Where will the panic begin?

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A lot of us talk about when the general population in the US will start to panic, if ever. I would like to hear other's opinions on what part of the country will start to panic first. Here where I live (Midwest) people don't seem too concerned at all.

-- justmy (justmy@2cents.worth), April 15, 1999


I think a collective panic will have to begin in the cities. An individual panic will begin when the pay check, pension, SS or welfare check doesn't get credited for Jan 2000.

-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), April 15, 1999.

Being a TV culture, "where" isn't that relevant anymore.

The moment the evening news shows a video clip of a It's a Wonderful Life-type bank run, or a hair-pulling, bitch-slappin' brawl over the last can of Who Hash at the local Tons O'Grub supermarket, panic will spread from coast to coast instantly.

It will only take something visually stunning to spark the TV- addicted sheeple. When that happens...watch out!!

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), April 15, 1999.

But will TPTB allow such a thing to be broadcast? Don't think so.

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 15, 1999.

where? probably one of the larger urban areas...the critical issue is when. Unless there is a major, publicly acknowledged, y2k related problem or industrial accident during remediation and testing, I'd suggest that such panic will most likely occur in one of the snowbelt cities sometime between 12/26/99 and 01/14/00


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), April 15, 1999.


Hard to suppress something like that, especially with the "alternative" press ('net, cable, etc.) cutting into the Big Three's market share.

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), April 15, 1999.

What about Germany?

-- Han C. (boatsnfun@aol.com), April 15, 1999.

Rick, have been watching how war proceeds, and the first thing that happened was seizure of radio & TV stations, and kicking out all the foreign journalists.

I think the US .gov .mil is formulating a controlled campaign to contain Y2K "panic" and will start implementing in September, quietly and insidiously.
Think it will be visible to the Forum in November.
They feel this is "war" and have stated their view in those words.
It is a threat to national security and infrastructure, economy and way of life. They will do this in the USA's "best interests" as a security measure and anti-terrorism counter-measure.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 15, 1999.

The panic of course has already begun - right here at panic central. Reading the posts of breathless GIs as they extrapolate the latest doings in Kosovo, who said what on Art Bell last night, or extolling the virtues of Dan Quayle, one thing is certain, the doomers are panicking.

Should not the question really be: At what point in the year 2000 do gloomers admit to themselves that they were GI stooges? I'll be here with a sympathetic shoulder to cry on when you do...

-- Y2K Pro (2@641.com), April 15, 1999.

Panic is predictably unpredictable. There has to be an underlying level of fear which prevades the mass. There has to be calming and reassuring authorities. There has to be buy in by the masses to risk exposure which was at one time considered unwise but which now is considered 'normal' or enriching. Greed vs Fear.

At this point, IMHO, people in general are not fearful enough. They are not informed enough to be fearful. There are not enough 'drum beats' out there forwarning them, and making them nervous. The people on the Titanic did not really grasp their fate until the ship was tilting into the water under their feet. This is because they really believed the assurances of the authorities and had no experience with which to relate and recognize the situation they were in. The 'inputs' had nothing they could be related to in order for a pattern called 'sinking' to be recognized.

It is possible that we have already had our first 'panic' and governmental counter offensive during the January through March timeframe. This was a first wave panic of a small segment of the population. They beat it back with a good propoganda blitz. Now the masses are happy with the happy faced reports and the first wave is a bit disoriented from the 'good news campaign'.

Serious GI's are still in full swing on preps but the tag alongs who were not as convinced have been knocked down, hence orders slacking abit for prep/goods companies.

IMO we will see another (a second) wave of panic more visible than this first one in about a month or so. That one will also be pushed back down but not as convincingly as the first. This will then set the stage for the beginning of true mass panic. It is a building tide of fear which must become the underlying motivator for the mass panic. The trigger after that point of critical fear level could and will be anything at all, even something unrelated to Y2K whatever.

Watch for the second wave of panic. Once its subsides then you will know it is time to get off of the beach and into the mountains because the third wave will be the real, big, bad, hairy thing. Then the government will step in with a club. This will only unleash the force of fear in totality. The inability of government ot control people with force will completely unhinge those who were not part of the thrid wave of panic..that final third of the public who only run when everyone else is running and never know why they are running.

All IMHO for your consideration.

Watching the patterns with you.


-- David 2" (C.D@I.N), April 15, 1999.

This dimwit y2k prole surfaces yet again with some brain fade remarks about people on this forum panicking.

WHAT a moron.

As for the public at large, it's not going to happen until the very last days of this year. The spinmeisters have things too tightly ordered, this will make the backlash when it comes that much worse - watch Wall Street, watch other diversions here and abroad. Did anyone say terrorists on Main Street?

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 15, 1999.

