The circus of hypocrisy and propaganda that was called the Republican National Convention leaves me with the difficult task of sorting out the plethora of delusional material delivered from the podium.
“To whom should propaganda be addressed? To the scientifically trained intelligentsia or to the less educated masses? It must be addressed always and exclusively to the masses.”
“All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be.
“The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
“the very first axiom of all propagandist activity: to wit, the basically subjective and one-sided attitude it must take toward every question it deals with.”
“The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.”
“But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”
“For instance, a slogan must be presented from different angles, but the end of all remarks must always and immutably be the slogan itself.”
The propaganda slogan of the Republican convention was “We Built It.” The genius of this slogan is that the words themselves are generous and charitable while its meaning is just the opposite in true Orwellian doublespeak. I can say “We built it” and mean it because as a Buddhist I’m aware of the total interdependency of how anything and everything is built. The toothbrush held in the hand, the tomato in the salad, the car being driven on the freeway: none of these are brought to us by some individual at the top of a business who can take credit for it all, but by the incalculable activities of numberless persons.
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
How do I know? Because when the Republicans play upon the middle and lower classes frustrations with government, they don't point out that the problem with government is due to the influence of corporate money on Congress and the President, and they don't demand that we restore government of the people, by the people and for the people. Instead they bring out their favorite long term slogan: "smaller government, less taxes." But what does "smaller government" mean? To Republicans it means "smaller government (of, by, and for the people)" and smaller government in the departments that regulate the corporations for the good of the people. Republicans are all for bigger government as long as that bigger government is engaged on the one hand in foreign hegemony and imperialist extension (Defense Department) and on the other hand in domestic surveillance and reduction of civil liberties (Department of Homeland Security). Every other department of government that actually is for the people can be thrown out as far as they are concerned, but the departments of government that control and dominate the people and instead work only to enforce the power of the corporations just get bigger and bigger.