At Camelotkidd, I’ve settled into a routine of writing critical articles on neoliberalism, neoconservatism, our feral elite, and propaganda, because I realized that these were subjects that not only interested me but were key to making sense of our chaotic world.
Neoliberalism is about where the money is going. Neoconservatism is about where the resources and weapons are going. An examination of America’s feral elite illuminates the actors.
And by studying our feral elite, especially the projects, candidates, think tanks and media outlets they pour their wealth into, I’ve learned that they exert an incredible amount of influence on shaping how we think about all of these things. Moreover, this dynamic has the advantage of nullifying the corporate media propaganda, with its emphasis on narrative, narrative, narrative.
With each of these topics I can simply watch raw data and ignore all the ways in which the corporate media shapes these stories. Nearly everything that makes up a breathless headline is either propaganda or distracting bull-shit, like summer of the shark in the run up to 9/11, and either way you can safely ignore it. Just watch where the money is going, where the resources are going, where the weapons are going and what the feral elite are doing, and ignore all the narrative.
This deconstruction allows us some perspective. Ultimately the “real world”, as it is presented to us, rarely reflects anything we might usefully be able to label as objective reality. It is a set of political, economic and social priorities that have been manufactured for us.
The pandemic has disrupted the matrix. At a moment like this of real crisis, one that overshadows all else, we have a chance – though only a chance – to recognize this truth and develop our own critical perspective. A perspective that truly belongs to us, and not to others. And for that we have to thank a virus. The Coronavirus has put a bright spotlight on the true nature of our world, and in the process has called all of the previous dominant ideologies into question. The desperate flailing from the corporate media about this bad person or that bad country are meant to distract from this uncomfortable reality. Neoliberalism, neoconservatism, the idea of a wise, meritocratic elite have all been proven to be crazy cults. The only thing holding the whole thing together is western propaganda, which is first rate. But even that is starting to fray at the edges. Once the public has caught a glimpse of the naked emperor, well, you get the picture.
However, it’s becoming painfully obvious that our elite managers simply cannot imagine any other ideologies. For instance, as the pandemic calls into question our dubious expenditures on “defense”, which are apparently spent to enrich arms dealers, Joe Biden’s crack team of neoconservative foreign policy “intellectuals” proclaims that the US must gear up to confront China, and Russia.
Plus ça change, as the French say.
And, of course, the neoliberals haven’t changed their spots. Under cover of the public’s fear, and of justified concerns about the state of the economy and future employment, our government is transferring huge sums of public money to the biggest banks and corporations. Politicians controlled by big business and media owned by big business are pushing through this corporate robbery without scrutiny, for reasons that after Citizens v. United should be obvious. They know our attention is too overwhelmed by the virus for us to assess intentionally mystifying arguments about the supposed economic benefits, about yet more illusory trickle-down. Plus, your check for $1200 is in the mail. Trump said so.
I keep coming back to the idea of how in America our ideologies are fucked-up because of greed. Neoconservatives monetized the national security state because government is bad, or something, plus they have to make a buck. The neoliberals moved high-productivity, high-valued jobs offshore in order to raise corporate profits at the expense of domestic consumer incomes because of comparative advantage, or something, plus they can cash out their stock options.
I think Alan Greenspans came the closest to confessing to this cult of greedy-ideology when he admitted that there might be a flaw in his model. He had read so much Ayn Rand that he didn’t quite grasp the fact that his beloved hero’s were greed-driven short-term thinkers—people whose only vision was “I want even more.”
At this point in the game I think the only thing left is narrative. The whole thing just keeps rolling along thanks to our all-American propaganda where everyone has their own flavor of reality. 32 flavors of ways in which to justify the rotten edifice lurking below the surface.
Of course, we don’t have to accept this. The pandemic is an opportunity for a different world. It’s up to us. We have a choice between acceding more control to a dystopian nexus of corporate/government power as we did after 9/11. Or we can collectively recognize the massive failure everywhere of Western leadership and construct a more liveable and sustainable society.