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Humanarchy, Chapter 2 - Belief and Fear, Part 2


...continued, from Part 1 of CHAPTER TWO – Belief and Fear


Part Two of CHAPTER TWO – Belief and Fear

The Teeming Hordes

The third part of the Unholy Trinity is the most feared because it concerns the most personal and fundamental aspect of our individual lives. Just like every other living thing upon the face of the Earth we are born with one purpose hard wired into our bodies and our minds. We are born to procreate.

For most of the time human beings have been around, the Earth’s population was fairly stable – that is births and deaths were almost perfectly in balance. It may be argued that any species, living in harmony with its environment, would exhibit a similar stability. However, after the invention of agriculture, the world’s population began to increase rapidly. Right now, we are told, there are almost 6 billion of us and the world’s population now doubles every forty years. Put simply, this means that there are around 240,000 more people being born each day than are dying.

None other than the late, but highly esteemed, Jaques Cousteau wrote in a UNESCO publication:

It's terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilised and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn't even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable.

The United Nations Global Biodiversity Assessment, seems to agree with him and informs us:

...an agricultural world, in which most human beings are peasants, should be able to support 5 to 7 billion people...a reasonable estimate for an industrialised world society at the present North American material standard of living would be one billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 - 3 billion would be possible.

Given that most of the world’s population would almost certainly aspire to an "American material standard of living," that means there are presently around 5 billion too many of us kicking around this third rock from the sun. Clearly, dealing with this problem now will be far cheaper and much more humane than in the future. So, now the United Nations is engaged in a long term drive to stop the population increase by eliminating poverty, with safe and effective birth control widely available and by formulating strategies that transfer real political power to women.

But hang on there just a minute – doesn't giving power to one half of humanity (female) mean that that the other half (male) will have to lose power? The answer is undoubtedly yes. The feminisation of society is already well under way and will increase dramatically in the new ‘Century Of Women’. Legislation is underway to enforce all governments to ensure that all women have ‘equal’ access to property and wealth and must be free to live untouched by warfare or violence.

These strategies – ostensibly to enhance women’s ‘rights’ are being applied zealously through our individual nations governments. Strange, when you consider that the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are countries that have practically negative population growth, yet in these nations the destruction of families is rampant, the injustices and punitive measures against males are the most harsh and that women are the wealthiest, healthiest and most cosseted on the entire planet.

Strange also that the United Nations originally championed ‘human rights’ that applied to all human beings – as clearly human beings are both male and female. But the UN has progressively elevated ‘human rights’ for women and ‘The Girl Child’ to the degree that they have now been redefined as superior to those of males. Consequently, we must assume that the male of our species is now defined as sub-human.

If we were looking at such an explosion of numbers among any species on this planet it would naturally cause us deep concern. Surely, no possible increase in food supply can cope with this? There are just too many of us. Surely, unless the population explosion is slowed down we are headed for a global catastrophe even if global warming and toxic emissions can be reduced.

But don’t panic! The fact is that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is actually declining world wide. A TFR of 2.1 is generally accepted as population stability or Zero Population Growth. In developing countries, where we are told things are really desperate, the TFR shows a 45-year decline, down from 6.1 in 1950, to 3.9 at the present. In the developed countries, the rate is below zero growth. In America, the rate is 2.0; in Europe, 1.6; in Japan, 1.5; in Spain and Italy, the rate is 1.3.

Good news – but even if a small fraction of humanity still continues to reproduce at its current rates the situation is essentially the same – the world’s population will increase overall at an alarming rate – even if many nations are in ZPG. Time to panic again? No, not yet. The trends indicate that though the populations of some Asian countries, Africa and Latin America will continue to grow for some decades, the rest of the world will soon be in demographic decline. Additionally, there is a well known correlation between poverty and high birth rates. In almost all countries, whether they be capitalist, communist, Catholic, Muslim, eastern or western, population growth slows down or stops when grinding poverty disappears.

This is called demographic transition. This is why helping countries to become self sufficient is not just decent – it is vital. So, one of the central issues in the world population crisis is poverty. But, there are exceptions to this. Some wealthy nations still have high birth rates. But in them, contraceptives are sparsely available and women lack any real political power. See where we are headed? In forty years time, if the doubling stays constant there will be 12 billion of us, in a hundred and twenty years 48 billion. There is no way the Earth can support that many – is there?

The idea that population growth has exceeded the earth's capacity was first exploited by Malthus (1766 - 1834), and has resurfaced every now and again – especially when there is a political advantage to scaring the shit out of the human herd. For example, in 1968 Paul Ehrlich spelled out the devastating consequences of overpopulation. He also suggested a solution to the problem – a government that would imposed severe population control measures to save the planet.

