HomeArticleAmerican Privilege

American Privilege

American liberals and progressives talk a bit about white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege etc, but one thing I never hear them talk about is American privilege: the ability their nationality gives them to have a relationship with this world that the rest of us do not have.

American privilege is reassuring yourself that there are problems enough at home without worrying about the trillions your government’s war machine is spending terrorizing the world and encircling the planet with military bases.

American privilege is reluctantly allowing the potential Commanders-in-Chief to have an eight-minute conversation about foreign policy in your presidential primary debates, when your country’s military policy functionally dictates the affairs of rest of the world.

American privilege is arguing against the legality of assault weapons on the basis that they are “weapons of war”, implying that they’re fine as long as they’re used to kill some foreigner’s kids.

American privilege is being able to masturbate your outrage addiction over a racist joke while ignoring the way your military murders black and brown people by the tens of thousands every year.

American privilege is being able to lose your mind over someone using the wrong pronouns while paying no attention to the fact that your government pours your tax money and resources into governments and groups who hang gay people in the town square.

American privilege is believing your propaganda is the truth, and everyone else’s understanding of the world is fake news.

American privilege is assuming your prudish Puritanical brand of sexuality is healthy and normal so it’s no big deal that you insist that all English-speaking social media adheres to your creepy nipple-hating norms.

American privilege is telling foreigners to butt out of your politics when your politics are literally killing them.

American privilege is having a shit fit over election meddling in one social media post, while cheerleading regime change in the next.

American privilege is starting a war on a lie without being charged with a war crime.

American privilege is committing war crimes with impunity while jailing the whistleblowers and journalists who reveal them and still getting to call yourselves the good guys.

American privilege is being able to spend all day arguing online about domestic policy while the rest of the world, completely incapable of influencing your government’s behavior, prays you don’t get us all killed.

American privilege is only having a robust antiwar movement when your own citizens are at risk of being drafted, then completely forgetting about peace for decades while an increasingly robotic military force gives you even more peace of mind.

American privilege is being able to relax about war because your soldiers are being replaced with drones and proxy militias in US-driven conflicts, even though those kill people just as dead as manually operated killing machines.

American privilege is being hush-hush about the egregious imperialist stances of progressive candidates like Bernie Sanders because they have some decent domestic policies.

American privilege is black bloc protests against public appearances by figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and the Proud Boys while murderous war pigs like Bill Kristol, Henry Kissinger, John Bolton, David Frum and arms industry executives go from appearance to appearance completely unbothered.

American privilege is benefiting from cheap goods and oil and a strong dollar and never wondering how many innocent foreigners lost their lives and homes in the wars your government starts to make that so.

American privilege is living in a nation whose government can murder an entire family one day with explosives dropped from the sky, and yet you never hearing about it because that isn’t considered a newsworthy occurrence.

American privilege is being one of the worst-travelled populations in the world while having military bases in countries that most Americans wouldn’t recognize the name of, let alone have been to.

American privilege is having your insane culture normalized around the world via Hollywood and other media so that nobody stops and wonders why we’re letting this bat shit crazy nation rule our planet, and so no one makes you feel bad about your American privilege.

American privilege is living in a nation that uses its military and economic might to terrorize, murder, imprison, starve and impoverish anyone who doesn’t go along with its interests, and feeling no urgent need to bring a stop to this.

American privilege is being fine with being the world leader, but not being too bothered about what exactly that means.

____________________

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 work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast in either video or audio formatthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Liked it? Take a second to support Caitlin Johnstone on Patreon!

Latest comments

  • I highly recommend to Caitlin and Tim and their readers the following great article by Chris Hedges.
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/our-invisible-government/

  • Caitlin:

    798 words and not a one positive comment. Let me ask you, when disaster strikes anywhere in the world, what country is ALWAYS the first on-site with search and rescue, food, water, medical and other aid? What country keeps the sea lanes open and safe for global commerce to traverse? What country rose up to abolish slavery almost 150 years ago while it remains prevalent is most of the world still today? What country provides more financial aid to the rest of the world than the U.S.? How many ‘other countries’ would you need to cobble together to match or exceed the generosity of U.S. spending? How many in the third world benefit from U.S. inventions, products, patents, medicines, machines, technology and agriculture? How many individuals and countries globally have been lifted from abject poverty as a result of one or some of the aforementioned?

    While there are examples of negative results of our actions, they were not by design. Here are ten that were: http://bit.ly/32G8gd6

    It would seem you have the leftist narrative well learned and absorbed. Perhaps you should inform yourself and your readers of the other side of the coin. America has never claimed to be perfect, but I for one would like to see what country has made life better for more?

    Enjoy life down under. And feel free to stay. We have enough failed progressive Socialist Democrat ideologists here already!

    G’day . . .

    • All these things you said about the US ofA are bunch of lies made up by the right-wing extremist US Government.

    • What country is first on site with actual aid? Cuba.
      The UK abolished slavery 30+ years before the US abolished most slavery. Now the US only uses prisoners, mainly of victimless crimes, as slaves, though we did actively help re-establish slave markets in Libya.
      China does more to keep sea lanes open, heck, the US protects pirates, see the Mavi Marmara incident.
      Patent protection set up by the US is actually a main cause of poverty in the developing world, as is the insistence of the US meddling in their affairs (see Pinochet for one example.)

