Johnstone, Caitlin

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Rogue Journalist
Updated: 12 hours 1 min ago

Humanity Is Not Sleeping; It’s In An Induced Coma

Wed, 2019-07-17 08:19

In the late 1960s, the sudden widespread availability of psychedelics combined with the circulation of eastern philosophy to the west to begin a radical transformation of human consciousness. Our species, desperate to transcend the residual trauma from two world wars and the existential terror of the nuclear age, began moving into a wildly unprecedented relationship with its capacity for abstract thought.

For the first time ever, humans began disentangling themselves from egoic consciousness on a mass scale, suddenly using thought as the useful tool it’s meant to be rather than the life-dominating addiction that it had become up until that point. World leaders not only permitted this transformation but actively facilitated it, realizing from their own encounters with this new revolution that humanity relinquishing its egoic mental constrictions opened up the possibility for the creation of paradise on earth.

As we became less egocentric, our values and interests changed. This led to changes in the way we vote, in the kinds of media we chose to consume, and in the kinds of ideas which were popularized.

This set the stage for the next level of human evolution in the arrival of the internet. For the first time in history humans were able to network their minds all around the world in real time, by the thousands, then by the millions, then by the billions. Our harmonious relationship with our inner world suddenly segued smoothly into the ability to develop a harmonious relationship with our outer world, no longer confined by space and time in sharing ideas and information with each other.

With clear minds networked in a truly democratic way we were quickly able to identify and solve all the remaining problems in our world, and we saw ourselves transitioning into a collaborative relationship with each other and with our ecosystem which gave us all a quality of life that had been unimaginable up until a few decades ago.

Now, here in 2019, all human creativity and ingenuity goes toward finding new ways to help us survive and thrive and understand. Technological innovation, once mostly stagnated in the cognitive cul-de-sacs of figuring out new ways to exploit and dominate each other and commit more efficient acts of mass military violence, is now flourishing and expanding at an exponential rate. We have indeed created Heaven on earth together.

Oh,

but,

that was just a dream I had.

It could have gone down like that. There’s no reason it couldn’t have. Maybe in a parallel universe it did. But, here in this timeline, it didn’t.

Here in this timeline, the people in power wanted to remain in power thank you very much, even if it meant making life worse for everyone in the long run, including themselves.

Here in this timeline, we had all the medicine we needed to cure our sickness, but we were forbidden from using it.

Here in this timeline, plutocrats bought up all the media so they can tell us every day how important it is to continue bolstering the status quo, and that the only thing up for debate is what strategies we should use to do so.

Here in this timeline they got us dependent on money, and then devalued it to ensure that we’re working harder and harder for less and less so we have no time to expand our consciousness of our inner or outer worlds.

Here in this timeline psychedelics were made as illegal as heroin or cocaine, and their use was stigmatized as a dangerous activity for criminals and degenerates.

Here in this timeline, control of the internet was quickly shored up by plutocratic interests and government agencies, and traffic is now directed toward authorized platforms sharing authorized narratives which bolster the status quo and manufacture consent for establishment agendas.

Here in this timeline, we had all the tools to escape this prison, but they were taken from us and replaced with more prison bars. Taken by people who were more clever than the rest of us, and who had enough money and influence to shut the whole thing down.

For some weird reason I found myself watching a spiritual guru-type guy discussing his political views on a video yesterday, and, like most spiritual guru-type people, his view of our political reality was highly malnourished. He kept talking about how all our problems are the result of humanity being deeply unconscious, and how that unconsciousness leads us to elect deeply unconscious leaders. Like “elected leaders” are the ones calling the shots. No mention of plutocrats, opaque government agencies or propaganda; the only problem, according to spiritual guru-type guy, is that we’re all equally asleep at the wheel and all equally responsible for what’s going on.

Spiritual guru-type guy is wrong. Humanity is not sleeping. Humanity is in an induced coma.

If our society had simply been permitted to progress along its natural trajectory at a natural pace and to use the innovations that we’d discovered in a natural way, we would all be wide awake by now. The psychedelic revolution would have continued and matured and grown into adulthood instead of being murdered in its infancy, and our exponentially increasing ability to network and share information would have coupled with our mature consciousness to build a deeply awakened society that benefits every living creature on this planet. That would have happened, and it is only because of the unnatural interference of a very few deeply unwise people that we stayed locked in the matrix, now faced with the looming threat of near term human extinction.

This is a crime against humanity which far surpasses all of the most egregious atrocities in any history book. What these people have done to us, what they have taken from us, what they have twisted us into, is an offense so profoundly evil that it cries out to the heavens for vengeance.

The good news, if there is any to be had, is that there are still more of us than there are of them, and that all the tools they took from us are still there to be used if we care enough to take them back.

A woman once had an LSD trip in which she realized the illusory nature of the separate self, seeing clearly that she’d been living in a dream world her entire life up until that point. The effects of the entheogen wore off, and she convinced herself that it was just a pleasant drug high. She made herself forget it, plunged herself into her career, got a promotion, got a husband, got a nice two-story house in the suburbs at 4.5 percent interest, got some kids, and got plenty of stress but whatever there’s always wine.

Decades later, after finding nothing but suffering along her chosen life trajectory, she began thinking about that LSD trip she took way back when. She began wondering if maybe that strange, sacred experience had been real after all. If, maybe, it was the only real thing that had ever happened to her.

That’s kind of where our whole species is at right now. A door opened up in the sixties which was very quickly and violently slammed shut, and now there are independent flickerings all around the world of that strange, sacred light that still shines under the crack of that door. We still have the ability to open it up again. We’ve only got to want it enough.

______________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

Tue, 2019-07-16 08:14

CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.

SCOOP: New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. w/ @kguerrerocnn https://t.co/OqC9GBsIKl

— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) July 15, 2019

“New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” the article begins.

In its very first sentence the article invalidates all the claims which follow it, because its use of the word “potentially” means that none of the documents CNN purports to have contain any actual evidence. It’s worth noting at this time that there is to this day not one shred of publicly available evidence that any of the Democratic Party emails published by WikiLeaks in 2016 were in fact “hacked” at all, and could very well have been the result of a leak as asserted by former British ambassador Craig Murray, who claims to have inside knowledge on the matter.

The glaring plot holes in the Mueller report’s assertions about Russia being the source of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops have already been ripped wide open by journalist Aaron Maté’s meticulous analysis of the report’s timeline in an article accurately titled “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims“. The CNN smear piece, which claims to “add a new dimension to the Mueller report”, is entirely relying on this porous timeline for its reporting. Plot holes include the fact that Mueller claims (and CNN repeats) that the Russians transferred the emails to WikiLeaks on or around July 14, which Maté notes is “a full month after Assange publicly announced that he had them.”

CNN kicks off its smear piece with the inflammatory claim that “Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments”, mentioning both “Russians” and “hackers” in the same breath in an attempt to give the impression that the two are related. It’s not until paragraph 43 and 46, long after most people have stopped reading, that the articles authors bother to inform their readers that the “hackers” in question are German and have no established connection to the Russian government whatsoever. The “Russians” counted among Assange’s scores of visitors consist of RT staff, who have always consistently reported on WikiLeaks, and a “Russian national” about whom almost nothing is known.

The article falsely labels Assange a “hacker”, a defamatory claim the mass media circulates whenever it wants to tarnish Assange’s reputation. Assange, of course, is a publisher. WikiLeaks publishes materials which are given to it, it doesn’t “hack” them.

That is a LIE that's been debunked over and over. We published ONE article about the emails that were RELEASED already, just not TWEETED about yet, because WikiLeaks had been releasing them like clockwork and we paid attention. It's called journalism, they should try it sometime.

