The News is a Mind Altering Drug.
How ‘Deep Propaganda’ Affects your Brain and Attitude.
“If I beat up those who call me a monster, I become what they call me.”~ The Witcher in the Netflix series.
Here’s a warning. The more this text triggers you, when certain politics are mentioned, the deeper you must assume you’ve been indoctrinated. This line in itself is already manipulative. Now you may be more suspicious. ;) This text also may help very much when you hate all the name calling, and easy assumptions and wonder what is happening to these people. ;)
The News is a Mind Altering Drug
Those that watch news catering to one side in the USA, live in a different bubble than those watching the other side!
I’ve recently watched some very left en very right wing news clips on Youtube. They both showed exactly the same clip of a senator speaking. However on the one channel, we see an assertive senator X stopping an idiotic manipulative question by the fake media; on the other channel we see a lying cheat, avoiding great questions from press doing their work right (for once). Thus viewers on right winged media channels get opposite readings of events than those on the leftish channels.
..and Then It Gets More Messy
So what these channels do, is to trigger bias confirmation. They make you think: “See, I knew it, I was right!”. For them it’s just sales, ‘Here you get the truth YOU believe in!’ And every episode you step deeper into that narrative.
What happens next is that the followers of each side clash (online). They just don’t get why the ‘stupid f*ks’ (tensions flare easily) on the other side don’t understand their points. This clash gets more agitated, because both sides are educated (read propagandized) to explain the same event with a very different logic. You may both talk the same language, but understand whatever is said very differently. So, please realize whenever you make any automatic implied reference (say ‘senator X is a hack’) understand it makes no sense at all to the other side. They never heard why is he’s the hack. They heard he’s the hero. Hence you’re the moron to them. Quick question: Is your hack either Bernie Sanders, Adam Schiff and or Lindsey Graham?
How the Biased News ‘Drug’ Affects You
How deeply are you set in your convictions? Why is what the other side believes false bias and yours the evident truth? Can you even question that? Let’s find out. What is more true? ‘Bernies (half baked) socialism = Stalin’. Or ‘Trump = stupid crook’. Think about that. What’s wrong with both pictures?
Do you feel you must protect (for dear life) the great ideas of your side against the misinformed idiots on the other side? Do you see ‘them’ destroying the country, let alone planning it? Do you already fear what ‘side’ I might be on? Those are signs how deep propaganda can settle within you.
To me, it all smells too much like divide and rule. If not intentional, then certainly as a consequence of how the news currently organized. But God forbid only one side gets to show all the news.
How Your Own Brain Plays You: Intelligent People On Both Sides.
“The drug of propaganda gets you to use false framing and make it all logical in your own brain; fitting all world events into the one narrative. “
Deep Propaganda goes beyond false information. Its manipulation gets you to invest in the ideas it sends. This happens on both sides. That’s also why very clever people can be stupid in politics. You use all your cleverness to make your side logical and shoot holes in the other parties ideas. That means you protect your own convictions and keep firing at the (to you obviously false) narratives of the other side. Protection may include manipulating your own brain to tell yourself why you’re right anyway, even in the face of loads of damning evidence. That is cleverness used the wrong way. Equally few realize their own ammunition happens to be the false assumptions they ‘learned’ to believe. Thus few of your shots make an impact. Once your brain is convinced of either ‘Trump = stupid crook’, or ‘Bernie’s socialism = Venezuela’ you won’t make sense to the other side any more.
Here’s a more subtle divider how we use our intelligence in a false framing. Talking point on the right: ‘Trump wants to unite the people.’ The left: ‘No, Trump does not unite. He wants people to agree with him.’ That’s a subtle, but essential different, thing. Meanwhile Bernie unites all of the USA the same way. And as expected the Trumpists blame him for doing the opposite. They’ll say, it is the Bernie Bros who create the gap.
Thus on both sides very intelligent people use flawed source material and false frames to be clever with. Not you, the reader of course, your side is the better side..hahaha. We’re blind to our own bias, yet we clearly see the flaws in the other side… we think.
What We Lose in the Fight
Democracy is threatened, when we can’t see opposing view points as a dialogue out of which a shared vision can emerge.”
