By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Rioting and looting is not just a case of civil unrest.  It is a propaganda technique.  Propaganda is usually not noticed by the average citizen.  It has been an effective tool in shaping public opinion and action since the beginning of time.  It is a way to herd a portion of a society’s population in the direction one would want.  Often, it only needs a few participants, and usually those participants don’t even realize the extent of how they are being used.  Propaganda turns lies into truth, misinformation into trusted facts, inflammatory language into a common part of the lexicon, and utilizes deception to shape public perception.  There is always a political agenda behind propaganda, and the more deceptive the schemes, the more likely it is a move towards an authoritarian system of collectivism.  Regardless of how the propaganda is deployed, it means to manipulate members of the population to act in a manner the puppeteers desire.  Then, even the actions encouraged by the propaganda, such as rioting and looting, becomes a part of the propaganda as well.  People watching the destruction are influenced by it, propagandized by the message behind it, and will even often be encouraged by what they see to participate in it.

Humans are a creature that likes to huddle in groups, and follow the herd.  Therefore, peer pressure is a large part of the strategy of propaganda.  With the right techniques, a propagandist can even get people to destroy their own neighborhoods, and burn down their own places of employment, because that kind of propaganda is a powerful force in society, and can spread like wildfire if the topic is toxic enough.  Once the members of a group are convinced of something, and they begin to think, speak or act in the manner the propagandists want them to, a bandwagon effect takes place as the public follows the path laid out for them by the puppeteers.  Sometimes, even people outside those groups join in, if not in the destruction that comes with rioting and looting, but at least in giving them their support, or even subservience.  They are willing to do so even if it goes against their best interests, because they have been taught to perceive it to be correct behavior.

Following radical or revolutionary orders has a certain arrogance that goes along with it, as well.  There is a certain appeal to be different from the main fray, to be above them in social consciousness.  It is as if some people have an aspiration to replace society’s high class with their own “woke” class.  The propagandists know of this human desire to place oneself on a pedestal, so they use snob appeal as a selling technique. They convince the public to believe and behave in ways that are agreeable to what they think is an elite way of thinking, a path largely supported by the indoctrination the human-tools received when they came up in the public school system, or what they’ve been told through entertainment and various news outlets.

The truth must never actually be spelled out, because if the subjects knew what they were really supporting, they would likely be revolted by it.  So, the propagandists tell them only the amount of truth they need to hear, and in such a vague way that they get the idea without the details.  Certain language is used that is meant to entice, even though the words really don’t offer a true definition or any real commitment to any meaning.  By offering generalities the subjects can be provoked to expend their energy on their interpretation rather than truly knowing what they are really rallying behind.

The propagandists also use loaded words.  Words mean something, and there is an extraordinary power behind language when it is used as a weapon.  Swaying public opinion may be as easy as simply using excessively powerful words with agreeable associations to convince the public to act in a certain manner.  With the proper words the public may be inspired to feel fear, anger, or doubt. A simple and effective means of loaded words usage is the act of name-calling, which many political groups have used to disparage opposition, quell dissent. and scapegoat groups of people.

Often, the situation or the people involved don’t have to actually be a part of the subject that encouraged the rallying cry.  For example, in the case of George Floyd, while nobody disputes the egregious nature of his death, the reality is that Floyd had a prior beef with Officer Chauvin.  The knee to the neck that resulted in Floyd’s death was a personal matter between the two, and had nothing to do with racism.  But, “racism” is the powerful word that the propagandists knew would get the rioters into the streets, so that was the accusation … despite it actually having nothing to do with the situation other than the fact that the cop was white, and the suspect was black.

In the end, the whole thing is more about propaganda than it is about racism, or any other social justice warrior concern.  The lemmings out there are tools being led by the nose, so while the rioters claim there is systemic racism in our republican form of government, the reality is they are nothing but slaves to the demands of the propagandists who don’t represent our Constitution, but are instead instruments of a force that is geared towards tyranny.
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