The Unknown Social Warriors, Bernays and Norquist

Grover Norquist should be a household name, like Frigidaire, Coke, and Kleenex. He is not, nor does he wish to be. Norquist is the spokesman for the one percent, and in this capacity, he has determined public perception of the American ruling class, a class, which until very recently, was invisible. It was ignored. It was denied. Like George Wilson, most Americans are too busy scratching out a living, to be aware that the Buchanan class even exists.  The Tom Buchanans consider the George Wilsons to be so dumb, they don’t know they’re alive. Norquist  exemplifies the one percent’s perception of the rest of America. When he said, “Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win; it has to be a painful and devastating defeat. It is like when the king would take his opponent’s head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see,” to a National Review interviewer, Norquist put the one percent’s cards on the table. They will have their way, because they will, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The American ruling class will stop at nothing to retain power. Our assumed Constitutional rights are but a myth.

Finian Cunningham wrote, in an Information Clearinghouse article, “What the disclosures of former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, show perhaps above all else is just how petrified the leaders of the United States have become of ordinary citizens, both in the US and around the world.” Over two centuries of myth could suddenly evaporate, and the People might start discovering the truth. The truth could, finally, set them free. The one percent are like cornered animals, encaged in their gated communities and on their grand, private estates, and to quote Norquist, they want “to inflict pain”, lest they lose their perpetual control of society.

American school children are indoctrinated, beginning in pre-school and kindergarten, about how kind and benevolent the US is. America has a holy mission. This is the true meaning of Manifest Destiny. The Statue of Liberty is emblazoned in juvenile minds with its immortal words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed,  to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Images of prayerful, holy Pilgrims are repeated every Thanksgiving. Washington maintains his balance, standing in a long boat, by some miracle, crossing the frigid Delaware River, on a Christmas Eve, long ago. He kneels in prayer at Valley Forge. Always, the religious inference. Desperate Texas patriots fight to the death at the Alamo. These are the images forming in the vulnerable minds of young, primary school aged American children. Older children are privileged to add images of US Marines slogging through the mud, bayonets fixed, in the bleak trenches of World War One and raising the American flag at Iwo Jima. The messages are that America was founded on Christian values, that Americans have a destiny to fulfill,  first, by spreading holy democracy from coast to coast, then, across the globe. Finally, children see that America must defend these virtues against the forces of evil, which are found everywhere.

The history of English colonists, so called Pilgrims, murdering entire eastern woodland tribes is never mentioned. Colonialism never tolerates free and independent indigenous peoples. Colonialism equilibrates corporatism, and it is about total control of society, for maximum profit. Primitive populations are good for slavery, nothing else. Indigenous populations were removed with gunpowder and disease, all in the name of God. An entire civilization was lost, in the process. Religious intolerance of the American colonists is also ignored. The forming of Providence Plantation, by Roger Williams, exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony on ‘religious’ grounds, and the establishment of Maryland as a haven for Roman Catholics are conveniently brushed over. First Amendment liberties intended freedom from religion, as well as freedom of religion. After generations of English persecution and religious warfare, the signers of the Constitution never intended this to be a Christian nation. It was to be a secular nation with religious tolerance, but school children need not know this.

Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River in the dead of night, in the freezing cold, on Christmas Eve. This much is true. What is not mentioned to school children, is that when colonial troops reached their destination, in Trenton, New Jersey, they set up a brilliant crossfire, at the Hessian barracks, with grape shot loaded cannon, decimating their Hessian enemies. Merry Christmas! Yes, it was a brilliant tactic, resulting in the brutal murder and maiming of scores of young, German mercenaries. How noble! Washington stood, proudly in his boat, crossing the Delaware in the deadly cold winter, to set up a murderous ambush of a bunch of kids from Germany. His kneeling in prayer, at Valley Forge, has been proven apocryphal.

Ah, the Alamo! Heroic Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie fought bravely against the enslaved army of the cruel Mexican General Santa Ana. This is a wonderful tale, until one sees that these brave American patriots were nothing more than a group of adventurers, holed up in an abandoned Catholic Mission in Mexico, mercenaries, violating Mexican law, to the point where federal intervention was necessary. Far from being brave patriots, they were foreign insurrectionists, typical American opportunists, in search of the immense wealth fabulous land grants would provide, should they survive the battle against the Mexican army.

