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Life Minus Narrative

Life Minus Narrative

Pretty much all I do here is sit and look at what humanity’s overall problems seem to be and find different ways to point at those problems and talk about them.

The longer I do this, the clearer it becomes that there isn’t actually any separation between the struggle of our species to find a sane way of operating on this planet, and the struggle of the individual to find inner peace. It’s all one unified network of delusion, with threads tracing all the way up to the largest power structures in the world and all the way down into the innermost psyche of every individual.

The deluded psychological fixations of identification, fear and insecurity which drive our personal sufferings are also used by the powerful to manipulate the masses into believing establishment-generated narratives, creating a kind of fractal pattern in which the unhealthiness of the whole resembles in shape and movement the unhealthiness of the individuals who comprise it.

Because this fractal delusion network is a unified whole stretching from the innermost recesses of the individual mind to the outermost reaches of transnational power, any attempt to heal it on any level is also part of an indivisible whole as well. In the same way you can’t separate the action of an individual antibody attacking an individual pathogen from the overall recovery of the entire immune system from a sickness in the body, you can’t separate any personal endeavor to free oneself of any kind of interior misunderstanding from the overall struggle of our species to find a healthy way of relating to each other and to our ecosystem.

For this reason, a humanity that has achieved full mental health will have the same quality as an individual who has achieved full mental health: life minus narrative.

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

You Are Fighting In The Most Important Battle Of All Time

You Are Fighting In The Most Important Battle Of All Time

If you are reading this, it’s most likely the result of a series of events in your life which have drawn your interest and attention to the fact that our world is quite a bit different from what we’ve been told by our school teachers, by the news media, by Hollywood, and by politicians.

At some point, for whatever reason, you’ve come to realize that the consensus narratives in our society about what’s going on are false. The tools that people are taught to use to inform themselves about their government, their nation and their world are not just full of inaccuracies, but deliberate distortions, ranging from the reasons we’re given for why wars are started, to the way our political systems work, to where real power and authority actually lies, to the way nations and governments actually behave in the world.

This awareness has come with a degree of alienation. Not buying into the same consensus narratives about the world as your friends, loved ones and peers comes with an inability to relate to them on some levels, which can cause you to feel a lack of intimacy in those areas. You may have also found yourself the odd one out in conversations about politics or other controversial issues, maybe even lost old friends over it.

But you kept going anyway. For some of us, it’s more important to be true to the truth than it is to fit in. You’re one of those people.

So, I just want to say thank you. Sincerely. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m on-my-knees grateful to anyone who sets about untangling themselves and their species from the deceitful narratives which pervade our society. It is the most important battle that can possibly be fought. The most important battle that has ever been fought.

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

The Media’s 7 Years of Lies about Julian Assange Won’t Stop Now

Julian Assange | Wikileaks

The Media’s 7 Years of Lies about Julian Assange Won’t Stop Now

Assange was reduced from one of the few towering figures of our time – a man who will have a central place in history books, if we as a species live long enough to write those books – to nothing more than a sex pest, and a scruffy bail-skipper.

For seven years, from the moment Julian Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.

For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and “experts” telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a “mainstream” voice was raised in his defence in all that time.

From the moment he sought asylum, Assange was cast as an outlaw. His work as the founder of Wikileaks – a digital platform that for the first time in history gave ordinary people a glimpse into the darkest recesses of the most secure vaults in the deepest of Deep States – was erased from the record.

Assange was reduced from one of the few towering figures of our time – a man who will have a central place in history books, if we as a species live long enough to write those books – to nothing more than a sex pest, and a scruffy bail-skipper.

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

Can We Lock Up Rachel Maddow Now?

Can We Lock Up Rachel Maddow Now?

Yves Klein Leap into the Void  1960

Message to Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kemala Harris, Tulsi Gabbard and the rest of the crew: you can stop asking for campaign donations, because you no longer stand a chance in the 2020 elections. Your own party, and the media who support you, made sure of that. Or rather, the only chance you would have is if you guys start another smear campaign against your president, and I wouldn’t recommend that.

I don’t want to start another Lock Her Up sequence, that’s too ugly for my taste. But three parties in this No Collusion disaster must be held accountable: US intelligence, the Democratic party, and the media. You can’t just let it go, too much water under the bridge. No can do. “The Democrats need to move on”, a recent ‘soft line’, is not good enough. They must be held to account.

