HomeArticleThe Screens

The Screens

We are surrounded by screens full of voices that are always lying to us, and experts wonder why we’re so crazy and miserable all the time.

The screens tell us, “This is a perfectly normal and sane way of doing things. It is perfectly normal and sane to strip the earth bare and poison the air and the water in an economic system which requires infinite growth on a finite planet. People who say otherwise are raving lunatics!” And the social engineers wonder why there’s increasing disaffection and alienation among the populace.

The screens tell us, “Just spend your time in this world turning the gears of the machine and you will be happy. The machine is your friend. The machine takes care of you. Work hard pulling its levers and greasing its cogs until you are old and you will gain satisfaction,” and then they wonder why we’re all gobbling up antidepressants like candy.

The screens tell us, “We need to drop explosives on Nation X because they need Freedom and Democracy™. We know we said that about Nation Y and Nation Z and that went terribly wrong, but that’s because it wasn’t managed properly. Trust that it is good and proper for the citizens of Nation X to be killed with bombs and bullets,” and then they wonder why people keep snapping and committing mass shootings.

The screens tell us, “You are crazy and stupid if you want a functioning healthcare system. Are you trying to put our billionaires and military out of business?” and then they wonder why people are becoming paranoid and angry.

The screens tell us, “Look at that gibbering maniac trying to get a third party up and running in the most powerful nation in the world! Only someone who is deeply awful and defective would believe that the two party system isn’t serving us,” and they wonder why everyone feels disempowered and unheard.

The screens tell us, “Of course this is the way things are; it’s the only way things could ever be. Anyone who would try to change any part of this is either mentally ill or a Russian propagandist,” and they wonder why people shut down and numb themselves with opiates.

The screens tell us, “Everything is great. Everyone is doing fine. Everyone is happy. Look how happy everyone is on this sitcom. If you aren’t happy like that, it’s not because of the machine, it’s because of you. People need to be protected from your insanity. You mustn’t be allowed on any screens. You need to be silenced on social media. Trust us. Don’t trust yourself. Don’t trust that growing, gnawing sense that everything is fake and everything you’ve been taught is a lie. We have never lied to you. We have never been caught red-handed deceiving you and then acted like nothing happened. We have never gaslit you. You are misremembering things because you are confused. Shut up. You are dangerous. Shut up. You are foolish. Shut up. You are insane. The machine is sanity. The machine is freedom. Everyone is equal here. Everyone matters. Everyone gets a voice. Except you.” And the social engineers wonder why people are trusting them less and less.

The screens tell us, “War is normal. Poverty is normal. Mass surveillance is normal. Censorship of dissenting ideas is normal. Mass media propaganda is normal. Escalating wealth and income inequality is normal. Escalating police militarization is normal. Escalating tensions between nuclear superpowers is normal. Looming ecological disaster is normal.” And people wonder why everything feels like a bubble balancing on a house of cards that was built on top of a ticking time bomb.

The screens tell us, “Insane things are sane. Sane things are insane. Up is down. Black is white. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. If you disagree, you are crazy. If you disagree, you are poison. Shut up. You will contaminate the herd. Shut up. You are garbage. Shut up. You are a disease. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.”

And the experts wonder why the old tricks are finding less and less psychological purchase. And we wonder why it is beginning to feel as though we are being startled out of a very long and horrible nightmare. And our rulers wonder, in their very few still and sincere moments, if it was wise to build their empire upon a sleeping giant.

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Latest comments

  • This, namely all that Caitlin presents here, is why we have to zoom in on the screen. We have to state, explicitly, that it is a weapon in the war against the people. It is a tool of the counterrevolutionaries. No, I’m ‘not’ being extremist. And I haven’t had a tv set for many years.

    It’s really obvious. You mix entertainment – in a hellish world in which that is very needed – with propaganda, and voila! You, a ruined person, are the product. A mentally and spiritually ruined person will support other ruined people, including psychopathic politicians and other leaders. Ruined people will reproduce. Ruined people, like vampires, make other ruined people. Am I right? If I am right, then are you going to ditch your tv set and tell others WHY?

