‘PC’, Orwellian censorship – 1984, official lies, media lies, ‘socialism’ and modern ‘democracy’

Many from the ‘Left’, progressives, Cultural Marxists and activists keep trying to stymie democracy with their shrill, often illogical, Orwellian and ideological views. The following articles provide evidence.

Unchecked rise of democracy deniers

Unchecked rise of democracy deniers  By Chris Kenny, The Australian, 1 December 2019

They simply will not learn. They refuse to admit error, concede defeat or offer the crucial loser’s consent on which democracy hinges. Political opposition and public protest are fundamental in democracy. But there is a balance to be struck between such rights and the will of the majority as exercised through the ballot box.

That balance is out of kilter now. There are phonies in parliament, on campuses, all over social media and spewing erroneous groupthink from our public broadcasters. When facts don’t suit or reality confounds them, they console each other in the carefully constructed safe zones of university seminars or public radio forums. This cohort, for all its errors and mis-judgments, dominates the public discussion; largely because of the heft of the taxpayer-funded media, university and quango sectors. They dominate now just as they did before this year’s election, before Don­ald Trump won and before Brexit.

On the ABC’s Insiders last week all three panellists agreed with the assertion Malcolm Turnbull had put forward that he would have won the election. Could they make such assessments if they understood what had transpired at the polls?

Having misjudged the electoral dynamic, you would expect a recalibration of perspectives might be unavoidable. Perhaps there would be a realisation from the media/political class that they had over-estimated the public appetite for climate action, underestimated resistance to increased taxation or missed anxiety about a return to ambivalent border security.

But no. There are no lessons. The ideological and policy settings of the media/political class remain unadjusted. They wander right up to the cheese again, take another bite, and get jolted again by the electoral shock.

They are the democracy deniers. Their version of public debate is one of virtual reality; their views are constantly reaffirmed, it is only the voters who get it wrong. For VR goggles, they can blinker themselves by watching the ABC, perhaps SBS for variety, reading Guardian Australia and discussing events at the Wheeler Centre or on Q&A.

The real world is kept at bay. When elections confound them, as conservative victories invari­ably do, they can blame strangers from the suburbs and the regions, demonise the barbarians at the commercial end of the broadcast spectrum or invoke that hardy perennial of the defeated leftist, the Murdoch conspiracy theory (as we have heard from Turnbull, Kevin Rudd and others). Anything but confront the truth. Ultimately this is futile, as Winston Churchill suggested: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

So, at the May election the Coali­tion picked up an extra seat, won more than 41 per cent of the primary vote and generated a 1 per cent swing towards it on a two-party-preferred basis, crushing Labor’s 33 per cent primary vote and snaring another term of government. Given the damage the government had inflicted on itself over the term, and the fracturing of the right-of-centre vote by One Nation and Clive Palmer, this result is full of foreboding for Labor. It is understandable that this would disappoint and dismay many people. But it is fundamental that they accept it.

Denial started on day one. The Ten Network’s Lisa Wilkinson wrote a strained open letter to Scott Morrison, apparently not comprehending that many people, most in fact, felt the country had dodged a bullet.

“Prime Minister, you may have noticed we’re all feeling just a little broken right now — broken-hearted in fact, at how toxic the Australian body politic has become — and a return to basic civility in public discourse would be a great start to that healing,” she wrote, apparently not sensing that the Prime Minister’s mainstream views and the way he had weathered attacks based on his religion might have been seen as a repudiation of the green-left, Twitter-fuel­led politics of abuse.

After a fiercely contested “climate election” Wilkinson seemed to want the losing party’s policies to prevail: “We know, too, that the climate is sick and tired. And things are getting worse.”

The campaigning to ignore the election result and adopt the defeated green-left agenda has only escalated. Politicians, activists and journalists have exaggerated, embellished and fabricated climate hysteria to justify the kinds of extreme climate policies rejected at the election.

