“Government propaganda is a direct threat to freedom and liberty because it empowers a small political elite who wields awesome discretionary powers to shape policies while keeping citizens in the dark about the underlying realities and the array of alternative options available.” – Manufacturing Militarism
I was excited to welcome Abigail Hall to the program to discuss her work on the U.S. government’s propaganda in the War on Terror. Her new book with Christopher Coyne, Manufacturing Militarism, reveals a disturbing influence exercised by the Department of Defense over public opinion, through subtle and not-so-subtle propaganda techniques. We learn that military propaganda has been a fixture since at least the world wars, but has gotten more advanced since 9/11.
It turns out that the lies about Saddam’s WMDs were just the tip of a much larger iceberg. Hall and Coyne frame the problem in terms of incentives by bureaucrats to gain public support for a bloated military and endless wars, when the public’s inclination would otherwise be to oppose war if they had full information.