The Real Conspiracy is in the Overculture Narrative

by Caitlin Johnstone edited by O Society April 9, 2020

Some conspiracy-type people say the world is messed up because we’re ruled by illuminati or reptilians, but I’m way more out there than that: I say our entire society is made of imaginary thought stories with little relation to objective reality, and some clever manipulators have figured out how to exploit this.

Who and What are They?

I say even what we take to be our very self is an ultimately illusory narrative construct made up of a disconnected network of thought, language and memories; look hard for a solid “me” entity and you’ll never find one. Same is true of most things people value in this world.

They Live… or Do They?

Some people lack healthy empathy centers, and as such they don’t use language the way the rest of us do: to understand and connect with each other. Instead, they use it to get things they want. They figured out how to trade stories for material goods, narrative for actual wealth.

The Rise of the Automagicians

You can trade narratives about love for sex, narratives about God for tithes, narratives about terrorists or Russians or Democrats/Republicans for votes, narratives about the economy for wealth, narratives about government for real power, etc. Manipulators learn this and exploit it.

Crazy is the New Normal: Hypernormalisation

Manipulators without empathy rise to the top, because they’re willing to do whatever it takes and manipulate whoever they need to in order to get there. This problem is further compounded by the fact that wealth itself kills empathy. In a system where sociopaths are rewarded with wealth, and where wealth equals power, we naturally find ourselves ruled by sociopaths. They manipulate our faulty perceptions of objective reality to amass wealth and power, which they use to grab more.

How Empathy Can Change The World

For as long as there has been language and power there have been narratives circulating to advantage the powerful. Much of our so-called “culture” is just ancient power-serving proto-propaganda deliberately interwoven into our ancestors’ worldviews.

Warspeak: Them is Fightin’ Words!

Man China’s gonna be so surprised when it finds out it interfered in the November election.

It would have been perfectly sane and normal for a novel virus to surface in China and the world to go “Uh-oh, let’s take care of people and help one another see our species through this!” instead of ramping up propaganda campaigns and fanning the flames of cold war hysteria.

Media-driven anti-China hysteria is not about Covid-19, nor about racism, nor even really about anti-communism. It is ultimately, like most things, about power. The US empire wants global hegemony and the rising China doesn’t want to give it to them, so a confrontation is coming.


America’s attempts to undermine Russia are inseparable from its attempts to undermine China; it’s literally the same agenda. A Pentagon white paper published last year titled “Russian Strategic Intentions” mentions the word “China” 108 times. Some noteworthy excerpts:

  • “The world system, and American influence in it, would be completely upended if Moscow and Beijing aligned more closely.”
  • “The allies’ goal should be deterrence. At the same time, the US should bilaterally engage Russia to peel them away from China’s orbit.”
  • “He also encourages the development of the US’s ‘capability to effectively foster distrust and unease between the Russia Federation and China.’”
  • “Along with Beijing, Moscow seeks a multipolar world in which US hegemony comes to an end. As Alexander Lukin recently pointed out, the ‘common ideal of a multipolar world [has] played a significant role in the rapprochement between Russia and China.’”
  • “Russia and China were explicitly mentioned in the 2018 National Defense Strategy as the great powers with which the US is in competition. Both Russia and China have come a long way since the 1990s, and the ‘friendship’ that emerged in the immediate post-Tiananmen period and continued to grow over the years now today appears to be one of the strongest bilateral alliances on the planet.”
  • “Together, Russia’s tentacles on its former Soviet neighbors and Moscow’s strategic alliance with Beijing in pursuit of a multipolar world (in which the US is no longer the global hegemon) form the two main pillars upon which Putin’s grand strategy rests. All other aspects of its foreign policy behavior can be traced back to this dual-pronged grand strategy.”

These Pentagon strategists are basically seen pleading for US leaders to try to court either Russia or China to peel them apart, but the decision has been made to aggressively escalate against them both instead, likely because they know that both Beijing and Moscow are aware if they let the other fall then they’re next. This has driven them closer together.


In a very interesting Grayzone interview last year packed full of ideas that you’ll never hear voiced on western mass media, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov spoke openly about the various ways Russia, China, and other nations who’ve resisted absorption into the blob of the US power alliance have been working toward the creation of a multipolar world.

Ryabkov said other nations have been watching the way the dominance of the US dollar has been used to economically terrorize noncompliant nations into subservience by way of sanctions and other manipulations, with Washington expecting that the dollar and the US financial system will remain “the cardiovascular system of the whole organism.”

