HomeArticleAnnual Write-Up On What I’m About And What I’m Doing Here

Annual Write-Up On What I’m About And What I’m Doing Here

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Every year around my birthday I like to write an article where I try to articulate as clearly as I can who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do here. I do this for three reasons:

  1. Because as a crowdfunded writer it’s important to be fully transparent about exactly what it is my patrons are supporting here.
  2. Because I find it’s good practice to continually hone my ability to distill the entirety of my message into a single article as lucidly and concisely as possible.
  3. It’s also good practice for me to annually kind of renew my vows and remind myself of my mission here.

Who I Am

I am an Australian mother of two who just turned 47. I received a BA in journalism in 2003 but had figured out by then that working in news media would just mean regurgitating garbage from Reuters and AP and the spin jobs of think tanks and PR men. So rather than waste my energy on something I knew would be dissatisfying I threw myself into environmental activism, personal growth, a small business, and the unspeakably profound adventure of motherhood.

In 2016 I found myself writing a lot of Facebook posts about the suppression of the Bernie Sanders campaign, which turned into writing opinion articles for a self-publishing news aggregate site called Inquisitr, which turned into this weird crowd-funded independent project which combines elements of journalism, polemics, philosophy, social commentary, poetry, music and art.

That’s Caitlin Johnstone the person. “Caitlin Johnstone” as readers know that name is actually two people: myself and my husband Tim Foley. Tim and I married when he moved here from the States in 2016, and ever since we’ve been engaged in a nonstop conversation like two kids at an endless sleepover about what we reckon is going on in the world and what can be done to save it from disaster. Most of the things you read in this space are the products of that conversation, and we both work on them. It’s hard to describe our intimate and complementary collaboration toward that end, but in terms of roles I’m the decision maker and our output follows my overarching vision and perspective, while Tim’s unique mind is responsible for many of the jokes and turns of phrase you’ve enjoyed here over the years. Tim is also the voice you hear doing the audio recordings for the stuff we publish.

It’s been a wild ride and we’ve learned so much along the way. Our early writings look unskillful and sometimes downright cringey looking back on them, but we feel like we’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s going on now, and we’re only getting better.

Where I Stand

It seems pretty obvious to me that our species is headed for disaster if our large-scale behavior remains dictated by systems in which people and nations compete with each other for power and profit rather than collaborating with each other for the good of everyone. The pursuit of profit for its own sake is killing our biosphere and the agenda of unipolar domination is driving us ever closer to nuclear war, so I find it no exaggeration to say that our very survival depends on abandoning capitalism and imperialism in favor of collaboration-based models of operation.

This perspective places me far to the left of most people, and I seem to only be moving further in that direction with each passing year. I no longer bother correcting people when they call me a communist rather than a socialist, and I suppose I could someday begin applying that label to myself, though I suspect if humanity does move into the kind of global-scale collaborative models we require for survival the end result will be so different from the current status quo that it won’t look quite like anything we’ve been able to imagine in any of our pet -isms.

But we’ll never move into the kind of healthy systems we need for survival as long as we are being successfully manipulated into accepting the status quo by those who benefit from it. A tremendous amount of my work goes into attacking the establishment propaganda machine and highlighting its malignant effects, because from my point of view that’s the glue holding the whole extinction stew together.

There’s a loose alliance of plutocrats and government agencies roughly centralized around the United States who make the real decisions of consequence behind the theatrical displays of electoral politics and official governmental systems, and those decisions are what’s driving us to extinction via environmental collapse or nuclear armageddon. It seems clear to me that these power-hungry individuals are far too deeply unconscious and unwise to take any interest in steering us away from this suicidal trajectory, so things aren’t going to get better until ordinary people rise up and use the power of their numbers to force them to. But this will never happen as long as people are being successfully propagandized away from doing so by the mass media and other systems geared toward controlling the dominant narrative about the world.

I use the terms “narrative” and “narrative matrix” a lot because this is fundamentally the foundation upon which our enslavement is built. Humans are storytelling animals; most of our interest and attention goes toward mental stories, narratives, about what’s going on with us, with our surroundings, and with our world. So if you can control what stories the humans are telling each other about what’s going on, you control the humans.

