By Paul Craig Roberts
January 11 was the tenth anniversary of amerika’s Guantanamo torture prison. National Public Radio commemorated the anniversary by airing critics and defenders of Washington’s violation of US statutory law, the Geneva Conventions, and the US Constitution. Listening to the former government officials justify their crimes, I realized that I was listening to those who had set the table and served the agenda that transformed the US into a criminal police state. Here was confirmation of Professor Dennis Loo’s theory of democracy in which an elite decides the agenda and the subservient media prepares the electorate’s receptivity.
In his new book, Globalization and the Demolition of Society (2011) Professor Loo suggests that democracy without an independent and aggressive media becomes a disguised form of dictatorship. People think that by voting they are determining outcomes when in fact they are merely legitimizing agendas decided by the elite.
In The Imperial Messenger Belen Fernandez reveals New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as a handmaiden of the elite. In exchange for preparing the electorate to be receptive to elite-determined agendas, such as globalism, the invasion of Iraq and the war on terror, Friedman was given a third Pulitzer prize, reducing this once meaningful award to the current status of the Nobel peace prize, and provided with cushy speaking fees.
Fernandez subjects Friedman to careful scrutiny and assigns him failing grades for logic, consistency, and integrity. After reading Fernandez dissect Friedman column by column, the unavoidable question is: How did Friedman ever pass himself off as a journalist? Why isn’t Belen Fernandez the New York Times’ lead columnist? The answer is clear. Fernandez won’t lie for the establishment.
In Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline (2012), Morris Berman blames America’s failure on the North’s hustler culture. He contrasts the dysfunctional elements of this hustler culture with the culture of the South, which was not focused on material progress and endless acquisition. It was a clash of civilizations. The Southerners enjoyed life itself and were content with being. The North, motivated by progress, saw people as cogs in a plan for empire.
Berman provides a different perspective on the War of Northern Aggression and on ourselves today as products of the triumph of a hustler culture.
These three books are packed with stimulating thoughts. They help us to see how ubiquitous brainwashing can be.
– Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Read more articles by Paul Craig Roberts: www.paulcraigroberts.org.