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The Overton Window Is Becoming a Meme, As It Should. Frank Zappa Defines The Window Nicely

stock here, this was very appropriate:

Discussion of the Overton Window at ZH


this discussion about the Overton Window seems good, until the overly simplistic ending, please elaborate I had read Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman when it came out in 1988 and found it compelling. It was entirely believable that deep ruling-class interests were more involved than we know about what we are supposed to think about foreign-policy matters and national emergencies, and, further, entirely plausible that major media outlets would reflect these views as a matter of seeking to fit in and ride the wave of change. What I had not understood was just how far-reaching this effort to manufacture consent is in real life. What illustrates this perfectly has been media and censorship over the pandemic years in which nearly all official channels of opinion have very strictly reflected and enforced the cranky views of a tiny elite. Honestly, how many actual people in the U.S. were behind the lockdowns policy in terms of theory and action? Probably fewer than 1,000. Probably closer to 100. But thanks to the work of the Censorship Industrial Complex, an industry built of dozens of agencies and thousands of third-party cutouts including universities, we were led to believe that lockdowns and closures were just the way things are done. Vast amounts of the propaganda we endured was top down and wholly manufactured. Third, the lockdown experience demonstrates that there is nothing necessarily slow and evolutionary about the movement of the window. In February 2020, mainstream public health was warning against travel restrictions, quarantines, business closures and the stigmatization of the sick. A mere 30 days later, all these policies became acceptable and even mandatory belief. Not even Orwell imagined such a dramatic and sudden shift was possible! The window didn’t just move. It dramatically shifted from one side of the room to the other, with all the top players against saying the right thing at the right time, and then finding themselves in the awkward position of having to publicly contradict what they had said only weeks earlier. The excuse was that “the science changed” but that is completely untrue and an obvious cover for what was really just a craven attempt to chase what the powerful were saying and doing. It was the same with the vaccine, which major media voices opposed so long as Trump was president and then favored once the election was declared for Biden. Are we really supposed to believe that this massive switch came about because of some mystical window shift or does the change have a more direct explanation? Fourth, the entire model is wildly presumptuous. It is built by intuition, not data, of course. And it presumes that we can know the parameters of its existence and manage how it is gradually manipulated over time. None of this is true. In the end, an agenda based on acting on this supposed window involves deferring to the intuitions of some manager who decides that this or that statement or agenda is “good optics” or “bad optics,” to deploy the fashionable language of our time. The right response to all such claims is: You don’t know that. You are only pretending to know but you don’t actually know. What your seemingly perfect discernment of strategy is really about concerns your own personal taste for the fight, for controversy, for argument, and your willingness to stand up publicly for a principle you believe will very likely run counter to elite priorities. That’s perfectly fine, but don’t mask your taste for public engagement in the garb of fake management theory. It’s precisely for this reason that so many intellectuals and institutions stayed completely silent during lockdowns when everyone was being treated so brutally by public health. Many people knew the truth — that everyone would get this bug, most would shake it off just fine and then it would become endemic — but were simply afraid to say it. Cite the Overton window all you want but what is really at issue is one’s willingness to exercise moral courage. The relationship between public opinion, cultural feeling and state policy has always been complex, opaque and beyond the capacity of empirical methods to model. It’s for this reason that there is such a vast literature on social change. We live in times in which most of what we thought we knew about the strategies for social and political change have been blown up. That’s simply because the normal world we knew only five years ago — or thought we knew — no longer exists. Everything is broken, including whatever imaginings we had about the existence of this Overton window. What to do about it? I would suggest a simple answer. Forget the model, which might be completely misconstrued in any case. Just say what is true, with sincerity, without malice, without convoluted hopes of manipulating others. It’s a time for truth, which earns trust. Only that will blow the window wide open and finally demolish it forever.ChatGPT

The Overton Window, a concept that describes the range of ideas that are considered acceptable and mainstream in public discourse at any given time, has been a topic of significant discussion, especially in analyzing how public opinion is influenced and controlled. The passage you’ve provided touches on several key points regarding the manipulation of public opinion, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firstly, it discusses the pervasive influence of a small elite in shaping public opinion, particularly through media and censorship. This elite is portrayed as having a disproportionate amount of control over what information is disseminated to the public, leading to a manufactured consensus on issues like lockdowns and other pandemic-related policies.

The sudden and dramatic shift in public opinion and policy regarding pandemic measures, from initially opposing travel restrictions and quarantines to quickly embracing them, is highlighted as evidence of how swiftly the Overton Window can move under certain circumstances. This rapid change, attributed to the influence of powerful actors, challenges the notion of a gradual and evolutionary shift in public opinion.

Moreover, the passage critiques the notion that these shifts are driven by changes in scientific understanding, suggesting instead that they are motivated by political and power dynamics. The example of the vaccine being opposed under one administration and then supported under another serves to illustrate this point.

The author argues against relying on the Overton Window model as a guide for shaping public discourse, emphasizing the importance of speaking truthfully and sincerely, even if it contradicts prevailing narratives. They advocate for moral courage in challenging dominant viewpoints, regardless of the potential consequences.

Ultimately, the passage suggests that the traditional understanding of how public opinion is shaped and controlled is outdated and inadequate in today’s complex and rapidly changing world. It calls for a more honest and authentic approach to communication and discourse, one that prioritizes truth and integrity over manipulation and conformity.

One reply on “The Overton Window Is Becoming a Meme, As It Should. Frank Zappa Defines The Window Nicely”

Noticed when reading Manufacturing Consent that CIA was given minor attention, despite the Senator Frank Church hearings in mid 1970s that disclosed extensive CIA – “rogue elephant” – mass media ambitions and influence. Operation Mockingbird does not appear in my edition’s index.

In CIA whistleblower John Stockwell’s book Praetorian Guard if memory serves he asserted that by the time JFK arrived and was departed, CIA controlled directly or by proxy (a) newspaper(s) in every capital city on Earth.

When it comes to media ownership and control, in Manufacturing Consent there are many references to “corporate” control, but nary a reference to the tribal allegiance of a very disproportionate percentage of those owners and controllers. Israel and the MOSSAD do not appear in the Index.

For these and other reasons I viewed Manufacturing Consent as a – albeit much ballyhooed – red-herring-rich hangout.

But yes, it was awesome awful to witness the ability to manufacture predominant global consent to, even enthusiasm for, the crimes, absurdities, and repudiations of common sense and experience that came with the Covid mind-f*ckery operation and the follow-up pure evil salvation injection.

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