By Dylan Charles

Source: Waking Times

At the cutting edge of science and technology today is artificial intelligence and robotics, which are being driven by ever-increasing computational speeds made possible by quantum computing. When the capacity of technological computation rivals the speed of our capacity to think and process information as humans, then we will reach the singularity and a superintelligence will emerge in our society, triggering runaway technological growth.

While this is coming in the very near future, we are also now learning how this very type of quantum creative power is already at play in our world via the interplay of human consciousness and the material world. In the early 1900’s, the famous double-slit experiment demonstrated that material objects can actually change their composition based on what is being held in consciousness when said objects are observed.

In other words, the world around us is being created moment by moment, and our expectations of what the world should be is what gives it form. In order to alter its form or to change course, we can use the directed focus of the mind to envision and feel something different for ourselves, and in time and through repetition, this reality will eventually take form. The feeling is the key.

This is something we do all the time. The best example of this, perhaps, is the human body, which can by some measures be considered a projection of human consciousness. We see this everywhere. For example, just look at people’s bodies and consider their health, and you’ll be able to get a fair idea of what type of thought patterns and belief systems are at work in the everyday silence of their own minds.

The best example is someone with radiant health, high energy and intense vitality. This person didn’t get to be this way by happenstance. The patterns of thought in their mind support their belief that their body can be a radiant storehouse of health. This, in turn, supports the development of habits which create such well-being. This type of person engages in clean, clear thinking about their health and body, and the result is this very type of body. They intentionally feel how they want to feel.

On the other hand, a person with an out of shape, obese, or disease-ridden body undoubtedly engages in thought patterns and beliefs about health which support such poor health. They never believe that they can be disease free or of ideal weight, and so their thoughts reinforce habits which deteriorate their health. Inside this person’s mind is chaos, confusion, fear, self-loathing and other patterns which create dis-ease.

There is more to this, though, if we consider the possibilities unfolding in the realms of quantum physics and superintelligent technology. We are beginning to get a clear idea of what the quantum field actually is and what it can do. It appears to be waiting for us to purposefully interact with it.

The quantum world is waiting for us to make a decision so that it knows how to behave. That is why quantum physicists have such difficulties in dealing with, explaining, and defining the quantum world. We are truly, in every sense of the word, masters of creation because we decide what manifests out of the field of all-possibility and into form.

The thing is, the quantum level of reality isn’t a local and insignificant aspect of creation. It is all around us, and it is the most fundamental level of creation aside from the unified field itself. The human energy field is interacting and influencing the quantum field all around us at all times and the energy of our beliefs and intentions are infused into our energy field because they are defined by the energy of our thoughts and emotions. ~Brandon West

Final Thoughts

This may sound to some like a woo woo way of looking at the world, but there is immense practicality in this world view for improving your life, your health, your relationships, and your overall happiness. The takeaway here is that you must take control over your own mind, and plant thoughts that support the projection of a healthy body and life. As Dr. Joe Dispenza notes, you’ll need to decide what you want, then put your attention on creating that reality.

“Whatever it is that is your vision, you’re just going to have to be passionate enough to invest your attention and your energy into that future over and over again, till all of a sudden you start seeing feedback in your life.” ~Dr. Joe Dispenza

Posted in consciousness, culture, Health, Philosophy, Psychology, society, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saturday Matinee: A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly

By Brian Eggert

Source: Deep Focus Review

Based on the acclaimed novel by Philip K. Dick, Richard Linklater’s 2006 film of A Scanner Darkly presents a cautionary tale on drugs, surveillance, and perception in a unique formal arrangement. Set “seven years from now,” the film considers a tyrannical post-9/11 world oppressed by an ever-watchful government, widespread paranoia, corporate subjection, and pervasive pharmaceutical addiction—all elements further fuelled by the obsessive fear that governments, corporations, and even your friends conspire against you. Linklater’s decision to produce his film with rotoscoped animation turns his adaptation into one of the most visually and thematically original motion pictures in decades, and the most faithful of all Dick adaptations. The film’s world contains several Dickian existential and metaphysical dilemmas and paradoxes, from the notion of spying on oneself to becoming willing participants in one’s drug addiction. This unsettling and tragic world becomes deliciously skewed from the excessive filtering of surveillance technology and a crazed dystopian culture, so much so that it remains impossible to see anyone for who or what they really are. A Scanner Darkly beautifully, and chillingly, considers Dick’s persistent theme that our culture has destroyed its own ability to perceive objective reality.

Philip K. Dick was born in 1928 and became interested in science fiction at an early age. He attended the Berkeley, California, high school and graduated in 1947, alongside another future science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guin, and briefly attended the University of California, Berkeley. He published his first science fiction story in 1951. From there on out, he would become one of the most prolific authors in his genre, publishing some 44 novels and more than 100 short stories until his death in 1982, just before the release of his first book-to-film adaptation, Blade Runner, based on his 1966 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Though science fiction was typically considered unsophisticated and a lower form of fiction, Dick’s caustic wit and social satires elevated sci-fi to the level of art. His self-proclaimed title was not that of an author but rather a truth-teller. He wrote his truth, and it consisted of a vast fictionalized philosophy, which some might argue was—and is—not necessarily fiction. His most enthusiastic followers might say his work is visionary, if not prophetic. Dick claimed his work spoke, and still speaks, to disturbed, troubled, and “off” members of society. His writing is for those who cannot rationalize society or reality: for those who need a satire, base, or frame of reference to rely on as coping mechanisms. Science fiction creates the desired satirical reality for readers, just as his characters in A Scanner Darkly see drugs as the only sane choice to escape the insane world.

Written in 1977, A Scanner Darkly stands as an ode to the drug counter-culture of Dick’s own Berkeley underground. But it’s also a thoughtful exploration of the metaphysical existence of drug users, as well as a mournful commentary on the government’s involvement in drug culture. Standing against the blatantly autocratic Nixon administration, marked by a reputation for undue suspicion and conspicuous surveillance, his Berkeley group purveyed conspiracy theories and widespread mistrust. And yet, this counter-culture also included a vast set of respected thinkers, unafraid to speak out—not just mindless stoners. According to an interview with French TV, Dick claims the group’s paranoia was not unjustified. During the interview, Dick speaks of secret CIA and FBI files on him, covert operations to get at his personal documents, and rampant spying led by the heads of various government organizations. To Nixon and his administration, the Berkeley group was an unknown element—a misunderstood collection of hippies seen through a distorted set of the administration’s famously paranoid views and political mechanisms. Fuelling this conflict between the two factions of Nixon’s administration and the Berkeley group, the author had a lifetime’s worth of experience with drugs, psychosis, and a slight case of schizophrenia. But in no way should those characteristics hinder the author’s message. Instead, Dick’s distinctiveness within the Berkeley group should reinforce that A Scanner Darkly may be more autobiographical than his other novels.

The story’s main character is Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves), an addict of a drug called Substance D, also known as Slow Death. But Bob is also Fred, an undercover narc spying on Arctor’s group of Substance D-using friends. Arctor has lost sight of his identity because of Substance D, which chemically separates brain functions in the hemispheres; after prolonged use, the left and right sides of his brain are unaware of each other. Furthermore, the Fred portion of the main character must conceal his identity from his supervisors for his own safety. No one knows who Fred is; no one knows who Bob is—including himself. The sole man representing both the narc and the addict does not realize he is spying on himself, and in a way, informing on himself. This self-betrayal is tantamount to suicide, rendering him prey to both Substance D and the totalitarian police state that employs him. According to the novel, the drug is made from a flower called “mors ontological”—Latin for ontological death. To be sure, Dick saw first-hand the damage substance abuse caused his friends. He was not entirely unaffected himself; he relied on methamphetamines and psychedelics for much of his early career. But he weaned himself off drugs before writing this book. And at the very end of his novel, Dick dedicates his fiction to several friends who died or retained permanent physical and mental dysfunction due to excessive drug use (a dedication abbreviated at the end of Linklater’s film). He writes that users are punished excessively and even unknowingly for attempting to “play” with something dangerous.

