What interested me most about the week 6 lecture was that the CIA have created a Meme Warfare division tasked with controlling the minds of the American population. This information reminded me of a quote by Albert Einstein when he said: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Perhaps World War III will be fought with memes. Memes hold a huge amount of power in influencing, affecting, generating and altering ideas so it only makes sense that government bodies would want to harness this and use it to their advantage.
Though I do believe Meme Warfare will continue to play an important role in large events, as seen in the 2016 Presidential Election, it begs the question as to whether America is ready for Meme Warfare? Do they have the appropriate weapons ready?
Personally, I’m not convinced memes are something that can be successfully abused by macro institutions. Those that have tried, such as fast-food brands, have often become the meme themselves from their inability to keep up with a meme’s lifespan. Can organisations like the CIA even keep up with the short-lived nature of memes?
I’m interested to see how America’s use of Meme Warfare will play out in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election.