Listen to a reading of this article:

President Biden used the phrase “Putin’s price hike” again in a reaction to Friday’s Consumer Price Index report revealing continued high inflation, showing once again that the US government believes Americans are idiots.

“Make no mistake about it: I understand inflation is a real challenge to American families. Today’s inflation report confirms what Americans already know: Putin’s Price Hike is hitting America hard,” Biden said in a statement. “My administration is going to continue to do everything it can to lower prices for the American people.”

Which is of course absurd. Prices were already soaring and inflation was already at a 40-year high before Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February, and there was never anything inscribed upon the fabric of reality which said the US needed to respond to that invasion with an economic war that has made everything worse. The US initiated these unprecedented acts of economic warfare in response to an invasion it could easily have prevented with a little diplomacy, and has managed to do so without even hurting the strength of the ruble at all.

There are many people Americans could blame for their shrinking bank accounts, but Putin isn’t one of them.

And people know this. Nobody who doesn’t work for the US government ever unironically uses the term “Putin’s price hike” except to comment on the Biden administration’s repeated use of that term. I’ve never once seen even the dumbest liberals in my social media notifications use that phrase.

Right now it looks ridiculous to hear even Biden use that term. It sticks out like dog’s balls because of how obviously contrived and out of place it is, like if he’d spontaneously yelled “Cowabunga, dudes!” or something.

But just you wait. If they keep repeating it often enough and frequently enough, sooner or later you’ll start to notice rank-and-file members of the public repeating it themselves.

This is because the empire managers understand something which John Q Public does not, and it’s this: if you repeat something often enough in a confident-sounding tone of voice, a glitch in human cognition known as the illusory truth effect causes them to mistake what you’re saying for the truth.

The illusory truth effect describes the way people are more likely to believe something is true after hearing it said many times. This is due to the fact that the familiar feeling we experience when hearing something we’ve heard before feels very similar to our experience of knowing that something is true. When we hear a familiar idea, its familiarity provides us with something called cognitive ease, which is the relaxed, unlabored state we experience when our minds aren’t working hard at something. We also experience cognitive ease when we are presented with a statement that we know to be true.

We have a tendency to select for cognitive ease, which is why confirmation bias is a thing: believing ideas which don’t cause cognitive strain or dissonance gives us more cognitive ease than doing otherwise. Our evolutionary ancestors adapted to seek out cognitive ease so that they could put their attention into making quick decisions essential for survival, rather than painstakingly mulling over whether everything we believe is as true as we think it is. This was great for not getting eaten by saber-toothed tigers in prehistoric times, but it’s not very helpful when navigating the twists and turns of a cognitively complex modern world. It’s also not helpful when you’re trying to cultivate truthful beliefs while surrounded by screens that are repeating the same bogus talking points over and over again.

This would appear to be the strategy behind the continual repetition of the phrase “Putin’s price hike” in particular and the narrative that rising prices are Russia’s fault in general. Just keep saying it and saying it until the illusory truth effect kicks in and overrides people’s cognitive faculties.

We are being trained. Westerners are paying more because of western policies chosen by western policy makers, and we’re being trained to look at our shrinking bank accounts and yell, “Damn you, Putin!”

No part of this new cold war would be possible without copious amounts of such training. Without massive amounts of propaganda, people would never consent to being made poorer in order to facilitate the dopey grand chessboard maneuverings of a few sociopaths on the east coast of the United States. Without massive amounts of propaganda, people would never consent to having the gun of nuclear war held to their heads every day as US unipolarist escalations continually ramp up brinkmanship between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. Without massive amounts of propaganda, people would never consent to agendas which directly hurt them and threaten everyone they know while providing no material benefit to them whatsoever.

But this is also true of our entire society in general. Our entire civilization is marinating in propaganda produced and promulgated by the powerful in order to manipulate our collective psychology into consenting to a status quo which serves them and not us.

Over centuries of dynasties, upheavals and revolutions, powerful people have learned that the best way to dominate a population is to manipulate them into serving your interests while giving them the illusion of freedom and control. The invention of mass media has facilitated this new form of tyranny, as has the emergence of psychology as a field of study. These two factors have combined together to give rise to the steadily advancing science of modern propaganda.

This is why the world is as it is: because the people have been psychologically manipulated at mass scale away from using the power of their numbers to create systems that benefit them instead of a few powerful sociopaths.

