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

‘NAVIGATING TUMULTUOUS WATERS’ ~ Caitlin Johnstone: “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.

In such an environment, it’s going to be absolutely essential to take exceptional care of your psychological health if you want to remain engaged with what’s going on in the world in a positive way.

And I do mean exceptional. Whatever you’re doing now, do more. Start cultivating new habits to keep yourself lucid and serene, and start now before things get super crazy. Work out your issues with your family and with yourself. Remember to move your body in ways that feel good to you. Carve out some time out each day for just being quiet with yourself. Notice the beauty around you. Give cuddles, get cuddles. Take a shower and sing your heart out. Feel your feet on the floor, nestle your bum into your chair and listen to yourself breath like it’s a song on the radio. Yawn. Belch. Stretch. Roar. Put on some loud music and rock out. Whatever you know works for you to get you out of your head and back in to your body, remember to do it, and remember to do it regularly. Make it habitual.

Be proactive with this rather than reactive; if you wait until you have to react to things going ass-side up later on it’s going to feel like you’re fighting to get your head above water. If you do it now you’ll have the mental space needed to navigate tumultuous waters.

This is what will be necessary if you want to engage with the increasingly frenetic narrative matrix in the future. The only alternative will be to disengage completely and throw your attention into escapism, or at least away from politics and news. And if you don’t make the cultivation of mental well-being your first and foremost priority you will be forced, in a very unpleasant way, to disengage anyhow.

And honestly this is something all activist types should be doing anyway. Believing you can help the world without doing serious inner work is like believing you can clean the house while covered in raw sewage. You can always spot the political activists who engage without doing any inner work by the chaotic, unskillful and frequently counterproductive form their actions take. They can’t see clearly enough to operate efficaciously, because their vision is clouded with unresolved suffering and conflict. Get in the shower and wash the yuck off yourself before trying to clean the house.

Above all, be gentle with yourself. We got a ways ahead of us, and we need you fresh and feeling good. You won’t be able to help wake the world up if you let the chaos and confusion drag you down. Know when to take a break from the information stream and all the babbling narratives trying to twist your perception of it. Use your tools to distance yourself from the narratives so that you can perceive them objectively. Ground yourself, find your center, then, when you’re ready, wade back in.

No matter how chaotic things get, your ability to navigate that chaos skillfully needs to be your first and foremost priority. Put your mental well-being first, and everything else will fall into place.

Be the peace and harmony you want to see in the world.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “Why Everything Is F*cked”

“This is ultimately the answer to every question about why things are f*cked right now. Why does it seem like nothing changes no matter who wins the election? Why do the wars keep expanding instead of ending? Why are those nuclear superpowers hurtling closer toward direct confrontation? Why are the mass shootings increasing? Why is everyone so miserable? Because every adult on this planet started off tiny, helpless, impressionable, and surrounded by gargantuan madmen, and it made it almost impossible to be sane. That’s why. We all slid out of the womb an itty bitty helpless information sponge into a world full of mentally ill giants who couldn’t wait to fill our tiny skulls with all of their inner demons. And now everything, understandably, is f*cked.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

We all slid out of the womb an itty bitty helpless information sponge into a world full of mentally ill giants who couldn’t wait to fill our tiny skulls with all of their inner demons. And now everything, understandably, is f*cked.

That’s basically our whole entire situation in a nutshell. You can add on as many extra details as you like — plutocracy, corruption, mass media propaganda, billionaire wine cave fundraisers, whatever — but ultimately our plight is due to the fact that every single human showed up on this planet completely helpless and knowing nothing, forced to trust crazy giants to give them the grand introductory tour.

Why were those giants crazy? Well you see, they got here the same way you did: small, slippery and completely clueless, surrounded by enormous gibbering lunatics who were all in a mad rush to teach them how to be insane.

And those giants came into the world under the exact same circumstances, as did the giants who came before them, and the giants who came before them, and so on.