      You seem to have a problem with informed narratives. It’s not a left v right thing, as actual conservatives can be informed and honest and would recognize that facts are facts.

  • “American privilege is having your insane culture normalized around the world via Hollywood and other media so that nobody stops and wonders why we’re letting this bat shit crazy nation rule our planet, and so no one makes you feel bad about your American privilege.”

    True. And, they normalized it here first.

  • let’s also go down the list of American complicity…

    reaping all the material benefits of wars and other crimes against humanity that are committed in our name, on our dime, and by our husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc… while criticizing the “masters” in DC and the rich on Wall Street on the internet and changing little in the way we conduct our daily lives.

    well that covers most of it doesn’t it?

  • The American people have been the victim of one massive propaganda campaign after another.
    The first one was the idea of manifest destiny, something created by a newspaper editor attempting to increase circulation. Since then it’s been downhill all the way from W.R. Hearst’s anti Cuba propaganda to the propaganda that took America into the war in Europe in 1917, a war that, for all practical purposes was over, that cost nearly half a million American lives. A war thgat we had no business being involved in.
    Or the war between the states that the tyrant Lincoln started.
    Or the Viet Nam War
    or WW II
    Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iran, China, Russia but never israel, an illegitimate nation that has stabbed America in the back numerous times, has no regard for human rights or any moral objectivity, yet Americans are fed one lie after another all the while they are being forced to support one of the worst states for violations of human rights.
    The mainstream media in America is nothing more than an echo chamber for the zionist, neo-con war machine, the CIA and Wall St. Meanwhile all they can blubber about is the next victim dujour of white supremacy.
    Without realizing it, Americans have been brainwashed into one war after another, in the name of “nation Building” or regime change, that entails destroying city after city, entire socities and millions of lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The American people remain silent while Washington places embargoes and sanctions on Iran and Venezuela just as it did with Iraq, that led to the deaths of 500,000 children.
    How many innocent children are going to die in Venezuela for the American empire?
    How many Americans are going to speak out against this atrocity?
    Or are they too wrapped up in their own little world of delusion that everything is just great?
    That is, until the bubble the Federal Reserve has created pops and the American empire crashes down.

    • Yes, and no. Most “Americans” ie white people are just trying to keep their head above water. They are too busy just trying to put food on the table and keep the electricity on. It’s easy to blame the “people” but in reality they have no influence over these events or the actions of their government.

      • Oh sure, the poor wittle USers with their iPhones and football games. The US homeless have more resources at hand than many people in other countries that are exploited by US companies so those poor wittle USers can live relatively comfortable existences. Your whiny attitude is EXACTLY what is wrong with “Americans”. Disgustingly self-serving and self-victimizing pity party.

        • Bravo! And “liberals” wonder why people don’t like them. What happened to all of your “inclusion” or “sensitivity” if these people were refugees you would bleed your heart out. If they were gays you would virtue signal so loud god would cover his ears. Regular old white people? No they are just whiney cry babies. I bet you are either brainwashed or part of the cloth that rages this culture war.

  • American privilege is being able to masturbate your outrage addiction over a racist joke while ignoring the way your military murders black and brown people by the tens of thousands every year.

    The comedian Hasan Minhaj was valorized as a brave, truth-telling hero for what seemed like weeks on dozens of different platforms after calling out the Army for using a cultural manual on Saudi Arabia that had the phrase “negro blood” in it. This is while said Army was helping to murder hundreds of Yemenis a day with bombs, blockades, etc.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hasan-minhaj-military-saudi-arabia-offensive_n_5bdc8d3de4b01ffb1d02143d?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAAZF1lOfpVe1eFczF3GfxzAQOU7Ln2r2Q0c1hi-_X9uZ5LedHGJwMPjjxg5nPmXI6b0jh7M9JTnRQKYdKUtKJS7IULtaLsIgTlJD61iEwBQBa1vmtFZo1lCMz2pVo75qC3lL4caucoCvz0deVux0Qw956y69WymDbEogB6hr9q-7

  • I’m wondering how many of my friends and family who are still in denial will be pissed off at me for reposting this.
    #ShootingTheMessenger

    • All of them I would say. And most random others who might stumble across it.

  • But really… Tom Petty (RIP) said it best:

  • The government of these United States are way past being wickedly evil; the devil would envy these very slimy people: https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/tectonic-rumblings/

  • excellent article Caitlin, and free speech is now so much curtailed, more by its own compliant journos who argue their need for mortgage dilemma,etc.etc., but forget that publishing multiple war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, gets you into Belmarsh prison.
    Thanks, yours is the second sane bit of writing I read today, this is the other
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/the-worlds-most-important-political-prisoner/comment-page-1/#comment-893265

    • More Americans hate the US Empire/war machine than you would ever know from listening to the corporate stenographers. I live in the DC area and I don’t know a single person who thinks it is good for the US or the world. But the working public has virtually no influence on US policy, legislation or on the “news” that is reported. We are literally captives in an insane asylum.

