Fake Political Parties In A Fake Democracy: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readMay 10, 2022

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I remember feeling such solidarity with Democrats who opposed Bush’s warmongering. I sincerely did not know it was just empty political posturing for them and they’d happily sign off on any war no matter how insane as long as the president doing it had a (D) next to their name.

All the Democratic Party’s actions make sense when you switch from thinking of it as a political party whose job is to enact the will of voters to thinking about it as a narrative control operation whose job is to prevent the local riff raff from tampering with the gears of a globe-spanning empire.

The US doesn’t have political parties, it has narrative control ops disguised as political parties. One of them overtly promotes capitalism and imperialism by appealing to Americans’ worst impulses, the other covertly diverts healthy impulses back into capitalism and imperialism.

An elephant and a donkey fight in a puppet show and the crowd cheers for one or the other while thieves pick their pockets. And when people start to notice their wallets are missing, they’re told they can stop the pickpocketing by cheering louder for their favorite puppet.

People ask why the Democrats never codified Roe vs Wade into law, and the answer is, because that’s not their job. Their job is not to enact the policies you elected them to enact. Their job is not even to win elections. Their job is to keep you staring at the puppet show while the empire has its way with the world.

The Democratic Party is like one of those perpetual fuckups who does all the wrong things and makes all the wrong decisions and never stops blaming all their self-generated problems on everyone else.

Calls for civility and polite protesting always have a lot less to do with the actual protest at hand than with elites getting nervous about the commoners figuring out that their superior numbers mean they can do whatever they want to whoever they want and nobody can stop them.

Democracy is when you get to vote on which oligarchic muppet will ceremonially pardon a turkey on Thanksgiving but not on whether your government should greatly escalate the risk of nuclear war.

Still can’t believe US officials flat out admitted to the press that they’ve been circulating disinformation to the public about the Ukraine war and then like three weeks later it came out that the US government now has a Ministry of Truth for countering disinformation.

Yes the Department of Homeland Security’s Ministry of Truth is headed by a weird ridiculous person. Please don’t let that distract from the vastly more significant fact that the Department of Homeland Security has a Ministry of Truth.

I already know that my plea here is in vain, because focusing on the ridiculous shitlib has a mainstream partisan slant while focusing on empire narrative management about wars and foreign enemies does not. The mainstream partisan angle wins out every time.

All Americans need to really deeply ingest the fact that their government is currently decoupling Covid relief funding from Ukraine proxy war funding because it wants to make sure that the proxy war funding actually passes. Really sit with what that says about everything.

Imagine if instead of deliberately provoking and funding a proxy war against Russia that could get everyone killed, the US had pledged to back Zelensky militarily against the Nazi factions who were threatening to kill him if he made peace with Russia like he campaigned on doing?

The US proxy war in Ukraine is more serious than Iraq. It’s more serious than Vietnam. The body count is lower for now, but this is a confrontation that Russia has increasingly valid reasons to see as a direct existential threat. This war truly endangers every life on earth.

Ah for the good old days before 2022 when “We should try to avoid nuclear war” was an uncontroversial position.

It’s evident now that there’s literally no cap on how much more US interventionism the western political/media class will support in Ukraine. There’s no escalation the Biden administration could propose that they wouldn’t support and call everyone a Kremlin agent who opposes it.

There doesn’t seem to be any conscious, thinking force driving the escalations against Russia and China. It’s more like watching a force of nature like a hurricane or a wildfire. Just microbes mindlessly responding to the stimulus of global capitalism, with no one ultimately in the driver’s seat.

U2 performing in Kyiv should reassure Gen Xers that as much as people bitch about Instagram influencers and TikTok stars our phony pop culture bullshit still has everyone else beat.

Zelensky: So what we need from you Americans is your continued military support, your continued financial support, your continued moral support, and your LIVE FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!

[music starts playing, we all die a little inside]

Elon Musk became the Libertarian Messiah because he’s their strongest argument that capitalism can save the world. A billionaire Pentagon contractor is their strongest argument that capitalism can save the world.

The English language has many words for insanity. Probably for the same reason people who live way up north have many words for snow.


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