Manufacturing Dissent

For anyone who is not familiar with it, Noam Chomsky has a very interesting idea that it is an essential function of government to “manufacture consent” by various means. That as part of it’s duty to keep the peace and to govern, it must influence the press and various other “free speech” organs to “manufacture consent” as needed to advance proper governance. You can hear him discuss this in 9 videos here:

IMHO, what we are seeing now in the Occupy Wall Street movement is a slightly different effect. A non-governmental organization (The Progressive Movement, for lack of a better term) attempting to influence the population at large, and the government in particular. To subvert the ‘worth’ of the expression of the peoples voice via The Tea Party and via the vote (by inducing a bias against non-progressive parties and candidates) via a manufactured “protest”. It can not do this by “manufacturing consent” as that is the role of government and the pie is too big for them to steal in any case. So instead, they want to “pee in the other guys soup” by distraction and by manufacturing false “issues” to distract from the real ones (that we are, for example, dead flat broke and there is no way in hell we can pay for the Progressive Plan on things like health care and welfare). IMHO, this process of artificial outrage and protest is manufactured. It is manufacturing dissent.

Based on the same ideas of things like ‘necessary illusions’, this movement attempts to create an illusion that most folks are “outraged” or most folks are “against corporations” or “against wall street”, when most folks just don’t care much at all, or are in favor of making money.

Can we test this idea in any way? How about “size”. How “big” is the O.W.S. movement?

Size of Manufactured Dissent

On Fox Business channel, they just reported that there are now about 400 OWS sites “world wide”. How big is each? I’m sure the smaller ones will be no where near as large as the Big One in Wall Street itself, so how about we use it as a ‘proxy’ (and a conservative one at that) for the others in size.

New York (CNN) — In the first major show of strength since police evicted Occupy Wall Street demonstrators encamped at Zuccotti Park, protesters on Thursday massed by the hundreds at their former home base, while others marched toward the New York Stock Exchange.

OK, “hundreds”. Let’s call it 1,000 just to give them the benefit of rounding up. So if every other “protest” in the world is the same size, that’s about 400,000 people. Compared to a world population of about 7,000,000,000 people. My calculator makes that 5.71 x e-5 about 0.0000571 or 0.00571 % of the population. Hmmm… kind of small.

Now maybe most of those 400 places are not in spots like Ethiopia, Bejing, India… So lets use just 1,000,000,000 people as that’s about what you get when you add the EU to North America and Central / Eastern Eurasia (Russia and FSU plus a bit of the old Balkans et. al.) Now were at 0.0004 or 0.04 %. Still damn near nothing.

But maybe that’s still too large a net. Not a lot of Russians are likely involved in the OWS stuff… so let’s just call it 1/2 billion. LESS than the sum of EU and US populations. That moves it all the way up to 0.08 % … Oh Dear.

So what we can say is that not only is the OWS in the “fractional percent” scale, but it’s in the “fraction of 1/100th of a percent scale. Almost in the ‘noise’ level of the numbers… Hmmm.. noise… seems curiously accurate…

About Manufacturing

There are a load of articles that trace the history of the creation of the OWS movement. This one finds ties to ACORN (the folks found guilty of shady dealings and potentially breaking laws all on the government dime via grants, that were eventually withdrawn… though many parts of it have ‘re-candled’ to new names and new grants.)

The former director of New York ACORN, Jon Kest, and his top aides are now busy working at protest events for New York Communities for Change (NYCC). That organization was created in late 2009 when some ACORN offices disbanded and reorganized under new names after undercover video exposes prompted Congress to cut off federal funds.

Another interesting ‘snippet’ was from ABC news (who tossed a popup ad in my face that I could not close, so the whole window is closed and they get no linky…) where they were interviewing one of the “protestors” who was described as being on “the finance committee of OWS”. Finance Committee? Not exactly your “peoples protest”… No, this is a structure, created, artificial entity.

In Conclusion

The OWS ‘movement’ is, IMHO, an example of “manufacturing dissent” to achieve a political goal. It is intended only to smear and distract the conservative and liberatrian POV as typified by the Tea Party financial conservative and libertarian ideas. It is constructed by ‘folks with an agenda’ as the ACORN folks were PO’d at getting caught and defunded and want some revenge, along with access to power and money again.

