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UG#518 - The Mendacity of Hype (Psywar and The Truth Emergency)

Robin Upton | 27.09.2010 15:48 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Social Struggles | Sheffield | World

This week, we look at what Peter Phillips of Project Censored terms a "truth emergency", the routine way in which deceitful messages are fabricated and distributed en masse by the corporate media. We start with his presentation to the May 2010 Understanding Deep Politics conference in Santa Cruz. We conclude with an audio adaptation of Scott Noble's effort to combat this tide of misinformation, the video Psywar, about the history of propaganda and psychological war. Focusing on psyops as tools of the class war, Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, Howard Zinn and other speakers tell the story of the origins of truth misrepresentation as an industry, and we look at its role in the US military and political establishments.

- mp3 27M

- mp3 27M


To begin, we hear Peter Phillips, speaking on what he calls the 'truth emergency', from the Understanding Deep Politics conference held in Santa Cruz in May 2010. He highlights the danger of self-censorship, the chilling effect of the climate of fear engendered from the upper echelons of US political system.

The rest of our show this week is taken up by an adaptation of Scott Noble's documentary, PsyWar, on 'psychological operations' in US. It start with an examination of their use by the political machine to conjure up support for war, reporting that a remarkable ¾ of US soldiers that invaded Iraq believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the attacks on US on September 11th.

It then reviews the origins of propaganda as class war, identifying the Ludlow Massacre of 1913 as the origins of the use of psyops by commercial interests, and reviewing how they were used by corporations to combat widespread public awareness of and hostility to their agenda of selfish wealth accumulation. It looks at the rise and rise of consumerism as a tool for social control and solving the 'problem' of overproduction. Its conclusion is that whilst it has become an enormous business (there are more employees in public relations companies than there are journalists) propaganda can be countered by identifying its agents and unmasking their hidden agendas.

Thanks to Scott Noble for the documentary, a valuable contribution to combating the rising tide of self-serving lies coming from commercial bodies.

Robin Upton
- e-mail: unwelcome@altruists.org
- Homepage: http://UnwelcomeGuests.net

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