Beware The "The Cultural Civil War" Narrative: You're Being Played

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

There is always common ground for those who dare to seek it.

Remember the "Russians hacked our election!" hysteria - or have you already forgotten? That entire narrative collapsed under a deluge of factual evidence that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) data release was an insider job, and a compelling lack of evidence of any other Russian hacking.

That failed narrative has now been replaced with a new mass hysteria: "a new cultural Civil War is inevitable." In this narrative, America has succumbed to us-versus-them divisions divided by all-or-nothing ideological bright lines.

Snap out of it, America: you're being played, just as you were played by the absurd "Russia hacked the election" mania.

The core strategy here is the destruction of any common ground: once the delusion that there is no common ground left has been cemented by relentless mainstream and social media hysteria/ propaganda, the populace fragments into echo-chamber fiefdoms of ideological conformity that are easily manipulated by the political-financial power structure.

Once the populace has been fragmented into ideologically divisive camps, controlling the resulting mass of warring mobs is easy. Rather than recognize the commonality of their powerlessness and impoverishment, the fragmented fiefdoms are easily turned on each other:

From the point of view of each fragmented fiefdom, , the problem isn't structural, i.e. the dominance of extreme concentrations of wealth and power; the "problem" is the other cultural-ideological fiefdoms.

Once the masses accept this false division and the destruction of common ground, their power to reverse the extreme concentrations of wealth and power is shattered. The play is as old as civilization itself: conjure up extremists (paying them when necessary), goad the formation of opposing extremists, then convince the populace that these extremists have been normalized, i.e. your friends and neighbors already belong to one or the other.

This normalization then sets up the relentless demands to choose a side-- the classic techniques of misdirection and false choice.

Just as you're sold a triple-bacon cheeseburger or a hybrid auto, you're being sold a completely fabricated cultural civil war. There have always been extremists on every edge of the ideological spectrum, just as there have always been religious zealots.

In a healthy society, these fringe pools of self-reinforcing fanaticism are given their proper place: they are outliers, representing self-reinforcing black holes of confirmation bias of a few.

In times of social, political and financial stress, such groups pop up like mushrooms. In times of media saturation, a relative handful can gain enormous exposure and importance because the danger they pose sells adverts and attracts eyeballs/viewers.

Add a little fragmentation, virtue-signaling, demands for ideological conformity and voila, you get a deeply fragmented and deranged populace that is incapable of recognizing the dire straits it is in or recognizing the structural sources of its impoverishment and powerlessness.

In other words, you get an easily mallable populace at false war with itself.

There is always common ground for those who dare to seek it. The Powers That Be are blowing up the bridges as fast as they can, whipping up fear and hatred of the Other, fanning the flames of extremism and claiming extremists are now normalized and everywhere.

All of this is false. Would you buy an entirely manipulated cultural civil war if it was advertised as such? If not, then don't buy into the false (but oh so useful to the ruling elites) narrative of an "inevitable cultural Civil War."


J S Bach Gaius Frakkin'… Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:23 Permalink

"The Powers That Be are blowing up the bridges as fast as they can, whipping up fear and hatred of the Other, fanning the flames of extremism and claiming extremists are now normalized and everywhere."The only "other" we all need to concern ourselves with are (((those))) fanning the flames of hatred, forcing disparate peoples to live among one another in disharmony.  Those stirring this unnatural cauldron are the enemy of ALL humanity and there is no compromising with such an evil entity.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

HenryKissinger… (not verified) JRobby Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:50 Permalink

the GOVT does what it is paid to do instead ofyou are aware (((THEY))) PRINT MONEY... right?the govt is already paid to do what they do.the tribute you pay is just a GOY tax, because you are a GOY.

