In an interview shortly before his death Daniel Ellsberg said the US runs a “covert empire”, which is a really good way of putting it. A giant globe-spanning cluster of nations consistently moves in alignment with the dictates of Washington, but they all keep their official flags and their official governments, so it doesn’t look like an empire despite functioning as one in every meaningful way.
We really don’t pay enough attention to the fact that all the most influential media platforms are owned and operated by extremely wealthy people who have every motive to keep us all focused on culture wars and electoral politics so we don’t focus on class war and direct action.
It’s surreal how saying the FBI constantly grooms mentally ill people to get involved in terrorist plots makes you sound like a kooky crackpot, but it’s actually a well-documented fact that we just don’t talk about much for some reason.
The only time Trump was praised by the mass media was when he bombed Syria. The only time Biden was condemned by the mass media was when he withdrew from Afghanistan. There’s probably a lesson in there somewhere.
The New York Times publishing an article which criticizes Ukrainian Nazis for wearing Nazi insignia, not because Nazism is wrong but because it’s bad war propaganda, was one of the most New York Times things that has ever happened.
The article even admitted that western reporters have been avoiding acknowledging the problem because they don’t want to play into “Russian propaganda”, and have actually asked Ukrainian soldiers to remove Nazi patches before taking photos. If you choose not to report something because it would hurt your side’s propaganda efforts, then you are not a journalist, you are a propagandist.
What’s funny about the “Nazis in Ukraine” controversy is that Nazis in Ukraine is not even the strongest argument against western proxy warfare in that nation. Western propagandists could just say “Yes Ukraine has a Nazi problem but we believe the benefits of protecting Ukrainian democracy outweigh the negatives of some skinheads getting rocket launchers here and there” or whatever, and most westerners would swallow it. The only reason propaganda outlets like The New York Times feel the need to keep diddling this issue and manipulating people’s minds and gaslighting everyone about it is because they’re so habituated to pushing for complete and total narrative control on US foreign policy, so it never occurs to them to cede even the slightest amount of ground or yield even the most obvious admissions to avoid looking ridiculous.
The world is ruled by thugs and tyrants, the most thuggish and tyrannical of whom pour a tremendous amount of energy into convincing their populations that only other countries are ruled by thugs and tyrants.
If people and digital records survive the Earth’s next act of nuclear warfare, let the record show that we were seeing clear warning signs every day and overwhelmingly ignored them.
Saying “America didn’t bomb Nord Stream, Ukraine did!” is like saying “Will Smith didn’t slap Chris Rock, his hand did!” It’s a distinction without any meaningful difference, no matter how hard they try to spin it as an independent act that the US would’ve had no control over.
There’s no basis for the belief that today’s CIA and FBI are any less depraved than they were in the days of Dulles and J Edgar Hoover.
Seriously, what’s changed since that time? There was a cold war back then? There’s a cold war now. The laws, rules and policies were drastically changed and the people who did those bad things were punished? They were not.
There’s no basis whatsoever for the belief that the CIA and FBI did bad things in the past but don’t do bad things currently. It’s believed because it is comfortable, and for no other reason.
We learn about bad things the CIA and FBI did “in the past” because they stand nothing to lose by us learning about bad things they wanted to do and already did. Later on what’s happening today will be “in the past” and we’ll learn what they were up to in this slice of spacetime.
All the conditions which existed during the most notorious acts of depravity by those agencies are also the case today. Cold war. Hot war. Dissident groups. The fight for US hegemony. That’s all happening currently, and there’s no reason to believe they’re any nicer and cuddlier about it today.
If western governments need to keep ramping up censorship, propaganda and the persecution of journalists in order to defend western freedom and democracy, is it really freedom and democracy? And is it worth defending?
The only way to get a good read on what manipulators are really about is to ignore their words and watch their actions, because they only use language to manipulate and extract what they want from people. Apply this to politicians and governments, and to narcissists in your life.
Example: if you ignore the US government’s stories about its love of freedom and democracy and rules-based order and just look at its actions, what you see is a violent and tyrannical regime which works continually to destroy and subvert nations around the world which disobey it.
One of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn in life is that projection cuts both directions. We project our bad qualities and motives onto others, wrongly assuming that they have the same character flaws as us, but we can also project our positive traits onto others who might not have them.
In a world full of narcissists, sociopaths and manipulators, this is important to be aware of — whether you’re looking at politicians, governments, or your own interpersonal relations. In the past I’ve suffered serious consequences for assuming that someone must have healthy and relatable reasons for their harmful actions toward me and projecting my own good motives onto them, when really all they wanted was to use and subjugate me.
You can’t assume that someone is operating from the same inner motivations as you, whether those imagined motivations are negative or positive. Some people just suck, and do things you would never do because of motives that would never even occur to you.