Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our Masters Voices...Musings on Doublespeak in Corporate America

Living in Corporate America, which, George Calin once said, "was bought and sold and paid for years ago", is a trip. Here in the land of doublespeak some people can be beaten and pepper sprayed simply for "camping" in parks while those who camp and wait for Black Friday deals, entertainment tickets, or sports tickets, often on public sidewalks, are a media item as Naomi Wolf says in her recent article. And most citizens, or should I say most consumers since that is what corporate America sees us as, don't even see or hear the corporate lies right in front of them.

Naomi Wolf in her Guardian piece lists several things Occupy has called for. "...No 1: get the money out of politics". Occupy protestors urge this reform as a response to the Citizens United court ruling "which allowed boundless sums of [corporate] monies to enter the campaign process". Number 2 "reform...the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation." In particular Occupy calls for the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, "the Depression-era law, eliminated during the Clinton administration, "that separates investment banks from commercial banks". "This law", claims Occupy, "would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create...derivatives out of thin air and wipe out the commercial and savings bank" sector. Number 3 Occupy pass "laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors”. Number 4, one Wolf doesn't discuss, to move your monies from too big to fail banks like CitiBank and Bank of America, banks involved in creating derivative and real estate bubbles out of thin air and banks which continue to pay their investment labour force millions in bonuses, to local credit unions and community banks. Clearly, as Wolf notes and as anyone with eyes can see, Occupy has a political programme.

So why is it that the talking heads on TV, on the radio, and in the blogosphere keep claiming that Occupy has no "plan" when Occupy, as Wolf notes again and again, clearly has several plans to reform Washington? So why this charade? Could it be that corporate America and its political minions, particularly on the right, and its demagogues are sticking to a message and keep promoting it even in the face of empirical data to the contrary? Could it be that the fiction that Occupy has no plan is exactly what America's elites want to manipulate the "silent majority" into believing? Is this fiction becoming reality just another example of postmodernist manipulation in the service of corporate control and power? And why are the media not challenging the falsehoods being peddled and parroted by the the handmaidens of Corporate America? Is it because media news readers and news men and women simply aren't aware of this data? If so why not? Or is it because the media are simply parroting the corporate party line manufactured by the public relations courtiers of the corporate class in a regimented way that was not even possible in the Stalin era USSR? After all Big Media are controlled by and large by corporations and America's public broadcaster, PBS, has to be careful that it doesn't bite the hand that feeds it too hard because the hand that feeds sometimes bites back as PBS occasionally finds out? Is this the way the corporate media world goes round? And about that additional significant question: why are the masses swallowing this elite generated crap as though it was a chocolate truffle? Because postmodernist demagoguery in the service of economic and political elites creates reality even if that reality is patently false?

I am sure that Lee Atwater, the Republican strategist who once claimed that reality doesn't matter, that what really matters is what you can convince people is true, is enjoying all this doublespeak from the corporate class and its media acolytes about the Occupy movement and the fact that so many Americans seem to be eating it up wherever he is. After all before he died he trained a number of Corporate American technocratic spin doctors in the fine arts of demagoguery and reality manipulation including George W. Bush and Karl Rove.

Postscript
One blogger questioned Wolf's speculation that the Department of Homeland Security may have helped coordinate the military operations against Occupy movements in several American cities (http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/shocking-truth-about-factless-assertions). However I find it hard to escape the thesis that there was coordination between the police departments who ran Occupy out of Seattle, Portland, Oakland, the City. If not, why did they occur at around same time? Winter coming? They all realised that tents and tenters were hazardous to human health simultaneously? Jean Quan, the "activist" mayor of Oakland has, in fact, admitted that the offensive against Occupy was coordinated by "proper" authorities in eighteen cities (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpElRNEJPXshttp://www.mediaite.com/online/did-oakland-mayor-jean-quan-admit-cities-coordinated-to-bust-occupy-protests/, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I87roZGeGhw, ).

This raises the question of why did the militarised "forces of order" brutally push Occupy out of public and private spaces in similar ways? Coincidence? Accident? While Wolf's thesis is tentative and based on "coincidences" like those above it is an interesting thesis particularly given what we know about how the government worked in the past. Remember the centralised campaigns against dissidents in the 60s and 70s? Recall that the CIA and FBI helped quash dissidents? during the 60's and 70's?

Bibliography
Naomi Wolf, The Shocking Truth About the Crackdown on Occupy, 25 November 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/25/shocking-truth-about-crackdown-occupy?fb=optOut

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