Democracy and Propaganda
Dr. William Pierce
I do appreciate the feedback I receive from listeners, who give me their responses to my broadcasts and who tell me about their own concerns and ideas and who sometimes give me useful tips on news stories that I might not have learned about otherwise.
One thing I’m reminded of over and over again by listener feedback is that many listeners still haven’t assimilated a message I’ve included in nearly every broadcast, and that is the central importance of Jewish media control to all of our problems. Many listeners, perhaps even a majority, still believe that somehow, when the White public becomes sufficiently exasperated, we can vote ourselves out of our problems. When I have said that the whole democratic process is merely a sham, an illusion, in the age of television, they haven’t believed me. They still cling to the notion that democracy is inherent in White life, that it is with us to stay, and that we must rely on it in order to overcome our problems. This notion seems to have been implanted so deeply in their consciousness that it will take a real trauma to uproot it. Well, you can be sure that the trauma is on its way, but meanwhile it behooves some of us to understand the situation.
A couple of weeks ago I quoted a few sentences from a book published in 1928 titled Propaganda, by the Jew Edward Bernays. Today I’ll read to you an expanded set of excerpts from Bernays’ book to give you a little more of the gist of his message. I quote:
‘The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
‘We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes are 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....
‘Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily 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 which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world....
‘Sometimes the effect on the public is created by a professional propagandist, sometimes by an amateur deputed for the job. The important thing is that it is universal and continuous; and in its sum total is regimenting the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers....
‘The systematic study of mass psychology revealed to students the potentialities of invisible government of society by manipulation of the motives which actuate man in the group.... So the question naturally arose: If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it?
‘The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits....
‘No serious sociologist believes any longer that the voice of the people expresses any divine or especially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion....
‘Whether in the problem of getting elected to office or in the problem of interpreting and popularizing new issues, or in the problem of making the day-to-day administration of public affairs a vital part of the community life, the use of propaganda, carefully adjusted to the mentality of the masses, is an essential adjunct of political life.’
I should mention that Bernays’ book is not profound or especially valuable in itself. It merely states a few self-evident facts about the way in which a modern society works. For the person interested in propaganda, far more useful books are available. The fact that Bernays was a Jew is not even especially relevant here except to emphasize that propaganda, the mass media, psychology, and the manipulation of others always have been subjects of special interest to the Jews. It is not for nothing that they are as thick in these fields today as they were in the time of Bernays and Freud. The reason I chose Bernays’ book to quote is that it provides a more concise and clear summary, in a few quotable paragraphs, of the role of propaganda in modern life than most other books on the subject.
If I were you I wouldn’t even waste time trying to hunt down a copy of Bernays’ book. Although it is available in larger libraries, it’s long been out of print, and all it does is state the obvious: namely, that the whole concept of democracy is meaningless in an age where a few people have in their hands the mechanism for controlling the attitudes and opinions of a majority of the electorate. And Bernays also takes the disingenuous position that not only is this control a fact of life, but it is a good thing; it is necessary to control and regiment the thinking of the public in order to avoid chaos, and it can only lead us to greater progress and prosperity. He simply glosses over the question of who should exercise this control and what their motives should be.
If you really want to study the subject of propaganda, a good place to start is with the 1962 book, also titled Propaganda, by the Frenchman Jacques Ellul. That book is still in print and is available from the sponsor of this program, National Vanguard Books. Professor Ellul deals with the subject in much greater depth and with much greater honesty than Bernays does, but he agrees with Bernays on the most obvious and fundamental conclusions: on the irrelevance of the idea of democracy, for example. I quote from Professor Ellul’s book:
‘If I am in favor of democracy, I can only regret that propaganda renders the true exercise of it almost impossible. But I think that it would be even worse to entertain any illusions about a coexistence of true democracy and propaganda.’
To me it is frustrating that a conclusion that seems so obvious is nevertheless resisted by so many otherwise intelligent people. Democracy has become almost a sacred concept to them, this idea that the policies guiding our nation should be decided by counting the votes of every featherless biped who has reached the age of 18. It’s like motherhood: they’re almost afraid to question it.
This seems to be as true of intellectuals in our society as it is of Joe Sixpacks. The fact is that intellectuals are no more likely to be independent-minded than people who work with their hands; most intellectuals, just like most Joe Sixpacks, are lemmings. In fact, as Ellul points out, it is precisely the intellectuals who are most strongly controlled by propaganda, because they are more open to every medium of propaganda.
And I must admit that it took me a long time to overcome the ideas drummed into me when I was in school that under a democracy people are more free than under any other political system, that under a democracy we are all free to think and say whatever we want, and that we have a greater responsibility as citizens of a democracy to make up our own minds about things independently, and so on. Actually, we still have some degree of individual freedom in the United States today because more than 200 years ago men whose temperament was far more aristocratic than democratic in the modern sense of the word were willing to go to war against their legitimate government in order to secure that freedom for us, and people with a truly democratic temperament, who have been gnawing away at that freedom ever since, haven’t yet succeeded in suppressing it completely.