Extinction Rebellion protesters have superglued themselves to roadways in Brisbane, children have skipped school, and local and state government workers have been given time off to “strike” for the sorts of climate policies federal voters avoided.

The Senate has rejected union integrity measures taken to the election, and medivac laws, passed against the government’s wishes by a coalition of Greens, independents and Labor before the election, still may not be repealed despite the government’s renewed mandate and strong border security record. What would voters know?

Undeniably, Energy Minister Angus Taylor used grossly erron­eous figures in a charged letter to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. But given the letter was inconsequential and the figures were a misquote of the mayor’s own figures back to her, it is difficult to interpret the hysterical reaction from Labor and the media except as an exercise in retaliation: Taylor must be punished for winning a climate election.

Anthony Albanese, Greens leader Richard Di Natale, Turnbull and Australian Republic Movement chairman Peter FitzSimons pushed this week to rid our Constitution of the monarchy — as if voters had not just passed judgment on Labor, and its election promise of another republic referendum within three years.

Labor went to the election criticising the Coalition’s economic plans and promising remedies that included almost $400bn in additional tax revenue. Yet to abandon those tax grabs, it still critiques the Coalition’s economic management but proposes additional fiscal stimulus now.

It all smacks of an election result denied. It replicates the politics of the US and Britain, where not for a single moment have members of the media/political class accepted the will of the people as expressed through the election of Trump or the referendum vote for Brexit.

In this manifestation of democracy denial by the green left, elections are reduced to markers that deliver no lessons and in which the losers refuse to concede a point. Opposition merely morphs, through electoral rejection, into resistance.

Sure, we recognise the checks and balances. In Australia we have a bicameral system in which the government, typically, does not carry a majority in the Senate.

A narrow election win does not mean a government rules unencumbered. But for democracy to operate effectively, people such as Wilkinson and her fellow travellers must comprehend some sense of mandate. There must be some element of loser’s consent. Instead we see loser’s bitterness and loser’s revenge.

No party or individual should be expected to surrender their entire agenda because of electoral admonishment. But somewhere a lesson must be learned; the will of the voters must endorse or reject something.

Otherwise what is an election other than a well-funded and formulaic phase in a perpetual saga of toxic politicking? Besides, mainstream voters will not change their minds based on the bloody-mindedness of Senate crossbenchers or Extinction Rebellion stunt masters, the agendas run by media or tub-thumping of protest parties such as the Greens.

For Labor, a party of government, there is a crucial balance to be struck between causing mischief and learning lessons, between accepting democracy and standing on principle, between advocating an agenda and listening to constituents. Because if the will of the people is thwarted, disregarded and ignored between elections, voters might be more emphatic next time.

CHRIS KENNY

ASSOCIATE EDITOR (NATIONAL AFFAIRS)

Commentator, author and former political adviser, Chris Kenny also hosts The Kenny Report Monday-Thursday 12-2pm, Kenny on Sunday at 8pm, and Kenny on Media on Mondays at 8pm on Sky News. He takes an unashamedl… Read more

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The Global War on Those Who Speak Truth

The Global War on Those Who Speak Truth  By John Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute, 18 November 2019

“What happens to Julian Assange and to Chelsea Manning is meant to intimidate us, to frighten us into silence. By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny. The choice is ours.” — John Pilger, investigative journalist

All of us are in danger.

In an age of prosecutions for thought crimes, pre-crime deterrence programs, and government agencies that operate like organized crime syndicates, there is a new kind of tyranny being imposed on those who dare to expose the crimes of the Deep State, whose reach has gone global.

The Deep State has embarked on a ruthless, take-no-prisoners, all-out assault on truth-tellers.

Activists, journalists and whistle-blowers alike are being terrorized, traumatized, tortured and subjected to the fear-inducing, mind-altering, soul-destroying, smash-your-face-in tactics employed by the superpowers-that-be.

Take Julian Assange, for example.

Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks — a website that published secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources — was arrested on April 11, 2019, on charges of helping U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning access and leak more than 700,000 classified military documents that portray the U.S. government and its military as reckless, irresponsible and responsible for thousands of civilian deaths.

Included among the leaked Manning material were the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), a quarter of a million diplomatic cables (November 2010), and the Guantánamo files (April 2011).

The Collateral Murder leak included gunsight video footage from two U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopters engaged in a series of air-to-ground attacks while air crew laughed at some of the casualties.

Among the casualties were two Reuters correspondents who were gunned down after their cameras were mistaken for weapons and a driver who stopped to help one of the journalists. The driver’s two children, who happened to be in the van at the time it was fired upon by U.S. forces, suffered serious injuries.

This is morally wrong.

It shouldn’t matter which nation is responsible for these atrocities: there is no defense for such evil perpetrated in the name of profit margins and war profiteering.

In true Orwellian fashion, however, the government would have us believe that it is Assange and Manning who are the real criminals for daring to expose the war machine’s seedy underbelly.

Since his April 2019 arrest, Assange has been locked up in a maximum-security British prison — in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day — pending extradition to the U.S., where if convicted, he could be sentenced to 175 years in prison.

Whatever is being done to Assange behind those prison walls — psychological torture, forced drugging, prolonged isolation, intimidation, surveillance — it’s wearing him down.

In court appearances, the 48-year-old Assange appears disoriented, haggard and zombie-like.

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” declared Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture.

It’s not just Assange who is being made to suffer, however.

Manning, who was jailed for seven years from 2010 to 2017 for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, was arrested in March 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury about Assange, placed in solitary confinement for almost a month, and then sentenced to remain in jail either until she agrees to testify or until the grand jury’s 18-month term expires.

Federal judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia also fined Manning $500 for every day she remained in custody after 30 days, and $1,000 for every day she remains in custody after 60 days, a chilling — and financially crippling — example of the government’s heavy-handed efforts to weaponize fines and jail terms as a means of forcing dissidents to fall in line.

This is how the police state deals with those who challenge its chokehold on power.

Make no mistake: the government is waging war on journalists and whistleblowers for disclosing information relating to government misconduct that is within the public’s right to know.

Yet while this targeted campaign — aided, abetted and advanced by the Deep State’s international alliances — is unfolding during President Trump’s watch, it began with the Obama Administration’s decision to revive the antiquated, hundred-year-old Espionage Act, which was intended to punish government spies, and instead use it to prosecute government whistleblowers.

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has not merely continued the Obama Administration’s attack on whistleblowers. It has injected this war on truth-tellers and truth-seekers with steroids and let it loose on the First Amendment.

In May 2019, Trump’s Justice Department issued a sweeping new “superseding” secret indictment of Assange — hinged on the Espionage Act — that empowers the government to determine what counts as legitimate journalism and criminalize the rest, not to mention giving “the government license to criminally punish journalists it does not like, based on antipathy, vague standards, and subjective judgments.”

Noting that the indictment signaled grave dangers for freedom of the press in general, media lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., warned, “The indictment would criminalize the encouragement of leaks of newsworthy classified information, criminalize the acceptance of such information, and criminalize publication of it.”

Boutrous continues:

“[I]t doesn’t matter whether you think Assange is a journalist, or whether WikiLeaks is a news organization. The theory that animates the indictment targets the very essence of journalistic activity: the gathering and dissemination of information that the government wants to keep secret.

“You don’t have to like Assange or endorse what he and WikiLeaks have done over the years to recognize that this indictment sets an ominous precedent and threatens basic First Amendment values….

“With only modest tweaking, the very same theory could be invoked to prosecute journalists for the very same crimes being alleged against Assange, simply for doing their jobs of scrutinizing the government and reporting the news to the American people.”

We desperately need greater scrutiny and transparency, not less.

Indeed, transparency is one of those things the shadow government fears the most. Why? Because it might arouse the distracted American populace to actually exercise their rights and resist the tyranny that is inexorably asphyxiating their freedoms.

