“They considered themselves free and no one will ever be free as long as there is plague, pestilence and famine”
– Albert Camus, The Plague
- The paradox of safety;
- A deconstruction of the “first wave” of the COVID-19 scam (see also Tyranny by numbers);
- In society fear and consumption are the offspring of power. An analysis of human relations in the light of “the new normal”;
- A dissection of the role of “the new normal” in the global economy, how and why it is being implemented;
- Why in a technocratic system science, politics and money become the same;
- A discussion of the constitutional validity of universally mandated medicine;
- The nature of market economics in the light of “conspiracies” and “the new normal”;
- The rise of the age of transhumanism;
- The simple peaceful solution to reduce an unhealthy overreach of power
The paradox of safety
In many places the COVID-19 outbreak has been witness to the worst interference with personal liberty in history. Authority has either enforced a qualified house imprisonment, applicable, in principle, to the whole population; or it has imposed unprecedented restrictions on the day-to-day affairs of ordinary people. What has been particularly inexplicable about this is that whatever your position on COVID-19, this has, by historical standards, not been a serious pandemic.
As we established in Tyranny by numbers, the severity of the disease has been proportional to media hype and manufactured data. Indeed, the closer the country has been to the US, UK, EU power axis, the worse it has been affected. Global pandemics should touch populations equally, with perhaps seasonal differences, population density, healthcare infrastructure, and various other pertinent indices all having the effect of either reducing or aggravating spread and recovery rates. But the “first wave” of this virus has been discriminate of wealth and power far more than the standard of healthcare and population density. It has been targeting the richest nations with the most freedoms far more than poorest nations with the least freedoms, save for a few examples far away from the hub of western power, such as Iceland, which has scarcely been impacted at all.
The body politic in many nations has been so tyrannised by the disease that the people have been convinced to trade their freedoms for safety. Which begs the question, if safety is the number one consideration, why on earth are people paying any heed to the corporate state apparatus? It seems quite the leap of faith to presuppose its benign intent; to presuppose its honesty and competence. It also tragically ignores the paradox of safety and thus fails in its own aim.
The paradox here is that to earn something valuable one must risk not having it; to keep something valuable one must risk losing it. While an individual who shuns risk summons concomitant risks, a society that shuns risk is one that forfeits freedom. To do so invites a narrow, ugly, grovelling existence on the one hand, and the most prosaic form of human life on the other, in which every single object suggests a vast sum of qualified conditions. In such a world absolute control is universal, and therefore safety is conditional.
Even so, the modern imagination is now stooping to the misery of trying to abolish the danger of things by abolishing the things themselves. In order to preserve the enjoyment of parks and beaches, the logic has it, one must temporarily abolish the enjoyment of parks and beaches. This twisted logic is especially dear to authority because it is depressing.
The public are being encouraged to wear masks. It appears the modern imagination is craven enough to try and mitigate the danger of human interaction by circumscribing human interaction itself. This twisted logic is especially dear to authority because it is dehumanising.
Social distancing is an oxymoron – being social is the opposite of being distant. But the modern imagination yearns to keep people apart so that they can ultimately stay together. This twisted logic is especially dear to authority because it is anti-social.
The public’s disenfranchisement is especially dear to society because, being conditioned to live in fear, the people are paralysed by fear, and thus safety becomes the paragon of human aspiration. Once accustomed to living within small enclosures of self and mind, people welcome the transition to a sterilised space. It seems that the modern spirit wants to slowly snuff out life itself in order to preserve it. This is especially dear to authority because it is ugly, it is controlling, and it is misanthropic.
Governments have bound the public’s ability to walk freely into the future in the same manner men in certain cultures used to bind their women’s feet. In the public’s interest generational wealth has been squandered and stolen in a matter of months, increased overt state surveillance and control has been introduced and people have even been encouraged to “snitch” on lockdown rule-breakers. In Britain, a ritualistic nationwide clap for carers and the NHS cringe-fest has been observed every Thursday evening because hero-worshipping state institutions is not creepy at all. All of this has been especially dear to authority because it is Orwellian.
The British state propaganda arm, the BBC, epitomises the post-truth world so succinctly in a recent self-adulating fluff-piece. Having perhaps done more to promulgate dread, distortion and deceit than any other British entity, which has helped to wedge loved ones apart, many permanently, with people who did not even have the ‘virus’ being forced to die alone to combat the threat of the ‘virus’, the BBC describes its role as: “Bringing us closer”.
COVID-19 has ushered in these new norms, which have been enforced in many places by a police service doing its best impression of an occupying force. To keep people safe by stamping out their freedoms is one part of this “new normal”. Though these measures are ostensibly temporary, the “new normal” is in fact a catchphrase to help condition a new reality. It is of course a euphemism for permanence.
A new philosophy is most often a rebranding of some older vice. For instance, sophists will defend vanity and call it the liberty of the self. They will defend self-indulgence and call it personal truth. They will defend cowardice and call it considerate and safe. Similarly, it seems to me that the “the new normal” is simply the promotion of a much older normal. It is this: through fear and division the few will have dominion over the many.
One of life’s cruellest paradoxes is that the many are superior to the few yet appear always at their mercy. The good news is their subjugation does not exist in the material; it exists in the immaterial.
There are two illusions at play here. The first is that the government is in control. The truth is that the people are always in control, hence the elaborate ways in which their consent is engineered.
Take the easing of restrictions. In many places the restrictions were easing well before a formal state ruling because mass civil disobedience was effectively negating enforcement. On the back of this recalcitrance the state issues an order to slowly lift restrictions and thereby the illusion of state control is maintained. Had disorder in the UK continued to be isolated, I expect full lockdown would have continued in place for the planned 12 weeks, and even more damage would have been inflicted on the economy and public health.
The second illusion is that in a democracy the government is accountable to the people and is set up by and for the people. The truth is that the country and its government function like a company. It is answerable to the shareholders, all of whom are transnational entities, and will actively work against the interests of the nation and its people whenever there is conflict between those interests.
Take the imposition of restrictions. In a free society people must be trusted to behave in a sensible and responsible manner, otherwise it is not free. By definition. The prudent action, in the case of a slightly more severe seasonal flu (at worst) openly acknowledged many months ago, would be to make the public aware of the danger, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised, which appear the only demographic significantly touched by this outbreak, and allow people to use their own discretion. People will generally be circumspect when it comes to immediate precaution in matters of their own health.
The imprudent action, what we have in fact seen on an almost global scale, is for all arms of the body politic to work as one to distort and sensationalise the threat level. It has cultivated a kind of strange theatre of omnipotent fear, which has reduced minds to a primitive state of panic and confusion. The collapse of the economy, the violation of rights and freedoms, increased anxiety, and stress, all of which are disastrous for public well-being has been the harvest. The irony is not lost on most, but it is lost on those whose opinions are the symptoms of irrational impulse, position, or privilege.
