The corporate media's world of illusions
Publisher: Jonathan Cook Blog
Date Written: 11/06/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22615
In fact, the Great Western Narrative has been developed and refined over centuries to preserve a tiny elites privileges and expand its power. The role of journalists like me was to keep feeding these illusions to readers so they would remain fearful, passive and deferential to this elite. It is not that journalists lie or at least, not most of them it is that they are as deeply wedded to the Great Western Narrative as everyone else.
Hierarchies of virtue
The Great Western Narrative tells us something entirely different. It divides the world into a hierarchy of "peoples", with different, even conflicting, virtues and vices. Some humans westerners are more rational, more caring, more sensitive, more fully human. And other humans the rest are more primitive, more emotional, more violent. In this system of classification, we are the Good Guys and they are the Bad Guys; we are Order, they are Chaos. They need a firm hand from us to control them and stop them doing too much damage to themselves and to our civilised part of the world.
The Great Western Narrative isn't really new. It is simply a reformulation for a different era of the "white man's burden".
The reason the Great Western Narrative persists is because it is useful to those in power. Humans may be essentially the same in our natures and in our drives, but we are very definitely divided by power and its modern corollary, wealth. A tiny number have it, and the vast majority do not. The Great Western Narrative is there to perpetuate power by legitimising it, by making its unbalanced and unjust distribution seem natural and immutable.
Once kings told us they had blue blood and a divine right. Today, we need a different kind of narrative, but one designed to achieve the same end. Just as kings and barons once owned everything, now a tiny corporate elite rule the world. They have to justify that to themselves and to us.
The king and the barons had their courtiers, the clergy and a wider circle of hanger-ons who most of the time benefited enough from the system not to disrupt it. The role of the clergy in particular was to sanction the gross imbalance of power, to argue that it was God's will. Today, the media function like the clergy of old. God may be dead, as Nietzsche observed, but the corporate media has taken his place. In the unquestioned premises of every article, we are told who should rule and who should be ruled, who are the Good Guys and who the Bad.