The Oligarchic Empire Is Actually Easy to Understand

A globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the U.S. orchestrates murder at mass scale to ensure perpetual domination. Caitlin Johnstone says it’s that simple.  

Aerial view of Pentagon at night. (Joe Lauria)

By Caitlin Johnstone

[Listen to a reading of this article.]

If you’re like me and spend entirely too much time on Political Twitter you may have recently observed a bunch of people saying you shouldn’t post your opinion about the Afghanistan situation unless you’re an expert who has studied the nation’s dynamics in depth. Like an empire invading a nation and murdering a bunch of people for decades is some super complicated and esoteric matter that you need a PhD to have an opinion about.

You see fairly simple abuses framed as highly complicated issues all the time by people who defend those abuses. War. Israeli apartheid. My abusive ex used to go around telling people what happened between us was more complicated than I was making it sound.

In 2018, John Bolton, before becoming the national security adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, faced a contentious interview on Fox News where he was criticized for his role in former U.S. President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and he responded that “the point I think you need to understand is, life is complicated in the Middle East. When you say ‘the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a mistake,’ it’s simplistic.”

Bolton is now among the “experts” on Afghanistan doing mainstream media tours on CNN and NPR explaining to the public that the decision to end the 20-year military occupation was a mistake.

Yeah, don’t you worry your pretty little heads about war. It will just confuse you, because it’s far too complicated to understand. These important matters should be left to men like John Bolton, who are consistently wrong about every foreign policy issue.

Carefully Promoted Idea 

This carefully promoted idea serves only the powerful, and entirely too many people buy into it. You’ll even see dedicated leftists shying away from commentary on Western imperialism in favor of domestic policy because they don’t feel confident talking about something they’ve been trained to believe is very difficult and complex.

Which is silly, because war is actually the easiest aspect of the oligarchic empire to understand. Murdering people with military explosives for power and profit is plainly wrong. You don’t need to be an Ivy League university graduate to understand this, and given the track record of Ivy League university graduates on this matter it’s probably better if you are not. A globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States orchestrates murder at mass scale to ensure perpetual domination of the planet. It really is that simple.

Now, you can spend the rest of your life studying the details of precisely how this is the case, but they’re just that: details about how this dynamic is taking place. You can learn all about the various ways the oligarchic empire advances its geostrategic agendas using wars, proxy conflicts, coups, sanctions, special ops, cold war brinkmanship and the so-called war on terror, but you will only be discovering further details about this simple overarching truth.

And the same is true of the other aspects of the status quo power structure: they’re meant to look complicated, but what you actually need to know about them to orient yourself in our world is fairly simple.

The systems of capitalism are very complex by design, and a tremendous amount of thievery happens in those mysterious knowledge gaps on financial and economic matters where only the cleverest manipulators understand what’s going on. But the basics of our problem are quite simple: money rewards and uplifts sociopathy. The more willing you are to do whatever it takes to become wealthy, the wealthier you will be. Those who rise to the top are those who are sufficiently lacking in human empathy to step on whoever they need to step on to get ahead.

As a result, we’ve had many generations of wealthy sociopaths using their fortunes and clout to influence governmental, media, financial and economic systems in a way that advantages them more and more with each passing year. This is why we are ruled by sociopaths who understand that money is power and power is relative, which means the less money everyone else has the more power they get to have over everyone else. They’ve been widening the wealth gap further and further over the years, a trend they seek to continue with the so-called Great Reset you’ve been hearing so much about lately.

You can spend the rest of your life learning to follow the money, studying the dynamics of currency, banking and economics, but what you’ll be learning is more and more details about the way the dynamic I just described is taking place. 

Sociopaths rise to the top, the most powerful of whom understand that things like money, governments and the lines drawn between nations are all collective narrative constructs which can be altered in whatever way benefits them and ignored whenever it’s convenient. For this reason controlling the stories the public tell themselves about what’s going on in their world is of paramount importance, which is why so much wealth gets poured into buying up media and media influence in the form of advertising, funding think tanks and NGOs, and buying up politicians with campaign contributions and corporate lobbying.

These powerful sociopaths tend to form loose alliances with each other and with the heads of government agencies as often as possible since it’s always easier to move with power than against it. So, what you get is an alliance of depraved oligarchs with no loyalty to any nation using powerful governments as tools to bomb, bully and plunder the rest of the world for their own power and profit, and using mass-scale media psyops to keep the public from rising up and stopping them.

And that’s it, really. So simple it can be summed up in a few paragraphs. Don’t let elitists use the illusion of complexity to cow you out of talking about what’s going on in your world. You can see what’s going on well enough to begin speaking out, and the more you learn the more detailed the picture will become.

Speak. You are infinitely more qualified to comment on the way power is moving in the world than the people who’ve been consistently wrong about everything throughout their entire careers yet remain widely platformed by the oligarchic media. If John Bolton gets a voice, so do you.

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 YoutubesoundcloudApple 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 MatrixRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

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

15 comments for “The Oligarchic Empire Is Actually Easy to Understand

  1. E Wright
    August 23, 2021 at 09:41

    Preaching to the converted of course. But what to do about it? I find that many of the liberal/social movements in the West have been hijacked by identity politics which re-focus from the essential strategies which need to be formulated to reduce the power, essentially of joint stock companies. Surely a re-alignment of workers and shareholders rights (workers and capital – but scary words for Americans) is the way forward. If the Chinese press is to be believed this is what the PRC is about to attempt – lets see how it plays out. Money (corruption) is a powerful enemy.

