The End Justifies the Memes
Part five in a series on propaganda
Attentive readers will be aware that I began a series on propaganda several months ago. This post is the conclusion to that long argument, in which I offered the mechanisms and some of the main developments in the production of emotional images for mass consumption.
I aim to show how memes are not only an effective means of resistance, but that they are in fact a direct and serious threat to Regime power. They are serious jokes at the expense of the wicked fools who rule us, and their potential to subvert the messaging of power is devastating.
I maintain that there is no difference between advertising and propaganda. Commercial and political messaging share the same methods and have the same aim - to attach your feelings to a given symbol in order to manipulate you.
This attachment may be positive or negative. You may feel bad or good about the given symbol. The attachment will usually aim to confer a sense of superiority on the target. Propaganda makes promises it can never keep - it is an invitation made in bad faith to believe in a seductive fiction. It serves commercial, political and ideological power, remaking the world in the mind of the mark, so that we - the target audience - are effectively colonised. Good propaganda is like flattery - it confers a benefit on the believer, which feels real as long as you continue to believe.
Propaganda shapes your perception of reality and subtly alters your view of yourself. It is at base the capture of the mind, through the gateway of emotion. We have lived through the most sustained campaign of state coercion and information control ever attempted in these last two years. This campaign has not been entirely successful. It has divided the world into obvious factions: those who will believe anything they are told, and those who will now believe nothing.
This post will explore the subversive power of autonomous propaganda. It will examine the phenomenon of memes - where they came from, what they are, and why they matter.
Here is the argument in summary:
Most propaganda seeks to replace reality with some fiction
This fiction is useful to the management
These fictions are ridiculous
Memes make you laugh at them
This is the reason that laughing at online jokes means you are now a Nazi. Seriously.
The Memes Of Production
Life has become increasingly humourless. Comedy is a joke these days. We are compelled to take seriously an array of claims about reality which range from the suspicious to the deranged. Some of these claims are depraved.
Memes are often funny. They are also often cringeworthy or even crass. The best memes bite harder than a Gillray. Luckily, in Britain, we have a cartoonist whose ability is such that he can produce cartoons every bit as powerful and subversive as some of the spiciest memes. His name is Bob Moran and he has been called all the Bad Names by all the Good People.
Dank, spicy, cringe
What makes a good meme? The image above is one good example. One striking image with a brief line of text. The message is powerful because it states the case. The truth is not acceptable discourse. This meme is dank. It is good.
Many dank memes make the same point. Some are controversial - spicy - in bluntly pointing out facts which are forbidden because they are true. Memes like this are an embarrassment to power. They are the most dangerous and direct form of satire we have today, because they make you laugh at the nonsense you are told is true.
To laugh like this is to laugh at the power which made it a crime to leave your own house at will, to speak your mind, to hold any view but breathless enthusiasm about the destruction of your national way of life.
Memes cannot be controlled at the moment. They are the only true form of free speech we have left. They are scabrous, witty, and have an immediate impact which combines with a durable effect.
Memes are the mnemonics of our dissolving societies, a shorthand of all the chaos, lunacy and outrage arising from the rapidly declining consumer empire we are compelled to inhabit. They point to what is there, not what is not. They are the samizdat of the digital age, a truly dissident medium beyond state and corporate control. This is the reason they are hated by the humourless commissars who rule us.
There have been attempts to counter-meme us into submission, but these memes have all been cringe.
When you laugh, you laugh with Hitler
The mediocrities who manage the ruin of our nations give you only one reference point - World War Two. Everything is basically framed in this light - it is still a struggle between Le Moustache Man and the management, who are of course the heroes. They are the goodies, and everyone else is the baddies.
When the internet was still good there was a thing called Godwin’s Law. This meant that the first person to refer to the Nazis automatically lost the argument. The point was to remove a lazy comparison from overuse and to compel some thinking to take place. No such law exists on the internet now. Everyone who disagrees with The Party is Literally Hitler.
As an aside, it was the first religion of man which killed the most - Communism. If we limit ourselves to the 20th century the death toll of the authoritarian left dwarfs anything else. Hobsbawm - himself a Marxist - estimated the victims of Communism to be around one hundred million souls in his Age of Extremes - The Short 20th Century.
We can go further back, through Haiti and to the Jacobins, to consider the slaughters committed in the name of Reason. It is an interesting exercise - just as it is to remember that Lenin sanctioned the murder of all the Boy Scouts, and of the entire membership of the Moscow Lawn Tennis club, along with the slaughter of 50 000 prisoners. These details and others of the Red Terror following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution can be obtained in Donald Rayfield’s Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him.
