What would it take for Russia to be #1?
Posted 04 September 2003 - 06:29 PM
"In almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind."
How This Set-Up Got Started
In Trust Us We're Experts, Stauber and Rampton pull together some compelling data describing the science of creating public opinion in America.
They trace modern public influence back to the early part of the last century, highlighting the work of guys like Edward L. Bernays, the Father of Spin. From his own amazing chronicle Propaganda, we learn how Edward L. Bernays took the ideas of his famous uncle Sigmund Freud himself, and applied them to the emerging science of mass persuasion.
The only difference was that instead of using these principles to uncover hidden themes in the human unconscious, the way Freudian psychology does, Bernays used these same ideas to mask agendas and to create illusions that deceive and misrepresent, for marketing purposes.
The Father Of Spin
Bernays dominated the PR industry until the 1940s, and was a significant force for another 40 years after that. (Tye) During all that time, Bernays took on hundreds of diverse assignments to create a public perception about some idea or product. A few examples:
As a neophyte with the Committee on Public Information, one of Bernays' first assignments was to help sell the First World War to the American public with the idea to "Make the World Safe for Democracy." (Ewen)
A few years later, Bernays set up a stunt to popularize the notion of women smoking cigarettes. In organizing the 1929 Easter Parade in New York City, Bernays showed himself as a force to be reckoned with.
He organized the Torches of Liberty Brigade in which suffragettes marched in the parade smoking cigarettes as a mark of women's liberation. Such publicity followed from that one event that from then on women have felt secure about destroying their own lungs in public, the same way that men have always done.
Bernays popularized the idea of bacon for breakfast.
Not one to turn down a challenge, he set up the advertising format along with the AMA that lasted for nearly 50 years proving that cigarettes are beneficial to health. Just look at ads in issues of Life or Time from the 40s and 50s.
Smoke And Mirrors
Bernay's job was to reframe an issue; to create a desired image that would put a particular product or concept in a desirable light. Bernays described the public as a 'herd that needed to be led.' And this herdlike thinking makes people "susceptible to leadership."
Bernays never deviated from his fundamental axiom to "control the masses without their knowing it." The best PR happens with the people unaware that they are being manipulated.
Stauber describes Bernays' rationale like this:
"the scientific manipulation of public opinion was necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in a democratic society." Trust Us p 42
These early mass persuaders postured themselves as performing a moral service for humanity in general - democracy was too good for people; they needed to be told what to think, because they were incapable of rational thought by themselves. Here's a paragraph from Bernays' Propaganda:
"Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of.
This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.
In almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind."
Posted 05 September 2003 - 12:16 AM
Another world already exists - Scandinavian-style social democracy
One of the most frustrating features of current progressive discourse is that people seem to think that we still need to think up an alternative to the present neoliberal order. Anyone would think that the left had achieved nothing over the last 150 years. In fact, there already is an alternative to 'cheap labour conservatism,' it exists in five countries and it works. This is Scandinavian-style social democracy. For the uninitiated, this is NOTHING like what passes for social democracy in the UK or Australia, which is just cheap labour conservatism with the meanest possible safety net. This is the REAL DEAL.
Nothing is more badly misunderstood than the Scandinavian welfare state. Cheap-labour conservatives love to hate alternatives that work, so there has been extensive misrepresentation of the WAY in which social democracy works. Conservatives are, in fact, wrong about almost every aspect of Scandinavian-style social democracy, because they erroneously treat it as an advanced version of the awkward form that the welfare state takes in non-social democratic polities like the UK. They assume, in their ignorance, that the Scandinavian welfare states suffer from the same ills that afflict welfarism in its badly flawed versions elsewhere, only they suffer more.
Explaining the relevance of REAL social democracy is obviously a big subject that I can't go into here in depth, but some of its key elements are:
1) public policies that maximise employment (i.e., the government creates jobs when the private sector does not create enough jobs for everyone, which it usually doesn't)
2) the collective provision of public goods such as childcare (i.e., people pay higher taxes but since many of the things people want are most efficiently provided by government, people always get more than they would if they were left to provide for themselves on an individual basis). So what if taxes are high? What matters is what you get for your money. Believe me, very few people in Sweden think they are overtaxed - indeed, this is precisely what drives Swedish rightwingers mad about ordinary Swedes. How can you start a rightwing revolution if people don't in the least begrudge the taxes they pay?
