HomeArticleIf You Believed Something Else, You Wouldn’t Be Sitting Here: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

If You Believed Something Else, You Wouldn’t Be Sitting Here: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

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It sure is interesting how stuff keeps happening that makes free speech on the internet something dangerous which must be curtailed. Covid, the Capitol riot, Russian propaganda, all of which just happen to require tightening restrictions on our single best tool against the powerful.

Had online platforms not agreed to curtail speech in alignment with the US empire, they would with 100 percent certainty have been broken up by antitrust cases and been replaced by other monopolistic companies that would censor in alignment with imperial interests.

You’re not permitted to ascend to power within the system unless you cooperate with existing power structures. If you don’t, you’ll be stopped in your tracks and replaced with someone who will.

A rookie journalist who doesn’t advance narratives favorable to US imperialism will keep getting called to the editor’s desk until they get the message. When rookie social media sites first showed up it was the same thing, except instead of the editor’s desk, it was US congressional hearings.

Western journalists learn very quickly that they can only get published by mainstream outlets by promoting narratives that are favorable to US imperialism. Example:

This is how propaganda occurs in the west. It’s not that Jeff Bezos emails Washington Post reporters saying “Promote US wars!”, it’s that only reporters who support imperialism see their articles published and their careers rise. As Noam Chomsky famously said in an interview with Andrew Marr, “If you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”

It’s always easier to flow with power than to flow against it. Entire societal infrastructures have been built to ensure that this is the case. Any effort which helps the powerful will be elevated and amplified, while any effort which inconveniences them falls into an empty void.

The mass media’s garbage coverage of police violence toward protesters in Colombia and Jerusalem is nothing new; as FAIR‘s Alan MacLeod documented back in 2019, mainstream news consistently mitigates its reporting on such brutality when it is committed by member states of the US empire. And it is very revealing that the mass media’s policy of ignoring/justifying human rights abuses by US allies while amplifying those committed in unabsorbed nations just so happens to be identical to the US government’s own standing human rights policy.

An IDF soldier could punch a Palestinian baby in the face on video and centrists would be sharing it on Twitter with “Very concerned about this violent clash, both sides should have de-escalated.”

It’s just too hard to pick a side. On one hand the Palestinians want to stay in their homes that they live in, but on the other hand the Israelis don’t want to live near Palestinians and an invisible deity said some stuff in a religious text authored thousands of years ago.

Criticism of both Israeli apartheid and Saudi war crimes are the most mainstream they’ve been in my lifetime. That’s either a sign that things are becoming more conscious or a sign that the imperial crosshairs really are pivoting from the Middle East to Asia. Or maybe the empire is just that confident that it’ll be able to retain enough control over the narrative.

One major challenge to escaping an abusive relationship is recognizing that you’re in one; it can be hard to connect your experience with the abusive relationships you’ve seen depicted in TV and movies. This is also the case with realizing you’re living under a tyrannical regime.

People just have a hard time making that connection, that their own government is the Evil Empire they see depicted in movies, that it is the tyrannical regime they see condemned by mass media pundits every day. Just as in an abusive relationship, the evidence is all around them, but they don’t see it.

“Socially liberal and fiscally conservative” means “Conservative but I want to feel good about it.”

Q: What is a tankie?

A: A tankie is anyone who chooses to focuses most of their foreign policy criticisms on the most powerful and destructive government in the world.

It says so much about the power of modern propaganda that such a massive percentage of internet users think “I oppose waging hot or cold war against that government” means the exact same thing as “I think that government is perfect and I wish it was my government.”

Saying “Caitlin I like your anti-war stuff but your anti-capitalist stuff is bad” is just saying “Caitlin I agree with you sometimes but other times I disagree with you.” That’s normal. That’s supposed to happen. Congratulations on not living in an airtight echo chamber.

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Latest comments

  • “Saying ‘Caitlin I like your anti-war stuff but your anti-capitalist stuff is bad’ is just saying ‘Caitlin I agree with you sometimes but other times I disagree with you.’ That’s normal. That’s supposed to happen.”

