Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

The power of astroturf

How the industrial and mercantile elite proposes to stop scientists bringing their admonitions to the world and thereby warning it against precisely the activities from which that elite takes most of its profit is demonstrated in microcosm by the manufacture of climate-change skepticism as discussed here. This is instructive, for the methods that corporate agents use to suppress resistance to the lucrative status quo on this issue are also those that they use to confound and diffuse dissent in broader terms.

Regular marionettes

New lies, old techniques: Climate change deniers work right out of Big Tobacco’s playbook.
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Very seldom does the elite in a capitalist “democracy” resort to explicit censorship; silencing the opposition is too crude and arouses resentment. It is far better public relations (what we used to call propaganda before the latter became a dirty word), and far more practical, to drown out dissidents than to muzzle them. From this understanding were born the corporate-elite media, right-wing talk radio and cable commentary, and millions of websites solely created to sow and cultivate the tainted seeds of an illusory “reasonable doubt” in a populace trying to see two valid sides of an argument that ultimately has only one.

Poisoned by disinformation, those who have harkened to the anti-scientific “skeptics” then proceed to shout down those who speak on science’ behalf. To this I can attest from direct experience.

Once, many months ago on the FICS general chat channel, someone brought up climate change. As it happened, I had recently spent some time researching the issue, and was ready to open a real discussion on the matter with strong arguments and recent findings on hand. Since, however, this was not the politics channel, I was hesitant to start presenting so large a body of evidence, so I asked if anyone in the channel objected to my doing so. Everyone who spoke favored the idea, so I began.

Within a few sentences, however, professed skeptics who had long caustically dismissed anthropogenic climate change in terms better reserved for denouncing heretics before the Inquisition, and who had proudly asserted their perpetual readiness to refute any claim that such a process was occurring, began to complain that I was using the “wrong” channel and I should “take it to 39” (the politics channel). Not long thereafter, conservatives whom I’d deemed intelligent and strong-minded enough to sustain a real conversation on the matter started to censor me (setting their preferences to block seeing anything I might say). Finally, they found an admin willing to silence me, and he did so promptly — although not until I’d just finished presenting my case.

This is a unifying theme across the internet today: The elite almost never need muzzle anyone, for it has only to disinform, delude and intellectually debauch enough people, and they will do the muzzling.


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