This need to shed light on government actions — to make the obscure, least transparent reaches of government accessible and accountable — was a common theme for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who famously coined the phrase, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Writing in January 1884, Brandeis explained:

Light is the only thing that can sweeten our political atmosphere — light thrown upon every detail of administration in the departments; light diffused through every policy; light blazed full upon every feature of legislation; light that can penetrate every recess or corner in which any intrigue might hide; light that will open up to view the innermost chambers of government, drive away all darkness from the treasury vaults; illuminate foreign correspondence; explore national dockyards; search out the obscurities of Indian affairs; display the workings of justice; exhibit the management of the army; play upon the sails of the navy; and follow the distribution of the mails.”

Of course, transparency is futile without a populace that is informed, engaged and prepared to hold the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law.

For this reason, it is vital that citizens have the right to criticize the government without fear.

After all, we’re citizens, not subjects. For those who don’t fully understand the distinction between the two and why transparency is so vital to a healthy constitutional government, Manning explains it well:

“When freedom of information and transparency are stifled, then bad decisions are often made and heartbreaking tragedies occur – too often on a breathtaking scale that can leave societies wondering: how did this happen? …

“I believe that when the public lacks even the most fundamental access to what its governments and militaries are doing in their names, then they cease to be involved in the act of citizenship. There is a bright distinction between citizens, who have rights and privileges protected by the state, and subjects, who are under the complete control and authority of the state.”

Manning goes on to suggest that the U.S. “needs legislation to protect the public’s right to free speech and a free press, to protect it from the actions of the executive branch and to promote the integrity and transparency of the US government.”

Technically, we’ve already got such legislation on the books: the First Amendment.

The First Amendment gives the citizenry the right to speak freely, protest peacefully, expose government wrongdoing, and criticize the government without fear of arrest, isolation or any of the other punishments that have been meted out to whistleblowers such as Edward SnowdenAssange and Manning.

The challenge is holding the government accountable to obeying the law.

Almost 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in United States v. Washington Post Co. to block the Nixon Administration’s attempts to use claims of national security to prevent The Washington Post and The New York Times from publishing secret Pentagon papers on how America went to war in Vietnam.

As Justice William O. Douglas remarked on the ruling,

“The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.”

Almost 50 years later, with Assange being cast as the poster boy for treason, we’re witnessing yet another showdown, which pits the people’s right to know about government misconduct against the might of the military industrial complex.

Yet this isn’t merely about whether whistleblowers and journalists are part of a protected class under the Constitution. It’s a debate over how long “we the people” will remain a protected class under the Constitution.

Following the current downward trajectory, it won’t be long before anyone who believes in holding the government accountable is labeled an “extremist,” is relegated to an underclass that doesn’t fit in, must be watched all the time, and is rounded up when the government deems it necessary.

Eventually, we will all be potential suspects, terrorists and lawbreakers in the eyes of the government

Partisan politics have no place in this debate: Americans of all stripes would do well to remember that those who question the motives of government provide a necessary counterpoint to those who would blindly follow where politicians choose to lead.

We don’t have to agree with every criticism of the government, but we must defend the rights of all individuals to speak freely without fear of punishment or threat of banishment.

Never forget: what the architects of the police state want are submissive, compliant, cooperative, obedient, meek citizens who don’t talk back, don’t challenge government authority, don’t speak out against government misconduct, and don’t step out of line.

What the First Amendment protects — and a healthy constitutional republic requires—are citizens who routinely exercise their right to speak truth to power.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the right to speak out against government wrongdoing is the quintessential freedom.

Be warned: this quintessential freedom won’t be much good to anyone if the government makes good on its promise to make an example of Assange as a warning to other journalists intent on helping whistleblowers disclose government corruption.

Once again, we find ourselves reliving George Orwell’s 1984, which portrayed in chilling detail how totalitarian governments employ the power of language to manipulate the masses.

In Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.”

