HomeArticlePrison Is Neoliberalism’s Social Safety Net: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Prison Is Neoliberalism’s Social Safety Net: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Hi here’s $600, please forget that guillotines are a thing.

If a $600 stimulus check isn’t enough for you, then don’t be poor. If you’re poor, get another job. If there are no jobs, find some money. If you find money in unauthorized ways, we’ll throw you in prison. If you decide to just be homeless, we’ll throw you in prison for that too. If all this drives you insane, don’t worry, mental illness is what we have prisons for.

Prison is the social safety net of neoliberalism.

Life is a series of psyops. When you’re little it’s psyops about Santa and the Tooth Fairy. When you go to school it’s psyops about your government being a democracy and the news being true. When you grow up it’s psyops about capitalism totally working and the economy being real.

As your world gets bigger, so do the manipulations. They start out as cute little lies told to children by parents, and by the time you’re grown it’s a vast power-serving worldview designed to ensure the perpetual domination of an omnicidal, ecocidal global empire.

The problem with trying to work within the system to fix the system is that the system is not broken; it’s working exactly as intended. Your very first step in that direction is therefore a step right into the mouth of the monster without your sword or shield. It will devour you.

Wanting to work within the system to fix the system is approaching a monster that is genetically engineered to destroy everything you desire, with your hands empty and outstretched, saying “Can we be friends?” And of course it’s going to say “Sure! Come on in” through its dripping fangs.

Western propaganda is like advertising and uses the same psychological hooks as advertising, but it’s far more effective because people don’t know it’s advertising. It’s like if Anderson Cooper kept giving breaking news reports that drinking Red Bull doubles your life expectancy. Imagine how many more Red Bulls would be sold if people thought they were receiving factual news reports about its miraculous health benefits instead of paid advertisements. It’d be astronomical.

Advertising is a trillion-dollar industry worldwide because it works. And propaganda works much, much more effectively.

There is no valid reason for the entire US-led world order not to have been completely dismantled after the invasion of Iraq.

“Progressives should not push for universal healthcare at this time, they should wait for the next once-in-a-century opportunity like the one being presented right now by this pandemic. I am much more intelligent and mature than you.”

“Now is not the time to push for Medicare for All. First you need to wait until Democrats have a veto-proof supermajority in the House and Senate, then you need to wait until all the Democrats who oppose Medicare for All have been primaried, then you need to wait until a fake MSM-driven antisemitism scandal takes it all away.”

In normal countries opposing universal healthcare is career suicide for any politician in any party; it’s impossible to win elections on that platform. The only reason politicians can get away with it in the US is because Americans have never experienced a real healthcare system.

And of course the US is kept different because it is the hub of a globe-spanning empire whose continued existence depends on keeping the local population too poor and propagandized to mobilize politically and stop the war and military expansionism which holds the empire together. An entire empire depends on keeping Americans too poor to compete politically with the plutocratic class which uses its wealth advantage to control the political/media class, and too propagandized to know that things ought to be different. That’s the real reason behind all this.

Shitlibs: “Elect them and then hold their feet to the fire!”

Jimmy Dore: “Here’s an idea, let’s hold their feet to the fire!”

Shitlibs: “Oh God no don’t hold their feet to the fire, you’ll burn their feet.”

Give me one loud, profanity-slinging leftist appealing to the people in an interesting and engaging way that everyone can understand over a thousand overeducated snobs putting people to sleep with dry and esoteric Marxist university jargon.

The revolutionary struggle is ultimately always a battle of movement vs inertia. One side says “We need to move!” and the other side makes clever-sounding arguments for why not moving is actually the better strategy right now. In such debates, the movement side is always correct.

You don’t push politicians to act in your interests because you think they will, you do it to show everyone that they won’t. You get them essentially making your argument for you: Oh we can’t fight for that right now because the system is rigged to nullify our attempts to do so.

It’s a win-win proposition. At worst they prove you wrong and actually do act in your interests. The only thing you risk losing is a few closet shitlib followers on social media.

Americans keep expecting a system that’s not built to serve their interests to serve their interests:

  • Progressives look to congress for economic justice.
  • Trumpers think the judicial system will overturn the election.
  • Liberals thought Mueller would arrest the entire Trump camp.

