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Handling the Truth: Time to banish propaganda from our political brains

Written By | Sep 7, 2019
handling the truth

The Daibutsu at the Asuka dera in Asuka. This is the oldest known sculpture of Buddha in Japan with an exact known date of manufacture, 609 A.C. The sculpture was made by Kuratsukuri-no-Tori, son of a Korean immigrant. Photo by Chris 73 in February 2005. Via Wikimedia, GNU 1.2 license.

WASHINGTON. In this, our fourth article in this series, we’ll briefly explore the work you need to do inside your own head. Without doing this, it’s impossible to cut through the constant crap you’ve been lead to believe by cable TV and social media sources, the vast majority of which are passionate partisans of the hard-core Marxist left. By eliminating access to other points of view, they aim to program consumers of their product to think exactly the way they do. And they’ve been quite successful in this, unfortunately. That’s why all of us need to learn more about handling the truth. We all need to banish the propaganda from our political brains.

Handling the truth in real time

One way to counter-program what’s going on inside your own head is to turn off the social media chatterbox. Then, find a quiet place. Then put your own head back in order by balancing the feelings-driven environment into which we’ve long been drawn with the rational part of your brain. The part that social and visual media propaganda has succeeded in stifling  for many.

As indicated in previous installments, our continuing anti propaganda journey involves establishing a new resolve to reject fake news and narratives whenever we see them. Which these days is quite often. This series is based on writer Caitlin Johnstone’s original article on the topic. Already practiced skeptics should read Johnstone’s full, original article here. The entire 32 tips are her own, not mine. My edits and comments, however, reflect my thoughts after having read Johnstone’s original.

As noted previously, my edited version appears in this series. My own comments and observations follow each excerpted tip. You can find previous segments in this series here, here, and here.

I’ve subtitled my riffs on Johnstone’s tips as:

32 Tips for Avoiding Propaganda Hell

(This article contains tips 21 through 26 and an edited version of the original text. My own comments follow.)

21 — Meditation, mindfulness, self-inquiry and other practices are powerful tools which can help you understand your own inner processes, which in turn helps you understand how manipulators can manipulate you, and how they manipulate others.

Just be sure that you are using them for this purpose, not for escapism as most “spiritual” types do.

Comment: My esteemed spouse is into this stuff. I’m not. And we’re both okay with that. Many methadologies exist for handling the truth. My advice: Stay rational and don’t spend too much time in the noumenal realm. It goes over everyone’s head. That said, in a no longer fashionable Christian sense, everyone is well-advised to conduct what we used to call “an examination of conscience.” Get beyond the slogans and propaganda you’ve been taught. Examine the other side of the argument. And most importantly, try to determine if you’re still embracing a propagandized thought pattern beaten into your head by professional media propagandists. Or if your own unique, individual self telling you something different. Good luck. This is hard.

22 — Be relentlessly honest with yourself about your own inner narratives and the various ways you engage in manipulation.

Comment: I am constantly aware of my own biases. But I don’t let them influence my objectivity. No brag. Just fact. It’s the way I was educated, many years ago when you could still get a real education.

Today, to give in to media propaganda and to unquestioningly believe it is the truth is to avoid encountering reason and logic. This I never do since I rarely believe anything that neither I nor someone else can’t prove logically. I argue, but I don’t manipulate. Honest argumentation, as opposed to non-logical leftist favorites like name-calling, slander and smears, opens your mind to new possibilities. And even to new directions. We all take our own journeys. We’re entitled to find our own way as well. After all, we have to live with ourselves in the end. The left no longer bothers to understand this deeply personal point. They insist on selling their failed narratives to the bitter end.

23 — Understand that truth doesn’t generally move in a way that is pleasing to the ego, i.e. in a way Hollywood scripts are written to appeal to.

Any narrative that points to a Hollywood ending where the bad guy gets karate kicked into lava and the hero gets the girl is manufactured. Russiagate and QAnon are both perfect examples of an egoically pleasing narrative with the promise of a Hollywood ending…

Comment: Self-explanatory and true. And a most excellent point. Russiagate was always a painstakingly constructed lie promulgated by partisan assholes. We’re finally learning more about this now. QAnon, I suspect, could actually be a disinformation system put out by one of our own intelligence agencies, though I’ll surely never be able to prove it. Both cited examples are why complicated, inside-the-Beltway political narratives are nearly always fabrications meant to mislead. Like magic, “the narrative” is quicker than the brain. Because it’s always formulated by the experts in political indoctrination, ideology and psychological manipulation. It’s who they are and it’s what they do.