This strange theatre of omnipotent fear, which characterises society generally – with the COVID-19 pandemic merely being the latest manifestation – is the product of our relationship with authority. Power is flaccid without control. Which is why in the secular age of industrial globalism, which has redefined the world through the lens of materialism, there has been a concerted effort to keep people on a hamster wheel of fear and consumption.
Power and control in the age of industrial globalism
In the past power was asserted through force and self-sanctification. Human relations were throughout of a divine order, and power placed itself at the terrestrial head of that divine order. In the modern world, however, in which rapid economic growth has been the direct result of the liberty of self, power is asserted through secular mechanisms of manipulation, namely science, technology and the state. We have essentially deified our appetites – the need for food, sex, status, shelter, comfort, security and so on – and the powerful simply tap into those appetites and use them against us.
“A change has come over our democracy. It is called consumptionism. The American citizen’s first importance to his country is now no longer that of citizen but that of consumer”– Unkown American Journalist, 1927
Once machine technique was perfected it was necessary to transition from a needs-based economy to a desires-based economy. Because it is impossible to have economic growth in an era of mass production without also having mass consumption. These new economic modalities gave rise to the age of consumerism.
The apple never falls far from the tree. Everything depends on the surroundings and proceeds from those surroundings, and no person can be entirely independent of them. In the public arena, in which the multitude fights for position and vies for prestige, material wealth and comfort has therefore been both outwardly and tacitly preached as life’s main aim. People have in effect been turned into passive consumers whose function is to use goods and services in a system of planned obsolescence.
In a consumeristic culture the public are not necessarily sovereign, the public’s fears and desires are sovereign. The people themselves exercise little decision-making power. Because humans are primarily driven by instinctual or unconscious fears and desires, it is therefore possible to persuade people to behave irrationally if a product or an idea is linked to those unconscious fears and desires. Certainly, people generally buy products to feel good about themselves, often as an act of self-expression. It is self-evident, then, that in a system in which material possessions are being used as a palliative, choice is indissolubly connected with the unconscious.
In a system of planned obsolescence, if people are stimulated often, it follows as a corollary that their stimulation cannot be protracted beyond certain limits. Their attention span will not allow for it. Thus, a large proportion of the political economy is organically reduced to the lowest common denominator. But in the case of democracy itself, there are more contrived efforts to limit the average person’s democratic agency.
It has long been thought that an “excess of democracy” leads to a “crisis of democracy”. The central idea is that if the political system is overloaded with participants and demands it will become ungovernable and make a society dangerously unstable. To prevent this from happening ordinary people must be marginalised from a decision-making capacity. They simply can’t be trusted to make decisions on a rational basis for the greater good of society.
The dawn of this age of “consumptionism” witnessed an enormous amount of local and global political instability; primarily because, it was thought, mass groups were over stimulated. Political theorists in the 1920s like Walter Lippmann argued that an urgent re-think was needed for democracy. If human beings were driven by unconscious irrational forces, and not information, it was necessary for an enlightened elite to apply scientific management to tame what Lippmann called the “bewildered herd”.
The public, in Lippmann’s view, could pick from a pre-selected choice of elected officials, but that those officials would receive guidance from the technocrats, who would essentially manage public affairs by proxy.
In ‘The Public and its Problems’ written in 1927, John Dewey identified the main flaw in this model. He wrote: “The very ignorance, bias, frivolity, jealousy, instability, which are alleged to incapacitate them from sharing in public affairs, unfit them still more for passive submission to rule by intellectuals”. Dewey’s insight correctly deduced that Lippmann’s analysis contained a hidden paradox. If the public were too incorrigibly backward and obtuse to take part in public affairs, then this backwardness would make them even more insubordinate to a ruling technocratic elite, however well-intentioned. It was necessary, therefore, that if these ideas were implemented, without inviting insurrection, the plutocrats would have to work behind the scenes with the experts.
This is essentially the model of democracy still in place today. At its core, democracy was about changing the relations of power which had governed the world for so long. The Chartists, the Suffragettes, various grassroot socialist movements had fought tirelessly to better working conditions and to liberate the ordinary man and woman from oppressive, antiquated systems of power. The elite eventually had to cede ground to mollify the mutinous swell. But universal suffrage ultimately resulted in the dilution of democracy.
It demoted it from something which presumes aparticipative civic duty, to something that resembles more of a product to be consumed. A kind of placebo, if you will. The democratic system will give the illusion of responding to a complaint or yearning but will not really change the objective circumstances at all. Indeed, we even have a disparaging term for an elected official or policy uncouth enough to treat democracy as a non-placebo: “populist”.
For democracy to be a turned into feel-good medicine is, I suppose, a foreseeable consequence of a consumeristic culture, in which people have grown so accustomed to depending on the guidance of others, they are happy to have everything chewed up for them first before they swallow.
Every election campaign evinces as such. The balloons, bunting, cheap sloganeering, repetitive mantras, create an atmosphere of childishness, which has the effect of removing the public from the arena of meaningful democratic action. With the public’s role as passive consumers, plutocrats understand that if you can stimulate their irrational impulses, in the manner of big business, it is possible to steer a majority in the desired direction.
In the lives of most people, it must be said, the ratio between the irrational and the rational is very much in favour of the irrational. They are liable to clothe feelings in erroneous ideas. What is true of the individual is even more true of groups, which are distinctly more volatile and malleable. In a nutshell, leadership manipulates and manages those feelings and clothes them in the correct ideas.
”The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”
– Edward Bernays, Propaganda
Persuasion and conditioning, rather than physical coercion, has up until now been sufficient to exert control over a society. Those with means have essentially reduced those without into emotional puppets. They manipulate them by stimulating desires and fears. We should add that this method of population control has been more pressing in an age of industrial globalism where contractual obligation is prized high above a sense of abstract fidelity to national sovereignty. When nationhood itself has become a dirty word, it becomes necessary to entice the public toward hidden objectives, by inciting their emotions, rather than to demand allegiance on patriotic grounds.
There may in fact be particularly good reasons for a stated policy but to explain it rationally to the public would cause insurmountable difficulties. Because they are not rational – those who stand to lose everything from said policy will be even less rational. So, it is necessary to excite their inner fears and manipulate them in the interests of a higher truth. Edward Bernays, the founding father of public relations – a euphemism for propaganda – called it the “engineering of consent”.
To uncover that which is intended to remain hidden will always involve a certain amount of conjecture. But we can say that in a world of finite resources the “consumptionism” that has been the order of things in the west and elsewhere for the last century cannot realistically continue. The lockdown, which has purportedly been triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, is in fact coloured by the same brush as the fallacious fears aroused over climate change. It is to impede the western and global economy to bring it in line with a more sustainable future – a controlled demolition of its productive capacities.
This requires more state interference and the destruction of the middle-class. The “second wave” of the pandemic – which sounds like more of a threat than a warning – will be another step in the ongoing process of centralisation, increased global integration and authoritarianism.
The dominant ideas are the ruling ideas
It is only natural that the system we are in has left a profound impress upon our thoughts and opinions. When a story is fabricated, one which goes on to dominate social discourse, such as WMDs in Iraq, many of us assume that it can’t be ideologically framed because we wrongly believe that our mass media is independent and objective and would filter out fact from fiction. In this sense, a story’s monotonous dispersion confirms its authenticity. The exact reverse, of course, is true. Consider the ultimate source.
Marx also wrote that the dominant ideas are always the ruling ideas. The more dominant a theme, therefore, by implication, the more likely it will be a falsehood because it will derive from the source which has the most to gain and the most to lose. These ideas will also be ostensibly in service of the highest good: the preservation of state and the social order. But since the truth is often anathema to the preservation of that social order, and since the state is nothing more than a consortium of vested interests which direct the resources of government, actions and the ideas behind them will usually be performed in service of power and ambition, not in service of the truth and the people.
The problem here is that if the truth does not act as a brake to power, what will? The Roman poet Juvenal put it best: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (Who will guard the guards themselves?). Hence why a commitment to the truth is perhaps the most important value in any free society. In fact, we could go further and insist that Truth is oxygen to Freedom’s lungs. When the general atmosphere is so starved of air or is an airless vacuum, freedom must suffer. Dictatorships can only emerge and be sustained once the truth and the people have been sidestepped so ingeniously.
A people committed to freedom must be committed to truth. But “the new normal”, of which so much has already been written, most of it in the bland, lifeless style of the new normal itself, is evidently not a commitment to truth, it is a commitment to social order. It is a means to turn the whole of human existence into a crisis that demands state intervention. In such a world, it must be said, the truth will be an unwelcome intrusion. It already is.
There’s more chance of dying from a bolt of lightning
If we are to take our lessons from history, we would observe that control over human behaviour is never, on the face of it, introduced with totalitarian intention. Each new step in the assertion of control is invariably taken as a rational response to a pressing need. As Aesop put it, “a tyrant will always find a pretext for their tyranny”. Those that lived under dictatorship know this only too well, though many others would have certainly internalised these pressing needs to have been quite unconscious of the manipulation. This unthinking obedience, if not essential, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.
It is certainly curious, considering the rich history of political manipulation across all societies, that when you openly question the truth of claims it will invariably attract venom and condemnation. Even a moderate position will do so. One that, say, questions the continuance of a lockdown in the light of new information from the Centers of Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), which estimates the COVID-19 fatality rate to be 0.4% for symptomatic people. This means the true lethality rate is 0.26% because it believes 35% of cases will be asymptomatic.
As one commentator pointed out, given that these numbers are inflated by care home deaths, which account for about half of all deaths in most western countries, that would mean the fatality rate for the rest of the population would be under 0.1%. Though this of course includes people of all ages and all health statuses. Since nearly all deaths are accompanied by comorbidities, the chances of a person in good health dying are therefore extremely slim. Remember, the above figures are also predicated on contracting the virus. It is thought that anywhere between 40-70% of the world’s population may do so. When you factor the chances of contracting the virus with the chances of dying of the virus, a study from Canada found that COVID-19’s individual rate of death for people under 65 is 6 per million, or 0.0006%, or 1 in 166,000. There is much a greater chance of dying from a road traffic accident (1 in 14,053); there is a much greater chance of a young person with no underlying health conditions dying from a lightning strike (1 in 1,107,143).
Detractors will rightly point out that Canada has been on lockdown and that will purportedly reduce spread and case mortality; but as we saw in Tyranny by numbers, countries that haven’t been on lockdown, such as Sweden, are reporting lower mortality rates per capita than countries that have. And how is the CDC’s fatality rate of under 0.1% for those infected, when adjusted for non-care home members of the community, something that justifies such draconian measures if the point of the exercise is to protect public health?
The rigid nature of social hierarchies
Is the mainstream media reflecting this information or is it propagating senseless fear? Fear has the effect of anesthetising portions of one’s brain. So, while those who question the legitimacy of a lockdown which has already caused incalculable damage to public health are often ridiculed, the rest of society, like soldiers answering the drill instructor, appear to group themselves automatically into regimented formation. But one must always be on guard to not be one of a number, especially at times of acute insanity. Something that unfortunately seems antithetical to human instinct.
All humans are endowed with the propensity of bolstering their postulates with the beliefs of those around them, with the presumptions of the immediate surroundings, and whatever the distance one may remain from any presumption, moral or social, one is partly influenced by them and will even adapt their life to them. Psychologists and social anthropologists call this process ‘socialisation’. This predilection to presumption and conformity is the glue in social cohesion but the enemy to truth and reason.
We can also note that only those who accept or tacitly accede to the prevailing illusions can survive in a demanding workplace. Opposing views invariably find little traction, while a failure to conform to the standard practices and attitudes results in eviction by the typical mechanisms.
When the whole of society presents itself as a hierarchy, with a top to bottom chain of command, the multitude existing at the lower levels of that chain of command, one can see how a society can be steered in certain directions. For instance, since most mass media outlets are owned by a handful of mega-corporations, it’s very easy for those at the top of that command-chain to saturate the airwaves with a specific message. Certainly, the uniformity and synchronicity we are witnessing is typically not a symptom of objectivity, but of hierarchical order.
The problem with centralisation is that it can create opacity as to who are making the decisions and the rationale behind them, and it can make the whole of human civilisation subject to the goodwill of a very few people. In the next article, The Common Enemy of Man (which will be published later in June), I will explore in further detail the origins of global centralisation and the forces behind it. The purpose of the present discussion has been to demonstrate that the lockdowns have not been put in place to mitigate the effects of a deadly virus, but for other reasons, the contraction of the global economy being an obvious starting point.
Aldous Huxley was right. But he was beaten to it
The two great novels of the 20th century in the English language that depicted a dystopian future were Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, by Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, respectively. One presents a totalitarian society which has attained total subversion of the individual’s psychology and physiology, the other a totalitarian society ruled by censorship and violence. Upon publication of 1984, Orwell sent a copy of the book to Huxley, who, as chance would have it, was his former French teacher at Eton. Huxley wrote back to him. He praised his book as being “profoundly important”, but added:
“Whether in actual fact the policy of boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World……Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. This change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency”
This vision of a futuristic technocratic rule aligns closely with the writings of influential political theorist and social commentator, Walter Lippmann, who, we recall, advocated for an enlightened elite to apply scientific management to tame the “bewildered herd” a decade before the publication of Huxley’s dystopian classic.
This scientific management has extended to arousing desires and fears by stimulating the public’s irrational impulses, such as the deliberate exaggeration of threat levels, whether they be those posed by a foreign dictator or COVID-19. By ramping up fear, or in some cases even inventing a story, you can convince a populace to support a policy in spirit, the underlying reasons for which has nothing to do with those stated.
