Guest Post: Paychecks, Perception, Propaganda & Power
Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform
Paychecks, Perception, Propaganda & Power
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” - Upton Sinclair
I began to write this article in early December. I had just written a piece that attempted to scrutinize how the American public could stand idly by while heavily armed mercenary thugs viciously crushed the Occupy encampments across the country in a Department of Homeland Security coordinated attack at the behest of the ruling oligarchy. Comfortably Numb made a case that the political and economic systems of the United States have been captured by a few evil men and they use their wealth and power to control the message hammered into the psyches of an apathetic, distracted, vincibly ignorant public. I started to tackle the question of why Americans could stand by as the new Greatest Generation was being abandoned, derided, scorned, beaten, tear gassed, and arrested for having the courage and audacity to stand up to a powerful corrupt unholy alliance between Wall Street psychopaths, corporate fascist barbarians, and Washington DC power hungry jackals. But I became overwhelmed with a feeling of disillusionment and hopelessness and was unable to write anything for about a month. I found myself questioning whether it was worth fighting such a powerful foe after seeing how easily they crushed the opposition put forth by OWS. After a month I decided I am not one to love my servitude.
“Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.” – Huxley’s Brave New World
I owe it to my three sons to keep fighting the good fight. They deserve a future. Day by day we draw ever closer to a showdown with the traitors who have sold this country into debt slavery. I don’t dream of revolution, but my eyes are wide open and I see it coming. I had been trying to wrap my head around what happened with the Occupy Movement since the Department of Homeland Security coordinated destruction of most of the encampments around the country in November. The corporate mainstream media immediately moved onto more pressing issues like the Kim Kardashian divorce and Jessica Simpson’s weight gain. The American public has been instructed by the media the Occupy story is history, just like the BP oil spill, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and the Egyptian revolution. In a society consumed by reality TV Occupy Wall Street was just another show. The credulous American populace dutifully turned their attention to Black Friday and whipping out one of their 15 credit cards to purchase remote control pillows, 3D 72 inch HDTVs, a see through tank top from the Snooki line of slutware, or thousands of other ludicrous Chinese crap churned out by slave labor in factories built to support the “efficiency” efforts of U.S. conglomerates.
Without a constant irritating presence in the heart of NYC and other large cities, the Occupy Movement appears to have lost steam. I’ve been trying to figure out how and why this happened. The issues that motivated the protests have not gone away. The despicable MF Global crime, committed by a hall of shame member of the .01% – Jon Corzine – has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the Wall Street/Washington DC criminal conspiracy is alive and well. Unless you have been sitting in line at a Wal-Mart for the last two months to get a $3 waffle-maker, you saw young people across the country tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, maced, bludgeoned, and brutalized by the paid thugs of the ruling oligarchy on a daily basis. The outrage at the continued looting by the psychopathic Wall Street aristocracy and the horrific police brutality against young people exercising their Constitutional right to free speech and assembly should have ignited widespread anger and mass protest. Instead the reaction has been silence, scorn and smug satisfaction with the government response.
Paychecks & Perceptions
There are a plethora of rationales for the apathy and lack of critical thinking overwhelming our society as we plunge into the depths of a looming economic calamity. They include economic self interest, the power of propaganda to condition the masses, fear of opposing authority, and the perception of a reality that allows you to sleep at night. The Upton Sinclair quote above hit home for me a few weeks ago and explains much of the disdain for the Occupy movement. I was in a high level meeting at my University and during the course of the meeting the Occupy Movement was brought up. A senior executive made a derogatory comment about Occupy and then laughed. I smiled and bit my tongue. In retrospect it shouldn’t have surprised me. I work at one of the top business schools in the world. The person who made the comment has spent his entire life educating students who end up with jobs at Wall Street financial institutions and with America’s largest corporations. It is a natural response for someone whose whole life is reliant upon the existing financial system to psychologically overlook the obvious criminality of the Wall Street fat cats and corporate executives who validate his entire existence and life’s work. He chooses to not understand the message of these protestors because to truthfully comprehend their message would nullify his thirty years of academic efforts. My non-response to the comment about the Occupy Movement was also based upon self-interest and reliance on a paycheck to make a living. I had learned my lesson the hard way during a previous career stop.
It appears older generations have a considerably more negative view of young people protesting the capture of our political and economic system than younger generations. This also makes sense because they have the most to lose and cannot visualize a society other than the one they have created. To acknowledge the validity of the Occupy Movement and the justice of their positions would be to admit their own guilt in the creation of a society that has allowed a chosen few to enrich themselves at the expense of the many. The Baby Boom Generation has been living a lie their entire adulthood. It is true that prior generations created the welfare/warfare state we have today, but the Boomers have had the reins of power for the last two decades in Congress and chose to not only ignore the fact the entitlement promises made by previous administrations could not be fulfilled. They even made further promises in the trillions to their fellow Boomers. Instead of making a budgetary choice between guns and butter, the Boomers chose guns, butter, education, universal healthcare, the right to own a home, the right to a 72 inch HDTV, and zero percent financing on their Cadillac Escalade from government motors. The consequences of these choices are a $15.2 trillion National Debt growing at a rate of $3.7 billion per day and unfunded entitlement liabilities totaling in excess of $100 trillion.
I had the pleasure of meeting Neil Howe, co-author of The Fourth Turning and fourteen other books, in early December. His ground breaking work with William Strauss on generational theory has proven to be uncannily accurate, as their 1997 assessment of what dynamics would drive the course of history over the coming decades have materialized exactly as they presumed. We had a fascinating two hour discussion about various topics impacting the world today and I found that we were in agreement on just about everything, except for the Occupy protests. Neil Howe is an expert on interpreting how generations react to events. I expected him to be impressed by the courage and fortitude of the Millenials leading this protest against Wall Street gluttony and audacious criminality. This is the new GI Generation and I anticipated him perceiving these protests as a prelude to greater feats ahead by this generation. Instead he described them as naive adolescents being led down a phony path by anarchist Boomers. As an example he referenced the fact that many of the protestors were wearing Guy Fawkes masks, the most famous anarchist in history. He found this distasteful and dangerous. My interpretation of the Guy Fawkes masks was more in line with the movie V For Vendetta and the theme of a corrupt evil government keeping the public living in perpetual fear.
“Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.” – V For Vendetta
Neil Howe’s impression of the movie centered on the terroristic aspects of blowing up Parliament, not on the symbolism of citizens rising up and casting off the yoke of a malevolent oligarchy that has used propaganda, fear and intimidation to manipulate and control the population. Howe is a Baby Boomer and I’m Generation X. We are each viewing the Occupy Movement through the prism of our life experiences and perceptions about the intentions of these protestors. The existing social, economic, and political structure is dominated by Boomers. Neil Howe views the Occupy Movement as a threat to the system he believes in and supports. As a cynical Xer with no allegiance to a corrupt government, a crony capitalist economic system or a greedy self centered society, I see these young revolutionaries as our last great hope.
Neil Howe runs a very successful consulting firm whose clients include Fortune 500 corporations, including Wall Street financial firms. His annual income and net worth is dependent upon the existing corporate dynamic. When your living depends upon not understanding the real reason young people are protesting corporate malfeasance, fraud and corruption, your mind can ignore observable facts and visible truths. Anything can be rationalized when putting food on the table requires you to ignore obvious truths and understandable facts.
Propaganda & Power
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928
I was shocked when I came across the above quote a few months ago. Bernays had it figured out 84 years ago before mass media, television, or spin doctors. His vision of a society manipulated by a small number of governing elite who believe they know better than the masses has come to fruition. True republican equality as defined by the founders in the Constitution is considered quaint and a belief of the trusting and naïve masses by the wealthy elite. Manipulation of the masses through a relentless never ending barrage of propaganda disguised as news and unremitting false advertising is designed to control and herd the cattle into the slaughterhouse. We are given the illusion of free choice, when in reality the choices are being made for us by a chosen few who think they know what is best. These puppeteers controlling the strings inhabit the financial, government and corporate halls of power. Their purpose is not to benefit society and its citizens but to protect their wealth and influence, using any means at their disposal. Propaganda to control the minds of a willfully uninformed public has been their most potent weapon.
Source: Mike Kreiger
Most people have never heard the name Edward Bernays. That is the way public relations specialists (manipulators of the truth) like it. They operate in the shadows, subtly influencing public opinion through what Bernays arrogantly referred to as the sinister method of “engineering of consent”. The Governing Elite have no time for messy processes like true capitalism or non-manipulated free elections. The objective for Bernays and his ilk has always been to provide corrupt government power brokers, shadowy bankers and corporate media kingpins with potent psychological instruments of social persuasion and mind control. Edward Bernays is considered the “father of public relations”, and he was the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He pioneered media manipulation techniques.
He understood the weaknesses of the human mind and developed methods and processes for taking advantage of that weakness.
“The average citizen is the world’s most efficient censor. His own mind is the greatest barrier between him and the facts. His own ‘logic proof compartments,’ his own absolutism are the obstacles which prevent him from seeing in terms of experience and thought rather than in terms of group reaction.” – Bernays, Crystallizing Public Opinion
Bernays got his big break during the administration of Woodrow Wilson, the outset of the American interventionist empire bankrolled by an inflation creating Federal Reserve and a tax and spend Congress. During WWI, Edward began work for the Committee on Public Information, the immense propaganda machine ordered by Woodrow Wilson to sway the American public towards a war he campaigned to keep us out of. He became so instrumental he was invited to accompany Wilson to the Paris peace conference. His claims to fame afterward included:
- Creating a false storyline of communists in Guatemala on behalf of his client United Fruit Company, resulting in a CIA led military coup which ushered in a brutal dictatorship resulting in the dislocation, torture and death of thousands.
- He was responsible for breaking the taboo of women smoking in public while working for American Tobacco Company.
His biggest claim to fame was inspiring the most reviled propagandist in history. Bernays’ techniques were so effective that Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, made copious use of Bernays’ book, “Propaganda” throughout the Holocaust, often crediting Bernays. That was quite a feather in Bernays’ cap. The German people were gradually indoctrinated by their government through propaganda into consenting and supporting the most horrific crimes in history as described by Milton Mayer in his book, They Thought They Were Free – The Germans, 1933-45:
“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
“To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must someday lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.”
Bernays was a master of using psychological techniques to mask the motives of his clients, as part of a calculated strategy aimed at keeping the public unaware of the forces that were working to mold their psyches. Bernays died in 1995, but his techniques have been taken to a new level as our government, media and financial elite use any means at their disposal to keep the masses sedated and content while they are fleeced and herded towards the slaughterhouse. The Big Lie perpetrated upon the masses is the fallacy of America being a democratic society. The anti-democratic and treacherous corporate public relations Madison Avenue maggots manage and manipulate the opinions of the many in order to make sure a true democratic system doesn’t threaten the privileges and supremacy of the governing elite.
I wonder if it was coincidental the creation of the Federal Reserve, implementation of the personal income tax, and virtually non-stop war coincided with the rise of an industry designed to manipulate and control the thoughts and opinions of an easily influenced and willfully unaware populace. Most people want to be led and told what to believe. Critical thinking and taking personal responsibility for your life and your society requires hard work, sacrifice, honesty, and self restraint. Simply believing storylines supplied by authority figures and media pundits allow the masses to continue living lives of debt delusion and hope, occasionally stirred into a frenzy of fear and loathing towards the foreign bogeyman of the moment, chosen by the governing elite. Bernays and his disciples understood this dynamic and have been able to utilize corporate mass media and the human weakness of trusting in the judgments of authority figures to control and manage the vast swath of America without them knowing it.
“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.” – Edward Bernays
The propaganda techniques employed to manipulate the masses seemed less abhorrent when they centered upon just consumer products. Convincing women they would look like a gorgeous model if they used a company’s cosmetics or convincing a man he’d be admired by his neighbors if he drove a certain car was small potatoes. In the last few decades the misinformation and outright lies fed to the American public by oligarchy of governing elite has become more manifest and repugnant. The list of abuses is virtually endless.
