All Pervasive Social Engineering
It's Not Just Via Computer Networking
Social engineering is as old as history and can be briefly summed up as arranging the members of human society into casts and classes in a hierarchical structure. Each member therein is expected to fulfil a specific function for the betterment of society as a whole or to support the hierarchy, whether priests, royalty, dictator, military, the wealthy and so on. Each structure is replete with tiers with varying levels of knowledge and power. Rights and obligations differ at each level of the social pyramid. Each society is different in detail, but similar in structure.
In the early days of hand to mouth survival, there was very little in the way of social engineering of society into various types of function beyond educating the children as to what was safe and what was not by way of eating. Everyone worked together to the common good of the survival of all members of the group as each was necessary for the benefit of all. That way of function still exists in extreme parts of the world, such as where the Inuit live in the high Arctic and the First Nations tribes that live deep in the Amazon and are as yet untouched and unspoiled by the modern world. There is no defined structure save that of experience that lies with the elders and is passed down to the children in successive generations. These societies are aptly described as examples of primitive communism. There is a natural egalitarianism and all finds in the hunt and from the land are equitably distributed as all of the community has the same needs. Knowledge that was gained was also shared among the whole of the community. It was only with the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry where a surplus became available that differentiation set in and classes of different types began to emerge. The power of agriculture freed up some of the population to develop other arts such as making pottery, medicine wheels, permanent structures and the like. We can see all of these structures from the primitive to the advanced around the world in combined and uneven development. But, in the world today, the extension of the permanent revolution can almost instantaneously convert a primitive bushman or Inuit into a modern technological, computer savvy individual without going through all the intervening steps. But with the jump comes a lot of social re-engineering. When culture of different types meet, the inevitable clash often means severe consequences to the conquered. It has been true throughout history and is tas rue today.
It can be said that real social engineering is both a two way street that got its start with surplus production in agriculture that allowed for the development of other skills and the beginnings of a structured society. Not too long ago, agriculture involved 98% of the population, while 2% did everything else. Today, 2% are involved in agriculture and 98% do something else in highly developed societies. So, from those humble beginnings to what we see now is different only by quantity and not quality. The quality exists between the cooperative early societies versus the highly individualized ones of modern society. The astronaut who sails in the heavens is in the domain once observed by sky watching priests in medicine wheels and atop pyramids. To the sky watcher, the astronaut would appear to be a god, simply because in the context of their society, no one else can dwell and live in the sky. Not being able to understand how that being got their, they would be depicted with wings to explain their position in the sky. If he was plucked out of his context and launched into orbit, he would be transformed irrevocably.
Perhaps the strongest example of social engineering that we can touch base with in recent history, is the encounter that the First Nations had with the colonizing Europeans. The settlers with their superior technology encroached on the First Nations territories over a period of 500 years with the final push beginning around 1830. There was a policy to separate children from parents and re-educate them in residential schools to De-Indianize them and remake them for roles they would fulfil at the bottom of the conquerors society. Parents were increasingly relegated to reservations while children were forcibly removed and re-educated. The result was the destruction of many cultures, some of which like the Aztecs, the Mayan and Inca were high civilizations in their own right, equivalent to ancient Rome or Egypt with some cities larger than anything in Europe at the beginning of the conquest. This then was one expression of social re-engineering that was often mediated by extreme brutality. But it is not the only example. Our own more developed societies are also highly engineered along class lines, military methods, religious beliefs and specialized knowledge in a myriad of ways.
Our engineered behavior begins early in life and had its start before we even knew there was anything like a computer or an internet network. The child is civilized and tamed from an early age. A few balk and are harder to break, but in the main, most acquiesce. This is what allows the status quo to continue more or less as it is with a minimum of interference. The bulk of life is regimented toward the productive cycle of a mass production and consumerist culture. It is also structured in a hierarchical manner where a few, such as factory owners and oligarchs are at the top of the societal pyramid that are supported by top level managers, governments and financiers, then the religious leaders, the military, security and police, the bureaucrats and administrators, the boss and landlord, the middle class and finally the workers who make all of which is useful to everyone. How we are socially engineered can be explained by several means defined as;
Children become what they learn.
Mass education is about schedule conditioning.
Military indoctrination and training.
Bullying at all levels
The day to day job.
Money and managing the masses
Mind manipulation and media.