Brave New World was published in 1931, but in the 1920’s a new template of how to run a society was already beginning to emerge. At its core was the all-consuming self, the promotion of which was not only necessary for economic expansion in an era of mass production, it also stimulated the populace, and made it docile, so created a stable society. President Hoover, in a speech in 1928 to a group representing the nascent Public Relations industry, stating: “You have taken over the job of creating desire. And have transformed people into constantly moving happiness machines. Machines that have become the key to economic progress”.
But when the goal is to contract and not expand the economy, in an era of “sustainable development”, this century old vision of population control, modelled around the all-consuming self, is clearly no longer viable. “The new normal”, therefore, is one modelled around sustainability and a kind of oligarchical collectivism, in which the all-consuming self is constricted and subordinate to the greater interests of the collective.
A world where science, politics and money become the same
Hitherto the freedom enjoyed in the west and many other parts of the world has been contingent on economic freedom. Because the freedom to make money entails the freedom to spend it. As we know, before the 1800s the dominant economic order was feudalism, a world in which individual freedoms were curtailed in line with a divine order and hereditary entitlement. It saw little to no economic growth. Life was “nasty, brutish and short”.
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution. This will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change…..It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation”– Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2015
Climate change is in fact as pertinent to the discussion of “the new normal” as COVID-19. Because both are fuel in the engine to a reach a new “sustainable” economy, and not important in and of themselves. For instance, according to the 2019 BP Statistical Review of World Energy (you can download it here), the Chinese economy, which is heavily reliant on coal-fired power, as of 2017, emits more carbon dioxide than the US and the EU block combined (about 9.428 billion metric tons to 9.394 billion metric tons [page 59 of the report]). While the US has decreased annual carbon emissions by nearly 800 million tons over the last decade, and the EU block by 681 million tons, Chinese emissions continue to soar by a 235 million ton increase per year. The Chinese primary energy consumption (commercially traded fuels, including renewables) per capita is 96.9 gigajoules (page 14), by way of contrast in the UK it is 120.9 gigajoules. But because the Chinese economy is a lot more dependent on fossil fuels, this means the carbon emissions per capita in China is higher than it is in the UK. As of 2018, the UK produces about 5.88 tons of carbon emissions per capita and China, 6.73 tons. That’s about 14.5% more emissions per person every year.
It’s certainly very curious that in a world apparently on the brink of climatic and ecological collapse the world’s worst carbon emissions abuser can continue to increase emissions with global bodies seemingly doing very little to intervene. Indeed, the Paris Agreement of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed by 189 countries in 2016 places much stricter measures on the US and Europe than China. The former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christina Figueres, from whom the quote is taken above, said in 2014 that China was “doing it right” while stating that the U.S. Congress was “very detrimental” in the fight against global warming.
Again, my next article, ‘The Common Enemy of Man’ will delve deeper into global centralisation and the reasons for these palpable inconsistencies in global policy. Many argue that China has infiltrated these institutions and is engaged in an economic attack on the west, creating, through climate policy, a climate of unfair competitive advantage. This is of course nonsense. The reasons why the UNFCCC and huge combinations of transnational capital place stricter controls on the West is because China already has a system of oligarchical collectivism. In other words, it already has “the new normal”.
In reasoning one must not place the cart before the horse. This is important to understand: climate change and COVID-19 are pretexts for sustainable development and “the new normal”, sustainable development and “the new normal” are not a response to climate change and COVID-19.
A technocracy is a system of governance in which decision-makers are selected on the basis of their perceived expertise in a given area of responsibility, particularly with regard to scientific or technical knowledge, and who select other decision-makers on the basis of their perceived expertise. There is surely no better example of a technocracy than unelected people sitting atop global command-chains. There surely is no better example of a technocrat than somebody who has no qualifications in the related field but who has the power to advocate for, say, a mandated global medicine because he monopolises global medicine – we know them as professional philanthropists. A technocracy is essentially a world in which science and politics and money assimilate into one. Which is in fact tacitly implied by the term“technocratic”.
So, in a technocracy whatever the 0.1% wants is what the politicians and the politically approved scientists and medics say we must do.
“The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by the elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities”– Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security advisor to President Carter. (Between Two Ages. America’s Role in the New Technetronic Era)
The problem with collectivism, and what so many seem to forget, is that Civilisation was developed for Humans and not Humans for Civilisation
It appears there is a number among us who want to create a society in which every movement is controlled with the regularity of clockwork. But “the new normal” is such a sterilised vision of life, it’s as if living creatures will be required to become like a machine; and now, as though the corner of our clothing has got caught in the flywheel of that machine, we are beginning to be drawn toward that vision.
Clockwork order is only acquired with a great deal of effort; it doesn’t just magically fall into place. You can’t radically transform society and have a completely new economy, with new forms of food, power, construction and transportation, without having a police state already in place. Order on this magnitude wears a uniform and a pair of boots. As we can already observe in China.
The harmonious individual, it needs to be said, hardly exists at all; a regimentally harmonious society, therefore, if it can exist, will only be oppressive. It will suffocate learning, development, thought, invention, ambition, reason, excellence, and every field you can think of. In short, it will suffocate the human experience itself. Destiny will be plucked from the soul, depersonalized, remodeled, and then enumerated on some spreadsheet.
Every human being is infinitely precious. They are not things to be catalogued, recorded, and chipped. They are not numbers on a graph. They are not just a random assortment of atoms to be corralled into medicinal concentration camps in which all meaningful choices in their life will be mandated.
If you have goals, and you want to convince others of their merits, there must be good reasons to implement them
“Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible”– Bertrand Russell, ‘The Impact of Science on Society’, 1952, p 49-50
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. The SDGs, published in 2015 in UN Resolution 70/1, are part of UN’s Agenda 21 program, which was re-labelled UN Agenda 2030 in the same year as the aim is to have the foundation of these sustainable development goals in place by 2030. The SDGs include 1. No Poverty. 2. Zero Hunger. 5. Gender Equality. 12. Responsible Consumption and Production. 13. Climate Action.
This is how these goals are being sold to the public, but it should be stressed that the ultimate destination, by definition, is always different to the route taken to get there. Moreover, the 17 SDGs is also a classic case of public relations. We have all these problems, which are universally considered to blight the human species, and global governance implementing the right changes can provide the solutions to these problems. Likewise, we have a terrible virus which is apparently ravaging through the global population on the one hand, but on the other, we have “One World: Together at Home”, and as “global citizens” we can get through these hard times and build a better and brighter future for all. If it has the framework of a classic marketing campaign, it’s because it is a marketing campaign.
Another important component of UN’s Agenda 2030 is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030). The WHO is a branch of the UN and this initiative, which is funded by all the usual titans of banking and industry, is a “new global vision” “to extend the benefits of vaccines to everyone, everywhere” and is a “strategy to address these challenges over the next decade”, pledging to “leave no one behind”. Immunization is considered to play a key role in achieving the SDGs. So much so, IA2030 literature states that its initiative is linked to 14 of the 17 SDGs.
This pledge to “leave no one behind” should be considered in the light of recent arguments that things will “still not be fully back to normal…until we get almost everybody vaccinated globally”. This extreme proposal has been made in response to a virus the CDC has implicitly acknowledged kills well under 0.1% of those non care home infected citizens. It should also be noted that vaccines typically take around 15-20 years to develop, but a future COVID-19 vaccine will have to be fast-tracked in potentially “12-18 months”. Which will mean “there will have to be some risk and indemnification needed” for the developers in the case of vaccine injury. The COVID-19 vaccine, I must add, will include nano technology, and will be an experimental vaccine never used in humans on a mass scale.
We can say with confidence that for IA2030 2021-2030 to achieve its ambitious goals of universally mandated vaccines which leaves “no one behind” there would have to be compelling reasons for the “compelling arguments of the value of vaccines” to be propounded. So, to implement this “new global vision” by 2030, if presently a deadly and infectious virus did not exist, it would be necessary to invent one. Similarly, to implement UN Agenda 2030 and its attending 17 SDGs there would have to be compelling reasons for the value of sustainable development and increased integration under the auspices of global institutions. So, if presently the world was not on the brink of climatic and ecological disaster, it would be necessary to invent reasons why it is.
As we have already touched upon, in our hybrid market system, the producers, which are few and highly organised, attempt to stimulate the emotional response of the consumers, which are innumerable and scattered. In fact, when you really think about it, society itself is just a protracted advertisement. The SDGs, IA2030, everything that comes out of the UN is precisely this: an advert. Of course, that means the pandemic is also an advert for “the new normal”, which will apparently include universally mandated medicine.
The legal validity of mandatory vaccination
How this fast-tracked universally mandated medicine will be achieved in practice given the Nuremberg Code, which protects the individual from bodily intrusion, and, say, the US Constitution, remains to be seen. In the context of the latter, this paper from the American Journal of Public Health via the National Institutes of Health explores questions about the legality of the federal government forcibly administering a mass vaccination. In Jacobson v Massachusetts 1905 the US Supreme Court upheld the local health board’s authority to require vaccination against smallpox during a smallpox epidemic. This was after the claimant challenged the state’s authority to place mandatory restrictions on personal liberty for public health purposes. What would be constitutionally permissible today?
“A law that authorizes mandatory vaccination during an epidemic of a lethal disease, with refusal punishable by a monetary penalty, like the one at issue in Jacobson, would undoubtedly be found constitutional under the low constitutional test of “rationality review”
With the Johnson case as precedent, If it can be demonstrated that there is an epidemic of a lethal disease, and if the vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it would not be unconstitutional for the federal government to impose a compulsory vaccination program with “physical restraints and unreasonable penalties for refusal”, unless people can show “contraindications to the vaccine” (reasonable grounds for exemption).
The government can’t legally force compulsory vaccination, but it can suspend personal liberties, such as impose a full or partial quarantine on those who are recalcitrant, if it is considered that the severity of the epidemic warrants it. It can make participation in society very difficult without compliance. And the same will probably be true elsewhere. As we know, before this ‘pandemic’ many countries and states in the US were already fast-tracking involuntary vaccine mandates for school-age children. Such as in California, where children can’t enlist in state schooling without producing a certificate proving immunization. Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, said in September 2019 that the UK government was “looking very seriously” at doing the same.
In the jaws of the coronavirus scare there may well be an appetite for involuntary vaccine mandates to become the norm for children and adults; with “digital certificates”, according to one professional philanthropist, “to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it” (7th answer on the thread). As chance would have it, the ID2020 Alliance, largely funded by the same professional philanthropist, and working in partnership with the UN, has been inaugurated just in time to meet these challenges.
“We live in a digital era. Individuals need a trusted, verifiable way to prove who they are, both in the physical world and online”– The ID2020 Alliance Manifesto, point 2
Market economics versus Pavlov’s dog
I’m aware that I have and will no doubt continue to attract aspersions of being a “conspiracy theorist”. Aspersions that ring out from lips in the manner of Pavlov’s dog salivating at the sound of a bell. Quite aside from the fact that this a classic logical fallacy – an argument from false analogy – the conflation of disparate topics under one all-encompassing crackpot umbrella, and that conspiracies are merely two or more people colluding together for personal gain at the expense of others (in my mind, a fitting partial definition of private enterprise); it feels incumbent on me, before we proceed, to talk about the market system, so important to our way of life and the controls placed upon us, many of which voluntarily imposed, in the light of these“conspiracies”:
In the classic barter both parties lie; each pretends to be telling the truth and makes the effort to persuade the other they are telling the truth. Watching the ignoble process, we see that neither ends up being sure how far their own lies are being accepted. Nor are they sure what part of the other’s lies conceal a modicum of truth, because the best lies are always superficially packaged in truth.
In the process of industrial evolution, there have developed so many complexities to this simple process. As soon as we came to the point where we started exchanging a universal currency for goods and services the balance of power shifted to the Seller. They came to specialise in the selling of one thing; and the more complex the society, the more products the Buyer must buy, therefore they remain a novice to each. Moreover, the Sellers grow in power and learn to combine: they form partnerships, companies, firms, alliances, global bureaucratic institutions; they donate to associations and non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to protect their interests; they pour money into Research and Development to advance said interests in some future market; they avoid taxes by pouring money into science and charities, which become dependent on that funding, and which also open up future markets; they establish front organisations to protect the interests of the Buyers; and in advanced industrial societies there is also the emergence of professional philanthropists who act as front men for the Sellers – these people can batten on to the public purse and bend all they touch to their own interest, to such a degree that they can bring the entire cause they ostensibly support into disrepute.
The object of shell companies is to obscure tax liabilities. Equally, a plethora of proxy organisations enables the Sellers to obscure the fact that governmental policies are being influenced by the same corporate behemoths which have funded entire networks of charities and NGOs to interact with government and its institutions. NGOs and charities are considered more benevolent and less corrupt than their sponsors, and the media presents them as such, even when a cursory look at their staff and finances evinces a total financial dependence to the corporate sponsors they campaign on behalf of.
The Buyers, meanwhile, remain disorganised and isolated and helpless. They’re completely surrounded by huge fortresses of lies mingled with truth which have been built up over time. They don’t fund any of the research, and they’re not privy to the development of products they’re cajoled and coerced into having. They don’t even know the components and ingredients that make up each product. But despite these stark inequalities in the trading process, we have many disparaging terms for when a Buyer, so brazen as to break from the flock, asks more probing and critical questions of the Seller. One such term being: Anti-vaxxer!
Human society is in the image of Influence; therefore, it is in the image of the Seller.
