The Propaganda War

The column you are about to read is propaganda. Yes, that’s right … propaganda. It isn’t political satire or commentary, or objective news or information, or unbiased, verified scientific fact. It is propaganda, pure and simple.

That isn’t a confession, a disclaimer, or a warning. I am not ashamed of writing propaganda. Most everything you see and read on the Internet, and in newspapers, and on television, and in textbooks, and novels, and on advertising billboards, and everywhere else, is propaganda. There is nothing wrong with propaganda. The question is who is doing it, and what they are doing it for. Here’s the definition in the Cambridge Dictionary:

“information, ideas, opinions, or images, often only giving one part of an argument, that are broadcast, published, or in some other way spread with the intention of influencing people’s opinions”

That is what the column you are reading is … an attempt to influence people’s opinions. Of course, that isn’t all it is. Nothing is ever only one thing. But it is absolutely propaganda. And so is everything else that you will read today.

I’m terribly sorry if this comes as a shock, but there is no “objective” fantasy-land in which no one is trying to persuade you of anything or pressure you or otherwise influence you to do something. It does not exist, this “objective” dreamworld, where “authoritative sources” report “the facts,” where “the facts” are “verified” by “neutral” “fact checkers,” where ex-NSA and CIA spooks are hired as commentators by MSNBC and CNN because they care about “the truth,” where “science” is immune to manipulation. This fantasy is the alibi of authoritarians, cult leaders, and assorted other control freaks, and the people they have brainwashed into believing in it.

Everyone — and I do mean literally everyone — is trying to persuade or convince you of something. Your friends, family, colleagues, your boss, advertisers, lobbyists, government officials, the media, artists, teachers, doctors, journalists, bloggers, Twitter bots, etc.

This isn’t cause for paranoia. It’s a natural part of human social behavior. It is happening right now as you read this sentence. I’m trying to convince you of something. In a moment, I’m going to urge you to do something.

This is how we create “reality,” collectively, by persuading and influencing each other, or allowing ourselves to be persuaded and influenced, mostly by powerful ideological forces that do not care about us, and just want to control us, but also by each other, moment by moment, with every word we speak and every action we take.

Every choice we make is an advertisement, a political statement, a profession of faith … a small contribution to a work of art we are collectively creating, which is what “reality” is. You and I are doing it right now. I’m trying my best to influence you, and you’re deciding whether to let me do that, whether you trust me … whether we share the same “reality.”

This process (or this negotiation, if you will) is never-ending, and there is no escape from it. Pretending that it isn’t happening — that we are not creating “reality” together with every choice we make — is childish, and is particularly dangerous at a time like this, when a new form of totalitarianism is being rolled out all across the world.

This is not the time to retreat into fantasies. As I noted in Part I of this piece, we are in a propaganda war, and we are losing. GloboCap is manufacturing a new “reality,” a pathologized-totalitarian “reality.” Either you accept it, and conform to it, or you oppose it. Those are the choices. There are no other choices.

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