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It’s The Media’s Job To Normalize War: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

It’s The Media’s Job To Normalize War: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Exactly zero percent of the world’s worst criminals are in prison. Imperialists. War profiteers. Ecocide profiteers. The very worst of thieves are financial elites. The system isn’t designed to protect us from society’s worst, it’s designed to protect society’s worst from us.

I don’t write much about the specific individuals who drive the oligarchic empire because individuals are not the problem, the system is. Right-wing conspiracy analysts prefer to focus on specific corrupt elites because they like to think if you just got rid of them, capitalism would work fine. And it just wouldn’t. If you rounded up and executed all the sociopathic ruling elites today but left our current systems intact they’d just be replaced tomorrow. A competition-based model where war, corruption, oppression and exploitation remain profitable guarantees this.

A lot of right-wing conspiracy analysis today ultimately boils down to “These bastards are ruining the capitalism!” But capitalism is already ruined, and ruinous. As long as it’s profitable to destroy each other and our ecosystem, the ruin will continue. That’s the real problem. Making it about individuals feeds into the false impression that the individuals are the problem, and absolves us of our collective responsibility to move out of our competition-based model to one in which we collaborate with each other and our ecosystem to create a healthy world.

As long as we have systems in which it’s advantageous to be sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead, we will find ourselves ruled by sociopaths. The names and faces on those sociopaths are ultimately irrelevant. They’re a symptom of the underlying disease.

It’s the mass media’s job to normalize war and abnormalize peace. It’s our job to do the exact opposite.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Meditations On US Forces Firing A Howitzer Into The Empty Desert “Just To Say We’re Here”

Meditations On US Forces Firing A Howitzer Into The Empty Desert “Just To Say We’re Here”

I saw a line in a recent New Yorker article about America’s endless wars, and it’s been been rattling around in my head ever since:

“In Syria, McKenzie visited the Green Village, a community of decrepit apartment blocks near a bombed-out oil facility that served as the operational headquarters for the final push to erase the caliphate, in 2019. These days, the only military action there is from U.S. forces firing a 155-millimetre howitzer twice a week into the surrounding desert, at no specific target, ‘just to say we’re here,’ one officer told me.”

U.S. forces firing a 155-millimetre howitzer twice a week into the surrounding desert, at no specific target, “just to say we’re here.”

Tell me that’s not the sexiest line you have ever read in your entire life. The poetical beauty! The ennui! The oh-so-relatable existential ache! Oh God, I need a cigarette.

I mean it just hits on so many different levels. Could you ask for a better snapshot of life within the soulless US war machine than a small cast of Beckettian soldiers, waiting around near a bombed-out oil facility for a Godot who never arrives, firing heavy artillery rounds into the desert twice a week for no reason whatsoever? You just want to hang it in an ornate wooden frame with the caption “YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK, LADIES AND GENTS” and then shove it so far up Tom Cotton’s personal anatomy that it takes an entire emergency room team to extract it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Problem Isn’t Human Nature, The Problem Is A Few Manipulative Sociopaths

The Problem Isn’t Human Nature, The Problem Is A Few Manipulative Sociopaths

The Principia Discordia is the primary text of Discordianism, which has been described as either an elaborate joke disguised as a religion or a religion disguised as an elaborate joke, depending on who you ask.

One section describes a short dialogue between the Principia‘s author “Malaclypse the Younger” (Mal-2) and “the Goddess”, who speaks to him through a radio:

One day Mal-2 asked the messenger spirit Saint Gulik to approach the Goddess and request Her presence for some desperate advice. Shortly afterwards the radio came on by itself, and an ethereal female Voice said YES?

“O! Eris! Blessed Mother of Man! Queen of Chaos! Daughter of Discord! Concubine of Confusion! O! Exquisite Lady, I beseech You to lift a heavy burden from my heart!”

WHAT BOTHERS YOU, MAL? YOU DON’T SOUND WELL.

“I am filled with fear and tormented with terrible visions of pain. Everywhere people are hurting one another, the planet is rampant with injustices, whole societies plunder groups of their own people, mothers imprison sons, children perish while brothers war. O, woe.”

WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THAT, IF IT IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?

“But nobody Wants it! Everybody hates it.”

OH. WELL, THEN STOP.

At which moment She turned herself into an aspirin commercial and left The Polyfather stranded alone with his species.

“WELL, THEN STOP.” As you would expect from a joke disguised as a religion (or religion disguised as a joke), this is both funny and profound.

Because doesn’t it kind of feel like that’s the message we’ve been getting? From the divine if you like, or from the universe, or just from the mundane reality of our situation?…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

caitlin johnstone, human nature, sociopaths, war,

Money Is Made Up And We Can Change The Rules Whenever We Want

Money Is Made Up And We Can Change The Rules Whenever We Want

Have you ever noticed how online capitalism cultists who condescendingly tell socialists they “just don’t understand economics” are always unable to lucidly defend their own understanding of economics?

If you’ve never pressed such a character to clearly and concisely explain what it is you “don’t understand” using their own words, I highly recommend that you try it, because it’s one of the funniest things in the world. If you keep interrogating them about each aspect of their belief system, demanding that they explain exactly what it is they know and how they know it, they will invariably end up getting frustrated and telling you to listen to this or that economist if they don’t rage quit on you altogether first.

It’s really fascinating how consistent this experience is; talk to other online leftists about it and if they’ve ever really engaged the argument they’ll have had the same experience. Someone who truly understands something will be able to clearly and concisely tell you in their own words what they know and how they know it, and someone who strides in talking down to you about how you “don’t understand economics” is certainly claiming to know something, but when you really plunk them down and interrogate their understanding you will always find it to have been a lot of empty bluster. They don’t understand their own position, they’ve just listened to a bunch of capitalists explaining their position to them in an assertive tone and assumed it must be unassailably correct.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

War Is A Rich Man’s Game: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

War Is A Rich Man’s Game: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

War is always powerful people making up fake reasons for poor people to kill each other.

Capitalism is working great if you ignore how it’s about to destroy our ecosystem and kill everything.

Socialism is the collective’s best self-defense against sociopaths.

In the old days the rulers would kill those who criticized the dominant power structure. Now they just make sure such people never ascend to prominent platforms or positions of influence.

And, if that fails, they kill them.

Most of what gets called journalism today is really just advertising. Advertising imperialism, capitalism, status quo politics, status quo mindsets. All this fuss about journalists leaving for Substack and stuff is really just outrage over people leaving the advertising industry.

Imperialists see the American people as nothing more than local fauna who need to be kept from interfering in the business of the empire. That’s why keeping Americans poor and ignorant has so much institutional support; it keeps the local fauna away from the gears of the machine.

Supporters of western imperialism are always wrong because the western empire is always wrong. The western empire is always wrong because imperialism itself is immoral and requires the perpetration of great evils to maintain. It’s really a lot simpler than people make it seem.

The only way to justify support for western interventionist foreign policy is to believe that western interventionism is ever actually humanitarian in nature. The only way to believe western interventionism is ever humanitarian in nature is to be an intellectual infant.

Don’t buy into the narrative that Democrats are resisting leftward movement in order to appease Republicans. It’s so much worse than that: they’re not appeasing Republicans, they’re appeasing their own donors.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mainstream Journalism Doesn’t Exist: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Mainstream Journalism Doesn’t Exist: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Journalists should be exposing inconvenient truths about powerful people in their own nation and its allies. Instead the people we call “journalists” criticize enemy nations, smear political dissidents, demand increasing amounts of censorship, and advance narratives that are convenient for the powerful.

The “war on terror” is a false pretext for interventionism in the Middle East and the “war on drugs” is a false pretext for interventionism in Latin America.

Lula being free and eligible to run again in Brazil is a very big deal with huge implications for US imperialism. This isn’t like some fake leftist getting into the Democratic Party or whatever, this is a real thing that will have real consequences in a nation with huge geostrategic significance to the US empire. The empire invested many years staging a coup in one of the largest nations on earth, and it’s not just going to let it be reversed without a fuss. I’m bit nervous about what will happen.

The Monroe Doctrine is literally just the US saying “Latin America is our Africa. You guys get those brown people over there, these are our brown people over here.”

I love how pundits talk about the Monroe Doctrine like it’s a real thing that has actual legitimacy. “Well we can’t have Russia and China interfering in Venezuela, that’s just the Monroe Doctrine.” No, how about you fuck all the way off from any country not named the United States of America.

We could be collaborating with each other and with our ecosystem to create a beautiful, awesome, healthy world. Instead we’re all competing with each other working meaningless jobs creating pieces of landfill which serve no purpose besides turning millionaires into billionaires.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

They Don’t Work To Kill All Dissent, They Just Keep It From Going Mainstream

They Don’t Work To Kill All Dissent, They Just Keep It From Going Mainstream

One of the most consequential collective delusions circulating in our society is the belief that our society is free. Our society is exactly free enough to create the illusion that we have freedom; from that line onwards it’s just totalitarianism veiled in propaganda.

I get comments from people every day wagging their fingers at my criticisms of western imperialist agendas against nations like China or Iran saying “If you lived over there you wouldn’t be allowed to criticize the government the way you criticize western governments!”

It is true that dissidents are permitted to criticize the government systems of the US-centralized empire to an extent, but only to an extent. Yes, as long as my criticisms of capitalism, oligarchy and imperialism remain relegated to the fringes of influence I am indeed permitted to express my views unmolested. If however I somehow ascended to a position of significant mainstream influence I would be targeted and smeared until my reputation was ruined or I had a psychological breakdown and went away. You may be certain of this.

The managers of empire do not work to crush and silence all dissent like a conventional totalitarian regime would do. They are much more clever than that.

In a society that maintains the illusion of freedom in order to prevent outrage and revolution, it does not serve rulers to stifle all dissent. Just the opposite in fact: their interests are served by having a small number of dissidents hanging around the fringes of society creating the illusion of freedom. If Johnny Hempshirt over there is allowed to stand on a soapbox and criticize the US war machine, then the US must be a free country.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

It’s Not A Political Problem, It’s A Propaganda Problem: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

It’s Not A Political Problem, It’s A Propaganda Problem: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

While we all fixate on electoral political solutions, the powerful focus on narrative control, because that’s where real power is at. The people who pose an actual threat to the machine are those who disrupt its narratives and narrative control agendas. Everyone else is harmless.

If the majority of a troubled population believes their political system is operating in a way that is demonstrably very different from the way it actually operates, then that population doesn’t have a political problem, it has a propaganda problem.

Berners watched the mass media actively sabotage the Sanders campaign day after day in two consecutive elections, and went “The problem is not enough progressives in government!” No, the problem is the billionaire media are constantly lying to everyone. Create a truth-based information ecosystem and politics will move toward health by itself.

As long as the ruling class is successfully using mass-scale narrative manipulation, it won’t matter what political strategies you employ because they’ll just manipulate that too. Everything we try will be neutered by propaganda until fighting propaganda becomes our number one priority. The narratives around your insurgent third party will be manipulated to the advantage of the powerful. Your progressive takeover of the Democrats will be narrative managed into impotence.

You can’t politics your way around narrative manipulation. You’ve got to make it the issue. You don’t measure how effective someone is against the machine by what their campaign platform says or what their strategies are, but by how disruptive they are to the narratives and narrative control of the powerful. If they’re not disruptive on that front they’re not effective.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

When America Voted Out Fascism: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

When America Voted Out Fascism: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Biden may be trying to extradite a journalist for exposing US war crimes, and he may be inflicting mass murder and starvation sanctions on disobedient governments around the world to ensure perpetual global domination, but at least America voted out fascism.

The “two” party puppet show is always fake. Always, always, always, always. When you get really into a movie you forget it’s a movie. You don’t see the screen, you don’t see the actors; you’re enthralled by the show. Getting caught up in the puppet show is the same: buy into any part of it and you lose sight of reality. As soon as you mentally reify it because you really like this or that Democrat or really hate this or that Republican, you lose your ability to see what’s happening. You lose sight of the puppeteers and the strings as you clap along with the performance like a child.

There is no meaningful difference between a government with one status quo-enforcing party and a government with two status quo-enforcing parties.

We inhabit two worlds: the real world and the narrative world. In the narrative world, the US drastically changed on January 20th. In the real world―the world minus its narrative soundtrack―all the money, weapons, troops and people are moving basically the same as they were on January 19th.

