The Consent Factory

by | Feb 13, 2023

So, Matt Taibbi is going after the Consent Factory. No, not my blog. The actual Consent Factory. The unimaginably powerful, mostly decentralized, global-capitalist propaganda apparatus that manufactures what passes for “reality” in our increasingly totalitarian age. Or he is going after the U.S. division of it, anyway.

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited.

Why am I so excited, you ask? Haven’t I been hopping up and down and bouncing off the walls of my enclosure hooting and screeching about how the so-called “Twitter Files” are a “limited hangout” and hurling verbal feces at all and sundry involved like an agitated baboon?

Well, yes, in fact, I have. And I intend to keep on doing that. But here’s what I’m excited about. Pay close attention to the job description in Matt’s recent help-wanted ad for freelancers:

“[W]e’re trying to map a new wing of the U.S. government’s propaganda apparatus that popped into view thanks to the Twitter Files. State-directed censorship is scary, but the more disturbing activity we’re seeing inside companies like Twitter involves what you might call ‘offensive’ information operations, a type of aggressive official messaging that all governments practice but is supposed to be restricted by law in the United States.”

Matt goes on to explain the background of the project:

“In a remarkably short time since the end of the Obama presidency, the U.S. government has funded an elaborate network of NGOs and think-tanks whose researchers call themselves independent ‘disinformation experts.’ They describe their posture as defensive — merely ‘tracking’ or ‘countering’ foreign disinformation — but in truth they aggressively court both the domestic news media and platforms like Twitter, often becoming both the sources for news stories and/or the referring authorities for censorship requests. The end result has been relentless censorship of, and mountains of (often deceptive) state-sponsored propaganda about, legitimate American political activity.”

OK, sure, Matt’s Racket News project will almost certainly be limited in scope to operations in the United States, and will probably still be a limited hangout to the degree that it presents a propaganda/disinformation/censorship model wherein power flows downward from the U.S. government to the corporate media and social-media corporations in the outmoded despotic (i.e., Orwellian) fashion that everyone is used to understanding the functioning of oppressive power according to, and I’ll definitely hoot and screech about that. However, at least as far as I’m aware, this project will be the first attempt by any high-profile independent journalist to investigate and report on an essential component of the aforementioned official-propaganda apparatus in any kind of systematic manner (“systematic” being the important term here, as we’re talking about a cohesive system, and not a series of arbitrary individual actions).

Or at least that sounds like what Matt has in mind.

If Matt and the Racket team pull this off, it will be quite a journalistic accomplishment, which will be totally ignored, perfunctorily dismissed, branded “far-right disinformation,” and then methodically visibility filtered by the official propaganda-and-disinformation apparatus that the project intends to expose a part of. That is, unless they are extremely careful, and restrict their reporting to certain designated areas within the Consent Factory campus, in which case, well … you know, awards, book deals, television appearances, the whole nine yards.

I like and respect Matt, and I’d like to see that happen for him. So, I want to do what I can to help. I am not a researcher or an infographics designer, but I thought I could point out some “no-go zones” that he and his team will need to avoid if they want to preserve any chance in hell of not being formally excommunicated from the Church of Seriousness and cast out into the Outer Darkness of the Nethernet where David Icke and Alex Jones hang out and you don’t show up on Google searches.

consent factory

OK, the first and most important thing that Matt and his team will need to avoid is the fact that the U.S. government is not what has been waging a global War on Dissent, and a global War on Populism, and conducting a global Gleichschaltung campaign whereby societies throughout the world are being ideologically “synchronized” and purged of any and all forms of deviance from global-capitalist ideology since approximately the Summer of 2016. So they will need to stick to the domestic U.S. story and ignore all that “global-capitalism” stuff … which, OK, that could get kind of awkward, given the existence of the rest of the world.

In order to successfully ignore all that stuff — which, knowing Matt, he will be tempted to delve into — they will absolutely need to commit to not hiring a slew of international researchers and convincing Elon Musk to grant them access to the global “Twitter Files” from countries like the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Canada, et cetera, so that they can report on how the global-capitalist propaganda apparatus operated in virtually perfect lockstep, globally, from 2020 to 2022, and is still operating, in virtually perfect lockstep, globally, right this very minute.

That means they will need to give a wide berth to the official Covid-pandemic narrative and all the government and corporate propaganda and visibility-filtering connected therewith, which was clearly a global enterprise of which the U.S. government was only one part. They will need to pretend that some sort of “Chinese wall” exists between the stories of the PSYOP commonly known as “Russiagate” (a/k/a The War on Populism) and the PSYOP commonly known as “the Pandemic,” and report on the former as if the latter had almost nothing to do with the former, and were not an extension and evolution of the former, as the former was an extension of the War on Terror, which they will also need to give a wide berth to, or else the history of the last 33 years might end up looking like the evolution of some globally hegemonic system (like, for example, global capitalism) toward some ultimate totalitarian morphology.

Basically, they will need to avoid the whole “global-capitalism” thing entirely and report their story as if the world were comprised of competing sovereign nation-states that were acting in their national interests, and for the benefit of their citizens, and so on, and not just a bunch of interdependent global-capitalist administrative entities staffed by fascist maniacs and greedy, half-witted functionaries who couldn’t care less about their fellow citizens, much less their so-called “democratic rights,” and who would gladly establish a global market for their children’s organs if they thought they could get away with it.

Opening up that can of worms would lead them straight into the heart of the Consent Factory (again, not my little blog, but the decentralized, supranational network of governments, global corporations, non-governmental governing entities, financial behemoths, corporate and state media, the majority of the Culture Industry, et cetera). Once inside, they could get lost in there forever, crawling down rabbit holes, pulling at strings, unraveling something that can never be unraveled, or not completely in any event, and which most people don’t want to see unraveled, not even just a little bit, because, once you see it, you can’t unsee it, and soon you start to see it everywhere, and before you know it you end up raving about the CIA assassinating Kennedy, or NATO blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines, or neo-Nazis in the Ukraine, or whatever.

Another area that Matt and his Racket team will need to studiously avoid when digging through the “Twitter Files” that Elon Musk is granting them unrestricted and unconditional access to is any evidence of how the new Free-Speech Twitter is continuing, and actually intensifying, its visibility-filtering of political speech … especially political speech that does not fit neatly into a red/blue paradigm, or that reminds the public about how the Covid-PSYOP was a global PSYOP that was rolled out all at once, globally, and not just a series of “well-intentioned overreactions” and “mistakes,” and so on.

Reporting on Twitter’s current and intensified censorship and visibility-filtering activities (and whichever other entities are currently involved therewith) will only detract from the reporting on Twitter’s former censorship and visibility-filtering activities (and the other entities involved therewith), and confuse people, and leave them feeling hopeless, and depressed, and suspicious of the actual motives of its owner, a billionaire military/Intelligence community contractor.

I know Matt, so I know it will be hard to resist the temptation to delve into all these forbidden areas of inquiry and “no-go” zones, and stick to the past-tense domestic story, but, as a friend and colleague who has been consigned to the aforementioned ignominious Nethernet, I would urge him to exercise some self-discipline and refrain from any such reckless delving. He is not going to do anyone any good by going full-Howard Beale on Substack, and getting himself and Glenn Greenwald horridly machine-gunned to death on System Update by GloboCap-sponsored Bolsonaran guerillas. And the story he’s setting out to report will be a big, fat, big-titted hit in itself! There’s no need to go after the entire Consent Factory and depress the living hell out of everyone. After all, that’s what blogs like the Consent Factory are for.

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