Sunday, April 10, 2005

The note in the crowd

'Hate' is a word that should ring alarms for anyone concerned about truth. Somewhere behind the word, you'll find people & institutions that manipulate truth, and people's emotions, for worldly gain.

Everyone knows that hate is like a smoldering wildfire in our souls. So it's one of the most powerful forces available to anyone trying to manipulate a situation. If I was speaking to a crowd of people, and someone wanted to prevent me from speaking, the easiest approach would be to write an anonymous note, with the right lies, and come a little early, putting the note on the chairs of everyone in the room. If it's well-crafted, the little note would generate hate from the crowd, and if truly effective, could lead to a lynching.

If you feel hate, you should look to see if you're being manipulated, because it's highly probable. This is one of my most useful personal rules. So, if you agree with what I said above, about the note & the crowd, you might consider that, although there is some peer-to-peer effect in the spreading of hate, it's generally a top-down phenomenon. And consider too: there may be no hate at the top, only the self-interested generation of lies.

This goes against common wisdom. To pick an example at random: it's widely throught that leading anti-communists must truly hate communists: take for example Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, Adolf Hitler, etc.

However, this isn't necessarily true. They may have been indifferent to communism, on a personal level. Their professional roles required anti-communism. Their feelings on the matter aren't really important.

Anti-communism was the 'note in the crowd' ... actually it was much more, involving massive institutional propaganda. The motivation was the important thing. A small group of people profited hugely from anti-communism: emerging multinational trade, finance & manufacturing groups; military & aerospace companies; and their powerful friends in high places. No one at the top needed to be truly anti-communist. They simply needed to promote the interests of the powerful & priviledged.

Of course, you become your job, as it becomes you. But we shouldn't worry about what powerful people think, or how they feel. We should worry about the damage they do, consistently. Before it's too late.

People in power work very hard to craft the perfect 'note', or message ... a heady mixture of hate, fear, pride, vision, morals etc ... all lies. Today, especially, there's plenty of evidence that it's simply straightforward PR. You just have to follow a story beyond its 'peak fame'. George Bush doesn't care about religion. He cares about the vote of organized religion, and the organizers of those religions are only interested in their own power too. John Kennedy didn't care about communism from a philosophical standpoint: he cared about its interference with profit-taking by US interests.

Let's stick to the subject of this blog: using hypothetical software to automate of this kind of analysis. It should be possible to isolate crowd-stirring rhetoric, as well as obsequious adulation of leaders, or speculation about their thoughts & feelings. I think this would reveal that only a very small percentage of the daily paper consists of facts.


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