by Aaron Warner
The world of conspiracy theorists is fraught with nervous energy emanating from shadowy corners of the information war frontier. Of course globalists are real, and of course they want a New World Order, and of course they’re conspiring to accomplish it – because they’ve admitted to all of it. In fact they even brag about it at their semi-public meetings or in the pages of their very public best-selling books.
However the Unite States government is still beholden to its citizens it would propagandize if we let them. Thanks to the Smith-Mundt Act we told them no. Yet rumors of that act being repealed by Barack Obama began to circulate not long after he signed an amendment to it, which is not the same as repealing it. The reality is he loosened restrictions allowing American citizens to listen to state sponsored media outlets the U.S. uses to propagandize others around the world. Ostensibly this is a good thing because it allows ordinary Americans, including conspiracy theorists, to listen closely to what our government messaging is around the world. We pay for it after all we should get to see the final product. So that’s one for Obama for those keeping score.
However those holding the reins of power in our country can still propagandize us in a variety of ways, and in fact they have if you listen to M.I.T. professor of linguistics Noam Chomsky. Chomsky exposed the American media for conspiring with the military-industrial complex to “manufacture consent” back in the 1980s. Both his book and documentary film of the same name go to great lengths to show how this is done. Chomsky, a card carrying socialist, is practiced at studying modern media and literature for the use of certain types of trends in language. In this case he noted the selective use of certain media outlets to create “manufactured consent” of public opinion for the purpose of justifying military intervention into the tiny Pacific island nation of East Timor. Without going into detail suffice to say the media painted a narrative whereby the East Timorese people were facing a hostile threat which the United States, fancying itself the global bodyguard of the weak, would have to respond to on moral grounds.
The truth as it played out was more like the pre-text to our intervening in Iraq and Afghanistan. American interests is a broad term, often meaning financial and controlling interests for American industry. Rather than simply support the East Timorese people we decided to reward ourselves by sticking around and helping ourselves to some of their natural resources. This of course offended Chomsky as it was the bourgeois Americans using our military hegemony to take advantage of the simple working class natives of East Timor. The rest is history.
Chomsky was keen to notice and tell us what was happening however. Though I disagree with his politics I completely agree with his perspicacity regarding American propaganda. The Smith-Mundt Act began in 1948 as a response to the propaganda efforts discovered in Nazi Germany and the Soviet bloc countries where propagandizing citizens was commonplace. At its core is respect for our first amendment right to not have an establishment of government control over speech or the press. The spirit of the act is mostly that though, honored in the ether more than reality.
The reality takes an understanding of what constitutes propaganda. What are the tactics and techniques used? The answer: constant and pervasive messaging designed to shape the way one thinks or perceives reality, often through the use of manipulation and fear.
The Church Committee of 1975-76 showed us the C.I.A. had in fact been paying journalists to essentially propagandize U.S. citizens by placing articles with narratives given them by the agency. Otherwise known as Operation Mockingbird, this was and is a violation of the agency’s charter and precisely what Chomsky was revealing in his expose. The budget used by the agency for this was in the tens of millions of dollars. Ostensibly we are told their motives were good – to defend American values and interests. Is that still true?
For those who recognize propaganda in real time the two year COVID crisis was a prime example of a massive campaign utilizing virtually all of the techniques associated with the mind control techniques.
Constant? We were inundated with COVID warnings and trackers on nearly every platform as well. Remember the death toll tracker? The maps of viral outbreaks? The omniscience of Tony Fauci and other government warriors who were fighting the deadly virus on our behalf? Of course you do.
Lionizing and demonizing? It’s as simple as recalling the vaxx vs. anti-vaxxed binary. Those in the government approved vax camp needed to be wary of the anti-vaxxers. Anti-vaxxers were even dehumanized, openly and without shame, by dozens of so-called professional journalists, pundits and government officials. Fauci, Cuomo and Whitmer were heroes, and you could be too if you were willing to save grandma by getting vaxxed. Trump, Desantis and Noem were unhinged and reckless troglodytes who mistook freedom for a license to kill via non-compliance. You were told to skip funerals and family gatherings to avoid such reprobates. Were it 1940s Germany the anti-vaxxers could easily have been Jews.
Fear tactics? Aside from those already mentioned there was the threat of job loss, social ostracism, and death lurking mere inches beneath your neighbors masked or unmasked face. Propagandists know fear is essential to manipulating the mind to react in irrational ways to otherwise rational situations. Love your neighbor became fear your neighbor, especially if they were acting in a disapproved manner.
Gaslighting? This is the manipulative art of denying one’s reality. Consider Then we had the ubiquitous misinformation/disinformation narrative where Nobel Prize winning medicines like Ivermectin and medical prize winning doctors who stepped outside of the approved government-medical establishment narrative were no longer prize winning, unless it was a booby prize for failure to capitulate. Rather than a world beating virus medicine Ivermectin was now a horse de-wormer paste for crazy people. World renowned cardiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Peter McCullough was in league with mRNA vaccine pioneer Dr. Robert Malone, both of whom had the audacity to use their educations to question the preferred protocol. Shut up and do as your told whackos.
The powers that be in government have studied the propagandists and know the history of government control tactics. They have the benefit of hundreds if not thousands of years of research from around the world and the brain-trust of specialized groups who feed them data on what works. This is settled science.
We should all “follow the science” when it’s the result of the actual scientific process. What is that again? Science is: The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. It is also subject to the scrutiny and skepticism of qualified practitioners of science for the purpose of arriving at laws and other scientifically accepted claims that are falsifiable and/or can be reproduced via the same mechanisms anywhere around the world.
Propagandists also have their techniques down to a science.
In this case I suggest you don’t follow the science when the science is legalized propaganda.
The author is a VDC columnist and Upper Valley regional reporter. He lives in Hartford, VT where he owns two award-winning small businesses. He is a graduate of Leadership Upper Valley class of 2010.