HomeArticleThe TV Man Is Not Your Friend: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The TV Man Is Not Your Friend: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

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It’s very cute how empire apologists talk about driving Putin from Ukraine so there can be peace, like that’s a real thing. Like if it happened the war would just stop, and the US alliance wouldn’t with absolute certainty continue the attack and work to topple Moscow by any means necessary.

There’s zero reason to take on faith the MSM narrative that Ukraine is kicking Putin’s ass and victory is imminent, but even if that did happen there’d be less than zero reason to believe the fighting would stop there. If anything it would get much more dangerous from that point.

This doesn’t end with Russia leaving Ukraine, it ends with Putin being replaced with a Yeltsin-like US vassal and the eventual balkanization of the Russian Federation. Really it doesn’t end until Beijing has been subverted and the US empire secures total global hegemony. Or when the empire collapses. Or when we all get nuked and die.

Empire apologists don’t even really deny this:

Marjorie Taylor Greene being better than progressive Democrats on Ukraine is noteworthy not because it makes Greene look good but because it makes those progressive Democrats look really, really, really bad.

People who think Tucker Carlson is fighting the establishment are exactly the same as people who think “the Squad” is fighting the establishment. Exactly the same. Same people, slightly different bumper stickers.

It’s obvious that every member of the “populist right” who’s now getting praise for being correct about Ukraine will function as virulent empire propagandists once the imperial crosshairs inevitably move from Moscow to Beijing. We know this because of their rhetoric about China today.

Do you know what happens to mainstream media figures who provide real resistance to empire agendas? They get fired or pushed out. Ask Phil Donahue or Chris Hedges. The fact that Tucker Carlson is a top pundit on imperial media (Murdoch media no less) means he’s an agent of the empire.

This belief that there are factions of the mainstream media working against the empire is as naive as the belief that there are factions of mainstream US politicians working against the empire. The empire doesn’t platform people who pose a threat to it. This isn’t complicated. The TV man is not your friend.

I run into far too many people who oppose war and can’t understand why I’m saying things about issues like China which disagree with what they’re being told by their “populist antiwar” heroes on the right. The propaganda campaign against China isn’t going to get better; it’s going to get much, much worse, and it’s important to start fighting it early. Because it’s going to be bad.

They’re not worried about the spread of disinformation, they’re worried about the spread of information. Your rulers are not concerned that you’ll start learning wrong things about Covid or Ukraine, they are worried you’ll start learning true things about your rulers.

The imperial power structure which runs Silicon Valley, and which is imprisoning Julian Assange, and which literally just admitted it’s circulating disinformation about Russia, is not worried about disinformation. And it’s hilarious that anyone is pretending otherwise.

“No no you don’t understand, if the US and its allies didn’t give weapons to Al Qaeda and Nazi militias, the bad guys might win.”

The one single time the US had a monopoly on nuclear weapons at the same time it was at war, it used them. Not because it needed to, but as a show of force. That was the dawn of the modern US empire. That’s how it was born. And it never got any saner from there.

There is a kind of poetic beauty, I guess, in the way the US empire was birthed onto the world stage by a nuclear blast and will probably die in the same way.

Psychological abuse is still abuse. Psychological tyranny is still tyranny. The fact that a large amount of the tyranny in so-called free democracies expresses as mass-scale psychological manipulation does not make it less tyrannical, it just makes it more photogenic.

All of religion and almost all spirituality is glorified escapism at best and tyrannical psychological domination at worst, and humanity would be better off without it. But what remains just might save the world.


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Latest comments

  • Thank you for mentioning Chris Hedges. It is worth noting that Chris and his personal cartoonist, Mr. Fish make one hell of a dynamic duo and are still fighting the good fight. Everything Hedges does is infused with passion. We can read it, be moved, and hope to hell he’s wrong. But he’s done the work, lived among the ‘deplorables’, put himself in the line of fire to cover atrocities, tended to the needy and downtrodden. He’s a modern day saint, like all good ones, likely won’t be properly recognized until he’s long gone and we see how right he really was…

  • Bullseye x 17
    Johnstone rules

  • “Do you know what happens to mainstream media figures who provide real resistance to empire agendas? They get fired or pushed out. Ask Phil Donahue or Chris Hedges. The fact that Tucker Carlson is a top pundit on imperial media (Murdoch media no less) means he’s an agent of the empire.

