HomeArticlePolitical False Dichotomies: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Political False Dichotomies: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

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You may vote and debate freely on any issue which does not affect the functioning of the empire. When it comes to how money, weapons and resources move around the world, however, you suddenly find that your votes don’t matter and your position has no mainstream representation. They’ll let you argue until you’re blue in the face over whether or not you can have an abortion or whether minorities should have civil rights; they might even let you vote on it. But things like military expansionism and neoliberal globalization and deregulation are off limits.

The empire relies on false political dichotomies like Democrats vs Republicans to keep everyone fighting over issues which don’t affect the functioning of the empire so the machine can trudge onward uninterrupted by the local riff raff. That is the entire job of those parties.

The mainstream media exist to keep everyone spellbound by those false dichotomies on the level of discourse and debate. They manufacture culture wars which split the populace in half over an issue which doesn’t affect the empire, then continually feed into that debate.

The Bernie/AOC/TYT “populist left” and the Trump/Tucker Carlson “populist right” factions are there to lure parts of the population who get a little too curious about the raw mechanisms of empire back into the political false dichotomy so they stop asking unauthorized questions.

The entire political/media class exists for this purpose: not to help people, not to fight for civil rights, not to create a well-informed populace so that democracy can function, but to keep the grubby little mitts of the unwashed masses far away from the true levers of power. That’s their whole entire function.

Social media is where people go to pretend they’re anxious about culture war wedge issues to avoid admitting to themselves that they’re really anxious about economic, societal and environmental collapse and rising risk of nuclear war.

The mass media have been aggressively pushing a single narrative on Ukraine, Silicon Valley is censoring people who disagree with the US government about Ukraine, US officials admitted they’re circulating disinfo about Ukraine, but you need to be worried about Russian propaganda.

People aren’t grasping the significance of the fact that Silicon Valley is now shutting down content creators not because they allegedly harm the public good but because they disagree with the US government about a war. The censorship we’re seeing on Ukraine is a wildly unprecedented escalation.

https://twitter.com/jacksonhinklle/status/1546201426921082880

I strongly opposed Silicon Valley censorship on issues related to Covid, but that was done on the pretense that those who were censored threatened public safety. Now there is no such pretense, it’s just “We mustn’t allow people to think wrong thoughts about a war.”

Financial censorship like YouTube demonetization and cutting people off from PayPal can be just as effective at silencing them as outright censorship, because it hurts their ability to create content full time. I know I couldn’t do what I do without support from patrons.

They’re no longer pretending to be administering this kind of censorship for the public good; they’re just openly doing it to control public thought about a war in allegiance to their government. This is a new and drastic step, and it makes one wonder what the next one will be.

If you mentally mute the justifications for each new expansion of censorship protocols and picture it as a cluster of unauthorized speech, it looks like a circle whose radius keeps expanding and expanding over time. That’s what this is really about: continually expanding that radius using bogus justifications, from Russian trolls to election security to domestic extremists to Covid to Ukraine.

And now we’re at the point where consent for this expansion has been so widely manufactured that they don’t even need to be sly about it. They can just say “Yeah well that hurts our government’s propaganda war against Russia, so we can’t have that.” This is huge.

Propaganda, censorship and Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation keep getting worse because the US-centralized empire needs to prevent the emergence of a true multipolar world and it will need to manufacture a lot of consent for the drastic actions needed to accomplish this.

Stopping the rise of China requires knocking out its pillars of support like Russia. These are massive and extremely dangerous agendas that will financially hurt and existentially imperil pretty much everyone. Empire managers can’t allow a free flow of information in such times.

Rightists fixate on the World Economic Forum and Klaus Schwab like they’re the source and summit of all the world’s ills because this allows capitalism proponents to hold on to the belief that the system would be working fine if you just got rid of those few bad apples.

“It’s not capitalism it’s corporatism” is not an argument, it’s just vapid word-diddling. Nobody cares if you don’t like the word “capitalism” being applied to our current systems. Nobody cares if you feel your pet word is being mistreated. Address the argument.

If your only line of argumentation consists of quibbling about definitions (incorrectly I might add), then you don’t have a line of argumentation. Address the actual arguments or stop interrupting adult conversations.

