Isn’t it funny how words nowadays rapidly come to have a specialist meaning entirely divorced from their origin? For example, “far-right” is now very seldom used for actual fascists or Neo-nazis. Our press does not use it for the Ukrainian Krakens, the out-and-out Nazis who advertised in advance that they were going to hunt down “collaborators” and who are now showing pictures of the mutilated bodies of civilian victims of “Russian War Crimes” in the villages they have “liberated,” just like they did when they regained the village of Bucha months ago. “Far right” now means “having family values and telling the truth,” so it really ought to be embraced by all of us, as in “My plumber is as honest as they come – he’s a far right sort of chap,” or “Not only is she good looking, but she’s far right.” Kind of like “far out, but morally sound.”
Once such redefined term is “disinformation,” which once met “deliberate deception,” but now means “embarrassing to propagandists.” We can glean the change of meaning from the nature of those who use it and their activities. If the word meant what it once did, then the solution would be to draw attention to the untruth, point out its flaws by good quality evidence, and provide a true alternative similarly backed by thorough evidence.
But as it is the reverse is true: those accused of disinformation, in most cases, present a coherent case backed by referenced sources, whereas the person calling them out, at best, quotes some other dubious source (usually the one being refuted in the “disinformation”) as an infallible authority.
But that is only “at best.” It is becoming the norm that organisations set up to “counter disinformation” have the sole aims of ensuring that a particular narrative is the only one available to the public, and of using every means of persuasion, fair or foul, to ensure mass-compliance. There appears to be no disinformation apart from organisations set up to provide shortcuts to “truth,” meaning not “what is true” but “our story” in the postmodern sense.
This can, for example, mean crude censorship and other forms of silencing. A recent example is given in the Daily Sceptic today. It links to a BBC article vainly boasting that the BBC detected a Facebook vaccine damage group steering round the algorithms quenching such discussions and mutual support, and shopped it to Facebook so that it was shut down. You will note that the BBC, which used to be a public information platform, did nothing to increase public knowledge or disprove untruth, but the reverse.
The same has happened on a much broader scale through the early censorship of all Russian media across the West when the eight year NATO-backed civil war in a far-off country called Ukraine got Russia involved. This is because Russian “disinformation” might win out with the public over the “information” given by outlets like the BBC about the Ghost of Kiev, the strategic victory of Snake Island, the Russian blockade of Odessa using Ukrainian mines, the shelling of Russian-held cities by themselves, the collapse of the entire Russian army, and so on. The “so on” includes the prosperous state of Putin’s economy as a result of the Western sanctions that are destroying us and achieving the intended regime change in the wrong countries like Sweden and France. And it also includes the statements by the Russian authorities of their actual military aims, so that their non-goal of “conquer the West” can be demonstrated to fail by pundits here.
Incidentally, the last example is an example of the ubiquity of “projection” by those fighting “disinformation,” since it is the stated goal of the USA and NATO, like any militaristic empire of the past, to eliminate every power that might challenge its hegemony over world politics. Russia has its own interests, and so must be destroyed, and that is a step to neutralising the other great rival, China. Europe is a more tin-pot competitor easily undermined by the stupidity of its politicians, especially by destroying its industrial power-house, Germany. But projecting Russia as wanting to rule the world ruthlessly enables us to use “democracy” as the buzz-word to cover up the fact that we already do.
This setting up of Russia as the father of lies is not a new phenomenon. The BBC in particular, and Western institutions in general, have been benefiting from organisations combating “Russian disinformation” since around the time that the US engineered the Maidan coup and started the NATO infiltration of Ukraine.
One prime, and under-publicised, example of this, is a British group called the Integrity Initiative. This was set up to counter disinformation, mainly from Russia, as its name suggests and its now defunct website claims:
“…researching, publicising and countering the threat to European democracies from disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.”
Its actual activities, and its links to government intelligence, media figures and so on were exposed some years ago by hackers, a summary still being available here. One can see that this group has been implicated in helping construct an entire web of lies in order to overthrow Donald Trump’s presidency (the Russiagate affair), in which Russia’s only role was to play the fictional part of the villain, and unwittingly raise up an FBI-paid purveyor of false information. The strong connections to Ukraine over the years (mentioned in the link, which long pre-dates the current war) suggest that undermining Moscow, rather than refuting its lies, was always the real name of the game. It even seems that their people were deeply involved in the Skripal poisoning affair, in which the official British story, once one gets beyond the press hype at the time, would qualify as Disinformation with a capital “D.”
In fact the one thing it’s pretty hard to pin down, either in the work of Integrity Initiative or our “disinformation” hunters overall, are actual instances of Russian disinformation. It appears to have much of the character of far-right race attacks in America: more often than not, they turn out to be fictional constructions to promote the victimhood agenda. Ask yourself – what do you actually know about Vladimir Putin, or present day Russia, that enables you to recognise him as the mad dictator of a repressed country? Like the deplatformed “far right,” a generically evil Russia can be a scapegoat for any failures of our own governments’ policies. And the mindset of hatred will more easily stimulate recruitment of conscripts if and when we eventually decide to obliterate it as yet another “axis of evil,” to add to our other regime changes to impose democracy. (They have all, from Iran on, failed to produce democracy, but rather corruption and anarchy, yet they have all been eminently successful in the higher aim of enriching the military industrial complex, at the cost of only a few million lives and the hard-earned wealth of taxpayers.)
One of the most interesting , and concerning, features of the “disinformation industry” is how often it is closely linked to behavioural psychology outfits like the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team, which since COVID has become thoroughly embedded in the policy-making apparatus of our government, and its model exported round the world. What a distance we have come from the idea that disinformation should be countered by evidenced truth! If censorship of the media doesn’t stop Joe Public from suspecting that something is wrong in the handling of Pakistani rape gangs, or the adverse effects of COVID mRNA medications, then those enlisted to deal with it need have no dealings with the question of truth or falsehood at all. They have only to produce compliance with what benefits the Establishment, through mass psychology.
We have seen during COVID the myriad ways in which this can be achieved. Failing to cover mass protests in the media may be seen not only as censorship, but as behavioural science: the citizen who does not know that 500,000 protesters who agree with his viewpoint were in his capital city last Saturday will be more likely to get vaccinated to avoid the sack. The vaccine-victims denied a conversation platform cannot organise a class action against the government or stakeholders like Pfizer. Emotive advertisements, even when they do not persuade dissenters, will persuade the compliant to hate the dissenters and change their behaviour by mob force. Gradual introductions of unacceptable ideas like digital ID are calculated to overcome resistance by stealth, and even the lying denials by politicians that they will happen confuse people enough to break down their resistance until it is too late.
Astonishingly, all this, and more, is involved in the “combating of disinformation,” as she is spoke in 2022, even though it has no connection whatsoever to the rather important questions of truth and falsehood. And that really should not surprise us, because wherever and whenever you see the word “disinformation” you should not be thinking about truth, but rather it should trigger you to think about power.
Once you’ve worked out who is trying to exert power over you, and why, you can get on with finding truth however it happens to be labelled by the powerful. And it will set you free.