for State-Run Media Wants Even More of Your Money
Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas DiLorenzo: The
I speak of
course of Ken Burns, the $50,000/speech (according to Forbes)
PBS civil servant/documentary film maker. In response to Mitt Romney’s
critique of PBS during the first presidential debate, Burns authored
a long defense of PBS in the October 10 edition of USA Today.
The first thing Burns does in his article is to inadvertently admit
that the main purpose of his work for PBS is to serve as a propagandist
for state power over the citizens. His boasts of the popularity
of his documentaries also prove that taxpayer subsidies to PBS are
a waste of money.
In his first
paragraph Burns recalls how he assisted the military/industrial
complex in its propaganda efforts by producing a documentary called
"The War" (about World War II) and making a special trip
to West Point to "motivate" the cadets with film clips.
He then boasts that many of the West Point cadets admitted that
they decided to apply to West Point because of an earlier Ken Burns
state-subsidized propaganda film, The
Civil War. Good job, Ken! Keep those taxpayer subsidies
lets the cat out of the bag in the next paragraph where he quotes
a U.S. Army Major named Sullivan Ballou, who wrote his wife during
the "Civil War" about why he thought the war was being
fought. It was not to free the slaves but to defend the Lincoln
regime in Washington, D.C. "American civilization now leans
on the triumph of the government," he wrote, and "I am
willing . .. to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain
this government . . ." What a job the military
propagandists of his day must have done on the hapless Major Ballou
(assuming that the letter is authentic).
How odd that
anyone would equate the killing of some 850,000 Americans
(the latest estimate of "Civil War" deaths), the bombing,
burning, and destruction of entire cities, the mass killing of tens
of thousands of civilians, the rape, pillage and plunder of thousands
more, the suspension of Habeas Corpus and imprisonment of tens of
thousands of Northern civilians, the shutting down of hundreds of
opposition newspapers in the North, military conscription, the daily
execution of deserters (by the Lincoln regime), and the rigging
of Northern elections as "civilization." And how odd that
anyone would think that the secession of a state (or states),
under the correct belief that the union of the founding fathers
was a voluntary union, would somehow "destroy"
the government in Washington. In fact, the government in Washington
grew exponentially after the Southern states seceded, fielding
the largest and best-equipped army in world history up to that point.
purpose of Burns’s The Civil War, as with Lincoln mythology
in general, is to spread propaganda that props up state power. Moreover,
Burns is apparently unaware that his argument actually makes the
case against taxpayer funding of PBS. Specifically, his boast
that nearly 40 million people viewed The Civil War proves
beyond all doubt that there was no need at all for taxpayer subsidies.
What corporate advertisers would not want to place their products
before 40 million potential customers?
perverts the English language when he calls taxpayer subsidies to
PBS "a good investment." There is no such thing as "government
investment." All government spending is consumption spending,
not investment. An investor is someone who puts up his own money,
takes a risk, and reaps the profits or suffers the losses from his
decisions. No politician or bureaucrat ever puts up his own money,
takes on any personal risk whatsoever, or is punished with financial
losses for his bad decisions. In fact, his bad decisions are routinely
subsidized by taxpayers for decades on end with no negative personal
consequences to him.
PBS and National
Public Radio (NPR) are state-subsidized government propaganda megaphones.
Americans used to criticize totalitarian communists for such practices.
Perhaps the mistake the communists made was to not disguise their
propaganda with cute little Big Birds and Big Red Dogs.
J. DiLorenzo [send him mail]
is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the
author of The
Real Lincoln; Lincoln
Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe
Capitalism Saved America. His latest book is Hamilton’s
Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution
– And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is
Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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