Archive for the ‘Media’ category

A christmas message from Alex Jones to put fire into your belly

December 18, 2007

Not really a Christmas message, but certainly puts fire in yer belly! We should certainly have this spirit when confronting the apathy today in regards to politics and to give the people of this country again a vision of how good a people we could be if we put are minds to it.

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Interesting article on the break up of Yugoslavia

December 2, 2007

An interesting article on the lies surrounding the break up of Yugoslavia. Don’t believe that the British government looks after your interests especially in their attempts to establish a hardline Muslim state in Europe. In years to pass will the same fate befall the United Kingdom? Especially pertinent since there appears to be a wave of new ethnic cleansing descending onto Kosovo, with tens of thousands of terrified Serbs getting ready to flee their ancestral homeland.

 

The Breakup of Yugoslavia

 

By Evangelos Mahairas
Beginning in 1990 Germany and the United States sought and achieved the breakup of Yugoslavia in two stages—1992-1995 and 1998-1999. The German government aimed at this division because it wanted to include as territory of its “vital interest” Slovenia and Croatia, the most economically developed states of the Yugoslavian confederation. These states were old allies in the Second World War (the Ustashi fascist group in Croatia and the nationalists in Slovenia). Through them Germany would achieve access to the Adriatic Sea.The United States was interested in the more recently established states (Bosnia, Serbia, the former Socialist Republic of Macedonia), which controlled the only route from east to west and from north to south though the Balkan mountains. The Balkan area, along with Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Arab nations, forms a European-Middle East bloc, which the United States wants to control (including the former states of the Soviet Union—Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan) for the complete exploitation of the great oil resources of the Caspian Sea.

 

Toward accomplishing this goal, one year before the dissolution of the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia—specifically, on November 5, 1990—the Congress of the United States passed bill 101-513 concerning “appropriation of funds for operations abroad.” A paragraph in this bill specifically devoted to Yugoslavia initiated that country’s dissolution. In a single order, completely without forewarning, the United States cut off all forms of credit and loans to Yugoslavia in the event that within six months separate elections did not take place in each state of the federation.

 

As a consequence, Yugoslavia—no longer able to conduct foreign trade—was condemned to commercial bankruptcy, which reinforced the divisive tendency of its states, especially that of the stronger. Another crucial reason for the split was a provision in the bill that states holding separate elections would receive direct economic aid (not channeled through the federation). A third provision stated that even if separate elections did not take place, the United States could (openly now, and in addition to actions of the CIA and other secret services) economically support “democratic” factions or movements by way of “emergency humanitarian aid and promotion of human rights.” Finally, a fourth provision obliged the American representatives in all international organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, etc., to use their vote and influence to have their organizations apply the particulars of the bill.

 

The United States funded the states so as to dissolve the federation. The U.S. also supported parties and movements that would promote this process. Meanwhile, Germany shipped arms to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also trained “revolutionary corps” in special German camps to be sent into the states at the proper time to face federal forces.

 

In February 1991, on the initiative of Germany and with the support of countries decisively influenced by the U.S., like Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands, the European Community backed the U.S. decision: If Yugoslavia did not announce multi-party elections, it would face economic isolation.

 

In the meantime, Croatian and Slovenian fascist associations in the U.S., Germany and Austria solicited money and arms, which they sent to the northern Yugoslavian states. In March of 1991, fascist organizations in Croatia demonstrated, calling for the overthrow of the socialist government and the expulsion of all Serbs from Croatia. On March 5, 1991, they attacked the federal army base at Gospic. Thus, civil war began.

 

On June 25, 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence. In Croatia the extreme right wing party, “Democratic Union,” seized power. This party used the flag, emblems, and slogans of the pro-Nazi Ustashi party. Citizenship, property rights, employment, retirement benefits and passports were granted only to Croats and to no other ethnic group. Thus, 300,000 Serbs who were under threat armed themselves.

 

Federal forces intervened in Slovenia, where units of the autonomous militia had taken over posts on the Italian, Austrian and Hungarian borders. At once, on Germany’s initiative, the European Community threatened the federal government with economic sanctions and obliged it to withdraw its forces, given that within three months Slovenia and Croatia would undertake independence and participate in negotiations for a “peaceful solution.”

 

Of course the negotiations failed, and these two states, armed by Germany, officially declared their independence in October 1991. First Germany hastened to accord diplomatic recognition; then the other European countries and the USA, as well as the European Community in January 1992.

