9/11 and THE SOCIAL ENGINEERING MEMES
Last Sunday I blogged about 9.11, but did not, in deference to the moment, say everything I wanted to say. But I cannot help but look back upon the event with the eyes of a "social engineer," and look how the event served to inject new "memes" into our society, the first and most outstanding of which is the meme of perpetual war, and perpetual fear. There can be no doubt that, regardless of what "scenario" one constructs around the event, that it has been used to promote a new kind of enemy, a hidden enemy, that can strike anywhere, and any time, and during the weekend media run-up to the anniversary of that event, we were treated to near-endless replays of the twin towers being struck, with stories about a "credible threat" in New York City and Washington DC, and even, if one was paying attention, Kansas City...
...and then came the meme: Be vigilant, report anything suspicious...
...and that, too, is the new meme: become a snitch, be on the lookout for "suspicious" activity or things, with "suspicious" here left conveniently undefined. The enemy, here, is also conveniently both external and internal.The events of that day have begun the slow hollowing out of America into a "snitch culture," with the new "suspensions" of civil liberties and ever-present danger in the lives of every citizen, should they be acting too "suspicious." Preemptive action could now be taken against nations, or private citizens, just provide a "credible" threat, and action was warranted.
Then there came the other meme of 9/11: the US began to demonize nations, cultures, as "evil," and so long as that demonization could in some fashion be fastened to 9/11, it became a carte blanche for a whole new and agressive imperialism. As one author has recently put it: We were free to pursue "evil" wherever it was found. (See Willie Wonka & the National Security State)
Add to this potent mix another event: the killing of Osama Bin Laden (or, whoever). Not only could we pursue evil, we could, when that evil was found, assassinate it without trial, and then destroy all the forensic evidence that would allow one to determine if indeed it was even Osama Bin Laden.
The result of 9.11 has been the injection of American military power into Afghanistan, Iraq, and now new actions against Libya, sanctions against Syria... you get the picture.
The infrastructures for the "war on terror" were put into place after 9.11, and that infrastructure, has now become permanent for the long term, and the New Cold War is upon us, but this war, even more than the last one, is using propaganda to a new depth and degree never envisioned before, and fear, and suspicion, have become the new measures of "good vs. evil."
And we note the final meme, paraded before us on the news this weekend: the presence of heavily armed "police" on our city streets, in response to a threat we're told is credible, inspecting people's bags and parcels...
...the only thing missing, is the grade-B movie German accent, saying "Your papers, please..."
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