If the propaganda engine of the U.S.-centralized empire ceased actively deceiving the public about the world, it would collapse immediately, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
By Caitlin Johnstone
The weirdest thing about the Biden administration tasking itself with the censorship of “disinformation” on social media is that the United States is the hub of a globe-spanning empire that is built upon a foundation of disinformation, maintained by disinformation, and facilitated by disinformation.
[Listen to a reading of this article.]
If the propaganda engine of the U.S.-centralized empire ceased actively deceiving the public about the world, it would collapse immediately. There would be mass unrest at home and abroad, status quo politics would be abandoned, alliances and coalitions would crumble, leaders official and unofficial would be ousted, and U.S. unipolar hegemony would end.
The only thing keeping this from happening is the vast amounts of wealth and energy which are poured into continuously deceiving the people of America and its allies about what’s really going on in their nations and political systems, and in the world as a whole. The aim is:
- Getting people to believe they live in separate, sovereign nations which function independently from one another, instead of member states within a single undeclared empire which moves as one unit on the international stage.
- Getting people to believe they control the fate of their nation via the democratic process, when in reality all large-scale politics are scripted puppet shows controlled by a plutocratic class who owns both the politicians and the media outlets which report on them.
- Getting people to believe they are part of a virtuous rules-based international order which opposes totalitarian regimes to spread freedom and democracy, instead of a tyrannical empire that works to destroy any nation which disobeys its dictates.
And above all, manufacturing the illusion that the oppressive, exploitative imperialist status quo is normal.
It’s not the big, famous lies like those which preceded the invasion of Iraq that make up the bulk of the adhesive holding the empire together, it’s the small, mundane lies we’re fed every single day by the plutocratic media. The ones which distort our worldview by half-truths, spins and omissions designed to normalize a status quo of murder, theft and ecocide.
This normalization happens in the way pundits and politicians treat any attempt to end wars or redress income inequality as freakish extremism and unrealistic fantasy, when in reality it’s the most sane and normal thing in the world and the only thing unrealistic about it is the fact that attempts to advance those agendas are always sabotaged by those same pundits and politicians.
The normalization also happens in the way endless wars, starvation deaths by U.S. sanctions, the looming threat of total extinction via climate collapse or nuclear war, rapidly exacerbating income inequality and increasing tyranny at home and abroad are not treated as newsworthy stories, while celebrity gossip and partisan bickering between AOC and Marjorie Taylor Greene makes headline news. Every day that the news media fail to report on the greatest horrors that the empire has unleashed on our world while focusing on vapid trivialities, they help normalize the horrors.
If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the U.S.-backed genocide in Yemen would be front-page news every day instead of something which gets a marginal mention once every few weeks. Every day that it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.
If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the fact that Americans are getting poorer and poorer while billionaires multiply their wealth during the pandemic would be brought front and center to everyone’s attention. Every day that it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.
If the mass media actually existed to share important information about the world, the fact that the U.S. military just spent trillions of dollars on a decades-long occupation of Afghanistan that accomplished nothing besides making horrible people rich and poor peoples’ lives more horrible would have been a national scandal. Every day that it isn’t, this outrageous abuse is normalized.
But the mass media do not exist to share important information about the world. They exist to share important disinformation about the world. If they did not do this, the same U.S. empire which is decrying the spread of disinformation today would collapse into its own footprint.
The U.S. empire is without exception the single most corrupt and destructive force on this planet, and it’s not even close. It is the very last institution on earth that should be in charge of deciding what online content is true and what is “disinformation”. Absolute dead last, without exaggeration.
Depraved institutions which lie constantly and have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century should not be the Ministry of Truth for the world’s online communication systems. This should be extremely obvious to everyone.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either Youtube, soundcloud, Apple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix, Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.
This article is from CaitlinJohnstone.com and re-published with permission.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
Please Support Our
Summer Fund Drive!
If there is a serious contender to counter both right winged parties in this country it needs to show it’s collective face.
Immediately wouldn’t be soon enough!
The Trump scourge has shown everyone that American politics can get out of control.
The dimocraps have shown that when this happens the only , supposed, opposing party cannot adequately address the situation because it is also owned by the big money in politics. As explained Ms. Johnstone’s brilliantly clear article above.
Make no mistake this condition will not last forever. Capitalism as currently prosecuted by the U.S. government, supported financially by those who own a corrupt stock market and banking industry and covered up by the U.S. mass media has been extremely effective squashing any and all serious opposition.
That said when politicians enjoy the level of funding currently available to candidates chosen by the two party ‘s leadership little will change without serious disruption of the two party system to ensure the peoples voices are heard instead of corp America’s.
The money has to be removed from electoral politics. New election laws and limits on available funding could do this.
Currently Biden and his dimocraps are virtually helpless because of conservative control of both parties. Both parties are guilty of dirty politics in the primary phase of this farce.
