We are living in an age when Western propaganda has become truly intense, even surreal. It always has been, of course, but now those who are producing it, have lost all their respect for the public. It is almost as if the propagandists were laughing amongst themselves, pointing fingers down at the masses, from some lavish office, located on a high floor of a skyscraper: “They have no brains. And after all, they are on our side. They have consumed, happily, all that we have shoveled down their throats, so far. And now we know: they will swallow even the most ridiculous fabrications. No need to be cautious, anymore. We can serve them whatever we invent and whatever suits our regime.”
Is that so? Unfortunately, it probably is.
Just recently, there was a chemical attack against the Syrian city of Aleppo, carried out by Western backed terrorists. According to my UN sources in the city, Russian medical experts immediately rushed to the hospitals, in order to treat the victims. Russian jets were scrambled to attack the positions of the terrorists. All evidence is pointing at Jabhat al-Nusra. The scenario has been absolutely transparent. Yes, it was: to you and to me, but obviously not to the Western mass media, which began ‘muddying waters’ almost immediately after the terrorist attack took place. CBS News reported on November 26, 2018, in a typical, bizarre double-speak manner:
“Both sides have denied using any chemical weapons and they have blamed each other for Saturday’s attack. The back-and-forth blame game has become a familiar in the nation’s brutal 7-year war.
Horrific scenes of a previous chemical attack prompted military action from the U.S., U.K. and France, which carried out missile strikes on three sites they said were, “specifically associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.”
Is this really possible? Yes, it is.
Faced with such absurd reporting from the West, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov only commented:
“Washington doesn’t seek objective investigation on use of chemical weapons in Syria.”
But you get the same ‘reporting’ and the same fundamental lack of objectivity, when the mass media are covering Venezuela and Cuba, Iran, China, Russia, South Africa, North Korea and dozens of other nations, which are refusing to surrender to the Western diktat.
Ukrainian ships have just violated Russian territorial waters, militarily provoking Moscow, and the West immediately expressed its full support for Kiev. Does it make sense? Yes, of course it does, if the ‘sense’ is defined by the standards of Western imperialism.
On the other hand, totally criminal, genocidal regimes like those in Saudi Arabia or Indonesia, get away with mass murder (literally), although you will hardly hear about it, unless the victim is some correspondent of a major US newspaper.
These days, even some innocent Russian cartoon films like “Masha And the Bear” cannot escape vitriolic smearing. These two characters, so beloved all over the world, are now depicted by the UK and US mass media as some spooks in sinister ‘Putin’s propaganda machine.’
Lately in the West, even an attempt to appear somehow ‘objective’ has gone down the drain. Everything, but absolutely everything, that the countries which the Empire sees as ‘evil’ (read: independent), is agressively ridiculed, dirtied and mercilessly attacked: from culture to foreign policy, from the economic system to, yes, cartoon characters.
And the Western public, obediently, consumes all those fabrications. It often appears, that it is actually ‘enjoying the show’. The smearing, humiliating and ridiculing of entire nations and cultures by the Western indoctrinators, is being turned into some sort of sordid entertainment, not unlike the ‘entertainment’ provided by those horrific and empty Hollywood films which create pseudo-reality, while emptying the brains of billions of people in all corners of the world.
Many of my readers are writing to me, complaining that their own families, their entire neighborhoods and workplaces have been hopelessly indoctrinated, that people ‘are not able to see, anymore’.
I always want to know; I always wonder: ‘Is it that they don’t see, or they simply do not want to see?’
As bad and thorough the propaganda is, there are many ways to find the truth, even by using the internet. And many of those who live in Europe or North America are definitely rich enough to go and see with their own eyes what is happening in the world, particularly in those countries that are being flattened and destroyed, because of the greed of Western corporations and governments. Instead of frying their bodies on the beaches of Caribbean islands, year after year, they can fly to Venezuela. Instead of vacationing on the fake island of Bali (environmentally ruined, congested with traffic jams but marketing itself as an ‘earthly paradise’), they could visit Borneo and see how the entire ecosystem gets ruined by extreme pro-Western capitalism. I am not suggesting that they go to some real war zone or places where genocides take place, like West Papua, Kashmir or the Democratic Republic of Congo, but at least they could show some curiosity about those places that are being sacrificed in order to maintain those ridiculously high standards of living in the West. There are so many places on earth where thousands, even hundreds of thousands die annually, so the Europeans can enjoy their free medical care, education and the latest models of cars.