This is the source of all our major problems. Understanding it, and finding ways to overcome it, is the solution. The only reason they’ve been able to control us in this way is because they understand all the many ways our minds can be manipulated better than we do.


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41 responses to “They Plan On Repeating “Putin’s Price Hike” Until People Believe It”

  1. “There are many people Americans could blame for their shrinking bank accounts, but Putin isn’t one of them.”

    Oil is getting hard to get, Americans having made no other arrangements will die.

  2. it’s called SANCTIONS. unlike us, others cut the US off without the bragging……

  3. Hitler used to blame the Jews for Germany’s economic problems.

  4. <=== "I did this"

    You have certainly seen the stickers people place on gas pumps. An image of Biden
    pointing at the high price of gas. <=== "I did this"

    Just thought of an updated sticker.

    Biden is trying to pass the buck to Putin.
    So when Biden says, "I did this", what did he do?
    Answer: Biden pointed at Putin. <=== "I did this"

    Thus the updated sticker would be Putin pointing at the high price of gas. <=== "I did this"
    And next to Putin is buck passing Biden pointing at Putin. <=== "I did this"

    Quotation on Biden's presidential desk.
    "The buck stops at Putin"

  5. Apparently Elon Musk was really helpful with the propaganda campaign, as well as the war.

  6. ‘it’s so easy to fool a lot of people is because they’re stupid.’

    I must somewhat agree! Just watch people sweep Republicans to power in November believing (foolishly) that will improve things!!

    And when things don’t improve (in fact they get worse). All the usual characters on the right will begin to spout ‘ Biden’s failures and Putin’s Price Hike’.

  7. Redacted’s Clayton Morris interviews Vanessa Beeley about the non-existent Uyghur genocide and a whole bunch of other CIA-MI6 related stuff.
    The province in China in which the vast majority of the Uygurs reside, Xinjiang, has the most mosques per capita of any other acreage in the world. Isn’t that interesting? It also has the most beautiful bridge I’ve ever seen. The blending of steel and concrete can a create a visual symphony when it’s done right, and man, did Emperor Xi get this one right!
    Picked the perfect setting for this towering suspension bridge, viaduct, and mountain tunnel complex that will help link citizens at the furthest reaches of the Empire with the citizens of the interior. Well done comrade Emperor!
    I wish my country did bridges. I also wish my country was nicer to the poor, the downtrodden, and the disaffected.
    But my country has other priorities, namely, to crush the dreams of its children.

  8. Harry S Nydick Avatar
    Harry S Nydick

    I don’t know if Caitlin will see this, but your columns are quite of so spot on that I don’t feel as though any comment is necessary, nor that one would add anything meaningful. It’s often as though you have read my mind before you wrote the article. However, I do post virtually all of your columns online.
    It would be so much simpler if we could just post directly from the article when we do not wish to add any comment. Currently, at least in the manner in which I receive the articles, I must click a ‘comment’ button that will take the article and me to a separate page. Then, I have to scroll up to the end of the article, to find the sharing options to click on.
    While that is far preferable to not receiving the articles, on a busy day it would be helpful if, to share, that intermediate step were not required. Can/will you have this corrected, Caity?

  9. As an American all I can say is F*CK YOU to the lying, thieving, insane Oligarchs ruling our country and the IDIOT politicians, agents, media pundits, and other forces that carry water for their agenda AGAINST the American people and people all over the world. You are truly sick and twisted people.

  10. The famous question: Not ‘Am I paranoid?’ but, ‘Am I paranoid enough?’
    following on the heels of ‘Just because I’m paranoid they’re definitely NOT NOT out to get me.’
    God save the good work’ Keep it up Caitlin.

  11. It all started with TV, which became ubiquitous when I was a child. People began to experience themselves as appearances to others, as characters in a show. Inevitably, image became more important than substance, virtue tantamount to appearing virtuous, and it all culminated in the computerized virtual world we now take for granted. Suddenly, however, things have come crashing down because Russia, rightly or wrongly, was “backward” enough to ACT devisively without regard for appearances. The collective West cannot handle it and is in the midst of a nervous breakdown.

    1. I meant decisively, not “devisively.” As in Scott Ritter’s distinction between big arrow war and what happened in Iraq, Libya, etc., which seemed more like video games to us spectators.

