"It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same—everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same—people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world."
-George Orwell, 1984
This is an exerpt from a recent school paper I put together
Assessment Answer 2+3+bonus:
I provide my rationality for discussing these points in the manor that I have done: The understanding of the machine of language and its manipulation, which relates to questions a, b, and c, is important to go into and is seldom discussed. These three quotes from the assigned material sum up much of what I intend to support through the support of a range of current examples.
"That this is indeed the case is shown in any dictionary, where one can see that each of the different meanings given to any particular word corresponds to a different manner in which that word orients or guides the flow of the coordinations of behaviours and emotions taking place in a conversation” (Maturana, 2008, p. 32).
"Language as a process as coordinating the perceptions and actions of its speakers languaging for short” (Krippendorff, 2006 p. 150).
"Language use creates facts. Declarations, promises, requests and acknowledgments have no truth-value.... Often, declarations come in the guise of predictions that, if believed true and acted upon, create the reality they state. The economic crisis in the 1920’s.... was triggered by the belief that banks could not pay their customers” (Krippendorff, 2006 p. 151).
This point gets to the very heart of what is at the bottom of this whole mess that the world finds itself in today: “…Declarations come in the guise of predictions that if believed true and acted upon, create the reality they state” (Krippendorff, 2006 p. 151). The use of language is a fundamental part of trying to bring about a more responsible way of human existence.
The construction of Economics:
As the control of language is a vital aspect of hegemonic control by governments, corporations and the ruling elite, it is crucial to look into some of the implications that have resulted in the abuse of power over language. I will start by looking into the dominant global financial fractional reserve banking system of the US, which also controls decision making through voting majority at the World Bank and the IMF. In the specific case of the economic crisis of the 1920’s, which is analogous of present, the use of language is important to understand, as it served to construct the reality of the great depression and has been at play once again. In 1921, Congressman Charles Lindbergh stated that, “Under the Federal Reserve Act, panics are scientifically created. The present panic is the first scientific one, worked out as we figure a mathematical equation” (Lindbergh, 1923). Although the Federal Reserve is called the ‘Federal’, it is a privately owned corporation that doesn’t require permission from the government to act.
Its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government; it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. (Brown, 2008)
Governmental agencies also do not have the authority to audit the bank’s private transactions. Essentially, the Federal Reserve Bank’s only source of revenue is from the interest of public debt. This act of usury, which is considered a sin by many religions, is perpetrated on the global public and languaging plays a role in this. Through these ‘scientifically’ created panics, which are done so through languaging, they can be used to favour certain institutions/ideologies.
Generally following large increases in the money supply, contraction shortly follows, loans are called in and liquidation occurs, which as we have seen take place recently, serves to facilitate more consolidation among financial institutions and corporations thereby furthering their hegemony; history is literally repeating itself. It is interesting to note the GDP has increased along with the money supply and foreign debt, essentially meaning zero progress. Yet in spite of all this, we continue to teach and laude an economic system that in all reality is nothing but a pyramid scheme.
As the Money supply, GDP and National Debt, have all increased at very similar rates, the only thing that has remained the same (or grown) is Debt. This corollary relationship could be interpreted to suggest that debt is deliberately used as a mechanism for social control and maintenance of the current power structure. To ensure that this balance of wealth doesn’t shift, the wealthy elite have taken control of media and education institutions to dictate language and history to build a construct that suits their agenda.
US MONEY SUPPLY:
At a critical moment of the global financial meltdown of 2008, after the first ‘bailout bill’ was voted against and the second ‘bailout’ bill was on the floor of the house, a very telling speech by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) revealed how the use of language was being used as a tool for direct manipulation through the utterance of threats:
“The only way they can pass this bill is by creating and sustaining a panic atmosphere. That atmosphere is not justified. Many of us were in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday, that the sky would fall, the market would drop 2 or 3 thousand points first day, another couple of thousand the second day and a few members were even told that there would be Martial Law in America if we voted “No”. That’s what I call fear-mongering - unjustified - proven wrong. We’ve got a week; we’ve got two weeks to write a good bill. The only way to write and pass a bad bill, keep the panic pressure on.”
