Most people do not think of “science” as something coming under the auspices of propaganda and manipulation. However, as Hannah Arendt shows in her masterful work, The Origins of Totalitarianism, the philosopher highlights several examples from Soviet and Nazi propaganda use of “science.” This is not to say there is no science, but rather that the given corridors of power are only going to support the “science” that supports the present regime itself. Thus, race was outlawed in the Soviet Union, and any facts that contradicted the Nazi ideology, such as the downfall of the Reich, were illegal in Nazism. Psychology and advertising become tools of the totalitarian scheme to further the Gospel of the regime – the deification of the race, or the classless utopia the dialectical material processes of historical forces have been working towards. Both ideologies include an eschatology and a promise of salvation, and as such function like Roman Catholicism, with an infallible leader.
Conspiracy, in these systems, becomes the ideology of the enemy. Arendt mentions the Nazis using the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, as well as the Bolsheviks using the conspiracy of the 300 ruling families, the conspiracy of the MI5/6/CIA controlling all world events, etc. The adopting of the conspiracies need not be perfectly consistent, either, so long as they have an explanatory power that is useful for the immediate time, since the masses have little memory of the past, and it need not matter if the prevailing conspiracy of a decade earlier is not consistent with the present conspiracy. For example, consider the threat of the Soviets of the Cold War, which magically disappeared and morphed into the threat of international terrorism. Where were the Jihadis before they were radicalized under Carter’s administration? I thought the Jihad went back to Mohammed himself. Similarly, where did all the Soviets go? Did they magically all adopt global capitalism after the “wall fell”?
In reality, as Arendt’s chapter on propaganda shows, all of these threats are manufactured, controlled, created, guided, or allowed to have some autonomy, within a certain predetermined sphere. This is the game of global power blocs, and mass psychological warfare and the control of “conspiracy theories” is crucial. The government and any given regime is not opposed to conspiracy theories – in fact, governments thrive from paranoia. What is key is causing the masses to accept a certain propagandized conspiracy theory. At present, global terrorism is the poster child. And the masses still largely buy into this narrative. History, then, must be controlled by the regime, and no errors or mistakes can be admitted, beyond a feigned incompetence of some patsy. In fact, the historians, academics, and “scientists” all magically seem to tote the line, generally, of the regime in power. When global finance capital becomes the enshrined global power, the academic sectors magically support the Gospel of the system’s salvation and prosperity, unless they are part of the controlled opposition, which is crucial in any empire.
Giambattista Vico, August Comte, Dudley Young, Horkheimer and Adorno, Arendt, Nietzsche, Spengler and many other discussed the movements and laws of history, seeking to find patterns, and all of them to some degree connected the rise of power with the control or manipulation of language. In reality, this is no different than propaganda and psychological warfare, as the controlling elites in these systems master language to a desired effect. They become the ‘magi’ of the realm, speaking forth and creating a narrative which suits the era. Some of the thinkers listed above were more concerned with the general ideologies, such as the idea of the reign of quantity taking hold in an environment of the enlightenment - “science” comes into vogue, and reality is seen in mechanistic, quantitative terms, and the world is desacralized and divested of its mystical, esoteric content. At least, so the enlightenment thinkers thought. In relation to power politics and propaganda, though, it becomes necessary for the controlling system to control all aspects of the collective – to hush any dissent. When the regime has power, propaganda is no longer necessary, and blatant lies become standard. The parallels to our own present American situation are obvious.
Arendt writes: “Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself: the masses have to be won by propaganda….It was recognized early and has frequently been asserted that in totalitarian countries propaganda and terror represent two sides of the same coin.” -Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism, pg 341. Thus, the Soviet/West dialectic was necessary until it the Cold War could produce the control grid you stare at in front of your eyes, through black budget Star Wars Defense funding. Then, the implementation of that program ensues publicly under the amorphous threat of “global terrorism.” Since the terrorists are secretly everywhere, everything must be tracked and traced, as is the end result of the panoptic control grid mindset.
Lyndon LaRouche would like to connect this to some ethereal, mystical battle between elite Aristotelians and Platonists, which is far-fectched, is correct (despite the rest of his odd views) when he says:
“Noam Chomsky, whose work is used prominently, and directly, for the development of explicitly brainwashing techniques, is a direct protegé of the apparatus set up under Russell’s leadership. Russell-Korsch-Carnap-Chomsky linguistics extend the methods of synthetic religious-cult building of the Peripatetics to an extreme. The cognitive feature of the use of language is systematically outlawed wherever linguistics methods are employed. The philosophical outlook of the cult of Dionysus is central to linguistics. There is no universal lawfulness, but only the heteronomic impulses and desires of the individual and small group. In other words, the doctrines of Thomas Hobbes, also perceptively adopted by the Nazi regime as appropriate to its character.” -LaRouche, The Secrets Known to the Inner Elites
The similarities with Arendt are also relevant, as LaRouche argues for the very thing Arendt says was a Bolshevik “conspiracy theory” – that world events are controlled by a European nobility, MI5/6 and the CIA. Also relevant is the connection to language he makes. The pragmatist linguists who follow in the train of their deconstructionist forebears inject meaninglessness as the foundation of all meaning- the irrational is the foundation of the rational, which is pure nonsense, and philosophically false. True philosophy and argumentation must be eliminated by the ruling elites, and a psychological warfare attack perpetrated upon all dissidents and non-elites, and in our day that takes the form of weaponized pop culture and government schooling. The breakdown of the identity of the individual into disparate, meaninglessness makes for a malleable pulp the state can mold into whatever form it so chooses, with its grand wizard magi linguistic experts ‘speaking’ form into the void of the unwashed mass collective. The collective is broken down and rebuilt into the image of the totalitarian regime man – the New Man.
Language then becomes the new field of mystical liturgics and mystagogy, where the state officiates at the altar of souls. Beware all ye individuals that enter here, and despair. Since the state then seeks to become the truth, as a new god, it can no longer abide any actual truth, since actual truth might bring the regime’s lies tumbling down. The state then must promote relativism and the destruction of philosophy, the trivium and quadrivium, meanwhile leaving these tools of knowledge intact for themselves. LaRouche is certainly correct when he speaks of power elites knowing how to manipulate reality through mastery of the classics and language – in short, semiotics. In seeking to eventually destroy the objective realm, the realm of truth and logic, the totalitarian system thus enshrines its own demise, as one can only live out of accord with reality for so long, and as Spengler said, all civilizations, like organisms, have a cycle of life and death. However, what does live on beyond regimes and totalitarian tyrants is truth, because truth is objective. We all know Pharoah was not literally God. Pharoah, like the rest of humanity, was a man. But his lie fooled the statists of his day. Similarly, the “science” of his magi fooled the gullible of that time, as well.