Propaganda

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Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 16/09/2020 - 2:33am in

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Propaganda

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I just want to draw some attention to this post on Naked Capitalism that I thought was an excellent analysis of the dilemma of left-wing electoral politics.

They have done so mainly by convincing a layer of affluent, middle-aged professionals that the Left ultimately represents a threat to their most cherished social values: meritocratic, individualistic, cosmopolitan liberalism. In the US, this perceived threat has mainly taken the form of a repeated insistence (against absolutely all psephological evidence) that a Sanders candidacy would inevitably lose to Trump, thereby extending the life of his cartoonishly villainous regime. This same threat was used to convince older Black Democratic voters in the South that the defence of centrist liberalism was the only alternative to a perpetuation of Trumpian white supremacism. In the UK, the same effect was achieved by convincing a small but strategically crucial section of middle-class voters that Jeremy Corbyn was an advocate for Brexit and an antisemite, and that voters should instead lend support to the Liberal Democrats or the Greens (or abstain).

Secondly, again in each case, a nationalist, and increasingly irrationalist, populism on the Right has attracted enough support from some of the social constituencies who we might have hoped would unite around a radical social democratic agenda to make it impossible for that programme to win a majority. In the UK this was the constituency which voted for Johnson to ‘get Brexit done’. In the US, Trump’s economic nationalism and nativist populism mobilised lots of his base.

His failure to deliver on any of his promises (either to build a wall on the Mexican border or to bring jobs back to the rust belt) has undermined much of his credibility with that section, which is partly why increasingly deranged conspiracy theories are circulating among his die-hard supporters. There isn’t much reason left to vote for Trump, if you didn’t benefit from his tax cuts, or don’t believe he’s engaged in a secret war with the ‘deep state’.

This is exactly right, but I would cast it in another way.  There is still a large segment of opinion on the left that wants to engage in electoral politics but without taking into account voter subjectivity.  Well, of the votes meaningfully available to the left (construed as generously as possible) in Western countries, they do not conceive of the universe in the way that many people, particularly on the economic and environmental left, want them to.  If you are interested in exerting power via electoral politics, you must seriously engage with the subjective reality that these voters live in.  In the USA, one large group views Trump and all his supporters to be a critical values threat (what I’ve been calling the “dire aesthetic emergency” — keep in mind that I do not use “aesthetic” in a derogatory and trivializing way), another group (black voters) exist in a state of justified mistrust towards the rest of the electorate, and another group wants economic improvement but only if it is obtained through an aggressive posture towards those they view as an outgroup.  How these groups formed is a matter of a complex social history that is not fully amenable to class politics via “vulgar Marxism”.

Perhaps because it is, ultimately, the expression of inchoate and malleable emotional forces, nationalism can become attached to various political projects and tendencies. Its most extreme manifestation may have been in the murderous modernity of mid-twentieth century fascism, but the New Right of Thatcher and Reagan also managed to convince xenophobes and nationalists that they were on their side, willing to endorse racist and militarist projects as long as they also got to sell off public utilities and slash taxes for the rich. So the discourse of nationalist authoritarianism has proven remarkably flexible over the years, being used to justify everything from imperialist war to the destruction of the British coal industry. But the purpose that conservative nationalism always serves is to provide alternative explanations for historical events to those that would inform a progressive response: blaming unemployment on immigration; blaming union unrest on unpatriotic militant workers; blaming crime on the supposed moral degeneracy of ethnic minorities.

In the UK, the most recent and powerful iteration of this narrative was the Right-wing argument for Brexit. The Brexit story offers a compelling and plausible account of almost all of the cultural, social, political and economic changes of recent decades that many UK citizens have cause to regret, while promising an easy remedy to them. The weakening of our democratic institutions, the collapse of manufacturing industry and the consequent loss of secure employment in many places, the changing cultural composition of our cities and other communities: all could be laid at the door of EU membership. Of course a few of the people who voted Leave did so out of a hard-headed Left-wing understanding of the EU as an institution committed to the implementation of neoliberalism. Of course almost everyone who took such a view was a committed supporter of lifelong anti-racist Jeremy Corbyn. But absolutely every relevant survey suggests that the proportion of leavers who were motivated by this view, free from any nationalist fantasies of ‘recovering sovereignty’ or restoring cultural purity, was statistically negligible. A certain section of the American Left loves the idea that Brexit was in fact a vote against neoliberal policy rather than the reactionary form taken by dismay at some of its effect. The truth is, for most of its supporters and opponents, a vote for or against Brexit was the precise symbolic equivalent of a vote for or against Trump’s border wall.

There is a strong temptation, again especially among economic leftists, to see favorite leftist bugbears (e.g., the construction of European institutions while neoliberalism still seemed to bear the Mandate of Heaven) as the “real” thing that underlies the false consciousness of nationalist resentment.  Arguing this requires the kind of psychologizing that typically heralds weak armchair sociological reasoning.  Perhaps if one were already in power, one could use economic policy or withdrawal from neoliberal globalization to abate the underlying impulses that motivate proto-fascist ideation in the population.  This is putting the cart before the horse.  There is no evidence that catering to those impulses before attaining power enables you to create a cadre of voters that is more motivated by economic policy than by latent cultural resentments.

There are therefore two overall options:

  1. Accept the electorate as it is (yes, fully understanding the power of capitalist media to shape public opinion without overestimating it or imputing omnipotence to it). Then make a decision as to what are the palatable compromises in order to exert power.
  2. Set aside electoral politics as the center of available political progress and do the hard work, outside the question of elections, of raising public consciousness and reshaping the attitudes of the electorate.

This is, of course, not a complete dichotomy, since a combination of the two is possible.  The option that has not been available at this present time, however, is running on a platform that centers economic and environmental improvement, given the constraints of the electoral system and its social history to date.  This is not a circle you can square.  The prospects for this have improved (the fact that Corbyn and Sanders got as far as they did is a relevant indicator), but the world is not “there” yet.

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Would Fascist Oswald Mosley Have Treated the Windrush Migrants Better than the Tories?

Oswald Mosley, the head of the British Union of Fascists, tried to get back into British politics after the War. He’d been interned during the War, but still wished to return and lead a far right party. His new outfit was simply called the Union Movement, and Mosley desperately and vehemently denied that he would have been a collaborator had there been a Nazi invasion, and that he wasn’t a racist or anti-Semite.

There’s footage on YouTube of an interview he gave on British television in the 1970s, from the same programme, I think, which the late, great antipodean TV critic, Clive James, reviewed in his column for the Absurder. Mosley’s interviewer asks him frankly about anti-Semitism and his attitude to the Jews. At this, Mosley gets visibly angry and starts to deny that he is or has been any such thing. This is interrupted by a working class bloke in the audience, who stands up to remind him that the ordinary working people of this country saw him off, and his mate Hitler during the War, and they’ll see him off again. It’s been suggested that if the Nazis had invaded Britain, Mosley wouldn’t have collaborated with them because he would already have been shot by Special Branch as a traitor. As for the anti-Semitism, it has been claimed that Mosley genuinely didn’t hate the Jews and the BUF only turned towards anti-Semitism from a mixture of opportunism, the anti-Semitism of some of it’s rank and file and Mosley’s subordinates and advisers, and as a reaction to the hostility to the movement from the Jewish community. More recent research suggests that Mosley may already have been anti-Semitic, and I don’t doubt that if somehow he had seized power and made Britain an ally or satellite or Nazi Germany, he would have cheerfully collaborated in the Holocaust.

Some of Mosley’s post-War political views are laid out in his 1961 book, Mosley – Right Or Wrong? The book’s arranged as a series of questions on issues like the Empire, international relations, race, industry, the economy, trade unions and so on. Section 13 is on the ‘Colour Question in Britain, Immigration, The Racial Question’. In it, Mosley tells the reader what he intends to do about non-White immigrants. His solution is compulsory repatriation, but he claims he won’t be inhumane, because those deported will have their fares paid. He also intends to avoid criticism from Britain’s Black colonies by making sure Britain buys their products and helps their economy rather than their competitors’. This means, for example, that he would buy sugar from Jamaica rather than Cuba. Question 116 in this section asks the wannabe dictator how he would deal with coloured students and and coloured immigrants, who have been here a long time. Mosley’s reply is that he would continue to allow coloured people to come here for their education and that they would be made welcome. As for non-Whites, who have been resident in Britain for a long time, he states that those,

who have been good citizens and have developed roots in this country will also not be sent away. For this reason we propose that all coloured people of this character who came here before the last war, should be allowed to stay, if they wish. They are too few to create any serious problems. And on the whole they have been good citizens of Britain. (p. 118).

You can compare that with Tweezer’s and the Tories’ deportation of the Windrush Migrants. They’d been resident here for a similar length of time or more than the non-White immigrants Mosley was talking about. They also had a guaranteed legal right to remain, which Tweezer as home secretary illegally removed. It may therefore seem possible from the above passage in which Mosley states he’d let some non-White immigrants remain, that he, a horrendous Fascist, would also have respected the Windrush immigrants rights to remain.

In fact I doubt very much that he would. The history of Fascism shows that they can’t be trusted and that however moderate and respectable they appear, the reality is always dictatorship, brutality, violent repression and mass murder. Fascist leaders like Hitler and Mussolini were able to win power partly through propaganda and carefully tailoring their message to their audiences. If Hitler was speaking in a very traditionally left-wing, working class district, he’d stress the anti-capitalist strand of Nazi ideology. When campaigning in a traditionally right-wing, anti-Semitic area, he’d attack the Jews. Mosley and the other Fascist and Nazi groups were presented with the problem after the War that Europe had had enough of it. The British people had seen and fought against its horrors and weren’t going to tolerate its revival. Hence Mosley’s attempts to present himself in a more moderate light. He states at one point that he dislike the word ‘racist’ because it implies that one race is superior to another, which he rejects. Well, he might have done, but that won’t stop anyone reading him coming to the conclusion that a racist was precisely what he was. I don’t doubt therefore that if by some miracle of medicine Mosley had lived on and been in power a few years ago, he would have deported the Windrush immigrants like Theresa May and the Tories.

What is alarming is not that he would have done – you’d expect it from a Fascist leader – but that Mosley could sound more moderate and tolerant in some respects than the leaders of the modern Conservative party. Or if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t sound that much more extreme, either.

And that should show you how much trouble we’re in, and how much the Tories are moving to the extreme right.

Sargon of Gasbag on Black Lives Matter’s Material for Schools’ Day of Action

I’m no doubt going too far in some people’s eyes by reblogging this. After all, this is Carl Benjamin, aka Sargon of Akkad, the Sage of Swindon and the man who broke UKIP. Sargon’s a true-blue Libertarian Tory. He supports Boris Johnson’s Tories, Donald Trump and was formerly a member of UKIP. He passionately supports Brexit, capitalism and doesn’t believe that the Tories are privatising the NHS on the grounds that he thinks no-one would buy it. Although he is anti-racist and has debate the Alt Right, his own nationalist views are so extreme that he himself has been accused of racism. He has very conservative views on women and gender. When he was adopted by the Kippers as one of their candidates in a Euro election a few years ago, it became a national scandal. There were protests against him when he tried speaking in Bristol and Cornwall. People threw milkshakes and buckets of fish over him, and he was banned from a local restaurant here in Bristol. There were letters of protest against his candidacy from the other Kippers. The Gloucestershire branch dissolved itself in disgust, and a very large proportion of the party’s membership resigned.

I don’t share his political views and strongly disagree with him about Brexit. It’s destroying Britain. As is Johnson’s free trade Thatcherism. And the NHS is most definitely being privatised.

But I’m reblogging his post about the materials Black Lives Matter had put together for a proposed day of action in schools this summer because I believe that while he misses the point and is wrong about many of the issues BLM raise with their teaching materials, there are others that he is right to tackle and criticise.

Someone leaked the school syllabus Black Lives Matter had put together onto the web, and Sargon makes it clear that it’s a full-one attempt to indoctrinate children. He then goes on to critique some of BLM’s proposals one by one.

He begins with BLM’s call for a week of action in schools. This declares itself to be a national uprising that affirms the lives of Black students, teaches and families. This week centres classroom lessons on structural racism, intersectional Black identities, Black history and anti-racism through the thirteen guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sargon declares that this is an attempt to indoctrinate children with a one-sided view of history, politics and moral philosophy without their parents’ presence or even knowledge, in order to turn them into activists. Sargon naturally states that this not something he would like them to do to his children.

He then goes through Black Lives Matters’ Guiding Principles. They are

Restorative Justice: We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a peaceful struggle that is restorative, not depleting. This strikes Sargon as like a cult, like some of those he read about a while ago, where they interrogated each other in order to form a tightly-knit community in which they were emotionally connected in a weird and unfriendly way.

Diversity: We respect and acknowledge differences and commonality. Sargon doesn’t comment on this, but this seems to be the standard attitude now being taught in schools and promoted as the norm throughout society.

Empathy: We practice empathy. We engage comrades with intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

Loving Engagement: We embody and practice justice, liberation and peace in our engagements with one another.

Queer Affirming: We foster a queer-affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless s/he or they express otherwise. Sargon doesn’t comment on this either, but at one level it’s also unremarkable. Schools have also come under pressure to tackle homophobia and promote gay tolerance and equality. There are problems with this when it comes to what is age appropriate. Homophobia is certainly not confined to the Black community, but it does seem to be particularly strong there. A few years ago back in the 1990s BBC Radio 4 broadcast a documentary, The Roots of Intolerance, in which the Black British gay presenter went across Britain and the Caribbean seeking to understand where the deep hatred of gays in Black society came from. This was a particular issue at the time, as there was a spate of extremely homophobic songs emerging from Black artists. That controversy has now died down somewhat, but I don’t believe the situation has altered in the past 25+ years. I disagree with this part of BLM’s manifesto because the attack on heteronormativity is too extreme and should not be taught and encouraged.

Transgender Affirming: We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women, who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence. We particularly make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead. Sargon states that if he caught a school teaching his children this, he would take them out. He even says he’d send them to a Catholic school – and he was a militant atheist. This radical stance is aimed particularly at the Black community, but seems to be part of the general trend throughout American and British society. Trans activists are campaigning for this to be taught in schools. Again there are problems with what is age appropriate, and also the indoctrination of the vulnerable. Some children are being taught by the medically unqualified that they are transgender, while in fact they may simply be mentally ill. There is particular concern that those convinced that they are transgender may be simply autistic. Girls are being particularly affected, and so some opponents of the radical trans movement feel that it is an anti-feminist ideology.

Unapologetically Black: We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter we do not need to qualify our position to love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others. Sargon makes the point that this also validates the idea that White lives matter as well. In fairness, Black Lives Matter has never said that they didn’t, although some of their members, like Sasha Johnson, almost certainly don’t believe they do. But Sargon also argues that their statement about being unapologetically Black means that their opponents can also argue that they are unapologetically White. Their stance legitimates White nationalism. The only way they can combat this is by adopting Robin Di Angelo’s tactic of stating ‘it’s rules for me but not for thee’.

Black Women: We build a space that affirms Black women and is free of sexism, misogyny and environments in which men are centred. Sargon doesn’t mention it, but this seems to be just another approach Black Lives Matter shares with other radical groups and which reflects the anti-sexism campaigns in general society.

Black Families: We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work double shifts so they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work. This confuses Sargon as he says that he thought patriarchy wanted women in the home, barefoot and pregnant. But I think he’s failed to reaslise that this section appears to written for those poorer families, where the absence of a father means that the children aren’t supported by the second income that is now required to support a family. This situation is particularly acute among the Black community, but certainly isn’t unique to it. It is also found among the White poor.

Black Villages: We disrupt the western prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and villages that collectively care for one another, especially our children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable. Sargon states that this is a fantasy world.

He has a point in that it appears to be a racialised view, that idealises the African model of communal childcare. For example, in many traditional African cultures the women of the village also breastfeed each other’s children. And then there’s that supposed African proverb about it taking a village to raise a child. But no-one has ever been able to find such a saying in traditional African lore.

However, there is a general principle here that is perfectly acceptable. When my parents were settling down to raise us, they had the support of relatives and neighbours. People at that time did look out for each other, giving poorer friends items they had no longer use for, doing each others’ shopping and looking after each other’s children in sickness and emergencies. That hasn’t completely vanished, but it was done much more than is now common. That sense of community has been damaged by the extreme individualism that is atomising society.

Globalism: We see ourselves as part of a global Black family and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world. This seems to follow the pattern of much Black activism. Black civil rights campaigners have seen the struggle of western Blacks as part of a general, global struggle of Black nations for independence from White domination since at least W.E.B. DuBois, who moved to Ghana after it gained independence.

Intergenerational: We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn. Sargon believes that this erases children, but thinks this is good for the kind of people this would attract. This is wrong. The statement simply means they value older people. Again, it’s in line with the general, mainstream attack on ageism.

Collective Value: We are guided by the fact that all Black Lives Matter regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status or location. This, Sargon declares, is the endpoint of the radical left’s thinking in race. Or it could be an attempt to create a united Black community with its own sense of pride in order to combat some of the real issues plaguing the Black community, like drugs and Black on Black violence.

Sargon on BLM’s ‘Talking to Young Children

Sargon then moves on to the section about Talking to Young Children about the Guiding Principles of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Sargon states that this section uses phraseology, that could only be by people who don’t have children. He then singles out the sections on ‘diversity’, ‘globalism’ and ‘transgender-affirming’. The last says that ‘everyone get to choose their own gender through listening to their heart and mind. Everyone gets to choose whether they are a girl or a boy or both or neither or something else, and no-one gets to choose for them’. Which Sargon sarcastically warns will leave children rather confused. And I believe that is one of the dangers of adopting such a radical stance when it comes to gender identity. I don’t doubt that some people do feel that they are in the wrong body, and that after very careful thought and medical advice they should be able to transition. But this is something rather more complicated than saying people choose their own gender identity.

‘Collective value’ – Sargon thinks this is the same as individual value.

‘Unapologetically Black’. This section states that there are lots of different kinds of people and one way that we are different is through the colour of our skin.’ Sargon believes that this highlights the issue of race, and will turn children into a generation of racists. The section goes on ‘It’s important to makes sure that all people are treated fairly, and that’s why we, and lots of other people all over the country and the world, are part of the Black Lives Matter movement.’ This tells children that they are going to be a race warrior for the Black Lives Matter movement. But this section also connects with what the movement was saying in their thirteen principles about also valuing people from other races, but that it had to start with Black people’s own first. It therefore does not mean that they necessary disparage other races.

Plans for Week of Action

He then goes on to critique their plans for a week of action, which is a week of activism. This is simply to train children how to be activists. The programme includes sections like ‘Show Solidarity’, ‘Post on Social Media’, ‘Teach a Lesson’, ‘Attend an Event’, create things. He believes this document is real, because it has too many graphics to be otherwise. He points out the contradiction between their statement that they embody and practice justice, liberation and peace in their engagements with each other with a raised fist, a representation of violence.

The materials also include abstracted posters that can be used. Sargon believes that the consistency of the messages shows that this was planned in a central committee. He then goes on to discuss their suggestions for what should be taught at elementary school. Which includes youth activism. The plans for their week of action include ‘Day 1 kick-off: using your voice for a cause; Day 2: past and present youth activism’; guiding questions like ‘what is a cause?’, ‘what does it mean to use your voice for a cause? ‘, ‘why is it important to stand up for what you believe in?’, ‘what are the different ways we can create change?’, ‘home issues and the home community’, a project day. Sargon criticises this on the grounds that they are training children who are unable to think critically about what they are being taught, nor do they know any of the facts of the matter behind it. Sargon does not assume that they will give them a fully informed picture either. He calls it indoctrination.

Postmodernism and Afro Futurism in High School

Moving on to the material for high school, he says that this is where it gets really good. Like ‘Afrofuturism’ and ‘Postmodern Principles’. Sargon asks rhetorically whether he wants a group of radical race warriors, who consider everything about our society racist, to indoctrinate his children into a postmodern education? He says ‘No’, and adds that it’s only because he doesn’t want his child to come out of school believing that the world around him into which he’s been born and raised is evil and that he has to do everything in his power to tear it down. And that he himself, as a White person, is going to be part of the problem. And that every Black person he meets is some kind of inferior species, that needs his help and guidance to be saved. He doesn’t agree with that kind of worldview at all, nor with postmodernism as the kind of lens to view things with.

Sargon is absolutely right about Postmodernism. I extensively criticised it earlier when this blog was centred on Christian Apologetics. Postmodernism and cultural relativism are entirely inadequate as the basis for morality because of their rejection of the idea that it is objective. This was also the attitude of the Italian Fascists and Nazis. Mussolini took over Nietzsche’s idea that there was no objective morality, and the Nazis believed that morality and philosophical values differed from nation to nation according to race and ethnicity. Hence the Nazis’ insistence on Aryan science, maths and other racist nonsense. But the idea of racial and gender equality, for example, demands an objective morality that applies to all humans and is universally valid. Postmodernism, despite its pretensions to do this, actually doesn’t support such universal and objective values.

He believes this comes out in the section on Afro Futurism. This begins with a section on ‘Utopia’, which defines it as ‘an imagined place where everything is perfect, and asks the reader to define their utopia.’ It asks people to dream about their perfect place, a consistent theme throughout the documents. It asks the students what problems they could solve with their superpowers and what they would look like in this imaginary world. Sargon responds with ‘Who cares? You live in the real world’ and points out that they have limited resources at hand and limited options. So they should stop talking about an imaginary freedom of the will, as if the will is something separate to the physical world and gets to decide everything for it. He doesn’t want them thinking about superpowers, but asking how they can get good grades, how can they get a good job, how can they be healthy and stable, how can they raise children of their own, how can they form a family and be a healthy person.

This is a fair criticism. From what I can see, Afro Futurism simply means Black science fiction and particularly the imagining of Black advanced technological societies, like Wakanda in the film Black Panther, based on the Marvel comic books. There’s nothing wrong with such dreams, but schools should be teaching more immediate and achievable goals and aspirations to their students.

High School Materials

From this he moves on to the high school section, where there is more interesting stuff. Like ‘the BLM High School: the Black Panther Party’; ‘Social Justice Mathematics Materials’; ‘Black Lives Matter Haiti’, ‘Chicago Race Riots’, all of which Sargon describes as full-on Black Lives Matter propaganda. Sargon states that this doesn’t mean that they’ll get the opportunity to pump this out, but the fact that they’ve prepared it shows that there is time, money and materials behind it and it will get somewhere.