Following the passage of the $700 Billion dollar ‘bailout’, which has been a disaster, largely not accounted for, and used to service foreign debts, the true nature of the actual cost is much higher than what has been widely reported. November 26, 2008 article in the San Francisco Chronicle reported:
The federal government committed an additional $800 billion to two new loan programs on Tuesday, bringing its cumulative commitment to financial rescue initiatives to a staggering $8.5 trillion, according to Bloomberg News.
That sum represents almost 60 percent of the nation's estimated gross domestic product.
Most of the money, about $5.5 trillion, comes from the Federal Reserve, which as an independent entity does not need congressional approval to lend money to banks or, in "unusual and exigent circumstances," to other financial institutions.”
If the Treasury borrows money to finance a program, that money adds to the federal debt and must eventually be paid off, with interest, says Diane Lim Rogers, chief economist with the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that aims to eliminate federal deficits. The federal debt held by the public has risen to $6.4 trillion from $5.5 trillion at the end of August. (Total debt, including that owed to Social Security and other government agencies, stands at more than $10 trillion.)
This inherent relationship of inflation between the borrowing Government (public) and the lending Federal Reserve results in the devaluation of individuals’ money and creates perpetual debt through constant inflation by an increasing money supply. History is literally repeating itself from pre WW2; perhaps the current situation is even more advanced because Canada and the US already are involved in escalating foreign wars. It is my personal hope that this pattern will end, however judging by what is currently transpiring I have to say that it doesn’t appear to be relenting.
The construction of Education:
How did societal apathy grow to such a high level? Why didn’t I know all of this two years ago? Why was I not taught any of this? Why didn’t I learn about the relationships between American corporations and Nazi Germany (Higham, 1983; Mintz & Cohen, 1976)? Why wasn’t I taught that the Gulf of Tonkin incident may have been a false flag operation? Why didn’t I learn about the true nature of the Iran Contra Affair? Is there a link between an education failure, which very well could be a ‘failure by design’ and the far reaching arms of corporations? Do we want our children to be smart or intelligent? The US education system is in a serious decline. I have highlighted three key areas of failure identified by the educational futures website:
1. Schools are merging with prisons. As soon as students enter schools, they lose many of their fundamental rights, including the right to free speech. Students who do not wish to conform to prison-like, automaton production must develop individual creativity to survive… often at a price.
2. Insufficient adoption of technology. The squeeze is on from both ends: Student-purchased technology is usually derided, suppressed, and sometimes confiscated. These tools are part of the technology spectrum kids know they will have to master. On the other end, technology in the schools is dated, the Internet is firewalled, and there isn’t enough equipment to go around.
3. National education priorities are built on an idealized past, not on emergent and designed futures. Blends of applied imagination, creativity, and innovation are required to visualize preferred futures, to render them proximal and grounded, and to forge them into empirical realities. On the other hand, it is quite possible that Secretary Spellings and other highly placed education “leaders” have never had an original thought in their entire lives.
In a non-autonomous system of education with a lack of access to equipment and information, being delivered by many indoctrinated educators who deliver pre-made corporately designed curriculum, which is often ‘free’, human potential cannot be realized. The education system has turned into a financially controlled machine whose gears and levers are manipulated by the federal government through curriculum development programs (Eisner, 2002), and a handful of highly consolidated media/publishing groups, including: The News Corporation, Education Media and Publishing Group, Scholastic, Reed Elsevier PLC, McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson PLC and Bertelsmann AG to name a few.
These groups own a wide range of publishing journals, book lines, magazines, newspapers, film, television and radio broadcast groups. These media corporations often have investments in financial corporations, and vice versa.
Bunnell 2008 points out that “living in language, means that to live languaging is the manner of living that is systemically conserved generation after generation through the learning of our children in our lineage” (Maturana 2008 p. 34). This act of language conservation as it currently exists is facilitated and controlled in an Orwellian fashion by corporate/financial/political influence so as to maintain a draconian status quo and ensure that their position of dominance isn’t threatened, which has many implications for our planet and the human mind and spirit. As these ‘information’ corporations function as such, that is to say, operate for profit, rivals are often acquired and material is narrowed and streamlined, which further exerts control over the knowledge that is to be transferred through living in language:
"Consider Education Media's efforts to save money by eliminating some competing textbooks from Harcourt and Houghton Mifflin, whose titles include "Harcourt Social Studies," "Holt Social Studies: United States History" and "McDougal Littell American History." The decision will reduce duplication, allowing the company to focus on what it considers its best and most profitable products. But it could also lead school districts, unhappy about the loss of their preferred textbooks… "The best-of-breed theory made a great deal of sense to investment bankers," said Prof. Greco. "It doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense in a K-12 world."
