("Quid coniuratio est?")
THE LEFT HAS BEEN TURNED
by Brian Francis Redman, Editor-in-chief, Conspiracy Nation Copyright (c) 1994 -- All Rights Reserved
In listening to a local radio show called "News From Neptune", one hears the banter of Paul "The Truth" Muth and Carl Estabrook. The show is above-average in the level of its discussion. (Below- average would be O.J. Simpson trial discussion ad nauseum.) Yet from time to time Mr. Muth and/or Professor Estabrook will "diss" the idea of a conspiracy behind the JFK assassination.
When I say "diss", I don't mean that they offer any reasons as to why the idea of a conspiracy is erroneous. I mean, rather, that they offer periodical snorts of disapproval; they "diss" the idea by letting out a hiss at the idea. They "diss" the theory (i.e., they disrespect the theory), but they don't go into any depth about why exactly the theory is wrong.
So, for example, Mr. Muth will mention Oliver Stone's movie, JFK, and then will add a mocking snort of disapproval. Or, Professor Estabrook will mention (again, just in passing) the idea that maybe it wasn't Oswald, only to punctuate this with mention of the latest book that really (oh, but I mean really, this time) closes the book on the Kennedy assassination.
So we have Muth and Estabrook, mightily concerned about East Timor and Russian coup d'etats and the true news from Cuba -- all of which is fine, to an extent. But should the focus get closer to home, closer to the source of these far away problems, the estimable gentlemen -- so loquacious on other matters -- are reduced to "knowing sighs".
And it's often the same with other fashioned leftist intellectuals: On some subjects, you get no answer from them. You get instead the arched eyebrow, the "knowing smile", the "(sigh) Oh really now!" -- but no discussion, no answers.
My view on so-called "leftists" -- the kind that hang out at universities, are aces at parlour room chit-chat and wizards of the afternoon teas, who study the vocabulary so as to wow the co- eds in their pursuit of young, idealistic pussy -- is that there are "leftists" and there are leftists. Some leftists acknowledge and, in fact, favor the idea that yes, we do live in Conspiracy Nation. But other "leftists", while offering nothing substantive, still routinely throw a little mud at ideas of conspiracy. For example, the already mentioned Muth and Estabrook. Or we also have Noam Chomsky (a.k.a. "St. Noam"), who will not say his opinion as to who killed JFK; who will not say, but who does "diss" the idea. As Dr. Michael Parenti pointed out in a lecture ["Conspiracy and Class Power", available from Pacifica archives],
There are those that said, "Yeah. So three-fourths of the American people believe that John Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy. So what? Three-fourths of the American people..." -- [Alexander] Coburn's made this argument. [Noam] Chomsky's made this argument to me. -- "...Three- fourths of the American people believe in miracles, too."
Note here how the idea has been dismissed as unworthy of serious discussion. Nothing concrete is seriously debated, rather the idea is put down as being unworthy of discussion. The hidden message is "I am so much smarter than you who have brought this conspiracy idea up, because I won't even bother to discuss it. If you were as smart as I, then you would have seen that this is not worth discussion."
Dr. Parenti responds to Coburn's and Chomsky's "dissing" as follows:
Well that's a very facile argument; it's a confusion. They're confusing the gullibility about miracles with the public's refusal to be gullible about the story that the officials are handing down to them about how Kennedy was killed. It's quite different.
For a long time I couldn't understand how persons such as Muth and Estabrook could see the evil overseas, but could not see it here, all around us. But then, after hearing yet another snort of disapproval from Mr. Muth, an idea dawned on me: "Muth has been turned." <<Naw... can't be,>> I argued back. But again: "Yes. Muth has been turned."
When I say "turned", I do not mean (in the case of Muth and Estabrook) that anyone has been paying them off or that the CIA is blackmailing them to close their eyes. (Though this may have in fact occurred in the higher reaches, at the apex of the "leftist" pyramid.) By "turning" (in the case of Muth and Estabrook) I mean rather that the current fashionable thinking will be aped. Because there are many "leftists" who have turned their minds over to their top leadership, because many "leftists" choose to worship at the shrine of Coburn, Hitchins and Chomsky (rather than think for themselves), all it would take to "turn" the likes of Muth and Estabrook would be for word to come down from the top that the "current thinking" of the "leftist" Trinity did not favor conspiracy theory. Then you would have Muth and Estabrook aping the opinions of their "leftist" elite.
Thus we have the Big Three -- Coburn, Hitchins and Chomsky -- turning a thumbs down on conspiracy theory and you have the myriads of "leftists" aping the latest opinions. So when it dawned on me that the reason such seemingly intelligent people could be so ignorant in a particular area was that they had been turned, what I was seeing was the effect of a "turning" that had occurred at a higher level.
So, has the "left's" leadership been turned? How else to explain their consistent avoidance of something that is staring them in the face? Well, one theory would be that of a graduated series of ideological defenses. Defense level one would be for persons describable as belonging to a level of awareness that watches and enjoys television sitcoms. But for those who break through this first perimeter, defense level two would be, "Yes. You have discovered the truth about East Timor, etc." These people then become convinced that they need go no further; that they have broken through the ideological perimeter and that there is no further to go. BUT THE MORE SOPHISTICATED AWARENESS WILL CONTINUE ON, AND WILL BREAK THROUGH A PERIMETER NOT SEEN BY THE LESS SOPHISTICATED AWARENESS. The more sophisticated awareness will continue on, to the heart of the corruption, while the less sophisticated awareness will snort and declare that there is no further to go! This would be an alternative explanation why the higher-echelons of the "left", the one's who are supposedly doing the top-level thinking and leading the way for the rest of the troops, cannot see what is staring them in the face.
But that is the charitable explanation. Sherman Skolnick, veteran investigative reporter, offers another view:
Many in the left wing and the liberal press are tied in, like Chip Berlet, with that Cambridge group, that are in with foundations connected with the CIA, Z Magazine and that... Most of the so-called left press is financed by the intelligence agencies. I can prove that. So they're not independent. I know it's a terrible thing... and I could go into a long rap about how the ACLU has been taken over by the Baldwin Foundation, which runs the Nation magazine, which is very liberal and runs a lot of good stories but heaven help you if you raise a thing about the CIA and the Baldwin Foundation. ["Sherman Skolnick Sounds Off!" Steamshovel Press Issue #11.]
The "left" has been turned. Either by hook or by crook, the "left" has been turned. Now, the "left" upsets no one. Now, the "left" sticks mostly to the safe issues -- super-citizen status for gays, super-citizen status for women -- and ignores things that the big money boys really care about. The big money boys don't give a damn if the gays or the feminists take the good jobs. It's no sweat off them who does the work. But the big money boys don't want you focussing on who really runs things in the U.S. because then you might find out what's going on. And if you found that out, then the people might take back this country. And if the people took back this country, then those same people might effectively help put a stop to massacres in places like East Timor.
So instead we have the turned "left" in turn now turning our attention to other things: turning our attention overseas; turning our attention to "political correctness". The "left" now serves to distract us, to keep us from looking where it really counts. The "left" has become an endless committee meeting that exists just for the sake of existing. The "left" has become an elaborate poseur in love with its pose and actually not wanting change.
But gee, if things got changed there'd be no more "News From Neptune", right guys??
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."
"Justice" = "Just us" = "History is written by the assassins."