Contesting the mechanisms of disinformation, Part I. Contemporary developments in Latin America: a South African perspective

09 Jul 2020

In the context of spiralling decay that, in recent decades, has engulfed all spheres of the human condition, this article seeks to endorse Tomaselli?s essentially ethical position, advancing that the foremost contextual launching pad for cultural studies should be based on a socio-political moral framework that embraces concepts of truth, fairness, and freedom. It is argued that the rigorous questioning of ? and hence, confrontation with ? dominant beliefs, perceptions, norms, standards, and rules embedded in a neo-liberal, corporate-aligned ?democratic? global order will, by its very nature, contribute to the demise of human misfortune and injustice. As a viable start, cultural studies should return to the basically moral project of inquiry into injustice, oppression, and deception, and concretely undertake to have global influence in a world that has fewer and fewer margins separating truth from myth. The so-called ?industry of deception? has stringently endeavoured, and continues to endeavour, to thwart the political awakening of Latin America?s erstwhile dormant masses. As mandatory foot soldiers in imperialism?s battle against this process of mass radicalisation, the dominant media have sought to preside over the voiceless by putting lies across as truths. In this manner the global media industry seeks to sustain imperialism?s hegemony over not only the Latin American continent with its 500 million struggling subjects, but the great majority of the world?s wretched masses. Contemporary developments in a range of Latin American countries ? Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Venezuela, and others ? show quite demonstratively the emergence of a new, radical political ethos amongst the continent?s ordinary, struggling subjects, evoking both a measure of optimism amongst oppressed subjects elsewhere and overpowering responses from reactionary agents. By looking at the Latin American continent critically and truthfully, and more so, by contesting the ?mechanisms of disinformation?, scholars of culture hopefully could reclaim their authentic purpose in the intellectual sphere and meaningfully contribute to the invention of another world.