“The institution of a [Central] Bank has also a natural relation to the regulation of trade between the States, insofar as it is conducive to the creation of a convenient Medium of Exchange between them, and to the keeping up a full circulation, by preventing the frequent displacement of [Arbeit and Geld in the Life-Energization Reciprocity (LER) Process]. [Actual Arbeit] is the very hinge [of Actual Geld under the Work-Standard]. And this [Geld in question] does not merely [have to be] in Gold and Silver; many other things [could] have served the purpose, with different degrees of [Electrification]. Paper has been extensively employed [for centuries].”–Alexander Hamilton, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, ca. 1791
“Every demand for [economic] freedom within the work-world is therefore possible only if it appears as a demand for Arbeit. This means that the extent of the [economic] freedom of the individual corresponds exactly to [becoming an] Arbeiter. To be an Arbeiter, the representative of a great form entering [Western economic] history, means to take part in a humanity destined for dominion over [Western Finance]. Is it possible that this consciousness of a new [economic] freedom, the consciousness of standing in the place of decision, can be felt in the space of thought just as much as behind whirling machines and in the bustle of mechanized cities [like New York’s 27 Wall Street]? We do not only have evidence that this is possible, but we also believe that this is the premise of every real intervention and that precisely here lies the pivotal point of transformations no redeemer ever dreamed of.”-Ernst Jünger, Der Arbeiter: Herrschaft und Gestalt, ca. 1932
Anyone has read enough Blog posts on The Fourth Estate should know that I have an affinity for depictions of Heroic Realism. This Artform employed by most early-to-mid 20th century advertisers and propagandists has its origins in the efforts of Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Vladimir Lenin” to convey information about life under Socialism. Every Socialist nation, including those which claim to be otherwise like these United States, has employed some variation of Heroic Realism. The design philosophy behind Heroic Realism requires the artist to create lifelike depictions of Life under Socialism from the depths of their own heart and soul. Such artists loathe and resent the Slave Morality of Bourgeois degenerates who would pay ridiculous sums of Kapital for terrible paintings, terrible buildings, terrible art. The Intent is to demonstrate to everyone why they have so much Kapital for such poor tastes in art.
The general idea behind creating Heroic Realism is to create Real World depictions of Life within Socialistic contexts and ascribe appropriate meanings to them. If You have spare time on your hands, consider comparing and contrasting the art and photographs of the early 20th century and with whatever was being depicted in the late 20th century. I can guarantee that the early 20th century equivalent are far better than the late 20th century ones.
The propaganda value of Heroic Realism is dependent on how well the artist conveys his Intents to the advertiser or propagandist they are working with. For those who are curious as to where to begin and how to go about combining Heroic Realism and the Dark Art of Weltanschauungskrieg, there will always be the Nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Louis Bernays.
- If You ever wanted to know why Bacon and Eggs are so ubiquitous with the American Way of Life, thank Bernays.
- If You ever wanted to know why American women are always concerned about their body image, especially on Social Media, thank Bernays.
- If You ever wanted to know why smoking, especially among American women, was so ubiquitous in the early 20th century, thank Bernays.
- If You ever wanted to know why Red Dixie cups are so synonymous with alcohol at university fraternity parties, thank Bernays.
- And if You ever wanted to know why “Propaganda” and “Social Engineering” are considered in poor taste after 1945, thank Bernays.
- And if You ever wondered why the Liberalization of Young Minds will only be outmatched and outwitted by its appropriate rival, the Socialization of Young Minds, thank Bernays.
For the duration of this Third Place Post, I will be sharing an excerpt of an important Chapter from his 1928 treatise, Propaganda. I will also be including some Posters and Photographs to reinforce the techniques that Bernays is conveying throughout the Chapter. Pay close attention to my Deconstructions because the Dark Art of Weltanschauungskrieg is not exclusive to Socialist nations; some of his other admirers include the Liberal Capitalists themselves. Always remember that the best forms of Propaganda is the Truth itself.