Children are impressed by early experiences that form their life paradigm. It is known that children born in poor circumstances are highly likely to be poor themselves later in life. If on the other hand they are raised on a small farm, they will have an intimate knowledge of animals, plants, pests and weather. If they are raised by Inuit elders, they will learn how to be acutely observant, hunt, fish and know how to live in an extreme environment, using the few resources available to most effect. In a home where the parents are deeply religious, that will be the paradigm they absorb. Children depend on their elders to teach them, but elders themselves may be deceived and have nothing to teach but lies because they themselves were taught so by earlier generations. That fact become apparent when disaster strikes and the whole family is ill prepared to live raw off the land. Such is the condition of social engineering in all these paradigms. It is a rare person that can cross easily from one paradigm of life to another.
Education today is more about conditioning the children to fill their roles in larger society than to impart much in the way of useful knowledge. This fact is born out in the work place where the graduate has to go through on the job training and trade specific schooling. Not many people will have the occasion to use trigonometry, history as it is taught or English studies in the mine or on the factory floor. The two are completely different skill sets. The closest match between schooling and the work-a-day world are studies like cabinet making, home construction and wiring, and auto mechanics. A few who are adept at sports may find themselves in the arena of professional sports. Most of the rest will be gassing cars, flipping burgers, walking a security patrol or working at some other service job. That is just what getting used to daily scheduling is all about and that starts early in schooling. Our lives become rigid and mechanistic, fitting the requirements of society at large as opposed to natural and spontaneous function.
Religion has its source in the sky and the events that transpire with the sun, moon, planets and the stars as they relate to the seasons and nature on earth. But over the eons, religion split between the esoteric and the exoteric. The esoteric still deals with the meaning behind the stories and myths of religion and what it means for ages and cycles that can be accurately predicted and plotted. The exoteric on the other hand is the literalization of myth into history where the ideas behind the stories become human, angelic or demonic characters in the stream of history. Here we walk a fine line between actual people who are potentates or revolutionaries in their own right, but are as human as us, but have been mythologized into something more than they actually were. Myth making has a deep history and continues in popular culture today. It is no longer restricted to religion, but can be found in movies, video games, theme parks and the like. It has even emerged in a more or less complete way on the contemporary internet. Networking and social sites are quantitatively more efficient in spreading any story, fact, truth, myth or bald faced lie. It is not qualitatively different. To do that, we would have to break completely from the existing paradigms to something completely new. That seems highly unlikely. Myth will continue while engineered prophecy continues to be “fulfilled”. Exoteric religion is given to the masses early in life as a catechism along a host of sects and it is almost impossible for most people to break out of that paradigm any time in life. Exoteric religious beliefs promote faith in things unseen and unprovable that are stated as fact. Lives are engineered around this paradigm where some behaviours are the road to trouble and difficulty and others are subject to reward. Often the reward is promised for the afterlife while privation is the norm for this one. They discourage open dispute and questioning, which can be severely punished. In this way, the majority are conditioned to be submissive to an all powerful, all seeing and judgemental invisible deity that has created all and decides in the end who is spared and who is tortured. For the most part, this conditioning works and even if such a person is shown a bonafide and provable truth, they will often react violently in some manner, rejecting the truth for what they have been brought up to believe. It is hard to break the social engineering of someone's cherished beliefs even if they are based on provable illusion.
Military indoctrination begins early in life and there are a host of subtle and not so subtle organizations that orients children of both sexes to a militaristic attitude. The military thus forms another major control paradigm of social engineering. It begins early in school with an oath of allegiance to the country and leader whether president, premier, king, queen, imam, pope or dictator. Children are encouraged to have an almost worshipful attitude to the leader, even if that leader was placed under the guise of a popular democratic process. Then there are youth organizations, religious and secular, that have a militaristic character with uniforms and special training such as the girl guides and cub scouts as well as Cadette training. The latter may include weapons training. Later in life, it becomes boy and girl scouts as well as the militia. In the case of the latter, full military training is given and the militia becomes the reserve forces of the nation. Military like training is important to the state in forming a cadre of unquestioning and obedient soldiers who are ready to sacrifice themselves en masse to the safety and security of the fatherland or motherland and a few profit hugely from all of this. Honour and war are glorified adding an aura of a God given duty to fight against the evil enemy. The trouble with this, is that both sides are doing this and both end up believing they are right. Militarism is perhaps one of the most obvious examples of social engineering. Militarism includes the idea of late, that the working class is being militarized in the form of security jobs and protocol. Increasingly, the police are also being militarized.
Human beings are made to socialize in groups and this has both a positive and a negative side. On the positive side, group dynamics allowed humanity to survive in a very difficult world. There have been times when humanity almost became extinct. We hung on by the skin of our teeth in a few incidents in geological history. The negative side comes from the development of surplus production that allowed for class division and the dividing of a cooperative species into competitive sub-groups. The cohesion within groups is mediated by peer pressure by dominant individuals who can sway large numbers of more passive types. Many times this has worked by ruthless rulers and leaders to target other groups. Peer pressure can be used to build armies for conquering armies and genocidal pogroms. History is filled with examples. It is social engineering at its worst.
