How does propaganda work? How do people get sucked in? We all remember the example of George Bush repeatedly saying Hussein and terrorists together until people came to believe that Hussein, instead of the Saudis, blew up the World Trade Center. This trick works through linking two unrelated things together.
Right now, I am mostly concerned with a trick based on redefining words. Socialism has been redefined to mean welfare. That is not what it originally meant and those Socialistic societies that failed didn’t fail because of welfare. They failed due to corruption and a prohibition on private ownership of both the means of production and private property.
The word I am most concerned about now is entitlements. The word has been, and still is, a legal term to mean something that has been paid for or a service that comes with its own funding stream. Entitlement money cannot be spent on anything other than what the money was collected for. It seems that the forces behind the propaganda machine would really like to get their hands on entitlement money, so they have redefined the word to mean welfare or free stuff you didn’t earn. The word now leaves a nasty under-taste of a sense of privilege and arrogance.
There is a meme that circulates on social media that shows an older person and their social security check. It reads something like, “Entitlement my ass. I paid for this.” Of course legally, it is an entitlement because this person paid for it. There is nothing wrong with a earned benefit that was part of your salary. In my case, I’ve been self-employed and paid fifteen percent of my income into my social security. There is nothing wrong with collecting what I paid for, even if the legal term to describe it is entitlement.
The problem I see is that by redefining the word entitlement to mean a hand-out, the propaganda masters can stir up resentment towards entitlements to the point where they can gain support for laws eliminating entitlements. Naive citizens will rush to the polls to eliminate entitlements while calling me stupid for screaming about them taking away my social security.
Once the laws are changed so that programs with their own funding streams are no longer protected by law, a vast amount of wealth is opened up for exploitation. The funds provided for building maintenance in your school levy can be spent to improve road access to a new development across town. Gas taxes earmarked for road improvements can be spent to build monuments to public figures. Of course money collected for Social Security and Medicare can be spent on congressional salaries.
Some words can have fluid definitions and some words have many definitions. On the other hand, legal words have specific meanings. Do not let yourself be manipulated into thinking legal definitions don’t matter or that they don’t exist. There are specific reasons the propaganda machine has attacked the word entitlements. The oligarchs want access to the funds that previous legislators protected from exploitation through a legal definition of the word entitlement.