Most of you have heard of “manufacturing consent”, a term coined by Noam Chomsky. It describes a propaganda tool used by the corporate media to sway public opinion and to program people with divisive beliefs of both "consent" and "dissent".
The mass media (and CNN's Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper in particlular) serve to communicate messages and symbols to the general populace. They amuse, entertain, inform, and "program" individuals with values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. It is systematic propaganda.
The corporate owned media monopolies provide the illusion of democracy. They encourage dissent and protest as a feature of the system as long as it does NOT threaten the established social order. The purpose is to give the illusion of freedom by allowing dissent, but, at the same time shaping and moulding the protest movement - to set limits on it.
To prevent the development of radical forms of protest, the economic elites of billionaires and trillionaires allow limited and controlled forms of opposition to those who threaten to shake the very foundations and institutions of their global capitalism. "Manufacturing dissent” acts as a “safety valve” to PROTECT and sustain the New World Order.
To “manufacture dissent”, they must carefully regulate and monitor those who lead the protest movement, like celebrity "SAFETY VALVE" activists - Alex Jones, Jesse Ventura, Foster Gamble.
The leaders of the American, French and Russian revolutions were "funded" on both sides. By funding agitators, mercenaries, dissent and revolutions, the global elite pick the winners and losers, write the treaties, rearrange borders and pick the leaders to their liking, not to mention the massive interest they collect from war loans at loan shark rates.
How do they manufacture dissent? Co-optation is not limited to just buying the favors of politicians. By “funding dissent”, namely by channelling their financial resources from those who are the object of the protest movement to those who are organizing it.
The economic elites control the major foundations. They oversee the funding of numerous NGOs (Non Government Agencies) and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs and people’s movements rely heavily on funding from private foundations like the the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy, World Wildlife Fund renamed World Wide Fund For nature (WWF) foundations and others.
Since the global elite know they can't STOP the anti-globalization movement which is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants, they control it through Rockefeller and company. The foundations and charities of Rockefeller and company generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists opposed to Big Oil. Why? To ultimately oversee and shape their various activities and to “pacify” and manipulate the protest movement.
“Manufacturing dissent” requires manipulation, arm-twisting and the subtle coopting of individuals in anti-war coalitions and environmental and the anti-globalization movements. Funding dissent is also a way of infiltrating the NGOs as well as acquiring inside information on strategies of protest and resistance of grass-roots movements.
The complex network of NGOs including segments of the alternative media are used by the corporate elites to mould and manipulate the protest movement. An increasingly large segment of the alternative news media on the internet has become dependent on funding from corporate foundations and charities.
Following the deregulation of the global financial system in the 1990s and the rapid enrichment of the financial establishment, funding through foundations and charities has skyrocketed.
The corporate elites –whose interests are duly served by the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO– will readily fund (through their various foundations and charities) organizations which are at the forefront of the protest movement against the WTO and the Washington based international financial institutions. Instead of challenging the legitimacy of the IMF-World Bank’s “deadly economic medicine”, SAPRIN’s core organization sought to establish a participatory role for the NGOs, working hand in glove with USAID and the World Bank. The objective was to give a “human face” to the neoliberal policy agenda, rather than reject the IMF-World Bank policy framework outright.
Wall Street has been recycling money to the elites through their tax exempt foundations and charities. Their windfall financial gains are used to buy out politicians and to channel to NGOs, research institutes, community centres, church groups, environmentalists, alternative media, human rights groups, etc. “Manufactured dissent” is funded by "bought" NGOs or directly by the foundations.
Manufacturing dissent sets the boundaries of “politically correct” opposition. NGOs are infiltrated by informants often acting on behalf of western intelligence agencies.
The objective of the corporate elites has been to fragment the people’s movement into a vast “do it yourself” mosaic. Activism is piecemeal and weak. There is no integrated anti-globalization, anti-war movement. No one is blaming the economic crisis on "manufactured" US led wars.
THERE IS NO FUNDING FOR A COHESIVE MASS MOVEMENT. Dissent has been compartmentalized. Non-threatening “issue oriented” protest movements (e.g. environment, anti-globalization, peace, women’s rights, climate change) are encouraged and generously funded. This mosaic was already prevalent in the counter G7 summits and People’s Summits of the 1990s.
The World Social Forum (WSF) in 2001 brought together tens of thousands of committed activists. It allowed for the exchange of ideas and the establishment of ties of solidarity.
The leaders of progressive organizations like WSF have a cozy and polite relationship to the inner circles of power, to corporate and government funding, aid agencies, the World Bank, etc which undermines their relationship and responsibilities to their rank and file. The objective of the funding? To distance the leaders from their rank and file to effectively silence and weaken grassroots actions.
Most of the grassroots participating organizations in the World Social were unaware of the WSF International Council’s relationship to corporate funding, negotiated behind their backs by a handful of NGO leaders with ties to both official and private funding agencies.
The WSF, Alex Jones' Infowars or Foster Gamble's "Thrive" movement do not express a cohesive plan of action directed against global capitalism. What prevails in the alternative movements is a vast, divided network of organizations.
The grassroots organizations in developing countries are invariably unaware that their partner NGOs in the United States or the European Union, which are providing them with financial support, are themselves funded by major foundations. The money trickles down, setting constraints on grassroots actions and setting boundaries of dissent. The leaders of these movements are often co-opted by corporate funding that ties their hands.
Global capitalism finances anti-capitalism: an absurd and contradictory relationship.
“Another World is Possible”, but it cannot be meaningfully achieved under the present arrangement. A shake-up of the World Social Forum, of its organizational structure, its funding arrangements and leadership is required.
There can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement. In the words of McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation (1966-1979),“Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the World safe for capitalism’”.
Governments including the European Union grant money to fund progressive groups (including the WSF) involved in organizing protests against the very same governments which finance their activities.
We are dealing with a diabolical process: The host government finances the official summit as well as the NGOs actively involved in the Counter-Summit. It also funds the multimillion dollar anti-riot police operation which has a mandate to repress the grassroots participants of the Counter-Summit, including members of NGOs direcly funded by the government. .
Violent actions of vandalism committed by undercover cops (Toronto G20, 2010) dressed up as activists, is all about discrediting the protest movement and intimidating its participants. The broader objective is to transform counter-summits into a ritual of dissent, which serves to uphold the interests of the official summit and the host government. This logic has prevailed in numerous counter summits since the 1990s.
The illusion of democracy and the "limited" right to free speech and" electronically manipulated" voting allows the global elites to pretend to rule legitimately. The message is that “there is no alternative” to globalization: fundamental change is not possible and the most we can hope for is to engage with these rulers in an ineffective “give and take”.
“Globalizers” adopt a few progressive phrases to demonstrate they have good intentions like "give me liberty or give me death." Meanwhile, millions are being impoverished and fragile Earth is being destroyed so that a few may get richer and all powerful.
We need to challenge the right of the “Globalizers” to rule. This requires that we rethink the strategy of protest. Can we move to a higher plane, by launching mass movements in our respective countries, movements that bring the message of what globalization is doing, to ordinary people? For they are the force that must be mobilized to challenge those who plunder the Globe.” (Michel Chossudovsky, The Quebec Wall, April 2001).
Have you noticed that with all of the radical movements, groups and so-called "terrorists" on Planet Earth - there has not been one single assasination attempt against any of the identified genocidal, thieving, manipulating, war mongering, earth destroying, global elite oppressors? We know who they are, yet not even the most radical of terrorists has targeted any of them. The terrorists always target shopping malls or churches or movie theaters or marathons or buildings filled with innocent people. What does that tell you about controlled opposition?