8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance
an article in AlterNet by Bruce E. Levine
(our site's article review)
Levine tells us that "Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination. Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it."
The little guy (most of us) getting screwed by the corporatocracy
AlterNet, which published Levine's thought-provoking article, is an online project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute, which is a progressive/liberal activist news service. Launched in 1998, AlterNet now claims a readership of over 3 million visitors per month. AlterNet publishes original content as well as journalism from a wide variety of other sources. AlterNet states that its mission is to inspire citizen action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues.
The only certain, irrefutable, perpetual and insidious bias in reporting comes from the neocon elites themselves, which make an all-out effort to stay covert and invisible to the unsuspecting citizen
Let's face it: the corporations have an unhealthy degree of control over what the media does and does not report about corporations, politics, legislation, media, and government. Stories about the wars the U.S. is involved in are regularly handled, managed, mitigated, twisted, and quashed. And White House stories, news, and Administration actions are spoon-fed to media outlets, who have few choices: ignore them, publish them even though both info and sources are questionable and often uncheckable, contact the White House for clarifications and sometimes get more info, but often get misled, stonewalled, or even deceived.
The mainstream press mostly just prints administration press releases; the actual investigative journalism going on died in the 1980s as the shadow government insisted on the press conforming to the party line
What mostly seems to happen is the current administration gets its propaganda published with little if any of the "reporting" coming out of investigative journalism. So the media are basically mouthpieces for those in power. Towing the party line is essential for the various outlets to stay in business. We doubt that any members of the alternative press are even allowed into the White House, much less their press briefings, and they're surely not about to get called on if they raise their hands, except possibly to give the press secretary a chance to put a positive "spin" on some Administration embarassment. See Corruption.
White House press briefing
Freedom of the press mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, except for "national security." A free press is what America seems to have, since it is not controlled by the powers-that-be. Or isn't it? The big media corporations ARE one segment of these powers. The mainstream press is the voice of the corporatocracy, AKA the oligarchy. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.) The alternative press is the marginalized press, that challenge the status quo, the party line, and the corporatocracy. Alternative media often have it as their stated aim to be challenging existing powers, to be representing marginalized groups, and to be fostering horizontal linkages among communities of interest. Proponents of alternative media argue that the mainstream media are biased in the selection and framing of news and information. How could any thinking citizen ever doubt this? Corruption and bias and deception are often quite obvious to even the least thoughtful Americans. However, most Americans are too depressed by all this to do anything about it, e.g., become activists.
Depression rate in the U.S. in 2011
Corruption and bias and deception are often quite obvious to even the least thoughtful Americans—however, most Americans are too depressed by all this to do anything about corporatocracy-controlled media sellouts, e.g., become activists
Think of the mainstream press as "for passive-ists" and the alternative press as "for activists." This by no means implies that either the alternative press or its readers are, in fact, activists, nor does it imply that everyone who writes or reads the mainstream press are, in fact, passive-ists. But generally speaking you can expect more sheep (unthinking citizens who buy the party line hook, line, and sinker) to turn to the mainstream press for news and more truth-seekers who are disgusted with the rule of the corporatocracy to turn to the alternative press for news.
Neocon nutjobs tell us that dumping our Bill of Rights and our Constitution was a prerequisite for our safety, which no intelligent citizen could possibly buy
If AlterNet states that its mission is to inspire citizen action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues, and many other members of the alternative press have similar missions, then what is the mission, both overt and covert, of the mainstream press members? The overt mission is making a buck by giving the public the latest news. The covert mission, if you dig into how the corporatocracy actually functions, seems to be a combination of infotainment to grease their popularity wheels, and aiding the powers-that-be in pacifying the public and keeping them ignorant about some areas the powers-that-be do not want them to think about, while they provide distractions and perform a sleight-of-hand trick (Democrats and Republicans pulling in opposite directions so nothing ever changes—which is what the corporatocracy insists upon) so the public has too much to think about to dwell on the areas covered by alternative media.
Metaphor for political sleight-of-hand: the pushmi-pullyu
As many writers of even mainstream books have noted, the two political parties have a real circus screaming at each other and providing "2 clear choices," since the two parties seem to have very different agendas and ideas and motives. The sheep get entertained with a high-decibel cacophone about Culture War issues like abortion and school prayer, and then misled with statistics that seem to show that each side is the best choice for dealing with the economy, national security, and unemployment. The truth is that these issues will be handled similarly no matter who you vote for, since mainstream candidates have only one real agenda: supporting the oligarchy and the corporatocracy. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.)
Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba
If the heroes of the alternative thinkers, like Levine, were to start a political party and run, the powers-that-be would welcome it. What a wonderful distraction from what's REALLY going on in this country when the major candidates take turns ridiculing "these leftist paranoics whose patriotism is seriously in doubt." (Once again painting all non-sheep, all people not buying the party line and the circus act staged by the two parties, as not good Americans. According to this corrupt logic, if we do not lie down quietly and smile while they screw us royally, we should be sent off to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba!)
The blogs and social networks and YouTube and other video sites are potentially acting as alternative media as they allow ordinary citizens to bypass the gatekeepers of traditional, mainstream media and share the information and perspectives these citizens deem important. Also, digital media provide an alternative space for different, dissident or non-traditional views, and this allows for the creation of new, alternative cyber-communities that can provide a voice for those normally marginalized by the mainstream media.
Fly #353242252 reporting: Citizen #312,756,972 doesn't seem to be hiding a thing—my conclusion is that she's clean; but just to be sure I think I'll hang around a bit longer!
The U.S. no longer needs to whip people off to Guantánamo Bay to subject them to waterboarding to get them to tell us what they are up to. Good old Obama, who came into office on a platform of transparency, with the help of the NSA, is spying on everything and everyone so they already KNOW what everyone is up to. Big Brother Obama IS watching you! Never doubt it again. Snowden allegations are confirmed: the NSA now admits access to content of phone calls, emails, texts, and IMs without warrants. The same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens, are now accusing the person who exposed it of 'espionage.' NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake said that "Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the Constitution." Senators Wyden and Udall said that they have seen no evidence NSA surveillance has prevented ‘dozens of terrorist events’ like Obama told us—yet another lie. (Source: quora.com)
Heroic NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has demonstrated the type of courage and wisdom we all need to aspire to
And here's the perfect frosting for the above Snowden cake, as it were: Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize: NSA Whistleblower Gets Nod From Norwegian Politicians. The title says it all. It's nice to know there are those that see the matter clearly, unfiltered by American propaganda put out by Obama's people as damage control. Obama is the sneakiest politician in American political history—also the biggest liar. Why he hasn't been thrown out is beyond us. For more on his incredible incompetance, see Health Care Costs.
Our government watches your every move
Once they create the technology, can the thought police be far behind NSA's outrage of spying on us decent citizens?
Obama's turning into Pinocchio
Back to his article. How does the government keep the young passive, docile, and uninterested in organizing in protest of the unrelenting rule of the oligarchy? Student loans keep them indebted to Uncle Sam. And medicating noncompliance by sticking pills into all those with "oppositional defiant disorder" or kids with "attention-deficit disorder." Like the Soviet Union used to do decades ago, the very act of questioning the powers-that-be was seen as a psychological symptom of a serious disorder. The Gulag was their idea of a "treatment facility."
The massive medical experiment, where kids are pumped full of ADHD meds, is messing with their brains in ways that may do irreparable harm
In the U.S. we treat on-site. So kids and adults with these "terrible maladies" (noncompliance, speaking out about what matters, resistance to being ordered about, wanting to learn something not on the curriculum, questioning the need to memorize useless facts rather than delving into the actual meaning of the facts, offering ideas that differ from the teacher's opinion, or even simple creativity) are "benignly" stuffed full of pills and sent back to society, since the desire to question authority has miraculously disappeared, while Big Pharma smiles slyly in the background, counting their wealth greedily.
Big Pharma spreading "good health via medicine" across the land
Big Pharma smiles slyly, counting their wealth greedily, as our kids are mercilessly pumped full of 'attention-deficit disorder' medication
Levine (and Thomas Gordon and Alfie Kohn and hundreds of others) bemoans having schools focused on obedience rather than learning. He also bewails the normalization of surveillance, keeping people afraid to challenge authority. He submits that TVs—whose content Hollywood controls—are a tool of the oligarchy's ruling elite who depend on a “divide and conquer” strategy in which the mesmerizing TVs isolate people so they do not join together to create resistance to authorities but rather listen to ads telling them what to buy or getting their parents to buy these things for them. See Levine's Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite.