The neo-conservative and commercial agents of Western capitalism spout the status quo: ‘We live in a democracy, we should be proud to have parliamentary elections every 4 years’ (no matter that they are disproportionate and unjust).
‘We should be proud to have the democratic right to vote, to protest, to a fair trial before the law and to a free and liberal press’ (no matter that there is still police brutality and gross inequalities in wealth and income).
The British especially love to brag about the freedom of the press. The term ‘free speech’ is so flippantly referred to by the advocates of a ‘liberal press’ that you’d be right to find it confusing that those same advocates of press freedom carefully control, plan and select the news agenda.
Stories are carefully vetted. Headlines are carefully edited. Broadcasters are carefully censored. And questions on ‘live’ TV shows – debating political affairs – are carefully selected to avoid dangerous dialogue which might unsettle or destabilise the political, legal and financial establishments.
I recently went on the new BBC Three programme ‘Free Speech’ aimed at engaging a younger audience in political issues ‘that affect them’. Far from being a platform of ‘Free Speech’ it was all carefully constructed, and staged around particularly inconsequential topics; it should be renamed ‘Planned Speech’.
Agendas were set, with issues decided before hand. Questions were predetermined, with answers already formulated. Whilst the audience had been previously handpicked by BBC ‘Officials’.
On the face of it Britain – through the media, government and corporations – clings to the illusion of ‘freedom of expression’ but behind the scenes, backstage, the actors of global capitalism have practised their roles, learnt their pre-written scripts and already made their decisions.
The screening of ‘live’ debate shows air a façade of democratic rights that don’t allow for active participation in political decision-making let alone provide representation; by doing so they sustain an unjust economic model of commerce and maintain an undemocratic system of governance in society.
Mainstream media mongrels are complicit in the rhetoric of ‘free speech’ as the pillar of democracy and corner-stone of liberty, at the very same time wilfully plan and structure information and news for mass consumption.
The BBC recently outlined proposals for a new complaints procedure which could effectively block anyone from the complaints process deemed to be ‘misconceived’ or ‘repetitious’. It is a step towards censorship of voices the BBC does not want to hear, giving them total control over whose opinions it will listen to and whose concerns it chooses to ignore.
Oligarchs aim to limit subversive channels challenging their authority and wealth, and stifle renegades, radicals and dissenting voices in large organisations rebelling against the corporate agenda.
In their towers of affluence, at the centres of power, market bosses and corporate barons fuel propaganda machines with finance and fantasy in order to control what is said, when it is said and by whom it is said.
On the forehand promoting ‘free speech’, while on the backhand screening each sentence, censoring particular words and placing the language of political discussion within a narrow framework.
Notice how the media, government and corporate ‘Officials’ of free-market capitalism always have their speeches well prepared. Their lines well rehearsed, ready to pitch their sale.
They even get ‘specialists’ to write their speeches for them.
Their speeches are rarely free from the manacles of strict obedience to the Symbolic Order. With strings attached to master pupperteers they pick their words wisely.
So when these ‘Officials’ talk of ‘Free Speech’ in the very speeches they’ve pre-written, remember all is not as it appears.