Listen to a reading of this article:

I’ve been doing a lot of commentary on the western propaganda campaign against China lately, so my online notifications have been full of brainwashed human livestock regurgitating all the lines they’ve been programmed to bleat about that nation by the very propaganda campaign I’m criticizing.

What I find interesting is that it’s not just coming from complete mainstream normies; a lot of the pushback I’m getting comes from people who’ve succeeded in seeing through other western propaganda narratives on fronts like Russia, Syria, or Julian Assange. They’re just as brainwashed about China as any uncritical consumer of TV news, but because they get their information from people like Tucker Carlson and other so-called “right-populists” who have disputed those other narratives, they assume they are safe from mass media indoctrination.

And a liberal who gets their information from The New York Times will look over at the Tucker Carlson viewer and tut-tut about Fox News propaganda, then go back to reading a fearmongering article about how the Kremlin is militarizing Russian society. And both the Tucker Carlson viewer and the New York Times reader will look at nations like China and North Korea and shake their heads about how propagandized the people who live there are.

Western mass media consumers are no less propagandized than North Koreans or any of the other nations we’re told to pity because their government indoctrinates them with state media, in fact they are arguably more propagandized, which is why Noam Chomsky said that any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the US media. The way the public is manipulated into consenting to all the agendas of the powerful without their even knowing that they are being propagandized has arguably been the most astonishing feat of social engineering anywhere in the world.

Yesterday I was listening to a podcast by commentator Carl Zha on the mistranslations and propaganda distortion the western media have been engaging in regarding the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, and at around the 24-minute mark Zha began discussing a peculiar point I’ve been noticing lately: the Chinese government is actually very bad at perception management. I can’t speak to how effective it is domestically, but when it comes to spinning controversies on the world stage Chinese state media comes across as incredibly incompetent and ham-fisted compared to the skillful manipulations of western spinmeisters. I’m a hundred percent certain I could do a much better job running CGTN than its current operators if that was the sort of gig I was interested in, that’s how bad it is.

People have told me that China’s ineptness at propaganda has to do with where it has historically placed its priorities, with its cultural disdain for the use of eloquent words as a substitute for action, and with the fact that a government who is free to use more overtly authoritarian force doesn’t need as much skill at manufacturing consent because consent is not as important. Whatever the reason, the fact that it’s so far behind the west on that front shows just how sophisticated the science of modern western propaganda has become.

That’s what we’re all dealing with here as we try to figure out what’s going on in our world: more than a century of progress in the science of mass-scale psychological manipulation.

It’s important to be aware of how advanced western propaganda has become because propaganda only works if you’re not aware it’s happening. As soon as you’re aware that someone is trying to manipulate you all your critical faculties become engaged and all the information you’re presented with is intensely scrutinized at arm’s length, but if you don’t know you’re being manipulated it slides right past your cognitive guard dogs unchecked.

A big part of coming into true maturity as an individual is understanding on a deep, visceral level that propaganda isn’t something that only happens to other people. It doesn’t only happen in nations we’re told are backwards and totalitarian. It doesn’t only happen to people on the other side of the political spectrum. It happens everywhere, including right where we’re standing. Every issue about which public perception is of interest to the powerful is being manipulated by the powerful: eastern and western, left and right, mainstream media and alternative media. There’s perception manipulation happening everywhere.

The best we can hope to do in such a situation is refine our skill set at making sense of the world by continuing to learn, by watching the patterns and noticing the plot holes and discrepancies and where they’re appearing, by building up sources of information which tend to be more reliable on important issues than others, and by continually doing inner work on ourselves to remove the distortions in our own cognitive processes.

If we can manage to do that we’ll still be marinating in the propaganda narratives of the powerful all the time, but at least we’ll have some idea which way is up, and we’ll begin to perceive which direction humanity must begin heading if we’re to become a species that is guided by the light of truth.


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62 responses to “Maturity Is Realizing That Propaganda Isn’t Something That Only Happens To Other People”

  1. I’m white western middle class, but see the need for global system change. I find CGTN the most reliable source of world view. Their coverage is in-depth, lots of good analysts, many western, former ambassadors etc. I don’t see propaganda. CGTN is an attempt to share the China perspective, that’s all. It’s western media that nurture suspicion and ill-will. CGTN doesn’t do that. That’s in line with the Chinese approach to world affairs. Peaceful cooperation, win-win, non-interference in other countries, positive not negative energy, global amity.

  2. It’s funny my late Brother Donald said for over 50 years. “When you read a ‘news’ story ask yourself. ‘Who wrote this and why do they want me to know that?”

    1. Your brother was wise. My own are similar.
      1) is it true?
      2) is it important or relevant?
      3) what is the aim of making this news?
      4) what are the conflicts of interest?

