Friday, November 30, 2012

Russell, Bertrand: Ruling-Class Mass mind-control

"Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific technique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure will be built on their foundations is still in doubt. I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology.... Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called "education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part.... It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.''

Russell continued, ``The subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship....The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.''

Russell concluded with a warning: ``Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.''

~Bertrand Russell

Sowell: The difference between making love and being raped

"Liberals love to say things like, 'We're just asking everyone to pay their fair share.'. But government is not about asking. It is about telling. The difference is fundamental. It is the difference between making love and being raped, between working for a living and being a slave. The Internal Revenue service is not asking anybody to do anything. It confiscates your assets and puts you behind bars if you don't pay."

~Thomas Sowell

Propaganda by Edward Bernays

From: "Propaganda"
by Edward Bernays

(Ig publishing, 2005, paper,originally published in 1928, p37)

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons-a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million-who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.

It is not usually realized how necessary these invisible governors are to the orderly functioning of our group life. In theory, every citizen may vote for whom he pleases. Our Constitution does not envisage political parties as part of the mechanism of government, and its framers seem not to have pictured to themselves the existence in our national politics of anything like the modern political machine. But the American voters soon found that without organization and direction their individual votes, cast, perhaps, for dozens of hundreds of candidates, would produce nothing but confusion. Invisible government, in the shape of rudimentary political parties, arose almost overnight. Ever since then we have agreed, for the sake of simplicity and practicality, that party machines should narrow down the field of choice to two candidates, or at most three or four.

In theory, every citizen makes up his mind on public questions and matters of private conduct. In practice, if all men had to study for themselves the abstruse economic, political, and ethical data involved in every question, they would find it impossible to come to a conclusion without anything. We have voluntarily agreed to let an invisible government sift the data and high-spot the outstanding issue so that our field of choice shall be narrowed to practical proportions. From our leaders and the media they use to reach the public, we accept the evidence and the demarcation of issues bearing upon public question; from some ethical teacher, be it a minister, a favorite essayist, or merely prevailing opinion, we accept a standardized code of social conduct to which we conform most of the time.

In theory, everybody buys the best and cheapest commodities offered him on the market. In practice, if every one went around pricing, and chemically tasting before purchasing, the dozens of soaps or fabrics or brands of bread which are for sale, economic life would be hopelessly jammed. To avoid such confusion, society consents to have its choice narrowed to ideas and objects brought to it attention through propaganda of all kinds. There is consequently a vast and continuous effort going on to capture our minds in the interest of some policy or commodity or idea.

It might be better to have, instead of propaganda and special pleading, committees of wise men who would choose our rulers, dictate our conduct, private and public, and decide upon the best types of clothes for us to wear and the best kinds of food for us to eat. But we have chosen the opposite method, that of open competition. We must find a way to make free competition function with reasonable smoothness. To achieve this society has consented to permit free competition to be organized by leadership and propaganda.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kilt-wearing: A Personal Journey

Kilt-wearing: A Personal Journey

The Upsides to Kilt-wearing

1. A kilt is more comfortable than pants or shorts

2. A kilt helps me feel cooler on hot summer days.

3. Woolen knee high socks keep my lower legs warmer than jeans.

4. It is comfortable to run/jog in a kilt

5. It is more efficient (slightly less tiring) to walk. (The clothing isn't wrapped around legs providing slight resistance at thigh lift and knee bend).

6. Crouching is comfortable. (Though kneeling and knee-walking is a bit more complicated/challenging)

7. That refreshing breeze I feel on a windy day. :-)

8. No chaffing on endurance walks or hikes.

9. It couldn't be easier for a gentleman to take a leak (for that matter, other woodland necessities are made simpler by a kilt, rather than pants around my ankles)

10. No more need to worry about forgetting to zip my fly. :-)

11. I can carry things in you pockets of my kilt much more comfortably (on the side pockets hanging off the kilt)

12. If my kilt gets wet, I don't have that wet fabric directly against me, except at the waist

13. I can take my kilt off, without taking off my shoes.

14. I can put my kilt on with my shoes on.

Down-sides of kilt-wearing:

1. Riding a bicycle is a bit difficult... The back of my kilt is long enough to usually be touching the rear wheel but too short to really "sit-on" it to keep it from flowing in the wind... Also... You may scandalize the neighborhood while riding a recumbent bicycle...

2. Kilts are more expensive than pants.

3. Kneeling to do things such as scrubbing floors is awkward because if the front of the kilt gets under your knee, it can "trip" your leg...

4. I have had some trouble staying warm in a kilt... All of my kilts are made of cotton, and when I first started wearing kilts, it was for comfort in hot weather, for which cotton and linen are well suited; with woolen knee socks, my cotton kilts are warmer than jeans but I'm finding that when it gets into the twenties, I am gravitating towards woolen pants. I suspect that a woolen kilt may keep me similarly warm as woolen pants but it looks like a wool-kilt starts at $250 and I'm not ready to take that plunge yet... I had ordered acrylic kilt with perhaps 10% wool but that order fell through and was cancelled by the supplier due to lack of stock. I will keep experimenting with this and perhaps a thicker pair of woolen socks will have an additional warmth factor...

5. Children can be occasionally heard to be asking their parents, "Mom, why is that guy wearing a skirt?"

6. No knee protection. You might be more likely to scrape your knee if you fall down or kneel a lot.

7. Heavy. I would compare a kilt to the weight of a pair of jeans as that seems comparable but a kilt is certainly heavier than a pair of shorts. So if for some reason you are counting ounces, perhaps a nylon kilt may fit the bill.

8. Mosquitos. I haven't encountered this as a problem yet but I'm cautious about wearing a kilt in outdoor adventures where there might be a lot of mosquitos... The mosquitos might have additional access to tender parts... Also I have wondered about kilts and ticks... I also have some concerns about kilts in rattlesnake country but a pair of pants isn't going to stop a rattler either... I'm not about to give away my pants just yet...