24 — Try to view the world with fresh eyes rather than with your tired old grown-up eyes which have taught you to see all this as normal.

Comment: Johnstone’s remarks go off the objective reservation here by endorsing the favorite “causes” of progressives, which are naturally anti-capitalist. So I’m not offering this material here, though you can find them in her original article if you wish. As for me, I’d advise readers to just keep their eyes open and be open to the possibility of paradigm change whether good or bad. For example, I sure never thought we’d live in an era where everything America ever did was hateful and “racist.” No actual proof exists that this is true in society today to any significant extent. But here we are. No exit.

25 — Know that the truth has no political party, and neither do the social engineers. 

All political parties are used to manipulate the masses in various ways, and nuggets of truth can and do emerge from any of them. Thinking along partisan lines is guaranteed to give you a distorted view. Ignore the imaginary lines between the parties. You may be certain that your rulers do.

Lengthy Comment:

Johnstone possibly doesn’t realize the extent to which this is true. On her side of the aisle, no less. In reality, a large part of the 24/7 hysteria over Donald Trump’s election was, and is, the fact that he’s our first genuinely wild-card president. He’s essentially a life-long Democrat who finally couldn’t stand where that party was going and so joined in with what he thought was the Republican Party. He – and we – have now learned, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, that the US has been ruled for at least two decades by a uniparty that some wits call the “Republicrats.” That’s the reason #NeverTrump dilettantes like Bill Kristol, et. al. try to change the rules. They resent Trump, who didn’t come up “from the ranks” or play the game. Or take their poor advice.

So both parties, or what’s left of them, work either to drive Trump out of office or to simply block everything he tries to accomplish. Amazingly, Trump has given the hapless GOP, aka “The Stupid Party” a clear path to Congressional victory in 2020. All the GOP needs to do is rub the scales out of their eyes. But instead, veteran Republicans are leaving Congress rather than run under Trump’s mantle. They’re declaring him DOA in advance of Election 2020. Just like everyone did in 2016. Can no one in Washington ever learn?

Woe is us?

A potential, long-lasting majority lives, thriving on the pathway that Trump has crudely but effectively constructed. But the Washington Elites, the Republicrats, the uniparty, persists in being too stupid and full of themselves to see this bright and shining path to electoral success. Average Americans could pay dearly for this miscalculation. And soon.

26 — Remain always aware of this simple dynamic: the people who become billionaires are generally the ones who are sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead.

This economic class has been able to buy up near-total narrative control via media ownership/influence, corporate lobbying, think tank funding, and campaign finance, and are thus able to manipulate the public into consenting to agendas which benefit nobody but plutocrats and their lackeys. This explains pretty much every major problem that we are facing right now.

Comment: Well, yeah, it does. Think George Soros, Media Matters, the EU, the destruction of national borders via the importation of hostile individuals who will never assimilate, and you can see the end game here. On the other hand, how do you explain the inexplicable rise of The Squad? None of them really had much money at all. On the other hand, I think we’ll eventually discover that their campaigns were bought and paid for by the wealthy leftists and organizations already cited.

Never forget, however, that most of the big political money the left consistently enjoys actually comes from the mega-rich class. The GOP? Not nearly so much. But the media supported mythology has convinced the American voter otherwise. Look at which candidates and which party the truly wealthy support. That will tell you all you need to know about today’s completely bizarre, top-down Marxism, built and supported by the mega-rich. I guess they know a great totalitarian system when they see one. Lenin must be rolling in his grave. Why didn’t he think of this?

Next: Our final stanza in this series reaches some tentative conclusions.

— Headline image:  The Daibutsu at the Asuka dera in Asuka. This is the oldest known sculpture of Buddha in Japan with an exact known date of manufacture, 609 A.C. The sculpture was made by Kuratsukuri-no-Tori, son of a Korean immigrant. Photo by Chris 73 in February 2005. Image and description via Wikimedia Commons. GNU 1.2 license.

Terry Ponick

Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17