Propaganda and Disinformation in the Information Age
Many in the U.S. media are using old Soviet tactics to influence American policymakers and voters.
Everyone thinks he knows how the Soviet programs using denial, deception, disinformation and propaganda worked. Few, however understand how these operations all worked together to feed into Reflexive Control (R.C.) operations.
R.C. is an easy concept to understand. The idea is that if an operator can control the information an opponent uses to make his decisions, the operator can control the decisions made. The Soviets felt that this was a powerful tool that could make enemies do things against their own best interest and still be convinced that it was their own idea to do so in the first place.
Of course, R.C. works best when the operators running the program have control of all of the channels the target uses to receive his information. In the U.S., the political left has a near monopoly on the news and entertainment channels that shape people's attitudes. Some call this Information Dominance.
Information Dominance goes farther than just the news. It also uses TV shows, movies, comedians, advertisements, classrooms, and cartoons to guide people to the conclusions the operators want them to have.
Members of the press often repeat the old adage: "The pen is mightier than the sword." But today's activist reporters seem to be more at home with the old Japanese saying: "Pen and Sword in Accord." This alliance of the liberal Second and Fourth Estates has given the political left an unprecedented amount of unchecked power.
Some may ask how this can possibly work in an era of computers and instant access to information. In 2008, Paul A. Goble wrote an article: "How Russian and Soviet Propaganda Differ." He said, "The Russians had learned that in an information era they could count on deceiving only those who wanted to be deceived. Fortunately for them, he continued, these gullible individuals are extremely numerous."
In this contentious age, many Americans have been conditioned to accept only news the political left wants them to hear. They say, with no evidence, that everything else is "fake news." These people won't watch programs that contradict the "facts" they have been fed and will not accept any news or ideas ignored by their favorite "news" sites. They protest any time anyone breaks ranks with them.
This phenomenon brings us back to the decades-long use of denial, deception, disinformation, and propaganda. These operations are never static and evolve to suit a variety of related conditions.
The hallmark of Soviet-style propaganda operations was that they used consistent messages that were broadcast over long periods of time to do a job. The Soviets designed these active measures to incrementally change people's perceptions without being noticed. They also put out similar messages in different channels to enforce base themes and promote the illusion of widespread agreement with the base message(s).
Today, a comparison of the content on different media channels as well as social media show them using identical talking points. And still, with all this power, they complain about a few talk show radio personalities having "unchecked power."
For a look at how old propaganda tactics work, you need to study the past.
– "The best propaganda omits rather than invents." —Mason Cooley
(Lies can be used, but only after the public has been conditioned to accept them.)
– "If repeated often enough, a lie will become the new truth." —Joseph Goebbels
– "A propagandist is a specialist in selling attitudes and opinions." —Hans Speier
– "By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise." —Adolph Hitler.
All the basic precepts of propaganda seemed to have been at work in the U.S. media in their coverage of the 2020 riots. Leftist mobs ran through American cities, looting, burning, assaulting residents, and even killing people. Meanwhile, the press repeatedly reported that what they called protests were "mostly peaceful."
In some cities, the police stood down (or were ordered to stand down) and allowed violence to proceed unchecked. In Seattle, a Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) group set up an autonomous police-free zone where violence made people afraid to leave their homes. Still, some in the media said that such sites were peaceful communes, regardless of the casualties and carnage — and even though the participants were calling them the beginnings of a socialist revolution. It was not called an insurrection.
Since those 2020 riots, violence, crime, theft, and death in big cities have continued to rise, and the media continue to ignore it for political reasons. Facebook posts by the National Fraternal Order of Police said, "Innocent Americans are being slaughtered in our streets by violent criminals. We are losing fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors every day to the surging violence." They also said, "To the various media folks who've been turning a blind eye to the killings in our streets; do your damn job."
There are numerous other examples of the media not doing their jobs. Indeed, on January 7, 2021, The Federalist published an article listing 28 times the media either excused or endorsed violence committed by left-wing activists.
In an example of a massive double-standard and of the pen and sword acting in accord, FBI assistant director of counterterrorism Timothy Langan told a congressional committee that the FBI does not bother to track violence perpetrated by groups such as Antifa and BLM. This convenient omission allows the media to say there's no evidence that Antifa and BLM are violent terrorist organizations.
These joint Deep State and media efforts will only increase as the 2022/24 elections approach. They are likely to become even more violent, extreme, and outrageous if the liberals/socialists think they might lose political power.
Image via Pixnio.