In reply to by JRobby

Mango327 Arnold Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:12 Permalink

Another great article, man. The Russia thing fell apart and they went straight for the "rise of Nazis / Confederacy" meme. There were like a couple dozen tighty-whiteys in Boston, and like ten thousand ready to fight them back. This civil war meme isn't going to last long. It will backfire, like the last, and we will continue to roll back their Satanic empire no matter what Mr. Trump does in the end... Cheers! Yes, NAZIS and COMMUNISTS are MORALLY EQUIVALENT. - #HiddenHistory

In reply to by Arnold

El Vaquero Mango327 Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:16 Permalink

This is where CHS gets it wrong:  Too many people have been promised too much shit that they're not going to get.  When those promises stop getting met on a large scale, and they're not all monetary promises, there is going to be a fight.  People will slap ideologies on their sides and use that as justification, but it will still be people fighting over what they think they are owed, what they think they can get, or what they think they need.  If you want to stop this, you need to promise them something new AND something that you can deliver. 

In reply to by Mango327

SWRichmond El Vaquero Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:24 Permalink

This is another place he gets it wrong:Once the populace has been fragmented into ideologically divisive camps, controlling the resulting mass of warring mobs is easy. That might be the way it used to work, but information flows too freely now.  TPTB still believe they can control this, survive it and profit from it.  CHS obviously believes this, too.  Once this genie is out, it goes where it goes.

In reply to by El Vaquero

Big Creek Rising JRobby Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:01 Permalink

True, much of this is contrived by the elites, but hard to tell if these are "last gasp" desperate actions because the deep state is so very   deep it is difficult for nonmembers to fully apprehend their  strength and power. Societies naturally tend to fragment and go tribal when confronted with calamities they cannot process, and at such times are tremendously  vulnerable to large scale manipulations. Because the elites control most of the media and because most people's capacity for discernment has been bred out of them by public education, the oligarchs may have accurately calculated that they still have plenty of time to rape and plunder.History has also shown that death cults tend to proliferate at such times.Bring on the death cults.

In reply to by JRobby

waspwench sgt_doom Mon, 08/21/2017 - 15:17 Permalink

There are many "species" of humans.   We don't all get along with each other.   We don't have much in common with each other.   We want different things and we have different beliefs.We are not being divided.   We are divided.   The real problem is that there is an evilly intentioned insistence on putting us all in the same geographical space and insisting that we tolerate each other.   We don't hate each other.   We simply don't want to live with each other.It is not a crime to want to live among people similar to oneself and there will be no peace until we are able to do so.  THE INSISTENCE ON MULTICULTURALISM IS, IN FACT, THE WEAPON BEING USED TO FRAGMENT SOCIETY.

In reply to by sgt_doom

swmnguy halcyon Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:50 Permalink

That's not what the Hegelian Dialectic is.  That's how some media entertainers have described it, but they're playing at pseudo-intellectualism.  Hegelian Dialectic is a technique for examining and observing change in human behavior, accounting for the fact that human thought changes over time.  It's a technique not without its critics, but US media figures have intentionally misunderstood, misrepresented and misattributed it in order to promote Positivism.  Positivism is far more appealing to the Elites, as they can pretend that the social systems that have allowed Elite domination and Oligarchy are pre-ordained and inevitable.I've heard both Beck and Limbaugh pretend to understand Hegelian Dialectics while either having no idea what they're talking about or lying through their teeth.  What they're really doing is pushing their usual anti-intellectualism, while persuading their audience against any sort of analysis of why the Oligarchs prosper and the rest of us don't.  They're very useful to the Elites though, driving people away from uderstanding what's going on in our society, which is a large part of their mission.

In reply to by halcyon

HowdyDoody Moe Hamhead Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:02 Permalink

They've painted themselves into a corner first with anti-Nazi Russia supposedly hacking the election to get their man in, then with Trump being a Nazi. So the Russians hacked the elections to get a Nazi in whose prime instinct is to murder Russians? I am a little confused over how that is supposed to benefit Russia./sarc as it seems to be necessary these days.

In reply to by Moe Hamhead

Theta_Burn Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:57 Permalink

Why isn't this fact about that the failed Russian meme being hammered home by Trump? or the fact that the DNC won't surrender its server for investigation?Such an easy offence, dissappointment is mounting Mr. Trump..A weekly televised address pointing out this horseshit direct to the American people would be a great start.

otschelnik Theta_Burn Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:09 Permalink

DJT already moved on; he redpilled the left last week at his press conference when he said that cultural marxist violence is legally equivalent to the white supremacist violence from the right.  The MSM went crazy, they immediately returned to the racist meme.  But what really pissed the left off was the frontal attack on their presumed moral superiority and their secret conviction that they are above the law... if you're punching a Nazi, which they like to assume we all are. 