There are generally several phases to a marketing campaign, so if “the new normal” were a product it would certainly have a soft launch and a hard launch and possibly even a beta launch, as would the developing vaccine. If the “first wave” and the lockdowns were, say, a beta launch or a hard launch, what would be the soft launch? A soft launch is when a business gradually introduces a new product to market to test for weaknesses. It generates little to no buzz, and its purpose is to prepare in advance the hard launch for maximum effect. The soft launch was of course the now infamous, Event 201.
In an honest and sane world, it would certainly be of note if it were discovered that a group in society funded a simulation for a coronavirus pandemic a month before patient zero in a real coronavirus pandemic. Held in New York City on October 18th, 2019, ‘Event 201’ was a multi-million-dollar coronavirus pandemic exercise which brought together the leading figures from the banking, pharmaceutical and media industries.
Now, if the global economy was someone called Mrs Brown and a novel coronavirus was the instrument of death, an honest investigation would certainly investigate the beneficiaries of her estate if it transpired that they planned her demise in mirror detail weeks before. This goes without saying. But unfortunately, we don’t live in an honest and sane world. Apparently, while there’s zero tolerance of petty crime, inveterate corruption in banking and big business is allowed to continue with impunity.
Event 201 was funded and dominated by the banking and pharmaceutical industries, and perhaps this is why the simulation of a global health crisis, which you can watch in full on YouTube, was almost exclusively focused on finance, the need to increase centralisation and global integration, and the importance of controlling media and communications, which included “trusted voices” and leaders “within the community”; to “flood the zone” with the“narrative”, it being “central to the co-ordinated response”.
Hours into this exercise a truly extraordinary exchange took place. Brad Connet of Henry Schein took the floor and said: “In 1918 16 million people died [the influenza outbreak is actually thought to have killed between 17 and 50 million]. That was more than the two great wars. And one of the impending results was a massive shortage of physicians, care providers. I don’t see that on the list….. The shortage of physicians is looming anyway in the United States. That’s something that should be considered in this”.
In this multi-million-dollar pandemic tabletop exercise hosted by The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization, an exercise which included experts in disaster planning, it seems none of them thought about physician and care provider shortages. It was an afterthought several hours into the simulation.
Please, if we brought together the leaders of the catering and event planning industries to simulate a multi-million-dollar banqueting extraordinaire, would it be credible if hours into the exercise someone said: “Uh, have we thought about the cooking? Will we have enough chefs after the first course?”. Ask yourself, was healthcare the primary concern?
The timing of Event 201 so close to a real coronavirus pandemic was obviously just a coincidence. As it is obviously just a coincidence that the timing of the coronavirus pandemic fits in with the global policy targets already mentioned, such as the 17 SDGs, of which 14 can be linked to the global Immunization Agenda. Incidentally, the Event 201 logo, as seen above, was redolent of the Earth Summit’s Agenda 21, the former name of Agenda 2030, the UN action plan under which the SDGs fall.
Rocinante has lost his Don Quixote
The SDGs – the soft sell of “the new normal” – are, I suppose, the product of the age of rationalism, one which vainly attempts to codify and control and carry everything under the sun, apparently for the betterment of mankind, but then neglects to take mankind along for the ride.
Even if we were to make the cardinal of errors and take them at face value, in a world in which everything appears as it is not, they are insanely logical, whereas humans are sanely illogical. We are wayward; impulsive. We are Don Quixote in search of a windmill, not a fenced in horse at the trough. To attempt to reduce everything to a mathematical brickwork and shape and fit the human soul inside the rooms and corridors of that asylum is a recipe for misery; it is a recipe for exploitation.
In fact, it is this image of materialism, which is ironically the product of the age of rationalism, that we are just some temporary coalescing of atomic particles which have randomly complexified but soon those atoms will disperse and become nothing more than plant fertiliser, that is the optimum mindset needed for exploitation to work guilt-free.
Furthermore, this priggish allegiance to social order will completely rub away the romance of life. Because individual liberty, which unfortunately seems to be a value and not an instinct, will be contracted in proportion to the sustainability envisioned. Ultimately, it will require the fashioning of a new kind of human, at least in the west and elsewhere, because the human soul is not obedient to the laws of mechanics. And the engineering of bug people – easily led and easily crushed – in a regimented system of collectivism, requires the human soul to be obedient to the laws of mechanics.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
“There are today people who are still actually anti-science. A whole movement called the anti-vaxxers. Who refuse to acknowledge the evidence that vaccinations have eradicated smallpox, and who by their prejudices are actually endangering the every children they want to protect. I totally reject this anti-scientific pessimism. I’m profoundly optimistic about the ability of new technology to serve as a liberator and to remake the world wondrously and benignly….Nano technology is revolutionising medicine by designing robots a fraction of the size of a red blood cell, capable of swimming through our bodies, dispensing medicine and attacking malignant cells like some Star Wars armada”– Boris Johnson, speech at the UN, 25th September, 2019
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is said to be characterised by a range of new technologies that are “fusing the digital, physical and biological worlds”, and “challenging ideas about what it means to be human”. As an introduction to the topic, the World Economic Forum’s 2016 effort: What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution? offers an overview. The same billionaires at Davos that brought you ‘Event 201’ have commissioned a short film in which it is stated at the outset: “The very idea of human being some sort of natural concept is really going to change”. And “Our bodies will be so high tech we won’t be able to really distinguish between what’s natural and what’s artificial”. The film offers a glimpse into the near future of human biology being integrated into digital technology.
A brief recap. In the feudal world power was asserted through force and self-sanctification. Human relations were throughout of a divine order, and power placed itself at the terrestrial head of that divine order. It spoke on behalf of God. Because God’s word was beyond reproach, so intelligent rulers exercised their power in the name of God.
Post Enlightenment, as humans gained full control over their environment, it was necessary in a competitive world to liberate the self from prior constraints. Power is asserted through secular mechanisms of manipulation, namely science, technology, and the state. Appetites are deified and power taps into them and uses them against us. Science and democracy speak on behalf of power. Because when the word of science and democracy is beyond reproach, intelligent rulers exercise their power in the name of science and democracy.
In the feudal world power was visible, in the modern world it is largely invisible. In the past the Serfs suffered from the pride of Kings. Today those same Serfs suffer from the anonymity of Tyrants. Who are happy to trade the appearance of power for the reality of power. Whenever there is a public backlash to a policy the politicians and technocrats take the brunt of the flak, and will be replaced to appease the masses, leaving the institution and those who actually direct its power unharmed.
Both these systems of population control are built around controlling perception.
But in an uncompetitive world where power has spread over the entire globe, and has merely left the shell of the various forms of nationhood intact (more on this in the Common Enemy of Man), and where advances in technology allow for it, it is more efficient to not only commoditize the human being, but thought itself.
As we recall, Huxley wrote to Orwell after the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four. He said that “the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience”. That a boot-on-the-face society was “destined to modulate” into one in which dissent becomes physiologically and psychologically impossible as the result of a need for “increased efficiency”. As a side note, Huxley’s brother, Julian, was a forerunner of the global technocratic movement in the 1920s.
