WHY ARE WE SO EASILY MANIPULATED? What Lessons learned and what can we do?
IDEOLOGICAL SUBVERSION is the answer. It is a strategy of slow brainwashing that generally takes years to bare fruit. It consists of four very well orchestrated parts: demoralization, destabilization, Crisis, and then Normalization1.
Ideological subversion is “Promising the people what they will never receive while creating crisis to justify building a huge government, a police state, and finally an economic crisis and steer the people anyway they will, just as a Sheppard with his sheep” 2
I will try to show that our current state of affairs in Tunisia is a result of a long, methodical process of ideological subversion, first started in the late seventies by well paid Ben Ali militia, and now adopted, perhaps unknowingly, by the Troika as they slowly and methodically kill whatever little spirit we have left.
Conspiracy theorists may even claim that this process, perfected by the CIA in the late 1940s, used extensively during the cold war by both sides, was first introduced to Ben Ali as a director of security in the late 1970s, then put into action as he was being groomed by the West to be their “Manchurian candidate”.
Demoralizing the Tunisian people took about 15 to 20 years by those in government and those close to them, such as media, labor union bosses and wealthy powerful individuals. This first step of I.S. usually the longest of the four resulted in a collective mind that is incapable of making intelligible decisions on its own. We became a nation hypnotized as we often exhibited strange detachment from reality.
This was implemented by manipulating public opinion and creating a powerful secret police that would infiltrate the homes and the work place, creating panic and distrust among families and friends. The result is an infected nation that seeks temporary pleasures (such as music events, television, and athletic events) to forget about its collective ills, just as a sick patient seeks more pain killers. A false sense of calmness prevailed over the country and safeguarded by a well structured and systemic mind controlling machine.
How is it that today, 2012, we are a country in disarray, with no common vision or values? We are on the verge of squandering the only real opportunity of emancipation, though not anticipated. Why do we appear lost with no guiding principles or leadership?
The answer is really simple. We have been let out from a dark room after thirty years, and now we are blinded by the light.
The reasons why we were hypnotized in this dark room is simply so that we can be easily governed. The more interesting question to ask is, how.
The essence of social control can be traced to influences over what people care about; what their values are, and what’s important to them. For most of us, it is our families, our health, our status, and our possessions. While the focus is in the “self”, the values are all proscribed from the outside. We call this phenomenon “depersonalized narcissism”—the individual thinks and cares almost exclusively about “him” but only in the external societal proscribed ways.3
Through television, advertising and the world around us, we are told what beautiful is, what success is, what style is, and what “normal” is. By what we see on television or in other media, we are taught what is important and what to think about. We have in-depth coverage of sports and celebrity gossip while education or the environmental are barely even mentioned. Just think of what a typical evening looks like at a Tunisian home: parents watching TV shows imported from nations we have very little in common with, kids on Facebook or playing video games, young ladies wanting to be music pop stars, and adolescents who do not own a book or and can’t put together a full sentence.
People that undergo this sort of treatment become infected and stuck with useful idiots occupying mass media, government administration and the educational systems, as we have endured for nearly thirty years. The ideological perception of a typical Tunisian citizen became so contaminated even if you exposed them to authentic information they would never believe it. “Exposure to true information does not matter anymore because a people who have been exposed to demoralization cannot process true information, facts do not matter”4
Such examples of infection based facts are the recent water and electricity shortages, the surge of Salafist movement and violence, and the attacks on personal liberties of Tunisians and foreigners alike during the holy month of Ramadan. Nothing demoralizes and destabilizes a nation than the gloomy future of its educated masses, by the hundreds of thousands a year.
Destabilization is a process, if well executed that takes no more than 3 to 5 years. It is mostly economical. In Tunisia, it focused on the principles of free market and foreign investment. Jobs are eliminated and employment prospects become a dream for many. Prices continue to rise as inflation is ignored. Borrowing, for individuals and for the state, becomes the solution, as it is a way of keeping control of a nation for generations to come. A person who is demoralized, then destabilized no longer can be expected to have a beliefs or values to fight for. He is unable to assess factors or make intelligent decisions. This can possibly characterize most of us today, as we are, on a daily basis, watching the effective machine of ideological subversion at work, while unable to react. We have become brain washed and easily accepting of crises as way of life. We have become the frog that slowly boils away.
When I speak of crises as part of an Ideological Subversion, I generally do not mean natural crises. I refer to such things as the recent garbage that took over the streets and the physical and verbal attacks on citizens and national (like the museum de Marsa). It is during this period that urgent measures are put in place. The public is offered a solution and a way out of the crisis, and usually in return of some kind of compromise.
This trade-off is a disguised form of a return to normal. Quick economic or security measures are then taken to appear as if life is back to normal. They are meant to not only subdue us back to hypnosis, but instill a sense of euphoria and belief that we are always cared for
What we can do.
I am not writing this with a sense of defeatism. In the contrary, I am trying to instill in all of us a sense of optimism that will one day resonate with a collective joy, the joy of self control.
First, let me say that those who practiced ideological subversion on all of us are not the only ones to blame. We must share in the responsibility. We must first come to terms with the gravity of our predicament. We must step away from the “normalement” and wake up to reality, the reality that no one alone can break the shackle of this dependence on those who govern us. While it is certainly not easy to go against the destructive “values” and myths of one’s society, it is, historically and morally, the right thing to do.
Facing unpleasant truths can result in overwhelming feelings of negativity and despair, but such is the path of enlightenment and true positivity. Depression often comes from a feeling of powerlessness and we are depressed society. “By facing the worst, we hold the power to create the better”3. We must not be swayed by such destructive, self-hating, self-promoting weak preachers or politicians. Our optimism and purpose threaten them. We must be resolute, and at the same time, retain sympathy for other’s viewpoints and circumstances.
Find a mission you really care about it and take the first step. Find others who share your values and create a bond and a plan to achieve. Educate yourself in the ways of pursuing your dream because it is still out there. Create communities of values. Do not wait for others to show the way. Become the leader you always wanted to be. All it takes is determination and a will to do so4. Freedom and success are a choice.
If your goal seems unattainable to you, or if you don’t see the point in trying, you have lost sight of the moment and the possibilities. If you refuse to try and discourage others who do, you have lost. We have not.
- Destroyed From Within: The Four Stages of Ideological Subversion