HomeArticlePlease Use My Writings And Quotes, With Or Without Attribution

Please Use My Writings And Quotes, With Or Without Attribution

Listen to a reading of this article:

This is just a quick article to remind everyone of my standing offer to please use my work however they like, and that it isn’t necessary to attribute any words I’ve written to me if you don’t want to.

I think a reminder is due because lately I’ve been seeing more people take me up on this repeated offer on social media, with people sharing quotes I’ve made without putting my name on them or sharing screenshots of my Twitter posts but cropping my name off of them, and I want to make it clear to everyone that I am fine with this and think it’s great.

I have probably the coolest readers of any online writer in the world (not to brag or anything), and sometimes they get upset when they see somebody sharing something I’ve said without giving me attribution. So I’d just like to make it clear to everyone that what they’re seeing is perfectly fine, and I’ll explain why.

Firstly and most importantly, it’s fine for people to share my work without attribution because I don’t do what I do to get rich and famous, and I’m not in this to have people stroke my ego. My sole objective here in this space is to do what I can to help expand human consciousness and bring awareness to dynamics which threaten the survival of our species, and to get good ideas circulating in an information ecosystem that is severely polluted with very bad ideas. Anyone who shares my work, with or without attribution, is as far as I’m concerned helping to facilitate this goal.

And sharing my work without attribution can actually often facilitate this goal a lot further than sharing it with attribution, in my experience. I’ve seen words I’ve written share far better online without my name attached to them than they did when I originally said them, and it makes sense that this would happen if you think about it. I’ve got a negative reputation in many online circles because I’ve said things that are offensive to pretty much every political faction at one time or another, so there are a lot of people who’d be more inclined to share a cool idea or quote that doesn’t have my name attached to it than one that does. If the words are helpful then it shouldn’t matter what name is attached to them, but it often does matter and if removing my name from them helps circulate those words then in my opinion that’s an objectively positive thing.

Secondly, it’s fine for people to share my work without attribution because it doesn’t hurt me financially or professionally at all. Because of the entirely gift-based model that my crowdfunded project here is based on, I don’t get any more money by people coming to my website or clicking my articles, so I’m not losing anything when they don’t. My patrons tend to be people who’ve noticed over an extended period of time that I put out work they like and want to support, not people who just saw a quote they enjoyed once.

When I first announced my policy of letting everyone use my work for free a number of people expressed concern and responded as though I was doing something dangerous that might be detrimental to me. And I guess it makes sense that people would be a bit alarmed by something so far outside the norm, but I’ve had my content-sharing policy in place for three years now and have never once had a bad thing come of it. All that’s happened is a bunch of platforms have republished my work and a lot more people have been reading my articles, which from my point of view is beneficial because my articles are well-sourced and truthful and my ideas are good.

Lastly, it’s fine for people to share my work without attribution because that’s just the kind of world I want to live in. Where ideas and information flow freely, where people don’t feel the need to cling tightly to their creations and inventions because they’ll starve if they don’t have enough imaginary numbers in their bank accounts, where creators don’t constipate their creativity by continually fighting for control over old ideas that aren’t even alive and inspired for them anymore, where patents aren’t used to suppress human development and innovation for the profit of a very few. Where we’re all creative geniuses in a constant state of inspiration flow, pouring our unique gifts out into the world for the benefit of the whole with the confidence that we’ll all be taken care of by the collective.

I try to make my whole life a kind of sigil for the world I’d like to see emerge in the future, and my work here is very much an extension of that practice. If I can also help to create that world by setting a good example, so much the better.

So please do use my work in whatever way you want. Make tweets, memes, articles, flyers, zines, posters, signs, stencils, books, merchandise, whatever. Put my name on it, put your name on it, or make up some fictional name and attribute it to them. Use all of it or use parts of it. Keep it as is or change it. Do it for free or do it to make money. The words aren’t mine, they’re yours to do with as you please.

And feel free to bookmark this article so you can show it to anyone who tries to tell you different.

___________________

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. All works co-authored with my American husband Tim Foley.

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Latest comments

  • I certainly agree on the total control of US and other national media.

    What is not addressed is, by whom and how are the US, etc., media sources controlled? In addition there needs discussion on its operations, if understood.

    The larger questions, however, are the immediate and long-range U.S. interests involved?