Power is controlling what happens. Ultimate power is controlling what people think about what happens. In order to take power, ordinary people are going to have to reclaim our minds from those who are manipulating us into consenting to our oppressive, exploitative, ecocidal, omnicidal status quo. This is going to mean helping each other awaken to the many ways in which we are being manipulated by the powerful; once we’re conscious of the manipulations they no longer hold their power, because consciousness and dysfunction cannot coexist.

More than this, though, what humanity is going to need to give rise to a healthy world is a completely different relationship with mental narrative altogether. A relationship where mental stories about self, other and world no longer run the show in our experience, where thought simply becomes a useful tool that can be picked up when it’s needed and set down when it’s not. Humans have been writing for millennia about the capacity we all have within us to make this shift, which is commonly known as spiritual enlightenment.

When I’m at my most direct and to the point, this is what I write about. The fact that humanity as a whole will need a profoundly transformative psychological awakening from its old way of functioning if it is to survive into the distant future. This might sound like an outlandish request from reality, but I really don’t think so. Every species eventually hits a point where it either adapts to a changing situation or goes the way of the dinosaur; we are at such a point right now, and a collective awakening appears to be the adaptation we’re going to have to make. We absolutely have the potential within us for this, waiting dormant and ready to be fired up when we’re ready. And we’ll either become ready and make the adaptation that’s required of us at this juncture in order to survive, or we will not.

What I’m Trying To Do Here

Everything I write points to the dynamic outlined above in some way, whether it’s news commentary, art, or philosophical musings. I use this platform to try and expand consciousness in every direction possible with regard to humanity’s current plight as I see it, which one day might mean drawing attention to the dangers of nuclear brinkmanship and the next day trying to breathe some oxygen onto that sacred spark within all of us using artistic expression.

All positive changes in human behavior always arise from an expansion of consciousness; from someone or a group of someones becoming aware of something they previously were not. This is true whether you’re talking about someone becoming aware of the psychological dynamics which feed their self-destructive behavior patterns or society as a whole becoming aware of the injustice and toxicity of racial prejudice. So my goal is to push the light of consciousness outward in every way I can in all the areas I see as most crucial for humanity’s current situation.

And I try to make a living doing this in the most conscious way I can. My patronage system is set up to be as close to a gift economy as possible, where I put out the best quality daily work I can regardless of whether I received any donations that day and patrons donate without getting anything in return beyond having donated. Anyone is allowed  to re-publish my work or use it in any way they like, including making money off of it, with or without attribution, free of charge. I encourage anyone who wants to try making a few bucks selling quotes or art I’ve made on print-on-demand platforms like Redbubble or CafePress, and if anyone wants to sell my books I can order them at author’s cost for you (just get in touch via email or Twitter DM).

This gift economy approach is what I suspect a healthy and awake human society will have in the future, so that’s what I try to embody in my livelihood.

Where I’m Headed

I’d like to set the intention for this year to write more about healthy models I imagine we could find ourselves using in the future, just to help put some positive things to shoot for out there in public consciousness. I never really feel like I have control over exactly what I’ll write about, but we’ll see if the inspiration gods hear me.

Other than that, I simply intend to keep working to help expand awareness in all the best ways I can until humanity becomes so healthy that I am made obsolete and my work is no longer needed or wanted.

Thank you all so much for walking with me on this crazy adventure. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of us.

___________________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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Latest comments

  • I do appreciate your presentation of your ideals, yet your idea that capitalism is not a cooperative model is misguided. First, in the US, we are no longer capitalists. We are Keynesians, which is a counterfeit of capitalism, borrowing only a base greed, which in itself is not the spirit of capitalism, for our creations are meant for good. Greed is a human thing, and infects all political systems, which all are by nature economic systems. Marxism

    Differentiating Communist and Socialist is passe and futile, and they are, being Marxism both, the same with possessing only fine shades of differences.

    We need to protect our resources, water, eco, nature, wildlife by adopting individual and community rights to eg, Clean Water so to compete with perverse corporate personhood rights that essentially supersede our own.

  • I recently stumbled upon your website. I appreciate your clear and concise writing and I agree with you that we are hurtling towards the abyss(caused primarily by US hegemony). I think the most important thing we could do at this point is to get people that agree to work together. There are many groups , organizations and individuals that think similarly, how do we gather those voices together to have some real influence?

  • No one pursues profit for its own sake. You do so to facilitate other goals. If there is no profit in your business you can achieve nothing. You’re efforts, plans, and training are useless and you cannot support your family.

    I know, I know. “But ‘capitalism.'”

  • Caitlin says, “I’d like to set the intention for this year to write more about healthy models I imagine we could find ourselves using in the future….” I’m overjoyed to see this change in focus from deconstruction to construction, and were Caitlin to pull it off, her blog would soar even higher than it has. But many who attempt to make this move (though they be few) are soon mired in reinventing the wheel. Thus the effort must begin with absorbing the best of utopian thought already out there. And by far the best of this utopian thought is that of Edward Bellamy, found in his once-famous, now-forgotten novels “Looking Backward” and “Equality.” In a lifetime of reading, I have yet to encounter a single sociopolitical problem or potential solution not anticipated and fleshed out in these two books, the second correcting and expanding the vision of the first. To ignore Bellamy in seeking to articulate new models for human flourishing is tantamount to philosophizing without first becoming familiar with Plato or Aristotle. Both books are free on the net, and one need only read the opening Socratic dialogue in “Equality” between Edith and Julian, realizing that it was written in the late 1800s, to be knocked flat on one’s intellectual ass.

    • A most important point to make Newton E. Finn, there is no need to re-invent the wheel as one saying states sufficient to make my point.
      Greater minds than my simplistic stumbling grey matter can ever be have walk the path before me and illuminated much more than I could ever find on my own.

  • Does this recent talk by Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology, ring any bells in the ears of anyone else out there?

  • Caitlin Johnstone, we now live in a post MAD (mutually assured destruction) world. According to The Defense Post, Sept 17 2021 titled New S-500 air defense system enters service.
    “The S-500 uses the 77N6-N AND 77N6-N1 missiles which can be fitted an inert warhead capable of destroying enemy nuclear warheads with precision”.

    The Russians, and presumably the Chinese, can knock our nukes out of the sky, we have no way of doing the same to theirs. They can assure our destruction and we can not assure theirs, although they would still experience a nuclear winter.

    This should be front page headlines on every media platform in the world. The Western empire is dead.
    Humanity enters a new era. The Collective West should have destroyed all WMD’s at the collapse of the USSR. We now have a new opportunity to do so. The Chinese and the Russians will assume the responsibility of World Leaders when the Collective West’s economic system collapses, which could be any day now. China has had 5,000 years experience as a Major Power, or 200 generations. America has had 10.

    As a species, having all those weapons aimed right back at ourselves, is insanity. Can we achieve your Brave New World Caitlin? A world of 8 Billion working in unison to achieve Global Goals. A 50 year plan of where Humanity should be, a plan the vast majority believe and buy into?
    If we do, it will be due to the efforts of people like you, take a bow woman, you deserve it.

  • Happy birthday Caitlin!

  • Yes, the narrative – or, if you will, the conversation –is what shapes our destiny. Many thanks to you two for your efforts. I like the sound of the new direction you propose. I do share your stuff from time to time, attributed.
    How wonderful for you both to have found such a happy collaboration and vibrant marriage!
    A very Happy Birthday to you, Caitlin, and wishing you (and us all) an excellent year ahead.

  • Ops, It seems I was wrong about Realist. It was an article in Consortium News by Patrick Lawrence (“Obituary for Russiagate”) Dec.1, which I read just after Caitlin’s wonderful birthday commitment. Realist is one of my favorite commentators in addition to the many others posting on these rare outposts in a sea of frothing propaganda.
    I hope my next comment will be more worthy of posting.

    Thank you both for your bravery and artistry of ideas and words. -Rudi

  • What happened to Realist’s beautiful comment? I was going to copy it for my file of great ideas, well written.
    I love what you are doing with this special blog and read you almost daily. Thank you for sharing your exceptional way with words, poetry, art and visions of a beautiful future for everyone.