    2. “Believe half of what you see and none of what you read…”
      Dunno who said it but it goes back to my Grandfather’s time.

  3. I find it difficult to determine fact from fiction when the USSR, DPRK, or Venezuela are brought up. It seems like we’re all trading second and third hand perspectives, which could have been fabricated or manipulated to serve a particular narrative.

    Can an American even talk with any authority on other countries without having been there?

  4. QUOTE: ***…the Chinese government is actually very bad at perception management. I can’t speak to how effective it is domestically, but when it comes to spinning controversies on the world stage Chinese state media comes across as incredibly incompetent and ham-fisted compared to the skillful manipulations of western spinmeisters.***

    Not only that, but the Chinese seem just as hopeless in defending themselves by coming up with solid analyses of world affairs (in English) like the articles of Caitlin Johnstone. I can’t believe there aren’t at least a couple dozen out of 1.4 billion Chinese who can do that — unless their government has been actively keeping all of them stupid.

    And that’s precisely one of the things I hate the most about China today: the near-complete lack of brains and equally near-complete lack of regard for brains.

    I’m ashamed of being Chinese. Enough said.

    1. The Chinese have to realize they’re dealing with the devil incarnate. Did they learn nothing from the Opium Wars?

    2. Hi someone in Asia,
      You say you are Chinese but I assume raised in a western country possibly America. You like me have been educated to receive and process news in a certain way, mostly from pinky and perky styled anchors suave and confident reading from autoqueus and anything that varies from that style we have been educated to be was suspicious of. I agree with you and Caitlin, sometimes I just cringe when a Chinese spokesperson defends the Chinese position I know that’s only going to reinforce the propagandised position so many Westerners have about China. Certainly they could do what the Russians have done and go for an RT style channel using exactly the same techniques as America to present a pro-Russian story, Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. One thing you can be assured of China is not full of dummies, far from it they’re the clever ones in the room, they play the long game, you can bet your bottom dollar right now people in government are thinking about how to best defend and sell the Chinese position and I suspect after a bumpy start they will start to get it right and it’ll be a lot more sophisticated than the plonkie stuff we’re getting now. Crucial to remember the Chinese play a long game and they’re clever.

  5. Another commenter on China explained that the Chinese are philosophically not inclined to lies in their news, and if you read CGTN it is boring compared to western press, simply because it is reporting what is happening, rather than just making stuff up or heavily embellishing with the fear factor.
    In the 5 years since I’ve been interested in China I’ve noticed a huge uptick of pushback stories on YouTube and other social media. CGTN on You Tube has become quite feisty in response to Western lies. There are loads of western expats living in China with channels coming from a variety of perspectives which all show, one way or another , that the Chinese are not a suppressed people, not are they ignorant peasants victims of a cruel totalitarian order. Neither is China Utopia, however life there seems far more calm and positive, and their Government more interested in the welfare of the people than any country I am aware of under Western Democracy.
    I do not think that the Chinese Press are gormless, its simply not their way to disturb the harmony of the people with lies and hysteria. Also I have a feeling they refuse to stoop to the level of western “journalism”. Basically they don’t want war on any level, including wars of words, yet I do see them hitting back with the truth all across the spectrum of information media.

    1. Truer words have never been spoken! I went to China five times between 1988 and 2001. Whenever I read an article in the Western media about China, I think: “They must have had the name of the country wrong. Surely they talk about another one”. And I’m always relieved to see in expats’ accounts, as you say, that they also experience that people feel quite free and happy there. I remember once in a little village in the Yunnan province where the owner of the bar where I was having a drink with my Chinese guide embarked several times into imprecations, just like he would in my native France, about how there’s been a lot of corrupt dynasties in China but the present ruling one was the worst of them all! He was obviously saying that for my benefit as he watched my guide translate but he didn’t get immediately denounced, arrested and thrown into a camp. It’s a beautiful country with very nice people and most of what you read about it here is paranoid fantasies by folks who’ve never even been there. A French screenwriter of the 60s, Michel Audiard, even famously got a job in the 50s as a correspondent in Beijing for a major French newspaper and wrote his articles in the Parisian bars where he used to hang out. It took his editor four months to find out. Looks like it’s very much the same in Washington :o)

  6. Even sources that are relatively independent and reliable engage in the propaganda (intentional or not).

    CN was coming out with articles that seemed to further promote the possibility that covid was deliberately manufactured in China. I politely commented about how we need to be diligent about where we are getting our facts and information as there are many parties with a vested interest in maintaining that narrative. I then linked them multiple instances, studies, and articles that suggested the virus had already been present in areas around the world months before being detected in Wuhan (all independently of each other arriving at similar conclusions).

