By Tim Hjersted
Dec 17, 2012
Many of you have visited the Films For Action website and asked us why we have not posted any Alex Jones documentaries or included Infowars, Prision Planet, Natural News or other like-minded sites on our list of recommended independent media.
Unfortunately, we feel it would be irresponsible to promote Alex Jones, his websites, or any of his films. His films were always overly sensational and hyperbolic, but over the years the assertions he makes in his films and on his radio show have gotten increasingly outlandish and unsubstantiated
. There are nuggets of truth and important perspectives hidden in the films, but they are buried under so many wild claims, tabloid style rhetoric, fear-mongering, and misleading conclusions that sifting the valid points from the misinformation would take more time than most folks have the patience for. See this
, this, this
, and this
, for a handful of examples.
Most skeptical people will have written off his ideas (and anything associated with it, including, likely, this site) long before the film finishes.
We believe the goal of the alternative media is to eventually become the mainstream media - a media for and by the people, rather than a media for and by corporate interests. The alternative media that we imagine is one that has the potential to be welcomed into the homes of virtually everyone. We want to demonstrate the best of what the alternative media is and could be.
This means presenting information in a credible fashion, and not promoting misinformation or misleading meta-narratives about our world. It means following diligently the ethical principles and standards of the best journalists.
Infowars appeals to a certain niche conspiracy audience, but beyond this niche, it is not of much use for reaching people 'beyond the choir' - in fact the presentation and substance of Infowars is quite alienating and off-putting to most people. Right now on Infowars minded sites and Facebook pages, they are focusing their attention on occult messages being placed in the movies The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games that allude to the latest two gun massacres being pre-planned events staged by the New World Order. Stuff like this has become conspiracy porn for a growing audience, which we find quite troubling, as focusing on these types of dead ends keep people distracted from doing anything that could effectively end the systems of power these websites claim to decry.
We must regretfully conclude that Alex Jones does more harm to the movement than good. Having become familiar with Alex Jones and Infowars-type sites over the last 7 years, watching most of his films and studying the claims he has made, it is not a decision we have made unfairly, or without thorough research.
Considering that every single good point that he makes is being said by someone else, there is simply no reason to include his films on our site. He simply lacks credibility, for good reason, and when your trade is the dissemination of information, credibility is all you've got. We know Alex Jones has quite a strong base of followers, and if you are a fan of him, we would like to ask, what is more important: promoting Alex Jones and Infowars-packaged information, or achieving the goals that (despite the outlandish rhetoric) we basically share in common?
We believe the majority of Infowars activists are people who sincerely want to create a better world, and would like to direct their energies and precious time towards efforts that can make a real difference. And like other movements for justice and sustainability, we both aspire to end the structural systems of power and hierarchy in the world so that we can create a world that is just, sustainable and genuinely democratic.
Towards this goal, we encourage you to add several diverse types of information sources to your news diet. A diet solely made of Infowars and Natural News type sites - or any source of a single overall viewpoint - we believe is just as unhealthy for the mind as a diet of pure corporate media. Despite the many grains of truth and good points made by sites like Infowars, they cater to the same tactics employed by the mainstream media - cultivating a climate of fear and division. Instead of a flu-outbreak or terrorism alert, it is fear about the next false flag attack, or the next plot to steal our guns, or the next step in the all-powerful, all-controlling plot to build a totalitarian one world order.
I have received letters from people who digest Infowars regularly and they write to us afraid of nuclear attacks on Dec 21, 2012 by the NWO. They have become gripped by fear and paranoia, and it frankly angers me to see these sites psychologically damaging people - people who simply have a sincere desire to know what's going on in the world. These people I have spoken with have become debilitated by fear. They have not become more empowered. Just the opposite. They have adopted a victim-mentality which may keep them sharing posts and reading about this stuff, but in their real-lives, in terms of what they actually do, things go on exactly as before.
Beyond, perhaps, buying more guns and storing up survivalist gear, how many Infowars supporters make an effort to directly improve their lives or the lives of their community? (This is a cliche, admittedly, but one that the advertisements on Infowars clearly promotes).
