by Brian Anse Patrick
John K. Press
John K. Press
I love the opening lines of Brian Anse Patrick’s book, The Ten Commandments of Propaganda. Published by Arktos, the book immediately tells the reader they’ve already been propagandized via the author evoking the Biblical Ten Commandments. Effective propaganda, Patrick explains, draws upon collective cultural memory. His book is full of platitudes we really need to hear if we’re to be successful culturists and end multiculturalism.
The Ten Commandment’s footnotes give the book an academic feel. But, this short book reads really well. Patrick says he moved academic points to the footnotes in order to make the book more user-friendly. And, his strategy of listing one propaganda commandment per chapter makes it easy to revisit the book, which increases its usability. Speaking of which, let’s move on to . . .
PATRICK’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR CULTURIST PROPAGANDISTS
(1) Know the many routes for propaganda dissemination
Patrick tells us to get our message to journalists, editors, scriptwriters, interest groups, voluntary associations, churches, trade associations, corporations, blogs, news media, publishers, educators, researchers, leadership, mass mobilizations, etc. We need to use all of these folks’ platforms to spread our message.
Too often, myself included, we culturists just hammer away at one media source.
(2) Build your message horizontally
When we think of propaganda, we usually think of the top down dissemination of information. Spreading horizontally means you spread a message between peers, as is done in mass movements and business meetings. The concept of starting a movement is a good one. This requires, Patrick tells us, exploiting wedges in society: rich v. poor; men against women; black against white.
We in the West should foment a widespread disgust with Islam. And, we should get people in the streets.
(3) Simplify your message.
Stunning common sense insights pervade Patrick’s book. The need to simplify your message is important, despite being common sense. People only have mental space for small amounts of info, so we must stick to slogans and images; people remember these better than arguments. But, this cynical tactic rubs us the wrong way. We resist simplifying. That’s why, obvious as it is, Patrick’s telling us to simplify is important.
Our leaders must be thought of as ethical, righteous and moral. Simultaneously, we must paint our enemies as depraved, malicious rats. The West is glorious, Islam is evil. If you make this morality the basis for a cause, Patrick tells us, it can then become a source of identity and get people to join our groups.
Rather than focus on specific policies, we need to frame our cause as a righteous crusade against evil.
(5) Control the flow of information
I particularly liked Patrick’s idea of ‘interior colonization,’ wherein the government uses taxpayer money to propagandize us into giving them more money. He claims the government relies on your only having time to hear one side of the story. And effective propagandists provide their side of the story, when people need it, in a manner they can publicize. That means if we hear a rebuttal, it is on the propagandist’s terms.
Rather than just denounce multiculturalism, we need provide a culturist messages. We should be the aggressors, providing content. Our opponents should be limited to reacting to our assertions when there is time.
WEAKNESSES OF THE BOOK
Patrick uses very old schools of psychology, (psychoanalysis and behaviorism), to explain limits to the very outdated ‘rational actor’ model. But his commandments still largely refer to verbal strategies. He needs to look at recent, germane scientific literature.
Bio-cultural co-evolution research has shown people are biased to follow those with status and the majority of the crowd around them. Evolutionary psychology explains the connection of status and testosterone. Cultural neuroscience has shown different cultural groups process considerations like empathy in differing ways and levels. Patrick ignores all such modern scientific developments.
Ellen Dissanayake’s neuro-anthropological work argues that mother and infants rhythmic rocking and baby talk is the root of collective rituals. She uses analysis of the hormone oxytocin to show the mechanisms are the same. Such measurable, non-verbal, techniques point to the future of culturist propaganda studies. And, as others, Dissanayake’s work suggests we prioritize collective activity and minimize reasoning in our propaganda efforts.
Unfortunately, in his avoidance of science, Patrick even ignores statistics. As such we have no way of knowing if his propaganda techniques work or just sound good.
THE CULTURIST ANGLE
Ignoring the culturist angle is The Ten Commandments’ greatest failing. The book provides generic propaganda techniques. He gives no hint that the West is in a battle for its life against multiculturalism and Islam.
In a rare show of taking sides, he discusses the American government’s use of propaganda to dominate our citizens (p.26). And, his dissection of propaganda gives us tools by which we can counter our government’s propaganda. But, countering Federal control is the closest Patrick ever comes to a reason for propaganda. The vagueness undermines our sense of war and means the examples don’t address the West’s current challenges.
Instead of science, Patrick uses historical sources. Positively, this allows him to provide many useful anecdotes and examples of propagandists in action. It thus expands our imagination. And, using historical sources leads him to consider identity and ethical perceptions more than modern scientific scholars do. This is great! But, his history would be more useful if he considered the Social Darwinists that preceded his sources – they understood science and the urgency of the struggle for survival.
While biology is ignored and Patrick leaves it to us to apply his ten commandments to today’s situation, I nevertheless highly recommend this book. To save the West, we must deploy informed propaganda. Patrick’s Ten Commandments provides invaluable assistance to culturists by profiling historical culturist propaganda campaigns and the philosophical and practical roadblocks they encountered.
John K. Press, Ph.D., teaches at a university in South Korea. He is the author of the book, Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future. He is also the author of a biography of the first acknowledged 'culturist,' Matthew Arnold. More information can be found at www.culturism.us.