Public Opinion Polls, Historicism and Psychological Warriors

“Bernard Berelson was trained as a librarian but by the late 40’s was considered an expert in public relations and the manipulation of public opinion. One year after the publication of Blanshard’s book on Catholic power, Berelson co-edited ‘Public Opinion and Communication’ with Morris Jankowitz, one of the seminal works of communications theory, and a good indication of how the psychological warfare techniques refined during World War II were now going to be turned on the American public as a way of controlling them through the manipulation of the new media, i.e., radio and TV. Berelson establishes the book’s major premise in his introduction:

‘Growing secularization has meant that more and more areas of life are open to opinion rather than to divine law and to communication rather than to revelation. Growing industrialization has not only extended literacy; in addition, it has provided the technical facilities for mass communication.’

The goal of secularization was the reduction of all of life’s imperatives to ‘opinions,’ which is to say not the expression of moral absolutes or divine law. Once this ‘secularization’ occurred, the people who controlled ‘opinions’ controlled the country. Berelson is equally frank about where the new science of public opinion originated:

‘Research in the field was accelerated during WW II by demands for studies on the effect of communications upon military personnel, adjustment to army life and attitudes toward military leaders, enemy propaganda, and civilian morale. After the war this growing interest led to the establishment of additional university centers for the study of public opinion and communication by the methods of social science. Together with the continuing activities of industry and government, they now represent a large scale research enterprise.’

…. Berleson wrote also in 1950 that,

‘ there is a virtual pro-religious monopoly on communication available to large audiences in America today.”

Religious belief meant ipso facto the opposite of opinion, and therefore ideas not subject to the manipulation of the people who controlled the communications media. What needed to be done then was to move large areas of thought from the realm of religion to the realm of opinion if any significant breakthroughs in political control through manipulation of the media were to take place. Sexual morality was the most important area of religious thinking that needed to be moved into the realm of ‘opinion’ where it would be then under the control of psychological warriors like Berelson and those who paid his salary, namely, the Rockefellers.

And this is precisely what happened…

E. Michael Jones
Libido Dominadi

Notice that there was a designed and concerted effort, funded by the huge tax free Foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc.) to drag public thinking away from the residual remains of Christianity in the public square to a thinking that was called “secular.” The problem, of course, is that this was not a case where the public square was being unclothed of religious presuppositions, (secularization) but rather it was a case where the public square was being stripped of what remained of Christian presuppositions in favor of presuppositions consistent with Religious Leftist humanism.

This is seen in Berelson’s drive to get rid of religious absolutes in favor of “opinion.” However, clearly the problem here is that directed and manipulated opinion would now be the new absolute. The new absolute exchanged for the idea of Christian absolutes was the absolute of no absolutes. Any humanist absolute (masquerading as “opinion”) would be accepted in the secularized public square over and above a religious absolute.

Note also in the quote above the ascendancy of public opinion. Public opinion is to moral guidance what Historicism is to Historiography. In both cases, the absolute being evacuated, the only place a transcendent constant can be found is in the immanent subjective realm of space and time. If there is no transcendent constant then in order to shape public policy is to create public opinion through putative scientific public opinion polls and then to reify those subjective numbers into objective transcendent constants so that direction can be given to public policy. This is the same thing that happens in Historicism. As Historicism allows for no fixed transcendent constant by which history can be known and evaluated, therefore History itself must become its own fixed transcendent constant. Public opinion polls serve as absolutes for the immediate just as Historicism serves as absolute in interpreting the past as a guide for the future.

However, in both cases of Public Opinion polls and Historicism the results they yield are only as good as the manipulator the psychological warriors operating them.

Without the God of the Bible, who alone can give us a fixed transcendent constant as well as the certainty that the transcendent has become immanent, (thus assuring that the transcendent isn’t so transcendent that it loses touch with our sitz-im-leben), we only have a word and world of flux where man is a being manipulated and controlled by the Psychological warriors named Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie.


R2K plays right into this agenda quoted from Jones. R2K allows the public square to be cleansed of what Berelson called religious belief in favor of the manipulations coming from the cultural elites.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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