The Politics of Fear – Part 5/5

September 18, 2011

The prescription that leads to a successful “noble or big lie” is keeping people semi-literate or illiterate so it is more difficult to recognize the “Politics of Fear”.

However, what is literacy and how do we define it? There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, the most common definition is the ability to read and write at a specified age.

In addition, literacy is learned, while illiteracy is passed along by parents who cannot read or write, and in 2003, 5% of Americans that read Below Basic did not graduate from high school, 44% spoke no English before starting school, 39% are Hispanic/Latino adults, 20% are African-American/Black adults, 25% are age 65+ and 21% have multiple disabilities.

But, at 18, many of these illiterate people are eligible to vote and votes can be influenced with little and BIG lies—especially when the voter reads at Basic or below, which is more than 40% of the population of the United States.


Manufacturing Consent: Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies

NCES.ed.gov says that in the United States, “14% of the people read ‘Below Basic’, which means no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills; 29% read at the ‘Basic’ level, which means these people can perform simple and everyday literacy activities; 44% read at the ‘Intermediate’ level, which means they can perform moderately challenging literacy activates, and 13% of readers are ‘Proficient’, which means many of these readers can perform complex and challenging literacy activates” and are the most difficult to fool.What is more shocking is that compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. is doing well.

According to the latest International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), between 19% and 23% of American adults performed at the top levels for each of the three literacy scales: document literacy, prose literacy and quantitative (number) literacy. Sweden is the only country that scored higher. People that are literate and read often are harder to fool.

Yet, many Americans are being left behind. The same survey found that between 21% and 24% of U.S. adults performed at the lowest level. Source: Education-Portal.com

The state of literacy in America explains why neoconservative voices such as Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck may influence millions of listeners and talk to them as if they cannot think or reason.

In fact, Rush Limbaugh often says on his neo-conservative radio talk show that he will do the thinking for his audience so they do not have to, and his audience may be as large as 30 million—which is a large number of votes to influence.

This also may explain why ABC World News started their piece about China’s first aircraft carrier with, “the U.S. government directed a pointed question at the Chinese military: Why would you need a warship like that?”

Since China is now the world’s number one energy consumer and the second largest economy, why not, if it is in China’s national interest to have an aircraft carrier?

In addition, if Brazil, France, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and Britain all have one or more aircraft carriers, why can’t China join that club?

How is this a threat to America, which has twenty aircraft carriers?

What we have is simple language for simple minds to generate fear and control public opinion. If you read the ABC World News piece, you will notice they don’t mention the other countries that have aircraft carriers or how many the U.S. has.

Return to The Politics of Fear – Part 4 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

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The Politics of Fear – Part 3/5

September 16, 2011

As long as there is no law to insure balance and honesty in the media, Americans are ripe to fear almost anything and China is a tempting target to induce fear and loathing by manipulating public opinion.

Since the history of Sinophobia in the United States starts with the California Gold Rush (1848 – 1855) leading to the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), which formalized this prejudice into a law that would not be removed from the books until 1965 (eighty-three years later) during the Civil Rights era, China is a perfect target since the demonizing was started in the 19th century.

Due to this early demonizing, during the later 19th and early 20th century, many Chinese were relentlessly beaten just because of their race, and in 1884, the Chinese Exclusion Act was amended in Washington D.C., so it would apply to all ethnic Chinese regardless of their country of origin.

As the years went by, other amendments were added to the Chinese Exclusion Act making the law more restrictive for the Chinese.

Political Scientist Corey Robin wrote Fear: the History of a Political Idea in 2004, published by Oxford University Press, which may also help explain why there is so much antagonism toward China in the United States.

On August 17, 2011, KPFA’s Against the Grain, a radio program about politics, society and ideas talked with Robin about how “fear dominates our society. Fear of crime, fear of the poor, fear of foreign terrorists, to which we might add fear of our government and fear of our bosses.”


Watch the Young Turks reveal Glenn Beck‘s lies.

Newsday said, “Robin argues that whereas Hobbes and Arendt appreciated the political dimensions of fear, Montesquieu and Tocqueville relegated the idea to the realm of the psychological—a view of fear that has endured, blinding us to the self-serving ways elites deploy fear for political ends.”

Steven Lukes, Professor of Sociology at New York University, said, “Corey Robin provides an acute and sustained analysis of the very idea of fear, of the role of fear as an instrument of political rule and of its unacknowledged prevalence within our liberal democratic institutions.”

The National Post said, “Brilliant…. What he does in Fear is show us, by carefully plotting the progress of modern fear politics from the Enlightenment to present day, that we are as dependent on fear as a political vehicle, if not more so, as we are the charades of left/right/middle factionalism.”

Robin mentions that fear is a method used by political groups and individuals to advance themselves and/or their political and religious agendas.

One example is Glenn Beck, who often incites violence and fear with lies and fear mongering (for more about Glenn Beck, watch the embedded video with this post).

In addition, according to former Fox News producer Charlie Reina… Fox News’s editorial policy is set from the top down in the form of a daily memo: “frequently, Reina says, it also contains hints, suggestions and directives on how to slant the day’s news – invariably, he says, in a way that’s consistent with the politics and desires of the Bush administration.”

Moreover, the December 17, 2010 issue of The Atlantic said, “One alleged news network fed its audience a diet of lies, while contributing financially to the party that benefited from those lies. Those who work for Fox News are not working for a journalistic enterprise. They are working for the communications department of a political party.”

Without an honest, trustworthy media reporting honest and balanced news, how can a democracy that depends on a literate and informed public survive?

In fact, how will China rid itself of being seen as a demon by many in America?

Continued September 17, 2011 in  The Politics of Fear – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The Politics of Fear – Part 2/5

September 15, 2011

In America, there is a “BIG” dollar sign driving the “Politics of Fear”, and this dollar sign has generated much hate and distrust of China (and a few other countries) in the United States.

There are BIG lies and little lies that drive the “Politics of Fear” and some are subtle.

McCarthyism is an example of a BIG lie and another “BIG” lie by President Johnson (LBJ) led to the Vietnam War (at a time when most neo-conservatives still belonged to the Democratic Party).

Most of the lies that drive the “Politics of Fear” are not planned, and it is not a plot (a political/religious ideology drives the Politics of Fear).

Instead, the architects of these lies take advantage of events as they happen and mold the public’s opinion mostly with the little lies waiting for the “BIG” moment that leads to wars such as the one in Iraq.

Creating fear and loathing of China to justify “HUGE” military expenditures in the US also may explain the criticism of a recent rail accident, which I wrote of in High Speed Rail Tragedy in China Reveals Small Minds in the West (an example of a little lie).

To create an atmosphere of fear, first there must be distrust and loathing, which is the job of the little lies. That way it is easier for the American public to accept the BIG lies when they arrive.

In addition, we learn from Information Clearing House.info that President Harry Truman (33rd President of the United States – 1945–1953) set out, as Arthur Vandenberg advised, to “Scare the Hell out of the American people.”

However, fear to manipulate public opinion did not start with China. The US government first generated fear to manipulate the citizens of the US and Europe through the CIA‘s Operation Mockingbird (1948) soon after the end of World War II at the start of the Cold War with Soviet Russia.

Eventually, in the late 1970s, many neoconservatives moved from the Democratic Party to Ronald Reagan, the Republican hawk that promised to confront Soviet expansionism. Source: Rejecting the Democratic Party

But, soon after launching Operation Mockingbird, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacted the Fairness Doctrine, which was a deterrent to control of the media and success of operations such as the CIA’s Mockingbird.

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the FCC (introduced in 1949) that required the holders of broadcast licenses (radio and TV) to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced, which wasn’t the goal of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird or President Reagan‘s neo-conservatives.

To rid America of honest, equitable and balanced media reporting, in 1987, President Reagan defeated the Fairness Doctrine when he vetoed legislation intended to make it a federal law, and there were not enough votes to override his veto.

The House of Representatives had voted earlier that month with 302 votes in favor while 102 voted no. However, in the Senate, the vote was 59 to 31, less than the two-thirds necessary to override a presidential veto and President Reagan did away with the only protection the public had to hear both sides of every controversial issue, which was the end of any assurance that the news would be honest, equitable and balanced.

Consortium News.com says, “A rule of thumb in journalism is that there are almost always two sides to a story, but that rule is often ignored by the U.S. news media in the heat of some conflict when the United States is involved. Then, the real motivations of the U.S. adversary are widely ignored in favor of demonization.”

However, if the Fairness Doctrine were a law, demonizing countries (such as China) in the media would be a challenge, because the public would hear both sides of every issue making fear difficult to generate.


