When speaking about social engineering in a government, the term takes on a whole new meaning. At least in a broader sense, it is the manipulating of a larger group of people through laws and principles to tell people what is and is not acceptable. This does not denote that all of it is bad, i.e. a law on murder and child abuse can be a protection for its citizens. The movie Wag the Dog demonstrates social engineering methods being employed by politicians.
Control of Public Opinion
Governments will often use various methods of social engineering to direct public opinion. These can take the form of fake news casts that appear to be real news stories but which are actual government sponsored propaganda. Another common method is the release of only select facts that support an objective. Yet another common but sensitive method is by linking a unpopular objective with another popular topic that would not be rejected by anyone. This is demonstrated by the common “It’s to protect children” and the more recent “Support our Troops” slogans popularity.
To quote the site soyberty.com on it’s topic of social engineering in the government:
- “… even the government could have its own forms of social engineering which has a deeper clout among innocent citizens. The use of subtle means to change the current system and come up with a system that is meant to control is not a new practice. Authoritarian systems of government could engineer citizens with the use of propaganda-this can also be referred to as political engineering. For instance, the behavior of citizens is strongly influenced by such factors as taxation, anti-littering laws, economic policies, and even the media. Political correctness is often a motive among moralists in government positions. These laws could come in good as they tend to dictate the proper human behaviors yet they could be so far-reaching as to affect some citizens’ free will. Social engineering has, indeed, evolved and its effect can now be felt by everyone. Only education and law would promote preparedness and security among citizens… “
The value of a countries money is in part determined by the monetary policy of the government. Governments have different goals as to the target value of the currency based upon goals such as ease of exporting good our of the country or spending power of local currency on imports. This is often influenced through the social engineering method of scarcity, through controlling how much currency is available in the market, affecting the overall value. In this blog found about Free Press it actually suggests some government policies and agencies employ social engineering to manipulate people.
Control of Food
Control of the nation’s food supply has been used as a social engineering method. The concept is that citizens that behave in the manner that is desired by the government are rewarded through being provided food which is in short supply. This is another implementation of scarcity.
Use of Language
A common social engineering method utilized by governments is influencing the use of language to alter public opinion. By dictating the words that are used to describe people or events, governments are able to frame discussions in a manner that is favorable to them.
- Terrorist vs Freedom Fighter
- War on Drugs vs Narcotics Enforcement
- Pro-Choice vs Pro-Abortion
- Torture vs Extreme Interrogation Tactics
- War vs Police Action
- Bomb vs Smart Bomb