This article will serve as a kind of Part 2 to “How To Fight The Establishment Propaganda Machine And Win”. In Part 1 I described a strategy for taking out America’s unelected power establishment by disrupting public trust in its mass media propaganda machine, and here I’d like to suggest a few solid examples of some specific attacks that we can use in the current political climate.
Unlike the outdated and inefficient control structures of oppressive regimes throughout most of human history, the corporatist oligarchs who have shored up power in America rule not by punishing and executing dissidents, but by creating the illusion of freedom while keeping its subjects enslaved. As Noam Chomsky wrote, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.” By using the mass media to keep the public passive and obedient in this way — manipulating public discourse into an extremely narrow spectrum of debate — the oligarchs have been able to spare themselves the rebellions, uprisings and assassinations that overtly oppressive regimes inevitably find themselves confronting, which has enabled them to amass more wealth and power than any conventional dictator could ever dream of.
This style of enslaving a population by the use of propaganda and manipulation instead of threats and violence is both the oligarchy’s strength and its weakness, because it also means that we are free to use the following narrative-disruption tactics at all times, and as relentlessly as possible. Since the oppressors need to maintain the illusion of freedom, the propaganda machine is their first and last line of defense; they can’t fall back on the outdated modes of oppression without shattering the illusion of freedom and creating rage and unrest in a nation of 320 million heavily-armed primates. They can’t shut off the internet or start punishing counter-propagandists, for example, because doing so would instantly wake the public up from the matrix, cause a civil war, collapse the economy, and end the very kingdom they’ve worked so hard to build for themselves. Since there is no need to fear any retaliation other than more media manipulation, we can know with certainty that we can push the following attacks as hard as we like. So we should.
1. Bana Alabed
I want to make this as clear as I possibly can: the Bana Alabed psy-op is the single clearest example ever of the mass media collaborating with the oligarchy against the interests of the American people. I don’t think even people who’ve seen through this thing fully appreciate what a golden opportunity this is. A seven year-old girl who does not understand English, who CNN reports is legitimately tweeting in baby talk about the advantages of US military interventionism in Syria, and who CNN (who is known to do artificial pre-interviews) trotted out in front of the camera to recite plainly-scripted war propaganda syllable-by-syllable while the phoney host nods along solemnly as though she’s not knowingly complicit in the single most transparent psy-op in the history of western television? And then this same corporate news network has the gall to re-roll the tape of this fake interview in order to silence opponents of interventionism in Syria? Doesn’t get any better than that. This is where the propaganda machine officially jumped the shark, and we should all be pointing and screaming about it constantly.
I was just listening to an interview with the Resistance Chicks in which the host said that if everyone in America viewed the Youtube video they made showing just how clear and undeniable the fraud in this brazen, sloppy piece of war propaganda is, that would be the end of CNN forever. I strongly agree with him, and would add that it would completely disrupt all trust in all corporate media as well. Mainstream America simply has no idea just how evil and manipulative these people are, and they were completely exposed in this desperate attempt to manufacture consent for another regime change war over a strategic location in the fossil fuel conflict.
This should be the “jab” of your psywar striking arsenal, the primary attack that you keep pumping in your foe’s face at every opportunity. We should all be talking about this constantly and making this thing go viral. Any time Syria comes up, you should drag the conversation kicking and screaming into a discussion about the Bana Alabed psy-op, because it is irrefutable proof that the corporate media is lying to the American people about that country, proof which necessarily kills any other argument they might make since that’s where all their ideas about Syria come from. If we can demonstrate to the public that they’ve been told such an indefensible lie by an institution they’ve placed so much trust in, their faith in the mass media will be completely disrupted, and reality will finally have enough space to get a word in edgewise.
2. The DNC scandal
If Bana Alabed is your jab then the DNC scandal is your cross, and we should be smashing them both in rapid fire 1–2 combinations right in the establishment’s face all day. The Democratic National Committee’s Plan A defense in the lawsuit by defrauded Sanders supporters was their motion-to-dismiss on the grounds that, despite representing one of the two barely-distinguishable political parties in a rigidly-enforced two-party system, they aren’t under any obligation to give the American people any say into which candidates they run to govern the country.