When you look at the attention that Alex Jones spends on superfluous information over a long-enough time span, the measurable effect of Alex Jones' activism is a pacifying force. Yes, thousands of his followers share his films and articles. Several have created Facebook pages or alternate websites to spread Infowars ideas. Activist offshoots like We Are Change have held protests and have confronted the elites with questions on film. But after over 10 years of "exposing" the NWO, how exactly have the core systems of power changed at all? Most importantly to you, how have these efforts changed your life? How has the quality of your job improved? Is your life more stressful or more joyful? Do you look forward to Monday morning or do you dread it? These are all important, practical questions to ask when our goal is to actually create a better world for ourselves and future generations.
Implications of the New World Order World-View
Now, why is this? Why have so many well-meaning people diverted their most precious resource (their daily thoughts) to ways of thinking and doing that do little to affect substantial change? The shortest answer is: they have been manipulated and lied to by sources which they trusted to inform them. Alex Jones himself may be misinformed, and actually believes what he is saying, but if this is the case, then you have a situation where the blind is leading the increasing blinded.
At the heart of his misleading message is a narrative that identifies the enemy - the source of "what's gone wrong with this world," as a shadowy occult group of globalists who control the strings of all world events, and who seem to have god-like powers of foresight and omnipotence.
Viewing the world's problems through the Infowars lens, systems of oppression are forever out of sight and beyond the reach of ordinary people to do anything about. Because you can't organize against an enemy that forever remains invisible (the Illuminati - if you want to go to the top of the NWO pyramid). You can't organize your community against an invisible enemy. And this creates a very serious paradox between what Alex Jones and his networks advocate, and what one can practically do with this information to do any real good.
The true swindle of this analysis of the problem is that it obfuscates the very obvious systems of oppression that exist in our own communities and daily lives. The problem which can be organized against and has solutions to it is never named by Alex Jones, for he himself has always been manipulated by the propaganda of his age, believing whole-heartily that capitalism is the greatest economic system in the world, and that nothing greater can surpass it.
His thesis is: "If these bastard NWO scum could all just be done away with, then things could return to the golden age of capitalism when everything seemed right in the world and America was a beacon of light, justice and freedom to all other nations."
But as a friend points out,
"What all the folks defending conspiracy theories about the NWO and the liberal anti-bank equivalent seem to be missing is that capitalism is not merely a conspiracy run by just the rich or a secretive body, nor are the "international bankers" to blame.
Capitalism is a social relationship that is reproduced everyday through every act of labor for a production system that exploits, alienates, and destroys those that are a part of it and the environment on which it depends. While I obviously want to fight the rich and the state for setting the parameters of this social relationship and for enforcing the structures of capitalism, I also nevertheless understand that there is no secret conspiracy to keep us all enslaved, but instead a very ingrained social system that has evolved for millennia.
This didn't start with the advent of banking or the creation of the Fed, as many have been misled to believe. To say that it's the fault of the banking elite or some small group of shadowy people that have only been around since the 1920's is ludicrous and only serves to excuse any atrocities that happened before that time period."
Here, Rap News 'exposes' the fallacy of the New World Order narrative in a far more entertaining fashion than I could
Possible Misunderstanding Alert:
On the Differing Definitions of "Capitalism"
Left and right libertarians disagree
on what 'true' capitalism is and how we should refer to this word. Right libertarians will object to my use of the term here and say,"You're not talking about capitalism. You're talking about corporatism." That's true. If you define capitalism solely as "free markets" then for clarity's sake, to avoid any miscommunication, you should read the rest of this article reading "corporatism" when I say capitalism. To understand why I've chosen to use the left-libertarian's definition of the word, see this excellent article.
This perspective on capitalism is entirely missing from the NWO meta-narrative about our world. But capitalism wasn't invented by a handful of people. It arose from a paradigm of kings and rulers hundreds of years ago. And it's this economic system that forms the core "hierarchical power structures" that Jones mistakes for being the work of the Bilderberg group and the international banking families. But do away with the individuals that Jones has singled out and you still have capitalism oppressing billions of people at the bottom of the pyramid on a daily basis.