Then on to their reading materials. These include the Black Panther’s Apologia. This is the Panther’s 10 point programme, which were:

  1. We want freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities.
  2. We want full employment for our people. They believed that the federal government had the responsibility and obligation to give everyone either a job or a guaranteed income. Sargon shows his libertarianism here by saying that it shows that they believed that they were the serfs of the state. This part of their manifesto is certainly radical. If you read it, it says that if businessmen are not willing to provide employment, the technology and means of production should be taken away from them and placed in the hands of the people, so that they can do so. It’s certainly a communist demand. But at the time this was written, in Britain the social democratic post-war consensus was still governing British politics. This meant that the government believed it had the responsibility to create full employment. This was through a mixed economy and state economic planning. Attlee only nationalised a very small number of industries, and so it did not necessarily mean that the state would employ everyone, only that it would help create the economic framework for everyone to be able to get a job. As for a guaranteed income, this could just mean proper unemployment benefit. This was part of the minimum welfare provision set up by Roosevelt’s New Deal, but I don’t know how far it extended. Like the British unemployment benefit before the creation of the welfare state, it may have only reached certain sections of the working class. In which case the Panther’s demands are entirely reasonable.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black and oppressed communities. Sargon questions this by stating that if they believe the state is robbing them, why do they want it to provide them with a job, as they wouldn’t be free. This section goes back to the old promise of 40 acres and two mules. Sargon asks what they would do with this if they were dumped in the middle of the Midwest. They wouldn’t be able to take care of two mules. He knows he wouldn’t know what to do with them, and that they wouldn’t know either. Again, if you actually look at what they’re proposing, they also say they would accept the monetary equivalent. They’re talking about reparations for slavery, and for the slaughter of 50 million Black people they believe America has committed worldwide.
  4. We want decent housing, fit for human beings.
  5. We want decent education for our people. This also includes the statement that it should expose the true nature of decadent American society. They want to be taught the true history of their people and role in present-day society. Which looks like the origin of Black History Month.
  6. We want completely free healthcare. Sargon reads this out, but makes no comment. But it’s a reasonable request, and is behind the NHS in Britain, now under attack from the same forces of capitalism that the Panthers saw as oppressing Black Americans.
  7. We want an end to police brutality and murder of Black people, and all other people of colour, all oppressed people inside the United States. From what little I know of the Black Panthers, it was the casual police killing of Blacks that provoked the rise of the Panthers in the first place. They believed the only way they could protect Black people was to take up guns and shoot back. Hence Sasha Johnson’s bizarre fantasy of setting up a Black militia here in the UK, despite this country’s rather different history.
  8. We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression. This was obviously written during the Vietnam War, but it’s still applicable now.
  9. We want freedom for all Black and oppressed people. Sargon skips over this, omitting that it’s about freeing people in jail, and that they also want trial by a jury of peers for everyone charged with so-called crimes under the country’s laws. This is a central cornerstone of western justice.
  10. We want bread, housing, education, justice, peace. Sargon declares that these are flights of fantasy that sound like radical communist agitation, and for the Black Panthers, a militant, murderous party. Certainly the Panthers do seem from this to have been very radical left, and influenced by communism. But the demand for decent housing, full employment and free healthcare could be solved simply through a social democratic mixed economy welfare state. Horrifyingly radical to Americans, but the norm in Britain at the time.

Social Justice Maths

Sargon goes on to other topics, which he thinks are very weird. Like materials for social justice mathematics, a copy of Oakland police statistics for 1st July 2013, and Stanford university’s big study of racial disparites, and the stats for New York police’s stop and frisk.

Sargon’s Concluding Criticisms

Then there’s the Teaching Tolerance Guide, subtitled ‘Discussing Race, Racism and other Difficult Topics with Other Students’. There are also videos. Sargon once again describes it as a social justice package – which is quite correct – and states that the same talking points are repeated over and over again throughout it. He states that it is to present a one-sided narrative on all these points in order to construct the belief that American and other societies are uniquely evil, encouraging children to go into flights of fantasy about what might be, instead of being pragmatic, responsible and trying to build a better world one step at a time.

Sargon says that this should be resisted at all costs. If you’re a parent, you should enquire at your local school if they have any Black Lives Matter teaching materials that they will be teaching your children and request a copy of them. And if they don’t, you should kick up a stink, threaten to pull your child out and tell other parents to do so, because this is racial indoctrination. He even says that you could send the other parents this video to show what these materials look like.

He then ends the video by plugging his merchandising, based on Orwell’s statement that in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. And with Black Lives Matter we have entered that time of deceit. Our societies are not evil. They are good societies. Black Lives Matter is a malign cult, which he believes has spread through our societies because they are good, decent and people do not want to be racist. This is partly right. Black Lives Matter exists because society does treat Black people unfairly, but it has spread because people do not want to be racist as the mixed race crowds of their protests show. He believes it has spread through a postmodernist education establishment with a deconstructionist agenda which says that if things are looked at in a certain way, White societies are uniquely evil when they aren’t.

Here’s Sargon’s video.

The materials Sargon analyses and critiques in this video seem to show that in many ways Black Lives Matter is unremarkable. It has much in common with other left-wing movements demanding racial and gender equality and promoting gay and now trans rights. It also seems to follow much previous Black activism in connecting the deprivation of Blacks in the west with White western imperialism and colonialism. I don’t dispute either that its view that Blacks are particularly disadvantaged in America is due to institutional racism, as certainly legislation has been used to disqualify Blacks from opportunities, jobs and services, including welfare provision, that has been reserved for Whites.

This is not the whole story, however, and such a view should not be taught in school. What is appropriate as voluntary community activism becomes dangerous indoctrination when taught in the classroom. The idealisation of the Black Panthers is a particular problem. While much of their demands were reasonable and entirely justified, they were a violent paramilitary terrorist organisation. It’s intoxication with the Panthers and their violence that has inspired Sasha Johnson to style herself as a Black Panther and try to set up her own, similar Black paramilitary organisation.

I also share Sargon’s objections to teaching children that western society is uniquely evil and persecutes Blacks, who always require particular assistance. And that Whites are responsible for this, and somehow intrinsically racist unless taught otherwise. This is only part of the story, and the reality can be far more complex.

Despite its careful wording about tolerance and diversity, the materials for BLM’s proposed day of action would only create more racial hostility, division and resentment. They should definitely not be taught in schools.

History Debunked Demolishes The Black Curriculum

This is another fascinating and well-argued video by Simon Webb of History Debunked. This time he takes aim at The Black Curriculum, the group behind the demands that the teaching of Black History should not just be for a month, but all through the year.

Black History Not Inclusive, Solely for Black Minority

Webb starts his video by stating that, demographically, only three per cent of this country’s population are African or Caribbean. This is a problem for those groups desperate to show that Blacks have made a major contribution to British society. There are other, larger ethnic groups. Indians comprise 8 per cent, and we could also reasonably ask why there also shouldn’t be an Asian history month, or Chinese, Polish or Irish. But the demand is specifically for history that concentrates exclusively on Blacks. He returns to the same point at the end of the video.

The Black Curriculum

He then moves on to Black Curriculum group themselves, who have been favourably mentioned by the Beeb, the Groaniad and other newspapers. Their website, to which he provides a link, contains template letters for people to use to send to government ministers. They also produce educational videos which they distribute free. One of these is about Mary Seacole, the Afro-Caribbean who supposedly nursed British squaddies during the Crimean War, and whom Black activists have claimed was a rival to Florence Nightingale. Webb describes it with the Russian term disinformazia, which means deceitful propaganda. He wonders whether this is a bit a harsh, as they might actually believe it. The Black Curriculum also runs workshops for schools and want to have their video widely adopted. He then proceeds to demolish their video on Seacole.

Lies and Bad History in Seacole Video

It starts by claiming that she came to England to nurse British soldiers because she’d heard that conditions were so bad. Not true. She came to England, leaving her restaurant in Panama, because she’d invested in mines in Grenada, and wanted to know why her shares weren’t doing well. She felt they should have been sold on the British stock exchange. It goes on to claim that she applied to be a nurse, but her application was refused. Wrong again. Those applying to be nurses had to send a written application accompanied by references. She didn’t do that, but lobbied one or two people but never made a formal application. It also claims that she opened a hotel for sick and wounded officers. But it was simply a bar and restaurant. There was no accommodation there at all. He backs this up with a contemporary picture of the ‘hospital’, which shows exactly that it wasn’t one.

He notes that there are other problems with the video, but says that these will do for now, though he might say more in a later video about it and The Black Curriculum. He offers two explanations why they made a video as terrible as this. The first is that they knew nothing about Mary Seacole, and hadn’t read her autobiography. The other possibility is that whoever made the video knew the facts, and set out deliberately to deceive adults and children, which is quite malicious. Someone like that – either ignorant or malicious – should definitely not be in charge of what is taught in the curriculum.

Important Mainstream Subjects that Might Have to Be Dropped to Make Room for the Black Curriculum

Webb also wonders how the issues demanded by the Black Curriculum could be fitted into the present curriculum, as it is packed as it is. There is already enough struggle fitting the present material in. He looks at some of the material the Black Curriculum is already putting forward, and what important subjects in history might have to be dumped to make room for it. This, Webb suggests, might be the Magna Carta, or the Bill of Rights, or perhaps the Holocaust. He then looks at the modules The Black Curriculum suggest on their website. This is material aimed at 7-8 year olds, in other words, kids at Key Stage 2. It’s a time when children are learning basic literacy, arithmetic, science, art and PE. It’s very intensive and there’s a lot of work there. Well, reading and writing might have to be cut back to make room for ‘Collectivism and Solidarity’. A few maths lessons could be dropped in favour of ‘Cultural Resistance’ and ‘Food Inequality’. Science is obviously not as important to children as ‘Activism’, ‘Colonialism’ or ‘Systemic Racism’. He describes this proposed curriculum as ‘largely agitprop’. It’s political propaganda.

He then sums up the problems of the Black Curriculum. There are three.

  1. It’s concerned mainly with Black people. If it was geared to broaden the cultural understanding of the average child he might be in favour of it. He states that he homeschooled his daughter, and as result they visited various different cultures. These included a Black evangelical church, a mosque, synagogue, Hindu temple and Sikh gurdwara. If the proposed syllabus included these as well, he might be in favour of it. But it is not.
  2. It seems prepared by the ignorant or malicious. And that’s an insurmountable object to adopting material of this kind.
  3. And if you’re considering cutting material from the national curriculum, then as many groups as possible should be consulted. Like Indians and Bengalis, Chinese, the Jewish community, which has a long history in this country. If you want to broaden the cultural horizons of British children, which is a noble enough enterprise, it shouldn’t be restricted to just three per cent of the population. It needs to be much broader entirely.

Here’s the video.

Now it’s clear that Webb is a man of the right, but I think he makes valid points, and his remark about trying to broaden children’s horizon is both fair and shows he’s not a racist.