3) a strong work ethic (social benefits are tied to work - this is a good thing where the government makes it possible for everyone to get a job but of course would be a path to social exclusion otherwise)
4) policies that do not impinge on profits (corporate taxation has always been extremely low in Sweden) but do prevent business acquiring excessive political clout (e.g., by government subsidy of alternative media).
You really have to study the Swedish experience in depth to get a grasp on how it works. Unfortunately, many people from Anglo-Saxon countries bring to the subject a whole host of unwarranted prejudices. In fact, the more you study the Scandinavian welfare states, the more you realize that most people know nothing about them other than rightwing caricature. Which is why conservatives love to hate them and perpetuate lies, such as the recent ruckus on conservative websites when it was maintained on the basis of badly distorted data (emanating from a rightwing Swedish thinktank) that Swedes are poorer than Mississipians, i.e., the poorest people in the USA.
As long as the achievement of the Scandinavian welfare states are neglected, progressives are obliged to reinvent the wheel - which seems a terrible waste of time and energy to me.
It is true that there has been a minor resurgence of the right in Scandinavia over the last 25 or so years (thanks largely to CIA money, which supports rightwing activity in Scandinavia as elsewhere throughout the world) and that the Scandinavian welfare states all experienced significant retrenchment in the 1990s. However, an eviscerated social democracy is still a remarkable achievement in comparison to the available alternatives.
Cheap-labour conservatives hate the Scandinavian welfare states not because they don't work, but because they do - because, in fact, they work very well. For example, places 1 and 2 in the latest Human Development Index are both Scandinavian welfare states (Norway, Sweden), while the US, the flagship of cheap labour conservatism, is in sixth place. Surveys based upon a wider range of criteria than the HDI (which is actually too narrowly based) tend to show an even greater gap between the Scandinavian welfare states and the Anglo-Saxon liberal democracies. Regardless of what you think about such indexes, which surely omit a great deal of important information, the fact remains that the Scandinavian welfare state model is clearly more than viable. No one should be under the least illusion that the model is failing.
Of course, no one would claim that the Scandinavian welfare states are perfect utopias, but that does not detract from the fact that they represent the best possible practice. They are models for what CAN be achieved because they HAVE been achieved. That does not mean that they are the last word in human social organization. But only when Scandinavian-style social democracies cover the earth - in other words, when the best possible practice has been universalized - would it seem appropriate to start thinking of something better.
For now, progressives should steep themselves in the history and ideology of the Scandinavian experience. What has happened in this corner of the world, particularly in Sweden, trumps everything that has been done everywhere else. The choice today, I would argue, is between cheap labour conservatism and (real) social democracy. Don't fool yourself that a viable alternative to cheap-labour conservatism still hasn't been found. If you're spending a good deal of your time trying to think one up, you're part of the problem not the solution.
Recommended reading: Timothy Tilton, The Political Ideology of Swedish Social Democracy.
Posted 05 September 2003 - 12:25 AM
Posted 05 September 2003 - 12:48 AM
The title is catchy, that's all. I don't think Scandinavians walk around thinking of being #1 either. The thing is Russia can do as well as Scandinavia if not better by putting into practice some of these ideas. And if isn't Russia, it can some place else...
"Of course, no one would claim that the Scandinavian welfare states are perfect utopias, but that does not detract from the fact that they represent the best possible practice. They are models for what CAN be achieved because they HAVE been achieved. That does not mean that they are the last word in human social organization. But only when Scandinavian-style social democracies cover the earth - in other words, when the best possible practice has been universalized - would it seem appropriate to start thinking of something better."
Posted 05 September 2003 - 01:58 AM
Dave? Russia has had glory days and will have them again. This verbose thread has never enlightened me as to the definition of number one. Anyone, in a 100 words or less?
Posted 05 September 2003 - 05:22 AM
I agree that Russia was never #1. The Soviet Union was regarded as a super power, and indeed ruled space for more than a decade, but internally, it was never much above a thrid world countries status.
I visited Warsaw, Poland, in December, 1978 (word to the wise -- NEVER visit Warsaw, Poland, during wintertime, unless you are an eskimo, a polar bear, or completely stupid. Fortunately, I'm completely stupid, so I could go there without a problem).
The small shops that line the center of town were entirely empty of merchandise. In one pharmacy I asked (through our guide) how long it would take to get a toothbrush, since they were obviously out. The store manager said, "about 3 weeks, if you are put on the list." And then he quickly added, "if you pay in dollars I can have one for you tomorrow."
