All empires require some mechanism by which the populace can be influenced in such a way as to exhibit behaviour in line with the aims, intents and motifs of the empires agenda. The subject of visceral control within empire is a complex one involving all aspects of the empires tool-set from informed and declared diktat through to day-to-day dissemination of the empires values through the didactic of prejudice, proscription and populist dogma. No empire, whether it be coercive or non-coercive, can expect to survive for long if it does not engage in some activity in which the public discourse can be shepherded and controlled by suggestion, inference or routine public dissemination of its aims.
In previous periods throughout history, the agenda of empire has been controlled by military force in tandem with common values being communicated among the populace through religion, ideology, ethnic dispensation and strict economic control. These values and the methods in which they are communicated do not vary over time, but become subject to ever more convoluted technology bringing about more effective dissemination.
In the modern period, the values of empire are now disseminated over great distance, and almost instantaneously.
In the 21st century, the values of empire saturate the modern environment and bombard us with messages of the triumph of empire on a daily basis. Within this, all previously known story-telling devices are used and viciously exploited, the stories of heroes and heroines battling the forces of evil with ever more elaborate weapons on behalf of the empire play in cinema's all over the world; economies in all the empires territories are routinely disrupted in order to regulate and control the empires dependents. The values of this empire, and the manner in which they are communicated, hark back to antiquity and the management of petit-states in classical Greece.
The birth of structured totalitarianism
In European antiquity, Lycurgus, a semi mythical figure often misrepresented as being an individual figure but who might also have been a coagulation of the politic of the time, brought forward one of the first formally organised coercive attempts at empire by creating the fundamental lore's under which the society of aspirant empire could flourish.
Lycurgus is thought to have appeared around the eighth or ninth century BC in Greece at the end of the Greek Dark Age2 itself brought about by the Bronze Age Collapse3. Lycurgus is an important figure in that he symbolises the Grecian recovery of organised civil society during his period. The Bronze Age Collapse began around 1200BC and is represented in the historical record as a period of chronic collapse in which the bulk of civilisation throughout the region was destroyed in multi-national conflict, invasion, civil disorder and almost certainly plague and disease. From Pylos to Gaza, almost all cities of the old world were completely destroyed. In many areas, severe depopulation took place and left the remaining populace illiterate, poorly organised and heavily dispersed. The damage was so severe that depictions of the people and society of the time became simple, angular and primitive. This disaster led to a regional dark age and only ended with the beginnings of eventual recovery of thought and civil confidence in the ninth century BC. From that century onwards, Grecian society entered a period of sustained recovery of intellect, arts, philosophy and ideas of equitable governance.
Of course, these things are defined by our own history which is clearly hierarchal in outlook. The Bronze Age Collapse was clearly a calamitous event, but the Dark Age which followed may equally have been itself a period of recovery, in which the values of the previous period were universally shunned even to the point of the discouraging of writing, the arts, government and hierarchy.
The Spartan petit-state of 900BC - 192BC4 became prominent after this great regional calamity by forming on the principles of strict equality and freedom of the citizenry, exemplary military prowess and absolute austerity of economy. These three tenets, formed by Lycurgus as the recovery period began, took root in or around the 7th century BC in the Spartan city-state and went on to represent a period of chronic war-fighting, invasion and logical organisation of the politics of totalitarianism.
It isn't clear what Lycurgus initially saw in Sparta that caused his interest, nor is it clear his exact role in the building of these tenets within Sparta given the political dimensions of the Dorian5 invasion and the values they brought to the territories that fell under their influence. Lycurgus is represented in the modern day as a learned scholar6 and lore-giver, a man who travelled widely seeking knowledge, a man of gentle temperance and easy lawful manner. He may also have been a political opportunist, a man who travelled thoughtfully as an agitator keen to ingratiate himself in the politics of his time with the aim of building conflict within the tribes that surrounded him, perhaps for the purpose of activating a parent political order under which the wider Grecian nation could supervise the destruction of its tribes.
It is certain that the time in which Lycurgus lived, will have groaned under the tragedy of its immediate past and will have weighed heavily on the minds of its survivors, most especially its intellects. Lucurgus's three tenets; unconditional freedom of the citizenry, military planning and strict economy of state, were perhaps borne of necessity and simply the product of the age. In times of structural collapse in which the populace had faced the very worst of all the fates, absolute totalitarianism's natural tendency to insult the mind certainly did not yet exist. Lycurgus was a free man, as were those who followed his doctrine.
Lycurgus's life as dictated by later historians such as Herodotus7 and Plato8 certainly fit well within their own glittering agenda's and often go into unlikely detail regarding the substance of the man. Whoever Lycurgus was, the influence of what he came to represent had its roots within a specific time period defined by an event that thankfully very rarely exists. The timeliness by which his totalitarian ideas can be removed, are the ultimate measure of the tenets.
