It is all so confusing until one recognizes that it is the same underlying pattern throughout. The corporate rich always get richer while peoples and their environments are ever more predated and looted in the name of their 'security' and 'freedom'.
In 2014 philosopher John McMurtry was invited to co-operate with Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei in drafting the Supreme Leader's 'Open Letter to the Youth in Europe and North America'.
This was followed by a second such letter written in November 2015, following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
In the process of advising on the second letter McMurtry was asked a number of penetrating questions about the ways of the US-led 'neoliberal' west, and the depths of shared crises that have long been off-limits to the mainstream media discourse.
The first question: "What in general do the Western media hide and not let people know?"
The first duty of the mass media is to conceal
In general, the mass media across cultures are propaganda systems for those who own or control them. But the Western media lead the world in silencing one ultimate issue confronting all peoples on Earth - the despoliation of the world's life support systems by transnational corporate globalization.
They talk only of 'climate warming', not destabilization of planetary life cycles at every level. They promote only market-growth solutions which are known not to work.
No-one talks of US-led 'globalization' itself as the underlying disorder. No science or story defines the common cause of the spasmic extinctions everywhere, the oceanic pollutions, the fish stock collapses across all waters, and the ever larger-scale looting of resources across borders.
It is a deeper causal mechanism than even US empire. Transnational money tides increasingly devour and poison all that exists with even Communist Party China destroying its own air to breathe and grounds of a human life.
Western media are the lead PR vehicles for this limitlessly life destructive invasion and growth - the nature of fascism in all forms. Financial fascism is never named in the media, and so its world floods of private money sequences, commodities and public waste grow and multiply beneath detection.
Throughout the corporate media present only isolated problems, competitive spectacles and ads for the system. Humanity`s common life ground and universal needs are screened out. 'Reforms' are only more corporate marketizations and bank-driven dispossessions.
The underlying law of corporate globalization is undeniable, but taboo to name. Whatever stands against the transnational corporate market as the cosmic engine of humanity's well-being is anathematized and annihilated in one nation after another.
The methods range from bombing social infrastructures in Slavic and Arab societies to silencing and reversing undeniable facts exposing the lies of the system. No alternative to feeding resources into the life-blind growth juggernaut has arisen at a productive level. The media repel any real economic reform as unthinkable.
In this borderless chaos of corporate globalization which now strips even the social infrastructures of the European Union to pay big banks and dispossess workers, the mass media select out whatever joins the dots of the cumulative catastrophe unfolding on both social and ecological planes.
No real threat to collective life security computes except constructed enemies who mutate from one Orwellian hate object to the next. The collective life capital on which everyone's continued breathing, water, nutrition, biodiverse surroundings, social security and knowledge depend are not even conceived.
Are the politics of European and US governments contrary to the national interests of even their own nations?
The meaning of 'the national interest' is the prior question. It is the common life interest of citizens through generational time. Yet you will never find this principle in the mass media, official declarations, or even academic journals.
Typically the meaning is reversed - for example the US orchestrating society-destroying wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria. All are claimed to be for the 'US national interest' and 'global security' at once, but these very big lies are only incantations of unaccountable power.
In fact, all societies involved keep being destroyed all the way back to the lead invading state. Social life fabrics are divided, bombed and torn apart in the Islamic world, and hollowed out at home at the same time. One dark truth persists underneath all the lies - an endless eco-genocide of poorer peoples and their life conditions across continents that profit the transnational money party alone. Is there exception?
This is the world-defining fact that no corporate state or media report. They divert instead to 'the terrorists threatening the civilized world'. In fact this is merely the US and allies projecting the terror onto the victims that fight back or on their own jihadi constructions sowing civil wars to divide and rule from without.
