Am I just getting cynical in my old age or is everything one reads in the media becoming more and more suspect as to its provenance? Even this article will undoubtedly reflect some of my own prejudices, but at least they are my prejudices and not fed to me by some monolithic organisation trying to manipulate global thinking.
Americans in particular in the run up to the next Presidential election will be fed all kinds of propaganda for and against the various candidates. Some will be true, some will be half truths, and some may well be downright lies, but it may be impossible for the general public on the receiving end to know which is which. The frightening thing is that whoever’s team is most successful in spinning their candidates’ suitability will win the election. Their sponsor will then be at the head of the most powerful nation on earth. And the spin will continue at the same kind of level throughout the Presidency. And the same will apply in leadership elections in virtually any country.
And of course the same factors are being applied in global economics and geopolitics. The media is force-fed with often axe-to-grind data and opinion designed to move markets, vilify or beatify whole countries and institutions, politicians, business leaders etc. – no-one is immune. Modern day spin is out of control.
Personally I have a specific interest in precious metals, and in gold in particular as a long term wealth protector. I readily admit that my articles will probably favour a pro-gold conclusion, although I do try to be rather more balanced in my opinions than many of my peers and look at both upsides and downsides rather than just the one or the other. I am ever increasingly dismayed therefore by the plethora of opinion and dubious ‘fact’ which appears in the mainstream media in particular. This only seems designed to try to downplay gold and its role in global economics by attempting to make it ever less attractive to investors. Thereby to reduce gold’s influence in the global economic picture and try to drive it out of peoples’ understanding as a potential brake on profligate government spending via the degradation of fiat currencies by unchecked money printing.
But of course the spin doctors are not just anti-gold. They target just about anything and everything which the establishment doesn’t like. In the West Russia, and its leader President Putin, for example, have come in for enormous vilification over policies on matters occurring on its borders. The Russian point of view over the expansion of NATO ever eastwards is totally disregarded as irrelevant. The U.S.A. is lucky in that it has not faced potentially hostile military forces close to its borders since the Cuban missile crisis and, to an extent Russia sees the NATO moves, or potential moves, to move ever closer to its borders as its equivalent of the Russian missiles in Cuba.
In Russia itself, of course the reverse is true. Any economic difficulties are laid fair and square as being the result of dirty tricks by the Americans and their allies and President Putin is portrayed as a hero standing up to American-instigated aggression – and has domestic popularity ratings which any U.S. president would give their eye-teeth for. True the Russian state is rather less tolerant of opposition than Western ‘democracies’ and more controlling of its own media which makes this task easier. But this is still spin.
China too is beginning to be seen as a threat to American global political and financial hegemony, so we can expect more and more media attacks on Chinese policies and institutions. One wonders, for example if the very recent, hugely blatant, gold flash crash, being blamed by much of the Western media by insinuation as being instigated by Chinese hedge funds, despite it starting in New York, was designed both to be anti-gold, but also to cast doubts on the position of the rapidly growing Chinese financial and futures exchanges. These are seen as a threat to Western control of key markets and anything which can set back their progress towards overtaking their American counterparts (which seems inevitable long term) would not upset the latter! With the IMF considering inclusion of the Chinese yuan in its SDR currency basket, which the U.S. establishment may see as a threat to its position as the main global reserve currency, with the enormous trade and financial benefits that brings with it, anything that might cast aspersions on the integrity of the Chinese markets could be seen as beneficial!
As an example of double standards here and in political spin, one only has to look at Afghanistan, which geographically might be considered in the Former Soviet Union’s geographical sphere of influence. When Russia put troops into the country in 1979, supposedly in support of the then Afghan government, this was hugely condemned by the West – to the extent of supplying the Afghan Mujahiddin with weapons to fight the Russian ‘invaders’. Fast forward 22 years with the Russians having withdrawn in 1989, the U.S. and its allies went in to Afghanistan on much the same grounds as the FSU had earlier – but this was a just intervention as far as western political spin to the media was concerned. Of course Western political spin came up with good reasons for the American ‘intervention’, just as it had with condemnation for the Russian ‘invasion’ although the two sequential super-power involvements look to have been almost identical in purpose – but one to prop up a Communist leaning government and the other to do the same for a Western leaning one. Such is political spin.
So what point am I making here? Primarily don’t necessarily believe anything you read in the mainstream media which could have been placed to suit some government or financial institution’s political or economic agenda. Someone’s likely paying for it big time and it’s for their own benefit, not yours!
As I said at the beginning, I have a specific interest in gold as a long term store of wealth and my personal prejudices and feelings will show up in the above article. But, despite my views on Afghanistan above, I’m not what used to be described in the U.S. press as some pinko-liberal – indeed politically I probably fall on the right wing side of things in the European context (i.e. not as far right as the American right!). This article has thus been prompted by the enormous volume of anti-gold propaganda in the mainstream media – described as reaching bubble proportions by one commentator yesterday. Much of this negative spin is by insinuation rather than by condemnation, and in many respects that is the more dangerous as it makes readers think they are coming to the desired conclusion by themselves rather than being told what to do.
Modern day political and economic spin is dangerous, but in this day of global news and comment dissemination by internet we all have to live with it. The important thing is to understand that it is an integral part of modern day propaganda and to consciously try and reason things out for oneself rather than just follow the mainstream media and the herd.