One of the most favored propaganda tactics of establishment elites and the useful idiots they employ in Marxist and cultural-Marxist circles is to relabel or redefine an opponent before they can solidly define themselves. In other words, elites and Marxists will seek to ‘brand’ you (just as corporations use branding) in the minds of the masses so that they can take away your ability to define yourself as anything else.
Think of it this way: Say you want to launch an organization called ‘Movement Blue,’ and you and others have gone through great struggle to grow this organization from the ground up. However, just as your movement is about to achieve widespread recognition, someone else comes along, someone with extensive capital and media influence, and they saturate every outlet with the narrative that your movement is actually more like ‘Movement Red,’ and that Movement Red is a terrible, no-good, bad idea. They do such a good job, in fact, that millions and millions of people start calling you ‘Movement Red’ without even knowing why, and they begin to believe all the negative associations that this label entails.
Through the art of negative branding, your enemy has stolen your most precious asset – the ability to present yourself to the public as you really are.
Negative branding is a form of psychological inoculation. It is designed to close people’s minds to particular ideas before they actually hear those ideas presented by a true proponent of the ideas. But beyond that, negative branding can also be used to trick groups and movements into abandoning their original identity.
For example, the concept of economic freedom for individuals – the freedom from overt government interference or government favoritism for certain people over others, the freedom to compete with ideas and ingenuity to build a better business and a better product, the freedom to retain the fruits of one’s labor – used to be widely referred to as ‘free markets’, as defined by Adam Smith. The very basis of free market philosophy was to remove obstruction and economic oppression from the common man in order to inspire a renaissance in innovation and prosperity. The problem is, you rarely hear anyone but libertarians talk about traditional “free markets” anymore.
Though Karl Marx did not coin the term ‘capitalism,’ he and his followers (and editors) are indeed guilty of the pejorative version now used. It has always been Marxist propagandists who have sought to redefine the idea of ‘free markets’ in a negative way, and the use of the term capitalism is how they did it. They have been so effective in their efforts that today even some free market proponents instead refer to themselves as ‘capitalists.’
This post was published at Alt-Market on 15 February 2017.