I must warn my readers that in whichever of the next few issues are entitled like this one, ‘NZ and the International rule of Law’, the Khakispecs blog will vary from the norm. I had considered taking a break and writing a Utopian novel about one of the possible futures that New Zealand could direct itself towards. However, in the end, I decided to continue in the blog format, but, instead of concerning itself with an arguably factual past and present, it will deal with a much more arguable and much less probable future.
Humanity’s politicians and statesmen, entombed, as they are in the matrix of perpetual-growth economics and competition between nations, are on a fast track to bring about the extinction of their own, and most other species. They have failed to take the world off a permanent war-footing in regard to the deployment of nuclear weapons. Likewise, they have failed to put the world population on a war-footing, or instill any sense of urgency, in regard to curtailing its greenhouse gas emissions and its multiple other ecocidal activities.
And yet there is no sense of urgency; no expression of alarm or outrage. Massed populations vote freely in favour of the leaderships currently leading them up the ramp and into the abattoir.
In electoral democracies the fault lies clearly with the majority of the electorate. The career politicians, who seek power, know that they cannot go against the wishes (which in the post-Bernays democracies, means the perceived, material self-interest) of the majority of the citizens they lead. The same is also true for authoritarian regimes. Just as in democracies, such regimes also have to work to retain the long term consent of the majority. If they lose it, though their downfall may be delayed much longer than in the case of an electoral democracy, it is nevertheless just as inevitable.
Thus, humanity’s fate is ultimately in humanity’s own hands. It is in the leaders it chooses to follow and in the goals and constitutional parameters it wills them to set.
If we are to avoid extinction, we need to abolish nuclear weapons and to abruptly wean ourselves off the fossil fuel-based global economy. Both of these objectives will only be achieved when the overwhelming majority of mankind accept their urgent necessity and accept the life-style changes and the abandonment of previously held priorities and values that that achievement will require.
In both instances, a currently non-existent degree of cooperation and coordination between nations will be called for. Individual nations have it within their power to alter the mind-set of their populations. However, no nation on its own, no matter how much their population might clamour for effective action, will achieve much that will significantly reduce the chances of human extinction, unless it is in unison with the leaders of other nations experiencing the same sort of pressure from their people.
Any timely and effective move away from fossil fuels and into the ecological civilisation, such as now being advocated by the Chinese leadership, will call for multiple sacrifices from a population. No population will accept such sacrifices unless they have a very clear idea of the reasons for it and that their actions are contributing to a plan with a good chance of success.
In war time, when the existence of the nation is endangered, populations will accept almost any sacrifice demanded of them by their governments, with the proviso that there should be a reasonable prospect of national survival at the end of it. Today, every nation is facing a similar existential crisis calling for a similar degree of social solidarity and sacrifice. The only difference is that this time, it is not just the peoples of certain nations facing a threat from those of others, but the people of all nations facing a common danger. For massive attitudinal change to take hold on the scale required, there needs to be a survival plan clearly articulated and being acted on before reasoned self-help, panic, despair and civil disorder are ultimately replaced in the last days by the insanity of apocalyptic religion.
For reasons of convenience, what follows is a proposal based on actions instigated from within New Zealand. Such a plan could as well be set in train by any of several other governments that are similarly well-placed in terms of geography, economy, social cohesion and efficient governance.
The plan is in five phases:
1. Persuade the public of the twin dangers the nation faces. Convince them of the need to accept sacrifice and change, even at the risk of their becoming angry and disappointed by the government’s initial inability to achieve anything without other nations joining the plan.
2. Work on constitutional change (the UK, Israel, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand are the only nations lacking the safeguard of a written constitution.) We need a far more participatory democracy. Developments in other countries show how far NZ is off the ball and how weak its democracy.
3. Launch a determined international diplomatic and PR campaign to persuade other nations to adopt the same plan.
4. When a critical mass of nations is on board with the plan, start implementing the economic changes and erecting the global governance architecture required.