 

This recognition of independence reinforced the tendency to separation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Muslim party, headed by Aliya Izetbegovic, was in charge there. Its program was the establishment of theocratic Muslim rule and the expulsion of Serbs and Croats from Bosnia. Serbs were then thirty-one percent of the Bosnia population. Supported by Serbia and ethnic groups, they were prepared for conflict, ready to oppose whatever the European Community presented to Cyrus Vance from the USA and Lord Owen of the European Community as a “peace plan for Bosnia.”

 

In the meantime, the UN Security Council, with the approval of Motion Number 757/1992, established sanctions against the Yugoslavian Federation as responsible for civil war within its territory. In May 1992, the UN General Assembly granted membership to Slovenia and Croatia, and on September 22, 1992, it expelled the Yugoslavian Federation. The result of these acts was the cessation of operations by the Yugoslavian Army against Slovenia and Bosnia. The civil war, however, continued till 1995.

 

In 1993, American officers undertook training of the Croatian army, which was now armed by the United States. In return the U.S. received bases on the Croatian islands of the Adriatic. American officers also took on training the Bosnian army as well as directing operations against the Bosnian Serbs who were besieging Sarajevo. Finally, NATO intervened supporting Bosnia with bombing from 1993 to 1995. NATO’s pressure forced the Bosnian Serbs, who were also pressured by Milosevic, to accept the conducting of “peace negotiations” at Dayton, Ohio, where a neo-colonial agreement was drawn up involving two points—the establishment of a strong force of 60,000 NATO troops in Bosnia and the writing of the “Bosnian Constitution.”

 

According to this Constitution, Bosnia was made up of three democratic states—Muslim, Croat and Serbo-Bosnian—under the supreme authority of the Swedish official appointed by the UN Security Council, who had full executive powers in all matters and even the right to reject the decisions of the three local governments as well as to overrule the prime ministers and the appointed ministers. This supreme official would work in close cooperation with the Supreme Military Council as well as with various sources of funding or gifts. The Security Council, in turn, appointed an “Associate Director of Police” who would be under the head Director and would have a force of 1,700 policemen at his disposal.

 

The economic policies of the country would be controlled by the officers of Bretton Woods and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. The first Director of the Central Bank of the country was appointed by the International Monetary Fund. And neither he nor those succeeding him would be citizens of Bosnia or Herzegovina, or of a neighboring state.

 

On August 3, 1995, Croat forces supported by the U.S. and headed by an American general launched a decisive attack in Krajina, expelling 300,000 Serbs, killing 14,000 people, and burning tens of thousands of Serbian homes as well as Orthodox churches and monasteries.the

 

role of nato

 

According to a statement of the Pentagon published in the New York Times on March 8, 1992, “The first aim [of the United States] is to block the appearance of a new adversary. … First, the U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. … Finally, we must also maintain the necessary means to overthrow potential adversaries, ambitious to attain a broader local or global role.” In Europe, specifically, this plan foresees that: “It is of fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the primary instrument of Western defense and security as well as a channel of exercising American influence and its participation in issues of European security. … We must seek to prevent the emergence of European-only security arrangements which would undermine NATO.”

 

Applying these views, the United States torpedoed the European Community’s proposals for the peaceful solution of the Bosnian problem (the Vance-Owen plan of 1992 and the Vance-Stolemberg plan of 1993) in order to impose its own plan (the Dayton Agreement).

 

In the meantime, bases were established in Albania, the former Socialist Republic of Macedonia and Hungary, and NATO aimed to extend its sphere to the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, for the full encirclement of Russia and the access of the United States to the Caspian Sea. According to American journalists, the Danube is more important for Europe than the Mississippi is for commerce in the United States. Thus, all the countries in the Danube valley must be brought under the NATO umbrella and thereby under the influence (and exploitation) of the USA.

 

This is the reason that, although the Yugoslavian Federation had essentially broken up in 1995 (Serbia and Montenegro alone remained in the federation), any peaceful settlement in Bosnia was excluded and NATO intervention took place, resulting in the total success of American plans for its dominance in the Balkans. The Serbian opposition persisted, however. It had to be eliminated.

 

For this purpose the United States, Germany, Austria and other countries armed ethnic Albanian groups. In Kosovo and southern Serbia units of the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (UCK are the initials in Albanian) had been forming with uniforms and arms provided by the U.S. Army, funded by the CIA as well as international aid. A continuous flow of arms and military supplies came from Germany.

 

Because these units were not strong enough to defeat the Serbian forces, the Western forces developed unprecedented propaganda concerning supposed genocide against the Albanians in the Kosovo area. They finally decided on direct NATO intervention with horrendous aerial bombardment (31,000 bombs, ammunition with depleted uranium), which forced Serbia to submit.

