Only Enlightened Collectivism Can Save Us

We are witnessing a mass extinction and no amount of rugged individualism is going to solve it, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

Individualism cannot save humanity from the crises it faces. It’s not the right tool.

There is a widespread belief that if we just eliminated all collectivist impulses within our society, we could eliminate all our problems. That the government which causes so much bloodshed and oppression wouldn’t be harmful if we can shrink it down to a minor role, or even to nonexistence, and the corporate powers which attach themselves to governments would thereby lose power over individuals. Let individuals take care of themselves however they see fit, with no collectivist power interfering in their affairs, and the world will sort itself out in a harmonious way.

This will never happen.

The most common argument for why this will never happen is that the world is full of awful people, and if you place the will of the individual over the will of the collective, the awful people will be able to do a lot more awful things. The people who are sociopathic enough to destroy the environment and exploit others for profit will be able to exert more influence over the total wellbeing of the world than those who aren’t, and there’ll be no safety nets in place protecting those who are born into under-privileged situations. Individuals like mothers who aren’t as capable of earning money would frequently find themselves dependent on the kindness of a man who may or may not be kind. Such a society would claim to be just, since it makes the same demands of everybody, but due to real circumstances could only ever be gravely unjust.

This argument is of course true, but it’s not the primary reason that individualism cannot save us.

Snapshot of sea ice, September 2013. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)

Looming Ecosystem Collapse

The primary reason individualism cannot save us is that it depends upon competition. If everyone is an individual whom the collective will neither help nor hinder, we’re all going to have to compete for opportunities and resources on a shrinking world of limited opportunities and resources. A society that is pouring all of its energy and creativity into the drive of the individual to get ahead of the other individuals will never be able to overcome the fundamental problem of looming ecosystemic collapse, setting us instead on a massive rat race to be the first to destroy the environment for profit before someone else does. Which is why strict adherents to individualism must tell each other fairy tales about the ecosystem being fine in order to avoid cognitive dissonance.

In reality, we are witnessing a mass extinction the likes of which we haven’t seen since the end of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, with some 200 species going extinct every single day. The very ecosystemic context in which we evolved is vanishing underneath us. More than half the world’s wildlife has vanished in 40 years, and the worldwide insect population has plummeted by as much as 90 percentFertile soil is vanishing, and so are forests. The oceans are choking to death, 90 percent of global fish stocks are either fully fished or overfished, the seas are full of microplastics, and phytoplankton, an indispensable foundation of earth’s food chain, have been killed off by 40 percent since 1950. Science keeps pouring in showing that global warming is occurring faster than previously predicted, and there are self-reinforcing warming effects called feedback loops which, once set off, can continue warming the atmosphere further and further regardless of human behavior, causing more feedback loops.

Bramble Cay melomys, declared extinct in June 2016, are likely the first mammalian extinction attributed to human-caused climate change. (Queensland, Australia, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection via Wikimedia Commons)

We’re never going to compete our way out of this situation. We need to turn around, all of us, together. Now. Sure, in an entirely individualist paradigm we’d see some people inventing renewable energy sources and new materials which would compete with more ecocidal existing models, but that wouldn’t suddenly make it unprofitable to keep destroying the rainforests or pouring poison into the atmosphere. If we had centuries for more environment-friendly models to rise to the top we might have a chance, but we don’t have centuries to turn this thing around, we have years. Relying on human ingenuity directed by nothing other than competition and profit will not focus our efforts with anything like the necessary urgency.

Satellite image of Cyclone Kenneth approaching the Comoro Islands, April, 24, 2019. (NASA)

Human-Carbon Link

Individualists know this, which is why their ideology relies so heavily on denialism of scientific consensus regarding the disappearance of the ecosystemic context in which our species evolved. I’ve studied the arguments of this denialism closely, and personally have found nothing that couldn’t be swiftly debunked with a little research. The science showing the warming effect of man’s carbon-releasing industrial activities has been public knowledge since it was discovered in 1896 by a man named Svante Arrhenius. Nobody accused him of being a pawn in a globalist conspiracy at the time; the scientific world simply noted his discovery with an “Oh cool yeah, that makes sense.” One of his colleagues even suggested setting fire to unused coal seams in order to increase global temperature, because back then milder winters sounded like a nice idea. It wasn’t until this line of scientific inquiry became threatening to the fossil fuel industry that it turned into a radically politicized debate propelled by Koch-funded research teams and Fox News.

The door is closed to solving our problems via rugged individualism anyway. The arguments for individualism have been used by right-wing mainstream political parties to cut taxes, slash social programs, kill minimum wage hikes and roll back regulations on corporations, but never, ever actually end up shrinking government beyond that. The war machine continues to swell, as does the increasingly militarized and surveillance-happy police state and all the other aspects of government which do actual harm to actual people. The arguments for individualism are only ever used to make things more comfortable for the oligarchs, never less.

We’re never going to overcome the oligarchic oppression machine and create a healthy world without extensive, mass-scale collaboration. Individualists argue “Hey, we can collaborate too! We just don’t want to be forced to by the collective.” Okay, but you don’t. And even if you did, how much energy would you have left over to throw into extensive mass-scale collaboration after having to spend so much of it competing with your neighbors to survive? Probably very little.

From Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. (IPCC)

From Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. (IPCC)

So, collaboration by the entire collective is the only answer. The problem is that malignant manipulators come in and hijack our healthy impulse to collaborate with each other and get us collaborating in the interests of power instead. That’s all the so-called “Resistance” to Trump is in America; it’s the herding of the populist left into support for the Democratic Party, which has no agenda other than the preservation and profit of existing power structures. All of our healthy impulses toward collectivist solutions to our problems have been thwarted by the fact that the ruling class is so adept at narrative control, which they are able to use to manipulate us into collaborating in ways that benefit them instead of collaborating to toss them out on their asses and build a healthy world.

So, collectivism by itself is worthless. What we need is not just our healthy impulse to collaborate, but to collaborate in a wise and intuitive way that is not manipulated by the propaganda narratives of the powerful. We need an enlightened collectivism in which we all collaborate toward the good of the whole, not because we’ve been manipulated into it, nor even just because we’ve been convinced to by compelling arguments, but because we’ve become wise and compassionate enough to understand that that’s what’s best for everyone. This means fundamentally changing how our minds operate. It means a collective evolution into a wildly new relationship with thought.

Is that a big ask? Of course. Evolution always is. But it’s either that or extinction. We will either change from an ego-driven species that can be manipulated by fear and greed into an enlightened species that is not bound by mental narratives, or we will die. We absolutely have the freedom to pass or fail this test, but we’re necessarily going to end up taking it. In fact, we are taking it currently.

In San Francisco, activists created a mural covering five blocks of city streets with colorful scenes illustrating possible solutions to global warming, all around City Hall plaza, as part of the global Climate Action March, Sept. 8, 2018. (Fabrice Florin via Flickr)

This transformation might be called “socialism” or “communism” or some other “-ism” in the future, but in reality it will be something unlike anything we’ve ever tried before. It won’t be merely a change in how power and resources are distributed, it will be a fundamental change in what humans are and how we operate, both as a collective and as individuals.

The belief that humanity can and must undergo a profound psychological transformation if we’re to survive isn’t flaky “out there” spiritualism, nor is it in fact “spiritual” at all; it’s a political position just as mundane and valid as the belief that the working class can and must rise up against the plutocracy. There isn’t actually any mechanism in place preventing us from doing this; the only thing stopping it is our not wanting it badly enough yet.

Humans were never meant to operate as individuals. We’re not descended from solo creatures like tigers or polar bears, we’re descended from monkeys, group-oriented throughout our DNA. We need each other. It’s how our brains and nervous systems are wired. There’s no getting out of this. We’re going to wake up together or not at all. We’re going to evolve together or die together.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

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124 comments for “Only Enlightened Collectivism Can Save Us

  1. TalleyUp
    July 31, 2019 at 13:20

    I see CN still has quite a few idealists with practical ideas and solutions. Thank you, you many bright ones.

    Our antennas should go up at any encouragement of “collectivism,” i.e., as in globalism. Much care must be applied before accepting usage of that term as something good!

    I’m reminded of the quote by the remaining Declaration delegates, “We must hang together or we shall all surely hang together.” That was a small number with a specific purpose of Independency. Very different! Here in these days the exact opposite may be true; that is, not or but and “… we shall all be enslaved together,” — the unintended, as well as intended, consequence.

  2. July 30, 2019 at 10:30

    Gorgeous piece with which I totally agree. In community lies our strength and survival in coming times. Thank you for being out in front.

  3. vinnieoh
    July 27, 2019 at 15:23

    I once used this analogy to make a point to a friend, whom I was estranged these last ten years, and whom I just found out yesterday has died. He was three years younger than me.

    Think about any metropolitan area, use the US for example; think about all of the hundreds of thousands of automobile trips that transpire within a day. The harsh reality is not how many accidents occur at any such location every day, but how FEW. There is mass collaboration, mass co-operation. The 99% of us vying for our ability to survive in this construct. Yes, there are those that “misbehave,” but we can all see that that is counter-productive, and we’d like to take that SOB (or DOB – you figure it out) and strap them to a streetsweeper brush. Now: I’m going to count to three and snap my fingers and you’ll awake.

    I was estranged from my friend, because the last time I saw him and spoke to him he told me that everything I believed in was crap and those like me were fools. That there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I would ever change anything for the better, and that I should accept reality for what it is. This falling-out affected me profoundly; they were our closest friends; our eldest son is his namesake. But he dissed me to my core. Indeed. Reality is what we make it, is it not?

    Caitlin, we’re all prepping for Utopia, but we’ll always be prepping because life is transactional and contingent; we don’t inherit our wisdom, at least not yet.

  4. Mark
    July 27, 2019 at 11:27

    Deleted from my bookmarks. You people have jumped the shark with this one.

    • anon
      July 28, 2019 at 19:28

      That “deleted from bookmarks” nonsense proves that you are a troll who never bookmarked the site for anything else.

  5. Jason Lettender
    July 27, 2019 at 08:38

    Sad that Consortium News are allowing this fear mongering trash on their website.

    The author has a scary collectivist mentality as well.

    Naive doesn’t come close.

  6. Richard
    July 26, 2019 at 20:07

    The archeological evidence from south-eastern Europe shows villages without protective walls and without weapons circa 8 – 7,000 years ago. Our culture at that time held ‘matristic’ values: ‘how’s everybody doing?”, “do you have enough to eat?”, “how are the kids doing?”, “we feast together or go hungry together”, and “do our neighbors need anything?”. No -archy, no power over. Lives of pleasure, freedom and creativity, dedicated to ‘the family’. Power flowed horizontally around the circle.

    Circa 5,000 years ago, with the growth of agriculture and the resulting urbanization, and the incursion of nomadic desert-dwellers, this horizontal flow of power was turned vertically into hierarchy and has now reproduced itself globally. The function of this cultural hierarchy is the exploitation of natural and human resources. It has brought us to this point of suicidal insanity. We are destroying our life-support systems.

    We can each begin to create the culture that will sustain us for another 100,000 years. This new/old culture is based on three principals: collective collaboration, localization and following nature’s lead.

    Collective collaboration surrenders power-over and returns the flow of power horizontally within the circle.

    Localization of our water, our food, our fuel, our energy, our shelter, our community, our economy, our fun, our politics, allows us to relinquish the industrial exploitation.

    And following nature’s lead allows us to surrender the delusion that we are in control.

    If enough of these collaberatives survive eco-collapse, our species may have it’s second chance.

    • Dana Allen
      July 29, 2019 at 20:38

      Excellent evaluation! And the “power over” started with agriculture that was not interconnected with community and the natural balance of ecosystems that create and sustain living, bio-diverse soils that is regenerative instead of extractive. Land and the soils became owned by the “power over” folks, instead of being a communal resource.

  7. Khatika
    July 26, 2019 at 09:50

    Caitlin, I like many of your articles but much of this is pie in the sky inaccurate nonsense. Yes we are destroying the earth but it is NOT global warming. Climate is cyclic just like everything else. Anyone with an open mind can looke at the historical cyclic nature of our sun and our planet. Also collectivism is the new vogue term of salvation. It has been tried in many forms through history and has FAILED every time. Global warming will not kill us. We will do that ourselves as we fight for clean water and food. Some will survive but many of us will perish by disease and war.

    • Jason Lettenden
      July 27, 2019 at 08:40

      Well said Khatika.

      Caitlin is a good person and a happy souk but she’s like an old hippy. Completely naive to think a collectivist mentality will work and sadly she has succumbed to the CO2 hoax.

      Yes increased CO2 raises temperatures – a hundreth of a degree perhaps ?

  8. bardamu
    July 26, 2019 at 02:00

    We may take steps towards the common good or not, whatever petty squabbles anyone may find against collectivism or whatever excuse may be found to imagine humans as asocial beings. If we fail to bother to take collective action in our own behalf, there will be no use awaiting a response from our dogs or cats or chickens.

    Part of the problem is that people imagine collectivism to be opposed to autonomy, something each of us need. We imagine that we wish to act against our common good when we are informed and not foolish. What is needed is not uniform action coerced by a single owner or governing class, but the evolution of trust, solidarity, and collective action among smaller groups of people that may to some extent coalesce towards common interests, but which can maintain independent action as groups.

    This is not “individualism” in the sense of action taken without regard to a broader circumstance. It is not “collectivism” in the sense of a central control mandating behavior without regard for or knowledge of a periphery of individuals. It is individualism in the sense of a system that allows for individual autonomy and decision. It is collectivism in a sense that allows for mutual aid and care, and with that a liberation from the tyranny of personal fear and greed.

    This sounds idealistic because the trust is not there and cannot be decreed. But it is something that we already do in small groups. So there we must start.

    • July 26, 2019 at 14:45

      Well said. The path we are on now leads to death with a clown on top. We must choose to work together. If instead we choose to not work together, to insteadremain worshippers in the free market religion, then the problem will take care of itself, won’t it?

      We’ll have a global game of Survivor – oh boy! just like on TV – until there are no human beings left to write the script, hold the camera, or be actors on this week’s show. We’ll simply cancel ourselves, won’t we?

      We do all know how TV shows end… don’t we?

  9. matt
    July 25, 2019 at 21:59

    Here’s an easy solution. Free market capitalism actually works pretty well as a social structure rewarding innovation and work and distributing resources… until the distribution of wealth gets so tilted that the top .001% own everything and the masses live in squalor.

    All we need to drastically fix the system in 30 years is:

    1) A Livable Minimum Wage
    2) A Maximum Lifetime Income (any excess taxed away)
    3) A 100% inheritance tax over a nominal amount.

    Think about it. This would be a dream for the 99%. It would remove the incentive of insane wealth accumulation from society (and the power cartels that go with that), but leave enough incentive to drive human economy. I dare say it would also fix democratic elections if there were the big donors and financial interests were not able to undermine the process.

    • Skip Scott
      July 26, 2019 at 06:38

      Good plan, Matt.

    • DW Bartoo
      July 26, 2019 at 12:19

      An excellent plan, matt.

      But then it would not be “free market capitalism” that would result.

      It might be rational, reasonable, sane, and sustainable.

      I could “work” for the many well well, indeed and in fact.

      However, “ambition” for wealth and power, obscene and absolute, would no longer be viable “options” for the pathological mindsetters.

      Of course, your proposal would disperse “journalism” away from monopoly ownership, and fictitious “persons” would no longer “have” personhood “rights” before courts presided over by judges who no longer would be bosom buddies with Lolita expressers, but would “the law” still be premised upon money and “standing”?

      Would banks be public, and political parties disbanded in favor of actual participatory democracy, rather than the property-imperialism model of bribable “representation”?

      Frankly, we ought give your ideas a try.

      DW

    • Jjj
      July 26, 2019 at 20:29

      The problem with “fixing” democratic elections is that there is no evidence that a more democratic system will return better results than what we currently have. Perhaps the fact that the well off are best able to influence our elections is better for society. Intuitively that sounds wrong, but the history of collectivism is not great. Our current system, for all its faults, has worked better than most systems in history.

      I for one, as someone who doesn’t agree with either of the mainstream party platforms, would not be happy with a more democratic system in which people get to vote more privilege and money for themselves. I prefer liberty. But I guess that’s what Johnstone is arguing against. Go figure.

    • Sam F
      July 27, 2019 at 07:53

      Those are good ideas, but we must also:
      1. Isolate elections, politicians, mass media and judiciary from economic power;
      2. Redesign the checks and balances of our Constitution which do not work;
      3. Regulate business to ensure product quality, truth in advertising, root out corruption, etc.
      4. Repurpose 80% of our military to foreign aid projects;
      5. Eliminate promiscuous surveillance and restore freedom of thought and expression;
      6. Provide better mechanisms of public debate and political education.

      • Skip Scott
        July 27, 2019 at 17:04

        Good additions Sam.

      • Tim Jones
        July 29, 2019 at 20:12

        Yes, as always, because you point out the essential problems. I really think we are heading for revolution because on all fronts, human freedoms envisioned in Democracy have been eliminated. We really are approaching a Fahrenheit 451 reality because if we become influential in any movement that has considerable influence, we are branded. So if you are reading and espousing certain ideas and actually creating a movement and getting their attention, metaphorically, your house is identified and burned to the ground.

    • July 29, 2019 at 10:18

      Great ideas matt. Who’s going to administer and enforce them? Taxation is theft, period. Think…

  10. DH Fabian
    July 25, 2019 at 20:33

    I got caught up on the fear that “there’ll be no safety nets in place protecting those who are born into under-privileged situations.” In the US, we got rid of ours back in the 1990s, Even those who oddly consider themselves “progressive” reject the UN’s/international concepts of human rights (UN’s UDHR), since Democrats stripped our poor of the most basic human rights to food and shelter. Americans of recent decades embraced a very regressive, primitive tribal ideology. We’re a “survival of the fittest” people who are void of such normal human traits as empathy and compassion. We dump the elderly poor and the disable onto the streets because they serve no purpose to us. This is what people who live in other countries need to understand, in order to comprehend the today’s America.

  11. Tiu
    July 25, 2019 at 17:41

    “Collectivism” is the trap the herd is being driven into. The One World Government (New World Order) will not be democratic, it will be feudal. The remnants of freedom will still have in our diminishing democracies will vanish.
    I for one will not be volunteering to be part of the “collective”.
    I would like to see the large collectives in existence now (corporations) broken up, and a return to smaller scale, multi-crop farming practices take their place in the case of farming, independent broadcasting and media in the case of the media industry, localised banking in the case of finance, governments representing individual countries – and for larger countries devolution of decision making to state/county level etc.

    • Simeon Hope
      July 26, 2019 at 07:01

      “a return to smaller scale, multi-crop farming practices take their place in the case of farming”
      Humanity has, with industrial agriculture, painted itself into a corner. The yields of smaller-scale or organic farms are substantially lower. How will we feed ourselves now, let alone in the future with ten billion mouths to feed? It’s easy to make a glib declaration that we must abandon industrial, monocultural farming practices that have ended famine – at the expense of the natural world – yet to ignore the cold reality of what that would mean is foolish. Still, you’re not the only one.

    • July 29, 2019 at 10:31

      Tiu,
      Well considered thoughts. “Collectivism” is nothing more than disguised feudalism in the hands of plutocrats and oligarchs. They hire sword holders and bomb makers to control “volunteerism”. If you don’t join in on all the fun, your clan or family becomes extinct…

  12. July 25, 2019 at 14:57

    Actually what Caitlyn’s done is paint a much too simple-minded picture of human nature to be accurate. Try this instead:

    http://osociety.org/2019/07/25/on-the-human-primate-three-in-the-morning-the-golden-rule/

  13. Lou Cassivi
    July 25, 2019 at 11:56

    Thanks again, Caitlin.
    Going by the number of Fascist trolls “commenting” on this just confirms how right you are. Keep up the great work!

    • July 26, 2019 at 14:54

      Fascist troll? Did you lose your mind all at once or was it a slow gradual thing?

