My son asked me to watch this and to tell him what I thought.

I have to think about this. Clearly the piece is propaganda, although that is not a dirty word and my son also understands it’s not a dirty word.

My initial reaction is I think that parts of the criticisms here are right. Other parts of it are dead wrong, or twisted. Leaving out the absolutely critical role government has always played in the growth of businesses, successful capitalism, and making our civilization work at all is one thing wrong with it–the “free market” is far from the only thing that creates prosperity or makes a middle class possible. Conflating “prosperity” with “getting rich trading stocks and securities and through usury” is another, as is conflating “prosperity” with “taking advantage of the hard work of others.”

But my bigger problem with it is the conspiratorial tone which suggests that there is a group of people making policy who truly want America to fail–and while I have no doubt there are anti-American forces (right-wing and left-wing fringe both) who want the country to fail, I don’t believe most people, including most people in our government, want that either.

Still, I think some of the points it raises need raising.

If it generates serious discussion great. If it generates rage and animosity, well, then I’m not so sure.

I’ll have to think more on it before I answer my son. Thoughts are solicited. This thing has gotten over a million views in only a week or so, and I expect it to get more as the weeks progress.

(This item cross-posted to Dean’s World.)

Dean Esmay, Guest Voice Columnist
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El Zagna
Guest
El Zagna
4 years 4 months ago

Where’s the substance? It sounded like the same tired Republican talking points to me.

Perhaps you can start by telling us which “points it raises need raising”.

DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
Editor

el z: Pls read the commenters’ rules at the top of the home page.

thanks
archangel/ dr.e

hyperflow
Guest
hyperflow
4 years 4 months ago

quite the flamewar in the youtube comments.
people literally flaming to the point of killing each other.
or at least wanting to.

zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 4 months ago

The video? What a load of nonsense.

adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
4 years 4 months ago

Here’s what I’d say, which is a motto I try to live by: Don’t trust anyone who knowingly lies to you, even if what they say is true most of the time.

“Most” is generous in this case, since almost all of this is at least a gross oversimplification. But the point is: I wouldn’t bother pointing out the parts that you agree with. Those points can be found elsewhere. The more important lesson is to learn that for the seeker of truth must shun propaganda from all sides.

zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 4 months ago

Think of my comment as triage Dean. I see little reason to invest more than minimal reaction to any of the non-serious, poorly reasoned stuff that clutters up the internet. As they say, everyone has an opinon – that doesn’t mean they are all equally worthy of attention.

Rcoutme
Guest
Rcoutme
4 years 4 months ago

Watching the video I was struck with how out of touch the claims were. If I wanted America to fail I would have them watch this video.

1) Claim that OWS vilifies success. They don’t, they vilify crime committed by finacieers.

2) Claim that tens of thousands of jobs were destroyed trying to save the spotted owl. Cutting down forests through clear-cutting eliminates jobs in the future. Replanting is necessary, but won’t happen w/o government intervention.

3) Claim that government is trying to take away cheap energy: cost of environmental impact not included in fossil fuel energy. MA, DE, FL all are worried about losing land to the ocean due to unregulated use of FF energy. So there is a real question of whether or not that energy is actually ‘cheap’.

4) Claim that regulations are squeezing small businesses. No specificity on which ones are doing so. No specificity on why they are not useful. If one looks closer, we find that the ‘regulations’ they want to eliminate are the ones that level the playing field by trying to eliminate fraud.

5) Teaching about possibility of devastating climate change is science, not propaganda.

6) Claims ‘free market’ is virtually holy. It is only through government regulation that one can actually have a ‘free market’. Meanwhile, we currently don’t have a free market because we haven’t got regulations in place to prevent abuse and fraud.

7) Prey on the goodness and decency of Americans? Is he referring to those decent, caring individuals on Wall Street who set up their corporations for long-term failure, knowing that they would reap millions from short-sighted policies that created unsustainable risk? Maybe he should show a picture of Bernie Madoff as one of those financial success stories? At least he should show it next to the OWS people, just to be fair.

adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
4 years 4 months ago

Dean,

Firstly, part of our disagreement is on the meaning of “propaganda.” I’d say that it’s debatable whether the original meaning is relevant. But, in any case, that’s not important to my argument. For lack of a better word, I’d using propaganda to mean “a message designed to deceive” rather than “to persuade.”

It’s quite clear to me that the video is deceptive. Whether is it designed to be, or whether the creators are simply ignorant of the keys facts that are omitted and conclusions that are made hastily, is not entirely clear. But in this case the burden of proof (that they’ve done their homework) is on them, not me, and I don’t see any attempt to convince me that they have done their homework and can back up what they are saying with facts and rational arguments. Therefore, for my own protection I must assume that they are not attempting to persuade but rather the deceive.

A message that attempts to persuade, without deceiving, would present the facts and then the rational argument that leads to a conclusion based on those facts. There may be flaws in the argument, or disputes over the relevance of the facts, but in my view that is the minimum bar that must be cleared for an argument to be worth engaging.

Second, I wouldn’t say that I’m immune to propaganda. In fact, the reason I think it is important that the seeker of truth actively avoid deceptive arguments is is exactly *because* we are not immune. That’s why it’s important that we minimize our exposure to it and find sources of information and argument that are sound.

adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
4 years 4 months ago

To clarify my last paragraph, what I’m suggesting we avoid is people who have proven that they are willing to engage in intentionally deceptive arguments. Because even if they make an argument that seems sound, we cannot be sure we are not being fooled (because we are not immune).

Rob.in.Ma
Guest
Rob.in.Ma
4 years 4 months ago

This video drives lefties crazy. I’ve been posting frequently on MSNBC’s First Read for two years. I linked this video twice in rebuttal to other posters and have now had my account permanently suspended.

Newsvine claimed it was advertising. Really, what are they selling?

If you’ve been on newsvine there’s plenty of liberal sourcing that is straight out advertising.

JIM SATTERFIELD
Member
4 years 4 months ago

Why, Rob, I would think it’s obvious. They’re selling stupid.

The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
4 years 4 months ago

propaganda noun

1. The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.

2. Material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause.

As far as propaganda goes, it is useful to understand who is using it and why they are using it to determine how much one should accept as truth. If the group issuing propaganda regularly uses deception to make their point, the propaganda loses much of its effect – actually, it loses pretty much all of its effect.

Here is the background of this group which has not only used deception in this film, but has run into trouble with the law with other deceptions:

http://mediamatters.org/research/201204270002

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