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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Monday, November 19, 2007

Propaganda Study - The Seven Signals. Dive! Dive! And More As They Emerge.

Propaganda Techniques - The Basic Seven.

This propaganda topic overview is updated from time to time as new techniques are spotted. For example, add these as you find them:  Swiftboating, Repetition, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), Purposeful Confusion, and propaganda by Subtext, in ads: quick sightings of the otherwise unsayable, and getting the message across strongly nonetheless.

Propaganda. Start It and The Word Spreads.

Start your own education with the classics -- // The lists are laid out clearly there, and date from 1937 or so. Other propaganda components have emerged since then, listed at the end here as they show their teeth.

The propagandacritic site, with its basic 7, stems from the work of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis 1937, organized to alert the American Public about propaganda techniques. Look up the techniques from that site, at //  They have been used by other governments, and our own, since World War I.
Then join us in a round of "you know."

You know it's propaganda when you hear, and this is their list:

1. "Name-calling" - see Name-calling as propaganda technique. Examples: Yale frat boys (losing when it comes to competition on merit?) resort to calling Yale women students "sluts", see Yale Frat Boys. See also the n word, b word, any ethnic characterization word, etc.

2. "Glittering Generalities" - see Glittering Generalities as propaganda technique. War critics are unpatriotic.

3. "Transfer" - see Transfer - appeal to the positive emotion connected to an earlier circumstance to a new one by claiming association. Propaganda technique. Nine-eleven.

4. "Testimonial" - see Testimonial as propaganda technique. Endorsements.

5. "Plain folks" - see Plain Folks appeals as propaganda technique. Like the photos of people in the diner with the candidate.

6. "Card-stacking" - see Putting your people in decision-making positions, then touting their decisions.

7. "Bandwagon " - see Bandwagon. appeals as propaganda technique.

These titles are from the Institute for Propaganda Analysis (see overview at Propaganda Critic at // and as repeated in other sites here.



The 20th-21st Centuries; Amended List. Growing and limited only by the imaginations, more sophistocated techinques, and machinations of the persuaders. Now: add

8. "FUD" for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt - the phrase coined in the 1970's by IBM in order to undermine the work of a competitor. See Joy of Equivocating, FUD - Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. See also :// FUD depends on emotion for a sales decision, to make it or prevent it - an embodiment of the concept we now call "Emoticon Dominance," see Joy of Equivocating, Emoticon Dominance, Legend Superseding Facts. And Joy of Equivocating: Preparing for Ongoing Equivoction -Spotting FUD; Joy of Equivocating">Joy of Equivocating: FUD - The Three Swords of the Manipulator;

9. The Swiftboat Effect. See Hello Fodder, Propaganda Technique, Swiftboat Effect. Take one idea, distort it out of its context, conceal or deny contrary facts, and press your skewed conclusion until someone buys it. Swiftboating can be by literalism, ignoring the "figure of speech" context and complaining that a rhetorical exaggeration should be taken literally, or by other mispresentation. Look up figures of speech at :// so you can spot them, and defend against the propagandists who will argue that the exaggeration for effect is to be taken literally.

10.  Purposeful confusion.  This is like transfer:  take the best of what the other side has to offer, and claim it as your own. We are the party of transparency!  Buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

11. Propaganda by Subtext. Here we refer to the ads that use imagery and words that evoke messages geared to associate a negative, or a fearful, to an otherwise ordinary message.

Take, for example, in the 2008 election, putting Barack Obama in the same commercial with white gorgeous (at least, cute) young women known for flaunting their bods. The verbal message is indeed neutal and not sexual - Obama is just a celebrity as they are celebrities.

But take away the sound, and the nonverbal message is black man and white young women, and this needs to stop.

Or, Barack Obama with words on the ad that are evocative of all the anti-Christ and novels about that - watch out, here he is. Suggest he is Muslim, and worse because he is secretive about it. All that is deniable. Those words and specific associations are not made. Just impled, hit you in the face, suggested and even the illustrations match. Eminent propaganda, Propaganda by subtext, just below conscious, but effective because it is below the radar. .


Your job if you are a thinking citizen.

Fix. Fix the list. Fix it in your head. Fix one on every wall, in every schoolroom, home, bus, subway, airport, slipouts in magazines, wallet-size cards, TV, and any electronic device, over which words lure us in like carnivorous plants.

Reading list. Other sites on the topic: See ://
"Response-ible Rhetorics: Exploring Rhetoric and Responsible Action," at // George Mason University people, Andy McDonald and Lene Palmer, put out this website analyzing propaganda. George Mason U. is at Fairfax, VA .

Find sections including Roots of Propaganda, and its Rise, Purpose and Techniques. There is a bibliography there, and reference to the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, the founder Edward Filene, and Filene's basic categorization of propaganda into these basics. See ://

Additional techniques listed at the site, and from the Institute: see ://

Sales. Propaganda is catchy. It gets remembered; and passed on. So watch those emails and weed them out.

Ideas, things, relationships. Public relations and communications techniquess geared to persuade you, by keeping you from thinking further. Our little personal emoticons, see, get so swept up that we don't bother to think past the visceral response.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Looking At Leaders and What Is Fostered - Educated, Willing Followers; or More Consumers

The Role of Leader

People make money off this issue. Look at the seminars. One defines good leadership by the willingness of the followers. Then come these qualities: 

Vision: make it, communicate it, take responsibility for it and drive it home. Discipline, passion about the issue, action, inspiration. See article by David Hakata, ://  Integrity. Consistent with inner values. Honesty, predictability, control. Dedication. Do what it takes to do it. Magnanimity. Humble, Open, Creative. Fair, assertive, fun - relieves tension.

Good list.

Add this dilemma:  The dilemma of any leader: to serve the long-term interest of the many, or the short-term interest of the few. With any long-term matter, there is uncertainty of outcome. And the resistance of those who need a firm position and assurance instead - eager to follow the one who will fill in the blanks. See our fear of fog at Joy of Equivocating.

Discuss "consistency" further. This overall issue is addressed by Hakata's "integrity."  But the discussion only touches the surface.

We hear that a change of position to meet a changing need is political death. We disagree. So long as whatever position is taken is consistent with inner values, then it is not merely to meet a political expediency.  A good leader can indeed alter plans to meet new needs. It is a matter of defining "consistency" to mean consistency with inner values, not with positions once taken that now are not appropriate.

Role of current events or claims, on leadership:  Fear is a great distractor.

Any leader beset with a climate of fear, uncertainty and doubt has to address those with confidence and plan.  Followers who are distracted cannot follow.

Heck, can't even get up.