    With respect to Russian interests in Ukraine itself is its history as a former USSR “frontline location”, with massive military production and facilities and again, now a potential frontline (anti-US/NATO) Russian location. Over the years portions of the Ukraine had been developed into a massive military industrial complex for the USSR. The pro-US, but otherwise informative book, “Ukraine’s Outpost: Dnipropetrovsk and the Russian Ukraine War”, goes into its importance in great detail, stating “Dnipropetrovsk was a closed city due to its large military industrial complex, and it was the world’s biggest producer of nuclear missiles.”

    “Ukraine’s Outpost” can be read freely online.

    Russia’s “Tass” confirms, “(s)o far, the question of when the DPR and LPR will liberate their territories within the borders of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, as written in their Constitutions, remains open, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. “For Russia, it is extremely important to liberate not only Donbass from the occupying forces of the Kiev regime, but also the entire left bank of Ukraine, as well as its Black Sea regions. Dnepr, Zaporozhye, Mariupol, Odessa, Ochakov, Nikolaev, Kherson, and other cities that have industrial and defense enterprises essential to the Russian Federation. If they are controlled by Moscow, this means that Russia has defeated the West and taken its Slavic partner out of the sphere of influence of the United States and NATO,” retired military expert Colonel Nikolay Shulgin told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.”
    https://tass.com/pressreview/1410663

    The “longer range economic” interests explaining “puzzling” US actions, I think, aside from Russia as a global economic competitor, lesser but like China, is US capitalism’s interest in taking control of Russia’s vast, largely undeveloped, natural resources and productive capacity either by occupation or, more doably if necessary, by replacing Putin, and installing under threat of violence, a Russian puppet government as we have done in so many other places in the world, with western Ukraine as the most immediate example.

    Further, this scenario would suggest as motivation, undiscussed existential threats to US global dominance.

  • Slow Clap. I think Johnstone may be right about her work going farther without attribution. Folks have been taught to judge by (the gossip and hearsay about ) the source, not the content.
    Same here, btw, I see favorite phrases and neologisms of mine popping up sometimes, and I am so gratified. Anything anyone may find to like among my words is free and unencumbered. Pass it along at will.

  • Thanks Caitlin, I have been for a few years now.

  • Thank you Caitlin! I am so in tune with your messages. And I have taking you up on this offer many times, particularly on Facebook. The reason is definitely not to steal credit! Rather I found that when I post a link to your articles, my lazy friends NEVER click the link and never comment. Its like a knee-jerk reaction. They see a link, pass over the post. It is only if I make it seem like I said it, that I get a people to read and often get a reaction – that leads to a discussion. So again, thank you for this ability to spread these ideas, whatever it takes, to get people to listen.

  • For this post I am going to make a donation to support what you right, and anyway I’ve yet to find anything here that isn’t at least an interesting point of view, and mostly I find myself thinking “that’s just what I think.
    So thank you profoundly and keep it up.
    RogerCO

  • Thank you Caitlin for your insight and clarity. Of course I agree. I appreciate your work and share it often.
    Your inspirational sharing of the fruits of neoliberalism are generally helpful, sardonic and often inciteful.
    Your work stands apart, as a ‘gift of spirit’ from a source of respect for life.

  • Caitlin, you really are quite special. Bless you.

  • Speaking of dying to motivate others to motivate others to change the world for the better; there was a great article in Veterans Today, written by a shill at the Vatican concerning the events in the Ukraine and beyond.. Who knows? Eventually if the ‘End of Times’, doesn’t bring an end to us all soon, you may eventually end up building your own intelligence agency.

  • very much like the ideological direction of your US confrere cory doctorow, who has articulated a very similar philosophy in re his novels and writings.

  • I’ve used several of Caitlin’s quotes, without attribution, because I’ve found that giving the source provides reactionary idiots a hook to divert attention from the quote.

    The quotes are solid gold, they’re good enough to stand alone, and are more effective I believe when the opposition is forced to confront the quote.

    • “The quotes are solid gold”

      True. I’ve kept a text file on my computer for 30 years of great quotes by great people throughout human history, and it’s about 200 pages long now, and for the past 2 years, Caitlin has practically taken it over. There’s a huge Caitlin section now.

      • Have you shared these quotes online by any chance?

        • I’ve been saving these two paragraphs all over the place — I call them the 2 Holy Paragraphs, because nobody has ever done such a good job of describing what Amerika is up to. I include all of her hyperlinks, which back up every word of this:

          This would after all be the same empire that is currently circling the planet with hundreds of military bases and waging wars which have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century. Its sanctions and blockades are starving people to death en masse every single day. It works to destroy any nation which disobeys its dictates by toppling their governments via CIA coups, proxy armies, partial and full-scale invasions, and the most egregious number of election interferences in the entire world, while threatening the entire species with nuclear brinkmanship on multiple fronts.

