The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tony who ? (Aussie Federal Leadership Spill) and public opinion.

I woke up this morning to the usual array of global bad and badder news...finally, though mentally kicking and screaming.. I dragged myself reluctantly into reading/listening about the Liberal National leadership crisis and Tony Abbott, possibly soon to become 'Tony who?'.... and thought about this in the light of my current study of Walter Lippmann's informative book "Public Opinion".

I reckon that if you did a house to house visit and asked "How do you feel about Prime Minister Tony Abbott and...why?"   It would boil down to just a couple of simple issues, and one of those according to the lady who delivers bread to the local Safeways, (with whom I have a top up discussion about the state of the nation and politics each time I go shopping) her main beef is the Paid Parental Leave program that seems to reward rich women unfairly.  This is exacerbated by Mr Abbott's other hand that, like a sock puppet, yabbers away about the need to tighten our belts.

Ok... I do see the point to a degree. But I don't find much deeper analysis of this issue which was designed, as I understand it, to enable women from every level of the corporate and 'worker' spectrum to be able to have children without that causing them financial hardship. Honest people generally know that if your total income is around 30k, your life and selective purchase decisions will reflect that.  This includes the mortgage, and I think it's generally so, that people buy a home that they see as being within reach, based on their income. So.. the reasoning goes, if a woman on $100k a year takes parental leave for 6 months or a year on something not even half that amount.....she and the family might face financial hardship relative to their life situation.

I think Mr Abbott intended that this scheme would be funded out of new income resources and not constitute a further drain on already strained federal budget resources.

PUBLIC OPINION.  The more I study on this fascinating subject, the clearer it becomes, that people are exactly like Lippmann described them.. paraphrasing.... "a trampling bewildered herd crying out for direction".  The important question though is this.."who" informs and interprets Government policy and  politicians speeches etc to that bewildered herd?    Of course its the 'Media'.... newspapers and Tv and the internet.

ADVICE. It seems patently obvious to me, in the light of a lot of study on the subject, that most of us are the hapless victims of other peoples decisions (not just choices, that's not strong enough) about what to print, publish or propagate, and the political and social reasons behind those decisions.  Anyone doubting this should look up the name Edward Bernays and his role in re-shaping our consumer society from a 'needs' based to a 'wants' based mentality.

He was employed by big business, political parties, presidents and so forth to create images and wants that matched both economic and strategic political agenda's...and he did a damn good job. Want proof? Try finishing this simple, nothing up my sleeve, no fuss, no tricks sentence.."Bacon and Eggs for......?"  If you thought "Breakfast" as 9 out of 10 people do, you have just demonstrated the effectiveness of the mind manipulation techniques that this man invented,(He was the nephew of Sigmund Freud the inventor of psychoanalysis).

Bernays techniques can be found in books he published about them. "Crytalizing of Public Opinion", "Propaganda",  "The Engineering of Consent" and so on. The 2nd book was bought by Joseph Goebbels, Hitlers minister of propaganda, and the irony is that Bernays was Jewish, as was Freud.

TRUTH?  The greatest challenge we face today is epitomized in the words of Pontius Pilate when he said to Jesus, the Christ, "What is truth?".   It should be obvious, that rarely do we encounter complete truth in the Media, rather, we encounter 'facts' that are assembled and presented with a specific purpose in mind, ie....to reshape our minds.

In my view, the only way we can combat this very effective social and political tool, is to read widely and check facts and sources.  One strong example is the use of race to achieve political and criminal goals, where Mafia don, Joe Colombo formed the "Italian American Civil Rights League" to bolster his social position and use the voice of the masses to thwart FBI plans to bust him. "Movements" are always complicated entities where the real reasons for their existence are often not apparent at first glance. This applies equally to political parties, advocacy groups and community social groups.

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