People Will Never, Ever Rebel As Long As They’re Successfully Propagandized

By Caitlin Johnstone

April 01, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – Our predicament is simple to describe.

Since the dawn of civilization, powerful individuals have controlled the stories people tell themselves about who they are, who’s in charge, how a good citizen behaves, what groups should be loved, what groups should be hated, and what’s really going on in the world. When you study what we call history, you’re mostly just reading the ancient proto-propaganda of whatever kingdom happened to win the last war during that period of time. When you study what we call religion, you’re mostly reading stories that were advanced by ancient governments explaining why the people should be meek, forgiving taxpayers instead of rising up and killing their wealthy exploiters.

This continues to this day. We fill our children’s heads with lies about how the world works, how the government works, how the media works, and, on a deeper level, how their own consciousness works, and the entire process is shaped to funnel power toward the people who control our stories. The modern schooling system was largely formed by John D Rockefeller, widely considered the wealthiest person in modern history, in order to create generations of docile gear-turners for the industrial plutocratic machine. Modern schooling is essentially mainstream media in a building; it promotes authorized narratives day in and day out to ensure that children will have a reaction of cognitive dissonance and rejection when confronted with information which contradicts those narratives.

This funnels the populace seamlessly into the narrative control matrix of adulthood, where childhood indoctrination into mainstream narratives lubricates the way for continual programming of credulous minds with mass media propaganda. All the print, TV and online media they are presented with supports the status quo-supporting agendas of the same plutocratic class that John D Rockefeller dominated all those years ago. This ensures that no matter how bad things get, no matter how severely our spirits are crushed by end-stage metastatic neoliberalism, no matter how many stupid, pointless wars we’re duped into, no matter how much further we are drawn along the path toward extinction via climate chaos or nuclear war, we will never revolt to overthrow our rulers.

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That’s three paragraphs. Our predicament is simple to describe and easy to understand. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to solve.

Everyone has at some point known someone in some kind of an abusive relationship, whether it be with a partner, a family member, or a job, and we all know that helpless feeling of being unable to help someone who refuses to walk away from the source of their abuse.

“Just leave him!” we say in exasperation. “The door’s right there! It’s not locked!”

But it’s never that simple. It’s never that simple because, although the abusee is indeed physically capable of walking out the door, the thoughts that are in their head keep them from choosing that option.

This is because no abuser is simply violent or cruel: they are also necessarily manipulative. If they weren’t manipulative, there wouldn’t be any “abusive relationship”; there’d just be someone doing something horrible one time, followed by a hasty exit out the door. There can’t be an ongoing relationship that is abusive unless there’s some glue holding the abusee in place, and that glue always consists primarily of believed narrative.

“I didn’t mean it. I love you. I just get frustrated sometimes because of your stupidity.”

“You can’t leave; you’ll never make it out there on your own. You need me.”

“I’m the only one who’ll ever be there for you. Nobody else will ever love you because you’re so disgusting.”

“Your children need their father. You have to stay.”

“I need you! I’ll die without you!”

“I’m not doing that. You’re paranoid and crazy.”

“Your inability to forgive me means something is wrong with you.”

They seldom say it so overtly, because if they did its malignancy would be easy to spot, but those are the ideas which get subtly implanted into the abusee’s head day after day after day by way of skillful manipulation.

“It’s her own fault for staying,” someone will inevitably say.

No it isn’t. Not really. The abuser is at fault for the overt abuse, and the abuser is also at fault for the psychological manipulations which keep the abusee in place in spite of terrible cruelty. It’s all one thing, and it’s entirely the abuser’s fault.

Humanity’s predicament is the same. I often hear revolutionary-minded thinkers voicing frustration at the mainstream public for choosing to stay within this transparently abusive dynamic instead of rising up and forcing change, and yes, it is self-evident that the citizenry could easily use its vastly superior numbers to do that if it collectively chose to. The door is right there. It’s not even locked.

But the people aren’t failing to choose the door because they love being abused, they’re failing to choose the door because they’ve been manipulated into not choosing it. From cradle to grave they’re pummeled with stories telling them that this is the only way things can be, in exactly the same way a battered wife or a cult member are pummeled with stories about how leaving is impossible.

The difficulty of our times is not that we are locked up; we aren’t. The difficulty is that far too many of us are manipulated into choosing a prison cell over freedom.

The fact of the matter is that a populace will never rise up against its oppressors as long as it is being successfully propagandized not to. It will never, ever happen. The majority will choose the prison cell every time.

You’d expect that more dissident thinking would be pouring into solving this dilemma, but not much is. People talk about elections and political strategies, they talk about who has the most correct ideology, they talk about rising up and seizing the means of production due to unacceptable material conditions, they wax philosophical about the tyranny of the state and the immorality of coercion, but they rarely address the elephant in the room that you can’t get a populace to oust the status quo when they do not want to.

