Week 3, Day 1: Propaganda in Paradise
Utopian dreams can’t survive without propaganda, for two reasons. Tune in, to find out what they are. @JZmirak
This is the text of Day 1, Week 3 of Dr. J’s Daily Chats, recorded on May 12, 2020: “Propaganda in Paradise.”
Would you like a blank check for tons and tons of power? No probably not, because you seem like a pretty normal person. But if you did want a lot of power, I’ve got a formula for you: Convince everyone that doing the impossible is a high moral duty.
Eliminating all deaths from the Wuhan virus for instance.
Creating perfect equality between men and women, for instance.
Or, wiping out all pollution and using only “renewable energy.”
These might sound like noble goals. But none of them can actually be done.
We can reduce the number of deaths, but we can’t wipe out all deaths. We can reduce inequality or pollution. But we can’t eliminate either entirely.
But people who are convinced that we absolutely must eliminate these things completely will put up with all sorts of regulations, controls, fines and penalties. The people who already have power will have a much clearer path towards the use of even more power. They will have a built-in ready-made excuse for all sorts of activities that people would otherwise consider obvious abuses.
But even with lots of power, an impossible task is still impossible. The power-monger needs something else. They need propaganda, lots, and lots of it. For two reasons:
First, you’ve got to convince everybody that your impossible dream really is morally required. Diverting attention from the problems that might come along with the dream. Shaming people who question the dream. Creating false dichotomies. “You either agree with me 100% or you are a hater!”
Second, you’re going to have to cover up for the inevitable failure to achieve your high ethical aim. The goal is, after all, impossible. When people’s lived experience doesn’t match the official narrative, those people have to sit down and shut up. And if they don’t sit down quietly, you’ve got to make them sit down and shut up.
The Wuhan virus is on everybody’s mind right now. It has degenerated from a public health issue into an ideology. I plan not to say much about that particular problem. I am going to point out that we in the West have been spinning out crazy impossible ideologies for the past couple of hundred years. I’ve only mentioned a few. I’m sure you can think of others. That is why we are primed for slipping into ideological utopian thinking.
And every one of these utopian fantasies requires endless propaganda. We’ve been subjected to a steady stream of untruth. And that has created a lot of confused people, angry people, disappointed people. So, we need to take a sober-minded look at propaganda, and other forms of falsehoods and fabrications. Which we will do next time.
In the meantime, just keep this in mind. When someone promises you Heaven on earth, don’t walk, run away from them.
Speaking of Heaven, I wonder where Jeffrey Epstein is right now. I don’t know. But I’m quite certain he did not kill himself.
I’m Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, for the Ruth Institute.
I’ll see you next time.