How Televised Debate Controls the Conversation_Featured_, Politics Friday, October 12th, 2012
(By Benjamin Buehne) With election season now in full swing it seems like a good time to remind people of the mind control being sent out via the mass media. This will apply to not just the presidential debates (and vice presidential debates) or even those smaller debates between people running for a smaller office. This includes the debates between television pundits and even small commentary by news anchors. There is a specific process taking place that is designed to keep the conversation limited to certain topics.
Reading the first paragraph, you may think that I am about to go into a conspiracy theory but I am not. This is a natural process that can be explained through simple self-interest. There are considerable interests in maintaining the status quo as this status quo has created some very powerful and rich people. If considerable change were to occur, then some of these people would lose some of their power and some of their wealth. These people, understanding their interests then invest money to protect their interests. These people exist at the head of every industry and many of them are ruthless or have become surrounded by others that are ruthless. On top of that most industries are connected in one way or another and if not directly connected there will be mutual partners creating 2nd and 3rd hand connections.
This then creates an aura in the mainstream media as well as both major political parties of self-censorship. What is amazing here is that the censorship is so strong when it pertains to business as usual yet you tend to see slips which offend large groups of people. The main points of debate tend to be influenced by this which means you will either see small issues debated as republicans are allied slightly more strong with one industry than democrats which may be a competing industry… or you will see social issues debated which tend not to have a major impact on businesses. It’s not being “PC” or Politically Correct… it’s business PC which is an entirely different animal. While isolating a percentage of the population can be bad, isolating an industry can be worse. You not only offend one industry but those within that industry will put pressure on their partners to also defend their industry which means lots of lost funding. This money does not want to be lost by either political party or any major media outlet.
The issue is made worse by the consolidation of power that has occurred through the years… consolidation that should have been illegal but the safeguards have eroded away. For example, almost all media you consume is ultimately controlled by one of six companies… each company has one person ultimately who runs things. This means that the breadth of opinion you hear ultimately boils down to the message that 6 people (all who know each-other well and speak frequently with each-other) allow you to hear. On top of that the federal government has usurped powers expressly given to the states and this consolidation of powers means that major decisions are made by fewer and fewer people (meaning businesses need to sponsor fewer and fewer candidates… and have more money to spend on these few powerful candidates).
You’ll note that in many ways I am referring to both political parties and the mainstream media as being in the same light. It is very true as in certain ways they are almost the same industry. When companies spend money either on a politician or the media they are purchasing the same thing which is influence. They want to buy the people’s opinion via the media (which helps influence politicians and policy) and then directly they want to buy a politician’s favor in deciding how he votes. The money is intended for the same purpose and that is to promote legislation favorable to them and to stop legislation unfavorable to them. This happens continuously and is not just during election seasons. This ends up being a marriage between politicians and the media. Politicians gives the media something to cover as well as money through political ads and the media decides what to cover and who to cover and both are controlled through the same interests.
Before I get into this I would like to break from the topic a bit and add just a bit of commentary. The entire idea of political debates is just ridiculous. I think it’s a good idea to get a sense of the general knowledge of a given candidate but the debates provide anything but. They are often akin to passing a test when you were given the answer key. They know the issues they’ll be questioned on… they have canned responses for any of them (and if a question is slightly off they don’t care and will still give a canned response that won’t necessarily even answer the question). The idea of having to cram certain answers into time constraints is silly… very few decisions have this type of a clock running on them. You have time to pull in extra information and question experts to get most any big decision right within whatever time period you have… even if it is extremely urgent in which case the timeline is typically weeks with the most urgent being days… not three minutes! On top of that these debates are about winning instead of getting it right. What this means is that we see blatant abuse of logical fallacies through the debate and these are actually applauded instead of pointed out as being false. If we could get more open forum debates with true audience participation instead of select audience participation and moderators trained to point out false facts and when they have used logical fallacies then maybe this would become a useful tool.
Let’s examine then how “Business PC” essentially creates a natural process in which mind control occurs… assuring that the status quo remains the status quo.
