Manufacturing Normality

manufacturing-normality

15-08-19 10:06:00,

If people could see the world with fresh eyes, as though they were viewing it for the very first time, they would suddenly find themselves smashed between two equally strong yet wildly different experiences.

On the one hand, they would experience breathless awe at the thunderous beauty of everything that exists. We tend to develop a mental habit of taking things for granted just because we have a thought story about knowing what they are and having seen them before. The labeling, dividing mind says “Oh yeah, I know what that is, that’s a tree. I’ve seen a million of those, no big deal,” and we make a habit of overlooking it. This habit combines with our fixation on looping mental chatter to pull the interest and attention out of our experience of the world which would otherwise be experienced as a nonstop eruption of staggering beauty.

On the other hand, someone seeing the world with fresh eyes would at the same time experience howling rage at all the immense evils that the mass media manipulators have convinced us to accept as normal. All the oppression, exploitation, violence, domination, ecocide and corruption which we were born into would no longer be seen as unfortunate but necessary mundane realities, and neither would all the horrible propagandists who deceived us into thinking they were.

Even the most informed and skeptical-minded people who are well aware that there is a nonstop psywar being waged by the powerful against human decency and common sense tend to think of establishment propaganda in terms that fail to encapsulate its most pernicious aspects. Most hip, conspiracy-aware individuals, when asked to point to examples of mass media propaganda, will talk about things like discrepancies in coverage which benefit western power structures, or the deliberate undermining of all political candidates even a tiny bit outside the mainstream consensus, or the lies that have been used to manufacture consent for wars.

All of those are of course real things that have real consequences, but they are not the most significant and consequential aspect of establishment propaganda. The most significant and consequential aspect of establishment propaganda is the simple, everyday practice of manufacturing normality.

By “manufacturing normality” I mean the way the plutocrat-owned political/media class pour massive amounts of energy day in and day out into making the ridiculous,

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Manufacturing Truth

manufacturing-truth

04-12-18 11:35:00,

CJ Hopkins

If you’re one of the millions of human beings who, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, still believe there is such a thing as “the truth,” you might not want to read this essay. Seriously, it can be extremely upsetting when you discover that there is no “truth” … or rather, that what we’re all conditioned to regard as “truth” from the time we are children is just the product of a technology of power, and not an empirical state of being. Humans, upon first encountering this fact, have been known to freak completely out and start jabbering about the “Word of God,” or “the immutable laws of quantum physics,” and run around burning other people at the stake or locking them up and injecting them with Thorazine. I don’t want to be responsible for anything like that, so consider this your trigger warning.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at how “truth” is manufactured. It’s actually not that complicated. See, the “truth” is … well, it’s a story, essentially. It’s whatever story we are telling ourselves at any given point in history (“we” being the majority of people, those conforming to the rules of whatever system wields enough power to dictate the story it wants everyone to be telling themselves). Everyone understands this intuitively, but the majority of people pretend they don’t in order to be able to get by in the system, which punishes anyone who does not conform to its rules, or who contradicts its story. So, basically, to manufacture the truth, all you really need is (a) a story, and (b) enough power to coerce a majority of people in your society to pretend to believe it.

I’ll return to this point a little later. First, let’s look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing “truth.” I’m going to use The Guardian‘s most recent blatantly fabricated article (“Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy”) as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by “respectable” outlets over the course of the last two years.

The “Russian Propaganda Peddlers” story.

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De NRC en Manufacturing Consent

De NRC en Manufacturing Consent

29-06-18 06:21:00,

Lang nadat in de metropolen het imago van een bepaald instituut of individu ernstige schade heeft opgelopen, blijft hun beeld in de provincie nog fier overeind. Zo kwalificeert bijvoorbeeld de VPRO-journalist Chris Keijne The New York Times nog steeds als ‘de beste krant van de wereld,’ prijst de voormalige adjunct-hoofdredacteur van de Volkskrant, Arie Elshout, de Times, omdat, in zijn ogen, ‘feit en commentaar nergens zo tastbaar [zijn] gescheiden als bij The New York Times,’ en neemt de zelfbenoemde kwaliteitskrant NRC Handelsblad klakkeloos onbewezen beweringen uit deze krant over, ondanks het feit dat in hun uitgebreid gedocumenteerde wetenschappelijke studie Manufacturing Consent. The political economy of the Mass Media (1988) de Amerikaanse geleerden Edward S. Herman en Noam Chomsky over de berichtgeving van de westerse commerciële media concludeerden:


In contrast to the standard conception of the media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and their independence of authority, we have spelled out and applied a propaganda model that indeed sees the media as serving a “societal purpose,” but not that of enabling the public to assert meaningful control over the political process by providing them with the information needed for the intelligent discharge of political responsibilities. On the contrary, a propaganda model suggests that the “societal purpose” of the media is to inculcate and defend the economic, social, and political agenda of privileged groups that dominate the domestic society and the state. The media serve this purpose in many ways: through selection of topics, distribution of concerns, framing of issues, filtering of information, emphasis and tone, and by keeping debate within the bounds of acceptable premises…


As we have stressed throughout this book, the U.S. media do not function in the manner of the propaganda system of a totalitarian state. Rather, they permit — indeed, encourage — spirited debate, criticism, and dissent, as long as these remain faithfully within the system of presuppositions and principles that constitute an elite consensus, a system so powerful as to be internalized largely without awareness. No one instructed the media to focus on Cambodia and ignore East Timor. They gravitated naturally to the Khmer Rouge and discussed them freely —  » Lees verder

Manufacturing Dissent: US NGO’s Build Opposition in Thailand | New Eastern Outlook

Manufacturing Dissent: US NGO’s Build Opposition in Thailand | New Eastern Outlook

09-06-18 07:03:00,

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Should decidedly anti-British government organisations be found across the United Kingdom to be funded and directed by Russians, we could only imagine the reaction. Even whispers of hints of Russian influence have resulted in legislation, sanctions and quite literally years of punditry warning of the Kremlin’s insidious reach.

When the tables are turned, it is clear London, Washington and Brussels understand the inappropriateness of one nation interfering in the internal affairs of another.

Yet this acute awareness has not informed US or European foreign policy, including components of what could be called “soft power,” or influence operations. While soft power implies non-coercion, in practice it is always used in conjunction with coercive means toward exacting concessions from targeted nations.

Hiding US Funding 

In the Southeast Asian Kingdom of Thailand, a growing army of such influence operations has formed the foundation of an opposition to the current government. It is an opposition that without its current funding and support from abroad otherwise would not exist.

Just as was done for years against nations like Syria, Libya, Ukraine and Egypt (nations to have recently suffered or nearly suffered the impact of Western-sponsored regime change), Thailand faces long-term interference in its internal affairs as a direct result of these influence operations.

The opposition in Thailand itself is minute and unpopular. However the organisations supporting them enjoy a veneer of credibility owed primarily to their efforts to obfuscate from audiences their foreign funding and their actual role in organising and leading the opposition.

One example can be seen in the local English-language newspaper, the Bangkok Post. Its article, “The fight for basic rights,” interviews the American founders of a supposed nongovernmental organisation called, “Fortify Rights.” Fortify Rights has consistently used its platform to support anti-government protests under the pretext of defending human rights.

Nowhere in the interview is Matthew and Amy Smith asked where their money comes from and how, as Americans, it is their moral imperative to involve themselves in critical issues faced by Asia.

Throughout the interview, the Smiths repeatedly admit to reporting back to the United States government, including testifying before US Congress and lobbying in Washington for issues related to Myanmar’s ongoing refugee crisis.

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