Dimensions of vulgar power struggles are complex and intertwined. The algorithms that set them up are never linear or simple. It is important to analyze events that pretend to be innocent happenstance but clearly showcase a much deeper malaise in their full complexity.
Cultural structures in the modern world, specifically post-World War II, are not organic anymore. They are created, funded, challenged, dismantled, and undermined by many forces simultaneously.
If our culture is worth saving, then it is worth fighting for.
For, in the grinder of universal moral equalization, it will be replaced by the imperialist's version of what passes off as "good."
Swing a Stone to Pierce the Sky
Kaise aakaash mein suraakh nahin ho sakta, Ek pathar to tabiyat se uchaalo yaaro.
(Who says you can't pierce a hole in the sky? Swing a stone with passion at least)
On November 28th, the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was coming to an end. At the closing ceremony of the 53rd IFFI Goa, the Israeli film director and IFFI Jury Head Nadav Lapid called the movie, The Kashmir Files - a 'propaganda, vulgar film.'
Vivek Agnihotri, the film director shared his thoughts on this rather strange politicization of the Film Festival stage by a person who has a history of targeting the stance of Israel in the face of provocation and targeting it has been subjected to since its origin.
लोग कहते थे की यह बात नहीं कहने की
तुम ने कह दी है तो कहने की सजा लो यारो |
(This was a topic that they said should never be broached. Now that you have brought it up, face the punishment.)
You see, it is not about IFFI or Nadav or about even Vivek Agnihotri. It is about the control of a cultural narrative within the country.
It has taken billions of dollars to carve a certain form of it. Thousands have put in their minds, however sinister, to crafting a message and force-feeding it to young and old minds.
And now here comes one film director who literally 'swings a stone at the sky to pierce' that entire fabric of the narrative.
So what should he have expected?
.... कहने की सजा लो यारो
Culture is a weapon.
The propagandists take years and decades to mold it in the way they think would be useful for their purpose in a society they want to control.
The entry and exit points are marked.
The contours of the room are sanitized and measured.
A customized cultural narrative is the greatest investment of the super powers.
The only downside is that one lone wolf - like Vivek Agnihotri and 'The Kashmir Files' - can come along and raze the entire edifice down to the ground in a matter of days.
And, then the only way left for the forces that control is to discredit him and his work. That is the tool that the forces use best.
Regarding Nadav Lapid and his role of a weapon disguised as an artist, you just need to watch this interview with Rahul Kanwal.
He starts off by talking about "cinematic manipulations" and the "use of sound" to posit "bad guys vs the good guys."
The first two phrases have a technical word.
The facts of the events and incidents as well as the historicity of the violence is beyond a shadow of doubt. And what is the use of sound in a movie if not to enhance or emphasize a situation?
Bad vs Good delineation. That is the key here. Someone had reversed the moral mathematics of the cultural imperialists!
When pressed about his characterization of 'The Kashmir Files' as a "propaganda and vulgar movie", Lapid does a moral somersault.
"Propaganda is a personal view."
Aah so as a jury head, his personal subjective view of the movie was so important that it had to be stated as if it was the verdict of the jury?
When Kanwal states how the other jury members have said that they weren't onboard with Lapid. Including another Jewish member.
He counters with "they must be under pressure" and offers the jury members from Spain and France as his witnesses.
With that he puts down the Indian members and tries to create credence with "Western voice is always right" strategy.
The rise of the victims of covert takeover of India is the greatest danger for the forces that have always controlled India.
Regime-Control and Indian Politics
In 1979, Dilip Bobb wrote in India Today about how the interventions in Indian elections were being funded by Pakistanis, Chinese, Soviets and the Americans.
Pakistan's espionage, confined largely to security and defence. is alarmingly successful. The country's political arena on the other hand, has been infiltrated, by the Soviets, the Americans, and to a lesser extent, by the Chinese. Political sources have confirmed that considerable amounts in dollars and roubles have cascaded into the coffers of the three leading electoral contenders-the Congress (I), the Janata Party and the Lok Dal. While it is not possible to pin down the exact amount, identifying the benefactors and the recipients poses less of a problem. (Source: "Foreign funds to play vital role in Lok Sabha polls" / India Today)
This cartoon captures the whole situation.
