by Eric Zuesse, Strategic Culture:
When the truth is censored, lies become imposed and enforced, by removing truth and leaving lies in its place. That’s what propaganda is. It depends on censorship. Only propagandists and their victims (suckers — the people who are fooled by propagandists) want there to be any censorship, at all. Wherever there are censors, there should be no trust; but, unfortunately, some individuals trust censors. Some individuals are fools: they invite being deceived. They want others to filter what they see and hear; they don’t do, themselves, whatever filtering that there will be; they trust others to do it for them. They allow others to police their minds. They are willing to be mental slaves.
The only exception to this condemnation of censorship is highly top-secret information during an outright military war in which one’s own country is authentically being invaded by an authentic enemy — not like Iraq ‘endangered’ America in 2003 (that invasion was based purely on propaganda), but instead endangers for real. Only if there is already authentically and demonstrably an invasion against one’s own country can censorship be justifiable, because the invader must be defeated. (In fact, the invasion of Iraq resulted from censoring out the proofs — such as this — that George W. Bush was lying. So: that’s what happens when censorship is being applied when the nation hasn’t been invaded — the public becomes fooled into supporting the invasion of a country that never even threatened to invade us.)
Polling shows that Americans want censorship, but that they think this should be done by the private sector, not by the government. For example, on 15 August 2018, Gallup headlined “Americans’ Views on News Content From Internet Companies” and reported that on the question “Would you favor or oppose internet companies excluding items from their news feeds for each of the following reasons,” the reason “Suspect a news item contains misinformation” got 80% who “Favor” and only 16% — only one-fifth as many — marking “Oppose.” And that’s to a question where the billionaires’ ‘news’-medium merely “suspects,” and not allegedly “knows,” that it’s “misinformation.” The trust that Americans place in their 600 billionaires is like a religion — it’s a secular theocracy, in which the aristocrats constitute the imams, rabbis, or College of Cardinals.
That same Gallup survey also found that by an overwhelming 88%, “users aren’t comfortable with major internet companies playing the role of news editor.” “Eighty-eight percent say that companies should disclose their methods for selecting items.” 88% trust what the editors say about what they are doing. Those editors are agents of billionaires. Why should the public trust them, at all? But, they do, by 88%. (However, the actual study, in its detailed presentation, showed — on page 16 — only that 88% believed that the editors should “disclose their methods” of excluding content, as opposed to “should be able to keep secret” those methods. But this amounts basically to the same thing: trust that the editors will be honest about that. The survey should therefore have included a third option: “I don’t trust the editors, at all.” Then, this 88% finding would have been more clearly meaningful. However, the 80% finding already showed that the American public do overwhelmingly trust the editors of the ‘news’-sites they use. That finding was clearly meaningful.)
The government-versus-private-sector concept is largely the product of many decades of propaganda. The private sector is overwhelmingly controlled by billionaires, who own and control (hire and fire, and promote and demote, at) the ‘news’-media, and whose corporations’ products and services advertise in them and thus fund them. Having America’s 600 billionaires control the information and viewpoints that the U.S. public get to see and hear is handing control of the Government over to billionaires, because it affects voters’ beliefs in precisely the ways that billionaires (both Republican ones and Democratic ones) want — which is always for the government to be more of the same and not for anything that would challenge or threaten the continuation of the existing profoundly unjust reality (which produced and ‘justifies’ their obscenely large wealth). Some billionaires fund the Democratic Party, and others of them fund the Republican Party, but on the many issues where the interests of billionaires are opposite to the interests of the public — and these are the most important issues in all of politics — the interests of the billionaires will become governmental policy, regardless of whether the Administration is Democratic or Republican. This has been proven to be so for the United States. The Government of the U.S.A. is a dictatorship, not a democracy. That’s proven: the idea that the U.S. Government is a democracy instead of an aristocracy is a lie, but for billionaires the myth that America is a democracy needs constantly to be propagandized to be true, so that the pubic will believe it and vote for their candidates. For example, America’s billionaires in 2016 chose the nominees of both political Parties — chose Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to “duke it out” in the final U.S. Presidential contest for that year. This is just a two-Party, one aristocracy, dictatorship, that’s all, no democracy, at all. It’s easy to achieve when the billionaires’ employees (and their other agents) — regardless whether in the public or the private sector — are censoring-out what no billionaire wants the public to know. Censorship has been the essential tool for every dictatorship throughout history, and so it is in the U.S.-and-allied countries today.
On June 10th, The Gray Zone, which is one of the most reliable news-reporting organizations, headlined “Wikipedia formally censors The Grayzone as regime-change advocates monopolize editing”, and reported that Wikipedia is controlled by proponents of the U.S. military-industrial complex, basically Wikipedia is controlled by agents of the 100 largest U.S. military contractors, the firms that make their sales to the U.S. Government and depend heavily (if not exclusively) upon sales to the U.S. military and to the militaries of America’s allied nations (whose governments are likewise markets for their weapons). That’s the core, it is the directorship of America’s military-industrial complex or “MIC.” It’s actually the controlling owners of those contractors. Wikipedia now has an official blacklist of prohibited sources, banned to link to — they are banned news-sites, and those banned sites especially include all newsmedia (especially online) that critically examine U.S. foreign policy and especially the Pentagon, the CIA, etcetera. However, unfortunately, that lengthy article at The Gray Zone didn’t get into who actually provides the bulk of the funding which supplies Wikipedia’s $100 million+ annual expenditures, but those donors are the philanthropies by U.S.-and-allied billionaires and multi-millionaires, mainly the beneficiaries of, and investors in, U.S.-based international corporations (whose interests are advanced by America’s MIC). Consequently, their blacklisting of anti-imperialistic and anti-MIC newsmedia such as The Gray Zone makes sense, though not sense for Wikipedia’s readers who are trusting that ‘internet encyclopedia’ to be truthful instead of heavily prejudiced in favor of U.S.-and-allied billionaires who want to take over the world even more than they’ve yet managed to do.
