Monday, January 29, 2018

How The Deep State Conquered The World

The web of totalitarian control is closing in on us. Every day the censorship measures get more severe, the propaganda more invasive, the military and corporate control better enforced. The attacks on dissenting media from governments and corporations, war campaigns against multiple countries, and barrages of media distractions are part of an effort to quell rebellion against the corporate state. And if these efforts succeed, I have a feeling we’ll soon be trapped in this global prison indefinitely.

How did this happen? Can it be reversed? Do we deserve this for failing to stop the earlier stages of the takeover? You can often make peace with the times you live in by tracing to where things went wrong, which in our case involves the authoritarian movements of the last century. With the outbreak of World War I and the slide into poverty that much of the world then experienced, authoritarian movements like Stalinism and Naziism were able to gain dominance. By the 1930’s, as Orwell observed in 1984, many of the the barbaric practices of earlier centuries had become normalized, while the philosophy of every major political movement had become authoritarian.

It was around the middle of the century when the deep state-the official term for an unelected power structure-emerged as we now know it. U.S. leaders, partnering with other nations through the NATO alliance, carved out a new world order where America would act as a “world policeman.” The CIA was formed, acting as a powerful and unaccountable entity that could conduct covert ops and propaganda throughout the globe. Russia was used as the object of demonization and fearmongering, part of the reason for waging a war that could never end. (This has come full circle as Russia is again made out to be America’s “adversary.”)

Liberty wasn’t snuffed out right away, and it’s still not been. Through art, music and creative mass movement strategies, the braver people have been able to counter the power of empire and corporate capitalism. But the wars kept being manufactured, corporate power kept being expanded through political bribery and global corporate fronts like the World Bank, and the national security state continued its insidious intrusions into Americans’ lives.

The scale of this despotism was unparalleled. America has interfered in 60 sovereign governments since 1945. The World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO have imposed corporate trade models and neoliberal reforms on much of the world, while employing violent retribution against those who’ve protested. But as the U.S. empire declined from its peak in mid-century, the state became more brazen in its repression, as if it was making up for its shrinking global hegemony by controlling the homeland tighter.

But the intentions of those who did this to us seem unimportant, as we navigate a perverted vision of civilization. The media has become hyper-consolidated and taken over by government propaganda operatives, as evidenced by the 2013 repealof a ban on covert CIA psyops. 9/11 has enabled an explosion in private security facilities, the creation of a universal NSA surveillance state, and a “war on terror” which can’t end by its own definition. Reality is able to be molded by state propaganda, so much that the absurd anti-Russia narratives are accepted by much of the population.

We all know about the appalling actions the government has taken in recent years-the unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the creation of the terroristic U.S. drone program, the militarization of police-but beneath it all has been a technological shift in how totalitarianism functions. As Caitlin Johnstone writesabout this transformation, “A lot of folks in conspiracy circles are still talking about deep state power structures like it’s 2004, and meanwhile those power structures are all prepping for a tech explosion, monetary revolutions, vast shifts in the global economy and the end of oil.”

Among these preparations are the campaign from Twitter, Facebook, Google, and the other CIA-controlled online corporations to mold human minds like never before. The mediums these entities offer, innately addictive and mind-programming, are being used to divert people from information the state deems dangerous. This manipulation strategy, recently expanded through the “counterspeech” program, is a perfect fulfillment of the sci-fi predictions for humanity being enslaved by artificial intelligence. 

I could list many more alarming examples of what the government is doing right now: the Bana Alabad psyop, where government agents evidently manipulate a child into promoting Syria war narratives; evidence of false flag protests and shootings in Iran to advance CIA regime change goals; the government agency set up in 2016 for countering “disinformation and propaganda.” Next might come the technological advancement of our police state through face recognition cameras in the uniforms of cops. Already we’re subjected to daily and intense exposure to state surveillance, as the CIA can now hack into the cameras and mics of mobile devices.

But the most important thing to recognize is what all these measures exist to protect, which is the global, U.S.-centralized, unelected power establishment that sustains extreme economic inequality by endlessly perpetuating war. We won’t find freedom from this establishment by looking for saviors, nor from hoping the collapse of the U.S. empire will dismantle the tyranny. The only way to defeat the deep state is to charge against it ourselves, through mass organizing, civil disobedience, and relentless counter-propaganda. If we don’t do this, the movement towards totalitarianism will reach its logical conclusion.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Why We Still Fight

Marx said that capitalism tends to destroy its two sources of wealth: nature and human beings. After around five centuries of this system, the machine of mindless wealth accumulation has run out of these resources. 80% of the American population is now in or near poverty, which has created massive debt, crippled the flow of capital, and ultimately endangered the functioning of society. The global insect population has decreased by 75% over the last three decades, as the destabilization of ice over the arctic threatens an inevitable mass methane release that will drive up temperatures and collapse crops around the world. The ruling ideology is now only running on self-delusion, while the foundations that keep this ideology relevant are ready to collapse.