This is plain-as-day proof for all to see that democracy does not exist in America. If independent and third-party candidates face insurmountable obstacles under the current system’s rules and the two political parties are allowed to manipulate their nomination process to advance whatever candidate suits their interests, then all you will ever get a vote on is the choice between two establishment-selected pro-establishment corporatists. You do not get to call that democracy. If we can show mainstream America that democracy is not happening in their country, we can get them curious about who really is calling the shots.
Remember, this was the DNC’s Plan A. If it gets past their motion-to-dismiss, can you imagine how bad their Plan B is going to be? They could have instructed their lawyers not to make such a politically disastrous argument in the presence of a court stenographer, but they didn’t, because if they can’t get this lawsuit dismissed it’s going to be even more disastrous. Aside from the risk of winding up in a situation where they have to refund Berners their 27 bucks, there’s the even worse threat of seeing Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman Schultz questioned under oath by an extremely competent and passionate Sanders-loving attorney. We’ve already got enough ammunition to bring the whole thing crashing down just based on what we know about what they did and the way they’ve chosen to defend it, but if that gruesome twosome is forced to testify we’ll get even more.
The mainstream media has been doing its best to ignore this lawsuit and make everyone forget the DNC scandal. We must assure them that we will never allow this to happen. Hold a grudge and keep pushing this thing into the light.
Just keep a watchful eye on the whole country in general and keep pointing out the lies and plot holes in the official media narrative about what’s happening there. Ladies, you know how when a guy has been talking to you and you know he only wants to get in your pants, how that completely changes the way you look at everything he’s saying and doing? Well, the oligarchy is the guy and Syria is your lady parts. They want to get their little corporatist dick into that country so bad, so you can be certain that anything their media mouthpieces say about it is some sleazy attempt to make that happen. If they’re going to overextend themselves and make a stupid blunder, odds are it will be with Syria.
All we need to do is keep our eyes peeled for extremely porous narratives like the Idlib gas false flag and attack them relentlessly, while continually reminding everyone of the parallels between the lies the corporate media told to sell the American people the invasion of Iraq and what we see happening now with its neighbor to the west. America’s power establishment is constantly raping the Middle East for the same reason it obstructs all attempts to move toward a sane environmental policy: its empire is largely built on fossil fuels. These psychopaths do not give a shit about Syrian civilians, they care about oil and natural gas. American military interventionism has never, ever happened for humanitarian purposes, which is why you’ve never seen nonstop mass media coverage of the antics of any brutal warlords in sub-Saharan Africa; their locations have no material or strategic value to the oligarchs. It’s only when they happen to occupy key strategic locations and refuse to capitulate to US interests that the talking heads start painting them as dictators and begging us to think of the children.
One thing I like to do is challenge people to find anything negative about Assad from the mainstream media on the internet dated prior to 2009. They won’t be able to find any, because he didn’t become an evil dictator in the eyes of the west until he started favoring Russia in Syrian resource policy instead of America and its oil state allies. Not only are we expected to believe that Assad has some kind of sick sexual fetish for gratuitously bombing and gassing his own civilians, but that he only developed this fetish in the last eight years. Right.
If you want to educate yourself about a key weakness in the establishment narratives, Syria is definitely the place to start digging. It’s just lies on top of lies on top of lies, and the more desperate the oligarchs get to create public support for an invasion, the more mistakes they’ll make, and the more evidence we’ll be able to show people that they’re being lied to.
4. Tulsi Gabbard
As we’ve discussed recently, America’s power establishment it terrified of Tulsi Gabbard. A consistently sincere anti-war, pro-universal healthcare, anti-surveillance, pro-environment, anti-drug war, pro-economic justice progressive who also has a rapidly growing support base among Trump supporters and independents is hugely threatening to the elites who thrive on death and oppression, which is why they’ve got their media goons constantly attacking her and doing damage control on what she’s saying whenever she does something that’s counter to their interests like going on a fact-finding mission in Syria. Facts and truth are poison to their agenda, which is why you’ll see more and more smear pieces on the Hawaiian congresswoman as her star continues to rise.