In reply to by Theta_Burn

IronShield Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:55 Permalink

It is true that the $IMFS is in dire straits and will fail leading to substantial carnage. But, the targeted attacks on Western civilization is also no illusion and has been ongoing for decades. Multi-kulti is on verge of self-destruct and that will lead to CW2 or the balkanization of the US (and perhaps Europe). Tick tock bitchez.

koan Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:55 Permalink

You would have to be a moron not to see this, that strife is being created to break up the people.
And not just here either.

I would add, this is one of the reasons Trump got into office, he is a complete circus show distracting everyone but the attentive to his train wreck presidency, while the real work continues behind the scenes and out of the news.

I'll say it again, eventually you will come to hate Trump.

swmnguy koan Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:02 Permalink

Yes indeed, all those saying "Trump isn't getting anything done" are merely watching the front door, where Trump is delivering a boffo performance of frenetic clownishness a la Jerry Lewis.  Meanwhile, out the back door, the cronies are loading out everything that isn't nailed down, and some which is.It's hard to tell what Trump believes, and what he knows and doesn't know.  The Oligarchic Elite, on the other hand, knows perfectly well that the current status quo is not sustainable and will collapse due to its internal contradictions and the inability of the political class to take long-term views of short-term situations, as to do so would jeopardize their current gravy train.  So, rather than do anything that might position America better to weather the transitions being imposed on us by our own actions and systems, they're just looting the place now while the getting is good.  The best example I can think of off the top of my head is the various giveaways to the coal industry at the Agency level, now that the electricity industry has decidedly moved on from coal to far less costly natural gas and renewables.  While changing rules to allow coal to dump their costs of production onto the taxpayer, the market in coal is disappearing.  It's merely a chance to steal the silverware while everyone else on the Titanic is heading for the lifeboats.

In reply to by koan

Giant Meteor swmnguy Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:35 Permalink

".. It's merely a chance to steal the silverware while everyone else on the Titanic is heading for the lifeboats."Yes, for a good many years now. And quite as long as certain "special interest groups" were created, got their goodies, and the vig was paid, all seemed at times, well .. But the truth is, all was not well. It was however, steady, relentless, divide and conquer, the death of the commons, of common bonds, culture, civil society, participation in process, all along.All these aspirations of the plebes, that one day, they too could join the "rich man's club." Never taking a moment or two for consideration, to ponder how badly they were being clubbed, and by whom, and at the root of it all was ordinary greed, hubris, the rest of the "seven deadlies" and now, corruption at it core, the driving force, on a scale with the greatest of former empires, now mere remanants of their former glory ..I have another way of encapsulating, a "summing up, if you will .."I know not why any one but a school-boy in his declamation should whine over the Commonwealth of Rome, which grew great only by the misery of the rest of mankind. The Romans, like others, as soon as they grew rich, grew corrupt; and in their corruption sold the lives and freedoms of themselves, and of one another. [...] A people, who while they were poor robbed mankind; and as soon as they became rich, robbed one another."Samuel Johnson: Review of Thomas Blackwell's "Memoirs of the Court of Augustus"

In reply to by swmnguy

The Ram Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:56 Permalink

One of the best posts I have read on ZH yet.  Yes, we are being divided and conquered.  I like the quote by Yogi Bhajan.  Something for me to keep in mind when I am being 'triggered'.  The mind control is multi-leveled and quite extraordinary.  Hopefully, as a race we can dissolve the mind control and move to more productive behavior.

spanish inquisition Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:57 Permalink

The key to a good insect battle is to capture both sides, put them in a bottle and shake. Enjoy the show.Have your captured and controlled press write about how horrible one one side behaved.

Cardinal Fang Mon, 08/21/2017 - 08:58 Permalink

My favorite aspect of all this is how hippies, once core anti-establishment are now clamoring for government intervention in all aspects of people's lives.

This is surely the most successful turning of the apparatus described by the author.

How does one establish common ground if the ground rules are being changed to unrecognizable factions over time?