It’s a grand old tradition of ours, ultimately stretching all the way back to our own evolutionary birth in this world and the emergence of a massive cerebral cortex in a mammal who up until that point had been primarily concerned with sneaking in a snack and a quick shag in between mad sprints away from sharp-fanged predators. This newfound capacity for complex abstract thought burst onto this frantic, confusing scene and was quickly seized and manipulated by the cleverer primates.

And thus human madness was born.

The most powerful early humans were the cleverest humans, the ones who understood how to use this new capacity for language and abstract thought to their own advantage. They realized that by simply saying something is true in a sufficiently confident way, they could persuade the less clever humans to treat it as true.

Those clever humans used this newfound ability to place themselves in charge, and to make a bunch of rules to be passed down from generation to generation proclaiming that the less powerful humans must submit to the more powerful humans. Over the generations these rules became more and more numerous and complex, weaving in moralism, codes of filial piety, and insane power-serving religions glorifying meekness, obedience and poverty.

These power-serving rule sets were picked up and used to justify highly traumatizing behavior in the service of the powerful, from wars to genocides to institutionalized torture and brutal executions of the disobedient, and just within domestic power structures the institutionalized normalization of spousal rape and physical abuse in households all around the world.

This eons-long tidal wave of deep trauma and power-serving rules structures passed from generation to generation to generation picking up more and more demented flotsam and jetsam as it went along, to ultimately come crashing down upon your crowning head as you emerged from your mother’s body.

That is your legacy. That is everyone’s legacy. Countless generations of cumulative madness, washed into the present moment on a current of eons of exploitation and senseless cruelty stretching all the way back to the dawn of our species on this planet.

This heritage of madness is funneled straight into our sponge-like brains from the moment we emerge from the womb and all the way through an extremely traumatic and confusing ordeal known as childhood, after which we are handed the keys to the world and told “You’re an adult now. You’re in charge. See if you can figure out how to run this place better than we did.”

We never stood a goddamn chance. None of us did. The deck was stacked against us long before we got here.

And now you get political commentators constantly railing on about “Gosh, if only we could get people to stop listening to their televisions and vote third party and read World Socialist Website and turn up to demonstrations and take back the power of the people from our oppressors, we could turn this thing around!” Not realizing that everyone else in their country went through the same traumatic, confusing ordeal that they went through at the beginning of their lives, the only difference being that most of them got a lot less lucky in sorting out reality from madness. And not realizing that they themselves are still quite mad.

This is ultimately the answer to every question about why things are f*cked right now. Why does it seem like nothing changes no matter who wins the election? Why do the wars keep expanding instead of ending? Why is the news man always lying? Why are they locking up that white-haired fellow for publishing facts? Why are those nuclear superpowers hurtling closer toward direct confrontation? Why are the rainforests vanishing? Why are the whales dying? Why are the mass shootings increasing? Why is everyone so miserable?

Because every adult on this planet started off tiny, helpless, impressionable, and surrounded by gargantuan madmen, and it made it almost impossible to be sane. That’s why.

Notice I said “almost”. It is still possible to find one’s way into a relationship with reality that is guided by truth and untainted by madness, but you’ve got to start way, way, way back at the beginning and deeply re-examine even your most fundamental assumptions about what’s true and real. Because it turns out that while the mad giants gave us information that was very useful for interacting with other mad giants, it was almost entirely useless for learning how to navigate through life in a wise and truthful way.

And that’s what I’m pointing to here: it’s important to get clear on just how far back the crazy goes and how fundamentally interwoven it is with the situation in which we now find ourselves. If you begin with the assumption that our problem is simply due to humans not voting and mobilizing correctly in alignment with the correct ideology, you’ll miss the real obstacle entirely. You’ve got to zoom the camera out much, much further to see the full picture.

Can you become a deeply sane individual, untainted by your ancient heritage of madness? With a lot of work and uncompromising self-honesty you can.

Can all humans become deeply sane and untainted by their ancient heritage of madness? It would take a miracle. A whole lot of miracles. Billions, to be precise.

But then, I believe in miracles.

 

~via David Icke

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “32 Tips For Navigating A Society Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation”

“As Carl Sagan once said, ‘It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.'”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

For as long as there has been human language, humans have been using it to manipulate one another. The fact that it is possible to skillfully weave a collection of symbolic mouth noises together in such a way as to extract favors, concessions, votes and consent from other humans has made manipulation so common that it now pervades our society from top to bottom, from personal relationships between two people to international relationships between government agencies and the public.

This has made it very difficult to figure out what’s going on, both in our lives and in the world. Here are thirty-two suggestions for navigating this complex manipulation-laden landscape, whether it be for navigating the manipulations you may encounter in your small-scale personal interactions, or the large-scale manipulations which impact the entire world:

 

1 – Understand the fact that humans are storytelling animals, and that whoever controls the stories controls the humans. 

Mental narrative dominates human consciousness; thought is essentially one continuous, churning monologue about the self and what it reckons is going on in its world, and that monologue is composed entirely of mental stories. These stories can and will be manipulated, on an individual scale by people we encounter and on a mass scale by skillful propagandists. We base our actions on our mental assessments of what’s going on in the world, and those mental assessments can be manipulated by narrative control.

2 – Be humble and open enough to know that you can be fooled.

Your cognitive wiring is susceptible the same hacks as everyone else, and manipulators of all sorts are always looking to exploit those vulnerabilities. It’s not shameful to be deceived, it’s shameful to deceive people. Don’t let shame and cognitive dissonance keep you compartmentalized away from considering the possibility that you’ve been duped in some way.

3 – Watch people’s behavior and ignore the stories they tell about their behavior.

This applies to people in your life, to politicians, and to governments. Narratives can be easily manipulated and distorted in many different ways, while behavior itself, when examined with as much objectivity as possible, cannot be. Pay attention to behavior in this way and eventually you’ll start noticing a large gap between what some people’s actions say and what their words say. Those people are the manipulators. Distrust them.

4 – Be suspicious of people who keep telling you what they are and how they are, because they’re trying to manipulate your narrative about them.

Be doubly suspicious of people who keep telling you what you are and how you are, because they’re trying to manipulate your narrative about you.

5 – Learn to see how trust and sympathy are used by manipulators to trick people into subscribing to their narratives about what’s going on.

Every manipulator uses trust and/or sympathy as a primer for their manipulations, because if you don’t have trust or sympathy for them, you’re not going to mentally subscribe to their stories. This is true of mass media outlets, it’s true of State Department press releases which implore you to have sympathy for the people of Nation X, and it’s true of family members and coworkers. Once you’ve spotted a manipulator, your task is to kill off all of your sympathy for them and your trust in them, no matter how hard they start playing the victim to suck you back in.

6 – Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to articulate themselves clearly.

Word salading is a tactic notoriously used by abusive narcissists, because it keeps the victim confused and unable to figure out what’s going on. If they can’t get a clear handle on what the manipulative abuser is saying, they can’t form their own solid position in relation to it, and the abuser knows this. Insist on lucid communication, and if it’s refused to you, remove trust and sympathy. Apply this to people in your life, to government officials, and to 8chan propaganda constructs.

7 – Familiarize yourself with cognitive biases, the glitches in human cognition which cause us to perceive things in a way that is not rational.

Pay special attention to confirmation bias, the backfire effect, and the illusory truth effect. Humans have an annoying tendency to seek out cognitive ease in their information-gathering and avoid cognitive dissonance, rather than seeking out what’s true regardless of whether it brings us cognitive ease or dissonance. This means we tend to choose what we believe based on whether believing it is psychologically comfortable, rather than whether it’s solidly backed by facts and evidence. This is a weakness in our cognitive wiring, and manipulators can and do exploit it constantly. And, again, be humble enough to know that this means you.

8 – Trust your own understanding above anyone else’s.

It might not be perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than letting your understanding be controlled by narrative managers and dopey partisan groupthink, or by literally anyone else in a narrative landscape that is saturated with propaganda and manipulation. You won’t get everything right, but betting on your own understanding is the very safest bet on the table. It can be intimidating to stand alone and sort out the true from the false by yourself on an instance-by-instance basis, but the alternative is giving someone else authority over your understanding of the world. Abdicating your responsibility to come to a clear understanding of what’s going on in your world is a shameful, cowardly thing to do. Be brave enough to insist that you are right until such time as you yourself come to your own understanding that you were wrong.

9 – Understand that propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society.

Everyone’s constantly talking about what’s wrong with the world, but hardly any of those discussions are centered around the fact that the public been manipulated into supporting the creation and continuation of those problems by mass media propaganda. The fact that powerful people are constantly manipulating the way we think, act and vote should be at the forefront of everyone’s awareness, not relegated to occasional discussions in fringe circles.

10 – Respect the fact that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for over a century.

Think of all the military advancements that have been made in the last century to get an idea of how sophisticated this science must now be. They are far, far ahead of us in terms of research and understanding of the methods of manipulating the human psyche toward ends which benefit the powerful. If you ever doubt that the narrative managers could be advanced and cunning enough to pull off a given manipulation, you can lay that particular doubt to rest. Don’t underestimate them.

11 – Understand that western mass media propaganda rarely consists of full, outright lies.

At most, such outlets will credulously publish the things that are told to them by government agencies which lie all the time. More often, the deception comes in the form of distortions, half-truths, and omissions. Pay more attention to discrepancies in things that are covered versus things that aren’t, and to what they’re not saying.

12 – Put effort into developing a good news-sense, a sense for what’s newsworthy and what’s not.

This takes time and practice, but it lets you see which newsworthy stories are going unreported by the mass media and which non-stories are being overblown to shape an establishment-friendly narrative. When you’ve got that nailed down, you’ll notice “Why are they acting like this is a news story?” and “Why is nobody reporting this??” stories all the time.

13 – Be patient and compassionate with yourself when it comes to developing your narrative navigating skills.

Like literally any skill set, you’ll suck at it for a while. If you learn you’ve been wrong about something, just take in the new information, adjust appropriately, and keep plugging away. Don’t expect to have mastered this thing before you’ve had time to master it. Like anything else, if you put in the hours you’ll get good at it.

14 – Find reliable news reporters who have a good sense for navigating the narrative matrix, and keep track of them to orient yourself and stay on top of what’s going on.

Use individual reporters, not outlets; no outlet is 100 percent solid, but some reporters are pretty close on some specific subjects.

15 – Don’t let paranoia be your primary or only tool for navigating the narrative matrix.

Some people’s only means of understanding the world is to become intensely suspicious of everything and everyone, which is about as useful as a compass which tells you that every direction is north. Spend time in conspiracy and media criticism circles and you’ll run into many such people. Rejecting everything as false leaves you with nothing as true. Find positive tools for learning what’s true.

16 – Hold your worldview loosely enough that you can change it at any time in the light of new information.

But, not so loosely that it can be slapped out of your head by someone telling you what to think in a confident, authoritative tone. As Carl Sagan once said, “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

17 – Speaking of confident, authoritative tones, be suspicious of confident, authoritative tones.

It’s amazing how much traction people can get with a narrative just by posturing as though they know that what they’re saying is true, whether they’re an MSNBC pundit or a popular conspiracy Youtuber. So many people are just plain faking it, because it works. You run into this all the time in debates on online political forums; people come at you with a supremely confident posture, but if you push them to present their knowledge on the subject and the strength of their arguments, there’s not actually anything there. They’re just accustomed to people assuming they know what they’re talking about and leaving their claims unchallenged, and it completely throws them off when someone doesn’t buy their feigned confidence schtick.

