The Tea Party Propaganda Factory You Probably Don't Know About
Continued from previous page
The Citizens United talented “team” of film industry professionals suggests how the propaganda battle has been professionalized.
Citizens United promotes what it -- and many among the conservative right and Tea Party movement -- consider “traditional values.” These values are grounded in what is known as an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution; an imperialist- and militaristic-based expansionist foreign policy; a monopolist (as opposed to a competitive, Adam Smith) concept of “free enterprise”; a belief in a white, Judeo-Christian notion of morality; and reverence to a heterosexual, monogamous patriarchal concept of the family as the basic social unit of American society. These values codify a 20th-century mindset in a 21st-century world. They distinguish Citizens United documentaries.
Citizens United films provide a false coherence to explain the real, complex history that is America and the postmodern life. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 411, Errol Morris’s Fog of War and Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job are outstanding calls-to-arms confronting Citizens United’s simplemindedness. However, their very success is witness to their weakness. They are one-shots in an era when maintaining a sustained message is critical.
America is in the midst of a profound economic, social and ideological battle. An oligarchy is taking control of the nation, refashioning democracy and popular values. The nation was once defined as welcoming those considered foreign, by a spirit of civility and community, of free social beings. But today, community has been replaced by self-interest, the body politic by personal greed.
Citizens United gives voice and vision to a concerted propaganda initiative attempting to reframe America from a nation of opportunity and mobility to one of social standing and privilege. It’s time for the progressive community to mobilize the infrastructure and to engage in the sustained ideological battle needed to challenge the new praetorian guard exemplified by Citizens United.