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The Management of Unleashed Insanity


The Management of Unleashed Insanity

Todd Gitlin

Richard Nixon lied about wars and cover-ups, but otherwise his evasions and spins were in the mainstream of American political discourse. He was not in the regular practice of calling black white. By the end of his second term, Ronald Reagan was so mentally impaired as to make it unclear what he knew and when.

But the present situation, a regime that systematically assaults truth, is unprecedented.


It isn't that 'they' believe or that 'they' don't believe in the truth. They have replaced the need for truth with propaganda and that is sufficient for all that they do.

Under the rules of propaganda even when something is actually true, that is irrelevant to belief or disbelief in it. All facts and all lies (within certain limits) are equally important to those without belief in them. Shall I tell you a lie? You may say yes as long as I sound like I believe it to be true. Whether it is true or not has little bearing to its believability to a propagandist. Only its existence matters. Propaganda is mostly a matter of getting the word out... not the truth. Say the lie in public and some people believe it and soon enough a lot of people repeat it claiming that it is true.

So do we have leaders who speak the truth or do they speak lies?

The amazing thing is that they really don't care if they do or don't. They only care about saying it in public because then it has substance whether or not it has any intrinsic truth. Does Trump really disbelieve in the reality of climate change?

It is unlikely that he has ever bothered to research the subject. What would be the point when he wants to say certain denialist themes in public?

It is hard to convince someone of the truth of something when that person is uninterested in the truth.a


Todd Gitlin's piece is all written about the point of view of the evil, the gullible, or the weary, (who capitulate); What about the resisters? All those who showed up at airports, who interrupt Congressional Hearings (like the dynamite Code Pink members), attend Town Hall Meetings, who are right this minute parking themselves in front of Congress Members' offices at home, to object and call out? What about the judges who have said "No, you cannot do this under our law."? The pro bono lawyers for refugees and immigrants?

My office mate's 15 year old grandson just commented to his parents that Sean Spicer was "like that guy in the circus who has to follow after the elephant and pick up the poop."

Just saying that all is not just as Prof.Gitlin asserts...


It's early days. We'll have to see if the resistance can keep up it's intensity over time. Trump and his gang are no doubt betting on the resistance wearing out, and wearing down.
I hope we prove them wrong!


That is a sure sign of the beginnings of fascism.


We all do. Let's remember our ancestors hung in there for decades- no more ADD or ADHD or despair.


“If you don’t know history, it’s as if you were born yesterday. If you were born yesterday, then any leader can tell you anything.”
—Howard Zinn

George Santayana was right; "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Most folks don't know history; therefore, it truly is as if they were born yesterday. How can one reason with those who are not capable of analytical and critical reasoning? How can they put complex matters into perspective for analysis and problem-solving? The media and the “reformed” K-12 educational system have done a great job of sufficiently dumbing downward the American mentality. Most citizens naively and blindly accept, as truisms, whatever the government, journalist and propagandists tells them—for better or for worse.

It is ever so easy for the ruling class to take advantage of perceived and actual problems—by introducing solutions that do not truly benefit the public-at-large. Instead, the proffered solutions substantially advance any number of agendas of the power elite themselves. It is a classic example of the Hegelian Dialectic: problem->reaction->solution (thesis->anti-thesis->synthesis). It is a great way to persuade the citizenry to accept something that actually is not in their best interest.

Most folks are conditioned not to see the "root” of certain political, social, and economic and woes problems. In that way, the true powers-that-be are able to act—surreptitiously— as puppet-masters. Most of the time the common folks act like a dog, chasing its tail; they usually end up fighting each other. (Divide-and-conquer strategy works has always worked, throughout history.) That is why the same problems can last for so long, seemingly with no solution in sight.

In the final analysis, it’s primarily about power, influence and hegemony. First of all, The citizenry is outclassed, out-financed, out-organized, out-strategized, outwitted, out-mediaed, outgunned, etc. compared to the firmly entrenched procedures and processes of the global power-elite. (The Rothschild Cabal has been engaging in such machinations since the Napoleonic Era.) For all practical purposes, both the disenchanted intelligentsia and the unwitting sheeple are but "fish-in-a-fish-bowl," who are on the inside while peering outward. After all, it is global elite's world—and you're just in it! For example, in the United States, the "common folks" have been, slowly but surely, conditioned to accept living in a state of constant despair and also to lower their expectations as to just what constitutes the American Dream.

Also, there is much too much built-in inertia within the system, which history shows is firmly controlled by the global ruling class. And, instead of permitting any major and long-lasting changes to the status quo, the oligarchs and their henchmen would just as soon see substantial, world-wide destabilization, destruction and carnage on such a scale as to leave substantial portions of "civilization" in a state comparable to that of the Stone Age.

As the Borg mantra (from Star Trek fame) goes, “Resistance is futile."

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. “
—Thomas Jefferson

Suggested reading:

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
1984, by George Orwell


It isn't even plain old fascism; it's worse. I got it that Steve Bannon wanted to "deconstruct" the state but I ouldn't figure out to what purpose he wanted to do this. Was it just a kind of vandalism, or was there a method to his madness?

