You Have To Be Trusted By The People That You Lie To: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article:

The widespread refusal to accept that the US government bombed the Nord Stream pipelines is based solely on the faith-based belief that the US government would never do something so evil, despite its having done many things that are far more evil than this right out in the open.

“Okay sure they’ve been spending the last few years helping Saudi Arabia create mountains of child corpses in Yemen, but blowing up a pipeline? That would be a step too far!”

So much government nefariousness hides behind the completely unevidenced assumption “Oh, our leaders would never do anything THAT bad!” It’s a belief that is based on literally nothing. It’s believed because it is comfortable.

You only get one shot at preventing nuclear war. There will be no do-overs. There will be no course-correction. There will be no learning from mistakes that were made. This is it. Our one and only chance. We’re living it.

Is it good enough? Are we using our one shot responsibly?

If the mushroom clouds turn up, will anyone honestly be able to tell themselves that our leaders did everything they could to prevent this from happening, and that we the rank-and-file citizenry did everything we could to pressure them into navigating wisely around this threat?

I personally don’t think so. I think if we meet our end that way it will be the result of a bunch of humans playing with armageddon weapons in an extremely reckless and irresponsible way with virtually no resistance from the public, because we didn’t like thinking about it much.

The worst thing about Australia is America. All of the most destructive and dangerous things our country has done in recent decades, and all the most destructive and dangerous things it continues to do, have been the result of our role in the US-centralized empire.

Hey I’ve got a smart idea, let’s make laws that require corporations to act like sociopaths, pursuing profit without any consideration for morality or human wellbeing, then let’s allow our entire civilization to be ruled by corporations.

Oh cool we already did that, good thinking.

The fact that Biden has explicitly said the US will go to war to defend Taiwan, and that it won’t go to war to defend the far less geostrategically crucial Ukraine, should show you that the US does not go to war to defend human interests but to defend its own interests.

The biggest problem with the western anti-war movement is that there is no western anti-war movement. All the other problems you think you’re seeing in your “anti-war movement” are at best a very, very distant second to the fundamental problem that your movement has no movement. There’s no good reason to spend your energy worrying if the peace movement is doing it wrong or including the wrong people or not organizing correctly if there is no meaningful peace movement. Focus on fixing that problem first — on creating movement rather than creating inertia and sectarian squabbling.

There’s this Pink Floyd line that’s been rattling around in my head, “You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to.” Because it’s so true; you can’t deceive people who don’t trust you. Propaganda only works if people don’t know it’s happening — if they don’t think of its source as untrustworthy.

That’s why it gives me hope that trust in the mass media is plunging to historic lows: if people sufficiently distrust those who lie to them, then those lies won’t take root in their minds anymore. Without trust, the propaganda machine can’t function.

All our world’s troubles are ultimately due to propaganda; people only consent to status quo systems which hurt their interests because their consent is manufactured via propaganda. And that propaganda only works because of public trust in the messengers.

We can fight this by working to exacerbate public distrust in the institutions that manufacture our consent, spreading public awareness of the fact that everything we’ve been taught to believe about our nation, our government and our world is a lie. All positive changes in human behavior — whether individual or collective — are always preceded by an expansion of consciousness. Make people more aware that they are being deceived, and the liars will no longer be trusted by the people they lie to.

Trust in the mass media has never been lower, meanwhile our ability to amplify our own voices and share ideas and information has never been higher. We can use this opportunity to free the collective mind from the chains of propaganda, so that we can finally get real change.

One thought on “You Have To Be Trusted By The People That You Lie To: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

  • Silvio+Pires

    This is a truly fantastic article!!!

    However, there’s a problem, an immense one at that!
    When Caitlin says “Make people more aware that they are being deceived, and the liars will no longer be trusted by the people they lie to.” it’s something easier said than done! This quote, attributed to Mark Twain says that “It’s Easier To Fool People Than To Convince Them That They’ve Been Fooled” and I’ve found that’s very accurate! I always start and remain very calm, and just ask if they have looked at it from another point of view.

    People LOVE what they believe in! It becomes part of them! When you come around and pop their balloon with the opposite narrative, they immediately get defensive and then say “how do you know that is you who have been deceived?!” It’s a bigger problem with the older generation who not only STILL believes in the 6 o’clock news and the newspapers, but assiduously look for either or both everyday!

    People love to say that they are free thinkers and open minded UNTIL you present them with a different reality! Then they get combative and stick with their guns! Not ONCE I found someone say “really?! I’ll check what you have said out!”

    I for one will continue this battle, I often give people links to Caitlin’s article for example, but it’s not easy! So far I haven’t been able to change anyone’s opinion, even a little bit!
    Hope though that I have at least planted a few seeds of doubt that will one day see a ray of sunlight and grow.


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