The Truth about Kony 2012: The Goldstein Effect

by Scott Creighton

Emmanuel Goldstein = Osama bin Laden = Joseph Kony

The Kony 2012 campaign is a complete fraud. But unlike most skeptics (KONY 2012 is a SCAM is a good one) who have accurately pointed out that the people behind it are out to make a lot of money on this scam, I intend to show that it’s actually designed to do much worse.

What is the Goldstein Effect?

The Goldstein Effect is a government propaganda tool described by Cass Sunstein, in his 2009 book Worst-Case Scenarios on page 63. It refers to a character in George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Goldstein Effect: “the ability to intensify public concern by giving a definite face to the adversary, specifying a human source of the underlying threat.” Cass Sunstein

In the novel, Goldstein is only seen on a screen being screamed at by the people of Oceania during their daily “Two Minutes Hate,” drill. The citizens are brought into an auditorium everyday, they sit down, they view horrible pictures of victims supposedly of Goldstein and his group called “The Brotherhood”, and then, once they are emotionally prepared, they are shown a picture of Goldstein himself.

They react as a collective hive mind, screaming at the image, trying to out scream the people around them, trying to out hate the people around them,vowing their everlasting hatred of Goldstein while throwing their arms up in a crossed symbol of their unity. Their hatred against Goldstein is pure and reinforced by the shared experience of the Two Minutes Hate drills.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t hate Joseph Kony” Angelina Jolie

How Teenagers Learned To Hate Joseph Kony

But Goldstein doesn’t exist and he may never have really existed according to Orwell’s 1984 (during Winston’s torture sessions O’Brien admits that he wrote the book attributed to Goldstein, thus creating the opposition movement and the Brotherhood himself)… and that is what makes him even more valuable to Big Brother.

Winston: Does the Brotherhood exist?

O’Brien: That, Winston, you will never know. If we choose to set you free when we have finished with you, and if you live to be ninety years old, still you will never learn whether the answer to that question is Yes or No. As long as you live it will be an unsolved riddle in your mind.

Goldstein is the perfect enemy for the totalitarian state. He can never be captured until they are ready to replace him with someone else. He will never make a video claiming he did not commit the atrocities they accuse him of. He can be anywhere at anytime, moving sometimes in two places in two different directions at once. He is always the same enemy which nullifies the need to create new justifications for invading different countries. He is an invulnerable ghost whose legend surpasses logic and reason, whose mere image is enough to motivate the passive into action no matter what the cost. He is the perfect villain for a state grown weary of war.

This applies to Kony is so much that even Invisible Children have to admit (though not in their film) that Joseph Kony has not been in Uganda for the past 6 years.

Perhaps one reason for that is the persistent rumor that Joseph Kony died 5 years ago.

That makes Kony the perfect villain in Obama’s new vague war on Africa: he can be anywhere at any time and he will never show up and say he didn’t do whatever they accuse him of. (do you think it’s odd that after all of this hype he hasn’t released a statement yet?)

That is the Goldstein Effect.

What is Kony 2012?

1. The Kony 2012 campaign is certainly designed to make money for the JP Morgan ex-banker and Hollywood sleazebag who set it up in the first place. They are asking school children to contribute on a monthly basis so they can run this thing called the “Kony Tracker” on their website which will supposedly show these kids where the evil illusive Joseph Kony is terrorizing little children throughout Africa.

Taking money from children during hard economic times like these to run an outright propaganda campaign. That’s pretty disgusting if you ask me. But what’s worse is what they are doing to these young people psychologically.

2. Part of what the KONY 2012 campaign is doing is prepping young people to sign-up for the military, to go to war with KONY in Africa when they are old enough to sign up.Compare that to the First Lady’s recent campaign to get young people in better shape so they can serve in the military and Obama’s recent comments commending the youth of America for adapting this movement as their own. These things, these propaganda campaigns, don’t take place in a vacuum. And they always look to purpose these things on more than one agenda.

3. The other part of what KONY 2012 is doing (aside from making the owners of Invisible Children lots and lots of money) is it is providing left cover for Barack Obama to “surge” his military campaign in Africa during a presidential elections which aims to reclaim several nations in Africa that have broken off deals with the United States in favor of dealing with a less demanding Chinese government, who does not force them to hand over resources to multinational companies and does not force them to inflict austerity measures on their people.

Remember, one of the main reasons they took Gadhafi out was the fact that he was trying to unify African nations against AFRICOM, the U.S. military command and control apparatus set up like NORTHCOM. Gadhafi wanted a united Africa to move off of using the dollar as their trade currency. Well they murdered Gadhafi but other leaders in Africa are still determined to get away from the dollar and the IMF altogether. What do you want to bet that the KONY Tracker shows Joseph hiding out in those countries?

All across the corporatist media, the talking heads and the propagandists are working diligently to try to repair the damage that skeptics have been doing to this horrible campaign. That would not happen if KONY 2012 were just some fly by night activist’s cause campaign. The lying corporatist media is expressly backing this bullshit and even helping them to try to recover from the damage that Truth seekers are inflicting on them. That only happens when the empire wants to go to war and if you don’t believe me just think back to how the entire spectrum of the corporate media promoted disinformation and outright lies in the run-up to our conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Iran and lately in Syria.

By rushing to the rescue to promote the KONY 2012 propaganda, the MSM has provided the last bit of evidence that anyone should need to understand what this campaign really is.

They are failing to create a plausible pretext for attacking Iran and Syria so the Military Industrial Complex needs another conflict. They need to be dropping bombs and shooting weapons so they can profit from replacing the stockpiles.

Enter the Propaganda Industrial Complex and their Goldstein Effect KONY 2012 campaign. Can you think of a bigger prize for the MIC than the entire continent of Africa? Each country could be the next hiding place of Joseph Kony so each country is a potential target and the Kony Tracker will show us all where we need to bomb and which pro-Western Dictators we need to prop-up.

Word is getting out. This fake enemy, this new Emmanuel Goldstein, must be exposed for what it is. We cannot let these marketing frauds in the Propaganda Industrial Complex to continue thinking they are winning, that they are smarter than the people of this nation. Yes, they have the money and yes they have the support of the corporatist media and both sides of the faux political divide, but we have each other and we have the truth. It’s not that hard to see once you really look at it.

We cannot allow them to continue manufacturing these Goldstein Enemies one after the other year after year. Enough is enough.

50 Responses

  1. Actually, Qaddafi seemed pretty cool with AFRICOM

  2. Gadhafi was deeply opposed to AFRICOM and having U.S. troops stationed in Africa.

    The article you present as evidence that he “seemed pretty cool with AFRICOM” states:

    “Well, now, how about that. It seems that Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Djibouti and the African Union were as cool to the idea of AFRICOM as Libya. If one’s attitude toward AFRICOM is a litmus test on anti-imperialism, then Mubarak should have ended up on the White House shit-list as well.”

    In retrospect, how did Mubarak end up? Oh yeah…

    “Regional powers such as South Africa, Libya, and Nigeria have rejected outright the idea of more US troops on African soil…”

    “So apparently Thabo Mbeki, the neoliberal ex-President of South Africa, and Nigeria’s Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a perfectly decent soul but without any “anti-imperialist” credentials who died in office 2 years later, stood shoulder to shoulder with Qaddafi on the need to block US troops on African soil.”

    It think it’s pretty straight forward… even if you only consider the one source you link to… Gadhafi was opposed to AFRICOM.

    Fact is, when the Bush administration was pushing for the creation of AFRICOM, only one country publicly stated they would be willing to host the U.S. African central command, Liberia.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you. The Kony thing is a TOTAL lie that was fabricated by someone along the line who did not like what I was doing/saying on the internet, through my linking of various services. I do not know who created Kony, but if you want feel free to get in contact with me! Originally on twitter there was not only #stopkony but also #MakeKonyFamous, an anonymous nickname to get me famous quick in hollywood!

    • Barton, you are a Hollywood gossip radio entertainer? and you did seem (I scanned down your list of ‘talks’) to mention a Kony ‘thing; several times, as if it was a subject you were unfamiliar with and you were trying to act ‘smart’ about it… (as in ‘cute’)… and now you think your linking to any Kony article will help make you famous?

      You are hitting on a serious political issue….. you may not want to be this ‘kind’ of famous…. or are you trying to make the issue ridiculous?
      If so, then you (and we) know what that makes you.

      • Wait. What does it make who? I tend to like to make things ridiculous sometimes. What would that make ME?

      • Not that I necessarily think THIS issue is ridiculous. But, at first, I did have spiteful feelings towards the video. I tend to not trust people, and I tend to get peeved when people go around trusting people. I mean, I trust my family, for the most part, and I think that’s fine, and if you wanna come up to me and befriend me, well, then I may be your friend and trust you.
        I do wonder what will be happening eventually. I mean, presently. Or however people are saying it these days. I’ve had a bad feeling about, well, most things, for quite a while, and, as I said, I get peeved when people are somehow happy-go-lucky, running around with GOOD feelings, like they’ven’t a care in the world, while all the issues at hand have YET to be solved. I mean. Activism is SH*T; it will not accomplish its goal, in ANY situation. Punching people is just not a good idea. I DO like the idea of holing up in a corner, somewhere in the mountains; however, I think this will be impossible, for myself and for anyone else.

        Well, there’s my reforming opinion. And by that, I mean to say that my opinion was that while I was saying it, but it is being developed, constantly. So reforming isn’t the right word, but it’s made up of the proper parts of words, so that I can coerce it into making the sort of sense I’d like it to make, and then I get the added comfort of knowing that it was the word that had come to me; I can feel smart- if not smart, at least not dumb- whereas, in truth, I am kind of dumb, but smart for realizing my dumbness, in some sense, still dumb for being dumb in the first place, and anyone who thinks me not dumb is pitiful, and by that I mean pity-able, and by that I mean I pity you if you think I’m smart, or if you think you aren’t dumb.