— Nebojša Malić (@NebojsaMalic) July 15, 2019

CNN also repeats the long-debunked lie that RT “published articles detailing the new batches of emails before WikiLeaks officially released them” during the 2016 election, citing no evidence because this never happened. RT reported on a WikiLeaks release in October 2016 after it had been published by WikiLeaks but before the WikiLeaks Twitter account had tweeted about it, and western propagandists willfully conflated WikiLeaks publications with tweets from the WikiLeaks Twitter account in order to make it look like RT had insider knowledge about the publications.

In reality, RT was simply watching the WikiLeaks site closely for new releases in order to get an early scoop before other outlets, because Podesta email leaks had been dropping regularly.

“That is a LIE that’s been debunked over and over,” tweeted RT America editor Nebojša Malić‏ in response to the smear. “We published ONE article about the emails that were RELEASED already, just not TWEETED about yet, because WikiLeaks had been releasing them like clockwork and we paid attention. It’s called journalism, they should try it sometime.”

“Yes that is fake news,” tweeted RT’s Ivor Crotty. “I was the editor on the team that monitored wikileaks and by Podesta 6 we knew they tweeted at 9am EST each day (1pm Dublin) – so we checked the database by reverse searching and discovered a new dump, tweeted about it, and the conspiracy theorists jumped.”

“RT already addressed this in 2016, convincingly if you read the sequence of events they lay out: the Podesta emails appeared on the WikiLeaks website before WikiLeaks sent a tweet about it,” Maté tweeted at CNN’s Marshall Cohen. “Ignoring that allows for the conspiracy theory you propose. It’s ridiculous to suggest that RT-Wikileaks ‘were coordinating behind the scenes’ based on the fact that RT tweeted about the Podesta emails AFTER they appeared on WL’s site, but BEFORE WL tweeted about them. You’re implicating RT in a conspiracy… for doing journalism.”

It’s not possible to research the “RT had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks drops” conspiracy theory without running across articles which debunked it at the time, so the article’s authors were likely either knowingly lying or taking dictation from someone who was.

“Spanish newspaper El Pais on July 9: ‘Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange’s meetings with lawyers‘. Add little security state propaganda and 6 days later you get from CNN: ‘How Julian Assange turned an embassy into command post for election meddling’,” noted Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola in response to the CNN smear, a reminder of how a little narrative tweaking can turn a story on its head in support of the powerful.

This would be the same CNN who told its viewers that it’s against the law to read WikiLeaks, with Democratic Party prince Chris Cuomo lying “Remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents; it’s different for the media, so everything you learn about this you’re learning from us.” The same CNN which falsely reported that Assange is a pedophile not once, but twice. The same CNN which has been caught blatantly lying in its Russiagate coverage, which has had to fire journalists for misreporting Russiagate in a media environment where that almost never happens with Russia stories, which has deleted evidence of its journalistic malpractice regarding Russiagate from the internet without retraction or apology.

So this latest attempt to tarnish Julian Assange’s reputation from CNN is not surprising. Nor is it surprising that the article contains exactly zero of the “exclusive documents” which it says validate its claims and insinuations. Nor is it surprising that CNN is using invisible evidence which almost certainly came into its hands through a government agency to give weight to its smear. But the sheer volume of disinformation and deceit they were able to pack into one single article this time around was just jaw-dropping. Even for CNN.

_____________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

Why “Incremental Change” Is Worse Than No Change At All

Mon, 2019-07-15 09:16

Another reason why the so-called “centrists” pose such a grave threat to our world is because their platform of slow, moderate, incremental change is actually worse than no change at all.

President Obama was elected on the platform of hope and change. He promised big, sweeping changes, and, at the end of eight years, had continued and expanded all the most depraved foreign and domestic policies of his predecessor while killing the push for universal healthcare and creating a climate initiative which was the equivalent of a band-aid on a sucking chest wound. He now defends his near-complete lack of progress by claiming that compromising with the plutocrats and achieving a small amount of change is better than not compromising and achieving no change at all.

We see this trend continuing under the current Democratic leadership, with the House Speaker continually working to passive aggressively undermine the center-left progressive wing of her party while simultaneously calling for party unity. We see it also in the current administration, which, despite all the fuss about Trump’s destroying “norms” and challenging the establishment, has actually managed to preserve and bolster status quo power structures in every way that matters.

Whenever I write about the fact that Trump has not met any of his foreign policy promises and has in fact just been advancing the longstanding policies of the neoconservatives in his cabinet, I always get a bunch of MAGA people in the comments telling me I’ve got to be patient with their president, because big changes take time. For all the rhetoric about Trump’s base, from both pro-Trump and anti-Trump media, depicting it as some special deviation from the norm, this demand for patience and slow, incremental change is indistinguishable from the lines Hillary Clinton supporters were regurgitating at Bernie Sanders supporters back in 2016.

In both the Obama and the Trump administrations, voters ordered a box of hope and change, received a package labeled “slow, incremental change”, then opened it up and found no meaningful change whatsoever.

This pattern has been repeating for years. People want change because the system is unfairly stacked against ordinary people, so two mainstream political parties promise them big changes. People flock to whichever one makes the most convincing sales pitch, then when they don’t get big changes they’re fed some hogwash about needing to have realistic expectations. Because wanting fast changes in a world that is hurtling toward either ecosystemic collapse or nuclear war is “unrealistic”.

Voters are aggressively discouraged from voting for third parties, assured that there is no need to do this because the mainstream party will provide the changes you seek, and then no changes happen. Ever. This happens over and over and over again.

This pattern is not an accident.

I say that “incremental change” is worse than no change at all because it is deliberately designed to kill all push for change while effectively delivering no change whatsoever. If mainstream political parties were honest about having no real interest in taking power away from the plutocratic class which is exploiting us all and driving us toward extinction, people would immediately stop supporting them. Keeping change on the menu without ever actually serving it keeps people coming back to the table again and again, knowing that they’re starving to death but trusting that nourishment will eventually appear.

All the mainstream “centrists” ever bring to the table is inertia. Inertia is the only real item on the menu. All they’re ever doing is filling our vehicles with lead and telling us it’s gold. Gumming up our gears with false promises designed to keep people from waking up and overthrowing the oligarchs who are rapidly building a cage around them. While the people are being admonished to slow their push for change to the pace of a narcoleptic snail, the oligarchs are all mainlining methamphetamine so they can stay up all night reinforcing the bars of our cage at breakneck speed.

Meanwhile we’re drawing ever closer to an apocalyptic scenario with a rapidly deteriorating ecosystem and mounting tensions between nuclear-armed nations. At a time where we should all be speeding up, the elected leaders closest to power are all encouraging us to slow down. They’re sucking all the energy out of our engines and replacing it with debilitating inertia. They’re promising us the world and delivering us armageddon. We’ve got to stop buying their lies.

____________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

Mainstream “Centrists” Pose The Greatest Ideological Threat To Us All

Sun, 2019-07-14 06:27

Ashton Kutcher, a stupid person who got famous playing the role of a stupid person, tweeted the following the other day:

“Where has the middle gone? Middle class? Politicians who don’t need to be far left or far right? Media the just tells the facts w/o spin? The middle is most! The middle can innovate. The middle can negotiate. Hardworkers with inclusive values = the middle.”

A year ago Kutcher also tweeted a photo of himself sipping from a coffee mug bearing the insignia of the lying, torturingpropagandizingdrug traffickingcoup-stagingwarmongering Central Intelligence Agency, with the caption, “Just sending out a morning shout to the men and woman of the intelligence community that keep us safe and protect our country.”

Just sending out a morning shout to the men and woman of the intelligence community that keep us safe and protect our country. #gratitude #ty pic.twitter.com/Avi220aBh7

— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) July 23, 2018

If Kutcher had tweeted a “far left” or “far right” perspective, like that America should be an all-white ethnostate or that racist demonstrators should be physically assaulted in the streets, it would have made international headlines. But tweeting in favor of the CIA, who kill many orders of magnitude more people than America’s fringe white supremacist groups, went almost completely unnoticed.

