Tuesday, October 03, 2017

...By Their Fruits

If you exist within the by now almost hermetically sealed-off mindscape of Western mainstream media, and if you also happen to like knowing the truth, then life must seem increasingly unfair to you—because you can’t win. For decades now the modus operandi has been as follows. Regardless of which party has the majority in Congress or controls the presidency, the same unchanging national (and increasingly transnational) elite ensconced in Washington sets the agenda and pushes it through using any means necessary, whether legal, illegal or blatantly criminal (increasingly the latter as national bankruptcy looms and desperation sets in). Their operatives make sure that there is no real investigation of what happened. All Western media reports that contradict the official mendacious narrative are quashed. Any independent efforts to investigate and to find out the truth are denigrated as “conspiracy theories”—a derogatory term coined by the CIA for exactly this purpose. Any non-Western media sources that dare to contradict the official mendacious narrative are ignored, subjected to ad hominem attacks and all manner of false allegations and, if all else fails, banned outright (as is currently happening with the satellite TV channel Russia Today).

If that happens to be the prevailing method of communicating with the public (as I am convinced, and as you should convince yourself by doing some research if you are not), then what chance do any of us stand of finding out the truth to our satisfaction? Typically, we expect to be presented with a few, possibly somewhat contradictory, versions of events and, after some probing and deliberation, render a verdict and socialize it among ourselves to reach a consensus which then becomes another brick within the edifice of our consensual reality. These are high-priority tasks, because maintaining a sense of consensual reality is important: it allows us to distinguish the sane from the insane, and it makes it possible for us to tell our young people, whose minds are too immature to let them reach their own conclusions without being driven toward unfounded or extremist views, what is safe for them to think. If we are deprived of our ability to maintain a sense of consensual reality, then we lose face before our peers (and our children) and our self-respect suffers because we no longer feel socially adequate.

But what choices are there?

If we swallow the official lies we are being told, knowing full well that they are lies, then we feel like fools. If we refuse to swallow them, then we either have to accept some alternative interpretation or narrative as real in spite of lacking all the facts we need to prove the case—because nobody is going to give them to us—and risk ostracism and marginalization, or we have to take an agnostic stance and declare that while we are not privy to the truth, we know enough to declare that the official story is a tissue of lies. The first two of these are both clearly losing moves while the last is a refusal to play and therefore a forfeit; thus, all three are defeats. There are no winning moves here.

But it’s even worse than that; not only do we lack a winning strategy, but we also happen to be on a losing team that doesn’t know how to play and loves to be played. As Ron Unz, the publisher of unz.com, recently put it, “I’ve sometimes joked with people that if ownership and control of our television stations and other major media outlets suddenly changed, the new information regime would require only a few weeks of concerted effort to totally invert all of our most famous ‘conspiracy theories’ in the minds of the gullible American public. The notion that nineteen Arabs armed with box-cutters hijacked several jetliners, easily evaded our NORAD air defenses, and reduced several landmark buildings to rubble would soon be universally ridiculed as the most preposterous ‘conspiracy theory’ ever to have gone straight from the comic books into the minds of the mentally ill, easily surpassing the absurd ‘lone gunman’ theory of the JFK assassination.”

Take the example of the ill-fated US invasion of Iraq: 4,801 servicemen dead, 1,455,590 dead Iraqis, a once prosperous country destroyed and turned into a terrorist playground with a weak central government that is aligned with Iran, buying weapons from Russia and increasingly hostile toward the US. The war was sold to the public in the US using a technique called “proof by juxtaposition” which works like this: keep showing a picture of Bob next to a giant pile of corpses and eventually everyone comes to believe that Bob is a mass murderer, never mind the fact that Bob only killed maybe half a dozen people, and all but one in self-defense or by accident. This is what was done with Saddam Hussein (who, by the way, was Osama bin Laden’s arch-enemy, who, in turn, had worked for the CIA). By 2003 70% of Americans had been made to believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center.

