Saturday, January 6, 2018

It’s The Establishment Propagandists Who Shouldn’t Be Taken Seriously

For the last year or so, virtually no one has been able to say something in opposition to the neoconservative, corporate media worldview without being accused of working as a Russian operative. This attack on open discourse, seen in countless online forums and propagated by McCarthyite demagogues like Louise Mensch, is testament to how detached the political establishment’s thinking has become from reality.

As with every idea that the centers of power support, those who make these accusations are presented as the serious and logical ones. The targets of their attacks are regarded as lacking all legitimacy, since they’re only tools for the Kremlin. The adherents to this McCarthyite worldview are told by their media and government that they’re defending facts and national sovereignty. An alternate reality is created where anything deviating from the approved set of ideas is part of an insidious foreign threat.
Class has a part in the confidence with which this reality’s subscribers, especially its higher-class liberal ones, dismiss the concerns of those who dissent. “On a personal basis, liberals with whom I used to clash when I was a resident of Manhattan, almost to a person, were completely removed from and, worse, utterly incurious, about the lives of the working class,” wrote Phil Rockstroh last year in Consortiumnews. “When traveling around my native South, for example, when visiting my wife’s family in the rural South Carolina Low Country, I found the people there far more receptive to a socialist critique of the capitalist order than that of liberals. Why? Unlike upscale liberals, the working class, on a day-by-day basis, endure perpetual humiliation under depraved capitalism.”
As long as the ruling class can delegitimize these critiques, we’ll be pushed further into escalating warfare, oligarchy, and ecocide. To defeat the Deep State and its propaganda, we’ll need to expose the truth. Which is that supporting the political establishment’s institutions and ideas, not opposing them, is the unserious choice.
With the discrediting of neoliberalism, globalism and the American empire, faith in this establishment has collapsed. The Democratic Party is now even less popular than president Trump, with nearly half the electorate affiliating with neither major party. Under a third of the country trusts the mainstream media. Wall Street and the paradigm of endless war are massively despised. The republic will keep descending into authoritarian populism and civil unrest until the people’s anger at the system is addressed.
This system is imploding all on its own. Decades of neoliberal policies have resulted in monumental deficits and put the majority of the population in poverty. A Pentagon report from October admitted the American empire is rapidly collapsing, with U.S. alliances failing, the dollar declining, and the bloated U.S. military increasingly unable to function. The big banks, more consolidated and powerful than ever, have created unprecedented housing, stock, bond, and credit bubbles amid their mass operations of scams and accounting fraud. The federal reserve has acted similarly. The inflation of the Dow this month to 25,000 has only added more doomed capital into the coming financial catastrophe.
Without rapid revolt against the fossil fuel industry and the political establishment that supports it, civilization might not survive our ecological breakdown. In the Anthropocene, as scientists have called it, hurricanes, heat waves, and forest fires have shown this past season to now be virtually intolerable for people in the affected areas. The global insect population has declined 75% in the last three decades, portending to a massive breakdown of agriculture. A composite study of climate data last year showed that if carbon emissions don’t start to steadily decline on from the year 2020, sea level rise of several meters and the desertification of large parts of the earth will follow.
We can’t let the enormity of our task overwhelm us. There are practical actions anyone can take that will lead toward major victories. As Ralph Nader said in a recent interview, “These parties are very vulnerable. They’re shells that rest on money and television ads that nobody likes. Unrebuttable right-wing talk radio. All these can be circumvented neighborhood by neighborhood, but you’ve got to have money. Labor halls are unoccupied. Veteran halls are unoccupied. Libraries are unoccupied. There are a lot of meeting places around. A lot of empty stores can be rented.”
This week, President Trump escalated America’s long and completely unprovokedcold war against North Korea by tweeting about how his nuclear button is “bigger” and “it works.” Before then the U.S. appeared to be in the late stage of a North Korea war runup. Whether or not this turns into a real war-and it’s more than likely that it will-the corporate state will use the crisis to crush dissent more and more brutally. Chris Hedges thinks it will likely be a year from now when the United States has effectively become a military dictatorship. If or when this new America emerges, today’s climate of McCarthyism and shallow partisan loyalty will be what it developed from.

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