UPRISING: The Story of America Crashes Headlong Into the Reality of America

We are witnessing the head-on collision between the story America’s political, media and educational institutions tell Americans about what their country is, and the reality of what their country actually is, writes Caity Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

I have a bedtime story for you.

Once upon a time a brave nation liberated itself from the tyranny of the British empire and birthed freedom and democracy into the world. With the help of heroes like the abolitionists, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X it overcame systemic racial inequality, and now it is a shining exemplar of human rights, the respected friend of free democracies around the world and the hated foe of all tyrannical regimes. It is not without its faults and its past mistakes, but it is the best leader and protector of the liberal world order that we could possibly hope to have.

I also have a waking up story for you.

Once upon a time a nation rose to prominence after emerging unscathed from two world wars which damaged the infrastructure of its competitors. The world’s major power players quickly coalesced around this new superpower and began maneuvering other nations into a tight empire-like alliance with it. After a long and gruelling cold war, this empire succeeded in toppling the world’s only other superpower and began working to absorb all other nations into alliance with it. If nations resisted, they were subverted, sabotaged and attacked until they either collapsed or allowed themselves to be absorbed into the imperial blob.

World-spanning power structures are now centralized around this nation, which is home to the largest population of billionaires on the planet and the mightiest military force in the history of civilization. An unfathomable amount of power revolves around this nation, so mechanisms have been put in place to ensure the stability of its status quo. These mechanisms include the most sophisticated system of propaganda ever devised, an Orwellian network of domestic espionage, increasing internet censorship, and, above all, a highly militarized police force.

The Last Line of Defense

The operators of this globe-spanning empire have always been acutely aware that the weakest point in their machine is the possibility that the hundreds of millions of people who live in this nation may one day decide that the imperial status quo is not serving them, and that they do not want to be ruled anymore. They know that the last line of defense against this happening is their ability to use extreme violence upon the population until they stop revolting, so they have no intention of ever giving up this ability. An entire planetary empire depends on it.

Now, if you’d been hearing the bedtime story your whole life but not the waking up story, you would naturally assume that demanding an end to police brutality was the most reasonable thing in the world. You would naturally expect that if a police officer was caught on video deliberately strangling a man to death and then was not immediately arrested and prosecuted for murder, people would be understandably outraged and drastic systemic changes would be swiftly implemented to appease their anger. You would naturally expect the shining city on the hill to side with the people over a police force’s murderous tendencies.

If you’ve heard the waking up story, you would expect no such thing. You would understand that racial disparities never left the nation in question, and that the establishment which still keeps J Edgar Hoover’s name on the FBI building has no intention of doing anything about the police force’s role in it. You would understand that the role of the police is not to protect and serve the people but to protect and serve the empire, in the exact same way that this is the role of the military. You would understand that the empire is no more likely to voluntarily dispense with the violent tactics of its increasingly militarized police force than it is to dispense with its air force or nuclear warheads.

They’ll supply all the empty words and take-a-knee photo ops you like, but actually voluntarily disarming themselves against their subjects is not something they’re planning on doing.

Breaking Point

This does not mean that those demanding these changes are being silly or unreasonable; demanding that the police not murder you is the most sane and reasonable thing in the world, per what the police force purports to be and per what America purports to be. It’s just that neither the police force nor America are what they purport to be. The bedtime story and the waking up story could not possibly be more different.

That is what we are witnessing here. We are witnessing the head-on collision between the story America’s political, media and educational institutions tell Americans about what their country is, and the reality of what their country actually is. The disparity between the bedtime story and the waking up story has finally been stretched to a breaking point, and now the mask of free liberal democracy is coming off in front of everyone.

We are watching a population besieged by institutional racism, economic hardship and a pandemic virus finally pushed past the breaking point, and finding themselves crashing headlong into the most unyielding part of a planet-sprawling empire. The stories are slowly clearing from the air like tear gas, and the cold, hard reality is becoming exposed to a greater and greater segment of mainstream America.

