The primary obstacle in getting people to realize that they are being propagandized by our rulers is their unquestioned assumption that if there were a mass-scale narrative management operation geared at manufacturing consent for the status quo, they would have heard about it in the news or learned about it in school.

And, of course, they would not have, because both the plutocratic media and the modern schooling system are designed to indoctrinate people into accepting the status quo. From the time we are children our minds are deliberately and systematically warped to psychologically align us with the interests of the ruling class, and then we are passed on to the news media to ensure that we are continually shaped and reshaped in real time throughout our adult lives based on the specific needs of the oligarchic empire from year to year. A brainwashing institution is never going to teach you to be skeptical of their brainwashing.

Our indoctrination into the establishment worldview is not just in training us to espouse certain beliefs and think a certain way, it’s in training us to look to the sources of our indoctrination for guidance throughout our lives. What do we do when we are unsure about something, class? That’s right, we go to reliable, authoritative sources like The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and any other outlet that has consistently supported every war we’ve ever been deceived into by our rulers.

Our indoctrination isn’t just in what to think, it’s in how to think.

This is the first and foremost reason why it’s so difficult to get people to realize that they have been lied to about the world and the way it works. You’re not just arguing against their perceptions, you’re arguing against their means of perception itself. You’re arguing against the very system they have used since they were young to orient themselves to an understanding of truth and reality.

If you are looking at a given facet of the oligarchic empire through a means of perception which for example takes it as a given that the news man would never lie to you and anyone who says otherwise is a Russian agent or crazy conspiracy theorist, there’s no way you’re going to be able to see that facet clearly. If someone suggests that you read an article by The Grayzone or Glenn Greenwald challenging your perspective, just their doing that will look like evidence that they are wrong, in the same way someone telling a devout Christian to read the Satanic Bible would be taken as evidence that they are evil.

It’s hard to get someone to see the flaws in their means of perception for the same reason you can’t get someone to directly look at their own eye: you can’t directly perceive the means by which you are perceiving. If I have “Anyone who doesn’t trust The New York Times is a liar” built into the means of perception that I have been trained to utilize, you’re going to have a very difficult time getting me to be skeptical about anything The New York Times has reported, and an even harder time getting me to be skeptical of the outlet itself. This will remain the case for as long as I am peering through that means of perception.

So what can we do? How can we ever hope to awaken people to the fact that an ecocidal, omnicidal oligarchic empire is driving us toward disaster while singing us to sleep using propaganda lullabies?

Well, we can create glitches in the matrix. We can draw as much attention as possible to the lies we’ve all been told and create enough dissonance with their means of perception that they begin wondering if something is wrong with the goggles they’ve been peering through. If you wear glasses and begin noticing strands of code running down your field of vision here and there, your first instinct might be to take off your glasses and examine if there is something wrong with them. Once you’ve got them examining and questioning their means of perception itself, there’s a chance that they may fall through that gap and wake up from the matrix.

As we would do if we were trapped in a collapsed tunnel, we start working on moving the loose rocks first. We help share truth with people who are close to our own level of understanding, who are on the cusp of awakening to how pervasively we’ve been lied to all our lives. The more awakening we can facilitate on the periphery, the looser the more stubbornly stuck pieces of rubble will become. Eventually they will begin noticing matrix code streaming down the periphery of their vision as a critical mass of perceivers begin drawing attention to the way we’ve all been deceived, and then even the most tightly wedged-in obstacles will begin to get some wiggle room.

All positive change in human behavior is the result of an increase in awareness, whether you’re talking about recovering from substance abuse, abandoning self-destructive patterns, ending racism and bigotry, or ending an oligarchic empire. Once the underlying sources of an unwholesome behavior dynamic have been sufficiently perceived, there’s a movement from dysfunction to health.

That’s the only path to a healthy world: getting enough people to perceive enough truth with enough clarity. Until that happens real change is impossible. After that happens real change is inevitable.


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119 responses to “If The Rich Were Propagandizing Us, We’d Have Heard About It In The News”

  1. John Allen aka Ol' Hippy Avatar
    John Allen aka Ol’ Hippy

    I’ll come over here from Medium from time to time. I’ll just state that this makes a strong case for anarchism. Destroy the power and control principal of the ruling classes. Destroy their narratives, and their makers. Get it from the inside because they are too powerful to take head-on. Peace, The Ol’ Hippy

  2. The much-touted $300/month child tax credit is the new lie. First, the old credit was $2,000 for all ages of dependent children. Now if you have a child age 6-17 you only get an additional $1,000/year. Age 5 and under brings an additional $1,600/year. The lie being told is that “this new credit will raise half of the children out of poverty”. NO! Getting $83.33 more a month ($20/week) won’t do one damn thing, other than Mom and Dad being able to pay for a tank of gas to line up at the Food Bank.

  3. Population mind control through state sponsored and managed education, propaganda-news, entertainment, and censoring keeps the masses hypnotized despite out efforts to wake them up. Money or wealth is the dominant power (the god) of all governments and of capitalists. Money talks and this is why the world’s great Liberator, Yeshua, said that His followers must aim their revolutionary tactics at the monetary system. As soon as they start doing that they become threats to the government which calls them traitors. That is what happened to Yeshua and His followers who were secretly arrested, tortured and executed one by one, starting with the ringleader. Criticizing, complaining and condemning is only the first step towards revolution. The next step is to formulate a plan of action. The third step is to convince others who criticize, complain and condemn the evil empire to commit to following the plan of action. Fourth step: Start putting the plan into action, the only practical strategy which can defeat the evil empire.

    1. My feedback to you TANLAR
      You might think many have fallen to propaganda but that is not so. It is your own failed sense of things.
      Money or wealth is the dominant power, and that I AGREE with you and that is the power that MUST be defeated and guess what victory will be EASY cause it is based on good faith and I can say with first-hand experience that sort of faith is diminishing – rapidly.
      Yeshua can say all Yeshua wants to say, but I could give a flip cause the time is today and none of us need advice from past wise ones who have gotten us to this moment in time. We are on our own. Literally.
      The only step that really matters is recognizing that Mutual Aid is what enables any species to survive, so who needs all the gobbledygook.
      The best thing a GrandPa or GrandMa can do is help the generation once removed to get better and not make the same mistakes as generations before. So, strive for that and remember this: You get what you give!
      Better times on the way – that is what I learned via self-study.
      Maybe I’m wrong, maybe not.

    2. Work on the phone…if you can’t be physically active… people here understand.
      When that friendly Gov official phones and asks very politely if there’s a reason foryou not having the “vaccine” yet, just explain it’s an experimental one – he doesn’t comment because his Level One playbook doesn’t give him an answer he can give you – (well there can’t be one can there). However his playbook leads on to the next interaction as follows:
      2nd question from the friendly Gov official “Would you like to speak to a medically trained/qualified person – I can get them to call you in a couple of days
      You: Yes, thank you. At this point get your notes together.for your first sparring partner… – be brave and…cos you’re reaching right into the enemy camp to tell them what’s really happening.

      Well this is the idea….

  4. OK, for humor sake, some real life excitement. Are you a digger or not?
    Dig it.

  5. Even better:
    выучившийся самостоятельно
    Oooh. I’m learning here and I ain’t a robot, so please if I strike out with this attempt, then I’ll know even more, so post it please.

    1. OK, time for cocktail hour so I got to go, but I posted that message above two times elsewhere and cleared to “screener” both times, yet the post did not show. I changed the text on the third attempt per the final sentence, but then “the deciders” be they human or algorithm chose to put it up top and that ain’t what I wanted. This will inform my future decision as to whether I become a patron or not.
      I’m just telling it like it happened. You can count on me for that.

