We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Weaponization of Social Media

Click here if you wish to access the 15:57m video (or podcast and transcript), that is provided below, directly from James Corbett's website.
Now openly admitted, governments and militaries around the world employ armies of keyboard warriors to spread propaganda and disrupt their online opposition. Their goal? To shape public discourse around global events in a way favourable to their standing military and geopolitical objectives. Their method? The Weaponization of Social Media. This is The Corbett Report.
In the past capitalist ruling classes initially were largely identified with nations which were under their control. Although national constitutions often used extravagant language about "democracy" and serving the people, in reality these ruling classes created governments to promote their interests and to moderate various capitalist factions that would occasionally come into conflict. These capitalists frequently adopted the corporate form that functioned largely within nations. 

However, beginning in the 1980s largely due to the developments in technology, transnational capitalists and their corporations became a dominate faction in Western nations, particularly in the nations that comprised the US-led Empire. These new capitalists promoted an ideology called neoliberalism ("neo" plus the classic meaning of "liberalism") that sought to eliminate trade barriers such as tariffs that interfered with their profits. They have used this transnational Empire to promote their interests of profits and power, much like their national predecessors did, but with a more aggressive use of subversive organizations such as the CIA and the use (or the threat) of their Empire's military forces.

In this video Corbett brings us up to date by revealing the ruling class of the Empire's use of internet technology to manage the views of the general public to be consistent with their global interests. (You may need to wait a few more seconds for this video to upload on your device.)

(For a very good, although very naive, explanation of only one of the tools, algorithms, that social media corporation use, listen to this 30:38m podcast from Mozilla Corporation.)