Do You Consent to the New Cold War?

This insane situation is only possible because people are sedated by mass media propaganda and endless diversions from reality, writes Caitlin Johnstone. 

By Caitlin Johnstone

The world’s worst Putin puppet is escalating tensions with Russia even further, with the Trump administration looking at withdrawal from more nuclear treaties in the near future.

In addition to planning on withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty and knocking back Moscow’s attempts to renew the soon-to-expire New START Treaty, President Donald Trump is also contemplating breaking the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty by conducting the first U.S. nuclear test explosion since 1992, reportedly as an attempt to bring China to the table for joining New START.

Moon of Alabama has published a solid breakdown of all this, outlining the absence of evidence for the Trump administration’s justifications of its treaty withdrawals and explaining why China has nothing whatsoever to gain by signing on to a trilateral New START Treaty. I have nothing to add to this, other than to ask a simple question.

The question I want to ask is, do you consent to this?

Do you consent to steadily mounting cold war escalations against not one but two nuclear-armed nations?

Do you consent to having a bunch of unseen military personnel rolling the dice every day on the gamble that we won’t wipe ourselves off the face of this Earth in the confusion and chaos of rising hostilities due to miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war?

Do you consent to a slow-motion third world war where an oligarch-led alliance of powerful nations works tirelessly to absorb new nations into its imperial blob by any means necessary?

Do you consent to a world where weapons of Armageddon are brandished about by imbeciles with inadequacy issues?

Do you consent to a world ruled by people who are so sociopathic that they are willing to inflict endless mass military slaughter and risk a nuclear holocaust just to have more control over the world population?

Do you consent to a world where we risk literally everything because a few overeducated, under-mothered think tankers were able to market an idea called “unipolarity” at key points of interest after the fall of the Soviet Union?

Do you consent to a world where powerful governments team up like a bunch of bitchy mean girls against weaker nations that aren’t in their clique?

Do you consent to governments spending lives, resources and treasure on bloodbaths around the globe and treating terrestrial life itself like some trivial plaything instead of ensuring the thriving of their own populations?

Does this seem like health to you?

Does this seem like sanity to you?

Is any of this something you want? Something you consent to?

Of course not. These questions are all redundant. Nobody with a healthy mind and a clear picture of what’s going on would consent to this madness, no matter what nation they live in.

This whole insane model was rolled out without your consent. You were never asked if you consented, because the answer would have been no.

Nobody gives their conscious and informed consent to this. The new cold war is as consensual as sex after a Rohypnol-spiked drink, and the illusion of consent is just as nefariously and artificially manufactured. People are roofied into sedation by mass media propaganda and endless diversion from reality, and then power has its way with us.

If people were actually given informed consent about what is done in their name, none of this would be happening. Weapons of war would have been destroyed long ago and we’d all be working together in healthy collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem to ensure a healthy, happy world for our children and our grandchildren.

There is no reason we cannot have such a world. We are the many, they are the few. They manufacture our consent because they absolutely require that consent. A population which will not be propagandized is a population which cannot be ruled.

All we have to do is inform each other about what’s really going on. Then informed consent can exist. And be withdrawn.

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 book, Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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30 comments for “Do You Consent to the New Cold War?

  1. Roger Milbrandt
    May 28, 2020 at 20:03

    This is a solid article but at one point the word-choice infuriates me. You describe the think tank denizens who advocate ‘unipolarity’ as “over-educated” and “under-mothered.” As a retired educator and as a father my inclination is to think that proponents of unipolarity’ are under-educated and that their moral deficiency could as easily result from being under-fathered as from being under-mothered.

  2. Skip Edwards
    May 28, 2020 at 10:32

    “If people were actually given informed consent about what is done in their name, none of this would be happening. Weapons of war would have been destroyed long ago and we’d all be working together in healthy collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem to ensure a healthy, happy world for our children and our grandchildren.
    There is no reason we cannot have such a world. We are the many, they are the few. They manufacture our consent because they absolutely require that consent. A population which will not be propagandized is a population which cannot be ruled.”

