CULTURAL DOUBLETHINK 2+2=5
MONOLOGUE BY CLYDE LEWIS
I have said many times on this program that when I come home at night, I actually like to unwind a little by watching of all things the Cartoon Network. I have one of those advance remotes that I talk into. All you have to say is “free movies” and it lists all of the movies that are available in your library that are free. If you say Taylor Swift, you get a Taylor Swift video or Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl and it will play for you her performance.
Well, one day just for fun, I said into the controller, “Fake News” and it went to CNN. I am not joking – I was laughing out loud. I showed it to a few people and I think they caught on because now it doesn’t go directly to CNN it just lists news programs.
It is weird though, in the morning I have been taking time thumbing through Fox, MSNBC, and CNN to get a full picture of the spin and the propaganda that each news outlet spoon feeds the people, and quite frankly, I think if there was another news channel that gave real news instead of a TMZ version of politics it would make a ton of money.
I still can’t figure out why so many Americans put faith in mainstream, corporate outlets for an accurate summary of the news. I guess people think they have no choice but to assume that what they are hearing or watching is being doled out by some commentator that has the monopoly on truth.
When it is said that the mainstream controls the narrative – it isn’t just an understatement. Six corporations own 90 percent of all media platforms in the U.S., effectively controlling the narrative, whether on foreign policy, legislation, or any goal fitting its needs.
Real news in the past was supposed to be objective, and people were not paid to go on national news programs to spew combative and scandalous drivel.
When the notorious investor, George Soros, gave $1.8 million to National Public Radio, it became part of the firestorm of controversy that jeopardized NPR’s federal funding. But that gift only hints at the widespread influence the controversial billionaire has on the mainstream media. Soros, who spent $27 million trying to defeat President Bush in 2004, has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets – including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC.
Prominent journalists like ABC’s Christiane Amanpour and former Washington Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that take Soros cash. This despite the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethical code stating: “avoid all conflicts real or perceived.”
Journalists, we are constantly told, are neutral in their reporting. In almost the same breath, many bemoan the influence of money in politics. It is a maxim of both the left and many in the media that conservatives are bought and paid for by business interests. Yet where are the concerns about where their money comes from?
Many call corporate media the government’s mouthpiece for good reason — a number of executives and upper-level staff from mainstream outlets donate the maximum allowed to line the campaign coffers of politicians in every level of government. Plenty of others have proffered hefty sums to organizations with ties to candidates, such as the Clinton Foundation.
Though the merits of a media without any bias could be debated endlessly, to surmise such intermingling of interests leads to favoritism in the press wouldn’t be a stretch either. What would be a stretch, however, would be calling reports from these outlets “news” in the traditional, original sense.
I wouldn’t call it fake news either.
I would call it “newspeak” that is made to create “doublethink” words that were coined by George Orwell in the book, 1984. What is most interesting that when the New Year dawned and coincidentally after the Presidential Inauguration, the book sold out on Amazon which makes me wonder if anyone really read 1984 or were they wanting to cram for their finals?
Political language stands as arguably the most influential means to shape foreign policy. Through deliberate manipulation of speech, politicians can rally popular support for factually undesirable military operations — or stir fear of any enemy when geostrategic goals demand, even if the targeted group or government poses no actual threat at all.
In the past week I have received emails, and even have been confronted on the bus about the conversation I had on the air with a listener about fascism. I even had a conversation on the phone today with a friend who was speaking to me about it, in fact she was the same friend who told me the book, 1984 by Orwell, sold out on Amazon at the end of January.
When I had the argument with the caller, he wanted to say that Donald Trump was a fascist and that his regime was fascist. The frustrating part about his argument was that he was wrong and as I attempted to correct him, I sounded like a Trump apologist.
What I didn’t say, and what I should have said was that the word, fascism, means nothing now — and that we now have a tendency to yell fascism when we see something that we think is politically undesirable.
With the election of Donald Trump, we can argue with some evidence that never before has the United States veered towards authoritarianism but of course people want to call it fascism only because they hate Donald Trump –and that same moniker has been used to describe Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush.
Fascism should not be used as a description for something we don’t like, but thanks to the media, and newspeak we have been able to accept the word without the means to define it.
For example if you Google, “fascism,” you get a very interesting definition of the word:
Google defines it as an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. In general use extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
If you look up the Webster’s Dictionary definition, you get a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
Fascism was founded during World War I by Italian national syndicalists who drew upon left-wing and right-wing political views.
The Fascisti were the members of an Italian political organization that controlled Italy under the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini from 1922 to 1943.
Mussolini defined the three principles of a fascist philosophy.
1.”Everything in the state”. The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompassing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body, often a dictator.
2.”Nothing outside the state”. The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government.
3.”Nothing against the state”. Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see things our way, you are wrong. If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens.
The use of militarism was implied only as a means to accomplish one of the three above principles, mainly to keep the people and rest of the world in line. Fascist countries are known for their harmony and lack of internal strife. There are no conflicting parties or elections in fascist countries.
Nazi Germany was extreme Fascism; better examples of fascist countries were Mussolini’s Italy, Iraq, Iran, and many Middle Eastern countries.
In 1984, Orwell gave us a perfect rendering of a totalitarian state’s use of violence and language to keep a people enslaved. However, quite contrary to the spirit and intention of its author, the book has been transformed by Americans into something worse than a metaphor — a cliché which does our thinking for us whenever we struggle to understand “something not desirable” in our politics.
