Guest Post: Our Tolerance For Fashionable Deception

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Ben Tanosborn

Our Tolerance For Fashionable Deception

Nothing appears as ugly as unmasked raw propaganda, or seems as fashionable as well-crafted deception.  Yet, the catwalk for both forms of propaganda is one and the same, deception wearing the most titillating togs provided by the top fashion house, the House of Public Relations. And the deceptive PR isn’t limited to multinational firms or businesses in general; it is part and parcel of our daily existence, having infiltrated most if not all institutions, totally poisoning politics, and eroding away whatever little honesty might still be left in our elected officials.

During the past century we have seen the transformation of the raw epithet known as propaganda, and all its implied vilification, to that of an accepted social science with full academic accreditation, unashamedly sitting at the same table with all reputable and time-honored professions.  We, members of society, have swallowed lock, stock and barrel the presumed need by notable individuals and institutions to receive help from specialized professionals to show us all the good things about them, their positive contribution to society.  But much of what we get is tainted with deceit.

From press releases to the practice of damage control, public relations, the pseudo-science, is there more often than not ready to deceive us all.  The alchemy of spinning factoids into facts, the use of euphemisms and constant truth cherry-picking, has reached such degree of sophistication that we are, as individuals, no longer able to discern fact from fiction.  Yet, the one place we should be looking for help to unravel deception from truth, the government, is often complicit with those engaged in the deception… that is, when not being the source of the deception itself.  Now, to further complicate matters, we have entered the age of Internet-mediated PR!

Americans have been victims – some might argue, beneficiaries – of three grand deceptions during the past three generations, in all cases having the government as either the deceiver or co-deceiver; the very instrument for the capitalist entrenched power.  One of the three grand deceptions has to do with the very defense of predatory capitalism, a system we are told to equate with democracy and our very constitutional freedoms.  That supreme deception has allowed the build-up of an imperial military, and permitted America’s unchallenged interference in the affairs of other sovereign nations.  But the deception involved in the creation of this imperial might is something that for now we might as well set aside and concentrate on the other two, housing and jobs, where maybe we still have a chance to confront deceit head-on, debunking old myths; one which will force the long term planning of education and employment without punishing and impoverishing three-quarters of the nation’s population.

Of the two, the most visual, one playing a key role in the economic predicament in which we find ourselves today is real estate, and the much touted “American Dream”… an invention of those holding the money and power to convince the working men and women in America of both capitalism’s virtues and the sanctity of private property over anything the commons – we as a people – might demand in an equitable society.  What has been viewed as shelter traditionally, a roof over our heads for the most part, has changed via deceit to the need for a sacrosanct mortgaged-ownership which became not just symbolically but de facto a magical investment instrument, a source of non-existent wealth.  Bricks and mortar placed over a few feet of land made us all smart and enterprising capitalists.  Renting was relegated to the very poor, those who would yet have to earn their diplomas to enter the “house-owning” capitalist class.  All of this was done through deceit and the creation of inane tax subsidies which only went to help an inefficient and blotted industry,

Any comprehensive analysis to determine what makes sense for an individual, whether to rent or to own the shelter they occupy, should yield a clear result if for no other reason than the fixed nature of the asset.  Renting is, has always been, and is likely to be, the most logical decision when properly assigning a value, a negative value, to its “immobility.” 

What many of us have been saying for decades, definitely not a mainstream chant, is now gaining converts to reason, and that is… for other than psychic reasons – affordable if you have the income or wealth to waste – it does make financial sense to rent instead of own the house where you live.

I was just reading about a Johnny-come-lately convert to this point of view, an adjunct professor in personal finance at Berkeley, Rich Arzaga, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Wealth Management, who appears not to feel professional embarrassment when admitting he lost 35 percent in the value of his home he bought 7 years ago.  Nice to have a convert, but one would think that most people would think twice before taking a class from him, or have him manage their money!

As for the other grand deception, the impoverishment of most Americans as a consequence of globalization, it is a subject that neither the government nor the capitalist curia running the United States is willing to tackle, keeping their dirty secrets behind chambers.

Three big deceptions or lies have been perpetrated on the American citizenry: the need for an imperial military; the fantasy of the “American Dream”; and the need to immerse the country in overnight globalization without acknowledging or planning for possible consequences. 

Did Hitler have it right when he said that “the great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one”?  Apparently, we in America have.

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SilverDoctors's picture

Thanks to Tyler and everyone at Zerohedge for helping cut through the propaganda, MOPE, and deception. 
Thanks largely to Zerohedge, the masses of sheople are slowly awakening!

The greatest deception placed on the American people has been that of fiat currency, completely unbacked by gold or silver as required by the Constitution. 
Eric Sprott today stated that silver will be remonetized, and will return to a role as a currency.

The process is already well underway with gold...we have seen numerous bilateral currency deals in the past year involving gold as the currency used for oil, etc.  The market has already declared gold as THE currency again, and I believe Sprott is correct that the market will determine silver as a currency again as well. 
Only with a return of sound free money will the American people be able to free themselves from the deception and slavery of debt and fiat currency. 


Harlequin001's picture

Guy Fawkes was the original Patriot...

Careless Whisper's picture

The Careless Whisper Sunday Lite News Update & Threadjacking


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Michael's picture

Mossad Motto 'By Way of Deception, thou shalt do War'.

Massive damage has been done to the American psyche by the book,  "The Power of Positive Thinking".

Reality always seems to come back and bite you in the ass at some point in time.

giddy's picture

NVP was neither a liar nor shill for greed and deception.  Just like Christmas was not an excuse for conspicuious materialism and profligacy.  There are those who use these as by-ways to personal gain.  Moneychangers.  Same as it ever was...

falun bong's picture

Please spam and threadjack somewhere else

trav7777's picture

that Target predictive data analysis is wonder WMT and they are able to make so much from an integrated store model.  They in many cases can tell what you'll need to buy before you do it.  Funny how they knew a guy's highschool age daughter was pregnant before he did.

Optimusprime's picture

The Daily Bell line.  Do you believe it?

QuietCorday's picture

Hate to say this, Harlequin, but not really.

Fawkes spent quite a lot of his young life fighting for the Spanish against the Dutch (theoretically, kinda fighting against his own country's interests), and tried to get Spain to support a Catholic rebellion in England. The Gunpowder Plot was designed to kill James I and put a Catholic Monarch on the throne.

In many ways, Fawkes was not that dissimilar to a Yorkshire-born Muslim of subcontinental immigrant descent who travels to Afghanistan on "jihad" to join the mujahideen to "blow up infidel Americans" and then tries to get Saudi Arabia to back a terrorist attack on London to kill David Cameron and replace him with a Muslim MP on a quest to turn Britain into a state of the "Caliphate". When that doesn't work, he decides, instead, to just get into the HoC on some guest pass and then leaves an enormous bomb in the Gents.

Patriot, Fawkes was not.

The Alarmist's picture

Fawkes was more of a patsy than a patriot.

lotsoffun's picture

which side of my toast did i butter?

the winners get to rewrite history.  the losers get to rue their martyrs.


Harlequin001's picture

It was just an off-the-cuff one liner, but thanks for your effort...

Max Fischer's picture



Guy Fawkes was the original Patriot...

Not according to Glenn Beck.  Three years ago, before Beck was paid to be Murdoch's court jester, Beck was over at CNN warning his viewers about potential domestic terrorists like Guy Fawkes. Here's a video of Beck implying that Ron Paul supporters are possible domestic terrorists no different than Fawkes. 

The Glenn Beck Show debuted on Faux in January 2009 - within days of Obama's inauguration.  Then, suddenly, "the great evil at our doorstep" was no longer Ron Paul supporters, but rather the new Marxist, Communist, Socialist, Hitler-esque, Mao-esque, Lenin-esque, extremist President in our own White House.  Oh yeah, and he also happens to be a foreign born Muslim terrorist who hates America, especially American Christians.  Somehow, American citizens had just elected the single worst villain in world history as our new President.  

Sorry about the tangent, but do you know what Glenn Beck's production company is called?  Mercury Radio Arts - named after Orson Welles' theatre, Mercury Theatre.  "The great evil at our doorstep"... that Muslim, racist terrorist who is going to fundamentally transform America into a Communist/Socialist state is no different than those martians who invaded everyone's radio in 1938 and set the world at war. 

Max Fischer, Civis Mundi

Harlequin001's picture

So, not much different to our other politicos then?

As always, the efforts of all ZH'ers are appreciated..

Gully Foyle's picture


UMHMM, History lesson

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes

Wintour introduced Fawkes to Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne.

Fawkes became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in England since 5 November 1605.

Guido Fawkes wanted a Catholic monarch and fucked up a simple fuse lighting. Guido is BURNED IN EFFIGY!



Harlequin001's picture

Thanks for your time Gully, I shall read this at my leisure...

Please see my comments above.

Love ZH...

Eireann go Brach's picture

The words Hope and Change should be discarded to the dustbin of most useless words Forever!

Ahmeexnal's picture

You'd be amazed at how easily the sheeple are mesmerized by a buffoon spewing those precise 2 words. In any latitude. In any language. At any given time in history.

socalat_Kruger's's picture

Haha exactly - this whole rant on propaganda, like it is something new! Perception is reality.

Just think about Shakespear's play Julius Ceaser where Mark Antony turns the mob against the conspiritors with his 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears' speech.

The real distinction is between those who adapt their purposes to reality and those who seek to mold reality in the light of their purposes. –Henry Kissinger


trav7777's picture

so are they all, all honorable men

linrom's picture

Gold and slavery go hand in hand. Follow the 'yellow brick road right into feudalism and debt peonage.'

kill switch's picture

I concur...ZH is the great fog cutter...

trav7777's picture

Sproutt is just trying to drum up more hysteria to chase more gullible silverbug lemmings into his PSLV fund so he can harvest them.  Silverbugz are like minks on a farm, Sproutt is going to make you into a coat

Gordon Freeman's picture

In the middle of his treacly, sanctimonious preaching about the evils of lies and deception, how telling it is that the sainted Mr. Tanosborn takes a college professor to task for having the humility to tell the truth, and take ownership of a mistake that he made.

Fuck you, Mr. Tanosborn.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Professors are nothing but self-serving narcissists. How do you think they got where they are?

Uncle Remus's picture

Try an "adjunct professor", which BTW, in some institutions doesn't even require a college degree - only verifiable professional experience. That is a whole different enchilada from what most people think when they read or hear "professor". But then, you played on that didn't you, you disingenuous fuck.

New_Meat's picture

"... which BTW, in some institutions ... "

such as U-Chicago? ??

- Ned

Tense INDIAN's picture

Tyler ..why r u selling all the rallies....dont u want the zerohedgers to take part in the rallies n profit

GeneMarchbanks's picture

'The alchemy of spinning factoids into facts, the use of euphemisms and constant truth cherry-picking, has reached such degree of sophistication that we are, as individuals, no longer able to discern fact from fiction.'

Sure, but who's to blame for that? People are so eager for something to believe in they think they can stockpile wisdom and knowledge like consumer goods so they watch a video or read a blog and think the world starts with their source(s). Most miss out on the larger theme and react to headlines in anticipation of some Apocalypse.

'Did Hitler have it right when he said that “the great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one”?  Apparently, we in America have.'

Tragically, Hitler continues to be an enigma for most social theorists. Few academics open up Freud's work on group psychology or Lebon or even Eric Hoffer in the States. Still, it isn't so much a Hitler redux I fear but a complete corporate takeover of every aspect of life.


my puppy for prez's picture

Add to that list:  Edward Bernays, Walter Lippman, and Kurt Lewin!

ziggy59's picture

bernays book; propaganda  is the bible of it and p.r.  free book pdf file



Motley Fool's picture

Nice example of deception, this article.

Ghordius's picture

Cryptic Fool? Or are the questions posed too strange? ;-)

boattrash's picture

I guess to me, one of the biggest deceptions would be in believing there is "rule of law". Look at Barney Frank's housing the butt-pirate prostitute ring in the basement, "Turbo-Timmy" Charlie the Cheat, all of congress asswiping w/constitution. Gov/banks Etc.. to infinity.  Local and county cops tazing and assaulting my family members for walking their dog. Actually tased a non-combative 16 year old boy while in the back of the fucking cop car, 4 to 6 times depending on the official report, or the bragging in the cop-shop parking lot. No wonder I dreamed we held emergency congressional elections. It seemed all of the Congressional Heads (and that is Heads only) were placed behind their name-tags, with the air conditioner set really cold to keep the smell at bay for two weeks, while the elections were held. All people had to do to run, was have balls enough to go throw the head out into the lawn, and enough memory to remember how they got their new seat! Well, ya think I sent up any red flags with this one? Hope the Dream Police don't come after me.

blindman's picture

American Poverty, What the Brits Don’t Understand
Panorama Special on American Poverty A Delusional Tale
by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor
" you see in my line of work you got to
keep repeating things over and over and
over again for the truth to sink in ....
to kinda catapult the propaganda." george w. bush
"The basis for suffering in America is simple. America was taken over by organized crime, the Bush administration, who looted the country, devalued real estate, collapsed banking, looted pension funds, destroyed one industry after another for eight years while running up a massive debt.

This was the task they were given, the downfall of America, the destruction of her future and the collapse of western economies.

I think they did a pretty good job.

Paying the interest on the Bush debt is why we have deficits now. Without Bush debt, America would be in the black.