    My comment was edited so that my point about being diligent of fact finding remained, but my links and comments about the plausibility of the virus being present in the world before December 2019 (which should caution against automatic vilification) were removed. No one but me would ever realize such an edit even took place. And then it’s my word vs theirs, and I can easily be censored from an opportunity to say anything further.

    That is the reality of how narrative control can and does operate. I don’t know what the motives were for CN there, but the result is a certain narrative escapes scrutiny, while another isn’t allowed to enter into our collective thought vocabulary.

    1. The biggest problem with ‘online information’ is the ease at which it can be edited and removed. And commentators blocked. It can also be made to be visible/invisible to individuals selectively, i.e. It may appear to you, but not anyone else. Or, it may appear as you wrote it to yourself, but others see an edited version. Obviously, some sites (with a very large audience) are worse than others.

  7. …..the illusion or spectacle of china as it presents itself is concentrated….whereas in the western realm it is diffuse…..there is a reason for that….consumption…..take amerikkka…..the people are trained like pavlov’s dogs…..they consume, they trash, start over……education?…place to live?…these are consumable items …not rights…take china….the people are trained like pavlov’s dogs…they get healthcare, education, perhaps places to live…they consume, trash, start over….just obey the party…..christianity gave the western societies a jump start on the bullshit(propaganda), but china has history that is rooted in power concentrated….the bullshit was dynastic in origin, and throw in “confucianism”, the party has control in the cultural realm…..the amerikkkans “rugged individualism” combined with liberalism gave rise to the notion of choice….burger and fries or vaccination?…..those who are wealthy have control in the cultural realm…..gangsters have been on top of the historical narratives since herodotus…..but there have always been voices that see the through the spectacular power bases….some have survived to this very minute….we right now, and those who organize into presentations that are rational, scientific, and evidence based continue…..the china we have today is a direct result of centuries of dynastic rule, and then colonization…the concentrated spectacle they present is the result of that….the amerikkka we have today is a direct result of centuries of “racism”, plutocratic rule, genocide and slave labor, justified by “god”……i left out a lot….but it’s just a sketch…of spectacles……

  8. Dear Ms. Johnstone,

    I appreciate your work; yet it seems to me that you don’t realize that thought control is what holds human societies (especially our immense mass societies) together. Your fault consists in thinking that, once released by the bonds of propaganda and indocrination, human beings would more or less spontaneously revert to your Leftist utopia of a peaceful, egalitarian coexistence.

    In reality freely thinking beings would see all bonds, laws, customs and symbolic allegiances for what they are: aggregative prejudices, all as arbitrary, inconsistent and contradictory (both in themselves and in regard to each other). They wouldn’t feel obliged by them; everybody would develop his own standards, values and preferences; society would collapse in a matter of days.

    As Freud well knew, civilization flourishes on spiritual as well as factual repression, societies are inherently dominated by elites, and the average human being, dominated by his herd instinct, only asks to be instructed in what he must do and must believe.

    May I suggest that your propaganda criticism, however interesting and well-written, needs some healthy dosage of cinicism, nihilism and elitism…?

    Sorry for my garbled English

    1. Interesting and challenging comment, Lorenzo. Your English is more than sufficiently clear to make your points. Assuming arguendo that some sort of top-down ideology is necessary to hold a society together, I assume you agree with me that some ideologies are obviously better than others in facilitating the flourishing of people and other living things. If so, do you have any thoughts about how we might work toward creating and implementing (I think you would prefer the blunter “imposing”) of more humane and environmentally-sensitive ideologies?

      1. Striving to be a free thinker myself, I see no difference among the clumsy religions of race, nation, humanity, communism, Christ or Allah. They are just sets of prejudices, which may suit a community for the better or the worse depending on time, date, its nature and goals.

        It may be that we are in dire need for an environmentally-sensitive ideology, but I don’t see any chance to promote one. The US empire is a capitalist plutocracy bent on armed robbery and financial accumulation; the almost certain result of its disintegration shall be an age of wars exacerbating the ecologic problem to unheard heights.

    2. Freud was a fraud. you’re just another apologist for the status quo. monarchists made the same arguments.

    3. Thought control/ culture/ ideology, are double-edged swords, they can be used benevolently, or, pathogenically. I agree, people in general need leaders, but they also need revolution IF, or, when the leadership becomes pathogenic/corrupt, as it seems to in almost natural cycles.

  9. When I read an article about ” how the Kremlin is militarizing Russian society,” or Expressing similar comments regarding china, my initial reaction is to laugh. I’m always up for some good humor, such as in the movie ‘Exorcist, so I read those articles for the anticipated entertainment and am virtually never disappointed unless, the construction of the article is like that of an 8-year old, which is so true of many of today’s mainstream faux journalists.

  10. your words are daily vitamins for mind, body and spirit. thank you Caitlin and a lovely solstice to you.

  11. Talking of propaganda……

    The following piece in the Daily Mail published on April 28th, 2016, (the day Ken Livingstone was suspended) consists of two articles and several ‘side pieces’. The primary article is headlined ‘Labour in crisis over ‘anti-semitic’ scandal: MPs demand Corbyn gets his ‘head out of the sand’ after Red Ken is SUSPENDED for claiming Hitler backed moving the Jews to Israel….’ with six sub-headlines, one of which says that ‘Shah [Naz Shah] triggered the storm with Facebook post on re-locating Israel to the US’, and the article begins by saying the following:

    Jeremy Corbyn tonight denied Labour was facing an anti-Semitism crisis despite being forced to suspend his old friend Ken Livingstone for claiming Hitler was a ‘Zionist’. Mr Livingstone made the incendiary comments…..

    Then further on in the article it says:

    Ken Livingstone gave an interview to BBC Radio London in defence of Ms Shah. He made the explosive claim that Hitler was a ‘Zionist’ when he ran for election in 1932.

    And further on in the article it says the following:

    Rabbi Danny Rich, senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, said: ‘If anyone has gone mad, it is Ken Livingstone.

    ‘His comments get more offensive and unworthy every time he is interviewed.

    Claiming Hitler was a Zionist is not only a huge historical perversion, but it directly equates Nazism and Zionism.

    ‘It suggests they share objectives and values; it is guilt by association.

    ‘It is hard to think of a more offensive linkage.

    ‘Suspending him from the Labour Party is not the end of the matter. Livingstone is a symptom, not the cause.’

    It’s rather odd that the one bit where Rich is quoted as saying ‘Claiming Hitler was a Zionist…’ etc doesn’t have a quotation mark??

    Whatever the case, millions of people were duped and deceived and led to believe that Ken said ‘Hitler was a Zionist’! And repeated THREE times so as to make sure it stuck!!

  12. “In 1977, Carl Bernstein published The CIA and the Media in Rolling Stone. The article exposed much of the CIA’s attitude towards the spreading of fake news and it’s tacit’ as well as ‘explicit’ collaboration with journalists. Bernstein explained how journalists did not limit themselves to write what the CIA suggested: their relationship was much more complicated and intimate. In fact, reporters ‘shared their notebooks with the CIA.” Sound familiar?
    “Guided by the light of truth”:

  13. Some anti-propaganda

    America is now a world menace.
    Look at the two main existential threats
    The US leads the world in total cases, new cases and deaths – by a country mile. Each replication of the virus runs the risk of copying error mutations. On average, the more replications, the more mutations, the more danger to the rest of the world. The US is number one! Are your shirt’s chest buttons about to pop? And how crazy would you have to be to defund the WHO at the height of a global pandemic -thanks Trump.
    Continuing the theme of America as a world threat – The US Is the worlds biggest polluter per capita, by far. Twice as much as the Chinese.
    It has been for ? a hundred years. It deserves the lion’s share of credit for man-made climate change. Aren’t you proud! It pulled out of the Paris accord – thanks Trump, when many experts think things are critical.
    It has made lots of promises, very little action.

    U.S. life expectancy fell again in 2020 as the pandemic took a heavy toll
    3 hours ago
    The first thing to do with any WaPo article is to see how it has been gamed and finagled in favour of the US nowadays usually to reduce its embarrassment.
    Here you don’t have to go past the first paragraph. So there have been 806,000 deaths from covid but the data here only count the first 305,000. They will claim it’s only counting 2020 data but it is easy to estimate the effect of the interim 500,000 deaths. So the drop is a lot more than 1.7.

    The reduction in life expectancy, already reported in WaPo as 2.27 several weeks ago, now is claimed to be 1.7. To get this you have to disregard the half million deaths in the past 12 months. At the very least, in the interests of truth, the appropriate caveats should have been made.

    Regardless, even before the impact of the covid data, US life expectancy had nudged Third world status, and was passed by Cuba this year, an embargoed country lacking most or all of the wonderful jingle-friendly FDA-approved marvels befouling my NBA games. They must really be great drugs, so great that not having them is associated with longer life (not causal, of course). Now the dilemma for WaPo is how to hide this years data, next year.

    Infant mortality? Down? Who cares, right? Maternal mortality? Third world? Who cares?
    When you’ve got sandbars in the S China sea and Matt Gaetz to worry about and Pentagon budgets to increase?

  14. Talking of propaganda…..

    The following piece in the Daily Mail published on April 28th, 2016, (the day Ken Livingstone was suspended) consists of two articles and several ‘side pieces’. The primary article is headlined ‘Labour in crisis over ‘anti-semitic’ scandal: MPs demand Corbyn gets his ‘head out of the sand’ after Red Ken is SUSPENDED for claiming Hitler backed moving the Jews to Israel….’ with six sub-headlines, one of which says that ‘Shah [Naz Shah] triggered the storm with Facebook post on re-locating Israel to the US’, and the article begins by saying the following:

    Jeremy Corbyn tonight denied Labour was facing an anti-Semitism crisis despite being forced to suspend his old friend Ken Livingstone for claiming Hitler was a ‘Zionist’. Mr Livingstone made the incendiary comments…..

    Then further on in the article it says:

    Ken Livingstone gave an interview to BBC Radio London in defence of Ms Shah. He made the explosive claim that Hitler was a ‘Zionist’ when he ran for election in 1932.

    And further on in the article it says the following:

    Rabbi Danny Rich, senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, said: ‘If anyone has gone mad, it is Ken Livingstone.

    ‘His comments get more offensive and unworthy every time he is interviewed.

    Claiming Hitler was a Zionist is not only a huge historical perversion, but it directly equates Nazism and Zionism.

    ‘It suggests they share objectives and values; it is guilt by association.

    ‘It is hard to think of a more offensive linkage.

    ‘Suspending him from the Labour Party is not the end of the matter. Livingstone is a symptom, not the cause.’

    It’s rather odd that the one bit where Rich is quoted as saying ‘Claiming Hitler was a Zionist…’ etc doesn’t have a quotation mark??

    Whatever the case, millions of people were duped and deceived and led to believe that Ken said ‘Hitler was a Zionist’! And repeated THREE times so as to make sure it stuck!! AND a fourth time at the beginning of an accompanying article!

    Repetition is a subtle form of brain-washing, and people are not conscious of the fact that it’s being done to them. And the vast majority of the time, propaganda is ‘designed’ and contrived to emotionalise – ie it’s directed at the emotional body – and once emotionalised, critical thinking goes out the window.

    1. The following interview with Norman Finkelstein from the 3rd of May 2016 is well worth checking out if you’ve never read it:

      Norman G. Finkelstein talks Naz Shah MP, Ken Livingstone, and the Labour ‘antisemitism’ controversy.

  15. We in the West will begin a USSR level collapse in 2022.
    Or we can start a war we will lose.
    Like bows and arrows against repeating rifles.
    And then go through a collapse that will be far worse.
    Assume the crash position.

  16. I take everything politicians and ‘officials’ say with a grain of salt, much easier when you know you’re being constantly bombarded with propaganda and the latest manipulative narratives – How do you know when a politician is lying? When ever you see their lips move!

  17. The fact that the West is competent at propaganda and incompetent at governance may be connected. Similarly, Russia and China seem competent at governance and weak at propaganda. Maybe the two competencies tend to be mutually exclusive.

    1. The appearance of effectiveness of Western propaganda exists in admittedly wide zone in which it has a monopoly. This zone can be seen in a recent UN vote described by Craig Murray: By a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 2 against (Ukraine, United States), with 49 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution I, “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo‑Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”

      49 abstentions included all allies of US (except for Israel for some reasons), and hardly anyone else (several minute countries perhaps have no personal to be present at UN at all times).

      But at the edges of this “zone of 49” effectiveness is sketchy. I read WP, a Polish news website because it is free and allows unlimited comments — being away from home country, I have some access to the news and opinions. Recently day after day there were articles on Russian threat, primarily to Ukraine. You would be surprised with the degree of skepticism. Poles dislike Ukrainians more that Russians, ESPECIALLY those Ukrainians that vehemently oppose Russia and venerate “heroes” who murdered a lot of Poles during WWII. But a big proportion also notes the malign role of USA in this conflict, something you can hardly see in NYT comments. On one hand, the media repeats obligatory Western narrative verbatim, on the other, local experience interferes with reception.

      But in the interior of the Western Propaganda Zone, experiences contradicting Western propaganda are rare, and the public sheepishly follows. Aha, Ruskies and Chinese commies are evil, yup, yup. More importantly, the uniformity of the message from Washington to Tokyo in one direction and Warsaw in the other is not due to superior rhetoric or some popular consensus but control of the elite (you oppose, you do not enter the inner circle, or are ejected like Jeremy Corbyn).

  18. Lookout Caitlin, Patreon has become a hanging judge and jury, just like Flakebook, $rewtube and all the others.
    Freedom? What’s that?
    Careful what you say.

    1. Join Caitlin’s Patreon while you can.

  19. Hey Caitlin! Awesome work as usual. What do you make of the recent allegations that North Korea executes people for listening to K-Pop? It sounds absolutely bonkers and source is a brand new Human right org who’s only stated sponsors is The NED and The National Democratic Institute. Here’s a link: (but I believe it appeared in the New York Times per as usual).