-- rick blaine >

I don't wish to be disagreeable, but I disagree. Just as in "Wag the Dog", I think the operative rule is, "If it doesn't happen on TV news, it didn't happen." I am constantly amazed at things which appear on the net or in newsletters and have absolutely no effect whatever on mainstream America.

More and more, it looks like we really are going to hit this wall at full speed.

-- Stephen Kovaka (kovaka@usa.net), April 15, 1999.

...Andy Loonytunes excretes some more illogical,paranoid, Y2Klaptrap. Congratulations son, you get to wear the Gary North Dunce cap for an entire day!

-- Y2K pro (2@641.com), April 15, 1999.

And once again we see why Y2K Pro won "Miss Congeniality" hands down in yesterday's survey.

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), April 15, 1999.

Hey y2k prole, got any comments about Yardeni's survey yesterday?

You've been keeping very quiet on this one - cat got your tongue?

Or are you a virtual y2k prole?

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 15, 1999.

Whenever something important is posted, a troll comes along to distract.


Rick, have been watching how war proceeds, and the first thing that happened was seizure of radio & TV stations, and kicking out all the foreign journalists.

I think the US .gov .mil is formulating a controlled campaign to contain Y2K "panic" and will start implementing in September, quietly and insidiously.
Think it will be visible to the Forum in November.

They feel this is "war" and have stated their view in those words.
It is a threat to national security and infrastructure, economy and way of life. They will do this in the USA's "best interests" as a security measure and anti-terrorism counter-measure.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx x

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 15, 1999.


Whoa, that would be a *major* First Amendment violation. Even the bleedin heart government-lovin lefties in the press would put up a major stink.

Without *real* war stuff going on--bombings, tanks, troops, etc.-- it'll be much more difficult to seize private broadcast facilities and kick out jouralists, especially in freedom-loving, never-happened- here-before America.

That behavior alone by the gov. mil. would spark a riot/panic/revolt more than y2k worries.

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), April 15, 1999.

They won't need to kick any journalists out -- they'll simply mass-blast "educate" indoctrinate them. Have already seen them do it to EMS folks. Big "calming" effort which everybody joins in, to acknowledge Y2K as just a "winter storm," etc. It will be the patriotic mandatory attitude, to maintain order and not rock the boat. Watch.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 15, 1999.

I don't know where it will begin but I can share this. I'm a paramedic in the midwest and all leave has been canceled for everyone the last 2 weeks of the year. Police,hospital staff us everyone statewide! I don't know where it'll start but the powers that be think the last 2 weeks of the year are gonna get pretty hairy ya know what I mean?

-- R A (R A @wildcats.com), April 15, 1999.

The 'where' is pretty much easier than the 'when' on this one. If there ever is panic (so far the herd grazes peacefully) it will be fairly widespread given the connected nature of modern society. I expect large cities to be the nodes of panic if it materializes (and by panic in this case I don't mean simple linear flight but an abandonment of anything approaching 'normal' conduct by a significant proportion of the population) and I anticipate seeing fairly widespread riot as a result. IF there is panic- remember there are no guarantees either way here. I anticipate the first thing you'll likely see is long lines of unhappy people at banks. This is not necessarily the sort of panic you might have in mind but it has been referred to in the past using that term, and it may be again (but will it be the Panic of 1999, or the Panic of 2000?). Depending on what else might happen certain events might cause localized panic- problems at a chemical manufacturing plant or nuke plant, for example. Again, there are no guarantees- it's 1999, all bets are off.

As to the 'when,' there's no real reason to assume that 1/1/2000 will be an end-all head-on-crash kind of day. It may be the beginning of a problem set that might take a few months to materialize. There may be numerous relatively minor problems which compound geometrically and don't cause major problems until later. There might not be major problems at all, in fact.

But no one other than happy-face pollys is offering any certainty that there WON'T be significant problems come rollover. At this point there is no more certainty about what will happen than there was a year ago, or two years ago. Lots of problems have been identified and lots of stuff has been fixed. But there are no guarantees that all significant problems have been discovered or repaired at this late date. You pays your money and you takes your chances either way you go. Prudent preparedness seems advisable to me- your mileage may vary.

-- (li'ldog@stillontheporch.com), April 15, 1999.

When the butterfly in the rain forest flaps its wings. (reference to chaos theory)

-- A (A@AisA.com), April 15, 1999.

Panic will come when one of these countries (Iraq,Serbia,Libya etc.) manages to bomb or terrorize one of our cities. We sure have made a lot of people made as hell at us. I believe it is possible that they might strike somewhere when we least expect it. I fear this much more than Y2K because there is nothing I can do about this problem. The Japanese thought their homeland was invulnerable to attack in WWII. Jimmy Dolittle bombed them back to reality. After the bombing in Tokyo the Japanese were never the same. Most Americans would go nuts if the bombs started falling on them rather than in some God-forsaken dump over there in Europe.

