It’s been a weird last couple of days. I wrote an article about WikiLeaks’ dismissal of “QAnon,” the anonymous 8chan poster that hundreds of thousands of conspiracy newbies believe is sharing secret, coded information about Donald Trump’s heroic war against the US deep state.
Ever since I hit publish I’ve been getting a bunch of angry Q enthusiasts in my social media notifications accusing me of being a shill for the establishment. Because I don’t believe someone who says that we should all trust the President of the United States. Blind faith in the executive branch of the US government is anti-establishment now.
As bizarre as these interactions have been, they are still vastly more pleasant than my typical interactions with the faction I see as QAnon’s mirror image, the Russiagaters. Though enthusiasts of the Russiagate conspiracy theory are far more nasty and vituperative than the Q crowd, there are many similarities. Like QAnon, Russiagate is fueled by about ten percent information and ninety percent desperate need to believe. Like QAnon, Russiagate is so thinly substantiated it doesn’t begin to look legitimate until you’ve spent weeks crawling down the rabbit holes of its bulletproof echo chambers and squinting just right at everything you see until it feels true. Like QAnon, the evangelists of Russiagate center their revolutionary sentiment around President Donald Trump. Like QAnon, they shouldn’t.
Trump campaigned on a non-interventionist policy. Thus far what that looks like is increasing US military presence in Syria and Afghanistan, edging toward direct confrontation with Russia, and pushing regime change in Iran. But it’s all 4-D chess against the deep state, right?
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) May 29, 2018
Donald Trump is not a Russian agent. Declaring that the US will never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, arming Ukraine, a Nuclear Posture Review with a much more aggressive posture against Russia, expanding NATO, throwing out Russian diplomats, open regime change policy against Russian allies, attacking Russian media by forcing RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, and many other world-threatening new cold war escalations make this administration the most aggressively hawkish against Moscow that we have seen since the fall of the Soviet Union. The Kremlin did not recruit an asset only to have it act against the Kremlin interests with far more aggression than preceding administrations, and anyone who thinks that it did has had some very bad luck with thinking.
Donald Trump is not a deep state-fighting populist hero. Advancing longtime deep state agendas like regime change in Tehran and Damascus, protecting ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria, aiding the Saudi royals in their Yemen butchery, increasing military presence in the Middle East under the pretense of fighting terrorism, appointing warmongering psychopath John Bolton as National Security Advisor and actual, literal torturer Gina Haspel as CIA head, continuing and expanding the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers, attacking WikiLeaks and pursuing the arrest of Julian Assange, all fit in perfectly with the globe-controlling agendas that were being advanced by US intelligence/defense agencies and neoconservative think tanks long before Trump’s arrival in the Oval Office. Trump is not fighting the US deep state by advancing longtime US deep state agendas, and anyone who thinks that he is has had some very bad luck with thinking.
It is interesting that both of these extremely popular movements are fueled by the spirit of populist rebellion, and yet both wildly misinterpret what the deep state is in a way which directly benefits the existing power establishment. Russiagaters completely dismiss the existence of a deep state altogether, erroneously taking that concept to refer to some imaginary secretive cabal of Jewish elites/reptilians/Illuminati and then correctly stating that no such cabal exists. Trump supporters, meanwhile, increasingly use the term “deep state” as a stand-in for “anyone who opposes Trump,” to the point where you now see longtime deep state lackeys like Sean Hannity successfully setting themselves up as warriors against the deep state.
Worst. Putin Puppet. Ever.
“Isn’t it weird how when you ignore the narratives being promoted by both sides and just look at the raw behavior, being a ‘Putin puppet’ looks exactly the same as being a dangerously aggressive Russia hawk?”#Russia #diplomatshttps://t.co/7t2w89ZOuC
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) March 27, 2018
Both groups misinterpret the concept of the deep state, which is unfortunate, because the proper deep state is the actual thing that they desire to revolt against. The concept refers not to a paranoid conspiracy theory, nor to Democrats and Never Trumpers, but to the loose nonpartisan collaboration between corporatist plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies which remains in place while America’s official elected government officials come and go. That politically influential plutocrats and secretive government agencies exist is not disputable, nor is it disputable that they collaborate with one another to advance their own agendas, nor is it disputable that this collaboration more or less ignores national and partisan boundary lines whenever it’s convenient to do so.
