Information Warfare

The idea of a war for 'hearts and minds' is at least as old as the earliest recorded military theories. As Sun Tzu was well aware, defeating a polity politically is superior to laying siege to it militarily. In the so-called information age, the battlefield of a given war may extend over the whole globe though the bloodshed may be confined to disparate regions, countries, or even locales. Militaries consciously wage war in this wider "information environment," which we all inhabit. Given the number of wars going on at any given time, both literal and figurative, the idea that 'there is a war on for your mind,' as Alex Jones puts it, is not unreasonable. In the political media-sphere this war is waged over the boundaries between the spheres of consensus and those of debate and controversy. Political institutions, such as the two-party state and its corresponding ideology, are institutionalized in these very discourses. Recognizing the agency of the structure in the acts of an agent and vice versa is required in order to 'know one's enemy and oneself,' as it were.

Coalition of the Obvious analyzes the propaganda campaign being waged in Iraq by the US military and ends up homing in on Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations and communications firm, concluding:

Burson-Marsteller is a key figure in the ongoing WWE Wrestle-Mania Roadshow that we now call a political two-party system. They help to control both sides and they exert a great deal of influence on the media that reports on the republican or the democratic sides. In effect, with regard to almost every issue of the day, they tells us what to think and what sound-bites we should repeat to each other in our efforts to show one another just how “informed” we really are. But it all comes from the same place; a place where republican trolls and spineless liberals drop their affected stage-persona’s and work hand in hand to craft a somewhat believable reality for mass consumption. Our consumption.

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