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Introduction to Perception Management through Idealism— On Herd Control

April 25, 2014

There are a number of techniques for perception control, such as propaganda, formally theorized around the wake of WW1, and Noble lies or Myth-making, first expressed by Plato as a form of limiting beliefs to those which are least harmful to the orderly running of society.

I am going to focus on a certain form of idealism in this post. Idealism was part of the philosophy of Plato, created over 2400 years ago. Idealism saw ideas as separate and concrete entities more perfect than the fleeting objects of sensory perception which were constantly subject to change and so unstable and imperfect.

The form of idealism I want to address is integrally linked to myth-making and the noble lie, but relies more on the channelling of perception of concrete sensory objects than of the fabrication of reality to manage perception. (In 1957, Roland Barthes wrote a book on this subject and did in fact call it Mythologies.)

The technique I am referring to is forming in the mind of any perceiving individual an idealized image of reality, so that they come to either live an existence that is present only in the mind, in the form of idealized images, or else focus on certain idealized elements of reality at the exclusion of less desirable or unfortunate instances of reality.

This form of management is done in a number of ways. For example through fictional and artistic mediums, for example films that portray a glamorized image of reality, people and activities, which viewers then seek to emulate and reexpress in their own persona, either by telling stories of their own similiar adventures to friends, or capturing such experiences to share on mediums like facebook, etc.

This can also be done through photography and film in more subtle ways, by framing an image so that only the most beautiful and idealistic portion of a scene is captured. For example a line of historic buildings, excluding the department store recently built up beside them, or a park that is only a few square feet or perhaps includes a dumpster or a landfill next door, etc.

Through these techniques as well as others, sometimes called etiquette or even ethics by more dated philosophers posit social norms, such as speaking only niceties, so that mentioning unfortunate truths becomes stigmatized or otherwise frowned upon. As a result it can be common that those who talk about what they actually see can be characterized as downers or negative. But what actually happens is that a realistic picture of reality is unable to be formed among the majority of the population. “The masses” (as they are frequently characterized by the elite) are unable to form a basis in reality for their actions, and so unable to construct a better reality for themselves.

In closing I must remark that similar techniques can be accomplished in diverse ways, through example by expectations in schooling, for example in an art school where students are expected to analyze advertisements as if they were works of art, and so transform their expectations of what a work of art is. Or else through architecture, whetherby in school learning not to copy classical forms but instead “progress” to newer forms, but these things are part of a different series and so are not the subject of this particular post.


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