By Caitlin JOHNSTONE
The frenetic mass media propaganda campaign against Julian Assange was easily the creepiest and most Orwellian thing I’ve ever witnessed. And now it is silent. It did its job and then disappeared, before the public could really notice what was happening. It’s absolutely stunning.
You wouldn’t know it now, but between late 2016 and Assange’s arrest social media was full of blue-checkmarked narrative managers falling all over each other to be the first to come up with the day’s hottest smear painting a heroic journalist as a villain. Day after day after day. Smearing Assange was one of the easiest ways for an aspiring journalist to show current and prospective employers that you’re on the side of the empire. He was a soft target you could kick to signal that you’ll say whatever the Pentagon wants so you can climb the media ladder.
The smear campaign pervaded every political faction in every part of the US-centralized power alliance. Where they couldn’t get away with openly smearing him they circulated rightist psyops about Trump and Assange secretly working together and the extradition actually helping Assange, which was effectively the same as smearing him. The overwhelming majority of mainstream opinions about Assange are the result not of his work or the life he’s lived, but of a concerted propaganda campaign the majority of which took place between late 2016 and Assange’s arrest in April 2019. People just aren’t aware they’ve been propagandized.
The smear campaign went silent so quickly because it is now impossible to paint yourself as a brave up-punching journalist while smearing someone who is being openly prosecuted for journalism. So they’ve slinked off into the shadows, hoping we’ll forget what they did. Let’s not.
Our society is asking itself a very, very important question of the Assange case. The question we’re asking is this:
“Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?”
Our answer to this question will determine the future of our species.
Make no mistake, this question is all the Assange case is and has ever been about. Do not let the narrative managers twist it into being about anything other than this, because it isn’t. This is the question.
Do we want truth, or lies?
Do we want light, or darkness?
Do we want freedom, or slavery?
Do we want the right to know what the powerful are doing, or do we want to give them a private space to abuse us in?
Should journalists be jailed for exposing US war crimes? Yes or no?
The empire is trying to claim the right to imprison any journalist anywhere in the world who exposes its malfeasance. Our response to this claim absolutely will determine the fate of our species. We’re choosing whether the bastards get to keep holding the steering wheel or not.
One of the weirdest mainstream political beliefs is that secretive government agencies who did evil things in the past just don’t do evil things anymore. This belief is based on literally nothing. It’s believed because it’s comfortable.
Many, many nations have bad human rights records. When you find your mind focusing particularly on the ones the US empire doesn’t like, it’s because of propaganda.
Western propaganda hasn’t gotten less advanced since the Iraq invasion, it has gotten more advanced. The Russiagate psyop and the smear campaigns against Assange and Corbyn make this abundantly clear. The idea that the lies and propaganda which led to the Iraq invasion were a one-off fluke is itself the product of propaganda. You need to be more critical of western narratives than with Iraq, not less.
Manipulating public thought at mass scale is a science. Scientific fields don’t magically become less sophisticated over time, they become more sophisticated. Every time they run a new mass-scale manipulation, whether it succeeds or fails, they learn from it. And they evolve.
Psychedelics are beginning to get a fair hearing from science because neoliberalism is making everyone too crazy and depressed to turn the gears of the machine, so the machine is desperately looking for miracle cures to get the slaves functional again. Lucky for us this will work against them; if psychedelics had turned out to be a useful tool of social control they’d have remained legal, and the CIA wouldn’t have abandoned them decades ago.
On January 20th America’s coasts will heave a huge sigh of relief. This sigh will be based entirely on ignorance and narrative spin. Nothing will fundamentally change.
People keep predicting coups, mass arrests and unprecedented upheavals in the US government because the mass media is acting very strange, which creates the illusion that the US government itself is acting very strange. Meanwhile the empire marches on completely uninterrupted.
What people are misperceiving is that it isn’t the US government that’s changing, it’s the international world order. The US is approaching post-primacy and is unleashing tons of propaganda to roll out international agendas to prevent this, hence the bizarre behavior. The information ecosystem looks wild, so America-fixated Americans get the mistaken impression that it’s their government that is behaving wildly. Meanwhile great care is taken to maintain stability in the hub of the global empire, so all these prophecies of upheaval keep shooting blanks.
In other words it’s not Trump or Biden who’s on the precipice of being unseated by a huge paradigm-shifting upheaval: it’s the US empire itself.
It would be so dumb if we kill ourselves with nuclear war. Imagine after all the other things we’ve been worrying about, we see the mushroom clouds and we’re like “So this is how it ends? With all those weapons we deliberately invented and stockpiled for the explicit purpose of ending it?”
The most powerful new year’s intention is to sincerely want to remove the blocks to your healing. Whether those blocks be mental, emotional, physical or out there in the real world, health is your natural state and you are safe to let go of anything impeding your health.
Humanity will never move into a healthy way of functioning in collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem until we relinquish our fear-based attachment to the status quo that is driving us toward armageddon. As André Gide says, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”