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Warning about a “dark world of online harms” that must be addressed, the World Economic Forum (WEF) this month published an article calling for a “solution” to “online abuse” that would be powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence.
The proposal calls for a system, based on AI, that would automate the censorship of “misinformation” and “hate speech” and work to overcome the spread of “child abuse, extremism, disinformation, hate speech and fraud” online.
According to the author of the article, Inbal Goldberger, human “trust and safety teams” alone are not fully capable of policing such content online.
Goldberger is vice president of ActiveFence Trust & Safety, a technology company based in New York City and Tel Aviv that claims it “automatically collects data from millions of sources and applies contextual AI to power trust and safety operations of any size.”
Instead of relying solely on human moderation teams, Goldberger proposes a system based on “human-curated, multi-language, off-platform intelligence” — in other words, input provided by “expert” human sources that would then create “learning sets” that would train the AI to recognize purportedly harmful or dangerous content.
This “off-platform intelligence” — more machine learning than AI per se, according to Didi Rankovicof ReclaimTheNet.org — would be collected from “millions of sources” and would then be collated and merged before being used for “content removal decisions” on the part of “Internet platforms.”
According to Goldberger, the system would supplement “smarter automated detection with human expertise” and will allow for the creation of “AI with human intelligence baked in.”
This, in turn, would provide protection against “increasingly advanced actors misusing platforms in unique ways.”
“A human moderator who is an expert in European white supremacy won’t necessarily be able to recognize harmful content in India or misinformation narratives in Kenya,” Goldberger explained.
However, “By uniquely combining the power of innovative technology, off-platform intelligence collection and the prowess of subject-matter experts who understand how threat actors operate, scaled detection of online abuse can reach near-perfect precision” as these learning sets are “baked in” to the AI over time, Goldberger said.
This would, in turn, enable “trust and safety teams” to “stop threats rising online before they reach users,” she added.
In his analysis of what Goldberger’s proposal might look like in practice, blogger Igor Chudov explained how content policing on social media today occurs on a platform-by-platform basis.
For example, Twitter content moderators look only at content posted to that particular platform, but not at a user’s content posted outside Twitter.
Chudov argued this is why the WEF appears to support a proposal to “move beyond the major Internet platforms, in order to collect intelligence about people and ideas everywhere else.”
“Such an approach,” Chudov wrote, “would allow them to know better what person or idea to censor — on all major platforms at once.”
The “intelligence” collected by the system from its “millions of sources” would, according to Chudov, “detect thoughts that they do not like,” resulting in “content removal decisions handed down to the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and so on … a major change from the status quo of each platform deciding what to do based on messages posted to that specific platform only.”
In this way, “the search for wrongthink becomes globalized,” concludes Chudov.
In response to the WEF proposal, ReclaimTheNet.org pointed out that “one can start discerning the argument here … as simply pressuring social networks to start moving towards ‘preemptive censorship.’”
Chudov posited that the WEF is promoting the proposal because it “is becoming a little concerned” as “unapproved opinions are becoming more popular, and online censors cannot keep up with millions of people becoming more aware and more vocal.”
According to the Daily Caller, “The WEF document did not specify how members of the AI training team would be decided, how they would be held accountable or whether countries could exercise controls over the AI.”
In a disclaimer accompanying Goldberger’s article, the WEF reassured the public that the content expressed in the piece “is the opinion of the author, not the World Economic Forum,” adding that “this article has been shared on websites that routinely misrepresent content and spread misinformation.”
However, the WEF appears to be open to proposals like Goldberger’s. For instance, a May 2022 article on the WEF website proposes Facebook’s “Oversight Board” as an example of a “real-world governance model” that can be applied to governance in the metaverse.
UN, backed by Gates Foundation, also aiming to ‘break chain of misinformation’
The WEF isn’t the only entity calling for more stringent policing of online content and “misinformation.”
For example, UNESCO recently announced a partnership with Twitter, the European Commission and the World Jewish Congress leading to the launch of the #ThinkBeforeSharing campaign, to “stop the spread of conspiracy theories.”
According to UNESCO:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a worrying rise in disinformation and conspiracy theories.
“Conspiracy theories can be dangerous: they often target and discriminate against vulnerable groups, ignore scientific evidence and polarize society with serious consequences. This needs to stop.”
“Conspiracy theories cause real harm to people, to their health, and also to their physical safety. They amplify and legitimize misconceptions about the pandemic, and reinforce stereotypes which can fuel violence and violent extremist ideologies.”
UNESCO said the partnership with Twitter informs people that events occurring across the world are not “secretly manipulated behind the scenes by powerful forces with negative intent.”
UNESCO issued guidance for what to do in the event one encounters a “conspiracy theorist” online: One must “react” immediately by posting a relevant link to a “fact-checking website” in the comments.
UNESCO also provides advice to the public in the event someone encounters a “conspiracy theorist” in the flesh. In that case, the individual shold avoid arguing, as “any argument may be taken as proof that you are part of the conspiracy and reinforce that belief.”
The #ThinkBeforeSharing campaign provides a host of infographics and accompanying materials intended to explain what “conspiracy theories” are, how to identify them, how to report on them and how to react to them more broadly.
According to these materials, conspiracy theories have six things in common, including:
An “alleged, secret plot.”
A “group of conspirators.”
“‘Evidence’ that seems to support the conspiracy theory.”
Suggestions that “falsely” claim “nothing happens by accident and that there are no coincidences,” and that “nothing is as it appears and everything is connected.”
They divide the world into “good or bad.”
They scapegoat people and groups.
UNESCO doesn’t entirely dismiss the existence of “conspiracy theories,” instead admitting that “real conspiracies large and small DO exist.”
However, the organization claims, such “conspiracies” are “more often centered on single self-contained events, or an individual like an assassination or a coup d’état” and are “real” only if “unearthed by the media.”
In addition to the WEF and UNESCO, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council earlier this year adopted “a plan of action to tackle disinformation.”
The “plan of action,” sponsored by the U.S., U.K., Ukraine, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, emphasizes “the primary role that governments have, in countering false narratives,” while expressing concern for:
“The increasing and far-reaching negative impact on the enjoyment and realization of human rights of the deliberate creation and dissemination of false or manipulated information intended to deceive and mislead audiences, either to cause harm or for personal, political or financial gain.”
Even countries that did not officially endorse the Human Rights Council plan expressed concernsabout online “disinformation.”
For instance, China identified such “disinformation” as “a common enemy of the international community.”
An earlier UN initiative, in partnership with the WEF, “recruited 110,000 information volunteers” who would, in the words of UN global communications director Melissa Fleming, act as “digital first responders” to “online misinformation.”
The UN’s #PledgeToPause initiative, although recently circulating as a new development on social media, was announced in November 2020, and was described by the UN as “the first global behaviour-change campaign on misinformation.”
The campaign is part of a broader UN initiative, “Verified,” that aims to recruit participants to disseminate “verified content optimized for social sharing,” stemming directly from the UN communications department.
Fleming said at the time that the UN also was “working with social media platforms to recommend changes” to “help break the chain of misinformation.”
A German journalist living in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region has been criminally charged by the German government for interviewing Ukrainian citizens and reporting her findings.
Independent reporter, 28-year-old Alina Lipp, moved to the Donbas area six months ago, where she transmits first-hand information to her audience in German, Russian, and English from her telegram channel.
Lipp claims she is only doing what any journalist would do — interviewing citizens and documenting what is happening around her.
The journalist explained she is “doing interviews with people in Donetsk and merely translating them into German.”
“I am simply filming everything I see around,” Lipp added.
She inquired rhetorically “what is it that’s illegal in that, or dangerous?”
The controversy around Lipp began in March when one of her videos explaining the history and the context of the war went viral.
In Lipp’s viral video, she said, “you need to understand that Russia has been asking for eight years that the Minsk agreement be upheld. Ukraine did not adhere to it, nor did they approach the Donbas region in an attempt to come to agreement.”
“Instead, they have been bombing the outskirts of the Donbas region for eight years. They are shooting at civilians, who now also have to live in completely shot-up houses. Very many people have died here,” Lipp continued.
In the video, Lipp alleged that the Donbas citizens who overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine in 2014 had been, “thankful that Russia finally did something”.
Lip added, “Finally, the people here have been liberated from the terror that they’ve been experiencing for the last eight years,” under continuous shelling by the Ukrainian military.
Soon after the video went viral, Lipp’s YouTube channel was closed, her PayPal account was blocked, and the Ukrainian government labeled her a “terrorist”.
The Food and Drug Administration had requested that it be granted at least 75 years to issue the full ‘redacted’ clinical trials data that Pfizer-BioNTech submitted to get its original Emergency Use Authorization in December 2020.
The judge in the case has now ordered the FDA to turn over the documents at a rate that is over a hundred times what it had requested.
“This is a great win for transparency and removes one of the strangleholds federal ‘health’ authorities have had on the data needed for independent scientists to offer solutions and address serious issues with the current vaccine program – issues which include waningimmunity, variants evading vaccine immunity, and, as the CDC has confirmed, that the vaccines do not prevent transmission,” Siri continued.
The earlier court filing from the non-partisan Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency explained the need for urgent transparency.
“The FDA has proposed to produce 500 pages per month which, based on its calculated number of pages, would mean it would complete its production in nearly 55 years – the year 2076,” the court filing said. “Until the entire body of documents provided by Pfizer to the FDA are made available, an appropriate analysis by the independent scientists that are members of Plaintiff is not possible.”
“The entire purpose of the FOIA is to assure government transparency,” the plaintiffs argued. “It is difficult to imagine a greater need for transparency than immediate disclosure of the documents relied upon by the FDA to license a product that is now being mandated to over 100 million Americans under penalty of losing their careers, their income, their military service status, and far worse.”
The federal judge in the case has now issued a striking judgment against the FDA for attempting to cover up the clinical trials data at a pivotal time when the U.S. government and many states are claiming that we are presently in the middle of a pandemic-caused “emergency.” No.
“No person should ever be coerced to engage in an unwanted medical procedure,” Siri said. ” And while it is bad enough the government violated this basic liberty right by mandating the Covid-19 vaccine, the government also wanted to hide the data by waiting to fully produce what it relied upon to license this product until almost every American alive today is dead. That form of governance is destructive to liberty and antithetical to the openness required in a democratic society.”
“In ordering the release of the documents in a timely manner, the Judge recognized that the release of this data is of paramount public importance and should be one of the FDA’s highest priorities,” he continued. “He then aptly quoted James Madison as saying a ‘popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy’ and John F. Kennedy as explaining that a ‘nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people’.”
The public transparency is critically important as news has surfaced that Pfizer buried the reporting of deaths in the placebo group prior to the “vaccine” authorization. And in November, a whistleblower came forward with revelations about how vaccine-maker Pfizer ‘falsified data’ and manipulated clinical trials.
Brook Jackson, a former clinical trial auditor who was fired after raising her concerns, came forward with inside information and documented evidence about Pfizer’s operations in a stunning BMJ investigation conducted by Paul Thacker. The disturbing report sends up red flags that the FDA and Pfizer were engaging in massive fraud against the American people to justify vaccine mandates.
Due to the federal judge’s order, however, there is at least some hope for transparency and for accountability for Big Pharma and the public health bureaucrats who perpetrated this massive fraud on the American people.
This is a critically important deep dive into the delusions that shape the people and the world around us. It begins with the premise that most people are living in deep, complex delusions that dominate their consciousness.
Examples of such delusional groups — which typically resemble cults — are:
1. Members of corrupt mega-churches that make false religion their focal point.
2. COVID-19 cultists who beg to be told to take more vaccines, wear more masks and obey false authority figures like Fauci.
3. Climate change cultists who are obsessed and panicked about rising oceans and the existence of CO2.
4. Crypto cultists whose entire existence is invested in absurd cryptocurrency hype.
5. Transgender cultists who believe that men can get pregnant and women have a penis.
6. Left-wing disinfomation “bubble” groups who think that January 6th was an “insurrection” and that white supremacy is epidemic across America.
We are all surrounded by delusional people, and one of the key challenges in life is to eliminate our own delusions by challenging our thinking and rewiring our own neurology to eliminate false beliefs, ideas and biases.
This process is rarely achieved. Most people live their entire lives neck deep in delusional, false realities. The covid cult followers are a perfect example of this in how they worship Fauci and can’t wait to be ordered to wear another mask and take another booster shot.
When people are invested in a delusion, they begin to zealously defend it
Here’s how human neurology works: Once people are invested in a delusion, they become zealots in their defense of it. For example, a person who is heavily invested in Bitcoin often becomes utterly unable to hear any information critical of cryptocurrency. This is exactly the same way a person who took a COVID-19 vaccine can no longer tolerate information showing those vaccines to be dangerous (or even deadly).
Once a person is so fully invested in a delusion that they cut off their consciousness from the real world around them, they become “cultists” who drown in their own dogma. At some point, a “day of reckoning” arrives that shatters their delusions, leading to a traumatic psychological breakdown that’s often described in phrases like, “my whole world just got shattered.”
Hint: The more closely your cognitive map of the world matches actual reality, the less trauma you will experience when facing that day of reckoning. Those who suffer the worst trauma are the ones whose mental distortions express the most extreme divergence from reality. (The course correction can be brutal if you’ve been living in a fairy tale land. This is exactly what’s coming at some point for the stock market tech stock chasers, crypto bubble investors and vaccine worshipers.)
What you are witnessing in the above video is the extreme mental illness of Canadian bureaucrats who are projecting their internal insanity onto the world around them. This is a kind of psychological “decorating” of the world in order to try to make the outside world match the internal delusion.
The more insane and powerful a delusion becomes, the more desperately those who share that delusion try to physically alter the 3D world around them to recreate their internal insanity in the observable, physical world.
Believing strongly in something does not make you delusional… if your beliefs are rooted in cause and effect
Do not confuse delusional thinking with strong beliefs. For example, a person can be incredibly passionate about clean food, to the point where other people think they’re crazy. But clean food has a basis in physical reality, given that food contaminants, pesticides and toxins have a very real and very detrimental effect on human health. Thus, someone merely having a strong interest or passion in something isn’t automatically a delusion. What makes things delusional is their departure from the actual world of cause and effect, or their willful suspension of logic and reason in their pursuit of furthering their own delusion.
In that same way, prepping is not delusional, given the history of supply chain failures, natural disasters, price inflation, robberies, power grid failures and war. While non-prepping may look at preppers and think they’re crazy, those same non-preppers still wear seat belts and carry insurance on their own homes in case of a fire. So they actually do believe in preparing for disasters… they just don’t carry it into areas like food, firearms, medicine, communications, etc. (It’s actually irrational to not be a prepper these days, given the rather evidence supply chain failures that are worsening by the week.)
In the realm of covid, it’s very easy to see delusional thinking on display. For example, people who took the covid vaccine in the early days of its release often said, “I believe in science.” In the early months, there wasn’t much science available that showed the dangers of the vaccine experiment, so this position of “I believe in science” could have been somewhat defended by those who invoked it.
But in the year since the introduction of the vaccines — yes, it’s already been a year — an enormous amount of scientific information has been released that shows the vaccines to be dangerous and deadly. This includes science-based studies and articles published in peer-reviewed journals (such as Circulation from the AHA), the VAERS database raw numbers, a skyrocketing all-cause mortality trend in those who were vaccinated, the highly suspicious phenomenon of fully vaccinated professional sports figures keeling over with heart attacks, and so on.
Now, the science clearly shows that covid vaccines: 1) Do not stop infections, 2) Do not work for very long if they work at all, 3) Lead to increased risks of hospitalizations and deaths, and 4) Suppress immune function, making people more vulnerable to other infections.
So now that “the science” shows these vaccines are incredibly risky, do people who took the vaccine still follow “the science” and re-evaluate their positions?
Smart people do. Steve Kirsch, whom I recently interviewed, took the first two jabs and then, as the new science rolled in, decided that the evidence now clearly shows these vaccines to be far more risky than what was first promised.
But most people who took the vaccine simply dismiss the new science they don’t like. This transforms them from “science” people to full-blown vaccine cultists. Now, the vaccine has become their religion, and they worship the boosters as their gods.
Our shared goal should include helping to “red pill” others so that they are freed from their delusions
In The Matrix, the entire “reality” in which people lived was a computer simulation pumped into bio-neurology as a persistent, convincing illusion. Getting “red pilled” means shattering the delusion and transporting people into the real world, no matter how traumatic such a transition might be. From Morpheus, “The mind has trouble letting go…”
Most of the people you encounter are living in an internal Matrix that exists in their mind, formed out of media lies, mass hypnosis, social engineering, false histories and deliberate trauma inflicted by schools and governments. This means that in order for you to successfully navigate this world, you must learn to recognize other people’s delusions and learn how to evade their attempts to ensnare you into their own false worlds.
In a world populated by delusional masses, one of the greatest acts of kindness is to shatter their delusions and pull them out of their mental Matrix, bringing their awareness into the real world. From a practical standpoint, this can only be accomplished by disconnecting from the corporate-run media, which provides the inputs for the persistent delusions in which most people live.
Red pilling people cannot be done with facts, by the way, because cultists are immune to facts. They also run their own cult dogma reinforcers known as “Fact Checkers” which are really Fake Checkers. Importantly, the only thing that can shatter the delusions of the cultists is a sudden, often traumatic shattering of their false reality.
This can occur with events such as a mass death wave among the vaccinated, or a crypto crash, or a mega church leader being arrested for pedophilia, etc. It takes a mind-shattering event to break the persistent delusion of the psyche and bring people back into contact with the real world. The dot-com collapse in 2000 was precisely such an event. Same story with the sub-prime market collapse of 2008.
Adding to this difficulty, most people’s social networks are tied to their dominant delusion, which means all their friends share the same delusion they’re been following. So shattering their delusion also means making a break with their entire network of delusional friends, and that’s doubly traumatizing to most people.
This is ultimately why so few people ever escape the delusions that define their own distorted lives. This is why most people are little more than mindless consumers who regurgitate media narratives and obey authority figures without questioning anything. They are also known as Programmable Life Forms (PLFs) or “zombie” people who only thinkthey have original thoughts and ideas, all while serving as nothing more than propaganda conduits for globalist narratives.
The most dangerous thing in the world isn’t evil per se… it’s the delusional masses who can be easily corralled into carrying out truly insane acts such as mass genocide, injecting babies with spike proteins, or imprisoning perfectly healthy people in covid death camps. Humanity learned nothing from the Holocaust of the Third Reich, as we are repeating the same horrifying crimes against humanity right now, all under the delusion of “science” and a “public health emergency.”
Your government is run by cultists. Your local hospital is filled with medical murderers who call themselves doctors. Your local schools are taught by left-wing Marxist cultists who groom children for pedophilia and communism. Your local banker has delusional faith in fiat currency, and your neighbor kid who trades crypto is probably a digital fiat currency cultist. Almost no one is living in the real world of cause and effect, which means that ultimately, almost no one can be reasoned with.
And that, my friends, is why the world seems completely fu##ing insane to anyone who can still think for themselves.
About the Author: Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger“) is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com called “Food Forensics“), an environmental scientist, a patent holder for a cesium radioactive isotope elimination invention, a multiple award winner for outstanding journalism, a science news publisher and influential commentator on topics ranging from science and medicine to culture and politics. Follow his videos, podcasts, websites and science projects at the links below.
Mike Adams serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation. He has also achieved numerous laboratory breakthroughs in the programming of automated liquid handling robots for sample preparation and external standards prep.
The U.S. patent office has awarded Mike Adams patent NO. US 9526751 B2for the invention of “Cesium Eliminator,” a lifesaving invention that removes up to 95% of radioactive cesium from the human digestive tract. Adams has pledged to donate full patent licensing rights to any state or national government that needs to manufacture the product to save human lives in the aftermath of a nuclear accident, disaster, act of war or act of terrorism. He has also stockpiled 10,000 kg of raw material to manufacture Cesium Eliminator in a Texas warehouse, and plans to donate the finished product to help save lives in Texas when the next nuclear event occurs. No independent scientist in the world has done more research on the removal of radioactive elements from the human digestive tract.
Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and American Indians. He is of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his “Health Ranger” passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.
Adams is the author of the world’s first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center(CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
Halloween was once a popular holiday in Passaic. Year after year, my neighborhood’s lawns abounded in mock-terrifying October decorations – witches on broomsticks, carved pumpkins on the porches, fantastic spider webs festooning the shrubbery.
This year, though, there were hardly any Halloween decorations on display. And like so many small signs of the way the “pandemic” – in plain language, the deepening police state – is bulldozing away what used to be ordinary expressions of human community, the change troubles me.
I understand it, of course. After all, why should children look forward to an evening’s romp as a witch or goblin while tales of an omnipresent Black Death – exaggerations so wild they once would have made normal people laugh out loud – have become our daily dogma? And if the children aren’t celebrating, why should the rest of us?
But the sense of disquiet remains, unsettling everything I used to hope I knew about the realities of communal life. I cannot get used to the subtle encroachment of fear into every aspect of our collective existence. I cannot accept the slow poisoning of all the interactions between one human being and another by the relentless tide of COVID19 propaganda.
As I walked around an unadorned neighborhood that should have been full of Halloween symbols in that late October season, I began to rage inwardly at the realization that so many parents genuinely believed they were protecting their children when they deprived them of a public celebration, however innocuous.
Trick-or-treating on Halloween? I could see my neighbors shaking their heads and mentally counting up the possibilities of infection. What would have happened if the kids had knocked on someone’s front door and the person who answered it wasn’t wearing a muzzle? Besides, could anyone be absolutely sure that whoever put candy into the kids’ plastic bags had washed his hands before touching the wrappers? Or what if – horror of horrors – he hadn’t even been “vaccinated”?
On a sunny afternoon a few weeks ago, I found myself unexpectedly surrounded by a large crowd of children just released from school. At first it was reassuring to float in an eddy of untroubled human behavior; such moments have become progressively rarer, and therefore more precious, over the last year and a half.
The kids around me strolled, joked and chattered like schoolchildren everywhere. But wasn’t there something wrong with the picture? So inexorable has been the stealthy advance of the corona coup’s “new normal” – even for someone who has struggled to resist it – that it took me several seconds to realize that these children were masked.
Every last one of them had his or her face hidden behind a black muzzle.
Yes, if I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine that things were still as they should be. But opening them again brought back the nightmare reality: here were what should have been children replaced by caricatures – people without faces, conversations without smiles, eyes unaccompanied by mouths.
And the worst of it was that these kids had clearly become so accustomed to this Kafkaesque state of affairs, so indoctrinated in COVID19 hysteria, that they had kept their muzzles on even after leaving the school building where they were required to wear them. For them, terror was now a way of life. The surreal had become normal.
And not only for them. Consider the political reality of the state I live in. For well over a year now, all-cause mortality figures throughout New Jersey have rarely fallen outside ordinary parameters – in other words, there has not been any conceivable grounds for claiming the existence of a medical emergency.
And yet New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy, is still ruling as a virtual dictator, wielding “emergency” powers that were legally supposed to expire on April 9 of 2020 – destroying businesses, confining people with illegal quarantines, threatening to muzzle us all (again) at the first sign of resistance – while the state government whose constitution Murphy has pulped for the last 19 months recently mailed out to the citizens, with what I assume was unconscious irony, leaflets explaining how to “vote” for governor on November 2.
Earnest instructions on how to choose a dictator? For anyone who could think clearly, this was a breathtaking insult to every citizen of New Jersey. But as far as I could see, it stimulated no public reaction. How many people here realize, even now, that they’re living under unconstitutional rule? Even Murphy’s Republican challenger did not raise the issue during the campaign.
The same eerie quiet in the face of unprecedented assaults on freedom is the norm almost everywhere. The United States’ Chief Executive has been fuming like a fascist over the latest species of Untermenschen, the I-decline-to-be-a-guinea-pig-for-Big-Pharma variety.
“The unvaccinated,” sneered President Biden barely two months ago,“overcrowd our hospitals, are overrunning the emergency rooms and intensive care units, leaving no room for someone with a heart attack, or [pancreatitis], or cancer.” (Pluck the word “unvaccinated” out of that incendiary lie and insert “Jews” or “immigrants” or “black people,” and imagine how that would have played out at a White House press conference. Alas, no one tried the experiment.)
And as for people who don’t like being forcibly muzzled, the President had a simple message: “Show some respect!”
Maybe Uncle Joe has forgotten this – along with so many other things – but I can remember when candidate Biden displayed his respect for Americans by promising them that federal vaccine mandates would never happen on his watch. Funny how that sort of “respect” didn’t survive the election.
But liars will be liars, I guess: the same President who assured the public last February that everything would be hunky-dory by Christmas, with “significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced, having to wear a mask,” now boasts of imposing still more restrictions on Americans’ right to breathe.
“One who trades his horse for a promise ends up with tired feet,” Nikita Khrushchev liked to say. By now, every American ought to be walking on crutches.
But one scours the popular press in vain for some trace of indignation at this cavalcade of lies. On the contrary, the COVID propagandists are praising Biden for his “toughness.”
Maybe it’s my age (I’m approaching 64), but in these days of political repression and intellectual cowardice, when health “experts” advocate medical Russian roulette and “liberals” endorse totalitarianism, I feel the need to mention aloud some of the subtler changes that have undermined my own life since war was declared on humanity in early 2020.
Mind you, I don’t claim that these are the worst consequences of the police-state methods we’ve been facing. I don’t even mean that they’re the ones I think about most. Next to the 34 million people worldwidewho have been pushed to the edge of starvation by lockdown policies, they seem positively trivial.
But to me they are constant reminders of the tide of madness rising around me, everyday measures of the slow derangement of what we used to call “normal life” – and now can only remember and mourn.
PHYSICAL OBSTRUCTIONS BETWEEN PEOPLE
March and April 2020 witnessed a remarkable flurry of activity throughout my area as banks, drug stores, supermarkets, neighborhood groceries and a host of other retail outfits, large and small, installed barriers to impose some physical distance between customers and cashiers.
Many of those barriers were plastic. A few were plexiglass. But they were all supposed to be temporary; they were there because of what we were told was a medical emergency, not as a permanent means of establishing more separation – and more fear – between people going about their daily lives.
That was a year and a half ago. New Jersey’s unconstitutional “lockdown” ended last summer. Mask “mandates” (also unconstitutional) ended before the beginning of 2021. All the other scare measures promulgated in early 2020 – plastic gloves in stores, constant hand sanitizing, mutual back-turning in elevators – are behind us, at least for the moment.
But those barriers? Every single one of them is still in place. It took mere days to erect them, but now I’m not sure whether I’ll ever see them taken down. What are they for? Clearly they serve no medical purpose.
But as constant reminders of the danger each human being supposedly represents to every other – and as obstacles to any practical sense of solidarity between customers and workers – they’re hard to beat. So there they remain, daily symbols of a cynical war against human community, another successful trick of the freedom-haters.
At first I thought this might be a product of my own impatience – but no, general shortages really have been commonplace for the last year and a half. Consider the case of cleaning fluids.
We all remember how the store shelves emptied when the first government-inspired panic had people running to buy antiseptic cleansers for their kitchen floors and counters back in March 2020. But manufacturers have had plenty of time since then to increase production. Yet, in defiance of the ordinary dynamics of supply and demand, the public’s appetite for cleansers still hasn’t generated an abundant supply.
And it’s not just cleaning liquids that are comparatively scarce. Many types of chicken (I’m told) have been difficult to obtain for months at a time. So are paper towels. Mung beans, formerly almost a staple of mine, now can’t be found even in health food stores.
According to press reports, there is a national shortage of cars – for sale and for rent – and of microchips and test kits, among other things. An article in Atlantic, one of the most committed purveyors of COVID propaganda, has even dubbed the situation “the Everything Shortage.”
Unsurprisingly, popular media have attributed all this to the “pandemic” – an explanation so patently absurd that the propagandists have recently begun to recast the question, claiming that what we’re experiencing is actually something called a “supply chain crisis.”
Even if someone had clearly defined that term (and no one has), and even if national distribution systems could actually be brought to a halt by one moderately serious respiratory virus (and they can’t), anyone tempted to believe the new tale would do well to ponder another national “shortage” that has been touted by large retail corporations for nearly a year now, and which seems to be spreading.
I’m referring to claims about a “national coin shortage” I’ve seen for more than six months at several chain stores in Passaic, where placards instruct customers to make their purchases with credit or debit cards instead of cash. According to press reports, the same warnings are showing up in businesses all over the U.S., so there’s nothing eccentric about my own town in this respect.
But what is it all about? Could the United States really be suffering from a “coin shortage”? Has the national mint broken down? Have we run out of nickel or copper? Are all the mint workers on strike?
Well – no, no, and no. In fact, the simple truth is that there isn’t a “coin shortage” at all; instead, according to the usual media suspects, the real trouble is that “the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the U.S. coin supply chain.”
Ah – there’s that convenient “supply chain” again!
But what does it mean this time? Well, if you believe the pundits, it seems that lots of people have been keeping much of their change at home – which is probably true, but also irrelevant, since that practice surely started long before 2020. Leaping over the objection, however, the pundits assure us that this is the reason that your local supermarket won’t take your cash nowadays.
Got that? Too many people are keeping change in their houses; the ostensible solution is to prevent them from using cash altogether at large stores, a practice that can only further increase the number of loose coins sitting “idle” at home. In other words: we “solve” the problem by creating more of it.
I hate to sound paranoid, but given the obvious absurdity of the argument, doesn’t it seem a lot more likely that claims about a “coin shortage” represent an early push toward the elimination of cash? And that the real goal of such measures is to funnel our economic life into digital transactions that – through the broad medium of credit or debit cards – can easily be monitored and, in the not very distant future, controlled by governments who have already proved their contempt for democracy at every step of the corona coup?
I may not be able to prove that this is the real reason for the “national coin shortage” hoopla – but I can certainly see that the stated reason is false. And plenty of credible observers already believe that discouraging cash is a political strategy, not a practical “remedy.”