A leader must address the rumor mills, set facts straight, keep moving.

A leader who is not also government has a particular problem.

A government marketing an ideology is not the same as a leader with vision.  A government marketing ideology will foster the consumers among us, who do not want to be interrupted in their lifestyles, just let them buy in and they will go back to their business. How can a leader without that bully pulpit promote another vision. An ideology needs a distracted citizenry. A true leader without the force of government needs willing followers, and that means information, inclusion, respect.  

Women leaders.  Another issue.  Is it true that they need more empathy ability, flexibility, interpersonal skills than men, and probably already have much of that. Understand, support, value. Men can skip much of that, Is that so?  Probably true, for now. But not an insurmountable issue.  See ://

Extractor leaders in the bushes:  Those serve themselves and their cronies, and promote the fodder status of those who can be used. And marginalize the fiduciary-minded. A government that rather serves the public interest will foster fiduciary, civic-minded citizens. Proof of puddings.

Leadership - Learned Behavior. See "Black Collegian" at :// the people, the extractors will block any move from fodder or consumer status to fiduciary-mindedness. And leaders freely use third parties to plead causes, while the figurehead steps behind safely, but applauding. Our choice.

Looking at Leaders, Governments, Whatever Steers the People: The Dance

Social roles in the great dance.


Who is asking you to dance and why?

Here come the Marketers, for their own purposes, or on your behalf, to enhance your wellbeing in some way; to promote a view or response in a partisan way, without accountability or transparency as to process; or with full disclosure.

Perhaps the wooer is a fiduciary, seeking a common good, transparency, consensus stability without force where that can be done reasonably, a movable concept. People dance with the partners they choose.

How do other people's leaders interact with their people? Try reading Harry Potter. Your children are. The great battle themes, and rulers vs. the people, there are universals. The peace that finally sets in lasts only 19 years - about the same time between the World Wars. Not much time. A sequel in the making. Start a dialogue - the battle course in Potter to the news. The qualities of leaders, both sides, and our own.

Articulate your own position out loud, even if no-one else is interested. It focuses thinking. Sometimes. Concluding so far: the least violent and punitive choice, the narrow way, despite the drive for revenge or taking pleasure in power, works. Can we start at home - every choice that impacts another being to be the narrowest one. It is enough, as Harry found. At least until the next 19-year cycle starts.

Small afterthought: Isn't it true: that any violence, or compulsion, against anyone, for any reason, goes against the teachings and life of the main religious namesakes? For western theologians, reread and see if you find the main person to have forced any one, to any path, ever. Did that person not lay out the choice, let the person choose, no chasing or punishing or judging.

Looking at Fodder, Expendables. Knock Knock, Go they. Nobody home. Social roles.

FODDER. The fodder group represents the cultural expendables du jour. "Inferior or readily available materials used to satisfy a particular demand." See // No clout.

Here, the Berlin Wall, where the fodder from the Eastern sector were mowed down.

People as fodder experience a range of treatment: from the passive - where they are ignored - to the deadly - where crimes are committed against them, the hate crime target. Fodder are culturally considered out of the loop. The bug under the boot. Those trying to get to the dock, only to be left behind, or seen as deserving to be left behind.

Refugees are often fodder, when time goes by and they are still there. Along this section of the Berlin Wall, how many died along its length, or while kept behind. Fodder is the ultimate bottom rung in the ladder idea, of who's on top, who's not. Fodder is kept from getting a firm hold on even that bottom rung. For literature stemming from those with that experience historically, see Hello Fodder, Racial Fodder, England . Appalling experiences, and from news, being repeated globally - meet there: Francis Barber, Randolph Turpin, David Oluwale, from the book, "Foreigners," by Caryl Phillips, Knopf NY 2007.

1. For static fodder, staying in one place, their economic or social services may well be indispensable, but are not valued. Traveling gypsies, for example, with trades that they brought with them to communities, then moved on. See Gypsies, Roma, and the fodder references in literature at Gypsies, Roma, Fodder post.

2. Hate crime targets. Others are targets for hate crimes by the majority. Sometimes this stems from a cultural memory of who was enslaved, such as Gypsies in Romania, and the collective idea that those 400 years created an irrevocable under-caste persists, regardless. You still can do what you want with them, with impunity.

3. Those who refuse or fail to assimilate as directed. Staying apart from the mainstream helped some survive. Women and children on the road with the men out of sight - that may forestall an attack that the man's presence could bring on, if they were lucky. See "Bury Me Standing," at ____. The desire not to assimilate has prompted outrage. Jews, Gypsies. See Gypsies, Roma; Petr Ginz, Lens and Legacy. Others may try to assimilate, but their appearance sets them apart.

4. The poor. Fodder can include regular people who are trying to meet their basic needs, but just not making it. Or kept from making it. Fodder are heavily targeted, especially by the "extractors" among us - a thousand years of attacks on, for example, Gypsies, Roma, Romani. Fodder are also attacked by consumers who like things the way they are, so long as they are set on their own rung, and fault poverty - get a job, while not looking at the traps in place. Governments put people in fodder lines, as in a holocaust or ethnic cleansing setting, or immigrants in a time of transition and before a society catches up. All fodder is stuck.

5. Soldiers ill-equipped or ill-used. Soldiers can be fodder when they are marched in front of the artillery. See the Soldier's Mutiny of 1917, Verdun, World War I, post at World Wars I and II: Sites, Stories. Or sent off without armor. Or people can be fodder when they are sold flawed medicines, food, or products. Or their cost of goods rises and pushes them back into poverty or any reasonable excess over basic needs, while others' remuneration skyrockets. Big gaps. Fodder as the middle class? Maybe.

6. The murdered, for political or religious gain for others. Some in the fodder lines rise heroically regardless, or resist in the only ways left - including maintaining identity, or helping others in the line. Like Petr Ginz - the Prague child of mixed "blood" in the Nazi fodder lines - see post in The Places of Petr Ginz, re Mischling status. He was unable to get out, but resisted in the only ways left - maintaining his identity as a writer, artist and doer, as long as he could. Fodder does not mean fault. It can be circumstance.

7. The status fodder. Or fodder is a status - the disabled, the differently abled, the injured who can't get care, who have no choice in working conditions. Where there is no union, or other way to get clout, so the industries set the safety standards, and the workers have no say. All fodder.

8. Those injured by non-safety standards. More fodder. Capitalism rules.

9. Immigrants.
Here are people in their country of origin, Nigeria in the 1960's - did any migrate to other parts of the world, and how were they treated. For one appalling story, David Oluwale, see Hello, Fodder - Racial Fodder, England.

