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WWI, Propaganda, Censorship and Our Perception of Reality in the USA Part 1 of 2


Sinking of the Lusitania Ship flying the the USA (and carrying weapons)You are wondering: "How can World War I affect your current perception of Reality in America? 

It is said that what we “perceive to be reality” is our reality. Our cumulative life experiences, including our education, parental guidance, and what we see and hear in the mass media influence our Perception of Reality. With that in mind, most governments seek to “manage” their own citizens’ perceptions of reality to lesser and greater degrees. They do this through propaganda and censorship. And all governments try to manage their citizens perception of reality during times of war.We here in America would like to believe our government tries to manipulate us to a much lesser degree than other governments in this world.

Before I go on, I would ask the reader to reflect on this question as they read:

If our “Perception of Reality” is distorted by Government Propaganda, Censorship and duplicity, can we really exercise our “free will”?

Those of you born and aware of the world around you before circa 1991 will have first hand experience of the Propaganda [ ] and Censorship [  ]of the Cold War. The rest of you probably aren’t even sure what the term “Cold War” refers to. (I will bring you youngsters up to speed on the cold war a little bit later.)

When the concept of propaganda  [ ] was first introduced to me in Junior High, I only perceived of it as being the awkward, overbearing, caricature propaganda seen in various pictures, posters  [ ] and films like Capitalism v Communism ],
Make Mine Freedom  [  ] and Duck and Cover [ ] . True to my perception of reality, my initial perception was to believe the USA merely spoke the truth and only the communists engaged in propaganda. US “news” appeared to be "the truth". And of course since everything communists said I perceived as a lie, I came to regard their "news" as Propaganda which seemed synonymous with lying. Our Governments Propaganda and Indoctgrination was so effective, I was simply blind to possibility that my own government would use propaganda and censorship upon its own citizens.

Meanwhile, back at the  Cold War.... “Cold War” generally refers to the undeclared war between the Western World and the Communists from the end of World War II to the fall of the USSR in the early 1990’s. Because both sides feared the uncertainty of actual war between country’s having the then relatively new nuclear bomb, the Western World and the Russian and other Communist Regimes vied for world domination by other means. This manifest itself in a battle for the “hearts and minds” of the people of the world. Most of the conflict occurred indirectly and covertly with propaganda, censorship and agent provocateurs. Occasionally the tension erupted into war by third party proxies (North and South Korea, North and South Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis etc.) Both sides of this cold war used propaganda and censorship to advance their cause and rally their own citizens.

Russian Breadlines 1990Though I did not recognize it as propaganda at the time, one of the most often repeated pieces of USA propaganda was the superiority of Democracy and Capitalism over Communism. Pictures of long lines of Russian Citizens waiting to get the simplest of goods, most often bread ], were displayed to the USA public to show the superiority of the USA system and the suffering of the Russian Citizens under communist repression.

With my then dearth of worldly experience, I took smug satisfaction in being a citizen in what I believed to be unquestionably the best country in the world – the United States of America. At the time, the general feeling of myself and my cohorts was “Standing in line serves those dumb commies right for not over-throwing the communist tyrants that oppressed them”

Now, before I say more, let me reiterate I love my country, the USA. I say the pledge of allegiance with my hand across my heart and I vigorously defend her from all enemies, foreign and Domestic. That having been said, with age comes experience, wisdom and awakening. And, in time, one begins to challenge the propaganda and indoctrination one is exposed to in the form of education and general propaganda in ones youth. And while some citizens begin to see though the veil of propaganda, some love their country too much to accept that their country may have lied to them. And others self-censor themselves and refuse to listen to or consider evidence that contradicts their perception of reality.

Out of loyalty to the truth and love of country, some of us find it necessary to peel back the blinders our leaders would place upon us. And thus enlightened, we feel compelled to spread the word.We are concerned that some Americans are simply unaware of how much of their perception of reality is based on propaganda and censorship. We would have our fellow citizens see beyond what the government would have us see. We would have our fellow citizens examine their lives from a different perspective. Our constitution grants to each citizen the liberty and freedom to determine their own perception of reality. We simply ask each American citizen to exercise their freedom to “think critically ”[ ]. We ask you to take off your government imposed blinders and determine your own “perception of reality”

Let us start slowly. Remember the Russian Bread lines? The USA Propaganda premise was that inefficient and corrupt communism caused product shortages and long waits for common necessities. The inference was that American Capitalism did not have long lines for these products because Capitalism catered to the Consumer.  And we were free people with liberties guaranteed by our constitution and up held by persons of integrity as opposed to the folks enslaved under communism.

But as anyone who needed computer technical support in the 1990’s can tell you, we all spent hours waiting in “virtual lines” on hold. What happened? The USA won the cold war and no longer needed prove to its citizens that our way of life was superior to Russia. Now that whole attitude of making customers wait has spread across many industries. And now things have gotten so bad, that we get an additional frustration when someone finally answers the phone.

