by J.B. Shurk, American Thinker:
Two trend lines extend into the future. One tracks government’s increased oppression, surveillance, and social control. The other tracks people’s rising spiritual faith, desire for personal freedom, and determination that government should leave them alone. This is our reality. It also exposes the chink in totalitarianism’s armor. The greater the government’s coercion, the more convinced a growing share of the population becomes that illegitimate government must go.
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The same tug of war has played out time and again. With the luxury of hindsight, there is a clear trigger point when governing authorities cross a line into such unacceptable tyranny that their eventual fall becomes certain. The only question then is how much time is permitted before the reigning power’s inevitable end. The Roman Empire squeezed out five hundred years following the demise of the Republic. The Soviet Union’s communist state lasted only seventy. Ever since the term “color revolution” entered into the general lexicon, volatile regime change has become more common by the week.
In many instances, outside governments play agent provocateur to sow geopolitical unrest. In other instances, domestic populations foment internal rebellion. Whether as chess pieces being used by foreign powers or chess pieces that have decided to chuck the game rules out the window and take down their own king, the people once regarded as mere “pawns” comprehend that novel tools for mass communication have changed everything. Intelligence services regularly engage in mass manipulation because they fear uncontrolled thinking.
Information is the key. Ideas are more powerful than bombs or bullets. At this point, that truth should be obvious. In the United States, the president in name only and his political colleagues still deliver speeches praising freedom of speech, while the national security surveillance State actively works with tech titans and corporate news stenographers to censor dissenting points of view. We are now years into a Western propaganda campaign intended to convince the public that information should be compartmentalized as “mis-,” “mal-,” or “dis”-information whenever it is at odds with the State. If knowledge and opinion were not so threatening to the government, federal police would not dedicate so many resources to monitoring private conversations and expunging unapproved thoughts from the public sphere.
Talk of WWIII brings thoughts of troop movements, electric grid collapse, and nuclear conflagration, but unlike the wars of last century, this one is first and foremost for control of individual minds. WWI fashioned new forms of State propaganda; WWII transformed that propaganda into an applied science; Cold War generations of private advertising firms and secretive intelligence agencies used that science to sculpt the future for power and profit. We have been inside a reality distortion field ever since. Even in “free” Western nations, most people watched the handful of news stations and enjoyed entertaining television shows without ever suspecting that their thoughts were being shaped. The “free” press, after all, represents a Fourth Estate perpetually at odds with government power. Entertainers and other celebrities are often counterculture artists who would never parrot the State.