Editor's Сhoice
July 2, 2021
© Photo: medium.com

By Caitlin JOHNSTONE

Americans: healthcare please

Biden: Sorry, did you say airstrikes on Iraq and Syria?

Americans: no, healthcare

Biden: Alright, you drive a hard bargain, but here are your airstrikes on Iraq and Syria.

It is journalistic malpractice to parrot US government claims about acts of military mass murder on the other side of the planet being “defensive”. The only strikes near the Iraq-Syria border that could accurately be called “defensive” are those launched by the inhabitants of those nations upon the invading western military occupation. The only actual defensive action that the US could legitimately take to protect troops in the Middle East would be to remove US troops from the Middle East.

Those who said “we can push Biden to the left” get criticized every time this administration takes another rightward turn, but they don’t get criticized enough for the fact that they never even try to push Biden to the left. At no point have they ever even tried.

Nobody in America had any idea the Parliamentarian existed until the Democrats needed an excuse not to advance progressive causes.

The Biden administration is killing people around the world and ramping up cold war escalations while eroding civil rights with new “domestic terror” policies, so naturally Republicans are focused on worrying about dying in imaginary concentration camps during an imaginary White People Holocaust.

Yeah okay let’s give control of the world to the nation built from slavery and genocide and founded by witch-burning Puritan lunatics, what could go wrong.

It’s a safe bet that if the world found out all the profoundly evil things the US government and its allies did in Syria it would damage US imperialist consensus-building far worse than the Iraq invasion. That’s why so much narrative management gets poured into ensuring this never happens.

The whole Intercept/TYT foreign policy schtick is going “It’s possible to promote all CIA/CNN narratives about every US-targeted government AND give meaningless lip service to opposing war against those governments. You can do BOTH.”

Mehdi Hasan built a whole career on this.

Many “right-wing conspiracy theories” began as left-wing conspiracy facts.

I started saying “US intelligence cartel” a while back because the cutesy label “US intelligence community” was like saying “the ISIS Capades”.

Isn’t it weird how we’ve learned that the US prosecution against Julian Assange relied heavily on false testimony from a diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester, yet Assange is still in prison?

We haven’t seen anything like the complete mass media blackout on Stundin’s revelation that the Assange prosecution relied on false testimony since the complete mass media blackout on the OPCW leaks.

In the information age the powerful place emphasis not just on managing what information gets out to the public, but how that information is received and perceived. Now legit bombshells like the Stundin story and the OPCW leaks can come out without having any real impact, just due to perception management.

In this new paradigm, investigative reporting and whistleblowers are still of course important, but just as important as obtaining the information is addressing the problem of getting it unfiltered into public attention. It doesn’t matter what information you get if no one sees it, and even if it is seen you still need to deal with imperial media spinning what’s seen in a power-serving way. Today you could publish solid, indisputable proof that the FBI was behind the Capitol riot, for example, and the narrative managers would quickly manipulate it into a nothingburger.

This is also why you’ll see narrative managers working so hard to advance smear campaigns against anyone who presents narratives that are inconvenient for the powerful; if they can generate enough public suspicion and dismissiveness toward someone’s voice, no one will ever listen to them. That’s why fighting smear campaigns is so important.

Almost all good business practices are terrible human being practices. To be a good businessman you have to harden the humanity out of you. This is why capitalism creates and elevates terrible humans, and why we are being led into extinction by assholes.

Even seemingly benign business practices like “maintaining cash flow” are inherently corrosive to human nature. You need to break something good in you in order to hold back from paying people for as long as possible, while chasing people to pay you ASAP to keep up your cash flow.

Interrupting criticisms of capitalism to yell “That’s not REAL capitalism!” is like interrupting a magic show to yell “That’s not REAL magic!” Okay it’s not the imaginary fantasy thing you have in your head, but it’s also the only way the thing we’re discussing has ever existed and ever will exist.

It’s not just that “the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence” as Bukowski said. It’s that people with empathy and humility can be shamed and intimidated into silence by the crowd while narcissists just dismiss the crowd as irrelevant insects. The result is that the real artists and visionaries with solid grounding in their inner depths are often brutalized into silence by those who throw rocks at things that shine, while those without functioning empathy centers rise to positions of significant influence.

And I think maybe the lesson here is that we must become so very awake that we have the inner spaciousness to tolerate and heal our way through a bombardment of attacks.

Certainty that humanity is doomed is not a reality-based position. We barely know anything about our universe, our minds or our world. Anything is possible. Rigid pessimism about our fate is grounded in ignorance and intellectual arrogance, not “realism”. Doesn’t mean things aren’t bad, but there’s no rational reason to give up hope or stop fighting.

It is true that we are plunging headlong into a continuum of exponentially expanding weirdness and that familiar patterns are rapidly evaporating. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. To paraphrase Krishnamurti, it is no measure of health to preserve normality in a profoundly sick society.

caityjohnstone.medium.com

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
You Ordered Healthcare, You Got Airstrikes

By Caitlin JOHNSTONE

Americans: healthcare please

Biden: Sorry, did you say airstrikes on Iraq and Syria?