We live in a reality so corrupted by this capitalist machine that many people around the world are trying to violently tear the entire system down. This state of encompassing anger at the world is seen in the resurgent European nationalism, the rise of jihad in the middle east, and the internet-infused neo-fascism that’s infected American culture. The demagogues giving voice to these movements rally their followers around cathartic, distracting tribal warfare. But none of this changes the reality these movements seek to banish, which is that the human species has forced itself into a dystopia.

I don’t say this to bleakly rant, but to show what we need to confront if we want to find the truth. We could give in to the mass propaganda elites are using to stifle rebellion. We could see the worst of our crisis, and decide to retreat into the apathy and denial that establishment politics offers. The alternative is to keep fighting, not because doing this will repair all of the damage done, but because fighting is the right thing to do.

Are we really going to have the state’s attacks against dissent, however severe, make us forget that we’re still capable of resisting? “The suppression is insane,” said the journalist Lee Camp in a recent message about the censorship being imposed against dissenting outlets. “They’re unsubscribing people from our accounts on Facebook, Twitter, the Google algorithm won’t even show our posts. Sometimes people can see the post, but there’s no share button.” This is the very least of what the corporate state has ready for those who speak out. But as Camp then says, “guess what? We’re still here.”

Will we be overwhelmed into not speaking out against injustice? “They ask me why I, an American in America talking about American issues, am on the Russian outlet RT,” Camp continues in his monologue. “Here’s why: it’s literally the only channel in America that lets me say what I want, and let’s me talk about things like the massive weapons contractors, Ratheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, making billions off of the murder of innocent people around the world. The oil companies’ destruction of our planet, BP, Exxon, Chevron, Shell. The acidification of the oceans. The environmental harm of factory farming. The exit poll-gate and the rigging of the Democratic primary election.”

Remember Camp’s sentiment as our crises keep developing. No amount of coercion, propaganda, or hardship should stop us from fighting for justice or from speaking the truth. The war the global oligarchs will need to carry this out is imminent, shown by the UK defense minister’s recent lies about Russia posing an imminent military threat. The censorship being imposed on us will next turn into formal bans on dissenting speech, enforced by violent retribution from the state. Get ready to fight even harder.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Establishment’s Attacks On Manning Are Attacks On Open Society

We shouldn’t have expected less from the political establishment that’s employed election fraudvoter suppression, the mass silencing of disfavored online content, intimidation from law enforcement, and police violence to attack dissenting voices in recent years. As Chelsea Manning is attacked by this establishment’s propagandists during her senate campaign, their hypocrisy and authoritarianism is made clear by looking at how the law was corrupted to make her actions “traitorous.”

For decades before Manning’s experience, the kinds of leaks she’s carried out were generally tolerated by the government. “Officials launched leak investigations but only went through the motions before abandoning each case,” writes former CIA reporter James Risen in his recent piece The Biggest Secret. Then during the Obama administration-and even morso during the Trump administration-state whistleblowers became seen as traitors. Manning, after revealing evidence of U.S. war crimes in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was subjected to psychologically shattering torture through solitary confinement. She attempted suicide twice throughout her imprisonment.

Maybe the establishment’s members hate Manning so much because her being in this position shows the limits of the regime’s power. And if they get their way, even those few semblances of openness will soon be crushed. As we’ve seen with the corporate state’s newfound ability to persecute and demonize whistleblowers, or to torture, or to surveil Americans on a mass scale, eroding the values that make society free can be as quick and as easy as changing a law. It doesn’t matter that these things were considered unacceptable until recently; now that the state says they’re acceptable, the culture has molded to accommodate them. 

And right now the rules are being changed at a staggering rate. Major censorship policies are being imposed by governments and corporations around the world, making it harder and harder for independent speakers to get out their messages. Last month the FBI took its war against dissent further than ever by implicating the leftist magazine CounterPunch, without evidence, in advancing Russian propaganda. This was a step towards making all dissenting media into targets for the state’s McCarthite campaign. Already RT America’s executives have been forcedby the Justice Department to register as foreign agents, and the CIA-controlled online companies have become very hostile towards dissenting outlets and journalists.