What these all have in common is a belief that the system can be used to radically change the system, and it just can’t. The system is built by the powerful to maintain power structures which serve the powerful. That’s it. It’s not going to suddenly start serving your interests.

This is why the main US factions keep being proven wrong about their predictions of apocalyptic revelations which will take out the other party: they’re taking it as a given that there’s some part of the system which works in opposition to the other parts on behalf of justice. Trump is obviously corrupt, so Democrats assumed an investigation would turn up corruption and he’d be punished for it, erroneously assuming that the judicial system might turn against the president. Same with the Trumpers who think the election results will be overturned.

And that’s just not what the system is for. Even relatively awake people often cling to the delusion that there exists some part of their federal governmental structure which is there to serve them, when really its primary function is to protect the powerful from them.

You guys, Russia totally hacked the US right before a new president took office again, so now it’s important for that president to push more cold war aggressions against Russia again. The evidence is entirely classified again but we need to trust and support it anyway. Again.

The political/media class keeps telling us America is being “attacked” by hackers and every time they say it’s a new Pearl Harbor or 9/11. Isn’t it funny how all these Pearl Harbors and 9/11s are always completely invisible to the public, and the evidence for who perpetrated them is always classified?

After 9/11 you got people examining footage, examining the wreckage, examining the actual forensic evidence and forming their own opinions about what happened and who was responsible. If there is no footage, wreckage or forensic evidence for you to look at, this can’t be done.

If I made a major incendiary claim, you’d want to see some evidence. If I told you “Well the evidence is secret,” you’d rightly dismiss me as a crackpot. But if I worked for a government agency with an extensive history of lying, the political/media class would accept my claim as fact.

There’s no good reason to place your primary focus on “Trump bad” stories anymore. We’ve had four years of that, now he’s on his way out the door. Biden is the next president and he’s already doing lots of things that need criticism and scrutiny. Start punching up.

People who wrongly saw Russiagate as the deep state attacking Trump because they don’t like him won’t recognize the similarities to the Chinagate op. Those who know Russiagate was the US intelligence cartel manufacturing a case for aggressions against Russia will see the same thing happening with Chinagate.

Russiagate was not the deep state attacking Trump because they don’t like him; it was barely about Trump at all. It was about reigniting cold war hysteria and manufacturing support for a new cold war. All the China/Biden stuff will be used in the same way. Some analysts recognize the fact that during Russiagate, Trump actually greatly increased cold war aggressions against Russia, but not many make the jump to seeing that that was actually what it was all about. Escalations against Russia and China have been planned for many years.

“But Caitlin, Russiagate was fake and Chinagate is REAL!” No you dupe. You only believe that because you think Russiagate was about Trump. If you understood that it’s just the US intelligence cartel diddling narratives to force a confrontation before US hegemony is surpassed, you’d see them as the same.

The battle is between those fighting to turn the lights on and those fighting to keep the lights off. Those fighting to see what’s going on in their world uninhibited by propaganda, censorship, lies and government secrecy vs those who support the evils such things are made to hide.

Gonna quit this gig and become one of those superintelligent communists who spends their time explaining why it’s actually leftist to support western imperialism and the Democratic Party.

Gonna quit this gig and become one of those politicians who gets elected on a left populist platform and then spends their career slamming the brakes on leftist agendas because they’re just not realistic right now.

Since the Democratic Party has officially decreed that Americans can survive on empty platitudes it’s actually perfectly rational that there should be a place in the Biden cabinet for Pete Buttigieg.

Understand the mistakes of the past or you’ll keep repeating them into the future. The US progressive movement will make no progress until it understands that Obama was a corrupt mass murdering monster.

Almost all of the people who keep civilization functioning do so without recognition or acclaim. The few people at the top who show up to take credit for attainments in commerce, media, politics etc are standing on the heads of millions of people, most of whom they’ve never met.

When I was in a financially abusive relationship with young kids Christmas was the worst time of the year for me. Trying to scrape together enough Santa presents so my sweet children didn’t worry they’d been “naughty” is just one way capitalism tortures those who are struggling.

