The Imperial Propaganda Machine
Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
By Caitlin Johnstone
November 05, 2019 "Information
Clearing House" -
It’s important to avoid fake
news, Russian media or conspiracy theorists. We must
only trust those reputable news outlets who tell us
that neoliberalism is working fine, that US foreign
policy is perfectly sane, and that protests are only
happening in Hong Kong and nowhere else.
The difference between state media and western
media is that in state media the government controls
what information the public is given about what’s
going on in the world in order to prevent political
dissent, whereas in western media this is instead
done by billionaires.
Any attempt to understand the world which fails
to take into account the fact that extremely
powerful people are pouring massive amounts of money
and resources into manipulating your understanding
of the world will necessarily result in a distorted
Whenever news media reports unsubstantiated
assertions from anonymous sources in government
agencies, just mentally insert “Here is something
the government told us to tell you:” into the
beginning of the report, because that’s all they’re
Russia and China haven’t become any more of a
threat to you than they were three years ago, yet
you think about them many times more often than you
did back then. That’s propaganda at work, FYI.
All the establishment loyalists you argue with
are ever really saying is, “No! The TV would NEVER
lie to me!”
Sometimes all I can do is stare in awe at the
power and efficiency of the imperial propaganda
machine. When I first started this gig in 2016
Assange had way more support, from Berners, Greens,
Trumpers, all across the spectrum. Now a large
amount of that support has been eroded. For Trumpers
Assange is being extradited for his own good to
bring down the Deep State. For liberals he’s a
Russian asset. For leftists he’s a rapist and
fascist enabler. There’s a narrative for everyone,
no matter where you are on the political spectrum.
It’s really impressive.
I love alternative media, but we’re
fucking idiots sometimes. You never see
MSM doing our job for us, but we do
their job for them all the time by
attacking other alternative media
figures, circulating CIA/CNN narratives
about targeted nations and targeted
individuals, etc. The only reason to
ever do mainstream media’s work for them
is if you’re looking for a job in MSM.
If you actually want to participate in
alternative media it’s your job to make
things harder for establishment
narrative managers, not easier. They get
paid enough to do their own work.
Dominant power structures are corrupt beyond the
possibility of salvation and humanity is driving
itself toward miriad cataclysmic disasters all at
once, yet many are more worried about those who
share their basic ideology but have slightly
different opinions. This is stupid.
There’s no separation between the personal
struggle to free yourself from untruth and the
collective struggle to free the world from untruth,
in the same way there’s no separation between an
antibody attacking an individual pathogen and the
entire body recovering from a sickness.
Anyone who wants Silicon Valley oligarchs to
censor the flow of information in any way is a
MSM’s official position appears to be that there
is no ideological difference whatsoever between
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, other than the
fact that you have permission to elect Warren but
not Sanders. Apart from that, though, they’re
exactly the same.
There’s a difference between Democrats and
Republicans, in the sense that there’s a difference
between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is
often used to set up the more damaging cross, but
they’re both wielded by the same boxer, and they’re
both punching you in the face.
The “feud” between mainstream Republican pundits
and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fits perfectly within
the Overton window of establishment-approved debate,
and can therefore be safely ignored.
Remember when voters in 2016 were like “can we
please have even one major candidate who doesn’t
have something seriously wrong with them?”, and the
entire US political system was all “LOL nope,” and
then nobody burned that system to the ground and
flushed it down the toilet? Good times.
War is the worst thing in the world. It’s worse
than economic injustice. It’s worse than the war on
drugs. It’s worse than racism, xenophobia,
homophobia and sexism. Those things are bad. War is
worse. The priorities of leftists and progressives
should reflect this, as should the priorities of
anyone who claims to care about their fellow humans.
Trump: I am ending wars!
Neocons/liberal hawks: Oh no it sure is bad and
horrible that this isolationist president is ending
all the wars!
Wars: [continue completely unabated]
Imagine someone coming up to you with a money jar
saying “Excuse me, we’re raising funds to build
another military base in Somalia, would you care to
make a donation?” No one would ever knowingly put
money toward such an endeavor. Yet taxpayers do this
unwittingly all the time.
Nobody comes out of the womb demanding to go to
war. Left unmolested it would never occur to a
normal human brain that strangers on the other side
of the planet need to have explosives dropped on
them by overpriced airplanes. The problem isn’t
democracy, it’s propaganda.
Back when the wealthy had less wealth and
ordinary citizens could support a family on a single
income, the rich had a concept called “noblesse
oblige” meaning their status came with obligations
to society. Now the wealth gap is much greater, and
the rich feel no obligation to anyone.
Less contempt for imaginary “Putin apologists”,
more contempt for actual billionaire apologists.
The narrative that Gabbard is preparing a third
party run is revealing, in that there’s zero
evidence for it whatsoever yet they keep bringing it
up. It’s literally just something pundits started
saying in an authoritative tone of voice, and it was
magically transformed into accepted orthodoxy. It’s
a great illustration of how effective the
establishment narrative managers are; they can
create the illusion of a fact out of thin air just
by saying something over and over again in an
Here’s a crazy thought: If “the troops” are
the need to commit suicide after doing what
they’ve been ordered to do while deployed, maybe
what they’re doing over there isn’t so great and
noble after all.
It sure is cute how we’ve known for years that
the US and its allies armed actual, literal
terrorists in Syria with the goal of effecting
regime change, yet the only Syria controversy we’re
ever allowed to acknowledge is whether there are an
adequate number of US troops there.
I’m still tripping on how we’ve been fed all
these wildly different narratives about why the US
needs a military presence in Syria, from
humanitarianism to Kurds to ISIS to Iran to Russia
to chemical weapons to oil, yet this isn’t
immediately extremely suspicious to everyone. I
mean, if some guy was constantly calling me up and
giving me a whole range of wildly different reasons
why he needs my bank account number, I’d immediately
assume that what he actually wants is my bank
account number, you know?
So many of spiritual-type people’s highest values
would work fine in a world without sociopaths.
Forgiveness, humility, trust, seeing people’s basic
innocence, etc, they work fine until you run into a
manipulator with no empathy. In this world they
require much more nuanced use.
Things are getting stranger and stranger. Things
getting stranger and stranger is what it looks like
when long-fixed patterns begin to dissolve. For a
species that has been on a trajectory toward
self-destruction, patterns dissolving can only be a
good thing. We’ll win this.
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