The Disastrous Power Elite Tunnel Vision, to Which a Population Is Indoctrinated
By Dr. Hassan El-Najjar
Editor of Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org
March 31, 2010
This article was first delivered as a lecture on February 22, 2010. It is provided here for the use of students, researchers, peace activists, journalists, and readers, together with links to resources, photos, and maps.
Those interested in delivering it as a public lecture can use the lecture outline as well as the lecture power-point presentation, on the following links:
The Lecture Outline:
I. Groupthink & Indoctrination:
As a term, "Groupthink" was first coined by Irving Janis (1972 & 1982). However, the topic has been discussed extensively by social scientists. It refers to the narrowing of thought by a group of people, leading to the perception that there is only one correct answer, in which to even suggest alternatives becomes a sign of disloyalty.
Groupthink may start as a view announced or adopted by a dominant member of a group, then it is quickly followed and observed by other members. It can be found in various levels of social interaction, such as in the family, among friends, at work, or in large organizations.
Once the dominant member of a group is seen as adopting a certain viewpoint, other members start showing loyalty by not only accepting it but also by defending that viewpoint as their own. Because it is a matter of loyalty to the leader, it does not matter if that viewpoint is right or wrong.
On the societal level, the inner circle of a leader adopts his/her viewpoint, then starts to disseminate it to the lower levels of followers until it reaches the vast majority of people in society.
The process of disseminating views of the Power Elite, who control society, to the rest of the population in order for recipients to adopt and internalize these views as their own is called "indoctrination."
The success of the indoctrination process is dependent on the degree of how much control of information the Power Elite exert on a society. This is mainly represented by their ownership and/or control of the mass media (TV stations, radio stations, news agencies, national newspapers, and national magazines), publishing houses, boards of education, and religious establishments.
Members of society are then fed with the views of the power elite from all these venues of indoctrination, from birth to death. The result is a loyal population, the average members of which cannot think outside the indoctrination cage they found themselves in.
Members of the indoctrinated population even do not know that they have been subjected to a long-term indoctrination process. If they ever dare to criticize or object to anything their leaders do or say, it is usually a protest against the efficiency of certain leaders in implementing plans or achieving goals of the power elite.
An example of such protests can be found in voting for the rival party, whenever a government fails to solve problems affecting the life of people directly, such as economic uncertainty, an increase in unemployment, or a long war that went out of control.
Although this can be noticed in the capitalist societies all over the world, it is more strikingly noticeable in the core industrial societies of the northern hemisphere. Almost everywhere in the world, the Power Elite control their subjects by indoctrinating their populations to their Groupthink.
Though the main argument of this article / lecture applies to almost all countries of the world, for the sake of brevity, the focus will be on the United States.
Indoctrination to the US Power Elite Groupthink
The Power Elite ruling the United States have a view that America is an Empire though they never tell that directly to their indoctrinated population. Whenever it is publically stated, it is obscured in a terminology which cannot be understood by the average person, such as the term of "Pax Americana," used only once by James Baker III in his memoirs (1995).
When Americans are fed up with one party, usually after eight years of wars, corruption, and bad economic times, they vote for the other party. The vast majority of American voters are trapped into thinking as Democrats or Republicans. Very few think outside the box, to vote for other parties. This is because of the long-term indoctrination process into the world vision of the power elite, who divided themselves into the two faces of the same coin.
Politicians of the two main parties represent different tactics for achieving the strategies or goals of "Pax Americana," or the global American Empire. Both Democratic and Republican administrations, for example, support the Israeli occupation regime to the level of worshipping it, maintain American military bases all over the world, never question the US highest military spending in human history, launch wars around the world, and increase the US national debt to unprecedented levels, also in human history.
There are four major differences between these two groups of the US power elite, which alternate control over the US government in particular, and the US society as a whole. All pertaining to internal US politics.
Republicans are champions of tax cuts for the wealthy, against some adult sexual practices, advocates of the least government intervention to help the poor, and proponents of the tight indoctrination of the masses to the degree of violating their basic human rights (Such as the adoption of the Patriot Act and the security measures resulting from it).
Democrats are champions of more taxes on the wealthy, tolerant to adult sexual practices, advocates of government intervention to help the poor, and less zealous towards indoctrination of the masses. However, like Republicans, they uphold the indoctrination of the masses concerning the holiness of Israel.
Members of the power elite, or their loyal representatives, maintain a tight grip over venues of information allowed to be received by the masses (mass media, publishing houses, boards of education, and religious establishments). This has resulted in the indoctrination of Americans to the viewpoints of their rulers.
This explains why the vast majority of Americans have not objected, protested, or revolted against the policies of their rulers, which have led to the financial, economic, and military disasters, particularly during the first decade of the 21st century.
