Propaganda and ideology:

  

 Propaganda is not another term for ideology...

 

that they are different in theory and in emphasis; namely that ideology was focused upon an end/object:  the coherence and presentation of its critique of other ideologies and society and its vision of a better society…and if it got a large audience, so much the better,

 

whereas

 

propaganda is a process of persuasion by any means necessary – it does not have to worry about the coherence of the message and the arguments a la ideology. If a pottage of exciting images and sounds accompanied by the item/value that is being promoted AND it works – it persuades a mass of people to buy into it - then success. If it is fake news that is believed - then success...

 

  Equally we can look at the concept of mass society and its links to Propaganda – that is, esp from a sceptical European tradition that, the notion the emergence of a mass society where meaning attachments (class/community/status/traditions) are breaking down into the condition of anomie and detached individuals were open to adopting a new leader/messiah/life-plan.

 

 Thus alienated mass man is open to any old cult/faith/form of fascism so long as they re-gain a sense of purpose/meaning..and this is as true of stuff – goods –consumables in their lives as it is of new leaders. US notions of Mass Soc were more optimistic – that it meant they were flexible and open to new positive ideas about better future society and ways that could be shaped by well-meaning elites.

 

But whichever, propaganda - the recruiting of support for ideas and visions can be seen as a function of mass society, that is, people without firm structured reflexively grasped and maintained values and beliefs. (Is this right?)

 

 

Cold War politics and Propaganda: The image we have of the US and moreover their security services from the OSS through to the founding of the CIA is one of implacable anti-communism. However historically, idea of the US as socialism-free is variable.

 

Brief over view of US rels to anti-leftism:

 

Indeed the question of why socialism was so weak or had such a chequered career in the US had been the subject of books and debate despite various anarchist, socialist and communist movements from the late19th century onwards

 

Werner Sombart: Why  there is no soc in the US 1906: “…in the United States is a culture that has emphasized individualism and anti-statism.  And the role of government in the society is much less than it is in European societies, for example.

 

By the eve of World War I, poor working and living conditions in American cities helped clear the way for socialism.  In 1912, Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene Debs won 6 percent of the popular vote.  And there were hundreds of Socialist elected officials in cities and towns across the country.  Unlike the socialists, who were utopian and suspicious of the country's major political parties, labor unions generally worked with the Democrats and the Republicans to win higher wages and better living standards.
 
 "In the United States, when labour became a force, there was no need to struggle for political rights. Labour unions tended to join the parties that already existed -- the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and before that, the Whig Party.” 

 

 

Before the WW1 socialism had been strong within the 3 main unions: Knights of labour, IWW, American Fed of Lab and the struggles and strikes for better conditions led to big companies to pressure the authorities and the police to break strikes and spy on the trouble makers. 

The Socialist movement was able to gain strength from its ties to labour. "The [economic] panic of 1907, as well as the growing strength of the Socialists, IWW, and trade unions, speeded up the process of reform." However, corporations sought to protect their profits, and took steps against unions and strikers. They hired strikebreakers and pressured the government to call in the national militia when workers refused to do their jobs. A number of strikes dissolved into violent confrontations.

 

In June 1917, President Woodrow Wilson’s Espionage Act which included a clause providing prison sentences for up to twenty years for “Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty… or willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment of service of the United States” The Socialists’s war-opposition, led to their being the target of persecution Those who struck in war-related industries were seen as subversives and IWW especially were prosecuted  under the Esp Act.

 

This combined with Lenin’s invite for the SP to become part of the 3rd International led to the first real Red Scare in the US and to Attorney General Palmer’s organising a special anti-communist security org led by J Edgar Hoover. Hoover soon amassed a card-catalogue system with information on 150,000 individuals and 60,000 groups and publications. Palmer and Hoover both published press releases and circulated anti-Communist propaganda.

 

Equally immigration fears across the 20s and 30s of people from Eastern Europe was inevitably linked to the idea of communists entering America. Also suspicion of left-wingery in the hungry 30s and old-time capitalist free market ideologues who saw Roosevelt use of the state to create work e.g. Tennessee Valley Authority as state socialism.