A globe-spanning empire is held together by the widespread and entirely faith-based belief that the best possible political, economic and foreign policy systems just happen to be the ones you’ve been told your entire life to support by mass media and schooling.

_________________

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Latest comments

  • There was no vote on
    1) pissing away $21 trillion on NamIraqAfghan. An amount to erase world poverty?
    2) no vote on any audited Pentagon budget
    3) no vote to maintain the laughable unHoly Twin Frauds aka Dems and GOP.
    Ad nauseam. As Caitlin says.
    It used to be said there is no better insight into a person’s soul than the things they lie about. But what they prevent you from voting on works too.

  • “Rightists fixate on the World Economic Forum and Klaus Schwab like they’re the source and summit of all the world’s ills because this allows capitalism proponents to hold on to the belief that the system would be working fine if you just got rid of those few bad apples”.

    With all due respect, my perception here is that the right-wing media “fixate” on the World Economic Forum because they say all these billionaires are really communists – like Biden.

    At this point, we urgently need a serious definition of capitalism and communism! There’s industrial capitalism, laissez-faire or free-market capitalism, state capitalism, welfare capitalism (under which most social advances in Europe have been acquired: social security/free healthcare, maternity leave, child benefit, retirement pensions, 35-hour week, minimum wage, five weeks paid vacations, meal vouchers, participation in profits, free education…), predatory capitalism, casino capitalism…

    As for communism, it’s only an ideal so far. What the West calls “communist countries” call themselves socialist, democratic or people’s republics.

    Of course, there are communist parties but this is both in socialist and capitalist countries – even though they’ve generally been crushed in the West by… socialists. But they rule in China.

    However, for rightists, communists and Marxists are more like bogeymen that have replaced Satan in their collective unconscious as the ultimate evil. Of course the gulags, the Holodomor, the cultural revolution and the reeducation camps didn’t help.

    The leading principle of Marx, though, is a rather generous one, “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs”, so as to eradicate abject poverty as it existed in the Dickensian industrial XIXth century and is basically a thing of the past except in the sweatshops of… socialist China and Vietnam and capitalist India and Bangla Desh – not speaking of Wall Street/CIA’s “sweat fields” in Latin America.

    Ideals are ideals but men will be men.

    What’s so special about the World Economic Forum though is that they overtly say they want to suppress the right to private property (earned through revolutions by people tired of seeing landlords hunt through their backyards and piss on their walls) but they don’t plan to give all properties to a “world state” as communists would – out of a belief in a benevolent state, inherited from religion where it’s called Paradise as opposed to Nietzsche’s “coldest of all cold monsters”. They want to keep it all in the hands of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent oligarchy of (bailed out) bankers and corporation CEOs advised by the genius modellers we’ve seen at work with Covid and served by the Orwellian propaganda machine. All this for the “greatest good”. Gotta laugh! The WEF is the now visible head of the predatory capitalism snake and Klaus Schwab is its prophet. They’re the best pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing money can buy.

    Noam Chomsky best defined this kind of capitalism which now presides to the “rules-based world order” as “capitalism for the poor”, strictly submitted to the arbitrary edicts of the corporation-captured civil services, and “socialism for the rich” who get bailed out with taxpayers’ money when they fail because they’re too big to jail – and they grease the political wheels.

  • The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
    – Noam Chomsky

  • I agree deeply with all that you said, with only a few exceptions: I believe that the real “far left” is completely in line with your thinking and that the same misuse you describe is being used to vilify and censor this faction especially within the Democratic Inc party leaders. I wonder what AOC has done to elicit you connection with the desire to blind us to truth; she seems an important and valid contributor to the very limited voice allowed in congress. I will have to read more of what Bernie has said recently, but I also wonder at slamming him since he is mostly an active voice for the remedy of out Country’s malfunction and at the least I feel he is honest.

