HomeArticleThey Work To Manufacture Consent Because They Need It. So Don’t Give It To Them.

They Work To Manufacture Consent Because They Need It. So Don’t Give It To Them.

Plutocrat-owned news media outlets lie constantly. When I say this I don’t mean that everything they say is false; many of the events reported by mass media are for the most part factual. Whenever it’s convenient for the loose alliance of western plutocrats, the political establishment those plutocrats own and operate, and the secretive government agencies with which they are allied, the plutocratic media tell the truth to the extent that it advances plutocratic agendas. But only telling the truth when it suits one’s agendas is the same as lying constantly.

A good liar doesn’t simply say the opposite of what’s true all the time; nobody does that. A good liar tells the truth enough of the time to gain a reputation as an honest and trustworthy source of information, and then, when the truth poses an obstacle to their agendas, they put the slightest spin possible on it to nullify that obstacle. They tell half-truths, they omit key pieces of information, and, with really important maneuvers like manufacturing consent for a strategic military destabilization in the Middle East or new cold war escalations against a nuclear superpower, they shift accountability for factual reporting from themselves onto secretive military and intelligence agencies. In this way they keep full control of the narrative and still ensure that the public supports agendas which do not serve the public interest.

This is evidenced by the fact that the public has continued collaborating with a system which kills the ecosystem we depend on for survival and allows people to die of poverty while spending trillions of dollars in needless wars overseas and an ever-expanding Orwellian surveillance network. Everyone besides the most powerful and their lackeys is aware on some level that the current system is not working for them, and yet the overwhelming majority of people keep playing into it by supporting mainstream parties that are fully owned and operated by wealthy oligarchs, and then shrugging and sighing when things keep getting worse.

This is because their consent has been successfully manufactured. Due to the fact that the governed will always vastly outnumber their government, any government necessarily depends upon the consent of the governed. The entire American populace could theoretically wake up tomorrow morning and decide they want to literally eat everyone on Capitol Hill, and there’s not actually anything anyone could do to stop them. The only thing holding existing power structures in place is the fact that the public consents to it, and, in a system which does not serve the interests of the public, the only thing holding that consent in place is the ability of those in power to manufacture it.

So if there’s ever any doubt that international network of ruling elites would pour billions of dollars into controlling public narratives, remember that their power (and potentially their very lives) fully depends on their ability to manufacture the consent of the governed. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. If they lose control of the narrative, they lose everything.

For this reason it is absolutely essential that consent remains seamless and unbroken throughout every step of the march toward greater and greater oligarchic dominance. If they are unable to manufacture consent for a new war or a new escalation in domestic surveillance or what have you, then they don’t get to have it. This is why no full-scale intervention has happened in Syria or Iran for example, despite relentless mass media propaganda campaigns against the governments of those nations. They work so hard to manufacture consent because they absolutely require that consent, and they can’t move forward with their agendas until they get it.

This is not to suggest that an Iraq-style invasion of Syria or Iran would likely cause a revolutionary war or anything like that; that would be naive. If the US and its allies launched such an invasion the people in those allied nations would be outraged, but they would not be outraged enough to kill and die over it. What would happen, though, is a total collapse in their ability to manufacture consent. And that would be just as fatal to their rule as a full-scale violent revolution.

The invasion of Iraq had broad public support, but after it was discovered to have been a catastrophic, immensely costly intervention based on nothing but lies, it is now looked upon unfavorably. If they tried to force another Iraq-style invasion through, the public would not accept the narratives they were fed about it, and they would see the MSM lie factory for what it is. This collapse of the public’s trust in anything the talking heads on TV say would make everyone impossible to propagandize, and thus impossible to rule over. The people would begin telling their own stories about what’s going on, in a way which better reflects reality and better serves themselves instead of the alliance of sociopathic billionaires. If this happened, the old power structures could be shrugged off like a heavy coat on a warm day without anyone firing a shot, simply by the public deciding to rewrite the rules in a way which benefits the public.

This is absolutely essential to be aware of, because it means that we can collectively prevent any agenda from being advanced as long as enough of us refuse to consent to it. And all that needs to happen for that consent to be withdrawn is the exposure of the lies that the mass media is spinning to advance a given agenda.

