cognitive dissonance

The War on Populism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/01/2019 - 5:02am in

Remember when the War on Terror ended and the War on Populism began? That’s OK, no one else does.

It happened in the Summer of 2016, also known as “the Summer of Fear.” The War on Terror was going splendidly. There had been a series of “terrorist attacks,” in Orlando, Nice, Würzberg, Munich, Reutlingen, Ansbach, and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, each of them perpetrated by suddenly “self-radicalized” “lone wolf terrorists” (or “non-terrorist terrorists“) who had absolutely no connection to any type of organized terrorist groups prior to suddenly “self- radicalizing” themselves by consuming “terrorist content” on the Internet. It seemed we were entering a new and even more terrifying phase of the Global War on Terror, a phase in which anyone could be a “terrorist” and “terrorism” could mean almost anything.

This broadening of the already virtually meaningless definition of “terrorism” was transpiring just in time for Obama to hand off the reins to Hillary Clinton, who everyone knew was going to be the next president, and who was going to have to bomb the crap out of Syria in response to the non-terrorist terrorist threat. The War on Terror (or, rather, “the series of persistent targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America,” as Obama rebranded it) was going to continue, probably forever. The Brexit referendum had just taken place, but no one had really digested that yet … and then Trump won the nomination.

Like that scene in Orwell’s 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of the Hate Week rally, the War on Terror was officially canceled and replaced by the War on Populism. Or … all right, it wasn’t quite that abrupt. But seriously, go back and scan the news. Note how the “Islamic terrorist threat” we had been conditioned to live in fear of on a daily basis since 2001 seemed to just vanish into thin air. Suddenly, the “existential threat” we were facing was “neo-nationalism,” “illiberalism,” or the pejorative designator du jour, “populism.”

Here we are, two and a half years later, and “democracy” is under constant attack by a host of malevolent “populist” forces …. Russo-fascist Black vote suppressors, debaucherous eau de Novichok assassins, Bernie Sanders, the yellow-vested French, emboldened non-exploding mail bomb bombers, Jeremy Corbyn’s Nazi Death Cult, and brain-devouring Russian-Cubano crickets. The President of the United States is apparently both a Russian intelligence operative and literally the resurrection of Hitler. NBC and MSNBC have been officially merged with the CIA. The Guardian has dispensed with any pretense of journalism and is just making stories up out of whole cloth. Anyone who has ever visited Russia, or met with a Russian, or read a Russian novel, is on an “Enemies of Democracy” watch list (as is anyone refusing to vacation in Israel, which the Senate is now in the process of making mandatory for all U.S. citizens). Meanwhile, the “terrorists” are nowhere to be found, except for the terrorists we’ve been using to attempt to overthrow the government of Bashar al Assad, the sadistic nerve-gassing Monster of Syria, who illegally invaded and conquered his own country in defiance of the “international community.”

All this madness has something to do with “populism,” although it isn’t clear what. The leading theory is that the Russians are behind it. They’ve got some sort of hypno-technology (not to be confused with those brain-eating crickets) capable of manipulating the minds of … well, Black people, mostly, but not just Black people. Obviously, they are also controlling the French, who they have transformed into “racist, hate-filled liars” who are “attacking elected representatives, journalists, Jews, foreigners, and homosexuals,” according to French President Emmanuel Macron, the anointed “Golden Boy of Europe.” More terrifying still, Putin is now able to project words out of Trump’s mouth in real-time, literally using Trump’s head as a puppet, or like one of those Mission Impossible masks. (Rachel Maddow conclusively proved this by spending a couple of hours on Google comparing the words coming out of Trump’s mouth to words that had come out of Russian mouths, but had never come out of American mouths, which they turned out to be the exact same words, or pretty close to the exact same words!) Apparently, Putin’s master plan for Total Populist World Domination and Establishment of the Thousand Year Duginist Reich was to provoke the global capitalist ruling classes, the corporate media, and their credulous disciples into devolving into stark raving lunatics, or blithering idiots, or a combination of both.

But, seriously, all that actually happened back in the Summer of 2016 was the global capitalist ruling classes recognized that they had a problem. The problem that they recognized they had (and continue to have, and are now acutely aware of) is that no one is enjoying global capitalism … except the global capitalist ruling classes. The whole smiley-happy, supranational, neo-feudal corporate empire concept is not going over very well with the masses, or at least not with the unwashed masses. People started voting for right-wing parties, and Brexit, and other “populist” measures (not because they had suddenly transformed into Nazis, but because the Right was acknowledging and exploiting their anger with the advance of global neoliberalism, while liberals and the Identity Politics Left were slow jamming the TPP with Obama and babbling about transgender bathrooms, and such).

The global capitalist ruling classes needed to put a stop to that (i.e, the “populist” revolt, not the bathroom debate). So they suspended the Global War on Terror and launched the War on Populism. It was originally only meant to last until Hillary Clinton’s coronation, or the second Brexit referendum, then switch back to the War on Terror, but … well, weird things happen, and here we are.

We’ll get back to the War on Terror, eventually … as the War on Populism is essentially just a temporary rebranding of it. In the end, it’s all the same counter-insurgency. When a system is globally hegemonic, as our current model of capitalism is, every war is a counter-insurgency (i.e., a campaign waged against an internal enemy), as there are no external enemies to fight. The “character” of the internal enemies might change (e.g., “Islamic terrorism,” “extremism,” “fascism,” “populism,” “Trumpism,” “Corbynism,” et cetera) but they are all insurgencies against the hegemonic system … which, in our case, is global capitalism, not the United States of America.

The way I see it, the global capitalist ruling classes now have less than two years to put down this current “populist” insurgency. First and foremost, they need to get rid of Trump, who despite his bombastic nativist rhetoric is clearly no “hero of the common people,” nor any real threat to global capitalism, but who has become an anti-establishment symbol, like a walking, talking “fuck you” to both the American and global neoliberal elites. Then, they need to get a handle on Europe, which isn’t going to be particularly easy. What happens next in France will be telling, as will whatever becomes of Brexit … which I continue to believe will never actually happen, except perhaps in some purely nominal sense.

And then there’s the battle for hearts and minds, which they’ve been furiously waging for the last two years, and which is only going to intensify. If you think things are batshit crazy now (which, clearly, they are), strap yourself in. What is coming is going to make COINTELPRO look like the work of some amateur meme-freak. The neoliberal corporate media, psy-ops like Integrity Initiative, Internet-censoring apps like NewsGuard, ShareBlue and other David Brock outfits, and a legion of mass hysteria generators will be relentlessly barraging our brains with absurdity, disinformation, and just outright lies (as will their counterparts on the Right, of course, in case you thought that they were any alternative). It’s going to get extremely zany.

The good news is, by the time it’s all over and Trump has been dealt with, and normality restored, and the working classes put back in their places, we probably won’t remember that any of this happened. We’ll finally be able to sort out those bathrooms, and get back to paying the interest on our debts, and to living in more or less constant fear of an imminent devastating terrorist attack … and won’t that be an enormous relief?

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CJ Hopkins
January 10, 2018
Photo: Zakaria Abdelkafi – AFP

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

The Year of Putin-Nazi Paranoia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/12/2018 - 11:48pm in

As my regular readers will probably recall, according to my personal, pseudo-Chinese zodiac, 2017 was “The Year of the Headless Liberal Chicken.” This year, having given it considerable thought, and having consulted the I Ching, and assorted other oracles, I’m designating 2018 “The Year of Putin-Nazi Paranoia.”

Not that 2017 wasn’t already paranoid. It was. It was completely paranoid, and otherwise clinically batshit crazy. But 2018 has been batshit crazier. It started out with the Internet companies that control the flow of information that most of us now perceive as “reality” launching an all-out War on Dissent, purportedly to protect the public from “divisive” and “confusing” content, and other forms of Russian “influencing.”

Twitter started sending out scary emails warning customers that there was “reason to believe” that they had “followed,” “retweeted,” or “liked the content of” accounts “connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization.” Facebook launched its own Ministry of Truth, manned by “a dedicated counter-terrorism team” of “former intelligence and law-enforcement officials” (also known as The Atlantic Council, NATO’s unofficial propaganda wing). Google stepped up its covert deranking of insufficiently Russia-hating and other “non-authoritative” websites.

This Orwellian corporate censorship campaign was enthusiastically welcomed by liberals and other Russia-and-Trump-obsessives, who by this time were already completely convinced that secret Russian Facebook agents were conspiring to transform the Western masses into zombified, Russia-loving neo-Nazis by means of some sort of irresistible Putin-Nazi hypno-technology that would melt their brains to oatmeal the second they clicked on one of those dancing cat GIFs.

But the paranoia was just getting started. By the Spring, professional Putin-Naziologists were issuing warnings explaining that anyone using words like “globalist,” “globalism,” or “global capitalism” was an anti-Semite. There was no such thing as “globalism,” they told us. “Globalist” was just Nazi codespeak for “JEW!” Moreover, anyone criticizing “the media,” or mentioning “banks,” “Wall Street,” or “Hollywood,” or, God help you, making fun of “George Soros,” was clearly a Russia-loving, Sieg-heiling Nazi.

Meanwhile, in London, Blairites were busy combing through six year-old Facebook posts in an effort to prove that Jeremy Corbyn had transformed the British Labour Party into his personal Putin-Nazi death cult. The Guardian published over one hundred articles smearing Corbyn as an anti-Semite and “linking” Labour to anti-Semitism. The BBC jacked up the Russia paranoia, doctoring Corbyn’s hat on TV to make it appear more insidiously Slavic. Owen Jones sprang to Corbyn’s defense, explaining that, yes, the Labour Party was a disgusting hive of anti-Semites, but they were doing their utmost to root out the Nazis, ban all criticism of the IDF, and reverse the mass exodus of Jews from London.

