By Stephen Sefton – Nov 1, 2020
Recently, Jonathan Cook wrote about the role of the UK “Guardian” NATO propaganda outlet in relation to the false accusations, the show trial, abuse and systematic torture of Julian Assange. Cook rightly points out that journalism, more than a profession, with all that implies, is in fact an activity open to anyone who can do it. The very small minority of media workers who bravely defend Julian Assange insist on the importance of defending him as a journalist. They argue that if, as seems highly likely, Julian Assange is extradited to the US, it will mean the end of journalism.
Seen from outside the media bubble of North America and Europe and its admirers elsewhere, journalism, understood as the faithful, objective reporting of events, is long dead. For decades, virtually all of the world’s news media production has been one variety or another of propaganda or counter-propaganda. One can argue about that assertion, but for practical purposes the discussion is probably irrelevant now. As they have always done, the North American and European corporate elites own their countries’ governments and almost all their communications media. They also overwhelmingly fund the academics and NGOs that make up the bulk of the Western knowledge and information industry.
One of the main functions of that industry is to create short-term false beliefs to justify Western crimes of aggression. In the medium and long term, they work those false beliefs into false memories by rubbing out of the popular imagination Western criminal aggression, recent and historical against, say, the peoples of Algeria, the Congo, Korea, Vietnam, Palestine, Haiti, Cuba, Libya, and Syria, to name the most obvious examples. Recognizing this fabrication of false beliefs and their processing into false memories makes it easier to understand what has happened to Julian Assange.
Prosecuting Julian Assange is clearly a political attack based on false accusations of which he is innocent. But the truth of the matter has been erased because more than a decade of blatant lies and persistent slander have promoted the false belief that Julian Assange is guilty of some criminal offence, attempted to evade justice and is now receiving a fair trial. Even in the extraordinary event that he is not extradited to the United States, those false beliefs will become, for the vast majority of people, a well-established, albeit false, memory. His persecutors who fabricated that false memory will be well rewarded, while Julian Assange may well be imprisoned for life.
In the end, the evil destruction of Julian Assange is yet one more vicious footnote to Western imperialism’s endless war against humanity. Now, unable to suppress the economic power of China or to subjugate Russia by military force, the North American and European oligarchs, like Goya’s Saturn, seek to devour what remains of the humanity of their own peoples. The world’s knowledge and information industries have been overtaken by the ruthless intensification by the Western capitalist elites of their historic predatory attack on life everywhere.
Those elites are now accelerating the expansion of the frontiers of their greed into the human person of their own populations and across as much of the Earth’s natural environment as they can. The techno-managerial sales pitch for the closer and closer fascist union of their corporate and political power currently talks about a 4th Industrial Revolution, a Great Reset or a New Deal for Nature. This full-spectrum war against humanity and the Earth involves an even more aggressive attack by the ruling classes on all aspects of existence and consciousness than ever before.
In the previous stages of the Western war against humanity and the planet, Western elites reached a de facto agreement with the peoples of their countries to loot, cheat and exploit the majority world using military and economic power. So long as the peoples of North America and Europe enjoyed a better material standard of living, the welfare of the majority peoples of the world was, at best, of marginal interest to them. Knowledge and information about the majority world was almost invariably framed as dealing with an inferior reality, one valuable only insofar as it could be priced, owned and used by the West.
But things have changed dramatically now. Western corporate elites face credible substantive challenges to their power. So now they want the fullest possible subjugation of the consciousness of their own people because it is the easiest option left to slake their insatiable greed. They want to ensure the optimal efficient formation of opinion, taste and consumption in order to maintain their power. Their determination to monopolize people’s experience of reality implies not only the relentless demonization of dissent, but ultimately the suppression of any understanding that dissent is even possible and its replacement by disagreement over which flavour of capitalist domination is best.
Corporate funded Western knowledge production increasingly either suppresses contrary information and opinion or else labels it as insane or untrustworthy. In the process, the North American and European knowledge and entertainment industries have successfully created genuinely insane false beliefs and consolidated false memories among the vast majority of their population. For example, most people in the West believe their nations respect and defend international law, whereas in fact their governments’ abuse, subversion and outright violation of international law has been constant since long before the landmark Nuremberg trials.
Western leaders now speak of a new “rules-based order” and continue to deliberately corrupt and abuse the bodies of the United Nations and other international organizations. They want no limits on their aggression against any country defending national sovereignty in a multipolar world, whether it is a global rival like China or a tiny nation like, for example, Nicaragua. They need to make their own peoples forget, or at least not believe, let alone care about, their imperialist nations’ crimes against the peoples of the majority world.
Credible dissent threatens the West’s hypocritical, anti-democratic, sadistic global project. So if anyone, from astute communicators like Julian Assange to revolutionary governments like those of Cuba, Iran, Venezuela or Nicaragua, refuses to collaborate, then they must be vilified and, if possible, destroyed. For now, the controlled strategic aggression of the West, just short of all out war, keeps China and Russia on the defensive. Meanwhile, the West’s oligarchs, using the implacable Great Reset class warfare promoted by the World Economic Forum, seek to deepen the subjugation of their own peoples so as then to go on looting the majority world as aggressively as ever before, but with renewed confidence.