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BITE me

As Jane Caro, Australian writer, recently said, what we are seeing across the globe today is “a struggle between authoritarianism and small “l” liberalism”.  In the past couple of decades, the authoritarians have really stepped up their game.  Back in the early 90s, the right thought they had a lock on the presidency.  Bill Clinton was not supposed to win the White House, much less win it twice.  Well, that would never do, so the right subjected the Clintons and us to 8 years of distractions.  That time could have been better spent reforming health care and catching Osama bin Laden.  And that was the point.  Clinton wasn’t supposed to get anything done.

It’s been all downhill from there.

We know why they do it.  They never liked the New Deal, they hate Social Security and over the decades, many of them are convinced that regular workers in the 99% are just lazy, parasitic slackers who have a lot of illegitimate children and take drugs.  We have the audacity to own refrigerators.  We are getting above our station.  Am I right, David Brooks?

Now, how are they doing it is another matter altogether.  This is where the former Jehovah’s Witnesses who are now apostates can explain how it’s done and know where the resources are that spell it all out.  If  Caro’s hypothesis is correct and the authoritarians are trying to put out our light, that suggests that we are being treated to high control group tactics.  Cults are one extreme of a high control group but let’s not kid ourselves, politicians and political parties are not above using high control tactics.  And who owns the politicians?  They’re the same people who own pretty much everything in this country, especially the media.  And they have been using their ownership and power to shut down independent thought.  Just yesterday, the area in a building that houses GlobalRevolution, Occupy Wall Street’s livestream, was closed by the city.  Officials claimed that it was “imminently perilous to life”, which is weird because there was someone living right down the hall who didn’t have to leave.  Ooooo, a livestream is so threatening to the 1% that they have to stuff a sock in it.  Actually, that’s kind of a good thing, isn’t it?  It means the message is getting through in spite of the filters.

Information control is only one part of the BITE model of mind control.  I would put it in the realm of propaganda techniques on steroids.  BITE stands for Behavior control, Information Control, Thought control and Emotional control.  It’s one thing to fling Orwellian references around. It just *feels* Orwellian.  It’s quite another thing to go through the list of the examples of each one of these control tactics and realize that they are uncomfortably familiar. We might not even realize what they are at first.

Take Behavior Control, for example.  I can see at least three items on that list that we have all experienced.

Rigid rules and regulations– have you flown anywhere lately?  Applied for a passport, drivers license, voters registration?

Financial dependence– Do you worry about losing your health insurance, house and savings if you lose your job?  What about your retirement funds?  Are you strapped into a 401K that you can’t get out of?

Individualism discouraged; group think prevails– Did you put a yellow ribbon on your car after 9/11?  Did the Obama campaign convince you that you were a racist in 2008 if you didn’t vote for Obama?

Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment and vacations.  Afraid to take a day off for fear you’ll lose your job?  Have so many jobs that you can’t focus on anything else?  People who are overwhelmed with tasks don’t have time to rebel.

Need for Obedience and Dependency– Have you bought into the idea that the Occupy Movement is just a bunch of trouble makers who are challenging the system in the wrong way and that they deserve to be beaten up and peppersprayed for being disobedient?  Do you have a kid in school who can’t breathe without permission?  I have two daughters, 14 years apart, and their childhoods could not be more different.  One had a normal childhood, playing outside and sleepovers in 4th grade and seeing friends in an informal setting.  The other kid was on lockdown.  Oh, she went outside to try to play with other kids but there wasn’t ever anyone out there.  It was like a street scene from “I Am Legend”.  Eventually, she gave up.  School is even worse.  They have video cameras everywhere now watching everything you do.  You can get an in-school suspension for saying your math class is boring.  I’m not kidding.  It’s awful.

It’s hard to dismiss the feeling that these kids are being conditioned for something.  The question is, what?

Now, not every item on this list will strike a nerve.  There may be things they just haven’t gotten around to yet.  And in some cases, the change has been so gradual that we weren’t even aware of what was going on until we were forced to go through a half hour ordeal in the security line at the airport.  But there is no doubt in my mind at least that the small evil group to which no one we know belongs is engaging in high control tactics against us.

The worst of it is that those of us stuck in the middle chronologically are flanked by older, more conservative voters who are vulnerable to the high control tactics of Fox and the right wing, while younger voters are vulnerable to the high control tactics of the Wall Street financed Democratic party.  It’s worse for younger voters because they were just children during the Clinton years and it’s very easy to convince them that the Clintons were evil because it’s so easy to control information and shape thoughts.  Just rewrite history and drop comments everywhere.  I don’t mind critics as long as they’re honest.  No one is perfect.  But the smear job on the Clintons is purposeful because, I suspect, they aren’t as pliant to the high control group as someone like Obama. If you grew up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, you may remember that America didn’t use to be like this.  That’s why the middle will be torn to pieces economically.  They’ve got too much cultural memory and might start clamoring for the old days.  Let’s distract them with saving their financial lives.

This is what we’re up against.  And what we need to figure out is how to deprogram an entire country and the rest of the world.  That’s probably why GlobalRevolutionTV was kicked out of its studios.  It is trying to reverse the indoctrination and it is succeeding.

As Donald Rumsfield once said, “it’s going to be a long, hard slog”.

33 Responses

  1. Surely this post (“breathing”) is a horrible, horrible parody? Tell me this isn’t real. Plus, Iowa… Maybe this explains something about the caucuses…

    • Nope, this is the default at the schools I know of around here. The educational establishment seems to be obsessed with obedience and compliance. Like I said, I don’t think this is an accident. It’s one of the reasons Brooke wants to homeschool herself. She is getting sick and tired of having to jump through hoops to get into the classes she wants to take. Grades these days are heavily weighted to compliance and not mastery of material.
      Yeah, it really is that bad. Check out Lenore Skenazy at FreeRangeKids for more horrible examples . I think Jay has her booked for January 12. That should be interesting. It’s a virtually speaking I won’t want to miss. She’s been collecting horror stories like that blog post for several years now and I think it is starting to dawn on her that it’s only one part of a campaign.

      • RD, have you taken Brooke out of school yet? My niece started home school this fall. She is 15, not particularly gifted, but is creative and sensitive. She is attending a program where she has to attend her classes on line, so she still has to be there to sign in etc… I don’t get the point but I hope it is working for her.
        Seems to me Brooke needs to be self directed. Hope you find something for her. I remember wanting so badly to go to boarding school as a kid. I hated public school and yet, I think that it was superior in the 1970s to what Brooke is experiencing now.

    • That’s horrible. My kids would have been out of those schools in about a minute.

      • And where would you put them? Because I tried to get my daughter into a private school and they cost $25K/year. That’s what the voucher people don’t tell you. Private schools are extremely selective. My kid got waitlisted at several of the best around here and that was considered good. The Hun School told me she would have been accepted if she had applied one year earlier. As it was, they had no open seats. But it was still going to bite a chunk out of my pocket. And private schools have their own list of rules and regulations. If you misbehave and some parent complains, you’re out of there and they don’t have to let you back in.
        So, you’re left with charter schools (which I like if they’re publicly funded and employ union teachers) and homeschooling. You can do online courses now through the homeschooling option but someone has to stay home with the kids when they’re younger. So, there’s that.
        You *could* get a posse of parents together and complain to the school board. That might actually work. I’ve seen school boards resolved on a vote completely change their minds at the end of an evening because a bunch of persistent parents would not shut up about something. Courtesy bussing comes to mind. In this suburb where the median income is $106,000/year, the good burghers had a temper tantrum over the idea that the district was going to charge them $18/month to bus their pampered children a few blocks to school.
        You might be able to rassle up some freerange parents to complain but when you do that, you’ll find that the whole entire district is against you including other parents. Do your homework. Research educational journals and child psychology journals. Consult a lawyer and tell the board of all the ways your group could sue. They’ll drag out the safety issue over and over and over again. It will get melodramatic and maudlin.Still, it’s totally worth it if you keep it up week after week. Make a big deal about it, write letters to the editor, give your group a name and badger them until they give in. It may take some time but eventually, they’ll cave.

