“What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.” — Adolf Hitler
“It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them.” — Adolf Hitler
“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” — J. Edgar Hoover, former head of the FBI and co-conspirator in the JFK and MLK assassinations, as well as other acts of extra-judicial violence.
“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” – William Colby, CIA head during the Nixon and Ford administrations, quoted by David McGowan, in his book Derailing Democracy (2000)
“Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.” — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1923
“The fascist state must not forget that all means must serve the ends; it must not let itself be confused by the drivel about so-called “freedom of the press”…it must make sure that (the media) is placed in the service of the state.” — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
“I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” – Jay Gould, one of the richest capitalists in America (actually a railroad robber baron), as he hired strikebreaker “scabs” (and armed Pinkerton detectives) to defeat a Texas railroad labor union strike over fairer wages, shorter hours and safer working conditions.
“You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are (CIA) Agency people at the management level.” — William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
“The Agency’s relationship with the (New York) Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. (It was) general Times policy … to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.” – From The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein
“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism as it is a merger of state and corporate power” — Benito Mussolini
“It is not necessary to bury the truth. It is sufficient merely to delay it until nobody cares.” — Napoleon Bonaparte
“First we will kill all the subversives, then we will kill their collaborators, then…their sympathizers, then…those who remain indifferent, and finally, we will kill the timid.” — Iberico Saint Jean (1977), right wing governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, threatening those who failed to show the necessary enthusiasm for Argentina’s newly formed but un-elected government that gained power by coup d’etat.
“Altruism is a great evil…while selfishness is a virtue.” — Ayn Rand, atheist author of Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead and The Virtue of Selfishness. Rand is thehero of the American Libertarian Party, Tea Party, Republican Party, as well as several ex-presidential candidates such as David H. Koch, Bob Barr, ex-US House member Ron Paul, Senator Rand Paul, and GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.*
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Back in 2000 or 2004, when George W. Bush was campaigning in Duluth, the local police, presumably with the help of the US Secret Service, patrolled the area surrounding the venue where Bush was to speak, identifying those that looked like anti-war or anti-tyranny protesters (and who wished to exercise their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech) and escorted them to a place where they could not be seen or heard. In a gleefully sarcastic tone, the authorities called the fenced-in area a “Free Speech Zone”. I don’t recall hearing any local thought-leaders in the press expressing any outrage at the outrageous nti-constitutional characterization.
There are a lot of ways that bullies, tyrants, corporate CEOs, militarists, authoritarian clerics and other assorted sociopathic types through history have silenced the pesky whistle-blowers, truth-tellers and altruistic protesters. Here are just a few that come to mind:
Examples of “Free Speech Zones” Thru History – as Defined by Cynical Tyrants
- The torture and crucifixion of resisters that were opposed to cruelty, violence, tyranny and militarism during the heyday of the Roman Empire;
- the hunting down and executions of “witches” by the Roman Catholic church during the Dark Ages. (“Witches” were mainly wise women who had the courage to express unwelcome truths exposing the evils of the male dominated societies of the time.);
- the guillotining, during the French Revolution, of the oppressed victims of the over-privileged aristocratic and clerical tyrants that were friends of the court of King Louis XV1. (Shortly thereafter some of the same revolutionaries were guillotined by their very leaders.)
- the genocidal massacres and starvations of aboriginal peoples of North, South and Central America during the governmental/corporate-ordered, church-ordained and military-inflicted theft of their native lands during the 500 years since Columbus and the assorted sociopathic, gold-hungry conquistadors (both ancient and modern day);
- the lynching of African-Americans during the 300 years of their existence in America;
- the silencing of anti-slavery abolitionists in the Deep South in the lead-up to the Civil War;
- the backlash against the “suffragettes” prior to the granting of voting privileges to women;
- the mental hospital imprisonment and torturing of psychologically- and sexually-traumatized female “hysterics” during the darkest parts of the past history of psychiatry (prominent aspects of which still survive today);
- the backlash against antiwar activists prior to every regrettable immoral or illegal war in history;
- the book-burnings and censorship in fascist and fascist-leaning nations;
- the concentration camp imprisoning of dissidents during America’s war between the states, Nazi Germany’s wars against union organizers, Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, gypsies and other dissidents, Stalinist Russia’s wars and the most recent incarnations at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and the CIAs secret torture sites;
- and solitary confinement as practiced in the prisons and mental institutions in every developed and developing nation around the world.
These evils mentioned above are all examples of “free speech zones” as cynically defined by some of our right-wing political leaders. These zones are places where nobody can hear the protester who is speaking out in opposition to the tactics of sociopathic, anti-democratic, police state-supported tyrants that somehow have the legal right to silence dissidents in any way possible. America decried it when it happened in Nazi Germany or the USSR, but looks the other way when it happens here.
“Trump may not be good for America, but he’s damn good for CBS”
With the generous help of the media, the corporate perpetrators of what Bernie Sanders calls the “rigged economy” can easily drown out or shout down (a la Donald Trump & Company) the voices of courageous, idealistic protestors. The corporate-owned and CIA-dominated major media (re-read the quotes above) decide what coverage of vital issues will be published or broadcast – or down-played or censored-out – during the next 24 hour news cycle.
