Fake News Corporate Style

You and me are now prey to a new kind of authoritarian intellectual dishonesty that intends to confuse us and divert us from traditional American ways and more by using the massive, illegitimate wealth of the Corporate State ruling class to silence its critics and overwhelm the opposition.

The way it plays its hand is very similar to the methods of the magician who uses “misdirection” to get the viewer to watch the wrong way while he does his thing. Ever since the days of Socrates, various ruling classes have allowed us to see only vague shadows that merely hint at “reality,” and the Romans refined this process of keeping the people comfortably ignorant by giving them “bread and circuses” to occupy their minds with crumbs and meaningless trifles and thus prevent them from attaining any rational outlook over their own lives and situations.

So today we have been entwined in a full blown consumerist society without our actual knowledge or consent that it would, or should, be like that. Yet most Americans consider their country to be a Christian nation.

Last Friday the Enterprise published a letter by Rev. Jeff Black right next to an article about what is left of “worker rights.” Rev. Black writes: “Reading…will help each of us to guard our minds and our liberties for ourselves and for our children.”

President Reagan also was concerned about the future when he was campaigning for the Presidency back in 1975-80 when every speech he gave expressed alarm about the burgeoning national debt that he feared would haunt his grand-children and FORCE them to pay for the current excesses. Then he won and immediately abandoned his concern for the future financial well-being of our grand-children by giving a massive tax cut to his wealthy friends and political backers. And guess what? His children are now grand parents and the next generation will be saddled with the very same dangerous debt from which Reagan and the Republicans had promised to spare them.

The national debt in 1980 was a manageable $450 billion but after 12 years of Reagan-Bush tax cuts and defense splurging our debt had metastasized to $5 trillion. The rich got exactly what they wanted, especially the part about future generations being forced to pay for their tax cuts. Only in America.

The greedy rich became even richer and unimaginably more powerful and so financed a propaganda boom in which conservative politicians loudly and belligerently claimed they were upholding traditional American values. Of course, this propaganda never addressed the fact that Americans were naturally thrifty and preferred to wait and save to pay cash for an item.

However, starting in the immediate post-war years their financial resolve was weakened as they bought into the “buy now pay later” ethos that the corporations and banks were then foisting on the American public. Adopting this interest generating scheme caused many Americans to pay an added expense of tribute (and fees) that had been studiously avoided by previous frugal generations.

And corporate propaganda continues to flaunt the big lie that this is traditional American behavior.

All this facilitated the birth of the selfish desire for “instant gratification” that the conservatives decried marked the end of Christian cultural morality and then blamed the liberals! The corporate propaganda machine completely ignored the fact that Bible reading Christians could see with their own eyes that Christianity believed that “love of money is at the root of all evil” and that Jesus himself said that “it would be easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter Heaven.” Corporate propagandists NEVER emphasize this aspect of the religion but are malevolent enough to mislead the public by accusing the liberals of attacking our traditional values.

This is an example of what the Catholic catechism calls the one unforgivable sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit or the deliberate denunciation as evil something that is manifestly good. Corporate propaganda mills lately never mention the 9th Commandment: “Thou shall not bear false witness.”

A good example of fake news corporate propaganda involves our coal miners. Because of corporate propaganda there is now a deep belief that liberals are trying to destroy mining jobs. Never mind that in the narrow realm of unslanted, unspun objective truth is the economic fact that two men operating bulldozers engaged in mountaintop mining can dig more coal than 50 miners underground. Liberals tried to prevent such mountaintop mining but still get the blame for lost jobs.

Never mentioned is the fact that Senators from West Virginia and Kentucky, liberal Democrats all, such as Byrd, Randolph, Huddleston and Ford tried mightily and succeeded magnificently in fighting the coal companies and the Republican party to institute the Coal Mine Safety Act of 1969 that reduced accidents and sent black-lung disease rates 90% lower. The corporations don’t want the miners and the people to know this.

Corporations would prefer that people “volunteer” and agree to such monstrosities as signing contracts agreeing not to sue if the corporation screws up. Then the corporate executives parade around waving contracts and claiming that they did not force the signer to do anything.

The fact is corporate propaganda has pulled wool over our collective eyes for generations. First they started padding their pockets with “planned obsolescence,” undoubtedly causing Henry Ford, progenitor of Model Ts and As, to spin in his grave. Then they subverted the doctor/patient relationship by advertising dangerous pharmaceuticals hoping to get patients to demand their doctors switch their prescriptions. And the banks and corporations started denying the traditional use of post-dated checks so that they may soak up the resulting late fees. With so many Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck these days this practice results in serious financial hardship as bill-payers juggle to get their paychecks deposited and bills paid.

The corporate state propaganda apparatus has been warning us for years about “creeping socialism,” when our true worry should have always been “slithering corporate fascism.”