 

So the US across the 20th C saw an escalation and more importantly an embedding of anti-communism in both official as well as populist circles promoted by the corporate capitalist and the state interests along with a state run anti-C intelligence gathering operation under the almost paranoiac anti-C future head of the FBI who held that post from the founding of the FBI n 1935 to his death in 1972.

 

Largely the FBI used intelligence gathering and harassment of leftists from the 30s through to the 60s and beyond.  As such propaganda was not their thing - the CIA went in for that - but the FBI were a  backbone of anti-C activity.

 

The Inter-war anti-communist efforts and propaganda were not only aimed at indigenous 'un-American' political activities but at 'alien' persons and their socio-political ideas in a time of isolationist foreign policy.

 

 

 

But what you had in the 20th C is not only a struggle to suppress left wing social movements in the US but the rise of an intellectual struggle between socialism and capitalism that came from the myriad of organisations, pressure groups, think tanks and parties especially emergent after the 2nd WW

 

and this is in many ways an emergent struggle and propaganda battle not only over the state of US-Soviet relations and how they should be understood but about the character of US hegemony in the immediate post-war period as a reflection of the Truman/Eisenhower doctrine and symbolised by the Marshall Plan.

 

And for some on the right this hegemony was itself a sign of 'socialist' corporatism that had to be opposed:

 

If left wing ideas were largely emergent from left pol parties and organised labour movements that were drifting, you got a new-con right that emerges.

 

As George Nash puts it: “In 1945 no articulate, coordinated, self-consciously conservative intellectual force existed in the United States. There were, at most, scattered voices of protest, profoundly pessimistic about the future of their country. Gradually during the first postwar decade these voices multiplied, acquired an audience, and began to generate an intellectual movement. In the beginning one finds not one right-wing renascence but three..

 

First, there were “classical liberals,” or “libertarians,” resisting the threat of the ever expanding State to liberty, private enterprise, and individualism. Convinced that America was rapidly drifting toward statism (socialism), these intellectuals offered an alternative that achieved some scholarly and popular influence by the mid-1950s.

 

Concurrently and independently, a second school of thought was emerging: the “new conservatism” or “traditionalism” of such men as Richard Weaver, Peter Viereck, Russell Kirk, and Robert Nisbet. Shocked by totalitarianism, total war, and the development of secular, rootless, mass society during the 1930s and 1940s, the “new  conservatives” urged a return to traditional religions and ethical absolutes and a rejection of and produced an intolerable vacuum that was filled by demonic ideologies.

 

Third, there appeared a militant, evangelistic anti- Communism, shaped decisively by a number of influential ex-radicals of the 1930s, including Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Frank Meyer, and many more. These former men of  the Left brought to the postwar Right a profound conviction that the West was engaged in a titanic struggle with an implacable adversary—Communism—which sought nothing less than conquest of the world.”

 

Through a proliferating network of journals, books, organizations, and political alliances, the intellectual Right steadily approached maturity and recognition— until, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it achieved its long-sought breakthrough.” (Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945) and see here a critique of Nash that argues that Anti-C was not the cement that held together a neo-Com movement in the 50s onwards

 

 

Many of these neo-Con organisations that emerged were sponsored or funded by wealthy businessmen and corporations and small payments from supporters and students who bought the magazines and pamphlets, especially in the 60s ad 70s.

 

Perhaps the odd thing is that the Neo-Cons of the 50s/60s/70s did not seem to be covertly supported by anti-communist orgs incl CIA. That was left to the formation of sponsored liberal cultural fronts.

 

Arguably the reason for this was that there were at least three politico-psychological tendencies in the new right of the post-war years.

 

1)         the intellectual conservative right: somewhat of a European cast of mind, often from Euro-parentage or university training, or exiles – Leo Struass, Voegelin, Viereck et al.

