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❶As if this great release of anger had purged me of evil, emptied me of hope; and standing before the symbolic night bursting with stars, I opened myself for the first time to the tender indifference of the world.

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What is not evident and remains undiscussed in the media is the limited nature of such critiques, as well as the huge inequality of the command of resources, and its effect both on access to a private media system and on its behavior and performance.

The use of words is integral to propaganda techniques. Aaron Delwiche, at the School of Communications at the University of Washington, provides a web site discussing propaganda. Delwiche recounts how in , in the United States, the Institute for Propaganda Analysis was created to educate the American public about the widespread nature of political propaganda.

Made up of journalists and social scientists, the institute published numerous works. One of the main themes behind their work was defining seven basic propaganda devices. While there was appropriate criticism of the simplification in such classifications, these are commonly described in many university lectures on propaganda analysis, as Delwiche also points out.

Delwische further classifies these and adds a couple of additional classifications into the following:. See the previous link for descriptions of these devices. A vivid example of such use of words is also seen in the following quote:. Since war is particularly unpleasant, military discourse is full of euphemisms. During war-time, civilian casualties are referred to as collateral damage, and the word liquidation is used as a synonym for murder.

Political Scientist and author, Michael Parenti, in an article on media monopoly , also describes a pattern of reporting in the mainstream in the U. He points out that while the mainstream claim to be free, open and objective, the various techniques, intentional or unintentional result in systematic contradictions to those claims. Furthermore, with concentrated ownership increasing as is discussed in detail in the next section on this site a narrower range of discourse can arise, sometimes without realizing.

The consequences of which are summed up by the following from UK media watchdog, MediaLens:. It involves repeating the government line without comment, thereby allowing journalists to claim neutrality as simple conduits supplying information. But it is not neutral to repeat the government line while ignoring critics of that line, as often happens. It is also not neutral to include milder criticism simply because it is voiced by a different section of the establishment, while ignoring more radical, but perhaps equally rational, critiques from beyond the state-corporate pale.

A big lesson of history is that it is wrong to assume that power, or respectability , confers rationality. Media analyst Sharon Beder describes the reality of much mainstream reporting:. Balance means ensuring that statements by those challenging the establishment are balanced with statements by those whom they are criticising, though not necessarily the other way round.

Blair desperately hopes to build bridges in the Middle East. This is also a kind of propaganda based on false assumptions. Machiavelli was kind enough to explain what every politician knows, and what almost all corporate media journalists feign not to know:. It is not essential, then, that a Prince should have all the good qualities which I have enumerated above [mercy, good faith, integrity, humanity, and religion] but it is most essential that he should seem to have them; I will even venture to affirm that if he has and invariably practises them all, they are hurtful.

In another article, MediaLens also highlights this and the impact it has on how global issues are perceived:. One of the secrets of media manipulation is to report the horror and strife of the world as though Western power, interests and machinations did not exist.

Vast poverty, injustice and chaos in the Third World are depicted as unconnected to the cool oases of civilisation in Europe and the United States, which look on benignly but helplessly, or pitch in heroically to right wrongs as far as they are able.

The idea, for example, that the vast economic and military might of North America might in some way be linked to the vast poverty and suffering of neighbouring Central and South America is unthinkable. This is called honest, factual reporting.

Furthermore and while not a complete study of the mainstream media , media watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting FAIR did a study showing that there can be heavy political biases on even the most popular mainstream media outlets. They found that 92 percent of all U.

Propaganda in totalitarian regimes is easy to recognize for its blatant and crude methods. In democratic societies, propaganda exists, as most of the above attests to.

But, it is harder to see. As a result, it is important to keep such elements of propaganda in mind when we see coverage of conflicts or even other issues in the media, regardless of the media organization and their apparent reputation. In many democracies, people hold dear the freedom of speech that they are supposed to have.

Yet, propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism, notes Noam Chomsky. Public accountability of major institutions and of the government must be constantly maintained to avoid propaganda.

In , the famous American journalist Walter Lippmann said that the art of democracy requires what he called the manufacture of consent. This phrase is an Orwellian euphemism for thought control. The idea is that in a state such as the U. The Soviet Union is at the opposite end of the spectrum from us in its domestic freedoms.

These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments. Power must be held accountable.

The mainstream media is a pillar of a functioning democracy, and one of its roles therefore, is to hold power accountable. In democracies, people like to believe that they and their countries are generally good, for if it was any other way then it brings into moral question all they know and hold dear.

