Avram Noam Chomsky, an American professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of the most-cited scientists in the world. This is due in part to his rich work (he has written over 100 books), but also to many, often moving, quotes. He is called the father of modern linguistics, and by far Chomsky's greatest contribution to the achievements of mankind is his theory of linguistics.
But he is not only a respected and highly valued scientist. He became famous for his bold, often ruthless views on geopolitics and manipulation, which we are subject to more and more in the modern world. He is loved and despised equally. He does not shy away from being heard in good times as well as bad. He gained notoriety for his often radical political views, which he describes as a "libertarian socialist." Which in American conditions requires tremendous courage.
Today I would like to share a THEORY OF MANIPULATION that Chomsky developed while observing the modern world. I am very curious if and which points will appeal to you the most or cause you to associate it with something that you actually know from your own experience.
Noam Chomsky's SOCIAL MANIPULATION THEORY:
1. Distract attention
A key element of social control is distracting attention from important issues and changes made by political and economic elites through constant distraction and a flood of public opinion with irrelevant information. A distraction strategy is a key to preventing the public from becoming interested in basic knowledge of science, economics, psychology, neurobiology, and cybernetics.
“Keep public opinion turned away from real social problems by enslaving them with unimportant matters. Society must be very busy all the time, with no time to think. "
2. Generate a problem and propose a solution
This approach is also referred to as "problem-response-solution". Create a situation (problem) that prompts recipients to take immediate steps to correct or prevent the problem in the future. For example: allow violence to spread, and the public to agree to tighten the legal norms to protect their own security, at the cost of their freedom. Or create an economic crisis to justify radical cuts in welfare benefits.
3. Introduce changes gradually
Don't make radical changes drastically, but gradually. Push the boundaries of endurance and acceptance step by step to the limit of endurance, breaking down changes over the years. Thus, radical socio-economic changes in the 1980s and 1990s were pushed through, which led to the formation of the neoliberal economy: minimum benefits, privatization, the uncertainty of tomorrow, employment flexibility, mass unemployment, low wages, no guarantee of a decent income. Introducing such changes would simultaneously trigger a revolution.
4. Postpone changes
Another way to introduce an unwelcome change is to present it as a "painful necessity" that we will inevitably have to make in the future.
It is easier for people to accept the specter of future sacrifice than to make a change right away. Moreover, societies tend to naively believe that "everything will be fine" and that sacrifice may be avoided. This strategy gives you more time to get used to the awareness of the change. And also, when the time comes to put it into practice and embrace it with an attitude of resignation.
5. Talk to the public as to a child
Most advertising and communications to the general public use language and argumentation used to address children or the mentally ill. So simplified and downright infantile. The more you want to blur the image of reality for your interlocutor, the more you try to infantilize the message. Why?
"If you talk to a person as if they were 12, they are likely to respond or react uncritically as if they were actually 12 or under on the suggestion."
6. Focus on emotions, not rationality
The use of emotions is a classic technique designed to set aside the rational analysis and common sense of the individual. What's more, the use of an emotionally marked language makes it possible to subconsciously instill ideas, desires, fears, anxieties, and impulses, and thus induce specific behaviors.
7. Keep people ignorant
Make society unable to understand methods of exercising control.
"Education offered to the lower classes must be poor and average enough that the gap of ignorance between the lower and upper classes persists and control techniques remain incomprehensible to the lower classes."
8. Promote mediocrity (!)
Make the public believe it's okay to be stupid, vulgar, and uneducated.
9. Make people feel guilty
Let individuals believe that they are the only ones to blame for their failures through a lack of intelligence, abilities, or their own efforts. In this way, instead of rebelling against the economic system that puts the individual at a disadvantage, he will live in guilt and devaluation of self-worth. In this state, the person will become passive and unable to take action to change the system. And passivity means no revolution.
10. Get to know people better than they can know themselves
Over the past 50 years, rapid advances in science have created a widening gap between the resources of knowledge generated and what is available (and translated) to the masses. Thanks to biology, neurobiology, and psychology, the power elite are able to acquire advanced knowledge about individuals and society. This allows them to know a man better than he can know himself. This means that with this knowledge one can have more control over individuals than they do over themselves.
According to Chomsky, propaganda has always been a way of creating lies and half-truths that don't really relate to the facts at any point.
However, it is a great way to spread false information so that as many people as possible believe it. Mainly because they are repeated over and over again and bombard us from all sides.
“Everywhere from popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel helpless. And the only role they can play is to accept all decisions and blindly pursue constant consumerism. ” -Noam Chomsky-