The study of the neurophysiology of deceit and self-deception is just beginning, there are already some interesting findings. Evidence suggests a greatly diminished role for the conscious mind in guiding human behavior.
There is something called induced self-deception, in which the self-deceived person acts not for the benefit of self but for someone who is inducing the self-deception. This can be parent, partner, kin group, society, or whatever, and it is an extremely important factor in human life. You are still practicing self-deception but not for your own benefit. Among other things, it means that we need to be on guard to avoid this fate—not defensive via self-deception but via greater consciousness.
In the late 1970s and the 1980s, the emerging evidence of the sexual abuse of children and women set off two epidemics of false accusations, with immense costs to innocent people who were either imprisoned or tried for nonexistent crimes, or publicly accused and shamed. All of these consequences were based on the implantation of false memories, a case of imposed self-deception with large social costs.
Thus, the real psychological immune system must be the one that causes us to go out and fix the problem. Guilt motivates us toward reparative altruism, unhappiness toward efforts to improve our lives to diminish the unhappiness, laughter to appreciate the logical absurdities in life, and so on. Self-deception traps us in the system, offering at best temporary gains while failing to address real problems.
This creates special dangers—high intellectual ability combined with high self-deception—for example, a malevolent person who is good at being malevolent. It is easy for the intellectually gifted to argue otherwise, that their special talents will save them from the failings lesser mortals are prone to, but by evidence and logic, we expect the opposite.
===The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life (Robert Trivers)
It was a form of democracy that depended on treating people not as active citizens, but as passive consumers, because this, as Bernays believed, was the key to control in a mass democracy. It’s not that the people are in charge, but that the people’s desires are in charge.The people are not in charge, the people exercise no decision making power in this environment. So, democracy is reduced from active citizenry to the idea of the public as passive consumers driven primarily by unconscious desires. If you can in fact trigger those desires, you can get what you want from them.
Edward Bernays (1891–1995) is perhaps the least-known most influential person of modern times. Proclaimed by the Public Relations Society of America as one of the giants of PR, along with the likes of Dan Edelman and Harold Burson, he is often seen as the inventor of PR and indeed of marketing, advertising and Consumerism itself.
In 1992, during Congressional hearings into the licensing of PR, Bernays said: “Public relations embraces the “engineering of consent” based on Jefferson’s principle that “in a truly democratic society, everything depends upon the consent of the public.” This fundamental truth is the basis of my life’s work… A public relations counsel is an applied social scientist who advises a client on the social attitudes and actions he or she must take in order to appeal to the public on which it is dependent. The practitioner ascertains, through research, the adjustment or maladjustment of the client with the public, then advises what changes in attitude and action are demanded to reach the highest point of adjustment to meet social goals.”
What is becoming abundantly clear is that the scientific ability to deceive, to manipulate and delude the human mind is far greater than previously thought possible, even by the masters of propaganda and marketing PR. Perhaps, of course, with the exception of the once considered all but impossible visions of the great dystopian novelists, Huxley and Orwell. We are being robbed blind while the American Empire crumbles in front of our faces and we see nothing, but what the masters of illusion wish us to see. We see only one “crisis” after another, in Washington and around the world and we can only remember the one that is being currently blasted at us all from every media outlet, the one we are expected to focus on while the power elites, the super-class, rapes us one last time .
The number of crisis that have been occurring is staggering but the human mind is limited to being able to remember or even to comprehend a very limited number of them at any given time. When observing objects in a room the mind can only digest, on average, not more than seven of them. While our mental capacities remain frozen in our phylogenetic past the complexities of the world have grown beyond our capacities to comprehend. It is the illusionists nirvana and the propagandists orgasm.The collective memory that should be our national media serves now simply as the megaphone for images of distraction, from entertainment to the messages that the propagandists wish us to focus on before moving on to the next attention grabbing sensationalist news, all the while America and the world is smoldering. The smoldering is that which occurs just before the flames.
The Empire of America will not die quietly. Global entropy is coming. And we are being rolled by those who understand the bigger picture, for they helped to create it. By the time Rome fell, the patricians and the wealthy of the city had all moved their families and their wealth to their villas in the south of Italy, where they lived the rest of their lives in luxury, before their heirs too fell into the darkness of the age. The rest were left behind.
Wall Street has for some time attempted to put taxpayers on the hook for its derivatives trades. I highlighted this a year ago in the post: Citigroup Written Legislation Moves Through the House of Representatives. Here’s an excerpt:
Five years after the Wall Street coup of 2008, it appears the U.S. House of Representatives is as bought and paid for as ever. We heard about the Citigroup crafted legislation currently being pushed through Congress back in May when Mother Jones reported on it. Fortunately, they included the following image in their article:
Kakikistocray at its maximum–it can’t get much worse. But it likely will.
Without a doubt, the world is experiencing some scary things. Ukraine is imploding. There is an Ebola outbreak in Africa. Syria is engaged in civil war. Iraq is in turmoil. There is a chance the violence could resume in Israel. But it’s important to remember that it’s not a matter of who is in political office, who runs the military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, or who heads the humanitarian mission in Liberia and the rest of Africa. The issue is more fundamental. Those who will seek out those positions are the ones who gain the most from being there. As Hayek pointed out, those are likely the last people we would want.
Though we may not be able to outright alter the institutions that influence political actors, perhaps there is something individuals can do. As citizens, we take responsibility for ourselves. Individuals must champion personal liberties. Each of us has the choice to think critically and to value the rights of the individual over some notion of the “greater good.” It may be small, but it’s a first step in ensuring we protect our freedoms from the “worst on top.”