Continuing on the topic of propaganda, public relations and manufacturing consent we come across the important concept of trance logic first used to help define some results of hypnotic suggestion.
On trance logic Julian Jaynes writes:
“It is rather what I would prefer to dress it up as ‘paralogical compliance to verbally mediated reality’. It is paralogic because the rules of logic (which we remember are an external standard of truth, not the way the mind works) are put aside to comply with assertions about reality that are not concretely true. It is a type of behavior found everywhere in the human condition from contemporary religious litanies to various superstitions of tribal societies. But it is particularly pronounced in and centrally characteristic of the mental state of hypnosis.” (The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, 390)
As an example a hypnotized man is told to walk around a chair to avoid bumping into it, but there is no chair. He walks around “it” anyway and finds nothing peculiar about this act. He cannot ’see’ contradictions because he is not introspecting in a completely conscious way.
Such is the nature and purpose of propaganda, to bypass logical thought and soften the resistance to suggestion, often appealing directly to powerful emotions, like fear. For this example we can point to war-time propaganda and the power of the false flag event and terrorism.
The War on Terror sold to the American public after 9/11 is a masterfully crafted machine of propaganda consistently creating in the public a state of trance logic. We signed on to fight an eternity of wars against unknown and unseen potential enemies around the globe. Endless war to keep us safe from terror. Terror to prevent terror.
It’s so absurd that terrorism is now a top topic for the most popular stand-up comics who perform for millions of people laughing about terrorism while we spend billions of dollars and the cost to human life and infrastructure is immeasurable. We don’t ask if a war on terror is logical, winnable or finite, and our innate fear reaction is so inflated by the propaganda we behave irrationally and inconsistently. Here’s my favorite look at the absurdity of it by comedian Steve Hughes:
False flag operations like the sinking of the Maine preceding the Spanish-American War and The Gulf of Tonkin “incident” are now spoken about openly by top military officials, but the general public still refuses to seriously consider the thought that such operations are being employed today. Why? Because Brian Williams never told them to believe it, maybe?
The excellent new documentary Shadow Ring exposes many of these public-private propaganda conspiracies and the central role the Council on Foreign Relations plays in them.
“ShadowRing will break down the dis-information and unlock the secrets of the CFR providing fertile ground to encourage a new public debate on the ethical and moral implications of allowing such a small group of individuals to command such power and influence over our lives.” http://freemindfilms.com/films/shadowring/
As Edward Bernays so famously asserted, “Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.”
I am thankful to a kind reader who last week pointed out another RPCV, Jeff Koob, digging in to the topic with a new book, Ad Nauseam: How Advertising and Public Relations Changed Everything.
I’ve just ordered it and will be exploring the contents in a future post. In the meantime, happy learning!