How Quixotic Can It Get?

Mankind, it seems, likes to get behind a banner as a way of defining collective identity. This season it is the election of a new authority figure to occupy the White House that ineluctably sucks us up into the dizzy heights of a form of American pantomime that flashes itself to all and sundry. The Barnum & Bailey Circus spin-doctoring pitch to the audience (native and global) is a dynamo unto itself that can banish all insouciance, and does, in order to bring us ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ per supposedly democratic means. ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ is also America incarnate, embracing the myth of ‘The Land Of The Free’ for those of the spin doctors ilk. The reality, however, is otherwise, the Little White House On The Prairie has morphed into a citadel presiding over a trading empire enforced by 900 military bases projecting the American model on a global community seeking to move towards multilateralism. The change that has overtaken America is there for all to hear in the snide rhetoric of many of the wannabe presidential hopefuls. So has the America of old become a mere trifle in the reliquary of faded dreams.

The task of  grading leadership in free and open elections is an exercise fraught with serendipity and pregnant with razzamatazz . Experience shows that ‘corporations’ render the democratic process autistic by using means that subjugate the will of the ‘collective to’ the will of the ‘elites’. Trust in the man or woman elected as your representative is usually short lived, once it becomes apparent that they are merely actors in the ‘deep-state’ game that manages the business of governance.

If you want to find evidence of the existence of ‘authority figures’, you will find them in plethora proportions everywhere; in your family or amongst your friends, for instance? They (or we) are those who put all our faith in expertise, or the expertise of others. The model we are compelled to believe in is one which presupposes that expertise is some kind of force for good, operating on behalf of the societal whole. The virtue implied here is that its very largesse includes the interests of the milquetoast minions of the nether lands. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The task of grading leadership is an extension of how we need to grade ourselves as we compete with our peers for a place in the status quo…come hell or high water. Authority figures are more likely to express a desire for power than engage with conditions that actively serve the idea of the common good. The myth of America The Land Of The Free’ is a good place to start. America, that paragon of all things democratic and progressive, currently gearing up to elect a new president to incubate the future hopes of a sadly divided community is embroiled in its ‘situation vacant’ moment. Overnight the scene has become reminiscent of the carnival of fools of yesteryear, as the candidates ramp up their dystopian models of deceitful gob-smacking garbage about democracy, simply because they have become intoxicated with the idea of being number ONE. Given that Wall Street and the media own the software, and the Pentagon owns the aggressive little minds of the mesmerised multitude, it only remains to be seen which bull, or cow, gets to run amok in the proverbial global china-shop to do the bidding of the empire.

So we, the captive Western audience (Australia too, as we are host to one of Uncle Sam’s military bases) are subjected to another piece of American brouhaha in the form of ‘The Donald-The Bern-The Hill’ doing the danse macabre. Which of the three players might be wearing Manuel de Falla’s ‘Three-Cornered Hat’ is irrelevant: the pipes are pumping out the same old America-is-exceptional dirge that must be adhered to, and none of the contestants will contest the authority of the propaganda machine that sustains the money flow…which in effect is the status quo writ large. That the three contestants seem comfortable with the fact that their military bomb the shit out of much of the world speaks volumes about how authority figures relegate moral issues to a place where they don’t interfere with the security propaganda or their own role in agro-business. Incredibly, foreign policy is not an issue this time around. And to add insult to injury, this comes as yet another shadow fall across a world deeply concerned about the hazardous toxic spill that is America’s foreign policy nightmare. A world that is still digesting the facts behind America’s War on Terror are on to the truth that it was America’s own terroristic state (and use of torture) that elicited the responses they choose to identify as terrorism: the authority figures (the elite) who wrought so much carnage in the Middle East did so by lying and using the mantra of fear to achieve their dubious ends.

So the managers of the electoral circus, while disputing the merits of the next cloven-hoofed candidate for presidency…while the elites secretly ready the public for the ‘anointed one’, be they bull or cow…to perpetuate the power of the deep-state into the future as it rampages with impunity through the global china-shop, seem unaware of the power of the internet to interpret what is going on. Good media has the power to disseminate not only information, but the spirit of public participation itself, and this is where the established media is found wanting. It goes without saying that the space to watch is alternative media.

People have always risen up against forces that tend to shackle public discourse because therein lies disenfranchisement. Socrates attended the town square on a daily basis to sit among Athenian youth in order to encourage them to question authority. The media of that time (like our own media) filtered the truth, and in doing so was perceived by Socrates to be a negation of the public’s right to be part of the political narrative,  Here, an obvious parallel can be drawn to our own time, given the degree to which established media has sold out its integrity to the power elites.

And so it came to be that the rubric of the charlatans (neo-liberal-conservatives-privateers) appeared in the latter part of the 20th. century to promote the financialization of the economy. With the assistance of the privately owned (established) media and the green light afforded them, their cortege making the journey from the Wall Street citadel to the heart of the Empire became a shoe-in. The upshot of this manoeuvre was for big government, so called, to cede power to the financial industry, thereby opening the doors to deregulation and a host of new legislation to limit the social polity. It came to pass that the charlatans multiplied their numbers as responsible governance shrank, pushing inequality to the fore in the land of America-the-land-of-the-free that now promises future generations a country where pent-houses for the few, and garbage-dumps for the vast majority, may become the defining architecture of their existence.

But there is hope afield. Strangely, social media and the internet have become cause celebre in their own right. It is clearly in alternative media that one can get the sense of a more balanced perspective as to what we might choose to shrink or foster as desirable social matters relating to lifestyle. Our instinctual intelligence seems to come alive in social media and other forums within that great nettle — THE NET — which can insightfully praise a creative thought or accommodate spontaneity or prick the encroaching tedium of propaganda contamination with a sleight of hand, and for that reason alone is worth its weight in gold.

We encounter the term ‘lesser evil’ frequently in the established media, but what exactly does it mean? To probe the concept we would have to play around with relative linguistics. For example, we couldn’t express our incredulity with the pantomime that was the great bail-out of the corrupt banks in 2008 if there was no internet. When a charlatan (aka authority figure)  like Hank Paulson, then Secretary of The Treasury, appeared before Congress to extort bail-out money for his mates running the corrupt banks, it became clearly evident that the gravy-train was destined to be enlarged rather than depleted in any way. It was okay to be duplicitous, greed was good and the band would play on and on etc. The charlatans believed that their sins (evils) were matters for the private sector, and that the public should butt out… a bit like the appellation ‘goyim’ as a term that excludes the other from hermetic exceptionality.

In the end no criminal charges occurred and the thieves walked away with loads of bail-out booty. Within the established media, the great theft was glossed over because it was de jure to go with the money flow, not the truth. Alternative media on the other hand, proved to be a breath of fresh air, challenging the stench that arose from the lying that went with the crafting of the false flag gobbledygook justifications for wars that left much of the Middle East trampled underfoot.  To this day within the established media, American and British accounts pertaining to the reasons for going to war in Iraq or Libya (to name but two countries that fell victim to regime change), remain obscure and camouflaged beneath layers of obtuse propaganda.

So if the elections in America are not about how the candidates face up to the fact that their own military is the dynamic that empowers a war machine that is bloviated and bellicose, then what’s the point of playing musical chairs in the White House while ignoring the record of its own military sleaze…or is the commander-in-chief merely some kind of Barbie Doll that personalises the election-process for the mesmerised multitude? We in Australia host one of Uncle Sam’s 900 military bases that spreads the power of its bully-pulpit worldwide, and at the point of a gun too. We should be ever so worried about how democracy is perceived in the U.S. of A.!!

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..