One of the most favored propaganda tactics of establishment elites and the useful idiots they employ in Marxist and cultural-Marxist circles is to relabel or redefine an opponent before they can solidly define themselves. In other words, elites and Marxists will seek to “brand” you (just as corporations use branding) in the minds of the masses so that they can take away your ability to define yourself as anything else.
Think of it this way: Say you want to launch an organization called “Movement Blue,” and you and others have gone through great struggle to grow this organization from the ground up. However, just as your movement is about to achieve widespread recognition, someone else comes along, someone with extensive capital and media influence, and they saturate every outlet with the narrative that your movement is actually more like “Movement Red,” and that Movement Red is a terrible, no-good, bad idea. They do such a good job, in fact, that millions and millions of people start calling you “Movement Red” without even knowing why, and they begin to believe all the negative associations that this label entails.
Through the art of negative branding, your enemy has stolen your most precious asset — the ability to present yourself to the public as you really are.
Negative branding is a form of psychological inoculation. It is designed to close people’s minds to particular ideas before they actually hear those ideas presented by a true proponent of the ideas. But beyond that, negative branding can also be used to trick groups and movements into abandoning their original identity.
For example, the concept of economic freedom for individuals –the freedom from overt government interference or government favoritism for certain people over others, the freedom to compete with ideas and ingenuity to build a better business and a better product, the freedom to retain the fruits of one’s labor — used to be widely referred to as “free markets”, as defined by Adam Smith. The very basis of free market philosophy was to remove obstruction and economic oppression from the common man in order to inspire a renaissance in innovation and prosperity. The problem is, you rarely hear anyone but libertarians talk about traditional "free markets" anymore.
Though Karl Marx did not coin the term “capitalism,” he and his followers (and editors) are indeed guilty of the pejorative version now used. It has always been Marxist propagandists who have sought to redefine the idea of “free markets” in a negative way, and the use of the term capitalism is how they did it. They have been so effective in their efforts that today even some free market proponents instead refer to themselves as “capitalists.”
While “free markets” denote freedom of the common man to pursue a better life through productivity and intelligence and merit, “capitalism” denotes a monstrous and blind pursuit of wealth and power without moral regard. One gives the impression of fairness, the other gives the impression of tyranny.
Is there even such an animal as “capitalism?” I can’t really say. What I do know is that the system we have today, a hybrid mutation of corporatism and socialism, is certainly NOT a free market system if we are to follow the true definition and the original intent. Yet, whenever cultural and economic Marxists attack the notion of economic freedom, they use the system we have now as an example of the failures of “free market capitalism.”
This is the magic of negative branding, and it is used in every facet of social life and geopolitics.
Now, before I get into the term “populist,” I recognize that people opposed to my position will immediately spring into a tirade about how liberty and sovereignty champions brand those against our ideals “in the exact same way.” This is not quite true, though.
When we refer to “globalists” in a negative manner, we are taking a pre-existing label, something that they often call themselves, and pointing out that their philosophy is flawed and highly destructive based on historical evidence and verifiable facts. We are not seeking to redefine them as anything other than what they already are. We are merely exposing to the public what they OPENLY promote and believe and then offer our side and our evidence as to why their beliefs are wrong.
This is not what they do to us. Instead, globalists and their cronies prefer that the public does not get to hear our views directly from us. They rarely, if ever, actually use our publications as a source for their attacks on our principles. They would much rather tell the public what we are and what we believe before they are ever exposed to us. This is why you will often find that many participants in protest groups at events held by anti-globalists like Ben Shapiro or Milo Yiannopoulos have never actually seen or heard a single speech by the men in question. They have no idea what we really stand for. In fact, they protest our speakers, groups and movements based on what they were told we stand for by other biased sources.
This brings us to “populism.”
There has been a deep and concerted propaganda campaign taking place against liberty activists, sovereignty champions, anti-globalists, anti-SJW groups, and conservatives in general. I noticed this particular campaign accelerating at the beginning of 2016, and it was the primary reason why I chose to take a hard stance on my predictions for Brexit passage and a Trump election win. The propaganda narrative could be summarized as follows:
Since early 2016 (according to globalists and the mainstream publications featuring their opinions), there has been a rising tide of nationalists and “populists” in western nations. This sudden surge in “populism” is inexorably tied to the Brexit movement and the support for candidates like Donald Trump. Populism will overrun the existing “stability” of globalism and cause severe economic crisis in numerous countries. It finds its roots in the “less educated” portions of the population, as well as in older generations that think they have something to lose if globalism succeeds. It is also driven by an “irrational fear” of economic change, global interdependence and multiculturalism. Populists are predominantly naive and desperate for “strongmen” leaders to fight for them. Some of them are motivated by self interest, while others are motivated by racism.