18 – Be aware that sociopaths exist.

There are people who, to varying degrees, do not care what happens to others, and these are the types of people who will use manipulation to get their way whenever it serves them. If you don’t care about truth or other people beyond the extent to which you can use them, then there’s no disincentive to manipulating.

19 – Be aware of projection, and be aware of the fact that it cuts both ways. 

Unhealthy people tend to project their wickedness onto others, while healthy people tend to project their goodness. Don’t let your goodness trick you into thinking there aren’t monsters who will deceive and manipulate you, and don’t let sociopaths project their own sinister motives onto you by telling you how rotten you are. This mixes a lot of good people up, especially in their personal lives. Not everyone is good, and not everyone is truthful. See this clearly.

20 – Be suspicious of those who excessively advocate civility, rules and politeness.

Manipulators thrive on rules and civility, because they know how to manipulate them. Someone who’s willing to color outside the lines and get angry at someone noxious even when they’re acting within the rules makes a manipulator very uncomfortable. Often times those telling you to calm down and behave yourself when you are rightfully upset are manipulators who have a vested interest in getting you to adhere to the rules set they’ve learned to operate within.

21 – Meditation, mindfulness, self-inquiry and other practices are powerful tools which can help you understand your own inner processes.

Which, in turn helps you understand how manipulators can manipulate you, and how they manipulate others. Just be sure that you are using them for this purpose, not for escapism as most “spiritual” types do. You’re trying to become fully aware of what makes you tick mentally, emotionally and energetically; you’re not trying to become some vapid spiritual bliss bunny. The goal isn’t to feel better, the goal is to get better at feeling. Better at consciously experiencing your own inner world.

22 – Be relentlessly honest with yourself about your own inner narratives and the various ways you engage in manipulation.

You can’t navigate your way through the narrative control matrix if you aren’t clear on your own role in it. Look inside and consciously take an inventory.

23 – Understand that truth doesn’t generally move in a way that is pleasing to the ego, i.e. in a way Hollywood scripts are written to appeal to.

Any narrative that points to a Hollywood ending where the bad guy gets karate kicked into lava and the hero gets the girl is manufactured. Russiagate and QAnon are both perfect examples of an egoically pleasing narrative with the promise of a Hollywood ending, either by Trump and his cohorts being dragged off in chains or by the “white hats” overcoming the Deep State and throwing all the Democrats and Never-Trumpers in prison for pedophilia. Ain’t gonna happen, folks.

24 – Try to view the world with fresh eyes rather than with your tired old grown-up eyes which have taught you to see all this as normal.

Hold an image in your mind of what a perfectly healthy and harmonious world would look like; the sharp contrast between this image and the world we have now allows you see through the campaign of the propagandists to normalize things like war, poverty, ecocide, and impotent electoral systems which keep seeing the same government behavior regardless of who people vote for. None of this is normal.

25 – Know that the truth has no political party, and neither do the social engineers.

All political parties are used to manipulate the masses in various ways, and nuggets of truth can and do emerge from any of them. Thinking along partisan lines is guaranteed to give you a distorted view. Ignore the imaginary lines between the parties. You may be certain that your rulers do.

26 – Remain always aware of this simple dynamic: the people who become billionaires are generally the ones who are sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead.

This class has been able to buy up near-total narrative control via media ownership/influence, corporate lobbying, think tank funding, and campaign finance, and are thus able to manipulate the public into consenting to agendas which benefit nobody but plutocrats and their lackeys. This explains pretty much every major problem that we are facing right now.

27 – Understand that nations are pure narrative constructs; they only exist to the extent that people agree to pretend that they do.

