The NPC meme has gone mainstream. Reports by major mass media outlets like the New York Times and the BBC have turned it into a viral sensation, and now everyone and their grandma knows about the meme used to spoof mindless followers of liberal media herd mentality programming. Any venture into the fray of the political Twittersphere now comes with a twist of alternate accounts with gray-faced profile pictures bleating things like “Orange man bad” and “#IMPEACH” in cartoonish mockery of the repetitive lines used by the rank-and-file opposition to Donald Trump.
And it’s great. The foam-brained mainliners of MSNBC and Washington Post propaganda deserve to have their unquestioning faith in establishment narratives mocked at every turn, and the propagandists who promulgate those lies day after day deserve to be lampooned. One of the most fundamentally profane things a human being can do is turn over their mental sovereignty to the institutions and agendas of the powerful, and by allowing themselves to be indoctrinated into establishment narratives that is exactly what is happening. They abdicate their rightful position as a creative participant in this world and allow their mental processes to be transformed into a looping churn of ideas manufactured in some DC think tank for the benefit of a few billionaires and their lackeys.
Interacting with such indoctrinated minions can be very much like interacting with an non-player character (NPC) in a video game. Read the comments section of any popular social media post about Russia or Julian Assange and you’ll see the same three or four spoon-fed talking points repeated over and over again like the “I took an arrow in the knee” guys in Skyrim. If you begin engaging these mechanical regurgitators you’ll find yourself having the exact same conversations, often verbatim, which just so happen to also be arguments promulgated by Rachel Maddow and Seth Abramson not long before.
This happens because an echo chamber has been carefully and deliberately designed to streamline ideas into the heads of Democratic Party loyalists without any interference from outside narratives causing cognitive dissonance. On November 2, 2007, John Podesta wrote an email to billionaires George Soros, Peter Lewis, Herb and Marion Sandler, John Sperling, and millionaire Steve Bing with a detailed and structured overview of material the group had covered during a meeting they’d had in September. Click ‘Attachments’ and then ‘2008 Combined Fundraising, Message and Mobilization Plan’ on this WikiLeaks release to read the full document, page two of which contains the following passage:
“Control the political discourse. So much effort over the past few years has been focused on better coordinating, strengthening, and developing progressive institutions and leaders. Now that this enhanced infrastructure is in place — grassroots organizing; multi-issue advocacy groups; think tanks; youth outreach; faith communities; micro-targeting outfits; the netroots and blogosphere — we need to better utilize these networks to drive the content of politics through a strong “echo chamber” and message delivery system”
And on page four:
“Create a robust echo chamber with progressive messaging that spans from the opposition campaigns to outside groups, academic experts, and bloggers.”
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 23, 2018
Of course, the only reason Democrats and their plutocratic puppet masters have been working so hard to control political discourse is because Republicans have been using the echo chamber dynamic so effectively against them. During the Bush years it was fascinating to interact with American conservatives because of the way all the pundits on Fox and AM radio would all start saying the same thing about a given issue at the same time, and by the next day all the rank-and-file Republicans would be repeating their input word-for-word in water cooler conversations from coast to coast. Right wingers forget this, but the term “echo chamber” was originally popularized to refer to the way Republicans had successfully streamlined information from think tank to pundit class to rank-and-file conservative media consumer.
Indeed, many of these same right wingers who are going around talking about what hollow, unthinking NPCs liberals are show up in my social media notifications regurgitating think tank-manufactured arguments which have been funneled into their minds by the still very functional GOP echo chamber. It’s beyond me how anyone can see themselves as a sovereign free thinker while believing they’ll be fighting the deep state by voting for Republicans in the midterms or that this administration’s neoconservative warmongering in Iran is perfectly legitimate, but God bless them, they manage.
Both Democratic and Republican party manipulators alike now aggressively control the partisan groupthink within their ranks, because they and their plutocratic owners understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Rank-and-file #Resistance NPCs bleat that Trump is Putin’s puppet and Julian Assange “can leave the embassy whenever he wants” like good little automatons, and MAGA hat-wearing NPCs bleat that their president is “fighting the deep state” and it’s important to elect Republicans because a group of migrants is heading toward the US border right before the 2018 midterms.
Right wingers: Liberals are a bunch of mindless, groupthink-following NPCs.
Also right wingers: Regime change in Iran would be a great idea. I know because the president told me so.
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 18, 2018
In reality, the only people who benefit from Democrats or Republicans controlling the US government are the plutocratic class which owns them both. The #Resistance is an astroturf movement manufactured in DC by establishment manipulators to harness the grassroots energy of the Bernie Sanders movement, and when you strip away the adoring narratives of his supporters and the hysterical narratives of his political opponents, Trump is not significantly different as a president from his predecessors. Both are posing as organic grassroots populism. Both are artificial manipulations staged to herd the public into supporting establishment politics for the benefit of the powerful.
At this point, anyone who still believes either party actually represents their interests is an NPC. No matter what happens in the midterm elections (traditionally a retaking of the House by Democrats and possible gains in the Senate as well, but given Democrats’ fondness for failure lately who knows) the only real winners will be the plutocratic class which holds all the cards and controls all the outcomes regardless of which party is in power. I’m not telling people that voting necessarily makes no difference or that it’s something they should avoid, but I am saying that no real change will come to America until Americans uproot the two-headed one-party system of the oligarchy and replace it with something that serves them.
Until that happens, nobody who believes that giving power to either party will help them is really playing the game. The Democratic and Republican parties are two fists on the same boxer using the same one-two punch combination over and over again, and the person that they are punching is you. You don’t win a boxing match by choosing which fist you’d prefer to get hit with and leaving yourself open to it as often as possible, you win it by fighting the actual boxer. This fight is already currently underway whether you choose to fight back or not. The bell has already been rung and you’ve been eating leather for a long time now.
Don’t be an NPC. Get those gloves up.
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