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Diana Johnstone’s just published book, Circle in the Darkness: Memoir of a World Watcher, is the best book I have ever read, the most revealing, the most accurate, the most truthful, the most moral and humane, the most sincere and heartfelt, and the best written. Her book is far more than a memoir. It is a history that has not previously been written. If you want the truth of the last 60 years in place of the contrived reality constructed for us by controlled explanations, it is in this book.

This book is so extraordinary in its truthfulness and conciseness that it is difficult for a less gifted writer to do it justice. It is a book without a superfluous sentence.

Herein I will provide some of the books message. In future columns I hope to present some of the history in the book.

In the Western World the legitimate national interest of people has become identified with racism and fascism. Corporate globalism requires open borders, and the left has aligned with globalism and has become the most zealous enforcer of open borders, which has come to mean the right of refugees with victim status to other peoples’ countries. The left has abandoned the working class and anti-war activity. Today the left is pro-war in order to enforce “human rights” on alleged dictators by bombing their peoples into oblivion, thus producing refugees and tag along opportunistic immigrants that flock to the Western aggressor nations.

Self-styled moral censors, such as Antifa, denounce hate while violently hating those they denounce. Everything is settled by controlled explanations that cannot be questioned or examined in debate. Those who engage in critical free thinking are censored, shouted down, beaten up, fired, and cancelled. The cancel culture permits no debate, only enthusiastic acquiesce to explanations that have been settled in advance.

Antifa by shutting down open debate actually serves to protect the authoritarian center consisting of “the Clintonian Democratic Party, mainstream media, the military industrial complex and globalized neoliberal finance capital.” Antifa turns the left into a support group for the authoritarian center.

In the European Union’s so-called constitution, private corporate interests take precedence over—indeed do not permit—the socialized elements of European mixed economies that made the societies livable communities. Today people are sacrificed to the greed of the global elite as social services are curtailed and privatized.

In the “Western democracies,” democracy–that is, rule by the people and a rule of law– has been extinguished. European peoples were forced into the European Union at the expense of their national sovereignty despite having voted down EU membership. The French people voted 54.7% against EU membership and 45.3% for. The Dutch people voted 61% against the EU and 39% for. Faced with an unacceptable democratic outcome, the ruling elites removed the question from the people by turning EU membership into a “treaty” that could be signed by governments without input from the peoples. When the French Constitutional Court ruled that the “treaty” was contrary to the French Constitution, the French Constitution was changed to accommodate the “treaty.” Only the Irish government gave the people a choice by putting the “treaty” to a referendum, and the people rejected it. Chastised for allowing the people to decide their own fate, the Irish government collapsed under elite pressure and after a period of intense propaganda in favor of the “treaty” forced it through on a second referendum. The Western “democratic” media were principal agents of the elite in stripping European peoples of any control over how they are governed.

In the West lies and orchestrated deceit have replaced truth in government and media. Instead of spreading facts and mutual understanding, media have deceived the public in order to gain support for unjustifiable wars. Deceit “reached an extravagant new peak of danger with the campaign of calumny against Russia” culminating in the preposterous charge investigated by a “special prosecutor” that Hillary Clinton’s defeat was caused by a Putin/Trump plot involving Russian interference in the US presidential election.

“Western values” are constantly invoked, but what are these values? They are not the values that made the West what it is, or rather was. These values are rejected. Free speech is out if it challenges official explanations whether the government’s or the left’s or uses any words that can be misrepresented as “hate speech.” Democracy is out as demonstrated by the anti-democratic formation of the European Union. Truth is out as it is “offensive.” Rational inquiry is regarded as denial of emotion-based proclamations. It goes on and on. Diana Johnstone notes that government repression is most significant not against violent acts of rebellion but against Julian Assange for exercising press freedom to convey information to the public.

Where does this leave us? We have the West against the world, the West against itself, and the people against themselves. Washington is unable “to view the world other than as a field for exercising US ‘leadership,’ and all who balk are considered deadly enemies.” The diplomacy of the US and its NATO vassals consists of dropping sanctions and bombs on those who refuse to submit to Washington’s will, while the West itself dissolves into “diversity” and the mutual hatred of Identity Politics, which has progressed to the point that the transgendered are busy at work hating feminists. Diana Johnstone puts it best:

“When individuals are bunched into groups assigned intrinsic qualities—from victimhood to racism—normal human ties of mutual concern, shared purpose, comprehension and compassion are severed. In a grotesque development, new gender identities are invented, whose ‘cause’ overshadows the real problems of genuinely disadvantaged people. Economic issues are forgotten as groups mobilize solely to police attitudes. Billionaires prosper more than ever before, while down below people bicker over safe spaces and toilet use.”

Hubris has destroyed humanity:

“The countries of the Western world are in a state of schizophrenic overconfidence and self-doubt. Their leaders persist in proclaiming ‘our values’ as the model for the rest of humanity, while their own people are increasingly divided and disillusioned.

“The 18th century was the century of the liberated mind. The 19th century was the century of Great Men. The 20th century was the century of the common man. And the 21st century’s looks like it may become a negation of all of them. The century of nobody at all.

