CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “Saudi Arabia Is Just An Honest Version Of America”

“Saudi Arabia is just an honest version of America. The tyranny is right out in the open, state censorship is straightforward instead of being outsourced to Silicon Valley, the oligarchs and the official government are the same people, they don’t pretend their wars are humanitarian, and they just directly murder journalists they dislike instead of using a fake judicial system to do it. Establishment guard dogs dislike Trump not because he’s ending the wars (he isn’t), nor because he opposes establishment interests (he doesn’t), but because he’s a poor narrative manager and all too often leaves the ugly face of the empire fully exposed. They dislike him for the same reason mobsters would dislike a mob boss who’s constantly yelling in public about how they’re all gonna go out and do a bunch of nasty mobster stuff.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

~via

Saudi Arabia Is Just An Honest America: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “In Hollywood”

 

In Hollywood miserable rich people who are bad at living teach the public how to live.

 

In Hollywood people who have lost touch with their humanity teach the public how to be human.

 

In Hollywood the most fake people in the world teach the public about reality.

 

In Hollywood they make ninety-minute commercials about how America is perfectly sane and how neoliberalism is totally working.

 

In Hollywood people pretend to be other people saying words that other people wrote telling stories about things which never happened and we base our entire culture on this.

 

In Hollywood they make horror movies about a murderous psychopath running around slashing people, instead of making horror movies about the fact that murderous psychopaths rule our entire world right this very moment.

 

In Hollywood they make movies about good guys fighting bad guys, but it’s never the real kind of good guys and it’s never the real kind of bad guys.

 

In Hollywood they make movies about heroes fighting powerful villains with ambitions of global domination, but it’s always imaginary villains in an imaginary world and not the real-life villains who are doing exactly that in this world.

 

In Hollywood they make movies about cops and soldiers fighting on the side of justice to rescue good people from bad people, instead of about the real kind who do the very opposite.

 

In Hollywood they make movies about a band of protagonists fighting to save the world from disaster, but it’s always some far-fetched imaginary disaster and not the actual disasters our world is hurtling toward right this very minute.

 

In Hollywood they make movies about superheroes punching supervillains into buildings and supervillains punching superheroes into buildings, never about superheroes using their powers to to do the things real heroes do like leak evidence of corporate and government malfeasance, defy unjust laws, free the unjustly imprisoned, or conduct investigative journalism.

 

In Hollywood they make movies about imaginary billionaires who use their wealth to fight crime and injustice, instead of about real billionaires who do literally the exact opposite.

 

In Hollywood they make movies about protagonists who start off happy and then something bad happens so they have to get things back to normal, but it’s a fictional normal that normal people have never experienced in their lives because our society is gravely dysfunctional.

 

In Hollywood they teach us to expect clear linear stories with easily recognizable good guys and bad guys, and then in Washington and Langley they exploit these expectations by telling fake linear stories about targeted governments with easily recognizable good guys and bad guys.

 

In Hollywood they train you to think in terms of hard linear narrative and then propagandists exploit that training, when real life follows no hard linear narratives, and awakening from this delusion exposes the whole deceitful puppet show.

 

 

~via CaitlinJohnstone.com

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “America, Behind the Facade of ‘Freedom'”

Plutocrats not only exert control over America’s media and politics, they also form alliances with the secretive government agencies whose operators remain amid the comings and goings of the official elected government. The fact that this same plutocratic class also owns America’s media, which is now so consolidated that it’s almost entirely run by just six corporations, means that the people who run the government also run the media. We also see it in the sexual blackmail operation which was facilitated by the late Jeffrey Epstein in connection with billionaire Leslie Wexner and Israeli intelligence, along with potentially the FBI and/or other US intelligence agencies. Strip away the phony two-handed sock puppet show of US electoral politics and look at how power actually moves in that country, and you just see one more tyrannical regime which propagandizes its citizens, brutally cracks down on protesters, deliberately keeps its populace impoverished so they don’t get powerful enough to change things, and attacks any nation which dares to disobey its dictates. Beneath the thin layer of narrative overlay about freedom and democracy, the US is just one more despotic, bloodthirsty empire. It’s no better than any of the other despotic, bloodthirsty empires throughout history. It just has good PR.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

In a corporatist system of government, where no hard lines are drawn between corporate/financial power and state power, corporate media is state media. Since bribery is legal in the US political system in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations, America’s elected government is controlled by wealthy elites who have money to burn and who benefit from maintaining a specific status quo arrangement.

The fact that this same plutocratic class also owns America’s media, which is now so consolidated that it’s almost entirely run by just six corporations, means that the people who run the government also run the media. This allows America’s true rulers to set up a system which promotes narratives that are favorable to their desired status quo.

Which means that the US has state propaganda. They just don’t call it that themselves.

Strip away the phony two-handed sock puppet show of US electoral politics and look at how power actually moves in that country, and you just see one more tyrannical regime which propagandizes its citizens, brutally cracks down on protesters, deliberately keeps its populace impoverished so they don’t get powerful enough to change things, and attacks any nation which dares to disobey its dictates.

Beneath the thin layer of narrative overlay about freedom and democracy, the US is just one more despotic, bloodthirsty empire. It’s no better than any of the other despotic, bloodthirsty empires throughout history. It just has good PR.

Plutocrats not only exert control over America’s media and politics, they also form alliances with the secretive government agencies whose operators remain amid the comings and goings of the official elected government. We see examples of this in the way new money tech plutocrats like Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel and Pierre Omidyar have direct relationships with the CIA and its proxies.

We also see it in the sexual blackmail operation which was facilitated by the late Jeffrey Epstein in connection with billionaire Leslie Wexner and Israeli intelligence, along with potentially the FBI and/or other US intelligence agencies. Today the internet is abuzz as newly unsealed court documents relating to Epstein and his co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell reveal witness testimony regarding underage sex trafficking, with such high-profile names appearing in the documents as Alan Dershowitz, Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew.

In the old days you used to be able to tell who your rulers were because they’d sit on thrones and wear golden crowns and make you bow before them. Human consciousness eventually evolved beyond the acceptability of such brazen indignities, so it became necessary for rulers to take on more of a background role while the citizenry clap and cheer for the illusory puppet show of electoral politics.

But the kings are still among us, just as cruel and tyrannical as ever. They’ve just figured out how to mask their tyranny behind the facade of freedom.

But 2020 has been a year of revelations, a trend which seems likely to continue accelerating. Truth cannot stay hidden forever.

 

~via Medium.com

CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “Narrative Is Crumbling”

Narrative is crumbling.

It’s difficult to understand what’s going on in the world.

It’s difficult to understand what’s going on in the world because powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what’s going on in the world.

Powerful people actively manipulate public understanding of what’s going on in the world because if the public understood what’s going on in the world, they would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful.

The public would rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful if they understood what’s going on in their world because then they would understand that the powerful have been exploiting, oppressing, robbing, cheating and deceiving them while destroying the ecosystem, stockpiling weapons of armageddon and waging endless wars, for no other reason than so that they can maintain and expand their power.

The public do not rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful because they have been successfully manipulated into not wanting to.

Narrative is crumbling.

The public have been successfully manipulated into not wanting to rise up and use their strength of numbers to overthrow the powerful due to the way the powerful have been able to shore up mainstream narrative control in the form of purchasing mass media outlets, funding think tanks, buying politicians, implementing government opacity, pushing internet censorship, and other forms of perception management.

The powerful use their control over mainstream narratives to ensure that enough members of the public believe they live in a free democracy where things aren’t perfect but it’s the best you could ask for, instead of in a corporatist oligarchy wherein the powerful exploit, oppress, rob, cheat and deceive them while destroying the ecosystem, stockpiling weapons of armageddon and waging endless wars.

As long as the powerful are able to exert control over mainstream narratives, there will never be enough members of the public willing to use their strength of numbers to shake off the powerful and create a healthy society.

The powerful will remain capable of exerting control over mainstream narratives for as long as the public maintains its current unhealthy relationship with mental narrative.

Narrative is crumbling.

A collective shift into a healthy relationship with mental narrative would mean thought becomes the useful tool we evolved it to be rather than this noisy, compulsive head-chatter which dominates our lives where we are driven by fear and attachment to imbue an endless string of mental stories with the power of belief.

If we had a healthy relationship with mental narrative we would naturally view stories about what’s going on in the world far more objectively, because rather than glomming onto them out of fear and attachment we would have psychological space enough to look at them and critically examine whether or not they are useful tools for us to use in the present moment.

If humanity collectively made such a transition on a mass scale–a transition which sages across the millennia assure us humans are fully capable of–then humanity would become impossible to propagandize effectively.

If humanity becomes impossible to propagandize effectively, the lies will be impossible to conceal via mainstream narrative control, and humanity using the strength of its numbers to create a healthy society will become an inevitability.

And the funny thing is, in a weird way from way out of left field that nobody could possibly have anticipated, humanity’s current relationship with mental narrative appears to be drawing to a close.

Narrative is crumbling.

The narratives are breaking down.

People’s old ways of understanding what’s going on in the world just aren’t holding together anymore.

Trust in the mass media is at an all-time low, and it’s only getting lower.

People are more aware than ever that anything they see can be propaganda or disinformation.

Deepfake technology will soon be so advanced and so accessible that nobody will even trust video anymore.

The leader of the most powerful country on earth speaks in a way that has no real relationship with facts or reality in any way, and people have just learned to roll with it.

Ordinary people are hurting financially but Wall Street is booming, a glaring plot hole in the story of the economy that’s only getting more pronounced.

The entire media class will now spend years leading the public on a wild goose chase for Russian collusion and then act like it’s no big deal when the whole thing turned out to be completely baseless.

There’s a virus causing a massive disturbance in the entirety of human civilization with two wildly different narratives about it running simultaneously, and both sides are 100 percent convinced that all the facts have fully vindicated their position.

There are protests where people are becoming more and more aware that they are being fed empty narratives of approval and understanding while their core demands are going completely unaddressed.

There’s a presidential election between two obvious dementia patients and the mass media are all pretending that’s fine and normal despite what people can see with their own eyes.

New cold war escalations between the US-centralized empire and the unabsorbed governments of China and Russia are going to cause the media airwaves around the planet to become saturated in ever-intensifying propaganda narratives which favor one side or the other and have no interest in honestly telling people the truth about what’s going on.

Now they’re even babbling about UFOs.

Narrative is crumbling.

It’s all accelerating toward a white noise saturation point.

How long do you think we can go on like this?

How far do you think humanity’s relationship with narrative can be stretched before it snaps completely and forces a completely new way of being?

How long before it becomes more and more common for people to begin looking to themselves as individuals to determine which narratives are useful to them instead of looking to establishment narrative managers like they used to?

How long before people find themselves more and more often asking the question “Is this true?”

How long before people find themselves more and more often asking the question “What is truth?”

How long before people find themselves more and more often asking the question “What else have I been deceived about?”

How long before people find themselves more and more often asking the question “How else have I been deceiving myself?”

The current strain that is being placed on our collective relationship with narrative is completely unsustainable.

This would be a bad thing if we’d had a healthy relationship with mental narrative, but we don’t; we have a profoundly unhealthy relationship with mental narrative which has left us susceptible to terrible abuses on a mass scale.

We are now, as a species, collectively squeezing ourselves out of our old unhealthy relationship with narrative.

Narrative is crumbling.

It’s all crumbling to the ground.

This cannot be a bad thing.

It could end up being very, very good.

 

~via Caitlin Johnstone

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