    2. Ted Christian Avatar
      Ted Christian

      “Culminated in”? We should be so lucky. No telling how much further the rabbit hole goes. But that’s an interesting observation on the influence of TV. I’ve also noticed a human tendency to confuse impressions with reality, and if TV didn’t start that misconception it certainly helped it along. Apparently the Russians don’t watch as much TV.

  12. Inflation is theft, the kind the US did with Afghanistan government’ fund, then with Russia’s.
    However, economists consider deflation to be far worse, because it hits the bankers themselves.

  13. Well I’ve been muttering “Putin’s price hike” to myself religiously, like a kabaddi player, and I regret to announce that it didn’t work. I still don’t believe it. There must be something wrong with me.

  14. Let’s be honest and admit that another reason it’s so easy to fool a lot of people is because they’re stupid. This takes the edge off expecting them to be otherwise.

    And yeah, inflation follows massive money creation like a temperature rise follows adiabatic combustion. Anybody with a basic knowledge of economics knew all the Covid money spraying would cause inflation. I don’t think most people are included in the “anybody with a basic knowledge of economics” demographic but it’s still a stretch for them to believe a person on the other side of the world has so much control over the US economy. I think a lot of it comes down to who they would rather hate, and a lot of them would rather hate Biden. He’s a Democrat, and he’s not a Democrat, and he’s closer.

    1. ‘it’s so easy to fool a lot of people is because they’re stupid.’

      I must somewhat agree! Just watch people sweep Republicans to power in November believing (foolishly) that will improve things!!

      And when things don’t improve (in fact they get worse). All the usual characters on the right will begin to spout ‘ Biden’s failures and Putin’s Price Hike’.

      1. Ted Christian Avatar
        Ted Christian

        I assume they’ll reserve some blame for the Chinese and of course the liberals but otherwise I think the only thing we can be sure of is the only group they won’t blame is themselves.

    2. Stupid people are easy to fool. Most smart people are also easy to fool. It’s all about exploiting people’s biases. There are many different ways of being intelligent. Someone can be a brilliant scientist, but get fooled because they accept premises which are false. One might argue that the scientist is stupid for accepting any premise without examining and validating it personally. But under that standard, all of us would have to independently verify every piece of information upon which our world is based. We’d each have to be brilliant chemists, physicists, biologists, economists, mathematicians, doctors, historians, etc. Since most of us aren’t that smart, we have to do the best we can to figure out what’s true based on what we believe to be the most trustworthy sources. Most of us are ridiculously biased in favor of the ideas fed to us by our parents and the cultures we grew up in. It’s a form of brainwashing (mostly unintentional) which equips us to function well in society, but makes it very difficult to discern the truth when it clashes with our programming.

      Most of us are here (on Caitlin’s blog), because we’ve managed to break free, to some degree, of the brainwashing we grew up in.

      I guess my point is that whether people can be fooled is based on whether they are willing and able to question their own assumptions and beliefs, and not how intelligent they are (although I think it likely that intelligence would make one more inclined to question one’s belief).

  15. That’s the nice thing about American elites, when something bad happens, it’s always someone else’s fault. We had the “Chinese”, “Wuhan” or “CCP” virus (depending on the degree of insanity of the guys mentioning it) for a germ that likely came out of US-funded research, now we’ve got “Putin inflation” for a chronic excess dollar printing by the Fed that reached a peak with the Covid relief poor excuse for committing economic hara-kiri, triggering an inflation which is apparently here to stay and worsen according to this interview of Peter Schiff by Jimmy Dore.

    On top of which we’ve got Maya (the illusion in Indian culture) messing up with Satya (the truth). And this has been going on ever since there’s been a brain around. Propaganda is just Maya on steroids, playing with the fact that the world is not reality-based but belief-based. That’s how we get lynchings, pogroms, razzias on toilet paper and other unjustified panics

    People’s beliefs are the “reality” that makes the world go round. That’s how Nathan Mayer Rothschild made billions according to a story, disputed as it would but that makes a good illustration of this point even if it’s not true because it is possible.

    According to it, Rothschild sent an agent to observe the battle of Waterloo. When Napoleon was defeated, this agent got back to London long before Wellington’s courier and informed Rothschild at the Stock Exchange of the British victory. Rothschild then proceeded to sell. Of course, the atmosphere there was electric with everybody expecting the stocks to crash in case of a French victory. Seeing Rothschild, already a reputed banker, sell as much as he could, everybody thought Napoleon had won and Rothschild knew it. This started a panic, everybody sold, the stocks collapsed and Rothschild then had middlemen buy it all for pennies on the pound.

