Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Western Press and Their False Consciousness

This post was first published on Modern Conservative on December 30, 2008


Last Sunday we heard the BBC's reporter on the ground in Israel, Jeremy Bowen, utter the momentous words: "Gazans have a strong ideology for resistance and martyrdom."

Let's analyze this assertion for a moment. Ideology - as in Islamism; resistance - as in insurgence against 'occupation'; martyrdom - as in suicide bombing. Isn't that the 'narrative' of the Gaza belt and those other places where the scions of peace hold sway?

Increasingly we hear evidence of Western reporters taking on - what is termed in their anti-philosophy - a 'false consciousness'. That needs clarification for those not versed in Critical Theory. With false consciousness Carl Marx meant the downtrodden thinking and talking within the reference frame of their oppressors. With some imagination you might also explain it, as living in another, subjective 'reality'.

Postmodernists have taken the notion a step further and believe quite literally in parallel existences of the various minority collectives, be they gays, blacks, women, Muslims, the masses, the Chinese ... whatever the inequal group, it has its own parallel reality in which the inhabitants have their own 'narrative'. (Here's the Wiki explaining polylogism somewhat further.)

The Western press show evidence of having voluntarily taken up an Islamist 'consciousness'. (Caution: do not try this at home without the proper medical attention: psychosis or split personality syndrome may ensue. This seems to be happening frequently to North Africans living in Europe, who fail to assimilate.)

As if taking on a 'false consciousness' is not enough, the MSM now rely for their reporting on locals on the ground in Gaza, emphasizing that "the IDF won't allow them to go there" themselves (as if this were Mugabe's Zimbabwe).

Despite the 2007 bloody Hamas coup in Gaza - an Islamofascist thuggocracy - on the phone we have a range of professionals making the impression Gaza is actually a normally functioning democracy: human rights activists, business consultants, university professors, and representatives of civic organizations are painting the reality on the ground in terms of flowery Arabic rhetoric, the narrative of the mother of all massacres, of holocausts on women and babies under the age of ten.

During the prolonged US Presidential campaign we saw the press entirely giving up the pretense of objectivity. Subsequently the combined SMS mutated into a fully fledged member of the Obama campaign team. In the reporting of operation "Cast Lead" we witness them unashamedly taking up the consciousness and 'narrative' of the party that consistently spouts anti Western hatred. Postmodern dialectic is communicated in an idiom of self-loathing, reverse morality, and false equation with the aim to alter perception.

As far as can be discerned from the comfort of the armchair, Western consumers are still paying for the advertisements that are the lifeblood of cable television? Or are we? Come to think of it, the overbearing AIG commercials haven't hit the screen now for some time. Whatever happened to the rallying statements emanating from the sub-prime bundler that used to be CNN's prime sponsor [sarc off]?

Footage comes to us increasingly in unfiltered, raw technicolor in the tradition of the Middle East - yet more evidence of a cultural shift. Whereas not so long ago a dead body was deemed too realistic for the after-dinner evening news, today we get the bits and pieces raw for breakfast, courtesy of Al Jazeera's Western competitors and their correspondents on-the-ground.

What's more, a brand new Postmodern 'rhetorical' technique has hit the media: pundits and commentators who rather specifically and emphatically self-identify as political moderates, or even claim to be politically agnostic or independent, then confessing they "really need to tell you the truth", followed by unabashed leftist or pro Islamist narrative.

A win-win situation is created. The pundit gets out the perception that even moderates think this (whatever the subject happens to be) is far beyond the pale; the media creates an impression of moderation and even-handedness. A more dishonest lot than the followers of subjectivism is yet to walk the earth.

At this stage it is as yet unsure where the culture war will take us next. One thing is for sure however: we are looking at a guerrilla-of-the-mind that is unprecedented in recorded history.

- Filed on Articles in "The Press from Hell" - Digg it!


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I watch both BBC World and Sky coverage of the Gaza situation at the moment and am quite worried at the way the reporters come out with dangerous generalisations. I agree with what you say here.

Happy New Year to you from Sicily.

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