For now, we see through a glass darkly
This post is in parts for reasons that I hope will become clear(er) as I write them:
1.) I was on the elevator at work on Friday. It was just the two of us, an African American guy and me. He sighed heavily and looked down. He looked worn out. “Tired?”, I said. “Depressed”, he said. I asked him why. “It’s Charleston.” He got off at the next floor, turned to me and said something to explain as the doors were closing.
I didn’t catch it. I couldn’t stop the elevator. He was gone before I had a chance to hear him. I felt really bad about that.
2.) Dylann Roof didn’t spontaneously generate. He is a product of his environment. I read the article in the NYTimes about his so-called “manifesto” and how some of it had its genesis in the stories the right wing tells itself about George Zimmerman gunning down Trayvon Martin. Roof came to see that Zimmerman’s actions were completely justified. Just out of curiosity, I googled Rush Limbaugh and George Zimmerman. I took one for the team and read that garbage so you don’t have to, my best beloveds. Here’s what I found:
First, Rush was livid (well, when is he not livid?) that the news media wasn’t covering the Zimmerman trial as obsessively as he and his droogs were. That really ticked him off. The Zimmerman trial explained everything that was wrong with America and not covering just showed how complicit the media was.
Secondly, Trayvon Martin was planning to commit a felony. This was explained by the use of the word “cracka” to his friend who he was talking on the phone with just before Zimmerman shot him. According to Rush, in a matter of seconds, Martin had determined that Zimmerman was a police officer (in plain clothes) or a security guard, weighed the consequences of his actions and had decided to beat the shit out of this “cracka”, which would have been a felony.
So, basically, the argument goes, if you are black and minding your own business talking to someone on the phone and someone is following you in a menacing manner, if you have any intention of defending yourself, that intention will be interpreted as a criminal act of defiance even if the person who is threatening you is not authorized to interfere with you. In other words, if you are African American, treat every person who bothers you or attempts to curb your liberty as an authority figure who has the right to do it or you will get shot. If you try to defend yourself, as most people might do if they are confronted with a gun wielding stranger, and you get shot, you brought it on yourself by refusing to submit and by your felonious actions.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who sees obvious problems with this theory.
3.) Here’s my own thoughts about what’s going on. Referring back to what I have written previously about thought reform, the BITE model and information control, it is my hypothesis that the reason why we can’t have nice things, long term unemployment is not important to anybody, poor people are “parasites”, religious people are really into shaming women and the racism genie is finally all the way out of the bottle, is because there has been an increasing and steady stream of information flooding the cable news channels, radio airwaves, conservative churches, and family picnics. If you have never been to a cookout where one of your sister’s redneck friends indignantly tells you about how all the liberals should be shot with his gun collection as you offer him a grilled sausage stuffed peppadew, you haven’t lived. Yes, that actually happened. I have often wondered how this dude who I had never met before or had exchanged any words with had any idea that I was a liberal. I wasn’t wearing my standard issue liberal garb that day so how did he know…? This is one of the reasons I absolutely refuse to live in central Pennsylvania. They just have radar about these things.
If you ever want to hear something chilling, listen to Steve Hassan, former Moonie and current cult mind control expert, talk about how far he was willing to go to follow Sun Yung Moon even to the point that he would praise Hitler. Hassan comes from a nice Jewish family but his devotion to Moon was so great that he was able to ignore all that he knew about the Holocaust and mindlessly spew anti-Jewish propaganda.
Side note: I was stunned to hear people I cared about tell me back in 2008 that it was ok if you have racist thoughts. It’s not illegal. Oh, sure, THEY didn’t have racist thoughts. THEY weren’t ignorant and bigots. But if a person is ignorant and bigoted and has racist thoughts, what’s that got to do with me? It’s not against the law. We can’t go around policing other people’s thoughts all the time.
That was a bad omen, Oh best beloveds. I heard this said by multiple people who I respected who were essentially giving permission to the ignorant and bigoted. It was about the same time that it became ok to treat women as irrelevant and “bitches” too. So, you know, once you start letting some of the worms hatch out of the mud, they all start to hatch out.