There is no doubt that the Lycurgan system has been used elsewhere throughout later history but has only taken root when invoked after periods of national disaster and then broadly only for limited periods. The ideas of Lycurgus can go a long way to explain the appearance of not only the military authoritarian state, but empire. Where some natural or human made disaster exists, recovery is initiated by codifying the politics of totalitarianism, and allowing that totalitarianism to flourish. If after the recovery period has completed, the tenets of totalitarianism are not removed, empire is the natural progression of the codified law. Coercive empire forms with an attendant disparity between the cultural and societal values of empire and colony taking root. Over time, the empire experiences a rejection of its values throughout its colonial reach. The empire then collapses leaving a semi-mature and abbreviated nation state in its wake. Lycurgus, is a representation of the very initial formation of the totalitarianism that begins this process. It is a wise nation indeed that can correctly recognise a post recovery period when it appears, thereby avoiding the decent into ingrained totalitarianism and withering national squalor.
A clever theft was praiseworthy among the Spartans; and it is equally so among the Christians, provided it be on a sufficiently large scale.- Herbert Spencer, Philosopher.
In Sparta the values of empire were transmitted to the populace through a strictly controlled schooling system in which young males were conditioned in service to the empires motivations. The Agoge9 schooling system demanded unfettered loyalty to the military unit and wider state, absolute obedience to the principle of hierarchy, craft and cunning in the use of warfare and very heavy dependency on the role of espionage and guile. Military training and the use of weapons formed the bulk of the common Hoplite10 soldiery with children being separated from their family units at the age of seven years. After this separation, the children would be encouraged to turn their backs on their familial past in service to obedience to the state. Military training was strict and relentless with absolute sanction placed on those who failed to uphold the values of the Agoge. After periods of military service in which wars would always happen along by some mechanism or other, further service would be demanded from the political arena. Only confirmed obedience from cradle to grave would be tolerated as qualification to the higher political echelons of the Spartan political order.
Females did not escape the attention of the state. Spartan women often shared the same rights as the males and were fully encouraged to take part in the hierarchy. The parental duties the Spartan women had to their offspring were the duty of the Helots, a slave caste who were remanded into service to the Spartans by the political act of a formal declaration of war which was declared at the beginning of each political year; this despite the Helots strongly outnumbering the Spartans in civil society. The Spartan women were aggressive, loyal and hierarchal in outlook. They became progressively vulgar, vapid and routinely driven to acts of manliness as displays of femininity. The female Spartans were disliked among other Greeks severely curtailing the formation of diplomacy within the Spartan arena. The effects of Lycurgus's ideas on the society of the Spartan petit-state infected all quarters and destroyed the mechanisms on which permanence of state are dependent.
This was most decisively seen during the period between 490BC - 479BC when; facing a second invasion from the Persian Empire11, Grecians in the majority decided not to oppose Xerxes12, their King. This may have been a strategic ploy on the part of the Greeks. Xerxes 'Persian Horde' was reported in some historical accounts to number over 1.5 million comprising ground as well as sea-faring troops. Incredibly, these accounts do not identify Xerxes armies to be dispersed and modular across his kingdom stationed in barracks in towns and cities, but as a single travelling force arranged as a single fighting unit. Even if Xerxes forces were smaller than is claimed, even a fraction of that number will have been incredibly difficult, time consuming and perpetually troublesome to move as one coherent unit.
Perhaps the Greeks saw these inherent strategic flaws in Xerxes planning and planned to exploit them by organising non-engagement as ploy to keep Xerxes on the move. Any attempt to do this will have required a structured coalition approach13 across all the Grecian petit-states. In any event Sparta chose a unilateral course of action, arrogantly dismissing all other views, and very possibly made enemies of their countrymen as a result. At the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, the Spartans were betrayed by Ephialtes.
As the Spartans made their stand at a tiny and very narrow pass surrounded by high rock, and expecting their low numbers to count for something as a result, Ephialtes14 struck hard by navigating the Persians along an unknown pathway overhead. The Persians appeared at the Spartan rear and with an overwhelming force already encamped ready for battle at the Spartan front, brutally crushed the Spartans inside a military vice. There is considerable confusion in the historical record about who Ephialtes was. Two broad and very separate historical accounts identify Ephialtes to be both an unimportant local Greek15 motivated by nothing more than Persian gold and selfishness, and also a man of some importance in Athenia; with whom the Spartans had an alliance. Both accounts suspiciously place both Ephialtes the local and Ephialtes the Athenian at exactly the same place during exactly the same period. In the latter case, Ephialtes is a significant Athenian figure who had military experience as a strategic commander of an Athenian fleet, and who later went on to enact major and wide-ranging democratic reforms shattering the totalitarian regimes that had formed throughout the Grecian territories and petit-states. For Ephialtes, the Spartan's and the Spartan myth was undeniably a product of the past and his reformism was recognition enough that the post Greek Dark Age was over, but so too was its legacy - The totalitarian Spartan state. Greece had recovered and there could be no place for Lycurgus's totalitarianism going forward into the classical era.