  • ….svay added clarity to understanding “communism”…
    it is really simple to understand once the ego is put into perspective…..that is what all the fake communists missed in their “revolutions”…..power of and to the people comes with first recognizing their humanity….a recognition sorely needed by all…..

  • Caitlin, Happy Birthday.

    Caitlin and Tim, your struggle shall bear the universal fruit, but not so soon. Stay put. Keep your torch alight, as it keeps many others steady on the correct direction.

    Best of love to you both. Stay blessed and bountiful.

  • Hello Caitlin & Tim!

    Thank you for your articles, always spot on!
    Reading what I struggle to put in words displayed so clearly in your works is so precious.

    Without the best tailored words said loud enough, there’s no chance to be heard over their drum rolls.
    Sending you guys a good chunk of gratitude.

    Cheers

  • Are you a communist? David Graeber and David Wengrow discuss what communism means in The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, Chapter 2, and you sure seem to fit the second definition (start from the word ‘However’ if it’s too long to read):
    ~

    As we’ve seen, at first neither side – not the colonists of New France, nor their indigenous interlocutors – had much to say about ‘equality’. Rather, the argument was about liberty and mutual aid, or what might even be better called freedom and communism. We should be clear about what we mean by the latter term. Since the early nineteenth century, there have been lively debates about whether there was ever a thing that might legitimately be referred to as ‘primitive communism’. At the centre of these debates, almost invariably, were the indigenous societies of the Northeast Woodlands – ever since Friedrich Engels used the Iroquois as a prime example of primitive communism in his The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884).
    Here, ‘communism’ always refers to communal ownership, particularly of productive resources. As we’ve already observed, many American societies could be considered somewhat ambiguous in this sense: women owned and worked the fields individually, even though they stored and disposed of the products collectively; men owned their own tools and weapons individually, even if they typically shared out the game and spoils.
    However, there’s another way to use the word ‘communism’: not as a property regime but in the original sense of ‘from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs’. There’s also a certain minimal, ‘baseline’ communism which applies in all societies; a feeling that if another person’s needs are great enough (say, they are drowning), and the cost of meeting them is modest enough (say, they are asking for you to throw them a rope), then of course any decent person would comply. Baseline communism of this sort could even be considered the very grounds of human sociability, since it is only one’s bitter enemies who would not be treated this way. What varies is just how far it is felt such baseline communism should properly extend.
    In many societies – and American societies of that time appear to have been among them – it would have been quite inconceivable to refuse a request for food. For seventeenth-century Frenchmen in North America, this was clearly not the case: their range of baseline communism appears to have been quite restricted, and did not extend to food and shelter – something which scandalized Americans. But just as we earlier witnessed a confrontation between two very different concepts of equality, here we are ultimately witnessing a clash between very different concepts of individualism. Europeans were constantly squabbling for advantage; societies of the Northeast Woodlands, by contrast, guaranteed one another the means to an autonomous life – or at least ensured no man or woman was subordinated to any other. Insofar as we can speak of communism, it existed not in opposition to but in support of individual freedom.

  • Personally I love your work and have shared it from time to time on my own Facebook feed (always attributed). Thank you for it 🙂 But I had an interesting discussion about your perspective with a friend, an American lawyer who, while left leaning, felt put off by your emotive language. As an objective legal writer, he felt that your passionate language detracted from the quality of the argument… that it was too polemic. I argued that this was what I loved about your writing, but then, I need no convincing. I am in the choir. My friend is also, to be honest, but still prefers his content more dry, less emotive. I think its an interesting point. I mention, this, respectfully of course, and wonder whether reaching a wider, more central audience is better than singing to the choir?

  • happy birthday, Caitlin. you give a clear voice to many people around the world. thank you. i feel as if you were right next to me, like an old friend or a sister, walking along.

  • Happy Birthday, dear Caitlin.
    I cannot adequately express how much it matters to me, that someone on the other side of this rock, hurtling through vacuum around a fusion reactor, developed roughly the same ideals i have.
    It matters a lot to me, that you make me feel a little less alone in this world, so thank you for what you do.