Between 1947 and 1989, the United States undertook a total of 72 regime change operations in other countries. 66 of these were covert and 6 overt. In 26 operations the US intelligence was able to change the government and a US-backed administration. In 40 operations it failed.
The KGB and CIA have played the different groups and players in India. Control over India was their biggest agenda. In fact, the former chief of the First Directorate of the KGB, General Oleg Kalugin, had once said that "India was for sale." Both the CIA and KGB had penetrated deep inside all branches of the government, politics, literature, media, and education.
In fact, there was speculation that someone in Indira Gandhi's cabinet was a CIA mole during the 1971 Indo-Pak war who had thwarted her attempt to attack and dismember Pakistan in the West. The name of Jagjivan Ram was pushed by Indira Gandhi during the elections in 1979. But then a few other names were also noted by some analysts.
For example, it was noted that the 1971 Cabinet included Y. B. Chavan, who is now Mr. Singh's Deputy Prime Minister, Chidambaram Subramaniam, Mr. Singh's Minister of Defense, and Dr. Karam Singh, the present Minister of Education. The three were then close as sociates of Mrs. Gandhi but are now at odds with her and she is known to regard them as apostates guilty of betrayal. And then, as one cynic noted, “Mrs. Gandhi, too, was a member of her own Cabinet.” (Source: CIA Issue injected into India election / New York times)
So, YB Chavan, P Chidambaram, and Dr. Karan Singh were the other names cited.
For such infiltration, every means and method was used. The culture was the most important area where the CIA bring about the biggest change.
From books to magazines to culture festivals - Everything was coopted.
Thomas W. Braden, the former supervisor of cultural activities at the CIA, explained the power of the Agency’s cultural assault in a frank insider’s account published in 1967: “I remember the enormous joy I got when the Boston Symphony Orchestra [which was supported by the CIA] won more acclaim for the U.S. in Paris than John Foster Dulles or Dwight D. Eisenhower could have bought with a hundred speeches.” This was by no means a small or liminal operation. In fact, as Wilford has aptly argued, the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), which was headquartered in Paris and later discovered to be a CIA front organization during the cultural Cold War, was among the most important patrons in world history, supporting an incredible range of artistic and intellectual activities. It had offices in 35 countries, published dozens of prestige magazines, was involved in the book industry, organized high-profile international conferences and art exhibits, coordinated performances and concerts, and contributed ample funding to various cultural awards and fellowships, as well as to front organizations like the Farfield Foundation. (Source: "The CIA reads French Theory" / LA Review of Books)
That CIA wants to own the world in terms of control and influence now we know, but is its own ideology going through a shift that can impact the cultures of the countries it will run covert operations?
The Woke CIA
CIA released a recruitment ad on March 25 that included all the woke words in order to appeal to one section of the US population. Words and concepts like intersectionality, cisgender, patriarchy, and almost pride in mental illness, were central to the whole video.
This was understood by everyone in exactly the sense it was meant to be by the CIA.
Some wags on Twitter are referring to the video as “Woke James Bond.” The narrative presents a Latina woman — and employee of the Central Intelligence Agency — with two children, describing herself as a “cisgender Millennial,” a “woman of color,” “intersectional,” and also suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Not exactly the portrait of a spy from a Robert Ludlum novel. (Source: "A Woke CIA Will Make America Safer" / Bloomberg)
How did the CIA identify with one side of the political-ideological segment? The cooption of the CIA started under President Obama with John Brennan as the Chief.
Liberal bias and politicization of intelligence in the CIA and other agencies exploded during the Obama administration. This included the politicized talking points on the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks and slanting analysis of Iran’s nuclear weapons program to support the deeply flawed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran (the JCPOA). But the worst distortion of the CIA’s mission began under Director John Brennan when he implemented his Diversity and Inclusion Strategy in 2016 to make the CIA more diverse and politically correct. Brennan said in the introduction to this strategy: "Diversity at CIA is defined as the wide range of life experiences and backgrounds needed to ensure multiple perspectives that enable us to safeguard US national security. It encompasses the collection of individual attributes that together help Agencies pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These include but are not limited to characteristics such as national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status, veteran’s status and family structures." (Source: "CIA's 'woke' video -- here's how we get liberal leaning agency back on track" / Fox News)
Ok, so the CIA is getting all woke and has been co-opted by the so-called Liberal-Left in the US.
But have the American intelligence agencies become partisan?
Hunter Biden's Laptop case: A Window into how Woke Intelligence Agencies control US Media
Recent court news, only properly reported in one section of the media, was about how the FBI (and maybe the CIA) have become an extension of the political campaign group of the Democratic party.
An FBI agent testified to Republican attorneys general this week that the FBI held weekly meetings with Big Tech companies in Silicon Valley ahead of the 2020 presidential election to discuss "disinformation" on social media and ask about efforts to censor that information. On Tuesday, lawyers from the offices of Attorneys General Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana deposed FBI Supervisory Special Agent Elvis Chan as part of their lawsuit against the Biden administration. That suit accuses high-ranking government officials of working with giant social media companies "under the guise of combating misinformation" to achieve greater censorship. (Source: "FBI met weekly with Big Tech ahead of the 2020 election, agent testifies" / Fox News)
Attorney General of Missouri Eric Schmitt shared a tweet about this case.
What is most egregious is that one of the information suppression action items related to the Hunter Biden laptop story. FBI was directly working with at least Facebook to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
According to the complaint, pursuant to a third-party subpoena, Meta identified the FBI’s Foreign Interference Task Force and Elvis Chan as involved in the communications between the FBI and Meta that led to Facebook’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story. A Louisiana federal judge ordered Chan's deposition on Nov. 14. "Chan had authority over cybersecurity issues for the FBI in the San Francisco, California region which includes the headquarters of major social-media platforms and played a critical role for the FBI in coordinating with social-media platforms related to censorship," Judge Terry A. Doughty wrote in his court order. "Even if Chan played no role in the Hunter Biden laptop communication issue, he may have knowledge of who did, and his deposition is nonetheless warranted," the judge said. "If Chan played no role in the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, then such information will be made clear in his deposition." (Source: "FBI met weekly with Big Tech ahead of the 2020 election, agent testifies" / Fox News)
The censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story was ubiquitous. Twitter's team had censored it as well. (You can read the entire thread on The Twitter Files shared by Matt Talibi here).
The most shocking action was suspending Kaleigh McEnany, the White House Spokeswoman because she simply shared the Hunter Biden laptop story published by New York Post.
The argument they used was related to the "Hacked Material" policy. They knew it was just a fig leaf.
So, that in itself became a huge debate within Twitter, Twitter with Congressman Ro Khanna, and outside in the right-wing media.
CNN, New York Times, the NPR totally ignored the news. While New York Post (which started the reporting on this news) and Fox News spearheaded the coverage, MSNBC had only discrediting touchpoints to discredit the Hunter Biden news.
As you can see, there is nothing to show from New York Times, NPR, and CNN on Twitter regarding anything related to Hunter Biden's Laptop search. MSNBC has two items (full search!) on it and even those are mocking the story. For New York Post and Fox News, I have shared only two posts, but they keep running down the page.
This one story and its coverage or complete silence show the folks who were approached and influenced by the FBI’s Foreign Interference Task Force.
And who resisted the FBI and its woke agenda.
Permeating society with Wokeness
There is an interesting argument shared by Rod Dreher, the senior editor at "The American Conservative" relative to the Woke takeover of the intelligence agencies.
The picture that is emerging from "The Twitter Files", Government pushing the tech companies and the way the agencies changed post-Obama - shows the way the government controls a narrative.
When the divide has become so huge and the interests so entrenched that even intelligence is weaponized within America to fashion the results of elections, then we have to look at how society is paying the price.
Let us look at how even libraries have become a battlefield.
Librarians are pushing books like “Flamer”. That book is about a kid who goes to a boy scout camp and despite his own idea of heterosexuality, finds that he is homosexual. He tries to imitate the homophobia of his campmates who are by suggestion, right-wing.
Look at the one illustration from the book meant for 8th graders!
And if the parents protest against such a takeover of the kids’ mind space at that age, the whole effort is called
“period of unprecedented book banning and censorship”—one that “far eclipses even the McCarthy era.” Source: "A library by the book" / New Criterion
Silencing dissent is a great tool to gain moralistic superiority.
The impact is now being seen quite extensively, although quietly and without much comment, inside the libraries and in the literary world.
The trend by conservatives in the US to fight book activism is growing as are the books which align with the woke narratives.
NBC News sent public records requests to nearly 100 school districts in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin regions — a small sampling of the state’s 1,250 public school systems — and found 86 formal requests to remove books from libraries last year, the vast majority coming during the final four months of the year. Several titles were targeted in multiple districts. (Source: "Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries" / NBC)
An era of systemic moralism is now sweeping across the US.
Globalization of Moral hegemonic structures
The US has always focused on American Universalism.
"This is how we do it, and it is the global moral standard."
Such moralistic stands have been the root cause of the numerous regime change operations and planting of their own people in such countries.
This Normative isomorphism (pressure to conform to perceived norms and values) now has a Woke tinge.
Within the naturally overwhelming isomorphism that runs through the American intelligence and establishment apparatus, an addition of Woke militarism does one thing important - any argument for dialog, discussion, or simply pushing for prudence becomes a target because it is branded as enabling oppression and injustice.
So now a "woke-fied" CIA not just wants regime changes, but also to engineer the cultures of the target country per its own Western progressive ideological lens.
Democracy is not what it used to be, but the way a Woke would describe it.
The universalist and imperialist agendas and structures intact, the liberals within the US establishment, created a pivot to use every supremacist tool that those they hated employed, to create a Moralistic Imperial empire.
See how the "War on Terror" was turned around by these liberals.
The underlying consensus forged in the Academia-Government-Intelligence-Media elite Western, specifically American, hubs seems to be to promote a universal moralistic framework that can effectively undermine particularity and sovereignty and thus enable regime change.
Force-fitting walmartization of cultural definitions based on the Anglo-American cultural and ideological framework to other cultures in an elaborate exercise in normative isomorphism is currently underway.
Take the case of Judith Butler for example. She is a patron of critical gender theory and an influential post-modernism theorist.
She has no scholarship or expertise in, say, a complex and multi-threaded culture such as India.
But that does not deter her from commenting or writing about it. And, such other countries.
All that while she brands democratically elected leaders in such countries as "authoritarians".
Why? Because they don't fit well into her hegemonic definitions of the post-modernist liberal worldview.
This interview with Berkeley News (Univ of California at Berkeley) says everything that is the objective of woke imperialist cultural hegemony and the disregard for the diversity of people's voices used to choose their own leader.
The arguments, the narratives, the tools may have changed, but the imperialist agenda of the British, the Americans - whether they are Right-wing, Left-wing or even extreme Left-wing Wokes - remains intact and thriving.
Do you see that nothing has really changed? Just the semantics that power the hunger for imperial rule have become contemporary.
Imperialism is a serious business with serious profits.
We have discussed earlier this fetish for power and the dehumanizing enterprise that the West has created in the last 3 centuries.
Targeting of Vivek Agnihotri
So when Vivek Agnihotri and his movie "The Kashmir Files" is targeted within and outside India, please do remember, that it is so because he has attempted to turn the very semantic and moral soup that this Woke Imperialist enterprise has employed against the Hindus, on them instead!
He has posited the entire genocide of Kashmiri Hindus in morally transparent terms. Vivek did not have to give a moral or social argument to back up his creative output. He laid it out brazenly in our faces all raw.
So raw that morality shouted out on its own.
What these dishonest post-modernist sociologists do with twisted semantics, Vivek achieved with mere truth slapped on our faces.
That is what scares the heck out of every imperialist.
So that peddler of propaganda proclamations who forgot to distinguish between personal prejudice and collective judgment - Nadav Lapid - was a foot soldier in the imperial war.
This time led by Wokes.
Unlike Robert Clive the last time around.
Takeaways from this article:
- Cultural changes are a result of larger wars being played at the geopolitical level
- These wars are funded well and deeply and have a lot of minds working behind it
- A new version of Imperialism is upon us. Infused by Woke-ist morality which will be hard to intellectually defeat. Not impossible but very hard!
Here are the documentation and links that I saved as part of my research for an article. Many of these links I may have shared in my article and many I would have used in understanding the topics at hand. Beyond this newsletter, I tend to collate all my research even in the future into these sub-pages. So bookmark them for future reference. Please feel free to dive in and use it for your own analysis.
Video Corner: Bihar Diaries - a journey into a crime swamp
Watched a new Netflix series - "Khakhee" recently without batting an eyelid. It was based on the true story of a young cop, who became an IPS officer post his B. Tech from the IIT.
This is his TED presentation. Worth watching - both, this TED talk and the TV series.