    This belief that there are factions of the mainstream media working against the empire is as naive as the belief that there are factions of mainstream US politicians working against the empire. The empire doesn’t platform people who pose a threat to it. This isn’t complicated. The TV man is not your friend.”

    This is the trouble with non-Marxist/Communist commentators such as yourself – the level of analysis is risible.

    The “Brown-Reds” who claimed that Trump was not only not a fascist but also a real threat to the neo-liberal/globalist stage of the capitalist mode of production were dismissed by you and your ilk as “naive”, broadly following the “logic” cited above but specific to the political sphere – “he says things that should remain unsaid, but is otherwise harmless”. Apart from the fact that Durham’s investigations are proving the lie to that little “theory”, “it’s the economy, stupid”.

    By the mid-1970s, the capitalist mode of production was in one of its more serious periodic crises: large blocs of the world lay outside its sphere of influence for politico-economic reasons, the 1973 Arab-Israeli war had seriously disrupted energy prices, restrictions on capital flows intended to aid post-WW2 national reconstruction in the West were still in place, and the working class had made significant gains in their conditions of existence during the 1945-1970 ‘Golden Age’ of Cold War spending. Stagflation was the order of the day.

    This ‘block’ to ‘progress’ was broken by the adoption of what are now termed neo-liberal policies, the fundamental tenets of which were/are financialisation and open borders for capital, goods and services, and labour-power/”people”. Outward capital investment from the ‘core’ to the ‘periphery’ expanded in search of the cheapest labour costs, initially to some Eastern European States and SE Asia, then, post-1980, massively to “Communist” China, the final boost being given by the IT revolution. The spectacular success of these policies over this period (c.1980-2005) was the basis of the spectacular growth in wealth disparity that eventually triggered the Occupy Wall Street movement.

    By the time of both the UK EU Referendum and the US presidential campaigns of 2016, economic nationalism (the greatest threat to globalism) was ‘flavour of the month’ for both Left- and Right-wing “populist” movements (https://newleftreview.org/issues/ii104/articles/wolfgang-streeck-the-return-of-the-repressed). The desperate attempts by the globalist fraction of the UK bourgeoisie to delay/prevent the implementation of the referendum result (partly neutered by the activities of another fraction of the bourgeoisie – https://thegrayzone.com/2022/05/15/operation-leaked-emails-intelligence-coup-boris-johnson/) under the general rubric of “Russia, Russia, Russia” was repeated in the US as Trump’s administration became bogged down in its attempts to withdraw from foreign wars and improve relations with Russia (both for purely economic reasons – Trump is a “bottom line” man), and close open borders, by Russiagate.

    So much for the economic sphere, what about ideology.

    Tucker Carlson is a very interesting case. He is part of a well-read cohort from the whole (non-Marxist) political spectrum who are converging with the Marxist view of both the Frankfurt School’s and post-structuralism’s devastating effects on society, from the precipitous decline in educational standards since the mid-1960s to the “culture wars” and “identity politics” deriving from the former and the philosophical relativism and nihilism deriving from the latter. However, it is the former (educational standards) that determines this cohort’s belief that they are fighting “Communism” rather than capitalist ideology (Jordan Peterson is the classic example here – a little knowledge is truly a dangerous thing!), in much the same way as the predominantly Right-wing supporters of the (profoundly Communist – a non-State controlled people’s militia, anyone?) 2nd Amendment. This ideological confusion is profound with TC, who will riff on the lack of a class-based analysis of society one minute and then drift into a religious-based monologue the next. This confusion is, however, symptomatic of someone who is fighting their way through their “given” ideological positions towards a more sound world-view as reality forces such a re-examination.

    The duty of the (true) Left is to help such people make this journey, not to dismiss them and the difficulty of such a transition.

  • “It’s very cute how empire apologists talk about driving Putin from Ukraine so there can be peace, like that’s a real thing.”

