Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The mass media are An Army of Fausts

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Our minds, our memories, have calculatedly been filled with false associations, with falsehoods we feel as facts, with deliberately-cultivated good impressions and manufactured disgust.

This happens hourly, daily, week in and week out - by the mass media. 

But this is incomprehensible! How can we blame so large, so nebulous a thing - shifting and churning in its membership and authority structure?

The mass media just is not the kind of thing that can realistically be blamed, because our minds cannot comprehend anything which could organize evil on such a scale.

But the real organizer behind the coordinated activities of the mass media is 'the father of lies' and his vast and invisible team - who are coordinating this by multiple individual supernatural bargains.

We could realistically regard the personnel of the mass media as united (in so far as they are united) by having each of them sold his soul to the devil, with individual benefits returning for the price of doing Satan's will.

A multiplicity of fiendish bargains with a variety of rewards (although perhaps mostly sexual rewards); yet all exacting the same cost - service in the great strategy of misleading, deceiving and lying in the service of evil. 

An Army of Fausts.

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22 comments:

  1. The Army of Fausts (an ingenious and accurate term) has developed a variety of techniques for persuading its dupes that they have nothing to fear from them.

    One of these "techniques" that particularly irritates me, is the soppy tone of voice and baby-talk with which announcers and presenters on the radio address their listeners. I suppose it's part of the ideological process of infantilization that's going on everywhere.

    This has become so much of an annoyance (to me) that I cannot bear to listen to Radio 3 for longer than a few minutes "talking time". I can't put up with Classic FM at all for the same reason.

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  2. @Alex - It is the 'News' bulletins which I find absolutely intolerable. The rest I can just about cope with.

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  3. Nicholas Fulford8 October 2013 at 13:22

    Appealing to supernatural agency to account for why people come to do things which cause harm to others by using them instrumentally, (evil), is detrimental.

    The real issue is, "How do the normal inhibitory mechanisms of the brain become ineffective in terms of constraining drives, that unconstrained cause harm?"

    To my mind, when you create an environment that either fosters or protects the perpetrators of such acts as sexual molestation of children, the spiral into rampant abuse can only be stopped through exposure and punishment of the offending people within the criminal justice system. Fear of criminal and social sanction will strengthen the inhibitory mechanisms. The problem is that fear has been mitigated by the institutions in their actions to protect their people, (be they media types or clerics), and by doing so they have made it more likely that more of their members will fail to inhibit abusive drives.

    The correct remedy is to clean house, to make it clear that no protection will be offered to offenders, and that the institution will cooperate and assist the police in investigations. This will place accountability on the individual, and allow fear of criminal and social sanction to constrain abusive behaviours.

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  4. @NF - I don't want this to degenerate into Christianity 101 but your comment begs all the important questions!

    "Appealing to supernatural agency to account for why people come to do things which cause harm to others by using them instrumentally, (evil), is detrimental."

    Who says it is detrimental? And what matters is whether it is true.

    You are being disingenuous since you think that Satan is nonsense and nonexistent, and naturally blaming anything on imaginary nonsensical causes is detrimental.

    However if Satan is true, as all real Christians must believe - then the question is whether this attribution is correct.

    If it is correct that Satan is behind the evil of the mass media, then it is not detrimental to say so but beneficial - and it would indeed be grossly detrimental to ignore the real cause of the phenomenon under investigation.

    *

    It is facile to describe how to suppress unwanted behaviour. All this is obvious.

    The problem here is that the behaviour is not un-wanted by those in a position to suppress it - especially when the behaiour is part of the sexual revolution.

    On the contrary, the behaviour is regarded as trivial, tolerated, or actively-approved (in principle) and generally rewarded by attention, high status, extra sexual opportunities and/ or money.

    (Even if some individuals do, in specific instances, unfortunately step over the line a bit here and there...)

    We are not dealing with a failure to suppress wrongdoing; we are dealing with a failure to recognize wrongdoing as suffiently wrong to need suppressing - or failure even to recognize it as wrong at all.

    We are dealing with a bunch of sordid exploiters who are covering for each other so they can continue undisturbed in their sordid exploitation.

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  5. The media believe that if they wish for something strong enough it will be true. It is the mistake of all liberals. They want a dream, so set about trying to destroy reality to make their "dream" come to pass. Of course, all that is left is ruins. And then they will claim it's the fault of others.

    Obama is just an example of that - he is an idiot and a fool. He was put into power because he is black, and all leftists are racists - which is why they accuse others so quickly, when it is all they care about.

    I care about integrity, knowledge, and leadership - which is why I have never voted for Obama or any liberal. They are at best fools, and at worst, idiots - of course every now and then, you get the idiot and the fool in one - Obama. So the media worship him - while everything is destroyed.

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  6. @JS - The striking thing is that the process has been going on for two generations but there is no sign of self-correction, no pendulum swinging the other way - rather the pendulum is off its hook and flying free.

    That's because secularism has rejected - even in principle - the idea of values rooted in religion. When values unrooted, are floating-free, no wonder the pendulum is off its hook.

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  7. I agree with this but disagree with the degree of agency allowed to Satan. In my estimation, the evil is individual and unfocused, there is no organization, but an appearance of this develops due to so many being bent to the same evil ends. Conscious pacts with Satan for supernatural gain... I find it hard to believe when it is so unnecessary. Men only have to be nudged a bit.

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  8. @L - If I was Satan, the mass media is *exactly* where I would want to centre my operations. The only obstacle would be if the people in the mass media were likely to resist Satanic temptations. Ha!

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  9. It all kicked into high gear with the Fritz Lang movie "M" in 1931. Peter Lorre plays a child murderer who gets off by being adjudged "insane". The late Dr. Thomas Szasz demolished this treatment of criminals over and over again for sixty years to no effect. Supernatural agency would explain such resistance.
    Come to think of it, it may have started with Sophocles.

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  10. @BC, re: Satan centering operations in the media.

    And academia.

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  11. @Bookslinger - I firmly believe that the academy is led by the media.

    Evidence for this is seen when the media engages in a politically correct hate fest against an academic - the academy does not defend its own (as would have happened in the past), but tries to placate the media, and joins in the persecution.

    This has happened to me, in a small way in a mild way, and in a much more severe way to several of my friends.

    The opposite does not happen.

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  12. @Luqman

    I don't read 'selling your soul' in the literal sense of Mephistopholes (or even one of his human deputies) bursting out of the fireplace with a signed contract all ready. Rather, the easiest way to success in the mass media happens to be through parroting symbolic allegiance to the nihilism / inversion of values that is at the core of modernity. This symbolic allegiance (particularly when people are raised to believe that symbols have no inherent power over the human mind) gradually turns into real allegiance.

    It's a bit like the canard at the end of "That Hideous Strength", where they want the protagonist to stomp on a cross to attain full "objectivity". Objectively, the cross is just a symbol, so there is no 'objective' reason to stomp on it -- it's a pointless action. Subjectively, the cross symbolizes a specific set of values, and stomping on it is an action that symbolizes actively rejecting those values. Since human beings perceive the world first and foremost subjectively (that's practically a tautology), the meaning of the action is internalized -- whether the person wants it to be, or not -- and therefore the rejection of values is internalized. This comes out when an actual decision must be made that depends on those values.

    In modern life, of course, the symbols that must be stomped on are a lot subtler than that, and there is a 'slippery slope' of value rejection that people are made to descend before they can attain any real influence in the media. This is what makes the media impossible to argue into a sane position -- whatever common sense value you might appeal to as a bottom-line justification, they've already been trained to rejected it.

    If supernatural evil is involved in this process, it isn't treating the members of the mass media as equals in a contract; rather, think of it as rewarding a dog with kibble to condition a desired behaviour. (In this case, it is like rewarding a dog with kibble when it bites people, so that you get a very vicious dog.) These rewards might come in the form of such things as enhanced self-confidence / charisma, which can lead to sexual conquests, and so forth....

    Or the nihilism could be understood as just an out-of-control memeplex -- a stable and malignant one. We might theorize that the malignant ideas in question are the 'body' of a demon in the same sense that physical atoms make up the 'body' of a person, but the point is to recognize temptation and danger, whatever your explanation for why a given temptation is dangerous.

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  13. The problem with using "evil" to explain anything, either supernatural or natural versions, is that it looks ex nihilo from a rational perspective. While I agree with your assessment of media as being heavily demonic I don't think you're going to win anyone over to that explanation, even among most putative conservative Christians.