Thus endless US-led bombing from one country to the next somehow avoids the very oil-supply lines sustaining ISIL, the designated Evil One which has in fact been financed, armed and directed by the CIA and allies like Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
That the 'terrorists' are a creation of the system warring upon them is another Orwellian absurdity. But it is the reigning pretext for armed lockdown and dispossession of US-EU societies too for transnational corporate exploitation - the ultimate global terrorism at work across cultures and borders.
Consider the bizarre turns on the ground of the master big lie of 'protecting the Free World and its allies'. Turkey's despotic state under Erdogan, whose son is making millions out of running ISIL stolen oil, shoots down a Russian plane tracking the Turkey-protected ISIL oil-truck columns, and bombs only Kurds, the sole indigenous fighting force in the US-led Syria-Iraq wars.
It is all so confusing until one recognizes that it is the same underlying pattern throughout. Names, cultures, even rulers make little difference. The corporate rich always get richer while peoples and their environments are ever more predated and looted in the name of their 'security' and 'freedom'.
At the same time, the connection between the Western rule of armed force and financial terror - essentially NATO and big banks following Wall Street - is never named however much it dispossesses and ruins the citizens of the lead Western societies themselves.
Robotic despots called 'technocrats' spread the terror of money-control extortion, and liquidate all liveable social programs to force the payments. NATO armed forces stand ready to be called as back-up enforcers. Resistance is bombed within Europe itself, as in Yugoslavia and Ukraine. War criminal facts disappear into blaming the designated enemy, usually a former ally.
The simultaneous hollowing out of US and EU majorities by the same military-financial axis funded by the public treasury is anathema to recognize. But the systemic financial extortion, corporate treaty rights as absolute over nations, and NATO armed terror cannot succeed by themselves.
Pervasive toxic propaganda against resistance across borders, special agents and forces on site at pleasure, and floods of US dollars to pay local fascisti to scream abuse and threats all participate in enforcing the final unseen objective - to transform all public wealth into transnational financial control and multiplication of instruments of dispossession. This is the nature of the global financial fascism advancing beneath the public radar.
Even the food and water futures of the world's peoples are bought up by Wall Street and company using US Federal Reserve cash. There is no end to the carcinomic invasions of the public realm and people's lives unless forced back from without and risen up against from within.
Is the West divided against itself?
No matter what country you live in, perpetual war is built into this system's exponential money-sequence demands across all cultures and borders. The staggering wastes of lives and public resources never end but always rise in demands. They have ever since the Reagan-Thatcher turn which is still absurdly masked as 'neoliberal' by the Left - a sign of the categorical confusion that allows it to go on destroying across the world. This is the division not yet comprehended.
As with the Mafia in microcosm, financial fascism commands citizens everywhere to pay up or suffer the consequences of life ruin. In fact, there is no other way to keep a system of armed extortion at every level going, even if you spin it as 'globalization'.
The key is to proclaim the opposite of 'freedom' and 'prosperity' all the way. This is the mass public relations function at which this system surpasses all others. This masking by advanced public relations techniques is the only way it can keep on going.
The deprivation, invasion, and looting of sovereign nations for more transnational private profits without limit is called 'growth'. It devours the developing and developed world at the same time. Every wage, tax, access to life means is now at risk and the demands for more private corporate rights never stop. This is the ultimate division within the West and now the East - the life of societies against their transnational financial predation.
How can it be believed in as 'the free world' by anyone with a working mind? It is totalitarian in its reach - for example, the US Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court all now directly or indirectly controlled by the money party across parties. In functional terms, the US-led military is joined at the hip to transnational bank-corporate rule along with the mass media - the unseen global financial fascism operating across state and private divisions.
But the new PR twist of this global fascism is to condemn violence not glorify it, while showing and using terror and violence more pervasively all the while. 'Neoliberal' fits this public relations mask like a glove. It conceals the absolute conflict between the people's lives and future and the system's demands for continuous destruction to grow private money demand and sequences without limit as a form of 'liberalism' - in fact, the original philosophy of John Stuart Mill and John Dewey, both mild socialists.
