Listen to a reading of this article:

Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!


~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

The video footage coming out of Sri Lanka right now has been the recurring nightmare of every ruler throughout history.

Thousands of protesters outraged by the deteriorating material conditions of the nation’s economic meltdown have stormed the presidential palace of Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and I guarantee you the aerial footage as they poured into the building en masse has made every government leader and plutocrat a little uncomfortable today.

Just look at that. Look at all those people flooding in there. That is some truly awe-inspiring power. Imagine how terrifying it would be to find yourself on the receiving end of it.

I don’t know enough about what’s going on in Sri Lanka yet to comment with any authority on what powers might be at play in this uprising, but I do know that every ruler throughout history has spent time envisioning what would happen if a crowd that size decided to storm their base of operation. If their numbers became too great to suppress, or if your forces who would be doing the suppressing joined the ranks of the people instead, the best-case scenario for you is that you’d have already fled the building by that point, as Rajapaksa had the good sense to do shortly before the building was stormed. If enough angry people get their hands on you, it won’t matter if they’re armed with rockets or pistols or their own bare hands; you are in for a violent end.

If you’ve ever wondered why so much energy goes into keeping everyone propagandized in our society, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why our rulers work so hard to keep us divided against each other, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why we’re always being instructed to take our grievances to the voting booth even though we learn in election after election that it never changes the things that most desperately need to change, this is why.

Our entire civilization is structured around preventing scenes like the one we’re seeing in Sri Lanka today. Our education systems, our political systems, our media, our online information. Religions that have been around for thousands of years because the powerful endorsed and promulgated them are full of passages extolling the virtues of obedience, poverty, meekness, and rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. From the moment we are born our heads are filled with stories about why it’s good and right to consent to the status quo and why it would be wrong to take back what has been stolen from us by a predatory ruling class.

This is why we’re always inundated with messaging about the importance of civility and politeness any time people realize that they can simply confront corrupt officials in restaurants or at their homes to push for what they want. The managers of the oligarchic empire which rules over us are terrified that we will one day notice that there are a whole lot more of us than there are of them, and that there’s really nothing they could do to stop us if we decided to replace them with a system which benefits ordinary people instead of an elite few.

Things are getting worse and worse because the systems that are in place are designed to exploit and oppress rather than to uplift and help thrive. Those systems will protect their own ability to continue to exploit and oppress until the people use their numbers to replace them with something healthy. The people will never use their numbers to replace abusive systems with something healthy as long as they are successfully propagandized away from doing so.

This is why our political and media institutions act the way they act and why our systems are set up in the way that they are: to keep us from realizing how easy it would be to shrug off the old mechanisms of oppression like a heavy coat on a warm day and build something new that works for all of us.

Things will keep getting worse until we find a way to cut through the propaganda brain fog and rise like lions.


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54 responses to “Our Entire Civilization Is Structured Around Keeping Us From Realizing We Can Do This”

  1. Exactly. Why should we many be afraid f them few?
    If we accept the state’s monopoly on violence, it just takes a bit longer.

  2. Patrick G. McHenry Avatar
    Patrick G. McHenry

    I’ve been thinking about this post off and on for several days now and, try as I might, I can’t help commenting. The eternal optimism of the intellectual class, so obviously on display here in spite of all the evidence of recorded history, amazes me.

    Do you really think those people storming the palace are thinking, “Let us replace this abusive system with something healthy that works for all of us?” Well, a lot of them may actually be thinking something like that (the ones who aren’t just thinking, “Cool, I can break some stuff and swim in the President’s pool”) but a cynic’s reading of history suggests that nothing of the sort will actually happen.

    What will happen is that various charismatic figures will compete for the allegiance of the mob. They will promise to bring in the healthy system that “works for us all.” Some of them may actually have that intention. Every revolution has two sorts of leaders: the idealistic dreamers and the opportunistic schemers. Who do you think always ends up in charge? Sometimes the idealistic dreamers grow disillusioned and become opportunistic schemers. More often, the opportunistic schemers outmaneuver or simply off the idealistic dreamers. Then they pay lip service to the ideals to keep the mob on their side, and they keep any dissident intellectuals marginalized – or just off them, too.

    Either way, in the immortal words of Pete Townshend, “Meet the new boss – the same as the old boss.”

    Oh, wait. I know. This time is different.