SNOOPING AND SNITCHING
Informing on one’s neighbor to the thought police is already pretty much the norm on commercial airliners, where passengers are encouraged to report anyone who dares to attempt normal breathing, even while asleep. (“Look! There’s a secret anti-masker dozing in the seat across the aisle!”)
But the snoop-and-snitch craze seems to be spreading. Now, whole school systems are using commercial software to spy on as many as 23 million U.S. children, monitoring their every keystroke and tracking their internet contacts.
According to a recent press report, while some parents object to this Big Brother-ism, others seem to feel that there’s too little surveillance of their kids, not too much. As for school administrators – many of them see nothing wrong with local bureaucrats doubling as thought police because “I’ve always felt that they [the kids] are already being tracked,” as one school principal phlegmatically put it.
Meanwhile, a recent and typical news story described, without comment, how students and/or parents reported a teacher to the authorities for the crime of being “unvaccinated” – and of having occasionally removed her muzzle while reading aloud to the class.
Sad to say, there was nothing unusual about that.
Hollywood snitches have busied themselves in recent months getting actors fired for expressing the wrong thoughts about such things as mandatory muzzling or manipulated elections. And what’s good for celebrities ought to be good for the rest of us, right?
The trend toward the destruction of privacy – which is the death knell for any democratic system of government – is all the more dangerous because it was gaining ground even before coronavirus hysteria created the perfect culture for its expansion.
“Think of our counterinsurgency wars abroad as so many living laboratories for the undermining of a democratic society at home,”wrote Alfred McCoy, the leading U.S. historian of surveillance and its political consequences, as far back as 2009.
McCoy presciently warned that technology used to repress dissent in, say, Iraq:
has proven remarkably effective in building a technological template that could be just a few tweaks away from creating a domestic surveillance state – with omnipresent cameras, deep data-mining, nano-second biometric identification, and drone aircraft patrolling ‘the homeland.’”
I think of those words every time I’m urged to install proof-of-“vaccination” software on my cell phone. Am I really supposed to believe that such a potentially powerful surveillance tool won’t be put to more intrusive uses?
It’s worth remembering that President George W. Bush tried to organize ordinary citizens into a massive, informal spy network as part of the “war on terror” nearly 20 years ago, while the federal government was compiling “electronic dossiers” on millions of Americans – a system that only got bigger under Barack Obama.
With Joe Biden, Obama’s Vice President, at the helm now, there can’t be much question about where we’re heading. Anyone who still believes in privacy is going to have to fight for it.
LYING, LYING EVERYWHERE
I admit there’s nothing new about dishonesty in popular news media. But Marion Renault, writing in The New Republic, may have reached a new low when she recently portrayed the entire state of Alabama as a convocation of lost souls because fewer than 40% of its inhabitants have submitted to COVID19 “vaccines.”
Ms. Renault, who made her descent into that conservative Hades last August, was seeking from the damned an answer to a question that literally brought her to tears: how can we go on feeling compassion for people who don’t want untested, potentially lethal chemicals in their bodies?
Unbiased readers might notice that the word “compassion” drops rather oddly from a woman who repeatedly hurls fact-free anathemas at the “unvaccinated,” of which this one is typical:
By delaying or refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, a majority of Alabamians have offered up their bodies to host the virus, spread its disease, and incubate its next, potentially more dangerous variant.”
(Whew! I suppose we should be grateful she hasn’t recommended burning at the stake for such dangerous heretics.)
But what is most striking about her hate piece – the work of an avowed unbeliever – is the fire and brimstone of its sermonizing, which repeatedly reaches its most fervently pious pitch as its logic passeth all understanding:
On its own, Covid-19 vaccination is a shield against individuals’ risk of being hospitalized or dying should they make contact with the virus. But millions of individual doses can coalesce into a congregation of immunity that could push SARS-CoV-2 to the margins. “We are protected not so much by our own skin, but by what is beyond it,” writes the essayist Eula Biss. Immunity, she adds, “is a common trust as much as it is a private account.” Vaccination’s most powerful protection is amassed, not allocated. It is an ideal. And it is achieved only when enough individuals decide it’s worth contributing to. “We give up a little freedom to all be safer,” Craig Klugman, a professor of bioethics at DePaul University, told me. The very roots of the word “immunity” reflect this hopeful collectivism: In Latin, munis means a burden, duty, or obligation.
That final sentence, with its abortive Latin exegesis, is an especially blatant howler: it’s true that munis means a “burden” or “duty,” but im-munity means freedom from such a burden, so that the word actually expresses the exact opposite of the “hopeful collectivism” Ms. Renault claims to find in it.
But getting things upside down isn’t the worst of her sins. In keeping with the most sinister tendencies of crisis propaganda, she manipulates language to give an emotional boost to a piece of dangerously irrational incitement. Look again at the sanctimonious rhetoric she deploys to gloss over the fact that the drugs in question don’t hamper transmission of the virus:
“[M]illions of individual doses can coalesce into a congregation of immunity that could push SARS-CoV-2 to the margins…Vaccination’s most powerful protection…is an ideal.”
“Congregation of immunity”? “Push to the margins”? An “ideal”? If Ms. Renault could claim that COVID19 vaccines protect the public by stopping the spread of a particular pathogen, she would say so – in plain words. But she knows the drugs do no such thing.
So, instead, we get tendentious pieties about “congregations” (cue the religious music) being energized to force a deadly adversary over the sideline (go, saints, go!), a religious rhetoric that blurs medical realities in the frisson of forging a new Church Militant. (At another point, Ms. Renault actually goes so far as to describe “herd immunity” – which she wrongly assumes can only result from “vaccination” – as “sanctity.”)
Ms. Renault’s crusading metaphor paves the way for the paragraph’s ultimate lie: “We give up a little freedom to all be safer” – a sentiment that can only shed its totalitarian essence in the context of holy war, where individual sacrifices are rewarded with collective salvation.
Nor does Ms. Renault shrink from still darker ramifications of her holy war analogy. “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks,” she approvingly quotes from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. (Ms. Renault calls such bigotry “righteous anger.”) She even finds a“bioethicist at New York University” who insists that “vaccine refusal should be punishable by law.”
First the non-guinea pigs are aliens (not “regular folks”); then they’re literally criminals. Anyone familiar with the logic of holy war can easily imagine the next step. Ms. Renault’s article poses as empirical journalism, but it is really a specimen of jihadist incitement in which the infidels to be eradicated are not Christians or Jews or atheists, but Americans who still value the Bill of Rights.
I’ve singled out this piece not only for its soggy prose – in this respect, it’s no worse than dozens of other COVID diatribes – but to underline the fact that the propagandists’ holy war against anyone who resists coronavirus hysteria is so far advanced that its manifestations seldom even attract notice, let alone public comment.
If Ms. Renault had called down similar anathemas on Muslim immigrants, the entire liberal media would be in a frenzy of righteous indignation. But she can (and does) excoriate people whose actions are protected by the Nuremberg Code as heretics and public enemies – infidels, in a word, whose right even to be pitied (and, by implication, to live) may freely be called into question.
And such is our overexposure to this sort of scurrility that no one even seems to notice it.
TOTALITARIANISM GOING MAINSTREAM
There have always been people who pine for dictatorship, but before the corona coup such people pullulated mostly at the margins of civilized society. Now they are ubiquitous, expounding their hatred for freedom from liberal media platforms all over the country. At first they attacked people who didn’t cover their faces when illegally ordered to do so.
It didn’t matter that no scientific evidence supported their position, just as it doesn’t matter now that post facto research shows that all the mandatory muzzling didn’t save any lives. The unobstructed human face was a symbol of liberty – so it had to be purged.
The same totalitarian rage soon focused on doctors who tried to care for their COVID19 patients. To take a single example: Dr. Peter McCullough, a physician with impeccable credentials and an impressive list of academic publications, has testified repeatedly about the excellent results of treatments that, he believes, could have prevented 85 percent of COVID19 deaths worldwide.
He was expunged from social media for his trouble.
But on a single day, I read three separate articles lionizing a Michigan doctor who boasted of refusing to give his critically ill COVID patients the treatments they begged him for, instead blaming them for not having submitted to the “vaccines.”
Since when is a doctor who lets his patients die and blames them for their own illness a hero – while another doctor, who is actually saving lives, is rewarded with enforced oblivion? This would have been unthinkable before the corona coup infected the public consciousness. Now it’s hardly worth mentioning.
The totalitarians’ most recent targets are “the unvaccinated.” Along with the exploded myth of “asymptomatic transmission,” the fact-freemantra that COVID19 vaccines are “safe and effective,” and that only moral monsters would dream of refusing them, is perhaps the most palpable single fraud of the whole corona coup.
For one thing, the two professional groups with the most experience of COVID19 – health care professionals and nursing home employees – have consistently been among the most reluctant to be injected with these experimental drugs. For another, the evidence for “vaccination” simply doesn’t add up.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have refused to monitor COVID19 infections in “fully vaccinated” people since May 1 – thus avoiding the exposure of unwelcome facts about the drugs and their effects – but the evidence we have doesn’t demonstrate any significant advantage for the “vaccinated.”
And why would we expect it to, given the figures touted by the propagandists themselves? They once told us that about 345,000 Americans died from COVID19 in all of 2020 – when the “vaccines” were not available to the public. But now they insist that in the first ten months of 2021, while nearly 60% of the U.S. population submitted to the experimental drug regime, a significantly larger number (393,000) succumbed to the same illness.
Yes, the propagandists’ numbers are unreliable to begin with (I’ve stressed that myself in prior articles) – but why can’t they even keep their story straight? They can’t simultaneously hype the Delta-variant-is-killing-us-all fear porn and insist that COVID19 “vaccination” means the end of the outbreak.
Besides, if the totalitarians actually cared about public health, they would be paying at least intermittent attention to the real world that people like me actually inhabit. In fact, they’re too busy poisoning that world to worry about the consequences.
The CDC already admits that “over 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12-month period ending in May 2020” – the “highest number ever recorded by the CDC.”
And while the U.S. is notoriously laggard in reporting suicide figures, there are already grim adumbrations from other countries about what we can expect. Japan recorded more suicides in a single month – October 2020 – than the official count of COVID19 deaths for the entire calendar year.
For children in Italy, Spain and China, lockdowns have triggered serious increases in the rates of depression and anxiety.
Remember: none of this has been caused by a respiratory virus. It has all been the work of the totalitarians who, while robbing us of a decent human life, are using “vaccines” as an excuse to dehumanize all those who still believe in freedom – and to complete the regimentation and enslavement of all the rest.
Alfred McCoy’s warning about the coming surveillance state, issued more than a decade ago, rings truer now than ever, particularly his suggestion that by 2020, “our America may be unrecognizable – or rather recognizable only as the stuff of dystopian science fiction”:
In a future America, enhanced retinal recognition could be married to omnipresent security cameras as a part of the increasingly routine monitoring of public space…. If that day comes, our cities will be Argus-eyed with countless thousands of digital cameras scanning the faces of passengers at airports, pedestrians on city streets, drivers on highways, ATM customers, mall shoppers, and visitors to any federal facility. One day, hyper-speed software will be able to match those millions upon millions of facial or retinal scans to photos of suspect subversives inside a biometric database…sending anti-subversion SWAT teams scrambling for an arrest or an armed assault.
McCoy wrote all that without even knowing that the corona coup would accelerate the process he feared. Today, a year and a half into the coup, I am living in the first phase of that “future America” – and the experience is bleak.
And it’s personal. I began this essay by remarking on the loss of interest in the Halloween holiday. That’s a small detail in itself. But multiplied by the loss of dozens of holidays and celebrations, by the repeated splintering of family and friends, by the deprivation of embraces or kisses or even friendly handshakes, by the routine covering of our faces, by every instance of fear where there should be comfort, of cruelty where there should be sympathy – multiplied, finally, by the dozens of small insults our spirits must absorb every single day we live in this totalitarian hysteria, even a detail like Halloween trick-or-treating can feel like the difference between sanity and madness.
And if you think the madmen behind this coup intend to spare our children, you’ve got the picture exactly backwards. Children are their primary targets.
As I write this, New York City’s mayor is giving out $100 bribes to any parent willing to have a 5-to-11-year-old son or daughter injected with chemicals whose safety the government specifically refuses to ensure.
Meanwhile, the thousands of babies believed to have been born with congenital syphilis in the US in 2021, and the even larger number expected for 2022 – babies whose suffering and death are entirely preventable – can expect little or no help: the government refuses to appropriate more than a small fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars it is pouring into COVID19 “vaccine” propaganda for medical outreach programs that could save real children from a genuinely deadly disease.
But nothing can stand in the way of the “vaccines” – not even death. Due to staffing shortages “caused by the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” 26 fire stations in New York City alone were shut down on October 30.
That same day – Halloween – I was invited by my apartment building’s management to participate in “an in-building trick-or-treat event” for children whose parents were too afraid to take them into the street. The last line of the flyer advertising the “event” cautioned, “Masks must be worn when greeting the children and handing out candy.”
Poor kids, I thought.
First, they terrify your parents into keeping you indoors on a night you should be enjoying yourselves outside. Then they see to it that wherever you’re allowed to go, you’ll be met by masks – not playful Halloween masks, but terrifyingly real symbols of the mortal danger the propagandists want you to see in every human being from now on, as you learn to be the frightened slaves of a police state that uses you as pawns in its quest for social atomization and absolute control.
I really wanted to give those victimized children whatever taste of fun it was still in my power to give. But I couldn’t, wouldn’t do that at the price of being an accomplice in their enslavement. Maybe I couldn’t stop the coup. But I could refuse to collaborate.
So I spent Halloween alone in my apartment, mourning for a world in which simple acts of humanity are criminal, and where nothing is safe from the rising tide of oppression that only turns more poisonous as we become desensitized to it.
About the Author: Michael Lesher is an author, poet and lawyer whose legal work is mostly dedicated to issues connected with domestic abuse and child sexual abuse. His latest nonfiction book is Sexual Abuse, Shonda and Concealment in Orthodox Jewish Communities (McFarland & Co., 2014); his first collection of poetry, Surfaces, was published by The High Window in 2019. A memoir of his discovery of Orthodox Judaism as an adult – Turning Back: The Personal Journey of a “Born-Again” Jew – was published in September 2020 by Lincoln Square Books.
As we exit the pandemic, expect to hear much more about The Great Reset and building back better. Far from resulting in a low-carbon dream life, though, it’s a cartoonish fantasy that will hand the global elite even more power.
‘The Great Reset’ is a term that has been bandied about quite readily by most Western neo-liberal politicians. So often, in fact, and without proper explanation, that it strikes the prudent observer as a kind of paid advertisement.
But what is it exactly? The term rose to prominence at the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in June 2020. It was initially launched by the Prince of Wales, before being absorbed into the philosophy of the sartorially dystopian sci-fi villain Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.
The Great Reset refers to a plan to rebuild the world’s infrastructure ‘in a sustainable way’ following the economic ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic and to establish a global treaty to prevent future pandemics, or as it is described more formally, to “build a more robust international health architecture that will protect future generations.” If you ever hear people talking about “building back better,” they are referring to The Great Reset.
Probably the most disturbing part of The Great Reset is how much it strongly resembles business-as-usual, only with EXTRA globalism. Most of the plan’s outlines include a further weakening of national boundaries and individual national autonomy, in favour of a more ‘universal governance.’ As usual, it is the rapidly vanishing Western middle class which must shoulder this burden, as their freedoms are further curtailed to meet the quotas of corporate-media-fuelled activism.
Regardless, many world leaders, no doubt charmed into acquiescence by Schwab’s commandingly sinister Blofeld-esque wardrobe, agreed to the Great Reset, including Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Mark Rutte, Pedro Sánchez, Erna Solberg and Volodymyr Zelensky. According to John Kerry, Joe Biden’s administration is on board, too.
But the general agreement of the Western leaders is absolutely typical of any agenda which is espoused by NATO, the UN, or the WEF. If an emotionally charged, politically vague and ultimately ineffectual edict or bill is proposed by one of these entities – each resembling a shabby, globe-trotting team of insurance salesmen – our effete politicians line up to show the most fervent compliance.
As a rule, it seems their solutions to specific environmental or scientific problems mysteriously become entwined with LGBTQ+ rights, workplace equity, open borders initiatives and other unrelated social justice causes. It’s as though any goals they have are somehow unilaterally from the same source, or entail the same solution, regardless of causality or consequence. Therefore, a united response to a global pandemic mysteriously also equals trans rights activism.
In their own words, “No single government or multilateral agency can address this (pandemic) threat alone. Together, we must be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly co-ordinated fashion.”
There are many other sweeping sentiments expressed by Schwab and his acolytes which can seem either trite or threatening. Consider“the gulf between what markets value and what people value will close” and “we want more attention paid to scientific experts. No one can “self-isolate” from climate change so we all need to “act in advance and in solidarity.” There is much talk of the pursuit of “fairer and equitable outcomes.”
International treaties always tend to be about concentrating power. It’s one of those rules of life, for realists, as there is no escaping power dynamics in human affairs. Real problems don’t often have feel-good solutions. Often, they require ‘solutions that sound mean’, that don’t sound good on a corporate goals bulletin. Initiatives like The Great Reset all entail the gradual loss of the autonomy of individual nations, as their decision-making power is transferred to an international, disembodied rule-maker.
It has been, without a doubt, a globalist fantasy for a long time, but the key question is: do they realise what they are doing or not?
As far as their amazing coordinated pandemic response goes, this appears to be nothing more than forced world-wide vaccinations for EVERYBODY. According to Klaus Schwab himself: “As long as not everybody is vaccinated, nobody will be safe.” To which the attendant neo-liberal world leaders nodded in re-affirming unison, repeating in unison their mantra: “Global public good.”
Schwab, despite appearing like an immortal brothel-keeper at Kublai Khan’s Xanadu, is really cut from the same cloth as your typical EU technocrat. His ideas are not creative, they are quite staid and pedestrian, and research of his career shows they have been unchanged since the 1970s. He has consistently been preaching the very same thing, like a broken record.
Schwab believes we can achieve environmental solutions without altering capitalism in the slightest, by creating treaties of “mutual accountability and shared responsibility, transparency and co-operation within the international system.” His idea involves ‘ethical capitalism’ – where the excesses of capitalism will somehow be held at bay by ‘ethical stakeholders,’ to whom the corporations will be held accountable, while (conveniently) the elites and systems already in place will continue as they are. This is the master plan of the World Economic Forum, largely unchanged for 40 years.
The result? A green technocracy, one assumes, with a WEF-mandated ‘ethical stakeholder’ apparatus, a worldwide spiderweb organisation ruling by the threatened fears of pandemic and carbon doom. No section of society would be exempt from edicts of ‘the new treaty.’
The Great Reset website appears to be little more than an advertisement for modern pod-living. It seems to style itself as a low-carbon dream-life (without loss of modern convenience) to effeminate hipsters. One can see slovenly-looking neo-liberal youths, frequent references to LGBTQ+ values, and an overall urgency about carbon footprints.
There is a hint of Adbusters about the website, creator of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Despite the fact that the WEF and Davos and all associated entities are entirely elite institutions, the website styles itself on grassroots urban activism. There is much cringeworthy symbology in its white papers, such as a green and rainbow flag-combination with fey slogans like ‘we salute you, zoom queen!’
Schwab refers to the aim of The Great Reset as “the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” with the first being powered by water and steam, the second introducing mass production, and the third electronic automation. The fourth will blur the lines between “physical, digital and biological spheres.”
In this grab-bag of magical advances, he lists, “fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.”
This sounds like cartoonish optimism, as many of these technologies are anything but clean and don’t seem to de facto relate to side-stepping out of industrialism or anything else. On top of that, fewer than 9% of companies use the machine learning, robotics, touch screens and other advanced technologies listed as somehow ‘changing everything.’ Stakeholder capitalism, as a concept, does not explain itself as foolproof, and will no doubt be freely interpreted by the likes of Silicon Valley or supply chain conglomerates.
The jewel in the crown of Great Reset optimism has to be the belief that the advent of AI will alter everything positively, again without specifics, to somehow create a low-carbon new world.
It appears at best to be all be smoke and mirrors, a childish corporate fantasy manufactured by isolated bean counters. At worst, it is an intentional power-grab by unaccountable international agencies and hidden oligarchs.
Either way, it is a fake utopia at the price of privacy and autonomy, sold to us by used-car salesmen who think they are princes.
Far from being a war against “white supremacy,” the Biden administration’s new “domestic terror” strategy clearly targets primarily those who oppose US government overreach and those who oppose capitalism and/or globalization.
In the latest sign that the US government’s War on Domestic Terror is growing in scope and scale, the White House on Tuesday revealed the nation’s first ever government-wide strategy for confronting domestic terrorism. While cloaked in language about stemming racially motivated violence, the strategy places those deemed “anti-government” or “anti-authority” on a par with racist extremists and charts out policies that could easily be abused to silence or even criminalize online criticism of the government.
Even more disturbing is the call to essentially fuse intelligence agencies, law enforcement, Silicon Valley, and “community” and “faith-based” organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, as well as unspecified foreign governments, as partners in this “war,” which the strategy makes clear will rely heavily on a pre-crime orientation focused largely on what is said on social media and encrypted platforms. Though the strategy claims that the government will “shield free speech and civil liberties” in implementing this policy, its contents reveal that it is poised to gut both.
Indeed, while framed publicly as chiefly targeting “right-wing white supremacists,” the strategy itself makes it clear that the government does not plan to focus on the Right but instead will pursue “domestic terrorists” in “an ideologically neutral, threat-driven manner,” as the law “makes no distinction based on political view—left, right or center.” It also states that a key goal of this strategic framework is to ensure “that there is simply no governmental tolerance . . . of violence as an acceptable mode of seeking political or social change,” regardless of a perpetrator’s political affiliation.
Considering that the main cheerleaders for the War on Domestic Terror exist mainly in establishment left circles, such individuals should rethink their support for this new policy given that the above statements could easily come to encompass Black Lives Matter–related protests, such as those that transpired last summer, depending on which political party is in power.
Once the new infrastructure is in place, it will remain there and will be open to the same abuses perpetrated by both political parties in the US during the lengthy War on Terror following September 11, 2001. The history of this new “domestic terror” policy, including its origins in the Trump administration, makes this clear.
It’s Never Been Easier to Be a “Terrorist”
In introducing the strategy, the Biden administration cites “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” as a key reason for the new policy and a main justification for the War on Domestic Terror in general. This was most recently demonstrated Tuesday in Attorney General Merrick Garland’s statement announcing this new strategy. However, the document itself puts “anti-government” or “anti-authority” “extremists” in the same category as violent white supremacists in terms of being a threat to the homeland. The strategy’s characterization of such individuals is unsettling.
For instance, those who “violently oppose” “all forms of capitalism” or “corporate globalization” are listed under this less-discussed category of “domestic terrorist.” This highlights how people on the left, many of whom have called for capitalism to be dismantled or replaced in the US in recent years, could easily be targeted in this new “war” that many self-proclaimed leftists are currently supporting. Similarly, “environmentally-motivated extremists,” a category in which groups such as Extinction Rebellion could easily fall, are also included.
In addition, the phrasing indicates that it could easily include as “terrorists” those who oppose the World Economic Forum’s vision for global “stakeholder capitalism,” as that form of “capitalism” involves corporations and their main “stakeholders” creating a new global economic and governance system. The WEF’s stakeholder capitalism thus involves both “capitalism” and “corporate globalization.”
The strategy also includes those who “take steps to violently resist government authority . . . based on perceived overreach.” This, of course, creates a dangerous situation in which the government could, purposely or otherwise, implement a policy that is an obvious overreach and/or blatantly unconstitutional and then label those who resist it “domestic terrorists” and deal with them as such—well before the overreach can be challenged in court.
Another telling addition to this group of potential “terrorists” is “any other individual or group who engages in violence—or incites imminent violence—in opposition to legislative, regulatory or other actions taken by the government.” Thus, if the government implements a policy that a large swath of the population finds abhorrent, such as launching a new, unpopular war abroad, those deemed to be “inciting” resistance to the action online could be considered domestic terrorists.
Such scenarios are not unrealistic, given the loose way in which the government and the media have defined things like “incitement” and even “violence” (e. g., “hate speech” is a form of violence) in the recent past. The situation is ripe for manipulation and abuse. To think the federal government (including the Biden administration and subsequent administrations) would not abuse such power reflects an ignorance of US political history, particularly when the main forces behind most terrorist incidents in the nation are actually US government institutions like the FBI (more FBI examples here, here, here, and here).
Furthermore, the original plans for the detention of American dissidents in the event of a national emergency, drawn up during the Reagan era as part of its “continuity of government” contingency, cited popular nonviolent opposition to US intervention in Latin America as a potential “emergency” that could trigger the activation of those plans. Many of those “continuity of government” protocols remain on the books today and can be triggered, depending on the whims of those in power. It is unlikely that this new domestic terror framework will be any different regarding nonviolent protest and demonstrations.
Yet another passage in this section of the strategy states that “domestic terrorists” can, “in some instances, connect and intersect with conspiracy theories and other forms of disinformation and misinformation.” It adds that the proliferation of such “dangerous” information “on Internet-based communications platforms such as social media, file-upload sites and end-to-end encrypted platforms, all of these elements can combine and amplify threats to public safety.”
Thus, the presence of “conspiracy theories” and information deemed by the government to be “misinformation” online is itself framed as threatening public safety, a claim made more than once in this policy document. Given that a major “pillar” of the strategy involves eliminating online material that promotes “domestic terrorist” ideologies, it seems inevitable that such efforts will also “connect and intersect” with the censorship of “conspiracy theories” and narratives that the establishment finds inconvenient or threatening for any reason.
Pillars of Tyranny
The strategy notes in several places that this new domestic-terror policy will involve a variety of public-private partnerships in order to “build a community to address domestic terrorism that extends not only across the Federal Government but also to critical partners.” It adds, “That includes state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as foreign allies and partners, civil society, the technology sector, academic, and more.”
The mention of foreign allies and partners is important as it suggests a multinational approach to what is supposedly a US “domestic” issue and is yet another step toward a transnational security-state apparatus. A similar multinational approach was used to devastating effect during the CIA-developed Operation Condor, which was used to target and “disappear” domestic dissidents in South America in the 1970s and 1980s. The foreign allies mentioned in the Biden administration’s strategy are left unspecified, but it seems likely that such allies would include the rest of the Five Eyes alliance (the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand) and Israel, all of which already have well-established information-sharing agreements with the US for signals intelligence.
The new domestic-terror strategy has four main “pillars,” which can be summarized as (1) understanding and sharing domestic terrorism-related information, including with foreign governments and private tech companies; (2) preventing domestic terrorism recruitment and mobilization to violence; (3) disrupting and deterring domestic terrorism activity; and (4) confronting long-term contributors to domestic terrorism.
The first pillar involves the mass accumulation of data through new information-sharing partnerships and the deepening of existing ones. Much of this information sharing will involve increased data mining and analysis of statements made openly on the internet, particularly on social media, something already done by US intelligence contractors such as Palantir. While the gathering of such information has been ongoing for years, this policy allows even more to be shared and legally used to make cases against individuals deemed to have made threats or expressed “dangerous” opinions online.
Included in the first pillar is the need to increase engagement with financial institutions concerning the financing of “domestic terrorists.” US banks, such as Bank of America, have already gone quite far in this regard, leading to accusations that it has begun acting like an intelligence agency. Such claims were made after it was revealed that the BofA had passed to the government the private banking information of over two hundred people that the bank deemed as pointing to involvement in the events of January 6, 2021. It seems likely, given this passage in the strategy, that such behavior by banks will soon become the norm, rather than an outlier, in the United States.
The second pillar is ostensibly focused on preventing the online recruitment of domestic terrorists and online content that leads to the “mobilization of violence.” The strategy notes that this pillar “means reducing both supply and demand of recruitment materials by limiting widespread availability online and bolstering resilience to it by those who nonetheless encounter it.“ The strategy states that such government efforts in the past have a “mixed record,” but it goes on to claim that trampling on civil liberties will be avoided because the government is “consulting extensively” with unspecified “stakeholders” nationwide.
Regarding recruitment, the strategy states that “these activities are increasingly happening on Internet-based communications platforms, including social media, online gaming platforms, file-upload sites and end-to-end encrypted platforms, even as those products and services frequently offer other important benefits.” It adds that “the widespread availability of domestic terrorist recruitment material online is a national security threat whose front lines are overwhelmingly private-sector online platforms.”
The US government plans to provide “information to assist online platforms with their own initiatives to enforce their own terms of service that prohibits the use of their platforms for domestic terrorist activities” as well as to “facilitate more robust efforts outside the government to counter terrorists’ abuse of Internet-based communications platforms.”
Given the wider definition of “domestic terrorist” that now includes those who oppose capitalism and corporate globalization as well as those who resist government overreach, online content discussing these and other “anti-government” and “anti-authority” ideas could soon be treated in the same way as online Al Qaeda or ISIS propaganda. Efforts, however, are unlikely to remain focused on these topics. As Unlimited Hangoutreported last November, both UK intelligence and the US national-security state were developing plans to treat critical reporting on the COVID-19 vaccines as “extremist” propaganda.
Another key part of this pillar is the need to “increase digital literacy” among the American public, while censoring “harmful content” disseminated by “terrorists” as well as by “hostile foreign powers seeking to undermine American democracy.” The latter is a clear reference to the claim that critical reporting of US government policy, particularly its military and intelligence activities abroad, was the product of “Russian disinformation,” a now discredited claim that was used to heavily censor independent media. This new government strategy appears to promise more of this sort of thing.
It also notes that “digital literacy” education for a domestic audience is being developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Such a policy would have previously violated US law until the Obama administration worked with Congress to repeal the Smith-Mundt Act, thus lifting the ban on the government directing propaganda at domestic audiences.
The third pillar of the strategy seeks to increase the number of federal prosecutors investigating and trying domestic-terror cases. Their numbers are likely to jump as the definition of “domestic terrorist” is expanded. It also seeks to explore whether “legislative reforms could meaningfully and materially increase our ability to protect Americans from acts of domestic terrorism while simultaneously guarding against potential abuse of overreach.” In contrast to past public statements on police reform by those in the Biden administration, the strategy calls to “empower” state and local law enforcement to tackle domestic terrorism, including with increased access to “intelligence” on citizens deemed dangerous or subversive for any number of reasons.
To that effect, the strategy states the following (p. 24):“The Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Homeland Security, with support from the National Counterterrorism Center [part of the intelligence community], are incorporating an increased focus on domestic terrorism into current intelligence products and leveraging current mechanisms of information and intelligence sharing to improve the sharing of domestic terrorism-related content and indicators with non-Federal partners. These agencies are also improving the usability of their existing information-sharing platforms, including through the development of mobile applications designed to provide a broader reach to non-Federal law enforcement partners, while simultaneously refining that support based on partner feedback.”
Such an intelligence tool could easily be, for example, Palantir, which is already used by the intelligence agencies, the DHS, and several US police departments for “predictive policing,” that is, pre-crime actions. Notably, Palantir has long included a “subversive” label for individuals included on government and law enforcement databases, a parallel with the controversial and highly secretive Main Core database of US dissidents.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made the “pre-crime” element of the new domestic terror strategy explicit on Tuesday when he said in a statement that DHS would continue “developing key partnerships with local stakeholders through the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) to identify potential threats and prevent terrorism.” CP3, which replaced DHS’ Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention this past May, officially “supports communities across the United States to prevent individuals from radicalizing to violence and intervene when individuals have already radicalized to violence.”
The fourth pillar of the strategy is by far the most opaque and cryptic, while also the most far-reaching. It aims to address the sources that cause “terrorists” to mobilize “towards violence.” This requires “tackling racism in America,” a lofty goal for an administration headed by the man who controversially eulogized Congress’ most ardent segregationist and who was a key architect of the 1994 crime bill. As well, it provides for “early intervention and appropriate care for those who pose a danger to themselves or others.”
In regard to the latter proposal, the Trump administration, in a bid to “stop mass shootings before they occur,” considered a proposal to create a “health DARPA” or “HARPA” that would monitor the online communications of everyday Americans for “neuropsychiatric” warning signs that someone might be “mobilizing towards violence.” While the Trump administration did not create HARPA or adopt this policy, the Biden administration has recently announced plans to do so.
Finally, the strategy indicates that this fourth pillar is part of a “broader priority”: “enhancing faith in government and addressing the extreme polarization, fueled by a crisis of disinformation and misinformation often channeled through social media platforms, which can tear Americans apart and lead some to violence.” In other words, fostering trust in government while simultaneously censoring “polarizing” voices who distrust or criticize the government is a key policy goal behind the Biden administration’s new domestic-terror strategy.
Calling Their Shots?
While this is a new strategy, its origins lie in the Trump administration. In October 2019, Trump’s attorney general William Barr formally announced in a memorandum that a new “national disruption and early engagement program” aimed at detecting those “mobilizing towards violence” before they commit any crime would launch in the coming months. That program, known as DEEP (Disruption and Early Engagement Program), is now active and has involved the Department of Justice, the FBI, and “private sector partners” since its creation.
Barr’s announcement of DEEP followed his unsettling “prediction” in July 2019 that “a major incident may occur at any time that will galvanize public opinion on these issues.” Not long after that speech, a spate of mass shootings occurred, including the El Paso Walmart shooting, which killed twenty-three and about which many questions remain unanswered regarding the FBI’s apparent foreknowledge of the event. After these events took place in 2019, Trump called for the creation of a government backdoor into encryption and the very pre-crime system that Barr announced shortly thereafter in October 2019. The Biden administration, in publishing this strategy, is merely finishing what Barr started.
Indeed, a “prediction” like Barr’s in 2019 was offered by the DHS’ Elizabeth Neumann during a Congressional hearing in late February 2020. That hearing was largely ignored by the media as it coincided with an international rise of concern regarding COVID-19. At the hearing, Neumann, who previously coordinated the development of the government’s post-9/11 terrorism information sharing strategies and policies and worked closely with the intelligence community, gave the following warning about an imminent “domestic terror” event in the United States:“And every counterterrorism professional I speak to in the federal government and overseas feels like we are at the doorstep of another 9/11, maybe not something that catastrophic in terms of the visual or the numbers, but that we can see it building and we don’t quite know how to stop it.”
This “another 9/11” emerged on January 6, 2021, as the events of that day in the Capitol were quickly labeled as such by both the media and prominent politicians, while also inspiring calls from the White House and the Democrats for a “9/11-style commission” to investigate the incident. This event, of course, figures prominently in the justification for the new domestic-terror strategy, despite the considerable video and other evidence that shows that Capitol law enforcement, and potentially the FBI, were directly involved in facilitating the breach of the Capitol. In addition, when one considers that the QAnon movement, which had a clear role in the events of January 6, was itself likely a government-orchestratedpsyop, the government hand in creating this situation seems clear.
It goes without saying that the official reasons offered for these militaristic “domestic terror” policies, which the US has already implemented abroad—causing much more terror than it has prevented—does not justify the creation of a massive new national-security infrastructure that aims to criminalize and censor online speech. Yet the admission that this new strategy, as part of a broader effort to “enhance faith in government,” combines domestic propaganda campaigns with the censorship and pursuit of those who distrust government heralds the end of even the illusion of democracy in the United States.
I once thought the internet would have the same effect on corporate media gatekeepers as the AK-47 had on colonial empires in Africa. That was before Big Tech turned that promise of freedom into the second coming of feudalism.
Wednesday’s decision by Facebook’s “oversight board” – a transparent attempt to outsource responsibility for censorship to an international committee – to extend the ban on 45th US President Donald Trump is just the latest example, but by no means the most egregious. Earlier this week, the banhammer descended on RT’s digital project Redfish over posts criticizing… Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini and the Holocaust, of all things.
How did it come to this? Years ago, in an argument over media censorship, I had brought up the internet as the modern version of the AK-47. While the European colonial armies were able to conquer Africa in the 19th century, using machine guns and repeating rifles, they became unable to hold it once the Kalashnikov automatic rifle put the peasants in places like Congo, Angola and Vietnam on equal footing with Western armies seeking to keep them down.
Or, if you want a more peaceful metaphor, it was the promise of open pasture extended to people who had previously been treated like cattle, penned up in factory barns and fed slop from a trough.
That was in March 2011. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were already around, but they were challenging the gatekeepers and offering their platforms to the common people like myself. In 2016, everything changed. That was the year Trump was able to bypass the corporate gatekeepers, using those platforms to speak to the American people directly.
Having consolidated the internet between them, and under pressure from politicians they already supported, the corporations running these platforms began censoring content and users – first gradually, then suddenly. The pretext for this was “Russiagate,” the conspiracy theory pushed by Democrats and their corporate media allies to explain Hillary Clinton’s 2016 fiasco, delegitimize Trump’s presidency, and – as it turns out – justify censorship.
As demonstrated by the recent example of Twitter’s clash with Russia over illegal content, or Facebook’s standoff with Australia over paying for news, these mega-corporations aren’t opposed to censorship or committed to property on principle. Rather, their only “principle” is the Who-Whom reductionism, a world in which they and those they agree with can do no wrong, while anyone else can do no right.
The long march from banning Alex Jones in 2018 to banning the sitting president of the United States in 2021 was completed with surprising alacrity. The collusion within Silicon Valley to ban Trump on the blatantly false pretext of “inciting insurrection” on January 6 may have been the political Rubicon, but Big Tech had begun putting their finger, fist and even elbow on the political scales long before.
Does banning the New York Post over Hunter Biden ring any bells? How about the “pre-bunking” of the 2020 election outcome, arranged by Democrat activists more than a year prior? It’s in the infamous February TIME article, the one about the heroic “fortifiers” of the “proper” election outcome, buried among other bombshells and easy to miss. There was also Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg literally donating millions to Democrats in certain key cities and counties, to help collect and count mail-in ballots. The list goes on.
We have this thing called the government that is accountable to everyone. We pass laws outlawing child labor, making sure our food is safe to eat, ensuring airplanes don’t fall out of the sky or Wall Street doesn’t crash the economy. For some reason Facebook is above all this?— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) May 5, 2021
“But my private company!” facetiously proclaims the brigade that literally cheered Barack Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech just a few short years before. Corporations shouldn’t be people, no one is above the law, Citizens United is bad – except when it helps us get into power, in which case it’s just fine, carry on.
These are the same “experts” on the US Constitution who believe the Second Amendment applies only to muskets, the First only to the government, the Fourth is optional, the Fourteenth trumps all of them, and the Tenth is vestigial and doesn’t apply to anything.
Believing that “American values” ought to apply to businesses incorporated in the US, under protection of US laws – Section 230, looking at you here – and benefiting from US power when muscling governments abroad is downright quaint, considering these companies don’t actually care about that constitutional republic, but back Our Democracy that has replaced it instead.
America gave Facebook everything. The platform exists because of our laws, economy, & innovative minds. How does Facebook respond? By flipping the bird to the American system.The First Amendment doesn’t literally apply to Facebook. But as an American company, its values should. https://t.co/3nbkg77be1— Rachel Bovard (@rachelbovard) May 5, 2021
I still think I was correct in 2011, arguing that the internet had broken the information monopoly of cable channels and newspapers. The plummeting ratings and newspaper revenues have borne that out. Unfortunately, Big Tech figured it out as well – and succumbed to the temptation to turn the promise of open pastures into the very factory farms it was supposed to replace.
Now we’re not just back to eating slop from the corporate trough, but everything we’ve said while believing in freedom has been harvested and can and will be weaponized to “cancel” us at any time. One might call this called techno-feudalism, except the overlords have no obligations and the serfs have no rights.
Way back in 2019, Trump had tweeted a meme: “In reality, they’re not after me, they’re after you. I’m just in the way.” Can you honestly say now that he was wrong?