Throughout the Athenian Ephialtes life, the Spartans would have represented the very antithesis of democracy in the Grecian world and would have presented quite a target for reform. In 463BC, the Helot slaves revolted against their Spartan masters and panicked the Spartans into calling on the Athenians to send help. Ephialtes unsuccessfully attempted to block the calls and an Athenian contingent left for Sparta. When they arrived, Sparta dismissed them and at a stroke, destroyed the alliance between them. Ephialtes found his star in the accendancy and from this; he began the process of reform that cemented the Spartan's fate. Given the spider web of politics of the period, and the confusion of accounts about the existence of Ephialtes, it is almost certain that the Spartans had met in Ephialtes a mind quite capable of deposing that of the great totalitarian hero of Sparta - Lycurgus. The tale of Ephialtes is not only an example of the insulted national pride of totalitarian Sparta, but also a tale of how the historical record has been corrupted for millennia by that insult. In the modern period, Ephialtes has been used to personify the true democrat as a traitor, thereby bringing about treachery from within democracy. In 461BC, Ephialtes the Athenian was murdered by assassins leaving upon the Grecian mind a scar that persists to this day.
It is clear, that the Spartans and the totalitarian Lycurgan system were not only terribly disruptive to their own social order, but the wider Grecian order.
The 'Lycurgan system' had revealed a fatal flaw in its underlying structure. The tenets of the law, which were horribly reliant on secrecy and sanctioned privilege, could not be transposed to the outside world and would lead to persistent isolationism naturally curtailing the Spartan's attempts at expansion. Throughout the entire timespan of the Spartan petit-state, their heavy reliance on excessive militarisation and totalitarianism along with the exercise of the absolute freedom of their citizenry at cost to all others, persisted as problems of state that remained unresolved due to the absolute nature of the totalitarianism.
Because the aims and motifs of empire were disseminated in secrecy and only to the Spartan citizenry, the Spartans found themselves unable to maintain their small empire as it spread throughout its adjacent territories. This failure was solely the result of the empire making no moral or ideological sense to those it had conquered, even within its own national identity. The Spartan empire was riven with paranoia throughout its short-lived and perpetually troubled life, finally coming to a disastrous and humiliating collapse in 360BC.
Rise and descent of German post disaster imperialism
In the modern period, the same disastrous complexity of coercion and secrecy befell the Greater German Reich and its territorial acquisitions throughout Europe between 1939 - 1945AD. Here, the same strident attempt at empire resulted in excessive secrecy, obedience to hierarchy and the state along with heavy dependency on military schooling and the convection of the young through a strictly controlled party system of ideological propaganda. After almost a decade of preparation, the Greater German Reich lashed out into Europe attempting to bring satellite nations under its control only to find its inability to supplant its core values within the colonial populace again leading to its wider undoing.
Although the German Reich had far greater opportunity to engage in propaganda throughout its short life, involving printed media and cinematic content, the limited scope of its distribution severely curtailed its territorial reach. Even so, at the height of the Reich's influence in 1942, its territorial holdings substantially dwarfed that of any empire up to and including that period. The role of propaganda had played a critical role in the formation of the short-lived Third Reich, and had prepared the way for major and wide-ranging territorial conquest of almost the entire European petit continent. The Nazi ideology had formed as a result of Germanys defeat during the first pan-European conflict of 1914 - 1918 and had exploited popular post-disaster angst among the populace. In 1933 the Nazi's had adopted the Lycurgan system's totalitarian tenets and attempted to build an empire from them. But Germanys defeat in 1918 was not a defeat of wider Europe, and so its totalitarianism was seen as an insult to the rest of Europe and the wider world. The Nazi's were defeated in 1945, but not before almost 80 million had been killed, injured and displaced. The same structural flaw that had claimed Spartan ambitions, had also claimed the Nazi's.
The Nazi ideology could not be implanted successfully into other neighbouring nation states. Some of whom had played a heavy role in bringing about the pre-war German collapse, thereby preparing the ground for the strident uptake of Lycurgus's ideas.
Rise of American post disaster imperialism
The rise of the United States as an imperial power is outlined in a separate article and arises in an environment of recovery after the second pan-European conflict of 1939 - 1945. After the rise of the German Empire undertaken by Nazi ideology, much of Europe was destroyed with large scale depopulation apparent. As the recovery took place, the United States stepped in and took ownership of the business of recovery bringing about its hegemonic power structure and free-trade regime. From 1945 to present, the United States has installed its global currency throughout the world and enjoys near complete domination of most of the developed world. Through the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the WTO [eff World Bank], the United States has forcibly tangled its domestic economy with foreign economies and is able to enforce societal, cultural and political obedience as a result.