There have been no public discussions in the government, corporate media, schools, or churches about the American Empire and how much harmful it is to the American people and to the US as a nation state. Nobody is questioning the highest military spending in history, or the astronomical US national debt which may never be paid off. Even when a committee was established to investigate the September 11 attacks, its focus was on how and why various US government agencies failed to foil the attacks. There has been no discussion on why these attacks occurred, or on the relationship between the US support for Israel and these attacks. More important, there has never been an investigation of why the US truly invaded Iraq, which resulted in killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, displacing millions of them, and destroying their state. There has never been an investigation to the role of the pro-Israel officials of the Bush administration in planning and executing the war which caused the death of thousands of American soldiers, injured tens of thousands of them, increased the US national debt by more than $4 trillion, and devastated the US economy as well as the US financial system.
There are no discussions about the other real problems facing the American societies. There are no discussions about why nearly one million Americans are allowed to be killed every year as a result of consuming products of the tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and fire arms industries. There are no discussions about why the United States is the highest country in the world in crimes, number of prisoners, and teenage pregnancy.
The Power Elite in the US have focused on their global agenda for too long, neglecting or sacrificing the American society in the process. Their tight control of information distracts Americans away from these essential issues by flooding the mass media with trivial issues (e.g. celebrity lifestyles) and by scaring them to death from foreign threats (Communists in the past and Muslims now).
The US power elite have perfected the indoctrination of their population, indeed, reaping the prize of almost total obedience and loyalty. However, the cost has been the lack of dissent, critical thinking, and alternative views that would have saved the US from the disasters of the $12.3 trillion national debt (as of February 2010), the 2008 collapse of the financial system, and the continuous quest for more wars on behalf of the Israeli occupation regime.
Serious Problems Facing American Society, Not on the Power Elite Public Discussions or Debates
1. The US national debt, $14.7 trillion as of September 2011: How did it accumulate so fast? What's its major cause?
2. The influence of oil companies on foreign policy, particularly the US invasion and occupation of the Arabian Peninsula, since 1990. (gulfwar1991)
3. The influence of the Israel Lobby on the legislative and executive branches of our government.
4. Our health care system that leaves millions of Americans without coverage. Why?
5. More than 440,000 Americans are killed annually by the tobacco industry.
Why is this killer industry allowed to continue killing hundreds of thousands of Americans every year?
(Macionis, Social Problems, 2010: 212).
6. Alcohol is involved in about one-third of 40,000 motor vehicle deaths in the US.
One-third of the convicted jail inmates report that they were under influence of alcohol when they committed their crimes.
(Macionis, Social Problems, 2010: 215).
Horrible abuse practices, cruelty, and rape happen while perpetrators are under influence of alcohol.
Why isn't this a public outcry in the corporate media of the power elite?
7. Why do we have the highest rates of imprisonment, abortion, and teenage pregnancy in the world?
8. Why are all these essential problems ignored?
1. Examples of Groupthink from US history:
a. Pearl Harbor attack, in 1941.
President Roosevelt and his chiefs of staff refused to believe the evidence presented to them that the Japanese were preparing to attack Pearle Harbor. They did not want to believe that the Japanese could dare to do it. They did (Henslin, 2007: 169)
b. Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, 1961.
President Kennedy asked his advisors (the war cabinet) their opinions about the US-backed invasion of Cuba. All of them approved. The investigation after the fiasco revealed that they did not like it but everyone of them was afraid of dissenting from the group. They thought the President wanted it and it was their duty to support him. The President said if only one of them dissented I would have canceled it (Robinson, Ira, 1987).
c. Reports of Vietnamese strength, early 1960s.
The U.S. officials had evidence of the strength and determination of the Vietnamese to continue their resistance to the U.S. invasion and occupation. They threw such evidence aside refusing to believe that "little, uneducated, barefoot people in pajamas" could defeat the U.S. military (Henslin, 2007: 169) .
d. Colombia space shuttle disaster of 2003.
The team in charge of the Colombia shuttle refused to believe the warnings that some foam might have damaged the shuttle nose cone tiles. Engineers warned that this may create a problem at reentry and suggested a space walk to repair it. However, the team Groupthink led them to disregard the warning, which led to the explosion of the shuttle at reentry, as the engineers warned (Henslin, 2007: 169).
e. Invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.
We are still living this saga. President Bush decided to invade Iraq from the early days of his presidency, well before the September 11 attacks, as the White House Security Advisor Richard Clark and Secretary Paul O'Neal revealed after that. He even asked Clark to find evidence that Iraq was behind the attacks.
The overwhelming majority leaders in government, corporate media units, and even many churches leaders adopted the same pro-war Groupthink. Nobody questioned the consequences of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which turned to be a military, financial, and economic disaster to the U.S. and a total destruction of the Iraqi state and the fabric of the Iraqi society.
The exception was represented by dissenting voices in the internet alternative media, which were subject to attacks, acts of intimidation, and threats.
Until today, it's still a taboo for leaders in US government, media, and other social institutions to speak about the real causes of the war (Israel, military-industrial complex, and oil interests).
The continuation of the taboo is the evidence of the continuation of Groupthink, the dissent from which one would be suspected as disloyal, or at least an admission of the adoption of a wrong decision.
f. The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
One of the most striking examples of GROUPTHINK in the US is how a small group of Zionists control the US foreign policy towards the Middle East generally, and the the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in particular.
