Know Your Enemy

Artwork based on the Rage Against The Machine song, “Know Your Enemy”

Well-meaning people reflexively denounce countries like China, Russia, and Iran. They are autocratic, they are dangerous, they are human rights violators. But where does this reflex come from? What do people within the White Empire really know about these places at all? Only what they’re told, and they’re told to hate.

Is it just coincidence that the enemies of White Empire become the villains in the Cable TV Colosseum? Is it coincidence that the masses reflexively hate these people they really do not understand? As the invaluable Caitlin Johnston writes:

In western “democracies” the majority of people are so effectively propagandized into speaking in alignment with the interests of the western empire that they may as well be taking orders on what to say at gunpoint.

As an example, here’s Pew Research documenting the effects of American propaganda while wilfully missing the point. They talk about US opinions changing based on concerns about China’s human rights, its partnership with Russia (a name which is now just supposed to mean ‘bad’ when uttered), and other factors (like COVID-19, which China actually did the best in the world at managing and helping out with). But did people within the White Empire just spontaneously start researching Chinese human rights, their relations with Russia, and all of these issues? Lol no. Pew calls their report Global Public Opinion of China During the Xi Era | Pew Research Center but most people within White Empire don’t even know what Xi Jinping’s last name is. They only know what they’re told and they’ve been told to hate China, and so now they dutifully do. That’s what this graph documents—the powerful effects of western propaganda—and even Pew covers it up by pretending like imperial citizens are actively and independently keeping up with whatever Xi Jinping does.

Western ‘democracies’ are really just reality TV shows paid for by arms dealers, drug dealers (pharma), and whatever other corporate AI wants to corrupt the place. They periodically host call-in shows called ‘elections’ but the sponsors remain the same. And remain in charge. It’s a circus. The White Empire periodically trots some country its people haven’t heard of into the Cable Colosseum to torture them with sanctions and execute them with drones, and the people dutifully cheer. Hollywood also relentlessly propagandizes the goodness of CIA and MI6 agents and the justification for violence wherever the Empire pleases, because they’re the ‘good guys’. Historical facts like the millions dead in their Terror Wars alone are just numbers. The Empire lives in stories, and its propaganda arms are unparalleled.

Well-meaning people are pushed into this narrative not just in the vulgar sense of the Chinese and Russians and Iran are evil and trying to kill them. They are pushed into the well-meaning idea that sanctioning and attacking these people is actually for their own good. It’s the white man’s burden redux, now carried in a New Yorker tote bag. The justification for aggression against these countries is that these countries are bad and yet—even ignoring the fallacy of that point for the moment—imperial intervention always makes things worse. Sanctions are just sieges, and acts of war. Cutting countries off from financial systems just impoverishes people and makes it impossible to even help them during an earthquake.

If well-meaning people were capable of doing any objective analysis they’d see that their good intentions are always weaponized to make things worse, but that’s not what we’re doing here. The western propaganda machine (privatized like their own military) sells Republicans fear and Democrats good intentions, but they’re ultimately selling the same thing. They’re selling war, and across both sides of the Colosseum aisle, people are buying what the arms dealers and media are selling.

The fact is that whatever the ills of these countries, introducing the cancer of American military attacks, sanctions, and destabilization does not make things better. And this should be the point of being ‘well-meaning’, you should mean well, not further ill. Barring that, do nothing. Don’t dance to the drums of war on your television screen. Turn it off. Except your ultimate impotence that spends what should be your kids tuition money or starving Yemeni children and—if you’re truly well-meaning—don’t participate.

China, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, whoever they tell you to hate, this is not your enemy. The people telling you to hate are the enemy. The ones making you money selling dick pills and car insurance in between the advertorials for the arms industry they call news. The ones dropping expensive bombs on poor people and offering entire nations like Ukraine and now Taiwan as offerings to the military-industrial complex, leaving them in ruins and shareholders in riches, even in losing.

These foreign countries are fundamentally none of your business. No one asks me, a Sri Lanka, what I should do about China. It’s got fuck-all to do with me, I know not nearly enough about the subject, and I’m fundamentally powerless. People living within the core of White Empire (US, UK, Australia, Europe) need to understand this too. It’s got nothing to do with you. you don’t know shit, and you’re fundamentally powerless too. You’re just a schmuck watching people get crucified in the Cable TV Colosseum and cheering. It’s vulgar and offensive, historically, and ultimately impotent. Because the same people crucifying these countries are oppressing and looting you.

So next time the five-minute hate comes up, take a break. Turn it off. Being a well-meaning person means wanting good in the world and hate and ignorance just lead to suffering, not good. The people they tell you to hate are not your enemies. The people telling you to hate are. And that is your red and blue flags, your loose White Empire of passport privilege, which casually coups countries like mine, bombs the poorest relentlessly, and tries to start WW3 with the big ones, all while you rubes watch it on the tube.