I thought I’d get more comfortable with the attention this job gets me as time went on, but I’m actually getting more and more reclusive. Lefty commentators are expected to do interviews and videos and podcasts and stuff, but I just want to write and make art and keep to myself. The expectation that I should do other things besides what I’m good at reminds me of an old Mitch Hedberg bit:

“When you’re in Hollywood and you’re a comedian, everybody wants you to do other things. All right, you’re a stand-up comedian, can you write us a script? That’s not fair. That’s like if I worked hard to become a cook, and I’m a really good cook, they’d say, ‘OK, you’re a cook. Can you farm?’ ”

I’m just gonna focus on cooking.

___________________________

Image via Stocksnap/Matthew Henry.

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at  or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on , following my antics on throwing some money into my tip jar on  or , purchasing some of my , buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, . Everyone, racist platforms excluded,  to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

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

Latest comments

  • I am making $125 per hour working online on my laptop among my family. I continue doing work in my room talking to them. Its too easy to complete it no experience or skill required. You just need internet connection and PC/Laptop. For more information visit……..Read More 

    • you should go to a different forum instead of trying to scam people with work-from-home schemes. Go away.

  • Caitlin and I are joined at the brain stem, aorta valve and vagus nerve. I wish her good tidings.

  • The not for profit Mennonite health system based on expense sharing.

    https://www.mhsonline.org/

    https://washingtonmemo.wordpress.com/newsletter/summer09/healing-health-care-recent-mennonite-statements-on-health-care-access/

    The cooperative model extends far beyond health care. Religion is simply a model for living lives. The role of government is to do that which cannot be done sufficiently by other means.

    • People keep forgetting to pay attention to the cultural context that a program takes place in.

      – The Mennonites tend to value service to the community and putting the well-being of the community ahead of their own personal well-being. They also have a low level of white-collar crime.

      – The mainstream US culture has negligible amounts of valuing personal sacrifice for the good of the community, and high levels of white-collar crime. Worse yet, the mainstream US culture is like a gladiator contest to see who can be most successful at milking the system for personal gain.

      – The Mennonite health service model would fail, if it was implemented in the current mainstream US culture, for similar reasons the current medical system in the US is failing to meet the needs of the community.

      – It doesn’t matter what kind of system you are talking about, if the norm is milking the system, then that system will fail to accomplish what its intentions are.
      _

      By good of the community I mean things like doing yard work for people too elderly to maintain their own yards.

      – I don’t mean doing political activism that reinforces divide-and-conquer wedges in ideological cultural battles.
      _

      I doubt if any solution (for the US) will work until after the dysfunctions of the mainstream US culture are healed.

      – While its important to lead by example in supporting your community, and condemning hypocrisy, as long as the empire’s propaganda network is effective, it will continue encouraging the cultural dysfunctions that prevent changes to the status quo.

      – This gets back to the urgent need to discredit the empire’s propaganda network by publicizing proof of how politicians and MSM journalists are lying every time they speak. The really dangerous part is they always sprinkle a bit of truth in with the lies. So you can’t claim 100% of what they say is lies. You can claim that there are some lies in almost all of the MSM news articles, opinion piece, and press releases forwarded to you from the government.

      _

      Besides the fact I like to sleep on my comments, to see if they still make sense in the morning, I thought it would be appropriate to send this message on the day that an orgy of commercialization takes place on a former religious holiday.

      – While I’m not a christian (toxic christianity played a large part in my ending up disabled by PTSD) Jesus had some valuable teachings, which are largely ignored today. Worse yet, his teachings are distorted by the elites so they help maintain the status quo.

      – Pertinent to this thread are the teachings of Jesus about unconditional love and service to the community. You have to ask yourself, if Jesus threw over the tables of the moneylenders in the temple, what would he be doing today, as the billionaires behave like vampires sucking the blood out of every aspect of US society?