Despite the cries against bullying, we live in a hierarchical society where bullying is what trickles down instead of wealth and jobs. Speaking of jobs, there is hardly one in existence (unless you are completely self employed) where the boss does not behave like an intimidating ogre. They typical worker lives under constant threat, actual and implied over losing the job due to some on the job problem actual or perceived. Many societies are built on the police state model and some are subjected to arbitrary and random arrest by the police. Recently, the news surfaced about New York where police were given the power to do random and spot searches of passers by. In 2011 alone, some 700,000 random searches, kit turn outs and pat downs were done on the streets in full public view. Resistance was met with arrest or tasering. The story further alleges that the people most singled out were black or Hispanic. The military bullies its recruits and those enemies on the war front. Bullying goes to the extent of torture that is publicly denied, but secretly practised. Everywhere one turns, bullying is rampant and rants against this pervasive social engineering ring hollow. We attempt to re-engineer our children while all those in authority use some form of bullying even if it is an implied threat.
The day to day job where most of us run on the treadmill of production is a labyrinth of pitfalls and obstacles, any one of which could land us on the street. Most jobs are found in large corporations of one kind or another, which are highly competitive. This tends to place pressure on the workers on the bottom to produce more, to be more efficient, accept less wages and benefits and suffer intolerable working conditions. Behaviours like organizing unions or questioning or criticizing the boss or the corporation are grounds for dismissal. One is expected to perform at the peak of performance, even on off days. The constant threat of downsizing or being classified as redundant and fired, looms all the time. As competition increases off-shore, conditions at home become unstable as far as keeping employment is concerned. A weakening economy is not help either as many corporations function close to the line between profit and loss. A losing company can go bankrupt and the worker stands a good chance of not receiving wages that are owed. All this uncertainty has a profound effect not only on ones day to day attitude, but also promotes an attitude of depression. It tends to control how we socialize, even on the internet. Many do not want to be caught saying anything that will offend the boss as this can cause job loss. With few options to back one up by way of background education, the dependence on others makes us as vulnerable as a newborn infant. Thus we end up with a society of complacency, unwilling to move, even in the face of naked injustice.
One of the biggest social engineering practices on the face of the planet is money, loans, credit and debts. In the civilized world, everything revolves around money. This has been in action for millennia as attested in places like the Bible; so much so, the Bible gives us a choice; to worship God or to worship money and that there is no third way. The trouble is, with the upbringing and education in a societal hierarchy where oligarchs who control money rule, most are forced into the game of the monetary paper chase, religious principles notwithstanding. It is possible as a result, that this is the cause behind the focus on misdemeanour sins as opposed to usury, the charging of interest on monies, or money changing. In the New Testament, we see one of the very few instances where Jesus used violence, and that was against the money changers in the temple and it is never recorded that he gay bashed. Yet, modern day Christians gay bash and ignore the bankers trickery and conniving to make profits out of thin air while the bread winner has to work harder and harder just to keep up. The size of one's bank account has the effect to accrue more respect to those with large ones, less to those with smaller ones and open contempt to those who are reduced to beggary. Jesus arranged things in the opposite manner as he understood the causes and realities behind all of this. He explained what the rich man must do to be saved and compassion for those who fell on misfortune. But in our times, status comes with ostentatious display of wealth. Thus the mad rush is on to gain ever more at the cost of all others. Woe-betides to all those who can't keep up. In the money oriented society, it is not hard work that gains, but monetary speculation. This is pervasive social engineering at its most influential and subtle.
Social engineering is also accomplished in mind manipulation that comes from a myriad of sources. There is hardly a thought or idea that is not sourced from some propaganda placed there by someone else. It is a real challenge to break from this established paradigm and say or do something completely original. The programming of minds begins early in childhood, almost at birth, then in school, in our entertainment, on the big media and day to day discussions with others around us. It is a self regulating process once established where the parent takes on the role of programming following generations. Much of the work of the rulers, no matter what type, is accomplished by this process. There are plenty of regulatory processes that keep everything on track, whether we consider theocracies, aristocracies, democracies, dictatorships, oligarchies, plutocracies or whatever form of rule exists. One of the current methods of mind manipulation that has been with us since radio days, are the social networks in the internet, but they are far from the first, not are they the only ones. With or without the internet, social engineering has been in place and working for a long time. The internet is a quantitative development in speed in interaction and not a qualitative change.