It was some famous personage from world history who made the memorable statement that a lie put out into the public domain by big media travels round the world before the truth can get its boots on. At least that is my paraphrase. This is ever so much the case today in America where the vast combined effect of big media invades every aspect of our lives whether we like it or not. Indeed the power of big media is its ubiquitous and omnipresent nature. It would be good if big media were a respecter of the truth but that is hardly the case. Today big media in America and other parts of the Western world are all too often the mere purveyors of the official sanitized party line. This of course is in contradistinction to the myth that big media feeds upon and exploits regarding some non existent “freedom of the press” that might have been true at one point in American history but has little bearing on the facts in today’s world related to such where P&L statements have more to do with determining what is news that’s fit to print. We thus live in an era where truth has become relativized to meet the needs of the uber class and its dictates.
In the early colonial era it is safe to say that this idea of press freedom did correspond to the objective conditions of the day. Publishing a newspaper was indeed a low tech undertaking with low capital expense compared to the massive humongous capital outlays that are required to buy a voice in the so called “marketplace of ideas” today. Labor costs as well were quite modest by today’s standards and most print shops that turned out a newspaper were what we would call today “mom and pop” enterprises run out of a small shop that required the labor of only one or two people. Typesetting was about the only skilled craft that was involved other than an understanding of the mechanical skill required to run a hand turned printing press. Compare that with the enormous cost of buying a cable TV network and the highly advanced technical skills required by an army of engineering and tech specialists to keep such a cable TV network functioning and in the cable lineup. The amount of capital investment required to either buy an existing cable TV network or start a new one is well into the billions.
If you are one of the poor unfortunates that has only millions to put into such an enterprise then the purchase of a local TV affiliate broadcasting to a local market as well as to cable subscribers might be in order. The purchase price of a minor league newspaper or magazine is still in the mere millions but if you are a potential media investor looking to buy a major league big city or national newspaper such as USA Today you will need to shell out billions as opposed to mere millions. As a matter of fact no mass audience of any type including internet based can be reached without a mega-million dollar investment plus ongoing operational expenses that would surely be in the six or seven figure range. How free and fair can such a system be where the entrance cost to such a mass market is way beyond the capacity of ordinary working class people to finance? Even the cost of purchasing a local AM or FM radio station in the small to mid sized market would be in the six to seven figure range and therefore something that Joe or Jane Sixpack can only fantasize about.
All media enterprises today are driven as much or perhaps more by advertizing than subscription costs. This is true of newspapers and magazines as well as broadcast and electronic IT formats. Owning a newspaper is owning a cash cow where the chief reason for being is to produce as much revenue as possible from advertizing without any real regard to news content that can be readily replaced with infotainment, cooking, and gardening sections that are inoffensive to advertisers.. The truth content of such media operations is usually about zero and the profit generated from advertizing always represents an indirect relationship to news, i.e. truth content with more facts and real news meaning less income from the major businesses that spend on advertizing with the reverse being that the more real news is replaced with non offensive nonsense the more advertisers will support it financially. Does this seem to you like the vision of press freedom that the founders of the republic had in mind when they enshrined “freedom of the press” in the Bill of Rights?
No one from that early colonial era could ever have imagined the degree to which technology would evolve and put power into the hands of the privileged few at the expense of the many. The lie heard round the world today is that there is press freedom in America. The maintenance of this convenient myth gives to the war criminals and the apparatchiks of the national security state a real propaganda advantage in fomenting discord overseas that can be used to subvert and overthrow those duly elected foreign government that seek to have an independent foreign and/or domestic policy free from the dictates of the World Bank and IMF that function as the agents of international finance capital or at least that section of international finance capital that has been successful in hijacking the USG (United States government) and turning it into its favorite weapon of mass destruction and global subversion irregardless of the interests of the American people.
Through the use of identity politics and other divide and conquer strategies the power structure ever loyal servants of international finance capital that they are can so effectively confuse and disorient people so that the possibility or any kind of a coherent fightback becomes impossible. Under such circumstances as these the anger and resentment that builds up within the population expresses itself in such things as random acts of violence such as the regularly occurring mass executions of often a dozen or more innocent people at the hands of some gun wielding homicidal madman. No real analysis of such regularly occurring acts of gun violence and mass slaughter of innocents has ever been undertaken by big media. Such a critical self aware analysis would most decidedly not be in the interest of big media as it would reveal far too much regarding the phoniness of the entire political and social set up and the critical role that big media plays in misinforming the American public through active means of commission as well as passive means of omission. Such a methodology is not unique to the American situation as such is the general state of affairs in all of the major European states making up that entity called Western civilization that is very much in a state of decline and decomposition owing to the nature of such a lying state of affairs that is brandished as the truth by such memorable second generation bimbos of the international establishment as Victoria Neuland.
It was US DOS official Neuland whose phone conversation with US Amb. to Ukraine Jeffrey Piatt was leaked to the Western and world media. Ms. Neuland’s foul mouth in regard to her “Fuck the EU” remark only underscored the arrogant nature of these avid members the of international financial establishment placed into high sensitive positions in the national security state as more or less overseers on behalf of PNAC (Project for the New American Century) that cleverly exploits the patriotic sentiments of the masses on behalf of a truly non American agenda. The nominalism of the times is such that because the overly trusted figures of authority name it as such, then such indeed it must be!
In all fairness and seemingly to contradict myself in regard the any presumed absoluteness of the formulaic enunciated above there are still some highly worthwhile and conscientious big media news organizations overseas such as Reuters, the BBC, and others who take seriously their mission of delivering real news to the real world public in spite of whatever business pressures exist for them to tow the plutocratic party line. The difference however between such overseas news organizations and their US counterparts is that they are not part and parcel to a political tradition that enunciates press freedom as a fundamental human right and/or social need in spite of their actual delivering of the goods. America is different in that it has mythologized this non existent thing by today’s conditions called “freedom of the press” all the while using and abusing it as the situation may require. Situational morality is the only kind of morality than can exist for such social entities and the moral vacuum of our time and place is driven by this plutocratic frame of reference toward an ethics of convenience where truth has been conveniently relativised.
The other side of the coin is that government ownership/sponsorship of big media insulates truth tellers from the kind of pressures that are brought to bear on a privately owning profit driven enterprise that has a responsibility to answer first to its investors and then perhaps to the public. Some would argue however that a different type of pressure can be brought to bear on such a publicly funded organization emanating from the political state and/or its office holders. In an employee run media coop no such pressures emanating from either the profit driven side of things or the state sector could be used to unfairly prejudice factual news content. Such media coops to exist but basically only on the margins and given the nature of the sea that they swim in, certainly some sort of pressure can be bought to bear perhaps that could influence news content. The only media collective/coop that I am personally familiar with is the Occupy Media Collective.
The lie that travels around the world before the truth has a chance to get its boots on is what is driving to some extent the present global crisis of capitalism that seeks a solution to its crisis through the use of war. The use of the crisis created by US imperialism in Ukraine has as much the purpose of destroying the economy of the EU as it does creating the basis for a hot war with Russia that the US surely can not win. The fact of the matter is that Russia has the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world that is twice the size of the nuclear arsenal of the US and NATO combined. This amounts to over 8,000 nuclear warheads and bombs half of which are no doubt targeted on the American homeland. Russia is in the process of modernizing it strategic nuclear forces which means that a whole new generation of highly precise missiles have been developed and put into operation. Myths about a supposedly reliable US anti-missile capability have been proven by reliable arms experts to be just that, i.e. a fantasy but a cash cow for the defense contractors involved. If military history proves anything it proves that a need based defense always trumps a greed based defense. That is one lesion of history that may have to be proven again at the expense of the American homeland.
The fact of the matter is however that the US homeland was written off a long time ago by that section of international finance capital that has taken control over the levers of power in the US national security state. The deindustrialization of America was the first step in this process as US jobs migrated to the low wage countries and the emergent BRICS.This of course is the ultimate irony of our times. The patriotic fervor of the masses can thus be conveniently turned against the American people themselves in pursuit of international interests that are wholly alien to the interests of the American people. The offshore wealth of the world’s elite 1% that own and control 99% of the wealth on the planet see in the USG only a reliable instrument of their will and objective of establishing complete and total world domination through the use of a military power that has alienated itself from the real interests of the American people.
This is a situation that will not improve with time but will only ripen into the kind of a global conflict that the world has never seen before and will never see again. The realization of such a conflict is a certainty given the nature of the present set of social, political, and economic dynamics governing the situation.
It’s only the direct intervention of the “the sleeping giant of world politics”, i.e. the American people into this process that has the ability and the certainty to reverse the flow of the present set of social dynamics and put life for everyone on a sounder basis. The mostly African-American uprising that for a while extended into over 100 US cities sparked by police violence is what such an intervention by the American people might look like in miniature! No one can predict with 100% accuracy the nature and shape of things to come in regard to such an organized fight-back. Certainly if past is prologue to the future one would have to take a look at such spontaneously generated popular events as the Occupy Wall Street Movement that pretty much took the power structure by surprise. It took three or four months before that national security state was able to pull itself together and develop the kind of coherent offense that was required to shut the Occupy Wall Street Movement down permanently. It’s only such spontaneous movements that have the capability to catch the national security state off balance owing to the fact of the national security state’s ubiquitous technical power to monitor people’s lives. This creates the kind of situation where the kind of secure communications needed for any such planned movement or event is cancelled out. Through the use of the Tor network however such a real possibility does exist and is case in point as to why the national security state is so driven to deny people the right to the kind of secure communications that the TOR Network is delivering.