Due to the complex network of collusive ownership relationships between publishing corporations and other corporate entities, and their need to ‘remain competitive in the market’, the line between education and consumerism has been blurred. This has unimaginable consequences for maturing generations. Recently, attention was drawn to Scholastic for actively blurring this boundary and defending the practice:
"The world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, Scholastic earned nearly $337 million last year from the book clubs, which it inaugurated in 1948. The company estimates that three-quarters of U.S. elementary school teachers and more than 2.2 million children participate annually in the clubs.
Items pitched to elementary school students in the last 14 months include M&M's Kart Racing Wii video game, an American Idol event planner, the SpongeBob SquarePants Monopoly computer game, lip gloss rings, Nintendo's Baby Pals video game, Hannah Montana posters and the Spy Master Voice Disguiser.
Judy Newman, a Scholastic executive vice president who oversees the book clubs, defended the program and indicated it would not be changed in response to the protest. The toys and other non-book items were included in the fliers primarily to help spark student interest in the books, she said.
We're losing kids' interest (in reading). We have to keep them engaged," Newman said in a telephone interview. "This (book club) model is 60 years old, and it has to stay relevant to do the work it does. To the extent we put in a few carefully selected non-book items, it's to keep up the interest."
Many of these corporations and subsidiary companies provide free learning resources;
The American Heritage Education Foundation accomplishes this patriotic mission by writing, producing, and distributing FREE K-12 lesson plans to teachers, students, and families in all 50 states and through additional initiatives, programs, and partnerships.
By learning and understanding the basic philosophical concepts of freedom, education, private investment, job growth, and profit incentive, our students will be better equipped to approach the responsibilities and tasks to act and serve in society.
Not only do private streamlined corporations operate in collusion with government and other corporations to supply curriculum direction, learning material and lesson plans, they also provide standardized tests.
Educational Testing Service (ETS) has signed a deal with education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company whereby Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be the exclusive CriterionSM distributor to K-12 institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories and dependencies. Developed by ETS, the Criterion Online Writing Evaluation service is a comprehensive, instructional, web-based tool that helps students plan, write and revise essays while providing diagnostic and holistic feedback to students within 20 seconds of submission.
The agreement covers public, private and parochial schools as well as K-12 home- school associations and U.S. Department of Defense Schools. The deal should vastly expand the market penetration of the Criterion service.
These highly engineered assessment processes could have the effect of favouring successfully indoctrinated students, thus ensuring their success in the educational system, thus grooming the new crop of minds to desired specifications which will eventually integrate vertically into the very system that helped to rear them; many of our systems are self preserving, which is goes against the very dynamic nature of life itself.
To generally oversee and guide historical culturing through grants and initiation of programs, the President of the US directly appoints a Chairperson and 26 “distinguished private citizens” to oversee the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is an independent federal agency. During the George W. Bush presidency, Bruce Cole was the assigned Chairperson whose top priority was to “reinvigorate” Americans’ knowledge of history. “At NEH, he approved more than 3,000 grants and $292.7 million in funding for projects about U.S. history and culture, and was responsible for $759 million in overall grant funding during his tenure. The Endowment’s budget also increased during this period.” http://www.neh.gov/news/archive/20081112.html
This is an excerpt of one of his edicts.
If Americans cannot recall whom we fought, and whom we fought alongside, during World War II, it should not be assumed that they will longer remember what happened here on Sept. 11. And a nation that does not know why it exists, or what it stands for, cannot be expected to long endure. We must recover from the amnesia that shrouds our history in darkness, our principles in confusion, and our future in uncertainty.