          What the US and its proxies are doing in Yemen alone is orders of magnitude worse than anything Russia is doing to Ukraine. Or what the US is doing in Afghanistan. Or in Venezuela [hunger and deaths from lack of medicine]. Or in Syria. The Biden administration has already done worse than what Putin just did in recognizing Israel’s outright annexation of the Golan Heights.

          Here’s the html with all the links:

          This would after all be the same empire that is
          currently circling the planet with hundreds
          of military bases
          and waging wars which have killed
          millions
          and displaced tens
          of millions
          just since the turn of this century. Its
          sanctions and blockades are starving
          people to
          death
          en masse every
          single day
          . It works to destroy any nation which disobeys
          its dictates by toppling their governments via CIA coups, proxy
          armies, partial and full-scale invasions, and the most egregious
          number of election interferences
          in the entire world, while
          threatening the entire species with nuclear
          brinkmanship on multiple fronts
          .

          What the US and its proxies are doing in Yemen
          alone is orders of magnitude worse than anything Russia is doing
          to Ukraine. Or what the US is doing in Afghanistan.
          Or in Venezuela [hunger
          and deaths from lack
          of medicine
          ]. Or in Syria.
          The Biden administration has already done worse than what Putin
          just did in recognizing
          Israel’s outright annexation of the Golan Heights.

          –Caitlin Johnstone, Perhaps
          the US Should Shut the Fuck Up About Respecting Other Countries’
          Sovereignty

  • “And feel free to bookmark this article so you can show it to anyone who tries to tell you different.”

    I thoroughly like everything you say in this post and practice it myself. And thank you for including your husband; better than John Lennon, forgetting to include Yoko as co-writer of IMAGINE — as he mentioned (apologetically) before his death.

    Interestingly, you mentioned that your husband is American. They are notorious for mangling the English language (such as a “zed” a “zee”) AND eliminating adverbs — as you do in the last word in the quotation above, which SHOULD be “differently”. Poor old adverb; I hear it weeping all the time. Smile icon.

    P.S. I am a self-righteous Canadian, who doesn’t believe in nationalities.

    Trevor Goodger-Hill

    P.P.S. I am really a robot. Chuckle icon.

    My signature follows:
    ======================================

    Citizens of the World
    on 1 May 1990 spontaneously materialized as a non-profit non-membership entity with the sole purpose of creating in the immediate future a new coöperative world society of citizens of ecological consciousness dedicated to replacing money with abundance, wage-work with civic contribution, competition with collaboration, violence with friendship and nationalism with ethnic fraternity. As a world coöperative, iWi invites the sisterhood and brotherhood of humanity to incite world insight to protect our planet and all its species by documentation of the destructiveness of present-day capitalism in order to transform it into a moneyless stateless world economy where all produce in order that all consume. All Citizens of the World believe, in principle and in practice, ideas are stronger than force and there is a kinder, gentler way to change the world than killing other human beings. As responsible citizens we coöperatively reproduce ideas – and invite others who agree to reproduce and distribute them – to create such a society.

    Incite World Insight

  • Thank you Caitlin, for your generosity. Wherever I can, I attribute.
    I am a mature aged uni grad and always had a fear of plagiarism given my extensive pre uni reading since leaving school at 14.. I knew I’d read ‘it’ somewhere before but could not remember where!
    My Father was always full of Marxist quotes but until I started to read Marx I had no idea where he got them from.
    I sometimes read of ‘original’ ideas and find later on that some early Greek philosopher first spoke them aeons ago in the Agora!

  • The copyright thing, yeah, okay, I get that, but the attribution? No. Acknowledging that somebody else thought/wrote/said what you’re borrowing costs nothing and is simple courtesy. Failure to do this states, or at the least strongly implies, that you are the author and is just another contribution to the Big Lie. And the Big Lie, and all the little lies that comprise it, is what sustains this shithole hell of an imperial wrecking ball that we are pleased to term Western Civilization.

    • Inspirational Caitlin, and I’m with Pasha on this one too.

  • After the announcement, CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow asked [Jonas] Salk, who owned the patent for the polio vaccine? “Well, the people, I would say,” replied Salk, in light of the millions of charitable donations raised by the March of Dimes that funded the vaccine’s research and field testing. “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”

    Not everything of value can be converted to a value denominated in money.

    Things of real value transcend the imaginary value of money.

