Know Your Enemy

By Paul Edwards

Upton Sinclair said that it was hard to get a man to understand a thing when his paycheck depended on his not understanding it. There is a parallel to that idea at work in American people today.

Americans live uneasily, in the illusion of democracy, under the most powerful, and determinedly evil, government as has ever existed. Most may not read on, outraged in moral certainty the assertion is insane. Moral certainty has gotten us where we are.

For those who wished to know the truth of America’s Capitalist Empire and were capable of facing it, it was always available, and it continues to be. To cite the America’s criminal history would take volumes, and those volumes already exist, for those with courage to peruse them. The Empire’s catalogue of criminality is not in question by the informed. It is indisputable: a given.

The vast mass of the ignorant have been made so by scientific propaganda, and they have lost their capacity for independent thought. They were powerless to prevent the creation of their opinion, and they are sure their views about America are their own, individually arrived at. That makes them hard to modify.

Unamuno said that all learning requires admission of ignorance, which is why it is so assiduously resisted. There is a prevailing idea that adults should be ashamed to admit ignorance, which prevents most from learning anything, but there is another factor yet more powerful. To admit he is wrong about a deeply held, core belief not only exposes his error but also challenges his very essence as a man. To admit one was wrong in saying the Steeler’s won the Super Bowl is not hard; to admit one has been indoctrinated with a totally false understanding of one’s own country is not possible without great anxiety and shame.

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Positive revitalization of the propagandized American mind will not occur. Not now; not ever. Facts or events that challenge the existing complex of American’s prejudices and certainties will effect no change in entrenched, received opinion. The captivity of the American conscience is total and permanent.

The long history of The Empire’s purposeful, cynical erasure of American’s ability to know the truth of their government’s villainy has trained them to eagerly embrace the agents and causes of their betrayal. This is tragic on a monumental scale because The Empire’s crash will be paid for most punishingly by its people.

The poisonous propaganda was never partisan. It was not an exclusive product of a party or political ideology, of left or right, liberal or conservative, progressive or reactionary. It is a quasi-religious dogma that exalts the dominion and hegemony of a Super Race that has exploited and enslaved the world for its profit. As in every historic empire, stimulation of human vanity insures that the mass feels its identity with the controlling power, feels at one with it, even as it is absolutely subjected by it.

This is a process as old as history. It was refined and reinforced by terror in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but it was so perfected by the American Empire that bloody, flagrant terror was not needed. What Orwell wrote of presciently has been fully instituted. Americans, left and right, liberal or proto-fascist, are irretrievably in the thrall of Capitalist dogma, and happy to be.

In its period of greatest stress, the Soviet Union employed what it called War Capitalism. That term defines our economic system, now permanent. The Empire depends entirely on production for war; it dwarfs all other sources of profit for its giant corporate owners. America is a War Machine, whose people support it unreservedly. The Empire could not continue if it were not so.

Consider these obscenities. The last seventy years of wars with no benefit at all to Americans. Fifty years of wage stagnation and inflation with no legislation for working people. The greatest wealth gap between super rich and average Americans in history. The most expensive, inadequate health care of any major nation, in which millions go broke and die while drug companies gouge them. An education system run for profit, not content or quality. A justice system that jails the poor and enables rich criminals. A political system in which the elite select figureheads and placate the hoodwinked electorate by permitting it to endorse them.

These, of course, are general indictments. There are specific horrors to expose. The Empire, having enriched its War Machine with decades of profitable failures—in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria—is pursuing two egregious crimes against humanity at once, in Ukraine and Israel. In one it goads and funds a vicious neo-Nazi regime in a brutal farce fueled by slaughter of its own people for the sole purpose, ludicrous on its face, of “weakening Russia”. In the other, it aids and supports a neo-Nazi regime in extermination of the race it raped and dispossessed to entrench its vicious military tyranny. In neither of these evil enormities is there an iota of moral justification, or a scintilla of benefit, to the deluded American people. But it pays for them.

As empires decay, their governments exude the odor of death, and so it is with ours. The pretense of competence, or even of a minimal capability, can no longer be sustained by it. In the next Presidential election, a gross, boorish, criminal buffoon will face a senile, lying, criminal clown. The Senate is a geriatric rest home and hospice for the moribund, and the House is a ululating zoo of queer fauna, loony, furious and irreconcilable, and with no sane keeper. Agencies and bureaus are staffed and managed to subvert and betray the functions they were designed to perform.

There is a general malaise, an amorphous dissatisfaction among the people but it has no substance, no unifying principle; only a brute sense that something is wrong. The people simply can not conceive that everything is wrong. Baffled victims of their evil system, they rage, storm, and cheer their chosen idols, unable to comprehend that their only truly invincible enemy is themselves.

