Paul Craig Roberts: The Weaponization Of History And Journalism

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Written by Paul Craig Roberts; Originally appeared at paulcraigroberts.org

In the United States, facts, an important element of truth, are not important. They are not important in the media, politics, universities, historical explanations, or the courtroom. Non-factual explanations of the collapse of three World Trade Center buildings are served up as the official explanation. Facts have been politicized, emotionalized, weaponized and simply ignored. As David Irving has shown, Anglo-American histories of World War 2 are, for the most part, feel-good histories, as are “civil war” histories as Thomas DiLorenzo and others have demonstrated. Of course, they are feel good only for the victors. Their emotional purpose means that inconvenient facts are unpalatable and ignored.

Paul Craig Roberts: The Weaponization Of History And Journalism

Writing the truth is no way to succeed as an author. Only a small percentage of readers are interested in the truth. Most want their biases or brainwashing vindicated. They want to read what they already believe. It is comforting, reassuring. When their ignorance is confronted, they become angry. The way to be successful as a writer is to pick a group and give them what they want. There is always a market for romance novels and for histories that uphold a country’s myths. On the Internet successful sites are those that play to one ideology or another, to one emotion or the other, or to one interest group or another. The single rule for success is to confine truth to what the readership group you serve believes.

Keep this in mind when you receive shortly my September quarterly request for your support of this website. There are not many like it. This site does not represent an interest group, an ideology, a hate group, an ethnic group or any cause other than truth. This is not to say that this site is proof against error. It is only to say that truth is its purpose.

Karl Marx said that there were only class truths. Today we have a large variety of truths: truths for feminists, truths for blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, homosexuals, transgendered, truths for the foreign policy community that serves the military/security complex, truths for the neocons, truths for the One Percent that control the economy and the economists who serve them, truths for “white supremacists,” itself a truth term for their opponents. You can add to the list. The “truth” in these “truths” is that they are self-serving of the group that expresses them. Their actual relation to truth is of no consequence to those espousing the “truths.”

Woe to you if you don’t go along with someone’s or some group’s truth. Not even famous film-maker Oliver Stone is immune. Recently, Stone expressed his frustration with the “False Flag War Against Russia.” http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/oliver-stone-im-angry-false-flag-war-against-russia/ri20590 Little doubt that Stone is frustrated with taunts and accusations from completely ignorant media talking heads in response to his documentary, Putin, based on many hours of interviews over two years. Stone came under fire, because instead of demonizing Putin and Russia, thus confirming the official story, he showed us glimpses of the truth.

The organization, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, published a report that completely destroyed the false accusations about Trump/Russian hacking of the US presidential election. The Nation published an objective article about the report and was assaulted by writers, contributors, and readers for publishing information that weakens the case, which the liberal/progressive/left in conjunction with the military/security complex, is orchestrating against Trump. The magazine’s audience felt that the magazine had an obligation not to truth but to getting Trump out of office. Reportedly, the editor is considering whether to recall the article.

So here we have left-leaning Oliver Stone and leftwing magazine, The Nation, under fire for making information available that is out of step with the self-serving “truth” to which the liberal/progressive/left and their ally, the military/security complex, are committed.

When a country has a population among whom there are no truths except group-specific truths, the country is so divided as to be over and done with. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The white liberal/progressive/left leaders of divisive Identity Politics have little, if any, comprehension of where the movement they think they lead is headed. At the moment the hate is focused on the “alt-right,” which has become “white nationalists,” which has become “white supremacists.” These “white supremacists” have become epitomized by statues of Confederate soldiers and generals. All over the South, if local governments are not removing the statues, violent crazed thugs consumed by hate attempt to destroy them. In New Orleans someone with money bused in thugs from outside flying banners that apparently are derived from a communist flag to confront locals protesting the departure of their history down the Orwellian Memory Hole.

What happens when all the monuments are gone? Where does the hate turn next? Once non-whites are taught to hate whites, not even self-hating whites are safe. How do those taught hate tell a good white from a bad white? They can’t and they won’t. By definition by Identity Politics, whites, for now white heterosexual males, are the victimizers and everyone else is their victim. The absurdity of this concept is apparent, yet the concept is unshaken by its absurdity. White heterosexual males are the only ones without the privilege of quotas. They and only they can be put at the back of the bus for university admissions, employment, promotion, and only their speech is regulated. They, and only they, can be fired for using “gender specific terms,” for using race specific terms, for unknowingly offending some preferred group member by using a word that is no longer permissible. They can be called every name in the book, beginning with racist, misogynist, and escalating, and no one is punished for the offense.

Recently, a professor in the business school of a major university told me that he used the word, girls, in a marketing discussion. A young womyn was offended. The result was he received a dressing down from the dean. Another professor told me that at his university there was a growing list of blacklisted words. It wasn’t clear whether the list was official or unofficial, simply professors trying to stay up with Identity Politics and avoid words that could lead to their dismissal. Power, they tell me, is elsewhere than in the white male, the true victimized class.

For years commentators have recognized the shrinking arena of free speech in the United States. Any speech that offends anyone but a white male can be curtailed by punishment. Recently, John Whitehead, constitutional attorney who heads the Rutherford Institute, wrote that it is now dangerous just to defend free speech. Reference to the First Amendment suffices to bring denunciation and threats of violence. Ron Unz notes that any website that can be demonized as “controversial” can find itself disappeared by Internet companies and PayPal. They simply terminate free speech by cutting off service.

It must be difficult to teach some subjects, such as the “civil war” for example. How would it be possible to describe the actual facts? For example, for decades prior to the Union’s invasion of the Confederacy North/South political conflict was over tariffs, not over slavery.

The fight over which new states created from former “Indian” territories would be “slave” and which “free” was a fight over keeping the protectionist (North) vs. free trade (South) balance in Congress equal so that the budding industrial north could not impose a tariff regime. Two days before Lincoln’s inaugural address, a stiff tariff was signed into law. That same day in an effort to have the South accept the tariff and remain in or return to the Union—some southern states had seceded, some had not—Congress passed the Corwin amendment that provided constitutional protection to slavery. The amendment prohibited the federal government from abolishing slavery.

Two days later in his inaugural address, which seems to be aimed at the South, Lincoln said: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Lincoln’s beef with the South was not over slavery or the Fugitive Slave Act. Lincoln did not accept the secessions and still intended to collect the tariff that now was law. Under the Constitution slavery was up to the states, but the Constitution gave the federal government to right to levy a tariff. Lincoln said that “there needs to be no bloodshed or violence” over collecting the tariff. Lincoln said he will use the government’s power only “to collect the duties and imposts,” and that “there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.”

Here is Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator,” telling the South that they can have slavery if they will pay the duties and imposts on imports. How many black students and whites brainwashed by Identity Politics are going to sit there and listen to such a tale and not strongly protest the racist professor justifying white supremacy and slavery?

So what happens to history when you can’t tell it as it is, but instead have to refashion it to fit the preconceived beliefs formed by Identity Politics? The so-called “civil war,” of course, is far from the only example.

In its document of secession, South Carolina made a case that the Constitutional contract had been broken by some of the northern states breaking faith with Article IV of the Constitution. This is true. However, it is also true that the Southern states had no inclination to abide by Section 8 of Article I, which says that “Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises.” So, also the South by not accepting the tariff was not constitutionally pure.

Before history became politicized, historians understood that the North intended for the South to bear costs of the North’s development of industry and manufacturing. The agricultural South preferred the lower priced goods from England. The South understood that a tariff on British goods would push import prices above the high northern prices and lower the South’s living standards in the interest of raising living standards in the North. The conflict was entirely economic and had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, which also had existed in the North. Indeed, some northern states had “exclusion ordinances” and anti-immigration provisions in their state constitutions that prohibited the immigration of blacks into northern states. http://slavenorth.com/exclusion.htm

If freeing slaves were important to the North and avoiding tariffs was important to the South, one can imagine some possible compromises. For example, the North could have committed to building factories in the South. As the South became industrialized, new centers of wealth would arise independently from the agricultural plantations that produced cotton exports. The labor force would adjust with the economy, and slavery would have evolved into free labor.

Unfortunately, there were too many hot heads. And so, too, today.

In America there is nothing on the horizon but hate. Everywhere you look in America you see nothing but hate. Putin is hated. Russia is hated. Muslims are hated. Venezuela is hated. Assad is hated. Iran is hated. Julian Assange is hated. Edward Snowden is hated. White heterosexual males are hated. Confederate monuments are hated. Truth-tellers are hated. “Conspiracy theorists” are hated. No one escapes being hated.

Hate groups are proliferating, especially on the liberal/progressive/left. For example, RootsAction has discovered a statue of Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol and urges all good people to demand its removal. Whether the level of ignorance that RootsAction personifies is real or just a fund-raising ploy, I do not know. But clearly RootsAction is relying on public ignorance in order to get the response that they want. In former times when the US had an educated population, everyone understood that there was a great effort to reconcile the North and South and that reconciliation would not come from the kind of hate-mongering that now infects RootsAction and most of the action groups and websites of the liberal/progressive/left.

Today our country is far more divided that it was in 1860. Identity Politics has taught Americans to hate each other, but, nevertheless, the zionist neoconservatives assure us that we are “the indispensable, exceptional people.” We, a totally divided people, are said to have the right to rule the world and to bomb every country that doesn’t accept our will into the stone age.

In turn the world hates America. Washington has told too many lies about other countries and used those lies to destroy them. Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, and large chunks of Syria and Pakistan are in ruins. Washington intends yet more ruin with Venezuela currently in the cross hairs.

Eleven years ago Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez resonated with many peoples when he said in his UN speech: “Yesterday at this very podium stood Satan himself [Bush], speaking as if he owned the world; you can still smell the sulphur.”

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that America is a font for hatred both at home and abroad.

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  • Barba_Papa

    “Only a small percentage of readers are interested in the truth. Most want their biases or brainwashing vindicated.”

    Doesn’t that apply to SF readers as well? I too would much rather read about news from and about Syria here, then on Livemap, or most Western news services, as I find SF’s bias on Syria to be far more in line with my own.

    • Sadde

      maybe the truth is more in line with you:)

    • heydad

      Very rational point. it would be inhuman to be able to dismiss all forms of bias. The difference is the ability to be aware of those bias. The majority will not admit any bias as to reassure their own self-righteousness. Sure I’m a bit bias towards Syrian government and Russia for helping (those that help my family the most) but I can make a decision based on logic and formulating an opinion from hearing the most. Majority will watch or obtain news from one source geared at your bias and reinforce it. This is another great article on SF that reinforces my own opinions while also making a solid logical argument.

    • Brother Ma

      Maybe you keep coming back to SF because it is more truthful than other sites?.You being a truth seeker then explains why you prefer to come back to SF.Sadde expressed it similarly.

    • Gladius et Scutum

      Every human on earth is going to have bias, and all reporting is going to reflect bias, even it does so minimally. While the reporting of facts here is generally head and shoulders above that of most MSM sources, the editorial slant of the authors, and the extreme black and white viewpoints of many of the commenters, is not a whole lot different from those of the MSM sources. While the MSM starts from the position (more or less) that the “US can do no wrong and is only helping out of the goodness of their hearts to stop the blackest of evils” SF comes from the opposite end (more or less) that the “US is the blackest of evil and Russia, Syria, and Iran can do no wrong.”

      Do the writers here, and do the commenters here, really think Russia and Iran are helping Syria for purely selfless reasons out of the goodness of their hearts? Do you really think that Russia wont want expanded military bases and political, economic, and diplomatic concessions at the end of the war? Do you really not see that Iran is expanding its own hegemonic power in the region purely for its own self interest? Every single country on earth acts in more or less similar ways, it is just that the US is the most powerful and thus an easy target that its methods are seen as somehow different.

      In its favour, SF does take a much more policy-oriented approach than does the MSM, which takes almost and entirely emotional approach, but the underlying naivete is still there.

  • Writing the truth is no way to succeed as an author. Only a small percentage of readers are interested in the truth. Most want their biases or brainwashing vindicated. They want to read what they already believe. It is comforting, reassuring. When their ignorance is confronted, they become angry. The way to be successful as a writer is to pick a group and give them what they want. PCR

    I pity those whom have given up and believe that nothing can be done – ” best not make any trouble and live your days out quietly lest you become of some interest to the watchers – I say to them – is it better to live on your knees or to die on your feet?

    We are more far powerful than we know — they fear the day when we discover it.

  • Brother Ma

    Loved the article but why does he say Liberals and their allies the military / industrial complex? What, rightist types are not also in league with military industrial in u ‘ merika? Come on! The whole power class in uh’ merika is in with this complex!

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      The Military Industrial Congress is very old and even had a major influence prior to the Civil War , the left and right describe the people more than it identifies with the MIC. The use of the word Congress is more appropriate than “Complex” since many control the Military and Industrial through it. There are no real left and right in politics there is their way or no way at all, because both groups one or the other will push against the stream.

      • Brother Ma

        Yes i agree. Not much differentiation between left and right in modern western world.all power elites in all countries love globalization and military industrial complex.only very partisan people think that there is still a real left and a real right.

  • George King

    Orwellian, indeed.
    A man loses his identity while living under a repressive regime. In a story based on George Orwell’s classic novel, Winston Smith (John Hurt) is a government employee whose job involves the rewriting of history in a manner that casts his fictional country’s leaders in a charitable light.

    The Ministry of Truth (in Newspeak, Minitrue) is the propaganda ministry. As with the other ministries in the novel, the name Ministry of Truth is a misnomer because in reality it serves the opposite: it is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events.

    “The Iron Law of Oligarchy”
    According to Michels all organizations eventually come to be run by a “leadership class”, who often function as paid administrators, executives, spokespersons, political strategists, organizers, etc. for the organization. Far from being “servants of the masses”, Michels argues this “leadership class,” rather than the organization’s membership, will inevitably grow to dominate the organization’s power structures.

    By controlling who has access to information, those in power can centralize their power successfully, often with little accountability, due to the apathy, indifference and non-participation most rank-and-file members have in relation to their organization’s decision-making processes. Michels also argues that democratic attempts to hold leadership positions accountable are prone to fail, since with power comes the ability to reward loyalty, the ability to control information about the organization, and the ability to control what procedures the organization follows when making decisions. All of these mechanisms can be used to strongly influence the outcome of any decisions made ‘democratically’ by members.

    We have all lost our identities under the regime but wail at the symptoms, the Oligarchs, the left, the right, white, black, grey but ignore our part in the Iron Law of Oligarchy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy

    • RichardD

      From the article that you linked to:

      “Michels stated that the official goal of representative democracy of eliminating elite rule was impossible, that representative democracy is a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, which he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable.[1] Later Michels migrated to Italy and joined Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party, as he believed this was the next legitimate step of modern societies.”

      The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

      On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations (a democratic organization) adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

      “Article 21.

      (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
      (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
      (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

      • RichardD

        The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

        On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations (a democratic organization seeking to codify into law it’s political system and to outlaw the right to good goverence and all of the other political systems capable of providing it) adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

        “Article 21.

        (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
        (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
        (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”

        The problem with this is that it extinguishes the right of other political systems to govern and the over arching right to good governance. It should be rewritten to prioritize good goverence, recognize the validity of different types of political systems, and judge governments by how good of a job that they do, not by the political system that they use.

  • RichardD

    PCR treads lightly around the Jew word. It’s clear from his writings that he’s very much aware of the problem. And while there’s a lot of truth to his writings, helping to cover up the Jew problem by not examining it in context where it’s a major contributing factor to what he’s complaining about isn’t helping to get the problem solved. Maybe he’s afraid of the Jew criminals. Zionist neocons was mentioned once in the article. Other culprits were mentioned many times. This doesn’t help with placing blame or suggesting solutions where they proportionally belong.