Manufacturing Consent

The greatest factor in promoting and sustaining state-fascism is not any act of violence but simply this – the systematic and studied ignorance maintained by the mainstream intelligentsia on the state’s gravest atrocities.

In today’s world, it doesn’t take any kind of effort to be well-informed on any political issue that one can choose. You can, for example, go to and enter in “Parachinar Blockade”. What will you see?

Not a lot of hits, but it’s a good start. Clicking on the first one, one can read a report about Colonel Tausif Akhtar’s announcement of the closure of the five border crossing points that previously served as the only exit points from Kurram Agency to the outside world. From a quote from a local inhabitant, one gets the opinion that this move by the security forces was an attempt to bring the Parachinari Shias “to their knees” and that for the last 4 years all local paths (within Pakistan) to Parachinar have been blocked and that the locals have had to use these border crossing to communicate with the outside world.

The second link provides a deeper analysis of the issue by Dr. Muhammad Taqi in the Daily Times. It is his view that this blockade is part of a strategic plan by the Pakistani military to safeguard it’s long-term assets, the Haqqanis and protect them from any possible military operation in North Waziristan that the Pakistani army may be forced into due to US pressure.

The third is a link from the BBC summarizing the facts in both the above articles.

One simple search, three links, and one is confronted with some extremely troubling information. For many, the information contained in these three links would shake the very foundations of their faith in the Pakistani army and its dedication to fighting terrorism within Pakistan. After all, an army that deliberately blockades its own citizens whose only crimes are that they a) belong to a minority religious sect and b) that they are unwilling to provide shelter to viciously sectarian and violent terrorists cannot be an army that is committed to ending terrorism within Pakistan’s boundaries, can it? So when confronted with this troubling and paradigm shaking bit of news, the average news-reading, mainstream intellectual Pakistan makes a very simple decision.

he chooses to ignore it

And so we have the collective decision to maintain a studied ignorance of the Pakistani state’s complicity in the persecution of its own citizens. And that is the way we perpetuate state tyranny from the comfort of our own computer desks. Not by taking up arms, or taking over someone’s house, or accusing someone of blasphemy, but by simply ignoring key events, shaping the public discourse of a national security state, and manufacturing consent for its greatest atrocities on its most helpless citizens.



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