Perception-based thinking is the belief that how people perceive reality is more important than reality itself, or even is reality.
The reality behind this apparently absurd, 1984-ish statement seems to be that vast power lies in the ability to affect what people think reality is, and that this is more important than the ability to effect changes in the real world (since control of knowledge is control of action – and you can therefore get them to do for you whatever you want).
As a philosophy of governance, however, it runs into the problem that objective reality will proceed regardless of what the public believes it will do. If a policy reliably leads to poverty and economic instability, for example, it will do so regardless of whether the public can be led to perceive that everything is okay.
- Issuepedia: more technical explanation