On September 11th 200116, the United States saw domestic assaults on civil17 and government buildings18 within its domestic territory prompting a decade long conflict predominately in the resource rich middle and near east. Although in minor form, the spectre of disaster allowed the United States to deploy its military forces around the world and as of 2009, it now shows strong evidence that it has successfully invoked all the central tenets of the Lycurgan system. Absolute military deference19, absolute freedom of the citizenry20 and austerity of economy21 are clearly evident in the central planning sphere of the United States - but presented as qualities of the United States; to be enacted throughout the world for the benefit of its dependents.
In the modern period, the United States has a clearly identified military doctrine of higher importance than its civil systems, it has a well voiced political didactic emanating from all political quarters concerning the absolute freedom of its citizenry based on the written law of its constitution, and as of 2009, it has the further didactic of austerity of economy. These three tenets have the added complexity of being narrated within an environment of strategic empire. Evidence if any were needed that the Lycurgan system is not only present in the United States, but has progressed in codified form into the substance of empire. In all quarters of the world, evidence exists of the disparity22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 between the values of empire, and the values of the worlds nation states. Enter modern globalisation and the politic of the global dollar reserve currency.
We look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want - everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear - everywhere in the world.- Franklin D Roosevelt, (message to congress 6 January 1941), US President.
But like the Spartans before them, economic corruption32 and military over extension33 has abbreviated two of these central lore's. For the Spartans, the end came with an act of internal reformist betrayal in service to the wider communal good. And for the Nazi's, an act of external collective alliance from the allied powers halted the empire in its infancy. For the United States, with its domestic currency tangled in amongst the other nations of the world, the communal good will certainly appear, but in complex form. The measure of the American empire, and the measure of that which effects its removal, is the substance of multi-polarity34 in political form35.
Rise of the Jewish post disaster state
The rise of Jewish statehood is not so much directed toward empire, but more toward the removal of a sitting indigenous population in the near east. The Israeli nation can be identified as being a totalitarian Lycurgum system due to its excessive deference to military doctrine36, strident and absolute freedom of its citizenry37 and targeted austerity largely directed and imposed on the indigenous population. Although Israel has a political order that appears to be democratic, recent evidence has shown that it may have structural and serious flaws regarding the independence of its judiciary. Over the course of its history, the Israeli populace have failed to return through the ballot box any variation of government not linked to ideological Zionism, and therefore creation of state. Israel is not a complex example of the Lycurgan system, but the three tenets of militancy, freedom and austerity which exist along with cleverness of theft through espionage are through their simplicity, evidence enough of infant status. Israel yet has the capacity to avoid the squalor of authoritarianism and empire.
The Israeli nation is born of a prior collapse; its creation has taken place under the moniker of forced recovery in light of that collapse. The Israeli populace are segmented into castes38, 39 with absolute freedom awarded to those of Jewish providence and heritage and whom return40 to the holy land from the diaspora. Its military systems are governed by a continuing state of conscription41 of the young and serve as the sole qualification under which political service is tolerated during later life; an alarming number of politicians in Israel are drawn from prior service42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54 to the military and security services, most whom had been fighting in terrorist organisations and paramilitary units inside Palestine from the 1920's. Its economy is heavily dependent on the management of permanent austerity often directed toward the indigenous populace as a weaponised political device. It routinely articulates a stridently militaristic doctrine and combines its intelligence and espionage provisions with indirect propaganda in which it falsely claims in public a nuclear weapons program; this is largely achieved by its security service staff working as journalists in its own territory and abroad. In the modern period, the vast bulk of Israel's military and intelligence operatives are not engaged in ethnic cleansing or providing the sparks for war, but maintaining Israel's reputation in the electronic sphere.
All of these dispensations, point conclusively toward the operation of a Lycurgan system and, therefore, totalitarianism in structural form. Israel is not especial for the invocation of these tenets given its history, but is also at a crossroads in which it must recognise now the point that it has reached, or forever be lost in a hostile region that has no reason to preserve it.
At present, Israel is attempting to push a local neighbour Iran into development of nuclear weapons production in an attempt to move its current empty nuclear rhetoric, into a formal nuclear weapons posture. This process amounts to nuclear weapons proliferation in the near east region correctly identifying the Israeli leadership as a serious and very prescient threat to regional peace. If this situation continues, the Lycurgan system will bring forth that which it is designed to reveal if used beyond its natural life.
We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon and the American struggle in Iraq. These events swung American public opinion in our favor.- Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister.
