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The biggest and most widespread blind spot among those who oppose totalitarian control by the powerful is the assumption that it has not already been achieved.

We’ve been so busy watching out for the next overtly totalitarian dictatorship that wants to put the jackboot on our necks we never noticed the covert totalitarians sliding the shackles around our minds.

Everyone thinks about the abusers who beat their spouses, but not the abusers who dominate their spouses’ minds with psychological manipulation.

Everyone thinks about psychopathic killers prowling the streets, but not the…


Steve and Joe were at the bar one night when things became heated between them, as they often do.

“Oh no, not again with you two,” yelled the bartender when a stool got knocked over. “Take it outside!”

The two men took their exit accompanied by other patrons. Steve looked at a third man named Bill, then threw a punch at Joe.

Before Joe could strike back, Bill snuck up behind him and pinned his arms to his side with a bear hug. …


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It says a lot that AOC wasn’t even able to vote against an Israeli apartheid measure that everyone already knew would pass regardless of her vote.

I mean, how far gone is your progressive revolution if you’re not even allowed to have a perfectly safe performative “no” vote? If even the illusion of opposition is banned?

People say, “Why pick on AOC when other lawmakers are way worse?”

They’re not worse, they just perform different functions. The Manchins and Sinemas kill leftward movement openly, the AOCs encourage the left to…


A lot has changed for Victorians since the lockdowns started. Our lifestyles. Our waist sizes. The kinds of things we see as normal.

And a lot has changed in Victoria itself since we’ve been in lockdown as well. For example, have you seen our police lately?

If memory serves, they used to look something like this:


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Some people think humility means thinking of yourself as lowly and inferior, but that’s not right.

Evangelical Christian author Rick Warren attempts to correct this misperception with the famous saying, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

But that’s not really it either.

True humility is the realization that the very thing you’ve come to think of as your “self” is an entirely illusory construct.

If you examine your actual experience, it’s impossible to find any solid, tangible thing that could rightly be called…


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There’s a quote from an ancient Buddhist text called the Dhammapada that’s often translated as, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

In other words our mental habits shape our personality and determine how that personality will behave, and that behavior contributes to the shaping of the world.

We see a similar line in the Upanishads of Hinduism: “As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will…


Listen to a reading of “Crazy”:

They’ll make you poor,
then shame you for being poor,
then push you into a job that keeps you poor
at a billionaire megacorporation.

They’ll make you crazy,
then shame you for being crazy,
then sell you the cure for crazy
at eighty bucks a pill.

You’re a failure if you can’t make ends meet
on impossible wages at an impossible cost of living
with a worthless degree you will never pay off no matter how hard you work
while advertisers blare at you about your insufficiencies,
while the news man tells…


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The fact that our world is hurtling toward man-made obliteration on multiple fronts should probably occupy more of our conversational bandwidth than it does.

My basic overall position is that humanity is about to end itself via climate chaos or nuclear war due to global capitalism and oligarchic imperialism, that propaganda prevents people from rising up to stop this, and our only path out is a mass-scale psychological transformation.

If you’ve ever been curious why I don’t write more about this or that subject, it’s usually because the above is…


Listen to a reading of this poem:

The frogs are dropping dead in Australia, and no one knows why.
They get sick from some strange new frog pandemic and change colors
and shrivel up into little brown frog mummies when they die.

The frogs are dropping dead in Australia.
Animals are dropping dead everywhere.
Ocean animals wash up packed full of plastic,
insect animals fall from the sky,
and we barely notice, because it hurts enough to be human,
because our tender little hearts were punched and kicked as children
by big people whose tender little hearts were punched and kicked as children,
and we’ve…


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The Pentagon has finally admitted to the long-obvious fact that it killed ten Afghan civilians, including seven children, in an airstrike in Kabul last month.

In an article with the obscenely propagandistic title “Pentagon acknowledges Aug. 29 drone strike in Afghanistan was a tragic mistake that killed 10 civilians,” the New York Times pats itself on the back for its investigative journalism showing that the so-called “ISIS-K facilitator” targeted in the strike was in fact an innocent aid worker named Zemari Ahmadi:

“The general acknowledged that a New York Times investigation…

Caitlin Johnstone

I write about the end of illusions.

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