The wisdom of Caitlin

23 Jan

Hard as I try to vary my sources for masthead quotes – from Vladimir Putin to Leonard Cohen, Lenin to Steve Coogan – blogger Caitlin Johnstone remains overrepresented. She is so damn quotable on top topics of the day.

Here are a few bytes from her post this morning:

In a country of 328 million people the guy that gets to the top is one of the worst human beings in the entire population. That’s the “democracy” you’re told is under attack … And this isn’t even prime Biden. This is coming out of retirement for a half-assed exhibition match Joe Biden … Now everyone has forgotten who Joe Biden is, including Joe Biden.

This next one’s been stored for a future masthead quote:

Leftist: There’s been a bombing! Liberal: Oh no! Where?? Leftist: The Middle East and Africa mostly. Our government drops bombs there every day. Liberal: Oh thank God. I thought you meant a bombing of real people.

On the essence of being considered an extremist:

Being anti-imperialist in this society is like being the black sheep of the family who never gets invited to holiday dinners because she always brings up the fact Uncle Larry is a child molester.

Finally, a distillation of what she was rightly saying in a post two days before Xmas:

Trump was none of the things Democrats said he was and none of the things Republicans said he was and all of the things they both are.

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5 Replies to “The wisdom of Caitlin

    • I’m an admirer of Jonathan’s calm tone and reasoned approach. (And as an ex Guardian writer he cuts to the essence of that paper’s driving logic.) The piece you linked is likely to make my three reads post this Sunday. Spoilt for choice, I’ll single out this:

      Jones’ logic is even more grossly flawed than [Monbiot’s]. It pretends that the left can echo the rhetoric of the warmongers and not take responsibility for the war industries that constantly thrive and expand, whether or not actual wars are being waged at any one time.

      More flawed than George’s? A few years ago – referenced in my post, Monbiot, Syria and Universalism – Jonathan quoted Noam Chomsky as follows …

      when American dissidents criticize … Cuba or Vietnam … it’s not going to have any effect on [Havana] but will help the torturers in Washington and Miami in their campaign of suffering on the Cuban population through the US-led embargo.

      … before going on to say:

      Monbiot repeatedly denies he wants a military attack on Syria. But if he weakly accepts whatever narratives are crafted by those who do – and refuses to subject them to meaningful scrutiny – he is decisively helping to promote such an attack.

      Jonathan’s succinctly incisive summing up of general services rendered by Guardian to capitalism and imperialism – and particular services rendered by Owen and George – is referenced in my post, What’s the point of George Monbiot?

      Good people, intelligent and caring men and women, are fans of Owen and George. They can’t see it but once you look beyond the Overton Window, three things become clear. One, the Guardian is no different from any other capitalist concern. As such it has a customer base, in this case liberal white-collar professionals. Should it fail to deliver to those customers, a rival concern will oust it. Two, Owen and George seem to speak truth to power only because their colleagues blatantly do not. Three, as argued in this post, their roles are to sanitise and give left cover to a Guardian whose own role is to sanitise and give liberal cover to a neoliberal world order crucially premised on super exploitation of the global south.

      Other writers – Suzanne Moore, say, and Martin Kettle – have different jobs, catering for non left liberalism. Just like a supermarket chain – Jonathan’s analogy – as many bases as can be covered (without irreparable damage to overall brand integrity) will be covered.

  1. Further to the above, I’ve just been reading a page on Jon Worth’s ‘Euroblog’ https://jonworth.eu/uk-politics-all-so-wrong-its-hard-to-know-where-to-start/comment-page-1/#comment-677782 (not a revolutionary site!) where he’s wondering just what’s going on with UK politics. I replied to him, and the more I think about it, the more I believe that there is something bigger going on just now.

    Anyway, my reply was along the lines of:

    “It all seems to be part of a very strange zeitgeist, Trumps Neo-fascist regime and continuing support, the gradual and increasingly swift decline of the US infrastructure and empire and so internal turbulence and decline, the ongoing terminal decline and fall of the British Empire to where there will only be England (and maybe Gibralter), the unstoppable rise of China and probable eventual rise of Brazil and India, the gradual resurgence of Europe from under the US protection racket, the urgent necessity to change the capitalist norm to engage with global warming. All these under / over currents are happening now, like the rumbling of a volcano before eruption.

    In my opinion, the world is on the verge of a new and turbulent shake-up, similar to the situation around 1918 or maybe 1944, which will introduce a ‘new world order’.”

    And the more I think about it, the more I come to agree with myself – we are on the verge of a substantial change in the world political situation.

    What does anyone else think? Have I had one Williamsons ‘Fraoch’ too many, or is there really something going on?

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