    Nothing had changed. The objective value of the stocks was the same but half of the London bankers were ruined because of a false belief.

    Same here: the price of gas is shooting up. Is there less gas? No. So why does the price shoot up? Cui bono, especially when the best part of the price of gas is taxes?

    All this was predictable. Some say the economists didn’t see it coming because of their hubris. I find it a bit hard to swallow when anybody even remotely interested in finance knows that pouring cash on the casino-capitalism table triggers inflation.

    When, on top of it, I hear Klaus Schwab say that over the past thirty years, he and his capitalist elite pals have mass-produced global leaders whose aim is that in 2030 we own nothing and that they’re now in cabinets all over the joint, when he adds that (likely lab-made) Covid was a blessing for this Great Reset and this was the precise moment the central banks started printing money like it was Christmas to give to anybody holding out their hands after beating up Yellow Vests for months for doing just that on account that finances were dry and austerity was the only way, I tend to reflect upon Maya and Nathan Mayer Rothschild.

    1. PS: and talking about elite-pushed pocket-lining bullshit that repeating has turned into a hysterical belief, the one and only mother of all swindles: the man-made climate change/global warming myth and its CO2 sacred psalm.
      How do we know it’s a myth (apart from the science displayed in this documentary)?
      Because it’s pushed by the usual money-grabbers in politics and academia and clickbaiters in MSM :o)

      1. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
        Carolyn L Zaremba

        It’s not a myth. You are probably one of the stupid ones mentioned above.

        1. Probably… I promise I’ll take an IQ test.

      2. and it is faithfully not dealt with by the fossil fuel whores like Biden and Obama and Trump, despite every major science organization considering it as valid science, not because it’s a beauty contest but because it is, as numerous lines of research have shown. biden and the rest talk about freedom and democracy, too, are they actually pushing freedom and democracy? no they are not. last but not least, megacorporations are not helpless in our system, because they fucking run it. that includes the giant fossil fuel corporations.

  16. This is meme war and we are not without ammunition. A catchy anti-meme can be created and spread around that will cut the balls off Biden’s silly sayings.

  17. prof wolf explains that prices are set by the employer-class. any ‘crisis’ is an opportunity to increase profits.

  18. Third-Eye Roll Avatar
    Third-Eye Roll

    The so-called “left” has become so deranged that they would believe Vladimir Putin is actually a malevolent reptile from another galaxy, so long as they read it in their holy writ, the New York Times.

  19. Yeah, it sticks out like dog’s balls and also like a goat’s backside..

  20. Vera Gottlieb Avatar
    Vera Gottlieb

    The ‘blame everyone one but myself’ nation…

  21. I love the three word ditties pumped out by the US State department. It is so obvious where it all comes from once you spot it. In fact it is a marker for their propaganda.
    Putin’s Price hike
    Debt trap diplomacy
    Wolf warrior diplomacy
    Butcher of Baghdad
    Arc of autocracy
    Even used by their minions – “Stop the boats”!
    etc etc etc

    Yes, we cannot change our system with changing the media first. One cant work without the other.
    The only chance we have is spreading the truth until we get to a critical mass. This is a long shot though.
    In the meantime, whenever I fill my car up, I thank Putin for his price hike and hope he spends the money on some new great weapon so he can win this war quickly and bring our system down a peg or two. Money well spent.

    1. You left out axis of evil.

      1. … and rules-based democracy.

  22. Biden ONLY tells lies, wall-to-wall, 24/7. Or to be more accurate he only parrots the lies he is told, being now cognitively impaired, and probably incapable of unassisted rational thought.

    1. He lied all the way into the US presidency and now it is the world’s turn to be lied to..

    2. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn L Zaremba

      You nailed it.