1. Business PC… voluntary censorship
Business PC creates unspoken rules. Certain things are not discussed or if they are discussed they are within the context of certain guidelines. Let me give you a few examples of things we do not discuss.
a. The fact that the mainstream media could be considered a cartel and cartels are illegal
b. The fact that many other industries could also be considered a cartel… and cartels are illegal
c. The lack of personal accountability for crimes within the corporate environment meaning psychopathic behavior is encouraged instead of discouraged http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/08/16/Jon-Corzine-And-MF-Global-Will-Face-No-Criminal-Charges
d. The number of whistleblowers (who’s message doesn’t get out) targeted by the government http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/11/obama-whistleblowers_n_609787.html
e. Talk of significant reduction in spending (contracts are given out to businesses… businesses that support the politicians… thus it’s not significantly reduced). Typically any discussion involves less than a 1% reduction which is purported to be larger than it is.
f. Talk of inefficient regulators (Look at GMO… or the SEC)
g. Talk of abuses of the classification system (See entire wikileaks scandal)
h. Talk of marriages between corporations and the government (http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/business/corporate_fraud/news.php?q=1308928672)
i. Talk of the erosion of personal rights (See NDAA)
j. Talk of erroneous official government numbers (see shadowstats.com)
k. Basicly, any talk that would reverse the flow of power from the few to the many
l. Talk of abuses to maintain this status quo (bailouts)
m. The nature of Evil in terms of psychopathy in powerful positions
Quoting the late great George Carlin “You don’t need a formal conspiracy when you have converging interests.” Those in power right now know that large changes threaten their power hold and that is all that is needed… sweep the issues keeping the status quo in place under the rug.
Now let’s look at what is acceptable to talk about. Here is the transcript from a recent presidential debate. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/03/politics/debate-transcript/index.html
a. Trickle down economics (this is part of a larger debate which is essentially how to debate who pays for the spending. The spending for the most part is off limits (at least in regards to specifics) but paying for it can be discussed.
b. Talk of eliminating programs that don’t directly feed businesses like medicare, welfare, education, etc.
c. Talk of eliminating government jobs
e. General regulation rather than talk of the regulating agencies being ineffective
f. Back to Healthcare
g. The mission of the federal government
i. Fixing the bickering between parties
And that’s it folks… even when grazing certain topics generally offlimits above they end up missing the pertinent points behind them or are in complete agreement on the status quo… only suggesting small subtle changes. In fact it’s almost laughable the way the host, from the transcript provided, attempts to nail down the very tiny distinctions between our 2 choices and at the end often asking them to agree that their policies are different.
Additional topics that are safe for coverage include gay rights, abortion, social security, morality legislation, and war (typically downplayed). Celebrity gossip, sporting news, personal tragedy, and gaffes are also acceptable. Basicly, anything goes with the exception of a few off limit topics. If one of the above topics must be discussed then you make it a straw man… instead of talking about Inflation and the fact that this is an extra tax on poor investors you talk about the rising food and gas prices.
2. Business PC… inviting friends to the party
Who is running for President of the United States? Ask this question and you’ll get an answer… Obama V. Romney. There isn’t much mention of 3rd party candidates. In reality there are 2 more with capability to win and that is Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. In addition to that there are countless more political parties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_third_party_and_independent_presidential_candidates,_2012
Who knows how a simple invitation to these debates may sway the American people. Well the truth is that the people that set up these debates and have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo know what the effect would be. The answer is that the effect would be “some. There would be AN effect… and who knows where that effect would lead. It may lead to topics being breached by the debaters that should be off limits. Other debates occur but are not covered and they are not covered because Obama and Romney would not show up to them as they also have a vested interest in keeping the number of competitors down.
Let’s expand it beyond this… the person asking the questions will be there by invite only. Even in the town hall format of debate, the people and questions are pre-selected by… someone… and this person has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Taking it a step further, even when debating political views on the news (or radio or newspaper via interview) these people are pre-selected. Some very well meaning journalists have gotten into a lot of trouble for inviting the wrong people to talk or covering the wrong story. Break the unspoken code and your voice can be silenced… and only 6 people need to know about it to destroy your career.
Furthermore, when discussing politics you need to know that if politicians are not already towing the party lines you will never hear their name. It won’t be mentioned on television and you won’t see ads. That is because they never will get any money.
This natural consequence results in a few illusions. It creates the illusion that you are hearing multiple points of view. You do hear multiple points of view but these are generally pre-approved points of view and seeming disagreements don’t touch any underlying issues. It creates the illusion of choice in that you really can select from 2 pre-approved candidates and that these candidates are fundamentally different. They may have differences, but I assure you that they agree on 99% of topics never discussed while the other possible choices do not. Finally, it creates the illusion of a discussion. That’s an issue with this form of debate… you can’t talk back to the television. You can’t bring up points and as you watch these more and more you forget those points and we pretend these points do not exist.
