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Comments 11

Politics, Language and Power

by Frank

1-themanipulat
Contemporary politics consists of the usual timeless formula of Machiavelli – rule by force and fraud – but with the current emphasis being on fraud

Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, their inhabitants driven out into the countryside, their cattle machine gunned, their huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification.” Politics and the English Language, 1946

There is a high probability that Russia will intervene in the Baltics to test NATO’s Article 5…” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ex-head of NATO, now military and security adviser to Ukrainian Oligarch ruler Poroshenko, February 2015

It would be true to say that the language of politics and power is patently neither objective, nor particularly interested in the pursuit of truth. Quite the contrary in fact. If we take the above examples, the first is simply an attempt to mask what is an international war crime into a reasonable policy of intervention. All rather reminiscent of the language which evolved during the Indo-china wars, e.g. ‘we destroyed the village in order to save it.’

The purpose of the second statement was simply designed to ramp up the war psychosis in order to justify the eastern expansion and build-up of NATO on Russia’s western frontiers. Please note that Mr Rasmussen isn’t saying that a Russian intervention is possible, or even probable, but highly probable. This seems somewhat strange as Russia couldn’t wait to get rid of the Baltic states when it declared its independence in 1991, and now we are expected to believe that it wants to invade.

It is said that knowledge is power, in fact the reverse is more accurate. Those who control the means of communication are now able to create a virtual reality. This is hardly new. The father of modern Public Relations, Edward Bernays, (nephew of Sigmund Freud) postulated that ‘invisible’ people create knowledge and propaganda and rule over the masses, with a monopoly on the power to shape thoughts, values, and citizen response.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” Edward Bernays – “Propaganda” (Routledge, 1928)

One of Bernay’s great admirers was Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels who was to apply his theories with alacrity during the Nazi ascendency 1934-1945. In our own time this mass manipulation was identified by inter alia Edward S Herman and Noam Chomsky in their seminal work The Manufacture of Consent first published in 1988 that the mass communication media of the U.S.

are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function, by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”

It was during his period in Spain during the war against Franco that George Orwell first became aware of the political potentialities of modern communications systems. Orwell was a passionate believer in truth, and that objective facts existed and could be identified. However, what he found was that, what was and wasn’t true, were of secondary importance. What counted was that which served the greater cause. Political expediency determined truth and falsehood.

At that time Orwell was serving in the military wing of POUM (Workers’ Party of Marxist Unity) sister party of the British Independent Labour Party (ILP) of which Orwell was a member. This was in 1937 after the Comintern’s right turn, away from the ultra-leftism of the Third Period, towards the Popular Front phase, a move from international revolution (identified as Trotskyism) and the defence of democracy through alliances with bourgeois political groups. Unfortunately for Orwell he was in the wrong place at the wrong time – this was the time of the big Stalinist push against Trotskyism, and in Spain this meant the POUM. He wrote:

I must say something about the general charge that the POUM was a secret fascist organization in the pay of Franco and Hitler. This charge was repeated over and over in the Communist press…according to the Frenti Rojo (the Valencia Communist Newspaper) “Trotskyism, is not a political doctrine; it is a capitalist organization in league with the Fascists, a Fascist terrorist band, and part of Franco’s 5th column.” What was noticeable from the start was that there was no evidence to support this accusation; the thing was simply asserted with an air of authority.

Yep, sounds familiar. Orwell’s pessimism in this respect reached its terminal stage in his disturbing dystopian novel, 1984.

This manufacture of a virtual reality is now common currency in the mass media. The press in particular – including the putatively left-wing publications, the Guardian and the Independent – pretty much operate as an appendage to the ‘invisible’ people, identified by Bernays. A recent snippet in the Inependent read:

60,000 tortured to death in (Syrian) government jails.

At least 60,000 people have died in Syrian government jails during the 5 year conflict, according to a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) which said they died

either as a result of direct bodily torture or denial of food and medicine.