-- Look Out (for@bomb.com), April 15, 1999.

Y2k Pro:

Would you bait people like that to their faces? In your community? No? You are a coward.

And Mr. Cut-and-paste, without an idea in his head! Pathetic. Your nasty, empty objections to Y2k readiness have convinced more people to prepare than anyone else on this forum. Keep it up.


-- Dano (bookem@blacksand.srf), April 15, 1999.

Awhile back I was catching the series of 6, o'clock news stories on KING-TV ,Seattle ,on y2k. They were showing rioting in the streets and a general mayhem. They did let the viewer know that this was file footage from a night in Seattle when the Seahawks won or lost a game . Cant remember which. But I do remember the street lights were all on and there was no mention about the food supplies or water or ??????

-- Capt Dennis (souza@ptialaska.net), April 15, 1999.

Have I missed the dates regarding the upcomong y2k movie release? I would think that the large movie-going public would be more affected for becoming a GI from a movie, (and or going nuts and then causing a shopping-banking panic) more than from all the print articles that have been out or seeing any important news event a certain day...

-- churchorganist (musicswede@webtv.net), April 15, 1999.

What if there NEVER is any panic? What if the sheeple are so content in that state that any and all swill offered by gov/media satisfy? Do you remember the movie, "Night of the Living Dead?"

I'm mainly kidding, but my point is that "panic" is just the extreme end of having a healthy "alert" system (adrenaline). If the nation's alert system has been systematically eroded over the past, say, 60 years, why are we so certain there will ever be a panic as we define it?

"Banks are now closed for two weeks, but don't worry, it's under control."

"It's okay, Mabel, they have it under control."

"Food supplies are temporarily interrupted, but your ration coupons are now ready."

"It's okay, Mabel, let's get our coupons."

"There will be soldiers in your streets for the next few months to protect you from terrorists."

"It's okay, Mabel, they're here to protect us."

" ??? "

"It's okay, Mabel ....."

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), April 15, 1999.

It was back around '95, during the Rodney King riots in LA. I lived close enough to the burning buildings that the dark smoke covered sky above our house. I was a bit nervouw and thought it best to water down the roof in case the fires got much closer.

My wife, who rarely gets nervous, calmly walks by me and proceeds to get in the car. I yell, "...and where do you think you're going?"

"To the store to get some salad dressing and milk." She replied.

Trying not to insult her, I told her that by now the store will either be looted, shut down, or at least emptied out by nervous citizens. She politely told me to mind my own business and drove to the store.

Five minutes go by. I am just starting to worry about her and she drives into the driveway! I dropped my hose and ran to see if she was ok. She was fine. I said. "I knew you'd be back quickly. The store was closed, wasn't it?" She smuggly replied by holding up the bag of groceries that she had bought!

"Well, were the lines long?" I meekly asked. "No dear, there were no lines, not a one."

-- Tomcat (tom@cat.com), April 15, 1999.


Was you molested by your grandfather when you was a child? Are you a child molester today because of your grandfather? Do you eat rice? Are you a closet homosexual? Do you steal from your employer? Do you tease your children? Are you very tight with your money? Just curious.

-- nospam (nospam@spam.spam), April 15, 1999.

Big Dog has it right - we are a spoon fed society here in America, a sitcom society, a bud lite society, a MacDonalds supersize society...

It's a real shame but this is how the elite want things.

No panic - because to panic you need to be aware.

I don't see that - not one iota.

look what's happening in Yugo and the population is calmly accepting it.

Where are the demonsrtations a la Vietnam?

Oh, it's tax time, baseball season is getting going, see the ice hockey last night?

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 15, 1999.

"Where are the demonstrations....Viet Nam?" Demonstrations won't happen this time. The PRESS has decided that 'WE ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE'. The press decided early on in Viet Nam that we were assisting the wrong side. Dan Rather sat at the bar in the Caravelle and wrote his stories...usually without going outside (it was hot, it stunk and MY GOD, There are people SHOOTING out there).

No, if the American populace didn't get stirred up with all the other bull that has come from this administration, they aren't going to get stirred up about 'a rightful war'.

'Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.'

The prime thing that will get the people stirred up will be the media broadcasting some event that stirs the deep primal visceral fear that exists in all of us. What it will be no one knows....but it will happen.

-- Lobo (atthelair@yahoo.com), April 15, 1999.

Who needs to troll when there are threads like this?

-- Mad Dog (mdog@rover.edu), April 15, 1999.

Mad Dog...just your usual frindly expression of thoughts between friends.....right?

-- Lobo (atthelair@yahoo.com), April 15, 1999.

what Leska is talking about, would result in what B.D. is suggesting. The more I think about it, the more I think Leska has a point, and that the only real question is how/if/when they will attempt to contain the non-traditional media...


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), April 15, 1999.

Arlin, they've already experimented with the nontraditional media.

This Forum is as free and nontraditional as it gets in public, and yet look at the constant vacuous postings of glossy inane Y2K Already Taken Care Of, Joy! articles, troll disruptions, imp-posters, squabbling, infighting, etc. that half-baked bozos are able to instigate.

Intense peer pressure, playing up good news, playing out and nit-eroding patience, appealing to natural desire to not have to worry so much, playing on the uncertainty, plus ridicule, fear, subtle threats, more peer pressure, barrage of TV & print "official news on the fixed-it side," -- all the little pokes and prods and chumming, slumming, dumbing manipulations to see what induces glazed exhaustion with the Y2K topic.

All these compounded with big business tactics will derail the alternative nontraditional media to a anesthetized extent. Soon there will be more legitimate remediations and these will be blazoned and trumpeted across the media span with great official satisfaction and fanfare.

There is a HUGE concerted push, just starting, to contain and control the bud of attention around Y2K. Every known thought-pesticide will be applied, and some experimental tactics tried. By the time mankind has recovered, there will be new chapters for the propaganda textbooks.

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 16, 1999.

Above was written: Panic will come when one of these countries (Iraq,Serbia,Libya etc.) manages to bomb or terrorize one of our cities.

I believe this, but for a strange reason. Once in a great while, since childhood, I have significant dreams that at least in part end up coming true. I think it's just my subconscious working overtime on probable futures. Anyway about a year ago, maybe more, I had this fascinating dream of that sort where I was shown a map of the united states and understood that in all the marked areas on the map, terrorist activities would be done, and that this would change our world psychologically as well as physically. I couldn't draw the map now. But I remember noting with some wonder why the majority of the targets were spread out all over the right half of the united states. Hasn't happened yet but I'm waiting.

Lately to my husband I've said almost what BigDog said above. That maybe, what if, nobody EVER gets it? What if most of the planet exists right into Y2K without any real awareness, preparation, etc.? The gov't is doing such a good job with this media thing that I'm beginning to wonder.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 16, 1999.

I can see terrorism coming to the USA very soon - but my question is - who will the terrorists be?

Clue. Pick a letter, any letter, once you have three of them you're on the right track.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 16, 1999.

Another question - we have a couple of small suitcase nukes go off in the USA... who will be blamed, what will be the fallout from this? (pun intended). What will we, the citizens, accept as our fate (as in fait accompli) in "containing" this dastardly and cowardly terrorism?

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 16, 1999.

Where will the panic begin?

I think maybe in Waycross, Ga. or possibly Ajo, Az.

Hope this is helpful for your y2k preparations

-- pero@snoopdoggiedog.org (pero@snoopdoggiedog.org), April 16, 1999.

Leska,, I agree with your media control theory, but I think it's allready happened. Our media is all owned by large coorperations, wich is regulated by fcc. To explain this reasoning I'm posting Chomsky's writing on said media. (sorry about the length guys but I think it's excellant)

Studying the Media

What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream

From a talk at Z Media Institute June 1997

By Noam Chomsky

Part of the reason why I write about the media is because I am interested in the whole intellectual culture, and the part of it that is easiest to study is the media. It comes out every day. You can do a systematic investigation. You can compare yesterdays version to todays version. There is a lot of evidence about whats played up and what isnt and the way things are structured.

My impression is the media arent very different from scholarship or from, say, journals of intellectual opinionthere are some extra constraintsbut its not radically different. They interact, which is why people go up and back quite easily among them.

You look at the media, or at any institution you want to understand. You ask questions about its internal institutional structure. You want to know something about their setting in the broader society. How do they relate to other systems of power and authority? If youre lucky, there is an internal record from leading people in the information system which tells you what they are up to (it is sort of a doctrinal system). That doesnt mean the public relations handouts but what they say to each other about what they are up to. There is quite a lot of interesting documentation.

Those are three major sources of information about the nature of the media. You want to study them the way, say, a scientist would study some complex molecule or something. You take a look at the structure and then make some hypothesis based on the structure as to what the media product is likely to look like. Then you investigate the media product and see how well it conforms to the hypotheses. Virtually all work in media analysis is this last parttrying to study carefully just what the media product is and whether it conforms to obvious assumptions about the nature and structure of the media.

Well, what do you find? First of all, you find that there are different media which do different things, like the entertainment/Hollywood, soap operas, and so on, or even most of the newspapers in the country (the overwhelming majority of them). They are directing the mass audience.

There is another sector of the media, the elite media, sometimes called the agenda-setting media because they are the ones with the big resources, they set the framework in which everyone else operates. The New York Times and CBS, that kind of thing. Their audience is mostly privileged people. The people who read the New York Timespeople who are wealthy or part of what is sometimes called the political classthey are actually involved in the political system in an ongoing fashion. They are basically managers of one sort or another. They can be political managers, business managers (like corporate executives or that sort of thing), doctoral managers (like university professors), or other journalists who are involved in organizing the way people think and look at things.

The elite media set a framework within which others operate. If you are watching the Associated Press, who grind out a constant flow of news, in the mid-afternoon it breaks and there is something that comes along every day that says "Notice to Editors: Tomorrows New York Times is going to have the following stories on the front page." The point of that is, if youre an editor of a newspaper in Dayton, Ohio and you dont have the resources to figure out what the news is, or you dont want to think about it anyway, this tells you what the news is. These are the stories for the quarter page that you are going to devote to something other than local affairs or diverting your audience. These are the stories that you put there because thats what the New York Times tells us is what youre supposed to care about tomorrow. If you are an editor in Dayton, Ohio, you would sort of have to do that, because you dont have much else in the way of resources. If you get off line, if youre producing stories that the big press doesnt like, youll hear about it pretty soon. In fact, what just happened at San Jose Mercury News is a dramatic example of this. So there are a lot of ways in which power plays can drive you right back into line if you move out. If you try to break the mold, youre not going to last long. That framework works pretty well, and it is understandable that it is just a reflection of obvious power structures.

The real mass media are basically trying to divert people. Let them do something else, but dont bother us (us being the people who run the show). Let them get interested in professional sports, for example. Let everybody be crazed about professional sports or sex scandals or the personalities and their problems or something like that. Anything, as long as it isnt serious. Of course, the serious stuff is for the big guys. "We" take care of that.

What are the elite media, the agenda-setting ones? The New York Times and CBS, for example. Well, first of all, they are major, very profitable, corporations. Furthermore, most of them are either linked to, or outright owned by, much bigger corporations, like General Electric, Westinghouse, and so on. They are way up at the top of the power structure of the private economy which is a very tyrannical structure. Corporations are basically tyrannies, hierarchic, controled from above. If you dont like what they are doing you get out. The major media are just part of that system.

What about their institutional setting? Well, thats more or less the same. What they interact with and relate to is other major power centersthe government, other corporations, or the universities. Because the media are a doctrinal system they interact closely with the universities. Say you are a reporter writing a story on Southeast Asia or Africa, or something like that. Youre supposed to go over to the big university and find an expert who will tell you what to write, or else go to one of the foundations, like Brookings Institute or American Enterprise Institute and they will give you the words to say. These outside institutions are very similar to the media.

The universities, for example, are not independent institutions. There may be independent people scattered around in them but that is true of the media as well. And its generally true of corporations. Its true of Fascist states, for that matter. But the institution itself is parasitic. Its dependent on outside sources of support and those sources of support, such as private wealth, big corporations with grants, and the government (which is so closely interlinked with corporate power you can barely distinguish them), they are essentially what the universities are in the middle of. People within them, who dont adjust to that structure, who dont accept it and internalize it (you cant really work with it unless you internalize it, and believe it); people who dont do that are likely to be weeded out along the way, starting from kindergarten, all the way up. There are all sorts of filtering devices to get rid of people who are a pain in the neck and think independently. Those of you who have been through college know that the educational system is very highly geared to rewarding conformity and obedience; if you dont do that, you are a troublemaker. So, it is kind of a filtering device which ends up with people who really honestly (they arent lying) internalize the framework of belief and attitudes of the surrounding power system in the society. The elite institutions like, say, Harvard and Princeton and the small upscale colleges, for example, are very much geared to socialization. If you go through a place like Harvard, most of what goes on there is teaching manners; how to behave like a member of the upper classes, how to think the right thoughts, and so on.

If youve read George Orwells Animal Farm which he wrote in the mid- 1940s, it was a satire on the Soviet Union, a totalitarian state. It was a big hit. Everybody loved it. Turns out he wrote an introduction to Animal Farm which was suppressed. It only appeared 30 years later. Someone had found it in his papers. The introduction to Animal Farm was about "Literary Censorship in England" and what it says is that obviously this book is ridiculing the Soviet Union and its totalitarian structure. But he said England is not all that different. We dont have the KGB on our neck, but the end result comes out pretty much the same. People who have independent ideas or who think the wrong kind of thoughts are cut out.

He talks a little, only two sentences, about the institutional structure. He asks, why does this happen? Well, one, because the press is owned by wealthy people who only want certain things to reach the public. The other thing he says is that when you go through the elite education system, when you go through the proper schools in Oxford, you learn that there are certain things its not proper to say and there are certain thoughts that are not proper to have. That is the socialization role of elite institutions and if you dont adapt to that, youre usually out. Those two sentences more or less tell the story.

When you critique the media and you say, look, here is what Anthony Lewis or somebody else is writing, they get very angry. They say, quite correctly, "nobody ever tells me what to write. I write anything I like. All this business about pressures and constraints is nonsense because Im never under any pressure." Which is completely true, but the point is that they wouldnt be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. The same is mostly true of university faculty in the more ideological disciplines. They have been through the socialization system.

Okay, you look at the structure of that whole system. What do you expect the news to be like? Well, its pretty obvious. Take the New York Times. Its a corporation and sells a product. The product is audiences. They dont make money when you buy the newspaper. They are happy to put it on the worldwide web for free. They actually lose money when you buy the newspaper. But the audience is the product. The product is privileged people, just like the people who are writing the newspapers, you know, top-level decision-making people in society. You have to sell a product to a market, and the market is, of course, advertisers (that is, other businesses). Whether it is television or newspapers, or whatever, they are selling audiences. Corporations sell audiences to other corporations. In the case of the elite media, its big businesses.

Well, what do you expect to happen? What would you predict about the nature of the media product, given that set of circumstances? What would be the null hypothesis, the kind of conjecture that youd make assuming nothing further. The obvious assumption is that the product of the media, what appears, what doesnt appear, the way it is slanted, will reflect the interest of the buyers and sellers, the institutions, and the power systems that are around them. If that wouldnt happen, it would be kind of a miracle.

Okay, then comes the hard work. You ask, does it work the way you predict? Well, you can judge for yourselves. Theres lots of material on this obvious hypothesis, which has been subjected to the hardest tests anybody can think of, and still stands up remarkably well. You virtually never find anything in the social sciences that so strongly supports any conclusion, which is not a big surprise, because it would be miraculous if it didnt hold up given the way the forces are operating.

The next thing you discover is that this whole topic is completely taboo. If you go to the Kennedy School of Government or Stanford, or somewhere, and you study journalism and communications or academic political science, and so on, these questions are not likely to appear. That is, the hypothesis that anyone would come across without even knowing anything that is not allowed to be expressed, and the evidence bearing on it cannot be discussed. Well, you predict that too. If you look at the institutional structure, you would say, yeah, sure, thats got to happen because why should these guys want to be exposed? Why should they allow critical analysis of what they are up to take place? The answer is, there is no reason why they should allow that and, in fact, they dont. Again, it is not purposeful censorship. It is just that you dont make it to those positions. That includes the left (what is called the left), as well as the right. Unless you have been adequately socialized and trained so that there are some thoughts you just dont have, because if you did have them, you wouldnt be there. So you have a second order of prediction which is that the first order of prediction is not allowed into the discussion.

The last thing to look at is the doctrinal framework in which this proceeds. Do people at high levels in the information system, including the media and advertising and academic political science and so on, do these people have a picture of what ought to happen when they are writing for each other (not when they are making graduation speeches)? When you make a commencement speech, it is pretty words and stuff. But when they are writing for one another, what do people say about it?

There are basically three currents to look at. One is the public relations industry, you know, the main business propaganda industry. So what are the leaders of the PR industry saying? Second place to look is at what are called public intellectuals, big thinkers, people who write the "op eds" and that sort of thing. What do they say? The people who write impressive books about the nature of democracy and that sort of business. The third thing you look at is the academic stream, particularly that part of political science which is concerned with communications and information and that stuff which has been a branch of political science for the last 70 or 80 years.

So, look at those three things and see what they say, and look at the leading figures who have written about this. They all say (Im partly quoting), the general population is "ignorant and meddlesome outsiders." We have to keep them out of the public arena because they are too stupid and if they get involved they will just make trouble. Their job is to be "spectators," not "participants."

They are allowed to vote every once in a while, pick out one of us smart guys. But then they are supposed to go home and do something else like watch football or whatever it may be. But the "ignorant and meddlesome outsiders" have to be observers not participants. The participants are what are called the "responsible men" and, of course, the writer is always one of them. You never ask the question, why am I a "responsible man" and somebody else is in jail? The answer is pretty obvious. Its because you are obedient and subordinate to power and that other person may be independent, and so on. But you dont ask, of course. So there are the smart guys who are supposed to run the show and the rest of them are supposed to be out, and we should not succumb to (Im quoting from an academic article) "democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interest." They are not. They are terrible judges of their own interests so we have do it for them for their own benefit.

Actually, it is very similar to Leninism. We do things for you and we are doing it in the interest of everyone, and so on. I suspect thats part of the reason why its been so easy historically for people to shift up and back from being, sort of enthusiastic Stalinists to being big supporters of U.S. power. People switch very quickly from one position to the other, and my suspicion is that its because basically it is the same position. Youre not making much of a switch. Youre just making a different estimate of where power lies. One point you think its here, another point you think its there. You take the same position.

