“The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.” — Henry Wallace, New York Times, April 9th 1944.
Journalism has never been free of propaganda. News has always been produced and marketed like any other commodity, satisfying and shaping consumers’ opinions, loyalties and taste. Over the last thirty years, the US elites and their allies have effectively eliminated conventional journalism in favor of propaganda and counter-propaganda serving their relentless war on the majority world. Integral to that war in recent years has been the purposeful manipulation of social media so as to usurp and compromise any remnants of orthodox news reporting.
But these are only two components of the Western elites’ malevolent abuse of information and communications resources. Perhaps they are not even the most important. Ever-more-tawdry corruption of academic research; systematic corporate and government co-option of non governmental organizations; cynical abuse of fundamental norms in international legal and human rights institutions : these and others are all interconnected, fundamental components of the West’s war on humanity.
Western power elites, and the governments they own, organize and police all these information resources, generally mediated through journalism, via a system of patronage and policy. A minority of honest writers, film makers and journalists challenge that system, acknowledging their own loyalties and prejudices while attempting to report the facts as best they can. But they are vastly outnumbered by mercenary phonies who every day poison Western information sources with one falsehood after another because their careers depend on it.
The essential task of the Western information, education and entertainment industries is to poison and corrode people’s minds, creating and maintaining false memories so as to induce and sustain false beliefs. Since World War Two, political approaches to that task ranged between social democrat varieties and outright fascist varieties, but all were deeply imbued with imperialist presuppositions. US and European genocidal wars from Korea and Vietnam to Algeria and Iraq have now been mostly superseded by proxy wars, no less deadly but easier to falsify.
In the majority world, for example in Latin America, false memories are harder to create and sustain because the majority remember what their elites, on behalf of those elites’ foreign owners, did to them. That is why US and European aid programs in Latin America target youth via phony democratization and human rights education projects, implanting false beliefs in benign US intentions. But in Venezuela and Nicaragua not only do the majority still remember but, after the murderous failed coup attempts in those countries, a new generation now have their own memories of sadistic imperialist cynicism and deceit.
Cuba over the last year has engaged in the deepest experience of direct democracy anywhere in the world to reform its Constitution. In Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro’s government maintains majority popular support despite Western theft of its resources driving its people into poverty. In Nicaragua, the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo has even stronger majority support. In all these countries life goes on as normal despite Western sanctions.
Little or none of this reality reaches Western populations, but for their ruling elites this reality’s existence is a bitter, chastening defeat. As the West’s predatory corporate elites find it harder and harder to devour the majority world as freely as they once did, they have begun to feed even more greedily than before on their own peoples. The European Union’s 2015 crushing of Greece was just for starters. France’s current popular uprising shows what is likely to come.
As the corporate elites extend and deepen repression of their own peoples, they are creating fresh memories uncontaminated by phony Western journalism. The West’s big false memory is that the West has been a force for civilization, not a system of genocidal enslavement and pillage. The West’s big false belief is that the West means well and is a force for good. People across Europe are learning to know better, as the majority world has done for centuries.
The West is dying of full spectrum dementia. What happens to dementia patients is that, as their brains degenerate, the individual loses the ability to eat and, finally, the ability to swallow. Then they quickly die. The West will soon be unable to devour the majority world any more.
Like Goya’s Saturn the Western elites will then devour their own peoples, until they can’t. Towards the end, their populations will be unable to swallow the increasingly irrational lies they are fed each day by their education systems, their NGOs and their bogus news media. And then the West as we know it will be dead.
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This article was originally published on Tortilla con Sal.
Featured image: Western civilization – also known as “Saturn devouring his children” by Francisco Goya