The legitimacy of the Israeli recovery is complicated by the fact it has not been continuously sitting in one place during the disaster and recovery period. For all other nation states, the use of the Lycurgan system is the mechanism by which a continuously sitting presence might migrate from collapse to recovery. Israel is attempting this feat while also attempting to create a nation state from anew. It is here, that the Israeli interlocutor represents an unusual appendage to the family of nations and prompts an enactment of the Lycurgan system in an area where it simply isn't legitimate. The ideas of Lycurgus relate to the politic of recovery. If used to manage recovery while also engaging in nation building, the ideas of Lycurgus are far more likely to embed into the structure of a nation state, and the resultant collapse of that nation state becomes far more likely.
For many around the world, Israel and its quest for territorial dominance is often portrayed as a confusion between religious ideas and significant complexity is often wrapped around this confusion in an attempt to steer public opinion toward inaction. This strategy is particularly prevalent in secular or atheist societies as it is here that the strategy has the broadest chance of success. However, in strict terms, Israel's use of the tenets of Lycurgus more properly identify it as being an example of structural totalitarianism driven by its territorial ambitions, which are simply presented as though they have some religious credibility.
Israel is broadly an aberration on the political stage and its fundamental properties are that of totalitarianism in the Spartan mould. Interestingly, the relationship between the Lycurgan United States and the Lycurgan Israel is often presented as being one of unconditional mutual support trumpeted around the world by mutually derivative political actors. There is certainly strong evidence that in this arena, there is considerable confusion between journalism, activism and the role of the security services of both nations. A cursory examination of the routine day-to-day routes of information along the highways of propaganda reveals the likely operation of security service staff placing propaganda in western media, with the likely purpose of prompting hapless repetition of that propaganda from the perpetually biased mob. This process reveals in the Israeli state the Spartan-like fondness for clever espionage, further illuminating the presence of the Lycurgan system throughout every quarter of the Israeli mind-set.
Propaganda55 is a constantly changing term relating to a body politic as it is applied throughout a region or territory. In strict terms, propaganda can describe all attempts to communicate a political will toward an audience most especially where abrupt changes in political direction are required by that body politic. This may entail substantive changes in national political direction as a result of considered policy, or may more commonly relate to substantive changes to policy as a result of outside interference acting on the national body politic. In its simplest form, propaganda may be used to communicate political will to a domestic audience in order to realise an economic, social or military policy. Propaganda is widely cited to be a derogatory term and is almost always demoted in favour of regionally palatable terms when it is used. Where a body politic exists in a territory, propaganda in some form is almost always in use; irrespective of any regional dialect or language strategy that may be presented to steer an audience away from detection of its use.
Propaganda may take many forms but is always present in mass appeal products and services which are required to allow dissemination of the message, and testing of the efficacy of the message once it has been delivered. Common articles of propaganda include print media, mass appeal entertainment, novella, news outlet, legislative pre-amble, pamphlet or other short literature and all forms of electronic communications. Throughout the history of creative dissemination of information, in whatever form, propaganda has appeared and been used within the medium to craft public thinking. The commercial viability of a medium does not qualify the mediums suitability for dissemination of propaganda, nor does the commercial viability of a medium effect the possible presence of propaganda.
It should be noted that the presence of effective propaganda within a medium is heavily reliant on the medium carrying non-propaganda content in order to avoid detection. If a medium becomes saturated with propaganda, the propaganda becomes progressively ineffective within the targeted audience.
In the modern age, media publishing straddles territory not previously available during the print publishing period. Modern news organisations are able to disseminate content on a range of political subjects in electronic form and can be published across all available territories quickly and efficiently. This has led to homogeneity in publishing which is aggravated by homogeneity of ownership. In the United Kingdom, where local and national media outlets coexist, around half of all local and provincial newspapers have fallen into ownership of a single entity headquartered in Washington DC, United States.
The Gannett Company Inc56 is a US media publishing and procurement corporation publishing in the US civil and defence sectors. Gannett is split into two operations; Gannett Government Media Corp57 publishes military content on behalf of the US military, and Gannett Company Inc acts as a procurement entity. Both Gannett Company Inc and Gannett Government Media Corporation are headquartered in Washington, United States. Gannett Government Media Corporation began its life as the publishing arm of the US military under the Army Times Publishing Company and over the course of its life has expanded into publishing material and content on behalf of US Army, Navy and Air Force wings of the US military. The corporation now claims to publish 12 military publications including the Air Force Times, Defense News, Armed Forces Journal, the C4ISR Journal and the Federal Times. Gannett Government Media Company is headquartered at Springfield, Washington 7 miles south-west of the Pentagon connected directly by interstate 395.
Gannett Company Inc is the civilian wing of Gannett Corporation and is the parent holding entity for the UK based NewsQuest Corporation58 which it acquired in 1999. Gannett owns by control of NewsQuest 220 local and provincial newspapers and specialist publications in England and a further 11 Scottish titles. Combined, NewsQuest claims ownership of local media in the UK accessing approximately 50% of all mainland households. In addition to its holdings in the UK, Gannett Company Inc claims ownership of a number of national daily newspapers and state newspapers in the United States along with a number of US terrestrial broadcast outlets.
