Whenever I see someone online repeatedly gushing with enthusiastic praise about me and my writing, I don’t get flattered by it. I don’t get any kind of ego tickle out of it at all; I just quietly say to myself, “Ah shit. You’re gonna get so pissed off when I inevitably say something you disagree with.”

And without fail they always do. It happens over and over again; someone decides I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread and decides to elevate me in their minds to some kind of trustworthy authority figure over what they should be thinking, then eventually I’ll say say something they disagree with because I don’t fall neatly into any reliable ideological box they can trust to remain predictable from day to day, and they have a catastrophic meltdown about it online acting like I just betrayed them.

And in their minds, I did betray them. They trusted me to always show up in their inbox every day saying things that align with their worldview in an articulate and interesting way, and then I betrayed that trust. It’s not a trust I ever wanted and frequently advise against, but I haven’t been able to find an effective way to deter it.

I see this same kind of betrayal reaction from progressives today about Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky, Sanders for dropping out and endorsing Biden without first ensuring some “concessions” from his campaign and Chomsky for sharing the same “lesser evil voting” policy he’s been voicing for decades.

I personally don’t get this desire progressives feel to receive “concessions” from the Biden campaign in the first place. Like, what is the motive here? You want Biden’s handlers to lie to you and add some more fake progressive agendas to his platform that have a zero percent chance of ever being enacted if he makes it to the White House? It’s so undignified. It’s undignified for the progressives, and in a sense it’s undignified for the Biden camp as well. Trying to make a lifelong corporate whore do a fake leftist song and dance is like trying to make a cat wear a dress. Stop trying to get Biden’s handlers to write down some lefty talking points for him to struggle to read on camera and just let him campaign honestly as the corporate whore he’s always been.

And of course the odious Mehdi Hasan trotted out Chomsky to have him recite his famous “lesser of two evils” spiel (except of course in this case it’s the lesser of two right wing dementia patients who’ve been credibly accused of rape). What did you think was going to happen? They did it in 2016, they did it in 2012, of course they’re going to do it again. You’ll never see Noam Chomsky more visible than when the US political establishment needs to keep national momentum from shifting toward actual leftist movements.

And I mean I get it. I get it that it’s annoying to never get to have any heroes who don’t end up betraying the trust you put in them and advancing causes that you oppose. Other people get to have heroes; liberals get to have Obama, conservatives get to have Trump, why don’t people who want to see meaningful healthy changes in US policy get to have any heroes?

But in an environment with vast fortunes poured into upholding and reinforcing the status quo, where the gravitational pull of establishment agendas reliably tugs at every corner of the political universe, that’s just the reality of our situation: you don’t get to have heroes. The only trustworthy place you can hang any authority is on yourself.

If you’re experiencing emotional suffering over Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard for endorsing Biden, or Chomsky for endorsing lesser-evil voting, you really have nobody to blame but yourself. You wouldn’t have to knock these people off the pedestals you put them on if you hadn’t put them there in the first place. If you’d been placing authority in yourself, where it belongs, you’d just see some regular schmucks moving around and saying things just like all the other seven billion schmucks on this planet.

You’ve got no business abdicating your rightful authority over what’s true to Bernie Sanders, to Noam Chomsky, or to me. Your responsibility to know the truth about reality is yours and yours alone. Everyone else is just offering you various tools. Sometimes they’re the right tool for the job, sometimes they’re the wrong tool, and it’s up to you to sort out which is which. But regardless, they’re only ever handing you tools to do the job that is your responsibility and yours alone. Take what tools are useful, and leave the rest. Do this, and you’ll find the names and faces involved in our collective awakening a whole lot less frustrating.

For a supposedly collectivist impulse, the left sure does pour a lot of mental energy into individuals. “Oh, this individual is Good, we can trust this one. Oh no, but this individual over here is Bad!” No they’re not, they’re just people handing out tools. Sanders handed out a useful rallying point for the left, Chomsky handed out some useful ideas on propaganda, and they both handed out some tools that are unhelpful right now. Take the useful tools and leave the others. Do this while standing in your own authority and much of the debate about individuals will become uninteresting and meaningless to you.

Putting someone on a pedestal is actually a very violent thing to do, because it guarantees that you’ll only have to knock them off of it eventually. It’s violent towards others, and it’s violent toward yourself; it only invites future pain into the world, and the world has enough pain. Don’t abdicate your authority to anyone else and no one will ever let you down for using the authority you gave them incorrectly.


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146 responses to “You Wouldn’t Have To Knock People Off Their Pedestal If You Didn’t Put Them There In The First Place”

  1. Lamentation is also a prayer. there is a short book in the Bible LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH – The painting of this by Rembrandt is awesome. youtube Thomas Tallis – Lamentation more things are wrought by prayer than the world generally supposes — Tennyson

  2. Anthony Christie Avatar
    Anthony Christie

    Go to heck, darn it, Caitlin! I used to think you were so great but now, having read this post, I think you suck.

    1. Anthony Christie Avatar
      Anthony Christie

      I’m sorry, Caitlin. I just lost it there for a minute. (Your crazy opinions made me lose it. So it’s kind of your fault, right?…even though you were being so great… and sucking so bad.) You’ll forgive me, won’t you? I think you’re amazing. Even when you suck. Nevermind. I mean… you’re great. Really great.
      I wish I knew you personally, so I could write you an odious ode,
      so I could scream it at the top of my lungs to you,
      about how much I love your stuff, how great you are,
      except when you write crap that I hate
      and how we’re both so much alike,
      except that you’re so stupid and not sorry,
      and I’m so mean and so so sorry,
      and I’d throw crockery
      and slam doors
      and then you’d know how much I care
      and how sincere I am
      and then you’d believe me
      and if you didn’t then I’d know that you suck.
      Perfect Caitlin,
      I love you
      I’d love you to say
      I do.
      But don’t!

      1. And I am not sorry to say you sound like a hyperventilating teenage wanker…

        1. Anthony Christie Avatar
          Anthony Christie

          Actually I was shooting for the voice of a thirty-something abusive boyfriend wanker, but he is, I think, developmentally arrested at about fifteen, so you’re close. Or maybe I am. Thanks, Peter!

          1. Anthony Christie Avatar
            Anthony Christie

            See how our wanker hero puts her on a pedestal then knocks her down?
            it’s not a very good poem, I know, but your reply is hardly a landmark in literary criticism.

  3. DAnna Sviridova Avatar
    DAnna Sviridova

    Just keep wearing a mask.
    Think of the benefits….. 1) lowering covid spread AND 2) messing with our facial recognition spy whores.

  4. There is a problem here in that you are buying into right-wing propaganda.
    Right-wing propaganda attacks anyone to the left of Adolf Hitler at all times and for any conceivable reason.
    A large part of this is that any left-of-Adolf politician who does anything sane and competent in terms of politics and building a movement, is ALWAYS attacked. This is a part of the constant attacks on any left-of-Adolf’s for any reason and at all times.
    This is the source of the cries of “betrayal”. Oh, I’m sure some are well-meaning. They saw the “betrayal” meme somewhere and picked it up and ran with it. But the main source of these attacks is the right-wingers who hate all politicians who are left-of-Adolf.
    Thus, Jeremy Corbyn is horrible and betrays us all when he attempts to hold his party together and to try to win the majority that would make him PM. How horrible? Such betrayal. Doesn’t Corbyn know that all left-of-Adolf politicians are required to be pure to their ideals at all times, even if that means they only get 1% of the vote?
    The obvious example in this column is Prof Chomsky. He’s been on the attack list for being left-of-Adolf for decades now. Chomsky is regularly attacked by internet voices who decree that nobody must read anything that Chomsky says.
    And now, when he is being very sensible and pointing out that defeating Trump is important. That there is a difference between Biden and Trump. That there is a difference between the people the Democrats put into powerful offices, and the John Bolton’s and Elliot Abrams’ who appear in every Republican government. So, of course Chomsky must be attacked for saying this. After all, the right-wing backed internet opinion shapers, who have lots of oligarch money behind them, want to see Trump re-elected. Thus anyone left-of-Adolf must be attacked. And certainly those left-of-Adolf’s outthere who try to say that even if Biden is awful, he is still a lot better than Trump, those voices must be attacked, and attacked viciously.
    After all, we can’t have that left-of-Adolf majority of voters actually going to the polls and defeating Herr Trumpf. So, of course the voices like Chomsky, Tulsi, and Bernie must be attacked. Just like they must be attacked every day. But they must especially be attacked now. We must prevent the left-of-Adolfs from defeating Herr Trumpf. And we must continue to constantly discredit threats to the permanent war machine like Tulsi.

    1. More DNC propaganda streaming.

    1. Two voting options both actively promoting global violence; mass murder and starvation of innocent civilians; mass domestic disenfranchisement; systematic expansion of gross inequality; rape; etc. etc? Not evil? Just disappointing?

      The author of that article is an idiot. Unfortunately that is an attribute that helps him get published.

  5. Late to comment on this but I need to get this off my chest …
    Literally nothing in political strategizing is more damaging in my lifetime than the concept of lesser-evil-voting (LOTE). The false rationale is far more insidious than simply contending it’s somehow ‘better’ to careen off the cliff at 40 mph rather than 100 mph. Not to mention the absurdly snooty and ultimately ignorant notion that the LOTE promoter knows who/what the lesser evil is in the first place.
    One of the most disgusting ironies is that while the people making the LOTE argument use elitism as a shaming tool, the LOTE argument itself is extraordinarily and blatantly elitist. There is nothing more elitist than sitting in your relatively comfortable place and pontificating to desperate fellow humans that ‘change takes time, don’t you know!’ ‘Why, Rome wasn’t built in a day, dear friends.’ ‘One seat at a time, Rosa! What in the world could you be thinking?’
    That monstrously lazy and elitist thinking has led inexorably to catastrophe and damn you, to Donald Trump. As Ron Placone argues: there is no such thing as an incremental solution to a catastrophic problem.
    Your LOTE ‘strategy’ has predictably led to disaster. Continuing to promote it makes you part of the problem. Four decades of failure is enough. Step the fuck aside.