As technology advances, this state of techno-tyranny will encroach more and more. As Julian Assange said in his statement for this month’s World Socialist Website conference on organizing against online censorship, “Google, Facebook and their Chinese equivalents, who are socially, logistically and financially integrated with existing elites, have moved to re-establish discourse control. This is not simply a corrective action. Undetectable mass social influence powered by artificial intelligence is an existential threat to humanity.” Already we spend most of our time online being coerced, consciously and not, by sophisticated AI mind control systems, with Google, Facebook and Twitter using a tool called “counterspeech” to silence disfavored content.

Our looming economic, geopolitical and environmental crises seem almost welcome as the existing social systems become ever more despotic. Oxfam International has reported that 82% of the wealth produced in 2017 went to the top 1% of the world population. This adds onto the perfect manifestation of elite overproduction, as new billionaires now appear around every two days. The decadent and insulated world that exists within this elite class is what all these oppressive measures are here to protect. And the holders of this power will resort to very extreme measures before they surrender it.

Manning, Snowden, Assange, and the other government-targeted whistleblowers are some of the first ones to have officially been made into “traitors” for defying the power of the state. Those of us who speak the truth publicly are turning into the next targets, as the Deep State’s McCarthyite campaign shows. After that, anyone who dares question the ruling establishment will become treated this way by the state as well. Don’t fear these threats though. The real thing to fear is when you’re compliant with the state’s power.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

To The Establishment Propagandists: We’re Coming To Take You Down

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Fear the “voices of reason.” Right now they’re the ones leading us into a complete snuffing out of freedom and independent thought. Trump’s continuations of the Bush/Obama authoritarian paradigm is ineffectual compared to the vast workings of the global oligarchy: this totalitarian presence permeates all of our major national and global institutions, and at the same time makes itself invisible to those who don’t look below the surface. It cloaks itself in a liberal and rationalistic image, but its only goal is mindless, brutal consolidation of financial and military power.

In just the last three weeks, the attacks have gotten more drastic than ever: Germany ordering social media companies to remove disfavored content; Facebook changing its algorithms to redirect users away from politics; social media companies starting a project to create an army of “content reviewers” that can censor “fake news”; numerous instances of governments and corporations around the world silencing those who speak up for truth. At this rate, dissent might be driven completely underground by the end of the year.
We’re supposed to think these are all just necessary measures to fight “Russian propaganda,” that the oligarchs orchestrating them are benevolent. But where can our minds go when Facebook, Google, and Twitter are employing an artificial intelligence psyop they call “counterspeech” to censor disfavored content? Should we disregard Julian Assange when he’s warned us this past week that humanity’s “immune system” of open discourse is being choked out by these censorship measures? When these developments follow the creation of an all-intrusive surveillance state, the establishment of a permanent war paradigm, and the deployment of vast and insidious CIA psyops, how can we not recognize them for the Orwellian fulfillments they are?

“Trump fear was used to manipulate rank-and-file Democrats into asking for this fascism, while cheering for the US intelligence community to keep fighting America’s enemies,” writes Caitlin Johnstone. “So while Trump leads his American flag-wrapped, cross-carrying supporters into consenting to more war, more domestic surveillance, more militarization of the police force, and more soul-crushing, world-killing neoliberal economic policy, the goons of the Democratic establishment are leading their rainbow flag-wrapped, pussyhat wearing base into consenting to the exact same thing. The noose gets ever tighter, the censorship gets more and more severe, the spectrum of acceptable debate gets smaller and smaller, the rule of the oligarchs grows ever more totalitarian, and neither the flag-wrapped cross carriers nor the rainbow flag-wrapped pussyhat wearers do anything about it. This was intended.”

As our crises converge, Wall Street, the U.S. military empire, and maybe our entire economic and energy systems will be next to fail. The establishment will try to use this to impose extreme repression and militarization, carried out through the resources and infrastructure that the super rich have prepared separately from the federal government. Even now, during a government standstill, the Deep State’s warfare operations remain in escalation. The theatrical “Russigate” scandal has been used this week to pressure the Trump administration into committing to Syria involvement indefinitely, while U.S./NATO aggressions against Iran, North Korea and Russia continue to mount.

Those of us who don’t comply with this takeover are on the margins. But we hold the potential to bring down the entire power structure. This is because the vast majority of the population is now living in or close to poverty, while they see their government deny them their democratic rights, wage endless war, and work to endlessly transfer wealth to the super rich. The current government shutdownexposes how dysfunctionally rotten this system had become.

Our duty is to rise up against the systems of totalitarian control before it’s too late. We can do this by working to transform our local communities through worker-owned businesses and renewable energy systems, as has happened in many American cities already. Other options include strikes, tax boycotts, blockades and occupations so as to destabilize the system the oligarchs’ operations depend on. 

Even more urgently, we need to circumvent the establishment’s systems of propaganda by forming alliances between anti-war and socialist websites, as World Socialist Website called for this week. “A coalition needs to be formed to rigorously defend internet freedom, net neutrality, to organize the defense of both websites and individuals who come under attack,” said WSW’s David North in a recent livestream about organizing against online censorship. The libertarian or right-leaning anti-establishment sites are also welcome to join in this assembly against the forces that seek to crush all of us.

The state is trying to make speaking the truth more and more dangerous. But to stop speaking the truth is to betray those who desperately need us to. As Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer said during the Nazi resistance movement, “What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, straightforward men.” There are millions of people who are quietly embracing this role. They’re the ones who will triumph against the power of the Deep State.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Are We Really Going To Fall For It This Time?

Will we be able to resist the roiling war propaganda that the government and media are now churning out? Will we remember the encyclopedia of lies and war crimes committed by the CIA, which is leading the current regime change war run-ups? Will we recognize the obvious absurdity of what we’re being told about Iran, Russia, North Korea, and the other targets of this collapsing and erratically violent U.S. empire? Will we prevent a series of conflicts that could set off World War III and completely destroy the republic?

Refusing these calls to war is not just the responsibility of the “gullible Americans.” We are all in some way complicit with U.S. empire, as much as many of us try to resist it, and the awakening we need will involve change from all of us. We shouldn’t begrudge ourselves if we fail. But if we do fail, we’ll owe a lot to future generations.
We saw a hint of what the war architects have planned when Hawaii received a false nuclear alert on January 13th. I rescind my past statement that this was likely an accident: if the nuclear alert system is as airtight as the government says, a violation this big can’t have been a mistake. Especially one that’s had a 38 minute waiting time before the nuclear alert was retracted. To avoid scrutiny of the official story about what happened, the media has quickly abandoned the incident.
Three days after the Hawaii false alarm, the same thing happened in Japan. Both incidents happened within a week after the U.S. approved a $133 billion anti-ballistic missile sale to Japan. What are we supposed to think of this, especially after the completely unprovoked threats Washington and its allies have been sending to North Korea for the last year-including current major war games in preparation for a ground invasion? Are we supposed to accept them as coincidence, then go back to fearing North Korea’s actually nonexistent plans for a nuclear first strike?
When these false alerts turn into a real nuclear attack, or at least an event that the oligarchs use to justify war, will we remember the many times we’ve been lied to similarly? Like how Kim Jong Un has repeatedly stated he won’t attack the U.S. first, making the planned invasion of North Korea the same as the “preemptive” invasion of Iraq? Like how all the charges of Iran having disobeyed the nuclear deal aren’t based in fact, resembling the numerous false accusations the U.S. has made against disfavored governments? Like how the entire reason for North Korea’s nuclear program is that they see what’s happened to Iraq, Libya, and other nations that didn’t have that protection against the United States?
The fact that there still aren’t massive protests against these war run-ups, as happened even during the Iraq War run-up, shows how much thicker the propaganda machine has gotten in the last 15 years. But there is some hope. The figurehead these powers have to voice their war propaganda is now Donald Trump, a pathological liar that’s despised by most of the country. And the governmental and media institutions, similarly reviled, are having their powers to deceive threatened by rising alternative media outlets like Counterpunch, RT, and World Socialist Website.
But even now, the power of the state’s propaganda has been chillingly shown with the widespread manufactured fear of Russia. And few have questioned the official narrative about North Korea, maybe because that narrative consists of such a big and dramatic lie. As corporations and governments use increasingly severe measures to silence opposing websites and individuals, and as the specter of war is used to snuff out democracy, our only option is to keep fighting. Whatever the outcome, then we’ll be able to say we did the right thing.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The End Of Humanity

Behind the daily barrage of media distractions and inane corporate advertisements, the ruling oligarchs are planning to radically change how the human race functions. The U.S.-NATO military power establishment has started cold wars with North Korea and Russia, exacerbated by the likely accidental but terrifying false nuclear alert that Hawaii received this week. Our state of techno-tyranny is being prepared for enormous expansions as policing and surveillance technology become more advanced. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world and the owner of the Washington Post, is now using Amazon to control the structures of our economy through his company’s deals with the military/intelligence complex.

