QUOTABLE QUOTES ~ Caitlin Johnstone on “Values”

“As a human being, you may safely flush your loyalties to any system which has been a part of humanity’s march to extinction right down the toilet. The political systems, the mindsets, the religions, the culture. It has all failed, so you owe none of it any loyalty. In fact, you may feel free to reject anything that your society regards as ‘normal’, because your society is as sick and insane as a society can possibly be. ‘Normal’ has led to a world that is dying and a society that is insane. So be happy with your weirdness. A wild divergence from our current trajectory is the only hope our species has for survival, so as a member of our species it is your duty to participate in that divergence in any way that looks healthy to you. Our civilization as it exists today is a dead man walking. Do not dance with dead men. Reject the norms. Let the zombies think you are weird. The values they are criticizing you for diverging from are the values that are choking us all to death.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

~via

Normal Has Failed. Be As Weird As You Like.

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “Cancel Government Secrecy ~ Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix”

I’ve been publishing a lot more Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix pieces lately because something shifted here recently and I’ve been having loads more ideas for pithy tweet-sized observations, and if I don’t publish them regularly they’ll be hour-long reads. But don’t worry if you’re more of a fan of the normal essays, I’ll still be putting those out as per usual too.

– CJ

 

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How crazy is it that we’ve allowed people to have power over us and also keep secrets from us? That by itself is bat shit insane. And then to let them shame us and punish us when we try to work out what they’re up to behind that wall of opacity? Utter madness.

 

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Government says it needs secrecy to make war on its enemies effectively, and, curiously, the more secrecy we allow it the more wars and enemies it seems to have.

 

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Step 1: Legalize government secrecy so you can do evil things in secret.

Step 2: Use government secrecy to do many many evil things.

Step 3: Call anyone who says you do evil things in secret a crazy conspiracy theorist.

 

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Government: We need to keep secrets from you.

Public: Why?

Government: We can’t fight the wars against our enemies without secrecy.

Public: But we’re not in any wars and we have no enemies.

Government: Yeah well it’s hard to make them when you don’t let us keep secrets from you.

 

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Humanity is trying its best to collectively fix its problems, but trying to do so in a world whose power dynamics are aggressively obscured by propaganda and government secrecy is like trying to hit a bullseye in a dark room. Gotta find a way to turn those lights on so we can hit the target.

 

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Rather than pretending to know exactly what type of revolutionary society would best lead to human thriving, you do have the option of just supporting the freeing up of all information and the end of all perception management and letting people figure it out for themselves.

End all government secrecy, end all political secrecy, end all corporate secrecy, end all Wall Street and financial secrecy, end all propaganda, give everyone equal media control, and just let people see clearly what the hell is actually truly going on in their world, and they’ll naturally start using the power of their numbers to push for healthy changes in their own way. Let people see the actual truth of what’s actually happening and stop using mass media to manipulate their understanding of the raw data and they can make informed decisions about what to do.

It’s the authoritarian mind that thinks it knows exactly what’s best for everyone. A respect for people’s self-sovereignty really means you just want powerful manipulators to stop dicking around with everyone’s understanding of the world so they can figure stuff out on their own.

Anyone with any interest in or access to power should be forbidden to keep secrets from the public. Like how crazy is it that DNC officials were allowed to conspire with each other in secret about how they were going to rule America in the first place? No, you don’t get to do that. If you’re part of a power structure, you have to show your work. Period.

If everyone could see what’s really going on they’d create a world that is night-and-day different from the one we have now, and infinitely healthier. Which is why existing power structures pour so much effort into keeping people from seeing what’s really going on.

I personally think that if people had all the information and weren’t being manipulated by powerful interests they’d create a society that takes care of everyone and isn’t driven by the pursuit of profit, but what the hell do I know? Give them clear vision and let them decide.

In any case, nobody’s getting any revolutionary society of any kind as long as the powerful can control what information people have access to and manipulate the way they think and vote. There will be no revolution as long as people are manipulated into supporting the status quo.

 

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The first and foremost job of any US president is to serve as a decoy to draw the fire of all public scrutiny toward real power structures.

 

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Propaganda is the root of all our problems; people consent to inequality and injustice because they’re manipulated into doing so. And propaganda is only effective because we’ve got an idiotic societal taboo against acknowledging that we can be fooled. That our minds are hackable.

Manipulation only works when you don’t know it’s happening. Those who think they’re too clever to be manipulated (which would be the majority of people) are the most vulnerable to manipulation. If we just made manipulation more shameful than being manipulated, this could change.

You cannot form an accurate worldview without accounting for the fact that powerful people have invested a great deal in manipulating that worldview, and that to some extent they have probably succeeded. Because being manipulated is considered shameful, most don’t look at this.

I have been manipulated and fooled. So have you. It happens to all of us. There’s no shame in it. The shame belongs solely to those doing the manipulating and deceiving. Fraud is a crime for a reason, and the one they charge for that crime is not the victim, it’s the perpetrator.

 

~

 

~ via CaitlinJohnstone.com

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “On Maintaining Perspective In The Year 20-F*cking-20”

Whenever an author, filmmaker or other artist sets out on the noble endeavor of pointing people toward the ideal of living life to its fullest, they usually wind up depicting a character going off on all sorts of wild adventures, skydiving, trekking across the Himalayas, and so on.

In my opinion reminding people to live life to its fullest is the artist’s single most important job, but this is also where most storytellers get it wrong. Most people who live wild, interesting lives sleepwalk through the whole ride just like everyone else; in the end they’re left with a few amusing anecdotes rattling around in their skulls and a secret sense of dissatisfaction.

This is because most people don’t really show up for life. Even if they’re outwardly doing all sorts of amazing things and racking up a bunch of impressive accomplishments, their attention was mostly consumed with babbling mental chatter almost the entire time. Whatever happens in their life, they weren’t really there for it.

The real way to live life to its fullest is to simply be present for it.

I point this out because, at the midway point of the year 2020, I think it’s extremely relevant.

For better or for worse, we are at a time of great change from which the world will likely never return. We are heading into what is probably the most significant period in human history to date, and it would be wise to pay attention.

But when I look at what people are talking about in my social media feeds, even relatively awake and tuned-in people, I see a lot of chatter about the same-old, same-old. People are still yammering on about the same old electoral politics they’ve been on about for years, still babbling about PC culture being out of control and how crazy some people’s gender pronouns are, still dunking on shitlibs for likes and retweets. Even my own articles I notice get a lot more shares and attention if they involve something that tickles mainstream partisan interests like criticizing Trump or bashing the Democrats.

And I just cannot for the life of me imagine continuing to hold such priorities halfway through the year 20-f*cking-20.

At this time we need to drastically change our perspectives and seriously re-evaluate our priorities. We’re all standing on a precipice together and we have no idea what the plunge will look like, and people are still babbling about whether or not you should wear a face mask at the grocery store. This, to me, is a nonsensical approach to our current predicament.

All the stuff that used to consume so much of our attention in the analysis of establishment power structures has been rendered far less important by recent developments. All these recent developments will probably be rendered less relevant by whatever major events are coming next. The only consistent pattern this year has been a greater and greater deviation from old patterns.

For that reason, it makes sense to do two things:

Shift toward emphasizing a bigger-picture perspective of what’s going on. Fixate less on smaller occurrences and pay more attention to broader overall trends. It doesn’t mean ignore the smaller things, it just means view them in the proper context of a world that’s moving into more and more unfamiliar territory in bigger and bigger ways.

Pay attention. Big things are happening right now, and it would be a damn shame to miss them.

We are experiencing something huge here, and it would be a shame to let it go to waste.

We should rather all approach our current situation at this point in history like someone who is trying to live life to its fullest: mindful, curious, not hung up on petty mental narratives, and appreciative of how lucky we are to be here right now to witness this thing.

And, much like the approach of the end of life, this moment in history should ideally cause us to cast aside petty differences and bring us closer together.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “Quarantine Meditations: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix”


 

The world is messed up because powerful people think in terms of narrative control, and ordinary people don’t. Change that and you change the world.

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Hot tip: Dump all stocks and invest in becoming the kind of decent human being who people will want to help in chaotic times.

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Let’s go humans! The sooner we can put aside our differences all around the world and unite to beat this virus the sooner we can get back to exploiting each other over an imaginary monetary system and murdering each other with bombs!

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FYI if your government is pushing the suspension of civil liberties before coming up with a healthcare plan or providing you with financial security in an unprecedented economic crisis, then their desire to suspend civil liberties has nothing to do with fighting the pandemic.

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Protecting the citizenry in situations like this is the thing governments are supposed to be for. It’s the single most compelling argument for their existence, by a very wide margin. Any government which doesn’t take good care of its people right now does not deserve to exist.

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If this virus hasn’t yet caused you to seriously re-evaluate your priorities in life, it should. For better or worse we appear to be standing on the brink of some very significant worldwide paradigm shifts. Where you choose to put your mental energy right now should reflect this.

