A Propaganda System: How Canada's Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation

November 14, 2016

Yves Engler

Monday, November 14, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Room 1415, SFU Harbour Centre

Co-sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities & Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada (LRWC)

Book Launch and Talk by Author Yves Engler

A Propaganda System: How Canada's Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation reveals why most Canadians believe their country is a force for good in the world, despite a long history of supporting empire, racism and exploitation. The book details the vast sums Global Affairs Canada, Veterans Affairs and the Department of National Defence spend articulating a one-sided version of Canada's foreign policy. With the largest PR machine in the country, the Canadian Forces promotes its worldview through a history department, university, journals, war commemorations, think tanks, academic programs and hundreds of public relations officers.

A Propaganda System traces the long history of government information control during war, including formal censorship, as well as extreme media bias on topics ranging from Haiti to Palestine, investment agreements to the mining industry. The book also details the corporate elite's funding for university programs and think tanks. Written for ordinary Canadians interested in the structures impeding understanding of this country's role in the world, the book should be of interest to journalists curious about the institutions seeking to "spin" them, development workers dependent on government funds and academics interested in the foreign-policy establishment's influence on campus.

Praise for A Propaganda System

"Having spent three decades on the opposite side of the playing field, I have long been aware of many elements revealed in A Propaganda System. But, by thoroughly cataloguing and linking these agencies author Engler provides a powerful argument to support his thesis that the Canadian military fields the largest PR apparatus in the nation . This fact runs in stark contrast to Canadians' popular notion that we are a peace-loving country." –Scott Taylor, Publisher Esprit de Corps

"Yves Engler's engagingly-written book highlights the dark sides of Canada's real involvement in the world, from helping destabilize Haiti's democratically elected government to backing human rights-abusing Canadian-based mining companies. He identifies the institutional forces, including corporate media, most responsible for perpetuating the myth of Canada as an exclusively benign force in the world. A Propaganda System provides a needed counterbalance to conventional wisdom. It will interest Canadians concerned with promoting peace and human rights, and with understanding the impact of power on our understandings of the world." –Robert Hackett, Professor, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

"Yves Engler studies and lays bare the crucial and ignored or distorted topic area of Canada's foreign policy. He documents the links between corporations, government, media and academia, when it comes to establishing and maintaining Canada's brutal foreign policy. The actual policy he documents will shock Canadians who don't regularly follow international writers such as Noam Chomsky, Stephen Kinzer, and Chris Hedges, or Canada's Naomi Klein." –James Winter, Professor, Communications, Media & Film, University of Windsor

"An inventory of the State-Corporate-Academic-NGO-Media networks that manufacture consent among Canadians for war and for looting of the Global South. As old myths crumble and Western hegemony declines, Yves Engler's well-documented book is a must read for the 21st century." –Jooneed Khan, retired La Presse international correspondent

"Once again, Yves Engler wades into the murky waters of Canada's foreign policy, courageously going into the depths the mainstream media avoid." –Antonia Zerbisias, former Toronto Star media columnist

About the Author

Dubbed "Canada's version of Noam Chomsky" (Georgia Straight), "one of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today" (Briarpatch), "in the mould of I. F. Stone" (Globe and Mail), "part of that rare but growing group of social critics unafraid to confront Canada's self-satisfied myths" (Quill & Quire) , "ever-insightful" (Rabble), "Chomsky-styled iconoclast" (Counterpunch) and a "Leftist gadfly" (Ottawa Citizen), Yves Engler is the author of nine books and hundreds of articles.