Consider the possibility that the Orwellian dystopia you fear is already here and has been in place for many years, you just haven’t noticed because you’re still allowed to watch Netflix or buy a gun or say whatever you want to say within a small impotent online echo chamber.
Consider the possibility that the powerful are already getting everything they want from you, right now, exactly as things are, and that any suspicious action you see them taking isn’t them constructing a cage for you but them tightening the bolts on a cage that was quietly built around you some time ago.
Consider the possibility that while they’ve been training you to watch out for communism and microchips and overt totalitarianism, they’ve been covertly transforming us all into mindless gears in a machine constructed to serve their interests which challenges them in no way, shape or form.
Consider the possibility that tyrants have evolved an understanding that you can exert a lot more control over a population with mass-scale psychological manipulation than you can with overt force, and that they have been developing the science of that mass-scale psychological manipulation for over a century.
Consider the possibility that we’re like a woman who always feared winding up in a physically abusive relationship like the kind depicted on television, and then wound up in a psychologically abusive relationship where her very mind is bent to the will of her abuser in every way.
Consider the possibility that just like in a psychologically abusive relationship, we’re manipulated into believing things are fine and that we give our abuser everything he wants of our own free will and that any problems that arise come from us and not our abuser, and that we are so well-trained at this that we’ve even learned to gaslight ourselves.
Consider the possibility that governments forcefully seizing control of all media and transforming them into official state propaganda outlets would actually be far less efficient at mass brainwashing than our current system in which people believe they are getting accurate information from a free and honest press.
Consider the possibility that if the powerful were able to surgically implant microchips in our brains and control everything we think and do, what they’d make us think and do would not be significantly different from what the overwhelming majority of us already think and do.
Consider the possibility that the dystopia we’ve been worried about has already been ushered in, not from any of the directions we’ve been conditioned to anticipate, but through the simple fact that the human mind is far more hackable than we’ve been conditioned to believe.
Consider the possibility that while we’ve been trained to fear communist authoritarians taking over and forcing us to obey their will, capitalist authoritarians have had us marching to the exact drumbeat they desire for generations. And we only think this is freedom because we’ve been trained to think that.
Consider the possibility that you’ve been trained to believe freedom looks like being able to buy a gun which we all know you’ll never use against the powerful, or choose from 197 kinds of potato chip at the grocery store, when really that mindless consumption is just you turning the gears of your own prison.
Consider the possibility that real freedom isn’t being able to consume whatever advertisers have convinced you to consume, it’s being able to think with a mind that has not been molded by the powerful, to educate yourself in an information ecosystem that is not locked down by those who rule over you, and to speak the truth without having your speech stifled by oppressive dominators.
Consider the possibility that the only thing keeping us from creating heaven on earth is our inability to clearly see what’s going on in our world and thus strategize a truth-based path out of this mess, and that the powerful know this, and that that’s why they work so hard to keep us from seeing clearly.
Consider the possibility that the real obstacle to terrestrial harmony is not so much opposing ideologies as the fact that all attempts to see clearly what’s really going on in our world are being actively obstructed by propaganda, by Silicon Valley manipulation, and by government secrecy.
Consider the possibility that the bastards succeed not by overtly quashing dissent but by covertly quashing all will towards dissent, and that we succeed not by trying to ward off a dystopia that’s already here but by working to awaken the giant within our brothers and sisters from its propaganda-induced coma.
Consider the possibility that real freedom means all of humanity awakening from our dehumanizing role as brainwashed gear-turners for the capitalist machine and uncorking the wild unpredictable brilliance within us that our oppressors have worked so hard to keep bottled up.
Consider the possibility that there is so much more to us than we’ve been permitted to know, and that the only thing keeping us from achieving our true potential as a species at this point in history is a propaganda-induced misunderstanding of what is freedom and what is slavery.
Caitlin Johnstone is a Melbourne-based journalist who specialises in American politics, finance and foreign affairs. Her articles have been published in Inquisitr, Zero Hedge, New York Observer, MintPress News, The Real News, International Policy Digest and more. Caitlin is the author of Woke: A Field Guide For Utopia Preppers, an illustrated poetical guide to reclaiming the earth from the forces of death and destruction.