        • I lived in a city with transfer available. If that didn’t work, a friend was principal of a private school. When my kids were young, the tuition was not $25K per year but then I don’t live in the ridiculously priced Northeast.

        • As for this…

          You *could* get a posse of parents together and complain to the school board.

          A parent’s group got together, gathered signatures, and had recall elections for our local school board over right-wing policy they tried to establish. Every member of the board was replaced. Groups of individuals are not powerless.

  2. So right about everything, RD. Especially young people. 😦 I used to try to find people to play with outside as a kid, like Brooke. But a lot of the time there was no one out there so I would just read Harry Potter by myself on top of a giant cement pipe over a pond a bock or two away from my house. It smelled really bad. Kids don’t have any space to run and play because parents think streets aren’t safe anymore. Actually, they’re no less safe than they were in the 50s, we just have a 24-hour news cycle.
    Luckily you have a smart daughter who will probably fall in love with ideas instead of boys. Alone time is good for girls, it gives them a protected space.

    • Oh, littleisis, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at your descriptions of your childhood. I can just picture you straddling a concrete pipe engrossed in a book while the effluent from some big industrial city in Ohio dribbled out the end in one smelly trail. It’s like Raold Dahl meets The Hunger Games. You could be the next Dickens.

      • Tee hee! Well, the geese kept me company. They got used to me after a while and added to the stink with their own excrement. There were also a few dandelions here and there to use as bookmarks. 😀

    • So insightful.
      ” “you have a smart daughter who will probably fall in love with ideas instead of boys. Alone time is good for girls, it gives them a protected space.

      This is women wisdom.
      Find your center and never leave it. No Matter What.

      • She’s already in love with ideas. What she needs attention from either sex. She spends too much time with her nose stuck in a language dictionary. It’s not natural.

  3. Strictly at the level of communication tactics and strategy, should Ayatollah Khomeini’s success at getting his message into Iran from his
    place of exile in Paris be studied for what we can use and repurpose in our own situation for our own objectives?

    I read that religious visitors kept shuttling between Qom and Paris to visit Khomeini. They came back with smuggled cassettes of Khomeini
    talks and speeches. Each cassette that got back into Iran was replicated into millions of copies and spread to all the faithful all over Iran.

    Now, can’t “free-the-mind” media be recorded onto disks or thumb drives or floppies or whatever means exist? And recopied millions of times and passed around among millions of individual or group-in-someone’s home viewers? Don’t millions of people have millions of computers? And disk burning machines? And so forth?

    If the One Per Centers contro the Media Infrastructure, perhaps the 99er Rebels need to create a whole parallel countermedia understructure … somewhat like Solidarity did in Poland to survive the Jaruszelski Martial Law period.

    Yeah, that’s it. that’s the ticket. Study Khomeini in exile AND study Solidarnosc under Jaruszelski (and anyone else with useful lessons besides) to see how Information can flow around occupation.
    And learn how to catapult the samizdata.

    • Don’t you find it alarming that we are even toying with the idea of smuggling tapes into our own country?

      Occupy *is* our Solidarity movement.

      • “Occupy *is* our Solidarity movement.”

        I hope not. Solidarity was funded by the CIA — as no-one in this country was allowed to say at the time, although it was pretty freakin’ obvious.

        http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_holy_alliance.php
        http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/ops/solidarity.htm

        • I wouldn’t mind if the CIA helped out Occupy, not that it would ever happen. Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. You gotta take the good with the bad.

        • Does that mean Solidarnosc was a bad thing? I don’t think so. They did good work.

      • Now that you bring it up, I find it alarming that I “don’t find it alarming.”

        Though actually I was thinking of internal movement of mediabits from point A to point B within the country. I referrenced Khomeini and the tapes to show what could be done against a control system with holes in it which could be found.

        If OccupyMedia is deprived of outlet after outlet after outlet, then thousands of OccupyMedia couriers will have to deliver thousands of OccupyMedia mediabits to thousands of endpoint-replicators who will then have to make numerous copies apiece and give each of them to people who will make numerous copies apiece and give each of them to people who will etc. etc. etc.

        Meanwhile , perhaps legal action can be taken against some of the outlet obstructors. And legally unobstructable outlets may be sought out and established, if possible.

        • Also, if Occupy “is” our Solidarity movement, then Occupy should study how Solidarity people stayed in touch, passed information around, etc.; under the Jaruszelski martial law period. Occupyants might well want to start practicing those methods and others like them to be ready-to-go if needed.

  4. yes it is alarming that we would be discussing smuggling tapes in our own country. However it is more alarming if we do not discuss it and continue to just lie on the train tracks while the train runs over us.

  5. I know you dismiss Chris Hedges, but he is an occupy supporter and participant. I have broken down this 3-hour c-span interview into 3 segments and have listened to the first hour. At 41:50-45-40 and 48:35-48:45, he discusses the occupy movement.

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/In-Depth-with-Author-and-Journalist-Chris-Hedges/10737426679-1/

    As an aside: maybe because he and I were both brought up in the Presbyterian Church, I understand his discussions of religious and moral issues very well, especially his critiques of the (liberal) churches’ failure to condemn corporate and personal greed and to speak out against the non-Christian “values” of the religious right as the right is after power and control in any way they can achieve it.

    • Ok, I watched part of it and I have the same reaction everytime to Hedges. He sounds brilliant until he gets to the topic of the Clintons. Then he sounds like the programmed Democrat all too common for his kind. The buzzwords NAFTA and welfare reform makes him sound like one of those dudes from The Manchurian Candidate. It’s like they can not possibly think about those concepts without the thought bouncing off some weird mental force field.
      NAFTA is not the trade agreement that ruined American industry. The labor protections were opposed by Republicans. Welfare reform was not a bad idea. Nobody *wants* to be on welfare, stuck in a poverty cycle. They want decent jobs. There are so many reasons to prefer work over welfare that have everything to do with one’s psychological wellbeing that I find Hedges reaction completely bizarre and actually harmful. He makes a point about the reason people are getting unemployment is because they can’t get welfare. I’m unemployed and you know what? I don’t want welfare. I’d really like my job back. Call me weird that way but I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks like this. And the harshness and punitive nature of the welfare reform bill was a Republican feature. We were there. We saw what happened.
      Yeah, Clinton did some things that he probably thought was going to help businesses and in that respect, he was different than some of the Democratic presidents who preceded him. But he also appointed the last two liberal justices to the Supreme Court. He initiated health care reform. Too bad for all of us that it was the Congressional DEMOCRATS who helped deep six that.
      He made mistakes but overall, I get the feeling that he was more of a danger to the corporate class than a buddy to them. And when the primaries came around, the financial and corporate class turned their backs on the Clintons and chose Obama, who has to be possibly the worst possible person to put into the Oval Office during the worst economic period since the Great Depression. Hedges wants me to believe that it would have been a lot worse under Hillary Clinton and I’ve walked around that idea and don’t agree. Then I wonder, how is that I come to such a different conclusion than Hedges? One of us is wrong. And since we are living under the Obama experience and not the Hillary experience after I predicted exactly this catastrophe back in 2008, I’m inclined to believe that it’s Hedges that is off the rails here.

      • If I ever do the diligence and find the numbers about the effect of NAFTA in measurable reality, I will either come back and admit you are right about NAFTA’s non-effect in reality or I will argue NAFTA all over again. But unless/until I do the diligence, your word is the last word here on the subject of NAFTA’s measurable effect in reality.

        It raises a whole other area of questioning. Why is it that the “left” fails to connect the aspects of the Billclinton legacy they reject with the Obama Administration which embraces all those particular aspects hardest of allest? NAFTA? Obama pushes yet more Free Trade Agreements. Repeal of Glass Steagall? The driving-into-exile of Brooksley Bourne to protect the derivatives rackets? Obama supports keeping Glass Steagall firmly repealed, keeping the derivatives rackets sheltered and protected, and the driving-into-exile
        of legitimate regulation-wannados from the financial regulatory agencies. So if the “left” hates those aspects of the BillClinton legacy most of all, why don’t they transfer that hatred to Obama most of all?

