Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Question Everything !

This snip comes from a recent piece by the eminently readable Caitlin Johnstone:
Be Suspicious Of Everyone Who Habitually Defends The Powerful From The Weak

...Generally speaking, whenever you see people loudly and habitually advocating for the powerful side of a power discrepancy, they are showing you that they are servants of power. Their interest is not in truth, justice or compassion, but in helping power maintain itself. Being aware of this gives you a very useful tool for navigating a confusing media landscape that is immersed in propaganda, spin, and disinformation.

This applies across the board. When you see anyone advocating on behalf of the US empire against the latest Official Bad Guy Nation, when you see them advocating on behalf of the plutocrat-owned mass media machine against alternative media outlets, when you see them advocating on behalf of the Pentagon, the CIA and the Democratic Party against Julian Assange, when you see them advocating on behalf of fossil fuel companies against indigenous protesters, when you see them advocating on behalf of America’s increasingly militarized police force against unarmed black men, when you see them advocating on behalf of the wealthy against the poor, when you see them advocating on behalf of the status quo against activists and organizations pushing for change, they are giving you valuable information about themselves.
Illustration borrowed from HERE.

In the USA we need to question all that will be fed to us during upcoming 2018 mid-term elections, and the big one in 2020. In the UK much the same caution applies to what's being fed to the public about Brexit. Having questioned these things though, what then? That is the ultimate question to which I haven't yet found an answer.

Mercury has been in what astrologers term 'retrograde motion' since 26 July, and will continue in that mode until August 19. While the planet isn't actually moving backwards in the sky, it looks that way from our perspective - this occurs when Mercury passes the Earth in its orbit, and happens 3 or 4 times each year. It's really no big deal, but astrologers like to note these times being "something different from the norm", times when things don't always go exactly as planned. I'll not list the various possibilities for hiccups during Mercury retro periods, they are easy enough to find via Google or your favourite search engine. These times offer a useful period for fruitful reflection of things past. With that in mind, to finish off this post, I'm re-airing part of an archived post of mine (lightly edited) which, though some 8 years old points to things no less relevant today, and has connection to Caitlin Johnstone's piece quoted above:
From George Orwell's novel, 1984
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?... Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?... The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 5

1984 was written long ago. As a view of how Orwell's words still relate to the state of things, I offer a link to a film: Psywar - "The real battlefield is the mind".
The film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the “elitist theory of democracy” and the relationship between war, propaganda and class. This is not a high budget affair, but was financed via a blue collar job, and was released online for free. The interviews contained within are original and were conducted by proxy.
The film takes us back, with the guidance of some highly regarded historians and philosophers, over past centuries to illustrate the use of propaganda and manipulation of public feeling...mind control....psyops...call it what you will.

Psyops (Psychological Operations), under one label or another, has been a part of warfare, and used by all countries, for centuries. It has included simple operations such as circulation of propaganda leaflets (as below), posters, radio broadcasts, as well as many more sophisticated and sinister operations. As well as being a part of warfare psyops are used to influence populations that war is necessary - remember those "weapons of mass destruction"? War, of course, is one of the most profitable of all events, but only for the power-wielders. Others lose their lives, their health or their sanity. Families are left devastated, on both sides of that divide of manufactured hatred.

Not always realised, though, is the continual use of a form of psyops on the population at large by those in power (and I don't necessarily mean a country's government).

One theory put forward in the film is that we are being manipulated because "the power-wielders" consider that "the people" (The Great Unwashed) are not fit to have a say in how countries are run in this advanced technological age. All power, and consequently all wealth, must be restricted to "the elite leaders". The power-wielders choose/designate individuals - candidates - for "election". This gives the appearance that these individuals are being "chosen" by the people. In reality the "candidates" are there only by permission of "the elite", and are there to do their bidding. This process is aided by a coordinated psychological operation using elite-controlled media as its front-line to push forward "candidate du jour" and denigrate others.

"The people" are, from time to time, given tid-bits of help, they receive just enough sweetening for those in power to avoid outright rebellion by the masses. Outright rebellion - revolution - is something "the elite" fear and plan to avoid.

Quote from a respected philosopher:

Noam Chomsky, Thought Control in a Democratic Society
“If in some Orwellian future there were One Big Owner, he might be benevolent, in his own opinion, as indeed, Orwell’s Big Brother was – in his own opinion. Big Brother let the public see and hear a variety of things he deemed useful – where there is centralized control, it is the One Big Owner who makes the choices…Each year is more likely that the American citizen who turns to any medium – newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, books, movies, cable, recordings, video cassettes – will receive information, ideas, or entertainment controlled by the same handful of corporations, whether it is daily news, a cable entertainment program, or a textbook…Media giants have become so powerful that government no longer has the will to restrain them…Now that media owners are so large that they are part of the highest levels of the world economy, the news and other public information become heavily weighted in favor of all corporate values. The new corporate ethic is so single-minded about extreme fast profits and expanded control over the media business that it is willing to convert American news into a service for the affluent customers wanted by the media’s advertisers instead of a source of information significant for the whole of society.”

Beware Newspeak! Be forever wary of what you read and hear, especially when what you read and hear will aid or profit "the elite" and the powerful.


Wisewebwoman said...

Thought provoking and well written post T and all has been foretold as we know. It is going exactly as planned. Did you ever read Taylor Caldwell? I probably asked you that before. I remember reading her in the seventies when she first introduced the Masters of the Universe concept, keeping the peons ill educated and unquestioning and forelock tugging.

I've seen this where I live, the fishers and workers uneducated and those in power are a far from benevolent dictatorship which still exists today as the masses have no critical thinking skills. I would love to write on it but know I'd be run out of town on a rail. I'm not joking.

And I know the experimenta Caldwell wrote on have been very successful particularly in the rust belts of the US and in the southern states. Mass programming and "fake news" and "lock her up" cries at rallies. Frightening.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Thanks, WWW. I've heard of Taylor Caldwell but haven't read any of her books, so went to her Wiki page to investigate. Yes, I see what you mean - the last sentences on the page:

"In her 1957 social/political article "Honoria" she chronicles the rise and fall of the fictitious country she calls "Honoria". She ends the article with a very foreboding rebuke of society. “It is a stern fact of history that no nation that rushed to the abyss ever turned back. Not ever, in the long history of the world. We are now on the edge of the abyss. Can we, for the first time in history, turn back? It is up to you.” Many of Caldwell's books centered on the idea that a small cabal of rich, powerful men secretly control the world."

I must get me one of her novels to discover whether I'm on her wavelength (regarding writing style).

R J Adams said...

I'm never quite sure what to make of Caitlin Johnstone. She calls herself a "Rogue journalist. Bogan socialist. Anarcho-psychonaut. Guerilla poet. Utopia prepper." Such descriptions make me wary, but despite that I have to agree with her writing here. I am suspicious of anyone defending the powerful against the weak, and nowadays that's almost every politician in almost every land, and certainly every corporate billionaire, especially those similar to the one who rockets his car into space. As if there's not enough junk up there.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ I think Ms Johnstone has tongue firmly in cheek with those descriptions of herself. I've now taken to reading her writings regularly, and, so far have hardly ever disagreed with her points of view. She's one of the few! :)