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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/2/20

The Keystone Issue is Narrative Management

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Message Caitlin Johnstone
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I write a lot about government secrecy and the importance of whistleblowers, leakers and leak publishers, and for good reason: governments which can hide their wicked deeds from public accountability will do so whenever possible. It's impossible for the public to use democracy for ensuring their government behaves in the way they desire if they aren't allowed to be informed about what that behavior even is.

These things get lots of attention in conspiracy circles and dissident political factions. Quite a few eyes are fixed on the veil of government opacity and the persecution of those brave souls who try to shed light on what's going on behind it. Not enough eyes, but quite a few.


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What gets less attention, much to our detriment, is the fact that the primary mechanism of our oppression and exploitation is happening right out in front of our faces.

The nonstop campaign by bought politicians, owned news outlets, and manipulated social media platforms to control the dominant narratives about what's going on in the world contribute vastly more to the sickness of our society than government secrecy does. We know this from experience: any time a whistleblower exposes secret information about the malfeasance of powerful governments like NSA surveillance or Collateral Murder, we see not public accountability, nor demands for sweeping systemic changes to prevent such malfeasance from reoccurring, but a bunch of narrative management from the political/media class.

This narrative management is used to shift attention away from the information that was revealed and onto the fact that the person who revealed it broke the law or misbehaved in some way. It's used to convince people that the revelations aren't actually a big deal, or that it was already basically public knowledge anyway. And it's used to manipulate public attention on to the next hot story of the day and memory hole it underneath the white noise of the media news churn. And nothing changes.

We've seen it happening over and over and over again. The narrative management machine has gotten so effective and efficient that it's been able to completely ignore the recent revelation that the US, UK and France almost certainly bombed Syria in 2018 for a completely false reason. A few half-assed Bellingcat spin jobs and an otherwise total media blackout, and it's like the whole thing never happened.

What this tells us is that our first and foremost problem is not the fact that conspiracies are happening behind a curtain of government secrecy, but that the way people think, act and vote is being actively manipulated right out in the open. Government secrecy is indeed one aspect of establishment narrative control, but controlling the public's access to information is only one aspect. The bigger part of it is controlling how the public thinks about information.

The reason people never use the power of their superior numbers to force real change, even though they're being exploited and oppressed in myriad ways by the ruling class, is because they've been propagandized into accepting the status quo as desirable (or at least normal). The propaganda of the political/media class is therefore the establishment's front line of defense. Its most powerful, and essential, weapon.

This is important for dissidents of all stripes to understand, because it means we're not just passively waiting around for another Manning or Snowden or an Ian Henderson to give us information which we can use to fight the oppression machine. Those individuals have done a great public service, but the battle to awaken human consciousness to what's really going on in our world is in no way limited to leakers and whistleblowers. It is not at the mercy of government secrecy.

If you are engaged in any type of media, you are engaging the narrative matrix which keeps the public asleep and complacent. It doesn't matter if you have a Twitter account, a Youtube account, some flyers or a can of spray paint: if you are capable of getting any kind of message out there, you are able to directly influence the mechanism of your oppression. You are able to inform people that they are being lied to, you are able to explain why, and you are able to point them to where they can find more information.

This is extremely empowering. You do not need to wait around hoping that some bombshell piece of information makes it past all the various security checks and spinmeisters and triggers a real social awakening. You can be that information. You can become a catalyst for that awakening.

The key to turning this ship around does not lie hidden somewhere behind a veil of government opacity. It lies in you. It lies in all of us. We can begin awakening our fellow humans right now by attacking the narrative management of the propaganda machine that sits right in front of us, unarmored and unhidden.

____________________________

Thanks for reading! 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 my website, 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, checking out my podcast on either Youtube, soundcloud, Apple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. 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 or use any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

 

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Caitlin Johnstone is a brave journalist, political junkie, relentless feminist, champion of the 99 percent. And a powerful counter-propaganda tactician. Rogue journalist, poet, illustrator, utopia prepper, and proudly 100 percent reader-funded through Patreon (more...)
 

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4 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments


molly cruz

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If I didn't think our species had a vital and singular role to play in the Long-run Agenda, I'd see more villains and heroes instead of mere operatives. I do think we're all potential divas and drama queens, stuck in notions of political affiliation and nationalism; while in actuality we're just Nature's grunts, here to protect Earth and then find a new one, gradually sloughing off the delusions of difference that drove us to aggression and all the creative ends we, in our short-term perception considered vital for our local survival, when in fact it was all about star fighting and long-term freeze-dried travel to God knows where, when our Sun goes squirrely.

The vestigial part of our behavior is just that sloughing off of divisive behavior, because we've recently arrived at a point where our space programs are merging and our nations are fading in the face of inevitable globalism. It's not an easy thing to shake off-- millions of years of evolution-- as Ma has clearly picked us for the job; but just as a race horse doesn't stop cold at the finish line, we're now in that 'cooling down' period where they run on until their hearts slow down and they get their breath. We've got the bomb, and that was the point all along.

Shedding delusions of grandeur ain't our forte however, depending on our gullibility. Politics and religion aren't all that far apart, if at all, in this plot to blind us to our oneness; but it was all in the name of "Life everlasting, Amen." We didn't invent ourselves, or the agenda, nor does it seem we have any choice but to play along with Ma. It's Her show, after all! Now it's just pointless but most of us haven't caught on yet. Like somebody once said, "We're all innocent"; even the villains; and it's probably a good thing we don't live longer, because change 'gone come' and most of us don't like change at all.

Submitted on Sunday, Feb 2, 2020 at 4:00:26 PM

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shad williams

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"I do think we're all potential divas and drama queens, stuck in notions of political affiliation and nationalism; while in actuality we're just Nature's grunts, here to protect Earth and then find a new one, gradually sloughing off the delusions of difference that drove us to aggression and all the creative ends we, in our short-term perception considered vital for our local survival, when in fact it was all about star fighting and long-term freeze-dried travel to God knows where, when our Sun goes squirrely."


What does this mean?

Submitted on Monday, Feb 3, 2020 at 8:11:59 PM

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molly cruz

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Well Shad, since I was faced with rationalizing the first Iraq invasion to my very astute young students, I have been struck with the connection between war and us stopping asteroids from whacking our planet and wiping out most complex life. Seems to me we'd be stuck up sh*t's creek without a paddle without our bloody past, which generated war toys far in excess of their point, and put us in a position to both travel into space and track and stop asteroids, a task we're beginning to tackle quite handily.

What this suggests to me is that we're being used by Nature just as most creatures are, to compliment the Web with an immune system of sorts, being as bloody and as clever as we are. This I believe is our function here, and our war toys are our tools for a future for Life, which without us would pretty much vanish as it has in the past, in the face of the giant, witless pinball machine that is our surrounding Universe.

And like Noah, when we lose our Sun, we're the keepers of the flame once again, and once again, with war toys, we're going to package it all up and take it to another planet. Good for us, as I explained to my little friends the next morning, when we save the planet. In short I think our species is taking a bad rap, when in fact we're the real Good Guys here. With an undeniably kinky past!

How's that?

Submitted on Monday, Feb 3, 2020 at 10:36:14 PM

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Charles Homer

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Here is yet another example of how American technology/social media companies are trying to control "the narrative":

click here

We live in a post-truth world.

Submitted on Monday, Feb 3, 2020 at 1:15:52 PM

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K.H. Williams

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Thanks. Totally agree except for the attack business at the end. How we do things matters. We can strategically expose lies and hypocrisy and help raise awareness without attacking anyone or anything. To your point about solutions being within us, if each of us would work at being honest to the best of our abilities, we'd probably see wholesome changes overnight. But honesty takes courage and willingness. Lying and BS are much easier to do. And when lies or BS comes out of me, unfortunately, all of that is added to the body of collective lies and BS, the very stuff we want to change. "Be the change..."

Submitted on Tuesday, Feb 4, 2020 at 4:38:45 PM

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