“Irrationality and censorship restore chains to thought. Great Men are only statues to be demolished. The common man, once hailed as the hero of a radiant future, has been degraded to a superfluous nuisance, probably racist and homophobic. Ordinary folks have been reassigned from the glorious concept of ‘the people’ to their derogatory redefinition under the rubric of populism’ [and Trump deplorables].

People are reduced to ‘consumers,’ while being told that by consuming, they are destroying the planet. Identity Politics has not only turned people against each other by group, but its late manifestation, Vegan speciesism, even turns people against people altogether, for being an overprivileged life form.”

What will our future be? Currently we live in a dystopia of deceit. But the failure of our leaders to deal adequately with a health crisis and their hostility to an economic system that serves people rather than the wealth of elites are marking the Western world as a massive failure. Will realization of this failure cause the people to revolt as the Yellow Vests have, or will it break the people and further diminish them?


As we are confined at home in an effort to avoid infection and to limit the spread of infection, now is a good time to read a clear explanation of what has happened to us in our time, assess the failures that have undermined our existence as a united and free people, and prepare for reconstructing a livable and humane society. Diana Johnstone’s book is available from Clarity Press

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Vince says:

    Also available at Thrift Books. You can tell a book the oligarchs want to censor – not available at Amazon.

    • Replies: @BuelahMan
    , @T. Weed
  2. BEAUTIFUL,poetic…thanks again.
    Let us get this going.

  3. BuelahMan says:

    There is at least 6,000,000 of them.

  4. Miro23 says:

    Thanks for an excellent review. I’ve just ordered two copies from the publisher. There’s a link at the end of the review to her books at Clarity Press. The direct link to the book is:

  5. H G Wells said it best: “Our true nationality is mankind.”

    There is nothing less promising for humanity’s future than the reemergence of strong nationalism.

    Poisonous stuff in almost every aspect.

    • Replies: @Miro23
    , @Antiwar7
  6. Miro23 says:
    @John Chuckman

    H G Wells said it best: “Our true nationality is mankind.”

    There is nothing less promising for humanity’s future than the reemergence of strong nationalism.

    Poisonous stuff in almost every aspect.

    While you’re Teaching The World To Sing we’re building fences:

    Good fences make good neighbors

    Good neighbors respect one another’s property. Good farmers, for example, maintain their fences in order to keep their livestock from wandering onto neighboring farms. This proverb appears in the poem “Mending Wall,” by Robert Frost

    Nationalism doesn’t at all mean Adolf Hitler. It means, this is my house, and that is your house. Mutual respect and co-operation but still a fence.

    • Agree: Gunga Din
    • Replies: @John Chuckman
    , @Curmudgeon
  7. @Miro23

    I’m not a New Englander in spirit.

    And we don’t have to look to a Hitler for negative aspects of nationalism.

    Trump does a pretty good job of promoting nastiness and conflict in the world.

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  8. @John Chuckman

    There is nothing less promising for humanity’s future than the reemergence of strong nationalism.

    Oh year? Try globalism!

    By the way, Trump’s just a globalist in sheep’s clothing. Look at all his advisors: neo-conservatives and Goldman-Sachs bankers. Meanwhile, where’s our wall? Where’s our détente with Russia?

  9. But how we do change our nature?
    The pattern of history is clear. Power (manifested as interest) has been present in every conflict of the past – no exception. It is the underlying motivation for war. Other cultural factors might change, but not power.
    Interest cuts across all apparently unifying principles: family, kin, nation, religion, ideology, politics – everything. We unite with the enemies of our principles, because that is what serves our interest. It is power, not any of the above concepts, that is the cause of war. It has been the cause of two world wars in the last hundred years; it seems it will be cause of a third before long.
    Diana Johnstone certainly offers hope. But these are very dark times and we cannot be under any illusion as to the challenge – our nature and history.

  10. Verity says:

    America has used a viral epidemic to continue its aggressions against Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. Imagine trying to increase the impact of a deadly sickness to make people revolt against their governments. Shades of smallpox blankets. These American actions are crimes against humanity according to our own Constitution. There should be a sign at every road, port of debarkation, and airport saying: You are entering the USA: Here be MONSTERS!

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  11. “And the 21st century’s looks like it may become a negation of all of them. The century of nobody at all.”


    “Nobody was faster.”

  12. @Verity

    Absolutely, they are crimes against humanity.

    We live in such a dark time that almost no one important, no one with serious influence, will say so.

  13. Antiwar7 says:

    Couldn’t agree more!

    Circle in the Darkness: Memoir of a World Watcher is a great, well-written, informative view of the last 50 years in the West. Easy to read, yet full of facts; personal and universal; relates theory and practice; compares and contrasts the US and Europe. Excellent.

  14. Antiwar7 says:
    @John Chuckman

    I think you’re being fooled. The author of the book Roberts reviewed gives a defense of nation states and some aspects of nationalism: historically to end religious wars, providing more representative democracy than supranational entities like the European Union and Nato, promoting social policies (again, attacked by European Union competition rules), and defense against large corporations and global capital.

