January 28, 2013

Public Discernment vs Blind Patriotism

Political sophistication is, regrettably, not something associated with the Western public, particularly in North America. 
Voting participation rates tend to be low in most jurisdictions-- not surprising, since changing governments is perceived by the electorate to accomplish little. General public attitudes seem to be stuck in the doldrums of cynicism and lethargy.

In the self-regarded bastion of democracy, the public-- those who bother voting-- have been trapped on a crazy see-saw of Hegelian choice. It's either 'tweedle-dem' or tweedle-doo-doo; so-called Democrats, or so-called Republicans. Anyone with a memory longer than four years should be able to see that, effectively, there is no difference between the two parties. Third party candidates are simply ignored by the media, so they have no chance of making any substantive inroads.

One attitude that persists among the general public is that, regardless of how poor a job their government is doing domestically, its actions on the world stage are, nonetheless, laudable. In this regard, governments are fortunate to have the media as their willing cheerleaders. It looks like private sector propaganda, until one realizes that it's more like 'the best democracy  corporatism can buy.' That is, those who run the media also exercise control over government policy decisions, that they support in their media.

Yet most of that presstitute homage to our governments' external relations goes unnoticed and un-analyzed by the men/women in the streets. I think a major factor in the willing acceptance of self-defeating foreign policy (especially by the USA) is the 'good-guy mythology' that is ingrained in our minds from the earliest years. You know-- “Those other people (who are, typically, of a different culture, or a particular ethnicity) are horrible, baby-sacrificing villains, who all deserve to die; so we can do whatever is necessary to destroy them... because we are the good guys who can do no wrong.”

That kind of black and white characterization may be appealing to the adolescent brain; but as time goes on, it gets more and more obviously simplistic and stupid. As we mature, and especially if we travel abroad, we gradually realize that people everywhere fundamentally want the same thing-- to live a peaceful life and have a decent living. To hear our leaders and media mouthpieces portray any group of people as terrorists starts to grate on the nerves of those with a modicum of discernment.

Sadly, there's still a large proportion of the population that simply swallows their government's line on foreign 'enemies,' especially when the message is wrapped in warm, fuzzy patriotism. We are encouraged to 'support our troops,' and anyone who questions their mission 'over there,' must be an unpatriotic traitor. Only a few citizens have the insight-- combined with the courage-- to openly question the military misadventures of their government.

See, there's a big difference between a country and its government. You may live in a basically decent society (as most are); but, chances are, your government is making stupid, counter-productive decisions that serve the interests of only a relatively few individuals. And make no mistake; those few individuals who profit from wars, rapacious resource exploitation, and no-benefit labor laws, have nothing but contempt for patriots, nationalism, and all that sentimental nonsense.

So, it's time to wake up, and look beyond the crass appeals to the national flag and group chest-thumping. These are tools used to manipulate the naive masses; weapons to defeat rational opposition to irrational, destructive policies. Indeed, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, as declared by Samuel Johnson in 1775.

In centuries past, empires were constructed by ethnic entities, pushed by their monarchs and ruling elites. Notably, we had the Roman empire, which was quite an accomplishment for what was, essentially, a city-state. Centuries later, the British empire was another surprising achievement, coming from a small island that succeeded in planting its flag over a huge chunk of global real-estate. (And, far from being some kind of mutual-benefit society, the British empire was attained and maintained by ruthlessness and conniving, make no mistake.)

Today, the world is under the thrall of what will surely be the last empire-- that of America. Altho the US flag does not fly over the capitals of many countries beyond the 50 states, this modern empire exercises its hegemony in more subtle ways. Now, it's all about money-- economic colonization... backed up, of course, with the threat of the biggest military machine ever seen in post-diluvian history. Regardless of whether it's a political or an economic empire, the result is similar-- the flow of wealth into the coffers of a select few persons.

In the old empires, the shipping of resources went from colony to the hub of power, where raw materials were transformed into consumer products, and captains of industry were transformed into the nouveau riche aristocracy. In the American empire, resources may be extracted in client-state A, then sent to client-state B for processing into value-added products. The profits are accumulated by the corporate 'entrepreneurs' (really just a thin layer of influencers at the top) who  sequester their wealth anywhere the banks are co-operative.