    • Bernie could have led a massive movement to challenge the existing order, he had the programs and the support, but he folded and made the choice to actively support the neo-liberal order to get his present position and does now does nothing except make echo their support for endless wars and military spending. He is a political shill making noises but doing nothing that matters.
      AOC is exactly the same as Bernie. With her massive following she could have stood up many times, demanded real votes and build a serious coalition in Congress opposing the neo-liberal agenda but folded every time when push came to shove. She is more interested in protecting her career than the kind of change we must have to solve these horrible problems we face. In other words, a total sellout. The so-called progressives in Congress, all of them, are there only to pretend the Democrat party is leftist.

      • AOC made a very interesting campaign and I for one fell for it but I think Nancy explained to her how she’d been lucky to sneak in while nobody was watching but if she wanted to stay rather than go back to waitressing, she had to realize that Mammon was running the show and to learn not to bite the hands that fed her. Apart from which, she could open a couple of schools for Porto-Ricans in her district if she wanted and even a women’s shelter for all they cared. The Distinguished Gentleman gives a taste of it:

  • If capitalism is “the owners of the means of production exploiting workers”, as you put it, then what part of that would be banned under your benevolent dictatorship, people owning things or people having jobs? Could I still hire someone to cut my grass, and would they be allowed to own “their” lawn mower? Would crude oil have to be shipped in skiffs to backyard refineries? Could I still keep my band saw? Would there be some sort of unicorn cap? We need some detail here.

    • Typical right wing nonsense that I’ve heard for years, the cut my lawn, wash my car simpleton thinking. You won’t be convinced of anything and would die for a profit-based system. So, why read Caitlin? Or maybe you’re special ops commenting to stir the pot.

      • If capitalism is “the owners of the means of production exploiting workers”, as you put it, then what part of that would be banned under your benevolent dictatorship, people owning things or people having jobs? Could I still hire someone to cut my grass, and would they be allowed to own “their” lawn mower? Would crude oil have to be shipped in skiffs to backyard refineries? Could I still keep my band saw? Would there be some sort of unicorn cap? We need some detail here.

        • What detail do you want? It seems to me that you’ve already decided and no amount of explanation will suffice.

          In Canada Ph.D. economist Evelyn Forget has shown categorically that a guaranteed annual income for all Canadian citizens would reduce government spending by a minimum of 30%.

          So why wouldn’t a dire hard right-wing capitalist support that kind of cost savings? But they don’t claiming (with ZERO evidence) that it wouldn’t work. Even though these projects in both Canada and the USA. Have shown these results:

          Reduced crime, reduced spousal abuse, less drug addiction, less alcohol addiction, less mental illness, and higher scholastic achievement.

          You would think that any thinking person would want to test more to really see these results, but the likes of Ted Cruz (who wants to arm) teachers just dismiss’ it out of hand as socialism!!

          • Speaking as a presumed dire hard right-wing capitalist … “Evelyn Forget”? Seriously?

            So I get to keep my band saw? What if I use it to exploit the working class? What about the bourgeoisie? Nobody likes them anyway.

          • Well said, it is not about proven facts, it is about binary thinking. Socialism bad, capitalism good, end of discussion.
            Reality is there are no “pure” economic models only what works and what does not.
            Thanks for you post.

            • The reality is that there is what the government imposes by force and there is everything else, and that should be Manichean enough for everybody.

    • Seems your grasp and understanding of capitalism, as it is guided by neo-liberalist economic theory, is in poverty. Financial markets have utterly decoupled from the real capitalist economy (look into it). I would refer you to economists, Michael Hudson, Yanis Varoufakis, Steve Keene for example. Also classical economists, e.g., Adams Smith, John Stuart Mills, David Ricardo and their grave concerns of the monopoly rentier class, represented today primarily by the financial, insurance and real estate industries (Big Pharma’s decades long patents is a good example rapacious rentier income). I suspect you’ve never done a serious reading of Marx’s writings based on your comments above. Read.

      • I have a 1906 copy of Capital that I’ve read enough to know it’s nonsense, it didn’t take long. Marx was a poser trust fund baby elevated to oracle by people using him as cover for theft. I’ve made a living in the stock market most of my life and try to be amused by the working class talking down to me about economics.

    • ” Could I still hire someone to cut my grass, and would they be allowed to own “their” lawn mower?”

      I think you have a fair question.