    The natural order above nation is empire, not universal meritocracy.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  15. T. Weed says:

    A “dystopia of deceit” PCR calls our sickness. I will buy the book, but I wonder if Johnstone examines how this deceit came about. Who has been lying to us? Who has owned most Media for the last half century or longer? Who controls what we see, read, hear, and talk about? Israel Shamir calls them the Masters of Discourse. Do those Masters have an Agenda?

  16. T. Weed says:

    It is available, I just checked.

  17. @Antiwar7

    Yes, I understand what you are saying, and many institutions over certain portions of their history do perform functions to advance something worthwhile for a time.

    Certain Protestants come to mind concerning education. Because they wanted people to read the Bible themselves, they boosted the idea of widespread education. But I do not associate protestants today at all with anything progressive like that, at least the bulk of them.

    Nationalism today is to my mind pretty narrow stuff. I, me, mine.

    And I very much admire past efforts to create international organizations for trade and other matters. Many good things happened in the postwar period.

    Many of those organizations and arrangements are now under attack by staunch nationalist types, like Trump. (What an irony that such a hugger of his flag for photo-ops and one who makes various military threats avoided military service!)

    In the end, this will only make the world a poorer place. It also increases the likelihood of conflict.

    Nation-states too are haphazardly created over the centuries. There is almost no pattern or consistency, some getting a wonderful natural endowment, and others getting very little indeed. Are international borders and armies to lock that in for all time?

    There are many other matters at work too. All advanced countries have passed through Demographic Transition, and their populations cannot replace themselves without in-migration.

    Some advanced countries actually face population decline, as Japan.

    So, international migration will be a larger and larger part of things. Changes in climate will also affect these movements. The changes will not be the same in all places, and some populations will need to move.International order and authority will absolutely be required.

    There are many other considerations too, but I’ll leave it there.

    Of course, anything I say is predicated on the current storm of difficulties not turning into a catastrophe, a world-shaking set of events, and I think that is not impossible.

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
    , @Malla
  18. Crazy Horse says: • Website

    Another book I’ve added to my somewhat extensive reading list. The silver lining behind this corona panic pandemic lockdown is I now have time to read them 🙂

    • Agree: Anonymous (n)
  19. @John Chuckman

    I do think the pandemic, when it is over, may create demand for additional international measures around medical matters and warning systems and unified responses. That would be a good thing.

  20. mario964 says:

    It looks like that the master plan set forth in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has been definitely fulfilled.
    Widely considered as an hoax, a fabricated antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination (Wikipedia), nevertheless there’s no way but to recognize that it’s an astonishingly realistic blueprint of the actual state of mankind.

    Isaiah 61:5-7.
    5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
    6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
    You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.
    7 Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
    and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
    And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

  21. Malla says:
    @John Chuckman

    Some advanced countries actually face population decline, as Japan.

    As automation systems get more advanced, it is not a bad idea to have a nation with a slightly smaller homogeneous population. The disasters waiting to happen are places like India, Pakistan, Arabia or even Africa where enough jobs will never be created for all, not even close. There might be even less job creation in the future as more and more economic processes get more and more automated.
    Western Europe may become a disaster too because of the infiltration of (large number of mostly lower IQ violent) outsiders for decades. So would North America and Australasia.
    Unless a PRChina Vs Japan (or an inter Korean) war flares up, Japan seems much better off than most of the world to me.

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  22. @Malla

    “As automation systems get more advanced, it is not a bad idea to have a nation with a slightly smaller homogeneous population.”

    I respectfully disagree.

    The only homogeneity genuinely needed involve talent, good will, and cooperation.

    And Demographic Transition in all advanced countries promises not just a slightly smaller population. It promises, without in-migration, a falling population.

    A population can only be maintained at a fertility rate of about 2.1, but in much of the advanced world, we see rates more like 1.5.

    And what nations even have homogeneous populations? Virtually none of the traditional “powers”
    from Germany to the US. None of the smaller traditional states from Sweden to Canada
    China, Russia – sort of. Their populations in fact have many kinds of ethnic groups in them.

    The prospect for future job creation are indeed unknown, over some time horizon.

    But we know what they have been and what they likely will be over some time once the pandemic is over.

    All bets are of course off if our current set of problems – disease, economic, financial, aggression,and fear – create a revolutionary storm, something not impossible.

    • Disagree: Malla
  23. @Miro23

    Nationalism doesn’t at all mean Adolf Hitler. It means, this is my house, and that is your house. Mutual respect and co-operation but still a fence.

    Any honest look at the Hitler and the NSDAP would show you that there was plenty of mutual respect and co-operation offered, but very little returned. That is not to say there weren’t flaws, there were. The war with the UK and France was due to Germany’s economic programme becoming successful in demonstrating that finance capitalism was a parasite. It was catching on in the UK and France in the form of Mosely’s British Union of Fascists and Doriot’s French Popular Party. As in Germany, it was the working class and former communists who predominantly supported these movements. That had to stop.
    The war with the USSR was inevitable, as virtually their entire industrialization was focused on military spending. As General Leon DeGrelle stated, had it not been for Germany, Stalin would have been standing in Calais looking across the Channel at England.

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