By Daniel Margrain
Fans of women’s football in Portugal would have been aware that the attendance at the recent Benfica-Sporting Lisbon match was the highest in the history of the game in that country.
But the match was also significant in another way. Those who saw the game would likely to have witnessed medical personnel running to the aid of a fan who had collapsed in the stadium in Lisbon. After the medics attended to the fan, the referee proceeded to brandish them with a white card.
For all those directly involved, the incident was undertaken in the spirit of comradeship and good will for which it was intended. Fans and players alike applauded and cheered the actions of the referee and medical staff after the white card was brandished.
In conjunction with the more traditional red and yellow cards, white cards have been embraced by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) in their tournaments. If ‘successful’, the white card initiative could eventually be rolled-out globally.
The use of white cards denote acts of fair play during games. By contrast, yellow and red cards are used by referees to discipline players and coaching staff for varying degrees of misconduct.
On the surface it would appear that the addition of the white card in the armoury of the referees toolkit can only be a good thing.
But when you dig deeper, and understand the history of psychological operations utilized by nation states against their domestic populations, and the fact that football commands a phenomenal global audience, it is possible to envisage that the Portugese experiment could potentially lead to something much more sinister.
The public is being gaslighted into believing that the natural human reaction of coming to the assistance of somebody in distress now needs to be sanctified by a white card to denote virtue.
For anybody who has nefarious intent, there is arguably no better vehicle with which to sell an agenda than professional football. We can already see, through ostensibly anti-racism initiatives in football like the ‘Black Lives Matter‘ and ‘Taking the Knee‘ phenomena, the processes by which the state uses sophisticated psychological techniques to drive wedges between communities in order to control them.
Professional football players know that the consequences of refusing to participate in these kinds of ‘group-think’ actions would result in them being ostracized by their clubs and the media. We have already witnessed similar kinds of social pressures to comply to the dictates of the state during the Covid period.
Could the white card initiative be the latest in a long line of globalist-led psy-ops intended to manipulate the public into complying to their nefarious demands?
If that is indeed the case, then the psychology underpinning the initiative in Portugal would essentially be similar to what we now know was the UK strategy adopted during the Covid event.
This is how the psy-ops works:
The red card denotes ‘exceptionally bad’ behaviour resulting in a players dismissal from the field of play. The yellow card denotes ‘bad’, but less serious, behaviour. By contrast, the white card denotes ‘good’ behaviour worthy of a ‘reward’.
It is not difficult to see how the psychology that underlies the use of the three cards described above, currently plays out in relation to the authoritarian Chinese-style digital social credit system.
‘Exemplary behaviour’ agreeable to the state would be advantageous to ones credit score, the equivalent of receiving a white card.
Undertaking an action that the state regards as disagreeable, serious enough to reduce ones credit score, would be the equivalent of a yellow card.
Activities that the state regards as ‘criminal’ and worthy of a loss of social credits limiting the ability to access money and public services, would deemed to be the equivalent of a red card.
In the UK, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) influences the government in terms of its behavioural strategies. During the Covid ‘pandemic’ the group engaged in unethical behavioural ‘nudge’ techniques to persuade millions of people to wear ineffective masks, abide by damaging lockdowns and inject potentially lethal toxins into their bodies.
SAGE managed to achieve this feat under the guise that it was in societies ‘best interests’ for it to do so, and that the ‘reward’ for complying would be a re-establishment of the public’s freedoms and liberties, equivalent to being issued with a white card.
The notion that the state ‘rewards’ what it considers to be ‘good’ behaviour, whilst punishing what it regards as ‘bad’ behaviour, raises ethical questions about how far nation states, more broadly, are prepared to go in terms of their ability to psychologically ‘nudge’ people in certain nefarious directions that they nonetheless regard as desirable.
Given the context described, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the psychological weaponization of the white card initiative is the latest example of a ‘nudge’ technique designed to engender social conformity and obedience to authority.
More specifically, it’s also reasonable to assume that the UK state might want to psychologically exploit the use of white cards as a tool of compliance in preparation for their proposed implementation of the kind of authoritarian Chinese-style digital social credit system highlighted previously.
From the perspective of power, what better way to psychologically manipulate the public than through the ‘bread and circus’ prism of the world’s most popular spectator sport?
My argument is not that positive reinforcement can be a good thing for society. On the contrary, it certainly can be. But I don’t believe for one second that a government that locked us down for no good reason, nudged us to wear masks for no good reason and coerced us into taking an experimental injection for no good reason, is a government motivated by altruism.
4 thoughts on “Is Portugal’s ‘White Card Initiative’ Set to Become Another Psy-Ops?”
I think the answer to the question in your headline is “No!”
Why do you think that, John? It’s my view that the white card initiative is part of an incremental psychological strategy to normalize obedient behaviour for the benefit of the state. I’m curious as to why you presumably believe that good behaviour needs to be given a stamp of approval, especially when such behaviour is the natural response when human beings are in distress?
Sorry Danial…I just spent 30 minutes framing a beautiful reply, then pressed the wrong button, and lost it all! i have no idea how, and I can’t do it again. Let’s just say (respectfully) that I agree with much of what you say, but you go to extremes, sometimes and even towards paranoia!! (sorry!) Of course, in a sense, positive reinforcement is manipulation, but it can be a glue that makes for good societies too, and is better than using negative stimuli instead. As a teacher of 40 years I used a bit of both, but was very happy when the ethos moved generally from negative to positive re-enforcement. I’m just saying, it’s a very complex argument!
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Thanks John. I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I agree that positive reinforcement CAN be good for society but I don’t believe for one second that a government that locked us down for no good reason, nudged us to wear masks for no good reason and coerced us into taking an experimental injection for no good reason, is a government motivated by altruism.