Well, it should not be surprising to us that although books such as Professor Ellul’s Propaganda – and many others – are readily available, almost no one has heard of them. Keeping the public believing in the myth of democracy is an important element in maintaining control over the thinking and behavior of the public. It is simply immoral and scandalous to question the reality of democracy. It’s like questioning the truth of the “Holocaust” story. And for that reason we’re not likely to be taught in our social studies classes in school or to read in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal even the most obvious and self-evident conclusions presented by Bernays or Ellul. We’re still taught how democracy safeguards our freedom, even while those who control the mechanism of propaganda in our democratic society are working day and night to eliminate that freedom.
Already “freedom” means to Sally Soccermom the right to buy either blue plastic hair curlers or pink plastic hair curlers or yellow plastic hair curlers or no hair curlers at all at the shopping mall. And to her husband it means the right to watch whatever ball game he chooses and to go to the refrigerator for another six-pack at halftime. And both Sally Soccermom and Joe Sixpack have pretty well been brought around by democrats to the opinion that the First Amendment doesn’t really give anyone the right to say “hateful” things: things that offend other people. A majority of them already believe that racism is illegal – or ought to be illegal.
It is unfortunate that we cannot use propaganda the way it is used against us. I’m certainly not a propaganda expert myself, but I understand enough about it to know that the use of propaganda on a large enough scale to be effective in changing the attitudes and the behavior of the public requires a much larger mechanism than anyone but the Jews possess. I’m talking here about so-called “vertical propaganda,” which simultaneously conditions large numbers of people through the use of television, magazine advertising, and other mass media. The Jews worked hard to seize control of that mechanism and build it up throughout all of the last century.
There is, of course, what is called “horizontal propaganda,” in which the attitudes and behavior of individuals in small groups are changed through suggestion by group leaders and guided group discussion. This is the sort of thing that was used in communist prison camps and in some religious cults and is used in “sensitivity training” in America to condition employees in government and in private business today. It also is used to a frighteningly large extent in America’s schools to propagandize children. It doesn’t require much in the way of mechanism, as “vertical propaganda” does, but it does require a large number of conditioning groups operating simultaneously in order to be effective on a significant portion of the population, and that in turn requires a large organizational infrastructure to get people into the groups and then to coordinate their conditioning.
I find all of this very interesting, but also a little depressing. I cannot help but agree with Bernays and Ellul that the governing role of propaganda is inevitable in a modern, centralized, technological society. Without propaganda as a coordinator for the lemmings, we would have chaos. The only way to avoid propaganda would be to return to the sort of decentralized society without mass media, based on the farm and the village, that we had during the Middle Ages and in ancient times, and we can’t do that as long as we live in a world where we are surrounded by dangerous enemies: which is to say, we cannot afford decentralization and the giving up of our mass communications capabilities as long as we have Chinese or Jews waiting for us to lower our vigilance. The important thing is not to try to avoid propaganda – we really can’t do that – but to ensure that the people who control the content and the direction of the propaganda are our people and that they have the right motivations. That is the essential thing. Beside this everything else becomes insignificant.
An understanding of our present situation leads us to a conclusion that many otherwise intelligent people are afraid to confront. That frightening conclusion is that there is no peaceful way out of this situation. The Jews never will voluntarily relinquish control of the mechanism of propaganda, and as long as they retain control America and our civilization and our people will continue down the slippery slope toward oblivion: non-White immigration will continue, the White birthrate will remain far below the replacement level, the media will continue pushing multiculturalism and race-mixing, and the Jews will continue their efforts to reduce our freedom to a choice of hair curlers and ball games, as they already have done in Europe. And as long as their television screens stay lit and the shelves at the shopping malls remain full of consumer goods, the lemmings will go along happily with everything.
We cannot vote our way out of our planned demise. Either we will let ourselves be led into extinction by the masters of propaganda like lambs to the slaughter, or we will fight back, and when we fight back there will be a period of bloody chaos. When I have said this in the past I have been accused by people who otherwise agreed with me of having bloody-minded fantasies. They did not want to face the prospect of violence and bloodshed, and when I said that we must face it they accused me of wanting it.
Well, I don’t want it – except as an alternative that is infinitely preferable to extinction. I prefer a peaceful path to survival and freedom and progress, but I no longer believe that a peaceful path remains for us. The people who accused me of being bloody minded were people who were comfortable, who were living fairly high on the hog, and of course they didn’t want their comfort to end. They didn’t want their comfortable world to become chaotic and dangerous and bloody. I can’t blame them for that. But they let their desire for a continuation of comfort hide the truth from them. They wanted to believe that we can vote our way out of the mess we’re in and that everything can be resolved peacefully, and so that’s what they believed. I can only agree with Professor Ellul that the worst thing we can do now is entertain any illusions about the efficacy of democracy in combating the destructive propaganda mechanism being used against us by the Jews.
Our responsibility is to continue building our capability for taking advantage of events as they happen, and that means primarily to continue building our means for communicating effectively with every independent-minded White man and woman with a conscience and attempting to gain his or her participation in the effort to reach others. I don’t expect that our communications capability will win any elections for us, but it certainly will enhance our ability to fight back – and that is what I intend to do until my last breath.
Thanks for being with me again today.
American Dissident Voices broadcast and email newsletter of May 4, 2002 (abridged)