I wouldn’t say that last paragraph is wrong, but all that means is that we should have done something to fix the situation a long time ago to avoid women falling into covens.

That’s just a snapshot of what brands will be looking doing in the near future (if they aren’t doing it already). Politics feeds business which then feeds the public. It is a feedback system that is near impossible to break apart. Most people can’t see it and to them propaganda is just a thing for war time and politics. You, however, can see it all around you, and there is nothing you can do. The only option is to retreat, to block it out and work on more important things, to banish materialism from you life. You must go beyond what is presented to you. As Bernard says:

Truth is mighty and must prevail, and if any body of men believe that they have discovered a valuable truth, it is not merely their privilege but their duty to disseminate that truth.

If only lies were not propagated as truths.

Now Is the Time

I need to get a lot off my chest. I might be Australian, but the US election affects us, and Australian interest has been high. The thing is though, I work in a white female dominated industry, one that is also historically ‘progressive’ in its views. My family is progressive; my friends are progressive. No one I know even understands what alt-right or Neoreaction means. Heck, they still think conservatives and progressives are fundamentally different. So the day of the US election 2016 felt a literal surreal.

I’ve had money on Trump winning since Brexit. Once he won the primary and the Brexit vote came in, my confidence in a Trump victory went up to about 80%. That’s good enough for a bet. Everything I saw since then gave more and more support to this theory. And now that it actually fucking happened, that proves my stance retrospectively. It proves the liberal establishment is so far its own arse, it can see daylight again, and mistakes it for salvation. It proves that politcal correctness is despised, especially poignant given the furor around Jordan Peterson. It proves we prefer a real person over a fake politician (sorry, oxymoron, just politician). It also proves that the time is ripe for a true reactionary movement.

Of course, how this would come about is difficult to determine. Do we actually try and push for the removal of democracy, replacing it with a cryptomonarchy, possibly King Trump given the line of succession is clear? Do we just try and make small changes from within now that the Republicans hold all the power? This will probably involve a big push with the Sailer Strategy. What about in Australia, where do we go now? Who will be our King? There’s a lot to discuss.

I’m not completely positive. Yes, it looks like Russian and Asian tensions may have been eased already, at least from the early congratulations their leaders have expressed. But overall I think it is much more likely that Trump will just be an average President and not much will get done. Of course, anything positive he does do will make him an excellent President, in the same way that the hope around Obama’s election resulted in…well, the Obama Presidency. The more likely event is that some bad stuff happens, and Trump gets the blame. He might only be a one-termer (but let’s not forget that he hasn’t been stumped yet). Now the American Republicans actually have a mandate, they better fucking do something with it. I do think there is a high chance the conservatives will squander it, unless Trump (very possible) acts like a King and just gets shit done. His 100 day plan is clear and succinct, perhaps a little ambitious. But he needs strong help. Peter Thiel and Elon Musk must be brought in. Scott Adams wouldn’t hurt to have around either.

But enough about what should or could happen, I want to talk about the progressive response.

What a Time to Be Alive

I started the day in Australia waking up to the usual tirade of establishment media basically handing Clinton the presidency. It was a done deal. Over before it had begun. I have to admit, I felt a weight in my stomach.

Months ago I had actually made a $150 bet with a woman in my office that Trump would win. The day started with everyone laughing at me, asking if I was worried. I stayed silent, shrugged. ‘We’ll see,’ I said.

Then the counting started.

We had a business lunch with two American clients (female). There was about 5 staff members including me (the rest all female). The Americans were busily checking updates (they come from New York/Maine) and receiving text messages from their friends and family (one of the women received a text from her son: ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?’). Of course conversation turned to politics. And it was not pleasant.

First, as the only white male at the table, the amount of times the ongoing result was blamed on ‘white males’ was quite shocking. Imagine blaming crime on black people with a black person at the dinner table. My God. Maybe they just gave me a pass because I’m young, so surely I’m progressive. And that was another theme, the fact that we were now, at that very moment, regressing (hate to break it to you but…). ‘All this progress we have made will disappear.’ What fucking progress? More racial division under Obama? A flimsily lowered unemployment rate? Growing inequality? What FUCKING progress? All these comments flying across the table, and all I could do was nod as a very strange feeling of euphoria grew in my stomach as the result cemented itself in the history books.

The second unpleasant topic was dichotomically, of course, women. I mean that these women around me all but admitted that the only reason to vote for Hillary was because she had a vagina. And rather than admit to their own bias, they used this ‘fact’ to put the blame on misogyny. To my face patriarchy and ingrained misogyny were given as the only reasons people (sorry, white males, not people) voted for Trump. When people talk about projecting, this is what they mean. Here you have liberal white females who appear to only be voting for Hillary because she would be the first female President (and they’ve seen her face before) putting all the ‘blame’ of Trump’s victory on misogyny. Sweet mother of God, I could not believe I was witnessing this.

And the day after the victory the tirade continues. Most shocking of all, as I Left for work this morning, I passed a school child, a white male aged around 10 or so. I heard the words ‘uneducated white male’. In that moment I knew that this level of depraved thinking is deeply embedded in the education system. People have been shamed into hating themselves. Progressiveness runs deep.

Now, remember that woman at work I made a bet with? So I walk into the weekly sales meeting, grinning as I walk up to her. No jovial remarks like yesterday. No gentle prodding. She was enraged. She called me an ‘evil man’. See, apparently she managed to conflate my bet with support (I wouldn’t say I support Trump because of his policies, but preference is support). Apparently I’d said some remarks while making the bet as we had been a little tipsy. She said, verbatim, ‘You called her “A something something something woman.”‘ Now, I don’t recall saying anything in particular (and clearly she couldn’t bring specifics to her argument either) but criticizing Hillary is clearly blasphemy. She threatened – literally threatened – to expose my blasphemy to the room. I was shaken, shocked at her vitriol. Thankfully I managed to deny it and was backed up by some other women who were present. Wearing a mask can be hard.

And that’s just it, the responses have been superb. Students rioting, crying on social media, celebrities flipping out. I walked into the office and everyone was discussing it, saying how they just couldn’t believe it and no one had seen it coming. I raised my hand and demurred. ‘Some people did.’ I have never seen such mass delusion and willful ignorance combined with, somehow, a sense of smugness.

Another Brick in the Road

Neoreaction is a journey for me. I am getting there. Slowly my eyes are opening. The absolute, complete disdain these people have against Trump supporters can not be classified as anything other than insane, or perhaps delusional. Delusions of grandeur. Delusions of self-righteousness. It was all there for me to see. It was there for the world to see as the pollsters and media shills suddenly had all their projections reversed when faced with reality. I am currently reading all of Moldbug, and this is exactly what he talks about. It is absolutely mesmerising to read something from 2008 while the ‘projections’ roll-out before my very eyes. It is, quite simply, like witnessing a miracle. And that’s not even considering the will of Kek.

What needs to happen now is a serious movement. In the UK, the US and Australia (and where all free thinking people reside). Embrace the swell and ride the wave to the shore of glory. If you live in Sydney and are reactionary in thought, I would love to meet and discuss where we can go from here.

I’m sure there will be much more dissection of the results to come. All I can say to any progressives reading this: too late, mother fuckers.