Hassan says that people who are susceptible to undue influence are not necessarily stupid people or poorly educated. The left’s notion that low-information voters are the people most susceptible to voting against their own interests is missing the point. Anyone is vulnerable to undue influence when they are targeted by manipulative actors who are skilled at using the BITE model. Control someone’s thoughts and emotions and you can control their behavior. Control their behavior and emotions and you can control their thoughts. Control the information they get, from whatever sources, and you can control their thoughts and emotions. For Democratic activists, who were the key to the 2008 elections, controlling the information in the left blogosphere was crucial. I’ve gone over how they did it in detail but if anyone wants the Cliff Notes version in BITE format, I’ll be happy to do that to show exactly how they did it.
For Americans in general, controlling the information from cable news channels, talk radio and religious institutions is key. Converting a population takes a lot information until it almost seems normal to believe what all your neighbors believe even if you’ve never believed that crap before. Before you know it, you’re saying stuff you never would have thought thirty years before.
Whole countries have gone stark raving mad when under the influence of the BITE model. Nazi Germany stayed in its grip right up to the very end when Adolf and Eva had to hide in a bunker while Berlin and eastern Europe were bombed back into the stone age. Sometimes, that’s what it takes to snap people out of it, especially when they’re under the influence of very powerful practitioners. In the modern era, we have just seen the UK vote into office some stunningly awful economic conservatives, and while those newly elected leaders slash and burn the social safety net, voters lament all the services they are losing and how harshly it is going to affect the lives of the poor. But they are unable to break free of the BITE model. They can’t snap out of it. It’s interesting to note that the Scottish independence movement almost managed to do it last year but at the very last moment when the complacent saw how the polls were going, newspapers, television and the BBC turned off the spigot to independent voices, turned up the volume on fear, uncertainty and dread, and the vote died. Lots of promises were made, promises that Parliament had no intentions of keeping. Now Scotland is stuck. It’s tax dollars go to support a regime that is completely at odds with its own population north of Hadrian’s wall.
4.) So, now we are starting to recognize acts like those that took place in Charleston this week for what they are: domestic terrorism. Indeed, Roof’s rationalizations remind me of Tim McVeigh’s reasons for blowing up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh was angry about what the FBI did in Waco and Ruby Ridge. Let’s face it, people like Roof and McVeigh, dissatisfied with the way life is going in the US and prodded to become enraged by influencers whose motives they might not be completely aware of, are dangerous people.
The problem is that there are many people out there who feel like the current economic and social model is not meeting the expectations they were raised to expect. They’re not on the top of the pyramid in the way their gender or “race” had promised them. And for some reason, they’re not looking up to see who is choking off them money supply. Even the best politicians we have running for president, save one, are masking who is responsible for what is happening to our economic prospects. Instead, there is a lot of information out there that blames poor people or black people or women or atheists or gay people. And we have seen from Ferguson and McKinney and from Baltimore and Cleveland, that if you go after the people who the influencers with big microphones say are drinking your milkshake, you can get away with murder.
Maybe if you start a race war or a war against the government, you can finally take care of the problem once and for all.
By the way, you will have noticed that up to this point, I haven’t said anything about Obama. That’s for a couple of reasons. First, this problem started before Obama even thought about running for anything. Second, it’s not like Obama has spent his years in office as a champion for African-Americans. He’s a company man who reacts to events that happen to the African American community. I’m hoping that the left is finally seeing the difference. What he is to the right wing is simply a convenient lightening rod to channel their anger and outrage.
I’ve said before on this blog that the Islamic terrorists don’t frighten me nearly as much as the domestic variety. That’s because the number of Muslims in the US is pretty tiny and the ones I know have better things to do with their time than plan terrorist events, Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev notwithstanding. In fact, the Tsarnaevs prove my point. Their actions, as grievous as they were, were self-limiting. There was no network, they were killed or captured quickly and there was nowhere for them to hide, really. An Islamic terrorist in the US has to be very careful.There are a lot more of us than there are of them.