Nothing will ever be done about our predicament as long as powerful people are controlling the stories that the majority of the public believe. This is as true today as it was in John D Rockefeller’s time, which was as true as when Rome chose to spread the “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” submissiveness of Christianity throughout the Empire. The only difference is that now the powerful have a century of post-Bernays propaganda science under their belt, and a whole lot of research and development can happen in a hundred years.

So what’s the solution? How do you awaken a populace that is not just manipulated into choosing its prison cell every time, but is also manipulated into believing that any suggestion that they’re in a prison cell is a crazy conspiracy theory?

Well, what do you do when a loved one is in an abusive relationship? It never works to shake them and scream “You’re being abused!”; that just causes them to tighten up and dig in deeper with their abuser’s narratives about how this is the only way things can be and anyone who says otherwise is crazy. What works is to lovingly help that sovereign spark within them gather evidence that the narratives they’re being fed by their abuser are lies. Point out every time where reality contradicts the stories they’ve been told. Weaken their trust in the old stories while strengthening their confidence in their own perception and their sense of entitlement and worthiness. Help them to see that they’re being lied to, and that they deserve better.

This breaking of trust needs to happen within the respective partisan echo chambers of those who are being propagandized. It’s useless to increase the distrust of CNN and MSNBC among Trump’s base, for example, but it’s very useful to increase their distrust in right-wing narratives. It’s useless to increase Democrats’ distrust in Trump and Fox News, but it’s very useful to get them skeptical of the narrative control machine they’ve been plugged into. Each head of the two-headed one-party system needs to be attacked in a way that makes sense inside each of its respective echo chambers.

Mostly, though, what we need is we need is for more thinkers to be more focused on the real problem. I know some influential minds read this blog; if they can help seed the idea out among the movers and shakers of dissident thought that propaganda is our first and foremost problem, we just might get somewhere. We need a major shift of focus onto the narrative control matrix and the obstacle that it poses to revolution, and everyone can help shift us there in their own way.

The propaganda machine won’t be adequately disrupted without intensive effort, and until it is we’re going to keep selecting the prison cell every time.

Caitlin’s articles are 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, throwing some money into her hat on Patreon or Paypalor buying her book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers

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 The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Reuters Confirms That Bolton Torpedoed the Hanoi Summit

By Mike Whitney

April 01, 2019 “Information Clearing House” – An explosive report by Reuters confirms that John Bolton sabotaged the denuclearization talks between Kim Jong un and Donald Trump in Hanoi in February. According to a March 29 exclusive by journalists Lesley Wroughton and David Brunnstrom:

“Donald Trump handed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a piece of paper” demanding that Kim surrender all of his “nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States.” Trump also added a number of unrelated demands including “fully dismantling” all “chemical and biological warfare program(s)…. and ballistic missiles, launchers, and associated facilities.” Trump surprised Kim by demanding complete, unilateral disarmament in exchange for a flimsy promise to lift economic sanctions sometime in the future. Naturally, Kim rejected the offer.

Here’s more from the same article:

“The document appeared to represent Bolton’s long-held and hardline “Libya model” of denuclearization that North Korea has rejected repeatedly….North Koreans rejected Bolton’s repeated demands for it to follow a denuclearization model under which components of Libya’s nuclear program were shipped to the United States in 2004.

Seven years after a denuclearization agreement was reached between the United States and Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, the United States took part in a NATO-led military operation against his government and he was overthrown by rebels and killed” (“Exclusive: With a piece of paper, Trump called on Kim to hand over nuclear weapons”,Reuters)

Bolton presented Kim with an offer he knew Kim would reject, the same offer that led to the destruction of Libya and the savage murder of Gaddafi. Bolton wanted the talks to fail so he could push for tougher sanctions that would pave the way for regime change. That was his goal. Kim’s nuclear weapons were never the target, they were merely the pretext for intensifying the economic strangulation, the relentless belligerence and the threats of war.

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But why would Trump agree to go along with this fraud? And why has Trump deployed more troops to Syria while green-lighting Israel to annex the Golan Heights?

Is there a connection between Trump’s (recent) foreign policy reversals and the termination of the Mueller investigation? Did Trump make a deal with his deep state antagonists to get Mueller off his back?

It’s hard to say, but there was no reason for Mueller to wrap up the investigation. The probe was doing exactly what it was supposed to do: Create a 4th branch of government that was empowered to hector, harass and indict anyone it chose in order to keep the administration on the defensive, derail any effort to normalize relations with Russia, and undermine the legitimacy and moral authority of the president. Why would Mueller give up all that if it wasn’t part of some undisclosed Grand Bargain?

He wouldn’t.

On a personal level, Trump trusts Kim which is why he probably wanted to cut a deal. An article in last week’s Korea’s Hankyoreh news supports this view. Check it out:

“During the North Korea-US summit in Hanoi last month, US President Donald Trump reportedly had a positive perspective on relaxing sanctions on North Korea provided that there was a “snapback” clause that would reinstate sanctions if the North failed to implement its agreement. North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made this statement during a briefing to foreign diplomats in Pyongyang on Mar. 15, but her full remarks hadn’t been made public until now.