The statement that Trump is a fascist or Orwellian pins the problem on one man when the fascist evolution has been taking place for decades.
In fact, beyond the fascist definitions provided by those who don’t know history are the more appropriate definitions of despotism and pathocracy.
Despotism is so alien to the American mind that we foolishly believe we have banned it and outgrown it, and that, like slavery, horse-drawn carriages and smallpox; it is a forgotten relic of the distant past never to be seen again. But though it is contrary to our national mythology to say so, despotism is everywhere in human relations, if not uniform. It can appear in the workplace, in relationships and in family situations. We are so used to it than when it appears in our government we tend to accept it as a “necessary evil.” However allowing it to continue creates a whole group of problems. Many of them are now appearing in the mainstream. The inaction of the people is unprecedented.
However, the blame game and the abuse of the word fascism, takes away its power and each political party resorts to another Orwellian word and that is “Doublethink.”
What is doublethink? It is not merely the ability to go along with an absurdity or to spot a logical contradiction and carry on as if one hadn’t. It is a kind of self-devouring relativism.
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”
How many times do we lie to ourselves because of our partisanship affiliation? It is happening more now than before and the frightening part is people believe the lies they tell themselves about what they think their choices in political preference gives them.
Subtlety has been part of the success of pathocracy and people ignore it because it is not obvious to them.
Pathocracy is the result of a macro social infestation of a viral meme that is detrimental to the consensus and weakens it. The problem that faces us is not the outward face of tyranny. We see the obvious indicators that there is a path being laid towards pathocracy however the success of tyranny is not based in the threat of rights being taken away, violence or being imprisoned in FEMA detainment camps.
The threat is how low we will lower the bar to tolerate evil and wickedness to eliminate those that our political party doesn’t agree with.
Orwell’s point about deceitful language was that all governments lie and those who have party loyalty to liars are pathocrats.
Now, let me emphasize that the corrosive plague of newspeak provided for doublethink is not distinctive to the Trump administration and this is why the attitude in the country is so confounding.
The draconian use of lies, propaganda, misinformation, and falsification has a long legacy in the United States, especially as it was used under the presidency of George W. Bush. For example, under the Bush-Cheney administration, “doublethink” and “doublespeak” became normalized as state sponsored torture was shamelessly renamed as “enhanced interrogation,” while laws that violated civil liberties implied their opposite with names such as the Patriot Act and the National Authorization Defense Act.
Barbaric state practices such as sending prisoners to countries where there were no limits on torture were wrapped in innocent sounding deceits such as “rendition.” Rather than being censored, dissenting views and damaging reports were “redacted.”
Educational policies that imposed academic concepts of repression, boredom, and harsh discipline were bundled together under the utterly inappropriately named policy, No Child Left Behind.
Such language not only cheapened public discourse and eroded civic culture, it also contributed to a culture in which institutions that were meant to limit human suffering and misfortune, and protect the public from the excesses of the market and state violence, have been either weakened or altogether abolished.
The conspiracy of bringing down the United States is not a secret conspiracy but an open conspiracy. Tyranny succeeds because the victims become “willing executioners” in the absence of better choices and better information.
Does anyone remember that the Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was sold on the premise that it would guarantee retention of existing health plans and doctors, create 4 million new jobs, and save families $2,500 a year in premiums, all while extending expanded coverage to more people at a lower cost?
Only in Orwell’s world of newspeak and doublethink could raising taxes, while the costs of millions of health plans soars, be called “affordable.”
Back in 2012, Obama signed a law that allowed for the “indefinite detention of American citizens” without a judge or jury.
During the holidays in 2016, President Obama quietly signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act into law, which authorizes a military spending budget of $611 billion, and includes the dangerous Counter Disinformation and Anti-Propaganda Act. Thus he introduced the Orwellian Ministry of Truth.
No one protested this, or ran into the streets against the move—the reason was because the media spun the idea of “fake news.”
The supporters of the President claimed that the law would “Criminalize ‘Fake News, Propaganda’ on the Web,” it truly a key piece of legislation meant to crack down on free speech and independent media. The act will allow the government to crack down with impunity against any media outlet it deems “propaganda.”
The law allows a substantial amount of money to fund “counter propaganda,” to make sure the government’s approved stories drown out alternative media and journalists who question the status quo.
The “right to free speech and freedom of the press,” is guaranteed by the First Amendment to The U.S. Constitution. It is a foundation of American values, put in place by our Founding Fathers to protect our liberties, is now being endangered by this new law.
I want someone to tell me why this is something we need? I want someone to explain to me why that when Barack Obama signs this into law no one cares – but all hell will reign down if Donald Trump enforces it – and you know he will.
The US media has indoctrinated the public to assume that any information which is not in compliance with the official government narrative, or dares to criticize the establishment, is also “fake news” and thus falls under the “Russian propaganda” umbrella, the scene is now set for the US government under Trump to legally crack down on every media outlet that the government deems to be unacceptable.
So are we going to blame Donald Trump if he enforces something that was signed into law by Barack Obama?
It seems that even he will cherry pick the laws that he wants to see enforced.
Under such circumstances, society takes on the workings of a dis-imagination machine, legitimized by an utter disregard for the truth.
In this instance, Orwell’s “Ignorance is Strength” will and arguably already has materialized in the Trump Administration’s attempt not only to put history on trial, but to rewrite and obliterate it.