We’ve already seen this happen with Syria. There was a stretch in April of this year where the mass media machine was cranking out attack editorials on alternative media voices who’d cast doubt upon the establishment Syria narrative, because there was so much opposition to what we were being told to believe about the Assad government that the alliance of plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies were unable to manufacture support for a large-scale invasion. All they got out of their massive MSM propaganda blitz in April was a meaningless bombing which accomplished essentially nothing, and now the Syrian government is recapturing its territory from the violent jihadists who had seized it with western backing. Had the “think of the children!” propaganda campaign succeeded in the wake of the highly suspicious Douma incident, we would likely have seen a very dangerous and costly western regime change intervention in Syria by now.

We can do this with literally anything. The people don’t need to consent to another idiotic war. The people don’t need to consent to a two-headed one-party system which pretends that domestic espionage is acceptable or that wanting the US to stop facilitating the slaughter of Yemeni civilians is some crazy, radical fringe position. The people don’t need to consent to the persecution of Julian Assange. The people don’t need to consent to the rule of the oligarchs at all. By collectively withdrawing our consent for those things in our own self-interest, we can make them unsustainable.

And of course, our rulers are acutely aware of this possibility. This is the reason for the current moral panic about “Russian bots”, “Kremlin propaganda” and “fake news”. It’s the reason for the smear campaign against WikiLeaks and the attempts to imprison Julian Assange. It’s the reason for the tightening corporate censorship we’re seeing with Google, Facebook and Twitter. Our rulers are aware that any of their agendas can be thwarted simply by their failing to manufacture consent for them, so any voices which disrupt that consent-manufacturing machine are in the crosshairs for attack and silencing.

But they can’t be too ham fisted about their censorship attempts, because the public would never consent to full-scale totalitarian censorship out in the open. The illusion of freedom and democracy would be shattered, trust in the propaganda machine would die, and the oligarchs would completely lose control of the narrative. The nice guy mask needs to remain firmly in place for any consent manufacturing to take effect; as soon as they remove it they lose the mechanism of manipulation and control that their entire system of rule is built upon. This buys us some time. Not a lot of time, but some.

So the time to strike is now, while the iron is hot. Disrupt the consent-manufacturing machine at every opportunity, because it’s the only thing holding the bars of our cage in place. The new media environment is still ripe for a grassroots campaign to expose the lies of our rulers and shine light on the puppeteers of the kabuki theater using facts, information and intelligent arguments.

So let them have it with both barrels. Blog, tweet, make videos, make memes, engage in debates; any day you can weaken the trust that even one person has in any part of the deception machine is a gain in this battle. Fight their lies with truth and their evil with good will. When you are opposing a depraved power establishment which relies on deceit to sustain its rule, you have truth and light on your side. So fight with absolute certainty in yourself, and give them everything you’ve got. This might be humanity’s last chance.

_____________________

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Latest comments

  • Hell, There’s no shortage of examples! Democracy Now, Newsbud, The Intercept, Rabble and on and on.

    • “A good liar doesn’t simply say the opposite of what’s true all the time; nobody does that. A good liar tells the truth enough of the time to gain a reputation as an honest and trustworthy source of information…”

      I forgot to add the above in my comment about examples.

  • 1 Fight
    2 evil
    3 with goodwill:
    4 Exactly! Don’t
    5 hate enemies: Hate
    6 is self-destructive and
    7 blinding. Love makes a better
    8 weapon: No recoil! We’ve escaped
    9 from their death cult: Free at last! Be glad!
    0 Share the corrosive joy with those still trapped!

  • Great work Caitlin, to demonstrate that the establishment does NOT have people’s consent a coming together of all people regardless of left or right position under the single banner of ‘no more war, no more militarism’ .

    If this were done with clear call to meet under a truce against sniping left or right etc., Just meet for peace.

    THAT would send the message. It was done in the moratoriums for Peace in Vietnam across the planet and can be done again. That type of position should be in attendance at every Trump rally, every mid term rally. A single icon uniting all factions under the banner of no more war, no more militarism. It would also give a clear message to Trump to stiffen his reluctance and convert it to resistance if possible.

