Patrick M. Coady

Overview. In a day and age where we are constantly being berated with information, advice, and propaganda through various media outlets, who's to say whats the truth? Whats real? Why should we rely on the sources - given the stigma of being "factually sound" -or more importantly, who determines these sources to be factually reliable, and what propaganda is involved in their convictions? In response to the aforementioned questions; I will be focusing my research on the corporate conglomerate "Monsanto." This company operates in the genetic engineering business, (producing 90% of all genetically altered seed available on the market today/ monopolistic?) which produces chemically altered seeds, animal hormones, etc. The corporation has undergone much scrutiny in both the public and governmental eyes. This is supposedly because of their history of contaminating certain areas with company waste, but 'Monsanto' has strong roots in many American economic pools. It is a well established company, whose long existence (estd. 1901) and lobbying/strong-arm tactics have allowed its owners and operators to become major players in the world economy. However; we as consumers and endorsers need to look at the depression to our own health and hard-earned capital as it relates directly back to the rapidly spreading social class systems that corporate giants like Monsanto largely regulate and control (by the very nature of their monetary advantages). I would ultimately like to find out who exactly is behind all of this - public relations, advertising firms, political and corporate supporters/sponsors - and why?

Rationale. These questions are extremely important when asking how and why we live our human lives the way we do. When introspective insight is given to the above thoughts, only then can we begin to examine the alterior motives of the media moguls; the idol-like gods of our capitalist nation. Their propaganda is a very real aspect of the society we are a part of. This is because the ultimate goal of most every individual, whether businessman or government official, (and any one else who falls between) is to reap the monetary benefits of the systems they are subservient to. The hidden motives of people such as; government lobbyists, paid "experts" in certain fields, and 'granfalloons' tend to be a truly fascinating, complex sets of ideas/ideals that deserve a deeper look. After all, aren't we are paying these people the compensations they thrive on; when we subscribe to their 'youtube' channel, pay for their "expert services," or vote to elect them into office in order to represent our "best interests"? This model of capitalism puts US - the consumers - at the center of the economy, because without people like us to keep buying into the systems created by the moguls aforementioned, they would have absolutely nothing - no money, and therefore, no power to keep us subservient. I am digging into this topic to at least find out what is actually going on behind the scenes, and to find out the difference between the genuine truth and, for lack of a better term, the bullshit we so often encounter - it is literally engrained into the very foundation of America's capitalist regime.

Method. In completing this project, i hope to uncover the ways certain messages are delivered by lobbyists and paid "experts" to the masses; using internet research, content analysis, and some personal observation. The ultimate "truth" being sought in all of this digging and prying into these systems, is that whatever we are paying so much respect and homage to, may not be universal, but i would at least like to see how these corporations and organizations affect my personal situation, and how to rise above their agendas, in order to live by the standards of my own. I will attempt to uncover as much of the 'dirt' as is readily available to me on Monsanto, and show how their attitudes and practices affect their political, financial, and ethics standings in today's economy, and how they escape most of our scrutinies daily, controlling the food and agriculture market.

Powerful rationale here but you need a specific focus. Be careful to ensure that your strong preexisting attitudes don't lead you to "prove" what you already believe. Be open to explore a topic in some depth and identify what you need to learn to develop an exploration of the individual-structural tension you so nicely described tonight! Perhaps you'll want to focus on one PR firm-- for example, the folks who work for Monsanto. Check out:

http://www.prwatch.org/node/4115

http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2011/01/9903/whole-foods-market-caves-monsanto