            Disliked US liberalism, endorsed traditional academic and con social values, elitists, anti-Lockeian individualism. Cons but very academic

  

2)         the libertarians: individualists, isolationists, anti-statists and thus anti-war radicals, some were anarchists, disagreed with big Govt and this with the very idea of US as a global anti-commie force.

            Rothbard, Chodorov, encouraged by exiled ultra-liberal Austrian economists – von Mises and Hayek

  

3)         hard statist right – the anti-commie brigade who did see a post-war global America that needs to protect capitalism and some idea of the American way of life; sympathetic to corporate US; thought McCarthyism was basically right even if found McCarthy’s populism an embarrassment.             Some were caught up in the middle of a-c of McCarthyism – Whittaker Chambers (the Alger Hiss affair). Quite a few were ex Socialists and Communists e.g. Chambers, James Burnham et al and grew to hate the in-fighting and walked away the Right. Many writers and pamphleteers who

            engaged in a lot of rightist a/c propaganda. Many were a/c populists who disliked the agencies of the state for being liberal east coast weak on commies. Were even suspicious of CIA! Again CIA did not really link to these groups. (William Buckley/Nat Review).

 

  

So the first two of these types were not really interested in the Cold War politics of the new post-war globalising order in which America would the central player. The latter type were but too suspicious of the corporate liberal state descending into socialism – so wanted hard anti-soviet stance at same time as did State tax& spend. This in many ways the US post-war a/c was a domestic biz for a peculiar assortment of writers, academics, ex-leftists, hard anti-commie cold war warriors, public intellectuals, pamphleteers, journalists, and serial founders of propagandist organisations

 

Curiously anti-C in Britain e.g. Brian Crozier’s Institute for the study of Conflict which was very plainly an anti-commie front had good links to the establishment..and this was typical of such orgs in the UK across the 60s and 70s. Fearful of liberalism and the new Left, odd characters from academia, politics, security services and army intelligence, ex-SAS etc organised and produced serious semi-academic pamphlets and held well-funded conferences on their concerns. But they were not notably propagandist in any large sense of creating widespread public interests. It was always slightly under-cover. Link to IRD and alter a more open public debating org The Freedom Association (McWhirter bros) tended to attract ex-MI5/6 officers.

 

 

Suspicious or paranoiac?

 

By the 40s you had the FBI on the prowl for evidence of right and left subversion but of course you had no real US intelligence service other than the Office of Strategic services that was the forerunner of the CIA. Created in 1942, reorganised in 1945 turned into CIA 1947.

 

The closeness of the Allied powers mean that OSS spying on what the soviets were up was problematic yet it was precisely this that let the OSS and then the CIA get a grip on extensive soviet activities in the US in the late40s and 50s.

  

It would perhaps be a mistake to see the US after the war as cohesively anti-commie and looking for red under the beds – FBI  yes; part of the neo-con movements – yes; the public yes in terms of a general attitude/feeling, but OSS/CIA not especially- that took some time to get a grip as a definite ideological conviction as opposed merely one of operational matters and functions that CIA did.

 

 Radio Propaganda in the Cold War: VOA, RFE, RL, Radio Moscow.

 

 

The cold war background and the formation of the Eastern Bloc

The Eastern European territories liberated from the Nazis and occupied by the Soviet armed forces were added to the Eastern Bloc by converting them into satellite states such as East Germany the People's Republic of Poland, the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the People's Republic of Hungary, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the People's Republic of Romania and the People's Republic of Albania.

 

Churchill speech on the Iron Curtain and youtube

 

Potsdam Conference 1945

At the Potsdam Conference (July 16 to August 2, 1945), after Germany's unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945,the Allies divided "Occupation Zone Germany" into four military occupation zones — France in the southwest, Britain in the northwest, the United States in the south, and the Soviet Union in the east.

