Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley): I had a nightmare that I leaked some classified information and got arrested and waterboarded by New York Times reporters. ❖ The goal is to keep us fighting with as much hostility as possible over issues which inconvenience our rulers as little as possible. It's really amazing how successful they are at this.
You are by far my favorite Substack author ... but for some reason, I only rarely comment here ... maybe it's because you nail it so completely that there's nothing left for me to say ...
“The perfect dictatorship would have the appearance of a democracy, but would basically be a prison without walls in which the prisoners would not even dream of escaping. It would essentially be a system of slavery where, through consumption and entertainment, the slaves would love their servitudes.” ― Aldous Huxley
Re: anti-authoritarians that come to mind, I think of Solzhneitzyn, Junger, Assange, Orwell (to an extent), I think of Andrew Jackson who destroyed the second Rothschild U.S. central bank, Louis T. McFadden, Angelo Codevilla, Archbishop Vigano...
Noam Chomsky shared these insights long before I was ready to hear them. As did Alex Carey, the Australian who influenced Chomsky so much he dedicated "Manufacturing Consent" to him.
Alex Carey's works:
Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Propaganda in the U.S. and Australia, 1995
Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda vs. Freedom and Liberty, 1996
But what happened to Chomsky? He's been as rabid a propagandist and wisher of death on those who didn't obey as any Fascist could've ever wanted from one of the top Marxist intellectual influencers on the planet. Was he really controlled opposition, too? A tool, like so many other influencers, ready to jump into line when called into action? He wished death on the unvaxxed and unmasked. Death!
For someone who was so influential in the minds of so many who saw this US regime for the murderous regime it is long ago, he sounded like a man who'd have sat at the machine gun nest aimed at a thousand civilians and opened fire on them with a sadistic joy leaping from his heart at being the executioner of the disobedient.
I'll often cite his work like Manufacturing that rings true in what you often share. But I know him to be what I know him to be now: a loathesome, barbaric, cold-blooded murderous heart.
Brave New World for the haves, 1984 for the havenots.
As a long time reader (since 2016), I'd say this is one of your best!
"This totalitarian dystopia looks like freedom because they let us more or less do what we want, while controlling what it is that we want to do using mass-scale manipulation."
As long as people can jump in their car and waddle into Walmart for their $1.00 Great Value cookies purchased on credit, nothing will change. Edward Snowden is my choice. Too bad he's disappeared. Now a Russian citizen I hope he didn't get called to military service and sent to the front line.
I see it, too, Caitlin. Well put.
But you continue to present those fighting Gender Identity madness as misguided fools focusing on silly stuff while the ship burns. In truth, we fight the Gender Cult (too) because:
i)we won't stand by as kids we love are put on a conveyor belt to Frankenstinian medical maimings,
ii) we recognize that teaching kids that men have babies and demonizing those who don't agree, is part of dissociating people from reality...from our world...from our bodies...it is part of disorienting and disempowering everyone,
iii) gutting women's and LGB rights actually does matter, the damage is breathtaking, and
iv) we see that people trying to organize a movement for system change getting us beyond capitalism and the fate it engenders....those people have lost all credibility, all strategic sense.
As an environmental activist, I must stand up for biological reality; as a socialist, I must break from those who demean that label by saying kids are born in wrong bodies. And oddly enough, dragged kicking and screaming from my single-minded focus on preventing ecological and/or nuclear disaster, to put some time into fighting the Gender Madness, I find myself right where I need to be. Here lies the kernel for building the kind of working class movement we need. Here with people who refuse to praise the Emperor's clothes....people who didn't talk to each other before because of our self-proclaimed places on the political spectrum. Please do reach out to people like me; you're missing some vital stuff. And keep up your otherwise fabulous analyses.
I encourage readers to check out Patrick Lawrence's "The Disinformation Complex: An Anatomy" (Scheerpost) in which he has a link to Jacob Seigel's “A Guide to Understanding the Hoax of the Century” in last week's Tablet magazine, where he (Seigel)is a senior editor." Lawrence says the following." His subtitle, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Disinformation,” is literate, gutsy, and suggestive of the gloves-off essay underneath it.
This is the most powerful, sustained rip into the Russiagate disaster I have yet read—and certainly the best work published to date on the destruction of American democracy at the hands of a ruling elite that invented (1) the figment of a disinformation crisis and (2) the frightening apparatus that now drowns us in disinformation in the name of combating it. “Disinformation is both the name of the crime and the means of covering it up,” Seigel writes pithily, “a weapon that doubles as a disguise.” Seigel's essay is a must read. It certainly echoes Caitlin's claims by injecting history into them.
I'm afraid many, if not most, Europeans (maybe it's the same in other places) developed a kind of death wish. I see more and more people openly advocating for nuclear war if Russia is not "completely defeated". They have no idea what they're talking about, but go out of the way to insult, attack, censor, or even threaten whoever has a modicum of common sense and decency. Sometimes it looks like Portugal (where I live) is one of those Baltic countries, such is the level of Russophobia.
The media here are a complete disgrace. They not only shamelessly manipulate their audiences, appealing to the most basic sentimentalism, but also -- and this might be even worse -- omit any news that might be detrimental to the "war effort", and there are so many of them. Most "war correspondents" basically sit in their hotel rooms in Kiev and other cities waiting for the Ukrainian government to tell them where to go and what to report.
And the commentators... It's really rock bottom. The majority are utterly ignorant but pontificate as if they were sages. And those who certainly know what's going on lie with all their teeth. The very few exceptions are some retired officers who are, of course, smeared as "Russian agents" or "Putinists", or (even more ridiculous) "Communists".
I've never seen something like that. Looks like America in 2003, but worse. And the question is: how can we argue with idiots?
Amen, Caitlin, and that is precisely why I made my first Substack post nearly two years ago about exposing the propaganda machine and how it is used to divide us:
• “A Primer for the Propagandized: Fear Is the Mind-Killer” (https://margaretannaalice.substack.com/p/a-primer-for-the-propagandized)
As I wrote in that piece:
“The recipe is simple. Take a naturally occurring phenomenon, say a seasonal virus, and exaggerate its threat far beyond every imagining—despite exhaustive evidence to the contrary. Suppress, silence, ostracize, and demonize every individual who dares present facts that expose the false mono-narrative.
“Whip up a witches’ brew of anger, envy, and, most importantly, fear, escalating emotions to a boil so as to short-circuit our faculties of reason and logic.
“Isolate us from one another, supplant real-world interactions with virtual feuds, label nonconformists as a threat to the group, and pump the public with a disinformation campaign designed to confuse and atomize. In essence, foster a cultlike mentality that shuts down thought to guarantee assent.
“Cultivate and wield our cognitive biases—especially ingroup bias, conformity bias, and authority bias—against us in a comprehensive divide-and-conquer policy that keeps us too busy squabbling amongst ourselves to recognize and unite against those corralling us into a Matrix-like collective delusion that enables the powerful to extract our resources for their own gain.”
I know. It's absolutely nutz to me. The worst part to me is that these useful useless idiots are still falling for this idiocy.
"Seriously, think about it: what could the rulers of western society possibly extract from us that they're not already getting?" If the Empire gets its war with China, is the average Australian and American brain washed enough that they willingly enlist in the armed forces or will accept conscription to fight in say Taiwan? Or is that the point at which people start to question the narrative and push back against Empire.
I've recently finished re-reading 1984, and the growing similarities between Orwell's dystopian nightmare and the current trajectory of society are truly astounding. Sure, we're not yet living in an Orwellian, dystopian world. But, there are enough creeping comparisons that should make people pause and assess where we are being led. Your point speaks directly to one of the Ingsoc slogans: "War is Peace". By keeping people in a constant state of warfare, we are helpless to divert attention to anything else, even if it is taking place right before our very eyes.
Yes, and I'm also sorry to say that the Assange case has actually become a bit of a commodity among retired activists like Hedges who just use this story to maintain their place in the "independent" media food chain ... this in turn, allows them to conveniently avoid discussion of the larger issues of tyranny that now threaten us: the Great Reset, the influence of the World economic Forum on U.S. politics, vax mandates and passports, and the massive fraud and genocidal agenda of big-pharma ... as grossly unfair as the treatment of Assange has been, you'd still have to stand on your head to make the case that the plight of Assange is a top-tier working class issue ... the Assange case has no bearing on a working class individual's ability to find gainful employment at a living wage in a union environment ... but even after Hedges threw us all under the bus with COVID, members of his cult will still insist he's a champion of the working class ...
How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Totalitarian Dystopia.
Propaganda is the REAL weapon. Yes, nuclear warheads are evil and dangerous, but without propaganda to manipulate us into "pushing the red button" they are harmless (and should be dismantled). We need to "nuke propaganda" and not the planet. Disarm the propagandists--point out their fallacies, their lies, their true reasons for wanting to brainwash the masses. Never give up! (Thank you, Caitlin, for always emphasizing this salient point.)