My guide spoke of the Soviet Union in derogatory terms. He complained that the Soviets would always take the best merchandise for themselves, and leave the dregs for the Polish. Trust me, there was no love loss between the two. In a real war, I think that the Soviet Union would have callapsed from within far sooner than we could have entered it as conquerers.
BTW, Warsaw = Man/Woman. Wars = man and Sawa = woman. And you cannot "sip" a shot of vodka. If you do, you are a Sawa!! Needless to say, the Sawas were even laughing at me.
Posted 05 September 2003 - 09:35 AM
Even Swiss Alps lambs are not free from the passion. I was really surprised to see information about refuges from Swiss civil war in Poland, Russia and US.. Swiss confederation started in 1291 but in 1525, cantons were in full war.
(In that time in Poland we had Fausto Sozzini, who on his way from Italy, and Swiss, finally landed in Poland and created protestant movement of Socynians- or Polish brothers or Arians, characteristically wearing the wooden swords in sign of protest against fighting. . . )
War in Swiss really happened when Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) started the reformation later called Calvinism.
Refugees were from both sides; Protestants and Catholics.
And what is funny, these cooperatives lovers fund refuge in constitution monarchy of Poland and absolute monarchy in Russia. After Russian revolution many of them moved to US where they live under name of Mennonites. They lead in US modern life, thought women dresses little oddly , but not black like Amish (German) women and they have white hair finish. Mennonites children join public school, but they have obligation to marry between members of Mennonites communities.
To fight genetic problems, because all of them related (I am not talking about incest) only that they all from one genetic tree, Mennonites communities accepted some widows with children etc, to have some shots of new blood.
BTV; Mennonite in income per head is the most prosperous religious orientation in US.
Posted 05 September 2003 - 08:01 PM
Nobody said it was, we say it *can* be...
But it certainly held a #1 in many key areas like education, free health care, sports, space. Now in adopting the Law of the Jungle it ain't #1 in nothing.:confused:
Posted 05 September 2003 - 08:15 PM
Nitzsche (Niecki) German philosopher of Polish background is right . Progress is made by individuals. ?superman- (Ubermensche). Of course Nietzsche statement was read by Hitler or Gebbels by their own criminal mentality.
The same way ?What would it take for Russia to be #1?- set foundation for many different definitions of #1.
Many responders look only for military advantages. They could even in history discover the baseball bat.>
You believe sheep are worth nothing, but I believe they have been raised to be sheep by the media and that they can indeed be educated to outsmart even the smartest of predators. Besides whatever intelligence the lion may have he will use for his own benefit and the sheep will be expendable. It's always like that whether it was Napoleon, Hitler or Stalin.:confused:
I align myself with Orwell:
''If there is hope, it lies in the Proles.''
QUESTION: What do you mean by this?
(Lou, aged 18-25)
In 1984, the proles represent real human beings with their emotions intact, and not driven out of them.
Because of this, they are capable of rising up en masse in rebellion when they are pushed too far, like the animals in Animal Farm, and thus they are the only group of people who have any chance of creating a better world.
Posted 05 September 2003 - 08:51 PM
The number of suicides in Russia tripled since the 1960s
If someone officially announced about 20 years ago that Russia would take one of the leading positions in the world on the number of suicides, nobody would believe that person. Suicides did not match the country filled with socialistic optimism. The number of mentally unstable Russians grows every year. Sometimes, people bid farewell to their lives because they do not want to live in this country. The statistics is quite frightening: about 60,000 Russian people committed suicide last year. This number equals the population of a small town.
The average age of poor people in Russia is 47 years. A lot of them are highly qualified specialists having a higher education. A lot of people simply gave up fighting everyday problems, which can also be considered a motive to commit suicide. The number of suicides has tripled since the 1960s in Russia: 22,000 in 1960-1965 against 60,000 last year. The critical number, according to the WHO, is 20 suicides per 100,000 people. The figure is a lot larger in Russia. The WHO considers 50 incidents of tuberculosis per 100,000 people as an epidemic. In Russia, the official number of TB-sick people is 87 per 100,000.
Both the American professor and Russian doctors do not know, what should be done to make people reject suicidal ideas. On the other hand, it is not really hard to find an answer: state priorities should be changed.
Posted 06 September 2003 - 12:34 AM
//Now in adopting the Law of the Jungle it (Russia) ain't #1 in nothing.//
I see too much adoration for your favorite Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator,"
//It's always like that whether it was Napoleon, Hitler or Stalin. //
Remember that what you believe will depend very much upon what you are -Noah Porter.