The histories of some nations may have involved overcoming adversaries for legitimate reasons e. Such important history is often recounted and remembered as part of the collective culture of the country and those same values are projected into modern times. Propaganda sometimes works by creating the fear of losing such cherished values. All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it….

Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than to a small lie.

For they themselves often tell little lies, but would be ashamed to tell big lies. Guiterrez, mentioned much further above, also interviews Dr.

Nancy Snow, once a propagandist for the U. According to Snow, the U. When a country goes off to war, so goes its media with it.

The news media were caught up in the rally round the flag syndrome. They were forced to choose a side, and given the choices, whose side did they logically choose but the U. Furthermore, some propaganda that may be effective to national audiences will not work on foreign audiences:.

According to [Professor Randall Bytwerk, a specialist in propaganda] it is far easier to make propaganda at home than abroad. One has more credibility at home, and much more in common with the audience.

Although Nazi propaganda was not completely believed by Germans, they believed what their government said far more than the British believed German propaganda, for example. All things being equal, most people want to believe they live in a good country. It should be noted that in the U. One reason, revealed by an insight into how the U. By using the fear of more terrorist attacks against the U. The British public, while feeling deep sympathy towards the Americans for their suffering, had not suffered such a horrific attack so recently, and, combined with other factors e.

Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

It works the same in any country. The impacts of public relations cannot be underestimated. In the commercial world, marketing and advertising are typically needed to make people aware of products.

When it comes to propaganda for purposes of war, for example, professional public relations firms can often be involved to help sell a war. In cases where a war is questionable, the PR firms are indirectly contributing to the eventual and therefore unavoidable casualties. Media management may also be used to promote certain political policies and ideologies.

Where this is problematic for the citizenry is when media reports on various issues do not attribute their sources properly. Air Force Academy in I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician, Rendon said. I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives.

In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager. He reminded the Air Force cadets that when victorious troops rolled into Kuwait City at the end of the first war in the Persian Gulf, they were greeted by hundreds of Kuwaitis waving small American flags. The scene, flashed around the world on television screens, sent the message that U. Marines were being welcomed in Kuwait as liberating heroes.

Did you ever stop to wonder, Rendon asked, how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held American, and for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries? He paused for effect. Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs then. But his description of himself as a perception manager echoes the language of Pentagon planners, who define perception management as actions to convey and or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning.

Such technical phrases like truth projection hide their true meanings and intent: One can understand how these have been tactics of war. Churchill used such a technique to fool the Nazis regarding the Normandy landings, for example. In March , the New York Times revealed that there has been a large amount of fake and prepackaged news created by US government departments, such as the Pentagon, the State Department and others, and disseminated through the mainstream media.

The New York Times noted a number of important issues including:. Effectively, American tax payers have paid to be subjected to propaganda disseminated through these massaged messaged. Smear tactics are often used to discredit, stain or destroy the reputation of someone.

It is unfortunately common-place and is an age-old technique. It can either involve outright lies, or a distortion of the truth. With the increasing popularity of the Internet, and search engines such as Google, smearing is taking on additional forms and techniques.

Juan Cole, a professor of history has described what he has coined a GoogleSmear as a political tactic to discredit him. His personal experience is quoted here:. It seems to me that David Horowitz and some far rightwing friends of his have hit upon a new way of discrediting a political opponent, which is the GoogleSmear.

It is an easy maneuver for someone like Horowitz, who has extremely wealthy backers, to set up a web magazine that has a high profile and is indexed in google news. Then he just commissions persons to write up lies about people like me leavened with innuendo and out-of-context quotes.

Anyone googling me will likely come upon the smear profiles, and they can be passed around to journalists and politicians as though they were actual information. The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views.

In terms of narrowing the range of debate or discourse, this is about discussing issues within a limited range of ideas and opinions.

While this gives the appearance of debate and discussion, often deeper and wider issues are not discussed, thus losing important context. This often occurs unknowingly, but is systemic in nature. Noam Chomsky captures this very well:. Since the voice of the people is allowed to speak out [in democratic societies], those in power better control what that voice says — in other words, control what people think. One of the ways to do this is to create political debate that appears to embrace many opinions, but actually stays within very narrow margins.

You have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions — and that those assumptions are the basis of the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, the debate is permissible. During the Vietnam War, the U. Among educated people it worked very well. One reason that propaganda often works better on the educated than on the uneducated is that educated people read more, so they receive more propaganda.

