We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, December 30, 2011

Media has become Orwellian

by Ron Horn.

This rant was in part set off by reading a report entitled, "US-Saudi $30bn arms deal to counter Iran" from Al Akhbar.

One industry that flourishes in the US is the weapons industry that is the source of the infamous military-industrial complex which rules over the Empire. Being located near Seattle where Boeing has its main plants, I am now witnessing glowing media reports over this sale. This is one of the few industries where the ruling One Percent will not outsource most of this work to low wage countries, for obvious reasons. The fact the weapons are used to inflict violence and the threat of violence on many people across the globe in order to serve the interests of the One Percent is, of course, never mentioned.   

All the media and other mainline institutions of the Empire always promote the weapons industry as a wonderful source of jobs--as if jobs were of great concern to the Empire. Well, in a way they are because jobs are a cost factor in their profit seeking enterprises. Thus, they make every effort to reduce these costs, to reduce the number of jobs whenever they can. Meanwhile, cities and states across the country are slashing jobs in education, social and other public services. So, leaving aside the killing aspects of these weapons, let us take a look at how many jobs they create according to Robert Pollin of the PERI Institute.

I don't know if the propaganda function of mainstream media has gotten worse in recent times or if it has always been this way. It seems like it is getting worse, but that may only be because I have spent considerable time on the web in the past two years uncovering the reality behind the media lies. It sometimes seems to me that mainstream media reports are now carefully and exclusively calculated to serve One Percent interests. Media now seems to be taking on thoroughly Orwellian characteristics.

This impression has been bolstered over the past several months when I've seen how they have aggressively promoted shopping for the holidays, how they have covered the Occupy Movement, how they have promoted the war in Libya, coverage of Western insertion of terrorists in Syria portrayed as Syrian government oppression, events in North Korea, etc. Just in the past week I've noticed very optimistic, almost ecstatic reports about future job growth in the US from the main TV networks which has been totally at odds with reports from investor sources such as Bloomberg TV.