The formation of a totalitarian state is just about complete in America as the most powerful public and private sector actors unify behind the idea that actions to stamp out dissent can be justified, according to several experts on modern totalitarian ideologies.
While many have warned about the rise of fascism or socialism in “the land of the free,” the ideas have largely been vague or fragmented, focusing on individual events or actors. Recent events, however, indicate that seemingly unconnected pieces of the oppression puzzle are fitting together to form a comprehensive system, according to Michael Rectenwald, a retired liberal arts professor at New York University.
But many Americans, it appears, have been caught off guard or aren’t even aware of the newly forming regime, as the idea of elected officials, government bureaucrats, large corporations, the establishment academia, think tanks and nonprofits, the legacy media, and even seemingly grassroot movements all working in concert toward some evil purpose seems preposterous. Is a large portion of the country in on a conspiracy?
The reality now emerges that no massive conspiracy was in fact needed—merely an ideological alignment and some informal coordination, Rectenwald argues.
Despite the lack of formal overarching organization, the American socialist regime is indeed totalitarian, as the root of its ideology requires politically motivated coercion, he told The Epoch Times. The power of the regime is not yet absolute but it’s becoming increasingly effective as it erodes the values, checks, and balances against tyranny established by traditional beliefs and enshrined in the American founding.
The effects can be seen throughout society. Americans, regardless of their income, demographics, or social stature are being fired from jobs, getting stripped of access to basic services such as banking and social media, or having their businesses crippled for voicing political opinions and belonging to a designated political underclass. Access to sources of information unsanctioned by the regime is becoming increasingly difficult. Some figures of power and influence are sketching the next step, labelling large segments of society as “extremists” and potential terrorists who need to be “deprogrammed.”
While the onset of the regime appears tied to events of recent years—the presidency of Donald Trump, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) viruspandemic, the Capitol intrusion of Jan. 6—its roots go back decades.
Is It Really Totalitarian?
Totalitarian regimes are commonly understood as constituting a government headed by a dictator that regiments the economy, censors the media, and quells dissent by force. That is not the case in America but it’s also a misunderstanding of how such regimes function, literature on totalitarianism indicates.
To claim power, the regimes don’t initially need to control every aspect of society through government.
Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist Workers Party in Nazi Germany, used various means to control the economy, including gaining compliance of industry leaders voluntarily, through intimidation, or through replacing the executives with party loyalists.
Similarly, the regime rearing its head in America relies on corporate executives to implement its agenda voluntarily but also through intimidation by online brigades of activists and journalists who take initiative to launch negative PR campaigns and boycotts to progress their preferred societal structure.
Also, Hitler initially didn’t control the spread of information via government censorship but rather through his brigades of street thugs, the “brown shirts,” who would intimidate and physically prevent his opponents from speaking publicly.
The tactic parallels the often successful efforts to “cancel” and “shut down” public speakers by activists and violent actors, such as Antifa.
Dissenting media in America haven’t been silenced by the government directly as of yet. But they are stymied in other ways.
In the digital age, media largely rely on reaching and growing their audience through social media and web search engines, which are dominated by Facebook and Google. Both companies have in place mechanisms to crack down on dissenting media.
Google gives preference in its search results to sources it deems “authoritative.” Search results indicate the company tends to consider media ideologically close to it to be more authoritative. Such media can then produce hit pieces on their competitors, giving Google justification to slash the “authoritativeness” of the dissenters.
Facebook employs third-party fact checkers who have the discretion to label content as “false” and thus reduce the audience on its platform. Virtually all the fact checkers focused on American content are ideologically aligned with Facebook.
Attempts to set up alternative social media have run into yet more fundamental obstacles, as demonstrated by Parler, whose mobile app was terminated by Google and Apple, while the company was kicked off Amazon’s servers.
To the degree that a totalitarian regime requires a police state, there’s no law in America targeting dissenters explicitly. But there are troubling signs of selective, politically motivated enforcement. Signs go back to the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups or the difference in treatment received by former Trump adviser Lt. Gen Michael Flynn and former FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe—both allegedly lying to investigators but only one getting prosecuted. The situation may get still worse as the restrictions tied to the CCP virus see broad swaths of ordinary human behavior being considered “illegal,” opening the door to nearly universal political targeting.
“I think the means by which a police state is being set up is the demonization of Trump supporters and the likely use of medical passports to institute the effective equivalent of social credit scores,” Rectenwald said.
While loyalty to the government and to a specific political party plays a major role, it’s the allegiance to the ideological root of totalitarianism that gives it its foot soldiers, literature on the subject indicates.
The element “that holds totalitarianism together as a composite of intellectual elements” is the ambition of fundamentally reimagining society—“the intention to create a ‘New Man,’” explained author Richard Shorten in “Modernism and Totalitarianism: Rethinking the Intellectual Sources of Nazism and Stalinism, 1945 to the Present.”
Various ideologies have framed the ambition differently, based on what they posited as the key to the transformation.
Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto, viewed the control of the economy as primary, describing socialism as “socialized man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature,” in his Das Kapital.
Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist Workers Party in Nazi Germany, viewed race as primary. People would become “socialized”—that is transformed and perfected—by removing Jews and other supposedly “lesser” races from society, he claimed.
The most dominant among the current ideologies stem from the so-called “critical theories,” where the perfected society is defined by “equity,” meaning elimination of differences in outcomes for people in demographic categories deemed historically marginalized. The goal is to be achieved by eliminating the ever-present “white supremacy,” however the ideologues currently define it.
While such ideologies commonly prescribe collectivism, calling for national or even international unification behind their agenda, they are elitist and dictatorial in practice as they find mankind never “woke” enough to follow their agenda voluntarily.
In Marx’s prophecies, the revolution was supposed to occur spontaneously. Yet it never did, leading Vladimir Lenin, the first head of the Soviet Union, to conclude that the revolution will need leadership after all.
“The idea is that you have some enlightened party … who understand the problem of the proletariat better than the proletariat does and is going to shepherd them through the revolution that they need to have for the greater good,” explained James Lindsay, author of “Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody.”
Elements of this intellectual foundation can be found in ideologies of many current political forces, from neo-nazis and anarcho-communists, through to progressives and to some extent even neoliberals and neoconservatives, Lindsay acknowledged.
“This is why you see so many people today saying that the only possible answers are a full return to classical liberalism or a complete rejection of liberalism entirely as fatally disposed to create progressivism, neoliberalism, etc.,” he said.
That’s not to say these ideologies are openly advocating totalitarianism but rather that they inevitably lead to it.
The roadmap could be summarized as follows:
There’s something fundamentally and intolerably wrong with current reality
There’s a plan to fix it requiring a whole society buy-in
People opposing the plan need to be educated about the plan so they accept it
People who resist the persuasion need to be reeducated, even against their will
People who won’t accept the plan no matter what need to be removed from society.
“I think that’s the general thrust,” Lindsay said. “We can make the world the way we want it to be if we all just get on the same page and same project. It’s a disaster, frankly.”
Points four and five now appear to be in progress.
Former Facebook executive Alex Stamos recently labeled the widespread questioning of the 2020 election results as “violent extremism,” which social media companies should eradicate the same way they countered online recruitment content from the ISIS terrorist group.
The “core issue,” he said, is that “we have given a lot of leeway, both in traditional media and on social media, to people to have a very broad range of political views” and this has led to the emergence of “more and more radical” alternative media like OAN and Newsmax.
Stamos then mused about how to reform Americans who’ve tuned in to the dissenters.
“How do you bring those people back into the mainstream of fact-based reporting and try to get us all back into the same consensus reality?” he asked in a CNN interview.
“And can you? Is that possible?” CNN host Brian Stelter added.
The logic goes as follows: Trump claimed the election was stolen through fraud and other illegalities. That has not been proven in court and is thus false. People who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and managed to break inside and disrupt the electoral vote counting did so because they believed the election was stolen. Therefore, anybody who questions the legitimacy of the election results is an extremist and potentially a terrorist.
With tens of thousands of troops assembled to guard the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) recently told CNNthat all guard members who voted for Trump belong to a “suspect group” that “might want to do something,” alluding to past leaders of other countries who were “killed by their own people.”
Former FBI Director James Comey recently said the Republican party needs to be “burned down or changed.”
“They want a one party state,” commented conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza in a recent podcast. “That is not to say they don’t want an opposition. They want a token opposition. They want Republicans where they get to say what kind of Republican is ok.”
Just as Marx blamed the ills of the world on capitalists and Hitler on Jews, the current regime tends to blame various permutations of “white supremacy.”
“Expel the Republican members of Congress who incited the white supremacist attempted coup,” said Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) in a recent tweet, garnering some 300,000 likes.
She was referring to the Republican lawmakers who raised objections on Jan. 6 to election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. Their objections were voted down.
“Can U.S. Spy Agencies Stop White Terror?” Daily Beast’s Jeff Stein asked in a recent headline, concluding that a call for “secret police” to sniff out “extremist” Americans “may well get renewed attention.”
Under the regime, allegations of election fraud—de facto questioning the legitimacy of the leader—have become incitement of terrorism. YouTube (owned by Google), Facebook, and Twitter have either banned content that claims the election was rigged or are furnishing it with warning labels. Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey was recently recorded as saying that banning the president’s account was just the beginning.
The approach closely mirrors that of the Chinese communist regime, which commonly targets dissidents for “subverting” the state or “spreading rumors.”
What’s the Alternative?
If calls for radically reorganizing the world are inherently totalitarian, how is the world to avoid them? The question appears to be its own answer. If totalitarianism inherently requires allegiance to its ideology, it can’t exist in a society with a lack of such allegiance.
The United States was founded on the idea that individual rights are God-given and unalienable. The idea, rooted in traditional beliefs that human morality is of divine origin, stands a bulwark against any attempt to assail people’s rights even for their own good.
“If you’re not a believer in actual God, you can posit a God’s ideal on the matter … We have to posit some arbiter who’s above and beyond our own prejudices and biases in order to ensure these kinds of rights. … Because otherwise you have this infinitely malleable situation in which people with power and coercive potential can eliminate and rationalize the elimination of rights willy-nilly,” Rectenwald said.