  20. Hello Caitlin, totally agree with you they have been brainwashe from the cradle and beyond.It is appaling that in this day and age that the sheeple are still as ignorant as ever.They should switch off the tv and read alternative news but they cannot.One cannot even feel sorry for them as they are going against their own interest and cannot see further than their noses.
    Regards lila.

  21. I see some things on non msm depicting vast surveillance infrastructure in Cina. I see the heads of people poking through holes in small steel cells which are described as quarantine facilities. I read the opinion of David Icke outlining Chinas role when he warns of what he calls the Cult and their plan for humanities future. It worries me.

    However I suppose to confirm these developments and know if they present a real threat to myself and those I love, I would need to witness these things and take in the factual evidence that may exist to prove their ill intent. This for myself is impossible. All I have are the dots. Joining them up risks a false perception. But its all most of us have. An inductive process of reasoning. Subjective in its conclusions. Influenced by propaganda and our own bias.

    Advantage manipulators.

    We are truly alone when our minds seek to understand this world.
    Grasping at truth that shimmers momentarily in the corner of our eyes.
    As elusive as it is distracting.

    The faith that results.
    Game Set Match to the human gods amongst us.

    Doubt everything
    yourself included.
    Become nothing
    And you become nothing but truth.

  22. Klaus von Berlin Avatar
    Klaus von Berlin

    Alexander Cockburn nailed it for all time, calling the American state of affairs as ”marinated in hypocrisy”.

  23. Maturity comes from curiosity.
    Question everything.
    Trust no one.
    Read eclectically and voraciously.
    Seek Truth, not opinions.
    Test everything through your OWN experience.
    Philip Larkin was on the right track:

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    1. Agree. Reminds me of this statement attributed to the Buddha – “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” And, I used to add on – and indisputable scientific evidence!

  24. Spot on, Caitlin. As soon as you started unpacking your lesson for the day I immediately flashed on that latest piece of warmongering by the NYT you cite about Russia “militarizing” its population, how Russia only wants armed conflict and how the more civilised United States of America simply cannot persuade Russia to act like rational beings and stop its incessant aggression.
    You understand the model: it’s basically a photocopy of our cherished ideal of American society multiplied by the square root of negative one, in other words a totally imaginary construct. To the American consumer of “news,” opinion and other information, any portrayal of Russia = iAmerica. Maybe that’s why they called Steve Jobs’ creation an “iPhone.” It tranduces reality into an imaginary state of being. To wit: Reality–>iPhone–> iReality, or Reality–>NYT–>iReality.
    It’s all madness, and it’s exactly the same with respect to China, Iran, Venezuela and dozens of other far away places with strange sounding names as far as the brainwashed American people are concerned. If the American iMedia actually wanted to practice what it preaches it would start by making sure to indicate that their latest targets of derision include the nations or polities of iRussia, iChina, iIran, iSyria, iLibya, iIsrael, iEU, iNATO and so forth. The readers/viewers/listeners would then know to multiply by the appropriate fudge factor before consuming this so-called “news” or “analysis.”

  25. When we have to compete rather than cooperate, we can either join a tribe or fight the world on our own. If you want to stay in the tribe, you’ll believe or do whatever it takes. When Bush and the Obamas fell in love, I just despised the Obamas more. The list of well known people that I admire would fit on a postcard and all their money wouldn’t buy a pot to pee in. My shit-list is too long to remember and the people on it own everything. That’s not a recipe for happiness but being happy about the world today seems insane.

    1. Fortunately, happiness doesn’t have much to do with the state of the world, which is a construct. The world has always produced a balance of good and bad, different at all times, in all places and for everybody (the farmer wants rain and the traveller sunshine, the gods are indecisive, says a Chinese proverb), which is the condition of its existence. Only we focus on this or that or propaganda has us focused on this or that, which makes it an artificial construct within the balanced whole. Happiness, however, comes from living in harmony with our immediate surroundings at the present moment and everybody can make that happen except of course people who are physically and/or psychologically tortured in prisons of all descriptions, who represent at most 0,000001% of the world population (10,000 in 7,8 billion) at any given instant. Therefore if we are not happy, it’s generally our own fault and the excuses for it that we find in Plato’s cave – including the humanistic ones like abstract empathy with the abstract sufferings of others, which doesn’t do anybody any good – are our own construct and our prison.

