Facebook is Poison: A Snapshot of the Tyranny of the Masses.

This post is an attempt to analyse what has unfortunately been my experience of engaging with society in the near 36 years that I have been alive. I have seen many shades of the tyranny of the masses in my time and it takes many other forms, however, this for me is a very good example of what happens when an individual tries to tell a group what it does not want to hear. Please Bear with me as the set up is rather long because I wanted to include the entire conversation.

In this post, I will try to demonstrate, from an exchange that I had on Facebook, some of the dynamics of the herd mentality, specifically:

  • The unwillingness to consider a different point of view
  • The ignorance of youth and the herd
  • The methods of discrediting the messenger rather than the message
  • The desire to win the argument at all costs
  • The success of propaganda/PR (Public Relations) on the herd
  • The way in which the members of the group use each other to prop themselves up by way of the bandwagon and its inherent cowardice
  • The belief in a Messiah who will save them
  • Collectivism as an ideology
  • How the masses shout down what they do not want to hear

I will do this by analysing the exchange as it happened, The examples will be given in the order that they came as best as I remember. This whole episode begins with me commenting on a post that was recommending Jeremy Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election. The person who made this recommendation is someone that I knew in the real world and this person had expressed some interest in the kinds of information on this blog, this person is around 20 years old.

To my understanding the falseness Left, Right paradigm is one of the very first things that we encounter when we set foot on this journey of greater awareness. For a person to drop this and fall into a red or blue box just because an election has been called shows that there is a clear distinction between what that person says and what they do.

Example 1A1

So in this image, I am giving a comment on the original status (the angry face did not appear till later)

His reply in Example 2A2

So you’ve always been the same until that is, you were eligible to vote then you’ve rushed into the arms of the first messiah who is telling you what you want to hear. In fairness to this person, this is an easy logical trap to fall into until you understand that by voting you are giving your consent to the system above the candidate. At this point I am also abliged to let you know that there was a time when I would have agreed with 90% of what these people were saying.

Around a day has passed and at this point, I thought that conversation was over until this genius chimes in with…

Example 3A3

This is the first voice which comes to shout down my argument. Notice the use of “We” and the blaming of capitalism (which is a brand name for an idea) for all of the world’s ills. Also be aware I have previously implied, admittedly in a subtle way, that it is “the mechanism” that I object to. Now perhaps I did not make that crystal clear at this point but in doing so, I was able to better gage what I was dealing with in a person I had never heard of before.

To answer this statement, what “we” are being asked to do is put a cross in a box on a certain day and then go about our business as normal. This example clearly shows the success of the PR consultant in dramatising Corbyn as an embattled defender of justice who just needs your help to take on the big evil forces of Capitalism. (Dramatisation is one of many propaganda tactics laid out in Edward Bernays’ 1928 book “Propaganda”).

Example 4A4

This is what came next, the first part seemed pretty reasonable to me until the last few lines, it certainly did not carry the same tone as Example 3. The cheerleading is noteworthy here but also the belief in the messianic figure is on full display. How does this person know that Corbyn can or will do any of the things he ascribes to him. In mentioning the greater good he shows his “Big C” Collectivist thinking very clearly and the herd mentality has started to become evident

One of the funniest things about this exchange was that these people did not even realise that they were defending the establishment of which they claim to be against.

Example 5

A5

Where to start with this, firstly that isn’t thinking deep, it’s justifying your position secondly the faith in the messiah is evident again and thirdly his job, if elected would be to make Britain a better place, not the world. My response stands up to this quite well here because, though I do not have a crystal ball and cannot say for 100% that Corbyn will do nothing or next to nothing for the people, history does tend to back me up on this.

Example 6A62

Wikipedia defines Capitalism as “an economic system and an ideology based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.[1][2][3] Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets.[4][5] In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by the owners of the factors of production in financial and capital markets, and prices and the distribution of goods are mainly determined by competition in the market. ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

This person seems to have only read the first line of this paragraph and conveniently disregarded the rest of it, he also fails to mention the role of the banks which is rather crucial when you consider the bankers’ bailouts and the fractional reserve system. The banks are oddly never mentioned in this thread, I should slap myself for that error but it just shows compartmentalised the thinking out there is and how easy it is to fall into it.

I am no great fan of Capitalism in general but to ignore the fact that it is a brand name for an idea and suggest that it is soely responsible for all of the world’s ills without acknowledging the banks’ role in the current situation or the benefits of Capitalism that he enjoys is rediculous. Even within the confines of his rather limited and simplified argument, surely it is people’s greed which is the true culprit and he also fails to make clear just exactly who he thinks Capitalism is. He is right in what he says about excessive privatisation to the best of my knowledge but then he goes on to describe his messiah again and in asking “How is helping the poor evil?” He has assumed that Corbyn has helped the poor instead of just courted their vote

At this point, I have seen the folly of continuing this discussion, I could see that it was going to get unpleasant so I decided to state my point and make my exit. Note the change in my tone. I reiterate the thrust of my argument was to not consent to the system by voting, politicians are all talk and propaganda and the only person you can truly rely on is yourself.

And now, without further ado, here comes the gem that proves almost every bullet point that I set out at the beginning, this and what followed it shows the mass of sheep in all their glory.

Example 7

A7

Paragraph 1

So the messiah has talked about wars and human rights, I’m not an expert on Corbyn so I wouldn’t know if he has actually done anything about any of these issues outside of a political umbrella but this first paragraph has failed to enlighten me about what he considers the root cause to be and again he has made assertions about his messiah that he cannot demonstrate, he has also made a stab at claiming that he understands the motives of the media which is, I’m am assuming, where he is quoting this narrative from.

