imperialism

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Glenn Greenwald On Corporations’ Use Of Wokeism To Prettify Imperialism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 14/04/2021 - 4:36am in

Glenn Greenwald has a new article at Substack explaining how corporations wear costumes of social justice to prettify imperialism.

The sarcasm in the article is wonderful:

Who could possibly be opposed to an institution that offers such noble gestures and works behind such a pretty facade? How bad could the GCHQ really be if they are so deeply committed to the rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people? Sure, maybe they go a little overboard with the spying sometimes, and maybe some of their surveillance and disinformation programs are a bit questionable, and they do not necessarily have the highest regard for law, privacy and truth. But we know that, deep down, these are fundamentally good people working within a fundamentally benign institution. Just look at their flamboyant support for this virtuous cause of social justice.

Large corporations have obviously witnessed the success of this tactic — to prettify the face of militarism and imperialism with the costumes of social justice — and are now weaponizing it for themselves …

You have to appreciate the genius of the propaganda. It helps people pretend that they stand for right causes.

“CHINA BAD”, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/04/2021 - 10:21pm in

The planet is ruled by a tyrannical oligarchy which uses governments as weapons to destroy disobedient nations while churning out news stories about how those nations needed to be destroyed because they were tyrannical and undemocratic.

The British royal family are murderous imperialists living on stolen wealth and dressing up like ridiculous Dungeons & Dragons characters and they deserve nothing but scorn, mockery and rejection throughout the entire world.

Saying Trump wanted to end the wars but the military industrial complex wouldn’t let him is the same as saying nothing.

When Bernie Sanders promoted the idea of shrinking the insanely bloated US military budget by a paltry ten percent, he was met with a solid steel wall of opposition. When presidents want to increase that budget, they are told “Yes sir, anything you say sir, we’ve got the papers all drawn up already.”

A political establishment which thinks it’s crazy and extremist to reduce a massive military budget by ten percent, and that it’s sane and moderate to increase it, is a crazy and extremist political establishment.

It’s crazy how I still get people telling me I write too much about US aggressions against China even as the Biden administration is openly admitting that it is increasing America’s insanely bloated military budget in order to deal with China.

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My American husband had a layover in Beijing years ago and was surprised to see so many perfectly happy people, laughing and clowning around like anyone else. He hadn’t even realized he’d been propagandized into expecting joyless conformity until he noticed his own surprise.

The west has been propagandized about China for a long, long time. The propaganda initiatives being launched right now are so successful because they’ve got many decades of earlier propaganda acting as a primer. It’s so pervasive you don’t even know it’s been there all along.

China is “just as bad” as the nation that’s constantly bombing and destroying other countries? Sure, why not. All things are the same as all other things. Turning left is the same as turning right. Drinking water is the same as drinking bleach. That’s how we all live our lives.

I will criticize the escalating US aggressions against China. I will not include a “BUT CHINA ALSO BAD BAD BAD” disclaimer when I do this. If this bothers you, it’s because propaganda has conditioned you to expect any criticism of US warmongering to use mitigated language.

There is no shortage of westerners saying “CHINA BAD BAD BAD” if you want to read that. If you need to hear about how China is bad, go turn on a fucking television or something.

When the empire wants to topple a government their first step is to psychologically uncouple it from the nation and its people by consistently using labels that make it look like an alien, occupying force to the public. “The CCP”, “the Assad regime”, instead of just that country’s government.

This is why you now hear so many indoctrinated automatons constantly bleating the mantra “I don’t hate the Chinese people, I hate the CCP!” They’ve been trained to uncouple the nation’s people from its government, despite the overwhelming support they have for their government.

This is all the alien-sounding word “regime” exists to do: to uncouple a government from its nation and its people in the eyes of the world. And the mainstream press is happy to do this, because the mainstream press is propaganda.

Propaganda is damaging not just because of the destructive and oppressive agendas it advances, but in and of itself. How can we address important issues while being blasted in the face all day with distracting nonsense about Russia and China? Stop meddling in our minds, assholes.