To a citizen-serving governments, no-one is or should be "fodder."

To marketer governments, however, fodder is good, for the deologues, consumers and extractors.

Social Groupings. Looking at Partisans, Loyalists. The Dedicated. Social Roles.

6. Social Groupings


If you choose us, then you are ours.

Does this grouping mean total loyalty, commitment to a viewpoint, plan of action. Little if any ongoing assessment after commitment made publicly, little likelihood of changing position. Loyalty to the group or leader is foremost. Fixed. Religious, political. Loyalists historically have supported the status quo, with revolutionaries or insurrectionists seeking change, as in the American Revolution. Is that still true? Not for partisans in WWII, Spain, Slovakia?

Banska Bistrica, Slovakia

See Slovakia Road Ways.

Partisans - here, in warfare. People sold on a particular cause, willing to fight to the death for it. Pros and cons, depending on who agrees with the partisan's view. When does the partisan serve the common good, and when a narrow self-interest of a persuasive leader.

For Eastern Europe, it was a saving that the partisans, and the Gypsies, came down from hiding in the mountains to fight the Nazis, at Banska Bistrica, Slovakia. This was so, even though the fight was manipulated and timed to suit the puppet government. The children of the area still see tanks every day they pass. There are the tanks from the Nazi fights. And there were Russian planes, one placed on museum grounds there.

For other nations, partisanship tears its fabric apart. People sold on ideas for the wrong reasons, by people who did not have a greater good in mind at all.

What is worth being a partisan about: For the US, several philosophies undergird the US nation, as its framework. We stem from partisans. It took partisans for us to become independent. See how they set the stage here, and whose ideas follow suit, according to the original partisan commitment, and whose do not. See For the US, there are clear frameworks for decisionmaking: and that is to serve the common good.

Washington Monument, Washington DC

Go to the Preamble to the Constitution, see, and look up each highlighted term. Or, without the look-ups,

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

From :// Emphasis added.

Then read the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock, at

Lincoln Memorial, 1947 or so, Washington DC

Then the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln, especially the last sentence, at "

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth." //

What is the place of force: Those documents authorize only that force which is clearly, demonstrably and narrowly, necessary to meet the immediate objective of survival and welfare needs, for enforcement of appropriate and just law, and for deterrence-defense.

Daniel Widing visits the Lincoln Memorial, 2009, Washington DC

Without that reluctance, what will be left of this for our children. So far, it is here. Somewhat. Years later.

It sounds like this: The mantle of elected office begins with a majority, but the elected official then must become fiduciary, for the common good, if the leader is to comply with our framework to serve the welfare of the people.

We flunk. A people left behind. Act.

Looking at Visionaries, Expressives. Creative Analysts. Social Roles.

Social Role

Some people are primarily Visionaries - Expressives - Analyists of Culture. These may be Founders in religious, political thought, but not necessarily those individuals or institutions who later identify with them.

These are often people in the arts, humanities, analyzing, figuring out, expressing themselves, putting it down. Not poll takers, and poll interpreters, creating interpretations for the market. Instead, people digging deep for human links.

These need not be brilliant. Most are ordinary people who put pieces together in their own ways, whether or not a "need" in the immediate community. Start in and have no idea where it will end up. Follow the dream. Discoverers. Often financial losers. Not interested much in ladders.

But, they are also consumers - leave me be. I like doing this. Silly bloggers blogging in the night because it is so satisfying, to the insomnient blogger, no matter who reads.

1. For a holiday with some fine expressives, go to the Boys Choir of Harlem - a free listen and enjoy - at to

2. Go see "Doubt" - the play by John Patrick Shanley (he won the Pulitzer Price and Tony) that has the great lines, "What do you do when you're not sure?" The universal of people who demand certainty, even fake certainty; over reality - we really won't and can't know.

Social Groupings. Looking at Consumers. Lifestylers. Don't Disturb.Social Role

Social Role
Social groupings.

Is this so:  That some people are primarily consumers - Lifestylers. Those who value redundancy, cumulative purchasing, consumerism: to attain or maintain a social rank or other superiority. Open to anything being sold - on any idea or thing that comes with a good sales technique. Goal is set. The wealthiest 30% in the world consume nearly 77% of what there is.  See "Global Issues" at ://
See recreational and psychological buying, looking for new products, protecting an ability to accumulate at will, valuing who has what, and then reaching for it to be on a par. Consumers may pay little attention to needs of others, so long as those needs do not impact on the consumer's desired lifestyle. How to create a consumer - see "Creating Consumers" also at Global Issues, ://
Car show, Kosice, Slovakia
World-wide consumerism, to be balanced with the need for information before buying. Here, a car show in Kosice, Slovakia, an ancient center of trade routes, cultural mixes.
Anti consumerism in beginning stages:  See "Overcoming Consumerism" at ://
A common-good government may well not survive with these kinds of people, who prefer to be consumers, uninterrupted in their lifestyles. Some, however, consider an alternate economy - see Verdant at ://
Marketing or extractive governments thrive on people who do no independent analysis, believe what is on the airwaves without seeking out original documents or sources, nobody accountable, politics as entertainment. Fear, uncertainy, doubt - the big FUD -keeps people in line. Hold tight. Be very afraid, just keep buying. Want it? Get it. Then on to the next want.
The discussion expands - if people return to valuing traditions, can they extricate themselves better from things?  See New York Times article at ://
Absorbing sales ideas can become a mindset. Hear, believe, buy.
The past as present. Look what was sold in WWI and WWII - the list includes nationalistic goals, suppression, repossession of old lands, supremacy, defense, supplies of materiel, etc. Some were worthy, more were not. Which roles foster which responses: "Citizens" challenge rhetoric. "Consumers" may well not. Consumers like the ladder idea to security. Hold on to your own rung, and kick out below. Is that right?

Looking at Citizens, Fiduciaries: Couldn't Wouldn't Won't Act Solely for Self. Social Role

CIVIC MINDED. There must be a way to serve the larger good. Community. You fall, I fall. I prosper, you prosper. Overall balances.

Some people are primarily "citizens" - Balancers. Fellow-citizen minded. Checking out the news. Staying balanced with a sense of humor, as the fellow here on break with the funnies. Those who weigh how to proceed, seeking a firm footing: considering the impact of actions on others, trying to do some good socially, to put self behind once in a while. The political civic-minded affirmatively seek and original sources for information and backup for statements, rather than relying on conclusory views of others. They value accountability, participation, mutuality, communication. The position a citizen takes may change from time to time - no hard ideologies - as the need for common good may change. Do not favor a ladder model, if life's goal is to scramble to the next rung up.

