Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murderGeorge Orwell
respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Do people think for themselves? Are you yourself completely logical and sensible in the way you select from available choices? When you vote, do you have a firm mindset that directs your choice?
Big money is being spent to manipulate and control how people think and vote in the ongoing American elections. Let’s examine how bias can be influenced.
Bias is a predisposition to hold a limited perspective, with refusal to consider the merits of alternative points of view. People develop biases towards or against individuals, ethnic groups, religions, social classes, and political parties. Everyone’s mind is controlled since birth, when biases are developed. (1)
It’s almost impossible for anyone to be immune to bias. Intelligent, rational, patriotic, reasonable people can disagree strongly, sometimes even violently, each insisting that the other side is unreasonable, unpatriotic, misguided – and even stupid.
Being raised in a specific country, as part of a particular family and home and in a certain time period means being biased in favor of accepted and familiar thinking.
Political psychology researchers study voters' biases to understand how they can be influenced. Factors such as gender, race, culture or religions are considered, to allow adaptation of the candidates’ political message for the best results. Some parts of the message may be changed to maximize their voting results.
In a country like America, with a huge diversity of class, religion and ethnicity in different states and regions, what the politicians actually say they believe is often irrelevant – they adjust their messages to generate the most votes.
Prejudice is prejudgment – forming an opinion before becoming aware of all relevant facts. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people because of gender, political opinion, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality, or other personal characteristics. In most developed countries today, it is not socially or politically acceptable to be prejudiced.
In the seven years since the United States elected the country’s first black president, a majority of Americans still feel prejudiced against blacks. According to a 2012 Associated Press survey, 51% percent of Americans explicitly express anti-black prejudice, up from 48 % in 2008. And yet, not a single politician admits to being prejudiced – that would amount to political suicide. (2)
Most prejudice cannot easily be over-ridden. One intelligent and sincere friend told me, "I was born and brought up to believe that Blacks were like vermin. Now I have to consciously over-ride my own instinctive prejudice." It’s hard to imagine how any deeply prejudiced individual feels about having a black President? (3)
More than 60 years ago, in his non-fiction bestseller The Hidden Persuaders (1957) Vance Packard described real-life influence that was rapidly emerging, that was perhaps more threatening. US businesses and politicians were using subtle ways to change people’s thinking, emotions and behavior based on insights from psychiatry and the social sciences. (4)
The forces that Packard described have become more pervasive over the decades. Soothing music in shopping malls causes people to relax, walk more slowly and buy more things, whether they need it or not. Highly skilled marketing professionals orchestrate the vacuous thoughts and feelings that teenagers experience via their handheld smartphones.
Most people are unaware of the deceptive subliminal advertising that is widely used today. Subliminal messages can be found in every major advertisement and magazine cover. Advertisers tap into vulnerabilities to manipulate and control. Fake news and propaganda are in wide use throughout the world by politicians, businesses and even governments.
Mind Control & Brainwashing
Brainwashing means using overt obvious means to control how victims think and behave, which (5) might involve loud noise, sleep deprivation and similar tactics. It may also mean controlling environments with music, demanding voice tones, rituals and repeated phrases, peer pressure in the form of disapproval, public humiliation, harsh rebukes, warnings, and elements of fear and guilt.
Mind control is subtler. It usually involves positive social reinforcement like fellowshipping, smiling, compliments, treats, pats on the back, an unspoken feeling of community, and appreciation. (6)
The concept of mind control is a major premise in the criticism of modern corporate culture and politics. Many politicians use repetitive advertising, with exaggerated claims that sometimes are outright lies; when repeated often they are accepted as the truth. There is very little that the opposing candidate can do other than protest, and the falsehood is buried in the cacophony of debate. (7)
Social Media in Politics
The ability to publish content and broadcast it to millions of people instantly allows political campaigns to manage their candidates’ images based on rich sets of analytics in real time and at almost no cost. At the same time, social media has made elected officials and candidates more accountable and accessible to voters.