Unipolar hegemony never existed until three decades ago, but whenever you talk about the need to end the US empire’s iron-fisted domination of our entire planet people go “But who would take its place?”, as though there’s always been a unipolar hegemon. Like there has to be one.

There is nothing inscribed upon the fabric of reality that declares there needs to be a planetary unipolar dominator, and there’s no real evidence that China or Russia are trying to become one. All evidence says they want a multipolar world, which was the norm until 30 years ago.

There’s no real reason we need to be subjected to governments flirting with nuclear war in the name of unipolar hegemony. There’s no legitimate reason we can’t all just get along and collaborate with each other toward a better world. Our current world order is not sane.

Internet porn is making men worse at sex. At least before Pornhub men had some humility about how bad they might be and there was a chance they might listen, learn and be led. Now they are bad but full of hubris about what they think they know, and very defensive about it.

Hint: if your partner says she doesn’t mind not having clit orgasms, it’s not because she doesn’t like clit orgasms. You’re inept and you’re scary when you feel inadequate so it’s just easier to let it go. Confronting her with this will just scare her more. Get humble and learn.

Most modern mainstream media jobs pay dick, and you don’t get to do real journalism, only propaganda narrative management. All you get is a cool-sounding “I’m a journalist!” that you can tell other people. The narrative managers now get paid in narrative. There’s some beautiful karma in that.

__________________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Left Nationalism and Support for Imperialist War in the United States

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/04/2021 - 9:32pm in

image/jpeg iconimperialism.jpg

Article from 1919 (mcmxix.org), the new journal of the North American affiliates of the ICT.

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UK Asylum Policy: No Sanctuary from Capitalism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/04/2021 - 1:38am in

image/jpeg iconborders.jpg

Asylum has long been a thorny issue for the British ruling class. As a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention the UK is obliged to grant asylum when, in the opinion of the Home Office, an asylum seeker has demonstrated that they have a well founded fear of persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. Yet asylum seekers are continuously vilified in the popular press as criminals and scroungers overwhelming the benefits system, the vitriol often being fuelled by the cynical statements of government ministers.

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Vaccine Nationalism

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 10/04/2021 - 1:34am in

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imperialism

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Article from 1919 (mcmxix.org), the new journal of the North American affiliates of the ICT.

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“Regime” And “CCP”: Propaganda Tools For Dissociating A Targeted Nation From Its Government

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 09/04/2021 - 10:31pm in

Have you ever seen a mainstream news report containing the phrase “the French regime”? How about “the British regime” or “the Australian regime”?

If these phrases look a bit odd, it’s because you’ve never seen them written down before. Ostensibly the word simply means “a form of government” or “a government in power”, but it’s generally understood that it’s got a kind of negative connotation to it just because of the way it tends to be used. In theory its meaning is closer to “a bad or authoritarian government”, and in practice by the western media it means “a government which disobeys the dictates of Washington”.

Just look at some recent examples of the way that word has been used in headlines by the mass media:

“Amb. Michael McFaul: Putin’s treatment of Navalny proves ‘this is a regime that is in decay’” by MSNBC on April 8.

“Appeasing Cuba’s Regime Didn’t Work”, by The Wall Street Journal on April 2.

“Senior GOP Senators Call BBC ‘Notoriously Sympathetic to the Iranian Regime’” by Newsweek on April 8.

“Hitting Nerve With Kim Jong Un Regime Takes Just a Few Words” by The Wall Street Journal on March 18.

“America Will Only Win When China’s Regime Fails” by Foreign Policy on March 11.

“At a Hotel in Caracas, Oil Executives Weigh a Return to Venezuela — Promises of more autonomy to tap the world’s biggest crude reserves are drawing the oil industry to meetings with the Nicolas Maduro regime” by Bloomberg on March 19.

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As Gregory Shupak documented in a 2018 Fair.org article titled “A ‘Regime’ Is a Government at Odds With the US Empire”, this label is seldom affixed to US allies — even US allies with extremely oppressive governments like Saudi Arabia — while it is used constantly on empire-targeted governments like Venezuela and Syria. Shupak notes that we even see this label abandoned after a targeted government is toppled, with nations like Iraq and Honduras magically transforming from “regimes” to “governments” after they are successfully absorbed into the imperial blob.

The immense disparity between the frequency with which this label is applied to member states of the US-centralized power alliance compared to how often it’s applied to governments which have resisted absorption into that alliance is one of the most blatant ways in which the mainstream western news media outlets help facilitate US empire building. This is because mainstream western news media outlets are propaganda. They exist to advance the agendas of the imperialist plutocratic class which controls them.

When the empire wants to topple a government, their first step is to psychologically uncouple it from the nation and its people in the eyes of the western world by consistently using labels that make it look like an alien, occupying force. It’s not Syria’s government, everybody! It’s the Assad Regime™️!

Oh no! A Regime?? How did that Regime get in where Syria’s government ought to be?? Watch out Syrians, you’ve got a Regime on your back! Don’t worry, we’ll come and rescue you from it!

Do you see how it works? If you can make a nation’s government look like an illegitimate invading force instead of the governing body which arose from that nation’s internal dynamics, you legitimize any attempt to “defend” that nation from that force. Up to and including staging coups, arming oppositional militias, airstrikes, sanctions, or full-scale ground invasions.

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You see this same tactic in the way anti-China spinmeisters have been training their credulous audiences to use the term “CCP” for China’s government; it’s an alien-sounding label most people won’t have grown up hearing, so it helps mentally dissociate the government from the nation and its people in the public eye. This despite the fact that the Chinese people overwhelmingly approve of their government. They even deliberately use a weird abbreviation for the party’s official English name, the Communist Party of China (CPC).

This is why you constantly hear indoctrinated automatons bleating the mantra “I don’t oppose the Chinese people, I oppose the CCP!” They’ve been trained to help spin China’s government as an illegitimate force which is occupying China against the will of its people, thereby creating the perception of legitimacy for anything that will be done in the future to target that government. Of course it can be helpful in certain instances to create such distinctions, but this mantra isn’t being mindlessly bleated ad nauseum for helpful reasons. It’s to help grease the wheels of the slow-motion third world war the US-centralized power alliance is waging upon the remaining unabsorbed nations.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. The agendas to secure this control and shape those narratives look different, but their purpose is always the same: to facilitate the agendas of a ruling class of sociopaths who operate the most deadly and destructive power structure of the face of the earth.

________________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Empire Has A Dark Vision For Our World: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 09/04/2021 - 1:04am in

The ultimate goal of the US-centralized empire is to have such control over the world’s economic and financial systems that conventional warfare becomes obsolete, because they’ll be able to fully strangle any population which disobeys its dictates by cutting them off from money.

It’s a warped and perverse version of what we think of when we utter the phrase world peace; their version of “world peace” is a world where overt warfare is unnecessary because all disobedient populations can simply be quietly strangled to death via economic violence. The infrastructure for which is of course still guarded by a massively expensive military spread all around the globe.

The same power structures which enacted the rape of Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia etc are not going to carry us into a peaceful and harmonious world. They do not have the neurological wiring to do that, even if they wanted to. Their vision for our world is dark.

The notion that the real hero on the world stage is the government that’s waging nonstop disastrous wars and circling the planet with hundreds of military bases is an idea so complex and esoteric that the only people who can understand it are Ivy League university graduates.

Everything the western world believes about itself and its values is invalidated by its treatment of Julian Assange.

The civilizations with the most individualistic values are often guilty of the very worst collective crimes. The worst evils in our world right now are being perpetrated by the most individualistic societies, with the blame for wars, exploitation and ecocide being offloaded onto the collective even though it was all engineered by very few individuals within an individualist value system.

The saying “Socialism for the rich and rugged individualism the poor” is a dynamic you see play out not just with money, but with immorality as well. None of the world’s worst people are in prison; they inflict the evils and then offload their culpability onto the collective.