- The American public has been lured into debt by the incessant unrelenting lifestyle marketing messages spewed from our TVs 24/7. From the introduction of the show Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous in the early 1980s, wealth, materialism, and consumerism became the motivating force in America. Consumption accounted for only 63% of GDP in 1980, with capital investment accounting for 17%. Today, consumption accounts for 71% of GDP and capital investment only 12%. Keeping up with the Kardashians is the mantra of our times.
- The utter failure of our government controlled educational system in teaching our children how to think critically or question the validity of government created data has allowed the elite to paper over the fact the average American worker has not had any real income gains in at least four decades. The insidious nature of Federal Reserve created inflation (up 600% since 1970) is incomprehensible to a public that finds math boring and not essential in their lives.
- Once the manipulators convinced the masses they needed a 4,000 sq ft McMansion, two brand new stylish cars, four big screen HDTVs, three computers, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a Rolex, Armani suits, an in-ground pool, an ATV, and house at the shore, there was only one thing left to do – loan them the money to live the faux American dream. GDP has grown 525% since 1980. Personal consumption expenditures have grown 600% since 1980. Consumer debt outstanding has grown 700% since 1980. And total household debt outstanding has grown 800% since 1980. It seems the purveyors of debt on Wall Street have been the only beneficiaries of the apparition of an American dream sold to a willingly duped American populace.
- The dream of home ownership was used by politicians of both parties to further their agendas, egged on by the Wall Street elite and the National Association of Realtors – two of the largest contributors to politicians. As politicians tried to outdo themselves creating programs to get poor people into homes, Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan urged the masses to use creative new adjustable rate mortgage products. With a wink and nod from Greenspan and no fear of any regulation whatsoever, the Wall Street elite created liar loans, negative amortization loans, subprime loans, Alt-A loans and a myriad of other products to induce fraud in the housing market. Appraisers did their part by overstating the values of homes and Wall Street colluded with the rating agencies to package the toxic mortgages and sell them to clueless dupes around the globe with a AAA rating stamped on them. At the absolute peak in 2005, with prices two standard deviations above the long term average, Ben Bernanke declared the housing market strong and the NAR proclaimed it the best time to buy. As the coup de grace, Wall Street urged home owners to unlock that equity in their homes and borrow $3 trillion to spend on gadgets, home upgrades, automobiles, facelifts, new boobs, and exotic vacations. The greatest mass fraud in history was complete. And not one person has gone to jail.
- Not only have the governing elite lured the masses into debt slavery, but they’ve convinced them to love their slavery. The governing elite have done a fantastic job of using their media mouthpieces to deflect criticism away from their pillaging and looting of the national wealth. They’ve successfully persuaded the slaves the extreme income inequality is beneficial to the country because the 1% are the job creators and have earned their way to the top through our free market capitalism system. Convincing the middle class to blame the poor for their three decade decline is a tribute to the effectiveness of their propaganda crusade. Jesse gives accolades to the father of propaganda as the moneyed interests have won:
“The moneyed interests have done quite a successful PR job in refocusing the national discussion on priorities involving social issues, and the reform of the support systems for the weak, the unfortunate, and the elderly. Turning one group against another, and objectifying your intended victims through slogans and stereotypes, has always been an effective method of bending the herd to your will. Score one for Edward Bernays.”
- The Social Security System is an example of propaganda and misinformation on a grand scale. A modest (1% tax) insurance program designed to help widows and orphans during the Great Depression, which should have been treated much like term life insurance, morphed into a massive retirement plan at the behest of politicians over the last eight decades. The voters shockingly voted for more benefits. Millions are now totally dependent upon the monthly pittance they receive, as the promise of a Social Security pension deterred them from saving for their old age. Politicians perpetuated lies about the funds being protected in a lockbox. The truth is the politicians raided the lockbox and took every dime to spend on wars of choice, aid to dictators, paying off their corporate masters, and leaving only IOUs. They have promised $17.5 trillion more than they can payout. It could be made viable with a gradual rise in the retirement age and a simple means test that would eliminate payouts to those who do not need it. Instead politicians use it as a means to control their constituents and obscure the simple truths. Americans choose to remain ignorant of the facts based on their perceptions of a false reality.
