New York Times complains the internet threatens democracy
The political order desires to control the population by controlling their perception of reality. For generations it has been able to do so by establishing and manipulating what we see, hear and learn, thereby creating what is “conventional wisdom.”
Conventional wisdom is what most people believe. Conventional wisdom comes from the news media, public schools, the medical establishment, churches and the government. It’s a lifetime programming process that builds parameters of thought from which few escape.
There are two words that describe conventional wisdom and they are control and conformity. These terms are self-enforcing; that is, if there is control, there is conformity, and if there is conformity, there is control.
Every government in history sought and seeks conformity and control. They do this by and through the sources listed above which we shall call the system. Psychological warfare is the system’s chief weapon against its own citizens.
The more perfect psychological warfare, the more perfect is control and conformity.
For years, especially since the rise of the corporate propaganda media, our system was fined tuned and held great predictive value. That’s because the system that programs the public mind knows what the public thinks and can predict and measure any response to any probe.
We are the most conditioned, programmed beings the world has ever known. Not only are our thoughts and attitudes continually being shaped and molded, our very awareness of the whole design has been erased. Few question anything.
The internet is changing that, much to the chagrin of the power elite and the old guard media.
The internet is to the political order what the Gutenberg press was to the established religious and social order. The Gutenberg press, invented in the mid-1400s, was the first to use moveable type. It was essentially the printing standard for the next 500-plus years. Johannes Gutenberg’s invention led directly to the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution.
Knowledge, long held close to the vest by the elites, became available to the commoners. This included knowledge big and small.
But the Gutenberg press – nor the advent of radio or television news – could not overcome the shackles of the corporate establishment media, which controlled the message disseminated by the District of Criminals.
For instance, the media – with few exceptions — glossed over or outright concealed the extent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s paralysis from polio. Nor was there coverage of Roosevelt’s failing health as he campaigned for his fourth term. He died just three months into his fourth term.
The media did not reveal Roosevelt’s many affairs, not did it reveal those of John F. Kennedy. It would not have covered those of Bill Clinton if not for the internet.
Thanks to the internet, no longer do the elite media control the message. Now anyone can publish his message. Information (and disinformation) is available to everyone with an internet connection.
The paradigm shift first began with the Drudge Report’s breaking of the Clinton sexcapades. The old guard media and the political establishment could no longer run cover for Clinton once Drudge broke the story.
The political establishment has long had iron-fisted control over the candidates available to you. Throughout the 19th century and most of the 20th, the presidential candidates were put forward by political elite and chosen by party bosses in back rooms. This changed somewhat following 1968 election when Hubert Humphrey was nominated for the Democrats despite not having competed in a single primary.
We learned last election cycle, however, (much to Bernie Sanders’ chagrin) that the Democrat primary remains rigged even now.
The two major parties control the process to this day by preventing minor parties from participating in debates and limiting ballot access to them in the states. The media squeezes minor party candidates out of routine coverage and treats them dismissively and as if they are kooks or nuts when it does give them coverage.
The media and all politicians also practice a subtle deception in which they describe the American system as a democracy. The U.S. was founded as republic, but our republic has been transformed into a democracy thanks to years of propaganda.
The word democracy is a very important word in psychological warfare of government against the people. Democracy as a concept of freedom has evolved over many decades. It is a design word to impress upon the people an imagination that they are free.
Now we come to the election of Donald Trump.
Last week The New York Times (at the pinnacle of controlled media in America) published a lament titled “Democracy, Disrupted,” detailing how “the internet and it’s offspring have overridden the traditional American political system of alternating left-right advantage” and damaged American “democracy.”
One can certainly hope!
It’s a column replete with doublethink, argle-bargle and state – and party – worship. And, amazingly, it included an admittance that that the old guard media and establishment political order once completely controlled the political process and that that control was good for “democracy,” which is a tacit admission that democracy is tyranny.
First, the doublethink from the column:
Matthew Hindman, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and the author of “The Myth of Digital Democracy,” said in a phone interview that “if you took the label off, someone looking at the United States would have to be worried about democratic failure or transitioning toward a hybrid regime.”
Such a regime, in his view, would keep the trappings of democracy, including seemingly free elections, while leaders would control the election process, the media and the scope of permissible debate. “What you get is a country that is de facto less free.”
We learned from WikiLeaks that the party leaders controlled the Democrat primary, swinging the election by hook and crook to Hillary Clinton, as they have to every establishment-favored candidate since the party’s inception. The establishment Council on Foreign Relations candidate has won every Democrat primary since 1968. (In 2008, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were CFR-approved.)
Since it went to “open primaries” after 1972, only twice has the non-establishment, non-CFR-approved Republican candidate won the primary: Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
In a phone interview, Issacharoff cited the emergence of internet-based methods of communication as a major contributing factor in the deterioration of political parties.
“Technology has overtaken one of the basic functions you needed political parties for in the past, communication with voters,” he said. “Social media has changed all of that, candidates now have direct access through email, blogs and Twitter,” along with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms.
Two developments in the 2016 campaign provided strong evidence of the vulnerability of democracies in the age of the internet: the alleged effort of the Russian government to secretly intervene on behalf of Trump, and the discovery by internet profiteers of how to monetize the distribution of fake news stories, especially stories damaging to Hillary Clinton.
The party worship:
In a forthcoming paper “Outsourcing Politics: The Hostile Takeovers of Our Hollowed Out Political Parties,” Samuel Issacharoff, a law professor at New York University, writes about how the erosion of political parties played out in 2016:
Neither party appeared to have a mechanism of internal correction. Neither could muster the wise elders to steer a more conventional course. Neither could use its congressional leadership to regain control of the party through its powers of governance. Neither could lay claim to financial resources that would compel a measure of candidate loyalty. Neither could even exert influence though party endorsements.
The parties proved hollow vehicles that offered little organizational resistance to capture by outsiders. And what was captured appeared little more than a brand, certainly not the vibrant organizations that are heralded as the indispensable glue of democratic politics.
Note the concern that there is no method of “resistance to capture by outsiders.” Horrors!
The state worship:
There is good reason to think that the disruptive forces at work in the United States — as they expand the universe of the politically engaged and open the debate to millions who previously paid little or no attention — may do more to damage the left than strengthen it. In other words, just as the use of negative campaign ads and campaign finance loopholes to channel suspect contributions eventually became routine, so too will be the use of social media to confuse and mislead the electorate.
Uncoded, that last sentence reinforces MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski’s complaint from last month when she said of Trump, “He is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.”
Thankfully, not anymore.