Antismoking campaigns are social engineering programmes. But they are just one of many such social engineering programmes. We’re knee deep in programmes of this sort.
Anti-obesity, anti-fat, ant-sugar, anti-salt are also attendant social engineering programmes. Global warming/climate change is another large scale social engineering programme. The EU is yet another very large scale social engineering programme.
And these social engineering programmes are run by elite groups who decide among themselves what the aims of their various programmes will be. They decide that people are not to smoke or drink or get fat. They decide what people should eat, and how much of it, and how often. And once they have decided what people must do, they set out to persuade and bully and bludgeon them into doing it using all the machinery available to them to do so.
Who are the members of these elites? All the great and the good. The political class. Senior members of all the professions. Journalists, newspaper editors and proprietors, radio and TV writers and producers. They make up what is sometimes called the Establishment of right-thinking people. And they very often hand out awards to each other: Grammies, Baftas, Oscars, Nobels, Knighthoods, and so forth.
I’m not a member of this elite. I don’t move in their circles. I don’t even know any of them. Because I disapprove of all their social engineering projects. Because I don’t think that people should be engineered. I think cars and buildings and ships and computers should be engineered, but not people. I think cars and buildings and ships and computers should be engineered for the benefit of people, so they can do with them whatever they want to do, not what some elite wants them to do. I think that once you start to engineer people, you may as well not bother to engineer cars and buildings and ships and computers.
And I think that all their various social engineering projects are doomed to failure. Because nobody wants to be engineered. Nobody wants to be bent into the shape that these elites want them to be. And in the end, people will revert to being what they really are. And it seems to me that we are actually seeing all their social engineering projects displaying all the signs of incipient failure.
The EU giga-social engineering project is perhaps the one in which the signs of decay are becoming the most pronounced. For across the EU the established political elites are losing their grip on the populations which they are trying to engineer. The elites want one thing (e.g. Muslim immigration), and the people don’t. And the people are slowly becoming more and more vocal in their disagreement. And they are starting to vote in more and more non-elite, anti-establishment representatives.
The global warming/climate change social engineering project is also in trouble. For there has arisen a powerful sceptical movement which denies the validity of many of the claims made by the engineers. And the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world, is one of the sceptics.
One might also say that the very long term anti-smoking social engineering project has run into trouble. For it really ought to be recognised that the totally unexpected invention of completely new ways of smoking – using e-cigarettes – represents a catastrophic failure of the project. And the stubborn persistence of a hard core of smokers in carrying on smoking also represents another failure. And the emergence of a small resistance movement is another failure. And the increasingly loud and hysterical health warnings printed on tobacco products points to yet another failure: somehow or other the engineers are no longer able to get their message across. Why else do they think they have to shout?
And this is perhaps where the failure of all the various engineering programmes originates. For they all all required that the engineers have complete control of all communications, and be able to shape all mass media messages to advance their various social engineering goals. They needed to be in control of the press and TV and radio. And for many years they were. In Britain the BBC has been a state-controlled mass broadcast media outlet for pretty much the past 100 years.
But all that started to change with the arrival, circa 1990, of the internet or World Wide Web, which allowed more or less anyone to publish whatever they liked on the web, without first going through the usual hoops of top-down editorial control.
And I’m one of those people who have been using the web to publish what I think, rather than what they think. I started with Idle Theory back in 1998. And I continue today with the blog that you’re reading right now. There is no editorial oversight. Nobody from WordPress has ever censored anything I’ve written. And I’m one of thousands – nay, millions – of people who have been doing the exact same thing, even if all they have done has been to add comments and ‘likes’ on one website or other. The result is that a whole new online culture has gradually emerged over the past 30 years.
And the most important feature of the new culture is that the elite engineers with their various social engineering programmes are unable to control the content of the information appearing on the web. They no longer control the message. And also more and more people are drifting away from the old top-down-controlled broadcast media – newspapers, TV, radio – and towards new online media organisations.
And there’s almost a state of war between the old media and the new media these days, with accusations of “fake news” being thrown to and fro between them. And the upshot of this is that it is no longer possible to shape the message being broadcast in ways necessary to advance the various social engineering programmes. So, for example, if there are lots of TV shows on which nobody smokes (and on which smoking has been successfully denormalised), there are now internet sites – e.g. the Smoky Drinky Bar – where smoking is being renormalised. And the same applies with the global warming engineering project, because if there are a great many media outlets which promote climate alarmism, there are now just as many that promote climate scepticism.
The elites have lost control of the communications media, and they perhaps did so as soon as those media ceased to be one-way broadcast from a single source – i.e. a single printing press, or a single radio or TV station -, and started to be two-way broadcast between multiple sources.
And when the elites lost control of the communications media, they lost their ability to shape the public mind, to be opinion leaders. And they lost their ability to successfully promote all their various social engineering projects. And that’s why all their projects are on the rocks.
And I myself am in the odd situation that the elites have no way to get their message to me. For I don’t buy any of their newspapers, and I don’t listen to any of their radio, and I don’t watch any of their TV. Increasingly I simply pay attention to the people who comment on my blog, or who write other blogs, or who appear in the Smoky Drinky Bar. And I get all my news from multiple (often rival) sources on the web. About the only messages the elites successfully reach me with are through the shrieking warnings they print on my tobacco packets (and often in languages that I can’t read).
But they still seem to believe that they can influence public opinion:
Angela Merkel’s right-hand man Wolfgang Schäuble has said he hopes the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal will persuade the United Kingdom to reverse Brexit and stay in the EU.
The Bundestag president, who has been accused of inflicting punitive measures on weaker EU member-states and disregarding elections during his long tenure as Germany’s finance minister, made the comments to the Funke media group.
Schauble, one of the most powerful politicians not just in Germany but in the entire Eurozone for years, was expanding on his previous comments that “In the Brexit campaign, the Britons were endlessly lied to and deceived and when they happened to be successful, the ones who did that ran away because they said they can’t take responsibility for that.”
He suggested the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, an alleged double agent for MI6 who was released in exchange for Russsian spy Anna Chapman in 2010, would somehow persuade Britain to stay in the European Union despite the Brexit vote, saying the incident proved “Europe works”.
“I do have hope that the Brits will remain in the EU,” he told journalists, claiming the poisoning proved “how good it is to not stand alone in the world.”
But my own take on Skripal is that he was probably poisoned by somebody who wanted to engineer a confrontation with Russia, by pinning the blame on the Russians. And I think that they wanted to engineer this confrontation in order to get the peoples of Europe to unite against a common (Russian) enemy. And who would want to do something like that, other than elite European politicians… like Wolfgang Schäuble?
So, in my case, this new social engineering programme has completely backfired. They’ll never get any support from me for a conflict with Russia which Russians don’t want, and most Europeans don’t want, and which only the European political elites could possibly want, in order to shore up their failing EU project.
And Wolfgang Schäuble is, I think, completely deluded about the continuing ability of state-controlled mass media to shape public opinion. Those days are over. And they ended with the arrival of the internet and all the new social media that emerged out of it.