This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Corporate need

In addition to the individual and the state, which are often mistakenly considered the only two actors in contemporary society, we must speak of the role of corporations, or “Big Business” in the phenomenon of propaganda.  We could also describe this third party as the ‘money power’, although this obscures things a bit since the politicians who compose ‘the state’ are millionaires and the line between big business and big government is not at all distinct.

The so-called Roaring 20’s saw a phenomenal degree of prosperity, which brought to light a problem that had not been faced before. In previous periods normal men and women purchased what they needed. Their shopping was, by and large, practical. With the rise of the affluent society producers were faced with the problem of overproduction. They needed to find a way to convince the public to buy things even when they did not necessarily need them, and to replace clothing, cars, and other devices for reasons other than the fact that the old had been worn out. The world of production required the mentality we now call “consumerism” which buys for a range of reasons that have little or nothing to do with practical need. This period also saw the invention of “planned obsolescence.” Cars, at the suggestion of the Freudians, could now be purchased as symbols of sexuality and masculine prowess, and when they died early it did not so much matter because the sex appeal needed to be renewed anyhow.

Paul Mazer of the Lehman Brothers stated the problem explicitly:

“We must shift America from a needs to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things even before the old had been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America. Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”

And how could this be brought about except by means of propaganda?—or in more familiar terms, by “advertising.” We take advertising for granted but it is nothing other than the most common form of propaganda in a commercialist society such as ours. Every commercial is an attempt to propagandize, and considering the known correlation between sales and advertising budgets, this propaganda has become very effective.

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