    Huh. But I agree with both. Isn’t that supposed to be “normal” too?

  • I listened to the recording on the article about “Surprise! That was America!” because I wanted to hear some of the responses, but all it was, was a man reading the article.
    I was disappointed.

  • The corporation is a creation of the state, and has precisely the same moral standards that its creator does. They are by design sociopathic, with the solitary goal of profit. One expecting accurate information counter to the empirical narrative from a “news” source owned by a corporation is peak delusion. We have descended to the inevitable point where corporation and state are one and the same. And not just in the west. There has long been a drive to make corporatism the ruling economy AND government, world wide. To put us all under their 0.1% yoke, and dispose of those among the 99.9% not productive enough. While we discuss the advantages of socialism and capitalism, each over the other, they are both being rather quickly disposed of in their entirety.
    The only way to win this game is to stop playing. Disobey. Refuse to comply. Ignore the psychopaths as much as possible. If I can remember correctly, unlikely as that may be, when Emerson visited Thoreau who was in jail for conscription resistance, Emerson asked “what are you doing in there?”, to which Thoreau replied, “what are you doing out there?” When law is unjust where should a just person be?

    • I started telling people to Stop Voting before the 2020 election. That’s a very good way to stop playing.
      One man responded, “What will happen to us if we don’t vote?” as though there’s some law that says we have to vote.
      I answered, “What will happen to them if we don’t vote?”
      I keep suggesting that we need to include Not Voting in the general strike that is being talked about, with little success.
      People still cling to the idea that we can use the vote to get ourselves out of this mess. It is the most entrenched belief in the American pantheon.

  • Didn’t I just see this very same salute in Nazi Germany the other day? Is this just a dumb coincidence or telling of an alternative history that main stream media didn’t think was news worthy?
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1390688651525373958

  • OK, what the hell. Trying to wrap my thoughts around this. What the younger Noam said at the end of the clip is:
    ~
    If you believe something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you are sitting”
    ~
    Now, without know the context of this interview, my first reaction to that statement is that it is a pompous one cause all other things being equal and not knowing the context, how could the younger Noam know this?
    ~
    It is as if he is implying that the one he presumably agreed to have an interview with is acting upon the agenda of somebody else and that somebody else planted seeds in the minds of the youth when they were babies just trying to learn about what it means to be a member of the homo sapien species. To me that sounds pompous as if he knows more than the one asking him questions, and I think this sort of response needs to be explored more fully. It is as if he has the key to truth and he is trying to say from an Ivory Tower of sorts that others don’t even know the forces in their lives. I don’t know. He might be a great thinker, but I think I’d say to him – take a look in the mirror old man. Maybe it is your ideas that have been pushed into your brain without you even knowing.
    ~
    I suppose there ain’t no easy answer on this sort of thing, but lets agree we could make products to sell to others and if the products were made in peace it would be so much better for everyone. There is nothing inherently wrong with trading goods to others and those who make the best goods ought to be compensated accordingly.
    ~
    The problem is with production of goods that evidently cause more harm than good. There is really no reason to make these sort of goods and the peasants already know this. The peasants would be fine if all the wars ended and everybody just put in a good days work with the skills they have.
    ~
    I think Chomsky is basically an old fart today and he might have had some great insights, but if anything, he is just part of the problem now. He needs to get with the game.
    ~
    BK
    two down the middle then bottom row of 3 on the right….easy riding a bike

    • Chomsky is saying that brainwashing or coercion is unnecessary because people self-censure without realizing it…they viscerally follow leadership hierarchies. And any people, even competent people, who don’t follow leadership hierarchies are not promoted by leadership so the organization self-selects for compliance. The way to break this system is for leadership and society at large to encourage dissent. Person to person trust is fine, but trust should decrease proportionally to the number of people involved and to power. Power centers would be constrained systemically if society embraced this simple concept.

