Principles of Power in the Western World...by Noam Chomsky
As the Western Empire is now in terminal decline.The Western world i describe is Europe,the US and Canada,Australia and New Zealand.The West have through Colonialism and Imperialism built their respective countries and created modern,advanced societies.
500 years of looting and of resources and the brutal suppression of distant people's and lands is hardly mentioned in the mainstream media and the History profession suffers from terminal selective amnesia when it comes to discussing the brutal reality of Colonialism and Imperialism.
Many people reading this will say that this is all in the past and now most of the world is free and democratic. This is nonsense and I will tell you why. De-colonization began before world war1&2..these should be called European wars..other countries were dragged in to these conflicts because many countries today were part of European Empires...so these countries had no choice in the matter.
When European powers realized that the old Imperial and colonial system could no longer be maintained,they devised a system of control after de-colonization..in effect the newly liberated countries became Neo- colonial states...the US the world's newest Imperialist making the rules and enforcing them through its military might...with the knowledge and consent of the other Western countries.
Where they had democracies and elections, the old pattern of trade remained due to the new rigged international trading and financial system.Effect of this is that many countries remain poor,reliant on exports of primary commodities at very low prices keeping them poor.
The rich country people are now also suffering,low wages,high cost of living, reduction in welfare benefits,high taxation,increasing private debt,reduced economic prospects for the young,declining birth rates and low social mobility..is leading to dis-affection with the current political and economic system. Many especially the young are questioning the whole system and are being drawn to alternative economic and social models.To help my readers understand how the world works...which is what my website is about ..i will lay out Noam Chomsky's ten principles of power. Hope fully this will help people to understand on who's behalf the world is run for and why...in a democratic system people feel powerless
Principle 1) Reduce Democracy
The role of democracy in Western societies held as one the highest achievements of Western Civilization. The problem is no country has genuine democracy. The average persons vote is meaningless in bringing about change or having any influence on the political or economic system .
Aristotle's view was that a genuine democracy has be participatory and there must be fairly equal distribution of wealth among the society. So Aristotle surmised society can do two things
(a) Subvert democracy to maintain a unequal society.
(b) Ensure everybody has equal access to the good things
In the West they have chosen (a) to subvert democracy in the US the corporations have bought up the electoral system through private donations. In the EU the system has been hijacked by EU as elections can be subverted if they are against the interests of the EU..by example the Greek government proposed a vote on the EU bail out for Greece,the EU quickly ensured the referendum did not have any effect,dismissed the elected leader and replaced him with a EU bureaucrat.
As more and more people realize voting for mainstream parties makes no difference,they are increasingly voting for alternative anti-establishment parties. The decline in democracy in the West is gathering pace...so governments rather listening to people concerns are using repressive measures to stop people speaking,so people who question mass migration are labeled as racists,those who criticize Israeli policies are labeled as anti-Semitic.
The mainstream corporate owned or dominated helps governments to persecute people who question the existing system as subversive or radical..their views not worth disgusting.The British State owned broadcastor..the BBC is notorious in promoting the government agenda even when sounding hostile to the government.It concentrates much time and efffort in discussing the personal lives of politicians..rather than concentrate on the real power that controls Britain....THE CITY OF LONDON financial center.
So please carry on voting...like a sheep choosing which abattoir it wants to go to...the outcome is the same....no change for the average person..and you will continue to pay your taxe's at gun point if needed.
According to the Italian philosopher Gramcsi the political stage is a battle ground between the people and those who run society through their money and power. To subjugate the masses there has been a concerted effort to suppress the power of people by (a) getting rid of unions or making it harder to join unions (b) change labour laws to favour the employer such as zero hour contracts and migrant labour used to lower wages.
So the corporate interests of corporations have become the national interest,while the interests of workers have become special interests..to be reduced or denied..as harming the national interests
3)Re-Design the Economy
Any national economy consists of three aspects (a) production (b) finance and (c) consumption...the assumption being finance funds the production on which we all rely on for jobs,income and household expenditure
So Western economies have De-industrialized by moving production to cheaper labour economies. What has replaced it is finance..i.e. A service economy based on consumer spending and debt created by finance to fund the economy. So finance has become dominant in the economy which makes money from money and financial transactions rather investing in long term production.
4)Shift burden from rich to poor
Western economies through the political process shifted the tax burden from the wealthy to the majority of less off people in society and the corporate media in collusion with politicians to convince people this is the right thing to do as just and equitable...speculator success of the propaganda system..and at the same time people are told the welfare they rely on is no longer affordable. So people will pay more tax and get less back in social services.
