16 August 2019

Pictures at an Exhibition of an Oligarchy

“Right, and again, it’s not necessarily intentional. It’s that those are the people that you’re surrounded with, so there becomes a group-think. And look, you are aware of what you’re going to be rewarded for and what you’re going to be punished for, or not rewarded for, like that definitely plays in the mind, whether you want it to or not, that’s a reality.”

Krystal Ball (courtesy of Caitlin Johnstone)

"Media companies run by the country’s richest people can’t help but project the mindset of their owners, and they are naturally incompetent when it comes to viewing their own role in society.

Trump may have accelerated distaste for the press, but he didn’t create it. He sniffed out existing frustrations and used them to rally anger toward 'elites' to his side. The criticism works because national media are elites, ten-percenters working for one-percenters. The longer people in the business try to deny it, the more it will be fodder for politicians. Sanders wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last."

Matt Taibbi

"And that's what I meant by playing ball. I was essentially told, play ball, soften your tone, and all of these good things can happen to you. But if you stay harsh that was going to cause me real harm, in those words.

It creates this false illusion that there are people out there looking out for the interest of taxpayers, the checks and balances that are built into the system are operational, when in fact they're not. And what you're going to see and what we are seeing is it'll be a breakdown of those governmental institutions. And you'll see governments that continue to have policies that feed the interests of -- and I don't want to get clichéd, but the one percent or the .1 percent -- to the detriment of everyone else."

Bill Moyers and Neil Barofsky, The Bullet or the Bribe

"Over the last thirty years, the United States has been taken over by an amoral financial oligarchy, and the American dream of opportunity, education, and upward mobility is now largely confined to the top few percent of the population.  Federal policy is increasingly dictated by the wealthy, by the financial sector, and by powerful (though sometimes badly mismanaged) industries such as telecommunications, health care, automobiles, and energy.

These policies are implemented and praised by these groups’ willing servants, namely the increasingly bought-and-paid-for leadership of America’s political parties, academia, and lobbying industry."

Charles Ferguson, Predator Nation

"Looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery. We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity...few people have yet considered the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of cold war with its neighbors."

George Orwell

"A true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, that we are not going to be judged.”

Czeslaw Milosz, The Discreet Charm of Nihilism

The problem is not just with 'the media.'

The corruption in the developed world permeates the professions, from politics to healthcare to the media to telecommunications to the legal system to accounting and especially to the financial system.

It is a system based on deception, that abuses the power of money and other forms of career rewards and advancements and honors to promote the benefits of a relatively small group of people, to the detriment of everyone else.

What is sad is not the obviously and often justifiably angry unsophisticated who are taken in by some clumsy con man who was propped up by the powerful insiders as a strawman in the first place.

The real sadness is the well-intentioned, educated people, who historically have been the 'conscience'  of nation, that faithfully plug into their favorite, 'highly respected' media outlets, and allow their minds to be formed into the kind of unthinking, fearfully reactionary, and highly propagandized mindset that sits back and cheers on its own destruction, along with the overthrow of everything that it once believed to be good.

The corporate media bias against Sanders is just one example of many, especially if one thinks about the lead ups to war, and the blatant and persistent persecution of dissident voices, whistleblowers and reform and popular movements.

Power corrupts, and even worse, it attracts and rewards the highly corruptible.   This is why ordinary people combine to form laws, to protect themselves and their families from the abuses of power by the amoral, unscrupulous, and otherwise unrestrained.

It is a story as old as Babylon, and a betrayal evil as sin.