    1. Yes, we all feel so ideologically pure when we go and vote for the candidate that only gets 1% of the vote in a winner take all election. There is nothing quite as wonderful as the feeling that you’ve completely wasted the small amount of input you are allowed into the system, and made sure that the greater evil was re-elected.
      The American system sucks.
      In the American system, voters are required to form alliances before casting votes. In a more modern multi-party democracy, voters can vote closer to their heart, then those small parties who are elected get to negotiate their deal to join a governing coalition. But that doesn’t happen under the outdated American system. In the American system, voters have to form their coalitions before casting their vote.
      And of course, there is massive amounts of pro-oligarch propaganda telling people not to dare to form a coalition against their oligarchs favored candidate, as that is unpure and they will burn in hell for eternity if they dare to form a coalition that defeats the oligarch’s favorite son.
      Likely, these are many of the same voices that pleaded with voters not to vote for Bernie when they had a chance because they said that voting itself is completely useless. Now that they’ve defeated the one viable alternative candidate, the message shifts to telling people to go vote, but to waste their vote on candidates who can’t possibly win.

    2. Stephen Lintott Avatar
      Stephen Lintott

      I see Chomsky lesser evil argument, he consistently uses it in wide area, as a bit like taking a pain killer if you have cancer, it can be useful but not if you leads to you not getting treatment for your cancer.

  6. ah Greg your back . Caitlin’s first two paragraphs!
    Don’t where your from but ironically i replied to this statement .
    And you jumped off your pedestal , hence hook line sinker .
    I always look forward to reading Caitlin’s articles

    1. Ok, ironic humour. I’m from a place that identifies well with that form. Perhaps though you’re framing needs some work, hey? Y’know, so the word pictures you offer can successfully convey the meanings that resonate so familiarly, so obviously, within your own head? But its also ok to just talk with yourself. Sorry for butting in.

      1. Oh thanks for letting me know it’s ok happy meltings

  7. The Chomsky lesser of two evils speech is here yet again:

    Glenn Greenwald on Noam Chomsky Favouring Biden Over Trump & Voting for Lesser of Two Evils


    Last election I took pictures of my mail in ballot as I voted for Jill Stein and put them up on my website. This year I’ll just vote for myself and I might not bother with a picture. KDFP

    While some of who read you Catlin my just need a leader and you are perhaps their flavor of the month. And while your attitude is good to deal with inevitable disappointment the fact is many of your readers are not like readers of an average ‘fan club’. Some of us share principles in common. Social justice, equality, stuff like that which these days bore most people. We believe in some of the things you do. It is true you could go Nazi on us, but I don’t think you will.

    1. While some of who read you Catlin may just need a leader.

  8. 5G rollout Alert!
    Take note people, that 5G is being rolled out across Australia right at this moment!
    Take note people, the Commonwealth Bank now has bio-facial recognition camera’s at it’s teller machines, fixed to the front of the ATM that look like a flat chrome button! These fucking scum bags, and other banks and some businesses are also rolling out, these invasive camera’s, they are everywhere, above roadways, billboards, and ALL public area’s!
    This is all part of the Globalist’s plan, including the Lock-down, there is much more Tyranny heading our way, so be alert, keep an open mind!
    I have put this post up because ALL Australians have the right to know what our government is doing behind our backs!
    Wake up Australia!

    1. PS. This is taking place not just in Australia, but GLOBALLY! This should prove to you, that a Coup is taking place, the MSM is BS!

      1. DAnna Sviridova Avatar
        DAnna Sviridova

        Just keep wearing a mask.
        Think of the benefits….. 1) lowering covid spread AND 2) messing with our facial recognition spy whores.

  9. When the Democrats stop combining with the Republicans to wreak barbaric death and destruction upon those deemed “inconvenient” to goals of Empire (which are tantamount to goals of domination over all important aspects of societal organization for the benefit of only those who concentrate wealth), I will say “you are better”. When the Democrats stop using neo-McCarthyite bullshit in league with rogue “intelligence” to play dishonest and dangerous political games, I will say “you are better”. When the Democrats stop combining with Republicans to erode the Constitution, I will say “you are better”. When the Democrats stop combining with the Republicans to erode the health and economic viability of most people, I will say “you are better”.
    If the Democrats would stand up for Julian Assange or point out the criminal absurdity of an unaccountable, unelected oligarch (Bill Gates) to effect totalitarian policy, I would say “you are better”.
    I could on and on with this exercise….
    When hell freezes over.

    1. And I would logically, by extension, add that “when Sanders disavows Democratic policies that…”

      Or is this just me, swimming in subjective chaos?

      I prefer to believe, and I do, that my aggrieved opposition to the “follow Sanders over the cliff” movement is not based on petulance, but principle. So what if it’s aggrieved if it is a newly minted determination to scrape the scales off my eyes, and not be propagandize again? That’s something to appreciate, not cajole.

      1. Principled. Agree and Applaud.

  10. hear, hear! I love your writing but I don’t expect you to think exactly like me. Respectful disagreement is a cornerstone of freedom. I tend to skim over the more politically specific posts of yours while honing in on your philisophical and inspirational writings (like your poetry) that resonate with my soul. The closest I came to being in total disagreement with you, so far, was a post about celebrities being psy ops in skin because I think every living creature – celebrities, politicians, billionare wankers, etc. – is a mix of dark and light, even if that light is the most infinitesimal grain buried deep inside. I think many of the worst perpertrators of evil were once just helpless victims deprived of human kindness and, even now, they are still capable of accepting and, yes, even giving, love. Still, no matter what you write, inevitably you seem to end on a positive, empowering note and for that I thank you and cherish you. Be well and bonne continuation!

  11. To reference your past abusive-family metaphors, Sanders and Chomsky remind me of nothing so much as the well-meaning enablers of an abusive system.

    Not the ill-intentioned enablers; those are the ones who claim the moral high ground, but secretly support the abusive family system, because they get something out of seeing other exploited and abused and/or because they identify with the abuser. Not those enablers; they’re easier to spot.

    But rather the well-meaning enablers; the ones who are genuinely opposed to abusive behaviors, have a real issue with the abuser, and want to see things get better, but who still, for whatever reason, are invested in maintaining the dysfunctional family system, because seeing the system torn down is just too much for them. Those enablers.

    These well-meaning enablers are usually nice people, who really would like to see the abuse stop. They stand up to the abusers (up to a point), telling them firmly that what they are doing is wrong, and offering alternatives, and trying to protect the kids a bit, and asking nicely for the abusers to change. They reach out to the victims, and say “this is unacceptable, help me fix it.” By which they mean, “help me convince the abusers to see the light and let us do things differently. I’m sure if we just make *very firm requests* for something better, and show them how many of us have a problem with the way things are being done around here, then they’ll come around!” And they probably believe that. The abused victims are drawn to them, and listen to them (at first, anyway), and hope that what they say about getting the abusers to change is true and can be done, and that somebody is finally going to help them.

    These sorts of enablers can actually do some real good in helping the victims see that what is going on is wrong, and why, and that it shouldn’t be that way, and ought to change. The provide that perspective – that tool, if you will – that can help people see more clearly.

    But what these well-meaning enablers will never, ever do is face the fact that abusers don’t change. Ever. No matter how loudly and firmly you ask, or how clearly you explain why the abuse is wrong, or how many people you have asking, they will not change. The well-meaning enabler will do his or her best to protect you within the abusive system, but – and this is the key point – they will not help you leave the abusive system. Because they are invested in it, and won’t acknowledge that abusers can’t be reformed. They will spend their lives trying to reform it – which never works, of course – but they will not face facts and walk away from it.

    Sanders and Chomsky are like the kindly uncles of the Democratic Party, the ones who tell you that mom and dad are jerks and have no right to treat the kids that way, and offer to “have a word” on your behalf. Which they do. And you appreciate that.

    But at some point, you have to realize that Uncle Bernie and Uncle Noam are not going to leave the family, because they – well, they just won’t. They’re not that radical or that brave. They’ll just keep lecturing the abusers, and maybe winning you an occasional minor concession…but that’s all they’ll do.

    That’s when you thank the kindly uncles for helping you see how screwed up it all is, and for proving that it can’t be reformed from inside.

    And then you walk away.

    1. I am going to use the overused but appropriate word “awesome“ to respond to your essay, in which you explain the exact problem, and why it’s important to not dismiss this moment for the clarity of example it contains. I feel redeemed in my vexation!

    2. Your framing speaks directly to what I have been feeling. It speaks to the mixture of love and sadness that I feel in relation to Bernie. I don’t necessarily agree with Caitlin’s framing of me having put Bernie on a pedestal but more feel a sense of sadness at seeing him to not be who i had previously thought, hoped, and perhaps to some degree, I admit, projected. Your post, EM, helps me to more clearly see the psychological underpinnings of Bernie and Noam’s stances. They are operating through their interpersonal patterning, and Bernie’s clearly codependent stance to his “good friend” joe is direct example of this.
      I am not sure my take away is that it can’t be reformed from the inside, and I think prove is too strong of a word choice, but it seems reasonable — how can you change a system that you have become so fully a part of? Who in their right mind would fully immerse themselves in such a toxic soup while secretly adhering to a radical vision of cultural transformation? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  12. Roundball Shaman Avatar
    Roundball Shaman

    “You Wouldn’t Have To Knock People Off Their Pedestal If You Didn’t Put Them There In The First Place”

    Too many people are essentially lazy and don’t want to be responsible for their lives or for the necessity to think and act. So, they exalt some figure up to a pedestal and then follow like a lost dog to whatever their Pedestal Hero says or does. Nice and neat… and lazy and dis-empowering way to choose to live.

