George Orwell learned his profound insights about the skullduggery of Western capitalist propaganda agents while fighting in the battlefields of Spain (Spanish Civil War) serving the cause of the newly liberated Spanish people from the threat of fascist forces gathering all across Europe who feared the threat of a great example established by freedom-loving Spanish revolutionaries. While German and Italian capitalists turned to their fascist thugs to quell the rising tide of people yearning to be free not only in Spain, but all across Europe, Anglo-American capitalist gangs, who also hated the leftist character of the new Spanish republic but with their own ambitions to plunder the world, stood by with a pretense of neutrality as fascist forces gradually crushed the International Spanish Brigades.
Meanwhile, on the home-fronts in England and the US, the propaganda machinery worked overtime to maintain their phony neutrality. Likewise, the Soviet ruling class under Stalin's leadership initially supplied some military equipment to the newly established popular Spanish government, but their support was abandoned as they became aware of the threat to their own survival posed by the rising tide of capitalist sponsored fascist forces in Europe. It is tragically clear from more recent historical events that Orwell's warnings about ruling class propaganda were wasted on future generations. The warnings which were so dramatically described in his classic book 1984 have long since turned into prophecy.
In politics as in journalism and the arts, it seems that dissent once tolerated in the “mainstream” has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground. When I began a career in Britain’s Fleet Street in the 1960s, it was acceptable to critique western power as a rapacious force. Read James Cameron’s celebrated reports of the explosion of the Hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, the barbaric war in Korea and the American bombing of North Vietnam. Today’s grand illusion is of an information age when, in truth, we live in a media age in which incessant corporate propaganda is insidious, contagious, effective and liberal.