THE GRAVITY OF SLOWLY DIGESTED WORDS
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” – Edward Bernays (responsible for changing the word ‘propaganda’ into ‘public relations’)
Before I lift the blue dress and jerk the Devil’s tail, I want you to experience the gravity of definition. You’d normally find something like this at the start or end of a book, but that’s also where almost no one will read it.
There are words and phrases we hear or use everyday which possibly need to be understood better; chewed more slowly, swallowed more seriously and never shat out casually lest the mess begin appearing normal. Make words mean what they mean so they add weight to the guilty.
Become aware of the people around you and the society you live in. Know your place and where you want to go. Know if you’re a citizen, cow or concubine. Know if you’re a victim or a predator.
Narcissists, Sociopaths & Psychopaths
The difference between narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths is confusing since they have overlapping characteristics that can be further masked by self-awareness. Traditionally, they’re perceived on a climbing scale, from narcissism (the least) through sociopathy to psychopathy (the worst). The more callous the abuser is, the more likely we’re to refer to them as sociopath instead of narcissist, psychopath instead of sociopath.
Identifying characteristics include self-confidence, fearlessness, apathy, deceitfulness, shifting the blame for their actions onto others, disregard for the rights of others, manipulativeness, fake charm, bullying, obsessiveness and meanness.
A sociopath may have a small conscience, robbing a co-worker but feeling something was wrong. That makes it easier for the sociopath to pretend a weak emotion is a bigger one. The psychopath, who feels nothing for you, will have to totally mimic it. For the same reason, the sociopath can form weak attachments to an individual, family or group (or political party) but a psychopath would have to pretend that connection. A sociopath will be impulsive and angry, a psychopath more calm and calculating.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) made it more practical by putting sociopathy and psychopathy in the same basket: “The essential feature of antisocial personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. This pattern has also been referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dissocial personality disorder.”
I will refer to them simply as sociopaths except in later chapter where I wish to make emphatic point about the abhorrent nature of a politician and a businessman seeking to destroy me.
Sociopaths put their well being considerably ahead of everyone else’s. Not all are self-aware that their emotions don’t tick like those of the people they meet. Their lack of empathy is replaced by boredom, greed, frustration and rage. Sometimes there are no emotions all. They lie without guilt. They never say sorry and mean it.
For those who realise what they are, their manipulation of others will be greater, as will the accompanying impression management. They’ll look after their appearance and gain a respectful job or position in the community. They’ll give their attractive attention to the nicest, most trusting people. Their awareness and where they are on that scale of mental disorder will decide how much and how regularly they harm others. Sometimes it’ll only be about how much they can get away with it.
Self-awareness is a double-edged sword, the struggle between desire and not wanting to get caught. Whilst it’s easier to be themselves behind closed doors, they need to maintain a mask at work and play. They can live seemingly different lives; the good job, wife, kids and charity donation part masking their nastiness and crime.
Like everyone else in life, some are more successful than others, others have less impulse control. Prisons have more sociopaths, on average, than free society does. But it isn’t comforting to think that those who got a good education are more likely to be better social parasites.
Take Kevin Dutton’s personality test at Wisdom of Psychopaths.
Cyberbullying and cyberstalking are synonymous though the latter is used more often for serious cases.
It involves repetitive online harassment of an individual by an individual or a group emailing or posting mockery, cruel rumour, lie and threat. The goal is to harm someone through mental assault and by damaging their reputation. The political goal is to discredit or intimidate. The bullies may seek to get others involved via the bandwagon effect, utilising propaganda and fake profiles. Cyberstalking can involve identity theft and continue offline.
In South Africa, the Domestic Violence Act was expanded into the Protection from Harassment Act (PHA) which includes cyberharassment. The goal of the PHA is to protect but it is also being negatively used by politicians as a weapon of oppression, cheaply silencing critics and truth in the Public interest. That wasn’t the purpose of the law and thus it requires better definition.
A cover-up, whether successful or not, aims to conceal evidence of criminality or incompetency. The reason to conceal may be to avoid embarrassment or punishment; the loss of money, position or power, and, in the case of politicians, the diminishing of election returns.
In a passive cover-up, information is denied through avoidance or direct refusal. In an active cover-up, the tools are deception, propaganda, threat and harm.
The DA repetitively practices all this. They’ve been assisted by the very agencies that are mandated to protect us. It’s betrayal of us by Government.
