Thursday, April 13, 2006

 

Should the FDA Advise?

Noting that a blogger (Michelle Malkin) broke the story questioning weather the AP is staging news, The Anchoress comments on the state of journalism:


The harm and destruction being wrought upon this nation and others by people who have moved far beyond their commission to simply supply the facts of any given story is becoming incalculable - politically, socially, societally, militarily. Our press is out of control, or - more correctly - under the control of something malicious. Without a free and honest press, we are in trouble. And we are without a free and honest press, these days.

I wouldn't say we are completely without a free and honest press. You just have to know where to look. But you can't just turn on the TV and pick up a paper for news like you can stop in the grocery store or drug store for food and drugs with the confidence that what you are getting is not harmful. The FDA has plenty of requirements for accurate labeling of products on the shelves, perhaps a percentage of crap disclaimer should be listed on the front page of newspapers and at the lead of every news broadcast.

I'd like to see places like Pajamas Media and Powerline's citizen journalism experiment get more exposure. Relying on headlines and sound bytes for news will not just leave you uninformed but also misled. The blogshpere may be too vast to trust as a whole but that should not discredit any singular blog. Any source for news should have to earn your trust and then keep it by contunually proving to be accurate.

John O adds: Stephen Green observes:
If we’re going to win a long, ideological war, we need our primary schools to our children what patriotism is - and for the most part, they don’t. We need our college professors to give our best and brightest the intellectual ammunition to confront our destroyers – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our public thinkers to defend our laws and our way of life against foreign aggression – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our entertainers to choose the home team – and for the most part, they don’t. We need our politicians to show the backbone of Churchill, but for the most part, they don’t. And we need our military to understand, embrace, and put everything on the line for their country.

One out of six? That’s pretty bad. Is it enough? Probably not.

I said before it took the constant threat of a nuclear launch for us to keep our focus during the Cold War – end even then it was a hit or miss affair. It’s pretty obvious right now that we lack the tools to keep our focus during the Long War. I know exactly what it would take to get our focus – but it’s so terrible, it’s almost worse than losing***.
The corruption of our media and much of our elite establishment institutions, including academia, is no accident:
But the Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.

Accordingly, the Soviet espionage apparat actually ran two different kinds of network: one of spies, and one of agents of influence. The agents of influence had the minor function of recruiting spies (as, for example, when Kim Philby was brought in by one of his tutors at Cambridge), but their major function was to spread dezinformatsiya, to launch memetic weapons that would damage and weaken the West.

In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:
  • There is no truth, only competing agendas.

  • All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.

  • There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.

  • The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.

  • Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.

  • The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)

  • For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.

  • When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

As I previously observed, if you trace any of these back far enough, you’ll find a Stalinist intellectual at the bottom. (The last two items on the list, for example, came to us courtesy of Frantz Fanon. The fourth item is the Baran-Wallerstein “world system” thesis.) Most were staples of Soviet propaganda at the same time they were being promoted by “progressives” (read: Marxists and the dupes of Marxists) within the Western intelligentsia.

The Soviets consciously followed the Gramscian prescription; they pursued a war of position, subverting the “leading elements” of society through their agents of influence. (See, for example, Stephen Koch’s Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals; summary by Koch here) This worked exactly as expected; their memes seeped into Western popular culture and are repeated endlessly in (for example) the products of Hollywood.

In his post entitled Suicidialism, Armed and Dangerous defines a 'suicide thinker' as "a Western academic or journalist or politician whose mission it is to destroy the West’s will to resist not just terrorism but any ideological challenge at all." He concludes:
I think it’s important to understand that, although suicidalism builds on some pre-existing pathologies of Western culture, it is not a native or natural development. It is an infection that evildoers and their dupes created and then spread as part of a war against the West; their goal was totalitarian control, and part of their method was to talk the West into slitting its own throat.

Al-Qaeda’s goal is the restoration of the Caliphate and the imposition of shari’a law on the West so that the Dar al-Harb is abolished and absorbed into the Dar al-Islam. In other words, totalitarian theocracy. Western suicidalists have transferred their allegience from Communism to Islamofascism without a hitch. They’re doing their best to see that we lose — and their best is rather more effective than any bombing campaign.

Thus, to defeat al-Qaeda, stopping the suicide bombers is not sufficient. We must recognize, condemn, and reject the suicide thinkers as well.

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