    1. And your point is what? That we should not try because every attempt has come up short? My point in my responses to Mr. Morrell was that for all the noble intentions (on the part of the foot soldiers and party cadre) in the USSR, the leadership was more cynical that its followers acknowledge; and that if we are to have any hope of success of the principles stated then, the subjective factor of leadership needs to be more honestly addressed. Trotskyism claims to acknowledge this, but its dishonest foundations leave it wanting. LT’s materialist analysis of the failure of the USSR had much truth; but it hid the more fundamental failures of Bolshevism. The revolution that has been on the verge of success for the last century plus has plenty of history and theoretical understanding, but needs some ingredient currently absent, certainly in the west. My own pet theory is that enough time needs to pass for revolutionary youth to not look to Lenin’s legacy for political inspiration. I happen to agree with Mr. Morrell that the absence of revolutionary leadership will likely lead to failure in Sri Lanka. But we should also realize that there was revolutionary movement there with a very conscious history, even led by Trotskyist cadre. We might be surprised by them. I hope so.

      1. Patrick G. McHenry Avatar
        Patrick G. McHenry

        I guess my point was simply that I am a cynic and that I find optimism unwarranted. Also that intellectuals have a distinct tendency to overestimate the possibility of humanity, broadly, becoming more like intellectuals.

        1. I admit to pessimism myself. But if we are to post comments here, we should try to overcome that. After all, life is full of cynicism, and for good reason; but think of people who have so little compared to us, yet find a way to be happy. I would turn your second sentence around to say that when younger I overestimated the possibility of intellectuals becoming more like humanity; and when I realized I had done so, became more optimistic. Here is one of my favorite quotes: “Let us speak plainly. Historically, the errors committed by a truly revolutionary movement are infinitely more fruitful than the infallibility of the cleverest Central Committee.” That’s my rejoinder to Leninists. I copped it from Rosa Luxemburg. She was in a German prison, just months away from murder at the hands of fascists, yet looked out the window of her cell to study the habits of the birds in the yard. She has a lot to teach us.

          1. Patrick G. McHenry Avatar
            Patrick G. McHenry

            Well, I’ll have to disagree on the suggestion that we should feel some obligation to avoid posting pessimistic comments. If we are to have a revolution, then let it be entered into fully cognizant of the immense challenge of truly building something better, as opposed to simply the next social retread. Thanks for the conversation.

            1. Thank you for the thanks. I notice Mr. Morrell, who identifies as a Trotskyist, responds by calling me “pustulent” for questioning the Leninist concept of their party ruling over the working class. After half a century identifying as one myself, mistakenly thinking they were a good antidote to Stalinism, I came to understand that they are a self-isolating group of blowhards who reserve their most virulent fury for those closest to them. Trotsky wrote “Hands off Rosa Luxemburg” after he and Lenin attacked her for disagreeing with their brand of authoritarianism. Then Trotsky attacked Stalin for refusing to ally with her murderers, when the reality was that her murderers refused to ally with him. Trotskyism, which allied with racism in the U.S. labor movement, is an amalgam of hypocrisy.

  3. Giants vs Gods Avatar
    Giants vs Gods

    If the fascist goal has been to dissolve the whole Westphalian nation-state paradigm, which would include the ONLY thing that works to create a prosperous society, and that is using fiscal policy for public purpose as FDR policy showed the world, then how would you go about bringing that on?
    A WEF global governance program that would teach and appoint leaders around the world who are instructed to be weak and ineffectual, to seize and render useless the voting system with privately owned touch screen monitors, to engage in “national” wars, heavy censorship and so on.
    “In a [fascist] society, there is no commons or public space. There are property lines, not borders. When it comes to real property and physical movement across such real property, there are owners, guests, licensees, business invitees, and trespassers — not legal and illegal immigrants.”
    ~ Jeff Deist, president of the Mises Institute
    “The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.” ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970

    1. Giants vs Gods Avatar
      Giants vs Gods

      Zbigniew Brzezinski (1970):
      Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society.

      1. Zbig also thought jihadist fascists were a great counter to a progressive government in Afghanistan that did not completely fall into line with U.S. interests, which were largely controlled by greed for mineral resources and hostility to the USSR. I expect 3,000+ victims of 9/11 might disagree with Z. My real response is to Mr. Morrell, with whom I share more commonality than with defenders of capitalism.

  4. Stephen Morrell Avatar
    Stephen Morrell

    The mass uprising in Sri Lanka certainly is inspirational — it’s only a start, at best a spark or catalyst, but could very well be the end if the flame isn’t fanned and spread in an organised and planned fashion that centres on engaging the working class to ‘shut shit down’ then take it over. Real and especially ongoing power is not confined to the streets or at governmental palaces or parliamentary hot-air factories but emanates from all the pores and chokepoints of production and services.
    Yes, the Sri Lanka uprising gives ordinary people a hint of the mass power they have, but without a determined leadership to go from ousting a prime minister to a social revolution that ousts a whole ruling class, then it will dissipate like a summer afternoon thunderstorm. And the rulers know this. They know that if their armed state machine can’t cope in the moment with brute repression of an essentially leaderless mass, they’ll wheel out the opportunist ‘loyal opposition’ placaters to calm everyone down with sweet phrasemongering to ‘restore order’. And then they’ll go after whatever ‘ring leaders’ they can frame up and scapegoat once everyone’s gone home.
    It’s thus a cruel illusion to claim “how easy it would be to shrug off the old mechanisms of oppression like a heavy coat on a warm day and build something new that works for all of us.” Much more is required, not only to oust and finally vanquish a whole ruling class and all its legal accoutrements of property, social and productive relations enforced by its state machine, but smashing that state machine and ‘building something new that works for all of us’ takes a program and planning, organisation and determined leadership. In short, it means expropriating the capitalist class and the takeover by the working class — who after all produce everyone’s livelihoods — and running the means of production in a planned manner to benefit the vast majority. And it means being prepared to wage a civil war to prevent the vanquished rulers from ever taking back power.
    None of that is a trivial task like ‘shrugging off a heavy coat’, yet it’s all essential if humanity is to survive, and the missing ingredient in Sri Lanka, as everywhere else, is a revolutionary leadership of the Bolshevik type.

    1. I certainly like the spirit of comrade Morrell. I recognize it as what I’ve heard from every tendency on the left. But from there things get more complicated. If anyone questions the specifics of the leadership he envisions, they are branded heretics and banished. That would happen right here in the west while debating (which never happens in reality, replaced instead by hurling of recriminations to the other); and in the maelstrom of revolution, turns bloody. Sadly, those leaderships would turn on each other without the bourgeoisie raising a finger. The Bolshevik model suggested by comrade Morrell had one revolutionary party before October, while such a party exists nowhere in the west – except, of course, comrade Morrell’s party, which is perfect in all respects. Just like Lenin and Trotsky’s party, which when in power, violated every principle it took power proclaiming. All power to the soviets? That’s another discussion, and a long one. I would just open it by saying comrade Morrell’s vision, like the one espoused by Lenin, has never occurred. The soviets never took power, because comrade Morrell’s party prevented that.

      1. Stephen Morrell Avatar
        Stephen Morrell

        No party is perfect, and the Bolsheviks in power made plenty of mistakes — well before Stalin and the bureaucratic stratum he represented were able to take over and turn the Russian revolution into a godawful totalitarian shitshow that gives all you anticommunists a ton of mud to throw at communism.
        Trotsky had a rotten position on the trade union question, wanting to militarise them and turn them into an institution to maintain labour discipline, in a continuation of war communism; his position on the German ‘stillborn revolution’ of 1923 was opportunist, when he advocated the relatively inexperienced KPD enter the bourgeois government (of Saxony from memory) and use it as a ‘drilling ground’; and his later position advocating the Proletarian Military Policy (at the beginning WWII) was downright appalling. And the anarcho-syndicalists have valid arguments about some of the measures taken, albeit under desperately backward conditions, by Lenin, Trotsky and the rest of the Bolshevik leadership that laid the groundwork for permanently emasculating the soviets (see Maurice Brinton’s ‘The Bolsheviks and Workers Control’), which already had lost much of their vanishingly thin base base of politically advanced workers to the civil war and/or to the demands of administering an unprecendentedly new form of state.
        To attempt to understand why all this happened to the first and only successful workers revolution in history (so far), one needs to go beyond the liberal moralism of anarchists and all the other anticommunists. In short, semi-feudal Russia never had the material basis for a socialist society, and yet its nascent bourgeoisie was far too weak to carry out a bourgeois revolution in its own right. Between February and October 1917, Russia was stuck between a rock and a hard place: make revolution or allow a military coup to be executed by the Tsarist officer corps. The tasks of a bourgeois revolution in a backward country with a weak bourgeoisie, particularly land reform, could only be carried out by a proletarian one, and this is also the case today in all backward countries handicapped by imperialist domination.
        Lenin and Trotsky were under no illusions the Russian revolution would last beyond five years without workers revolutions in advanced capitalist countries coming to the rescue, with most hopes pinned on Germany. They firmly believed that the Russian revolution would otherwise be swallowed by capitalist counterrevolution, but it didn’t turn out that way. It was Trotsky’s singular contribution to Marxism that gave us a materialist understanding of the rise of the bureaucratic caste personified by Stalin and of the Soviet Thermidor. Capitalist counterrevolution finally came to the USSR in 1991-92.
        As I indicated above, there is no revolutionary leadership in existence, there is no mass working class party that any subjectively revolutionary can give any political support to, and I’m by no means a revolutionary ‘leader’. I happen to know a little bit about revolutions and Marxism. However, only the Bolsheviks successfully made a workers revolution, no-one else. The bourgeois Greens never will (look at their disgrace in Germany), nor will any of the various State Department socialists, many of whom like to call themselves ‘Trotskyist’; and nor will the poliomyelitic Stalinists and Stalinist remnants whose only appetite is for popular fronts and ‘unity’, and whose ultimate role will be to form governments of ‘unity’ when the bourgeoisie is in crisis (as is happening right now in Sri Lanka).
        The truism often attributed to George Santayana (‘Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it’) is even more apposite today, because as long as people remain locked into this liberal moral cul de sac regarding revolution, force and ‘violence’, the bourgeoisie has has no worries about ever losing power, despite weathering some summer storms that may occasionally strike.

        1. “All you anti-communists”? This is part of the problem with self identified Leninists. If I don’t agree with you I must be the enemy. No, comrade Morrell, I’m as strong a communist as you could find. I actually think ‘State and Revolution’ was a fine work. My problem is that it was not carried out by Lenin or Trotsky. I’m all for the open foreign policy claimed by Trotsky. Most importantly, I’m all for ‘all power to the soviets’. But NONE of that was put into place, not at all, after October. Instead it was directly betrayed. I wish I could conclude other than that it was never intended. Your conception of a party, like Lenin’s insists on an absolute centralism that contradicts proletarian democracy. The ‘democratic’ part of democratic centralism is immediately jettisoned. It is possible, and necessary for a real revolution as envisioned by Marx, for a revolutionary party to have real (not superficial) control by the working class. That does not preclude discipline, nor does it demand spontaneous acts of a mob. You seem to understand that Kollontai’s warnings should have been heeded. But she was not quashed by Stalin. Instead that task was eagerly picked up by Lenin and Trotsky. Perhaps the most telling work put out by your tendency is the one called ‘Lenin’s Last Struggle’, ostensibly about his fight against bureaucratism in 1922-3. It recounts how Lenin methodically stripped power from the soviets to give it to the Workers and Peasants Inspections bureau. As compromised as those soviets were, they were all that was left of any pretense to proletarian democracy after Lenin and Trotsky squashed the unions. And who was the bureaucrat in charge of those Inspections? Stalin. Please don’t tell me he fell out of grace over a rude phone call to Krupskaya. Lenin handed Stalin the keys to power before he died. Stalin was not an aberration, nor the inevitable product of the failure of revolution in Germany or the lack of industrial development in Russia. He was the logical outgrowth of a party that was led by a clique who had no intention of empowering the proletariat, and no structural conception of internal democracy that might have put a check on the stalinization of the party that occurred before he actually took power. Rosa Luxemburg predicted that years previously, and was right. Sadly, too few of us understand that, and the western left, with its cultist obedience, is incapable of honestly addressing our movement’s errors.

          1. Stephen Morrell Avatar
            Stephen Morrell

            At the base of all liberal and anti-communist thinking is the ‘original sin’ trope of the centralised, ‘bureaucratic’, ‘totalitarian’ party leading ‘inevitably’ to a centralised, bureaucratic and totalitarian society: “Stalin was not an aberration, nor the inevitable product of the failure of revolution in Germany or the lack of industrial development in Russia. He was the logical outgrowth of a party that was led by a clique who had no intention of empowering the proletariat…”. Such rank idealism, the pustulent core of anticommunism that a whole society could not only emerge from a ‘clique’ but reproduces it. Laughable and profoundly unserious, especially the casual discounting of any and all material circumstances underlying the Soviet Thermidor.
            Such a brand of anticommunism is profoundly disingenuous also, as it dresses itself in a ‘Marxist’ garb, all in the name of ‘workers democracy’ (of course), and reeks of the ‘god that failed’ anticommunists who may once have been subjectively revolutionary but have always been very sensitive to what their liberal milieu might think of them. They’ve read just enough Marxism to misinform and confuse those who are only beginning their journey into Marxism and revolutionary politics.
            Not only do you misattribute to me some mysterious ‘your tendency’ (whatever that might be, presumably the third-campist IS/ISO? Or some other propaganda group?), but also assume that I would have supported Kollantai and the Workers Opposition. Under those circumstances, not on your life.
            Moshe Lewin did some decent research to be sure, but it’s Victor Serge who gives the lie away. He was an anarchist who had no reason to support Bolshevism but was on the ground near the centres of power in revolutionary Russia and documented much of what had happened. He was won over to Bolshevism, sided with Trotsky and the Left Opposition which decidedly did not think the bureaucracy’s rise was ‘inevitable’, and he defended the USSR to the end despite its profoundly bureaucratic deformations.