Believing America’s problems are caused solely by Republicans is like believing a homicide was perpetrated solely by the murder weapon.

The empire-building of the US-centralized power alliance is the single most destructive force on this earth. Anyone who is choosing this point in history to pour their energy into nuance policing anti-imperialists, as was recently done in this doofy Nation article the other day, is facilitating that destructiveness.

We are so very, very, very far from health on this front. When you’ve got mountains of bullshit to move, the person handing you a teaspoon and telling you to be exceedingly careful with how you move it is helping to keep the bullshit in place. When you’re this far from the mark you need to be making huge movements, not tiny, surgical ones.

Most people get that the US is imperialist per the conventional definition: projecting power beyond its borders etc. Not enough people get that it’s also functionally a literal empire per definition: the hub of a group of nations ruled by a single power structure. It’s imperialist, and it’s also imperial, meaning an actual empire.

It might prove more useful for anti-imperialists to begin emphasizing the term “empire building” over “imperialism” if they want to avoid the “Herpa derpa China and Russia are imperialist too” red herrings. Yes those nations project power beyond their borders to some extent, but only one nation is the center of a hegemonic globe-spanning power structure enforced by hundreds of military bases around the planet.

So when I talk about “the US empire”, I’m not being hyperbolic or exaggerating to make a point. I’m talking about the thing that it is, in the only context in which you can explain the major international conflicts today: empire building.

Empire building is what you’re seeing when coups are staged and regime change wars launched to bring a nation into alignment with the US-centralized power structure. It’s literally adding a new member state to the empire. It keeps its name and its flag, but it becomes the property of the empire.

In old empires, powerful countries invaded weaker ones, taking ownership of the territory. In the new empire, the borders and names remain officially the same, but control is handed over in treaties, alliances, trade agreements, power-shifting coups, secret deals, etc.

International alliances are often thought of as matters of secondary importance, as just something governments do when possible to make themselves a bit safer, wealthier, etc. Actually, uniting nations into one power structure is the goal, and it’s what these “alliances” are really for.

When people ask why I talk about “America” instead of “Australia”, it makes as much sense to me as saying you should focus on California instead of America. It’s a member state of the same empire, forcefully absorbed and digested into the imperial blob via coup. I just focus on the empire’s head.

“China isn’t even a true communist country, Caitlin.”

I don’t care. I do not fucking care. My opposition to western escalations against a nuclear-armed nation have nothing whatsoever to do with communism. If you only oppose warmongering against communist nations, you’re a douche.

The way imperialists try to wedge and split people based on ideology is so fucking obnoxious. War is bad. Cold war is bad. Economic warfare is bad. Stop babbling about ideology. Not supporting mass murder has nothing to do with ideology.

People sometimes tell me I need to use my “platform” to advance this or that cause that is important to them, or in a different way than I do. For the record I have no platform. I don’t even have connections; in fact I actively avoid cultivating them. I have followers, and there are some outlets which periodically choose of their own initiative to re-publish my writings for free.

I write directly to the people, and the people decide how much that’s worth. The only reason anyone knows who I am is because regular people enjoy and share my work. You can do what I’m doing too; just don’t pester me to do it for you. If you don’t like how I write or what I write about, you’ve got ten typing fingers and access to all the same free blogging sites I use. Write it yourself. You have all the exact same tools I’ve got.

And I really do mean that; I wish there were a lot more people doing this. The world needs more indie media. If you see too few people doing it the way you think it should be done, please do jump in and help out with indie content creation. We need all the help we can get.

When you ask good spiritual teachers to show you the truth they will always point you back at yourself, insistantly and uncompromisingly. When you ask phony spiritual teachers to show you the truth they’ll find various (often clever and subtle) ways to point at themselves.

It’s a battle between truth and ego, for us as individuals and for humanity as a whole. It’s no coincidence that we’re currently ruled by psychopaths and sociopaths, disorders which sit on the extreme end of the narcissism spectrum. Humanity’s problems are literally ego run amok.

