THE WORLD STAGED
‘All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...’
(Jaques in Act II Scene VII Line 139-142, ‘As You Like It’, by William Shakespeare)
Those of us who care about such things gaze in horrified wonder at how such iniquities as we see remain largely unchallenged by western mass media and the general public of western nations.
We still foolishly retain a trace of hope that the western world is responsive to actuality.
There is something still inside of us that cannot bring ourselves to fully admit the truth.
That the world we live in, at least this sector of it, is totally staged.
There is only a semblance of democracy, the semblance of a free media, the semblance of caring liberal sensitivities and a mere semblance of power resting in the hands of the general population.
I have come to the firm conclusion that this and more is verifiably the case and that protests from below make not one iota of difference. The tiny minority we now are (especially if compared with the activism of the late Sixties) though having grown in recent years, effects little by way of change. The changes we desire will need to come from above also, though not from any western source of power but an eastern one, from the leadership of both Russia and China.
The props, screenplay, script and strategy are all set in place in a one act play that repeats endlessly. It is eternally financed by our own money. The facades are solidly built and convincing for the majority. The publicity for this play is constantly distributed across almost every medium and has been repeatedly displayed so many times that it now runs in almost every brain like a mantra.
The majority of westerners sleepwalk through this controlled drama, every now and again waking to feelings of helplessness and the fleeting insight that though they find it horrible they have no way to change it. Those with employment go to work to survive and in so doing enable the managers of this play to continue putting on their production.
The schizophrenia of living within a construct that conditions the mind to recognize the state-and media-organized facades as a reality leaks into the precariat below causing diverse miseries. Upstairs in the control booth all is quiet, comfortable and focused, knobs are turned, levers pulled and the strings to each entity with power in the West manipulated as required.
This is why our words have little to no effect. The injustices are there, we see them clearly, we see the war crimes, the lies, the effect of the manipulated tools of power... and we react in revulsion. To no discernible effect. The illusion is too strong. Only we have the continuing motivation to ever more clearly perceive where it leaks out at the edges, the vast majority of our fellow humans largely do not.
Those who control the levers of power react to an entirely different universe of stimuli. Their minds are filled with entirely different scenarios and driven by emotions and ambitions that allow for not an iota of alternative thought to exist. They play parts so well rehearsed they need hardly think at all. Chosen by men and women just like them they have never known any other way to think and the thought of doing so would create a revulsion in them.
You can see that revulsion emerge when some few of us achieve a degree of public attention. It emerges as name-calling in most cases. “Useful Idiot”, “Putin’s Puppet”, “Assad Apologist” etc. If public attention builds to an even greater extent then simply using terms to rubbish such targets escalates to calls for a trial, for a jail sentence, perhaps even assassination. Only two names need be mentioned in this context, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, but there are many, if not quite as extreme cases that could be mentioned.
No interruption to the play... the finely tuned and almost perfectly staged production must be allowed. The show must go on as they say.
Journalists must now be embedded with the troops. Others must contact the State Department or Foreign Office for comment. The framing of reports on Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Venezuela, Belarus, Russia, China and other targets must always mirror what has been carefully rehearsed beforehand. The script is already written in skeleton format. Any actor deviating from it will be demoted to a bit part, or shown the door.
Gazing into 'The Devil’s Fishtank’ to watch the nightly news is arguably the most powerful feature of the play as written from above. Using a heritage of familiarity and a degree of past prestige it can be relied upon to be the most useful conduit for permeating a convincing sense that the facade being presented is a true reflection of reality.
We all like to think we are good people, governed by good people, all imbued with the best of intentions. Aren’t we the civilized West? Aren’t we the rich West sensitively desiring to help the less fortunate folk of the world? Aren’t we the perpetual good guys who wouldn’t hurt a fly? Aren’t we the ones who will eliminate all those nasty ‘bad actors’ who are evilly oppressing people over there somewhere? Aren’t we the new Victorian benefactors, the Christian missionaries, the defeaters of Nazism, the holy Christians seeking only good things for all?
And more than willing to do what it takes... including the slaughter of millions by our holy elites.
Isn’t that our duty in this shadow play portrayed only in black and white? Our holy quest in our search for the holy grail of human rights and liberation for all? Isn’t it all fully justified? After all... where are the news items apologizing for our past crimes in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere? If they don’t exist then clearly our part in this play is that of noble heroes rescuing the frail princess from the evil dragon, no?
This play will run and run.
Until the theater burns down that is...
‘Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part...’
(Jaques in Act II Scene VII Line 150-157, ‘As You Like It’, by William Shakespeare)