      _

      PS
      – I spent a lot of time last night wondering why I was incensed that a travesty had been made of a christian holiday, when I’m not christian and have been badly traumatized by them.
      – First, Jesus was a reformer, working to meet the needs of ordinary people, and he and his teachings deserve respect.
      – Second, even if christianity has been distorted to serve the agendas of the elites, many people believe in that religion, and their beliefs deserve respect.
      – A lack of respect empowers the divide-and-conquer wedges the billionaires use to prevent changes to the status quo.
      – Respecting others and their beliefs is essential for building the large coalitions needed to regain our rights and well-being, and to stop the billionaires from treating us as disposable serfs.
      – Respectfully discussing issues is the only way to build bridges, to connect people, as we build those coalitions.

      • There are several similar systems out there. All are founded by religious groups it would seem. Participation in most is open to anyone who doesn’t use tobacco. It’s a successful story meant to point to possibilities that don’t endeavor to fix the overarching system of industrial abuse and offers a viable alternative to the insurance profiteers for anyone so inclined. Those who are not totally bought into the dysfunctional system often have a message about our humanity that it would be good to consider. The mass of people choose their leanings from among the loudest voices as if the act of picking were an end in itself. It’s the consumer ethos masquerading as freedom.

        PS-All is being perverted in service to Mammon. We mourn for that loss in ourselves and others. In that natural compassion, an injury to one is an injury to all. When we stand shoulder to shoulder as brothers and sisters we will prevail. When we do not, then we will be killed and live as slaves. These are Biblical times.

  • “Of course it’s going to say “Sure! Come on in” through its dripping fangs.”
    This is a really great picture – been there – done that.

    – While in a technical sense I’m really bright, at that point I made Alice in Wonderland look really worldly. Walking thru the fangs was a tough row to hoe. Now I’m disabled by PTSD and related issues.

    – Being disabled has given me the quiet time I needed to fully appreciate how huge the mistakes were that I’ve made.

    – Images like “through its dripping fangs” cut right thru the rationalizations and intellectualizing to the hard reality of what is really going on in the world, and the consequences of choices made in that world.

    – Reading these columns is like a psychic vaccination against illusions and euphemisms, and decreases the risk of me accidentally falling into the prison safety net.

  • Caitlin caught a little flack a few posts ago for indicating she was a socialist. Not that she gives a crap, of course, but this is kind of a cute reply to those who expressed disappointment in her.

  • Keep cooking, Caitlin, and thank you for supporting Med4All in your columns. I’ll make the same suggestion as before: How about posting a clearly labeled link for the petition Jimmy and co-sponsors have started?

    https://forcethevote.org/

    And the website for their party

    https://peoplesparty.org/

    Thank you.

  • Many of my friends and family consider me to be one of those paranoid conspiracy theorists. Well, a theorist is thought to be someone who speculates uncritically on the basis of flimsy evidence, rather than on facts. But I examine evidence in the widest possible context of relevant history and current events so that I can predict what is coming. As it has now become obvious, we have global Internet censoring but it operates through cleverly devised programs and artificial intelligence in a manner which prevents people knowing that it is taking place. The article I link below by Charles Hugh Smith explains the way global Internet censoring is now taking place. I am one of numerous users of the Internet who has done enough checking and analyzing to confirm what Charles says and explains. The point I want to make: Important, much needed information we need to make informed decisions for the good of ourselves, our health and our future, is now almost impossible for the average person to find on the Internet. Even intelligent educated people have become victims of propaganda and mind control.
    What is the solution? The best advice I can offer is to apply an infallible investigative procedure called the Keys of Knowledge to reveal misinformation, half-truths, fallacies, or clever lies. The Keys of Knowledge require users to find a small group of people to collaborate in the investigation and every member of the group is required to devote some time and effort to their participation in the investigation. Unfortunately, few if any people I know are interested in finding the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the pure truth. Therefore, people in high places who conduct or implement programs of propaganda, censoring and mind control have a very easy task. https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/big-media-selling-narrative-and-crushing-dissent-fun-and-profit

  • Caitlyn,

    Maybe you feel that you are becoming a recluse. Whatever you may “think” it is may not be the reality that you are experiencing. You may be moving toward more solitude which is different than being a recluse or feeling “Isolated” from others. I believe most “informed loving people” are experiencing the same feeling.

