I write about narrative control all the time because that’s ultimately what it’s all about. If you don’t believe that human life is dominated by mental narrative on all levels, sit down, close your eyes, and try to still your mind for a few minutes. Try as hard as you can. And watch what happens.
Easy right? You can stop your thoughts and rest in stillness for as long as you like. Right?
Of course not. Most people’s lives are dominated by a relentless deluge of thought stories from the moment they wake up in the morning to the moment they go to sleep at night. We say we think our thoughts, but in reality they’re more like something that happens to us whether we like it or not. Our entire experience of life is shaped by story. By narrative.
Because humans are so pervasively dominated by mental narrative, whoever can manipulate the narratives about a given subject can manipulate humans at mass scale. That’s why so much energy goes into propaganda: narrative control is the real crux of power.
This is how you can spot someone who prioritizes manipulation in their lives: they pour a tremendous amount of energy into influencing the thoughts people think about them and the stories they tell each other about them rather than making real changes to themselves and the world. This applies to people you know personally, all the way up to politicians and plutocrats.