I haven’t had time to think much about the announced troops withdrawal from Afghanistan. The commentaries I have seen have all complained it is either too much or not enough. The Washington Post says the plan is going over well in Europe, though.
Meanwhile — Robert Greenwald writes about the way the Koch brothers use money to plant falsehoods in our collective brains and thereby manipulate public opinion. You know the story — they pay “experts” in the think tanks they support to crank out “authoritative” arguments for the crackpot ideas the Kochs want to put over on the public. And these crackpot ideas become conventional wisdom in media, repeated over and over without critical evaluation, and soon most Americans have been properly indoctrinated into believing whatever the Kochs want us to believe.
Now, this isn’t new, and it isn’t just the Koch brothers. In fact, the Koch brothers are relatively new to the propaganda biz. The Heritage Foundation, for example, was founded in 1973 with money from Richard Mellon Scaife and Joseph Coors.
The Koch boys are just adding to a propaganda-catapulting infrastructure built by the previous generation.
The right-wing echo chamber became so effective that sometime in the 1980s genuinely progressive ideas were shouted out of mass media and the nation’s public political discourse. For many years the only opinions expressed in mass media were degrees of conservatism (this includes the media figures frequently called upon to represent liberals, but who were actually moderate conservatives). It was only because of the Web that a few lonely voices — once again, I salute the pioneering site Media Whores Online — were able to find a national audience and begin to push back.
But reading through the comments to Greenwald’s post revealed that few of them grasped what he was talking about. One couldn’t see the difference between what the Koch brothers are doing and lobbying. Most of the comments amount to bickering over the status of Social Security, the particular issue that Greenwald uses to illustrate Koch brother influence. They aren’t seeing the bigger picture and its implications.
It occurs to me that this is something like a corporation that is “too big to fail,” because if it fails the entire economy will go down with it. Likewise, the VRWC is a conspiracy so immense, or complex, to grasp. Or, apparently, many people lack the mental capacity to grasp it. And at this point, if it were to fail, entire worlds of views and beliefs that people have constructed around themselves would fail, also. Which is why it won’t fail.