Increasing influence and manipulation by some overseas countries is a very real danger to Australia and much of the free world.
Our knowledge of this complicated world is a bit like an iceberg — we are only really conscious of the bit above the waterline and we can only guess how big the bit below the water is, or how far it might penetrate into seemingly safe waters.
Without a doubt, most of us have come to realise that what we do know is much less than what we don’t know, however sometimes that can be obscured by carefully manufactured views, news, opinions and impressions, courtesy of manipulated news outlets, special interest publications, political one-upmanship, slanted press releases, social media and so forth.
Such can be the case with the growing influence — in most free countries — by some external governments and organisations, which are definitely not dedicated to our freedom of thought, or in some cases, our wellbeing.
These people are very much aware that over time they can subtly capture and influence many peoples’ views, opinions and beliefs, and eventually possibly dictate their vote in a circuitous way.
They can also slowly condition us to feel that we are more empowered than ever before, when, ever so gradually, the reverse may be the fact.
This creeping take-over of an unsuspecting population is much cheaper and far less disruptive than a conventional war, but can still make prisoners of many people.
Of course, outcomes can be considerably magnified by the ongoing, almost monolithic media consolidation taking place throughout the free world.
So where then do we get the truth, honest investigations, free of propaganda, and filter out slanted news, distortions and spin?
It becomes increasingly difficult as sophisticated technology is utilised. Who we are is mainly just the sum of our experiences and impressions, but unscrupulous forces can manipulate even these.
This sinister osmosis of opinion is easier than ever now, due a globalised world whereby free trade, international travel, the internet, overseas students, a huge social media, immigration, international investments, citizen groups and associations can introduce distortions into social cohesion by organisations bent on, over time, changing countries’ social structures.
All democratic and free countries have a soft underbelly. If you have a mind to weaken the once-strong cultural values of a free society, it really isn’t all that difficult – it just takes planning and time, conducted in such a way that it cannot be sheeted home to any particular foreign government.
The strategies may go like this: reduce the skill base and therefore the standard of living of the target nations over time by helping to kill off their once proud manufacturing industries and keep the pressure on by reducing the value of the export currency feeding the products into those nations.
The general population loves cheap products and they are guaranteed to fall for it, slowly but surely eroding their economic base and in turn, driving them into ever-cheaper products of less durability that need regular replacement.
Then the next step is to influence the union movement and condition their leaders, followers and general membership to be out of step with their employers, mainstream political representatives and the best interests of the whole nation. Encourage controversy. A perfect smokescreen.
They then patronise universities and other centres of learning to influence opinions on campus, opinions that are out of kilter with the views of the country’s general population.
Next step, purchase a large number of properties at a variety of levels to show you are part of the community, and forecast economy-building plans for the development of those properties, but over time, neglect to carry out many of those ambitious plans, citing planning issues or dozens of other reasons, or simply ignore those earlier proposals. People forget quickly.
Note the generous gifts and gestures to governments, political parties, administrators and opinion-makers, and consolidate influence at all three levels of government. Make valuable connections where possible with members of the government and other key people who wield influence. Assist journalists, news organisations, politicians and key opinion-makers to take funded or assisted fact-finding missions and colour the facts for them.
Another step – become part of the infrastructure of the country; make strategic investments in shipping ports, power generation and delivery networks, communications systems, airports and so forth.
Encourage criticism of senior mainstream politicians; this destructive activity creates splinter parties and independents, which are easier to fund and influence. Members of these splinter parties and independents can build power bases to make it more difficult for governments to actually govern: this in turn increases the instability of the party in power.
Another ploy is to indirectly and discreetly fund some of the international drug trade, in order to severely disrupt young and otherwise highly productive lives, and at the same time this activity overloads the police services, the judiciary, gaols, medical rehabilitation and counselling services and many government administrations. It is a huge drain on the economy and the wellbeing of any nation – tick that box!
Of course it is not easy to link these activities to foreign governments, when most of these initiatives flow from wealthy individuals from that country who are not employed by any government and “do not necessarily represent that government or the views of the top echelon of that country’s government.”
Because these wealthy individuals have no official titles or apparent high-level connection with their country of origin, they’re shielded from any blame or responsibility. These individuals are simply ‘private people’.
We may be a little naive collectively, however we are not all stupid enough not to realise that these high-powered individuals are actually carrying out the will of certain foreign governments and much of their personal wealth has come from those same governments.
By now, if much of this information is starting to ‘ring a bell’, keep in mind the iceberg syndrome in terms of what we know and what we don’t know. And remember, icebergs – as beautiful and as interesting as they can be – disguise their great danger so do not get too close. Or else, given climate change and shifting allegiances, they melt, leaving no trail but causing severe harm.