The narrative managers know this, and they exploit the fact that most of us don’t. Take Julian Assange, perfect example: he was pried out of the embassy and imprisoned by an extremely obvious collaboration between the US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador, and Australia, yet they each pretended that they were acting as separate, sovereign nations completely independently of one another. Sweden pretended it was deeply concerned about rape allegations, the UK pretended it was deeply concerned about a bail violation, Ecuador pretended it was deeply concerned about skateboarding and embassy cat hygiene, the US pretended it was deeply concerned about the particulars of the way Assange helped Chelsea Manning cover her tracks, Australia pretended it was too deeply concerned about honoring the sovereign affairs of these other countries to intervene on behalf of its citizen, and it all converged in a way that just so happened to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts. You see this same dynamic constantly, whether it’s with military interventions, trade deals, or narrative-shaping campaigns against non-aligned governments.

28 – Understand that war is the glue which holds the US-centralized empire together.

Without the carrot of military/economic alliance and the stick of military/economic violence, the US-centralized empire would cease to exist. This is why war propaganda is constant and sometimes so forced that glaring plot holes become exposed; it’s so important that they need to force it through, even if they can’t get the narrative matrix around it constructed just right. If they ceased manufacturing consent for the empire’s relentless warmongering, people would lose all trust in government and media institutions, and those institutions would lose the ability to propagandize the public effectively. Without the ability to propagandize the public effectively, our rulers cannot rule.

29 – Remember that when it comes to foreign policy, the neocons are always wrong.

They’ve been so remarkably consistent in this for so long that whenever there’s a question about any narrative involving hostilities between the US-centralized power alliance and any other nation, you can just look at what Bill Kristol, Max Boot and John Bolton are saying about it and believe the exact opposite. They’re actually a very helpful navigation tool in this way.

30 – Notice how the manipulators like to split the population in two and then get them arguing over how they should serve the establishment.

Arguing over whether it’s better to vote Democrat or Republican, arguing over whether it’s better to increase hostilities with Iran and Venezuela or with Syria and Russia, over whether you should support the US president or the FBI, arguing over how internet censorship should happen and whomshould be censored rather than if censorship should happen in the first place. The longer they can keep us arguing over the best way to lick the imperial boot, the longer they keep us from talking about whether we want to lick it at all.

31 – Watch out for appeals to emotion.

It’s much easier to manipulate someone by appealing to their feely bits rather than their capacity for rational analysis, which is why any time they want to manufacture support for military interventionism you see pictures of dead children on news screens everywhere rather than a logical argument for the advantages of using military violence based on a thorough presentation of facts and evidence. You see the same strategy used in the guilt trips they lay on third-party voters; it’s all emotional hyperbole that crumbles under any fact-based analysis, but they use it because it works. They go after your heart strings to circumvent your head.

32 – Pay attention to how much propaganda goes into maintaining the propaganda machine itself.

This is done this because propaganda is just that central to the maintenance of dominant power structures. Much effort is spent building trust in establishment narrative management outlets while sowing distrust in sources of dissent. You’ll see entire propaganda campaigns built around accomplishing solely this.

 

 

~via WakingTimes.com

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “The U.S. Government Is Like A Bad Dad”

“And the mother, well like most mothers she’s in charge of managing the stories the family tells about what’s going on. Whenever a neighbor turns up wounded or dead, she’s responsible for telling the children that it was the neighbor’s fault, and their father was only protecting them.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

There’s a house on the block where a large family lives, and it gets pretty abusive in there. The kids hardly ever get to see a doctor and there’s never enough money for them to afford decent clothes or go on holiday, and a disproportionately large number of them get locked in their rooms as punishment for silly, arbitrary offenses which could have been prevented with a little more care and attention. They don’t get out much and they have to spend their free time listening to scripture readings about how exceptional their family is.

Looking at these disheveled, mistreated children, one can’t help wondering what’s going on with their parents. Why aren’t they providing for their kids? Why isn’t money going toward giving their children quality healthcare and education and making sure they have everything they need? Are they poor? Is there some sort of substance abuse problem?

