NOVEMBER 11, 2022AUTHOR: CAITLIN JOHNSTONE
The media are lying to us, as evidenced by reality never matching with their stories.
The politicians are lying to us, as evidenced by their never delivering on their promises.
The capitalist class are lying to us, as evidenced by their getting richer while workers get poorer.
I don’t want innovations which improve my shopping experience or make smartphones a tiny bit better, I want innovations which eliminate world hunger, innovations which make it so people have more free time, innovations which help humans live in harmony with our ecosystem.
If you’re a middle class westerner, technology is already at a point where they’re not going to be coming out with any new personal gadgets that make your life significantly better. But there’s a massive amount of room for innovation that can make life much better for people as a whole. In terms of societal transformation technology still has the ability to radically improve the quality of human life, while in terms of rugged individualism technology is just going to give the wealthiest humans more of the same kinds of toys that are already failing to make them happy.
The line of technological progress which is premised on individuals purchasing new inventions for themselves has long passed its point of diminishing returns, and now those returns are functionally nil. We don’t really need any more inventions for individual purchase and consumption. What we need are collective-oriented innovations which change the way humans live on this planet. And it won’t look like flying cars or fancier personal gadgets, it will look like advancements which change and improve our ability to get food, shelter and resources to everyone.
Democracy of the vote without democracy of information is not democracy. It doesn’t matter if people are able to vote as long as the media-owning class are able to manipulate how they vote. “One person, one vote” is meaningless if influence and control of information is highly concentrated in an elite few. And it is.
Mass media propaganda, internet censorship, Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation, government secrecy and the war on journalism are all anti-democratic in nature, because they restrict the information the citizenry are allowed to access to inform their vote. And none of those instruments of narrative control have any influence from, or accountability to, the rank-and-file public. This means that while everyone gets a vote, how those votes are applied is subjected to aggressive and ubiquitous manipulation by the ruling class.
The US empire’s unprecedented investment in soft power control systems has given rise to the most sophisticated propaganda system that has ever existed. Human thought is being manipulated at mass scale like never before. If you control how people think, you control how they vote.
Most of the propaganda people consume every day is not to manufacture consent for any one specific agenda, but to manufacture consent for the overall political status quo which keeps our wildly dysfunctional systems in place. That’s what maintains the false two-party puppet show. Without copious amounts of propaganda, it wouldn’t be possible to keep two evenly divided political factions impotently playing tug-o-war and never ever actually changing anything. The entire status quo is built upon the ruling class’s ability to manipulate minds at mass scale.
Republicans are lucky because they get to just openly be Republicans. Democrats have to be Republicans in secret.
Elon Musk’s endless string of faceplants with Twitter is a good illustration of why the rich shouldn’t rule the world. They’re not wise. They’re not even particularly smart. They just figured out how to play our shitty capitalist system which elevates assholes and sociopaths.
Another good illustration is Mark Zuckerberg firing 11,000 people because of his dopey Metaverse fantasy:
I love how mainstream newspapers are like “Let’s give regular columns to multiple fire breathing extremist warmongers, because it’s important to make sure we’re getting that key fire breathing extremist warmonger perspective.” They’re like, “How are we supposed to get the full warmongering extremist perspective from just Josh Rogin and Jennifer Rubin? Add Max Boot for extra diversity.”
Humanity is abandoning religion as we discover that it’s all just a bunch of unhelpful and unevidenced made-up beliefs. One day humanity will in the same way and for the same reason abandon the belief that we are all separate individuals who stand apart from our biosphere and the universe.
Our rulers are like a clever man who captured a baby giant and trained it not to notice how much bigger and stronger it is than him so it wouldn’t squash him and escape.
We’re the giant.