Necessary Illusions is a 1989 book by Noam Chomsky which I most likely read in 1990 or so, long before I was capable of grasping the message delivered by the book. It is subtitled “Thought Control in Democratic Societies.” I could see at that time that propaganda was a major industry, but thought we had escape chutes to exit, exist and think for ourselves. I had no idea of the degree, in 1990, of control that already existed. I would be fated to indulge in partisan politics, voting, and permitted exit chutes, Ralph Nader and Chomsky himself, for example.
I don’t have the book anymore, but won’t go looking for it. Wikipedia does a short blurb on it, comparing the phrase “necessary illusions,” which I understand to have originated with the Canadian cleric Reinhold Niebuhr, with the works of others: “noble lies” (Plato), “public relations” (Edward Bernays), and “myth making” (Machiavelli). All for our own good. We’re sheep, and need to be herded.
All of life, it seems at times, is an illusion, and I do not mean that we self-delude, but rather that our minds are filled with the thoughts of others, deliberately put there and allowed to grow on their own as if we were original thinkers. Bernays was blunt about it, knowing I suppose better than most the proclivity of ordinary people not to read. He was able to mask his contempt for ordinary people by hiding it in a book. Here’s what he said at the opening of his book, Propaganda:
The systematic study of mass psychology revealed to students the potentialities of invisible manipulation of motives which actuate man in the group. Trotter and Le Bon, who approached the subject in a scientific manner, and Graham Wallas, Walter Lippmann, and others who continued with searching study of the group mind, established that the group has mental characteristics distinct from those of the individual, and is motivated by impulses and emotions which cannot be explained on the basis of what we know of individual psychology. So the question naturally arose: If we understood the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it? (My emphasis.)
This has been the primary mission of the public relations industry in the twentieth century, to enslave us without our knowledge, in fact allowing us to imagine we are free human beings even as our thoughts are controlled by overseers.
No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by group leaders in who it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders.
Hobgoblins, as Mencken called them – producing an endless series of them, keeping us off balance and frightened. Coronavirus is a hobgoblin, nothing more.
At times I am discouraged by what I see around me, as having broken the code for the Coronavirus hoax, I see that if such information is imparted on anyone around me, the reaction is anger, even hostility and ostracism. The inability to hear or even consider alternative explanations for our reality is a sign of deep indoctrination. The American public is deeply indoctrinated, and cannot be rescued. This is a situation where there is no hope, only escape and isolation. I have a sardonic view of people trying to “spread the word,” reach others, enlighten them, create a movement or rescue people. I do see movements about, such as Black Lives Matter, and intuitively know that such things are only allowed to exist because they were created above and then publicized by our enslaved media. When women assembled in protest after the selection of Trump, I know that leaders and provocateurs had long been put in place to organize them, even as every participant imagined she was doing something original and meaningful.
The important thing for the statesman of our age is not so much to know how to please the public, but how to sway the public. In theory, this education might be done by means of learned pamphlets explaining the intricacies of public question. In actual fact, it can be done only by meeting the conditions of the public mind, by creating circumstances which set up trains of thought, by dramatizing personalities, by establishing contact with the group leaders who control the opinions of their public.
Who are these leaders? It is very important for those of us who are isolating to see clearly that anyone appointed or anointed as a leader is most likely controlled opposition. This is why I no longer have Chomsky’s book, and why I have no regard for Ralph Nader. They were presented to me as an exit chute, but were in fact (in my opinion I should say) put there to corral those of us who had the brains and good sense to see through the normal system. We are taken out of our cell in block A and moved over to block B. Or C, D, E … there’s one for all of us. Imagine my naive shock to learn that Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! were controlled opposition. I had miles to go … and still do.
Are there original thinkers around? They are hard to find. Those who have indeed escaped are often enough set free of schooling (brainwashing) but have developed antisocial characteristics and habits, making them annoying. I’ve been reading the essays of Edward Abbey, who indeed took an escape chute, and ended up alone in the desert, drinking himself to death. While I admire his prose and excellent summaries of the issues of his day, I can tell in his writing when liquor is getting the best of him. He becomes overly fluent and descriptive, as if saying to himself “Man, can I write!” That’s annoying.
We have been given leaders in coming to grips with the Scamdemic – they are Kaufman and Cowen, RFK Jr., Peggy Hall and Pam Popper, Fuellmich, Lanka and others of lesser note. I want to take these people at face, but refer you back to Bernays, who (speaking to insiders) suggested that they create circumstances, dramatize personalities and engage in “contacting” group leaders. I would change “contacting” to “creating.” I tend to value these people in direct proportion to their degree of ostracism from the mainstream, but remember, the people who control our thoughts know about that too.
I am not suggesting that we become cynics, but rather that we do two things: Keep leaders at arm’s length, and try, as best as we are able, to think our own thoughts. It is hard work. We need to do this for our own sake, as no matter how deeply we come to understand the means and methods of the Scamdemic and the resulting stampede to the vaccine, we will not be reaching anyone else. It has to be its own reward. Dr. Kaufman, whom I want to trust somewhat, has suggested that it is pointless to reach out to others with our truths. Only if they come to us is there any point in trying to convince someone that they have been fooled.
That is what I notice most about the people around me – I had this conversation once with my late brother, the priest, who in his life had intimate dealings with thousands of people. He was skilled in human relations, and I am not. But I suggested to him that most people suffer from a grandiose self image, and he said yes, most people are walking in a cloud of self, my words though he used the word “cloud.” He was too smart to try and fix anyone, but merely offered counsel on questions and problems they brought to him. As a priest he was set in place to manage sheep. For this he was widely revered. If it were me in his shoes, I would be widely reviled.
The basic flaw in most people, the deepest illusion is “I cannot be fooled.” Point out to them that they have been fooled if you like, but who was it who said a man who tells the truth needs a fast horse?
By the way, the words above from Bernays were written in a book published in 1928. This has been going on now longer than we have been alive. Our overseers have a huge advantage and head start on us.