- Another storyline propagated by politicians of a liberal bent is that Medicare is a successful Federal government program. Only someone from the governing elite would declare a program that is $90 trillion underfunded, racked by fraud and abuse totaling almost $100 billion per year, despised by doctors across the land for its insane bureaucracy, and allows corporate insurance, drug and hospital conglomerates to dictate the costs, a success. The entire government run sickcare industry is a scam designed to enrich the corporations that contribute to the campaigns of the politicians writing the rules and regulations. The pricing mechanism between doctor and patient is broken, with neither having any say in the decisions.
- With the unleashing of a torrent of inflation during the 1970s the governing elite needed to resort to obfuscation and manipulation of inflation figures to create the illusion of price stability and positive GDP, while screwing seniors citizens out of their Social Security benefits and convincing the middle class their annual 3% wage increases were getting them ahead in life. Inflation has been systematically understated by 5% to 7% annually since 1980.
- The government drones at the BLS do the dirty work for their masters by reporting unemployment of 8.6% when the real level exceeds 20%, Great Depression levels. The corporate media just does the bidding of the corporate fascist state by unflinchingly reporting the bogus figures. Reporting the truth would be detrimental to the political and financial elites, so propaganda is rationalized as being beneficial to the country. The sheep just keep grazing as their shepherds herd them toward the slaughterhouse.
- By conducting focus groups and testing words, master manipulators like Frank Lutz have been able to convince the masses to support repeal of the estate tax even though it does not affect 99.7% of American taxpayers. By renaming it a Death Tax, the public was convinced that this horrible abuse of the tax code should be repealed. The 0.3% with the ability and means to manipulate public opinion, won again.
- The tax code and the propaganda campaign being waged by the richest .01% to obscure the truth and misinform the masses is the most barefaced attempt of the elite to retain their wealth and power. Their corporate media legions pound home the storyline of 50% of Americans not paying their fair share because they pay no Federal income tax. It sure sounds like these weasels must be doing something dishonest to avoid paying Federal taxes. What is not mentioned by the media mouthpieces is 50% of Americans make less than $25,000 per year. What is also conveniently forgotten is these people pay payroll taxes, local income taxes, state income taxes, real estate taxes, sales taxes, tolls and a multitude of other taxes, fees and charges to their utility, cable, and phone providers. In the real world, the total effective tax rate for someone making $50,000 per year exceeds the total effective tax rates of Mitt Romney, Lloyd Blankfein and Warren Buffett.
- The IRS tax code did not grow to 75,000 pages because the middle class and the poor used their undue influence to convince politicians in Washington DC to insert credits, loopholes and deductions for mega-corporations and the wealthy elite into the code. Only those with wealth, power and influence are allowed to “sway” legislation in Congress. This is called crony capitalist democracy. The current propaganda coming from the GOP candidates is our poor mega-corporations that outsourced millions of American jobs to Asia are overburdened by the 35% corporate tax rate, despite the fact they actually pay an effective rate of 18% and many multi-billion dollar conglomerates pay nothing. The truth is not important or relevant to those running the show in this country.
