“…Bluster and rhetoric aside, the vast majority of Donald Trump’s (and Congress) socioeconomic policies benefit the wealthy and elite. The exact same could be said of Obama, Bush, Clinton and so on. Just look at their major campaign contributors if you don’t believe me.”
by Cognitive Dissonance
We Prefer Our Sociopaths Well Dressed and Spoken
What would you do if I told you not to think about elephants? Yeah, I thought so. Me too!
Effective denial of a subject or thought is actually quite difficult to achieve on a consistent basis, particularly if it carries with it great emotional weight and impact. While the elephant mentioned above might have instantly popped into your mind the moment you read the words, by now it’s beginning to fade from memory…except for the fact I just mentioned it again.
But witnessing an elephant stampede, possibly being endangered by one, or someone being cruel to the animal, beating it mercilessly to compel a certain behavior, might actually leave a lasting impression that is extremely difficult to extinguish. Memory is an interesting phenomenon, one which encompasses sight, sound, smell, taste and touch into a billion different combinations carefully customized to each individual psychology.
How many times have we heard a song or distinct sound, smelled a flower or food, touched a fabric or surface or felt a summer breeze or cold wind only to be flooded with a memory or memories of days long past? Which came first, the triggering sense or the memory? Would the memory be as sharp and real if not for the triggering sensory input?
However, the above is discussing one time happenings, memories of single events or a series of events compressed into a relatively short period of time. Absent the passage of memory dulling time, how does one forget or actively deny a persistent reality that insists on making its presence known? How do we ignore an ugly truth, a clear and present existence that doesn’t fade away into the ether?
Simple! We call it something else, thereby putting lipstick on a pig. Not that I have anything against pigs or lipstick.
From a socioeconomic point of view no one wishes to address, let along even admit, the country is run by embedded (like tics) powerful moneyed special interests that do not have our best interests at heart. Or more accurately, whose only interest in us is their desire for us to remain productive and under control in exactly the same way plantation owners of the past viewed their slaves.
Edmund Burke is purported to have said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” The art of subjugation (let’s call it seduction to make it easier to swallow) is to convince the object of our attention not to resist our advances. This is most effectively done by convincing the resident population they are homogeneous, yet alone and powerless. As in you can’t fight city hall.
Or better yet, to convince us there’s something in it for us (the mafia call it getting a taste) if we’d just go along to get along. The field slaves would rather be promoted to kitchen duty while the kitchen slaves would prefer an upgrade to domestic help or even the butler or handmaid.
Sun Tzu wrote “Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.” The art of propaganda, in America concocted, distorted and repeated as mainstream media nonsense, is to confirm prior beliefs while constructing new or follow on narratives.
Ultimately it all comes down to a simple and unassailable fact, at least if viewed logically and dispassionately. In an environment ruled by sociopaths, eventually one either becomes one or is controlled by one. Stress a society to the point where resources are spread too thin and conditions become increasingly harsh and the subdued and suppressed begin to turn on one another. This is the ultimate utility, at least for the sociopaths and their enabling minions, of a two party political system.
Pick a side, any side, just as long as you pick. Freedom of choice and all that! It’s all right there in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. At least that’s what we have been taught to believe. In reality, long ago the sociopath controllers realized we must consent to our cognitive control if we are to be our most productive.
Regardless of our (deftly stage managed) point of view, either you’re with us or you’re against us. Everything is presented as black and white in a decidedly grayish world. And it really doesn’t matter if you choose black or white, just as long as you are given, and accept, the illusion of choice.
Of course, a little bit of wiggle room is offered to allow us to think it’s our decision to swallow. Just as long as we stay safely within the confines of the cattle chute, big brother will not come knocking on our front door. That pleasure is reserved for malcontents, radicals and non conformists. You’re not one of those, are you?
If this view appears excessively harsh, unfair or simply wrong, may I gently suggest we have acclimated well to our conditioning. This is not to say we are treated as poorly or as harshly as slaves were two hundred years ago. At least not yet. Our improved standard of living in many ways goes a long way towards enabling our denial of the socioeconomic reality unfolding before us.
Our capacity for denial is only exceeded by our capacity to endure hardship. Come to think of it, in practice both capacities are one and the same.
Just because we can, and do, engage in mindless consumption of material, media and mind numbing propaganda doesn’t mean we are free in any significant sense of the word. Then again, after many generations of cumulative socioeconomic conditioning, the vast majority of “We the People” prefer not to be free in any literal or figurative sense.
The prevailing sense of entitlement has been deliberately conditioned into the unwashed masses. Thankfully the elite were born into it. Once we become dependent upon the system for our entitlements, we will support any system that feeds us our keep.
Emphasis on ANY.
In a nut shell, we want our cake and eat too. And admittedly, for several decades it appeared we actually could. The illusion of endless upward mobility and material goods, as well as the money to purchase them, was indelibly etched into the American psyche as proof of our manifest destiny and imperial right.
But the party is now over, at least for the middle class, and the piper is demanding his due. So when the bottomless wine bottle begins to empty, what does the ruling class do? Easy, they ramp up the propaganda meme stream while pursuing an escalating divide and conquer domestic suppression campaign, all while keeping the façade minimally maintained. One must keep up appearances after all.
Dress up the manikin to appear real while repeatedly telling us it is real, as well as our only choice, and soon enough we will accept what we are told as truth. Particularly if the rest of the herd is in agreement, though it is important to understand the herd is a positive feedback loop. Meaning the stirrings of consensus agreement produce more consensus agreement which can easily be in direct conflict with reality and truth. And consensus doesn’t just mean enjoyable outcomes. The herd can, and does, turn ugly in an instant.