Bill Barr can investigate the FBI and DOJ, but the obstacles there are obvious: investigating the investigators. The Democratic party would mean going after individuals, but sure, let’s see what Loretta Lynch, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Maxine Waters have to say for themselves and take it from there, before you get to Hillary. The media, though, is something else altogether.

Freedom of the press, and freedom of opinion, is one thing. Conducting a 2-year+ smear campaign against your own president is another. So what does US law say about this? Let’s hear it. Since Trump made Bill Barr the new Attorney General, Barr is instrumental in answering these questions. Is it a smear campaign? Is that acceptable? Is it legal? Asking for a friend. 

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

America’s Venezuela Strategy: Coup By Sheer Narrative Control

America’s Venezuela Strategy: Coup By Sheer Narrative Control

The Trump administration is working to overthrow the government of Venezuela. They are not at this time doing this by military invasion, nor by funneling thousands of armed militants into the country, nor even solely with starvation sanctions and CIA ops. The first and foremost means of overthrowing Venezuela’s government currently being utilized by the United States government is the low-risk, low-cost plan to simply control the stories that everyone tells themselves about who is in charge in Venezuela.

Adept manipulators understand that humans are storytelling animals. The only thing keeping the powerful powerful, keeping money operating the way it operates, and keeping government running the way it runs is the stories we all agree to tell each other about those things. If everyone collectively decided today that poker chips are the new currency and Kim Kardashian is the Supreme Ruler of the Entire World, those stories would be the new reality, and tomorrow we’d all be doing whatever Empress Kim commands and Las Vegas would be the new Wall Street.

The Trump administration is exploiting this exact principle in Venezuela by singling out some guy named Juan and calling him Mister President, despite the fact that he’s never received a single vote for that office and holds no actual power. If they can persuade enough Venezuelans (particularly the ones with the big guns) and the rest of the world’s governments to do the same, then Guaido will indeed become the functional president of the country.

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

Conservatism

Conservatism

René Magritte Personal values 1952

Commenting on my own essays has never been my favorite activity, because before you know it you land into Russian doll territory. But a few recent comments from readers have me rethinking that, for once. 

Of course I understand that my expressed views over the past two years and change on the era of Donald Trump and his presidency do not please everyone out there, whether they’re long time Automatic Earth readers or new to the site. It’s just that a surprising -to me- number of people let their thoughts and opinions be shaped by media that primarily follow the color of politics and money, not objective facts. 

Or perhaps it shouldn‘t be all that surprising, given the amount of attention the mainstream media still manages to gather. Then again, if the MSM would have been right on more issues, there would never have been a place for the Automatic Earth and many other ‘alternative’ media sources. So yeah, I’m a bit of two minds on that. 

What I am sure about is that I don’t think the advent of Donald Trump has been the main event since 2016, I have very few illusions about US politics. For me the big story has been how the media has shifted from reporting the news to manufacturing it. I’m seeing the Russiagate narrative falling apart in real time right now and I think: I saw that coming, because none of all those collusion stories were based on facts to begin with. 

And I’ve said exactly that for two years now as well. It started off with supporting their favorite candidate, who was a shoe-in anyway, then it turned into being angry when she lost, and it ended up with figuring out that denouncing Trump ten times a day was a goldmine that could save entire papers and TV channels, because Americans are addicted to scandals, even if they’re invented and/or inconsequential.

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

How (And How Not) To Beat A Smear Campaign

How (And How Not) To Beat A Smear Campaign

Anyone who opposes western interventionism or thinks the poor are human beings is a Russian antisemite. If you disagree, it’s because you are a Russian antisemite, too.

Narrative is a funny thing. You can do everything right, cross all your ‘T’s and dot all your ‘I’s and color within all the official lines, but if you offend the powerful they can still rearrange the dominant narrative underneath you to kill your public influence.

In Venezuela right now some guy named Juan is being elevated to the leadership of the nation simply by the governments of other nations referring to him as “President Guaido” and denying the legitimacy of the actual guy who is running the Venezuelan government. The funny thing about that is if enough people believe it, it can theoretically work; the only thing keeping leaders in place is the agreed-upon narrative that they’re the leaders. If you can replace that narrative with a different one, as powerful people are currently attempting to do, in theory it is possible to effect a coup by pure narrative. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect illustration of the power of narrative control.

Smear campaigns work in the same way. Anyone challenging authorized narratives and the status quo of oligarchic hegemony can have their reputations destroyed by the lackeys of the plutocratic class which exerts massive influence over the political/media class, thereby neutralizing their ability to influence the public. If the public distrusts someone, they aren’t going to believe the narratives that that person is putting forward, even if those narratives are as sane as protecting the poor, opposing senseless warmongering, or defending Palestinian rights. In today’s political climate where smearing someone as a socialist or communist is increasingly ignored, the most effective smear campaigns are currently those which paint the target as a servant of the Kremlin or a hater of Jews.

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

Dissidents Must Understand The Difference Between Fact And Narrative

Dissidents Must Understand The Difference Between Fact And Narrative

A politician can run a flawless campaign, say all the right things from a place of authenticity, hold wildly popular positions and an impeccable public record, but if they say things which upset the powerful, the narrative can be reshaped to paint them as crazy, incompetent, unelectable, treasonous, or all of the above, keeping them out of office forever.

An investigative journalist can spend months breaking a story that severely incriminates extremely powerful people. They can get all the facts right, source everything perfectly, report clearly and concisely, and get full exposure in a mainstream news outlet. But extremely powerful people can use their influence over the political/media class to quickly shift the narrative in the wake of that breaking news story to almost completely nullify its impact by making it seem insignificant.

A leak outlet can create a new and innovative drop box to protect the anonymity of leakers, opening up the possibility of bringing transparency and accountability to power. It can take the utmost care and implement the most exacting standards in confirming the authenticity of documents and protecting the identities of their sources, and it can get true bombshell documents that expose appalling amounts of corruption and malfeasance. But extremely powerful people can shift the narrative around that outlet, and soon millions of people will believe it’s a Kremlin operation and its founder is a smelly Nazi rapist who abuses his cat.

We’ve seen all these things happen. We live in a world in which you can tell the truth at all times, make no mistakes, get very lucky, and be fully supported, but if you do anything to upset those in power, the narrative can be shifted around you to kill your ability to do any good.

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

Incidents and Accidents, Hints and Allegations


Salvador Dali Spain 1936-38 (Spanish civil war)

Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-semite. Julian Assange is a rapist, a Russian agent and a terrorist. Donald Trump is an anti-semite, a rapist AND a Russian agent. Vladimir Putin wants to invade and enslave the entire western world and to that end employs Assange, Trump, maybe also Corbyn(?), as well as thousands upon thousands of hackers and murderers who make people vote for whoever Putin chooses, and poison former Russian agents on western soil.

These allegations, and there’s many more of them, have a number of things in common. Most importantly, they serve to change your mind. They serve to change your perception of reality. They seek to whip up your support for the very people and forces that launch them into the media.

Something else they have in common is that none of them has ever been proven, even though some of them are getting on in years. But they were never meant to be proven, simply because they don’t have to be. If your mind is a fertile breeding ground for such allegations, all that needs to be done is plant a seed, and plant another, and then water them day after day by repeating the allegations and make them ‘yummier’, until they sprout a plant or a tree ‘spontaneously’.

A third feature the allegations have in common is that as they change your perception of reality, you will be -more- inclined to support those who invented them for that exact purpose, so you will not oppose their -further- grab for power and wealth.

That Jeremy Corbyn would hate Jews goes against the man’s entire life history. But he’s been exceedingly weak in defending himself, and his Labour Party, against the accusations of anti-semitism, so the label sticks and has been very successful.

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

How Humanity Could Become Impossible To Propagandize

How Humanity Could Become Impossible To Propagandize

I’ve been writing a lot about how the ability to control public narratives is the only real power in this world, and how the need of the ruling elites to wield that power explains everything from the feigned panic about “Russian propaganda” to Wikipedia’s bizarre editing policies to why Joy Reid still has a job. In my opinion it is impossible to overemphasize the impact that narrative and the myriad agendas to control it has on human life. Indeed, if a critical mass of individuals experienced a deep enough insight into the nature of mental narrative, all of our challenges as a species could be resolved very easily.

