by Caitlin Johnstone, Caitlin Johnstone:
If you’re like me and spend entirely too much time on Political Twitter you may have recently observed a bunch of people saying you shouldn’t post your opinion about the Afghanistan situation unless you’re an expert who has studied the nation’s dynamics in depth. Like an empire invading a nation and murdering a bunch of people for decades is some super complicated and esoteric matter that you need a PhD to have an opinion about.
You see fairly simple abuses framed as highly complicated issues all the time by people who defend those abuses. War. Israeli apartheid. My abusive ex used to go around telling people what happened between us was more complicated than I was making it sound.
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Before he became Trump’s National Security Advisor in 2018 John Bolton faced a contentious interview on Fox News where he was criticized for his role in Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and he responded that “the point I think you need to understand is, life is complicated in the Middle East. When you say ‘the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a mistake,’ it’s simplistic.”
Yeah, don’t you worry your pretty little heads about war. It will just confuse you, because it’s far too complicated to understand. These important matters should be left to men like John Bolton, who are consistently wrong about every foreign policy issue.
This carefully promoted idea serves only the powerful, and entirely too many people buy into it. You’ll even see dedicated leftists shying away from commentary on western imperialism in favor of domestic policy because they don’t feel confident talking about something they’ve been trained to believe is very difficult and complex.
Which is silly, because war is actually the easiest aspect of the oligarchic empire to understand. Murdering people with military explosives for power and profit is plainly wrong. You don’t need to be an Ivy League university graduate to understand this, and given the track record of Ivy League university graduates on this matter it’s probably better if you are not. A globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States orchestrates murder at mass scale to ensure perpetual domination of the planet. It really is that simple.
Now, you can spend the rest of your life studying the details of precisely how this is the case, but they’re just that: details about how this dynamic is taking place. You can learn all about the various ways the oligarchic empire advances its geostrategic agendas using wars, proxy conflicts, coups, sanctions, special ops, cold war brinkmanship and the so-called “war on terror”, but you will only be discovering further details about this simple overarching truth.
the politico reporters snapping off tweets about how “if you haven’t really studied afghanistan, please, you don’t have to tweet about it” are the exact same people who will sell you the next war
— Nathan Bernhardt (@jonbernhardt) August 17, 2021
And the same is true of the other aspects of the status quo power structure: they’re meant to look complicated, but what you actually need to know about them to orient yourself in our world is fairly simple.
The systems of capitalism are very complex by design, and a tremendous amount of thievery happens in those mysterious knowledge gaps on financial and economic matters where only the cleverest manipulators understand what’s going on. But the basics of our problem are quite simple: money rewards and uplifts sociopathy. The more willing you are to do whatever it takes to become wealthy, the wealthier you will be. Those who rise to the top are those who are sufficiently lacking in human empathy to step on whoever they need to step on to get ahead.
As a result we’ve had many generations of wealthy sociopaths using their fortunes and clout to influence governmental, media, financial and economic systems in a way that advantages them more and more with each passing year. This is why we are ruled by sociopaths who understand that money is power and power is relative, which means the less money everyone else has the more power they get to have over everyone else. They’ve been widening the wealth gap further and further over the years, a trend they seek to continue with the so-called “Great Reset” you’ve been hearing so much about lately.
You can spend the rest of your life learning to follow the money, studying the dynamics of currency, banking and economics, but what you’ll be learning is more and more details about the way the dynamic I just described is taking place.
Sociopaths rise to the top, the most powerful of whom understand that things like money, governments and the lines drawn between nations are all collective narrative constructs which can be altered in whatever way benefits them and ignored whenever it’s convenient. For this reason controlling the stories the public tell themselves about what’s going on in their world is of paramount importance, which is why so much wealth gets poured into buying up media and media influence in the form of advertising, funding think tanks and NGOs, and buying up politicians with campaign contributions and corporate lobbying.