Discover more from These Current Years
Where everything is a lie, and almost no one cares.
Sometime around 2016, I began to call America ‘Gaslight Nation’ - I think it’s the simplest way of describing where we are in this American experience. We see a ruling class and its media regularly portraying, not just lies, but a whole false reality to the people, all the time. The gaslighting didn’t start with COVID, but it sure accelerated during COVID. There appears to be an escalating effect; with each successful gaslighting episode, the elite grow bolder and more reckless. If we, the people (the masses) don’t push back, their lies will soon collapse our society and our nation.
Gaslighting: The term may be used to describe a person (a "gaslighter") who presents a false narrative to another group or person which leads them to doubt their perceptions and become misled (generally for the gaslighter's own benefit), disoriented or distressed. Generally, this dynamic is possible only when the audience is vulnerable, such as in unequal power relationships, or when the audience is fearful of the losses associated with challenging the false narrative.
In Gaslight Nation, there is the idea of Dangerous Misinformation that Could Cause Harm; an idea predicated on an always-unspoken understanding that because some people are too stupid to understand 21st century life, content for them must be censored (or curated.) And, that “some people,” who are too stupid, is meant to include you and me by default. The elite decide, we comply. Nevermind your lying eyes.
The road to full gaslight probably started in November 1963, but I wasn’t alive then and haven’t spent enough time studying that era to really say for sure. From my perspective, the gas lights started flickering around 9/11/2001. Everyone knows where they were when they heard the fateful news. In the days after, airlines were grounded, travel stopped. The 9/11 event was a spectacle.
The photo of the “falling man” on 9/11 is iconic in more ways than one... Nonetheless, apart from any inferred occult significance, the mechanics of how things played out on 9/11 were suspicious as hell. No matter what else did or did not happen that day, the collapse of WTC 7 was not caused by burning office materials. If one part of the “official” story is false, then none of it can be assumed to be true.
When a 47-story steel building, that was not struck by a plane, collapses upon itself in under 6 seconds, it raises some questions. Not at all surprisingly, thousands of architects and engineers raised substantive questions, or maybe 10,000. (Kind of like the 16,000 doctors and scientists questioning the vaccines today.) No matter. More than 20 years later, the official narrative still stands. And those of us who asked questions were marginalized and pejoratively dubbed “truthers.”
Building on the successes of 9/11, the ruling class decided to make up some bullshit as pretext for war with Iraq. Talk of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” was all the rage, especially Yellow Cake Uranium.
I’ve been anti-war since I read 1984 in 9th grade. (Apart from morally justified defensive war.) Orwell’s view of war as a means of keeping the populace impoverished always made sense to me.
“[War] eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs… The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.”
George Orwell, 1984
Were we to divide the $6.4 trillion we lost in the middle east amongst the people instead, each household would have gotten about $50,000. In Gaslight Nation we are told “our democratic values” motivate and inform our foreign policy. Though had the government let the people vote democratically on how to spend $6.4T, there would have been no wars in the middle-east.
AMERICA IS THE RICHEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
Our ruling class loves to boast endlessly about how America is supposedly the richest country in the world. This idea plays especially heavily in political speeches from both parties, and whenever the ruling class is trying to talk us into war. If “richest” is defined as being completely indebted yet still able to borrow endlessly, then I guess we are. Debt is wealth in Gaslight Nation.
Meanwhile in China, three times as many new Mercedes cars were sold in 2021 than in America. Sales of new Audi vehicles were 257% higher. Porsche sales in China were nearly double ours. Even Cadillac, the iconic American luxury brand, sold twice as many cars in China last year (233,117 vs 117,825.)
In 1969, when America really was “rich,” a record 278,000 new Cadillacs were sold here. While I can’t find an official reference, it appears Cadillac sales that year in China were zero.
By every metric, except the official ruling class “narrative,” China has been far wealthier than America for several years; with larger markets in all luxury goods, and an “upper middle class” roughly the same size as our entire population.
I loved Donald Trump’s policies. The man himself I found annoying, for decades. He literally said the same shit, year after year, pretty much my entire life: The Japanese and/or Chinese are stealing our jobs (self-evidently true), our leaders are idiots that make bad deals, and the “American Dream” is dead and/or in danger. Whatever else you may think of the man, he has rhetorical themes and he sticks to them. The idea that Donald Trump was secretly acting as some orange form of Russian agent was laughably absurd from the start. And yet… about 1/2 the country believed it at some point in the past 6 years, and many undoubtedly still do. It was, prior to 2020, one of the biggest gaslightings of all time.
I often think that Russiagate was the beta test for COVID-19 propaganda. Could the ruling class and its media apparatchiks convince people to believe an entirely-false narrative, absent any evidence? Could that narrative be spun out over years and still be believed? Would Americans believe official propaganda over their own lying eyes?
