“If you kill a cockroach you are a hero. If you kill a butterfly you are evil. Morality has aesthetic standards.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Who decides what is right or wrong, what is good or evil? The one who has the most say in everything decides everything. But who gets to be the one to have the most say?
In the first article, we explored the use of violence to ensure conformity, and in the second article we mentioned the use of money to get the support of everyone else. Traditionally mankind has always obeyed the one with either the power or the money. But control by fear will not ensure absolute compliance and influence by money will not achieve true loyalty. There has to be something deeper that resonates with everyone, something that pushes people to move out of their own free will and even sacrificially.
In the past, almost everyone had a religion. That religion may be a system of many gods such as Hinduism or one with only the One True God, such as Christianity. One thing lies in common across all religions – beyond the ability to exercise absolute violence (hell and divine judgement) and the capacity to provide infinite blessings (health and wealth), the divine always stand for peace, justice, compassion and above all, love for the whole of mankind.
Note: The above is not meant to put down any religion. I am a Christian myself.
However in the modern era of science, the belief in the divine has weakened. In its place we have a king called the US. Beyond the US’ capacity for violence and its ability to create wealth, the US stands for freedom, democracy, peace, human rights, stability of the world and all things positive. But anybody can say they are the chosen one, why should we believe in the US? In the modern slang we will ask: Who died and made you king?
This is where the third tool of the US comes in – the media.
The masses believe that the free press stands for quality and uncensored journalism to tell the truths about society and the world. However, just like how free speech works, everyone can publish anything with free press. News publishers are not charity organisations. If they are not the state media, primarily they still exist as a business entity with one end goal – profits.
The more people buy and read their news, the more they earn from its sales, advertisements and sponsored articles. Sponsored articles may be put up openly or disguised as a news piece with a hidden agenda. Foreign interference is also active. For example, the US Agency for Global Media has been interfering with traditional and internet press across the world, directly with money and indirectly with influence, contributing to events such as the 2019 Hong Kong protests. On top of sometimes receiving money to publish a certain type of news, news with hype will ensure sales and the end result will be the shifting of public opinion towards a particular stand in certain issues.
With free press and consolidated publicity, events can be magnified and incidents can be covered up. Many think the war on Ukraine is a serious crime against humanity but few think that the bombings of Syria or Palestine is an issue. The difference lies in the amount of coverage a particular event gets. People are very easily influenced. The more they hear and see a certain thing, the more it is impressed into their minds, the more they will be concerned. War is bad, but if I did not see it in the news, it did not happen. If it did not appear in the news that much, it is just a sad thing far away from me.
To reach the wider audience, the few standard ‘trustworthy’ outlets like New York Times and CNN is not enough despite their good reputation. But if every news publisher writes or omit the same thing as them, then the coverage will be immensely wide. Many people read news, but they do not digest the news, think beyond what the news write, compare with different sources and ultimately analyse and think on their own. They read the news, they believe they are updated, they think they know what is going on and they feel satisfied knowing they are part of the knowledgeable. Guess who else do that everyday? Students who memorise textbooks without question then regurgitate out everything in the examinations. Now if beyond the state media, there are multiple news publishers all saying the same thing, then people will believe that to be the whole truth. Please take note that reading New York Times and CNN is not considered referencing from 2 different news source.
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is defined as the fundamental principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exercised freely. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state; its preservation may be sought through constitution or other legal protection and security.
Nowhere is the word ‘truth’ in any part of the definition.
Through entertainment, much can be conveyed across subtly, across a long period of time. Brainwashing is often times not as direct as China did during the communism era. In movies we can count on America to enforce justice against the Russian or Middle Eastern terrorists. We can also count on the American heroes to save the world. Americans will not stop at anything to defend everyone and their right to peace, even if it means sacrificing their own lives. On the flip side, the useless Chinese or Asian is always the first to die, if they are not the villain. Pretty sure when you watch an American movie and you see an Asian in it, you know in your heart he will not make it out alive.