All this was happening in the wake of the notorious Novichok Porridge and Perfume Attacks, allegedly perpetrated by two totally incompetent, pot-smoking, prostitute-banging “assassins” that Putin personally dispatched to Salisbury to miserably fail to take out their target and then waltz around getting photographed by every CCTV camera in Great Britain. According to the corporate media, Putin tried to cover the crimes of these Jason Bourne-like GRU assassins by ordering his network of Putin-Nazi Twitter bots to flood the Internet with disinformation. Sky News captured and mercilessly interrogated one of these alleged “Twitter bots,” who it turned out was just a feisty British pensioner by the name of Ian, or at least that’s what Putin wants us to believe!

Back in America, millions of liberals and other Russia-and-Trump-obsessives were awaiting the Putin-Nazi Apocalypse, which despite the predictions of Resistance pundits had still, by the Summer, failed to materialize. The corporate media were speculating that Putin’s latest “secret scheme” was for Trump to destroy the Atlantic alliance by arriving late for the G7 meeting. Or maybe Putin’s secret scheme was to order Trump to sadistically lock up a bunch of migrants in metal cages, exactly as Obama had done before him … but these were special Nazi cages! And Trump was separating mothers and children, which, as General Michael Hayden reminded us, was more or less exactly the same as Auschwitz! Paul Krugman had apparently lost it, and was running around the offices of The New York Times shrieking that “America as we know it is finished!” Soros had been smuggled back into Europe to single-handedly thwart the Putin-Nazi plot to “dominate the West,” which he planned to do by canceling the Brexit (which Putin had obviously orchestrated) and overthrowing the elected government of Italy (which, according to Soros, was a Putin-Nazi front).

As if that wasn’t paranoia-inducing enough, suddenly, Trump flew off to Helisnki to personally meet with the Devil Himself. The neoliberal establishment went totally apeshit. A columnist for The New York Times predicted that Trump, Putin, Le Pen, the AfD, and other such Nazis were secretly forming something called “the Alliance of Authoritarian and Reactionary States,” and intended to disband the European Union, and NATO, and impose international martial law and start ethnically cleansing the West of migrants. That, or Trump and Putin were simply using the summit as cover to attend some Nazi-equestrian homosexual orgy, which The Times took pains to illustrate by creating a little animated film depicting Trump and Putin as lovers. In any event, Jonathan Chait was certain that Trump had been a “Russian intelligence asset” since at least as early as 1987, and was going to Helsinki to “meet his handler.”

In the wake of the summit, the neoliberal Resistance, like some multi-headed mythical creature in the throes of acute amphetamine psychosis, started spastically jabbering about “treason” and “traitors,” and more or less demanding that Trump be tried, and taken out and shot on the White House lawn. A frenzy of neo-McCarthyism followed. Liberals started accusing people of being “traitorous agents of Trump and Moscow,” and openly calling for a CIA coup, because we were “facing a national security emergency!” A devastating Russian cyber-attack was due to begin at any moment. National Intelligence Director Dan Coats personally assured the Associated Press that the little “Imminent Russia Attack” lights he had on his desk were “blinking red.”

Into this maelstrom of monomania boldly slunk the Charlottesville Nazis, who had resolved to reenact their infamous national white supremacist tikki torch conclave right across the street from the White House this year. The Resistance and Antifa had been promoting this event as the long anticipated Putin-Nazi uprising, and Kristallnacht II, and other such nonsense, so it was a bit of a letdown when only twenty or thirty rather timid Nazis turned up. It felt like maybe the Great Nazi Panic of 2018 was finally over.

But no, of course it wasn’t over. The Nazis had just gone underground. Weeks later, right there on national television, a Jewish-Mexican-American Nazi was spotted transmitting secret Nazi hand signals to her Nazi co-conspirators. One of them, a U.S. Coast Guard member, then relayed the secret Nazi signal to … well, it wasn’t entirely clear, perhaps the Underground Putin-Nazi Navy, which was steaming toward the Florida coast hidden in the eye of Hurricane Florence.

By the Autumn, with the midterm elections fast approaching, the Putin-Nazi terrorists finally struck. It soon became clear that those secret hand signs were just parts of a much larger Trumpian conspiracy to “embolden” a couple of totally psychotic wackos to unleash their hatred on the public. Wacko Number One accomplished this by mailing a series of non-exploding explosive devices to various prominent members of the neoliberal Resistance. Wacko Number Two stormed into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and murdered a lot of people. While the corporate media were unable to prove that Trump, Putin, or possibly Jeremy Corbyn, had personally “emboldened” these wackos, clearly, they had been “emboldened” by somebody, and thus were definitely domestic Putin-Nazi “terrorists,” and not just mentally disturbed individuals … like all the other mentally-disturbed individuals who go around murdering people all the time.

In November, at last, the tide began to turn. Despite the relentless “chaos campaign to undermine faith in American democracy” that the Russian bots and Nazis were waging, the Democrats managed to win back the House and rescue America from “the brink of fascism.” Apparently, the War on Dissent was working, because the millions of Black people that the Russians had brainwashed into not voting for Clinton in 2016 with those Jesus-doesn’t-like-masturbation memes had all miraculously been deprogrammed.

Liberals celebrated by singing hymns to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and compiling lists of people to subpoena to testify before congressional committees in what will someday be known as “the Hitlergate Hearings.” The New York Times even published a “roadmap” that Mueller and his team can follow to “send incriminating evidence directly to Congress,” thus protecting this “evidence” from the Justice Department, which is totally infested with Russians and Nazis!

But it’s not quite time for liberals to break out the vuvuzelas and Trump effigies yet … or to let up on the paranoia. The Putin-Nazi menace is still out there! The Internet is still literally crawling with all sorts of deviant, division sowing content! And now the Russian bots have brainwashed the French into staging these unruly Yellow Vest protests, and the Putin-Nazis have “weaponized” humor, and the economy, and religion, and Brexit, and Wikileaks, and pretty much everything else you can imagine. So this is no time to switch off the television, and log off the Internet, and start thinking critically … or to forget for one moment that THE NAZIS ARE COMING, and that A DEVASTATING RUSSIAN ATTACK IS IMMINENT!

So here’s wishing my Russia-and-Trump-obsessed readers a merry, teeth-clenching, anus-puckering Christmas and a somewhat mentally-healthier New Year! Me, I’m looking forward to discovering how batshit crazy things can get … I have a feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet.

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CJ Hopkins
December 19, 2018
Photo: Film Forum

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

Manufacturing Truth

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:00pm in

If you’re one of the millions of human beings who, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, still believe there is such a thing as “the truth,” you might not want to read this essay. Seriously, it can be extremely upsetting when you discover that there is no “truth” … or rather, that what we’re all conditioned to regard as “truth” from the time we are children is just the product of a technology of power, and not an empirical state of being. Humans, upon first encountering this fact, have been known to freak completely out and start jabbering about the “Word of God,” or “the immutable laws of quantum physics,” and run around burning other people at the stake or locking them up and injecting them with Thorazine. I don’t want to be responsible for anything like that, so consider this your trigger warning.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at how “truth” is manufactured. It’s actually not that complicated. See, the “truth” is … well, it’s a story, essentially. It’s whatever story we are telling ourselves at any given point in history (“we” being the majority of people, those conforming to the rules of whatever system wields enough power to dictate the story it wants everyone to be telling themselves). Everyone understands this intuitively, but the majority of people pretend they don’t in order to be able to get by in the system, which punishes anyone who does not conform to its rules, or who contradicts its story. So, basically, to manufacture the truth, all you really need is (a) a story, and (b) enough power to coerce a majority of people in your society to pretend to believe it.

I’ll return to this point a little later. First, let’s look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing “truth.” I’m going to use The Guardian‘s most recent blatantly fabricated article (“Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy“) as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by “respectable” outlets over the course of the last two years. The “Russian Propaganda Peddlers” story. The “Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton” story. The “Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid” story. The “Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape” story. The “Novichok Assassins” story. The “Bana Alabed Speaks Out” story. The “Trump’s Secret Russian Server” story. The “Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis” story. The “Russians Orchestrated Brexit” story. The “Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms” story. The “Twitter Bots” story. And the list goes on.

I’m not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan Cook, Craig Murray, Glenn Greenwald, Moon of Alabama, and many others). The short version is, The Guardian‘s Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed “Russians”) on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding’s earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on … well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous “intelligence sources.” After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece (employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.

By that time, of course, its purpose had been served. The story had been picked up and disseminated by other “respectable,” “authoritative” outlets, and it was making the rounds on social media. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, in an attempt to counter the above-mentioned debunkers (and dispel the doubts of anyone else still capable of any kind of critical thinking), Politico posted this ass-covering piece speculating that, if it somehow turned out The Guardian‘s story was just propaganda designed to tarnish Assange and Trump … well, probably, it had been planted by the Russians to make Luke Harding look like a moron. This ass-covering piece of speculative fiction, which was written by a former CIA agent, was immediately disseminated by liberals and “leftists” who are eagerly looking forward to the arrest, rendition, and public crucifixion of Assange.

At this point, I imagine you’re probably wondering what this has to do with manufacturing “truth.” Because, clearly, this Guardian story was a lie … a lie The Guardian got caught telling. I wish the “truth” thing was as simple as that (i.e., exposing and debunking the ruling classes’ lies). Unfortunately, it isn’t. Here is why.

Much as most people would like there to be one (and behave and speak as if there were one), there is no Transcendental Arbiter of Truth. The truth is what whoever has the power to say it is says it is. If we do not agree that that “truth” is the truth, there is no higher court to appeal to. We can argue until we are blue in the face. It will not make the slightest difference. No evidence we produce will make the slightest difference. The truth will remain whatever those with the power to say it is say it is.

Nor are there many truths (i.e., your truth and my truth). There is only one truth … the official truth. The truth according to those in power. This is the whole purpose of the concept of truth. It is the reason the concept of “truth” was invented (i.e., to render any other “truths” lies). It is how those in power control reality and impose their ideology on the masses (or their employees, or their students, or their children). Yes, I know, we very badly want there to be some “objective truth” (i.e., what actually happened, when whatever happened, JFK, 9-11, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Schrödinger’s dead cat, the Big Bang, or whatever). There isn’t. The truth is just a story … a story that is never our story.

The truth is a story that power gets to tell, and that the powerless do not get to tell, unless they tell the story of those in power, which is always someone else’s story. The powerless are either servants of power or they are heretics. There is no third alternative. They either parrot the truth of the ruling classes or they utter heresies of one type or another. Naturally, the powerless do not regard themselves as heretics. They do not regard their “truth” as heresy. They regard their “truth” as the truth, which is heresy. The truth of the powerless is always heresy.

For example, while it may be personally comforting for some of us to tell ourselves that we know the truth about certain subjects (e.g., Russiagate, 9-11, et cetera), and to share our knowledge with others who agree with us, and even to expose the lies of the corporate media on Twitter, Facebook, and our blogs, or in some leftist webzine (or “fearless adversarial” outlet bankrolled by a beneficent oligarch), the ruling classes do not give a shit, because ours is merely the raving of heretics, and does not warrant a serious response.

Or … all right, they give a bit of a shit, enough to try to cover their asses when a journalist of the stature of Glenn Greenwald (who won a Pulitzer and is frequently on television) very carefully and very respectfully almost directly accuses them of lying. But they give enough of a shit to do this because Greenwald has the power to hurt them, not because of any regard for the truth. This is also why Greenwald has to be so careful and respectful when directly confronting The Guardian, or any other corporate media outlet, and state that their blatantly fabricated stories could, theoretically, turn out to be true. He can’t afford to cross the line and end up getting branded a heretic and consigned to Outer Mainstream Darkness, like Robert Fisk, Sy Hersh, Jonathan Cook, John Pilger, Assange, and other such heretics.

Look, I’m not trying to argue that it isn’t important to expose the fabrications of the corporate media and the ruling classes. It is terribly important. It is mostly what I do (albeit usually in a more satirical fashion). At the same time, it is important to realize that “the truth” is not going to “rouse the masses from their slumber” and inspire them to throw off their chains. People are not going to suddenly “wake up,” “see the truth” and start “the revolution.” People already know the truth … the official truth, which is the only truth there is. Those who are conforming to it are doing so, not because they are deceived, but because it is safer and more rewarding to do so.

And this is why The Guardian will not be punished for publishing a blatantly fabricated story. Nor will Luke Harding be penalized for writing it. Luke Harding will be rewarded for writing it, as he has been handsomely rewarded throughout his career for loyally serving the ruling classes. Greenwald, on the other hand, is on thin ice. It will be instructive to see how far he pushes his confrontation with The Guardian regarding this story.

As for Julian Assange, I’m afraid he is done for. The ruling classes really have no choice but to go ahead and do him at this point. He hasn’t left them any other option. Much as they are loathe to create another martyr, they can’t have heretics of Assange’s notoriety running around punching holes in their “truth” and brazenly defying their authority. That kind of stuff unsettles the normals, and it sets a bad example for the rest of us heretics.

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CJ Hopkins
December 3, 2018

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

Beware the Trumpenleft!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/11/2018 - 2:57am in

Unless you move in certain leftist circles, you may not have heard about one of the Russians’ most insidiously evil active measures, an active measure so insidiously evil that it could only have been dreamed up in Moscow, the current wellspring of insidious evil. Its official Russo-Nazi-sounding code name is still being decided on by leftist cryptographers, but most people know it as the “Trumpenleft.”

The Trumpenleft (or “Sputnik Left,” as it is also called by professional anti-Putin-Nazi intelligence analysts) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is a gang of nefarious Putin-Nazi infiltrators posing as respectable leftists in order to disseminate Trumpian ideology and Putin-Nazi propaganda among an assortment of online leftist magazines that hardly anyone ever actually reads. The aim of these insidious Trumpenleft infiltrators is to sow confusion, chaos, and discord among actual, real, authentic leftists who are going about the serious business of calling Donald Trump a fascist on the Internet twenty-five times a day, verbally abusing Julian Assange, occasionally pulling down oppressive statues, and sharing videos of racist idiots acting like racist idiots in public.

The Trumpenleft is determined to sabotage (or momentarily disrupt) this revolutionary work, mostly by tricking these actual leftists into critically thinking about a host of issues that there is no good reason to critically think about … global capitalism, national sovereignty, immigration, identity politics, corporate censorship, and other issues that there is no conceivable reason to discuss, or debate, or even casually mention, unless you’re some kind of Russia-loving Nazi.

Angela Nagle’s recent piece in American Affairs is a perfect example. Nagle (who is certainly Trumpenleft) puts forth the fascistic proposition that mass migration won’t help the world’s poor, and she claims that it creates “a race to the bottom for workers” in wealthier, developed countries and “a brain drain” in poorer, less developed countries. After deploying a variety of Trumpenleft sophistry (i.e., fact-based analysis, logic, and so on), she goes so far as to openly suggest that “progressives should focus on addressing the systemic exploitation at the root of mass migration rather than retreating to a shallow moralism” … a shallow moralism that reifies the dominant neoliberal ideology that is causing mass migration in the first place.

This is the type of gobbledegook the Trumpenleft use to try to dupe real leftists into putting down their phones for a minute and actually thinking through political issues! Fortunately, no one is falling for it. As any bona fide leftist knows, there is no “mass migration problem.” The whole thing is simply a racist hoax concocted by Putin, Alex Jones, and other Trumpian disinformationists. The only thing real leftists need to know about immigration is that immigrants are good, and Trump, and walls, and borders are bad! All that other fancy gibberish about global capitalism, Milton Friedman, labor markets, and national sovereignty is nothing but fascist propaganda (which needs to be censored, or at least deplatformed, or demonetized, or otherwise suppressed).

But Angela Nagle is just one example. The Trumpenleft is legion, and growing. Its membership includes a handful of prominent (and rather less prominent) fake leftist figures: Glenn Greenwald, who many among the “Resistance” would like to see renditioned and indefinitely detained in some offshore Trumpenleft gulag somewhere; Matt Taibbi, who just published a treasonous article challenging the right of the US government to prosecute publishers as “enemy agents” for publishing material they don’t want published; Julian Assange, who is one such publisher, and who the US has scheduled for public crucifixion just as soon as they can get their hands on him; Aaron Maté of the Real News Network, a notorious Trump-Russia “collusion denialist“; Caitlin Johnstone, an Australian blogger and poet who the Red-Brown Putin-Nazi hunters at CounterPunch have become totally obsessed with; Diana Johnstone, who they also don’t like; and (full disclosure) your humble narrator.

Now, normally, the opinions of some political journalists and rather marginal political writers wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, but there’s a war on, so there’s no room for neutrality. As I mentioned in my latest essay, over the course of the next two years, the global capitalist ruling classes need to make an example of Trump, and Assange, and anyone else who has had the gall to fuck with their global empire. Part of how they are going to do this is to further polarize the already extremely polarized ideological spectrum until everyone is forced onto one or the other side of a pro- or anti-Trump equation, or a pro- or anti-populist equation … or a pro- or anti-fascist equation.

As you probably noticed, The Guardian has just launched a special six-week “investigative series” exploring the whole “new populism” phenomenon (which began with a lot of scary photos of Steve Bannon next to the word “populism”). We are going to be hearing a lot about “populism” over the course of the next two years. We are going to be hearing how “populism” is actually not that different from fascism, or at the very least is inherently racist, and anti-Semitic, and xenophobic, and how, basically, anyone who criticizes neoliberal elites or the corporate media is Russia-loving, pro-Trump Nazi.

And this is where this “Trumpenleft” malarkey fits into the ruling classes’ broader campaign to eliminate any kind of critical thinking and force people to mindlessly root for their “team.” See, the problem with us “Trumpenleft” types is not that we support Donald Trump. For the record, none of us really do. Some of us think he us a dangerous demagogue. Others of us think he is a blithering idiot. None of us think he’s Fidel Castro, or that he cares one iota about the working classes, or about anyone other than Donald Trump.

No, the problem is not that we’re on the wrong team; the problem is that we are asking people to question the propaganda of the team that we’re supposed to be on, or at least be rooting for. We are asking people to pay attention to how the global capitalist ruling establishment is going about quashing this “populist” insurgency (of which Brexit and Trump are manifestations, not causes) so they can get back to the business of relentlessly restructuring, privatizing, and debt-enslaving everything, as they’ve been doing since the end of the Cold War. We’re asking folks, not to join “the other team,” but to pay close attention to how they are being manipulated into believing that there are only two “teams,” and that they have to join one, and then mindlessly parrot whatever nonsense their team decides they need to disseminate in order to win a game that is merely a simulation they have conjured up (i.e., the ruling classes have conjured up) in order to inoculate themselves against an actual conflict they cannot win and so must prevent at all costs from ever beginning … which, they are doing a pretty good job of that so far.

In other words, the problem with us Trumpenlefters is, the prospect of defeating a fake Russian Hitler, and restoring neoliberal normality in the USA and the rest of the West, is just not all that terribly inspiring. So, rather than regurgitating the Russia hysteria and the fascism hysteria that is being produced by the global capitalist ruling establishment to gin up support for their counterinsurgency, we are continuing to focus on the capitalist ruling classes, which are actually still running things, globally, and will be running things long after Trump is gone (and the Imminent Threat of Global Fascist Takeover of Everything has disappeared, as the Imminent Threat of Nookular Terrorist Backpack Attack disappeared before it).

Or maybe all that is just a ruse, an attempt on my part to dupe you into going out and buying a MAGA hat and shouting racist abuse at Honduran kids, assuming you can find some in your vicinity. You never know with us Trumpenleft types. Probably the safest thing to do to protect yourself from our insidious treachery is to start your own personal Trumpenleft blacklist, and spread lies about us all over the Internet, or just report us to Twitter, or Facebook, or somebody, whoever you feel are the proper authorities. The main thing is to shut us up, or prophylactically delegitimize us, to keep us from infecting other leftists with our filthy, nonconformist ideas. The last thing we need at a time like this is a bunch of leftists thinking for themselves and questioning official leftist dogma. Who knows what that kind of behavior might lead to?

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N.B. As far as I could gather from my research, the “Trumpenleft” label was coined by Paul Street, a regular columnist at Truthdig and CounterPunch and all-around professional leftist. Like the editors of The New York Times, Street understands the importance of sloppily Germanicizing terms you want to frighten people with, because there’s nothing quite as terrifying as Nazi morphology!

CJ Hopkins
November 26, 2018
Photo: Jordán Francisco/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

The Hitlergate Hearings

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 19/11/2018 - 9:34pm in

OK, so, that was a close one. For a moment there, I was starting to worry that the Democrats weren’t going to take back the House and rescue us from “the brink of fascism.” Which, if that had happened, in addition to having to attend all those horrible stadium rallies and help the government mass murder the Jews, we would have been denied the next two years of Donald Trump-related congressional hearings and investigations that we can now look forward to … I’m going to go ahead and call them the Hitlergate Hearings.

Staging these hearings has always been a crucial  part of the Resistance’s strategy. As history has proved, time and time again, when literal fascists take over your democracy, outlaw opposing political parties, and start shipping people off to concentration camps and revoking journalists’ White House access, the only effective way to defeat them is to form a whole buttload of congressional committees and investigate the living Hitler out of them. This is especially the case when the literal fascists who have commandeered your democracy are conspiring with a shifty-eyed Slavic dictator whose country you have essentially surrounded with your full-spectrum dominant military forces, and who your media have thoroughly demonized, but who is nevertheless able to brainwash your citizens into electing his fascist puppet president with a few thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads.

Once you’ve determined that has happened (which it obviously has), the gloves have to come off. No more prancing around in pussyhats, not with Russian Hitler in office! No, at that point, you really have no choice but to wait two years until your opposition party (which Hitler somehow forgot to ban) regains control of the House of Representatives (which Hitler somehow forgot to dissolve), wait another two months until they take office, and then immediately start issuing subpoenas, auditing Hitler’s financial records, and taking affidavits from former hookers. I realize that may sound extreme, but remember, we’re talking literal fascists, backed by literal Russian fascists, who are going around emboldening literal fascism, and making literal fascist hand gestures on television, and doing all kinds of other fascist stuff!

Now, OK, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering, if Trump is really a fascist, not to mention a Russian intelligence asset, why hasn’t the “Resistance” just assassinated him? Many of them are ex-CIA, after all, or are otherwise members of the Intelligence Community. Why bother with all these congressional hearings? Why not just go in there and kill him?

Well, the problem with that apparently is, they have to follow “the rule of law,” which prevents them from just assassinating people, and “regime-changing” governments that are not playing ball, and, you know, staging military coups, arming and training sadistic death squads, and sanctioning thousands of children to death. That kind of stuff is not just wrong, like, morally, or whatever, it is also illegal. So, even though a Russian agent, who is also literally Adolf Hitler, stole the election from Hillary Clinton, and is remaking America into a fascist dictatorship, the only recourse the “Resistance” has is to mount these congressional investigations and publicize them in excruciating detail until November 3, 2020, at which point all this “Fascism” hysteria will just disappear into the ether like the “War on Terror” hysteria did the moment Trump won the nomination.

But that’s two years from now, which is almost an eternity. In the meantime, the neoliberal “Resistance” has got some serious investigating to do! And not just Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s treasonous activities as a Russian agent. No, we’re talking congressional investigations of his tax returns, his Deutsche Bank statements, takeout receipts, dry cleaning tickets, his entire fascistic financial history! And then there’s that emoluments thing! And that Kavanaugh thing! And that security clearance thing! And that bimbo thing! And some other things! And, well, I think it’s pretty safe to assume we are on the road to Subpoena City!

The corporate media appear to agree. Scanning the post-election coverage, it looked like most “Resistance” journalists got the official press release. The Guardian started taking live bets on which investigations the House would launch first. The New York Times, in its ongoing efforts to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from the fascistic “muzzling” its editorial staff are certain that Trump is about to subject him to in order to prevent him from presenting evidence of Trump’s formative years in the GRU (and possible links to the Skripal assassins), published a “roadmap” Mueller can follow to “send incriminating evidence directly to Congress,” bypassing the Nazified Justice Department! According to CNN (a dissident samizdat owned by the Turner Broadcasting division of Warner Media, LLC, which, in turn, is owned by AT&T, a multinational conglomerate holding company), “House Democrats are preparing to unleash the full force of their oversight powers on the Trump administration” in series of “high-octane Democratic-controlled hearings,” which Jim Acosta will be covering live, if he has to take out every jackbooted Nazi intern on the Hill to do it! I could go on, but you get the picture. And for anyone who doesn’t, here it is …

The next two years will be a demonstration of the power of the global capitalist empire and its predominant propaganda machine the likes of which the world has never witnessed. By November 3, 2020, they will need to have brainwashed enough Americans into voting for whatever global capitalist puppet the Democrats end up nominating to defeat Donald Trump in the general election, which isn’t going to be a cakewalk. To do this, they will need to foment such an atmosphere of mindless hysteria, emotional exhaustion, and paranoia that anyone to the left of Mussolini will stagger to the polls on election day and vote for the Democrat just to make it stop.

In addition to the Hitlergate Hearings, each and every excruciating moment of which will be broadcast live and then milked to death by the corporate media’s experts and pundits, they will continue to subject us to a torrent of messaging designed to convince us that Donald Trump is simultaneously Hitler and a Russian operative, and that America is literally “on the brink of fascism,” and that anyone who questions this narrative is a Putin-loving Trumpian fascist, and a hate criminal, and probably a “domestic terrorist.”

None of this messaging will need to make sense. The goal of the “Resistance” is not to present a credible case that Donald Trump is literally a fascist or a Russian operative, or that global capitalism is in any real danger of being torn asunder by literal fascism (whatever your definition of fascism is). The goal of the “Resistance” is to make it unmistakeably clear who is really running things, and what happens to annoying billionaire ass clowns who get elected president without their permission, and to the ignorant rabble who elect such ass clowns, or who vote to leave the European Union (which, of course, they will never allow to happen, except perhaps in some nominal sense).

In other words, the global capitalist ruling classes are about to teach the world a lesson. It is the same basic lesson they have been teaching the world since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. They taught it in the former Yugoslavia. They taught it in Greece, and Iraq, and Libya. They have taught it throughout the Middle East. They are about to teach it throughout the West. The lesson is, resistance to global capitalism is not just futile, it is suicidal. The lesson is, play with identity politics and all that “cultural wars” stuff to your heart’s content, but fuck with global capitalism and we will squash you like a tomato bug.

The Hitlergate Hearings, the fascism hysteria, the Russian mind control paranoia, and the rest of the concerted propaganda campaign we have been subjected to since 2016 (and are about to experience the full force of) are all just parts of a broader effort, not just to crush the “populist” insurgency that began in the West with the Brexit referendum, continued with Trump, and then spread throughout Europe, but to crush all hope for any future rebellions against global capitalism and its ideology, regardless of whether they stem from the Left or Right. (If you think they’re just focused on the neo-nationalists, you obviously haven’t been paying attention to the ongoing demonization of Corbyn, Mélenchon, Sahra Wagenknecht, and assorted other “populist” leftists.) In the old days, this was the part where the king would mount the usurper’s head on a spike to remind everybody who was boss. Nowadays, of course, we do it on television, or the Internet, like when we hung Saddam, or sodomized Gaddafi with a bayonet. They’re not going to do anything like that to Trump, who is, after all, an American usurper, but they are going to make an example of him.

So, get out your popcorn, and your pitchforks, and so on, and get ready to cheer them on as they do. The future of democracy hangs in the balance! And, if you’re on the Twitter, make sure you fulfill your daily Calling-Trump-a-Fascist and Feeding-the-Fascism-Hysteria quotas. And Putin, of course. Don’t forget Putin … and whatever other mindless hysteria the capitalist ruling classes need us to parrot. Trust me, in about two years, when the post-Putin-Nazi celebrations begin, and people are running around in the streets burning effigies, hooting vuvuzelas, and hunting down anyone wearing the wrong hat, you’re not going to want to be mistaken for having been on the “populist” side of history.

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CJ Hopkins
November 19, 2018
Photo: MLH Radio

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

KILL CHAIN LIVE! on Channel 16

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/11/2018 - 8:12pm in

Instead of CJ Hopkins’ regular column this week, we’re posting the following excerpt from his dystopian science fiction novel, Zone 23, which we published, so we can do whatever the hell we want with it, and there is nothing he can do to stop us. We hope you enjoy it. Here it is …

 

Chapter 12 – Billy Jensen

Six months and a few days later, Billy Jensen, who lived somewhere else, and who had never even heard of Taylor Byrd, or Valentina Constance Briggs, or any of the other people in our story, was … well, basically, he was watching TV. He was doing this on the JumboMax screen of his Tannhäuser Systems In-Home Viewer, a Model 60, Series K, which covered one entire wall of his studio. The Model 60, which he’d bought on credit, and owed about GD 400,000 on, was patched into his Tannhäuser Systems In-Home Professional Gaming Console, which resembled the cockpit of a military aircraft and took up most of the rest of his apartment.

Serious gamers like Billy Jensen didn’t mess around when it came to their Viewers, or their In-Home Professional Gaming Consoles. They shelled out for the seriously high-end Pro-stuff, which was optimized to support whatever professional-quality gaming platforms the company in question designed and marketed, or had the exclusive rights to distribute, or some other kind of lucrative deal. Tannhäuser Systems (a partly-owned subsidiary of another subsidiary of another subsidiary of the Hadley Corporation of Menomonie, Wisconsin), in addition to being the market leader in the seriously high-end Viewer market, and Professional Gaming Console market, and offering an extensive and affordable line of professional quality gaming accessories, and T-shirts, and caps, and branded coffee mugs, was also the maker of the wildly popular interactive simulated MercyKill game, KILL CHAIN, which was Billy Jensen’s game.

KILL CHAIN, despite its aggressive-sounding name, was nothing at all like the horribly violent Anti-Social first-person shooter games people used to play in the bad old days. The violence involved was in no way gratuitous; it was strictly clinical, and compassion-based. The Targets were all Class 4 Anti-Socials, who were needlessly suffering late-stage disease, and whose quality of life was non-existent when measured on the HRQOL scale. Most of them were dangerous faith-based Terrorists, who posed potentially devastating threats, possibly with improvised nuclear devices, or horrible chemical or biological agents that would kill you the second they touched your skin. KILL CHAIN players (or Operators) targeted these poor lost souls remotely, neutralizing any threat they posed, and putting them out of their pointless misery.

KILL CHAIN VIII: Compassionate Hammer, released online the previous December, just in time for the Christmas holidays, was, in Billy Jensen’s opinion, one of the best in the KILL CHAIN series. It was sitting there, loaded, in his gaming console, ready to go when he logged off work. KILL CHAIN VII: For Their Own Good had been a serious disappointment. Too much focus had been placed on the Targets, on their personal lives and medical histories, had been the general critical consensus. Billy Jensen had to agree. It felt like maybe the narrative talent had gotten a little carried away with themselves, building in all these endless layers of exposition, mood, and whatever. It was like they wanted you to work your way through some interminable rambling Russian novel (or some academic sociological text) before you could even sight the Targets, much less put a missile down on them. You sat there, stick in hand, for hours, watching them unnecessarily suffering … which all right, granted, definitely got you all pent-up and, like, itching to tag them, which of course when you did, after all that build-up, certainly heightened the sensation of the kill, which was obviously what the designers were going for, but it left you with this weird kind of empty feeling, which after a while got rather tiresome. KILL CHAIN VIII: Compassionate Hammer had cut way down on patterning time. All that boring background stuff had been relegated to a single window that displayed down in the corner of your screen. Average acquisition-to-action time (or “ATA time”) was under an hour. Veteran players, like Billy Jensen, could get a perfectly decent kill in during their lunch or dinner breaks, which Billy Jensen often did.

Billy Jensen was a Junior Online Customer Service Solutions Specialist. He was twenty-seven years old … a Clear. He worked for a firm called Kierkegaard/Bose, designers of some kind of software solutions that had something to do with needs of business that Billy Jensen did not understand. This wasn’t because he was unintelligent. Billy Jensen was extremely intelligent. He could have understood. He just didn’t care to. It wasn’t Billy’s job to understand. Billy’s job was to virtually chat with K/B’s transterritorial clients, trouble-shoot their myriad problems according to a detailed algorithmic script, and get them off the Live-Chat network in less than seven to eight minutes, ideally. Like most OCS reps, he did this from home (a totally modern single’s unit on the 98th floor of TransCom Towers in Northwest Region 228) while logged into K/B’s global network, which auto-monitored Billy’s keystrokes. Billy worked the lobster shift, from 2300 to 0700, which didn’t bother Billy one bit. He kept to a relatively rigid schedule, which aside from doing his OCS job primarily consisted of playing KILL CHAIN six days a week for up to six hours a day. He logged in as soon as he logged off work, and played until just after 1500, after which he worked out, ate, slept a few hours, got up, showered, ate a light breakfast, viewed some Content, and logged back onto the K/B network.

The Content Billy normally viewed while drinking his vitamin-supplemented, high-protein, micronized-glutamine breakfast was KILL CHAIN LIVE! on Channel 16, hosted by Dr. Roger P. Greenway and Susan Schnupftuch-Boermann Goereszky. And thus, it being a normal day, and the time being circa 2150, this was exactly what Billy was doing. The screen of his Tannhäuser Model 60 was running the standard Real-Time feed of what appeared to be a Quarantine Zone, shot from the nose of a UAV holding at an altitude of twenty-three kilometers. Crosshairs were sweeping a four-block grid of empty streets of unlit buildings. They looked like maybe former warehouses, nothing particularly fascinating.

“Any idea where we are now, Roger?”

“Susan, we’re looking at Zone 18, Southeast Region 423. Looks like a sultry night down there. Not much to see at the moment, I’m afraid.”

“It does look pretty desolate, Roger.”

“Like I said, Susan, hot one down there.”

“Shall we introduce Target Number One then, Roger?”

“Susan, looks like Target Number One is a subject name of Carlos Witherspoon. Designated Class 4 Anti-Social Person. Late stage disease. History of violence. Hiding in one of those buildings there, Susan.”

“Any idea which building, Roger?”

“No, apparently not, Susan. We seem to be standing by at the moment.”

An unflattering photograph of Carlos Witherspoon, bug-eyed, grimacing, needing a shave, appeared in the lower left corner of the screen.

“Here’s a photo of Witherspoon, Susan.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah. Obviously in pain.”

“Breaks your heart to see them like that.”

“Yes, it certainly does, Susan.”

“No way to hide that kind of suffering.”

“Hopefully, we can get him some relief tonight.”

Billy Jensen hoped they could too. He disliked watching anything suffer, any form of sentient being, even a dangerous faith-based Terrorist. Being a Clear, he could not help this. Compassion was coded into his genes. His heart went out to Carlos Witherspoon, and all the other Carlos Witherspoons out there, suffering their needless pain and suffering. He meticulously peeled the foil away from his Happy Henry’s low-glycemic gluten-free instant energy bar and tried to imagine their pain and suffering. He couldn’t, or not entirely anyway. The desperate and unfocused rage, the hatred and envy of everything normal, and above all else the unrelenting fear that ruled their existence and governed all their actions, were emotions Billy had never felt, and thus could never completely conceive of, except in some purely intellectual way. The Variant-Positives were challenging enough, with their inner conflicts, and doubts, and questions, and their constant struggle to stay detached. Billy’s heart went out to them too, more so even, as he understood them, and how they thought, and he felt their pain. They wanted to be healthy, the Variant-Positives. They never would be, but they tried their best. The medications they took were crude, but they did seem to slow their disease progression, or at least reduced the worst of their symptoms to something approaching manageable levels. The drugs, however, could never stop them forming their Anti-Social ideations, or clear away the fog of primitive drives and base emotions that shrouded their brains. As uncorrected Homo sapiens sapiens, the best they could do was attempt to maintain a constant state of hypervigilance (i.e. paying close attention to their thoughts and feelings, writing them down, analyzing them, and then verbalizing them to “make them real.”) They did this in their support group meetings, and with friends, family, colleagues and doctors, and whoever was sitting beside them on the train, soliciting feedback from all and sundry, which they then evaluated and processed with others, who gave them feedback on this feedback, which brought up other thoughts and feelings, which they diligently processed, analyzed and verbalized, and meditated on at considerable length. All of which left them totally exhausted and no longer certain what they were feeling, or thinking, or exactly what they wanted, or what they had just been talking about. Billy’s Variant-Positive parents, Woody and Carmen, were perfect examples. They could hardly get through a conversation without stumbling over some thought or emotion that triggered some anxious observation of some possibly symptomatic reaction that they needed to process, accept and detach from, and otherwise discuss at considerable length. Billy loved his parents deeply, and he empathized with their pain, of course, but he couldn’t help feeling they would both be so much happier once they had reincarnated … whatever, Billy reasoned, chewing, in another hundred years or so the endless trials and tribulations of the Variant-Positives would all be over. In the meantime, they had done as much as any defective strain could do. They had tackled the problem (Anti-Social Disease) in a rational and scientific manner. To use a systems-based trouble-shooting analogy, which Billy did whenever possible, they had tracked and found their system error (the aberrant variant of the MAO-A gene), effected repairs to what they could (medicated the Variant-Positives), effectively quarantined what they couldn’t (segregated the A.S.P.s), and taken appropriate long-term steps to eliminate any future recurrence (developed the variant correction technologies, which had produced the Clarions, like Billy Jensen). All of which steps were perfectly logical, and thus, to Billy, complete no-brainers. However, he reflected, swallowing, for the Variant-Positives in charge at the time, these must have been rather difficult decisions, entailing as they did the making redundant, or phasing out, of their entire subspecies. Cognitively challenged as they were, he had to admire those Variant-Positives, those of his parents’ generation, who had made those decisions and who were trying their best to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to a healthier world they would have no part in.

The A.S.P.s were a different matter. The poor things didn’t even know they were sick. Their brains were so gone, so riddled with disease, that they actually believed that they were normal, and that the Variant-Positives and Clears were the freaks. Which one good look in the mirror should have told them was not just wrong, but completely ridiculous. All right, sure, there were exceptions, but overwhelmingly, the Anti-Socials were simply … well, unattractive. They looked unhealthy, and congenitally so. And this was true of even the least afflicted and most cooperative among them, the ones they allowed outside the Zones to work in the Residential Communities, who Billy sometimes saw in passing on his way to Finkles or Big Buy Basement. The ones they didn’t let out were worse. Their skin was terrible, either dry and cracked or overly oily, and probably stank. Their hair was all greasy, clumped and matted, or it was powdered with dandruff and crawling with lice. Most of them seemed to be missing teeth, which was certainly caused by periodontitis. They bathed infrequently, clearly never flossed, didn’t use condoms, and smoked tobacco. Something like sixty percent, it was said, were chronic Diplastomorphinol users. The rest were mostly alcoholics, or were killing themselves in some other fashion. Billy could not begin to fathom what went through their small, enfeebled minds. How they went on, what they lived for, why they didn’t just euthanize themselves, were questions he had never been able to answer. Still, despite his instinctual revulsion (which any healthy organism felt when confronted with some grotesque abnormality among the members of its potential gene pool), he was, above all else, a Clear … so whenever he saw their photos appear on the screen of his Viewer on KILL CHAIN LIVE!, or even when he was just playing KILL CHAIN, and was confronted with their unrelenting pain, and pointless physical and emotional suffering, he felt himself overcome with compassion, and not just for the Target at hand, but for every living, needlessly suffering, uncorrected sentient being … that, and an irresistible urge to take them out as quickly as possible.

KILL CHAIN LIVE! on Channel 16, had been on the air for some twenty-five years. It ran at 2300 nightly, except for Sundays and major holidays. Billy Jensen had been watching the show, religiously, since the age of twelve, which technically his parents should have prevented, but nobody ever checked that stuff. The production elements had changed through the years as styles went in and out of fashion and new technologies came online, but the basic premise remained the same. Targets posing imminent threats, usually in some Recovering Area, but occasionally in one of the Quarantine Zones, were acquired, locked on, and eventually taken, typically by a laser-guided AGM 660 Godsend missile, the classic air-to-surface munition manufactured by Pfizer-Lockheed, which was one of the major sponsors of the show. The 660 Godsend, a solid fuel rocket, equipped with either a standard condensed or an “indoor” thermobaric warhead, and a Semi-Active Laser Homing guidance system that was totally unrivaled, was the ordnance of choice of Security Services throughout the United Territories. Not only was the Godsend a first class weapon suitable for use in both open and urban Emergency Threat Containment environments, but by licensing the use of its in-flight footage to KILL CHAIN LIVE! on Channel 16, Security Divisions of leading corporations, like the Hadley Corporation of Menomonie, Wisconsin, were doubling and tripling their profit margins. Hi-Def Real-Time NoseCam feed provided PixelPerfect footage of the Godsend’s dizzying Mach 2 descent through diaphanous webs of fluffy white clouds like some monomaniacal avenging angel. Average flight time was 26 seconds, during which the Operator needed to hold the crosshairs steady, painting the target, which was often moving, for the Godsend’s onboard laser seeker. The last few seconds were always a blur, so you had to wait for the slow-mo replays and satellite footage from other angles to see all the details and determine the score. For the overwhelming majority of Targets, death was instant, and presumably painless, unless a Target was exceptionally good, or whoever was manning the UAV screwed up somehow, or something malfunctioned. Normally, the Targets, whoever they were, males mostly, but sometimes females, and sometimes groups, or “hives” as they called them, were vaporized never knowing what hit them. Before the strikes you’d get their backgrounds, names, photos, medical histories, ages, associates, whatever there was. Then came a ten-minute call-in segment, when they read out people’s Fleeps and Tweaks, followed by some kind of medical expert, who Billy Jensen generally ignored. The current hosts, Dr. Roger P. Greenway and Susan Schnupftuch-Boermann Goereszky, were fairly attractive Variant-Positives whose job it was to look “concerned” or “deeply interested” or “wildly excited” while talking into the camera continuously as other people talked in their ears, telling them what to do and say.

“Susan, I think we’re getting the yellow.”

“I’ve got that here as well, Roger.”

Susan Schnupftuch-Boermann Goereszky, who sometimes did the news on Sundays, was “live” at her desk on the KILL CHAIN LIVE! set, a technological phantasmagoria officially located in Studio B of the Channel 16 Broadcast Center. Dr. Greenway was hunkered down in an undisclosed secure location, probably somewhere down the hall, surrounded by screens and wires and panels of buttons that nobody knew what they did.

“Susan, we’re definitely yellow here, Susan.”

“Still no sign of Witherspoon, Roger?”

“Nothing yet. But there must be something, or we wouldn’t be getting the yellow, Susan.”

“Roger, we’re going yellow in the studio.”

The infinity cycs in Studio B faded slowly from orange to yellow. Susan Schnupftuch-Boermann Goereszky cleared her throat and adjusted her posture. An ad for Anabastastic Plus, a painless anal bleaching compound, popped up right in the middle of the screen, which didn’t have anything to do with anything, so Billy minimized and stacked it with the others.

“Susan, it feels like something’s happening.”

“Is something happening?”

“Feels like it, Susan.”

“Still no sign of Witherspoon, Roger?”

“Susan, we’re getting … hold on, Susan. Someone’s talking … yes, good. We’ve got a location.”

“Which satellite, Roger?”

The feed from various orbiting satellites was flipping past in one corner of the screen … overhead shots of abandoned buildings on nearly identical empty streets.

“Do we have a number on that satellite, Roger?”

“Hold on, Susan. It’s coming in now.”

Susan Schnupftuch-Boermann Goereszky rolled her neck and flared her nostrils.

“2230. 2230. Satellite 2230, Susan!”

Dr. Greenway wrenched his neck now, rolling the tension out of his shoulders. Billy smiled and scanned his messages. Nothing that couldn’t wait ten minutes.

“Got him, Roger! There he is now!”

Satellite 2230 was up and feeding a beautiful tracking “god shot” of Carlos Witherspoon barreling out of some random building which was now on fire.

“Looks like that building’s on fire there, Roger.”

“Yes, it certainly does, Susan. It appears we’ve got some boots on the ground. They seem to have flushed him out there, Susan.”

“Oh no. Are they going to take him themselves?”

“Possibly, Susan. We just don’t … wait. Wait. Yes. I’m getting something.”

Consummate professional that she was, Susan Schnupftuch-Boermann Goereszky went straight to Real-Time Operator Feed, a risky move, but she just had a feeling. Carlos Witherspoon ran for his life, across an avenue and into a field, heading for a grove of crumbling buildings.

“We’re getting something …”

“I’m on it, Roger.”

The RTO Feed came up sharply, crosshairs groping and feeling for Carlos, who was doing a crazy zig-zag pattern across the field where there was no cover.

“Green, Susan. We’ve got a green here.”

The cycs in the studio went to green.

“Going green in the studio, Roger.”

Operator 225 was up. A silhouette showing his operator number and season statistics, which were all exemplary, appeared in the lower right corner of the screen.

“What can we say about our operator, Roger?”

“Susan, Operator 225 has 93 kills, 15 collateral, with an EEA of 2.1.”

“Pretty incredible numbers, Roger.”

“That’s right, Susan. And it’s only April.”

Operator 225 was good. Really good. Like circus shot good. Billy had seen him bank a missile off one moving car and into another, wasting an entire family of Targets with virtually zero collateral damage. Another time he’d flown one down a stairwell and into the lobby of this building, vaporizing everyone hiding in the lobby while the others upstairs went on with their breakfasts. What he was doing with Carlos Witherspoon was dancing the crosshairs back and forth against the direction and matching the speed of his zig-zag pattern across the field. Billy gave him, like, another twelve seconds before Carlos reached the safety of the buildings.

“This operator is amazing, Susan. He’s leading the target.”

“We’re watching it, Roger.”

The Foxtrot button on the RTO screen lit up suddenly.

Billy smiled.

“FOXTROT, SUSAN! FOXTROT! FOXTROT!”

Dr. Greenway leapt to his feet, bringing his crotch up into the camera. Billy chuckled. Carlos ran. Susan Schnupftuch-Boermann Goereszky kept her composure and went to NoseCam.

Southeast Region 423, wherever that was on the planet Earth, was rushing up into the screen, a blur of shuddering white and red and orange lights with squiggly tails, the patchwork grid of endless cities bleeding into other cities, indistinguishable, like a storm of stars, as the Godsend missile screamed down out of the night from twenty kilometers up. In a window in the lower left corner of the screen, Operator 225 was sweeping the delicate crosshairs back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, dancing with Carlos, intersecting him … now … now … now … and finally …

“WHOA! Unbelievable precision! Absolutely textbook, Susan! That’s got to be one for the highlight reel!”

“Let’s take a look at the replays, Roger.”

The screen was already subdividing, running an array of slow-mo replays of the kill from sixteen different angles. Billy froze one in which the missile hung in the air over Carlos Witherspoon, ten or twelve meters above and behind him, its cherry red nose cone pointed at the spot the stride he was taking would carry him into in approximately 0.06 seconds. In another window, he pulled up and readied the login screen of the K/B network. His shift began in forty-three seconds.

“Never knew what hit him, Susan.”

“His needless suffering is over now, Roger.”

“Not to mention the threat he posed, Susan.”

“Any details on what that was, Roger?”

“I’m afraid not, Susan. Definitely serious, though. Oh, look at that shot on Satellite 60! You can almost see the expression on his face.”

Billy pulled up his algorithmic script.

“Roger, we’re getting some breaking news in.”

“That is a dead center hit there, Susan!”

“Roger, we’re breaking away for a second.”

“Say again, Susan.”

Susan was gone. The picture had cut to a stock montage of Jimmy “Jimbo” Cartwright, III, founder and CEO of Finkles, the Transterritorial retail powerhouse, who’d been battling cancer for several decades, and who had suffered some sort of major setback. Senior News Anchor Chastaine Chandler, a stunning young Clear with designer lips and no hips at all who Billy had a crush on, appeared in a window in the upper right corner. Sadly, Jimbo’s condition was grave. The family had gathered at the Cartwright compound, filming on the grounds of which was not permitted, and had issued a statement thanking Jimbo’s millions of loyal customers and fans for their millions of emails, Fleeps and Tweaks, and prayers, and ongoing customer loyalty. Chastaine Chandler took a beat, shook her head in disbelief, and wiped a tear from the corner of her eye.

“I’d like to play a Fleep we received from a Finkles customer in Region 220 …”

Billy Jensen swiped her away and logged onto the K/B network.

#

Zone 23, by CJ Hopkins
Photo: U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Richard Lisum/Wikimedia Commons

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding excerpt is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

 

Oceania is at War with Fascism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/11/2018 - 9:17pm in

If you’re a critic of global capitalism (sometimes referred to as “globalism”), I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is, you’re not a “peddler of Russian propaganda” anymore. The bad news is, you’re an anti-Semite.

You’re probably also a domestic terrorist, or an “emboldener” of domestic terrorism, or at least some sort of terrorism-apologist. And not good old-fashioned Islamic terrorism like we used to get during the War on Terror, because that ended in the Summer of 2016, right around the time Trump won the nomination. No, the brand of terrorism you are probably emboldening by criticizing global capitalism is anti-Semitic, fascist terrorism … the most terroristic form of terrorism there is!

Up until recently, you might have just been going about your normal business, criticizing global capitalism, completely unaware of your anti-Semitic, white supremacist terrorist activities, but from now on there will be no denying them. Your hate thoughts are right there for everyone to read. Go back and check your Facebook posts and your Twitter feed. You’ll see what I mean. All those times when you impulsively lashed out against the global capitalist ruling classes, or globalism, or Obama, or Clinton, or the Wall Street banks, or, God help you, George Soros … well, you might as well have been tweeting blinking neon GIFs of dancing Swastikas or posting Adolf Hitler’s speeches with little throbbing hearts and smiley-face emoticons.

See, according to the “Anti-Fascist Resistance” (i.e, the the Democratic Party, the “intelligence community,” the corporate media, those Wall Street banks, the military industrial complex, and other components of the global capitalist empire that doesn’t actually exist, except as a Nazi “conspiracy theory”), any references you might have made to “globalists,” or “globalism,” or the “corporate media,” or “banks,” or “Hollywood,” or the “1 percent,” or any other “elites,” didn’t really refer to what they referred to, but, in fact, were anti-Semitic “dog whistles.” If you went so far as to literally mention or include an unflattering photo of Soros in any of your posts or tweets, then you weren’t just “whistling” to your fascist dog friends, you were openly calling for a second Holocaust, or “inspiring” some anti-Semitic psycho to senselessly murder a bunch of people, as recently happened at that synagogue in Pittsburgh.

This newly rebranded “Anti-Fascist Resistance” (formerly known as the “Anti-Putin Resistance,” that is, until pre-election polling convinced them that most Americans were not responding to their “Russiagate” propaganda) has been working more or less around the clock to badger the public into believing that this psycho was an official “lone wolf terrorist” (i.e., a “terrorist” who has no affiliation with any actual terrorist organization), and that “America is on the brink of fascism,” and that Trump is “deploying the fascist playbook,” and that attacking the media is “the first step toward fascism,” and that Trump is a fascist because he isn’t a fascist (or something … I couldn’t quite make sense of that one), and, basically, that everyone should be afraid of fascism! Like that scene in Orwell’s 1984 when the Party abruptly switches official enemies in the middle of the Hate Week rally, the “Resistance” is counting on its loyal members to instantly forget the Russia hysteria they have been mindlessly parroting for almost two years, and start mindlessly parroting Fascism hysteria (as they mindlessly parroted the Terrorism hysteria throughout the Global War on Terror, until they switched to parroting the Russia hysteria after Trump got elected in 2016).

This recent rebranding of the neoliberal Resistance was a brilliant move, and is going quite well. It couldn’t have come at a better time, what with the midterm elections about to take place. While liberals were ready to swallow any anti-Trump narrative the corporate media rammed down their throats from the moment Clinton lost, much of the slightly-more-left-leaning Left never bought the Russiagate story. So it’s been tough for slimy beltway operatives like David Brock and other propagandists to unite “the Left” behind the Democratic Party, so they can put down this annoying “populist” insurgency, reinstall some Obama-like puppet, and get back to the business of globalism … no, not worldwide Jewish domination, you Jew-obsessed, neo-Nazi freaks, but, rather, the consolidation of corporate control over what remains of society, the abrogation of national sovereignty, and the establishment of a smiley, happy, multicultural, over-medicated, neo-feudal global capitalist marketplace. This Fascism hysteria is doing the trick!

This is the beauty of the “Putin-Nazi” narrative, which was designed to be a one-two punch. First, they hit us with the “Russiagate” hysteria, which worked like a charm on the kind of liberals who have no qualms about destroying whole countries, murdering hundreds of thousands of people in faraway lands that pose zero threat to us, and debt-enslaving millions of Americans to enrich the global investor classes, as long as someone like Obama is doing it. Then, once all the NPR liberals had been whipped into a hysterical frenzy over “Russian propaganda,” “collusion,” and so on, they hit us with the Fascism hysteria, which is working like a charm on the rest of the Left. (I haven’t seen any official polling, but when the official narrative is being mindlessly parroted, not only by the liberal corporate media, but also by “grassroots” left-wing outlets like Truthout, Democracy Now, and CounterPunch, you know their propaganda is working.)

Not that there aren’t a bunch of racists, anti-Semites, and other bigots out there. Of course there are. There always have been, just as there have always been terrorists out there (or non-state militants, depending on your perspective). Some of these racists and anti-Semites are obviously homicidal lunatics. This is not a new phenomenon. The American white supremacist fringe (and, sorry, but it is still a fringe) has been shooting and bombing innocent people, and otherwise doing their utmost to get their ridiculous “Racial Holy War” going since at least the early 1970s, and arguably since end of the Civil War. They have been doing this without any “emboldenment” from billionaire jackasses like Donald Trump, and they will continue to do this once Trump is gone and this Fascism hysteria has outlived its usefulness … like the War on Terror hysteria did.

If you’re in the mood to live a bit dangerously and want a little preview of what that will be like, switch off your smartphone for a minute, turn off the television, shut down the notebook, and walk out into the city, suburb, town, or gated community you live in. Does it look like the Nazis have taken over? OK, want to live even a little more dangerously? And I’m talking about flirting with serious thoughtcrime. Ask yourself, how many actual terrorists did you encounter during the War on Terror (that is, assuming you didn’t invade their country and start, you know, bombing and shooting at them)? Can you even remember as far back as July, when Oceania was at war with Russia, and Trump (temporarily) wasn’t Hitler, but was a treasonous “Russian intelligence asset,” who was almost certainly going to disband NATO, and a “crippling Russian cyber attack” on vital American infrastructure was imminent?

I doubt it, because that never happened. Oceania has never been at war with Russia. Oceania is at war with Fascism. Oceania has always been at war with Fascism. Donald Trump has always been Hitler. He has never been a Russian intelligence asset. Obama never put children in cages, or assassinated entire families at weddings. Trump’s nativism leads to anti-Semitism. America is not a safe place for Jews. The invasion of Iraq was just a tragic mistake, which will never, ever, happen again. There are no global capitalist elites, and anybody who says there are is an anti-Semite, and a fascistic  thoughtcriminal, and an emboldener of domestic terrorism, which is “a plague America can no longer ignore.” Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot, the Ministry of Plenty has just announced that there will be no reduction of the chocolate ration. The chocolate ration will be increased!

So don’t forget to vote blue tomorrow and help the Party defeat the fascists! Or, if you’re one of the fascists, don’t forget to vote red tomorrow and help the Party save America from that Jewish Mexican zombie horde that is coming to steal your fruit-picking job! And whatever you do, stay tuned to the telescreen, and do not start thinking about global capitalism, or the manufacture of mass hysteria, or put anything into any kind of broader historical or geopolitical context. That kind of thinking leads straight to thoughtcrime … and we all know where thoughtcrime leads.

#

CJ Hopkins
November 5, 2018
Photo: Ministry of Truth

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

The Assassination of Donald Trump

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 22/10/2018 - 8:56pm in

OK … here’s a question for you. Let’s assume, strictly for the purposes of argument, that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or at least a proto-Hitlerian fascist, like the neoliberal ruling classes and the corporate media have been saying he is. And let’s go ahead and also assume that he’s a treasonous Russian intelligence asset working in league with Vladimir Putin to destroy the very fabric of Western democracy, and that he isn’t even legitimately President, because he stole the election from Hillary Clinton with all those Russian bots and Facebook posts, and all that other stuff they’ve been accusing him of, which would make him the most monstrously evil villain in the history of monstrously evil villains, not to mention an existential threat to the nation, and Americans, and … well, the rest of humanity. And so, basically, what I want to know is, why don’t they just kill this guy?

Seriously, if Trump is really Hitler, and a traitor, working for a foreign enemy, like The New York Times and more or less every other organ of the corporate media has been telling us he is for the last two years, well, how about getting SEAL Team 6 to storm the White House in the dead of night and shoot him in the face or something? That seems to go over pretty well with people. Or what about a simple heart attack? Don’t our spooks have some kind of heart attack juice that they could slip into his Diet Coke, or smear onto the doorknob of the Oval Office?

Not that there’s really any need for subtlety. After all, if he’s actually a Russian operative, and a proto-Hitlerian genocidal dictator, there’s no reason to run a covert op or attempt to cover anything up. On the contrary, you would want do it openly, proudly, where all Americans could see it. Which is why I’d go with the DEVGRU option. They could waste him live on CNN. The bloodier the better. Just imagine the ratings! They could march into the Oval Office in that cool-looking kill squad body armor and beat him to death with a gold-plated golf club. It’s not like he’d put up much of a fight. What is he, like seventy years old or something?

All right, I know you’re probably thinking that beating a sitting president to death with a gold-plated gap wedge is nothing to joke about, and that doing so (i.e., joking about it, not actually beating the President to death) is possibly a federal crime or whatever, but we’re talking Adolf Hitler here, folks. Do I have to link to every one of the literally thousands of impassioned editorials, articles, and TV and radio segments in which respected journalists at serious news outlets have warned us, over and over, and over, that Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or virtually Hitler, and probably also a Russian agent? I don’t think so. Do you think that respectable publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Time, and so on, would print such inflammatory allegations if the fate of democracy were not at stake? That would be rather reckless, wouldn’t it? I mean, how many times can you call a guy Hitler before Americans demand that somebody kill him?

This is what we do, after all. Killing Hitler is America’s thing. America has been killing Hitler since … well, since Hitler killed himself. Saddam was Hitler. We killed him, didn’t we? Or we got some guys to kill him for us. Same goes for Gaddafi. He was Hitler. We killed the hell out of him. That was fun. We got some guys to sodomize him with a bayonet, and shoot him in the head, and then we laughed about it on national television. Oh, and Osama bin Laden. He was definitely Hitler … OK, not while he was working with the CIA, but later, after he went native on us. We shot him in the face and dumped in the ocean. And Milosevic, he was also Hitler! OK, we didn’t kill him, but we killed his whole country, then we put him on trial in the Hague for war crimes. And what about Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Khomeini, Bashar al Assad, and all the other Hitlers we wanted to kill, or tried to kill but couldn’t kill? The list goes on and on, and on.

I kid you not, if there is anything Americans love more than working a hundred hours a week and buying stuff with credit cards, it is repeatedly killing Adolf Hitler. You just point at somebody, call him Hitler, and Americans are ready to help you kill him. And, even if someone isn’t technically Hitler, as long as those respectable news sources tell us it’s OK to kill them … well, that’s usually good enough for us.

For example, if you’re messing around with our “interests,” like maybe interfering with our corporations’ exploitation of your Central American country, we will have no choice but to fund and train some sadistic death squads to hideously torture and murder your people until you come to your senses. Or, if you’re even considering aligning with some annoying, fanatically religious regime that deposed the puppet we installed in their country, and that is sitting in the middle of the Middle East screwing up our restructuring plans, and which the Russians won’t let us tactically nuke, well, we’ll have to help our friends, the Saudis, bomb the living Allah out of you, starve your women and children to death, and otherwise wipe you off the face of the Earth.

So let’s not suddenly get all squeamish about killing Hitler or … you know, whoever. Killing Hitlers, and other bogeymen, and innocent men, women, and children is as American as apple pie, not to mention an extremely profitable business. So what’s the problem here, exactly? Either Trump is Hitler or he isn’t Hitler. If he’s Hitler, and a traitorous Russian agent, like all those respected media sources, and those anonymous “Intelligence Community” sources, and those people on Twitter say he is, what the hell is taking so long? Why doesn’t somebody get in there and kill him? What good are all these black ops types if they can’t even save America from Hitler?

I don’t know, maybe the ruling classes don’t believe they have generated enough public support with all their “resistance” and “Hitler” stuff to brutally assassinate the president on television (which is hard to fathom, given the relentless propaganda campaign they’ve been concertedly waging). Perhaps it needs to be a grassroots effort. In which case, maybe the Democratic Party, Bill Kristol, Rob Reiner, Rachel Maddow, Michael Moore, General Hayden, Hillary Clinton, Alec Baldwin, the Editorial Board of The New York Times, and other key Resistance fighters could organize a “March to Assassinate Trump.” People could break out their pussyhats again. Everyone loves those pussyhats! They could march on CIA headquarters in Langley. Just think of all the signs and slogans  … “SCREW DEMOCRACY, JUST KILL HIM ALREADY!” “WHAT WOULD WILLIAM CASEY DO?” and the always popular call and response, “TELL ME WHAT THE DEEP STATE LOOKS LIKE … THIS IS WHAT THE DEEP STATE LOOKS LIKE!” The possibilities are almost endless!

I’m not saying it would be a cakewalk … or that there wouldn’t be any kind of blowback. The Resistance would likely catch a little flak from the millions of toothless, Oxy-addicted, white supremacist Nazis that voted for the guy. There would probably be a bit of “civil unrest,” but then, what’s the point of militarizing virtually every major police force in the country if you’re not prepared to turn them loose on the citizenry every once and while? And anyway, the main thing is, regardless of how messy things would probably get, it would provide the global capitalist ruling classes with an opportunity to remind these unruly “populists” what happens when you vote for Hitler!

#

CJ Hopkins
October 22, 2018
Photo: Alisdare Hickson CC BY-SA 2.0

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

Down with the Working Classes!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/09/2018 - 7:23pm in

If the Left is ever going to come together to save the world from Donald Trump and his legions of fascistic Putin-Nazis, we’re going to need to confront our primary enemy … the international working classes. Yes, my comrades, I’m afraid it’s time to face the facts, depressing as they are. The working classes are not our friends. Just look at how they’ve been betraying us … and after all we’ve done for them all these years! This cannot be allowed to continue, not if we are going to rescue democracy from Trump, Putin, Assad, the Iranians, and Palestinian kids with terrorist kites, and eventually stem the blood-dimmed tide of neo-fascist anti-Globalism!

Now, OK, I know you’re probably asking, “how can the international working classes possibly be the enemy of the Left?” and “wouldn’t that render the whole concept of the Left completely absurd and essentially meaningless?” and other pertinent questions like that. And that’s totally fine, you’re allowed to ask that. Questioning aspects of the official narrative the ruling classes are forcing everyone to conform to like members of a worldwide cult doesn’t make you a Nazi or anything. It’s perfectly OK to ask such questions, as long as you don’t continue to ask them, over and over, and over again, after the facts have been explained to you. Here are those facts, one more time.

The international working classes are racists. They are misogynists. Xenophobic transphobes. They do not think the way we want them to. Some of them actually still believe in God. They are white supremacists. Anti-Semites. Gun-toting, Confederate-flag-flying rednecks. Most of them have never even heard of terms like “intersectionality,” “TERF,” and so on. They do not respect the corporate media. They think that news sources like the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and so on, are basically propaganda outlets for the global corporations and oligarchs who own them, and thus are essentially no different from FOX, whose pundits they believe every word of. Their minds are so twisted by racism and xenophobia that they can’t understand how global capitalism, the graduated phase-out of national sovereignty, the privatization of virtually everything, the debt-enslavement of nearly everyone, and the replacement of their so-called “cultures” with an ubiquitous, smiley-faced, gender-neutral, non-oppressive, corporate-friendly, Disney simulation of culture are actually wonderfully progressive steps forward on the road to a more peaceful, less offensive world.

Now this has been proved in numerous studies with all kinds of charts and graphs and so on. And not only by the corporate statisticians, and the corporate media, and liberal think tanks. Why, just this week, Mehdi Hasan, in an exasperated jeremiad in the pages of The Intercept, that bastion of fearless, adversarial journalism owned by billionaire Pierre Omidyar, proved, once again, that Donald Trump was elected because PEOPLE ARE GODDAMN RACISTS!

Apparently, Hasan has just about had it with these Putin-loving Trump-apologists proposing that general dissatisfaction with global capitalism, neoliberalism, and identity politics could have had anything to do with Americans electing a bombastic ass clown with absolutely no political experience to the highest office in the land. Hasan cites a number of expert studies, among them one by the Democracy Fund, which just happens to be another Omidyar outfit. But let’s not get all paranoid or anything. There are literally hundreds of such studies at this point, each and every one of which has been cited by the mainstream media, the alternative media, the far-alternative media, and virtually every Trump-obsessed loon with a blog or a Facebook or Twitter account.

Look, I realize the truth is painful, but the science of statistics leaves no room for doubt. As much as some of us may want to deny it, the fact is, the country that elected Barack Obama (who is Black) president, twice, has been transformed by Putin’s brainwashing agents into a cesspool of xenophobia and racism, and it is up to us lefties to set things right!

Now, to do this, we need to unite the Left, and get everyone marching in lockstep, and so on. Which means that we need to identify and weed out all the fake leftists among us. Then, and only then (i.e., after we’ve tracked down, sanctimoniously denounced, and exiled any and all neo-Stasserist “alt-Right” infiltrators, Sputnik leftists, and Assad-apologists), can we turn our attention to meeting face-to-face with the international working classes and sanctimoniously denouncing them as a bunch of filthy racists.

OK, that sounds a little harsh, and possibly totally idiotic, but what other choice do we really have? If we’re going to defeat these Putin-Nazis, a few eggs are going to have to get broken. This is not the time to abandon our commitment to imposing our identity-based ideology on every last person on the planet Earth, or to indulge in that ugly kind of old-fashioned leftism that is based on what the working classes want. Who gives a damn what the working classes want? What’s important is what we want them to want. This isn’t the 1990s, after all. All that nonsense about globalization, and supranational entities like the WTO, and the World Bank, not to mention “American jobs” … only fascists talk like that these days!

But, seriously … if you’ve made it this far in my essay, and you consider yourself a leftist of some sort, you’re probably extremely frustrated with what passes for the Left these days, and with how the working classes are flocking to the Right, both in the United States and all over the world. If I’ve got that right, you might want to read this essay by Diana Johnstone (which we lefties are technically not allowed to read, because it’s posted in The Unz Review, where a lot of “alt-Right” pieces are also posted … and you don’t want to get any of that stuff on you!)

What she is writing about is the ongoing “populist” insurgency against globalized capitalism, which is what I’ve also been writing about for the better part of the last two years. This is the historical moment we are experiencing, a clumsy, sloppy, partly fascistic, partly non-fascistic democratic uprising against the continuing spread of global capitalism, the erosion of what is left of national sovereignty, and … yes, people’s cultures and values.

The international working classes understand this. The neo-nationalist Right understands this. The majority of the Left does not understand this, and is refusing to admit that it’s happening, and so is standing around on the sidelines calling everybody “racists” and “fascists” while the global capitalist ruling classes and the neo-nationalists sort things out.

Which is exactly what the ruling classes want, and what the official Putin-Nazi narrative was designed to achieve from the very beginning. The “Overton Window” (i.e., the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse) works best when divided into two clean halves. During the so-called “War on Terror,” it was Democracy versus the Islamic Terrorists. Now, it’s Democracy versus the Putin-Nazis. Both of which narratives are fairy tales, of course, the reality, as ever, being rather more messy.

If what is left of the Left expects to play any meaningful part in our historical moment (other than sanctimoniously cheerleading for the global capitalist ruling classes), it is going need to get its hand a littler dirtier, mingle a bit more with all those working class “populists,” talk to them, and, I don’t know, maybe even listen to them.

Or maybe I’m completely out of my mind … I mean, actually listening to the working classes? Some of them are sure to say racist things, and anti-Semitic and transphobic things, which we cannot ignore for even one second, or rationally discuss and disagree with, because that would mean giving their racism a platform. Yeah, screw it, I don’t know what I was thinking … forget all that stuff I just made you read. Down with the fascist working classes!

CJ Hopkins
September 21, 2018

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnailDISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, which we understand is pretty gosh darn funny, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

How Do We Bring Back Truthfulness?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 13/09/2018 - 7:33am in

How do you fight misinformation and fake news? Here are some research-based strategies.

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