As tech plutocrats like Bezos prepare for vast shifts in currency, energy and the global economy, replacing the “old money” plutocrats of earlier stages, the only change ordinary people can discern is one where their rulers become more efficient and intrusive. Touch screens and social media, insidiously addictive to the human brain, act as portable surveillance and mind programming devices. Drones are used by the government as skillful spying and assassination tools. (This is being expanded on with Alexa, Amazon’s line of household helper bots that can monitor people’s private conversations.) A DNA database of the citizenry has been constructed, giving the NSA theoretical mastery over our biology. We are almost completely exposed to, and at the mercy of, a Huxleyan monstrosity of a government.
When another one of these tech plutocrats Mark Zuckerberg announced his censorious plan last week to redirect Facebook users away from politics, he said the new measures would be “good for our well-being.” Similar language came in the EU vice president Frans Timmermans’ statement last year about why EU countries will soon be under control of an anti-“fake news” authority: “We live in an era where the flow of information and misinformation has become almost overwhelming. That is why we need to give our citizens the tools to identify fake news, improve trust online, and manage the information they receive.”
If we listen to these commands to turn our thoughts over to elites, humanity will soon cease to exist, either by going extinct or by losing the qualities that make us human. Around 15,000 nuclear weapons exist right now, and Russia, China and the NATO countries might now be more ready than ever to set off a nuclear war. The rapid destabilization of Arctic Methane, caused by drastic temperature increases in that region, seem destined to create worldwide crop failure and massive warming in the near future. The global oligarchs are preparing for doomsday scenarios like these, building luxury survival hideouts and evidently fortifying their militaries in case of social upheavals. When the crisis comes, it will be seized upon to destroy the last remains of our freedoms.
“As we move closer to climate chaos, we can expect increasingly severe isolated natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, and eventually temperature spikes and freezes which will kill crops and decimate industrial agriculture, causing mass famine,” wrote Caitlin Johnstone during the hurricanes and fires of last summer. “This will cause people to get desperate for solutions, which will be the power establishment’s chance to swoop in and save the day with global energy policy overhauls and probably geoengineering as well. World governments will be forced to sign onto this in desperation, handing unmitigated control of the world to the oligarchs. Such plans almost certainly exist, and the technology for it is almost certainly being developed and warehoused for this eventuality.”
This is why we need to recognize the significance of the censorship measures being imposed by elites around the world; what we’re seeing is the slow-motion snuffing out of independent thought. As social media companies and Google suppressdisfavored material, the U.S. and European governments target dissenting voices under guise of fighting “fake news,” and the FCC comes close to destroying net neutrality, the alternative media and its journalists are being increasingly erased from the public eye. If or when they disappear, we’ll be left defenseless against the most extensive and sophisticated oligarchic propaganda network in history.
When they go away, what will remain is a mainstream media that’s owned by fifteen billionaires. What will remain is a landscape where the CIA can secretly putpropaganda into the content of these media contents, and even, under a 2013 covert propaganda reform, privately recruit and train figures in the media for promoting the state’s agenda. The White House, as admitted by George W. Bush in 2005, will also be able to secretly produce videos for the TV networks to show.
What will remain is a U.S. government that, under Obama’s Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, now has a center for attacking disfavored media while advancing what the Act calls “truth-based narratives.” A government that can use voter suppression and vote tally hacking to steal the presidency from a candidate like Bernie Sanders, then completely erase what it did from the official history. A government that’s both more militarized than ever and under unprecedented corporate control, particularly through its new fourth branch in the American intelligence community.
The U.S. intelligence agencies, hailed as reliable authorities on the supposed Russian hacking of the 2016 election, have been in direct partnership with dozens of large corporations since 2005. The Domestic Security Alliance Council, the organization created for this merging of corporations with law enforcement, has carried out surveillance on peaceful Occupy Wall Street organizers. When the dissenting voices are forced underground, DSAC and the rest of the corporate state’s police force will be able to attack disobedient people with virtual impunity. This police force will include, because of Obama’s signing into law Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, a U.S. military that the president can use as a domestic policing tool. It will also be able to use covert government spies and disruptors, as it did during the WTO protests, to sabotage movements.
A litany of other means for crushing dissent will be ready, including a White House that can prosecute and torture government whistleblowers, an array of heavily militarized local police departments, and a surveillance state that monitors every text, email, phone call, and social media post from the population. A deeply corrupted court system, and a prison system that can send convicts into solitary confinement for completely trivial reasons, will act as a brutal and barely challenged police state.
We had our chance to prevent this when the military-industrial complex wholly took over society during the mid-nineteenth century by creating a paradigm of permanent war. We could have risen up when the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the IMF imposed neoliberal economic reforms that put much of the world under corporate totalitarian control. We could have resisted when 9/11 was used to explode the private security complex and build an all-reaching surveillance apparatus. But the past is the past, and we might need to forgive ourselves for not acting earlier. Then we can focus on rising up and regenerating.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Establishment Democrats Are As Authoritarian As Trump