And now the leader of this nation is openly threatening martial law and trying to designate black bloc protesters as “terrorists”. Video footage of police brutality is saturating social media faster than people can watch it, First Amendment violations are sweeping from coast to coast as police chiefs, mayors and governors try to see how far they down can squeeze freedom of assembly laws, and mysterious armed men in fatigues who refuse to say who they’re with are patrolling the nation’s capital. Prison riot specialists are being recruited as expert consultants because, in the eyes of the empire, the prisoners are rioting. 

We are all watching from around the world as the citizens of the hub of the empire confront their oppressors in an increasingly violent battle of wills. The violence rips apart the thin veneer of narrative that was keeping the bedtime story intact all this time. We all watch as the tattered ribbons slowly fall to the floor.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. The empire is losing control of the narrative. In the long run, this can only be a good thing. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and truth is always superior to fiction.

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.

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51 comments for “UPRISING: The Story of America Crashes Headlong Into the Reality of America

  1. DW Bartoo
    June 6, 2020 at 11:29

    Many truly superb, well-considered, very knowledgeable comments on this thread.

    Clearly, those who comment here, for the most part, have historic perspective, a well developed sense of the massive, yet deliberate and intentional, gutting of civil society, from the beginning of white European conquest of this part of the Americas, of the “peculiar institution” of slavery and of the vicious treatment of the human beings kidnapped and impressed into that involuntary servitude, along with the genocide practiced to wrest the lands from those people who had rightful claim to it, not of “owning” it, but of cherishing and caring for it, fully conscious of their total dependence upon it for their very existence.

    It is refreshing to see that so many are not impressed with the hagiographic depictions of the “Founding Fathers” as near deities, and the recognition that their legacy and that of others, such as Lincoln, may well not be what the many are instructed to believe.

    That is a healthy sign of cultural maturity in direct juxtaposition to the cultural superiority so often trotted out by the political classes and used to justify U$ global terrorism, as both “right” and “just”, thus making claims of “humanitarian intervention” obvious nonsense, even as those claims have allowed U$ians to little question military adventures and “splendid little wars”, as “endless” these last several decades, while the many who have been killed, injured, made homeless, made orphans, made refugees are not simply ignored, they are as if they never existed, at all.
    Frankly, that dismissal of the worth of the lives of others must be understood as being as essentially U$ian as apple pie.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, there might sometime arise, among those who are not afraid of being aware, a willingness to consider what sort of society might, possibility, be built on new foundations of actual principle and human understanding, to replace the one we were born into.

    I wonder if anyone might care to share visions of what a truly civil society might look and, equally important, feel like?

    I realize that when confronting a failed society in precipitous collapse might not seem the ideal time for such consideration, yet, if we’ve no vision of where we might like to go, of what we might need become, then either those who seek tyranny will prevail, or those who oppose such tyranny will have no agreed upon sense of what might be the sane, humane, and sustainable alternative.

    We are already joined in a common revulsion, caught as we are, in common plight and precarity.

    However, without a shared, common sense of what we all can agree would better serve our well being, better protect the planet upon which all our existence depends, offering the young a viable future, what will unite us beyond standing the killing machine, what will sustain us as things become worse and worse, what will unite us when survival becomes grim and oppression becomes the common experience of most everyone?

  2. Robert M
    June 5, 2020 at 21:00

    As Americans wake up, eat their GMO based food, drink their Fluoride rich water and pop their daily dose of anti-depressants, does anyone really believe that a majority of people will have the motivation to stand up and make a change? We are a sick population by design with poisoned soil that grows our food, sprayed skies, dying oceans, fish-less rivers, contaminated water aquifers being drained dry by big AG, flooding, droughts, a radiated atmosphere. When will everyone realize that we ARE UNDER ATTACK?

  3. Pablo Diablo
    June 5, 2020 at 13:29

    If we can make “smart bombs” why can’t we make “smart politicians”?

