Why Fighting to Free Assange is Necessary
Distraction is no longer an option. We can no longer succumb to the propaganda and the indifference it breeds that keeps us from taking control of our lives in service to our natural world and humanity. Forcing a fight to free Assange can be that first step to assert the power we have in numbers.
Unfortunately, unless we US citizens (and citizens of Western democracies overall) have been paying attention — which is often difficult due to the full scale corporate media/film industry/television propaganda machine has been working overtime to keep people distracted, numb, and dumb — the erosion of human rights and the corporate take over of nation states, with the help of the US national security state, has progressively eroded the fabric of civil society and human rights. One can check off one by one how the Declaration of Human Rights, a once strong vision of an ethical world, has been overturned bit by bit.
As a youth in the US, I naively believed that our nation stood for human rights and self-determination, all against the fact that even then this was not true. But though not true then, there is no question that at quickening speed we are devolving into a world run by the moneyed interest in their endless pursuit over profit at all costs. For those who buckle at the thought that they would go back and be ruled by kings and aristocratic, it doesn’t take much insight to see that we are still ruled by them but instead of powdered wigs, knee length stockings and knee-britches, they wear business suits, and if a politician wear dress shirts with the sleeves rolled to the elbows as if they had some kind of connection to actual work and lives of working people.
It’s uncomfortable to recognize how manipulated and made stupid much of the masses are by the narratives that writer Caitlin Johnstone rightfully exposes and that keep masses of people supporting right wing “leaders” across the globe.
India, Poland, the US, Brazil, Hungary, La Pen in France, UKIP in Britain, Matteo Salvini in Italy, parties and “leaders” bending toward fascism are riding a wave of the outcome of the failure of Left parties, all of whom got sucked up into championing neo-liberalism and thus paving the way for xenophobia and a resurgent extreme Right.
Recently, I attended a DSA meeting. The round of introductions included having one tell what the latest movie was they had seen. A majority mentioned the Avengers Endgame. Having been bought a ticket by my nephew to attend with family, I was rather embarrassed to say that I too had seen it. If one looks at the massive realm of good versus evil fantasy narratives that are dished out by media, with a small bit of insight one can see that all of this, along with video game culture and any genres and forms of entertainment keep us in a blind stupor in worlds thrice removed from the reality of our lives and those who shape them.
I only point this out to allow us to step back and see the overwhelming amount of pablum dished out to us and how by gobbling it up our time and attention are spent on matters that don’t matter. These cartoonist narratives and cop shows, many funded and directly influenced by CIA and deep state advisors may dumbly entertain, but they also control our time, resources, and stupefy our brain power when we could be doing much better things. Small things, like changing our lives, ending the lemming like run to climate disaster, ending countless wars meant only to profit the corporate interests whose only ethic is next quarters profits, their vision of the future locked into a frame with no vision.
Assange and his work to expose the inner workings of the elite controllers of our lives is a direct threat to their existence (if of course we can turn off the telly long enough to learn what is going on and do something about it), and that entrenched, moneyed elite will stop at no lengths to ensure its future atop of the systems that rule our lives. Torture? It is now openly and blatantly made acceptable. Overthrowing of governments, most democratically elected ones? Purely acceptable. We only need to use one of those cartoonish narratives from fantasy to paint a government (though “regime” is the operative word) and its leader as an evil character from a Marvel movie or the villain in a cop show to rally support — but sadly mostly indifference — to the machinations of the combined corporate and national security state (a misnomer if ever there was one) to keep and increase its power over the lives of the mass of humanity.
Though I see the apparent ascendance of the Right as something to fear, I cannot help but feel that more and more people are recognizing the utter uselessness and failures of the present capitalist system and those who rule over it. The Left too is ascending as people move to opposite poles and away from the neocon, neoliberal center supported by both parties, parties who engage in a dance of deception to also keep us fighting one another and mesmerized at the surface and cartoon narrative of good versus evil, while the truly evil sip 300 dollar a bottle wine and eat their caviar while stashing their ill-gotten gains (or to use another term, stolen “surplus value”) in off-shore banks.
My point, though I have gotten their in a rather pedestrian way, is the case for freeing Assange must be made by all peoples, right and left, if we are to check yet another step of the ruling elite in its consolidation of power. Let’s now be overwhelmed and made indifferent any longer. They are increasing their control for one reason — they fear a populace that is increasingly more and more aware of their game and the stacked deck they have been playing with since before feudalism and the advent of a capitalistic system that is devoid of any meaningful value, its value of profit seeding the destruction of our world and any real value worth fighting for.