Manufacturing Consent: What Good Is Freedom If No One Uses It?

SHI writes:

You do realize that Russia isn’t free in any sense of the word. That makes any comparison with the current situation in the West totally pointless.

Maybe the Russians have always preferred it that way but for last three centuries, that entire expanse of land called Russia has settled for nothing but one strongman dictator after another. From the autocratic Tsars to tyrannical leaders like Stalin, Khrushchev and Putin now, if you’re a child growing up in Russia, you have not known freedom the way a Western child does. There are exceptions though, Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin broke away from Russian iron man traditions and tried to be benign leaders but their short-lived experiments failed.

There is no disputing the fact that Vlad the Putin is the biggest autocratic tyrant at the moment, not very different from Gaddafi, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Assad or Pinochet. This man oppresses his own people. Given a choice, most Russians would want to escape their country but they can’t as the State still puts a restriction on emigration. If you were born in Russia, you simply can’t defect to another country unless you’re married to a person over there. That is why the Russian mail order bride business has always been booming.

Why do you think the Polish, Lithuanian, Romanian and Hungarian people like to distance themselves so much from Russia? Not only are their countries most active NATO members but the people themselves are anti-Russia. Why do you think Ukrainians want to escape the shadow of Russia to merge with Western Europe and the Schengen region? While Britain can’t wait to escape from EU as the overall sentiment over there favors Brexit, the former countries of the Soviet Bloc can’t wait to join the Western Hemisphere.

Thing is, people in the West take their freedoms for granted. They simply have no concept of what it feels like to raise your child in a tyrannical, dictatorial regime. There are things like internet censorship, forced incarcerations and murders that you take as “normal”.

Maybe the recent US elections seem like a complete joke when you find that your Final 2 happen to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But that’s a problem that can be fixed within four years. If you were born in Russia, you don’t have that choice in the first place. You have to put up with your autocratic government day in and day out. And so will your children.

It might sound cliched but the US is indeed a free society. Just check the annual rankings of Freedom House. There are other freedom indices including the UK-based Democracy index, Canada-based Fraser Institute’s “Index of Freedom in the World” and Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters without Borders. Countries like China, Russia and Islamic countries are consistently scoring “not free” in every independent assessment each year the rankings are prepared. Just check this year’s Freedom House map, no one really emigrates to any country that isn’t marked “blue”.

Let us take this apart one by one.

You do realize that Russia isn’t free in any sense of the word. That makes any comparison with the current situation in the West totally pointless.

Russia is far freer than we are. There is a huge dissident media, mostly funded by the West. There are large dissident websites that are very popular, and there are a number of dissident newspapers, radio stations and even TV from outside. You can buy dissident newspapers anywhere you want in Moscow. Dissidents are quoted every single day in the Russian media.

How many large dissident websites do we have? How many dissident newspapers are there in the US? How many dissident newsmagazines? How many dissident radio stations? One, Pacifica, and no one listens to it. How frequently are dissidents quoted in the US media. Never.

Maybe the Russians have always preferred it that way but for last three centuries, that entire expanse of land called Russia has settled for nothing but one strongman dictator after another.

Yes, they like it that way.

From the autocratic Tsars to tyrannical leaders like Stalin, Khrushchev and Putin now, if you’re a child growing up in Russia, you have not known freedom the way a Western child does.

It is far freer under Putin than it ever was under Communism.

There are exceptions though, Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin broke away from Russian iron man traditions and tried to be benign leaders but their short-lived experiments failed.

Yeltsin looted the country. The Communist Parliament was blocking all of his free market reforms, so he dissolved Parliament by decree and when they refused to accept his decree, he called out and the military and he attacked his own Parliament with tanks and guns. 600 people died, including a lot of legislators. That would be like Obama calling out the US military to open fire with tanks and guns on Congress and killing a bunch of Congressmen. Hell, even Putin hasn’t done that.

The US media cheered wildly. Not one single outlet failed to cheer. They had an election and the West sent over moneybags guys with literal suitcases full of illegal money for the campaign. These guys were photographed walking down the street carrying literal boxes of money. They flooded the campaign with illegal money and he won. 100% of the US media cheered for this. Yeltsin sold out the country to the US. He sold the whole place for 10 cents on the dollar to a bunch of Jews in the UK, the US and Israel and bankers in the US, UK and Frankfurt. They looted the whole country bare until there was nothing left to steal. Why do you think Putin came in. The Yeltsin supporters now have 1% support in the population.