In terms of ownership of media by one or another corporation, editorial output is supposedly unaffected. However, the Gannett Corporation uses business practices which can effect editorial output at a very low level. Low monetary investment59, budgetary management and employee management techniques can all be used to harm or otherwise retard the effectiveness of a business. Where these practices are evident in an arena where the public service is present, the public interest can be undermined. Within the culture of provincial UK newspapers, Gannett has a number of business practices which are incompatible with the running of a newspaper. The role of business manager and editor is often confused introducing into the editors role decision making that is incompatible with the public interest.
The editor is often given control of the newsroom budget and will be invited to underspend the budget, taking a percentage of the underspend as a bonus at the end of each financial year. Newsrooms are perpetually under financed with attendant drops in staffing numbers leading to a production line news-gathering mentality. Irrespective of the companies financial health, cost-cutting episodes are often fabricated in order to rearrange staffing levels with staff often informed that they are required to re-apply for their jobs as the cost cutting ‘exercise’ takes place; effectively terminating the employees employment outside of UK employment law. Technology and equipment is rarely replaced at appropriate times leading to excessive retention of staff expertise within a single technology; when the technology is eventually replaced, the staffs skill-set becomes redundant at a stroke. A fear of litigation is excessively encouraged and is often promoted in importance beyond its worth and public interest investigations are perpetually discouraged.
As a result of these and other business practices, UK titles are unable to carry out competent investigations restricting their activity to minor day-to-day trivia. In the UK, local governance can be an opaque process with public interest meetings taking place behind closed doors, in secret or with strict prohibition of recording equipment being present. Without coherent investigation at the local newsgathering level, the public interest can be routinely undermined and corruption can go unnoticed at the local government level potentially over long periods.
As a result of US ownership of provincial media in the UK, US business practice has been introduced to the UK news-gathering process curtailing coherent investigation of government at the local level - thereby enabling unchallenged government at the national level.
Evolution of propaganda
In relation to the political decontamination of our public life, the government will embark upon a systematic campaign to restore the nation's moral and material health. The whole educational system, theatre, film, literature, the press and broadcasting - all these will be used as a means to this end.- Adolph Hitler, Völkischer Beobachter, 1933.
The evolution of propaganda is necessarily a technological pursuit involving not only the sociological themes of the message that is imparted, which change according to the social values of the audience, but also the mechanisms which allow for the speedy dissemination of the message. Over the course of history from the ancient world to antiquity, and into the modern period, the technology has changed both in terms of production and distribution.
During the ancient period and traversing into much of antiquity, the myth's that propaganda dealt with were immortalised into bronze, iron, pewter, china and distributed as lionised figurines to be spread throughout the empires territory. During the course of the reign of Sparta as a petit-state, the Spartan males were confined within the Agoge system to war-fighting and were prohibited from engaging in trade or craft of any kind. The resultant societal gaps which developed were filled by a loyalist clan of non-Spartan traders known as the Perioeci [out-dwellers]. The Perioeci, being free to pursue trade and craft-making, filled the Mediterranean area with products of Spartan propaganda in the form of figurines and other empire-friendly produce. This output from the Perioeci constitutes the vast bulk of historical artefact which survives into the modern period.
From antiquity and onwards, the mechanisms of propaganda changed with the development of papers, printing presses, media and film-making. Over the course of the last two decades in our era, all traditional mediums have been joined by continentally spanning electronic communications in the form of the World Wide Web. Propaganda has never been so easy to produce, distribute and append.
The modern propaganda product has been truly democratised and can no longer be considered to be solely the product of state-craft; but is now the product of nations, political movements and large-scale political, social, military and cultural blocks of self-interests. In this environment, all instruments of national power encompass wholesale populations. The cultural output of a nation state, can itself be considered the propaganda product.
In the age of globalisation, in which the United States occupies the very space it claims to be protecting from occupation, modern propaganda can be seen as that which disseminates the primary articles of theoretical globalisation from an 'all instruments of national power' doctrine.
It is here that doctrinal cinema can, along with other mediums, be seen as being the mechanism by which the empire of the United States is partially motivated. This does not derive from a deliberated origin of government, but from the very mechanism that drives the modern nation state; economy.
Thematic cultural output of empire.
The cultural output of the United States in economic, political and sociological terms is determined by the general populace, in turn determined by the political classes which in turn are driven by economy. In all instances where propaganda has been used in the past, the values of the disseminating populace format the bulk of the flavour of propaganda. For many empires of the ancient period, communication of political will took the form of melting the values of the political classes of empire within the religious deities of the colonies; in order to enable political and economic control over the colonial populace. If a colony was to be safeguarded by empire in order to extract economic and political obedience, the political classes of the colony had to be controlled not just by the empire's military force, but by the empire's psychological force. If an empire could not maintain the vast complexity of its psychological and military intentions, the colonies would certainly revolt. Throughout history, the difference between coercive and non-coercive empire has broadly been represented by the battle between military and psychological force; and the gentle art of tribute for trade.
