The story of how Nathan Rothschild made a fortune from Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo on June 18, 1815, became well known. At the beginning of the battle, Napoleon had the advantage, and observers reported to London that he was winning. But Prussian corps came to the aid of the British troops, and the Allies were victorious. Rothschild’s courier observed the outcome of the battle and saw Napoleon escape. Then immediately for a large sum of money persuaded a fisherman, despite the storm, to ferry him across the English Channel.
Rothschild was the only one in London who knew of Napoleon’s defeat. Lamenting Napoleon’s successes, he immediately began a massive sale of his stock. All the other stockbrokers immediately followed his example as they decided that the British had lost the battle. At this point, Rothschild’s agents bought up the stock cheaply. And only three days later, a report was delivered to the government about Napoleon’s defeat. Thus, Rothschild earned 40 million pounds sterling on this news. The factual information, received before anyone else, allowed the Rothschilds to play a win-win game in the stock market. Then, Nathan Rothschild uttered his legendary aphorism: “Who owns the information, he owns the world.”
The means of communication are a kind of social code for the civilization’s development. Communication has its own laws, the use of which can enhance its effectiveness. Therefore, it is no coincidence that many people fear that certain forces are actively influencing society, manipulating explicit or implicit propaganda elements. Financial means more and more determining the actions of today’s mouthpieces, thus determining the direction and content of information flows. A serious advantage of so-called information weapons over other types is their relative cheapness. And according to the criterion “effectiveness – cost,” it significantly wins. That is why all those who represent the oligarchic power worldwide are interested in mass media to reflect reality from a certain angle. So there is a simple formula at work: whoever controls the distribution of information owns the world. After all, it is not for nothing that the media are called the fourth branch of government, along with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. With the rapid development of various technologies in communications, the number of mechanisms for acquiring, forming, and presenting the necessary information has increased. All that is needed is the right strategy to present it at each level. Then the feedback will be expected according to the invested efforts and objectives of this or that strategy. Opinion polls are proof of this. In many countries, they have become the most important tool for detecting the public’s mood. In turn, the results of opinion polls are a vital element of propaganda.
The Chinese philosopher Mencius’ key belief was that people are naturally good but that this quality requires improvement and a suitable environment to flourish. The philosopher summarized the four norms created by Confucius on humanity, justice, ritual, and wisdom. While Confucius himself did not explicitly focus on the subject of human nature, Mencius affirmed man’s innate virtue, believing that it was the influence of society in the form of a lack of positive cultivation that causes evil. A sense of sympathy is definitely the beginning of humanity; a sense of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; a sense of deference and yielding is the beginning of propriety; and a sense of right or wrong is the beginning of wisdom.
People have these four principles; to say that they cannot develop them is to destroy themselves. Human nature has an innate tendency toward goodness, but moral rightness cannot be enforced down to the smallest detail. This is why mere external control does not always improve society. Genuine improvement is the result of nurture under favorable conditions. Similarly, a bad environment tends to corrupt human will. This, however, is not proof of innate evil because a clear-thinking person will avoid harming others.
If you let people follow their original feelings, they will be able to do good. This is what is meant by the saying that human nature is good. If a man does evil, it’s not the fault of his natural endowment’. All men, according to Mencius, have a mind which cannot bear to see the suffering of others. For example, if you suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, your first reaction is to save him. You do it out of your original good nature. Suppose a man is constantly subjected to negative influence. In that case, his character is bound to be affected accordingly, despite occasional good education. But that is not his true character or his original nature. His original nature, as Mencius always insists, is good. The evil in him is a result of external influence.
In the case of an individual, his nature is what distinguishes him from the animals. And here, Mencius introduces an idea of his own: for man, nature is perceived by the exhaustive knowledge of the depths of the heart. The heart in Chinese culture is roughly equivalent in meaning to the soul or consciousness. Thus, the philosopher formulated an important idea, which in modern interpretation sounds as follows: nature is a causal factor. But the essence of a person is in the heart, where is the strongest and most important relative guiding principle.
The philosopher argued that to feed someone and not love them is to treat them as pigs. To love but without respect is to bring him up in a beastly way. An animal can also repeat rituals, but without reason and without knowing where they may be compromised. In one fragment, he says that if the son-in-law does not give his hand to his drowning daughter-in-law – the ritual did not allow him to touch the woman – that would be the act of an animal. That is, at specific points, one must turn on the mind and discard unnecessary prohibitions. These prohibitions no longer work in this situation. So Mencius says that there is a proper interrelationship in the heart of man that provides for all these actions – love, care, respect, cognition. This idea of his is called the theory of the goodness of human nature.
It is precisely about how people have always been and continue to be fundamentally compassionate and understanding. As with anything, while seeking the proper form of propaganda, it is essential to strike a balance. As the famous medieval physician, Paracelsus said, “All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing, not a poison.” By unleashing an avalanche of incorrect, harmful, or simplified information, it is possible to disrupt the objective perception of the existing severe problem and not achieve the goal. Therefore, the medicine of truth must be given in doses. By increasing a person’s need to learn, change the perspective of the existing problems, thereby starting the mechanism of transformation of the consciousness of being in society. And in the same context to carry out the right propaganda to reduce the level of consumption.
Humanity and other virtues are actually what makes a person truly free because their absence puts him in the position of a slave to other people, while when he has them, he always has the inner freedom that they provide. We have very different aspirations in us, but they have a natural degree of importance and value hierarchy. It is intrinsic to us, and it is in the direction of giving more preference to the virtues, other things being equal. This is why, in general, there are cases when a person gives up his life for the sake of realizing one or another virtue – a duty or a ritual. The natural hierarchy of values can be turned upside down, the philosopher does not argue with this. But even if it is turned upside down for someone, and he is a villain, it only means that he has lost his nature and become a beast. Mencius’ self-improvement is perfection in moral virtues, compassion, concern for the other, love, righteousness, respect, and, ultimately, active zeal.