    “I get it that it’s annoying to never get to have any heroes who don’t end up betraying the trust you put in them and advancing causes that you oppose…. why don’t people who want to see meaningful healthy changes in US policy get to have any heroes?”

    People who want meaningful change don’t get to have heroes because there’s not enough money in it to be made by the “right people”. You want anything done in this world? Find out a way for the predators to make money off it and you won’t be able to stop the tidal wave of change coming. But of course, that also means that meaningful change did not happen at all.

    “Putting someone on a pedestal is actually a very violent thing to do, because it guarantees that you’ll only have to knock them off of it eventually. It’s violent towards others, and it’s violent toward yourself.”

    Putting someone on a pedestal is the ultimate personal dehumanizing event that one does to him/herself. You don’t value yourself enough. You don’t trust yourself enough. You don’t think you have anything to offer to others. You don’t want the responsibility to live an adult life but instead you want some kind of parental figure to keep you in perpetual childhood. You don’t want to find your true destiny, unless your true destiny is to be a lost dog following the decrees from some false Mount Olympus and some false god.

    A pedestal is a support structure. The only thing to ever put up on a pedestal is The Best You that you can be.

    1. I disagree. It was never Bernie that I valued in and of himself: it was the policies he represented. It was the determination he expressed to follow the fight all the way through. It was the persona of an heroic figure personified in this current electoral season; it was a hope that with enough support from us, he could transmogrify into an FDR “leader for the ages” kind of truly “new deal” President, which we are in true need of. The fact that he was mercinarily inclines is a sore disappointment. The corrosive effect of money and power which are inseparable in our politics and why revolution vs utter collapse is the interesting debate at this time, thanks to the utter failure of Sanders, so thanks, Bernie, I guess.

      1. Beautifully expressive. Astute historians would one day refer to gems like these for an understanding of this moment.

  13. The repetition compulsion, which is part of the death instinct. Sigmund wrote about it so everyone could forget, as his ideas have been repressed and maligned, along with his person, ever since he had his insights–another disparaged activity. Or as the fable goes . . the prophet cae down fro the mountains (out of the woods, whichever) and taught the people to see. In revenge, they put out his eyes.

  14. The ” Owners and the Masters ” are getting ready for the schmucks with their pitchforks. You can read this article here:
    Secret Military Task Force Prepares to Secure the U.S. Capital: Newsweek By William M. Arkin

  15. Tomo Stojanovic Avatar
    Tomo Stojanovic

    I think what you describe (The tendency to over-idealize people) comes from religious child abuse (aka religious education)
    it’s also a form of passive aggressive pressure on you to keep you in check (kind of like saying – you see how I glorify you? – and here is what I think, so don’t you dare to say anything that clashes with my agenda!!)
    I see it often with my Jewish ‘friends’ (especially Israelis) – as soon as I say something about Israel’s genocide and land theft against Arabs etc, or if I disagree that we need to immediately nuke IRAN – they get pissed off, and some have called me anti-semite. Like a girl from Israel even though she knows how much I love her parents who used to be my neighbors in LA.
    It’s all or nothing, black or white – lots of Americans are like that (Canadians less so). Most Jews I know
    They learn it in church and synagogues I think. Because to me as someone who has never been child-abused to believe or worship imaginary masters – this behavior makes no sense.
    And i have definitely experienced it many times

  16. The left has to learn and mobilize around understanding finance and its bearing on political economy. Politics is theater. The issues, whether it be universal healthcare, free education, affordable housing, living without needing debt/livable incomes, all have financial foundations. I am talking about new money creation, creation of collateral, creditors able to rule the world because of monopoly control on ownership of the means of production, monopoly control on creation of money (by private owners), etc.

    Social class as a core issue of life, specifically the impotence of the bottom 60% of income earners and wealth holders, is rendered impotent if not invisible as a result. Just wanting politicians so appear sincere is a fool’s errand. We need to have concrete understanding of finance and its oversized role in life and political economy.

    Start with Karl Marx, Peter Kropotkin, Henry George, and Silvio Gesell. These are 19th and early 20th century political economist. Then move to today’s economists, the most important being Michael Hudson and David Graeber. Others, like Richard A. Werner, Joseph Huber, the UK group Positive Money, the European group, The International Movement for Monetary Reform (IMMR), the American group the American Monetary Institute (AMI) – who taught Dennis Kucinich about money creation and inspired his bill, the NEED ACT of 2011, Bernard Lietaer, and so many others. There is no shortage of information out there. This is information that directly instructs citizens why and how politicians are corrupt and what institutions are pillars of corruption.

    Jimmy Dore is the only left wing YouTuber who understands the primacy of this. Ignore finance and you might as well give yourself a lobotomy.

    1. “The Left’ has been averted from its real cause of class warfare (i.e. who owns what, how and why) largely via the labyrinth of identity politics. This is a significant reason why left/right is a mind-cage that secures the status quo rather than being a measure with any useful political meaning.

  17. Even as I was attempting to hold off on Bernie bashing columns, to give myself and others a respite from my provoked disposition, this writing came bubbling up, so I am not done. Despite the general kibosh on people acting unhappy with Bernie, gallingly pointing out that we should have seen it coming, (and of course, we did), it does not suffice as the epitaph to this political cataclysm.

    At first the only way to feel better was exporting it on Bernie and Obama, his operator. Now there can be a more steady response. Maybe that is just an enticement for you to read on so I can berate him further. It’s a cheap satisfaction but there is more to this than sour grapes.

    Bernie, as Noam Chomsky recalled, was right about the movement continuing; however, the waste of goodwill is not so easily recovered. I think he burnt out too many people this time, including some, like me, who walked over scorched earth to support him again and got second degree “Berns.”

    What I and others are experiencing now is an emotional burn, a scarring, but even more, a death: of Idealism, of the “practically achievable in my lifetime” kind of hope. It is self-inflicted, such as when you can’t stop kicking yourself for trying to elect someone who gave up too easily, just like last time, and was too eager to join his so-called opponents and brand those who did not follow him.

    This time I am joining the “never again” camp for a second and final time. I am unwilling to shake off these self-induced pangs of remorse, until I am certain about the alternative to peeling off the bandages on the Bern. This was an all pervasive and extensive defeat; I am determined to change my political behavior altogether and this includes ending my willingness to buy in to the entire practice of voting for “change.”

    When voting it is a cynical exercise for the easily duped and you fall into it only to be duped again, after a while you realize it’s a lesson you must learn. The only way you overcome this practice is by not repeating it. Those who simply do it (i.e. “vote”), without the effort to make it a transformational course of action are more easily recovered when it does not pan out. “Easy come, easy go.”

    Is that the way to bond with a vision for your future, though? “Half in, half out” is voting with the ready excuse that you never believed in it anyway and so you are not one of those sad sacks who was painfully affected. Sooner or later, that kind of noninvolvement leads to the loss of our voting rights just as surely as the practice of not voting. It leads to those who set up this sham of voting procedures to repeat their success next time, guaranteed of an oblivious and indifferent public.

    If Bernie, and those who will follow him, can’t get a ‘fresh crop’ of believers every four years, what will they do? Their job is to convince the rest of us that “this time, it will be different.” It seems clear that the answer is to allow the rigging of elections. Bernie did not oppose the election rigging this time; he accepted the results.

    Iowa was unexpected. Biden and Buttegieg helped pay for the Shadow apparatus that was supposed to show a defeat for Bernie. It was only because an over cautious caucus captain actually did his job that Bernie looked like he won, which he probably did.

    Maybe Bernie had not counted on that; maybe he was expecting swift defeat. Maybe they assured him that it would be quick and relatively painless. Who knows? Bernie has not even shared what Obama told him. We do not get to know, we only get to pay and chant and GOTV. This is an infantilization of those who wanted him to win. Yes, we are ashamed that we are so easily duped.

    So what will Bernie do for a legacy? Some are happy to place him in the dustbin of history, even as they talk more fondly of him now that he has been terminated as a threat and operates from a formaldehyde kind of existence.

    It will not be a fond memory for others, though, leaving when he did, “shuffling off his (election) coil” in this crisis. He will be remembered by those he disappointed not once, but twice. It pains me to identify with the newbies who showed so much fervor, now undergoing suffering at the loss of the movement’s leader.

    It’s too early for me to have any sympathy: I tried too hard to convince him to fight harder(with comments, calls, columns, and all the possible avenues), but to no avail. Clearly, he should have listened to us. His former staffer, David Sirota is right to call Bernie to account for this; but I don’t think even Dave tried hard enough, or early enough. Ultimately it was Bernie who went soft.

    Chomsky is maddeningly getting his say again, making the stupid lesser evil argument, as though that’s a redeeming feature for the Dems. He remembers Germany, and the unwillingness to rally together in the Dem parties to put down Hitler, as a rationale for rallying to get rid of Trump. He seems to not recall that the forces that got Trump elected are still there and will easily find another to take his place.

    We could well opine for the days of Trump, as many do for Bush.
    Those now bashing us for not getting behind Bernie/Biden do not focus on the reasons we have low turnout. They think that nothing more needs to be said and it is sad that so many, including the head of the Justice Dems has signaled she will vote for, if not support Biden, which is the same essential thing, so it gets moot after AOC signaled the way to do it.

    Now, people are arguing that Bernie did not have the black vote, for a potentially good reason—as if they knew what they were doing with Biden. It does no good to tell them that certain sectors of the population, such as older minority voters, are recalling days of old with fear and recall their joy at Obama’s election, and then their fear of his being assassinated. So much fear tends to polarize people and shut them to the possibilities of things being better. They only want things to not get worse. That is a failed policy from the get-go. It gets you a Biden.