And no, I don’t mean, ‘they’ the other side should bend towards yours to make it work again. Perhaps we should be more clever, and seek to rise above it. What if all the discussion was ‘Divide and Rule’? Who really benefits?
So, many US citizens have FOX and Breitbart in their brain, or channels like TYT and Democracy Now. The British have their Brexiteers and Socialists. Both blind half your vision. And it’s exactly how the real elites want to you think. Trump and Bernie get all the blame. I think all those who played Trump and got way richer, who did propaganda on both sides to divide and rule, those are the real crooks.
Your country also may have a split between a dominant government and a dissenting people. I used to prefer the underdog. Now we often have to assume, they might be set up, through foreign (Russia? CIA? China?) interests. But it might also be their own government lying about that, so nobody protests when the ‘traitors’ get arrested. Or it might be.. Or…See, now I can’t trust anything anymore. What a mess.
We Become the Monster that We Blame the Others Are.
So, if opinionated news frames your mind in manipulative ways, can we then get some wisdom from Netflix? Let’s test the Witcher’s quote above. Indeed. Among those most freaked out over Islamic fundamentalists are Evangelical Pro Life Christians. Many Pro Lifers hardly can (if at all) embrace the idea of Ilhan Omar being an American Democrat and not a terrorist. Then there’s those that will start shouting while reading this, “You lefty Communist.” (already assuming I’m left). Told you: you being triggered is a sign of being propagandized. Just for fun, let’s test the Witcher quote with that trigger. ;)
Let’s Play: ‘You Become Your Enemy’
What do the Trumpists have in common with communism? A shocking lot: 1. One party (ours) should rule. 2. This party claims to represent everyone, yet many feel left out. 3. Everyone unite behind the leader. 4. The leader is the glorious beacon who knows. 5. The leader has all the benefits. 6. Dissent leads to anger against dissenters. 8. Dissent within the party is punished with loss of access to benefits. 9. Lots of flag waving. 10. Lots of slogans on walls. 11. Anyone not agreeing with the party leader, betrays the country as a whole. These simple statements (much like MAO’s red little book) are repeated over and over (now called talking points on TV). I bet many more can be found, if we try. ;)
‘Good guys with guns’ make matters worse.
Does a TV show like the Witcher offer us a way out? Is it pure distraction? I wonder. Sadly most heroes in movies, much like the Witcher or Mandalorian, are psychopath heroes, alias the mythical ‘Good Guy with a Gun, eh, or Sword’. They aren’t bothered by distracting feelings like “Oh my God, I just killed someone” nor get PTSD. They actually often make more victims than the bad guys. But hey, being the good guys they’re justified. Yes, if we frame our monster as the hero, we’re good. With this same logic the USA lets their own war criminals walk. ‘Our monsters are the good guys’. And with the same logic ‘You’re a hero when you kill bad guys.’ a certain amount of extreme right wingers call to be ready to shoot Bernie Bros, because they want to turn the USA into Venezuela. (Really? Millions of proud Americans wanting to make a mess of their own country?) They seem oblivious to the fact this scares the shits out of the other side, who now see the right as the potentially violent ‘bad guys’ (fascists). The mix of stoking and bias confirming news, with overdosed movies about cold blooded heroes really makes the world one of Good (us) vs Bad (them). The one good lesson from the Witcher is that he doesn’t fall for appearances and saves lives this way. So perhaps some good can come of this, when you keep that in mind.
“Conspiracy theories is a term invented by the CIA. And yes all those shows and movies are called programming for a reason.”~Budi Gunawan, Youtube comment
The Propaganda Laws
“The more money can buy in politics, the more money will be invested in influencing your political views through corporate media.”
This buying will happen in ways you may notice, like corporate owned media, and ways you won’t be told. You have big advertisers demanding certain things on or off the air. And there’s creating or financing ‘independent’ Think Tanks, Influencers, NGO’s, all promoting corporate talking points dressed up as ‘sensible’ worries. Less corporate money may mean more chance for some kind of truth, but don’t be too sure.
“The fiercer you defend your point of view, the more convinced you are of your sides ‘winning talking points’, the more likely you have been programmed to support one side through propaganda.”
Many, for whom this is true, will already have left the article. They don’t want to know. Because ‘deep propaganda’ is an addiction beyond cigarettes. It’s not a physical addiction, it’s your brain software that has been meddled with. And its self defense flares up with physical anger when it feels attacked.
“The more a government dominates all, the more chances it will have one dominating state run news channel. The more they fear dissent, the less free journalists and people will be and less alternative news sources will be available.”
Less freedom in itself often creates more resistance; a lesson most West European countries seem to understand. Free speech also may keep people distracted. Their voice is heard, but no actions taken. But given the absurd dominance of big capital, here too are corporate interests becoming more and more influential in often hidden ways. There are less and less corporate owners of media channels. So the few that are left become closer to the power of state media. And being commercial, they can’t afford to upset their advertisers (source of income) and freely spread their own best selling biases.
If I’m correct we might soon see the British NHS becoming more privatized healthcare, towards the US model. This will start with, I predict, an increase of ‘news’ clips with complaints about the NHS as it is currently working.
So, if your country has press freedom, little money in politics, many channels and some state run stuff, you might be good. There’s a lot of watchdogs online who can help you check press freedom in your country. Before opening the link, guess what place your country will score! Mine ranked 4th place. ;)
Meanwhile consider all talking heads explaining you the news on news shows as propaganda. The perspectives of those who are most often invited betray the bias of the news station. The power lies thus with whom chooses whom to invite. Consider also that the less context you get on any given issue, the more you are being manipulated. Example, Iran attacked the US incident! So: Iran are the bad guys. When you’re informed about the whole history between Iran and USA, you’d see this way more nuanced. Also:
“When one side is all bad and the other all good, expect lies & false framing.”
The Thrilling End
And now imagine those ‘others’ with those idiotic believes coming into power. Your whole world will be endangered, when their awful convictions become policies. Just imagine the Climate Crisis was real and not acting insane. Then Trump is totally the worst. Imagine Bernie was indeed a Russian Hack and wanted to turn the USA into one big gulag. Can you see now, your side being in power freaks other people out? Can you understand that those in power feel the need to dig in deeper, grab more power even, because they feel attacked? Can you see how all the news, makes matters worse though confirming biases and or mainly catering the interests of one side? Can you see, how your political view, makes the news of the other side biased (to little honest exposition of your side) and your news the best (telling it like it is)? Can you see that the more you bite into that, the less you’re open to dialogue?
All thinking of the current elite and political sides seems based upon power politics as chessboard. When it’s a ‘us vs them’ power game then: Everything that may take power away must be seen as an attack! And everything you can get away with to increase it, as a smart move! Thus the DNC may manipulate Bernie out of a fair win. Thus Mitch McConnell may stop all law proposals from the other side. Thus Gerrymandering, voter purging are wins and not a swamp that destroys the democracy it claims to protect this way.
What a mess. One hint out is, those that want to listen the least are the most lost and dangerous. Those that listen the best, thus offer the real hope. Those that are in pain, should be heard (like not being able to pay the bills, let alone don’t have a living wage). Sadly 3 billionaires have the power of the bottom half of America in shouting. So guess which convictions are most likely to win? And that doesn’t mean they’re right at all. The way out on top of listening is trust and use the check and balances. They’re there to keep talking across the aisle.
Thus my real reason for the quote at the beginning: Don’t become the monster you claim the other side is. Don’t shout, “We need to do to them, because of what they threaten to do to us!” Because 1. That threat is a lie. And 2. Believing that lie makes you the monster to the other side, regardless if what you shout is true. And believe me, it’s a lie, until way too many people believe it, and act on it. Then the lie becomes accepted reality. That’s how stupid wars start. That’s why the USA is still playing the ‘good guy’ in messy wars halfway around the world, to protect itself?? If both sides can handle this insight, (“Blaming the other side of being the monster makes you the monster to them. So rather seek dialogue and trust they too want something real.”) there’s hope. If your mind already disbelieves ‘they’ can do that, man, you’re in need of a sobering cold shower.
On seeking a way out of this mess: Want Sane Politics? Address The Inner Monkeys! This seeks to address these issues through the bio-psychological perspective.