According to the text of Choe’s remarks released on Mar. 25, she said, “When we made a practical proposal in the talks, President Trump adopted the flexible position that an agreement would be possible if a clause was added stating that the sanctions could be reinstated if North Korea resumed nuclear activities after the sanctions were lifted.” But Choe went on to say that, “because of their continuing hostility and mistrust, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Advisor John Bolton created obstacles to the two leaders’ efforts to have constructive negotiations, and ultimately the summit didn’t produce meaningful results.”

. … According to Choe’s statement … the two leaders appear to have explored the possibility of trading Yongbyon’s shutdown for partial sanctions relief. … Choe’s remarks imply that the ultimate reason the summit concluded without an agreement was because of resistance from Pompeo and Bolton.” (“Trump responded positively to relaxing sanctions with “snapback clause” during Hanoi summit”, Hankyoreh News)

The Hankyoreh article corroborates much of what is stated in the Reuters piece. Both articles acknowledge that the nuclear talks were scuppered by Bolton.

The media has consistently misled its readers about what actually took place at Hanoi and who should ultimately be held responsible for its failure. According to CNN:

“Kim had demanded total sanctions relief upfront in exchange for only partial denuclearization, leaving the two sides at an impasse….(Wrong) Trump cast his decision to walk away as evidence that he will not accept a bad deal, (Wrong) but the abrupt conclusion of his much-ballyhooed second summit nonetheless amounted to the most stinging setback yet in his effort to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization through direct talks with its leader…. (Wrong, it wasn’t a setback, it was deliberate.)

More than anything, the failure to produce results during the second summit called into question the personality-driven diplomacy that has been at the core of Trump’s effort to end the North Korean nuclear threat.” (Wrong, again) (“Takeaways from the Trump-Kim Hanoi summit”, CNN)

None of this is true. The meetings didn’t fail because of Trump’s “personality-driven diplomacy”. They failed because Bolton deliberately blew them up. That’s what happened. As one would expect, virtually everything CNN tries to pass off as evenhanded, thoroughly-researched journalism is nothing more than misleading gobbledygook served up by political activists. (The dismal Hanoi coverage helps to show that the Trump-collusion fiction was not a “one off”, but a critical feature of media policy which aims to shape the news according to the political agenda of elites.)

But if the Trump administration is unwilling to honestly negotiate with the North, then how can Kim possibly move forward with his plan to establish peaceful relations with his friends in the South and his allies in the region?

The only way forward for Kim is to bypass the Trump administration altogether and strengthen relations with those who will help him achieve his strategic objectives. He must show that he is a trustworthy partner who is willing to continue along the path of denuclearization regardless of the obstacles and provocations created by the United States. He must continue to seek the input of leaders in Beijing, Moscow and Seoul and prove to them that he is unwaveringly committed to ridding the peninsula of its nuclear weapons in the interests of peace and security. Kim must welcome international weapons inspectors to monitor the decommissioning of his nuclear arsenal and his nuclear enrichment plants. He must increase the frequency of his visits to Seoul where his public approval ratings have skyrocketed and where his efforts for peace and reunification are applauded by nearly 80% of the people. He must “promote his own denuclearization timetable” and present his case to the UN Security Council for review. He must convince the public that he will not backtrack on his ironclad commitment to dialogue, cooperation, economic integration and peace.

According to Hankyoreh News, Kim’ Jong un’s chief of staff and protocol officer made a secret trip to Moscow last week “fueling speculation that Kim Jong-un may be about to pay a visit to Russia.” At the same time, a senior national security official (Kim Hyun-chong) from South Korea visited Russia as well.

Can you see what’s going on? What these secret meetings suggest is that regional leaders are now developing a “post-Hanoi” strategy that will take into account Kim’s eagerness to cooperate and Washington’s obstinate rejection of any policy that does not further enhance its own vicious grip on power. The Trump team is no longer in the loop. Regional bigwigs are taking matters into their own hands and moving forward.

As we pointed out in an earlier piece, Kim is neither a firebrand nor ideological. He is a contemporary man who who wants to make his own mark on the world, lead his country into the modern era, and join the coalition of nations that are fast becoming the biggest trading block in history.

Here’s how author John Delury summed it up in a recent op-ed in the New York Times:

“Mr. Kim wants to be a great economic reformer…(He wants to) shift the regime’s focus, from security to prosperity….He wants North Korea to … catch up with and integrate into the region, and it’s in everyone’s interest to help him do so…”(“Kim Jong-un Has a Dream. The U.S. Should Help Him Realize It”, New York Times)

Mike Whitney  lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at

This article was originally published by UNZ Review” –

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It’s sad to see US diplomacy reduced to ultimatums and sanctions – Lavrov

Note To ICH Community

We ask that you assist us in dissemination of the article published by ICH to your social media accounts and post links to the article from other websites.

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Peace and joy

 The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.