Faked news reports of babies in Belgium being skewered by swords, like kebabs, and nailed to doors. Dead bodies being boiled down to some bizarre human soup for the use in ammunition and arms production. Iraqis breaking into hospitals, tossing babies out of incubators, like highway trash, and stealing the incubators. The crucifixion of an allied soldier serving in the Canadian Corps likened to that of the Messiah. Sounds like the fabric Quentin Tarantino’s movies are made from? Well, you’re not too far off, they’re all spurious events cooked up by government propaganda agencies throughout the years.
Government propaganda, in the form of media and public relations, has been rife since the beginning of mankind as we know it. From President Wilson’s wartime propaganda to justify the United States entry into World War I, to President Clinton’s push to invade Serbia, to the anti-Saddam indoctrination, meant to rationalize the Iraq invasion, and of course, the Advertising Council of today – responsible for the distribution of public service announcements on behalf of federal government agency sponsors.
In this telling documentary, we hear how public relations (PR), dating back to the Ludlow massacre of the coal miners’ union of 1914, was used as a tool of repair for the PR nightmare faced by the rich and powerful Rockefeller family. We learn of the birth of propaganda, stemming out of well-known publicity expert Ivy Lee’s work, to be later used by NAZI Germany, and the US Government’s involvement in WWI. Uncovered in this documentary as well, is the history of popular public relations agency, Burson-Marsteller, who worked feverishly to paint a pretty, justifiable picture of some of the worse human rights violations – namely in Nigeria, Indonesia, and even as far back as the 1970s in Argentina.
We hear how the likes of Walter Lippman and Edward Bernays, popularized and supported the concepts of mass mind control and wartime propaganda as a means of keeping society as “interested spectators of action” – NOT participants. A time that would change the future of the working-man for all eternity, between 1860 and 1920, there was an overproduction of goods – an issue that could easily have been solved by increasing wages and reducing work hours. This documentary examines how Government, back then, found it prudent to do quite the opposite in fear that reduced work hours could lead to too much time on society’s hands – affording the masses the opportunity to think and possibly act.
This documentary holds no punches in examining the harsh reality of a society in which citizens have been replaced by consumers. A society that has created relative deprivation, where the rich, no matter how rich, aren’t satisfied and simply don’t feel rich enough. A society where ludicrous amounts of time and money are spent trying to convince its people that they NEED material things. All these things and more are explored, examined, and uncovered in Psywar.