Yesterday during the protest against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (yes, the one Cuomo was escorted to by RINO County Executive Joanie Mahoney) we had the anti-SAFE Act protesters on one side of the street, and the anti-frackers on the other side. I noticed at one point a couple of teenagers walking past the anti-fracking protesters who couldn’t stop chanting slogans to save their lives. The teens raised their arms, made fists and started chanting along with them, smiling all the way. They heard the agit-prop, and responded just as they were conditioned to respond.
Our whole society is being conditioned. We get it every day – through the news, through the shows and movies we watch, and through the music we listen to. Conservative bloggers try to point these things out when we can, but for the most part we’re a ragtag bunch without any funding or financial support. (Unlike bloggers on the left who receive support by the likes of George Soros, and get private meetings with the president.)
Well, now comes Investors Business Daily to combat the propaganda machine with some facts.
In an open, democratic society such as ours, freedom of speech and what John Stuart Mill called “the marketplace of ideas” are huge benefits. They enable all of us, even the most marginalized, to make our case to the public, to be heard.
They allow reason to be inserted into public debate as an essential part of the checks and balances of the democratic process.
This is a healthy thing, vital for our republic.
But for those who would rule absolutely, such liberties are intolerable. Rather than ensure a free and open discussion of ideas, philosophies and politics, they seek to monopolize the conversation. And they do it with propaganda.
That’s what the newest IBD series, which kicks off today, will be about.
But what exactly is “propaganda”? It’s not the same as telling your side of the story. Or just having a point of view. It’s the systematic distortion of the truth, usually by a government or with a government’s explicit support.
And it usually entails the systematic exclusion of views that differ from the official view.
We’re battling on so many fronts, we need all of the ammunition we can get. It helps if you have the facts on your side. I don’t know if it’s just too late for any of this to do any good, but I sure do appreciate those who try.
Oh, and no, I have not been contacted by anyone at IBD offering me any compensation whatsoever to promote their work. I just happen to find the site a refreshing alternative to what we’ve grown used to. (Cough, cough, Wall Street Journal, are you listening, or are your editors so focused on selling the special-interest-bonanza Gang of 8 immigration bill that they’ve lost sight of the big picture?)
One more thing, if you are unfamiliar with the term agit-prop, head over to The People’s Cube for an education.