This will sound normal and obvious to you. But it shouldn’t.

If people could wake up one morning and suddenly see what the ruling power establishment is doing to them every single day, there’d suddenly be vastly more outrage directed at the so-called “centrists”, and a lot less focus on politically impotent fringe organization like white nationalists and Antifa. This is not to say that all fringe ideologies are harmless, just that none of them pose anywhere near the immediate existential threat that is posed by the current order.

There’s an old joke: A duck swims past two fish and calls down, “Hey fellas! How’s the water?” The fish look at each other for a minute and then one of them asks, “What the hell is water?”

People don’t see the dangers of mainstream “centrism” for the same reason fish don’t see water. In reality, the only reason such an ideology gets labeled “centrism” at all is because it has been normalized and made mainstream by generations of plutocratic media propaganda. The ideological group which supports the status quo omnicidal, ecocidal oppression machine by giving you a choice between two warmongering oligarchic parties in fake elections that never make any difference is nowhere near a politically moderate position by any stretch of the imagination.

Where has the middle gone? Middle class? Politicians who don’t need to be far left or far right? Media the just tells the facts w/o spin? The middle is most! The middle can innovate. The middle can negotiate. Hardworkers with inclusive values = the middle.

— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) July 12, 2019

People like Ashton Kutcher imagine that the so-called “center” is called that because it sits smack dab in the middle of the ideological spectrum between communism and fascism, right in that moderate sweet spot that respects capitalism and private ownership without flying off the deep end into Nazi-like tyranny. In reality, the status quo exists entirely outside any left-right paradigm. It’s neither “left” nor “right” to give total control of the western world to an alliance of plutocrats and opaque government agencies who seek to expand their power and wealth by destroying our ecosystem, waging endless wars, and gradually shoring up more and more control of their citizenry via internet censorship, surveillance and police militarization. It’s just crazy.

I’m picking on Ashton not because he occupies some special place in all this, but because he doesn’t. He’s just an illustration of how blind people have become to the real threat that’s right in front of them, and how normalized insanity has become.

People who identify as “left” see the ruling power establishment as right-wing, people who identify as “right” see the ruling power establishment as left-wing, and people who identify as “center” see themselves as moderates whose normal, healthy way of life is under threat by the “far right” and “far left”. But really all that’s happening is a few assholes fucking over everyone else, which is no more “left” or “right” than a terrorist attack. The left versus right argument doesn’t even make sense until this far more pressing issue has been resolved. A Bernie supporter and a Trump supporter are arguing about left versus right while trapped in a room with a tiger who’s eating them both alive.

A movement towards true health will look like everyone waking up to the reality that we’re all being driven toward extinction via climate collapse or nuclear war by a ruling class who used propaganda to trick us into thinking that its suicidal trajectory was the moderate path. Obviously when we create our new model we won’t all agree with each other about the best direction to take it, but we’ve got to overhaul the old one first.

______________________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

Top Assange Defense Account Deleted By Twitter

Sat, 2019-07-13 06:37

One of the biggest Twitter accounts dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, @Unity4J, has been completely removed from the site. The operators of the account report that they have been given no reason for its removal by Twitter staff, and have received no response to their appeals.

Any Assange supporter active on Twitter will be familiar with the Unity4J account, which originated to help boost the wildly successful Unity4J online vigils in which well-known Assange defenders would appear to speak out against his persecution. As of this writing, the account has been gone for a day and a half.

“About 8:45am CST on Thursday July 11, one of our Unity4J Twitter team members went to retweet on the account and noticed that the account was no longer accessible,” reports pro-Assange activist Christy Dopf, one of the operators of the account. “When each of us also attempted to access the account we all received the same message ‘Account Suspended’. Twitter did not send us a reason or violation for the suspension. So an appeal was submitted. We did receive correspondence that Twitter got our request and the case is currently open. Unfortunately we do not have a timeline on how long this could take.”

https://twitter.com/ChristyMKD84/status/1149407683512033280

Speaking for myself as a vocal Assange supporter on Twitter, I can say that I’ve been following the @Unity4J account closely since its earliest days and I’ve never once seen it post anything other than highly professional-looking advocacy for Julian Assange. I’ve certainly never seen it post anything that could be construed as abusive, misleading, or otherwise in violation of any of Twitter’s posted rules.

This account’s deletion is just the latest in a long string of apparently biased actions against WikiLeaks and Assange by the immensely influential social media platform. That bias was made abundantly clear with Twitter’s ridiculous refusal to verify Assange while he was posting from his own account despite his undeniably being a significant public figure, and despite the fact that Twitter was well aware that the account was authentic. The platform has been receiving consistent complaints among Assange supporters of using shadow bans to marginalize their voices, as well as unfair posting locks and restrictions.

“It seems that Assange supporters have been targeted for suspension over the last few days and weeks, including the suspension of individuals (Yon Solitary, Monique Jolie) as well as accounts like Unity4J,” Unity4J co-founder Elizabeth Lea Vos told me today. “All of these suspensions are unacceptable, but I find the Unity4J suspension especially egregious because it was an amplifier of events across the board, not only actions run by Unity4J. It never broke the twitter rules and it was an activist account supporting a journalist who’s been silenced or ‘disappeared,’ so this suspension is an extension of that suppression. Assange asked us to become his voice, and platforms like Twitter appear to be actively working against the possibility of that effort.”

The main Twitter account defending Julian Assange, and therefore press freedom & freedom of speech, has been suspended.@Unity4J – suspended for defending a hero.#Unity4J

— Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) July 12, 2019

Pro-Assange activists have been speaking out on Twitter against @Unity4J’s removal.

“The main Twitter account defending Julian Assange, and therefore press freedom and freedom of speech, has been suspended,” tweeted comedian and Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp. “@Unity4J – suspended for defending a hero.”

“HELP!! Twitter suspended @Unity4J The global #FreeAssange supporters account!” tweeted Assange’s mother Christine Assange. “Its a central point for updates, interviews and actions re my son politically persecuted journalist JULIAN ASSANGE! Please demand @TwitterSupport and @Jack re-instate it. Many thanks #Unity4J”

“I have no doubt that @Unity4J’s twitter account was suspended because it was a hub of useful information on solidarity events and actions in support of Assange, WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning and more. Horrendous censorship to suspend the account, @TwitterSupport,” tweeted Elizabeth Lea Vos.

“If @Unity4J is not restored, it is proof that Twitter would have sided against the Free Mandela movement, and every other mass liberation movement of a ‘terrorist’ turned Nobel nominee,” tweeted Unity4J co-founder Suzie Dawson.

Many other Assange supporters have been flagging the attention of the Twitter Support account and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey objecting to the unjust silencing of a perfectly legitimate activist account, to no avail thus far.

HELP!! @Twitter suspended @Unity4J

The global #FreeAssange supporters account!

Its a central point for updates, interviews & actions re my son politically persecuted journalist JULIAN ASSANGE!

Please demand @TwitterSupport & @Jack re-instate it.

Many thanks #Unity4J

— Mrs Christine Assange (@AssangeMrs) July 11, 2019

The censorship of political speech on online media platforms is a large and growing problem. Twitter has been better about this than the far more sycophantic Facebook and Google, but the discrimination against anti-establishment political speech is undeniable at this point. I myself was removed from the platform last year just for saying the world would be better off without warmongering US Senator John McCain in it, and was only restored after protests from high-profile Twitter users.

In a corporatist system of government, in which there is no meaningful separation of corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. With giant Silicon Valley corporations aligning themselves with shady state-funded propagandistic think tanks like the Atlantic Council, being admonished on the Senate floor that they must help quash political rebellion, and being targeted for narrative control influence by the US military, there’s vanishingly little difference between what’s happening more and more to political speech with these tech giants and what happens in overtly totalitarian governments. The only difference is the stories people choose to tell themselves about it.

