Beware The Manufacturing of Consent

You can learn as much about the war in Russia (through VPNs), as in the United States.

I doubt most Americans understand that.

In Russia your speech is limited by law. In the West your speech is buried by a skewed cacophony of corporate-sponsored political voices.

Consider RT America. Even the New York Times admitted that the station was hardly a Russian propaganda machine. Did it favor the Russian point of view? Absolutely. Did Putin control its funding. Yes. If someone didn’t tell you it was Russian funded, would you notice much of a difference from Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc.? I didn’t.

How can one get Russia’s side of the conflict if their news stations are removed from our platforms? Yes, I understand Russia has made it impossible for Western new stations to function as they wish.

What does Russia’s actions have to do with our actions? If we do what they do are we any different?

How many Russians have you seen interviewed where they can speak their mind about the Russian Special Military Operation, should they support it, where they are not interrupted repeatedly?

Saying that one has freedom of the press, when it’s more aspirational than true, gives Westerners a false sense of believing that what they see is neutral. That’s a huge advantage to those who can put the most money into their propaganda.

The West’s budget for media dwarfs that of Russia. I’m not excusing it, only pointing out that if Russia had a free market for ideas they would be swamped by the West. Also, keep in mind, you’d end up in jail in the West too, if you reported anywhere outside zones the military gave you permission to cover.

Any intelligent Russian citizen understands that the State is putting loyalty ahead of criticism. Russia has not blocked VPN access nor made it a crime to use it. Reporters didn’t leave Russia because they couldn’t research what’s going on. They left because they couldn’t report it.

The flaw of Russians listening to only one narrative is equalized by Westerners believing freedom of speech is giving them a balanced narrative; that is, both succumb to propaganda. One is accomplished through addition the other through subtraction.

Most end up at the same place. Misinformed and bigoted. As hard as I try, I hear the same biases in my head.

Westerners don’t wonder why the only news shown is civilian deaths? No military battles are shown. Why don’t Russians realize that only military battles are reported? No civilian deaths?

Here are some distortions in the Western media.

  • Many stories claim that Putin is “unhinged”, or “mad”. What difference does that make? But if so, doesn’t that argue more for a use of force to contain him? Do we put a mad dog down with words, or bullets?
  • The Taliban knew the U.S. could not shoot at them in the cities. Biden’s advisors would have explained that but he overruled them. He’s impatient and always puts politics first, come what may. He’s doing the same with Ukraine but no one questions it.
  • No military can conduct an operation in any modern country without civilian casualties. There is no front line. Guerilla war is no longer the exception, it’s the rule. Why does the Western press believe only the Russians hit civilian buildings and not Ukrainians? Have you seen even one Russian soldier interviewed?
  • I have not seen any journalist complain of access in Ukraine. I have not seen any Ukrainian politicians say they should meet Russia’s demands. I find it hard to believe there are no dissenting politicians or critical journalists.

Except for the stock footage, I had already seen all the images in the Ukrainian video shown to Congress. That leads be to believe there is very little media getting outside Ukraine. Either journalists aren’t there, for whatever reason, to report on it, or it’s being censored.

No matter how wrong or mad Putin may be, rolling a tank into another country clarifies the issue like no other. He has said as much. Our government won’t recognize that simple fact.

Tanks cannot be met with words. The other country must respond in kind. What anyone thinks, right or wrong, doesn’t matter. The hard truth is that if you don’t meet a tank with a tank (if you have a tank) then you must accept governance of those with the tanks.

The West has accepted Russia’s domination over Ukraine. Ukraine is only fighting to adjust how much. It’s paying in the lives of its young.

The west shows young girls on TV preparing to go to war as if that’s something we should cheer on. That’s some manufacturing of consent! Where is the humanity of the West? Where is the shame?

If the West actually fought with the Ukrainians, in the arena Russia has forced the issue into, the media would be forced to pay a price for its antagonisms, its sickness in photographing young girls with weapons, its making money off the phonography of violence.

[I’ve been super busy with work. I wish I had more time to edit and re-write]

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Max Rottersman

Max Rottersman

I try to write stories that go where the general media doesn’t.