    Then again, I’ve witnessed the spectacle of progressives gripping firmly the very deep State tools, Silicon Valley’s social networking platforms, that are attacking them and that are supportive of all the warfare and insanity that is happening right now. Even articles exposing that evil will be found on websites carrying all the usual social networking buttons. I don’t hold out much hope that the fightback will break out of the realm of noise and into something solid and effective.

    Ironically, Before 2016, ditching the tv set made more sense. Now that our internet is being taken from us (while we moan about it only), ditching the tv set, although still necessary, is a more frightening prospect. What will be left when we can no longer talk FREELY to each other?

    • Well said.
      ..
      “What will be left when we can no longer talk FREELY to each other?” This is exactly the “condition” that the Elite want you to be BACK in, BEFORE the internet and alternative media came into being, but even worse.
      ..
      Newspapers and TV news USED TO provide a fairly wide spectrum of views. That is no longer the case. They are now quite obviously just outlets for government propaganda. So that’s the information world we’ll be living in after the Elite get the internet completely under control.
      ..
      1984 is just around the corner. You’ll have to watch out for what you say and how you say it and what you look like when you say it. Be very careful or you might accidentally commit a “crime”.

      • Acknowledged. I think 1984 is already here. But you are absolutely right, sadly. We must be ‘careful’. They’ve done a good job of distracting us from efforts to mobilize for peace and security for ‘all’, Haven’t they?

  • Well done Caitlin. What a way to end it! –
    “And we wonder why it is beginning to feel as though we are being startled out of a very long and horrible nightmare.”

  • “The New Social Media: Alternatives To Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, And Other Big Tech Platforms”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-23/new-social-media-alternatives-facebook-youtube-twitter-and-other-big-tech-platforms

  • On Oct. 22, 2018 TruthDig published an article by Chris Hedges entitled “The Rule of the Uber-Rich Means Tyranny or Revolution”.
    ..
    IMO it is an extremely important article because it reveals, in part, what the fatal flaw is in The Matrix that we all just happened to be born into a relatively few years ago. The first part of the first paragraph is as follows:
    ..
    “At the age of 10 I was sent as a scholarship student to a boarding school for the uber-rich in Massachusetts. I lived among the wealthiest Americans for the next eight years. I listened to their prejudices and saw their cloying sense of entitlement.”

    But IMO the most important sentence in the entire article is the following:
    ..
    “It is essential to understand the pathologies of the uber-rich. They have seized total political power.”
    ..
    The uber-rich also determine what is on “The Screens”.

    Caitlin recently wrote an excellent article entitled “On Biology, Brains, And Human Suffering”..I wrote a long comment in response to it in which I said, in part, “The perhaps insurmountable paradox that present-day human descendants must somehow overcome is that human beings –parents, teachers, “authorities” — are THE most important part OF The Matrix that we are born into. Caitlin described this perfectly in her recent article about what parents and teachers teach their children. Therefore, at least SOME of what the Matrix is TEACHING, TEACHING, TEACHING its new-born is resulting in those individuals collectively making way too many babies as well as war on each other. So just exactly what is that “SOME” that is being taught to humans from Day 1 that ends up causing these individual humans to either make, OR FORCE OTHER HUMAN BEINGS TO MAKE, the inevitably-human-species-killing “decision” to make too many babies; and to make the fatally-flawed “decision” to make war on other human beings — human beings that they likely have never met and live perhaps half way round mother earth? Are human beings COLLECTIVELY intelligent enough to figure out what that “SOME” is? So far, it’s not looking good.”
    ..
    Again, what Hedges wrote yesterday gives us a very good clue to exactly what that “SOME” is.
    ..
    I recently wrote another long comment to another one of Caitlin’s great articles in which I used a hypothetical situation in which a new born infant of 2018 Manhattan would be instantly, secretly swapped with an infant born 10,000 years ago; and that because these infants were likely more or less genetically identical, they would be “raised” by their loving parents to lead what would be regarded in their ancient or modern Matrix to be normal lives for their time. I’m going to use that same hypothetical situation today, except that I’m going to greatly reduce the number years in the time-difference in the infant-swap from 10,000 years to 10 years and I’m going to swap two specific individuals.

