Virtue Signaling Voices
An excellent long read (4,200 words) that offers a fantastic explanation of how media, polarization, indoctrination, and many other methods of societal manipulation work. Even if you think you’re smarter than everyone else, odds are you’re a victim of external programming which is then further cemented via your tiny echo chamber in your online circles. Get out while you can!
Impotence and Denial: The Desperate Virtue Signaling Voices
Regardless of whether we are speaking of individuals or groups, what is not said is often far more important and enlightening than what is. How and why we self-censor while conforming to the collective hive mind speaks volumes about whom and what controls, or at least greatly influences, our thinking, and beliefs.
While those engaged might argue otherwise, virtue signaling is all about displaying our cognitive compliance to the group thinks of our adopted tribe or herd. Virtue signaling usually does not require actual activity or productive effort towards whatever we are signaling about thought it also doesn’t preclude it, only that we inform the clan we are right thinking and obedient to the hive mind. In form and function, it is very similar to the movement of herds of animals and flocks of birds.
On the surface this makes perfect sense, allowing the individual to share in the rewards (physically, emotionally and monetarily) of being a cooperative and accepted member of the group. Even today the opportunity for safety and prosperity rise when we join a group rather than live the solitary life, even if our group is defined as a nation or religion. Living alone in the Outback for example, particularly for those not well adapted, is not conducive to a long healthy life.
But just as the hive mind demands uniformity in speech and thought, so too does it command certain thought and speech to be verboten and not to be broached other than in passing and in a derogatory manner.
It is here we ask that age-old question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg. Or in this case, does the group organize before leadership is selected or does leadership gather like-minded followers who then grow the group via assimilation, control, and conquest? My money is on the latter and, in my opinion, is a direct outcome of herd mentality and the hive mind.
Regardless of your perspective or opinion, once leadership has ascended to power, his or her primary goal, a duty one could say, is to use their power to maintain and/or expand their supremacy. After all, the only purpose of power is to use it, both to enrich those with power and those who support them. The king rules at the pleasure of his court, so the successful (meaning long lasting, not benevolent) king ensures his power is also used to reward his most influential and powerful underlings and overlords who in turn support the king. This is a truly symbiotic relationship and precisely how society works at all levels regardless of the governmental, economic or structural facade employed.
Serving, let alone rewarding, the general population serves little purpose other than possibly to temporarily soothe the unsettled. Whether we are speaking of kings, autocrats, dictators, socialists/communists or the so-called elected leaders of the ‘free’ world, their first and continuing order of business is to take care of their first and second tier supporters and contributors. In other words, the primary duty of any leader is to shower riches and rewards upon their court. Unfortunately, you and I are not part of that court; not by a country mile.
The principal difference between a modern day ‘representative’ government and any other form of government, at least when viewed from within the confines of the ‘representative’ government, is the intentionally distorted belief a representative government is fundamentally dissimilar in nature, process and execution. For example, we are told while all others suffer from some sort of taxation without representation, we supposedly thrive from taxation with representation.
The glaring commonality here is burdensome taxation and regulation, not to mention the continuous erosion of any form of privacy as the nanny state intrudes more and more into our day to day lives. I’ve read several articles over the years by reputable sources showing tax levels are (much) higher in the ‘free’ western world. But we are helpfully assured we tax ourselves more heavily because we expect more from our government and therefore we must give our government more in order for them to provide us the services we want.
Did you notice the ‘we, us and our’ in the above sentence? Sure looks like a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome to me.
Regardless, if you believe we are lucky, grateful even, to be taxed so heavily I’ve got a bridge I’ll sell you quite cheaply. Waste, corruption, and cronyism are out of control in the west. The government, the same one who never returns a taxing authority they manipulate into existence, comforts us with the solemn promise corruption in the west is much lower than found in all those other non ‘free’ countries. This self-serving declaration is similar to the fox and chicken deciding what’s for dinner tonight.
The obscene level of corruption practiced in the west is, for the most part, transparent and legalized, therefore not counted for what it truly is. We legally purchase our politicians with campaign donations from lobbyists who often write legislation benefiting those who pay them, then present it to the politicians along with the obligatory Congressional Critter ‘donation’.
ObamaCare was a glaring, but far from only, an example of this practice. The health insurance and pharmaceutical companies literally wrote that piece of legislation. Essentially all defense spending authorizations are crafted by the corporations who benefit from the spending. The exact same process occurs in banking. I could go on, but if you can’t see it for what it is you really aren’t looking.
Sure there’s some spirited horse trading going on in the Congressional back rooms as competing special interests wrestle for a bigger share of the pie. This is a natural occurrence in a thoroughly corrupted system since the only thing the legislators have to sell is their influence and access. Therefore hundreds of carve-outs, addendum and last minute additions are part and parcel of the pie dividing process when the pigs are feeding at the trough.
