Posted by athenianvoice
Our society is influenced and held together by a variety of forces. The uninitiated may be sceptical of the idea that certain forces—classes, organizations, interests—consciously seek to control society by controlling its citizens. Control can be simply built-in and institutional to a given system as well as specifically conspiratorial and conscious.
There is a dangerous tendency in US society to characterize the suspicion or study of controlling forces as “paranoid” and “delusional.” Instead, we are encouraged to simply “have faith” and not wonder about what or who is influencing our lives.
The often repeated attitude that “things are just crazy” or “nobody controls things” or “the world is just chaotic” is a particularly anti-intellectual, anti-questioning and anti-democratic perspective. This attitude seeks to unburden itself of responsibility for understanding its own world and doing anything to make it better.
Social control can range from covert policies of influence or manipulation to overt use of force—policing, incarceration, etc.
Agencies of the government, politicians, think tanks, lobbyists, corporations, individuals, etc.—nearly everyone seeks to control their world to a certain degree. But some are more systematic, sophisticated and influential in their efforts. Intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA have a mandate to exert influence in order to protect “national security.”
Sometimes we must remind ourselves that there are forces who plan and plot to control society in very sophisticated ways. Things do not just happen by chaos, much of our world is shaped and influenced in a very calculated way.
The essence of social control can be traced to influences over what people care about; what their values are, and what’s important to them. In the US, the messages of what to care about are very clear from birth: yourself, your status, your beauty, your wealth, your people, your country. While the focus is the individual, the values are all dictated from outside. We call this phenomenon “depersonalized narcissism”—the individual thinks and cares almost exclusively about “himself” but only in the externally, societally proscribed ways.
In reality, the supposed “self-interest” that motivates the individual in society is nothing of the sort. Instead, it is the programmed interest of those who have the power to impose their will upon the masses. This is true to the extent that millions of people continue to participate in an essentially “suicidal” system which is destroying our home planet and the ecosystems which sustain our species as well as all others.
Through television, advertising and the world around us, we are told what beautiful is, what success means, what is stylish, and what is “normal.” By what we do and do not see on television or in other media, we are taught what is important and what to think about. We have in-depth coverage of sports and celebrity gossip while environmental news is barely even mentioned.
Justifying our capitalist system is a strange economic concept that all individuals acting out of selfishness will result in the greatest good for the society as a whole. Think about that for a second. Does it make sense, in theory or practice? Is it in line with the values of any sort of religion? Why would selfishness be a good thing to base a society on?
US social control is much more sophisticated than outright authoritarianism. In fact, social control is so effective in the US mostly because people are taught not to be on the lookout for it. The forces of control have essentially kept us in a childlike mental state—helpless and dependant upon their authority.
Systems of social control have developed as a combination of evolutionary human traits, institutional structures, and outright conspiratorial machinations. Truth movers are dedicated to deconstructing social control, striving for true personal freedom, and encouraging others to do the same.
Examples of Social Control:
- Spatial Deconcentration – a policy/theory explored after the urban riots of the 60s in order to control poor and minority uprisings. 2
- Incarceration is one of the more blatant tools of social control. The United States has the hightest rate of incarceration of any country in the world. The “justice system” disproportionally affects poor and minority citizens.
- “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?” – Edward Bernays, “the father of public relations” 3
About athenianvoiceKosmas Loumakis - Sociological consultant, analyst, field operative and tactical field coordinator of national and regional social projects in Sweden. Was contracted for almost two decades by governmental bodies and NGO's, in governmental gang crime and extremism preventive efforts. Have produced a number of socio pedagogic action plans and developed methods, field tactics and strategies for gang crime and extremism preventive projects.
Comments are closed.