Discover more from Caitlin’s Newsletter
Elections Are Like A Toy Steering Wheel For Babies: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Voting in a western “democracy” is like that bit in the opening intro of The Simpsons when Marge is driving with the baby and the baby has a toy steering wheel. The baby thinks she’s driving the car but it’s just a fake toy to keep her busy and let her feel like she’s participating.
All the worst atrocities in human history have been perpetrated or permitted by the government of the people who perpetrated them. None of the world’s most evil people are in prison. The law isn’t there to protect you from bad people, it’s there to protect bad people from you.
That’s why you should always, always, always be distrustful of all efforts to extend the law and expand government power over you. It’s not happening because your government wants to help you. Your government is not your friend.
Republicans push war with China while sometimes acting as skeptics on Russia warmongering, Democrats push war with Russia while sometimes acting as skeptics on China warmongering. This creates the illusion of opposition while giving the war machine everything it wants.
Which happens to be the job of the two-party system: creating the illusion of having a democratic choice between two opposing parties while ensuring that both parties advance the same overall agendas.
The best advice I can offer about US-China tensions is to ignore the words and watch the actions. Ignore what officials say about wanting peace and supporting the One China policy, and just watch all the US war machinery that’s being rapidly added to the areas surrounding China.
The US empire is better at international narrative manipulation than any power structure that has ever existed in human history, but what they can’t spin away is the concrete maneuverings of solid pieces of war machinery, because they are physical realities and not narratives.
Trump’s recent comments about taking Venezuela’s oil are another good illustration of the real reason major factions of the imperial blob dislike Trump. It’s not because he’s “anti-war” or “fighting the Deep State” (he isn’t) — it’s because he’s a sloppy empire manager who makes the machine look as ugly as it is and can’t be trusted to keep the quiet parts quiet.
Gotta hand it to the empire for successfully duping rightists into believing anti-communism is somehow an anti-establishment position and not the exact same pro-establishment position that was propagandized into their parents, their grandparents, and their great-grandparents.
“Oh you’re an anti-establishment rebel are you? What does that look like in practice?”
‘Hating communism, being mean to people whose sexuality is different from mine, and voting Republican.’
“Ah. So pretty much just being a conservative and supporting the establishment, then?”
It’s actually kind of adorable how the Pentagon has gotten so comfortable sucking out funds for killing Russians that it’s now at a point where it just goes “Oh hey look, we just found a few billion dollars lying around on the ground! Oh well, might as well throw it at Ukraine!”
Many people who are suspicious of our ruling power structures hold an assumption that our world is being micromanaged by a shadowy cabal of elite “Them”s whose sinister plans dictate every major event in our world, but it really doesn’t work like that. Conspiracies among the powerful happen of course, but most of the ugly things we see are more the result of a blind confluence of mutually reinforcing forces like capitalism, the US empire’s push for unipolar hegemony, war profiteering, and partisan politics.
It’d probably actually be better for us if the world really was being tightly controlled by a small cabal of elites instead of being blindly driven by a convergence of unthinking power interests, because at least such a cabal wouldn’t be imperiling their own lives by pushing nuclear brinkmanship and environmental destruction like a bunch of idiots.
Inner work is a social responsibility for everyone who is capable of it. Humanity’s evolutionary and historical heritage has left us all full of trauma and dysfunction, and if you’ve got the time and resources to help clear your share of that from our species you really should. I’m not saying you have to spend years in the Himalayas, or even go to therapy if that’s not where it’s at for you, but you ought to do something to bring consciousness and healing to your inner processes rather than just letting unconscious conditioning pilot your whole life.
It also happens that working on yourself and clearing your unconscious bullshit will make you a lot happier and lead to much wiser decisions and a much better life. So there’s really no reason you should keep coasting along and still be the same person ten years from now that you are today.
All my work is free to bootleg and use in any way, shape or form; republish it, translate it, use it on merchandise; whatever you want. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon, Paypal, or Substack, buying an issue of my monthly zine, and following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. All works co-authored with my husband Tim Foley.