“The great political problem in [any conceivable form of] Democracy is how to induce [anyone like the Blonde Bestie] to lead. The dogma [held by Populists] that the Voice of the [Debt-Slaves] is the Voice of God tends to make [the Blonde Bestie into] the [Kapital Slave] of [Special Interests, Think Tanks, Corporate Lobbyists, NGOs, Philanthropies, Billionaire Donors and the Mainstream Media itself]. This is undoubtedly part cause of the political sterility of which certain American critics constantly complain.
“No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially 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 [the Jeffersonians in the Democratic-Republican Party] and [their own propagandists] who [are just as capable of understanding and manipulating] public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the [Democratic-Republican Party].
Fortunately [for the Henryist Anti-Federalists and Hamiltonian Federalists of the Federalist Party, the sincere and gifted [Statesman in command of Party leadership] is able, by the Instrument of Propaganda, to mold and form the [Will-to-Power of the people before finally offering it to them as the Work-Standard].“
The political apathy of the average [American] voter, of which we hear so much, is undoubtedly due to the fact that the [Democratic-Republican Party] does not know how to meet the conditions of the public mind. [The Hamiltonian or Henryist Statesman] cannot dramatize himself and his platform in terms which have real meaning to the public. Acting on the fallacy that the leader must slavishly follow, he deprives his campaign of all dramatic interest. [A Kapital-Slave] cannot arouse the public interest [of Debt-Slaves]. [Only Statesmen, Cultural Revolutionaries, and the Blonde Bestie] can. But, given our present political conditions under which every office seeker must cater to the vote of the masses, the only means by which the born leader can lead is [to master the Dark Art of Weltanschauungskrieg].
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. The successful businessman [under Neoliberalism envies the Stateman because he will never fully succeed in actually being one].
[T]he first step in a political campaign is to determine on the objectives, and to express them exceedingly well in the current form — that is, as a platform.
In devising the platform the leader should be sure that it is an honest platform. Campaign pledges and promises should not be lightly considered by the public, and they ought to carry something of the guarantee principle and [Arbeit-backed SMP] that an honorable business institution carries with the sale of its goods.
To aid in the preparation of the platform there should be made as nearly scientific an analysis as possible of the public and of the needs of the public. A survey of public desires and demands would come to the aid of the political strategist whose business it is to make a proposed plan of the activities of the parties and its elected officials during the coming terms of office.
[T]o appeal to the emotions of the public in a political campaign is sound — in fact it is an indispensable part of the [Party]. But the emotional content must —
The emotions of oratory have been worn down through long years of overuse. Parades, mass meetings, and the like are successful when the public has a frenzied emotional interest in the event. The candidate who takes babies on his lap, and has his photograph taken, is doing a wise thing emotionally, if this act epitomizes a definite plank in his platform. Kissing babies, if it is worth anything, must be used as a symbol for a baby policy and it must be synchronized with a plank in the platform. But the haphazard staging of emotional events without regard to their value as part of the whole campaign, is a waste of effort, just as it would be a waste of effort for the manufacturer of hockey skates to advertise a picture of a church surrounded by spring foliage. It is true that the church appeals to our religious impulses and that everybody loves the spring, but these impulses do not help to sell the idea that hockey skates are amusing, helpful, or increase the general enjoyment of life for the buyer.
Present-day politics places emphasis on personality. An entire party, a platform, an international policy is sold to the public, or is not sold, on the basis of the intangible element of personality. A charming candidate is the Alchemist’s secret that can transmute a prosaic platform into the gold of votes. Helpful as is a candidate who for some reason has caught the imagination of the country, the party and its aims are certainly more important than the personality of the candidate. Not personality, but the ability of the candidate to carry out the party’s program adequately, and the program itself should be emphasized in a sound campaign plan.
It is essential for the campaign manager to educate the emotions in terms of groups. [Not all Americans are Democrats and Republicans in the Democratic-Republican Party]. [Most Americans] are largely uninterested in politics and their interest in the issues of the campaign must be secured by coordinating it with their personal interests. The public is made up of interlocking groups — economic, social, religious, educational, cultural, racial, collegiate, local, sports, and hundreds of others.
[I]t is understood that the methods of Propaganda can be effective only with the voter who makes up his own mind on the basis of his group prejudices and desires. Where specific allegiances and loyalties exist, as in the case of [Political Statecraft], these loyalties [must be mastered to gain the support] of the [electorate]. In this close relation between [Superior and Subordinates] lies, of course, the strength of his Position in politics.