The time to speak up about this silencing is now. Your voice is next.

_____________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

The Lies The Grownups Told Us

Fri, 2019-07-12 09:07

When you’re a small kid the grownups tell you cute little lies. Lies about things like those presents under the Christmas tree coming from a hairy obese trespasser instead of your poor overworked mother, or that babies come from a man and a woman loving each other.

Then you get a little bigger and you learn that those grownups pulled a fast one on you. When you’re maybe around seven or eight you learn that Santa Claus was a psyop, and when you’re a little older you learn that babies come from a really yucky ordeal that you can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to participate in.

And it’s like, what the hell man? These grownups were meant to be teaching you the truth about the world, not filling your formative little mind with weird lies for their own amusement and/or psychological comfort.

But at least you know the truth now. You hear the younger kids talking about Santa and storks and you chuckle smugly at their naivety. “The ignorant fools,” you think to yourself. “I’m so glad I know the truth about the lies the grownups told us.”

It’s not until much, much later that you discover that there was one more secret that the grownups kept from you. A far, far bigger one.

This final revelation doesn’t hit suddenly, like discovering your unwrapped Christmas toys a week early while poking around in your parents’ bedroom closet. It creeps in slowly, over the course of many years. It might not even really click in until you have kids yourself.

Many indigenous cultures have a coming-of-age ceremony, after which you are considered by the only community you’ve ever known to be a full-fledged adult in every way. You suddenly begin relating to the world in the context of you being a grownup, and you very quickly learn the lesson that it’s not actually different from being a kid in any clear way that you can draw a line under and make a solid distinction.

The rest of us do not have such ceremonies. We get to be 18, 21, 25, 30, and slowly we come to think of ourselves as adult human beings because we start buying our own groceries and paying taxes and all that grownup stuff. But it typically comes in slowly and takes a long time to congeal.

It’s not until then that we discover the truth behind the final lie that the grownups told us: none of them ever had a fucking clue what’s going on.

But you don’t get to know this truth until your idea of yourself as a grownup has fully locked in. Until then you just sort of subconsciously assume that at some point you’re going to be as confident in your understanding of life and the world as the grownups who raised you and the ones you see in movies. It’s not until you realize that you are a grownup that you realize that this is it: you will never, ever know the answers to life’s big questions, or be able to understand the world in any way that is significantly different from the way you understood it as a kid. The only thing that changes is you lose your assumption that there are people in the world who understand it better than you do.

Grownups guard this secret closely, so closely that we hardly ever even talk about it. Some of us even keep it a secret from ourselves, continuing to stroll through life with feigned confidence in our Bible verses and our philosophy books, pretending to smugly chuckle at the ignorant grownups who don’t know what we know in exactly the same way we used to chuckle at little kids who don’t know about Santa.

But that’s all they’re ever doing: pretending. The only difference between you and the confident-sounding pundit people on TV is that the confident-sounding pundit people on TV have gotten good at faking it. They don’t actually understand life any better than you do, they’ve just learned the secret that you can get pretty much as far as you want to in life by feigning confidence in yourself.

Because it turns out that while human brains are pretty useful for learning skills to help you survive (which is what they were evolved to do), they are not at all useful for understanding what life is, what it’s about, what we’re meant to be doing here, or what really matters. Those things occupy a huge percentage of the things we like to argue with each other about, but nobody actually knows the truth about them. We’re all just making it up as we go along, with varying degrees of feigned confidence in our chosen approaches.

As a kid you think there will come a day when you’re a grownup and you’ll understand what life is, what it’s about, what we’re meant to be doing here, and what really matters. It’s not until you really notice that you’re all grown up that you gain the ability to see that such a day never comes.

And at that point the only choice you have to make is whether you’ll choose to fake it or not.

Personally, I recommend not. It is true that if you get very good at faking it you can have pretty much anything you want in life; you can become a powerful government leader, a millionaire political commentator, or the head of your own sex slave cult. But what you lose is the ability to relate to life honestly and spontaneously; to perceive its beauty and majesty with the innocent eyes of a newborn baby. The latter is far more pleasurable and delightful than anything the former can offer.

Sometimes I think it would be ideal if our whole society had some kind of coming-of-age ceremony, where your grandmother takes you up to the top of the tallest hill or building around and then whispers in your ear: “The secret of adulthood is that none of us really know anything of importance. We didn’t tell you this when you were small because we needed you to trust our authority when we taught you not to drink household cleaning chemicals and to look both ways before crossing the street. But now you are a grownup, and we can remove those training wheels for you. You will never understand this world. Life will always be a mystery to you until the day you die.”

Because then we’d be getting it all out in the open in a very conscious way. We’d skip all those years of confusion, and nobody would be able to pull a fast one on us by pretending to be the only person in the room who understands what’s going on. It would certainly keep us a lot more honest, anyway.

_________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

Opposing War Is The Best Approach To Revolution

Thu, 2019-07-11 09:05

One of the most common labels people use to describe what I do is some variation of “anti-war journalist” or “anti-imperialist blogger”, and I’m always a tiny bit surprised when I see it. Not because I disagree with it; opposition to US-centralized warmongering probably constitutes a majority of my content, so it’s a reasonable description. I’ve just never explicitly had opposing war in mind when doing what I do. It’s been the main byproduct of my journey here, but it’s never been my objective.

I got started on this gig making Facebook posts in Bernie Sanders groups after noticing that the US mass media were actively sabotaging his 2016 primary race. My goal at the time was the same as it is now: to help jailbreak Americans, and thus the rest of the world, from the nearly invisible power structures which are oppressing us all and driving us toward extinction. When I first started writing about the 2016 presidential campaign I didn’t focus nearly as much on US foreign policy as I do now.

The shift toward emphasis on US-led warmongering wasn’t something I planned, it was just the natural consequence of my staring, day after day, at the puzzle of how to free humanity from its chains. I didn’t understand the mechanics of empire all that well when I started out, so I meticulously studied the behavior of government and media structures and watched for opportunities to expose glitches in the narrative matrix so I could highlight them for my readers. As I got better at noticing these glitches, I found that the opportunities to go “Look! See? They’re lying to you!” most often presented themselves around the issues of war and imperialism.

This is because it turns out that endless war is an absolutely essential component of the globe-spanning alliance between oligarchs and government agencies which is sometimes referred to as the “deep state”. Exerting more and more control over world affairs is how the largest power structures on earth continue to expand their power, and this is impossible to do without using the carrot of US military/economic alliance and the stick of US military/economic punishment. US economic control isn’t hegemonic enough on its own to overcome the influence of growing economic powers like China, so the threat of military violence is absolutely essential for maintaining the power alliance. It’s the glue that holds the entire empire together.

US Foreign Policy Is A War On Disobedience

"So now you’ve got this weird dynamic where the US is constantly working to make sure that no other countries surpass it and gain the ability to treat America the way America treats other countries."https://t.co/AVJoxuLOSq

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) July 6, 2019

So endless war is a 100 percent indispensable element in preserving existing power structures. The US-centralized empire cannot exist without it. The trouble for the empire, however, is that it can’t just come out and tell the public “Yeah we need to destroy everyone who opposes our resource control agendas and dominance in key geostrategic regions, so we’ll be forcibly eliminating this noncompliant government on Thursday.” The public would never go for it, because that’s a plainly sociopathic values system which we are taught since school age that our society evolved beyond many generations ago. People would lose trust in all government institutions, and revolution would quickly foment as a result.

