On propaganda

Just below this post, there is a brief quote about the power of words. I’m reminded of Jacques Ellul’s book Propaganda: The Formation of Attitudes, which I read some years ago. I found it absorbing, because at that time I was realizing just how much we were all subjected to propaganda via advertising but also via Movies (supposedly meant for pure entertainment) and by means of the educational system. And it seems that now, in recent years, we are bombarded with heavy-handed and obvious propaganda — which somehow is not recognized as such by many of our folk.

Our current situation is one in which we are being told many conflicting stories and facts or factoids that we can hardly process to determine the truth or the reality of our situation.

I think the quote below is true; hearing so many clashing analyses and pronouncements by various experts only serves to confuse and cloud our perceptions. And maybe that’s by design. Maybe a confused and distracted population becomes more passive and docile.

Jacques Ellul’s book about propaganda was thought-provoking for me, as I was in college then and just beginning to understand a few things. I brought up the subject of the book and its contents some years ago on the old blog, and a reader (sorry I’ve forgotten just who it was) sent me some notes he had written up. The reader pointed out that, contrary to what we were taught in school, education does not condition the hearer to recognize or to reject propaganda, but rather is meant to prepare us to absorb and receive propaganda. And it’s more obvious than ever that the more educated people today are the most susceptible to being propagandized and mind-conditioned. That’s why so many young people from right-leaning and Christian homes end up being far-left when they get just a semester or two of college. I’ve seen it happen in some very right-wing families.

In my experience it seems that those with the most formal education are the most likely to become strong believers in what they are taught by the educational establishment. This is part of what the book also put across. Ellul seems to say that because the educated intellectual takes in a lot of unverified facts or assertions, and if they come from a respected source (trusted friends, media, fellow scholars, etc.) they are accepted uncritically — which should not be the norm among scholars, should it? Some verification should be involved if facts or science rather than personal opinion are involved. But the reality is there is too much credulity if the hearer is hearing or reading what he wants to hear and believe. Hence all the belief in Anthropogenic Global Warming or the Climate Catastrophe, so called.

Also at play here is the fact that propaganda is also meant to excite the hearer/reader; the idea is to get people stirred up, and eager to act on what the hearer is being told — but then being thwarted from acting by some inhibiting factor. I suppose for the ever-agitated left, the inhibiting factor or obstacle is the non-believer, the Enemy, as far as the Left is concerned. Sooner or later it seems this kind of thing leads to an open clash.I suppose the propaganda-meisters know how to orchestrate this. Ellul notes that this kind of overstimulation by means of constant manipulation of emotions can lead to disintegration. I would say we’ve already passed that point with the leftist zealots. They seem consumed by all the overheated rhetoric and raw emotion.

Can that be de-fused? It seems that another feature of propaganda that Elllul mentions is the polarization of sides, the mutual hardening of attitudes which adds another layer to the misunderstandings and the antipathy which the left displays so openly.

So round and round we go. I don’t know what could calm the situation and bring about a change for the better — maybe nothing can be done, humanly speaking.

Elusive unity

Reading Q’s latest messages on Anonymous Conservative’s blog, I’m noticing some things that I didn’t realize before. I haven’t followed Q consistently, just sporadically here and there.

It’s evident that Q, whoever he or ‘they’ may be, is more or less a civic ‘nationalist’ of sorts. The messages sometimes stress the idea that ‘we’re all in this together’, ‘WWG1WGA’, etc. Unity, union, solidarity seem to be persistent themes.

But in a country so sorely divided is it realistic to expect so many disparate and disconnected “Americans” to all pull together and behave as a family? Q says we are ”all children of God’; this sounds like it’s aimed at Christians who have rather casual beliefs. Most good old Bible teachers or preachers will tell you that not all are ‘children of God’; that only comes with committing one’s life to our Lord. It isn’t an automatic process.

Q emphasizes our ‘civic nationalist’ brotherhood; we’re all Americans and we must not be divided by anything, and we must not even notice race, as the latest message said.

But the differences that divide us are not differences that are chosen, nor can we just wave them away. Genetics and culture, language and religion, regional ties and loyalties, all these factors divide us. And then Scripture tells us that God sets the bounds of nations; he created dividing markers, in our external environment as well as in our minds and hearts — and DNA.