    I suppose this is all useful to study, if we in fact ever learn from even recent history. I think it is highly doubtful. Look at us, even in a world altering pandemic, truth telling is not happening. I think we will go through this all over again in 2024. No wonder we do not care to vote. What’s the point?

    1. What I hear you saying is that you are sick and tired of having your heart broken by false messiahs. Well, boo hoo. It’s not about you. Your/our job is to keep fighting and trying to attract others to our cause. Eventually, we just might succeed, and hopefully it will be before the world is completely destroyed.

      1. So what are you doing? Voting for the lesser of two evils and demanding that other people work their arses off and grind their souls in the political machinery so you in your indolence might have a better choice? American consumerism at it worst. Get off your bum and do something if you want it to happen. Start by thinking clearly.

    2. @Laurie Dobson, You are right to be angry. We are right to be angry. Bernie and others are the Loyal Opposition. They are loyal to power, and only appear to be an opposition. After watching Bernie sheep dog for power twice, it’s fair to say that the left has to take matters into their own hands and attack the heart of the corrupt beast – finance. I wrote a post here somewhere on finance. Please look at the names I mentioned. If you don’t know the issues in depth, there are so many things to do. Two names I forgot to mention in my comment here are Public Banking’s Ellen Brown, and the finance YouTuber George Gammon.

      The secret is is money, banking, and collateral. The most important collateral being the U.S. Treasury and all of this uses land as a sink to put profits into and speculate on inflated prices down the road. It’s literally a trick that billions of people all across the globe have fallen for, not just today, but for centuries.

      1. When I ran for the State Office in 2002, I learned about the economy. Studied it since and came up with Economic programs for my 2008 US Senate Independent run too progressive back then but, time wise, necessary. I called for accountability. If only if only. Oh yes, one final attempt in 2016 as a Bernie candidate for State Rep. The elites had the primary in the bag. It was all sewn up. I know these are unwinnable, but what else can we do? I just have no more credit to extend.

        1. @Laurie Dobson, The young Berners and Tulsi supporters will have to carry the struggle forward. They are the ones that need financial literacy. I think I have read you on Op Ed News. If you are that Laurie Dobson, then you might be familiar with the articles and comments by a guy named Derryl Hermanutz. He is so incredible in his understanding of the big picture in political economy. In order to make Derryl’s understanding operational from a political perspective, enough people have to really understand the granular details. It’s hard, but doable. Every day it gets easier because good people share the information on the internet as we all do. Jimmy Dore is the number one YouTube organizer. He has been interviewing and showcasing Dylan Ratigan and Matt Stoller. This is fantastic and others should follow.

          I will keep my eye out for your articles.

    3. Ms Dobson, I do not know how old you are but I read your article on TCNBH and posted a link to it here an Ms Johnstone’s platform. I am 75 years old and I know just how disappointing it is to be dealing with our corrupt government. The ” Our Revolution ” movement should not give up; your group belongs in the ranks of the ” green Party ” not with the bought out and paid for democrats. 2020 could be a watershed year for both the ” Green ” and ” Libertarian ” parties. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are corrupt to the core and this coming election and the fall-out from the dirty fighting it is going to produce should convince a lot of voters to abandon these corrupt parties. I hope that you keep that ” fire in your belly ” and use it to help the green party change the U.S.A.

      1. @Ron Campbell, I just want to throw a word of caution regarding the Green Party in specific and the “Green” New Deal in general. First, the Green Party does not focus on economics and finance as much as they should. There are far too many people in its ranks that believe that the environment is the beginning and end of the story. They don’t understand or appreciate the role of business in the violation of the environment and therefore don’t understand the power of the opposition to a green agenda. Same is true for the left in general.

        The Green New Deal seems logical on the surface, but we have to realize that there is a high chance that it is a tactical move to change the technology while maintaining the current, long lasting monopoly on the ownership of the underlying assets that make up the industry. In other words, it could very well be that it is a way of transitioning the shareholders to the new technology. Or put another way, “Same Shit, Different Day.”

        Our global political economy is centered around oil (and its derivative forms like LNG). The petrodollar/Treasury standard hinges on oil. The military and the central banks are the deep infrastructure that ensure the hegemony of this system. These interests are not just going to roll over and let peace and love-niks paint the world green.

        The move to green must be accompanied by nationalization of the companies. War, poverty, and inequality are predicated on monopoly power of all the institutions involved in energy, directly involved or indirectly involved. These are what the left needs to attack and remove/diminish.

        I don’t mean to falsely attribute you with my accusations against the slogan loving left. I just want to point these things out to you and the other readers.

        1. Thank You, Frank. I am very well aware that ” politics ” is even ” dirtier ” than organized crime. The owners and the masters are ready for anything that threatens their power or position. However, at the moment, they are at a loss because ” the virus ” has them in a very new ” niche ” of not knowing the ” way out ” of this extremely massive problem. Each day our government displays more ineptitude and no solutions. The public is scared, bewildered, and lost. ” Our Government ” can not bully or sanction the virus. Our Government can not freeze its assets; our government is not prepared or able to adapt; our government is lost. It is the perfect time for young activists to plan and execute new ways to run this country.

          1. Young people need to learn enough about banking, currency, finance, debt, collateral, land, and the military. The average person at present thinks of money like a child thinks of chocolate. That is a recipe for failure. Until this changes, nothing else can change.

      2. The Greens would not have me, in 2008. Too progressive.

  18. With all due respect, “lesser evil” voting is both logical and moral in a duopolistic electoral system such as exists in the U.S. Why logical? When only one of two candidates has any conceivable chance of winning, withholding one’s vote from the less evil candidate amounts to voting for the more evil one. It’s addition by subtraction, a simple arithmetic concept that some people do not get. Why moral? Again, when the realistic choice is limited to two candidates, less evil must be preferred to more evil. Granted that the less evil one is still evil, he or she should be expected to do less harm than the more evil one. Reducing the level of evil in the world, even if it is only on the edges, is a moral act.

    I will grant that voting for people like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton can seem like an excruciating act of self-sacrifice, but the alternative is to have people like Donald Trump as President and Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority leader. As bad as the Democrats are, Trump and the entire Republican Party are even worse and more dangerous. Caitlin is wrong when she says that there are no meaningful differences between the two parties. As Sanders and Chomsky both stress, it is essential to remove Trump from office and to continue building a grass roots progressive movement to change the system. Is that really possible? Yes, if enough people decide to get off their asses and march into the streets demanding a fair and just society. Will it happen? I’m not optimistic, but that does not mean that I will do anything to assist the Republican Party in destroying what is left of American democracy. For those of you waiting for a viable third party to emerge, I’ll see you at the Apocalypse.

    1. Interesting. Thanks.

    2. Christopher Marlett Avatar
      Christopher Marlett

      The end of the US dollar as a reserve currency will force the US to live as a community member and not as an ignorant and ruthless perpetrator of short sighted political whims. With the relentless printing of money as a result of Covid 19…that day may come sooner. Makes you kinda believe in God has a hand in enforcing the laws of nature.

    3. Sorry there, Rob, but I’m not buying what you’re selling. Been there too, too many times. I hope the skin on your forehead is ok and that your brain case (skull) is not fractured from knocking it into that proverbial brick wall one too many times to count. I kindly and gently advise a nice, long concussion/brain rest protocol.

      1. Indeed, I am tired of banging my head against a wall. It hurts, but so far no concussion. Nevertheless, I realize that withholding my vote from the less evil candidate is tantamount to giving it to the more evil one, and that is something that I absolutely refuse to do. Caitlin and the “never Biden” crew are just plain wrong about this. The only circumstance in which “voting one’s conscience” is justifiable is when one lives in a state where the Electoral College outcome is a virtual certainty, e.g. California, New York, Alabama etc. Then, your individual vote will not help the “greater evil” candidate. Chomsky expressly makes this point again and again, though some people fail to take note.

    4. Your central premise is: “Granted that the less evil one is still evil, he or she should be expected to do less harm than the more evil one.” But what if this premise is wrong, or at least debatable? For example, in the prior contest between Trump and Hillary, I had little doubt that Hillary would be an improvement over Trump when it came to many domestic issues, such as the makeup of the Supreme Court, race relations, environmental regulations, etc. But given her belligerent militarism–her enthusiasm for regime change wars, her call for an immediate no-fly zone over Syrian airspace where Russian aircraft were providing support to the Assad government, etc., I had a substantial fear that Hillary was more likely to trigger World War III (and likely the end of all living things) than Trump was. So, faced with this quandary, what I wound up doing was voting for Jill Stein as an alternative to casting my support to either of two potentially lethal leaders. I understand your lesser evil position, but if the premise doesn’t hold, neither does the argument.

      1. If you truly believe that neither candidate is less evil than the other, then you are essentially screwed in terms of making a voting decision. Flip a coin, or opt out, which is what your vote for Jill Stein represented. Sorry, but life can be complicated.

        1. Yes, in terms of the duopoly, we are screwed. Case in point: 98-0.
          My vote for Stein was not “opting out”, it represented my agreement with what she was doing/saying, and also was just a single action, not any kind of “sum total” or “validation” of citizen participation.
          Your last sentence I take to be a condescending remark.

          1. I agreed with Stein on almost every issue, but I recognized that she had zero chance of winning my state and that my not voting for Clinton would, in effect, be my voting for Trump. You either cannot see the truth in that or you refuse to see it. Either way, I don’t care what you do.

            1. Clinton didn’t own my vote to begin with. I refused to vote for Trump…so was that in effect, my voting for Clinton. Of course not, your “logic” is absurd.