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Powerful people will work to advance authoritarian agendas which they have no intention of reversing during this pandemic. They are working on it right now. This is not a possibility, this is a certainty.

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I love that so many people are pleading with the Trump administration to end Iran sanctions during the pandemic because it’s killing civilians, but it won’t work. They know it’s killing civilians, and they know it will kill a lot more. That has always been the objective. Pompeo has openly admitted that Iran is being sanctioned no so that its government will change its behavior, but so that the Iranian people will get so desperate from all the suffering and devastation that they rise up and overthrow their government. Sanctions are the only form of warfare where it is considered legal and acceptable to deliberately target a civilian population with deadly force. That’s what they’ve been doing this whole time. It’s what they want. The pandemic only helps them. Every single Iranian who is dying because of these sanctions is on Trump. The MAGA narrative that he’s better on war than Obama has been thoroughly invalidated by every metric.

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Humanity is uniting against this common crisis. We’re uniting in our desire to beat this virus and protect our more vulnerable populations, and in a shared awareness that this thing could technically kill any of us. If ever there was a catalyst for a shift in consciousness, this is it.

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We appear to be watching a confluence of factors on a trajectory to push the world toward vast changes which may leave it unrecognizable in some ways within a matter of months. Maybe we don’t need to pour as much mental energy as we used to into sectarian infighting and petty social media spats.

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Nothing’s the same and it never will be again. F*ck seizing the means of production. Seize this moment. Take back everything they took from us and refuse to give it back. Also seize the means of production because you can and why not.

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Every time there’s a major mainstream narrative shift half my mentions are people going “Caitlin I’m so disappointed in you for saying something I disagree with. Normally I agree with you but now here you are not agreeing with me, like you’re an independent person or something.”

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The nation that is circling the planet with hundreds of military bases and engaging in countless undeclared military operations around the world is the belligerent rogue nation. Everyone else is, at worst, acting in self-defense in response to this belligerence. Governments using force to dominate the planet put every human being on a trajectory toward extinction via nuclear armageddon, and should be vehemently opposed. One government is the worst offender in this area, by a very, very, very wide margin. And it ain’t China.

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Every few weeks, depending on who the empire is targeting at a given moment, I swing from arguing with liberals about a nation liberals hate to arguing with conservatives about a nation conservatives hate, or vice versa. And they always think they’re different from the others.

“Caitlin I normally agree with you, but I don’t know what’s gotten into you supporting Evil Nation X like this!” they say, firmly believing that they’re doing something original and unique.

“This Official Bad Guy is different from all the others, Caitlin!” they say. “This one’s real!”

It’s like listening to a serial loser-dater explain that her new boyfriend with the neck tattoos is actually a really great guy.

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I oppose warmongering against Venezuela and China and they say it’s because I love communism. I oppose warmongering against Iran and they say it’s because I love theocracy. I oppose warmongering against Russia and Syria and they say it’s because I love autocracy. Maybe I just oppose warmongering.

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Rank-and-file Dems unwittingly consented to cold war escalations against Russia out of concern for election interference. Rank-and-file Republicans are now doing the same with China out of concern for a virus outbreak. But both escalations were pre-planned by government agencies.

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The only reason people don’t worry about cold war escalations against China and Russia like they do about hot wars with non-nuclear powers is because we got lucky in the last cold war. But that’s all it was: sheer, dumb luck. No one was ever in control during that time. Not once. Nobody likes to think about the fact that we came within a hair’s breadth of total annihilation on multiple occasions during the last cold war due to communication breakdowns and tech malfunctions. That can easily happen again, but without getting lucky. People have a tendency to believe they succeeded because they were in control and lost because they lost control, but nobody was ever in control. We survived by sheer, dumb luck. With hot wars they take a few lives here, a few lives there. With cold war it’s an all-or-nothing dice roll that nothing goes wrong; no tech glitches, no miscommunications, even when things get very tense. And you roll those dice every single day. And with every escalation you add more dice.

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All arguments the US government makes against any “regime” it dislikes are completely invalidated by its alliance with Saudi Arabia alone, to say nothing of all the other tyrannical governments it’s allied with.

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If you find yourself thinking more thoughts about China’s authoritarian government than about the abusive authoritarian governments of US allies like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines etc, it’s because you’ve been propagandized to align you with US interests.