            1. “the casual discounting of any and all material circumstances underlying the Soviet Thermidor”… Of course, prior to that thermidor Lenin and Trotsky made a deal with General von Seeckt, chief of staff of the Wehrmacht, to build factories for tanks, machine guns, and poison gas for Germany. I don’t have to remind you who that was used on. Prior to that thermidor L&T sold weapons to Turkey that were used in the Armenian genocide. But after that thermidor Trotskyism supported racism in the U.S. labor movement. As a veteran of maritime labor, I saw that first hand. Just before his death Trotsky tried to snitch off CPUSA labor activists to the House Un-American Activities Committee. For what? Integrating previously racist unions? No wonder Trotsky supported eugenics. But of course, I believe all this because I haven’t read as much as you have, an assumption you make with no basis at all. Sorry comrade, but your claim to a material basis for these profound errors, which show a complete lack of loyalty to principle, are only partly based in material conditions. They are also a subjective factor in history, in which leadership is seized by an opportunist clique preying on the material backwardness of Russia. The spillover reached the U.S. and is thankfully headed to the dustbin of history. Luxemburg was right about all of you, and you have no business telling anyone to keep hands off of her. It’s you who should. You betrayed everything she gave her life for.

  5. BB Benderhaus: You conveniently avoid mention of the fact that those being treated without civility in this situation are those who starved the people. Then you fall back on the people being starved as an indisputable fact. You are a dishonest polemicist, twisting the discussion to make yourself sound like the reasonable one. None of us are stupid enough to fail to grasp this.
    Levi Tate: Good point. But then why was Consortium News, which Caitlin is part of, supported by nazi murderer Tom Metzger? When I drew attention to this I was censored off and falsely labelled a ‘zionist troll’. That same pubbie published support of the neo-fascist National Front in France. While I like this article and what Caitlin writes generally, there is good cause for criticism all around on your point.

  6. The problem is, classically what comes after these denouements is a new tyranny that will make the old incompetent tyranny or oligarchy blush in comparison, i.e. the Reign of Terror, the collectivist nightmares of Russia and China, all the way to the Ayatollah’s paradise of Iran and the Nazi one of Ukraine.

    Yes, if you push people too far, especially if you are incompetent enough to starve their children, people will rise. However, what comes after that is usually worse than what was before.

  7. Ms. Johnstone, do you have any critique of the Jan. 6 break-in at the Capitol?

  8. Anthony Blinken has been blaming on Russia every crisis around the world. Following this US strategy to deflect-project at some point it will make leaders realize one thing – When the US-UK empire is in crisis they don’t do so much harm as Russia which means Russia is much more important geopolitically than the US-UK empire to keep the economic environment in balance.

  9. This is the point where the oligarchy is thrown out and the demagogue is installed as tyrant. See Plato’s Republic.

  10. Decades ago Comedian George Wallace once stated in one of his routines:

    “In order to change things for the better, on the same day All the citizens, all over the nation, needed to do, was to turn their face towards Washington D.C. and start walking in that direction.”

  11. Carolyn L Zaremba Avatar
    Carolyn L Zaremba

    What we need is socialist revolution and the elimination of all religious claptrap.

  12. “Religions that have been around for thousands of years because the powerful endorsed and promulgated them are full of passages extolling the virtues of (…) rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”.

    This can be read as the first declaration of separation of church and state, of the spiritual and the material. However, when you scratch the surface, it’s quite the contrary. Emperor Constantine, who established the Christian religion, played a very cunning game there. At the time, there were two trends: Catholicism (from Greek “katholikos” universal) and Arianism (from a priest called Arius). Catholicism considered that the Father and the Son were one and the same whereas Arianism considered they were distinct and the Son was subservient to the Father like in the secular patriarchal society.

    In 325, at the Council of Nicaea, the majoritarian Catholic bishops wanted and obtained the condemnation of Arius as heretic and, since they represented the Son (“on this rock I’ll build my church”), demanded to be considered the equals of the emperor representing the Father.

    However they were not armed while the emperor was and so he easily convinced them that indeed, the Father and the Son were one person and just as there was just one person ruling up there, there would be just one person ruling down here, the emperor representing both the Father and the Son, period. Historians call that Caesaropapism.

    The whole Middle Ages have been a struggle between kings and emperors on one hand and the Bishop of Rome (later called “papa”, pope in English) on the other who was appointed in the beginning by the emperor in Constantinople. Yet it was the popes who bestowed upon kings and emperors (Charlemagne, Napoleon) the divine right to rule in exchange for being defended by their armies.

    Now the interesting part is that even though in a power struggle for over a millennium, they were allied in conspiring to shaft the rabble by both (kingdoms and abbeys) exacting taxes from them.

    And there we’ve got a very interesting brainwashing operation in the Latin languages. In French for instance, God is called “le père” (the father), the paterfamilias is of course also called “le père”, the boss is called “le patron” (same root) and the pope is called “le pape” (from Italian “papa” which speaks for itself). You’ve got to obey God, the Pope, your father and your boss as the same father figure, “le père”.

    And then we’ve got “le Seigneur”. Here it’s the same as in English with the Lord being at the same time Jesus, the lord of your land and the king (an overlord that very few people saw in their lives and was revered like a divinity) and you’ve got to obey them just the same because they are really one figure, the Lord.

    It’s then obvious that when the church quotes this passage of the Gospel where Jesus says “rendering unto God what is God’s and rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, this is a scam covering up the real power structure.

  13. This is one of the most perceptive observations you have ever made, which really needed telling, especially to the American public which is constantly mesmerized by the maestros of the media who play on their emotions like a banjo. Your “if you’ve ever wondered why…” paragraph was epic. Deserves to be quoted around the globe. Instead, you will probably be censored in most “rules based societies.”
    Now that mass of pissed off citizenry could make for a true insurrection, at least until the military hauled out the large caliber weaponry. I daresay the Sri Lankan government is not gonna be able to simply pull off a facsimile to the preposterous kangaroo court now ongoing in Washington’s elaborate show trial about “6 January” to frame and punish its irate constituency rather than addressing their concerns. (In Exceptionalutopia, there’s “good” chaos and “bad” chaos, and the people need to be set straight about what’s right thinking and wrong thinking.)
    All that said, it could very well turn very bad for these people if one reflects back to Egypt and how massive protests like this against the el-Sisi regime resulted in thousands being not only incarcerated but handed death sentences, many simply for belonging to a political party. Which begs the question, what has been the fate of those condemned? The American media certainly has not kept its public apprised on the matter, an important implication being that only Russia, China and Iran mistreat their own people. If you don’t hear otherwise, you don’t know otherwise, if the propaganda is “catapulted” (Dubya’s term) seamlessly. In countries allied to the moral and beneficent USA, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or eUkraine, it’s just good practical governance in action when heads are cracked or lopped off, but usually you don’t hear a word of it.

    1. Yeah, same as the Arab Springs were a CIA/MI6 plot to replace old dictators in Tunisia (Ben Ali) and Egypt (Mubarak) and to overthrow others in Libya (Gadhafi) and Syria (Assad), one may wonder if the recent falls of Imran Khan, Boris Johnson and now Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a matter of weeks are as organic as they’re purported to be… Especially, as far as the last one is concerned, since this kind of stuff was to be expected from the US sanctions. So cui bono and how? One can remark that Sri Lanka is an important link in China’s Belt & Road Initiative. Just saying…

      1. My last post was before this entry of your appeared. You make a very pertinent point about China’s relations with Sri Lanka. This was an opportunity for Washington to stick a shiv in both India and China. The sockcuckers in DC truly want a world war. They will destabilise any place on the planet to get the global conflagration they seek. They surely must have Biden’s overthrow on their calendar. Just one more incident amongst the chaos. Wonder who’s their pick to lead the “free world?” I would guess the Queen of Warmongers herself, Hilary the First, or is it Hilary the Great? She’s gonna vanquish Russia if it kills us all.

      2. I still think that a real revolution will not be televised. Holland, Pakistan, Ecuador, Albania, and New EU countries every day are all uprising. That’s not on the news. Methinks Srilanka is a colour revolution supported by people outside Srilanka. That’s why it’s on MSM.

    2. Also remember, this business does not always turn out for the better. After the Maidan demonstrations in eUkraine, then riots, shootings and a full-blown coup, the people were left with the near lynching of their elected president and the installation of a very bellicose neo-Nazi regime support by Washington for the mere purpose of relentlessly assailing Russia. That is still an ongoing catastrophe that will require the deaths of at least thousands more before peace, liberty and justice returns to that godforsaken country. The population is so seriously fuqued in the head from both Nazi and American propaganda that it may take generations before the people start to think straight again and start to act in their own best interests rather than merely doing the bidding of a brutal hegemon.
      Insurrections are rare and, dare I say, exciting, but don’t always pan out for the best. According to the news headlines, Sri Lanka has rid itself of the president they were protesting. He resigned. Who wouldn’t with that many restive dissidents. What comes next for them, I dunno. The only thing I might speculate is that India will want some influence in their neighboring state and Washington will want primacy to thwart India and just because it is entitled to rule the planet. So, watch for possible sparks. Washington is pissed that India sided with Russia. Hell, maybe Washington precipitated this regime change in Sri Lanka.

