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Article posted Jun 17 2013, 5:21 PM Category: Commentary Source: Kevin Carson Print

Public Enemy Number One: The Public

by Kevin Carson

It’s important, when listening to the official shapers of opinion in the media, to ask ourselves what they really mean by the words they use. As Orwell pointed out in “Politics and the English Language,” those in power use language to obscure meaning more often than to convey it.

A good example is the recurrence of phrases like “endangered our national security” and “aided the enemy,” from people like Eric Holder, Peter King and Lindsey Graham, in reference to leaks by people like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Now, they certainly intend to evoke certain associations in the minds of listeners with their word choices. If you’re not careful, you may find yourself responding in just the way the users intend — allowing their words to conjure up in your mind homes, families, neighbors, churches, a whole way of life, threatened with invasion and destruction by a nameless, faceless enemy — in the words of Orwell’s Two-Minute Hate, “the dark armies … barbarians whose only honour is atrocity.”

But if you look behind the words, their actual meaning is something entirely different. To the kinds of people who throw around such words, “national security” is a corporate-state world order enforced by the United States, run by people like themselves, which enabling global corporations to extract resources and labor from the people of the world and live off unearned rents. “The enemy” is you. And the danger is that you might figure out what’s going on and disturb their cozy little setup.

Alex Carey, historian of propaganda, argues that the central pillar of elite rule in mass democracies is the engineering of consent. In the late 19th century two phenomena emerged simultaneously: First, the giant corporation and the power nexus between corporation and state; and second, the threat to that power nexus from universal literacy and universal suffrage. Hence the importance of propaganda, of managing public opinion, in formally representative political systems.

Samuel Huntington wrote in The Crisis of Democracy, in 1974, that the United States in the two decades after WWII had been the “hegemonic power in a system of world order” — a state of affairs possible only because of a domestic power structure in which the country “was governed by the president acting with the support and cooperation of key individuals and groups in the Executive office, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, and the more important businesses, banks, law firms, foundations, and media, which constitute the private establishment.” And this, in turn, was possible only because of the acquiescence, the passivity, of the American people, and their acceptance of it as a natural, inevitable, and perfectly legitimate state of affairs.

The Sixties, as you might expect, scared the crap out of these people. Until then the “New Deal social contract” had worked fairly well (at least for middle class whites): We’ll give you a suburban home, a TV, a new car every five years, and a secure union job with benefits and periodic pay raises. In return, you’ll show up for work in between contract renewal times and let us manage the factories as we see fit without bothering your pretty little heads about it. And you’ll let us manage the world in the interests of GE, GM and United Fruit Company, and look the other way when we install genocidal fascist regimes or fund death squads in Indonesia, Nigeria and Latin America.

The 1960s was the first time since WWII when it seemed to dawn on a significant portion of the public that “another world is possible.”

Since then, management of public opinion to engineer consent has been doubly important to them. That’s why the “national security” community engages in psychological operations to manage public perceptions, the same way they’d manage the perceptions of a wartime enemy — in both cases,  the goal being to manipulate the desired reaction out of us.

See, we really are the enemy. Every once in a while one of them slips up and reveals that all that stuff about government representing the sovereign will of the people is so much buncombe. For example, former Clinton Press Secretary Sandy Berger’s statement in 2004: "We have too much at stake in Iraq to lose the American people."

That’s why they get so bent out of shape when people like Manning and Snowden tell the enemy — people like you and me — the ugly truth about how their sausage is made. Their power depends on keeping us — the enemy — in the dark.





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Comments 1 - 8 of 8 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Jun 17 2013, 5:31 PM

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99132 Well said Mr. Carson.

Anonymous

Posted: Jun 17 2013, 5:39 PM

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173242 Have you seen the movie "The Purge"? I saw it yesterday. Good flick.
Anonymous

Posted: Jun 17 2013, 5:52 PM

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65110 Once the surveillance grid will be fully on, the furnaces will also be turned on...
Davet916

Posted: Jun 17 2013, 10:04 PM

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508 It was obvious after Sept 11, 2001, that 'National Security' meant 'federal government security'. Suddenly all the federal buildings had limited access with metal detectors while our borders were wide open. The writing was on the wall from then on.

Davet
Anonymous

Posted: Jun 18 2013, 8:01 AM

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67240 If by now the american people cannot see who there true enemy is, the cancer of the district of columbia will spread from the war zones to the states, as more and more false flag attacks on our children,like sandy hook, 911. the district of columbia is a deadly cancer that will destroy our nation, poison our food, water,air and the minds of our children, enlisting our children in their military to kill, steal, and murder for profit. f29k4
Anonymous

Posted: Jun 18 2013, 3:09 PM

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17458 Here is your chance!

TSA seeks public opinion of full-body scanners:

http://fox4kc.com/2013/04/22/tsa-seeks-public-opinion-of-full-body-scanners/

You have until June 24th to give your opinion on full body scanners.

Are these scanners safe?

The backscatter scanners can cause cancer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS0UxXDNs4w

The millimeter wave scanners can rip DNA strands:

http://www.naturalnews.com/027913_full-body_scanners_DNA.html
Anonymous

Posted: Jun 18 2013, 3:57 PM

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71203 @67240,

One problem with seeing who the true enemy is is that too large segment of the population is dependent on that very entity. Very big part is already living on aid (49% of all households have at least one member who receives some aid; google article "Who receives government benefits, in six charts" for more info). Then, US government is the nation's largest employer, employing 2 million civilians, not including intelligence agencies, and expected to further rise 10% till 2018. Finally, US Government is very big source of contracts and funding for all kinds of private corporations, including the universities. If you put that all together, not much is left of those who would recognize this giving hand as the true enemy.
Anonymous

Posted: Jun 18 2013, 4:07 PM

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65110 Bribing We The People to accept slavery...
Comments 1 - 8 of 8 Page 1 of 1


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