    After all if the Syrians can achieve village by village reconciliation then so can the rest of the world. It is possible to demilitarise in the most dire of conditions and the Syrian fighters and civilians have shown us all the way.

  • The world burns
    Burns and burns
    Evil escapes, disguises
    But I see it, I feel it, I hate it.

    We all hate it. We all hate it.
    We tremble when we see kindness.
    I love the trembling.
    We all do.

  • Who are the heros of our time?
    Bill Binney
    Edward Snowden
    Chelsea Manning
    Julian Assange

  • Passive resistance.
    No debt.
    No tv.
    No cell phone.
    Disregard any all main stream media – especially those that pander to you.
    Believe in nothing beyond the love of your children and dog.
    Do not be into anything other than fresh air and simple food and walks.
    Be nice – that will get them. God is what we make him.

  • That they somehow live in fear of the many is I think part of the narrative. It makes the public feels some sense of worth and power that if they were to turn off the tele and put down thier beer and cell phone and lift thier tired butts from the sofa that then there would be serious trouble. They laugh at the concept. They use as as cannon fodder. They ensure that we are uneducated, poor, angry, uninformed and distracted and battling each other. Education is the key. It is too late for most of us except to let the children know what they are up against.

  • Caitlin – Thank you for what you do. Your articles are always impactful and profound. I joined your Patreon today and I hope many more will join me to support your important work.

    A few supporting thoughts, from the front-line of the blockchain disruption:

    Before the Internet and Bitcoin, coordination of individuals across distance depended on agents and centralized institutions. It is easier to buy my food in one grocery store rather than travel from farm to farm. It is easier to delegate my vote to a representative who can travel to the Althing rather than everyone traveling to the Capital.

    Our modern societies are dependent on these centralized institutions. Our monies, our identities, our food, our streets, everything around us is managed and coordinated by centralized institutions. This is all about to change. While centralized governance got us this far, it will not take us much further. The problem is this:

    The accelerating pace of technological innovation is overwhelming our institutions ability to adapt.

    Governments are still struggling to come to grips with the Internet… they will be unable to truly understand Bitcoin. Bitcoin was created to *replace* government dictat. This has nothing to do with the price of bitcoins; it’s about the technology. The technology is taking away government’s ability to inflate their fiat currencies. This technology is a tool that can help us take away government’s ability to wage wars. The iron is hot indeed!

    Trust-minimized collaboration using peer-to-peer protocols can be used to decentralize practically anything. It takes some effort, but the efforts are being made. The technology is not quite ready for mainstream, but with more help, we can get there a little faster. A little faster is a big deal: fewer dead and fewer victim-less victims of the state.

    Everyone can help; not just software engineers. Sales, marketing, designers, script writers, etc. This is not about capitalism vs socialism. This is about cartelized power vs individual liberty. If you are on the side of individuals, please learn to use crypto. The singularity will be decentralized.

  • You are wrong about the Iraq war having broad public support, Caitlin. 10 million people from 60 different countries took to the streets to protest against it. Bush’s response was something to the effect that he wasn’t going to base his decision on polls. We, in Manhattan were not allowed to march per Mayor Bloomberg’s orders, so we gathered in the streets, packed in so close that a woman next to me noticed my earring not properly attached. I was surrounded by people from all over the country who had come to NYC, where the 9/11 bombing had occurred to deliver their message. Above us were the helicopters intimidating us.
    From that non-march I came to understand that the purpose of a protest is not to influence government leaders, which may or may not happen, it’s gathering of people in support of each other in their beliefs against evil. We do it for each other.

  • The last time there was mass withdrawal of consent was 1968. The response was violent suppression. It happened worldwide. Today, the violence would be more violent, more pervasive, and deadly for those who, rightly or wrongly, are identified by the authorities as leaders. In 1968 the tactics of the protesters largely took the form of mass, public demonstrations.. That will not work today. We have to find other ways.
    By the way, I vote for local officials such as my village board and school board. For all the rest I vote for the Marx family: Karl, Chico, Groucho, Gummo, Harpo, and Zeppo.

