by Caitlin Johnstone, published on The Medium, November 5, 2019
It’s important to avoid fake news, Russian media or conspiracy theorists. We must only trust those reputable news outlets who tell us that neoliberalism is working fine, that US foreign policy is perfectly sane, and that protests are only happening in Hong Kong and nowhere else.
The difference between state media and western media is that in state media the government controls what information the public is given about what’s going on in the world in order to prevent political dissent, whereas in western media this is instead done by billionaires.
Any attempt to understand the world which fails to take into account the fact that extremely powerful people are pouring massive amounts of money and resources into manipulating your understanding of the world will necessarily result in a distorted worldview.
Whenever news media reports unsubstantiated assertions from anonymous sources in government agencies, just mentally insert “Here is something the government told us to tell you:” into the beginning of the report, because that’s all they’re doing.
Russia and China haven’t become any more of a threat to you than they were three years ago, yet you think about them many times more often than you did back then. That’s propaganda at work, FYI.
All the establishment loyalists you argue with are ever really saying is, “No! The TV would NEVER lie to me!”
Sometimes all I can do is stare in awe at the power and efficiency of the imperial propaganda machine. When I first started this gig in 2016 Assange had way more support, from Berners, Greens, Trumpers, all across the spectrum. Now a large amount of that support has been eroded. For Trumpers Assange is being extradited for his own good to bring down the Deep State. For liberals he’s a Russian asset. For leftists he’s a rapist and fascist enabler. There’s a narrative for everyone, no matter where you are on the political spectrum. It’s really impressive.
I love alternative media, but we’re fucking idiots sometimes. You never see MSM doing our job for us, but we do their job for them all the time by attacking other alternative media figures, circulating CIA/CNN narratives about targeted nations and targeted individuals, etc. The only reason to ever do mainstream media’s work for them is if you’re looking for a job in MSM. If you actually want to participate in alternative media it’s your job to make things harder for establishment narrative managers, not easier. They get paid enough to do their own work.
Dominant power structures are corrupt beyond the possibility of salvation and humanity is driving itself toward miriad cataclysmic disasters all at once, yet many are more worried about those who share their basic ideology but have slightly different opinions. This is stupid.
There’s no separation between the personal struggle to free yourself from untruth and the collective struggle to free the world from untruth, in the same way there’s no separation between an antibody attacking an individual pathogen and the entire body recovering from a sickness.
Anyone who wants Silicon Valley oligarchs to censor the flow of information in any way is a drooling idiot.
MSM’s official position appears to be that there is no ideological difference whatsoever between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, other than the fact that you have permission to elect Warren but not Sanders. Apart from that, though, they’re exactly the same.
There’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the sense that there’s a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to set up the more damaging cross, but they’re both wielded by the same boxer, and they’re both punching you in the face.
The “feud” between mainstream Republican pundits and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fits perfectly within the Overton window of establishment-approved debate, and can therefore be safely ignored.
Remember when voters in 2016 were like “can we please have even one major candidate who doesn’t have something seriously wrong with them?”, and the entire US political system was all “LOL nope,” and then nobody burned that system to the ground and flushed it down the toilet? Good times.
War is the worst thing in the world. It’s worse than economic injustice. It’s worse than the war on drugs. It’s worse than racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism. Those things are bad. War is worse. The priorities of leftists and progressives should reflect this, as should the priorities of anyone who claims to care about their fellow humans.
Trump: I am ending wars!
Neocons/liberal hawks: Oh no it sure is bad and horrible that this isolationist president is ending all the wars!
Wars: [continue completely unabated]
Imagine someone coming up to you with a money jar saying “Excuse me, we’re raising funds to build another military base in Somalia, would you care to make a donation?” No one would ever knowingly put money toward such an endeavor. Yet taxpayers do this unwittingly all the time.
Nobody comes out of the womb demanding to go to war. Left unmolested it would never occur to a normal human brain that strangers on the other side of the planet need to have explosives dropped on them by overpriced airplanes. The problem isn’t democracy, it’s propaganda.
Back when the wealthy had less wealth and ordinary citizens could support a family on a single income, the rich had a concept called “noblesse oblige” meaning their status came with obligations to society. Now the wealth gap is much greater, and the rich feel no obligation to anyone.
Less contempt for imaginary “Putin apologists”, more contempt for actual billionaire apologists.
The narrative that Gabbard is preparing a third party run is revealing, in that there’s zero evidence for it whatsoever yet they keep bringing it up. It’s literally just something pundits started saying in an authoritative tone of voice, and it was magically transformed into accepted orthodoxy. It’s a great illustration of how effective the establishment narrative managers are; they can create the illusion of a fact out of thin air just by saying something over and over again in an assertive tone.
Here’s a crazy thought: If “the troops” are constantly feeling the need to commit suicide after doing what they’ve been ordered to do while deployed, maybe what they’re doing over there isn’t so great and noble after all.
It sure is cute how we’ve known for years that the US and its allies armed actual, literal terrorists in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, yet the only Syria controversy we’re ever allowed to acknowledge is whether there are an adequate number of US troops there.
I’m still tripping on how we’ve been fed all these wildly different narratives about why the US needs a military presence in Syria, from humanitarianism to Kurds to ISIS to Iran to Russia to chemical weapons to oil, yet this isn’t immediately extremely suspicious to everyone. I mean, if some guy was constantly calling me up and giving me a whole range of wildly different reasons why he needs my bank account number, I’d immediately assume that what he actually wants is my bank account number, you know?
So many of spiritual-type people’s highest values would work fine in a world without sociopaths. Forgiveness, humility, trust, seeing people’s basic innocence, etc, they work fine until you run into a manipulator with no empathy. In this world they require much more nuanced use.
Things are getting stranger and stranger. Things getting stranger and stranger is what it looks like when long-fixed patterns begin to dissolve. For a species that has been on a trajectory toward self-destruction, patterns dissolving can only be a good thing. We’ll win this.
Caitlin Johnstone is entirely reader-funded, if you enjoy her work please consider sharing it, liking her on Facebook, following her on Twitter, bookmarking her website, checking out her podcast or buying her new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.