By the end of the nineteenth century, the first schemas for a television had already been devised and some scientists were already working on patents for what we know today as The Television.
Two decades later many companies around the globe were already making attempts to commercialize on this great invention.
Many nation states were devising legislation and rules of engagement for the emerging market of televised mass communication.
Both in Europe and in North America there was already a blooming science which we now refer to as Propaganda or Manufacture of Consent, but those focused mainly on printed material, group gatherings and radio.
Pioneers of the science of Public opinion or molding it, like Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman, and their followers, were keenly aware of the implications of such new technology as television and undoubtedly had plans and methods as how to fully utilize it.
Even as early as the 1920’s we did not see so much of radios in people’s homes. These devices were still expensive an the quality often left something to be desired, but as the mid twentieth century dawned, following the first world war and close to the second, we were seeing radios in most homes.
Public Opinion, a Seminal Work in Political Science, by Walter Lippmann, Audiobook
Just before World War 2 there was much research within all the empires of the conflict on how to utilize this emerging, yet still underdeveloped, technology and how to best use it to their advantage. Yet, unlike with radios, it seemed far into the future as an every day household item.
At the turn of the twentieth century, people only had knowledge about faraway lands and cultures through news papers, books, public speaking and education. Seeing and hearing was still far away. In the early twentieth century this began to change.
Those who had radio sets could begin to hear reports from all around the world or follow news bulletins and news analysis in localized and nationwide radio stations. The broadcasting companies were generally censored and often state run, but yet they began to prepare people’s minds to what was yet to come.
From the early 1920’s until early 1950’s, people could add vision to their worldview by going to Cinemas to watch news bulletin in moving pictures and usually with audio reports, but these were usually short and very propagandist in nature.
One needs to imagine the scope of the changes which were beginning to take place in the imagination and intellectual faculties.
Observing from a far the far reaching implications of how people were beginning to have a transformed and more realistic views of the world we live in, the ability to re-imagine the tales of history hitherto been confined to inner visualization and imagination were suddenly tansformed and magnified. The world sprang to life in a different way and all projectioins and perceptions were altered over night.
In the 1950’s, though color television had theoretically been invented four decades earlier, it had finally reached a point in its development that it was relatively easy to build broadcasting stations and companies. Technology like NTSC and PAL had been standardized worldwide and inexpensive TV receivers and teledisplays were ready to be mass produced for the consumer’s market.
Though strange as it seems, and this history as it is shown in books and films from the baby boom era is in many ways misleading, the TV set didn’t hit it off right away. It is true that it was hitting a certain market in The U.S. and in the U.K. but most of the world was still rebuilding from WW2 and for many middle class homes the TV was an unnecessary luxury but for lower class income an expensive luxury which simply had to wait for the right budget ability.
Edward Bernays’ ‘Propaganda’ Deconstructed (Full 10 Hour Series)
What we are seeing here is that it isn’t until around 1965 that most middle class families in the industrialized countries are beginning to pick up on this new consumer luxury and lower class income following suit. It did help at the time that around most of these countries there was already broadcasts from American Military bases which could be picked up, even if the local state run stations had not emerged.
To make an example, the Icelandic state run station opened in 1966 but at that time there were already hundreds of homes which had bought TV’s and had begun receiving Hollywood entertainment broadcasted from the U.S. navy base in Iceland.
For the next decade, until around 1975, over 95% of the homes in Iceland were receiving both the Navy broadcasts and the state run broadcasts.
If we extend this example around the globe, focusing on the leading democratic or socialist industrialized countries, this pattern is more or less repeating itself everywhere in the same period and the impact is phenomenal.
Noam Chomsky- Manufacturing consent (1992)
From 1965 to 1975, people began to see African Safari’s in live broadcast. They began to see the horrors of the Vietnam wars and elsewhere as these were unfolding, while sitting in the comfort of their own living room. When the space flight were taking place, altering the worldviews of hundreds of millions of people over day, these were televised live and the world which had always been so large, became an oyster in the minds of millions.
From a social engineering standpoint, it does bear mentioning, that as we see this technology spreading into every home on the planet. Though its pace was slower in the third world countries, we are seeing over 75% of this technology being used for emotionality based or melodrama based entertainment, perhaps 10% on surface based news bulletins and the rest on education documentaries or analysis.
The last observation is noteworthy, not the least for the fact that very few seem to be concerned with this or be able to raise relevant and far reaching questions. For example, is it a trend of people’s tastes, or a symptom of people’s intellect, or is it a propagandist agenda?
Whatever the reason; there is no doubt that in a scope of a decade, following the hippie movement and it’s worldview – as well as aforementioned events – being televised into every home, the population of the world had suddenly a totally transformed way of seeing itself and the world. Nothing would ever be the same again, yet it seemed to take place in such a way that it sneaked up on people like a thief in the night, it’s just there as if it always has been there, shaping our minds with our consent.
This is part of a series of articles about the Seven Seals.