Every so often I like to write an article describing exactly what I’m about in the interests of transparency, and for the benefit of any new followers who aren’t quite sure what they’re looking at here. It’s a good exercise for me because it allows me to clarify for myself exactly why I got into this gig and what specifically I’m trying to get out of it, and it lays all my intentions on the table so readers can decide if I’m their cup of tea or not.
Brief bio: I am Australian, lived in Melbourne nearly all of my life, two kids, twice married and once divorced. I got a journalism degree in 2003 but figured out long before completing the course that the media deck is stacked so far against truth that I wouldn’t be able to do the kind of work I wanted to do, so I did some environmental activism while paying the bills with corporate work. I had a bunch of transformative personal experiences during that time period, then in 2016 I got a job at a self-publishing news outlet where I quickly gained an audience for my opinion articles about the Bernie Sanders movement (which arose from a commentary void I’d noticed needed filling while I was participating in Bernie Facebook groups). In 2017 I got a Patreon account and became a fully crowd-funded writer who is answerable to no one, a privileged position I exploit to its fullest in saying things I think need to be said regardless of the taboos against saying them.
And it’s been a weird, awkward, surprising, deeply satisfying, profoundly educational, and sometimes downright terrifying ride. I went very quickly from a lady posting the occasional bit of social commentary for a few hundred Facebook friends to a prolific political blogger read by many thousands daily who everyone seems to have a pretty strong opinion about, and I had to learn how to do the job on the fly while in full public view. The sudden influx of public attention has been really intense and scary at times, but with the help of a few healing practices and a very supportive husband I’ve managed to keep cranking out material and learning every day. A few months ago I slipped into a groove where I really feel like I have a lucid general understanding of the forces at play within this world, and I believe my work has increased in quality since that time.
The material I publish all arises from an ongoing conversation I’m continually engaged in with my soulmate Tim Foley, who I married in 2016. We both care deeply about the plight of humanity, and we spend every day sharing insights and information with each other about what’s going on in the world. I’ve seen a lot of weird conspiracy theories (mostly involving rubles) about how I suddenly burst onto the scene as a widely-read commentator seemingly out of nowhere, but the simple explanation is that I met someone whose love and cherishing has supercharged me and given me the self-confidence I needed to stand tall and shine bright in a world full of critics and misogyny. We’re joined at the hip, and a big part of the reason I’ve been able to maintain a consistent level of day-to-day quality is because my work is the product of two minds, not one.
Twelve Tips For Making Sense Of The World
"Here are a few tips I’ve learned which have given me a lot of clarity in seeing through the haze of spin and confusion."https://t.co/4A8NvcKzXc
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) June 12, 2018
My goal here in this little slot of digital real estate is to do every little thing I can to help save the world. Humanity appears to be hurtling toward extinction by way of climate destruction or nuclear annihilation, both of which are movements held in place by a transnational alliance of plutocrats and secretive government agencies. This unelected power establishment (which is sometimes referred to as the deep state, a term I now avoid since Republican partisans have distorted its meaning) seems to be motivated not by any ideology, nor by any loyalty to any particular nation or government, but by sheer hunger for limitless power. I place emphasis on the United States, because that’s where the largest amount of power appears to be centralized.
In a system where money both (A) translates directly to political power and (B) comes most abundantly to whoever is sufficiently cold and unfeeling to do whatever it takes in order to become immensely wealthy, we naturally find ourselves in a world ruled by sociopaths. These plutocratic rulers use their political influence to amass more power/money for themselves and create a system that is more and more favorable to the immensely wealthy, and they buy up media outlets to manufacture public support for that system. This ongoing propaganda campaign is what I see as the key weakness in the armor of their machine, and it’s the point I spend my energy attacking here.
Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Understand this key point and you’ll understand why plutocrat-controlled media outlets are constantly smearing Julian Assange, why they never fail to fall in line to support a US-led military agenda, why they pay massive amounts of attention to some political candidates while completely ignoring others, and why they put so much energy into keeping everyone arguing over the details of how the status quo should be maintained instead of debating whether it should exist at all. The unelected power establishment uses its control over politics and media to determine what the public believes about what’s going on in their world in order to keep them from rebelling against a status quo which does not serve them; without the ability to effectively propagandize the masses in this way, they cannot rule. I therefore concentrate most of my energy here in attacking that propaganda machine and weakening the unearned trust that the public has placed in the mass media.
Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix.
This is the clearest I've been able to sum it all up so far.https://t.co/JqbZMKn7ov
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) August 22, 2018
Ideologically, I am best described as a socialist. I believe if our species is to survive it will necessarily be without the planet-raping rat race of capitalism which keeps everyone stepping on each other’s heads, toiling to make more stuff for more people to consume regardless of whether that stuff helps the sum total or hurts it. I do not believe in the Magical Free Market Fairy that devout capitalists assure me has the beneficent wisdom to solve any problem, and in fact I see no evidence that the desire for money has any kind of wisdom at all, let alone the kind needed to overcome the immense challenges that our species faces currently. We are not going to spend, consume and toil our way out of ecocide or geopolitical battles for global dominance. If humanity still exists in the future on the other side of the immense crises on our horizon, it exists because we found an unselfish and compassionate way to collaborate together for the common good. A new world will need new ideas, but right now the closest thing to an ideological description of what a movement in that direction might look like is socialism.
Yet my writings are mostly non-ideological. This is because the enemy I am trying to attack is itself non-ideological; the agenda to thoroughly dominate and control as many human beings as possible is no more an ideology than a street mugging is. The unelected power establishment will promote the narratives of any ideology to any sector of the population in order to advance its agendas, including capitalism, socialism, white supremacy, Zionism, Christian or Islamic fundamentalism, conservatism or progressivism. I look forward to a future where it makes sense to spend time fighting over who has the best ideology, but in an environment that is dominated by an enemy which only sees ideologies as useful tools of narrative control it makes most sense to just directly attack the narrative manipulation itself.
You won’t therefore see many articles from me about the virtues of socialism, while you’ll see many about mass media propaganda and large-scale power dynamics. My goal is to help kill public trust in the empire which uses narrative control to maintain itself so that people can awaken from the lies and shrug off the mechanisms of manipulation like a heavy coat on a warm day, then help move humanity into a healthy direction in the new world once that is accomplished.
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) July 29, 2018
I do not believe humanity will be able to wake up from the propaganda narrative matrix and create a healthy world without a massive shift in the way we think and perceive. While most tend to look at what is commonly called spiritual enlightenment as an esoteric religious concept, or at most a lofty personal aspiration, I see it as a powerful yet mundane agent of social metamorphosis with far-reaching political consequences. The fact that it is possible for human beings to radically shift their relationship with thought means that it is possible for us to collectively transcend our current fear-based, easily manipulated relationship with the world and evolve into something unprecedented together. Our unprecedented ability to network and share information already in and of itself represents a drastic change in the way humans relate cognitively with the world, and there are reasons to believe a collective awakening could already be unfolding for us. Simply the fact that enlightenment is a potential that human beings have, combined with the fact that we have pressed ourselves into evolve-or-die time, indicates such a collective transcendence is a very real possibility.
I spend time writing about insights into that possibility for this reason. Some people enjoy my thoughts on the evolution of human consciousness, others aren’t so interested, but it’s often the most honest and direct way I can think of to push toward the escape from the oppression machine. On a collective basis it likely holds the key to our avoiding extinction and creating a beautiful world, and on an individual basis waking up from believed mental narrative gives one a lot of clarity for attacking the machine and makes one impossible to effectively propagandize. Revolution is in many ways an inside job, and doing the necessary inner work to snap ourselves out of our habitual identification with thought is a great way to turn oneself into a very inconvenient weapon against the empire.
And that’s mainly all you’ll ever see me doing with this platform these days: using essays, stories and poems to try and tear down the lie factory from as many angles as possible so that humanity can come to see things with clear eyes. I know I’m just one person and can only make so much difference, but I need to be able to tell my kids I did everything I could to help create a healthy world for them. I think I can honestly say I’m doing that, and I’m getting better at it every day.
Feature image by Danny Hellman.
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.