The real battle in the United States won't be between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Chris Hedges writes that the real battle is between corporate power and ordinary citizens. And, if ordinary citizens are to win the battle, they must understand their opposition:
The reach and effectiveness of corporate propaganda dwarfs even the huge effort undertaken by Adolf Hitler and Stalin. The layers of deception are sophisticated and effective. News is state propaganda. Elaborate spectacles and forms of entertainment, all of which ignore reality or pretend the fiction of liberty and progress is real, distract the masses.
Education is indoctrination. Ersatz intellectuals, along with technocrats and specialists, who are obedient to neoliberal and imperial state doctrine, use their academic credentials and erudition to deceive the public.
The promises made by the corporate state and its political leaders—we will restore your jobs, we will protect your privacy and civil liberties, we will rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, we will save the environment, we will prevent you from being exploited by banks and predatory corporations, we will make you safe, we will provide a future for your children—are the opposite of reality.
The Citizens United decision has allowed the corporate elite to establish a huge propaganda machine:
The corporate state, operating a system Sheldon Wolin referred to as “inverted totalitarianism,” invests tremendous sums—$5 billion in this presidential election alone—to ensure that we do not see its intentions or our ultimate predicament.
These systems of propaganda play on our emotions and desires. They make us confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge. They get us to identify with the manufactured personality of a political candidate. Millions wept at the death of Josef Stalin, including many who had been imprisoned in his gulags. There is a powerful yearning to believe in the paternal nature of despotic power.
But, if the Trump and Sanders campaigns prove anything, it's that ordinary citizens are beginning to wake up to the fact that they've been played for chumps. There is some hope. But time is short:
We still have options. Many who work within ruling class structures understand the corruption and dishonesty of corporate power. We must appeal to their conscience. We must disseminate the truth.
Climate change, even if we halt all carbon emissions today, will still bring rising temperatures, havoc, instability and systems collapse to much of the planet.
It's later than we think.