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Culture-Jamming Social Media: A Public Health Measure

May 30, 2016

by Jay Taber

 

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As I noted in my comments about the unjust transition of the Break Free campaign, sponsored by 350, it is urgent to stop fossil fuel export for a couple reasons: it creates expedited demand for fracking and new terminal development, and it exhausts our reserves for our own future needs–making it more likely we will turn to nuclear power. Indeed, the idea–promoted by 350–of ending fossil fuel use altogether is a charade used to cover for nuclear power development plans.

The financial backers of 350 and other Wall Street, hedge fund and private equity investors know from intensive studies that oil and gas use is going to continue increasing for a long time, so what we get by following the Break Free game plan is increased fossil fuel use, increased toxic pollution from solar cell manufacture, and an increased likelihood of nuclear power dependence.

The only workable plan is to decrease consumer demand for gasoline and petroleum-based plastic products, and to decrease military usage for wars used to maintain access and control of foreign mineral deposits. Anti-consumerism and anti-war campaigns are the two things that promise the largest climate change payback, and they are omitted from the 350 agenda.

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There is, unfortunately, little public discussion about social engineering through social media, which indicates there is little learning taking place–when there is much to be learned.

In the digital era, we live in a society where thought control is consolidated to such a degree, that few recognize how pervasive social engineering has become in our lives. The constant drumbeat by corporate media (mainstream and alternative) to panic the multitudes into actions orchestrated by corporate NGOs, i.e. Avaaz, Purpose, and 350, stampedes many to react according to these campaigns–choreographed by these marketing agents on the payroll of the financial elite.

Public relations (PR) firms, such as 350, and corrupt alternative media such as Democracy Now!, adhere to the prescribed art of manipulating public opinion on behalf of the financial elite, without anyone questioning, for instance, how it is that millions of people–on several continents–could be reacting in exactly the same way, on the same date, chanting the same slogans. It is, I observe, because the herded are not self-organized, participating in action based on independent research and discussion. Rather, they have ceded their judgment to the central authority of NGOs funded by corporations, laundered through private foundations.

In this aspect, privatized activism subservient to Wall Street–just like government, academia, and media–comprises organizers in it for a career, not as a duty of citizenship, who cater to the agenda of corporate philanthropic funders. This is not democracy in action; it is social tyranny.

The Break Free quotes in the media are a mix of official organizers working for the corporations, and the followers that participated in the staged 350 events. For the most part, they repeat mantras about the salvation of ‘clean energy’ that are corporate fabrications, but widely and uncritically accepted, due to the network drumbeat. This is what Netwar (networked psychological warfare) is all about–drowning out other perspectives, and dominating all forms of communication.

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This creates a sense of panicked urgency that, in turn, drives followers to believe they are on a holy mission–one that exempts them from both social conventions and the law, and that limits the choices for public response to those composed by corporate decision-makers, in order to benefit the corporations. What we need to do is take the time for more discussion, research and education–that doesn’t begin by adopting the assumptions prepackaged by the financial elite.

I think it might help to recount other examples where the public has been coerced or seduced by corporate PR firms into accepting or supporting actions contrary to the public interest, yet very much in the interest of those who pay the PR firms, that stand to profit from public ignorance or complacency. The Gulf War, Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, War in Libya, and War in Syria were all based on PR fabrications–intended to mislead public opinion, and to stampede public officials into urgent actions–that later turned out to be harmful to the public interest.

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The same thing happened with the bank bailouts, and is now repeating itself in the false hope of 350s corporate-funded propaganda about climate change adaptation. One might get the impression from all this that the public never learns, has given up, or doesn’t care.

On the other hand, perhaps the majority of citizens are now either addicts, cynics or fanatics, resulting in an impossible organizing task for sober, constructive engagement in public affairs. Either way, culture-jamming social media–that promotes hysteria–is a public health measure.