A brief historical survey of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict shows that Israelis invaded Palestine during the first half of the 20th century, with help from Britain.
They dispossessed the Palestinian people in 1948, evicting them from their cities and villages and turning them into refugees.
Here's a link to the conflict historical survey:
An illustration of the historical stages of the conflict can be found in the links to 17 maps, at the end of this article / lecture.
Instead of helping the victim indigenous population, successive US Democratic and Republican administrations have not stopped their financial, economic, and military support to the Israeli occupation governments, all of them.
Why is that?
The US Power Elite have formulated their Groupthink tunnel vision view that the existence of the state of Israel is a US national interest. As a consequence, the US government has to support the Zionist state even if it launches wars of aggression for expansion throughout the Middle East, continues to rule the Palestinian people against their will, stealing their lands and depriving them of their human rights. The US even has to fight wars on behalf of the Zionist state, such as the US invasion of Iraq and the coming war on Iran. The ultimate goal of this Groupthink is to make sure that the Israeli state is the dominant and the only nuclear power in the world oil-rich region, in preparation for the creation of the Israeli Empire, which extends from the Nile to the Euphrates Rivers (See The Zionist Plan for the Middle East: A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties By Oded Yinon).
But who are the members of the Power Elite shaping the US Groupthink towards Israel and the Middle East?
The answer is simple. These are the US Zionists whose loyalty is to Israel first, constituting what's known as The Israel Lobby, which controls the US foreign policy, as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt thoroughly documented. During their annual conference held at AIPAC, in Washington D.C., US politicians from both parties scramble to pledge allegiance to the Israeli state and its policies. Those who prove to be most loyal are recommended to attend the Herzilia annual conference in Israel, or to travel to Israel where they meet with the Israeli leaders and get the final approval for them to hold the highest public offices in the US.
Members of the Israel Lobby control the production of plans, strategies, and ideas of the US foreign policy through their control of various think tanks in the US, such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Council on Foreign Relations, as documented in Chapter 11 of this author's book, The Gulf War: Overreaction & Excessiveness.
American politicians who aspire for holding high public office need to endorse these Israel Lobby plans and strategies. However those who dare to speak criticizing the racist Israel and its policies of occupation and subjugation, like Paul Findley (Video), ( Book: They-Dare-Speak-Out-) and Cynthia-McKinney, lose their jobs in Congress. Even President Carter was attacked and discredited for his book, Palestine-Peace-Apartheid, (Video). President Johnson provided Israel with everything needed to launch its expansionist war of aggression in 1967 under the influence of his Israeli mistress, Matilda Krim, who stayed frequently in the White House with him.
The infamous scandal of President Bill Clinton was nothing more than punishment and a decisive measure to stop him from pursuing the peace process, which would have led to a Palestinian state by 1999, as Rabin and Arafat agreed. Monica Lewinski was the bullet which silenced him. The Israeli government was listening to his telephone conversations with Monica. When the peace process was preempted by the assassination of Rabi, Clinton wanted to continue the implementation of Rabin's vision. He insisted that Netanyahu observe the agreement with Arafat. When he dragged his feet, he summoned him to Washington. Angry Netanyahu then announced that he was going there but to burn Washington, (not to submit to its will). Then, the story of Clinton-Lewinski broke out, leading to the scandalous impeachment process, which humiliated the American President for daring to hold the peaceful position of an assassinated Israeli prime minister.
President Bush Sr. lost his reelection bid as a result of refusing to give loan guarantees to the Israeli government, which would have been used to expand the illegal Israeli settlement activities in East Jerusalem and other Palestinian lands in the West Bank.
President Bush Jr. was humiliated live on TV screens in April 2002, when kept pleading to Sharon to stop his destruction of the Jenin refugee camp, in vain. Then, he realized who is really in control of the Empire, leaving foreign policy to the Israel Lobby, which put the peace process on hold during his two terms in office.
President Obama promised to change the US foreign policy towards the Arab and Muslim worlds, as he stated in his Ankara and Cairo speeches. However, he has been distracted to the protracted processes of the financial and health care problems internally, and to the escalation of the US war in Afghanistan. This led him to neglect the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to the extent that the Netanyahu government has continued its illegal settlement activities on the Palestinian lands. Moreover, it has refused to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza as the outcome of the forever-protracted ploy known as negotiations or peace process.