Some of the lower-level players co-opted by the high-rollers in generating 'off-shore wealth' (formerly called plunder) eventually wake up and realize their nefarious role in this whole unsavory business. A famous case is a book written by Maj.Gen. Smedley Butler, USM, entitled 'War is a Racket!' His book was published in 1935, which proves that nothing has changed in a century of supposed social progress.

Likewise, in this 21st century of ostensible enlightenment, we are seeing the ongoing pillage of 'under-developed nations' proceed unabated, using the time-proven methods of empire. Now the empire consists of 'multi-national' corporations with no allegiance to anything but the bottom line. These entities have been able to enforce their will on their colonial supply sources by whistling for Uncle Sam to send in the troops.

Butler exposed, in blunt terms, how the US military is used as the collection agency for bills due, and as the enforcer of 'co-operation,' from exploited, sovereign nations. Uncooperative foreign governments are those that have the temerity to think that some of their national wealth ought, by rights, to stay within their borders, to be used for the public good. This view has always been completely unacceptable to the corporate racketeers, that have no other interest than the free flow of profit.

Actually, the more typical scenario, is that the US gov't sends CIA (-trained) operatives into the offending country. These agents stir up radical elements of the native society, who are now labelled as 'freedom-fighters' by the subservient Western media. You know the script by now; rebels topple old regime with copious amounts of dollars and weapons supplied by the West. New regime is as brutal (or moreso) than the previous one; country is destroyed by years of conflict; corporations move in and do their usual pillaging.

Another stratagem that has been increasingly employed by governments to justify unpopular military adventures is the use of 'false-flag incidents.' The 'Reichstag fire' of Berlin, was instrumental in getting Hitler and his Nazi party 'democratically elected' in Germany in the early 1930s. The 'Gulf of Tonkin' incident (now discredited) was the issue used to instigate American involvement in Vietnam, in 1964.

This new century has seen a flurry of false-flag trigger events, starting with a  bang (or three) on Sept. 11, 2001, but also including 3-11-04 (Madrid), 7-7-05 (London), and 26-11-08 (Mumbai). While the media immediately attributed these attacks as due to 'Islamist extremists,' any semi-thoughtful analysis of the facts, in each case, casts serious doubt on that theory, and points to more believable, 'in-house' operations.

All of the foregoing to underscore the nitty-gritty of it-- the Western public, in the main, is gullible enough to buy the BS fed to us by our governments, when given a free ride by the whoring media. Yet studies are showing that TV viewing (the electronic opiate) is finally on the decline, as it seems people are turning to the Internet for their news, as well as almost everything else in their lives.

And sure, the Internet is full of mis-information and dis-information, as well as the genuine article; but at least there is a dissenting voice to the manufactured consent of the presstitute media. People, it appears, are checking multiple sources, and seeing alternative, even opposing views on the events of our times. The Occupy Wall St. movement is proof of this new awareness.

OWS has been joined by 'Idle No More,' indicating the spread of new consciousness and resulting discontent with the status-quo. Nevertheless, I understand too well how ALL human movements eventually get co-opted by the establishment, 'absorbed by the Borg,' and become futile. Still, whatever road-blocks can be erected to delay the onslaught of the NWO, the better. As the popular movements gain enough publicity, however temporary, the discernment of the general populace is raised and expanded.

Of course, the PTB also see what is happening, and are frantic to complete the 'grand project of the ages,' which is to implement their global government and run the world 'their way.' Whether they fully succeed or not, the Bible and other sources indicate that things are going to get very ugly, for a short period. Anyone who hasn't woken up to the evil in our midst will have no choice, our lives are going to be seriously disrupted. Those who began to wake up in those spontaneous, popular campaigns will suddenly be wrenched into full lucidity. For them, the transition will be a bit less traumatic than for the majority, the sleep-walkers who have no time for 'reality' unless its a TV program.

My final advice? The alarm clock is chirping loudly; it's best to start waking up now, than hitting the snooze button for another few minutes of slumber.

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