 

Western propaganda, as it had been throughout the Bosnian civil war, was as effective as the depleted uranium weapons. There were daily reports in all the mass media against Serbia, involving, for example, the bomb that exploded in a Sarajevo market (which finally proved to be an act of provocation to invite NATO intervention). Their accusations of the rape of Muslim women, which from the fall of 1992 to the spring of 1993 scandalized western news broadcasts citing figures of 100,000, but finally with research reduced significantly to 40,000, later to 4,000 and finally to only seven women who testified to being victims.

 

These false or exaggerated reports provoked widespread outrage in western public opinion and among blindfolded “human welfare organizations,” which saw criminal acts only on the part of Bosnian Serbs. The Muslims and Croat militaries were presented as angelic in behavior, even though they executed unarmed Serbs, raped women, and burned homes, churches and monasteries. It is significant that in the Special Tribunal formed to judge war crimes in Bosnia, sixty Serbs were indicted but only six Bosnians and Croats.

 

In turn, regarding Kosovo the Western media reported that the Serbs expelled 300,000 ethnic Albanians, committed mass killings of unarmed citizens and all sorts of atrocities. Finally it was shown that prior to the NATO bombings only some 20,000 to 25,000 people had taken refuge in Albania and the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. After the onset of the bombing more than 250,000 ethnic Albanians had fled to save themselves from the bombs. As for genocide, the “mass graves” about which there were daily references in the Western media were never found.

 

To be sure, there was the atrocity of Srebrenica, but on the opposing side there were the atrocities of Bihac and Krajina, about which not a word appeared in the Western press, just as there were no references either during the course of its militia action or after the bombing to the crimes of the UCK against Serbs and other ethnic groups in Kosovo, which the UCK called “police duties”! These actions put into effect the total removal of Serbs, Gypsies, Turks and Jews from Kosovo through killings, burning of villages, churches and monasteries, and unprecedented terrorism.

 

But for the UCK there, “purification of Kosovo” was not enough. Its action was extended to the area of Presovo (southern Serbia), though without success, since there the UCK faced the Serbian army, and to the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. There of course the UCK would disband with the complete cooperation of NATO, the USA and the European Community. The problem was whether the UCK would stop there or extend its action. That depended on the U.S. agenda for the region. The UCK could have been used as a means of exerting pressure on Greece to compromise on the issues of Cyprus and the Aegean Sea. Greece’s allies had been habitually involved in such “friendly” actions from the time of the establishment of modern Greece up to today.

 

the role of the un security council

 

For the illegal (criminal) acts of NATO in Yugoslavia, enormous responsibilities are borne by the United Nations Security Council, which violated virtually all the regulations of Articles 44-50 of the UN Charter. According to Article 46 of the Charter, plans to use armed force will depend on the Security Council in consultation with the Committee of the Military Council of Article 47. This power is not relegated to NATO or “any other” military alliance. The Military Council of the UN would never permit the use of bombs with depleted uranium or bombing of unarmed civilians, schools, nurseries, hospitals and churches, as NATO did in Yugoslavia.

Moreover, the Security Council established the ad hoc International Tribunal to judge war crimes in Bosnia and Kosovo. But the UN Charter nowhere provides the right to establish such a court. Article 92 founded the International Court based in The Hague. Its members are elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council from a list of the permanent Administrative Court that was founded by The Hague agreement of 1907.

 

This Administrative Court can assemble a unit that can render judgments concerning a particular issue, in agreement, however, with regulations (Article 26, par. 3, of its charter). The expenses of this court would be covered by the UN in a manner determined by the General Assembly.

 

Thus, the Security Council does not have the right to establish an ad hoc court. That Court is illegal. It is a court of expediency and its mission was to serve the political purposes of the powers that supported its establishment. It is significant that its expenses are covered not by the United Nations but by “benefactors” from the U.S., from multi-national corporations and entrepreneurs like George Soros! The manner of establishment and funding also belies its manner of functioning.

 

Milosevic’s abduction in violation of the Constitution and justice system of Yugoslavia was the first step. The justice system would be completely put to shame in what followed. However, the greatest crime of the U.S. and its followers (Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy) was the debasing of the UN. The next step will be its dissolution. For the hopes of the peoples as expressed in the prologue of its charter are not in agreement with the imperialist “New World Order.”