87% of the population loves Putin. The opposition is miniscule.

Yeltsin was NOT a Democrat. He was way worse than Putin. Things are much freer under Putin than they were under Yeltsin.

There is no disputing the fact that Vlad the Putin is the biggest autocratic tyrant at the moment, not very different from Gaddafi, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Assad or Pinochet.

Those are actual dictatorships. And they also killed a lot of people. Putin has hardly killed anyone. Putin does not have a dictatorship. There are free elections, however most media is state media, and the state media is biased for Putin, but how is this different from the West? Putin wins all the elections because the dissidents are all seen as traitors.

This man oppresses his own people.

How can you oppress people with 87% support?

Given a choice, most Russians would want to escape their country but they can’t as the State still puts a restriction on emigration.

My understanding is that you can walk out of that place anytime you wish. Anyone can leave, it’s just that most do not want to. If 87% support the President, why would they all want to leave?

Why do you think the Polish, Lithuanian, Romanian and Hungarian people like to distance themselves so much from Russia?

Because they were formerly under the thumb of the USSR which more or less forced Communism on them. They got rid of Communism, and they have been mad at Russia ever since, although the Hungarian leader is pretty pro-Russian. They’re all just drinking the Koolaid.

Of those countries listed, only Poland and Lithuania are Russia-haters, and the Lithuanians are Nazis. They have statues of Nazis up all over the country. All of their big heroes are Nazis.

The Poles are simply insane. They hate Russia far more than they hate Nazis. The Nazis war on Poland killed 10 million Poles. The Soviets killed 275,000 Poles. So the Poles hate Russians. The Poles are insane.

Not only are their countries most active NATO members but the people themselves are anti-Russia.

Everyone in the West is anti-Russia because of the brainwash. There is not one single dissident pro-Russia media outlet anywhere in the West. With anti-Russian propaganda on every media outlet, how do you expect people to think?

However, most Hungarians are particularly anti-Russia because they elected a pro-Russian leader. Most Romanians don’t care about Russia.

Why do you think Ukrainians want to escape the shadow of Russia to merge with Western Europe and the Schengen region?

Because they hate Russia.

But they didn’t even want to join the EU. The EU supporters never had more than 35%. Ukraine was split between pro-EU and pro-Russia factions until the Nazi coup. After the coup, all of the pro-Russian parties were outlawed and a number of their legislators were murdered. The leader of the biggest pro-Russia party, the Party of Regions, fled to Russia after the regime tried to kill him by setting his house on fire, but they set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. Before the coup, the country was badly split between pro-Russian and pro-EU factions.

The Ukies think they will join the EU and get rich. But they are poor because all of their leaders have been stealing from them since Independence, not because they are close to Russia. They won’t get rich by joining the EU.

While Britain can’t wait to escape from EU as the overall sentiment over there favors Brexit, the former countries of the Soviet Bloc can’t wait to join the Western Hemisphere.

They’ve all already joined, not that it’s done them much good. The Greeks want out too.

Thing is, people in the West take their freedoms for granted.

What freedoms? If you have no dissident press, you have no free press. If you have no dissident press, you have no freedom of speech. If you have no dissident politicians, you do not have a free politics. Russians are far freer than any Western country.

They simply have no concept of what it feels like to raise your child in a tyrannical, dictatorial regime.

Yes but that’s not Putin.

There are things like internet censorship, forced incarcerations and murders that you take as “normal”.

There is no Internet censorship in Russia. The Russian-language web is flooded with dissident sites, all paid for by the West.

Hardly any dissidents go to jail in Russia. They might arrest a few from time to time, but dissidents are quoted in the Russian media every single day. Most of them are free to yap along all they wish.

Yes, there have been a few killings of dissidents, but Putin was not involved in the most recent notorious one outside the Kremlin. There have been a few killings of journalists, but there were many more killings of dissidents under Yeltsin than under Putin. Yeltsin had many of his opponents killed.

Maybe the recent US elections seem like a complete joke when you find that your Final 2 happen to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But that’s a problem that can be fixed within four years.

No dissident politician ever runs in the US, or at least one never gets very far. Trump is very interesting in that he is an actual US dissident politician who has made it into the final round. I cannot remember the last time that happened, but it was probably Kennedy, and he was murdered by the Deep State who run the US. See what happens to dissident politicians in the US? See what happens when the American people elect a dissident? The Deep State kills them. That’s why few politicians go against the Deep State and the System because they are afraid of getting the “Kennedy treatment.”