Another is that they have jobs in management, media, and academia and therefore work in some capacity as agents of the propaganda system — and they believe what the system expects them to believe. The so-called permitted parameters of debate or prop-agenda then gives the appearance of consensus and democratic process. Brian Eno captures this aspect in talking about recent American foreign policy actions:.

In the West the calculated manipulation of public opinion to serve political and ideological interests is much more covert and therefore much more effective [than a propaganda system imposed in a totalitarian regime]. We watch the democratic process taking place—heated debates in which we feel we could have a voice — and think that, because we have free media, it would be hard for the Government to get away with anything very devious without someone calling them on it.

And they pre-load the ensuing discussion with highly selected images, devious and prejudicial language, dubious linkages, weak or false intelligence and selected leaks. With the ground thus prepared, governments are happy if you then use the democratic process to agree or disagree — for, after all, their intention is to mobilise enough headlines and conversation to make the whole thing seem real and urgent.

The more emotional the debate, the better. Emotion creates reality, reality demands action. This is especially true where the media actively compete, periodically attack and expose corporate and government malfeasance, and aggressively portray themselves as spokesmen for free speech and the general community interest.

In the following pages, some examples of propaganda and the media are presented. In some cases the media is a participant in the propaganda, sometimes knowingly and other times unknowingly, and sometimes even both.

However, while some of the specific pages may seem long, these form very few examples and over time more will be added. For now though, the examples chosen reflect some of the more notable issues that did turn up in the mainstream, and so to some extent, a lot of people are familiar with these issues, but maybe not some of the deeper issues that were obscured by propaganda of various sorts.

The impacts of such propaganda contributed to the loss of millions of lives for it helped form a sense of legitimacy to what could otherwise have been regarded as controversial. Propaganda therefore comes with a huge cost. Sometimes links to other sites may break beyond my control. Where possible, alternative links are provided to backups or reposted versions here. To print all information e. This can be done by providing too much information! They would gorge the media with information, Beelman writes, quoting one as saying, When you make the media happy, the media will not look for the rest of the story.

A common way to do this is to appeal to patriotism and safeguarding the often unarticulated national interest Schechter describes, how Condaleezza Rice and other Bush administration officials persuaded the networks to kill bin Laden videos and other Al-Jazeera work during the initial months after the September 11 tragedy. This is nothing new, however, as he points out; All administrations try to seduce and co-opt the media. Schechter describes the ramifications: It is this ideological conformity and world view that makes it relatively easy for a well-oiled and sophisticated IO propaganda machine to keep the U.

Some of those companies, such as NBC parent General Electric, have long been a core component of that nexus of shared interests that President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. It is the spin that the military will put on it. A result of this is propaganda and spin becoming the official version. Of course, the military can often hide behind this one! Looked in isolation from other issues, this seems like an understandable and acceptable military strategy.

Yet, when combined with the other propaganda strategies, it is another way to withhold information. As Danny Schechter asks on this issue, why do we in the media go along with this approach time and again? We are not stupid. We are not robots.

Too many of us have DIED trying to get this story and other stories. Ask any journalists and they will tell you that no one tells them what to write or what to do. Yet there is a homogenized flavor and Pentagon echo to much coverage of this war that shames our profession.

Is it because reporters buy into the ideology of the mission? Even if we had a definitive answer to the question of the meaning of life, we will still need much more than that answer in order to satisfy our unrelenting thirst for meaning. There is another method for approaching our quest for knowing meaning in life that is significantly more effective than merely asking "What is the meaning of life? This approach is consistent with the Socratic philosophy of education that is articulated in this essay.

The Socratic method pun intended of addressing the question of meaning gives us daily access to satisfying our needs to experience meaningfulness. This stands in contrast to having "The" correct answer to the meaning of life, which would just sit in our heads like a shallow pat answer in the absence of living an examined life. The human experience of meaning, no matter if such experiences may or may not be logically validated as true or false, always requires a context of associations.

Nothing means anything in and of itself. In pure isolation, any particular thing means nothing. The existence of meaning in the human mind always demands that different things be associated together in some way.

Think of the meaning of a pen. The meaning of a pen is inconceivable without the contexts of association with other ideas such as writing, paper, communication, a knowledge of its construction, etc.

There is not one human experience of meaning in the history of our species that did not involve some form of the association of different things. Without differences, meaning is impossible. We cannot answer the question of the meaning of life in the same way that we can answer a question about the meaning of an umbrella.