Another of the myths the west has been conditioned to believe is the nonsense idea that nearly all the other nations which are not ‘free’ suffer under dangerous and overt police states where injustice is the rule rather than the exception. We have been indoctrinated to believe tanks and uniformed men with guns patrol their streets or total anarchy exists and the general population takes their lives into their hands every time they venture onto the streets.
While decades ago this might have been true (and in specific countries such as Mexico and Venezuela may still be) every international poll I stumble across shows much of the west, including America, falls somewhere in the middle or lower when it comes to social and/or criminal violence (gun or otherwise), poverty, health care, education, debt burden, infant mortality, prison population, medical errors resulting in death or illness, governmental overreach, suicides, obesity…the list of cultural and political afflictions appears endless and growing worse by the day.
While our government and its partner-in-crime corporations (this marriage is called fascism by the way) do everything in their power to conceal or justify the effects of their corrosive alliance, the fact remains even the deaf, dumb and blind are beginning to notice the camel has much more that its nose under the tent. People are beginning to wake up to the steady stream of lies and are becoming restless.
Divide and Conquer
So…what is to be done when the hive mind begins to lose control of its minions if nowhere else (for now) than at the periphery? In a word, more! More of everything, including building taller fences around those subjects and ideas which are dangerous to the status quo of those who control, and profit from, the herd.
By encouraging the ratcheting up of virtue signaling, leading to greater emotional and psychological rewards for so-called correct thinking, this also increases the pain and disenfranchisement bestowed upon those who are contrary to the hive mind. This is exactly how those fences are built higher and stronger. Through political/religious/cultural polarization, what is not said is rigorously enforced, corralling the compliant and contrary minds into their respective pens.
And remember, one man’s compliant mind is another man’s aberrant maniac and vice versa. The goal of those who benefit the most from polarization is to inflame the infighting, diverting popular attention away from the controllers and manipulators. The puppet masters, who are few in number, must never allow the masses to focus squarely upon them.
This is precisely why leadership is for the most part NOT composed of the puppet masters themselves, but rather more pliable sociopaths who are driven by their own personal agenda. This is not to say the puppet masters are not sociopaths in their own right, just that they prefer to remain concealed in order for them to continue executing their own long-term plans.
Many misunderstand the political/cultural purpose of propaganda, of promoting virtue signaling and the deliberate and targeted repetition of righteous memes. At its most crude derivation, the intent is to convince the masses this way, our way, is the only honorable and moral way forward. And there is no doubt a percentage of the resident population will swallow the baited narrative hook, line and sinker.
But the vast majority of people in any group are not blind believers of the overriding narrative. Rather, like partygoers at the buffet, they pick and choose what appeals to them and leave the rest. As long as there isn’t the point of a gun or some other form of coercion forcing them to adhere to the entire narrative, they will search for what looks good and is easily digestible.
Most people are single or several issue believers. Examples of hot-button causes might be abortion, environment, civil rights or lower taxes. Once a specific interest is identified, people then seek out the political, religious or civic group they feel best reflects their concerns or addresses their interest(s) most effectively. Ultimately everything else the group is pushing comes along for the ride, though rarely if ever does the issue shopper adopt them all.
The net effect of this stratification for those who wish to influence the herd is a large portion of the group is of suspect loyalty. Normally this isn’t much of a problem because you don’t want everyone engaged all the time. It’s much easier to control the herd when you just need to nudge a few to get the desired results.
But when leadership fails to fulfill promises or expectations because they can’t or won’t, standard operating procedure dictates rather than expend precious resources reserved for the elite owners to keep those promises and address those issues, hot buttons are pushed to rally the troops while simultaneously ramping up compliance within the hive mind. Simply narrow the focus while increasing the emotional hysteria.
Since the majority of the herd is of suspect loyalty, how does one do this without exposing the membership to truth, which in this case is anything contrary to their conditioning or the prevailing narrative? Demanding loyalty outright comes across as authoritarian and doesn’t work when the overall controlling meme is freedom of choice and speech. Since one must keep up appearances, the most effective way to ensure cognitive uniformity is via peer pressure and identity politics.
A Wide Cattle Chute is Just as Confining
Political polarization is already present here in the USA via the two-party political system, rigorously enforced by territorial party organization and state/national laws designed to repress the formation and participation of alternative political organizations. The idea is to allow some freedom for “We the Plebes”, but only just enough to create the illusion of choice and not to provide an abundance of choice. Make the cattle chute appear a little bit wider, but ultimately just as confining.
The methods used to accomplish this (and so much more) are as old as the hills and still work brilliantly, primarily because of our cradle to grave indoctrination and conditioning. As much as it irritates the reader to be told he or she is conditioned, to think we are somehow immune, all-seeing and completely aware, is the height of silliness. The lies, half-truths and propaganda are tightly and seamlessly woven into our culture and national identity. It is the epitome of egotistic expression to believe that, while others might be affected, you and/or I are not.
