Propaganda and the fear factor

Common Dreams
by Gary Alan Scott

03/23/06

It is the merest truism that thought-control is unnecessary in totalitarian societies. A one-party rule and the repression of freedoms render irrelevant what people think. But in a would-be free and open society -- and especially in a society that aspires to be a democracy -- propaganda and thought-control are crucial to the formation of public attitudes. In a nominal democracy, such as exists today in the United States, shaping the opinions of the masses is crucial to the appearance of legitimacy for the ruling elite. The public must be guided and persuaded to ratify the policies favored by the wealthy and well connected, while insuring that the general public does not actually interfere with the policies and profits of the corporate rulers. ... If you haven't read George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World for awhile, now is a good time to pick them up and re-read them. I submit that American society today seamlessly blends the self-satisfaction of Huxley's Soma with Orwell's ubiquitous telescreens and the thought-control they engender. When people are afraid, they need the Soma all the more: fear produces anxiety and hysteria; Soma provides the escapism. It is a powerful 1-2 punch...

//www.commondreams.org/views06/0323-32.htm


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