Politicians need a degree of consent to do unpalatable things to others that would normally be beyond the pale & subject to scorn. They need to generate a feeling of positive emotion within the populations they are supposed to represent. How to do it?
In the manipulation of emotion most historians will point to Austrian-American & nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays as the pioneer in this field. He believed it was completely appropriate for elites to seek to manipulate the 'irrational' majority.
Bernays' books 'Crystallizing Public Opinion' & 'Propaganda' were highly influential. But it was his demonstration of the techniques he believed in that impressed elite figures most. The manipulation of emotions served them well. It made them money.
His most famous success was for a tobacco company who were having difficulty selling cigarettes to women. They were averse to the habit & so income from sales to them was very low. Bernays' first plan was to encourage smoking as a way of losing weight.
Bernays' arranged for 'medical experts' to recommend smoking cigarettes over the sucking of sweets in a campaign to promote 'thinness' as desirable. Cigarettes were to be made into a social necessity to be kept constantly on hand for health reasons.
The first campaign worked to a degree, more women began smoking. Bernays' then had a brainwave. He arranged for a group of women to walk in the Easter Sunday parade in New York. At a certain moment they would all light up a cigarette & be photographed.
Bernays' had a group of photographers attend & take photos of the women as they all lit cigarettes. These appeared in the press the next day & Bernays had "journalists" use the phrase "Torches of Freedom" to manipulate womens' desire for emancipation.
Bernays' successes in manipulating emotional responses began a lifetime career as the 'father of public relations'. One of his 'achievements' was assisting in the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of the democratically elected Guatemalan president in 1954.
After Bernays' advertising & later marketing of politics changed forever. Previously, ads for products simply listed qualities. Now positive emotions were engendered using psychology. Campaigns were designed to manipulate emotions to gain acceptance.
In the political field Bernays' believed that his techniques could be even more broadly beneficial than in advertising. He believed in his uncle Freud's view that the great mass of people, the common herd, were irrational & needed elites to guide them.
Bernays saw propaganda as a positive force to assist state elites to convince the irrational masses to accept decisions they were incapable of understanding & agreeing to. He worked with various US politicians of his time to manipulate voters' emotions.
We can see clearly how this leads into later development in regard to US. wars of choice & the perceived need to manipulate public awareness through the use of mass media. Manufacturing consent as Chomsky puts it, through manipulating mass emotion.
Western democracy is defined as being representing the wishes of the voters. We can see how pernicious a deceit this is through the now common use of psychological persuasion & manipulation via mass media to gain otherwise elusive mass support for wars.
In a world of myriad diverse opinions & increased distrust of politicians elites have become even more adept at manipulating their populations & mass media has now become almost totally compliant with this need in regard to regime change war narratives.
Post 9/11 the US was able to gain support for almost any action taken in response. The Afghanistan "war" was based on an unwillingness of the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden. This was enough in the environment then existing for support to be found.
It was when it came to the perceived need to attack & invade Iraq that the need for psychological manipulation of the masses was required. The one that resonated & finally enabled this was that of Iraq's non-existent WMD. A believable lie did the trick.
Currently the Trump administration, filled as it is w/ neocon figures has used Bernays' psychological techniques in coordination with US MSM to generate popularity for action against Venezuela in the instigation of a coup against the president there.
From the Iraq attack & invasion through that initiated against Libya through to the long regime change attempt in Syria we can see the main emotional buttons being pushed in an attempt to gain mass public acceptance. Various devices have been deployed.
The primary emotional buttons for war pushed relentlessly by US/UK on their populations are threefold.
Humanitarian concern/deceit, particularly in regard to children.
Implications of an imminent threat to US UK existence.
Demonization of presidents.
A novel adjunct to the spreading of misinformation designed to manipulate emotion was created for Syria. The organization known as The White Helmets created the perfect believable lies production line. "Heroic humanitarians" saving children worked well.
The manipulative campaigns to generate support had also worked well in the former Yugoslavia. They were broadly successful in Iraq, Libya & Syria also, despite the aftermath of Iraq & the exposure of the lie concerning its 'extremely dangerous' WMD.
However, as we shall see, there are indications the lessons of the Iraq lies used to engender support for regime change have been recalled in regard to the push now for regime change in Venezuela & that too many propaganda lies can be counterproductive.
The failure of Trump's propaganda campaign in terms of his & its popularity indicates that his staff & the mass media itself has overdone the propaganda & a great many now see how an attempt to manipulate their emotions through lies has been arranged.
So, the tables may be being turning. The mass audience US politicians have lazily assumed could always be manipulated to accept their wars may be wising up. Has the manipulation of mass emotion peaked & will in future be spotted? It is too early to say.
If politicians, already largely despised, are now seen to have engaged in the most mass deception campaign ever raised via western MSM then great changes may follow. Gabbard & Sanders & others may just succeed in moving the agenda to more truth-telling.
However that may be it is our contention that humanity cannot stand much more of this democracy by deception, that the world requires a very different kind of unity. A unity that will be essentially to further peace & stability, not endless war & chaos.
With myriad environmental threats facing us, the chief being climate change combined w/ decrease in resources, inc. access to water & the predicted rise in world populations, we need to face facts, not hear fake news designed to manipulate our emotions.
The current political/media elites of the West are failing their populations, manipulating their emotions, their mental faculties in support of endless wars. Trump wants regime change not only in Venezuela but also in Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran & elsewhere.
Populations of western nations must refuse to submit to emotional manipulation & remove all who initiate it from power & influence. They can then hopefully take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for national decisions FREE of deceit based upon FACTS not manipulation.