      • And yet he implored readers of alternative journalism to vote Biden even though his foreign policies were more retrograde than those of the Orange Menace. Chomsky simply reacts to elite-disseminated news rather than driving a new narrative and as such, he needs to be dismissed.

    • I started telling people to Stop Voting before the 2020 election. That’s a very good way to stop playing.
      One man responded, “What will happen to us if we don’t vote?” as though there’s some law that says we have to vote.
      I answered, “What will happen to them if we don’t vote?”
      I keep suggesting that we need to include Not Voting in the general strike that is being talked about, with little success.
      People still cling to the idea that we can use the vote to get ourselves out of this mess. It is the most entrenched belief in the American pantheon.

  • Thanks for bringing that interview clip back to our awareness. That was a brilliant point made by Chomsky in his typical low-key manner. That kind of commentary is why he doesn’t get invited to participate in MainStreamMedia.

    • Chomsky also said that if he was invited onto a mainstream show, people watching would not understand him because their entire world view has been propagandized so much that they literally would think that he was talking nonsense. Sad.

  • From the moment we are born we are thrown into a prostitute/trick relationship with our parents/caregivers. Although no artificial currency is exchanged it’s still capitalism in its most raw form. Sure, some will utter words like, ‘love’, that is where the narrative and the lies begin, because only self-love is possible. What we perceive as giving love to others is only a reflection of our self-love. From birth we lie to others and to ourself’s. In the process of becoming self-sustaining individuals we sell ourselves out, and the rest is religion and philosophy, those who stay with their creator mostly become outcasts and victims of a world that functions by a different set of rules than those that created it. What is inherently wrong with capitalism is what is wrong with life itself. In Western Society that all boils down to the various understandings of the, ‘Tree of Knowledge and Eternal Life’. A narrative of total illusion, and the very reason why so-called miracles are possible, because illusion is all there is.

    • I’m thinking I can’t concur with your sentiment on this one King Von.
      ~
      I’m thinking love is something real, but you have to love somebody else to “grok” this.
      ~
      The love I’m thinking about is outside of myself…..it is out of any control. It is a force unto itself.
      ~
      I’m thinking this love is not really comprehensible nor can it be captured in words.
      ~
      I’m thinking it is good to be in love. After awhile, you learn to tell the difference.
      ~
      I’m in love. I know this and it is more than thinking. I sense it.
      ~
      I might love myself, but even if I didn’t, I think my love for others might one day help me learn to love myself. I think love is all around.
      ~
      So, I’m thinking your sentiment is sort of self-fulfilling in a harmful way cause the narrative you express suggests we only love our own personal interest and the rest emanates from that. That is where I think your view ain’t what I think is the case, but I acknowledge it is complicated and there ain’t no formula or algorithm that will ever capture it. For me it is a matter of faith and I’m thinking there is nothing nobody can ever say to mess or change my personal faith, so the next lesson to learn is to cause no harm. That is one mighty tricky lesson I think and that is why I’m glad I am a peasant.
      ~
      All the best,
      BK
      -3 tractors starting from the middle top down then one off to the left. Another easy one, but not a free pass and thank goodness for that.

      • You’re right, it is faith, sometimes the product is just that good that we are able to transcend the illusion of reality, so when you spoke elsewhere of moving mountains, you were referring to what Jesus had to say about if only he had a grain of faith, but from all his other words we know that, that faith was premised upon love, and that is the miracle of life and everything we think we know.

  • “Saying ‘Caitlin I like your anti-war stuff but your anti-capitalist stuff is bad'” This is wrong because capitalism is the cause of war, so if someone is truly against war, they have to be anti-capitalist, or else they are lying about being anti-war.

    • Was there no war before capitalism?