        I lost active interest in the primaries when Kucinich dropped out but I kept following them passively on the CFP MSM. ( CFP stands for Corporate Fascist Pig in case anyone wants a brainsticky acronym).
        I was one of many who just assumed that a President Hillary Clinton would be a trojan horse full of Bill’s Old Advisers. Obama strongly encouraged people like me to keep sticking to that assumption. Imagine the depth of my hatred and sense of betrayal and lust for revenge when I finally realized that Obama himself was exactly the trojan horse filled with Old Clinton Advisers that he encouraged millions of eager young acolytes to believe that Hillary would be.
        Summers? Obama! Bill Daley? Obama! Erskine Bowles as featured co-star on Obama’s Catfood Commission to destroy Social Security? Obama Obama Obama!!!

        I believe if somebody-or-other could reach the Young Obama Acolytes and beat them over the head with exactly that set of facts, that some of them might crystallize into a mindset of rage and betrayal.
        I want revenge! I want to make! Obama!

        Why isn’t that connection being made? Is Spoonie Poo really that good?

        • ( That next to last sentence should read . . . I want to make! Obama! pay! It don’t read so good without that final word.)

      • Testing . . . will a reply get posted?

        • Hmmm. the another comment I just entered didn’t appear. Let me try something . . . ” NAFTA ” .

          • No, it isn’t a keyword problem. It must be technical difficulties.

          • Yes, it must be technical. I can’t figure out what triggers your comments to get dumped in moderation. It’s not a conscious decision on my fault. So, I am assuming the moderation queue just doesn’t like you.
            Don’t take it personally.

      • Okay . . a much shorter re-write of the long reply which got vaporised somewhere.
        You have the last word on NAFTA for now. Unless I do the diligence and find the numbers to show what effect NAFTA has had . . I have nothing to say about NAFTA. If I do find the numbers, I will either come back here and admit how wrong I was. . . or I will argue NAFTA all over again . . . depending on what the numbers seem to say. But till then, if ever, I have nothing more to say here about NAFTA’s realworld effect.
        Here’s something I do wonder about. Why is it that “the left” which resents those Free Trade and pro-Financialist parts of the Clinton legacy does not transfer that resentment right over to Obama? A lot
        of people who preferred Obama over Senator Clinton did so because they felt sure that if elected, Clinton would be a trojan horse filled with the BillClinton advisers. In fact, Obama has proven to be exactly that trojan horse filled with exactly those advisers. Do not some of the Obama supporters feel utterly betrayed? Do they not want revenge?

  6. I did a Google Advanced Search on this website and I was happy to see that River Daughter has mentioned Bob Altemeyer’s book The Authoritarians several times. Still, I don’t think it can be said often enough that if someone wants to understand the politics and the top-down efforts to inculcate an authoritarian culture in the USA, one can learn quite a lot about what’s going by reading Altemeyer’s excellent book.

    Only recently did I watch for the first time the film Orwell Rolls in his Grave (2003) – that’s an Archive.org link where you can watch it. Readers of this blog probably have the intellectual & emotional fortitude to watch & understand it. An exceptionally good film, I think.

    • I agree that Altmeyer’s book is very good at explaining what authoritarianism is. However, Altmeyer’s book doesn’t cover the techniques that authoritarians use to get what they want. That’s where I think the comparison to high control groups is helpful. Because, everyone is vulnerable to authoritarianism if they are played in the right way. How else can you explain the behavior of DailyKos in 2008? They thought they were so smart and impervious. All it took was a devious interface and people who were willing to exploit it to turn those smart people into useful idiots for the corporate class. They didn’t even know what hit them.

  7. I typed a long and extensive comment and hit “post comment” just now. It disappeared. If it is sitting in moderation somewhere and can be found , read, and considered . . . I hope it prints if it is deemed good enough to do so.

    If it simply got zapped into the ether of extinction by random technical difficulties, then . . . oh well.

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