Marshall McLuhan’s prophecy that “the successor to politics will be propaganda” has happened. Raw propaganda is now the rule in Western democracies, especially the U.S. and Britain
On matters of war and peace, ministerial deceit is reported as news. Inconvenient facts are censored, demons are nurtured. The model is corporate spin, the currency of the age. In 1964, McLuhan famously declared, “The medium is the message.” The lie is the message now.
But is this new? It is more than a century since Edward Bernays, the father of spin, invented “public relations” as a cover for war propaganda. What is new is the virtual elimination of dissent in the mainstream.
The great editor David Bowman, author of The Captive Press, called this “a defenestration of all who refuse to follow a line and to swallow the unpalatable and are brave.” He was referring to independent journalists and whistle blowers, the honest mavericks to whom media organizations once gave space, often with pride. The space has been abolished.
The war hysteria that has rolled in like a tidal wave in recent weeks and months is the most striking example. Known by its jargon, “shaping the narrative,” much if not most of it is pure propaganda.
The Russians are coming. Russia is worse than bad. Putin is evil, “a Nazi like Hitler,” salivated the Labour MP Chris Bryant. Ukraine is about to be invaded by Russia – tonight, this week, next week. The sources include an ex-CIA propagandist who now speaks for the U.S. State Department and offers no evidence of his claims about Russian actions because “it comes from the U.S. Government.”
The no-evidence rule also applies in London. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who spent £500,000 of public money flying to Australia in a private plane to warn the Canberra government that both Russia and China were about to pounce, offered no evidence. Antipodean heads nodded; the “narrative” is unchallenged there. One rare exception, former Prime Minister Paul Keating, called Truss’s warmongering “demented.”
John Pilger, Mint Press of 17 February 2022 (https://www.mintpressnews.com/john-pilger-war-in-europe-and-the-rise-of-raw-propaganda/279713/)
“Chinese analysts said Sunday that keeping the crisis intense will benefit the US in several fields: legitimizing its military presence in Europe by demonizing Russia and poisoning Russia-EU ties, increasing uncertainties and concerns to harm the eurozone economy so there will be more capital flight from the continent to the US and thus easing the US inflation pressure, and using the tension to stir up trouble for China-Russia ties.
Therefore, the US is using all means to maintain the heightened tension, including spreading disinformation and strengthening military deployments to provoke Russia - in other words, the US is sacrificing Ukraine’s security to serve its own strategy to compete with Russia, experts said.”
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202202/1252149.shtml of 13 February 2022
As to the tensions on the eastern frontier of Ukraine, China believes that in the current context, all parties concerned should let reason prevail, adhere to the general direction of political solution, and refrain from any act that may provoke tensions or hype up the crisis. The parties should fully consider each other’s legitimate security concerns, and show mutual respect, and on such a basis, properly resolve their differences through equal-footed consultations. China supports all efforts conducive to easing the tensions, and notes the recent diplomatic engagement between the Russian Federation with France, Germany and other European countries at the leaders level. A negotiated, balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism will serve as a solid foundation for lasting peace and stability across Europe. We trust that European countries will take decisions with strategic autonomy in line with their own interests. […]
Everything happens for a reason. NATO enlargement is an issue that cannot be overlooked when dealing with the current tensions related to the Ukraine. NATO’s continuous expansion in the wake of the Cold War runs counter to the trend of our times, that is to maintain common security. One country’s security cannot be at the expense of the security of others.
China’s Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine on 17 Feburary 2022
It’s [the West] going through tough times; we really are talking about the twilight of Western dominance and eventual end of its global leadership. It’s hard for them. I think we are moving toward a serious crisis in international relations. We can probably gain some degree of clarity after serious tests of strength in different regions and domains. Not all issues will be resolved at the negotiating table, but the outcomes can be formalized. That’s how the new world order is going to emerge.
Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Moscow Center director in an interview with Kommersant’s Elena Chernenko;
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