The parameters have been set. You will think about, feel about, worry about and emote on those things we tell you too. Victorians are now subjected to psychological manipulation worthy of Bernays, Madison Avenue and Goebbels combined. And it is set to increase.
The argument is between YES and NO. “We don’t tolerate intolerance” is the catch cry of the morally superior and woe betide anyone that wants to think outside that window. Between the ABC and Murdoch media, there are only hard edges and no room for peripheral thought. RMIT Fact Check Lab, social media giants’ terms of engagement, mis- and disinformation specialists from the intelligence apparatus, both active and covert, infest our lives and the merging of the state with the corporate has almost become total.
“RMIT FactLab partners with Meta to address the spread of viral misinformation”
Big business and government agendas are the only game in the town. To play outside their sandbox is to become an outcast- the virtuous and the venal are now the same people passing judgement on those that would dare to have a different experience, a different thought or a different set of values. The pathway to reality and sound judgement, let alone a transparent democracy has never been harder in the state of Victoria.
Our supposedly independent cultural institutes and organisations, decimated by lockdowns, have had to accept government/corporate filthy lucre or go broke. The arts sector has been completely co-opted by Arts Victoria and the conditions it places on its funding. Government and corporate dollars have coopted street art and alternative music. Rocking out for mandatory vaccinations was a thing.
Gone are the days of funding with some strings attached: now it’s funding compliance with ESG/DEI or any other number of socially responsible diktats. The veneer of an open and tolerant society capable of mature and sophisticated discussion inclusive of wildly diverse views has become a distant memory. A committed minority with a clear dogma now rule over society as we lose the capacity to respect another’s experience. Believe or be excluded.
Political parties have clued onto the fact that they no longer have to pretend to govern for the majority as long as there is the pretence of taking care of their acolytes- and those on the periphery that prefer to bury their heads in the foam of a double shot macchiato rather than look reality in the face.
Despite billions being committed to our health care system it’s falling apart. Despite tens of billions being given to enforcement agencies, crime is rising. Despite tens of billions given to transport, it still takes an hour to cross the city and you can’t get to the airport without taking a second mortgage. When do we start to look at what’s happening, rather than what we’re told is happening?
The Age and the ABC simply ignore news, The Australian misreports news, the Herald Sun is hysterical and journalists whose commission it is to examine issues and report facts (with some rare but honourable exceptions) are more interested in becoming a product for social media clicks and following narratives (or creating them thanks Lisa) than earnest investigation and the transparency that democracy needs. International news is no better with murky ownership surrounding the Independent, the Guardian, the Washington Post or the NYT. Where exactly one can get a clear sense of the events of the day is unclear as the primary remaining source is social media- a monster of Kraken-like grip that ensures our daily agenda is controlled by the whims, algorithms and relationships of billionaires and bureaucrats across all platforms.
And while we argue about the irrelevant and the patently idiotic, the system is changing the very fabric of our society. An advanced national Digital ID system is coming. Greater urban density is coming, designed to stop you from enjoying the freedom (or is that free dumb?) to move about your city with anonymity and independence; rather than pleasant suburbs with decent density, good health and community integration, you will become a data set, completely surveilled, controlled and controllable while the large companies and wealthy individuals do whatever the fuck they like. Eat the soylent green peasant, this steak is not for you.
Conscious stooges and their close cousins, useful idiots, infest every sector of the government and their allies in business, the media, statutory and community organisations. They have a bright, shiny vision of what your future is to be and you’re excluded from the discussion – or allowed only to be ‘engaged’ via one-sided , if not non-existent, community consultation mechanisms that arrive well after a decision has been taken. Mediocrity has become the promotional KPI to which we should aspire; genuine excellence and independence have been regulated out of existence and belong to the TED Talk class alone.
At the heart of this matter is trust, the precious jewel that sits at the heart of our system of democracy. The government, the judiciary, the police, the media and big business have lost ours and we want it back, tattered and damaged though may it be.