From the Consent Factory, CJ Hopkins has been tracking the evolution of the master narratives of the globalization, capitalism, and the senescent American imperium. His latest, Virus of Mass Destruction, notes that we've had a major script change with the advent of the novel coronovirus, and the turn towards authoritarianism is quite dramatic. But what particularly affected me in the piece was a restatement and refinement of his long-running ideas on the role of forcing people to believe what they know is false:
It is the goal of every official narrative to generate this type of herd mentality, [in whichthe consequences of not believing it are even more frightening than the cognitive dissonance of believing a narrative they know is a fiction] not in order to deceive or dupe the public, but, rather, to confuse and terrorize them to the point where they revert to their primal instincts, and are being driven purely by existential fear, and facts and truth no longer matter. Once an official narrative reaches this point, it is unassailable by facts and reason. It no longer needs facts to justify it. It justifies itself with its own existence. Reason cannot penetrate it. Arguing with its adherents is pointless. They know it is irrational. They simply do not care.
Hopkins developed these ideas previously in 2017 in Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Still Works, an essay that remains one of my touchstones of modern understanding:
The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate anofficial narrativethat can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, betweenthe truthas defined by the ruling classes and any othertruththat contradicts their narrative . . . Conforming to the consensusrealitygenerated by these official narratives is price of admission to the inner sanctum, where the jobs, money, professional prestige, and the other rewards of Capitalism are. Conforming does not require belief. It requires allegiance and rote obedience. What one actually believes is completely irrelevant, as long as one parrots the official narrative . . . [I]t is often most effective when those who are forced to robotically repeat it know that it is utter nonsense, as the humiliation of having to do so cements their allegiance to the ruling classes . . . [I]t is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma . . . What matters is that the ruling classes have issued a new official narrative and are demanding that everynormalAmerican stand up and swear allegiance to it . . .
In our high-tech, mass-survellience, fear-ridden dystopia, the consequences of failure to align to the new narratives are likely to grow in severity. Good luck to all of good heart!