Orwell warned the World that when propaganda is truly successfully ingrained into society, people would not even realize propaganda for what it is. They would think it is normal and ordinary. When people read Orwell’s “1984”, it was clear from our own perspectives what propaganda was, in the “Newspeak” of the story. But we do not necessarily understand how such propaganda could be perceived as normal. It felt like even the people in the story should know that the propagandas were lies, and that they should object and resist.
But that is not the case. And we have a perfect illustration of it for today’s example: The US government “shutdown”. Ask the hypothetical: What would Orwell think of it?
I would suggest Orwell would ask, “How does a government shutdown itself? Is that even a possibility?”
The underlying premise of a Government system is, that if one government is no longer exercising power/authority, then the society is said to be in anarchy. The government is not “shutdown”. The government has abdicated from its power.
To call a government to have “shutdown”, is like saying King Edward VIII “shut down” from the throne of England, instead of “abdicated”.
It’s ridiculous, because there is no such term as “shutdown” for a government. The word itself is inaccurate and inappropriate for a government, particularly because the US government was not “shutdown” completely. “Essential services” still functioned, including the military, the top level executive, judicial and legislative branches.
No, the US government did not “shutdown”. It’s more like it went on strike. Its own apparatus still got itself fed/paid with back-pay. But it just didn’t do much work (just loitered around in front of camera for 2 weeks).
Back to the political framework, this is also not an “abdication”. Obama and the Democrats did not decide to resign from offices, and let someone else take over.
So what was this thing that just happened to the US government?
In a term, it was a “Coup d’état”. 政变
A coup d’état (/ˌkuːdeɪˈtɑː/; plural: coups d’état), also known as a coup, a putsch, or an overthrow, is the sudden deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to depose the extant government and replace it with another body, civil or military. A coup d’état is considered successful when the usurpers establish their dominance.
Yes, it sounds odd, but that’s technically what happened.
A small group of conservative Republicans attempted to seize power, by forcing a deadlock over budget, in order provoke a “popular uprising”. Because, as Republicans saw it, “The People hate Obamacare.” And One of the side goals was to remove Obama from power, according to some Tea Party members.
(Note: Nothing in a coup suggests that military has to be involved.)
As it turns out, this may have been a “failed coup”, but it was a coup attempt nevertheless. (Consider of course, if the People did rise up against Obamacare and supported the Republicans, this would have been a successful coup).
And if this had happened to some other country like Venezuela, this would have been called a “coup” in the media.
So why wasn’t this called a “coup” in the Western Media?
Because “coup” doesn’t happen in “Democracies”. It’s not supposed to. So it doesn’t, ever. Because “coup” has a negative connotation of being backward, 3rd world, chaotic, uncivilized.
So we all accepted that US (and European nations) only have government “shutdowns”, never “coups”. While the more backward nations have “coups”, even when it is really US interventions.
But here is the rub. US is in the “coup” mode now, and will likely have more of these in the future. These powergrab political confrontations aimed more to rile the populous into some kind of uprising, beyond even the over emotional cycle of political elections.
Calling it “shutdown” merely reflects how deeply we are being propagandized, to the point that most of us didn’t even question that word.