For this reason, propaganda is necessary. Because America is where the empire has centralized most of its military firepower and billionaires, Americans are the most propagandized people on earth. There are thousands of people whose whole entire job is to convince Americans that it is good and desirable to keep trillions of dollars in military hardware moving around the planet and killing complete strangers who pose no threat to any American.

The challenge for the propagandists is that this is plainly bat shit crazy. It’s an assignment that is both absolutely necessary and extremely difficult. When the entire world order depends on convincing millions of people that something transparently insane and ridiculous is perfectly sane and rational, you’re naturally going to have difficulty smoothing over all the plot holes in the narratives you’re selling. That’s why you’re always seeing glaring discrepancies in the narratives used to promote US foreign policy agendas. In retrospect I’ve pretty much built my career on highlighting these discrepancies.

The primary role US-led warmongering plays in maintaining existing power structures, which I first started to notice during the 2016 Democratic primaries, is on even clearer display during the 2020 Democratic primaries. You see candidates like Bernie Sanders being frowned upon by hardline centrists for promoting domestic policies which would hurt the profit margins of the oligarchs, but overall he’s being treated as a legitimate candidate and receiving reluctant coverage on mainstream media networks. Then you look at the treatment of a candidate like Tulsi Gabbard, who is campaigning on a major overhaul of US foreign policy, and she’s treated as a raving lunatic and a traitor.

“Challenging domestic policy status quo in Washington can be controversial and subject you to some attacks. But those who dissent from DC’s foreign policy addiction to imperialism, militarism and support for repression are those who are always most smeared and maligned,” Glenn Greenwald tweeted a while back.

Challenging domestic policy status quo in Washington can be controversial and subject you to some attacks. But those who dissent from DC's foreign policy addiction to imperialism, militarism & support for repression are those who are always most smeared and maligned: https://t.co/JYTJo9vXdq

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 14, 2019

You can get away with promoting things like universal healthcare or student debt forgiveness with only moderate pushback from the establishment, but wanting to scale back the forever war will quickly see you branded a Russian asset or an antisemite and canceled. The empire won’t even tolerate you interfering with their narratives, let alone getting elected. Your voice will be targeted with an aggressive smear campaign until they make sure that hardly anyone is listening to what you have to say.

The fact that we’re so strictly forbidden from pursuing this line of attack is a clear sign that warmongering is the weakest point in the empire’s armor. It’s the most essential component of the oppression machine, and its narratives are the weakest and most plot hole-riddled. If you’re interested in taking down the oligarchic machine which keeps ordinary people poor, sick and stupid, then attacking war propaganda is the most useful expenditure of energy.

American leftists and progressives have not been great at this; even those who identify as “anti-imperialist” tend to mostly stay focused on domestic issues. This is perfectly understandable, since Americans are the victims of the empire’s soul-crushing neoliberal exploitation and it is therefore the thing that is staring them in the face most often.

But the drivers of empire do not fear a push for domestic policy reform nearly as much as they fear a push for foreign policy reform. They know that the plebs can be kept poor and stupid enough to pose no threat to the oligarchs controlling all the money (and therefore all the power) by simply manipulating the system and herding everyone into controlled political opposition groups who will end up telling them “Ohh, sorry, we couldn’t get the congressional votes. Those damn Republicans!” A large public demand to end warmongering would be a much tougher challenge to manipulate around.

The Forever War Is So Normalized That Opposing It Is “Isolationism”

"Under our current Orwellian doublespeak paradigm where forever war is the new normal, the opposite of war is no longer peace, but isolationism." #war #peace #TulsiGabbardhttps://t.co/dLbW6O2bRV

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) June 29, 2019

It’s actually the same agenda anyway; the plutocratic class, which is incentivized to keep everyone else poor in a system wherein money equals power and power is relative, is the driving force behind both neoliberal exploitation and the forever war, and if you can end either of these things you will end the whole empire. It just happens that when you look at the whole picture, warmongering turns out to be the far easier and far more efficacious line of attack.

There are plenty of moral arguments against imperialism, but you don’t even need to enter into morality to see that it’s smart to make opposing war your foremost priority. The kingdom of the bastards who are grinding us all down and trying to make us poorer, sicker and stupider so we can’t muster the chutzpah to toss them out on their asses is fed by an umbilical cord of endless war, and we have the power to cut that cord by opposing war and attacking war propaganda together.

Change that, and we change everything. Ordinary humans can finally begin to make the world their own, guided not by sociopathic oligarchs but by an enlightened self-interest which realizes that the only way we can continue to survive is if we learn to collaborate with each other and with our ecosystem for the common good. This is all I’ve ever been pushing toward here. Deep down, it’s all any of us want.

__________________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

The Huntsman

Wed, 2019-07-10 20:02

A huntsman crawled onto my laptop
and the screen crackled into rainbows
and went white.
Jet black shadows slashed across the walls
of shapes I could almost remember.

“Let it all go,” said the huntsman.

“I cannot,” I replied,
“for the people on Twitter are mean jerks,
and Eckhart Tolle was just on the Rubin Report,
and Bob Dylan made a Christmas album,
and everything is phony and stupid
and the bad guys always win.”

“Let it all go,” said the huntsman.

“I cannot,” I replied,
“for my hand is now shaking,
and I’ve had this strange pulsing feeling in my tummy,
and I should really see a doctor about that,
and there’ll be no one to care for my children if I die,
and my pill bottle is all out of placebos,
and the ribbon on this laptop has run out of ink
and the mountain of pennies in my wishing well
has displaced all of the water.”

“Let it all go,” said the huntsman.

“I cannot,” I replied,
“for then everyone will see what a doofy loser I am,
and there’ll be no one to watch my unguarded back,
and people will stick knives where my armor used to be,
and I’ll lock myself out of my house because I always forget my keys,
and I’ll die of exposure all alone on my own doorstep
and then who will keep the world spinning with their worry?”

The huntsman beckoned me in closer
and touched my forehead.
The shadows gobbled up the walls,
the windows, the ceiling and the floor.

I beheld an impossibly vast presence
underneath the fundamental ground of being.
It had infinite arms and infinite eyes,
infinite mouths and infinite stomachs,
and countless spider faces pointing in all directions.
Its intensity surpassed the fury of every star in the universe.
Its vastness was incomprehensible.

Prismatic jellyfish rose up through my feet
and bubbled out the top of my head,
cleansing my cells of inner deceits.
Impossibly shaped godlings swirled around me,
chanting “Ooh ah ee! Ooh ah ee!
She is learning about real nakedness!”
in a language I’d need an impossible tongue to speak.

The thoughts in my head began bursting like bubble wrap
when you roll it into a bunch and twist it.
My nose, toes and fingers grew long and sprouted leaves,
and my hair became a chlorophyll peacock feather waterfall.
My hips split open and I birthed infinite worlds.

An alien song erupted from my throat
in a voice I haven’t used since before I was conceived:

“When the student is ready,
the guru appears.

When the poet is ready,
the poem appears.

When humanity is ready,
paradise appears.

When the questioner is ready,
the questions disappear.

The essence of buddha mind
is getting out of your own way.

Till the soil
for its own sake.

Till the soil
for its own sake.

End the narrative,
even this narrative.

Goodbye.

Goodbye.

Goodbye.”

Suddenly I began to feel that this was all happening in me,
that it had all always been happening in me.
Every movement since the dawn of time
has its origin in my heart of hearts,
arising from stillness,
disappearing back into stillness,
ungrabbed,
unmanipulated,
and unfathomably beloved.

“LET IT ALL GO,” spoke the Supreme Godhead.

“I am ready,” I replied.
“I am ready.”

And then I was back on my couch,
with my graying hair and my fat, sagging flesh,
and my old, gibbering thought patterns
whispering in my mind’s ear.

But it was different.

Very, very different.

