Filmmaking Essentials: The Growing Fear of Fascism, Manichaeism, Mass Persuasion and Propaganda

Filmmaking Essentials: The Growing Fear of Fascism, Manichaeism, Mass Persuasion and Propaganda


Welcome to ‘Hollywood, Unapologetic!’ My name is Orlando Delbert. I wanted to speak a little bit about the growing
fear of Fascism, Manichaeism, mass persuasion and propaganda, and the New Hollywood Generation. You may be asking yourself, what in the world
is such a serious topic has to do with the New Hollywood Generation? The answer is everything. By definition, Fascism is an authoritarian
and nationalistic right-wing system of government, often as an extreme in their intolerant views
and in their practice. Keep this in mind for a moment. This is an important time in history. All over the world, there is a transitional
shift occurring sociologically, culturally, and politically. We live in a time where social unrest and
images of war are read about and seen on the airwaves daily. As we turn on the morning news, there seems
to be an endless succession of stories of discontent all over the world, and here at
home in our local communities. Mankind has taken up arms against one another
in the most brutal ways imaginable since the last world war. Videos and stories of people carrying out
atrocities towards one another are being shared through different global media agencies and
through first-hand accounts online via the Internet. Add to this, a new cold war era has been taken
shape, with increasingly more provocative rhetoric and behavior worldwide and growing
warmer everyday. America is also in a state of crisis. In the United States, mobs have taken control
of cities when videos surface of unarmed citizens falling victim to shootings by law enforcement
officers have been shared online on social media, sometimes streaming in real-time as
the person’s last breath has been captured by a sibling crying out loudly in grief. Without a doubt, there is a gross injustice-taking
place on our streets that effect the lives of those touched directly by these most recent
killings, but also to us as a society. This is a problem that affects each and every
one of us in urban centers and in rural areas, and it is escalating. At this point in time in American history,
a lot of focus in the media has been on race relations. Much of the focus has been on the shootings
of black individuals, many of which were killed during a random traffic stop. This has caused an outrage all over the country
with some very unfortunate consequences. Some of the news agencies are busy pointing
fingers at groups of individuals based on race or religion, which in turn has a direct
negative influence on the ignorant, uneducated, and the undirected. This is very dangerous for many reasons. It stirs up emotions, which unfortunately
can be driven and often times is driven by hate, which can also very easily drive a mob
into a frenzied state. The major media outlets have focused on these
tragic events as direct and racially motivated attacks on black members of the community. But not nearly enough focus has been made
on the bigger issue. This is not just a black problem. This is an American problem. This American problem is not at all a new
problem either, with origins that can be traced back to the 17th and 18th centuries. As part of a master plan to get rid of the
dregs of society in Britain, privileged and well-connected British men filled their ships
with convicts, vagrants, and children of indigents; people that were merely “expendable”. There was a belief that these indentured servants’
hard work would somehow be reimbursement for the price of their voyage, or the hard work
conditions in this new land would simply leave them for dead. Either way, it was not their problem in Britain
anymore. This was very much by design by the British
upper classes. For some of the families that have survived
to modern day, “white-trash” stereotypes and the accompanying detrimental prejudices
stem from beliefs the white working class was an entirely separate race, made up of
the ignorant and shiftless, that had the misfortune of inheriting disease-infested bloodlines,
have been carried over for centuries. Arguably, some may believe they have mimicked
the lives their parents and grandparents were born into: poverty, desperation, violence,
misery, and congenital ignorance. Maybe this was the “class” of individuals
whom Hillary Clinton was referring to when she mentioned supporters of Donald Trump were
“deplorable” during her campaign for President of the United States in 2016? Or perhaps she saw some parallels between
the rhetoric Trump was throwing around in speeches and tweets at 3am, with the country’s
seventh president, Andrew Jackson? One thing for sure, neither Jackson nor Trump
looked nor acted like a conventional politician, and that was part of their appeal. Jackson, aka “Old Hickory,” was arrogant,
domineering, and showed excessive pride while he attempted to be the direct representative
of the common man. He was an outsider who promised to clean up
the corruption in Washington, in the most uncompromisingly direct means possible. He would avoid debates based on logic and
reason by challenging opponents to duels. He certainly did not act like a conventional
politician of the time. Although Jackson betrayed the working-class
whites to the big landowners and elites, his removal policy of Native Americans, viewed
by some colonists as powerless “barbarians” made him popular. What was ironic was his constituents loved
him, the same people he didn’t bother to defend. If we fast-forward to today, Trump has singled
out Mexicans and other dark-skinned ethnicities as direct threats to America, as part of his
making “America Great Again” presidential campaign. He said Mexicans are, “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” And he feels they must be deported, not to
mention the great wall that needs to be built along our border with Mexico, (which he expects
Mexico to pay for). He has also said Muslims are terrorists, should
be on a nationwide directory, and he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims
entering the United States.” The latter sounds very much like the possible
