- Category: Occidentalogy
- Written by Zahir Ebrahim
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Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, began his seminal 1928 book simply titled Propaganda, with these ominous words:
‘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 formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.’ — Edward Bernays, 1928, pg.1, Propaganda
Aldous Huxley, on the 30th anniversary of his own seminal 1931 allegorical novel Brave New World, made the following dreadful observations in the very opening segment of his talk on the Ultimate Revolution upon which mankind and modernity are perilously perched:
‘You can do everything with bayonets except sit on them! If you are going to control any population for any length of time you must have some measure of consent. It’s exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion. An element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them. Well, it seems to me that the nature of the Ultimate Revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably always will exist, to get people actually to love their servitude! This is the, it seems to me the ultimate in malevolent revolution shall we say.’ — Aldous Huxley, 1962 speech at UC Berkeley, minute 04:06
In order to understand how the comprehension of Edward Bernays and Aldous Huxley, though both long dead, still manifests itself in these times, we must begin with the Mighty Wurlitzer.
What is the ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’?
It used to be the honorific of Frank Wisner, the first chief of political warfare for the Central Intelligence Agency, used to describe the C.I.A.’s plethora of front organizations and newsmedia stooges that he was capable of playing (like a great organ with many keyboards) for synthesizing any propaganda tune that was needed for the day. See Operation Mockingbird ( http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmockingbird.htm ) (PDF).
The fact that such an omnipresent Message-Machine is not ancient history but very much current affairs, is underscored by this NYT headline “Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand”, Sunday, April 20, 2008 ( http://tinyurl.com/6qhgfg ). Also see Jessica Lynch Media Myth-Making in Iraq War during Operation “Iraqi Freedom”.
Therefore, today, I use the term ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’as a metaphor to pluralistically refer to the same message-machine, i.e., the intelligence apparatus for manufacturing consent and controlling dissent, and its concomitant conscious manipulation of peoples’ thoughts, feelings, actions and in-actions, in order to serve the primacy interests of the ruling-elite. The latter are, invariably, also the de facto owners of the complete messaging-system now even more globally ubiquitous than when Frank Wisner played the world for a fool.
"Those few who eventually wisen up to it all and fearlessly exit that Hegelian Dialectic altogether are... corralled in warmly welcoming “conspiracy” groups strategically cultivated for exactly this purpose as part of “imperial mobilization” planning."
This ‘grand organ’ is now able to even more effectively synthesize, implant, and reinforce, all the right set of beliefs (myths) among the entire world’s public – by suitably combining ‘events’ with imaginative ‘expos’ writing – which appropriately primes the world populations to acquiesce to the oligarchic agendas. While playing this orchestra is now an integral part of all state-craft, its major musical themes are entirely determined by the behind the scenes owners of the system. While some might refer to the underlying techniques as propaganda and psy-ops, ‘Mighty Wurlitzer’ singularly captures the messaging-system controlled under a unified purpose of command which is both highly compartmentalized and cellularized. Only the Mighty Wurlitzer knows the entire tune.
What this means is that not all who willingly cooperate with the Mighty Wurlitzer in synchronistically humming its themes are knowingly being purveyors of its myths and deception. Many of its most shrill echoers are often well intentioned functionaries who are fed different motivating myths at different levels in the hierarchy – sometimes the lie is different at every level – such that it suitably motivates each according to their own predilection, professional station, and mission statement.
The Mighty Wurlitzer operates on the core premise which has been empirically shown to psychologically motivate most human action. That premise was elegantly captured in the following insightful observation made by the so called “Terrorism Study Group”, that
“‘Public Assumptions’ Shape Views of History: Such presumptions are beliefs (1) thought to be true (although not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and (2) shared in common within the relevant political community. The sources for such presumptions are both personal (from direct experience) and vicarious (from books, movies, and myths).”
Successfully implanting such presumptions and pre-suppositions among any group is to motivate its overall actions in accordance with those implanted beliefs. Thus, many intelligent peoples for whom it is otherwise inexplicable to understand why they persist in ‘United We Stand’ with absurdities, are motivated to react sympathetically to those absurdities.
To barely catch a glimpse of how it’s partially done, the following description by Col. Fletcher Prouty from the Preface to the first edition of his 1973 book “The Secret Team” is instructive (PDF book):
‘There is another category of writer and self-proclaimed authority on the subjects of secrecy, intelligence, and containment. This man is the suave, professional parasite who gains a reputation as a real reporter by disseminating the scraps and “Golden Apples” thrown to him by the great men who use him. This writer seldom knows and rarely cares that many of the scraps from which he draws his material have been planted, that they are controlled leaks, and that he is being used, and glorified as he is being used, by the inside secret intelligence community.
Allen Dulles had a penchant for cultivating a number of such writers with big names and inviting them to his table for a medieval style luncheon in that great room across the hall from his own offices in the old CIA headquarters on the hill overlooking Foggy Bottom. Here, he would discuss openly and all too freely the same subjects that only hours before had been carefully discussed in the secret inner chambers of the operational side of that quiet Agency. In the hands of Allen Dulles, “secrecy” was simply a chameleon device to be used as he saw fit and to be applied to lesser men according to his schemes. It is quite fantastic to find people like Daniel Ellsberg being charged with leaking official secrets simply because the label on the piece of paper said “top secret,” when the substance of many of the words written on those same papers was patently untrue and no more than a cover story. Except for the fact that they were official lies, these papers had no basis in fact, and therefore no basis to be graded top secret or any other degree of classification. Allen Dulles would tell similar cover stories to his coterie of writers, and not long thereafter they would appear in print in some of the most prestigious papers and magazines in the country, totally unclassified, and of course, cleverly untrue.
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