The Israeli expansionist occupiers have not been cooperative with Obama despite his many reiterations of support for Israel and despite surrounding himself with the staunchest supporters of Israel: Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinto, and Rahm Israel Emanuel. Actually, Biden once said, "You don't have to be Jewish to be a Zionist." Hillary Clinton even uses the Israeli terminology in her speeches, like the "existential threat" in reference to the Iranian nuclear program during her AIPAC speech. She goes around the world lobbying nations to participate in the sanctions regime against Iran while ignoring the fact that Israel is the only state which have nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
2. Consequences of Indoctrinating a nation to its Power Elite Groupthink
a. The ruling class makes sure that the population under its control is indoctrinated to loyalty to their government and its policies, particularly those with long-term effects, such as wars. For example, the indoctrination for the US pro-Israel foreign policy is conducted by the pro-Israel mass media (See Global media giants: Who own them and what is their goal) and through the pro-Israel Evangelical Christian churches.
b. Because of indoctrination of loyalty to government no matter what it does, people become indifferent and numb towards wars launched by their government, such as the US invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. People don't react to the TV coverage of the Israeli carnage and war crimes committed live and broadcast on TV, like what the most recent Israeli war on besieged Gaza Strip in January 2009.
c. Disasters and calamities befall on their heads and on other nations. The US now is about $12.3 trillion in debt, which is impossible to pay off, leading to the de facto enslavement of the American people through heavy taxes in the future. The US financial system collapsed at the end of the Bush administration, in 2008, as a result of borrowing more than $4 trillion to spend on the Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and the global war Muslim groups, dubbed as the "War on Terror."
Millions of Iraqis and Afghanis were killed, millions were displaced or fled as refugees around the world. More than four thousand American soldiers lost their life and about 35,000 soldiers were injured in these wars.
The ultimate consequence of this pro-Israel Groupthink of the US Power Elite is that people around the world know now that the US wars and policies have one major objective: Guarding the interests of Israel, as if they are American national interests. As a result, the US foreign policy is seen around the world in service of the Israeli aggression, injustice, and domination over the Middle East.
This is not in the interest of the American people or in the interest of the United States, as a nation state. Rather, it is in the interests of Israel and its Empire plans in the Middle East and the world.
II. Dehumanization as a requirement of forming Groupthink about the enemy, in preparation for war
1. Definition: The act or process of reducing people to objects that do not deserve the treatment accorded humans (Henslin, 2007). This happens in all wars, in which both sides create negative terminology to describe the enemy. Describing the people in enemy nations in a derogatory, negative, and scary terms has the objective of numbing the population towards the destruction of the enemy state, environment, and people.
2. Examples: While dehumanization has been used in almost all wars, here are two examples about how the Power Elite in Israel and the United States used it.
a. The Israeli use of the term "terrorism" to describe the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation forces and government, which have ruled them by force since the Israeli war of aggression, in 1967.
Terrorism is terrorizing or being terrorized, a mode of governing, or of opposing government by intimidation. As such, it most likely applies to what the Israeli occupation forces and their government have been doing the Palestinian people since 1948: Killing, injuring, kidnapping, detention, confiscation and damaging of property, and ruling the population by force, against their will.
The term should be used to describe individuals, groups, and governments, which are involved in terrorizing the civilian populations. Corporate media journalists in Israel and the US use the term routinely to describe individuals and groups but never use it to describe the governments which target the civilian population by killing them, destroying their homes and fields, or by subjecting them to collective punishment. This is state terrorism, a term that should be used every time the Israeli government sends its occupation forces to kill Palestinians, kidnap them, or steal their property.
Actually, the Israelis were the ones who invented the term, "war on terror," which was borrowed later by the Bush administration to describe its global permanent war policy.
The objective has been neutralizing citizens in Israel and the US and making them indifferent towards the human suffering and losses as a result of the Israeli and US wars and attacks on Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims.
The description does not only apply to the enemy fighters but also to the civilian population, including helpless women and children. This explains why there are no outrage cries whenever civilians are massacred in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan. By repeating the term of terror, terrorists, and terrorism so much in the media and by officials, it conveys a message to citizens that these are enemy individuals, they are not human like us, they are terrorists, don't worry about killing them.
b. Attacking the Islamic religion and equating it with fascism.
This was a higher level of escalation in the usage of the concept of indoctrination to Groupthink than dehumanization of people by describing them as "terrorists." Here a population's culture, particularly their belief system, is dragged to the process of dehumanization.
The objective here is distracting the indoctrinated population away from the real reasons of war, namely control over the territory, resources, and people of the invaded nations. Instead, the indoctrinated population is led to believe that there is something wrong with the religion of the targeted population. There religion is dangerous, that's why a lot of the dehumanization terminology during the Bush administration's global "War on Terror," had to do with "fanatics, extremists, and even Islamo-Fascists."
The term, Islamo-Fascism, was intended to create a psychological link between the religion of Islam and the defunct and racist European ideology of fascism, which started in Italy but extended to Germany and Japan. People consuming the term would be led to believe that Muslims are also fascists like Italians, Germans, and Japanese, who were enemies of the United States during World War II. Therefore, they deserve to be defeated and killed.
President Bush himself used the term, indicating that this was also the position of his advisors. The US corporate media used it and was followed by the media in other NATO countries. Zionist groups in the US even targeted university and college campuses to explain the term to students and promote its usage among them. This author was invited by a student organization in Emory University to give a lecture there as a counter-balance to a week-long campaign of dehumanization of Muslims, through equating Islam with fascism. Readers can find the lecture at this link: "Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns A Lecture, photos, references.