      Yes you could still hire someone to cut my grass, and they would be allowed to own “their” lawn mower?

      If lawn mowers were too expensive for individual workers to own then a lawn cutter would have to hire a lawn mower from a tool hire company that had raised capital from banks. They would be ‘capitalists’ who owned and controlled the means of production, i.e. the lawnmowers. Since some of the money you paid the mower of your grass ended up with the tool hire company the worker would not recieve the full value of their work. The surplus value goes to the owners and controllers of the means of production.

      This would be tolerable enough if there was free competition between lawn mower hire companies to keep the hire costs down but the companies will constantly attempt to get the state to rig the market in their favour so they can charge more.

      So the problem is to keep big money out of government, which nobody has succeeded in doing except getting rid of big money.

      Its not that it would take a Marxist revolution to get big money out of government, its getting big money out of government is the definition of a Marxist revolution.

  • …this is as good a piece as i’ve seen in years…from anyone…. caitlin is the champ…

    ….as one wag put it, ‘the goddamned fools are consumed by the endless puppetry…they are oblivious to the puppetmaster$’…

    …i don’t meet one person in a thousand who can intelligently answer, ‘who creates our money and how do they do it’? …’what is the major source of ‘value’ inherent in dollars’? etc..

  • The world has never been close to a perilous moment like now. Sit tight everyone while expecting the big news of the end of life as we know it unless by grace, a miracle happens. The empire is not going down without a fight not only to the proverbial last Ukrainean but also the last of its opponent whoever they may be. The empire is totally oblivious to the fact that a nuclear exchange is not winnable. Its banker globalists high priests do not know better than proxy wars and more proxy wars. This has been the case for the last hundred years if not more, and it is not going to change today. The jailing of Julian Assange just like the jailing of Nelson Mandela in the sixties must send a chilling signal to all that the so-called west is nothing but a den of lying and dangerous thieves of freedom.

  • Excellent commentary. I agree with every word.

  • Carrol Quigley was a professor at Georgetown university school of foreign service. Was one of my all time favorite teachers. Bill Clinton credits him as a catalyst to his career. His book the Evolution of Civilization is incredible I read it over 50 years ago and.still speak in detail about it. If you want to understand the American Empire, you must read it.

  • Carol Quigley was a professor at Georgetown School of Foreign Service and is known for his book Evolution of Civilizations. He was my favorite teacher of all times. Bill Clinton mentions him frequently as a catalyst to his political career. I read him over 50 years ago and he can still speak of his book in detail. It is a must read to understand the American empire. He also predicted how it will end. His book and his thoughts never became popular. Many of us think his work was suppressed by government and talked about this.

    • So what was his prediction on how it will end?

  • NYC is testing its PSA about how to react to a nuclear attack. When questioned someone for NYC said there is no significance. A crumbling empire is a very dangerous thing. Likely this was just another stupid stunt but at this time, it makes you wonder..

  • There are “false narratives” and “false dichotomies”. In the first everyone thinks they control the narrative, are the narrators, even more vainly think they are the creators. But control of the narrative (or reality) is very limited. This leads to the need for power and false dichotomies, that human wars are about values and ideas: they are about power. Unfortunately, as history shows, power is an illusion. That’s why nations end up fighting the war they are desperate to avoid – their own destruction. Everyone wants to avoid nuclear war, think they can because they think they control the story, they collude in the delusion.
    https://patternofhistory.wordpress.com/

  • Caitlin you defined the problem. How to address this is the issue as this system is carefully designed, as you point out, to control the flow of information when it can be widely available thru the internet, but it takes effort, time and determination to find that. That becomes much more difficult as the quality of our lives continues to deteriorate and all our energy is focused on simply getting by each day. At some point the pressure becomes too much and there is a reaction and while that point is not close enough yet to motivate huge numbers of people to take action, that looks like the trending direction – look at Europe and the stress the citizens there are enduring with inflation, energy costs and shortages and their reaction. We are facing exactly the same in this country and the reaction to that is growing fast.

    There is always a breaking point, but any reaction must be peaceful, organized and have huge numbers if there is any hope of positive change. The opposite of that is a far right fascist reaction which is what will happen if this turns violent.

    • Well spoken in response to another Caitlin homerun.

    • I was born under apartheid and lived partly through it until its dismantling the 90’s. What is happening around the globe feels exactly the same as towards the end of apartheid. Criminality and violence grew and the destruction of all civil protections collapsed. Apartheid opponents were cruelly murdered and jailed by masked state operatives, my brother including. I do not see how this won’t be the case across the globe as we are experiencing what Caitlin and others are pointing out.

  • Yesterday, for the first time ever in American foreign policy, Blinken called Russia an international troublemaker. It seems hundreds of Pentagon military ops in the last 80 years to impose regime change around the world are not recognized as a troublemaker in the world rules based order dictionary leaded by the US empire.

    • Blinken’s arrogance is one of those things that give you an idea of the infinite.

      • Blinken is not only arrogant, he is the best candidate to fill the void left after that other guy who said “we lie, we cheat, we steal” .

    • I listened about the US invasion in Iraq, and professor said before the Sspt 11 event the Middle East was peaceful and quiet for many years.
      So I wonder which secret services trained Al Qaida with the purpose of destabilising the Middle East and make grounds for the US invasion.
      Then the US took it out on the poorest country on earth, Afghanistan.
      And invaded Iraq because of its Oil reserves.
      The invasion of Iraq led Shia majority there gaining via democratic representation and increased Iran’s influence.
      Now US is prepared to deal with Iran.
      How about quit destabilising and invading other countries and regions.
      Maybe US government should take better care of Americans domestically, instead of hurting everybody else..

      • This presidential meeting which will happen in Tehran between Russia, Turkey and Iran will consolidate an economic block on Middle East. Syria will be the stage which will eject from there Russia or the US empire because both have military bases there and we all know what is the real purpose of America there and it is nothing related to Isis terrorism but American terrorism to steal oil. Israel is deeply dependent of US empire military backup and it seems these talkings between Israeli invaders and Palestinian hostages are to make sure they will not cause trouble in case of a US-israel military op towards Iran.

        • I am listening to 20+ lectures on the Middle East, and It seems you know history well.
          I will continue to hope that human goodness will prevail over the state’s wickedness.

  • “The religion of the Servile State must have no dogmas or definitions. It cannot afford to
    have any definitions. For definitions are very dreadful things: they do
    the two things that most men, especially comfortable men, cannot endure.
    They fight; and they fight fair.”
    G K Chesterton , Utopia of Userers
    http://www.clerus.org/bibliaclerusonline/en/bck.htm

    “If your only line of argumentation consists of quibbling about definitions”?

    Starting assumptions are actually a necessary condition of forming coherent conclusions and
    Definition of terms are fundamental to formulating any set of starting assumptions.

    https://longhairedmusings.wordpress.com/?s=G+K+Chesterton

  • Free guns to anyone contemplating abortion as an alternative to concealed~carry pregnancy?
    Welcome to 2022 Amerika

  • Not so fast Kate,
    As you have rightly said, our greatest danger (by far) is the threat of a global nuclear war.
    We in the USA could mitigate that threat by undergoing unilateral nuclear disarmament.
    But the problem is that our voters won’t have it. No politician who advocates that the USA get rid of all of its nuclear weapons can be elected in this country. The fault is with the voters, not with some mythical military-industrial complex.

    • I read somewhere that all we need to destroy the world is about 400 or so. We could dismantle the rest as a show of good faith.

      We have also taken first strike off the table last I heard.

      The priorities of the public are not the same as the priorities of government or of business.

      The public wants peace, healthy kids, good jobs, a clean environment, ie family values.

      Government, once in power, and acting in secret because its values do not align with the Public, engages in ego-centric behaviors masked as being in the best interest of the country.

      Business also goes contrary to public interest.

      We cant blame the voters when they dont have all the fact.

      A politician does not have to advocate to abolish nukes. They just need to be straight with us. Nukes dont make us safer. Nukes are the guns for countries.

    • If you think the MIC is “mythical” you need to watch Eisenhower talk about it on YouTube in his farewell address. He’s the one who popularized the term.

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