Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Democracy and public opinion manipulation

Comune Info 24.02.2023 Raúl Zibechi Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

The most appropriate way to guarantee governmental stability has so far been the controlled democracy or a low-intensity democracy. A system that achieves stability through disinformation promoted by the monopolised media, which is proving to be more efficient than dictatorships.

A study carried out by scientists with groups of fish, the results of which they believe can be extrapolated to human societies, was published in the journal Science in 2011, under the title Uninformed Individuals Promote Democratic Consensus in Animal Groups. The research concludes that, to counteract the influence of a stubborn minority, the presence of uninformed individuals spontaneously inhibits this process, returning control to the numerical majority.

The paper stresses the importance of what it calls the uninformed decision-making, the outcome of which would be democratic just because they are simply the majority.

On this point, the scientists seem to be influenced by the democracy concept of the ruling classes, who reduce it to the majority’s role in electing their representatives.

The problem, in our societies, is that these majorities are created by manipulating the information, a task that falls to the big media monopolised by highly concentrated small groups of businessmen.

Although the work is much wider than the paragraph quoted above, what should be retained is the importance of disinformation or, if one prefers, the confusion it is capable of creating in order to distort the perceptions of the population, which is often pushed to support options going against its interests. It also paralyses their capacity to react through a veritable bombardment, a task that falls particularly on the audiovisual media, especially television, the segment of communication that is most concentrated and impervious to dissent.

Examples abound: from disinformation about the covid-19 pandemic causes, by over-reporting on the bat in a Chinese market as the cause, hiding the proven role of deforestation for industrial crops, to the causes of the war in Ukraine. Rejecting Russia's invasion should not go hand in hand with denying the existence of a 2014 coup in Kiev, nor the eight journalists killed and 217 Ukrainian media closed in a year of war (Ocho periodistas muertos y 217 medios ucranianos cerrados en un año de guerra), while 12,000 local and foreign journalists were accredited to cover it, as reported by Reporters Without Borders.

Nor are there any reports in the Western media about Nazism in Ukraine, or about Saudi Arabia's war against Yemen, with its corollary of death, famine and humanitarian disaster. The presence of US armed forces in Syria is not considered an invasion, and so on in many other cases.

Not to mention the US sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline; Seymour Hersh, who wrote a detailed report on how it was destroyed, was silenced and vilified, as Noam Chomsky has just stated (Hersh será silenciado y vilipendiado).

What is certain is that disinformation plays an important role in sustaining the Western systemic order, a part of the world controlling the main media that reach the population. As a recent coverage in El Salto points out: the best journalistic content may be of no consequence, because power and the media at its service ignore it (El misterioso ocaso de la opinión pública).

Democracy clearly does not exist in the media. Such near-absolute control has achieved something that seemed impossible decades ago: eradicating conflict from public perception. The most brutal crimes can go unnoticed if the media are determined to do so. When this media control gets out of hand, because the reality is too obvious, as in Peru over the last period of time, the police, the permanent coup d'état, are there to break up the protests.

In my view, this reality has two major consequences.

The first: it makes little sense to fight for public opinion, nor to compete with the system's media, something that the people who fight will never achieve. It is a question of creating our own media, no doubt, however not to compete for the majorities’ opinion, but to consolidate our camp, the peoples on the road and all those who accompany them. This is no small thing.

The second is the conviction that there is no such thing as democracy, if there ever was. From the moment that the opinions and wills of the people are moulded and manipulated by gigantic machines that escape any control other than that of the ruling classes, entering the electoral game is not an option.

See, Democracia y manipulación de la opinión pública

Fhoto. Taken from Kaos en la Red an article outlining 10 effective strategies for manipulating public opinion.

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The comments from our readers (2)

Paul Attard 15.03.2024 As Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all the others”.
Bernard Farine 15.03.2024 Sans être naïf sur les pressions et les tentatives de contrôle qu'exercent tous les pouvoirs sur la presse, je trouve ce point de vue excessif et finalement décourageant pour toute action d'information, vouée de toute façon à l'échec, soit par l'influence, soit par la force. La presse que je lis n'a jamais caché que des mouvements nazis étaient présents lors du mouvement Maïdan en Ukraine. Faudrait-il pour autant approuver l'invasion par la Russie contre un État dont le président a été démocratiquement élu ? Et que penser du consortium de journalistes qui a mis sur la place publique les manœuvres financières en direction des paradis fiscaux ("Panama papers" et autres enquêtes du même genre). Etait-t'il manipulé ? Le Monde Diplomatique et le Canard Enchaîné sont-ils manipulés ? J'ai donc beaucoup de réserves sur ce texte et je ne vois pas ce que l'auteur propose, (sauf peut-être l'anarchie ?).