I admit I found myself reacting against the demand to have Black African civilisations taught as part of the national curriculum. It undoubtedly would benefit Black children, or at least, those of African descent. David Garmston interviewed several Black schoolchildren about it in an item in the local news programme for the Bristol area, Points West. One of them was an African lad, Suhaim, who said he had had very low self-esteem and felt suicidal. But this was raising his spirits. You can’t want anyone, of whatever race or culture, to suffer like that. I’ve been interested in African history and its civilisations since studying the continent as part of the ‘A’ level Geography course, at which I got spectacularly bad marks. It’s a fascinating continent, and I encourage anyone to learn about it. But I think I objected to the proposal because it seems that what should be a voluntary pleasure and a joy was being foisted on British schoolchildren for the benefit of foreigners or a minority of people, who find it unable to assimilate and identify with the host culture. I know how unpleasant this sounds, but this is how I feel. I also think that activism like this creates more division, by presenting Blacks as an ‘other’ with a completely different history and culture, who need to be treated specially and differently from Whites and other ethnic groups.

Black people have contributed to British, American and European civilisation and not just through slavery and the riches they produced for planters and industrialists. But until the late 19th century, the continent of Africa was effectively closed to westerners through a mixture of the tropical diseases around the malaria-infested swamps of the coast and strong African states that kept European traders confined to ghettos. Hence Europe and Africa have little shared history until the European conquests of the 1870s, except in some areas like the slave forts of the Gold Coast, and Sierra Leone, founded in the late 18th century as a colony for freed slaves. Liberia was also founded as such a colony, but by the Americans.

Webb’s description of the overall syllabus proposed by The Black Curriculum as disinformazia and agitprop is also fair. It looks like propaganda and political indoctrination, and that’s dangerous. I realise that I should agree with its hidden curriculum of anti-colonial resistance, solidarity and exposure of food inequality, but I really can’t. I believe that teachers have to be balanced and objective as far as possible. This is what is demanded by law. I don’t want children indoctrinated with Tory rubbish about how Britain never did anything wrong and the British Empire was wonderful. Far from it. Topics like those recommended by the Black Curriculum are fine for universities, which should be centres of debate where students are exposed to different views. But it’s not suitable for schools. Our mother was a teacher in a junior school here in Bristol She states that teachers are required to keep their personal opinions out of what they teach their students. If this in unavoidable, such as if a child asks them what they personally believe, then they have to reply that it is just their personal belief, not objective fact.

The Black Curriculum, therefore, certainly does seem to be peddling mendacious pseudo-history and should not be allowed near schools. But I fear there will be so much pressure from well-meaning activists to include them, that they will have their way.

The Honest Broker

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 5:33am in

Our society prizes the detached, even-handed journalist. In Trump’s America, its job is more difficult, complicated, and imperiled than ever Continue reading

The post The Honest Broker appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

New Normal Gleichschaltung, or: The Storming of the Reichstag Building on 29 August, 2020

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 7:19pm in

On March 21, 1933, the Nazi-controlled Reichstag passed a law making it a crime to speak out against the government. The “Regulations of the Reich President for Defense from Treacherous Attacks against the Government of the National Uprising” made even the slightest expression of dissent from Nazi ideology a criminal offense. This new law, among other totalitarian measures, was part of a process known as Gleichschaltung … the process of achieving rigid and total ideological coordination and uniformity in politics, culture, and private communication by forcibly repressing (or eliminating) independence and freedom of thought and expression.

GloboCap hasn’t done anything that heavy-handed in the course of rolling out the New Normal totalitarianism, but that’s mainly because they do not have to. When you control the vast majority of the global corporate media, you don’t need to pass a lot of ham-fisted laws banning all dissent from your totalitarian ideology. This isn’t the 1930s, after all. Over the last ninety years, the arts of propaganda, disinformation, and perception management have advanced to a point that even Goebbels couldn’t have imagined.

The skill with which GloboCap and the corporate media delegitimized the anti-New Normal demonstrations in Berlin, London, and other cities last weekend is a perfect example of the state of those arts. I’ll focus on Berlin, as that’s where I live, and the so-called “Storming of the Reichstag” incident, but it works pretty much the same way everywhere. I believe there was a curious incident involving a person with a fascist flag in London, and that the UK media have now officially chosen David Icke to be the movement’s figurehead.

In Berlin, in the days leading up to the protests, government officials and corporate media propagandists did what officials and propagandists do … they relentlessly repeated their official narrative, namely, that anyone protesting the New Normal (or doubting the official Coronavirus narrative) is a “violent neo-Nazi extremist,” or “conspiracy theorist,” or some other form of existential “threat to democracy.”

This official narrative was originally disseminated following the August 1 protest in Berlin, the scale of which took the authorities by surprise. Tens or hundreds of thousands of people (depending on whose narrative you believe) gathered in the city to protest the New Normal and its increasingly absurd “emergency measures.” The German media, CNN, The New York Times, and other “respectable news outlets” uniformly condemned them as “neo-Nazis,” or insinuated that they were “neo-Nazi-sympathizers.”

Despite the finding of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution that only “individual members of far-right-groups” had taken part in the August 1 protest, and that “far-right extremists had no formative influence on the demos,” both the German and international corporate media pumped out story after story about the ultra-violent neo-Nazi hordes that were about to descend on Berlin, again!

Der Tagespiegel, a major German newspaper, reported that the demo was being “infiltrated by Nazis.” Die Tagesschau, the German BBC, shrieked that “neo-Nazis are mobilizing!” RBB, another public broadcaster, reported that the “traveling circus of Corona-deniers” was heading straight for the city! (N.B. Any reference to any kind of “deniers” in Germany evokes Holocaust deniers, i.e., Nazis). Ver.di, the German journalists union, warned their members that they were expecting reporters to suffer “double-digit physical attacks.” And these are just a few of countless examples.

The American and UK corporate media also did their Gleichschaltung duty, disseminating the official “Nazis are Coming!” narrative. (I don’t need to do the citations, do I?) And, of course, Antifa joined in the chorus.

On Wednesday, three days before the demo, having successfully whipped the New Normal masses up into a state of wide-eyed panic over the imminent neo-Nazi invasion, the Berlin government banned the protests. The New Normal masses celebrated. A few concerns about … you know, democracy, were perfunctorily voiced, but they were quickly silenced when Interior Senator Andreas Geisel explained that abrogating the people’s constitutional right to freedom of assembly, and freedom of speech, and to petition their government, was not in any way a totalitarian act, but was purely a matter of “protecting the public health.”

For good measure, Geisel also added:

“I’m not willing to accept a second time that Berlin is being abused as a stage for Corona deniers, Reichsbürger, and right-wing extremists.”

Then, in a particularly Orwellian twist, although the protest itself had now been banned, the Berlin government decided to approve a “counter-protest” against the banned protest. I’m not quite sure how that was supposed to work.

The night before the demo, an administrative court overturned the protest ban. It didn’t really matter, as the authorities knew they couldn’t stop the demo in any event. Banning the protest was just part of the show (and the Gleichschaltung process the show was part of), meant to emphasize the existential threat posed by the bloodthirsty Nazi legion that was on its way to sack the city.

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of protesters (the overwhelming majority of whom were not neo-Nazis, or Nazi-sympathizers, or any other kind of monsters) poured into the streets of central Berlin. The police surrounded them, trapping them on the avenues, closed off the side streets so they couldn’t get out, and, once again, tried to ban the protest on the grounds that they weren’t “social distancing.” Everyone sat down in the street. Cops stalked around in their masks and body armor, sweating heavily, and occasionally pushing people. Lawyers made phone calls. It was very hot. This went on for quite a while.

Eventually, the court instructed the police to let the demonstration go ahead. And the rest is history … except that it isn’t. According to the official narrative, there were no hundreds of thousands of protesters. There were “tens of thousands,” and they were all “neo-Nazis,” and “Nazi-sympathizers,” and “Coronavirus deniers,” and “stark-raving mad conspiracy theorists.” (Full disclosure: I was there with them, and, yes, indeed, there were some neo-Nazis among the hundreds of thousands in the streets, but, just like at the August 1 protest, these far-right boneheads were a small minority and not at all welcomed by the majority of the participants, no more than the Trotskyists and anti-Semites were welcomed at the 2003 anti-war protests before the US invasion of Iraq, although, yes, they were definitely there.)

In any event, hundreds of thousands of protesters made their way down Unter den Linden, through the iconic Brandenburg Gate, and onward to the main demonstration, filling the Straße des 17. Juni from the Brandenburg Gate to the Siegessäule. By now, I assume you’ve seen the pictures. Or maybe you haven’t. It’s actually fairly hard to find any photos in the media that give you any real perspective.

And, finally, we have come to the main event … which, of course, was not this enormous gathering of totally non-violent, non-Nazi people peacefully protesting the New Normal totalitarianism, nor the speech of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. No, the “story,” the official main event, was the “Storming of the Reichstag building by Nazis.”

I’ll let Mathias Bröckers handle this part. Here’s an excerpt from his recent blog post:

Storming of Reichstag Averted – Democracy Saved!

How do you manage to delegitimize a peaceful mass protest against the corona measures in such a way that the media report not about a protest by hundreds of thousands, but about the “storming” of the Reichstag?

Quite simply: you approve an application by a group of Reichsbürger to assemble directly in front of the Reichstag (N.B. the official applicant for this assembly was Ex-NPD-member Rüdiger Hoffmann) and station only three policemen in front of the west entrance despite the large police presence everywhere in the area. Then you let a crazy Q-Anon-chick scream into the microphone that “Donald Trump has declared freedom,” that “the police have laid down their weapons,” and that “everyone should now occupy the steps of the Reichstag,” and, presto, you have the images you need to dominate the coverage … a mob of a few dozen people with Reichsbürger flags “storming the Reichstag.”

Never mind the fact that the massive demonstration at the Siegesäule (i.e., Victory Column) organized by Querdenken 711 had absolutely nothing to do with this incident, which was carried out by a right-wing-extremist splinter group. The demonstration had already been delegitimized as a protest staged by Reichsbürger extremists and tin-foil-hat lunatics in the days leading up to it, and now the visual confirmation was provided.

In a video of the lead-up to the “Reichstag storming” incident, Tamara K., a natural health practitioner, and pretty obviously a far-right wacko, is the “crazy Q-Anon-chick” in question. You can clearly hear her advising the crowd that “there are no more police here,” which the video confirms. Or rather, the few police that were there had left the building completely unguarded and pulled back to well behind this assembly of obviously far-right-extremist-type clowns (who, remember, had been granted official permission to stage their assembly at the steps of the Reichstag). This, despite the days and weeks of warnings of a “neo-Nazi invasion” from government officials and the corporate media.

Go ahead, call me a “conspiracy theorist.”

Anyway, once the Reichstag steps were thoroughly occupied by far-right loonies and the Reichsflagge were in the right positions (approximately four minutes into the video), the police finally arrived to mount their defense. It was touch-and-go there for a while, but at the end of the day, democracy triumphed. Naturally, there were plenty of journalists on hand to capture this historic drama and broadcast it all around the world.

And there you have it, the official narrative, which Saskia Esken, SPD co-leader, succinctly squeezed into a tweet:

“Tens of thousands of far-right radicals, Reichsbürger, QAnon followers, Holocaust deniers, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists, and esoterics, who declare the media, science, and politicians ‘guilty’ and openly call for the storming of the Reichstag and a coup d’état. That is the 29 August Berlin demonstration.

Oh, and yesterday, as I was writing this column, I saw that the Berlin Senate had passed a new regulation requiring the participants of any future protests to all wear masks … so I take back what I wrote in the beginning. It looks like GloboCap, or at least its German branch, has some ham-fisted totalitarianism left in it.

