The course summarises US and British foreign policy with a particular focus on the use of propaganda to mislead the population. The early part of the course describes what the US and Britain do overseas. Subsequent weeks discuss how information is manipulated to hide or whitewash criminal activities. The primary forms of propaganda are exaggerated threats to create fear, and censorship-by-omission, where the most important topics are not discussed. The final week will discuss important aspects of human psychology, explaining why whole populations are so easily manipulated.
Rod Driver is a part-time academic. He has studied Maths; Sports Science; International Relations, Terrorism and Security; and Economics. He was 3 years into a PhD in Media and Communication Studies, but has postponed it indefinitely due to the arrival of his children. He is particularly interested in understanding how the world works, and in de-bunking modern-day US and British propaganda, which permeates our societies.
He believes that much academic teaching is far too uncritical of the establishment and the status quo. He also sees the current academic focus on ever-more specialised and compartmentalised courses as unhelpful, because few people have a sufficiently broad understanding of enough topics to be able to understand the links between them. He sees understanding as rather like a jigsaw puzzle – it’s only when you have all the pieces in place that the picture makes sense. For this reason he incorporates psychology, power, and corruption of politics and the media throughout his teaching.