    You are correct and you ask the right question. Why do we tolerate this behavior by our government when “we are the many and they are the few”?
    The short answer: we are cowards.

  3. May 28, 2020 at 09:33

    The road to non-consent will not open until civilians in the pampered west starve to death in the midst of plenty… Starvation is already happening in South American and African countries. The plunder is well documented and obvious. Corporate capitalism has padded the rubber rooms of military thugs for centuries, and the public just keeps producing more dolts and order followers.

    The United States spends ten times more on militaristic adventures than the next ten militarized countries combined. We dress our children up in ridiculous costumes, prance them around in military parades, and shower them with technological expertise. It’s pathetic, hypocritical, pathological, and overtly suicidal.

  4. Anonymous
    May 27, 2020 at 22:04

    I’ve never really consented to any of the idiotic things this country has done. Nor have I consented to the things that have happened to me.

    Never made a lick of difference. Why actually care about anything when we’re all basically political eunuchs and our country basically treats us like livestock?

    • Skip Edwards
      May 28, 2020 at 10:19

      Why care?? Because no one wants to be an obedient slave to anyone, or any enslaving system. We are bursting at the seams for a charismatic leader who will lead us out of this desolate, deadly state of affairs.

    • Anonymous
      May 28, 2020 at 17:31

      Yeah, everyone wants a savior. That also happens to not be how things really ever happen. Instead, you get a guy who’s actually worse than the last guy who knows that pinning himself up to be the proper tail on the donkey will get him the votes and that the fallout will likely wait until his term is over.

      Something something, won’t get fooled again.

  5. Steve Roddy
    May 27, 2020 at 15:52

    How well put! These are the questions I’ve been asking, too, wondering how people can put up with crazed, bombastic threats by Pompeo et al. and the squandering of our resources on boy toy weaponry. Why don’t they evoke our outrage? Caitlin has hit the nail on the head: we so are anesthetized by the endless stream of trivia about sports, Hollywood, fashion, etc. that a majority can no longer be bothered to come out with the outrage that any normal sentient human being would, when confronting these facts honestly and directly. Way to go, Caitlin!!!

    • Zhu
      May 27, 2020 at 23:21

      We Anericans are as war-like as the Assyrians or Genghis Khan, and for no better reasons.

  6. rgl
    May 27, 2020 at 15:28

    “Do You Consent to the New Cold War?”


    For all the good that’ll do …

    • Saraj
      May 28, 2020 at 11:14

      Another wonderful piece and fresh angle from Caitlin.
      I’m not from US but it seems to me that each American regularly consents just by voting for D or R presidential candidate of War Party.

      (I’m seeing comments on 3rd party – meaning thay don’t count Green. Not likely at all. In that money, foundations and donations system, Rich and Zionists would also make it part of Endless War Party.)

  7. Sam F
    May 27, 2020 at 10:11

    Those who consent include a large fraction of ignorant CIA/MSM-bedazzled young men, mere punks looking for excuses to destroy something to aggrandize themselves to prove that they are not teenagers anymore.
    Their relatives and friends may not be so sure, but are nearly all cowards who will never object to the mass media narrative.
    They live in fear of, and social and economic dependence upon their tribes of church and town, led by low-end tyrants who demand power as fake defenders, by posing with flag and cross, and inventing foreign enemies behind every tree.
    This class of the ignorant never sees beyond mass media narrative, so reform requires eliminating oligarchy mass media.

    The gang operation that DC has become, requires rethinking the institutions of democracy, to preclude corruption.
    Also rethinking of the means of action, as we no longer control those tools, and need new tools to restore democracy.
    Nearly all agree that only the most extreme collapse or conquest would permit forcible restoration of democracy.
    In the age of advanced weapons, that would require international embargo and a very deep and prolonged recession.
    Restoration by reason presumes that intellectuals somehow lead when instability and anger weaken the corrupt.

    The core problem is the structure of a democracy that prevents the corruption by money that has made the tools of democracy serve money power, including all branches of federal government and mass media. Most educated people have little time to consider the reforms needed. But it is not difficult to design a democracy not susceptible to corruption by money, and the tribal cabals of factions.

  8. Moi
    May 27, 2020 at 08:43

    With trillion dollar “defence” spending (including black) the US needs to learn a simple thing about “you break it, you own it.”

    The phrase means if you break it, you pay reparations. It does not mean that you actually own it.

  9. michael888
    May 27, 2020 at 07:44

    As Leroy Fletcher Prouty explains in his book “JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate Kennedy”, war is essential to those at the top for easy profits and to control global resources. Although not particularly well written and redundant in many sections, the book is conceptionally sound and sadly thought provoking. There are more forces undermining than promoting peace, and at higher levels of society in the US and in the world.

  10. Laurence
    May 26, 2020 at 23:31

    Seems like a mainstream myth you are falling back on–calling Trump the Putin Puppet. I wonder if you believe in all that rhetoric of Russia-Gate??
    Just finished reading a book I highly recommend about history of Russia in our modern era, and the Russian-American relationship…and who is to gain from having one another as enemies. (the book: Power of Impossible Ideas by Sharon Tennison) We need to be giving each other respect for all of us to go forward, and not by parroting snipes! Russia and the US and China stand to gain from cooperation. And we lose by confrontation.

    • Laurence
      May 26, 2020 at 23:33

      Please do not bring Putin down to Trump’s level!!

    • TimN
      May 27, 2020 at 07:25

      She was making a joke about the “Putin puppet.” You must be unfamiliar with Johnstone’s work.

    • anon53
      May 27, 2020 at 10:05

      She was joking!

    • Paul Eccles
      May 27, 2020 at 12:25

      It was a joke mate, of course she doesn’t believe the russiagate nonsense. The next line after that shows how absurd it is.

      If he was a “Putin puppet“ why would he be escalating tensions with Russia?

  11. Randal Marlin
    May 26, 2020 at 17:50

    Of course I agree with Caitlin Johnstone regarding all of her questions. But the one that raises the most frightening, because realistic, question is: “Do you consent to having a bunch of unseen military personnel rolling the dice every day on the gamble that we won’t wipe ourselves off the face of this Earth in the confusion and chaos of rising hostilities due to miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war?”

    Iran shooting down a passenger plane in the wake of verbal escalation by U.S. President Donald Trump’s Administration is an example of the kind thing that can happen. What if the plane shot down had been a U.S. military plane or warship? The lesson should be that verbal escalation is not worth the risk. This is not a poker game, or if in some people’s minds it is, they should be not be permitted to get anywhere near decision-making in the matter.

    • anon4d2
      May 27, 2020 at 11:29

      Are you alluding to a potential or actual aircraft shoot-down by Iran?
      Perhaps you recall the passenger plane of Iran shot down by the US?

  12. rosemerry
    May 26, 2020 at 17:02

    We can see by the way we are being treated during this pandemic that people do not seem to have any idea what terrible decisions their leaders have already made, even just this century. No regard for facts or truth, constant blaming and paranoia about “national security” while ignoring evidence of advancing deaths in all our technically advanced “democracies”.
    The whole assumption by POTUSTRUMP that Covid-19 is in motion just to stop his re-election (he really seems to believe this-worse than WMD!) and that Big Pharma making money from a vaccine is vitally urgent,( not cooperation with China perhaps even making a vaccine which it would give to the rest of us) shows how far we have descended since the USA “won the Cold War” but decided that world destruction was worthwhile anyway.

  13. DH Fabian
    May 26, 2020 at 16:54

    Democrats and their party loyalists spent over three years trying to build support for war against Russia. As Trump increased US/NATO troops near the Russian border (provocation), and reinforced economic sanctions against Russia, one would think Democrats would be delighted. Have you placed your bet yet, on whether Democrats will blame Russia or Chna for a 2020 defeat?

