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News ::
The Big Picture (english)
21 Nov 2002
The Conspiracy
'Every class which successively has seized power has sought to safeguard its position of mastery by imposing on society conditions calculated to ensure it its own revenue.'1

On Fear, Violence and War-mongering

The Conspiracy
'Every class which successively has seized power has sought to safeguard its position of mastery by imposing on society conditions calculated to ensure it its own revenue.'1

The Civil War rise-to-power of burgeoning industrial and finance capital put an end to American slavery, the basis of the Southern economy. But the conditions imposed by the new masters remained of a kind ?"which says 'You toil and work and earn bread?and I'll eat it, no matter in what shape it comes." 2

The Profit Complex
Today, with the nation's public sector all but dismantled, unions repressed or co-opted, and average CEO pay topping 400 times workers' wages, the American corporate welfare state has surpassed even the robber barons of the Gilded Age for brazenness.

Distractions
As even a petty thief knows, when you're picking pockets, you have to create a distraction. Or if necessary, as the extortionist knows, you use fear and violence. A nation of Oliver Twists in the American workhouse musn't ask for 'more.'

Gone with the 20th century were the old ideologies?or gimmicks?used to distract the toiling masses from the snatching of the fruits of their labor:
Religion?Pie in the sky when you die
The Protestant work ethic?Duty
McCarthyite "the threat from within" 50s purge-phobia
Cold War bomb terror through the 60s: 'duck and cover'
War on Drugs
Terrorism: 1980s prototype

Psychological Repression Failing
By 1999, the internet had shaken the old institutions of non-violent, psychological pacification, already getting creaky with age?fingers on the invisible hand of the profit complex, like Mass Media/Entertainment
(The Great Wurlitzer), and Education:

?Monopoly mass media: [or 'the spectacle,'] which "destroys any collective form of sociality (politics) and at the same time imposes a new mass sociality(passiveness), a new uniformity of action and thought (received opinion);" 3 Relentlessly at war with intellect and ideas, the Wurlitzer substitutes in their place sensation and sentimentality, frantically yanking and pushing our buttons to keep us feeling instead of thinking?"A sentimental reason for everything that happens must be found because the truth always has to be hidden?" 4
The Wurlitzer also dishes out repressive symbolic violence--TV, cinema--whose effect is reinforced by real violence--gun violence. It ingrains the lessons of the sports cult: competition, not solidarity; individual sacrifice for 'the team;' training for 'irrational jingoism'; 5

?Indoctrination?"We should have the emotions desired by our rulers and the chief business of education would be to produce the desired disposition?no longer by punishment or moral precept but by the far surer method of repetition, in varied forms of instruction and entertainment, of the ideology that conformity (the glue that makes it all hang together) is success [full-throttle work, consumerism--forking it over again at the company store]?non-conformity is the shameful mark of failure." 6

The Truth Will Out
Despite all the manic control apparati, the truth will out. With unrestrained growth of corporate titans, according to the US informal imperialist model?made international under the Marshall Plan whereby sovereignty was gradually usurped from nation-states to remove democratic constraints on capital accumulation, or access to world markets/resources?in 1999 world citizens find themselves voiceless, lie-fed, in the firm exploitative grip of a global Leviathan.

The aggressiveness of the class war at home and abroad?with 'globalisation' exporting the ravages of the American way?finally provoked a backlash. WTO globalisers were met worldwide with protests in a political awakening manifest in the US in the 1999 Seattle protests. By August 2001 the new zeitgeist was sometimes cautiously reflected in mainstream media. Even Fortune magazine broached the previously taboo subject with a cover on 'The Corporate Elite.'

Compared to the much-lamented, in elite circles, 1960s war/minority rights protests, the new protests were even more lucid, with placard slogans like 'No Corporate Tyranny' challenging unaccountable private (corporate) power itself.

Naked Masters
With the effects of the internet and the fall of the iron curtain, the new masters suddenly found themselves quite naked: like Oz's old man at the levers, their voracious machinations were suddenly, dangerously exposed to public view.



Crisis/Response
The 'great beast,' the once inert public, now antagonised, was beginning to stir and to focus. There was a crisis?the threat of a lucid, mass demand for democracy and economic justice, despite the longstanding pressure of the de facto social and cultural engineering designed to prevent it.

Force as Justice
With the veil of anti-communism gone, the old organs of repression weakened, and unprecedented popular demonstrations against the economic order itself, harsher measures would be required, together with a new pretext. According to propaganda technique, the bigger the lie, the better?"Assimilation of gigantic lies destroys people's ability to think," 7 rendering them helpless.

"Governments have become more conscious of their increasing power (with monopoly mass communication) and more ruthless in its exercise, with distortion, fabrication and embargo of information; and where that fails, the old use of fear and violence?both symbolic and real. An efficient principle of order?the justice of force." 8

New Distraction
Like on a chessboard, no moves in the Great Game have a single purpose or effect, and violent repression would be only the domestic component of a regression from postwar informal imperialism to the genuine article, launched in the style of the Nazi's Reichstag fire?a treacherous attack as casus belli.

Brasilianisation of the USA
It took a coup d'etat, within a year of Seattle, to put the reactionary program in place. The hammer came down first on the American public itself?historic violence, not used domestically since Civil War days (by Republicans). In a new degradation, state terror, long in use abroad, was now being resorted to at home.

We needn't look far?only to the recent history of our 'client state' neighbors in Latin America?to see just how savage this 'civilisation' can get. (From the towers of power, people below look like ants.) A year after September 11, it's all fear and violence with more promised ('Not if, but when')?the Brasilianisation of the United States.

Repression at home, Adventure abroad
"The corrective of civil disobedience since the world began has been military discipline, war and blood-letting. ..There is no way in which people differ, however minutely, that does not supply material for a war.

There is a conflict between the imperialist need for war and the pacific nature of Man, when not trained or organised as a fighting machine. By themselves people are averse to fighting?it demands too much energy?and, betrayed momentarily by the collapse of group-think?object very strongly to dying. That is a law of nature. The ruler who bases his actions on the stability of this Artificial Man of received ideas constantly risks failure.

We know what makes a man into a warrior?it is his rulers in the course of their competitive careers who effect this paradoxical transformation on their extremely soft subjects.

If competition were eliminated then this soft ?or else mad, careless and stupid?creature would be spared the gymnastics required to turn him into a man-eating tiger. He should be left alone and allowed to lead a peaceful, industrious, pleasant life, for we all as men belong to each other.

?We are all under the spell of the money-magicians. Intolerance, militancy-to-order, savage partisanship imposed on you on every possible subject...
Everything is done to make people wish to be animals rather than men.

War-mongering
..Defense (Security) impregnates and colors everything?the shape of our minds?with life as a military problem conditioned by other states, and spent in watchfulness, armed to the teeth. A Sparta?a convict settlement: Plato's Republic. Its purpose: collective training for the slaughter of other men." 9


1 Karl Marx, Das Kapital
2 Abe Lincoln--address
3 Chomsky ?Manufacturing Consent
4 Wyndham Lewis, Art of Being Ruled, ca. 1930s
5 Chomsky ?Manufacturing Consent, video
6 Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society
7 Wyndham Lewis, Art of Being Ruled
8 Ibid
9 Ibid

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