    • Piotr Berman
      June 6, 2020 at 22:27

      This idea may bomb. E.g. think tanks (and trips to Israel) purport to increase the smarts of our elected representatives. So “we make smart politicians”. Perennial question: who are we?”

  4. Robert Emmett
    June 5, 2020 at 11:08

    Head-on collisions or head-in collusions? Tangled wreckage of cog diss? Shattered gray matter of doublethink? How to break a binding binary of us v. them?

    If humans could split atoms to unleash a new power that would destroy the very means of our own survival then why aren’t we smart enough to find a way to break the binds of a Manichean worldview that has us locked into this nosedive?

    When the PTB sever the ties of civilization from a goodly portion of the populace then proceed to criticize them for their incivility and to treat them accordingly how is it that a bulk of the people not only embraces that hokum but continue to pay for it? WTF do you call that? Freedumb?

    As a once famous, twice smart person is thought to have said about the most pressing ills of our atomic, now nuke-u-ler age, you can’t solve these problems with the same type of thinking that produced them in the first place.

  5. E Wright
    June 5, 2020 at 05:39

    A good article. You could have started with the fact that the US Constitution was written by mercantilists (the 18th Century version of neo-liberals) for themselves. The freedom they sought was freedom to conquer the ‘Indian’ lands without British interference. Their high sounding ideals were never intended to apply to out-groups, least of all anyone designated as a savage. And the way they locked down future generations has demonstrated a particular lack of insight. The only decent way forward is a new constitutional convention with its results ratified by plebiscite. That would be democracy.

    • John Drake
      June 5, 2020 at 15:04

      Good point not usually noted in American(North) history. Not only predominantly mercantilists but a very significant number were slave owners. In fact of the first fifteen presidents twelve had been or were slaveholders; though Grant shouldn’t count, he had one slave, they were friends worked together and was eventually freed. Andrew Jackson the misnamed “People’s President” on the other hand, and the worst most racist president until Trump, was a slaveowner and was totally dependent on them for his wealth. He had 150 when he died. Jefferson, the great intellectual (sarcasm), had over 600.

      The whole conflict between free and slave labor influenced the body politic way before the Civil War put an end to it. By the way Lincoln did not free the slaves, he just made it official and legal. They for the most part freed themselves by running away and joining the Union Army as it advanced, first as camp help and later when accepted as soldiers forming the United States Colored Troops, a Confederate soldier’s worst nightmare.

    • Robert M
      June 5, 2020 at 20:27

      And if you dared to venture even further back than the Constitution, as John Drake mentioned, you would find that America was not settled by the Pilgrims but by multiple corporations chartered by Britain to colonize North America. These corporations not only slaughtered the same natives that saved them from starvation, but was done to force them off the land when they realized there were no corporate profits in gold and silver to be had. Taking the land was their last resort to try and turn a profit. Things were so bad at one time that Britain sent their criminals here as punishment. As the wealthy corporate elites began to lose control, Britain began to curtail the scope of their charters and take control. Its these same corporate elites that controlled the colonies that began to revolt against Britain, to tax and keep the profits being taken by Britain and are responsible for instigating the Boston tea party. I wish we could return to the days when the tyrants were tar and feathered without due process as long as the majority of the people saw it fit.

  6. June 4, 2020 at 15:28

    Caitlin writes: “The empire is losing control of the narrative.” I’m not so sure about that. Regardless, who will gain control of a different narrative? And what will that narrative be?

