“Credit suisse research institute is proud to launch the credit suisse global wealth databook 2010, which offers investors the most comprehensive study of world wealth it is the first study to analyze the wealth of all the world’s 4.4 billion adults. research for the credit suisse global wealth databook has been undertaken on behalf of the credit suisse research institute by professors anthony shorrocks and jim davies, recognized authorities on this topic, and the architects and principal authors of ‘personal wealth from a global perspective,’ oxford university press, 2008. the aim of the credit suisse global wealth project is to provide the best available estimates of the wealth holdings of households around the world for the period since the year 2000. while the credit suisse global wealth report highlights the main findings of our study, the 128-page databook underlines the extent of our analysis. more importantly, it sets out in detail the data employed in our global wealth project, the methodology used to calculate estimates of wealth and how this may differ from other reports in this field. the credit suisse global wealth databook also details the evolution of household wealth levels through the period 2000 to 2010, providing data at the regional level on high net worth individuals, and highlighting the wealth pyramid in addition to wealth analysis for 160 countries. finally, the databook presents detailed data on relatively under-researched areas such as gender and the composition of household portfolios (assets and debts).”
“F the metaphorical understanding of a situation functions in two parts irst, there is a widespread, relatively fixed set of metaphors that structure how fc we think. for example, a decision to go to war might be seen as a form o ost-benefit analysis, where war is justified …”
Steuter, E., & Wills, D.. (2008). At war with metaphor. Nueva York: Rowman and …
“BACKGROUND:pedomorphism is the retention of ancestrally juvenile traits by adults in a descendant taxon. despite its importance for evolutionary change, there are few examples of a molecular basis for this phenomenon. notothenioids represent one of the best described species flocks among marine fishes, but their diversity is currently threatened by the rapidly changing antarctic climate. notothenioid evolutionary history is characterized by parallel radiations from a benthic ancestor to pelagic predators, which was accompanied by the appearance of several pedomorphic traits, including the reduction of skeletal mineralization that resulted in increased buoyancy.results:we compared craniofacial skeletal development in two pelagic notothenioids, chaenocephalus aceratus and pleuragramma antarcticum, to that in a benthic species, notothenia coriiceps, and two outgroups, the threespine stickleback and the zebrafish. relative to these other species, pelagic notothenioids exhibited a delay in pharyngeal bone development, which was associated with discrete heterochronic shifts in skeletal gene expression that were consistent with persistence of the chondrogenic program and a delay in the osteogenic program during larval development. morphological analysis also revealed a bias toward the development of anterior and ventral elements of the notothenioid pharyngeal skeleton relative to dorsal and posterior elements.conclusions:our data support the hypothesis that early shifts in the relative timing of craniofacial skeletal gene expression may have had a significant impact on the adaptive radiation of antarctic notothenioids into pelagic habitats.”
Thibodeau, P. H., Hendricks, R. K., & Boroditsky, L.. (2017). How Linguistic Metaphor Scaffolds Reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences
“Language helps people communicate and think. precise and accurate language would seem best suited to achieve these goals. but a close look at the way people actually talk reveals an abundance of apparent imprecision in the form of metaphor: ideas are ‘light bulbs’, crime is a ‘virus’, and cancer is an ‘enemy’ in a ‘war’. in this article, we review recent evidence that metaphoric language can facilitate communication and shape thinking even though it is literally false. we first discuss recent experiments showing that linguistic metaphor can guide thought and behavior. then we explore the conditions under which metaphors are most influential. throughout, we highlight theoretical and practical implications, as well as key challenges and opportunities for future research. metaphors pervade discussions of abstract concepts and complex issues: ideas are ‘light bulbs’, crime is a ‘virus’, and cancer is an ‘enemy’ in a ‘war’. at a process level, metaphors, like analogies, involve structure mapping, in which relational structure from the source domain is leveraged for thinking about the target domain. metaphors influence how people think about the topics they describe by shaping how people attend to, remember, and process information. the effects of metaphor on reasoning are not simply the result of lexical priming. metaphors can covertly influence how people think. that is, people are not always aware that they have been influenced by a metaphor.”
Hülsse, R., & Spencer, A.. (2008). The metaphor of terror: Terrorism studies and the constructivist turn. Security Dialogue
“Terrorism studies is fascinated with the terrorist actor. though this may seem natural, the present article argues that a different perspective can be fruitful. from a constructivist point of view, terrorism is a social construction. the terrorist actor is a product of discourse, and hence discourse is the logical starting point for terrorism research. in particular, it is the discourse of the terrorists’ adversaries that constitutes terrorist motivations, strategies, organizational structures and goals. hence, the article suggests a shift of perspective in terrorism studies – from an actor-centred to a discourse-centred perspective. it develops a discourse approach that emphasizes the crucial role of metaphors in the making of reality. to illustrate this approach, the metaphorical construction of al-qaeda in the german popular press in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in new york and washington ( 2001), madrid ( 2004) and london ( 2005) is analysed. terrorism was first constituted as war, but from 2004 onwards the principal metaphor shifted from war to crime, constructing al-qaeda as a criminal rather than a military organization. this shift has transformed al-qaeda from an external to an internal threat, which has entailed a shift in counter-terrorism practices from a military to a judicial response.”
Ferrari, F.. (2007). Metaphor at work in the analysis of political discourse: Investigating a “preventive war” persuasion strategy. Discourse and Society
“The crucial historical moment represented by post 9/11 may undoubtedly be considered responsible for the subsequent hardening of american political rhetoric. and yet, the sudden increase of consensus catalysed by george w. bush and the consequences of his international policy bring his modus persuadendi up for discussion. the aim of this article is to present a framework for a metaphor-based critical analysis of persuasion in political discourse. our object of observation is george w. bush’s public speeches to the nation (2001–4). more specifically, the analysis is focused on the persuasion strategy enacted to promote the preventive war in iraq. in our approach, conceptual metaphor as related to emotion constitutes the fundamental argumentative feature and crucial tool to address the matter of persuasion in text, contributing to identifying both the ideological root and the persuasive strategy of a given discourse in the long run. synthesis of our results shows the potentialities of metaphor as a privileged cognitive tool for abstracting and constructing discourse strategies.”
