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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, August 24, 2015

The battle for your hearts and minds in Fallujah

Click here to access article by Ross Caputi from Insurge Intelligence.

This author has a personal relationship to the subject he's writing about judging by the bio that is offered.
Ross Caputi is an anti-war activist and Iraq War veteran. He served as a US Marine from 2004 to 2006, including during the Sirst Siege of Fallujah in November 2004. He became openly critical of the military and was discharged in 2006.

Ross holds an MA in Linguistics and is on the Board of Directors of the Islah Reparations Project. He is the director of the documentary film, Fear Not the Path of Truth: a veteran’s journey after Fallujah, and has written for The Guardian, Truthout, and Middle East Eye, among others.
He introduces his subject by reporting on the current bombing of Fallujah, Iraq by both US and Iraqi air forces, and how this is being reported in US media. The rest of the article is devoted to explaining how information is presented to the American public by the military section of the Empire's capitalist class in order to manage their perceptions. By focusing on the current bombing of Fallujah and how this is being reported in mainstream media, Caputi contributes to the understanding of the highly developed techniques used on us to obtain our consent, or at least neutralize our opposition, to the Empire's criminal acts of war. Thus, this analysis might fall generally under the subject of management of consent/dissent that the classic book Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky brought to the attention of activists in the late 1980s. 

And I notice this morning that others are following up on their work. I'm referring to a collaborative work entitled Managing Democracy Managing Dissent (2013) published by Corporate Watch a London based cooperative which is devoted to journalism, research and publishing. I especially like their book's introductory announcement which offers a broader perspective on these information management techniques that Caputi writes about and which contribute to the pervasive indoctrination efforts by the capitalist class in education, media, entertainment to manage what we think about their fake version of "democracy" .
Democracy was once considered a dangerous new idea and a threat to ruling elites. It brought to mind fearful images of oppressed masses demanding social and political equality. Fast forward to today and democracy is a key method by which the inequality and injustices of capitalism are legitimated and popular consent engineered. Despite the fact that capitalism can tolerate neither equal access to decision-making or truly open dissent, and in fact prioritises profit-making above all social or environmental concerns, we are nonetheless persuaded to believe that capitalism is, or at least can be, democratic. Now a new book – published by Corporate Watch – uncovers how this contradiction is sustained, and the anti-democratic rule of capitalism protected.

The volume includes examinations of the inherent contradiction between genuine democracy and corporate capitalism, the use of corporate media, the entertainment industry, and celebrity activists as propaganda vehicles, the attempts to co-opt and neutralise NGOs and social movements, the demonisation and repression of unco-opted dissent, and the imperialist agendas behind so-called 'democracy promotion' interventions.