    2. Google translate for
      Belorusian: Ukranian: learned on their own
      Bulgarian: learned on their own
      Russian: self-taught
      Serbian: studied independently
      Ukranian: learned on their own

      1. Hell ya. I love learning. Any day I don’t learn something is a bad day, but any day I don’t learn something is my own fault, and lately I learn something every day. I’m on a long streak of learning and I want to keep it going.
        Thanks J. Rockhill for the translation.

  6. It’s even worse than Caity said here. Facebook censors what we see and hear and say by distracting us with entertainment and failing to notify us when people who know and say the truth have important posts. There are, after all, only so many hours available in a day for such things as research and visiting and reading what so many seers have to say.
    Major newspapers censor the truth tellers in multiple ways. The two most commonly used are the simple deactivation of comments posted to articles (when they don’t like what we have to say). They blame it on our ‘violating community standards, but it is they, the newspapers, who decide what is a community standard. The other most commonly used technique is when they simple post that they don’t allow comments on most articles because of vitriolic comments. Someone should explain to them that most commentary that they call vitriolic is little more than a debate or clarification of one of our prior comments.
    When I see them use the ‘community standards’ bit, I’m usually incredulous as to what they say is in violation. The manner of these comments, as well as the content, are exactly the standards of my community. Perhaps the newspaper is thinking of the British Community in the days of Jane Austen.When they disallow comments altogether, it is obvious that they don’t want intelligent discourse whereby subscribers can learn from one another.
    These things combined remind me of George Carlin’s comment regarding the desires of those at the top. “They don’t want well educated workers. they want people just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, people who will accept shi**ier and shi**ier jobs, the end of overtime, vacations, health insurance” and so on.
    It has taken nearly 250 years, but the job is near completion. Americans are fat and lazy and too afraid to lose what little they have – and a government that lies to us works hard at maintaining that as the status quo.

    1. Best way to beat facebook and twitter censors is to stop using the apps.

      1. I disagree.
        The best way to defeat them, and mind it has already happened, is to take their own tools and wield them against them. Of course, one would be advised to sharpen the tools first.
        Then use the tool to split the entity into many small pieces, and then throw it upon the trash-heap of history.
        If you got a better plan, and it is peaceful, then I’m all ears. Otherwise, shove it up your effing a-hole.

        1. I agree with your right to disagree. Everyone should have the freedom to be wrong.

          1. Oh, I’m so happy we have reached this moment to agree on the obvious.
            A lesson in humility would do us all some good.

          2. Khatika – you are out of the game.
            You are out of the game in my mind, the game in my mind, which is a fair game cause I like to play across the table and I play fair.
            You are OUT!
            Not kidding this time and I enjoyed thinking maybe it could be elsewise but you have convinced me that you have nothing to offer for the better, so honestly Khatika – take your misery elsewhere. If you send it out anymore I will make it my mission to prove you otherwise.
            So consider me an enemy if you want. An online posting blogging enemy who is sick and effing tired of your sad story of misery and pre-determined fate of inevitable doom. Must be miserable inside of your head and I tell you this cause I was once your friend, but no more.
            Now you are my enemy and I feel I am justified in this sentiment cause the harm you cause by your endless miserable sense of the future is causing harm to my sense of what may be. Fruits and bounty on the way for those with better imagination.
            I won’t try to share any wisdom with you Khatika ever again cause you have gone over bounds with your miserableness and I’m sick of it. I tried to help, but you are past that.
            Look within and maybe you will discover something worth salvation, but it is up to you.
            I tried to be your friend, but you only had misery to share with me, and I don’t need that.
            May your future be blessed Khatika and please keep your misery to yourself.

  7. Just driving back thru a part of country where they are still fly Trump flags not left out but recently placed and everywhere.

    The area is economically depressed. Everywhere in the towns they have pictures commemorating past “war heros”. Fighting is seen a major source of economic opportunity. Immigrants are also major resource to the military.
    I saw a veterans affairs builging flying american flag, mia flag and flag of israel.

  8. Cailin, you miss something however.

    When I was a yonger person during time of Vietnam war, thier was a popular bumber sticker which read simply “Question Authority” and that mode of thinking originated from universities and newspapers.
    I was taught that, on the side, in high school.
    Now these same institutions have become admirers of themselves and of status quo.

  9. Russel Brand does pretty good balance discussion with himself of the source of neoliberal power and evil.

  10. A friend of mine calls it ” stuck on stupid “:
    One is reminded of Napoleon’s delusion that Russia’s nobles could be wedged away from Alexander and the undying conviction that one more targetted sanction will make Putin’s henchmen kick him out. But, enough of Anonymous’ fancies – they have no base in reality: the USA out-sourced its manufacturing to China long ago and won’t be getting it back, wokeism is killing its education system, its politics are broken, its military is losing everywhere and doesn’t realise it, a tsunami of debt has built up. Most absurd of all, after years of needless hostility to Russia, Washington has no hope of separating Moscow from Beijing. And Xi Jinping is not some rogue who seized control – he is the top of a robust pyramid.
    The only significance of this paltry effort is that it gives us another – and depressingly influential – example of the curious American obsession with personalities – everything in Chinese-U.S. relations was going along swimmingly until Xi. But actually, as anyone capable of seeing reality knows, China is much, much more than one man.
    China/Russia/Iran/Iraq/insert-name-of-country was happy to accept its place in the Rules-Based International Order until that nasty Xi/Putin/Ayatollah/Saddam/insert-name changed everything; get rid of him and it will all fix itself.

    When are they going to understand that it’s a whole country, not just one guy?
    This great article can be read here:
    The Great American Delusion – Just That One Guy by Patrick Armstrong!

  11. What you say is true of only stupid people…intelligent tpeople think for themselves.

    1. Problem is the plethora of ignorant and stupid people in the world who let others think for them. But I know people that appear intelligent that think Trump or Biden is the answer to Americas problems or that Covid is the plague itself and are the first to get in line for a vaccination that will save them. Appearances are deceiving. Most people do not think for themselves. People are herd animals,

      1. Nothing wrong with being in a herd.
        There is safety in numbers.
        1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ……. 10 11 12 13 cards in each suit. All cards in each suit matter big-time in the game of Bridge.
        Ok, after you bid 1 notrump in my imagination Khatika (see message below), my response to you is 1 diamond. It is now your bid, and let me say that the red suit you have 5 cards in is HEARTS! One of the hearts is a member of the “Court” – imagine that!
        What is your response to my response to your first bid of notrump as we work towards finding the “FINAL BID” for our kick-ass hand?
        This is a no-brainer, Khatika, so I hope you have the answer at your fingertips and you don’t have to even really think too hard. If you do (have the answer), then I will tell more about my hand on our way to a tremendous victory. Could even be a possible “SLAM”.
        Bridge is a super exciting and fun card game, so come on Khatika – do you want to be my partner in this hand or not?
        Answer either question if you please and imagine we are sitting on a an island in Lake Eyre with two friends playing a good game of cards.

        1. Correction.
          My bid was 2 diamonds.

        2. Hey Khatika – one last thing and then maybe depending I’ll leave you alone.
          A non-answer is actually also an answer and much can be deduced from said.
          OK, drinks on the house today! I had my time by the River and my Lord knows I feel refreshed!

        3. I’ll take this till the end. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume the player clockwise from you passed. Otherwise the bidding gets more complicated. BUT, and this is important, sometimes it is better to make the opposing team lose than it is to get the bid. Especially with how this hand is.
          Khatika, I know you are about, so please answer one of my questions. Otherwise, I will know more about you than you do about me – as if I don’t already.
          You can’t wish anything to go away, so give me the meanest most hateful depressing defeatist sentiment you got, or choose to do something better.
          Your friend, Ken

        4. Khatika – you failed.
          The bid of my partner is 2 hearts.
          Now I just need to find the correct partner.
          Khatika – you failed.
          and to think….it was so easy.

