FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Sideshow: Another False Choice

All the noise around the Brexit referendum, once again shows the power of agenda setting in the corporate controlled mainstream media. The utility of the Brexit debate for corporatocracy is in distracting the public from its power to learn, organize and mobilize in exposing myth vs. reality.

Recently, we have seen free trade agreements exposed as enabling corporate lobbyists to subvert the public sphere standards on law, adjudication, and intergovernmental organization, skewing the relationship between the state, citizen, and corporation. WikiLeaks and the Panama Papers have empowered people to learn and act.

The media deluge on Brexit in recent weeks affords another case study of the smoke and mirrors agenda-setting and consent-manufacturing role of plutocracy. Once again, a false choice is presented so as to perplex and instill fear in the public. Stay the course or cut rope? Well, how about neither? How about something else, like building new institutions? How about organizing society from the bottom-up rather than the top-down?

Just as the corporate media proclaimed that Hillary won the democratic nomination before she had, they say that Britons will vote today to Remain rather than Leave the EU, before they vote – a variation on more overt tactics of disenfranchisement. The tragic murder of British MP Jo Cox one week ago has been used to push this preordained conclusion.

Whether or not the foregone conclusion of the corporate media comes to pass, thankfully, starting tomorrow, we will have to hear less about the so-called debate on Brexit – a debate which has been marked by lies, omission, and fear-mongering. New issues will capture the headlines, and new false choices will be presented. Ignore them as best you can.

It is summer time. Unplug your electronic devices, time to read books. Here are some good one’s: Bad Samaritans by Ha-Joon Chang (exposing the lies of rich nations which rewrite history in service of free trade ideology); News: The Politics of Illusion by Lance Bennet; Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart; Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon Wolin; Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. Knowledge is potential power, to be acted upon, towards building new and better ways of organizing our world.

More articles by:

William A. Cohn, professor of jurisprudence at New York University, and lecturer on law, ethics and critical thinking at the University of New York in Prague, teaches Media, Law & Ethics for SUNY Empire State College. His Led Astray: Legal and Moral Blowback from the Global War on Terror will be published next month by Routledge in Assessing the War on Terror.

January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
January 15, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
Howard Lisnoff
The Faux Political System by the Numbers
Lawrence Davidson
Amos Oz and the Real Israel
John W. Whitehead
Beware the Emergency State
John Laforge
Loudmouths against Nuclear Lawlessness
Myles Hoenig
Labor in the Age of Trump
Jeff Cohen
Mainstream Media Bias on 2020 Democratic Race Already in High Gear
Dean Baker
Will Paying for Kidneys Reduce the Transplant Wait List?
George Ochenski
Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: the Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Glenn Sacks
On the Picket Lines: Los Angeles Teachers Go On Strike for First Time in 30 Years
Jonah Raskin
Love in a Cold War Climate
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party
January 14, 2019
Kenn Orphan
The Tears of Justin Trudeau
Julia Stein
California Needs a 10-Year Green New Deal
Dean Baker
Declining Birth Rates: Is the US in Danger of Running Out of People?
Robert Fisk
The US Media has Lost One of Its Sanest Voices on Military Matters
Vijay Prashad
5.5 Million Women Build Their Wall
Nicky Reid
Lessons From Rojava
Ted Rall
Here is the Progressive Agenda
Robert Koehler
A Green Future is One Without War
Gary Leupp
The Chickens Come Home to Roost….in Northern Syria
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: “The Country Is Watching”
Sam Gordon
Who Are Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists?
Weekend Edition
January 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Richard Moser
Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?
Paul Street
Bordering on Fascism: Scholars Reflect on Dangerous Times
Joseph Majerle III – Matthew Stevenson
Who or What Brought Down Dag Hammarskjöld?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
How Tre Arrow Became America’s Most Wanted Environmental “Terrorist”
Andrew Levine
Dealbreakers: The Democrats, Trump and His Wall
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Que Syria, Syria
Dave Lindorff
A Potentially Tectonic Event Shakes up the Mumia Abu-Jamal Case
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail