Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readAug 12, 2018


People try to tell me that there is no hope. That the status quo is too fully locked in. That the sociopathic manipulators who are driving our species toward war, ecocide and Orwellian dystopia are just too powerful and too good at what they do. That people are too stupid, lazy and deeply asleep to ever have any hope of waking up to what’s going on and throwing off the mechanisms of manipulation and control so that they can turn things around before it’s too late.

Every day people try to tell me this. I talk every day about how fucked things are, and people seldom if ever have any problem with the general gist of that message. But whenever I suggest that we’ve still got a fighting chance, I get quite a bit of pushback from readers with a special attachment to the song of doom.

“Unicorns and glitter,” they tell me. “Get your head out of the clouds, you hopeless dreamer. Humanity is shit, and we are destined for shit, and shit is all that we deserve. Soon we will all kill ourselves off, and the planet will be better off without us. You have hope because you live in a fantasy land.”

I mean, I get the appeal of that perspective. It’s egoically gratifying to lean back smugly knowing better than everyone else, looking down your nose at the doomed, pathetic fools who don’t know the things you know.

It feels good. It’s ego candy.

But it’s also childish nonsense.

The only thing holding the status quo in place is mass media propaganda. The ability of the ruling oligarchs to manipulate the way people think, act and vote is the only thing preventing the many from rising up against the oppression and exploitation by the few. We outnumber them so vastly that we could take true democracy and self-rule from the ruling elites without their permission and without firing a shot, simply by deciding collectively to change the way power and money works. The only reason we haven’t done so already is because not enough of us want to, and the only reason not enough of us want to is because so many of us have been manipulated away from wanting to by plutocrat-owned media.

The elites hold their warmongering, ecocidal, exploitative Orwellian empire in place by controlling the public narrative about what’s going on. Control the stories the public are telling themselves about what’s happening, and you control the public itself.

But what does that mean, then? It means that the entire oppression machine is held together by narrative. By made-up stories. By fairy tales for adults. By unicorns and glitter.

It is those who insist that there is no hope who are living in a fantasy world. Only someone who mistakes a fairy tale for reality would think that the fantasy land described in the made-up story is all that can possibly exist. If you truly understand that the whole thing is held together by made-up stories and are truly standing outside of those stories, it’s as clear as day that the Grimm’s Fairy Tales book can be set down at any time.

It is as simple as changing our minds about whether or not we believe the fairy tales that we are being read by the pundits and politicians on the various screens we encounter about what’s going on in the world and what’s in our best interest to consent to. It’s as simple as putting down the book of fairy tales, and as an incentive to do so we only have the threat of the extinction of our entire species forever.

And the people who say that that’s impossible are the “realists”? Really?

I don’t think so. You’re not being a “realist” by insisting that everyone will necessarily go on believing fairy tales when they have every incentive not to. You’re not being a “realist” by insisting on the continuation of a fake fairy fantasy land where people’s lives are ruled by the made-up numbers in an imaginary economy that is controlled by a group of elites who are fully aware that they are making up a story as they go along. You’re not being a “realist” by insisting that doom is the only possibility in a paradigm that is held in place by mass media when (A) trust in the mass media is at an all-time low and (B) our ability to network and share information with each other is at an all-time high. You’re living in a fantasy.

I honestly believe that our species has the freedom to fail the test that it is being given. I believe that we are free to go the way of the dinosaur if we can’t wake up from the dynamics which are driving us toward extinction. But I am also fully confident that anyone who thinks it’s impossible for us to turn things around is living in a fairy tale.

Well I say enough with the unicorns and glitter. Let’s start being practical and start waking people up from the fairy tale.

Come on, “realist”. Come join me. Get your head out of the clouds and be a dreamer.


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