To equate Islam with fascism is not only ignorance but it is an assumption that people are stupid and will swallow the pro-war propaganda. It didn't work. Students in Emory and around the US were smart enough to uncover the real objective of the pro-war campaign. They held protests and invited alternative speakers everywhere.
Islam is the message of God to humanity, transcending race, ethnicity, gender, and region. It does not glorify any nation, as does fascism, which justified the invasion and subjugation of other nations. In fact, the Israeli Zionist state maybe the only existing fascist regime in the world today, as it discriminates against the Palestinian people on racial and religious grounds.
III. How & why does it happen?
"War is the only solution for the world problems"
The dominant GROUPTHINK tunnel-vision view, to which Americans are indoctrinated, is that the US is involved in all of these wars around the world because there is something wrong with these people ... their religion, militancy, and terrorism.
An objective investigation shows that US wars are sought by the Power Elite of the ruling class as the only way to control the world human and natural resources, and to subjugate nations to the will of the rulers of the American Empire.
Explaining US "Permanent War" Policies:
1. The alliance between top political, military, and business leaders
a. The Power Elite Theory of C. Wright Mills
In his book, "The Power Elite" (1956), C. Wright Mills argued that the United States is ruled by three groups of leaders. These are top business, military, and political leaders. Though the first two groups are unelected, they exert influence on the elected political leaders.
An application of the Power Elite theory leads to showing the top business leaders as the real rulers of society. They influence the selection process of politicians through their donations and their financial intervention in the political process. In return, elected politicians (in the legislative and executive branches of the government) pay their business patrons back by using the US government diplomatic, economic, financial, and military resources to subjugate other nations to the wishes of the US corporations.
The top military leaders work with the military and security industries to develop the weapon systems, technology, and information systems, which maintain the American hegemony world-wide. Their main job is to come up with a military budget which enables them to guard the interests of the American Empire world-wide, thus spending most of the US annual financial revenues to maintain the US military bases, fleets, and wars around the world.
President Eisenhower warned us against this alliance between the top military business leaders, which he called the military-industrial complex, because of its deleterious consequences internally and externally, as mentioned below.
Through their tight control over the government, the three groups of the US power elite spread their Groupthink of the American Empire through the corporate mass media. Local political, media, and religious leaders in the states absorb that Groupthink and disseminate it among the masses of clueless consumers of that propaganda machine.
b. The acknowledgement of and warning against the military-industrial complex by President Eisenhower in his Farewell Address):
In his farewell address, President Eisenhower acknowledged the existence of but warned against the military-industrial complex. According to Eisenhower's accurate statement, the military-industrial complex has been using the vital resources of the American people to feed its wars world-wide, depriving them of the fruits of their hard work. Here's an excerpt of that speech but reader can read it in its entirety by clicking at the link that follows.
2. Ownership and control of the corporate mass media by the Power Elite
The mass media is a term which refers to major TV stations, newspapers, magazines, and publishing houses, which feed masses of people with information. Whoever controls these mass media units controls minds of the millions of people who are consuming their products. As a result, the Power Elite ruling the United States have made sure that they own and control the US mass media in order to disseminate their Groupthink about the American Empire among their subjects.
It is also important for the dehumanization process of the target population, in order for Americans to accept the war and its horrors inflicted on that population. Among the most important roles of the mass media becomes wide and consistent usage of negative terminology associated with the enemy population. In every war the US launched, the target population was dehumanized with such labels and descriptions as savages (native Americans), racial slurs (African Americans), Japs (during World War II), Reds, Communists (during the Cold War), and now Islamists, militants, insurgents, and the most commonly used term, "terrorists."
This process of indoctrinating citizens to the rulers' Groupthink can never succeed without the ownership and control of the mass media in any nation, not only in the US. This issue may be more understood by analyzing it using the two main sociological theories of function and conflict.
a. The functional and conflict sociological theories
Functionalists may argue that the mass media as a social institution exists because it performs unique and necessary functions for society. The mass media provide citizens with news, education, interaction, and entertainment. Their service satisfy a basic need for information among citizens. Further, the mass media allows various viewpoints to be expressed in news, religious broadcasting, and entertainment. TV stations, for example, range from the ultra conservative Fox News to the liberal CNBC, and the centrist CNN. The system is functioning, the system is great. Don't worry, be happy.
The conflict theory points that there is a class warfare in society, in which the ruling capitalist class maintains its control over societal resources through disseminating its own ideology of capitalism among the masses of people. The ruled working classes then develop a false consciousness of their class positions and their class interests. They end up absorbing the capitalist ideology and adopting it as their own. This is reflected in voting for capitalists and their representatives, who exploit them by keeping the profits and sharing them with workers. It is also reflected in their support for the "permanent war" policy of their rulers though they are the ones who pay the ultimate price of war in the battlefield and home.
From a conflict viewpoint, the mass media is a tool, owned and controlled by the capitalist class, to control the minds of the masses of people by indoctrinating them to the Groupthink of the capitalist class. There is no real difference between the "liberal" and "conservative" units of the capitalist mass media. Putting differences about sexuality aside, both become phony labels. If the Power Elite decide war on any nation, all of the mass media units start beating the drums of war, preparing the citizens for it, and justifying the war horrors.