        I digress. I ALWAYS digress.

  4. I suppose pitiable may be a word after all, I could’ve just said THAT.

  5. They’ve been promoting this idiotic film on my campus, holding public screenings, and pimping it on the schools facebook page. Imperialism is back in style, apparently.

  6. Care to share evidence for any of these claims?

    • I’m sorry. Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention over the past few days. Simply Google Kony 2012 and you will find all the evidence you need. Have fun

  7. Please edit the title so that it reads “The Truth about #Kony2012: The Goldstein Effect”. This will ensure that every time it gets tweeted it will enter the #Kony2012 convo on Twitter! Great article, thank you for sharing the light.

  8. I really wanted to make a difference rather than just reposting videos and pictures about kony. I wen’t ahead and contacted some organizations and asked them to donate to the cause for every lead I generated. I just made a simple blog with very little information but it was painless to make. I doubt it generates much, but every penny counts.

    [edit: owner of this site has removed your link to fund raising site for kony 2012. Apparently you didn’t actually read this blog’s writing on the kony campaign nor the policy we have in place about soliciting moneys from other readers]

  9. I agree with Scott. When that video came out, I was very skeptical about the whole thing. WTF would they need our money to go capture him in the first place? Sorry but isn’t it the governments job to rid us of these people? Now we have to go pay for it, i dont think this money will go towards that at all, they are trying to influence all the kids first, and then get the support from other dumb people who just believe everything that gets shoved in their face.

  10. When I finally watched the video, I was taken in somewhat until I got to the part about donating to TRI, then heard it again and then a 3rd time to get your “Action Pack” or whatever they called it. I didn’t think of the Goldstein angle however.

    AFter a day of letting it stew in my subconcious, I notice that the 30 minute video is actually rather empty of content. There was alot of slick work with animation and motion graphics etc. but really not alot to it except some claims about Kony and a little bit of footage of the one ugandian teenager. The rest is really just sensationalism and an appeal to people’s (Mostly young adults) desire to belong to something.

    I am currently of the belief that this Kony gentleman did exist and did horriable things such as conscript children. He would not be the first. I also believe that this whole KONY 2012 thing is not what it would like to appear on the surface. At best, it is a money making scheme. At worst, it is a “Goldsteinian” push for mob mentality and popular support for further millitary action.

    Funny thing is, if the powers that be really wanted this Kony guy, they could probably have him within a week and silently.

  11. The Kony situation is a real problem,the INC people are trying to raise awareness of this problem.No one knew anything about Kony and this video showed us who Kony is and his crimes.Your whole topic about the Kony 2012 project being an example of the Goldenstein effect is completely ridiculous because this is actually true,real and happening.So go do some more research before you make false statements.And by the way Gaddafi was truly opposed to AFRICOM.So I suggest you go get a sensible education before trying to inflict others with tour dumb views.
    For the record I have restricted myself in extremely abusing you.
    Thank you.

    • Perhaps read his posting again and try for a little comprehension this time? Everyone knows very well that Mr Kony is a real person and most believe that he has performed some atrocities.

      I think you are taking the origins of the goldstein reference a little too strictly. I believe it is used to symbolize the larger than life character that KONY 2012 is trying to make him to symbolize all that is wrong there.

    • You should read OhhWell’s reply. I won’t touch on the subject more than OhhWell did as his (hers?) sums it up nicely.

      What I will say is the Goldstein Effect as an established theory of propaganda is also very, very real. Sunstein, if you don’t know who he is, is rather well established in the Obama administration. The subject he uses for an example of the Goldstein Effect is Osama bin Laden, who was also a very real individual who’s presence was lifted, elevated to a larger than life symbol.

      It stands to reason that once that tool was gone, played out as it were, they would need to invent another one… hence, Joseph Kony.

      You will also note that I did in fact say that Gadhafi was opposed to AFRICOM, so your criticism on that line is completely unfounded.

      I am so glad that you have restricted yourself from “completely abusing me”. I can now breath a deep sigh of relief. God knows what would happen to my credibility were you to really go off on me.

      Thank you ever so much.

  12. Someone who apparently refers to himself as You Are A Dumbass claims that “this is actually true,real and happening.”

    I do not believe Scott claimed that this wasn’t true, real or happening…somewhere. However, it is not true, real or happening in Northern Uganda. How do we know? we know because the Ugandans themselves say so.

    I suggest Mr You Are A Dumbass do a little research of his own. Thank you.

  13. OK, just a little bit of self-promotion, if Scott doesn’t mind.

    My own Kony article:

  14. USAFRICOM AND THE MILITARIZATION.. American taxpayers dollars at work..

  15. […] five years ago. If he is actually dead, in fact, that would make him the perfect villain; he can never be found, never brought to book, but must always be flitting around in the shadows of our consciousness, […]

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