(The Real Agenda News) Whether the information age is over or not, information itself continues to be the hottest commodity around. It is so hot, that mainstream media went from misinforming the public as a way to control people to openly lying to them because lies, when repeated tirelessly, are easier to believe than truth itself.
One of the topics mainstream media lies the most about is the Left’s calls for “social justice”. The Pope continuously calls for social justice. He begs for western countries to “accept” illegal aliens because, according to him, not doing so is a sign of racism, hatred, and above all a sin.
Pope Francis has one of the loudest megaphones out there and the mainstream media provides an even bigger amplifier.
The Holy Father, as many people like to call him, is not alone in his call for “social justice”. There are all kinds of people involved in the movement to promote a more “egalitarian” society.
What these people – politicians, religious figures, actors, billionaires, and philanthropists don’t say is that an egalitarian society means that most people – 99% of us – will be equally poor, while a few thousand people will be extremely rich.
What Leftists, socialists, and communists like to call “social justice” involves the unjust redistribution of wealth. That is, using force to steal property from some people to redistribute it to other people.
Although there is enough money to go around, “social justice” supporters do not intend to redistribute their own wealth, but everyone else’s wealth. In doing this redistribution, they do not take their own property to give it to others, but someone else’s property.
Perhaps the biggest promoter of so-called “social justice” is the government itself.
Government as it was intended to be – a group of people who serve their peers – does not exist. Government is composed of people who serve their own interests and those of their corporate owners.
Corporations use government as a tool of control so they can reap the benefits of monopoly, having little or no competition, gaining access to those in office to obtain political favors in exchange for campaign donations, lobbying elected representatives to get substantially advantageous conditions over their competitors or small businesses.
After solidifying their position, corporations and governments that work on behalf of corporate interests utilize any and all tools to exercise the control they gain over populations. They often appeal to philanthropy, justice, socialism, and other seemingly well-intended campaigns to gain public trust.
Crony Corporate capitalists, or as I call them, Crapitalists, influence, use and often buy off social groups, people who mean well and who truly seek to help others to hoodwink society into submission.
One of the social movements that lost its way is the environmental movement. Scientists, academia, and the clueless public succumbed to corporate interests that seek to limit humanity’s habitat.
Over many decades, corporate barons have sought concentration of power in fewer hands, and the only way to do that was to teach people that they were bad for the environment. Most people bought this idea, even though it is precisely corporations the entities that are responsible for the most destructive environmental disasters.
Lately, terrorism has been the tool of choice to force surveillance onto the populations and to limit freedom of movement and freedom of speech.
The fact of being observed modifies our behavior, it is a passive but effective coercive way of telling people, “you are being watched” and always, to a greater extent, the authoritative figure of government, police or intelligence agencies becomes greater and more powerful.
Social networks are being a great learning ground in that respect.
We must “take care” of what we say, how we say it and to whom we tell it.
The possible consequences of our actions change our attitudes, or at least their appearance before other observers.
In the digital world, we were never who we really are, but we are what we appear to be.
The Chinese Model
There are several case studies we can point to, but China is a country that hits all the high notes when it comes to political and social control.
The Chinese government is preparing a disciplinary system with which to gather mass information about its citizens to assess their loyalty to the communist regime. This initiative brought back the debate on digital surveillance to the center of the talks on technology and society.
An algorithm will collect data from Chinese citizens’ social networks, banking or consumer information on the networks and will reward “good citizens” with greater ease when it comes to getting a mortgage, a job or a college of higher status for their children.
This is Big Brother on steroids. It is the State molding society by coercion. However, advocates of this measure value its potential benefit in aspects such as “judicial credibility or social and commercial sincerity”.
Their detractors warn of the dangers of creating reductionist models of what is considered to be a good citizen and, above all, the total loss of privacy. However, some voices warn that this scenario is not something new.
In fact, they warn that many mechanisms of this type have been in operation for some time. They have been out there for quite a while indeed, and not only in China.
This is stated by Ramon Sangüesa, a computer science doctor and researcher in artificial intelligence and automatic learning.
The Data Transparency Lab coordinator believes it is essential to develop public awareness of the potential of these technologies, as “the temptation of technocratic management has always existed and is implemented today to a great degree, we are in a phase of authoritarian drift around the world, and a good institutional marketing campaign convinces us of any barbarity.
The Role of Fake News: Promoting lack of Critical Vision
Without critical vision, we can be manipulated without being aware of it.
Sangüesa says that “these platforms directly manipulate your feelings and emotions” referring to a secret study carried out by Facebook.
This social network carried out an experiment in social engineering by which it modified the mood of about 689,000 users of the social network from the publications of their friends.
The phenomenon of massive emotional contagion allowed a greater knowledge of the way we relate, but also of the relative ease with which we can be manipulated psychologically.
However, the emotions transmitted through the social network did not appear as emotions. No one could confirm that those expressions of joy or sadness were the real feeling of those people.
“We are, from the outset, social animals, but since the last century we have been more and more involved between what we feel must be protected -our intimacy- and the presentation of the person in society -our right to privacy.
“This behavior is different from others,” says Dr. Raquel Herrera, professor and researcher in digital cultural communication.
Herrera believes that in cases such as China’s “the effort to appear and escape from appearances” will go hand in hand, “and that there will emerge dynamics focused on learning how to cheat to skip some of the impositions of the system. A system that, given its size, will work using algorithms of automatic learning that, after a training phase, will work on its own.
This degree of autonomy raises a new question: will these technologies work without human control?
“Inevitably they should be reviewed after a while,” says Ramón Sangüesa.
“The question is under what parameters and values this review is oriented in this type of applications of citizens ranking. There is much to be done to incorporate new evaluative frameworks into the decision makers and technologists who work at their command. At the moment, much of the technology, Silicon Valley, operates beyond these considerations. It is a culture of efficiency disconnected from other values in general,” he adds.
Corporate lack of Responsibility
Other experts have long stressed the lack of social responsibility of large technology companies such as Uber, whose business model has caused various scandals in recent years.
It is a cultural approach devoid of values that, if not incorporated, could lead to little or no controllable scenarios, as machines that carry out this surveillance work autonomously.
Adequate prescribing is needed to tell you just how far these systems need to be learned and what sources they need to learn from.
And to achieve this, as Sangüesa insists, it takes a lot of communication and knowledge, as well as other initiatives that encourage other more positive scenarios, perhaps groups or movements that offer guides to have more control over all the information that we generate in our daily activity.
If not, perhaps we will once again remember these words that Margaret Atwood put into the story of the maid:
“Humanity is very adaptable,” said my mother. It’s surprising how many things people get accustomed to if there is some kind of compensation”.
Compensation is exactly what governments and corporations offer to the public to get them to comply. Compensation has many forms: convenience, free stuff, status, and so on.
In the case of social justice, compensation comes in the form of egalitarianism or equality, which is what all politicians and talking heads who promote redistribution of wealth, insist on pushing on the public.
The promise, the reward, is equality of gender, equality of pay and so on as if the government knows best how to track, steal and redistribute people’s monies to people who did not earn it.
Who isn’t for helping the poor, the sick or the least advantaged people? Yet, wealth is never transferred to the poor, the sick, the old or the needy. It is stolen from the middle class and the poor in wealthy countries and given to rich people in poor countries so they continue to support the utopian idea that government can legislate people out of poverty, or that government impositions on people will result in a peaceful egalitarian society.