      1. You criticize “abstract empathy with the abstract sufferings of others, which doesn’t do anybody any good” as being “our own construct and our prison.” Suffering is never abstract for the sufferer, so how does our empathy for those who suffer, whether in front of our eyes or on the other side of the world, imprison us rather than deepen us, make us more human? Aren’t we all diminished by the suffering of our brothers and sisters anywhere, indeed the suffering of all living things? How could this suffering, whether or not we can do anything about it, not cause us pain if we struggle to keep open our minds and hearts?

        1. What I meant is that if I was dying in pain in a bed, I would much rather see visitors come by with a happy and loving smile on their faces than crying their eyes out because of my condition. It’s very easy to become a pain in the ass by virtue-signaling your gloom at abstract suffering – not applying to anybody in particular but being an ideological delusional construct which, in reality, is only an excuse for an incapacity to feel and transmit joy, love and happiness. Do you think the Dalai Lama, who smiles most of the time, doesn’t feel empathy for those who suffer? However, in his heart, this translates into loving thoughts for them, not gloomy ones that don’t do anybody any good.

          1. Christ, Pascal…we’re literally killing the planet . That’s about as gloomy as it gets, isn’t it? Don’t you think the Dalai Lama, like everyone else with open eyes, has his own moments of grief and despair, his own feelings of powerlessness and futility? Not being in denial and still not being overwhelmed is a damn difficult balancing act for the best of us.

  26. Here is the most important question of all. Just exactly WHAT do people do after they’re all woke up — pick up a gun?; guillotine some VIPs?; march hand in hand down Penn. Ave. forever and demand, demand, demand that the Elite behave better, or else? (or else WHAT?)
    Here’s what you are eventually going to HAVE TO DO because
    there. is. no. other. way.
    If you do not want More Of The Same that you’ve gotten after every election in the past, do not vote for another R or D, ever, no matter what an R or D promises! Jimmy Dore explains EXACTLY why.

  27. Maturity may bring the understanding that Bastiat was right and all states are just fictions that make some people rich. These fictions need stories to legitimize power, these stories use propaganda to reinforce power,

  28. What we are experiencing is not only propaganda, but is a part of larger Information War.

  29. Impossible to run a large community without propaganda. Less to no propaganda means less involvement

  30. Disney World sewage is full of Omicron, but hospitals mostly have Delta.
    It’s not “spreading rapidly”. It has been here awhile, from the looks of it.
    Unnoticed. Benign.​ Thanks Doc Robinson.

    ​ ​ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Even though there have been practically no cases of clinical infection, wastewater samples show that the new omicron variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the Florida county that is home to the nation’s largest theme park resorts, officials said this week.
    ​ ​The omicron variant has quickly surpassed the delta variant in collections taken from wastewater sampling sites in Orange County, officials said.
    A sampling this week showed that omicron represented almost 100% of the strains in the samples from the wastewater facilities, Orange County Utilities spokesperson Sarah Lux said in an email.
    ​ ​It’s a different story when it comes to people seeking treatment for COVID-19, officials said.
    “Those who are hospitalized are being primarily infected by the delta variant,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Wednesday at a news conference held at the Orlando International Airport.

  31. 142 nations that have signed up to the BRI don’t want or need the WEST !

    They have signed up for a future of prosperity and peace – minus the Rothschilds murderous – enslaving banking cartel !

    World Bank and the IMFs’ names are deceptive – they are ZIO/US – there is NOTHING ‘Worldly’ or ‘International’ about them !

    1. Yet the free and democratic, peace-loving United States of America reserves the right to kill the people of those nations, lay waste to their food sources and demolish their living quarters purportedly to save them their own foolish choices. How can anyone else compete with that kind of generosity?
      In short, I think the recruiting spiel goes something like, “Nice little country you’ve got there in (insert name), be a shame if you allowed Russia or China to ruin it all for you. Trust us, we’ll take care of you. Just a few formal papers for you to sign and then go enjoy your American-guaranteed freedoms.”

  32. Make America Great Again, Build back better.

    I think China is “Biden” it’s time and can see the foxes in the “Bush”. The have all the aces and can’t be “Trumped” by Obama’s pivot to Asia.

    The West may control the narratives but China controls the outcomes.

    1. Shillin much ??

  33. Musky’s tweet about cognitive biases may be of use as it’s an established/inherent channel to plant or perpetuate manufactured perception. After that’s done, tribalism deepens the investment in the narrative [someone puts her/his name on it with an in group] discouraging individual and often collective rejection of the line [everyone knows, I think we can all agree, there’s no doubt that] by way of social extortion which then establishes a truth which is in no way absolute, but goes unquestioned by those who have repeated it. The issue we seem to be in is that we have reached terminal bullshit where the only true thing is that all of us are insecure idiots to some extent, which we overcome by surrounding ourselves with those who are less stable and informed. We are goofy before government, media & marketing ever plants the hook…

  34. Randolph Garrison Avatar
    Randolph Garrison

    Warning: Do not install windows 10 and Edge!

