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Why Propaganda Trumps Truth - By Paul Craig Roberts

 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:23 am    Post subject: Why Propaganda Trumps Truth - By Paul Craig Roberts Reply with quote

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23498.htm

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Why Propaganda Trumps Truth

By Paul Craig Roberts

September 15, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- -An article in the journal, Sociological Inquiry, casts light on the effectiveness of propaganda. Researchers examined why big lies succeed where little lies fail. Governments can get away with mass deceptions, but politicians cannot get away with sexual affairs.

The researchers explain why so many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it has become obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with the event. Americans developed elaborate rationalizations based on Bush administration propaganda that alleged Iraqi involvement and became deeply attached to their beliefs. Their emotional involvement became wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality. They looked for information that supported their beliefs and avoided information that challenged them, regardless of the facts of the matter.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained the believability of the Big Lie as compared to the small lie: “In the simplicity of their minds, people more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and continue to think that there may be some other explanation.”

What the sociologists and Hitler are telling us is that by the time facts become clear, people are emotionally wedded to the beliefs planted by the propaganda and find it a wrenching experience to free themselves. It is more comfortable, instead, to denounce the truth-tellers than the liars whom the truth-tellers expose.

The psychology of belief retention even when those beliefs are wrong is a pillar of social cohesion and stability. It explains why, once change is effected, even revolutionary governments become conservative. The downside of belief retention is its prevention of the recognition of facts. Belief retention in the Soviet Union made the system unable to adjust to economic reality, and the Soviet Union collapsed. Today in the United States millions find it easier to chant “USA, USA, USA” than to accept facts that indicate the need for change.

The staying power of the Big Lie is the barrier through which the 9/11 Truth Movement is finding it difficult to break. The assertion that the 9/11 Truth Movement consists of conspiracy theorists and crackpots is obviously untrue. The leaders of the movement are highly qualified professionals, such as demolition experts, physicists, structural architects, engineers, pilots, and former high officials in the government. Unlike their critics parroting the government’s line, they know what they are talking about.

Here is a link to a presentation by the architect, Richard Gage, to a Canadian university audience: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13242 The video of the presentation is two hours long and seems to have been edited to shorten it down to two hours. Gage is low-key, but not a dazzling personality or a very articulate presenter. Perhaps that is because he is speaking to a university audience and takes for granted their familiarity with terms and concepts.

Those who believe the official 9/11 story and dismiss skeptics as kooks can test the validity of the sociologists’ findings and Hitler’s observation by watching the video and experiencing their reaction to evidence that challenges their beliefs. Are you able to watch the presentation without scoffing at someone who knows far more about it than you do? What is your response when you find that you cannot defend your beliefs against the evidence presented? Scoff some more? Become enraged?

Another problem that the 9/11 Truth Movement faces is that few people have the education to follow the technical and scientific aspects. The side that they believe tells them one thing; the side that they don’t believe tells them another. Most Americans have no basis to judge the relative merits of the arguments.

For example, consider the case of the Lockerbie bomber. One piece of “evidence” that was used to convict Magrahi was a piece of circuit board from a device that allegedly contained the Semtex that exploded the airliner. None of the people, who have very firm beliefs in Magrahi’s and Libya’s guilt and in the offense of the Scottish authorities in releasing Magrahi on allegedly humanitarian grounds, know that circuit boards of those days have very low combustion temperatures and go up in flames easily. Semtex produces very high temperatures. There would be nothing whatsoever left of a device that contained Semtex. It is obvious to an expert that the piece of circuit board was planted after the event.

I have asked on several occasions and have never had an answer, which does not mean that there isn’t one, how millions of pieces of unburnt, uncharred paper can be floating over lower Manhatten from the destruction of the WTC towers when the official explanation of the destruction is fires so hot and evenly distributed that they caused the massive steel structures to weaken and fail simultaneously so that the buildings fell in free fall time just as they would if they had been brought down by controlled demolition.

What is the explanation of fires so hot that steel fails but paper does not combust?

