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Idealism in media: remembering the lessons of Citizen Kane (VIDEO)

The 1941 film Citizen Kane by Orson Welles is reflective of today’s ‘fake news’ debate and the decline of mainstream media in the West.




If anyone is looking for a broadly philosophical perspective on the fake news scandal currently gripping the worlds of mainstream media, new media and social media, one ought to turn to the 1941 cinematic masterwork of Orson Welles, Citizen Kane.

In a specific sense, the film shows Welles chronicling the life of American newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst (remained Charles Foster Kane in the film), down to nearly every explicit detail. But in a broader sense, the film tells a tale of fortune smiling on an idealist whose ideals become too big for their own ambitions. Consequently, the idealist ultimately succumbs to corruption, fakery, disillusion, professional and moral downfall and ignominy.

This applies not only to the lives of newspaper barons of the 19th and early 20th centuries, it applies to all idealists, but particularly those who seek to change minds, both in media and in politics.

Take for example the great revolutions of the late modern age. The French Revolution of 1789 began with the purpose of throwing out what was seen as a corrupt, privileged ancient regime to be replaced by one which would live up to the seemingly noble principles of Liberté, égalité, fraternité as defined in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Soon however, the Committee of Public safety turned against its own, and a death machine – the guillotine – became the symbol of a revolution which was supposed to be  based on high principles. By 1815, the very Bourbon dynasty the revolution sought to supplant, was back in power and with more international support than it had prior to the revolution. The revolution failed.

Consider the revolutions of 1848, whose penultimate goal, nation-statehood for the peoples of Europe was broadly realised after 1918. These new nation states quickly turned against each other and themselves as far-right and fascist regimes consumed most of these new states including Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania and to some extent Poland, Czechoslovakia and Estonia. This was a proximate cause of the Second World War. So much for the idealism of nationalist revolutions.

The October Revolution of 1917 set out to change not only Imperial Russia but the world. Yet many of the original goals of the Bolsheviks either failed or backfired. The Communist economic programme of the early Soviet Union was tempered by Lenin’s New Economic Plain at the end of the Civil War. Gradually, Trotsky’s idea of world revolution was abandoned. This became ultimately clear when Stalin introduced the concept of ‘socialism in one state’ and shortly thereafter saw that Leon Trotsky could never live to tell his side of the story.

By the 1960s, the Soviet People had weathered two blood-soaked revolutions in 1917 and the tumult and triumph of The Great Patriotic War, all three events caused by idealism. Under the steadfast, wise and moderate leadership of Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Union found peace as Russians enjoyed their highest standards of living in history, up to that point.

The state remained stable and strong, Soviet prestige and power abroad reached its zenith and daily life improved for ordinary people throughout the USSR in every sense. Brezhnev brought an end to the mania of idealism through his pragmatism and intelligence.

Even Iran, whose Islamic revolution of 1979 was fanatical and often frantic in its early days, has relaxed quite a bit. Under Hassan Rouhani, there is talk of pragmatic solutions to the crises of the Middle East rather than revolution. There is talk of international cooperation based on respect for sovereignty rather than talk of great Satans.

Iran is opening up to opportunity without sacrificing its laws, principles or independence. Iran remains one of the safest places for Christians in the middle east along with the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon. This is thanks to pragmatic leadership which has stemmed the tide of idealism.

In each of these instances, idealism is either abandoned by leaders with enough foresight to understand that pragmatism brings ordinary people bread and peace or it comes crashing down in a sea of blood, only to be replaced by systems similar to those which the idealist initially rebelled against.

These same patterns exist amongst the mainstream media. The often impossibly high standards, which the mainstream media set for itself many decades ago, have since been transformed into intricate methods used to silence or discredit the opposition.

However, as these methods become more coarse and consequently more apparent, the credibility which the mainstream media have sought so hard to preserve, has been exposed as an elaborate hoax; an exercise in fakery.

This is why the Charles Foster Kanes of this age are seeing their empires fall, just as he saw his fall.

New media has risen to the challenge, but it will only be able to sustain its position if it doesn’t succumb to the wild idealism that has broken many states and many media outlets.

The leaders of many social media networks have already taken the road of Citizen Kane. Twitter deletes popular accounts which do not follow certain ideological views and Facebook is beginning a censorship drive against what they consider fake news, the clear implication being that Facebook’s users are not intelligent enough to understand what Hemingway meant when he said, “The truth has a certain ring to it”.

Who will be the next idealists to fall on the sword they once dipped in others’ blood? Time will tell.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou



The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian



The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”





Via RT

The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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