“That will not be the case,” Ryabkov said. “People will bypass, in literal terms. And people will find ways how to defend themselves, how to protect themselves, how to guarantee themselves against any emergencies if someone comes up at the White House or whatever, at the Treasury, at the State, and says ‘Hey guys, now we should stop what is going on in Country X, and let’s squeeze them out.’ And this country sits on the dollar. So they will be done the moment those ideas will be pronounced. So China, Russia and others, we create alternatives that we will most probably continue using not just national currencies, but baskets of currencies, currencies of third countries, other modern barter schemes.”

“We will use ways that will diminish the role of dollar and US banking system with all these risks of assets and transactions being arrested, being stopped,” Ryabkov concluded.

And indeed, this is what has been happening. That, right there, is the real reason you’re being sold Russia and China hysteria today.

Anyone who saw through the anti-Russia bullshit but cheerleads for the anti-China bullshit is a moron, as is anyone who sees through the anti-China bullshit but cheerleads for the anti-Russia bullshit. It’s the same bullshit. Don’t be a moron. Insist on detente, peace, collaboration, and a respect for sovereignty.

“Rebuilding America’s Defenses” – A Summary Blueprint of the PNAC Plan for U.S. Global Hegemony

The first draft of the Patriot Act was rolled out a week after 9/11. Does anyone really believe they gathered all the necessary information and wrote hundreds of pages in one week from scratch? Does anyone believe there aren’t pre-planned authoritarian agendas being rolled out now?

Powerful people are with absolute certainty conspiring to exploit our current situation, and there are a multitude of theories about the specifics of how that might be happening. Calling these “conspiracy theories” is not an argument, it’s just saying what’s happening.

Narrative Management => Reality Management

I invented an arcade game with a robotic boxing glove and two buttons. If you push the red button it punches you in the face, and if you push the blue one it punches you in the face while telling you the red one would’ve punched you a bit harder. No one played it for some reason.

I tried adding a feature where a bunch of condescending and authoritative-sounding voices scold you for being selfish if you don’t play, but people responded, “No thank you I’d still prefer play one of those other games where I don’t get punched in the face at all.” I can’t understand it.


I hope you Bernie Bros are aware that if you refuse to vote for the demented racist authoritarian rapist with whom you share no common ideological ground, it’s the same as voting for the other demented racist authoritarian rapist with whom you share no common ideological ground.

If Team Biden wants your votes, the least they could do is tell you who his handlers will be if he gets elected. Just a simple introduction, “Hi I’m Ted, I’ll be making all the president’s fiscal policy decisions while he watches Matlock” etc.


Most political arguments are basically just someone saying “Hey maybe our society doesn’t have to be sociopathic and crazy” and then someone else calling them unreasonable.


There are such large-scale shifts happening in such an unclear information environment right now. Those of us who are dedicated to truth will probably have to revise our understanding of what’s going on in the world in some very significant ways within a few months.


To minimize infection the UK is granting early release to all non-violent, non-Julian Assange prisoners.


America has the Second Amendment because a well-armed populace is a nation’s best defense against tyranny, like in case a class of plutocrats hijacks the government and starts stealing ever-increasing amounts of wealth and power away from the citizenry or something.


Almost everything in the news is empty/irrelevant narrative. The only relevant information is where the money is moving, where the resources are moving, where the weapons are moving, and where the people are moving. Everything else is narrative meant to justify, manipulate or distract from those movements.

~The thinking error at the root of science denial

There are two kinds of journalists: those who present themselves as unbiased reporters of objective factual reality, and those who are honest.

Suggested reading:

HyperNormalisation Explained

We Are All Confident Idiots

Disneyfication of America

It’s All Fake: Reality TV Masquerades as American Politics

Reign of Idiots

The Birth Of Fuckery: How To Think About Donald Trump’s Lies

The infantilization of Western culture

Can the Americanized West Ever Stage a Real Rebellion?

The Reality-Based Community

2 thoughts on “The Real Conspiracy is in the Overculture Narrative

  1. The problem is these political mega-patrons figured out how to make their money dark, so we can’t follow it. For example, the overculture narrative coming out of Trump’s burger hole is too use hydroxychloroquinine to treat coronavirus.

    Seems really random, right? WTF is Agent Orange Julius Caesar pushing a malaria drug with no history of use in treating COVID-19? He’s not a doctor nor does he even play one on TV.

    The answer is someone is paying Trump to be a drug salesman. Who and how much, I am not certain. It’s purposely difficult to navigate.


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