People don’t even notice the contradictions. Recently, an international team of scientists, who studied for 18 months dust samples produced by the twin towers’ destruction collected from three separate sources, reported their finding of nano-thermite in the dust. The US government had scientists dependent on the US government to debunk the finding on the grounds that the authenticity of custody of the samples could not be verified. In other words, someone had tampered with the samples and added the nano-thermite. This is all it took to discredit the finding, despite the obvious fact that access to thermite is strictly controlled and NO ONE except the US military and possibly Israel has access to nano-thermite.

The physicist, Steven Jones, has produced overwhelming evidence that explosives were used to bring down the buildings. His evidence is not engaged, examined, tested, and refuted. It is simply ignored.

Dr. Jones’ experience reminds me of that of my Oxford professor, the distinguished physical chemist and philosopher, Michael Polanyi. Polanyi was one of the 20th centuries great scientists. At one time every section chairman of the Royal Society was a Polanyi student. Many of his students won Nobel Prizes for their scientific work, such as Eugene Wigner at Princeton and Melvin Calvin at UC, Berkeley, and his son, John Polanyi, at the University of Toronto.

As a young man in the early years of the 20th century, Michael Polanyi discovered the explanation for chemical absorbtion. Scientific authority found the new theory too much of a challenge to existing beliefs and dismissed it. Even when Polanyi was one of the UK’s ranking scientists, he was unable to teach his theory. One half-century later his discovery was re-discovered by scientists at UC, Berkeley. The discovery was hailed, but then older scientists said that it was “Polanyi’s old error.” It turned out not to be an error. Polanyi was asked to address scientists on this half-century failure of science to recognize the truth. How had science, which is based on examining the evidence, gone so wrong. Polanyi’s answer was that science is a belief system just like everything else, and that his theory was outside the belief system.

That is what we observe all around us, not just about the perfidy of Muslims and 9/11.

As an economics scholar I had a very difficult time making my points about the Soviet economy, about Karl Marx’s theories, and about the supply-side impact of fiscal policy. Today I experience readers who become enraged just because I report on someone else’s work that is outside their belief system. Some readers think I should suppress work that is inconsistent with their beliefs and drive the author of the work into the ground. These readers never have any comprehension of the subject. They are simply emotionally offended.

What I find puzzling is the people I know who do not believe a word the government says about anything except 9/11. For reasons that escape me, they believe that the government that lies to them about everything else tells them the truth about 9/11. How can this be, I ask them. Did the government slip up once and tell the truth? My question does not cause them to rethink their belief in the government’s 9/11 story. Instead, they get angry with me for doubting their intelligence or their integrity or some such hallowed trait.

The problem faced by truth is the emotional needs of people. With 9/11 many Americans feel that they must believe their government so that they don’t feel like they are being unsupportive or unpatriotic, and they are very fearful of being called “terrorist sympathizers.” Others on the left-wing have emotional needs to believe that peoples oppressed by the US have delivered “blowbacks.” Some leftists think that America deserves these blowbacks and thus believe the government’s propaganda that Muslims attacked the US.

Naive people think that if the US government’s explanation of 9/11 was wrong, physicists and engineers would all speak up. Some have (see above). However, for most physicists and engineers this would be an act of suicide. Physicists owe their careers to government grants, and their departments are critically dependent on government funding. A physicist who speaks up essentially ends his university career. If he is a tenured professor, to appease Washington the university would buy out his tenure as BYU did in the case of the outspoken Steven Jones.

An engineering firm that spoke out would never again be awarded a government contract. In addition, its patriotic, flag-waving customers would regard the firm as a terrorist apologist and cease to do business with it.

In New York today there is an enormous push by 9/11 families for a real and independent investigation of the 9/11 events. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have provided the necessary signatures on petitions that require the state to put the proposal for an independent commission up to vote. However, the state, so far, is not obeying the law.

Why are the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are demanding a real investigation dismissed as conspiracy theorists? The 9/11 skeptics know far more about the events of that day than do the uninformed people who call them names. Most of the people I know who are content with the government’s official explanation have never examined the evidence. Yet, these no-nothings shout down those who have studied the matter closely.

There are, of course, some kooks. I have often wondered if these kooks are intentionally ridiculous in order to discredit knowledgeable skeptics.

Another problem that the 9/11 Truth Movement faces is that their natural allies, those who oppose the Bush/Obama wars and the internet sites that the antiwar movement maintains, are fearful of being branded traitorous and anti-American. It is hard enough to oppose a war against those the US government has successfully demonized. Antiwar sites believe that if they permit 9/11 to be questioned, it would brand them as "terrorist sympathizers" and discredit their opposition to the war. An exception is Information Clearing House.

Antiwar sites do not realize that, by accepting the 9/11 explanation, they have undermined their own opposition to the war. Once you accept that Muslim terrorists did it, it is difficult to oppose punishing them for the event. In recent months, important antiwar sites, such as antiwar.com, have had difficulty with their fundraising, with their fundraising campaigns going on far longer than previously. They do not understand that if you grant the government its premise for war, it is impossible to oppose the war.

As far as I can tell, most Americans have far greater confidence in the government than they do in the truth. During the Great Depression the liberals with their New Deal succeeded in teaching Americans to trust the government as their protector. This took with the left and the right. Neither end of the political spectrum is capable of fundamental questioning of the government. This explains the ease with which our government routinely deceives the people.

Democracy is based on the assumption that people are rational beings who factually examine arguments and are not easily manipulated. Studies are not finding this to be the case. In my own experience in scholarship, public policy, and journalism, I have learned that everyone from professors to high school dropouts has difficulty with facts and analyses that do not fit with what they already believe. The notion that "we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead" is an extremely romantic and idealistic notion. I have seldom experienced open minds even in academic discourse or in the highest levels of government. Among the public at large, the ability to follow the truth wherever it may lead is almost non-existent.

The US government's response to 9/11, regardless of who is responsible, has altered our country forever. Our civil liberties will never again be as safe as they were. America's financial capability and living standards are forever lower. Our country's prestige and world leadership are forever damaged. The first decade of the 21st century has been squandered in pointless wars, and it appears the second decade will also be squandered in the same pointless and bankrupting pursuit.

The most disturbing fact of all remains: The 9/11 event responsible for these adverse happenings has not been investigated.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Democracy is based on the assumption that people are rational beings who factually examine arguments and are not easily manipulated. Studies are not finding this to be the case. In my own experience in scholarship, public policy, and journalism, I have learned that everyone from professors to high school dropouts has difficulty with facts and analyses that do not fit with what they already believe. The notion that "we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead" is an extremely romantic and idealistic notion. I have seldom experienced open minds even in academic discourse or in the highest levels of government. Among the public at large, the ability to follow the truth wherever it may lead is almost non-existent.


Interesting article well worth the read imo

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Democracy is a simple principle - The People Rule.
The various methods and systems which pretend to be democratic often aren't.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyGosling wrote:
Democracy is a simple principle - The People Rule.
The various methods and systems which pretend to be democratic often aren't.



That’s anarchy Tony; Show us where there are a group of people that will agree on issues. Hence the get them before they get you, human mentality of the NWDisorder thus far.

The Kingdom for them alone, rather than the Kingdom for all.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anarchy is when nobody rules.

Andrew. wrote:
TonyGosling wrote:
Democracy is a simple principle - The People Rule.
The various methods and systems which pretend to be democratic often aren't.



That’s anarchy Tony; Show us where there are a group of people that will agree on issues. Hence the get them before they get you, human mentality of the NWDisorder thus far.

The Kingdom for them alone, rather than the Kingdom for all.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew. wrote:
TonyGosling wrote:
Democracy is a simple principle - The People Rule.
The various methods and systems which pretend to be democratic often aren't.



That’s anarchy Tony; Show us where there are a group of people that will agree on issues. Hence the get them before they get you, human mentality of the NWDisorder thus far.

The Kingdom for them alone, rather than the Kingdom for all.



Tony wrote:
"Anarchy is when nobody rules."


Anarchy Meaning and Definition
1 (n.) Hence, confusion or disorder, in general.
2 (n.) Absence of government; the state of society where there is no law or supreme power; a state of lawlessness; political confusion.