 

Partitioning of Berlin:

Shortly after World War II, Berlin became the seat of the Allied Control Council, which was to have governed Germany as a whole until the conclusion of a peace settlement. In 1948, however, the Soviet Union refused to participate any longer in the quadripartite administration of Germany. They also refused to continue the joint administration of Berlin and drove the government elected by the people of Berlin out of its seat in the Soviet sector and installed a communist regime in East Berlin. From then until unification, the Western Allies continued to exercise supreme authority effective only in their sectors

 

The intended governing body of Germany was called the Allied Control Council. The commanders-in-chief exercised supreme authority in their respective zones and acted in concert on questions affecting the whole country. Berlin, which lay in the Soviet (eastern) sector, was also divided into four sectors with the Western sectors later becoming West Berlin and the Soviet sector becoming East Berlin, capital of East Germany.

 

Berlin Blockade 1948.The day after the 18 June 1948 announcement of the new Deutsche Mark, Soviet guards halted all passenger trains and traffic on the autobahn to Berlin, delayed Western and German freight shipments and required that all water transport secure special Soviet permission. On 21 June, the day the Deutsche Mark was introduced, the Soviets halted a United States military supply train to Berlin and sent it back to western Germany. On 22 June, the Soviets announced that they would introduce a new currency in their zone. This was known as the "Ostmark

That same day, a Soviet representative told the other three occupying powers that "We are warning both you and the population of Berlin that we shall apply economic and administrative sanctions that will lead to the circulation in Berlin exclusively of the currency of the Soviet occupation zone." The Soviets launched a massive propaganda campaign condemning Britain, the United States and France by radio, newspaper and loudspeaker. On 24 June, the Soviets severed land and water communications between the non-Soviet zones and Berlin. That same day, they halted all rail and barge traffic in and out of Berlin.

 

 

The continued success of the Airlift humiliated the Soviets, and the "Easter Parade" of 1949 was the last straw. On 15 April 1949 the Russian news agency TASS reported a willingness by the Soviets to lift the blockade. The next day the US State Department stated the "way appears clear" for the blockade to end. On 4 May 1949 the Allies announced an agreement to end the blockade in eight days' time. The Soviet blockade of Berlin was lifted at one minute after midnight on 12 May 1949

The Truman Doctrine set forth by the U.S. President Harry Truman in a speech on March 12, 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere was the first in a series of containment moves by the United States, followed by economic restoration of Western Europe through the Marshall Plan and military containment by the creation of NATO in 1949.

 

 

Warsaw Pact and NATO: Britain, France, the United States, Canada and eight other western European countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty of April 1949, establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The US, Britain and France spearheaded the establishment of West Germany from the three Western zones of occupation in April 1949. The Soviet Union proclaimed its zone of occupation in Germany the German Democratic Republic that October.

 

 

American policymakers, including Kennan and John Foster Dulles acknowledged that the Cold War was in its essence a war of ideas.

The United States, acting through the CIA, funded a long list of projects to counter the communist appeal among intellectuals in Europe and the developing world.

 

 

 

The CIA also covertly sponsored a domestic propaganda campaign called 'Crusade for Freedom'

 

The Soviets, who had already created a network of mutual assistance treaties in the Eastern Bloc by 1949 established a formal alliance therein, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955

 

The scene was set for a cold war to be prosecuted largely by intelligence work, politico-economic treaties, cooperation between western states or the furthering of relations between Warsaw pact nations, and by propaganda devolving largely to radio as TV was in effect available for such work

 

 Along with the broadcasts of the BBC and the Voice of America to Eastern Europe, a major propaganda effort begun in 1949 was Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, dedicated to bringing about the peaceful demise of the Communist system in the Eastern Bloc. Radio Free Europe attempted to achieve these goals by serving as a surrogate home radio station, an alternative to the controlled and party-dominated domestic press. Radio Free Europe was a product of some of the most prominent architects of America's early Cold War strategy, especially those who believed that the Cold War would eventually be fought by political rather than military means, such as George F. Kennan.

 

 

 

 

Radio Propaganda and the efforts to set up an anti-soviet/commie broadcasting service.