Americans: no, healthcare

Biden: Alright, you drive a hard bargain, but here are your airstrikes on Iraq and Syria.

It is journalistic malpractice to parrot US government claims about acts of military mass murder on the other side of the planet being “defensive”. The only strikes near the Iraq-Syria border that could accurately be called “defensive” are those launched by the inhabitants of those nations upon the invading western military occupation. The only actual defensive action that the US could legitimately take to protect troops in the Middle East would be to remove US troops from the Middle East.

Those who said “we can push Biden to the left” get criticized every time this administration takes another rightward turn, but they don’t get criticized enough for the fact that they never even try to push Biden to the left. At no point have they ever even tried.

Nobody in America had any idea the Parliamentarian existed until the Democrats needed an excuse not to advance progressive causes.

The Biden administration is killing people around the world and ramping up cold war escalations while eroding civil rights with new “domestic terror” policies, so naturally Republicans are focused on worrying about dying in imaginary concentration camps during an imaginary White People Holocaust.

Yeah okay let’s give control of the world to the nation built from slavery and genocide and founded by witch-burning Puritan lunatics, what could go wrong.

It’s a safe bet that if the world found out all the profoundly evil things the US government and its allies did in Syria it would damage US imperialist consensus-building far worse than the Iraq invasion. That’s why so much narrative management gets poured into ensuring this never happens.

The whole Intercept/TYT foreign policy schtick is going “It’s possible to promote all CIA/CNN narratives about every US-targeted government AND give meaningless lip service to opposing war against those governments. You can do BOTH.”

Mehdi Hasan built a whole career on this.

Many “right-wing conspiracy theories” began as left-wing conspiracy facts.

I started saying “US intelligence cartel” a while back because the cutesy label “US intelligence community” was like saying “the ISIS Capades”.

Isn’t it weird how we’ve learned that the US prosecution against Julian Assange relied heavily on false testimony from a diagnosed sociopath and convicted child molester, yet Assange is still in prison?

We haven’t seen anything like the complete mass media blackout on Stundin’s revelation that the Assange prosecution relied on false testimony since the complete mass media blackout on the OPCW leaks.

In the information age the powerful place emphasis not just on managing what information gets out to the public, but how that information is received and perceived. Now legit bombshells like the Stundin story and the OPCW leaks can come out without having any real impact, just due to perception management.

In this new paradigm, investigative reporting and whistleblowers are still of course important, but just as important as obtaining the information is addressing the problem of getting it unfiltered into public attention. It doesn’t matter what information you get if no one sees it, and even if it is seen you still need to deal with imperial media spinning what’s seen in a power-serving way. Today you could publish solid, indisputable proof that the FBI was behind the Capitol riot, for example, and the narrative managers would quickly manipulate it into a nothingburger.

This is also why you’ll see narrative managers working so hard to advance smear campaigns against anyone who presents narratives that are inconvenient for the powerful; if they can generate enough public suspicion and dismissiveness toward someone’s voice, no one will ever listen to them. That’s why fighting smear campaigns is so important.

Almost all good business practices are terrible human being practices. To be a good businessman you have to harden the humanity out of you. This is why capitalism creates and elevates terrible humans, and why we are being led into extinction by assholes.

Even seemingly benign business practices like “maintaining cash flow” are inherently corrosive to human nature. You need to break something good in you in order to hold back from paying people for as long as possible, while chasing people to pay you ASAP to keep up your cash flow.

Interrupting criticisms of capitalism to yell “That’s not REAL capitalism!” is like interrupting a magic show to yell “That’s not REAL magic!” Okay it’s not the imaginary fantasy thing you have in your head, but it’s also the only way the thing we’re discussing has ever existed and ever will exist.

It’s not just that “the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence” as Bukowski said. It’s that people with empathy and humility can be shamed and intimidated into silence by the crowd while narcissists just dismiss the crowd as irrelevant insects. The result is that the real artists and visionaries with solid grounding in their inner depths are often brutalized into silence by those who throw rocks at things that shine, while those without functioning empathy centers rise to positions of significant influence.

And I think maybe the lesson here is that we must become so very awake that we have the inner spaciousness to tolerate and heal our way through a bombardment of attacks.

Certainty that humanity is doomed is not a reality-based position. We barely know anything about our universe, our minds or our world. Anything is possible. Rigid pessimism about our fate is grounded in ignorance and intellectual arrogance, not “realism”. Doesn’t mean things aren’t bad, but there’s no rational reason to give up hope or stop fighting.

It is true that we are plunging headlong into a continuum of exponentially expanding weirdness and that familiar patterns are rapidly evaporating. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. To paraphrase Krishnamurti, it is no measure of health to preserve normality in a profoundly sick society.

caityjohnstone.medium.com