Will USian PseudoLeft Evolve True Revolutionary Consciousness?
Above Photo: londonstreetart2/ Flickr
Admitting How Fiercely We Hate Our Oppressors Is Neither Ideology nor Ideological Discipline, but It Is the First Step toward Liberation
THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA MACHINE, owned as it is by the same moral imbeciles who own the USian Empire’s economic and political systems and all their global subsidiaries, long ago became the for-profit version of Josef Goebbels’ Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
Exemplifying how Capitalism’s momentum invariably thrusts it toward fascism, Mainstream Media was headed in that direction even under the independent ownership that characterized most USian newspapers and broadcast outlets during the years of my later teens and earlier manhood, 1956 through about 1980 or thereabouts.
While the only meaningful difference between local Capitalists and their global counterparts has never been more than the geographical limits of their greed, the socioeconomic interactions characteristic of local ownership exercised enough moral restraint on publishers that in most instances, mass media did not metastasize into its present-day malignancy until the news monopolies took over.
Microcosms of empires and imperial tyranny, the monopolies quickly ended any pretense of accountability to local audiences or even to local elites. Soon afterward the monopolists’ suppressed or co-opted the various unions and other organizations that had previously guaranteed print, radio and television journalists a modicum of editorial independence.
During the same period, the monopolies’ overwhelming financial power leveraged the collegiate journalism schools to impose the gate-guard functions that guarantee the press corps remains forever purged of any trace of revolutionary or even reformist consciousness.
Hence by 1983, when the destruction by probable arson of a 24-year book project and all the rest of my life’s work flung me into the post-traumatic clinical depression that ended my career as a Mainstream Media staff member (though I would continue as a freelancer for many more years), my staff-job employability was already doomed by the spread of the ideologically lockstep journalism mandated by the monopolies wherever they bought out formerly independent publications and broadcasters.
While newspaper journalism was originally a haven for bright and articulate but un-colleged people of blue-collar or lower-income backgrounds and often therefore subtly reflected our Left-populist, pro-union, even socialist bias, the monopolists were determined to purge or suppress all such viewpoints and replace them with bourgeois conformity.
Thus from the monopolists’ perspective, by the mid-1970s there were already three strikes against me: firstly, I had entered journalism at age 16 via the formerly traditional Working Class route of a job as a copyboy; secondly, as if to underscore my Working Class status, chronic poverty had denied me a bachelor’s degree until my 36th year (by which time I had already held a half-dozen editorships, two of them significantly award-winning); and thirdly – whether as editor, reporter or photographer – my battles against my employers’ protocols of internal censorship had earned me the reputation of a troublemaker and chronic dissident. In short our corporate uberführers regarded me as not just a member of the Working Class decidedly unwelcome in the relentlessly bourgeois exclusivity of the monopoly newsroom, but – because of my commitment to unions and other such expressions of proletarian humanitarianism – a subversive as well, probably (tsk, tsk) even a clandestine Communist.
The rationalizations by which I tried to accommodate the monopolists’ implicitly fascist regimes and the comparable efforts I witnessed amongst my colleagues were – as I recognize now (though only in several decades’ retrospect) – early and therefore indicative (if not actually prophetic) variants on the “lesser of two Evils” meme that has defined the politics of the Imperial Homeland since its pretense of democratic process was murdered in Dallas on 22 November 1963. Because most of us had mortgages and car-loan debts and families to support, we either surrendered or – if we were very lucky (that is, wealthy enough to afford such detours) – we pursued alternative careers.
As did I, thanks to the Vietnam Era GI Bill and the fact my second (and avowedly final) attempt at matrimony had ended without financial obligation. What I sought was a new career as a geologist, a choice encouraged by enthusiastic support from my professors and bolstered by a dean’s-list grade-point-average. But then the Nixon Regime’s malicious curtailment of the GI Bill’s educational stipends ended my academic aspirations just as it did so many others, and I re-discovered an ugly truth I had first learned as a teenager: that here in the United States, professorial endorsement is meaningless in the quest for scholarship money unless you also have the endorsements of business executives and churchmen – which for me (as for nearly all other offspring of severely dysfunctional families), are no more accessible than the bridal suite of Buckingham Palace. Hence, albeit with radically diminished expectations, I returned to journalism.
In other words, I am intimately familiar with the history of USian Mainstream Media from the 1950s through the present.
All of which is prefatory to the fact that since the advent of the Trump/Pence Regime and its implicit declaration of the USian Empire as the Fourth Reich, I have observed a heartening effort on the part of a few of our journalists to slyly resurrect the pre-monopoly practice of occasionally speaking truth to power. The truth-speakers – actually more whisperers than talkers-aloud – are mostly in what is commonly regarded as elitist or alternative media, the PseudoLeftist mechanism by which our overlords maintain the Big Lie of “our democracy.” The laudably subversive elements in this sort of journalism, initially almost imperceptibly subtle, have slowly intensified until now, as in the following examples, they have become unmistakable in their fosterage of the hatred that will perhaps at long last induce an otherwise cravenly submissive population to rise up against its oppressors. Here are three laudable examples, complete with passages that exemplify their rebelliousness:
“The Language of a Dictatorship,” by Masha Gessen, of The New Yorker. Reporting on the adulation heaped on Trump by his coterie of sycophants, she notes such speeches “are usually given (only) in dictatorships…This is what we observed in Washington on Wednesday, and it’s the scariest part of Trump’s big tax triumph.”
“They Cheered When This Tax Bill Passed: Always Remember That,” by Truthout‘s William Rivers Pitt, who advises us to prepare ourselves…”in whatever way best suits. The thing that is about to happen…will be beyond your worst expectations.”
“Will the Resistance Win in 2018?” This, the best and most telling example saved for last, is by Amanda Marcotte of Salon: “Maybe we win. Maybe we don’t. Most likely we get some victories but lose much that we hold dear…much of the damage done – to our economy, our democracy, our planet, our collective mental health – will be permanent. So we have to learn to love the fight itself, not because we are winning, but because we are fighting…Let’s resolve to help the people who need help, instead of trying to save people who don’t want to be saved. That clarity of mind and purpose will serve us well in the dark days ahead, which won’t end anytime soon.”
Yes, of course I understand these sorts of journalistic deviations are allowed only because of strategic battles within the Capitalist Ruling Class and the monolithic tyranny it hides behind the charade of two names, the brazen JesuNazis of the Republican Party versus the euphemism-cloaked fascists of the Democratic (sic) Party. But this is nevertheless the first time probably since World War II I have seen even a tiny segment of USian mass media devote energy and space to teaching us to hate our enemy with even more intensity than the enemy hates us – and though that is neither ideology nor ideological discipline, it nevertheless bodes well for the cause of revolution. Especially if the JesuNazis use their now proven omnipotence to silence their Ruling Class foes – as they surely will (for this is precisely what the original Nazis did in Germany even before they begin silencing everyone else).