If President Biden had all the exact same policies and positions but an (R) next to his name, American conservatives would be ferociously defending him from liberal attacks. If parallel universes exist this is definitely happening in one of them.

The most dangerous predators are the ones you don’t see. It’s true in nature, it’s true in interpersonal relationships, and it’s true in politics.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Biden Continues Trump’s War On The Press

Biden Continues Trump’s War On The Press

Just one day after a coalition of prominent civil rights groups made headlines with a letter urging the Biden administration to drop efforts to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States on espionage charges, the Biden administration has announced its intention to continue those efforts.

“Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi on Tuesday said the U.S. government will continue to challenge a British judge’s ruling last month that Assange should not be extradited to the United States because of the risk he would commit suicide,” Reuters reports.

“We continue to seek his extradition,” Raimondi said.

Assange’s arrest and subsequent charges under the Espionage Act in 2019 for what amount to standard journalistic practices which exposed US war crimes marked both a dramatic escalation in the US empire’s war on critical national security journalism and a sharp divergence from the Obama administration’s decision not to pursue such charges in this case. Biden is not just upholding Trump’s assault on press freedoms (far and away the single most egregious attack on journalism in the 45th president’s entire four years in office), he is rejecting the Obama administration’s decision not to charge Assange due to concerns that it would erode the First Amendment.

As The Washington Post reported during Barack Obama’s second term in 2013:

“The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lessons From Wall Street: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Lessons From Wall Street: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. That’s all you’re seeing in efforts to manage information via censorship, algorithm changes, “fact” checking, Russian propaganda panic, etc. Humans are story-driven animals, so if you control the stories you control the humans.

Lessons from this whole Wall Street/Reddit ordeal:

  • The stock market is a scam.
  • There is no “free market” and there never will be.
  • Wall Street predators are the most despised people on earth.
  • The public can do more to fight back than it had previously assumed.
  • There’s surely a lot more we can do to fight back that we haven’t thought of yet.

You can’t expose how rigged the system really is without pushing against its power structures according to its own rules. When the entire system pushes back and boots you out in front of everyone, more people are made more aware that it is rigged. This can only be a good thing.

Every single hedge fund plutocrat has at some point in their lives thought the words “I can’t believe I’m getting away with this!”

This is another one of those awkward “we need to shut down the rabble without looking like a totalitarian oligarchy” standoffs.

Myth: The rich compete with each other and ordinary people benefit from it.

Reality: The rich collaborate with each other against ordinary people.

Example:

It will always tend to be more profitable to do bad things than good things: ecocide over preservation, exploitation over equality, war over peace. Humanity remains on a doomed trajectory for as long as its systems maintain profit-seeking as the driving force behind its behavior.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Be Your Own Revolution

Be Your Own Revolution

I made the mistake of involving myself in a sectarian Twitter spat when I was halfway through my morning coffee today and I instantly felt like an idiot.

People from the Left Twitter faction I’d offended rushed in to push back against the offense I’d caused them, and within minutes I felt it: the all-too familiar sensation of inspiration and creativity draining away from my body. Tension, coldness and defensiveness where previously there was playfulness and the crackling sensation of an exciting new day in which anything was possible.

If you’re active online, you’ve probably experienced this too. The days when you’re involved in sectarian bickering are the days when you are at your least creative, your least inspired, and your least effective at fighting against the machine. At best the drama gives your ego a tickle (as social media platforms are designed to do), after which you feel a bit yuck. The longer you engage in it, the lower the probability that you will produce something creative and inspired that day.

As a general rule, you may find that it works best to reject cliques and factions altogether. When you “belong” to any group you feel compelled to defend it, and to move with it wherever it goes even if that’s not where you feel like the energy is. You get invested in wanting the collective to move in a certain direction, and you get frustrated when it just wants to focus on silly nonsense and sectarian feuds.

So my advice to you here, which you of course can take or leave, is to just blast off on your own and fight your own revolution in your own way.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Twitter Rolls Out New Wikipedia-Like Program To Narrative Manage Tweets

Twitter Rolls Out New Wikipedia-Like Program To Narrative Manage Tweets

Twitter has announced that it will be employing “a new community-driven approach to help address misleading information” called Birdwatch which news media are comparing to the model of content moderation used by Wikipedia.

