I don't know if it's because of my many years of sales, advertising and marketing (both at corporate and small-business levels), but when I try to get the concept across to liberals that even the truth needs selling, a common reaction is one of distaste, disapproval, and indignation at the thought.
Therein lies one of the biggest challenges I see when it comes to confronting the parasitic billionaires who are doing everything in their power to destroy the remnants of not only democracy but decency in this country. The Left lacks the ability to feel visceral malice towards an enemy.
Tonight jpmassar wrote a diary about truly horrendous conditions to which homeless people are subjected at shelters, and how employees/staff at these facilities engage in all kinds of predatory and abusive behavior, including sexual harassment.
When I read the comments, I noticed that a lot of people were commenting about the level of hate and disregard in the general population towards the poor and the homeless, and wondering about the reasons.
Here's what the parasitic billionaires and their minions, and every despot that has ever existed in history, know and understand very clearly: Propaganda works, regardless of the validity or veracity of the information being peddled.
And here's how they do it: By funding a very sophisticated and widespread propaganda infrastructure meant to spread false narratives, misinformation, outright lies and contradictions, all carefully designed to advance their fascistic agenda.
In today's (Sunday, February 24th, 2013) New York Times there was an article written by Jim Rutenberg, titled "A Conservative Provocateur, Using a Blowtorch as His Pen."
My impression after reading the "article" is that it basically attempts to lionize an outright liar, a sadistic two-bit player of the odious right-wing/conservative media.
Instead of calling him a liar, a fabricator of falsehoods and misinformation, they call him a "Conservative Provocateur," one that uses a "blowtorch as his pen."
The article goes on to marvel at how this guy, Michael Goldfarb, single-handedly caused the filibuster to prevent an up-or-down Senate vote for the Secretary of Defense nomination of Chuck Hagel, by posting in some blog that Hagel had called the State Department "an adjunct to the Israeli foreign minister's office" in a 2007 speech.
At 32, Mr. Goldfarb is a founder of The Free Beacon, which is gaining prominence as a conservative clarion; a onetime presidential campaign aide to Senator John McCain, who provided critical support for the filibuster; and the strategist for the Emergency Committee for Israel, an anonymously financed group that advertises against President Obama and Congressional Democrats as insufficiently supportive of Israel. On top of that, he is a partner at Orion Strategies, a consulting firm whose clients have included the national governments of Taiwan and Georgia.The reason I bring this up is because this is very illustrative of how these miscreants work. These propaganda outfits get funded by billionaires' money; they form multiple organizations with patriotic-sounding names; they start phony "news outlets;" they fund astroturf organizations pretending to be grassroots.
Often working with money from major Republican donors, most of whom have preferred anonymity, Mr. Goldfarb has been in the middle of nearly every major partisan dispute of Mr. Obama’s presidency — over Iran, Israel, terrorism policy and now Mr. Hagel and guns. For a time, Mr. Goldfarb worked as a communications strategist to the leading bêtes noires of liberals, the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.What I find very challenging is trying to convince Liberals that this type of highly coordinated and well-funded propaganda machine really works; it even works on Liberals themselves; it is extremely powerful and pervasive.
The reason it is powerful is not because there is any honesty or truth behind the messaging, but because of something much more simple: Dissemination and repetition widely distributed through mass media outlets.
Yes, that adage that goes something like "if you repeat something often enough, people will start to believe it," totally applies here.
And here's where I see the self-defeating approach by the Left at dealing with these dynamics. On the Left, the approach is to react to the spread of misinformation, to get outraged about it, to complain, to explain, all in the mistaken belief that by setting the record straight the public will react with disapproval to the peddlers of lies and misinformation.
Again, I think that people on the Left think this way because they lack the necessary visceral malice that is truly needed to confront this type of scourge in society.
What do I mean by that? Well, to me it is about a process, about manipulation, about the power of propaganda, about the widespread broadcasting of information, of points of view, of memes. That's how they do it; and it works. And this answers the question posed by many in jpmassar diary: Where does the widespread disdain towards the poor and homeless come from?
Here's the thing: By the time you are in a position to answer to falsehoods, lies, misinformation and malicious propaganda, you are already at a disadvantage. The vile vitriol cloaked in patriotic-sounding memes is already out there, in the ether, infecting the minds of millions of people--some of whom are not as capable as you to know bullshit when they see it.
What's the answer: You have to go and be and remain on the attack, constantly, non-stop, rapid-fire, methodical, strategic, with carefully designed messaging. You have to set the agenda; you have to base that agenda on an actual goal and objective. You see, it's all about process, tactics, psychology, and yes, propaganda. At the end, it is a propaganda war.
For example, this guy Goldfarb that The New York Times is going out of its way to lionize, what is he about? Is he being truthful in what he reports, or is he a paid political hack tasked with spreading lies and misinformation?
What are the Koch brothers doing when it comes to the funding of a myriad of astroturf "grassroots" organizations? What about this other parasitic billionaire, Peter G. Peterson?
Folks, the truth is right there in front of us. They are using their money, influence and power (over our debased political class, and media) to spread lies, false narratives, and misinformation motivated by sociopathic tendencies, megalomania, and unquenchable greed.
These are the enemies of democracy, the enemy of the State, the enemy within. They are destroying our social fabric.
So why wait to react to what they do? Go on the attack; collect as much information as possible about their shadowy groups, the organizations they are funding, the memes they are trying to spread, and expose them using our own memes, our own language, our own narratives, and seek to reach as many people as possible, in multiple ways.
And when the lies do come out, attack, as well, in a rapid-reaction manner. Preempt the attacks; frustrate their advance. For example, when they put out some bullshit, instead of waiting for the disgraced media outlets like CNN, or NBC, or ABC, to parrot it, preempt it. Draft a quick "press release" setting the record straight and distribute it to a large number of people who will then send it to these debased media outlets by the thousands, warning them not to repeat the lies, asking them to do their jobs and confirm whether the statements are correct, whether they are based on facts.
Remember: It's a propaganda war. If we are always reacting to lies and misinformation, we're already at a disadvantage.
UPDATE: MON FEB 25, 2013 AT 9:00 AM PST: Many people are bringing up the challenge we have on the Left when it comes to being able to properly fund an effective and powerful counter-propaganda effort. I've thought about this challenge for quite some time and believe that if we apply the concept of crowd funding to it, in due time we could become more powerful than any parasitic billionaire. Please read the following diary wherein I put forward my ideas about this: Beat Them At Their Own Game: Reclaiming the Marketplace and Democracy