Op-ed: How double standards manufacture public consent


December 7 , 2017 – FRN – 

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Op-ed by Denis Churilov 

Everyone knows about the 1989 Tiananmen Square events, where the, supposedly, pro-democracy protests were brutally repressed by the Chinese government, resulting in the death of 218 civilians and 23 soldiers (that’s only the official figures; some unofficial estimates give a death toll figure close to 7000 people nationwide). Everyone has condemned the brutality of the Chinese Communist Party, the vile, totalitarian regime that represses freedom. Multiple documentaries have been made. The image of a lone student standing in front of a tank has been iconised in the Western pop-culture. Everyone is reminded of those horrors of the Chinese regime annually.

Now, how many of you have heard about the Gwangju Uprising? The year 1980, nine years before the Tiananmen Square events. Pro-Western, liberal, democratic South Korea. Citizens marched for democratisation and against the Chun Doo-hwan government (or so the official narrative states). 165 citizens killed. 76 missing. Thousands injured. That’s only the official figures. Some estimates suggest that the real death toll was close to 2000 people.

Further, the year 1992. Three years after the Tiananmen Square events. The United States, the self-proclaimed world leader in democratic values and the bastion of civil liberties. Lost Angeles. The outrage following the Rodney King case verdict made people go into the streets to protest police brutality and racism. The protests exacerbated into riots. The government had to mobilise the National Guard. As a result, 55 people dead (that’s the official figures), thousands injured, around 11 000 arrested. How’s that for a self-proclaimed democratic role model?

Then we also had the Furgeson and Baltimore protests/riots. Imagine if something like that were to happen in China or, say, Russia. Imagine if racial/ethnic minorities had the same clashes with law enforcement units somewhere in Chelyabinsk. Imagine the hysteria in the Western mainstream media. The BBC and CNN would be calling for international military intervention to stop the crisis under the racist Putin’s regime, no doubt.

The mainstream history teaches us about the horrors of the Soviet regime and the surrealistic evil of socialism in the Eastern Block by vividly illustrating the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the uprising in Czechoslovakia in 1968, both of which were brutally repressed with the Soviet tanks, resulting in the deaths of hundreds. Yet, nobody talks about “liberal” carpet bombings of Korea (a conflict that resulted in the death of 3 million people, according to official figures) and the “democratic” massacring of entire villages and the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Vietnam by “freedom-loving” US in such a context (those were happening at about the same time the events in the Eastern Block were taking place).

But that was too long ago. Let’s look at the more recent examples. Last year. 2016. Aleppo, Syria. Everyone in the Western mainstream media was deeply concerned and outraged because of the crisis, when the Syrian Arab Army, supported by Iran and the Russian special forces, was storming the city occupied by Al Qaeda offshoots. We all remember all the virtue signalling by the pop-stars and entertainers, all the “Save Aleppo” hashtags and campaigns on social media. Virtually the same time, a few hundred kilometres to the East – the Iraqi city of Mosul. Exactly the same situation – the US-led coalition storms the city occupied by the Islamic State forces, with reports of huge civilian casualties coming out regularly. Total silence in the media. No hashtags. No social media campaigns. Total indifference from Western diplomats and public figures. The siege has been going on for 6 months now, and everyone is turning a blind eye to it, as if it’s not happening.

Then we also have Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has been reigning a humanitarian catastrophe since 2015, committing every war crime imaginable with the weapons it bought at a discount from the US, UK, Canada and France. Thousands killed, millions displaced – the media is silent. No diplomatic condemnation. No sanctions against the Saudi Arabia and those who back it up with weapons. No social media campaigns, no celebrity outrage. Nothing. As if it’s not happening.

And that’s not even mentioning Donbass/Eastern Ukraine. Or Libya (Libya simply doesn’t exist in the mainstream media discourse; nobody needs to know what’s been happening there since Gaddafi was murdered).

Going from current conflicts to conflicts that may soon break out – North Korea. The Trump administration and the Western mainstream media have been spinning the narrative about North Korea as a rogue state (the later has been doing it for years). How bad is North Korea really? Well, it’s a totalitarian, authoritarian dictatorship with the same family being in power since the 1950s. Certainly. Well, if that’s bad, then what about Saudi Arabia? It’s a literal monarchy.

The state has, perhaps, the worst human rights record among all in the 21st century (we simply don’t know much about North Korea, in that regard; all the reports about people being executed with mortars and flamethrowers usually turn out to be fake stories made up by South Korean news agencies; they have even been caught using footage from Libya to illustrate their stories; with Saudi Arabia, in contrast, we know for sure that they are beheading people and cutting their limbs as a punishment for “religious crimes” on a daily basis). Unlike North Korea, Saudi Arabia arms and finances international terrorist groups (including most Al Qaeda branches, which are on the UN terrorist list). How come Saudi Arabia gets to have all the weapon deals with the US and have a head position at the UN Human Rights Council, while North Korea is being demonised, ostracised with sanctions and cornered with military threats?

Oh, well, you might say that North Korea is playing with nuclear weapons against the international nuclear non-proliferation regulations, and that it justifies the treatment it gets. Well, in such case, what about Israel? Look up how many times the United States has been using its veto power at the UN in talks about Israel and Israeli related issues.

It’s convenient for the elites to construct and maintain the “Free World™, liberalism and democracy vs. evil authoritarian regimes” narrative.

The picture painted by the media and pop-history is somewhat different from reality.

Propaganda generally aims at dumbing things down, simplifying everything and taking things out of context to keep people ignorant and misinformed so it would be easier to semantically rape them when the ruling class feels the need to manufacture yet another consent.

People need to widen their worldview, to become knowledgeable and to develop their capacity to think and reason to the point when they will no longer need to rely on the mainstream media to “be informed”.

Since the 1950s, various intellectuals have been pointing out that the greatest danger for the Mankind is that, with all the technologies we now have, we have been able to develop superhuman abilities, but, so far, failed to develop superhuman reason. The picture has worsened in the last few decades, as it seems. Nowadays, we have superhuman abilities to destroy the entire planet with portable nuclear weapons. As for the reason, it appears that it hasn’t only failed to reach the superhuman level, but has ceased to exist completely. The masses don’t reason. They act on consumer reflexes, totally manipulable with behavioural technologies, ready to “think” and to do whatever they are being told to through mass disinformation technologies.


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