    The infants that Chris tells us about were, as Chris puts it, “surrounded from the moment they came out of the womb by people catering to their desires and needs” – infants who IN ONLY 10 YEARS developed into human beings who, again as Chris puts it, “were incapable of reaching out to others in distress—whatever petty whim or problem they had at the moment dominated their universe and took precedence over the suffering of others, even those within their own families. They knew only how to take. They could not give. They were deformed and deeply unhappy people in the grip of an unquenchable narcissism.”

    Now I will use some of my in-born abstract thinking that has for some reason not yet led us to World Peace and Prosperity. In short, I want to secretly swap day-old infant Chris with the day-old infant that will in 10 short years be the absolute worst of his uber-rich classmates. Just for the hell of it, let’s call the worst of the worst human beings in Chris’s school Xavier Rothschild. Let’s swap infant Chris Hedges and infant Xavier Rothschild. Infant Chris is then “raised” by Xavier Rothschild’s uber rich parents as “Christopher Rothschild”; and infant Xavier is then raised by Chris’s loving parents as “Xavier Hedges”.
    ..
    As I think I successfully argued in my original comment about swapping a 2018-Manhattan infant for a infant of 10,000 years ago, I believe (actually, I know with absolutely certainty) that it is the, as B. F. Skinner would put it, “environment” (The Matrix) in which human beings are raised – that environment INCLUDING other human beings, especially parents, relatives, hunters, gatherers, INHERITANCES, teachers, etc. – that for the MOST part “causes” human beings to BEHAVE, INCLUDING THINKING AND HAVING CERTAIN EMOTIONS, ATTITUDES, BELIEFS, RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, etc. as they do LITERALLY EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES.
    ..
    As shocking and incredible as it will probably seem, it is my proposition that had infant Chris been SECRETLY swapped with infant Xavier while they were in their hospital infant nurseries, there is a very good chance that Xavier Hedges would have written something very similar to the article that Chris Hedges wrote yesterday; and that there is a very good chance that 10-year-old Christopher Rothschild would have been the worst of the worst of 10-year-old Xavier Hedge’s classmates but with maybe minor differences.
    ..
    It is also my proposition that human history should by now have taught each and every one of us that each and every one of us has a, for lack of a better expression, genetic endowment, which makes it AT LEAST POSSIBLE for each and every one of us, under certain immediate, emergency circumstances, or “how we were brought up” (the unique Matrix into which each of us happened to be born), to kill each other for anything from an offensive comment or to obtain a cigarette, a ham sandwich, a solid gold shower nozzle or an oil field; to drown another person in order to remain afloat for a few more seconds; to take a bribe to ignore a traffic violation or fund an election campaign; or to run over a child rather than having to drive one’s van off a cliff and kill one’s very own young family of five.
    ..
    Although we have not lived with him since the day of his birth, we know in general what the 62-year-old, Pulitzer-Prize-winning Chris Hedges has accomplished over the years, leading up to what he published on October 22, 2018. The question is, what have Chris’s uber-rich. now-62-year-old CLASSMATES been doing for the past, say, 42 years and what are the doing today? Are THEY the ones making the final decisions to conduct perpetual wars on the world and forcing nations’ leaders to import more people when the citizens within those nations, for one reason or another, freely decide to have only one or two or no children? Are THEY the people hiring politicians to pass laws that legalize destroying Mother Earth’s biosphere in order to make even more money to pass onto their children, etc. ad infinitum? The answer to that last question is probably “yes”.
    ..
    (Do WE average people have any influence on these monsters’ behavior/decisions? For example, are we “average”, “good”, “compassionate”, “empathetic” people who just happen to have a job at Raytheon, or Lockheed Martin, or Boeing, or the FBI/TSA/NSA/DND/DHS/JSOC etc. ad infinitum going to vote for a presidential candidate who promises to end all of the US’s perpetual wars if casting that vote means that we will likely lose our jobs? Or do we good people actually need these monsters to “protect our jobs”, when we have either our jobs or welfare or homelessness as the only alternatives in this fucked up “system”, in the fucked up Matrix into which we just happened to be born?)