Thibodeau, P., Mcclelland, J. L., & Boroditsky, L.. (2009). When a bad metaphor may not be a victimless crime : The role of metaphor in social policy. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
“Metaphors are pervasive in our discussions of abstract and complex ideas (lakoff & johnson, 1980), and have been shown to be instrumental in problem solving and building new conceptual structure (e.g., gentner & gentner, 1983; nersessian, 1992; boroditsky, 2000). in this paper we look at the role of metaphor in framing social issues. our language for discussing war, crime, politics, healthcare, and the economy is suffused with metaphor (schön, 1993; lakoff, 2002). does the way we reason about such important issues as crime, war or the economy depend on the metaphors we use to talk about these topics? might changing metaphors lead us to different conceptions and in turn different social policies? in this paper we focused on the domain of crime and asked whether two different metaphorical systems we have for talking about crime can lead people to different ways of approaching and reasoning about it. we find that framing the issue of crime metaphorically as a predator yielded systematically different suggestions for solving the crime problem than when crime was described as a virus. we then present a connectionist model that explores the mechanistic underpinnings of the role of metaphor.”
Spencer, A.. (2012). The social construction of terrorism: Media, metaphors and policy implications. Journal of International Relations and Development
“The article illustrates a constructivist understanding of studying terrorism and counter-terrorism by applying metaphor analysis to a british tabloid media discourse on terrorism between 2001 and 2005 in the sun newspaper. it identifies four conceptual metaphors constituting terrorism as a war, a crime, an uncivilised evil and as a disease, and it illustrates how these understandings make certain counter-terrorism policies such as a military response, judicial measures or immigration policies acceptable while at the same time excluding from consideration other options, such as negotiations. it thereby re-emphasises that a metaphorical understanding of political phenomena such as terrorism can give international relations insights into how certain policies become possible while others remain outside of the range of options thought to be appropriate.”
At war with metaphor: media, propaganda, and racism in the war on terror. (2013). Choice Reviews Online
“A valuable contribution to our growing understanding of the ways in which we talk ourselves into war, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. it causes us to wonder what might happen if we had the courage to deal with our rivalries and conflicts in a realistic manner rather than dehumanizing and demonizing those we consider enemies. ” —sam keen, author of faces of the enemy when photographs documenting the torture and humiliation of prisoners at abu ghraib came to the attention of a horrified public, national and international voices were raised in shock, asking how this happened. at war with metaphor offers an answer, arguing that the abuses of abu ghraib were part of a systemic continuum of dehumanization. this continuum has its roots in our public discussions of the war on terror and the metaphors through which they are repeatedly framed. arguing earnestly and incisively that these metaphors, if left unexamined, bind us into a cycle of violence that will only be intensified by a responsive violence of metaphor, erin steuter and deborah wills examine compelling examples of the images of animal, insect, and disease that inform, shape, and limit our understand-ing of the war on terror. tying these images to historical and contemporary uses of propaganda through a readable, accessible analysis of media filters, at war with metaphor vividly explores how news media, including political cartoons and talk radio, are enmeshed in these damaging, dehumanizing metaphors. analyzing media through the lenses of race and orientalism, the book invites us to hold our media and ourselves accountable for the choices we make in talking war and making enemies.”
Kövecses, Z.. (2016). Conceptual metaphor theory. In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language
“In a radical departure from theories based on digital, amodal accounts of cognition and language, lakoff and johnson (1980) proposed an account of metaphor as fundamentally conceptual, arguing that familiar linguistic metaphors are but surface manifestations of underlying conceptual relationships. they claimed that most conceptual thought is metaphorical, and conceptual domains are instantiated and expressed in families of conceptual metaphors, such as ‘more is u’, ‘emotionallyintimate is physically close’, ‘argument is war’, ‘love is a journey’, and ‘theories are buildings’. these conceptual metaphors number in the hundreds (gibbs, 1994b; lakoff and johnson, 1999), and they combine to serve as the foundation for new metaphors. for many of these families of metaphors lakoff and johnson trace the underlying metaphor to a literal concept based on embodied physical experience.”
Navaro-Yashin, Y.. (2009). Affective spaces, melancholic objects: Ruination and the production of anthropological knowledge. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
“This article critically engages with recent theoretical writings on affect and non-human agency by way of studying the emotive energies discharged by properties and objects appropriated during war from members of the so-called ‘enemy’ community. the ethnographic material comes from long-term fieldwork in northern cyprus, focusing on how it feels to live with the objects and within the ruins left behind by the other, now displaced, community. i study turkish-cypriots’ relations to houses, land, and objects that they appropriated from the greek-cypriots during the war of 1974 and the subsequent partition of cyprus. my ethnographic material leads me to reflect critically on the object-centred philosophy of actor network theory and on the affective turn in the human sciences after the work of gilles deleuze. with the metaphor of ‘ruination’, i study what goes amiss in scholarly declarations of theoretical turns or shifts. instead, proposing an anthropologically engaged theory of affect through an ethnographic reflection on spatial and material melancholia, i argue that ethnography, in its most productive moments, is trans-paradigmatic. retaining what has been ruined as still needful of consideration, i suggest an approach which merges theories of affect and subjectivity as well as of language and materiality.”
Koller, V., Hardie, A., Rayson, P., & Semino, E.. (2008). Using a semantic annotation tool for the analysis of metaphor in discourse. Metaphorik.De
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“This paper describes the application of semantic annotation software for analysing metaphor in corpora of different genres. in particular, we outline three projects analysing religion and politics metaphors in corporate mission statements, the war metaphor in business magazines, and machine and living organism metaphors in a novel and in a second collection of business magazine articles. this research was guided by the hypotheses that a) semantic tags allocated by the software can correspond to source domains of metaphoric expressions, and b) that more conventional metaphors feature a source domain tag as first choice in the type’s semantic profile. the tagger was adapted to better serve the needs of metaphor research and automate to a greater extent the extraction of first choice and secondary semantic domains. two of the three studies represent re-analyses of previous manual and/or lexical corpus-based investigations, and findings indicate that semantic annotation can yield more comprehensive results. in”
Yanık, L. K.. (2009). The Metamorphosis of Metaphors of Vision: “Bridging” Turkey’s Location, Role and Identity After the End of the Cold War. Geopolitics
“During the cold war, ‘buffer’ or ‘bastion’ seemed a popular metaphor to describe turkey. after the cold war, ‘bridge,’ (and, to some extent, the ‘crossroad’) metaphor started to dominate the turkish foreign policy dışcourse. this article traces the use of ‘bridge’ metaphor in this dışcourse in the post-cold war period by the turkish foreign policy elite. it develops two arguments. first, the word bridge is a ‘metaphor of vision’ combining turkey’s perceived geographical exceptionalism with an identity and a role at the international level. as a ‘metaphor of vision,’ the employment of the word ‘bridge’ highlighted turkey’s liminality and justified some of its foreign policy actions to eurasia and then to the middle east. second, because the bridge metaphor was used in different context to justify different foreign policy choices, its meaning has changed, illustrating that metaphors are not static constructs. it concludes by sayıng that the continuous use of ‘bridge’ metaphor might reinforce turkey’s ‘liminality,’ placing turkey in a less classifiable category than the regular ‘othering’ practices.”