This unelected permanent government is the real seat of power in the United States, and it is therefore the thing that any real revolution is directed against. Revolting against the political enemies of the US president and revolting against the political allies of the US president are the very least revolutionary things that anyone can possibly do. A real revolution is directed at the unelected power establishment which is ultimately responsible for the fact that this US president is acting more or less like his predecessors.
You don’t punch at shadows if you want to win a fight. When you see the shadow of someone coming up behind you with a knife, you don’t attack the shadow, you turn and face the threat. Donald Trump is merely a shadow of the ominous dark forces he serves. If you judge him by his actions, you will see a man being puppeted by the same deep state that used Obama, and used Bush before him. The same actions are playing out through the bodies of different men. The stories about why they do these same actions over and over change with each president, but the actions are always the same. We’ve had three administrations since the famous “seven countries in five years” memo, Republican, Democrat, and now Republican again, but the plan goes ahead unabated. Trump is actioning that memo like Obama did before him, and Bush before him. The deep state will have its way. Business continues as usual.
This is a bitter pill to swallow, but swallow it we must. The 99 percent want nothing to do with the deep state’s sick agendas. We don’t want the three-front “long” war that the Pentagon has been planning. Endless, stupid war serves none of us except the very privileged few. We all have the right to quiet enjoyment of our lives here on earth, and the constant propaganda and disruption campaigns waged all over the world are causing massive unnecessary suffering. We are all in agreement about that, and yet it continues because we have been successfully blinded by our tribal loyalties into seeing only half the picture.
Real revolution will require humility. We will have to admit that we have been duped. We will have to admit that our heroes and villains were all just a two-handed show of the puppeteering deep state, and while we were laughing and crying and shaking our fists at each other, it has always been business as usual for the real power establishment. We will have to look over the other side of the aisle and instead of pointing and laughing at how gullible they are to believe their particular psyop, we’ll have to admit that we can be gullible too. We will have to admit that we have been wrong. That we have been played. Only then will we be able to truly see with clear eyes what is actually going on behind the emotional veil of tribal loyalties and wanting to be right.
In the end it will come down to each individual deciding that they’d rather seek the truth than ignore facts for the sake of feeling right. If a tipping point of individuals can do that for themselves, then the revolution will happen so naturally that we will barely even notice it. It will be like waking from a bad dream or recovering from a cold. The blocks to sanity will dissolve and people will find themselves moving in a much more harmonious way with each other without even trying. Sanity is our natural state. It is who we are under the damage of psychological abuse from decades of proto-propaganda (which includes things like religion and advertising as well) that uses our individual fears to manipulate us. Once the stories can’t get a hold of us anymore, then the story-tellers lose their power completely and we will start acting from our natural, healthy impulses rather than from our embattled, fearful, artificially-enforced selfish state.
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) January 6, 2018
That’s my secret hope. I hope that one day in the near future we will say to each other, “Remember when…” and we will marvel at how weird we were and how close to annihilation we came and wonder how it all resolved so quickly. The answer won’t be in our mind-made stories of how it happened; it will be encoded in the tapestry of our being. A simple switch from seeking to be “right” to being true from enough individuals will reverberate through us like thunder.
The revolution will not start with the sound of a gun. It will start with the sound of a giggle as the seriousness of the fear-soaked us-vs-them narratives falls away, and the patina of realism starts to wear thin. Laughter will erupt around the world as the pantomime we took to be real continues, but looks stupid and unrealistic from this newfound perspective. Russiagaters will be slapping their thighs alongside Q fans as wires become obvious to the naked eye, the set falls over to reveal the puppeteer turning colors with embarrassment.
And none of that has anything to do with Trump. He is just one of the many puppets on the stage.
Look for the strings, my powerful clear-eyed rebels. Ignore the story and look for the strings.