  7. Aaron
    June 4, 2020 at 15:15

    Indeed. I think that’s part of the historic drama of this moment, that, for average whites institutionally brainwashed by the fairytale since very young, sobering up from that kind of utopian stupor, is beyond the worst hangover, and jarring to the foundations of our psyches. Tbh, blacks have never been under that hypnotic delusion, as their oppression has been non-stop from the beginning. This is not new to them. Injustice sadly has been part of their daily life always. It’s eerie how some of the darkest, dystopic films are not far from our present reality, the Joker, the Purge, and maybe the most applicable one, Will Smith in Enemy of the State. Because what’s different now from past turbulence and unrest is the the complete and total surveillance of every single citizen, to the point where they literally know everything about everyone, and can therefore arrange the narrative as they please, as a puppet master, to achieve their ends. Let’s not assume that the powers that be are not somehow arranging all of this chaos and how it is making us all so much sicker and weaker and poorer and less united and disappointed and enraged. It remains to be seen who will really benefit from the chaos, it may not be the protestors, I hate to be so cynical, but it takes a lot of imagination to see beyond the mainstream narrative and discern the darker forces behind it all. One thing we should have learned by now, is that, if nothing else, the power elites are the ultimate opportunists.

  8. Tony
    June 4, 2020 at 15:15

    “You would understand that racial disparities never left the nation in question, and that the establishment which still keeps J Edgar Hoover’s name on the FBI building has no intention of doing anything about the police force’s role in it.”

    Clark Clifford, senior advisor to President Truman, writes in his memoirs (p182/3):

    “In the forties, we could only suspect the dimensions of his megalomania… He was very close to being an American fascist, and it is unfortunate that the new FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington still bears his name.”

    • GMCasey
      June 5, 2020 at 17:15

      Maybe by next April Fool’s Day, an enterprising and creative patriot will attach a giant balloon that looks like a Hoover Vacuum—and with a sign attached: ” HOOVER vacuuming up democracy every day!”

  9. Ron
    June 4, 2020 at 13:42

    This article and the first two comments say it all. Sometimes I just don’t know where to begin a political conversation with people who have never been exposed to serious critical analysis of U.S. empire. While I enjoy the challenge of trying to engage with these folks, it can be quite an alienating and even dejecting exercise. But we can only press on. Thanks CN and CN readers!

  10. Anna
    June 4, 2020 at 13:20

    The country is hollowed spiritually and industrially. Whatever is left is the property of the Financial Sector and the MIC — they are the Deciders.
    We witness the results of the unnatural selection on the top, which has weeded out the honest and principled and, eventually, the competent.
    As for patriotism, it is dead. The US Congress comprises people that must pledge allegiance to a racist country on the other side of the planet. The geriatric profiteers dominate US administration. The unaccountable drive for money and power has deformed the US into a colossus with feet of clay.

    • Tom Kath
      June 5, 2020 at 01:14

      Patriotism dead? How many Americans would be happy to see the USA disbanded or broken up into states?

    • Robert M
      June 5, 2020 at 20:33

      I would Tom Kath. I would enjoy nothing more and offer my existence to see it happen. Lets Roll

  11. Ticketyboo
    June 4, 2020 at 13:03

    Nicely written article, although the choice is not black and white. If we were sure that tearing apart the house of cards and rebuilding it would result in a more just, benign, humane, environmentally-responsible reconstruction, I’d be there with my wrecking bar. History suggests that prognosis is unlikely. Much as I want to see the defects in the current system removed, the risk of deconstructing the existing political structure is that it will be supplanted by the uncertainty of chaos, or by one of the two micro-manipulative and power-obsessed alternative models; a barbarically regressive Islamic empire or yet another oxymoronic socialist nirvana.

    • nobody special
      June 4, 2020 at 18:42

      Did it ever occur to you that the “oxymoronic socialist nirvana” you describe is not one of the only two alternatives to a system that is undeniably dysfunctional? And that by posing the issue this way you are buying into the narrative of those who control the present system? There are others in this audience who have thought more creatively and have alternative solutions. You might want to expand your reading horizons to learn what they have to offer.

    • rosemerry
      June 5, 2020 at 02:23

      Your p.o.v seems very limited and cynical. Try reading a recent book by Victor Grossman “A socialist Defector- from Harvard to Karl Marx Allee” which tells his experience as a leftist US young man becoming under forced circumstances a “defector” spending the next 38 years in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and remaining there ever since, while returning from time to time to his homeland. His wide reading and work as a journalist and activist in the “communist hell” we all are told was East Germany, then the united Germany make a fascinating contrast for Americans or other Western readers. He was also interviewed by Richard Wolff on Democracy at work a few months ago-now 92 and still going strong!

      As for the “barbarically regressive Islamic empire”, the US version, judeo-christian,would of course be that of Israel!!!

    • Gene Poole
      June 5, 2020 at 06:11

      “a barbarically regressive Islamic empire…”
      Uh-huh. And where’s the capital of this Islamic Empire?

  12. Steve Hill
    June 4, 2020 at 12:44

    Problem is, if miraculously the people who agree with this assessment could actually do something to rectify it, (and IMO your aassessment is pretty accurate) would the new government we’d end up with be better or worse than what we had rid ourselves of? Troubling times are here indeed.

    • nobody special
      June 4, 2020 at 18:49

      If they truly agree with this assessment, their values are such that they very likely would be better. Such changes do not come in a vacuum. They happen because the forces who are dissatisfied with the present situation organize to bring it about. But you are right that trouble is here, and it will likely get worse before it gets better. History teaches us, and we must learn from it.

  13. June 4, 2020 at 12:19

    The Great American Myth: “We’re rich because we’re good.”

    Ignorant of history, programmed by the CIA media (which infests so-called “liberal” Hollywood), and lied to by omission on an hourly basis, most Americans stupidly think that:
    1) We were founded on “freedom” (No. It’s a SLAVE Constitution)
    2) We “settled the West” (No. We committed genocide, stole the land and went on to ecocide) and
    3) We “won WWII” (No. The Russians with 25-30 million dead and a destroyed infrastructure won WWII – and got a Cold War for their reward.)

    It is dangerous to ignore reality.,

    • JonAnthony
      June 5, 2020 at 17:13

      Nice add, thank you!

  14. 24 carat
    June 4, 2020 at 12:15

    The streets of gold are paved with the blood of slaves.

  15. Tom
    June 4, 2020 at 12:15

    We need jobs

  16. AnneR
    June 4, 2020 at 11:19

    Thank you Ms Johnstone for this piece. You are of course right on all points. I would only add the following – re: the looting, property damage.

    Frankly, when, in this country, a people – African Americans, Native Americans most often – are constantly beaten down by the system that benefits, so nicely, the paleskins (the original invaders and migrants, stealers and looters of lives and land), they have every right to express their frustration with the fact that nothing, nothing ever really changes. Whether that expression is either peaceful demos or more “violent” ones.

    One might truthfully ask:

    WHY is corporate-capitalist-imperialist Looting perfectly fine and dandy – no matter how MANY lives, livelihoods, ways of life it destroys, damages, literally kills here OR abroad; but the breaking of windows and looting of local stores and what not, is viewed, treated as an absolute travesty?

    Corporate Capitalist Imperialist Looting includes: DAPL, Iraq, Afghanistan, the destruction of forests for the “timber industry, Palm Oil industry.” Just for examples – hardly the end of the list.

    And when will the DC politicos – all in the pockets of, cronies with, of a like income level – actually IMPROVE the lives of African Americans, Native Americans via the much needed changes to this grotesquely racist, unequal, undemocratic, rapacious system?

  17. GeorgeV
    June 4, 2020 at 10:59

    The Age of BS has become a victim of its own lies. Like that speeding express train that crashes into the giant foot of Godzilla, it didn’t have a chance. But have no fear, the wreckage of that ill-fated express train will gather its’ broken, smashed and twisted parts, and phoenix-like, arise into a new and improved limited, filled with willing sheep (passengers), and a higher speed, more phony than a newly minted three dollar bill, with Ronald Reagan’s picture on it. Only in America. What a country! BTW, excellent piece of writing Ms. Johnstone.