5) Attack Solidarity
Human's by nature are social animals...given the right circumstances will co-operate to achieve personal goals through private and collective provisions. To prevent individuals co-operating the primacy of the individual has been given the highest priority. So unions are considered bad as they prevent personal will to be exercised. Laws have been passed to protect individual liberty at the expenses of the community...so personal rights trump's those of the community.
By promoting individual rights,separating the person from solidarity with others including... separating the person from his family. By not being able to organize the masses cannot become a countervailing force against government and big business. When government colludes with big business it is called Fascism.which is what Western economies have become.
6) Run Regulators
Governments like regulations, as this is their main way to regulate society and big business. The problems with regulations has been (a) they do not often work (b) Governments simply do not have the capacity to regulate effectively. These two facts enable big business to regulate the regulator. As an example in the U.K the private utility companies have a regulator who relies on them to supply information to regulate them!!...so you can see the problem. The other is large business have the capacity to implement regulations,while for small business it puts their costs up...making them un-competitive.
The electoral system is the only means left where voters can exercise some meaning full control over their political and economic system. In the past the electoral vote was in excess of 70%..i.e over 70% of the population eligible to vote did so. Often organized into small political groups which would pressure local politicians to address their concerns...real democracy at work.
Big business and big finance realizing the problem came up with two solutions (1) buy up the electoral process as in the US through campaign funding's (b)Pay politicians to represent your interests as being in the national interest as in Europe and the US. This process leads to big business and big finance friendly legislation. In the UK this lead to the de-regulation of the City of London Financial centre ..leading to disastrous consequences.. contribution to the global financial crash of 2008.
In the US legislation has been passed which give paper entities like corporations the same rights as a person !!.
8) Population Control
The general population must be kept from knowing the truth or organizing. The class system does a good job by pitting self interest and class warfare. The UK being the classic example where the class issue is never discussed according to the mass media and the government we live in a classless society. In the US people often blame the government for all their problems and turn on each other on how best to bring about change...without any change actually taking place.So diversion is used succesfully from people the real source of their problem...called.......BSE...Blame Someone Else.
9) Manufacture Consent
In the past authority came from the top and was visible. Under royalty their absolute rule meant you had no rights. Similarly under Feudalism,Slavery,Dictatorship,Communism or Fascism people were well aware who exercised power over them.
Under Democracy you cannot use the bludgeon to control the population so the well engineered art and science of of propaganda is used to get people to voter for wars,to get them to accept them things against their own self interest. Elections have become circus events..where politicians stand behind meaningless slogans and party manifesto's which are very vague ..designed to confuse the reader...they are more art than science.
10)Marginalize the Population
As mentioned above the vote in elections and democracy is meaningless. This is the logical outcome of power system which relies on consent without consent,as in Western Democracy. In order to hide the true power system the use of the mass media,big business and government collude to ,manufacture consent. This does not mean sitting in a room and deciding how a country should be run. It is simply a convergence of interests...America being the classical example of a Corporate run society. The state with it's tax raising power at gun point as people have no choice and Corporations through accumulation of profit. In both cases the victim is the consumer and citizen. In order to prevent people finding out they are being over taxed and ripped of by Big Business, propaganda is used to manufacture consent. The Iraq war being a classic example where US and UK citizens were lied to support a war.
The mainstream media was crucial in spreading the lies and government propaganda,that supported the lies.The Vietnam war being another. European citizens were conned in to voting for the EU,not told the whole truth,hence as now people realize the truth they are voting for Euro skeptic parties.
The ten principles of power outlined once understood..show why there is no such thing as democracy and why it cannot work under the present circumstances. There is how ever an alternative system as explained in a book called Small is Beautifull. The principle is very simple. By having local economics and Politics persons contribution goes directly to benefit that person by collective provisions.So for medical care rather than pay taxes indirectly or insurance, you pay the Hospital directly. In effect you become a shareholder directly as in a mutual.
I my self get my electricity and gas supplied by a co-operative,my house insurance is by a mutual company. In both cases I am customer and shareholder. Any excess income goes to me or used to improve the business. This shareholder model of Capitalism can be made work for the majority of the population..the problem is no government or Big business will allow this model. By marginalizing the population with 'Bread and Circus' Roman style..they are simply not allowed to organize to bring about meaningfull change.