[The Statesman must never become the Kapital-Slave] of the public’s group prejudices, if he can learn how to [conduct the Socialization of Minds] in conformity with his own ideas of public welfare and public service. The important thing for the Statesman of our age is not so much to know how to please the public, but to know how to sway the public.
Good government can be [conveyed] just as any other [Equipmentality] can be sold. I often wonder whether the politicians of the future, who are responsible for maintaining the prestige and effectiveness of their party, will not endeavor to train politicians who are at the same time propagandists. [A true Statesman is the] creator of circumstances, not [the] creature of mechanical processes of stereotyping and rubber stamping [like most politicians].
[I]t will be objected, of course, that Propaganda will tend to defeat itself as its mechanism becomes obvious to the public. My opinion is that it will not. The only propaganda which will ever tend to weaken itself as the world becomes more sophisticated and intelligent, is propaganda that is untrue or unsocial.
Again, the objection is raised that Propaganda is [created] to manufacture our leading political personalities. It is asked whether, in fact, the leader makes Propaganda, or whether Propaganda makes the leader. There is a widespread impression that a good press agent can puff up a nobody into a great man.
The answer is the same as that made to the old query as to whether the newspaper makes public opinion or whether public opinion makes the newspaper. There has to be fertile ground for the leader and the idea to fall on. But the leader also has to have some vital seed to sow. To use another figure, a mutual need has to exist before either can become positively effective. Propaganda is of no use to the politician unless he has something to say which the public, consciously or unconsciously, wants to hear.
But even supposing that a certain propaganda is untrue or dishonest, we cannot on that account reject the methods of Propaganda as such. For Propaganda in some form will always be used where leaders need to appeal to their constituencies.
The criticism is often made that propaganda tends to make the President of the United States so important that he becomes not the President but the embodiment of the idea of hero worship, not to say deity worship. I quite agree that this is so, but how are you going to stop a condition which very accurately reflects the desires of a certain part of the public? The American people rightly senses the enormous importance of the executive’s office. If the public tends to make of the President a heroic symbol of that power, that is not the fault of Propaganda but lies in the very nature of the office and its relation to the people.
[B]ut they are chosen to represent and dramatize the man in his function as representative of the people. A political practice which has its roots in the tendency of the popular leader to follow oftener than he leads is the technique of the trial balloon which he uses in order to maintain, as he believes, his contact with the public. The politician, of course, has his ear to the ground. It might be called the clinical ear. It touches the ground and hears the disturbances of the political universe.
But he often does not know what the disturbances mean, whether they are superficial, or fundamental. So he sends up his balloon. He may send out an anonymous interview through the press. He then waits for reverberations to come from the public — a public which expresses itself in mass meetings, or resolutions, or telegrams, or even such obvious manifestations as editorials in the partisan or nonpartisan press. On the basis of these repercussions he then publicly adopts his original tentative policy, or rejects it, or modifies it to conform to the sum of public opinion which has reached him. This method is modeled on the peace feelers which were used during the [World War I] to sound out the disposition of the enemy to make peace or to test any one of a dozen other popular tendencies. It is the method commonly used by a politician before committing himself to legislation of any kind, and by a government before committing itself on foreign or domestic policies.
It is a method which has little justification. If [the Statesman] is a real leader he will be able, by the skillful [mastery] of Propaganda [techniques], to lead the people, instead of following the people by means of the clumsy instrument of trial and error.
The propagandist’s approach is the exact opposite [because] [t]he whole basis of successful Propaganda is to have an objective and then to endeavor to arrive at it through an exact knowledge of the public and modifying circumstances to manipulate and sway that public.
‘The function of a Statesman,’ says George Bernard Shaw, ‘Is to express the will of the people in the way of a scientist.’
The political [scientist] of today should be a leader as finely versed in the technique of Propaganda as in Political Economy and Civics. If he remains merely the reflection of the average intelligence of his community, he might as well go out of politics. If one is dealing with a Democracy in which the herd and the group follow those whom they recognize as leaders, why should not the young men training for leadership be trained in its technique as well as in its idealism?
Categories: Third Place