Notwithstanding their recent failures, the mass media remains reliant on the “big lie oft repeated” technique as a tried and true mechanism to mold the public psyche and create a world convenient for their patrons. For example, rather than address all the holes in the latest anti-Russian, Putin-stole-the-election barrage, they are treating their fantasies as acknowledged facts. The mass media is, in effect, asserting that everyone who did not vote for Clinton was a fool and an easily manipulable stooge when in fact, that’s what they’re hoping we are. The Clinton led mass media sees itself as our puppet master and the current Obama administration as its strings. Some legacy; terribly sad given all the hope at its beginning.
Still, although enough people rejected mass media manipulation during the recent elections, the reaction has not been introspection and reevaluation but rather, a doubling down by way of a putsch seeking to overthrow electoral results through “selected” recounts (failed) and subversion of the Electoral College (attempt in progress). I did not vote for Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton. I voted for Jill Stein who almost immediately betrayed the Green Party, drawing it into the Clinton led, overthrow-the-election crowd. Live and learn, … I still have one political hero, Dennis Kucinich, but who knows whether he too will succumb.
I confess that I am opposed to most of Mr. Trump’s current nominees and policies (outside of the area of foreign affairs) but prefer him to Clinton. She was clearly corrupt, deceptive, in the pockets of neoconservatives and the wealthiest among us and rarely saw an armed conflict she did not want to participate in. Trump is a pure wildcard; egocentric, unpredictable, loyal only to himself, and apparently an Israeli tool (as was Clinton). His social agenda seems repugnant and his views on the environment anachronistic. Still, amazingly, preferable to the Clintons, and perhaps most of all because the Clintons are the darlings of the political and media establishments so that they would have been in a position to do whatever they wanted. Mr. Trump, as ought to already be obvious, will face roadblocks at every turn, more serious roadblocks than Mr. Obama ever had to face.
Not a pretty site but I believe the much, much more serious issue is the damage to democratic governance occasioned by the almost total subversion of the mass media to the interests of a tiny egocentric Clinton led elite. Without accurate, complete and honest information democracy cannot function and that is why that corrupt elite has focused on completing the conversion of the mass media function from journalism to propaganda. In a country as powerful as the United States, propaganda creates the probability that at some point, through a chain reaction of events with unforeseen consequences, we will destroy this beautiful planet. Think Sarajevo in 1914, but with nuclear weapons. And for what? For the selfish interests of a deluded clique of financiers, Zionists and armament merchants too short sighted to recognize the need for markets or that their luxurious fortresses will not prove secure enough to shield them from the consequences of either nuclear war or revolutionary popular rage?
So, … what about hope? Is everything lost? Is it time to stick our heads in the sand or better yet, safely bury ourselves alive?
Perhaps not. Perhaps hope still springs, if not eternal, at least not yet gone. The solution that springs to mind, perhaps because I’ve spent so much time advocating it, is a real multiparty system coupled with a jettisoning of the current mass media in favor of emerging alternative news sources, the latter a requirement for providing every political party and movement real access at electoral competition, rather than the current filtering system referred to by its victims as “the conspiracy of silence”.
I still believe in democracy despite its failures because I believe in the inherent wisdom of “common” men and women experienced in real life, raising families and earning a living under sometimes difficult conditions. I despise political movements that attempt to divide us in order to better rule us but, changing that culture, the product of deliberate manipulation orchestrated through misuse of the public media for decades, cannot be legislated, it needs to come from things that touch our souls forcing us to face and accept uncomfortable truths rather than from scoldings and insults and name calling in the fashion favored by the Mitt Romneys and Hillary Clintons. Still, democracy cannot work without our active participation and without recognition that is not a right but a duty, a very serious duty.
We need real heroes right now and I believe there are many potential heroes at the grass roots levels, inchoate heroes among our most humble, if only we give them the chance to save us. Among the most fundamental and essential roles for government are those required to make it possible for each of us to reach our greatest potential, not just for self-realization but because when that occurs, we all benefit. It does us no good for the little girl who might have found a cure for cancer to grow up and die impoverished and uneducated. In order to make that possible governmental priorities must first address free education for everyone capable of using it (albeit with reasonable performance standards); free healthcare for all, adequate nutrition, housing and clothing; a just, efficient and equitable justice system. In short, the fundamental rights already purportedly guaranteed to all under the United Nations’ Charter (hypocrisy at its best). There ought not to be a need for spying on everyone, or for a perpetual armed conflict industry although, being who we are right now, its minimization to reasonable gross national spending levels and priorities will take time and taming of the propaganda monsters among us.
So, where do we start?
I think the road anywhere starts with knowing where we are and where we want to go, then we can determine how we’ll get there. We’re in a very bad place, fragmented and shattered, ineffective, set against each other, and changing that should be our first priority. But to do that we need to reject those who, through abuse of the societal privileges with which they’ve been we’ve entrusted, betray us. And that, unfortunately seems to start with our current political and mass media leaders.
The big question then is … how?
We need to change not just the way we think but the way we feel. That requires more than just more enlightened and intelligent discourse, discourse touches our minds but research keeps proving that mere exposure to the truth does not change our perceptions. We reject truths with which we disagree in favor inaccuracies dear to our hearts. In order to really attain the change we need we also have to change our hearts.
Art might be a good place to start: writers and photographers and playwrights and singers, but most of the crop at the top has been incorporated into what most ails us. We almost accomplished change through art during the late sixties but fell short, reverting to the materialism our families required of us, and our poets and songwriters and philosophers morphed into investment bankers, their creativity turned to creation of financial illusions like hedge funds and securitized transactions which diverted wealth from producers to investors. Not exactly what we had in mind when we proclaimed ourselves the creative generation.
Still, …. Somewhere a Bob Dylan is strumming a guitar and singing magical lyrics off key and a Harriet Beecher Stowe is trying to peddle a novel, and ….
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2016; all rights reserved