@PAR SUB = How did all this evolve? It has an interesting history. A lot of it comes out of the first World War, which is a big turning point. It changed the position of the United States in the world considerably. In the 18th century the U.S. was already the richest place in the world. The quality of life, health, and longevity was not achieved by the upper classes in Britain until the early 20th century, let alone anybody else in the world. The U.S. was extraordinarily wealthy, with huge advantages, and, by the end of the 19th century, it had by far the biggest economy in the world. But it was not a big player on the world scene. U.S. power extended to the Caribbean Islands, parts of the Pacific, but not much farther.

During the first World War, the relations changed. And they changed more dramatically during the second World War. After the second World War the U.S. more or less took over the world. But after first World War there was already a change and the U.S. shifted from being a debtor to a creditor nation. It wasnt huge, like Britain, but it became a substantial actor in the world for the first time. That was one change, but there were other changes.

The first World War was the first time there was highly organized state propaganda. The British had a Ministry of Information, and they really needed it because they had to get the U.S. into the war or else they were in bad trouble. The Ministry of Information was mainly geared to sending propaganda, including huge fabrications about "Hun" atrocities, and so on. They were targeting American intellectuals on the reasonable assumption that these are the people who are most gullible and most likely to believe propaganda. They are also the ones that disseminate it through their own system. So it was mostly geared to American intellectuals and it worked very well. The British Ministry of Information documents (a lot have been released) show their goal was, as they put it, to control the thought of the entire world, a minor goal, but mainly the U.S. They didnt care much what people thought in India. This Ministry of Information was extremely successful in deluding hot shot American intellectuals into accepting British propaganda fabrications. They were very proud of that. Properly so, it saved their lives. They would have lost the first World War otherwise.

In the U.S., there was a counterpart. Woodrow Wilson was elected in 1916 on an anti-war platform. The U.S. was a very pacifist country. It has always been. People dont want to go fight foreign wars. The country was very much opposed to the first World War and Wilson was, in fact, elected on an anti-war position. "Peace without victory" was the slogan. But he was intending to go to war. So the question was, how do you get the pacifist population to become raving anti-German lunatics so they want to go kill all the Germans? That requires propaganda. So they set up the first and really only major state propaganda agency in U.S. history. The Committee on Public Information it was called (nice Orwellian title), called also the Creel Commission. The guy who ran it was named Creel. The task of this commission was to propagandize the population into a jingoist hysteria. It worked incredibly well. Within a few months there was a raving war hysteria and the U.S. was able to go to war.

A lot of people were impressed by these achievements. One person impressed, and this had some implications for the future, was Hitler. If you read Mein Kampf, he concludes, with some justification, that Germany lost the first World War because it lost the propaganda battle. They could not begin to compete with British and American propaganda which absolutely overwhelmed them. He pledges that next time around theyll have their own propaganda system, which they did during the second World War. More important for us, the American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on.

So what do you do? Its going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think. There had been public relation specialists but there was never a public relations industry. There was a guy hired to make Rockefellers image look prettier and that sort of thing. But this huge public relations industry, which is a U.S. invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War. The leading figures were people in the Creel Commission. In fact, the main one, Edward Bernays, comes right out of the Creel Commission. He has a book that came out right afterwards called Propaganda. The term "propaganda," incidentally, did not have negative connotations in those days. It was during the second World War that the term became taboo because it was connected with Germany, and all those bad things. But in this period, the term propaganda just meant information or something like that. So he wrote a book called Propaganda around 1925, and it starts off by saying he is applying the lessons of the first World War. The propaganda system of the first World War and this commission that he was part of showed, he says, it is possible to "regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies." These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques.

This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala.

His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didnt smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniquesmodels and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual.

Another member of the Creel Commission was Walter Lippmann, the most respected figure in American journalism for about half a century (I mean serious American journalism, serious think pieces). He also wrote what are called progressive essays on democracy, regarded as progressive back in the 1920s. He was, again, applying the lessons of the work on propaganda very explicitly. He says there is a new art in democracy called manufacture of consent. That is his phrase. Edward Herman and I borrowed it for our book, but it comes from Lippmann. So, he says, there is this new art in the method of democracy, "manufacture of consent." By manufacturing consent, you can overcome the fact that formally a lot of people have the right to vote. We can make it irrelevant because we can manufacture consent and make sure that their choices and attitudes will be structured in such a way that they will always do what we tell them, even if they have a formal way to participate. So well have a real democracy. It will work properly. Thats applying the lessons of the propaganda agency.

Academic social science and political science comes out of the same thing. The founder of whats called communications and academic political science is Harold Glasswell. His main achievement was a book, a study of propaganda. He says, very frankly, the things I was quoting beforethose things about not succumbing to democratic dogmatism, that comes from academic political science (Lasswell and others). Again, drawing the lessons from the war time experience, political parties drew the same lessons, especially the conservative party in England. Their early documents, just being released, show they also recognized the achievements of the British Ministry of Information. They recognized that the country was getting more democratized and it wouldnt be a private mens club. So the conclusion was, as they put it, politics has to become political warfare, applying the mechanisms of propaganda that worked so brilliantly during the first World War towards controlling peoples thoughts.

