As “consumers” of news, we are presented with a world that looks anarchic, alien, terrifying. When we watch TV or read the newspapers, we see a world beyond our borders in which warlords kill senselessly, Islamic extremists want to exterminate us, barbarians lurk in the shadows. If we drop our defences for a second, another 9/11 will be unleashed. It is us or them. It is kill or be killed.
This is exactly how the corporations that run our societies want us to feel. Frightened people are easy to manipulate, keen to be reassured by strong leaders rather than strong laws, and desperately in need of the solace of mass consumption.
That is why the corporate media in all guises – from Fox News to the New York Times or the Guardian – are not only unreliable but positively damaging to our personal sanity, our communal wellbeing and our planet’s health.
Here is a piece by John Pilger that offers a rare antidote to the relentless flow of media fear-mongering. Pilger shows that sense can be made of the world, that events are not random and disconnected, and that we are all part of an organic whole.
That used to be easily dismissed as new-age nonsense. But as impending environmental catastrophe makes it ever harder for the corporate media to conceal from us the reality of the self-harm policies to which we have become addicted, the Matrix-like veil of illusions spun by our media are growing less convincing. Many of us are slowly waking from our long slumber.
If the modern corporate empire plunders corners of the globe we prefer to ignore, those whom we plunder will find a way to bring their suffering to our attention. To make us suffer. It is a kind of global karma.
It is also a way to help us better understand life and its beautiful interconnectedness, an awareness our elites desperately want us to be deprived of. Because if we truly awake, then we might start to organise differently, find new kinds of leaders and demand policies that take account not of our own private, immediate, short-term benefit but of the long-term wellbeing of everyone. And that, it should go without saying, would be truly disastrous for the corporations.