          1. Have never played bridge.

            1. Dammit Khatika that is a cop-out.

  12. Your world in the ZIO/US !!

    This is what is happening in a world that has a fvcking VISION !

    This is why I believe that Musk is owned. by the CIA !!

    ‘Electric’ cars when CNG is the obvious solution to pollution – ‘solution to pollution’ – might trademark that !

  13. I find most people Im around already see it, and Ive spent years essentially attracting that kind of energy into my life. Sure throw a grain of sand in the gears here and there. Ive watched movements on different scales take cavalier attitudes towards rebellion and get caught in a legal fees/ lengthy trial/ or prison time bind. Its an incredible momentum sapper. I think there is this state of avoidance for many where its extremely difficult to engage with anything in our society and next to no options for figuring things out for yourself. This is the dirty kid lifestyle appeal no landlord, no boss, just avoid the bulls and cops. You could be the most righteous self denying person in the world but no, a movement *might* bail you out and scrape a bed for you to sleep in, but rising against the police state in cahoots with the capitalist state isnt viable because theres a truth about tptb widely known yet extremely frustrating to do anything about. And it boils down to a lack of a large community that doesnt engage with the police and has the ability to support itself despite being at odds with the dominant economic forces. People need to do big, non glamorous/ actually labor, work to make it happen. They may need to sell their services or baubles to people they disagree with even. But given enough people on the same page it becomes its own articulate political entity by virtue of their own internal agreement towards mutual aid coupled with their own ability to create and produce something other people value. Those are the structures that need to be built and embody the values worth fighting for. Demanding a revolutionary wake up call doesn’t mean putting on a tricorner hat and grabbing a musket anymore. it means build independent sources for food and essential things. Build networks that embody the values instead of promoting the values with slogans and bullhorns like someday we’d like a world that does this, vs working out the bugs in actually doing it. At which point the revolution might just be relatively bloodless or at least not a bloody battle as much as a mass scale system failure and the avoidance of extreme deprivation in places where this idea actually had the time to develop.

  14. Moonlight Dancer Avatar
    Moonlight Dancer

    AHHHH! That was terrifying. Thank you. I stopped watching TV around that time as well. I remember Syria was a big thing for me too. I remember digging for information early on in the conflict and trickles were coming through from alternative news sites… No it’s not a grassroots movement by the people of Syria, yes there are foreign mercenaries in the country… Yes it looks like they are being funded and armed by the USA. I recall imparting this to someone I knew only to be harshly rebuffed. My awakening was gradual, I’ve never been a fan of authority, always been suspicious but my true conversion came via meditation and the realisation of the lack of self and how much of societies ills are born from this state of separation, all the anxiety and ego defensiveness, the hate and distrust is a symptom of non realised beings. It kindly gave us capitalism as well. I’m ready to fight the good fight now but not sure of the best course of action…

    1. Moonlight Dancer Avatar
      Moonlight Dancer

      Sorry this isn’t meant to be here …

  15. Since 2015 Russian ‘ Natural Gas ‘ service stations have doubled to nearly 1000 outlets !

    NG is pumped directly to the service stations and then available at the pump – cars and trucks !

    Russia has at least 40 Trillion cubic metres in known NG reserves !

    NG is the future – NOT electric !

    This is one of the major reasons ( and probably the reason for the de-population agenda ) why the US must collapse – they have NO pipelines and they have made enemies of the nations that hold all the NG !

    This is what Syria and Yemen are all about – hydrocarbon ‘control’ – NO wonder they hate Russia who foiled their plans !

    1. Its always about energy and resources. The US is losing ground on many fronts. They cannot stop the NG pipeline to Europe which will tie them to Russia. Europe is more and more just giving lip service to the US. The silk road initiative is tying China to the Middle East. Russia and China are cooperating more. Then the moves to replace the dollar are in progress. Finally the report leaked recently from the pentagon whuch said if the US went up against China they would lose badly. The US cannot stop the annexation of Taiwan. The US is in retreat, they just wont admit it.

  16. Twain really knew how to skewer the high and mighty. I think the quote below really strikes home. “While we all fixate on electoral political solutions, the powerful focus on narrative control, because that’s where real power is at. The people who pose an actual threat to the machine are those who disrupt its narratives and narrative control agendas. Everyone else is harmless. If the majority of a troubled population believes their political system is operating in a way that is demonstrably very different from the way it actually operates, then that population doesn’t have a political problem, it has a propaganda problem.” Caitlin Johnstone

  17. As the twig is bent… so throws the ‘gree? Try explaining this systematic universal social engineering and the near total effectiveness of its brainwashing propaganda to even the quite exceptional now adult fruit of your loins and chances are you’ll be met with indignation and anger at any suggestion that they (of all people!) might suffer from such brainwashing in the least. Caitlin has herein quite succinctly explained the seriousness and depth of this problem.

  18. Isn’t the argument “If the media were propagandizing us, we’d hear it on the media” a tautology?

    1. Boris Alotofkrap Avatar
      Boris Alotofkrap

      Nyet. It is self-contradiction. This easy for Boris to understand because in Mother Russia children learn about logic. In US children learn how to not be hurtful to people who believe experts.

      1. Yo Boris – yep.
        Funny thing though is how QUICK one can learn when the pressure is on!
        ps – I’m a doubting many of the self-professed experts…so-called by the propagandizing media that is self-contradicting in artform. Oh, for a place, where a true journalist could be trained in the profession. Seems as if we all got to be self-doubt these days, but don’t need to stay that way forever……да. Da?

        1. Aye – correction.
          Here in Russian: самоучка
          Sorry if I got that wrong – I’m learning on the fly.

  19. Wow, the author has certainly been engaged in the comments.
    If you’re a mother, and you care whether your daughter gets raped while drunk, but not enough to tell her flat out “It’s going to happen,” you’re not just the problem, you’re the procuress.
    I mention “Drunk at the Party” rape because it is the most reported kind, and it is probably under-reported by at least an order of magnitude. Adolescent males arrange for drugs and alcohol at parties in the hope of rendering females insensible: They may not articulate it, they may not even let themselves know that’s what they’re doing, but it is why young men throw drunken parties at that age. All of you preparing to indignantly deny having thought, felt, or done any such thing are lying cowards and flaming hypocrites.
    By all means talk to your boys, and by all means root for bullsh*t winning the fight with biology next time, but don’t bet your daughter on it. Rape culture is not simply designed to oppress and control female sexuality, it is also designed to drive young men mad and hold them in a constant simmering rage. Anthropologically speaking, a population of young men ready to kill may actually be the primary desired result of rape culture: duh.
    It’s not an excuse, it’s facing reality. Boys are ready, able, and desperate to copulate three or four times a day at thirteen, most with little hope of a consensual sexual relationship for years and years to come. They are given no warning, no preparation, no strategy for dealing with testosterone’s mind altering intrusion into their systems. When was the last time you heard of a girl experiencing her first menses without foreknowledge or preparation?
    Has your thinking on this subject dealt with the medical fact that sexual abstention is physically harmful to adolescents of both sexes?
    I think it was David Graeber who defined civilization as coerced scarcity in the midst of abundant surplus. Boy Howdy. When sex is the surplus good made artificially scarce, rape culture is the result. Fix that, and watch what happens to war and rape.

    1. And of course promiscuity has no negative medical effect on adolescents at all, right?
      I may be wrong, like all of us I frequently am, but I suspect your misandry is a result of personal experience. Your experience does not define the world, it only defines your world. The recognition this is so motivates one to continually seek truth, not to seek reinforcement of our often mistaken perceptions.
      “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”
      Bertrand Russell

    2. It is a non issue now with Covid and social distancing. Parties are no longer allowed.

  20. Mixing metaphors

    “It’s hard to get someone to see the flaws in their means of perception for the same reason you can’t get someone to directly look at their own eye: you can’t directly perceive the means by which you are perceiving.”