I’ll keep you posted on the Gleichschaltung process, and the advance of the New Normal totalitarianism, generally. In the meantime, remember, this is just about a virus! And the Nazis really are coming this time! And looting is a powerful tool to bring about real, lasting change in society … oh, yeah, and the chocolate ration has been increased!

#

CJ Hopkins
September 2, 2020
Photo: staatenlos info.3 comedian video

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

Where to Start?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 12:50am in

The Trump administration's platform rests on his version of the pandemic, street protests, Russian meddling and election security. Continue reading

The post Where to Start? appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Invasion of the New Normals

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 10/08/2020 - 3:14am in

Tags 

Propaganda

They’re here! No, not the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. We’re not being colonized by giant alien fruit. I’m afraid it is a little more serious than that. People’s minds are being taken over by a much more destructive and less otherworldly force … a force that transforms them overnight into aggressively paranoid, order-following, propaganda-parroting totalitarians.

You know the people I’m talking about. Some of them are probably your friends and family, people you have known for years, and who had always seemed completely rational, but who are now convinced that we need to radically alter the fabric of human society to protect ourselves from a virus that causes mild to moderate flu-like symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms at all) in over 95% of those infected, and that over 99.6% survive, which, it goes without saying, is totally insane.

I’ve been calling them “corona-totalitarians,” but I’m going to call them the “New Normals” from now on, as that more accurately evokes the pathologized-totalitarian ideology they are systematically spreading. At this point, I think it is important to do that, because, clearly, their ideological program has nothing to do with any actual virus, or any other actual public health threat. As is glaringly obvious to anyone whose mind has not been taken over yet, the “apocalyptic coronavirus pandemic” was always just a Trojan horse, a means of introducing the “New Normal,” which they’ve been doing since the very beginning.

The official propaganda started in March, and it reached full intensity in early April. Suddenly, references to the “New Normal” were everywhere, not only in the leading corporate media (e.g., CNN, NPR, CNBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Forbes, et al.), the IMF and the World Bank Group, the WEF, UN, WHO, CDC (and the list goes on), but also on the blogs of athletic organizations, global management consulting firms, charter school websites, and random YouTube videos.

The slogan has been relentlessly repeated (in a textbook totalitarian “big lie” fashion) for going on the past six months. We have heard it repeated so many times that many of us have forgotten how insane it is, the idea that the fundamental structure of society needs to be drastically and irrevocably altered on account of a virus that poses no threat to the vast majority of the human species.

And, make no mistake, that is exactly what the “New Normal” movement intends to do. “New Normalism” is a classic totalitarian movement (albeit with a pathological twist), and it is the goal of every totalitarian movement to radically, utterly transform society, to remake the world in its monstrous image.

That is what totalitarianism is, this desire to establish complete control over everything and everyone, every thought, emotion, and human interaction. The character of its ideology changes (i.e., Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism, etc.), but this desire for complete control over people, over society, and ultimately life itself, is the essence of totalitarianism … and what has taken over the minds of the New Normals.

In the New Normal society they want to establish, as in every totalitarian society, fear and conformity will be pervasive. Their ideology is a pathologized ideology (as opposed to, say, the racialized ideology of the Nazis), so its symbology will be pathological. Fear of disease, infection, and death, and obsessive attention to matters of health will dominate every aspect of life. Paranoid propaganda and ideological conditioning will be ubiquitous and constant.

Everyone will be forced to wear medical masks to maintain a constant level of fear and an omnipresent atmosphere of sickness and death, as if the world were one big infectious disease ward. Everyone will wear these masks at all times, at work, at home, in their cars, everywhere. Anyone who fails or refuses to do so will be deemed “a threat to public health,” and beaten and arrested by the police or the military, or swarmed by mobs of New Normal vigilantes.

Cities, regions, and entire countries will be subjected to random police-state lockdowns, which will be justified by the threat of “infection.” People will be confined to their homes for up to 23-hours a day, and allowed out only for “essential reasons.” Police and soldiers will patrol the streets, stopping people, checking their papers, and beating and arresting anyone out in public without the proper documents, or walking or standing too close to other people, like they are doing in Melbourne, Australia, currently.

The threat of “infection” will be used to justify increasingly insane and authoritarian edicts, compulsory demonstration-of-fealty rituals, and eventually the elimination of all forms of dissent. Just as the Nazis believed they were waging a war against the “subhuman races,” the New Normals will be waging a war on “disease,” and on anyone who “endangers the public health” by challenging their ideological narrative. Like every other totalitarian movement, in the end, they will do whatever is necessary to purify society of “degenerate influences” (i.e., anyone who questions or disagrees with them, or who refuses to obey their every command). They are already aggressively censoring the Internet and banning their opponents’ political protests, and political leaders and the corporate media are systematically stigmatizing those of us who dare to challenge their official narrative as “extremists,” “Nazis,” “conspiracy theorists,” “covidiots,” “coronavirus deniers,” “anti-vaxxers,” and “esoteric” freaks. One German official even went so far as to demand that dissidents be deported … presumably on trains to somewhere in the East.

Despite this increasing totalitarianization and pathologization of virtually everything, the New Normals will carry on with their lives as if everything were … well, completely normal. They will go out to restaurants and the movies in their masks. They will work, eat, and sleep in their masks. Families will go on holiday in their masks, or in their “Personal Protective Upper-Body Bubble-Wear.” They will arrive at the airport eight hours early, stand in their little color-coded boxes, and then follow the arrows on the floor to the “health officials” in the hazmat suits, who will take their temperature through their foreheads and shove ten-inch swabs into their sinus cavities. Parents who wish to forego this experience will have the option to preventatively vaccinate themselves and their children with the latest experimental vaccine (after signing a liability waiver, of course) within a week or so before their flights, and then present the officials with proof of vaccination (and of their compliance with various other “health guidelines”) on their digital Identity and Public Health Passports, or subdermal biometric chips.

Children, as always, will suffer the worst of it. They will be terrorized and confused from the moment they are born, by their parents, their teachers, and by the society at large. They will be subjected to ideological conditioning and paranoid behavioral modification at every stage of their socialization … with fanciful reusable corporate plague masks branded with loveable cartoon characters, paranoia-inducing picture books for toddlers, and paranoid “social distancing” rituals, among other forms of psychological torture. This conditioning (or torture) will take place at home, as there will be no more schools, or rather, no public schools. The children of the wealthy will attend private schools, where they can be cost-effectively “socially-distanced.” Working class children will sit at home, alone, staring into screens, wearing their masks, their hyperactivity and anxiety disorders stabilized with anti-depressant medications.

And so on … I think you get the picture. I hope so, because I don’t have the heart to go on.

I pray this glimpse into the New Normal future has terrified and angered you enough to rise up against it before it is too late. This isn’t a joke, folks. The New Normals are serious. If you cannot see where their movement is headed, you do not understand totalitarianism. Once it starts, and reaches this stage, it does not stop, not without a fight. It continues to its logical conclusion. The way that usually happens is, people tell themselves it isn’t happening, it can’t be happening, not to us. They tell themselves this as the totalitarian program is implemented, step by step, one seemingly harmless step at a time. They conform, because, at first, the stakes aren’t so high, and their conformity leads to more conformity, and the next thing they know they’re telling their grandchildren that they had no idea where the trains were going.

If you have made it through to the end of this essay, your mind hasn’t been taken over yet … the New Normals clicked off around paragraph 2. What that means is that it is your responsibility to speak up, and to do whatever else you can, to stop the New Normal future from becoming a reality. You will not be rewarded for it. You will be ridiculed and castigated for it. Your New Normal friends will hate you for it. Your New Normal family will forsake you for it. The New Normal police might arrest you for it. It is your responsibility to do it anyway … as, of course, it is also mine.

#

CJ Hopkins
August 9, 2020
Photo: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

How Joeseph Goebbel’s Nazi Propaganda Gave Birth to Today’s Western Media

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 2:59am in

All six children were dressed in pristine, finely pressed white clothes. Their hair was combed and styled. Aged between four and twelve, they had been assembled below by house aides. The stage was now set. Pedigree, ideological sacred cows, convictions as indefensible as the Oder River had set it. With or without cause, all final preparations were complete.

Pleas by women and staff to usher the young ones free from harm’s way were ignored. Time was running thin. No such ideas, however, would be entertained by their much sought after father, Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. With allied forces lagging behind on the western front, the Red Army invasion, stocked to the brim with Katyushas, Ilyushin II fighter jets, tanks, and hardened infantry bulldozed their way into the heart of Berlin from the east. Childhood nor innocence would escape the treacherous affairs that had unwittingly led Helga Susanne, Hildegard Traudel, Helmut Christian, Holdine Kathrin, Hedwig Johanna, and Heidrun Elisabeth to the Reich Chancellery bunker in April 1945. Above ground, the ill-prepared Volkssturm, boys and seniors anywhere between 16 and 60, give or take a few years, were fulfilling duties mandated by the Führer. Fuming amid fresh heaps of rubble, Berlin, as ordered by high-ranking officials now engaged in orgies and sordid acts inside the Chancellery, was to be defended against all odds and at all costs. Just then, Rochus Misch, the bunker’s telephonist, recalled that the six beautiful children simply “went away.”

How that cocktail of morphine and cyanide was fed to Goebbels’ kids remains shrouded in speculation. Bruises were found on 12-years-old Helga’s face. Braveheart was she, daddy’s girl resisting to swallow the ampule’s content before it was forcibly smashed between her teeth? Still, whether it was shortly before or after the kids went away, Goebbels took to the Chancellery garden and did likewise. Prior to the final act, he ordered his guards to show patience, wait until he lay lifeless and, for added posterity, hit his body with a volley of rounds and incinerate the remains. As good S.S. soldiers do, they complied. So did the bulk of French, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Flemish and other Wehrmacht foreigners who upheld their oath to the Nazi state to the end. Like a house of cards, their creationist myth of racial superiority and exceptionalism was now crumbling before their eyes and drenching in their Aryan blood.

The Soviet advance was as relentless as it was implacable. “It took a brave man to be a coward in the Red Army,” Joseph Stalin was quoted. Indeed. If the siege of Leningrad was not enough to keep soldiers on the battlefield, then deserters were met by the firing squad. With victory waiting in the wing, credit would also be paid to the hundreds of Soviet female snipers who had fought on the frontline. Awarded the Medal of Courage in 1944, Roza Shanina disposed of 59 Nazi combatants before she, at just 20 years of age, was killed in battle. Partisans across Europe also risked life and limb while engaging in sabotage and assassinations deep behind enemy lines. In Denmark, 23-year-old Bent Faurschou Hviid (codename Flammen) and concierge and music stage manager Jørgen Haagen Schmith (codename Citronen) formed an assassination duo, eliminating Nazi officials and collaborators, one by one, across Copenhagen. Killed, yet undefeated, the Danes honored the freedom fighters when their coffins stood in unison inside the historic Holmen Church.

Roza Shanina

Roza Shanina was one of hundreds of female snipers fighting in the Red Army against Nazi Germany.

