As she so often does, Caitlin Johnstone, in her post today, has taken the words from my mouth:
It Takes A Touch Of Madness: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix
It takes a touch of madness to take seriously the possibility that your entire society is insane.
That’s why devoted critics of the oligarchic empire are often a bit odd; something in them was driven to wade into waters most people aren’t psychologically prepared to enter.
It’s not that questioning the status quo is madness; just the opposite: it’s that “Maybe everything I’ve been taught is a lie and everyone I know is wrong and all the information I’m getting is designed to serve the powerful?” isn’t the sort of question you tend to ask when everything’s going your way. If you had a happy idyllic childhood where mummy and daddy loved you very much and have lived a life where things generally go okay for you, you’ll likely be psychologically stable, but you’re a lot less likely to go “Hey wait a minute—maybe all of this is bullshit!” That type of insight tends to fall to those who are just a hair off-kilter.
So here’s to all you heroic lunatics, waking the world up one pair of eyelids at a time. The smiley-face gear-turners might scoff at you right now, but the world needs you, not them.
Consider the possibility that all the Russia hysteria we’ve been fed the last few years was carefully rolled out to manufacture consent for the exact escalations against Russia that we’re seeing today, and all the framing of Russia as the hostile aggressor has been ass backwards.
Let’s not forget after all that this has been fundamentally driven from the beginning by the same intelligence agencies who have an extensive history of lying about exactly this sort of thing.
Politicians and pundits feel free to claim with absolute certainty that Russia is about to launch an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine because five years of Russia hysteria have taught them that they will suffer exactly zero professional consequences when they’re proven wrong.
Of all the countless westerners who learned the word “Crimea” five minutes ago and have been mindlessly bleating it at anyone who criticizes the US narrative on Ukraine, exactly zero of them are aware that an overwhelming super majority of Crimeans prefer to be part of Russia.
A referendum was held in 2014 in which Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, the results of which mirrored a similar vote in 1991 to secede from Ukraine which the Ukrainian government overruled. These results have been further confirmed by western pollsters in 2015 and 2019. The fact that the overwhelming majority of Crimeans prefer to be part of Russia is a settled matter beyond dispute.
To be honest I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people on the left for the way they chose at this crucial point in history to pour tons of energy into tearing down other anti-imperialist socialists who don’t agree with them about government Covid measures. People on both sides did this.
By this I obviously don’t mean disagreement or debate about vax mandates or whatever, I mean the way people have been making it about the person and not the ideas. Actively smearing and attacking members of a small powerless faction and creating deep sectarian enmity where there didn’t used to be any.
I mean, we’re staring down the barrel of extinction on multiple fronts while the depraved status quo becomes more and more entrenched, and you think it’s a wise expenditure of energy to sow division and trash the reputation of powerless people who don’t agree with you on one thing? Says a lot about your clarity.
I think it revealed a lot about who’s actually in this to help make the world a better place and who’s just in it for ego and aggrandizement. If someone disagreeing with you about this one thing means you need to focus your fire on them instead of on the empire, you’re just in this for ego.
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“A referendum was held in 2014 in which Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, the results of which mirrored a similar vote in 1991 to secede from Ukraine which the Ukrainian government overruled. These results have been further confirmed by western pollsters in 2015 and 2019. The fact that the overwhelming majority of Crimeans prefer to be part of Russia is a settled matter beyond dispute.”
These are matters of history which are daily expunged from the historical record by Western media (including those who present themselves as “liberal” and “impartial”) which would doubtless otherwise style the process as “Orwellian”. Just not when they do it.
Indeed. Corporate media’s countless lies of omission are not only more widespread – and safer – than their many lies of commission. In the long run they are also more effective. By these lies of omission, and attendant Overton Window, an overarching discourse is built that (a) capitalism, for all its problems, is the best available system (and its critics at best naive) and (b) the West, owing to Enlightenment values (rather than five centuries of exploiting the global south) is morally entitled to lead the world.
News media aren’t the only props of this overarching discourse – education, arts, and the soft propaganda of Hollywood and other entertainment industries do their bit too – but theirs is a vital role.
A further, inexplicable, phenomena is that in which significant and loud parts of the self proclaimed ‘progressive left’ have, without barely missing a beat, gone from raging against the machine to raging for the machine.
The truth will out, but it does have a nasty habit of doing so after the damage is done.