  2. August 22, 2021 at 09:48

    If I am not remembering incorrectly Bolton was the man who made a mafia threat to one of the honest inspectors of the faked chemical bomb in Syria. He said ” We know where your family live” A man lie that should not be allowed to appear in public at all.

    • Piotr Berman
      August 23, 2021 at 05:36

      That threat was issued to the head of OPCW, Jose Bustani, because he was arranging inspections that could prove OR DISPROVE that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq possesses chemical weapons in 2002. Bustani was removed from his position after a secret “contentious” debate and 48-7-43 (for, against, abstain) vote that happen one year after Bustani was reinstated UNANIMOUSLY. What threats and arguments were issued to the delegates remains secret, but we know well what they could be. The blackmail machine build by the Empire is extensive and indeed, complex, it takes an idiot like Bolton to make its existence obvious. One of his projects was to sanction Cuba for the development of BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS on the basis of Cuba purchasing materials for vaccine development (dual use!) The shouting and berating intelligence officers who were “cautious” lead to complaints about Bolton, and thus he was then approved as US representative to UN g_r_u_d_g_i_n_g_l_y.

        August 23, 2021 at 09:34

        The threats weren’t secret. Bustani described them himself in this interview.



  3. Bob
    August 22, 2021 at 07:13

    «You don’t need to be an Ivy League university graduate to understand this, and given the track record of Ivy League university graduates on this matter it’s probably better if you are not»
    Love it.
    «The results of higher education» F. Zappa would’ve said

  4. Larry McGovern
    August 21, 2021 at 16:37

    Ms. Johnstone’s comments about the importance of the the corporate controlled Mainstream Media hit the nail on the head. Part of that process also involves the Intelligence Community’s influence on the media. Bill Casey, Ronald Reagan’s Director of the CIA stated in the first White House cabinet meeting in 1981″ “We’ll know when out disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believe is false.” Oh how that has come to be true!

  5. Daniel Slade
    August 21, 2021 at 15:37

    This is a fantastic article. It is 100% correct which means you will never see it or it’s author oo Mass Media controlled by Giant Corporations. I am a terrible typist . Please excuse the errors.

  6. bells of shandon
    August 21, 2021 at 07:22

    Afghanistan was all about Lithium deposits for car batteries and the 4th Industrial Revo;ution. Afghanistan has the biggest deposits of rare earth minerals in the world.
    Oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan thru to China via Xinjiang province, Also to Pakistan and on to India
    ,Afghanistan is the hub of the wheel of the Heartlands of Central Asia, and borders Iran, China, Pakistan and the’Stans.
    It will be an essential route for the New Silk Roads, which by-pass the choke hold of the US Carrier Groups on the Maritime routes.
    The fall of Afghanistan also ends the CIA dominance of the Opium/Heroin ratlines and cuts off their ‘Black ops ‘ funding, plus the payola to many figures in Washington.
    The fall of Kabul signals the end of US Empire, the US$ as Reserve currency and hopefully a modicum of peace in the world.
    Be prepared for US proxy forces attacks on pipelines and other targets , probably by CIA activated Uygurs from Xinjiang.
    Big victory for the hidden hands behind the New Taliban, (China , Russia ,Pakistan)
    End od Western dominance and rise of the East, momentous times in History.

    • E Wright
      August 23, 2021 at 09:55

      I read it differently. In the internal wars between the Pentagon and the CIA, the CIA won. They are now free to re-direct their resources into picking quarrels and causing trouble along the Chinese border. The northern Stans will now be a focus for subversion. Attempts to disrupt the Belt and Road Project will be a major component of this (as you said). The CIA aren’t too worried about Pakistan’s support for China because India keeps them busy. As for China filling the gap left by the Coalition of the Willing, they’ll be very careful not to become embroiled. Luckily for them, their mutual border is relatively short in length. It does give them a supply line though, should they ever need it.

  7. CNfan
    August 20, 2021 at 23:26

    Ultra-wealthy predators. Buy, blackmail, intimidate. Divide and conquer.

  8. Tom
    August 20, 2021 at 19:53

    Power corrupts, it’s nice to think that oneself would do better but I suppose you need to be a gang to get anywhere and then things just go a bit… you know…. Weird.

  9. August 20, 2021 at 19:10

    Caitlin Johnstone’s piece is accurate, of course, and all the more important for focusing on the simplicity of domination.

  10. rosemerry
    August 20, 2021 at 16:54

    Vijay Prashad has dozens of interviews where he clearly explains that none of the USA’s disastrous destructive “humanitarian ” interventions is a “mistake”, but is perfectly designed to further the USA’s corporate agenda, and it has worked every time. “Washington Bullets” is his latest book, and there are several youtube interviews worth seeing. Check out the profits of the “defense” corporations to see the evidence.

    • zhenry
      August 20, 2021 at 21:29

      Thankyou Caitlin J we all need the confirmation of the obvious, the branches of the tree, the main structure of action which is not always obvious; the corporate media like to lose us and obstruct us with closeups of ‘the leaves’.

    • DW Bartoo
      August 21, 2021 at 11:10

      Well said truth, rosemerry.

      U$ “Defense” corporate stocks over the past twenty years:

      Lockheed Martin: 1,236% return.

      Northrop Grumman: 1,196% return.

      Boeing: 975% return.

      General Dynamic: 625% return.

      Raytheon: 331% return;

      Clearly, war-profiteering with the Stock Market, is a most wonderful way to keep one’s hands clean in the process of making a murderous “killing”.

Comments are closed.