So often, society deems drug users worthless or mindless junkies for their habits, but A Scanner Darkly—the story and the title itself—asks that we do not pass judgment until we can see, in its entirety, the role of users. However, because of the elaborate system of filters between our eyes and that which we wish to see, how can we ever trust that we see reality and not some malformed version of reality skewed through surveillance tools? These filters exist in the form of monitoring equipment such as cameras and scanners, but also the mind-altering Substance D. Drugs are the obscuring mechanism by which the narrative challenges audiences to accept and ultimately forgive the characters within. Throughout the film, viewers must accept drug use as a fact of the story rather than a downfall of the characters. The book’s title refers to a verse from the bible, namely 1 Corinthians 13: 11-12, a verse that is paradoxically read both at weddings and funerals:

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

A pattern of dualism exists in this passage, particularly after its application to popular culture. Both in the novel and the film of A Scanner Darkly (not to mention Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s film Through a Glass Darkly), the idea of childhood versus adulthood, known and knowing, and parts versus the whole, are circumscribed so that the reader or audience cannot reconcile metonym from metaphor.

Dick’s writing often tells of worlds that are not what they seem. With A Scanner Darkly, the world remains undefined, distorted through a complicated filtration process. Linklater magnificently captures that undercurrent through his use of rotoscoped animation. Throughout the narrative, we remain unsure about Reeves’ character’s identity—in part due to the setting’s massive use of surveillance technology. The protagonist is not altogether Bob, nor is he altogether Fred; he comprises several constructs that never assemble into a single, understandable symbol. Agent Fred watches Bob on numerous holo-scanners, located everywhere; scanners see every moment of every day in every location. Someone is always watching (or that is what they want you to think). Undoubtedly, there was a time when Fred realized he was Bob, but Substance D has destroyed his understanding of his dual roles. Now, Fred cannot fully understand or see Bob. Who is this mysterious figure? Fred wonders. Is he the mastermind behind the whole thing? When Fred looks, he watches through a filter: the scanner. He cannot see clearly because his mind has been altered. At the same time, Bob has an unsettling sensation that he’s being watched. Though Bob and Fred are the same person, they cannot fully understand themselves. Meanwhile, the overwhelming network of observational devices only puts the truth at a greater distance.

The main character questions his culture’s scoptophilia-driven ways of looking and its authenticity: “What does a scanner see?” he asks himself. “Into the head? Down into the heart? Does it see into me? Into us? Clearly or darkly? I hope it sees clearly because I can’t any longer see into myself. I see only murk. I hope for everyone’s sake the scanners do better, because if the scanner sees only darkly the way I do, then I’m cursed and cursed again, too.” The protagonist’s hopes are in vain, as scanners prevent authorities from seeing their suspects clearly. Drugs debatably prevent the film’s main characters from seeing reality clearly, just as Linklater’s innovative use of animation in the film prevents audiences from seeing clearly. All these devices—scanners, drugs, animation—are filtering devices within the film. They distance the viewer or the subject from the truth, for which knowledge thereof is impossible, thus brilliantly placing us on the same disjointed plane of existence as the protagonist. We see through these filters as if a sfumato haze lingered between our eyes, and what we see is a distortion that impedes an accurate understanding.