Thus the most absolute conflict between society's common life interests and borderless financial-fascist rule is erased by an equivocal slogan.
For example, it is certainly not remotely liberal or in the interests of US taxpayers to pay out $2,000,000,000 dollars a day for the US corporate war and terror machine, a peerlessly profitable quasi-monopolist global business in its own right and enforcer of the limitlessly life-destructive system across borders. Yet even dispossessed Greece pays billions of public money to the transnational NATO enforcer standing over it behind the foreign banks to annihilate any embodied social resistance to the concealed invasion.
With endless cuts to social spending 'to reduce government costs', ever more people within Western borders have been pushed into inhuman conditions at the same time as refugees flee in millions from the bombed states and engineered civil wars. Together they overstress social life support systems beyond any built capacity to manage by systematically defunded social states.
Again the absolute division between peoples' common life interests and the system's DNA of consuming life organization and conditions at every level cannot be denied. But no category yet recognizes it.
What do you see as the importance of youth in the future of the West and the failure of policy-makers to provide for them?
Perhaps the worst problem of this system has been the way in which the lives of the younger generations have been sacrificed beneath notice.
There is no private profit in enabling the young to understand and flourish as human beings. But there is ever more profit in exploiting the young's increasing market demand as well as cheap labor. The vast and growing global businesses of junk foods, violence entertainment, and selfie-chatter have one thing in common. They depend on the young as unthinking spenders.
In this way the next generations are made pervasively addictive consumers degrading human life capacities the more corporate commodities are consumed by them. Maximizing corporate sales and 'investor' profits is the sole value criterion. Even infants in the crib are consciously conditioned into this expanding addictive-junk cycle as 'job-creating growth'.
Alarm arises in informed citizens with the latest epidemic disorder like obesity, bullying, unfitness, and failing attention spans. But the overall pattern is blocked out. Youth are conditioned to a totalizing market of appetites and future insecurity without human meaning left. Life-serving vocations are everywhere chopped to 'save money'. Students in higher education are treated as consumers of course packages by corporate university managements who multiply themselves as students are forced into debt slavery.
With human livelihoods ever scarcer, youth depression becomes epidemic. Long-term demoralization sets in beneath understanding of its system cause.
But banning Western ideas, clothing or music won't solve the problem. The disorder is far deeper and invades every level of life organization. The only truth is what sells. The only competition is to lower costs on life and increase money-value outputs faster. The Creation itself is destroyed by the lock-stepping money sequences to more. Over 90% of resource extractions become waste within weeks.
Youth everywhere are threatened by this global disorder. But prohibition of 'Western ways' is symptomatic. Yes, prohibit the selling of what is scientifically known to attack life capacities from junk food to extreme violence entertainment. But ethnic appearances are not the issue. They are diversions. The need is to re-set to the lost life ground - the universal life needs of humanity and its ecological host through generational time.
It is on this common life-ground that science and religion meet, and East and West join across differences. The young long for it.
Cultural differences provoke ignorance - the first level of the problem. But false propaganda cultivates hate. Long before Islamaphobia, US-led 'anti-communism' murdered millions in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Latin America.
Before that, European Nazism was assisted by US transnational corporations against the 'communist threat' - which meant, decoded, whatever stood in the way of the transnational corporate fascism already building the perpetual war system on which it still thrives and grows today.
After fascist Germany and Japan were defeated, the now militarily supreme US, led by corporate Nazi partners in the US never named or prosecuted, carried on the global pogroms to holocaust proportions. So-called 'communists' were everywhere slandered, persecuted and warred upon even where they did not exist - a global holocaust that killed tens of millions of people and ruined as many lives.
In short, the cornerstone of US ideology is its designated Enemy - whatever opposes private corporate globalization. The genocide of first peoples was its original stage. Islamaphobia is one more variation on the theme.
Ironically, 'Islam' as armed jihad -the main hate object now - has been a creation and instrument of covert-state US policy. It has been for decades an admitted US asset in advancing the bi-partisan project of 'full spectrum dominance' of the world. Back in the 1980's, jihadi mass murder and mayhem were orchestrated and funded by the US to destroy a secular Afghan state led by equality for women and social guarantees.
It was destroyed to bleed the USSR coming to its defense through the 'Afghanistan War'. A fanatically sectarian Islam was led by foreign Saudi corp-man and Wahabi Osama bin Laden, with US National Security Adviser Pole Brzezinski cheer-leading the annihilation of secular socialism as the means to destroy Russia, his instituted fixation.
So from al Qaeda to D'aesh, the terrorist monsters have been a Saudi-and-Sunni-based fanaticism led by the US special-forces state - lately with ample support from Turkey's Erdogan and Gulf kings hating Shia Iran as well. But such distinctions are smeared out in the Islamaophobia of today.
Yes, imperial colonization and destruction of the Islamic world has bled its civilization dry on a far longer and larger scale. The main modern driver has been money-oil exploitation, the fuel of world capitalism until Wall Street sold its futures.
The Greater Israel project has been the permanent enforcer in situ. Through all this evil - meaning limitlessly life-destructive self maximization - Islamic civilization has retreated into an obscurantist and punitively authoritarian clerical rule without productive base. An inward-looking mullah Islam has become the dominant line of collective belief through the chaos.
It has resulted in what is not recognizable in Islam's golden years as the world's leading civilization. In Moorish Spain over centuries, for example, Islamic order demonstrated peerless architecture, arts and science that still capture the wonder of those who look today.
None of the violent in-looking practices sustaining Islamophobia in the Western mind are evident. Life-and limb-destroying punishments for theft, heresy, consensual sex and the face-elimination of women that provoke the anger of so many in the West seem foreign to this earlier civilisation. Certainly the death-to-non-believers fanaticism was alien to the Islamic civilisation that saved the classical secular works of Plato and Aristotle from the dark ages of the 'Christian' West.
Today Islamophobia finds its rational kernel in the dispossession, maiming, lashing torture and legal murder of individuals for no violent offence. Persons found guilty of heresy, sexual non-conformity, criticism of the theocracy, completely personal and peaceful offenses can be legally tortured, maimed and murdered. All of this is anathema to the reasonably caring mind.
It does not matter who commits this inhuman violence - whether the Spanish Inquisition, secular despots, US torturers, the Israeli occupation, or a mullah hierarchy. It is hideous in principle. For evolved humanity, life-enabling institutions and advancing knowledge form the pathway of true civilisation. An end to paralyzing fear and extreme violence to non-violent persons is a dividing line of human history.
Why the delay of awakening collective consciousness in the West?
'Awakening collective consciousness' can have opposite meanings. The US-EU today claim binding Western values for every invasion of another society. So we need a criterion to rule out group-mind aggression and destruction in any form.
A deep core of our problem is that the US has in fact no collective life interest or consciousness in its constitution, its dominant social sciences, its actionable laws, or its white fundamentalist religions. Western market and political doctrine repudiate collective consciousness in principle.
Only self-maximizing atomic individuals with no binding life community exist to this ruling mind-set. Self-serving corporations and consumers compete for survival according to market rules whose algebra is life-blind.
Endless 'trade agreements' override any society's collective laws if they reduce expected profits to private transnational money sequences. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the latest extension of this sociopath metaphysics built into the ruling market paradigm.
'Delay of collective consciousness' is thus locked into what is called 'globalization', East and West. Permanent war is waged to enforce and extend it. The academy itself apes the atomic market model. Hidden in a technocratic code few know, its transnational dogmas and corporate form have claimed all our countries by secretly minted treaties whose defining principle is the absolute right of borderless corporations over all rights of sovereign nations, workers and environments that may conflict with foreign 'investor' demands.