Almost all American mass media units supported the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. All of them have been supporting the Israeli continuous occupation of Palestine and the subjugation of the Palestinian people. There is no difference between the fanatical ultra conservative Fox News, CNN, or CNBC, or between New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, or Wall Street Journal, or between Time Magazine, News Week, or US News & World report. All are Pro-Israel, Pro-War.
b. Who owns the corporate mass media in the US?
Almost all of the mass media units in the US are owned by Zionists who are blind supporters of the Israeli occupation government and its racist and imperialist policies in the Middle East. As argued by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their great work, "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy," the US mass media is a tool used by the Israel Lobby to control political leaders and make sure that they support the apartheid state of Israel. Because Zionists have their own plans of world dominations through enabling the Israeli state to dominate the Middle East first, they have incited for and supported US wars in the Muslim world, such as the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The US mass media continuous incitement against Iran for its nuclear program is another recent evidence of their service to the Israeli state. Israel is the only nuclear power in the Middle East, with more than 200 nuclear heads, and capability to deliver them anywhere in the region. The US mass media never mention the Israeli nuclear arsenal and the Israeli nuclear terror in the region. They only focus on the Iranian nuclear program, which has never produced any weapons. All this is to prepare the American people for a potential war against Iran, in order to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities, as a first state. Then, Iran may be invaded as a second stage, like what happened to Iraq, using the same pretext, the Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction, which were never found.
Here's a link about a list of those who own and control the US mass media:
IV. Explanation of war in relation to the historical evolution of capitalism
As an economic system, capitalism evolved out of the agricultural mode of production. It has been demonstrating that it is a much more advanced and progressive mode than agriculture, not only in food production but also in technology, welfare, and generation of wealth. Through the continuous and merciless whipping of the working class, capitalists world-wide have been capable of achieving giant projects and reaching unprecedented levels of technology, information, and wealth. The standard of living the quality of life have become much better for the ruled working classes than was the case for the peasants during the feudal agricultural system before capitalism. However, on the level of human relations, capitalism has also achieved unprecedented level of exploitation and suffering for the working classes and the poor world-wide.
During the past five centuries, capitalism passed through five major stages, in all of which, war was a major capitalist tool to achieve the goal of capitalists of generating wealth for themselves and their offspring.
Capitalism evolved in Europe out of the feudal agricultural system there. European capitalists were fast to utilize the industrial revolution in making more lethal weapons, which were used against their enemies, rival capitalists or workers in Europe and around the world after that.
1. Mercantilism (Sponsoring explorations for trade): 15th-16th Centuries
European merchants, like those in the Italian city states of Genoa and Venice or Amsterdam in the Netherlands, were the first to become capitalists because of the capital or wealth they generated from trade. Mercantilism thrived by trade but merchants needed new routes for their trade with Far East, other than the Middle East which was controlled by Arab merchants. Joined by European monarchs and influential politicians and encouraged by scientific discoveries about Earth as a globe, they sponsored voyages exploring such new routes, such as those of Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, and Magellan.
After discovering the New World of North America, South America, and the South Pacific, European treated the native populations very badly, exterminating them in many cases if they could not utilize their services. The more lethal fire power of the European industrial society weapons allowed European capitalists to control the New World despite the resistance of the native population with their simple weapons.
2. Colonialism (Establishing colonies in the New World): 17th-18th
Following their control over the New World, European capitalists realized that they would not be able to generate the wealth they were looking for because of the shortage of wealth-producers, the workers, over there. They appealed to the European poor, persecuted religious groups, and even to prisoners to immigrate to the New World for better life opportunities. Then, they went to Africa to capture people by force and bring them to work in the colonies of the New World as slaves.
The policy of populating the New World worked and wealth was generated for European capitalists in more levels than ever before. However, all this could not have happened without bloodshed and wars launched against the native populations, which tried to defend their territories but were defeated as a result of the more advanced European warfare and industrial society weapons. Wars were also fought among European powers and among the colonies of the New World for territories and resources, such as the US wars against Spain and Mexico, which resulted in annexing Florida and major parts of Mexico to the United States.
3. Imperialism (Invasions and occupation for resources): 19th-20th Centuries
European capitalists, however, had to concede to the capitalists of the New World, who fought wars of independence against the European colonialist powers. As the colonies of the New World started to get independence one after the other, European capitalists turned to Africa and Asia as their new frontier for wealth generation. The two continents were ripe for the European capitalist exploitation. They had enormous amounts of raw materials, agricultural products, and most importantly huge number of workers to exploit.
With their advanced weapon systems, they invaded the two continents after dividing them in treaties among themselves in Europe. This time, they did not need to populate the colonies with European workers, like they did in the New World. They depended on professional military forces, which fight for money. They generated wealth by tapping to natural resources, cheap labor, and profit resulting from selling manufactured commodities.
