In his 1928 book “Propaganda,” which helped shape tactics for modern advertising and politics, Edward Bernays wrote, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic societies.
“Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”
Currently, these mechanisms of public control are being used to create an illusion of chaos.
Chaos has important, strategic uses—mainly, in locking down a situation that falls outside the normal mechanisms of control. With chaos as the goal, and by using half-truths, false conclusions, and information out of context, the media-industrial complex has built a false illusion around the Trump presidency that many Americans have taken as reality.
This falsifying of information to create an illusion of chaos includes issues large and small.
In the current environment, the media doesn’t care about truth. It cares about political interest. And political interest depends on controlling the narrative.
The media’s narrative is to create the constant illusion of instability—the constant impression that things are unstable and falling apart. The narrative is chaos. And the illusion of chaos is being used to create the constant, false illusion that the Trump presidency is filled with scandals, instability, and conflict.
The Illusion of Chaos
When Trump visited the UK from June 3 to 5, he was treated to a state dinner, becoming the third U.S. president to receive the honor, after George W. Bush and Barack Obama. News outlets, of course, criticized Trump at every turn during the visit, and a favorite target at the time was Trump’s exchange of criticisms with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Khan, who previously claimed that Trump was not welcome in the UK, wrote a June 1 op-ed in The Guardian in which he said Trump was an example of “a growing threat.” After saying there is a movement of “fascism” that is trying to pit people against each other, Khan claimed Trump is the “figurehead of this global far-right movement.”
Trump responded to Khan’s comments in a June 3 tweet on his flight to the UK. He said Khan “who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me.”
.@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly “nasty” to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
Trump added: “Kahn reminds me very much of our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job—only half his height. In any event, I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now!”
To frame Trump’s comments into a scandal, some news outlets then eliminated the context by quoting Trump’s criticisms of Khan, while not describing what Khan said about Trump to elicit the response.
Larry Elder, in his new show for The Epoch Times, pointed to a CNN article headlined “Trump Shatters Diplomatic Etiquette on Eve of UK Visit.” The article digs into Trump’s comments on Khan, yet, as Elder noted, “what the story doesn’t tell you is why President Trump made those comments.”
In other words, the big corporate media mischaracterized information, then used those mischaracterizations to launch criticisms. They were criticizing the illusion that they themselves had created.
As another example, in June 2016, former President Barack Obama claimed that it would be impossible for Trump to bring back jobs to the United States, and that Trump’s economic goals would be unreachable. Obama said: “He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually, the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”
News outlets leveraged Obama’s quote to make fun of Trump and to declare that Trump’s goals of creating jobs and restoring the U.S. economy weren’t achievable. They propped up Obama as a genius and depicted Trump as delusional.
Then, Trump did it—and even exceeded his goal of 3 percent economic growth.
Unemployment in the United States hit a 49-year low; black and Hispanic unemployment reached their lowest levels ever; and female employment was its best since 1953. Then the media credited Obama for Trump’s economic success—the kind of success that Obama, and many of these same news outlets, declared was impossible.
A list of cases such as these could go on for days, because false narratives have been manufactured against Trump by the media-industrial complex on a rolling basis. But as a last example, let’s not forget about the biggest of these lies: the Trump–Russia collusion narrative.
When former special counsel Robert Mueller released his findings on March 24, he declared there was no evidence that Trump had colluded with Russia. This was despite two years of lies from news outlets that had cited unidentified sources on claims that proved to be false, and from public officials who claimed they had seen evidence, which also proved false.
American voters were lied to during the 2018 midterm elections. They were fed false stories for two years. They were told by the media-industrial complex to be agitated, to be afraid, and to believe that information existed that didn’t exist. Then, when it was shown the media had lied, many of these people kept believing those disproven lies regardless of the facts—and this was because the news outlets flipped the narrative again to continue their illusion.
The Game of Deception
Of course, news outlets aren’t the only ones involved in propping up this illusion of chaos.
Political operatives have helped manufacture false crises through partisan attacks and a policy of absolute opposition, often at the cost of honesty, decency, or integrity.
Take, for example, a common tactic used in public hearings when anyone was compelled to testify before Congress on the “Trump–Russia” investigations. A favorite tactic among many political operatives is to state lies, then demand a “yes” or “no” answer from the person testifying—to a question for which either answer would be false.
In this situation, if the person were to answer “yes” or “no,” it could mean they lie under oath. If they attempt to clarify, they are accused of “avoiding the question.” And if they choose not to answer, they’re portrayed as trying to hide something.
By doing this, these political operatives pass the ball to their cohorts in the partisan media to manufacture more false stories—sometimes with the staged admission of guilt they manufactured through abuse of power, or through the forced lie they instigated by demanding a false statement.
This method relies on corruption, and on the ties between partisan politics and partisan reporters. The people called in to testify become tools to perpetuate the illusion of chaos; and the viewers and readers who accept the false illusion laid out before them become the victims of these political tricks.
And when the number of attacks on the manufactured illusion of chaos grows too strong—when the false narratives are being exposed and attacked, and when the media have no grounds to fight back through honest means—the media-industrial complex begins calling for censorship and deplatforming of their competitors.
We saw this recently with the alleged thousands of channels that YouTube recently banned for promoting “extremism.” Actions such as this narrow the field of competition for the media-industrial complex, since it reduces the number of competitors, eliminates revenue to their competitors, and gives them ground to discredit their competition with the label of “extremism.”
Other forms of censorship also feed into this. Project Veritas recently exposed that Pinterest was allegedly engaging in religious discrimination, by censoring Bible verses and phrases such as “Christian Easter” and by censoring content tied to issues such as opposing abortion.
Broad censorship like this works to maintain the illusion of chaos on the grassroots level of society. It gives average people the impression that nobody dares speak out on key issues, that nobody is willing to debate the other side of the political coin, and that the battle for ideas has already been won.
Political terrorism is also an important factor in silencing grassroots opposition. This works through using the heavy hand of media attention to destroy the lives and careers of average people, by singling them out for attacks over a political view they may have expressed on the internet.
By making examples out of common people through the use of political terrorism, the media-industrial complex locks down its narratives by attempting to make people too scared to speak out, for fear of being attacked.
And at the same time, they give rallying calls to their followers who have been indoctrinated through ongoing emotional agitation, and who believe that by joining in the attacks, they are showing their adherence to the cause.
Then, when it comes to the broader illusion of chaos, all of these methods feed into a loop.
This ties to the political tactic of “above and below,” where acts on the ground are used by operatives in media or politics to push for regulations that advance their deeper agendas.
It’s all a game. It’s all an illusion. And behind this are nothing but a small group of corrupt operatives in media, in business, and in politics working together for a common interest—and their goal, as it currently stands, is just to create an illusion of chaos.