As I said in Point 6 of my last article, in this media war that we’re fighting it’s crucial to always be on the attack. One of the ways that you can do this is to keep advancing causes that you know the power establishment is aggressively opposed to, forcing the corporate media into defense mode as they scramble to find ways to justify sabotaging something perfectly beneficial and healthy. We did this accidentally when we decided to lift up Bernie Sanders, forcing the establishment to fall all over itself trying to kill our movement to such an extent that it made some serious mistakes and got caught. We’ll always have the WikiLeaks documents exposing their disgusting manipulations and collusion, we’ll always have the fact that the CIA-funded Washington Post ran sixteen smear pieces on Sanders in the span of sixteen hours at the hottest point in the primary race, we’ll always have the fact that the shameless media blackout on Sanders was found by a Harvard study to have crippled his campaign. These manipulations were exposed because we put the establishment in a situation where it had to do a lot of crazy, conspicuous things to maintain the status quo, and those erratic, unusual movements opened a lot of eyes.
We can do the exact same thing again with Tulsi, but consciously and deliberately instead of accidentally. We can keep working to push her further and further into the spotlight, creating more and more public buzz around her and forcing the media to play defense while we keep advancing and attacking. Not because it will get her elected, but because it disrupts the narrative and makes them overextend themselves into conspicuousness whenever they have to do something weird and creepy to shut her down. Then, just like we’ll be doing with the DNC corruption our Bernie campaign exposed, we can point at that weirdness and make a lot of noise, putting them even more on the defense and further disrupting public trust in the mainstream media.
This principle applies to any grassroots initiative that the corporate media tries to sabotage. If the single-payer healthcare push starts gaining more ground, you may be sure that the talking heads on TV will stop ignoring it and start attacking it, just like they eventually had to do with the Sanders movement. Keep pushing toward the light however you can, and point out their attempts to keep things in the dark.
I watched the above meme go viral in real time during the primaries; the guy who created it in the Facebook group I was in was so tickled with how it took off. Using one picture and ten words, he was able to encapsulate the entire spin campaign that all of corporate media had been engaged in against Sanders and make them look completely ridiculous following the upset Michigan win in a single image. It was so clarifying to have such a solid illustration of what they were doing to us, and from that point onward we could share that meme in any conversation where we were trying to describe the nature of the disease we were fighting. While the anti-establishment movement was churning out these media guerilla warfare bombs, Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account was asking its followers to describe how student debt makes them feel “in three emojis or less.” Which prompted a lot of this:
People brought so much creativity into illustrating just how out of touch this candidate was with millennials and their media, and it definitely hurt her campaign. Read through the Podesta emails if you ever want some insight into how completely clueless the Clinton campaign staff were about how to use the new media; watch every little idea for a tweet get passed along from staffer to staffer to make sure it was “on message” before launching it. I remember seeing one email that I can’t find right now (a million internet points to anyone who can) where staffers were forwarding one another an anti-Hillary meme under the mistaken impression that it had been created by the Sanders campaign. Huma Abedin couldn’t even figure out how to view it. It was like watching an elderly drunken fisherman trying to figure out how to use his grandchild’s smart phone.
In a war of information, the ability to convey a complex idea very quickly is a precious advantage; it can be difficult to get people to sit down and watch a whole video or read an entire article, but circulating a witty image/word combination that they can ingest at a glance can change the way people think in a way the legacy media simply can’t compete with and cannot understand. While we’re deploying a steady deluge of constantly-evolving counter-propaganda bombs, the Washington think tanks are spending days trying to get everyone “on message” for a single low-key psy-op. Learn to create and use memes and get deeply familiar with new media, and you’ll be armed with a heavy artillery that the enemy will never be equipped with.
6. The Russiagate psy-op
The media spent months manipulating the American public into hating Russia beginning in the latter part of last year, even launching a deliberate psy-op to marry the words “hacking” and “election” in the minds of its viewers by constantly using the phrases “election hacking” and “hacked the election” in headline after headline in November and December. This psy-op was so successful that half of all Hillary voters believed that Russia had actually tampered with vote tallies per a YouGov poll in December.
The explanation for why Russia is alleged to have “hacked the election” is even more porous; Putin preferred Trump to Clinton because Clinton wanted to invade Syria to install a no-fly zone, which top military officials attestedwould have necessitated a war with both Syria and Russia. So the charge is that the Russian government hacked Democratic officials and fed emails to WikiLeaks in order to avoid needless escalations and a military conflict with the United States in a country that the US government and its media goon squad have been lying about constantly. It’s lies and propaganda on top of lies and propaganda all the way down; they’re trying to paint themselves as a victim of something they themselves created. In reality, the American permanent government doesn’t like Putin because he’s cock-blocking them on Syria and doing other naughty things like working with China to move away from the US dollar as a reserve currency, and the establishment is openly admitting that they want to increase pressure on him to hurt his popularity and get him deposed.