“The financial crisis, and associated scandals, created a sense of a juridical deficit with regard to the financial sector. forms of independent judgement within the sector appeared compromised, while judgement over the sector seemed unattainable. elites, in the classical millsian sense of those taking tacitly coordinated ‘big decisions’ over the rest of the public, seemed absent. this article argues that the eradication of jurisdictional elites is an effect of neoliberalism, as articulated most coherently by hayek. it characterizes the neoliberal project as an effort to elevate ‘unconscious’ processes over ‘conscious’ ones, which in practice means elevating cybernetic, non- human systems and processes over discursive spheres of politics and judgement. yet such a system still produces its own types of elite power, which come to consist in acts of translation, rather than judgement. firstly, there are ‘cyborg intermediaries’: elites which operate largely within the system of codes, data, screens and prices. secondly, there are ‘diplomatic intermediaries’: elites who come to narrate and justify what markets (and associated technologies and bodies) are ‘saying’. the paper draws on lazzarato’s work on signifying vs asignifying semiotics in order to articulate this, and concludes by considering the types of elite crisis which these forms of power tend to produce.”
Foster, J. B., & Holleman, H.. (2014). The Financial Power Elite. Monthly Review
“The article presents an historical overview of the emergence of the financial sector within the u.s. banking system, focusing on the developments of the end of the 20th century which led to the formation of a financial elite. introductory comments are given noting the rise and fall of different regulatory regimes within the u.s. banking sector in the first half of the century up to 1980. in-depth discussion is then provided highlighting the concentration of the financial sector as a dominant force in the nation’s economy up to the events of the 2008 global financial crisis and the return of political demands for regulation.”
Hoskin, K. W., & Macve, R. H.. (1986). Accounting and the examination: A genealogy of disciplinary power. Accounting, Organizations and Society
“This article uses the example of public sector outsourcing to explore how elite power can be fallible. a contract between the state and private companies repre-sents a complex interweaving of different kinds of power with uncertain outcomes: the experience of outsourcing in the uk and elsewhere is that it frequently goes wrong, with fiascos creating political embarrassment for states and financial problems for companies. drawing on deleuze and guattari, the article explores how the contract is a political device that can be both tool and weapon but which has uncer-tain outcomes. in doing so, it makes a distinctive contribution by arguing that elite work is often about repair and managing the political or financial consequences of failure.”
Seabrooke, L.. (2009). The Social Sources of Financial Power: Domestic Legitimacy and International Financial Orders. Economic Geography
“A state’s financial power is built on the effect its credit, property, and tax policies have on ordinary people: this is the key message of leonard seabrooke’s comparative historical investigation, which turns the spotlight away from elite financial actors and toward institutions that matter for the majority of citizens. seabrooke suggests that everyday contests between social groups and the state over how the economy should work determine the legitimacy of a state’s financial and fiscal system. ideally, he believes, such contests compel a state to intervene on behalf of people below the median income level, leading the state to broaden and deepen its domestic pool of capital while increasing its influence on international finance. but to do so, seabrooke asserts, a state must first challenge powerful interests that benefit from the concentration of financial wealth.seabrooke’s novel constructivist approach is informed by economic sociology and the work of max weber. this book demonstrates how domestic legitimacy influences the character of international financial orders. it will interest all readers concerned with how best to transform state intervention in the economy for the good of the majority.”
Davis, A.. (2000). Public relations, business news and the reproduction of corporate elite power. Journalism
“This article discusses the rise of corporate public relations in britain and offers an alternative explanation of how it has benefited the corporate sector. most assessments of corporate pr tend to support traditional radical media accounts of strong corporate influence over media production and public opinion. all either argue or assume that pr is an effective form of ‘mind control’ with which to influence ‘the masses’. against this account, this article instead argues that corporate pr has been more frequently used to gain a competitive advantage over rivals and has been primarily targeted at other corporate elites. this corporate elite focus has worked to further exclude non- corporate elites from participation in the production of financial and business news. as a result, a more general corporate advantage has been gained as much by exclusion as persuasion of the general public. after a brief discussion of the evidence and debates, these conclusions are illustrated with a case study of the granada take-over of forte in 1995–96.”
Boswell, R.. (2005). Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. Global Studies in Culture and Power
“Development was long viewed in reductionist economic terms. critical assessment of performance eventually led to making development debates multidimensional and multidisciplinary. it was belatedly recognized that development is a value-laden issue demanding explicitly ethical analysis. dominant patterns of development are not equitable; they must not be sustained. sustainability is needed in economic, social, political, and cultural arenas. ethically based development calls for a reversal of the inversion of means and ends by development actors. as the undp notes, economic development is a means to a broader end: qualitative human development. pursuing economic development as an end leads to serious distortions. correction requires using market competition as a social mechanism, not as an operating principle. globalization produces good and bad effects. the entry into arenas of development decision-making of new actors—ngos and other agents of civil society—reframes the terms of development debates. there are growing demands from affected populations and institutional actors in civil society to define their own development. this challenges elite decision-making of dominant international financial institutions, great power governments, and large international business firms.”
Abbink, J., & Salverda, T.. (2012). The anthropology of elites: Power, culture, and the complexities of distinction. The Anthropology of Elites: Power, Culture, and the Complexities of Distinction
“A fascinating array of ethnographic and theoretical relevant case studies, this book is timely and topical in combining substantial new historical and ethnographic material about elites. case studies include the polish gentry, the white former colonial elite of mauritius, professional elites, and transnational (financial) elites, with queries about power, culture, distinction and marginalization. the focus on elites from an anthropological perspective makes a significant contribution to explaining numerous and often paradoxical aspects of elites, their behavior, their position and their relationship with other social groupings.”
The individual comes face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind has not come to a realisation of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.
When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. A society unwilling to learn from past is doomed. We must never forget our history.
John Edgar Hoover was an American law enforcement administrator and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. He was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation – the FBI’s predecessor – in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77
Take first the question of food and population. At present
the population of the globe is increasing at the rate of about
20 millions a year. Most of this increase is in Russia and
Southeast Asia. The population of Western Europe and
the United States is nearly stationary. Meanwhile, the food
supply of the world as a whole threatens to diminish, as a
result of unwise methods of cultivation and destruction of
forests. This is an explosive situation. Left to itself, it must
lead to a food shortage and thence to a world war. Technique,
however, makes other issues possible.
Vital statistics in the West are dominated by medicine
and birth control: the one diminishes the deaths, the other
the births. The result is that the average age in the West
increases: there is a smaller percentage of young people and
a larger percentage of old people. Some people consider that
this must have unfortunate results, but speaking as an old
person, I am not sure.
The danger of a world shortage of food may be averted
for a time by improvements in the technique of agriculture.
But, if population continues to increase at the present rate,
such improvements cannot long suffice. There will then be
two groups, one poor with an increasing population, the
other rich with a stationary population. Such a situation can
hardly fail to lead to world war. If there is not to be an
endless succession of wars, population will have to become
stationary throughout the world, and this will probably have
to be done, in many countries, as a result of governmental
measures. This will require an extension of scientific tech-
nique into very intimate matters. There are, however, two
other possibilities. War may become so destructive that, at
any rate for a time, there is no danger of overpopulation; or
the scientific nations may be defeated and anarchy may de-
stroy scientific technique.
Biology is likely to affect human life through the study of
heredity. Without science, men have changed domestic
animals and food plants enormously in advantageous ways.
It may be assumed that they will change them much more,
and much more quickly, by bringing the science of genetics
to bear. Perhaps, even, it may become possible artificially to
induce desirable mutations in genes. (Hitherto the only muta-
tions that can be artificially caused are neutral or harmful.)
In any case, it is pretty certain that scientific technique will
very soon effect great improvements in the animals and
plants that are useful to man.
When such methods of modifying the congenital character
of animals and plants have been pursued long enough to make
their success obvious, it is probable that there will be a
powerful movement for applying scientific methods to human
propagation. There would at first be strong religious and
emotional obstacles to the adoption of such a policy. But sup-
pose (say) Russia were able to overcome these obstacles
and to breed a race stronger, more intelligent, and more
resistant to disease than any race of men that has hitherto
existed, and suppose the other nations perceived that unless
they followed suit they would be defeated in war, then either
the other nations would voluntarily forgo their prejudices, or,
after defeat, they would be compelled to forgo them. Any
scientific technique, however beastly, is bound to spread if
it is useful in war— until such time as men decide that they have
had enough of war and will henceforth live in peace. As
that day does not seem to be at hand, scientific breeding of
human beings must be expected to come about. I shall return
to this subject in a later chapter.
Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific tech-
nique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov
and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view
that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure
will be built on their foundations is still in doubt.
I think the subject which will be of most importance polit-
ically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically
speaking, not a very advanced study, and so far its professors
have not been in universities: they have been advertisers,
politicians, and, above all, dictators. This study is immensely
useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich
or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science,
founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has
employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a
kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been
enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of
propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called
"education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one;
the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part.
What is essential in mass psychology is the art of per-
suasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of
(say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been
made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went
wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man
is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this
hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band
do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant
train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will
be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch
the patient young and is provided by the State with money
www.uni-kiel.de/psychologie/mausfeld/ Mausfeld_Why do the lambs remain silent_2015
Mausfeld focuses on perceptual psychology and also works on the theoretical foundations of experimental psychology and the psychology of understanding. He also deals with the rivalry of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience in cognitive science. Another area of interest is the history of ideas in the natural sciences. He sees a major problem of the relationship between psychology and biology in neurological neo-reductionism. In contrast to biologistic approaches, he sees the peculiarity of the spiritual, inter alia, in the intrinsic multiperspectivity of the mind.
Mausfeld points out that knowledge of neural circuitry and activity is not enough to explain consciousness and thought processes. Not even the behavior of nematodes can be deduced from the activity of their 302 neurons. According to Mausfeld’s view, the relationship between nature and mind must be below the neural level in the sphere of physics. Evidence is given by the fact that nature is actually more enigmatic to us than our consciousness in itself. In modern physics it has become clear that the physical does not have the properties of matter ascribed to it. Mausfeld sees the special aspect of consciousness in the simplicity and wholeness of the subjective experience, which, however, reveals itself to the psychologist as a complex interaction of unconscious factors. The intrinsic multiperspectivity of thinking, which first opens up the possibilities for thought and action alternatives to humans after mouse field, results from the complex interplay of the most varied of factors. White torture and responsibility of science
In his work, Mausfeld illustrates the role of psychologists in the development, application and justification of modern white torture methods. These goals are not, as claimed, the extraction of information, but rather breaking the will, disciplining, humiliating and shaming the victims. In his account, an American Psychological Association (APA) working group to investigate the involvement of psychologists acting on behalf of the Defense Secretary. Mausfeld uses the example of torture research to define ethical and legal principles and limits of scientific work. He regards the observance of human rights as fully binding.
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychology , ’ white torture ’ and the responsibility of scientists. Psychologische Rundschau
According to Mausfeld, the cognitive ones are more important than the affective techniques, since opinions are more stable than emotions. Here Mausfeld examines the following methods:
Representation of facts as opinion
Fragmenting coherent facts so that the context, such as the historical context, is lost
Decontextualization of facts: The context of the facts is removed, so that the facts become incomprehensible isolated individual cases, which have no general relevance
Misleading recontextualization: Information is embedded in a foreign context, so that they take on a different character and, for example, no longer lead to outrage in human rights violations.