 

The partitioning of Europe after the war, the partitioning of Berlin and an aggressive Stalinist soviet union who wished to draw more countries under its sway meant that western powers who were ideologically opposed to communism anyway and who were worried that post-war Euro communism might let in commie govts felt justified in forming 1949 NATO of course resulted in the soviet response of forming the Warsaw Pact alliance.

 

Equally the Truman Doctrine set forth by the U.S. President Harry Truman in a speech on March 12, 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere was the first in a series of containment moves by the United States

 

The ideological division between capitalism and communism as economic, political  and social systems would be crucible in which the cold war at the propaganda end would be fought.

 

So the language of prop would be organised around peace, justice, democracy, freedom, humanity….each side claiming their socio-political systems best fulfilled these notions.

 

The circulation of these ideas and the contrasts between the two systems for the home consumption was noted earlier done by neo-con materials and education:  the schools ad the universities pushed the ideas further, + in the 50s by McCarthyism that gripped the US; and passes in Marxism-Leninism for entrance to Univ was compulsory in the USSR

 

but across borders….

 

Voice of America had been created for reflecting American values and culture as  propaganda during the war but afterwards in a form of détente  with Stalin’s Russia, the VoA budget was slashed with strong feeling that  now the war had ended so should the propaganda efforts. However, it survived and by the nid-50s was expanded to present US culture around the world

 

Programming was broadcast from production centres in New York and San Francisco, with more than 1,000 programs originating from New York. Programming consisted of music, news, commentary, and relays of U.S. domestic programming, in addition to specialized VOA programming

 

In 1946, Voice of America was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of State.

 

In 1947, VOA started broadcasting to the Soviet citizens in Russian under the pretext of countering "more harmful instances of Soviet propaganda directed against American leaders and policies" on the part of the internal Soviet Russian-language media,”

 

1950 resumption of Arab service, and 1952/53 increased services to USSR and China

 

 

If the Cold War is to be fought in terms of politics and not military then:

 

Radio propaganda via US –VoA;

 

RFE; RL really gets going in 1949 as such it was never really surprising that somewhere along the line there would be CIA involvement.

 

1949 is the crucial year – over an above the NATO we get the partition of German into West G and the DDR – soviet controlled East Germany.

 

The increasing anxiety in Washington and the general rising anti-communism in the US prompted he formation of 2 radio services specifically designed to met the increasing society and eastern bloc threat at the ideological level.

 

Taking it form from RIAS – Radio in the American Sector (Berlin in 46) aimed at the German population to counter soviet propaganda, May Day 1951 first proper brdc of Radio Free Europe, a station staffed by many exiles throughout it history was aimed at the satellite states and esp at Czecho as that was thought to be the EE state with the strongest orientation to democracy and there fore in the words of CD Jackson former operative in psy-ops in WW2 and now President of National Committee for Free Europe – sponsor of RFE- it may encourage defectors.

 

During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was broadcast to Soviet satellite countries and Radio Liberty (RL) targeted the Soviet Union. RFE was founded as an anti-communist propaganda source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe. RL was founded two years later and the two organizations merged in 1976.

 

What marks out RFE in particular is that it was unashamedly propagandist and unusually at that time it did not, as did VoA, BBC via its World Service etc even USSR, propagandise for change in other countries by trumpeting the triumphs of ones own country,

 

...but rather deliberately and sometimes in a rather rasping anti-commie tone, discuss, attack, criticise their target countries.

 

The aggressive tone was often the work of EE exiles who because of their exilic status and feeling against commies really went for it. Puddington’s study describes ones of their brodcsPeroutka’ as the brass-knuckles approach. Initially thinking that ‘in yer face’ anti-c would help contribute to a rapid implosion of a thoroughly nasty set of regimes, RFE and RL both had to calm down and had to accept that they were in for the long haul much as was the soviet bloc itself.

 

Swiatlo affair 1953 - senior agent in Polish intelligence defected and alter took part of many RFE progs and this had measurable success in Poland despite jamming etc.

 

The people who were in the founding committee of RFE/RL such as George Kennan, Allen Dulles, and Frnak Wisner amongst others had ties to each other from university as well as from their days in the military and their links toe ach other as senior advisers in govt – in the case of Dulles, his bro was Sec Of St – the latter seeing the sate of affairs as one in which Western Civilisation is on the defensive.

 

Truman in a speech called ‘Project Truth’ condemning society use of propagandas – deceit distortion lies, he said: “We must use every means at our command, private as well as governmental to get the truth to other peoples.” The NSC in a documents referred to the need to foster a change in the soviet system.

 

The point here is that those who set up the operation were part of a US/State approach to Truman containment doctrine of which the a/c prop of RFE was a part. They took a globalising approach to Cold War politics and not an ideologico-intellectual or basic anti-Commie approach for the home audience as did the nascent neo-Cons stuff.

 

 

Their mindset was very much part of a govt/admin high politics – centrally organised initiatives as such they were not concerned with notions of folksy America First hearth and home ordinary folks notions. And RFE/RL reflected that.

 

University programmes esp in Soviet and EE studies were set up for exiles as was a Free Univ in Strasbourg by the Freedom in Europe Cmtee. So RFEs founding fathers went well beyond radio

 

The strategies of RFE were to interview travellers from East Germany, target groups such as farmers, women, youth, border guards to faster listeners esp in EG. If RFE knew of named person as having done terrible things to people in the East then they would name and shame them RFE was described as a citizens adventure in the field of psychological warfare.

 

If RFE was a radio stations for Eastern Europe nations, Radio Liberty was the same kind of operation buy aimed explicitly at the Soviet Union. Radio Liberty was originally called Radio Liberation when formed by American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia (Amcomlib) in 1951

 

 

 

 

Crusade for Freedom – In line with the aggressive and covert aspect of radio prop one of t more peculiar episodes was CFF.

 

In Oct 1950 a replica of the Liberty Bell – the Freedom Bell was displayed in West Berlin apparently paid for bya new org called the Crusade for Freedom aiming to raise funds for RFE.

Ike had announced the formation of Crusade FF in a national address and US citizens gave their dollars to support. It ringing in Berlin was broadcast across Europe by various radio network and of course it was designed to annoy the soviet who naturally condemned it. Though it did not really raise much of the money required to fund RFE as that was secretly done by the CIA, what it did do was to get ordinary US citizens involved in the ideas of anti-communism. The government itself was funding the fund raising efforts of the CFF!

 

 

Support RFE and RFA Cold War CIA Broadcasting: The Crusade for Freedom & the Birth of Radio Free Asia

 

 Strangely the actual relationship between McCarthyism and the CIA/govt org of the a/c radio stations and prop did not particularly touch. In part this was a reflection of the fact that McC was concerned with subversives at home and not going for Depts of state – which would have perhaps been biting off more than could chew

 

Despite this RFE though not as much as VoA came under fire usually individual brdcs who were vulnerable as they were usually exiles and thus ultra McCarthyites could easily accuse them of being commie as the ultra Fulton Lewis was want to do-calling one RFE broadcaster a Stalinist collaborator and another ‘one of the greatest mass murderers in history’ which takes them into the realm of the shock jocks of today on Fox news. 1958-60. Oddly Lewis picked up the story that RFE was a CIA front and told his millions of listeners about it, but somehow it never really struck a chord. That would be noticed out in 1968

 

Often the was a case of one excitable exiles accusing another one via selling a ling to an Ultra McC type in some other media outlet.

  

Radio Moscow:

Begum in 1922 RM was the man radio service of the USSR that broadcast targeted programmes across the globe using high powered signals that ensured clear broadcasting. 1941 in 21 languages and 1951 2094 hrs p.w. in 80 langs. Almost equal to VOA RFE and RL combined.

 

RM used: openly identified source, and is characterized by gentler methods of persuasion than black propaganda (which purports to come from the opposite side to that which actually produced it) and grey propaganda (which has no identifiable source or author).