“Twitter unveiled a feature Monday meant to bolster its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation by tapping users in a fashion similar to Wikipedia to flag potentially misleading tweets,” reports NBC. “The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis.”

“We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this — from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensuring it isn’t dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors,” Twitter’s official statement says. “We’ll be focused on these things throughout the pilot.”

Such claims provide little reassurance for anyone who’s familiar with the establishment narrative control operations which take place on Wikipedia in exactly that way. The Grayzone‘s Ben Norton did a great two-part report last year on the way concerted, aggressive efforts by a small group of shady-looking Wikipedia editors has succeeded in dominating the site’s articles which relate to western imperialist agendas and the reporters who support and oppose those agendas, including getting outlets like WikiLeaks and The Grayzone banned from use as sources despite their having no history of false reports.

“The internet encyclopedia has become a deeply undemocratic platform, dominated by Western state-backed actors and corporate public relations flacks, easily manipulated by powerful forces,” wrote Norton. “And it is run by figures who often represent these same elite interests, or align with their regime-change politics.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

You Counter Trumpism By Ending The Conditions Which Created It, Not With Authoritarian Policies

You Counter Trumpism By Ending The Conditions Which Created It, Not With Authoritarian Policies

The US political/media class have been pushing hard for more authoritarian policies to stave off the threat of “domestic terrorism” in the wake of the Capitol riot. President Biden, who was already working on rolling out new domestic terror policies well before January sixth, confirmed after the riot that he is making these new measures a priority. Political internet censorship is becoming increasingly normalized, anti-protest bills are being passed, and now we’re seeing liberals encouraged to form “digital armies” to spy on Trump supporters to report them to the authorities.

And an amazingly large percentage of the US population seems to have no problem with any of this, even in sectors of the political spectrum that should really know better by now.

“What else can we do?” they reason. “What other solution could there possibly be to the threat of dangerous fascists and conspiracy theorists continuing to gain power and influence?”

Well there’s a whole lot that can be done, and none of it includes consenting to sweeping new Patriot Act-like authoritarian measures or encouraging monopolistic Silicon Valley plutocrats to censor worldwide political speech. There’s just a whole lot of mass-scale narrative manipulation going on to keep it from being obvious to everyone.

The way to stem the tide of Trumpism (or fascism, or white supremacism, or Trump cultism, or whatever term you use for what you’re worried about here) is to eliminate the conditions which created it.

Trump was only able to launch his successful faux-populist campaign in the first place by exploiting the widespread pre-existing opinion that there was a swamp that needed draining, a corrupt political system whose leadership does not promote the interests of the people.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Two Faces Of The US Empire

The Two Faces Of The US Empire

The Biden/Harris inauguration event is going to be a star-studded celebration spanning an unprecedented five days, a giddy orgy of excitement at a murderous oligarchic empire having a new face behind the front desk after promising wealthy donors that nothing will fundamentally change.

This comes at a time when Americans are now reporting that they trust corporations more than they trust their own government or media, when pundits are gleefully proclaiming in The New York Times that “CEOs have become the fourth branch of government” as they pressure the entire political system to smoothly install Biden, when the leading contender for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is an Obama holdover who went from the administration to working for both Amazon and Google, and when Americans are being paced into accepting an increasing amount of authoritarian changes for their own good.

And this manic celebration and increasing brazenness of corporate power are of course overlaid atop an unceasing river of human blood as the globe-spanning empire continues to smash any nation which disobeys it into compliance so as to ensure lasting uncontested planetary hegemony.

But hey, at least they voted out fascism.

The US empire is ugly and creepy. The more you look at it, the uglier and creepier it gets. That’s why so much effort goes into keeping the public from looking at it directly.

The US empire has two faces, one rooted in the west coast and the other in the east. The first face, which sprouts up from Hollywood, presents a grinning plastic smile to the world depicting how fun and wonderful and righteous America is and how all its systems are working completely fine. The second face, which sprouts up from DC, Arlington and Langley, is wild-eyed and covered in blood.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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