As I said, I haven’t read every word from Q et al, but I have noticed the recurring themes. Nevertheless, I am all for the idea of trying to retrieve and restore what is left of our society and our body politic after the Left and their globalist overlords have taken the wrecking ball to it. Yet I don’t see how the ‘swamp’ can be drained given the fact that the nation-wreckers seem so numerous and so deeply established in the system so that they can withstand any efforts on the part of Patriots. And suppose the ‘White Hats’, whoever they are, do succeed? Will a new agenda be promoted to reverse the damage done by the fanatics on the left?

Q is promoting ‘Free Thought’ which is, in my opinion, based in Scientism, secularism, and for many people who identify with it, atheism or libertarianism. In Q’s words, logic and reason should predominate over what he deems ‘groupthink.’ This is what we often hear from libertarians and atheists. And it may sound good; I think reason and logic should be valued, and adult people should be grounded in those things, and be fit to exercise those faculties in everyday life. Sad to say few people in this 21st century seem to have been educated to think logically or to even argue their point in a cogent way. Blame the school system and the media or society; whoever is to blame, they’ve succeeded in keeping people mal-educated and misinformed.

Q says that authority, tradition, dogma, or revelation should not play any part.

What kind of country would we be living in if the above elements are to be excluded?
Whatever it would be, it would bear little resemblance to the country that our forebears created.

Along about this time someone will say that the Founding Fathers were mostly atheists or ‘Freethinkers’ or Masons or Rosicrucians. Some of them were to an extent ‘Freethinkers’ of some sort, but it can be said that they were not anti-Christian, and they were not trying to remove Christianity from our society.

But without the tradition, authority, and revelation it would seem that Q’s ideal society would be a secularist and sterile kind of society in which we would have some kind of feigned Unity, in a multicultural and ‘colorblind’ civic nationalist world.

Patriotism in this case would seem to meean loyalty to the System, the Flag, or to a set of ”Freethinking” beliefs. Ethnonationalism, by contrast, means we identify with the heritage and the culture of our folk, including honoring our history and our distinctive traditions.

Would that be enough to restore what Q et al regard as our natural and rightful Unity? Did we ever have that kind of unity and solidarity before? I would say yes, but that was in the early days of this country, before it became so disparate and fragmented, with many cultures and languages and customs.

There can only be unity in Truth; as of now we live in what I’ve called an Edifice of Lies. We are compelled to believe obvious untruths (about HBD, among other things) and some of us won’t or can’t speak lies in order to conform to PC.

If a system is based on lies and pretend ‘unity’, in which we all have to censor our thoughts and speech, and be party to falsehoods, then that can never be true Unity. Unity is genuine only if is not coerced or artificially created; otherwise it is just one more pretense among many.

Just as Christianity remains fragmented because of differing beliefs and traditions, so is our Western society. The causes of the divisions are real and they won’t disappear overnight.

‘Diversity’ brings disunity, which I think is more than obvious to anybody with the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

I am certain that Q’s efforts, insofar as we can perceive them, would be preferred to staying on the runaway fast train to Babel. But I think we have to exercise some discernment about where the Q train would take us — assuming a patriot remnant prevails.

A remembrance: Goliad

Yesterday was the anniversary, as Texans will know, of an event in 1836 known as the Goliad Massacre. On March 27, which happened to be Palm Sunday that year, 357 men, Texans, were prisoners of the Mexicans. You can find a detailed account at the link, but making a long story short the men, under Colonel Fannin, had surrendered and had been promised humane treatment as prisoners by their Mexican captors. The agreement was not kept, and the captive Texans were dealt with treacherously. The Mexicans slaughtered 330 of the 357 Texans.

From one of the survivors, Dillard Cooper, his account of events that morning:

“Our detachment was marched out in double file, each prisoner being guarded by two soldiers, until within about half a mile southwest of the fort, we arrived at a brush fence, built by the Mexicans. We were then placed in single file, and were half way between the guard and the fence, eight feet each way. We were then halted, when the commanding officer came up to the head of the line, and asked if there were any of us who understood Spanish. By this time, there began to dawn upon the minds of us, the truth, that we were to be butchered, and that, I suppose, was the reason that none answered. He then ordered us to turn our backs to the guards. When the order was given not one moved, and then the officer, stepping up to the man at, the head of the column, took him by the shoulders and turned him around.

By this time, despair had seized upon our poor boys, and several of them cried out for mercy. I remember one, a young man, who had been noted for his piety, but who had afterwards become somewhat demoralized by bad company, falling on his knees, crying aloud to God for mercy, and forgiveness. Others, attempted to plead with their inhuman captors, but their pleadings were in vain, for on their faces no gleam of piety was seen for the defenseless men who stood before them. On my right hand, stood Wilson Simpson, and on my left, Robert Fenner. In the midst of the panic of terror which seized our men, and while some of them were rending the air with their cries of agonized despair, Fenner called out to them, saying: “Don’t take on so, boys; if we have to die, let’s die like brave men.”

[The above narrative is no longer online; it was originally from a Texas A&M website. Maybe it is too politically incorrect.] – VA

Every Texas schoolchild used to be taught about this event and of course the well-known defense of the Alamo. There was a sense of pride — healthy pride, righteous pride, in our forefathers and their obvious bravery. Are there such men nowadays? I won’t say there aren’t; there must surely be a few, but given our demoralized condition we just don’t see or hear from those who would be the counterparts of the men at the Alamo or at Goliad, who, though they ‘lost’ showed real courage and dignity.

And from the Texan perspective, the terrible bloodshed at Goliad perhaps led to the subsequent victory at the Battle of San Jacinto, where the Texans won decisively, with “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” being the battle cries that day. And ultimately Texas won its independence.

Fast forward to 2020. If our forefathers of that era saw what has become of the Texas they defended, fought and died for — would they do it all again?

The world has changed; we are a demoralized people; interest in the past, and in the history and culture of our folk is waning. Political correctness wants us to feel guilt, if we feel anything at all about our collective history as a people. I’ve asked rhetorically many times: are we our fathers’ children? Are we made of the same ‘stuff’ as those men who ‘died like men’ at Goliad and the Alamo?

Or does it even matter? “Everyone” online, I mean the consensus on the ”right” is that ‘America is dead’ , and what’s more, there is a DNR order; ‘she’ is not to be kept alive. We, some of us the heirs of the old Texas Republic have moved on and we live in this Brave New World/1984 scenario.

But somehow I think it’s vital for a people to maintain a connection with their roots, their heritage, their way of life, and most of all to be connected with our folk. And part of that is to have a history that binds us, a history reminding us of our origins and our forefathers and their deeds. Is it too late for that? Sadly, it may be. But we can surely take time to honor our forefathers in some way by remembering their sacrifices and their courage. Cynicism can only lead to a withering away of all the positive and healthy emotions, without which a folk can’t thrive.

Living with uncertainty

It seems that many people, living through this strange time of pandemic illness — accompanied by a lot of confusion over conflicting narratives and stories — feel uneasy. I’ve used the word ‘surreal’ to describe the situation, and others besides myself have used that word to describe the feeling many of us are experiencing.

I don’t know how the strange situation is affecting those who read this blog; I can only guess or wonder. But it seems most of the bloggers and internet pundits have opted for the ”we’re doomed” approach. Some of the blogs I read regularly are becoming unbearable. It’s becoming too much to read the stark pronouncements from some bloggers who are determined to infect us with their deep pessimism. Or is it pessimism? Some people seem very excited at the prospect of the long-expected economic collapse and the possibility of mass deaths.

The bloggers who seem the most level-headed and trustworthy are those like Al Fin and a few others who have not got caught up in the apocalyptic scenario. Al Fin also is good at marshalling facts to support his opinions or prognostications. Some of the others have little to back up their assertions except emotion and hype. And yet it seems as if the latter group are the ones who are dominating the coverage and getting the most attention.

Certainly I take the virus seriously, but it seems to me as if the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-19 was deadly as we are told, but yet the people did not resort to shutting down society in order to try to avoid the disease. Their approach of isolation and common sense care seemed to work well enough with the least disruption to people’s lives and psyches. This confinement of everyone will probably prove to take a toll on morale and emotional well-being — not to mention the economic devastation that’s being done now.

I also read that the H1N1 or ‘Swine Flu’ epidemic of the last decade actually claimed more victims, though it was not hyped as much by the sensationalizing media. And yet we survived it. But then most of the ”mainstream media” (read: luegenpresse) deny this — because President Trump said something similar, so they must try to discredit him.

So what is different about this plague, that it calls for much more draconian measures to keep it under control? The difference is that the media is spreading panic and unease, and most bloggers and ‘experts’ are betting on the gloom-and-doom, encouraging the law-of-the-jungle, everybody-for-himself attitude.

It seems unlikely that people will acquire needed perspective anytime soon.

Faith is what I am counting on to carry me through; Christians know these things are to happen, but we don’t know the timing or the way in which it will all play out. This came as no surprise to those of us who are Christians. I can only guess at what it all looks like from a nonbeliever’s perspective; I suspect that the popularity of the gloom-and-doom school of punditry is an indicator of how far we have gone away from the Christian faith, the faith of our fathers.

As to what Christians believe will happen, we are not taught that we will all die in one massive plague. That is not what is written, and so far the Christian belief system has a better idea of what is to come than those who are just wildly guessing, or even wishing, for one big apocalyptic event to wipe out the human race. More people seem to imagine — or wish — for some kind of climate disaster to finish off the human race.

God is forgotten today in favor of pundits and ‘journalists’ guessing wildly about what will happen tomorrow. For most people this is a godless universe and we are a blundering bunch of simian descendants who are destroying our once-pristine planet. Reality is not as crude or ugly as that.

Things are not happening randomly; there is a plan and an order to the universe. For some reason I am reminded of a quote that was repeated by none other than George W. Bush back in 2000 or so. Incidentally I was sorely displeased with both Bush presidents, just for the record. But the phrase Bush quoted was

“Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?”

The phrase appeared in correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and John Page back in July, 1776. But neither of those men wrote or originated the phrase; if memory serves it was written by English playwright and essayist Joseph Addison, who was a Christian.

Men of that age, living in Christendom, rather than our 21st century Tower of Babel, had some comfort of believing that there was a God on high who was sovereign, rather than believing in a chaotic, unpredictable universe which we only pretend to understand.

Rather than succumb to the despair and fear of living in that kind of universe, people must have hope; people can only take so much of the uncertainty and fear of not knowing whether their lives will end suddenly or whether they will somehow accidentally be spared. It is hard to go on in a betwixt-and-between kind of existence, between hope and despair.

It seems despair and cynicism, plus selfishness, are winning out. This is not what we are destined for. We have to salvage some hope and positivity if we are to go on. And the people who spread the despair and fear are doing great harm to our spirits and our psyches. We are not just bodies; we are spirit, soul, and body, in one. We are not automatons, though we are often treated as such.

Thank heavens for writers like Cambria Will Not Yield, and anyone who speaks truth in this Age of the Lie. Another worthy blogger is Gerry Neal at Throne Altar Liberty, who wrote a good piece about our current situation.

Panic buying, food shortages

Al Fin at his blog discusses why shelves are empty in many grocery stores. I’ve honestly wondered about this: are we really short of needed food supplies and other items? Things are becoming scarce in many places and that itself seems to inspire more fear and compulsive buying. I think Al Fin’s post sheds some light on what is happening.

He does mention the role of the media in creating the mindset that causes the public to panic:

Unfortunately, too much of western news media is constantly focused on creating anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. There are underlying political reasons why the managing interests of media outlets attempt to manipulate the emotions of those who consume their product. The brighter persons in the population learn to tune the media out as much as possible. The alternative is to live in a state of chronic anxiety.

Hmm…

The Moonbattery blog ran this piece the other day, and somehow the line of thought seems strangely familiar:

Are the left and the former alt-“right” conferring on these talking points? Who originated them, the left or the right? It seems to me that a lot of people on the right are cheering this kind of ”badass” thinking to strike a pose — or to follow some popular figure who trades on that kind of image.