  23. “A lie becomes the truth when it is spoken for the hundredth time”. Chairman Mao (Little Red Book)

    I agree with the first part, but the second part remains to be seen. Maybe “Asia” is not such an entity. Maybe the future really will be distributed and “multipolar”.
    Zuesse points out the assassination attempt against Turkey’s President Erdogan in 2016, carried out by US-aligned Turkish military officers. Russia saved him at the last minute. The NATO-member veto on new members being approved prevents further NATO expansion while Erdogan lives and cooperates with Russia. It largely incapacitates NATO, since Turkey is in a critical position, controlling black Sea and Mediterranean access, and pipeline transit routes to Europe.
    Zuesse does not bring up that Turkey stands to have a much elevated position in a new Eurasian world-economic-order, firstly since it will be able to repudiate it’s vast $US denominated debts, but also because Turkey is likely to be less frequently insulted, and given better consideration than the US does. In a new regime, Erdogan clearly sees growth potential for Turkish power and influence.
    In the near term, a hobbled NATO will not act as global enforcer. In the longer term, the $US slipping in global reserve-currency utility will cut funding for the global American military project. This summer, with the shortages of food and oil, and the $US being more expensive for debtor countries, Western finance seemingly plans to extract the wealth producing assets from more countries, and enforce austerity on their starving citizens, replaying the Asian Economic Crisis, though this is an ancient financial grab. Banks make loans for interest, but they really want to take the collateral/property.
    Zuesse foresees that this property-grab will be resisted this time around. He also points out that a lot of Russian oil is still flowing to Europe, and pipeline flows have been increasing since April to countries that get it that way, including Germany. This is not technically “cheating”, since pipeline flows were exempted, but I agree that different forms of rationalization and “cheating” can be used by European politicians who are on the American-bribe payroll, but still have to live with people at home.
    As American power within NATO becomes more visibly weakened, then NATO speaking for Europe may be openly contested. My own view is that orders will be given by the imperial command, and accepted, and not effectively followed, maybe by bureaucratic delay or other forms of slowdown or technical inability.
    The lack of enforcement of the declining western financial order must become apparent at the same time as an Eastern/multipolar option becomes available.
    That will make the choice “easy” for many debtor countries, and it will get easier as the number of participants in the alternative system increases. If one’s neighbor has repudiated $US debt and nationalized oil and mining, and has not been destroyed, doesn’t that make it look appealing?
    As soon as $US debts are being defaulted broadly as policy, global financial interests will also seek any other way to maintain or reclaim some value. They are hardly “loyal”, but to their own profits.
    The clarity of this path does not determine how quickly it will fall into place, but this summer’s dollar shock needs to be managed and people need food. The IMF, World Bank and western finance in general may not see clearly how weak their hand is (hubris). If they try to extract the maximum pound-of-flesh, countries will have to defend themselves and their citizens.

    1. ” If one’s neighbor has repudiated $US debt and nationalized oil and mining, and has not been destroyed, doesn’t that make it look appealing?”
      Yes it does, especially now that there is a global hyper-power like China that is willing to work with ANY nation to the MUTUAL benefit of both parties, and has the financial resources and the “technique” to get shit done in a very short time frame to the long term satisfaction of each.
      It is all coming down to American threats of violence, debt penury, and austerity/starvation vs China’s highly calculated good will, along with promises that any nation can, at the very minimum, leave abject poverty behind as long as they are willing to risk America’s wrath by climbing on board the Belt and Road high speed train.

  24. Sabre-toothed cats existed from the Eocene through the Pleistocene Epoch (56 million to 11,700 years ago). Hominins first appear by around 6 million years ago, in the Miocene epoch, which ended about 5.3 million years ago.

    There was no overlap. Please do no invent to make a point.

    1. pretzelattack Avatar


      they live to 10,000 years ago, or 11,000 years ago. that clearly overlaps with humans.

      1. We have to come to terms with the fact that Joesixpack can’t handle alcohol.

  25. Every time US Congress sends more money to Ukraine, they actually print new money, because they are already in deficit, and government checks don’t bounce.
    Basically Biden is communicating that they will keep printing more US dollars, because they are planning for a long war in Ukraine, and inflation will be high, but it is to make Putin suffer, not you. I feel better already that it is Putin’s fault! What a tyrant.
    It just so happens that US dollar is used for settling most commodity trade transactions. So when trade is not happening because of the US sanctions on Russia, fewer dollars will be used for international trade.
    US Congress or Biden are useful idiots who do not understand economics and are willing to hurt economic interests of anybody who has savings in US Dollars. They do understand though that they can print new money and hire more military personnel and buy more weapons for a while ?, and send them all around the world to prop up the said newly printed dollars.
    World domination is first and foremost controlling all trade in the world. Only a psycho will try to control trade by actually ruining it.

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