With the film’s animation, the distortion does not take away from the audience’s understanding of the story’s message. It adds to it. The rotoscoping technique postponed the film’s scheduled release yet made the lengthy, nearly two-year production worth every moment to waiting audiences. A Scanner Darkly’s journey to the screen actually struggled for well over a decade with interested directors and forgotten scripts. In the 1990s, filmmakers ranging from Terry Gilliam to David Cronenberg attempted but failed to get their proposed adaptation before cameras. Charlie Kaufman, the writer of Being John Malkovich and the very Philip K. Dick-esque Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, also wrote a screenplay for Dick’s much-praised drug novel, although the script was never produced. Eventually, writer and director Richard Linklater wrote an adaptation. He had previously wanted to adapt Dick’s fast-paced Ubik, but settled on A Scanner Darkly for its metaphysical pondering and sense of paranoia, both themes which Linklater had explored before. George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company Section Eight agreed to produce. And eventually, the film was sanctioned by the Philip K. Dick Trust.

Based in Austin, Texas, Linklater helped launch a movement in American independent cinema with his 1991 debut, Slacker, an ultra-low-budget film that follows a group of college-age thinkers and vagabonds in loosely connected conversational vignettes. Before that, Linklater demonstrated his love of cinema when he founded The Austin Film Society in 1985, a non-profit group devoted to rare and important filmic works, which today has an Advisory Board consisting of filmmakers such as Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Tobe Hooper, and Les Blank. After Slacker, Linklater released Dazed and Confused (1993), a box-office flop that has since become a cult favorite, along with launching the careers of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Parker Posey. He continued with films rooted in thoughtful conversations, such as Before Sunrise (1995), the first chapter in the transcendent Before trilogy, and subUrbia (1997), adapted from Eric Bogosian’s acidic play. Eventually, Linklater experimented with commercial work, such as The Newton Boys (1998), an underwhelming Prohibition-era bank robber story, and the underrated Jack Black comedy School of Rock (2003). But the writer-director’s real talents flourish in artistic films with a sly commercial appeal—such as the highly praised sequels to Before Sunrise, 2004’s Before Sunset and 2013’s Before Midnight; his part-documentary, part-dramatized real-life murder story Bernie (2011); or his ambitious 12-year project Boyhood (2014).

Outwardly, A Scanner Darkly remains most closely tied to Linklater’s 2001 release, Waking Life, a most meandering and philosophizing work that uses rotoscoped animation to follow an ongoing series of thought-provoking conversations. The process was originally used in 1914 by cartoonist Max Fleischer, and then next by Walt Disney, to help cartoonists simulate natural movement. By painting or inking on live-action footage, the characters in a film such as Sleeping Beauty (1959) were given more realistic bodily actions and facial expressions. But A Scanner Darkly would use the method for much more than merely painting over photography; the film uses animation to establish both reality and create hallucinatory images. As a result, the original plan scheduled nine months’ worth of post-production animation, but the process took eighteen months to allow for the detail and imagination Linklater wanted in his animation. The outcome, even in seemingly insignificant scenes, is breathtaking. The flawless animation appears to be a comic book with a pulse. Combine that with the bravado performances of the film’s actors, and the animation becomes just another piece of the apparatus that disappears in the glory of a great story. Some may hold reservations towards the technique, believing that the animation takes away from the actors’ performances or the narrative. Still, the approach helps rather than hinders the actors’ places in A Scanner Darkly’s bizarre, paranoid reality, aligning perfectly with Dick’s themes of reality distortion.

