The Failure of Propaganda, The Crisis of Legitimacy, and The Resort to Fascism

The propaganda is hitting Goebbels level, it is getting that obvious and stark. The elite are losing the propaganda war – hence, the increasingly shrill and panicked, desperate measures. Keep up the dissidence; speak truth to the people. But do know this, which is critical to understand. We need to understand the following, right now.

The more the propaganda war fails, the more desperate the methods employed by the ruling Wall Street/Davos corporate elite, and the more screeching the tone of their presstitutes and unwitting followers. This is moving rapidly into authoritarianism, totalitarianism, and yes, fascism. In order to defeat that, and to restore democracy and freedom, we need to understand its roots, and understand our history.

The ruling bipartisan corporate elite (both liberal and conservative, and with the alliance of social democrats) have been losing the propaganda war since the defeat of the MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) in 1998, and particularly since protesters shut down the WTO (World Trade Organization) talks in Seattle in 1999. These were two giant victories for grassroots popular movements, and for the global democracy movement, and the alternative globalization movement – enormous victories and landmarks which very people understand, or even know about.

(The Multilateral Agreement on Investment was a “trade agreement”, which, like most “trade agreements”, was and are, in reality, corporate rights agreements. They enshrine the rights of corporations over and above the rights of people, or the powers of democratic nations and governments. They effectively codify, legalize and enshrine global corporate rule. We have been fools to allow them to succeed and be passed into law, or signed and agreed to, and we must abrogate them immediately, in concert with other nations, and governments at all levels, and build free and fair trade, aid and mutual security alliances, rejecting NAFTA, CETA, the TPP, SPP, and the like, along with the organizations and bodies that represent the “new normal” of de facto global corporate rule, such as the WTO, WEF, BIS, Fed, ECB, World Bank and OECD. That is the critical context to understand. We can abandon all hope for humanity and the Earth until these key points and central facts are understood, at least by a small, dedicated and passionate minority who can and will make manifest the full outbreak and triumph of democracy, and the end to neofeudal global corporate rule. The MAI, in that context, was a corporate rights agreement which would have given transnational corporations even greater powers over democratic governments. It was defeated in 1998, in Canada, by a handful of activists, before the vast majority of people had even heard of it. That is the power of a few dedicated individuals. Always remember that. The power is always with the people, regardless of outward appearances. Know that, and act upon it.)

This was a monumental turning point in Western history, in 1999, when protesters shut down the WTO talks – a turning point which virtually no one recognized or noticed, aside from the ruling elite’s own intellectual courtesans, such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, along with a handful of dissidents, such as Noam Chomsky, Maude Barlow and John Ralston Saul.

The 50,000 activists and protesters from around the world, and across all social lines, whose non-violent civil disobedience and blockade shut down the WTO talks in 1999, at what has since been called the Battle of Seattle, marked a distinct, historical turning point.

It was late 1999, at those failed WTO talks, that the Western crisis of legitimacy was confirmed, and reached a tipping point. It was also at that time that the ruling Western elite realized that the outbreak of democracy which they had witnessed and been horrified by in the 1960’s, which they had consciously worked hard to suppress, had not gone away, but had only become stronger. In short, they were shell-shocked, they were outraged and indignant, and they were panicked.

(For further history, going back to the 1960’s, see Ralph Nader on the Powell Memorandum, and Noam Chomsky on the Pentagon Papers, and later, Chomsky and Holy Sklar on The Crisis of Democracy. Going forward in time, look at the COG planning under Reagan/Bush, the PNAC papers under Bush/Cheney, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Lock Step planning document, among others. The imperial elite always become filled with hubris in late stage empire, preceding collapse. They left a paper trail of their plans, motives and objectives, out of sheer arrogance. “The American people don’t read.” We know very clearly what they were and are planning, since they put it down in writing and it is in the public record. Conspiracy theory? What a foolish phrase. Look at the records. Look at the documents written by the power elite. There is no theory about it. It is simple class warfare and power lust. Only a school child would think that powerful people are incapable of evil acts. Adults know that people sometimes do horrible things. Those with great power simply have greater opportunity to do greater evil. History shows that they carry out evil actions with disturbing frequency. It is not rare. It is the norm. Power corrupts. Do not be surprised at the evil actions powerful men commit. Instead, expose them, curtail or stop them where possible, and decentralize power to prevent such evil on such grand scale in the future. That was Jefferson’s attitude, and I think it makes the most sense. But in any case, do not be naive. That would be foolish. It would also be dangerous and irresponsible. Democracy and freedom demand eternal vigilance, not naive and childish complacency.)

