Are we prepared to re-route our cognitive map, or will the ‘new normal’ become permanent?
There seems to be one rule for me, yet another for thee and it’s this hypocrisy that author Charlie Robinson takes on in his most recent book, Hypocrazy. His argument is clear. As much as the powers that be tell us that things are normal, there is no alternative and this is the natural order of events, it really isn’t.
Host, Ross Ashcroft, met up with Robinson, to discuss why none of what we’re experiencing is normal and, more importantly, what the alternative is.
The title of Charlie Robinson’s, latest book, is a play on the word, hypocrisy. The extent to which citizens more or less abide by conventional rules whilst ignoring others they regard as unreasonable or absurd, illustrates that we are all, on some level, guilty of being hypocrites. But importantly, it’s in situations where government institutions or media manage human behaviour in negative ways that their hypocrisy becomes seriously problematic.
In the book, Robinson references 480 footnotes to enable the public to fact-check the veracity of his measurable observations of “some of the insanity that we’re seeing in the world.” Such is the alarming direction society is moving in, that the author felt that the best way he could present his findings was through humour while simultaneously hammering home some serious points.
The books strap-line, Surviving In A World of Cultural Double Standards, is intended to be as much of a critique about the hypocrisy of Western political leaders as it is about the intentional levels of incompetence at the heart of the hypocraziness.
What particularly grates with the public is the intentional incompetence of politicians because the said public understand that policy ‘mistakes’ are used by both political leaders and their media mouthpieces to obfuscate outcomes that invariably benefit the predator class, many of whom are themselves ‘incompetents’.
Robinson defines the predator class as not necessarily the wealthy, but the segment of psychopaths in society attracted to power, influence, money and control. These are people who see us as serfs and want to dominate every aspect of our lives.
In the opening section of Hypocrazy, Robinson emphasizes how important it is “to put some of our differences aside and come together to recognize that the predator class is trying to manipulate humanity.”
The author asserts that society is breaking down because many people are beginning to not only recognize this dramatic shift in power relations, but also understand that the actions of the corporate media are facilitating it.
In addition to the predator class, Robinson takes aim at what he calls, “anti-social media” — the likes of Facebook and Twitter — which have effectively become melded to the corporate media.
Outlets such as CNN, Fox News and the BBC are effectively forced to go into online spaces to regain some of their declining viewership and are chasing customers on these platforms. Robinson makes the point that CNN’s viewing figures are so low and their content so distrusted that they resorted to signing a deal with airports throughout the United States so as to establish a captive audience.
This, says Robinson, is what happens when the corporate media gaslight their viewers. “When you’re Chris Cuomo on CNN and you say, we’re the only ones allowed to get into the WikiLeaks documents and we’ll disseminate that information for you, the assumption is CNN are the priest class. But what they figured is that nobody is interested in listening to their sermons anymore”, says Robinson.
When Johannes Gutenberg made his printing press and then bypassed the priest class back in the Reformation, there was an opportunity for the average worshiper to have a direct relationship with God. The difficulty now, is that social media has been co-opted. So there isn’t that free and easy relationship with the truth.
Robinson contends that we ought not to be surprised by this development. “Social media platforms,” he says, “have turned into some of the best data collection apparatuses we’ve ever seen because, from their inception, that’s how they were devised to be.”
“Social media is no longer some free range place where you can exchange ideas. These ideas are being carefully crafted and managed by so-called ‘fact checkers’ and think tanks. They’re shaping policy for the social media platform and set up the algorithms in a way so that your voice doesn’t reach people anymore. And that is not accidental. That’s by design.”
The manipulation of the cognitive map and the nudging of the herd into situations that are beneficial to establishment power, is key to understanding how managed democracy functions.
By tying themselves closely to artificial intelligence, Facebook is attempting to manipulate the thoughts and impulses of human beings by removing certain information that we might be interested in while elevating other information to create an echo chamber.
Robinson contends that the relationship many people have with Facebook is abusive, akin to other forms of personal and institutional abusive relationships and highlights how this issue has come to the fore within the last two years exemplified by the ‘new normal’:
“Given what we’ve gone through over the last two years, if people aren’t recognizing that they’ve got a big problem with the relationship that they have with the pharmaceutical industry, the media, social media and the government, well then maybe it’s too late for them. If people are convinced, or have convinced themselves, that if we just vote harder, all of this will go back to the old normal, then they’re going to be in for a rude awakening when they come to realize that the only way anything changes is if we demand that it changes. And the government is not in the business of giving us back our rights until we demand it’, says Robinson.
In the ‘Opening Solutions’ section of Hypocrazy, Robinson quotes Howard Zinn:
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the diktats of leaders, and millions have been killed because of this obedience….while the jails are full of petty thieves and the grand thieves are running the country. That is our problem.”
Robinson says that disobedience is the only way out of the governments tyranny against the people:
“The creeping authoritarianism is not going to change because you just want it to go away. These people have a plan for us, and the best way to combat that is to recognize that we have an option to not comply with unjust orders. So we need to remember that there’s always the option to not participate in Covid passports or to do the things they want us to do just because they want us to do them. We have to remember that we have the numbers. And if we decide that things end, they end.”
Robinson argues that people need to re-engage with their intuition and to begin to trust their own hearts and cites a speech by New Zealand PM, Jacinda Ardern, as an example of the extent to which tyrannies are determined to detach human beings from these instincts.
According to Robinson, this is a sign that state power is not only losing control of the Covid narrative, but losing its grip on reality. The imposition of mandates and diktats through the use of incentives is a reflection of the weakness of power, not of its strength.
“When you have to incentivize things like vaccines by giving people free doughnuts for a year, that is clearly not Plan A, B or C but is where you go when things are not going well. The more insanity that we see the state trying to impose on us, the greater realization we should have that they’re forced to do that because things are not going according to their original plan,” says Robinson.
The author adds:
“When people refuse to comply, the state have to go to ridiculous backup measures. In America, during the summer of 2021, we got the carrot, that was Krispy Kreme doughnuts and lottery tickets. But I told people, get ready because when you get to the point after all the lottery tickets have been given out, you’re going to start to get the stick. That’s where we are right now. But just remember, they’re only going to the stick because the carrots didn’t work. And when the stick doesn’t work, they don’t have another plan after that.”
Robinson says the important thing that people should keep in the forefront of their minds while navigating this lunacy, is not only to keep a sense of humour, but to recognize that the non-compliant are on the right side of history.
“If you’re on team humanity, you can’t go wrong. So keep that in your thoughts and just recognize that it’s going to get a little crazier before it gets better. But I have every reason to be optimistic about the way things are going and where we’re headed,” says Robinson.
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