They are also usually exhausted. Burn out in time.

The dance: Fellow-citizen-oriented people do well with common-good governments, that seek to serve the the health and welfare of people, noone falling beneath a basic floor. Fellow-citizen-oriented people do not do well under a marketing government, selling a viewpoint benefiting some, rather than primarily serving the common good.

Looking at Extractors, Takers: I See Therefore I Can Get. Social role.


Some people who are primarily extractors - Takers. Profiteers, in any economic group. Those who follow an immediate and narrow self-interest, rather deferring in a meaningful way to a long-term stability or common good. This is good for me, and it is my job to get what is best for me.

Are these fair examples:

FCC. Government agency heads/ members who mold their regulations to suit their future employment or other financial prospects with the industries they regulate? The FCC changing access to multiple media views by allowing consolidations within markets - and what is the record of people moving out of the FCC into big jobs there?

FDA. Or the FDA. On and on.

Lobbies without transparency at all levels of influence asserted. Stuff, hiding in our capitol.

Imitators. Social Group that Follows. Social Role.


Security in following a leader, without independent investigation, assessment, fact-finding. Most secure in a group doing the same thing. Shield from other viewpoints.
Find celebrity and follow it.

Imitation runs from the frivolous and recreational (fashion at the discount store), to the pathological (groupies, celebrity addiction) and the dysfunctional - identity through what is consumed, or those who follow a religious or political partisan call without examination, careful examination.

Learning from roaches:

Roaches can be teachers here. They are a non-hierarchical society, who manage to organize their individual behavior to meet group requirements in ways that can even counter their instincts - to their group's detriment.

Roaches ordinarily herd toward the dark places to congregate, and sensing the group, stay there. But enough individuals instead will follow little pheromoned robots to a brighter place (less safe), and then most of the rest of the group will follow there also - perhaps to the group's detriment in the brighter lit area. See NYT 11/16/2007, at //

The article ends with the researchers suggesting this does not necessarily mean that the robots are all-powerful to the imitators, so the robots could also lead the imitators into really broad daylight or into insecticide, and that they are not interested in human extrapolations. Note also that not all remainder roaches, after the robots, follow the leader. Only about 60% do, but that is more than is needed to win an election so everybody may have to follow, even into the pesticide. Little feet up.

Dick Martin: "Blow in my ear and I'll follow you anywhere." See Laugh-In Quotes at :// Scroll down for it, past the bippies.

The Waiting Beast. Frog Words. Trust me. Elect me. Kiss me. Who's Fool.

Swamp beast waits. Come close.
Elect me because I ask.
Do this for me. Trust.

Election year swamp monster. Kiss me. Trust.

TV says trust me.
Do it, you poor thing. I'm rich.
I know what you need.

Next week, a panel.
After that, a board meeting.
While you carpool, Fool.

Swamp beast waits.
What if none of us show up.
Smarty's party. Zapped.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Edward Bernays and Uncle Sigmund Freud: A Founder of PR Tactics. Harnessing the Public Psyche

 Edward Bernays, 
Founder of Public Relations

Use of Freudian Principles in Sales 
(Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund)

Edward Bernays, a Nineteenth-Twentieth Century founder of Public Relations principles. 

Edward Bernays became a master of psychological salesmanship, and applied many concepts developed by his uncle, Sigmund Freud. Freud analyzed who we are, what are our thoughts made of, and what motivates us.  The "Father of Spin":  See ://www.

Sales techniques had been a sidelight of commercial activity.  Bernays brought them into the mainstream as an occupation on its own - PR.  Public Relations. Persuasion.  Freud was born in 1856 in Moravia.  He died in 1939 in England. Look where his ideas went. 

Bernays caused a miniboom in Ivory Soap, broke the taboo against women smoking in public, and even got a toast and coffee breakfast-eating country to believe that they needed bacon and eggs.  See Public Radio on Freud's Nephew and the Origins of Public Relations (Bernays) at ://  At that site, hear him discuss his ideas; and see him discuss propaganda at YouTube at ://   He called himself a Public Relations Counselor, not a propagandist. See also YouTube at ://  Uses of symbols and phrases - women smoking cigarettes became women with torches of freedom, etc.

How were Sigmund Freud's Precepts Used.

Look back at Sigmund Freud.  Freud studied, among other matters of the mind, how people put up defenses against having to see or hear what is unacceptable to them, even unawares.   Here is a video, on YouTube, about Freud, at ://  Use the theories to control the mass democracy of modern eras.  Manipulate the masses. Make people think they needed what they didn't, and link it to their subconscious desires, and watch them become docile.

If a salesperson can learn about the process of putting up defenses, and can get around them, the sale can be clinched.  See ://www. and find a long article by Dr. C. Edward Boeree on Freud.  Skim the first part, about the role of Freud's mentor's client, Anna O, who inspired many avenues of Freud's thinking, on how the mind works, and motivates.  The focus there was on  "hysteria", the origin of symptoms, the basis; and focus on these sections coming after, especially the Theory part.  More important is the process involved.   Also, for a quick overview to start, see Sparknotes on Freud at //

At the Webspace site, you will find

1. Freud's Biography.

2. Freud's Theory.  This is complex, but see if we have it right.  See how many avenues a salesperson can follow in selling ideas, thoughts, purchases.  Edward Bernays was exposed to all of them.  Components of the mind according to Freud, how it functions, what behavior results, and the defense mechanisms against seeing what we do not want to see.

Our minds have different components.  We have  a) a conscious mind;  the part that we are aware of and can follow our own thinking; and  b )a "preconscious" or "available memory" says Dr. Boeree; and
c) an unconscious - the part that motivates us, but we are unaware.

The mind functions in these ways:
  • ID - first the id - it likes the "pleasure principle" - instincts, drives
  • EGO - then the ego develops, and monitors the id - uses the "reality principle," problem solving
  • SUPEREGO - then the superego monitors the ego - uses conscience and "ego ideal"
Behavior can result from a variety of recurrent analytical concepts:
  • life instinct
  • death instinct
  • anxiety.   Anxiety can be realistic, or moral in its focus, and also neurotic - the id's pleasure principle underlies what happens in many cases. Can it overcome the anxiety....
But reality and problem solving, part of the ego, enter in to regulate the id.  Do we have it right so far?

Then, in response to the behavior, we all have ego defense mechanisms.  For example, if the Id convinces us that this behavior is good for us, and that is not so, eventually that "lie" emerges in some way, in another behavior whose root may be beyond the person's awareness.