  • As Caitlin continues to work out nuanced positions with regard to Covid (if you think these are easy calls, you don’t get it), here’s a thoughtful piece she’s likely read and most of the rest of us haven’t. I just found it minutes ago.

    https://unherd.com/2021/11/the-lefts-covid-failure/

    • That article tells the left to ignore the science and start doing what their enemies tell them to do. Not gonna happen.

      • Your use of the word “enemies” is telling. We either get past such polarization or go down together. I’m still waiting for Caitlin to abandon the stark and false dichotomy of psycho leaders and common people. Put a common person where the leader is, and the likelihood is that he or she would soon become a psycho. To paraphrase a well known saying: It’s the system, stupid. Productive dialogue begins with this obvious and ominous observation.

        • Indeed . .

        • That sounds a lot like what the settlers are telling the Palestinians. The Palestinians’ kids are killed and their orchards burned down while the world tells them to just be reasonable. “Get past polarization” is something that only one side has to do. If that’s not enemies, then there’s no such thing.

    • Anyone trying to rationalise recent events using the terms Left and Right as political tags has LOST THE PLOT quite simply.
      Mussolini defined FASCISM as when the State and Financial interests combine to function as one. This is Totalitarianism.
      Voltaire wrote ‘To find out who rules over you. Simplty find who you are not allowed to criticise’. This is the measure of Totalitarianism being imposed.

  • I salute you my fellow Aussie.

  • We do what we have to do to make a living.
    Some of us are lucky and Love what we do.
    Many don’t.
    Life, on the other hand, is what we feel in our hearts. The tingling sensation in our hands, arms, legs, toes, nose etc.
    It is pure, unadulterated energy.
    It has no beginning and no end.
    It has no memory of not being.
    Happy Birthday Caitlin.

  • “I’d like to set the intention for this year to write more about healthy models I imagine we could find ourselves using in the future, just to help put some positive things to shoot for out there in public consciousness.”
    .
    This is a fruitful and wise direction to take.
    .
    Most all of your readers well know that the World’s totalitarian governments suck big time. We know that They are constantly feeding us a steady stream of media horse manure to manipulate us and keep us from confronting the many Truths. We know that They would like very much for us to not even be here any more.
    .
    Yes, it is important to write about such things. But not all the time, or even most of it.
    .
    Why? Because, as quantum physics teaches, we are all manifesting our Reality every single moment. And how are we doing this? Through our Observation and our Intention. The places we put our thoughts and energy will and does manifest constantly. It has to. It can’t help but do so.
    .
    Therefore, we need to center our thoughts and mind-set going forward on those ‘healthy models’ and ‘positive things to shoot for’. That is how we turn this Worldwide nonsense around. That is how we heal ourselves and those around us.
    .
    Doom and gloom has had it’s day. It’s time for something better. And that starts with us and our beliefs and energies. (And, ‘They’ know that too and just hate that).
    .
    This turn to the positive is not a denial of problems. It is the SOLUTION TO those problems. If you concentrate on Doom and Gloom it’s no surprise that you’ll get more… Doom and Gloom. How could it be otherwise?
    .
    It’s our choice. All the time. Every moment. We can choose another cloudy day with cloudy thoughts. Or we can walk out into the sunlight and carry that light back into the house with us. And share that light with others. And you don’t need anyone’s permission but your own.

    • Well put and spot on if my opinion matters to you.
      A natural human activity is to use rationalisation to link bits of seeming facts into a narrative that has practical value. There is a major risk as we can also look for bits of apparent fact to put into a narrative to make it rational – also a normal trait and useful.
      Both these processes of normal activity allow for others external to us to insert both facts and narrative into our narrative – a necessary trait also to enable co-operative or collaborative actions.
      No surprise then than some of our species will take advantage of what is normal if they are selfish enough to do so. No one else can protect us from this and we must learn to recognise manipulation as it happens and block it – discourage its practice.
      All the old ‘isms’ have no relevance for the futre so left right politics or philosophy, communism, socialism, capitalism, all of this old labels have proved false and irrelevant. Just as the word Democracy is meaningless as it means too many different things to too many different people to have any communication value. There are many more.
      A new language must develop and we can and will create it as we find common words to describe common values.
      Children have yet to develop their own ethical core and to know the necessity for this to be a true adult. They are fully open to the influences of others just as so many still are when they have adult bodies and seem to function as adults though are not.

    • You’ve said it all Roundball.

  • I spent much of my birthday working on other peoples’ cars. Collectivism is a good thing, a path forward to a future that works for all of us.

  • ….happy birthday caitlin……i’m a pessimist who see’s the crack in the glass that is less than half full…and is about to break….a pessimist who see’s optimists as pessimists who have no experience, or haven’t gotten the bad news yet….that said, 98% of what you are speaking about is true….and…gulp….inspiring…..that is also reflected in some of the many comments posted….we can only go on with what is at hand and use that to move forward in a positive way….yes time is running out, but still voices can be heard….if they get so loud and deafening due to the growing numbers….it all remains to be seen as well as heard….please keep speaking, writing, informing, thank you……to all, be well, be kind…

  • I love what you do and I love you for doing it. I am at the end game of my own life and weakening health is consuming my humble social security pension in a way that I didn’t plan for financially. The John Lamb Lash version of the Goddess Sophia’s role in the creation of Earth and human beings reached me a little over 10 years ago and inspired me to focus my energies more specifically where I could contribute directly. So, I found a spot slightly within a temperate rainforest on the Western coast of southern Chile and my house of glass sees only the beauty and tranquility of green trees and blue skies. I am inspired to create a 4-bed hospice for dying people, they don’t have hospice down here. Please accept my energies here as being in support and love for you and yours. Thank you so much.

  • In his Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, published in 1577, Etienne de la Boétie asks one of the most basic questions in political science: why is it that a minority of tyrants can remain in power over a majority of subjects who pay for their livelihoods? His answer is that most of the subjects willingly submit to rule by a minority.
    And that was long before Edward Bernays invented modern propaganda and Walter Lippmann the “manufacture of consent”.
    There’s a delusion going around that there’s such a thing as “we the people”. There isn’t. Power only manipulates in its favor the fact that man is a wolf for man in the echo chamber of the survival instinct. La Boétie explains that tyranny replicates the same pattern in cascades from top to bottom, each boss, at each level of the pyramid, having about five hundred men ready to do his bidding through stick and carrots. There’s not much difference, except in decorum, between parliaments and high security prisons because man will be man.
    And man is a strange animal indeed! I read the other day an article about French serial killer Henri-Désiré Landru, who seduced, killed, dismembered and disappeared at least eleven women during WW1 to steal their possessions. A lot of the remains he threw in bushes and ponds and the identifiable ones he burnt in his stove. A rather gruesome affair altogether, covered at length by the media. Out of probably dozens of such cases (the police concluded that he had met or been in romantic correspondence with 283 women during WW1 including 72 who were never traced), he was tried and executed in 1922 for eleven murders.
    The guy, bald, with a long beard and in his late forties, was certainly no heartthrob. However, while in prison, he received 4,000 letters of female admirers including not one, not two, not ten but 800 (!) marriage proposals. And at the next legislative elections where people could choose candidates that were not on the official ballot, he got several thousand votes. Do you think a woman who sends Landru a marriage proposal or a man who votes for him to represent him in parliament would care much for the perspective of nuclear war?
    That’s mankind for you, prior to any manipulation by the power that be. But as Dylan puts it, it’s alright Ma, it’s life and life only. It’s entertaining and it’s up to each one of us to find, through relentless war on man’s only real enemy, fear, the key to detachment, compassion (since we’re all in this together) and serenity to motivate others on that path through example. It’s the best we can do.
    We must accept there will always be psychopaths and power-freaks born out of insecurity and that they will always rule because it’s the law of nature. The hungry wolf will always kill and eat the sheep which, in turn, has mercilessly swallowed acres of defenseless grass.
    Happy birthday and thanks for all your daily inspiring and challenging thoughts.