    The reality of most of us who follow Caitlyn and others, who are on the same “path”, we feel the same isolation. To be bold and take a step forward here, this feeling of isolation is the natural feeling of not being in sinc with the status quo. We are part of a Presence that is bigger than ourselves and the evils that are against us and the world community.

    We need to be at peace with ourselves which is the first step toward liberation and freedom. We cannot be controlled. That is our power and the life giving force that moves us forward. Peace to All, Everywhere.

  • Yes under Neoliberalism prison is a market solution to poverty and mental illness. It is the perfect solution because as everyone knows the free market does everything best. That’s why I believe the best way to solve climate change is to privatize the atmosphere. Then the free market will guarantee the highest quality breathing services to all customers. Problem solved!

    • This is the first good laugh I’ve had in days – thanks

  • “The revolutionary struggle is ultimately always a battle of movement vs inertia. One side says ‘We need to move!’ and the other side makes clever-sounding arguments for why not moving is actually the better strategy right now. In such debates, the movement side is always correct.”

    Reminds me of Senator Harry Reid when he was Majority Leader always talking about “keeping his powder dry.” Progressives often wondered out loud what it would finally take to use all of that “dry powder” he was keeping while failing to oppose ruinous policies from the administration.

    Of course, he never used his Senate majority to do good.

  • A lot of us understand the recluse bit, Caitlin, I surely do, but still…wouldn’t it be really cool if you made a return virtual appearance on the Jimmy Dore Show right now? American citizens (increasingly an oxymoron), even the kind who watch Jimmy, need to hear how their country looks to those who live in more humane societies. And no one is better at painting that picture than you, Caitlin. No. One. Better.

  • “Hi here’s $600, please forget that guillotines are a thing.”
    .
    And also, forget that WE PAID for the guillotines and their operators.
    .
    “Life is a series of psyops. When you’re little it’s psyops about Santa and the Tooth Fairy. When you go to school it’s psyops about your government being a democracy and the news being true. When you grow up it’s psyops about capitalism totally working and the economy being real. As your world gets bigger, so do the manipulations.”
    .
    Other psyops: “The Science”… Organized Religion… Mass Corporate Media abuses… Getting Married (OK, not all marriages, just a whole lot of them)… Peer pressure of any kind… Anything promoted by the United Nations… Higher Education institutions peddling New World Order or Marxist agendas… etc.
    .
    “After 9/11 you got people examining footage, examining the wreckage, examining the actual forensic evidence and forming their own opinions about what happened and who was responsible. If there is no footage, wreckage or forensic evidence for you to look at, this can’t be done.”
    .
    Didn’t The Powers That Be already determine that the mastermind behind 9/11 was Lee Harvey Oswald? And he also directed the attack on Pearl Harbor? I saw it on cable so it must be true!
    .
    “Understand the mistakes of the past or you’ll keep repeating them into the future.”
    .
    The mistakes of the past ARE the template for the roadmap to the Future. Or so They always decide. Why fix problems when they’re working to prop up the Dark State so well right now?
    .
    “The US progressive movement will make no progress until it understands that Obama was a corrupt mass murdering monster.”
    .
    And, he’s a lousy basketball player. Trust me on that. Look at my screen name.
    .
    “I’m just gonna focus on cooking.”
    .
    The Food Network has made many a star. But you gotta develop a good barbeque sauce recipe.

