By Victoria Lynn Hall
There are some truths we can’t escape even if we try. For example we might not get on the scale, but how our clothing fits or how we look in the mirror is going to tell us if we have gained weight or not. And yet, if we decide to solve that problem, most of us need to know more than just the fact that we have gained weight, we have to know why; not just that we’ve been eating too much and/or not exercising enough but the reasons behind our behavior, before we can really create lasting change. This may lead us to facing some uncomfortable truths that we’ve been trying to escape about our childhoods or past relationships or emotional needs that aren’t being met. The scale doesn’t measure them, but those things are heavy too and they often manifest as those extra pounds or an eating disorder or a drug addiction or any number of dysfunctional and self destructive situations.
Our country and our society as a whole is manifesting many different dysfunctional situations today. Only those in deep denial argue against the existence of the Covid pandemic, our climate crisis, wealth inequality, the continued existence of war, poverty, needless death and despair. But knowing they exist doesn’t mean we know the truth about them; doesn’t mean we know exactly what or who caused these problems, or what could be done differently. To know that we would also have to face some uncomfortable truths and I know that for many, just facing their own problems is hard enough without adding the weight of the world to their shoulders.
As with weight loss, I believe that a gradual approach to political awareness is best. So I would suggest that as a first step, people should stop consuming the bad stuff; cable news, Bill Maher, any newspaper report that cites secret, invisible evidence for its claims, that sort of a thing. Then they can move on to independent news sources, doing their own research, joining a really cool discussion group or listening to Ask Jesse every week! And before they know it, they may be teaching us a few things because the truth is something that is always evolving. The good news is that once you really get in the habit of chasing the truth, you can never go back to the dysfunction of allowing yourself to be repeatedly lied to again.
In this episode I read a passage from an article written by Iraq War veteran, Vincent Emanuele on CounterPunch.org which I highly recommend: The Iraq War: 18 Years Later
I also suggest reading this article from the World Socialist Web Site about the Libyan War and media coverage of it: On the 10th anniversary of Libyan war, the New York Times covers up crimes of imperialism
Here’s the tweet by Sarah Abdallah with the clip from Julian Assange talking about Hillary Clinton that I mentioned:
Jesse referenced Caitlin Johnstone on incrementalism. Here is the text of what she said about it, from her post A Nation That’s Always At War Has No Moral Authority: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix:
The strategy of incrementalism (pursuing change in small, gradual increments over time) absolutely is effective. The problem is that when plutocrats control the government and media, the only incremental changes which actually occur are those which benefit the plutocracy. As long as the plutocratic class controls the political/media class, incremental change will only ever go one way. Politicians advocating incremental change for the benefit of the working class are actually advocating no change whatsoever, because that’s what they’ll deliver.
Incrementalism is all you’re ever seeing when, for example, the minimum wage doesn’t keep up with inflation. Or when public programs are slowly privatized. Or when more and more money is allowed to influence politics. Or when industries become more and more deregulated. Things are fucked right now exactly because the ruling class has been using the strategy of incrementalism to slowly chip away at the working class for its own benefit. Incrementalism works. It just only ever goes one way, and always will until there is revolutionary change.
Don’t say incrementalism doesn’t work. It does work. It works all the time. It just never works for you.
Jesse generously shared some of his own experience of learning the truth about our politics at the end of this episode. I shared some of my experience of learning the truth (with help from Jesse) in my post, How I Became an Anti-Imperialist where I also cite further resources.
Note: You may not see Jesse on Twitter as much for a while but remember that you can always ask questions for him to answer on the show by emailing us at AskJesse@AmplifireProject.com and you can also follow me and Amplifire Project on Twitter.
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A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm.
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.