Repetition supports the “perceived truth”
Designing the range of opinions so that the desired seems to be in the middle, which most people strive for, if they are unfamiliar, because they then keep to the middle seein it as “neutral and balanced”
Making facts invisible through media selection, distraction and attention control
“Meta-propaganda”: It is part of every propaganda to claim that the news of the enemy is wrong because it is propaganda
The development of more efficient manipulation techniques rests on identifying psychological “weak spots” – those intrinsic design aspects of our mind and principles of human information processing that can be exploited for manipulation purposes. Most importantly, such principles are, by the very nature of our cognitive architecture, beyond conscious control. (…) Our mind has many hard-wired weaknesses that can be exploited for manipulative purposes, that facilitate our utilitarian abuse by the political and economic elites for maintaining and expanding their power. However, we also innately dispose of a rich repertoire of ways to use our reasoning capabilities to recognize manipulative contexts and to actively avoid them. This repertoire is akin to a natural cognitive immune system against being manipulated, but we have to take the deliberate decision to actually use it.
“The cognitive neurosciences are based on the idea that the level of neurons or neural networks constitutes a privileged level of analysis for the explanation of mental phenomena. this paper brings to mind several arguments to the effect that this presumption is ill-conceived and unwarranted in light of what is currently understood about the physical principles underlying mental achievements. it then scrutinizes the question why such conceptions are nevertheless currently prevailing in many areas of psychology. the paper argues that corresponding conceptions are rooted in four different aspects of our common-sense conception of mental phenomena and their explanation, which are illegitimately transferred to scientific enquiry. these four aspects pertain to the notion of explanation, to conceptions about which mental phenomena are singled out for enquiry, to an inductivist epistemology, and, in the wake of behavioristic conceptions, to a bias favoring investigations of input-output relations at the expense of enquiries into internal principles. to the extent that the cognitive neurosciences methodologically adhere to these tacit assumptions, they are prone to turn into a largely a-theoretical and data-driven endeavor while at the same time enhancing the prospects for receiving widespread public appreciation of their empirical findings.”
Mausfeld, R., & Heyer, D.. (2012). Colour Perception: Mind and the physical world. Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World
“ContentsnPrefacen1. perspectives on colour space , jan j. koenderink and andrea j. van doornncommentaries: from physics to perception through colorimetry: a bridge too far? , donald i.a. macleodncolorimetry fortified , paul whittlen2. light adaptation, contract adaptation, and human colour vision , michael a. websterncommentary: adaptation and the ambiguity of response measures with respect to internal structure , franz fauln3. contrast colours , paul whittlencommentaries: a background to color vision , michael a. websterncontrast coding and what else? , hans irteln4. colour and the processing of chromatic information , michael d’zmurancommentary: the processing of chromatic information , laurence t. maloneyn5. the pleistochrome: optimal opponent codes for natural colours , donald i.a. macleod and t. von der twerncommentary: thinking outside the black box , michael a. webstern6. objectivity and subjectivity revisited: colour as a psychobiological property , gary hatfieldncommentary: why is this game still being played? , paul whittlen7. a computational analysis of colour constancy , donald i.a. macleod and jurgen golzncommentary: the importance of realistic models of surface and light in the study of human colour vision , laurence t. maloneyn8. backgrounds and illuminants: the yin and yang of colour constancy , richard o. brownncommentaries: colour construction , don hoffmannfitting linear models to data , laurence t. maloneyn9. surface colour perception and environmental constraints , laurence t. maloneyncommentaries: on the function of colour vision , gary hatfieldnintrinsic colours – and what it is like to see them , zoltan jacobn10. colour constancy: developing empirical tests of computational models , david h. brainard, james m. kraft, and philippe longerencommentaries: surface colour perception and its environments , laurence t. maloneyncomparing the behaviour of machine vision algorithms and human observers , vebjorn ekroll and jurgen golzn11. the illuminant estimation hypothesis and surface colour perception , laurence t. maloney and joong nam yangncommentary: surface colour appearance in nearly natural images , david h. brainardn12. the interaction of colour and motion , donald d. hoffmanncommentary: the interaction of perceived colour and perceived motion , richard brownn13. the dual coding of colour: ‘Surface colour’ and ‘illumination colour’ as constituents of the representationalformat of perceptual primitives…”
Mausfeld, R.. (2005). The Physicalistic Trap in Perception Theory. In Perception and the Physical World
“This chapter contains sections titled: * introduction * the physicalistic trap in elementaristic approaches to perception * the physicalistic trap in functionalist and computational approaches to perception * perception theory beyond the physicalistic trap * appendix * acknowledgement * notes * references”
Mausfeld, R.. (2012). Der Schein des Realen.. Näher Dran? Zur Phänomenologie Des Wahrnehmens
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“Die traditionelle wahrnehmungspsychologie hat durch ihre physiologistische und physikalistische orientierung und die damit verbundene fokussierung auf elementaristische wahrnehmungsattribute die interne struktur der wahrnehmung und damit die explanatorischen aufgaben der wahrnehmungs- psychologie in grundlegender weise mißverstanden. ihre zugangsweise ist nicht nur phänomenolo- gisch inadäquat, sondern hat sich auch explanatorisch als unfruchtbar erwiesen. dieser beitrag zeigt dies am beispiel des wahrnehmungsattributs ‚phänomenal real’ auf, das in der traditionellen wahr- nehmungspsychologie als wenig erklärungsbedürftig angesehen wird. tatsächlich stellt jedoch ‚real‘ ein internes attribut dar, dessen zuweisung zu wahrnehmungsobjekten und situationen eigenen psychologischen gesetzmäßigkeiten folgt, die sich aus physiologistischer und physikalistischer per- spektive nicht verstehen lassen. erst in den letzten jahren wird im zusammenhang mit problemen, die sich insbesondere bei virtual reality environments ergeben, die frage nach den auslösebedingungen für das attribut ‚real’ wieder thematisiert. offensichtlich verfügt unser wahrnehmungssystem über eine (biologisch vorgegebene und kulturell überformte) ‚interne semantik‘ für die zuschreibung des attributes ‚real‘, von deren komplexen möglichkeiten wir in der kultur (z.b. beim film oder theater) vielfältigen gebrauch machen. i.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau
“The disparity of highlights on specular reflecting surfaces usually differs from the disparity of the surface points. a. kirschmann (1895) proposed that this fact may be used as a binocular cue for gloss perception. this was confirmed by a. blake and h. bülthoff (1990) who found that subjects judged the glossiness of convex ellipsoidal surfaces as most realistic if the disparity of the highlights was close to the physical correct one. extending on this finding, we investigate more closely whether the effect of highlight disparity depends on the sharpness of the highlight and the relative amount of diffuse and specular reflection. we measured the effect of highlight disparity on both perceived strength and perceived authenticity of gloss. we used complex, three-dimensional curved surfaces that were stereoscopically presented on a crt. the reflection characteristics were varied using the phong lighting model. highlights were presented either with or without highlight disparity. in a rating experiment, subjects were asked to judge the strength and the authenticity of the perceived surface glossiness. the presence of highlight disparity lead to an enhancement of both the authenticity and the strength of perceived glossiness. the latter finding was confirmed in an additional matching experiment.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Psychologie, biologie, kognitive neurowissenschaften zur gegenwärtigen dominanz neuroreduktionistischer positionen zu ihren stillschweigenden grundannahmen. Psychologische Rundschau
