Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Do These Facts Fit Your Paradigm?

Do these facts fit your paradigm?

Fact #1. Prince Walid bin Talal bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, the second biggest shareholder in News Corporation after Murdoch, recently gave an interview, on his yacht, to the BBC flagship programme Newsnight. The Saudi prince declared himself "a good friend" of Rupert Murdoch and his son James Murdoch (probably the next executive to be charged by the police in the scandal). He defended both men briskly, but in doing so drew attention to the fact that he is the second biggest shareholder in the Murdoch empire, and that the Murdochs were major shareholders in his own Rotana media empire in the Middle East. An unholy alliance, surely? Mr Murdoch is the co-owner, with Prince Walid, of Fox News - one of the most virulently anti-Muslim television stations in the world. The station gives a megaphone to the likes of Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sarah Palin. In the US, Fox's role was to throw gallons of petrol on the flames Islamophobia which were leading to the burning of the Holy Quran by vigilantes. []

This fact does not fit into a popular (but wrong) paradigm that says the pro-Israel policy of the United States harms the U.S. ‘national interest’ by angering the oil-rich Arab rulers and making it hard for Big Oil to do business with them. Therefore, according to this “logic,” the only reason the U.S. has a pro-Israel foreign policy is because the Israel Lobby forces Big Oil and the rest of the American plutocracy to be pro-Israel, even though it is against their interest.

But here we see that a Saudi prince is great pals with the most pro-Israel media mogul in the world, and a co-owner with him of Fox News, the #1 pro-Israel network in the U.S.

The paradigm that this fact DOES fit into is the one that I describe in The Israel Lobby's Power Comes From the American Ruling Class .

Fact #2. “Americans are learning what Europeans have known for years: Islam-bashing wins votes,” wrote journalist Michael Scott Moore in the wake of the 2010 election. His assumption was shared by many then and is still widely accepted today. But as the 2012 campaign ramps up along with the anti-Muslim rhetoric machine, a look back at 2010 turns out to offer quite an unexpected story about the American electorate. In fact, with rare exceptions, “Islam-bashing” proved a strikingly poor campaign tactic. In state after state, candidates who focused on illusory Muslim “threats,” tied ordinary American Muslims to terrorists and radicals, or characterized mosques as halls of triumph (and prayer in them as indoctrination) went down to defeat. Far from winning votes, it could be argued that “Muslim-bashing” alienated large swaths of the electorate -- even as it hardened an already hard core on the right. The fact is that many of the loudest anti-Muslim candidates lost, and for a number of those who won, victory came by the smallest of margins, often driven by forces that went well beyond anti-Muslim rhetoric. A careful look at 2010 election results indicates that Islamophobic talking points can gain attention for a candidate, but the constituency that can be swayed by them remains limited, although not insignificant.[]

This fact flies in the face of the paradigm that says most Americans are Islamophobic racists. Fox News, etc., of course, want Americans to believe that all of their fellow Americans are 100% on the War on Terror, anti-Muslim bandwagon. This belief makes those many who are not on the bandwagon afraid to say so publicly. It allows the naked emperor to act as if he were clothed and get away with it. But judging by how people act when alone in a voting booth, it seems Islamophobia is not the majority view.

The paradigm that this fact DOES fit into is the one that says ordinary Americans are an implicitly revolutionary force because their values—equality, solidarity and democracy—are the opposite of the plutocracy’s values of inequality, top-down control and dog-eat-dog competition (for us, not for them).

Fact #3.

The top marginal income tax rate: 100 years at a glance

Presented without comment.

(Originally from the Washington Monthly)

[In case you cannot see this graphic below, it shows that under President Obama’s plan, the wealthiest Americans still pay far less in taxes than under Reagan or Nixon. ]

Does anybody still believe in the paradigm that says President Obama or the Democratic Party is on the side of the middle or lower class, and standing up against the plutocracy?

Revolution: it is both necessary AND POSSIBLE!