Politics of Confusion and Capitalism

Capitalism Resistance

The world is witnessing growing confusion in politics, economy, culture, society, and life on a scale never seen before. There is confusion in different aspects of life perpetuated by the ruling elites, who use ‘confusion’ as a strategy to spread dominant narratives without any form of scrutiny. The global, national, regional, and local landscapes are mired with unprecedented levels of ‘confusion’, determining various facets of everyday lives. It looks as if confusion has become an omnipresent force, infiltrating through every aspect of our existence. From politics to the economy, culture to society, and even personal lives, people find themselves navigating a web of confusion. These confusions produce uncertainties and crises, which are tools of control and domestication. This state of bewilderment is not a happenstance occurrence but rather a calculated tactic employed by those in power.

The Brexit referendum in the UK, the involvement of the ex-deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Vladislav Surkov, who funded both human rights activists and anti-immigrant groups, and the undemocratic consensus for an electoral alliance between the ruling BJD and the opposition BJP in Odisha show that there is no contradiction among ruling elites when it comes to power. There is only political confusion for the masses. The ruling elites, vested with authority and influence, have mastered the art of utilising confusion as a strategic tool to propagate their agendas and ideologies without any form of scientific mass verification. The ruling class crafts and disseminates dominant narratives, exploiting the fog of confusion to shield their actions from scrutiny and dissent. By obfuscating the truth and clouding the collective understanding, the ruling class maintains control and perpetuates capitalist hegemony.

At the global, national, regional, and local levels, this phenomenon of mass confusion manifests in myriad forms, shaping the contours of our everyday lives as per the requirements of the ruling elites of capitalism. In the political arena, conflicting narratives and disinformation campaigns sow seeds of doubt and discord, undermining democratic processes and eroding public trust. Economic policies shrouded in complexity leave the masses bewildered, while benefiting the few at the top, who profit at the cost of mass misery. The collective foundations of cultural norms and religious values of peace and solidarity are manipulated and distorted, blurring the lines between truth and fiction. Mass confusion helps to hide the ugly realities of capitalism with its fantasies. The spread of mass confusion also helps in the normalization and naturalization of ruling class falsehood in society. The normalization of falsehood through confusion generates apathy toward understanding the predicaments of capitalism.

In society, the proliferation of fake news, disinformation, misinformation, and polarisation fuels division and unrest, fracturing communities and exacerbating social, cultural, and religious tensions. Social, cultural, and religious conflicts help the security state to rise, which protects capitalism as a system of governance. Even on a personal level, individuals grapple with uncertainties and ambiguities, unsure of whom or what to believe in a world mired in confusion spread by fake news. The mainstream media also acts as the mouthpiece of ruling elites, where unaccountable governance defines governing and non-governing elites in every layer of society and state, and where capitalism becomes the dominant force without any form of opposition.

In order to establish dominance in the battle for narrative supremacy, the capitalist classes shape public discourses by spreading confusion with the help of sophisticated propaganda techniques to manipulate the masses in favour of right-wing reactionary forces. Such a project of mass confusion works as a strategy of ruling and non-ruling elites who are centrally responsible for the erosion of trust in public life, which is concomitant with the requirements of capitalism. Trust-free social, political, and cultural zones are helpful for the elites to exploit the masses and push their agenda to govern without accountability. Accountable and trustworthy democratic and constitutional institutions are an anathema to capitalism. Therefore, weakening public institutions and public trust by spreading mass confusion is good for capitalism to sustain itself as a system. The spreading of mass confusion weakens citizenship rights by promoting a culture of disengagement and resignation among the masses.

The spread of mass confusion isn’t just a random occurrence but seems to be deliberately propagated by those in power, often termed as the ruling elites. These elites utilize confusion as a potent strategy to disseminate dominant narratives without facing significant scrutiny or challenge to capitalism and its dominant order. There is a fundamental difference between organic confusion, which is a product of curiosity in seeking knowledge or discovering ignorance, and the confusion manufactured by information warfare and mass media. The latter is a product of ruling and non-ruling elites seeking to uphold the interests of capitalism by destroying the critical thinking abilities of the working masses.

The struggle for clarity, critical thinking, reflection everyday realities, transparency, and accountability requires mass consciousness based on science and secularism, which can provide a glimmer of hope amidst this fog of mass confusion. As awareness grows and people awaken to the mechanisms of manipulation at play, people can see through the haze and question the narratives imposed upon the masses. Through critical thinking, dialogue, and collective action, there is the potential to pierce through the veil of confusion and reclaim agency over working-class lives and the future of the planet. This entails challenging dominant narratives, fostering media and digital literacy, and holding those in power accountable for their actions. Mass struggle against confusion is the only way to aspire and forge a path towards clarity, understanding, and genuine progress towards peaceful and prosperous co-existence sans capitalism. Truth and knowledge triumph in all pages of history.

Bhabani Shankar Nayak, University of Glasgow, UK

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