 

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted Indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

Financing “The Message” Behind Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ Project

United States Senate
Committee on Environment and Public Works

Minority Staff Report

July 30, 2014

 

Klein and Lewis
(L-R) Author Naomi Klein, Mrs. Universe Ashley Callingbull and director Avi Lewis attend the ‘This Changes Everything’ premiere during the Toronto International Film Festivival (Crédito: Dominik Magdziak Photography)


Page 66:

“The New York-based Sustainable Markets Foundation (SMF) is another significant fiscal sponsor. Unlike Tides, Inc., it is a relatively unknown quantity. SMF only exists on paper and has zero public presence – no website, no Facebook page, no Twitter account, nothing. Accordingly, only an extensive review of its IRS Form-990s can inform the public of its activities; however, this review was limited to 2010 and 2011 because SMF’s IRS Form-990 for 2012 is not public. Through meticulous research, the Committee identified Jay Halfon, previously discussed in this report, as the director and general counsel of SMF. The group was also the fiscal sponsor of the controversial 350.org. Moreover, nearly all of the members of the Billionaire’s Club donate to SMF, including Schmidt, Global Wallace Fund, RFF, RBF, Park, Energy, and Tides.

SMF only exists on paper and has zero public presence – no website, no Facebook page, no Twitter account, nothing.”

Page 67:

  1. A SMF Project: “The Message”

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Susan Rockefeller, Co-Executive Producer of the “This Changes Everything” documentary film and founding partner of Louverture Films, LLC. Louverture is the production company for the documentary film “This Changes Everything” (with The Message Productions, LLC / Klein Lewis Productions ). Photo: Rockefeller at her home on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York, on Sept. 8, 2015. Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

“The Message” is a multi-platform project on climate change. The first part of the project is a non-fiction book expected for release in fall 2014 by Naomi Klein, to be followed by a documentary currently in production. In 2011 and 2012, SMF received donations for and distributed grants to “The Message.” Specifically, in 2011, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave SMF $50,000 for “The Message,” Wallace Global Fund gave SMF $75,000 for “The Message,”and Schmidt Family Foundation gave $40,000 to SMF “to support development of a film titled, The Message.”

While those donations total $165,000 in 2011, that year SMF gave $112,360 – the difference seemingly represents SMF’s fiscal sponsor fee. The following year, the Schmidt Family Foundation gave SMF $100,000 “to support ‘The Message’ film.”

PDF: chainofenvironmentalcommand

[Production Company: The Message Productions, LLC/Klein Lewis Productions/Louverture Films]

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(L-R) Executive Producer Alfonso Cuaron, Producer Pamela Anderson, Journalist Naomi Klein and Director Avi Lewis attend the “This Changes Everything” photo call during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at Ryerson Theatre on September 13, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.

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The Message Links:

  •  The Message (The Schmidt Family Foundation): http://www.11thhourproject.org/grantees/the-message

 

  • The Message: The (R)evolutionary Power of Climate Change (which became the title of the first chapter in Klein’s book, This Changes Everything): https://britdoc.org/films/display/the-message-the-revolutionary-power-of-climate-change/

 

  • 2014 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Avi Lewis’ The Message: http://www.ioncinema.com/news/festival-predictions/2014-sundance-film-festival-predictions-avi-lewis-the-message

 

Note that it is the “impact philanthropists” who determine the strategy behind such books, movements and film formats. Listen to Katie McKenna, web and engagement director for Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein’s book/documentary outreach project, The Message (as it was referred to from 2011 to 2014). McKenna articulates in the video below how funders do their due diligence. The funders ask for proof of social change, but are more than happy to accept metrics as a substitute. Clicks, metrics, are the new currency. In this way, the NGOs are all competing for profits in the form of continued funding as a reward for achieving attention via social media metrics.

Katie McKenna: Does art change the world? Lessons from the emerging field of “impact producing” | Treehouse Talks, April 2015

“so you start thinking about data, data, where am I going to get data to prove social change?”

 

“you end up using social media metrics as a proxy for social change”

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