(A better definition is, we as individuals are anarchists)


So please Tony, how can Democracy work. If one wants "The Kingdom for all"
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy,

Stop being an * and take up invaluable time trying to antagonise people with your argument in favour of the power elites.

Rule by the people, for the people. It works. A democratic political process should be one where people come forward to represent the people, not themselves, their political career aspirations, the multi-national corporations, the bankers and bribers or their future employment and financial bakers. If you look at the mess we're in financially, it's massive. I can honestly stand up and say "I told you so", I'm far from being alone but strangely enough, no one listened and the obvious was ignored in favor of the desire of the few to grow even richer at the cost of the many. If we don't give people back the power to choose their own destiny a hand hull of megalomaniac control freaks, who want to own everything and control everybody will lead humanity into extinction.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jazds wrote:
Andy,

Stop being an * and take up invaluable time trying to antagonise people with your argument in favour of the power elites.

Rule by the people, for the people. It works. A democratic political process should be one where people come forward to represent the people, not themselves, their political career aspirations, the multi-national corporations, the bankers and bribers or their future employment and financial bakers. If you look at the mess we're in financially, it's massive. I can honestly stand up and say "I told you so", I'm far from being alone but strangely enough, no one listened and the obvious was ignored in favor of the desire of the few to grow even richer at the cost of the many. If we don't give people back the power to choose their own destiny a hand hull of megalomaniac control freaks, who want to own everything and control everybody will lead humanity into extinction.


Hi jazds, nice to meet you.

The "The Kingdom for all" is "Rule by the people" under God’s Law.

Shall we compare some of those Laws with any democratic ones or perhaps what you would like and that any one else could or has suggested please.

(edit)

Since you mention money I post under the name Fremen and it has my real name, only 5 post's. I too live in Warwickshire, i am also for capital punishment of politicians that break the Law.

http://z6.invisionfree.com/Bill_Still_Reforum/index.php?s=94eb856d83ce 480e9006fe7a11f852b7&showforum=1

I also post under Fremen at

This group that say they are for capital punishment of politicians that break the Law.

http://forums.ukcolumn.org/

A search on your profile says you would like to form a group and i wonderd if you have.

"If anyone in the Coventry and Warwickshire area would like to get together to form a group please contact me. I'm interested in forming a local group."
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to the excellent Paul Craig Roberts analytical article for a minute.
The main reason people believe the propaganda is because it is more comforting to than the alternatives.
We in the West have been mollycoddled by a cushty lifesyle and seem to always trust the 'authorities' because it suits us to.
To not trust them is far too complicated.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.opednews.com/articles/More-Lies-More-Deception-by-Paul-Crai g-Roberts-090925-655.html

Quote:
More Lies, More Deception

By Paul Craig Roberts

“What does imperialism mean? It means the assertion of absolute force over others.” ~~Robert Lowe 1878

The G-20 ministers declared their meeting in Pittsburgh a success, but as Rob Kall reports in OpEdNews.com, the meeting's main success was to turn Pittsburgh into “a ghost-town, emptied of workers and the usual pedestrians, but filled to overflowing with over 12,000 swat cops from all over the US.”

This is “freedom and democracy” at work. The leaders of the G-20 countries, which account for 85% of the world's income, cannot meet in an American city without 12,000 cops outfitted like the emperor's storm troopers in Star Wars. And the US government complains about Iran.

The US government's complaints about Iran have reached a new level of shrillness. On September 25 Obama declared: “Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow.” The heads of America's British, French, and German puppet states added their two cents worth, giving the government of Iran three months to meet the “international community's demands” to give up its rights as a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty to nuclear energy. In case you don't know, the term “international community” is shorthand for the US, Israel, and Europe, a handful of arrogant and rich countries that oppress the rest of the world.

Who is breaking the rules? Iran or the United States?

Iran is insisting that the US government abide by the non-proliferation treaty that the US originated and pushed and that Iran signed. But the US government, which is currently engaged in three wars of aggression and has occupying troops in a number of other countries, insists that Iran, which is invading and occupying no country, cannot be trusted with nuclear energy capability, because the capability might in the future lead to nuclear weapon capability, like Israel's, India's, and Pakistan's--all non-signatories to the nuclear proliferation treaty, countries that, unlike Iran, have never submitted to IAEA inspections. Indeed, at this very moment the Israeli government is screaming and yelling “anti-semite” to the suggestion that Israel submit to IAEA inspections. Iran has submitted to the IAEA inspections for years.

In keeping with its obligations under the treaty, on September 21 Iran disclosed to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it is constructing another nuclear facility. The British prime minister Gordon Brown confused Iran's disclosure with “serial deception,” and declared, “We will not let this matter rest.”

What matter? Why does Gordon Brown think that Iran's disclosure to the IAEA is a deception. Does the moronic UK prime minister mean that Iran is claiming to be constructing a plant but is not, and thus by claiming one is deceiving the world?

Not to be outdone in idiocy, out of Obama's mouth jumped Orwellian doublespeak: “The Iranian government must now demonstrate through deeds its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law.”

The incongruity blows the mind. Here is Obama, with troops engaged in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan demanding that a peaceful nation at war with no one demonstrate “its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law.”

It is the US government and its NATO puppet states, and militarist Israel, of course, that need to be held accountable to international law. Under international law the US, its NATO puppets, and Israel are war criminal governments. There is no doubt about it. The record is totally clear. The US, Israel, and the NATO puppet states have committed military aggression exactly as did Germany's Third Reich, and they have murdered large numbers of civilians. Following the Fuhrer's script, “the great democratic republics” have justified these acts of lawlessness with lies and deceptions.

Rudy Giuliani, the former US Attorney who framed high profile victims in order to gain name recognition for a political career, keynoted a rally against Iran in New York on September 25. According to Richard Silverstein at AlterNet, the rally was sponsored by an Israeli lobby group and an organization with connections to an Iranian terror organization (probably financed by the US government) that calls for the violent overthrow of the Iranian government.

The efforts to build pressure for acts of war against Iran continue despite the repeated declaration from the IAEA that there is no sign of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, and despite the reaffirmation by US intelligence agencies that Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program years ago.

Meanwhile, the US and Israeli governments, who are so solicitous of international law and holding accountable countries that violate it, have moved to prevent the report of Judge Richard Goldstone from reaching the UN Security Council.

Why?

Judge Goldstone's report found Israel guilty of war crimes in its massive military assault against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza.

The continuous efforts of the world's two militarist-aggressor states--the United States and Israel--to demonize Iran was addressed by Ahmadinejad in his speech to the UN General Assembly (September 23). Ahmadinejad spoke of the assault on human dignity and spiritual values by the selfish material interests of the US and its puppet states. Seeking hegemony “under the mantle of freedom,” the US and its puppets use “the ugliest methods of intimidation and deceit” to disguise that they are “the first who violate” the fundamental principles that they espouse and apply to others.

Why, Ahmadinejad asked the UN General Assembly, do the countries of the world sit there while Israel murders and dispossesses the Palestinian people?

Why, asked Ahmadinejad, do the countries of the world sit there while the US, from thousands of miles away, sends troops to the Middle East, “spreading war, bloodshed, aggression, terror and intimidation in the whole region,” while blaming the countries that are suffering the West's naked aggression?

Ahmadinejad told the General Assembly what most of the UN representatives already know, that “selfishness and insatiable greed have taken the place of such humanitarian concepts as love, sacrifice, dignity, and justice. . . . Lies have taken the place of honesty; hypocrisy has replaced integrity, and selfishness has taken the place of sacrifice. Deception in foreign affairs is called foresight and statesmanship, looting the wealth of other nations is called development efforts; occupation is said to be a gift that promotes freedom and democracy; and defenseless nations are subjected to repression in the name of defending human rights.”

It could not be put any clearer. However, if Ahmadinejad's speech is reported by the US print and TV media, statements will be taken out of context and used to enrage the conservatives and Christian Zionists in order to unify them behind the Obama/Israeli assault on Iran.

America will not be satisfied until, like Rome, she has more enemies and more wars than she can survive.


Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has held numerous academic appointments. He has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

US to massively increase troop levels in Afghanistan:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15364

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