Thursday, May 6, 2010

OPINION: Propaganda, Ego: Neurotic Love

Magdalena Pot Luck
By Margaret Wiltshire

Ego and it’s love affair with propaganda may be the human race’s biggest problem.
Our egos are useful in manipulating our social world for our benefit and survival. Our egos compete for us with other egos. While some spiritual people learn to live ego-less, the rest of us struggle along looking for contentment.
Propaganda is all about sales - the selling of ideas. Some egos selling ideas to other egos. The purpose is to manipulate an action or inaction that will serve the needs of the ego selling the propaganda. Successful propaganda promises anything from comfort to power and all you have to do is believe. The propagandist always hoping you won’t look for the hidden price tag.
Adolf Hitler said, “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”
Racism is a great example. You and your people are better people than this other group or better than all other groups. This piece of propaganda holds great appeal for insecure and lazy egos. The price tag is enormous since it isn’t true and puts the racist at great disadvantage. Hitler’s “super” race did not fare as well as those who didn’t buy this propaganda. Reality aside, bigotry remains enormously popular.
Recently world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking made a stir world wide with comments suggesting we would be wise not to seek intelligent life from other worlds. He even made the suggestion that we have not found intelligent life yet here on earth.
In other words we could be biting off more than we can chew. Certainly that wouldn’t be the first time but intelligent aliens could make it our last time.
Don’t we want the right to destroy ourselves before intelligence from another world gets here?
Another popular piece of propaganda is that the greediest egos in the world will take care of us if we believe they will. It’s called “trickle down economics” and it is suppose to work something like mother’s milk. How it really works is more like the oil spill in the gulf.
Actually, we do have some intelligent life on this planet, we just refuse to listen to it.
“It is often said that the public is most insulting to a good man when the people are puffed up with prosperity and pride. But it also happens that misfortune makes people so sensitive that they are easily offended by any strong and honest opinions. Anyone who finds fault is presumed to be malicious. Free speech is construed as contempt, and even the wisest words irritate unless they are offered with great tact. Just as sore eyes cannot stand light, and prefer darkness, so it is with the body politic in times of trouble and humiliation.” So wrote Plutarch for the ancient Greeks as their “world” started to crumble.
Sometimes we just can’t “handle” the truth. Right now the United States is torn politically because we can’t admit that every individual needs a helpful society and that every society needs helpful individuals. No bird flies without both a right and left wing. The war between the “right” and the “left” is a distraction leaving us for example, treading water in a massive oil spill.
Fossil fuels are better then clean, green and renewable energy, well, cheaper anyway. The price tag on this propaganda may make the survival of our species very difficult.
My fantasy: our love affair with propaganda might amuse intelligent beings from other worlds. We might be a “reality” show on one of their channels. A “show” destined for cancellation.
Good fences make good neighbors. Another great piece of propaganda. Are people crossing borders a problem or are borders the problem?
Big Business loves borders. You have your customers bordered one place and your slaves bordered elsewhere. If they moved freely together they might want liveable wages and good products. They might even tell Big Business to take a flying leap out of that corner office.
Humans have the means for good water, air, food, health care, housing, and education, everywhere on the planet. We could allow the rest of nature to live as well. It wouldn’t cost you everything. It would not decrease your personal value. That’s a reality, not propaganda.

Margaret’s views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.


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