The Supreme Dark Lord, Vox Day, has a Periscope account. He streams commentary several times a week, often going for about 30 minutes at a time. I attend them live when I can, and watch them after the fact when I don't, because I enjoy watching men who are more intelligent and knowledgeable than I am--and Vox Day is both smarter than me and more knowledgeable--explain how oft-hidden connections work to produce the perceivable effects.
This video archive (found at a fan channel on YouTube; this is NOT Vox's channel) goes over how mainstream literature works to produce the destruction of intellectual capacity in a people, and the consequences of that system of degradation upon said people.
It's been exposed recently that the "real literature" community has a widespread aliteracy problem, leading to an equally widespread posing about books not read. I'm not even talking about people hunting down spoilers to avoid crap; the books can be good, and the "literati" that shape opinion (and thus culture) won't read most of them.
Well, I think we have a reason to explain why this happened. In addition to the effects that Vox noted in the video, let's go one step further and posit that this "skimming for impression" style of literature--both creation and consumption--is what drives all of this aliteracy and posing. They aren't dealing with literature of actual substance, so they project that nothing is worth the effort at all- unless they're paid to endure it.
This contributes, directly and significantly, to the population's capacity to think and reason. When you rely on emotional reaction alone to guide your decision-making, you lose the capacity to be skeptical of ideas presented to you; you don't have the tools to take apart an idea, see how it works, and therefore to discern if it does what it claims it does. You don't have a body of knowledge that you can compare an idea against because you don't have a body of knowledge- you have a pile of word salad.
This is the inversion and perversion of a critical institution and the cultural infrastructure that it governs. The consequence is the rise of a class of counterfeit critics--fake and fraudulent feels-peddlers--and jive-talking "journalists" whose real job is to promote, promulgate, and push-push-push The Narrative! They're commissars, political officers-cum-secular priests/inquisitors out to silence heresy and punish heretics. You don't get much more literal Thralls of Empire than this; if they're also the sort to visit the Bohemian Grove, then they are literal Thralls.
And it all starts with just one simple lie: that you don't have to actually write or read for comprehension, as only skimming for an impression will do. This is some "Connections" or "Day the Universe Changed" level of revelation, folks. This is why culture matters, and why culture is upstream from politics. Empire cannot rule what it does not ruin. Empire Must Fall.