Furthest Right

They Want to Define Truth for Us

When the 1990s dawned, the world felt a sense of unity: everyone who was plugged in to media and entertainment agreed that Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and George H.W. Bush were terrible people and that we needed a great liberalizing force in our lives, specifically the tolerance of diversity.

After all, the Soviets were finally gone; our system had won. As Francis Fukuyama told us, it was the end of history and now mixed-economy liberal democracy (MELD) and civil rights had triumphed, so we knew how humanity would be until the end of time.

Some of us were flies in the ointment. We pointed out that government is not trustworthy, that diversity is suicide, and that world peace is a dream. We mentioned that China had been lying in wait for the better part of five thousand years, conspiring to destroy us. We said that leaving Russia to its own devices was a bad idea.

Clinton thought we were hysterical. We won! We had the wealth! We could control the world! And so he embarked on a program of internal reforms that changed everything that made us win, while committing us to bold new experiments that in fact reflected ancient problems that humanity had never addressed.

He designed a new empire around rationalizing decay as success. Yes, it started with “diversity is our strength,” ironically invented by erratic Republican Dan Quayle, but this became a new religion. However, what he was doing was not new any longer; he was playing to a civilization which had given up on culture.

Consider how mental control through imagery had become normalized:

Then, in 1959, VW unveiled its “Think Small” campaign, deliberately highlighting the vehicle’s perceived flaw.

There was no pretty girl casting her flirty eye over the car. There was no cool guy driving it. It was nothing short of groundbreaking.

“It was self-deprecating. It was the first post-modern ad,” Bob Garfield, an advertising industry consultant and former columnist for Advertising Age, told the BBC.

Healthy societies do not have cute ads because they do not need post-modern ads. They do not need irony, which is the basis of postmodern; what is real is not real, and this strikingly odd and quirky thing is real instead. That culture peaked in the 1990s but began long before.

After WW2, America was no longer a WASP nation; it was all of us different ethnicities working together with our Soviet allies to defeat the evil “racists.” Our identity was no longer about us, but what we were not, and in doing so, we abolished ourselves and kicked off an era of postmodern ironism.

Our governments quickly capitalized on this new method of influence and social engineering of the population:

On Friday, the Cabinet Office again followed the unit’s advice in proposing that learner drivers be opted in to an organ donation scheme when they apply for a licence, and also floated the idea of creating a lottery to encourage people to take tests to prove they have quit smoking.

These initiatives are examples of the application of mental techniques which, while seemingly paradoxical to the Coalition’s goal of a smaller state, are likely to become a common feature of Government policy.

The public will have “social norms” heavily emphasised to them in an attempt to increase healthy eating, voluntary work and tax gathering. Appeals will be made to “egotism” in a bid to foster individual support for the Big Society, while much greater use will be made of default options to select benevolent outcomes for passive citizens – exemplified by the organ donation scheme.

The 1960s went from radicalism to dogma in the 1990s when the Boomers who had pushed the “1968 generation” became the old grey-haired men in charge of important things. They brought along their old ideology and made it into a new form of totally controlling everyone from fear of being seen as against the path of the herd.

After the Clinton years, ideological correctness became more important than accuracy, and government began to try to engineer liberalism in all of its citizens. That way, they would be compatible with the new direction chosen by the worldwide Left which was energized by the 1980s and enraged by the loss of Communism.

Within a few years, the idea of propaganda as education became normed:

Until this month, a vast ocean of U.S. programming produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks could only be viewed or listened to at broadcast quality in foreign countries. The programming varies in tone and quality, but its breadth is vast: It’s viewed in more than 100 countries in 61 languages. The topics covered include human rights abuses in Iran, self-immolation in Tibet, human trafficking across Asia, and on-the-ground reporting in Egypt and Iraq.

The restriction of these broadcasts was due to the Smith-Mundt Act, a long-standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. In the 1970s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they “should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics.” Fulbright’s amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, who argued that such “propaganda” should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. “from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity.”

In WASP America, propaganda from government was viewed with suspicion; in post-Clinton diversity America, propaganda was seen as a necessary and healthful way of shaping the population toward doing good things like avoiding smoking, treating each other well, and paying taxes.

The current debate about mis/disinformation comes from the same place. You cannot have false information that government regulates unless there is an official truth that government promulgates. The government cannot issue forth official truth unless it has some legal duty like the 14A to animate its many appendages.

It turns out that propaganda works by convincing people that they are being treated unfairly and that this will fragment the group, making the propaganda into a call for unity through collection opposition to a scapegoat or enemy:

Results of the content analysis showed an emphasis toward in-group loyalty and fairness across all propaganda, while purity-based language was directly related to the frequency of an organization’s attacks and an increase in the number of deaths and casualties.

The nature of propaganda is to enforce unity through victimhood. This mimics wartime conditions or natural disasters and encourages people to bond on that shared experience, instead of the wider shared experience of culture and genetics.

In other words, if you need propaganda, it is either because your culture has died or because you are trying to kill it. In healthy societies, culture settles questions like smoking or drunk driving. Some things are simply not done because they offend and disturb the vast majority of people.

False shared experience of fear tends to enforce unity through what is effectively a shared enemy:

Observation of their behavior showed that initially, the sheep who had become acquainted at the start of testing, prior to division into smaller groups, moved closer to one another. But shortly thereafter, the sheep began to leave such groups to make their way to the sheep with which they had been partnered during the stressful events.

In order for our leaders to have that kind of control, they must define truth. They build up a propaganda machine based on shared victimhood, sort of like the narrative behind the French Revolution, and then incite people into increasing degrees of paranoia and fear so that bonding can occur.

With this in mind, we can see the 1990s not as the origin of unity later interrupted by 9/11, but as the death of actual unity and its replacement with the ersatz model based in collective perceptions of victimhood. Not surprisingly the propaganda has only intensified since that time.

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