Our economic collapse than has and will continue is a cascading failure based on debt run up during the Reagan and two Bush presidencies and three years of America under President Obama being unable to pay the massive interest.

Now over $1 trillion dollars a year, interest on Republican debt, America spends, in addition to “servicing Bush debt,” $.5 trillion on Bush wars each year.

There are things we don’t see. We could talk about how the government got into the drug business in America." ..
( many pieces of the puzzle, main plot, contained at this link. )

tickhound's picture

So when I peer behind the money creation / fractional reserve banking / kleptocracy / systemic debt issuance curtain of fashionable deception... It shall be revealed to be Bush's fault.

The fate of America determined by those few hanging chads...

blindman's picture

i think that would be a misinterpretation of history and
a misreading of the content of the linked text and video/s.
in the last 50 years i would concede he was perhaps the
worst president the country has had the privilege of being
destroyed under.

trav7777's picture

gotta ask:  in what specific ways were the presidents before and after him any better or even any different?

blindman's picture

one thing, glaring, there was an attack on the city
of new york on 9/11/2001. he oversaw, as president, the
absolute destruction of the crime scene and all the evidence
and simply exploited the emotional element to initiate
two protracted and unnecessary wars. as a result several thousand
american soldiers were killed or maimed, they now commit suicide
at rates exceeding combat fatalities, and millions of other
people have been murdered.
here another thing, if not for the abysmal "leadership" of
bush-cheney, obama would have been an impossibility.
that is enough to justify the statement in my opinion, though
there is more. you could fill a big book with the more.

New_Meat's picture

7777777 that would be TR and Wilson

blindman's picture

to your larger point that presidents are mostly appointed
men to accomplish a set of specific goals relating to the
needs of "power" at the time, this i agree with. so bush
just happened upon a tough assignment. came in at the
more difficult phase of the main plot. this is consistent
with the observation that collectively man and collectively
minded "leadership" operates at the intellectual level of
a fungus or fungal mat. it doesn't have to be this way.
individuals can and could, in the future, make a difference.
that is the point. the impression is that a president is
an individual but the reality is he is not. he is an agent
of other interests, unknown interests and the art of getting
elected to the office is doing, saying, appearing and spending
whatever it takes to be sworn in instead of the other potentials
getting there first. they are all the same in that once elected
they continue in service of the existing power structure and
its established machinations, but then, reality and systemic shelf life
kick in and suddenly we need real leadership ! this happened
in 2001 and no one stood up. there was no one there. just criminal
insiders and lobbyist, actors and confidence men.
like today.

ChacoFunFact's picture

“I am a most unhappy man.  I have unwittingly ruined my country.  A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.  Our system of credit is concentrated.  The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.  We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world, no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”  -President Woodrow Wilson

call me ahab's picture

so . . .let me make sure I have it right.  It's all Bush's fault?  


you go girl



blindman's picture

you have it wrong here. logic does not demand that
because A is negative that B is positive; unless you buy
into the false bipolar paradigm the media has been
training the population to blindly believe must exist,
it doesn't exist. not like that. i post links and assume
the audience has the capacity to interpret the information
without the silver spoon stuck in their mouths for them.
"..Ahab's Biblical namesake is the evil idol-worshipping ruler in the Book of Kings, and this association prompts Ishmael to ask, at his first encounter with Ahab:

"When that wicked king was slain, the dogs, did they not lick his blood?".

—Moby-Dick, Ch. 16 [28]

When Ishmael remarks upon the ill associations of such a name, he is rebuked by one of Ahab's colleagues, who points out that "He did not name himself!"

giddy's picture

...ummmm, not quite.  Go back and re-read Kings.  Ahab's wife Jezebel worshipped Baal.  Ahab's biggest problem was he couldn't stick to one side or the other.  He tried to hedge his bets by worshipping both Yahweh and Baal.  Elijah set him straight. 

Those Hebrew Kings wanted it both ways...  You know -- marry outside the tribe, add some fancy new idols to the temple, import some nice building materials from Lebannon, build a bigger palace than the Babylonians and send their kids to Yale...  

But, to quote another Hebrew King, a house divided cannot stand...  

trav7777's picture

wtf...Jezebel believed in Peak Oil, too?!?!?!

Mariposa de Oro's picture

Bush, blah, blah, blah....yawn.  Meanwhile that fact that Bush has been gone for over three years and not a single thing was done by the current grand master in the WH to undo a single bit of damage Bush supposedly did, is completely overlooked.  This crap has been DECADES in the making, but yeah, its all Bush's fault.  All the others were wonderful.