This first of a new series charts our drift from naturally formed, evidenced opinions to Herd belief and chronic mass fear
As soon as there were tribes with elders – and things in writing – human beings have been persuaded by one approach or another. Even today, to confirm minimal wriggle-room when something is confirmed, we say “Can I have that in writing please?”
But generally speaking, even in Egypt, Greece and then Rome, “media” influence was minimal, because beyond boco-boco word of mouth, there weren’t any.
Early farmers, healers, facilitators, cooks, lawmakers and teachers were almost pure observational empiricists. They observed what happened, they studied success and failure, they learned….and they passed the learning on.
Above all, they were concerned with the real thing.
Early on, however, cunning pharisees with zero practical skills (beyond thinking about how to facilitate their route to power) came up with Gods as the explanation of logical fecundity. “The Lord giveth,” they asserted, “but if you don’t obey me, their agent on Earth, they will take away”.
It is a very early example of human gullibility that hardly anyone asked why Gods put glittery packages under the tree and then took their Christmas presents back. But any impertinent questions asked of the priest were batted back with descriptions of Hell. Fear rules, OK.
However, that sort of influence aside, pretty much most of humanity during BC consisted of discovery, confirmation, testing and analysis based on the following basic interrogation criteria:
- Does it contribute to the sick patient getting well?
- Does it ensure we have plenty of clean water?
- Does it give us more to eat?
- Does it help us to store during the famines?
- Will it keep us warm?
Feeling good, keeping hydrated, eating regularly, preserving fecundity and having shelter. Sorted….after a fashion.
After tribal communities and then City States (I’m simplifying for brevity here) came Nation States. More scale, more people, more laws, more bureaucracy, more need to inform.
So began Town Criers, oh yeh, oh yeh. And then in 1450 came William Caxton , an English merchant, diplomat and writer thought to be the first person to introduce a printing press into England…and allegedly, the first English retailer of printed books.
Like all diplomats, Caxton preferred invention to any thought whatsoever about the consequences. The printing press was the beginning of the end of individual thought and observation as the basis of a Free Man’s opinion: from then on, there would be bibles, preservable scrolls, tracts, pamphlets, a zillion other forms of ‘economical truth’, but above all newspapers that represented little more than the bigotry and megalomania of the mogul who owned the presses.
For a century or two, religion tied to a State narrative was actually strengthened by sermons from the pulpit being printed to justify everything from slaughtering babies to bashing the Bosh:
God heard the embattled nations sing
Gott strafe England, God save the King
God this, God that, God every other thing
“My God,” said God on hearing them all shout,
“I’ve really got my bloody work cut out”.
But then Marx, Darwin, Planck and Einstein began to challenge every assumption: Homo sapiens’ limited comprehension of reality was woefully incomplete. Religion was an opiate, Time is relative, separation is an illusion, and Newton was blown away. Such thinking was perverted by those who saw Nineteen Eighty-Four as a blueprint for mass deception.
Internet virtual digitalisation has completed the process whereby everything scientifically uncertain can be used to recruit those who need an infantile comfort blanket of catechism in order to feel both safe and protected.
As traditional religious belief went into decline, the idea of “settled science” became an anchor on the same persuasive level as religion’s declaration of everlasting life. But anchored ships stay in port, the voyager gene atrophies, education narrows, ignorance rises….and so ironically, there are more things to fear.
The settled science ideologues are happy to reassure folks that they can be kept safe if they believe. And the neocon hegemonists keep providing the bogey-men that prove we need protecting.
The media are the most powerful means they have of keeping the Defcon level at 2 bordering on 1. As globalist financialisation and borrowed-money mergers concentrated media control into fewer and fewer hands (there are 85% fewer owners than there were forty years ago, although the media apertures themselves have exploded) what had always been the case now became blatantly obvious: moguls are there to make money.
They cut costs, they ventured into “sponsored content” (hidden ads in the editorial) and they instructed their journalists to write what brings in money from the fear-mongers. Digital social media cooperated with the agendas of the Shadow State through censorship and professional trolls.
Trust in the media plummeted….which – further irony – meant yet more uncertainty, and more need to believe in the power of the State to protect. Anyone calling out this vicious circle was branded “conspiranoid”: security services called their excuses ‘intelligence’, and everyone who questioned it “wild conspiracy theorists”.
It is thus no accident that the 21st century so far has seen a steady series of partially or totally fictional threats: WOMD, global collapse unless big banks were bailed out, Climate change, Far Right Nazism, celebrities falsely accused of paedophilia, the mortal danger of Brexit, Putin’s interference with poisons and social media trolls, Covid19, and dirty tricks by the Chinese in Wuhan.
But what is the citizen to do if faced by compelling evidence ‘demonstrated’ by both sides of an issue or cultural direction? Most citizens (in a way, quite rationally) take the wait-and-see attitude…..while the activists on both sides become steadily more bitter, frustrated, and likely to resort to violence.
The bottom line is division on almost every topic imaginable, and a profusion of confusion. Some of the attitudes adopted by Establishment media – the BBC on “diversity”, The Guardian on why Brexit is a “disaster”, The Times’s inability to stop using the words “killer virus” next to Covid19 – are, at long last, beginning to unravel; but for many, they are still the security blanket that allows for peaceful sleep.
Politicians dole out more and more appeasement of narcissists who take advantage of such media correctness about Antifa, Black Lives, defunding the police, Gay Pride, Taking the Knee, tearing down statues and a dozen more socially unnatural ideas.
So ultimately, an unthinking majority has been persuaded by manipulated data and alarmist claptrap that the natural approach to Coronavirus would be unspeakably dangerous. They wrongly reject herd immunity, protection of the most vulnerable and no Lockdown….and wrongly embrace shutting down entire economies, wearing masks that are not protective in any real sense, travel restrictions and the hunt for a vaccine that will “immunise” people forever….an outright, blind nonsense that is the most risky and unnatural approach imaginable.
Fear has its reward for the 3% using the hitech media to disguise, censor, spy and control.
For everyone else, slavery beckons: