-by Eric Zuesse
Throughout history, aristocrats, and their flaks such as their ‘news’-media, cast blame downward, away from themselves who collectively control the government, and onto, instead, some minority or other mass group, who can’t even plan or function together so as to be able to control the government.
The U.S. has a two-Party aristocracy, as is clear from the “Open Secrets” list of the 100 biggest political donors in the 2020 U.S. Presidential and congressional campaigns, the “2020 Top Donors to Outside Spending Groups”. Those are only these individuals’ publicly acknowledged expenditures, none of the dark political money, which, of course, is donated secretly. At the top there, of the donors’ lists, is Sheldon Adelson (who just died, on January 11th in California, and was buried in Israel), who spent far more than anyone in all of U.S. history had ever spent in any campaign cycle, $215 million, which amount far exceeded even the $82 million that he had spent in 2016, which in 2016 was second only to Thomas Steyer’s $92 million (the previous all-time-highest amount donated in any campaign year). Adelson gave exclusively to Republicans, whereas Steyer gave exclusively to Democrats. Steyer in 2020 gave $67 million, which-- though he was himself running for President in 2020, and hadn’t been running in 2016-- was only 73% of his 2016 donations, in that year, when he had been the nation’s top political donor. He was only the 5th-biggest donor in 2020, instead of #1.
The second-biggest donor in 2020 was the liberal Republican Michael Bloomberg, who ran in the Democratic Presidential primaries in order to defeat the only progressive in that contest, who was Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg spent $151 million of his own funds for that purpose. In 2016, he had spent $24 million in order to help Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders, and then try to beat Donald Trump.
The third-biggest in 2020 was Timothy Mellon, the son of Paul Mellon and grandson of Andrew Mellon. Timothy Mellon gave $70 million, all to Republicans.
In 2020, the top ten donors, collectively, spent $776 million to own their chunk of the U.S. Government. The second group of ten (#s 11-20) donated only $187 million; and, so, the top twenty together donated $963 million, just shy of $1 billion. All 80 of the other top-100 donors, together, gave around $370 million, so that the total from all 100 was around one-and-a-third billion dollars. 47 gave to Republicans; 53 gave to Democrats.
The smallest publicly acknowledged donor among the top 100, Foster Friess, gave $2.4 million, all to Republicans.
Most of these 100 donors are among America’s approximately 700 billionaires; and, even the ones who aren’t are serving and doing business with the billionaires, and therefore are to some extent dependent upon having good relations with them, not being enemies of any billionaire. All of these 100 are, obviously, also dependent upon the governmental decisions that the public officials whom they have purchased will be making, not only regarding regulations and laws, but also regarding foreign policies. For example, Friess merged his company into Affiliated Management Group, which “is a global asset management firm” that “has grown to approximately $730 billion.” Virtually all of the top 100 political donors are internationally invested, and their personal wealth is therefore affected by American foreign policies, in ways that the personal wealth of the rest of the population is not.
When the U.S. invades a foreign country, or issues sanctions against a foreign country, it benefits some American investors, not only in corporations such as Lockheed Martin and ExxonMobil, but even in some foreign-headquartered corporations. America’s spending around half of the entire world’s military expenses gives an enormous competitive boost to America’s billionaires, which is paid for by all U.S. taxpayers. It takes away money that would otherwise go toward the rest of the U.S. population-- people who might even become crippled or killed by their military service for the benefit of America’s billionaires. Marketing this military service to the public, as “national defense” (actually international aggression)-- even at a time when no nation has invaded or even threatened to invade America after 1945-- is good PR for America’s wealthiest families, regardless of whether it’s of any benefit whatsoever to other Americans. Because of the success of this PR for the military, Americans consider the U.S. military to be America’s best institution-- far higher than any other part of the U.S. Government or any non-governmental institution, such as churches, the press, or the medical system. The U.S. Department of Defense is, besides being the most respected, by far, the most corrupt of all Departments of the U.S. federal Government. This fact is carefully hidden from the U.S. public, so as to keep the public admiring the military, who serve as the international enforcers for America’s billionaires.
Billionaires use their media, and their scholars, to point the finger of blame, for the problems that the public does know about, anywhere else than against themselves; and, though the billionaires have political differences amongst themselves, they are unified against the public, so as to continue the gravy train that they all are on.
In order for the aristocracy not to be blamed for the many problems that they cause upon the public, their first trick is to blame some minority or some other vulnerable mass within the public. Or else to blame some ‘enemy’ country. But if and when such a strategy fails, then, they and their media blame the middle class or “bourgeoisie,” in order to fool the leftists, and also they blame the “communists” and the poor, in order to fool the rightists. That’s a two-pronged PR strategy-- one to the left, and the other to the right. Since the aristocracy is always, itself, fundamentally conservative, they would naturally rather blame the leftists as being “communists,” than to blame the middle class and poor, because to do the latter would place the public’s ideological focus on economic class, which then would threaten to expose the billionaires themselves as being the actual economic “elite” who are the public’s real enemy (and as being the elite against which the propaganda should instead be focused). Blaming the middle class and poor might work amongst their fellow-aristocrats, but if tried amongst the public, it would present serious danger of backfiring. Consequently, there is a return to the days of America’s famous ‘Red’-baiting U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, but this time without communism. Thus, here is how the White House correspondent for a Democratic Party ‘news’-site, CNN, closed his ‘news’-analysis, on January 14th, under the headline “Washington's agony is a win for autocrats and strongmen”:
Nice work, Mr. Putin.
According to a US intelligence community report, Russia’s chief goal in interfering in the 2016 election in support of Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton was to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.” Four years on, there have been two impeachments and an insurrection against the US legislature. Millions believe Trump’s lies that he was illegally ejected from power, and doubt Biden’s legitimacy.
Conspiracy theorists have seats in Congress. There are serious questions about whether one of the country's great political parties is now anti-democratic. The Covid-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in a federal system that grants vast power to the states. And America’s self-appointed role as an exceptional nation and beacon of democracy is in the gutter.
Most of the disorienting events of the last few years can be blamed directly on Trump and his particular skill at tearing at the social, racial and political divides that are just below the nation's surface. So the ex-KGB man in the Kremlin hardly deserves all the credit. But Russia, China and other autocratic nations are gaining much from Washington's agony. They're already using it to promote their own closed and totalitarian societies as models of comparative order and efficiency — and to beat back brave local voices calling for democracy and human rights.
In an effective declaration of victory for Russia's espionage offensive against the US more than four years ago, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house of the Russian Parliament, slid home the knife. “Following the events that unfolded after the presidential elections, it is meaningless to refer to America as the example of democracy,” he said.
“We are on the verge of reevaluating the standards that are being promoted by the United States of America, that is exporting its vision of democracy and political systems around the world. Those in our country who love to cite their example as leading will also have to reconsider their views.”
That’s propaganda from “leftist” (i.e., Democratic Party) billionaires. A good example of an independent American journalist who has been fooled by Republican Party billionaires to blame some amorphous mass of “leftists” is Sara A. Carter’s 12 January 2021 youtube “Rudy Giuliani talks big tech censorship”, blaming America’s problems on “the government,” or “the bureacracy,” and, of course, especially on Democrats. At 10:15 there, she said there that “My mother fled from Cuba.” Carter, as a conservative, is so obsessed with her visceral hatred of “communism,” that she interpreted America’s dictatorship as being communists, instead of as being billionaires-- of both Parties: actually, fascists, not communists. In a two-Party fascist dictatorship, she fears the leftists. This is typical of propagandists on the conservative side. But propagandists on the liberal side (such as the CNN correspondent exemplified) are no better, just different.
Both propaganda-operations cast blame away from the real culprits.
In a two-Party dictatorship, the important truths are prohibited from being publicized on either side. What the public sees and hears, instead, is political theater, merely tailored to different audiences.