The American Civil War was all about slavery and the  Rights of Man. It was a noble effort of Northern free thinkers against Southern slave holders. Right. This was the very first battle between Republicans and Democrats for control of the United States. It was a conflict between Republican factory owners, the one percent of the North, and Democratic plantation owners, the one percent of the South. It was fought by southern sharecroppers and Irish immigrants fresh off the boat. The rich sat back and enjoyed their fine cigars, while the working class suffered; business as usual. Northern interests were so noble that, just prior to the end of the war, an enormous conflagration occurred in the US House of Representatives, over creating a Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. With the war still raging, there was obviously no Southern representation in the House. This Amendment would provide  legal basis for Lincoln’s wartime Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery, “except as a punishment for a crime”,  would be forever abolished in the United States. Only with brilliant political maneuvering was Lincoln able to unseat Northern Democratic opposition to the bill, on his second attempt. Slavery was such a motive for war, that even Northern politicians opposed Black freedom. After all, as it was said on the floor of the House, if slaves were freed, they could become citizens, and they could vote. That would be as terrible as granting the vote to women! Yes, this was the mid-nineteenth century Democratic Party of the North; a party opposed to equality for both Blacks and women.

Incursion of the US Cavalry against native populations of the West provided inspiration for Hitler’s infamous final solution. Hitler said so, himself. His mechanised destruction of minorities in Europe, less than a century later, lasted fewer years and killed fewer people than America’s war against its indigenous populations. History and Hollywood smile on the United States. John Wayne made a career playing a cavalry officer. The US Cavalry were the victors, and their victims, mere savages. Victors always write the history. Had Hitler won his war, Hollywood and history would have smiled on him, too.

Images of US Marines slogging through the mud at Belleau Wood and the Somme and raising the American flag on Iwo Jima are inspirational, and well they should be. These are images of heroic sacrifice and triumph by ordinary working class Americans, Everyman, in the name of Liberty, struggling against real forces of evil. In spite of the ponderous American sacrifices in the Great War, America only committed to involvement for a year of that four year conflict, which destroyed European civilisation and killed and damaged an entire generation of its youth. The common British complaint was that the Yanks arrived late on the scene, after all of the real carnage had ceased. Of course, America claims credit for victoriously ending that conflict. Iwo Jima showed the the world the victorious presence of US Marines, triumphant in their struggle against the fanatical troops of the Japanese empire. Americans were the broad shouldered heroes, grimy and worn, but smiling in victory. The long, horrifying, global journey into night was almost over. Island hopping had gradually defeated the mighty Japanese empire. America was poised for the final assault against a decimated Japanese military. Nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki followed. The vaporisation of two non-strategic cities, with predominantly civilian populations, is declared a necessity to bring a beleaguered Japan to its knees. Nearly seventy years later, these acts by the United States are still debated as to their merit and are viewed by a growing population, internationally, as unnecessary, and blatant acts of revenge. More clearly put, they were massive war crimes.

American school children are not supposed to make these discoveries about their history. They are supposed to blindly accept the mythos. America good. Everybody else bad. Ethnocentricity and intolerance are imbued from an early age, So is ignorance. American school children become American adults, and they are mesmerised by TV sit-coms, soap operas, and professional sports. The world goes by, and Americans are distracted. They are locked into their knee-jerk belief in an America that never was. They work harder and longer than any other advanced population in the world. Americans have the most costly and least effective healthcare system among global industrial societies, and American education is abysmal, concentrating on testing, testing, and testing, denying any hope of critical thinking skills. Real American history, the true focus of government, and the parasitic nature of American society are never to be realised.

None of this is unintentional. The American ruling class realised the threat of an educated, cosmopolitan society as early as the turn of the twentieth century. The basis for this realisation can be found earlier, at the founding of the Republic, in the private writings of James Madison. Borrowing from a noted German anarchist of the nineteenth century, Madison believed in a “dictatorship of the proletariat”. The common man was unfit to rule himself. He needed to be led by educated, cultured rulers. Edward Bernays agreed with this principle. A population should be controlled, protected from itself, and posed a system of manipulation to provide this. Referred to, in his obituary, as the father of public relations, Bernays combined the theories of Gustav Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical theories of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. The one percent of his day saw the merit of Bernays’ theories, in maintaining their positions of wealth and power in perpetuity. Bernays’ methods were deployed by the Melon Foundation, the Carnegie Trust, the Vanderbilts, Astors, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and the Rothschilds. In short, the rich and powerful, the movers and shakers of the early twentieth century, sought to create and maintain a legacy, over a century ago, by manipulating and controlling the American people. Bernays provided the means.