Of course, realizing this requires some prior knowledge of what capitalism really is (not the propagandized version that most Infowars fans (and every American) has grown up with all their lives and have never deeply questioned). If a person hasn't spent as much time looking at capitalism vs Infowars narratives, the above statements will understandably make little sense. Infowars' class-less, pro-capitalist narrative works in a conservative state in America where capitalism is as much a holy cow as American patriotism and Christianity. Unfortunately, it keeps working class people angry at the elite when they'd be better off directing that energy at the place where they work in their own town.
This belief in capitalism as the greatest engine of prosperity the world has ever known, like all frames on reality, again, is based on shades of truth. Of course society has progressed during the age of capitalism and imperialism, but this narrative neglects the profound exploitation this process has been built on all over the world. It also ignores how capitalism and imperialism has severely harmed the progress of nations globally, and how progress in our own country could have been vastly more profound in a market economy where all workers enjoyed the profits of co-ownership, rather than having wealth continually extracted by a tiny ownership class.
Honestly, as I write this I'm struck by a startling sense of deja vu. Think about the parallels between the New World Order narrative and a narrative that sees capitalism in its true nature.
The people that are the most pissed off about the NWO are working-class people -- people who likely believed in the American dream and the virtues of capitalism, but feel like they've been sold a bag of lies. The gulf between the world we were promised growing up and the world as it really is just may be the greatest 'hoax' of our lives. But because working-class people in America have grown up in a culture where capitalism is as intrinsic to their identity as their patriotism -- a blind spot is created. Capitalism isn't the problem, obviously, so there must be something else that's been screwing me over. Some-one else.
Now good, conservative, working class people look at our society and they see this pyramid of hierarchy. They can feel it. Clearly something is fundamentally wrong with this picture.
Corporations, governments and banks all tower above the oppressed at the bottom, slaves to an economic system which perpetually robs them via government taxes, usury and debt. They're also robbed by an invisible tax on their labor that is levied by shareholders. This tax on their labor to pay the owners goes unchallenged, despite the hierarchical power structure and inequality between worker and owner being as profound as the relationship between the serfs and lords of previous kingdoms. But today this serfdom has become fully ingrained into the society in a way that Americans believe they are free, but are far from it.
Advocates of the New World Order feel this tyranny in their bones. They've recognized their slave status in their awakening from sheeple to infowarrior. But because of their blindspot, they cannot see the structures of the pyramid as oppressive in itself. So they look to the top of the pyramid and think that it's the people at the top that's to blame.
Notice the remarkable parallels between the first pyramid and this one. They are virtually the same (minus the Illuminati/elite conspiracy driven theories of the first). They draw upon the same facts, the same structure, the same history and world events, but one recognizes capitalism and the other is blind to it. From this single error, a host of misleading conclusions are made, and a vast conspiracy must be assembled to make sense of the way the world works.
Clearly, the New World Order analysis is painfully close to the truth. Elites do work to push their agendas without public scrutiny. The World Bank, NATO, and IMF are all global institutions which leverage their power to pursue the interests of American empire and subdue rising threats from below. Globalization, a euphemism for empire building, continues to have devastating effects on developing nations and ultimately for America itself as transnational corporations ship American jobs overseas or across the border where they can exploit the cheapest labor markets. The Federal Reserve is yet another instrument of capitalists to maintain the existing world order where "their boys" stay on top while ensuring America has a continual supply of new money to fund its wars and friends on Wall Street. The mainstream media, likewise, has evolved to serve its own interests (and thus the interests of the status-quo power structures upon which they depend). America, in working to maintain its dominance as a world super-power, has transitioned from using the communist-boogyman to the much more effective and never-ending threat of terrorism to continually increase its military might. And an appalling 1% of the world's population owns over 40% of the world's wealth, while over 3 billion people lanquish in dire poverty.
That these things are happening is not in dispute. What we have to question is the conclusions we should draw from them. This is important because the meta-narrative we use to make sense of all these problems will ultimately determine our success in solving them. Blaming a few individuals for the problem leads to one set of conclusions and strategies for change. Recognizing the deeper cultural and economic forces of which these individuals are only a part will lead to another set of strategies.
So let's think very seriously about the usefulness of framing all of the worlds problems around an elite group of bankers quest for world domination. If this narrative is misleading, then it will mislead everyone's efforts who take it seriously.