Much like today’s social media censors and pre-crime police departments, Orwell’s Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the other government agencies peddle in economic affairs (rationing and starvation), law and order (torture and brainwashing), and news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda).

Orwell’s Big Brother relies on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary.

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry — mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all — our backs are to the walls.

From this point on, we have only two options: go down fighting, or capitulate and betray our loved ones, our friends and ourselves by insisting that, as a brainwashed Winston Smith does at the end of Orwell’s 1984, yes, 2+2 does equal 5.

As George Orwell recognized, “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

By John W. Whitehead, Guest author

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People is available at www.amazon.com.

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Government of, by and for the bureaucracy

Government of, by and for the bureaucracy  By Curtis Ellis, WMD, 3 November 2019

Curtis Ellis sees insubordination in spades as coup attempt continues

 What have we learned from impeachment so far?

We’ve learned that we don’t need elections anymore. We are in a post-constitutional government.

This is government of, by and for the chair warmers.

From what we can tell, President Trump is guilty of the high crime of disagreeing with unelected bureaucrats adept at justifying their own existence and warming chairs.

One of these unelected, previously unknown office holders is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

He told Congress he was most alarmed because the president’s foreign policy ran contrary to the “consensus of the interagency.”

Nowhere in the Constitution do the framers mention this “interagency” or empower it to make foreign policy.

Vindman wears a uniform of the U.S. Army, last I checked one of the military services that are supposed to be apolitical and subordinate to civilian authority.

So when Vindman disagreed with the policy set by a) the civilian leader of our country and b) his commander in chief, the lieutenant colonel went outside the chain of command to torpedo the policy he didn’t like, going so far as to aid and abet the removal of the duly elected president.

“Seven Days in May,” anyone?

But Vindman and his exalted “interagency” that felt entitled enough to set U.S. foreign policy and confident enough to instigate the impeachment of President Trump is only one example of insubordination by inferior officers.

Throughout the government we find unelected bureaucrats making policy instead of carrying out the policy set by the president we elected and the Constitution empowered to do so.

Insubordination has become so commonplace people who should know better now regard it as the natural order of things.

When President Trump puts aside the assessment of some Deputy Assistant Undersecretary of Chair Warming, Fox’s Chris Wallace incredulously asks how the president could go against his own government. In Wallace’s universe, the president works for the “interagency” bureaucrats, not the other way around.

Another example: Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” tells us of staff secretaries and advisers blocking the America First policies voters elected Trump to enact. Woodward sees nothing amiss with that.

These White House factotums had spun themselves up into believing renegotiating the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement would lead inevitably to a literal thermonuclear war. For the record, the president did eventually renegotiate the trade deal with South Korea despite his conniving globalist advisers. And in case you missed it, we dodged nuclear war.

Forty-five years ago in the era of Deep Throat, John Dean opined of a cancer growing on the presidency. Now we have a much more virulent cancer metastasizing inside our representative democracy.

That cancer is the permanent government – the Deep State the former CIA director says we should thank God for.

Since its inception at the turn of the last century, the progressive project has sought to replace democracy with rule by a permanent class of professional technocratic managers.

The left has achieved this objective with the fourth branch of government, the administrative state bureaucracy populated by millions of employees, promulgating millions of rules and regulations that touch virtually every aspect of American life.

Seventy years ago, elite “geniuses” set government policy on a globalist trajectory – aka the “post-war architecture of a rules based international order.”

Now, the federal Leviathan executes the policy by autopilot, moving inexorably in the same direction regardless of who controls the White House or Congress. Presidents come and go; the Beast continues slouching toward Bethlehem.

Impeachment is but the latest revenge against the man who had the audacity to challenge the globalist policies and arrogated power of the permanent government.

The plotting began even before President Trump took office.

Operatives in the intelligence services and national security apparatus used the instruments of government to launch an operation to help Hillary Clinton under the pretext of a counterintelligence investigation.

When the American people rejected Hillary, the Praetorian Guard set its sights on taking out the elected president.

Should their coup succeed, it will sound the death knell for our constitutional republic.

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They Live, We Sleep: Beware The Growing Evil In Our Midst

They Live, We Sleep. Beware The Growing Evil In Our MidstBy John Whitehead, Rutherford Institute, via ZeroHedge, 31 October 2019

 You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.”

– They Live

We’re living in two worlds, you and I.

There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.

Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth.

All is not as it seems.

This is the premise of John Carpenter’s film They Live, which was released more than 30 years ago, and remains unnervingly, chillingly appropriate for our modern age.

Best known for his horror film Halloween, which assumes that there is a form of evil so dark that it can’t be killed, Carpenter’s larger body of work is infused with a strong anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment, laconic bent that speaks to the filmmaker’s concerns about the unraveling of our society, particularly our government.

Time and again, Carpenter portrays the government working against its own citizens, a populace out of touch with reality, technology run amok, and a future more horrific than any horror film.

In Escape from New York, Carpenter presents fascism as the future of America.

In The Thing, a remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic of the same name, Carpenter presupposes that increasingly we are all becoming dehumanized.

In Christine, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a demon-possessed car, technology exhibits a will and consciousness of its own and goes on a murderous rampage.

In In the Mouth of Madness, Carpenter notes that evil grows when people lose “the ability to know the difference between reality and fantasy.”

And then there is Carpenter’s They Live, in which two migrant workers discover that the world is not as it seems. In fact, the population is actually being controlled and exploited by aliens working in partnership with an oligarchic elite. All the while, the populace—blissfully unaware of the real agenda at work in their lives—has been lulled into complacency, indoctrinated into compliance, bombarded with media distractions, and hypnotized by subliminal messages beamed out of television and various electronic devices, billboards and the like.

It is only when homeless drifter John Nada (played to the hilt by the late Roddy Piper) discovers a pair of doctored sunglasses—Hoffman lenses—that Nada sees what lies beneath the elite’s fabricated reality: control and bondage.

When viewed through the lens of truth, the elite, who appear human until stripped of their disguises, are shown to be monsters who have enslaved the citizenry in order to prey on them.

Likewise, billboards blare out hidden, authoritative messages: a bikini-clad woman in one ad is actually ordering viewers to “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Magazine racks scream “CONSUME” and “OBEY.” A wad of dollar bills in a vendor’s hand proclaims, “THIS IS YOUR GOD.”

When viewed through Nada’s Hoffman lenses, some of the other hidden messages being drummed into the people’s subconscious include: NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT, CONFORM, SUBMIT, STAY ASLEEP, BUY, WATCH TV, NO IMAGINATION, and DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY.

This indoctrination campaign engineered by the elite in They Live is painfully familiar to anyone who has studied the decline of American culture.

A citizenry that does not think for themselves, obeys without question, is submissive, does not challenge authority, does not think outside the box, and is content to sit back and be entertained is a citizenry that can be easily controlled.

In this way, the subtle message of They Live provides an apt analogy of our own distorted vision of life in the American police state, what philosopher Slavoj Žižek refers to as dictatorship in democracy, “the invisible order which sustains your apparent freedom.”

We’re being fed a series of carefully contrived fictions that bear no resemblance to reality.

The powers-that-be want us to feel threatened by forces beyond our control (terrorists, shootersbombers).

They want us afraid and dependent on the government and its militarized armies for our safety and well-being.

They want us distrustful of each other, divided by our prejudices, and at each other’s throats.

Most of all, they want us to continue to march in lockstep with their dictates.

Tune out the government’s attempts to distract, divert and befuddle us and tune into what’s really going on in this country, and you’ll run headlong into an unmistakable, unpalatable truth: the moneyed elite who rule us view us as expendable resources to be used, abused and discarded.