  14. Seems to be about hunger. I’d suggest plowing the hotels and golf courses and planting more crops. Nobody has to starve, we can still collectivize.

    1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
      BB Benderhaus

      Eventually mankind will do that but only after too many of us has died.

  15. People around the world need to rise up!

    Demand that their political class enact a Constitution!!

    Demand that there is an amendment in that constitution!! (Maybe the second one, seems like a good spot)

    Demand that the amendment GUARANTEES the people have a right to defend themselves against a tyrannical government like the one in Sri Lanka!!

    Too bad there isn’t a country that has something like that as an example…

  16. Susan Mercurio Avatar
    Susan Mercurio

    Why, oh why can’t Americans do this?

    I’ve heard every excuse in the book:
    “I have to go to work!” (Like people in other countries don’t)
    “I have to pay my bills!” (Like people in other countries don’t)
    “Protests are inconvenient!” (Like making yourself inconvenient isn’t the point of a resistance)
    “Nothing we do will make any difference!” (Why do these things make a difference everywhere else in the world, but not her?)

    1. pretzelattack Avatar

      excellent question. I think too many of us are still too comfortable, the desperation is still too quiet.

  17. Republicofscotland Avatar

    I’m no fan of Trump, but I found it amusing to see protestors break into the Whitehouse, god knows its incumbents have regime changed in many other countries, as you rightly say though we are conditioned not to stand up and take this kind of action, the liars, warhawks, and psychos that are part of most governments around the globe who carry out terrible acts on their own people and in some cases on folk in other countries only hold office because we are too meek and timid to oust them due to our conditioning.

    Lets see just how bad this cost of living crisis gets, before enough folk stand up and say no more.

    1. Blessthebeasts Avatar

      I immediately thought of the January 6 “insurrection” too.

  18. For what it is worth and without going self-righteously religious, I would like to suggest that for centuries the human race has lived by the idea of separation from and competition with every other human being. All of the chaos in the world is just an accumulation of each person’s individual fears, angers, frustrations. This is so much larger than a mere economic crisis. We are in the midst of the largest mass spiritual crisis the species has ever encountered. We all contribute to this madness. My suggestion is to do a little soul-searching and discover where our individual fear resides that causes us to contribute to the chaos. We can all redirect that energy toward something more inclusive and peaceful, but I believe we have to face our own fears and negativity before we try to tackle the world.

    1. Susan Mercurio Avatar
      Susan Mercurio

      Read From Dictatorship to Democracy, the book by Dr Gene Sharp.
      He says the same thing.

    2. This gypsy grandpa, along with so many of gypsy Caitlin’s gypsy readers, stand with you, beautifully aging sister. Sometimes we bitch at each other or our host but, push come to shove, I believe we’d ALL be shoulder to shoulder in the street. Caitlin took a short swing here but hit it out of the park. Bless her for these blasts of truth.

      1. Love the baseball analogy and share your appreciation for Caitlin.

        I will see you in the street!

  19. We are also told that only people of colour riot, making sure we identify with the few instead of many.
    Here in the USA only cutting off the internet and the cell service will cause mass protests.
    People here are trying to escape high gas prices by buying teslas and having solar energy ( you can literally observe this) and escaping the fossil fuel cartel, of which Pentagon is the COO.
    Robert Kyosaki is predicting that half of Americans will flee to other countries.
    If you don’t, the system will eventually saddle you with debt as you progress into the US healthcare cartel when you age. After age 55 your chance of cancer is 78% because of eating food grown with the pesticide roundup.
    We should investigate if US Congress only eats organic food while letting the rest consume roundup.

  20. BB Benderhaus Avatar
    BB Benderhaus

    There is nothing wrong with civility and niceness. It is part of the glue of civilization. It should be reinforced upon us from birth. What we see in Sri Lanka is not a bunch of lions rising but a pack of hungry wolves. These people have been reduced to the most primary need of Lazlo’s Order of Needs which is a need for food. If you cannot feed your people you cannot rule. The french revolution was for the same reason. There is not power in such crowds but desperation and chaos instead.

    1. Susan Mercurio Avatar
      Susan Mercurio

      Nice to know that you have such a comfortable lifestyle that you can pontificate on others’ food insecurity without a qualm.
      People here in the US are feeling hungry, too.

      1. Thanks, I will check it out!

      2. BB Benderhaus Avatar
        BB Benderhaus

        Harsh facts can be hard to hear at times but necessary.

    2. > There is nothing wrong with civility and niceness.

      Yes, there is. It protects private property.

      > It is part of the glue of civilization.

      Your property is of no value to me and your pieties are an embarrassment to you.

