The writer is in Australia
THE OffGuardian quotes, of all people, the decrepit leftist Noam Chomsky: ‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate . . .’
If the notion of the ‘fake binary’ sounds a little familiar, well, it should. It describes to a tee Australian party politics in the 2020s and the current election campaign in particular.
Despite the fact that as many people do not want the major parties as are supporting each of the majors – the Lib-Lab Duopoly, aka the establishment or legacy parties – one might think that all that matters in this election are the respective prospects of Labor leader Anthony Albanese and current Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison, perhaps the two least attractive candidates ever put up for high office in this country. Keeping the real issues off the agenda is a mark both of modern legacy party politics and of modern sycophantic corporate media. To the extent that anyone is talking about issues other than the prospects of Lib-Lab, those that are getting a run are mattersutterly irrelevant to most voters. First, there is the endless lying about climate change. Next, we have toxic male workplace culture. Then, there are all the pork-barrel promises of dollars that, perhaps mercifully, will never actually be disbursed. What about the housing crisis? Yes, there are massive issues of housing affordability, but setting up a false binary between the major party promises that suggests that one or the other has an actual ‘solution’ to the problem parks on the side analysis of actual causes and potential solutions. Finally, there is the utterly fake transgender issue. Without wanting to offend anyone, who remotely cares?
And the issues of actual concern to normal voters? Well, we would like to defend our nation and not slither into world wars. We don’t like the Chinese Communist Party owning vast swathes ofthe country, including much that is strategically critical. We are done with mass immigration and the Ponzi economy that it has created. We want governments to be fiscally continent. We want political and especially executive accountability and the reversal of government overreach. We want the sinners of the Covid years to be punished for their crimes. We want vaccine freedom and we want the unvaxxed to get their jobs back, with compensation. We want an end to rule by unelected bureaucrats, especially all of the vile public health talking heads. We cherish freedom and rights. We want conservative political parties to be conservative. We want governments to keep their promises and all issues on which they reach positions to first be tested on the hustings. We do not want the bio-digital state. We do not want to be run by Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, the CIA and the World Health Organisation, and we do not want entanglements in foreign wars that are none of our business. We are NOT all neocons. And that is just the beginning of what a genuine election campaign with all of the grubby reality of our system being up for discussion would look like.
Chomsky, like the broken clock, is right about this, if about nothing much else in his long life of leftist agitprop and ersatz scholarship.
Major parties are good at creating pretend debates and the illusion of real difference, when the reality is that there are two political entities fighting a legacy left-right war that no longer exists, and where the real dividing lines in the polity are between insiders and elites on the one hand, and outsider ‘deplorables’ on the other. Just like the mass formation hypnosis of the Covid years, the current election is an act of ‘look over there’, an illusory, faux-democratic exercise in fraud where the past two years of economic destruction and crushed citizen rights are simply erased from history, with the major parties and the media leading the charge, where the lies and omitted truths about vaccines are buried and where true accountability is non-existent. Indeed, the very choice between two rabidly pro-vaxx, freedom-crushing, totalitarian parties arguing over which of them did/would do autocracy better and harder is an insult to our Constitution and to the voting public.
Catte at the OffGuardian explains further the Chomsky thesis, updated to the Covid world:
What he’s describing is the ‘fake binary’. The imposition of the idea that Viewpoint A is the official approved narrative and that Viewpoint B is therefore its antithesis.
Points C through Z can therefore be ignored.
The fact hidden in plain sight being that both Viewpoint A and Viewpoint B actually reinforce the overarching narrative being sold and both lead to the same place.
It’s an incredibly effective management tool.
A fake binary allows you to manipulate not only the conformist Normies who automatically obey, but also those who consider themselves to be ‘anti-establishment’, contrarians or ‘rebels’.
The fact Viewpoint B actually concedes all the same falsehoods contained in Viewpoint A remains unnoticed and anyone pointing this out tends to be attacked by both sides.
Fake binaries are a godsend to the opinion-managers.
Indeed. And the greatest false binary of the Covid era has been the suggestion that the ‘solution’ to the CCP virus was mass vaccination (with products which were falsely said to be safe, needed and effective) in order to restore freedom. The freedom that governments and their allies took from us.
Creating fake binaries, of course, isn’t the only tool in the totalitarian kit. As Soren Kierkegaard observed: ‘We can, of course, be deceived in many ways. We can be deceived by believing what is untrue, but we certainly are also deceived by not believing what is true.’
There are also outright lies, censorship, fact checkers, smearing of dissidents and refuseniks, isolation, ridicule, brainwashing, the creation of moral panics, the creation and management of controlled oppositions and coverups of corruption. All these strategies are mutually supportive, and serve to exclude both people and topics from the agreed establishment narrative. They have been utterly successful.
The world of politics is now run by opinion managers. The coming of corporatism to the main political parties of the former right and the former left has left us with endless public relations, propaganda, reputation management in place of real debates over real issues of concern to ordinary people. This is now embedded in the body politic and the numerous third parties wedded in some way to the political system. The 2022 election is merely the latest, and for those crushed by the Covid State, the most egregious example of the new way of doing things.
Hence there will be no real joy in the event of the likely change of government today, beyond the genuine satisfaction that an appalling government will be swept away. The reality is that it will be replaced by an equally revolting government driven by factions and globalist ideology and peopled by Labor’s own, venal second-raters, careerists, chancers and traitors to their once great cause of championing the underdog.
There is another possible outcome, though I personally believe this unlikely. This would be a chastened Coalition bent on self-examination, on weeding out the betrayers of liberalism and traditionalism, on killing the factional power of unelected lobbyists for whom the Liberal system is a perfectly formed, vertically integrated and corrupt machine, on rethinking globalist ideology. And on starting afresh.
Until that day arrives, the communities of the disaffected have to build their newfound homes among the FFMPs (freedom friendly minor parties) into proper political machines with an ongoing brief, certainly in the Senate and perhaps – hoping against hope – on the cross benches in the Lower House too, to ‘keep the bastards honest’, and not be merely temporary holding patterns for the wayward and the disenchanted. Powerful third forces, and I don’t mean nut-job, evil Greens, might just, one day, put an end to the false binaries created by those currently in control, governed as they are by the true puppet-masters beyond the reach of parliaments, nations and voters.
LATEST: Anthony Albanese will be Australia’s new prime minister overseeing the first Labor-led government in almost a decade. Scott Morrison has conceded defeat.