    5. If you’re going to be ‘realistic’ you will start by recognizing that your single vote is not going to change the outcome of an election in which many millions of people participate. The only thing you can do with your vote that does not waste it is to let it convey your truth. For me, the choice between the likes of Trump and the likes of Biden is unacceptable, regardless of the outcome. But what would voting for one of them do to me, other than make me the abject slave of lies, corruption, and sociopathy? Better to stay home, I would think. But you may have different values.

      1. What if everyone adopted the same attitude, i.e. that their single vote is meaningless? The result would be that no one would vote–I mean zero people voting. Is that an outcome that you would considerable desirable. In a sense you are correct, individual votes do not affect the outcome by themselves, but when aggregated with other votes, they do. That’s the basic logic of democracy.

    6. To the point of logic and morality:
      It seems very logical to me to recognize a pattern: election after election of corporatist warmonger vs. corporatist warmonger, and we’re told it’s SO IMPORTANT to cast a vote for the lesser evil one.

      If a system only ever gives you a choice between “evil” and “more evil”, at some point you gotta question the legitimacy of that system, and whether there’s any actual choice at all, or the “choice” is all just a pretend game that those with power want us to keep playing.

      Maybe voting for one of the evils, participating in the game of pretend choice, is an immoral act that only serves to legitimize an evil murderous, manipulative, tyrannical system.

      What if everyone thought that way about voting? Sure, no one would go out and vote… They want us to think it would be the end of the world if that happened. But I do think it would be difficult to run an evil murderous tyrannical empire if there was no one who respected the authority of the politicians as legitimate.

      1. Believe me, I share your frustration with the system. It was designed to be undemocratic. Still, it is the only system that we have and the one that we must deal with. In simplistic terms, if all good people refused to participate, only bad people would be left in the game, and their malice would be completely unopposed, (barring a revolution by the masses, which seems highly improbable). The Dems are pretty goddam awful, at least at the highest levels, but they are not as malignant as the Repubs. The former must be changed and the latter must be crushed. That is the only way forward that I can see. Anything else is just a pipe dream. Bernie’s candidacy has already moved the Democratic Party leftward. Ultimately, many, if not most, of his policy proposals will become realities. COVID-19 and the coming depression will hasten their arrival, but at a very high cost, much like in the 1930s.

        1. “Believe me”
          “Only way forward”
          “Anything else is just…”
          B.S. detector on high alert.

          1. Same here. Mine flashes red whenever I encounter someone who can’t listen to other points of view. And if you don’t want to believe that I or anyone else shares your frustration, then you are free to wallow in your own self righteousness.

            1. I listened. I neither accept your premise, nor do I accept your strategy.

          2. BTW, Donald Trump thanks you for your vote.

            1. And Biden snickers as you vote for him.

        2. It isn’t a question of my frustration or my emotions; I want to challenge you on the idea that “lesser evil” voting is logical and moral.

          Let’s examine some of your assumptions:

          “it’s the only system that we have and the one we must deal with”

          You assume that the only way to “deal with” the system is to play by the rules that are dictated to us. Namely, to vote better people into power via a demonstrably unreliable and rigged election system.

          “if all good people refused to participate, only bad people would be left in the game”

          Again, you assume the only meaningful way for good people to do something is to play by the rules that are dictated to us, and that not voting is equivalent to doing nothing at all (or is essentially supporting the greater evil).

          I would suggest that playing by the rules that are dictated to us serves to LEGITIMIZE the authority of those making the rules, and that participating in such legitimization is immoral. Even voting 3rd party serves to legitimize the fucked system. When we know the election system is broken, how can voting be anything other than a ritual act that only serves to create the illusion of a legitimate democratic government? And how can participating in the creation of that illusion be anything but immoral when it provides justification for all kinds of atrocity?

          To be clear and consistent, let me say that I do believe that each and every tax payer is committing a moral crime by paying taxes to a government that uses even a portion of that money for weapons of mass destruction, propaganda, mass-surveillance, war profiteering and mass murder. And I don’t claim moral high-ground; I pay my taxes, because if I am thrown in a cage, it will not only hurt me but it will also hurt my family. Effectively I’m trading the well being of the victims of US wars for the safety and comfort of my self and my own family. I can pretend like since I voted for Jill Stein that my hands are clean, but I know that’s bullshit. We’ve go to confront the shadow, examine cognitive dissonance and be brutally honest with ourselves… That is, brutally honest, but not without compassion. (how culpable is the person who is coerced into doing something immoral? it’s a valid question)

          We are indoctrinated to believe that paying taxes is a moral duty, same way we’re indoctrinated to believe that voting is a moral duty. That obeying “the law” is inherently moral, and disobeying “the law” is equivalent to immoral behavior. But the authority of our corporate-owned government and politicians is not legitimate. The authority of the armed thugs that murder black people and get away with it is not legitimate. The propaganda that we’re fed is designed to play on our emotions, our fears, and even our wishful thinking to reinforce the existing power structures. We WISH we had a legitimate democracy with a functional election system, so it is much easier to convince us we actually do.

      2. It’s so simple – vote for a 3rd party. That is a vote AGAINST the machine. That is a real vote. It does count, at least in your own heart and hopefully also as an encouragement for others to also do the same. Perpetually voting for a shit sandwich will always return a shit sandwich. Thinking the texture of the shit is a significant matter is the kind of thing a perpetual shit-eater believes.

    7. “Again, when the realistic choice is limited to two candidates,…”

      What is realistic about futility, except for its abhorrent prevalence?

      It is your action, based on your thinking, that is keeping the choice limited. You and millions like you need to be brave and patient enough to step away from the toxic dead wood you’re barrenly seeking shelter and nutrition from and instead help to nurture new shoots. Be brave and ‘waste’ your vote on a genuine better third option. You’re utterly wasting it on the two ‘realistic’ choices. Death by a lesser form of cancer is still death. Why not waste it with some hope and creativity rather than resignation and ongoing despair? ‘They’ have made you fear not voting for one of ‘Them’.

      Register a vote AGAINST the ‘realistic’ choice. Urge others to do likewise. Be alive! Step outside of the box you’ve let them create in your mind and stop doing things that have no hope of ever achieving anything that makes any real sense.

      1. I imagine that you are relatively protected from the immediate consequences of having the Republican Party in power. In any event, those consequences are very real and very severe for millions of people. You may feel that you are registering your opposition to them, when in fact you are helping to empower them.

        1. ‘Relatively’ be damned. i am not adequately protected from the outfall of either of the two slavering heads of the death monster that people like you keep legitimising by automatically feeding your consent into one of its two rotten mouths.For god’s sake man, stop regurgitating dogma and start thinking.

          1. You are the one who is being dogmatic here. I am the one with a different point of view, and it happens to be the correct one, whether people like hearing it or not.

            1. Keep feeding the machine then.Only you can decide to make yourself stop doing that.

            2. Dripping irony of the cheapest kind, thus laughable in its true expression of dogmatism, yet tragic, as well, in its existence.

  19. As a frequent backyard mechanic who almost never has the right tools for the job, I appreciate your analogy.

  20. Peter in Seattle Avatar
    Peter in Seattle

    On a related note, just a couple/few days ago I found myself thinking, “It’s a sad day when garage-based comedian Jimmy Dore is more politically astute, wiser, and just plain smarter than both Aaron Maté and Noam Chomsky” … and then smiling, because Jimmy himself would agree.

    But no heroes on pedestals here — not since the entire Congressional Progressive Caucus (including Bernie) voted en bloc for the Patient Protection Racket and Unaffordable Care Act of 2010. Openly corporate whores like Biden aren’t the only Democrats with fake progressive agendas.

    (Yeah, I’m a political late bloomer. My excuse is that I used to start each day reading the New York Times, which Noam Chomsky says he still does. What’s that saying? “The media can’t tell you what to think, but they can tell you what to think about.” And actually, I’m not so sure about the first part.)

  21. A couple of months ago a young Chicano activist and I were having a discussion about our support for the Bernie campaign and he said something that stuck with me and is very apropos in this moment: “It’s a purely transactional relationship.” Meaning, as I took it, that we are in it for what we need and aren’t emotionally attached to the person or the campaign. When they betray us, we move on, but for now they’re useful to us and we’re useful to them.

    1. Neoliberal politics to the max. So many don’t get the truth that the opposite of capitalism (neoliberalism being merely capitalism on steroids) is not socialism (which I support) but idealism. When everything becomes transactional, the neolibs have won.

      1. That depends on the transaction. If it’s an idealized, isolated exchange of objects or considerations, that’s liberalism. If it’s something else, like commitment to a marriage or a friendship or a tribe, that’s another. It is the second that presents us with the danger of putting heroes on pedestals, but it also makes many other things possible not available to the first. Maybe we can have our heroes, but let them get down from those pedestals, which can’t be very comfortable.

  22. Normand Drolet Avatar
    Normand Drolet

    Thank you Caitlin Johnstone for again being useful.
    Because you speak from the truth, you shine light through darkness.
    And you want me to get closer to my own inner light.
    Thank you for that.

  23. Harry S Nydick Avatar
    Harry S Nydick

    Caitlin, I don’t put anyone on a pedestal, not even you. Mostly I agree with you, sometimes I do not. What I do know is that if we agreed on every single thing, the world would only need one of us. But, even when you and I disagree, you provide a source from which to do my own thinking and research, Neither a Biden or a Trump, can do that. Since I have decades of experience with each of them, I find that neither has nothing to say that is reliable, nor in which I’d be interested.
    I don’t have any rigid ideology either. I’m progressive about more things than not, but conservative about a few – with points in between about others. And this I know: the American people are duped into thinking that they are electing someone. They have no real choice in which candidates are nominated and, equally, no idea whether the result of any election are accurately stated by an electoral system considered to be the worst and least reliable of any advanced country in the world. Regardless of outcomes, however, given the duopoly of what is really a one-party system, no matter who sits in office, the only real winners are the oligarchs, the puppetmasters who pull the strings of the politicians, in exchange for campaign donations and power negotiations. The fighting between parties is a mirage intentionally fomented by the oligarchs who use this magician-like distraction to go about stealing the country and our freedoms with impunity. Even the soft-speaking Obama proved to be a right-of-center neoliberal corporatist who resides in the space vacated by moderate Republicans who moved further right in search of increased campaign money.
    I don’t want concessions from Biden or Trump – well two only. Check into an extended care facility and trash our current corrupt political system in favor of a radically new one that puts the needs of the people first and foremost.

