Issues, Problems, Social Media and the Manipulation Thereof
Issues, Problems, Social Media and the Manipulation Thereof
[411 Note: Great post filled with common sense and logic. Something every person should get through their thick skulls. And another reason to disconnect from social media. ]
Back when I was knee high to a grasshopper the biggest issues I had were trying to avoid that jerk of a bully living across the street and making sure I returned home promptly when the street lights came on.
There was no wiggle room on the street light thing because a big bright street light had been placed by the town right outside the kitchen window, requested by mom…or so she claimed. Mom always knew when to expect the return of the wild ones and there would be hell to be paid if we were not home when expected.
Mom never believed us when we tried to explain not all street lights came on at the same time. With the twin benefits of hindsight and maturity I now realize she probably did, but knew if she allowed any wiggle room it would be instantly abused by the hellions. No self respecting dictator ever allows their authority to be questioned, especially by the serfs.
As I have now come to realize, thanks to Mrs. Cog teaching me her enlightened classification system, there are issues and there are problems. Both the terms and the ‘things’ are not interchangeable; not by a long shot.
Issues are always (relatively) minor and able to be resolved with the application of a little elbow grease and some determination. Most issues are often of our own making; therefore the solution is readily at hand.
Problems, on the other hand, are much more intractable and not as easily solved. If fact, problems are often deal breakers, bringing projects, negotiations and relationships to a full and complete stop.
For example, every personal relationship has issues. The toilet seat doesn’t find its way back down, the dirty dishes don’t get rinsed off before being set aside or the wet towels don’t get properly hung up. This is all small stuff and can be quickly remedied if the spirit is there and the flesh is willing.
But some things are bigger than wayward toilet seats. Gambling is a problem. Infidelity is a problem. Obsessive compulsive shopping is a problem. Drug and alcohol addiction is a problem. Totalitarian government is a problem. These ‘problems’ are show stoppers, immovable bridge abutments that can ruin your relationship and your life.
As young children we mostly had issues. As (very) young adults, everything was a huge end-of-the-world problem that could never be solved. And as adults, we often confront problems not of our own making or not within our ability to solve. Or at least that’s what we are told by conflicted (media) parties who do not have our best interest at heart.
And therein lays the ‘problem’.
I have found, particularly during bouts of honest self appraisal, that many personal problems are often just difficult issues that can be quickly resolved with a simple change of perspective. Its one thing to understand another person’s point of view, another thing entirely too actually own their perspective.
While I may ‘understand’ my friend’s pain caused by the rock in his shoe, there is nothing quite like slipping his shoes on my feet and ‘feeling’ his pain. Understanding is intellectual and aloof, feeling is physical and personal.
“I feel your pain dog” takes on a whole new meaning when you are the dog in pain.
So (hypothetically speaking because this would NEVER happen in America, land of the free lunch and home of the benevolent government) how does a government beholden to a special interest billionaire corpocracy and a military industrial banking pharmaceutical complex convince its consumers…err…sorry, citizens there is a (never ending) clear and present danger which must be confronted with military force abroad and consumer…err…citizen surveillance at home?
Well, they lie of course. And we aren’t speaking about an innocent little white lie, but a huge shameless multi institutional deeply involved and ever changing whopper of a lie. The core kernel of this lie is the skillful application of artificially induced fear which converts intellectual and aloof understanding into something closer to physical and personal feeling.
Manufactured FEAR as in False Evidence Appearing Real. As opposed to real fear, the kind that runs up your spine as the tractor trailer in the oncoming lane begins to jackknife towards you.
Propaganda is the most commonly used tool in their arsenal, though by no means the only tool. But understand that propaganda is most effective when skillfully blended with existing social memes, common knowledge and accepted/promoted (as opposed to true) history and national identity.
For example, we are endlessly informed be media that America is a democracy when in fact it was originally a representative republic and now is at best an oligarchy…and at worst a totalitarian state.
Don’t believe me? Look up “Civil Forfeiture” or “Civil Asset Forfeiture” and then explain to me how, in the land of the free and home of the brave, law enforcement officers can seize your cash, your car, even your home or business simply because they SUSPECT those assets were purchased with, came from or were involved in an illegal activity.
Even if you are never charged with a crime or illegal activity, let alone convicted (which is nearly always since there is no legally admissible evidence), good luck getting your property/money back. In nearly every case, it will cost you more in legal fees to recover your property than the property is worth. After talking to a few lawyers, the vast majority simply walk away knowing the deck is stacked and they can’t win.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of cases where an innocent citizen is stopped at the airport, on the road while driving or even just walking down the street, when large amounts of cash are ‘discovered’ on their person during what is often an illegal search.
The person could have perfectly legal and reasonable reasons for holding $5,000, $10,000 even $50,000 in cash, which is (for a while longer anyway) entirely legal in the USA. Yet the officers can simply say they suspect illegal activity and take the cash. Boom, it’s gone with you left on the side of the road wondering what the hell happened and what you are going to do now.
While there is no doubt actual criminals have been ‘defunded’ in this manner, just do an internet search and you will find case after case after case of innocent people caught up in corrupt police operations, their only guilt being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If this ‘civil action’ isn’t an unreasonable search and seizure which deprives a person of life, liberty, or property without due process, then I don’t know what is. The unconstitutional law authorizing this illegal behavior was promoted as a way of funneling money to police districts and agencies being squeezed by budget cuts. Even the legislators admitted it was/is a money grab in addition to a (police state) policing power.
But the public is constantly assured by the mainstream media (when on those rare occasions civil forfeiture is even discussed) that this ‘forfeiture’ process has been a rousing success battling crime and drug trafficking. As if to say criminals don’t have constitutional rights and neither do you if you are suspected of some nefarious deed.
I could go on and on with countless examples of a police state alive and thriving in the USA, but I won’t. Either you have the curiosity to look further or you don’t.
My original point is simple. We are fed propaganda that reinforces social memes and we are fed social memes that reinforce the propaganda. And the vast majority of this feeding is accomplished via (social) media. Seen from the outside, this feedback loop is obvious but normally not too alarming since there is (theoretically) an independent media hungry to expose the official hypocrisy, corruption and self dealing.
That’s the myth anyway. In truth the Fourth Estate, aka the mainstream media (MSM), has always protected and enabled the rich and powerful to some extent or another. A careful and critical examination of major historical events shows that what the MSM says happened and what actually happened often diverge dramatically.
It no longer is (and never really was) the Fourth Estate, but rather the fourth branch of government. We have the Executive, the Judicial, the Legislative and the Communication (Propaganda) branches.
It is very important to distinguish between the main stream media (including the corporate owners of social media) and your local newspaper or television station where your real trust lay. You know…the place where you get your mostly reliable local news, traffic and weather reports.
While local ‘reporting’ is at times somewhat misinformed and there is a striking similarity between stations on major news events (simply because they are fed the info from central MSM sources) I sense no real malice or hidden motive from local media, just pure greed to profit off your eyeballs and actions.
Before the major newspapers and radio/television networks were gobbled up by corporate entities, to the point now where the national ‘media’ is entirely owned by 6 or 7 major corporations, on occasion you would find a major media outlet marching to a different drum and actually speaking truth to power.
Such is not the case today despite what you or I (want to) believe. The MSM is serving the interest of the obscenely wealthy and powerful elite as well as the ‘national security state’. You may believe otherwise because you sometimes hear divergent ‘views’ among the MSM on unimportant-to-the-powerful subjects.
But when the corpocracy and the ‘intelligence’ service(s) want you and me to ‘believe’ something (meaning swallow with little to no questioning) it is amazing how quickly they all fall into line on the critical points of the messaging. Without applying critical thinking or a healthy dose of skepticism, we tend to accept what we are told simply because everyone (in authority) is saying it.
Speaking of intelligence services, it has been (and continues to be) thoroughly documented that the CIA employs (and has employed in the past) a surprisingly large number of mainstream media reporters to conduct their propaganda dissemination. Conduct your own research…I think you will be amazed by the number of significant and publicly admired reporters who were (and are) captured by the CIA.
Even when there appears to be disagreement among those with the media bullhorn, notice how the (faux) disagreement is nearly always divided into two distinct camps who both agree on the fundamentals (i.e. Osama bin Laden did it) but quibble over the details (he directed it all from a cave…no, he was in a Taliban stronghold).
This is done to project a false sense of media discernment and investigation, of true ‘reporting’. The vast majority of MSM reporters are little more than repeaters, handed corporate press releases and news ‘copy’ they read on air or modify with their own words before publishing like a 6th grade test cheater.
Either you believe this or that. But to consider any other point of view is unacceptable, therefore you must either be a ‘fake’ news perpetrator or a conspiracy theorist. It really doesn’t matter which of the two points of view you adopt, just as long as you are marching to the manipulated drum beat.
Manufactured consent and total capitulation to the prevailing meme is all they ask of you. Accept your programming and you are welcomed with open arms into the mainstream mind to reap the benefits of conformity. Object, push back, question, discern or think for yourself and you are spat out and spit upon, an outcast from the herd.
No gruel for you.
The intent is to corral, not to control, for it is impossible for 0.1% of the population to physically control the other 99.9%. But the 0.1% can erect thought barriers and social memes designed to encourage the 99.9% to self regulate and gather into easily manipulated self identifying herds that can quickly be corralled, then moved.
Ouch…my ego doesn’t like that idea.
In war, the best way to defeat your enemy is to convince them to lay down their arms and not even fight. To accomplish this, ‘psychological operations’ (psyops) are employed by both sides upon both sides. The US has a huge advantage creating any conflict because the myth of superior firepower is so universally ingrained into the global mindset. You can’t fight city hall or the Empire.
But this implanted global/domestic mindset is slowly dissipating as more and more people/corporations/institutions/nations recognize the advanced signs of a declining empire and begin to challenge the prevailing dogma.
Unfortunately for us, you and I are laying down our weapons. Though for now, at least, the weapons we fail to use are critical thinking and a skeptical approach to MSM ‘news’. As long as we swallow whole or in part the MSM swill without seriously challenging it, we will continue to get more (or worse) of the same.
The next time any authority (except mom of course) tells you there is a problem (and by the way, they helpfully offer, here is the solution) instead of accepting at face value what you’re being told, gather up your cognitive weapons and get to work.