    ..
    When there is a political or financial or societal crisis or a civil war within a nation that is caused by a fundamental flaw within that society, the leaders of that society blame “forces” or nations OUTSIDE that society. Some OUTSIDER caused the problems or stole the election, etc., not the flawed Matrix. I get this same sense as I read Chris’s condemnation of his uber-rich classmates. Although Chris does indeed point a finger at these monster’s very early years of getting anything and everything, I get the distinct impression that he believes that if he were raised in such an environment, he could/would have somehow, some way, still managed to become what he was at 10 years old and today; that it is these monsters that “have seized total political power”; that are humanity’s problem, and that, presumably, the only way to fight them is “to understand” and, presumably, cure or overcome or overthrow “THE PATHOLOGIES of the uber-rich.”
    ..
    If what I’ve just said about Chris is in fact true (and it definitely may not be)– that he thinks that he could, through some superior genetic endowment, have resisted the Rothschild Matrix and become what he is today while, presumably, the uber-rich monsters could not – I think that many people who read his article would agree, and that what I have proposed as the alternative outcome in my hypothetical scenario, as well as what I’ve proposed about people being at least genetically capable of doing any horrible thing, are dead wrong. To that I would argue the following. What if Chris were NOT swapped at birth with one of his monster classmates, but with an infant born 10,000 years ago? Would he have, at age 62, having been brought up in that ancient Matrix, done/thought everything he’s done/thought/written after having been brought up in the modern Matrix that he was? The answer is “no”, because the Matrix of 10,000 years ago COULD/WOULD NOT ALLOW IT! In short, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE FOR CHRIS’S “GENETIC ENDOWMENT” TO RESIST/OVERCOME THAT MATRIX AND 9,038 YEARS AGO HAVE BECOME WHAT HE IS TODAY IN 2018, JUST AS I SAY HE COULD NOT OVERCOME THE ROTHSCHILD MATRIX!
    ..
    To sum up, I say that it is the ENVIRONMENTS in which these uber-rich human beings have been raised, not “pathologies”, which must be closely examined and corrections made. I say that what those uber-rich environments (especially the people within them) TAUGHT those infants from day 1 to age 10 was horribly wrong. They were TAUGHT their “cloying sense of entitlement”. They were TAUGHT to “believe” that “they were privileged and wealthy because they were smarter and more talented”. They were TAUGHT their “sneering disdain for those ranked below them in material and social status, even the merely rich”. They were TAUGHT not to have “the capacity for empathy and compassion”. They were TAUGHT to form “elite cliques that hazed, bullied and taunted any nonconformist who defied or did not fit into their self-adulatory universe”. Most important of all, these monsters were taught that “might makes right”; “only the fittest, most ruthless survive”; “greed is good”; “just look out for yourself and do whatever you’ve got to do to maximize profit and get to the top”; or as Adam Smith put it in 1776, that:
    ..
    “I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the publick good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it”.
    ..
    THESE are the precise “traits” that the elder uber-rich Elite, as Darwin would have put it, “select” for. These traits, these personalities, these “values” are what the Elite “look for” in a man or woman. Just like in a relay race to the Elite’s finish line of world domination, the elderly monsters pass their batons to their younger, uber-rich clones to carry on to finish the race. Most of the time the batons are passed to children of the uber-rich, but not always. Sometimes someone with little inheritance makes it to a position of power – but that someone MUST IMO have the traits etc. of the monsters – maybe even someone who once worked in a Waffle House. What would YOU do if you had the opportunity to order all the killing forever and thereby become fabulously wealthy?

    • Have you read Putrid Shittgenstein and The Bullshit Machine?

  • Orwell had it right, sooooo right.

  • The most incisive article i’ve read in about 5 years. I think I should donate to this site

  • ~~ Sure seems to hit the mark. idk how many more details you want. Sounding a trumpet of warning and alarm is designed to wake up people, not to provide minutiae, or even large chunks of info. So CJ “…addresses who exactly are these people…”, but fails to mention one or more, so we all fail to invest our own time & energy in learning more about our societal ills, thinking it’s all covered.
    Frankly if anybody is concerned about the lack of coverage in CJ’s articles, I do believe the field is open and ALWAYS in need of many more sources of truth, We all have our niche, expertise, and interests. It appears she has found hers, and puts it to use.
    As always — hth, fwiw, ymmv, and imho !
    Thanks for dialoguing….
    kenn

    • That is so focused on a big one! Don’t enlist!

  • The “screens” are not the problem. The people putting the content onto the screens are the problem*. Caitlin fails to address who exactly are these people. This is just more whining about a problem than an actual in-depth understanding of and solution to the problem.

    *The obvious other part of the problem is a nation of dolts who mindlessly believe the nonsense coming from the blathering heads on the screens.

    • Please RebelScum, enlighten us with you’re erudite wisdom. Do not tremble… Point the finger, give us your list of names and tell us how to proceed.
      We have nothing left to lose but our ignorance and Prozac

    • ~~ Sure seems to hit the mark. idk how many more details you want. Sounding a trumpet of warning and alarm is designed to wake up people, not to provide minutiae, or even large chunks of info. So CJ “…addresses who exactly are these people…”, but fails to mention one or more, so we all fail to invest our own time & energy in learning more about our societal ills, thinking it’s all covered.
      Frankly if anybody is concerned about the lack of coverage in CJ’s articles, I do believe the field is open and ALWAYS in need of many more sources of truth, We all have our niche, expertise, and interests. It appears she has found hers, and puts it to use.
      As always — hth, fwiw, ymmv, and imho !
      Thanks for dialoguing….
      kenn

  • Nicely written Caitlin. I don’t use Twitter – Facebook – Most of Google anymore (too toxic, plus too much bullshit), so I can’t share it there. But I will be sharing this where I can.

    E.M. Forster wrote a story titled “The Machine Stops,” and it’s fitting for some of this stuff about screens. That story is here: http://archive.ncsa.illinois.edu/prajlich/forster.html

    • The Machine Stops (written 1913ish) is was and remains one of the most prescient warnings I’d ever read in 1963 and reread twice per decade since.
      Required reading to “live with open eyes” today.

  • In India they have a beautiful proverb.

    ‘Dogs go on barking, but the elephant does not even pay attention’

    The elephant is thought by the Indians, symbolically, to be one of the wisest animals in existence.

    And why have they thought that it is the wisest?

    Because whenever an elephant passes through a village all the dogs gather, they cannot tolerate such a big animal; it is too hurtful to their egos.

    Just a mountain! and they look so tiny.

    Now it is unbearable; something has to be done.

    Mass media propaganda becomes almost a barking dog.

    It creates as much noise as possible to keep you retarded, obedient and compliant.

    Where are you going? Are you mad?

    Leaving the herd and going out of it?

    That is the way of madness!

    Who do you think you are?

    Just come back in immediately!

    The proverb says, ‘Dogs go on barking, but the elephant does not even pay attention’

    He does not even stand and look at the dogs, he just goes on his way as if he has not heard them.

    It is because of this, that he does not get into a fighting mood with the dogs.

    He pays no attention, remains absolutely indifferent.

    And that is the way of intelligence.

    Be aware but indifferent to all the mad barking dogs of mass media propaganda.

    Humanity has been distracted.

    Everybody from your parents to your teachers, the school, the college, the university, the politicians, social media, your religion, your preachers, your neighbors.

    The screens who are continuously social engineering, everybody is trying to make you somebody else whom you cannot become.

    You can only become yourself, or you can miss becoming, just an idiot.

    Almost ninety percent of idiots are trained.

    Ten percent are born.

    And the ten percent are born because of those ninety percent who have been trained!

    If everybody were living according to his own nature, not trying to be somebody else, a tremendous intelligence would explode within each individual…

  • I very much enjoyed your post and it is exactly what I would like to write if I had enough time. If I had enough time, I would also just like you publish a post every other day, but as it happens, I spend most time in my subsistence garden and in the adjacent forest.

    I cannot watch a screen for too long, it makes me both dizzy and itchy. I’m not built for sitting still for a longer time, I want to move, walk around, bend and stretch as I go through the garden weeding, planting, and harvesting.

    There are probably many other people who are not designed to sit still for a longer time. They feel itchy like me, their adrenaline levels rise, they get aggressive. They would like to go out, but they live in apartment blocks, maybe even in a high-rise in a crowded, noisy city. If they go out they have to take care not to be run over by a car.

    People who observe the word via TV, computer, or smartphone screens see an abridged and strangely distorted picture of the word. As they are glued to the screens of various sizes for many hours, weeks, and month, this simplified view becomes their reality — a virtual reality indeed.

    When they finally escape from their prison of screens to face the natural world, they are completely unprepared for the encounter. The natural word is immensely, unimaginably complex. Every meter of the garden or the forest contains more details than could be binary coded in all of Amazon’s cloud service, maybe even in all of the internet data centers.

    The encounter with nature after the abridged life at the screens will be a shock for many, but also a relief for some. One gets numb and blind for the beauty of real life following protracted screen time. The damage is both physical and mental, and the recovery may take years.

    And yet, maybe in the end it is a blessing, that people are trapped in front of their screens. We are too many, and if all city dwellers would crawl out from their caves in the high-rises and invade the natural lands like a swarm of locusts they only would destroy the few pristine places still left unharmed.

    We see what happened to the national parks and monuments. We see what happened to the world heritage sites. We see what happened to the idyllic islands who became prominent tourist destinations.

    If I ever find the time to write such a post, I really would like eventually with your permission to quote or incorporate essential parts of your post into my own take on this issue.

  • This is important to hear.

    • Very good clip, gives rear view mirror look into Haley’s psychotic personality, some history, and the future for Nikky and the World.

      Thanks Charles

  • Caitlin Johnstone,
    Thank you for saying the words that my thoughts regarding these world and national and personal narratives could not quite express.
    It truly does feel and look and sound like major changes are on the way—too much of the same non-sense and lies that trickles down—and everyone is getting keen to and sick of it.

    We who are fighting back or standing up aren’t crazy; we who deal with infirmities and PTSD aren’t ignorant or lazy; but we are merely, only, and fully human. And that isn’t a bad thing in and of itself.
    But when Big Brother or Fallen Ones or Deep State phrases start frequenting the conversation, then it is time to draw the line and resist and pursue truth.

    Thank you.
    —Mark M.

  • D.E.A.D. F.U.C.K.I.N.G. O.N. CAITLIN.

  • Bravo, Caitlin!

    • Caitlin, I have to ask. Have you seen the old Cold/anti-War classic “On The Beach”?
      h…ttps://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053137/

      If you have not, I highly recommend that you do. Here’s the trailer.
      h..ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awm50kJQeeI

      and my favorite scene:
      h..ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9sIPJ-yGjc
      (hang in there until Gregory Peck lights the fire and the chorus of drunks suddenly turns serious. The look on Eva Gardner’s face as Gregory Peck approaches is IMO one of the great moments in the history of movie-making.)

  • WANT THE UNFAKE NEWS NON PIGS? FREE ASSANGE…(and others)

    • YES!

  • Good morning
    You are an amazingly prolific writer.
    Ads have no effect on me, so screens/propaganda have little effect. I guess I’m strange.
    A stranger in a strange land as it were.
    This is an interesting article I read awhile ago about humanity as an emergent superorganism, somewhat related maybe to this.

    Homni The New Superorganism Taking Over Earth; Gaia Vince
    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140701-the-superorganism-engulfing-earth

    I think it should be maybe more like took over, but anyway.
    Kinda like we are ants in a gigantic ant hive.
    The problem is that a superorganism has it’s own agenda that my not by good for it’s components.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  • I will hire Mossad (sp) if you fuck with me. Harvey Weinstein/Hillary2020 We Love Harlem!

  • What does BB and Co. want ( and the paid for D and R puppets and press/MSM)? BDS Free Assange and others.

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