“Proof by juxtaposition” works well for the TV-addled zombies in the US, but for the rest of the world, as represented by the UN Security Council, a stronger tissue of lies had to be woven—using forged “intelligence” of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction.” The world blinked and failed to veto a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. The putative weapons were never found and the intelligence that was used to convince the world of their existence turned out to have been fabricated.

This is actually a very big deal, because a reputation for telling the truth can only be lost exactly once, and from then on the use of the phrase “US intelligence sources” became synonymous with “a conspiracy of barefaced liars.” In turn, the standard response to proposals based on “US intelligence” became something along the lines of “go jump in the lake.” But it took a while for the penny to drop; the last country the US will have ever gained UN’s permission to attack using false intelligence (of a humanitarian disaster) was Libya. Dmitry Medvedev, who was taking a turn as Russia’s president at the time, was still attempting to ingratiate himself with the West and failed to block the resolution—a decision he later regretted. The delay in processing the fact that all trust is gone, and the additional death and destruction that resulted from it, are deplorable, but now the verdict is in, and it is not subject to appeal. If this last paragraph comes off sounding a bit angry, then that’s probably appropriate; all those wrongful deaths justified using made-up “facts” ought to be on somebody’s conscience—let’s hope not yours or mine.

Getting back to the original question: how can we play this game to win? Based on the above, the base assumption that, whatever the issue, the dominant, official Western narrative is a tissue of lies, is a good one. Whatever message Washington and Western mass media are trying to push, a perfectly valid response is to point out all the times they have lied in the past, and to pose a simple question: When did they stop lying? Since it is very hard to come up with a reasoned answer to this question, the resolution is to treat all Western governments and media as suspect.

If the official narrative is to be disregarded, then an opening is created for alternative narratives. These can be of at least three kinds. There are the straw men set up specifically to be torched, along with all those who fall for them: if they can’t convince you of False Narrative A, then they try to convince you of False Narrative B (which seems attractive to you because it makes them look bad) so that they can label you as a “conspiracy theorist” and run you off the road and into a ditch. Then there is False Narrative C: counternarratives crafted by other nation-states—geopolitical adversaries (like Russia, China and Iran) or pariah states (such as Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea). Here, you risk being labeled as peddler of foreign influence (if you fall for them) or become stuck in a mental no man’s land (if you don’t).

In each case, you can try to make sense of the situation by asking the question, Cui bono? With Falsehood A, the beneficiary is the US elites, oligarchs, deep state, etc. Same with False Narrative B, except within a “they win or you lose” pattern. Same again with False Narrative C, except that here “they” are foreign liars rather than domestic ones. But even if you know who is lying to you and why, you still can’t win, in the sense of getting at the truth.

But you can win—by looking at the results. What you are looking for is a consistent pattern of failure. You see, those who lie to others also tend to lie to themselves. Out of any large group of people, only a few high-performing sociopaths can consistently lie to others while remaining truthful and honest within their own minds; for everyone else the experience of being immersed in a cesspool of lies is spiritually corrosive, emotionally debilitating and so demoralizing that they are unlikely to adequately perform their duties. I have downed many a beer with both enlisted men and officers who have been through tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and listened carefully to their tales of woe. Rarely did any of their official indoctrination survive contact with “the enemy.” Most unfortunately, the emotional damage caused by this experience is often permanent.

Beyond the emotional impact of lies, there is the practical effect of impaired judgment in those in command. Lies beget other lies, and pretty soon unbiased intelligence-gathering, rational analysis and proper mission planning become impossible. The guaranteed, repeatable result is a fiasco. Look at Kosovo: a failed narco-state run by a mafia. Look at Afghanistan: the Taliban are back and better than ever, and the heroin business is booming. Look at Iraq: a playground for terrorists and aligned with Iran. Look at Libya: a destroyed country that is a playground for Islamic militants and a transshipment point for Europe-bound migrants. Look at Syria: the Syrians and the Russians have largely reconquered it from the US-armed, US-trained terrorists. Look at the Ukraine: it has splintered, the best part of its population has fled to Russia, and it now makes a compelling case study for all five stages of collapse. Look for counterexamples to this pattern: you are unlikely to find any.

Those who march into battle under the banner of Truth are far more likely to prevail than those who sally forth with their loins girded with the fig leaf of public deceit. You may not be able to decipher the writing on the banner, but you can certainly tell when the winds of autumn blow away the fig leaf; then, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” [Matthew 7:16]

24 comments :

forrest said...

There's another tacit contextual lie. Initially, I suspect, this was another CIA designer-lie like the term 'conspiracy theory' -- but that it then caught on, and like 'conspiracy theory' became a standard part of the conventional mindset. I've seen it in a lot of popular fiction, usually in genres like 'suspense' and 'science fiction': "They lie to the public for our own good, because all those silly other people (unlike us) are Too Dumb To See What Has To Be Done -- or Might Do Something Foolish -- If The Real Truth Ever Got Out."

It's a close cousin to "Sometimes good people just have to torture someone. We don't like it, but somebody has to do it!"

onething said...

I guess I have chosen the middle tactic of trying to find the truth and often getting ostracized. So who is benefiting from fomenting race war? I seem to have lost my sister who isn't willing to speak with me about this, because I have not swallowed the media misrepresentations on this matter, and I am not engaging in the virtue signaling of hating the haters because I don't think the lefties got their facts straight. What disturbs me is that first, I had thought that my sister was really, fully on board with not trusting the official narratives on things but somehow not only has taken her eye off the ball (uniting and not dividing as a people) and fallen for the temptation to engage in the circular firing squad, but she cannot talk to me about it. This last is completely unlike our family. We are mad discussers of everything. I sent her an email and some links to BLACK speakers who are critical of Black Lives Matter and of the narrative in general that racial discrimination is a significant factor right now, and she will not even talk about it. Which I find beneath contempt. If you want to sit in a corner and moan, go ahead, but you're not to be respected, are not part of the solution committee and are not a rational actor. I can't fathom how it's possible to be so emotional on a topic that you can't engage the issues. Maybe I'm totally wrong! How can you refuse to hear people out while condemning others as murderers? She doesn't even belong on a jury!

Roy Coates said...

Another enlightening essay by Orlov, which elaborates and clarifies the notion that those who lie to us lie also to themselves. But there is one thing, among others I suppose, that I need to know to dispel my ignorance. If Iraq is a playground for terrorists aligned with Iran who are they? They can't be ISIS so who are they? Are they the Shia militias, and who are they terrorizing - the Sunnis in Iraq? I don't know if you answer questions posed in comments but It doesn't hurt to ask.

Cynthia Quilici said...

I believe it's "cui bono"..
(You don't need to publish this.)

Dmitry Orlov said...

Roy, that's a missing coma that I fixed. Please re-check the text; all should be clear now.

Cynthia, thanks! Most of my Latin-speaking friends are too polite to correct me, whereas I don't really care.

Jeff Lovejoy said...

Good post. I have been really searching my heart for some way to deal with what is going on. Thank you.

Since the Las Vegas shootings I have found myself adrift, moving within a narrative that just doesn't make sense. The usual suspects are all out and about, demanding gun control -- Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, the MSM, the "New York Times,"the "Washington Post" -- and not too surprisingly, Senator Richard "Dick" Blumenthal of Connecticut.

I have been particularly captivated by Senator Richard "Dick" Blumenthal from Connecticut, home of the Sandy Hook shootings which took place in 2012. Recently, their capitol city, Hartford, just had its credit rating dropped because it is broke and bankrupt. So, what does Senator Blumenthal do? Blame the guns, again. Sound fiscal management there, "Dick." That's putting Connecticut first.