This article from yesterday's Counterpunch gives an answer, a disturbingly plausible one,


They want the majority of us to be in a die-off. It's a version of the depopulation plot. They think they are genetically superior, that the fact that they are where they are proves to them that they are evolution's winners, and the rest of us should've been kicked into history's dumpster a long time ago and should now get out of their way.

The fascists wanted control and enslavement. Bannon and his thinkalikes are setting the majority humankind up to be victims of history's final and worst mass murder.


He's also a fat slob in poor health who could die any minute from a heart attack.  (Not that Pence would be much better as president, but he is totally lacking in the personality traits that make Tweetle-Dumb so dangerous.)


The resistance can keep up the momentum only of it morphs into a larger social movement with a strategy and demands. Saying "No" may work for the GOP, but they have power to wield. For the rest of us, we need a positive vision of the future, the ability to communicate it and move folks to action.

This is no short read, but it is an excellent guide for movement-building:

A Strategic Framework Describing The Eight Stages of Successful Social Movements http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/moyermap.html


The problem with the current resistance is it is very focused on Trump. Not that his idiotic policies shouldn't be resisted, but when 44% of the electorate identifies with neither of the two corporate, kleptocratic parties, we need a broad-based coalition movement for change, a movement in principle against duopolistic tyranny. As long as liberals and independents keep allowing themselves to be corralled into the dead-end of the Democratic party and its backers (like Sanders), we will not ever win things like a strengthened Social Security, Medicare for all, and an end to the pointless wars for empire.



The question arises: Do the members of Trump’s inner circle really believe what comes out of their mouths? Have they hypnotized themselves? Are they liars, BS-ers, morons or fools? It’s anyone’s guess.

As someone who got too close to a psychopath once, allow me to assure you: THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING!


I know this 'joke' is ancient, but it still rings true: How can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.


My fundamental disagreement with you is that it isn't just Bannon and the Republicans we need to worry about. Hillary also was for a die-off, one based on economic position, as are virtually all the mainstream Democrats. That isn't really something the plutocrats who sided with Hillary (including those who control the MSM) and the ones Trump sides with disagree on fundamentally, as what they disagree on is which little people will be the first to go and which plutocrats will fare the best. With the coming Artificial Intelligence and Robotics revolution coming in the next few years, the great majority of little people are going to be unemployed and unemployable and will be seen as burdens that must be eradicated.

Actually, we caught a break with Trump winning instead of Hillary. If Hillary had won, almost all of the power would have been aligned behind her, including that of the propagandists at MSM and in Silicon Valley. That would have been far more dangerous.


You're probably right. I did think that HRC was dying to get elected to show 'em all that she was ready as any man to be war leading POTUS. But she didn't happen and Trump did so his regime is what must, if possible, be dealt with.


You were making a lot of good points until you descended into the conspiratorial tin-foil hat "Rothschild" and "ruling class" nonsense. The normal workings of a capitalist economic syatem explain everything you describe - no need to engage in spooky, conspiracies with whiffs of antisemitism.


Yes, that is true. I didn’t so much respond to the writer’s good description of how one’s perception can be can be shaped and even nullified by the Trumpian approach to truth—just to say that it doesn’t necessarily work on everyone, nor will it be effective all the time. We do still have a somewhat free press, and an alternative one too. (I just gave to the Free Press Action Fund).

Best to you.


To other readers:

Normally, I do not "descend" to reply to such specious arguments such as those of the poster.
It is rather curious that the poster how took issue with my comment chose to use rhetorical fallacies to denigrate the validity of any of my statements, e.g. he attributes antisemitism and conspiracy theories. I always welcome dissent—within the framework of intelligent discussions. However, ad hominem attacks are merely disingenuous attempts to discredit without actually stating valid reasons. The poster also uses the "strawman fallacy," which goes as follows:

Person A has position X.
Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
Person B attacks position Y.
Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

That said, to some extent, the proverbial "invisible hand" (i.e., Adam Smith's socio-economic metaphor) and normal economic dynamics play a part; I do not contend otherwise. However, historical facts amply demonstrate that certain individuals and cabals can be (and have been) irrefutably traced as the sources underlying major impetuses of policy and decision-making, be it directly or indirectly. It has always been that way throughout known history. This is not mutually exclusive with the "invisible hand" or similar descriptions; nor is it hardly a conspiracy theory, as it is well documented. Moreover, it is not unusual for the principal actors to proudly and unabashedly admit to such goals and accomplishments. It belies reason to characterize the mention of such incontrovertible facts as constituting conspiracy theories.

The forensic indicators can be, inter alia, paper trails, money trails, cui-bono analysis, as well as patterns of past affiliations, policies and practices. If a person possesses relatively proficient analytical and critical reasoning skills and applies them to the economic, business and financial components of world history, then it is patently self-evident that such forces are major factors in the policy-making and implementation of economic, business and financial models, on macro and micro scales, as well as the ultimate outcomes.

As far as the poster's rather curious assertions which attribute the basis of my propositions as being tanatmount to antisemitism, that is simply sophomoric and ignorant. For, religion is not at all germane to my discussion; that is to say, it matters not what religion the Rothchilds are.