Can we move towards a multipolar world despite hegemony in the media?

by Roberto Quaglia

States struggling against imperialism are probably not sufficiently aware of the importance of having non-aligned media. Yet, obviously, Russia Today, Press TV, Telesur and Al Mayadeen are better at defending freedom than other weapons. For these are indeed weapons we are talking about.

The big question of geopolitics today is whether we are heading towards a unipolar world totally dominated by the US (some Americans with pride and arrogance, call it “Full Spectrum Dominance”) or whether we are going towards a multipolar world where several power centers coexist.

From an economic point of view, the world is already multipolar: the US share of global gross production is approximately 18% (2013 data), and is constantly decreasing. In these circumstances, how is it that the United States exerts such global domination? Its huge military budget does not explain everything; you cannot, in practice, bomb the whole world …

The first magic tool that the US uses for world domination is the dollar. The word “magic” is not just hyperbole; the dollar is indeed a magical creation since the Federal Reserve can create unlimited amounts in its computers, and the world sees these dollars as having an effective value, with an ulterior motive: petrodollars. This makes it extremely easy for the US to finance billions in “color revolutions” and other subversive operations around the globe. Basically, it does not cost them anything. This is one of the problems that must be addressed to achieve a multipolar world of any sort.

The other super weapon used by the US is its infamous domination of the news media, a hegemony which is almost absolute and whose dimensions are beyond most analysts.

Hollywood is the most fantastic propaganda machine ever created. Hollywood exports to billions of brains Hollywood standards for apprehending reality, which include, but are not limited to, the way we think, behave, dress, what to eat, drink, and even how to express dissent. Yes, Hollywood is even able to precisely dictate how we should express our protest of the “American Way of Life.” To take just one example (there are countless), Western dissidents frequently cite the Matrix movie when referring to an invisible network that controls their lives, but even Matrix is part of the matrix – if I can put it that way a little comically. This is indeed the Hollywood way of conditioning our understanding that we live in a deceitful world. Using allegories made by the US, its symbols and metaphors, one is fully a part of its system, and one is helping to make it all more real.

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The US also controls the mainstream media around the world, the CIA having infiltrated most information networks that really matter. Udo Ulfkotte, the journalist who worked for 17 years for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the leading newspapers in Germany, recently confessed in his bestseller Gekaufte Journalisten (“sold Journalists”) to having been paid by the CIA for years to manipulate information, and it is quite common in the German media. One can be sure that this is also the case in other countries. This overall grip on the media allows the US to turn white to black in the public eye. It is particularly striking to see how the US-controlled European media completely distorted the facts during the recent crisis in Ukraine. The Kiev junta, infested with Nazis, came to power in a coup and could bomb and kill its own people for months while the Western media continued to portray them as “the right side” – while Putin is described as a “new Hitler” without this being justified by any fact.

To understand how domination over information itself allows one to reshape the facts, we must remember the words of Karl Rove in 2004, when he was security adviser to President George W. Bush: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

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And as if that were not enough, most of the information circulating today is processed by computers running US operating systems (Microsoft and Apple) and people – including those who oppose the US – communicate with each other through tools controlled by the CIA such as Facebook, Gmail, etc.

It is precisely this quasi-monopoly on information that makes the real difference. So even if US economic importance has declined significantly in recent decades, its place in the news media has paradoxically increased. Therefore, countries that really aim to establish a multipolar world should review their priorities and begin to seriously compete with the USA in terms of media, rather than focusing solely on economic problems. Today, power is largely a matter of perception, and in this regard, the US is still the undisputed master. We will not see a real multipolar world as long as skills and resources comparable to those of the United States do not come into play.

There are already some cases of non-aligned media of excellent quality and whose ambition is a global audience; the best known are Russia Today and Press TV. But all this is nothing compared to the permanent 24/7 audio and video tsunami of all aligned media spread around the globe. Russia Today plans to open channels in French and German. This is progress, yes, but far from enough.

It does not really bother the US that countries do business without them, but they start to get annoyed when these countries use a currency other than the dollar for their business, and they get really mad with rage when major ’non-aligned information networks appear on the media spectrum. Which is rather strange since freedom of the press is a central point of modern US mythology. But all sources of non-aligned information strike at the US monopoly on the truth. That is why they absolutely must demonize their competitors and portray them as “anti-American” or worse. Yet often journalists or non-aligned information networks simply reflect a non-US reality and are not necessarily “anti-American”. But from the point of view of the hegemonic US, any non-US information is by definition “anti-American” as the persistence of the empire is based primarily on their monopoly of perceived reality. Remember the words of Karl Rove.

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That is why non-aligned countries that really want a multipolar world have no choice but to learn from their opponents and act accordingly. In addition to creating their own state of the art media, they must also begin to significantly support independent information in countries where information is currently dominated by the US. Many journalists, writers and independent researchers in Western countries do their work primarily by civic passion, and often on a volunteer basis, while having to face generalized public ridicule, social marginalization and economic difficulties. Defamed and slandered in their own countries, deprived of any help from countries supposed to want to escape US domination, one cannot speak of a very bright start if we want to end Full Spectrum US Dominance.

There is no, and there will be no truly multipolar world without the creation of a truly multipolar range of viewpoints. A post-modern empire is primarily a state of mind. If our mind remains unipolar, the world will remain so.

Roger Lagassé