      • Exactly! But unless and until we all get up off our complacent asses and go to the streets to show our disgust, the ‘stenographers’ can just keep right on misrepresenting us with our silent, complicit approval!!!

  • Bolton is sacked and then a few days later there is a massive attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities taking 5% of global oil production offline and said by “officials” to come from Iran-backed Houthi rebels operating from Iraq? It’s as if Bolton never left!

  • “The phrase “do as they see fit” is used to discourage actual inquiry into what is being done and what its effects are. Ah, you paternalistic imperialist, you want to prevent people from merely doing as they see fit with that which is theirs?

    But if we think a little harder, we can see that this conception of freedom is incoherent, that it boils down to letting people destroy things that aren’t theirs to begin with, and to hurt everyone else in order to enrich themselves.

    The libertarian idea of property and freedom is intolerable and must be resisted. After David Koch’s death, perhaps we can bury this poisonous fiction alongside him.”

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/08/why-libertarianism-will-kill-us-all

    “The lust for power is not rooted in strength but in weakness. It is the expression of the inability of the individual self to stand alone and live. It is the desperate attempt to gain secondary strength where genuine strength is lacking. The word power has a twofold meaning. One is the possession of power over somebody, the ability to dominate him; the other meaning is the possession of power to do something, to be able, to be potent. The latter meaning has nothing to do with domination; it expresses mastery in the sense of ability.” ~ Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

  • Great writing as usual Caitoz I would just ask everyone to be aware that belief in American “greatness” is a religious belief going back to the first Puritan settlers. They called themselves the new Jerusalem and believed America was the place they were going to create God’s kingdom. The phrase “manifest destiny,” which every American school child learns, means God’s designation of American settlers as the chosen people. Point being that criticizing America is like criticizing God, to the believers. America has replaced God in their religion. Which makes it difficult to raise subjects like your article with them.

    • David Ray Griffin – the American theologist, professor emeritus, and prolific 9/11 truth leader – wrote about the ‘nationalistic faith’ that many Americans practice. This is essentially a religion, and is very similar to what you describe. It is why many Americans regard the idea of 9/11 as an inside job as “blasphemous” – despite the fact there is overwhelming forensic evidence that the three buildings in NYC were demolished with pre-planted explosives. Americans have truly been indoctrinated with the dogma that we are ‘the good guys’ when there is ample evidence to the contrary.

  • Maybe your best piece of writing so far — at least, for us Americans.

  • Brilliant Article…

    IMO, American privilege is commemorating the one time event of terrorism hitting home, when everyone else around the planet sees such stuff daily…with Americans, usually being the terrorists.

    American Privilege is not realizing even in the depths of street-life despair, life is still better compared to how much of the rest of the world survives.

  • Right on, Caitlin and Tim.
    ..
    For anyone who dares to be even more woke by mere words, here’s some more no-sugar-coating of True American History from a Vietnam vet. who graduated from a NY high school in 1959.
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/usa-pretend-unmasked/5688927

    • The article you reference on Globalresearch was written by S. Brian Willson. Willson was run over by a military train during a protest against our policies in Central America in the 1980s. This resulted in both of his legs being cut off at the knees. After going to the website below, tap the still picture in the middle to start the video:

      https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/paying-the-price-for-peace-the-story-of-s-brian-willson/

      Willson participated in a 32 day water only fast protesting against our policies in Central America in 1986:
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterans_Fast_for_Life

      One of the others in the fast was Charles Liteky, a recipient of the Medal of Honor. LIteky was in the fast for 47 days. Liteky served a year & a half in prison for peaceful protests against our policies in Central America. He also left his Medal of Honor at the base of the Viet Nam War Memorial wall, knowing that leaving the medal there would stop the lifetime pension that went along with the medal. When our bombs started falling on Iraq at the beginning of our 2nd war against Iraq, Liteky was in an orphanage in Iraq.

      Liteky died at age 85 in 2017. There was no mainstream coverage of his death.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Liteky
      There are some Americans who have paid an extremely high price for trying to stop our criminal foreign policies.

  • Sister Caitlin,
    I think this describes “Narrative Controller Privilege”.
    I’m a regular American, and I don’t get most of that stuff on the list.
    Pawn-John
    http://www.johndayblog.com

    • Maybe it’s because you’ve been brainwashed.
      It’s not necessarily your fault, you’ve been through the government’s brainwashing and indoctrination program called public education.
      It’s time for your red pill.
      Either that or you’re part of the problem.
      Regular American….does that mean you’re not constipated?
      People like you lack the ability nor wish to see the truth. You live in a bubble of delusion and make believe fed to you by zionist corporate television and a lying, deceitful government.
      People like you, and there are millions just like you, continue to suffer from the delusion of an American empire all the while it is murdering millions around the world all the while claiming it is protecting your freedom….a total lie.
      It’s time to wake up from the induced dream.

      • If anyone thinks they actually understand what’s happening in the world of politics with the globalist controlled spin meisters of mass media (apology to Richard Feynman) that which they continually fail to understand would surely fill many volumes. Even quantum physics has nothing on this totally chaotic maelstrom – or so it’s made to seem.

  • What you said would fit the citizens of any empire….Roman privilege is……British Privilege is……etc. etc.
    just remember all empires end. Even the American Empire. Average age of an empire is 300 years. America is almost 244 years old. The world does not have to wait much longer.

  • Well I have a couple minor bones to pick–am I the first?! For one the image of the map with the US flag superimposed was wrong–several countries resist US domination, and they should have been shown in a different color (or with tiny images of their own flags), because that would illustrate what you mentioned just a couple of posts ago–the amazing coincidence between saying no to the diktats of Washington, and being labeled a “rogue nation” whose leaders are “dictators” as the US media wing of the empire lays the ground for attempts at regime change.
    Second, the assumption that Americans are fine with imperialism since it gives them privileges, so they protest economic inequality etc but not the wars. I’m sure I’m not the only one who will still engages in protest on other things but will not drive six hours to DC to protest wars–because I’ve done it so many times and seen it have ZERO effect. This is only partly true, that Americans–or USers–don’t care about or even support the wars. Someone said “then why haven’t you overthrown that government?” To that I say, “Why haven’t you overthrown yours?” and I don’t NEED to know where you live, virtually all of us live in countries in which there is a pretense of democracy but policies are set by a little cabal of rich people. Overturning that system ain’t easy. It’s true that it’s enforced by the US military, and by a network of clandestine agencies probably dominated by the CIA and Mossad.
    One more thing is that the absurd notion of “American exceptionalism” should have been included. What could be a better exemplar of American privilege than being able to spout, and be taken seriously, the utterly absurd notion that there is something so magical about this country that it’s automatically the best, and can’t be held to the same standards as other countries?

    • That’s all well and good but until I see massive anti-war demonstrations instead of all the fuss the entitled snowflakes make about some invented slight towards the victims dejour, then I’ll believe it.
      The truth is there is for all practical purposes, no anti war movement in America. Even the liberals/Democrats are a war party.
      There were no protests about the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. There are no protests against America’s funding of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.There are no protests against Washington’s war on Venezuela and Iran. There are no protests against israhell’s genocidal holocaust of the Palestinian people.
      Where are the protests against the genocidal war Saudi Arabia is committing on the people of Yemen?
      Where are the protests against more American bases in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe?
      Where are the demands that our troops be brought home and all the 800+ bases the American empire has world wide be closed?
      Very few are speaking out.
      Only people like Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Daniel McAdams and many others, yet their voices are ignored while some snowflakes weep about imaginary hate speech.

      • I don’t know where you were in the lead up to Iraq, but I was in the streets protesting. Every single town in the US had a protest, with the ones BEFORE the war trying to stop it as large as any of the protests against Vietnam were at the height of that war.

        I was in san fransisco for the one year anniversary and there were so many people i was at the starting point for 2 hours watching it go by just wanting to get an idea of how many people were there.

        Heck, there were in the streets protests in the 91 invasion. The one in New Orleans the night it started began with about 200 people and had about 3000 by the time it finished (people were joining it from shops and bars as it passed)

        I know these things because I was there. The TV did not report on them, which is likely why you claim what I saw with my own eyes did not happen…

        https://ips-dc.org/february_15_2003_the_day_the_world_said_no_to_war/

  • While we’re bashing American liberals, we would be remiss if we didn’t have a quick listen to Phil Ochs’ ol’ ditty ‘Love me, I’m a Liberal’ –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLqKXrlD1TU

    🙂 🙂

  • I must say I find this article a bit nonsensical. Why? It starts out blaming American progressives and liberals for not seeing or acknowledging ‘American privilege’. Then a list of ‘American privilege’ transgressions are itemized: ‘American privilege is starting a war based on lies’….’American privilege is believing your propaganda is the truth’…’American privilege is committing war crimes with impunity while jailing the whistleblowers and journalists who reveal them’…etc.’ What!? Since when are progressives happy that Assange is rotting in Belmarsh? No!–they are not. Since when are progressives supportive of the Iraq war, based on lies? No. Never were. Sorry. And why are there sites like this one, or countless other alternative/left news sites? Erm….because we’re dissatisfied with the shit that passes for ‘news’ from the corporate MSM, that’s why. So in short, this article by Ms. Johnstone is spewing nonsense. Look to the republicans or the Clinton democrats to fit your ‘American privilege’ diatribe, not progressives. As for the term ‘liberal’, it has been so utterly mongrelized at this point as to have lost any consistent meaning: you have neo-liberal, which is actually conservative. You have ‘Clinton liberal’, which means pro-corporate de-regulation; and then there is ‘liberal’, as in a relaxing of conservative restraints, e.g. stop segregation, relax anti-GLBT laws, and be generally more open and tolerant. Liberal can mean whatever Humpty-Dumpty wants it to mean 😉

    • I don’t think Caitlin was accusing progressives of such behavior as much as she was arguing that someone needs to point this out, and if the progressives aren’t, no one else will.

    • I think you have a point – but I would point out the American progressives have UTTERLY FAILED to recognize that 9/11 was a great deception which has been used for the last 18 years (and counting) to justify the fraudulent war on terror which is the foundation of an aggressive imperialistic foreign policy. Please name some prominent American progressives that recognize the truth about 9/11 and the war on terror. Good luck. For every one you can name, I can name ten idiots like Bill Maher (who attack 9/11 critics and who admires Netanyahu)..

