Associated Artists for Propaganda Research Lecture at Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey in June 2000

In 2000 I flew to Istanbul, Turkey to exhibit some work at the Istanbul Triennial. We were told that if we wanted we could give a presentation or a talk in front of an auditorium of people. On the plane over I imagined a speech that I would give on behalf of the Associated Artists for Propaganda Research and also imagined an ending for it that never really happened. I never gave the speech and I lost what I had written in a notebook which I eventually found only recently. Here it is.

Hello. I speak on behalf of the Associated Artists for Propaganda Research who’s aim it is to research and evaluate the American propaganda machine. I would like to start with 2 quotes. The first is by Abraham Lincoln spoken at his first inauguration:

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”

The second is by George Orwell from his book 1984:

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end.”

The “Americanization” of the world economy was started over a hundred years ago, when the United States had successfully asserted itself as a major upcoming superpower during the Spanish-American War. This single victory predicated a new future for the world economies. By securing a dominant role in international affairs, the U.S. was able to effectively spearhead a new and more expansive direction into mercantile investments. This new role played by the United States quickly evolved into one of opportunistic capitalist venture backed by aggressive military policies. A new philosophy on world economies and international politics was developed overnight. Survival of the fittest became a quick and easy sell to those intent on reaping its benefits.

What has developed in the ensuing years is a new breed of aggressive global capitalism, intent on maximizing private investments for the affluent few at the expense of the “expendable” many. Corporate globalism now runs rampant throughout the world, spreading like an unstoppable plague. It has as its ally the corporate media conglomorates, whos general “interests” it is closely aligned. It has at its disposal, through the WTO and MLA, an internationally sanctioned approval to destroy the environment and exploit the local populations without fear of any serious repercussions.

The corporate elite is steadily growing more powerful, leaving in its wake an increasingly grotesque deprivation of democratic choice. We should prepare ourselves against the impending onslaught of corporate sterility, the corporate utopia which aims to stifle popular concern through a steady barrage of media based, corporate whitewash. A true utopia can only be achieved through education and personal actualization.  The illusion has become transparent and so we must look to undermine the corporate utopia by any means necessary, to bypass a manufactured future of happiness which promises a society of unlimited consumption without consequences. Our ignorance can no longer be tolerated while others suffer from it. My only hope is that… (At this point the microphones were turned off and the lecture was successfully terminated by the University authorities.)

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