  14. Moi
    May 26, 2020 at 16:37

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people … and the people’s name is Koch.

  15. DW Bartoo
    May 26, 2020 at 15:52

    “No!” To a New Cold War against Russia and China.

    “Yes!” To a sane, humane, and sustainable future for all.

    Deceit, and the manipulation behind it, and Diversions, and the lack of greater curiosity and attention paid to the deceits, along with cultural myths of superiority, the inculcation of which falls to media and academia, all must be understood for what they are, their purpose, and their consequences. and who, very specifically benefit$ from things-as-they-are.

    How many, however, dare question their culture?

    Either the one they were born into or chose to embrace?

    How often have those living in and identifying themselves with empire, found the courage to question, to challenge, aloud, the myths, the unexamined assumptions?

    Especially when the cost of doing so risks livelihood, social standing, and relationships, be they with family, friends, or lovers?

    Yet, what alternative have human beings of conscience?

    Once one has come to understand those things which you, Caitlin, have fairly presented as evidence of insanity, greed, and the lust for total control, what honest course is there but to risk loss, to risk shunning, and even impoverishment?

    Specifically, how many toil away at “jobs” which further entrench oligarchy, tyranny, and authoritarian interests?

    How many choose, again and yet again, to participate in rigged “electoral” processes, the only purpose of which is to legitimize oligarchy, tyranny, and authoritarian power while furthering the merest pretense of “democracy”, that the sham may continue.

    In a real and genuine democracy, would not the many actually get to vote on the question of war? On healthcare for all, as a human right? On housing? On meaningful endeavor?

    In other words, should not the many actually get to vote on policy, not on personalities and cultural dog-whistle rhetorical devices which function simply to set the many against each other?

    To change the culture from militarized empire, profound understanding must be engaged, not because the issues are especially complex, however convoluted the manipulatory rhetoric might make things appear, or vicious the fallacious arguments used in favor of war might be;
    “You are either with us or against us!”, for example which is the classic phrase of “argument with a stick”, meaning an implied threat, but rather that far too many people were never encouraged to engage in the critical thinking process, at all.

    An honest educational system would do that, from the earliest grades.

    An honest media, would also present useful information, not slant stories to inculcate the fear, loathing, and confusion necessary to start wars based on lies, and notions of foreign monsters all, inevitably, referred to as “the new Hitler”, though Putin has been well-villified and, in the U$, “liberals” and “deplorables”, alike, are being told that China is a land of authoritarian thieves who “stole our jobs”, lied about (and “invented or created”) the coronavirus, and intend to rule the world.

    An honest media would present actual, useful information and not coerce thought or understanding in specific ways, telling people what and how to “see” or “not see” things.

    The legacy media simply refuses to be anything but a propaganda tool.

    Thus, U$ians, in particular, but people in “the west”, generally, are fed a steady diet of untruths, half-truths, unbaked idiocy, and triumphal imperialism.

    Frankly, considering, along with the domestic propaganda, all the saber-rattling, heartless economic sanctions, military bullying, and nuclear weapons buildup of both the Obama and Trump regimes, the rest of the world, especially Russia and China, the nations of this planet have been very patient with the U$ and its coalition of whatever, including Australia, but especially the U.K.

    One does wonder how much longer such patience might last as The Empire lashes out, evermore recklessly, relentlessly, and foolishly?

    Yes, a great mutual educational outreach is required.

    However, it must entail listening and building bridges of shared interests and common plight and not much admonition, signaling, or preening.

    What common vision may members of the human family, those not caught up in the “Great Game”, develop that will permit our species, indeed, all of terrestrial life, a future worth having?

    Say, even another ten or twenty thousand years, that we, collectively, might gain a wee bit more understanding and a great deal more compassion.

    What would that look like?

    How would it feel?

    Might that be worth thinking about?

    Beyond deceit and diversion …

    • AnneR
      May 27, 2020 at 11:44

      Yes, D Bartoo.

      And if you include NPR and the BBC World Service in your “legacy media” then today there have been examples a-plenty:

      NPR: In a piece on the forthcoming election and the states trying to prepare for managing polling stations, voters while trying to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19, the “reporter” raised – guess what? – the need for states to “prevent a repeat of Russian [i.e. the Kremlin] hacking” and thus, I presume, altering/affecting the results. This statement provided no evidence, but as declared as if it were unassailable fact. (As I recall this claim had been debunked within a short time of the Blue Faces and their media supporters raising it.)

      BBC: They broadcast a ten minute “History” piece – repeated at least once within two hours. The subject of this segment often seems to coincide with some act that the US/UK/IS/NATO (you name the western grouping) wants the listener to ignore, be ignorant of; the intention seems, as today, to be to deflect attention from here to there. Or to support whatever it is that the western world wants to happen. So today’s piece was all about the South Korean protests against the military government, in the late 1980s, and the violence, largely, according to the broadcast, committed by the government’s forces against the protestors who were demonstrating for: democracy. Hint, Hint.

      Both BBC and NPR: They both made much of the Hong Kong police’s use, this time, of tear gas and pepperballs (never have either broadcasters, throughout last year’s demos, mentioned the violence done by the demonstrators: the killing and beating up of those Hong Kong people who dared to disagree openly with them, the brick throwing, the attacks on buildings and so on; just as they rarely if ever, and then without ever mentioning the brutal violence of the French cops, reported the peaceful weekly protests by the Gilets Jaunes) against the demonstrators.

      Even as they basically criticized the HK police their reportage on the completely brutal, unwarranted murder of George Floyd and the follow up demonstrations, they mentioned the tear gas used by the police to stop the protests but not any other means that the police may have used (rubber bullets, possibly stun grenades – these latter caused many serious injuries among the Gilets Jaunes).

  16. Dave
    May 26, 2020 at 15:30

    A polemic of sorts, but much needed in these days of rabid running amok by some of the most despicable and vicious politicians and economic oligarchs in the sad history of the human species. Let’s hope these perverse creatures disappear quietly into the sunset in the next month or two, or maybe some encouragement is needed to accomplish that much desired end.

    May 26, 2020 at 15:09

    And I’d like to add the thought: when have the people ever consented to any of Washington’s many wars, cold or hot?

    From the holocaust in Vietnam to the holocaust in the Middle East?

    The power establishment does what it wants and drags you along.

    • DH Fabian
      May 26, 2020 at 16:57

      That’s the key point. It honestly doesn’t matter what the “masses” think. The ruling duopoly have their own agenda, and one way or another, we must obey.

    May 26, 2020 at 15:01

    “New Cold War?”

    Given the remarkably hostile words and acts coming from Washington, I’m more concerned about a hot war.

    Withdrawing from treaties is certainly threatening, and the US has done a lot of that recently, but it has done so much more, too.

    The words and acts go beyond anything I recall during the Cold War.

    Openly assassinating another country’s national hero? Almost bragging about it?

    Placing a bounty on the head of a twice-elected national leader?

    Declaring the threatening phrase, “full-spectrum dominance,” as a national purpose in the world?

    Trying to impose American law on everyone who is not American through a vast network of illegal sanctions?

    Displaying contempt for many important international institutions and organizations? Quitting some of them? Threatening some? Demanding others serve its own purposes? UN. WHO. ICC. WTO. UNESCO. OPCW. UNRWA.

    Ignoring the rule of law openly throughout the Middle East, on the high seas, and in Latin America?

    Displaying no spirit of international cooperation, even during a medical emergency. At least in the days of the Cold War, the US always tried to appear cooperative about disasters and about international organizations. It was often the first to offer some assistance. Now, it does not bother.

    Relentlessly attacking the world’s other great power, China, with genuine slander and lies. Doing so daily with no pretence to science or legality.

    • Jeff Harrison
      May 27, 2020 at 10:42

      Unfortunately, we will continue to do everything you describe until other countries of the world make it clear that the US is no longer welcome there.

Comments are closed.