Question: What is the only thing power wants and doesn’t have? Answer: More power. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is an upgrade of power relations in society along the lines presaged by the works of Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell and many early technocrats of the first half of the 20th century. It is a world of transhumanism. A world where people love their servitude and love to stay safe:
“Up until know the conversation we’ve been having is around freedom of speech. Once we can (my emphasis) access people’s thoughts and access people’s emotion…we have to create a space that enables people to think freely, to think divergent thoughts, to think creative thoughts. And in a society where people fear having those thoughts, the likelihood of being able to enjoy progress is significantly diminished”– excerpt from the World Economic Forum’s, ‘What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution?’
There seems every intention to make President Hoover’s “constantly moving happiness machines” literal.
In the age of consumption plutocrats understand that if you can stimulate the public’s irrational impulses, in the manner of big business, it is possible to steer a majority in the desired direction. They understand that if you can trigger desires and fears of target groups their frustrated need for power or need for security can be redirected and controlled within definable boundaries.
These have been the most stable methods of population control in the world of industrial globalism – fear and distraction and division. Of course, most people bolster their postulates from the presumptions of the immediate environment, digesting them with no more conscious thought than the digestion of his or her food, so have absolutely no awareness of the manipulation. That they are in fact unwitting participants in what is essentially a reality tv show. Indeed, the media says jump. And the public say How high? It is mere emotional puppetry.
In the future this form of population control will no longer be necessary. Because it is inefficient. People will come to love their masters and will “enjoy progress”. The infrastructure for this future is being put up as you read this, on the ground and from above: “Smart cities will pullulate with censors all joined together by the IoT” (Internet of things) and there will be “nowhere to hide” (Excerpts taken from the same Boris Johnson speech referenced above). Every inch of the globe is going to be blanketed with this technological control grid.
Agenda 2030 and the SDGs plan to move people into cities – for increased efficiency – with a centralised global bureaucracy having total control over the food, water and energy supplies. The transnational power that controls these forests of global bureaucratic institutions (more on what that is in the Common Enemy of Man) ultimately intends to completely colonise geographical and human resources with no possibility of resistance. This is, I’m afraid, “the new normal”.
Just think about what is happening. The asymptomatic neighbor has suddenly been turned into a walking assassin. Those who don’t comply with governmental mandate are perceived to be threatening other people’s health. Human interaction is being circumscribed by social distancing and by the compulsory wearing of masks. And track and trace programs are not only gathering DNA at an unprecedented rate, but will restrict people’s movements in accordance with stopping the spread of a virus which is a lot less likely to kill a young healthy person than a bolt of lightning. All of this is dividing and dehumanising and controlling.
It is also illogical because stopping the spread of the virus is not the agenda. The agenda is to remodel human behaviour along the lines of Agenda 2030 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is merely one grooming phase. Its purpose is to inculcate new norms – for example, technology being a safer medium for social interaction – with the end destination being transhumanism.
Look around and you will see that this grooming phase has been in the works for some time. Young people absorbed by their phones, living their life through their social media accounts, addicted to the little “pseudo-dings of pleasure” of social credits.
The trans movement has also taken off largely because it is necessary to introduce the notion of malleability of gender and the fusion of the sexes in a new era of androgynous automata. This has come about from the conflation of gender – etymologically, gender derives from the Latin genus meaning classification, kind, or sort (as in general or generalise) – with sex. So, the postmodernists have bequeathed us the mental gymnastics of having dozens of different genders, which are all pliant to personal caprice, but only two options in a permanent sex change surgery. Of course, it is silly. The trans movement could be respected without this conflation of gender with sex. But the UN still feels it necessary to ban all gendered language in relation to sex at a time of a global health ‘crisis’ because the agenda is to make people confused, sexless, sterile.
Wherever you stand on these developments – and I’m sure not everyone will concur with my sentiments – we can all appreciate the challenges ahead that lie in wait. The COVID-19 pandemic is evidently a contrived piece of theatre, the sustainable development goals cannot be reached without a massive winding in of human economic freedom, and technological advances pose a huge threat to the integrity of the human being, the future of the human race. Not that you would ever see that expressed. With the news being completely awash with COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, climate change.
This is what illusionists do. They divert your attention, then perform the secret of the trick when your gaze was averted.
With the yet to be developed vaccine containing nano technology, round-the-clock surveillance, and, for example, new cryptocurrency patents based on brain activity, we are living at a time when we could easily be overtaken by technology and be at the mercy of an unscrupulous power which will always be ready to take advantage. We only need to take our lessons from history to establish that maxim – what comes after is always in affinity with what went before.
Global depopulation has been on lips for some time. On a planet with finite resources exponential population growth and increasing consumption is undoubtedly a big issue. Thanks to rapidly advancing technology and Artificial Intelligence, in a world of automation a few can maintain their luxurious lifestyles without drawing on the labour of the human population sprawl. So, no longer being of use, but now a burden, the abject many will be at the mercy of the privileged few.
Certainly, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution the population crisis could potentially be solved with a flick of the switch. I suppose if that were to happen, an amalgam of humanity, Artificial Intelligence and digital technology would be the optimum circumstances for a mass genocide to work guilt-free.
“Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge”– Winston Churchill
It may be tempting to think that these deeds are being inflicted on us rather than committed by us. That when it comes to such matters, we have little to no agency. It may also be tempting to think that there are people among us who are more responsible than we are for the present circumstances. But this is the mindset of a victim, in which other people are blamed for everything, while we find excuses for oneself. Nothing good in life was ever achieved with such a mindset. In fact, it is exactly this kind of outlook that gravitates toward oligarchical collectivism.
The economist Joseph Schumpeter likened society to a hotel where the rooms were always full. As soon as one room is vacated, a new guest arrives. I think this is largely true. So, when the ship is sinking, it is better to attend to the hole in the hull than to merely focus on removing the water. If you focus on just the water, eventually you sink.
For this reason, I have deliberately not focused this article on those in the public eye who seem to have been so good as to leave their fingerprints all over the crime scene like common thieves. It’s counterproductive when others have already done it so brilliantly, and I’m sure, at this stage, we all know who they are.
Certainly, when we consider the actions of those involved in the minutest detail, and become fond of retracing our steps, we become drunk on their power at the same time as we do our own subjugation. Like someone who takes to drink because they consider their situation to be hopeless, and then the situation becomes even more hopeless because they drink.
It is perfectly legitimate to behold ugliness provided one does not end up in awe of it. Nor is it wrong, on occasion, to descend into the pits and look down at the Gates of Hell. It’s when you’re continuously looking up at Hell that a grave error has been made.
It may sound paradoxical, but those in power are not responsible for the chaos we see around us. Because every individual is sovereign. Every individual has the power. And their future is yet to be decided. The nature of fear and influence is to strip the individual of their innate sovereignty and to impose an alien future upon them. But these controls have no power over us; only a belief that they have such a power can bestow them upon you. Because power and powerlessness is always a two-way relationship.