India and Packistan Technical Support OutsourcingAt least when Russians got to the front of the bread line, they got to speak to someone that spoke their native language. From this flows the irony that it is apparently not okay to inconvenience citizens with long waits if the government is communist but it is ok to inconvenience citizens with long waits so corporations can maximize profits? I thought that merits of Democratically elected officials and Capitalism were short lines caused by the inherent efficiency that competition caused? ( My instinct for self preservation tells me it is time to reiterate my commitment to free markets. I am a Conservative trapped in a Liberals body  [ ] ) Are you following me here? We are all now standing in the lines at the mercy of low level employees or worse low level government bureaucrats giving us poor service while the ELECTED OFFICIALS either simply make the rules and/or take no corrective action and make themselves even more inaccessible and unaccountable... 

Psst, pass the word... a line is a line without regard to the form of government I am under.  And by the way, all lines suck whether I am standing in line for bread or sitting on hold waiting for customer support.

As we ramp up the intensity of my debate, consider that during the Vietnam war daily and weekly reports of US and enemy casualties were broadcast on the TV and radio  ]. Sometime in the 1980’s we learned that these figures were intentionally skewed, many more American’s were being killed than was being reported to “manage” Citizen morale. “The most controversial statistic in Vietnam was the number of killed in action (KIA) claimed by each side. [ ]” How do you feel about the credibility of your Government now?

But you protest... You say to me, "Fellow Citizen, surely you can understand during times of war that we must keep the population from succumbing to 'War Fatigue' until we win the war..." And as distasteful as I find my response, I must agree to a tolerance for a certain increased level of propaganda in times of war to increase the probability of victory...

However, our government no longer just uses propaganda and censorship for war.  During times of peace, our government is using propaganda and censorship on the civilian population of the United Sates of America far beyond the extent that most of my fellow citizens realize.

My original version of this article was based on the Propaganda and Censorship relating to the “Cold War” and the Vietnam War. And it was my intent to get the audience to draw from inference that the propaganda and censorship used to manipulate us in time of war is being used to manage us in times of relative peace.

Instead, when this article was almost complete, I happened upon Glen Beck’s May 26th 2010 TV Broadcast (Video C if you are pressed for time)  ] And with that enlightenment , I found the direct link I was looking for. I found a direct admission of strategy and intent on the use of Propaganda and Censorship to manipulate the USA’s Peace time population.

Who made this admission of evil intent? It came from the Founders of the Progressive Movement circa 1917. President Woodrow Wilson had kept the USA out of WWI in his first term. And he campaigned for a second term on the promise to keep the USA out of the War? Yet within a couple of months of taking office for his second term, President Wilson had the USA in the middle of the WWI conflict.

And he found himself needing a way to turn American opinion into being in favor of being involved in WWI. To accomplish this he created the Committee of Public Information on April 13, 1917.  On this committee he appointed Frank Cobb,  George Creel, Edward Bernays and Walter Litman. All of these men were journalists enlisted to use propaganda and censorship to change public opinion as President Wilson desired. Though all of these men shared similar condescending attitudes toward the American public, perhaps Edward Bernays best crystalized the essence of the evil these progressives represented.

Edward Bernays wrote the book, "Propaganda" and said:

"It was of course the astounding success of propaganda (during WWI) that opened the eyes of the intelligent few in all departments of life to the possibilities of regimenting the public mind "

"It was only natural that after the war ended that intelligent persons should ask themselves whether it was not possible to apply a similar technique to the problems of peace"

"If we understand the mechanisms of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it."

If you are a true blue, red blooded patriot these last 3 sentences have your blood boiling. The fundamental belief of these Progressives was they were entitled to lie to and mislead the American Public to  acheive any goal the government desired.

Check Back tomorrow for Part 2 of 2 and See "How the events of World War I affect your  current perception of Reality in America?  And learn how  the Propaganda and Censorship of War are being utilized against the Modern America Civilian Population to "manage" them during times of peace.

And then I will astound as to the extent that propaganda and censorship have been used to deceive into a perception of reality that does not exist.

As always, I write with the same intent as Thomas Paine.  I seek no leadership role. I seek only to help the American People to find their own way using their own "Common Sense".

Those were my thoughts.

Don Mashak

The Cynical Patriot

Bakers Square Coon Rapids MN Come for the Food, Stay for the Pie.

This greatest portion of this article was written while enjoying my signature Diet Coke with a slice of lemon at the Baker's Square in Coon Rapids MN. Wifi and great service....  And someone told me  they have awesome pie there.


  • Jacob 4 years ago

    Progressives have always kept the "don't let a crisis go to waste" mentality with them.