by John Ward
The last burgeoning growth sector on the Planet is the pursuit of redefinition. The idea is first to confuse, then create a climate of acceptance, and finally do away with every form of liberty that stands in the way of power. Both Capital and Labour are actively following the same road. It will be the end of the road for citizen freedom unless they’re both stopped.
John Williams at Shadowstats.com reckons that the real unemployment rate in the US is 21.4%. Unimpressed by the US State’s insane assumption that all those no longer able to claim unemployment welfare “have found a job”, Mr Williams provides further fuel for my longstanding thesis that no real recovery can occur – if more and more mass-market consumers work fewer and fewer hours for less and less money or have no job at all – because their personal disposable income is disappearing out of sight.
The term ‘in employment’ has been redefined.
When he arrived at the UK Treasury as Chancellor, George Osborne immediately gave notice that he’d be switching from the higher RPI measure of inflation (then at 5.2%) to the lower CPI at 4.5%. That doesn’t sound like much, but one has to remember two things: first, that is a 14% difference in levels that makes inflation look much lower; and second, over time the different impression given is huge: from 1996 to 2011, under the RPI system prices rose 53.6%….but using the CPI method, it only came to 35.6%.
Significantly, the CPI system excludes financial services costs and government charges to the consumer. Just fancy that.
So the term ‘inflation’ has been redefined.
Within two years of taking office, the Conservative-led coalition’s leader David Cameron started claiming that “the Government’s long-term economic plan is working to create more jobs”. Government Party Political Broadcasts showed the statistics, and yes, it certainly looked that way.
But “a job” to most people over the last half century meant 38-40 hours a week with a month’s notice. When analysed, these new jobs were averaging 20 hours a week, often at unsocial hours and frequently on no contracts at all. They typically demand, for example, that the “employee” be ready to come into the workplace without notice. When using the weasel term ‘job’, Cameron was comparing meat and two veg with bread and dripping.
So the term ‘job’ has been redefined.
It’s difficult to know when exactly this process started. Misleading the public by redefinition is not new: Disraeli told the British people he had brought back “peace with honour” in 1855, but the treaty concerned was quite different from the original aim of ‘containing the Russian bear’ . Nixon used the same phrase about the Vietnam treaty in 1973, a claim that was at least equally dishonest. I suppose for a politician, ‘honour’ is the easiest word of all to render relative.
More than any others, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson pioneered the use of ‘spin’, a practice whose entire aim was to mislead. In turn, they redefined the words sexual intercourse, education, journalism and mortgage – an eclectic set of linguistic corruption to say the least. But what I’m talking about now is way beyond spin: today’s rampant redefinition is about tampering with the data and its history.
It’s the logical end result of the jargonisation of lying. In more crude times of ideological correctness, to deny the existence of a fallen Party member, the USSR airbrushed them out of previous ‘balcony’ photographs. In 2014, the Conservative Party was caught deleting promises made online in previous Manifestos. All of this is redolent of Winston Smith in George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.
But today, tampering with information (and hiding it) is far more difficult to detect. So-called “image management” agencies deliberately change the entries presented in Wikipedia. The European Data Protection Act is a gift-wrapped licence to obliterate incriminating facts from Google.
In 2010, Wolfgang Schäuble exaggerated the size of the Greek debt. In the second quarter of 2014, Italy straight-out lied about its gdp growth. The following year in a bribery case, it became clear that the Italian meteorological office in one region had lied about the weather outlook for the Adriatic Coast. All three sources claimed, however, that in their definition of debt, gdp and weather, they had not meant to mislead. Perhaps they got off on the basis of being unfit to plead. Who knows any more?
One of the biggest redefinitions of recent years is, without doubt, that of the term ‘Brexit’.
Shortly after she became Prime Minister, Theresa May coined the phrase “Brexit means Brexit”. Like so many of her soundbites, it has become thoroughly debased coinage. Unspoken in her proclamation were several additional words viz: “Brexit means Brexit, and Brexit means what I say Brexit is – being myself a convinced Remainer, alongside my Chancellor and the chief civil service adviser Oliver Robbins”.
So ‘Brexit’ has been redefined as Brexit in name only.
And equally, what was the EEC (and then the EC, and finally the EU) has undergone a dramatic change in personality worthy of Jekyll’s alter ego Mr Hyde. But while the changeling now claims to be sixty years old, it is only in the last eight that its fanatics have indulged in totalitarian control, flagrant disregard for the Treaties of Rome and Lisbon, and Imperial behaviours that include sanctions against Russia, interference in the affairs of Ukraine, and the appointment of Federica Mogherini to create a EU Army liaising closely with NATO.