Egypt and India provide and example of how British capitalists made their wealth through then invasion and occupation of both countries. One major company was established as a commercial monopoly, such as the British Eastern Company in India, which functioned as the only importer and exporter of commodities to and from the colonies. No other foreign companies were allowed into the colonies.
Indian farmers would grow cotton, for example, then sell it to the only buyer, the British company, which would buy it with the cheapest prices possible. Then, cotton is carried to England, which it is manufactured into textile products, brought back to India or other colonies, sold and making a profit.
The rivalry among European capitalist countries led to World War I, which led to dividing the Ottoman Middle Eastern provinces among the European powers: Britain, France, Italy, and Spain.
The defeat of Germany, the main European ally of the Ottoman Empire, in World War I and the following humiliation and reparations imposed on Germany led to World War II, in which all former European Empires collapsed, together with the Japanese Empire in Asia.
The two world wars of the twentieth century represent a testimony to the unprecedented devastation of capitalist wars, in which weapon systems have reached air, deep sea, and nuclear stages. More than sixty million people were killed during World War II, whole cities were eliminated from existence, and entire countries were destroyed.
Britain and France tried to regain their imperialist status by invading Egypt with participation from Israel, but President Eisenhower ordered the three of them tow withdraw. They did, realizing who is in control of the world capitalist system now. No other American president after Eisenhower could oppose the Israeli imperialist regime or order it to withdraw from the Arab territories it occupied in 1967, which indicates how much power the Israelis and their supporters have over the US government ever since, as argued by Mearsheimer and Walt.
Inheriting the European imperialist legacy, the United States started launching its own wars around the world to establish itself as the New World Empire (or New World Order). This endeavor started with the Korean war, then the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War over Kuwait, which resulted in the US occupation of the Arabian Peninsula, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the so-called global "war on terror."
Millions of people were killed in these wars, millions were displaced, and millions were forced out of their countries. Tens of thousands of Americans lost their life, hundreds of thousands were injured. But most importantly is the heavy financial prices of the war for the American society. The US financial system collapsed in late 2009 as a result of the war costs and militarization, which caused the US government to borrow in order to finance its wars world-wide. The US national debt has exceeded $12.6 trillion and it is steadily increasing day after day.
For the American people, the Empire has passed the point of diminishing returns. There is no way they can pay their national debt if the Empire wars continue. However, for the Power Elite, the issue is different. They have a global agenda. They may leave to Israel, China, or India if the US system collapses. Therefore, they may continue planning and launching more wars to the last American dollar.
Are the indoctrinated Americans from the middle and working classes going to wake up before it is too late?
I doubt it because of their tight indoctrination to the Groupthink of the Power Elite.
What about the internet?
It reaches a very small audience of intellectuals, who maybe very influential on the masses if they are committed and organized enough to save themselves and their nation.
4. Neo-Imperialism (International debts & multi-national corporations): Late 20th Century & 21st Century.
Acknowledging the futility of imperialist wars, and seeing new opportunities to generate wealth without shedding blood, death, and destruction, capitalists started to follow new methods such as granting loans to nations and receiving huge amounts of interests on the loan to the extent that the indebted become like their own slaves.
Another method of generating wealth without wars has been through the formation of multi-national corporations, which are not loyal to any country but exert huge influence on the societies they operate in. However, there are advantages of these corporations, such as more efficient production, cheaper prices of commodities, and creating jobs around the world.
V. The Empire Paradigm
In every historical era, few empires compete globally for control over human and natural resources until one is dominant. Then, it is challenged by an emerging empire. Empires last from few decades to several centuries, depending on several internal and external factors. Here is a selected number of the world empires, to help put the American Empire in perspective. It is not an attempt to list down all empires, for more details see a longer list below.
1. Historical sequence of major world empires
a. Ancient Egyptian (3,500 BC) and Iraqi (Babylon 1,800 BC) Empires in the Middle East
b. Greek world Empire (400-300 BC), from Greece to Egypt, to India
c. Roman Mediterranean Empire (200 BC to 600 AD), coastal Mediterranean regions
d. Arab-Islamic Empire (632-1254), Spain, North Africa, Middle East, to borders of India and China (Arab Spain continued to 1492)
e. Mongol Empire (1200-1500), from China to the Middle East
f. Ottoman Empire (1500-1918), Turkey, Eastern Europe, & the Middle East
g. European Empires, mainly Spanish, Portuguese, British, and French empires (1492-1945), dividing all continents among themselves
h. Soviet Empire (1917-1989), Russia, Central Asia, & Eastern Europe
i. American World Empire, competing with the Soviet Union for world dominance (1945-1989), then the only world-wide empire (1989-2010)
j. Emerging World Empire following the ultimate financial collapse of the American Empire due to permanent wars and the resulting astronomical national debt ($12.3 trillion, as of February 2010).
Contenders are China, Europe, & who else?
Or maybe a multi-empire world system?
2. Stages of the development of an empire (Bin Khaldoun, 14th Century)
What stage is the American Empire in now?