“The cognitive neurosciences are based on the idea that the level of neurons constitutes a privileged level of analysis for the explanation of mental phenomena. this paper brings to mind several arguments to elucidate that this presumption is ill-conceived and unwarranted in light of what is currently understood about the physical principles underlying mental achievements. it then scrutinizes the question why nevertheless such conceptions are currently prevailing in many areas of psychology. the paper argues that neuroreductionist conceptions are rooted in four different aspects of our common-sense conception of mental phenomena and their explanation that are illegitimately transferred to scientific inquiry. these four aspects pertain to the notion of explanation, to conceptions about which mental phenomena are singled out for inquiry, to an inductivist epistemology, and, in the wake of behavioristic conceptions, to a bias favoring investigations of input-output relations at the expense of inquiries into internal principles. to the extent that the cognitive neurosciences methodologically adhere to these tacit assumptions, they are prone to turn into a largely atheoretical and data-driven endeavour while at the same time receiving wide-spread public appreciation of their empirical findings. (psycinfo database record (c) 2012 apa, all rights reserved)”
Heyer, D., & Mausfeld, R.. (2002). Perception and the physical world: psychological and philosophical issues in perception. Perception
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“The focus of this book is on conceptual and philosophical issues of perception including the classic notion of unconscious inferences in perception. the book consists of contributions from a group of internationally renowned researchers who spent a year together as distinguised fellows at the german centre for advanced study. each chapter concludes with a lively, informative debate in the form of comments and replies from the contributors of the book. contributors are of prominent international reputation each chapter concludes with comments and replies from the contributors of the book to give informative debate the only book available to blend perception and philosophy in this fashion”
Narens, L., & Mausfeld, R.. (1992). On the Relationship of the Psychological and the Physical in Psychophysics. Psychological Review
“Presents a theory of the relationship of the psychological and the physical and uses it to formulate a new kind of meaningfulness principle for psychophysical application. this new principle calls into question the psychological relevance of many kinds of quantitative psychophysical relationships. as an illustration, it is used to study comparisons of sensitivity involving weber fractions, particularly comparisons across sensory modalities. the methods of the illustration extend easily to other psychophysical situations. (psyclit database copyright 1992 american psychological assn, all rights reserved)”
Mausfeld, R.. (2012). “Colour” As Part of the Format of Different Perceptual Primitives: The Dual Coding of Colour. In Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World
“The field of colour perception has often been praised in recent years as a paradigm of cognitive science. while this certainly has some validity, it contrasts with the fact that the field makes very little contact with the sort of inquiries into mental representations to be found elsewhere in cognitive science (understood as naturalistic inquiries of the mind/brain). i find this quite puzzling, because in the earlier literature of the field it was clearly recognised-for instance by bühler, gelb, kardos, koffka-that ʹcolourʹ could be understood only as part of the general problem of perceptual representations. their insights could not, of course, take advantage of the theoretical language provided by what has been called the cognitive revolution. for that reason, and also because they were overshadowed by the success of more technical fields, they fell almost entirely into oblivion. the technical fields, successful with respect to their own specific goals, were colorimetry, neurophysiological investigations into peripheral colour coding, and more recently, functionalist-computational approaches that emphasise certain pre-given performance criteria.. the success of these fields has not been hampered by the fact that they share certain common-sense conceptions of colour, particularly the idea that colour is an autonomous attribute that can be studied almost in isolation from other perceptual attributes. because such common-sense conceptions of colour appear to be, by and large, innocuous to advances in these fields, no need has arisen so far to relinquish them. however, precisely because of the successes of these fields inquiries into colour perception, understood as the endeavour to develop explanatory frameworks for the role of ʹcolourʹ within our perceptual and cognitive architecture, have suffered a less fortunate fate. the conceptual vocabulary which inquiries into colour perception 1 borrowed from fields, such as neurophysiology, that pursue different explanatory purposes has remained alien to its intrinsic structure and has veiled its core problems. my interest in colour perception (which, a long time ago, was incited by russellʹs problems of philosophy) has been motivated by the question of how we can, within naturalistic inquiry, describe the conceptual structure with which our perceptual system is biologically endowed. such questions have long been pursued in ethology and have yielded intriguing results. the theoretical picture that is emerging h…”
Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Attribute of Realness and the Internal Organization of Perceptual Reality. In Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance
“The chapter deals with the notion of phenomenal realness, which was first systematically explored by albert michotte. phenomenal realness refers to the impression that a perceptual object is perceived to have an autonomous existence in our mind-independent world. perceptual psychology provides an abundance of phenomena, ranging from amodal completion to picture perception, that indicate that phenomenal realness is an independent perceptual attribute that can be conferred to perceptual objects in different degrees. the chapter outlines a theoretical framework that appears particularly well-suited for dealing with corresponding phenomena. according to this framework, perception can be under- stood as a triggering of conceptual forms by sensor inputs. it is argued that the attribute of phenomenal realness is based on specific types of internal evaluation functions which deal with the segregation of causes conceived as ‘external’ from those conceived as ‘internal’. these evaluation functions integrate different internal sources of ‘knowledge’ about the potential causes for the activation of conceptual forms and provide markers by which conceptual forms can be tagged as ‘external world objects’. ‘reality’,”
Mausfeld, R.. (2001). What’s within? Can the internal structure of perception be derived from regularities of the external world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences
“We argue, from an ethology-inspired perspective, that the internal concepts ‘surface colours’ and ‘illumination colours’ are part of the data format of two different representational primitives. thus, the internal concept of ‘colour’ is not a unitary one but rather refers to two different types of ‘data structure’, each with its own proprietary types of parameters and relations. the relation of these representational structures is modulated by a class of parameterised transformations whose effects are mirrored in the idealised computational achievements of illumination invariance of colour codes, on the one hand, and scene invariance, on the other hand. because the same characteristics of a light array reaching the eye can be physically produced in many different ways, the visual system, then, has to make an ‘inference’ whether a chromatic deviation of the space-averaged colour codes from the neutral point is due to a ‘non-normal’, ie chromatic, illumination or due to an imbalanced spectral reflectance composition. we provide evidence that the visual system uses second-order statistics of chromatic codes of a single view of a scene in order to modulate corresponding transformations. in our experiments we used centre surround configurations with inhomogeneous surrounds given by a random structure of overlapping circles, referred to as seurat configurations. each family of surrounds has a fixed space-average of colour codes, but differs with respect to the covariance matrix of colour codes of pixels that defines the chromatic variance along some chromatic axis and the covariance between luminance and chromatic channels. we found that dominant wavelengths of red-green equilibrium settings of the infield exhibited a stable and strong dependence on the chromatic variance of the surround. high variances resulted in a tendency towards ‘scene invariance’, low variances in a tendency towards ‘illumination invariance’ of the infield.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2006). Wahrnehmung: Geschichte und Ansätze. In Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie – Kognition
“The interpretation of the role of hla-dpb1 in unrelated haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (hsct) is subject to discussion. we have investigated the role of hla-dpb1 allele matching in hsct outcomes in 161 recipients who were hla-a, -b, -c, -drb1 and -dqb1-matched with their unrelated donors at the allelic level (10/10). in addition, we analysed the association of polymorphic amino acid mismatches of dpb1 molecule with hsct end-points, and a previously published permissiveness concept. hla-dpb1 allele mismatches were significantly associated with an increased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (agvhd) and worse overall survival (os). the mismatch at amino acid position 69 significantly increased the risk for transplant-related mortality (trm). risk factors for agvhd also included mismatches at positions 8, 9, 35, 76 and 84. this is to our knowledge, the first report of an in vivo effect of single amino acid mismatches on hsct outcomes. in this study, grouping of allelic mismatches into permissive and non-permissive categories and their association with transplantation end-points was relevant for trm but not for other clinical end-points.”
Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Intrinsic multiperspectivity: On the architectural foundations of a distinctive mental capacity. In Cognition and Neuropsychology: International Perspectives on Psychological Science
“Sensory systems serve to link the organism to functionally relevant aspects of the physical environment. a mobile organism requires diverse information from the biologi-cal and physical environment and about its internal state for orientation and movement in space and in order to regulate and control its body and behavior. in the course of evolution, with the increased complexity of tasks serv-ing towards orientation and behavioral control there was a growing need to interrelate the diverse sensory chan-nels and also to integrate information about the internal state of the body. this sensory integration required a regulation of awareness to develop which would be able to fi lter the external signals according to internal motiva-tional and emotional states. as sensory systems are cen-tral for behavioral control, the neuronal architecture of sensory systems is intricately interwoven with the motor system. furthermore, evolutionary considerations sug-gest that fundamental features of perception formed the basis for more abstract cognitive achievements and that the underlying general principles are thus also re fl ected in the organization of cognitive processes. for humans, the sensory integratory achievements pertain not only to haptic, visual, auditive, olfactory, and gustatory perception, but also to the perception of the body and its parts [ 6, 27 ] and the relative position of these parts in relation to each other (proprioception) and to their environment, the perception of the viscera (entero-or visceroception), the perception of pain, the perception of physiognomy and body movements and the thus communicated affective expressions and sig-nals, as well as the perception of speech, events, or time. biological species may differently exploit and utilize the physical energies impinging on the organism and organize these energies in the form of sensory modali-ties . by far the largest part of the impinging spatiotempo-ral energy pattern is not processed for biological purposes. only a highly restricted range of this energy pattern is used for the biological function of coupling the organism to its environment (e.g., humans neither can perceive the plain of polarized light nor the direction of the magnetic fi eld). the physical energy is transduced into neural codes in such a way that the particular physical origin of the resulting code is unidenti fi able (e.g., light perception at the eye may originate from optical, mechanical, or electrical stimuli). t…”
Andres, J., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Structural description and qualitative content in perception theory. Consciousness and Cognition
“Lustrous surface appearances can be elicited by simple image configurations with no texture or specular highlights, as most prominently illustrated by helmholtz’ demonstration of stereoscopic lustre. three types of explanatory framework have been proposed for stereoscopic lustre, which attribute the phenomenon to a binocular luminance conflict, an internalised physical regularity (helmholtz), or to a disentangling of ‘essential’ and ‘accidental’ attributes in surface representations (hering). in order to investigate these frameworks, we used haploscopically fused half-images of centre-surround configurations in which the luminances of the test patch were dynamically modulated. experiment 1 shows that stereoscopic lustre is not specifically tied to situations of a luminance conflict between the eyes. experiment 2 identifies a novel aspect in the binocular temporal dynamics that provides a physical basis for lustrous appearances, namely the occurrence of a temporal luminance counter-modulation between the eyes. this feature sheds some light on the internal principles underlying a disentangling of ‘accidental’ and ‘essential’ surface attributes. experiment 3 reveals an asymmetry between a light and a dark reference level for the counter-modulations. this finding again suggests an interpretation in terms of an internalised physical regularity with respect to the dynamics of perceiving illuminated surfaces.”
Marlin, R.. (1993). Public Relations Ethics: Ivy Lee, Hill and Knowlton, and the Gulf War. International Journal of Moral and Social Studies
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“The public relations firm of hill and knowlton has received severe criticism for the methods it used on behalf of its client, citizens for a free kuwait, to persuade the us congress and the american people to wage war on iraq. in particular, a widely circulated story about iraqis removing 312 babies from incubators and leaving them to die on the floor fuelled anger against the iraqis. the story was later discredited, though other atrocities have been documented. a major factor in public acceptance of the story was endorsement by amnesty international and emotional testimony by a girl identified only as nayirah’. the incident underscores the importance of the most central ethical concern expressed by the highly successful early practitioner and theorist of public relations, ivy lee; namely, that the source of persuasive materials presented to the public should never be disguised. the factual record of the incubator story and lee’s ethical writings are both examined with a view to exploring the ethics of the case.”
Fowler, G., & Fedler, F.. (1994). A Farewell to Truth: Lies, Rumors and Propaganda as the Press Goes to War.. Florida Communication Journal
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“The article stresses that for each new generation of news people the lessons of history, and of journalism’s obligation to report, not to cheerlead at the expense of veracity, seem to need relearning. it illustrates the case of the 5-year-old nayirah who had described the iraqi infanticide in testimony before the congressional human rights caucus in october of 1990 but at that time the media had not done anything to probe nayirah’s identity or her whereabouts during the alleged acts of atrocity in kuwait city. it shows that the press, having been fed a sensational story, committed the unreporterly blunder of failing to check it out.”
Dr. Tharoor delivers a lecture, entitled ‘Looking Back at the British Raj in India’, and discuses how the British empire ruthlessly has exploited and devastated India. He cogently argues that the British have to pay reparations to India.
Cohn, B. S.. (1996). Colonialism and its forms of knowledge : the British in India. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press
“A very interesting and important book. after reading it, we begin thinking about the colonial theater in a different way.this book analyses the interconnections between the empire and india and the indian’s influences to the rag. people who studies about these subjects must read this book.”
Smith, D. L.. (1999). English and the Discourses of Colonialism. Asian Englishes
“English and the discourses of colonialism opens with the british departure from hong kong marking the end of british colonialism. yet alastair pennycook argues that this dramatic exit masks the crucial issue that the traces left by colonialism run deep. this challenging and provocative book looks particularly at english, english language teaching, and colonialism. it reveals how the practice of colonialism permeated the cultures and discourses of both the colonial and colonized nations, the effects of which are still evident today. pennycook explores the extent to which english is, as commonly assumed, a language of neutrality and global communication, and to what extent it is, by contrast, a language laden with meanings and still weighed down with colonial discourses that have come to adhere to it. travel writing, newspaper articles and popular books on english, are all referred to, as well as personal experiences and interviews with learners of english in india, malaysia, china and australia. pennycook concludes by appealing to postcolonial writing, to create a politics of opposition and dislodge the discourses of colonialism from english.”
Bernhard, M., Reenock, C., & Nordstrom, T.. (2004). The legacy of western overseas colonialism on democratic survival. International Studies Quarterly
“Using an original dataset that covers the period from 1951 to 1995, we consider the enduring effects of western overseas colonialism on the democratic survival of postcolonial democracies. we treat colonialism as a holistic phenomenon and differentiate the relative effects of its legacies with regard to the level of economic development, social fragmentation, and the relationship between the state and civil society. we find that western overseas colonialism, a factor often overlooked in recent large-n studies, continues to have an effect on the survival of democratic regimes. we further find that the legacy of specific colonial powers has an important effect on survival as well. unlike previous studies, we find that former spanish colonies outperform british colonies when colonialism is conceptualized holistically. however, when we break colonial legacy into separate components (development, social fragmentation, and the relationship between the state and civil society), we find that the advantages former british colonies enjoy are attributable to the legacy of the state/civil society relationship. moreover, we show that at least in the case of former british colonies, time spent under colonial rule is positively associated with democratic survival.”
Author, B., & Gilmartin, D.. (1994). Scientific Empire and Imperial Science: Colonialism and Irrigation Technology in the Indus. Source: The Journal of Asian Studies
“DAVID gilmartin analyzes a conflict within the british colonial administration of india. it pitted those british responsible for the development of irrigation works in the punjab against other officials responsible for the regular administration of the same territory. the british engineers, who are represented by the ‘imperial science’ in gilmartin’s title, proposed a modern hydro-irrigation system based on the conception of dominating and controlling nature. the british administrators, who represent gilmartin’s ‘scientific empire,’ opposed these technocratic schemes based on their carefully collected, organized, and analyzed data about the local society. the administrators, unlike the technocrats, saw domination and control of the indian population as their main goal. gilmartin concludes that these differences were not settled in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, even though the technocratic arguments became increasingly powerful. instead, he believes that postcolonial india has inherited these two ‘discourses’ as part of its heritage from the british raj.”
Arnold, D.. (1986). Cholera and colonialism in British India. Past and Present
Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time is a work of history written by Carroll Quigley. The book covers the period of roughly 1880 to 1963 and is multidisciplinary in nature though perhaps focusing on the economic problems brought about by the First World War and the impact these had on subsequent events. While global in scope, the book focusses on Western civilization, because Quigley has more familiarity with the West.
The book has attracted the attention of those interested in geopolitics due to Quigley’s assertion that a secret society initially led by Cecil Rhodes, Alfred Milner and others had considerable influence over British and American foreign policy in the first half of the twentieth century. From 1909 to 1913, Milner organized the outer ring of this society as the semi-secret Round Table groups.
The term “conspiracy theory” was invented and put into public discourse by the CIA in 1964 in order to discredit the many skeptics who challenged the Warren Commission’s conclusion that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald, who himself was assassinated while in police custody before he could be questioned. The CIA used its friends in the media to launch a campaign to make suspicion of the Warren Commission report a target of ridicule and hostility. This campaign was “one of the most successful propaganda initiatives of all time.”
This writes political science professor Lance deHaven-Smith, in his peer-reviewed book which was published by the University of Texas Press. He reports the story of how the CIA succeeded in creating in the public mind uncritical, reflexive, automatic, (System 1) stigmatization of those who challenge official government explanations (cf. ostracism).
CIA Document #1035-960
RE: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report
Note: Released in response to a 1976 FOIA request by the New York Times. The document shows how the term “conspiracy” is being utilised to prevent critical rational analysis and “dissenting” perspectives.
1. Our Concern. From the day of President Kennedy’s assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission’s published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission’s findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission‘s report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.
2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination.
Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.
3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:
a. To discuss the publicity problem with [?] and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.
b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (I) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein‘s theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher [?] article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane’s book is much less convincing that Epstein‘s and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)
4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:
a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)
b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent–and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission’s records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.
c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy’s brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.
d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.
e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person’s choice for a co-conspirator. He was a “loner,” mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service.
f. As to charges that the Commission’s report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.
g. Such vague accusations as that “more than ten people have died mysteriously” can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected. (When Penn Jones, one of the originators of the “ten mysterious deaths” line, appeared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)
5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission’s Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.
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