  24. “Chomsky for sharing the same “lesser evil voting” policy he’s been voicing for decades.”

    This is actually a somewhat recent position, starting in 2004. Before then Chomsky had a “pox on both your houses” stance.

  25. Agreed that we should think for ourselves with a healthy dose of skepticism and independence, while avoiding deference to hero worship syndrome. Good point. Nonetheless, thank you for providing the tool of an independent critical perspective. It helps. Cheers!


  27. Christopher Marlett Avatar
    Christopher Marlett

    Ahhh! I see we are disappointed by human nature! We are all slaves to the cycles of humanity and humanity is a reflection of human nature. The situation in the US has to get worse before it gets better. Hopefully we can avoid nuclear war.

    When we hit bottom economically we will elect the next Bernie. Caitlins advice will serve us well and not get our hopes up too much when the next Bernie appears.

    1. I agree with much of what you say, but I doubt whether the tamping down of hope gets us anywhere, at least anywhere good. I would submit that the opposite is the case, that wildly unrealistic hope–i.e., belief in the possibility of immediate change to a better, more beautiful world–is the ONLY force strong enough to seriously challenge the entrenched status quo, which has us all by the throat and is tightening its grip. Jesus preached the immanent coming of the Kingdom of God, and his message thereby caught fire. In the late 60s/early 70s, many young people believed that the Age of Aquarius was about to dawn, and this gave the counterculture power, if only for a brief moment, sufficient to rattle the PTB. The eschatological/apocalyptic element in many social movements, both religious and secular, has no competitor in summoning the utmost strength and determination of the human spirit. Of course, this key element is not historical in any objective sense, yet its subjective power to create solidarity, ignite energy, and thus alter history seems undeniable. We dismiss it or denigrate it at our peril.

      1. Christopher Marlett Avatar
        Christopher Marlett

        Thanks for tour perspective! Yes we must still engage in struggle for what we believe in…I’m just doing it with my eyes wide open and making sure I make the most of everyday I have left on this earth. I take comfort in knowing the laws of nature always rule and that Trump, bad US policy etc will come to an end. I will do all I can to help it happen faster…but I am not going to let it disrupt my happiness with my family, friends and community.

        1. Good on you. That last bit about avoiding disruption of one’s personal life and stability is a tricky, subtle, difficult thing, is it not? I’m still not there but glad that some are doing better at it than I am. One can’t be very effective when swimming in subjective chaos.

          1. Christopher Marlett Avatar
            Christopher Marlett

            The pursuit of fulfillment is what I am focused on. Lots of therapy to figure out that the route to fulfillment is through human connection. Human connection is dependent upon empathy and knowing oneself. The world is what it is…we are what we are…deliberate positive daily actions is the only thing I can control. I used to shout from rooftops and complain about the way the world works…figured out that it doesn’t work for me and my loved ones very well. Does nothing for my goal of human connection…unless I want complainers for friends.

          2. Easier for some to do than others(not swimming in subjective chaos).
            We all have to process and some are just better at it, and should not stand in judgement. “Swim shaming” won’t help.

  28. At school when asked: who is your hero I was always stumped with an answer. To satisfy the unwonted curiosity by the teachers I just grabbed what seems to be the most popular person at the moment.

    Never really thought deeply about why I never have and never will have any heroes, just writers and thinkers that help one to think, evaluate, open doors to perceptions, induce the desire to learn. The rest as Caitlin says is up to you.

    To put it mildly: truly responsible adults do not have heroes and do not need them.

    1. Strongly disagree with you and Caitlin here. The essence of neoliberalism is to grind down any sense of the heroic, the noble, the sublime–to reduce everything and everyone to only monetary measurement and evaluation. No, we have never needed genuine heroes more than we do right now, men and women who will not be, cannot be bought, about whom such a thought is utterly inconceivable. Men and women who, summoning the best within themselves (and within all of us) are willing to stride into the arena of public affairs and engage in battle to the death with the monsters, both swarming on the ground and also, yes, sitting in and watching from the stands. Postmodern horizontalism is dangerous fiction. Without genuine leadership, nothing happens, nothing works, and all we can do is endlessly bitch about it.

      1. “Strongly disagree with you and Caitlin here. The essence of neoliberalism is to grind down any sense of the heroic, the noble, the sublime”

        I am 70+, and it just could be that because I never had any “heroes” I never was disappointed. I have learned that everyone, absolutely everyone has somewhere closets with skeletons and taking that in consideration I permit anybody to introduce me to his/her ideas, opinions, advice but it is me that sorts those out based on the merit I see in them and their relationship to my reality.
        I grew up with the ideas of Marx during the ’60s, and the concept of critically examining everything as it relates to power structure and the economical reality as the determinant of being.

        I reject based on my life experience your idealism. I give and gave everyone I ever dealt with the benefit of the doubt by peddling to me ideas, concepts or goods, but I also expect to find flaws on further examination.
        You conflate the person which always has flaws – not even the hypothetical jesus was pure but had some strange ideas and rather uncouth opinions – with the ideas they propound.

        Considering that, hero worship is the root of evil as often finding flaws which destroys their status in the mind of the idealist; as a result their whole catalogue of worthwhile thoughts and works get rejected.
        Good examples lately especially are artists that are found to be far from pure and ideal, having engaged in activities that are unlawful and unethical.
        Still, I find their artistic production can in most cases separated from those actions and still cherish and appreciate their work.

        1. I’m your age. It’s funny how life, consciously and conscientiously lived as best one can, can lead us to diametrically opposed conclusions. I suppose that’s part of what makes it interesting. All the best to you.

          1. Thanks, to you too and stay healthy…easier for me as I live in constant quarantine – as a friend told me. A little island in the middle of the Northern Atlantic…

  29. If you don’t vote for Biden your voting for the “destruction of organized human life on earth”.

    Laughably absurd.

    1. As if it mattered in the slightest which sociopath becomes the head sociopath of a gang of sociopaths who don’t have the slightest concern for anyone’s welfare but their own. That’s the nature of sociopaths, and that’s why governments are saturated with them. There is no other organization more suitable to promote its individual member’s welfare to the exclusion of anyone else’s. All they have to do is get the most people to believe the most ridiculous lie. If one of them happens to tell the truth, its either an accident, or it happens to be more beneficial to them to do so. We can govern ourselves, or be governed by monsters.

  30. After reading all the comments, I have to conclude once more that we are truly screwed as a species. We have created over time a gigantic problem, which has no other solution than our extinction. “Salvation” however you might define it, is for individuals only, or perhaps small groups. But the mass is hurtling towards extinction, and all individuals will be swept away by their madness. Look up Robinson Jeffers’ poem Rearmament about the strange beauty of our tragic destiny….

  31. Beautiful Caitlin. You are helping us save ourselves from our own unexamined missteps. Who among us has not unconsciously fallen into the trap you have unmasked?

    1. The somewhat scary icon that now appears before my stuff seems darkly more appropriate than the whimsical one that preceded it. Thanks to the shadowy agency that selected it

  32. “the greatest thing since sliced bread”?

    Nah, Hot Crossed Buns maybe, but sliced bread? Nah.


  33. When Tulsi Gabbard did everything but actually say: “Okay, I’ve had enough of you guys! You’re just a bunch of cretins! I’m throwing in the fucking towel! And as for Bernie, he can go fuck himself!” what surprised me most was the reaction all of those supporters who’d elevated her to the position of the next Messiah. So, she endorsed Biden. Whether you like it or not, it’s called loyalty to the party. Bernie no longer stood a chance, Biden doesn’t stand a chance either. But that isn’t the fault of Gabbard. It’s the fault of a corrupt, incompetent and incestuous DNC.

    Of course, it might’ve been better if she’d stood as an independent, but she doesn’t think like that. She has the mind of a soldier, and a soldier doesn’t change sides just because things start to go sideways. That’s what mercenaries do, and the US already has far too many mercenary politicians. Nevertheless, because I say that doesn’t mean I support her decision; it says I think she took what she saw as the most honourable decision, under what were very difficult circumstances for someone like her. And I respect her for that.

    It’s more than a crying shame the Democrat Party is run by a troupe of of talentless fools, especially when Gabbard is exactly the sort of leader needed at this point in time. But will America get a second chance? I somehow doubt it. Tulsi Gabbard is destined to go down in history as the best president the United States never had.

    1. Loyalty to the party is treason to the people and her so-called “spirit of aloha” that she tried to “makeover” Biden with. Tulsi’s “warm” endorsement/embrace of Biden was a cover-her-own-ass moment. If her voice ever rises above the din again, she better come with a willingness to speak truth, deep truth, all of the time—not just some of the time. The minute she gaslights us again with the kind of faux and sickening “sincerity” she displayed in her loving embrace of a criminal will be her last rebuke, her lost chance of redemption.
      You said you were a leader, Tulsi. Where’s the lead?

  34. As Krishnamurti told us: “ All authority of any kind, especially in the field of thought and understanding, is the most destructive, evil thing. Leaders destroy the followers and followers destroy the leaders. You have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything that man has accepted as valuable, as necessary”.