.....but the suicide of British weapons adviser David Kelly, 59, is still on front world newspapers ha, ha ha. .
Posted 06 September 2003 - 10:24 AM
"Progress in not made by the herd but by an individual."
Revolution is not made by one person.
democracy dosn't happen by one person.
A dury doesn't work by one person.
Birth doesn't result by one person.
Regression of society doesn't happen by one person either.
One person may have invented the wheel. One person cannot make all the wheels nor drive them all for society to progress
from the intuition and inventiveness of one individual.
The industry of one person cannot match the industry of several persons in cooperation. A number of persons working as
indivduals cannot match the same number working together.
Neither the individual nor the herd can do without the other but obviously in the herd of safety and security and society the
individual prefers to be.
In New Zealand after the social upheaval of the so called free-market revolution the suicide rate amongst young people got to be the highest in the world per head of pop and was also very high amongst farmers who were hit first by reforms.
The Minister of Finance who led the charge, and the reforms were administered to the letter which perhaps only Argintina may have
surpassed us on, was used and probabaly paid handsome sums of money to visit Russia (and Canada) to sell the same magic.
During the nineties the World Bank was telling the world of our miracle economy. We averaged two and a half percent growth
during the nineties! Today it is becoming quite evident that it has largely been a mistake. Our largest export is profits to foreign
Vladzo: the core issue for me is that the Russians be number one, their culture and thinking, in their own country not the foreign imports after 1917.
The world has been cheated of their imput since that intervention
by Wall St, and the purges/intellectual cleansing that followed for two generations.
Consider Iraq hence, after the CIA put Hussein into power and now "invaded'' a second time to restructure its culture. Then ask how should the Iraqis become number one seventy years from now.
I have a little bit of an idea of what its like having ones society overthrown by foreign experiments as we were used for the free
market. At present they are trying the cow farting tax on us.
What DonQ mentions about Scandanavia was much the same as what NZ was up until the mid-eighties.
The reforms weren't just economic they are fundamantal and cultural (in relation to ideology) and the intent is to not only break the old mold but to eliminate it for ever. This is global.
If you read the U.S. National Security Strategy you will learn that the intention is that where the IMF and WTO etc are not able to
break all non-conforming molds and institute the free-market
culture the U.S. military will do so.
The philosophy is that any non-conforming culture is a breeding
ground for terrorists! Thus a non-conformist is a terrorist.
Here we have it again, cultural and intellectual cleansing, but this time on a global scale.
Posted 06 September 2003 - 11:44 AM
Why Stalin but not Abraham Lincoln ? Why?
Why US call Milosevic criminal when he fight for an integration of Yugoslavia?
Let us see the facts of American Civil war. When 11 states attempt to abandon the Union , Abraham Lincoln didn
Posted 06 September 2003 - 04:03 PM
The dried material can be stored or used by mixing with water and run through a mister concealed in a van and venting out the top. The bubonic plague should be the varient from the flea that is cultured as it is at a stage that is infectious to humans. By mixing the two agents and deploying them together the infecting will be discovered in about 11 days as the infected develope symtoms resulting in the government vacinating for small pox but not for the plague whose visible symptoms will be confused with the small pox. Other viruses can be similary mixed and matched to add confusion. Note that those who are involved with the material need to be vacinated and the equipment used to spread the virus needs to be sealed so it doesn't leak in the van, a threaded pipe or other fitting can be opened to load more water or died virus pucks.
Good luck in your revolution
from New Braunfels, Texas
Posted 06 September 2003 - 05:19 PM
<I see too much adoration for your favorite Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator,">
I'd love to see the movie again. So long as it doesn't happen in real life it's beautiful. There's another Chaplin film about WWI, and it's hillarious. He said we needed comics as politicians. Perhaps that's the key right there: Few of our leaders have the capacity to laugh, least of all about themselves. Possibly when they make it sound too serious we should be suspicious. Perhaps they just got bad vibes. In other words they ceased to be a human being to become a lion...
//It's always like that whether it was Napoleon, Hitler or Stalin. //
<Remember that what you believe will depend very much upon what you are -Noah Porter.>
He's right about that: I don't like lions because I ain't a lion...:confused:
<.....but the suicide of British weapons adviser David Kelly, 59, is still on front world newspapers ha, ha ha. . >
That hasn't been proven yet, ha ha ha...
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