The Arab sociologist Abdul Rahman Bin Khaldoun of the 14th century divided the life of empires into the following five stages. Apparently, the American Empire is in its fourth stage.
a. Overthrow of an existing regime
The United States achieved that stage when the colonists revolted against their British rulers, resulting in establishing the US from the first thirteen colonies, as a new and independent nation.
b. Expansion (By war: Conquest, invasion, occupation, and subjugation)
The second stage of the American Empire was established by continuous expansion by war on native Americans, Spain, and Mexico, as well as by the Louisiana and Alaska purchases, and finally by the invasion and annexation of Howaii. However, the US continued expanding its spheres of influence around the world having more than 700 military bases in about 156 countries, with permanent wars in all continents, and fleets in all seas. This has allowed American companies to do business in almost all countries except in Cuba, Iran, and North Korea.
c. Contentment and glory
The third stage of contentment and glory started at the end of World War II after the US Power Elite had achieved victory over all of the old world empires, destroying all of them. They still had to share the world domination with their rival Soviet Empire, which collapsed in 1989, leaving America as the only world empire.
The climax of contentment and glory for the American Empire were represented in two symbolic manifestations: Turning down the Berlin Wall, and annihilated the Iraqi forces in Kuwait mercilessly during the 1991 Gulf War. American generals paraded in New York streets with their returning troops, commemorating that event. The parade was necessary to wash away the return of the defeated US forces from Vietnam before.
d. Corruption and decay
Achieving victory in war is one thing and forcing a population to accept a foreign rule is another. It never worked before. All nations resisted foreign occupying forces until they forced them out. Maintaining the US occupation of the Arabian Peninsula, invading Iraq and Afghanistan, and conducting a global war against individuals suspected of being members of Al-Qaeda cost the US more than $4.3 trillion during the Bush administration only. These were amounts of money given away through lucrative contracts to military and security companies, which ultimately reached the banks.
Saturated with cash deposits, banks started loaning to anyone, particularly in the housing industry, leading to corruption in all levels.
There was corruption in launching the war on Iraq while it had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda or weapons of mass destruction, the two reasons the Bush administration announced for the war.
There was corruption in making Haliburton as the major contractor with the Pentagon, then by sub-contracting to others.
The capitalist class tapped to so much money to the extent that one individual investor, Madof, had more than $50 billion given to him by clients to invest for them. He simply claimed that he lost them. No attempt was made investigate whether for example he transferred them to Israel, China, or India!
Another incident that may be considered as a symbol of the corruption reached in this stage was the attempt of the governor of Illinois to sell the vacant senatorial seat of President Barack Obama to the highest bidder. The governor was not sent to court for trial. So many politicians were involved in the scandal to the extent that it represented a normal behavior of grabbing money by members of the Power Elite by any means, from anybody, and anywhere.
e. Fall and displacement by an emerging empire
The final stage of the American Empire will start when the government becomes incapable of borrowing anymore to spend on its global military endeavors and its insolvent programs at home, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and social security.
This moment should be accompanied by the existence of another super power, which is willing and capable to fill the vacuum left by the collapsing American Empire.
Changing the course of American Empire may slow the process of the decline and fall. This can be achieved by ending all wars America is involved in, closing all American bases abroad, decreasing the military spending to a defensive level, and stopping all kinds of aid to the Israeli apartheid state.
The United States should dismantle the American Empire to save itself from further disasters, when it may be forced to do so involuntarily.
Note: Stages b, c, & d overlap.
VII. Conclusion: The Way Out of the Disastrous Groupthink
The way out of the disastrous Groupthink is democracy, more participation of the masses in politics. The dictatorship and tyranny of the Power Elite can only come to an end with the large entry to governance by the middle and working classes.
Only then, the GROUPTHINK of the Power Elite, can be replaced by a broad arena of diversity of opinions and views of the world.
More political parties need to emerge representing the middle and working classes, with their grassroots institutions and their mass media.
A culture of tolerance to dissent and different opinions should be encouraged and celebrated in all levels of education, work, and political decision-making.
It's time to have a government which truly represents the pluralistic and multi-cultural society it is supposed to represent.
It's time for the US Power Elite to open up to fresh air and new ways of thinking, not only for America's sake or world's sake but for their own sake, before it's too late.
It's time for a more democratic world, in which conflict resolution is done within the United Nations, not by wars, invasions, occupation, death, and destrution.
Baker, James III. 1995. The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War, and Peace 1989-1992. New York: G.P. Putnam's
Bin Khaldoun, Abdul Rahman. 1379. "Introduction to Sociology." (Arabic) Tunis: Al-Dar Al-Tunisia Lilnashr.
Henslin, James M. “Sociology.” 2007 (8th Edition). Allyn and Bacon.
Janis, Irving L. 1972. "Victims of Groupthink." Boston, Mass.: Houghton, Mifflin.
Janis, Irving L. 1982. "Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascos." Boston, Mass.: Houghton,
Mills, C. Wright. 1956. "The Power Elite." New York: Oxford University Press.
- Here's the conflict historical survey:
Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Maps
10. Oslo II, 1995