Today I wanted to talk about the alcohol industry’s propaganda machine; how it affects you and what you can do about it.
The alcohol industry, or Big Alcohol (BA), has a sophisticated and powerful marketing machine backing it up, just like cigarettes used to have, and still has in some countries… In this video, we’re going to look at a definition of what exactly is a propaganda machine? We’ll also look at how it compares to cigarette smoking and how that has changed over the years… Finally, we’ll look at the WHO MPOWER measures which were designed to attempt to tackle the tobacco epidemic that is sweeping the world and how close we are to a similar set of measures to try and combat the epidemic of the alcohol drug use.
The cigarette propaganda machine continued for years and it is still being run in other countries, despite being curtailed in the West where barriers have been implemented against cigarette advertising. It is still going strong in Indonesia, Belize, and those kind of poor countries.
The alcohol propaganda machine is running really well in the western countries – our countries. So in this video we are going to have a look at:
What is that propaganda machine?
We are going to take a look and compare it to cigarettes and how that propaganda machine compares to the alcohol propaganda machine. We are also going to look at:
The measures being implemented by The World Health Organisations and MPOWER.
The measures which they are trying to implement throughout the world to try and curtail the pervasive nature of cigarettes and how that could be brought into affect with alcohol and how it compares with what they are doing with alcohol.
Now the definition of propaganda is information that is biased towards a certain point of view, whether that is political, cultural or economic. These days a lot of propaganda is based around trying to get you to buy a product and to try to get you hooked into buying a product. It is often associated with psychological methods of learning and teaching people and establishing belief patterns within a population or within a section of that population.
Propaganda is often very loaded, it is one sided in trying to get you to shift your view point towards the point of view they want to have. In a lot of cases it is lying by omission, so, they are telling you certain things and not telling you others. The whole thing about propaganda is that it is manipulative, it is trying to manipulate an emotional response rather than a logical response. It is trying to attack you and get you to think about things from an emotional point of view instead of thinking about things from a logical point of view. It is trying to stop you from looking in to the future to see how these things are going to affect you in the future and not just in the moment and from seeing how this point of view is going to affect other areas of your life and not just that one specific area.
It is how people stir up crowds, it is how people get other people to be racist, it is how a lot of shit that is happening in the world is brought about. It is how all good advertising works and that is getting people to think from an emotional perspective rather than a logical perspective.
Now the alcohol industries propaganda machine is directed towards alcohol, towards drinking alcohol and towards that whole life that surrounds it. It wants to portray a positive point of view, it wants to portray a normal point of view from the perspective that everyone thinks that drinking alcohol is normal. Drinking alcohol every day is normal; drinking alcohol with your dinner is normal; drinking alcohol to celebrate is normal; drinking alcohol to relax is normal; drinking alcohol to socialise is normal. This is what the alcohol companies want – to normalise everyday drinking and everyday consumption of this drug. It wants you to think that drinking alcohol is a pleasure that adds to your life and actually adds meaning to your life.
Think about it! What meaning does alcohol ever add to your life? If you strip out the alcohol from a social situation what are you left with? Really when you take the alcohol out of a situation, what are you left with? You are left with the social occasion, you are left with the whole reason for being there in the first place. They are trying to sneak in the alcohol so that they say, “The only reason why you are here is to have a drink and having a drink helps you to relax and be at ease in areas of your life that you wouldn’t normally be at ease with.“
When you look at being in a social environment and being with people that you trust and love, this is where you feel the most comfortable, this where you feel most yourself, this is what brings you meaning in your life but what the alcohol companies are trying to do is to take that whole concept of socialisation, of being with your family and people that you love and celebrating something of momentous value in your life. They are trying to prise that apart and trying to squeeze their drug into that and going, “It just makes it all that much better.” It doesn’t make it any better! It makes it fucking even worse because it’s a drug and eventually you start to associate the socialisation, relaxation, celebration; all these different areas of your life with drinking alcohol and you can not then go into these situations without drinking alcohol.
And this is the sadness of it, this is the way we are now. You can’t see a celebration without a bottle of champagne being pulled out. So, the alcohol companies have got double motivation, first they’ve got the motivation of trying to normalise alcohol drinking within our society, normalise it so that you feel that at every celebration and socialise aspect of your life you need to have some alcohol but at the end of it what they really want to do is they want to addict you.