In the modern period, control and obedience can be maintained by deposing the cultural values of the colony, prior to installation of the political values of the empire. While many may see this process as being sufficiently distant from the habits of past empires for economic reasons, the current underlying process remains in accordance with all other coercive empires of the past. Economy does not subvert polity except within the scope of economic dependency, of which the United States has a strong strategic tendency within its political and economic systems. In short; if an empire attempts by using trade, to implant its social, political and cultural values into a foreign territory, coercion is detected irrespective of the empires apparent declared aims.
Hollywood... was the place where the United States perpetrated itself as a universal dream and put the dream into mass production.- Angela Carter, Novelist.
The cultural and political output of the United States is overwhelmingly visceral and strongly dependent on psychological subversion. This subversion takes the form of film-making or digital output in storyboard form visualising the role of the individual antagonist against a variety of circumstantial and episodal tribulations. Hidden away within this trial of the individual are the political, cultural and sociological values of empire in aggressive non-declared form. In the twenty first century, it is almost impossible to view US cultural output without being exposed to the values of empire clumsily hidden within the story-line of the antagonist. This has always been the case in the United States but has accelerated substantially over the past decade period in line with its war fighting persona.
In the modern period, thematic output of visceral content of the United States can be divided into four classes; deposition, conspiracy, indenture and empathy, each containing a number of sub classes. While these themes can constitute a natural part of the practise of story-telling, used in structured order allied to global events they can be seen as forming prioritised structure in the dissemination of the values of empire. Using each of these classes and subclasses, the modern empire of the United States is able to structure the messages of political and economic control through cultural priming60, 61.
The role of violence in empire.
Complaints about the depiction of violence in US culture constitute the largest part of all complaints both within62 and without63 the United States. Violence and the depiction of violence does not contain within it exclusivity over commercial viability and in no way infers that film-making must contain violence in order to be commercially successful. The depiction of violence in US culture is not defined by commercial success, but by its ready implementation in service to the agenda of empire. In larger part, empire must deal with the subject matter of violence because without it, political empire has no mechanism by which it can traverse the violence inherent within the creation and maintenance of empire. As a result, violence necessarily forms the backbone of US film-making and is often dealt with in strident form.
The depiction of violence in US cinema has in recent years gone well beyond the capacity of the normal audience to assimilate and has in disturbing quantity lapsed into themes of psychopathy, mania, schizophrenia and other serious mental hazards.
Out of the closets and into the museums, libraries, architectural monuments, concert halls, bookstores, recording studios and film studios of the world. Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief... Words, colors, light, sounds, stone, wood, bronze belong to the living artist. They belong to anyone who can use them. Loot the Louvre! A bas l'originalité, the sterile and assertive ego that imprisons us as it creates. Vive le vol-pure, shameless, total. We are not responsible. Steal anything in sight.- William Burroughs, Novelist.
While violence in cinema has been explored throughout the history of US cinema, it has recently undergone a renaissance and substantially increased in quantity6465. This increase in sheer quantity cannot be seen as being the result of an uptake in appetite from the audience, nor can it be taken as a statement of the commercial viability of this particular strain of the medium; but more by the requirement to strategically deal with the subject of violence at a violent period during the empires psychological modality. Here, chronic violence and the role of empathy as a structural story-telling device has formed a recent genre.
The role of empathy in empire.
While the depiction of violence in US cinema reserves the bulk of complaints about the health of US culture, empathy on the other hand reserves the bulk of casual but detailed scrutiny. In the field of empathy, US cinema has proven the ability to alight across all other classes of film-making while using a common type of empathy strongly related to the values of empire. Religious dogma, piety, sexuality and societal ostracism have all been explored as mechanisms by which the audience can be encouraged to empathise. Throughout the late 1990's and early on in the first decade of the 21st century, religion and themes related to religion were explored.
It is here, that the age old technique of deposing a colonial deity with the intention of installing the values of empire in its place has clearly been attempted. On a number of occasions, US cinema has brought forward the hero-tale where the hero has struggled against the concept of God only to arrive at a US-centric answer in which God is subverted in favour of the common values of the political secularism of the United States. This has not been a journey exploring the existence of God, but more a handheld journey in which the viewer has been shepherded away from their faith, and toward obedience to the political classes of the United States.
In Hollywood, no one knows anything.- William Goldman, Novelist.
