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Caitlin Johnstone: “Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems”

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Written by Caitlin Johnstone; Originally appeared at her blog

new article by Forbes reports that the CEO of Crowdstrike, the extremely shady cybersecurity corporation which was foundational in the construction of the official CIA/CNN Russian hacking narrative, is now a billionaire.

George Kurtz ascended to the billionaire rankings on the back of soaring stocks immediately after the company went public, carried no doubt on the winds of the international fame it gained from its central protagonistic role in the most well-known hacking news story of all time. A loyal servant of empire well-rewarded.

Caitlin Johnstone: "Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems"

Never mind that US government insiders like Hillary Clinton had been prepping for escalations against Russia well in advance of the 2016 elections, and that their preexisting agendas to shove a geostrategic obstacle off the world stage benefitted from the hacking narrative as much as George Kurtz did.

Never mind that Crowdstrike is tied to the NATO narrative management firm known as the Atlantic Council, which receives funding from the US government, the EU, NATO, Gulf states and powerful international oligarchs. Never mind either that Crowdstrike was financed with a whopping $100 million from Google, which has had a cozy relationship with US intelligence agencies since its very inception.

Never mind that to this day the DNC servers have not been examined by the FBI, nor indeed were they examined by the Special Counsel of Robert “Iraq has WMD” Mueller, preferring instead to go with the analyses of this extremely shady outfit with extensive and well-documented ties with the oligarchic leaders of the US-centralized empire. Also never mind that the Crowdstrike analyst who led forensics on those DNC servers had in fact worked for and was promoted by Robert Mueller while the two were in the FBI.

As I never tire of saying, the real underlying currency in our world is not gold, nor bureaucratic fiat, nor even raw military might. The real underlying currency of our world is narrative, and the ability to control it.

As soon as you really grok this dynamic, you start noticing it everywhere. George Kurtz is one clear example today of narrative control’s central role in the maintenance and expansion of existing power structures, as well as an illustration of how the empire is wired to reward those who advance pro-empire narratives and punish those who damage them; just compare how he’s doing to how Julian Assange is doing, for example.

But you see examples pop up every day:

  • The US State Department just got busted using a $1.5 million troll farm to manipulate public discourse on social media about Iran.
  • Video footage has just surfaced of the OPCW Director General admitting that the OPCW did indeed deliberately omit any mention in its official findings of a report from its own investigation which contradicts the establishment narrative about a chemical strike in Douma, Syria, an admission which answers controversial questions asked by critics of western imperialism like myself, and which the mainstream media have not so much as touched.
  • Mintpress News broke a story the other day about a new narrative management operation known as “The Trust Project”, a coordinated campaign by establishment-friendly mass media outlets for “gaming search-engine and social-media algorithms in collusion with major tech companies like Google and Twitter.”
  • In a new interview with The Canary, UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer explicitly named the mass media as largely responsible for Assange’s psychological torture, excoriating them for the way that they “have shown a remarkable lack of critical independence and have contributed significantly to spreading abusive and deliberately distorted narratives about Mr Assange.”
  • In a new essay called “Freeing Julian Assange”, journalist Suzie Dawson reports that “Countless articles appear to have been obliterated from the internet” about Assange and WikiLeaks, amounting to some 90 percent of the links Dawson examined which were shared in tweets by or about WikiLeaks and Assange since 2010.
  • I just finished reading this excellent Swiss Propaganda Research essayabout the little-known fact that “most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.”

Any one of these could have a full-length Caitlin Johnstone essay written about it. I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don’t have the time or energy to write full articles about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralized empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they’re just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.

Because whoever controls the narrative controls the world.

Power used to be much easier to identify in our society: just look for the fellow with the sparkly hat made of gold sitting in a really big chair and bossing everyone around. As our society advanced philosophically, however, people began to tire of having every aspect of their society determined by some schmuck in a golden hat, and started fighting for ideals called “freedom” and “democracy” in their respective nations. And, as far as our parents and teachers have taught us, freedom and democracy are exactly what we have now.

Except that’s all crap. Freedom and democracy only exist within the western empire to the extent that it keeps up appearances. Because the trouble with democracy, it turns out, is that human minds are very hackable, as long as you’ve got the resources. Wealthy and powerful people do have the resources, which means that it’s very possible for wealthy and powerful people to manipulate the masses into voting in a way that consistently benefits the wealthy and powerful. This is why billionaires and narrative controlconsistently go hand-in-hand.

This dynamic has allowed for western power structures to operate in a way that western democracy was explicitly designed to prevent: for the benefit of the powerful instead of for the benefit of the voting populace. So now we’ve got people in so-called liberal democracies voting to maintain governments which advance wars which don’t benefit them, to advance intrusive surveillance and police state policies which oppress them, to advance austerity policies which harm them, to advance labor policies which exploit them, and to maintain ecocidal environmental policies which threaten the very survival of our species. All because the wealthy and powerful are able to use their wealth and power to manipulate the way people think and vote.

This is why I pay far more attention in my work to narrative control than to politics. Politics is downstream from narrative control, which is why the 2020 US presidential race is already a contest to see what level of Democratic corporatist warmonger will be running against the incumbent Republican corporatist warmonger. The narrative-controlling class does its level best to hide the fact that anything’s fundamentally wrong with the system, then when people notice it’s deeply broken they encourage them to use completely impotent tools to fix it. “Don’t like how things are run? Here, vote for our otherpuppet!”

The root of all our problems right now is the fact that human minds are very hackable with enough resources, combined with the fact that war, oppression, exploitation and ecocide are highly profitable. This dynamic has caused human collective consciousness to generally dead-end into a kind of propagandized, zombified state in which all our knowledge and all our thinking moves in alignment with the agendas of existing power structures. It’s much easier to continue believing the official narratives than to sort through everything you’ve been told about your society, your nation and your world since grade school and work out what’s true and what’s false. Many don’t have the time. Many more don’t have the courage.

We will remain in this collective dead-end, hurtling toward either Orwellian dystopia or extinction via climate collapse or nuclear armageddon, until we find a way out of it. It won’t come from the tools our rulers have given us, and it won’t come from repeating any of the old patterns which got us here. In order to escape from the increasingly adept narrative control matrix that is being built around our collective mind by the powerful, we’re going to have to change our relationship with narrative altogether. We will either pass this great test or we will fail it, and we absolutely have the freedom to go either way.

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  • Lying is as old as human civilization.

    The United States has just once again brought it to the fore.

    Why?

    Because it is trying to do so very many discreditable things in the world all at one time.

    That effort takes a lot of lies.

  • hvaiallverden

    Yup, nice one, hehe, ugh…. it feels so f…. good to kick balls sometimes, an very underestemated art, and I know some more, whats called, from various, incl chairs flying hurrays local partys, all done by moonshine and lord knows what else.
    But it was in an time when kicking an man already lying down is and was seen as an despicable low life act, it was not because of nesesery an act of kindness, but for not escalating this, if it was after all just babeling, or by some obscure moment in rage says thing a tiny bit out of context, this reasons was seen upon as a but imature, pre-pubertal inetria into violence because of not been able to control our self, etc.
    It was an gentlemans act, for not further mutilate than messesery, after all, smal towns are small enough.
    And fights had to end, giving up, was an omption and if the one part whom was insulted acsepted it, the case was by all, seen as closed, taken up again, was an sin, and mostly followed, before the more started to decline, into more violence this time with sevear consequencess, witch make me sick just to think about.
    And yeah, I have seen an perfect executed uper cup, the other one flew, and I mean flew, and the fight ended with this one punch, hehe.
    Idiots both of them anyway.
    And in this Assagne days, I will give you an oldie but goldie, one I read years ago, an site where minds are blown, hehe, Cryptome.
    This is an god one, highly recomended.
    https://cryptome.org
    But its “official”, and prodjects the insanity of the imperial banana republic UssA.
    Bonkers of course, we all know that.
    And then this attack in the Oman Gulf comes riding in to the stage.
    Yeah, one question only, Cui Bono.

    peace

  • Ma_Laoshi

    This paints a picture of Western citizens as helpless, manipulated creatures. All nice and well, but only up to a point. In fact, we have the good fortune that this is one glitchy matrix; the Imperial machine is frequently missing a step. Take for instance “Uncle Saddam–scary weapons / Uncle Saddam–9/11”. It all fell apart very publicly, but that turned out not to matter a thing. “So what, USA won, the darkies got to feel who’s boss in the world”. I saw the American reaction to the Iraq invasion up close, there was euphoria; it was frightening and meant to be frightening. The American public most definitely got something out of the war; too bad if now there’s no money left for clean drinking water, but first things first.

    Doesn’t Ms. Johnstone assume that other people want the same as herself, which I assume is living in peace and security–or at least that people are remotely honest about what they really want. Where’s the evidence for all that? Looking around, I see people want to give their money to religious clowns who promise to get their ignorant asses into heaven; people want to see Uncle Sam kicking ass. Little Bush was often derided, but he and his people had a fine instinct that their voters would let them invade any country they damn well pleased, as long as the torture was graphic enough. Aren’t Western people mostly getting what they deserve.

    • Ronald

      “Uncle Saddam – 9/11. It all fell apart very publicly”.

      Yes it did, actually as it was happening, but despite mass rallies trying to stop it, in America and Europe, Iraq was crushed.

      The ‘euphoria’ you speak of was media created, it only existed with the 10 -20 % racist rednecks and the MIC money makers.
      Ms. Johnstone’s point is valid Bush Jr. had the media ‘fall in line’. Every reporter ‘by order, had to be accompanied’.

      Remember Wikileaks first blockbuster, the helicopter taking down 8 – 10 reporters walking down a street carrying cameras, and then some passing van with a 10 year old girl in it. Imagine being a reporter there,.

      Remember who Bush is and does that family have the money to back their agenda.
      Hillary’s thieving 2 billion, is just chump change to Bush , America’s “first un-elected President”. ( Remember Florida ).

      World wide the real warfare is perception management, that’s why the Russians and Chinese have been loosing, too limited in their media output and depth.
      Why is “Interfax” not expanded, why does China still have no English voice.

      “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword”.

      • Ma_Laoshi

        Well we all have different opinions, which hopefully is a sign that the Borg hasn’t won completely yet. (Media) persuasion is only effective if it latches on to pre-existing impulses. The way I remember it, the euphoria was real enough, and only cooled down once the heroes started coming home in boxes and wheelchairs.

        “it only existed with the 10 -20 % racist rednecks” I used to think that way too, but rednecks have shotguns while liberals have aircraft carriers. Fast-forward a decade or two and conservatives want war with Iran, yes, while blue-staters howl for war with Russia, feverishly imagining themselves to be in such a war already. This is one… diseased nation. I don’t literally believe in original sin, but founding an entire country on genocide seems to have caused permanent built-in defects.

        Yes I agree that Russia and China are way behind in getting their side of the story out, to the extent that they seem not to understand how important this is. Not that they’re automatically the good guys from issue to issue.

  • AM Hants

    Talking of propaganda, the following article goes well with the above.

    How come ‘Integrity Initiative’ have so much power, for a privatised, Government Funded NGO? Just like over in the US and how much of their intelligence has been handed over to the privatised, Government Funded, NGOS, with no loyalty to the nation and no accountability to anybody?

    Who is behind ‘Integrity Initiative’ and who was also behind the creation of the CIA and what is was set upto do.

    UK Media Reveals British Special Forces’ SECRET Plan to Counter Russia’s ‘Covert Ops’… https://sputniknews.com/europe/201906141075859958-uk-media-reveals-special-forces-secret-plan-counter-russia/

    ………………

    Integrity Initiative

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f7ae82da37bda63238cb584da0c193f2e5f9b7272bb8c32e8aed058439c42ed9.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21bf9e8c4c471b67000c490f85b4e845ec87ba2a96554d72fe919e5c0aebfeac.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b3a2fb33adfc4b947c847a045c0053191b9c86ad32bf7a3c0d1a3c9e441d41b0.png

    ………………….

    CIA and Media

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27d06c809e797304e30a903f629237d5b723ceb164ea13184ea4535a33dce858.gif

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a80c807a33f64468fac8ff021a1322dd48a0692ad93d44924bf6f7c3adc956b7.jpg

    ………………

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1852d3b8d1733267b10537562d578d4ad6912765e6d9c643c198e66ace392e0.png

    Does anybody remember why the CIA was created and by whom? Ironically, going back to 1939 and the relationship between Reinhard Gehlen and Allen Dulles. What happened next?

    How Was The CIA Formed? By absorbing the Nazi war criminal infrastructure

    On Oct 8, 1998, the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act became US law. This legislation:

    “…calls for the establishment of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group [IWG] to locate, identify, and make available to the public Nazi war criminal records.”

  • Charlie Wise

    Sorry Caitlin, humanity will fail miserably, as it always has. And as always the absolute power will destroy even itself. And life will darken, only to eventually arise and repeat the same mistakes. Too bad. Whatever seeded the human project with intellegence, has no doubt, thrown its hands in the air, and given up. There will be no mothership to come and save us. Utopian is dystopian. Only individuals can isolate, enclave, and briefly survive.