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Disaffected liberals have been "walking away" from the Democratic Party en masse, realizing it exists only to serve its corporate donors without regard for its base, whom it takes for granted (assuming they can't go anywhere else - what are they gonna do, vote Republican?). Conservatives are in the same boat, with the Republican Party having crawled so far up the asses of Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers that there's no hope for policies that actually help the American people. I believe that the actual voters in both parties - those capable of thinking for themselves, who vote only reluctantly for the least terrible of major-party candidates - have more in common with each other than they do with their party establishment. Where do we go from here? Do we need to tear the whole thing down and start over, and if so, are we prepared to finish the job? If not, how can we effect meaningful change within the current electoral system, which is hideously rigged against third parties in its current form? Suggestions welcome.

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In Part 1 of Unsafe Space, Helen and Vox diagnose the malady afflicting the liberal class, analyzing how and why the Left seems to have lost its way (or been led astray). We dissect neoliberal capitalism's permeation into the fabric of our society and how even alternative media present a false choice between capitalism and communism/socialism despite the impossibility of either existing in a pure form untouched by human variables. We track the media establishment's development of a colonial-administrative model for more efficient control (where they correctly reason that viewers are more likely to trust an anchorliar from their own minority group), and explain why liberals should resist the hijacking of their erstwhile ideology by the small but vocal minority of social-justice-warrior pod people sent into the Left to destroy it. 

Part 2 analyzes the persistence of obviously false media narratives despite mounting proof of their falsehood - does the ruling class think we're stupid, apathetic, or just paralyzed with learned helplessness? There is a clear movement toward clamping down on primary sources - anyone who watches an interview with Bashar al-Assad, or reads the WikiLeaks embassy cables, can tell in a second that the establishment's Syria narrative is false, for example - but even without those sources the lies are obvious and so frequently recycled they'd be humorous if they didn't result in actual human suffering. We also talk about the increasing terror levels required to sustain a baseline of fear in the American populace - where do you go from ISIS?

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Some commentators liken the media obsession with “Russiagate” to a cult. As the obsessive coverage of the investigation increasingly diverges from reality, the moniker becomes ever more fitting. The media-political cult of Russiagate bears an uncanny similarity with the thought-control doctrines of authoritarian cults. The eight principles outlined by Robert Jay Lifton in his seminal studies of thought control are instructive here:

 

1. Milieu Control - limiting access to information and contact with outsiders (non-establishment media is smeared as fake news, Russian propaganda, even treasonous - we are discouraged from reading and watching it and told to discourage others from doing the same)

2. Mystical Manipulation - cultivating a sense of awe and and importance around the leader[s] (FBI/CIA/NSA information-gathering methods shrouded in official secrecy; fetishization of “classified” ratings and government reports even when information therein is not national-security sensitive)

3. Demand for Purity - requiring unreasonable levels of perfection (more apparent in “liberal” circles in general than in Russiagate specifically, but speech-police restrictions adopted out of fear of offending or triggering others fit in here)

4. Cult of Confession - guilt-induction, scapegoating, inculcating self-doubt (Sanders and Stein supporters painted as dupes of Russian propaganda responsible for election loss; suggestion that media “priest class” is required to interpret government and IC reports correctly - we are told not to trust our own reasoning when the official narrative doesn’t add up)

5. Sacred Science - appeal to a higher “scientific” authority - obscure processes which cannot be questioned (Hamilton 68 dashboard purporting to divine the aims of the Kremlin propaganda apparatus, CrowdStrike assessment used to “prove” Russian intelligence hacked the DNC)

6. Loading the Language - “buzzwords” used as thought-stopping techniques to shut down questioning (“fake news,” “collusion,” even terms like “liberal” are largely empty of meaning after a 2016 election which saw neocons cross the partisan divide en masse to support Clinton - ostensibly the favored candidate of “liberals” even as she was wholly a creature of the military-industrial complex)

7. Doctrine Over Person - the needs of the cult are placed above the needs of the individual (liberals were told to “put aside our differences” with neocons in the 2016 election and work together to elect Clinton - even though making common cause with warmongers goes against everything liberals supposedly stand for. Even now we’re supposed to trust the intelligence agencies that have lied to and abused us for their entire existence)

