How to Own Life Like a Fucking Wizard

Hey! Want to know a secret? A secret that people have used to overtake those who don’t know it and rise to the top of civilizations for as long as there have been civilizations?

I’ll tell you the secret in a second, but first let me ask you a question. Have you ever noticed how unambiguous and unequivocal the pundits and reporters on the corporate news media are? How confident and assertive their voices are? How little emphasis is ever placed on the many, many unknown factors of a given situation, or how dismissed and ignored dissenting narratives are?

Wait, hang on, that’s too vague. Let me try something more specific: Bill Maher.

Have you ever watched Bill Maher? I wouldn’t blame you if you avoid it; watching him can be a viscerally uncomfortable experience for anyone who doesn’t share his mainstream corporate liberal worldview. If you agree with him, watching him feels extremely validating and comforting, but if you don’t it can feel as psychologically uncomfortable as being reprimanded by your boss in front of the whole office. And there’s a reason for that.

Bill Maher, as near as I can tell, has no redeeming characteristics of any kind. As far as talent, looks and personality goes, there’s no good reason for him to be famous, or for anyone to know his name at all. And yet he is, and we do.

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The reason Bill Maher is famous is the same as the reason he’s uncomfortable to listen to when you don’t agree with him: his voice. You’ve never heard a more assertive, condescending, “I know what’s true and you don’t” voice in your life. He has perfected the voice of authority, and he uses it with such forcefulness that it can cause a lot of cognitive dissonance in people who don’t agree with what he’s saying. But when you’re on his side it feels powerfully rewarding and validating, which is why he’s famous; listening to him triggers the reward center of the corporate liberal brain, and they want more.

Which takes us to the secret I promised to tell you. Are you ready? Here it is:

Nobody knows what the fuck is going on. We’re a bunch of hairless apes on a spinning rock in space, and we only know the stories that we’ve been told by the people who got here before us. We come out as clueless little babies, then when we get bigger we learn some fancy words and how to open a bag of chips, but underneath all the data we add on top of our fresh baby minds there’s still the same cluelessness we started out with. The process of sorting out the true and useful data from the false and unhelpful is confusing, difficult, and prone to error. So people tend to just listen to the most confident-sounding voice in the room; the one who steps forward and says “I know what’s going on, follow me.”

This is how those confident-sounding pundits and politicians have been able to control the dominant narratives about world events and keep a huge majority of the population in alignment with the narrow Overton window of acceptable ideas. It isn’t because they have better ideas or more truthful narratives (I just made myself laugh typing that), it’s because the people who get hired and promoted by the plutocrat-owned media are the ones who can speak lies and half-truths with the confident voice of authority.

Thing is, there’s no trademark on the voice of authority. Nobody owns it; it’s just a trade secret whose importance nobody who knows it talks about publicly. Which means there’s nothing stopping you from using it, too.

Because here’s the thing: since society is made of narrative, and since nobody knows what the fuck is going on, you can pretty much arrange the narratives around you in a way that suits you just by declaring confidently, consistently and assertively what it is that’s happening. People will adjust their ideas about what’s going on to accommodate your ownership of the narrative, and before you know it you’re being uplifted by society and supported toward whatever goals you’ve got in mind. Decide you’re a leader, they’ll make you a leader. Decide you’re successful, they’ll make you successful. Decide you know what’s happening, they’ll believe you. Say what you want like it’s going to happen, and if it’s a want that society can fulfill, they will.

It’s like being a wizard. Just by becoming confident and assertive, you can control social narratives and ride them wherever you want to go. It’s immensely powerful once you get the hang of it, so it’s in the highest interest to only use this power for the good of society. I’ve been strongly advocating a grassroots information rebellion in which the public seizes control of the dominant narrative about what’s going on instead of remaining subject to the authorized official stories being promulgated by confident-sounding pundits and politicians. We can use the confident voice of authority to override the voice of the establishment propaganda machine.

But to be clear, people are already using this power; the only problem is that only the wrong sorts of people are using it. The social engineers have been promoting strong-voiced establishment loyalists in the mass media for generations, and sociopaths also quickly learn how to master it without ever being taught due to a lack of investment in truth or compassion. If you’re clever and you’re only interested in success at any cost, it doesn’t take long to figure out that you can manipulate your way to the top using confident-sounding assertions for the purpose of social narrative control.

So I don’t feel worried about showing people this secret, and I plan on highlighting it often, because otherwise it’s the equivalent of sociopaths being the only people in the world who have weapons. The problems of our world are due to the fact that selfish, oafish, amoral people speak with unequivocal self-confidence, while compassionate, insightful people wait their turn, use mitigated speech, stay as boringly objective as possible, and treat establishment voices with the same respect which they themselves want to be treated. The fact that the sociopaths and manipulators are constantly firing all their weapons on full auto while we’re politely nudging at the problem with one finger has created a power disparity which explains why the worst among us are in charge.

Trump. Perfect example. A rich man with a rich father and nothing going for him personality-wise other than massive confidence and a rock-solid understanding of the power of assertive narrative control. The man can say something, then days later confidently assert that he never said it knowing full well his comments are on the record, and still get half the country saying “Yeah, fair enough, that sounds about right.” He was able to beat down both Bush and Clinton dynasties and take the White House by sheer force of entitlement and self-confidence.

Imagine a world where it wasn’t only powerful plutocrats doing that. Imagine if all truth-tellers began speaking with the same forceful authoritative confidence of the manipulators at the top. The social engineers would have no way of keeping their authorized narratives in control and manufacturing consent for war, ecocide and exploitative oppression, because Chris Cuomo’s voice wouldn’t have any more force behind it than anyone else’s. Whoever controls the narrative controls the world, and putting that control in the hands of the people is vastly better than leaving it in the hands of a few sociopathic elites.

So get confident and take control. Say your truth and say it like you’re right, because you know you are. Your own best guess about what’s happening in the world is infinitely better than what you’re told to believe by mass media manipulators who you know for a fact are paid to deceive you, so say what you reckon is happening in the world with unmitigated, full-throated authority. When it looks like they’re lying to get a new war or more internet censorship or whatever, voice your own best guess about what’s really happening, and don’t be shy about doing whatever it takes to get it heard by as many people as possible. You have as much a right to speak as the sociopathic manipulators do; more even, since your intentions are not self-serving but world-serving.

If we don’t control the narrative, only omnicidal, ecocidal sociopaths will control the narrative. I repeat: if we don’t control the narrative, only sociopaths will control the narrative. So take control, using every tool in the toolbox. Take their weapons from them, and use them.

Be big. Be bold. Step way outside the rank they have assigned you. Speak way above your station. Do not let anyone shame you into equivocation or meekness, and don’t let them bully you into the usual dull academic recitation of objective data. Fight the propagandists with the same loud, aggressive assertiveness that they are using, and bulldoze over anyone who tries to admonish you for being impolite about it.

It’s life or death at this point, and our choices are fight, flight or freeze. Near as I can tell, freezing means death and we’ve got no other world we can flee to, so we’ve got to fight. If we’re going to fight we should fight, not with one hand tied behind our backs while they manipulate our species into consenting to its own extinction via war or ecocide, but with full force like our lives depend on it. Because they do.

So take control. Grab the narrative by the balls and own it. Because it’s better you than them.

Opinion by Caitlin Johnstone / Republished with permission

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