After the Fairness Doctrine was vetoed by President Reagan, conservative talk radio boomed.

A Media Use and Evaluation by Gallup.com of the trust and confidence the American public had of the mass media says that in 1976, 72% of the people had a great deal/fair amount of trust in the mass media, such as newspapers, TV, and radio.

By 2009, however, 57% of the people did not trust what they heard or read in the media due to smear campaigns against the media that it was controlled by ‘godless’ liberals (notice the use of language to cause fear and loathing).

In addition, the Pew Research Center said that in 1985, 55% (already down 17% from 1976) of the people felt news organizations had the facts straight, but by 2009 that trust had dropped to 29% and 63% felt the news was often inaccurate, which represents a great victory for the Politics of Fear.

How can a democracy function when the citizens are not honestly informed of both sides of an issue?

Since 1976, the public trust factor of the media has declined almost 30%, which may be because Internet Forums and Blogs, radio talk shows and TV programs may claim anything without proof and without worry, because in the United States today, freedom of expression also means freedom to lie and manipulate.

Who has benefited the most from the absence of a Fairness Doctrine in the United States designed to insure balance and honesty in the media?

Continued September 16, 2011 in The Politics of Fear – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The Politics of Fear – Part 1/5

September 14, 2011

The modern politics of fear has a history and in the U.S. that history may be traced to President Harry Truman in the 1940s.

In fact, there are many elements to the politics of fear that involve the CIA, Operation Mockingbird (and its clones, which continue today—see first embedded video), Nazis/neoconservatives, the Fairness Doctrine (1949 – 1987), U.S. President Ronald Reagan and conservative talk radio, etc.

For example, ABC World News started their recent piece about China’s first aircraft carrier with, “the U.S. government directed a pointed question at the Chinese military: Why would you need a warship like that?” It’s not what they say but what they “don’t say” that reveals an element of the politics of fear, which means leaving out important facts.


“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — William Colby, former CIA Director (Sept. 1973 to Jan. 1976), quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy.

Another subtle element of the politics of fear came from the U.S. State Department when a spokesperson said, “The State Department is concerned that the Chinese military is not ‘transparent’ enough about its build-up, which, in addition to the aircraft carrier, also includes the development of a fifth-generation stealth jet fighter believed to be capable of rivaling America’s best (however, there is no mention that it will be years of development before combat ready aircraft are deployed on Chinese airfields).

Again, what isn’t said reveals elements of the politics of fear.

I wrote on this topic March 16, 2011, in China Reaching for Stealth and Aircraft Carriers.

The Chinese aircraft carrier that is generating so much concern from the U.S. government and the Western media is more than twenty years old and is not nuclear powered. It was originally launched in Russia (1988), but was never completed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia has also been negotiating the sale of another aircraft carrier to India, which is supposed to be completed and delivered in 2011, but we hear nothing about that and India also has nuclear weapons and has waged war several times with another nuclear power, Pakistan.

If the U.S. is so concerned about China having an outdated aircraft carrier, what about all the other countries that have aircraft carriers?

Global Security.org lists twenty for America (nine small/medium sized in addition to eleven of the largest in the world), and then Brazil has one in addition to France, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and two for the UK (Britain is planning two more large carriers and France wants another one too).

Global Security says that all of America’s aircraft carriers add up to nearly 70 acres of deck space while the rest of the world’s carriers combined have less than 15 acres—one fifth that of America.

With such a massive superiority over the entire world, what is the “real” reason for so much concern in the U.S. of one out-of-date aircraft carrier in China?

One clue may be discovered at Global Security.org, which lists World Wide Military Expenditures and of the more than $2 trillion the nations of the world will spend in 2011, the US will spend more than $741 billion (37% of the global total).


Former US Secretary of State James Baker talks about US-Sino relations starting at 4:13

The top five countries in the world for military expenditures are the United States ($741 billion), China ($380 billion), India ($92 billion), Russia ($92 billion) and Saudi Arabia (about $60 billion).

If America were to cut its defense spending to equal China, that would go a long way to solve the National Debt crises.

However, the truth of why the West and especially America is making such a big deal over China’s one aircraft carrier has more to do with generating fear to achieve political agendas, and those behind the smear campaign don’t fear China.

To discover more, this series will continue September 15, 2011 in The Politics of Fear – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.