If you were born in Russia, you don’t have that choice in the first place.

Actually elections in Russia are quite fair other than the media issues. The worst dissidents you could possibly imagine run against Putin. I mean almost out and out traitors. We never have any dissidents like that running for President. Putin wins overwhelmingly because the population thinks the Opposition are traitors.

You have to put up with your autocratic government day in and day out. And so will your children.

Sure, but this is how they like it. I know Russians, and they tell me they are fine with the system.

It might sound cliched but the US is indeed a free society.

It isn’t. There is no dissident press, so there’s no freedom of the press. Because there’s no free press, there’s no freedom of speech. There are no or almost no dissident politicians, so we don’t have free politics, although Trump is changing that.

Just check the annual rankings of Freedom House.

You realize that Freedom House is run by the reactionary Reaganite Republican nuts, and their joke indexes are worthless, right?

There are other freedom indices including the UK-based Democracy index, Canada-based Fraser Institute’s “Index of Freedom in the World” and Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters without Borders.

Like I said, what good is some abstract freedom of press if you have no dissident media? What good is freedom of the press if there is no dissident media to voice it in? What good is free politics if there are few if any dissident politicians? You might as well be living in a dictatorship. Freedoms are no good if you can’t use them or if nobody ever uses them. When everyone goes along with the program automatically, you’re no different than North Korea.

Countries like China, Russia and Islamic countries are consistently scoring “not free” in every independent assessment each year the rankings are prepared.

I would agree that China is not free, however, there are many political protests. There are 100 political protests every single day in China. The authorities just let almost all of them go on, and they don’t do anything about it. There is no free press though, I agree.

Islamic countries are not free because they can’t handle freedom, and they do better under dictatorships. Look what happens when they try to do democracy in the Arab World. It doesn’t work. Malaysia is a pretty free country, and Pakistan does have dissident political parties that regularly get 15% of the vote. There is a large dissident political party in Turkey, though they are under siege. Lebanon is a free country, as is Tunisia. Algeria is free.

Yemen is such a free country that a dissident movement just overthrew the government by force! You can’t get much freer than that. In Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, dissidents are armed to the teeth and are threatening to overthrow the government. You can’t get much freer than that in a sense anyway! The Iraqi Parliament is split; Sadr’s party and the Sunni parties are very much dissident parties.

Just check this year’s Freedom House map, no one really emigrates to any country that isn’t marked “blue”.

This is not true. There is a lot of immigration to China from all over the world. There is also a lot of immigration to Russia from Ukraine and the former Soviet states to the south and east. Under Ghaddafi there was huge immigration from Sub-Saharan Africa. Egypt was the same – mass immigration from Black Africa to Egypt. There is huge immigration to the Gulf nations from all over the world to work. Before the crash, many Colombians had immigrated to Venezuela for a better life. There is huge immigration of Central Americans to Mexico.

Just check this year’s Freedom House map, no one really emigrates to any country that isn’t marked “blue”.

That map must be some sort of a joke. Venezuela is the freest country in Latin America. The opposition has many media unbelievably outlets, and they all resemble Fox News X10. They tell constant lies, and they have regularly called for assassinating the President. They continue to do so now, and now all of the Opposition press is agitating for a coup. Could you imagine if the US had huge media outlets that told the most vicious lies on a regular basis and regularly called for the assassination of Obama, and now were screaming for the US military to stage a military coup and overthrow Obama to put in a military dictatorship? Venezuela is a 10X freer than the US.

The Opposition has taken over Congress and stages constant demonstrations/riots in the streets. And recently the Opposition is armed and has started assassinating government officials.

Venezuela has the fairest elections on Earth.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Manufacturing Consent: What Good Is Freedom If No One Uses It?

  1. Optimus Prime

    Excellent rebuttal. All fair points. Completely agree.

  2. SHI

    You make a lot of valid arguments. But there are a few observations I have.

    Yemen is such a free country that a dissident movement just overthrew the government by force! You can’t get much freer than that. In Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, dissidents are armed to the teeth and are threatening to overthrow the government. You can’t get much freer than that in a sense anyway! The Iraqi Parliament is split; Sadr’s party and the Sunni parties are very much dissident parties.

    That’s called ANARCHY. We might as well include Syria and Afghanistan in that list.

    How many large dissident websites do we have? How many dissident newspapers are there in the US? How many dissident news magazines? How many dissident radio stations?

