Society has been indoctrinated into a system of elite-decision making and public ratification, allowing for the creation of a system of industries whose purpose is to manufacture consent and institutionalize the masses into willful and subservient masses, a herd to trample periodically in support of one or another element of the leadership class in an election.
While methods differ sharply from more brutal to more free societies, the goals are in many ways similar: to ensure that the great beast, the public, does not stray from its proper confines. Seeking to cage and marginalize the public, the government has devised means to control opinion and attitude, guarding the minority of the opulent from the majority. With pretexts that barely conceal their devotion to narrow business interest, the elites of society resort to privatized mass media, intent to conjure propaganda to lure the masses into a sense of secure insecurity, a disillusioned feeling of perpetuating uncertainty but blissful acceptance. So saying, the masses are enveloped by gilded truths and shallow lies manufactured by the propaganda machine, succeeding in blinding them to the truth that they stand with no individuality or liberty, tools to be used at the whim of men standing on lofty pedestals forged from the blood, sweat and tears of workers at home and abroad. Belittling the masses into beasts in human form, the propaganda machine has effectively institutionalized the great beast into yet another state tool to march to and fro in support of a plethora of state sponsored terrorist campaigns abroad. With fear of retribution and punishment, the sheepish public fall into line, safeguarding a system of elite-decision making and public ratification. The consensus emerging is that these ignorant and meddlesome outsiders are to be spectators not participants; a herd whose purpose is to adhere to governing policies not of their own, becoming cannon fodder for corporate imperialist wars abroad and an undulating work force. Using the flag to control the people, patriotism and ignorance become indivisible, allowing the politicians to ambiguously quote the need for national defense to spark travesty and despair in lands not so different from home. Consequently, power, death and distorted truth are read between the lines of the red, white and blue. Evidently, the mass media communications excel at one goal: putting the people into their place by the manufacture of consent, a self-conscious art and regular organ for popular government.
“They use the flag to control us. Brainwash you to be their patriotic slaves. Brainwash you by controlling what we learn.” – Anti-Flag, “Red, White and Brainwashed”
Beginning with the founding fathers, the foundation of the American system has been on deceit and protection for the 1%, guarding the supposed ‘public interest’ of those select individuals from the mischief of democratic majorities whose true liberation would undermine the Orwellian oppression that the country truly stands for. Securing the marginalization and passivity of the public, so as to avoid a ‘crisis of democracy’, there has been an incursion of propaganda sponsored thought control into the institutions responsible for the indoctrination of the young – schools, universities, churches and general government control of the media. This tyranny, a remarkably clear illustration of the lack of individual liberty, has permitted the elites to coalesce into a war-mongering machine intent to use complicit public attitude and the cloud of freshly pressed capitalist rhetoric to launch a national security strategy in search of global hegemony. Sponsoring a campaign of slaughter, torture and terrorism, the US has raped foreign lands of their free will for the purpose of resource exploitation and global power consolidation, threatening even their allies if they were to step out of line. With the Americas, Africa and the Middle East as their playgrounds, the American machine proliferates it tyrannical suppression of people whilst sustaining a steady propaganda effort at home to ensure the ‘great beast’ of public opinion that liberty and freedom are being safeguarded. Beginning with Wilson and the Committee on Public Information (CPI), there has existed a permanent establishment for wartime propaganda which has achieved great success in whipping the population into war fever. Now, this permanent establishment has infected all sources of press, influenced society through every means possible and presenting the public with a blitzkrieg of images that leaves the public with eyes open but not truly seeing. Wilson’s own view was that an elite of gentlemen with ‘elevated ideals’ must be empowered to ‘preserve stability and righteousness’, ideals which would be subverted by the supposed ‘ignorant and meddlesome masses’. The Reagan administration even escalated the presence of government mass media by installing the Office of Public Diplomacy to manufacture consent for its murderous policies in Central America. One former staffer stated that Operation Truth resembled a ‘huge psychological operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in a denied or enemy territory’, a rather frank characterization of pervasive attitudes towards domestic peoples.
“You’ve heard it every day, since the first day of your life. But you never stopped to think, what you heard was full of lies. You can’t think just for a minute, can’t think just for a second. Cause you’re nothing but a tool, whose thoughts are tailored and fashioned each night by the evening news.” – Anti-Flag, “Until It Happens to You”
Neoliberal initiatives of the past 30 years have been designed to restrict liberty, leaving basic decision-making within largely unaccountable private tyrannies, a monopoly of corporate leaders and politicians whose policies reflect the brutality of Leninist ideals. The Iraqi operation was a clear demonstration of the disregard for elementary human rights and needs, which was only matched by a display of contempt for democracy, thus equating to Soviet-esque reversion to violence and barbarism. Nevertheless, the campaign, timed to the onset of the midterm congressional elections, was highly successful in shifting public attitudes. It soon drove American public opinion off the global spectrum and helped the administration achieve electoral aims and establish Iraq as a proper test for the newly announced doctrine of resort to force at will. Political analyst Anatol Lieven commented that most Americans had been ‘duped by a propaganda programme which for systemic mendacity has new parallels in peacetime democracies’. Negotiations and diplomacy have become a theater for obfuscation, deluding the people into a false sense of complacent security that is propagated by conservative capitalist owned mass media. The people are subliminally beaten into submission by a manipulative overseer that wields authority through the media, the state, the corporations and the capitalist hierarchy of society. The individualism of society has been broken by a homogenizing culture, creating a society of state cloned tools to serve the purpose of the military-industrial complex and the materialistic businesses. The propaganda machine elicits true complacency from the masses through the depiction of their shallow desires and greed. Rather than awake to the reality of the sinking ship, the American people squabble and feud over the positions of status, positions of beauty and the hopes of aspiring power and wealth dividing a nation of brothers and sisters. They believe the lies that hide the truth because the propaganda machine ensures them that they need not concern themselves with the problems plaguing society; rather, the media uses subterfuge to brainwash the people into pleasure-seeking materialists, mindless husks seeking to conform to an ideal of living, beauty, wealth and power not of their own inclination.
“We gotta work to make the facts fit the false charges. Pull the wool over the eyes of the filthy masses. Stab the people in the back for the corporate choice. Roll the propaganda out using The People’s Voice.” – Anti-Flag, “The Press Corpse”
In retrospect, the status quo is a propaganda poster of serenity guaranteed by complacent living by the masses, a mechanized lifestyle that asserts that one must work for money that should later be spent on some materialistic and/or carnal pleasure that will bring no pleasure in the end. Ignoring the truth of political and corporate corruption, as well as their evident manipulation of the people, has become the new American anthem. Waving a flag to inspire blind patriotism in a country that seeks to quell domestic fervor through manufactured consent, a country that seeks to quell international peace by pillaging and raiding any nation aspiring to liberation. The people are lied to and controlled. The people are forced into submission by constant promises that they are free and equal, that they should spend their money to ensure that corporations have money to fuel their terrorist wars. The government says that it is working for the people, but the truth is that the government is working for a select class of elites interested in war, greed and blood. The minute a politician gets into office, the American people become a has-been of yesterday, illustrating the hallow carved-out, rotten infrastructure of the bigoted system. Red, White and Blue, Freedom and Democracy for all. In the end, the America message is an ambiguous half-truth spoken on the news and sold on commercials.