Fox news is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation media empire. It is also part of the central battlefield for global control of news, information and dissemination of propaganda. The progressive left dominates many universities and many of the largest media empires. Amongst these are the British Broadcasting Commission (BBC) and the Guardian Newspaper in the UK; the New York Times in the USA; al Jazeera for the Muslim world and Russia Today. They provide a romanticized and Occidentalist worldview. The perception that the ‘quality press’ cannot mislead or be an agency for forces that want to undermine democracy is both naïve and a failure to learn from history. We have been here before. Germany’s Weimar republic was fatally undermined by its inability to stand behind fundamental principles of democracy.
Fox News was initially set up in the 1990’s to present a more nuanced, conservative point of view. But it also presented an American slant to global events in contrast to an opposing European position that was and still is anti-American in its economic, geopolitical, philosophical and military inclination and where Communism was not necessarily viewed as a malevolent influence in global affairs.
Europe is tired and uninspired; its ethical, political and economic relevance in this interconnected world is steadily decreasing even as it desperately seeks a global role for itself in order to safeguard its place near to the top of the economic table. It is often the case that those with the loudest voices are the ones that realistically, have the least to offer us even when they assail us with their imputed impartiality.
This is made worse by living in a world that is saturated with information sources. The convergence of communications media can easily overwhelm our senses and what makes it worse is that today’s consumers are at the mercy of purveyors of propaganda more than at any time in human history. Our schools and higher education institutions fail to teach us discernment. If social media are such an important part of our everyday existence, then we members of that society need to be able to judge what is written and what is visually projected towards us. We must be able to do this for us all to tell the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, virtue and evil. But most of us are living in our own echo chamber: we hear what we want to hear and see only what reinforces our prejudices. This is, to a significant degree, driven by social media.
And this is where our education system has utterly failed us. We have already arrived at Orwell’s propaganda driven society. We are fed lies as effortlessly as we are presented with new truths. We uncritically accept so much at face value. It could be argued that the period of the Enlightenment is over and going into reverse. In our new world of upside-down morality those defining and presenting the latest version of the truth are journalists, teachers and politicians for whom the only truth is what they choose to sell. Where warfare once reinforced a national agenda, the new battleground is education supported by the media and charitable institutions. Myth crafted as fact is the new news, a manipulated stream of images setting out a specific narrative point of view.
For instance, a vicious assault on a Jewish student by Arab terrorists was portrayed as an assault on an Arab. The Jewish victims’ bloodied features were superimposed on a picture of the Temple Mount, which in turn, bizarrely, had an Israeli service station shown in the background! The cynical exploitation of discordant images – all of them dishonestly presented as factual representation are accepted by fascist media outlets for antisemitic and anti-Zionist purposes.
The New York Times admits it will loosely adhere to rules on ‘impartiality’ when Palestine becomes an independent state. The British press makes no such claims to future propriety in reporting the news. Practically, both are prejudiced institutions. A reductive, unequal framework that begins with the recognition that there are at least 1,800 million Muslims verses 14 million Jews labels every individual as a unit of commercial value. It means viewing everything through an economic prism where every facet is either a dollar sign or a potentially murderous, violent, jihadi. Fear and Greed warrant being discrete when writing about Islam but there are no such qualms displayed when discussing anything connected to ‘the Jews’ (including Zionists or Israel).
The earliest mass (compulsory) education system existed in Judea almost 3,000 years ago. The Rabbis were a class of teachers who expanded in response to the growth of towns and cities in Judea. 2500 years later, Martin Luther proposed compulsory education so that everyone would be free to read the bible. But historically (Jews and Chinese aside), education was an elitist prerogative that was available to a few wealthy individuals of the upper Classes. In the early twentieth century the Vatican suggested that it might support Jewish self-determination in Palestine but conditioned that support on Jewish authorities abandoning plans to create the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The power of knowledge has always been jealously guarded by those for whom ignorance equalled control. The Vatican favoured its Jews to be mired in poverty and ignorance; their lives held permanently hostage to those of superior faith.
Today we are allegedly, globally the most highly educated people in history. But the issue is that concepts of impartiality and honesty are disconnected from education. The assumption is that truth is a relative concept and that “the truth” should be actively pursued through political agitation on campuses. It is the means through which Society is manipulated by its elites. An assumption of ethical congruence between competing ideologies and philosophical acceptance of honesty as a prerequisite for education is a disturbingly naïve concept. The only control we can exercise over educational terrorism is to have standards. Without defining them we don’t have justice, we have education as opinion, prejudice as fact. Intimidation as a means of justifying policy creates an environment not dissimilar to the anti-union activism of the nineteenth century. And that led to totalitarianism.