 

CIA monitoring late 40s and 50s saw it as prop via themes of Peace, peoples democracy, welfare based justice, anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism.

 

 

 

Culture, Propaganda and the CIA

 

In many ways the strategy for Cultural propaganda esp that funded by the CIA was to engage in non-propaganda  that is to say, covertly fund the production and exhibition of cultural works – literature, music, art, intellectual debate that holds to an art for arts sake idea  the classic liberal position that distinguishes it from the agit prop view of the soviets or from Gramsci’s idea of culture as either being on the side of the hegemony or the counter-hegemony.

 

The ke agency hat was CIA funded was the Congress for Cultural Freedom which emerged in 1950 holding its inaugural conference in…West Berlin.

 

Key to the idea of the true intellectual rather than one at their party’s call were the ideas of dependence from politics and commitment to you art so tat it does not pander to popular taste. Thus elitism and a kind of isolation from the world sets up a image of the pure artist untainted..

 

The participants in Europe and the US within the CCF were when they realised untroubled by the propagandistic aims of CCF, the took the position of Gramsci’s traditional intellectual which saw herself as doing honest work if they were left to express themselves how they wanted.

Arthur Schlesinger one of the great post-war US historians and writer who was aware of CCFs link to CIA argued that is was right because culture fostered a sense of belonging to their society in a critical liberal fashion and this opposed the meaninglessness of obedience to the state found in soviet style socs.

 

The Congress for Cultural Freedom functioned as a clandestine endowment for the arts that promoted cultural, intellectual, and artistic endeavours “in the West, for the West, in the name of freedom of expression” (p. 2). The CIA pumped tens of millions of dollars into the Congress for Cultural Freedom and related projects, making the  agency, “America’s Ministry of Culture” (p. 129). The Congress maintained offices in thirty-five countries and employed dozens of persons, including writers, poets, artists, historians, and scientists. It published over twenty prestigious magazines, held art exhibitions, owned a news and feature service, organized high-profile international conferences, and sponsored public performances by musicians and artists.

 

Saunders details CIA funding and promotion of a long list of noted intellectuals including Melvin Lasky, Isaiah Berlin, Sidney Hook, Dwight MacDonald, Hannah Arendt, Vladimir Nabokov, Arthur Koestler, Raymond Aron, George Orwell, and many others.

 

Among the magazines funded by the agency were Survey, Preuves, Der Monat, Partisan Review, and the highly respected Encounter. She also shows how the CIA covertly funded and distributed hundreds of books. For example, the influential compendium of liberal anti-Stalinist confessions, The God That Failed, “was as much a product of intelligence as it was a work of the intelligentsia”

 

 

The CIA also promoted traditional art forms. It subsidized symphonies, art exhibits, ballet performances, theater groups, operas, and jazz musicians to undermine the negative stereotypes prevalent in Western Europe about the cultural barrenness of the United States. Working in cooperation with the Museum of Modern Art, the CIA also promoted Abstract Expressionist painting as a counter to Socialist Realism and explicitly political art. To fund the cultural Cold War, the CIA maintained an  elaborate network of dummy foundations, which were created expressly for the purpose of channeling CIA funds into various covert projects. Many of these foundations existed only on paper. The Fareld Foundation, for example, was a CIA front that became the principal conduit for CIA subsidies to the Congress for Cultural Freedom.

