I’ll start with some general thoughts I didn’t include in the last comment (for reasons of brevity).

First, I think the whole “Right vs. Left” thing is a dangerously simplistic false analogy. One dimension is certainly not enough for any meaningful mapping of political ideologies, much less different practical opinions on how to reach those ideals. Even two dimensions aren’t enough.

Unfortunately, a historical progression of “leftists” have used it to co-opt other groups, especially when they’re all opposed to a “conservative” status quo. These days SJW types are the worst offenders, but there’ve been others in the past.

Another issue I have is with the “corporatist” bubble: the notion that the loose agglomeration of corporations, funds, and major stockholders (“big globalist plutocrats”) are all united into some sort of conspiracy towards a single goal.

As I see it, there are many agendas, with both overlapping and opposing “bullet points”. The only way, IMO, somebody can believe that an issue like, say, “net neutrality” is “us vs. the big corporations” is by retreating into a delusional bubble where big corporations such as Google/Youtube, Netflix, MSM media companies etc. are somehow supporting “net neutrality” out of the goodness of their hearts, rather than because they depend on advertising that gets a free ride on the backs of everybody else’s Internet speed.

I find it surprising that Caitlin Johnstone would fall for this, given her own victimization by Facebook (also here). The very fact that big profit-hungry corporations are on both sides of this question demonstrates it’s much more complex than pro- vs. anti-corporation.

In fact, while “capitalism” in this country has its problems, there is a fair spread of opinion among various powerful players (both human and corporate). AFAIK there are even “plutocratic” supporters of socialist politics.

Now to your specific questions:

Do you not think it is important that endless corporate meddling and dark money in our elections be brought to heel?

It is common “wisdom” among libertarians that the more large businesses suffer from regulatory interference, especially complex, unpredictable, interference, the greater their incentive to spend money “meddling”.

I somewhat agree with that, although there are other incentives to meddle.

But more importantly, such regulation, just by existing, tilts the playing field towards very large corporate entities. This is because the costs of maintaining the staff and knowledge resources to deal with the regulatory environment doesn’t scale with the size of the business, although the amount available to spend on it does.

(You’ll note that this issue was central to Mr. Trump’s campaign. The problem isn’t so much forbidding things as unclear or inconsistent regulations that can’t be easily predicted, and don’t provide a “level playing field”. This resonated strongly with business communities, but I suppose most of his enemies didn’t notice this and assumed it meant “let them do anything”.)

I do think that honest and accurate campaign donation reporting is more important than trying to limit spending. Especially in the last decade or so, good internet-driven grass-roots and targeted activity is far more important relative to simple money than in the past. I expect this trend to continue, despite efforts by Google, Facebook, and the “Deep State” to make it impossible.

I should also point out that both the Obama and Trump campaigns involved a great deal of small contribution from grass-roots supporters. As big donors realize that their chance of good returns on their donations is reduced, they will probably cut back on them.

And they may not be so welcome when the fact of their donation can be used effectively against their chosen candidate(s).

If the “shadowy puppeteers” are pushing both globalism publicly and nationalism covertly (the latter by working double-time to generate the conditions for mass migrations, etc), what are we supposed to do?

Well, as I view the “shadowy puppeteers” as being divided into several (at least) different camps based on ideology and perceived benefit, I don’t see any reason why some might not favor a more tightly bound EU while others favor a much looser separation, and the nationalism that supports it.

This doesn’t rule out people wearing more than one mask, it also doesn’t rule out people with a single agenda that they think easiest to get by playing off balanced parties against each other.

Also, many of us are avowed opponents of the “Globalist narrative,” whether or not we believe a shadowy cabal runs the whole show.

I’m not sure what you mean by the “Globalist narrative”. I’d say the world is too small these days (relative to transport and communications technology) to avoid some sort of globalization. The question is: what sort?

Right now, the US is the preeminent world power, and even with some replica of the 19th century anarchy among Western European nation-states the US would be “first among equals” (today). I doubt anybody (in the US) really wants us to be second to China or Russia (or even both), given their execrable records on human rights and economic freedom.

This explains the huge military appropriations, larger than anybody had asked for. All factions of the “deep state”, as well as most Trump supporters want the US to remain the preeminent power, capable of taking on at least the next two largest powers together.

I’ll finish by saying that I find Caitlin an excellent communicator, and my responses are aimed as much at changing her opinions as other readers. Obviously I’m not going to convince a socialist to change their mind, but even socialists, if they expect to change semi-“capitalist” systems like those today, need to understand the distinctions and mechanisms that make it work.

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