Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction in an Age of Televised Lies
John Whitehead, Rutherford Institute
“We’ve got to face it. Politics have entered a new stage, the television stage. Instead of long-winded public debates, the people want capsule slogans—‘Time for a change’—‘The mess in Washington’—‘More bang for a buck’—punch lines and glamour.”— A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Politics is entertainment.
It is a heavily scripted, tightly choreographed, star-studded, ratings-driven, mass-marketed, costly exercise in how to sell a product—in this case, a presidential candidate—to dazzled consumers who will choose image over substance almost every time.
This year’s presidential election, much like every other election in recent years, is what historian Daniel Boorstin referred to as a “pseudo-event”: manufactured, contrived, confected and devoid of any intrinsic value save the value of being advertised. It is the end result of a culture that is moving away from substance toward sensationalism in an era of mass media.
As author Noam Chomsky rightly observed, “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.” In other words, we’re being sold a carefully crafted product by a monied elite who are masters in the art of making the public believe that they need exactly what is being sold to them, whether it’s the latest high-tech gadget, the hottest toy, or the most charismatic politician.
Tune into a political convention and you will find yourself being sucked into an alternate reality so glossy, star-studded, emotionally charged and entertaining as to make you forget that you live in a police state. The elaborate stage show, the costumes, the actors, the screenplay, the lighting, the music, the drama: all carefully calibrated to appeal to the public’s need for bread and circuses, diversion and entertainment, and pomp and circumstance.
Politics is a reality show, America’s favorite form of entertainment, dominated by money and profit, imagery and spin, hype and personality and guaranteed to ensure that nothing in the way of real truth reaches the populace.
After all, who cares about police shootings, drone killings, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture schemes, private prisons, school-to-prison pipelines, over-criminalization, censorship or any of the other evils that plague our nation when you can listen to the crooning of Paul Simon, laugh along with Sarah Silverman, and get misty-eyed over the First Lady’s vision of progress in America.
But make no mistake: Americans only think they’re choosing the next president.
It’s all total Bullshit.
The system is thoroughly corrupt and will never rise to redemption without a major crisis, without a true people’s revolution. That crisis is coming, however, whether we rise to the challenge all will be lost and the our permanent servitude all but inevitable. The crisis has been planned for by the technocracy under the guidance of the oligarchs of the hidden state. They are well armed. It is very likely, however, that the long planned chaos is accelerating at a pace that sends fear into the minds of the select self-appointed rulers behind every political throne in the West, particularly in the United States.
Although Hillary Clinton is a true psychopathic, evil and totally corrupt human being and must not be allowed into the White House at all costs, it is wishful thinking that the system will allow a Donald Trump to cross the threshold of the Oval Office if he has not already been anointed by the real power elites that control the political process. Trumps kissing of the holy ring of Henry Kissinger was not a good sign, but hopefully simply a political necessity.
The dismantling of the powerful Administrative State, and the progressive crony-capitalist fascism of the transnational technocracy that rules America and most of Europe, will not ever happen without an economic and financial collapse. Revolutions require more than a population that has generally succumbed to an all pervasive ennui. It will require that the curtain hiding the treasonous, murdering, and morally bereft thieves that have been controlling our destiny be pulled back so that the truth can shine through. It will also require more than the delusion of democracy we have been immersed within for several generations in America. Unfortunately, it will also very likely require bloodshed, not of the footsoldiers of the power structure, but of the elites that have brainwashed them. Freedom will be defended.
George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatised and illusion legitimised. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.
Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy. Every time we turn on a computer or pick up a digital device – our secular rosary beads – we are subjected to control: to surveillance of our habits and routines, and to lies and manipulation.
Edward Bernays, who invented the term “public relations” as a euphemism for “propaganda”, predicted this more than 80 years ago. He called it, “the invisible government”.
He wrote, “Those who manipulate this unseen element of [modern democracy]constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of …”
The aim of this invisible government is the conquest of us: of our political consciousness, our sense of the world, our ability to think independently, to separate truth from lies.