You can see these sentiments expressed bluntly in numerous mainstream media outlets. The Guardian has no qualms about linking the Brexit to “racism” and populism, for example. The Washington Post also has had no problem linking the Tea Party and Trump supporters to racism and populism as well.
Beyond the paper-thin accusations of racism, the general thrust of the negative branding is clear; if you are against globalism (or elitism) and its major tenets, then you are a “populist.” This is reiterated in recent articles from Bloomberg and The Guardian.
But in such publications, the most egregious argument is the one that is not directly made. The insinuation is that “populism” is not just defined by a fear of corruption through organized elitism, but that this fear is UNFOUNDED. Meaning, anyone who argues against the mechanizations of globalists, for instance, is not only redefined as a “populist,” but he/she is also, essentially, ignorant or insane. See how that works?
The populist label is often used to describe a political movement built on the cult of personality, a sycophantic love affair with a celebrity dictator that tends to have ulterior motives. Thus, the philosophical underpinnings of that particular movement are further eroded because they don’t even know why they are doing what they are doing; they are only playing a foolish game of follow the leader.
So, to recap, according to the establishment and their “press,” conservatives and sovereignty activists are actually “populists.” Our concerns over uncontrolled immigration and open borders are not based on rationalism and historic evidence of social and economic instability as well as the highly evidenced threats of terrorism; they are based on “xenophobia.”
Our concerns over the increasing fiscal weakness generated by the economic interdependence of globalism and our lack of self reliance are not based on math and logic, but our “lack of understanding” on how interdependence makes everything better.
Our concerns over rampant organized elitism and the corruption this entails are not based on numerous concrete examples, not to mention exposed documentation and the words of elitists themselves; they are based on a “fantasy world” of “tinfoil hatters” who just make stuff up while consuming heaping helpings of "fake news".
If this is the case, then I suppose I should fasten my own tinfoil hat tightly and note that this narrative is part of an ongoing long-game by globalists. They are not attempting to achieve the demonization of conservatives and sovereignty advocates today or tomorrow. This is about preparing the public for a near future, perhaps five to 10 years from now, after they have sufficiently sabotaged the global economy and scapegoated us for the crisis this will cause.
Not possible, you say? By all means, read my article 'The False Economic Recovery Narrative Will Die In 2017' for further explanation. If we are not careful, we will be redefined not just by establishment propaganda, but by a global calamity that will be gift wrapped with our name on it and tied around our collective necks.
In the meantime, how do we fight back against this disinformation campaign?
One factor that a “populist movement” generally does not have is the ability to remain self-critical. Populism, at least according to the mainstream media, requires a mentality of mass blind faith in a cause that is misunderstood or a leader that is dishonest. The liberty movement and conservative groups still have some members who are not afraid to point out when we are going astray in our logic or our actions.
We have not been silenced by our own peers, yet. Given enough crisis, it is hard to say how people will react. A major terrorist attack, an economic panic, a war; these kinds of rip-tides can inspire a lot of intolerance for contrary views. We are not there at this point, and as long as members of our movement are able to retain a critical eye, we will never be “populists.”
Another method is to refrain from adopting the “branding” that the establishment tries to use against us. Beware of anyone within our groups and organizations who begins referring to himself or us as “populists” as if this is a label of which we should be proud.
In the long run, people with ill intent will call us whatever they want to call us. The real issue is, will those labels stick? Will we help them to stick by losing our composure and acting the way the propagandists always said we would?
Negative branding is about burning a hole in the historical record, because memes last far longer than people. In 100 years, how will we be remembered? This is what the globalists value most — future impressions of today by generations not yet born. Because wars are not just fought in one moment over one piece of ground or over one idea; they are fought in ALL moments, for days not yet passed, for the posterity of all ideas, even those not yet thought of. If we do not fight back with this in mind, winning will be impossible.