Analysis by Reporting San Diego
Jan 31, 2017 (San Diego) The Muslim ban was a classic use of the shock doctrine. It was not meant to hide other actions, such as putting Steve Bannon in the National Security Council, while removing the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of the Director of National Intelligence. Nor was it cover for the Cyber Security EO, which was put off for the day, or for that matter, the one signed mandating that for every regulation, two be removed.
They are all part of it. To understand this, it is critical to understand the Shock Doctrine, which was first explored by Naomi Klein. This doctrine needs to destroy all defenses in any given society and bring them out of kilter. The administration is creating a crisis because that will allow them to reform the society into whatever they think it should be. Part of it is the fact that they know they lost the popular vote by over 3 million votes.
This is where those 3 million illegal votes are coming from. The allegation is hardly accidental. This is a made up crisis, and the solution will be that we need to redo all our voting lists. This is part of it. Why? It will kick out legal voters that will not otherwise vote for this project of a new fascist state. Authoritarian states do not cancel elections since they need that fiction of legality. But they make it very difficult for people who are not in agreement with the project to participate in such elections. Over the last decade, we have seen an increasing furor to remove illegal voters, which stands for the elderly, the young and minorities who tend to vote for the other side.
This is precisely where “immigrants are a threat to us” is coming from as well. Never mind that even the CATO institute (a right wing libertarian think tank) found that no terrorist event has come from any of the seven countries in the banned list. Refugees and immigrants tend to join the Democratic Party after they become United States Citizens, and they are already changing the nature of the country. This is now a less white country, and one has to live under a rock not to notice the agenda at play when white nationalist are brought into the administration.
This is also where the removal of the DNI and the Joints Chiefs Chairman is also coming from. It is where the new cybersecurity EO is coming from since it will create the necessary crisis to take over the internet in the United States. (There, I said it).
Milton Friedman once said that “only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change.” So take that into account when you look at this.
The evidence for shock doctrine being underway is also the speed in which these orders are being issued and implemented. The resistance, however, was not fully unexpected. Whether it came from Assistant Attorney General Sally Hays, launching more parallels to the Watergate scandal than any of us wanted to see, or all the alt accounts on Twitter. There have been places around the world where shock doctrine has led to street protests. For example, in Chile after the fall of Salvador Allende amounted to little In fact, protests against Hugo Chavez also failed to stop the radical change in the society.
I am using both examples for a reason. Shock Doctrine is not limited to Right Wing authoritarian states. It is a tool of the authoritarian ruler to change how a society behaves and to remove all resistance. It is independent of supposed political belief.
Democrats and Progressives
Corporate Right Wing democrats are horrified by what is going on. So are many in what passes for the left in the United States. Yet, all are still reacting to this, which is also a classic of shock doctrine. People have yet to realize that they need to get ahead of the situation, and not continue to be behind the power curve.
Democrats held a march in front of the United States Supreme Court yesterday and so far have relied on press releases. Many of these politicians were the same who did all to ensure that Hillary Clinton won the primary. They were warned that they were making a Weimar Republic level mistake. They acted as things were normal. This is not business as usual. They are getting outplayed, as they use the rules of a business as usual, while they are getting flanked and surrounded.
While many progressives are now using the tactics of the Tea Party, these are the tactics that also work during normal times. It is as if they are unaware that they are also about to get outflanked, and seriously outflanked. Also, the tactics are coming from a certain sense of impending panic. It is in some ways flight or fight taking over the body politic.
So what can you do? There are several things you need to do. They are as follows:
How you fight the effects of a shock event is to be aware of how they work and what the intent is. The first rule, like in a natural disaster, is to remain calm and to remain impassive. The moment you get emotional about this and lose your perspective, whoever is implementing, they win.
You also need to be aware of the full picture. For example, the Muslim ban is critical, and it likely violates United States Law, but it has allowed other things to go through with little attention. So expect more orders to be issued that will pick on your emotions. Also expect the ground to keep shifting. The first orders were the major earthquake, the rest are the aftershocks that keep shifting the ground under you. This is classic shock doctrine.
Once you are aware of this, realize that there are several things that usually happen during these events. The first is that we will have a crisis, if not several. Whether the crisis is real or not, is immaterial. That crisis will be used to end whatever sense of normalcy you still have. It may very well be used to prevent certain groups from voting in the future, or for that matter end other civil liberties. This is necessary to maintain control and engineer the society. This is the ultimate goal of those behind the shocks. This crisis will only accelerate.
Now that you are aware of how the rules have shifted, you need to try to get ahead of this. Like any disaster, you need your survival gear. It is not water jugs and food for 72 hours, but the equivalent.It is information.
Realize that according to Klein in The Shock Doctrine:
“In moments of crisis, people are willing to hand over a great deal of power to anyone who claims to have a magic cure—whether the crisis is a financial meltdown or, as the Bush administration would later show, a terrorist attack.”
So expect another shock. Whether this will be economic or a terrorist attack or war is a good question. But many of your neighbors are not aware of this. They are getting increasingly terrified. Why 49 percent of Americans believe the Muslim ban was right. 49 percent is not high enough for the doctrine to transform a society. So there will be more events.
You can expect more fear to be served by those who are doing this. You might want to make them aware. The only way to inoculate yourself and others against this is knowledge.
This is where things get more complicated. Not all shock doctrine applications work in the end. It truly depends on the resilience of the society. We are starting to see clear signs of resistance, both within and outside the government. Resistance can take many forms. They range from marching in the streets to less obvious forms. While impressive, street marches can also be used by those engage in the engineering project to defeat the resistance. How? The use of paid agitators is a common tactic.
So if you are going to participate in street protests be aware of this. Some people are not there to participate peacefully, even if loudly, against the regime. During the inauguration, we saw the black block destroy property, such as store windows and a limousine. This led to charges of rioting in Washington, Those few broken windows, and they were few, could have become the focus of media coverage. For a few hours they did, but the Women’s March the following day detracted from that tactic.
Moreover, this is a defect if you will of how the news business is done. Why is media focusing on that? In other words, why does it work? It makes for very dramatic video and photos, and those who agitate know this. People going around going yay team really become quite boring video fast. Tear gas flying, however, is not. So be aware of that. If you, as a news consumer, let the media know that you will NOT watch that dramatic video under any circumstances, it will become less profitable. We in the media will stop risking our lives to obtain it as well.
I need to point something else about the media. While many Americans distrust the media, at the moment the party in power is in the process of discrediting the media. This is also part of shock doctrine. It is a preemptive strike. Moreover, the speed at which these orders are released means it is almost impossible for the media to do in-depth reporting. This goes for large media, and triple so for small independents.
The courts are another tool of this budding resistance. The American Civil Liberties Union is using them. So are a few states. But this will only work as long as the judiciary remains an independent branch of government. The White House has scrubbed any mention of the judiciary as a branch of government. That is hardly accidental. It is a signal of what the intend to do with the judiciary and a few other authoritarian regimes come to mind.
There are other methods of resistance and will become second nature once they become necessary. They include things like boycotts, and perhaps even strikes. These two are not tools that many Americans have used in the recent past. As days and weeks become months, some of those tactics will become new again.
Remember, silence is consent, however.