This rousting declaration by Bruce Cole could seem to be reasonable to some who may point out that Cole is seeking to promoting a greater collective memory; instead it could be argued that his language serves to conjure up images of war, reminders of September 11 2001 (as reference to the official construct), and implies that questions about existence, or ideological stance would bring about the end of America. In May, 2008, the Wall Street journal openly criticised him:
In any case, his [Bruce Cole] remedy for the national affliction is a program called "We the People," which since its inception in 2002 has spent more than $50 million on teacher institutes and workshops, museum exhibits, research fellowships, digitization of historic newspapers, public programming at historic sites, and similar projects. The grants are, to quote one description on the NEH Web site, geared toward projects that "explore significant events and themes in our nation's history and culture and that advance knowledge of the principles that define America. If Mr. Cole, the art historian, finds art to be optional, however, he is also quick to get back to his main message, about history.”I don't necessarily know that it's a bad thing if people don't know about art or classical music, but I think we should offer it as an opportunity--that doesn't mean you don't like country & western music or watch TV," he says. "I don't feel that way about American history." It's essential. Here he tells the story of Ronald Reagan's parting words as president. "He said this country comes from well-informed patriotism; it's that love of country, that love of place, that's necessary for any country's survival. You can call them myths if you want, but unless we have them, we don't have anything."
Mr. Cole says at one point. "My job is to use taxpayers' money to reach as many people as possible."
In fact, Cole was deemed to be so successful by George W. Bush that he was awarded a medal for his work; “The United States honors Bruce Cole for his work to strengthen our national memory and ensure that our country's heritage is passed on to future generations.”
There is just something not quite right with hearing George W. Bush discuss ‘national memory’, after all he was able to lie repeatedly to the world and has been allowed to get away with it. As an example such as the Downing Street memo demonstrates, important information often has an extremely short life span in the news and is quickly forgotten by the general pubic. With such a high level of coordination and control over language, the dominant institutions have the ability to construct history and shape collective memory.
The Construction of the Outside Threat:
"The myth of the "outside enemy" and the threat of "Islamic terrorists" was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America. Without an "outside enemy", there could be no "war on terrorism". The entire national security agenda would collapse "like a deck of cards". The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on."
- Chossudovsky, 2008
The next example demonstrates active language manipulation. Below are two differing definitions of ‘terrorism’ from the American Heritage Dictionary, which is published by Houghton-Mifflin, a subsidiary of the Education Media and Publishing Group
American Heritage Foundation Definition of Terrorism (English language dictionary):
The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
-The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
American Heritage Foundation Definition of Terrorism (Cultural Literacy Definition):
Acts of violence committed by groups that view themselves as victimized by some notable historical wrong. Although these groups have no formal connection with governments, they usually have the financial and moral backing of sympathetic governments. Typically, they stage unexpected attacks on civilian targets, including embassies and airliners, with the aim of sowing fear and confusion. Israel has been a frequent target of terrorism, but the United States has increasingly become its main target. (See also September 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, and Basque region.)
-The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Where did the word terrorism originate? The word was first used in 1795, which referred to the Reign of Terror initiated by the French government. As demonstrated by the definition offered by the American Heritage Dictionary, not only has the use of the word transferred from government to ‘groups who view themselves victimized by historical wrong’, but also has defined false victims. Noam Chomsky, John Perkins, former Rep (D-GA) and Presidential canidate Cynthia McKinney, and others have unequivocally demonstrated that the US and Israel are among the worlds leading terrorist organizations. Both countries have broken Geneva conventions by engaging in torture, and the use of banned weapons. White Phosphorous, a chemical that burns the skin, was recently used on civilian populations in Gaza and during the siege on Fallujah. This ‘war on terror’ is based on a mythical construction. It is a known fact that Osama Bin Laden was a CIA asset during the1980s (Chossudovsky, 2008), and that Al Qaeda, which literally means “the base”, used to be the name of a computer database, as was also declared by former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook before his untimely death. There is also of course the case of September 11th 2001.
To only mention the most credible dissent of the official story: former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) held congressional hearings that raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the 9/11 commission report, which was ‘designed to fail’ according to one of its own authors Lewis Hamilton, and did not answer many crucial questions. There has also been a considerable amount of scientific study done that contradicts the ‘official’ National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) catastrophic building failure scenarios. To date there have been many peer reviewed journal articles that provide well founded criticism, and many politicians have spoken out about the issue. However, all of these facts aside, and despite that there is mounting public opinion against the ‘official’ conspiracy theory, unfortunately there has yet to be substantial debate over this vital issue; this fact alone should raise questions.
If 9/11 was indeed found to be a Reichstag style event, designed to construct a pretext for launching a global war on an idea, it would have incredible ramifications for the American civil myth. Individuals’ values would be shaken to the core; security in many beliefs would be lost. Language has been once again manipulated to exert control. I am undecided about the issue, but clearly there needs to be a substantial debate on the issue; and there has yet to be one, and there are no plans to have one.