    If this is acknowledgement that the ‘conscious mind’ is equivalent to ‘means of perception’ and therefore, why the vast majority of us are incapable of seeing the flaws in our own personal reasoning, then I agree.

    Propaganda caters to the unconscious in all of us. Its continued success relies on us never becoming more aware of the extent to which a more conscious authentic self might go in showing us what our own eyes accurately see; as opposed, to what the establishment worldview says it is.

    The more aware one becomes, the more one realizes that what we have been ‘educated’ to ‘blind faith’ believe, is that we cannot trust ourselves.

    Nothing about how all religions – capitalist dogmas not excluded, require ‘blind faith’ belief in their myths.

    Sceptics are not permitted by the plutocratic owners of the machine. Doubting the word of the bible is sacrilege. Doubting the word of the template for all that is good in the owner’s manual, is not too dissimilar.

    Being literally burned at the stake was the punishment in earlier times. Today, with the blind faith power we have unwittingly vested in them, they can more simply ‘cancel’ those who dissent. Julian Assange – as one of the most relevant of an infant’s handful, of prolific, and precocious, unswerving from fact journalists, still alive today – being a prime example.

    The deep heartfelt truth is that you’ve been schooled from the get-go, to argue against your own innate perceptions. The result being that we constantly lie to ourselves, about ourselves, when in truth, we don’t really even have a clue as to who the ‘self’ was meant to be, in its universal, though human uniqueness.

    The purpose is not only about constantly doing, but about being; giving of heart and soul. And this is the aspect of humanity that the narcissistic sociopaths amongst us have succeeded in convincing of the opposite. Egotistical greed rules the roost! Having more, as opposed to giving more; to being present in this life.

    It is pointless attempting to draw the attention of those controlling the matrix. Rather, we need to draw attention to the cognitive dissonance in ourselves, brought about by this all-consuming cancer of capitalism, called a national culture, and to find a more well-tuned sonance between conscious and unconscious being.

    1. Most propaganda – both black and white – is aimed at the emotions (as opposed to reason and the intellect), and so people are not conscious/aware of what’s being done to them, the WMD falsehood being a typical example, and in the US Bush and Co ALSO led the vast majority of people to believe that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9.11 attacks. One falsehood evokes fear, and the other falsehood animosity.

      I think the reason most people are so easily duped and manipulated is because they have an innate need to believe and trust their leaders, something that is ‘switched’ from their parents (parent) as a child to political leaders (or so-called royalty) as they leave childhood behind. But then again, on another level – and especially in the US (compared to European countries) – kids are indoctrinated with a belief in the president and the flag from an early age.

    2. An interesting comment, EM. However, I wish to take issue with your assertion (if I have understood you correctly) that all religions require “blind faith” belief in their myths. The religion which will develop from an understanding of the Gospel of Thomas will carry no such requirement. For example, consider Saying 91:
      They said to him (that is, to Jesus), “Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you.”
      He said to them, “You examine the face of the sky and the earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment.”
      There is a lot packed into this brief saying. One of the insights which emerges from its study is that “blind faith” is an impediment to spiritual development. Wondering how we should think of the historical Jesus distracts our attention from a far more important subject – which is what you are. (But from the rest of your comment I think that you may already understand this.)

  21. No plan necessary. No details of a better world necessary. Just keep slappin’ and those that finally see reality will know exactly what to do………………won’t they? Let’s see, after they get fully woke, will they choose “pray like Hell for the Second Coming”; “let the president become Napoleon”; “TBTF banks know what’s best for us”; “stand up and do what comes naturally”; “last man standing”; “dog eat dog”; “law of the jungle”; “might makes right”; “march to the Capitol and start removing heads”; “do what our gang says or we’ll kill you”? Again, just keep slapping and always voting for Rs and Ds and things are eventually going to turn out just great, right?

    1. Re: video clip
      Lol, I love Moonstruck.

  22. I think a lot about how to de-program people from propaganda. How did I do it? It wasn’t someone lecturing me. It was being let down by Authority. Maybe we just need to wait patiently for Authority to alienate a critical mass of their victims.
    I notice that certain things will wake you up early from the delusion that Authority is benevolent, like being a gay teenager in the 1980’s (Glenn Greenwald), or being beaten unconscious by your father (Jimmy Dore). I was alienated more gradually by a series of events later in life. Becoming vegan was a big part of it because of the things I personally witnessed that shook me to my core but were dismissed by everyone I knew. I gradually realized I could not keep my deeply held beliefs to myself and also participate in group eating activities. It’s amazing how much people don’t realize how food is used to cement social bonds. Eventually you have to choose a side.

    1. Paul Rackemann Avatar
      Paul Rackemann

      I like this one. None of us can lead a movement against Authority. It will have to self-destruct. We can talk and maybe learn things from each other, but the organised crime syndicate that we call Government can watch and listen to us all, and prevent leadership against itself. Sometimes it co-opts elements of resistance into itself: this is one of the functions of democracy. However, democracy fails the prevent us from being deceived by the organised controllers of opinion, whom I call priests. Government consists essentially of priests and soldiers – people who live by force. They apply force and deception to keep us under control. This only breaks down when they mismanage it, often by messing up the money system. This is what is happening now. The Chinese flu has accelerated the process, but it has been going on since the year 1914, when governments gave themselves the right to print unlimited money. I suppose anyone who has read this far will decide that I am just a gold bug. The truth is that societies get sick and die, and bad money is only a part of that, but a very important part. Democracy in a stable society is a priestly device to make us think that we have somehow given our consent to the things that are done to us.

  23. Here’s an actual conversation I had once.
    Me: You should try reading Caitlin Johnstone sometime for a different perspective.
    Them: You just got done telling me I can’t watch CNN because they take advertising money. Where does this Caitlin person get money from, huh??
    Me: From her readers.
    Them: How do YOU know? She could be lying to you.
    Me: What if I asked her to send me her list of donors?
    Them: They could all be Russians.
    Me: Well, all except me.
    Me: By the same logic they could all be aliens too, since the evidence you have that they are aliens is the same as the evidence you have that they are Russians.
    Them: Witch!!
    (Ok I paraphrased that too.)

  24. Me: Here’s a good article by Glenn Greenwald explaining in great detail why you are wrong.
    Them: Witch!!!
    (I’m paraphrasing.)

  25. Roundball Shaman Avatar
    Roundball Shaman

    “From the time we are children our minds are deliberately and systematically warped to psychologically align us with the interests of the ruling class, and then we are passed on to the news media to ensure that we are continually shaped and reshaped in real time throughout our adult lives based on the specific needs of the oligarchic empire from year to year.”
    Yes, the World is drowning in a sea of propaganda, lies, omissions, deflections, and horse manure. But then, it always was. The only change is in Who is dispensing the propaganda, lies, omissions, deflections, and horse manure. Big, big problem. But there is a much deeper problem that all this is grounded in.
    Wanting All The Good Stuff For Oneself. Wanting to control everything. Wanting more, more, and then some more. All the money. All the power. All the top jobs. Having the joy of your own boot stomping on Orwell’s face of humanity.
    Why? Uncontrolled, uninhibited pathological selfishness. The great sin of the Human Race. In fact, the biggest one. And maybe, the only one. For most all other problems and sins lead right back into this deeply brutal defect in the Human character.
    You can’t solve the Propaganda problem unless you solve the Selfishness Default Setting within Humanity. And those who are infected and infested and spoiled and soiled with Default Selfishness as the core of their Being have no reason or incentive to be or think or act or believe any differently.

    1. It is called culture. It happens to all children even if they are raised by wolves.
      As far as selfishness, it is part of mans fallen nature.

