Friday, March 13, 2015

Paid Skeptics & their Propaganda

I watched Food Inc. again last night with family who had not yet seen this important documentary on commercialized food system in the USA.  By watching this movie for a second time, I have thereby renewed my disgust and rejection of the Frankenstein food systems that have become too commonplace today.

Note:  The CBC Radio clip embedded below starts playing automatically, and I have no control of this.  To stop the audio, scroll down to the CBC Radio embed below and click on the double vertical bars in the bottom left corner of that embedded player.

I bought the movie Food Inc. from the Internet last year after I learned about it during my research for Small Flockers.  Food Inc. provided first hand witness accounts about dysfunctional systems in multiple processes and products in United States food systems, from farm to fork.

While the movie was exclusively focused on farms and food in the USA, other research I have done tells me it is the same or similar here in Canada.

Clip from Food Inc.

There was a response to Food Inc., no doubt.  One of these can be seen at Safe Food Inc. website.  A fast & furious response from the impugned and alleged wrongdoers, even while the filming was actively occurring.  Today, the CAFO food industry has many paid skeptics and lobbyists who tirelessly word to un-ring the bell that had been rung by the documentary Food Inc.

Since most people are easily distracted and misled by well researched and promoted propaganda, is there hope for us in the short or long term?

Nazi Germany's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, was an excellent orator, and even better working behind the scenes to shape public opinion.  Goebbels learned his propaganda methods from Edward Bernays and his 1928 book Propaganda.  Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud, began his seminal 1928 book Propaganda, with these ominous words:
"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 are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of."
--- Edward Bernays, 1928, pg. 1, Propaganda
Also see here for an excellent summary of these propaganda techniques and the consequences for society.  How do propagandists, lobbyists, and paid skeptics sell their questionable services to wrongdoers?

"You can 'Lose Pretty', or come with me and 'Win Ugly'"

The purpose of paid skeptics and propagandists is to spread doubt, and cause delays in the resolution of social problems that affect the pocketbook of wrongdoers.

Paid skeptics get away with this misdirection because there are fewer and fewer investigative journalists. Combine this with the constraints on the main stream media who are tightly bound to their advertisers, the powerful mega corporations who buy ads and sponsor the media's operations.  The remaining media staff at main stream media tend to be forced by their tight 24/7/365 deadlines and their affiliation with their advertisers to accept the press releases sent to them by paid lobbyists and propagandists.

CBC Radio did a short program on paid skeptics and their impact on society.  A chilling tool that we all must be aware of, and guard against.


Clip from the documentary Merchants of Doubt

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