The mainstream ‘news’-media are increasingly into blacklisting, censoring out what they want the public not to know or understand — and the public want to be victimized this way, because they trust the victimizers. Censorship is the name of this game, and it is practiced by all of the billionaires’ media. Now the censorship-rules are being published, and the lists of approved and disapproved news-sites are being published; but often the sites that are on the banned list are far more accurate, and far more careful to report only truth, than are the sites that are approved by the mainstream censoring ‘authority’. It’s all, really, about policing the propaganda, not about real journalism, which never is very profitable, and which encounters huge opposition, because it is true, and because very wealthy and powerful individuals don’t want the public to know that it is true.
As far as the CIA-edited and written Wikipedia is concerned, its blacklist is similar to the ones that have been published by, for example, Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post. Bezos makes most of his money from selling, to the Pentagon and CIA, Amazon Web Services, not from selling to consumers; so, his mere $250 million purchase of that newspaper gives him clout where it’s the most needed in order for his broader business-plan to succeed — which it is doing.
Censorship is the way that any dictatorship, and no democracy, functions. Censorship is the death of democracy. Censorship makes sense only for billionaires (because it serves their aims), and for members of the public who want some ‘authority’ to tell them what to believe, and what not to believe. Censorship is a con-game. Billionaires control it, and it is a game that the public always loses. Yet the public want it. Such a public are mental slaves — controlled not by the whip, but by the propaganda. Their bodies aren’t being controlled; their minds are.
One of the great truth-tellers and investigative journalists is Sibel Edmonds, whose headline on 3 December 2011 was classic because it said everything: “US Media: Distorters of Reality & Gravediggers of Truth”. They’re in business for themselves and their bosses. Anybody who thinks that newsmedia get their money from reporting the truth doesn’t know anything about truth regarding politics or government. In a dictatorship like this, that’s not how things actually work. Things work by filtering out the truths that the billionaires don’t want the public to know. Things work by censorship. That’s the truth, but you won’t see it published in places such as the Washington Post or the New York Times. I submit all of my articles to all of the U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-media, and not only to the few (and far smaller) news-media that are honest, but only the honest few ever publishes any of them. The mainstream media have me on their blacklist. For example, here’s how Google threatened just one of my courageous publishers, who refused to buckle and was therefore forced to virtually end his site. Other sites that published me have had to shut down altogether, or else they buckled in order to continue receiving at least a little income. We have it easy — just think of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, etc. They are the real heroes. Of course, if you are reading this, you are reading American samizdat — and samizdat is never published in mainstream media, but only in blacklisted media.
However, none of this is to assert that mainstream media should never be cited by an honest journalist. For example, one of the commonest reader-comments I get is attacks because I don’t exclude mainstream media (such as Wikipedia, and such as the Washington Post) altogether, ban them from my sources. No source should ever be banned. An honest journalist will cite any statement that the journalist, on his or her own, has sound reason to believe to be exactly as it was represented as being. Occasionally, I cite a source and simultaneously take exception to it because the interpretation was slanted. I trust no source. When I find an accurate statement in places such as Wikipedia or the Washington Post, I may quote that, if the given passage isn’t part of an unacceptably false context. The idea that one should automatically believe or disbelieve any source is stupid. But it is common. It is prejudice. Dictators thrive upon the widespread prevalence of that.
Also, none of this is to assert that online search-engines shouldn’t customize search-findings to the searcher’s interests, what that person is interested in instead of uninterested in. Irrelevant search-findings are bad, not good. But when, for example, an Internet firm such as Google and Twitter excludes certain writers or sites, or removes the access that an ‘offender’ has to advertising-income, that Internet firm should itself be banned, by law, just as if an electical utility were to disconnect an address because that utility’s owners don’t like what that address’s occupants are doing. Laws should treat the Internet like public utilities. Although the billionaires-controlled U.S. Government excludes taking ownership of the firm (without compensating its stockholders) as being a possible penalty for regulatory violations, that penalty should be automatic in severe cases. But the U.S. Government is a dictatorship by the richest, so, that doesn’t happen. (Even in cases where there has clearly been theft from the public by a regulated utility, there has been no seizure of that utility, but, at most, attempts by the harmed consumers to purchase part of the crooked utility, which attempts become blocked in the courts, because that utility can always outspend those consumers to buy better and more lawyers for a longer time-period; so, there can’t be any effective accountability at all.) If the public didn’t stand for this, there would be a revolution. The public stands for it because they are fooled. So, there’s a vicious circle here. And that’s the problem.