Reading comprehension is victim number one in the fried internet era, just as it was in the fried post-World War II era.
"The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable,' he writes, then points a finger at words like democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic and justice.
"Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way.... Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.
Orwell continues: "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible....Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness." In our time, too.
He observes: "Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."We all need to do a better job. The ability to reason and ascertain the truth is much more fundamental than fixing education and the economy, although I agree that the economy needs fixing through a more fair tax scheme and redistribution of wage income, and in the form of higher minimum wages.
Fixing education seems a bit more difficult than fixing the economy, in fact I am not sure how that could be done in the real world.
It is always up to the individual at some level to educate herself. Everything else that is considered education by some will always be viewed as brainwashing by others.
Politics can never be separated from education and so we cannot attain a Platonic ideal form in the real world. Sad to say. We can only do so in our own mind.
Today, obviously our entire reality down to our personal preferences is easily available to the PTB with a single mouse click.
Abandon hope all ye who log in anywhere.
Let me also state that the price I paid still resonates. Up my ass.
Russia and the US are partners in fomenting corporate capitalism. Anybody who allows themselves to get caught up in memefying Syria and Ukraine, etc as some significant struggle between sociopolitical rivals simply has succumbed to propaganda and fallen onto the scrap heap of infotainment reactionism.
The only subtle degree of separation between these global capitalist nation states (including also China) is in how the levers of power controlled by public versus private sectors differ in each state.
The relative power of one sector over the other may not be applied exactly the same in Russia and US but the net effect on the public is still the same: we are fast becoming cyber serfdom caught up in the infotainment melodrama of Ukraine while Exxon does mega deals with Russian state controlled oil companies and consolidates ever more economic power among the economic elites.
In a nutshell, then, the United States executive branch is being driven by corporate forces that transitively dictate the long-term strategic goals of the intelligence services. Activists like William Blum have spent their lives investigating and carefully recording this reality. For additional illumination check out the War and Peace Studies performed by the Council on Foreign Relations during World War II on behalf of the State Department. It's a flat out recipe for neoliberal hegemony. As Canadian filmmaker Scott Noble demonstrated in his movie "Counter-Intelligence," the United States is part of a corporate empire and the intelligence services are the Praetorian Guard of this empire.
So Glenn, does this mean that addressing mass surveillance, and the mass subversion which enables it, will entail tackling the related problem of corporate state capture? Or, as Sheldon Wolin refers to it, the specter of inverted totalitarianism.
Finally, I don't think society should have to rely on hi-tech billionaires to support our interests in the halls of Washington. Corporate pressure is not the solution. Corporate pressure is the problem.
As I mentioned earlier, the fossil fuel industry, the defense industry with its appendages in hi-tech, and the plutocrats of Wall Street are largely directing the U.S. government. Our elected leaders are their proxies. The NSA's surveillance machine is but a small part of a much large private sector data aggregation machine. Both systems exist to further the aims of the economic elite. Ed Snowden has confirmed as much. I believe his words were: "These programs were never about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation"
Certainly, there are technical aspects to the global surveillance apparatus and the mass subversion campaign that enables it. And there are also economic aspects. But, at its core, this is a political problem. We should not expect the oligarchs to willfully hobble themselves. Recall the forces of popular pressure behind Woman's Suffrage, the New Deal legislation, and Civil Rights. American citizens must politically mobilize, rise like lions from our collective haze of empty consumption and reality TV to retake (and remake) our government.
Bill Blunden is an independent investigator whose current areas of inquiry include information security, anti-forensics, and institutional analysis. He is the author of several books, including The Rootkit Arsenal , and Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex. Bill is the lead investigator at Below Gotham Labs.