Robbing The Global South, Then Scorning Its Poverty: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Caitlin Johnstone
6 min readDec 6, 2022


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Michael Parenti has said that “Poor countries are not ‘under-developed’, they are over-exploited.” The west tends to look down on the rest of the world for reasons that either directly or indirectly relate to the poverty in those nations, which is silly because that poverty comes largely from western theft and exploitation. It’s like mugging someone and then scorning them for their empty wallet.

If you boil it right down and get real about it, most of the pride in western civilization is ultimately pride in being better at killing and stealing than other people. We’re still morally at the level of invading and plundering nations while claiming it’s justified because we are stronger than them, it’s just procedurally a few clicks removed from doing that directly.

Here’s a good example of how empire managers try to make China’s government look like a weird alien invader who must be removed by constantly bleating “Chinese Communist Party” and “CCP” instead of just saying “China”, “Beijing”, or “the Chinese government” like they do with other countries:

Constantly repeating the word “Communist” evokes cold war fears from the past in older people, and saying “CCP” rather than the correct CPC (Communist Party of China) is designed to remind people of “CCCP”, Russia’s abbreviation for the USSR. The goal is to mentally uncouple the nation’s government from the nation in the minds of the public, so that removing it looks like an intervention to remove a strange outside force which doesn’t belong there instead of the obscenely intrusive imperialist agenda that it is.

Attempts to address the 2020 Hunter Biden laptop story censorship shenanigans will never gain sufficient traction, because the entire liberal political/media class believes any and all actions to hurt Trump’s re-election odds were justified. They would have supported a lot worse. As far as US liberals are concerned, “unethical things were done to hurt Trump’s re-election bid” is a moot point, because they would have supported far more unethical things to hurt Trump’s re-election; arguing about its morality will therefore never mean anything to them.

After 2016 a consensus was formed among liberal US media that they should have actively worked to manipulate the public into voting for Hillary Clinton, rather than reporting on her numerous scandals at the time. Killing the laptop story was the manifestation of that consensus.

The Hunter Biden laptop story will therefore never move from a partisan talking point into a nonpartisan discussion about political censorship and journalistic ethics. It is firmly locked in to the former category. They all universally believe that they did the right thing. Where the moral imperative to defeat Trump is viewed as superseding any other possible concern, nobody who does not share that view will have any inroad to talk about those other concerns. They will always be dismissed by those who viewed helping to defeat Trump as a sacred duty. It’s an intractable quasi-religious belief based on their own certainty of the superiority of their worldview.

The censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story is therefore doomed to remain another Republican partisan issue that never goes anywhere like Benghazi or Monica Lewinsky, even though its far-reaching implications for media and tech mean it really shouldn’t be categorized as such.

One of the most under-discussed topics in the world right now is how governments are incrementally normalizing the use of police robots that can kill you and acting like it’s no big deal.

Virtual reality is silly when we’ve barely begun exploring our normal reality. Transhumanism is silly when we’ve barely begun exploring our normal humanity. Pursuing space colonization is silly when we haven’t even learned to live on the planet we’re adapted for. What are being presented as means for facilitating greater human experience are actually means for running away from it.

If most of us haven’t even so much as mastered the ability to sit quietly for an hour and simply be still and content with what is, maybe it’s not yet time to start hanging a bunch of fancy bells and whistles on the human adventure as though we have taken this thing as far as it goes.

Most of the futuristic visions people hold for humanity are really just visions of humanity running away from itself. Leaving earth and colonizing space. Leaving reality and building virtual reality. Leaving humanity and becoming cybernetic. All before we’ve actually learned to just be here. Baked in to all of these visions for our future is the assumption that humanity must always be restless. Must always be discontented. Must always be flailing around grabbing for more. This will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, if believed. So it’s important not to believe it.

What if instead of looking outward for directions to take human exploration, we looked inward? What if we as a species spent a few centuries really getting to know ourselves and what we’re made of? Maybe we’re like someone leaving a solid gold house to go treasure hunting?

Maybe all of our problems as a species can be solved by simply awakening human consciousness to what’s really going on? Maybe all of our societal, geopolitical and ecosystemic problems would resolve themselves if we could become conscious of the forces within us that drive them?

What if there was a real societal push for practices like meditation and self-enquiry? What if facilities for psychedelic exploration were set up for public use around the world? What if we plunged in that direction, instead of trying to run off into space and virtual reality?

Ever known someone who’s always moving from relationship to relationship, job to job, city to city, but always running into the same problems because the real source of their discontentment sits between their ears? Maybe that’s humanity in general in our visions for the future.

This human adventure is going to keep unfolding for as long as it exists, but we do have control over what direction it unfolds in. Seems to me it would be best to start from where we’re at and get the hang of basic human experience before getting all fancy about it. You’ve got to walk before you can run, and as far as the exploration of our inner dimensions is concerned, most of us aren’t even crawling yet.

The adventure is right here. The journey is in you. You are your own unexplored universe. Take a breath, let the bliss rise in you, and see it for yourself, right this second. Do it now because there is only now to do it in. See? It’s all here.


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