Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 23 Comments
How do you keep nearly a billion people quiet while everything they value about their countries and their civilization is torn apart, sold off and gradually destroyed?
The traditional method involves the old carrot and stick routine. The carrot provides you with incentives to ignore what is going on. The stick is there for anyone too stubborn to take the carrot and keep his mouth shut.
The carrot comes in the form of the manifold benefits of the nanny state that promises to feed, clothe, educate, heal and otherwise take care of everyone from cradle to grave. To get these things you of course have to accept the rise of an increasingly authoritarian social and political system and despite swallowing the bulk of your income, the nanny state has trouble delivering decent results and its bureaucratic arrogance inevitably makes life unpleasant-- but the carrot offers benefits in exchange for compliance and complacency.
The stick is censorship.
The first tier of censorship is self-censorship, in which a person censors himself and is careful to avoid saying or even thinking what is 'outside the lines'.
The second tier of censorship is indoctrinational censorship which covers the range of institutions from school to university to the media to the government's press agencies which set the tone for "acceptable" and "unacceptable ideas. This indoctrination usually involves repeating and promoting a simple concept or idea.
For example the following Indoctrimeme has been broadcast at full volume since 9/11 by every one of the above mentioned institutions;
"Islam is a religion of peace. Terrorism is practiced by a small number of extremists."
Modern indoctrinational methodology is extremely sophisticated and diverse, the same message can be repackaged and delivered in any number of ways, from documentary to comedy to leaflet to blog to press conference to history textbook to op ed page. In successful indoctrinational censorship, every single possible format and outlet is exploited to promote a message. The "Islam is Peace" Indoctrimeme can be found across the full spectrum media from music to sitcoms to movies to books to newspaper articles to sermons to billboards. Thus elements as diverse as Aliens in America, the evening news, a Spider-Man comic book and the Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon combine to broadcast the same idea.
Indoctrinational censorship so successfully blankets every medium with a single message that there is no longer any room for opposing points of view. Any opposing point of view that does get through must compromise itself to acclimate to the Indoctrimeme. Indoctrinational censorship is seemingly passive but it sets the stage for the third tier of censorship.
The third tier of censorship is social censorship, the goal of indoctrinational censorship is to create and enforce the social consensus of what the acceptable view is. When indoctrinational censorship is successful, social censorship crystallizes by making it impossible to say certain things out loud.
After the indoctrimeme that Islam is a religion of peace and terrorism is only practiced by a small number of extremists has reached critical mass, expressing the view that Islam itself is the cause of terrorism becomes a view that most people have coded and modeled as "false", "ignorant", "objectionable" and so on and so forth.
The popular entertainment subset of the indoctrinational phase teaches this modeling and coding by in our example
1. Identifying people who hold a "Wrong' view and aligning them with a negative stereotype, e.g. Rednecks, Flag Waving Patriots, Ignorant
2. Teaching people to model 'Right" behavior by rejecting their views as bigoted and ignorant using a fuzzy rote response that has no real meaning
Wrong Thinker: "I think the roots of terrorism may be inside Islam."
Right Thinker: "It's wrong to hate billions of people for what only a few extremists did."
The goal of social censorship is to create a high barrier to expressing unacceptable ideas.
The fourth tier of censorship is police censorship. Despite social censorship, some people will have contrary opinions. The approach to managing unacceptable opinions is the steel behind the velvet glove, the stick itself, censorship by law enforcement and legal action. Currently British blogger Lionheart has been targeted but he is merely part of a larger situation.
In times of crisis and chaos, both the carrots of the nanny state and the velvet glove of social censorship will begin to prove insufficient without real fear behind them. The response of the authorities is to actively intimidate and terrorize dissenters using police and the courts.
In Israel boys and girls as young as 13 and 14 have been indefinitely detained for participating in peaceful protests against the government surrender to terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of Jewish populations. Across Europe the laws are tightening on dissenters on everything from home schooling (resistance to the second tier of censorship) to a grab bag of laws against inciting hatred that are never used against Muslims but only against their critics. In America, far more non-Muslims were jailed after 9/11 than Muslims for expressing various forms of outrage against Islam, little was heard about those cases except backpatting by public officials at their success in restraining the backlash.
It is axiomatic that the worse the failures of government become, the more ruthless the abuses of judicial and police censorship become in order to silence any public outcry against them. That in part is why Europe and Israel are the scenes of a much harsher crackdown on opposition to the Jihad. If the Jihad bears down more severely on the US, expect America to go the same route.
Finally we come full circle to the fifth and the first tier of censorship, self-censorship. The end result of this Orwellian tangle of indoctrinational, social and legal censorship is to induce self-censorship, to keep people from not only speaking out but to prevent them from even thinking about those things. To create an atmosphere of fear and guilt at the very thought of dissent itself.
The greatest victory of evil is in the silencing of the truth. Keep speaking out.
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