  35. Thank You, Ms Johnstone, for another great article. This one is full of great individual quotes; such as:
    -Trying to make a lifelong corporate whore do a fake leftist song and dance is like trying to make a cat wear a dress.
    -The only trustworthy place you can hang any authority is on yourself.
    -Your responsibility to know the truth about reality is yours and yours alone.
    -Do not abdicate your authority to anyone else and no one will ever let you down for using the authority you gave them incorrectly.
    Respecting your opinions, Ms Johnstone, is to my mind different than placing you on a pedestal. You are not a ” god ” you are a human being. Our species is in dire need of more humans like you!

  36. This article, now, made me do what I never do; I put you on a high, high pedestal.
    And soon I had to pull you down (no, not really) for calling “Left” a bunch of warmongering so-called liberals. What have they got to do with the “Left”?

    1. Oops, software glitch. Sorry.

  37. This article, now, made me do what I never do: I put you on a high, high pedestal!
    And soonI had to bring you down as predicted (no, not really) when you started — again — calling the usual liberals “Left”. What the hell has that crowd of backstabbing warmongering wannabe peacefuls got to do with the “Left”?

  38. Stephen Morrell Avatar
    Stephen Morrell

    It’s somewhat more nuanced than ‘heroes’ being pushed off their pedestals like ‘gods that failed’. It’s more what they’ve advocated, their ‘program’ and what it implies, that they’ve failed to effectively advocate or live up to. When they fail to live up to their fine words is when the betrayal is felt, but with Sanders it’s worse because he couldn’t even bring himself to utter his fine words. At most he muttered some of them sotto voce (but never with intent to emphasise), and on very few occasions. Much like Corbyn.

    Sometimes politicians like Sanders and Cobyn tap a real political and social need and propose solutions to hitherto ‘intractible’ problems that appeal to the masses because they often also point to their malignant source. Sanders railed against the maldistribution of wealth and income and against the power of the oligarchy in politics and elsewhere, for example; and he used fine words like ‘revolution’ with reckless abandon. But Sanders didn’t simply drop all his rhetoric after assuming power, as most politicians do. He dropped it all before and during his 2020 run, in order to not attain power. Unlike in 2016, he never mentioned the word ‘revolution’; and he eventually stopped advocating and defending even the basic reforms that established his ‘brandname’ (Medicare for all, student loan forgiveness, etc). And never once did he criticise the Democratic party.

    Clearly Sanders struck a deal behind closed doors with the Democratic party hierarchy in exchange for them allowing him to run under their organisational umbrella, in the hope that he’d shepherd otherwise uncommitted or non-voters into their corporatist tent. Hopefully that’s failed. But it’s the Sanders boosters who share a large part of the blame as well.

    Sanders’ boosters weren’t raising any alarm bells at all during 2020, and now most of them toe the Democrat line and advocate voting for the lesser of the two rapists. This includes most of the so-called progressive online ‘alt-media’. No wonder a lot of Sanders’ followers feel betrayed and rather angry. It was only the likes of Jimmy Dore who did a service in exposing Sanders and the Democrats for this situation.

    At least the dispelling of the Sanders illusion, like COVID-19, has concentrated the minds of many. Many are coming to a better understanding of the Democratic party and to a better understanding also of the electoral rigging that has become universal in the US. Hopefully a vast majority won’t vote at all in the upcoming elections and thereby delegitimise the whole godawful process ‘from below’. An electoral boycott is eminently supportable, especially as there’s no-one deserving of any support, however ‘critical’.

    Necessary to all post mortems is that the knives come out. This is a good and necessary thing. Most disillusioned followers will see Sanders (and Chomsky) in a fresh light, and more carefully go over the entrails of their records and discern familiar patterns rather than random ‘mistakes’: the principal one being one of putting a left face to conformity to the ruling class. If many learn to expect such patterns from left-talking reformists, then at least that’s some advance in political consciousness.

    Many rightfully should feel betrayed and angry, but they also should come to understand that they’ve been following the wrong party all along (the Democrats); and when there’s talk of ‘revolution’ from bourgeois sources like Sanders et al. to make them put their money where their mouth is. Otherwise force them to shut the fuck up with such idle chatter. And maybe many might come to understand that such talk should be taken seriously only when it comes from professional revolutionaries rather than likes of Sanders or fossilised anarchoid academics like Chomsky.

    However, the outlook of ‘it’s all up to you’ is no answer either. It reminds one of the pathetic scene in The Life of Brian where Brian tells his multitude of unwanted followers to rely on themselves, to simply believe in themselves and not look to leaders at all. Here was an example, not qualitatively different from today, of desperate people wanting answers and solutions, and some decent leaders to fight for them. Atomisation, in the name of ‘rugged individualism’ or ‘autonomy’ and the like just doesn’t work. This is simply left-liberalism’s obverse face of individualistic neoliberalism.

    It’s a sad fact of life that workers and the oppressed — whose inculcated and continuously reinforced false consciousness helps to ‘manufacture’ and reproduce a fervent belief in their own oppression — need revolutionary leadership if they are to make the revolution badly needed to get humanity out of its current suicidal trajectory. This is overwhelmingly because the working class and the oppressed don’t have the ‘luxury’ of a sound education, nor the leisure time to read, study and learn the lessons of history, unlike the bourgeoisies and their supporters during the revolutions that overthrew feudalism. And the lessons of history are also learnt in struggle itself, in which real leadership is forged that can lead a revolution. Betrayals and losses inevitably will occur along the way, but if the habit of learning the lessons is instilled in the masses and their leaders, then with the right program the rulers can be conquered.

    The backward but currently awakening consciousness of the revolutionary classes under capitalism can only be directed toward the need for revolution from the outside, by the intervention of declassed revolutionaries (‘outside agitators’, heaven forbid) with a revolutionary program. If such a program advocated by a revolutionary party — which serves as the collective historical memory of the working class — can successfully intersect those leaders thrown up in the heat of struggle, then one of the necessary conditions for a successful revolution will be fulfilled.

    In contrast, atomised, ‘autonomous’ individuals serving as their own counsel can and will never change society, let alone transform it.

    1. Isn’t our current elite a bunch of atomised autonomous individuals serving as their own counsel, changing and transforming our society as they please?

      1. Stephen Morrell Avatar
        Stephen Morrell

        Yes and no it seems: they may try to act autonomously, and think they do, and to some extent they do, but they have whole corporations organised in an ordered hierarchy working to follow their orders and execute their ‘vision’. In the neoliberal fantasy world of bourgeois ideologues and economists they’re projected as the ultimate individuals striving to achieve their goals; as Nietszchean supermen, the sole masters of their fate, their corporate fiefdoms and beyond. In the end they still depend on their workers and subordinates to do their bidding for them. And among themselves, in their exclusive clubs, ivy league fraternities and Masonic lodges they aren’t very autonomous and tend to follow similar fashions in yachts, fancy cars, private jets, etc.

    2. I did. Thiscantbehappening.net.

    3. This is a very good account of things. In describing the need and the enormity of the challenge it delineates the delusion of all that pretends but falls short of that challenge.

      In fact the only thing in question is the degree of collateral damage of impending change. Change away from the status quo is inevitable. Without moderation by revolutionary intervention that change will be wrought by utter collapse due to the inherent unsustainability of the status quo. By any sound measure the norm is a train-wreck unfolding in real time. Those politely or ‘responsibly’ tip-toeing around the edges are simply hedging everyone toward the abyss. ‘Fools’ is far too nice a term for them.

  39. So true. We have to start forming critical opinions of media commentators.

    I can’t remember what it was that alienated me from Chomsky some years ago but since then I no longer view him as the good I once did. And Ms Johnstone while I subscribe to your newsletter I have my days where I nope and delete lol. Thank you

    1. ‘Nope and delete’ because it doesn’t resonate immediately with your ‘known truth’, or because you have first sought to mindfully understand and articulate, to yourself at least, why you do not agree?

  40. Yep! It an early state of ego development, Egodystonic, the undifferentiated I and thou, Like the child-self looking for the mythical loving nurturing parent they always wanted, and never had, Or the perfect mate; Prince Charming or Princes Lea! A search for unconditional validation instead of unconditional regard It’s a very early wound that has to be resolved to move into a self-actualized adult, entitled to think for ones-self.

  41. And an orator said,
    Speak to us of Freedom.
    And he answered:
    At the city gate and by your fireside
    I have seen you prostrate yourself
    and worship your own freedom,
    Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them.

    Ay, in the grove of the temple and in
    the shadow of the citadel I have seen the
    freest among you wear their freedom
    as a yoke and a handcuff.

    And my heart bled within me; for you
    can only be free when even the desire of
    seeking freedom becomes a harness to you,
    and when you cease to speak of freedom
    as a goal and a fulfilment.

    You shall be free indeed when your days
    are not without a care nor your nights
    without a want and a grief,
    But rather when these things girdle your
    life and yet you rise above them
    naked and unbound.

    And how shall you rise beyond your
    days and nights
    unless you break the chains
    which you at the dawn of your
    understanding have fastened
    Around your noon hour?

    In truth that which you call freedom
    is the strongest of these chains,
    though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes.
    And what is it but fragments of your
    own self you would discard
    that you may become free?

    If it is an unjust law you would abolish,
    that law was written with your own hand
    upon your own forehead.

    You cannot erase it by burning your law
    books nor by washing the foreheads of your
    judges, though you pour the sea upon them.

    And if it is a despot you would dethrone,
    see first that his throne erected within you is

    For how can a tyrant rule the free and
    the proud, but for a tyranny in their own
    freedom and a shame in their own pride?

    And if it is a care you would cast off, that
    care has been chosen by you rather than
    imposed upon you.

    And if it is a fear you would dispel, the
    seat of that fear is in your heart and not in
    the hand of the feared.

