Most human suffering is due to believed mental stories, from the psychological suffering of the individual to the large-scale suffering caused by international power structures who advance violence and oppression via propaganda. We must evolve a new relationship with narrative.
Most people’s lives are dominated by mental story, so whoever can control those stories controls the people. The good news is that all we need to do to reclaim our world from the controllers is to reclaim our stories. The barrier between us and freedom is as thin as a fairy tale.
I talk about fighting establishment narrative control a lot, not because it’s the best way to change things, but because it’s the only way. The public will never, ever use the power of their numbers to change things so long as they’re being successfully propagandized not to.
We are bulldozing a paradise while praying we go to Heaven when we die. We are killing off giant-brained leviathans in our own oceans whose mental lives we know little about while searching the stars for intelligent life. We are burning our home in our search for a sense of home.
The most condescending sound in the known universe is Bill Maher’s voice.
Joe Biden could slip into a coma tomorrow and they’d still wheel him out to the debates with the words “NOT TRUMP” scribbled on his forehead in sharpie. And he’d continue to poll in the mid-to-high twenties.
We are about three years from watching President Biden say he’s working with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to win the Cold War, soiling himself at the podium, and then CNN pundits earnestly discussing his similarities and differences to President Obama.
It feels like we’re overdue for another media tour by Steven Pinker to tell us that things are better than ever and our discontent is just imaginary.
“Why doesn’t the left look at Israel exactly the same as every other country, hmmmmmmm???” Because it isn’t exactly the same as every other country. It plays a crucial role in the empire’s geostrategic maneuverings in the Middle East. It’s not about Jews or Judaism, it’s about imperialism.
One of the absolute stupidest things about US politics is how they made regime change in Iran vs. regime change in Syria a partisan wedge issue, and partisans only question possible false flags based on which of those agendas their team cheers for.
If the political/media class wants to treat “proxy forces” and “Iran” like they mean the same thing, then they should have also been saying things like “USA fires rockets into Damascus” and “American troops sodomize Gaddafi with bayonet”.
It infuriates the empire propagandists to no end that after years of carefully crafting a very specific narrative about what’s happening in Syria, anti-imperialist journalists can just fly on over there and look around and report on the things they are seeing.
The US outsources all its ugliest aspects so that American voters don’t have to look at them. It outsources its torture, it outsources its slavery, it outsources its wars, and it outsources the the holding cells for its political prisoners.
In old-style British imperialism, they’d invade your country and replace your flag with theirs. In new-style US imperialism, your country keeps its flag, and the takeover can happen so slyly that the nation’s citizens sometimes don’t even know it’s occurred. It’s much more efficient.
All empires throughout history have had some kind of positive narrative about why it’s right that they should be conquering and dominating the world. The US-centralized empire with its bogus “freedom and democracy” schtick is no different.
If you were to combine all the very worst possible kinds of government with all the very worst possible government actions and roll them all together to create a single nation, that nation would look exactly the same as Saudi Arabia.
The maneuverings of establishment power structures are always made to protect the power they already have and/or to try and obtain more. It’s never anything more exotic or otherworldly than that: the mundane, primitive drive to try and control as many other humans as possible.
International alliances are often thought of as matters of secondary importance, as just something governments do when possible to make themselves a bit safer, wealthier, etc. Actually, uniting nations into one power structure is the goal, and it’s what alliances are really for.
I love a conspiracy enthusiast who can research with an open mind and live comfortably with the fact that there’s a lot we don’t know due to government opacity. I dislike the all-too-common other kind who pretend they know everything about everything and scoff at everyone else.
There are two kinds of people in conspiracy circles: those who have an intellectually honest relationship with what they know and don’t know, and the bullshitters who fake knowing things they don’t. It’s possible to get quite popular in conspiracy circles by faking it. Many do.
There’s an implicit default assumption among the political/media class that US government agencies have earned back the trust they lost with Iraq, despite their having made no changes whatsoever to prevent another Iraq-like horror from reoccurring, or even so much as apologizing.
I talk about Iraq all the time because that’s what everyone should be doing. It’s never been addressed, never been resolved, yet the US war machine and its propaganda apparatus have marched on as though it never happened. It’s a very large elephant in a very important room.
The Trump administration’s relentless fumbling, ham-fisted attempts to manufacture consent for a war with Iran remind me of of a really awkward loser constantly asking the prettiest girl at the office for a date again and again. Give it up, dude. She ain’t into you.
Many on the left care about domestic policy a lot more than they care about foreign policy. Meanwhile, foreign policy is the foremost priority of the establishment they’re trying to take down. This arrangement works out very nicely for the powerful.
“Peace through strength” just means “We’ll take money away from the poor and the needy and use it to beef up our already bloated military so we can bully the world into obedience.” That’s not peace, that’s tyranny.
It shouldn’t be too much to ask for one of America’s two mainstream parties to put forward at least one presidential candidate who opposes all military mass murders and has no plutocratic loyalties. That is not actually an unreasonable thing to demand. Don’t lose sight of this.
You can thank Obama for normalizing the “campaign as a progressive and govern as a Reaganite” strategy which now has Americans mostly clueless as to which Democratic primary candidate will actually represent their interests.
You are infinitely more qualified to report the news than the propagandists of the mainstream media. Even a teenager making a sloppy, amateurish first-time Youtube video about current events is superior to an MSM talking head who’s paid to lie. Be the press.
The establishment doesn’t fear Trump. It doesn’t fear Bernie, and it doesn’t fear Tulsi. It fears you. It fears the people. A single politician they can deal with. The public rising up and using the power of their numbers to force change is what keeps your rulers up at night.
This article, republished under a creative commons license, originally appeared here.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, bogan socialist, anarcho-psychonaut and guerrilla poet.