This is true to the extent that any such answer requires a context of association. We are quite versed in the contexts of the use and functioning of an umbrella. However, the full context of life eludes us. Once we reach the limit of our ability to associate a knowledge of, or even apply our imagination to, what is in and beyond this universe, the question of the actual meaning of life becomes a useless focus.

Instead of asking the question, "What is the meaning of life? The shift from the first to second question is a shift from a focus on an abstract idea to the firsthand process of our own living. The first question, "What is the meaning of life?

However the second question, "Can I live meaningfully? The good news is that the second question only requires a basic knowledge of how our minds work in order to provide a useful answer. It is to the second question about our capacity to live life meaningfully that this Socratic philosophy of education offers a definitive yes. This essay will articulate the foundations of a Socratic philosophy of education that stand at the very center of the human quest for meaning.

For now, I will tie off our current discussion on meaning by relating one principle. It is true that all experiences of human meaning require that differences be associated.

However, it is not just that we desire specific experiences of meaning that drives us. We desire more than any particular experience of meaning at any particular time. The human quest for meaning is organized around our deep and unending need to experience a stable continuity of meaningfulness throughout our lives. It is towards establishing a rich and stable continuity of meaning in our living that this Socratic philosophy of education addresses itself.

The main principle in regard to satisfying our need to experience continuity in the meaningfulness of our living has to do with the human cognitive capability to continually rethink and re-associate.

Once we have made enough associations in our brains to form one experience of meaning, continuity demands that we have the ability to re-associate the data of our meanings as the circumstances of our thinking and living change. We are always having to rethink things. Discovering new understandings through new contexts of association is a developmental necessity of human life.

The richness and continuity of our habits of examining life will correlate at a basic level with the richness and continuity of our experience of the meaningfulness of our living. Without paying high quality attention to the differences that life continually brings to our minds, we are lost to our ability to deepen our experiences of the meaning of life. It is the world view that never changes, never adapts, never examines itself, which dooms the human spirit to the despair of meaninglessness when life's circumstances do not fit into the nutshells we have created for ourselves.

It is the mind that never loves to tear apart its own ideas through self-examination that gets trapped in the meaninglessness of clinging to frozen and obsolete understandings. The structure of the principle of continuous re-association and its relationship to the continuity of meaning will be explored in detail in Part III of this essay through a study of the relationship between repetition, variation, complexity and meaning.

For now I observe that most people would say a meaningless life is not worth living. Plato had Socrates say the same thing with different words. Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living. These realities are inseparable because a lifelong habit of continuous examination makes us skillful at re-associating ideas and data. The one who lives an examined life is already prepared through vigorous habit to do the work needed regarding reestablishing meaning, when life itself destroys our beliefs, values, and world view.

The continuity of our experience of meaningfulness is safeguarded by the continuity of the habit of leading an examined life.

It is the one who lives an unexamined life who is unprepared to do the re-associating work needed to rebuild meaningfulness when life takes it away from us. The examined life, with its emphasis on the priority of doing our own original work to create our own understanding, is critically important to the human quest for meaning. At this point, I must say that any philosophy of education that has any hope of being useful to elevating the human will to thrive must, at its core, seek to inspire people to lead an examined life.

It is the persistence of enthusiastic, engaging and willful attentiveness that gives us our greatest capacity to grow and evolve. Without the differences that other people and ideas bring to us, there is nothing to attend to and the creation of knowledge, understanding, and the human experience of meaning is impossible.

In the absence of our capacity to thoughtfully examine our ideas, beliefs, and living, human life becomes less human. The absence of high quality attentiveness to differences is the absence of conscious living. Collapsing into defensive posturing when differences challenge our understanding is a serious weakness that Socratic education seeks to eliminate. We cannot allow overt conflict or avoidance to be the preferred method students use to deal with other people and ideas when those others challenge their understanding.

Being trapped in our own understandings because we are afraid to give our attentiveness to associating new ideas and information is the fast road to destroying our capacity for living meaningfully.

This fundamentally life destroying weakness must be replaced with the ability to enthusiastically, willfully and persistently engage our full attention to differences and challenges as we productively thrive in the midst of extraordinary diversity.

Leading an examined life is the outcome that education must seek to establish in every student.

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January My father is a mathematician. For most of my childhood he worked for Westinghouse, modelling nuclear reactors. He was one of those lucky people who know early on what they want to do. The Stranger [Albert Camus, Matthew Ward] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in ; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.