Circumstances compounded abroad and now in the German heartland, Brandenburg Gates nor the Reichstag could no longer hold its own. Berlin lay in ruins. The Volkssturm and Wehrmacht scoured civilian neighborhoods as they retreated. German civilians with white flags hoisted out front were frowned upon if lucky. Homes of the unlucky were invaded and its occupants executed. Chickens had come home to roost. World War II was nearing its fanatic conclusion, and with it, an end to Nazi Germany’s propaganda mastermind, his wife and children. Goebbels himself couldn’t have summarized the moment better when he stated years back: “Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place.”

Whether that knowledge is acquired, scrambled and obscured, or hidden altogether depends, in large part, on that crème de la crème communication service—the media.

Wernher von Braun

Wernher von Braun posing in his office as Director of the NAS Marshall Space Flight Center in 1964. Before being spirited to the US under the State Department’s clandestine Operation Paperclip and its V-2 program, von Braun served as an S.S. soldier and headed of Nazi Germany’s rocket program. Photo | Public Domain

 

The fifth estate pendulum

What is the media? What purpose does it, and other means of mass communication, serve?

Is it a deluge of hip entertainment news outlets and its offspring of color following suit as they curry favor among viewers with bright lights and pizzazz, sensationalism with a pinch of headlines, and nonstop celebrity opinions? Is it fact or fiction, or a warped combination of the two? Who determines what is and isn’t suitable content and commentary?

With the communication trans-nationalists of our time broadcasting on-air and streaming online every second of the day, each day of the week, it can’t be, in the words of Goebbels, “a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners.” To be clear, he was referring to propaganda, not the media per se.

Global perspectives and staying informed, however, need not be relegated to the communication trans-nationalists of our time, their soundbites or cacophony of pundits and experts. One glance at the corporate interests behind media moguls and the demographic makeup of their editorial boards is a constant reminder that the maw of this 24-hour news cycle is feverishly biased. Sizable no doubt, western mass media continues to be atomized by a malnutrition of context.

While technological advancements have leveled the playing field in terms of accessing the tools to produce and disseminate media across the globe, how have journalists reacted or had to adjust to the online world of algorithms, click-baiting, SEO, keywords, ad revenue, bots, and social media? “Data shows (Pew Research – 2019) that 55 percent of adults in the United States get their news from social media either often or sometimes. Now that’s scary,” says a media web-team director to his writers and editorial staff. A bedrock for any people, community, or nation, how are we to distinguish between informative news coverage, propaganda and biased noise without falling prey to cynicism regarding media producers across the board? Moreover, to what degree can the recent past inform us about the present?

Mountain climbing requires skills. Any skilled mountain climber knows that uninterrupted ascents are virtually impossible, especially when facing a dangerous path. At this juncture, one must descend before resuming an upward trajectory at a safer locale. So let us too take a few steps back. Back some eighty years to the Führer. Dare the imagination, or empirical mind-, conjure the memory of Joseph Goebbels in seeking some of the answers to questions about media in the year the demands clearer vision, 2020.

 

Goebbels 2020 homecoming

While that we will always, and I repeat always, respect everyone’s first amendment rights, those rights stop when a molotov cocktail is thrown into an open business. Those rights stop at the point that you loot the liquor store in the neighborhood. Those rights stop when you loot the gas station, the little mom and pop gas station in the neighborhood.” — John Harrington, head of Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, speaking at a press conference in the wake of George Floyd’s public lynching by Minnesota policemen

Abhorrence to Nazi crimes has stood the test of time. “Never forget,” say holocaust survivors and their descendants. Credit mainstream media for doing a remarkable job in making sure that doesn’t happen. What has been forgotten, however, is that the Nazi party did not emerge from vacuity. Forever were they indebted in their perversions by white settler colonialism in the so-called New World. “Hitler’s American Model,” written by James Q. Whitman, draws chilling parallels between the evolution of the Nazi party and how their wackadoo concepts on race biology, their political agenda that prompted genocide, their sordid contraptions of human experimentation and death, their very raison d’être were nothing more than a prerecorded rerun. In this regard, mainstream media has done an exceptionally poor job and public disservice in not detailing the ideological pendulum as it swinging between Washington and Berlin before, during, and after WWII.

“I have studied with interest the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock-,” Hitler was quoted as saying. His words were not a far echo from sentiments expressed by U.S. General George Patton who chided Jewish supporters who “believe that the Displaced person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to the Jews who are lower than animals.”

Mary Williamson Averell Harriman

Philanthropist Mary Williamson Averell Harriman, heiress to US railroad executive E. H. Harriman, donated large sums of money to German race biologists. Contributions continued to pour in even during the height of the Great Depression.

Gee Jon

In 1924, nine years before the Nazis even came to power, Gee Jon (picture), a Chinese man, became the first person to be executed in a gas chamber made in the USA. It was performed in Nevada’s State Prison’s butcher shop. A few year later, a modernized version of the state death contraption was developed and patented by Earl C. Liston, superintendent at the Eaton Metal Products Company Denver plant. The new design, which was incorporated at Auschwitz to help relieve stress on S.S. executioners, incorporated a slideway where potassium cyanide pellets were inserted and released into a bucket of sulfuric acid and water. In a matter of seconds, the chamber would fill with poisonous hydrocyanic acid. “Pulling a lever to kill a man is hard work. Pouring acid down a tube is easier on the nerves, more like watering flowers,” Liston commented.

Named Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in 1933, it was Joseph Goebbels’ responsibility to convey all messaging associated with Nazi Germany via radio, TV, film, posters, books, newspapers, and other means of mass communication. His skills in public relations and marketing were exacting, so much so that many WWII researchers insist that German society as a whole—discounting a failed assassination attempt to take out Hitler by Germans officials Claus von Stauffenberg, Werner von Haeften, Albrecht, Mertz von Quirnheim, and Friedrich Olbricht—had been hoodwinked. Be this a fair assumption or convenient oversight, one thing is certain: More than seven decades have elapsed since the capitulation of the Nazi state. Still, a cursory glance at succinct propaganda ideas espoused by Goebbels compared and contrasted to soundbites relayed time and again by western media and recurring themes in their coverage, begs a simple question: Do ideas, unlike flesh and bones, live on? Is there an unbroken thread of basic concepts extending from the Third Reich’s media genius and western media trans-nationalists of our time? As the song goes: “Who the cap fit?”

Iran v US wars

The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” — Joseph Goebbels


This poster is in protest against wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo | Twitter

Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.” — Joseph Goebbels

MainstrePress Propam western media and institutions have clung to the narrative that press freedoms have been abruptly undermined since the rise of Donald Trump as the president of the United States. Goebbels, however, professed a more collaborative relationship between the holders of power and the fifth estate.

Mainstream western media and institutions have clung to the narrative that press freedoms have been abruptly undermined since the rise of Donald Trump as the president of the United States. Goebbels, however, professed a more collaborative relationship between the holders of power and the fifth estate.

Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” — Joseph Goebbels

In a recent DemocracyNow interview addressing U.S. immigrant jails and the separation of children from their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, reporter Jacob Soboroff, said “this is the first time since — this is the first time ever that children have been separated on a systematic basis — look at those photos right there — from their parents. And that is because of the Trump administration.“ Whether by conscious omission or otherwise, at no point did Soboroff discuss the systematic separation of African or Indigenous children from their parents not too long ago when chattel slavery and colonialism swept through what would become the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, or other parts of the modern-day western hemisphere. This talking point, in fact, has become a mainstay on progressive and left-wing news outlets, that the current practice of separating Latino and Hispanic children from their parents by U.S. state agencies is an unprecedented phenomenon initiated by the Trump administration.

The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” — Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels smiles for the cameras whilst holding a well-arranged bouquet of flowers circa 1934.

Subtle or overt, the media is a weapon for better or worse and it’s no secret that western corporate news outlets churn and refry their coverage 24-hours a day, 7-days per week. Dismissing, ignoring or underestimating its role in upholding New World creationist myths, its political and corporate legacy borne through settler terrorism, appropriation of land, labor, and human beings without blinking an eye would be a grave folly. Goebbels reminds us:

Success is the important thing. Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right. I speak differently in the provinces than I do in Berlin, and when I speak in Bayreuth, I say different things than I say in the Pharus Hall. That is a matter of practice, not of theory. We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.”

 

The war creeps back – neutralize communications

By 1940, France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, and Belgium were all draped under the red, white and black swastika. Europe’s most recent dark days were not exclusively consummated through the barrel of guns. Conspirators, collaborators, and appeasers at the highest level of government, such as British and French prime ministers Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier, signees to Hitler’s Munich Pact in 1938, and business leaders, such as Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, a British MP and head of the British Union of Fascists, all lent their support, thus paving the way for annexation. Mosley’s connection to Nazi leaders ran so deep that he married his mistress, Diana Guinness, at Goebbels’ home in 1936. His guest of honor was none other than Adolf Hitler, a man with whom he was able to negotiate a private radio station that broadcast German programs in Sark. Expanding westward, the Nazi military high command now made plans, as Napoleon had done over a century ago, to take Britain. Having gobbled Western Europe, Hitler surely must’ve deduced that the land of her majesty would be an easy pick. It was, after all, the empire where the sun never sets, burning the midnight oil far and thin to prolong its colonial rule.

The invasion strategy was divided into three phases. If executed properly, the offensive would culminate in the seizure of the Union Jack. To illustrate the importance of media and effective communication, phase one included surprise air-bombings, pulverizing Britain’s Royal Air-force and their bases, as well as all communication services and transport lines. The campaign, however, lasted for a year without ever getting past phase one. Extending from Britain’s eastern shoreline all the way to the heart of London, more than 40,000 people lost their lives during the air raids. It was thanks to the tally-ho of Royal Air-force pilots at the helms of those sturdy spitfire planes, 24 of which were purchased and donated to Britain by the generosity of the Basotho people of Lesotho, that Hitler never set one boot on British soil.

Communications remained alive and well, despite Nazi planes dropping a million pounds of bombs on London just on the night of November 14th, 1940. News radio broadcasts continued informing people of air raids, which underground tube stations to seek shelter, victories compiled by the spitfire pilots thus keeping morale high, and other vital details concerning the attempted invasion and ways of providing solidarity during a time of crisis.

Almost four years later, after Britain’s resounding halt to the Nazi advance, it would be Goebbels turn to resort to radio broadcast. “We would rather work until our hands are bloody and fight until our last breath before we let the enemy occupy German territory and impose his will on us.”

Goebbels again took to the airwaves on April 21s1t,  1945. With Red Army mortars exploding in the garden above the Chancellery compound, the Third Reich’s propaganda expert addressed his listeners one last time. Staff member, Wilfred von Oven, recalled that Goebbels, in one instance, had to wipe away pane and glass as exploding bombs shattered all of the bunker windows. Still, he didn’t fray during his speech. “Berlin is now on the frontline. At the walls of our city, the Mongolian hordes will and must be stopped. Agitators or insurgent foreigners are to be arrested or, better still, neutralized. Naturally, I shall stay on in Berlin with my staff. My wife and my children are also here and will stay here.”

Do not fear the enemy for they can take only your life. Fear the media far more, for they will destroy your honor.” — Vo Nguyen Giap – General of Vietnam’s People Army

On the western front, European-American soldiers afforded Nazi prisoners greater respect than classified negro soldiers fighting under the red, white, and blue. Again, and not that taking on Nazi Germany was inconsiderable, the latter group had succumbed to what Robert Williams would later call a “honky trick.”

To the east, Red Army soldiers took no qualms in pummeling Berlin to smithereens. For Georgy Zhukov, Marshal of the Soviet Union, Houdini was not a rank-and-file member within the Third Reich nor had he ordered the siege of Leningrad. With that established, the Soviet general would speak the only language spoken by the Nazis. Neither by political function, birth, or tradition would Jewish people be integrated into Nazi Germany and, in the struggle against Hitler’s own version of Manifest Destiny, more than 26 million Soviet men, women, and children lost their lives. Preferring the British and European-Americans enter Berlin before the Red Army, Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler put their own communication skills to the test, secretly negotiating an unconditional surrender with the allied forces’ western camp. Their efforts proved futile. Both would resort to their cyanide ampules by war’s end.

Stjepan Filipović

“Death to fascism, freedom to the people!” shouted partisan leader Stjepan Filipović moments before his execution by Nazi collaborates in Valjevo, Yugoslavia.”

 

Media – A weapon for better or worse during times of crisis

As World War II and its antecedents prove, media and other forms of mass communication are critical during times of conflict and uncertainty. For example, in March 1789, Abdel Kader Kane, leader of the Futa Toro region in northern Senegal, sent an official letter to French authorities in which he stated: “We are warning you that all those who will come to our land to trade in slaves will be killed and massacred if you do not send our children back.” In an apparent response to Kader Kane’s warning, Jean-Baptiste Durand of the Compaigne du Sénégal attested that Europeans required armed protection “from the Negroes living in the country.”

In an attempt to stall communications during Indonesia’s struggle for independence, the Dutch East Indies naval blockade cut mail service between the republican forces based in Java and Sumatra in 1947. Meanwhile, an official visit to Vietnam by Robert and Mabel Williams in the late 1960s, Ho Chi Minh told the exiled freedom fighters that leaders of the People’s Army were inspired to launch the Tet Offensive after reading reports of the 1967 Detroit Riots in their Crusader newsletter. In her memoir, “Re-living the Second Chimurenga,” Fay Chung recalled that in the 1970s, Rhodesia’s white minority government “made a great effort to woo spirit mediums (vana sekuru) to support their rule, on one occasion even showering pamphlets (over guerrilla held territories) purporting to come from the ancestors from aeroplanes.”

Mao Tse-Tung

Robert Franklin Williams and Mao Tse-Tung in Peking, China circa 1964

More recently, between May 2007 and December 2011, Bell Pottinger, a British-based public relations firm, received  $540 million dollars to produce and disseminate fake terrorist videos with the aim of portraying insurgent groups negatively. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that the PR firm cooperated with top U.S. military officials based at Camp Victory in Baghdad and viewers of the videos could be tracked by U.S. forces. It was an ignoble reminder of the Lincoln Group. This Washington-based PR firm wrote news articles denouncing insurgent groups while praising U.S.-led efforts in Iraq. The reports were subsequently published in Iraqi newspapers.

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses. — Malcolm X

Meanwhile, Rwanda

In 1994, Tutsi leaders of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) pleaded with top U.S. officials of the Bill Clinton administration to cut Radio Télevision Libre des Milles Collines (One Thousand Hills Free Radio) broadcasts. This privately-run radio station, which began airing in April 1993, not only incite hatred and killings against the Tutsis, but also stressed the political imperative of seizing control of the narrative. When French military forces intervened in Rwanda under Operation Turquoise following the airplane downing and death of former Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana, they established a control zone where Radio Télevision Libre des Milles Collines was allowed to continue operating. A broadcast from Gisenyi encouraged all “Hutu girls to wash yourselves and put on a good dress to welcome our French allies. The Tutsi girls are all dead, so you have your chance.”

Explaining why French forces had seemingly recused themselves from detaining government officials they knew were involved in coordinating massacres against the Tutsis, the French foreign ministry argued that the UN mandate provided no authorization to detain war criminals. Meanwhile, requests to jam Radio Télevision Libre des Milles Collines signal were repeatedly met by cold explanations that such a measure would be in violation of the U.S. commitment to freedom of speech, as well as international broadcasting agreements. When Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Prudence Bushnell raised the issue of radio jamming for a second time at the Pentagon, one official responded, “Pru, radios don’t kill people. People kill people!” It was, however, an incomplete sentence by any measure for the same people who kill others are also the makers of radios to incite and order the killings.

Ultimately, but not before almost a million people were slaughtered over a span of just three months would the RPF singlehandedly defeat the interim government forces, thus bringing an end to the genocide. “Kwibuka” the annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide, means “remember” in Kinyarwanda. It’s also a time to recall past events that stoked divisiveness and hatred, review ongoing efforts at reconciliation, trauma counseling, and nation-building. However, the shadow and scars of 1994 are never too far away. Félicien Kabuga, a chief financier of the Radio Télevision Libre des Milles Collines, was arrested in France in May of this year. Having remained on the lam for 23 years, his previous indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 1997 marked the first time a media executive was tried for crimes of genocide since the Nuremberg tribunal.

Having produced translations and subtitles on issues related to the Rwandan genocide and the social and economic progress made since, someone sent me a message stating that when they return to the country and resume power they will “cut down them trees,” in reference to Tutsi government leaders.

That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.” — Joseph Goebbels

 

Officialdom voices, right to left

Mass media, regardless of its political persuasion, doesn’t live in a vacuum. An extension of public education, that which is presented as the news doesn’t operate at the base of the social pyramid. Up a few stones, but never too far away, it propels creationists myths, as did the Nazis, such as the notion of a master race (i.e. exceptionalism) that thrusts legacies and the status quo into the future. Generation after generation the baton is passed. The mainstream media’s relationship to this process goes, for the most part, unnoticed. This is where Joseph Goebbels’s body of work as head of the Third Reich’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda is so crucial. It’s 2020 and western media continues to pride itself on maxims that mirror his ruminations on matters related to the media, propaganda, and western psychology.

As in times of conflict, media remains an essential public service, especially during the current COVID-19 global pandemic. This is true despite the wave of layoffs and furloughs in the industry. The fifth estate is not any less important during times of peace. An extension of pedagogic work, this vehicle is meant to keep a well-informed global citizenry, educate, as well as provide culturally-inspired entertainment.

The media of tomorrow remains in gestation. While it now has the tools to produce and disseminate news coverage across the globe, their resources and reach are infinitely less than the corporate media conglomerates dominating the field. At times, essential tools of the trade such as paid writers, editors and other staff members; researchers; on-the-ground and investigative reporting; and travel accommodation are hard to come by. Still, alternative media is by no means a novelty. This torpid concept, however, persists precisely because of resource disparities and reach. And here I’m not referring to catching up in speed to the 24/7 news wire where quantity trumps quality. Nor am I referring to the bulk of mainstream or independent left-wing or progressive media outlets that, in their editorial boards and staff, replicate levels of exclusion practiced by right-wing conservatives. According to How Diverse Are U.S. Newsrooms (American Society of News Editors – 2019), just seven percent of The Intercept’s total journalistic team is comprised of Black people. Another seven percent are Hispanic. ProPublica, a media outlet that prides itself on being an independent, nonprofit newsroom that exposes abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform, has a staff comprised of six percent Black people. Another six percent are Hispanic. The New York Times’ very own 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Report shows that nine percent of its staff are Black or African-American and seven percent are Hispanic or Latino. Even more surprising is its <1%, which I presume to mean negative one percent, Indigenous people, Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders on its overall staff. Another <1% of Indigenous people hold leadership roles.

What these numbers say without uttering a single word, is that non-whites lack the wherewithal to report on the affairs of a world in which they are the majority. Honest brokers or not, qualified or otherwise, the window in which we view the world is minimized to the narrative of a self-entitled few.

Over half a century ago the U.S. federal government, lagging far behind Robert and Mabel William’s Crusader newsletter, assigned a committee to outline the causes of the 1967 Detroit Riots and make recommendations to avoid future outbreaks. Published in 1968 and popularly known as the Kerner Commission (Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders) the 426-page report dedicated an entire chapter to the media. It stated, in part, that: “Important segments of the media failed to report adequately on the causes and consequences of civil disorders and on the underlying problems of race relations. They have not communicated to the majority of their audience–which is white—a sense of the degradation, misery, and hopelessness of life in the ghetto.” In an effort to correct these “failings” the report suggested that “improvement must come from within the industry.” Remedies included:

  • Expand coverage of the Negro community and of race problems through permanent assignment of reporters familiar with urban and racial affairs, and through establishment of more and better links with the Negro community.
  • Integrate Negroes and Negro activities into all aspects of coverage and content, including newspaper articles and television programming. The news media must publish newspapers and produce programs that recognize the existence and activities of Negroes as a group within the community and as a part of the larger community.
  • Recruit more Negroes into journalism and broadcasting and promote those who are qualified to positions of significant responsibility. Recruitment should begin in high schools and continue through college; where necessary, aid for training should be provided.
  • Improve coordination with police in reporting riot news through advance planning, and cooperate with the police in the designation of police information officers, establishment of information centers, and development of mutually acceptable guidelines for riot reporting and the conduct of media personnel.

Recommendations and remedies put forth by the Kerner Commission have remained “decades behind” writes Paul Delaney.

Integration, moreover, speaks to the problem of blackness in a despicable way. As a goal, it has been based on complete acceptance of the fact that in order to have a decent house or education, blacks must move into a white neighborhood or send their children to a white school. This reinforces, among both black and white, the idea that “white” is automatically better and “black” is by definition inferior. This is why integration is a subterfuge for the maintenance of white supremacy. — Kwame Ture

 

Links untold: WWII – Israel – Occupied Palestine – George Floyd

I was struck by the recent media uproar over what is and what isn’t antisemitism. I reiterate—what is and what isn’t antisemitism—for western media’s portrayal of those who make such remarks lies the suggestion that vast populations of Semitic people are nonexistent in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, or anywhere else except Israel and among the Ashkenazi Jewish diaspora. Like the majority of global issues with deep historical roots, media coverage of this matter barely scratched the surface, if at all and as quickly as it had appeared, suddenly vanished beneath breaking stories. However, in these times of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s public lynching by Minnesota policemen and other filmed or unregistered police killings of Black people in western metropolises from Louisville, USA to Lausanne, Switzerland, coupled with the link between the end of WWII and the emergence of Israel in 1947, it’s worth noting that recent debates on antisemitism were discussed without the slightest mention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Few, if any, spoke of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Apart from a few alternative news outlets, nobody recalled the hundreds of officers from U.S. police departments in California, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, and other states who had flown to Israeli for training over the past two decades.

In 2012, no less than 100 Minnesota police officers attended a conference hosted by the Israeli consulate in Chicago and FBI, which showcased some of the methods employed by Israeli forces in occupied Palestine. Shahr Aieli, Israel’s deputy consul, said that the counter-terrorism training session was intended to share information and techniques employed by “top-notch professionals from the Israeli police.”

“When I saw the picture of killer cop Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd by leaning in on his neck with his knee as he cried for help and other cops watched, I remembered noticing when many Israeli soldiers began using this technique of leaning in on our chest and necks when we were protesting in the West Bank sometime in 2006,” said Neta Golan, co-founder of International Solidarity Movement (ISM). She added that “They (Israeli security forces) started twisting and breaking fingers in a particular way around the same time. It was clear they had undergone training for this. They continue to use these tactics — two of my friends have had their necks broken but luckily survived — and it is clear that they share these methods when they train police forces abroad in ‘crowd control’ in the U.S. and other countries including Sudan and Brazil.”

