Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Establishment’s Control Is Hanging By A Thread

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The global oligarchy only exists because society has agreed to let itself be structured in this way. This means if that shared belief collapses, so will the power of the elites. The tactics the elites use to get control over people’s minds are powerful, but they’re also simple when we look at their basic nature. That simplicity means the establishment’s propaganda is easy to break if we understand how it works.

The propaganda that the modern U.S. government uses is rooted in the techniques used during World War I, when its job was to get the American people to support multiple wars and a police state that punished dissent for those wars. Edward Bernays, one of the public relations experts who sat on the board of the U.S. Committee on Public Information at that time, pursued groupthink, appeals to authority, sloganeering, and other psychological approaches to influencing public opinion. In one of his projects, for instance, he broke the existing taboo against women smoking by starting a newspaper campaign that portrayed smoking as a patriotic way to help the men in the war. This campaign instantly changed how the culture viewed smoking, a hint of the power that state propaganda would prove to have in future decades.
“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?” Bernays wrote. “The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.”
The centers of power have since improved on their propaganda techniques, but their strategy is still essentially the same: create an emotional message, hammer it into the public’s minds, and corral people into believing it by cultivating a sense of tribal groupthink. This is how the recent neo-McCarthyite hysteria campaign has worked, it’s how the Syria war effort has worked, and ultimately it’s how the plutocracy divides, distracts, and brainwashes the population into submission.
All that’s stopping a revolution is the continued effectiveness of this basic persuasion technique. Breaking its hold may seem impossible. But the behavior of corporate media outlets, corporate politicians, and oligarchs increasingly shows that the establishment fears losing its hold over the people’s minds. A few years ago, there weren’t massive media efforts to stigmatize anything outside the mainstream as “Russian propaganda.” There has never been a drive to censor the Internet like there is now, nor have we seen today’s levels of American police militarization.
These tightenings of the control system have directly correlated with the increased power of independent media and social movements in recent years. It’s clear that behind closed doors within the ruling institutions, there’s a fear that massive changes are about to come.
How each of us helps bring this revolution depends on the circumstances and priorities of each person. But actions I recommend are spreading dissenting online information, joining revolutionary groups like the Democratic Socialists of America, and working to organize demonstrations, particularly ones that advocate the freeing of Julian Assange. The elites are waiting to see which moves we make next.

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