Home | About | Donate

How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions


How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions

Jonathan Cook

For several years now, I have been writing regular posts on my blog with one end in mind: to help open a door for readers and encourage them to step through. I select issues, usually those that dominate western media coverage and represent a consensus that we might term the Great Western Narrative, and try to show how this narrative has been constructed not to inform and enlighten but to conceal and deceive.


Our planet and our children’s futures depend on us liberating ourselves, seeing the ghosts in the machine for what they truly are.

I wish articles like this and others would devote more time on “how” we defeat the machine that enslaves us?


An excellent essay!

In my own work as a Spiritual Counselor, I work to help those clients who are walking through that door make sense of the role they play in the shadow world of Plato’s cave, or to borrow Mr. Cook’s metaphor, The Matrix. My conclusion is that as physical soul creatures, we “choose” to experience life in all of its contradictions and ugliness in order to inform the larger collective soul, (some call it God) of what it means to know itself. That when we value all human beings and all souls as being equal, we can start to look past the petty propaganda and power plays that define our physical existences, and truly see each other at the soul beings we really are.
Will the work I do ever “change the world”? Probably not. But like the man on the beach throwing the starfish back in the water, it’ll make a difference for that one.
Conflict and suffering defines our soul’s existence. Without it we don’t learn anything. We don’t strive to be better. Our souls become complicit, which explains why so many of us who seek to lose ourselves in petty pass times like sports and the cult of celebrity are some of the most unhappy souls on the planet.
Therefore, I would argue that those of us who have walked through Jonathan Cook’s “door” and are able to see the world from the other side are probably the happiest souls on Earth. We may cry at the level of ignorance and stupidity we see all around us, but would any of us want to trade that enlightenment for the bliss of a football game?


There’s probably nothing you can do about it but there’s a guaranteed 100% failure rate when you just give up. Telling the truth is a revolutionary action in the kingdom of lies.


I would argue that the “how” is waged on the individual, not the collective level. From the beginning of civilization, those in power have sought to take control of the narrative in order to get the general populace to do unquestioningly do their bidding. If there is indeed a successful “people’s rebellion” that throws off the shackles of the current power elite, in all likelihood another power elite will simply take its place. History has demonstrated this time and again!

Therefore, “how” we defeat the machine that enslaves us is an individual journey, not a collective one.


“There is something profoundly amiss about Israel.”

Yes, their government has been ruined by association with the United States of America.

The U.S. has made them part of a killing machine, fomenting Hate instead of Love.

And, like the kids of Parkland have made so very clear here at home, they kill because they have a weapon when they shouldn’t.

The suppliers of those weapons bears no responsibility, however we all know deep down the truth about that.


As a middle aged, middle class, white male I can attest that the great majority of the peers that I know are so steeped in a sense of superiority as to boggle my mind. Whenever I express the least bit of empathy for people less fortunate than ourselves these “peers” glance at me like I am from outer space. They don’t even seem to know themselves, so why bother with humanity. I thank my true peers here at CD for allowing me to try to be human in keeping with my moral compass.


I’m pretty sure I understand the full gravity of the situation, I just choose not to give up and let them bury me without a fight. I’m no Little Mary Sunshine by any means but I have more faith in Humanity than to believe we are so stupid and powerless as they constantly reinforce to us we are. Believing the false front of the duopoly is necessary to buy the narrative. The number of people who do is dwindling by the minute.


So, if those in power have mastered the game and been successful, why do those on the “true” left refuse to do the same? Is due to a lack of money, coordination, structure? I know, for sure, that most people don’t even know they’re being manipulated; and I’m talking about “educated” folks.


We need to have a balance between skepticism and trust to function as a society. To much skepticism can lead to conspiracy theories and paranoia. It is fairly easy to see the millions of Americans have gone in this direction, particularly those on right. On the other hand, too much trust can lead to what could be called enslavement, basically believing everything thing handed down and following it. Finding the correct balance between skepticism and trust is probably an ideal that is impossible to really achieve it is something to aim for. Right now the country is being torn about by right wingers who have no trust in scientists, journalists, universities, and basically all those who certainly appear to be pursing the truth. To deal with this the right wing has created an alternative reality with alternative facts. Donald Trump inhabits this alternative reality is aiming to replace science, journalism, etc with it. He is apparently a fan of Alex Jones who has been very skeptical about very tragic events such as Sandy Hook and has claimed it was carried out by crisis actors. Jones demonstrates a complete lack of trust in the reporters who covered the event and the news outlets that reported it. His Infowars website is supposed to be extremely popular with right wingers. These people certainly appear to be living in a world of illusion but they apparently don’t think so.


