On the idea of ‘Fast Radicalization’, a comment by Almost Marx

The newest propaganda unleashed by National Security State political actors and their journalist allies, in the West, is the notion of ‘Fast Radicalization’ of perpetrators of mass murder, who fit into the loosest of all categories of criminals ‘The Lone Wolfe’: this is most times, but not always, confined to people of Muslim faith or those with a close proximity to it, even if not directly traceable by empirical evidence, in fact, this category is the last resort of tangential, or even absent evidence, of any contact with ‘radicalizing persons or institutions’.

‘Fast Radicalization’ has the stench of Madison Avenue Advertising sloganeering: a blight that has afflicted American/European life for almost one hundred years. One need only look to Edward Bernays, whose book Propaganda was published in 1928. Some valuable insights are offered in this extensive excerpt from his Wikipedia entry as to his influence, and his connection to very influential persons like the American sage Walter Lippmann, among others.

‘Bernays, working for the administration of Woodrow Wilson during World War I with the Committee on Public Information, was influential in promoting the idea that America’s war efforts were primarily aimed at “bringing democracy to all of Europe”.[citation needed] Following the war, he was invited by Woodrow Wilson to attend the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.[citation needed]

Stunned by the degree to which the democracy slogan had swayed the public both at home and abroad, he wondered whether this propaganda model could be employed during peacetime.[citation needed] Due to negative implications surrounding the word propaganda because of its use by the Germans in World War I, he promoted the term public relations.[citation needed] According to the BBC interview with Bernays’ daughter Anne, Bernays believed that the public’s democratic judgment was “not to be relied upon” and feared that the American public “could very easily vote for the wrong man or want the wrong thing, so that they had to be guided from above.” Anne interpreted “guidance” to mean that her father believed in a sort of “enlightened despotism“.[7]

This thinking was heavily shared and influenced by Walter Lippmann, one of the most prominent American political columnists at the time.[citation needed] Bernays and Lippmann served together on the U.S. Committee on Public Information, and Bernays quotes Lippmann extensively in his book, Propaganda.Bernays, Edward (1928). Propaganda. New York: Horace Liveright. Retrieved February 24, 2016.[pages needed]

Bernays also drew on the ideas of the French writer Gustave LeBon, the originator of crowd psychology, and of Wilfred Trotter, who promoted similar ideas in the anglophone world in his book Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War.[citation needed] Bernays refers to these two names in his writings.[citation needed] Trotter, who was a head and neck surgeon at University College Hospital, London, read Freud’s works, and it was he who introduced Wilfred Bion, whom he lived and worked with, to Freud’s ideas.[citation needed] When Freud fled Vienna for London after the Anschluss, Trotter became his personal physician.[citation needed] Trotter, Wilfred Bion, and Ernest Jones became key members of the Freudian psychoanalysis movement in England.[citation needed] They would develop the field of group dynamics, largely associated with the Tavistock Institute, where many of Freud’s followers worked.[citation needed] Thus ideas of group psychology and psychoanalysis came together in London around World War II.[citation needed]

Bernays’ public relations efforts helped to popularize Freud’s theories in the United States.[citation needed] Bernays also pioneered the public relations industry’s use of psychology and other social sciences to design its public persuasion campaigns: “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.”[8] He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the engineering of consent.[9]


The idea of ‘Fast Radicalization’ is part of a campaign in public persuasion, of manufacturing consent, to effect an end to democratic institutional protections: the crisis will make way for the political exception, Nazi Jurist Carl Schmitt provides the intellectual cover for the end of republican ideas and practices in the name of ‘Security’.

Almost Marx



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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