Paragraph 2

Here he shows his true collectivist colours in this second paragraph which he starts by calling me a liar and then proceeds to give me this gem. “We’ve tried ruling ourselves and it led to monarchy” You couldn’t make it up could you, where to start with this?

  1. When did we try ruling ourselves?
  2. How did it get to Monarchy?
  3. We still have a Monarchy.

I would also add he is still using “We” because if he had of started with “I have have tried ruling myself” he may have opened himself up to a new way of thinking. This sentence in itself shows

  • The unwillingness to consider a different point of view
  • The ignorance of youth and the herd
  • The desire to win the argument at all costs
  • The success of propaganda/PR (Public Relations) on the herd
  • The belief in a Messiah who will save them
  • Collectivism as an ideology

Six out of nine statements that I set out to demonstrate in one sentence! This person simply cannot conceive of circumstances in which there are no figures of authority for people to pass the responsibility for their lives on to. He then states that humans have never had it so good since creating Democracy but leaves out things like private property, and capital accumulation, wage labour, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets which are associated with Capitalism.

The next line is pretty priceless as well “People can’t rule themselves because they are programmed to cheat”. Speak for yourself mate. This is, most likely, a projection of his internal narrative but it warrants examination.

  1. What gives you the right to decide that a person cannot rule his or herself?
  2. Is he programmed to cheat?
  3. Are people programmed to cheat?
  4. What or who is programming them to cheat?
  5. Why would people be programmed to cheat?
  6. How are people programmed to cheat?
  7. What is meant by the term “cheat” ie. Cheat what?

I do agree that we are indeed “fallible creatures” but by that logic, his Messiah Corbyn is also fallible and if people cannot rule themselves exactly what business do they have putting themselves forward to rule anyone else. He then asks what’s to stop the rape of the planet if we were to do away with Big Brothers Iron Fist. He really is totally oblivious to the fact that all of the problems that he talks about have happened and are happening within the system he is defending.

It is conscience and the do no harm principle that needs to be instilled in people, not the clamor for saviors and authorities, people like this person are just begging the government to take all of our rights away with this kind of thinking. The other thing he is missing is that the natural resources he’s talking about are being used to make the consumer goods that we all buy in some measure.

My response to this person was to throw in the towel as I could see there was no reasoning with him, however, given the obvious sarcasm in my response, you will be surprised to discover that he left it at this.

Example 8A11

In situations such as this, I have no problem rolling over, Facebook battles aren’t worth the effort. All my interest really is in these situations, is getting the measure of the person I am talking with.

Time now to demonstrate the other 3 bullet point

  • The methods of discrediting the messenger rather than the messages
  • The way in which the members of the group use each other to prop themselves up by way of the bandwagon and the inherent cowardice of this
  • How the masses shout down what they do not want to hear

Example 9A8

I think this speaks for itself. These people were the bandwagon jumpers who hopped on toward the end. None of the people in this example had the courage to engage me straight away, they waited for the argument to be dead before they dared venture into it.

I sincerely do hope that I am wrong about Corbyn and our system but I doubt it. I have not offered any analysis of my comments either, it does not follow that all of my assertions in the Facebook thread are totally correct but they are my true feelings on the matter of the election at this moment in time and they are based on my life experience and research such as it is.

It also does not follow that my assertions in this post are totally correct, it could be argued that these are just simply young people, who come from a generation that has been made to pick up the pieces of the past failures of the system, who are excited about the first election that they are old enough to vote in and that I am being too sensitive. But given that they very much do seem to largely be repeating the propaganda from TV and the internet, namely Facebook, I hold to my conclusions and feel that I have adequately demonstrated all of the points that I set out to demonstrate. One caveat to this is that these people, in the majority, were very young which means that they have plenty of time to change their views as they become more knowledgeable and experienced.

I am grateful for this exchange because it has given the opportunity to finally write this article. This kind of subject has been floating around in my head for a while now and this exchange provided me with the perfect means of framing it.

Addendum

If we are to look a little deeper into this mode of behaviour and try to presume what purpose it may have once served human beings, the most logical roots of it, to me, seems to be is in terms of warding off a threat.

Picture the scenario,

  • You have an Aggressor standing at the entrance to the village,
  • He starts to make threats and motions that he is about to pillage the village,
  • A brave villager (Villager one) notices the Aggressor and steps up to confront him,
  • They engage in combat,
  • Another villager sees the fight and comes to the aid of Villager one,
  • The three of them now are causing a good deal of commotion so more of the villagers come to Villager one’s aid,
  • The Aggressor, knowing he is outnumbered, retreats
  • And the villagers have successfully defended their village.

This kind of behaviour can be easily observed in the animal kingdom as well, for example, when one wildebeest in a herd sees a lion he can start a stampede. So if it is indeed a threat response for the herd to band together to shut out the outsider that is being triggered here, exactly what threat did challenging this system of government on a Facebook thread pose to these people?

I have an idea but I’ll leave it open-ended.

Facebook is Poison

I am sure we have all seen exchanges of this kind on Facebook and taken part in some, I know I have. But I do not relish these types of situations and ultimately never enjoy them, there is, at least for me, a compulsion to keep checking for responses and keep arguing especially when it is me that is on the receiving end as if ending a pointless argument or not having the last word is some kind of weakness, well it isn’t, Facebook is a weakness. The false sense of connectedness it creates is a weakness, wanting to know what’s going on in the world of Facebook is the weakness. This forum allows the masses to bully the individual thousands of times a day and it shows people at their worst in far too many ways to list 24/7. The very nature of the forum encourages these kinds of dividing lines, it does not lend itself to cool and calm deconstructive analysis and as such, any kind of constructive debate is almost impossible on Facebook. For many people, Facebook is a dependency and it is one that they do not need. This, for me, was the final lesson that has made me see sense and delete my profile.

 

 

 

 

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