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at:

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23 responses to “Know Your Enemy”

  1. Eddie Avatar

    Well stated. We will continue to endure more pain as a society.

    1. Driveby Avatar

      Although I agree with the characterization of Biden as senile since the evidence presents itself on a daily basis, I disagree with the characterization of Donald Trump as a criminal. This has yet to be determined in a court of “law”. In an attempt to appear even handed, the writer displays his bias. Let’s see what happens with all of these Trump indictments. It may very well be demonstrated that he IS a criminal, but the truth is that, if I may use the phrase, the jury is still out.

      PS: There is a ton of evidence that Biden, and his whole family, is corrupt. Will it ever even get to a court of law?

      1. Robin Avatar

        There are hundreds of families and businesses in New Jersey that were driven into poverty after working in construction for Mr Trump, and not getting paid. Many also fleeced go hundreds of thousands for condos in Mexico never completed. You ought to do some research. He also murdered the hero of the middle east, the man credited for victories over Isis, while he was on a diplomatic mission to Iraq. Now the idiot wants to instigate WW3 by backing the Netanyahu fascists in genocide. He should stand trial for the murder of Sulimani at least.

  2. Jack Avatar

    This is great article and an accurate description of what happens at the end of an Empire.
    There is no solution, the die is cast, the end is inevitable.

  3. gcw919 Avatar

    More evidence that we are the “exceptional” nation, just not quite the way we would like to think.

  4. tamarque Avatar

    Good, direct description of our problem Hopefully it will open some eyes

  5. Elizabeth Avatar

    It’s not just propaganda, it’s deeply felt emotional bias rather than a rational assessment of reality. Those who feel a need for dominance identify emotionally with autocratic types whether it’s Donald Trump, Netanyahu, Stalin, Javier Millei, Andrew Tate, Malcolm X or Daniel Gertler. It’s about EMOTION NOT REASON. I learned that decades ago. Emotions allow such extreme misogyny as the impersonation of women by men who are serial killers, mudererers, serial rapists and various sociopaths like Douglas Donna Perry, Marcel Harvey, Luis Sinthya Blast Morales and thousands others. You will rarely hear about this hatred of women in the analysis of men who condemn tyranny – because they also share this emotional blindspot. Their only concern is with the oppression of men – the crushing of women in Saudi Arabia, by the Taliban or the slaughter of four thousand women in the USA every year never disturbs their consciousness.

    1. Ed M. Avatar
      Ed M.

      Ms. Elizabeth:
      To place Malcolm X in the company of Donald Trump, who during his presidency, threatened at the U.N. General Assembly to “totally annihilate” North Korea, to wipe out millions of people, presumably because Kim had acquired nuclear weapons; Stalin who purged (slaughtered) millions of his own countrymen, because he perceived them as threats to his rule; and Netanyahu, who now intends genocide against the Palestinian people, is to beg incredulity at your comparison. It is an obscenity. Paul Edwards mentions this kind of thinking/mis-education of the American people in this article.

    2. Susan Siens Avatar
      Susan Siens

      I too could not understand why Malcolm X was included. Did you see any mass slaughter he encouraged? He did want African-Americans to create their own economy, and after visiting Mecca he realized that people can live together in peace.

      I am a completely dedicated gender-critical feminist, but I had to leave a women’s social media site because of the vicious racism, women buying into all the propaganda that flooded the crap media after Hamas attacked Israel. This has been very upsetting to me, seeing people I had some respect for, some belief in their decency, acting like crazies: NO THINKING, NO JUDGMENT, NO WAITING FOR INFORMATION. Are any Westerners capable of rational thinking and compassion?

  6. hotrod31 Avatar

    Wow! Paul … this article encapsulates the thoughts and scripts of all the best scribes, rolled-into one. And, in this condensed piece – you have just summed-up most Western-democracies, not just the US. It is an unfortunately fact that most of these countries (W-D) are essentially ‘governed’ and controlled by the same overseers.
    The so called, 5eyes group (really controlled by the 6th-eye in Israelostan) have got to be the most obsequious group of suck-holes on the planet.

  7. me, again Avatar
    me, again

    I love reading Paul Edward’s work. Always spot on.

  8. Prometheus Avatar

    For details read Howard Zinn’s ‘A People’s History of the United States’.

    For background read the hiostory of the Brutish Vampire’s ‘civi£ising’ mission and thousand year reich, from Ireland to the foundation of I$ra€£ to garisson Suez and the region’s oil.

    A dip into Roman Mars-worshipping mi£itari$m (Mars is deity of both war and the eponymoU$ mar-KKKet) will arm you with the mercenary g£ori€$ of the bloodbathing war cults..