  • Very apposite comments, Caitlin. My particular beef is with the economic agenda, a neo liberal construct that encourages the rich to keep the majority down and poor. In reality economists and the MSM keep up with lies about the economy and they are part of the problem. MMT as it is known – Modern Monetary Theory – is a recipe that explains how the macroeconomy actually functions.

    The neo liberal economy is positively evil but most of us do not know what it is that can straighten out the discourse. I won’t go in to it here, but do the research and then tell anyone who will listen that it has to change. The manufacturing of consent here is all encompassing and all wrong.

  • Caitlin. I agree with the premise that power is within our gift. However, when Bush & Blair in 2003 were trying to raise the clamour for their illegal invasion of Iraq, 2 millions of us marched through London to oppose their lies. Just about the most common slogan on the banners was about Tony BLiar. Every city in the UK also held protest marches and I read that 38 million people throughout the world also marched that day. We withdrew our consent to be lied to, but what happened? They just ignored us all. This (for me) was the final nail in the coffin of British Democracy and why we voted with our feet and came South. I suspect that they ultimately won because they just don’t care how many oppose them and refuse to be lied to. There will be a critical mass, but getting there is the major challenge in light of that massive defeat.

  • “I gather this was done to forge a new identity for a ‘chosen people’ back then, and the implications of this form of falsehood has even reverberated down to this very day to being a major geopolitical thorn for all the world’s people today.  Unless we identify our maladaptive mindsets as the root cause of all the causes of all that is wrong in this world as they perpetuate life-disabling narratives and justifies the subjugation of one group of people over the other, one sex over the other, one aspect of nature over the other, we will always be at war with each other, drugged up and in perpetual enslavement to the keepers and masters of these death-enabling narratives.”

    https://bsahely.com/2016/03/25/dont-believe-everything-you-were-programmed-to-think/

  • How do we convince the powers-that-be that we no longer accept the narratives they’re force-feeding us ? In most elections , over 80% of incumbents are re-elected. What if , in the upcoming November elections , zero percent of incumbents were re-elected ? Would that wake some people up ? A simple voting strategy that would bring the left and right together on the one issue on which we agree : Our current leaders aren’t fit for purpose , because they don’t listen to voters , they listen only to money. We can change that by showing them that if they fail to listen to us , they’ll soon be out of a job.

  • Perhaps people are waking up at last. In the last year the BBC Today program lost 800,000 listeners – from 7,800,000 to 7,000,000.

    As one of the most egregious lying propaganda outfits, the BBC doesn’t deserve any audience. The world would be better off without it.

    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2018/08/02/its-not-in-your-head-hundreds-of-thousands-of-listeners-just-hit-back-at-bbc-radio-4/

  • I have stopped cooperating by simply refusing to vote. Now if a major national figure that the public trusts, such as Oprah or someone like her were to start a national campaign to “vote the incumbents out” I would vote. Tell could people to vote for whatever candidate in whatever party that is on the ballot, as long as it is NOT the incumbent might actually work. Nothing else will change anything.

    • I agree about the incumbent part of your comment, but to put someone we “trust” such as Oprah in power or control would be a mistake of outrageous proportions. Oprah is establishment, up to her ears. She would talk the talk, but would never walk the walk, she could never be considered a revolutionary, “people’s candidate”. To her that would be shooting herself in the foot. She would use your “trust” to betray you, just as her last effort did, her choice was Obama. Remember how that worked out?

      The entire Congress, Presidency, and Supreme Court are all compromised. They no longer represent us. They’ve been bought, bled, and battered into submission to vote as a unit on certain issues. They represent a “Master”, and it ain’t US. That’s the simple truth.

      The power structure of the Empire belongs to corporate interests, not the interests of individuals, or humanity. Recognizing who is a representative of the empires, is vital.

      Oprah is the very personification of “Empire”. She is an Empire. Don’t be fooled by her, please.
      LB

  • Great sentiments well put.
    No wonder CounterPunch tried to take you down. They are now deeply in the throes of Russophobic, Muellerphilic delusions which can lead us into another World War, WWT (T is not for “Three” but for “Terminal”.

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