You Have To Be Trusted By The People That You Lie To: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
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The widespread refusal to accept that the US government bombed the Nord Stream pipelines is based solely on the faith-based belief that the US government would never do something so evil, despite its having done many things that are far more evil than this right out in the open.
"Okay sure they've been spending the last few years helping Saudi Arabia create mountains of child corpses in Yemen, but blowing up a pipeline? That would be a step too far!"
So much government nefariousness hides behind the completely unevidenced assumption "Oh, our leaders would never do anything THAT bad!" It's a belief that is based on literally nothing. It's believed because it is comfortable.
You only get one shot at preventing nuclear war. There will be no do-overs. There will be no course-correction. There will be no learning from mistakes that were made. This is it. Our one and only chance. We're living it.
Is it good enough? Are we using our one shot responsibly?
If the mushroom clouds turn up, will anyone honestly be able to tell themselves that our leaders did everything they could to prevent this from happening, and that we the rank-and-file citizenry did everything we could to pressure them into navigating wisely around this threat?
I personally don't think so. I think if we meet our end that way it will be the result of a bunch of humans playing with armageddon weapons in an extremely reckless and irresponsible way with virtually no resistance from the public, because we didn't like thinking about it much.
The worst thing about Australia is America. All of the most destructive and dangerous things our country has done in recent decades, and all the most destructive and dangerous things it continues to do, have been the result of our role in the US-centralized empire.
Hey I've got a smart idea, let's make laws that require corporations to act like sociopaths, pursuing profit without any consideration for morality or human wellbeing, then let's allow our entire civilization to be ruled by corporations.
Oh cool we already did that, good thinking.
The fact that Biden has explicitly said the US will go to war to defend Taiwan, and that it won't go to war to defend the far less geostrategically crucial Ukraine, should show you that the US does not go to war to defend human interests but to defend its own interests.
The biggest problem with the western anti-war movement is that there is no western anti-war movement. All the other problems you think you're seeing in your "anti-war movement" are at best a very, very distant second to the fundamental problem that your movement has no movement. There's no good reason to spend your energy worrying if the peace movement is doing it wrong or including the wrong people or not organizing correctly if there is no meaningful peace movement. Focus on fixing that problem first — on creating movement rather than creating inertia and sectarian squabbling.
There's this Pink Floyd line that's been rattling around in my head, "You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to." Because it's so true; you can't deceive people who don't trust you. Propaganda only works if people don't know it's happening — if they don't think of its source as untrustworthy.
That's why it gives me hope that trust in the mass media is plunging to historic lows: if people sufficiently distrust those who lie to them, then those lies won't take root in their minds anymore. Without trust, the propaganda machine can't function.
All our world's troubles are ultimately due to propaganda; people only consent to status quo systems which hurt their interests because their consent is manufactured via propaganda. And that propaganda only works because of public trust in the messengers.
We can fight this by working to exacerbate public distrust in the institutions that manufacture our consent, spreading public awareness of the fact that everything we've been taught to believe about our nation, our government and our world is a lie. All positive changes in human behavior — whether individual or collective — are always preceded by an expansion of consciousness. Make people more aware that they are being deceived, and the liars will no longer be trusted by the people they lie to.
Trust in the mass media has never been lower, meanwhile our ability to amplify our own voices and share ideas and information has never been higher. We can use this opportunity to free the collective mind from the chains of propaganda, so that we can finally get real change.
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"Propaganda only works if people don't know it's happening — if they don't think of its source as untrustworthy."
An old joke: a Russian and an American are on a airline flight from Moscow to Washington. The American asks the Russian what he does for a living.
The Russian answers "I work for the government."
"Why are you traveling to the United States, then?"
"I want to study American propaganda techniques."
The American responds, a smug look on his face "oh, but there is no propaganda in America!"
"Exactly!" the Russian replies.
People in the Soviet Union also thought that they were the freest in the world.
As a child of the sixties, I and our family, were heavily involved in anti war and anti nuclear bomb demos in Sth Aust.. As you correctly point out, there is no movement. I think there is a SA branch of Anti Nukes but it's got a low profile.
On US gov doing nasty things to their own, there's the Tuskegee incident, the Hanford nuclear release, just to see where the winds take it, and our facourite, releasing LSD into the subway for a few off the top of my head.
In SA we had the atom bomb tests which they failed to inform the local indigenous population they were going to do. I've spoken with Bobby Brown born nearby and even though he was a baby at the time, he remembers the black cloud that blotted out the sun and the sickness that followed after for many. He died last year and would have been the same age as me at 69ish. He did say to me that he thought it may shorten his life. And, yes, he was a stolen child bought up in Koolunga in the states mid north.