Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Inverted Mirror

Given some of the recent events in Europe; particularly Spain, France, Greece, and the UK,  and the fact that America is inundated with a similar movement in our own culture, I thought it was time to link to a couple of things:
It is a much longer essay version that has often been condensed into his Eternal Fascism: 14 Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt.

While they might not seem similar on the surface, consider this: the changes in culture and politics during the 1960s was fueled in part by education. Meanwhile, in reference to Eco's work, fascism is in part fueled by ignorance. His 14th point makes this exceedingly clear:
Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.
Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.
The first is an odd story - with a very strange character at its heart. It is about how in the 1950s the richest man in the world, an oil billionaire in Texas, invented a new form of television journalism. It pretended to be objective and balanced but in fact it was hard core right-wing propaganda. It was way ahead of its time because, in its fake neutrality, it prefigured the rise of the ultraconservative right-wing media of the 1990s - like Fox News, with its copyrighted slogan, "Fair and Balanced".
The billionaire was called H. L. Hunt - Haroldson Lafayette Hunt. He made his fortune in the early 1930s by getting hold of one of the biggest oil fields in America - in the pine forests of East Texas. He was a ruthless, driven man and from early on he became absolutely convinced that he had superhuman qualities that made him different from other humans.
 I think they all tie together fairly nicely.

Be seeing you,

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