I know from personal experience that discussing these issues immediately evokes a ‘conspiracy theory’ label, and many will refuse to discuss the matter entirely; the substance of the matter is destroyed at the outset by presuppositions that have come to be associated with ‘conspiracy’. In many instances, minds hold firm their preconceived beliefs and are not even willing to look into the information; it is a language based decision, totally void of intelligent perception. When one actually looks into the evidence and the content of scientific debate, many legitimate questions are raised, and have been formulated without reliance on circumstantial evidence. However, a discussion over these issues simply isn’t acceptable; individuals speaking out on these issues are subject to ad hominem attack, ridicule, loss of credibility and career, thus dissent is suppressed and crucial questions become omitted from the material used during the indoctrination of language and cultural narratives. Therefore, through the manipulation of languaging, culture and thought can be shrewdly guided to preserve current power structures.
As demonstrated from the examples of some of the mechanisms in operation that are designed to educate minds in a particular way to serve vested interests, a very dangerous set of presuppositions can be indoctrinated into thoughts in a highly integrated and efficient way, which alters people’s perception and guides their actions and emotions. This 2008 Sky News (FOX subsidiary) story could contribute to a very dangerous outcome; the acceptance of the notion that a widening war in Afghanistan and the inclusion of Pakistan in conflict is inevitable, which is a myth; a total abstraction from the present. It also serves the function of supporting the beliefs created by narratives delivered in classrooms, which eventually strengthens and perpetuates the preservation of the constructed languaging.
As the examples I have provided show, the process of learning is approaching that of machines’ efficiency and indifference, where students no longer learning to think; they are groomed to repeat. They are unwittingly coerced to accept a pre-designed future through a constructed past. This has a terribly stagnating and stifling effect on our collective global society and it presents a major stumbling block to a sustainable and just world. With a war for profit, debt creating, ever expanding economic system that really isn’t actually openly discussed, unfortunately, a sustainable world cannot be reached. Currently the gears of war are turning once again. Members of the Obama administration have proclaimed that Afghanistan is a situation ‘worse than Vietnam’, are increasing forces, and staging attacks inside Pakistan and are likely to send 60,000 US troops by the summer. Unfortunately, real change is supressed, and business as usual is carried on. I am glad I voted for Cynthia McKinney, because I don't see any real change in foreign policy or economic policy, although I do see change in rhetoric. I also understand that the grip that the 'corporatocracy' has on governments is strong and difficult to fight against, and I hold hope that some progress will be made (there already has been in context of the Bush/Cheney administration) provided there is enough public pressure.
As humans, we have to take a high level of personal responsibility for our actions and inactions. It is our responsibility to hold our government and those of foreign countries responsible for the direction our societies are guided to take. Instead of the same questions being repeatedly asked and the same solutions being applied, a total re-think of how we look at ourselves and our relationship with nature is needed. This can be brought about by using what we already possess as human beings; logic, innovation, and compassion need to be actually used and understood for us to reach our true human potential and realize what we are, which is really the only true hope we can realistically hold on to. All else is merely a construction of our own thought that operates somewhere outside of reality. This change must begin at the personal level. Take responsibility for the way you live your life. Realize what we all are; one biological species on a small planet. All human beings are intelligent, compassionate, and rational; they have just been told different stories.
Non Hyperlinked references:
Trading with the Enemy: An Exposé of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949
By Charles Higham
Published by Delacorte Press, 1983
Original from the University of Michigan
Power, Inc: Public and Private Rulers and how to Make Them Accountable
By Morton Mintz, Jerry S. Cohen
Published by Viking Press, 1976
The Economic Pinch
By Charles August Lindbergh
Published by Dorrance, 1923
The Educational Imagination: On the Design and Evaluation of School Programs
By Elliot W. Eisner
Edition: 3, illustrated, revised
Published by Prentice Hall, 2001
Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and Nature. Ch. 2 Every Schoolboy Knows, pp 25-64. E.P. Dutton, N.Y.
Krippendorff, K. (2006). The Semantic Turn. Section 4.1: Language. pp 150-152. Taylor and Francis.
Maturana H. R. and G. Verden Zöller, ed. P. Bunnell (2008). The Origin of Humanness in the Biology of Love. Chapter 2, Fundaments; Language. (in press with Imprint Academic)