Shakespeare and Mass Manipulation

there have been many great men that have flattered the people“Faith, there have been many great men that have flattered the people, who never loved them; and there be many that have loved, they know not wherefore; so that, if they love they know not why, they hate upon no better a ground.”

(Coriolanus, act 2, sc.2)

Comment.  As a means to influence society free speech means little or nothing, if that speech remains unheard. Or rather, given the post-orwellian power of propaganda, free speech is almost irrelevant. Simply because the only speech heard is what the power-elite wants the rest to hear, via the boom-box of monopolized corporate media.
The job of media is not to inform, but to misinform and to divert public attention from important issues and changes decided by the political/economic elites. This is achieved by the technique of distracting the audience with floods of insignificant information.

Journalists with access to highly placed government and corporate sources must keep them on their side by not reporting anything contrary to their interest. Or they lose them as sources of information. In return for this loyalty, their sources occasionally give them good stories, leaks and access to special interviews. Unofficial information, or leaks, give the impression of investigative journalism, but are often strategic maneuvers on the part of those with position or power.  For, as a retired journalist said, “It is a bitter irony of journalism … that the most esteemed journalists are precisely the most servile. For it is by making themselves useful to the powerful that they gain access to the “best” sources.”

As a somber refresher on what is happening, here is Noam Chomsky’s  list of (10) strategies to uninform, disinform, control and subdue the inconsequential and almost infinitely gullible numerical majority.

1. The strategy of distraction

The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information.
Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. “Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals”

2. Create problems, then offer solutions
This method is also called “problem -reaction- solution.” It creates a problem, a “situation” referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept.
For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is the applicant’s security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom.
Or create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.

3. The gradual strategy
Acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions (neoliberalism) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s:
* the minimal state
* privatization
* flexibility
* massive unemployment
* wages
* do not guarantee a decent income,
…so many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.

4. The strategy of deferring
Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application.
It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter.

• First, because the effort is not used immediately
• Then, because the public, masses, is always the tendency to expect naively that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided
This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.

5. Go to the public as a little child
Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children’s intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient.
The harder one tries to deceive the viewer look, the more it tends to adopt a tone infantilizing.
“If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger.”

6. Use the emotional side more than the reflection
Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis, and finally to the critical sense of the individual.
Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas , desires, fears and anxieties , compulsions, or induce behaviors …

7. Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity
Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement.
“The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be the poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes.” (See Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars).

8. To encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity
Promote the public to believe that it is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated…

9. Self-blame Strengthening
To let individual blame for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts.
So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual auto-devaluates and condemns himself, which creates a depression, one of whose effects is to inhibit its action. And, without action, there is no revolution!

10. Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves
Over the past 50 years, advances of accelerated science has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites.
Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically.
The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.

Using the Quote. One more pessimistic view of masses at large

In the play. This comment by an officer underscores an almost universal characteristic of masses, to love and hate without a logical cause or connection – or rather, today, not to question what is fed to them by the corporate media.

Image Source.

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2 Responses to Shakespeare and Mass Manipulation

  1. dama-de-pica says:

    I wondered how come that they, the Few, are so successful persuasive (if their main trait is the greediness), and the sad answer was that the only suffering of the modern slave is not his constant distance from the truth, but the sterile envy of the wealth of those Few. The slave doesn’t want to change the situation, he only desires as much money as his “masters” (the same greediness, if you ask me). I reckon the masters are smarter, and that they already won every imagining battle, because they’ve use the same weapon: “look at me, I’m just the same as you are, except I have money – don’t you want my money, too?”, and this is the end of any struggle. Money is power. The rest is literature. Art. Poetry. Beautiful madness. Even the objective science is tainted by greediness, and is not reliable anymore, but convenient. Have you noted the “consensus” of the scientific “cloud”? The masters dream big now, they have the courage and the means to realize, to accomplish, to build. They don’t have any notable opposition. Windmills. Take a look at the masses: they are willing subjects, they all have at least a “because” in their pocket.
    (Uff. Sorry. I promise you that some day I’ll learn to write in decent English.)

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