    May the sunlight of your own thoughtful transcendent writing continue to drive the moneyed murderous evil into a darkness of their own making, one so intense that even they themselves feel compelled to flee it.

    • Salk would be excoriated today for his failure to capitalize on a golden opportunity. In best case scenarios he would be considered a clown, but in all other scenarios that I can think of, he would considered some kind of a threat. In fact, his Buddhist like sentiments regarding patent rights alone would likely get him a one ticket to Guantanamo.

      • Moderna was paid with the People’s money (if you can believe that the People have some ownership rights in it, having paid to develop it.)

        The government, after having paid to develop it, then gave the resultant patent away to a PRIVATE corporate-person.

        Now the People once again have to pay the corporate-person who holds the patent in order to use it.

        • Yup.
          I used to have the MIC, the Fed/Wall Street Complex, and Big Oil as my Holy Trinity of Evil in America, but with the recent rise of Big Pharma to possibly the tippy top spot on the list of global power centers, I guess I have to adjust and accept that we now have a Holy Quarternity of Evil.
          Late stage capitalism* is a smoothly running criminal enterprise, and this government of mine is there provide the muscle.
          I live in the United States of Clemenza.
          *Or whatever you want to call the operating sytem of the planet. I really don’t give a shit anymore about labels and designations. When I was kid growing up in the 70s, I self-identified as liberal because I believed myself to be a nice person, now if I self-identified in such a manner, my politics would be in perfect alignment with Josef Mengele.

          • “Late stage capitalism* is a smoothly running criminal enterprise, and this government of mine is there provide the muscle.”

            Beautifully stated truth!

    • “Things of real value transcend the imaginary value of money”.
      Except for cynics who, according to Oscar Wilde, are people who “know the price of everything and the value of nothing” :o)

  • I generally attribute quotes because I think it’s good to know who said it and it’s not much trouble. I think I’ve quoted you and I probably linked to your site or at least included your name. If a thought is worth sharing it’s worth sharing who thought it. Quote that if you want. Attribute it to Ted the Enlightened One. Or Ted, Son of Ra, Lord of the Two Lands.

    • I like the idea of posting without attribution, because the words would have to be read in order to understand a meaning.

      Put a name on it and a huge number of people will accept or reject by the name of the source, not by the thought expressed.

      • It’s never occurred to me to keep a source anonymous. I’ve quoted Hitler and Timothy McVeigh. Diversity is not just a river in Africa. And If the reader disapproves, TFB. From each according to his abilities, as Lenin said. Besides which, consciously choosing to not attribute words is dishonest.

  • Another shout out from Russel Brand.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqjRXiprVh8
    Imagine, arguably the most important journalist of the 21st century, and certainly its most notable, Julian Assange, is an odds on favorite at this point to be executed for telling the truth.
    The Age of Insanity has come to an end I believe. What age we’re in now is whatever comes after. The Age of Total Brain Death?
    Humans are still able to walk and talk and are still reasonable fascimiles of highter level functioning carbon units, so total brain death probably doesn’t capture the essence of this age.
    I don’t know, I gotta think about it. I’ll come up with something, and if I can’t, I’ll steal it from someone else.
    😉

  • Very generous of you, but I will continue to mention your name in your writings so that people know where the source of the river is.

  • Awesome, as always!

    Sharing this article, not saying it is confirmed in any way. Just something to think about.

    /thesaker.is/sitrep-urgent-briefing-from-the-russian-mod-re-new-provocations/

  • I thank you for your ideas and inspiration.

    https://chasingthesquirrel.com/

    I try and not quote directly. If I do I will give an attribution which turns text red and links to you. Readers here might like my most recent entry: Pax Americana

  • Caitlin,
    Hurrah for truth, true freedom of speech; and the sharing of knowledge and information. Sadly your journalistic integrity and daring is rarely equaled. This is an incredibly generous gesture to offer your work to the world so freely but I still firmly believe you deserve credit, acknowledgement and validation for your ideas, not for the fanning of your ego but for reinforcement of your strength and resilience when you are attacked for standing up and speaking out.
    You are exceptionally brave and forthright a trailblazer to light the path for others to follow and may they follow in the thousands. Viva la revolución!

  • Unfortunately, the collective doesn’t take care of us and most people aren’t creative geniuses with unique gifts, not even close. Caitlin, you have talent and clearly your patrons support you. It’s not a model, though, as it’s a pyramid. Hopefully, you’re setting some aside for retirement. I know many in the USA who don’t have any savings and not a lot of talent. Our great society offers them the sidewalk to lay their weary heads.

