How to generate and manage the appearance of free and fair elections in developed markets

One of the essential parts of establishing and maintaining your globalized corporatist empire is creating and stage-managing a simulation of actual democracy every few years. This allows the millions of people you’ve trapped in debt peonage, and are otherwise exploiting, to blow off a little steam, and to not feel completely powerless and hopeless about the future, because we all know what that leads to.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, but please don’t be alarmed … we’re talking about the simulation of democracy here, not actual democracy. That said, you are going to need to allow “free and fair” elections from time to time, and permit non-affluent people to actually leave their homes and go out and vote for a candidate of their choice … which, yes, will entail a small amount of risk, but that risk is entirely manageable, as long as you stick to the three essential strategies we have outlined below. Let’s go through them one by one.

1. Control The Candidate Selection Process — this is crucial, as the only significant risk involved in simulating democratic elections is the chance that “outsider” candidates — candidates who actually represent the interests of the people you’re exploiting, instead of just pretending to represent their interests — somehow manage to get themselves elected. We’ll explore this in more detail when we get to the sections on Corruption and Control of the Media. The main thing is to offer people a very limited choice of candidates (ideally two) … candidates that you have preselected and carefully vetted in advance.

2. Ensure that Running for Political Office is Extremely Expensive — this is the main way you maintain control over your candidates, both during the election season and once they assume office. There’s nothing terribly complicated about this. You just want to make sure that your friends in government and the media never allow any kind of government subsidized campaign financing system to be instituted, and you’re all set … as long as candidates and sitting politicians remain completely dependent on you to finance their campaigns, they’ll pretty much do whatever you want.

3. Use the Power of the Media to Manipulate Voters into Voting Against their Own Interests — now this is where things get a little hairy, because even though you’ve followed the above strategies and ensured that the only candidates on offer are completely dependent on you, you’re always going to want people to elect the one candidate who is (a) most subservient to you and (b) most effective at disguising his or her complete betrayal of the people so that you can get on with exploiting them. Also, every now and again, despite your best efforts, some kind of actual “outsider” candidate is going to seriously challenge one of your stooges — you need to count on that happening (usually this occurs during periods of acute hardship and austerity, e.g. right after you have destroyed a country’s economy and are looting its assets and cutting its social programs, or after a massive financial crisis brought on by one of your ponzi schemes). This is where the power of the media comes into play. Through a combination of misdirection, disinformation, emotional and psychological manipulation, narrative framing, and subtle but relentless negative coverage of the intruder candidate, the media can easily destroy anyone foolish enough to challenge your hold on power. Again, we’ll explore this in greater detail when we focus on Post-Ideological Manipulation of the Masses. The takeaway for now is … if you haven’t gotten your hooks into the media yet, time to get busy!

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