  18. Vera Gottlieb
    June 4, 2020 at 10:24

    I must disagree about the US being a “leader” and “protector” of the liberal world. The US has always stood for it’s own advantages and profits first and foremost while incessantly preaching to others and continuously setting the wrong example. No one nation is perfect but the US most certainly does not have the right to claim being above all others. The “greatest nation on Earth” it most certainly isn’t – a PR job that keeps blinding too many.

    • Piotr Berman
      June 5, 2020 at 10:18

      I would agree that US is a leader and a protector, like Cromwell was a leader and Lord Protector of “democratized” England, Scotland and Ireland (that he “rationally reorganized”, some analogy to PNAC ideas to “rationally reorganize Middle East”). Liberals are defenders of liberty, especially “freedom of navigation” — unless it requires some maritime blockade, some dialectic that Stalin would approve, freedom of trade, freedom of enjoying property rights (increasingly, intellectual property), freedom to have sound currency (despicably assailed by George Floyd) etc.

      There are some differences between US and non-US versions of the “liberal rules”, but they have minor importance. Sadly, the enthusiasm among those followers of US leadership is a bit flagging, like in the recent 21 second long televised characterization of the recent events in US by Prime Minister Trudeau. Perhaps the most eloquent speech we heard from Canada in decades. (search: Trudeau 21)

  19. June 4, 2020 at 10:19

    Unfortunately, we wake up to the same waking up story every couple of years, but then go back to sleep sedated by all sorts of promises, propaganda, unreal reality shows and other amusements and distractions. It would appear that Americans have a short attention span when it comes to making the bed time story a reality.

  20. Sally Snyder
    June 4, 2020 at 09:23

    Here is an article that looks at how the misuse of deadly force by American police forces can be solved:


    Unfortunately, decades of police “military-style corporate culture” and the “blue wall of silence” means that meaningful changes to the policies regarding the use of deadly force will continue to be ignored despite the fact that an average of three Americans die at the hands of police officers every day.

  21. peter mcloughlin
    June 4, 2020 at 09:07

    And the narrative is that empires rise and empires fall – all for power. History is about the struggle for power. It’s led to two world wars. The US became the dominant hegemon after 1945. It now faces replacement by China. But can it be done without another world war? History suggests not.
    see: ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

    • rosemerry
      June 5, 2020 at 02:34

      The idea that there has to be a “leader” and that anyone with a different system if government is an enemy is a decision made by the USA for no benefit to the globe. Rivals can surely be expected, but there is no need to demonize them and assume they are an enemy. China has made it clear that it wants to succeed in helping its own people and has done so, remarkably well, if lifting so many out of poverty is a criterion. It seems that the USA would rather its majority remained deprived and the very rich rose higher as a goal, already succeeding.
      Russia also is not trying to dominate the USA-on the contrary is trying to keep peace possible, as we see with the GWBush/Trump decisions to destroy treaties allowing peaceful cooperation being opposed strongly by Russia.

  22. DW Bartoo
    June 4, 2020 at 08:00

    My appreciation to Consortium News for publidhing this Caitlin Johnstone piece.

    She very accurately describes the role of media and academia in pushing the official mythology of U$ exceptionalism and purity.

    As well as the wake up story that is becoming increasingly perceived.

    Those who imagine that U$ citizens can vote their way out of tyranny still cling to the first.

    Those who understand the truth of the latter must find the courage to convince others that the only way this society may right itself and have a sustainable future requires a massively different vision of what existence is about.

    It is not about concentrated wealth, power, or control, which are pathological.

    It is not about “more”.

    Who might dare imagine what society must really be “about”

    It that something which it just might be time to think and talk about?

  23. June 4, 2020 at 07:36

    I’ll bet that tens of millions of Americans see the bedtime story as accurate history, and they always will see it that way.

    Facts change nothing for ideologues or religious zealots or Patriots or any other crackpot group.

    Just look at Trump, the true believers’ ideal president.

    He sees things that aren’t there almost everywhere he looks.

    He saved millions of American lives during the pandemic.

    He’s saving democracy in Venezuela and other places he has put under siege.