    I go to a church that is relatively conservative but I see very little hatred of evil; mostly, it's about love and charity.

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  14. ...multiple individual supernatural bargains...

    These words could not be more spot on. Multiple: simultaneous, pervasive, unavoidable, almost irresistible. Individual: the keyword, as the bargain is deemed a reward due to the sovereign liberty of the human will. The price is no object, specially if there is no belief in the supernatural, as there cannot be any really important consequences to anything. Faust, at least, was not deluded about the cost.

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  15. @Ara - Thanks for that elucidation.

    wrt the memeplex idea - this kind of explanation is a default for modernity and is readily accepted - but I think we need to think about the necessary assumptions and probable properties of a memeplex.

    The media has acted, for many decades, overall in a way which exhibits internal orderliness and purposiveness. It has proved resistant to change. It has held its course through external changes. It has an assymmetric power relationship with all major social systems/ institutions (i.e. the media can destroy anybody and anything; yet nothing can destroy the media)...

    Something is certainly making the media hold together over time and under many pressures, something is making it act to extend its power... and yet there is no human focus of this; and the personnel are almost indiscriminately replaceable in a way which (for example) does not apply to monarchies.

    (You probably have not even heard of the person who, by position in the media, was until recently what superficially appeared to be the most powerful in Britain - ruling three Prime Ministers in two governments - by a combination of executive power and Cleopatrian fascination http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebekah_Brooks).

    So, I agree that the two contenders for explaining the media are either Satanic, or some version of a systems theory explanation such as memetics - but (having been deep into systems theory) I seriously doubt the explanatory power of systems theory; I think it is over-explanatory and has zero implications or predictions - due to the built in assumptions.

    In sum, the memeplex explanation is (when you dig and pick at it) more a of a fatalistic explaining-away of the observations than a useful hypothesis.

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  16. @Asher J - You are mistaken if you think I am trying to 'win over' anybody on this blog - I simply present my analyses and understandings. So far as I can tell, nobody in the world agrees with my basic stance (from which the views originate) nor with more than a selection of my overall views.

    Hardly anybody recognizes that the mass media is the centre of power in modern society, and of the small number who do the explanations offered are very obviously refuted by observation - which is why media power is invisible even though about as obvious as anything could be.

    (For example, many people still believe that the mass media is *controlled* by government - as if it were government propaganda; when the opposite is the case.)

    People do not believe in media dominance - which is to say they do not believe in the overwhelming evidence of their experience - *because* they cannot explain it.

    What I am offering is a comprehensible understanding of why the media is so powerful - and this explanation has the great virtue of allowing recognition of the obvious, of making the elephant in the room suddenly un-ignorable.

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  17. Titus Didius Tacitus9 October 2013 at 06:16

    Arakawa: "This is what makes the media impossible to argue into a sane position -- whatever common sense value you might appeal to as a bottom-line justification, they've already been trained to rejected it."

    And it is prohibitively hard to make people see what their jobs depend on them not seeing.

    Bruce Charlton: "The mass media just is not the kind of thing that can realistically be blamed, because our minds cannot comprehend anything which could organize evil on such a scale."

    It is no more beyond grasping or impossible to blame than the Red Army.

    The owners of the mass media could make it good if they wanted. They they could start new media organizations with different personnel and a different culture, and let them take over. Movie theaters are as morally neutral as mortars and mines.

    Bruce Charlton: "The media has acted, for many decades, overall in a way which exhibits internal orderliness and purposiveness. It has proved resistant to change. It has held its course through external changes. It has an assymmetric power relationship with all major social systems/ institutions (i.e. the media can destroy anybody and anything; yet nothing can destroy the media)..."

    Right.

    What is behind all this? Conflicts of interests, pervasive in the natural world.

    What's mysterious to us is merely (a) that what we fear or are forbidden or unable to speak of becomes mysterious and godlike to us (or Devil-like), and (b) that we lack enough of the gifts of superior intelligence, emotional intensity, aggressiveness, ethnocentric bias and supernatural security to understand how people can coordinate so effectively in groups when we can't do that, and why people define their interests so aggressively when we wouldn't do that. But this is only the amazement of natives at the arrival of Conquistadors.

    That we can't coordinate like that doesn't mean nobody can. It just means we're not at the top of the food chain.