beginnings of what led to the relocation and incarceration of Japanese-American families,
forced to live in internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Between 110,000 and 120,000 pacific coast
residents of Japanese ancestry were moved under the orders of President Franklin D.
Roosevelt, more than 60% of which were United States citizens. In the case of Trump, his outbursts during
his speeches and his choice of language shows there is a significant lack of empathy towards
the citizens of the United States. His inability to control emotional eruptions,
sometimes triggered by personal arguments are telltale signs of lack of self-discipline
and his narcissistic hubris. On a global scale, this is dangerous because
as president he may want to act on impulse when conflicts arise abroad. This can make him extremely vulnerable by
outside forces and plunge the United States into even more and far larger conflicts than
already immersed in. Domestically, the same impulses may trigger
sweeping governance over certain ethnicities of the citizenry, to jail and to deport as
he has said repeatedly on his campaign trail. In addition, Trump has also shown contempt
for the media. When news stories were presented that showed
his character and business practices in a poor light, some reporters were banned from
press conferences as part of his disdain towards news agencies. He then called out supporters and the public
to also look down at the media who has already shown signs of repressing a free press. At the same time, he also showed admiration
towards Benito Mussolini, leader of the National Fascist Party and prime minister of Italy
who abandoned all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship in 1925, as well
as current president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who was the Chairman of the
ruling party, the United Russia Party. Founder of The Center for the Study of Violence
and Washington Psychotherapy, Alan J. Lipman wrote in an article for CNN.com, The narcissism
of Donald Trump, “His willingness to adopt and/or exploit elements of any ideology — white
nationalism, anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny — is an indicator of this cynical view. It is an approach based upon the narcissistic
wish to take what he wants, and to break the rules in doing so, whether that be breaking
contracts or the rules of personal consent, defying the usual definitions of decency and
truth, or belittling the essential structures of elections and a democratic republic. All this not in the interests of nation, but
of self.” He adds that the purpose of the presidency
is to serve the American public, while Trump has “a social Darwinistic philosophy that
all must fight in a Manichean struggle to win.” Really think about the significance of what
that one statement means to each and every one of us. Keeping within the context of this episode,
the actions by him, or someone else in his position can have for a remorseless need for
conflict, would have sweeping consequences on the American public and on a global stage. This has been seen throughout history by power-hungry
dictators as a means to eliminate anyone by force that apposes or disagrees with them. I offered this not as an attack on either
of the presidential candidates, nor of any persons of any ethnicity or social standing. But only as a presentation of how one person
or a few individuals of influence may have a very profound effect with lasting consequences. I could have used as examples some of the
bloodiest emperors of the Roman Empire, who ruthlessly tortured and put to death anyone
they felt were conspiring against them or saw as a threat to their positions of power,
while also persecuting Christians. They all had suspicions of those around them,
whether they were invented or exaggerated by their own imaginations and paranoia, which
led to executions. Unquestionably, we live in an age where terrorist
activity in the United States and abroad is a real danger. Wars, large and small have taken place for
years and continue to do so in an effort to stop these groups in their aspirations for
delivering the apocalypse. Regardless of the interests on national security,
some of the conversation presented to the American people is that some members of the
populace who are non-white are enemies of the state. Or better said, some of those considered to
be miserable and marginalized are victims of poor genes; therefore they have allowed
themselves to be manipulated into believing that people of any color (including impoverished
whites, or just anyone lacking economic means) must be the enemies of the middle and upper
classes. Such openly racist stereotypes only fuels
hatred, which can only bring dire results. This is extremely dangerous, as history has
proven over and over again. What are we becoming? Have we reached a point where we must be at
war with one another in our own neighborhoods? Have we become so afraid and unaccepting of
others out of fear of not understanding someone who may be different than ourselves, that
we develop an unwillingness to accept someone different than us? Is that reason enough to take another person’s
life? That unwillingness stems from the fear of
the unknown. And all too often, hatred can develop from
that very same place. This has led to violence seen throughout history. And unfortunately, we are seeing it here more
and more in the United States. Or is this yet another undisguised method
of keeping the underclasses at odds with one another as part of a great design, by pointing
fingers at one another along with hatred-filled rhetoric, using the poor as political cannon
fodder, notwithstanding one’s ethnicity. Regardless of the injustices that are happening
in the world, in our cities, and in our neighborhoods, there must come a time where we as a society
must make a conscious decision to not be the constant victim. I’m not supporting the view all-to-many
have taken by setting on fire automobiles and looting businesses of their own neighborhoods
as a way to denounce one’s servitude to the system in play. Calling out law enforcement officers with
racial slurs and using threatening physical behavior is not by any means the answer either. That only feeds the mob mentality and hinders