______________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Opposing US Imperialism Shouldn’t Depend On Ideology: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 10:23pm in

The empire doesn’t get enough credit for propagandizing us into arguing with each other about whether our expensive new multifront cold war should prioritize escalations against Russia or China, instead of whether that cold war should occur at all. Truly a masterful manipulation.

Opposing US imperialism shouldn’t be about ideology. It shouldn’t matter if you’re a communist or an anarchist or libertarian or whatever; murder is murder, and the US is the most murderous regime in the world. Principled people oppose its murderousness regardless of ideology.

It’s offensive how often people assume your opposition to US imperialism has something to do with the government it happens to be targeting today. When they’re ramping up against China you’re a commie, when it’s Russia you’re a Trumper. No, I just oppose the worst actions of the worst government on earth.

If you only oppose imperialist warmongering against capitalist countries because you are a capitalist, then guess what? You’re a dick. Same if you only oppose imperialist warmongering against communist countries because you’re a communist. It’s not okay to murder anyone, asshole.

A government that is currently bombing other countries is worse than a government that isn’t. For fuck’s sake. For FUCK’S SAKE. How is this not extremely obvious to everyone??

So much propaganda has gone into manipulating westerners into believing that dropping explosives on human beings is fine and normal. People fail to recognize the horror solely because they’ve been propagandized in such a way that they don’t think too hard about what bombs are.

If people just had a really conscious understanding of what bombs do to human anatomy, how it’s impossible to prevent civilian deaths in bombings, and how bombs are actually being used in our world today, that alone would kill all public belief in the US empire’s moral authority.

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It’s stupid how often imperialists bleat the terms “whataboutism” and “false equivalency” in defense of US imperialism when the US empire is far worse than any government it targets. Yes, the US is not equivalent to empire-targeted nations; it’s far, far more violent and brutish.

“I oppose all governments, not just the US government.”

If your opposition does not account for and reflect the fact that the US government is orders of magnitude more violent and destructive than any other government, you support the US government.

The US empire is indisputably far more violent, thuggish and destructive than any of the governments it targets, and the aggressions of empire-targeted governments are usually a response to US imperialist aggression. Commentary on international dynamics should reflect this fact.

“Why do you only criticize the US and its allies? There are other bad governments you know.”

“Why do you only focus on the fact that your house is on fire? There are other problems with your house besides fire you know. Like, the decorating is bad. And the paint is chipping.”

You couldn’t ask for a better illustration of the way our minds are dominated by narrative than the fact that most politically minded Americans sincerely believe there’s been a major change in their country since January. Only the narratives changed, but they think reality did.

Childish idealists say we should move away from the systems that are killing our planet and pushing us toward nuclear war. Smart realists say we should keep destroying our ecosystem for as long as it’s profitable and when it’s gone we’ll just fly up to space and frolic among the stars.

The so-called liberal world order is a planetary status quo of nonstop murderous imperialism, exploitative neoliberalism and ecocidal capitalism running underneath a propaganda soundtrack babbling endlessly about how everything is fine and it’s going to get better any minute now.

In liberal free democracies you’re allowed to think, speak and vote however you want, but they train you how to think, speak and vote from birth, and they keep on training you until the day you die.

How to be a millionaire media pundit:

  • Never have any idea what the fuck you are talking about.
  • Be consistently wrong about everything.
  • Never admit when you’ve been proven wrong.
  • Only tell the truth when it serves power.
  • Never feature leftist or anti-imperialist guests.

Believing that mainstream perspectives are mainstream because they are better is as silly as believing mainstream music or movies are mainstream because they are better.

The credibility of US government agencies was so damaged by Iraq that all interventionist agendas since have relied on consent manufacturing from much more diverse sources; foreign governments, “independent” NGOs, “independent” narrative management firms like Bellingcat, etc.

At this point the labels “Russian bot”, “CCP propagandist”, “Assadist”, “conspiracy theorist”, “tankie” and “genocide/atrocity denier” all mean the same thing: “This person is disputing key imperialist narratives and the narrative management team would like you to ignore them”.

If you think the anti-China hysteria is bad now, wait til the propaganda campaign really gets going. It hasn’t even started yet. It’s going to get so much worse.

Condemning anti-Asian hate without condemning anti-China imperialist propaganda is supporting anti-Asian hate.

It sure was nice of China to start doing a bunch of evil things right when the US empire began ramping up its escalations against Beijing to prevent the upending of the unipolar world order.

Right wingers freaking out about China live in such tightly insulated echo chambers that most of them don’t even realize they’re parroting the CNN/Biden line.

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The idea of land ownership wigs me out. Oh, you own it? Who said? God? Get the fuck outta here Doug, you don’t own shit.

You have a piece of paper whose fragile legality rests on the pillaging of pirates stealing land by force only a few hundred years ago, and now you reckon you can throw me out of my home because I can’t send you enough game points to your little bank app there? How about no.

So many secretly yearn for a direct experience of the divine while adamantly refusing to consider the possibility that they are already currently having one.

Spirituality, inner work, awareness of abusive dynamics, class consciousness, peace activism and revolution are all the same thing. They’re all an expansion of awareness into parts of humanity that have been lacking in consciousness, whether they’re in yourself or in the world.

It’s all about making the unseen seen, whether that be internal dynamics within yourself which cause suffering or large-scale dynamics out in the world which cause suffering. Clear seeing and dysfunction cannot coexist, whether you’re talking about war, racism or substance abuse.

Bringing consciousness to your inner childhood trauma is the same as bringing consciousness to the reality of imperialist propaganda. Bringing consciousness to your true nature is the same as bringing consciousness to economic injustice. It’s all the same expansion of awareness.

Nobody owns this. Nobody has mastered this. No one person on earth sees all dynamics in themselves and all dynamics in the world. We’re all endarkened in some ways, trying to make things more enlightened in more ways. We’re all part of a collective expansion of consciousness.

We’re all part of this movement from unseeing to seeing, whether we realize it or not. We’re either working to bring things into the light of truth, or we’re fighting to keep things hidden, or a little from both columns A and B depending on what we’ve got going on. Choose seeing.

____________________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Tankie, Conspiracy Theorist, And Other Pejorative Tools Of Narrative Control

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 10:25pm in

Bloomberg pundit Noah Smith had a very revealing interaction on Twitter the other day that I’ve been meaning to write about ever since.

It began with Smith sharing a screenshot of an article by journalist Yasha Levine which condemns US imperialist escalations against China and ties them to the sudden spike in anti-Asian hate crimes we’ve been seeing. Smith shared his screenshot with the caption, “I hold by my prediction that the American Left is going to split into A) social democrats, and B) foreign-policy-obsessed pseudo-tankies.”

“How do we stop the B group from driving the narrative?” one of Smith’s followers asked him.

“Well, first we teach everyone the word ‘tankie’!” Smith replied, with a Substack article he authored explaining that any leftist who opposes western imperialist agendas against China should be branded with that label and dismissed.

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Which is just so refreshing in its honesty, really. It’s been obvious for ages that such pejoratives are being used by imperialists to control the narrative in a way that benefits ruling power structures, but it’s not often you’ll have a mainstream narrative manager come right out and say that this is exactly what they are trying to do.

Smith’s admission that he is training his audience to bleat the word “tankie” at any leftist who is “obsessed” with a tiny trivial matter like US foreign policy in order to control the dominant foreign policy narrative is born out by the rest of his Twitter activity, which sees him repeating that word constantly and weaponizing it against anyone who expresses skepticism of the empire’s official foreign policy narratives.

“Tankie” used to be a term which referred specifically to British communists who supported the Soviet Union, but under the facilitation of narrative managers like Smith it’s enjoying a mainstream resurrection in which it is commonly weaponized against anyone to the left of Bernie Sanders who opposes US imperialist agendas. I wrote against imperialism for years without anyone ever applying that pejorative to me, but now it comes up on a near-daily basis. I haven’t changed the basics of my beliefs or my approach to anti-imperialism, but the widespread use of “tankie” as a pejorative against people like me most certainly has changed.

It joins the ranks of famous weaponized pejoratives like “Russian bot”, “CCP propagandist”, “Assadist”, and the one size fits all perennial favorite “conspiracy theorist” in labels which can be applied to ensure the dismissal of anyone who voices skepticism of narratives that are being promoted by known liars to facilitate the agendas of murderous psychopaths. Another new crowd favorite is “genocide denier”, a label that gets applied to anyone who points out the glaring plot holes in the imperial Uyghur narrative which narrative managers are overjoyed about being able to use because it lets them equate skepticism of a geostrategically significant US narrative with Nazism.

What these pejoratives accomplish, as Noah Smith is well aware, is the ability to inoculate the mainstream herd from the wrongthink of anyone to whom that label has been applied. That way they never have to engage the argument or the evidence that gets laid out contradicting the official imperial line; as long as they can convince enough people to accept their pejorative as legitimate, they have a magical phrase they can utter to dispel any anti-imperialist argument which appears anywhere in the information ecosystem.

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This is a major part of an imperial narrative manager’s job these days: smearing anti-imperialists and critical thinkers as untrustworthy. The debate is never to be engaged and counter-arguments are never to be made; why engage in a debate you will probably lose when you can simply explain to everyone why nobody should listen to the other side?

A perfect example of this would be the recent smear piece the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) put out on The Grayzone with the title “Strange bedfellows on Xinjiang: The CCP, fringe media and US social media platforms”.

As explained in a thread by Grayzone’s Aaron Maté, the government-funded and arms industry-funded think tank ASPI makes no effort in its report to dispute or debunk any of the reporting that The Grayzone has been putting out on China or on anything else. Rather, they simply work to associate the outlet with the Chinese government by citing incidents in which Chinese officials shared Grayzone articles on social media. By fallaciously associating The Grayzone with the Chinese government, narrative managers now have a weapon which enables them to dismiss the outlet as “CCP propaganda”.

As anyone who has been active in anti-imperialist online discourse knows, this is an extremely common tactic which narrative managers and their indoctrinated herd use to dismiss questions, criticisms and evidence which is inconvenient to the US-centralized imperial war machine. Try countering their claims with a well-sourced article full of robust argumentation and solid evidence, and they’ll dismiss you with a “Ha ha, THAT outlet? That outlet is propaganda!” Because it came from an anti-imperialist outlet like The Grayzone or Consortium News instead of an outlet which never fails to support US military agendas like The New York Times.

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But it’s a completely ridiculous tactic if you think about it. All they’re really saying is “You can’t use that anti-imperialist outlet to substantiate your anti-imperialist position! You can only use the pro-US outlets which have helped deceive westerners into backing every US war!” It’s also logically fallacious; attacking the source instead of the argument is what people do when they can’t attack the argument.

Citing an empire-targeted government sharing an anti-imperialist article as evidence that that government is tied to that outlet in some way is an equally absurd argument; obviously governments are going to cite evidence and arguments which favor them, and the imperialist western media isn’t going to be publishing such evidence or arguments. The fact that western anti-imperialists and nations like Russia and China both oppose western imperialism doesn’t mean western anti-imperialists work for Russ or China, it means those groups all oppose western imperialism for their own reasons. Since western imperialism is the most murderous and oppressive force on this planet, it’s to be expected that multiple different groups will oppose it.

Pay attention to the way imperial narrative managers try to use smears and pejoratives to file away anti-imperialists into a “don’t listen to the things this person says” box, and help others pay attention to it too. This is no more legitimate an argument than the Wizard of Oz yelling “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” and it should be treated with no more respect than that.

_____________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Fresh audio product

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 02/04/2021 - 7:36am in

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link):

April 1, 2021 Laleh Khalili, author of Sinews of War and Trade, on the murky side of the shipping business that got lost in the Ever Given coverage • LaDonna Pivetti on subsidizing employment

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