I was impressed by a recent MoveOn.org emailing (November 23, 2011), listing five myths — actually pieces of disinformation — relentlessly propagated by reactionary politicians and news media. There are of course dozens more such myths or lies — President Obama was not born in the United States, etc, etc — but these five are, at the moment, the biggies. To have them all in one place, clearly stated, was useful to my thinking about Republican tactics and the deliberate or unthinking compliance of the media.
These myths have been accepted and repeated by speakers and writers without strong political convictions or who seek to give “balanced coverage” of events, without considering that you cannot balance myths, in the sense of propaganda, deliberate misinformation, with facts.
The murder of six million Jews in Germany did not take place: myth (denial). Six million Jews were murdered in Germany: fact (history). You cannot “balance” or reconcile the myth with the fact and arrive at fact.
You don’t ever get information by repeating disinformation.
Two lies — or five — or a thousand — don’t make a truth.
You can find MoveOn’s myths and debunkings at http://front.moveon.org/top-5-fox-myths-to-debunk-this-thanksgiving/.
And many thanks to MoveOn for all the good work they do!
As I read the list of myths, I began to arrive at my own personal debunks or demystifications, harsher and more radical than theirs.
And here they are:
MYTH #1: The congressional Super Committee failed because both sides refused to compromise.
REALITY: It failed because the Republicans in Congress, following the Party Line, now refuse ANY compromise on ANY issue offered by the Democrats.
Reaganist Republicanism has become a rigid ideology, as Stalinism was.
To be a Republican politician now, you must be, literally, politically correct.
If you don’t correctly parrot the Party Line, you will be exiled to (shudder!) Liberal Siberia.
MYTH #2: Nobody knows what Occupy Wall Street is about.
REALITY: Everybody knows what Occupy Wall Street is about.
But some people are so frightened by the trouble our country is in that they’re in denial about it. The goals of the Occupy Movement make these people morally uncomfortable, threatening their complacency — and so they deny that it has any goals at all.
MYTH #3: Occupiers should stop protesting and just get a job.
REALITY… And the American children who go to bed hungry every night should stop whining and just go buy a supersized burger with fries at MacDonalds, and the homeless should get off the streets and move into a nice house, and the old retired people who are losing medical insurance should ah, umm, well, they should just shut up and get a job. Or die. Or something.
MYTH #4: Occupy Wall Street is intent on provoking violence, especially against banks and the police.
REALITY: A few people have used the Occupy movement as a front for their antisocial behavior, just as a few people have used Republican hatred of Obama as a front for their psychopathy.
The Occupy movement, facing a violent police force in several cities, has so far remained nonviolent. If they can hang on to their nonviolence, they will have made a moral statement comparable to that of Gandhi, or the Freedom Riders, or the young people of Tiananmen Square.
MYTH #5: The biggest crisis facing our country is out-of-control government spending.
REALITY: Our crisis is a loss of active citizenship — a weakening of confidence in democratic ideals and principles. This loss, this weakening, is directly aggravated by Reaganist ideology and propaganda.
Reaganism, seeing extreme inequity as the engine of capitalism, says that the poor should be taxed heavily, the rich more lightly, and the very rich should not have to pay taxes at all. Democracy seeks to share the cost of maintaining government (taxation) equitably, each contributing according to income.
Reaganism says that the government is the enemy. Democracy is the idea that the people are the government.
So, are we our own enemy?
Pogo, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
28 November 2011
A little background: The character of King Ashthera, with his dog, and his gambling streak, is derived from King Yudhisthira in the Mahabharata, the wonderful and interminable epic of India. When, towards the end of the story, Yudhisthira gets to Heaven, he is outraged to find some of his enemies are there, and some of his friends are not; and he decides not to enter Heaven at all unless they let his dog in with him.
I stole all that.
King Dog is available at the Book View Cafe eBookstore.