We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The Semantics of Terrorism
As far as I know, no one has written a better book exposing the uses of terrorism propaganda and its actual application by US Empire actors than Herman and Gerry O’Sullivan, The “Terrorism” Industry: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror (1990). This essay is founded on that seminal work.
The use of propaganda to serve Western ruling classes and their interests of profits and power has been an extremely important weapon aimed at us ordinary people ever since their unexpected and wildly successful campaign to transform the isolationist attitudes of the vast majority of Americans to one of support for US entry into WWI on the side of Britain and France. This was undertaken largely because major US banks had lent large amounts to both countries and by late 1916 they feared that they would lose repayments on these loans if Britain and France lost the war. (See my commentary in a previous article here for the details.)
Since then the industry of propaganda, which the ruling class renamed as "public relations", greatly expanded to manage the consent/dissent of US citizenry for other purposes, both political and business. Such practices were soon picked up by other Western countries, most notably by Nazi Germany under the direction of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. This article examines the history of how citizens of the US-led Empire have been deceived by focusing on only one major theme, "terrorism", that their ruling classes have used to manage the consent/dissent of their citizens for their imperialist policies.