The most impressive piece of animation in the picture is Fred’s ever-shifting “scramble suit,” which prevents Fred’s supervisors from identifying him, maximizing the security of his cover. Fred’s boss wears a similar suit, and neither Fred nor his boss knows who is behind the other’s suit. The “scramble suit” projects false identities via constantly shifting characteristics so that no surveillance mechanism can pinpoint the wearer’s identity, therein eliminating any possibility of exposure. Animating the suit consists of creating hundreds, if not thousands, of facial and bodily fragments that dizzily rotate at random. But each momentary identity has to maintain an overall silhouette and still project the actor underneath. When Keanu Reeves’ Fred moves, even from under the continually changing scramble suit, the audience can still recognize Reeves’ movements and body language. The performances themselves were given by actors chosen not only for their sheer talent but, seemingly, for their off-screen reputation with drugs. Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder, and Rory Cochrane have all had or even lived similar roles to theirs in A Scanner Darkly. Somehow rotoscoping wipes away that stigma, compiling a new face literally painted over the actor’s old one. The performers are made whole again, permitting the audience to forget about Downey Jr.’s reoccurring drug problems or Harrelson’s history with pot. They are no longer actors but rather characters given free-range because of the innovative medium. Their off-screen reputations linger in our subconscious, to be remembered later upon reflecting on the film’s artistry.

The most notable performance of the group is Robert Downey Jr. as Barris—a suspicious character so burnt out from the drugs and constant onslaught of paranoia that he’s become sadistically mistrusting, if only internally, of his friends. Downey Jr. plays Barris as a fast-talking, often brilliant individual that can turn at any moment. Downey’s maniacal rapid-flow speech and brazen waving of the arms bring Barris—the most conniving, intelligent, humorous, sadistic, and strangely most likable character from the novel—to life. Reeves and Cochrane’s performances deserve acknowledgment as well, as each actor completely embodies their respective role. Reeves takes Bob (or is it Fred, or later Bruce?) to the ambiguous level demanded. While Reeves has taken his share of guff for his inexpressive acting, he seems at ease and perfectly cast here. Looking back, no other actor could have given Bob-Fred-Bruce the same ambivalence to the world and himself without making it appear too unintentional (or too intentional, for that matter). Cochrane plays Freck, an overdosing Substance D fiend and one of Arctor’s group of stoner friends. The first scenes in the film involve Freck attempting to wash and kill hallucinatory aphids from his body and out of his hair. Cochrane gives Freck the perfect helpless-yet-fearful twitch of a user who knows he has gone too far. Freck is pitiable in how prey is pitiable: although aware of his deteriorating state, he is too far gone to change the situation and helpless to prevent his eventual collapse.

This could be said for any of the characters in the film. Each floats like a moth on a calm pond—having landed on the water, they are now helpless to escape. They wait for some hideous predator from the murky bottom to float up and gulp them down. Both the film and Dick’s novel share a potent message—particularly in the story’s climax, which reveals that the foundation set up to cure people of Substance D addiction is the very organization creating it, a corporation called New Path. This turn speaks against the type of suspicious world where people have no choice but to escape. Neither the film nor the book condones drug use, but they understand it. They do not blame users for attempting to distract themselves from the ever-encroaching watchful eye of society and the government looming in. Or as Dick writes in his Author’s Note at the end of his novel:

Like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed—run over, maimed, destroyed—but they continued to play anyway. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief; even when we could see it, we could not believe it.

Indeed, through A Scanner Darkly, Dick seems to indirectly remark on the allegations that the CIA participated in the Secret War in Laos, which in turn moved commercial opiates, including heroin, into the United States. Those who wished to “play” could do so thanks to their government, and in turn, they were destroyed for it. Surely Dick’s story would anticipate accusations of CIA cocaine trafficking, specifically during the Reagan and Clinton administrations: there are questions about how closely the government has worked alongside the Mexican Cartels; how the CIA has allowed drop points at the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport; if the CIA collaborated to import cocaine and marijuana as part of the Contra war in Nicaragua; or how the CIA targeted certain Black neighborhoods during the 1980s crack epidemic. But, as with Freck and eventually Bob, we do not judge the users in A Scanner Darkly; instead, we see them as the product of ignorance, corruption, and an irresponsible government. Dick and his Berkeley group, which one can imagine were not dissimilar from Arctor’s group, were neither victims nor criminals for their usage.