      • Okay, here are some progressives who are publicly have called bullshit on the 9-11 government ‘story’: Ed Asner, Willie Nelson, Mark Ruffalo, Charlie Sheen, Matthew Bellamy, Rosie O’Donnel, Graham Nash, and Woody Harrelson from Cheers even started an organization called Actors and Artists for 9/11 Truth-

        https://truth11.com/2011/12/30/actors-and-artists-for-911-truth-confession-of-a-911-conspirator-911-truth-movement-film-starring-ed-asner-martin-sheen-woody-harrelson-daniel-sunjata-john-heard/

        So yep, there in fact are lots of American progressives who have gone public calling the official story into serious doubt. I think the reason you and millions of others don’t know this is because they are deliberately being blacked out in the corporate media which is doing the government’s bidding–making sure anybody who publicly questions the bullshit government narrative is either totally ignored, or attacked. btw I totally agree with your analysis that it was a great deception that has been used to pave the way for all the wars that have since passed, or still raging, rollback of civil liberties, and the ‘war without end’ that we are now facing, courtesy of the U.S. government. And generous assistance from Israel.

        • Here is the direct link to Artists and Actors for 9/11 Truth. There are a lot of progressives here going public!-

          https://actorsandartistsfor911truth.org

        • Yes – I’m aware of most of these celebrities. I’ve signed the AE911 Truth petition and am certainly aware of Ed Asner’s role. I am instead referring to those that are in the political arena. Where is anyone from NPR or MSNBC? How about Amy Goodman, Thom Hartmann, or Noam Chomsky? Kyle Kucinski, David Pakman, Jimmy Dore? Lots of courage and truth from many of these folks, but where are the bold pronouncements regarding 9/11? And then we have the Dem candidates. Has anyone even called for a new investigation?

    • Hate to burst your bubble but it IS about American progressive movement and has been since teddy Roosevelt and his side kick Woodrow Wilson were in office.
      This has been going on ever since.
      There is nothing so bad as progressive movement as those within it believe they have all the answers and are willing to inflict their ideas on others no matter how much harm they do.
      Progressivism is a disease.

      • Hate to burst your bubble but your hatred of liberals and progressives is uncomfortably wanting, not to mention you clearly lack an understanding of the basic definitions of the terms.

        I think you’re lost: this is Caitlin Johnstone.com, not Unz.com or Redstate.com. Try visiting those, you’ll fit right in, no progressives for you to hate on there unlike here 🙂

        • I have yet to find a self claimed liberal or progressive who actually know that the terms are ECONOMIC and not social terms. Liberals are Free Market Capitalists above all, and progressives believe in a progressive income tax.

          Neither is compatible with socialism or sustainability, as they are inherently Capitalist ideologies, and therefore ecocidal and right-wing.

          The social aspect is window dressing to fool the rubes into getting their support.

  • Ah, the Buddha Ms Caitlin speaks the whole evil truth about the United States of America in this ” un-sugar coated article” that has brought moisture to my old eyes. Amen, Ms Johnstone, Amen!

  • the “progressive” American privilege is pushing for denuclearization of North Korea as if NK nuke will bring the end of humanity, while keeping (relatively) quiet about US/Israel/Europe’s nukes, the root of nuclear proliferation.

    the “progressive” American and European privilege is advocating for the “illegal” migrants from the countries and whole regions bombed, looted, made uninhabitable and ungovernable by North America and Europe, and criticizing the “nativist” poor who oppose the imperialist wars.

    added just a few to your great list.

  • At the top, in the United States of America, corruption is not only massive; it is entirely bipartisan.-Eric Zuesse

    This artice is long; but at the end you will realize just why the author constructed it the way he did. This great entire article can be read here:
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/12/why-americas-military-capabilities-are-failing/

  • A lot of “white privileged men” in the US live on the street.

    Isn’t it time for a basic universal income?

    The only really privileged people in this world belong to the 1% of the population.

    Fortunately, prophecies are telling us the Second Coming of Jesus is very near and I pray the Rosary to hasten His Glorious return because I have already seen enough bullshit.

    • Just continue believing the delusion.
      You mean the bullshit of Jesus and the Bible? Especially your Scofield bible?
      People like you have been raving for centuries and the last time was a few years ago when some nutball preacher was claiming the end of the world was just the next month.
      Jim Jones.
      heaven’s Gate anyone?

  • Thanks Caitlin; you are correct but only up to a point because you have to ask and consider who are these people who set the policies, who is it that funds both parties, who are the people who create the he multiple ‘Think Tanks’ and ´NGO’s’, what are their beliefs. As far as I can see the USA and other aligned countries are simply a convenient vehicle or wrapper which they use to achieve their long term aims and which largely shields them from blame.

    For improving Critcal Thinking Skills search or look up “The Trivium” or Richard Grove’s website https://tragedyandhope.com/trivium/

  • Here’s a balls and all summary of the USA in its destructive worst. Amazing how individual Americans are warm and friendly and welcoming, yet the Establishment or whatever you want to call it is so callous and murderous:

    https://www.thenation.com/article/40-years-ago-this-chilean-exile-warned-us-about-the-shock-doctrine-then-he-was-assassinated/
    Also this;
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/09/12/nonviolence-denial-is-as-dangerous-as-climate-denial/

  • It is for excellent, original, and insightful articles like this that I visit Caitin’s website almost every day. This one goes directly to my Evernote for future reference. I’d like to memorize most of it. Like her other articles, this is is remarkably lucid except for one short paragraph where I have no idea what she is talking about when she condemns “nipple hating norms.” There is nothing prudish about what appears in American media.

    • My guess is she’s talking about public breastfeeding.

  • “American privilege is reassuring yourself that there are problems enough at home without worrying about the trillions your government’s war machine is spending terrorizing the world and encircling the planet with military bases. . . .
    .
    “American privilege is having a shit fit over election meddling in one social media post, while cheerleading regime change in the next.”
    .
    So, what is truly needed is a regime change by the people in the United States to restore democracy and reverse the 1963 deep state coup, when the war profiteers of the military–industrial complex took full control of America, as warned by President Eisenhower just before it happened:
    .
    “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
    .
    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex.
    .
    “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
    .
    — President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961

  • This is why I send you $$$, Keep on the job, kick ass. I do not know how to place links on here but I was just in Harper’s Archive: March 1974; The Last Days of Salvador Allende, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for a perfect expose on how the American Empire does it’s evil work, only 7 pages, take the time to look it up. I also just read an article in the Nation Magazine: Climate change is here and it looks like Starvation, by Ben Ehrenreich. Since I have no ‘boob tube’ I am free to read, and believe me, I read a lot. I am also lucky that I can comprehend what I am reading, You know pick out the lies and Bulls–t. I am getting old and currently I am thinking more like the Last Page of “The River Why” by David James Duncan, I want this for my eulogy, I already used it for an old hippy gal friend of ours who got her last wish”To be buried in her own backyard” “There was an old Taoist who lived in a village called Homer (Ak) Named Master George. Now George loved God and God loved George, and whatever God did was fine with George, and whatever George did was fine with God. They were friends. They were such good friends that they kidded around. George would do things to God like call Him “The Great Clod!” That was how he kidded. That was fine with God. God would turn around and do stuff to George like give him warts on his face. wens on his head, arthritis in his hands, a hunch in his back, canker sores in his mouth, and gout in his feet. That’s how he kidded, that God, what a kidder! But it was fine with George. Master George grew lumpy as a toad, he grew crooked as cherry wood, he became a human pretzel… You Clod! He shouted at God, laughing. That was fine with God, He sent George a right leg ten inches shorter than the left just to show that He was listening. And George would laugh some more and walk around in little circles, showing off his short leg, saying to the Homerites: “Ha Ha See how the Great Clod listens!” How lumpy and crookedly He is making me! He makes me laugh and laugh, that’s what a friend is for!” And the people in Homer would look at him and wag their heads: Sure enough old George looked like an owl’s nest, he looked like a swamp, he looked like something the dog rolled in. And he winked at the people and looked up at God and shouted “Hey Clod, what next?” And splot! out popped a fresh wart. The people wagged their heads till their tongues wagged too. They said; “Poor Master George has gone crazy.” And maybe he had, Maybe God sent down craziness along with the hunch and the gout. It was fine with George, He loved God and God loved him, and George was was the crookedest, ugliest, happiest old man in all the empire, until the day he whispered; “Hey Clod, what now?” And God took his line in hand and drew George right into Himself. That was fine with George, because that’s what a friend is for! The village of Homer, however, misses the Old Guy……I hope you all see the Humor in this. That book is one of the greatest “Fish/Love stories” I ever read, and I have read thousands of books. This book is best read aloud with someone you love, take turns reading to each other, you will roll on the floor laughing. With Love to all here…..

  • whoa. Americans don’t have a country. OUR country ended in 1963 when the three most visionary leaders of the 20th centruy were slaughtered by the CIA in a blatant coup d’etat. There has BEEN no “America” since then. Just an evil empire run by unelected, bloodthirsty, lustful, greedy, warmongering, power-mad monsters. We are not priviliged. We are imprisoned.

    • why haven’t you broken out of the prison then? let me answer for you. you don’t want to give up the privileges of being american but you want to keep the privilege to criticize the monsters who feed you with the blood that hey have sucked out of other peoples around the world.

  • The first time I saw the headline for this article “New Post: American Privilege” I missed the punctuation and thought the article meant “Post American Privilege.” The Post American era seems seems to be coming.

  • So many painful truths are laid bare in your article. It’s excruciating to know that you are exactly right and to know that pointing out even a small bit of this can quickly make a person a pariah.

    The one presidential candidate who has criticized our foreign wars and pledged to end them has been vilified and/or excluded and fastidiously pushed aside by both the establishment and the so-called progressives.

    My world view was shaped during the 1960s when thousands and thousands of us were out protesting the Vietnam War. We did not trust the FBI or CIA (or anyone over 30 for that matter!). The first Earth Day was in 1970 – nearly 50 years ago. I do not understand what happened to my generation’s healthy outrage.

    Thank you for continually enlightening people with your insights. I have and will continue to share your writings hoping to reignite the passion amongst my contemporaries.

    Reading the comments made before mine lets me know there are others who see past the propaganda and are against blind allegiance to an increasingly evil and corrupt government.

  • Yes, that about nails it. And maybe there are glimmers of hope here and there. I would agree that Hollywood is predominantly a propaganda machine and then it turns out a film like Green Book https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6966692/ which is lyrical, critical and life enhancing. A film that shows America as it is, lots of problems with ignorance and racism, and what America could be if the right relationships could be built. The ideas and potential are always there, it just needs enough people to wake up stop colluding with this nonsense.

  • The outrageous hypocrisy demonstrated by the U.S. government is the domain of sociopaths. Americans don’t run their government or their country. We are economic slaves, completely brainwashed by a pervasive control system that eats away at us like a cancer. It is killing us, just like it is killing the rest of the world. And who is to blame? The ruling sociopaths that deceive and manipulate us. They run our country and every other major country on the planet, including England, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, and Australia. It’s a private club at the national and international level, and you can’t get in without the right psychological disease.

  • Sanders wants to ban assault rifles. Does that include the ones Israeli Snipers shoot protesters with? How about the F-35? TY C.J. again.

    • Sanders, the self-styled socialist, calls Maduro, the democratically elected leader of the socialist Venezuela, “tyrant” or something.. Sanders has always been a snake. no socialist at all.

  • Brava! This is a great(greatest?) compilation, but it is all wrong because you have not visited us. The priviledged here, , those to whom this adressed, are the top 20% as Thomas Frank in “Listen Liberal” astutely, accurately identified them.
    The people here , who have the priviledge to read this, never will, and you must forgive them, because 50% of the US population are scrambling just to make ends meet, the 50-75% on the bubble are too busy trying to get their kids or themselves, out of their own predicament,(and/or are drinking wine while watching Netflicks as a release, probably never had a great history teacher, or know that it is a duopoly (post Bill Clinton) and that no politician gives a damn about them ) and the top 25% and above (the people who actually still vote in this country, and who have actual influence, because all votes in this duopoly serve their interests), like things the way they are, but want our attention misdirected and focusing upon ID politics (class war fare is sooo dirty hippies/60-ish when the neolib/neocons rule!). The citizens don’t have a clue about what is going on in their name/or where their tax payer dollars go, and this is by design, ever since Bill Clinton gutted the Dem Party,embraced a “donors” competition between Duopolists, consolidated media (TeleComm Act 96). and silenced the majority. (Wonder if the Clintons got that idea from Regan? They actually DID it!) .
    Thanks for the Great Observations/Distillations! Love, Rooting For You ,
    Hope

    • HOPE was the word written on the bottom of Pandora Box in Greek mythologies… we all go to that proverbial bottom to see that word clearly… again ? … all the best.

  • the very phrase ‘american privilege’ is in and of itself a privileged, exceptionalist construction. this idea of US citizens calling ourselves (and indeed much of the googoo-eyed world calling us) ‘americans’ as though we were the only inhabitants of the AMERICAS is pathetically bombastic and colonialist. there were, last time i studied geography, and i believe still are, two continents and a sub-continent, or isthmus, that are also ‘american’, as well as 35 countries contained within those boundaries. so let’s stop with the supercilious co-opting of ‘american’ and call ourselves what we are, and have been since our ‘founding’: USers…

    • Exactly! As my Central American students would note, they never realized that estadounidenses, norte americanos, or gringos (the only words they use to describe US citizens) actually think of themselves as exclusively “American” and don’t usually, if ever, describe anyone living anywhere outside the US as ‘Americans’! WTFU, USers (I like that term, btw)! You’re not the only “Americans” in the world!!!

    • Yea, you could do that if you want.

      The rest of the world knows what is meant when someone says American.

      • That doesn’t make the rest of the world correct.
        “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
        -Samuel Clemens

  • At Moon of Alabama, after one commenter left the repeat of the following part of your rant

    American privilege is having your insane culture normalized around the world via Hollywood and other media so that nobody stops and wonders why we’re letting this bat shit crazy nation rule our planet, and so no one makes you feel bad about your American privilege.

    I commented thusly

    Yes and NO!

    America is the current face of the bat shit crazy cult of global private finance folk that rule our planet.

    Our species in the West has a structural problem with our form of social organization. We allow this cult of people that are NOT America to project through most of the brainwashed peoples of America/UK/Occupied Palestine onto others.

    America is not the cult but the current face of the cult….and as such, we are monsters through FAITH in the God of Mammon definition of our form of social organization.

    If we can change the Western structure of social organization we will stop being monsters for the God of Mammon

    • I think what you wrote is correct.
      What will be needed to “change the Western structure of social organization” is for people to be aware of “Western structure of social organization” – who it is, what it does, and who it does and doesn’t serve. I’ve thought a lot about this, and the only way I can think to make change is for people ( and I mean everyone) to be kind and compassionate towards each other. Because to be angry and vengeful towards even one person, is the root of why weapons exist, and wars start.
      If people cannot eliminate this trait of anger, or at least let it subside without a vengeful outward reaction, then no change in this world is possible. The World is how it is because of people and their thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

      Everyone needs to eliminate anger, fear, and greed from themselves. When this happens the world will be a peaceful place.

