Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery – none but ourselves can free our minds” – Bob Marley Redemption Song

PsyWar: the Real Battlefield is the Mind

Directed by Scott Noble (2010)

Film Review

PsyWar is about the fundamental role of propaganda in a political system that pretends to guarantee  “democracy” in a society that simultaneously promotes extreme wealth inequality.

It begins with an examination of the vital role propaganda plays in war time, with a special focus on the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and World War I. It then explores the morphing of the World War I propaganda machine into the modern public relations industry.

The film moves on to the concept of “polyarchy,” which the filmmakers maintain is the most accurate description of government in the industrial north. In a polyarchy, power is closely guarded by a wealthy elite and the population remains passive except for periodic elections in which they vote for the elites of their choice. When a tiny minority controls nearly all the wealth, “democratic” elections are only possible if the majority is systematically controlled with psychological propaganda.

Big breakthroughs in transportation and communication technology at the end of the 19th century caused a major crisis for polyarchy, as they fed the rise of popular resistance movements (eg the populist and progressive movement, International Workers of the World and militant labor movements). The response to this crisis was the public relations industry.

The Rendon Group and Perception Management

The documentary introduces us to the Rendon Group, the private “perception management” company the Bush administration paid to manage propaganda leading up to the US invasion of Iraq. Immediately after 911, the CIA paid the Rendon Group $23 million to generate anti-Iraq propaganda. They also paid them to manage “public perception” during the US bombing of Afghanistan.

The Dirty Secret Behind the US Constitution

PsyWar devotes nearly 15 minutes to the secret framing of the US Constitution by a group of rich landholders and merchants to overturn the Articles of Confederation and protect their wealth from the “tyranny of the majority.” It contrasts the system of direct democracy of the Iroquois Federation (on which the Articles of Confederation were based), where all members of society (including women) had direct input into policy decisions.

The Crisis of Capitalism

According to PsyWar the modern public relations machine performs two vital functions in maintaining the stability of our current capitalist system. The first addresses chronic overproduction. One of the main flaws of capitalism is that once a population’s basic needs are met, the need for continuing production ceases. Our ruling elite could have addressed overproduction by reducing work hours and increasing wages (as they have recently done in Sweden*), but this would have hurt profits. Instead, under the guidance of Edward Bernays (known as the father of public relations) they ramped up consumption by bombarding the masses with pro-consumption propaganda deliberately playing on their psychological insecurities.

The second major role played by modern public relations is to “manufacture consent” of the governed to their overall powerlessness and passivity. Manufacturing consent is a term coined by journalist (and former government intelligence/propaganda agent) Walter Lippmann. It was Lippman’s view that the majority of Americans are meddlesome outsiders who are totally incompetent to govern themselves.


*In October, Sweden announced they were moving to a six-hour work day to improve productivity and improve work-life balance Sweden introduces 6 hour work day

An NSA-approved Guide to Revolution

Activists who advocate for violent revolution don’t advertise their views on the Internet for obvious reasons. That being said, Storm Clouds Gathering treads a really fine line with their recent. Revolution: An Instruction Manual. They don’t exactly advocate using violence to dismantle corporate fascism. But they don’t really condemn it, either. Instead they argue from perspective that revolutions are mainly won by psychological means and it makes most sense to attack the state where they are weakest.

The filmmakers are totally non-ideological in their approach to dismantling capitalism. In fact, they begin with the assertion that any revolution with a an inflexible pre-ordained view of the desired outcome is doomed to failure.

They then share a general overview of their own vision – a loose confederation of self-governing communities similar to the Iroquois Federation. This was the model for the Articles of Confederation, which was the founding document of the United States of America before the bankers and mercantalists used the Constitution to strip the 13 original states of their power.

Audience Participation Required

The film is interactive and requires audience participation. In fact, it stops at 1:47 minutes until the viewer answers “yes” or “no” whether they believe the system can be reformed. If they click “yes” the video ends. I clicked “no.”

The strategy the filmmakers lay out for dismantling the corporate state involves removing, one by one, what they identify as the three “pillars of power”:

  1. Control of the “public mind,” as it concerns patriotism and nationalistic beliefs, such as freedom, democracy and terrorism.
  2. Control of money and finance through money creation, taxation and inflation.
  3. A state monopoly on violence to compel obedience through fear.

How They Got Past the NSA Censors

The film finishes quite abruptly by recommending people read three books on revolution, including Gene Sharp’s From Dictatorship to Democracy. This was an extremely wise choice, as this is the training manual the State Department and CIA-linked foundations widely distributed to activists engaged in the “color” revolutions in Eastern Europe and the Arab Spring.

I have written at length about the CIA role in financing the nonviolent movement, as well as nonviolent guru Gene Sharp’s historic links with the Pentagon, State Department, and US intelligence.

Thierry Meysson, editor of Voltaire Net, was the first to go public (in 2005) with Sharp’s longstanding links to the military-intelligence complex.* The only weakness of Meysson’s original article is his failure to cite his references. I researched the sources and confirmed each of his original assertions for a 2012 Daily Censored article entitled The CIA and Nonviolent Resistance.

Also see How the CIA Promotes Nonviolence, The CIA Role in the Arab Spring and How Nonviolence Protects the State

*In 2002, Meysson’s The Big Lie was also the first to expose US intelligence involvement in 9-11.