 

“We the Peoples of the United Nations, determined to save coming generations from the scourge of war, which twice during our time brought insufferable pain to mankind; once more proclaiming our belief in human rights, in human dignity and worth, in equal rights of men and women and large and small nations, we unite our efforts to achieve these goals.”

The imperialists, however, desire global rule and not the equality of small and large nations. They wish to impose their will with war using bombardment and any other criminal means (Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia, Yugoslavia and later). From their position in the UN they license NATO as the supreme arbiter of all international crises over the length and breadth of the earth, though it is not an international organization but a military alliance of Western forces.

Evangelos Mahairas was president of the Association of Athens Lawyers (Bar Association) Athens from 1981-1984, honorary president since 1985, elected in 1986 president of the Greek Peace Movement and in 1990 president of the World Peace Council. He is a fighter for peace, human rights and the environment.

From book HIDDEN ADENDA, U.S./NATO TAKEOVER OF YUGOSLAVIA, which this piece is excerpted.

Free speech stifled in oxford

November 20, 2007

The authorities are again scare-mongering over the appearance of ‘holocaust denying’ historian and the BNP head Nick Griffin over a debate at the Oxford University Student union. Rumors of a ‘clash’ between far-right thugs and left wing activists have been circulating in the press recently. It is funny that whenever people that have an opposing view of ‘normal’ conventions and wish to publicly air their views, they are immediately subject to a tide of messages aimed at causing a moral conflict in the population. You either engage with the established politicians and academics that know best of you are against.

Even if you disagree in their views, surely they have the right to air them if no laws are broken?

Anyway sad day for the freedom of speech when all forms of debate are stiffled(see earlier post about channel 4 dispatches documentary) . Britain is becoming a crazy place where all sorts of expressions are self censored by the population at large after years of PC conditioning. Even if you disagree with what these people say let them say it. They are not members of any banned organization, have they committed a crime?

I am neither right nor left, but I will try to defend their right to speak. As should be the right of all people. The Jewish community has played their card in this too by voicing their concerns over the presence of these people and what they represent. I don’t mind them voicing their concerns, but that should not be the reason to stop this meeting. The history of Jewish culture and the sadness of what happened in the holocast should not be the reason to kill free speach. That would become a self imposed censorship, something I am sure the Nazis would of loved.

Maybe they are nutcases, but at least don’t do the job of terrorists by destroying the freedom to voice your opinion whether it is right OR wrong.

The article is here

One last amusing footnote to this, is the fact that people in this article were complaining about the damage to Oxford Universities ‘Reputation’ this will have. As someone who has lived in Oxford, I think the Oxford University has already lost its reputation in the world when they embarked on the policy of prostituting itself to wealthy overseas students regardless of their academic achievements and at the expense of home students who are easily capable.

Police State tactics to surpress media documentary detailing radical preachers

November 19, 2007

An interesting article from the Daily Telegraph detailing a recent Channel 4 dispatches documentary documenting the culture of intolerance being preached in Mosques around Britain(namely Birmingham). The documentary shows preachers and worshipers furiously denouncing women as ‘deficient’, non-Muslims are attacked and Muslims are told that homosexuals should be thrown off mountains and killed.

Unhappy with the state of affairs in Britain the Police decided that they would launch a criminal investigation directed at Channel 4 and NOT the Muslims in question. One has to ask the question, what are the motivations behind such behavior. The articles mentioned the fact(which is true) that Muslims are forming into a strong political alliance in which the Labour party needs if it is too remain in power.

Unable to persue criminal preceedings against Channel 4 under ‘inciting racial hatred’ (WHO WAS PREACHING THE RACIAL HATRED HERE?) the police fall back on tactics obviously gleaned from Stalinist Russia to supress information that is in the public interest ever being shown. A complaint was lodged to OFCOM the Television Broadcasting regulator to block the transmission of the documentary.

Embarrassingly, for the police, OFCOM ruled in favour of Channel4 after viewing transmitted material and transmitted material, continued to judge that the broadcast was fair and impartial.

The reasons for these events are staggering, why in a country that seems to be a fruitful radicalization ground(forget about Afghanistan) with documentary evidence of the culture of hate being indoctorated into Muslim youth is nothing done about it. Why should the police then attempt to cover these facts up with the threat of legal action and censorship.

The government is walking a tight-rope on one hand engaging in policies in such areas as immigration, legislation in regards to terrorism and hate crimes, coupled with doctrines of capitalism that have little regard for long standing traditions and cultures; while simultaneously seducing the public with their tough stance on terror and intolerance.

Given the behavior of the police in trying to supress this documentary and afterwards NOTHING DONE TO DEPORT AND SEND HOME THESE PREACHERS OF HATE, it stands to reason that the government doesn’t want to do anything about this. Instead it is quite happy to let this pressure cooker simmer away until bursting point.

How long this can go on I do not know. The article can be read here.

Aldous Huxley – Propaganda In A Democratic Society

November 19, 2007

Propaganda in a Democratic Society

by Aldous Huxley

“The doctrines of Europe,” Jefferson wrote, “were that men in numerous associations cannot be restrained within the limits of order and justice, except by forces physical and moral wielded over them by authorities independent of their will. . . . We (the founders of the new American democracy) believe that man was a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights, and with an innate sense of justice, and that he could be restrained from wrong, and protected in right, by moderate powers, confided to persons of his own choice and held to their duties by dependence on his own will.” To post-Freudian ears, this kind of language seems touchingly quaint and ingenuous. Human beings are a good deal less rational and innately just than the optimists of the eighteenth century supposed. On the other hand they are neither so morally blind nor so hopelessly unreasonable as the pessimists of the twentienth would have us believe. In spite of the Id and the Unconscious, in spite of endemic neurosis and the prevalence of low IQ’s, most men and women are probably decent enough and sensible enough to be trusted with the direction of their own destinies. Democratic institutions are devices for reconciling social order with individual freedom and initiative, and for making the immediate power of a country’s rulers subject to the ultimate power of the ruled. The fact that, in Western Europe and America, these devices have worked, all things considered, not too badly is proof enough that the eighteenth century optimists were not entirely wrong. Given a fair chance, I repeat; for the fair chance is an indispensible prerequisite. No people that passes abruptly from a state of subservience under the rule of a despot to the completely unfamiliar state of political independence can be said to have a fair chance of being able to govern itself democratically. Liberalism flourishes in an atmosphere of prosperity and declines as declining prosperity makes it necessary for the government to intervene ever more frequently and drastically in the affairs of its subjects. Over-population and over-organization are two conditions which … deprive a society of a fair chance of making democratic institutions work effectively. We see, then, that there are certain historical, economic, demographic and technological conditions which make it very hard for Jefferson’s rational animals, endowed by nature with inalienable rights and an innate sense of justice, to exercise their reason, claim their rights and act justly within a democratically organized society. We in the West have been supremely fortunate in having been given a fair chance of making the great experiment in self-government. Unfortunately, it now looks as though , owing to recent changes in our circumstances, this infinitely precious fair chance were being, little by little, taken away from us. And this, of course, is not the whole story. These blind impersonal forces are not the only enemies of individual liberty and democratic institutions. There are also forces of another, less abstract character, forces that can be deliberately used by power-seeking individuals whose aim is to establish partial or complete control over their fellows. Fifty years ago, when I was a boy, it seemed completely self-evident that the bad old days were over, that torture and massacre, slavery, and the persecution of heretics, were things of the past. Among people who wore top hats, traveled in trains, and took a bath every morning such horrors were simply out of the question. After all, we were living in the twentieth century. A few years later these people who took daily baths and went to church in top hats were committing atrocities on a scale undreamed of by the benighted Africans and Asiatics. In the light of recent history it would be foolish to suppose that this sort of thing cannot happen again. It can and, no doubt, it will. But in the immediate future there is some reason to believe that the punitive measures of 1984 will give place to the reinforcements and manipulations of Brave New World.

There are two kinds of propaganda – rational propaganda in favor of action that is consonant with the enlightened self-interest of those who make it and those to whom it is addressed, and non-rational propaganda that is not consonant with anybody’s enlightened self-interest, but is dictated by, and appeals to, passion. Were the actions of individuals are concerned there are motives more exhalted than enlightened self-interest, but where collective action has to be taken in the fields of politics and economics, enlightened self-interest is probably the highest of effective motives. If politicians and their constituents always acted to promote their own or their country’s long-range self-interest, this world would be an earthly paradise. As it is, they often act against their own interests, merely to gratify their least credible passions; the world, in consequence, is a place of misery. Propaganda in favor of action that is consonant with enlightened self-interest appeals to reason by means of logical arguements based upon the best available evidence fully and honestly set forth. Propaganda in favor of action dictated by the impulses that are below self-interest offers false, garbled or incomplete evidence, avoids logical argument and seeks to influence its victims by the mere repetition of catchwords, by the furious denunciation of foreign or domestic scapegoats, and by cunningly associating the lowest passions with the highest ideals, so that atrocities come to be perpetrated in the name of God and the most cynical kind of Realpolitik is treated as a matter of religious principle and patriotic duty.

In John Dewey’s words, “a renewal of faith in common human nature, in its potentialities in general, and in its power in particular to respond to reason and truth, is a surer bulwark against totalitarianism than a demonstration of material success or a devout worship of special legal and political forms.” The power to respond to reason and truth exists in all of us. But so, unfortunately, does the tendency to respond to unreason and falsehood – particularly in those cases where falsehood evokes some enjoyable emotion, or where the appeal to unreason strikes some answering chord in the primitive, subhuman depths of our being. In certain feilds of activity men have learned to respond to reason and truth pretty consistently. The authors of learned articles do not appeal to the passions of their fellow scientists and technologists. They set forth what, to the best of their knowledge, is the truth about some particular aspect of reality, they use reason to explain the facts they have observed and they support their point of view with arguements that appeal to reason in other people. All this is fairly easy in the feilds of physical science and technology. It is much more difficult in the fields of politics and religion and ethics. Here the relevant facts often elude us. As for the meaning of the facts, that of course depends upon the particular system of ideas, in terms of which you choose to interpret them. And these are not the only difficulties that confront the rational truth-seeker. In public and in private life, it often happens that there is simply no time to collect the relevant facts or to weigh their significance. We are forced to act on insufficient evidence and by a light considerably less steady than that of logic. With the best will in the world, we cannot always be completely truthful or consistently rational. All that is in our power is to be as truthful and rational as circumstances permit us to be, and to respond as well as we can to the limited truth and imperfect reasoning offered for our consideration by others.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,” said Jefferson, “it expects what never was and never will be. . . . The people cannot be safe without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” Across the Atlantic another passionate believer in reason was thinking about the same time, in almost precisely similar terms. Here is what John Stuart Mill wrote of his father, the utilitarian philosopher, James Mill: “So complete was his reliance upon the influence of reason over the minds of mankind, whenever it is allowed to reach them, that he felt as if all would be gained, if the whole population were able to read, and if all sorts of opinions were allowed to be addressed to them by word or in writing, and if by the sufferage they could nominate a legislature to give effect to the opinions they had adopted.” All is safe, all would be gained! Once more we hear the note of eighteenth-century optimism. Jefferson , it is true, was a realist as well as an optimist. He knew by bitter experience that the freedom of the press can be shamefully abused. “Nothing,” he declared, “can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.” And yet, he insisted (and we can only agree with him), “within the pale of truth, the press is a noble institution, equally the friend of science and civil liberty.” Mass communication, in a word, is neither good nor bad; it is simply a force and, like any other force, it can be used either well or ill. Used in one way, the press, the radio and the cinema are indispensible to the survival of democracy. Used in another way, they are among the most powerful weapons in the dictator’s armory. In the field of mass communications as in almost every other field of enterprise, technological progress has hurt the Little Man and helped the Big Man. As lately as fifty years ago, every democratic country could boast a great number of small journals and local newspapers. Thousands of country editors expressed thousands of independent opinions. Somewhere or other almost anybody could get almost anything printed,. Today the press is still legally free; but most of the little papers have disappeared. The cost of wood pulp, of modern printing machinery and of syndicated news is too high for the Little Man. In the totalitarian East there is political censorship, and the media of mass communication are controlled by the State. In the democratic West there is economic censorship and the media of mass communication are controlled by members of the Power Elite. Censorship by rising costs and the concentration of communication power in the hands of a few big concerns is less objectionable than State ownership and government propaganda; but certainly it is not something of which a Jeffersonian democrat could possibly approve.

In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not forsee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies – the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.

In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distractions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were “solemn and rare,” there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the performances, though infrequent, were somewhat monotonous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainment – from poetical dramas to gladitorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concerts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distraction now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In Brave New World non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature (the feelies, orgy-porgy, centrifugal bumblepuppy) are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resemble one another in being most decidedly “not of this world.” Both are distractions and, if lived in too continuously, both can become, in Marx’s phrase, “the opium of the people” and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in the calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metephysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those who would manipulate and control it.

In their propaganda today’s dictators rely for the most part on repetition, supression and rationalization – the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the supression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in the interests of the Party or the State. As the art and science of manipulation come to be better understood, the dictators of the future will doubtless learn to combine these techniques with the non-stop distractions which, in the West, are now threatening to drown in a sea of irrelevance the rational propaganda essential to the maintenance of individual liberty and the survival of democratic institutions.