Many of us are aware that the elitists currently pouring millions into this election cycle anonymously care little about education. Indeed, these elitists prefer ignorance and misinformation as the best tactic to maintain power and control. As such, the poor state of our elections and electorate is to be expected.
It’s clear that the information and education we the people receive through the corporate-controlled media is actually the opposite. Misinformation and propaganda. The litany of ridiculous ideas a substantial minority of our electorate holds deserves mention only for the absurdity of the positions. President Obama is Muslim, born in Africa. Global warming is a hoax. Science can’t be trusted, or is trumped by religion. Tax cuts for the rich create jobs. Wars are required for our national security. What’s good for Wall Street is good for Main Street. We require a Federal Reserve Bank for ‘federal reserves’. The litany is endless.
Propaganda, the dissemination of falsehoods for special interest gains, has been with us for centuries. Even the Revolutionary War had to be ‘sold’ to a reluctant populace. Wealthy landowners who wanted to reduce their tax burden to England were the instigators. The peasants had little interest, knowing their lot changed little regardless of who held power.
In the 1930s propaganda become “public relations”, and the mislabeling of bad ideas and misleading the populace became commonplace [see Edward Bernays]. And while the tactics became more sophisticated, the goal didn’t change. The elitists of the day believed benevolent control by elites was far superior to a democracy of the uneducated – all the while contributing to that lack of education. [Herman and Chomsky’s book, “Manufacturing Consent” was taken from Edward Bernays who famously said “the engineering of consent” is the very “essence of the democratic process.”]
Things got much worse in the 1070s as conservatives and moneyed interests organized. Conservative think tanks, right-wing radio, fundamentalist preachers and lots of cash began to create a political machine that has dominated honest efforts at democracy ever since. In 1970, there were 135 lobbyists. By the time Reagan was elected in 1980, there were over 1500. Today, there are hundreds of lobbyists for each member of congress, an industry worth 3.2 billion dollars.
A 1991 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) uncovered just how porous was the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946. The GAO found that about 10,000 of the 13,500 individuals and organizations listed as key influence peddlers on Capitol Hill in a book entitled, Directory of Washington Representatives, were not registered as lobbyists. No wonder real wages have been stagnant for forty years.
With this backdrop, it should be no surprise when Tea Party candidates win primaries for the job of senator or congressperson. We have been encouraged to vote against our best interests for generations. We have been goaded by ‘hot button issues’ like gay marriage instead of following the money. We’ve been discouraged, deluded and disillusioned by corporate media, losing our center and sense of power as we’re told what is ‘real’ and ‘possible’ by agenda-driven pundits. The not so anonymous pockets behind right-wing fundamentalism are deep.
This malaise would not be upon us if the Democratic Party were the champions of common sense and the common good. But here again nothing changes. No, they act as the quasi-sane yet horribly ineffective party because that is their role in this charade. Obama’s healthcare reform was a pathetic effort in light of his campaign promise. The ‘healthcare’ corporations remain in charge without even a public option.The same is true for the financial reform bill and every other piece of legislation. Corporate control is maintained. There is no integrity.
We have an uneducated electorate because of broad-spectrum corruption across the whole political and economic system. This core issue is reflected in everything from our educational system to the 24 hour news channels. It would be ugly enough if it were just greed, but there’s a certain malevolence in encouraging ignorance for personal gain at the expense of the common good. Trump comes to mind.
So how do we combat this onslaught of elitist cash that keeps us stupid? Education, knowledge and awareness. We fight for transparency at every turn. We educate ourselves and those close to us. We [calmly] refute hate-mongerers who would distract us. And we leverage the one small crumb allowed us as citizens still – we vote.
We can’t fix this mess alone. We can only do it together. Bernie keeps reminding us. We can only fix the system by replacing corruption with integrity. By living Here in Peace and Love. This is what World 5.0 is all about.