OK, this is one of our absolute favorites here at the Consent Factory. For our money, in terms of distracting and rendering harmless any serious critics of your corporate-controlled global empire, this is definitely one you want to go with. Herding critics into fake communities and wasting their time is not only essential to maintaining your full spectrum dominance of virtually every aspect of people’s lives, but, given the technology available these days, once you get the infrastructure in place, it pretty much runs itself.
Now we’ve divided this into three parts, partly to make it easier to follow, but mostly to hook you into coming back to our blog over the next couple weeks to read the second and third installments and increase our click count. In Part One (i.e. this part), we’ll briefly discuss the origins of herding people into fake communities and wasting their time and quickly review why this is an absolutely essential component of any modern capitalist system. Then, in Parts Two and Three, we’ll take a look the two main models that have revolutionized this growing industry during the last twenty years or so: (1) the Social Network; and (2) the Comments Section. So let’s get started …
It is generally acknowledged among the disinformation community that herding critics into fake communities and wasting their time became a necessity somewhere around the middle of the 18th Century, as the transition to modern industrial Capitalism was taking place, and the former mostly agrarian workforce was being transformed into an urban industrial workforce, and people were beginning to realize how miserable and pointless their lives were becoming, and how completely exploited and screwed they were. Without getting into all the specifics — which would lead us off on a series of tangents that would get us lost in all kinds of historical and philosophical arguments we don’t want to have to speak to — it is important to note that this transition to industrial Capitalism (whereby the masses of former peasants, artisans, craftspersons, and the like were forced to leave the countryside and move into overcrowded and disease-ridden cities in order to work ten hours a day seven days a week at soul-crushingly monotonous jobs in the factories that were springing up everywhere) was accompanied by a sudden and inexplicable interest among elements of both the intellectual and working classes in certain “socialist” and “democratic” ideas — ideas that would shortly thereafter lead to the formation of the first modern trade unions, and on to Luddism, and Chartism, and Marxism, and ultimately to the scourge of Communism, which President Ronald Reagan finally eradicated at the end of the 20th Century … except for China, which doesn’t really count.
But let’s not get side-tracked by the Evil of Communism just yet … the point is, right around the same time that industrial Capitalism begins replacing aristocratic/oligarchical Despotism as the preeminent power structure, and improving everyone’s standard of living by transforming them from de facto agrarian slaves into workers/consumers, the need to start herding certain people into fake communities and wasting their time arises. This is no mere coincidence, of course, but rather, is one of the many structural adjustments required when navigating the transition from a formerly despotic configuration of power to a modern capitalist one.
Simply put, once you do away with Despotism (i.e. kill all the kings and queens and their families, and as much of the landed aristocracy as necessary, which you need to do in order to get the whole Capitalism thing going), and adopt all kinds of pseudo-democratic social structures (which you also need to do in order to trick people into believing they’re free) … well, you can’t just beat and murder people into submission anymore (or not on a regular basis anyway). No, you need to start using much subtler means of controlling and manipulating them.
Using the Power of the Media to Subtly Manipulate People (which we introduced earlier, and will revisit later) is one of the essential ways to do this; however, given the level of sophistication of the public these days, it is not enough in itself. Unfortunately, no matter how many people your media operatives are able to successfully manipulate, deceive and/or confuse into a state of harmless resignation, there is always going to be a small but significant minority of people who recognize what you’re doing, and feel compelled to point it out to others. These are the potential critics you want to herd into fake communities and waste as much of their time as possible.
Now we realize it’s tempting to decide to simply ignore this negligible minority of people who are actually paying attention, but the danger in doing that should not be underestimated. Despite the overwhelming military superiority you and your network of transnational corporatist associates currently enjoy by more or less controlling the governments of most nominally sovereign countries, you need to remember that the millions of people you’re working to death in high-tech sweat-shops somewhere in Asia, or are gradually sucking the all the joy of life out of by enslaving in debt and keeping in a constant state of fear, are (i.e. these millions of people are), still, the majority of people on the planet, and could, if they ever organized and rose up against you … well, we don’t even want to think about that.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of herding these critics into fake communities and wasting their time. What we want to achieve here is deceivingly simple — remember, we’re not trying to silence or otherwise repress or curtail the speech of these critics (we’re not despots after all). No, the aim is simply to herd them all into a simulated “commons” where they can shout their criticism back and forth at each other in a completely open and uncensored way … a way that will have absolutely no effect on anything, other than allowing them to blow off steam in a fake environment you control and are able to infinitely sub-divide into ever smaller environments in order to further marginalize any real troublemakers, which there are always going to be a few of those.
We’re not going to have time or space to present an exhaustive survey here, but we do want to note that there are probably numerous examples of the employment of this strategy since the shift from monarchical Despotism to industrial Capitalism began. However, the really exciting stuff doesn’t get going until the Internet comes online … unless you want to count the 1970s, when the majority of American “radicals” abandoned any idea of revolution and retreated to remote rural villages and communes to explore a vast assortment of non-violent spiritual practices and alternative lifestyles, or decided to try to start the revolution in the Humanities departments of universities, or otherwise work “within the system,” after they realized that the police and soldiers you and your corporatist friends employ to maintain your wealth and stranglehold on power were going to shoot them. But we’ll have to leave all that stuff for a later series, as we’re going to focus mainly on the Internet … which is where all the real “action” is these days.
All right, that’s it for Part One. Stay tuned for Part Two, where we’ll take a look at the mother of all contemporary ways to herd people into fake communities and waste their time … social networks.