Thats the doctrinal side and it coincides with the institutional structure. It strengthens the predictions about the way the thing should work. And the predictions are well confirmed. But these conclusions, also, are not allowed to be discussed. This is all now part of mainstream literature but it is only for people on the inside. When you go to college, you dont read the classics about how to control peoples minds.

Just like you dont read what James Madison said during the constitutional convention about how the main goal of the new system has to be "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority," and has to be designed so that it achieves that end. This is the founding of the constitutional system, so nobody studies it. You cant even find it in the academic scholarship unless you really look hard.

That is roughly the picture, as I see it, of the way the system is institutionally, the doctrines that lie behind it, the way it comes out. There is another part directed to the "ignorant meddlesome" outsiders. That is mainly using diversion of one kind or another. From that, I think, you can predict what you would expect to find.

-- R. Wright (blaklodg@aol.com), April 16, 1999.

Re: terrorism, who's blamed and what's done, I think everyone should go rent that movie Brazil. Weird, yes. But, to the point.... yes.

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 16, 1999.

Chomsky and Modern Liberal Thought

I found the paste of Noam Chomsky's talk at Z Media Institute by R. Wright to be interesting. Certainly, there are apparent coincidences and realities that may be described by Chomsky, but is the big picture according to Chomsky right on? Or is it just an interesting argument that makes sense, but really doesn't reflect the multidimensional reality in truth? Chomsky's basic thesis seems to come right out of a text book from modern liberal thought, a neo-marxist school that put out some exciting things in the beginning of this century. My own opinion of modern liberal thought is that they identified some serious problems, but their solutions were inadequate. Namely, because they failed to fully and truly understand human nature and human destiny.

The problem with conspiracy theories

Instead of looking for highly sophisticated arguments about power, politics, and propoganda to explain the general lack of attention to the possible disasters caused by potential Year 2000 technology problems... perhaps, simple insights into the reality of the situation may be more accurate. First, no one knows precisely what will happen. We have no real experience with the multi-dimensional challenges of wide-spread failures through out an interconnected system of machines that construct our present social reality. I also assume that like each of us... even John Koskinen (who is also a human being) would like to know what's going to happen with clarity and certitainty. Until that happens, we can't fully respond to whatever reality we find ourselves in. Some may believe that God knows what will happen (I do), but like everyone else... most "believers" will have to wait and see... myself included-- unless you are talking one on one with God.

The media, government, and public companies may or may not want to talk about the nasty side of things if things don't get fixed. But I don't assume that they are conspiring against the American people. I imagine that those who have a clue are trying to understand what's going to happen and trying also to understand what they need to communicate about the situation and the situation that may or may not happen. I think they also believe that they feel a responsibility and are highly sensitive to the consequences of what they do and do not communicate. I'm sure that just as some of us lose sleep at night, worrying about what's going to happen, they are also losing sleep.

Making mistakes and correcting them

Right now, we each (individually) have to JUMP to our own conclusions (possibly erroneous conclusions) about what to do right now. I believe there is sufficient information here and elsewhere on the Internet to make a "less lonely" jump to the conclusion that there is a need to prepare for a local emergency in your area. And there are significant resources of information about how to prepare-- whether you decide to prepare for three days or 10 years. Perhaps, we can even improve upon those resources and their intelligibility with our combined and high intelligence. This seems more worthwhile than devoting our attention to every possible conspiracy. Prudence would dictate such good action.

Those who have prepared for what they think is the worst or those now well along the way may find such good works to be less interesting than exploring dark imaginations. But if it is less interesting and less novel, helping to improve preparedness information, making it more acessible, getting the word out, encouraging people despite the challenges... will prove to be rewarding, more satsfying in the end. As I've mentioned before, some of you may be saving the lives of real people: men, women, and children. Wow! Really, it's not a small thing.

What to do now and what to do different I realize that some of you have talked about what to do, tried to figure out how to deal with new GIs, and spent some time on this, and your efforts are to be greatly appreciated. Some have already expressed their appreciation and gratitude. I thank you for what you have done. But there is more work to be done. There is need for greater concentration... more focus... and this work needs to stay alive. In addition to the possibility of a search engine (what was decided if anything was decided?), new threads with relevant and interesting titles need to pop up at least as often as the conspiracy threads.

You have to take more than ownership of this forum, you really need to reflect on the interesting and, perhaps, sudden realization that you have a unique opportunity to do that which you believe Koskinen has failed. If the media isn't helping, you can make a difference. There are things that can be done beyond this forum. The question is... how serious are you... how committed are you to getting the word out? Do you have the time, money, and energy to do things outside this forum?

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (info@giglobal.com), April 16, 1999.

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