So ‘European Union’ has been redefined.
There would be less need for concern about creeping redefinition were it not for the fact that a broad spectrum of the Earth’s citizens are largely unaware of it.
The lack of awareness is based on several factors – laziness, ideological rigidity, IQ, lack of education, social media manipulation, broadcast media distraction, robotically accepting education, job pressures, family pressures, financial problems and so forth.
Slowly – in my view too slowly – the aware segment of the populace is growing….helped by the same internet trying so hard in so many ways to deny reality. This is why the new priority for the Great Unelected is to clamp down on emerging online news sites and the blogosphere by promoting the idea that “fake news” only ever emanates from a “lunatic fringe”. Their primary weapon is thus to describe criticism as “online abuse” from deranged lunatics.
Redefining criticism is bad enough; but really, the ultimate goal of the Alt State is to redefine news.
I’ve been banging on for years about Net Neutrality – the goal of all those who want to receive news before we do – so they can “improve” it. The principle of Net Neutrality is that everyone has the same access to the same information at the same time. In the US, Congress vowed to ensure that, but Congress has been bombarded with the usual bungs… and thus failed to do it. Some State legislatures (like California) have passed laws blocking any monopoly on/block of online news and information in the light of Washington’s failure. So far, progress in other States is at best piecemeal. It’s not the end of the war, but it is a massive rout of the forces of equality of access.
I can guarantee that no more than 5% of the global population is even aware of it. A generation may well now emerge who won’t question this digital élitism….just as a generation has already matured and never known anything other than low wages, zero hours contracts, and woefully limited chances to get ahead based purely on merit.
Influence based on money and power has been redefined. And “news” will, in the future, be even easier to redefine….unless we reinstate Net Neutrality.
The Skripal Affair offers a classic example of the redefining of news. We will almost certainly never know for sure, but the couple’s “poisoning” probably represented a security services Black Op that went wrong, but was then opportunistically turned into accusations first against Putin, then his ally Assad…and finally became the rationale for bombing Syrian and Iranian airfields and emplacements.
The Johnson/government account of this episode having been an ill-repaired sieve from end to end is a factor of just how little time the diplomats, spooks and Special Branch cops had available for the construction of a credible narrative. Once Net Neutrality goes, their accounts will be more convincing.
Last but by no means least, in the West ‘liberal’ as a term has been so redefined, today it represents a spectrum ranging from the hidden Trotskyism of Antifa via the abusive disdain for free speech among the Momentum disciples, all the way through to fellow-travellers that range – alarmingly – from Hillary Clinton and the DNC to Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott.
In it’s classic sense, the word was associated with free trade and democratic opposition to the stratified social systems of the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1960s it represented first Kennedy Democrats and then the youth movements that typified the era from roughly 1964 until 1978. Today, it is a catch-all hiding place for the intolerant. Be their ‘beef’ climate, gender, race or economics, activists for the One Party approach to social collectivism have redefined themselves as Greenpeace, feminists, racial egalitarians, the politically correct or social democrats.
But they are not. They are, on the whole, people who feel that violent demonstrations and the restriction of “off message” speech are justified as the means to an end. Redefining themselves is merely the means of hiding what they really are.
And so Hard Left Socialism has been redefined as Social Democracy. In the same way, ultimately, that the wholesale transfer of power from labour to capital, the concentration of global media ownership, the disastrous application of neoliberal economics to ClubMed, the strengthening of a US-led NATO in Europe and the near abolition of the Rule of Law have been redefined in summation as Democracy per se.
There is an uncertainty about chicken and egg in this context, but for me it’s largely irrelevant. The ultimate in totalitarian power (thus far in this, the illustrious history of Homo sapiens) means having the ability to pervert reality by redefining the following:
Measurement >>> data >>> media ownership >>> élitist access to news >>> goals
Ironically, thanks to social media the State will know more about the reality of We the People than we know ourselves….while we will know only those things we are told about. And if that sounds familiar, then of course it is: the DDR, the USSR and the PRC.
The hegemony of Neoliberal economics and Neoconservative foreign policy (both themselves redefinitions of oligarchy and Imperialism respectively) has not just ensured tensions between trading blocs: the dominance has brought ordinary citizens closer and closer to radical desperation.
The two traditionally decisive (and divisive) historical forces of my lifetime – labour and capital – are once more face to face. Both they and the Superblocs they inhabit have turned to fascism as the best route to success.
I am now going to sit under the shade of a Schumach tree and think about something else. Enjoy the weekend.