      > It should be reinforced upon us from birth.

      People who think lies should be enforced on anyone else from birth are child abusers and need to be dealt with as such.

      > If you cannot feed your people you cannot rule.

      What kind of mental illness do you have where people exist to be ruled? I think we can discount every single one of your pieties as a symptom of predatory behavior and reactionary media programming.

      1. BB Benderhaus Avatar
        BB Benderhaus

        What turnip truck did you fall off. Dont be be nice or civil. Lets be rude and uncouth instead. People are always ruled, to believe otherwise is being ignorant to how the world operates. These people are hungry, excuse me for pointing out the inconvenient fact that clashes with your ideals.

      2. Philip Mollica Avatar
        Philip Mollica

        Exactly… thank you for saying so.

        I thought as I read the first comment, “and in come the shills and handlers, part of the massive elite psyop that maintains order and quashes rebellion, that maintains the status quo.”

        The programming IS abuse. And it has been going on for millennia. There is a point where we break the chains. Is it now?

        Is it now?

        Or maybe NOW?

        We can do better. MUCH better. Mankind is not destined for this forever. Anyone who says we are is either frightened or protecting their nut or paid to say so.

    3. I’ve been saying this now for many years. There will be NO uprisings in the Western World until its citizens are in similar positions as the Sri Lankankans find themselves today. No food, poor water quality, living in shanties and having nothing left to loose, except their lives, which they WILL loose if drastic action is not taken immediately. Even then, there’s no guarantee their efforts will succeed. Western nations need to start seeing the wood for the trees, before it’s too late. I have funny suspicion, our saviours may be in China and Russia. Save this post for future reference.

  21. Philip Mollica Avatar
    Philip Mollica

    This is what I’m talking about. I have said I don’t know how or when it’s going to happen, but it IS going to happen, and I will draw my last breath holding the space for things to change.

    It’s just going to take one spark, and then it’s over. And millennia of oppression is history.

  22. Bellingcat who?

    Just as startling as its spooky staff is Bellingcat’s source of funding. In 2016 its founder, Eliot Higgins, dismissed the idea that his organization got money from the U.S. government’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as a ludicrous conspiracy theory. Yet, by the next year, he openly admitted the thing he had laughed off for so long was, in fact, true (Bellingcat’s latest available financial report confirms that they continue to receive financial assistance from the NED). As many MintPress readers will know, the NED was explicitly set up by the Reagan administration as a front for the CIA’s regime-change operations.
    “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,” said the organization’s co-founder Allen Weinstein, proudly.

    – Mintpress

    So, what happened on May 4th, 2022,
    or thereabouts?

    If you check Bellingcat’s ‘about’ page there is no longer mention of the CIA’s
    National Endowment for Democracy (NED). On May 2nd, 2022 NED was credited with support for Bellingcat, on May 4th, 2022 NED has been dropped from the list.
    What are they up to at the CIA and Bellingcat?

    Lots is happening to free speech as you certainly know.
    Who can you trust these days? You know for certain that the
    entire legacy press is a narrative machine, but what of independent sites?

    Controlled opposition – how do you know when you are engaging with it, even trusting it?

    I, personally, have encountered disconcerting behavior from blog owners that many people, including myself, have long trusted. How would you know if your blog owner has received a knock on the door from the Gestapo (CIA, MI6, Mossad, FBI, etc, etc) and has now been pressured into being Controlled Opposition. How would you, a trusting reader, know?

    One thing you can do is test the blog’s Overton Window. Post certain things and see what happens.
    And if you are taken aback at what you experience then say “farewell”.


  23. All it takes is for one thing to happen, one day, some incident, something that finally brings the population to the boil, and then, ?well, where will the kings of the earth hide then ?

    1. Has this change perhaps already been put in motion?
      -BJ recently lost his job.

      -Abe was permanently silenced

      -Macron lost his majority in parliament.

      -Europe lost its energy supply, food supply, industry & income.

      -Biden lost his mind (long ago) and will be forced out.

      -American Dems will over react, releasing rioters into the streets.

      -Otan has lost any restraint and fancies it wants to war w/ Russia.

      The real question is why has not the shyte already hit the fan?

  24. Printing press led to the Enlightenment, the internet was leading to another one until the ‘my way or the highway crew’ realized what was happening and showed themselves for who they really are trying to shut it down [CLUE: we’re all authoritarians, but most of us hide it from ourselves and can’t recognize when it’s directed at those we don’t think we need]

    When information is unlimited, time becomes the commodity-not money, power, standing, connections-and time has always been everyone’s master, not measured in minutes and hours, but the turning of the earth, galaxy and universe. The clock is useful to collectives, but destructive to the individual.

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