Saturday, January 7, 2017

Crises, Wars and Propaganda

All crises, wars, and propaganda have one thing in common: they are based on the archetype of the horror story.

As Stephen King noticed in his study of the horror story, Danse Macabre, all horror stories are based on the concept of Good attacked by Evil, of Order attacked by Chaos.

Lewis Bornheim, as quoted by Michael Crichton, has noted that “a crisis is a situation in which a previously tolerable set of circumstances is, suddenly, by the addition of another factor, rendered wholly intolerable.” The operative word here is “intolerable.” That’s what makes a crisis a horror story.

Two of the oldest horror stories in Western culture are God attacked by Satan, and Grendel attacking everyone until Beowulf put an end to him. Both are Good attacked by Evil; both were crises that were resolved.

All propaganda used by “the State” (which is nothing but several groups of people who have attained political power) is based on telling people that whatever crisis that exists can only be solved by giving them more money and power. It sometimes involves starting a war (and war is a horror story) through the use of propaganda.

One of the main characteristics of propaganda is demonizing or dehumanizing the enemy, i.e., claiming they are insane homicidal maniacs (and the power of these maniacs is always exaggerated until they become evil gods). In a word, monsters - horrors. Ones who wish to destroy and conquer, like Satan or Grendel.

Unfortunately, the “State” itself is a horror story, since, as many people have noticed, when the State expands, it absorbs or destroys everything in its path. It destroys Society. If you define the State as Evil, and Society as Good, then the State can be nothing but a horror story.

So what we have then, is the curious and very dangerous situation of the State (a horror story) using propaganda (based on the horror story) during a crisis (based on the horror story) to expand its power (making it even worse of a horror).

The problem is that many people do not see the State as a horror. They see it as the exact opposite – a good Daddy/Mommy to take care of them. In the past Americans had a clearer understanding of the State. These days many of them do not.

When you start with the way things are in political science, it then becomes a science, capable of predicting the future. Since the nature of the State is a horror, it can easily be predicted that when it expands its power and privilege though crisises and propaganda, Society will always suffer – which means the mass of people.

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