    He sees hope for America’s economy by working to destroy the global one.

    He sees the pandemic’s first victim, China, as a villain.

    He is a brave leader even though he avoided military service with a scam.

    And here is one of America’s great problems: It is a strongly divided society, but, even worse, one of the divisions consists of total crackpots you can convince of nothing.

  24. Anonymous
    June 4, 2020 at 06:04

    Well written piece and an excellent point, but I cannot agree with the last part.

    This country can and will diagnose people who have not established a presence and do not have social standing as insane for believing that the bedtime story is just that – it’s quite common to claim that someone is suffering from a break with reality when they stop believing the lies.

    The empire is not truly losing control of the narrative. As long as sanity can be officially deemed as insanity, and as long as people can be deprived of liberty and property for this, the few who can continue to post things as you do will do so, but the many will not be able to follow – instead you will only be able to preach to the choir of those who can.

    • vinnieoh
      June 5, 2020 at 13:21

      “What does it mean, this Catch-eh 22?

      Milo Minderbinder rules.

    • Anonymous
      June 6, 2020 at 14:26

      How so?

  25. A Very Scare Person
    June 4, 2020 at 05:46

    Hello Caitlin.

    Years ago I spoke with you on social media about these topics, and pointed out the abject failure of electoral participation as a mechanism for change, and even pointed out that we, the people, have tried everything legal (marching, petitions, education) to bring about change for the better, for decades, and that no matter whom is in power… the empire just continues on the same trajectory.

    So I would like to ask you now, have you reassessed your non-violence position?
    Do you now understand that if any movement for change is to be successful, there must be a passive arm and an actively forceful arm from the people?
    The passive gets the credit, and the forceful gets the derision. Without the forceful threat of one, the other cannot succeed.
    If the rulers are not scared, the passive arm gets ignored. No marching or petitions matter, no voting matters, unless there is a threat from the people as well.

    I hope you understand, that when humanity is under existential threat from this power hierarchy, those who fight back, need your support too.


    • June 4, 2020 at 07:57

      Sorry, but electoral participation in America can change virtually nothing important.

      The problems are so much deeper.

      You are offered two choices from the establishment for each election.

      Both of them have the establishment seal-of-approval and are fully paid for.

      Voting either way gets you militarism, wars, brutal empire, plutocracy, and corruption.

      In fact, the one thing Trump’s defeat will accomplish, if he is defeated, is to give many Americans a deceptive sigh of relief and the reassurance that things are back to normal.

      Never examining what normal is: militarism, wars, brutal empire, plutocracy, and corruption.

      The system just gets a new temporary lease on life.

      Yes, Trump’s bellowing and foul language and ignorant threats will be gone, but Biden is a lifelong party hack, a supporter of every war and coup (he even assisted in one), a man proven to have a very high tolerance for corruption (in the DNC and in Ukraine), and he may even be a rapist (why won’t he take a simple polygraph to close the issue?).

      Some progress. Some democracy.

    • June 4, 2020 at 10:31

      Unfortunately, if the will of the people is to accept the status quo, which appears to be the case, violent protests only reinforce oppression.

      The real challenge is to change the will of the people which can’t be done by violent protests.

    • anon
      June 4, 2020 at 16:23

      John, AVSP seems to agree with you that duopoly elections would not change anything.

    • A Very Scared Person
      June 4, 2020 at 20:41

      W.R. Knight,

      Passive resistance, is the ideology of the punching bag, only humans are much more fragile.
      The manufactured consent inflicted on the people with lies, manipulation and bullying, is not to be considered the will of the people.

      When you say “violent protests only reinforce oppression” I think you are saying that the state is allowed to kill the people, and the people should not ‘make them do it’? That is what keeps domestic violence victims from changing their circumstances. That is what kept slaves in line. That is victim blaming.

      The real challenge is getting the indoctrinated to reject the ideology of the punching bag, and accept that violence is the only response the state has to the legitimate rage of the people at what is being done to them. We could say the state “made the people do it” when the people fight back. We could say a domestic abuser “made” the abused finally fight back.

