Now we are living in the throes of the end of truth – the mundane, worldly variety of course, not the Absolute Truth – and in its place there is the rise of global propaganda
By Dr R Neerunjun Gopee
If we go by Francis Fukuyama’s thesis which was also the title of his book (1992), it’s the end of history. According to Wikipedia, the end of history means liberal democracy is the final form of government for all nations. There can be no progression from liberal democracy to an alternative system, since it has repeatedly been proven to be a fundamentally better system (ethically, politically, economically) than any of the alternatives.
Greta Thunberg’s Deleted Toolkit on Farmers’ Protests. Photo – i.ytimg.com
Now we are living in the throes of the end of truth – the mundane, worldly variety of course, not the Absolute Truth – and in its place there is the rise of global propaganda.
One of the highlights of the thesis is pessimism about humanity’s future, which is warranted because of humanity’s inability to control technology. This is already happening in Artificial Intelligence (AI), where the neural networks on which it is based have in a number of applications developed a degree of autonomy that was unexpected of the system. This has led to speculations about whether AI, that is robots and machines will take over the world, something which late physicist Stephen Hawking apprehended.
In the film ‘Planet of the apes’, apes were the controllers of humans. But apes have their emotions, and could therefore exert bias and prejudice. Perhaps it may not be a bad thing if someday machines were to take over. At least they will not be imbued with desires and emotions, and whatever decisions they take and actions that follow therefrom would be neutral. Nobody, individual or entity, would have to complain about unfairness.
Vastly more dangerous than the inability to control technology, however, is using it for perverted purposes. For this, you have to have a perverted mind, which means a sick mind basically. One that refuses to consider all aspects and dimensions of any given issue, weigh the pros and cons, and then emit an opinion – if that is required at all. It is a mind driven by a one-sided ideology, which may be couched in the most high-sounding and impressive language, which will usually come from an intelligent mind.
Intelligent minds can be the most perverted ones, driven by equally twisted ideologies.
That’s what propaganda is all about. It is aided nowadays by the very same rise in technology that Fukuyama warned about, that has allowed the worldwide dissemination of all kinds of information. In fact, I wonder whether we should not discard such terms as the overload of information, or information war, and simply call it global competitive propaganda.
In the history of the world before modern technology took control of our lives, propaganda was restricted to individual countries or a few countries vying with each other, like communist versus capitalist that raged on with the rise of the Soviet Union.
Now propaganda can take its origin from anywhere and can be thrust on any country in a bid to destabilize it. First, let’s take a look at features of propaganda from an online source:
Broadly, propaganda refers to dissemination of information—facts, arguments, rumours, half-truths, or lies – to influence public opinion. More specifically:
- Propaganda is the more or less systematic effort to manipulate other people’s beliefs, attitudes, or actions by means of symbols (words, gestures, banners, monuments, music, clothing, insignia, hairstyles, designs on coins and postage stamps, and so forth).
- Deliberateness and a relatively heavy emphasis on manipulation distinguish propaganda from the free and easy exchange of ideas.
- Propagandists have a specified goal or set of goals.
- To achieve these, they deliberately select facts, arguments, and displays of symbols and present them in ways they think will have the most effect.
- To maximize effect, they may omit or distort pertinent facts or simply lie, and they may try to divert the attention of the reactors (the people they are trying to sway) from everything but their own propaganda.
Propaganda is like a virus that has infected the mind, and there is no antibiotic against it. And countering is setting oneself against occult forces that present a goodie-goodie façade, and at global level, push frontliners who have a certain appeal. The appealing factor may be entirely made-up – after all this is propaganda – but it attracts nevertheless.
Currently in our country, the general perception is that in a number of cases that are claiming national attention, the greatest victim is truth. Everyone is asking whether it will ever be known. Only the future will tell.
On the global stage, a propaganda war has been unleashed on India, riding on the wave of a protest by farmers which is entirely an internal matter of India. But all manner of global dumbos have pitched in, without having an iota of understanding of the complex issues that concern the agriculture sector in that vast country of a 1.3 billion. Frogs that live in the well are having the pretension of showing whales how to survive in the ocean.
A number of articles have been published in the Indian media, for example, ‘Explained: Mystery of Greta Thunberg’s Deleted Toolkit on Farmers’ Protests and Invisible Hands of Digital Propaganda’ by R. Jagannathan who may be responded to by anyone interested at: R Jagannathan [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Another one is: ‘Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #238 – Internet as Human Right’.
It starts as follows: ‘A man was walking on the road. He saw this sexy woman walking on the other side. Taken over by his desires, he rushed to her and asked. “Will you sleep with me for a million dollars?” The woman coyly replied “Absolutely!”
He then immediately said “How about for $10?” This enraged the woman. “What the heck do you think I am? A PROSTITUTE?”
“That I have already established, Ma’am,” he replied. “Now I am negotiating your price.” ’
He then goes on:
‘The soul of the moral paragons are on sale. Mia Khalifa needs money. Greta Thunberg needs money. So does Rihanna. Someone pays. All of them don’t need to take their clothes off like Mia used to. They are ready to prostitute their morality. That should work.’
He then refers to the ‘global twitter storm’ that has followed:
‘Yesterday, Rihanna, Greta Thunberg, and Mia Khalifa tweeted in solidarity with the Indian farmers.
‘Thunberg went a little further. She shared the “toolkit” that had been shared with her by her sponsoring.’
The contents of the toolkit are all about how to ignite the whole world against India, with suggestions for a ‘first wave’. The farmers’ protest is a mere excuse.
The author continues: ‘Greta and her oh-so-high morality are basically on sale in the market. As is the case with Rihanna and Mia Khalifa. Someone paid for these women’s morality. And out came the outrage. Now, what is interesting is that those who accessed the Google Docs link that Thunberg shared, they found one Nikita Jacob editing it. This lady has since deleted her Twitter account!’
And then he asks: ‘But is it just a one off conspiracy against India?’
It’s a new World War. And it will be as equally destructive, there, here and everywhere. We had better open our eyes and ears, because it’s a very uncertain and a very dangerous future that is looming on the horizon. One of lies and propaganda, because truth lies buried. Deliberately.
* Published in print edition on 5 February 2021
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