In fact, a study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern University concluded that the U.S. government does not represent the majority of American citizens. Instead, the study found that the government is ruled by the rich and powerful, or the so-called “economic elite.” Moreover, the researchers concluded that policies enacted by this governmental elite nearly always favor special interests and lobbying groups.

In other words, we are being ruled by an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, and arguably on our way towards fascism—a form of government where private corporate interests rule, money calls the shots, and the people are seen as mere subjects to be controlled.

Not only do you have to be rich—or beholden to the rich—to get elected these days, but getting elected is also a surefire way to get rich. As CBS News reports, “Once in office, members of Congress enjoy access to connections and information they can use to increase their wealth, in ways that are unparalleled in the private sector. And once politicians leave office, their connections allow them to profit even further.”

In denouncing this blatant corruption of America’s political system, former president Jimmy Carter blasted the process of getting elected—to the White House, governor’s mansion, Congress or state legislatures—as “unlimited political bribery… a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over.”

Rest assured that when and if fascism finally takes hold in America, the basic forms of government will remain: Fascism will appear to be friendly. The legislators will be in session. There will be elections, and the news media will continue to cover the entertainment and political trivia. Consent of the governed, however, will no longer apply. Actual control will have finally passed to the oligarchic elite controlling the government behind the scenes.

Sound familiar?

Clearly, we are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests.

We have moved into “corporatism” (favored by Benito Mussolini), which is a halfway point on the road to full-blown fascism.

Corporatism is where the few moneyed interests—not elected by the citizenry—rule over the many. In this way, it is not a democracy or a republican form of government, which is what the American government was established to be. It is a top-down form of government and one which has a terrifying history typified by the developments that occurred in totalitarian regimes of the past: police states where everyone is watched and spied on, rounded up for minor infractions by government agents, placed under police control, and placed in detention (a.k.a. concentration) camps.

For the final hammer of fascism to fall, it will require the most crucial ingredient: the majority of the people will have to agree that it’s not only expedient but necessary.

But why would a people agree to such an oppressive regime?

The answer is the same in every age: fear.

Fear makes people stupid.

Fear is the method most often used by politicians to increase the power of government. And, as most social commentators recognize, an atmosphere of fear permeates modern America: fear of terrorism, fear of the police, fear of our neighbors and so on.

The propaganda of fear has been used quite effectively by those who want to gain control, and it is working on the American populace.

Despite the fact that we are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack; 11,000 times more likely to die from an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane; 1,048 times more likely to die from a car accident than a terrorist attack, and 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist , we have handed over control of our lives to government officials who treat us as a means to an end—the source of money and power.

As the Bearded Man in They Live warns, “They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.”

In this regard, we’re not so different from the oppressed citizens in They Live.

From the moment we are born until we die, we are indoctrinated into believing that those who rule us do it for our own good. The truth is far different.

Despite the truth staring us in the face, we have allowed ourselves to become fearful, controlled, pacified zombies.

We live in a perpetual state of denial, insulated from the painful reality of the American police state by wall-to-wall entertainment news and screen devices.

Most everyone keeps their heads down these days while staring zombie-like into an electronic screen, even when they’re crossing the street. Families sit in restaurants with their heads down, separated by their screen devices and unaware of what’s going on around them. Young people especially seem dominated by the devices they hold in their hands, oblivious to the fact that they can simply push a button, turn the thing off and walk away.

Indeed, there is no larger group activity than that connected with those who watch screens—that is, television, lap tops, personal computers, cell phones and so on. In fact, a Nielsen study reports that American screen viewing is at an all-time high. For example, the average American watches approximately 151 hours of television per month.

The question, of course, is what effect does such screen consumption have on one’s mind?

Psychologically it is similar to drug addiction. Researchers found that “almost immediately after turning on the TV, subjects reported feeling more relaxed, and because this occurs so quickly and the tension returns so rapidly after the TV is turned off, people are conditioned to associate TV viewing with a lack of tension.” Research also shows that regardless of the programming, viewers’ brain waves slow down, thus transforming them into a more passive, nonresistant state.