The role of empathy as it is used in modern US cinema is a structured and legitimate script device used in all story telling. Its appearance in US cinema does not, in and of itself, warrant suspicion or interest. However, its use with deposition, conspiracy and indenture in such regular and persistent topical form reveals US cinema as being broadly doctrinal. Where these devices can be found, the suspicion of propaganda is well placed and of fair providence. While the industry of US cinema very often is used to distract casual attention away from the content of that industry, the uniformity of these themes, and the regularity in which they are compiled, allows for identification of formally organised doctrine in US cinema.
A casual enquiry listing US cinematic output over the past three decades, in addition to a casual understanding of global events, elicits substantial evidence of the role US cinema plays in legitimising the political aims and motifs of the US political system. In this sense, a substantial portion of cinematic output emanating from the United States is not classified as entertainment, but as propaganda in service to a political agenda.
In the modern period, the scope and scale of US cinematic output is more widely used each year for the purpose of propaganda. As the regularity of this propaganda increases, so the legitimacy of the industry itself is likely to default into its natural proscriptive form. Fewer and fewer people in the global audience are likely to maintain interest in US cinema leading to a wholesale defenestration of the United States largest export.
That this process should be taking place in tandem with the practical application of the ideas of Lycurgus, and in light of evidence that the United States has maintained that application over time to the point where its empire has formed, does not permit for the role of US cinema to be identified purely as a commercial or economic device. US cinema is a critical component of propaganda and propaganda a critical component of the codified Lycurgan system in the modern period.
It is often the case and, at present, is clearly the case that the empires dependants may choose for well-meaning reasons to defend that which they have grown to adore. In the United States, the body politic that exists is daily concerned with notions of historical legacy and power; broadly because it is perceived that the power exercised is good, or at the very least, not as bad as it is elsewhere. However, this masks a dark and malevolent politic that can lead to the arrest of national development and a broader structural societal collapse. All empires must die, in order to release the nation state from within.
On every continent, lives the super-nova'd star of the nation state at its brightest. Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Italy, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and others have all reached the apex of their modern national development as a result of the collapse of their expansionist ideals. Many of these nations found themselves in the midst of empire by stumbling into the Lycurgan system as a result of trauma and disaster. Some, did not. But each and every one through the articulation of their empires learned something compelling of the world around them. These modern nation states take that post empire knowledge into the realms of a truly learned state-craft.
The resultant order, is a peaceful one devoid of the imposter of peace enabled from the end of the barrel of a gun. The defence of empire robs the nucleus nation state of its destiny, and remands it into the custody of rampaging chaos.
The United States has, like many nation states before, found itself imprisoned within a politic it does not fully understand. The disaster on September 11th 2001 was in national terms a small event. Its capacity for trauma was amplified in real-time and by the incessant chatter of an inebriated public, and an equally stricken military, driven by a media environment competing to replay the event to the point of subliminal conditioning. 9/11 was quickly renovated toward the invasions of nation states already sitting on a security knife edge and the resultant deathly circus played out in both arenas harmed all antagonists.
Ten years after the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, both nations have not so much as a stitch of security left that can compete with the security they enjoyed prior to their invasions. For the tiresome alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States, this fact alone tells a compelling truth about the democratic deficit that both have fabricated. Patriotism is not enough...neither is the science of public relations and propaganda. In the United Kingdom, the pain of acting in service to a foreign infant empire has robbed us of our historical birth right. In the United States, this pain cannot be seen because the mechanism by which it can be viewed does not exist.
For those engaged in the defence of empire the motivation for that defence is self-centred, poorly formed and historically naive. No matter how this defence is postulated, the values of the United States can never be supplanted elsewhere in the world simply because the American people are convinced that those values are righteous. The American people are immigrants for a reason. They left the old world because the old world was not sympathetic to their values. Nothing in the interim period has changed for either the old world or the new. In the recent period, the United States has taken a shock; it has adopted involuntarily an ancient politic that it only barely understands. The Lycurgan system, like Lycurgus himself, is an ethereal concept that is more ideological representation than absolute substance. It is that which forms after society is shocked by an event symbolised by structural collapse. Its attributes are totalitarian enactment of violence, hierarchy and economy. By its nature, it is temporary, transient and designed to fail if operated for too long.
Hollywood grew to be the most flourishing factory of popular mythology since the Greeks.- Alistair Cooke, Broadcaster.
In historical terms, classical Grecian antiquity is the birth-place of western civilisation, in turn heavily influenced by Syrian craft, science, learning and discovery. Much of the strength of these two civilisations derives from the craft of governance of the people, and the magic of the nurseries of the nation state. Technology was, quite literally, no barrier to understanding.
According to legend, Lycurgus left Greece after forcing the Spartans to promise to carry his laws until he returned. He never returned, starving himself to death in a bid to cement his tenets for eternity. But the Spartans by that promise died at the hands of those tenets, and so Lycurgus lives on as a curse to all nations of the world lest they attempt the building of empire.
This is the politic of empire, and the saving grace of the free people of the world.