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What Technocracy Wants
My ongoing effort to understand what's happening
My friend Lawrence Curtis photographs dolphins and other cetaceans. They are amazingly beautiful. They have nothing to do with this article. You can follow him on Instagram: @cetacea528
Last week, Instagram banned Robert F Kennedy Jr for spreading false information about the Coronavirus vaccines. He was using the network as his primary instrument for public communication. I interviewed him on his Instagram Live a few months back. That interview has now been removed, along with a lot of other content, much of it unrelated to vaccines and some of it very interesting as well as challenging to the status quo. At the same time, RFK Jr’s Facebook page, where he has 300,000 followers, has not been removed. The strategic function of the Instagram ban, then, is to diminish his reach and authority while not entirely depriving him of a platform.
This is one of many complex developments that requires a lot of unpacking. It touches on many areas, including the monopoly power of tech platforms. These profit-seeking companies have become the world’s de facto public squares while they are also Panopticons spying on our every thought and impulse.
As much as I sympathize with RFK Jr’s crusades in areas such as corporate overreach, public health, and environmental protections, I also struggle with his strident approach and tendency to overreach. For example, when I asked him about the value of vaccines historically (including Polio and Smallpox vaccines, which are considered some of the greatest successes of modern medicine), he was not willing to concede that these were major medical advances. He proposed, instead, that other societal improvements like better sanitation were responsible for the disappearance of childhood diseases at that time, not vaccines. I have not seen convincing evidence supporting this.
Through Children’s Health Defense, RFK Jr often highlights the most sinister views, promoting articles or studies that highlight the darkest perspectives on subjects such as Bill Gates, Fauci, or vaccine safety, without balance. Some of what he presents is accurate and worrisome. But some of his references, when I investigated them, turned out to be questionable.
I wish this wasn’t the case. We are in a time when public opinion is incredibly polarized. Masses of people feel, for good reasons, betrayed, frustrated, and irate. We need powerful watchdogs and effective critics of the establishment — one might even say heroes. But criticism needs to be accurate, based on evidence-based argument and reason, or the critics risk being dismissed and discredited — and, now, censored and banned.
In my efforts to understand all of this, I don’t feel like I have all of the answers. I admit to feeling uncomfortable, ambivalent, and unsure. I make mistakes and get swayed by my feelings. I find I need to keep questioning my emotional and intuitive biases. For example, I know that I am far from alone in feeling uneasy about the rapid rollout of the Coronavirus vaccines. I still don’t trust these vaccines even though they are being touted as scientific marvels. I am against the seemingly unstoppable movement toward a new world order where we will be forced to carry vaccine passports to travel, as countries like Denmark and Sweden are now instituting.
Dialectic of Enlightenment
Before exploring more specifics related to vaccines or tech companies or public health crusaders, I want to offer a philosophical framing. Without a coherent basis for understanding our current world situation, we just go in circles. What are the deeper reasons that we have taken this particular path as a civilization?
Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944) was written by two German thinkers, Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno, who escaped from the clutches of the Nazis in the 1930s, emigrating to the US. Adorno and Horkheimer realized that modern civilization was becoming a gigantic, incredibly destructive machine. They saw the rise of Fascism in the 1930s as part of this larger process which they analyzed, in difficult prose, in the book they wrote together. We are seeing the ongoing extension of this process in our world today. This machine is self-assembling, seemingly outside of anybody’s control. It grows ever-larger, more dangerous, and harder to resist.
Horkheimer and Adorno thought that Enlightenment — the march toward science, instrumental reason, and technology that began in the 18th Century — caused a collapse of meaning and value. Humans became the means to the end in a narrowly conceived model of progress. Once the world is robbed of any sacred dimension (“the death of God” that Nietzsche recognized), the only value for the individual becomes self-protection, survival and security.
Adorno and Horkheimer explored how Enlightenment emerged as the antithesis to the previous magical worldview of animism and shamanism. To remind people, dialectical reasoning passes through stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. These stages repeat over and over, as the synthesis becomes the new thesis, leading to a new antithesis, and so on. The antithesis always inverts and thus perpetuates, in certain ways, the underlying logic of the now-rejected thesis.
For tribal and aboriginal people, everything possesses soul and spirit. Under Enlightenment, instead, there is no such thing as soul or spirit: “Animism had endowed things with souls; industrialism makes souls into things.”
Both magic and science seek to control the primal forces of the world, but magic does it with mimesis and sympathy while science employs mathematics and empiricism. While animistic magicians sought to access a universal force or manna they believed to support tangible reality, rational scientists reduce all qualities to what is equivalent and can be measured and is, in that sense, also universal, invisible, and all-powerful.
Enlightenment unleashed a process of progressive demystification, converting every piece of the world, every quality, into a quantity that can be utilized and exploited by industry. Science and art were decisively separated during the Enlightenment. Anything that cannot be scientifically or mathematically proven gets relegated to the status of poetry, naive folktale, or imagination.
With Enlightenment, Horkheimer and Adorno wrote, “Thought is reified as an autonomous, automatic process, aping the machine it has itself produced, so that it can finally be replaced by the machine.” This was prescient. Today we watch as Artificial Intelligence not only masters games like chess and Go but starts to develop skill in formerly humanistic areas such as journalism and music. The domain of what is distinctly a human facility is shrinking rapidly.
Enlightenment society tends toward a vacuous “monoculture of the mind” where human beings are reduced to sameness while nature becomes a reserve of resources to be exploited for industrial processes. “The more heavily the process of self-preservation is based on the bourgeois division of labor the more it enforces the self-alienation of individuals, who must mold themselves to the technical apparatus body and soul,” they write. In such a technological society, an elite group of rulers dominate the much larger mass of the populace, just as technologists exploit and control nature. Marketing and PR experts are trained to “engineer consent” through mass media and education.
The new communication tool of the Internet promised liberation, but they have revealed a darker side. As much as communications technologies link us together, they have also tended to further alienate us in our isolated silos. We are connected with each other as never before, yet we are cut off from each other as never before. This is built into the design of these tools. They generate profit by targeting and intensifying our personal desires, rather than addressing our collective and eco-systemic needs.
Today, we see an unprecedented integration between financial capitalism, the tech sector, governments, and biotechnology. This new development of human civilization seems inevitable along the trajectory of Enlightenment. With the development of CRISPR technology, the body becomes organic machinery written in binary code to be manipulated at ever-subtler levels. Once we have mastered this code, we can conceivably redesign and reprogram it.
The slew of new Coronavirus vaccines are being touted as at least the temporary triumph of advanced biotechnology, revealing our new, virtuosic capacity to program the functioning of our cells down to the molecular level. What makes me suspicious is that we have seen many previous tech advances reveal unanticipated flaws causing catastrophe. For instance, plastics now infiltrate every ecosystem as well as our own bodies. Pesticides and GMOs have annihilated the world’s insect population. And so on.
It is, clearly, in the interests of pharmaceutical companies to have ongoing new vaccines mandated by governments, who have released pharmaceutical companies from legal consequences if the vaccines cause harm. Vaccines are currently a $60 billion year business, and rising rapidly. Also, if it turns out over time that new vaccines contribute to chronic health effects, this is also in the interest of pharmaceutical companies who will then produce new drugs to treat those chronic conditions. As we have seen with tobacco companies and fossil fuel companies, corporations often act against the public good and degrade human health in the pursuit of profit.
The new “Surveillance Capitalism” of tech companies and the intelligence-gathering capacities of governments are combining into one gigantic hyper-object, assigned the role of policing and controlling the human herd, of which we are all members. The project of keeping tabs on us and controlling our movements happens through opaque, virtualized systems that we have no control over and no way of influencing. I have written about the concept of the Noosphere, the envelope of thought around the Earth, explored by Teilhard de Chardin, Vernadsky, and Jose Arguelles. Perhaps all of these interconnected developments will lead, in some positive sense, to the realization of a unified field of human consciousness. At the moment, it feels more like we are building an air-tight prison around ourselves and willingly locking ourselves into it.
Herbert Marcuse, another Frankfurt School philosopher who emigrated to the US, wrote about the “irrational rationality” of technological society: “This society is irrational as a whole. Its productivity is destructive of the free development of human needs and faculties, its peace maintained by the constant threat of war, its growth dependent on the repression of the real possibilities for pacifying the struggle for existence -- individual, national, and international.” He asked: “Does not the threat of an atomic catastrophe which could wipe out the human race also serve to protect the very forces which perpetuate this danger?” Today, global threats which are human caused (such as climate change and most probably Covid-19) allow for governments to remove civil rights and protections while increasing our dependence on them.
This “irrational rationality” — this hidden heart of darkness in the project of Enlightenment — is the reason that conspiracy theories swirl around Bill Gates. Gates is a perfect representative, an archetypal figure, of Enlightenment as it first demystifies and then seeks to control the world, reducing everything to binary code while concealing that this is, in itself, a mythological and irrational procedure.
The Gates Foundation is an instrument of corporate globalization, furthering the agenda of monoculture. The $46.8 billion endowment of the Gates Foundation invests huge sums in the worst polluting and most destructive companies in the world. In many cases, these companies create the very problems that the Foundation claims it wants to solve. For example, the Gates Foundation states that one of its aims is better nutrition for children, while investing billions in Coca Cola and McDonald’s. The Foundation claims to address climate change, yet invests huge sums in Exxon, British Petroleum, and Shell. And so on.
Technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon are different from anything we have known in the past. More than private companies, they are extractive, on the one hand, yet provide a new kind of civic infrastructure, on the other. They architect the flow of ideas and information across society, yet have no responsibility to society. They are beholden to their shareholders and required to maximize financial profits. Under pressure, they are now banning and suppressing radical and extremist content from across the spectrum, yet without a statement of principles, transparency, or civic engagement.
Here is a question: Why don’t we make use of the inherent potential in our real-time social networks to resolve socially crucial arguments through continuous debates, bolstered by evidence from both sides, rather than banning those with divergent views? There is no technological impediment to doing this. If it isn’t happening, it is only because it doesn’t serve the perceived interests of those in control.
What Does Technocracy Want?
The final straw that led to RFK getting banned from Instagram was his promotion of this interview with economist Catherine Austin Fitts. Fitts served as assistant secretary of housing in the George H.W. Bush administration. She has since become a vociferous critic of governments and the financial system. In the interview, she states her belief that a small ruling cabal started the Coronavirus pandemic deliberately. They are manipulating the crisis for their benefit. They are doing this to lock the world into a system of technocratic and totalitarian control.
I find much of what she says in the interview very compelling, without necessarily agreeing with all of it. For instance, I don’t necessarily agree that we are seeing the enactment of an explicit plan orchestrated by a secret cabal. Nor can I entirely dismiss this possibility, for reasons I will explore in what follows.
Above all, I find what is happening now to be a logical extension of the systemic and structural logic of Enlightenment, as Adorno and Horkheimer defined it. The ongoing thrust is toward “rational” efficiency and technological dominance by the elites and the experts who serve them. The winners of the political and financial game naturally seek to maximize their advantage. Of course, they would prefer to hardwire the system so they and their descendants remain at the apex of the pyramid — forever, if possible. As Naomi Klein argued in The Shock Doctrine, crises get used to advance the agendas of those who control capital and the issuing of money.
Fitts is getting censored because of her willingness to state that the Coronavirus pandemic is, in all likelihood, an engineered crisis. In her view, it was designed by the financial elites who have cannibalized the global financial system for their benefit over the last decades. They needed such a crisis in order to undertake a fundamental restructuring of the global economy. They are seeking to increase their dominance over the world and its resources while reducing or eliminating any possibility of losing this control:
“After you have stolen all of the money, you need an excuse to change the system and so you have a magic virus. … I would describe what Covid-19 is is the institution of controls necessary to convert the planet from democratic processes to technocracy. What we are watching is a change in control and an engineering of new control systems. Think of this as a coup d’etat. It is much more like a coup d’etat than a virus.”
Fitts is actually stating — and reinforcing with a competent if incomplete evidence-based argument — what most people I know feel, and what we speak about informally. Speaking personally, the strong intuitive feeling I have about the pandemic recalls the sense I had twenty years ago, about 9/11. The feeling is of encountering something murky, ambiguous, and shadowy that shatters reason the deeper one investigates it, while it seems to perfectly fulfill the agendas of those who want dominance. However, as I mentioned in a previous newsletter, we must be careful to separate out thinking, feeling, and willing, particularly when exploring such charged areas.
In a sense, it doesn’t matter if what is occurring in the movement toward technocracy is the result of a planned conspiracy or if it is just the inevitable outcome of Enlightenment rationality. Another theoretical possibility, one I explored in my short book, The Occult Conspiracy, is that there is actually an “alien agenda” (or demonic agenda) underlying the course of events. Recently, the former head of Israel’s Space Defense made the public claim that the US and Israeli Governments have been colluding with extraterrestrials belonging to a “Galactic Federation” for decades. It could be that certain expressions of what we now call “extraterrestrial” may be the same as what religions and shamanism have identifies as “demonic.” At the same time, there may be other extraterrestrial forces with a benevolent or even “angelic” ambience.
Personally, I don’t find it outlandish to consider the possibility, as in many science fiction films, that humanity is being intentionally driven toward technocratic totalitarianism by a kind of sentience seeking this outcome for its own purposes. As Saint Paul says in the Bible: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” “Principalities and powers” points to the existence, in the astral realm, of demonic intelligences able to concoct evil strategies and orchestrate events toward their strategic goals.
The visionary Rudolf Steiner predicted the “incarnation of Ahriman” in the 21st Century. Steiner defined Ahriman as a malevolent spiritual being oriented toward materialism and technology. It may be that what we are experiencing is the foreshadowing of this Ahrimanic incarnation, which is perhaps the deeper meaning of the Singularity. In fact, generalized AI, biotechnology, and robotics could be leading to the materialization of a type of nonhuman, demonic consciousness which would have little use and no empathy for human beings. The philosopher Henri Bergson quipped that “The universe is a machine to make Gods.” If that is the case, it may be equally true that the universe is a machine to make demons.
In our world of Enlightenment rationality, we no longer speak about demonic forces and to do is to invite ridicule. However, as a counter-movement, many people are returning to the study of shamanism and the direct experience of non-ordinary states of consciousness through visionary plants and psychedelic compounds. Shamanism involves battling with spirits and demonic entities that can afflict the individual person with disease, depression, and so on. If one has had visceral experiences of these kind of practices, it shouldn’t be outlandish to conceive of demonic or nonhuman sentience working across the field of human society, which has been rendered defenseless to this attack by the rational materialist philosophy of Enlightenment, which only acknowledges the visible and quantifiable as real.
In the interview, Fitts also makes the seemingly outlandish claim that the eventual goal of the technocratic control system is to introduce a new technological operating system into the human body that will hardwire people permanently into the financial system as slaves to that system. This gets rejected as a conspiracy theory attacking Bill Gates. However, we do see many initiatives aimed at introducing computer chips or brain implants (like Elon Musk’s Neuralink) into the human organism. It is not extreme to consider this as a legitimate tendency and possibility.
Blockchain-based Fascism / Central Bank Digital Currencies
Fitts proposes that the reason for the manufactured crisis caused by the “magic virus” is to give the financial controllers the time they need to devise and institute a new financial system. This will take the form of a digital currency issued by Central Banks. As with the Quantitative Easing following the 2008 financial crash, this can be instituted during a financial emergency perhaps induced by hyper-inflation or some other means. The explosion in money creation that has taken place over the last decades seems to suggest some form of “correction” is inevitable.
We are currently seeing an explosion of interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are rising sharply in value. It is worth remembering, with all of this frenzy, that Bitcoin is simply a “digital asset” with no intrinsic value whatsoever. Bitcoin’s worth is entirely based on public relations and marketing. In fact, the more valuable Bitcoin becomes, the more energy it uses, and the more it helps to hasten the destruction of our planetary environment. An interesting short book is The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right Wing Ideology by David Golumbia. Golumbia shows how Bitcoin meshes perfectly with Right Wing Libertarianism and seems to have been designed as an instrument of this ideology.
I also recommend watching this episode of The Corbett Report, Your Guide to The Great Monetary Reset. As with Fitts, I sometimes feel that James Corbett goes too far with his conspiratorial theories. But he does a tremendous amount of research and, in this video, does a great job of revealing the actually stated plans of the financial elites running the IMF, World Bank, as well as controlling the issuing of money via the Central Banks. They are calling for a “new Bretton Woods” to define a new economic order that involves the transition to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
As Christine Lagard, former Managing Director of the IMF and now President of the European Central Bank says in a speech replayed by Corbett: “Money itself is changing. We expect it to become more convenient, more user-friendly, perhaps even less serious-looking. We expect it to be integrated with social media… What role will remain for cash in this digital world? There are already signs in some shop windows: Cash not accepted.” The problem is that CBDCs will be entirely trackable and controllable. What this will mean, in practice, is that governments and financial institutions will be able to turn off anyone’s monetary supply at a moment’s notice, just as Facebook and Twitter can now ban any content, from across the political spectrum, whenever they choose. According to Fitts, CBDCs will not be money as we have understood it until now. They will be more like “credits on the company store,” which can be stopped at any time.
It is interesting, in this regard, that Karl Schwab began the recent virtual version of the annual World Economic Forum, with an opening address from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Under Jinping, China continues its ruthless suppression of protestors and ethnic minorities as it institutes its Social Credit System, which makes dissent essentially impossible. As I explore in Conspiranoia, it is conceivable that the Chinese intentionally released the virus (perhaps in collusion with other governments). Whether it was intentionally released or not, the Chinese appear to have made sure it went around the world as they stopped all domestic flights while continuing international flights for many weeks after the pandemic began in Wuhan.
For the financial elites and ruling class or .01% of the West, a system of hard control as is now practiced in China would be difficult to implement as it would meet tremendous resistance. The way to implement something similar is through CBDCs that are implemented in a way that gives the people no choice at all, in a concocted financial emergency that will be one legacy of the Coronavirus pandemic, along with an ongoing mental health crisis. (In Japan, for instance, more people are killing themselves each month than died from the Coronavirus over the entire year. In the US, one-in-four young adults are suffering from suicidal thoughts as their lives have been ruined by a virus that usually doesn’t affect them).
What Fitts points out — and the reason she is speaking out now — is that we are still in a transitional stage where the new digital economic system has not been designed, built, and implemented yet. This means that raising awareness of what is happening can have an impact and even change the game. In future newsletters, I will explore alternatives, although I did outline a macro-scale alternative in my 2017 book How Soon Is Now: From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation, which is available in all formats including audio.
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