This is the part that enters the advertising world.  Identify some need that a person has, aware or not, and meet it, and watch the person line up to get it.  The list of defenses that we have is a long one.  If an advertiser can scoot around the defenses, the person is vulnerable.

Defense mechanisms let someone distort reality so he or she can live with it -
  • See lists of defense mechanisms:  these are also complex, and the ideas are developed at the sites identified.   Better yet, go to this site for a plain-meaning discussion, at Changing Minds, at ://
denial - claim that what is true is actually false
repression - take an unacceptable urge and push it back into the unconscious
isolation, intellectualization
displacement - find a substitute target for the emotion
turning against self
projection - attribute something uncomfortable or unacceptable in oneself to others
altruistic surrender - live through other people
reaction formation - turn something into its opposite; overact to fear in the opposite way
undoing - like atonement?
introjection - identification. Incorporate aspects of another to forestall fears, etc.
identification with aggressor - (we call it 'the Stockholm Syndrome?')
regression - go back to acting like a child would act (tantrum, defiance, hitting)
rationalization - find plausible reasons for acting, even though they are false
sublimation - transform the unacceptable into an acceptable behavior

These result in an altered perception of reality that in turn reduces the tension or anxiety.  Is that so?  Give yourself a little course in all this at ://

Now - see how these ideas became applied to sales through the Nephew Supremo - Edward Bernays. 

Freud's theory goes on with stages of development, the personality types, not so important to sales here.

And a discussion of Therapy - how it is done, the stages, the clues

PR Mastermind Edward Bernays - Huckster Supreme

Meet Edward Bernays, the consultant to American business and political interests, the man whose life work focused on PR and making it its own profession. Public Relations in itself, selling anything, to anyone, regardless of any underlying merit,. Merit, worth selling? The product actually "good" for someone? Truth? That was someone else's concern. Let the games begin.

From this biography-review at

A mini-summary here --

1891 - Born in Vienna. Emigrated to NY at age 1. Became a journalist.

Promotional work. Watch his start. He helped an actor raise funds for a play dealing with a controversial topic, VD, back in 1913 by founding a group called "Sociological Fund Committee." Nice, neutral name. Got big name people to join in so that even censors could not object, and the play went on, and was a great aid to public awareness of an important issue. Went on to other performance promotions, including for Enrico Caruso.

1917 - "Committee on Public Information," another nice, neutral name for the US govt group set up to generate support for WWI involvement. "American Peace Commission" - worked with this in Paris.

1919 - Back to NY. He began to apply the techniques he learned while with the Committee on Public Information to business objectives. How to sell the public on products, ideas. Book review calls him the "world's first counsel on public relations," as opposed to the earlier people doing mere press relations. Continue to see
Read about his successes in promoting

1) Venita hair nets. He saw women bobbing their hair, which jeopardized the hair net market, so he promoted long hair again for women, even fostering legislation for job safety for the long hair on the job (it passed), and for the sake of selling (requiring on the job) hair nets;

2) Ivory soap and its whiteness but no perfume, by promoting soap carving contests and school kids doing it all over the country, and its floatability by holding a soap boat in Central Park. This is fun, guys. This chap's brilliant!

3) The green in the Lucky Strike packs. Promoting smoking ladies. The Fashionista approach. Ladies didn't like the green in Lucky Strike's packs, so he promoted a change in the fashion world so green would be It, and it was in 1934. Lucky Strike didn't have to change its color.

4) The electrical industry's light bulb, on its 50th anniversary in 1929. Even a president honored Thomas Edison.

5) On to General Motors, CBS, NAACP and Columbia U. Then the publicity director for the World's Fair in NY 1939.

6) This source points out other campaigns that appear to be Bernays, but much documentation is held by industry and not released - paving over America, and beer as the "beverage of moderation," see

7) And rehabilitating the image of faltered presidents , see

His books and writing:

a. 1923 "Crystallizing Public Opinion"

b. 1952 "Public Relations"

c. 1955 "The Engineering of Consent"

Died in 1995 at age 103. Fair use quote from the review:

Fair use quote from and emphases added -

Quote - Neal Gabler wrote in his Bernays retrospective in New York Times Magazine, "he not only taught generations of persuaders how to sway public opinion...' but he was, in the cultural historian Ann Douglas's words, the man 'who orchestrated the commercialization of a culture.'" Unquote.
Read more about this "Father of Spin" at /
Edward Bernays is a nephew of Sigmund Freud. Scroll down to Freud's biography and personality theory at :// Be sure to continue to the graphic on the huge id - and the tiny ego, and preconscious ("available memory") and superego

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Look Up This Site for Discerning Propaganda. The Institute for Propaganda Analysis; Edward Bernays, the Seller

Marketing. How does it work. Is there anyone who has not falled into someone else's sales pitch sometime. From relationships, to commercial transactions, to political views.

Watch: This boat - fabulous color, the color of sunsets, sunrises, you don't even need to see it work to know it is right for you. Water exposure minimized in recent years, to preserve the wood.

Historically sound, just let me tell you how the color will suit your every mood, the lines satisfy your every need.

Proven useful by the gen-u-ine lobstermen who used it and now, with your interest in mind, offer it to you. Start up the ladder to true yachtsmanship. Here, now. Everyone who is anyone owns a yacht. If you don't buy now, you will regret it because it is here, for you, and only you, now and not later because someone already wants it. Just give us your account number and....

Look up this site for discerning when the marketers are after you, on the TV and radio airwaves, in the mail, in the news that presents opinion, not fact.

See Move around the menu and see how our fellow Americans in 1937 organized the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, to educate US citizens against the techniques used by Germany in WWII and others in selling their cause.

Those WWII marketing techniques work. They are now well-developed, and used in turn now by savvy governments anywhere, groups and individuals with something to gain by persuasion. If we as citizens can spot it, we can decide whether to swallow it. If we just consume it, not so.

Examine propaganda in action.

Also, meet the roots - a master from an even earlier date, 1928. Meet American Edward Bernays. For an early background in marketing, read about this American Edward Bernays - an early godfather of PR and spin. Do a search for him or start at

Monday, November 5, 2007

Partisanship for Some, a Saving for Others. Edward Filene, Founder of the Institute for Propaganda Analysis

Edward Filene 1860-1937

Edward A. Filene - a name known now for his merchandizing activities - the department stores - was a brilliant philanthropist who established the Institute for Propaganda Analysis in 1936, the IPA. See its main areas of inquiry at Propaganda Study.

Franklin D. Roosevelt faced a huge propaganda machine in Europe during the Great Depression, and leading to World War II, and during the conflict.  How to keep Americans from falling into the trap - being convinced by what they read, and heard.  He recognized the work of Edward Filene in compartmentalizing the components of the most frequently used propaganda techniques.

He gave this tribute: in summary that Filene recognized that "our modern mechanism of abundance cannot be kept in operation unless the masses of our people are enabled to live abundantly." See full quotation and background bio at ://

It was in 1936 that Filene set up the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, the IPA, see // He died in 1937.

His work in spotting propaganda is important because it provides the public with the basic tools they need for discernment - how to tell when are words telling an objective truth, if there can ever be such: or when are they being used to manipulate. What is propaganda, what is not.

When do words spring from an agenda to persuade so the teller can profit; and when do they assist human analysis, or enable anyone to find where common good lies. Or is it all lies.

Some people thrive on the partisan way of life -  find a cause and latch on to it. Show unflinching, unchanging loyalty to it.  That person needs especially to know this: that the cause to which he dedicates himself or herself is the cause that is represented by the words used.

Blind partisanship, or a course that leads to a saving - a cause worth it. Words.

Deciders: Where. From Hate Crime Prevention Groups to Home

See Update August 15, 2008 and pending legislation, at FN 1; and related post. Hello Fodder, Hate Crimes: Arkansas Investigation?

How to counter hate crimes. 
Who decides whether to bother

When there is a tipping point, where generations of different folks who have lived reasonably well together, suddenly are spurred to hate, what responses restore balance. Who gets included among the protected and who is left hanging.

Of these groups elsewhere that step in immediately, note that the United States as an effective policy-maker is missing. Canada does well. Many of US resources are old - this one from 2002. Hate Crimes Prevention Act 1999, and resources listed at ://

1. Law Enforcement Groups. In Canada, police take an active part in community hate crime prevention. The Toronto Police are distributing information, educating. See :// W

2. US Federal Government. The United States has a 2002 website, then apparently quit the effort, see :// This chronicles hate crimes and offers recommendations and then the whole thing apparently dropped off the government's interest list. All fixed.

3. Protected Group or Groups Seeking Protection Websites. These may take positions that are all-encompassing, against all hate crimes. Some, however, take a selective approach - let some hate be, because the group doesn't like that group, especially in gender relationships, see ://

4. History. Are schools including histories of cultures addressing hate issues; and which ones rode to notoriety on them. Who were the hatemongers, what was their background, why did they succeed - that puts the issue leaning toward analysis of propaganda.

Some sites put up films of past hate expressions, to show how today is becoming like it once again. Like it or not, it does not hurt to see the history, and you may end up agreeing or disagreeing. Face history and see ://

How to reach adults.

5. Educational institutions and contexts, including the movies. What courses are offered. What programs to counter bullying. How about Hollywood actually teaching how to bully, by targeting weak responders like the mentally handicapped. It may be fun for some to ridicule those who can fight back, but where does free speech end and rights to be free of intimidation and humiliation begin. This is an updated section with new film releases.

6. Legislation - learn about the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and related stories, at ://

7. Education group. Canada is doing that already, see Vancouver's constructive start at :// Read their brochure at ://

8. Religious groups. These vary in insertions of dogma, but can be helpful in laying out overviews of the issue, even for those not religiously inclined. See this nondenominational website at :// can educate. Canada again - B'Nai B'rith Canada at

Do your own search for hate crimes propaganda. Where is the US? See FN 1

FN 1 Update August 15, 2008. Where do we stand in active intervention, prevention, identification and enforcement of laws as to hate crimes. Immigrants as targets, those with personal lifestyles that others disagree with, racial issues simmering and media even avoiding investigation.

1. Investigations needed? Will Arkansas police killing be investigated, circumstances of the gunman's shooting as well.

For example: why are we not told or shown the circumstances of police killing the gunman in the recent assassination of the Democratic Party Chairman in Arkansas. That is routine on TV - or is there no video. Was he shooting back? Would he not surrender his weapon? Even then, wait him out. Don't kill. Or, as early reports said, was he in his truck when he was killed, parked. Circumstances of the kill should be a simple issue to dispel. There were witnesses. Ask.

Investigate: The obvious, given Arkansas as the Clintons' state: Was his alleged act related to the party's racial choice in nominee. Was that and is that seen as a threat to some whites, who at least could look down on that racial group even if they lost their jobs and times got bad. Are those accurate concerns? Who is looking to see. See Hello Fodder, Hate Crimes: Arkansas Investigation?.

2. Hate crimes. Count is up 8% in 2006, says 2007 FBI article, and based on incomplete data.

3. Progress: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act 2007. HR 1592. See :// Companion bill now in Senate. This govtrack site is helpful for following any legislation through the process.

See also:// FAQ's at ://

Leadership Roles: Shaping Those Who Are Led

Leaders Shape Followers

Do leaders through the ages have qualities in common. For those who indeed leave a legacy, is it because it contributed to the common good, or rewarded cronies. What does our national leadership offer. Will, or should, anyone remember. We know that Powers can shape what people are told, and then they believe, and shape others - look at Rapunzel, marketed as a princess for any young girl to emulate.  Read the original, and find that she became pregnant up there in the tower, had twins in the wilderness (spunky gal) and how long would it take you to find that original story?  Read about it here, at Migratory Patterns of Cultural Tales, Rapunzel

Leaders shape followers in many ways - often by distorting the news.

Picture the reforms and innovations of these leaders, through the centuries: summarized tantalizingly here, but researched in detail at this site, "A Detailed History of Leadership Models," by Jack Devine at ://

There is no index of those leaders. How to compare our own without an index of the individuals? We give it here. They group by country: we do it by name so the names may be remembccered; and better specifically compared, to our detriment. Hammurabi, where are you when we need you. Come back, Ham, Come back You were 6000 BC.  We are 2000 AD, or 2000 CE. You got it. We don't.

1) Babylonian Hammurabi, died 2071 BC, whose legal code then governed business dealings, personal behavior and relationships, punishments and social matters. Read it at "Mesopotamia: Code of Hammurabi," at :// Remember that this is Iraq, whom we destroy. What tablets in what areas of wisdom are now dust? The Code refers at the outset to Marduk.  Read his tale, part of it and about it and its continuing relevance to our cultural life, at Martin Luther's Stove, Genesis of Genesis, Enuma Elish of Babylon.

2) Chinese General Sun Hzu (Tzu, we believe, for our searches), about 600BC, who introduced ranks into the army; setting up in advance multiple plans for options in success in war (planning, planning, planning); we tried a search for Sun Hzu and came up empty. We looked at a site "Chinese Dynasties", see :// for a reference in that time frame, then found Sun Tzu.

