This is an adapted excerpt from my new book, The Economics of Revolution.
Becoming aware of the $94.4 trillion in overall wealth, and how just a fraction of that wealth can be used to evolve society for the benefit of all, opens up and expands our consciousness. Now, we will analyze the system of propaganda that conditions and contracts mass consciousness to understand how the .01% gets away with consolidating so much wealth and power.
I: Conditioned Consciousness
Even the most independent minded people vastly underestimate how mentally conditioned we all are. In 1929, in response to the growing propaganda system John Dewey said, “We live exposed to the greatest flood of mass suggestion humanity has ever experienced.” Since then, the flood of mass suggestion has grown exponentially.
For two obvious examples, let’s look at television consumption and advertising. The average American watches more than five hours of TV a day, every single day of their life. American children view more than 40,000 ads per year, every single year of their life. Think about that. That’s intensive mental domination administered on a daily basis, from the cradle to the grave.
Ultimately, as Phil Merikle summed it up, “It’s what advertisers have known all along: if we just keep the exposure rate up, people will be influenced.” Repetition, it’s all about repetition. Repetitive messages fill our mental atmosphere. They are like the air we breathe. To paraphrase Philip Lesley in Managing the Human Climate, ‘When a message appears all around you, you tend to accept it and take it for granted. You find yourself surrounded by it and your subconscious mind absorbs the climate of repetitive ideas.’
Repetitive messages form the origins of our thoughts. It’s where our perception, desires and opinions are born. As Marshall McLuhan said, the mass media is an extension of our nervous system. The mainstream media is the software on which our thoughts run; it’s our operating system. Repetitive mainstream propaganda creates a belief system, popular reference points, archetypes, mental patterns, a mindset and groupthink.
Groupthink is a highly infectious disease. You must be ever vigilant to escape the tyranny of groupthink and cultural conditioning. As Walter Lippmann said in Public Opinion, “In the great blooming, buzzing confusion of the outer world, we pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture.”
The Economics of Revolution
Dennis Trainor, Jr on Sep 17, 2014
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“Corruption, greed and economic inequality have reached a peak tipping point,” writes David Degraw. “Due to the consolidation of wealth, the majority of the population cannot generate enough income to keep up with the cost of living. In the present economy, under current government policy, 70% of the population is now sentenced to an impoverished existence.”
In this special 3rd anniversary of Occupy Wall St. edition of Acronym TV, David DeGraw sits down with Dennis Trainor, Jr.
David’s new book, The Economics of Revolution, is now available from DavidDeGraw.org.
DeGraw, who is advocating for a guaranteed income for all US residents, states: “If people could just wrap their head around the fact that we have over $94 Trillion in wealth in the United States, I think we would have a revolution overnight. It has gotten to the point where it would only take 0.5% of the 1%’s wealth to eliminate poverty nationwide.”
About the guest
David DeGraw is an author and an organizer. An early organizer with Occupy Wall Street, David is credited by many as starting the We Are the 99% meme that launched a movement. He is an independent investigative journalist. In February 2010, DeGraw published a book called “The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America.” The last section of the book was a call to action, using the concept of 99 percent of American income earners.