In late 2017, actor Morgan Freeman announced in a video created by a who’s who of senior U.S. Intelligence officials that Russia had attacked the United States and that ‘we’ were at war. Freeman, whose net worth is said to be about a quarter-billion dollars, claimed that ex-Soviet ‘authoritarian’ Vladimir Putin, bitter about the dissolution of ‘his’ country, was behind the attack. The terms ‘attack’ and ‘war’ were not qualified as metaphors.
The crudeness of the appeal— provoking naked fear of invading hordes of godless communists led by an evil dictator, had a retro quality that undid thirty years of technocratic upgrading of American agitprop Where is the Reagan-era Patrick Swayze packing a grenade launcher when you need him? Or going back a bit further in agitprop history, where is Kevin McCarthy with a panicked warning about your neighbors going to sleep as good Americans and waking up as communists stooges of the Kremlin?
Within weeks of Donald Trump’s electoral victory the ‘true American’ press, in the form of the Washington Post, revealed that it had a list of known communists who had infiltrated the U.S. government political websites that were acting as witting or unwitting agents of the Kremlin, current company included. One could be forgiven for imagining that the ‘authoritarian’ Donald Trump was behind the smear. But no— it appears to have been Ukrainian ‘patriots’ with ties to both the Democratic Party leadership and actual European Nazis that struck this blow for freedom.
Freedom through censorship might seem an odd construct until it is understood that Kremlin agents are everywhere. By 2017, my friends from New York were suddenly afraid to venture out of Manhattan for fear of encountering a ‘Trump voter.’ (This is true). Never mind that a half-century of neoliberal predation had left the economy a shadow of its former self, the only possible explanation for Trump! was Russian subversion of our electoral process. That the U.S. ranks low in terms of free and fair elections has nothing to do with ‘Russian interference.’
The inclusion of Mr. Freeman as a modern-day Minuteman signaled that the target audience for the video wasn’t marginally literate ‘deplorables’ swilling beer in their underwear as they watched Dancing with the Stars, but rather the people who spend their days in offices or on airplanes. Because they wear suits, these good people must be smart and sophisticated, not the ‘low information’ voters who see a picture of an eagle in front of a waving flag and nod their heads approvingly with whatever nonsense follows (irony alert).
At the height of George W. Bush’s war against Iraq, there wasn’t a trading floor on Wall Street where CNN or Fox News wasn’t blaring 24/7 that WMDs had been found in Iraq. Better a million dead Iraqis over there than a mushroom souffle for lunch over here. Those who remember ‘Poppy’s war,’ Gulf War I that buried tens of thousands of Iraqi conscripts alive in the desert after Iraq had surrendered, may remember that it was also Wall Street that hosted the ticker tape parade that followed that glorious victory….
People die because of these games. Whole cultures are uprooted and sucked dry by the corporate predators who fund the psyop. This is 21st century warfare, waged in the matrix, with real-world impacts.