Popular media figures and the so-called
'pundits', including academics and self-declared experts and
'think-tank' analysts reinforce and propagate these choices.
These concepts are tagged onto whoever is chosen by the elite for electoral candidates or for the seizure of political power. With this framework in mind, we have to critically analyze the symbols and signs used by popular opinion-makers as they promote political elites.
We will conclude by posing an
alternative to the 'propaganda of choice', which has so far resulted
in broken pre-election promises and political debacles.
The 'experts' often mean wrong-headed policymakers and advisers whose decisions usually reflect the demands of their current paymasters.
Their stated or unstated assumptions are rarely questioned and almost never placed in the context of the contemporary power structures.
The experts determine the future
trajectory for their political choices. In this way, the views
expressed by 'experts' are primarily ideological and not some
disembodied scholarly entity floating in an indeterminate space and
The obvious questions to this platitude should be:
We know that Secretaries of Defense William Gates and Donald Rumsfeld (below image) and their leading assistants, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith were appointed to their high positions and praised for their 'experience'.
This 'experience' drove the country into,
It would be better to reject officials who are highly 'experienced' in creating disasters and appoint those officials experienced in conciliation and reconciliation.
Unfortunately the 'experts' never
discuss these matters in any historical context.
The most highly vetted officials coming
from Harvard University have implemented economic policies leading
to the worst crises in the shortest time in world history.
These two 'experts' promoted enormous
financial swindles, which led to
the worst economic crash in the US in seven
Levey concentrated on,
Receiving 'prestigious awards' does not predict a successful policymaker in contemporary US politics.
The underlyingideological commitments and political allegiances determine the appointment of these 'prize-winning' leaders.
From an objective perspective, any
obscure college economics graduate, eager to increase high tech US
exports and sign profitable trade agreements with Iran, would have
been far more successful political choice as Secretary of Treasury.
Some 'ethnic' groups wear their identity on their shirt sleeves as a point of entry into lucrative or influential appointments:
Who could object to that?
Their identity also seems to insulate
them from any fall-out from their policy catastrophes such as
disastrous wars and economic crises, as well as providing impunity
for their personal involvement in financial mega-swindles.
Racial identity never prevented three of the worst Caribbean tyrants from robbing and torturing their people:
This charade culminated in the 'First Black President' and promoter of seven devastating wars against the poorest people of the world receiving the Nobel 'Peace' Prize from the hands of the King of Sweden and a committee composed of mostly white Swedish Christians.
Such is the power of identity...
It was of little comfort to the hundreds of thousands of Libyans and South Sahara Africans murdered, pillaged, raped and forced to flee in rotting boats to Europe, that the NATO bombs destroying their country had been sent by the 'Historic Black US President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner'.
When the wounded captive President of Libya Gadhafi, the greatest proponent of Pan-African integration, was brutalized and slaughtered, was he aware that his tormentors were armed and supported by 'America's First Black President'?
A video of Gadhafi's gruesome end became
a source of gleeful entertainment for the 'Feminist' US Secretary of
Hillary Clinton, who would go
on to cite her 'victory' over the Libyan President in her bid to
become 'The First Female President of the US".
Barack Obama served Wall Street and the Pentagon, whereas Malcolm X (below image) and Martin Luther King (above image) had a long and arduous history of leading peoples' movements.
Gender labels covered the fact that a politically chosen woman ruled on behalf of a family-led tyranny, as in the case of Indira Gandhi in India.
The financial lords of the City of London financiers, and the mining and factory bosses in Great Britain chose the very female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who launched multiple wars abroad and smashed trade unions at home.
Madame Secretary of State,
Hillary Clinton, who promoted seven wars resulting in the deaths,
injuries, displacement and rape of 5 million African and Middle
Eastern women and destruction of their families, had the
unconditional support of the top 20 Wall Street banks when
she ran to become the 'First Woman President of the United States'.
When political and business elites choose a female for a high political office, they do so because it serves their interests to put a progressive political gloss on their reactionary policies.
The 'gender emphasis' is most effective
on liberals and the advocates of 'identity over class politics'. In
reality it is a vacuous symbol rather than real power and highlights
elite upward mobility.
They use such criteria to groom and coopt upwardly mobile workers, trade union officials and community militants. 'Chosen leaders' from minority or oppressed backgrounds are put in charge of discipline, work-place speed-ups and lay-offs.
They sometimes adopt 'workers' language, splicing rough anti-establishment curses with their abuses as they fire workers and cut wages.
One's past social background is a far less useful criterion than current social commitments.
As Karl Marx long ago noted, the ruling class is not a closed caste:
Labor leaders receive 'special favors', including invitations to political inaugurations and corporate meetings with all the travel and luxury accommodations paid.
Elites frequently transform past militant leaders into corporate policemen, ready to identify, exclude and expel any genuine emerging local and shop floor militants.
Public and private labor relations experts frequently describe a labor militant's ascent to the elite as an 'up by his own bootstraps operation' - putting a virtuous gloss on the 'self-made worker' ready to serve the interests of the corporate elite!
The primary feature that characterizes
these 'boot-strappers' is how their sense of 'solidarity' turns
upward and forward toward the bosses, and not backward and downward
toward the working masses, as they transform into 'boot-lickers'.
Rap singers become ghetto millionaires.
And 'working-class hero' rock musicians, the well-wrinkled as well
as the young, charge hundreds of dollars a seat for their rasping
and grasping performances while refusing to play on behalf of
The political and corporate elite frequently choose phony working class or ethnic identity celebrities to endorse their products, as the gullible public is encouraged to purchase useless commodities, electronic gadgets and gimmicks, and to support reactionary politicians and politics.
There are a few celebrities who protest or maintain real mass solidarity but they are blacklisted, ostracized or past their peak earning power.
Most celebrities prefer to shake their backsides, mouth raunchy language, snort or smoke dope and slum a bit with their bodyguards, but the political elite have chosen them to distract and depoliticize the young and discontented.
They are paid well for their services.
Political elites co-opt upwardly mobile 'identities', among minorities and workers, carefully assessing which of their qualities will contribute to the desired elite outcomes.
This is how working class and community-based electorates are seduced into voting against their real class, national, community, gender and racial economic interests.
The elite pay a relatively small
fee for procuring the services of prestigious, certified, titled and
diversified candidates to elect or appoint as leaders.
And it requires that they be exposed for
their proven failures and disasters, especially their role in
leading America into an unending series of political, military and