    Verily all things move within your being
    in constant half embrace, the desired and
    the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished,
    the pursued and that which you would

    These things move within you as lights
    and shadows in pairs that cling.
    And when the shadow fades and is no
    more, the light that lingers becomes a
    shadow to another light.
    And thus your freedom when it loses its
    fetters becomes itself
    the fetter of a greater freedom.

    On Freedom

    1. That can be read as an ode to complacency and surrender. We need be careful in our regard to such wisdom from someone who died of liver cirrhosis due to excessive alcohol consumption. A wan dreamer of notional freedoms or an actor of the realm? Che Guevara would appear to be a better source for such meaning. Action requires passion and change requires action. Comparatively Gibran was a lounge lizard who self-flaggelated with existentialism. He did write very well about it though. Almost pornographically really.

  42. “Your responsibility to know the truth about reality is yours and yours alone.” If this is not understood and fully accepted, then you are lost.

  43. well well EVent 201 i had not heard, no. isn’t that sophomore year? oh well they knew all right.
    did nothing. resurrecting my suspish that it is only a trial run for the BIG CULL …{let it be known that you heard it hear first in CAPS. see. which count. more than quotes. who would i be quoting other than the lady of the house. herein. anyway.
    AS for Biden, using the same theory i’m not goingto LET him be ajerk. i’m gonna relish in it. reminds me of Obewon Oblama in Vanilla. and withmore stuttering. not to speakis to speak so we cannot terinto him for that.
    wouldn’t wannabe ya/. soyou go BOY! no golf today. it’sgonna get really ugly as super liar dawg bites mandog we may call Mr Airhead. but if he elelcts Liz to fix WallST at least we’ll have some comedy as we allldrift intoindentured servitude. and/or try to slipbackinto our old fatigues one more time.
    i’m going to Venezuela and i’m gonna find me a grrrl just like theone what married derol dad. only with this realy sexy sweet spanish accent….and we’ll opena a ‘MERDRican hamburger bar thatis also a secret base for freedom fighters for uhmmm..whcih side towant ther darlin’ what!?
    then i’ll go to Colombia and get into da BIZ that VENEs are accused of . make it and take it is our motto.
    the tools that i got. huh!
    i’m too old and kenda smart jimmy, but stupid smart she used to say…..what tools i’d like to know. i do have me a landing craft LST (T for tank) that they tossed after the Korean….Inch ON bro-skis did you see the movie anyone, parasite.
    guess who? made it. the country we saved….but we blew away 50,000 dead GI’s and millions of N. and Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanis…Koreans and Chinese. so many killed by us and so many sacrificed by Russia and China….over the years….any. body got a reason other than Belief in a Religion that does Econ 101
    …for a living. Our religions have become political our economics have become religions and the .GOV has become the economy, stupid!

  44. Smiles across the miles.

  45. i’m pleased with this opening observation from the author. It is good advice that all readers should closely consider. I’d go further though than just the noted risk of reader disappointment. Such besottedness risks a state of justification for personal inertia and inaction via deferral of responsibility for engagement upon the super-powers imagined to be held by the one on the pedestal.

    Anyone who so engages our focused attention can only provoke our thought. They cannot make us actually think. They certainly cannot make us act. Yet ALL of those things are necessary for critical change to occur. We all have to be thoughtful AND ALSO have to be actors in accordance with those well-considered thoughts and the imperatives arising from them. Unlike the status quo, the revolution IS NOT a spectator sport.

    However with respect to the behaviour of Chomsky and the like, another significant dimension exists beyond simply that of disillusionment from emotional over-investment. Their re-positioning is fundamentally counterproductive to their broad platforming that preceded it. So its not just personal disillusionment from disagreement that strikes an observer. It is rational disbelief, disgust and palpable horror at the inherent stupidity and hypocrisy of their ‘triaged’ proposition. Unlike a divergence or complexity of viewpoint that might be notionally disagreeable or confronting, Chomsky and Sanders present a complete acquiesce to all that they have otherwise railed against, without any cogent bridge between the two positions. They reveal themselves to be no more than monkeys seeking to retain enough purple colour on their asses so as not to fall too far out of the alpha-pack

    There is fundamental soundness and necessity in getting upset at such behaviour by those who have some capacity for influence. Maybe the upset is partly in the stark recognition it provides of the mutual exclusivity of influence and truth. This in turn points to the need to take power (as influence upon power is not really possible without compromises that render the influence essentially irrelevant) and the conundrum of how to do so without succumbing to the pitfalls of power.

  46. Dear Caitlin. you cant “piss” me off.
    I really enjoy this site. I like your scribbling and many of the comments that get posted. I know folks that like your stuff and folks that hate it.
    But i read as thats what i do.
    I enjoy reading, be it Caitlin or Camus.
    So keep bringing it on!
    Cal at 80 and reading 2 to 8 hours a day.


    Noam Chomsky doesn’t look or sound well, in the two recent video appearances I saw. Something so noticeable should be explained, I think, especially by a public figure as prominent as he.

  48. Again, a great and very sensible article. You are so correct! But I don’t have you on a pedestal! Sometimes disagree with what you say, eg what I think your very pro Assad position on the Syrian question. Keep up the good work.

    1. If Assad was anywhere near a quarter as bad as they say, ask yourself this: what would be the point of all the lies?

    2. She isn’t pro Assad, she’s anti-US intervention. Because the US never intervenes, invades, or occupies any country for any reasons beside regime change and stealing its resources.

      So it’s far better to let Syria work out its own problems, including the problem of Assad, than to advocate for any interference by the US, which literally never results in anything but unlimited disaster, not only for the country invaded but even for the US. Countless illustrations over the past 120 years.

      1. Anyone who refers automatically to Assad as a ‘problem’ is brainwashed.

  49. Chomsky’s argument: we vote for the corrupt Dem Party so that we buy more time to keep the bus from running off the cliff. Then a popular movement forces the Dems to become the party of, by and for the people. Good luck with that – maybe – maybe not. I was in high school when ‘ ‘The Powers That Be’ ‘ (TPTB) took out JFK; in College, when TPTB took out MLK & RFK; a young man when the TPTB took out George McGovern in 1972; took out Jimmy Carter in 1980; then later, took out Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader. Now, as an old man, I watched the Dems crush the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and then the Dems crushed the Standing Rock Movement. So the real choice is voting for the Dem machine (and getting screwed again on their slow bus as we run out the clock), or voting for the Repub machine and going full speed ahead over the cliff. Perhaps the faster the bus runs off the cliff, the sooner the US empire will crumble. Then we get to see if those remaining learned a lesson.

    1. foster goodwill Avatar
      foster goodwill

      well put Elko! On another note with all the insanity and obfuscation around this Covid 19 situation,I thought I would put in a linkthat might clarify what could be going on.


  50. Hi Sister Caitlin,
    We’re all making this reality, not following champions.
    Even if we want to follow champions, they can’t get out in front if we’re not already creating the new world.
    The right human can be a focal point as the world changes, but can’t “change the world”.
    We are all co-creating the world as we garden, pray and forgive,
    and sometimes get righteously angry all-of-a-sudden.
    That, too. http://www.johndayblog.com

  51. Michael Detrick Avatar
    Michael Detrick

    Caitlin, I like you so far, I agree with much of what you write, I disagree with some of your perspectives, I don’t have you or anyone else on a pedestal, but I like you. What I like most is the way you dig past all the garbage thinking and excuse making we all create for ourselves in order to cope with our version of reality. I like the fact that you are intelligent, analytical, articulate, and funny sometimes.

    One of these days it would be fun to meet you in person. Do you ever do group events?

    Blessings to you as you blaze your own trail through the mess we humans are creating for ourselves!!!

  52. The DaoDeJing has a line about this: ‘that which is exalted will be debased’ being the translation that lodged itself in my mind year ago.

    Applying the same reason outlined in the article (and the DDJ), what will happen to the pedestal doctors often occupy when the public must deal with the economic fallout from “TheCOVID”. Should the public lose trust in medicine as well the politicos and the press, will it carry over into the ‘college=smart; no college=dumb’ club driving Western culture?

    Will the public have to actually learn some semblance of scientific reasoning and start performing the due diligence required by life, rather sporting an Astroglide backpack/dispenser and aching for an “authority” to properly massage the somewhat collective understanding of a subjective experience?

  53. “”just let him campaign honestly as the corporate whore he’s always been.”

    Well said, Caitlin. Anything else is meaningless.

  54. Many of you have heard of Event 201, the pandemic exercise which simulated a hypothetical Coronavirus outbreak in October 2019. The simulation was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the CDC, and Johnson and Johnson. The event predicted the virus spread for 18 months and caused 65 million deaths around the world. It also predicted censorship of social media, arrests, lockdowns, etc.

    In response to Event 201 (which could be a coincidental simulation, a ritual, or preparation depending on your view), a number of activists are organizing Event 202, a propaganda opposition exercise. As with Event 201, panelists will be presented with scenarios for the world and will respond to them in real time. Unlike Event 201, Event 202 will focus on solutions for how humanity can move forward and overcome the increasingly tyrannical response from governments.Event 202 will be broadcast live on many channels on April 30th. More details and website to come.


  55. don’t you have someone else to annoy in your household rather then waffle on here

    1. If your comment is in response to the article, then perhaps you should consider the more worthwhile options you might have for your time than to go out of your way to read something you get annoyed at by YOUR OWN perception of it as being waffle. If it is in response to Event 202’s opportunistic off-topic meander, then maybe you could learn how to use the ‘reply’ button.

        1. So, in other words, you have nothing to say and are just here trolling. Got it.

          1. Mc fuzzy reply not for you … get it

            1. No one ‘got’ it. Hence McFuzzy’s reply.

              1. If you have hand fished the river
                you get it.

                1. That allusion probably means something to you.

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