A conspiracy is an agreement by, or coalition of, people to do something wrong or illegal, which can be achieved via a legal action for illegal end, or via illegal action for legal end.
It can be planned openly or in secret. It can exist over a short term or operate as an ongoing concern.
It’s for selfish gain but can be vindictive too. Politically, it’s more likely to seek or retain power and wealth by deceiving the Public and hurting opponents.
It’s a plot that must initially involve two or more individuals or parties but allows others to join at later stages. No matter when they join, or if only one participant carries out the planned crime, they are equally liable, as if each had committed the deed themselves.
The conspirators can be guilty even if they don’t know the identity of the other members. The latter is particularly relevant with regards defamation and propaganda on social media where real people support instigators using fake profiles.
There must be argument to consider those who are not directly part of the conspiracy, yet aware of its existence and benefiting from it, to be co-conspirators.
A whitewash is interchangeable with “cover-up” except where there’s been a superficial investigation to pretend due diligence in order to keep the Public ignorant and allow criminals to remain unpunished. That’s what the Office of the Public Protector and the Hawks (SAPS) did for the DA. It’s what the Knysna Magistrates’ Court did for a bunch of local DA politicians and their cronies.
Propaganda is likely darker than you thought, and with many sub-levels.
Longman Dictionary describes it as “information which is false or which emphasises just one part of a situation, used by a government or political group to make people agree with them.”
It relies, more than anything else, on herd mentality. Only describing it as the manipulation of information and issuing of disinformation in support of a false or biased idea would be inadequate. Us humans are more complicated than that.
The Propagandist wants to ensure that the opposing side, or the target of wrath, is unable to logically counter the screwdriving of deceptive emotions into the human herd. The goal is to have the reader, viewer or listener believe that the propaganda is the only option for truth, or to so disfigure the truth so much that they fear to be associated with it.
The Propagandist seeks credibility through destruction, attacks an individual rather than the topic, pretends to be the victim whilst attacking, sickly repeats questionable ideas or lies until believed acceptable or true, appeals to emotion rather than fact, exploits audience fear and their desire to socially conform (bandwagon mentality), associates the audience with a group they’ve no desire to be part of so as to force them to agree, presents situations as only good or bad in order to pretend there’s only one option, associates their negative idea with good cause, associates their opponent’s idea with bad cause, demonises or mocks opponents with name-calling and bad themes, falsely blames opponents for situations beyond their control or only partly in their control (scapegoats), reinterprets news to suit their cause, uses selective facts rather than whole truth, avoids direct answers and speaks in generalities, uses irrelevant and off-topic facts to misdirect (red herrings) when strongly challenged, uses a supposed expert or authority figure to justify their false idea, pretends what they’re saying is widely accepted (e.g. use of several social media accounts under different names), and outright lies.
Propagandist politicians are as much humankind’s best friend as low-calorie fast food helps fat people. Their help is as contradictory as dagga for asthmatics.
They want you to believe what they say, and do what you’re told. They know you’re too lazy to think for yourself. They’re counting on the fact that you’re like almost everyone else who obeys, that you are, on average, one of the herd.
The Republic of South Africa
Be appreciative of that fact that South Africa isn’t strictly a democracy. If it were, the mob would rule – gays, whites, Indians and immigrants would probably be dead. South Africa is a Republic, a “constitutional democracy” wherein the law and not the majority will is obeyed. When we speak of ‘democracy’, it’s only in the loose sense of citizen equality and the intended (but never gained) servant Government.
Citizens are people who have the right to live in South Africa and aren’t employees of the state. Collectively, citizens are most often referred to as the Public which has a reciprocal relationship with Government whom they elect and support in return for its protection. The mutually beneficial aspect requires underlining. The relationship is guided by the Constitution which includes the Bill of Rights and supportive laws.
Civil servants are Government employees serving the Public of South Africa and its Constitution. They’re supposed to act with integrity, openness and without bias, always putting the interests of the Public first.
Politicians are members of Government elected (not hired) by the Public to fulfil roles ranging from Councillor to President. Although, common usage makes the description interchangeable, the politician is not a servant but rather a representative of the Public. The dilution of common ideology and goals by votes for hate and bias is seriously undermining the fabric of our society.
Or download the full ‘Same Shit, Different Government: Book 1 – The Corruption & Intimidation’ for free: