Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Every Moment We Focus On Russiagate, The World Comes Closer To Annihilation

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The danger of Russiagate is not just in the threat it’s creating of war with a nuclear superpower, or in the McCarthyite political climate it’s created. It’s in the fact that every moment we focus on the Russia narrative, we aren’t focusing on taking the actions to prevent catastrophe for the species.

We are in the most pivotal and dangerous times in history. According to a composite study of climate data from last year, the year when catastrophic climate change will become unavoidable without drastic greenhouse gas emission reductions beforehand is 2020. The impulses of a bloated and collapsing U.S. empire are threatening to create nuclear war, whether with Russia, China, or North Korea. The inanity of our mainstream political discourse, enforced by a corporate oligarchy that depends on the mass propagation of ignorance, makes society blind to the reality of these crises.
“The increasing likelihood of nuclear war should straighten out all of our priorities,” wrote Caitlin Johnstone this month, when the U.S. severely escalated tensions with Russia by bombing Russian fighters in Syria. “We came within a hair’s breadth of nuclear annihilation on more than one occasion during the last cold war, and the further things escalate in this new one the more likely we are to tempt fate again. The only reason we survived the extremely tense stand-offs in the last cold war ultimately boiled down to pure dumb luck in some cases, and there’s no legitimate reason to believe we’ll get lucky again.”
As this precarious world situation has developed, Russiagate has choked out serious discourse about the issue. The basis behind the Trump/Russia collusion narrative-which is still unproven-centers around the inaccurate and dangerous idea that it would be “treason” for Trump to have colluded with Russia. Treason defines coordination with a foreign adversary, as Russiagate’s propagandists have numerously made clear, and the popular use of the term serves to needlessly restart the cold war. This is, of course, exactly what the neoconservatives and intelligence operatives behind the Russia narrative were hoping to accomplish.
This imperialism-motivated mass propaganda campaign has forced people, on both sides of the “Russian interference” debate, to focus on information that distracts from what’s really important. Rachel Maddow could have spent the last year or so making climate change, not Russia, the topic she focuses on more than all others combined. The hundreds of hours alternative media journalists have had to devote to countering the Russia narrative could have been focused on the expanding inequality and U.S. warfare. The fact that the Russia narrative exists seems to have set back the movement towards overthrowing the corporate oligarchy.
And this, too, is no doubt what the narrative’s engineers intended. Russiagate is one of the spectacles that society is using to distract itself from the need for change, both because of the ruling class’ pathologies and because of the masses’ being prone to wishful thinking. This spectacle has appeared at the worst possible time. Letting it consume our attention any longer might result in our destruction.

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