- The most damaging and far reaching use of propaganda, misinformation and outright scare tactics by the financial and political elites was during the financial meltdown during September and October of 2008. The American public was whipped into a frenzy of fear by the protectors of Wall Street – Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke – in order to funnel trillions of taxpayer funds to the Wall Street cartel that created the crisis in the first place. The governing elite declared the economic system would fail unless Wall Street was bailed out. When some courageous Congress members balked at passing TARP, the masters of the universe crashed the stock market with their super computer trading machines. The hysterical pundits on CNBC and the other corporate media outlets shrieked that our way of life would surely die if the banks were not saved. TARP was passed and Wall Street bankers rejoiced by paying themselves billions in bonuses. The truth not revealed to the masses was that the failure of a few reckless ravenously greedy Wall Street banks would not have destroyed our economic system. It would have destroyed the wealth of psychotic bankers like Blankfiein, Dimon, Pandit and a slew of other criminals on Wall Street. Wealthy stockholders and bondholders would have been wiped out. Bank depositors would not have lost a dime. The irresponsible risk junky bankers would have seen their banks liquidated. Bad debts would have been written off. The remaining good assets would have been sold to prudent banks. But instead, the ethically and financially bankrupt were saved by their corporate fascist partners in crime at the expense of the confused and disoriented American citizens. Saving bankers had been successfully marketed to the sheep as being on par with saving the nation. Chalk another one up for Bernays and his brethren.
- After Bush and his banker cronies successfully fleeced trillions from taxpayers and handed it to bankrupt bankers, Obama and his minions continued the con on the middle class. With the help of Pelosi and Reid he was able to dispense $800 billion of payoffs to various contributors, constituents and special interests while calling it a job creating stimulus plan. When it became clear to even the ignorant masses that no jobs were being created, the governing elite channeled their best Edward Bernays and invented the term “jobs saved”. The beauty of this concept was the impossibility of ever verifying the figures spouted by the paid shills disguised as expert economists. Billions more were funneled to the housing industry and auto industry as paybacks for their contributions in the form of homebuyer tax schemes and Cash for Clunker scams. The bill for these complete failures was passed onto future generations as the National Debt soared from $10.6 trillion to $15.2 trillion in just three years of Obama rule.
- The latest fraud being perpetrated on the American public is the lie about energy independence touted by GOP candidates for president. Rather than leveling with the people and explaining the facts of peak cheap oil to them honestly, the governing elite prefer slogans, half-truths and fantasy projections. The left touts solar, ethanol and other green energy fantasies, while the right peddles drilling, fracking, and fake estimates of supplies. Both are lying. All the cheap easy to access oil in the world has been found. The oil being discovered and accessed today is harder to reach, more expensive to produce and requires producers to expend almost one barrel of oil to produce a new barrel of oil. The easy to access oil is being depleted at the same rate that new hard to access oil is being brought on line. Meanwhile, demand grows across the globe. Our far flung suburban sprawl society teeters on the edge of an abyss and the governing elite pretend all is well.
The above list of abuses committed by the ruling oligarchy pales in comparison to the totalitarian like measures that have been executed since September 11,2001. With the country cowering in fear, the governing elite passed an Orwellian like 350 page bill that changed this country forever. The USA PATRIOT Act, which changed the relationship between our government and its citizens forever, was supposedly written, introduced, debated and passed in the space of 30 days in October 2001. I wonder which public relations firm came up with the Orwellian acronym? Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. The purpose of naming this bill was to imply that anyone who was against allowing our government to spy, monitor or place under surveillance anyone our government chooses would make you unpatriotic. The American people chose implied safety and security over true freedom and liberty by their deafening silence. The governing elite used fear and propaganda to achieve their goal of more domination over our lives.
Drunk with their new found power, the political elite decided to change the world by using their spin machine to create visions of mushroom clouds over U.S. cities in the minds of a gullible public to craft a believable storyline for the invasion of Iraq. A willingly pliant press corp. spread the misinformation about weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda connections to fashion a convincing plot for pre-emptive war on a sovereign country that did not threaten our country. Who benefitted from war with Iraq? The military industrial complex reaped billions in profits and the Wall Street banks bankrolled the invasion with more debt. It only destroyed the lives of thousands of low income American soldiers, killed 100,000 Iraqi peasants, drove the price of oil from $25 a barrel to $100 a barrel, and will ultimately cost American taxpayers $4 trillion. And the great thing about passage of the Patriot Act and invasion of Iraq was the bipartisan cooperation pushing us ever closer to an authoritarian state.