Heavy stuff – but let’s hear it from another perspective. The Agricultural Economic Institute at Oxford University, who presumably ought to know what they are talking about, conducted studies that showed that by utilising the "best methods," 35.1 billion people could be fed to the standards of an average American diet. Not only that, but Colin Clark, the former director of the AEI, estimated that no more than half the land area would be used for agriculture.

The Population Research Institute gave this simple illustration. They calculate that if you divide the present global population by the 262,000 square miles of the State of Texas, the entire human race would fit nicely into it, with the average family of four having the amount of space approximately the size of an urban building lot. Well, that’s a comforting thought – unless you happen to live in Texas already, that is.

So what the hell is going on here? This is scary stuff. Who do we believe – the scientists who tell us there is no need to panic, things are actually getting better and the population in coming down – or those who predict global catastrophe and want to kill off 5 billion of us? Of course, it’s possible that both sides are lying to us – but which one – and why? You know it’s a frightening thought – but what if they are both telling us the truth?




There is no such thing at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of a journalist is to destroy truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

— John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff of the New York Times,
called by his peers, "The Dean of his profession," 
when asked to give a toast before the NY Press Club in 1953

Before the First World War, there only 125,000 radio receiving sets in the entire U.S.A. Radio was seen as a enthusiasts hobby rather than a means of mass entertainment but by 1937, 27.5 million American families had radios – a larger percentage than had telephones, automobiles, plumbing, or even electricity!

Such wide access to the ears, hearts and minds of so many Americans was too good to miss – especially to advertisers desperate to sell their products. It was American radio that gave birth to the ‘soap opera’ – short dramas serials with comforting homespun themes liberally laced with the ‘message from our sponsor’ – usually an entreaty to the housewife to buy a particular brand of soap powder.

The new media attracted the attentions of more than just the advertising industry though. In 1937 the Rockefeller Foundation funded several universities to investigate the social affects of this new form of mass entertainment. They headquartered the study – popularly known as "the Radio Project." – at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. It’s true purpose was to test the thesis that the overall effect of the mass media could be used to ‘atomize and increase lability’ – in other words ‘brainwash’ people.

In 1939, the ‘Radio Project’ actually published some of its findings in the Journal of Applied Psychology. They announced that the American public had become what they termed ‘radio minded’ and that repetition of format was the ‘key to popularity.’ Repetition of almost any content would invariably make it acceptable – something that most of us who have grown up in an age where we have been constantly bombarded with the strategies of the Radio project, on TV, in advertising, music and movies do not even give a second thought to. It was also found that rigid, recurring themes were very successful at shaping the minds of the masses – the characters, the period, the details may change, but the same basic story is the same.

We have become accepting of having our minds made up for us by somebody else. We don’t even notice it, but we are constantly having our opinions formed on all kinds of issues. Selling us soap powder, a car, a hit song or a movie is relatively harmless (as long as you think that having you mind controlled by someone else to get at your money is harmless) – but the power of the press can be used to deliberately lead people astray, and to make them believe whatever propagandists want them to believe. When it comes to swaying your opinions politically, things can take on a more sinister aspect.

One of the shrewdest ways for human predators to conquer their stronger victims is to steadily convince them with propaganda that they're still free...'

— Dr. N.A. Scott

"All Germany hears the Führer with the folks' radio receiver"

When Adolf Hitler took power in Germany he well understood the power of the media, and he used it to shape a modern, civilised industrial nation to his ends. With full control of the national press, his propaganda minister Paul Josef Goebbels developed sophisticated and very effective tools of propaganda to control public opinion in Germany, and even in other countries. He infamously proved that if you repeat a lie often enough in the mass media, most people would accept it as the truth. We should remember also what was achieved with the relatively primitive methods and limited media components of the day – the radio, the cinema and the printed word. Today, the skills and techniques of advertising and propaganda have been honed to perfection. Lying to the public to control their actions and their thoughts is now an extremely sophisticated science.

Indeed, such is the subtle nature of propaganda that we fail to understand its significance and its power – unlike those who disseminate it – who are fully aware of how effective and necessary it can be in keeping the human herd moving along. Today,some advertising agencies have bigger budgets and more actual power than Goebbels did – imagine what a government could do with such power. Yet we totally ignore the fact that our freedom of thought is manipulated. If our bodies were being poisoned by radiation or chemicals there would be hell to pay – but our minds? That’s OK, we allow anyone to come right in and do what ever they please with them.

We may think that advertising agencies use their power only to sell us commercial goods, but they also plan election campaigns for politicians, and manipulate our perception of governments. Politicians may pretend that their advertising managers have no political power, but it's obvious that the man who controls the election also controls the politician. In this day and age, where huge national and multi-national corporations are more powerful than governments, we should be even more aware that we are being lied to – but no – the line between fiction and reality is so blurred in our minds we let it all wash over us – and what’s worse – we allow an unhealthy amount of it to sink in.