A search for the word “narrative” on the WikiLeaks website turns up tens of thousands of results. This is because the manipulators who work for the institutions that tend to have documents leaked to that outlet are well aware that the actual raw information about a government, a political campaign, event, etc. have far less impact on the way the public thinks about them than the sparkly, simplified, tweet-sized stories (narratives) that get circulated about those things on a large scale.

For example, if you ask an American political pundit about the president’s dealings with North Korea, you will likely be told that Trump is either a brilliant strategist who is almost single-handedly bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula or an incompetent imbecile who is getting “played” by Pyongyang, depending on which side of the partisan divide that pundit is loyal to. Both sides have access to the same information, but they are advancing wildly different narratives about it, because each side has an agenda that they know will be advanced if their narrative becomes dominant. In reality, neither narrative has much to do with what has actually been going on in the Korean negotiations, but that’s another story.

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

10 Years Automatic Earth


Winslow Homer Mending the nets 1881
 

Yes, it’s 10 years ago today, on January 22 2008, that Nicole Foss and I published our first article on the Automatic Earth (the first few years on Blogger). And, well, obviously, a lot has happened in those 10 years.

For ourselves, we went from living in Ottawa, Canada to doing a lot of touring starting in 2009, to support Nicole’s DVDs and video downloads. We visited Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Austria, Denmark, US of course, with prolonged stays in France, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, times that I miss a lot here and there, to now with Nicole settled in New Zealand and my time divided between Athens, Greece and the Netherlands.

We met so many people both online and in the flesh in all these countries it’s impossible to remember everyone of them, and every town we found ourselves in. Overall, it was a humbling experience to have so many people share their views and secrets, especially since we never stayed at hotels (or very rarely), we were always invited to stay with our readers. Thank you so much for that.

Since we started publishing 8 months before the fall of Bear Stearns, and we very much predicted the crisis that followed (we had been doing that before as well, since 2005 at the Oil Drum), we were the first warning sign for many people that things were going off the rails.

There are still to this day people expressing their gratitude for that. Others, though, not so much. And that has to do with the fact that governments, media and central banks came together to create the illusion of an economic recovery, something many if not most people still believe in. Just read the headlines and the numbers, on housing markets, stocks, GDP, jobs. Unfortunately, it was an illusion then and it still is now.

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

The Deep State’s Dominant Narratives and Authority Are Crumbling

The Deep State’s Dominant Narratives and Authority Are Crumbling

This is why the Deep State is fracturing: its narratives no longer align with the evidence. 

As this chart from Google Trends illustrates, interest in the Deep State has increased dramatically in 2017. The term/topic has clearly moved from the specialist realm to the mainstream. I’ve been writing about the Deep State, and specifically, the fractures in the Deep State, for years.

 

Amusingly, now that “Progressives” have prostituted themselves to the Security Agencies and the Neocons/Neoliberals, they are busy denying the Deep State exists. For example, There is No Deep State (The New Yorker).

In this risible view, there is no Deep State “conspiracy” (the media’s favorite term of dismissal/ridicule), just a bunch of “good German” bureaucrats industriously doing the Empire’s essential work of undermining democracies that happen not to prostrate themselves at the feet of the Empire, murdering various civilians via drone strikes, surveilling the U.S. populace, planting bugs in new iPhones, issuing fake news while denouncing anything that questions the dominant narratives as “fake news,” arranging sweetheart deals with dictators and corporations, and so on.

The New Yorker is right about one thing–the Deep State is not a “conspiracy:” it is a vast machine of control that is largely impervious to the views or demands of elected representatives or the American people. The key to understanding this social-political-economic control is to grasp that control of the narratives, expertise and authority is control of everything. Allow me to illustrate how this works.

The typical politician has a busy daily schedule of speaking at the National Motherhood and Apple Pie Day celebration, listening to the “concerns” of important corporate constituents, attending a lunch campaign fundraiser, meeting with lobbyists and party committees, being briefed by senior staff, and so on.

Senior administrators share similarly crowded schedules, minus the fundraising but adding budget meetings, reviewing employee complaints and multiple meetings with senior managers and working groups.