The biggest media franchises make a lot of money from exorbitant campaign advertising fees. Therefore the media tries to make every political campaign an exciting horse race to the finish line. No revenue-squashing landslides are permitted even if there is a hopeless candidate and an obstructionist, proto-fascist political party (a la George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the right-wing radicals in the GOP) that wouldn’t be good for America. Photo finishes make the most money for corporate media elites.
Here is a recent example of how Big Media thinks first about its profits and last about the well-being of America and its easily fleeced people:
At a Morgan Stanley investors’ conference recently, CBS’s CEO, Les Moonves, said: “It (Donald Trump’s candidacy) may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” He called Trump‘s presence in the race a “good thing.” “They’re not discussing issues, they’re throwing bombs at each other.”
What the CEO meant was that the increased ad revenues and increased viewership good for business; to hell with the public good. One only has to consider the viewership that is generated whenever there is a close horse race, an over-hyped Super Bowl game or a Trump campaign rally brawl. In 2003, Moonves said something similar about Super PACs: “ they may be bad for America, but they’re good for CBS!”
In other words typical profit-driven Big Businesses like CBS ignore the destructive, retaliatory dead-locked partisanship in Congress despite the dire problems that may doom the planet and need action (global warming, racism, perpetual war, combat vet suicidality, America’s over-vaccination and over-drugging problems, torture and mass slaughter by the US military overseas, police brutality, poverty, starvation and refugee crises).
“This time we can’t just call up the police ‘cause the criminals got all the cops on a leash” – Songwriter Ethan Miller
In our heart of hearts, we all know that modern day corporate (criminal?) bullies of the wealthy One Percenter persuasion have been dominating America for generations – in one iteration or another – with essential help from the FBI, the Secret Service, the Pinkerton’s, or privatized contract killer/assassin groups like the CIA-affiliated private security corporation, Blackwater. (To learn more than most patriots would want to acknowledge, google “Jeremy Scahill and Blackwater” to learn more about the subject and his ground-breaking book, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.
It might be helpful to categorize the various groups that comprise the anti-democratic One Percenters that are so ruthlessly controlling America’s political, civil, cultural, financial, nutritional, entertainment and media realities – and therefore us easily brain-washable sheeple, whose spending and voting habits are being manipulated daily by the various wealth extractors listed below.
Here are some suggested groupings that might help clarify the dilemma we all know we are mired in. I left out authoritarian religions, which are surely an important part of the problem. The entities mentioned here are all “too big to fail or jail”, and there is considerable overlap in this admittedly incomplete list.
The Ruthless One Percenters
- Corporate [Big Media, Big Advertising, Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Chemistry, Big Food, Big Agribusiness and their Lobbyists and legislation-writers];
- Financial [Wall Street, Big Banks, the Gambling Industry and their Lobbyists];
- Political [Congress, Supreme Court, Executive Branch, Super PACS and their Lobbyists)
- Military [War Street, the Pentagon, the weapons manufacturers and their Lobbyists] and
- Police state [CIA/FBI/NSA, private security companies (Ex Blackwater} and their Lobbyists]
The Rigged Economy and Organized Crime
Bernie Sanders, the presidential candidate with the fewest fascist traits (in fact, he has none), is an outspoken opponent of the Rigged Economy and its evil twin, Organized Corporate Crime. Every Republican presidential candidate exhibits a number of protofascist traits. (Google “American Friendly Fascism and Gary Kohls” for some of my articles on fascism.)
Singer-songwriter Ethan Miller powerfully fleshes out that reality of the rigged economy and organized crime in his great pro-labor union protest song, Organized Crime. Here are the lyrics:
Organized Crime, by Ethan Miller and Kate Boverman:
“Behind every great fortune, there is a crime” – Balzac
We’ve all seen the movies ‘bout gangsters and thugs
About cunning mob bosses and the lords of the drugs
But listen here closely if you’ve got the time
‘Cause I’d like to tell you ‘bout organized crime
Well the old mafiosos and cinema crooks
They may sport the pinstripes and sinister looks
But you’ll have to look elsewhere if you’d like to find
The real perpetrators of organized crime
So raise up your hands now if you’ve got a job
Making shit wages working until your head throbs
They’re making a profit by robbing you blind
They say it’s just business, but it’s organized crime
And the more the rich got then the more the rich get
While everyone else lives on toil and sweat
The boss makes ten dollars, you just make a dime
It’s not fair compensation, it’s organized crime
Well the tide of prosperity lifts every boat
They say as you fall down and drown in their moat
It’s a game of roulette that you’ll lose every time
This economy’s nothing but organized crime.
Tell me who are the crooks and who’s just getting by?
Who’s doing honest work; who’s working lies?
The real crooks go free while the poor folk do time
If you’re not angry you should be; it’s organized crime
But this time we can’t just call up the police
‘Cause the criminals got all the cops on a leash
We’ll have to take things in our own hands this time
If we’re going to shut down their organized crime
So come on now friends, are you ready to fight?
They’ve stolen our power like it was their right
Let’s take it all back from those blood-suckin’ slime
The real perpetrators of organized crime
Now talk to your neighbors and talk to your friends
Turn off the TV and start organizing
We won’t let them get off so scot-free this time
When we topple their empire of organized crime.
Dr Kohls is a retired physician who practiced holistic, non-drug, mental health care for the last decade of his family practice career. He now writes a weekly column for the Reader Weekly, an alternative newsweekly published in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. Many of Dr Kohls’ columns are archived here