Still here

Sorry I have been absent for a while. Health issues (no, not the Corona virus, thank God) and then a major computer crash, and a lot of time getting things back in order.

Then, very oddly I thought, I couldn’t access the blog; my access to just about everything on the Internet was thwarted and I could not log in anywhere. I started wondering if the ‘Social Credit system’ which was devised in China recently had been put in place and I was one of the ‘bad citizens’ to lose Internet privileges.

Eventually, well obviously I was able to get into my blogs and for now I can post. It is a very weird feeling to be prevented from accessing a lot of web sites and blogs that I habitually visit. I wonder if anyone else out there has had this happen, or was I just the lucky one?

As far as life in this surreal epidemic atmosphere, where I live, we are having food shortages in the local grocery stores and the shelves are picked clean in places like pharmacies and other retailers. It seems there is hoarding going on. That is a little worrying, but in general I am not panicking but warily and skeptically watching what is going on.

Incidentally, for a good take on the Coronavirus panic, read Pastor Bret’s post from the Iron Ink blog. Hist thoughts are similar to mine but with some additional food for thought.

If youth are the future

What can we expect from this kind of thinking?:

[The above was posted on ‘social media’ frequented by young (13 and up) participants.]

There was more to the post, and as of the time I looked at it last, the post had garnered thousands of responses including many re-blogs. The majority of the responses I read were favorable to the idea.

And yet I read online from a lot of people that the younger generations will fix everything; they’re very right-wing (the so-called zoomers that some see as the Hope of the Future.

Has everyone already forgotten the flurry of stories a while back about how ‘cannibalism’ might be the wave of the future? Those stories seemed to disappear but now the young (the same ones who are feminist, climate-change obsessives, antifa, etc.) think it’s a good idea. After all, as the OP says, ”It’s from Rousseau ”, as if Rousseau were somebody worth emulating. I suppose in those institutions we call ‘schools’ and universities, they are taught that Rousseau is a kind of demigod. But Rousseau, with his ‘noble savagery’ and his amorality (numerous illegitimate children, deposited in orphanages as soon as they were born) — actually I can see how the young would like Rousseau, given their own morality. Maybe Rousseau was actually morally superior as he left his unwanted offspring in a place where they were cared for in some way, and they were allowed to live.

But honestly, does it not trouble anyone out there that these young people think eating the rich a good or praiseworthy idea?? Sometimes I feel alone in my shock or concern about these kinds of things.

And do the unthinking young people not realize that to much of the world, they too are part of that evil rich class, those they propose to put into a cooking-pot? To much of the world, we, all of us Westerners, are ‘the rich’.

And have none of these young ever learned that eating fellow humans is, and has been, against the moral code of Western Civilization? Have they never absorbed even an iota of Christian morality? Well, I suppose the schools, the government with their no-tolerance policy for Christianity, and the media — plus godless parents, have all acted to seal these young people off from all that’s good and from the eternal verities.

Someone will tell me it isn’t that bad, but if there really are other young people who are as virtuous as the perennial optimists say, where are their voices? And a relative few that might exist are not enough to nullify the presence of the thousands that agreed with Rousseau and the ‘eat the rich’ idea.

The state of politics

Sadly, this is the state of politics even in Texas.

N.B: the comment above is not mine but from the person who re-blogged it.

What further can be said about the above example of what is very common behavior from those on the left, or those who style themselves ”liberal”. What is ”liberal’‘ about wishing death on ‘everyone’ who votes the ”wrong way” in the skewed judgment of these people?

It is a good thing that the Museum’s Board of Directors are having a meeting to discuss this person’s ”future” with the museum. There should not be a future at the museum, in my opinion, for someone so venomous, so lacking in control, so unable to confine her merciless idea of politics to her personal life. Like so many of her generation (not a boomer) she has no sense of boundaries, or of being professional and responsible in her working life. Her behavior shows extreme immaturity. But as most of her peers or superiors likely share her political biases (unless they are older and wiser) she will probably get a slap on the wrist and a half-hearted lecture before going back to work as before.

Texas isn’t what it used to be and it seems the same almost everywhere. If Texas, once a solid, common-sense place, is like this, what hope for the rest of the country.

A sad and vexing state of affairs in this country.