Erasing History To Own Putin: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Saturday, 19 March 2022 — Caitlin Johnson

by Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to a reading of this article:

It enrages me that “westsplaining” is a word now. Fuck off you ridiculous NPR-addled shitbrains. The absolute gall to protect a murderous globe-dominating empire from criticism and accountability for its non-stop meddling and oppression using words disguised to sound like social justice jargon. Fuck you.

“This war had nothing to do with NATO! They weren’t even gonna add Ukraine to NATO!”

Okay then why not simply guarantee that to Russia and avoid a horrific war with limitless potential to escalate?

“They just- well you just can’t give in to Putin. Not even on imaginary stuff.”

Really? ‘Not giving in to Putin’ as purely a matter of principle is something that’s worth thousands of lives and potentially risking nuclear war?

“Yes. You make concessions on one imaginary thing and next thing you know he’s demanding we emancipate the leprechauns.”

Are you quite sure that’s true? Because it sounds like bullshit. Are you quite sure the threat to add Ukraine to NATO wasn’t actively reified in numerous ways by western powers with the goal of provoking Russia into a war that could be exploited to topple Moscow?

“Shut up.”

Your government is bad so you didn’t go to space. https://t.co/6Kgzo7abnB

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) March 19, 2022

Putin is bad so Yuri Gagarin didn’t go to space and Tchaikovsky wasn’t a good composer and Dostoevsky was a lousy writer and Sputnik was designed by Lockheed Martin and Anton Chekhov was Welsh and Khabib Nurmagomedov was born in Minnesota.

There’s nothing wrong in Ukraine that a little US military interventionism couldn’t make much, much worse.

One of the many reasons the US sucks at winning wars despite its reputation is that a for-profit military system is as efficient and cost-effective as a for-profit healthcare system. Worse really, since trillions of dollars could never go unaccounted for in the Department of Health and Human Services.

It’s a lot harder to win wars when your military doesn’t exist for that purpose, but exists rather to generate profits. So the USA’s massively bloated military budget is not a great indication of how powerful its military actually is. They’re quite literally not getting much bang for their buck.

The US empire’s real might lies in its tactics of economic and financial manipulation, and even more in its unparallelled system of international narrative control. The way it uses Silicon Valley, Hollywood and the oligarchic media to manipulate public thought is unprecedented. This is what I’m pointing to when I say people tend to overestimate the power of the US war machine and underestimate the power of the US propaganda machine.

The strongest argument against the US empire’s proxy war activities in Ukraine is not Nazis, nor biolabs, nor rising gas prices, but the fact that it is bringing the human species ever closer to an extinction-level event after which nothing else will matter.

Those who deny that the brinkmanship between the US and Russia is putting us at unacceptable and ever-increasing risk of nuclear war are simply psychologically compartmentalizing away from the horrifying facts. The source of their claim is their own cognitive dissonance.

“X has to be true because the alternative is too horrifying to contemplate” is not a legitimate position to have on a very important issue. Get honest with yourself, man.

I found out about nuclear war in about ’84, when I was around nine. I snuck out of bed to watch TV and my parents were watching a dystopian flick called “Threads”. After about five minutes, I legged it back to bed, my heart thumping in my throat. In many ways, that was the end of my childhood.

For years after, the possibility of nuclear holocaust loomed over my little head with every passing plane. It ruined everything. Eventually though I found ways to reframe the threat, disassociate from the anxiety. Compartmentalizing away until it didn’t feel like a thing anymore.

It’s still a thing though. It’s a thing more than ever.

Cowardly people would say I “grew up”, which is a projection. Honest people would say I put in place some coping strategies that were helpful as a child, but no longer useful as an adult. Courageous people have eschewed those strategies in themselves already.

I am no longer a powerless child who has no say in what happens, I’m a grown-ass adult who can do something about it. To keep those layers of comfortable dissociation and soothing reframes in place is not only dishonest, it’s cowardice. Feel the fear and face the facts, even though it’s hard.

Whenever you see someone dismiss the very real possibility of nuclear annihilation, you are seeing a child telling you the fairytales they use to get to sleep at night. As cute as that may be, it’s also what keeps this from being seen, which is what keeps the madness in place.

Remember that kid though? Remember how you just wanted some adults to stop being crazy, and stop making those stupid things? You wanted an adult to stand up and make it right? You can be that adult now. You should be that adult now. You owe it to your little self.

That you are is much more interesting than how you are. You could be nothing. Instead you’re a giant-brained biped that gets to walk around and look at things and think abstract thoughts. That’s light years more interesting and impressive than, like, having a university degree or being good at the stock market.

That giant leap from being nothing to being a sentient ape mutant is much, much more vast than the relatively insignificant click from being unemployed to being a millionaire. If you just spend your life really being here, truly relishing this gift, then that’s a life well spent.

An entity that’s never gotten to be a human would be much more impressed with humanness itself than with the specifics of what a given human has achieved and whether it has won the approval of its parents. Just be human. Just be here. Look. Listen. Breathe. Be.

This is amazing.

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