Europe’s killing fields of the 1940s not only culminated in the demise of Nazi Germany, but it also gave birth to Israel. Though the Palestinians have no responsibility in the rise of Nazism, they continue to suffer the consequences of those cataclysmic events seven decades later. With the full backing of U.S. foreign policy and the biases of western corporate media, their land, like that of the Gullah-Geechee of the eastern U.S. seaboard, Black farmers throughout Uncle Sam, or the Garifuna of Honduras, has been consistently confiscated by settler colonialism.

Recently, four Garifuna land-defenders—Snider Centeno, Milton Martínez, Suany Álvarez, and a fourth unidentified— were abducted from their homes by heavily armed men in Honduras’ northern coastal town of Triunfo de la Cruz. Community leaders referred to the kidnapping as the latest attack against their indigenous and African-Indigenous homeland as they continue to struggle against Canadian tourist speculators as well as mining and other extractive industries.

 

Communication Beyond Borders

Mainstream and, increasingly, not so mainstream western media is a blunt enterprise. It tells us, point-blank, what happens on a day-to-day basis. Rarely does it delve into the context, historical or otherwise, as to why things happen. Surface story in hand, journalists, spin doctors, experts and people with little to no knowledge of the events can weave whatever narrative they so please. In this regard, public education cannot be left out of this equation. However, with the basis of its focus on upholding creationist myths and forcing students to prepare for standardized tests, the western education system lags behind by design in this marriage between what is taught at school and how adults interact or respond to the news. Disconnected from one another, the follies of the past play out like a rat running on a toy wheel. Games aside, today’s western media portrayal of the South China Seas or Iran as representing a terrorist threat may very well be yesterday’s Gulf of Tonkin.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Joseph Goebbels pondered openly and without fear. “We shall go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time, or as the greatest criminals.” It’s a menacing dichotomy that possibly mass media and other forms of communication are only capable of producing. But despite the perils, communication, verbal, physical or otherwise, remains a quintessential tool of the ages. It’s the means by which we develop mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and interpersonally. It’s how the king of the jungle coordinates with others to prepare her next meal and how a herd of gazelles escape from becoming that next meal. Elephants employ a series of sophisticated non-verbal communication techniques to exchange present and past information, as well as detect vibrations in the earth, unfamiliar noises, and odors. Communication is how dolphins and whales navigate the high seas, a rattlesnake warns us off from encroaching on its homeland, and ants build their intricate kingdoms.

A single, microscopic spermatozoon thrust among untold numbers finds an egg via communication. From this point of inception, the world as we know it goes round. A few years later, hegemonic gang leaders order the bombing and invasion of a country far away. Faith then moves mountains, resistance abounds, and a sparrow sings its song of a new tomorrow.

Feature photo | President Donald Trump arrives and speaks with Fox News Channel Anchor Bill Hemmer, as Vice President Mike Pence looks on, during a Fox News Channel virtual town hall, at the White House, March 24, 2020, in Washington. Evan Vucci | AP

Additional photos | Unless otherwise noted, all photos featured in this article are in the public domain.

Julian Cola is a translator (Brazilian-Portuguese to English). A former staff writer at the pan-Latin American news outlet, teleSUR, his articles and essays also appear in Africa is a Country, Black Agenda Report, Truthout, Counterpunch and elsewhere.

The post How Joeseph Goebbel’s Nazi Propaganda Gave Birth to Today’s Western Media appeared first on MintPress News.

The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 9:49pm in

So, the White Black Nationalist Color Revolution (“made possible in part by GloboCap”) appears to be going extremely well. According to Foreign Policy magazine, the Trump regime is clinging to power, but it’s only a matter of time until the identitarian moderate rebels drive the Putin-backed fascists out of office and restore democracy to the Western world.

Yes, that’s right, just when it looked like the corporate-sponsored, totally organic, peaceful uprising against racism was over, and the Russo-fascist Trump regime had survived, the Global Capitalist Anarchists of Portland and other militant “Resistance” cells have launched a devastating counter-attack against assorted fascist building facades, fascist fences, and stores, and so on, and are going mano-a-mano in the streets with heavily-armed Putin-Nazi goon squads.

According to The Guardian, and other elements of the underground “Resistance” media, peaceful protesters in Portland have been attacking the fascists with rocks, bottles, improvised explosive devices, and various other peaceful anti-racist projectiles. In Oakland, they peacefully set fire to the courthouse. In Austin, Texas, a peaceful protester armed with an AK-47-style rifle was shot to death by a suspected fascist whose car was peacefully swarmed by a mob after he “tried to aggressively drive past protesters.” In Los Angeles, peaceful anti-racism protesters have been whipped up into such a frenzy of righteous anti-fascist fervor that they are performing flying tackles on the cops, who then promptly beat the snot out of them. And so on … I think you get the picture.

Portland, Oregon (where just under 6% of the population is Black) has of course been at the vanguard of the revolution, as it has since the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton in 2016 by “influencing” gullible African-Americans with a handful of ridiculous Facebook ads, and then installed Donald Trump and the rest of the Putin-Nazi Occupation Government in office. Not only have local Antifa militants been tirelessly fighting gangs of neo-nationalist boneheads you’ve probably never heard of more or less around the clock since then, Portland is also the headquarters of most of the militant Antifa intelligentsia (characters like Alexander Reid Ross, an anti-fascist geography lecturer who inculcates kids with his paranoid theories about the international Duginist-Red-Brown conspiracy to take over the whole world and mass-murder the Jews. So, naturally, Portland is now the epicenter of the White Black Nationalist Color Revolution.

But this isn’t just the usual Portlandia silliness. This White Black Nationalist Color Revolution has been in the works for the last four years. Since the moment Trump won the Republican nomination, the global capitalist ruling classes have been fomenting racialized polarization, Putin-Nazi paranoia, and other forms of mass hysteria, in anticipation of the events of this summer. The propaganda has remained consistent. Both the liberal corporate media and the alternative left media have been predicting that Trump is going to go full-Hitler, impose martial law, proclaim himself Führer, and perpetrate some sort of racialized holocaust … for reasons they’ve never quite been able to explain.

He hasn’t, of course, so the global capitalist ruling classes had no choice but to unleash a shit-storm of civil unrest to goad him into overreacting … which, no surprise, he was stupid enough to do. Ordering the goon squads into the streets might delight his hardcore right-wing base, but it will alienate the majority of “normal” Americans, who aren’t especially fond of goon squads (unless they’re doing their thing in some faraway country). Most importantly, it will motivate all those non-Clinton-voting Obama voters to go out and vote for “Slappy” Joe Biden, or whichever corporate puppet the Democrats have replaced him with by November 3. That seems to be the general strategy.

Now, regardless of whether they can pull this off (and whatever your feelings about GloboCap as a de facto hegemonic empire), you have to at least admire their audacity. The part where the mayors of major cities stood down and otherwise hamstrung their cops, and let the “peaceful protesters” run amok, was particularly audacious, in my opinion. That was a serious gamble on GloboCap’s part. Trump could have resisted the urge to go totalitarian and called their bluff. He could have made a speech explaining to Americans exactly how these color revolutions work, how this one is going right by the book, and why he wasn’t going to take the bait, and left the cities in question to their own devices (until the mayors were forced to restore order themselves). But no, tactical genius that he is, he had to order in the goon squads, which, of course, is exactly what the “Resistance” wanted. Now he’s got cities like Philadelphia threatening to order their police to confront and attempt to arrest the federal agents … I assume you see where this is heading.

The other part that was particularly tricky was segueing from the original protests following the murder of George Floyd by the cops, most of which were authentic expressions of frustration and outrage by actual Black people about systemic racism and police brutality (both of which are very real, of course) to the orchestrated civil unrest that followed, most of which is being coordinated, funded, and carried out by White people. That was also an extremely bold move, but, as the generous folks at The Ford Foundation put it in July of 2016, when they announced that they would be overseeing the funneling of $100 million to organizations in the Black Lives Matter movement:

“We want to nurture bold experiments …”

Oh, and speaking of bold experiments, what better setting could there be for a White Black Nationalist Color Revolution than a fake apocalyptic plague that has wrecked the economies of most Western countries, terrorized the masses into mindless obedience, and destabilized whole societies to the point where fanatical, GloboCap-brainwashed brownshirts are macing people in the face for not wearing masks at outdoor picnics and wishing death on entire families if the mothers won’t put masks on their kids?

No, credit where credit is due to GloboCap. At this point, not only the United States, but countries throughout the global capitalist empire, are in such a state of mass hysteria, and so hopelessly politically polarized, that hardly anyone can see the textbook color revolution that is being executed, openly, right in front of our faces.

Or … OK, actually, most Trump supporters see it, but most of them, like Trump himself, have mistaken Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the Democratic Party and their voters for the enemy, when they are merely pawns in GloboCap’s game. Most liberals and leftists cannot see it at all … literally, as in they cannot perceive it. Like Dolores in the HBO Westworld series, “it doesn’t look like anything” to them. They actually believe they are fighting fascism, that Donald Trump, a narcissistic, word-salad-spewing, former game show host, is literally the Return of Adolf Hitler, and that somehow (presumably with the help of Putin) he has staged the current civil unrest, like the Nazis staged the Reichstag fire! (The New York Times will never tire of that one, nor will their liberal and leftist readers, who have been doing battle with an endless series of imaginary Hitlers since … well, since Hitler.)

I’ve been repeating it my columns for the last four years, and I’m going to repeat it once again. What we are experiencing is not the “return of fascism.” It is the global capitalist empire restoring order, putting down the populist insurgency that took them by surprise in 2016. The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution, the fake apocalyptic plague, all the insanity of 2020 … it has been in the pipeline all along. It has been since the moment Trump won the election. No, it is not about Trump, the man. It has never been about Trump, the man, no more than the Obama presidency was ever about Obama, the man. GloboCap needs to crush Donald Trump (and moreover, to make an example of him) not because he is a threat to the empire (he isn’t), but because he became a symbol of populist resistance to global capitalism and its increasingly aggressive “woke” ideology. It is this populist resistance to its ideology that GloboCap is determined to crush, no matter how much social chaos and destruction it unleashes in the process.

In one of my essays from last October, Trumpenstein Must Be Destroyed, I made this prediction about the year ahead:

“2020 is for all the marbles. The global capitalist ruling classes either crush this ongoing populist insurgency or God knows where we go from here. Try to see it through their eyes for a moment. Picture four more years of Trump … second-term Trump … Trump unleashed. Do you really believe they’re going to let that happen, that they are going to permit this populist insurgency to continue for another four years? They are not. What they are going to do is use all their power to destroy the monster, not Trump the man, but Trump the symbol. They are going to drown us in impeachment minutiae, drip, drip, drip, for the next twelve months. The liberal corporate media are going to go full-Goebbels. They are going to whip up so much mass hysteria that people won’t be able to think. They are going to pit us one against the other, and force us onto one or the other side of a simulated conflict (Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis) to keep us from perceiving the actual conflict (Global Capitalism versus Populism). They are going to bring us to the brink of civil war …”

OK, I didn’t see the fake plague coming, but, otherwise, how’s my prediction holding up?

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CJ Hopkins
July 29, 2020
Photo: CrimethInc.

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