***The following is what happened when I entered into conversation with myself in an effort to pull together random thoughts and theories into some semblance of understanding***
Q: What do you mean when you say, ‘Centralising Information ruins critical thinking?’
A: Today there are six media corporations that control around 90% of informational output across the world. They are Comcast, 21st Century Fox, Viacom, Time Warner, Disney and CBS. Each company owns multiple other companies – known as subsidiaries – meaning that very few news outlets can be taken in isolation. They will likely belong to one of these six corporations.
Broadcasters not owned by one of these companies, like the BBC, RT or Al Jazeera, are either controlled by their government or receive high levels of government funding in order to remain operational.
It takes no imagination to work out the intended consequences of this. Over seven billion people inhabit the planet. If private corporations and the state control the majority of what people read, watch and listen to, then what manifests from that is a situation where information can be regimented to follow a particular narrative. And that narrative plays out to billions of obedient citizens.
Complicit with mainstream narrative, if not owned outright by one of the six corporations, are also daily newspapers (print or digital). This includes the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express – all of which parrot official narratives e.g. on climate change and security, in the expectation that their readership will believe what they say and debate the topic on their terms.
So if a majority of those people are taking what they read and watch as the truth, and don’t follow up on what they’ve been told with research of their own, then you end up with what amounts to a distorted but universal perception of reality which goes unquestioned and un-investigated.
Failure to question what mainstream or state sponsored media tells you results in the activities of government, the monetary system and many other facets to the system not being scrutinised. Which gives them license to confuse, manipulate and create the ideal conditions for dividing and ruling society.
Q: Why wouldn’t people think to validate what they read or see on the television?
A: It hinges on whether they are naturally inquisitive. What you should never do is assume that people are aware of the alternative media just because you are. If a person’s only source of information comes from official channels – and that person is not inclined to substantiate it via alternative sources – then how are they ever going to know an alternative exists.
It is no accident that a majority are unaware of an alternative. It is testament to the success of the mainstream system for disseminating choreographed narratives. People who consider themselves enlightened to what is really going on often forget that they too were once in the position that millions still find themselves.
I think there’s two different dispositions at work here. The first is to absorb only what is immediately accessible – the television, the newspaper, the radio, the internet – and then use these platforms almost exclusively when digesting the latest news. People who do digest news this way are representative of a soundbite culture. They, unwittingly or otherwise, just want to know what is happening in the world, in the most concise manner possible. Mainstream news is tailor made for this.
But what people are told is happening can often be discredited through further analysis. Think the ‘moderate rebels’ of Syria for example. The BBC and many others lie about that particular topic every day. Given that the BBC is an arm of the state and owned by the Government makes this of little surprise.
The second disposition is to also absorb what is immediately in front of you, but not to accept it at face value. A person who thinks this way understands that the world cannot be rationalised in one news bulletin or through the latest official state broadcast on behalf of the government. So this disposition seeks to corroborate information, to gain as many perspectives as possible so the fullest picture can be given room to emerge. Following that people make an educated decision, based on diligent research, on what they deem to be happening.
No one person will ever hold all the answers. Interpretations of events will always differ. But that is a necessary part of working towards the truth of a situation.
Ultimately, if the willingness or ability to inquire is not prevalent in the individual, then by default the mainstream will be their resource for information. Simply because it requires little effort to become informed. This doesn’t mean, however, that the individual cannot develop the skills to ask questions and aspire to a greater level of understanding.
Q: But what if the individual dismissed outright the alternative theory for a subject and refused to believe a different perspective was even possible?
A: Therein lies the biggest challenge facing those who have already discovered an alternative way of perceiving events.
People who have researched a topic very often label those who have not as ignorant, or worse they resort to the divisive and puerile term of ‘sheeple’. Immediately this creates a chasm, a dividing line. The conditions for divide and rule. Precisely what prevents any meaningful breakthrough in pulling people together on an issue. In this example the people who are enlightened are as much apart of the problem as those who are not. Decrying ignorance with arrogance serves only to drive the wedge further between. Hence there is no progress.
I recently came across some information about a woman called Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who wrote a book in 1969 – ‘On Death and Dying’. She was a former psychiatrist who worked with terminally ill patients. She introduced the idea of ‘The Five Stages of Grief’ that can be adapted for the situation humanity has been manipulated into today.
First there is Denial that a conspiracy surrounding an event even exists. Think September 11th or the murder of John F. Kennedy. Powerful arguments are there to be found that discredit the official stories on both subjects. You won’t find them in the mainstream media as they were the ones who perpetuated the official stories. Showing this information to someone who throughout there life has steadfastly believed in the official narratives of mainstream media is likely to be met initially with denial. The natural inclination is to believe that government exists to serve and protect, not to conspire and fashion conspiracies.
But denial of a situation can turn to the second stage – Anger – provided the same individual continues to give credence to an alternative theory. They may begin to realise that all is not what they were told. For the first time they start to see the plausibility in another explanation. The anger comes from feeling deceived and lied too. Here is when the individual needs to remain objective, and not immediately seek false reassurances.
Then anger may turn to Bargaining – in so much as the individual understands the official story was not the whole story, but at the same time they don’t want to believe that the alternative in all its guise is actually possible. So they may accept part of a different theory, but not all of it. Even if evidence exists of a clear and deliberate conspiracy to mislead and misdirect the public. In essence, they may think it can’t be as bad as people are making out.
Next comes Depression, which happens as a result of knowing in your head and your heart that you have indeed been lied to and that the belief you carried with you for multiple years was based on a fallacy. This is a critical moment which can go one of two ways. You either move to shield yourself and become reclusive, downcast, and seek some sort of vice to help you through what’s happening to you. Or you stand up to how you are feeling and see the antidote to it as doing more research to try and gain a better understanding of the world you live in. If you do the latter then what seems to make little sense now starts to become clearer the more you look into it.
Following that is Acceptance, which if experienced in this context can bring forth a hugely powerful change in your life. It may sound morbid but you end up embracing the fact you have been deceived by mainstream media and your government. It is here when you start to question why that is. You view events that occur from now on more calmly, more dispassionately, and instead of just accepting what mainstream news tells you it becomes necessary to investigate for yourself. You begin to think that if they lied to me on this subject, what else could they have been lying to me about? And so opens up a minefield of information that awaits to be researched.
The Kubler-Ross model is not fail safe but it helps to contextualize things somewhat.
***Part two of my thoughts on the subject of centralising information will be up in a few days. Thank you for reading***