How to Prevent a Revolution

Real Inflation
Ten easy steps to forestall an uprising from outraged citizens:

  1. Lie about what’s going on. Tell the people the war is being won, or is at least winnable. Tell them inflation is almost non-existent, and be consistent about it in the face of all the evidence that it’s really out of control. You need to do this in order to crush the unions and suppress strikes and demands for cost-of-living wage increases. Tell them that unemployment is low, by excluding all the people working multiple part-time jobs and all the people who have given up even looking for work. Don’t even think about computing how many are seriously underemployed. Pay junk scientists to deny global warming and how industry is ruining people’s health. Tell them that the staggering, unrepayable levels of debt are too hard for the average person to understand, and nothing to worry about. And make sure you have control of the media, so they echo all the lies without so much as a whimper.
  2. Print lots more money. Don’t worry about the fact it will soon make your currency worthless in international markets. Let your banker friends loan it to the average citizen, way beyond what they can repay, so they can buy shoddy imported junk and feel as if they’re getting wealthier. Bail out your banker friends with taxpayer money when the debts go bad. When that runs out, print even more.
  3. Dumb down the education system. Under no circumstances allow anyone to teach economics in secondary schools. Starve the system of funds, and force teachers to pass illiterate students anyway. Under no circumstances allow anyone to teach students what’s happening elsewhere in the world, or what happened in history (especially the history lessons of wars and the Great Depression).
  4. Make the economic victims feel guilty and responsible. Perpetuate the myth than anyone can be rich and powerful if they work hard. When the poor get ill on the only food they can afford, blame them for gluttony, smoking, drinking and not exercising. Portray the homeless as lazy, and the unemployed as incompetent and shiftless. Let religions that preach dependence on the state as shameful, irresponsible and unworthy of admission to heaven run the schools and charities.
  5. Crank up the propaganda machine. Follow the three rules of tyrants everywhere: Oversimplify, Distort, and Smear. Oversimplify complex issues, and reduce them to absurd black vs. white dichotomies (“you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists”). Distort the truth through Orwellian names (“clean skies act”) for your most grievous outrages, and by repeatedly misrepresenting the facts (“Saddam had WMD and supported Al Qaida”) and mis-quoting opponents out of context. Smear opponents and critics by repeating barefaced lies about them until they’re accepted as truths. If that doesn’t work, blame ‘illegal’ immigrants for all the problems you face.
  6. Steal: Steal from future generations to keep today’s citizens at bay. Incur debts that future generations will never be able to repay — you’ll be long gone by then. Exploit struggling nations by using global banking and trade consortia to strongarm them to give up their resources and labour for next to nothing, and accept your garbage, overpriced munitions, and worthless money in return.
  7. Make your economic partners co-dependent. If they sell you so much that they can’t afford to lose you as a customer, you can dictate price, and everything else. Make it abundantly clear that if you go down, so do they.
  8. Punish whistle-blowers and intimidate opponents. What’s a little torture or ‘disappearing’ of dissidents to foreign prisons in defence of the homeland? It provides an example for what might happen when citizens misbehave.
  9. Promise to do something within ten or twenty years. Say you’ll wipe out the debt in twenty years, or reduce carbon emissions in fifty. No one will remember then what you promised today, and you won’t be around anyway, so the failure will be blamed on the next guy. Meanwhile you sound like you care about the problem when you don’t.
  10. Lower expectations and crush hope. When you get into power, paint a dismal picture of what you’ve inherited from the previous administration. Warn of the need for hard work and austerity ahead. Say that wars will take many years to win, but by spending much more on them they might be modestly shortened. Reassert that there is no alternative. Steal an election or two, so people give up voting for president. Gerrymander the boundaries of electoral districts so people give up voting for representatives. Ifthat isn’t enough, give all the police tasers.
This entry was posted in How the World Really Works. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How to Prevent a Revolution

  1. David Parkinson says:

    Oh Dave, you need a hug so bad!! :-)Maybe tomorrow: “How to Prevent the Revolution from Being Prevented.”And… maybe not.Love and peace from Powell River,David

