by Caitlin Johnstone
I’m often criticized as being “anti-west”, but I am not anti-west, I am pro-west. I am so pro-west that I want our values of peace, freedom, democracy, truth and justice to be real life things that exist in actual western civilization and not just a fiction that is taught to western schoolchildren.
I am so pro-west that I want the west to embody the actual western values it pretends to embody. I am so pro-west that I support the practice of spreading western values to the west. I’m a western cultural imperialist, except I want to do western cultural imperialism to the west. I’m like a conquistador, a western colonialist setting sail to spread the wonders of western civilization to these godless western savages. Except instead of actually just bringing them murder, slavery, theft and disease I really am trying to bring them western civilization.
I am so pro-west that I want the western values that were sold to me as a child to be actual things that actually exist. And because I support western values much more than the actual west does, I get called “anti-west” and told to move to China. Shit, they should move to China.
A guy I follow on Twitter named David Gondek put it very nicely: “There is nothing wrong with western civilization that living up to its own professed principles wouldn’t fix.”
It’s not “anti-west” to want the west to end warmongering, militarism, censorship, propaganda, government secrecy, oligarchy, injustice, oppression and exploitation, it is pro-west. The “western values” of peace, justice, equality, democracy, freedom and accountability that we were taught in school are very good things. The only problem is that the west doesn’t actually value them.
To be clear, the US empire is getting everything it wants out of the war in Ukraine. It claims out of one side of its mouth that this was an unprovoked invasion that it never wanted, while admitting this war is giving it everything it ever wanted out the other side. The US did not just luckily stumble into a happy coincidence that just happens to advance all of its longstanding geostrategic agendas against a longtime geopolitical target. It deliberately created this situation, and only a baby-brained idiot would believe otherwise.
Putin isn’t waging this war because he thought it would be a nice idea to grab a bit more land, he’s waging it because he assessed that he’d need to fight off NATO aggressions in Ukraine at some point and it would be easier to do it now than later. People say “Hurr hurr, if the US provoked this war to advance its own interests then Putin’s an idiot for falling for it,” but anyone who’s ever played chess knows strategy is often about forcing your opponent to choose between two bad options, either of which benefit you.
There’s still this notion in some anti-imperialist factions that Putin is a brilliant strategic wizard who is outfoxing the empire in a game of 5D chess, but really he’s just fighting on the back foot against a far wealthier, far more powerful foe, and it’s costing his nation dearly.
Whether Ukraine “wins” this war or not is irrelevant to the fact that the US empire was for relatively little cost able to create a massive sinkhole for Moscow to pour its energy and attention into, freeing up the imperial machine to focus on turning the screws on China.
Friendly reminder that China poses a threat solely to the US empire and its agendas of planetary domination, not to the US as a country. Empire architects are intentionally confusing Americans and other westerners by conflating these two issues in a massive propaganda campaign.
Being a child of wealthy parents is like being born into a cult whose entire focus is reinforcing class solidarity for the ruling class. Their social culture, academic culture, family culture etc are all dedicated to building an elite commonality that excludes the common riff raff.
That’s why the ruling class have such vastly superior class solidarity to the working class. Most of us aren’t raised with an acute awareness that we are very different from the ruling class and that their interests conflict with our own, but everyone in the ruling class is. By the time they’re mature enough to take the reins, members of the ruling class have been run through an entire cultural processing system dedicated to forming solidarity with their class, while the rest of us have been focused on keeping our heads above water.
One of the dopiest beliefs on the “populist right” currently is that the ruling elites care about normalizing wokeism and social justice. Our rulers don’t give a fuck about trans rights or whatever, they only care about fanning the flames of culture war to prevent a class war. Our rulers would happily incinerate every trans person in the world if it meant cementing their rule. The instant Black Lives Matter sloganeering ceases to be politically useful it will be flushed down the toilet. They don’t care about marginalized groups, they just use them.
It’s so stupid. Like yeah, powerful plutocrats and secretive government agencies are scheming to normalize LGBT rights because they stopped caring about power and domination and just love wokeness now. Good thinking, dipshit.
In reality, marginalized groups pose no threat to you in any way whatsoever. You are meant to view them as the enemy so that you don’t view your rulers (who don’t care about either of you) as the enemy.
Rightists who think of themselves as anti-establishment rebels while clapping along with Trump, Tucker Carlson and Elon Musk are exactly the same as Democrats who called themselves The Resistance for clapping along with Mueller and Rachel Maddow. They’re the same kind of mainstream dupes, just with different narratives.
“Resistance” liberals thought they were fighting the man because they were trying to get the president arrested. MAGA rightists think they’re fighting the man because something something deep state. But in reality they’re both just mainstream partisans who fully support the imperial uniparty.
At least Democrats are honest about being Democrats. Rightists will clap along with mainstream Republican politicians and mainstream Republican pundits and then call other people mainstream partisan NPCs. Really they’re exactly the same. They’re Republicans LARPing as nonpartisan free thinkers.
I don’t dismiss mainstream politicians and media because it’s inherently bad to be mainstream, I do it because right now we live in a highly controlled civilization wherein the only things permitted to go mainstream are those that help (or at least do not hinder) our rulers. Right now the ruling class which controls all means of mainstream elevation only elevates things which either (A) actively advance their interests or (B) normalize the status quo we live in with things like shows and movies that depict people thriving under our current systems.
So right now there’s a wisdom in rejection of the mainstream. But we shouldn’t confuse that with the idea that being mainstream is always bad. Our goal should be to have our own healthy values of peace, equality and justice be the mainstream one day.
It’s a sign of toxicity to be elevated to the mainstream under the current status quo. But we should keep in mind that if we are successful in changing the status quo, the shifting of what becomes mainstream will one day be a sign of health.