Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Consider the Effects

I found a stream this morning and watched the announcement of Timmeh Geithner's "new" plan (details of which were "leaked" all through the weekend) this morning, and then spent my free chances throughout the day reading what some others had to say about it. Much of it was very, very silly.

(Not a single "bold and swift" plan goes by where I'm not amazed anew at the persistence with which people insist on continuing to frame these things in partisan terms, as though it's Bush's, Obama's, or hell, even Clinton's fault. These guys have little or nothing to do with anything unless it involves reading off a teleprompter, doing photo ops, signing papers that are set in front of them, and collecting their payoffs for the same.*

These are just the obvious and recent examples, of course.

Granted, Obama stil has to get through the next four years before he starts getting the real payoffs, but I'm sure the Executive perks serve to tide him over fairly well. Bush, well his payoffs have begun, but at a lower rate due not to "bad performance" as most are trained to think, but rather "bad performance" in that he was even more of an embarrassing and excessively drunken monkey than his handlers thought he would be. Clinton's performance has maintained (he was always very good at performing) and he continues to be rewarded regularly en route to deeper degrees of Elder Statesman status and prestige.)

Sorry about that digression. It's often difficult to refrain.

Oh yes, New Bold and Swift Economic Plans, by Timmeh. If you haven't gotten down and dirty with the details, I enjoyed Mish's roundup a great deal, and I promise you'll certainly get more out of it than reading the Serious and Respectable rags.

That being said, in thinking about the extent to which the public (and many, many future generations) are being looted and pillaged, along with all of the vastly silly partisan and/or generally false writing about the same--serving to further distract everyone taking part in The Great Circus-- I thought I might share some bits of truth from Jaques Ellul's The Technological Society.

From Chapter 5, Human Techniques:

Some effects of propaganda, however, are already clear.

1) The critical faculty has been suppressed by the creation of collective passions [see: Bush Hate, Obama Worship, blind partisanship in general--HH].


The suppression of the critical faculty--man's growing incapacity to distinguish truth from falsehood, the individual from the collectivity, action from talk, reality from statistics, and so on--is one of the most evident results of the technical power of propaganda. Human intelligence cannot resist propaganda's manipulation of its subconscious [focus on the use of the word "subconscious" here--this is what television programming speaks to directly, and how the opinions of the mass are formed--HH].

2) A good social conscience appears with the suppression of the critical faculty. [see, for example: Lowering your "carbon footprint"--HH]

3) Propaganda technique, moreover, creates a new sphere of the "sacred." As Monnerot puts it: "When and entire category of events, beings, and ideas is outside criticism, it constitutes a sacred realm, in contrast to the realm of the profane." [see: current widespread assertion that the "debate" on Global Warming Climate Change, 9/11, etc. has been settled.--HH]

As you consider these points there is one last thing that's worth mentioning, I think. These words were published in 1964.

The effects of our Modern Life must be considered. We ignore them at our peril.