Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A War of Perceptions

by Brian T. Lynch, MSW

[Bloggers note, 12/25/17: The latest perception bending attacks are coming from GOP members of Congress who are using documents from their House investigations and secret meetings to destroy the credibility of the FBI and the Mueller investigation. They are both using, and being influenced by right wing media outlets, some of which are Russian based fronts. You have to wonder if they are themselves compromised by intelligence collected on them from the hacked RNC documents, etc.  Why else would they be acting so contrary to their better instincts?] 

We are at war, but it isn't a kinetic war where things explode. It's a perceptual war that uses our advanced social medium platforms and weaponized psycho-social messaging against us. It radically "emotionalizes" every issue or belief system that naturally exists in our socially diverse, pluralistic society. Every difference is ripped open into an emotional divide until we can't discuss it without rancor. Friends and relatives whose company we once enjoyed we now avoid because conversations with them have become so contentious on the facts and crippled with emotions. 

We are in a global information war against democratic societies. It attacks our trust in self-government. It undermines our faith in civil institutions and the free press. It divides us, polarizes us, confuses us and eventually turns us against our neighbors. It eats away at the values, morals and principles that unit people. It fills us with mistrust, greed, envy and hate. We are led to see the world in stark contrast and black or white thinking.

When we are disunited and weak, when we are unable to govern ourselves and events spiral out of control, we will welcome the social order that the wealthy and powerful tyrants of our day want to impose. 

I know this sounds bleak and a little crazy, even to me, but we have entered into an age were the powerful elites who own or control the means of mass communications can modify and manipulate mass perceptions if we let them. 

We must hold fast to our love for humanity. We must trust in our shared values, heal our divisions, restore civility, take back control of our public discourse and re-balance public actions to better serve the greater good for all. Where we are estranged from friend and family over political or social issues, we must overcome our divisions so we can face the enemies that seek to divide us. 

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