Thursday, August 24, 2006

Doin' the Hokey-Cokey

I remember the books that have influenced my thinking. The feel and the smell of them, the colours and illustrations. I still have the texts from when I studied Philosophy, Politics and History in the sixties.

There was a lot of talk about Geopolitical strategy and chandelier theory in those days. It was valid then. We held our breath until the split between China and the U.S.S.R brought a sort of three sided balance. That thinking is now obsolete. The collapse of the Soviet Union and China's retreat to the sidelines has created one superpower.

By coincidence or as a consequence there has been a massive world-wide swing to the right which has ushered in a U.S. administration packed with paranoid psychopathic personality types who prefer radio active bullets to diplomacy and actually boast about pre-emptive war - a war crime under the Geneva Convention. These guys do not believe in rules.

This administration has torn up Habeus Corpus and the rule of law. It has exempted itself from the Geneva Convention. It doesn’t pay its tab at the U.N. or obey U.N. Declarations. This Administration tells bare-faced lies to the American people in the sure and certain knowledge that a majority will not comprehend. And those who do can be confused and divided by disinformation. This administration openly accepts bribes and rifles the Federal purse. There is credible evidence that the Ballot has been rigged.

How bad does it have to get?
How did it happen?
How did the leaders of the "Free World" become complicit in Ethnic Cleansing, murder and mayhem?

I remember a book we read at high school. From it we learned about one man one vote, rotten boroughs, secret ballots, bribery and corruption. I remember thinking how obvious the abuse had been and how blind the people must have been not to have seen it. I was pleased it had all been sorted.
Funny thing, even then I recognised that the guys who thought nothing of bending the rules were the already powerful. They had to be armwrestled into universal franchise and the forty-hour week.

We were taught that the printing press aided reform and that was easy to believe- then it was bought. Radio likewise. As the revenue base of each new communications medium shifted from subscriber to advertising, entertainment replaced information. New media was quickly absorbed by the growing networks.
Multi-media gave birth to the PR industry and the PR industry commoditized the electoral process.
Once again, elections could be bought and very few people realised. Those who did could only whisper about it in the underground press.

Today, the level of disinformation is so great that the best informed are those who eschew the popular press, radio and television. The information is still out there. You just have to sort through the garbage manufactured by lobbyists and PR firms masquerading as "think tanks".

Do I think it's all gone to hell? No I do not. The pendulum has always swung back. It is just that the arc has been wider this time. I am beginning to detect a swing in America. Congressmen and Senators from both sides are beginning to speak out. Could this mean that pressure from the left is loosening AIPAC's grip on the U.S. political process? If it reaches critical mass, could the voter swing landslide and the succeeding Democrat administration have enough momentum to shake it loose? Could we see a great era of reform putting the reins on campaign funding and the power of lobby?

Hope I'm reading the right blogs.
It’s either that or Magna Carta time.

The internet is my new hope. As the communications industry decentralizes it becomes difficult to own and control. There is always a window of opportunity for the left and humanism provided by a new medium. Eventually the internet will be deluged by corporate sponsored infotainment and the radical voice swamped by brightly coloured disinformation. What they cannot own they smother.

For a short while however, there exists a slightly more even battle ground, that of ideas and the mind. For the left, this has always provided advantage.

The question is, of course, do our children know the history?

“Mass movements do not usually rise until the prevailing order has been discredited. The discrediting is not an automatic result of the blunders and abuses of those in power, but the deliberate work of men of words with a grievance.”-Eric Hoffer The True Believer


KW said...

saw your post reprinted at truthout. nice one.

deano said...

Do you really think there has been a massive world-wide swing to the right? Apart from the US, and maybe Australia?

The pendulum is ready to swing back in the US but don't forget that the US version of the 'left' in the Democrats is nothing like what we have in little ol' NZ. The US is so rampantly Christian, that massive change is unlikely I feel.

Lobbyists and governments spread misinformation and propaganda, like you said, but be careful of the far left also, with their conspiracy theories and 'post-modern interpretations'- truth is elusive, but it does exist.

I think those in power in the US, both Republican and Democrat alike, are too happy with their current situation for campaign funding and lobbying to be reformed. I just read today that 200 million dollars is spent every month by lobbyists. No doubt Democrats are receiving a fair chunk of that pie. Humans are greedy. Why would they want to give that up?

Brewerstroupe said...

I think the swing to the right is felt here in NZ and in Britain where the "left" has moved to the centre right ground. Thus I disagree that the NZ situation is dissimilar to that of the States. I think the Democrats and the post-Douglas Labour party have much in common.

The left will use the tools of politics. My argument is that the tools have mostly been taken away. There is no left media now.

I hope you are wrong when you say that both sides of the political spectrum in the U.S. have been captured. My reading informs me that there is a growing awareness that the system has to change and the economic vote has to be curtailed. Polls are showing that reform of the electoral system is a vote getter. It is possible that I read more of that stuff than the consensus view but we live in hope.