Thursday, May 07, 2020

Profound Suffering Is The Fire In Which Herd Mentality Is Forged


consentfactory |  There comes a point in the introduction of every new official narrative when people no longer remember how it started. Or, rather, they remember how it started, but not the propaganda that started it. Or, rather, they remember all that (or are able to, if you press them on it), but it doesn’t make any difference anymore, because the official narrative has supplanted reality.

You’ll remember this point from the War on Terror, and specifically the occupation of Iraq. By the latter half of 2004, most Westerners had completely forgotten the propaganda that launched the invasion, and thus regarded the Iraqi resistance as “terrorists,” despite the fact that the United States had invaded and was occupying their country for no legitimate reason whatsoever. By that time, it was abundantly clear that there were no “weapons of mass destruction,” and that the U.S.A. had invaded a nation that had not attacked it, and posed no threat to it, and so was perpetrating a textbook war of aggression.

These facts did not matter, not in the slightest. By that time, Westerners were totally immersed in the official War on Terror narrative, which had superseded objective reality. Herd mentality had taken over. It’s difficult to describe how this works; it’s a state of functional dissociation. It wasn’t that people didn’t know the facts, or that they didn’t understand the facts. They knew the Iraqis weren’t “terrorists.” At the same time, they knew they were definitely “terrorists,” despite the fact that they knew that they weren’t. They knew there were no WMDs, that there had never been any WMDs, and still they were certain there were WMDs, which would be found, although they clearly did not exist. 

The same thing happened in Nazi Germany. The majority of the German people were never fanatical anti-Semites like the hardcore N.S.D.A.P. members. If they had been, there would have been no need for Goebbels and his monstrous propaganda machine. No, the Germans during the Nazi period, like the Americans during the War on Terror, knew that their victims posed no threat to them, and at the same time they believed exactly the opposite, and thus did not protest as their neighbors were hauled out of their homes and sent off to death camps, camps which, in their dissociative state, simultaneously did and did not exist.

What I’m describing probably sounds like psychosis, but, technically speaking, it isn’t … not quite. It is not an absolute break from reality. People functioning in this state know that what they believe is not real. Nonetheless, they are forced to believe it (and do, actually, literally, believe it, as impossible as I know that sounds), because the consequences of not believing it are even more frightening than the cognitive dissonance of believing a narrative they know is a fiction. Disbelieving the official narrative means excommunication from “normality,” the loss of friends, income, status, and in many cases far worse punishments. Herd animals, in a state of panic, instinctively run towards the center of the herd. Separation from the herd makes them easy prey for pursuing predators. It is the same primal instinct operating here.