Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mind Control Via False Binaries


Mind control of the U.S. public proceeds apace. The current false binary dominating the airwaves is that you are either for Trump or against the Russian government. 

At least that was the false binary prevailing until the historic Vault 7 leak of CIA documents published by Wikileaks this week cast some doubt on the alleged role of Russian operatives in the recent election.

What has continued to mystify me is the stampede of liberals and progressives eager to vilify the nation with the longest thawing Arctic coastline full of fossil fuel reserves.

Every "resistance" or "indivisible" movement that has come down the pike lately has assiduously ignored the problem of endless imperial wars for control of fossil fuels, a clear sign of the Democratic Party at work.

I wrote to one of my state's leading peace and justice organizations after they promoted the Russian bad guys theory of political influence in a mass email this week: 

I am really surprised that the ______ is joining in the chorus about Russia. Why would jumping on this Democratic Party bandwagon be in the best interests of the peace and justice movement?

Perhaps some further reading on the subject would be useful. I recommend these as a good place to start:

Leading Putin critic warns of xenophobic conspiracy theories drowing U.S. discourse and helping Trump (The Intercept, March 7)

Trump and the Russian Conspiracy Trap (New York Review of Books, March 6)

Alert from Odessa, Ukraine (Organizing Notes, March 6)


The author of the blog containing the third link, antiwar organizer Bruce Gagnon, gave an interview to RT this week. His take:

I think there is a war between the ruling oligarchies in America going on right now in Washington. I call it the mob versus the mafia. Neither of them are good guys. Many peace activists and progressive people across our country are very confused and think they have to pick sides and support the Democrats who have lately been demonizing Russia in a kind of recycled version of red baiting. But what we really have to do is be critical of this growing military madness that this country is hell-bent on, no matter who is in office.

I continue to wonder how people got the idea that there are are only two sides and if you haven't chosen #1 then you must have, by default, chosen #2. The gender binary has been subject to critical thinking for decades now even as the forces of ignorance cling to their labeled bathrooms and tiny icons of females in skirts. There are a multitude of races, religions, even political parties (in other countries, that is). 

Here in the U.S., the use of mass media to elevate symbolic persons to celebrity status fuels the false dichotomy engine. 


The Green Party's 2016 ticket: Jill Stein for president and Ajamu Baraka for VP

To say that you supported neither of the two corporate party candidate but were instead supporting the Green Party candidates guaranteed that you would be torn to shreds on social media, branded a traitor or worse.

People I barely knew threated to "blame" me if the demagogue won the election. I think they were sincere in their delusion that he personified evil, and maybe they were right about that. But their corollary, that only one alternative could be possible, and therefore it is the antidote to evil, is ridiculously simplistic.

Time after time bouts of circular reasoning any spreadsheet would flag churned out the official line: There are only two possible winners of any presidential election. So if you support a third alternative, you are refusing to face reality: if you're not against the demogogue with bad hair, you're against us. Thus, you third party voters are the enemy.

Being a history major, I am reminded of bygone eras when any deviance from the official orthodoxy of whatever flavor of Christianity (or Islam or Buddhism) was prevalent resulted in ostracism at best, death by torture at worst. 

Now that one faction of the corporate deep state has temporarily prevailed over another faction, the false dichotomy machine has shifted to channeling our outrage into safe channels such as "Indivisble" and #daywithoutawoman. There's big money behind this effort and the corporate media play right along. 

After all, who else elevated the demagogue with bad hair to candidate status while the rest of the world looked on in horrified disbelief? The Democratic Party-aligned major media outlets gambled on the fact that our distaste for the demagogue would be strong enough to get us to hold our noses and vote for warmonger Clinton after she stole the nomination from faux populist Sanders. And a lot of people did hold their noses and vote for her, maybe even enough to win the election. Were the voting machines hacked? Was voter suppression sufficient to pull off the coup? Or did the Republican Party just play the electoral college like a boss? We may never know the truth.

Now we're facing a government full of ugly (as opposed to handsome) evildoers, an upsurge in white supremacists in positions of power, and isolationism that is taking an ax to human rights, the freedom to travel, and the freedom to live free of fear. The Environmental Protection Agency and public education for all are on the chopping block, along with the coporate giveaway package known as the Affordable Care Act.

Movement building is the order of the day, and the astroturf movements that front for the (temporarily out of power) other corporate party will vacuum up as much of this energy as possible. Depending on how many times they've been fooled in the past, real organizers may or may not fall for this.

Jason Rawn, an international peaceworker and youngish member of the #Zumwalt12 civil disobedience team targeting war profiteer General Dynamics, wrote in an email about his recent experiences with this phenomenon:


Anecdote from Maine People's Alliance event last Sunday: People immediately and enthusiastically ready to discuss fighting for Obamacare. But what about universal healthcare, something people were talking about that resulted in the Obamacare product? That was the original prize. But suddenly Trump is here, and so people are reacting to that, and the health care narrative battle cry becomes "Save Obamacare from Trump!" 
Bullshit message. Obamacare was a compromise, not the original prize anyone's eyes were on. Nobody was thinking, "Gee, I wish the government would require me to buy an insurance product." Much better message: "America can afford universal, single-payer healthcare! We want it!"

Some of us in the communications branch will gladly use the mass audiences assembled to deliver our subversive message:

There are more than two sides to a question. 

Job #1 for a citizen these days: find sources of real information, and act accordingly.

3 comments:

Jon Olsen said...

As one who used to teach logic while a grad student in philosophy, I am appalled at the enormity of the chasm when it comes to logical thinking by so many in both government and media. The failure to understand the vital importance of evidence incoming to conclusions is astonishing. Just to cite one example, 10 years of forensic examination of evidence by professional scientists in the fields of physics, chemistry, architecture and engineering have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that what brought down the 3 buildings on 9/11 was pre-planted highly sophisticated explosives, available only to a very few advanced governments. The plane impacts and fires were merely the diversion and not the cause of the free-fall collapse, and one of the three buildings, which came down at 5:25 that day, was not struck by any plane. There exists a tacit agreement among nearly all media,including much of the "alternative" media, not to report this. Another area is this nonsensical anti-Russia hysteria that would make old Joe McCarthy proud.

Anonymous said...

wow, 9/11 truthers, really?

Lisa Savage said...

Not sure what you mean by that, Anonymous. Can you please clarify your comment?