Even today, several decades after his death, Dick’s work remains futurist and visionary, yet also reflective of our society. Since Blade Runner‘s release in 1982, Dick has become one of the most adapted-to-film authors, from Paul Verhoeven’s ruthless actioner Total Recall (1990, based on Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”) to Steven Spielberg’s breathless thriller Minority Report (2002, based on the short story of the same name). More recently, Amazon has turned Dick’s Hugo Award-winning book The Man in the High Castle into a triumphant series. But where other adaptations often abandon the author’s insights on the nature and illusion of existence in favor of sci-fi genre fun, Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly fully embraces Dick’s penchant for damaged souls and their metaphysical line of questioning. Linklater’s film has been praised, even by Philip K. Dick’s daughter Isa, as an accurate, generous, and artistic adaptation. Unfortunately, Dick’s work has a notorious reputation for being slaughtered by screenwriters, as viewers of Paycheck (2003) and Next (2007) can attest. The few good adaptations out there still stray from the writer’s original text, though in spirit, they remain faithful. But Linklater captured the plot, spirit, and most importantly, the questions of Dick’s original work. Instead of losing himself in science-fiction, he used the book to emphasize further the story’s focus on a particular subculture and what races through their minds.

Wondrous and curious sights are shown in this film—so wondrous that, quite intentionally, we begin to mistrust our eyes. When we cannot trust what we see and how we feel, when we suspect our senses, and when a world like the one depicted in A Scanner Darkly succeeds so well in drawing us in and making us as paranoid as its characters, we find ourselves involved in the story more so than we realized. Therein lies the subtle genius of A Scanner Darkly. Like the characters in the film, we’re involved in the long, drug-fueled conversations and skewed perceptions of reality, forgetting about the inherent dangers until all at once, we realize that Freck, Arctor, and eventually the rest, will succumb to a slow death. The film’s last shots are at once melancholy and hopeful. They find Arctor inside one of New Path’s many farms that produce the flower behind Substance D, though his brain has been fried beyond help. Perhaps, somehow, his presence and police work will lead to New Path’s end. Or perhaps not. Linklater superbly captures the sobering theme of Dick’s novel—how people are forced to rely on escape, either from their own psychosis or the world around them. Ultimately, they become willing casualties of their own addiction and complicit in their own demise; through their attempt to escape, they turn themselves into slaves of the very system they hoped to avoid.


Posted in Art, culture, Film, Saturday Matinee, Video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ukrainian Solidarity Network: The Highest Stage of White Western Social Imperialism

Volodomyr Zelensky smirks at December 2019 meeting in Paris as Vladimir Putin discusses the Minsk Agreement (Image: Telegram Zarubin Reporter)

By Ajamu Baraka

Source: Black Agenda Report

The Ukraine conflict was caused by the U.S. backed right wing coup in 2014 and the duplicity of Europeans who claimed to be working for peace. Anyone who supports these actions but claims leftist credentials must be challenged. 

“It is urgent to end this war as soon as possible. This can only be achieved through the success of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion. Ukraine is fighting a legitimate war of self-defense, indeed a war for its survival as a nation. Calling for “peace” in the abstract is meaningless in these circumstances.”(Ukrainian Solidarity Network )

“Social-imperialists,’ that is, socialists in words and imperialists in deeds ( V.I. Lenin) 

“The Western social-imperialist left that is still addicted to its material privileges and illusions of being a part of something called the “West” has a choice that it must make: either you abandon privilege and whiteness and join as class combatants against your bourgeoisie, or you will be considered part of the enemy.” (A.Baraka, The Western Imperial Left’s Collaboration with the Western Bourgeoisie )

The clear implication from this statement issued by the newly formed Ukrainian Solidarity Network is that military victory is the only solution for resolving the conflict in Ukraine. The fact that many of the individuals supporting this network self-identify as leftists, represents a new, perhaps higher form of collaboration with Western and U.S. imperialism that may have ever developed since the end of the second imperialist war in 1945.  I issued an excerpt of my statement in response to the emergence of this network that caused a stir. Here is my statement in full.  

