Narrative culture as mythological abstraction optimally self-propagates through precisely these forms of wilful misdirection and perception-shaping. Appraised in gestalt, the roles of fictional narratives are really no different than any other essentially tautological and self-generating system of belief. The most beautiful aspect and functional bootstrap of this system is that which is hardly at all visible.
The selfish manipulation of narratives to shape downstream cultural (and political) effects is asserted and experienced as an act of somewhat Machiavellian pragmatism and self-validating personal or tribal individuation but it is the patterned persistence of behavioural tropes and conceptual vocabularies that provides probabilistic shape and contoured trajectories to the selfish choices which are made.
In this way, we find ourselves colonised by linguistic and cultural information and narrative systems that optimally self-propagate through the manipulative games that people play. The revelation is quite subtle because it is through the human projection of egocentric interests that these systems come to autonomously and blindly manipulate us.
The center of gravity in this context is dynamic and adaptive but it is not ours.