There are some advertising practises that are supposed to be illegal, subliminal advertising on movies and TV, for example, but the limits are not enforceable. Advertising is a multi-billion dollar business and advertising agencies have millions of dollars a year to fund research, naturally they have good reasons to keep their techniques secret. You can bet that there plenty of other, more underhand techniques that we don't know about.

Most of the things that are advertised are actually things that we do not need and do not want – therefore advertisers have to create that need. One way is to make people unhappy with what they already have by bringing out new ‘superior’ models of their products. This philosophy is taken to the extreme the by the fashion industry. The young and the gullible are the prime victims of fashion, but the threat of insecurity posed by not looking like or keeping up with the herd is a powerful mechanism that is hard for almost everyone to resist.

But, the media does not just sell us products – it sells us an image of ourselves – and we are suckered into believing it because we are basically scared to see beyond the safe boundaries of the herd. But who makes these boundaries? Who restricts us to what we may believe about the world – even about ourselves? Not the democratic consensus of the herd, but the drovers. They tell us what to think and if we are honest with ourselves, most of us are just too plain chicken to think for ourselves.

In 1990, a study found that nearly 40% of the contents of American newspapers began with press releases or other hype from public relations agencies. There is no way the daily newspaper can compete with TV and radio, yet we still cling to the belief that anything in black and white is the truth. The rest of the ‘news’ – even the ‘real’ news is nothing but bad news. As every newspaper man knows – bad news sells newspapers. It also gives the public a deep seated sense of unease. It keeps them scared with a daily diet of horror, murder, death and environmental destruction.

After all, the view of the world that advertisers like to portray is the one that says you can't be happy until you have bought every single product they have to sell. Obviously you will never succeed, but that's no problem for the advertisers, because you will keep trying – as long as you have money in your pockets that is. Subconsciously you have picked up the message that by buying this car or that video camera – going to see this movie or listening to that music you will somehow get a little closer to nirvana. It won’t. In spite of the lies the media constantly tell us, the truth is that possessions do not make you happy – and they certainly will not make you rich. However the people who are selling them to us are not doing it for their health or because they are basically altruistic, caring human beings. They just want your wad – all of it. We know that but somehow we just can’t bring ourselves to believe it.

Ask yourself, what do we want in this country above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? Haven’t you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we live for, isn’t it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit, our culture provides plenty of these.

The Fire Chief – Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury


Fashion is not just about the clothes we wear or the kind of car we drive – it pervades everything we do – the food we eat, our body shape and the way we think. Fifty years ago it was fashionable to love your country and hate the Japanese. Today we go to sushi restaurants and drive cars made by the same company who’s aircraft bombed Pearl Harbour – yet there are still people alive who fought their way across the Pacific and witnessed thousands of their comrades killed by fanatical Japanese troops. Fashion can heal the wounds of warfare, but it’s as well to remember that it can open them up a hell of a lot quicker – like in Iran, Iraq and Serbia for example.

Today it is unfashionable to be patriotic, to fly the flag of your country. In the UK, the Union flag is now regarded by many as a symbol of evil, racist thuggery. Sixty years ago it was an image of freedom and democracy holding out against the nazi invaders. Today, the Rolls Royce company – the technological acme of British skill and engineering is owned by BMW – a company who’s engines powered the bombers of the Nazi Blitz. The world is now taking shape in "trading sectors" – the "Pacific Rim," "The Americas," "European," and "Middle Eastern – including Africa."

New forms of multi-national currency unit are an important aspect of this melding. The introduction of the ‘Euro’ created the first real challenge to the Dollar on world currency markets and though it remains to be seen whether the EU will stabilise, international commerce between individuals as well as companies and organisations may eventuallyl lead to the adoption of a truly international world currency unit. Whether we like it or not, the nation state is already dead – the flags that millions of men died for are worthless rags to be despised, set fire to and trampled in the dust.

During the late 60's and most of the 1970's the United States fought a hot war in Vietnam as well the Cold War with the Soviet Union. There was considerable opposition within the United States and in Europe to the Vietnam War – opposition that emanated in the main from students in Colleges and Universities. There was also a deep sense of unease brought about by nightly news broadcasts showing the casualties, both military and civilian.

The Soviet intelligence services had access to some very powerful propaganda and persuasion techniques and a long established spy network that spread throughout most of the free world. They paid particular attention to causing rebellion and unrest among the student populations. They knew full well that the young, the naïve and the idealistic were among the most malleable sections of any human society. The hi-jacking of whole generation’s allegiances was accomplished. The science of persuasion and manipulation made a quantum leap in the years from 1960 to 1980 and thousands of young men died uselessly and needlessly in a war that was never declared.

