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Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Written by: Ntheye Lungu and The Vhedza's Culture Lounge

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Our analysis of the implications of the US election result.

Anyway, peep this poignant piece Ntheye wrote and also view few relevant links which we added at the end of this article, including - DW Griffith's classic 1915 silent film 'Birth of Nation' on the rise of the Ku Klax Klan which also works as a brilliant study of the American Psyche explaining why victories like Trump's are still possible in America today.

We also briefly discuss and add links on Trump's plan to increase US Military spending, what it means for the US which has had a 'War Economy' since World War 2 and the rest of the World...
The triumph of Donald Trump has brought to light an age old but tragic truth; the unquestioning nature of human beings makes us astoundingly vulnerable to the affliction of "collective stupidity."

It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic!

During the course of the US presidential campaign we have sheepishly consumed all manner of propaganda spewed on 24 hour news cycles by a very dishonest mainstream media. Incredibly, we have soaked it all in and made it our truth, our gospel! We have certainly become the generation of "if I saw it on CNN or BBC, read it in The Economist or Time Magazine, then it must be true!"

No questions asked! We have allowed ourselves to place an inordinate -- and utterly undeserved -- trust in a very dishonest mainstream media to shape our opinions, thus rendering ourselves unwitting victims of a false narrative by which we judge personalities and react to events.

As a matter of fact, and until the advent of social media, we were mere consumers of a storyline dictated and, tragically, successfully thrust upon from editorial rooms. A few so-called journalists had the singular privilege of deciding on our behalf on what is newsworthy; which personalities to adore or loath; what catastrophes -- natural and man-made -- to pour our hearts towards or ignore...

All of it has been decided on our behalf and we have readily and unquestioningly taken it all in, arms and perhaps legs too, akimbo! The truth is, the only thing that separated Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump -- and therefore the pervasive opinions most people around the world have of either -- is the well-crafted narrative the dishonest mainstream media has decided on our behalf.

The sound bites of bigotry, racism, misogyny from Donald Trump have been on nonstop 24 hour news cycles, whilst equally deplorable sound bites from Hillary Clinton have been well concealed ...deliberately buried and kept away from a complaint consumer of propaganda.

Trump's bigoted portrayal of Mexicans would have found a fair balance had they been reported along with Clinton's description of African Americans as "super predators who should be brought to heel..." 
But no, not in this election cycle.

While Donald Trump was presented as a warmonger the world needs to be fearful of (and he may well turn out to be), the truth about Hillary Clinton was never sufficiently reported-- her legacy includes two unnecessary wars in Libya and Syria triggered purely for her own political point scoring, and sadly both of these wars persist to this day and continue to claim countless innocent victims.

Isn't it intriguing that in the same news cycle, the carnage in Aleppo could be reported back-to-back with the US presidential election campaign, yet the genesis of the war in Syria was never quite explored and thus no connection made to Clinton's possible culpability in it.

How mankind continues to be so gullible in the 21st century -- the age of information -- should be a source of tremendous trepidation for us all. The age of information, unfortunately, has not inoculated us from the nefarious machinations of those who hold the levers of information -- and during this election campaign, social media was no different in levels of dishonesty as that exhibited by the mainstream media.

Google, Twitter and Facebook were all demonstrably culpable in creating a false narrative for either candidate. On one hand helping reinforce the dishonest mainstream media narrative of a dangerous and bigoted Trump (incidentally a Clinton campaign strategy), as much as presenting Hillary Clinton as the most qualified and faultless candidate to ever contest an election since the advent of elections themselves.

Twitter and Facebook seemingly and deliberately buried positive trending topics that were in favor of Trump, while promoting those in favor of Clinton. I happened to be privy to the artificial tinkering of trends on both Twitter and Facebook given the criticality of tracking these to mine for sentiment for my social media engagement model (a pet project I have used to now correctly predict the outcomes of both Brexit and the Trump victory).

Twitter would go as far as nixing a trend and replacing it with another, even against actual popularity, or changing spelling of a hashtag. It was an astounding yet very disturbing realization for me. But the wind of change in both instances was too strong to conceal.

I imagine much to the chagrin of the proprietors of both the dishonest mainstream media and the rigged social media platforms. What I find disturbing is how the unquestioning populace readily accept one brand of propaganda, but express displeasure at another form. 

For example, when Paris was attacked by terrorists last November, French flags to add to profile pics and the #prayForFrance hashtag were drummed into our collective psyche to reinforce to depth of the tragedy.

Indeed we changed our profile pics to French flags. By contrast, neither the deadly floods in Ghana nor the devastation of hurricane Matthew in Haiti this year -- both extremely tragic events -- seemed worthy of elevation by both the dishonest mainstream media and the rigged social media platforms.

Not to compare tragedies, but surely the Paris terror attacks deserved as much attention as the tragedies in both Ghana and Haiti. That the dishonest media are purveyors of propaganda is an incontrovertible truth (as amply demonstrated by the poverty of media coverage or interest on Ghana and Haiti).

Such visible display, surely, should serve to engender our questioning spirits. Yet it doesn't. How can we be suspicious and outraged -- rightly so -- of the realities of skewed reporting on global events in one region versus in another, yet be unquestioning as to how presidential candidates are presented to us by these same very dishonest media platforms?

Why do we never ask why certain personalities are presented for our adoration and others for our loathe?

Why do we not question the intent of the information we consume, electing instead to readily believe what we are fed and treating it as gospel?

Why do we hate Trump and love Clinton?

Why are we sure the media has given us fair and balanced information on either of these two -- not through sound bites -- to allow us to make our own informed decisions?

Why are we not suspicious of the intentions of editorial rooms in possibly making decisions on our behalf on what or who to love or hate?

It is to help humanity regain its consciousness and its innate questioning nature that we should thank Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Hopefully, he has helped revive investigative journalism that allows us to make up our own minds based on unfiltered and unadulterated information.

What more can you say? At the end of the day, Trump played on the average American's fear...Fear of Immigrants, fear of instability post the 2008 Recession, fear of losing America's 'prestige' in the global world order...etc...The list of American 'fears' is endless as the American mainstream media continues to bombard the average American with misleading and inflated opinions on almost everything except consumer products.

It is this collective fear and anxiety that characterized America at the end of its Civil War and led to the rise of the KKK. The Film 'Birth of a Nation' is a classic, and it really captures how the average American possesses a victim mentality that the Ruling Right Wing elite deliberately conjures and sustains in order to maintain power.

It was made in 1915 so it’s a silent Black and White movie, but trust us, reading the sub-titles which make up all the dialogue will be worth your while. It’s very good at portraying how American's see themselves....As victims.

The other issue of concern is that Trump has made it clear that he will ramp up US Military spending thereby bolstering and continuing the same 'War Economy' America has had since World War 2.

Briefly stated a 'War Economy' is defined as the set of contingencies undertaken by a modern state to mobilize its economy for war production. Philippe Le Billon describes a war economy as a "system of producing, mobilizing and allocating resources to sustain the violence."...So Trump plans on sustaining American violence...There you have it!

Nothing could make it clearer that nothing's going to change in America with Trump's election. We also included links on the history of America's post World War 2 'War Economy', Trump's plan to increase Military spending as well as what his election means for the World Economic and Political Order.

Credit: Wikipedia.com

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