Joseph Goebbels said that “Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.” By constraining political thought to within the two parties, our current oligarchy has applied this even better than the Nazi propagandists did.

In the last several decades, as neoliberalism and globalization have devastated populations around the world, imperial wars have ravaged the Middle East and Africa, and our civil liberties have been almost entirely stripped away, this system of inverted totalitarianism has skillfully concealed the truth from the people. The fiction of democracy is maintained through allowing heavily policed elections to take place. Realities like the U.S.’ terroristic drone campaigns, the absence of functioning democracy, and the massive poverty caused by corporate capitalism are made invisible by the corporate media. The kleptocracy and oppression that we’re subjected to by corporations is excused by calling this system a “free market.”
Naturally the cultures within the two reigning parties, despite the tribal animus that goes on between them, are almost identical in their drive to consolidate wealth and power. This week, enough House Democrats voted for a bill to expand President Trump’s warrantless surveillance powers for the bill to pass; Democrats have acted similarly with Trump’s illegal and unnecessary April Syria strike, and with Trump’s bill to increase the military budget by $80 billion, and with the plutocratic GOP tax bill, and now with their largely rejecting the crucial senate bill to save net neutrality.
I am not disappointed in the Democratic Party, because this is the role it was given for our current stage in the death of the republic. Its function, just like the Republican Party, is to be an avenue for corporate power. But we need to keep attacking it, because serious revolt won’t be possible as long as the party can sell itself as the solution to our crisis.
Are we supposed to feel protected by the Democrats from Trump’s authoritarianism, for instance, when it was the Democratic Party that blatantly rigged its own primary in the last election cycle? When it was Obama who signedSection 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act into law, which lets the president use the military as a domestic police force? When the mass warrantless surveillance of the last 15 years has been put in place through both major parties? When Obama left Trump with a precedent for assassinating American citizens with drones, torturing whistleblowers, and prosecuting journalists like James Risen? When both parties have perpetrated the forty-year assault on the the social safety net and the rights of working people?
Are we supposed to embrace the mentality of Trump being a singular source for evil in the world, as many act like he is, when Democrats are now championing the evils of neoconservatism? Are we supposed to forgive war criminals like George W. Bush, as Democrats act like we should, because they disapprove of Trump? Should Obama be venerated after his use of depleted uranium weapons against civilians, seven-country-wide bombing campaign, and essentially terroristic drone actions? Are these things what we’re supposed to miss from before Trump was president?
“There is also a tremendous amount of overlap between the people who declare it forbidden to vote for a Green Party candidate and the people who are still saying that Sanders deserved to have his campaign sabotaged by the DNC because he isn’t a Democrat,” Caitlin Johnstone has written about the authoritarian attacks Democrats have used against those who defy their corporatism and imperialism. “The message here is clear: unless you are an unwaveringly loyal imperialist steward of global metastatic neoliberalism, do not run for office. At all. Not inside the Democratic party, and not outside the Democratic party.”
While these critiques need to be voiced, I get the sense that I’m boring my main readers by iterating them. The political establishment’s hypocrisies and outrages are almost innumerable, and they’ve been talked about so much that mentioning them now feels unnecessary and tiresome. This is a good thing; a few years ago these realities of our political system were barely discussed, and weren’t at all the standard parts of the national consciousness they are now. 
All the time, around the country and the world, this awakening to the evils of our old systems is still going on. The corporate media ignores it, the Deep State is currentlydoing everything to censor the voices propagating it, but it’s happening. And there’s nothing the ruling oligarchs can do to stop this revolution, though they’ll destroy the world before they surrender to it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Authoritarianism Of The Russia Narrative

Russia has not forced half the country into poverty by imposing neoliberal policies. Russia has not shipped out millions of jobs while telling the unemployed workers they shouldn’t complain. Russia hasn’t put marginal communities under a brutal police state and incarcerated 2.3 million people. Russia hasn’t destabilized the Middle East through catastrophic imperial wars while imposing austerity on a struggling American population. Russia hasn’t destroyed American democracy by expanding corporate power into a monstrous global oligarchy.

The political establishment’s drive to scapegoat Russia is the culmination of the arrogance, willful ignorance, and immaturity that’s driven our civilization to this point of crisis. The claims this narrative is based on are almost entirely dubious or disproven, including the ones of Russia hacking the DNC, Russia hacking the Podesta emails, Russia hacking into state voting apparatuses, Russia buying ads on social media, and Russia having colluded with the Trump campaign. Its propagators are CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other corporate and CIA-controlled media outlets. The figures supporting it include the country’s most famous government liars and war criminals, like Dick Cheney, John Bolton and James Clapper.
This charade lets demagogues and opportunists, like congressman Adam Schiff, position themselves as brave fighters for justice and national sovereignty. Schiff has taken $70,000 from defense contractors in the last election cycle alone, and has supported every war throughout his career. Last year the McCarthyism of Schiff and others like him pressured President Trump into approving a dangerous and destructive arms deal to Ukraine-as well as helped instigate the reckless Syrian war escalations and NATO aggressions towards Russia that continue to threaten World War III.
Just last month, American and Russian warplanes came into a standoff over Syria. Similar close calls with a U.S.-Russia war have happened before in the last year, and they’ll keep happening as long as the American Deep State continues its drive to a new Cold War. The U.S. empire’s reasons for this became clear when Russia started to interfere with neocon regime change missions around 2013. But this conflict’s other purpose is made clear in the war that governments and corporations are now waging against dissenting journalists, all under guise of fighting Russia.
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders,” said Hitler aide Hermann Goering. “That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” The renewed public fears of Russia, instilled through incessant media propaganda, has let the corporate state carry out massive censorship measures. These measures started with social media companies’ blacklisting innocent sites as Russian fronts in late 2016, and with Obama’s signing the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act-the law that’s established a government agency for advancing “truth-based narratives.”
This added onto the White Houses’ covertly producing videos for networks to show as objective news clips, the CIA’s being authorized in 2013 to recruit media figures as secret propaganda agents, and much of the defense budget being designated towards producing propaganda. And it’s since only gotten worse. Facebook, Google, You Tube, Twitter, and the other CIA-controlled online companies started imposing strict anti-”fake news” measures in August, which have reduced the views of our crucial dissenting websites by as much as 80%. The Justice Department has forcedRT America to register as a foreign agent. This last week the German government ordered social media companies within the country to remove disfavored news stories.
Then there’s the repeal of net neutrality, which will be in place by the end of the month; the anti-”fake news” authority that will be set up in the EU countries this spring; Emmanuel Macron’s bill to silence “fake news”; Facebook’s colluding with the Israeli government to delete offending accounts, mainly the ones of Palestinians; the increasing retribution being directed at disobedient people from governments around the world in general. 
This tyranny is not limited to the U.S. and its partners, as China, Russia, and other autocratic states attempt to crush dissent while building up their militaries. The planet-and the species-is solidifying into three totalitarian superstates, each of them vying for world domination while at the same time settling into an unwinnable, continuous war.
You can almost envy those who are asleep to this roiling assault on freedom. To disobey the regime is to be held in contempt by conventional thinkers, to be under personal or physical threat from authorities, and to be aware of a bleak reality. Subtle forms of war propaganda, like regular military displays at public events and America’s manufactured gun culture, pervade our daily lives. The toy drones of recent years have added onto this militarization of society’s psyche. Smart TVs and mobile devices, as revealed in WikiLeaks’s Vault 7 leak, can now act as camera and mic surveillance tools for the government.
In a rough but unmistakable version of the pacifying drugs from Huxley’s Brave New World, Big Pharma has gotten much of the populous addicted to their substances.  Nonconformists are demonized as Russian agents or traitors. The insipid, 24-hour network television droning of state propaganda and superficial media distractions is presented as a vital information source. Mindless consumerism is promoted ubiquitously even as 80% of the population is now livingin or close to poverty. Political language has deteriorated, as it does under dictatorships, into euphemistic safe terms that trivialize atrocity and oppression.
As the CIA prepares for another regime change war in Iran, we must resist the establishment narratives. “The science of psychologically manipulating the masses has been in research and development for more than a century, and the CIA is at the cutting edge of it,” writes Caitlin Johnstone about this war runup. “No matter how clever you think you are, they’re more clever. You cannot outfox them in this area, so the only rational position is intense, relentless doubt and skepticism.”
It will very likely be one year from now when America has started the next war, whether with Iran, North Korea, Russia, or more than one. Already Obama’s worldwide military campaigns have been greatly escalated under Trump. The U.S. empire may be in fast decline, but the globalization-fueled empire of the most powerful plutocrat Jeff Bezos is still expanding. If our resistance efforts fail, ten years from now Bezos and the other elites might be presiding over a far more fortified corporate/surveillance dictatorship. 
For now these powers are employing layered and sophisticated propaganda techniques, ones that may soon include the U.S. government’s long-used tactic of false flags, to make us comply. Stay outraged and fighting. These days that’s the only way to remain conscious.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Normalization Of Barbarity

The social progress made in the last several hundred years is rapidly being reversed. Torture is now acceptable. Deporting entire populations is a popular idea. Versions of ethnic cleansing, including the surveillance of Muslim communities and a ban on Muslims from entering the country, are seen by many as vital. The ideas of democracy and freedom of speech are losing support around the world, and a sixth in the U.S. are polled to now want outright military rule. We seem to be reverting to barbarity as the centers of modernity become unstable.

“We are angry. There is a craving to return to an age of violence. We want a war,” wrote the neo-Nazi blogger Andrew Anglin days before the riot in Charlottesville last year. Anglin’s faction of this authoritarian movement may be fringe, but the broader society already in many ways resembles it. State violence against Muslims, brutal police repression against dissenters, jailings without trial, and other formerly unacceptable policies have become dominant. And the proto-fascists trying to take it further have been empowered by the decayed state of our liberal institutions.
The Democratic Party and its class of intellectuals ignore the suffering of the working class while retreating into technocracy and elitism. Law enforcement has become heavily militarized and focused on locking up mass numbers of Blacks and Hispanics. America’s massive economic inequality enforces systemic racism by driving nonwhites further into poverty, while demagogues tell the white working class to blame immigrants and nonwhites for their poverty.
The corporate media enables demagoguery and fear-mongering while making the poor invisible. Academics, public intellectuals, and religious leaders preach and collaborate with corporate capitalism to gain favor with the establishment. Politicians, now mainly the president, dispense idiocy and garbage claims to advance their self-serving agendas. Magazines, newspapers and television bombard us with inane celebrity gossip and superficial political controversies. Ubiquitous corporate advertisements glorify mindless consumerism and shallow thinking. It was inevitable that Trump and our other political monstrosities would emerge from this society.
The Trump administration’s corruption and authoritarianism only adds onto the four decades-long corporate coup made by both major parties. In 2016 the Clinton campaign and the DNC-the ones who elevated Trump in the primaries-employedmass illegal voter purges, systematic exclusion of Sanders voters, and computer vote tally manipulations to steal the presidency from Bernie Sanders. Billionaires and corporations can now invest unlimited money into the political process through Citizens United. Jeff Bezos, currently the richest of these oligarchs, is closely colluding with intelligence officials to help expand and enforce his sphere of control over society.
Now we survey the wreckage: 80% of the country is burdened with debt or without job security. Half the country is living in poverty. A third can’t afford shelter, medical care, or adequate food. Most Americans can no longer afford a new car. 2.3 million Americans are incarcerated, while the rest live under an all-intrusive surveillance state that only the elite can avoid being incriminated through. The austerity and banks bailouts that the last financial crash created has further expanded the power of the big banks, and there’s no telling what will happen when the next crash comes.  
The cascading effects of our rotten system have produced variations of “Trumpism” around the world, including widespread jihadism in the Middle East, resurgent European nationalism, and growing authoritarianism in Japan and the Philippines. Much of these political deteriorations can be blamed on the global economic disparity, others on climate change, others on the American empire’s destabilizing Middle Eastern wars. But it’s all directly related to our society’s decadence, anti-intellectualism, and arrogant belief in our own infallibility.
Corporate capitalism is the disease, and reactionary neo-fascism is the symptom. A lot of hope has come out of these worldwide revolutionary sentiments though, and several nations, like Austria and the U.K., have already been mainly taken over by Greens and socialists. Otherwise when the demagogues have gained dominance in these countries, like with Poland, Hungary or Russia, they’ve forced themselves into power indefinitely, crushing their opposition and destroying democratic institutions. 
We’re lucky for the Trump administration’s incompetence and infighting, or else our situation would be a lot worse by now. But the ruling oligarchy will take every extreme measure before it surrenders its power. And when Trump eventually goes away he no doubt won’t be the last-or the worst-demagogue to appear. We must raise our hands, however small and unnoticed they may seem, in demand of a different future.