I am always amazed to hear or read people state unequivocally they know recorded history was deliberately changed and distorted, many times over in fact, by those previously in power so that history was in-sync and supportive of the overall controlling narrative. This rewriting of history has gone on for thousands of years. Yet they are tragically blind to similar narrative modifications and alterations occurring in real time in the present day.
People want to believe they are smarter and more aware than other people were last year, last decade, last century. To accept this may not be the case requires us to reconsider everything we believe we know, to no longer accept nearly everything at face value and as presented and, most importantly, to be contrary to our adopted herd.
While we all believe ourselves to be brave and virtuous, an incredibility small percentage of us are willing to buck the herd and seriously question the controlling memes, let alone make constructive changes to our lifestyles to counter or withdraw from the manipulation. For the most part, we go along to get along and hope if we huddle close to the middle of the herd we might not be noticed when the wolf draws near.
So long as average Jane and Joe can maintain their lifestyle and belief system relatively steady, there is no pressing need to fight the herd and go it alone. Essentially the herd, via the controlling meme, marks out with barbed wire what acceptable thought is and is not.
Because our primary interest is self-preservation within the herd, meaning maintaining our status, money, and possessions, essentially we self-censor to maintain our position. To move us along more quickly and to divert attention from the true source of society’s problems, all that need be done is to radicalize the meme and the herd via virtue signaling. Either go with the flow or get out. Or as George Bush famously said over and over again, “Either you are with us or you are with the enemy”.
One must remember a fence serves two purposes, to keep people out and to keep people in. Of course, from our point of view, the fence never restricts us, only the other person. Particularly if we (believe we) were/are involved in its formation, similar to the creation myth of America we are taught from grade school. This self-absorbed and narcissistic approach to living, the belief in our supreme exceptionalism, assures those who manipulate us they can always leverage our blind spots and ego against us and never be found out.
And even if we discover we’ve been duped, what are we going to do about it? We have been conditioned from birth to believe we can’t fight city hall or the herd. Besides, who really wants to dig deep into the abyss to discover all the other ways we’ve been duped. Too many of us have way too fragile an ego to venture down that road very far. Never underestimate the lengths to which people will go to remain in denial. Hell, we’re in near complete denial about our denial.
Even if the vast majority doesn’t accept the increasingly shrill and illogical virtue signaling, a line has been drawn on the ground. Official propaganda works similarly. In effect, we are told this is public (herd) policy and if we wish to be nurtured by the herd (get a high-quality job, work in government or academia, move up the social ranks etc) if nothing else our public face must be in agreement with the propaganda face presented.
As the cognitive cattle chute of acceptable thought is increasingly narrowed, the vast majority will go along to get along despite, or rather because the increasing peer pressure compels a fight or flight response. Most people will select flight and the velocity of the herd increases. Once caught up within the stampeding herd, where and how does one exit, assuming we wish to exit in the first place.
What needs to be emphasized here is the only reason social pressure is being applied, or more accurately increased, is because leadership requires distractions in order to deflect blame or criticism. Let it also be emphasized that leadership doesn’t necessarily mean those puppets presently rotated into positions of power.
In a two party political system, the minority leadership still holds great sway over large swaths of the social narrative. These days the shrill screams of some within the liberal left, buttressed by many in the Democrat party, are a perfect example. But we are quick to forget it was the conservative Republican’s turn to be righteously indignant just a few short years ago.
The Money Meme
While it may be competently argued that leadership in “free” countries are more responsive to entreaties from the public, ostensibly because of open and “free” elections, an honest assessment of European and American history indicates much of the West’s prosperity has to do with a head start in the global race to exploit resources and less to do with the nation’s social and political structure.
Reserve currency status, which compels all other trading nations to buy, hold and use the reserve currency, is a huge political and financial advantage. Since the 1400’s reserve currency status has been held exclusively by various European countries until it rotated to the US in the early 1920’s. Those who control the narrative control over the world. And there is no more powerful narrative than that of money/wealth and the power that springs from controlling it. The money meme is all powerful and all corrupting.
But this paradigm is changing, though notice I did not say going away. Reserve currency status creates an unfair advantage for those who hold it over those who must use it. However, initially, at least, the benefits of a reserve currency to some degree or another are enjoyed by most of those individuals, groups, and nations closest to the cash register creating and controlling the reserve currency.
This is one of the reasons why you find unlikely bedfellows and alliances between disparate nations. A perfect example is a strategic alliance between Saudi Arabia (SA) and the United States, an alliance born and bred not because of similar cultures, but from the symbiotic relationship between the US reserve currency and the oil of Saudi Arabia. As long as Saudi Arabia agrees to demand payment for their materially significant oil sales in US dollars, thus providing fundamental support to the US’s reserve currency, the US and SA are locked in a reserve currency embrace…Saudi Arabian be-headings be damned.