5. Once a critical mass of cooperating nations has been achieved, mount a campaign to deploy internationally enforced psychological and economic pressures against those other nations, which initially refuse to be persuaded of the need for universal acceptance of the plan, until they also accept the new reality.
The remainder of this and the next blog will concern the implementation of the first of the above phases.
If the NZ government wishes to achieve the above objectives, it must first take steps to alter two aspects of public opinion.
a.) The NZ public currently accepts as perfectly reasonable its government’s adherence to a military alliance dependent on a precarious nuclear ‘balance.’ Complacency needs to be replaced by outrage. Nuclear weapons need to be abolished and the current system of international ‘security’ that depends on them, needs to be replaced by one of compulsory and enforceable international conflict resolution that functions without the threat of resort to armed conflict.
b.) Two or three years ago, the significance of impending climate change, with its potential to disrupt neo-liberal policies predicated on perpetual economic growth, was deliberately down-played by NZ’s National government. Climate change was hardly a matter of national concern, or debate. Now, three years on and with a coalition government that includes the Green Party, the NZ population, at long last, is becoming aware to the distant rumble of artillery and the flickering lights on the horizon. Though, as yet, no lifestyle changes or economic sacrifices have been demanded of the population, within a decade, the shells will be falling on New Zealand homes in increasing numbers. By then the necessary and painful mitigation and adaptation measures will have to have been accepted by the public and the proposed survival plan be well on the way to national and international implementation.
Altering public opinion.
New Zealand’s leadership not only seeks to follow public opinion, but its opinions and view of reality are largely conditioned by the same forces that have helped form the attitudes and opinions of those who elected them. The mainstream film, television and print media (MSM) and Hollywood cinema are the most influential in this respect. Under neo-liberalism, the globalised market and private enterprise has been allowed to rule the media and New Zealand government participation in this sector has dwindled to the barest minimum.
Consequently, the most consequential of the MSM are almost entirely overseas owned. The structure of NZ’s media watchdogs is such that they too, are not under NZ government control, but largely in the hands of the overseas owned media being watched. Furthermore, the world-view portrayed by the MSM is chiefly determined in the USA by the plutocratic and militarist elite who have seized control of that country. If the NZ government wishes to persuade their population that nuclear weapons need to be abolished and that climate change too, represents an existential threat demanding immediate and painful action, they will first have to overcome this obstacle.
The sad fact is that the majority of tools for the formation of NZ’s public opinion are controlled from a nation currently:
1. Flooding the world with belligerent propaganda (‘fake news and false flags?’) to gain public acceptance of its covert and overt interventions in the affairs of other nations and with the apparent, selfish intent of increasing the control and wealth of the elites invested in its military/industrial complex.
2. Determinedly strengthening and threatening to use its nuclear armoury with decreasing inhibition.
3. Openly implementing legislation that prioritises increasing the wealth of the elites that control its government (and its media), while playing down the threat of climate change.
4. Showing a blatant disrespect for international law, its government being driven by a clearly expressed desire to reduce the restraints exercised by international institutions over the exercise of its own sovereignty.
5. Waging economic warfare against the rest of the world. Firstly imposing sanctions on nations that refuse to obey its dictates. Secondly, deploying tax cuts and increasingly lax environmental regulations to out-compete and draw the capital out of other nations and into its own coffers.
6. Having withdrawn from the Paris Accord, the major achievement in mankind’s cooperative battle against climate change, the US government, while leaving other nations to take up the extra burden that the USA has shed, is in official denial of even the existence of climate change, let alone its responsibility to attempt to mitigate it.
In short, the USA has to be regarded as hostile to all that New Zealand, and the rest of humanity need to achieve in respect of nuclear disarmament and the mitigation of climate change. Yet, because of its setting the standard for what attitudes the media and the populations and political leaders under their influence around the world should adopt, it has been remarkably successful in imposing its agenda and interpretation of events on the rest of the world. There have been two parts to that agenda.
The first is to do with our view of global geo-politics. So successful has it been in this regard that it has implanted in the minds of many leaders of the western world, including those in NZ, that the US, which poses an existential risk to its own and all other populations, is their countries’ ‘natural ally.’ The second has been in inserting into society a view that the individual is entitled to endless selfish consumption irrespective of its clear unsustainability and the potentially explosive international and social tensions that the resultant inequalities provoke. How has all this been achieved?
Basically, the USA, the media and its public attitudes and opinions are controlled by an ultra- wealthy elite, who have succeeded in setting the standard of the individual citizen as a self-gratifying consumer and an economy based on that view, which is devoted to perpetual growth. The elite’s control is exercised ostensibly through a democratic constitution, but in reality through a shadow government of financial, military and intelligence bureaucracies intent on the aggrandisement of their power within the USA and internationally.
Several of my previous blogs have covered this topic. The mind-set of consumerism was dealt to specifically in this blog: https://khakispecs.com/?p=2148 as recommended to you at the end of my previous blog. There has been much more in previous blogs on the deliberate implanting of distorted truths regarding international events.
At the start of this, you should view this short u-tube clip of an interview with Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrxsW3O_r-8 Despite the turgid presentation, were she to be telling the truth, it would imply that the CIA is fully confident of its ability to place any fake or distorted news story into the global media that it wishes and that obviously, it doesn’t hesitate to do so in pursuit of its interests. The US operation in Syria to dethrone Bashir Assad using a plethora of semi-jihadist entities was an entirely CIA led operation. John Brennan, the then head of the CIA, had his nose put seriously out of joint by the success of the Russian intervention and there is no shortage of sour-grapes media against Putin that has subsequently filled the western media led by the hysterical farce of the Russiagate allegations for which not a shred of evidence has yet been offered to the public view.
Here are some further hyperlinks that should convince you that Maria is unlikely to be fibbing, or, if she is, that there is nevertheless a great deal of truth behind her claims that indicate CIA control over the western media.
https://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48084.htm (It is well worth watching this 25min video as it demolishes the MSM’s lies about the western government funded ‘Nobel-Peace-Prize eligible’ White Helmets. What it demonstrates is how far western governments are implicit in generating the false facts that they then rely on the media to distribute.)
https://lobelog.com/iran-doesnt-have-a-nuclear-weapons-program-why-do-media-keep-saying-it-does/#more-41610 This article provides an excellent demonstration of how career-protective and/or lazy journalists can then be relied on not to say anything that would contradict the meme being ever further reinforced in the public mind. No one wins favours by providing the discomfort inherent in their contradiction of an already cherished opinion. Hence the justification for the Saker’s insightful criticism of modern electoral democracies “We live in a situation which places much more emphasis on the right to have an opinion than on the actual ability to form one.”
Finally, for anyone unduly impressed by the current USA bluster and beat-up over the global threat posed by North Korea’s puny nuclear weapon, at its outset this article illustrates perfectly how cynically the US manipulates public opinion to further its own ends of Empire. (The remainder of the article contains an excellent analysis of the reality of the situation regarding the demented dotard and Rocket Boy.) https://www.zoominkorea.org/north-koreas-deterrent-and-trumps-options/
For good measure I throw in three further previous blogs:
The first step in the battle has to be for New Zealand to regain control over its own media.
As this is an existential matter of whether or not NZ society will survive, the nation’s sovereign wealth fund needs to be mobilised to either buy back the NZ based media currently in overseas ownership and/or developing a parallel media apparatus that will out-compete the overseas media and cause them to atrophy. Such control, once regained, would prove a far more useful tool for the preservation of NZ society than does the NZ military in its currently envisaged deployment as an addendum to the Pentagon. As such, the project should merit a more generous budget than the military (and possibly an appraisal of just what funds can be diverted from the country’s military posture and into its media effort.)
Of course, New Zealanders regaining control over the media that exercises so much control over what is in their heads is not an end in itself. The key questions have to be: through what persons or agencies should that control be exercised and what objectives should be set for those in control? In my next blog I will attempt answers to those questions.
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