Today we have ‘safe places’ and ‘intersectionality’ – two of contemporary fascism’s most prominent enablers. Intersectionality is defined as the overlap of identities (such as race, religion, sexuality and gender) afflicted by systemic oppression, marginalized and denied ‘justice’ (a justice that is self-defined). All injustices are interconnected even when it compels us to adopt positions diametrically opposed to our core beliefs. Having created a hierarchy of virtuous groups for which protection from criticism is unlimited, groups that are excluded (principally defined either as white or Jewish) are offered no protection from either criticism or violence. Government is viewed (and therefore constitutional rights) as enshrining privilege in the elite. Selected student groups are protected from carefully defined micro-aggressions while their rivals are openly abused, both physically and intellectually. Those groups that are lower down the hierarchy are often afforded less protection than those higher up. For example, gays and then women are ‘given’ an entitlement that is contingent on the issue and the hierarchy. As knowledge is secondary to ‘the issue,’ discrimination and bigotry are fluid concepts. The pigs in ‘Animal Farm’ would be proud.
For instance, Female Genital Mutilation is widely practiced throughout the Muslim world and yet New Left groups are most closely allied with Islamic nations that are anti-democratic and anti-Western. Islam, as a group identity, is positioned at the top of the intersectional hierarchy of victimhood. That the Western slave-trade would have been nearly impossible without central Islamic involvement and that the slave trade remains practiced in the Muslim world (as is colonialism and imperialism) is faithfully ignored. Having an agenda that is actively hostile to one’s own identity is not an impediment to intersectional thinking.
Intersectionality adopts a Third-Worldist, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist character which is anti-American, anti-Western and anti-Israel. It is post-modernist and intellectually vapid – hierarchies of intolerance are justified through an inescapable membership defined though race or religion. When one is ‘born’ into a specific ‘class’ of humanity one is condemned through the crime of guilt by the ‘original sin’ of one’s birth.
It is post-colonialist, as long, that is, as the colonialism is ‘white.’
Miraculously, to the antisemite, antisemitism is a form of racism because somehow, it ‘privileges Jews.’ Bizarrely, all Jews are bundled together into the white colour group (even when they are racially, clearly, something else). As John-Paul Pagano wrote in his essay ‘Anti-Racism Erases Anti-Semitism’: “Even drooling Jew-hatred of the classical right-wing variety can get a pass if the antisemite first registers as a victim”.
Intersectionality is a bludgeon based on an anti-intellectual foundation which is wielded against anyone or any group of people who offend the current politically correct arbiters of right and wrong.
Those advocating for LGBTQ rights will ally themselves with Islamic groups that would throw them off roof tops (having first tortured them) for their ‘wrongful’ sexuality. A ‘get out of jail free’ card is universally applied so that Jewish indigenous rights, once ignored or dismissed as propaganda then allows for the cultural or physical genocide of Jews and any other non-Arab / Muslim minorities living in the Near East.
Left wing misogyny forgives the Jeremy Corbyn’s of this world for calling the elected Prime Minister of Britain a “stupid woman” because violence of any kind is an acceptable response to anyone opposing their world-view.
So, to summarize, intersectionality provides conditional equality based on acceptance by the follower of an essential inequality which even then, is never, by definition, guaranteed. Nor is it ever free from the threat of real or imagined violence. The logical end-game of an intersectional society would be non-democratic and governed by semi-apartheid principles.
And the issue with the contemporary education system is that it gives us our journalists and future political leaders, both of whom are most active in telling us what to think.
Commercialization of the news creates a need to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. This does not encourage honesty in reporting. A narrative, dishonestly presented as truth (instead of belief) is a lie, even when it is portrayed as having a higher purpose. Prejudice for the “best reasons” can never be anything but the bigotry of personal opinion. Altruism is always about ego and the communication industries are most guilty of telling lies for the “best of reasons.” Education (particularly in the unregulated higher sector) and the media are the commercial undertakings most likely to be corrupted by deceit.
The philosophical underpinning for much of what ails Western society today was created by philosophers such as Frantz Omar Fanon. He developed the idea that a society is racist or not; its citizens, colonizers or colonized. Violence against the colonizer is a cleansing force that “frees the native from his inferiority complex”. Europe and the West are dying. The Developing World is the replacement. In a world of religions, missionary faiths justify everything they have done through Replacement Theology or Supersessionism. Fanon’s cleansing fire presents the Developed world as replaced or superseded. This philosophy, Occidentalist in its prejudice, presents dehumanizing stereotypes of the Western world, (usually from the Muslim perspective) as an hegemonic ideology. In the thinking of the New (Fascist) Left, Third World Progressivism is anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist and anyone who opposes this new, hegemonic (all-encompassing) ideology is part of the reactionary forces propping up the old ways.
David Rich (“The Left’s Jewish Problem”) quotes from a 1958 journal article on The Arab National Movement: “despite its disorderliness, its confusion of objectives, its exaggerated xenophobia, its apparent resemblance, in certain of its aspects, to fascism or Nazism, and – most serious of all – its vitriolic hatred of Israel, it is fundamentally and essentially a progressive movement, with which we ought to be ready, as socialists, to express solidarity; even when it does things which run counter to Britain’s interests in the Middle East.”
This attitude neatly sums up the philosophy behind world-wide progressive thinking. It is dualistic, reductive and based on absolutes. It is also ethically and morally bankrupt from its inception.
Once literacy became a mass proposition in the twentieth century the competition for followers created the necessity to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Banality and simplicity do not encourage the truth, but they do win us over. As does dehumanization of a common enemy.
Journalists, professors and politicians can afford to alienate specific target groups when the associated group identification generates tribal loyalty. That loyalty is worth money and influence. Tribes are ethnic; they are football teams, cults, clubs and political associations. When reporting complicated events, it is difficult to strike a balance between sensationalism and accuracy. If those events come laden with historical baggage, impartiality and objectivity are knowledge’s first victims, particularly in a market saturated with data streams. When we have attention spans of very limited duration, sound bites and pictures sell prejudice without conscience.
The UK and USA are the two most profitable markets for education in the world. UK universities brought in 15,000 million pounds last year, an increase of one billion pounds over the previous year. And each year the increment of another billion pounds pours into university coffers. It makes the system of university education commercially lucrative; but at what price? Facetime with lecturers is constantly diminishing, courses are stripped to their bare minimum; knowledge is a commercial asset rationed by colleges and universities in order to maximize their profits and minimize their costs. An increasing number of university courses have nothing whatsoever to do with employability or creating greater understanding between people and groups in society but everything to do with imposing a new standard for unequal co-existence. Furthering Institutional inequality as a means or re-ordering society is all about group-think and nothing to do with enhancing our democratically lived existence.
Universities today are concerned with quantity not quality.
The universities depend on an increasing percentage of their revenue from foreign students. This is a form of colonialism because it takes the brightest and most ambitious people from other countries and entices them to join us, to the detriment of their own society’s development.
Education has always been slanted towards inculcating the values of society and of the ruling cultural elite. In a New York Times article, Pankaj Mishra opines that “the new can emerge only within a tradition”. But today’s educators base the new thinking on dumping the past as the means of reordering society. The difference between demagogues who in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries preached from their pulpits in order to incite hatred, and professors in their twenty-first century universities preaching from their secular pulpits, is too often barely discernable. Universities are the secular churches of our time. The media are their foot soldiers. And the institution of the inquisition lies waiting to re-emerge into society.
What frightens me is not Fox news or Rupert Murdoch but the fascist left. Their CV’s are inevitably framed by their time spent at Arab universities refining their prejudices to a level of sophistication that opens doors to the media, the universities, the diplomatic corps and government.
The internet has created a potential gold mine for understanding global events but also a centralized repository for a toxic mix of networked, synthesized propaganda.
Al-Jazeera provides the circus to animate the Muslim world – it has brought public executions back to a global audience and collaborated in the internationalization of terror. Its entertainment programming intensifies contempt and inculcates hate but then, in that, it is little different to any of the Muslim television stations with which it competes. And the left-wing press is happy to acquiesce to this prejudice. When viewed from the vantage point of the New Left’s anti-imperialist, internationalist and ‘Third World’ fight against America and its ‘lackeys’ the ends always justify the means. Therefore, Western apologists for terrorism create their own audience. When truth and morality are irrelevant, eloquence becomes our most marketable asset and need only to tie together to be sold.
What is clear is that there are few stories where the facts speak for themselves. We are unwilling to overload the viewer or the reader with legions of contrary and opposing ideas and arguments. Basic standards of journalism and education require accuracy but in journalism, the first test of fairness is contradicted by a necessity for immediacy and dualistic simplicity. If myth and fact are politically interchangeable then it is a simple matter to teach a narrative that is historically biased.
Free expression has become no more than a euphemism for ever greater stridency and open hostility. A self-justifying axiom that professional journalism is the guardian of society’s virtues (of transparency, objectivity and impartiality) is little more than fantasy-delusion. Deception is all about ego; it can and often is completely divorced from the truth. If it exploits existing stereotypes it becomes more than just a threat to the status quo; it may be used to justify terrorism, become the instrument of a secular (or theocratic) inquisition, or prepare the ground for ethnic cleansing and genocide.