This technique has been caught as pundits parade as an expert on various different topics. For a formal example please see this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_on_Presidential_Debates
3. Politically aware people study the media
This is a rather insidious step. Plain and simple, if you want to make a difference and get politically involved than this is naturally your first step. You watch these debates and you watch the news and you believe you are getting pertinent information. You get point and counterpoint and you understand them and you decide which argument you agree with. You are agreeing with a pre-built argument when in reality there may be 10 more arguments you never hear.
If you do not do this you are not considered informed… so even those that have seen through the sham will need to follow these events to carry on a conversation about these topics. Otherwise you are assumed uninformed. You must knowingly submit yourself to exposure to this propaganda… and it is powerful propaganda. One thing you won’t hear is encouragement to think critically about these points.
This turns well-meaning people into a part of the machine. You vote for one choice or the other because that’s who you vote for. You take stances on issues because these are the issues you are exposed to and because they make sense to you. You repeat the arguments you hear because this is what convinced you. You are told what to worry about, how worried you should be, and what your position on a solution should be based on your demographics.
This will all be covered in more depth in the next few steps.
4. Politically aware people, based on beliefs, choose a side and argue for this side
This is the next logical step. Once you listen to the arguments you choose a side. You, like those powerful people who want to keep the status quo, recognize which side of an argument most applies to you. For the more altruistic out there, you may not even be concerned with you but society as a whole. This means you adapt the beliefs you recognized as beneficial even though that is based on a false choice. You hear 2 sides to an argument remember… there are probably 10 other relevant opinions. This happens naturally though because you were lead to this conclusion. It can be explained through cognitive dissonance theory. You watched the news and were introduced to an issue. This issue causes dissonance… it’s a problem that needs to be solved. Luckily, before you even had a chance for your brain to process the solution to this dissonance it was laid out before you in an argument from someone you only assume to be reputable. :WHEW: I’m not calling people that do this mentally lazy… your brain naturally takes shortcuts and fills in information and this takes advantage of this fact. Whatever argument fits best with your view of the world is adapted as it causes less dissonance with less effort.
5. Politically aware people then repeat arguments they have heard and mimic the logical fallacy arguing style
This step is fairly self-explanatory. At this step people start repeating what they have heard. A key here is that they are usually oblivious to the logical fallacies that they are repeating which can be seen using this link.
The main page here says it all. When you are using these techniques than your interest is in winning the debate instead of finding the truth. This is an important step for people to take. It plays on our desires to be right and not find common ground and not be interested in the truth but rather to win. It proves you studied and did your homework. This is taught… win the debate… win people over… you are helping the cause that you internalized. This list of logical fallacies is common because they are easy ones to make and they seem logical.
6. Opinions of those involved in these arguments become polarized, strengthening their reliance on erroneous arguments and ties to party lines.
This is another very natural step. These debates reach masses of people and thus naturally people will talk about them. As you talk about an interesting phenomenon happens called group polarization and this occurs regardless of if you are talking to people you agree with or people you disagree with. As you discuss these issues (remember, the issues given to you as important issues) you, regardless of who you are discussing them with, tend to form a more extreme view and the issue becomes increasingly important to you. You are also more likely to associate yourself with a specific group then taking on the other issues either republicans or democrats tend to tow as the party line. You then go back to step 3 and these other issues get strengthened within your psyche through a similar process.
7. This strengthens the power of the political parties and mainstream media… return to step 3.
This brings us to this final step. As you become polarized and you repeat the cycle you further strengthen the cycle.
This entire process is amazing in the simplicity behind it and how it occurs quite naturally. There does not need to be a grand conspiracy of evil powerful men collaborating to set the system up like this. The system just naturally sets itself like this as power and wealth become increasingly centralized.
Note that this is different from generally known persuasion techniques. This is a Macro-level conditioning that can be explained through individual psychological principals but has not been studied as a process. This is not mind control… it’s different. It’s not propaganda… it’s different. The first 2 steps essentially artificially create Groupthink. This causes people to internalize through Group Polarization. It creates a massive distraction, almost an inescapable conversation that repeats itself. It doesn’t have a name and rest assured that if it did you would never hear about it through a mainstream source. It’s just the way the world works, and we are expected to accept it.
It seems the only solution, is to increasingly try to alter and manipulate the conversation towards the fact that the conversation has been manipulated.