• James Tam

The Propaganda War 2.0



In March 2015, I wrote a post titled The Propaganda Invasion. Six years on, the invasion has intensified, becoming more outrageous and absurd. As with any Western war, truth is the first casualty. This time, the collateral damage also include basic common sense and logic. I wonder why? what for? and what the consequences may be.


The official motive, unofficially confessed by Biden, is to check China’s rise. Number Two in class is catching up. Instead of working harder to keep his lead, Number One bullies and threatens his perceived rival, as is his wont. When that fails, he squirts glues into Number Two’s schoolbag, and makes up stories about him stealing pencils and eating boogers. All the same hackneyed tricks of colonialists and imperialists. Countries with very little history don’t need to backtrack very far to revive barbarous traditions.


Nonetheless, these primitive campaigns from the world’s topmost propagandist do surprise me. They don’t seem to serve its subversive objectives, but carry grave ramifications. Perhaps the future is too far beyond the ballot-boxed vision of democratic politicos.


On the surface, the Four-eye gangsters (leaving New Zealand out of it for now) are propaganda godfathers. China is no match. However, the longterm outcome could be very different.

The Mainstream Media (MSM) — A Battlefield?

When discussing propaganda, one can’t leave out the MSM, which appear to be a battlefield at times. But they are in fact propaganda commandos, not ground to win over. The Empire has spent more than a century constructing this vast network of truth manipulators. It would be naive to think they could be convinced with facts and reasons. They should be dealt with instead, as combatants. Fortunately, the Internet has been helpful in promoting verifiable facts and alternative narratives, though imperial forces still have a strong upper hand there. When they no longer do, they may isolate their networks in the name of press freedom and homeland security.


Amazingly, the MSM have been exposing their own disguise — painstakingly put on for decades — with increasingly desperate and sloppy lies. And their frantic campaign against China will prove to be yet another catalyst for their own decomposition.


Language and Style

International debates are mostly in English, based on features and habits favouring native speakers. But beating someone at their own game builds character, and China has been forced to enjoy doing that for decades. I’m all for keeping English as the international language, whatever the fate of the Four-eye gang. It’s already there, and easier than Esperanto.


International users of English will have better access to the mentality of their Anglophone competitors, which can’t hurt. As of now, the average Chinese already understands much more about the strengths and weaknesses of Americans than vice versa.


The Audience

To judge the results of the ongoing propaganda warfare based on surveyed perception and opinion of the Western Audience is not only misleading, but also meaningless.

Assuming the MSM manage to create overwhelming anti-China sentiments among its entire Western audience, not just the Four-eye gang — an unlikely achievement — it would still only represent a 10% minority temporarily in possession of the megaphone. Their opinion has been steadily losing weight, as quality deteriorates. Meanwhile, hitherto suppressed countries are gradually gaining their proportional voices. For example, twenty-seven nations, mainly white ones from ex-Christendom, ‘condemned’ China’s Xinjiang policy at the UN, while more than seventy endorsed. That landslide result is ignored by the MSM and politicos. They continue to repeat the mantra the whole world condemns China. Quite surreal, really, but also revealing to the seventy odd countries that they are not regarded part of the whole world, at least in English.


Many American intellectuals have voiced concerns about their Post-truth Era, but the warnings are ignored by politicians and MSM commandos. Their obsessive mission is to promote a fact-free culture worldwide to suit imperial agenda. Ironically, the primary victims have been their own people.


Influenced by insane demonisation campaigns, some Western societies may become vehemently anti-China (and Russia, and N.Korea, and Iran, and Venezuela, and Iraq, and a long list of miscellaneous demons). Though annoying, their self-cultivated ignorance and prejudice carry little consequence for their targeted enemies, especially China.


Bigots don’t travel overseas anyway. And when they shop, price is the only concern. Yes they vote — so? A few cowards may punch up old ladies in Chinatown, and risk getting beaten up themselves. They may even pick up arms to help curb the Yellow Peril. However, military power in the 21st century hinges on understanding and brainpower, not demonic hallucination and primal ire.


Using sophisticated brainwashing to dumb down one’s own folks is bizarre to me. Sun Tze said that we must know our enemies as well as ourselves to win. Let’s see if he’s right.


中文版本:「中国的舆论抗战 2.0」

James Tam 2021.4.3

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