Most importantly, we are seeing more and more evidence that Russiagate is dying; the more Trump capitulates to the deep state, the more the accusation that he colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election fades from emphasis, which means that this was only ever their goal. The only reason the entirety of both the corporate media and the political establishment poured relentless energy into hammering the American psyche with this accusation was to pressure the president into falling in line on Syria, WikiLeaks, Russia and other oligarchic interests. We are being paced out of the #TrumpRussia hysteria as gradually and methodically as we were paced into it, and soon that massive psy-op will go completely unmentioned in mainstream media in the hope that the public will forget about it and move on.
We won’t ever let that happen. We will keep reminding everyone of how the 24/7 news churn was relentless in pummelling the public consciousness day after day after day with the absolute certainty that Trump is in bed with Putin. We will remind them that they were lied to. We will remind them that they believed those lies. The more time goes on, the stronger an anti-propaganda weapon this will become and the more distrust we’ll be able to sow in the corporate media, because no hard proof of Trump-Russia election collusion will ever emerge. If any such evidence existed, the intelligence community’s vast surveillance network would have found it and leaked it to the Washington Post in December. If the Kremlin wanted to manipulate the US election using hackers, they’d just do it; they wouldn’t need to coordinate it with an American political candidate. They will continue backing away from Russiagate, and we will continually remind the American public of their grotesque manipulations.
7. Internet Shills
The only reason we ever knew that the Clinton campaign was hiring professional shills to pose as real Hillary supporters online in order to deceive people and manipulate public discourse is because they were forced to disclose it due to FEC regulations. If not for this disclosure, we never would have known that Correct the Record was employing shills in this way. America’s power establishment as a whole is not subject to such disclosure laws, however, and to believe that Correct the Record was the extent of their shill army would be naive in the extreme. Here is an Intercept article by the amazing Glenn Greenwald from 2014 about “how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction,” just for a tip-of-the-iceberg glimpse at some of the vile practices the deep state is up to its elbows in.
This fact is a weapon in our psywar because continually bringing it up and pointing at it as a reality weakens public trust in the establishment and its narratives. There is always a distinct possibility that that person on your internet forum who is scoffing and ridiculing an anti-establishment narrative or public figure is a paid shill. This is always a fact, and everyone should always be aware of it. Targeted shill armies don’t have to be that big to significantly manipulate the dialogue of a high-visibility online conversation, they are not relatively that expensive for an extremely wealthy plutocrat, and America’s plutocrats (who per definition are part of the deep state) stand plenty to gain by maintaining the status quo. If they’ll use the media to manipulate public perception and buy up the legislative branch of the US federal government with campaign funding and corporate lobbying to keep things working in a way that is beneficial to them, there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t try to manipulate online discourse with targeted shill campaigns as well. Hell, we already know for a fact that individual corporations and conglomerates hire shills to manipulate conversations on Reddit, so why wouldn’t they manipulate politically crucial discourse as well?
So this is happening, though the specifics and extent are not yet known. As an aside, though, I find it very encouraging that this is the best these creeps can do to try and sabotage grassroots movements in the new media — “Durr, let’s throw money at it! We’ll pay people to do what they’re doing!” Their pathetic mummified brains just can’t keep up with the newly shifting paradigm, and they’ll never be able to hire enough shills to shift the tide of a steadily-awakening populace. So that’s tasty.
Let me know what other tactics you’ve thought of for disrupting the propaganda machine in the comments below, and please circulate your ideas far and wide. Let’s do this thing.
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I want to make this as clear as I possibly can: the Bana Alabed psy-op is the single clearest example ever of the mass media collaborating with the oligarchy against the interests of the American people. I don’t think even people who’ve seen through this thing fully appreciate what a golden opportunity this is. A seven year-old girl who does not understand English, who CNN reports is legitimately tweeting in baby talk about the advantages of US military interventionism in Syria, and who CNN (who is known to do artificial pre-interviews) trotted out in front of the camera to recite plainly-scripted war propaganda syllable-by-syllable while the phoney host nods along solemnly as though she’s not knowingly complicit in the single most transparent psy-op in the history of western television?