Connecticut can't save its capitol city because the state is broke and bankrupt, too. And what is Senator Blumenthal doing to solve that problem? Blaming the guns, again. But pass a balanced budget for his state or the country? “Dick” thinks not.

After the Newtown and Sandy Hook shootings, Senator Blumenthal responded by tearing down the Lanza home. No mention was made about the failure of the "Good People" of Newtown from coming to the aid of the Lanza's, neighbors so obviously in crisis. Senator Blumenthal not only tore down the Sandy Hook Elementary School, but built a brand new school on top of the remains of the old school. Connecticut was in deep financial trouble back in 2012 -- practically broke and bankrupt. Yet, Senator Blumenthal was flying the families all over, pushing for gun control. Where did "Dick" get the money?

Now with the Las Vegas shooting just what can we expect from Senator Blumenthal? Will "Dick" make Nevada tear down the Mandalay Casino? Will "Dick" demand that Nevada demo the Paddock house -- erase it from all existence like he did with the Lanza home? I am sure the Great State of Nevada is just thrilled about another state messing in their affairs.

The truth is, Senator Blumenthal seems to take great pleasure in messing in the affairs of other states. After Sandy Hook, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed the most draconian gun controls ever seen in that or any other state, all under a "message of necessity" during the midnight hour.

I am not a constituent of Senator Blumenthal's; neither is my Governor nor my Senators constituents of Senator Blumenthal's. What I am is an irate American who watched as Senator Blumenthal spread his nonsense from his state to my state and my governor. And God knows where else.

If "Dick's" behavior doesn't constitute “fiddling while Rome burns,” then I don't know what does. "Dick" might try managing the affairs of his home state, and leave the rest of the country alone. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Second Amendment, along the oath of office he took are a little out of his league.

Chester McQueary said...

The founding father of modern "public relations", Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud and creative user of some of his uncle's findings on the workings and vulnerabilities of the human mind, wrote of "the necessary manipulation of the mass public mind". His books like Crystalizing Public Opinion are worth reading as the central principles and options he discusses and used are still used by today's advertising and PR people and were studied and used by the Nazi propagandists. Also the US government spends many millions $$$ in PR. The military calls it "psychological warfare" and a lot if it, as we know is aimed at the domestic population as the new century of Middle East endless wars shows.-----Frank

Dmitry Orlov said...

Chester, if you notice, Nazi propagandists are not exactly a success story. They are, to use a precise, technical term, LOSERS. Likewise, the PR money spent by the US government is not money well spent. And I would venture to guess that those who read Bernays and regard his work as important are LOSERS as well.

Roger said...

Sowing dissonance is another function of state-sponsored untruth and a slightly more subtle tool than outright lies. Garrison Keillor sums it up nicely in this footnote from Lake Wobegon Days: “You misdirected me as surely as if you had said the world is flat and north is west and two plus two is four; i.e., not utterly wrong, just wrong enough so that when I took the opposite position - the world is mountainous, north is east - I was wrong, too, and your being wrong about the world and north made me spend years trying to come up with the correct sum of two and two, other than four. YOU GAVE ME THE WRONG THINGS TO REBEL AGAINST. My little boat sailed bravely against the wind, straight into the rocks”.

Daniehl said...

Dmitry, it's so funny; I just had an emotionally-charged argument with a friend who charged: "Why are you always disagreeing with everything the States does while actively agreeing with Putin's actions in Syria and the Ukraine?!" My lame answer was that historically the USA has screwed up every nation they've claimed to be democratizing while aiming all their massed weaponry at the civilian populations. Living in Canada and among all these "nice" people who can actually support sending troops to back up US intentions in Eastern Europe is beginning to distort my own sense of reality. Maybe I've been reading too much Arthur Silber but so-called consensual reality is a topsy-turvy mess of misdirected emotions. The people I see getting all exercised about Russia's involvement with nations trying to fight off American control are examples of stunned confusion. Like coiled springs they are ready to destroy anybody who suggests, as part of discussion, that their facts have been derived from biased media. Just about everybody claims to be at least scanning as much alternative media as I do or anybody else does. There seems to be some truth to the research that demonstrates people don't give a shit about adjusting their views if the information doesn't jive with their preferred world view. Thank you for your informative and well-written essays. Truth can be comforting when it's wedded to your optimistic outlook.