8. Dispensing of Existence - an “us vs. them” outlook resulting in dehumanization of outsiders as unworthy of life (dissident journalists are denounced as Russian agents - a.k.a. traitors, criminals unworthy of the protections of law. In Ukraine this has already resulted in a rise in violence against journalists)

 

The ultimate goal of the Russiagate narrative is silencing dissent. Just as an authoritarian cult will brook no divergence from the official doctrine, nor will the establishment media and its Russiagate acolytes tolerate alternative-media deviants questioning the official narrative. Welcome to 1984. All indicators point to the rollout of a Ukrainian-style “Ministry of Truth” which has as its ultimate aim the outsourcing of police-state violence to a heavily propagandized citizenry - the creation of an army of fanatical True Believers ready to stamp out anti-establishment voices. Facebook’s partnership with the pro-NATO Atlantic Council is just the beginning of an unprecedented crackdown on free speech in the name of controlling “Russian propaganda” and “fake news.” Dissenting voices are being marginalized, demonized, and criminalized. Liberals, convinced they're participating in a noble "Resistance" against an illegitimate president, have been duped into acting as the shock troops of their own oppression. Russiagate is more than the "new WMD" intended to pave the way for World War 3 - it is a full frontal assault on our freedom of speech. It is the responsibility of all journalists to speak up while we still can.

 

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Dear #Resistance,

 

I recognize the temptation to reach for facile solutions when confronted with the unsettling reality of a Trump presidency, but cozying up to the fascist Deep State for political expediency will be the death of whatever remains of the “liberal” ideology. Russiagate is an authoritarian cult that deifies the same government agencies that have dedicated their lives to stamping out leftist and activist movements. When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. When those dogs have government security clearance, sometimes you don’t get up at all.

Last quarter’s Nielsen ratings confirm that Americans are sick of Russiagate, outside of a core faithful congregation of Maddow acolytes. It is time to confront the gaping inconsistencies in the Russiagate narrative and move on to more solid evidentiary ground - it’s not like there aren’t plenty of other issues with which to attack Trump. Sure, Mueller could pull a deus ex machina and whip out the “pee tape” referenced in the Steele dossier, but after almost two years of investigation with all the resources of the US Justice Department at hand, it’s unlikely that the promised proof of “collusion” will ever surface. Wrapping yourself in the establishment media narrative in order to keep out uncomfortable realities does not change those realities - the CIA and FBI are still intent on eviscerating the activist Left, even as the “Resistance” has allowed itself to be drafted as Deep State shock troops. Don’t be a useful idiot. Question authority or become its dupe. 

When your emperor has no clothes, would you would rather pluck out the eyes of those who notice and remark upon his nudity, or drape a towel over the guy? Think about it.

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While the breathless media coverage of the Cambridge Analytica scandal paints the revelations as a disaster for Facebook, the story actually plays right into Mark Zuckerberg's hands. Cambridge Analytica tells us nothing we didn't already learn from previous scandals that received less media coverage. Facebook gets to act shocked, pretend this was an anomaly, a freak incident and not simply business as usual, and act really sorry for abusing users while continuing the abuse. The US government gets to pretend to discipline Zuckerberg while continuing to hoover up users' data via NSA backdoors. Mainstream media gets another bedtime story to tell itself while endlessly replaying the 2016 in a desperate quest for a scenario where something other than "Americans voting for the lesser of two evils" gets Trump in the White House. Everybody wins, except Facebook users! Actually, they can win too, as long as they #deletefacebook.

Social media doesn't have to be evil. Alternatives like Minds, Gab and Steemit have somehow managed to avoid selling their users out to the surveillance state and advertisers while imposing Kafkaesque restrictions on their speech - and there are more platforms being created all the time. We need a mass migration to one (or all!) of these platforms if we hope to escape Zuckerberg's data mining operation - many of us remain on Facebook only because most of our friends and family use the platform, and any campaign to #deletefacebook must necessarily reach beyond ourselves (it is social media, after all).

(earlier article here )

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