The enduring beauty of fascism is that it requires so little from us… so little independent thought; just our basic belief and adherence to a limited set of popularly-shared directives and narratives that once fully accepted, relieve us of the need to address stubborn questions or to fret over subtle differences of opinion and feeling.
Propaganda reassures us that we are complete, that we know all there is to know, that we are rational, pragmatic and pure, that the science has been settled and that we are a part of something special.
Such a surrender to reductionist narratives cuts across all classes and income brackets. Neither the most educated nor the least uneducated retain any special advantage in the face of powerful consensus-shaping propaganda.
PROPAGANDA is, of course, the life-blood of fascist control. Maintaining the economic, governmental and scientific frameworks of a technocratic-fascist “operating system” is unthinkable without propaganda and disinformation. When truth is seen as a liability to power, it must always be disallowed, and all instances of it effectively penalized.
Radio and television and their constant enabler, popular “science” – operate today as their own religions, reliant for their success upon the devotion of the masses. As McLuhan told us, the experience of electronic media is always more powerful than the specific messaging it contains.
The currency that we use to pay for the electronic spectacle is our attention, and in such hyper-mediated times as these, the charges mount up exponentially, until we find ourselves saddled with soul-crushing denial and disconnection.
Three defining historical moments (among many) have defined the confluence of fascism, propaganda and technology.
- The fundamental principles of propaganda were first defined 100 years ago by Edward Bernays, often referred to as the father of public relations.
- Joseph Goebbels served as Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. The stunning successful lessons of his Nazi propaganda programs were not lost on the world’s political and economic leaders in the post-war era, and in the time since then.
- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was founded in 1947, for the expressed purpose of conducting secret intelligence operations that could serve political aims at the same time they generated huge and untraceable profits. The extent of the CIA’s illegal enterprises necessitated the creation and maintenance of a permanent ministry of disinformation, managed by our own taxpayer-funded “Shadow Government” and “Deep State.”
In retrospect then, it is clear that these propaganda campaigns have proven SO successful, that even today, few of us ever realize how ongoing, vast and wide-spread they are.
Propaganda’s efficacy is so indisputable, that it is commonly the case that those who are the most certain that they are NOT among the propagandized, are in fact its most overt victims.
Corporate media focuses on those stories they are paid to propagate, i.e., those which support the financial and ideological agendas of their owners, who themselves are all, without exception, central parts of the larger global ruling oligarchy.
A key part of the propagandist’s handbook is to simply leave unexplored stories that they are NOT given approval to manage and control; stories which, we might assume, do not generate sufficient advantage for the owners. Such calculated sins of omission are essential to keeping the mass of believers unperturbed by the vagaries of complexity in the delivery of their daily dogmas.
If an individual were to insist upon learning more about any of these less-discussed stories, they would soon arrive at the realization that while an abundance of relevant facts can easily be found, and often hidden in plain sight, the truth is that most people simply do not WANT to know, think or talk about any such truths that differ from those accepted by their peers, for whom cognitive dissonance causes such literal pain and disorientation, as to keep them docile and compliant to the dictates of the media.
As McLuhan said:
“Only the small secrets need to be protected. The large ones are kept secret by public incredulity.”
Perhaps, the grandest illusion of all, and which must be maintained at all costs, is that both the world and the stories we tell of it, must be made to appear as though they are generated randomly. It must always appear that the media’s coverage and the comments of experts are entirely free from any preconceived manipulation.
In the terminology of the media, news must always be “Breaking!” – even though in reality, we know the news more closely resembles a cooking show, where ingredients are chopped and sliced before-hand, after which they are mixed and served up live on camera in ways that keep the public hooked on happy hash-slinging and enticingly-scripted recipes.
Technocratic-Fascism, the advanced fusion of the multinational technology-dominated corporatocracy with the authoritarian global and surveillance state, allows its initiates to believe they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Witness the magical left’s lockstep belief in the pure villainy of Donald Trump, or the magical right’s equally lockstep belief in Trump as a self-sacrificing national hero.
Clearly both parties to the constant heist of human freedom need each other to better manage their greed for consumer profit and civilian control. Such mental assaults secondarily require that all truthful motives remain hidden and obfuscated in a fog of weaponized storytelling.
This accounts of course for the abiding value of bullshit, does it not? Bullshit effectively misleads without upsetting the natural order of things, without irreversibly tearing apart the fabric of credibility. Nothing can stand in the way of the constant flow of messaging, profit and growth, which are after all, the primary justifications for all this deceptive disorder.
This is another aspect of what makes technocratic-fascism so irresistible; in realizing how effective it is at knowing us better than we know ourselves. The assumption is that if we were to know ourselves better than the stories we are told, we would not be seduced by such obvious lies. Since we don’t, our “betters” are left with no choice but to keep up the constant barrage of lies, at least until our thinking eventually locks up and we capitulate and collapse, like a stack of wooden blocks.
If for example, we did not always obey or give our attention to propaganda, we would soon grow alarmed by the many contradictions that we are told exist, say between the Covid monster and the daily vaporous disease statistics, or between maskers and non-maskers, between vaxxers and anti-vaxxers, between crushing economic destruction and the mewling need for safety, between the lunatic left and the lunatic right, between black and whites, between males and females… between one piece of orthogonal bullshit and another equally opposing piece of bullshit.
ALL of these dichotomies, of course, are at some fundamental level FALSE… every last one of them, each constructed by skilled media professionals and put in place to overwhelm our critical thinking and that of millions of others from seeing what’s really going on in the limitless background.
In this remarkably cost-efficient way, human energy and intelligence are siphoned off, and directed towards the task of turning us into helplessly confused and easily-controllable “lab rats,” forcibly cut off from each other, lest we experience ourselves as intelligent and sovereign beings. If something like that were to happen, the driving agendas of big business and global governance to keep us marching in lockstep towards a more divided and disempowered fate, would soon disintegrate.
It is in such a state of debilitating surrender that we are divided one subset “targeted” demographic against another; all herded into a wicked mental trap with one side thinking one thing, while the other side thinks something else – such that half of us hate the other and the other half hate the other right back.
At this point, and after so many years of unqualified victories for the industries supported by the propaganda industry, the pathetic truth is that propaganda doesn’t even NEED to be that entertaining anymore. Knowing they have the situation in tow, the purveyors of propaganda can save a ton of money by just being sensational, confrontational and redundant in their narratives.
Recall this quote from the singular Frank Zappa:
“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
Once we have learned to carry on absent the need for verifiable truth, or without the need to discern authentic and honest voices from deceitful and manipulative ones, we gradually lose our interest in so-called “truth,” preferring instead to keep splashing about in unsubstantiated speculation, pompous judgments and opinionated fluff.