A Practical Question
But for a moment, let's suspend our judgment on the accuracy of this narrative and think purely about tactics. What is the practical value of spreading this NWO meme to all corners of the internet as a strategy for reaching the mainstream?
Can you imagine your grandma shouting "death to the New World Order!"? Could a business owner say it to his or her employees? Could those employees say it to their boss? Could a church leader say it to her congregation? Could a public servant working at city hall say it publicly to his constituents or in the media? If not, then we can agree the NWO meme has a serious messaging problem that will forever ensure it remains a niche perspective relegated to conspiracy-tolerant circles that doesn't stand a chance at going mainstream and building a credible threat to the status quo.
Despite this, Alex Jones and his media networks have continued to promote the NWO meme as a catch-all slogan for everything evil and at fault in the world. And this has appealed very successfully to a certain demographic of people. But like all brand slogans, its simplicity betrays a more accurate and nuanced narrative of reality.
To contrast the narrative that Alex has constructed, below are a few links to a narrative which acknowledges many of the major examples of power consolidation and corruption like the IMF and Worldbank, but rather than attempt to connect these dots via a secret society, it points to a much more obvious truth: these monetary and corporate institutions are the products of our culture.
Our culture rewards and values the behavior of these elites. No secret meetings are necessary because they are all following the same logic and values that they learned from their culture.
The problem isn't "them." They are just symptoms of the deeper cause. Kill off or imprison all of the elite today and new people would jockey to take their place. We know this is true because we know, from studies in psychology, that people are not born corrupt, greedy, and indifferent to the suffering of others, however it is rationalized. The "sink or swim" or social Darwinian mentality championed by conservatives are beliefs which they have been conditioned to believe by years of positive reinforcement since they were a child. The elites in most cases grew up with families and social circles who all reinforced the beliefs that were inherited by the direct cultural environment of their parents and grand parents and on down the line.
For those that grew up poor and somehow made it into the circles of the elite, they too grew up in a culture which applauds and aspires to become powerful and wealthy. We all take on the values of our culture and take on most directly the values and norms of our immediate environment. All of the social-psychology research that we have today makes it very clear that if you were born to an elite family with strong connections to power and money, you would be conditioned from birth to take on the same beliefs and follow in the same mold as your peers. There are always exceptions to this, but it follows the same logic with religion: the number one determining factor to whether you identify as a Christian or a Muslim or any other faith as an adult is if you were born and raised by a family with the same beliefs.
This throws on its head the whole notion that these elites and banking families are somehow uniquely evil - born with diabolical intentions with the same one-dimensional simplicity of a James Bond villain.
Frankly, this paradigm of rulers and ruled has been going on for over 5,000 years. Our generation of rulers are no more special than the rulers of any past generation. For anyone that has studied history all the way back to when civilizations first began to emerge 10,000 years ago, it should be no surprise that staging a revolution and getting rid of *our generation* of rulers won't solve all our problems. At best, we will merely start the whole cycle over again, a pattern which has been on-going throughout virtually all of western civilization's history: prosperity, wealth concentration at the top, corruption, revolution and upheaval, and another brief period of prosperity followed inevitably by growing inequality, corruption, revolution and prosperity.
What's driving this pattern? What ensures that no matter how many revolutions a society has, no matter how many empires rise and fall and begin anew - that corruption and war accompany a tiny aristocracy at the top while the majority toil below?
The short answer is: vision. Our cultural vision is a collection of memes about humanity and our place in the world, so ambient to our culture that it is virtually invisible to all within the culture until you point it out. Some of these memes have the potential to kill us, like the frog smiling happily in the boiling pot of water, and it is these memes that we need to expose. They are in the elite, and they are in most of us. They are virtually in all of us, save for the indigenous tribal societies that still survive today. The most deadly of them all is: "there is one right way for people to live and our way is it." Another is "civilization/capitalism is humanity's greatest invention and can never be surpassed." Another is, "We are separate from nature and are not subject to the same ecological laws which govern all other species."
And so it goes. Since this one topic alone would (and has) required whole books to do the subject justice, I'll simply refer you to the references below. Beyond these meta memes, there are many smaller memes within our culture that have to be addressed.
Alex Jones says "the answer to 1984 is 1776." But until these invisible cultural memes are addressed, we can be assured that our generation's 1776 will only lead to another stratification of society's haves and have-nots, to the point of corruption of the likes we are seeing today and yet another revolution so that it may repeat once again.
Obviously, for our children's sake, we have got to get to the root causes this time. We've got stop, once and for all, the transmission of these memes from generation to generation, teaching every new generation to value wealth and power and prestige. What we truly must have is a cultural revolution -- a revolution of the mind -- to see old problems with new eyes - to make the invisible, visible to all. That is what has to change.
As it stands today, the memes carried by the elite are the same memes held by pretty much everyone else in every other social class who all WISH they could be at the top. We have to stop blaming others and realize that *we are* the New World Order, for those that like this term.
Globalization. Capitalism. Communism. Corporatism. Nationalism. Empire building. War. Hierarchy. These systems have evolved naturally from the invisible cultural beliefs of our paradigm.
But the good news is, people are waking up, and they are rejecting the value-paradigm of rulers and ruled within themselves.
The older folks in our society who have already been conditioned by our culture are the ones still holding on to this paradigm, and the 1%, the elites among them are holding on to the last vestiges of their power. But as *all of us* collectively reject the old culture's values, the possibility of ending the ruler/ruled paradigm becomes possible.
What we find unhelpful about the NWO frame is that it paints the elite as evil and somehow special among all the other maladjusted, damaged human beings in this world. It leads people to believe that the world would be a paradise and America would still be the best country in the world if it wasn't for *them.* This is a great narrative for many people as it puts the blame on others. But it's time we start taking responsibility for our own role in the world we live in. We co-create this world together. Every day we hold up social and economic relationships which keep things as they've been, and every day we have the power to alter those relationships in ways that imagine another way for the world to be. That to me, is a far more convincing, empowering, and truthful narrative than "the world would be a paradise if it wasn't for the nefarious Bilderberg/ NWO /CFR/ Illuminati."
It's time we stop feeding these people so much of our energy and attention and start occupying our minds with solutions and practical strategies for creating a better world. It's time to shrug off these disempowering narratives and realize the ruling class is a collection of damaged human beings who have been taught by their family, friends and social circle a number of aberrant beliefs about their meaning in the universe.
"OLD MINDS THINK
If something didn't work this year, let's do it MORE next year.
NEW MINDS THINK
If something didn't work last year, let's do something ELSE this year." - Daniel Quinn
For further research, here are some articles that give further perspective on the New World Order world-view:
To start, here is a history of the New World Order that frames it in the larger anthropological context of the activist and establishment voices who have believed in and promoted this analysis of world events over the last 50 years or so.
Are the world's problems to be blamed on a select group of elite individuals conspiring and controlling most major world events, or can reality be better understood by a systematic analysis of capitalism and it's built-in structures?
Global socialism or Totalitarian Capitalism?
If the elites steering the New World Order were all imprisoned, could America go back to the glory days of free-market capitalism before these evil "others" corrupted it? Or are the elites just symptoms of deeper structural and cultural forces, which we all bear a responsibility for perpetuating and which we all have the power to change? These are two separate frames which are examined here:
How can we, as activists, most effectively promote real change -- by exposing the secretive "they" which conspires to control us unseen, or to realize that no such "they" exists as it has been popularly defined, and that the quite visible structures of our economic system, the jobs where we work, and the legal, cultural, and government structures which maintain this system are the most direct, obvious and practical areas to put our energies and efforts?
Media literacy exercise:
Compare “The Obama Deception” by Alex Jones to the film “Lifting the Veil” by Scott Noble. Both cover the same ground and reference similar facts, but ultimately constructs remarkably different meta-narratives about the reality of our world.
As another case study, look at how Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement by Alex Jones frames reality vs John Pilger's "Globalization: The New Rulers of the World." Or, for another big picture perspective that acknowledges our cultural vision as the root cause, see What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire.
A Cultural Analysis
For further resources on an alternative meta-narrative that frames our culture's vision as the main focus for potential change, see these links: