Perspectives Marinated in Propaganda

On May 19, 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France secretly reached an accord, known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, by which most of the Arab lands under the rule of the Ottoman Empire were to be divided into British and French spheres of influence upon the conclusion of World War 1. That this agreement was conducted in secrecy, reveals to what extent the voices of the inhabitants of this region were absent from negotiations. It was as if the voices of the ruling Colonial elites were the only ones that had credibility. The Sykes-Picot agreement went ahead with little concern for the societal structures of the inhabitants of this multifarious region. The genealogy or pedigree of the ‘others’ was of little concern. After all, regime-change meant acquisition of ‘their’ territorial resources and, to the white European elites, they were merely ‘the-natives’ who had to be coerced into doing their bidding.

So the question that arises from that date, May 19, 1916, is this; did World War 1 ever end, or did it merely morph into propaganda and economic warfare? Capitalism and warfare have always been bedfellows and chameleon by nature. The raison d’etre of the ruling elite was to expedite trade, production- of-goods, services, and every conceivable form of economic activity that related to consumption, for the sake of profit-taking. In our era, power elites like Wall Street, City of London Frankfurt, etc., have become banking power-houses working in secret, their backs turned to Main Street, while they manufacture financial instruments to control the global economy. History teaches us that ultimately it is regulation itself that fine-tunes the tension between production and perspective, in ways that facilitate conditions necessary to foster equity. It is social inclusiveness that enables the system to remain viable. When push comes to shove, consumption is the medium that can poison or palliate the human narrative. Propaganda or blind patriotism can be as powerful as the narcotics that assuage the pain of alienation, so prevalent now among people devoid of meaningful voice or purpose. Admittedly, the relationship between object/product and subject/perspective is not an easy task for us to understand in the present climate of war-propaganda that we find ourselves marinated in.

But what of those forces that continue to emasculate the democratic or socially democratic voice that understand perspectives outside of Wall Street etc., pushing profit-mania to the limit? Is it imaginable that traders of this-tribal-pedigree-ilk could render the democratic-body politically anaemic by endlessly tossing the national treasure into military adventures of the kind that has rendered much of the Middle East abject? The ‘think-tank’ puppeteers who manipulate and demonize in the interest of the ‘deep-state’ are citizens of a dark zone. Their mantra, ‘the-war-on-terror’, is an inversion of terror itself. There is a line that runs from Sykes-Picot (deep-state) to The Pentagon-Wall Street (deep state), and negotiation or diplomacy are not part of that aesthetic…expediency doesn’t allow for that.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, September 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin had this to say;

We also remember certain episodes from the history of the Soviet Union. Social experiments for export, attempts to push for changes within other countries based on ideological preferences, often led to tragic consequences and to degradation rather than progress.

It seemed, however, far from learning from others’ mistakes, everyone just keeps on repeating them, and so the export of revolutions, this time of so-called democratic ones, continues. It would suffice to look at the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as has been mentioned by previous speakers. Certainly political and social problems in this region have been piling up for a long time, and people there wish for changes naturally.

But how did it actually turn out? Rather than bringing about reforms, an aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions and the lifestyle itself. Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.

I cannot help asking those who have caused the situation, do you realize now what you’ve done? But I am afraid no one is going to answer that. Indeed, policies based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned.

Certainly, the mighty have never abandoned their exploitation of the weak. Perspectivally speaking, history is fraught with ‘in situ’ elites mustering their numbers to impose bondage of one kind or another on vulnerable peoples. Clearly the devastation wrought in Muslim countries by America and its allies is the clearest example of barbarism in our time.  Whole societies were wilfully destroyed by the foulest means in the name of democracy. Our media casually adds insult to injury by imputing barbarism to the very people we mangle with our superior technology because they belong to a different culture. Main Street media (New York Times and much of the rest) is redolent of bias in reporting the fiasco of geo-political perspectives that are little more than propaganda exercises masquerading as fact;  false-flag reportage masquerading as analysis. Clearly they have little tolerance or sympathy for the people in the Middle East resisting the depredation and degradation that results from American Foreign Policy (American Faustian Policy) in cahoots with its chorus of obsequious minions.