But a domestic terrorist whose motives are that African Americans, women, gay people or liberals are getting in the way of Jesus, baseball and apple pie?
They are EVERYWHERE. They can blow up abortion clinics and hide in the mountains for years and people will cover for them.I was surprised by the reaction of some of Roof’s neighbors to hearing about what he did. It wasn’t horror and condemnation. It was more like, why did he have to go all the way to Charleston? Why indeed.
It’s a lot harder to racially profile a domestic terrorist. They look like your neighbors or conservative brother in law and who is going to think they’re going to do something crazy? Dylann Roof’s roommates didn’t take him seriously. So what if he was into confederate flags?
5.) And they have guns. There are a lot of angry people that have guns.
This is the summary of my hypothesis. There is a flood of information from people who wish to unduly influence a population. The purpose of this influence appears to be to use the election cycle to impose a plutocracy. The flood of information that money can buy is being used to enrage ordinary people against people who may use the safety net. The unduly influenced vote for candidates who undermine the safety net. The people who have the money to buy the information empire do not possess the capacity for empathy. They appear to be malignant narcissists. That there may be collateral damage from pushing emotional outrage and thought control techniques on an unsuspecting public does not seem to bother these malignant narcissists a whit. In fact, it works in their favor that there is an anachronistic, ill-defined second amendment ensuring that the people they are angering have almost unlimited access to guns.
That makes the outrage self-reinforcing. If I’m outraged and I have a gun, I don’t have to put up with any government pushing crap on me. I am defiant. I can fly the confederate flag above my statehouse. What are you going to do about it?
If I didn’t know better, I would say that the plutocratic malignant narcissists who are funding the flood of enraging information are actively encouraging a sort of domestic terrorism. Because the other half of the American public is starting to come to the realization that there are a lot of irrationally angry people out there with guns and they are now starting to turn on the people who are getting in their way.
It is getting to be very dangerous to be an American who is African American, gay, female or poor.
6.) It’s now clear that the combination of inflammatory rhetoric with access to guns is a dangerous combination to the rest of us. There are a couple of ways to address this problem. One is gun control. But as many people have pointed out, in the current political environment, that’s going nowhere.
The other thing that can be done is to stop with the inflammatory rhetoric. That doesn’t mean censorship. It’s just that the Rush’s and Glenns and Fox News’s could voluntarily choose to broadcast in a way that is less unethical and uses fewer BITE model techniques.
The fact that neither option is under consideration by the predominately Republican legislatures around the country and that the media has not offered to stop with the rhetoric demonstrates that the plutocrats and the mob that are disguising themselves as a party are comfortable with the current state of fear, intimidation and tension. Liberals might just want to think twice about disagreeing with ignorant bigots or bible thumping shamebots or economic hyper-conservatives on their soapboxes at picnics. Too bad for you if you weren’t born into a family with at least one other free thinker where you can eat your potato salad in peace. Shut up or you will pay in ostracism or maybe a target on the back of your head someday.
It is the way it is because the menace of domestic terrorism works for the plutocrats and the party they control. It serves a useful purpose. Undue influence works fantastically well when there aren’t any dissenters speaking up. When it no longer serves a useful purpose, they will stop funding it.
If there is any hope of changing it, presidential candidates and other people with temporary access to big microphones will need to learn how to reveal what is going on to their audiences in a step by step fashion through a series of “A-Ha!” moments. This is the task that is appointed to them and if they do not find a way, no one will.
If they can’t do it, they will go the way of the other feckless politicians with presumably good intentions who lost elections in other countries to be replaced with the red meat, heartless, useful lackeys to the fabulously rich and soulless. Say hello to President Scott Walker.
Ok, I’m done now.
Filed under: BITE model, Charleston, domestic terrorism, Dylann Roof, racism, Repulblicans, Steve Hassan, thought reform, undue influence | 17 Comments »