  26. The link below, if clicked on, will bring the reader to a very short easy to understand lesson on how to raise the dead, if that’s what you want do, and how to send them back if later you change your mind.

  27. Beautifully written, grace in hand with kindness.
    It has not been long since the author’s language and vitriol were a barrier to understanding. Change proceeds from awareness, indeed.

  28. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
    Carolyn L Zaremba

    A comment I posted yesterday has disappeared. What is going on?

    1. I didn’t touch it. If you posted it the day before this article came out this probably isn’t the article you posted it under.

      1. So this is what I have deduced.
        1. As ought be evident, Caitlin has the ability to delete unwanted messages. It is “her” forum – she has editorial discretion within bounds.
        2. On another occasion, I believe she indicated the few sorts of messages that she would be inclined to delete.
        3. Knowing the kind of poster your are Ms. Carolyn, I an fully confident you didn’t post a message of this sort, so I believe in what Ms. Caitlin indicates above.
        4. I suspect your comment yesterday was on a different article as seem most likely. Do you remember what you said?
        5. This is why, if you are going to worry about this sort of thing it is advisable to make a copy of the article after your supposed message posts. Print it out as a pdf.
        I for one truly appreciate the opportunity to talk on a wide-open free-thinking forum where imagination has liberty to speak its mind!
        ps – do either of you play bridge?

  29. “So what can we do? How can we ever hope to awaken people to the fact that an ecocidal, omnicidal oligarchic empire is driving us toward disaster while singing us to sleep using propaganda lullabies?”

    I know what we should do. Let’s take 50% of the people needed to fix this problem and shame them all for being future rapists and create an ideology that blames them for every problem that has ever existed in human history. That will fix all the world’s problems and increase solidarity. That should unite us together strong against the socio / psycho elites that are at the true root source of societal dysfunction. Right? You already had the answer CJ.

    1. Oh NC – I’m gonna interpret what you said as humor, and I basically agree with the sentiment – that is why I laughed when I read it.
      In my opinion, the fellas and the ladies need to figure out how to better work together before any of the other shit is going to improve.
      If we can’t do that, then we are doomed, but frankly, I know we can, so I don’t think we are….doomed. Oh no, fruits and bounty are on the way cause guess what – folks like you and me and others and some who don’t even realize that they are just living joyfully will be the ones who steady the ship and then we can get down to the serious business of identifying those entities causing large-scale harm of innocence, and God-Willing, they will get the justice they deserve.
      I think you should be a patron and I think I am going to be as well, and when I make this decision I will announce it and that will be that.
      Lets not sweat the small stuff nor fight amongst ourselves to our own detriment.

  30. Are we being propagandized? Some related history (which was implemented, of course, for “Retroactive” effects and covers:
    The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act (SMMA) was buried in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act for good reason – because it repealed the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act. The Smith-Mundt Act is also known as the U.S. Information and Education Act, which authorized the State Department to engage in propagandizing foreign countries as a form of public diplomacy.
    The SMA established that via the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), Voice of America (VOA), and Radio Free Europe (RFE), the U.S. State Department and Office of Public Affairs were authorized to disseminate propaganda to foreign publics, but were strictly prohibited from releasing that same propaganda in America for public consumption. Put simply, our government was permitted to lie to people in other countries, but not to us here at home.
    This prohibition was lifted in 2012, when the SMMA was signed into law by President Obama, allowing the same propaganda disseminated by our government to foreign publics, to now be released in the U.S. for the very first time.
    And yes, our government is also now allowed to create propaganda tailored specifically for U.S. public consumption, using any media as it sees fit, while remaining anonymous as the source of the material being reported.
    This covert activity by our government’s state department (Public Diplomacy) and Public Affairs department can only occur with corporate media’s full complicity.

    1. The CIA was always doing this on a small scale (Operation Mockingbird), but making Propaganda legal and allowing CIA/State to control all major media and social media since 2013, means they control The One Official Approved Narrative and they censor any dissenting views.
      As CIA Head William Casey noted: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
      We’re there.

  31. Must be the weekend, not even 2,000 visits to the site; earlier this week it was almost 8,000, and well over 100 comments. So, maybe most people are only 9 to 5 weekday rebels ?

    1. LYNN – ain’t it amazing how much data there are?
      I sure hope this “me-too” destruction ends soon.

  32. Another perceptive, clear and carefully written column. Thank you Caitlin Johnstone!

    One way I know of people becoming more aware was during the 2016 campaign when many readers of the NY Times became angry that this “respected” publication was repeatedly lying about Bernie Sanders and those who supported him. This anger showed up in the Readers’ Comments to the on-line edition. I joined the chorus in criticizing the NY Times. Eventually any comment that was critical of that neoliberal/neoconservative tabloid was not published. To get your comment posted you had to direct your criticism at to the more nebulous “mainstream media” or MSM. Anyone who went through that saw more and more how biased was the NY Times. It got so bad it became difficult to trust anything in that “news” outlet. I am not religious but if someone told me the NY Times was in the pay of the Anti-Christ, I would assume it was true then look at the evidence. (Of course I am biased against that rag because I got banned for being too critical of Biden in the 2020 primaries.)

  33. Groundhog Day! Again!
    “Once the underlying sources of an unwholesome behavior dynamic have been sufficiently perceived, there’s a movement from dysfunction to health.
    That’s the only path to a healthy world: getting enough people to perceive enough truth with enough clarity. Until that happens real change is impossible. After that happens real change is inevitable.

    Here’s the most important question for all you incredibly woke folk reading my “long” comment. After living another few hundred Groundhog Days, will the tens of millions of supposedly un-woke Punxsutawney People who go to the polls on Groundhog Voting Day, ONCE AGAIN repeat what they or their similarly un-woke predecessors did many, many times in the “past” — vote for R or D, didn’t matter which, More Of The Same (MOTS), as they did on:
    November 3, 2020 —
    November 8, 2016;
    November 6, 2012;
    November 4, 2008;
    November 2, 2004;
    November 7, 2000;
    November 5, 1996;
    November 3, 1992;
    November 8, 1988;
    November 6, 1984;
    November 4, 1980;
    November 2, 1976;
    November 7, 1972;
    November 5, 1968;
    November 3, 1964 (– the year I turned 14, which was the year I “woke up” and realized that Election Days were going to be in the future what would today be referred to as Groundhog Days.)
    The US’s wars were ordered by Rs or Ds right up to today. Millions around the world have been murdered by the US R or D governments. It just so happens, amazingly coincidentally, that over the past decades tens of millions of un-woke people/voters have been/still are directly or indirectly employed by, or invested in (pension plans, hedge funds, etc.) the MIC. Their paychecks or dividend payments don’t enter the “how to vote” equation.
    The US still does not have Medicare for All right up to today because Rs or Ds did whatever it took to make sure that didn’t happen.
    Tens of millions of Americans are poor and more are being added as I type. Many are homeless and more are added as I type. The rich are getting richer and richer as I type. Censorship is getting more and more common.
    Police are still murdering innocent people as I type. Rs or Ds have not changed this.
    Now, class, why will the Oligarchic Transnational Elite Collective (OTEC) spend billions upon billions of dollars, 24/7, over the next few years, on propaganda? Just exactly WHAT do they want the individual members of their well-conditioned Bewildered Herds to do when they once again enter the voting booth on what OTEC is betting will be yet another Groundhog Day November 8, 2022 and Groundhog Day November 5, 2024? Think real hard now. What does OTEC want to happen on November NINE, 2022 and November SIX, 2024? Again, think really, really hard.
    (And, oh, BTW, what will the tens of millions of purportedly brainwashed, un-woke people/voters who have-been/still-are directly or indirectly employed by, or invested in (pension plans, hedge funds, etc.) the MIC do on those just-around-the-corner Groundhog Election days? Take a wild stab at it. Again, their paychecks or dividend payments, or how they’re going to put food on the table next week, won’t enter their “how to vote” thought process. It’s all about their brainwashing and being un-woke.)

  34. This would suggest then that the same people who gave us COVID-19 in the first place are still making and releasing new versions of the virus.

    How much did SARS-CoV-2 need to change in order to adapt to its new human host? New research shows that since December 2019 and for the first 11 months of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there has been very little ‘important’ genetic change observed in the hundreds of thousands of sequenced virus genomes.

  35. Caitlyn you will get SUCH a boost from hearing what this fascinating woman from Philadelphia has been spending the last few years mastering. She is becoming quite the headliner for me, in widening and focusing my perspective. Ladies and gentlemen: Alison McDowell…

  36. The Japanese and Chinese are making robots that will give us the news. Then there was the movie Priest where people went into robot confessionals to confess their sins. No more deception of care and concern. Just straight raw propaganda. When such facades and deceptions are no longer necessary. Thr future is now.

    1. I’d just assume get the news this way on TV or video at least.
      Then, the paper trail or electronic messages would be easier to trace.
      Plus, I’m sure those robots would be most appealing to the eyes.
      Khatika, changing subjects, here is your imaginary Bridge hand. You have a singleton in a black suit and just two cards in a red suit. You have a red queen and a red ace in the same suit which could be one or the other. You have 5 cards in your black suit including an ace and a jack.
      What is your opening bid cause you were dealt first? By the way, I’m your partner in this hand and no matter what we will win the hand as long as you make the CORRECT first bid – so says many a partner – ha, ha.
      But, it don’t matter if we lose as long as we get better when the next similar hand occurs.
      That is why Bridge is such a great game in so many ways, and myself, I prefer partners of the opposite sex, but it don’t matter either way if you have a good partner.
      Your friend, Ken

      1. I’m an unconventional player, so with your hand, I’d open up the bidding 1 no-trump and listen to what my partner says. We would have our own system of communication and your hand would allow for victory in either a black suit or a red, or we could stick with no-trump just depending. We would have several rounds of communication to select our hand, and then we would play the cards we were dealt against our opponent, who preferably would be our friends, but whatever. We would play to win the rubber.

  37. A militarized planet cannot produce anything else. We vote in politicians and once elected, we ‘force’ them to lie to us. Military production and Trade can only exist if politicians concoct, organize and negotiate wars. As nobody who voted them in wants war, politicians have to lie to us permanently, telling us how they work for peace. This is why they need the Corporate Media, to cover their lies. This Media is complemented or assisted by the workings of secret services and diplomats.

    A simple example: the Australian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria has a team comprising the Ambassador, a Commercial or Trade Attaché and a Military Attaché. Their ‘tacit’ mission is promote the Australian economy. This means trying to convince the Nigerians to buy Australian weapons rather than those of rival countries. Many of the weapons end up in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist organization. You cannot blame the diplomatic employees, you cannot blame the rulers, you cannot blame Capitalism. You can only blame yourselves for accepting a world littered with Armed Forces.

    1. LOL. A fellow worshipper of the Dragon are we?

  38. “both the plutocratic media and the modern schooling system are designed to indoctrinate people into accepting the status quo.”
    Accepting it would be bad enough, but the system is designed to indoctrinate people to DEMAND it. They demand we choose between this or that psychopath by voting, and demand it’s our duty to participate in the sporting event. Never mind that regardless which psychopath we choose, we still get a gang of Psychopaths In Charge with the self proclaimed authority to kill you if don’t comply with their psychosis.

  39. I enjoy your posts, even if I find some faults. For instance, I’d hope you would find some kind words for Biden. First, he is a galactic improvement over 45 in countless ways. Second, he is doing great things to help the people needing aid, especially around COVÍD. I completely agree with you, however, his dropping bombs is just more US bullying/imperialism. And, he was near the bottom of my picks for the office.

    This post about the propaganda system US citizens – let’s please not use the term American for Staties – is spot on. It’s there from the pledge school children babble each morning to the flags flying everywhere to the flag patches on everything possible. It’s the media supporting The Corporatocracy, as you said, and cheering on wars, which are always sold as ‘the last option’ for ‘our brave soldiers protecting us’. It’s the omnipresent jingoism supporting a façade to hide the country’s rot and convince the masses that the US is a society when it’s really just an economy.

    Thank you.

    1. I would always have kind words for an obvious victim of dementia, as long as they don’t have nuclear weapons at their finger tips. I can name only one difference between 45 and 46. The election of 45 was a demonstration by the population that they weren’t happy with the status quo. and there ends the difference. 45 was not in the least effective in exposing or escaping the status quo, nor did he actually try to be. 46 is a complete return to full on status quo, being a long standing supporter of it, and receiving massive compensation for so being.

    2. Amazes me how people think anything is different with a new administration.

    3. He’s like a guy who beats his wife Monday through Saturday. On Sunday he gives her a rose, says “gosh, sorry, but no public HC and no wage increases!” and on Monday he’ll go back to beating her, but he deserves kind words.

      It’s no great feat to be an improvement of any sort on 45

    4. to finally sigh with relief—that we finally have a President Not-Trump. Kinda idiocracy, IMHO

  40. Good one, Caitlin. I still think it is simpler to see the intellectual establishment as the priests of a religion, which I call education, but it includes the news media (as you mention) and the justice system, all of whom live by deception in one form or another.
    I get the impression from some of the history that I learned in high school that there are times when the pseudo-intellectual control slips. This may happen because of disgust for the system among the young, or it may happen because the system is breaking down, as before the French Revolution in 1789 and the Russian Revolution in 1917. People tend to lose patience with official lies when they are starving. This may often lead to a military dictatorship: force, like deception, is a government monopoly, but the people who live by deception usually dominate the people who live by force. When the deceptions become ridiculous, the men of force tend to give the priests a bit of what they deserve.

  41. I enjoy your posts. I agree with your analysis pretty much. The trouble is the mainstream current is so strong and so pervasive it makes your rationality look slightly crazy, when of course it’s the way our species has been brought up to think that is completely crazy. I wonder though whether your attack on plutocrats makes sense when it is capitalism that creates the problems. If you shot all the plutocrats and redistributed their wealth and made some kind of purge of dishonest journalists but didn’t alter the system away from capitalism, then the problems would all just recreate themselves. I figure it’s like gravity inevitably creates black holes. Capitalism inevitably creates plutocrats and corrupt government. You are one voice, probably earning peanuts, against thousands of well paid minions all unwittingly working to maintain the system that is killing them. I love what you do but I have no faith that the system is capable of generating self correction or alternatives.

    1. Newton E. Finn Avatar
      Newton E. Finn

      Pre-Covid, the system was not able to change or self-correct; we were locked into the frantic, oppressive, ecocidal insanity euphemistically called “neoliberalism.” But the pandemic suddenly and fundamentally changed the game. If I were to have said to you a year or so ago that the bought-and-paid-for American government would be sending money to its citizens and halting evictions and foreclosures, you would have thought I was crazy. If I would have told you that the filthy rich Davos elite would be talking about changing the structure of corporations to require them to address social and environmental welfare, you would have thought I was even crazier. With more virulent variants of the virus spreading as we speak, some of which appear to evade current vaccines and treatments, we’re likely facing years, not months, of living in intermittent lockdown mode. This will compel governments the world over to step up repeatedly, in one way or another, to help their citizens weather wave after wave of a relentless viral storm. And it will also require the Davos elite to put their money where their mouth is. Indeed, is it possible, as some have suggested, that this global battle against Covid will be the prelude to our serious grappling with climate change and other environmental degradation and to our belated ending of the obscene poverty we’ve tolerated in rich countries as well as poor? Certainly that remains to be seen, but consider this. For the first time as a species, we ARE in this together, ALL of us, and as painful and frightening as this pandemic is (Who hasn’t, at this point, lost someone they love to Covid?), it could well turn out to be the corrective we desperately needed but could not bring about on our own, the cause of a course correction we HAD to make from barreling down the highway to hell to moving, however tentatively and incrementally at first, in the direction of a better, more beautiful, more sustainable world.