  • Caitlin Johnstone wrote:
    > If a $600 stimulus check isn’t enough for you, then don’t be poor. If you’re poor, get another job. If there are no jobs, find some money. If you find money in unauthorized ways, we’ll throw you in prison. If you decide to just be homeless, we’ll throw you in prison for that too. If all this drives you insane, don’t worry, mental illness is what we have prisons for.
    > Prison is the social safety net of neoliberalism.
    .
    On mass incarceration in the United States, as we all know, with 4.2% of the world population, the Land of the Free holds about 21% of the world’s prisoners.
    .
    Some facts that can be related to this situation:
    .
    “The War on Drugs and harsher sentencing policies, including mandatory minimum sentences, fueled a rapid expansion in the nation’s prison population beginning in the 1980s. The resulting burden on the public sector led to the modern emergence of for-profit private prisons in many states and at the federal level. . . .
    .
    “Profiting from Incarceration
    .
    “For-profit prison companies exist to make money, and therefore the size and status of the country’s criminal justice system is of upmost importance to them. This connection was summed up in Corrections Corporation of America’s (now-Core Civic) 2010 Annual Report:
    .
    “‘Our growth is generally dependent upon our ability to obtain new contracts to develop and manage new correctional and detention facilities. This possible growth depends on a number of factors we cannot control, including crime rates and sentencing patterns in various jurisdictions and acceptance of privatization. The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.’”
    .
    Capitalizing on Mass Incarceration: U.S. Growth in Private Prisons — The Sentencing Project
    https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/capitalizing-on-mass-incarceration-u-s-growth-in-private-prisons/
    .
    “Several industries have become notorious for the millions they spend on influencing legislation and getting friendly candidates into office: Big Oil, Big Pharma and the gun lobby among them. But one has managed to quickly build influence with comparatively little scrutiny: Private prisons.”
    .
    How for-profit prisons have become the biggest lobby no one is talking about — The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/28/how-for-profit-prisons-have-become-the-biggest-lobby-no-one-is-talking-about/
    .
    “. . . police continue to focus their attention on the enforcement of low-level offenses and noncriminal behavior, reinforcing a cycle of mistrust. That’s in part in response to arrest quotas and other incentives police get for productivity, as well as financial gains for agencies and municipalities that rely on punitive enforcement for funding. . . . ‘A marijuana possession arrest at the end of the shift can be worth several hundred dollars for the officer,’ he noted.”
    .
    Police Make 10 Million Arrests a Year, but That Doesn’t Mean They’re Solving Crimes — The Intercept
    https://theintercept.com/2019/01/31/arrests-policing-vera-institute-of-justice/
    .
    “In New York City, a group of police officers tried to sue the city and police department over a ‘quota’ to stop and arrest as many people as possible. Some officers acknowledged that officers met this incentive by targeting low-income black neighborhoods with little political power.”
    .
    How to reform American police, according to experts — Vox
    https://www.vox.com/2020/6/1/21277013/police-reform-policies-systemic-racism-george-floyd

  • One of the best historical summaries of progressions ever seen: “After 9/11 you got people examining footage, examining the wreckage, examining the actual forensic evidence and forming their own opinions about what happened and who was responsible. If there is no footage, wreckage or forensic evidence for you to look at, this can’t be done.”

    “In late 2016, about 200 websites – including Consortiumnews.com – were identified as ‘Russian propaganda outlets’ by the dubious website PropOrNot, hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.
    https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/28/unpacking-the-shadowy-outfit-behind-2017s-biggest-fake-news-story/
    Facebook Censorship of Alternative Media ‘Just the Beginning,’
    https://consortiumnews.com/2018/10/24/facebook-censorship-of-alternative-media-just-the-beginning-warns-top-neocon-insider/

    “Close your eyes and imagine what would have happened if Facebook and Google had banned 9/11 Truth on the advice of intelligence officials in the Bush years, and it will start to make sense.” “Intelligence agencies, think tanks, and mainstream news agencies have been preparing us for this concept for years as well. This dates back to the infamous 2016 Washington Post story hyping PropOrNot.” “It’s not hard to imagine . . . authorities [asking] tech platforms to quell ‘conspiracy theories’ about everything from poisoned water systems to war crimes.”
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-youtube-ban-is-un-american-wrong

    • Those who control the media control the nation

  • No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.

    George Orwell

  • As an American, this was a painful post to read because it’s so terribly true. But there’s one thing that Caitlin got wrong, because she’s much younger than I am, thank God. “The only reason politicians can get away with it in the US is because Americans have never experienced a real healthcare system.” No, when I was coming of age in the U.S., we DID have a fairly viable healthcare system, not a perfect one by any means but a pretty affordable and accessible one. You got sick or injured, you went to the doctor or the hospital and didn’t lay awake at night worrying about how you were going to pay for it. Working class families like mine received routine medical care, and specialist care if needed, as a matter of course, just as working class kids were able to attend college and live more prosperous lives than their parents. Black people and other minorities still got the short end of the stick, of course, and there were far too many pockets of grating poverty, but even black families were becoming viable and were slowly making strides toward improving their lives. There was a sizeable number of black students, some from poor families, whom I had the privilege to go to college with in those days, to cite only one example. So no, America was not ALWAYS the neoliberal nightmare it is today. Sure, there’s no getting around the historical facts of Native American genocide, chattel slavery, and ever-growing American imperialism, which young people of my era were well aware of and tried, for too brief a while, to do something to change. But still, during that post WWII bubble, when the working class had fought for and won a so-called piece of the pie, life in America for the average person was pretty good. Today, however, all that is a distant memory for people like me who are old enough to be losing theirs, and for those who are younger, they have known only the country that Caitlin tells them about. Why? What happened? What explains the sudden, drastic change? The answer lies in the link below, about as simply and clearly as that answer can be given. By the way, nice to see Caitlin mention the World Trade Center Atrocity. And if you resonate with Ed Curtin’s article, why not give yourself his new book, “Seeking Truth in a County of Lies” as a holiday present, along with Caitlin’s recently released book of poetry? I can’t get “Old Rebel” out of my mind, can you?

    http://edwardcurtin.com/the-cia-takeover-of-america-in-the-1960s-is-the-story-of-our-times/

    • Everyone in America gets healthcare, even the homeless. However everyone in America does not get the same healthcare. It is a pay as you go system. Standard capitalism. Buy the best health insurance, get the best care. Cant afford it, too bad. Everyone is not equal, mentally, physically or financially. Asking for same healthcare for all is like asking for everyone to live in a 2000 sqft house. Or everyone drives a mercedes. You get what you can afford. One eats hamburger, another steak a third rice and beans. As Mel Brooks so aptly put it, LIFE STINKS.

  • I railed for eight years about Obama to my progressive friends who refused to take off their first Black President rose colored glasses and see the truth of what he really stood for, and he won’t go away, he keeps writing bullshit book after bullshit book.

  • From one recluse to another, Merry Christmas to you and yours. Keep cookin’.

  • Phil Rockstroh, July 2019: “…it is not possible to reform a system
    that was created to be reform-proof.
    The system is not broken; it is working
    exactly as designed,
    and for the benefit of its designers…”
    “… il n’est pas possible de réformer un système
    qui a été créé pour être impossible à réformer…
    Le système n’est pas en panne. ça fonctionne
    exactement comme prévu,
    et au profit de ses concepteurs… ”
    Phil Rockstroh

  • Being reclusive seems to be working, or you wouldn’t be getting attention. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?

  • So, if one has the time, love and in some cases the temerity, one should make it a mission to visit Jesus in prison (effectively) as per his own words preserved in the Holy Bible. Say hi for me.

  • Fred Hampton was a “loud, profanity-slinging leftist” but they killed him a long time ago. There’s one professor without the university jargon that I know of, who’s “appealing to the people in an interesting and engaging way that everyone can understand”: https://youtu.be/ysZC0JOYYWw

    • Fred was and is a great inspiration. They killed him but like Joe Hill he lives on.
      Two other academics I know of who explain matters clearly are Mark Blyth and the late David Graeber. Plenty on Youtube and the rest of the internet.

    • Thank you for that – I’ve had time to watch it now. Professor Wolff does indeed explain what socialism is – and isn’t – very clearly and engagingly. A way (or ways, he talks of socialisms) of attaining the freedom and equality capitalism promised instead of feudalism, and not (supposed) socialists in government, that being at best a means of achieving socialism. I’m going to use some of his ideas in future when answering similar questions.

  • Keep on cooking…

  • LOL

  • What a depressing article. No wonder I spend my spare time with anything to escape all of this. It is just too darn depressing. I feel sorry for people who only have faith in people. They will be disappointed every time. Jesus offered words of hope. Man twisted them into religion.

