Western Propaganda – So Simple but So Effective!
IN FOCUS, 29 Aug 2016
20 Aug 2016 – When some time ago Noam Chomsky and I met at MIT, in order to write a book “On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare” and to produce a film with the same title together, the topic we mainly aimed at discussing was that of the countless genocides the West has committed all over the world since the end of the WWII. The second topic was impunity.
But no matter what atrocities we re-visited, our conversation kept slipping towards one crucial theme: the propaganda that has been manufactured in media centers like New York, Paris, London and other North American and European cities; the propaganda created in order to twist both the past and the present. Without such brainwashing and the almost total indoctrination of the Western general public and the ‘elites’ in all of the ‘client’ states, no imperialist and neo-colonialist policies would have become truly successful.
We spoke about US commercial advertising and its influence on German Nazi propaganda, and about Nazi propaganda influencing by return both the US and European propaganda-makers. Noam kept asking me about my childhood in socialist Czechoslovakia, and I explained to him, honestly, how indoctrinated I was as a teenager: not by the Communist dogmas, but by the BBC, the Voice of America and the Radio Free Europe – all of them relentlessly spreading the Western political and market gospel to all corners of the socialist world.
Both Noam and I have created dozens of essays on the topic, as well as several books. My latest one, basically written about all the corners of the world where the Empire is spreading destruction and followed by indoctrination, has more than 800 pages, and is called “Exposing Lies of the Empire”.
And I always feel that even this massive book just touches the tip of the iceberg, that it is only a beginning!
Western propaganda is actually a perfect apparatus! It is effective and it is almost fully ‘bulletproof’. It ‘works’! European empires have been refining it for many long centuries, and the European offspring – the United States – has elevated it to almost total perfection.
One precondition for its success is, of course, that the Western political and economic regime owns almost all the major media channels and distribution outlets of the world. Diversity can never be tolerated. It could smash the idiocy! Once this prerequisite is completed, things get relatively relaxed and cozy for the demagogues in Washington, London and Paris.
Here is just an example of how easy it is to smear a world leader who resists the imperialist designs of the Empire: Imagine that one sunny morning, some 10 major newspapers and television stations declare that various anonymous but highly reliable sources in Moscow have informed them that the Russian President Vladimir Putin is a vampire!
This ‘news’ would fly all over the world. Many readers and viewers would at first roll around on the floor laughing, but some would not. And even several of those who found the information thoroughly bizarre and unbelievable would at some point realize that seeds of doubt were beginning to grow inside their brains: “OK, it is absurd, of course, but what if? What if? How awful that would be!”
But how can one really prove that he or she is not a vampire? Or how can one prove that he or she has not been visited by some evil extra-terrestrial flying saucers on several occasions? At some point, the Russian President would feel that he had enough of the charade. He’d go to the best university clinic in Moscow, and ask for a certificate that clearly stated that he is not a vampire. Several leading academics and doctors would get involved and produce a complex and thorough scientific conclusion, resolutely stating that President Putin is not a vampire. Shocked by and reacting to the vulgarity demonstrated by the Western propaganda tsars, most of the Russian media outlets would offer some commonsense and logic: “Can’t we all see clearly that he cannot be a vampire? All his teeth are of approximately equal length, he socialized during the day, he does not sleep in a coffin, he eats garlic and he is not scared of crosses; be they Orthodox, Protestant or Catholic ones!” Others would argue that there are actually no real vampires inhabiting our Planet.
This is when the Western mass media would go into overdrive. Sarcastically it would declare that the Russian academia, Russian doctors and Russian media cannot be trusted – they are all under the heel of the state, and on top of it they have been infiltrated by nation’s secret services and former KGB agents. “And doesn’t ‘Vlad’ sound somehow similar to ‘Bran’, which is the castle in Romania, which in turn used to be the home base of the commander-in-chief of all militant vampires – Count Dracula?”
There would still be some rational resistance: “No, ‘Vlad’ does not really sound like ‘Bran’, and anyway, nobody in Russia calls Mr. Putin ‘Vlad’ – only the Western media does.” But such voices of reason would never reach the general public all over the world! And on it goes.
In the end, a few billions of human brains would register and subconsciously store the ‘vampire theory’, and they would never again look at the President of Russia, or at his country, with the same eyes!
Of course the Russian leadership is not the only one that the West is targeting. There is a relentless flow of ‘shocking’ rumors and derogatory remarks made by the mainstream media against the President of China, of Byelorussia, against the leadership of Iran, South Africa, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Syria, and North Korea as well as against all the left-wing governments of Latin America.
After being repeated hundreds of times, the rumors, at least for many people, get confused with facts, and get accepted as facts. When still leading Cuba, Fidel Castro was constantly ‘dying’ or ‘disappearing’. The North Korean government has been relentlessly portrayed as a desperate gang of bloodthirsty sexual maniacs, executing and raping all that moves. The ANC and especially President Zuma have done ‘nothing to close that staggering social divide in South Africa’. In South America, the pro-Western media outlets invented and then perfected a new lucrative industry: manufacturing corruption scandals and implicating in them virtually all of the popular socialist leaders.
Nihilism, darkest ‘news’, and scenarios have been force-fed to the public, in order to eradicate all zeal and optimism that comes when one is building a great independent and egalitarian nation.
“I never forget that day,” an Eritrean cameraman exclaimed, during my visit to his country. “I had just finished an assignment inside the Presidential Palace. Then I met my friends and we were having coffee in front of the main gate. Suddenly the Western networks began broadcasting that ‘there is a coup in Asmara’. Social media went bananas. It was the “Breaking News” story everywhere. And here we were, right there, on a lazy sunny afternoon, in front of the Palace… I had just seen the President…. All was quiet! They just invented it, in order to get people out onto the streets! They were trying to manufacture a coup via their media outlets.”
It is mainly fear, implanted into the brains of its subjects and slaves; fear that allows the Empire to control almost the entire Planet. Often it is subconscious fear, but it is fear nevertheless. Fear can be that of the Empire as a whole, or of its might and brutality, or even of the alternatives, portrayed in the most unsavory and frightening colors by the propaganda.
In order to rule unopposed, one has to be feared! And one has to smear the alternatives. The task to spread fear, slander diversity and dissent, was given to the official media, academia and ‘artists’.
Of course the biggest ‘threat’ to the Empire has been the two sisters who were born under the same star, from the same mother called Humanism. Their names are Communism and Socialism. And I am not only talking about the Western Marxist concept. There are many great concepts that put life and the well-being of the people first, all over the world!
In fact, a few decades ago, it was becoming crystal clear that Western colonialism, imperialism and capitalism were finished. Their time was up! Socialism was the natural and logical way forward for most of humanity.
But then the West and its Empire fought back. They employed extreme violence and brutality, as well as cunning ‘divide and rule’ tactics. Tens of millions died, and progress was stopped, although hopefully, only for a limited period of time. And not everywhere!
One of many reasons why Russia is perceived as a great ‘threat’ is because it inherited the humanist and internationalist foreign policy of the Soviet Union. But, also because it itself is actually becoming socialist again (although it is moving in that direction by taking extremely short steps). Russia is recovering irreversibly from those dark days of the free marketer and West’s lackey, Boris Yeltsin.
Russia is also hated because it is setting the ‘wrong example’; proving to the world that one can develop and prosper without taking orders from the West, without serving its governments and corporations. Or more precisely: it can do it exactly because it broke itself free! The demonization of Russia is relentless. Every little negative detail is multiplied and magnified by the mainstream media and film industry. The world’s public is being nourished by bizarre stereotypes and fabrications. And so one of the most compassionate, deep, artistic and passionate nations on Earth, Russia, is depicted as being cold, robotic, heartless and inherently evil.
Massive NATO military forces are now dispatched along Russia’s western border, and they include German troops. Periodically there are maneuvers and exercises, not far from the borderline. It is clearly a provocation, and it all brings back the horrific memories of the years right before World War II, the war in which the Russian nation lost between 25 and 30 million lives. A few hundred kilometers south, an old ally, in fact a Slavic sister, Ukraine, is being forced to confront Russia by its Western handlers, something that is being done against the will of the great majority of the Ukrainian people.
The US is heavily involved in the destabilizing of Central Asia, including a group of nations that used to form part of the Soviet Union. But thanks to Machiavellian Western propaganda, it is actually Russia that is being portrayed as the aggressor and a danger to world peace!
And it is China, which is being depicted as some kind of a ruthless and unpredictable monster that is now ready to swallow the world! In fact China is an extremely predictable country, and any unbiased student of world history would clearly see how peacefully it has been behaving, for centuries!
But to ‘prove’ that China is not a Communist country, anymore, and at the same time that it is one of the greatest threats to world peace and ‘stability’ (read: to Western control of the World), is one of the most important tasks given to the Western media, academia and propaganda tsars by the Empire.