Absent critical thinking, a truly lost art being rapidly replaced with regurgitated mind memes and mental conditioning, all we know is what we think we know. Control what we know via a co-opted education system and mainstream media and we are effectively controlled by what we have been told we should/must “know”.
This isn’t just a play on words, but a worldwide reality these days. Of course, our ego would never allow ourselves to admit most (if not all) of what we think (regurgitate is closer to the truth) is little more than comfort thought, similar in taste, texture and the emotionally calming effect of comfort food.
Regardless of what we believe it might have been several hundred years ago, for the last fifty years our education system is little more than a finely tuned propaganda and conditioning machine stamping out proper thinking corporate widgets.
Ever wonder why our children must be force fed at least six years of history, math and social studies, yet they are never introduced to real world tasks such as balancing a checkbook, preparing a budget, navigating legal documents, negotiating a deal or even offered a passing introduction to critical thinking?
Our job is to do and die, not to question why.
There is no greater high than the physical and emotional thrill of having our bias (also known as belief) confirmed by the herd, also known as our favorite mainstream media cognitive connection. Ultimately the drug delivery device is completely within our control. Like a rat trained to push a lever for food rewards, the button controlling the endorphin rush is firmly within our hands. And boy oh boy do we push it, time after time after time.
But this all sets up a bit of a conundrum for those of us who wish to play mental gymnastics in order to enable, or at least deny, our denial. It’s a bit difficult to believe our oppressors are in fact our saviors if they actually look like evil warlords and barbarians.
It helps enormously if the object of our denial plays along with the charade and either agrees to change its façade or initiates the metamorphosis without prompting, therefore enabling our denial by decreasing our conscious effort to deny. It tends to ruin the party if we have to think about something we’re trying not to think about. Therefore it is extremely helpful if the horse grows a horn on its own, even if only a fake one, to become the fantastical unicorn we prefer.
Ultimately we prefer our sociopaths well dressed and spoken. After all, a spoon full of sugar helps the sociopath to go down and the denial to keep reality at bay.
Case in point! Bluster and rhetoric aside, the vast majority of Donald Trump’s (and Congress) socioeconomic policies benefit the wealthy and elite. The exact same could be said of Obama, Bush, Clinton and so on. Just look at their major campaign contributors if you don’t believe me. The list of bankers, think tanks, corporations, unions and various other special interests are always pretty evenly spread between the winner and loser.
The system is rigged and the King’s court controls the King, other than superficial items of social policy that do not materially affect the business of America, that of corruption, crony capitalism and criminality.
That said, even many Trump supporters, not to mention his detractors, dislike Trump the man. Why is that? In my opinion it is because he’s a vulgar, obscene, ego driven, poorly spoken, lying, misogynistic, disheveled excuse for a man. But you already know that, don’t you.
Read any critical (and non critical for that matter) article by the mainstream media, alternative media or blog about Trump and you will find, peppered throughout the piece, constant references to his looks/hair/skin color, his speech, his hands, his dress, his lies and so on. It is relentless and all consuming, but these attacks are used quite effectively to distract the reader/viewer from anything of real substance.
Trump is the polar opposite of the smooth and polished Obama and people don’t like their leaders raw and vulgar. It tends to ruin the illusion of a beneficent leader devoted to his or her sworn duty to the people.
In a con game, Trump (or any leader for that matter) is called the front man, the person upon whom the misdirection pivots off of. Rather than be mesmerized and distracted by the face of the con, maybe we should dwell upon the one constant of any successful con.
A confidence game depends upon artificially induced confidence to elicit consent from the conned. And the consent is almost always gained by convincing the conned they will receive an unearned gain in exchange for their consent. In other words, the con plays off the conned person’s greed and vice.
Other more complicated cons (such as those played by the sociopath powers that be) may introduce fear and anger into the equation. Regardless of the leverage applied, the conned plays an integral part in the con. While we helpfully label the conned as an ego soothing victim of a crime, the word ‘victim’ begs the question of what exactly is a victim if the victim played into, and along with, the overall con.
Maybe we should say we were seduced. You know, change the name to make it more palatable. It sounds so much better thinking we were compelled beyond our control by an irresistible force to give our consent.
There is an implicit and (usually) unspoken agreement between those running the con and those taken by the con which promises the conned will be rewarded for his, her or their participation. And the word rewarded doesn’t necessarily mean receiving a gain. The reward could actually mitigate or remove an already expected or threatened loss, real or imaginary.
If we were to give those last few sentences some deeper thought, the reader might begin to understand how governments, multinational corporations and even so-called nonprofit organizations, controlled by a few key sociopaths, manipulate our artificially inflated fears along with our dreams (aka the carrot and the stick) to induce consent, or at least no resistance, to their destructive (and profitable) socioeconomic policies.
Well, more accurately, destructive to the many and rewarding to the few. I don’t see Boeing, Raytheon or McDonnell Douglas getting too worked up when Trump fires off another round of cruise missiles at some second, soon to be third, world country. And neither do the majority who work for those companies. It’s not nice to bite the hand that feeds you. Dependency has a way of enabling our denial.
Above all else, America is in the business of destruction and construction, though not necessarily in that order. Do I really need to make a list of all the different ways the wealthy and powerful benefit while the many pay the bills and do the dying? No, I didn’t think so.
And I’m not speaking just of war here. The primary purpose of government, contrary to popular belief, is the redistribution of wealth from the hands of the many into the hands of the few. Everything else is secondary to that purpose.
The next time we declare ourselves victims of government policy or corporate actions, maybe we should look past the well dressed and articulate sociopath cooing his or her apologies into our ear and take a closer look at our own willing participation.
Or maybe not! The river of denial runs swift and deep here in the land of the cognitively corralled and the home of the co-opted and controlled.
We now return you to your already scheduled programming already in progress.