      1. “This will compel governments the world over to step up repeatedly, in one way or another, to help their citizens”……… You’re putting a lot of faith in a very unlikely narrative. Governments will continue to do what they have always done, exploit people to their own ends and those of their paymasters and buddies. Covid has made it easier to create the impoverished divided frightened and vulnerable population that is easiest to manipulate further.

  42. I enjoy your posts. I agree with your analysis pretty much. The trouble is the mainstream current is so strong and so pervasive it makes your rationality look slightly crazy, when of course it’s the way our species has been brought up to think that is completely crazy. I wonder though whether your attack on plutocrats makes sense when it is capitalism that creates the problems. If you shot all the plutocrats and redistributed their wealth and made some kind of purge of dishonest journalists but didn’t alter the system away from capitalism, then the problems would all just recreate themselves. I figure it’s like gravity inevitably creates black holes. Capitalism inevitably creates plutocrats and corrupt government. You are one voice, probably earning peanuts, against thousands of well paid minions all unwittingly working to maintain the system that is killing them. I love what you do but I have no faith that the system is capable of generating self correction or alternatives.

  43. I often start by pointing out that big newspapers only print PR releases these days (almost exclusively), for reasons of simple economics: it’s cheaper not to research it yourself. Then there’s the owner: how can one person influence the news? They can’t, but they can define clearly for the whole organisation /what is newsworthy/.

    Two simple ways to see that papers print only what a few rich people tell them to! (Some more subtle ones have been discussed on this site.)

  44. Well, if nothing else works maybe we can emulate the oligarchs; they divide snd concur us, so why not divide and concur them? They don’t all love each other. You wouldn’t think so but, Soros supposedly doesn’t like the Rothschilds, despite that if it wasn’t for the Rothschilds, Soros would be nothing (Clarence Thomas?) When that happens in the rap world, someone usually gets killed over it. Look at the governor of Ney York, supposedly a Mafia don, but all you have to say is ‘genitals’, and everything comes tumbling down. God awful garbage thing to do, but that’s what they do all the time.They don’t use drive-by machine gun hits any more they use slime ball smear campaigns.

  45. You forgot to add the CDC in the list of approved trusted sources. NASA too while we are making a list.

    1. LOL, please!!! And the other four given may have been at one time but not anymore. I believe it’s the Greenville post that has a list of about 20 websites, but even those aren’t pure. Even my best and most informative friend on the internet appears to be connected in someway to an effort to intentionally melt all the ice in the Arctic. What poor slob can afford to buy two dozen nuclear reactors with no other purpose than to melt ice? We could wait for God to take care of it, but a recent analysis of the Abrahamic faiths reveals that both the anti-Christ and Christ, and God and the God above him are all nothing more than Satan(using Biblical language)So, by that narrative we’re all heretics, and that is the nature of the evil that we face.

      1. I am skeptical of most news and especially those like the CDC and WEC. TMI means a greater chance of propaganda and outright lies.

    2. Let’s be skeptic all, not paranoid.

    3. You alluded to NASA who – in the ’60s – gave us the story (hilariously reported by Dave McGowen) that McGowen titled “Wagging the Moondoggie”. It can be found on YouTube or, alternatively, by searching with Google. Pricelessc

  46. I didn’t start to wake up and perceive the artificial matrix surrounding me until I graduated from high school in 1965 and found many of my classmates immediately drafted into the American military and sent to Vietnam where SIX of them were reported dead in combat within the first year, usually within their first weeks in country. They’ve been DEAD far longer than they ever lived. Dead at age 19 or 20, and still dead 55 years later. Those friends and classmates who went to their wakes made clear that, from the gruesome stitches and make-up, they did not die an easy death.
    Nevertheless, in the first years of the Vietnam conflict we who went on to college and received a 2S deferment for four years at first still found it difficult to publicly condemn or even criticise the actions of our government. There were still some vapors in the air, conspicuously exuded by the “greatest generation” that to knock America in any way was to commit treason. Archie Bunker was meant to be the model for this on American television. I remember long wrenching discussions with my classmates of happenings on the war front and whether we had a right, to say nothing of an obligation, to call out and condemn our great leaders in Washington.
    Over time the unthinkable became quite conspicuous to most of us: Our government, and their lackeys in the press were lying to us routinely. Thousands of lives in my generation, to say nothing of the millions of dead SE Asians, were simply being wasted, thrown away forever for nothing more than the exercise of raw power expressed in the need to always best China or the Soviet Union (which, in the case of Vietnam, history has taught us was all pure illusion, as post-war Vietnam quickly went it own way, even skirmished with China!).
    Many say that Walter Cronkite was the first television journalist to call Washington and the Pentagon on their fantastic false narratives about ‘Nam. After his historical remarks everyone was somehow given permission to admit that the emperor wore no clothes. I think it was really more like the American people, the viewers of the tripe proffered as “news,” who finally gave the tools working for the major networks permission to deviate from the government line, though they have reverted to their sycophantic ways in recent times, and the same lessons will have to be learnt all over again.
    All the dead boys coming back from the meatgrinder in ‘Nam imparted more reality to their gold star parents than any of the bullshit being dispensed by the Democratic Johnson administration or the Republican Nixon regime. A few maverick news journalists and truth-tellers like Mike Royko of the Chicago Daily News, and later the Sun-Times, were starting to catch the attention of readers across the nation and to publish their commentary in actual books, just as every would-be “journalist” tries to make his bones today. For them the conventions in Chicago and Miami back in 1968 were a watershed in history, the first chink in the armor of the MIC and the American security state heretofore given carte blanche by all American institutions…by the entire “establishment” which thought it still controlled the hearts and minds of all the American people. Now that edifice would slowly start coming down.
    Though there was no internet (What? This is prehistory!) there gratefully was an “underground press,” usually in the form of ingenious posters and mimeographed “free” newspapers. Dissenters found allies in the counterculture, especially in rock music and its holy scriptures, most notably the “Rolling Stone” and other tabloids whose names I have forgotten decades ago. Stand up and bow before the prophets that preceded you, Caitlin. Those were your intellectual grandparents as they say. Continue to refine their messages and add to them. Americans, their leadership and their media must be taught once again that their Slaughterhouse Five (props to Vonnegut) mentality will only destroy what they think or pretend to be conserving. One cannot defeat fascism by adopting its ends and means. You have been doing just fine carrying the torch, Caitlin. Thanks.

    1. The ‘tragedy of the commoners’?
      Beautifully stated ‘Realist’
      As Barry Long once said:
      ‘The history of humanity is the history of a few exploiting the many’
      Peace be with you.

    2. One of those papers was, ‘The Great Speckled Bird’, out of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  47. It was the three Ks that woke me up.
    (No, not those three).
    KILLING of other sentient beings (Veganism).
    Awareness is like flushing the toxins from ones mind and body.

  48. Ah, once again the Buddha Ms Caitlin speaks the blessed reality of our collective nightmare. The owners and the masters have been deceiving us our whole lives!