DeVaul said...

I guess I fall into the “agnostic” group when it comes to trying to find out the truth here in America, so I understand the frustration expressed in the article above. When you live in a world of lies, it is extremely hard to get your children to understand the situation, as they are naturally trusting of adults and have a hard time understanding how the vast majority of adults could be outright liars or simply parroting the lies of other adults.

I tried to explain this to my sons years ago, but it upset them too much and they just shut down. I’ve had a little more success with my daughter. Perhaps because she lives with me and not with a group of sociopaths like my sons, but she always asks me “why” — to all the chaos caused by liars and sociopaths and I have no real answer.

I feel like Jonathan E. in the original Rollerball movie. Even he did not understand his own resistance to the corporate dictates other than a deep seated, instinctive need to know “why”.

Winfield Tyndale said...

Chester,
Dmitry has a point about National Socialists losing the PR war. For one they did not call themselves NAZIs, just National Socialists. But the winning side gets to rewrite history with grants from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller money. The lies easily go back to the 1820's for the USA. But I agree with you on the importance of understanding Bernays and Freud when you want to realize how Zionists and Rothschilds control the official lie. As for sources of truth, I favor VeteransToday online.

Roy Coates said...

Replying to Daniehl, If you think Canadians are "nice" people you probably don't know us very well. As a country Canada has no weight to throw around so maybe that's why as tourists we don't carry much arrogance with us. But Wyndham Lewis in one of his writings said "the average Canadian is a very ugly customer" and I think he knew that from experience. I think he hung out in bars and shot off his mouth a lot.

It's no surprise that we send troops to Eastern Europe. We sent troops after WW1 to try to crush the bolsheviks, but the hearts of our troops weren't in it - after five years in the trenches the boys wanted to go home. We fought in WW11, but not in Vietnam or Iraq. But Harper was, and Trudeau is, an American lackey, and only Trudeau Sr. and Chrechien did us proud. No don't get confused because we are "nice" but send troops. It wouldn't matter whether we are nice or not. Our prime minister appointed a Ukrainian activist as our Foreign Affairs minister for God' sake. We are misruled.

Astraea Shaw said...

So; who is behind it ALL? That is what we have to understand and deal with - otherwise we just go on and on being buffeted about and made crazy. The banksters? And who are they?
Which makes me wonder about this "Kurdistan". Who are these people, who I understand (from Syrian Girl) are nomadic. I have read somewhere that they are of Turkic Mongol extraction - and there are other people called the Kazarian Jews who are also of Turkic Mongolian extraction and I hear that Netanyahoo - a Kazarian Jew - has promised that he will send 200.000 Jews from Israel to the new Kurdistan!
It was in about 1971 that Kissinger - a GREAT friend of Putin's, who went to China. I have heard that there are many of these Kazarian types in the Chinese Government.
I find it frightening to think of being ruled by a technocratic state such as China.
Technocracy and the NWO sounds utterly terrifying, cold and inhuman and horrible beyond words. If I have young children now I would be frantic. It HAS to be stopped - and that means stopping who is behind it all.
Did you realise that Christianity was the religion of the Egyptians and never had anything whatsoever to do with the Jews?

Dmitry Orlov said...

Astraea -

Clearly, nobody is telling you anything about this, and nobody is about to. It is best you follow the Chinese dictum: keep the snow off your own front porch and don't worry about the neighbors'. Driving yourself crazy based on zero knowledge and zero influence is not on strategy for you.

Ien in the Kootenays said...

This was one of my favourite posts, especially the thoughts about the need for a consensual reality. I am by nature an independent dweller on the edge, but the older I get the more I understand the need for a centre. I would love to see a discussion on the optimum size of political units. We need both global and local organisational tools. Anyway, not this week's topic. Years ago I read some comment about news and the public in the Soviet Union. The gist of it was that the people were smart enough to know their MSM news was just propaganda and did not pay it much attention. The flip side was that this left them wide open to believingn the most outrageous things. I have mainly taken the agnostic stance, and try to take in information from several sources, keeping in mind that they all have an agenda. In the case of RT, I enjoy their coverage of the USA but take news about Russia with a grain of salt. The motto "Question more" should be applied to RT as well. As for Canada, I agree on the spinelessness of current government, but wonder how much choice we truly have? Let's face it, I love Canada but it remains independent by the grace of the USA. Anyway, the borders of nation states are not written in stone. If and when collapse scenarios start accelerating we may well end up with a different political organisation of Turtle Island, more along natural lines of geography and climate. Cascadia anyone?

Laura Beth said...

Patriarchal domination took root, flourished and set the stage for empire at the advent of human domestication of animals, the very first version of every form of discrimination and caste system social disorder to follow. www.powerfulbook.com ,examines the history of tribal hunting, gathering, turned animal domestication, turned agriculture, turned factory farming, resource depletion, and the CARNAGE of carnist society. Yes, carnage of carnist society.
When we raise children to become the next generation of predators and patients, what do we expect would manifest from SPECIESISM, the very first form of racism, sexism.
The very least we should do, in protest of carnist culture caste system meatrix, is stop buying animal "products" since they have been the longest victims of the speciesist arrogance that we've all become victims of...
Another telling book that dissects human violence and what property rights unleashed; http://www.jimmason.website/an-unnatural-order/
As population grows and the FINITE life sustaining resources of our raped and exploited planet become scare, expect more chaos. We humans are far less wise than the other beings we share this place with who suffer incalculable losses and agony from our actions.
Being vegan at least, is the profound answer to taking a knee to fascism .
Can I repost this blog and paste it to media sites?

Dmitry Orlov said...

If we abandon mechanized agriculture (which we'll have to once fossil fuels are finished) we'll find that we can't grow enough food without the help of ruminants—horses especially. And letting an animal suffer or go to waste is both disrespectful and stupid. Plus we depend on the services of obligatory carnivores—dogs and cats. So, meat will remain on the menu for as long as humans survive. As far as the "feeding enough people" canard the solution will emerge naturally; it's called a die-off, and it's what happens to every species that exceeds the carrying capacity of their environment. The problem isn't that we've been eating meat; it's that we've been eating fossil fuels. Less fossil fuels will naturally result in a smaller population. As far as critiques of "patriarchy"—that's the sort of ideology I certainly have no time for.

Roy Coates said...

Engels said that when herdsmen acquired herds they acquired property. At some point the matrilineal line of inheritance did not work for them and so somehow they imposed a regime of patriarchy with its patrilineal line of inheritance - so their sons could inherit the herds, flocks, et al. This world historical change Engels called "The world historical defeat of the female sex", because from then on men, feeling that they had to know the sons were really theirs, and not those of other men that women were free to choose in matriarchy. And so women's freedom was curtailed by men. The way men imposed patriarchy may be suggested, or even given, by the story of Abram who left Ur for Canaan taking with him his family and all his possessions, presumably his herds. From the birth of Isaac on God decreed that Abraham would count his line from Isaac. So men imposed patriarchy when they, with their property, broke away from the matrilineal gens. In effect they confiscated the property belonging to the gens and imposed patriarchy on their families at first, and through them to the society. The matriarchies left behind could have been eroded by similar property generated processes having become general. I've probably garbled this considerably but better expressed it might explain the origin of patriarchy. But to go from this, through meat eating, and agriculture, to the carnage of society is quite beyond me at present. We have to eat, and reproduce, and develop as societies, and perhaps the things Laura Beth hopes for will come - with patriarchy and meat eating as necessary stages along the way. And the way is long.