      • Continued…If you can’t eliminate these traits from yourself, why expect governments to eliminate those traits?
        It’s on each and every person to make the change within themselves.

        One day, when the last greedy selfish person gives the command to wage war, or oppress someone, there will be nobody willing to follow their command……

  • “Conservatism” in America’s politics means “Let’s keep the niggers in their place.” And “liberalism” means “Let’s keep the knee-grows in their place—but tell them we’ll treat them a little better; let’s fool them more, with more promises.”

    Malcolm X

  • All true, and almost entirely disregarded by Americans, a testament to the most effective propaganda ever. It takes looking in from the outside, like Caitlin and many others, to fully understand, or leaving long enough to let one’s mind, however critical and independent it might be, to think clearly without being constantly bombarded with lies and misinformation.

    Flag wavers say to us critics, at the same time they want a wall, “well, why does everybody want to come to America then, if it’s so bad?” People still want to come to America to escape the bullseye and be on the side that kills rather than the one that gets killed, to be “free” to try to get rich and have lots of stuff, which then makes them like everybody already here, comfortably numb to how the rest of the world gets raped and murdered for that to happen. Same as it ever was, from the country’s origin, dolled up with bullshit nobility.

  • Once again your words completely nail an ignored or hidden reality that vitally needs to be known, understood, operated from, and shouted from the rooftops!

  • PERFECT! I wouldn’t change a word in this article. You simply nailed it.

  • American privilege is having one system of law for the rich, another system for every other American, and no system at all for people who aren’t American.

    • for the rich, “being American” means NOTHING. Nada. zip. the division is not along the borders. it is along the capital-rich and the capital-poor, across the borders. it has ALWAYS been that way.

      • and yes, still, there’s a certain amount of priviliege of being american that the poor americans enjoy and do not want to give up.

  • Bread and circuses…..some thing never change.

  • We live in a smug cocoon of our own bullshit in America. We consider it really rude if anyone tries to wake us up. Don’t mess with us, we might pull out a gun and shoot you. We are quite sensitive in our own stupid way.

    • The way you worded that made me think of the movie A Fish Called Wanda, and the character of crazy, violent, American CIA idiot Otto, who kept popping up shooting his gun or saying, “Don’t call me stupid!” It was one of my favorite comedies:

  • Well done! (except) one place says the Establishment gives hollow minded Americans “peace of mind”- well yeah it’s implied re foreign activities and the huge budget but they will never actually say “peace of mind” because we need to always be fearing something.

    Also a great preamble for the declaration of a new really democratic United Nations.

  • Oh my Caitlin, you have hit your zenith with this one. Just when I thought you were done, there’s another, even more spot on. Thank you for this brutal, wrap in the forehead of raw truth

  • You hit all the high notes **CJ**
    One of your best writings ever.

    one addition:
    American privilege is being ignorant or apathetic about the climate crisis and its impact on your grandchildren, while allowing your government to destroy any chance of keeping the Ecosystem habitable for future generations.

  • touché

  • I have been vreading your posts for some time now, agreeing wholeheartedly. I am grateful for truth telling free speech. I am sickened to be part of this americuntry. What change of venue would you recommend i move to?

    • New Zealand….

      • Sorry to break it to you but the NZ population these days is as lacking in critical thinking as the USA. Sure, the govt might be a little more progressive but the people are naive and enjoy their own version of Caitlin’s “American privilege”. They even join in with the war excursions of the USA and hold sentimental ceremonies to honour the”war dead” which always means “our troops”.

        • NZ, Austrailia, Canada have traveled the same road: they were (and still are comparatively) “progressive” domestically while excluding the “colored” from immigrating to their “progressive” countries after exterminating the natives. once the “colored” immigrated in big numbers, the white population started discriminating against the colored.

    • Hi Zoe,
      Give up on getting away.
      Do what you can to mitigate the damage for those you know and love.
      Save the last bullet for yourself.
      Be at peace with reality.
      http://www.johndayblog.com

  • Right On!, Trisha

  • My fake name was Norm, but I love nipple stuff…. Otherwise I agree, having been there and done American Privilege.

  • You forgot human trafficking… otherwise, that about covers it… and the privilege I don’t have of speaking out because I don’t live in Australia… if I did I’d lose more than a spot on Facebook.

  • Coming from an American: you’re spot on.

    Even LGBTQ folks who should know better grant privilege to one of their own – Rachel Maddow – a person who spent 2+ years spouting destructive lies while posing as a “journalist”. They won’t back down.

    As a member of the LGBTQ community, it’s disgusting to hear these same folks go on about “safe spaces” and “micro-aggression” while simultaneously denying credence to one of their own wrongly imprisoned and tortured in solitary confinement: Chelsea Manning.

    It is extremely difficult to be surrounded by such a culture where practically everybody could be considered clinically insane. Fortunately I have a very very few friends who have the clarity to see things as I do and we do the best we can to resist the insanity, but it’s like trying to stand up against a hurricane.

Post a Reply to Lloyd Cancel Reply