… Continued from Part 3
This is the last in my series on ‘manipulations,’ and since I have been throwing a lot of mud on who does it, it would seem fair if I explained how they do it and why we should fight it.
So let’s start with lies. It could be argued that lying is ruining our national discourse. It has reached such proportions that finding the truth and reporting it is more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.
Lying in the media is wrong at any time; however, it is even more so when they do it by deliberate omission. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.
In a piece for Independent Australia I put forward this proposition:
If we are an enlightened society, why do you think we need to enshrine in law the right to hate each other?
Surely you would think that an enlightened progressive free-thinking society would want to eliminate it, not legislate it.
It is not a question that requires great philosophical, ideological or even theological debate. It is a black-and-white question. After all, is it not, by definition, a prerequisite of the human condition?
We do live in an age of enlightenment, a period where the world has made enormous advances. We are better schooled, we have taken enormous technological strides in medicine and many other fields. We are, indeed, enlightened.
But at the same time, our intellects have not advanced our capacity to understand how to reason.
Indeed, if we were truly enlightened we would treat our fellow human beings with respect, love and faithfulness. We would do unto them as we would expect them to do unto us and we would strive to do no harm.
We would love life and live it with a sense of joy and wonderment. We would form our own independent opinions on the basis of our own reason and experience, and not allow ourselves to be led blindly by others.
And we would test all things; always checking our ideas against our facts and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it did not conform to them. We would readily admit when we were wrong, in the knowledge that humility is the basis of intellectual advancement and that it is truth together with love that enables human progress.”
In another piece titled ‘Conservatives and social engineering‘ which is but another way of manipulating us, I wrote:
Social engineering exists within “the Psychology of Politics.” That means that persuading people to think as you do is an important part of any democracy provided you are not being manipulated, lied to or fed propaganda.
I have seen many governments come and go in my lifetime. All incoming governments naturally implement their policies within the constraints that exist within the two Australian Houses of Parliament.
In 2013 I wrote a piece titled “The Abbott form of Social Engineering.” Not long after he had become Prime Minister it became apparent that he and his government had embarked on a conservative form of social engineering.
It was based on the aforementioned tactics of manipulation, lies, propaganda and hidden persuaders.
At the time I received a fair bit of flack for my views so I followed up with some quotes to put them in context.
In one of his most influential essays, (Milton) Friedman articulated contemporary capitalism’s core tactical nostrum, what I have come to understand as “the shock doctrine.” He observed that: “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change.” [Which of course is a variation on Machiavelli’s advice that “injuries” should be inflicted “all at once” – Naomi Klein, “Shock Doctrine”].
In other words, manufacture a sense of crisis and you can get away with anything starting with maximum harm. Therefore, Conservatives manufacture crisis at every opportunity.
In March, I posted a piece titled ‘It was as clear as mud, and it covered the ground‘ in which I made this point:
“Sorry, I just had to fit that digression in. Now back to Question Time and some background. Morrison had asked the Secretary of the Prime Minister’s department, Phil Gaetjens, to undertake an inquiry – to check if any communications between members of his office and the former government staffer Brittany Higgins existed. That was February 17.”
How the government delays reports, covers them up or buries them all together is unbefitting our democracy. Nor is the lack of transparency. This report is still to be released, and I feel sure that the prime minister will be exonerated.
You are also being manipulated when the government cuts $14 million from the national audit office after that office discovered actual improprieties and wasteful spending (such as the sports rorts and paying ten times too much for land for the new Sydney airport).
To finish, allow me to mention my favourite manipulation; the ‘myth. For example, take a look at my piece; ‘Who are the best managers of the economy: Labor or the Coalition?‘ In it, I expose this long-held myth that the Conservatives are the best managers of the economy.
So having hit page 4 on Google’s search engine, there is nothing more on this subject. My search has reached its inevitable conclusion. However, if the reader should care to hit the links on this subject, I’m sure there is a wealth of information to be devoured.
To all my friends on the debating sites who so readily criticise me on this subject, I have provided you with all you need to further your enlightenment. Bless you, one and all.
My thought for the day
I always used to say to my kids. Think beyond the answer. There’s sure to be another one lurking there somewhere.
PS: On the off chance that you are not now running to your psychologist, I have not mentioned how our first nation’s folk are manipulated or how a form of National ICAC might remedy all this and, of course, the uprising of Australian females.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!