When Americans see the bizarre responses of the mainstream media and the progressive politicians to tragedies such as the Tucson shootings — for instance, the proposal to ban rhetoric or symbols perceived to be violent — many wonder how the country has come to this strange place where elitists are moving to gain control at the expense of individual liberties. Perhaps one need not look past the Woodrow Wilson administration for the answer.
Today’s politicians and progressives seem to have taken some notes right out of the works of Edward Bernays, President Wilson’s propaganda master. The author of books such as Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and Propaganda (1928) — both of which were heavily utilized by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels — Bernays has been accredited with manipulating public opinion about such varied subjects as World War I, smoking, and even bacon. He has been dubbed the “Father of Spin” and the “Godfather of modern public relations” because of his extraordinary ability to alter public opinion.
What today’s politicians seem to share with Bernays is the mentality that they are in fact members of an elite class, and that it is their sole responsibility to manipulate the huddled and often confused masses.
For example, Bernays declared in Public Opinion:
Ours must be a leadership democracy, administered by the “intelligent minority” who know how to regiment and guide the masses. The common interests very largely elude public opinion entirely, and can be managed only by a specialized class whose personal interests reach beyond the locality.
He also indicated:
If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it.
According to Bernays’ daughter, Ann,
Democracy to my father was a wonderful concept, but I don’t think he felt that all those publics out there had reliable judgment. That they very easily might vote for the wrong man or want the wrong thing. So they had to be guided from above. It’s enlightened despotism.
Similarly, in his January 11 appearance on Tom Hartman’s liberal talk radio show, progressive thinker John Dean, former Nixon counsel, commented:
What the studies show, the empirical studies over — almost, you know, well over a half a century of studying this issue — they really show that about 25 percent of a given population easily follows into the authoritarian personality-types.
These are people who, as I said, like to be told how to think [and] what to do. Some of them who were more aggressive in their personality want to jump out in front and say, “Follow me.” But they will follow their leader until they get their turn. And they look upon others who don’t see the world as they do as outsiders.
[These people] are very susceptible to the direction they get from their leaders.
That’s why I think it’s very irresponsible (or at least dangerous) for the Palins, the Becks, the O’Reillys and the people who feed this violent atmosphere, they should realize … the people they’re dealing with. They’re smart enough to look at this information and know indeed they can provoke this kind of behavior.
Likewise, Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein has indicated that the presence of too many choices can be confusing to the American people. In describing the premise of his book, Nudge, he virtually claimed that the American people were too ignorant to make proper decisions:
We think there is a little Homer Simpson in all of us. Sometimes we have self-control problems, sometimes we’re impulsive. In these circumstances, both public and private institutions, without coercing, can make our lives a lot better.
According to Sunstein, once that reality is accepted, Americans can be “manipulated.”
Joe Klein of Time magazine noted, “It is very difficult to thrive in an increasingly competitive world if you’re a nation of dodos.”
Congressman John Dingle (D-Mich.) has discussed the difficulties of trying to control the people:
The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 million American people in different ways, it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.
Conservative pundit Glenn Beck has dubbed this the “rancher/cow” mentality: The progressives view themselves as the ranchers, and the average Americans as the cows — incapable of formulating their own thoughts and willing to be herded into a fenced area.
TheDailyBeck2 Video: “Rancher/Cow Mentality”
Show Description: (credit glennbeck.com) – Note: Tonight is Glenn’s two year anniversary at Fox News.
Glenn opened up the show the CNN clip of John King saying they are trying to avoid using language like “crosshairs”.
Glenn opened the TV by talking about how stupid CNN must think its listeners are. Glenn played the video of CNN host John King apologizing for using everyday language in a news report. Glenn talked more about it on radio today (LINK), but let’s just say that Glenn said that if CNN felt like they needed to apologize for casually using the word “crosshair”, then Warner Brothers should apologize for having cartoon coyotes drop pianos on road runners.
As Glenn put it, as you squelch language and questioning you stifle creativity and problem solving. You have to push the edges in order to make progress (not progressive progress), and you have to be allowed to fail.
Glenn also pointed out that freedom of speech is important because it exposes your character. For example, Glenn would rather people use terms he finds offensive so that he can know not to interact with them. They have low character.
How does this tie in with Edward Bernays? Well, Bernays believed that people were motivated by animal instincts. And so does Francis Fox Piven. Glenn played a series of clips showing Francis Fox Piven applying Bernays and Freud’s philosophies to modern society and the Tea Party.
So what does the whole rancher/cow designation mean? The way Glenn explained it, Progressives believe that as “ranchers” they have a responsibility to guide the people in the “herd”. They use the aggression, self-preservation, sex, and security. Glenn believes that Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud, Francis Fox Piven, and Cass Sunstein are all guided by this rancher/cow philosophy. But this viewpoint is the opposite of the Founder’s beliefs.
So how does this tie into E4? Glenn promised he would tie everything back to the enlightenment, education, empowerment, and entrepreneurial themes. Glenn showed how the rancher/herd philosophy could affect education. Glenn played several clips, the most outrageous of which showed John Kerry say that without an education you end up in Iraq. Glenn also showed quotes from Woodrow Wilson, who said that the aim of the university is to make students unlike their fathers.