Over time, it forms a certain kind of impression about certain things. That kind of thinking may transmit over to the greater audience who lack the capacity to think properly – that Americans are heroes and Asians are simply inferior to the Westerners. There are of course, many other messages subtly sent to everyone through the movies and tv series.
The entertainment instrument is not only limited to the movies. TV series, songs, games and even a simple soccer match all can be used and manipulated to convey messages across. For soccer matches, sports and politics do not mix in the case of Palestine but standing with Ukraine is applauded. The entertainment portion has been covered more extensively in my article regarding China, so I will not elaborate further here.
From the Bachelor’s degree to the PhD, every student at these levels have to write papers. We will skip the hard sciences portion. For the social sciences, especially in directly related courses such as media and communication, sociology etc, the biasness is obvious. One has to write papers fitting of the West’s ideology to be accepted by them, before it can even be published. The West holds such power and influence that if you are not aligned to them, you can forget about making it in the academic circle.
This is a short paragraph because I do not have any definitive proof. Except the fact I know people who work and specialise in these in the universities.
In World War II, the West launched an attack on the physical appearances of the Japanese. The Japanese were depicted as short, having slanted eyes, abnormal toes, buck teeth, unable to walk normally etc. Basically, the Japanese were a sub-standard breed of inferior humans. The intention of this was very simple – to create a false sense of superiority towards the Japanese, which would give them confidence in war.
In this context, the Chinese and the Americans were the official enemies of the Japanese. Hence the comics had words written favourably with regards to the Chinese. However if you look at the drawings, the Chinese were also drawn ridiculously like some deformed, ugly, scrawny humans. As compared to the Americans in the comics who were drawn to be confident, good-looking and well-built, the Asians definitely looked just slightly better than a Neanderthal.
Do we feel guilt when we murder chickens for food? No, because they are not humans.
Do we feel remorse when using a lab rat for experiments? No, because they are not humans.
Are we evil if we stomp on a cockroach? No, because they are not humans.
Should people feel anything as they trample down on sub-standard lower mortals?
Should I, a lower mortal, be humbled when I see a superior Westerner standing in front of me?
We have seen enough Asians sucking up to people just because they are white. So I will not go further into that here.
What about today? There are no outright propaganda now. But does this mean that all these depictions of Asians are different now?
Just like the comics in the WW2 era, Western media like to depict Asian (especially Chinese) models to have small eyes and generally ugly features. Just like the comics above, Vogue used the same tactic of ugly pictures but nice words. Vogue is not the only one. Pretty sure you have come across many Western media showing Asian models and wondered why many of them looked so weird. Ignorant Asians would be swayed and agree with them that such standards are the beautiful one, while most of the others would think that perhaps the Westerners just have weird taste.
At least for me, I know that my definition of beautiful is different from the West.
In traditional warfare, primarily 2 tactics are used – violence and deception. In the modern world, while things are more complicated, it boils down to these 2 as well. Violence cannot be used during peace times, but deception can be used blatantly everyday, regardless of in war or peace. If someone tells you an apple is blue, you will not believe it. But every day, over a period of many years, many people tell you that the apple is blue, you will even start to doubt yourself. In fact, in the 1950s, the Asch conformity experiments have already proved that people will just conform and agree with the majority of the people.
Propaganda these days has been refined to the next level. Schools teach you the propaganda of the last generation, so you think you are smart enough to detect such obvious brainwashing. But high level deception operate on a minimum of 2 layers, with the first layer being made not that difficult to expose.
With military the US enforces its will. With the financial system it makes the world pay for their spending. The top leaders know it. But the masses are foolish. The common man does not know the big picture.
The leaders of the democratic world are elected by the citizens. That is why democracy is important for the US. That is why the common man must like the US. That is why the masses must feel that the US is the role model. And what better tool to convince the masses than the media, the third tool US uses to cement its dominance?
Britannia the US!