      • There was of course, but capitalism, as some understand it to be, has turned war into a profit industry and the all the other industries just trying to make goods that we really need have suffered as a consequence.
        ~
        Its is about time for these other industries to assert themselves and extricate the war-pushers out of the picture for the sake of all us. Kings and Queens and Peasants alike, but mostly for the peasants sake.
        ~
        Trade your goods all you can and make something special that others want. Do something worthwhile with yourself and don’t support the war-pushers. Let’s collectively push them mother fuckers out of business – for sake of the children. Both those alive now and the potential ones of the future.
        ~
        Can you support that Ian?
        ~
        I think you would and I appreciate that and man let me tell you I’ve been getting my butt handed to me in this tricky bridge app I found and I really enjoy getting beat cause it gives me something to strive for and makes it fun to live another day and get better. I’ve striving for Grand Master, but I ain’t even close yet, and that is why the card game of Bridge is one of the best games ever. Not for the meek.
        ~
        Peace,
        BK
        – disappearing crosswalks on this one – I hit the images six times – consider all the possibilities in this. Still, it was easy cause I ain’t no freaking robot.

    • True that. There is a very strong connection between capitalism and militarism. USA, the most capitalist state in the world also has the largest military. Not a coincidence.

  • No country can survive such treason. Compartmentalized pilots told not to worry about the tanks and aerosol sprayers on their planes. Doctors believing that the few deaths attributed to taking their prescribed drugs at its prescribed dosages could just be a correlation. Kick-backs to the Caribbean should not be jeopardized after waiting such a long time. Government enforcers making a criminal out someone who would have previously been left alone prior to a law change. Prosperity preachers soon reverting back to hearing the sounds of heavy coins striking the offering plates as the worthless pieces of paper is used to replace the much needed rice thrown after weddings. The list goes on and on.

    But nothing holds a candle to the betrayal of blindly putting the interests of a foreign country above our own. America is only beginning to receive its just reward.

  • Caitlin, if it weren’t for you, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Aaron Mate, Jimmy Dore, Max Blumenthal, Paul Street, and a handful of other non-absorbed by the empire journos, we’d have literally zero access to any truth at all about what’s going on in this patently insane world.

    • I would now eliminate Jimmy Dore from this list. Greenwald is now dodgy because he doesn’t believe the January 6 assault on the Capitol was a planned insurrection when all of the evidence demonstrates that it was. Matt Taibbi is kind of OK sometimes. But the real forces are Grayzone, Caitlin, and the World Socialist Web Site.

    • Add Eric Zuesse at strategic culture foundation to that list.

  • “[A]n invisible deity said some stuff in a religious text authored thousands of years ago.” A question (without supporting international war crimes, atrocities, etc.): Does this statement mean you are edging closer and closer to specifically maligning Moses and his relationship/experiences with God?
    https://seaclearly.com/2021/04/10/messiah-a-modern-example/
    “It sure is interesting how stuff keeps happening that makes free speech on the internet something dangerous which must be curtailed.” It is 99% controlled, and the 1% are ultimate targets: “dissident journalists are also educating readers so that they are better equipped to understand what corporate journalism is: that it is ideological prostitution. It is reporting and commentary for hire, by an establishment class.”
    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2021-05-10/media-war-independent-journalism/

    • “Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver”
      .
      https://the-eye.eu/public/concen.org/01052018_updates/D.%20M.%20Murdock%20-%20Did%20Moses%20Exist%20-%20The%20Myth%20of%20the%20Israelite%20Lawgiver%20%282014%29%20pdf.pdf
      .
      This prompted me to source this …
      .
      “The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus”
      .
      http://www.ultimatebiblereferencelibrary.com/Complete_Works_of_Josephus.pdf
      .
      I managed to stumble across a second hand copy for $3 (translation by William Whiston)
      .
      Interview with D. M. (Dorothy Milne) Murdock (aka Acharya S)
      Part 1
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOAZ1L-0hgs
      Part 2

      • Quote: Believing is not always based on “blind faith.” Many times (as many have experienced throughout history), certain (Godly) occurrences are bestowed as gifts – which are then beyond questions, and are known going forward as Indisputable Facts. Along with the latter, there also are (and were) many Infallible Proofs.
        https://seaclearly.com/2021/04/04/infallible-proofs-as-scribed/

    • There is no such thing as god. Continued belief in this supernatural nonsense is holding humanity back from advancing into sanity.

      • How can you be sure there’s no such thing as God? Perhaps you can dismiss a Christian televangelist or some fundamentalist adherent, but can you so clearly dismiss every Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Hasidic Jew, Mystic Christian, Sufi, Indigenous spiritual traditions, Shinto (and of course the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster)?

        Maybe what humanity really needs is a spiritual awakening.

        • Yeah and funny thing is I made a copy of this post and my response was there but yours wasn’t. Yet now your response is above mine.
          ~
          So it is obvious that there are other factors in play here. I totally agree with what you say, but I just want to play at a forum that is fair.
          ~
          That is why, a time stamp down to the minute is totally essential for this place if it hopes to perpetuate the many great messages it sends.
          ~
          Otherwise, those who might call out – “foul play” will have more ammunition, and it could be they are correct cause how can you tell when it is not specific down to the minute. Hell, have the second of the post indicated if you can, cause that would provide some very good information for those of us who ain’t under some sort of cloud of confusion or being pulled by strings we don’t even know about. That would be good information for judging what the mother effing hell is going on.
          ~
          I think most of humanity chooses to recognize powers beyond our ability for good reason and I consider myself amongst them, but that is a personal choice and I won’t judge anybody regarding their belief or lack thereof for omnipotent forces that might be in the ether.
          ~
          I’d just assume focus on the many things of obvious truth that we all should be able to reason out using our own brain. For example, Julian Assange is in prison for telling the truth, and that can’t be denied, so why is it still the case? That poor man if fixing to be a martyr for truth and if that don’t tell you something then you must be living in a dream land or be so caught up with yourself that you really have no sense of commonweal. I just want him to be freed and I want the obvious truth to be recognized by more cause until it is ain’t nothing gonna change for the better, and without direct action it will all stay the same.
          ~
          So don’t listen to what old men have to say, get out in your yard and plant a seed for the future.
          ~
          Jeepers Creepers it irritates me to no end that I’m typing this at this very moment.
          ~
          OK captcha, you know I gotcha, but what you got for me?
          ~
          Top row on the right, go down one and click that and then click the one to the right of that and then you got the 3 bikes.
          ~
          Easy Peasy.
          BK

          • Correction. It was on the left as a starting point.
            ~
            You know a 3×3 grid take the upper left corner, then go down one row, click on it, then click on the one to the right of that one and you have 3 of the images and they all were bicycles for fuck sake.
            ~
            BK
            mountains and effing hills middle one on top row, then go down below click on it, then click on the image to the left.

      • You can never know that, so stop projecting your opinion on this topic is what I think.
        ~
        Why waste time on topics for which we will never know the truth when there is so much other TRUTH been effing slicing through the heart of humanity as a group? Seriously, if you care about the peasants, then you’d stop arguing over topics that the answer is equivalent to counting grains of sand on a big sweet beach of beauty.
        ~
        The most annoying reCaptcha – grainy pictures of mountains and hills – fuck that. Still, I got it correct after making a “mistake”.
        ~
        BK

      • You inadvertently omitted a few words Carolyn.
        ‘There is no such thing as god’ —
        OUTSIDE OF YOUR OWN BEING.
        Feel the energy of Life as it courses through your being, from the tips of your toes to the tip of your nose?
        Science, with all its whizbangery has not, and never will, pinpoint or identify Life. They only study and label forms of Life.
        Love serves no function in evolutiofn, yet it is the most powerful energy in the Universe.
        Humans sacrifice their own lives for Love.
        And what is ‘God’ if not Life bbbbbbbjcgjhand Love? Or, as a few teachehave said: ‘Be still and know that I (Life and Love) am God’
        Let your heart, not your head, lead the way Carolyn.

        • bbbbb? How did that happen?

  • This article (and audio reading) is extraordinary Caitlin – saved and shared.
    .
    Speaking of destructive ‘Western’ media, this woman is quite remarkable
    .
    • Dr Bouthaina Shaaban – the role of Western media in destruction of Syria
    .

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