"Sun Tzu" - see the entry for Kautilya below.  Be moderate, use brainpower.  Scroll down to his section at

3) Chinese Confucius, who promoted moral wisdom, and a value system whereby merit led to leadership positions; but this was thwarted by a wide-ranging system of connections and even longevity dominating choices, a problem still today (anywhere).

4) Indian Chanakya Kautilya. He is known by either name, and also as Chan Akya, see "Chinese Sun Tzy and Kautilya, at ://  Chan Akra - "Your neigbor is your natural enemy state. The neighbor of your neighbor is your friend."

Mandala - This is part of the Mandala idea, also including the possibility of neutral or mediating states. Look how other countries have had millennia to assess these matters.

See his "Arthathrastra," said to be similar to Sun Tzu's "Art of War." This is all new to us. Go look. Apparently he saw a six component policy for statecraft: "neutrality, alliance, double policy, march and war." Go ahead and break alliances later found disadvantageous. Break resistance without fighting is supreme excellence, intrigue as the more effective killer.

All you scholars, go here.  This is a gold mine for policy making and assessment.

Oh, my. He died in 275 BC - but read the glowing account of his life. What is missing at this site at geocities is a summary overview. Go to

All we have to do is wire the country, provide simple word processing and internet search computers, and people can educate themselves. I can educate myself.  Look what opens up with Chanakya.

Then get the overview at "I Love India, Ancient India," at :// He is "pioneer economist." - His works include how the state works, principles of statesmanship and politics.

5. Germany's Adolf Hitler. This is not part of the History of Leadership Models site, above, but there is so much about the leaders the site notes, that we want to get Hitler in here fast.  For an overview, start with a movie.  Go to the film by Leni Riefenstahl, who died in 200. See ://,3604,1039001,00.html. She filmed Adolf Hitler's rallies and other events, see various footage at ://; and the film, "Triumph of the Will" showing his rise and control of the people. 1934 or so.

See her film at :// There are also places to download it, I believe.

People and leaders. The offer to dance, the extension of the hand and the voice, the partnership begins. Tangoes to the death? There's an idea. Some expert please find where adoration comes from, and how people can protect themselves before being committed because few people come out of adoration.

Roles of People in Fostering Governments - Social Roles

Tools For Analyzing Self and Role

Who are we. How and what do we contribute to our society, world, immediate contacts. Is it useful to analyze news and culture by any generalizing at all.

Resources -

A. Myers - Briggs, see :// and

B. Enneagrams, see :// recreational, even very serious type analyses, and useful for some individuals, but how about cultures.

C. Ours

1. Extractors: It is here for the taking so I take.


2. Citizens-civic minded - fiduciary: There must be a way to do it all. Let's talk some more.

3. Buyers-lifestylers: Don't interrupt me. Just somebody steer the ship.

4. Partisans: This View is It. Loyalty uber alles, but both fiduciary-citizens and extractors, status quo promoters and changers can be partisans.

5. Expressives-visionaries: I see the light. Non-celebrity and non-porn oriented amateur Bloggers?

6. Imitators: Let me in. I can be like you. Please like me. I want that, too.

7. Fodder -  Expendables du jour, imposed status or temporarily down and out?. Or, situationally challenged or situationally victimized.

8. Leaders, Governments - Whatever cat gets invited or otherwise gets in. From the extractive and partisan, to the fiduciary.

These were some broad categories that were helpful to us, though, in seeing what dances between which groups and when, lead to dissatisfaction and conflict.

Who sold what to which individuals, so that they take these positions.

Ideas are indeed sold. Few hatch independently in people without a sower. We are all these from time to time.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Which Groups Are Behind Scapegoating - see Hannah Arendt, "The Banality of Evil"

Scapegoat: Who Promotes

Blaming others, scapegoating, is not limited to authoritarian personality types of people.

It looks like anyone can be put into a setting where brutality becomes acceptable. See :// Ordinary, non-extreme kinds of people can be manipulated into doing scapegoating-punitive, even brutal, acts against others.

Who is evil and who is not.

Look up "the banality of evil" as first used by philosopher Hannah Arendt in referring to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi on trial for Holocaust issues, at :// Ordinary people are susceptible.

Extracting. Numbing to a reality. See :// Here is another, that does the same thing and adds pictures of things or people extracting ://

What Is It, "To Scapegoat." An origin in Azazel. History; and Mistranslation.

A History of the Scapegoat; and Its Misunderstood Past

Scapegoat. Goat with horns forcibly removed, autonomy denied, manipulated thereafter.

I. To scapegoat.  The verb.

Scapegoating and the scapegoat.  There are psychological and sociological aspects.
Read The Scapegoat of History, by Rabbi David H. Auerbach, at To scapegoat is a ritual, a way of emphasizing the need for a new beginning, to symbolize a transfer of past bad acts to a creature that you then drove out.

To scapegoat: Verb.  To scapegoat is to reassure yourself and your culture that all is not lost -- what you do in the here and now is only of transient concern. There is indeed a fix to set the world aright, and that fix is to drive out another being, another ethnic group, another ideology -- carrying your problems into the wilderness where it will wither and threaten you no more.
  • The functional, and dysfunctional, role of blame:  
  • Or the process may not be that conscious - just find a target, and aim. Blame another. As the rabbi writes, as long as the scapegoat is blamed, there can be no solution - see Israel. A scapegoat is a myth.
At its essence, to scapegoat is to deny, to project responsibility elsewhere. See Beyond Intractibility, essay by Eric Brahm at

In ancient tradition, recall that a goat was chosen to bear the sins of a nomadic Biblical group and then driven out into the wilderness with them, relieving the group of its sins. FN 1 Then check it all out. Search for the real Biblical scapegoat. See http ://

II. To scapegoat:  what is culture, and what is original in concept. Lost?
How do we know what is translation twist, to serve culture, and what may be real. Real? What>

There are indeed errors in translation, transmission, interpretation.  Will anyone care?  Do your own searches..


There is that story of the scapegoat, says the site at, but you may find that that is a result of mistaken translation of the word "Azazel" dating from 1530, errata by William Tyndale himself. FN 2.

The word Azaze; nstead refers to two words, meaning: a) the cliff from which a goat may be thrown;  and also b) the name of a demon - a Babylonian deity - who then had the ultimate decision what to do with the goat. The Babylonian deity could indeed decide to put him back in the flock.  The people had not decided the fate of the goat after all.

This is supported by :// - "the name of a supernatural." Check up the words:  Azaz and el. Look up this earlier view, that azaz and el meant the rough cliff from which a goat may be thrown, and is seen now as the name of the demon. There is other Biblical support shown in the site.

III. What bridges translation inconsistencies.

The basic ideas are similar, however, despite particulars; in that any translation of the idea of scapegoat involves some casting off sins, driving them away. What is different is whol participates. Azazel, who in linguistic origin is possibly a degraded Babylonian deity, is not at the level of Satan in importance, but the idea is there nonetheless. FN 3.


FN 1 Original process: The original process referred to rituals to be conducted on a certain holy day, including the ritual sacrifice of a goat, two rams, and two bullocks. But there were to be two goats in issue: one goat to be sacrificed, and the other was to bear the group's sins and set out in the wilderness for "Azazel."

FN 2. Tyndale. Tyndale translated Azazel wrongly - making a conglomerate idea of scape (for escape) and the goat, the escape goat who would be driven off. There is a mysterious third party involved.

Azazel does not mean that escape goat. Azazel is a third party - a demon; an angry god- the goat was sent out for the demon, to meet its bleating fate at Azazel's hands, and no mention is apparently made of Azazel after that. It is Azazel who decides the fate of the scaped goat. And we don't know what happened. Heck, maybe Azazel decided it is unfair to try to get rid of sins that way, and he sent the goat back to mingle with the herd.

FN 3. The demon. There is Biblical reference to multiple gods around at creation - creation by committee? - or did one go on a frolic of his own - either way, we see "become like one of us," see Genesis somewhere in the first three chapters, but we leave that to the scholars.


Our translations are flawed. The simplistic view prevails. Rather than accept the story as it was, and deal with human response to ambiguity, in what happens to the goat; our translations may simply ignore the personification of evil through a demon. Reject out of hand an unfamiliar part of a heritage.

Some sites do not research back from the King James' translation to get at the original "Azazel" at all.

For example, this site does not even refer to the idea of the demon - or historic roots of Biblical phrases :// It accepts the King James, warts and all. Not only that, it purports to write in how all that fits in the later pieces of a puzzle - none of that is in there. Highly arbitrary and self-serving.* Aren't other interpretations equally viable? Need to look up more on Azazel, because if a whole theology is based on a mistranslation, let's get it out there.

Usual view: Scapegoating now seems to follow the old idea of putting on the backs of a particular group the problems of the others, whether or not there is a viable connection. It can be used to mask the real issues underlying the problems. Scapegoating for Convenience and Self-Illusion? Maybe.

*Arbitrary filling in blanks. Thoughts on the translator playing fast and loose - the Tinker Toy Theology.

Scapegoating. Beginning a theology. How do you do it?  You can do it by starting at the wrong place, so meanings are wrong to begin with.

That is like taking an original tinker toy of three sticks, three circles, and then making a triangle base. Then, on top of that, everybody puts in more sticks and more circles and they push and jam them in, and up and out it goes, and finally somebody declares, yes, the original three sticks and three circles intended this ultimate result, and this is how the last stick in there is based on the original.

Scapegoating. Social Need, or Avoidable. Xenophobia. Fear of Foreigners.

The Scapegoat.
What Role is Served. Why is it Needed.

Xenophobia - fear of foreigners, those from other countries, see The Milgram Study - how shallow are our self-controls against abusing others, when ordered to act in heinous ways by an authority. We do it.

The Scapegoa

tIn the distance. Barely discernible. On the rocks. The Scapegoat.

Scapegoat each other and all fall down.

Its function? To deflect attention. Put a blame somewhere else, where the target cannot rise up and defend. Provide an excuse, pretend all will be well if we just get rid of the scapegoat. Watch the rotating groups that serve in this role, in and out of scapegoat status, but there is always some scapegoat. Is that so?

I. The process, the reason.

Why do groups identify scapegoats, everywhere, as the ones behind social or other ills - and does that identification really serve to further a group's social, political, religious views. How can people treat others so badly, inflict such pain - ordinary people, not the distortions.

Part of the explanation is, from the famous Milgram Experiment, the Milgram Study, the Milgram Studies, actually - because the first was repeated to correct for ethical errors, and still came up with the first horrendous result anyway:

1) peer pressure, and then

2) the phenomenon that people lose their sense of personal responsibility if they see that they are carrying out the wishes of another.

Update over a year later: the Milgram Study is again in the news. See Reuters, "Shocking Study Finds Most Will Torture if Ordered," at ://

Is that why faith-based hatreds, globally, are so deep rooted and people act out in such horrendous ways. They see themselves as "ordered" by culture, by peers, by whatever. Here, we look at the abuser.

II. The abuser as victim of propaganda.

Groups can be sold on the idea of scapegoating - the propaganda that this person deserves ill treatment. Even non-authoritarian kinds of people can be sold on brutality.

See the Milgram Studies at Joy of Equivocating, Selling Brutality post. "The Milgram Experiment", see the review of that complex study at :// The Milgram Study was set up once, then decades later, redone with ethical corrections.

One subject was the designated Teacher, another the designated Learner. The task of the Teacher was to punish the Learner for wrong answers. Electric shock. And the shock level increased. With the Teacher becoming increasingly comfortable inflicting it. Read the whole thing. And these were ordinary people, not monsters.

Then add the peer pressure study, same site that reviews the experiment at ://
  • People conform when they have neither ability nor expertise to make a decision - they defer to authority and the group.
  • People cease feeling personally responsible if they see themselves as carrying out the wishes of another. This is a shift in viewpoint - and when it happens, obedience follows. See the Third Reich.
Nice, ordinary people began inflicting pain on others, more and more, despite screams and pleas to stop, upon being encouraged to do so, and feeling immune from consequence themselves. We are vulnerable to these kinds of sales pitches, as regular people; that this group or this person is ripe for abuse, and powerless thus can be given bad (not balancing contribution with certain costs) treatment.

III. Common groups
  • The Jew. See Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia Today at
  • Even adolescents as scapegoat, in a sense ://
  • Immigrants - Currently, the Immigrant, undocumented, see below, and see the essay on the false alarms surrounding, Common Dreams, "An Old Story: Scapegoat Immigrants," by Robert Scheer at at :// It is easy to exploit when they are afraid, is the comment. Bring them to the fore - all ten million.This group has a negative focus beyond the nasty humor of targeting ethnic groups and blonds in jokes. We do not hear the simpleminded question, how many to screw in a lightbulb here. Immigrants - currently the "illegal" entry groups - easy scapegoats, says this source, because they cannot rise up and defend - see ://
What is the role of timing? When do these animosities peak?

At Common Dreams, part of the answer is when the country is at a low ebb in sense of security, vision; with a "script as old as the Mayflower."

Further update 12/2008 - the Milgram Study in the news again - see ://