This exchange was intiated when I made the following comment on a story related to the 'official' US position on the uprisings in Bahrain. I have corrected a few errors and added some relative thoughts here.
Take any conflict covered in Wikileaks documents, compare the actual US position to the corresponding press releases and subsequent stories, and you will see the cavernous disparity between truth and fiction; the message for Bahrain is restraint, trust that the actual US position is suppress the uprising at all costs.
Exactly! Right now studying Edward Bernays, father of spin. Are you familiar?
Ah yes, the originator of managed consent, as it were; very frightening figure, way more influential than we'd like to believe, and yet one of those people who is so intriguing, well known, and influential that you wonder why people have a problem grasping the fact that they fall beneath the consent management doctrine of each and every administration of the last century! Interesting sideline; Obama's team managed the mobilization of marginalized and disenfranchised voters so well, yet now there is not even an attempt, it seems, to veil his overt pandering to big money, corporations, and the military (all the same people in a very small circle). This, to me, is a very frightening dynamic of this administration. It sits perfectly juxtaposed to the power grab of the republican governors, solidifying in a very public way the one-party system and the empowered corporate/political/military complex.
I love America. Really. With all her faults she is still the greatest country in the world.
I too love America; and it is very easy to be labeled as someone who doesn't by being part of the greater voice of dissent. I don't, however, believe that our freedoms, our 'choices', etc., must come at the expense of others - quite literally at the cost of the lives of innocent civilians throughout the world.
I believe that the principles on which we were founded have long ago been abandoned and that we are in a time when we are called to stand against the fear factor that controls our consent; the 'red scare', for example, was and is false, but it has continually caused us to give the consent of our government to do horrific things over the past sixty years. There are many examples, many more current and perhaps better than the red scare, but with the recent hearings on Muslim Radicalization, the wars on Islam, and the use of fear mongering propaganda to manage the consent of the American public, it will suffice as instructive.
Perhaps a better approach would be educating rather than demonizing. There is a well documented belief that is the under pinning of every administration over the past couple hundred years that the public is too ignorant to be given factual information that would cause the manifest empowerment of education to create an environment where we would operate as a true democracy with an actual voice in the domestic and global position of the country.
I believe it is time for the public to come together to raise the expectation of inclusion in a very broad scope, utilizing the tools, currently denied, that are available to us to implement true democracy - public referendum is an example, and Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and many other states are current examples where this should be put into play NOW. To zero in more closely on a current example, Wisconsin: if we take into consideration the very reverberations of the cry of the people, the clear desire for the voice of democracy to be heard, and the government pauses as a result of having heard that voice, a logical reaction would be to implement a referendum. Had the governor done that, he would have exercised logic, common sense, and shown that he had a true desire to be a servant to the public rather than to serve his corporate benefactors. Moreover, he would have acted in the humble manner that caused the people to give him their vote; his actions would have matched the platform from which he was elected.
The truth is that we are not given the opportunity to see - we have no transparency. We are shown time and again that we have a one party system that manages our consent through corporate media. Our voice has been reduced from true representative government to the blatant bowing of our politicians to the corporate powers that control the media. Our government is now overtly setting public opinion aside to directly acquiesce to the demands of their corporate benefactors.
I pray that we will find our voice - we must. Or we will witness the final death throes of democracy in the choke hold of the facist power of corporations, who owe no allegiance to the people and are overt in their avarice, which is best served as it always has been, through racism, sexism, economic oppression, and the continual quest for war.
... you are very smart but what do we do to start this in baby steps we just can't change things unless we do an uprising...?
I'm not sure how smart I am, or how well it serves me if it is so. I told myself this was going to be a really quick response, but as usual - not the case - sorry, but your question caused me to search deeper for an answer that I don't have, which is perfectly how we begin to find the collective answers to collective questions. I don't ever want to come across like I think I know more than I do, but for so long I have been so silent and conformed that now I want to simply think aloud and to share my thoughts and beliefs. Through this process I learn more each day.
I believe the first (baby) step is to understand what our beliefs are, and what then are our expectations. If we believe that we are founded on freedom, representative governance, and true democracy, for example, then what do we consider freedom and the cost of it - is freedom something that can be paid for by the lives of innocent people throughout the world so that we can have it? If so, we have received our reward, the killing continues in our name, and we are led as consumers to consume unto our death.
If we find ourselves not satisfied by that answer, perhaps we move forward in the thought process and ask; are our representatives being true to our beliefs and wishes in terms of all things they are representing for us - is our voice actually being heard through the democratic process or are we voting on what we're told and then relegated to the sidelines to watch actions contrary to our wishes levied across the board?
When we have answered these questions, which I believe for myself I have, we must consider whether our vision is skewed or if our eyes are open wide enough and if our vision is clear enough to actually see beyond the corporate media veil. For me, I believe that my eyes are open and my vision is clear. We must educate ourselves; and this does not necessarily mean institutional education, as the very institution of education itself has long been headed toward the path of corporatization. There are voices of scholars, well documented, well studied, that have compiled the data with the resources intact, so that we can move to the second or third level of education by researching the events of history ourselves to ensure that we're not led down a road to fringe extremes; one of my favorite examples is The American Empire Project, including books by Chomsky, Schell, Elbaradei, and others.
Now, with our eyes open, our vision clear, we begin to process what we're learning in context with current events, and the vision is pretty clear, the veil of corporate propaganda is removed, and we are able to fix our minds and our hearts as one with a renewed sense of purpose.
Next, we must allow our individual and cumulative voice be heard. I have, for many years, had a desire to conform, to go with the flow, to be accepted, to believe in the government for which I was told to stand and to which I was ordered to pledge my allegiance. The reality overcame me, I began to educate myself, and now I find that all I can do is to begin to speak out and to listen to others and to watch the magnificent process take place as my own voice combines with the voices of so many others who are in the same place as me.
I have over the past few years been asking myself if I truly believe that our problems are so systemic that they can't be addressed through the governance we currently have in place. With the recent events, I have to say that the answer is absolutely not; our problems are so deeply entrenched in systemic corruption that we must find a way for the people to have a more active hand in our political process or we are going to see our democracy stripped and our choices will significantly diminish.
None of this answers the question, which is 'what do we do'? For myself, I believe we educate ourselves and we engage in the process of communication; that has been the beginning of all things that have ever come to pass - one can even consider that the process of revolution is truly a democratic process.
As we move forward the voices will come together and the cry will grow stronger and the passion will grow deeper and the answers will come. If as a country we do what we have done for the past few decades, however; if we grow apathetic and complacent, we will not have the opportunity to grow the voice that is required to be heard above the din of corporate greed. I notice that as I engage my vision grows clearer, the ideals solidify, and the processes by which we gain empowerment begin to materialize.
The most important piece is that the system by which we could have a very powerful democracy is already in place - it is simply mutated and warped by corruption because it is in the wrong hands - so many of the answers are already in place. Democracy is not a new concept, but a social democracy that creates the forum for the voice of the people to be continually heard and obeyed cannot be ruled by wealth, by greed, by avarice, by bigots and warmongers.
So, let us keep our eyes and minds open wide, let our voices come together in the quest for truth and justice, and most importantly, let us not be swayed in our ideals by the temptation to succumb to the call of consumerism.