progression. Instead, a more favorable action would be
to come together as a community and be open to a constructive dialogue to those in power
positions. This is all relevant in the context of a fascist
America because the same steps are occurring now that politically and sociologically happened
in Italy under Mussolini, in Spain under Franco, and under the Nazis in Germany, which led
to World War Two and the deaths of tens of millions. Adolf Hitler recognized during his time in
the trenches during the First World War that war was incredibly stark, fought on the deception
of the enemy. The Allies, especially the British were masters
at depicting the Germans as the embodiment of evil; bloodthirsty barbarians to their
own people. This was through the successful exploitation
of propaganda posters. This helped his realization that propaganda
would need to be a key part of the future. The ‘Socialists’ of post World War I Germany
had an even greater impact on Hitler, implementing a new era of political manipulation. He admired the shrewd skill they had at promoting
themselves, which could be seen in their propaganda posters, which led in part to their mass meetings. He then used what he had learned against them. His seizure of power would be won by methods
of mass persuasion and propaganda, not through revolutionary means. The political poster was the spearhead of
this movement. Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels led the Ministry
of Propaganda for the Nazi Party. He was the master of the “big lie.” According to Goebbels, “If you tell a lie
big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time
as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences
of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the
State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy
of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Really give some thought to the significance
of that statement. History has proven that mass media can influence
change, and have been used as propaganda tools because of its effectiveness. Today, the populace has been influenced through
the exploitation of mass media for propaganda purposes, with an underling driving force
fueled by hatred and greed towards targeted groups of society that were considered to
be underclass citizenry, with long-lasting societal and global consequences. Add to that, president-elect Trump has a direct
line to the populace using social media. His tirades are broken down to 140 characters
at a time. Followed by the news agencies spreading it
around for those who just happen to have missed it online. Everything mentioned has helped launch, “In
the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America” campaign calling for peaceful
demonstrations across the US. They are understood and are using “the power
of NO!” The group has a call for the citizenry to
flood the streets in Washington DC prior to president-elect’s Inauguration to stop the
Trump-Pence regime to go into office. They are calling for people to mobilize beginning
on January 14th, the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, and to continue on
in the hopes of stopping the new regime to coming to power. Go to refusefascism.org to find out more. We as a community of content creators are
in a unique position to influence change, and it is our responsibility to do so. Think about it. If more of us can get together to create films
and television programming with a positive message, hire more people from broader backgrounds,
and not limit ourselves and our potential by identifying one another only by race, color,
sex, religion, or sexual preference, we can then, and only then, influence the masses
to be more open minded. This will give us the ability to have a broader
reach of an audience, as well as potentially influence others to want to tell their stories
as well. And hopefully not be less afraid to tell them. This is at the core of the “New Hollywood
Generation” movement taking shape today. –
The world is greatly influenced by what is seen on the screen and heard on the radio. Let’s be the “New Hollywood Generation.” Let’s give them something that will drive
everyone to do something bigger and to make a positive difference in the world. Something I’d like to leave you with: We
are all in it together. Each and every one of you is an important
part of our future. You are important to the lives of those who
surround you. You are important to your communities. You are important to our industry. No matter what, remain optimistic and focused
on your goal. Never stop believing in yourself! And always remember: You are the key to your
own success. Take a breath. Move forward. Together, let’s create a revival; the resurgence
of Hollywood, and bring back the auteur to cinema. Be an active part of the “New Hollywood
Generation”! YOU are
a representative of the “New Hollywood Generation”. And please subscribe to our channel, and share.

5 thoughts on “Filmmaking Essentials: The Growing Fear of Fascism, Manichaeism, Mass Persuasion and Propaganda

  1. Please leave YOUR THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS, and COMMENTS below about filmmaking and The #NewHollywoodGeneration. Please give us a "THUMBS UP!" Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE and CLICK ON THE BELL to get our updates! And don't forget to WATCH the episodes in the playlist, NEW TO FILM PRODUCTION, START HERE!: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTR9QOSdF89fqi5FGm9LJzgk2Od_3Awmc See you soon! Thanks!

  2. Please take a minute to see my short film "UNARMED". This movie is about the effects POLICE BRUTALITY can have on a family. I poured my heart & soul into this film and you would literally make my DREAMS COME TRUE by watching and giving feedback. I am a student filmmaker and I literally went broke to produce this film! All feedback is wanted, Thanks!!!

  3. I am 68 Years old, the ideas @8:00 I noticed being adopted by Churches in the 1980's. Coinciding with Christian Televangelism , I Remember Jerry Falwell saying "I can't tell you how to vote…but Reagan is God's man." The growth of Mega Churches is another example.

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