Almost twenty years ago, French writer Sylvain Timsit wrote an essay describing tactics the media used to manipulate - rather than inform - the public's perception of the world.
His words now take on a prophetic ring, where the strategies have been fined-tuned to levels so sophisticated, they seem almost ready to leap out at us into three-dimensional time and space.
Here are the strategies:
The Strategy of Distraction
- The strategy of distraction
- Create problems, then offer solutions
- The gradual strategy
- Speaking down to the public
- Appeal to people's emotions
- Keeping people in the dark
- Get the public to accept mediocrity
- Reinforce self-blame
Keep the masses focused on the small stuff. Avoid drawing attention to "big picture" issues like the economy, technocratic overreach, or infringements of freedom.
Why talk about the ills plaguing society when you can talk about Trump's two scoops of ice cream, the Kardashian's fashion line, or Biden falling up a flight of stairs (yes, up).
Create Problems, Then Offer Solutions
If you can peddle a product with known flaws in it, you can peddle a product to solve those problems. Money in, money out!
Lightbulbs that fizzle out after just two years.
Computer software requiring anti-virus software that just "happens" to be made by the same manufacturer.
Economies that "happen" to crash, creating reduced job markets and government dependence.
You know...come to think of it, this strategy is old as the hills. But as has been said for centuries, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
The Gradual Strategy
The frog in the boiling pot. The long con.
Getting the public to accept measures little by little that they would never accept all at once.
Another way to get the public to accept unpopular ideas is to present them as necessary in the future
This has the benefit of planting the seed into the public's mind while at the same time reassuring them that the changes won't happen until later. For the present, they are off the hook.
For example, the "coming Global Reset", the "Fourth Industrial Revolution", "you'll own nothing and be happy". Umm...no one's on board with any of that just now, and hopefully ever, thanks!
But notice how they've planted the seed...an attempt to get you mentally ready for some dystopian future already planned.
Speaking Down to the Public
This can take many forms, for one, "memoryholing" information the public JUST saw or heard and pretending it never happened. "Voter fraud? You didn't see any voter fraud. Now, accept your new president."
Other times, it is through childish presentations of issues which require adult thinking.
Appealing to People's Emotions
The ancient Greeks called it ad misericordiam
Appealing to the emotions has the benefit of disabling rational discussion or the need for evidence.
In place of evidence, play on feelings of fear or likeability. Promote a message of popularized ongoing convalescence instead of actively boosting your immune system in the face of biohazards. Spread learned helplessness. Push for popularity, rather than common sense, as a way to goad people into giving up freedoms.
Keeping People in the Dark
Make sure that the public is incapable of understanding the technology that is being used to control them.
Get the Public to Accept Mediocrity
Promote the belief that no good is going to come from being involved in your local community. That life is just for video games. Or that you have no higher spiritual reason for being.
Mediocrity breeds hopelessness and the powers that be are quite literally banking on this.
Yet we are born with a higher purpose. Finding that purpose is central to our success here...and hereafter.
Keep people focused on blaming themselves - or their neighbors - for systems or processes that have actually been put into place by the elites.
For example, the one-percent pull puppetstrings of the economy, move businesses overseas, inflate here, deflate there, short a stock somewhere else, all to create a set of economic conditions which ensure that people have limited ability either to work for themselves or to have work that supplies a living wage.
Know Individuals Better than They Know Themselves
There is a tenth manipulation strategy. This seemed less relevant in Timsit's time, but has reached a new zenith as the information age has overgrown and spread into almost every area of life.
The strategy? Use Big Data, neuroscience, psychology and other fields to harvest data that can later be used by authorities.
Social media honeytraps are great for getting people to divulge information about themselves. That data can be used to form algorithms and data systems to sell you things. It can also be used to form data systems and algorithms to take your things away.
Although Timsit cataloged these strategies nearly two decades ago, as the information age moves forward exponentially we see the full poisonous bloom flowering from each tactic in our day. The hemlock of distraction, the oleander of emotional reasoning, the deadly nightshade keeping people in the dark... dripping malignant poison into our minds in our own day and time through social media and television. We must learn to recognize these poisonous plants and pull them up by the very roots each and every time we see them.
Knowledge is power.
Knowing how the media manipulates information is a key tool of empowerment in today's world.