    Greetings to all, I made that mistake when I received a notification that a new window fix was available for download, that it said would fix a number of existing problems. I was trying to see if it made any difference in how I felt about windows.
    Then last night I decided I still liked Google better and attempted to remove the edge. There are no removal routings as in the past. I asked Microsoft about a removal routine, and the response was that it cannot be removed because it is part of the operating system. I attempted to disable it’s loading. (Surprise) you cannot stop it. Edge has taken control of all my programs apps except google and gmail. (I think)! I have noticed some strange things.
    I have some news emails I like to comment on, the comments were removed or the email would not send. I have come to the conclusion MS has included an Artificial Intelligence program to watch what we do and gather information 24-7. While making the computer anti- Democratic, Pro-Republican, Propaganda Machine.
    The intelligence gathering of the American people and businesses would be greater than anything the Pentagon could do.

    1. MS lied to us when they claimed we just HAD to install Windows10 (as Windows7 would be unserviced and unprotected from hackers) or purchase a new computer bundled with the new OS. And, your troubles would be OVER because you’d never need to upgrade your OS again! Windows 10 was touted as the be all and end all, never needing upgrade to the next product of mental masturbation by the army of autistic geeks employed by Bill Gates. Well, surprise, they are now trying to schlock Window11 on all the same pretexts to everyone. I fear they may surreptitiously replace 10 with 11 as they did 7 with 10 for many users who had no intention in making the switch. Needless to say this move totally effed up people’s files and settings no end, causing scads of stored data loss. Moreover, for those who kept Windows 7 (as I did on one machine–my other was purchased under pressure to adopt Windows 10), it has remained trouble-free for over two years and was actually upgraded by MS in spite of their ominous warnings of that never happening. Moreover, it receives all antivirus and malware upgrades from Norton. They even installed Edge (which I never use) on the upgrade. IE, of course, is a wreck as it always was, but I use Chrome, as I am doing right now, without problems. MS is thoroughly dishonest and entirely manipulative but I’m not a geek with any desire or aptitude to convert to Linux.
      What really pisses me off is every time MS “upgrades” its operating system, I get stuck with buying new peripherals if there are no new drivers available for my old hardware (printers, scanners) or programs (office functions). Makes me wonder if MS doesn’t get kickbacks from beneficiaries like HP, Epson, Canon, WP etc.

  35. Here’s a fun fact about so called Chinese aggression. Hong Kong was stolen from China in the 19th century and ended up a British possession by way of a 99 year lease signed in 1897. Now, after Mao came to power in 1949, China could’ve taken back Hong Kong by force at any time but what did China do? They waited until the lease expired in 1997 to facilitate a peaceful transfer of ownership back to themselves! How many Western imperialist nations would do that?

    1. The Western (at any rate the American) approach would be to foment a color revolution that ultimately leads to a coup d’etat and regime change. To be an American (in the global political arena) means that if you want something, you take it NOW. You NEVER patiently wait for circumstances to change just to save lives and mitigate suffering.

  36. IN the face of modern weaponry, individual “toughness” doesn’t matter.

    1. Are you saying I’m not tough enough to withstand a nuclear blast, or the protractive ravages of climate chaos? Don’t be silly. I’ll be fine no matter what happens and go on to promote the centrist Democratic Party agenda, because I’m all about Saving Our Democracy!

        1. This really is an excellent article, absolutely bang on the most pertinent issue of our time, it has resulted in near fisticuffs with middle class lefties who really believe that the world can be adequately explained by reading the guardian and listening to BBC radio four, because that’s not propaganda it’s impartial journalism of the highest order. Propaganda is for dummies we clever thoughtful well read middle-class can spot it at a hundred miles.I think it’s important to tell people that news should be considered in the same way as food, you no longer eat junk food, you sort out quality food from a variety of sources, exactly the same should be the case for news. I no longer read junk news I search up quality news from a variety of sources. It’s very easy to sit there and have a newspaper delivered or switch on the radio and have your opinions topped up by sophisticated but highly partial new services. Reject these and search out a range of sources from different countries the Internet does allow for a huge range of sources, blogs like this one excellent, but also specialist newspapers that write on issues marginalised or left out of the MSM if you’re a lefty it’s crucial, otherwise you’ll end up cheering for war as egged on by the Guardian. Take the pledge no more junk news, no more processed news, search out News from originally sources and from different countries,that clearly reveal their track record , sources and most importantly who finances them

          1. It’s worth staying apprised of the crap that the MSM dispenses so you can intelligently refute what your foolish friends would have you believe. Just see it for what it is–a narrative to deceive you, not the God’s truth.

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