    Breitbart is anti–Big government. You do have websites like David Duke, Stormfront, Amren and so forth. Well they’re right wing and most good people condemn those ideas. But they do have a large impressive audience and are as dissident as it can get.

    Support for Donald Trump in these websites has reached stratospheric limits. Thing is they all consider Donald Trump as an anti-establishment, dissident candidate. But it simply isn’t true. Noone knows what Donald’s true motives are but I have known glib people like that. They are just playing with your emotions, deep seated fears and insecurities. In short, Trump is making a chump out of everyone.He’s taking everyone for one helluva ride. He’s an arrant NYC businessman, more Shylock than your regular Jew. Trump is very much an establishment guy. He has profited from Wall Street all his life.

    I think a true dissident was Ron Paul. He never went very far. So you’re right there.

    It seems the US is the only place which doesn’t favor dissidents and the electorate seems as reactionary as third world “democracies”. The leader’s personality matters more than actual issues.

    Democracies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Holland, Scandinavian countries and Switzerland have it a lot better than the US. They have a mechanism which filters away all the right wing lunatics while being more representative of the people’s voice. The US government functions more or less like an oversized corporation where you have to be closer to the top hierarchy for your vote to really matter.

    • Latias

      You should have said CounterPunch.

    • Well Syria and Afghanistan surely have a very active dissident movement, do they not?

      Breitbart is anti–Big government. You do have websites like David Duke, Stormfront, Amren and so forth.

      Breitbart isn’t really dissident. That’s just a Tea Party site. I am talking about real dissidents like Left dissidents, not rightwingers complaining that the others are too leftwing. Breitbart is in on the Russia-hating propaganda, right?

      The others are not really big sites that most people have heard about.

      I think a true dissident was Ron Paul. He never went very far. So you’re right there

      .

      Doesn’t he go against US foreign policy? If so, then he is a real dissident.

      Democracies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Holland, Scandinavian countries and Switzerland have it a lot better than the US.

      Even there, don’t the publics there just go along with the foreign policy propaganda of the state? If they don’t, give me some examples of where they turn on the state. This is what I am looking for.

  3. Optimus Prime

    Holodomor has got to be a solid reason for Ukrainians to hate Russia always. It is something that cannot be taken away from any Ukrainian. It is immaterial whether things have gone from bad to worse for Ukraine from the days under USSR as theyyre always going to bring holodomor and ravages it effected for any aggression against Russia. I believe USSR was a big big mistake and there is no way to repent. They are always going to deal with hostile neighbours who are vying for their blood.

    • Latias

      There was no Holodomor.

    • Their fake Holodomor is indeed one of the main reasons why they hate Russia so much, but they were probably Russia-haters even before then. They will never shut up about their Holodomor bullshit.

      Keep in mind that the death toll was very high in the east of the Ukraine which is mostly Russian, and no one over there gives two fucks about the Holodomor and there are even statues of Soviet leaders over there.

  4. Jason Y

    Have to agree with Robert here. Money buys advertising. Even if you got good stuff, without ads it won’t go no where. Sadly, like say with rock bands or something, there might even be good stuff out there that gets no airplay, while crap does. So the same goes with political stuff.

  5. Sam

    Everything you said is accurate except for,”…Islamic countries are not free because they can’t handle freedom, and they do better under dictatorships…”

    Maybe it’s the results of their elections you don’t like. That’s not the same thing as saying they can’t handle elections.

    • Arab countries can’t, and many Muslim countries can’t either. Show me one Arab country that has anything close to a democracy. ONE.

      There are some non-Arab Muslim countries that are democratic, more or less, but in general, there are hardly any Muslim countries that can do democracy at all.

      Off the top of my head, I would say Albania, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

      In general, they hold elections, Islamists win, and then the Islamists say we aren’t having any more elections. Or the Islamists win, and there’s a military coup overthrowing the Islamists and a military dictatorship takes over. Arabs don’t believe in democracy. They are actually incapable of any sort of democratic governance. It’s beyond them. And Muslims in general have some very serious issues with democracy, and they just can’t seem to do it well. When countries go Muslim, you can kiss democracy goodbye.

  6. We (Poles) do not hate Russians, not all of us. The latest poll showed 50% of Poles disliking Russians.

    And it’s not about WW2 – there is 50 years living under Soviets. As a kid, I once asked my father, after hearing some propaganda piece: “daddy, is it true that Russians are our friends?” No, my son. They are our brothers. Becuase you can change your friends”. In addition, Russia also quite often seems like trying to do anything in her power to make use dislike Russia.

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