Many of the ‘founding fathers’ echoed Madison’s beliefs. Democracy was not to be tolerated, merely venerated. A republic, a representative democracy, evolved with the US Constitution. The eighteenth century provided a ruling class which was a benign product of the enlightenment, rather than the avaricious robber barons of the early twentieth century. How well intentioned the framers of the Constitution might have been, they set a dangerous precedent, which the one percent of the guilded age seized. Aside from Bernays’ manipulative ‘public relations’, better described as propaganda, control, the ruling class discovered, was adroitly provided from the purse strings. If one desired to control an organization or an influential civic group, benevolently donate money to them. Hence, the origin of all the mighty charitable foundations. Carnegie and Rockefeller would not be hounded by government or pitchfork wielding mobs for their heinous misdeeds, nor Ford for supporting Hitler, if a population, sympathetic because of their great benevolence protected them. Once charitable donations were accepted, control ensued. Charles and David Koch have donate to PBS for decades. An expose of their unethical, and often illegal, practices was to air on PBS. Suddenly, PBS had a change of venue. Such is the power of charity. Recently, the Koch brothers failed in their attempt to control all of American newsprint. Had they done so, no one would ever learn of their crimes. They would appear as benevolent saints in the minds of the American People.

The one percent and puppet politicians fear the American People learning the truth about government corruption, its longevity and depth, and the brutal realities of American foreign military adventurism. USMC General Smedley Butler called war a racket, generations ago, and referred to himself as a hit man or enforcer for millionaire thugs. For this, he was denigrated, reviled, and rendered irrelevant by the press, which was controlled, nationally, by William Randolph Hearst. The one percent deployed another hit man, Hearst, against their former employee. Decades after his deposition to the US Congress, and his death, the reality of Butler’s allegations has been established, and he has been vindicated. This is only academic. The rulers still skulk in the background.

Heroic whistle-blowers like John Kiriakou, retired USMC General James Cartwright, Pvt, Bradley Manning, and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have pointed the way. They have repeated Smedley Butler’s warnings, and have kicked open the door. The descendants of Edward Bernays’ patrons would slam it shut. Finian Cunningham is correct. The leaders of the United States are petrified of the effects these brave men could have on the public. Far be it for Americans to be allowed to think! Americans must remain ignorant of their own history. They must continue to accept the mythos. The recent century has seen an heroic effort at pulling the wool over America’s eyes. Now, she might have a chance to see, again. Norquist announced the one percent’s demeanor and intention, when he said, “Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win. It has to be a painful and devastating defeat. We’re sending a message, here. It is like when the king would take his opponent’s head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see.” Warren Buffett spoke of class warfare, and of how the rich were winning. Norquist and his ilk are itching to bring the war up a notch. They want blood. Their minions, the police, will do their dirty work for them, just like the Irish immigrants and Southern sharecroppers did, in the Civil War. Warren Buffett has many memorable quotes, among them, “The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more, and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked for the last ten years, and I hope the American public is catching on.” Hopefully, thanks to Kiriakou, Cartwright, Manning, and Snowden it might be, but it might not be wise to hold one’s breath. Edward Bernays did his work very well, and he did it a very long time ago. His effects are still being felt, and they will continue to be. The first lesson is for the People of the United States to realise they are being played like a cheap violin, and have been for quite a long time. Until  then, everything else will be academic.

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About Stefan Jacke

MagicRobert presented me with a vellum document, composed in an insane script. We were in a well secured vault in the Michener Library. His face exploded into a broad smile, as he saw me recognize the words, "That government governs best which governs least." It was a copy of "On Civil Disobedience" in the author's own hand. The experience called to mind a conversation Henry David Thoreau had with Ralph Waldo Emerson, as Thoreau sat in a jail cell, incarcerated for protesting the Mexican War. Emerson asked, "David, what are you doing in there?" Thoreau responded, "The point is, Ralph, what are you doing out there?" Once, long ago, I jumped off of big red trucks, lifted weights, and cleaned toilets for a living. Then I wrestled drunks, ran around in circles, and got splattered with blood and all manner of body fluids for a living. Now I enjoy the stillness of early morning in my rocking chair on the porch, with a hot cup of coffee, trying in vain to forget the past. Thank you, Robert!
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