The Observatory’s director, Abdulrahman said more than 20,000 had died in Sednaya prison near Damascus. The Observatory claimed it had been able to verify the deaths of 14,456,110 (sic) under the age of 18, since the start of the Syrian uprising since 2011.

Mr Abdulrahman, who has lived in Coventry UK since 2006 and owns a shop which he runs with his wife, says his sources were serving officials seeking to expose what is going on.

The Independent 23-05-2106 By Tom Perry – Beirut.

So we get one guy in Beirut publishing a report based upon another guy who has lived in Coventry since 2006 and who claims to have contacts at high levels in the Syrian government.

Yeah, right!

Yet the Independent, which is said to be a ‘left leaning’ newspaper owned by the Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev who purchased it in 2010, will it seems publish extremely dubious stories without checking the sources but simply takes what they say at face value. No doubt this serves the greater cause.

The post-modern doctrine, now fashionable in reactionary elite circles in the west, asserts a denial of the possibility of objective reality. In practice this involves:

  1. Groupthink: defined as a process where a group with similar backgrounds and largely insulated from outside opinion makes decisions without critically testing, analysing and evaluating ideas and their outcomes.
  2. Doublethink: where two logically contradictory thoughts can be held at the same time
  3. Double Standards: Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi – What’s permissible for Jove is not permissible for the Ox. Or in plain English the Anglo-zionist empire can do things like extend its sphere of influence, but Russia and China must not. The Globalization of the Monroe Doctrine. Or we can accuse you of crimes against humanity, whilst we actually commit crimes against humanity. And so forth.

Goebbels propaganda technique was quite simple:

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

This information/propaganda war is now in full swing and for the time being it is the primary political phenomenon of the hybrid war which the west is conducting against both Russia and China. However, the second part of Goebbels quote which is rarely repeated is quite interesting, to wit:

The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

So the fooling of the masses can only be short term; sooner or later the truth seeps into the popular consciousness and the elite are seen to be the mendacious scoundrels they are. Then only outright repression can be used against the populace. So it would appear that the great Anglo-zionist hegemonic project is a race against time; it must succeed soon or it will collapse entirely.

Like Ab Lincoln said: You can fool most people some of the time, and some people most of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.


11 Comments

  1. Apologies for the dupe comments from me ‘oo’ above, trying from a different machine..

    Something is very wrong with the commenting system as I am now unable to comment.

    Here is the comment I attempted to post about an hour ago:

    See my other response to john in the ‘liverpool’ thread re ‘psyop’

    Regarding this story the us gas been run by the jewish oligarch for a long time.

    58 billion.

    What’s a billion?

    Do you know?

    A trillion billions!

    Well that’s what you lot have left behind.

    In ‘debt’.

    And you think people won’t wake up and take it back.

    oo

    ps No surprise one cannot comment when one gets close to something akin to the truth. Whatever that may be.

    pps YOU’VE BEEN RUMBLED…

    It is only a ‘matter’

    of ‘time’

    !

    Like

  2. John says

    Eileen Maud Blair (née O’Shaughnessy, 25 September 1905 – 29 March 1945) was the first wife of George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair). Some scholars[who?] believe that Eileen had a large influence on Orwell’s writing. It is suggested[who?] that Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four may have been influenced by one of Eileen’s poems, End of the Century, 1984,[13] The poem was written in 1934, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the school she went to, Sunderland Church High School, and to look ahead 50 years to the school’s centenary in 1984.[14]

    Although the poem was written a year before she met Blair, there are some similarities between the futuristic vision of Eileen’s poem and that in Nineteen Eighty-Four, including the use of mind control, and the eradication of personal freedom by a police state.[15] Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eileen_Blair.

    The death of his wife at a comparatively early age – 39 years – may also have affected Blair/Orwell’s outlook, thus leading possibly to an even more bleak outlook at the end of the 1984 novel. There is an interesting talk about Blair/Orwell on BBC Radio 4, which can be heard at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07wgkz4 – including a reference to the effect of his wife’s death on his writing.

