By David Vincent
For my opening statement I am going to say some things that are obvious to those of us who spend the majority of our time researching and analyzing power politics. We have come to understand that the mainstream media is an elaborate and sophisticated propaganda apparatus that is designed and utilized to deceive, manipulate, dumb down, distract and marginalize the American public. We realize that the mainstream media is not giving us the vital information that we need to develop informed opinions and participate in this so-called “democracy.”
However, the average US citizen still does not understand this. They are too busy working hard trying to make ends meet, trying to provide for their families, trying to pay off their homes, credit cards and debt. They don’t have the time to spend hours everyday researching issues that the mainstream media doesn’t even mention or discuss.
In fact, with hundreds of television channels, radio stations, magazines, newspapers and movies, the average citizen thinks the amount of viewpoints in the media are overwhelming and diverse. They don’t realize that the vast majority of media companies are controlled by a handful of the world’s most powerful interrelated corporate interests. They don’t realize that over the past 25 years we have experienced a scandalous concentration in media ownership and an all out attack on public TV and radio.
The number of corporations dominating the US mainstream media:
1983 = 50
2007 = 5
Government spending on public broadcasting per person:
The US has the lowest per capita funding of public broadcasting in the industrialized world.
“Never before has censorship been so perfect. Never before have those who are still led to believe, in a few countries, that they remain free citizens, been less entitled to make their opinions heard, wherever it is a matter of choices affecting their real lives. Never before has it been possible to lie to them so brazenly. The spectator is simply supposed to know nothing, and deserve nothing.” - Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle
The censorship most prevalent today is the most dangerous form. Not the censorship of explicit words, sex or violence, but the censorship of any thoughts outside of elite corporate ideology. Any views that lead to critical thought on the prevailing elite market dominance are not allowed to enter into public consciousness (the mass media).
“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth…. The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal…. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” - Malcolm X
The Imperial War
Since Cheney and Bush began their disastrous “War on Terror,” terrorism incidents have increased over 600%. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has created worldwide hatred toward America on an unprecedented scale. If we had a critical and informative media system, the Bush administration would have never been able to launch a war built on lies, distortion and misinformation - a war that has already claimed the lives of over 750,000 Iraqi civilians, and killed, wounded or maimed over 30,000 US soldiers. As costs continue to escalate, the war will cost the US taxpayer well over a trillion dollars - with billions of tax dollars stolen and unaccounted for!
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” — President Dwight D. Eisenhower
For those of us who have researched and read the strategy papers that have driven the Bush administration’s foreign policy - all written before 9/11 - specifically the Strategy of the Silk Route, James Baker’s and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Strategic Energy Policy, the Project for a New American Century’s Forces and Resources For a New Century and other crucial documents, we know that these documents clearly demonstrate that the war on terror is mostly a front for a geo-strategic imperial war designed to control the majority of the earth’s remaining oil supply. And the fact that this subject is almost never seriously discussed in the mainstream press is an edifying example of just how scandalous the mass media system has become.
This imperial war for resources brings us to the next urgent crisis of our time, the current and coming environmental catastrophe.
The earth’s resources are being quickly depleted. As the three billion people in China and India become more modernized and begin living and polluting like the modern US consumer, the earth’s resources and fragile balance will become undone. Billions of people, literally billions of people, will die - from the lack of food and water that will lead to mass starvation, to the lack of medicine for treatable diseases and the spread of infectious diseases.
Half of the world’s population now lives on $2 per day or less.
Global warming is quickly making these numbers grow and we are already facing a crisis unprecedented in human history. The past three years have been the hottest three years ever recorded. In the early nineties leading scientists and organizations tried to inform us. In 1992, long before Hurricane Katrina and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, 1700 of the world’s top scientists signed an official document, a Warning To Humanity, stating:
“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.”
In 1997, the World Watch Institute reported that storms would be, “more frequent, more intense, and more destructive.” Yet these dire warnings went unheard. Paid-off energy industry experts and lobbyists marginalized them, and they were never given fair coverage in the mainstream corporate media — media companies that have shared economic interests with the energy industry that they serve.
If you thought the recent upsurge in catastrophic hurricanes, tornados, heat waves, droughts and other climatic disasters have been bad, you need to understand that this was only the opening act, only a warning shot as to what lies ahead.
“The economy has now come to declare open war on humanity, attacking not only our possibilities for living, but our chances of survival…. When an all-powerful economy lost its reason - and that is precisely what defines these spectacular times.” — Guy Debord, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle
The war and environmental crisis will only exacerbate the current economic inequalities that have been growing ever wider. Even in the US, which once prided itself as being a nation with a thriving middle-class, the financial wealth of the top 1% of households now exceeds the combined wealth of 98% of households. That’s 1% having more wealth than 98% combined! The US now leads the industrialized world in inequality of wealth.
Right now, the American middle-class is hanging by a thread. The average American is in more debt today than ever. Consumer and household debt are at unheard of levels.
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation.
One is by sword. The other is by debt.”
– John Adams, US President
The economic top 1% has looted the economy and enslaved the US public like never before. Out of the recent trillions of dollars in tax cuts more than half has gone to the economic top 1%. Tax cuts for top 1% are larger than health, education, and all other initiatives combined.
