Delusive Illusions — Freedoms of Expression and of the Press
On May 19, 2022, Consortium News published an important article dealing with the dwindling light of truth available to us as another dark age seemingly approaches (see Consortium News, Volume 27, Number 138 — Thursday, May 19, 2022 “West’s Free Speech Threatened by Ukraine War”). Please read it, … and please share it.
It’s probably worth noting that in the United States, freedom of the “press” has never been about accurate information. The two major legal decisions that underlie United States journalism are the Peter Zenger case in the Crown colony of New York in 1735 and the 1964 United States Supreme Court decision in Sullivan v. The New York Times. Both cases dealt with the inalienable right to slander with impunity. While that sounds terrible, and perhaps it is, the idea was that the interchange of ideas, whether right or wrong, was essential to functioning democracy, and that no one should be trusted as an arbiter of the truth, other than the citizenry itself. The ill-named Democratic Party in the United States has destroyed that concept in its efforts to attain and retain political power in the name of the Deep State and its conflict-based empire. Conflict internally through racial, gender, ethnic and religious polarization, and externally through the antithesis of Kant’s perpetual peace, our history of perpetual war. Only a few brave souls, real journalists like Julian Assange, the late Bob Parry, Chris Hedges, Joe Luria, Caitlin Johnstone, etc., stand in the way, and they are being bled to death with a thousand small cuts, not all tiny. Among us, Julian Assange’s martyrdom at the hands of the United Kingdom and the United States stands out as the most egregious symbol of perfidy, but every citizen who votes for Deep State candidates, those villains or dupes who keep us in the dark, who have always kept us in the dark, … is an accomplice.
It is impossible to be an accurate historian in this context and I now question everything I’ve been taught and which I in turn once taught, other than those things I experienced in real time. Things which, notwithstanding such experience, the corporate media and corporate historians, both nothing more than narrative managers specializing in destructive (as opposed to creative) fiction, assure us are too complex for you and I to deal with, so we should just trust them in the manner ridiculed by the old joke, “who are you going to trust, me or your lying eyes”?
Real historians would leave nothing untouched, regardless of how vile and horrible it may have been presented as being, and regardless of the purported “facts” we have been “ordered” to believe. The times in which we are living have taught me, as George Orwell once suggested, that yesterday’s monsters may be today’s saints, and tomorrow, who knows?
I find myself wondering what the real truth was about the two world wars in the first half of the twentieth century. Even superficial history discloses that the United States Civil War was not fought to free the slaves (as is now taught as irrefutable dogma), and that the American Revolution was not fought to guarantee the right to democratic representation in legislative decisions. It turns out that the sacred texts of the Abrahamic religions in which most of the world places its faith are largely based on falsehoods as well. So what is left of those professions which purport to exist to glean truth from the chaff of the elitist propaganda which keeps the vast majority of us in a state of velvet lined slavery?
Well, at the very least, if nothing else, to support those who oppose censorship of any kind, and oppose with all our might those who seek to silence dissident voices. And to do it now before it’s too late, although that Rubicon may already have been crossed.
Something on which to ponder and deliberate, but most of all, on which to act.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.