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Fighting Propaganda Is A Matter Of Survival: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
Capitalism has brought us to the brink of environmental collapse on multiple fronts. US empire-building has brought us to the brink of nuclear war on multiple fronts. But if you listen to the mainstream media both these systems are working fine and only lunatics want to change them.
The evidence is in and the case is closed: our dominant status quo systems are not working. They failed as spectacularly as anything can fail, and now present an existential threat to all of us. But this underlying truth is being hidden from view so we’ll keep consenting to them.
Fighting propaganda and shattering the illusion that the sources we’ve been trained to look to for information are telling us the truth about our world has now become a matter of life and death. Fighting the lies so we can start pushing for real change is a matter of survival.
Voting is “thoughts and prayers” for liberals.
One of the stupidest things all American liberals believe is that if the Green Party candidate drops out of a presidential race the antiwar socialists who would’ve voted for them will go, “Oh darn, I guess I may as well vote for that warmongering capitalist Democrat then.”
I guess it has something to do with Democrats believing they’re on the “left”? So they see a candidate running on a left-wing platform they think “Hey, that’s our platform! They’re stealing our votes!” When really they’re just a bunch of closet rightists who real leftists hate.
Some people get upset when you call the power structure centralized around the United States an empire, but the word empire is actually an understatement. It’s a planetary hegemon unlike anything the world has ever seen before. Hopefully, the world will never see its like again.
Foreign policy realists like John Mearsheimer correctly predicted that western actions would provoke an invasion of Ukraine while many others (including myself) got it wrong because they had at the forefront of their analysis the fact that great powers will never accept threats from other great powers on their borders. This understanding is key.
You simply cannot understand the major conflicts of the 2020s without understanding that the US has been amassing military threats around Russia and China — its number one and number two rivals — that it would never tolerate from them in its own neighborhood. The last time a great power set up a threat to the US near its border, the US responded so aggressively that it almost ended the world. The fact that it demands Russia and China accept activities on their borders that it would never accept on its own proves it’s the aggressor.
The US empire deliberately provoked this war and actively sabotaged peace talks on multiple occasions after it began, and western officials have repeatedly told the press anonymously that they don’t believe Ukraine can win. Also, the empire benefits directly from this war in numerous ways.
That you are is vastly more significant than how you are.
The fact that you get to walk around in a stunningly beautiful world made of pure mystery is vastly more significant than details about your life like whether or not you’re living up to your ideas of what personal success looks like.
The fact that you were born into an unfathomably immense and complex universe which you get to perceive and think thoughts about and make art about is vastly more significant than any personal narratives you might have about whether you’re good enough or doing it right or living up to expectations.
The fact that your field of consciousness gives rise to sights and sounds and thoughts and feelings is vastly more significant than whether you’re achieving your goals in life or whether you’ve won your parents’ approval.
I say “vastly more significant”, but that’s not really going far enough. I almost want to say “infinitely more significant”, because those teeny tiny quibbles about the details of your life are so microscopic compared to the thundering majesty of this universe we get to participate in.
I say this not to minimize any of the real struggles your experience in your life, but to draw attention to the far far greater context in which they are occurring. Whatever’s going on in the details of your life is a tiny speck next to the universe-sized explosion of the experience you were born into, and the significance of the fact that you’re here for it.
It would be a real shame if you spent your life fixated on thoughts about whether you’re adequate or worthy or doing life right instead of giving your attention and appreciation to the boundless cyclone of beauty you’re in the middle of every waking moment of your life.
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