Here is the uncomfortable but liberating truth: me, you, everybody is equally to blame.
Because society is merely the sum of its parts. As are all groups. It is like trees and forests. A forest is only an abstraction. It is merely a label for a conglomeration of individual trees. The individual trees exist independently of the forest, the forest does not exist independent of the individual trees. Every single tree that makes up a forest has a role to play. If there is a fault with a forest, it will be because of the trees; if there is a problem with society, look in the mirror – the world is most often a mirror, a mirror of the most transparent kind.
In the Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn considered his own actions in the lead up to his determent in the communist forced labour camp system, and concluded that he was ultimately responsible for his incarceration – he took part in a society that lied all the time. Despite being held in a brutal labour camp for many years, in which many did not make it out alive, especially political prisoners – Solzhenitsyn’s crime was an intercepted letter mildly critical of Stalin – he took ownership of his grim circumstances. By doing so, he made himself the architect of his life. This gave him the strength to survive and write one of the most important political works of the 20th century.
If this is true of Solzhenitsyn who had every reason to despair and complain and give up, then it’s infinitely true of all of us. The lesson here is that when we are sovereign, we write the future; when we play the victim, the future is written for us. Something a certain power mad ideology knows only too well.
In life problems don’t just magically disappear unless we take ownership of them. The first step in this process is identification. This can have a jarring effect – I’m afraid this is quite unavoidable. Now, there will be some of us who have been so lobotomised by consumption – material and ideological – that they may not be able to even discern a problem, least of all identify it, and will stick determinedly to their impressions. As in all minds in which impulse predominates over thought, their perception will remain firmly to what it was in the first instance. As harsh as it may sound, these people are irrelevant. Because this type of person, it must be said, are not the ones who set the course, they are merely the stepping-stones which carry us through the mud.
As for the rest of us, which is in fact the largest group, it may be easier to choose comforting lies instead of a Medusa-faced truth. It may also be easier to sit on the fence when it comes to the truth – to speak it only when it is expedient for us to do so and ignore it when it is not. What’s in it for me, we ask? But there is nothing in this cowardice that is not self-serving at the cost of our own well-being and at the cost of everyone else’s:
At the foot of every throne, men and women crowd in order to grasp their small portion of power. At their feet, crowd others who grasp still more at smaller portions. Social hierarchies are compartmentalised and comprised of persons who are impotent with those above them, and, within the limits of permissible authority, are omnipotent with those below. The higher up the ladder, the farther from the Truth. Because this hierarchical framework is reinforced by a mixture of fear and obsequiousness; neither, of course, can endure in the cold light of day.
It’s true that privilege will defend privilege. If necessary, it will even get its hands dirty. Professions with a veneer of respectability often share much in common with the “oldest profession”. Because beneath the respectable veneer is invariably to be found a moral quagmire, and sinking feet, legitimised only by the forces of habit and time.
Hitherto this strategy of unreasonably defending one’s position and class and the system in which they are embedded in the face of reasonable claims made against them has been a successful one, at least from a personal perspective. No longer. Crushed in a vice in which the chief interest is profiting from contracts, thereby escaping economic hardship at the same time as being seduced by the many material advantages of position, we are all racing towards the cliff edge where all the power will be invested from above and independence from below will be impossible.
In buying freedom in the short-term, money is buying enslavement in the long-term. As the last few months have painfully demonstrated, everything is interconnected. This forest fire will spread and consume all the trees unless it is extinguished. If society is taking a broad path to destruction, it can only be averted if enough people take the narrow, rickety path that leads to life.
As I wrote earlier, power is flaccid without control. Society requires consent and participation, hence the extraordinary lengths taken to engineer that consent and participation. No agenda is enforceable without mass participation.
Indeed, Gulags were largely run by the prisoners. In Solzhenitsyn’s time, most prisoners, after time served, would move up the administrative ladder and become trustees, which afforded them more luxuries and responsibilities than the new inmates. The prisoners who became guards were invariably more brutal than the civilian guards. Compromised, and burdened with guilt, they had established with their instigators the bond of complicity, and so, for the want of self-justification, the infliction of unnecessary violence was easier than retreat. As it was a wish to retain their flicker of privilege at the expense of those without privilege.
All the prisoners could have escaped at any moment if they had just realised they were the ones running the joint; if they had just realised they were being played against one another; if they had just realised their shared brotherhood and mutual interest.
This is even more true of the establishment of a much larger prison. In our case, the only thing required of us is to not exaggerate still further something that is already utterly exaggerated – resist mindless conformity. And to foster a more faithful relationship with the truth. The methodology is simple enough:
Fear and lies. They are as instinctual to the human spirit as it is for the mother to scold her child for sitting too close to the television, frightening them to not do so again, and the child to pretend, having been caught, that they were not. Over the course of human history fear has been the main weapon of influence, and lies has been the main method to evade guilt and responsibility. As such, all is a theatre, of sorts. It would almost feel gauche to write this, if not for people having the propensity to staunchly believe in the performance.
Fear feeds itself. Once a picture appears to the human mind, it seeks to paint it in more vivid colours. So, we too, if we surrender to fear, will find much in each detail to nourish it. It will assume other forms, and life will lay them across our path, for the spirit that animates those forms has been enkindled by our heart. They are ghosts of ourselves.
Power controls us through fear by inviting us to enkindle that spirit. Without fear power is impotent; it will brandish a blunted sword. Though it’s equally important to not be naïve, as it is to not be prostrated by fear, in the latter case it is us who are inhibiting our potential to live a full and prosperous life.
How do we put to an end our role in this strange theatre of omnipotent fear? We simply leave the performance. All dramatic spectacles will cease for want of an audience.
There are many ways of doing so. I think a belief in God is actually a good starting point. Because this has the effect of subordinating the ego to something much higher; it cultivates humility. This, it must be said, should be a direct relationship to something higher, and not through the medium of those who speak on behalf of God. Alternatively, an understanding that we are pure energy floating in a sea of energy so are an important component of a fundamental unit of existential solidarity. As such, lies and exploitation are not only injurious to others, but ourselves.
In the Hebrew Bible – the Old Testament – God’s main instruction to humanity was: Do not fear. Quite aside from what we may think about the other moral lessons in the Bible, I think this is a good one. Fear will ultimately kill the wretch that feeds off it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been described as fighting a war, just against an invisible enemy. But the real war is a spiritual one. The battlefield exists inside every human heart.
The individual is sovereign – and the future is yet to be written. Whether this is a sunrise or sunset is entirely up to us…
(Thanks for your patience. At the risk of sounding fatuous, this is obviously only my take on the current events. Not fact. Uncovering that which intends to remain hidden will always involve a certain amount of conjecture. Again, this article probably raises a number of questions. I’ll hopefully address some of these in the concluding part of the series).
Part 1 – Tyranny by numbers