Of course, the Left is not seen in this light, because left wing revolution has itself become a meme.
That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
It is now ideologically unacceptable to be funny. Laughter is increasingly suspicious, and things likely to cause it are often framed as hate speech. Attempts have been made by people (who probably look like those in the meme above) to classify memes as violence and categorise their hatefulness.
It is not a coincidence that ugly broken misfits hate happiness in others. For the same reason that people who look like perverts are outraged if you name them accurately, broken people are scandalised by the suggestion that they are simply spiteful.
There is no better argument for this point of view than the unintentionally amusing attempts to categorise memes - jokes which tell the truth - as dangerous extremism.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”
The European Union takes memes as seriously as they do the faithful ruin of the European economies on behalf of the United States War Faction. In this report, which aims to
…scrutinise how humour functions as a potential factor in terms of influencing far-right extremist violence…
- pictures of frogs are framed as a danger to our free and tolerant society.
For the EU this was obviously not enough. To up the toe-curling humiliation, in what the kids call an ‘epic self-own’, the EU went on to publish a handbook of ‘hate memes’ Produced by an EU body with a name which actually sounds like a soyface exclamation - the EOOH, or ‘European Observatory of Online Hate’ was roundly mocked for its efforts to criminalise jokes.
The EOOH (say it out loud) then deleted its own tweet and the download link for this manual of lols. Here’s a link to the original tweet of 07 July 2022, here to the manual and here to an article on Know Your Meme about this tome of cringe.
It contains some genuine memes, alongside hasty insertions of the authors’ pet obsessions, together with imagery of the kind of obvious front groups to whom no one but government agents and the deranged belong. It is a clumsy attempt to Hitlerise observational satire and has itself become an embarrassing meme.
The debacle over this publication illustrates one powerful lesson of the meme age - the Streisand Effect. Named after the eponymous Barbara, it is the result of your efforts to suppress information creating the opposite effect. In launching this manual the EOOH itself became a joke, the memes it chose in its poorly parsed and amateurish document more persuasive than their own preposterous opinions.
The site Kiwifarms, a kind of encyclopaedia of internet depravity, has been shut down by a sustained attack since its publication of a lengthy thread on the EOOH manual of hate. It is clear these people hate nothing more than the laughter of others, especially when we are not laughing with them.
Laughter as crime
Jerry Sadowitz, Count Dankula, Ricky Vaughn, and the recent case of arrest due to meme viewing in the UK all furnish us with examples of intolerance of humour by the Tolerance Flag People. Again, to them nothing is more serious than a man in a dress. Attempts are made to silence LibsOfTikTok, for example, for doing nothing more than retweeting TikTok videos posted by crazy blue haired degenerates. The Progress Party will not tolerate your amusement.
The issue here is not one of incitement to violence, nor even of extremism. Memes can be found which are deliberately offensive, of course. No one edits them, and attempts to do so are cringeworthy.
Many memes are simply tasteless jokes. Some of these jokes also tell uncomfortable truths. Worst of all, some of these jokes are not funny.
I would like to remind the reader that the people telling you that memes are Nazi violence are also the ones who claim the moral high ground for:
actual Nazis in Ukraine
destroying civil liberty in the West
coercing you into taking an experimental injection
calling you insane for questioning this
defending the right of perverts to be alone with your children
promoting the destruction of your homeland
applauding the invasion of the West by millions of hostile men
celebrating the destruction of unborn life
being incapable of saying what a woman is
dragging you into endless wars
calling you a traitor if you do not support The Current War
demonising white people
delighting in demographic decline whilst denying it is happening
applauding the madness of lockdowns and the vast theft they enabled
excusing child rape, child marriage and genital mutilation
promoting ‘diversity’ to destroy normal life forever
turning education into a Gay Communist Madrassa
zelotic belief in the Green Doomsday Cult
hatred of God
A Visual Currency of Dissent
These people fantasise constantly about revenge and delight in ruining the lives of anyone caught disagreeing with their ridiculous opinions in public. They hate you if you refuse to pay more taxes to change the weather, and most of all they despise you if you simply don’t care about any of their delusions. Each of these factions is vying against the others for power, and if you are normal they are all opposed to you.
The values we are told are sacrosanct are themselves extreme. They amount to the marginalisation of normal life. To reject them is to be stigmatised. Memes allow mental escape from the prison of Regime propaganda - that world in which war is forever and is always just, and where all the vices are virtues. It is the ethics of the insane.