And they are succeeding! Indoctrination tactics are working flawlessly. The Western pubic is by now thoroughly brainwashed (at worst) or confused (at best) when it comes to China. In recent years I engaged hundreds of French, Italian, Spanish, German, British and Czech people in discussions about China, just to receive (with extremely few exceptions) a barrage of standardized, patronizing, mass-produced ‘opinions’. It often felt like talking to the people who were forced to live for decades under the Taliban or under the ‘spiritual guidance’ of some fundamentalist evangelical Protestant sect.
In fact, China is both Communist (Communism or Socialism, but with Chinese characteristics) as it is breathtakingly successful! Analyzing this marvelous country, together with my China-based colleagues and comrades, I am coming to the conclusion that Beijing often uses “capitalist means in order to achieve socialist goals” (to borrow a quote from Jeff J Brown, which is actually the sub-title’ of his latest book). And an enormous, independent, successful Communist or Socialist country – that is absolutely the worst nightmare for the Empire! It is something that has to be stopped, derailed, destroyed, isolated and demonized by all means! China’s Communist success…
You would never hear about that on CNN, BBC or Fox TV! Just as you would never hear that Indonesia, India, Rwanda and any of the other Empire’s allies and client nations, are in fact the most brutal fascist ‘failed’ states, and that the genocides in Papua, Kashmir and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are the bloodiest extermination campaigns anywhere in the world. I have worked in all these countries, intensively, I can testify. As this is being written, the people of Kashmir are being murdered and tortured. Right at this moment! I am wondering how many of my readers are aware of it?
Perhaps I’m obsessed with “exposing lies of the Empire”. A second volume will soon follow my 820-page long book. I cannot stop travelling, investigating and amassing the evidence. Because I am shocked; because I am outraged and because there are so few, so desperately few people that are actually working in the most desperate parts of the world!
Virtually all stereotypes about the world that have been domesticated in the West are wrong, terribly wrong.
The story of the Russian Revolution is told in the most twisted way, and so is the story of the Ukrainian famine and of the gulags. Not everything is wrong, of course, but the facts and numbers are twisted. I will soon resume my work in the Russian Far East, to write on this subject.
The story of China is grotesquely wrong, from the Great March to the present day!
The story of Cambodia’s “Commie slaughter” under the Khmer Rouge is a thoroughly idiotic manipulation! The slaughter was there, but more people died from the US carpet-bombing, and then from being displaced from their farms by US mines and cluster ‘bombies’, than from Pol Pot’s atrocities. The great majority of Khmer Rouge men and women had nothing to do with Communism. They were just settling scores with the capital, which they saw as responsible for selling the country to the US, and for the bombing of the countryside. In the jungle, I recently met Pol Pot’s personal guard. He told me frankly that he was simply pissed off (the bombing killed his relatives), and had no clue what Communism was: “Pol Pot came and said ‘Communism! Let’s fight the traitors!’ And we did. How could someone call us a Communist country if we did not even know what Communism was?”
What we hardly ever hear is the most important story of mankind: the story of Western colonial plunders, of imposed slavery, genocides that lasted for centuries, of British-triggered famines that killed tens of millions in the Sub-Continent, of virtually the entire Europe and Christianity systematically committing global holocaust. We are not told that it actually happened, and that it is still going on and on and on! In order to ‘shelter’ the Western public from the horrendous truth about the past and the present of their countries and culture, new and newer stories about those “evil others” are being invented and circulated.
Perhaps, soon, we will be really told that Mr. Putin is a vampire, or that Kim Jong Un is eating Korean virgins for breakfast. We may not be far from such a new wave of propaganda zeal. It all makes sense: the more evil the Empire becomes; the more it has to smear its adversaries.
The mass media and Hollywood are asked to perform. And they do! Reality and fiction are now being systematically mixed, and everything gets blurred and finally the great confusion and intellectual chaos are managing to overwhelm both reason and logic.
The Empire is killing millions and destroying countries and continents. But California is falling off a cliff, and clouds of huge insects are invading the entire North America. While millions of alien terrorists are now engulfing the ‘tolerant’ and ‘democratic’ Europe! So what is more terrible? Plus there are those sinister monsters like Count Vlad and Comrade Kim, waiting with their daggers behind a corner! Therefore, The Empire and its people have to ‘protect’ themselves. They have to be tough, even tougher than before! And to put their interests first! America (North America) first! Germany first! France first!
Primitive? Does it all sound primitive? Yes, certainly. But it works! At least for the Europeans and North Americans it does. And the rulers don’t give a damn what works or doesn’t for the rest of the Planet.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”.Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. Point of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.