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

Why you can’t argue with a “modern”

Why you can’t argue with a “modern”

The modern world is filled with things many of us regard as antiquated and old-fashioned. Modern people often say that ancient rituals are mere superstition, that science tells us what is real and what is not, and that we are now free from ideas including untestable ideas from religion that have slowed continual improvement in the lot of average humans.

That the modern outlook has all the hallmarks of a religion never occurs to a thoroughly modern person (whom I’ll refer to merely as a “modern”). A modern believes that the modern outlook is above and outside all superstition and groundless belief. In effect, the modern outlook is a myth that does not believe it is a myth.

In using the word “myth,” I do not mean to label the modern outlook false. In this context myth is simply a narrative that outlines a worldview. It turns out that a myth of any vintage, ancient or modern, can be a powerful tool in motivating behavior, in explaining and manipulating the world, and in assigning meaning to human existence. And any myth of any vintage can turn out simply to be mistaken in some or all of its details.

The modern myth has some unique characteristics that make it particularly powerful and particularly dangerous at the same time. The modern myth tells us the following about the world and our place in it:

  1. Humans are in one category and nature is in another.
  2. Scale doesn’t matter.
  3. History can be safely ignored since modern society has seen through the delusions of the past.
  4. Science is a unified, coherent field that explains the rational principles by which we can manage the physical world.

Let me take these claims one at a time.

 

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

Climate change is our grand narrative now

Climate change is our grand narrative now

There is the story of our personal lives: our family, our friends, our jobs, our hobbies. There is the story of our communities: our civic, religious, business, artistic and recreational lives. There is the story of our nations: their internal political struggles and their struggles with each other.

But now, there is one grand narrative which ties us all together, whether we want to be connected or not, whether we are preoccupied with our personal, community or national narratives or not. That is the narrative of our changing climate and the resulting threat to the continuity of our world civilization. The upcoming climate talks in Paris this week are but one expression of this new reality.

Even people who oppose doing anything about climate change are forced to talk about it. Even people who somehow have convinced themselves that climate change is not happening and oddly, in the same breath, claim that humans have nothing to do with this thing that is not happening–even those people confirm by their very framing of the issue that they are firmly situated inside this narrative.

Climate change is now the grand narrative because what happens to climate and what we do about it will be a worldwide story which no one can ignore. As such there will be few people without an opinion on the issue of climate change. Increasingly, it will reach down into our national, community and personal lives in ways we had hoped would wait until we are gone. The droughts, the heat, the floods, the damage to crops, the lengthening summer, the late fall, and the early spring–none of them can escape our notice.

We are forced to incorporate the changing climate into our everyday conversations. It is already a big topic among anyone who gardens and certainly anyone who farms. Among those in touch with plants the evidence of a changing climate is incontrovertible.

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

“There’s No Such Thing As ISIS”: Journalist Destroys West’s Terror Narrative, Warns Of Crackdown On “Dissidents”

“There’s No Such Thing As ISIS”: Journalist Destroys West’s Terror Narrative, Warns Of Crackdown On “Dissidents”

On Saturday, the day after the massacre in France which turned the streets of Paris into a warzone and left some 130 civilians dead, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had a message for the West.

While condemning the attacks and branding the perpetrators “savages”, he was also quick to note that Syria has been dealing with this brand of terrorism for nearly five years straight. In what amounted to an “I told you so” moment, Assad also said the following: “We said, don’t take what is happening in Syria lightly. Unfortunately, European officials did not listen.” 

Assad also took the opportunity to once again suggest that the West’s sponsorship of the regional powers who support (both explicitly and implicitly) Sunni extremism in Syria is the root cause of the problem although the language he used was a bit less harsh than that which he employed in September (presumably because he was trying not to inflame tensions less than 24 hours after the Paris massacre). Here’s what he said: “The question that is being asked throughout France today is, was France’s policy over the past five years the right one? The answer is no.”

Presumably, Assad was referencing the West’s support for the various militant groups seeking to oust his government. Those groups, including ISIS, have received money, guns, and training at various times from the CIA, from Turkey, from Saudi Arabia, and from Qatar. The situation on the ground is of course so fluid that it’s nearly impossible to keep track of where the guns, money, and fighters end up, meaning that even those observers who shun conspiracy theories would be hard pressed to contend that the US has not at least indirectly armed and trained ISIS. 

…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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