The predictable result is that an increasing majority of the world's people is without sufficient livelihoods or ecological security. Only market solutions are allowed. Only self-maximizing greed counts as rational in the model.
The only security that matters is of this ruling system itself. "Whose security gets protected by any means necessary? Whose security is casually sacrificed in the process?" Naomi Klein aptly asks before the long-planned mass meetings and demonstrations for climate justice in Paris when a jihadist mass-murder stopped them all overnight.
It conveniently justified the state decision to ban all peaceful protests, marches and other outdoor activities during the all-nations negotiations for a new global regime. In such ways the perpetual war system and creeping police state continue rolling over opposition by all means. The greatest irony is that all this happens in the name of 'collective security' when, in fact, the collective security of the living world is what is continuously destroyed by this a-priori life-blind disorder.
Collective life interests and decisions are already ruled out by the punitive regulations of transnational corporate-market treaties overriding the laws of once sovereign nations. Every one of these secretive treaties is controlled and minted outside of any people's vote, participation or knowledge of proceedings, and is enforced by public dispossession decided by closed lawyer tribunals without public records or any right of appeal.
Collective consciousness is precisely prohibited from any social formation, policy or legislation limiting private corporate profit opportunities across borders.
How could Western peoples allow it?
The macro pattern is unnamed. Global financial fascism advances by ignorance of it. Few recognize that humanity's social evolution has in fact been reversed by a life-blind global mechanism that rules beneath knowledge of its meaning. Its slow-motion coup d'etat across nations and cultures has silently reversed post-1945 history which had developed collective life standards of human life and flourishing.
Look, for example, at the UN Declaration of Universal Rights, or the binding International Covenant of Social, Economic and Cultural Rights. They remind us how far human rights were being built into the order of the post-War world. Every article is a collective requirement for the protection and enablement of human life across classes and nations.
Beneath these international ideals, various forms of socialism and social democracy were the choice of virtually every society and population. Racism, sexism, child abuse, ecocide -the great evils were becoming consciously repudiated by a new reign of international law. Collective institutions of education, health, pensions and worker rights and unions were all advancing. There was even a competition between superpowers to achieve them across the lines of the Cold War.
Then it was all reversed from 1980 on led by the corporate-fascist regimes of Reagan and Thatcher. From then on via global currency and interest control, borderless corporate rights and armed-force empire, the US-led private money party declared war on all collective consciousness and institutions that did not serve the corporate market.
Working from the US's advantageous post-War position of its nuclear bombs, sea-lane and aerial military control across oceans, and private corporate rights in technology and knowledge production, the US corporate class - fresh from collaboration with the Nazis even during the War - imposed a long march backwards to private money-party control as 'freedom'.
Social consciousness became a taboo within the academy itself. Beneath all the delusionary propaganda of 'the free market and democracy', ever more uncontrolled private money sequences propelled mass-murderous pogroms and wars against collectives of all kinds. Worker and social-base strippings under ever more parroted euphemisms of 'austerity', 'deficit reduction', 'market reforms', 'technocratic government', and 'efficiencies' became mechanical slogans mouthed by media and politicians.
Their common meaning became undeniable, but never named - reductions of life means to citizens everywhere. Long-evolved regulations and institutions for the common life interest continue today to be dismantled, defunded and warred upon on every plane, almost in feeding frenzy.
Yet people increasingly know the only collective awakening that works is awakening to our shared life-ground through every moment, our evolved natural and social life bases without which our next breaths cannot be drawn. This is the demystified core of the world's wisdom traditions.
In the lost bonds of meaning, the ultimate cause is to serve life's more inclusively compossible flourishing through time - our true human becoming finding its way through the massacre and stupefaction of the global financial fascism not yet named or bound.
John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and University Emeritus Professor at the University of Guelph, Canada. He is author of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO's Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his last book is 'The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: from Crisis to Cure'.