As the elite continues to strip mine both the Earth and its resident population of wealth and resources, social pressures of every type imaginable will manifest as the various global currencies are debased via inflation, income inequity continues to widen and countries compete for temporary economic advantage via currency devaluations. War is inevitable when these global stresses reach the boiling point. It won’t be long now.
The question not being asked by many, especially those who are presently busy virtue signaling, is how and why they pick their causes. This is not to imply any one particular cause is better or worse than any other. But isn’t the very public and debilitating rape of working-class America by the Federal Reserve and its controlling banks not at least equal to the rape of women by predatory men who use their positions of power to use and abuse those they prey upon?
Why is the plight of refugees in southern Europe so visible, therefore worthy of virtue signaling, yet the reasons why those people are refugees in the first place not discussed openly and honestly? Might doing so upset the ruling elites, who treat the world’s populations like expendable pawns on a global chessboard of proxy wars, along with the highly profitable Global Military Industrial Complex?
Might not our impotence and denial with regard to the big social and political issues that present no easy solution influence those subjects and issues we decide to champion? And might not those elites (along with their compliant puppets) who own the vast majority of the world’s wealth, therefore they stand to lose the most if the status quo is upset, encourage through various means and methods an outlet for those impotent and in-denial individuals, allowing them to vent their frustrations while applying soothing balm to their mostly self-inflected emotional wounds?
By no means are all those supporting or even fighting for a cause actual virtue signaling. I do wish to smear all with the relatively broad brush I employ. Nor am I accusing those who do virtue signal of backing unworthy causes or being insincere. Certainly sexual abuse of women, rampant racism and bigotry, socioeconomic class discrimination etc are all worthy of our efforts. The list of social and political injustices is endless.
Until we understand one fundamental fact; that the social control system will allow, even enable, much questioning and complaining about the effects of the corrupt system but will never allow serious questioning, let alone direct confrontation of the system itself, we will remain trapped within our own self-constructed prison. This is the so-called freedom we endlessly virtue signal about, claiming we honor, cherish and support our freedom when in reality all we honor is our own comfortable cognitive corral.
Those who wish to manipulate us offer a narrow range of subjects within which we can endlessly argue, debate and fight each other. To believe the impetus of various social memes, mainstream media headlines, popular TV and movie programs and social justice spotlighting are entirely organic, therefore pure as driven snow, is tragically naïve.
The art of all successful propaganda programs and social control methods is to implant threads and memes into the body of society in such a way it appears to be created, therefore endorsed, by each and every individual. Social media in all its forms and applications does precisely this because it relies upon the individual to pass on the implanted meme as truth, thus validating it as original to themselves and to others.
Like the buffet browser, social media users pick and choose who they listen to and follow, thereby assuring much of what they experience and interact with will be agreeable. Since many of the other dishes available at the buffet are not to the users liking, they are by nature delegitimized and invalidated by the individual and the subgroup. The overall body politic naturally self-segregates and polarizes, divisible into an infinite number of sub-sub-groups but still organized under two or three controlling banners.
Just as increasingly clever artificial intelligence bots and programs tailor your online shopping experience towards items you are more likely to purchase based upon your expressed preferences via prior purchases and searches, so does social media corral the likeminded into increasingly narrow chutes and pens, all while implanting the belief personal freedom is being expanded rather than constrained. While our personal size echo chamber may be emotionally satisfying, the net effect is the ramping of polarization while affirming the social insanity.
Intense and comprehensive psychological, social and intellectual studies over the last 75 years have exposed the ugly underbelly of social control methods and doctrine. While many of the techniques employed date back to the age of the ancient Greeks and beyond, the introduction of modern technology has supercharged the specialization and efficacy of modern social programming and engineering.
The principal fulcrum upon which we are all leveraged against our best interest is our raging ego. To recognize these manipulative techniques not only exist but are effective is bad enough. But to then admit they can and do greatly influence our own thinking and actions is often well beyond the pale. Therefore, for the most part, we remain in denial in part or in whole with regard to the manipulation. One cannot be harmed by that which we deny the existence of.
The net effect is a closed loop positive feedback mechanism whereby our denial of the manipulation strengthens and enhances the very same manipulation we deny exists. We are rendered impotent, doomed to repeat that which we refuse to acknowledge. But the funny thing about denial is we can’t shield our subconscious from the truth. This sets up an internal conflict which manifests in a variety of ways and is the root of many of modern day society’s physical, emotional and psychological ills.
The best tricks are the old tricks proven to work over time. With the extra kick provided by modern research and technology, why would the controlling elite and their minions abandon tried and true manipulative methods? They would not and have not.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming already in progress.