Those of us who came of age in the tumult of the 60s amid the protests against the Vietnam war remember well that it was universally believed that the revolution we saw beginning to occur would not be televised. The movement that is only now regaining momentum was treated by the corporate media as a spectacle and not an important social change. The revolution that is now building had its birth in the coming together of feminists, African-Americans, gays and most of America’s youth. McLuhan taught us that the medium was the message; most of us concluded that the medium was the massage. How little we realized that we were living in a time when the media bore a relatively close resemblance to reality compared to the Matrix that modern corporate media moguls have created.
First CNN brought us the 24 hour news cycle, which proved very convenient in promoting the Persian Gulf War. Later FOX News was spawned by the Australian promoter of fascism Rupert Murdoch, who first conquered the UK before embarking on his quest to reunite the US and the UK to help create an Anglo-American coalition destined to lead the world in creating a fascist New World Order. Murdoch’s plan was simple: brainwash the already complacent and ignorant American public into accepting the premise that whatever corporations wanted represented real conservatism. Any politician who dares to put the interests of We the People over those of the corporations sponsoring his media Empire and the US government it gradually came to control was labeled a “socialist.”
Newscorps is Murdoch’s baby, spoon fed with money invested at a loss initially in the sure belief that a Congress increasingly corrupted by corporate money would repay the investment with great interest. Together, FOX “News” and its friends in Congress came to frame the issues facing America in their own interest and to coerce craven politicians to accept their fascist line or suffer the wrath of the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the network. These millionaire entertainers laughed all the way to the bank as their transparent lies were greedily swallowed by a large plurality of an angry and divided US citizenry. At great personal profit they have stoked the anger of the willfully ignorant and hidden the truths that might lead to solutions to the problems faced by all Americans and the world at large. The reason is obvious: What is good for humans generally adversely affects the corporate bottom line.
The game is simple: Point at any particular group of Americans and paint them as un-American. After years of this practice, the FOX definition of a real American has been narrowed to old white men with minority viewpoints that they present as “mainstream.” In looking for scapegoats among their fellow Americans, viewers deluded into believing that fascism was not only conservative but the majority opinion were sucked into the matrix of lies and became unwitting fascist collaborators. The result is that in an America that had yet to heal from the scars of Vietnam it was completely acceptable to attack another nation that seemed to present an even more formidable enemy than the hallucinatory “socialists” they had convinced themselves had taken control of the US government.
To their eternal shame, the so-called “leaders” in Congress fell over themselves to hand power to a Bush administration that made no effort to conceal its contempt for We the People. The same deluded people who bought the lie that “government is the problem” from the Gipper and who had handed it over to those who would destroy it demanded ever more government power be given over to an authoritarian madman. Congress willingly complied with barely a whimper, the only protest of note coming from 90 year old Senator Byrd, who despite his age seemed to one of the few who remembered the price we paid in blood and treasure for the debacle in Vietnam. Having given the Bush administration police state powers in the Orwellian-sounding Patriot Act, Congress then meekly handed over its war power, just as the international corporate terrorists for whom Cheney worked wanted.
To the undiscerning eye, the Left appears disorganized and demoralized, beset on all sides by fascists on the Right and fascist collaborators just a few steps closer. The war on the middle class rages and few reinforcements are to be found in Congress or the Executive office. The Tea Party dominates the media while protests receive pitifully little coverage, even from the so-called “alternative” media that functions primarily as the gatekeeper of the Left. The most popular “alternative” commentators are shills for a Democratic Party that does little to defend working Americans out of fear of angering their own corporate Puppetmasters. People like Markos Moulitsas see their role as keeping real progressives at a distance from the corporate Democrats whose boots they lick in return for an occasional pat on the head. Union leaders are no longer consulted by “news” reporters, who prefer to go to their favorite corporate spokespersons in Congress for commentary on current events and the circus that Congress has become.
With all this in mind one might wonder how I can argue that the Revolution will in fact be televised. The answer is that under the radar of both the corporate media and their echo chamber in the “alternative” media there is building a movement that rejects the two-Party framing of the issues threatening the survival of America economically, socially and morally. Some of us are succeeding at convincing frustrated progressive leaders that the only way to wage asymmetric warfare against the powerful fascist forces arrayed against those of us struggling for democracy is to find common interests that will bind us in a unified front against fascism and war. While most of these leaders continue to employ euphemisms to describe the situation as corporate welfare, crony capitalism and the like, in the end what they are describing is the fascist takeover of the United States government and the media on whose independence democracy depends.
This then is the significance of the fact that Murdoch’s empire is under siege. More even than ABC, Newcorps is the voice of Big Brother speaking. Heard in nearly every bar, airport, hotel and restaurant that has a TV on, the constant stream of corporate propaganda has until recently had its desired effect of infecting the American collective consciousness with the dangerous idea that the supreme American value that defines us is our radical individualism. If FOX fails, it will be as if the curtain has fallen to reveal the pitiful old man who has been at the controls of the Oz that America has become. Awakened from its slumber, the giant that is the American public may yet rouse itself sufficiently to realize that it has been dreaming of democracy while our shared reality has become a nightmare.
There is of course only one issue that will unite the Left and ultimately, the Left with the Right. Eighty percent of Americans are opposed to Citizens United and its removal of all limits on the ability of corporations to buy the loyalty of members of Congress. If everyone knows how corrupted Congress has become due to the influence of corporate influence, we have to ask ourselves why is it not more generally accepted that the first thing that we have to do to get America on track is to restore democracy to its political process. Only then can we address the myriad other threats to American vitality and the world at large that have resulted from corporate rule.
There is occasional excitement when a Democrat proposes electoral reform, but the Supreme Court’s shutting down of Arizona’s innovative public finance law should have convinced all but the most starry-eyed optimists that legislative remedies are no match for a fascist-dominated Supreme Court. The only way to overrule these bastions of fascism is through constitutional amendment. As tempting as the idea of a complete overhaul of the constitution as currently interpreted might be, it is unrealistic to expect a plurality of Americans to agree on what needs to be done in a constitutional convention, where all things are possible. The Tea party supporters already think that socialists control the government, while partisan Democrats do not yet recognize that it is operated by and for fascists and their collaborators in Congress.
Simply put, it is only a matter of time before the fumbling leaders of the Left realize that they cannot coalesce around dozens of issues but must focus strategically on the linchpin of fascism: corporate personhood. When they do, the lapdogs of the “alternative” media will follow unless they remain hopelessly confused. Eventually, their friends in the Democratic Party will be able to see that the political winds are changing and finally do what should have been done in 2010. Eventually it will dawn on them that they paid dearly in the polls for their own stupidity in moving to the Right as the fascists led them over the brink.