The crisis of legitimacy was further confirmed in early 2003, when the WEF’s own global poll came back, in time for the royal Davos annual meeting of oligarchs.

Here is the leading dissident intellectual of the Western world, Noam Chomsky, the most influential intellectual alive, based on citations, ranked as the 6th most influential figure in Western history, right after Plato and the Bible, speaking to the World Social Forum in February 2003, about the World Economic Forum at Davos and the global crisis of legitimacy, which spells trouble for the ruling elite, but spells hope for humanity and the Earth:

“Let’s start with some good news about these basic themes. As you know, there is also a conference of the World Economic Forum going on right now, in Davos. Here in Porto Alegre, the mood is hopeful, vigorous, exciting. In Davos, the New York Times tells us, “the mood has darkened.” For the “movers and shakers,” it is not “global party time” any more. In fact, the founder of the Forum has conceded defeat: “The power of corporations has completely disappeared,” he said. So we have won. There is nothing left for us to do but pick up the pieces — not only to talk about a vision of the future that is just and humane, but to move on to create it.

Of course, we should not let the praise go to our heads. There are still a few difficulties ahead.

The main theme of the WEF is “Building Trust.” There is a reason for that. The “masters of the universe,” as they liked to call themselves in more exuberant days, know that they are in serious trouble. They recently released a poll showing that trust in leaders has severely declined.”

As Chomsky noted, since its creation in the 1971, by oligarch architect Klaus Schwab, the tone at the New Palace of Versailles, as Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul has called the Davos gathering, or “the new royal court”, which the world’s leading business journal calls “the de facto world government”, was jubilant every year, and increasingly so, as profits soared and the rich grew richer, and increasingly took over the world. But in 2003, the tone turned suddenly somber, as the news of the WEF’s own global poll sank in, and the meaning of it was realized.

The WEF global poll showed a deep and widespread loss of confidence, faith and trust in political and business elites, and in existing political and economic systems and institutions amongst the people world-wide. The intellectuals in residence to the Western oligarchs explained what this means to the ruling business elite, and their political and technocratic minions. It means that the Western capitalist powers could collapse like a house of cards, just as the Soviet Union and the entire Eastern Bloc did, virtually overnight – and the collapse of the Western oligarchy could come very soon, as a result of what is known as a crisis of legitimacy.

The ruling Western oligarchs at Davos knew, or were starkly and clearly informed, that they had three options:

  1. Compromise with the people, to address and resolve the crisis of legitimacy, by increasing democracy and meeting more of the needs and desires of the people. (A New Deal compromise was once again needed to stave off revolution and collapse.)
  2. Allow the crisis of legitimacy to go unaddressed, and be swept from power – just as the Soviet elite were swept from power, and very recently, a mere three decades ago, and as were the aristocrats during the French Revolution before that, and a series of dethroned and cast down emperors and collapsed empires, stretching back through time to the Babylonian kings, and before.
  3. Refuse options 1 and 2, and instead resort to rule by force – resort to fascism, authoritarianism, and a police state.

Options 1 and 2 were quickly dismissed. Compromise was not what the elite wanted. They had resented the compromise made in the New Deal; they had resented that their preferred route of fascism had failed, so far (see, Smedley Butler and The Business Plot, and Naomi Klein’s, The Shock Doctrine); and they were not in the mood to compromise now, with greater power than any empire in history. Loss of power was, of course, completely out of the question. That left only one option in the minds of the ruling business elite. That was rule by force: resort to a police state.

As Chomsky has said, if you want to understand a society, you have to look at where power lies. Seems obvious enough. But that is called “conspiracy theory” – a phrase which Chomsky has rightly said is, “used to poo-poo institutional analysis.”

Further any serious sociological investigation, or basic observation, shows that the business elite rule the West, and by now, most of the world. (See C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite, Peter Phillips’ Giants: The Global Power Elite, John Pilger’s The New Rulers of the World, John Perkins’ New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman, and, A Game As Old As Empire, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, and Chomsky’s Class Warfare, Necessary Illusions, and Year 501.)

What is also true, as Chomsky has also said, is that in democratic societies where real social power is highly concentrated in elite hands, there are two options for dealing with the conflict between official democracy and unofficial or de facto oligarchy. Either reduce the power of the elite, or reduce democracy. Teddy Roosevelt, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and a few others have advocated for increased democracy. They were not warmly greeted by the ruling elite. The elite have always preferred the latter, which is the reduction or hollowing out of democracy, and explicitly so, as they have said in their written words – and viciously so, in action, with ruthless force. (See Noam Chomsky, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism, and William Blum’s, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.)

Do the Western elite prefer fascism to democracy? That would be an amazingly naive question. It would show a grim and total lack of any knowledge or understanding of history.

The next principle is that if a power elite does rule a society, as in the West today and for a very long time, there are two ways power can be kept in the hands of the few: propaganda or force. And when the former fails, the options are only two: lose power, or resort to force. Again, it is no secret which option the elite prefer, and have shown they strongly, even viciously prefer, throughout the history of the West. (The first act of the newly created CIA, for instance, was to subvert and destroy democracy in Italy, and to put the Mafia in charge of the country – yes, the literal Mafia. See Peter Dale Scott for further details.) Anyone who does not clearly understand these things frankly has no idea what is going on.

That was the beginning of the post-9/11 era: the War On Terrorism was, in reality, a continuation and an escalation of the elite-driven war on democracy. It wasn’t a sudden change of heart among the ruling elite, but simply a continuity of agenda, by both liberals and conservatives, including Saint Obama, and a heightening of the long campaign of a war on democracy, taken to new levels, out of fear and desperation, in response to the growing global crisis of legitimacy, the growing outbreak of democracy, and the failure of propaganda, leading to the resort to thinly veiled fascism, basically overt in the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act, which suspended the Constitution.

Now, in 2020, we have seen the war on democracy escalate further.

That explains the past two decades: growing public awareness, growing protests, and a growing crisis of legitimacy, led to a failure of the propaganda war, which led the ruling business elite to a resort to force, to authoritarianism, and to fascism.

This explains what is happening in 2020. It is a fascist power grab by the ruling business elite, in response to a crisis of legitimacy. To fail to contextualize events in 2020 in this way, represents either a failure of intelligence, or else a failure in honesty.

Our response should be clear enough. Defend freedom, democracy and constitutional rule; remove the Wall Street/Davos business elite and their technocratic minions and political prostitutes from power; and restore power to the people, where it rightly belongs.

If people on the left, the right, or in the centre do not realize these facts, and keep them in focus, front and centre, then they have either been corrupted, or are simply not dealing with reality, and are living in a dream world.

Perspective is everything. Stay focused, and keep the narrative clear, or all is lost.

What is the challenge of our time?

Simply put, it is the people versus the elite.

See my book by the same title, released in June of this year, available at Barnes & Noble and all good bookstores.

The People vs The Elite: A Manifesto for Democratic Revolution, Or, Survival in the 21st Century & Beyond

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-people-vs-the-elite-j-todd-ring/1137072026

We must stand up for democracy and freedom now, or it is a dark age and a gulag society, followed by extinction and collapse, which lies ahead.

Stand now.

J. Todd Ring,
September 16, 2020

One Response to “The Failure of Propaganda, The Crisis of Legitimacy, and The Resort to Fascism”

  1. Again, as I have said since 2007, there is a growing risk of civil war in the US. Ironically, whenever I have said that, over the past 13 years, people scoffed as if it was unthinkable – until recently, when suddenly the blind can see, and everyone is a politics and sociology expert, and civil war is now viewed as inevitable. From denial to despair in a heartbeat. Tragic weakness of character and mind. Nevertheless, civil war can yet be avoided. It is certainly important that we try. The disaster it would cause, both in the US and internationally, would likely be horrendous, and almost certainly would confirm the global shift into fascism.

    We have been warned.

    Like

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