Government propaganda message of the week and the prevalence of Newspeak
Government transparency=Security leaks.
This is the message the major media outlets have been attempting to ingrain into the populace over the last few days. One only needs to input “government leaks and news” in a search engine and view the results. From NPR to FoxNews the meme of every story and news show was the same; whether knowing what our government does in our name is a threat? Let that question sink in for a moment. It doesn’t matter if the threat is real or not but that there is a possibility of some harm, never mind, asking whether any government for and by the people should be operating in secrecy at all. This message has been coded into the usual Democrat versus Republican political arguments, which ultimately boils down to some analysis of how does this piece of propaganda helps or hurt either side.
Some would argue that this all stems from the recent New York Times article that offers some exposition in to the imperial assassination program employed by our so called leaders, colloquially now named “Terror Tuesdays”. Assassination programs have been part of the secret warfare our government conducts since its inception and special commando units where often employed to do the things what drones are doing today. Delta Force, Navy Seals, Special Forces, CIA contractors and other military and non military units dating as far back to the French and Indian war (Roger’s Rangers) have been used for the clandestine operations often involving killing specific people. Special Operations Command has existed in one form or another and throughout the history of this government when news of these type of activities are conducted in violation of international law, the panoptic term of ‘national security‘ is thrown over any questioning of this secret world of aspiring “Jack Bauers” and “Jonas Blanes”. The politicians who are supposed to monitor and report on these programs to their constituents have fallen into this hollywood fantasy as well and see themselves as good stewards of the nation for their obfuscation of what is done in our name. They must lie to themselves and us constantly because “…A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying—to others and to yourself.”— Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
The lying is not restricted to just the politicians but extends to us, we the people and the lying we are doing to ourselves, for the government is like art and it reflects the society is which it exists. This was the purpose of newspeak in the book 1984, to ingrain the lie into the language so that it becomes accepted truth in the larger society which has become the purpose of the major media outlets. Here are few examples of newspeak at work today; death of innocent bystanders and unnecessary destruction of property= collateral damage, anyone who opposes U.S. hegemony in their area or innocent bystander= militant, lying to constituents=moving towards the center, fascism with Christian overtones= American conservatism, making disingenuous statements= flip flops and these are just few off the top of my head. The astute reader of the news will be able to find a litany of these terms existing in our media. Ingraining the lies of our leaders into our language and society so that we accept them as truth.
This is not to say that there is some central command of disinformation akin to the Ministry of Truth operating in our government, however with fewer independent news resources with large distribution networks the effect is the same. The way newspeak works in our world is slightly more insidious. Buzzwords are bandied about a news conference or some event where the media is gathered and overtime a meme is created such that the conversation of a certain topic is restricted within the frame of the buzzwords to the point that the conversation itself is a caricature of what is being passed off as intellectual debate. This is the comic theme of the opening act of the “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report”. The video montages often demonstrate how buzzwords and memes infect the political and media class to such a degree and integrate into their language so quickly that they are nightly topics of ridicule and mockery. Colbert’s show even has a segment named “The Word” specifically for these type of propaganda buzzwords Unfortunately many don’t even see that simple little joke being played on them every night and don’t understand how after some time the laughter must stop to give way to real self analysis of how this type of propaganda is damaging our society. The damage is that our governments are becoming less transparent when we incorporate these newspeak words in our lexicon which in turns allows for more corruption and as our leaders go so does the rest of society.