I belong to a generation that once believed, “if it was not on TV it did not happen.” Today there are many more choices, but in essence, it comes down to the fact that if it is nicely packaged and repeated for enough number of times, most of the folks are gonna believe it.
As I said, in my time (weeks/months prior SHTF) the situation was a bit different, because of the number of media outlets available, but a lot of things can be pointed out that look similar to what we see today.
The ways how people get manipulated through the media/information probably never changed for ages, it simply got more sophisticated, and we people get more “plugged in” or simply more dependent on it.
Now when I look back, it is very easy to see that we were fooled by most of the media and pushed in actions that were not smart, but in that time it was invisible to us. The media manipulated people, bombarding us with fear and hate.
It is hard now, to sum up how all that looks, how media did the job, but some points can be described.
They heated up the situation.
We were bombarded carefully with loads of information about changes that were coming to us.
It was not only about the political system. It was also about the importance of our opinions. After some time of this, folks simply started to believe that our opinion could make a change, or that our opinion was important.
After that, we were “fed” through the media that there were great differences between us, and that the differences were actually so big that they might be a problem for our future life in this region.
In reality, you can point out huge differences between any groups of people, or political options anywhere in the world and still, that does not mean it needs to end up in blood. But we were led to believe that blood was the only option for solving differences.
They increased the fear.
The next stage – and it was presented in a way that was so intimidatingly logical – was fear.
Fear of others, fear of differences, fear of those who wanted different things from us.
Media can put great amounts of fear in you, by careful and very subtle hints. Sometimes, you do not even realize you are in the middle of that process (of intimidation) since one day you woke up and felt afraid
Fear is a very powerful motivator, and under the influence of fear, you can be compelled to do a lot of things.
We all know that fear can also save your life, so it is not always a bad thing. But I am talking about the fear that the system may install in you over a period of time, in order to manipulate you.
Every system in the world plays with that, more or less.
It can come in many forms. In my case, it was about fear of those who were different than me. In your case, it could be the fear of losing some rights, or similar.
They increased the hate.
Hate often comes with fear. And it comes again often as a solution to fear.
Just before S hit the fan in my case, the buildup of hate was so dense that you could feel it in the air.
And once real hate is there (mixed with fear) you can be manipulated in such wild things that you could not have believed possible.
Hate also can be good motivation, but only in very small doses, because it “spends” you very fast. What is really more important here is the fact that general hatred clouds your judgment.
Having clouded judgment is totally against any mindset of being a prepper.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation when you feel that you generally hate groups of people, options, or states, stop for a moment and go through serious mental check: Are you being manipulated by someone and what are the reasons for that?
I witnessed many times innocent people being killed because a public opinion was formed that “it is OK”, and it was scary how fast that opinion was formed.
As the violence and fear progressed, it was easier to be even more manipulated by the media.
I am not saying that you should trust no one and sit at home with tin foil hat, but be careful what you trust when it comes to media.
Use common sense and try to build your own network. Find groups of people who share your view of life.
Big media players have their own agenda usually, and that is the reason why they are big. They know their job very good.
Part of the solution is fact that today, we have huge choices when it comes to information. The internet offers every man the opportunity to look at and offer opinions. Of course, that also can be part of the problem because often there is too much information.