For more than two years Americans had to endure endless Russiagate investigations, breaking news stories, intrigue and speculation - all over a narrative that was, to the less credulous among us, absurd on its face. A very few in the media, notably the excellent Matt Taibbi, pointed this out. Most played along, most politicians in both parties played along. Valuable time and resources were wasted, and American society was further divided against itself.
Years later the truth dribbles out. No one cares.
If Gaslight Nation had a mascot it would be Dr. Anthony Fauci, an evil man most of us had never heard of before 2020. (aka The American Mengele) As the mysterious Wuhan Coronavirus made headlines in China, and as our politicians were preoccupied with the impeachment of Donald Trump (another gaslighting event itself), Dr. Fauci made his appearance center stage as the “voice of reason” in the Trump administration’s pandemic team. If you were someone who fell for Russiagate, you fell even harder for Fauci. His calm manner, his reasonable tone; God forbid anyone bother to Google the man before deciding to blindly trust him (including President Trump.)
Something about Fauci rubbed me the wrong way from the start, so I did Google him. Before long I stumbled across the now infamous A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence paper, then Peter Daszak, and it became clear that Fauci was deeply involved in the manipulation of coronaviruses in the Wuhan lab. Even more troubling, it was obvious Fauci had an agenda and it wasn’t the one we wanted.
Fauci had cut his bureaucratic teeth on the HIV/AIDS crisis, and most of the manipulations he used during the COVID pandemic were ones that he learned during the AIDS crisis nearly 40 years earlier. The book Why We Will Never Win the War on AIDS offers an excellent history of that period, as does a paper on the NIH website titled Questioning the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis: 30 Years of Dissent. (Interestingly, this paper was retracted in October 2019, just months before the coronavirus pandemic would “officially” start.) Chief among the obfuscations Fauci used then and now was the PCR test, which, when used on asymptomatic individuals at a high cycle threshold, will give you the appearance of a pandemic whether there is one or not.
Pretty much everything that comes out of Fauci’s mouth is a lie or manipulation of some kind: In February 2020, the same week he told USA Today Americans shouldn’t worry about the “minuscule” risk of coronavirus, the NIH received the first shipment of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 for use in their Phase 1 clinical study. (Fauci’s NIAID had disclosed their intent to run a study using Moderna’s vaccine a month earlier, on January 13, 2020, five days before the first U.S. coronavirus case.)
"If you look at the masks that you buy in a drug store, the leakage around that doesn't really do much to protect you. People start saying, 'Should I start wearing a mask?' Now, in the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask."
Anthony Fauci, in a Rare Moment of Honesty, February 17, 2020
By April 2020 even Newsweek was calling Fauci out for his risky coronavirus research in China, but this made no difference to the public; most of whom continued to blindly trust Fauci and observantly follow his orders for the next 18 months.
The sheer fuckery inherent in trotting out Dr. Fauci to issue diktats and generally bullshit and torment us for the past two years, all to solve a problem he had a role in creating, perpetuating, and exaggerating, boggles the mind. To add insult to gaslit injury, In Gaslight Nation questioning any of “the science” as dispensed by Fauci was and sometimes still is punished by prompt “cancellation” by social media companies, and maybe your job and friends.
SAFE AND EFFECTIVE
Many still think they are, and you can hardly blame them. Certainly the ruling class has done its best to delete, hide, or censor all evidence to the contrary. The government has been gaslighting us for at least 20 years though, so I expect them to lie to me. When they said “Safe and Effective,” I knew they wouldn’t be. (Just like “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated,” which they only started saying once the exact opposite was true.) The truth about the vaccines will come out soon enough.
WAR IN UKRAINE?
The worst aspect of the emergence of Gaslight Nation is the complete breakdown of social trust that comes included (plus tax.) Is there a war in Ukraine? Something is surely happening there, and people appear to be suffering. Whatever is happening, our ruling class can’t be expected not to lie about it. (Two weeks to slow the spread anyone?) And, if they’re lying, then no doubt a friendly “fact check” site will be willing to back them up. Fairy-tales like the Ghost of Kiev are floating around. How would we even know if the war was only as real as the pee tape?
Even if this time our ruling class is not lying, any discussion of American funded war in Ukraine can’t be had without addressing the salient fact that our country is dead broke, with a liability of $505k per citizen at the time of writing. We produce nearly nothing of value. We can’t help Ukraine. You might loan a friend money if you have it, but you don’t loan him your credit card.
MAKING IT STOP
Gaslighters are gonna gaslight until it stops working. To “make it stop” we have to make sure it stops working. That means never going along with it again. Call a duck a duck, whenever and wherever the gaslights burn. Speak up, feelings be damned.
In the 1944 film Gaslight, from which Gaslighting as a concept originated, the protagonist Paula is being gaslit by her husband who has ulterior motives. She is suspicious, but the gaslighting has caused her to doubt herself. The cycle is finally ended when an objective third party, Inspector Brian Cameron, gets involved and helps her to see the painful truth. A true hero.