In a world where everyone who wishes to retire depends either on SSI which will not sustain the individual, and / or investments in the markets the message is clear. Many will not make it and the issue to watch is whether the death toll from being poor will similar to the results of Covid – 19 on the poor.
Spoiler Alert – the majority of Americans get poorer every passing day which in turn results in the already poor among us having their life styles in free fall. A short trip when society has forgotten and discarded these individuals. Considering the money this government wastes on pornographic wars the President and the Congress need to be held accountable.
This all seems to be obvious to the 12 who commented here before I submitted this.
Why is it we cannot seem to break this choke hold the Deep State has on us?
Hint – Maybe everyone involved in this fight on our side needs to become one voice. Any one have a better idea?
Thanks for having those facts at the ready. Yes – understand Bernays and P.T. Barnum and you know all you effectively need to know about contemporary US culture. Voila Trump; viola “serious” Uncle Joe.
Well, I certainly can’t disagree with this author. That anyone could or can speaks to the subject matter.
And to put a face on this story, Jamie Dimon is sweating bullets to save us from banking system malfeasance.
What a rightful outcry against daily flagrant abuses and oppression! Rarely have I read such clearly stated truths.
If there was not a million of selfish morals among us people, set up to justify narrowed views and doings but a morals actually based on reason as the fundamental mutual understanding of how everyday life should be performed, then there might come to grow some grassroots motion to take down the undertakers of a true civil life.
Another spot on assessment of our times, with nothing overstated. Thanks much.
I used to listen to Short Wave radio to get different points of view. But CBC, BBC, etc., mostly covered the same stories the same way. I suspect people raised similar ways think along the same lines, not some Giant Cosmic Conspiracy. There were truly alternative broadcasters, but they tended to be Neo-Nazis of various factions or Fundamentalist Protestants raving about the End of the World, any day now. The alternatives are not really better. I don’t what to do except stat away utopians of all sorts. They always end up having a Reign of Terror, trying to make people fit the theory. Tend my garden, I guess.
I would think every country either despotic or democratic operates in this fashion as to spinning the truth. Press secretaries are paid to lie (at least when they have to which is probably most of the time). I am sure you are aware of the term manufacturing consent. This is what the news does as well as the government.
The most amazing thing is that the elites believe their own propaganda!
I wish someone would ask this psaki if biden has ever “touched her hair”.
thank you again Caitlin I appreciate truth in reporting history.
I dont know what we do. they roughed up occupy. they are brutal on BLM, and we know they’ll shoot us down in the streets. some backwards states make it legal to run over protesters with a car. voting appears to make no difference. having reached out to elected officials by letter and then phone for help on a serious personal injury (loss of leg) by a swedish national tourist, I know they dont give a damn about us. they do not care!
so what do we do?
I was under the impression that there was a law in America in which it is illegal to propagandize (which is disinformation) the nation’s domestic audience? I know, being very aware that it is the “intelligence” agencies that control the information that we in Western/European countries get to hear and read about. Pravda went global in a local way. As a researcher, I know how deeply and broadly one has to search to find the truth. I never use media other than independent ones or research previously done by scholars I trust to be honest regardless of their personal preferences or politics.
Marie-France Germain, you speak of the Smith-Mundt Act, which was essentially gutted during the presidency of “constitutional scholar” Barack Obama.
On July 02, 2013, the Act was changed we were told, to update the Act to the realities of, basically, the internet and, as well to allow the U$ public to hear what the U$ government was telling other folks around the world.
The changes effectively dismantled the Act (as was intended).
The process was entirely and totally bipartisan.
Representatives. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Adam Smith (D-WA), together, presented their Bill to the House, and the rest is “history”.
The U$ government, from that date could, “legally”, propagandize the U$ public, as it had been doing, essentially since the beginning, but now with the shiny veneer of democratic wisdom, all for the people, for whom that government is to provide the people protection from predation, both from outside the country and within.
Of course, that government really does neither.
Nor is it democratic.
However, belief in exceptionalist fairy tales still seems to be the “order” of the day.
And, of course, the U$, government and people, being as pure and innocent as the driven snow, are beset with Evil Monsters everywhere.
Propaganda, a large dose of fear-mongering, and the profit motive ensure that “information” will be “sexed up” to fit the needs of Full Spectrum Dominance, political/elite expediency, and the continuing impoverishment of the many.
Edward Bernays would love it.
(He is a real American Hero, by the way,)
He told (advertised, scientifically) and convinced American women that they had a right to smoke and should regard each cigarette they lit to be a “freedom flare” and “a torch) for equality.
“Propaganda” is just another word for “public relations” and good old honest advertising.
It is as American as Apple Pie.
As nutritious as Mama’s Milk.
Yet it can be subtle, and quite ubiquitous.
You learn something new every day. I had never heard of this bill. For those of you who don’t know about it hXXps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith%E2%80%93Mundt_Act