The argument about memes is revealing. It reduces to this:
If we do not control what people see, they may think things we do not like
The state is not willing to ban pornography and it is increasingly tolerant of child pornographers. It is determined to prevent you from seeing pictures which tell some uncomfortable truth about the world, whilst often making you laugh.
I suggest you make this argument yourself when you hear about ‘extremism’.
The reason laughter is dangerous - borderline criminal - is because the minority groups which dominate the media are by turns comical and revolting. They get the memes they deserve, and this is why they hate them. The memes are the only source of truth about the mess we inhabit. It is an unflattering reflection, because the Regime is evil and promotes every form of wickedness as some kind of moral duty.
Powerful groups hate memes because their power relies in the main on the control of information, which is to control how people feel about them and how they imagine reality to function. This is the reason memes - and not the 100% safe and effective claims of the media - are decried as a source of misinformation.
I do not think any of these protected groups have a legitimate grievance and I consider the -isms and -phobias to be a formerly effective means of silencing criticism of the deliberate destruction of western civilisation. You can thank the memes for that ‘formerly’, as they function to make jokes of these non-issues, and return your attention to the plunder, destruction and wickedness which is really taking place.
Jamming the Culture of Lies
Memes disrupt the signal of power. It is as if the television were to stop broadcasting lies, and every now and then flashed you an image of the naked emperor. In the 1990s, the anti-consumer group AdBusters coined the term ‘culture jamming’ to describe their attempts to make anti-advertisements.
These ‘culture jams’ were efforts to sabotage consumerism using its own tools. Memes have been far more effective, inasmuch as they have revealed that everything in our media system is a trashy consumer product designed to produce dependent, morally and mentally degraded addicts.
Thanks to memes many have begun to realise there is no real political pluralism. In the world formerly known as free we have the same product with slightly different packaging. This is the reason no one calls it “The Free World” anymore.
However the management deal with meme enjoyers such as ourselves, the memes have already won. They are an established and as yet unstoppable counterpunch to the assault of Regime reality editors. Despite routine and increasing censorship of online media, actual reality still makes for a far more convincing argument. One aspect of the sheer incompetence of our management is that no amount of propaganda can fill your belly, the tank of your car nor heat your home. It can’t blind you to urban crime and it won’t secure your borders. To most of the issues now in the news, as to those still censored from it, the memes can say ‘I told you so’.
The meme genie is out of the bottle. The attempts to label them as the property of violent rightwing extremists hell bent on violence makes everyone who laughs at them an enemy of the state. This is a desperate move and not one from a winning position. If you despair, consider how afraid our management is of funny pictures on the internet.
Memes are dangerous to power because they often tell the truth about our collapsing civilisation. We are ruled by managers whose political system excludes us from any meaningful decisions about our lives, and which is seemingly incapable of ever doing anything good for its own citizens.
We are second class at best, relegated to the role of spectator in the destruction of our own lives, compelled to applaud the assault on everything we hold dear by an array of increasingly deranged, criminal and hostile protected groups.
We have lawless cities, borderless nations, and suicidal policies. We have no legitimate options in the political sphere. Now we have no money, and soon no heating, with food the next obligatory scarcity.
The system is becoming increasingly unstable. I do not think it likely to survive the decade. De-dollarisation and the resulting realignment of global power may very well see a multipolarity of authoritarian states soon emerge. Large scale civil unrest is not unlikely. The rate of decline is surprising, and there is as yet no plan to help. Emmanuel Macron announced from a luxury yacht that France faced the end of abundance and that sacrifices lay ahead. Energy shortages and rationing face Germany, and Josep Borrell indicates the severe long-term costs facing the EU. These disastrous outcomes are due to decisions taken in the US State Department, which insisted on breaking dependence on cheap Russian energy at the expense of the economies of Europe.
The nature of population management in the West is performative, and its survival relies more on its perception in the minds of the people it directs than on the now routine failure of its many institutions to perform their most basic functions. The difference between our repression and that in Russia, China or elsewhere is that ours relies on the manufacture of consent. This manufacturing industry is, like all our others, in decline. It cannot sustain its own base.
The first walls to fall are in the mind. The meme wars are where the battle for power will be fought - and lost - by our crisis management. Funny as they often are, memes are no joke. Just ask Richard Dawkins. He claims to have invented the word. Now he is one.
Yes, we are in a meme war - and we are not losing. If you are reading this you have withstood the most sustained propaganda campaign of all time. lol, as the intellectuals say. There are spicy times ahead - but the memes are going to be lit.
When I am imprisoned for distributing satirical images remember to send me a smug frog picture :DDDDDD
Frank Wright is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.