      I’m a biologist by training and I’ve just poked a big hole in the argument presented in the original article so we can all hear the balloon flying across the room as it descends to the ground.

      What you’veve just done, Lou Cassivi, is demonstrate an inability to differentiate the true from the false.

      Which doesn’t matter on Twitter where the cool kids just believe whatever they want and use kindergarten name calling to sabotage actual discourse. But Lou and Caitlin aren’t on Twitter right now, are we?

      Instead, you’ve run into someone who actually knows what they are talking about, which presents quite the problem, doesn’t it?

      Monkey see, monkey don’t – ha ha ha!

      • vinnieoh
        July 27, 2019 at 13:52

        Hold on there a minute sir, or madam. Many fairly well-educated people make many mistakes concerning evolution, even scientists that are not in the biological fields. Parts of it are or seem transparently simple and straightforward, but many parts of it are subtle and elusive, and that is reflected in the general (mis?)understanding. Caitlin’s error there is not out of the ordinary and doesn’t negate the rest of what she wrote. Unfortunate yes, but fatal? I don’t think so.

        As for what Lou Cassivi wrote; you assumed he was referring to you. Perhaps he wasn’t.

        Myself, I don’t really care where on the tree of evolutionary development we’re connected. It is obvious that co-operation and collaboration are at least as important to our species as competition and ambition. If I were to paraphrase what Caitlin’s editorial meant it would be: if ever there was a time, now is the moment that we need co-operation and collaboration to come to the fore.

    • Jessejean
      July 26, 2019 at 22:29

      Lou, you’re absolutely right. I was struck by the number of “individuals” reflexively protecting their “individual” capitulation to corporate mind control. Caitlin is too smart for this bunch of boys. It’ll take girls to institute her recommendations and that’s already started, with Black Lives, Greta Thurnberg, OAC and Squad, Swagat in Seattle, many many Native Women un-named, the transgendered movement, and Queers like me.

      And now sit back and watch the carp rise to the surface snapping at my flies.

    • July 29, 2019 at 06:31

      Someone’s taken the time to define for you exactly what an authentic fascist Nazi troll is, Lou:

      http://osociety.org/2019/07/29/what-is-a-fascist-neo-nazi-troll

  14. July 25, 2019 at 11:29

    Caitlyn ~ Please stop spreading misinformation. Your statement is simply wrong: “We’re (Humans) descended from monkeys, group-oriented throughout our DNA.” This is not true. You do yourself and your readers a disservice by repeating such nonsense. When it is the keystone – Monkey societies are collective so humans must be too because we evolved from monkeys -upon which you build the rest of your argument, it all collapses as a house of cards into monkeys flinging poo at the zoo level.

    “Humans and monkeys are both primates. But humans are not descended from monkeys or any other primate living today. We do share a common ape ancestor with chimpanzees. It lived between 8 and 6 million years ago. But humans and chimpanzees evolved differently from that same ancestor. All apes and monkeys share a more distant relative, which lived about 25 million years ago.”

    http://humanorigins.si.edu/sites/default/files/u22/descendfrommonkey_lg.jpg

  15. July 25, 2019 at 09:32

    I am not unsympathetic to the writer’s impulses, but she expresses herself poorly.

    The word “collectivism” in the United States is an absolute non-starter.

    It quite literally goes against the American popular culture and against all the political indoctrination of decades.

  16. Tim Jones
    July 25, 2019 at 09:30

    I’ve always agreed with Richard Leakey on this point:

    ‘that the key to the transformation of an ape-like creature into a human being was the ability to share in a complex social context. This quality of cooperation demonstrated by early man’s long history of peaceful hunting and gathering – not unbridled human agression – is the basic feature of humanity.’

  17. Tim Jones
    July 25, 2019 at 07:30

    ‘the ruling class is so adept at narrative control, which they are able to use to manipulate us into collaborating in ways that benefit them instead of collaborating to toss them out on their asses and build a healthy world.’

    Narrative control is the single most powerful tool. No wonder Intel has spent so much of our taxpayer dollars on controlling the media to control us. As press fredoms disappear, Assange symbolizes the big prize catch because fear is a powerful tool.

    • July 25, 2019 at 09:16

      It is amazing when you think about the money flow. From us to them to manipulate us into policies that harm us. You get what you deserve. The sin here is cowardice.

    • OlyaPola
      July 25, 2019 at 11:21

      “Narrative control is the single most powerful tool.”

      Some believe that it would be a powerful tool if it existed – akin to “Full spectrum dominance” and/or “The end of history”, where as some others realise and encourage that it can’t be a powerful tool including but not restricted to “the single most powerful tool” by understanding that when you lie on your stomach even a small dog can appear tall.

      The use of absolutes, especially when based on linear projections/extrapolations are best avoided to realise and encourage that fear can’t be a powerful tool.

      • Tim Jones
        July 25, 2019 at 21:14

        With all due respect, just look at the journalists around the world who have been jailed or killed. One important aspect of facism is to target and kill the intellectuals, which creates fear and which enables the powerful to maintain control of the narrative by force, This is only one facet of narrative control.

      • OlyaPola
        July 26, 2019 at 13:17

        “just look at the journalists around the world who have been jailed or killed.”

        “which enables the powerful to maintain control of the narrative by force, This is only one facet of narrative control.”

        Thank you for your outlining of two beliefs and hopes of the opponents, and their limited nostra of causal relations and “methods” derived there-from.

        Those whom have limited means to test their hypotheses often conflate attempt and achievement, whilst others with such means often resort to bridging doubt by belief to attain “affirmation” when expectations and “outcomes” diverge.

        Those who are immersed in beliefs of sole/prime agency often go round the merry-go-round, not only on a cold and frosty morning.

        Fear in some facilitates various opportunities including but not limited to minimising forays of tourists into war zones thereby aiding the facilitation of drowning drowning men with the minimum of blowback.

        Forays of tourists into war zones can inhibit the activities of some but not of all, and hence your illustrated immersion in such beliefs, hopes and methods of the opponents has various utilities, including but not limited to facilitating the continuing resort of the opponents bridging doubt by belief to attain “affirmation” in lands of make-believe where
        “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident.”

  18. Paora
    July 25, 2019 at 01:57

    Fantastic article, sure to be shared far and wide. However the framing of individualism vs. collectivism can work against us. It’s always tough to convince people to support giving up something they believe they have, and individual freedom is a seductive concept. You have to pull apart what this ideology of individualism actually entails, as is so ably done in this article. As Anatole France so eloquently put it: “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”

    In a capitalist society you have a much freedom as you can afford, no more, no less. Universal rights are turned into the privileges of the few, rendering these concepts meaningless. Those who preach “individual freedom” under such conditions are defending the ideology of the 1%, not the rights of individuals. We have nothing to lose but our chains. So we are dealing with less of a clash between individualism and collectivism, but rather a clash between the ideology of the few and the ideology of the many.

    In English speaking countries, the word ideology has negative connotations and is often used as a synonym for “lies”. But all it means is a coherent world view reflecting the interests of a social group. Demolishing the ideology of the 1% while articulating our own is perhaps the most important task we face. Doing so can cut through false dichotomies like “individual vs. collective”. The “Green New Deal” in its original formulation was a great example of this, demonstrating that meeting the challenge of the climate crisis did not necessarily mean giving up what we already have. Instead it could mean conquering new rights to guaranteed employment/income, education and housing, while dispossessing the 1% of some of their privileges to manage the economy in order to enrich themselves.

    It is no surprise that the 1% swiftly moved to try and subsume the Green New Deal under their ideological paradigm, reducing it to a package of regressive taxes on carbon-intensive consumption (like the diesel tax that sparked the Yellow Vest rebellion), and market friendly cap-and-trade BS. The ideological struggle over the climate crisis is ongoing, and Ms Johnston’s contributions are always essential.

  19. Lee
    July 25, 2019 at 00:32

    Deep irony which I fear the courageous and indomitable Caitlin doesnt see… that any “collectivist” endeavours have always been directed by powerful individuals for their own purposes. Compliance is not the same as voluntary collectivism. There is no evidence that the essential goodness Caitlin proposes exists in the world. Its a faith-based perception.

    • Tim Jones
      July 25, 2019 at 21:26

      However, is Leakey’s view, that our long evolution is based on cooperation and not on savage individualism, a faith based view or based on observation?

      Wealth and power have interrupted, purposefully, our true evolutionary progression towards a higher consciosness and cooperation, education and prosperity,

  20. Larry
    July 24, 2019 at 23:31

    Wow. What a complete piece of garbage the article is. I guess consortium news is only valuable when they defend Assange. But apart from that, consortium news is just a propapanda outlet for left wing ‘progressive’ fascist (aka commies)

    ps: I’d bet a couple of cents that Assange favors ‘individualism’ over your social engineering garbage.

  21. CitizenOne
    July 24, 2019 at 21:53

    Interesting post.

    Will we be able to muster a different response to stimuli beyond reproduction and growth? Are we collectively smarter than bacteria or our single celled prokaryotic and simple eukaryotic organisms which are close to being completely controlled by their DNA not having brains or thoughts?

    We think our big brains and our power to understand and learn and make changes in our behavior will somehow save us. But it won’t. Unfortunately and collectively our pattern of exponential growth, over consumption of resources, overcrowding, environmental degradation and willful ignorance of what is to become from this set of behaviors sadly at its basic level is exactly what brainless microorganisms do. Or at least they do it until they die. There is no stopping it.

    The reason is
    1. We are individually incapable of voluntary sacrifices for one reason or another.
    2. The resource owners and gadget makers that rely on the resources make profits from the status quo and they expend energy and money to fight any changes that threaten their business model. They hate change not just because they make money selling all the things that are extincting the planet but because with change comes uncertainty, risk, fear, destabilization of the power structure, new winners and new losers. Far better to create a sense of calm and that everything will be alright once we ignore the whiny scientists and get on with shopping for the newest and biggest, tallest, heaviest, most fuel inefficient CO2 spewing SUV on the planet in the Darwinian race to keep up with the Jones’s leading to ever larger and more fuel inefficient vehicles exactly at the time we should be going the other way.

    It has become a point of pride to own the most inefficient vehicle as long as it is Cool as Hell and Muy Macho. One advertisement staged the actors who were all large men around the vehicle while one big man commented to the big man owner of the new mega sized SUV, “This truck makes you look small!!!” which is followed by hearty laughter like they just stole it.

    Better yet, never turn it off! Let it idle in the parking lot as a show of your defiance to the weeny whiners. Never ever ever turn it off. Not even while refueling. Like an eternal flame of hope for a better world after all the liberals and ecologists have been silenced. The more fuel it burns the more brownie points you get in Heaven!! Every time you punch the pedal another ecologist dies. Yee Hah!

    Back in the 70’s and early 80’s fuel efficiency was actually a selling point. Auto makers advertised their new vehicles as having low coefficients of drag and excellent economy.

    We are going backwards at an accelerating rate as we are lied to and become progressively more misinformed and propagandized. Trump is just the cherry on top of a totally corrupt corporate system of governance for its profit margins while being incapable of factoring even one allowable good in the cold calculus of squeezing every last penny for profits.

    In the end the movement is the natural predicted outcome of free market economics that is supposed to somehow just magically work. It is a fraudulent economic theory.

  22. Sally Mitcheell
    July 24, 2019 at 19:25

    Well we are burning down our house I’m wondering how the multi rich are going to cope or do they have secret bunkers to allow them and all their offspring to survive this new holocaust maybe they will interbreed and create the new super human monster with black hearts

  23. Tom Kath
    July 24, 2019 at 19:21

    Amazing how all these very complex issues (Brexit, Trump, climate, capitalism, feminism etc) have become polarised binary I/O decisions, all roughly 50/50 in their outcome.
    By the way, what makes you so sure we must all live or die together? – 90% could die and leave a very healthy 10% behind.

  24. July 24, 2019 at 19:05

    WOW what a bunch of nonsense.
    i couldnt finish reading your stupid communist propagandize. it was like a never ending fart. but im glad you have spell check so you dont appear to be a complete down syndrome inbred retard with hooves and a snout. i dont know how you got born and invented but im sure no one else does either.
    i dont know where to start….. almost everything you wrote was dummy communist propaganda… you might have noticed every communist nation has failed except china who adopted capitalist economics and used its population as slave labour. except the Tibetans. they had to get squished.

    • Josep
      July 24, 2019 at 19:46

      every communist nation has failed

      With or without American influence?

    • Godfree Roberts
      July 24, 2019 at 21:17

      Our best hope–because it’s the biggest trader–may be China.

      Between 1980-2010, the Chinese economy grew eighteen-fold while energy consumption grew fivefold–a seventy percent decline in energy intensity. The country cut carbon intensity in half between 2005 and 2019, exceeding the target by forty-five per cent. In 2019 enforcement staff began applying new environmental standards, levying pollution penalties and operating an immense, innovative emissions trading system that taxes emissions at their source and recycles the revenues into sustainable projects.

      Iron ore imported from Australia, for example, will be taxed on the carbon that was burned to extract the ore, ship, smelt, refine and deliver finished steel to its final destination in China or abroad and accelerate the shift to clean, sustainable sources of power everywhere.

      Australia’s Peter Castellas says, “Our energy-intensive exports sit directly in the supply chain of the world’s largest carbon market. Their regulations on supply chain emissions mean that Australians–and all of China’s trading partners–will have to clean up our emissions since they regulate and tax emissions that are generated outside the direct control of Chinese businesses.”

      Chinese planners recognize that future competitive advantage depends on managing resources, waste and pollution effectively so Xi’s ‘green development’ strategy makes pursuit of ‘profit’ and ‘environment’ complementary, not just trade-offs as they are in many countries. That’s how China continues to dominate the world of solar hot water heating, wind power and PV panels while being a major market for all of them. As part of a strategic vision and commitment to economic growth Beijing prioritizes clean technologies, and it’s working.

  25. Ivy Mike
    July 24, 2019 at 17:28

    The way evolution actually works is that there exists already a small population of natural collectivists, if collectivism is a survival advantage in the coming mass extinction then the surviving population will be mostly collectivist. But who knows, the survivors could be mostly fat old men with orange hair, or, worse, people who make lots of bad puns even when sober.

    • gino
      July 24, 2019 at 19:13

      wow. you be so smart. yr analysis of who be survivors… very clever….. you must live in a wheel chair… do hired strippers sit on your lap… i mean face…. i mean lap…. you know what i mean whore man. colletavists are great if you volunteer. but qunts lie you think mposing it works.. n… there is many examples of kunts like yu being wrng. its why cmmunists have murdered more people in the history of the world… ivy mike is mentally derange. have a nice life spastic.

      • IvyMike
        July 24, 2019 at 20:45

        The last whore I hired was a bit over 6 foot, most of it leg, 48 years old, amazingly hot and sweet, even though I was paying her to be nice to me I thought she was even extra nice considering I’m 68 and have a pretty impressive gut. And yes, she sat on my face and in my lap both, I plan on visiting her again when my Social Security payment hits the bank. Deranged yes, not spastic (yet), not Communist, probably a survivor. Bet we’d have fun drinking a few beers on my back porch, I like strong opinions almost as much as I like strippers.

      • ML
        July 25, 2019 at 09:44

        Ivy, could you teach little gino to spell while you’re swilling beer together? You could start the lesson with Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” video.

      • DW Bartoo
        July 25, 2019 at 19:12

        Nicely turned, IvyMike.

        :DW

      • July 25, 2019 at 12:30

        Perhaps read this, then take the banana out of your mouth.

        http://osociety.org/2019/07/25/the-great-reckoning/

    • July 24, 2019 at 19:34

      The way evolution actually works is we aren’t descended from monkeys. People should stay in their own lane. If you don’t know the difference between apes, primates, and monkeys, then it’s better to put the banana in your mouth.

      • anon
        July 25, 2019 at 06:59

        The “gino” comment was ignorant, and abusive like her others, and should be deleted.
        The “Ivy Mike” comment was not useful, but not abusive, so I would not reply to it.

  26. Patrick
    July 24, 2019 at 15:58

    “This transformation might be called “socialism” or “communism” or some other “-ism” in the future, but in reality it will be something unlike anything we’ve ever tried before. It won’t be merely a change in how power and resources are distributed, it will be a fundamental change in what humans are and how we operate, both as a collective and as individuals.”

    Yes indeed!

  27. jsinton
    July 24, 2019 at 15:51

    Our elites have made the calculation for some time that civilization as we know it is unsustainable and that an inevitable crash of the ecosystem is unpreventable. It then becomes an academic question of what is the best way to save the “assets” of the human race. People are replaceable, the planet and the essential assets of earth, air and water are not. Other “assets” such as “knowledge”, “infrastructure”, “production” are also important to the survival of the human species. In the end, it’s the “assets” that count, not people. And of course, the fewer people you have, the few “assets” you use… so for the craven and narcissistic elite it is preferred to cull the population of the human race to save the ecosystem. So look for some sort of virulent pathogen to kill a lot of poor people one day.

    Brilliant as usual, Caitlin. Let me know if you need a husband.

  28. Demetrios Politis
    July 24, 2019 at 15:44

    Aristotle wrote/said 2,300 years ago, MAN IS A SOCIAL ANIMAL !! Ms Lohnston’s argument is correct. She is just restating Aristotle.

  29. i
    July 24, 2019 at 15:41

    i

  30. Joe Tedesky
    July 24, 2019 at 15:40

    But what does one say too a society who prefers oil over water? How does anyone justify destroying a fragile ecosystem as chemical corporations merge only to grow bigger in their battle against nature? Where is there any satisfaction in a healthcare system which allows the patient a choice between bankruptcy or death all to protect a for profit monopoly? How ignorant is a society who rejects giving political asylum to refugees of it’s own making through convert interference? This ignorance is a direct result of a society who loses it news media to corporate interest while the real truth teller languishes in a English jail cell awaiting a fate of traitor? How much lacking of history does it take for a society to forget the advice of pass presidents? Like why does everyone not heed the advice of Dwight Eisenhower when he warned us against a out of hand Military Industrial Complex? And when all of sudden is it Un-American to be critical of Israeli collusion when after all this relationship goes against a departing president’s term when George Washington warned us to beware of foreign entanglements? Nothing will change with any of this until we the people stand up against it!

    • Tim Jones
      July 25, 2019 at 07:12

      Excellent comments Joe!

  31. Tedder
    July 24, 2019 at 15:36

    My sense is that the current romance with “socialism” is that socialism is not capitalism, but something else, something with a theoretical base in cooperation and past practice, but mostly something experimental.
    Experimenting means discarding our fixed views–in many cases, topsy-turvy views–that we have grown up with. Only thus can we find our way through climate chaos.

  32. Greg
    July 24, 2019 at 15:27

    Great article. Thanks. And do not be discouraged by all the “word smiths” that must use 1000 6 syllable words to pretend to know so much about everything. Cheers!

  33. July 24, 2019 at 14:28

    Another commie pretending the understand science to push their foolish economic bs. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  34. July 24, 2019 at 14:00

    Earth’s age is about 4.5 billion years. Humans have been around how long, not conclusive? But the Industrial Revolution started humans on this collusion course with other species and the planet. About the time of JFK we might have turned around the worst things humans were doing, when populations were about half or less. Already with overuse of electromagnetic energy and overbuilding to accommodate 8 billion people, we’re beyond having a healthy commons. And no discussion of any “ism” will save us. Trading electronics for elephants or lions and tigers has created a very dull world. What a world we’ve left for the children!

  35. Arthur
    July 24, 2019 at 13:56

    Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we all die. There is no escape.

  36. evelync
    July 24, 2019 at 13:50

    In 1976 Noam Chomsky discussed the meaning of “anarcho syndicalism”.
    – for the link, if you’re interested in submerging yourself in Chomsky’s meticulous reasoning please replace the “dot” below with “.” to access the link via your search engine:
    chomsky dot info/19760725/

    Not having digested, yet, what Chomsky is talking about, my preliminary understanding so far is an idea similar to what I think Bernie Sanders may be talking about – namely that relatively small groups of average people working together (think guild? or syndicate? or “Basque Mondragon Corporation” to solve problems free of the control of powerful politically connected oligarchs who generally just want to rip off the system….

    The propaganda we are used to hearing is that these oligarchies know what’s what and everything will trickle down from their leavings.

    As former Fed Chair Volker once said about the too big to fail banks – “over the last 30 years the only real innovation of the big banks has been the ATM machine”, lol.
    These oligarchs are not only politically powerful in a corrupt system but at the same time are destabilizing to that system and therefore make that system unsustainable while preying on the rest of us to bail them out when they get in trouble. The fact that their business model is to rip people off means that they are in the business of killing the goose (us) that laid the golden egg…..

    Smallish groups or syndicates of people who value stability and sustainability have the best chance, I think, of doing the right thing for the right reasons. Sustainability becomes a focus. Whereas the huuuuuge corporations are shortsighted, greedy and ruthless and don’t contribute much to the whole.

    The idea becomes a bit more complex perhaps in an industrialized world. But continuing with the status quo – disregarding existential threats like climate change to fatten a few at the expense of the rest of us will end very badly – either Fire or Ice? as Robert Frost predicted?

    The Basque Mondragon Corporations, (syndicates) have created successful businesses around the world and may be close to a present day guild. It might be interesting to learn more about how they do what they do.

  37. July 24, 2019 at 13:18

    Caitlin Johnstone, I love your work, but really:- 1 degree since pre-industrial levels. 1 degree in over a century. Carbon dioxide, the life-giving gas of the photosynthesis-respiration equation, is 0.04% of the atmosphere, and has gone up 50 parts per million. That’s a miniscule 0.005%. Debunk that.

    • Marty
      July 24, 2019 at 20:33

      I also love Caitlins work and I agree with much of what she says. A strong argument can be made for human activity changing the climate, BUT, if you still believe co2 is the culprit you need to take a harder look at the science and a much harder look at who is pushing it. Take a look at how much the nuke industry has poured into Jim Hansen for starts.

  38. Eric32
    July 24, 2019 at 12:41

    Mankind has been having effects on the earth’s climate for centuries, possibly even from the onset of this current interglacial appx. 10,000 yrs ago (using large burns to help clear land to replace natural growths with agriculture).

    Even large human die-offs from epidemics resulting in large farming areas returning to natural state seem to have expression in paleo-temperature data.

    This interglacial warm period looks different and lengthier than prior ones – we’d likely be going into a cyclical cooling if it wasn’t for CO2 generated by the industrial revolution fossil fuel usage.

    Climate engineering has inadvertently been going on for a long time and it’s starting to get systematized. There’s real potential for major conflicts rising among winners and losers.

  39. July 24, 2019 at 12:20

    A doublethink title.
    A false sense of individual is assigned to a polarised and polarising mind that equates with the body as a ‘separator’ and a weapon – but then suffers isolation, alienation and subjection.
    We only need ‘saving’ from our own misguided thinking or self-deceits projected into shadow entanglements that now wind up the end of an Era to a new perspective.
    Embracing polarity rather than asserting and investing in the rejecting and reactive oppositional reflex of possession and control.

    Individual is Indivisible and an Individuated Expression of wholeness.
    The mind of deceit is a divide and rule OUT device.

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
    All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
    Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

    The king represents order over fragmented and fragmenting chaos – BUT they are both polarities of the same false flag as action and reaction.

    I am not suggesting we do not experience broken relationship, and develop strategies of coping, that persist the patterns or archetypes of a broken Constellation, but that we unfold this experience with a Field that IS Relational and which IS the Presence of such realignment, reintegration or healing, as we are currently willing to accept. WILLINGNESS for healing opens a channel for a shift into wholeness from which we emerge as a new perspective.

    As you accept your part you are extending that freedom to others as the trust you now stand in. Waiting for others or trying to change others is a way of seeming to play your part while actually trying to get others to fit your terms and conditions.

    The unfolding and refolding of Idea is not physical – but is reflected in our experience of our world.
    The idea of opposing polarities is inherent to an externally experienced world – even though at no time is experience outside the mind.

    Enlightened or awake is not a personal attribute so much as a transparency of personality to wakened or truly conscious purpose.
    Conflicted purpose is a fragmented mind and an overlay of narrative identity. This carries a very high overhead.

    Aligning in the true of you is NOT a sacrifice of power or freedom to any ideal of collective political strategy to take power from anyone else.

    True with-ness extends and shares in true worth-ship.
    A sense of power and protection in separation from relational ‘chaos’ generates a false sense of power set over and against the feared, hated and denied SELF – that others in a sense ‘carry for you’ while you WANT it out there. As you carry the projections of others in a shadow entanglement of polarised fragmentation that can HAVE NO VICTOR but in fantasy.

    Even as ye do unto the least (but everyone else no less) ye do unto ME – and that ‘ME’ is your true relational being – that must be denied by a false image taken from the whole – as if to judge and divide in selecting only specific conditions as supporting officially accepted narrative identity, and consigning all else to discard and denial as a negatively charged rejection or withholding of light.

    What can ‘save us from our own denials’ but the guidance and support in re-cognising our Self in others – as well as recognising our own ‘sins’ or devices of deceit’ when we see others in such a light. It doesn’t have to take the same form, but at root the intent to enact a fantasy upon the body of others – or the world at large and give it worth-ship over true being is the mind of division that CANNOT tell true from false and so we must reach beyond a ‘captured thinking’ to a fresh expression or Re-Minder and Re-Membering of Wholeness or Coherence that CANNOT be translated into the doublespeak of a conflict mind management.
    Only You can recognise the resonance of a true relational communication and then give with-ness in like kind.
    But if you take the New Wine as if to save the old paradigm, you merely marketise and weaponise the FORMS of your insight to a more insidious deceit – while adulterating and diluting them of the meanings that were revealed to your heart’s knowing.

    The Human Family is not without challenge and therefore a crucible for growth. But we cannot ‘grow’ others as if to thus save or vindicate ourselves. Worth is innate to our Inherence in being and so accepting Inherence is releasing the mind of a false inheritance to the willingness of a true service or helpfulness. We cannot give ourself salvation or restored worthiness of a loving acceptance but that we are the willingness to extend it – and here indeed we NEED each other. Release and be released, is the freedom to give true witness. As long as you use others for fantasy you will suffer what you WANTED true for others as your own measure.

  40. OlyaPola
    July 24, 2019 at 11:56

    “Easy peasy to understand, no PhD nor MD or JD or MBA needed. We either throw selfish aristocrats such as Trump and Bush and Clinton ad nauseum into the pit, or they will throw us in there instead.”

    Your hypothesis has been tested on various ocassions and with varying time frames of evaluation has been found to be unsubstantiated.

    “We need people who study how systems work to show us how ours is broke and how to fix it because what we got now ain’t working and hasn’t for the last 40 years.”

    There are an increasing sum of some who are actively engaged in activities and questions including but not restricted to “What is the United States of America and how is it facilitated”.

    However many do not share your purpose outlined as “to show us how ours is broke and how to fix it because what we got now ain’t working and hasn’t for the last 40 years.” but have in various assays purposes of how to transcend it and its analogues/emulators/surrogates.

  41. a
    July 24, 2019 at 11:35

    Catlin, i often applaud your work, but here you fail. The source of the corporate power is government, because they have enabled private property law to establish monopoly power and monopoly control over the governed. Privatization of government resources brings monopoly power into the owners who own the privatized goods or deliver the services that governments are created to provide. But this rule of law expression of Oligarch greed that delivers private property rights is the answer to the riddle as to how a government can exist, without any elected or appointed leaders.
    This realization allows a very different result than oligarch controlled abuse of government.. How?
    Internationalize all resources in the world, and allocate ownership to the resources not based on where they are located, but instead based on population (oil in Saudi Arabia belongs equally to all persons in the world) and importantly internationalize education.. grant one degree for all undergraduate education based on international subject matter examinations ( does not matter where or how the knowledge to pass is obtained, so universities and tutors can still play a massive part in instructing the masses), and issue by one professional degree in each of law, medicine and engineering and other professions.. Everyone would have to pass examinations and prove fluency in at least three culturally different, geographically different languages, and prove competency in mathematics at the differential and integral calculus level to be eligible to sit for an undergraduate degree. Lawyers, doctors, scientist and engineers would be eligible to practice anywhere in the world, subject only to credential free, local regulation imposed because of local experience. Local regulation <= not supported by local experience would be overturned. None of this requires, demands, or needs a king or a president, the government just needs to be powerful enough to assure the human experience in the earth environment is restricted to majority will of the governed humanity.. Yes, there is still a government, but it works only to enforce its laws, and to do the studies that help the majority population to decide the laws. Most likely no law would create from thin air monopoly power that corporations can use to steal from the people or that corporations can use to deny everyone else a place in competition space.

    • Tedder
      July 24, 2019 at 15:42

      I think you misunderstand Caitlin’s message. Prior to the ascent of capitalism, people understood property quite differently than they do today. Philosophers like John Locke taught the elite to think of property as means of profitability; the result were the Enclosure Laws of England, displacement of peasantry, rise of the property-less proletariat, industrial capitalism, and now, financial capitalism. All from one essay, one way of thinking. In order to change our system, we must change our thought.

      • DW Bartoo
        July 25, 2019 at 19:20

        Superb comment, Tedder.

        Locke was, essentially, the father of “liberalism”, and the famous phrase ending with, “… and the pursuit of happiness”, really meant the acquisition, by whatever means, of property and, as well, the very nature of “property”, as defined by Locke, is imperialist, which is precisely why much of the Brit elite tolerated and encouraged Locke.

        DW

  42. DH Fabian
    July 24, 2019 at 11:32

    Yes, we’ve been talking about this daily for years. Our economy has been on a long downhill slide. The US has lost multi-millions of mfg. jobs since the ’80s (over 6 million since 2000 alone), slashing our contribution to climate change. As permanent poverty continues grow, our consumption of fossil fuels continues to fall. The poor can’t afford motor vehicles and fossil fuels. In the meantime, don’t drive to climate change rallies. (Well overlook the fact that many nations have made progress on reducing their share of climate-changing pollution, most notably China and Russia.)

    It’s apparent at this point that Democrats are counting on climate change and race to keep the discussion off of their economic agenda/war on the poor, in between pushing for war via their Russiagate Tale.

  43. NurseCommonSense
    July 24, 2019 at 11:22

    Pile of steaming socialist crap.

    • OlyaPola
      July 24, 2019 at 11:39

      “NurseCommonSense”

      Apparently a disciple of “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident”.

      As I have heard is appropriate in relation to “warriors”, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your service.

    • AnneR
      July 24, 2019 at 12:18

      Nothing like contradicting your own online “name.”

      • Karin Lease
        July 24, 2019 at 13:40

        ?

      • OlyaPola
        July 25, 2019 at 11:24

        “Nothing like contradicting your own online “name.””

        Not a contradiction; an illustration.

    • Tim
      July 24, 2019 at 16:29

      “Pile of steaming socialist crap.” …and your opinion on how to fix our situation would be?

  44. July 24, 2019 at 11:18

    Right now we have a culture of individualism, narcissism, and solipsism personified by our Great Leaders such as Boris Trump.

    https://osociety.org/2019/03/04/collective-intellligence-insurrection/

    If we are to survive much longer, we simply must adapt to our changing environment, or we shall become extinct. This is what Darwin meant by survival of the fittest and natural selection. If we as a species do not change with our environment as it changes, we will die. Easy peasy to understand, no PhD nor MD or JD or MBA needed. We either throw selfish aristocrats such as Trump and Bush and Clinton ad nauseum into the pit, or they will throw us in there instead. We need people who study how systems work to show us how ours is broke and how to fix it because what we got now ain’t working and hasn’t for the last 40 years.

    • Annie
      July 24, 2019 at 14:28

      O Society, just a comment on your statement that “…we must adapt to our changing environment, or we shall become extinct.” This is not an option since global climate change will make the planet incapable of supporting human life. They say there is some 60 years of viable soil left to grow crops and utilize the land for grazing, and that’s just one issue. When Darwin talked about survival of the fittest he wasn’t taking into account, nor would he, the devastating changes in the environment climate change would bring. The last part of your statement seems more doable.

    • Occupy on!
      July 24, 2019 at 21:12

      Bernie’s worked against this oligarchic system his whole life. We have a real choice in 2020 to save life on earth.

    • July 25, 2019 at 21:53

      “Yes, change is the basic law of nature. But the changes wrought by the passage of time affects individuals and institutions in different ways. According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself. Applying this theoretical concept to us as individuals, we can state the civilization that is able to survive is the one that is able to adapt to the changing physical, social, political, moral, and spiritual environment in which it finds itself.”
      ~ Leon Megginson

      https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/05/04/adapt/

  45. Mike Perry
    July 24, 2019 at 11:00

    The study of Impulsive/Compulsive disorders? Epidemics? Medical communities?
    For a brief summary of just how unhealthy, (and criminal) our airwaves are:
    http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html

    And, since we were raised by Bugs Bunny, we adults, we now have to generate legislation for all of us, “Smart Phone” junkies, while driving on public roads. (.. ?)
    .. Please, just let me stick that needle in my arm..
    … You know. I ‘am programed – to fly in the Cubic Zirconia, American Airlines Club.

    ~~~ The Danger of American Fascism:
    “.. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ..”
    …..
    “.. It has been claimed at times that our modern age of technology facilitates dictatorship. What we must understand is that the industries, processes, and inventions created by modern science can be used either to subjugate or liberate. The choice is up to us. ..”
    ~~~ The Danger of American Fascism; Henry A. Wallace; New York Times; April 9th, 1944

  46. Annie
    July 24, 2019 at 10:58

    I’m not optimistic about our future, nor the future of the world. As societies advance a hierarchical  pattern develops and too  often the people who seek power, those  who would  be gods, are often psychopaths, or those who would sell their souls to the devil of power. They care little  about the welfare of others. How else can you explain their  willingness to go into wars that kill millions, wars not to stem the aggression of tyrants, but illegal wars for profit. How else can you explain a country like ours where some 40 million children live in poverty while 1 percent of it’s population controls 40% of it’s wealth. An enlightened collectivism is something I’m very skeptical of since people are too easily swayed by propaganda, and during the Trump years that has been made blatantly clear.  

  47. Lolita
    July 24, 2019 at 10:32

    So funny -in fact really sad- to read this kind of columns here, rehashing the worst of the globalist oligarchy agitprop, coming from people clueless about even the most basic meteorological skills. A little research links to “skeptical science”… LOL
    And the “denialist” word, the epitome of misrepresentation.
    What’s next Caitlin? StGreta of Davos?
    To this scientist, this author has lost her credibility beyond repair.

    • OlyaPola
      July 24, 2019 at 11:11

      “To this scientist, this author has lost her credibility beyond repair.”

      As a scientist you will likely be aware that evaluation, including but not restricted to evaluation criteria, is in some assay a function of purpose.

      In relation to some purposes the assay of credibility need not be wholly conflated with the assay of utility – although non-scientists do have a marked preference for this conflation whether liminally or subliminally in various assays.

      As a scientist you likely be aware that you can only lose something you already possessd or believed you possessed leading to linear questions of “Who lost China?” and simultaneously opportunities of catalysing lateral process potentially through, but not exclusively through, portals of analysis/transcendence by lateral question such as, but not restricted to, “Why do I think China was lost?”

      Your points are valid but perhaps restricted?

  48. July 24, 2019 at 09:43

    ….

    Mmm. A spiritual article. What is a spiritual person to do in a society that is very well developed to suppress and harass spiritual impulses? Sadly, I think the answer is for that person to try to hide out somewhere and watch the anti-spiritual society implode, hope it doesn’t take that person and all his or her loved ones out in the process.

    In terms of the USA, I think the situation is way too far gone for a turn to collectivism to be feasible, or hope for some profound evolution in thought or in the species. The USA will either get a major smack-down from the rest of the world which forces the societal change the author wants (probably in the form of a world war), or the USA will decide to hit the reset button and wipe the chess board clean (i.e., full launch), which carries a significant risk of human extinction. I don’t think a peaceful resolution to the “Thucydides trap” is America’s style. The USA is, afterall, the most warring nation in the history of the planet, as stated recently by Jimmy Carter.

    Those are the ends to this game that I see. The problem is the USA is a primitive society with the biggest arsenal. It’s like an emotionally unstable child is given the family’s guns.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    • Michael
      July 24, 2019 at 18:16

      While I agree with Ms. Johnstone’s impulses I’m afraid you are correct with regard to the leadership of the Western Oligarchy. I do not think that way of the American public, however, but they do not have the power.

      As Michael Hudson pointed out in his article in Naked Capitalism last week and reprinted in Counterpunch on July 22:

      “Global warming is the second major existentialist threat. Blocking attempts to reverse it is a bedrock of American foreign policy, because it is based on control of oil. So the military, refugee and global warming threats are interconnected.”

      His hypothesis is that since the petro-dollar is so closely tied to the US economy, there will not be any serious action on climate change from the current economic regime. A decline in the monopoly of oil would destroy our balance of payments, and our bubble economy.

      Solutions to this will require a divorce from the petro-dollar underlying our economy or a collapse of the same. Inasmuch as the sociopaths are in control, the former will not happen.

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/22/u-s-economic-warfare-and-likely-foreign-defenses/

  49. DW Bartoo
    July 24, 2019 at 09:34

    Note: If you scroll to the bottom of this article and click the link “at Medium”, where Johnstone is “regularly” published and read her most recent article, “Why People Bash Assange And Defend Power”, you will learn of the “cognitive vulnerabilities” which all human beings possess and which may easily be exploited by those adept at propaganda, causing the propagandized “… to interpret data in an irrational way …”, which Johnstone asserts, “It’s an absolutely crucial piece of the puzzle in understanding why the world is as messed up as it is, and figuring out how to fix it.”

    I urge all readers of this CN article to examine what Caitlin presents in the other article for, taken together, these two articles offer what I consider to be very clear and critical insight into both human cognition and the manipulative power of narratives controlled by the powerful for their own benefit. What we must contend with is far from simple, yet its apparent complexity may readily be made comprehensible if the underlying psychological tendencies and the capacity of pathological “interests” to exploit those tendencies are widely examined and understood.

    Only when a sufficient percentage of humanity can recognize what is actually going on, as well as who actually controls the definitive narratives, may a successful opposition and viable alternative future for humankind be possible.

    DW

  50. Alan Ross
    July 24, 2019 at 09:20

    Another admirable column and could not agree more that we need to honor the collective more. In the meantime, as a great thinker has taught, every person wants to be an individual. He also said that the only real answer is to put together the opposites of the individual and the collective. One celebrated example of this great logic is in music where each note is individual while it affects and adds to other notes by what it is, and is made more by being affected by the other notes. Unless this mighty principle is honored, collective action will be quietly impeded and we may be too late to save our species from suicide.

    I care very much for Ms. Johnstone’s insights including how once the fossil fuel industry got involved climate change became a battleground of lies. This is related to how slavery became such a sacred institution in the South when the cotton gin was invented and an abundance of unpaid labor became so profitable.

    Ms. Johnstone’s criticism of how our country is not really going toward smaller gov’t but instead shifting to more heavily military is so on point.

    • Rick Kean
      July 25, 2019 at 00:32

      No-named great thinker’s manifest problem lies with how individuals masquerading as disarmed, collective wannabees organise, then choose their Fearless Leader, who, so charged, will force these polar opposites together while conducting said Symphonic Utopia. Will it be at the point of Mao’s gun, or of Enlightened PR Propaganda of the Goebbels kind?

      My neighborhood discourages door to door solicitation, so don’t bother knocking.

      David Rockefeller and Maurice Strong were Oil Men/Globalist Hucksters while financing and organizing the Stockholm Conference, and the Earth Summit. A Global Anthropogenic Climate Change Catastrophe that only a One/New World Order System of Control could ever Hope to Defeat. The Kochs came way late to this party, supporting the controlled opposition messaging. By the way, temperature change leads changes to CO2 concentration… Hahahaha!

  51. July 24, 2019 at 08:58

    Think about it – human ‘geoengineering’ is what got us into this predicament. Geoengineering will not save the planet

    • Skip Scott
      July 24, 2019 at 09:31

      I think it matters how you define the term. Would it be a form of Geo-engineering to end the beef industry, and plant more trees as carbon sinks in place of the feed we grow for cows? Is it geo-engineering to stop burning so much fossil fuel (which is geo-engineering of a sort), and switch to clean energy?

      It would also be a form of geo-engineering to have a manmade nuclear holocaust resulting in a nuclear winter.

      The devil is always in the details.

      • DW Bartoo
        July 24, 2019 at 10:17

        The “technological” solution which your fourth sentence, Skip Scott, describes, must also be understood in the context that many now advocate that such a scenario is, somehow, “winnable”. In fact, this assertion is far more explicit and extensively more ballyhooed than ever before.

        Among the devilish details to which you allude, is whether humanity, self-styled “intelligent man”, may muster a dignified exit from existence, leaving most or many terrestrial life-forms still existing, or must we insist upon reeking as much petulant and idiotic havoc as (humanly) possible as we rush, kicking and screaming, like the fine featherless bipeds we are, toward oblivion?

        I still think we could discover dignity and even find an alternative future quite different from that to which we appear, now, to be so fully and firmly wed.

        A rational divorce from insanity may still be possible, but only if a sufficient number of human beings might dare contemplate something beyond what they perceive as their “own interests”, all defined by pathologically “competitive” individuals who lack the courage to admit that their “ambitions” of “Full Spectrum Dominance” arise, not from superior capacity or true courage, but from utter social ineptitude and abject fearfulness.

        A kakistocracy, rule by the worst, is a roster of pitiful small-mindedness and pathetic worthlessness.

        Ascendancy resulting from violence, of whatever form or stripe, is never secure but only trepidatiously reassured when convinced it can do even more and ever greater harm.

        Perhaps what applies to individuals may apply to species as well.

        DW

      • OlyaPola
        July 24, 2019 at 11:36

        ” “own interests”

        Good try, but you fell back into an ideological construct of the temporary social relations presently self-described as “The United States of America” – the “we” of make-believe facilitating a land of make-believe.

        Another facilitator of lands of make-believe is the deflection of purpose through focus on form.

        Ideology is submersive akin to a swimming pool- when you emerge you still carry water droplets, the level of saturation of which can be lessened and partly transcenced by deflecting focus on form by concentration on purpose.

        “I still think we could discover dignity and even find an alternative future quite different from that to which we appear, now, to be so fully and firmly wed.”

        If it is the case that you don’t conflate believe with think, that enhances the probabilities of such outcomes, but is not sufficient in and of itself to facilitate such outcomes.

        Since omniscience is not an option in any lateral system, appearances are always deceptive; the variable being the assay of deception which varies through “populations” through various trajectories and velocities.

        As stated/asserted below the concept “we” is often a catalyst of greater assay of deception – the hypotheses are placed to afford others the opportunity to test them if so minded, although this is not a “categorical imperative” and/or of particular significance to facilitate purpose.

        “The concept “we” is always a potential obfuscation particularly when “we” is a projection facilitated by self-absorption, as is the concept “everything” particularly useful in encouraging “There is no alternative” (because we’ve tried everything).”

      • DW Bartoo
        July 24, 2019 at 16:19

        Actually, OlyaPola, I was not describing the U$, butrather the broader presumptions of “might is right” that have been “legitimized” by notions such as “mandate of heaven”, “divine right”, or some other “spiritual” explanation or excuse.

        Essentially, in the brutal social context, the “form” of “social organization” has followed the (“functional”) “purpose” of control and power throughout the era of what is termed “civilization”, thus, as humans have long been instructed, power is constrained, and “judged”, not by public law, or the sensibility of hoi paloi, but by divinity.

        It has been suggested, by some, that the Floundering Fathers of “make believe” mythology, made power answerable TO laws and to “we the people”. At least one of those concepts YOU, most appropriately and riotously, lampoon.

        Those privileged to live under the benign purposes of brute power often come, by various means, to embrace the prescribed “forms” as both “natural” and “just”. It might well be that little thought, at the level at which YOU engage it, goes into such embrace.

        “We”, YOU and I, are engaged in some sort of a shared exchange of thoughts, even ideas, possibly.

        Clearly, YOU desire to influence others with the impact of your thoughts and what “WE”, YOU and I, might agree to call “observations”. YOU desire that WE, here present, respond, at least to the extent of reading what YOU share with US. Likely, YOU desire that WE consider your words, their implicTions, and such insights or clues as you impart TO us.

        YOU assume (perhaps even hope) that “WE” (which term may well be, YOU suggest, an obfuscation) that your words are worth the effort YOU make to share, or communicate with us, else YOU merely waste your time and squander your words as if pisding into the wind.

        Equally clearly, YOU are NOT self-absorbed or you would not bother yourself with the rest of us.

        Perhaps, YOU have noticed that I do not use the term, “believe”?

        I would hazard a guess that “WE”, YOU and I, are most cautious with the use of that term.

        Now, of course, YOU are now implicated as being a part of the “WE” who comment here. One might even regard you as being a “regular” commenter at this site.

        Assuming that YOU are human, are mortal, prone to the vagaries of time and the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and fickle fate, of being, to be very blunt, quite as much fodder to the killing machines of pathology, of brute economic warfare or even more brutal “final solution”, as any of the rest of US, then WE all share a common fate, as well as a common “interest” in such future as may be.

        As “WE” understand so very little, it is most doubtful that WE (which does, perhaps, include YOU) HAVE tried everything.

        Bear in mind, that when one loses some thing, if one happens, eventually, to find it, that it is always found in the last place one looks.

        DW

      • OlyaPola
        July 25, 2019 at 06:02

        Re:

        DW Bartoo
        July 24, 2019 at 16:19

        “Actually, OlyaPola, I was not describing the U$, but rather the broader presumptions of “might is right” that have been “legitimized” by notions such as “mandate of heaven”, “divine right”, or some other “spiritual” explanation or excuse.”

        The existence of your interpretation above may suggest that you perceive the use of an example as an attempt to limit scope to focus on certain phenomena. The opponents often resort to such encouragement, whilst others do not, in the understanding that doing so is “prejudicial” (words being catalysts of connotations) to purpose.

        ““We”, YOU and I, are engaged in some sort of a shared exchange of thoughts, even ideas, possibly. “

        Communication is predicated on mutual engagement as is sharing, in neither of which is it mandatory that mutual engagement is contemperaneous or emulative.

        Broadcasting a data-stream through a portal is not mutual engagement, although some perceive it as such, whilst others understand it as broadcasting a data-stream through a portal.

        This is predicated on the failure of some to perceive in some assay that others do not assign the significance to some that some seek to assign to themselves.

        This perception facilitates notions derived there-from such as:

        “Clearly, YOU desire to influence others with the impact of your thoughts and what “WE”, YOU and I, might agree to call “observations”.

        YOU desire that WE, here present, respond, at least to the extent of reading what YOU share with US.

        Likely, YOU desire that WE consider your words, their implicTions, and such insights or clues as you impart TO us.

        YOU assume (perhaps even hope) that “WE” (which term may well be, YOU suggest, an obfuscation) that your words are worth the effort YOU make to share, or communicate with us, else YOU merely waste your time and squander your words as if pisding into the wind.

        Equally clearly, YOU are NOT self-absorbed or you would not bother yourself with the rest of us.”

        all examples of “We the people hold these truths to be somewhat self-evident” predicated on attempts to encourage the conflation we/us and nostra (beliefs) of “constancy through binary framing” of the conflation.

        This can be transcended and is being transcended through activities not restricted to broadcasting data-streams through portals, since broadcasting data-streams through portals serves various purposes/activities.

        “WE all share a common fate, as well as a common “interest” in such future as may be. “

        This is an illustration of Mr. Schroedinger and his cat in addition to a set up for implicit extrapolation including but not limited to “We all share the same methods and that we do is an advantage/self-evident.”

        “As “WE” understand so very little, it is most doubtful that WE (which does, perhaps, include YOU) HAVE tried everything. “

        No-one has tried everything but some have more opportunities to test their hypotheses through implementation, these opportunities having many catalysts including but not restricted to the complicity of opponents via their attempts to fashion how to’s from chimera such as“full spectrum dominance” and “the end of history”.

        As ever “ the concept “we” is often a catalyst of greater assay of deception” including self-deception, as are interpretations of the “author”, in encouragement of nostra of sole/prime agency, within the article in regard to matters which some with different tested experience evaluate as risible/unsustainable.

      • DW Bartoo
        July 25, 2019 at 12:37

        Purr-fect!

        Schroedinger’s cat may well have imagined their roles were reversed, their fates interchangeable …

        In the “long run”, who could fault the cat?

        Inevitably, misinterpretations may arise in conversation or in analysis.

        These are different from purposeful, intentional deception or formulaic obscurantism.

        Thank you, for playing, OlyaPola, as your diligent efforts are of great service to the rest of (deceptive) “us”.

        :DW

      • Skip Scott
        July 24, 2019 at 13:23

        It is hard to be optimistic in this day and age, and it may be delusional as well. It will take a sea change in human consciousness and a great plan by the smartest minds to avoid catastrophe at this point. And still, as Susan says, it may already be too late.

        The only other possibility for human survival is for a small percent of humanity to survive some sort of cataclysm, and for them to learn from our mistakes, and start anew.

        If our individuality is an illusion, and we are part of a universal consciousness, the destruction of our individual egos may just be a necessary evolution to whatever comes next for post-human existence.

      • Sam F
        July 24, 2019 at 17:25

        I was startled by your idea “end the beef industry, and plant more trees as carbon sinks in place of the feed we grow for cows?”
        I am prosecuting racketeers in state government stealing conservation funds to subsidize their own ranches, preventing reforestation of former habitats of the very species they claimed to be protecting by deforestation.
        If you can suggest any references that might lead to scientific studies I would be very grateful.
        But if not, thanks anyway, I will research that a bit more.

      • Skip Scott
        July 25, 2019 at 06:57

        Hi Sam F-

        Here’s one article of many available on the topic:

        https://www.nrdc.org/experts/sujatha-jahagirdar/less-beef-less-carbon

  52. July 24, 2019 at 08:54

    I understand much of Climate Change science because I have been studying the science for several years now from many different perspectives. And, the science tells me we have already passed the point of no return. Even if we could turn off the heat engine that is civilization today, we would then be faced with the aerosol masking effect which has shown that as particles, from this effect, start falling out of the atmosphere, the earth will warm even faster. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190122104611.htm So, we are in a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. It should be obvious for anyone paying attention that governments, big business and the mainstream media don’t care about people, they only care about profits and lining their own pockets. We cannot wish or hope ourselves out of this predicament. Live fully while you can…

  53. AnneR
    July 24, 2019 at 08:44

    In all honesty, Caitlin, my deepest sympathies in this catastrophe of human making are all, or almost all, for every creature that is *not* human. *They* have *not* created the fast coming extinction causing changes to the world’s eco-systems. *We have.*

    *We* humans, the so-called *intelligent* species have done everything we can to destroy our home, our shared home, for it is not only “ours” although we behave as though it is. The markedly misnomered “homo sapiens.” In our unparalleled arrogance (“our” here meaning mainly those of European descent, indigenous peoples of, e.g. the Amazon or the western USA or Australia, generally lived in harmony with their environment and the other creatures within it) we apparently have forgotten that we are simply animals, apes. We are *not* different in any essential way to any other ape. But we appear, by and large, to be unable to admit any of this.

    I used to ask my late husband if he could come up with *one* thing that we, as a species, had done *for* the good of this planet, to its benefit. He, a brilliant intellectual, could not think of anything that we have ever done that wasn’t intended to benefit *humans,* individually or collectively. I certainly can’t. Ants on the other hand are an essential part of nature’s clean up crew. Would that we were more like them….while helping our own kind we also benefited our local eco-system, our fellow creatures and the wider planet.

    I suspect however that the methane being released from the Arctic regions will be the knell…

    • OlyaPola
      July 24, 2019 at 10:41

      “*We* humans”
      “…..species have done everything we can to destroy our home”

      In emulation of “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident”?

      The concept “we” is always a potential obfuscation particularly when “we” is a projection facilitated by self-absorption, as is the concept “everything” particularly useful in encouraging “There is no alternative” (because we’ve tried everything).

      Very useful tools in encouraging “Here we go round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning” in circular frames.

      Enjoy your journey.

  54. July 24, 2019 at 08:35

    There is a weekly radio show hosted by Dane Wigington that address the topic covered by Caitlin Johnstone within the context of “geoengineering” that readers of this story would appreciate, and I’m curious if Caitlin is familiar with Wingington’s work.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aGmXgJD99s&list=PLwfFtDFZDpwtijqkJiOyc-WJOaGWOfVGG

    • July 24, 2019 at 08:56

      Think about it – human ‘geoengineering’ is what got us into this predicament. Geoengineering will not save the planet

      • July 24, 2019 at 09:23

        That is Dane Wigington’s contention, that geoengineering is being foisted on us, that those “Chemtrails” are actually designed to alter the weather without our knowledge and that it, geoengineering, is the #1 threat to the human species after the danger of nuclear war.

      • AnneR
        July 24, 2019 at 12:22

        Quite – and geoengineering is to a great extent another form of monetizing the planet. This we need to stop.

  55. DW Bartoo
    July 24, 2019 at 08:12

    Well and truly said, Caitlin Johnstone.

    Many of us agree with you and have long been advocating precisely what you suggest human beings must embrace, which is a collectively shared awareness of reality and a conscious and deliberate willingness to change what being “human”, sentient and capable of necessary adaptive changes in behavior, attitude, and understanding, not to aggrandize the self, or even to violently ensure that one tribe might dominate others, but to furtherhuman existence in harmony with the complex web of life upon which such existence actually depends.

    Frankly, I have no doubt that this article will engender the most negative response that any of your articles heretofore have ever received.

    You have touched a raw nerve, already exposed at this site, for quite some time, expressed as both denial and angry displacement.

  56. Skip Scott
    July 24, 2019 at 07:38

    Thanks for re-publishing this great article. Caitlin is one of the best voices of her generation.

  57. TomG
    July 24, 2019 at 07:23

    The prophets have been telling us for a few thousand years that the powerful destroy and talk in high self-praise of their proud accomplishments. I’m pretty well convinced Caitlan can stand among these prophets who have told us the noble way is one of humility, kindness and neighborliness. It’s pretty clear to this old man that evolution of consciousness is hard to take root when pride says in its inherent dualism, “I must be right and you must be wrong.”

    • OlyaPola
      July 24, 2019 at 10:54

      ” It’s pretty clear to this old man that evolution of consciousness is hard to take root when pride says in its inherent dualism, “I must be right and you must be wrong.”

      Perhaps your clarity is a function of lack of experience in “anthropology”, and/or “biology”, and/or “history” and/or “neurology and/or ”perception management”,and/or “philosophy”, and/or “politics” and/or “psychology” all as presently described/differentiated, facilitating resort to, and dependence upon, projection of ideological constructs of temporary social relations presently self-described as “The West” without benefit of co-ordinates to establish “West of where” in a context of approximate spherical bodies?

    • Tim Jones
      July 25, 2019 at 07:56

      Yes, the Prophets have told us. They want to possess the hearts mankind, not wealth, but Their popularity amonst the masses is seen by governments as usurping their material power. At the same time, today’s complex relationship, MICM (add Media at the the end) as Caitlan points out, must control the narrative, and is I think the most powerful weapon; that is why at this critical juncture in history, all those journalists have lost their lives as a key aspect of narrative control, with the most visible symbol of that, currently being Julian Assange.

  58. Sam F
    July 24, 2019 at 07:00

    There is much truth here, and Caitlin is a fine spokesperson, who understands these related views.

    Conservation has proven insufficient and often debilitating as a unifying motive:
    1. Merely emphasizing debatable long term climate risks has insufficient credibility.
    2. The problem is the selfish savages, who welcome apolitical pablum for their victims;
    3. Those who agree on climate are not the problem, and they are disabled by such a cause.

    The absence of a movement for international aid shows that the audience is too selfish.
    Americans organize only as gangs for personal gain, to restrain theft from, but not by themselves.
    The Reps offer us genocide for bribes, deregulation for bribes, and equal rights to corruption.
    The Dems offer us flowers, gay bathrooms, maternity leave, and unlimited genocide for Israel.

    The problems of the US must be exposed and its failures confronted:
    1. Failure to protect the tools of democracy (mass media, elections, judiciary) from money power;
    2. The failure of checks and balances to prevent seizure of real power by executive and judiciary;
    3. The moral corruption of mass media and popular culture, disguised as humor and entertainment;

    Americans cannot improve its society until they have destroyed the oligarchy that controls it.
    So long as we advocate domestic peace we shall have war on the people, because tyrants see only force.
    Their only concession since WWII was the Civil Rights Act, and only because they were afraid of riots.
    But now they have total surveillance, secret reprisals, and militarized police, and ignore all protest.

    If the US had spent the billions wasted on war since WWII, on building the roads, schools, and hospitals of the developing nations, we would have eliminated poverty for the poorest half of humanity, and we would have no enemies.
    Instead we have the lowest per capita foreign aid of all developed nations, willfully killed 6 to 20 million innocents for nothing, replaced democracies with dictators, and allowed the MIC/Israel/WallSt to control our former democracy.

    This will continue until the US has been widely embargoed and defeated, has tyrannized the rest of America for another century, and has fallen back to tyrannizing the People of the United States for yet another century. Even then it will continue through a series of depressions until the People are polarized as the impoverished against the opportunists. Democracy will not be restored until the poorest rise in force to terrorize the rich, infiltrate police and national guard to deny force to oligarchy, and riot in the streets. Restoration of democracy requires some diplomats and poets, but it is done with force, not flowers.

  59. OlyaPola
    July 24, 2019 at 06:15

    “Individualism cannot save humanity from the crises it faces. It’s not the right tool.

    There is a widespread belief that if we just eliminated all collectivist impulses within our society, we could eliminate all our problems.”

    These assumptions are facilitated by framing in notions of sole/prime agency thereby obfuscating interaction.

    The individualism of some encourages the collectivisation of others and their collective participation in collective projects to transcend individualism and evangelists of individualism, as illustrated by and to some not presently engaged in resorts to assumptions/beliefs to bridge doubt to attain “affirmation/certainty”, and hence facilitates the “saving” (framed in a binary derivative of individualism represented as the savers/the saved) of humanity.

    Hence the efforts and self-absorption of opponents in some assay facilitates their own transcendence, and can be encouraged both by comment and by silence and facilitated both by “action” and “inaction”, a recent example of silence and “inaction” being “Russiagate”.

    “the only thing stopping it is our not wanting it badly enough yet.”

    Resort to conflating a component part of “a” reason with “the” reason obfuscates other component parts of a reason facilitating tendencies of and resort to linear iterations such as “Here we go round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning” facilitating opportunities for others.

    “There is a widespread belief that if we just eliminated all collectivist impulses within our society, we could eliminate all our problems.”

    A possible reason that “some” could eliminate all of their problems by eliminating all collective impulses is that doing so may lead to further acceleration of morbidity of “some” facilitating the reduction of morbidity rates in others and the transcendence of “some” by others. This is a thumbnail synopsis of the seeking of some of “rapture” in belief/hope of transcending morbidity.

    In Lilliput Mr. Gulliver was restrained by many threads; cutting Gordian knots is not a sustainable strategy; and when deflating balloons care is required to ensure that deflating balloons don’t fly in all directions facilitating the deflation of other balloons.

    Thank you for your perceived synopsis of recent endeavours in activities presently designated as “neurology”,”perception management”, “philosophy”, “politics” and “psychology”.

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