This Reddit post is going viral: The Industry of Gaslighting Our Culture
Gaslighting – manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity
People typically experience gaslighting at an individual level, one spouse may gaslight another in order to gain control over the relationship, for example. Here are the signs of one individual gaslighting another:
They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
They wear you down slowly over time, intensifying the gaslighting as they go
Their actions do not match their words.
They know confusion weakens people.
They accuse others of the problems they have, called projection.
Gaslighting is a powerful technique, which is why it’s so unfortunately common in a world where people are desperate to control each other.
Using gaslighting on an entire population to better control it is not a new technique. Yellow Journalism was doing it a hundred years ago. Kings did it, with their proclamations. “Your negative feelings about life aren’t real, you just don’t understand. But don’t worry, I’m doing what’s best for all of us so you’ll just have to trust me.” or something of the likes is a refrain heard over and over from authorities throughout history. Self-preservation often trumps compassion when people feel as though they might lose their position of power. As unfortunate as that is, it seems to be the truth.
And here we find ourselves at a point in history where again the ruling power structure is on the defensive and finds itself challenged. And again we see it resort to gaslighting an entire populace.
But the internet changes the game. Social media and online chat and message boards gave people ways to communicate like never before, making geographical distance irrelevant. A golden era was available, that i quickly disappearing, as companies and governments realize the propaganda potential of this network.
People thought communication on the internet was genuine and organic, and it was. Now it has become corrupted just like yellow journalism, but many don’t realize. Many still think this is organic culture, and I even get fooled myself. It is not organic, it is manufactured culture. Creating false consensus. Making us all look like we are one way, when we’re actually another. Hoisting a banner over our heads that few of us actually agree with.
I am very glad to see people investigate these things and bring them to light, like Correct The Record (CTR) and now Share Blue which has replaced it. And perhaps some in this sub may investigate the opposite side of the aisle in this regard as well. That is equally important, because it is the system as a whole that is corrupted at all levels, not just one half of it.
And not only is this happening politically but it’s happening in the corporate world, with advertisements. And even with different governments around the world, each trying to convince you they’re the true good guys here.
So we real humans are stuck in this echochamber of manufactured bullshit, many people believing it to be real. If “The Matrix” ever were a real thing, this is it. Many do not want to be unplugged because they’re so emotionally invested in “their side”, aka Tribalism has hijacked their thought processes through an emotional override, wedding them to their ideological stances. Even if those stances don’t make sense, they do it to fit in and be on “Team good guys” whoever they think that is.
All our major forums for public communication across the internet are being exploited and destroyed by paid and automated messaging that dilutes our real culture and attempts to replace it with a fake one that is crafted by those already in power, gaslighting us all in the process.
But echo chambers, and mass delusions aren’t just promulgated by elites–even ordinary people can perpetuate them upon each other, related to peer pressure and conformity (some recent examples being the Jonestown Massacre and the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide. Other examples include the Dutch tulip bubble ‘Tulip mania’ of the 1600’s). The answer as to what one should believe in and how one should ascertain ‘correct’ beliefs from ‘wrong’ ones, in real-time, is far more elusive.
Perhaps a notable example of a ‘false consensus’ was the media’s insistence that Trump had no chance, going so far as questioning the rationality and sanity of Trump supporters, when he obviously did have a chance (and won). The media and political pundit establishment vastly underestimated Trump’s support, all the way up until the night the votes were counted.