      So many people, agree that there is no democracy, and only rule by lies and force. This indicates the state is completely illegitimate despotism, and if you know this, you know there will be no polite change from the powerful, ever. There will just be continuing and increasing oppression, leaving the people no choices but one – grovel or fight.

    • rosemerry
      June 5, 2020 at 02:46

      You must realize that there is no real representation of “ordinary humans” in the US system- all is decided by lobbies, money, selection of candidates by bodies like the DNC, suppression of votes (so many ways described by Greg Palast in his books and films) and the system itself is not designed to find people to elect who are part of the mainstream. This has worsened over the years as the SCOTUS now has no claims to work for justice for the majority, and Trump’s election and expected behavior in power were almost inevitable following the changes allowed under Obama to give extra power to the POTUS.

  26. Allan P.-E. Tolentino
    June 4, 2020 at 04:40

    Working people of other countries should protest and denounce their oppression by their US empire-collaborator governments and in solidarity with outraged Americans choking inside the belly of the beast. Now is an opportune time for working people of the world to unite and break their chains. Break the empire’s carotid and breathe freedom. Inshallah.

  27. Tom Kath
    June 4, 2020 at 01:35

    From an outsider’s perspective we can readily imagine that Californians, San Franciscans, Hawaiians, Alaskans, or Nashvillains, may be lovely people. The moment they identify as “Amuricans” however, they enforce laughter, inspire disgust, and deserve contempt.

    On the other hand, I see this very clearly as a CLASS struggle, same as Yellow Vests in France. Dispersing it into various different grievances like racial discrimination, women’s rights, or Climate Change, only helps a possible “divide and conquer” strategy.

    • Anonymous
      June 4, 2020 at 06:06

      Dismissing issues you are not personally interested in as grievances is about as self absorbed as it gets. The class struggle is real – and so are the other struggles.

    • June 4, 2020 at 10:35

      It is a class struggle. Classism, a word seldom heard, is stronger even than racism in the U.S. It is prevalent in every institution in the country.

    • Anonymot
      June 4, 2020 at 11:58

      What has been setting the stage for today is yesterday.

      Fear of the Other is as old as vertebrae on two legs. Here, Others have been blacks imported by whites. Somewhat less Asians imported by whites, but they kept to themselves in clusters. Less yet, Muslims, once protected by their small numbers. It can be territorial: who likes a Texan if you don’t live there; all Californians are beach bums, New Yorkers are loud-mouths, and Midwesterners are farmers of the past. Finally, American Indians made helpless by their defeat despite a few made wealthy by oil or gambling casinos.

      None of these groups will ever control the narrative, because they are just splinters of America, flailing splinters awake or asleep.

      All but the two Establishments and their immediate followers have not had, presently do not have, and will never have control of the narrative in the future, because this nation has proudly broken into pieces called “Victim”, for example, women (all abused, raped, bullied, or kept in closets of silence.) Then there is everyone who has been, is, or can be sold into believing that being in love or at least binding sex with their own gendre is easier than heterosexuality and given what each sex has become they may be right. Just being white, but voiceless and Whoops! you’re a victim; doubt it? Ask a black. Poverty is a group that is doomed, the ultra-rich are hated, the Middle Class “disappeared”, and the only hope to be heard is to acquire fame-by-vulgarity, whether actor, author, or a**whole.

      We have become voiceless even if we have the bullhorn or the microphone, because we are all victims in one or more splinters and those in control have tuned all victims out.

    • nobody special
      June 4, 2020 at 19:05

      Class struggle does not negate any of the other issues you mention. The ruling class narrative is to counterpose these issues. The divide and conquer strategy is used by those who try to tell us those issues you name are not in the interest of the working class, and that by fighting for those issues we somehow dilute working class struggles. Instead, I would propose that working class activists point out the need for a movement for socialism to advance those other causes.

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