Since the 1970's some of the people who protested about the Vietnam War have done very well in the social action business. ‘Hanoi’ Jane Fonda, for example, who actually visited North Vietnam and openly protested against American bombing raids and then later actually persuaded millions of American women to buy her exercise video. Organisations that began as idealistic crusades, born out of the civil rights movement, or campaigns for equal rights, or to save the whales or whatever, now have budgets of millions of dollars a year. Their very existence depending on a constant supply of bad news to justify their very existence.

Moving, moving, moving, though they’re disapprovin’ keep those dogies moving, rawhide…

Lyric from the theme song of the popular 60’s TV series "Rawhide"

Now, just suppose that a powerful organisation – an organisation like Ted Turner’s CNN, for example or the Walt Disney Corporation, Time-Warner or Viacom wanted to sell us a whole new society? Wouldn’t they attempt to make the old, traditional model look bad? Wouldn’t they keep right on telling us that the new improved version was better? You bet they would. You bet they do.


‘Public’ opinion is nothing of the sort. The public do not possess an opinion of their own and if they should start to form one, there are powerful methods at work to suppress any such rebellion. The power that shapes and manipulates our thoughts reaches into almost every home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It moulds the minds of the young and the old, the intelligent as well as the ignorant, the rich as well as the poor. The media gives us not only a carefully tailored image of our world – it also tells us what to think about that image.

Government deregulation of the mass media has led not to a varied and competitive industry, but to a succession of massive mergers and take-overs that have brought about a situation where the whole of the western world’s media resides in the hands of very few people. Wherever you watch TV or a movie, wherever you listen to music, read a newspaper or a book you can almost guarantee it was produced and distributed by one of these powerful mega-media companies.

This is a situation that is bound to lead to an abuse of the tremendous power that such organisations wield over us. It’s one thing to use that power to sell us their products, but when they sell us our thoughts or more accurately force us to think what they want us to think then we should resist and rebel against such oppression.

Yet we do not question what is thrown at us. If we even notice a sudden increase in important roles played by black actors, for example we applaud it as a good strategy for racial integration. If we see an amusing sit-com including a positive homosexual character, we might figure that this is the way the world is now and we should emulate the TV script and learn to be tolerant. These characters are paraded in front of us that we may believe and obey. The smart loner in control of her life – the modern woman who has career, wealth, numerous partners and a child, but is independent of a husband. The promiscuous divorcee – outrageously pursuing men half her age and screwing her way to the top of the ladder. All positive modern female role models for impressionable young women too emulate.

But – when we see the negative stereotypes constantly paraded before us we should be warned. The Deadbeat Dad. The racist bigot – always male and white – the violent criminal – always male and white, the survivalist, the gun nut patriot – always male and white. The fool – once exclusively a black man, now always male and white.

How about those terrible Nazi propaganda movies where Jews were shown in the streets spliced with pictures of rats running through the sewers? How we used scorn those old 40’s movies that portrayed black people as happy banjo plunking minstrels, or oversized but devoted housemaids. The 50’s when lip-sticked, corsetted females were simpering, hysterical, neurotics – hopelessly falling in love with Rock Hudson.

Remember when every western bad guy wore a black hat? How about the early 60’s where every social outcast and juvenile delinquent was a young guy on a motorcycle wearing a black leather jacket? How about the70’s when we had a succession of black side-kicks, police chiefs or street-wise hipsters? Then there were the female cops, battling against sexism and the glass ceiling in between shooting down nasty white males in litter strewn alleyways.

Now the decent hero who stood alone under the noon day sun is an embodiment of the patriarchal oppressor. He has been replaced by the heroine – she’s feisty, violently independent and constantly at war with the male establishment – the only men in her life are drooling morons or gay boutique owners.

An action movie is now a plot-less succession of near nuclear explosions where hundreds of men are gunned down by a Neanderthal hero in a blood spattered vest. A horror movie is where an attractive career woman is stalked by a rapist. A family comedy is when an ex-husband has to dress up as a woman to see his own kids.

Anyone who doubts that public attitudes are changed by the media is as deluded as every other couch potato who sits in front of the tube, day after day, night after night and has their brains sucked out by the one eyed, two faced, lying telescreen. Its fantasy is what passes for reality.

It’s safer to conform to the perceived conformity of the herd, but we do not really know what the herd thinks – we only know what we are told it thinks by the media. The truth is that mostly it doesn’t think at all. We are told that we are all part of the same great big human herd, moving steadily forward, guided by our drovers towards anew, improved equal opportunitied, eco-friendly, multicultural, sexually diverse future. The old model is obsolete – and God help us – incredible as it may seem – we believe it.



Illustrated version of The Head of the Medusa

Humanarchy – The book about globalization

Write to Perseus

Posted 2000 04 19
2006 10 31 (reformated)