Propaganda in action

You can see such signs all over Britain – posters, windows, pavements, TV commercials, newspaper ads all combine to make this the widest expression of gratitude I’ve ever seen.

Crowded out for a while by ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘Thank You NHS’ has regained its top position in the popularity stakes. And after we’ve finished thanking NHS, we must all thank God, our lucky stars and above all our munificent state for the great gift of a socialist health service.

However, once the warmth of the initial response has worn off, one wonders if nursing home residents share our mandated mass thankfulness. After all, more of them died of Covid-19 in Britain than in any other European country – at a rate that’s twice France’s and 13 times greater than Germany’s.

The comparison is valid for the three countries are similar in most other markers of quality of life. The only major difference is that their medical care is only partly, as opposed to our totally, nationalised.

The preponderance of thankful slogans testifies to the success of socialist propaganda in scouring people’s minds clean of any ability to think for themselves.

The British are beginning to resemble more and more Soviet children, housetrained to chant “Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for our happy childhood” at a time when most of the population went hungry and 10 per cent of it were in concentration camps. Mutatis mutandis and all that, but the propaganda mechanisms are the same.

People are conditioned by Pavlovian techniques to separate their feeling from thoughts, and thoughts from facts. Otherwise they’d know that, contrary to its claim of being the best healthcare system in the West, the NHS is just about the worst.

This isn’t to say NHS doctors and nurses don’t deserve our gratitude. They do. And those 300 of them who gave their lives fighting coronavirus are heroes.

But then so are soldiers killed in an ill-conceived, ineptly led, badly supplied suicide attack doomed to failure. They should be decorated posthumously and celebrated together with their surviving comrades. But those who deployed them ought to be court-martialled, and the whole military doctrine questioned.

It’s not just the NHS either. People are expected to react by kneejerk reflex to any number of messages emanating from either the state or various pressure groups.

Messages designed to elicit unthinking public enthusiasm are all divorced from reason and therefore subversive. If they weren’t, there would be no need to crank up propaganda machines – a quiet explanation would do, if at all necessary.

Generally speaking, any secular message communicated by a slogan is mendacious and pernicious. Such messages, be that BLM, MeToo, global warming or whatever, wouldn’t survive 10 minutes of serious, factual debate. That’s why they don’t get the benefit of it.

Even when such campaigns don’t start with the government, it unfailingly chimes in eventually, if not straight away. A Tory government may sometimes play hard to get for a short while, but it’ll put out soon enough.

This works in a time-proven way: pressure groups unleash a shrill campaign designed to elicit reflexive response from grex venalium; after sufficient exposure grex venalium responds on cue; pressure groups use every medium to portray this response as valid public opinion; the government acts for fear of losing the next election.

Repeat this sequence many times over many years, and effective government becomes impossible even in theory (this irrespective of its party affiliation). In its place we get a group of self-serving spivs sensitive to every turn of the wokish weathervane.

But look on the bright side. Our children still aren’t ordered to chant “Thank you, Mr Johnson, for our happy childhood”. There’s a way to go yet.

6 thoughts on “Propaganda in action”

  1. I guess most nations select a few specific attributes or features from the flux of life, and raise them with unthinking pride to a position of unquestioned glory and destiny. At least there is a solemn grandeur in nations that identify with abstract metaphysical principles, their idea of God, or even one extraordinary bloodthirsty tyrant. A country that defines itself around a string of mediocre health centres is a bit of a joke, though.

  2. The children aren’t chanting to thank Johnson, but I fear many of them have already been taught to see the NHS as some sort of angelic entity. One of (the many) things I have found rather distasteful during this pandemic is the number of rainbows young children have been busy working on with their WFH parents and then displaying in windows for all to admire. This was then supplemented by rainbows on the pavements outside their homes.
    The NHS needs reform structurally as well as a different way of funding its voracious appetite (more akin to the examples you mention of France and Germany). This is now more unlikely than ever after the seal-like clapping and the rainbows.

    1. It was never likely anyway. The brainwashing job has been too thorough. I’m surprised people still aren’t praying to the NHS, “Our NHS which art in heaven, hallowed thy name, thy kingdom come…”.

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