But this is just the beginning of the theft from the American middle-class. Our federal debt has reached an all time high. It is reported over and over again that the federal debt has reached a staggering eight trillion dollars. However, based upon the Financial Report of the United States, issued by the Treasury Department - a report the corrupt corporate media has suppressed and not reported on - the true total federal debt is actually over $50 trillion! $50 trillion! We are paying over $300 billion each year in interest alone. Your share of the federal debt, as a taxpaying American, is already $400,000. That’s your share! $400,000 out of your pocket and it is growing even higher.
We can no longer rely on a co-opted, bought and paid for political system. Our current politicians have proven over and over again that they only make bold moves when they act in the power and greed-addicted interests that they serve. The two-party system has become a sham! Greedy Republicans and weak Democrats serve the same corporate elite masters.
Last year’s change in Congress and the coming change in president are only changes on the surface. The overwhelming majority of us will be relieved when Bush and Cheney finally leave office, but Bush is just a figurehead, just a spokesman, just a puppet on a string! He will eventually leave, but the underlying system and institutions will remain in place. Bush did not decide to go into Iraq alone, he had the support of almost every member of the Senate and an overwhelming majority in Congress. And most importantly, he had the vital support and backing of the mainstream corporate press who brazenly and uncritically trumpeted the call for this disaster. Bush is just the fall guy now, a patsy for the elite interests he serves. The press and Congress will bash him, as they rightfully should, and he will now take the blame, as he rightfully should. But when he leaves office things will only appear to be better.
Just look at the newly empowered Democratic Congress. Despite their rhetoric, they have been incredibly weak and inept in stopping the Iraq war and cleaning up congressional corruption and ethics rules. They continue to pass legislation that funds the war without any meaningful timetable for withdrawal and have officially endorsed the Bush/IMF plan to rob Iraq of their oil. And another significant and underreported fact is that none of the war funding bills have included a proposed provision that would have required the Bush administration to get congressional approval for an attack on Iran.
The Democratic Congress has even been cutting secret “trade” deals that mean billions in corporate handouts. The Republican Party is dominated by Neo-cons who believe in world domination by military force, and the Democratic Party is in the hands of Neo-liberals who believe in domination by economic force - leaving 98% of Americans without any representation.
Fighting Back: The Media War
These are just some of the serious problems now staring us in the face. It is imperative that we start getting these messages out to the mainstream and quickly swing into action. We must get our message through elite corporate censors who seek to maintain the status quo and only half-heartedly attempt half-measures. The time for half-measures is over! We must begin to take bold actions now.
We need to widen the scope of debate and expand the spectrum of thinkable thought. We have to create a culture of accountability and destroy the support systems that have led us toward devastation. We must destroy the propaganda system and dismantle the concentration of media ownership!
“I think one has to say it’s not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems.”
– Paul Wolfowitz
The power elite expend such great effort in controlling our communication and information system because they fear the American public more than any other enemy. They understand that if they lose their grip on our mass media, their lies and injustices will be exposed to the very people who can put a stop to their crimes!
The famed military strategist Carl von Clauswitz wrote in his study, On War, that the key to defeating an enemy is to identify and strike at “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.”
The mass media is the foundation of the elite power structure. Without domination of the mass media the elite power structure is a house of cards.
“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil,
to one who is striking at the root.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Once the people can get their message through elite censors, the necessary evolution will occur. And thanks to the internet the tide has begun to swing back in our favor. The internet has given us a major weapon to battle these entrenched interests.
The internet is the one method of mass communication where you can research news and information for yourself, where you can use your own critical thinking and judgment skills, where voices are not censored through elite corporate interests.
The internet has been for us what pamphlets were to our forefathers; a new form of mass communication that is not censored by elite interests.
People are going to the internet and finding out all the information and facts that the corporate media is not letting the public in on. So, right there, you have a critical mass of informed and outraged citizens.
“Never in my lifetime have people all over the world demonstrated greater awareness of the political forces ranged against them and the possibilities of countering them.” — John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
People are using the internet for organizing and movement building.
The corporate elite are well aware of this. They see an informed citizenship rising up. The elite do not want us getting together and discussing political issues. They want that to be something that the aristocracy decides, not you. That is why they are currently attacking the open architecture of the internet.
“Every new technology necessitates a new war.”
– Marshall McLuhan
The internet has become the frontlines of the latest battle for justice, freedom and democracy. The internet is democracy’s last avenue. Cyberspace is our Underground Railroad.
The bottom line is that we are at the most crucial and pivotal time in human history. The actions we take within the next few years are of vital historical importance. Every one of us, whether we realize it or not, or whether we want to be or not, is in a war, a war unlike any other.
“You can’t be neutral on a moving train.”
– Howard Zinn
And the train is racing toward devastation at a quickened pace.
Unless we evolve from passive, apathetic spectators into active participatory citizens and overthrow the corporate elite, we will eventually pay the ultimate price.
It’s just a matter of time… tick… tick… tick…
We are here to fight a war, an information war, a media war, a war for the survival and advancement of our species. However grandiose this may sound, it is the unfortunate reality of the current situation.
It is not a war that I want to fight, I wish I could ignore the power politics of the day, but I cannot, we cannot turn away from this crisis. When you see a major catastrophe heading your way you have to confront it and fight it with every tool at your disposal! Will you fight this war with us?
Sign up to get involved, stay informed and voice your own opinions and concerns.
“Are you brave enough to see?
Do you want to change it?”
– Trent Reznor, The Hand That Feeds
Click to view image: '121945-Art_of_mental.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|