Corporate media are simply doing their jobs, as horrible and dehumanizing as they may be. However, they are often assisted by foundation-funded “non-profit” progressive media that are afraid to bite the hands that feed them.

That said, because of numerous courageous outfits like wikileaks, real journalists within corporate media, citizen journalism/history/story-telling, independent data bases, independent media of all kinds - it easy to get good information and communicate because of the web. The “helpless brain-washed masses” argument doesn’t hold water in most societies – especially in the West where media run wild.


It was a good article until I got to the passage above. Sorry, but like so much of the tragically misinformed western left, he is wrong. By completely objective facts and statistics (the same kind of statistics that reveals that Israel’s inhumanity overwhelms anything the Palestinian resistance has done) Bahsar Assad, and his father Hafez before him, are quantitatively far more brutal in terms or torture, imprisonment and execution and massacre of those who dissent - especially from the left - than current-day or recent western leaders, as bad as they are.

And Putin, rather than being an underdog, maintains his power and wild domestic popularity is spite of his corruption, oligharcy and murder, because his media experts have perfected the internet-leveraged media mind-manipulation methods originally developed in the USA by Bernays, Lippman and their modern “high tech” descendants on the US west coast, and is using those techniques to facilitate the rise of other Putins - regressive fascist-populist leaders throughout the west. And it is all part of a plan formulated by a fascist who has been called “Putin’s Brain” - the Rasputinesque Alexander Dugin - who envisions a new eastern imperialism, using the euphemism “multi-polar” (which sounds nice - but look at the profoundly undemocratic leaders rising in these “poles”) to replace western imperialism.

We need to resist both imperialisms.


The “corporate media” is clinical and a bulwark, It’s not inanimate corporations that enslave us, it is the few that hold huge concentrated wealth and their aristocracy.


Where’s the argument supported by logic and/or evidence that the corporate media enslaves us to a world of illusions? Some more illustrative examples would strengthen this argument as would data indicating that only one side of the story is most frequently told.

I get that we usually only get one side of a story and that certain people are depicted as bad and others good. However, is that it?


The “Great Western Narrative”—along with the election of Donald Drumpf—is a part of Gaia’s plan to rid itself of that cancer, humankind. As Eugene Linden pointed out in his Affluence and Discontent (1979), although it is common to view world (and especially Western) history as a story of virtually continual “progress,” the reality is that we have long been on a course that will end in our extinction “soon.” To think that our course can be reversed, is to engage in fantasy thinking.
Cook says “we could be Israelis, that we could be those snipers,” but we HAVE been. If one has read any of William Blum’s books, one knows that the USA has been one of most evil countries in world history! The support that the USA gives Israel is just one example.


That 's B.S. Sports unto themself have zero to do with what you are talking about.


Exactly. Mr. Cook engaged in new-agey talk and quasi-conspiratorial spookiness. but a far better way to illustrate the mass media’s methods of engineering public opinion and desires is with real case studies with figures and numbers the way it was done by Herman and Chomsky in “Manufacturing Consent” the organization FAIR, or media scholar Robert McChesney’s work.

Or you can go straight to the horses mouth and read the work of Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman.


You are a perfect example of someone living in darkness. Try walking through that door and seeing how you have been manipulated just like the ones on the right.


Justification of US imperialism by demonizing (selective) foreign boogie men. Justification of evil by saying others are more evil. Vote for Rudolph Hess, he’s not as evil as Joseph Goebbels. Vote for mass murderer Hillary Clinton, because she’s not a racist like Trump.

The USA has devolved to a level of oppression & barbarity where we absolutely depend on boogie men (real or manufactured) to justify our continued existence. So we threaten Russia, Iran, & N. Korea, because they are led by so-called dictators, meanwhile, the Saudis, destroying Yemen with our weapons & material assistance, are designated as ‘friends.’

Seriously bro, are you DNC or CIA? Not that there’s a meaningful difference.


I agree with many because it seems we really do live in a media and government matrix-------because the major media doesn’t tell real history and neither does a lot of education. I never even knew about Nakba and Palestine until things like Rachel Corrie’s death happened. Lately I read about the USS Liberty--------and then I read the Seventh Million by Tom Segev when I was tutoring . The history of how Israel came to be------and the horror of it all -----beginning with the Nazis, is that Israel has become what they continue to despise but seem to always remind the world of the horror of their holocaust------ while ignoring the humanity of the Palestinians ----------the craziness is everywhere with "Never Forget, " but most of those who lived it are dead or dying now-----and the lack of humanity we see from Israel makes me sad-----because I always believed that people learn from other peoples and nations mistakes-------- but sadly it seems that both America and Israel are equally frauds in not standing up for the human rights of others.