The Paid Pied Pipers of Politics

In my continuing effort to explain to myself and others why American politics is the pathetic state that it is in, I offer this.

No industry, besides the death Industry of the MIC and the Medical/Pharma industry spends more money on research than….the advertising industry.

The money the advertising industry spends on research is all spent for one basic reason. To manipulate you.

To find ways to jiggle your mind and emotions. To subtly or blatantly affect the two major response centers in the human brain, the pleasure center, and the fear center.

Billions and billions of dollars have been spent learning how to do this since the first broadcast advertisement on radio was wildly succesful. It works. There is no question that it works. And there is no question that advertising has played just a huge roll in makinf America into the obscene consumer culture that it has become.

And of course, all of those techniques have been translated into politics in general and of course political advertising specifically.

As we all know, The Republicans use these decades of research to stimulate and manipulate the fear center of the human brain….and we are watching it at work as their fear based campaigns are rapidly sinking public support for Health Care Reform.

They are the pied pipers of politics, leading a dull-minded (from decades of unconsciously absorbing advertising and being dumbed down by the educational programs dictated by Republican dominated government) populace once again down the road of acting against their own self-interest through sowing fear.

This cynical and repulsive practice sucks, but it works. The only question is…how do we counter it?

Do “we” become just as cynical as they are and instead of doing the (quite apparently) dull and fact filled but semi-honorable messaging the Dems now engage in…..start learning how to counter their fear based advertising by researching and deploying equally manipulative levels of advertising and messaging that stimulate the pleasure centers of what used to be a nation of citizens….but have now become, after decades of programming (literally!) a nation of political consumers?

Iow….should we start a War of Advertising Manipulation between the (Democratic) pleasure center and the (Republican) fear center of the human brain?

Or should we just find better ways to communicate and market the truth and the facts and hope that enough people/consumers catch on……and stop buying what the Pied Pipers are selling?

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  2. But it doesn’t work the same way, on the same schedule, or in localizable ways in the human brain.  It works upon the whole person, the conditions of their life.  Fear is a nasty way to live.  Always wanting some small thing more and never getting a whole self is also a pretty ugly existence.  At some point peoples — cultures — figure that out, and revolt.  At that point they either have momentum on their side, or the tanks roll in, metaphorically or literally.  The first is to my thinking an inevitability — the human spirit is resilient and we are not the stupid monsters one can see us as, on a bad day.  The second is largely luck.

    I don’t think America is lucky right now.  There is tremendous power behind the SQ, and the advertising machine is probably the friendliest layer of it.  But hell, I could be wrong :))

    • Edger on August 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I think Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO has a good way to counter it.

    Turn it around on them, and rule them with fear, instead.

    Want to see them pee themselves from fear and beg for your support? No time or money donations, and no votes in 2010, unless health care reform and the Employee Free Choice Act are passed. The AFL-CIO Sheet Metal Workers Union was the first union to suspend all campaign donations to ALL Democratic candidates until the Employee Free Choice Act and a bill addressing real Health Care Reform are passed

    It’s a simple idea I’ve promoted since the Democratic betrayal over Iraq Occupation funding in the spring of 2007.

    Hopefully more people will listen to Trumka than listen to me. 😉

  3. And the people in the houses

    All went to the university,

    Where they were put in boxes

    And they came out all the same,

    And there’s doctors and lawyers,

    And business executives,

    And they’re all made out of ticky tacky

    And they all look just the same.

    Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1962 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1990

    Scary cunundrum, to me it looks as though our entire way of life revovles aorund the ‘marketing’ of these pied pipers.  The billions of dollars are as noted not wasted.  

  4. iow….should we start a War of Advertising Manipulation between the (Democratic) pleasure center and the (Republican) fear center of the human brain?

    Or

    should we just find better ways to communicate and market the truth and the facts and hope that enough people/consumers catch on……and stop buying what the Pied Pipers are selling?

    Yes. Both.

    heh.

    People… fear that they might lose their jobs, they might lose their job-sponsored Health Insurance, their health, their ability to provide for their families, keep their housing, their car, their Barely Squeaking By lifestyle or their Comfortable lifestyle…  We all have those fears. Add a few more, like can I send my kid to college or retire okay, and all that (those are bonuses at this point.) So what (we) should be selling then, is more … (thinking out loud) … security/hope, “its gonna be okay”. And the WAY to achieve that security is of course the progressive agenda way, not stoopid GOP way.

    Team Obama did a pretty good job of selling that last year, too bad they dont seem to care about actually delivering the Product as promised.

    • banger on August 16, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    you are asking the essential question in a way. We are being manipulated by the very best magicians on the planet and you rightly tell us that it works. Of course it does. Look at our neighbors! Look at the level of political discourse–no facts, no science to be scene anywhere about any major issue.

    So, task one is to deprogram ourselves–we don’t know how deep the body snatchers have gone in us. First, find out and fearlessly admit to it–yes, we are all caught–it isn’t only “them” but we’re not fooled. Yes we are fooled–we just have a few other things going that can begin to get us out of the enchantment.

    The system works and is robust–don’t underestimate it. We need to organize into alternative communities and support our deprogramming. Yes, we will have to “Work” at it and use the spiritual techniques that are around us to help us. Without using these it is very hard to move beyond the programming or the feeling of impotence that so many progressives feel in the face of overwhelming force. But nurturing our strengths and healing our hurts and becomming community is our ticket. I don’t see any other.

  5. We don’t have to look any farther than the Obama campaign to see that.  But we need to separate the fact that Obama spoke much truth during his campaign, but he didn’t follow through on his promises after election.

    In the campaign, Obama spoke lots of truth.  He talked of the corporate greed.  He talked of the injustice of the unequal tax cuts to the wealthy.  Over and over, he spoke the truth of what was going on….

               AND THE PEOPLE HEARD HIM!

    This shows that many of the people can hear the truth and will respond to the truth.  

    The people heard Obama speak truth, and they put their faith in him.

    And now, once again, many of these people feel betrayed — again.

    There is a serious question here.  How many times can the people’s trust be betrayed before they quit trying altoghether?  

    Obama asked us to take his back, so he could do what needed to be done, what he supposedly wanted to do.  Many did just that.  Perhaps it wasn’t enough, although I doubt that because his first egregious cabinet appointments were made by himself and himself alone.  He didn’t need us to back him on this, to fight for him on this.  In fact, many of us did not and would not have supported him on men like Geithner, Summers, Emanuel…

    So, what do we do?

    This leads me back to the grass roots.  We must organize now, on the grass roots level, to be rezdy to ‘take the back’ of the next person to come forward to speak truth to power, to promise a progressive agenda.  

    Let’s find a way to tap the base of Obama supporters who heard the truth he spoke.  Let’s organize now.  Perhaps a place like Progressive Democrats of America is a good place to offer support.  There are many places.  Let’s bring the progressive movements and the blogs together in a “round-up ready” (pls forgive me) grass roots effort to be ready before the fact.

  6. Write LTE’s.

    We already know what the truth is, so why do we spend so much time telling the truth to each other on our blogs, and spend so little time telling the truth in newspapers to the people who need to hear it?  

    How many average Americans read our blogs?  Not very many.

    How many average Americans read letters-to-the-editor every day?

    Millions of them.

    I have a few questions for everyone who posts here:

    Have you written an LTE for health care reform?

    Have you written an LTE for torture prosecutions?

    How long has it been since you wrote an LTE?

    Have you ever written an LTE?

    Check in.

  7. All of it is crap.  All of it is Satan inspired mind numbing propaganda 24/7.  I have daily conversations with my wife about how “news” is geared towards imbeciles, is subliminal programming to reinforce fascism and or degrades human society.  Aside from the more mainstream http://www.projectcensored.org millions of other web places confirm the tenets of the New World Order people and the elite de-population schemes for fun, control and profit margins.  Yes it is too large to be believed and that is also how and why it does work.  It may have started with Raygun’s deliberate dumbing down but under Bush we did have the socialist re-education gulags of Corporate Compliance via Sarbanes-Oxley.  This coupled with the MySpace generation produced a nation of worthless cannon fodder bots eager easily led around by their electronic nose rings.  Really a north south magnetic pole reversal and it’s resulting EMP chip frying consequences just may be a blessing in disguise in this case.

  8. “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” Or some such from the lips of Gloria Steinem, it used to be my sig line.

  9. Do “we” become just as cynical as they are and instead of doing the (quite apparently) dull and fact filled but semi-honorable messaging the Dems now engage in…..start learning how to counter their fear based advertising by researching and deploying equally manipulative levels of advertising and messaging that stimulate the pleasure centers of what used to be a nation of citizens….but have now become, after decades of programming (literally!) a nation of political consumers?

    Iow….should we start a War of Advertising Manipulation between the (Democratic) pleasure center and the (Republican) fear center of the human brain?

    I wish I didn’t believe that this was a necessary tactic, really I wish that, but I do believe it is.

    My prejudice is that I truly started voting when Reagan got elected…and for about 30 years thereafter, nobody I voted for even had a chance, and it was all b/c of the GOP noise machine.

    Should we be as awful as they are?  Should we lie to get our way?

    NO

    But we should not be above pointing out the filth that they spew…nor attacking them on every lie.  And, since all they do is lie, we must be ever vigilant.

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