Historically, television has been used by those in authority to quiet discontent and pacify disruptive people. “Faced with severe overcrowding and limited budgets for rehabilitation and counseling, more and more prison officials are using TV to keep inmates quiet,” according to Newsweek.

Given that the majority of what Americans watch on television is provided through channels controlled by six mega corporations, what we watch is now controlled by a corporate elite and, if that elite needs to foster a particular viewpoint or pacify its viewers, it can do so on a large scale.

If we’re watching, we’re not doing.

The powers-that-be understand this. As television journalist Edward R. Murrow warned in a 1958 speech:

We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.

This brings me back to They Live, in which the real zombies are not the aliens calling the shots but the populace who are content to remain controlled.

When all is said and done, the world of They Live is not so different from our own. As one of the characters points out, “The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are nonexistent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices. Their intention to rule rests with the annihilation of consciousness. We have been lulled into a trance. They have made us indifferent to ourselves, to others. We are focused only on our own gain.”

We, too, are focused only on our own pleasures, prejudices and gains. Our poor and underclasses are also growing. Racial injustice is growing. Human rights is nearly nonexistent. We too have been lulled into a trance, indifferent to others.

Oblivious to what lies ahead, we’ve been manipulated into believing that if we continue to consume, obey, and have faith, things will work out. But that’s never been true of emerging regimes. And by the time we feel the hammer coming down upon us, it will be too late.

So where does that leave us?

The characters who populate Carpenter’s films provide some insight.

Underneath their machismo, they still believe in the ideals of liberty and equal opportunity. Their beliefs place them in constant opposition with the law and the establishment, but they are nonetheless freedom fighters.

When, for example, John Nada destroys the alien hyno-transmitter in They Live, he restores hope by delivering America a wake-up call for freedom.

That’s the key right there: we need to wake up.

Stop allowing yourselves to be easily distracted by pointless political spectacles and pay attention to what’s really going on in the country.

The real battle for control of this nation is not being waged between Republicans and Democrats in the ballot box.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American Peoplethe real battle for control of this nation is taking place on roadsides, in police cars, on witness stands, over phone lines, in government offices, in corporate offices, in public school hallways and classrooms, in parks and city council meetings, and in towns and cities across this country.

The real battle between freedom and tyranny is taking place right in front of our eyes, if we would only open them.

All the trappings of the American police state are now in plain sight.

Wake up, America.

If they live (the tyrants, the oppressors, the invaders, the overlords), it is only because “we the people” sleep.

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Previous articles

    • pauling-hansons-first-speech-in-the-senate-14-september-2016
    • cairns-post-editorial-201016  Laws of diminishing returns as the ‘nanny state’ takes over control of our freedom, By Julian Tomlinson, Cairns Post, 20 October 2016

About Peter Senior

I'm a very experienced and pragmatic management consultant. I've reviewed and led the restructuring of many organisations - large and small corporations and Government Departments, much of the time as President of the New Zealand Institute of Management Consultants. Before that I was General Manager of a major NZ newspaper; earlier, an analyst for IBM UK. I gained an honours degree in engineering at London University, and studied management at Cambridge University. This wide range of experience has left me frustrated: I continue to see too many examples of really bad management. Sometimes small easily fixed issues; sometimes fundamental faults; and sometimes really tricky problems. Mostly these issues can be fixed using a mixture of common sense, 'management 101' and applying lessons from years of management experience. Unfortunately, all too often, politics, bureaucracy and daft government regulations get in the way; internal factors such as poor culture and out-of-date strategies are often evident. So what's gone wrong, and why, and most importantly, how to fix 'it'? I hope there are like-minded people 'out there' who will share their thoughts enabling 'us' to improve some significant management failures that affect the general public. If you just accept bad management and do nothing about it, you don't have the right to complain! The really tricky part is, what can you do about it that is likely to be effective? If you'd like to share thoughts on any aspects of management, send me an email to petersenior42@gmail.com .
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