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Establishment narrative managers aim their publications not at their followers but at other establishment narrative managers, seeking their approval. Alternative media should always do the opposite and address the people; too many also engage in upward-looking approval-seeking.

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Everything’s been in a steadily accelerating pattern of unpatterning for a good while now, since well before the virus. There are people who think they’ll be able to shore up control through this thing, but you have no control in a tornado. Nature, which includes homo sapiens, wins out.

 

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~via Caitlin Johnstone

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “The Great Unpatterning Continues — Make Sure You Take Advantage Of It”

“I often hear people in my line of work saying ‘Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy sh*t and think about how absolutely weird it was!’ No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder. It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away. The human mind is conditioned to look for patterns in order to establish a baseline of normal expectations upon which to plan out future actions. This perceptual framework exists to give us safety and security, so disruptions in the patterns upon which it is based often feel weird, threatening, and scary. They make us feel insecure, because our cognitive tool for staying in control of our wellbeing has a glitch in it. This great unpatterning is going to continue, in many wild and unexpected ways. And things are going to keep getting stranger. Watch for gaps in the armor of the establishment oppression machine. Watch for gaps in the deluded nature of our society. Watch for gaps in the patterns, and use your wisdom and creativity to assist them in unpatterning as the opportunity presents itself.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

In an attempt to contain the COVID-19 pandemic the president of the United States has just announced a 30-day travel ban between the US and Europe, the super-rich are flying off to disaster bunkers, and the NBA has just suspended its season.

If this is the first you’re hearing of this, go ahead and read it again if you need to.

This is all news that came out minutes prior to this writing. There may have been many other immense news stories by the time you read it.

This is a level of disruption that the world hasn’t seen in generations. Normal things that had been a routine part of people’s entire lives are just not there for them now, whether it’s normal socializing, watching the basketball game, or buying toilet paper at the store.

I said the following last month in an article titled 2020 Is Going To Get Much Crazier. Prioritize Your Mental Health.“:

“As I said back in November, things are going to get weirder and weirder throughout the foreseeable future. We’re coming to a point in history where the only reliable pattern is the disintegration of patterns, and 2020 has come storming out of its corner swinging for the fences working to establish this pattern with extreme aggression. We’re not going to hit a point of stability or normality this year, we’re going to see things get crazier and crazier and crazier. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know it’s going to be nuts.”

 

And by Jove if that isn’t proving true in some bizarre and unexpected ways. I certainly wasn’t expecting the coronavirus to play a role in that unpatterning at the time — in fact I was dismissive of it when it first emerged — but we’re seeing a disruption in collective patterns and routines like nothing most of us can even recall.

Here’s what I said back in November:

I often hear people in my line of work saying “Man, we’re going to look back on all this crazy sh*t and think about how absolutely weird it was!”

No we won’t. Because it’s only going to get weirder.

It’s only going to get weirder, because that’s what it looks like when old patterns start to fall away.

The human mind is conditioned to look for patterns in order to establish a baseline of normal expectations upon which to plan out future actions. This perceptual framework exists to give us safety and security, so disruptions in the patterns upon which it is based often feel weird, threatening, and scary. They make us feel insecure, because our cognitive tool for staying in control of our wellbeing has a glitch in it.

When you’re talking about a species that has been consistently patterned towards its own destruction, though, a disruption of patterns is a good thing. Our ecocidal, warmongering tendencies have brought us to a point that now has us staring down the barrel of our own extinction, and that is where we are surely headed if we continue patterning along the behavioral trajectory that we have been on. Only a drastic change of patterns can change that trajectory. And we are seeing a change of patterns.

This great unpatterning is going to continue, in many wild and unexpected ways. And things are going to keep getting stranger.

All of humanity’s problems are the result of our collective conditioning patterns throughout history. Where there is pattern disruption, there is the opportunity for pattern divergence. Where there is movement, there are gaps. Where there are gaps, there is an opportunity for light to get through.

The clear-eyed rebel’s job, therefore, is to watch for opportunities to help lead us as a collective along a brand new, healthy trajectory. There’s no way to know in advance what those opportunities will look like, because predictability is premised on pattern consistency. But they will appear, from unpredictable and unanticipated new directions. Wherever you see a gap, your job is to pour as much truth and wisdom and health into it as you can possibly muster.

Watch for gaps in the armor of the establishment oppression machine. Watch for gaps in the deluded nature of our society. Watch for gaps in the patterns, and use your wisdom and creativity to assist them in unpatterning as the opportunity presents itself.

2020 is still just getting warmed up.

Eyes wide, beautiful people.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone