Umberto Eco describes the resistance to the new totalitarianism of colluding media and cleptocratic elites, as a “semiological guerrilla warfare“. As in most colonial wars, the abused and exploited millions have almost no chances against an enemy, which is vastly superior in terms of technology, war chests and, remember, willingness to step over any laws and ethical norms to achieve its goals and silence its critics.
Eco suggests that a thinking person has to resist such an occupation in smart, tactical way, prioritize survival, rather than strategic victory.
And in this fight one definition of survival is to not let words change their meaning. To remember what is evil and what is good. Discern hypocrisy and manipulation. Even if one cannot react openly to these, knowing what truth is, is already effective resistance.
If we cannot control the message in terms of its production, coding, distribution channels, we can always control it at the decoding stage, Eco says. Therefore we have the power and the responsibility to do so.
One cannot deny one great effect of the Guardian’s war on truth. Readers today know more. And better. As in the former communist countries during the Cold War, they are quickly becoming experts at reading ‘between the lines’, identifying and developing immunity against propaganda.
So, I’ll let them speak. Here are their takes on the latest Guardian “advertnews”, pushing Washington’s scaremongering in relation to Venezuela.