If there’s one thing that the West’s state-corporate media loves to report, it’s public protest within a non-compliant country — people demonstrating against a government that has refused to roll over in the face of Western aggression and greed.
If you’re in the habit of examining these media reports, you’ll often find that there’s a particular word which gets used a lot.
Here are a few highly topical examples; see if you can work out which word it is…
Iranians protesting the country’s strained economy gathered in Tehran and another major city on Friday, for the second day of spontaneous, unsanctioned demonstrations […] (US, Associated Press, via Washington Post, 29 Dec 2017)
A wave of spontaneous protests over Iran’s weak economy swept into Tehran on Saturday, with college students and others chanting against the government… (UK, Associated Press, via Mail Online, 30 Dec 2017)
Unauthorized, spontaneous protests engulfed Iran’s major cities for a third straight day on Saturday as what started out as demonstrations over rising prices seem to have taken a decidedly anti-government tone. (Slate.com, 30 Dec 2017)
A relatively small protest on Thursday in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city . . . unexpectedly gave impetus to a wave of spontaneous protests spreading across provinces. (UK, Guardian, 31 Dec 2017)
Protests seem to be spontaneous and lack a clear leader. (Australia, ABC Radio Australia, 1 Jan 2018)
— Yes: the Word of the Day is spontaneous.
As far as our state-corporate media and its ubiquitous anti-journalism are concerned, this is one of the most fascinating adjectives we ever see. Let’s take a moment to examine its use…
For a start, how would anyone really know — and so quickly, too! — that these foreign protests, these far-away demonstrations were all ‘spontaneous’? Are thousands of protestors across Iran currently in touch with hundreds of Western journalists — and constantly insisting on the utter spontaneity of everything they do?
No, they aren’t. And even if they were, why would anyone with any sense believe they were telling the truth?
The reality is, of course, that ‘spontaneous’ is a propaganda word, purely manipulative. It’s there to achieve three different but related aims — every one of which serves the imperialist agendas of the Western elites.
First, it helps to create the encouraging impression of an Official Enemy in Deep Trouble. If the media unites in painting a given set of protests as ‘spontaneous‘, then the illusion can be manufactured that ‘the population as a whole‘ is ‘angrily turning against‘ the obstructive government that the West is so selfishly anxious to see removed. ‘Clearly, this obstructive regime is tottering! Stay focused, everyone! Our corporations will be gang-raping the place in no time!‘
Secondly, ‘spontaneous’ protests are by far the best kind when it comes to ‘justifying’ illegal and destructive ‘intervention’ in a non-compliant country. How ‘desperate‘ an oppressed population must be if it ‘takes to the streets’ in ‘spontaneous protests’! How ‘close to the edge‘ those people must feel to be ‘finally overcoming their fear‘ and ‘actually calling for change‘! ‘Those people can’t take much more of this! For God’s sake, we have to do something! How about we try more economic warfare — plus humanitarian bombing? Agreed…?‘
Thirdly, it’s a word that’s designed to take the most important thought of all … and drive it far away from everyone’s mind. For what, ultimately, the word ‘spontaneous‘ says is: ‘Do not for a moment consider the probability that this is happening as part of a carefully co-ordinated and externally funded regime-change operation. Don’t even think about it! It’s all just SPONTANEOUS, d’you hear!‘
And if you won’t listen to me, pay attention to Nikki Haley, the Novelty Talking Insect currently doubling as the Trump Administration’s ‘Ambassador to the United Nations’…
For the rest — and just in case anyone still refuses to believe how indispensable a weapon is the word ‘spontaneous’ in the armoury of the modern journalist-impersonator — note how and when the imprimatur is withheld.
On the one hand, when a Western media trusty encounters what might be a public demonstration of support for an Official Enemy, ‘spontaneity’ will be specifically denied — sometimes even before you can say
Nick Jack Robinson…
Then, on the other hand, there’s what happens when people in the Proudly Democratic West decide to protest about the actions or policies of their own governing elites. For, if a protest or demonstration is happening whose scale and importance cannot altogether be denied by our state-corporate media, the word ‘spontaneous’ simply won’t be in evidence: it would be too legitimating…
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