The writers and friends of this blog spend a lot of time unraveling the past. It is fun, like being handed a brand new Sherlock Holmes mystery every day. There is no shortage. Without reliance on authority, eschewing groupthink and ignoring ridicule, we have developed eyes to see the real world around us and can easily spot fakery now. It’s always after the fact, but we do spot it.
And there is so much more in store, God willing and the creek don’t rise. If only … we could turn our gaze forward and see what is coming.
None of us foresaw the selection of Donald Trump to be president. Speaking for myself, I assumed Hillary was to be chosen. The whole of the campaign was orchestrated in that direction, from using Bernie as a sheepdog to Donald Trump as a foil. I am confused.
Trump is not a leader of any gravitas. He is more like a clown. I don’t think he is a business tycoon for real, and certainly not a womanizer (“manizer?”). However, he’s not insane or mindless. He’s probably a calm and collected man who is making scheduled public appearances. I don’t think a person can carry out a gig like that without having mental stability. It’s all an act, as he is not in charge of anything. His public utterances, ‘tweets,’ appointments and decisions are all handled by others. Presidents don’t do any of that in the modern era and perhaps never have.
Why he was put in the office? (Maybe he carried Utah, but we will never know how people voted.) The president can be anyone. They can even make a Hollywood simpleton look presidential.
Most propaganda is harmless, and has a binding effect. It is what makes us a cohesive country. There is no threat of breakups or secession here as so many other countries face. Our fake history, our kids saying the pledge every morning, the playing of the national anthem at ball games, the gigantic flags and military parades and flyovers is all done to bind us together. (We have a super-huge dose coming this Sunday). We find that in varying degrees in every country.
I am on Facebook. I know it is an Intelligence front, in fact, the primary means of spying on us these days. It has also taken the place of TV as a primary means of spreading propaganda. I try to be above it all, going there every day just to skim. However, I cannot quit.
Facebook is currently being used for something different than we are used to seeing …”agitation propaganda,” or “agitprop” for short. Wikipedia tells us that it is something the communists did … that may be true, but in true Wiki fashion, is misleading. Agitprop is used everywhere, especially in powerful empires like ours. But leaders know to use it sparingly. A constant state of agitation, as we saw in the wake of 9/11, destroys minds. Rational thought is shut down and the primitive fight or flight brain takes over. I am feeling on Facebook people genuinely stressed and scared by all of the Trump business – the tweets, appointments, irrational statements. It has to be by design.
Normal propaganda is cradle to grave and designed to make people feel safe and secure, even smart. Agitprop is used for immediate results. It is done when something has to happen and happen fast. It took years of futile effort to get the American public behind World War II. They finally they threw in the towel and gave us Pearl Harbor. 9/11 was agitprop writ large, the Mideast wars one obvious objective. It is still used today to advance fear and resentment – the fake deportations and immigration bans are grounded in 9/11 angst.
This concerns me. Judging by Facebook, Trump has the American public riled up to an alarming state. Couple that with the staged rallies for women and against immigration, and it is as to presage some event. We cannot control it, but if indeed there is a major and psychologically upsetting event, it might help if many of us knew in advance it will be fake. 9/11 having worn off to a large degree, perhaps they see in Trump a chance to give us a booster shot?
I am not blasé. I worry about things, like everyone. I see them taking us places for reasons I do not know. We are in an era of awakening. It is only a small part of the population and evidenced in small part by this blog, but it does not take a majority. A small minority of vigilant citizens might send waves of concern to Georgetown and Langley. I fear major changes in our society – clamping down on our ability to travel freely or even write on a blog (already seen with the “fake news” push). I am waiting for the other shoe to fall, so I guess agitprop is working on me too.
In the end I say to myself to relax, that it is beyond my control. We’ve never been a free country in any meaningful sense, and elections have never changed that. Elections are a distraction, “look here, not there.” We are focused on the man moving the cups around as we try to follow the pea, failing to notice the guy behind us stealing our wallets.
Facebook is seething these days with Trump angst, and it is not accidental. I don’t know the future, but it appears something is in store for us.