The Progressive elite doesn’t believe in educating the “herd”, but rather keeping them in the lower caste in which they reside. Wouldn’t it be better if they tried to empower and educate the herd rather than giving them money and entitlements so they won’t ask questions.
Glenn also talked about Obama’s regulation reform that was issued through Executive Order. But something was missed. “Equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts” can be taken into account in regulations. The result, more of the “fence surrounding the cattle can be filled in.
Links to stories and information used in tonight’s program:
INSULT SOT MONTAGE
JOE BIDEN, SEPT. 15, 2008, FLAT ROCK, MICHIGAN
* All this stuff about how different Barack Obama is, they’re not just used to somebody really smart. They’re just not used to somebody who’s really well educated.
JOHN KERRY SOT, Oct 2006
* You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
PRES. BILL CLINTON, SEPT. 26, 2010
* so far, they’ve gathered up about everybody for this Tea Party but the Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland will give it to them, I think
ED RENDELL 60 MINUTES
* You guys don’t get that. (Stahl off cam: I do get that) You’re idiots. You’re simpletons if you don’t get that.
INSULT QUOTES – PRES OBAMA
* (Rolling Stone, Oct. 2010) It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election… The idea that we’ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.”
Beck contends that the elites have managed to make some headway in their power struggle by preying on the youth:
We used to be taught as kids ourselves that there was no such thing as a stupid question. We were encouraged to be curious…. You know who’s protected to ask questions and say controversial things [today]? Not the students — they get downgraded for that. Only the elites. Only the ranchers. Only the professors.
For example, in September 2008, Joe Biden said this of Obama’s critics: “All this talk about how different Barack Obama is. They’re just not used to somebody really smart. They’re just not used to somebody who is really well-educated.”
Similarly, liberal pundit Bill Maher observed of politicians’ efforts to sway public opinion on healthcare: “Members of Congress have recessed now so they can go home and listen to their constituents, an urge they should resist because their constituents don’t know anything.”
Such opinions explain why outspoken critics of presidential administrations are accused of hateful rhetoric. Questioning authority is a criminal activity.
Americans today are not encouraged to “question with boldness,” as Thomas Jefferson so artfully phrased it — that is, unless they are questioning the Constitution’s usefulness and whether it is an outdated document.
Preying upon impressionable minds was a notion President Woodrow Wilson embraced. He once asserted, “The use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.”
It is the elitist mentality that allows billionaires such as George Soros and wealthy Americans such as Andy Stern to believe that they are above the very rules they would like to see imposed on the American people.
Similarly, former Vice President Al Gore, nearly 100 years after Edward Bernays, declared at a conference of young people in Washington, D.C.:
There are some things about our world that you know that older people don’t know. Why would that be? Well in a period of rapid change, the old assumptions sometimes just don’t work anymore because they’re out of date.
The belief that they are above the fray explains how liberals in Washington could propose banning violent symbols and rhetoric following the Tucson shootings, when these violent assertions have been made by their own man, President Barack Obama:
“I’m ready to duel John McCain.” — Sept. 30, 2008
“I want you to argue with them and get in their face.” — Sept. 17, 2008
“… so I know whose ass to kick.” — June 8, 2010
“We’re going to have just hand-to-hand combat up here on Capitol Hill.” — Oct. 2010
“We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends.” — Oct. 2010
Likewise, it is their elitism that drives liberal politicians to implement a nanny state — one in which it is the responsibility of the federal government to see to the individual’s wants and needs. It is this attitude that fuels programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, and policies such as gun control.
For example, the Obama administration has announced that it will be reviewing regulations for redundancies to ensure that agencies are operating smoothly. On the surface, the effort appears well-intentioned, except that once again, the President has circumvented Congress by issuing an executive order to carry out the process. Likewise, what is also mentioned in the executive order that has not been touted in the media is the following: “In weighing costs and benefits, for instance, agencies may now consider equity, human dignity, fairness and distributive impacts.”
Only elitists believe they have the right to make such determinations.
The key to Bernays’ ideas on propaganda is the notion that the masses must never know that they are being manipulated. Instead, they must believe that they themselves have conceived the ideas or have come to the very conclusions to which they were actually led by the leaders. Bernays declared:
In practice, if all men had to study for themselves the abstruse economic, political, and ethical data involved in every question, they would find it impossible to come to a conclusion about anything. We have voluntarily agreed to let an invisible government sift the data and high-spot the outstanding issues so that our field of choice shall be narrowed to practical proportions. [Emphasis added.]
Eliminate choices and oppose views of the masses. So much for the days of President George Washington, who asked to be met on the “battlefield of ideas.”
Perhaps that explains the concerted efforts to destroy conservative critics such as Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michele Bachmann, Sean Hannity, the John Birch Society, average patriotic American in the tea party and others.
The similarities between the progressive elitists of today and Edward Bernays are stark. It is becoming increasingly evident that Bernays’ ideas are taking form at the hands of the ruling elite in Washington.
Will Americans be the cattle or the ranchers?
Source: The New American
h/t to J. Stoner