  • Thank you so much for restating this policy. I think it is a wonderful policy! I notice that people I try to reach who live in the middle realm, between hopeless and almost there, will throw out an amazing, unique, fresh-thinking-WAY-outside-of-the-box idea of yours because YOU said it. I’ve been using these “2 holy paragraphs”, below, all over the place because they are the most important paragraphs an American could possibly read, and NOBODY has ever said it as well. I don’t want to be a famous writer, I want my kids to avoid living in a world where “the living will envy the dead”! I practice the same policy–I LOVE people to share my words. If they steal my best ideas, my kids might have a chance at a decent life on a Garden of Eden planet instead of a living hell.

    [I use this prose with all of your hyperlinks, which don’t show up in this comment, intact.]
    “This would after all be the same empire that is currently circling the planet with hundreds of military bases and waging wars which have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century. Its sanctions and blockades are starving people to death en masse every single day. It works to destroy any nation which disobeys its dictates by toppling their governments via CIA coups, proxy armies, partial and full-scale invasions, and the most egregious number of election interferences in the entire world, while threatening the entire species with nuclear brinkmanship on multiple fronts.
    “What the US and its proxies are doing in Yemen alone is orders of magnitude worse than anything Russia is doing to Ukraine. Or what the US is doing in Afghanistan. Or in Venezuela [hunger and deaths from lack of medicine]. Or in Syria. The Biden administration has already done worse than what Putin just did in recognizing Israel’s outright annexation of the Golan Heights.”

    –Caitlin Johnstone, https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/02/22/perhaps-the-us-should-shut-the-fuck-up-about-respecting-other-countries-sovereignty/

    And often I DO quote the great Caitlin … because I don’t want people to miss out on your wonderful insight and beautiful prose.

  • At times I do a slight ‘adjusting’ of your quotes or news lines but I always credit you by name. Good on you!

  • In paragraph 7, you mention that some people got upset with you for offering your work without copyright, and I would like to comment that that shows that they are deeply and unconsciously imbued with a capitalist mindset. In capitalism, you must make money from everything you do, and you must protect your ownership of everything you produce to the death. They just can’t get their minds around another approach to life.

  • Dear Caitlin,
    Thank you for recognizing, understanding, and demonstrating that common knowledge and common sense belong in the public domain.
    Sincerely,
    – One of Many

  • This is wonderful. I thought while reading that I hope she watches out for MISquoting, people attributing things to her that she did NOT say – needless to say, with maximum malignant intent.

    • This more or less captures my immediate reaction to Caitlin’s generosity. Somebody will do something nasty to her. I used to write letters to a local newspaper, and after a new editor was appointed, I had to give it up, because he would edit my letters in order to have me say what HE thought a right-wing kook should say.
      The other thing that occurs to me is a line by a woman character in a sci-fi novel by a woman writer: “Never say they don’t have to pay you. They’ll start claiming it as a right that you go on producing for free.” (That quote isn’t word-for-word. The woman novelist was Lois McMaster Bujold.)
      I still can’t make a donation towards Caitlin’s upkeep, because I still don’t know how. Maybe she should be mercenary enough to provide alternative payment methods for us old, technologically challenged readers.

  • I feel the same way, we’ve got a world to change. I hope this abandoning of the profit motive catches on like wildfire.

  • Amazing, think you should run the NWO, one world government 😀

  • Caitlin,

    This honest gesture of sanity and goodwill is why I am a Patron of yours. Lack of ego and the absence of the compulsion to OWN everything and stop others from benefiting of wisdom is the mark of sanity, decency and the value of a Being.

    Thank you for setting such a fine example for other decent people to follow . . . .

    Roger

  • #OpenSourceEverything

  • This is the crux of the matter…such a beautiful gesture…and yet, an affront to those who rule. This is the battle…whenever and wherever people come together and even attempt to help each other…no matter how harmless it is to TPTB…they become the enemy…because the very idea is so powerful and a threat to TPTB. So many believe the West\Global North are helping the rest of the world…and many good people unknowingly support the abusive beast system through charities, missions, foundations, etc…TPTB insert themselves into everything not to actually help but to insure nothing undermines their beast system.

  • Thanks Caitlin – exactly my position too and all at TBP – a wonderful community of well-informed readers: https://www.theburningplatform.com/author/austrian-peter/

    I learn something new from them every day.

  • Breaking: this article has brought Mammon to the brink of suicide :o)

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