  49. Your work is consistently the best on the ever spinning narratives and propaganda that enslave the minds of most of humanity. The system is so seamless that it is not surprising how effective it is in controlling the perception, thought and behavior of the masses. From the daily news shows, to movies, to celebrity culture, to sports, to the jokes of the hip late night comedians – the propaganda never stops. It’s the 24/7/365 days a year propaganda express. In America you can get your daily dose of war mongering accompanied by short skirts and thinly disguised racist banter at Fox News or you can get the same daily dose of war mongering accompanied by tasteful jazz or classical music interludes and pretentious banter at NPR and PBS – but one thing is sure – if you’re an American you WILL get your daily dose of war mongering. The world has never before experienced such a seamless system of thought control.

  50. HUMBLED by your words wishing i could add THANK YOU FOR articulating what those of us only unconscionably perceive-to-be-the case
    KUDOS ! more POWER to YOU!

  51. Moonlight Dancer Avatar
    Moonlight Dancer

    I can’t speak for everyone but I find the primary obstacle in getting people to realise that they are being propagandised by our rulers is garnering their interest on the topic. Most people don’t care enough about that because they are busy working and in their leisure time they don’t want or haven’t the mental stamina to deconstruct the empire narrative, certainly not whilst Netflix has a new series to watch. In order to understand the dominant narrative from a different perspective you need to seek an alternative POV and that’s just too much effort for 99% of people. Furthermore there is no motivation for most people to do this because from where they sit, there’s food on the table and a roof over their head. The troubles of the world seem far away and far too big a problem to resolve. Pollard’s Law of human behaviour states: “Humans have evolved to do what’s personally urgent for them (the unavoidable imperatives of the moment), then to do what’s easy, and then to do what’s fun. There is never time left for things that are seen as merely important.” Much of what underlies our seeming blindness to the propaganda is rooted in our cognitive biases. This is why I wouldn’t place much confidence in “creating glitches or dissonance” in their perception. It is unfortunate, but people will not act until it affects them personally. As Upton Sinclair stated: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” And for those who do understand the ills of the world are easily countered with “yeah I know its bad but what are ya going to do? Anyways … I’m off to work.”

    1. Neil Postman wrote a good book about what you brought up called “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” Also from NYU, Mark Crispin Miller teaches media studies and propaganda. He has said that anyone who watches Fox News thinks MSNBC is propaganda, and the MSNBC viewer will say the same of Fox News. The fact is, they’re both right.
      I have pointed out multiple instances of proven propaganda to family and friends, and have gotten them nodding their heads in agreement. However, the habit for them is so strong that they go right back to watching CNN and believing the latest propaganda narrative. Their TV’s have them hypnotized.

      1. Moonlight Dancer Avatar
        Moonlight Dancer

        I agree 100% Skip Scott. It’s a routine. My father has his evening meal served to him by my mother in his lounge chair and from 6pm (dinner is always at 6) he will watch all the news on every commercial and state run channel. He will believe it all and conclude he is informed. Even if I could point out that the majority of the “news” is a lie he would still sit down and perform that task anyway because … well it’s news time. What else is he going to do whilst eating? Have a conversation! Un-bloody-likely. It’s the convenience factor. Mainstream news is the fast food of information with comparable nutritional value. Both my parents watch an inordinate amount of TV. I don’t even own one.

        So what’s to be done about this? No amount of exposure to news media lies will wake them. And of course not all news is a lie. Julie Brown’s cat being rescued from a tree by a fireman did really happen. My mum likes those stories. Considering the staggering amount of news she watches she actually turned to me once and asked me to explain the difference between the political left and right. She had no grasp of the concept. I fear the delusion is complete.

        1. Julius Skoolafish Avatar
          Julius Skoolafish

          “And of course not all news is a lie. Julie Brown’s cat being rescued from a tree by a fireman did really happen. My mum likes those stories.”
          1000 *Likes – these were the words I was looking for. Stealing Borrowing that
          What an interesting phenomenon this is – I only woke up around five years ago and the TV has been off since. I catch the odd early morning radio bulletin just as bile exercise and to start the day on a sour note and see how Mrs Brown’s cat is doing..
          I try and analyse my self and then try and understand others – for me it was the sudden realisation that I had been lied to – betrayed if you will – it just takes one topic, and for me it was Syria. I hadn’t given the Ukraine/Crimea, Iraq, Libya, 911 … […] The Balfour Declaration/Versailles Treaty a second thought. Now I have. You then become indignant – if you are honest with yourself, and if there is any hope at all.
          Have you tried the “danger to our democracy” montage?
          “This is what mind control looks like.”

          Of course it could just send them deeper into a coma.

          1. Moonlight Dancer Avatar
            Moonlight Dancer

            AHHHH! That was terrifying. Thank you. I stopped watching TV around that time as well. I remember Syria was a big thing for me too. I remember digging for information early on in the conflict and trickles were coming through from alternative news sites… No it’s not a grassroots movement by the people of Syria, yes there are foreign mercenaries in the country… Yes it looks like they are being funded and armed by the USA. I recall imparting this to someone I knew only to be harshly rebuffed. My awakening was gradual, I’ve never been a fan of authority, always been suspicious but my true conversion came via meditation and the realisation of the lack of self and how much of societies ills are born from this state of separation, all the anxiety and ego defensiveness, the hate and distrust is a symptom of non realised beings. It kindly gave us capitalism as well. I’m ready to fight the good fight now but not sure of the best course of action…

  52. Yeah, so we’re going to invade Ethiopia now, and after careful review the people of Yemen are all horrible human rights violators, so they too must be wiped off the face of the Earth I’m so proud of my country for being such conscious keepers of world peace and humanitarian givers of critical aid.

    1. Its all about human rights baby. Oh, and also oil and rare earth metals.

  53. It’s so frustrating. I was telling some of my liberal family members that their beloved CNN is “The other Fox News”, they then wanted to know what do I consider trusted sources, and I couldn’t tell them. I tried to explain it’s all the clues from the totality of how things work together with what happens that all fits together with the lies that they all say. They just think I’m a crazy conspiracy theorist. Yet nothing is as whacked out a departure from reality as what they know and believe. And yet with the openness to truth that I like to hold, I can see how my position is arrogant. My normal value system wouldn’t be that I know what I know is true but what they know is AFU. That’s exactly what my conspiracy laden Fox news watching friends do.

    1. Moonlight Dancer Avatar
      Moonlight Dancer

      Hi Vayu,

      There are some good alternative narratives to be found. The work of Glen Greenwald and Chris Hedges, the site and are pretty good. They are out there. But I feel your pain. Just be patient with them and show them how the mainstream media lies, subverts and omits information. If you present clear evidence in a non-judgemental (because its not their fault they have been hypnotised) way you might win them over. But you can’t wake someone pretending to be asleep. If they refuse to see, cut your loses and in the words of Skipper: smile and wave boys … smile and wave …

      1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
        Carolyn L Zaremba

        Democracy Now has become a total supporter of bourgeois neo-liberalism. They are no longer the least bit “left”. If you want real information, read the World Socialist Web Site and the Grayzone. Hedges used to be better, but he refused to support the WSWS against internet censorship. Actually turned down a request from David North of the Socialist Equality Party. That tainted hedges for me. Greenwald is off and on OK. A little to establishment for me.

        Caitlin is quite correct in her description of mainstream propaganda machines. The first thing people need to do is get rid of their televisions. TV is like having a brainwashing machine inside your home. Throw it out.

    2. You might as well tell them signals from outer space told you. You will get the same response.

    3. Mike McDonnell Avatar
      Mike McDonnell

      Years ago, in the 20th Century, Noam Chomsky wrote that even though he was effectively banned from network news, he didn’t think it was important for him to appear on talk shows anyway, because his insights into the system were so outside of the assumptions of the whole population that they literally could not understand him. He may as well have been speaking Swahili as far as the listeners were concerned. This is still to some extent true. We have our Overton Window of allowed discourse and its surrounding assumptions which serve as a barrier to understanding. I think that this is changing, but it is a slow process. Maybe too slow to save us.

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