The truth is actually very ‘uncomfortable’. Ignorance is like a duvet in a cold winter: cozy and comforting, and so hard to resist.
Western propagandists know it. They count on it. They are offering people in the West an ‘easy escape’ from sharing the responsibility for the state of the world.
“Leave it to us,” they are saying without pronouncing it. “Let us be the bad guys. We meaning the corporate world, the governments. You can even yell that you hate us, once in a while. As long as you don’t really rock the boat. As long as you do not start challenging the essence of the world order, as long as you just demand, selfishly, improvement in your own standards of living.”
In Europe and North America, in Australia and New Zealand, people are extremely savvy. They know perfectly well which iPhone to buy: they compare online different models, they research every little camera detail, every curve, every function. Before they part with their dollars or euros, they make sure that they are getting the best deal. The same goes for cars, for real estate, for their lavish annual vacation trips to ‘exotic places’.
But they do not show the same zeal when searching for truth. They do not compare the Western mass media’s ‘pseudo reality’, to what is believed in Russia or China, or in the revolutionary countries of Latin America, or in Iran and Syria, even in North Korea. To vulgarize it: they ‘do not shop around for truth’. Which makes them, at least ideologically, fully fundamentalist.
But why? Isn’t knowledge the greatest adventure? Isn’t ‘democracy’ a farce, if almost all people see the world with the same eyes?
The conclusion that I am lately arriving at, is: they do not search, they do not compare and ‘they do not want to know’ because they are scared.
Scared of discovering reality, which would in turn force them to act; to at least shed some of the basic privileges the citizens of the colonizing countries, enjoy.
Let’s look at the world news. As this essay is being written, and as was mentioned above, Syria is recovering from another terrible chemical attack. France is possibly involved. Yet while in France, protesters are clashing with the police. Over what? Over high fuel prices. Fuel prices in France. That is as far as Europe is willing to go with its protest movements: prices, wages, privileges, privileges, privileges! Who pays for the privileges is irrelevant (to those who live in the West). Europeans know and care only about their ‘rights’ but not about their ‘responsibilities’ towards the world. They want justice for themselves, but never justice for the entire humankind. When I compare how hard people in Asia have to work to sustain their societies, and how little they are toiling in Europe, the question immediately comes to my mind: who pays for the free education and the medical care in Paris or Hamburg, for those short working hours, or for six annual weeks of vacation? Definitely not the Europeans themselves. Most likely those people in the devastated countries of Africa, or the Papuans, and definitely the native inhabitants of the island Borneo, as well as the Arabs and so many others.
Very uncomfortable thoughts, aren’t they? For those who ‘have’.
That is why, two years ago, when addressing the Italian Parliament, I said to its representatives: “I am against free medical care and free education in Europe. Because I am for free medical care and education in the entire world.”
The West loves their privileges. Often, or mostly, it does not even see privileges as privileges, but as some inherent rights. These things can never be questioned; they come naturally with being born in France or Germany, Canada or even, to a smaller extent, in the USA (a country with truly appalling social policies if measured by Western standards, but still incredibly generous if compared to Africa, South or Southeast Asia, or the Middle East).
Not long ago, I was filming all over Mexico, a country which has just elected a left-wing president, for the first time in decades. In the city of Oaxaca, dozens of indigenous women were blocking entrance to the governor’s palace, sleeping in makeshift tents. They were demanding justice. Their bodies and souls were scarred. Their land was looted, while many of them were raped and beaten by the paramilitary forces connected to the previous right-wing government. Some of their friends and family members died. All this, simply because ‘their land was rich’, and because in the past, several mining companies, (including those from Canada), hired private armies to get what they wanted.
A much more brutal version of this is happening in West Papua, where US, Australian and British companies are hiring private Indonesian armies, to defend their ‘business interests’. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been murdered in the process, and the entire island is getting irreversibly ruined. It goes without saying that no foreign journalist is allowed to cover the story. And no criticism, no sanctions are imposed on Indonesia, or on the countries that are participating in this genocide.
After Mexico, I flew to South Korea, and on the way, I had a two days layover in Vancouver, Canada, one of the ‘most livable cities on earth’.
Of course, who would disagree – great city! Although, knowing what I know, I somehow couldn’t enjoy its charms, fully.
If you are a Canadian, and if you believe in fairytales saying that everything, including wealth and comfort, and security, somehow falls miraculously from heaven straight into your lap, you can live a tranquil life surrounded by social services, public spaces and great mostly untouched nature (nature is plundered for you in far, far-away places, so you don’t have to see it and your selfish over-sensitive heart does not have to bleed).
Many in Canada and elsewhere in the West do believe in fairytales. It is easier this way, it is ‘psychologically safer’.Therefore, seriously, if you are a Canadian, would you go against your own privileges? If you are a European, would you? Would you ‘search for truth’? Would you challenge your regime’s propaganda?
Some would, but only very few. The tremendous majority wouldn’t.
Mostly, the fact is not always that the ‘population in the West is brainwashed’. That would really be quite a good scenario: and something relatively easy to correct.
The problem is much greater: The inhabitants of the West do not want to know, because deep inside, they do not want the system to change. They don’t want the world order to be modified.
They intuitively feel that if what is being proposed by Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and other countries were implemented, their personal privileges would vanish. Their countries would become equal to all other countries on earth; they would have to obey international laws, and their people would be forced to work hard for their living. Plundering the planet would be banned. Privileges would stop.
Therefore, it is better ‘not to know’, not to understand. This way, the ‘pie’, or call it ‘carrot’, would not be lost.
The ‘ignorance’in the West, I believe, is subconsciously ‘self-inflicted’. With knowledge, comes responsibility. With responsibility, an obligation to act (because not to act would be clearly immoral). All this could only lead to the loss of privileges.
The propagandists of the West are very well aware of the situation. I was told by some leading psychologists, that both psychiatrists and psychologists are employed and used in the process of ‘shaping the public opinion’, therefore, working for propaganda-makers. They study and analyze the ‘mood of the public’. They know public’s desires and aspirations.
All this is not as easy as it appears, is it?
Sadly, there is a silent (unpronounced and unsigned) agreement between the Western public and its establishment, as well as the corporate world, that the status quo should be maintained at all cost (paid for by “the others”); the West should be controlling the planet, and at least some part of the booty has to be shared among the (Western) masses.
What they are fighting over on the streets of Paris and other European cities is ‘how big the part of the pie that goes to the pockets of the common European people’ should be. There is absolutely no struggle to end the plunder of the world by the West.
Unfortunately, the world cannot count at all on the European or North American public for support in the struggle to destroy and end imperialism, neo-colonialism and the continuous deadly plunder.
It is not because the public in the West ‘doesn’t know’, but because it does everything it can in order not to know. Or if it knows or suspects, it makes sure to act as if it is ignorant. For its own selfish interests. For its own privileges.
On the other hand, countries like Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria or Iran cannot ever ‘appease’ the West. As long as they demand justice for all, as well as a revised global order, they will be smeared, demonized and eventually attacked. The confrontation appears to be inevitable. And it is the West which will begin the war.
The change, the revolution, will come, and is already coming‘from the outside’, from the countries that are refusing to accept the Empire’s brutality and fully undemocratic control over so many parts of the planet.
And let us be very frank: The West will be fighting, by all means and fully united, against any fundamental change in the way the world is presently arranged.
It will soon be the West (including its governments, corporations and extremely obedient and selfish citizens), against the rest of the planet.
Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”