    • Who Owns your Rep or Senator or Governor? Oil? Pharma? Banks? Bezos? Elon? Gates? Buffet? Goog? Walton? Zuck? Ellison? Bloomberg? Knight?

      • First ask who owns your mind. A cold hard objective consideration of this point might prove more frightening than we think it will.
        When we deceive ourselves we lose our soul, the very essence of who or what we are.

  • You write about the path to save humanity from ecosystem collapse that would cause extinction of the humans.

    In childlike voice, hear my sincere question: Why? Why save Homo sapiens from the extinction trajectory?

    If humans do not leave Planet Earth to live elsewhere, they will eventually perish as the sun expands, boils away the oceans and burns this hunk of wet rock to oblivion. Yes, that is a long ways off. But our personal death is a shorter-range sure bet. It is highly likely that no one reading this today will survive another 100 years. So, for whom, exactly, are we saving the ecosphere? Not ourselves, but our descendants? I have none. Our families, our blood relatives? All the nice and kind people who may live in the future? But really, how is it that humans are so special that worrying about their survival for another billion years is even a thing? Can you write about that?

    • Frank Thompson, we know of only one way to create a universe, simulate one. With advanced quantum computers and AI we could soon create universe’s within which the inhabitants do not know they are in a simulation. And yet feel they have consciousness and free will. With no realistic competing hypothesis, logic dictates we assume this is a simulated universe. It is inconceivable that something powerful enough to create a universe would not have computers, why go to the expense of real estate when they could have a multiverse of endless possibilities?
      As the only fully “conscious” inhabitants of this creation that we know of, that would put us at the center of this universe.
      The gods would be whoever wrote the code. Humanity has pondered this from the get go. There is no reason why Frank Thompson or archeon or Caitlin Johnstone would survive “death”, but equally there is no reason why we would not.
      We know so little and the possibilities are so endless.
      Should we give the gift of life to future generations that they may ponder the mysteries of life?
      Absolutely.

  • ThankYou Caitlin congratulations on a another sojourn around the sun and many more words to come

  • Happy Birthday Caitlin! Your writings keep me sane and let me know I’m not alone in my worldview. Love and happiness to you and your family.

  • Thank you so very much, Bubba! I’d happily miscegenated ~16 yrs (through Reagan’s Miracle in a blue collar steel, coal, nuke, aluminum, glass city full of Nazi, klansmen crooks (“both” parties, dope AND booze) with a journalism drop-out; who’d been diagnosed Type I Bipolar, basically for having a 160 IQ, in a ciddy fulla knuckle-dragging, Hunkie jagoffs. I’m watching nascent (Prop’RNot/ Correct The Record neo-McCarthyite) ravaged “lefty” blog-aggregators being bought up by disruptive Tech Oligarchs, spun 180° to gavage old hippies Bell¿ngcat, Atlantic Council, CAP/DNC & Canary Mission BS. Just mentioned CommonDreams & Amy Goodman (whom, I’d LOVE to hear ‘splain the changes, Dec 7, on Zoom, IF asked?) I look forward to you getting exponential more pissed off, as us Yanks feed poor kids to another Catastrophe Capitalism feeding frenzy, “our” party installs Ivanka & Chelsea or maybe rabid pit-mastiff Nazi churls, as scores-of-thousands of Biden/ Harris fracked GREEN bridge-fuel wells all fail catastrophically, methane perculates up from where permafrost used to be…

  • Hi Caitlan,

    I follow your blog each day but have never commented before now. The premise of your annual review is commendable but you never mentioned anything about your soul and what it is here to experience, learn, and contribute.

  • You are so right in my mind, and I feel exactly the same.
    We need the change you describe, for our children, grand children and thereafter.
    We are at a critical point, and we should not give up hope.
    We must and will overcome!
    The Power of Love has to overcome the Lust for Power
    Paul

  • Happy Birthday, dear Caitlin! You are an inspiration. Some days it’s hard to get out of bed as I think about all the crises we are racing. But you give me courage to keep on learning, speaking out and loving this precious life as best I can. I wish you good health and happiness this new year!

  • I watched a half hour clip of Paul Kingsnorth being interviewed about COVID and the way it, and our responses to it, fit in with the culture wars. I’ll try to post the link here
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_uAwsVn10Y . One thing struck me, which your piece brings up. He says humanity no longer has a shared story; that for centuries it was Christianity, then it was progress, but since the middle of the 20th century that one no longer really does it for many of us, that there is an emptiness in us, individually and collectively, because we don’t have a clear sense of WHAT WE’RE HERE FOR.
    And I thought, Oh but there IS a shared story begging to be introduced and spread throughout humanity: the story of how at the last minute, against all odds, humanity came together to rescue ecosystems and species and ourselves, to create a simpler but better world. The very difficulty imbues it with emotional power. And I do think there is a widespread longing to work together toward healing. To do real, needed work rather than bullshit jobs. There are two huge obstacles, though–one Kingsnorth alluded to in his talk about human nature, which he may have painted too broadly but I think there may actually be a hardwired urge to tribalism, to dividing into Us and Them and then projecting in-group tensions onto Them. Perhaps that could be controlled by making it conscious. The other of course is the elite, who control governments, corporations and media, and don’t want an egalitarian, low-tech world.

    • Happy Birthday, dear Caitlin! You are an inspiration. Some days it’s hard to get out of bed as I think about all the crises we are racing. But you give me courage to keep on learning, speaking out and loving this precious life as best I can. I wish you good health and happiness this new year!

  • Caitlin,

    Your write-up above is wonderful, and a keeper! I say this because I will be keeping it for future reference to and reminders of what is so very right and worthwhile as a sense of objectives for accomplishment in humanity’s future.
    There is one point that I would make, however, and that is in reference to “capitalism.”
    Capitalism, per se, is not bad or faulty . . . IT’S THE WAY AND MANNER IT HAS BEEN PRACTICED, that has done the damage.
    Too many with evil in their psyche have used the freedoms and powers inherent in the capitalist system to act destructively against their fellows and the ecosystems we all depend on.
    What has been missing in the western cultures is the ethical education that we should not do harm . . . ancient and native cultures survived because their freedom of causation was tempered by the understanding that they should do no harm.

    • But capitalism, you see, is hardwired to do harm. If I can cut costs at the expense of my employees, if I can buy out a competitor and obtain more of a monopoly, if I can evade government regulations by moving my operation offshore, if I can set up phony entities to avoid paying taxes, if I can buy political influence to move things unfairly in my direction, if I can make money off of money instead of making useful things, if, if, if–the list is endless. Bottom line, in a system fueled by greed and envy, by aggression and competition, the worst in human nature will inevitably rise to the top and strangle the rest. Isn’t this precisely the world we’re living in–the world brought to us by the largely unfettered expression, the culmination, of capitalism?

      • ‘Human nature’ is mentioned a lot by commenters, and in my humble opinion, is an insurmountable problem for the human race. An inherent obstacle to a successful outcome of this particular simulation. A basic flaw. We are our own worst enemy. A pity we are taking the rest of the life on this planet down with us.

        • If human nature prevents us from changing the capitalist system, then I sadly agree. Yet there is one thinker who has caused me to question the seemingly insurmountable human nature obstacle.

          https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/19/on-earth-as-in-heaven-the-utopianism-of-edward-bellamy/

          • Human nature is only a synapse away from a different thinking and way of life. A click of a barincell is the difference between aggression/war and compassion/peace. The choice is there and ours to make.

          • Thanks for the link . .

    • I believe the same has been said of Communism. But in the end, it isn’t the -ism that fails, it is the unenlightened people within whatever system you’ve got that fail humanity.

      • Yes

        • And double yes. Its not the despot tyrants that impose the tyranny but the willing helpers all.

  • Thank you Caitlin. I’m ever so grateful for your contributions, and so happy you have a partnership with Tim. I applaud your intentions for the new years´ posting. We all need to hold the vision of a peaceful, sane, healthy world. It is closer than we think. Thank you for your poetry, and for keeping your eye on the ball, despite the many red herrings being flung about by the propaganda machine of the failing regime.
    Maybe attention is the `new oil´….
    Blessings and protection for the new year

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