Actually, if you look at their house you can very quickly see where the problem lies. A huge, opaque fence with barbed wire surrounds the yard, and there are many expensive security cameras scanning the scene, facing both outward and inward. All the doors and windows are barred shut and rigged with fancy alarm systems, and there’s a giant stockpile of firearms in the master bedroom.

Every spare moment of his free time, the man of the house is either coming home with an expensive new piece of home security equipment or adjusting and tinkering with the ones he already has. He can’t be bothered with his needy children, who he angrily shoves away whenever they dare approach him asking for things.

“No time for that!” he yells while piling new redundant security systems on top of old redundant security systems. “I’ve got to protect the family from all potential intruders!”

When he’s not doing that, he’s prowling around the block bullying his neighbors. He forces them to join the neighborhood watch, which he controls with an iron fist and runs around the clock. He insists that they submit to his leadership and relate to their neighborhood with the same aggressive hyper-vigilance that he has, and if any of them refuse to bow to his demands, he sets to work on grinding them into compliance.

He sabotages their investments and works to get them fired from their jobs so they won’t have any money. He circulates pernicious rumors about them to undermine the possibility of anyone coming to their aid. He patrols the neighborhood with a large loaded pistol in each hand, and if anyone so much as looks at him funny he runs up to them and points both barrels in their face until they lay down on the ground with their hands behind their head and apologize. With particularly noncompliant neighbors he’ll burst into their house late at night and beat them within an inch of their lives until they agree to his demands, then get all his other neighbors to testify in court that he did it in self defense. Sometimes he’ll even stage events to make it look like a neighbor attacked him, then he’ll go to their house and murder them in cold blood.

He is feared by the entire neighborhood, by his allies and enemies alike. The neighbors who support him only do so because he’s got such tight control over the neighborhood, and they know that their lives will be made easy if they work with him and painful if they work against him. So they do what they need to do to avoid being targeted while secretly wishing that he has a heart attack in his sleep.

“It’s either us or them,” the father often tells his family. “I need to keep everyone around us in line, because there’s no telling who might come after us. We’ve earned a special place in this neighborhood, so it’s our job to lead it.”

Once in a great while, if someone’s feeling particularly brave, they might point out that the father is constantly doing the things he’s afraid of his neighbors doing to him.

“It’s different when I do it!” he always barks in response while adding their name to his personal blacklist. “Our family is exceptional, so we’re the exception to the rules.”

And the mother, well like most mothers she’s in charge of managing the stories the family tells about what’s going on. Whenever a neighbor turns up wounded or dead, she’s responsible for telling the children that it was the neighbor’s fault, and their father was only protecting them.

“Your father loves you,” she coos to them at bedtime. “You should be grateful to him for protecting your life and liberty. It’s good that he’s so strong, because if our family wasn’t in charge it would be the Changs around the corner or the Smirnovs down the road. We should always support everything he does and never question him, and never, ever wish for things to be different. This is the only way that things can ever be. Anyone who tells you otherwise is crazy and evil.”

But the children are growing older, and some of the bigger kids are beginning to open their eyes to what’s going on. They’re beginning to realize that their father is an abusive tyrant and their mother has been lying to them their whole lives. The younger kids are still indoctrinated and put their fingers in their ears when the big kids try to tell them different, but even they are beginning to have their doubts.

And the parents can smell it in the air. They know they’re beginning to lose control over the stories their children tell themselves about what’s going on in their neighborhood, and they know it will be a problem if they don’t nip that in the bud fast. The mother suddenly becomes far more forceful with her storytelling, saying that the Smirnovs are plotting a home invasion any minute now so the family must unite against them. The father begins making stricter and stricter rules about how the children are permitted to speak to one another, locking them in their rooms if they disobey or separating them from the others so they can’t speak their mind.

It remains to be seen if the father will succeed in shoring up control of his family or not, but things have definitely changed, and the whole neighborhood is watching.

 

~via CaitlinJohnstone.com