The more people they addict to their product the better. They don’t have to convince the guy who is sat on the Bar stool to drink, all the advertising is aimed at people who are not yet hooked on the alcohol. They say that they are not trying to bring young people and children into this fold but they are! This is basically what they are doing.
When you look at the case of cigarettes, cigarettes are the same thing. When you go back far enough, ten, twenty years even, you are looking at the same type of propaganda machine that was trying to get you hooked onto cigarettes.
It has been prevent that cigarette companies were adding different chemicals to their mix. I heard some ridiculous claim that cigarettes at some stage where adding over a thousand different chemicals, I could be wrong in that; it could be higher than a thousand, but I know it was something ridiculous like that. They were adding different chemicals to the mix to make them more addictive, to make them burn better, to make them taste better and all these other things to make them a better consumer product and at the end of the day one of those things was to get you addicted.
I would not put it past the alcohol industry to do that, to try and make it more and more addictive. Quitting drinking was one of the most difficult things I have done in my life and a lot of people will tell you the same thing. In terms of what can go wrong, in terms of illnesses that can be caused they are not too far apart, cigarettes and alcohol. Alcohol itself will cause over 200 different conditions and I think cigarette smoking causes the same thing.
Part of the course I am doing at the moment is looking at how bones mend themselves and how cigarette smoking can hamper that healing process, just because of what it does to your body; to your whole system. So, there are over 200 different conditions caused by drinking alcohol. Three and a half million people die every single year from drinking alcohol and that is not too far behind the five million people that are killed from smoking cigarettes.
So, the World Health Organisation record the amount of people that are smoking and the amount of people that are dying; the cost of smoking throughout the world – as a tobacco epidemic. You don’t see any of that. You see them talking about putting out statistics for alcohol but you don’t see them calling it an epidemic.
In comparison three and a half million for alcohol; five million for cigarettes, is not that big of a difference. Combined you are talking about eight and a half million people die a year through legal drugs and about two hundred and fifty thousand a year through all the other illegal drugs put together. They brought in these measures called the MPOWER measures to try and combat that threat and these are some of them:
- M – Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies.
With alcohol, I presume they are monitoring and implementing some prevention polices. I presume it’s the same sort of thing that they are doing with cigarettes.
- P – Protect people from tobacco smoke.
I don’t think they are doing a good job of protecting people with second hand effects of alcohol. Everyone knows about the second-hand effects of smoking, of people breathing in second hand smoke. A lot of people have died from environments where they have had to breathe in second hand smoke in Bars, Restaurants and places where smoking was allowed until fairly recently but the second hand affects of drinking alcohol are everywhere
You think about the guy coming home from the pub pissed and he beats up his Wife, people going out and kicking the shit out of each other when they are drunk, people wrecking the place when they are drunk and doing all sorts of stuff like that when they are under the influence of alcohol. They reckon over 50% of the crimes committed worldwide crimes are caused because of the alcohol, maybe more.
- O – Offer help to quit tobacco use.
You can get help if you are trying to quit alcohol, mostly from your GP and they will probably refer you to some place like the AA. It is the same with Courts, if someone does something wrong, especially something alcohol related, the Court will force you to get treatment as part of the sentence and usually it is with the AA.
The cost to society is basically the same as the government are taking in taxation. So the medical costs and costs from alcohol are about the same costs as what the government is taking from taxation. If they ban alcohol all together, which I don’t think they will ever do, after the results of prohibition, but if they did ban it again, they have to think about the cost. They have to still pay out this cost. People that quit now or are forced to quit now are still going to have those health consequences, even though they have stopped. The damage might have stopped but the damage that is already done still needs to be dealt with so you are talking about having to pay a lot of money out; with the revenue coming in from alcohol taxation.
- W – Warning about the dangers of tobacco.
When they talk about the dangers of drinking, mostly it is for campaigns for drink driving which are fuelled in the majority of cases by organisations such as The Mothers of Victims of Drunk Drivers who go out and campaign. They have a fairly big lobby now and receive a lot of government money, which is then pushed towards that area, but I don’t see any education towards teaching people the dangers of starting to drink alcohol.
It’s always about drink two or drink three – or drink four drinks a night and don’t go above that, if you do then it is binge drinking. It is the same thing as saying to somebody “A packet of cigarettes a day isn’t going to do you much harm” or “If you smoke ten cigarettes a day it’s not going to do you much harm” or “It has been proven that if you only smoke one cigarette every two hours then it is not going to do you much harm. It has been proven that your body can handle that.” You don’t hear any of that kind of stupid advice.
The problem with alcohol is that they start off with the notion that alcohol drinking in some form is normal and then they work from there, so they are never going to get – or it’s going to take a long time to get – the education where people are being educated not to start drinking alcohol.
When your teachers are drinkers, how can you get away from that? How can somebody teach someone not to take a drug when they are taking the drug themselves? When you’ve got Teachers, the Medical Profession, Legal Professions – the people who make the rules – if they are all drinkers then things are not going to change, especially from that perspective. The focus is always going to be on ‘don’t drink too much.’ It’s a bit like saying don’t take too much heroine – it is the same thing.
- E – Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, sponsorship.
They are starting to do this with alcohol but they are not going far enough with this. I would like to see warning labels on alcohol but that is probably going to be a long way away from happening. It is easier to implement these things for tobacco, because all cigarettes are treated equal in a way. One brand is perceived to be better than another but that is all marketing and it is marketing as well with the alcohol but you have got a lot of lobbyist groups that say they drink a hundred year old malt whisky or a thousand year old bottle of wine, whatever it is, and you have such a big disparity between the prices of wine. It is possible to pay a thousand dollars for a bottle of wine or more in certain circumstances and places and then you can go down to your local shop and you can get a carton of wine for less than a Euro. So, if you were bringing in the same type of thing for alcohol, where labels were being placed on alcohol, it would be necessary to do that across the board, the same thing that is doing done with cigarettes and I can’t see that happening any time soon.
- R – Raise taxes on tobacco.
I worked out yesterday that in Ireland a pack of cigarettes costs 11 Euros and 78% of that is tax, in comparison to Wine and Beer where 48% tax is put on Wine and Beer, so there is a disparity there. In the USA, it is roughly about 42% taxation on cigarettes which is almost half the taxation on cigarettes in Ireland. In the UK it’s 82% on cigarettes, 50% taxation on Wine and 30% on Beer which is equivalent to Ireland. The US is a bit more difficult when you are looking for prices for Wine and Beer, because each State has their own taxation rules and stuff like that.
At the end of the day it is going to take a long time before this alcohol propaganda machine is going to be shut down. It is going to be weakened gradually over time, but it is going to take a long time.
It is the same way that the cigarette propaganda took a long time to close down and it’s not closed down, it is as strong as ever in some of the countries over the world and you can see them starting to go into alternative industries.
Some cigarette companies are heavily into the E-Cigarette industry and you can see them trying to make in roads into the pot industry. Legalised pot would be a huge thing and the cigarette companies would try to get behind that as well and you can expect them to be playing dirty tricks and to have another machine cranking out and making you think that smoking pot is a great thing to do as well.
But as I said before, we are our own worst propaganda machines, we are the ones that listen to this bullshit in the first place and we are the ones that repeat it.
We say to ourselves, “I can’t do this, I can’t face going out with my friends without having a drink.” “I can’t face doing this without a drink” and we forget the simple fact that life is about having fun.
You take the alcohol out of these situations and you will still have fun, you will have much more fun because you will remember everything, you will be yourself and I think a lot of time alcohol stops us from being ourselves and we forget what it’s like to being ourselves. But you soon get that back, you soon find your voice and your true self. So, it’s just a job of doing it and persisting. And of keeping persisting until you get there.
If you have any questions or comments just leave them down below. If you want to sign up for the alcohol master starter pack then come over to the website https://www.alcoholmastery.com and leave your name and email address. There are a few different courses and books over there and stuff to try and help you start out on this journey and break the propaganda. There is a whole course on there on trying to break the spell of these alcohol companies, to sort of open up your mind to what’s happening.
“The Philosophy of the Class Room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next” – Abraham Lincoln
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!