Twitter and Facebook have become instrumental in organizing campaigns. They allow like-minded voters and activists to easily share news and information such as campaign events with each other. They can simply Share on Facebook and retweet on Twitter.
Political campaigns can tap into a wealth of information or analytics about the people who are following them on social media, and customize their messages based on selected demographics. Campaigns may send different messages to differing sets of voters to maximize effectiveness. (8)
Some campaigns raise large amounts of cash in short period of time using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to get the word out. In the current election, Bernie Sanders is raising more money from small donors via email and Twitter messages to growing groups of followers. Indeed, he makes significant gains among young people through his e-campaigns, with renewed calls to donate again every time he wins.
In the new political environment, social media has helped raise more money than the traditional Super-PAC. TV advertising is still the largest line item in political campaigns, and will remain so through 2016 and beyond. But this is being changed by access to new data about viewership, and spending on digital formats is growing rapidly.
Today there are a small number of high-tech companies which have the ability to monitor much of our activity, and invisibly control more and more of what we think, feel, do and say. The technology that now surrounds us has made possible undetectable and untraceable manipulations of entire populations – exploitations that have no precedent in human history and that are currently well beyond the scope of existing regulations and laws. The new hidden persuaders are better, bigger and bolder than anything Vance Packard ever envisioned.
The Google search engine is so popular that the name is now a commonly used verb in many languages. The ordered list of Google search results is so good that about 50% of clicks go to the top two items, and more than 90% go to the 10 items listed on the first page of results. The point is that Google decides which of the billions of web pages will be included in search results and how they will be ranked. The algorithms that decide are one of the best-kept secrets in the world (like the formula for Coca-Cola). (9)
If Google wished to fix an election, it could dip into its massive database of personal information to identify undecided voters. Then it could publish regular customized rankings favoring one candidate. Who would know?
Apple has total control over what users can touch and view in billions of cellphones. The algorithms of access and control have features that they refuse to adapt or modify, even when demanded by governments. The same freedoms apply to any technology company that controls millions, or even billions, of worldwide users.
Where is mind-control heading next? In his 1932 novel, Brave New World Aldous Huxley pictured a society in which unhappiness and aggression had been engineered out through a combination of genetic engineering and psychological conditioning.
George Orwell’s 1984 (published in 1949) described a society in which thought itself was controlled – children were taught to use the language Newspeak to assure that they could never express ideas that were dangerous to society.
Some think that in a future global democracy, or cyberocracy, governments will rule by the effective use of information. (10)
Please provide your own feedback, comments and suggestions. Share our discussion by responding to these questions directly via the blog. If you prefer, send me an email and I’ll insert your comments.
- Are you engaged with the latest political campaigns and debates?
- Are you satisfied with how political campaigns are operating?
- Do you think politicians lie? Does that offend you?
- What is your view of campaign funding? Is Super-PAC funding acceptable?
- Have you contributed to any politician online?
- Do you watch political advertising on TV? How does it affect your opinions?
- Are you engaged with social media for politics? How does it affect your view?
- Do you think Google search is completely neutral? Could it be biased?
- Outsmart Your Own Biases: https://goo.gl/0ltsgA
- AP poll: U.S. majority have prejudice against blacks: http://goo.gl/5jzpkY
- Jim Pinto blog - Logic vs. Prejudice: http://goo.gl/b9tleJ
- Vance Packard’s Hidden Persuaders: http://goo.gl/5EiJqc
- Brainwashing? Mind Control? Which? http://goo.gl/Z33jhA
- Ten Popular Mind Control Techniques Used Today: http://goo.gl/3Nlo3F
- Robert Epstein Essay - The new mind control: https://goo.gl/evR8xv
- How Social Media Has Changed Politics: http://goo.gl/elaHll
- How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election: http://goo.gl/MwPgvx
- Futuristic Forms of Government That Could Rule the World: http://goo.gl/Hw7GHv
9 March 2016
9 March 2016