Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that the really good propaganda is aimed at a liberal audience, because conservatives already (generally) agree with the message being promulgated by the corporate-media, that of favoring the interests of capital over labor, a robust US empire, and man’s dominion over both woman and nature.
Liberals, on the other hand, need to be reassured that going along with neoliberal economic policies and neoconservative foreign policies is the moral thing to do, and that moreover, our plutocratic owners really do care about homosexuals, or people of color, or feminists, or the environment. Going further, isn’t that a pretty fair description of the liberal propaganda campaign based around the identity politics which have replaced the class-based politics formerly practiced by the Democratic Party?
For the liberal propaganda complex Trump has been a godsend. Liberal hatred of Trump is so extreme that the NPR listening, New York Times reading, liberal is willing to go along with almost anything in opposition to the hated president. Russia-gate is the ultimate example of this phenomenon, where liberal hatred of Trump has intensified a new Cold War against Russia, where one miscalculation could end life on earth.
For me, there’s been a silver lining. Trump and the liberal hatred he’s engendered has confirmed that the liberal mass media acts as powerful supporters of the status quo, while they’ve been forced to drop the pretence that they are impartial, independent and progressive. This process has resulted in the so-called liberal media getting weirder and more desperate by the day. Not since the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq have we seen mainstream media outlets aggressively pushing the conventional wisdom narrative, while relentlessly censoring alternative viewpoints.
Along those lines, “fake news” has come to define any anti-establishment narrative that challenges the pro-neoliberal consensus that favors predatory financial capitalism, privatization of government services, and endless wars of aggression. “Fake news” is now a pejorative being hurled at any of us who are critical of western governments and media, and who expresses skepticism of establishment narratives around 9/11, Syria, and Russia, Iran, etc. “Fake news” has become a key part of the frantic urgency that we are seeing from the establishment propaganda machine that is nothing other than an attempt to regain control of the narrative.
Today, the ultimate thought crime is doubting the official narrative.
Worst of all for the powers-that-be is that distrust of the official narrative is spreading. In France we’ve been seeing uncontrollable protesters from across the political spectrum, and activists writing “We’ve chopped off heads for less than this” in graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe, which you can be certain has caught the attention of our rulers.
Never forget that the corporate mass media uses the power of narrative to determine what the public believes in order to keep them from rebelling against a elite status quo. Without this propaganda assist the plutocrats that control the US state would not be able to rule.
Once upon a time truth was considered to be the best defense for propaganda. During the Cold War there was little effort to silence Soviet propaganda. Anybody could listen to Radio Moscow, read Soviet newspapers or anything else. We didn’t worry too much: truth was the best defence. But the USSR did worry and it spent enormous efforts jamming Western broadcasts.
The corporate media is losing credibility by the day and the reason is simple–the side that’s blocking the other side is afraid of the truth, it’s afraid of dissent, it’s afraid of freedom.