 

Other foundations that served as conduits for CIA funds included Ford, Rockefeller, and J. M. Kaplan. CIA money also flowed through Time, Inc., the Metropolitan Opera, the Museum of Modern Art, Harper & Row, theModern Languages Association, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

 

Beyond the mere act of subsidizing artistic creations the CIA also worked to influence the content of cultural products shipped overseas. For example, CIA agent Carleton Alsop worked undercover to introduce specific themes into Hollywood films and to remove images that might evoke a negative response abroad. In two examples Alsop convinced casting directors to mute racial stereotypes in their pictures by including “well dressed negroes” as part of the American scene. At Alsop’s request, blacks were planted in crowd scenes in the Jerry Lewis comedy “Caddy.” Saunders comments sarcastically: “At a time when many ‘negroes’ had as much chance of getting into a golf club as they had of getting the vote, this seemed optimistic indeed” . A more blatant case of CIA manipulation of film content occurred with the animated cartoon film of Orwell’s Animal Farm. The agency rewrote the ending of the ªlm to mute Orwell’s symbolic connotation of capitalist exploiters and Stalinist revolutionaries. These examples aside, the extent of CIA control over the intellectual freedom of the authors and artists on its payroll is unclear. The CIA exerted tight political control over the intellectual agenda of the writers and artists it subsidized, but she offers scant evidence to support this conclusion. One example of outright censorship—that of an article submitted by Dwight MacDonald attacking American mass culture and materialism—though the CIA intervened to remove founding members Melvin Lasky and Arthur Koestler from their official positions in the organization’s leadership. Wisner personally intervened to remove Lasky.

 

Koestler was sidelined for being too passionate in his anti-Communism; the CIA believed that a moderate tone was needed to “win over the waverers”.  In general, however, the CIA mostly provided the funds, not the ideas. The agency preferred to subsidize ideas rather than censor them. Still, regardless of the degree of intellectual freedom afforded the artists subsidized by the agency, it is clear that the CIA operatives who ran the programs saw themselves as propagandists involved in a war of ideas. CIA operatives spoke frankly about harnessing the energies of “intellectuals who were disillusioned, [or] who could be disillusioned” with Communism. The Congress for Cultural Freedom and numerous other intellectuals, artists, and non-profit foundations were described by CIA operatives as “propaganda assets”. Tom Braden, who ran the CIA’s International Organizations Division, was unapologetically vocal in defending the agency’s mission to support the non-Communist left—as his 1967 article “I’m Glad the CIA Is Immoral”

 

 

 

 

 

Models of the relation between Propaganda and Power

 

 

Structural - centre-periphery (Russell/Dahl etc) -  based on counter-factual argument (A gets B to do what they would not otherwise do). Propaganda is action of an agent upon a mass population

 

 

Post-structural: power is 'virtual' - a micro-physics - an analytics of power (Foucault)  - Propaganda is multi-dimensional struggle

 

 

The argument:

propaganda is a strategy of persuasion to a target population –

perhaps with core and periphery aspects –

seeking to inculcate into the population,

a positive image as well as a set of points (‘facts’) and beliefs

about a cause or group usually political or economic in character.

 

However, we have seen that prop is typically deployed as the function of a unitary voice (this OR that party)

 ...to a weakened often non-rational audience i.e. those who have suffered from socio-political or economic trauma and are susceptible to less than benign influences of  siren anti-democratic voices

 or to an audience made non-rational by the acquisitive temper of the modern consumerist psyche. (i.e. victims of advertising)

 Whichever, propaganda seems to rest on a combination of unitary force and its audience. Inasmuch as the relation of power existing here is that of the dominant irresistible voice and the accepting receptive weaker mind we have the relation between propaganda and the syringe model of communications. Mass society theory posits the idea of the average mass man into who ears is dripped the persuasive tones of a singular ‘average’ message – one size fits all.

 This approach to power is that of the A gets B to do what he would not otherwise do variety as well as being of the centre/periphery kind. (see my lecture nottes from 4 weeks ago on Prop and power)

 

BUT…what if we were to take a rather more distributed, more post-structural theory of power – perhaps something like the idea of power that Foucault developed.

 Power as multiple and as an analytics rather than a theory  - that is to say, as a dynamic variable set of lines of force, utterance, statement, action that intertwine and bifurcate from all the other lines.

 Seeing power as a kaleidoscope which can stabilise around certain typifying features and issues only to break up into varied disputes. In other words there is no centre to power. Yet it is always-already underway and power is not a definite act but an effect of the totality of lines of force. It is a variable image.