The unilateral world (American style capitalism) of finance and military power still adheres to its might-is-right posturing, insisting that private is a privatisation-perspective that projects Pax Americana in all its testosterone glory into the world, as a force for good? Good for whom, has to be asked. Faux boffins, like Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson, former United States Secretaries of The Treasury, scrambled like Medieval Jesuits (in their dark zone), during the 2008 financial debacle, to keep the (banks) control of money out of public oversight and management. The rorters of the system, Goldman Sachs et al.,…that unilateral force reaching into all Western banking, could bode no real accountancy or examination of its practices. So, to keep the levers of power in the hands of the felons who ran (owned) the system, they demanded (blackmailed) the Government into bailing them out of a catastrophic situation. The upshot of all this is obvious, the issue remains unresolved to this day because, in failing to bring the banking system into the public domain, the crooks continue on their merry way to play their shabby little game, usurious to the core.

The multilateral world, in the form of the BRIC economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China and also South Africa (included since 2010), are countries deemed to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development, have created an economic union. They are building a yellow-bric-road upon which to travel toward a future built on financial strategies less onerous than those practiced by the current crop of Western institutions. The neo-conservative focus on speculative investment and the shift away from financial and banking services, focusing on the needs of the industrial-state and its relationship with labour, is not something that developing countries would enthuse over.  Growth in the Western banking and financial sectors is attributable to the readiness of speculative investors in tandem with bankers, to find opportunities for quick profits and pickings from trading in the global market place. This is not a very desirable model for thinking people, especially as the rule book is written by loan sharks. The putative gains in this new enterprising alliance, based on negotiation and diplomacy and a common interest in development will, no doubt, be well served and protected by the energy and investment that has gone into perspectives of another sort; anti-ballistic systems of defence in a world susceptible to aggressive impulses and deceitful practices.

But consumption is our Achilles’ heel, and we are not born with a regulatory gene to monitor what we take in. President Vladimir Putin was saying what we all suspect to be true, when he said, “Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.” Look at what has happened and continues to happen in Palestine, Iraq or Syria for instance, and ask that question again; but don’t expect an answer. The answer, of course, is that at the level of the power-elites and think tanks ‘doing it’ for business, the use of power for them is a robotic exercise that devalues life willy-nilly.  The deep-state is soulless, human rights and the right to life are alien concepts indeed. Nobody is there to hold them accountable. But as ordinary citizens living on the surface of reality, exposed to a media that is mainly corrupt, and screens that mesmerise us with incessant entertainment,  news-flows that shift our focus to a tragedy in Paris that is presented as more emotionally engaging than Mosul or Beirut or Gaza, is to experience propaganda as shock-doctrine. The perspective of continuous warfare that we in the West are locked into, has reached critical mass. In the context of available analogies, I would rate the level and effect of the American-Hegemon to be a force akin to the process behind global-warming, an intractable force that changes conditions on the ground for the worse, as it goes on its exploitive way. It is this behemoth that has assumed the mammoth proportion of glaciers that we would like to see melt away, so as to make room for new perspectives.

And on the subject of things melting away, it might be timely to reflect on a thought in relation to ‘the others’ as being the aliens beyond the pale. We cannot understand them because they are not like us.  George Bush’s statement in the aftermath of 911 is piquant to say the least…”they hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech”, was surely the stuff of quixotic Texan bluster. But is this kind of rhetoric merely the tip of another kind of iceberg, namely collective naivety and greed? If so, we have to ask what is required of good leadership and what constitutes civility in the American context. To host a truly subjective perspective of reality and universal justice, the legal system and media would have to be at the vanguard to combat institutional racism, the bully-pulpit and its own critique of democracy. Sadly, none of this is happening. The institutions that codify common law need re-prioritising. Tragically, the American Dream has wasted its treasure on bombs and bluster, exposing itself captive to power elites that have created mayhem for mammon in the world at large. The so-called mighty dollar has achieved little more than demonstrate to the world that capitalism, American style, is myopically focused on its own objectives. Therefore, it forever gets the leadership it deserves, as the culture itself is profiled in $ perspectives

Denis Conroy is a retired businessman and journalist and a voracious follower of matters political outside of the mainstream arena. Read other articles by Denis A..