    That we wouldn't define our interests like that doesn't mean nobody would. (And this is what fools people who think that they know all about media lying, because they can understand hyping a story for more ratings and money. The real biases of the mass media are so much more aggressive, so much more culturally deadly, that ordinary people cannot think that something like that could be true.)

    We wouldn't do what Iago does, but to Iago it is common sense. We face an army of Iagos.

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  18. @TDT - You are (if I may say!) making the standard error of the secualr Right which is to state that *if only* people were properly *motivated* THEN everything could be fine.

    And then assuming that this means that the problem is *merely* to re-motivate people differently.

    Sounds easy, don't it. But that is the essence of the problem. People can easily be motivated weakly, lazily, expediently - but strong self-sacrificing motivation? That doesn't grow on trees.

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  19. Titus Didius Tacitus9 October 2013 at 14:20

    Bruce Charlton: "@TDT - You are (if I may say!) making the standard error of the secualr Right which is to state that *if only* people were properly *motivated* THEN everything could be fine."

    I think it could be much better, yes.

    Bruce Charlton: "And then assuming that this means that the problem is *merely* to re-motivate people differently."

    This would be the time to sound the Horn of the Mark, if such a thing existed, yes.

    Bruce Charlton: "Sounds easy, don't it. But that is the essence of the problem."

    It doesn't sound as easy as all that when you recall that all military history, for starters, is nothing but a record of the efforts of groups of men to "re-motivate people differently".

    Enemies in the flood-tide of victory, impelled by a passion for what they see as justice, and lifted up by great superiorities in training, organization, arms, wealth, morale and every other kind of advantage are notoriously difficult to "re-motivate differently".

    Bruce Charlton: "People can easily be motivated weakly, lazily, expediently - but strong self-sacrificing motivation? That doesn't grow on trees."

    If people could be motivation all in what I see as a superior direction, but alas "weakly, lazily, expediently"... I would regard that as AMAZING, AWESOME, WONDERFUL progress. The world we live in is nothing like so good.

    For yourself, just imagine if every politically correct, pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, Gaia-worshiping priest was orthodox, but merely tepidly so.

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  20. @ bruce

    I came to that same conclusion a very long time ago that the pols get their strings pulled by the media.

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  21. Conscious pacts with Satan for supernatural gain... I find it hard to believe when it is so unnecessary. Men only have to be nudged a bit.

    I think there's a good argument to be made here; in fact a long time ago on another Christian site I used to follow a fellow who endorsed the preterist theory of eschatology, and when people would ask him, "So, you think Satan is presently bound in a pit, eh? Then how do you explain all this evil in the world?" And he'd say, "Just look in the mirror."

    There's an argument to be made that the "blame-Satan" theory of mass media trivializes our own sinfulness. But nowadays I do believe there's pattern in the mass media too difficult to ignore...

    I'm pretty sure I'm on record at the Orthosphere as saying that I would not be surprised if Hillary Clinton actually participated in dark rites and demon worship a la That Hideous Strength, and I would now say the same for various shadowy mass media figures that we probably haven't heard of. I'm not arguing that they do, just that it would be unsurprising if true.

    While I agree with your assessment of media as being heavily demonic I don't think you're going to win anyone over to that explanation, even among most putative conservative Christians.

    I don't agree with you at all! In my experience it's common knowledge among conservative Christians that much of the media is evil. It's not a far jump from there to understanding it as demonic.

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  22. There seems to be a strong link between mass media and mob psychology. Mass media, TV in particular, in effect creates and influences groups ("mobs") without everyone having to be in the same physical place.

    I was introduced to Gustave Le Bon by Ann Coulter in her 2011 book "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America." (Now available for $.01 plus $3.99 S/H on Amazon in the US.)

    I'm not real sure what her overarching thesis is (other than "liberals=bad"), but one of her main points is that mobs -are- demonic.

    She uses Le Bon's work "The Crowd" (in the public domain, available via Project Gutenberg) to describe the psychological mechanics of mobs and uses examples from the French Revolution, American Revolution, the 60's, US Civil Rights, to the Obama administration as illustrations.

    @BC, I'm glad to have found your writings through links at jrganymede. com. I'm not sure what an evolutionary psychologist is, but so far, you seem to me like a cross between CS Lewis and Hari Seldon, and maybe a little Ronald Reagan, excuse me..., Margaret Thatcher.

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