Saturday, February 14, 2015

Musings 2

In the last few paragraphs of musings one, I speculate about the utility of propaganda.  Now I'd like to expand on that.

Reviewing the history of war and warfare,  it seems to me that the precursor of offensive wars is propaganda.  I speculate that this is because,  weak/corrupt or otherwise ill intended gov't officials,  unable to govern a state properly,  will devolve to attempting to distracting the populace from the ills their poor governance has caused.  To this end an "enemy" is decided upon,  and the ills are then blamed upon them.  Thus,  the ills that the civilians suffer,  are now thought to be part of a cause,  and that they must be borne as the "enemy" desires that these ills weaken the state for eventual conquest.

As the protagonists take power,  by gaining control of the media apparatus,  for the purpose of spreading their propaganda,  they take control of the civilian "understanding" of events,  and use this to gain increasing powers of state.  Of course,  as they gain increased powers of state,  the state fails to govern and the growing ills are assigned to the machinations of "the enemy" which,  of course, must be defeated.  A state of war covers all ills,  as we note in the historical record and it can be relied upon to continue to do so for quite some time.

The next thing the propagandist must seek is some "catalyzing event",  that will allow them the unfettered use of the powers of state to wage war.  In the meantime,  those who can or do attempt to debunk the propaganda,  are labeled as "the enemies rear guard",  who as such are not to be paid any attention.  Thus are the thoughts for the need for better governance distracted away from,  and the growing ills the population suffer,  are painted as necessary evils that must be borne for the survival of the state.

The opposition in government,  is faced with a dangerous quandary; either challenge the propaganda head on,  and thereby expose themselves to open attack by their opponents,  who can then focus the powers of the media and state upon them and eviscerate their numbers and strength,  or "go along to get along" and try to preserve their strength and numbers until some "counter catalyzing event" can either be contrived,  or arrive on the wings of fate and begin their return to power.  Make no mistake about how powerful and dangerous the powers of state can be and are,  in the hands of those who hold it.  Evidence; "You're either with us or against us!",  the mark of painting any opposition as in consort with the enemy.  It is therefore rather remarkable that our modern forms of government,  allows for the minorities to continue to hold power sufficient to be of some influence,  even in the face of an extremely powerful opponent party.  Yet,  the minority must still "duck and cover",  in the face of power,  to be ready and able to take advantage of any break in the front or make use of any  "counter catalyzing event".

I would see Katrina as one form of a "counter catalyzing event",  where those in power,  being unable to govern,  first sought to ignore it.  To their chagrin it would not go away and it became a media event itself,  that continued to play, in the civilian sphere,  until they could no longer ignore it,  then their misshapen response only served to escalate the problems and reveal their ineptitude at governance.  Their ineptitude in Iraq was yet another discrediting failure.  This allowed for the beginnings of civilian sentiment to shift away from the party in power,  and reduce their hold on the powers of state,  despite their potent propaganda machines.  Unfortunately,  those same forces of government,  that allowed the minority to hold on in the face of the powerful,  also allows those,  declining in power,  to hold on as well.  Thus,  there can be no sudden break in the course that the nation has been set on,  but only a slow scaling back.  The civilian population must be won over first,  and as this happens incrementally,  the opponents of those who failed to govern properly,  are greatly distressed at the slowness of change.  But, it is either that or complete turmoil with the attendant tragic results.

A democratic republic must move on civilian acceptance of rule,  not forced compliance.  Meanwhile the continued existence of the powerful propaganda machines stands in the way of the complete and easy capitulation of those who failed to govern.  But there is no other alternative,  since we now live in a world where there are no foreign lands to conquer,  and only sporadic terrorist organizations to fight.  As one can easily see,  no state would dare openly own any terrorist organization.  So there is no real "Oceania" to wage war against.  There are only the "enemies" that the propagandist hope to elevate to the "Oceania" status,  in the hopes of regaining control of the powers of state once again.
Needless to say,  they will attempt to use any "faith based" methodology,  that does not rely upon facts or provenance to prevail.  Which ties in well with their inability to understand how government's responsibilities to the governed,  works to improve social and economic function.    They would prefer that everyone be each others enemies,  with them standing in between and thus holding unfettered power,  just for the sake of just holding power.

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