    It’s the War to End All Wars.
    (for real, this time.)

  • Lest the likes of Tucker Carlson and his cohort of admirers inclusively, whoever they be, forget that the United States of America itself, in fact, epitomizes the original “great replacement” for it is the primary exceptional nation of ‘white’ European imports.
    May as well add all of Australasia to the list.
    No ‘white’ Europeans are the indigenous peoples of the Americas or Australasia!
    Here ‘short-term memory’ well describes the overall mindset on the subject of race relations, and perhaps explains ‘white European’ refugee immigrants reputed short attention spans.
    Yeah, yeah… figment of imagination!?
    Just who/what are “legacy Americans”? It seems that the self-opinionated, newscaster/provocateur, creates his own neologisms; as he goes along. Talk about the insinuations in weaponizing the language we use; either to communicate and cooperate, or to divide, in order to maintain the extant systemic rules!
    In the American imagination, history first began with the founding of the United States. Perhaps this also explains the so deeply entrenched religious fundamentalisms, which contain no factual history, but rather rely on monotheistic biblical myths.
    The actual citadel of civilization lies in Asia, the East (depending, of course, on who writes the story, and who draws the maps), whose natural resources and people the West has plundered and despoiled in the name of its form of humanity and civilization, since time immemorial.
    Yet today, once again, by proxy, it is actively in the throes of attempting to eradicate.

  • NATO will conquer Russia. Then it will conquer China. But NATO will never go away. It will invent another enemy to justify its existence, maybe aliens from outer space.

  • We all have our beliefs and opinions. We each should be free to express them. I believe we are more than glorified animals that are born, live and die. I believe in God and a life after death. I believe prayer and meditation is beneficial even in this life as it calms us from within. Quiets our spirit. Man is flesh and spirit. If we put more focus on our spirit the flesh would benefit also.

  • Utterly analytical and scary prophetic posting again from you Caitlin. Endless and atrocious wars underpin basically the moorings of Empires. When the end comes, Empires naturally take everyone around them down the tube with them. The collateral damage of their collapse often reverberates far and wide where the Empire had a foothold. Our generation is on the precipice of witnessing such a scenario, a once in a thousand years or more event. Atomic explosions are not new even though they may be seen as mythology in writings of scholars like Zecharia Sitchin’s series but they are there in the Bible also as in the case of the famed case of Soddom and Gommora. A nuclear war is very much in the horizon because it has once happened. The US and Allies’ hegemony is not going to close shop without first going all out to ensure its survival. Whether anyone will survive is a big ‘KNOWN UNKNOWN’.

  • What really needs containing are the US and NATO…

  • “””Tucker Carlson is fighting the establishment are exactly the same as people who think “the Squad” is fighting the establishment.”””

    Tuckers fans are white men who can’t get laid. The ‘Squads’ fans are women who eat a lot of cookies and a few gay guys sprinkled in who like to shout the names of the ‘Squad’ loud with gravitas and flourish. As if they were at a party with them the night before.

    These are not the same people.

    And Tucker’s fans are racist. You can’t say that about Squadfans so easily.

    • None of this is really about race, it’s about class… TC’s peeps resent poor urbanites, poor urbanites resent rural poor.

      This is not to say racism does not exist… but you have to understand the ends to which it’s being cultivated. As the empire loses its external bastions of resentment, it has had to invent them internally. This is Amerika today….

  • I wish every commentator who has used the phrase, `unprovoked invasion´ to describe Russia´s actions would watch this; https://www.rokfin.com/post/86633?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Campaign&utm_campaign=New+Post+Email
    May liberation and denazification come soon. See Russian Federations presentation at UN security council, we await war crimes trials.