Technically speaking such encryption still has the edge over the NSA code breakers and should be used by people as a matter of principle not because they have something to hide but because it is the right thing to do. Americans are entitled to secure personal communications, as a matter of fact such is indeed guaranteed in the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Once again the collaborationist corporate media establishment is drafted by NSA and the rest of the outlaw national security state to create the false illusion that only people who have something to hide will use the kind of personal encryption that the Tor Network makes possible. Its all too much like the various “Christian” religious establishments that have been preaching about the evils of sex for generations now to be taken seriously by the public. (“Onward Christian soldiers marching off to war!” Such is the perfect embodiment of the teachings of the anti-sex anti-Christ.)
A ubiquitous mind manipulation project seems to be all too perfectly matched up with an equally omnipresent and ubiquitous national security state that strives to monitor all personal communications and much, much more in people lives for purposes of the kind of social control that is truly totalitarian. Real patriotism is tragically misplaced in support of such a truly criminal enterprise. Can we ever hope that the majority of decent law abiding people in this country will finally see this as a fact or are we condemned to the tyranny of the ignorant and ill informed who find it easier to make common cause with their own oppressors in an effort to avoid the kind of social conflict that is in the end quite inevitable? Its not all doom and gloom as IT has indeed put power into the hands of mere mortals such as myself and others who have laid claim to the blogosphere and other forms of new and emergent media that form a liberationist counterpart to such empowering new technologies as what the Tor Network represents for ordinary Americans seeking to be extraordinary.
To use the language of Franz Fannon the purpose of class biased big media is to colonize the mind and soul of the oppressed although the latter of these two would seem to be the sole domain of religion, in an irreligious age big media fills the bill quite nicely. The tyranny over the mind bought about by the ubiquitous nature of big media that invades every crack and crevice of a person’s life finds its well matched counterpart in the national security state that seeks total control over the physical body of the person. Both of these twin pillars of oppression whose mission is the total subjugation of the masses have a technological basis for their existence. Advances in technology do create opportunities for the working class to oppose the various forms of oppression to which they are subjected but not while the control of such new technologies remains solely in the hands and under the control of the 1%.
Just as academic science and the psychological and medical profession has lent its expertise to finding the perfect set of torture protocols for the national security state so the science of the mind has lent its expertise to the advertizing industry which is part of big media on the most efficient methods of seducing and subverting the reasoning capacity of the human mind. In his book States of Consciousness Charles T. Tart the retired head of the psychology department at UC Berkley makes the case that owing to the passive state that TV viewing induces in a person, hypnotic suggestions can be programmed into the unconscious mind of the passive observer in ways that he/she is never fully aware of. Such hypnotic programming of the passive observer is what puts real power into the hands of the 1% who own and control big media. The political education of the masses takes place within this forum so it is easy to see why the such a large portion of the American working class are forever prepared to act against their own best interests in any number of ways.
At the top of this list would be the power of the establishment to get the working class to support the establishment’s political candidates and office holders whose sole function is to further the oppression of the working class. A huge amount of science goes into this venture and the fact that very few people are aware of this is just another indicator of just how divorced from reality the average person actually is and how he/she is driven by unconscious drives and motives that they themselves have no awareness of. A good portion of the gargantuan sums spent by the two establishment parties goes into psychological studies of the so called “electorate” usually using such methodologies as the focus group which is designed to exploit those psychological blind spots in the human mind that are trap doors to the subversion of reasoning abilities. Highly emotive words and phrases are carefully selected that will give an establishment candidate the ability the ability to mobilize the emotional centers of the brain so as to subvert reason. It is no accident that the vast array of establishment office holders and candidate are always “tugging on our heart strings.” Much science goes into giving these political fakers the keys to the kingdom so to speak that will unlock the emotional centers in the human minds so that they can play us “like a harp from hell.”
The fact that there are indeed pathways to human freedom and liberation amidst this high tech and research driven shit-storm should not be forgotten because only by understanding how these pathways to liberation operate can we ever hope to achieve the desired result.
Note-this piece was originally posted to Open Salon on 01-20-2015