Abby Martin and Mark Crispin Miller: Propaganda and the Engineering of Consent

Amerikan Democracy

Image by js via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Abby Martin

Empire Files on Jun 4 2016

With thousands of advertisements seen by Americans everyday, and a corporate media that reinforces the needs of Empire, propaganda in the U.S. is more pervasive and effective than ever before. The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don’t need, and wars people don’t want. To get a deeper understanding of how propaganda functions in today’s society, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies at New York University.

from the archives:

Abby Martin and Chris Hedges: War, Propaganda and the Enemy Within

Chris Hedges: There are No Winners When People Don’t Know the Truth

Western Media is a Propaganda Arm of the State by Finian Cunningham + Pepe Escobar interviewed by Ry Dawson

The Propaganda System That Has Helped Create a Permanent Overclass Is Over a Century in the Making by Andrew Gavin Marshall

The Power Principle: Empire – Propaganda – Apocalypse (must-see)

Psywar: The Real Battlefield is the Mind

Noam Chomsky: Propaganda and Controlling the Public Mind (1996)

Edward Bernays and the Art of Public Manipulation

The Century Of The Self By Adam Curtis (2002; must-see)

18 thoughts on “Abby Martin and Mark Crispin Miller: Propaganda and the Engineering of Consent

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  16. Always worthwhile listening to Mark Crispin Miller, whose media knowledge makes him an ideal guest for Empire Files. Director William Colby’s response to the question of CIA-paid journalists working for TV networks: “…Executive Session”, virtually says it all. One wonders what power of personal restraint Mr. Miller and men and women like him, aware of such disturbing truth, possess which prevents them from exploding in righteous indignation. Good to see Mr. Miller gain deserved wider exposure.

      • Jerry puts it very well. It’s a fascinating (ha ha, hmm) and complex predicament, that has its roots in the fundamental problem of government itself.

        MCM is absolutely correct about the British precedent. This methodological pragmatism was, & doubtless still is, taught at the highest level (‘Oxbridge’ etc.,) but euphemistically dressed in “anti-imperialist” garb these days.

        I have a slim little 30 page volume published just after the outbreak of hostilities in 1939….written by E.H.Carr entitled ‘Propaganda in International Politics’ (Oxford Pamphlets On World Affairs No 16,) that makes interesting reading ~ as Prof. Chomsky would say.

        It may be worth quoting some of the introductory remarks, just to gain a sense of the quality of (educated, discriminatory) thought current at that time:

        “….Until comparatively modern times, those whose opinion it was worthwhile to influence were few in numbers, united by close ties of interest and, generally speaking, highly educated; and the means of persuasion were correspondingly limited. Herr Hitler in ‘Mein Kampf’ draws a distinction between what he calls ‘scientific exposition’ and propaganda. ‘Scientific exposition’ is for the intelligentsia. Propaganda is for the masses. Christianity seems to have been the first great movement in history with a mass appeal. Appropriately enough, it was the Catholic Church which first understood and developed the potentialities of power over large masses of opinion. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages was – and has, within the limits of its power, remained – an institution for diffusing certain opinions and suppressing other opinions contrary to them: it created the first censorship and the first propaganda organization – the office of ‘De Propaganda Fide,’ from which the word itself is derived….”

        He then goes on the discuss the ambiguities of purported democracies compared to totalitarian governments; making a preliminary point of particularly relevance today:

        “….The same economic and social conditions, which have made mass opinion supremely important in politics, have also created instruments of unparalleled range and efficiency for moulding (sic – English usage) and directing it. The oldest, and still perhaps the most powerful, of these instruments is universal popular education. The State which provides the education necessarily determines its content….”

        So, if we want to make real and lasting reforms, best to turn our attention to the actual foundation of intellectual life itself ~ our schools…! And ~ of course those so-called “Charitable Foundations” that actually sponsor and direct it.

        Seems to me, we too often forget this, underestimate it, or ignore it altogether ….

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