We live in a far less free society than most of us think. We are surrounded by prison bars actually, but they are hard to see unless someone points them out. Even then, most people resist what their eyes show them.
It looks like we’re free. We don’t get thrown in prison for criticizing our government officials. We can vote for whoever we want. We can log onto the internet and look up information on any subject we’re interested in….sort of. Much of that “official” information we can see is either only partially true or totally false.
If we want to buy a product we have many brands we are free to choose from. But we’re not free. Our political systems are set up to herd people into a two-party system that is controlled on both sides by plutocrats. The news media that people rely on to form ideas about what’s going on and how they should vote are controlled by the same plutocrat class and is heavily influenced by government intelligence agencies.
Internet algorithms are aggressively manipulated to show people information which favors the status quo. Even our entertainment is rife with Pentagon and CIA influence.
How free is that? How free is your speech if there are myriad institutional safeguards in place to prevent speech from ever effecting any political change?
It doesn’t matter what you’re allowed to say if it doesn’t matter what you say.
It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to call the oligarchic puppet put in office by the last (fake) election a “dickhead”. It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to Google any information you want…. if the only information you find is the information Google wants you to see.
What is the functional difference between a regime which directly censors the internet to prevent dissent and a regime which works with Silicon Valley and media plutocrats to control information via algorithms and has a system in place which prevents dissent from having any meaningful impact?
There is no difference. One technique is just a more refined version of the other.
We live in a profoundly unfree society that is disguised as a free society. Western liberal democracy is just totalitarianism dressed in drag. And it’s only getting worse.
Propaganda is a constantly developing science just as much as physics or medicene are. Last month “The Ottawa Citizen” reported that the Canadian military used the Covid outbreak as an excuse to test actual military psyop (psychological operations) techniques on its own civilian population under the pretense of assuring compliance with pandemic restrictions. Some excerpts from that outlet,
“Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes.”
“The plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war. The campaign called for ‘shaping’ and ‘exploiting’ information. CJOC claimed the information operations scheme was needed to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic.”
“A separate initiative, not linked to the CJOC plan, but overseen by Canadian intelligence officers, culled information from public social media accounts in Ontario.”
‘This is really a learning opportunity for all of us and a chance to start getting information operations into our Canadian Armed Forces routine,’ a Rear Admiral stated.
Yet another review centred on the Canadian Armed Forces public affairs branch and its activities. Last year, the branch launched a controversial plan that would have allowed military public affairs officers to use propaganda to change attitudes and behaviours of Canadians as well as to collect and analyze information from public social media accounts.
The plan would have seen staff move from traditional government methods of communicating with the public to a more aggressive strategy of using information warfare and influence tactics on Canadian citizens.
So in Canada, they’re not just planning to employ mass-scale psychological operations on the public, they’re already testing them and learning from them. And we can probably assume that anything which may have been learned was also shared with the government agencies of other NATO and/or Five Eyes (US, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) members.
In a new article titled “Behind NATO’s Cognitive Warfare : Western Militaries are Waging a Battle for Your Brain“, The Grayzone’s Ben Norton reports on how recent NATO-sponsored discussions have explicitly advocated the need to advance the science of cognitive warfare for offensive purposes.
“NATO is spinning out an entirely new kind of combat it has branded as cognitive warfare. Described as the ‘weaponization of brain sciences,’ the new method involves ‘hacking the individual’ by exploiting ‘the vulnerabilities of the human brain’ in order to implement more sophisticated ‘social engineering.’
“In a chilling disclosure, the report stated explicitly that ‘the objective of Cognitive Warfare is to harm societies, not only their military.’
“The study described this phenomenon as ‘the militarization of brain science.’ But it appears clear that NATO’s development of cognitive warfare will lead to a militarization of all aspects of human society and psychology, from the most intimate of social relationships to the mind itself.”
“In other words, this document shows that figures in the NATO military cartel increasingly see their own domestic population as a threat.”
“Naturally, the NATO researcher claimed foreign ‘adversaries’ are the supposed aggressors employing cognitive warfare. But at the same time, he made it clear that the Western military alliance is developing its own tactics.
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Only a small minority of us have even begun to realize that pyschological manipulations like these are even happening.
I don’t have any solutions to this problem other than to spread consciousness of the fact that it is happening. It is important disengage from the mainstream media – they are a critical piece in this manipulation puzzle.
Propaganda only works if you don’t understand,
(a) that it is happening to you and,
(b) how it is occurring. We all need a basic awareness of the fact that there’s a globe-spanning campaign to manipulate human thought to the advantage of the powerful.
It is vital therefore to have the humility to understand that you yourself can be manipulated and indeed, are being manipulated already.