Ergo the gallows by the roadside; the crucifix; the televised trial and execution.
The actual sight of decomposing, mutilated bodies is unpleasant to many serfs and functionaries, and even tidy coffins covered by flags can upset non-elites in a visceral-enough way to require increased monitoring costs.
As deathlords grow more skilled at making direct foreign genocides and domestic torture/imprisonment seem like progress because the weapons are clean and robotic, the vocalized concern about brotherhood louder, and the serfs possessing televisions and drywall (thanks Michael & Marla!) instead of storytellers and stone, the bodies must be removed. No more can the gallows by the roadside be used to pre-neutralize thoughts of disobedience.
In a clean, tidy, modern society, therefore, maintaining a belief in progress means sanitizing the bodies of the mutilated dead. Formally, the king must not glance in their direction. The king must be moved, and perhaps even weepy, over the thought that such lacerated corpses exist. The king must not point and say, "Look, scum, and tremble, for this would be you were you to disobey me." And yet, if people aren't aware of the dark consequences in store for them in the event of failure to obey, they might start doing irresponsible things like not tithing, requiring increased enforcement costs in serf-torturing and serf-killing.
What would the ideal situation be, for elites? Ideally, someone else would do the job of threatening subjects for them--and do it without even getting paid. Someone else would, of their own merits, take it upon themselves to, in their free time, disseminate horror stories and pictures of the victims of elite tyranny, warning the serfs and functionaries of all the terrible fates in store for them if they would dare to resist the elites: imprisonment; torture; rape; murder; the destruction of one's entire home, neighborhood, city, country, culture, and so forth.
This ideal situation has already been achieved. Under the eyes of total mass media monitoring, those who most intellectually dislike elite crimes--those who most believe they loathe imperial war, genocide, mass imprisonment, and domestic surveillance--are themselves the most involved in making the other farm animals aware of just how scary it can be when Obama/Buffet/Winfrey/Clooney/Cheney/et. al. get mad.
Even better, what if the non-elites carrying out this dissemination were not only unpaid, but also subject to punishment by elites--subject to punishment for the very helpful actions they take? What if the people who freely do this work do it not only for no pay, benefits, or direction, but do it while knowing that this beneficial service can still be considered treasonous or supportive to the enemy at any time, resulting in disappearance and/or any of the other bad consequences of which they speak? This is an outsourcer's dream. Why pay a malnourished Cambodian boy ten cents a month to solder chips onto mobile thesauri for a corps of trained propagandists when you could take fifty dollars in monthly internet-access charges from a college-educated professional from Minnesota, who will also buy and maintain his own equipment, while still working at a regular job, in order to use his free time to promulgate long, detailed stories of all the bad things that happen to your enemies and how good it is for people to obey you?
The Cambodian kid might quit, damage a few smartphones out of anger, or form a union, while the greatest threat from the Minnesotan is that he might simply--gasp!--stop blogging. And anytime you like, he's five minutes from a patrolling black and white who can haul him off for sedition procedures if some of the words get too dicey.
(Plausible deniability, too! Three hundred years of history later, it can be effectively argued that there was no attempt to terrorize commoners with dangerous consequences. In fact, the tomes will read, the elites of the time disapproved of vulgar descriptions of their acts.)
Who tells you about how scary the prisons are? Who tells you about the inmate-led kill-rape labor camps waiting for you if you use drugs or don't pay your taxes or take it too far beyond "voting"? Who tells you about the sun-bleached bones of the brown children whose parents, ten years ago, were thinking favorably about nationalizing oil? The message is always, "There, but for the grace of God, go you." And you get it.
Who tells you about how scary disobedience is? It's not the king or the soldier. It's their unpaid, unknowing lackeys, the "shocked, shocked I tell you" agents of information warfare, who aren't even aware that their job is to scare the populace and keep them in the state of feared shock that is the uppity typing pools of the progressive blogosphere. The best assassin, as Vincent Ludwig said, is one who doesn't know he's an assassin. And the best psy-ops agent is the one who doesn't know he's a psy-ops agent. The one who thinks he's resisting. Yes, Chris Floyd; yes, Arthur Silber; yes, High Arka; yes, Justin Raimondo; you are among the most effective agents of empire. Somewhere out there, you know that all those angry squeaks are not physically halting, nor will they ever physically halt, the stuff that you profess to dislike so very, very much. Soldiers of sorrow. You got played. You did it.
Updated: Logging for posterity a little gem borrowed from one "buck," who was afraid to leave the warm glow of his tribe, but who was quite brave over there, to intriguing effect:
So, your logic is that by mobilizing to stop the Tea Party and the crazy racists and woman-haters who wanted Romney to win, Obama is actually doing a BAD thing? So say somebody is forced to use drones in order to stop Romney from using nukes; are they now as guilty as Romney for furthering that crime by committing imperial war? Should we just give Romney the keys to the big red button and let him do whatever he wants because we know that's what will happen if we don't try in the best possible way to resist him?
Yes we are all part of this process by the fact that we pay for it! But you have no idea what Obama or any of his administration do IRL to stop this abomination. For all you know many of his staff and Obama himself could be actively working behind the scenes in political ways you can't even understand to minimize the damage caused not just by the war machine but to slow, mitigate against, or prepare for climate change, STOP the regression in women's, and thereby human, rights by the GOP and their war on women or the any example of the host of nightmares facing all of us. Chris is so obsessed with getting attention that he can't stop talking about all the things Obama does WRONG and he never stops to think what Obama is doing RIGHT by preventing the reTHUGlicans from getting in power and stopping us from birth control and making us live in The Handmaid's Tale.
You have no idea at all, but when somebody calls you on the lack of coherence or logic in the post at a nice safe place owned by Chris and surrounded by friends, because you're afraid to comment anywhere else you're not surrounded by allies who agree with you, the overly wrought but definitely not high minded prose, and the total absence of intellectual heft in your polemic you get very defensive. I can refer to many other times in other places where you post unverifiable examples with the same smug sanctimony you displayed in your reply to A Popular Person Here and it moved me to finally say my piece. The reason I am brave is because I am willing to stand in a group of friends and agree that the group is good and that people who raise unpopular questions are bad and that is why you are not brave.
Definitely a prole on the Obama campaign and not once have I felt insulted, castigated or berated when listening to any speech or debate by the President or by any DLC official who shares his perspective. Instead I feel like at least I am not the only one who understands how bad and dangerous the Tea Party racists and their war on women actually is to this country. I feel like at the very, absolute least the ability and will to say NO to them isn't completely denuded or absent from my fellow humans in this country or others who agree that it is about time America had a BLACK MAN for President. And if you can say NO to something as bad as the Tea Party racists then that is all that matters and the intellectual inquiry stops THERE. Questioning Obama and his methods is like saying you WANT Romney to be president. You find a group that agrees with you on something and then you STOP SEARCHING because you have a group and a group is really what matters. That's it, that's all. I don't look to Obama, Clinton, DailyKos, or you for my marching orders. I go to the canvasser's building to hear, sometimes, perspectives I had not thought about or to hear someone else articulate the dread I am feeling about what if Rick Santorum became ayatollah of this country and wouldn't you feel bad because you cared about Obama's drones and are you happy now? Rick Santorum is ayatollah are you happy NOW?! That's what we, as a social species, do in times of stress, anxiety, terror and fear; we come together with like minded people to give each other encouragement, an ear to listen with, or just a place to read about how someone else is seeing the Tea Party nightmare unfolding before all of us. I suggest you keep this in mind when you unrealistic radicals take to insulting DailyKos and Atrios and progressive bloggers and people desperately trying to get out the vote to help Obama save this country from Romney.