    Know your enemy indeed.

  9. philosophyofgoodnews Avatar

    In his 1918 book “Decline of the West,” O.Spengler said many things one being ” With no facts, sentiment rules…”

  10. drewhunkins Avatar

    According to the reputable Israel Democracy Institute, 83% of Israeli Jews do not think the Israeli government should take into consideration the suffering of the civilian population of Gaza.

    With certain Israeli officials now advocating for the total ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians to the Sanai Desert, Hamas must be supported in its liberation efforts, its slave revolt, if you will. Tel Aviv and Israel proper must be attacked with military force. Nothing else has worked to stave off the genocidal arrogance, racism and sadism emanating from the Zionist supremacists.

    To stop this revolting display of bloodshed and utter depravity by these creepy land-grabbing usurper Zionists, an international coalition of various militaries must fuse with Hamas and Hezbollah to at least neutralize this rabid beast. Iran, Syria, Turkey, and perhaps even Russia and Egypt must come to the aid of the Palestinians in Gaza. Pakistan could hold the nuclear deterrent against the Israeli psychopaths.

    If this righteous solidarity against the Zio animals (no offense to the animal kingdom) doesn’t take place, we’ll see another 1,000 Palestinian children buried under rubble, maimed and dismembered, dying a slow and excruciating lonely death in the dark and filth of their own blood and excrement.

    1. Woopy Avatar

      Not much can be added to what you’ve said. However, the white people of Israel believe that Palestinians aren’t people and that the white supremacy of Israel should be allowed to murder them with impunity. For 70 years the Israeli white supremacy has been performing a slow Holocaust upon Palestinians with full encouragement and backing of the US. The white supremists of Israel hide behind “victomhood”, a fake religion and concocted race name “Jew” that doesn’t exist. The race name, religion, and victomhood are signs on the storefront of their mafia warehouse of evil. Bottom line these people are a white supremist Mafia bent on world control.

      1. Sam Avatar

        Woopy, you’re missing an obvious and important fact, thus making a fatal error in your assertion that there are no such people as Jews and that they are all white supremacists. I agree that the bulk of the Jewish community practice white supremacy in their treatment of Palestinians and that the Jewish Conquest of Palestine was based on a white supremacist justification of settler colonialization. But members of the Tribe can certainly be distinguished from the MAGA supporters of Trump and other white supremacist groups. If you don’t understand that, you are oversimplifying and cannot give us a good understanding of the events we are witnessing.

        1. Woopy Avatar

          Sam, it is a very simple fact that first and foremost the people in Israel who have been performing genocide, apartheid, and other atrocities upon others in the middle east are white supremists. It’s certainly not the Semitic Jews who have been living in the middle east peacefully for hundreds of years that are performing genocide. Of you are correct in saying that the Israelis are not the only white supremacy on this planet.

    2. Susan Siens Avatar
      Susan Siens

      The only Israelis I have sympathy with are dissidents and resisters (men who won’t be part of the military), the rest can go to hell as far as I’m concerned. How did I come to this viewpoint? Watching Israelis sit on a hillside cheering while IDF soldiers used Palestinian children for target practice. It reminded me of the Sand Creek Massacre in which filthy militia in Colorado murdered indigenous men, women, and children in a supposedly protected camp, then mutilated their bodies for souvenirs, and were cheered by the public. There is something fundamentally wrong with Western Europeans wherever they go; they have no decency, no conscience, no compassion, no humanity. They are everything they accuse others of being. I personally think we should all be sent back to that puny arm of Asia we came from.

      1. Sam Avatar

        I agree with most of what Paul says and don’t object to much of the rest, but he misses an important ingredient in his understanding. That’s the role of the Jewish community in the despicable behavior of the US government that he describes.

        Thus, his condemnation of the US must also include a condemnation of the Jewish Tribe. It’s a simple fact that the Israeli Jews could not get away with their murders without the political support of the US Jewish community, who, via their US Jewish Lobby, make sure that the US government gives unconditional support to their beloved Jewish state, which is founded on Zionism, a form of fascism. Nazi Germany = Zionist Judaism.

    3. Sam Avatar

      Drew, would you please supply us with a link or reference for your statement that 83% of Israeli Jews are in favor of such genocide? This is important, and you should never make such assertions without documenting it.

  11. drewhunkins Avatar


  12. Robin Avatar

    Thank you Paul! Brilliant piece. I left the country in disgust over a decade ago to live among respectful people.

  13. Norman T Avatar
    Norman T

    Wow Paul.
    Absolutely nailed it.
    Fabulous writing.
    Thank you