By Andrew McKillop21st Century Wire
Weeks are unfolding with almost nothing from the Conspiracy Corner that gives any solace to average persons wanting to know why the Arab world is seemingly falling apart. Ditto from the mainstream media. And it’s not only the pundits who don’t seem to have a handle on this crisis. Our leaders, deciders, powerbrokers and tormentors normally have a nice line of patter to quickly identify The Enemy and generate The Solution. But they too are floundering in a delicious way, in full view. All parties find themselves in the exact same bag as corporate chiefs and their business hounds- who basically need oil from the Arab world, sales opportunities for their consumer goods, and low-cost labor export platforms to cheaply produce yet more products, grow their sales, and generally keep the party going. And in the face of such economic truths, who cares about Twitter fodder like human rights and democracy ?
LOG IN 4CHANGE: Tweeting mobs are percolating across North African and the Middle East.
To be sure, manful attempts are made almost daily to cobble tasty conspiracy theories that can hold for hours, or even a couple of days. Extreme free market ideologists can tell us, hand on heart, that Arab dictators appear to be falling left, right and center, and even Medieval style absolute monarchs and Petro Princes are not so sure when and how to fire on their respective protesting crowds with those state of the art weapons that our freedom-loving democracies sold them (and even gave them, in deserving cases), for a very simple reason.
How the news (aka short-term history) is written high-priced western PR firms were corrupted by, and then corrupt for and on behalf of ever lurking, market-rigging mega corporations. Some might say it’s necessary to fill up those square meters of print media surface each day and take a pot shot at Big Bad Corporations – and their media outlets including the BBC. Governments, like corporations are a global reality, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The biggest corporations of all – called governments – are unsurprisingly, hardly ever targeted by the extreme free market crowd, because they think Big Government will naturally shrivel and fall, or is so unimportant it isn’t worth talking about.
Could be right, there, my boy.
OTHER INFAMOUS PR EFFORTS: THE ECOLOGICAL DOOM BUSINESS
The mega-corporations latched on to polar bears paddling in slush and new, tasty sales opportunities for Chinese carbon fibre bicycles to strap on the back of Jack ‘n’ Jill Sixpack’s four wheel drive. These decorative lifestyle goods are now a part of the ritual drive down to the bottle bank before doing what Mr & Mrs Sixpack are only useful for: wheeling the caddy in the biggest supermarket they can find in within a range of 150 miles. The mega-corps told us this was not only cute, but a selfless action to save the planet no less, using the now fast fading Global Warming Crisis.
IPCC spokesmodels: Before it collapsed in 2009, Gore and Pachuari's campaign of doom was working rather well.
Imagining the no-brainer PR firms who ran that campaign are somehow behind Saving Mad Dog Gaddafi and the Petro Kings of Arabia (or overthrowing them – take your choice), is difficult but not impossible. Both campaigns have a fragged look about them, just a few weeks after launch. Like the Global Warming Armageddon PR effort for sexy green accessories like those carbon fibre bicycles, the present Middle Eastern PR effort flops out just like the polar bear conspiracy. Telling us that what’s happening in the Arab world is a big bad conspiracy is fine on its face – but if it is a conspiracy – it’s a terrible failure. Average consumers of media pap don’t even know who to hate any more. Meanwhile gasoline prices are rising every day, something which the Global Warming conspiracy never managed to achieve.
THE FAIRY STORY
As any promotional mechanism gathers power (so the story goes), orders are sent to think tanks which are coordinated to write White Papers, which should generate books and ultimately spawn ultra sincere, (that is) boring film scripts. Certain educators – knowingly, when they are paid enough – will advance the cause within academic journals under their control, while squeezing out and demonizing any sober alternative points of view. The media is then enlisted to propagate the promotion by interviewing “leading scientists and scholars” on the subject. Eventually, the UN takes up the cause using the Talking Head community as a template to create policy certain mandates. Like the UN’s in-house think tank, the IPCC- another failed promotional endeavour.
Still the process moves forward. Once the UN has consecrated the conspiracy, national political leaders will get to work on legislation that turns a buck for their pals who run the mega corporations. Trickle down is assumed, and the “small business community” who are in the know will then be allowed a look-in. This is particularly good if there are free monies and subsidies involved in the business.
Supposedly this is the end of the story. The world delightfully muddles along, orat least it’s delightful for anybody who gets two, three or five times the national average revenue – which in first place means they have a job at all. Try the numbers for youth unemployment in the Arab world !
Human rights and democracy was a 1990’s neolib campaign designed to undermine the Evil Empire and was rigorously circumscribed to not affect friendly dictators in an A to Z (Angola to Zimbabwe) range of resource producers and export platform countries – very surely including the Arab world. But time moved on, by gosh and by golly. History wasn’t dead, after all.
The biggest problem for the real culprits – governments – is they are, time and time again, directly named and targeted as the Enemy by the tweeting Flash Mob revolution.
But what about the mega-corps ? To be sure, they have their fangs into the neck of the world’s youth but they are always let off as accessories after the fact. They shelter behind, or even dictate what governments decide to put out what reads as plausible and ‘normal’ for average citizens. Until now, in the Arab world, from the oil-pumpers to export platform producers of designer T-shirts, and assembled Mercedes Benz cars (in Egypt for example), what was possible and normal for Arab youth was not too exalting. It was possible to stay unemployed for years, even a decade, and lately what was normal was redefined as being invited to not eat, also – because food prices are so high and we forgot about developing agriculture. Why did you do that ? Because the mega-corps told us this was best. What do you intend doing about ? Option 1: shoot you if you protest too much – what Hilary Clinton calls peaceful protest must be fixed as the limit. After that, we shoot.
Rejecting that as brain poison is surprising, no ?
Even less surprising, the Flash Mob reasoned the main first culprit are those smarmy Mafia type guys, called politicians, who shake hands with their lookalikes from what are called “Western democracies”, where just the same ‘No Alternative’ – a little diluted, maybe – applies to their youth. The international conspiracy is called government.This message is slowly filtering up to the interested and guilty parties. It has not yet percolated into the heads of really untreatable cases, for example the Obama-Merkel-Sarkozy-Campbell Gang and their Asian partners in crime, because they are force-fed on such delirious pap, pap in which they joyfully believe they are themselves part of the solution. But they are the cause. When their power shakes and trembles, the world breathes.
COPYRIGHT ANDREW MCKILLOP 2011
Andrew McKillop is guest writer for 21st Century Wire. He has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.