  2. Paul says:

    Call me a cynic, but I think the list Dave provided is a decent summary of how the ruling class rules. Two things come to mind as I read it.First, it’s interesting that some of the listed items seem to be consciously planned and executed while others appear as side effects. For example, I believe the lies and obfuscations are intentional manipulations to protect or pursue various interests–often those of corporate groups or political factions. And yet I believe that, by and large, the gutting of the media is an unintended side effect of the drive for individual corporate profit–cut the news staffs and emphasize entertainment over investigation and reporting so they can sell more papers at a lower cost. (“Truth” has no value if it can’t command a higher price on the market than advertising.) Similarly I believe the ills of our educational system are largely an unintended effect of treating education like a factory with a product, where administrators and teachers are hired for their measurable results and ability to avoid controversy, without any thought for developing a “whole person” having any integrity or wisdom.The other thing that comes to mind is how these problems are not really problematic for many people. Lying is just a normal part of how to get by. Fiscal and monetary policy is a matter for the experts, so if even economists can’t agree on what’s happening who are we to question it? The only problem with education is whether my kids will have the chance they deserve to get into college. We should all feel responsible for our own actions, not blame our poor fortune on our background, race, etc., nor use such excuses for others’ misbehavior. Everyone has a right to state their case, and we can pick and choose who to believe by our own lights. Anyway somebody must be to blame for our problems, and immigrants (or whatever) cannot be allowed to take advantage of us forever. Other nations may be jealous of our success and power, but they don’thave to buy our products just as we don’t have to listen to their self-serving complaints. A government has to be tough to defend the nation’s interests and be a player in the world game. Politicians’ promises mean little, what matters most is character–can they fight hard, persevere, and forthrightly make our claims as a nation. Our modern democratic system may never be perfect but it has been honed through more than 200 years of conflict and compromise–and the proof is that we, the mass of citizens, are living better than any previous generations in history. There really is no alternative except for dictatorship–which works well sometimes, but we won’t need it unless things get really out of hand.My cynicism is continually reinforced as I notice what’s happening in the world, and even in personal and business relationships close to me. Trying to make sense of it all, it seems to me that the human brain is marvelously adept at understanding how things work–it can (metaphorically speaking) make sophisticated maps of the world, or models, with which to rationally or reflexively react in a wide variety of situations–but there is nothing like a guarantee of truth. More often than not we act on false premises, usually unconsiously. The negative feedback that might correct our understanding is severely filtered/distorted (by emotions, earlier conditioning in very different circumstances, culture), so that it only very slowly changes our views.So I don’t think it’s all a matter of conspiracies and plans by the ruling class and its operatives, but I also don’t hold out hope for the systems of domination and exploitation to be overturned. (Therefore I expect suffering to continue, and often to increase as it has in the past. Stop global warming? Maybe if a sizable war kicks up enough dust, spreads enough disease, and shuts down enough machines.) I try to be a positive influence (within my small area of influence), encourage myself and others to let-self-change, and continue seeking a better understanding of the world and myself; but I have given up looking forward to the much needed revolution, or an Age of Aquarius, or any other state of widely shared harmonious attitudes.One might think that reading a blog like Dave’s could be depressing. Maybe half his readers could use some hugs when he shares some of the darker views. Hugs and other signs of love can be terrific medicine–keep them coming. (Thanks, David Parkinson, for the earlier comment!) I value Dave and his readers for that mutual support, but also for Dave’s willingness to help us look unflinchingly into the darkness, as well as to look joyfully into the light. The blog’s cooperative effort assists each of us (I think) to better understand, if not how to save the world, perhaps how to live in it.(Paul cheers himself up before retiring to bed.)

  3. Octavio Lima says:

    Thank you for such a substantial food for thought.

  4. Jon Husband says:

    Look, it’s a “connect-the-dots” game … when all the dots are connected, the word Y.I.K.E.S. appears.Yeah, it gets depressing, especially after having watching all (or most of) the dots float or drift into position over the past decade or so.;-)

  5. .. just had a conversation with someone who started saying how bad people are, like vermin on the Earth, messing it up for future generations, selfish, self centred etc. I suddenly realised that is what THEY TO WHOM WE HAVE ABDICATED want us to believe, that humans are like that. They are not. Essentially not. Promulgation of that attitude just keeps things at status quo. In fact people of this ilk expound on the GOOD side of a world war. Talk of mind control! Will we ever wake up out of this nightmare?

  6. Jon Husband says:

    Yes to Stephen Hinton’s points. Competition .. for resources, positions, approval, acceptance, etc. … is a core element of the game (and it is a game) that plutocrats play with the rest of us. It does not need to be that way, but it has been told to us so very often that many people shrug and say “that’s the way people are”.

Comments are closed.