The rhetoric from the ‘leaders’ is clearly left wing / progressive filled with hate and class warfare. (Why is their hate not ‘hate speech’ but others is? Clearly as it is in support of the Progressive Agenda and Democrats…) Their behaviour comes straight out of the ’60s anti-war protests and, IMHO, many of the leaders are just trying to reclaim past glories. Pining for the Good Old Days of pot smoking at the war protests… ( Hey, I was in one then. I’m, speaking from personal experience here… BTW, I went as I had a crush on this cute girl who wanted to go… it’s a long story… I didn’t really care at all about the trains carrying war material…)

So what’s it all mean? IMHO it is “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”. The numbers of folks are pitifully small. The goals are stupid at best. (Shut down Wall Street? Give me a break. Most trading is done over computers in centers scattered all over the world. At best you can annoy the few folks who actually work on Wall Street, many of whom are in the Restaurant and Janitorial unions…) It’s like that dog chasing the car. If it DID sink it’s teeth into that tire, it sure would not know what to do with it. (whop yelp whop yelp whop YELP whop…) It would be amusing, if it didn’t do so much damage, for the Wall Street and financial folks globally to just go ahead and shut down for a few weeks and watch the economy slide to a halt. Need a loan? Sorry. That ATM near the park? No cash. Sorry. Credit card for gas or the groceries for your park lunch? Sorry…

No, they don’t want to shut down wall street. They want face time on the nightly news. Something that they are getting “in spades” and way out of proportion to their size or what their ‘program’ justifies. They are hoping to make a lot of stink, get some ‘street cred’ by getting an arrest on their record, have a lot of news time; and drive the Tea Party and The Obama Screw-Ups out of the news. They want to create the “necessary illusion” of a mass movement against the Evil Capitalists. But it isn’t “mass” anything and it isn’t a movement.

It’s a manufactures microscopic noise maker. Nothing more.

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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16 Responses to Manufacturing Dissent

  1. bruce says:

    Hmmm.. noise… seems curiously accurate…

    think you have nailed another one.

  2. xyzlatin says:

    Below is a site which lists all the crimes committed at these protests.

  3. xyzlatin says:

    oh yes and they were in Australia too in all the capital cities. After a while they created such a nuisance that the police are moving them on and out. Most people regard them as a joke but some people have suffered real financial loss as trading in their shops, malls etc ceased as folks decided they didnt want to go near the smelly beasts and shopped elsewhere.

  4. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: A fallacy at work: Mobs´ protests, as such of the WSO, are supposed to be “democratic”: The minorities trying to impose their “consensus” to the majority. If they are so sure they should participate, and win- if possible- in democratic elections; meanwhile they have to accept the “consensus” of those who we have elected to govern us.
    However, all binding agreements imposed by the different UN´s organizations are disrupting the established order, and to achieve this, they use different “tricks”, from “climate change” to “human rights”, etc.,etc.
    No one has elected UN officials to govern upon the world so they have no right whatsoever to oblige us to do what their occult land lords tell them, and pay them, to do.

  5. H.R. says:

    OWS = “Old World Socialism”? ;o)

    It’s not working any more and as near as I can tell, the men behind the curtain are trying to pull the plug. The problem is, so many useful idiots – that are just that… idiots – got pulled into the Occupy camps that they don’t realize that the professionals are slipping out the back and leaving them to hold the bag. There remains a small group of idiots that don’t recognize when it’s time to leave.

  6. adolfogiurfa says:

    @H.R. But “Old World Socialism” was a scam too. When social revolutions all over the world applied “land reform” to supposedly give land to the poor, the real purpose was to deprive local elites from their land property, and, as land equals food and food equals power, those lands, which were in its economy independent from the banking elite, ended either in the hands or under the control of the speculative banking elite, so they, in these times of an impending solar minimum, where food will be scarce, have the power. Don´t get confused as the OWS that elite it is not at WS but at the UN.

  7. commieBob says:

    What I took from Chomsky is that we can’t trust the MSM. His books on the Viet Nam and Cambodia wars pretty much proved it to me.

  8. Pascvaks says:

    “There’s nothing new under the Sun.”

    People have been burning their bras and draft cards since Cain killed Abel and the farmer-turned-shepherd lit out for greener pastures. Can’t find the reference yet, but I recall Herr Presidente of the National Democratick Partie und Commissar Warden to the Rest of US once invoking this same type of populus uprising as a means of moving heaven and earth toward his New World Order. (Maybe I was dreaming?) Remember, nothings changed, we just keep going round and round in circles, generation after generation. Chaos breeds chaos and gives your neighbor an excuse to not only covet what you have but burn it to the ground. Right now it’s just a form of “non-violent national suicide”. Everyone old enough to have lived through the fabulus 60’s knows how it works and what’s coming next.

    PS: The great unknown is “What’s the Silent Majority and the Tea Party-types going to do?” Let me do some high angle calculas here a second, (0430 Hrs 12 Apr 2012) – (0430 Hrs 12 April 1861) = 151…. yep.. thought so, time to pick sides, won’t be long. Wonder what they’ll say this one was “all about”? Preserving the Union? States Rights? Freedom? Slavery? Well, like I said, ain’t nuttin’ new under ‘dat there Sun! Nuttin’. (Of course Sarc/Off)

  9. H.R. says:


    I always appreciate your comments. I wrote that through the lens of my upbringing as a corn-fed midwest-USA country bumpkin’ with summers spent in Texas with the gun-totin’ relatives; and then throw in any other learning that managed to add to or undo what I learned as a youth.

    You always bring a different perspective to the table and I find that to be a helpful reminder that no two people see things exactly the same way. It’s a reminder that everyone isn’t from Peoria Illinois.

    P.S. Don’t tell me you were born in Peoria. I’m not buying that ;o)

  10. PhilJourdan says:

    @Xyzlatin – has a running list as well – but not sorted by category, just date. Thanks for the link.

    There is a 2 fold problem with the “Occupy” “movement” (I use occupy, because they do not call themselves Wall Street here, and I put movement in quotations because the only similarity to a movement they have is in the bowels):
    #1 – It was not a well thought out plan. So most of the people do not have the same agenda. As a movement, it has no focus or goal. You can call it the anti-Tea party. The Tea Party is made up of many different types of folks with different views, but the MOVEMENT of the Tea Party has one goal – smaller government. period. So if you want prayers in school, or A national holiday for skinny dipping, that is fine. But the movement does not care about those things.
    #2 – The movement is small. It is only the media, trying to cover the back of Obama that is propping it up. And in time, they will get bored of it and even (for some, as most journalists have no ethics) be offended by the overt racism and misogyny of the participants, so they will slink away.

    The Tea Party wants to be heard. It does not demand it. It makes sure its loudest voice is saved for the ballot box. And it will grow. Even the “Stupor” Committee is not dealing with real numbers in reducing the deficit. We are Greece, just 5 years earlier.

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: What your Herr Presidente of the National Democratick Partie und Commissar Warden to the Rest of US is trying to do with you is the same it has been done before in many countries…you have the right to enjoy it too, why not? :-)
    @H.R. You have already trascended that urban myth that the US is “the world” and have become a universal citizen. I was born and live in Peru, South America, so don´t worry.

  12. World leaders created dissent by foolishly getting a bunch government scientists to generate “data” to support the false claim that they knew the causes of global climate change.

    Now society is in turmoil because the public has lost confidence in world leaders and scientists. The rest of the story has already been posted

  13. Wayne Job says:

    The world is advanced by free people with original thought and inventiveness.
    These fools detract and are parasitic but seem to think they are superior, not sure as to whether to blame their parents, the education system or the lack of the two genes in their brains that makes them followers.

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Oliver Manuel : Now society is in turmoil because the public has lost confidence in world leaders and scientists.
    Hope this is so; politicians are usually bribed and people is fooled by pseudo-scientists.
    However “we wait at our front doors to see their corpses pass away..” as Confucion said.

  15. Pingback: Dear Obama and the Progressives « Musings from the Chiefio

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