Again I want to emphasize that the study of propaganda must be conducted within the context of a technological society. Propaganda is called upon to solve problems created by technology, to play on maladjustments, and to integrate the individual into a technological world.
Propaganda tries first of all to create conditioned reflexes in the individual so that certain words, signs, or symbols, even certain persons or facts, provoke unfailing reactions...The important thing is that when the time is ripe, the individual can be thrown into action by the utilization of the psychological levers that have been set up...
The biblical teaching is clear. It always contests political power . It incites to "counterpower," to "positive" criticism , to an irreducible dialogue (like that between king and prophet in Israel ), to antistatism, to a decentralizing of the relation, to an extreme relativizing of everything political, to an anti-ideology, to a questioning of all that claims either power or dominion (in other words, of all things political), and finally, if we may use a modern term, to a kind of " anarchism " (so long as we do not relate the term to the anarchist teaching of the nineteenth... Read more »
there is a limited elite that understands the secrets of their own techniques, but not necessarily of all techniques. These men are close to the seat of modern governmental power. The state is no longer founded on the 'average citizen', but on the ability and knowledge of this elite. The average man is altogether unable to penetrate technical secrets or governmental organization and consequently can exert no influence at all on the state.
God is always present, always available. At whatever moment in which one turns to him the prayer is received, is heard, is authenticated, for it is God who gives our prayer its value and its character, not our interior dispositions, not our fervor, not our lucidity. The prayer which is pronounced for God and accepted by him becomes, by that very fact, a true prayer.
It was with the Industrial Revolution, as society plunged ever more eagerly into the conquest of material riches and bent all its energies to the accumulation of goods, that material poverty became a major problem. Obviously, this meant abandonment or downgrading of spiritual values, virtue, etc. To share or not to share in the increase of the collective wealth-this was the Number One question. It was the desire to acquire wealth that prompted the poor to start fighting.
Christians have always tended to transform the Christian Revelation into a Christian religion. Christianity is said to be a religion like any other or, conversely, some Christians try to show that it is a better religion than the others. People attempt to take possession of God. Theology claims to explain everything, including the being of God. People tend to transform Christianity into a religion because the Christian faith obviously places people in an extremely uncomfortable position that of freedom guided only by love and all in the context of God's radical demand that we be holy.
We are not to make the Torah into God Himself, nor the Bible into a "paper pope." The Bible is only the result of the Word of God. We can experience the return of the Word of God in the here and now, the perpetual return of the actual, living, indisputable Word of God that makes possible the act of witnessing, but we should never think of the Bible as any sort of talisman or oracle constantly at our disposal that we need only open and read to be in relation to the Word of God and God Himself.
Propaganda's content increasingly resembles information. It has even clearly been proved that a violent, excessive, shock-provoking propaganda texts leads ultimately to less conviction and participation. The listeners critical powers decrease if the propaganda message is more rational and less violent.
One thing, however, is sure: unless Christians fulfill their prophetic role, unless they become the advocates and defenders of the truly poor, witness to their misery, then, infallibly, violence will suddenly break out. In one way or another 'their blood cries to heaven,' and violence will seem the only way out. It will be too late to try to calm them and create harmony.
Totalitarianism extends to whatever touches it...psychological technique, as it operates in the army or in a great industrial plant, entails a direct action on the family. It involves a psychological adaptation of family life to military or industrial methods, supervision of family life, and training family life for military or industrial service. Technique can leave nothing untouched in a civilization. Everything is its concern. Technique, which is destroying all other civilizations, is more than a simple mechanism: it's a whole civilization in itself.
In point of fact there are a certain number of values and of forces which are of decisive importance in our world civilization: the primacy of production, the continual growth of the power of the State and the formation of the National State, the autonomous development of technics , etc. These, among others far more than the ownership of the means of production or any totalitarian doctrine are the constitutive elements of the modern world. So long as these elements continue to be taken for granted, the world is standing still.
The propagandist must utilize all of the technical means at his disposal - the press, radio, TV, movies, posters, meetings, door-to-door canvassing...There is no propaganda as long as one makes use, in a sporadic fashion and at random, of a newspaper article here, a poster or radio program there.
Propaganda must not concern itself with what is best in man - the highest goals humanity sets for itself, its noblest and most precious feelings. Propaganda does not aim to elevate man, but to make him serve. It must therefore utilize the most common feelings, the most widespread ideas, the crudest patterns, and in so doing place itself on a very low level with regard to what it wants man to do and to what end. Hate, hunger, and pride make better levers of propaganda than do love or impartiality.
Technological society leads to increasing numbers of people who cannot adapt to the inhuman rhythm of modern life with its emphasis on specialization. A class of people is growing up who are unexploitable because they are not worth employing even for the minimum wage. Technological progress makes whole categories of people useless without making it possible to support them with the wealth produced by the progress.
It is inconceivable that the God who gives Himself in His Son to save us, should have created some people ordained to evil and damnation. There can only be one predestination to salvation. In and through Jesus Christ all people are predestined to be saved. Our free choice is ruled out in this regard. God wants free people, except in relation to this last and definitive decision. We are not free to decide and choose to be damned.
If man--if each one of us--abdicates his responsibilities with regard to values; if each one of us limits himself to leading a trivial existence in a technological civilization, with greater adaptation and increasing success as his sole objectives; if we do not even consider the possibility of making a stand against these determinants, then everything will happen as I have described it, and the determinates will be transformed into inevitabilities.
Christians were never meant to be normal. We’ve always been holy troublemakers, we’ve always been creators of uncertainty, agents of dimension that’s incompatible with the status quo; we do not accept the world as it is, but we insist on the world becoming the way that God wants it to be. And the Kingdom of God is different from the patterns of this world.
If I rule out violent anarchism, there remains pacifist, anti-nationalist, anti-capitalist, moral, and anti-democratic anarchism (i.e., that which is hostile to the falsified democracy of bourgeois states). There remains the anarchism which acts by means of persuasion, by the creation of small groups and networks, denouncing falsehood and oppression, aiming at a true overturning of authorities of all kinds as people at the bottom speak and organize themselves.