A slogan popular in 1789; not pleasant; not recommended behavior; but the sort of thing that happens when people who have had too much gather torches and pitchforks and head to the castle. Is the West approaching that moment?
Let me make the argument that the sheep will never rise. I hope I’m wrong but I suspect that it’s too late.
State propaganda is far, far more powerful than it was in 1789, 1848, 1917 or at any other revolutionary time. And it’s confident that its audience believes everything and remembers nothing. This essay gives examples of what Western reporting expects us to swallow – “A Russian detention center in the Donbass is shelled and 50–odd Ukrainian prisoners are killed. We are asked to believe that Russian forces shelled their own holding camp for reasons unexplained.” Who would be dumb enough to think that the Russians would go to the trouble of shelling the prison when they could easily “disappear” these people? Likewise we are supposed to casually accept that “Russians are shelling a nuclear power plant their own troops have guarded since March”. And that’s just Ukraine. Putin tries to kill somebody but leaves him alone once he gets him in jail. We have the whole thing on radar but nobody can see it. Masks were a bad idea in March 2020 but a good one in June. How about the Steele dossier? A guy in a buffalo hat almost overthrew the United States government. The deadly poison is put back in the bottle and wrapped in cellophane. And all the Hitlers! Milosevic, Sadaam, Gadaffi, Xi, Putin! It’s always Hitler time and it’s always 1937 in Munich.
Absurd as these assertions are, how many of your neighbors question them? Or for that matter, how many who are sure there was something between Trump and Putin even remember the details? The prostitutes and the bed? Alfa Bank? Manafort? “All 17 agencies”? The details are gone but the impression remains.
The effect is all-encompassing. It’s very in-your-face with the Ukraine war in which any deviation from the accepted story of “brutal and unprovoked invasion is failing” is treated as Putin-licking. Can we now laugh at the “senior UK defense sources” who told us Russia had a couple of weeks left in March? How about Wallace telling us Russia had lost in June? Maybe. But you’d better not laugh when they say it again in July and yet again in August. And Putin’s health! The man’s a wreck – “seen limping during foreign summit in September.” That was 2012 – here’s the same story 12 years later. When are we allowed to say that these stories are just propagandist crap? Or would that expose us to the charge of being denialists?
Of course we still have freedom of speech in the West – it’s one of the “core values” they’re always boasting about. But not, of course, if it’s hate speech, science denialism, conspiracy theories or – especially not, not ever – disinformation. The only ray of hope on this particular horizon is that trust in the media is at record lows. Which is probably why there is such an effort to get “disinformation” off the alternate media. It’s a race that I’m don’t expect freedom of speech to win. I see the time coming when all that will be left in the mainstream media is the freedom to say how much you love Big Brother. On the “alternate media” we’ll be able to suggest that we could love him even more if his eyebrows were trimmed. A bit.
Once upon a time, the left agreed that the rich should be overthrown, workers get more and that wars were usually bad. Now they argue about pronouns and which toilet stall to use while the rich become super-rich, the little guy is pushed to the edge and wars are everywhere. This is no small change. The more differences that can be created between individuals, the less chance there is that the people will unite. Returning to 1789, the Cahiers de doléances had a certain unity. What would we see today? Lots of complaints but none the same. Who goes to the lanterns? My tribe has my list, yours yours, others theirs. Many lists but none the same. We’re too divided to agree on anything. So much for a unified opposition. As to wars, lots of lefties now agree they are the best way to spread human rights. Do you think all that just happened by chance?
In 1789 if you wanted to shut out the world alcohol was the only exit. Think how many more exits we have today. Marijuana, cocaine, poppies and their derivatives are all out there. They have been joined by powerful artificial enhancements like the opioids – fentanyl is said to be the prime cause of death among 18-45 year olds. Alcohol is still there but even more so: “The rate of all alcohol-related ED visits increased 47 percent between 2006 and 2014.” Do you think the rate has decreased? Of course it hasn’t. Not much good news and happiness in the last decade, was there? All the entertainment you can soak yourself in – movies, round-the-clock sports, a thousand varieties of popular music, superheroes, comic books, porn, ego-stroking on social media. And more being constructed by people who are skilled at attracting eyeballs and ears. So, like they said in the 60s, when the disgust level gets too high, “turn on, tune in, drop out”. Lots more to turn you on, lots more tunes and lots more reasons to drop out. Or, less dramatically, “quiet quitting” – if you can’t stop it, don’t help it.
State propaganda is too powerful, people are divided into hostile tribes and it’s much easier to just fade out. And we’ve all bought trackers and spy devices disguised as smart phones. The bad guys have won I fear.
Not that they’ve won very much that is – just a comfier deck chair.
The iceberg waits, the Mandate of Heaven shifts.