__________________

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__________________

__________________

__________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

 

Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

Government That Tortures Journalists Bans RT From Media Conference

Tue, 2019-07-09 22:00

The British Foreign Office has banned Russian outlets RT and Sputnik from attending the upcoming Global Conference on Media Freedom in London, citing their predilection for “disinformation”.

“We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation,” said a Foreign Office spokeswoman.

“It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media; sadly, the world has learned to expect just that from the UK Foreign Office,” RT said in a statement in response.

“It amounts to direct politically motivated discrimination of the Russian channel,” said the Russian embassy in London. “The refusal of accreditation comes on top of the months-long smear campaign against RT by British political figures, governmental bodies, including media regulator Ofcom, and even fellow journalists.”

“Now a leading Russian international TV channel is denied access to the forum, despite being officially registered and working in the UK, on legal grounds,” the embassy added. “What better illustration of the real situation with media freedom in the UK does one need? Yet the organizers of the Conference, as far as we understand, wish to discuss the situation with media freedom anywhere in the world, but not in this country.”

UK govt organises international conference on ‘media freedom’, bans @RT_com (and Syria & Venezuela) from attending https://t.co/jT5LSFN0RN
’It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for media freedom, while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media’

— Charles Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeC) July 9, 2019

The BBC’s report on this story hilariously contains a brazenly propagandistic video titled “What’s so different about Russia Today?” which carefully explains why it’s very important for the BBC’s audience to understand that RT is propaganda.

“They want to be an alternative view, which in fact is the propaganda machine of, and is paid for by, the Kremlin,” says the video by the BBC, a government-funded news station with an established history of collaboration with British intelligence to deplatform dissenting voices.

“The BBC tries to cover all the angles of the story, including those that wouldn’t be pleasant to the UK government,” the BBC video claims. “RT always picks up pundits, questions, issues, angles that show the Kremlin and the Russian government in a positive way.”

In reality, the BBC is very much guilty of enforcing what British journalist Jonathan Cook recently described as the “narrow manufactured consensus of supposedly rational policy – neoliberal orthodoxy at home, and neoconservative warmongering abroad.” Like all other mainstream British media, the BBC works to shrink the Overton window of acceptable debate and propagandize British citizens into arguing over how existing power structures should be aided and maintained instead of whether those power structures should exist at all. For the BBC to pretend that it is in any way superior to RT on any level is laughable.

But the BBC will certainly be in attendance at the Global Conference on Media Freedom, welcomed with open arms by the British government it only half-pretends to have an oppositional relationship with.

This would be the same British government that is currently holding journalist Julian Assange behind bars pending a US extradition hearing for exposing American war crimes. The same British government who UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer found guilty of participating in the psychological torture of that same journalist. The same Foreign Office whose head, Jeremy Hunt, told Face the Nation last month that he will allow Assange to be extradited to the US if he succeeds in his bid to become the next Prime Minister, after explicitly and repeatedly condemning the persecution of dissident journalists in other nations.

You won’t see any of this ridiculous, jaw-dropping hypocrisy called out by the BBC, nor by any other mainstream outlet in the uniquely spineless and sycophantic British media. Do you know where you will see this hypocrisy being criticized? RT.

The only reason RT and Sputnik exist with any degree of popularity in the west is because, contrary to what the BBC claims, people are unable to hear any voices that are critical of real power from western mainstream media. If the BBC or any other British outlet were to begin platforming actual anti-war, leftist and anti-establishment voices with any degree of regularity, I can guarantee you with 100 percent certainty that RT and Sputnik would immediately lose their UK audiences.

But that never happens, because British mass media does not “cover all the angles of the story, including those that wouldn’t be pleasant to the UK government” as the BBC claims, it publishes propaganda which directly benefits the underlying power structures of the UK government. Their job isn’t to tell the truth and hold power to account, their job is to normalize the status quo, manufacture consent for endless war, and tell you day in and day out that Jeremy Corbyn is a cross between Adolf Hitler and a werewolf.

The UK and Canada have launched a global campaign to #DefendMediaFreedom and shine a spotlight on media abuses.

Today @Jeremy_Hunt, @cafreeland and Special Envoy on Media Freedom Amal Clooney discussed how we can reverse the trend of violence against journalists. pic.twitter.com/daK3a6hYr7

— Foreign Office

Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World” - Misattributed, Misused, And Obscenely Underappreciated

Mon, 2019-07-08 09:22

Name a quote by Mahatma Gandhi.

Odds are the first thing that jumps into your mind is the famous, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s a good quote. It’s pithy enough to fit on a bumper sticker, and it resonates deeply with something inside us all which tells us that it points to something true and valuable.

But, like so many other pithy bumper sticker quotes we see floating around today, these words were never spoken by the person they’re attributed to. What Gandhi actually said was this:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.”

Oof. That’s a bit more confrontational than the popularized version, isn’t it? Change my own nature? I thought we were talking about something light and easy, like not wearing fur or buying fair trade coffee beans.

That’s how “Be the change you wish to see in the world” tends to get interpreted today. It’s a line that is so commonly regurgitated in our society that it’s now cliché and almost meaningless, something you see on cheap keychains at the mall and scan over without really reading, but assume you understand because you’ve seen it so many times before. If pressed to really think about it, most people will say it means something like make the changes in the world that you want to see. If you don’t like factory farming, become a vegan. If you don’t like poverty, volunteer at a soup kitchen.

But that isn’t what the quote says. It’s nothing like what the original one by Gandhi says. It’s not even what the stripped-down bumper sticker version says.

Even if you look at the popularized version of the quote, really look at it with fresh eyes that haven’t seen it thoughtlessly regurgitated by corporate liberals and plastered on K-Mart products, you come away with the same message as the original. It doesn’t say “Do the change you wish to see in the world.” It doesn’t say “Enact the change you wish to see in the world.” It says “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It isn’t referring to a mere change in behavior or lifestyle, it’s saying change who you are as a person. It’s saying change your own nature to change the world.

This is night-and-day different from the conventional interpretation. The conventional interpretation of the quote exists as a vapid platitude that people make fun of hippies and New Agers for over-using. A deep, visceral understanding of that same quote, however, conveys more wisdom than all religious texts in the world combined. It’s a call into a transformation that is more real than childbirth. More existentially confrontational than a terminal cancer diagnosis.

The first challenge of the quote is to get you thinking hard about what changes you do in fact want to see in the world. Most people never even get that far into it. Few have actually thought hard about what kind of world they’d like to see in a positive way that actually envisions what that world would look like. Most people only think in terms of the little partisan battles they’re seeing currently: universal healthcare, immigration policies, gun control, austerity policies, abortion, LGBTQ issues, police brutality, etc. Few people get as far as sitting down and deeply contemplating a positive vision for the kind of world they’d like to help create.

When I make an inventory of the changes I wish to see in the world, I know I want to see people consistently choosing health over the illusion of security.

I want them making choices with the highest interest of everyone concerned over their own self-interest, even if those choices make them feel exposed or vulnerable because they appear to go against their finances or tribal groupthink, or are outside their comfort zone.

I want people to be collaborative rather competitive.

I want people to start trusting that the steps will appear in front of them as we forge a path onto a new, undiscovered route rather than retreat to the well-trodden highways because they are familiar even though we already know they lead the wrong way.

I want to see people giving up their tribalism and embracing their humanism.

I want to see people loving themselves deeply enough to love others meaningfully and with clear eyes.

I want people to rise above the competing narratives and make their distinctions according to actions and reality rather than the stories of the manipulators or their own internal manipulations.

I want people to have the wisdom to acknowledge where they have power and privilege and use it courageously, and where they are powerless so they may force those in power to change our suicidal trajectory immediately.

I want people to tell the truth, even if at first it’s only to themselves.

I want people to choose life over death, every time, without hesitation, and I want them to always seek their solutions in life and healing and harmony and reject the solutions offered by death, destruction, manipulation, sabotage and chaos.

These are just my personal desires for the world. After laying those out, the next challenge posed by “Be the change you wish to see in the world” is far more serious, and, if undertaken, will remain front and center in your attention the rest of your life.

Looking at the changes I wish to see in the world, I endeavor to be someone who consistently chooses to press the “health” button even if it scares me, or others, or both.

I try to be someone who always chooses in the highest interest rather than manipulating it slightly so I get a bit more or I look a bit cooler.

I try to tell the truth even when my tribe is yelling at me to shut up, but I try to have the wisdom to only do that when it benefits everyone and not just to seek drama or attention.

I try to trapeze through life using my inner compass because I know for sure that my old paths never led anywhere good.

I try to not manipulate others, and I try to not manipulate myself in order to pretend to myself that I’m not manipulating others.

I try to love the parts of me that I see in others, especially those parts that make me cringe, but also I try to love myself enough to walk away from someone whose patterns are hurting me.

I try to make distinctions by what I see people doing rather than what I hear them saying, and I try to integrate my thoughts and my actions as much as possible.

I try to use my power and privilege for the highest interest of everyone, but I refuse to take responsibility for things outside of my control, and I pledge to hold those who do have that power to account.

I try always to tell the truth, even if it’s just to myself at times because in that instance I don’t have enough power and privilege to speak it without getting unjustly punished. But if it’s in the highest interest to take unjust punishment, then I choose that.

I choose life, every time, without hesitation, and I want to heal any blocks either in me or outside of me that is resistant to turning every atom of my being towards life and healing.

Of course I fail a lot, but I hope to continue to noticing when I fail and course-correcting as often as needed, because getting this right is much more important to me than feeling like I’m right. I want this more than I want the story of having this already. I want to change the world more than I want the story of changing the world.

Crucially, I want this more than I want “me”, more than I want the personality that I think of as “me”. Whole parts of my identity have had to die in order to change into something healthier and more agile, and there will be many more parts of me that have to die in the future, and I welcome that. I welcome that with a deep breath of trepidation because it’s not easy, and in the moment before letting go it feels like I really am dying, but I know that it has to happen, and the more I do it, the more positive reinforcement I get as my reluctance gets overridden with curiosity as to what will manifest in the space I’ve created. And I know that in any case it’s better than the alternative, which is a slow, actual death through stagnation.

Beyond the bumper sticker, I’m pretty sure ol’ Mahatma was on to something pretty huge. I’m pretty sure this is how we fix it. It calls to mind that other hackneyed chestnut, The Serenity Prayer. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference,” another saying that has eroded into superficiality but contains some deep wisdom if you take it on as your calling. If we all individually took sincere responsibility for the only thing we can actually change — ourselves — then the knock-on effects are unquantifiable.

And, inevitably, world-changing.

___________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

US Foreign Policy Is A War On Disobedience

Sun, 2019-07-07 06:31

In an excellent new essay titled “We’re Not the Good Guys — Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?“, Tom Engelhardt criticizes the way western media outlets consistently describe the behavior of disobedient nations like Iran as “aggressions”, but never use that label for the (generally antecedent and far more egregious) aggressions of the United States.

“When it comes to Washington’s never-ending war on terror, I think I can say with reasonable confidence that, in the past, the present, and the future, the one phrase you’re not likely to find in such media coverage will be ‘American aggression,'” Engelhardt writes. He then asks a very fair question:

“So here’s the strange thing, on a planet on which, in 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to 149 countries, or approximately 75% of all nations; on which the U.S. has perhaps 800 military garrisons outside its own territory; on which the U.S. Navy patrols most of its oceans and seas; on which U.S. unmanned aerial drones conduct assassination strikes across a surprising range of countries; and on which the U.S. has been fighting wars, as well as more minor conflicts, for years on end from Afghanistan to Libya, Syria to Yemen, Iraq to Niger in a century in which it chose to launch full-scale invasions of two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), is it truly reasonable never to identify the U.S. as an ‘aggressor’ anywhere?”

In other words, does it really make sense for any nation to be able to take over the world and then look up with Bambi-eyed innocence saying “I was attacked! Completely out of the blue!” whenever any government pushes back on this? If you ask the empire’s narrative makers, the answer is a resounding yes.

The U.S. has military forces in over a hundred countries. So why won't the mainstream media call us an aggressor? https://t.co/8jFs4QSyqV

— The Nation (@thenation) July 5, 2019

This important discrepancy is as close as we’ll ever get to an honest admission from the political/media class that they consider empire-building and endless war to be normal, and any opposition to it freakish. All nations are meant to submit to America’s use of military and economic force upon them, and if they don’t, that’s “aggression”. The official position of the political/media class is that the US is a normal nation with the same rights and status as any other, but the unofficial position is that this is an empire, and nations will either obey or be destroyed.

It’s a machine with the same values as Napoleon or Hitler or Genghis Khan or any other imperialist conqueror from ages past; the only difference is that it pretends not to be the thing that it is. The US markets itself as an upholder of rules-based liberal democratic values, even though it consistently flouts international law, wages imperialist wars of aggression, imprisons journalists, crushes dissent and uses propaganda just as much as any totalitarian regime. The only difference is that it does so in a way that enables its supporters to pretend that that’s not what’s actually happening.

Forget the “war on terror”. If US foreign policy were honest it would unite all its war propaganda sloganeering under a single banner: the War on Disobedience.

After the end of the first cold war there was much celebration. At long last! The USSR was no longer a threat, so America could finally stop pouring its resources into the nuclear arms race and finally just relax and start acting like a normal country in the world. But it didn’t take long after the Berlin Wall fell for the neoconservatives to find their way into key points of influence and steer US foreign policy into the agenda of ensuring that America never again risks losing its status as the world’s only superpower. Which necessarily meant expanding the use of military and economic force to a level never previously seen.

So now you’ve got this weird dynamic where the US is constantly working to make sure that no other countries surpass it and gain the ability to treat America the way America treats other countries. That’s all US military and economic agendas in a nutshell right now.

The nation that poses the greatest threat to US hegemony is of course China. Most of the US war machine’s aggressions right now are ultimately built around securing resource control and geostrategic dominance to prevent China from surpassing it without attacking China itself. Any time you see the US ramping up hostilities toward a given nation, just do a search for that nation’s name plus China (or plus “Belt and Road Initiative“), and you’ll usually find a strong connection.

So the USSR was simply replaced with China, and the nuclear arms race was simply replaced with greatly increased global military expansionism. The plutocrat-owned media and the plutocrat-owned political class have fallen right in line with this and normalized the idea of US imperialism around the world. The cold war never ended, it just shifted its narrative and focus. Neoconservatism never went away, it just went mainstream.

U.S. Foreign Policy for Dummies: pic.twitter.com/jRZh0lSW5f

— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 6, 2019

 

But the thing about neocons and the rest of the increasingly indistinguishable proponents of American imperialism is that their underlying thesis is actually fundamentally correct: the US empire does depend on endless war in order to maintain its dominance over other nations. America doesn’t have the leverage to stay on top using economic prowess alone; it requires both the carrot of US military backing and the stick of US military aggressions. War is the only adhesive holding the US-centralized empire together, and the more its economic dominance slips away in the face of China’s economic rise, the more ham-fisted and desperate its warmongering is necessarily going to get.

This is completely unsustainable, especially in a world where the other major nuclear weapons force, Russia, is on China’s side of the new cold war dynamic. We’ve all now found ourselves trapped on a planet made of limited resources with two major alliances trying to out-consume and out-resource control each other, while hurtling toward a major military confrontation between nuclear superpowers. This puts us on a direct trajectory toward either nuclear annihilation or ecosystemic collapse in the near term. This means the argument that America needs to maintain its dominance at all cost is no longer a viable one, since that cost will almost certainly be everything in the world.

So we’ve all got some important questions to ask ourselves, haven’t we? Do we desire to stay in the familiar US-controlled world order at the price of omnicide and ecocide, or do we wish to roll the dice and bet on humanity instead? Do we wish to stay the course because it preserves a status quo that is all we’ve ever known, or do we take a leap of faith on the possibility that we can de-escalate all geopolitical enmity and move into collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem?

This choice right here is why I write so much about mankind’s need to transcend its old conditioning patterns and move into something wildly unprecedented. Our current fear-based mentality makes a populism-driven leap of faith into transcendence impossible and ensures that we remain on an oligarch-driven trajectory toward extinction. I firmly believe that we have the freedom to either pass or fail this test, but we don’t have the freedom not to take it. We’ll transcend our old conditioning patterns which we inherited from our evolutionary ancestors who lived in a wildly different world from the one we’ve created, or we will perish. It’s an A or B choice, but the choice is ours.

___________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World

“Good Guys” And “Bad Guys” Are A Hollywood Illusion

Fri, 2019-07-05 21:09

If you have spent literally any time arguing against western imperialism in any public forum, you have had the experience of being accused of “supporting” one of said imperialism’s targets. If you argue against regime change interventionism in Syria, you’ll get accused of being an “Assadist” or “Assad apologist”. If you argue against regime change interventionism in Iran, you’ll you’ll get people saying that you “support the Mullahs”. Enter into any debate of sufficient liveliness and it’s only a matter of minutes before it happens.

There was a meme going around at the height of the most recent failed coup attempt in Venezuela depicting a white, pink-haired socialist placing their hand over the mouth of a dark-skinned Venezuelan and saying “ACKSHUALLY, MADURO IS THE GOOD GUY”. Proponents of the Trump administration’s attempts to topple the Venezuelan government would share this meme in online debates with anti-imperialists as a way of accusing them of whitesplaining to Venezuelans that they should support an evil dictator who is oppressing them. The idea being, of course, to silence those dastardly socialists using the socially progressive value system they claim to uphold. Checkmate, leftists.

There are obviously a number of things that are wrong with this meme, including the skin pigmentation of the average Guaido supporter, the implication that all Venezuelans oppose Maduro, and the suggestion that only white western leftists oppose the Trump administration’s attempts to install a puppet regime in the nation with the largest proven oil reserves on the planet. But the dumbest thing about it is the implication that someone who opposes US regime change interventionism could only be doing so because they believe that Nicolás Maduro is a “good guy”.

The reason debates about western imperialism so frequently get bogged down by moronic arguments about “good guys” and “bad guys” is because human storytelling devices train us from an early age to constantly frame narratives in those terms. Everything we’ve been taught by TV and movies tells us that if a conflict is happening, someone in it must be the protagonist and someone must be the antagonist, and that our job is to figure out which one’s which.

For as long as humans have been telling stories, this is how they’ve been doing it. A hero wants something, has some kind of adventure trying to get it, but a villain tries to stop them. It’s a recipe for exciting storytelling that’s been used since time immemorial, and it works because the standard human ego is structured to spin mental narratives about itself as the central character whose wants are constantly being fulfilled by friendlies and thwarted by hostiles. Almost every story from the earliest prehistoric campfire circles to the latest Hollywood blockbuster has in essence been nothing other than a storyteller using a simple mind hack to attract the interest and attention of their audience, just by making their narrative relatable using the protagonist/antagonist framework which the ego finds so appealing.

We’re always the hero in our little ego narratives about our day-to-day lives. We like people who do things we want and we dislike people who do things we don’t want. We stand transfixed by our babbling mental ego narratives, so we find any similar external narrative mesmerising in the same way.

But it’s just an illusion. There are no “good guys” or “bad guys” in real life, either in our personal lives or in international affairs. There are just people. Some of those people do things we like more often than they do things we don’t like, and vice versa, but that’s not a matter of whether they’re “good” or “bad”, it’s a matter of our personal preferences and how we think people ought to behave. “Good” or “bad” isn’t written on anyone’s DNA or inscribed above their heads upon the fabric of reality; we made it up.

In reality, it’s very possible to oppose US regime change interventionism in Venezuela without having a single thought ever appear in your head about whether or not Nicolás Maduro is a “good guy”. American-led regime change interventionism has a well-documented and historically undeniable history of increasing suffering and death in the nations in which it takes place, and consistently fails to accomplish what its proponents claim it will. You don’t need to have any opinions about who Maduro is as a person to recognize this self-evident fact and oppose yet another US regime change campaign in yet another oil-rich nation.

To preempt the inevitable Godwin’s law counter-argument here, of course it’s useful to discern individual behavior patterns in people and talk about what specific patterns they tend to exhibit. Of course it’s useful to recognize that Hitler did many things that we should always oppose going forward. But notice how the only reason Godwin’s law exists is because the “good guys versus bad guys” dichotomy allows people to associate anyone who opposes their side with Hitler, thereby marking them as the “bad guy” side in a given debate. That’s all anyone who fulfils Godwin’s law is ever trying to do.

It’s very useful to pay attention to the specific behavior patterns of specific individuals, and to make distinctions as to whether or not those behavior patterns are desirable or undesirable to you. But it’s also very useful to understand how the “good guys vs bad guys” dichotomy is leveraged by those who seek to control our thoughts and perceptions.

Think about it: where are we trained to look for heroes in real life? Soldiers and policemen, the violent enforcers of the status quo. Politicians like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, depending on which side of the fake partisan divide you’re on. And where are we trained to look for villains? Dictators and rule-breakers, and people who are on the other side of the illusory partisan divide.

Awful convenient for those who benefit from maintaining the status quo, no?

There is one direction in which we are very seldom trained to look for a superhero to come to the rescue, and that’s within. The notion that we ourselves might be the real agents of change in this world is downplayed by the propagandists who fear a surge in populism more than they fear anything else in this world.

Much better to keep people focused on polarizing figures like Donald Trump, who most people seem incapable of viewing as anything other than either a Deep State-fighting superhero or a Hitler-like supervillain whose actions are either all pure good or all pure evil. Divorced from the “good guys vs bad guys” dichotomy, this administration’s behavior can be described in the same way as its predecessors: mostly supportive of the violent and increasingly Orwellian pillars of empire, with a few helpful things mixed in. Yet it’s rare to find anyone who is capable of discussing Trump outside of the false dichotomy.

And the same would be more or less true of whoever Trump winds up running against in 2020. Even if by some miracle Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard overcome the rightward-slanted DNC nomination process and go on to beat Trump in the general election, they will with absolute certainty advance many of the destructive agendas upon which the US empire is built. They are not heroes either. This doesn’t mean they’re villains, it just means that “heroes versus villains” is an illusion we’ve been trained since our earliest media-consuming days to buy into.

The world makes a lot more sense when you peel away the lens from your eyes which perceives life in neat little Hollywood-shaped narratives with protagonists and antagonists and clear beginnings, middles and ends. Because it turns out that we’re all actually a bunch of confused primates doing the best we can with the wildly unique and incredibly complex sets of conditioning we’ve been dealt by our individual birth circumstances and life events. The “good guys versus bad guys” dichotomy is just imaginary conceptual overlay on top of a giant biological storm which carries on in cool indifference to our puny little egocentric narratives.

Atoms swirl, cells cluster, and life lifes away as this strange new species stumbles around trying to make sense of the world with its recently evolved extra gray matter and the capacity for abstract thought which comes with it. It has some successes and many failures in trying to figure out how to make living on this spinning rock a little more harmonious, and it will either succeed or it will fail. It’s egoically comfortable to slice this dance up into a narrative about heroes and villains, good guys and bad guys, but it’s really all one twirling, churning, chaotic and beautiful dance.

__________________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Categories: America, Foreign Policy, World