  • Power cultivates.No one should step outside it .There is no need for genetic or biologic cloning.As Baudrillard reminds us,the individual is already cloned culturally and mentally….by them .We feel and see it around us every day just in our so called society.Power wants more of it, the cloned man is easy to control By Mammon the God of excess .Surplus.Extravaganza,Intemperance,Exceptionalism,Outrageous expectations,Exaggerated presumptions too much too big too fast the surpassing of natural limits.Mans invention an –enthroned abstraction –controls and manipulates our daily lives.Mammon-Beelzebub has victory within his grasp.

  • Red Bull doesn’t make you live forever? It’s got electrolytes! If the great-great grandson of THE billionaire says we’re now revolting terrorists who only hate success, freedom & pragmatism, what can we do but buy into consensus delusion of tag-team kleptocracy and get back to work, infecting our loved ones, co-workers, transit & medical workers (leave a copy of your deed, will and irrevocable living trust in your wallet once you can’t breathe our atmosphere any more?)

  • https://www.johndayblog.com/2020/12/jupiter-saturn-conjunction-solstice.html

    Tessa Fights Robots on ​Conformism (She ain’t one)
    ​ ​I know conformism! As a kid in Moscow, I was an aspiring conformist. I was in need of love, and I was trying to earn it with obeying the rules and pleasing the adults. It was a lonely time. The adults were broken—but they had the power. Praise for performance was the only currency of love I knew. Then, as a teenager, I rebelled against everything—which felt amazing—but it seems like my rebellion was making those around me sad. Out of guilt and fear, I tried obedience again, so as not to be an a**hole. But then life showed me the face of the machine and put me through a very cruel experience that cleared up my head. After that, I couldn’t become compliant even if I wanted to, my thinking just didn’t bend that way.
    ​ ​So my theory is that when aspiring conformists—who look for love in any form—grow up without seeing the face of the machine, they remain compliant. The establishment rewards the act of betraying one’s inner child—and because it promotes self-betrayal through formal education, academics can become messenger viruses of spiritual defeat and blinding pride.
    ​ ​After all, an abstract thinker is a “leader.” And a peasant is, well, a peasant.
    So this story is my frustrated inner peasant’s dive into what seems to be the collective psyche of a proud intellectual.
    https://tessa.substack.com/p/proud-intellectual?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=cta

    John Michael Greer opened the astrological bidding with this:
    Executive Summary:
    The most relentlessly malefic mundane chart I have ever studied greets the incoming administration with a barrage of hostile aspects almost entirely unrelieved by favorable indications. The government can expect to be hammered by one crisis after another, with economic troubles, popular protests, and outbreaks of violence over the top of a spreading collapse of public support in the status quo that puts the entire structure of American governance in question. Whoever is inaugurated early next year will face a disastrous situation, and whoever becomes the next president thereafter is going to have a gargantuan mess to clean up.​..
    ​ It will be modified, of course, by the quarterly ingress charts, the influence of eclipses, and of course the Grand Mutation between Jupiter and Saturn, which announces the beginning of a new era in world history a month before the inauguration.
    {​Heelllooo Aquarius!​}
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/us-presidential-44008577

  • Wow, that is a shit load of precise observation in a few words. I am looking at the city I live and people are walking around in masks, they don’t look at other people, they don’t say anything. Recently the stores took down the signs that say it is ok not to wear a mask if you have a doctor’s exemption. That obviously happened because there are so many masked covid creeps complaining about the unmasked. All this is happening in spite of the truth of the casedemic which is blatantly obvious if one gets away from American death porn TV . Unfortunately you can’t expect much from the American Public. The Psychopathic Plutocrats are sitting in their mansions watching all the stupidity and feeling very secure, while the homeless pitch their tents on the city streets; no masks; no showers; buckets to defecate in and plenty of parking space for the coffin vans that never arrive.

  • Prisons are built to treat the effect rather than the cause because it’s more profitable for the lawmakers.
    War is the same.
    So is religion.
    The cause is emptiness.
    The solution is Love.
    Easier said than done.
    Here’s another great piece by Chris Hedges.
    https://scheerpost.com/2020/12/21/chris-hedges-the-great-delusion/

  • Thank you Caitlin. You are amazing .

  • “I’m just gonna focus on cooking.”

    Brava!

Post a Reply to John Day Cancel Reply