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CYNICISM AND CONSPIRACY August 1, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Blogging in general.
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We may well have the misfortune to live in interesting times.

Social trust is very important to social well being as part of the glue that holds societies together. The egalitarian myth may be more utilitarian than social blindness, as social class differences have always been evident in life chances and life experiences. Wedge politics and other similar political expediencies may be successful in the short term electoral politics, but may tend to entrench social and political differences and so damage the flow of democratic discourse, including disagreement, that ought to be fundamental to a democratic polity.

Structural injustice may be conveniently overlooked, with its’ implication of entrenched, historical violence, or otherwise explained by the power of the market, or even cultural superiority. Palestinians have right taken exception to such a proposition. The persistent protests by Israelis against social inequity, mirroring protests elsewhere, seem not to be news in some quarters.

Once news was produced by respectable people, and perhaps still it, except it is increasingly revealed that the news is recycled press releases by news makers. That environment, awash as always, more so in commercial television, in money shapes, manipulates and frames political discourse and fortune, to the extent that it can be argued, with little evidence to the contrary, that politicians represent the money interest more those who elect them. Given the conditions, a mass media system controlled by cartels linked to other special interests, a free market ideology, and a general addiction to the media, the result is perhaps inevitable. Opinion research becomes then a means for both refining, and reinforcing the messaging.

In passing, we have always inhabited media silos in what might now be described as the traditional media habitat. Public broadcasting models vary, from national organizations to subscription based outlets, providing for a different interests. Very few people, I suspect, have exercised the option to ditch the dreaded idiot box. The role of violence as entertainment, in films and now video games, does not attract much concern, reflecting our ability to habituated to our changing cultural milieu.

It is interesting to reflect that printing, introduced into 15th Century Europe, as a medium of ideas was at first mostly limited to a literate elite, but was then dispersed over the centuries with political upheaval and transformation. We now seem to have reached the point where the tide of social history has now turned around, except for the stubborn facts of ecological and atmospheric disaster. The distance from nature is a measure of the distance from ourselves reflecting social and individual alienation.

The new world of media has frightened the status quo. We witness the massive attacks on Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. No to outdone by developments elsewhere ASIO is now seeking to get into the act of the massive data storage, mining and trawling of personal comment and photograph placed in the public space created by the new technology.

This technology has changed the political landscape. Whatever the failings of the Occupy Movement they have identified the 1% and the banks, and the critique is deepening despite the para-military assault on encampments and the First Amendment of the US Bill of Rights, which gives the 18th Century imprimatur to a fundamental democratic right. The claim by a public official holding an elected office to murder whoever and wherever he chooses will invariably have profound implications, not merely for the legal foundation of the American Constitution and political system and for international law.

The conspiracy was there all the time, and perhaps we did not see it. Social violence was the necessary ingredient in holding societies together at the last resort, since what other social glue do mass societies have. The liberation offered by not only accessing the public square, but speaking to small or non-existent others a great threat.

Glenn Greenwall argues the thing about the new media is that it can self correct using crowd sourcing, and that may apply in some instances. It can as well, with equal facility be used to create conspiracy. At Infowar.com, Paul Joseph Watson, among others, after setting out the case that the indicted Aurora mass murderer, James Holmes, was a patsy set up by the Government. He relies on the precedent set by Sirhan Sirhan. The motivation, he concludes, is clear:

With the political machine now rushing headlong to exploit last week’s massacre to eviscerate the second amendment, each piece of new evidence points to the fact that Holmes was just one part of the puzzle or even worse, an unwitting patsy who took the fall for the real killer.

Alex Jones puts the case in its international context:

For anyone who can read the Second Amendment is now nonsense. So the conjunction of political cynicism, which has a long pedigree, reaching the apogee in the reign of Obama, seems now to be matched by conspiracy, which once might have been limited to pub talk, and soon forgotten.

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