  • “The propaganda campaign against China isn’t going to get better; it’s going to get much, much worse, and it’s important to start fighting it early.”
    Yeah it’s gonna get brutal. The Uyghurs will be leading the news cycle, once this Ukraine business wraps up – with either a total Russian victory or a global thermonuclear exchange, the only two proxy scenarios left on the geo-political gaming board.
    (My NYT this morning told me the brave Azovstal fighters felt it necessary to evacuate the steel plant. Too funny. Evacuated the plant and accidently walked straight onto Russian prisoner of war buses. Oops!).
    Xinjiang, the province where a majority of Uyghers reside. Land of rivers and lakes and windfarms, and a province that has 25,000 mosques, or one mosque per every 500 Muslims.
    Been to Xinjiang 5 times now with ex-pat China vloggers, and surprisingly, the main local complaint seems to be that their cotton is being sanctioned by the US. Ain’t that something?
    The US can only win this upcoming propaganda war by not allowing YouTube vloggers to post videos of China, because ANYONE who spends even 10 hours looking at China through the objective lens of their drones and dolly cams will realize China is a civilation so astounding that it makes even the Roman Empire* at it’s absolute zenith look like a squalid and impovershed hellhole in comparison.
    *Or whatever civilization you believe was greatest of all-time, on some relative historical scale of your own design.
    Note: A beautiful poem Mr. Johnstone, equally matched I thought by the outpouring of beauty in your comment section.
    It is an easy thing for me to be here, which is the highest compliment I can give to any host, on-line or off.

  • Yikes, the fundie religionists are up for Armageddon, clashes of civilization and hanging the gays. I remember getting anti-commie pamphlets in grade school, the church was all about the capitalism. Even the Hare Krishnas are stone cold right wingers. I guess we’ll see if Jesus comes riding in on a mushroom cloud, gods forbid.

  • Great stuff…..totally agree also with the religion comment. Why do all of our leader have to be church-going clowns. They are no more Christian than MbS.

  • The myth that Japan needed to be nuked is I think something of a Michelson-Morley data point. That something so significant could be so demonstrably false and yet so widely believed is I think a dispositive single fact sufficient to establish the malign effectiveness of propaganda. And Truman’s claim that the bombings were conducted in such a fashion as to minimize civilian deaths was I think the single biggest lie ever told, unless you want to consider it outright babbling. And the Truman administration honest to god believed the USSR wouldn’t be able to build atomic bombs for at least a generation. I’ve personally never met a politician I was confident could change a tire, but one wonders that even they could think something that absurd.

    • The reason for the nuking given at the time was to save lives….the lives of US soldiers fighting through the smaller islands of Japan. They were being held up. This purported reason makes no difference and the killing of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians to save a few US lives is still a war crime…..a very serious war crime….akin to Hilter’s crimes.

      The real reason for the bombing is more subtle. At the time the Russian Red Army was storming through Manchuria meeting no resistance at all, and looked like being able to reach Japan ahead of the US, and to accept the surrender of the Japanese. The US felt it couldn’t let ‘commies’ win the race and therefore committed a vile war crime to allow them to force a Japanese surrender.

      It is funny now to see them talking up was crimes in Ukriane where less than 1% of the number of civilians perished compared to Japan. And with the outpouring of sympathy for a bunch of savage unreconstructed fascists in Azovstal.

  • We’re all living under various forms of tyranny – some worse than others. Even our so-called democracy in Australia is a form of mild (relatively?) and subdued tyranny because it doesn’t respect the people and subjects them to ever increasing levels of control, restrictions and limitations on rights and freedoms.
    The US has lost the ability to effectively brainwash the world, and its own people, into believing that it is the ‘leader of the free world’ and champion of democracy and freedom. Few intelligent and thinking people, who take the few minutes needed to question the narratives, believe that there is any benevolence or integrity in Washington and other seats of US power. And the US’ behaviour globally is tyranny on an unprecedented scale – resulting in the loss of life and suffering of literally millions since WWII.
    It’s hard to find adequate ways to describe the atrocities committed by the US without resorting to well-worn clichés many of which have lost their meaning and gravity. Even using the word ‘evil’ no longer has the right impact.

  • Principles require personal restraint, create humility and inspire curiosity.
    Preferences demand an audience, extort obedience, and result in isolation.

    Regardless of the quiet songs and vehement reminders some like on Sunday mornings, the first is not dead although the organized are far ahead of the individuals.

  • Thank you, Caitlin. You’re awesome.

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