Dmitry Orlov said...

It always amazes me how commenters (especially on the public, non-subscriber site) somehow manage to completely ignore what I write and shoot straight for the weeds, here yammering on about meat, patriarchy, dead old Engels and, lo and behold, treating the Bible as if it were a historical treatise and the mythology of a marginal and decidedly weird little desert tribe as if it were the crux of human progress. But do feel free to march into battle under the banner of veganism, though people may laugh at you.

Marian Ruccius said...

Such a fine post. A couple of weeks ago, I critized Mr. Orlov in a comment on Patreon for only pointing out all the problems and idiocies to which our leaders and media subject us, without proposing alternatives.

This goes some way to solving that -- no actual solutions, except personal ones: seek truth and caveat emptor. That is a good start, but we need more and better analysis (although that need not all fall on Mr. Orlov). For what he describes is an intellectual prison, of our own making and that of others. Please, let us have a little utopian thinking. But be clear about what I mean -- I am thinking about Adam Michnik, writing Letters from Prison after martial law was imposed in Poland in the early 1980s. He never wrote more brilliantly and insightfully that when he was in gaol, without hope but for his sense of history and his dreams and his self-belief. (He started one famous essay with "I am a true Polish russophile"... or something similar.) The Michnik who reappeared after the fall of the Iron Curtain was ok, but his thinking (in comparison to his earlier work) was then largely tactical and at times insipid -- supporting US republicans in their wars "against dictators" in Iraq and elsewhere. But none of that changes what he did earlier -- shine a light on a way forward when all seemed very bleak. I am not sure what the way out is -- a Rooseveldt, a Willy Brandt, an Olaf Palme? A Nyerere? An American Cromwell? At any rate, there is a vacuum, and somebody will fill it.

Marian Ruccius said...

Roy Coates is right about us Canadians. Always holding the bully's coat. Shock troops in some other country's wars (very effective, upstanding, and reliable shock troops, of course). That means we are the good guys about a third of of the time, and totally irrelevant the rest.

But what I wanted, really, to note, and this is especially true of Canadians, is how folk under 45 years of age, but over 30, appear to have no understanding at all of propaganda. Too old to be the worst affected by the ongoing worldwide depression, and too young to remember the cold war, they take mainstream media stories at face value. Even in Canada, if you grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, you developed a certain awareness of propaganda -- of Soviet propaganda, of course, but also of US reaganite propaganda. Neithe left not right wingers in those days fully believed the party line.

Larkin said...

Excellent piece!
It is a paradox but the counter narrative serves these cretans by further dividing the public and pitting them against each other.

“Governments lie”
I.F.Stone

PT Science said...

I think this erosion of fact based truth explains the social and political situation unfolding in the last decade. Many politicians and scientists have eroded the efficacy of their professions, mostly through greed and a lack of morals. Like when a sports drink company comes to a university and says, "we want you to do a study that concludes our drink increases leg power by at least 20%, here's $20,000". A study is designed to find that answer and the scientific method takes another public hit.

I think we are already seeing a kind of contemporary superstition as a result, where political, social or scientific truths have turned into beliefs that no longer have to be backed up by statistics or facts in the minds of the masses. For evidence of this look at the Trump campaign, for that matter look at the Hillary campaign, or both sides of the Brexit issue. What's more important is whether they agree with our preconceived hostilities and this is where the echo chambers that exist in TV and online and all over our global technosphere compound the problem and increase the speed and ferocity of the bombardment of lies. People of all views and leanings are all at once kept in a constant state of fear, malaise, disgust and frantic consumption, constantly digging through their phones to once more be outraged by the title of a false article they won't actually read.