Ever notice how often the Government is accused of “propaganda” by lefties and socialists when it comes to weird, wonderful and wacky conspiracy theorists regarding the Illuminati, Masons, and the Holy Grail? I guess it’s not just weird lefties that buy into some of these hilarious theories – the self proclaimed libertarian Art Bell specialized in giving some of these people a voice.
The problem with giving so much attention to these theories especially when it involves Government is that it takes away from real government propaganda. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, some years ago I received a cheque that was supposed to be a subsidy for all the heating fuel my landlord had paid. Why the cheque was sent to me, I have no idea – my landlord at the time was restricted in raising my rent due to rent controls, and my rent included heating costs. But I digress. The propaganda that was included with the cheque were the printed words, “Funded by the Government of Canada.”
This of course, is utter nonsense. That subsidy was funded by taxpayers. The Government of Canada forced me and others to give up a large part of our earnings, just so they could ‘redistribute’ this money, and then make these bogus claims that the Government was funding something.
It’s this kind of propaganda that’s really important to watch out for. Samizdata, a great blog from the U.K., has another example of government propaganda, that is designed to make British tax payers ‘feel’ better about being forced to hand over their money. Apparently some tax payers are being “chosen” to have the privilege of filling out a short form tax return. At the bottom of the form includes this statement, “Tax doesn’t have to be taxing.”
Unfortunately, too many people are likely to think they are supposed to feel some sort of gratefulness towards the government for being chosen to fill out a shorter income tax form, instead of realizing that they are actually being subjected to legislated theft. That’s the sort of propaganda we really need to point out.