    Like

    • Orwell was actually dying when he wrote 1984; after its publication he intoned. ”I wouldn’t have written such a depressing book if I hadn’t felt so ill.”

      Like

  3. “Yet the Independent, which is said to be a ‘left leaning’ newspaper owned by the Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev who purchased it in 2010, will it seems publish extremely dubious stories without checking the sources but simply takes what they say at face value. No doubt this serves the greater cause.”

    I’m sorry but isn’t this the newspaper that has two big-time defenders of Assad, namely Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn?

    Furthermore, the owner of the paper advocates a British alliance with Putin. He believes that “We have common cause with the Russians, a common enemy. The biggest threat to humanity today is cancerous, Islamist ideology that is growing fast right across the world.”

    https://leftfootforward.org/2015/11/press-baron-evgeny-lebedev-calls-for-a-british-alliance-with-putins-russia/

    I guess for you folks the only people who are not tools of American imperialism are those exactly like you. Even though Cockburn, Fisk and their boss agree with you 90 percent of the time, that is not good enough apparently. Amazing.

    Like

    • DavidKNZ says

      If you do a search on ” fisk assad independent.” you will find plenty of
      factual references critical of Assad.
      But also critical of the hypocrisy behind western news reporting

      Like

    • flybow says

      at the last uk election, the “independent” Urged people to vote tory.
      All of our print media is now right wing.

      Like

  4. michaelk says

    A friend of mine teaches film and media studies. Usually she begins her course by writing, ‘there is no such thing as objectivity’ on the blackboard. This is meant to refer to what people call ‘the news’ on the telly and in newspapers. Most of her students are shocked by this idea, specifically that the ‘news’ as presented, edited and chosen, isn’t really objective, but coloured by politics and interests. This concept is entirely new to them and they usually object. They think the news is neutral, objective and true and the journalists do their level best to make it so. For them the news is ‘true’ and dedicated to informing the public, not something that’s in the service of powerful and narrow interests within the state/corporations, or when we are at war, which is all the time, the military.

    There is though, I think, a problem with the ‘no objectivity’ argument or observation. It implies that there’s a ‘level playing field’ or ‘balance’ of non-objectivity, that information is equally not objective. Which is problematic, because not all actors have the same access to media platforms to present their version of the news. Some groups control the news, whether it’s ‘objective’ or not. Here, Power over the news agenda isn’t addressed. Though I’m being unfair as she doesn then go on to examine power relationships in the media and the production of the news and why. But at the beginning her students are already reeling from the idea that the news isn’t objective. They immediately assume that what she really means is that the news is mostly lies, and that’s a big pill to swallow.

    Another problem with the idea that there is no objectivity, perhaps the biggest problem, is that this also means that there is no ‘Truth’ either.

    Like

  5. The MSM are now not even couching the MH17 propaganda with riders such as ‘allegedly’ or ‘probably’. Now they take the ridiculous Dutch propaganda report that Russia dun it as proven fact and simply bare faced say Russia did it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Willem says

    Very interesting article with which I fully agree. For those who have not read Bernays book ‘propaganda’ (shown in the introducing picture), here is a link: http://www.historyisaweapon.org/defcon1/bernprop.html

    I consider Homage to Catalonia from Orwell much more interesting than 1984. First because it follows the events as they happened in the Spanish war where Orwell was an eye witness, second because it shows propaganda articles at that time that are really no different as compared with what you can read today in MSM relating to for example Syria (you can find these articles in chapter 11). Third, because the end of the book is optimistic.

    The problem with 1984 is that it was written at a time that Orwell was terminally ill (Tuberculosis). To me it seems that this is the reason that the story is suffocating, and not necessarily relates with ‘the truth’. The end in 1984 was the end for Orwell, not for humanity, or, following Orwell’s storyline, the end for the people of Oceania.

    Anyway, here is the link to Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia: http://www.limpidsoft.com/small/homagecatalonia.pdf

    Like

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