The erroneous notion that Americans have a choice between two political parties that offer distinct and clear opposing policies addressing the major issues facing our country is still perpetuated by politicians and the corporate media. It is untrue, as we have seen the Obama administration employ the same repressive methods instituted by the Bush administration. Military spending rises. Wars of choice proliferate and grow. Obamacare is virtually identical to a plan created by the leading GOP presidential nominee. Further restrictions, regulations and laws are put forth to keep the masses controlled, sedated and fearful. The governing elite and their propagators of misinformation are again formulating a false storyline to convince the easily fooled ignorant public that a sovereign country 7,500 miles from our shores is actually a threat to their lives. While our government has already committed acts of war against Iran (sanctions, assassinations, cyber warfare, and using drones to spy), the public is being worked into a bloodthirsty frenzy of nationalism. Bipartisanship worked so well with Iraq. How could it possibly go wrong with Iran?
In the last six months cracks have begun appearing in the fascist façade masquerading as a democratic republic. The rise of the Occupy Movement, increasing pain and discontent among the middle class, a small but vocal irate minority utilizing the internet to organize, inform and spread knowledge, and the growing support among the liberty minded for Ron Paul’s candidacy are the opening salvos in a coming revolution. The volleys being traded between the forces of the American aristocratic elite and the leading forces of this revolution are only the opening shots on par with Bunker Hill. The oligarchs have won the initial skirmishes with the Occupy Movement through their control of superior mercenary fire power and ability to falsify the message and nature of the protestors. The corporate mass media propaganda machine convinced an apathetic, non critical thinking public the protestors were nothing but dirty, lazy, college students looking for government handouts organized and led by George Soros. Journalist Robert Fisk reveals the true nature of the protests and rage:
“And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against “governments”. What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people’s power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of “experts” from America’s top universities and “think tanks”, who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalization rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.
The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people’s wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.” – Robert Fisk, Bankers are the Dictators of the West
The mounting desperation of the oligarchs is palpable. They have circled the wagons as one of their leaders – Jon Corzine – was caught stealing $1.2 billion directly from the accounts of his customers after making reckless bets that went wrong and bankrupted his firm. The Department of Homeland Security coordinated brutality unleashed upon peaceful protestors in cities across America opened the eyes of more people to the approach of an increasingly oppressive state. The media lapdogs have come out in force with an organized smear campaign designed to derail the presidential campaign of Ron Paul, the only candidate talking about real change and a real downsizing of the American empire. Ron Paul’s platform of liberty, freedom, non-interventionism, sound money, and a government not controlled by bankers and corporate interests is anathema to the ruling elite of both parties. A vote for one of the hand selected candidates offered by the moneyed interests is simply a vote for the special interest status quo. As our economic system becomes more saturated with debt by the day a tipping point approaches.
Obama’s signing of the NDAA, overwhelmingly supported by politicians of both parties, now gives the ruling class the ability to track down and imprison indefinitely any American citizen they consider a threat to their power, without charges. The only remaining thorn in their side is the internet. The internet has allowed critical thinkers to share information, organize resistance to the oligarchs, create communities of like-minded citizens, and allow individuals the opportunity to turn the tables and perform surveillance on the state. The state does not like an unfettered internet because it allows citizens to find the non-manipulated truth and undermines their mainstream media propaganda machine. Young people are less able to be manipulated. The introduction of abominable legislation like SOPA and PIPA are a blatant attempt by the governing elite to crush dissent by locking down the internet and eliminating sites that question their version of reality.
Humans are a flawed species. Our minds are easily manipulated. We don’t like pain. We prefer instant gratification. We are susceptible to mass delusion. We will often choose hope over critical thought. Those with higher IQs will regularly attempt to take advantage of those with lower IQs. Fear and greed are the two motivations used by the minority in power to control and manipulate the majority. The American people have been led astray by a small group of powerful men. We were herded through a door in the wall of perception that promised an American dream of material goods, entitlements and pleasure with no obligations or responsibility to future generations. There is only one choice that can save this country from ruin. Each individual must make a choice to either to continue supporting the manipulative, corrupt status quo or coming back through the Door in the Wall.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” – Aldous Huxley