Stefan Hessel



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Stefan Hessel





An essential element of social control is the strategy of distraction, which is to divert public attention from problems and important changes decided by the political and economic elites. Through the technique of flooding, constant distractions and trivial information the mind becomes more docile and less critical. The strategy of distraction is also essential in preventing mass interest in science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. "Keep the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think; back on the farm with the other animals.” (Quoted in the text Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars).
This method is also called "Problem-reaction-solution." They create a problem, a "situation" to cause some reaction in the audience, so that this becomes the norm of the measures you would accept. For example: 'let us intensify urban violence, or organize bloody attacks, so that the public becomes more accepting of the laws and policies that are detrimental to their freedom'. Or: create an economic crisis in order for the public to accept as a necessary evil the annulment of social rights and dismantling of public services.

To make an unacceptable measure acceptable, gradually apply enough pressure, drop by drop, for a few consecutive years. It is in such a way that new, radical socioeconomic conditions (neoliberalism) were imposed during the 1980’s and 1990’s: the minimal state, privatization, insecurity, flexibility, mass unemployment, wages that do not ensure decent incomes, many changes that would have given rise to a revolution if they had been applied all at once.

Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as "painful and necessary", in order to win over public acceptance at that time. It is easier to accept a future sacrifice than an immediate sacrifice. First of all, because the measure is not used immediately; secondly, because the public, the masses, always have the tendency to expect naively that "everything will improve tomorrow" and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives more time to the public to get used to the idea of change and accept it without resignation when the time comes.

Most ads targeted towards the general public use discourse, arguments, characters with especially childish intonation, often targeting frailty, as if the viewer were a creature of very young age or mentally impaired. The more you try to fool the viewer, the more childish the adopted tone. Why? "If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, due to suggestive quality, the other person tends, with some probability, to respond or react without much thought as a person 12 years old or younger would (see "Silent Weapons for quiet wars ").

'Make use of Emotional response' is a classic technique to cause a short circuit on rational analysis and finally the critical sense of the individual. Moreover, appealing to emotions opens the door to the unconscious and makes it easier to implant ideas, desires, fears and doubts, compulsions, or induce behaviors...

Make sure the public is incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslave. "The quality of education given to the lower social classes should be as poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance between the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to achieve for the lower classes (see 'Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars).”

Make the public believe that being stupid, vulgar and uneducated is fashionable, while at the same time suffocate culture, science and art that do not conform to the norm.

Make the individual believe that he/she is the culprit of their own misfortune and make them doubt their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual devaluates and blames himself, which generates a depressive state, the purpose of which is to stiffle action, and without action, there is no revolution!

During the past 50 years, rapid advances in science have generated a growing knowledge gap between the public and the dominant elites. With biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the "system" has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings.. The system has gotten better at knowing the common folk than what he knows of himself. This means that in most cases the system has a greater control over individuals than what the individuals have over themselves.