One of the most positive things to emerge from the Collective West’s war in Ukraine is that it helped to expose elements of the U.S. left that have always had a soft, sentimental spot for the West. The arrogance of these Westerners who signed on to this call for more war (see below) is reflected in the fact that they don’t even feel compelled to explain how their morally superior commitment to Ukrainian self-determination against “Putin’s” war is reconciled with the various statements from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former French President Francois Hollande and before them, former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko revealing that the Minsk agreement was just a delaying tactic to prepare for war. 

We ask the Network as we have been asking Zelensky and Biden, the co-coordinators of the White Lives Matter More Movement, how this phase of the conflict that started in 2014 became Putin’s war? Do we just dismiss as Kremlin propaganda that the Russian Federation felt threatened by what appeared to be the de-facto incorporation of Ukraine into NATO as the Ukrainian army was built into the most formidable fighting force in Europe outside of Russia?

Did the Russians not have any legitimate security concerns with NATO missiles facing them from Romania and Poland, a mere six minutes away from Moscow, and that Ukraine was also making a pitch for “defensive” missiles in Ukraine? And how does the Network characterize the conflict in Eastern Ukraine that started in 2014 and produced over 14,000 deaths when the Ukrainian coup government attacked its own citizens, if the current conflict started in February 2022? What happened to the fascist issue in Ukraine that was written about for years but with even more urgency after the coup in 2014? Did the Kremlin plant those stories in the Western press? 

We understand that these are questions that the organizers of the Ukrainian Network will never answer because they do not have to.  As Westerners they can just postulate an assertion and it is accepted. The Network and the Western bourgeoisie declare that the war in Ukraine is Putin’s war and it becomes objective truth – because that is what the West can do and can get away with. It’s called power – white power perhaps? 

The Ukrainian Solidarity Network is the ultimate expression of social imperialism that has become so normalized in the U.S. and Western Europe that it is no longer even recognized. An example from the statement makes the argument that Ukraine has the “right to determine the means and objectives of its own struggle.” That is a recognized left position. But the social imperialists of the West do not extend that principle and right to nations in the global South. In fact, we ask the signers of this call to explain when the coup government of Ukraine became the representatives of the Ukrainian nation and recognized the sovereign will of the people? 

Therefore, it is not a mere coincidence that the main signatories of this Network statement pledging undying support to Ukraine and its project, are also some of the same “left” forces in the forefront of giving left legitimacy to the charge leveled by Western imperialism that the struggling socialist oriented national liberationist states like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia are nothing more than “authoritarian” states more interested in power than socialist construction. Some of those forces also cheered on the NATO attack against Libya, passionately defended Western intervention in Syria and have been silent on Western plans to violently invade Haiti. 

For the contemporary neocons in the leadership of the Ukrainian network, their commitment to abstract principles, and certainty that they know more than everyone else, objectively place them in the same ideological camp with Obama, Biden, NATO strategists, the Zelensky clown, and Boris Johnson. But they will argue that their positions are different, since they represent something they call the left. 

For a number of individuals who signed on to this pro-Western, pro-war letter, they are in a familiar place. However, I suspect a few of the individuals on that list were probably confused or not paying attention, not thinking about who they would be affiliated with when they signed on.

That of course, is not the case for some of the key supporters of this initiative. Individuals like the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins, Eric Draitser of Counterpunch, and Bill Fletcher who normally I would not name specifically but because these individuals and the tendency they represent embody the worst of the arrogant, Western left that in so many cases (not all) objectively provides ideological cover ( rightism with left phraseology) for the imperialist program of Western capital –  they should not be allowed continued left respectability without challenge.

These individuals certainly have not hesitated in offering criticisms of those of us who never wavered from our strategic priority to defeat our primary enemy – the Western white supremacist colonial/capitalist patriarchy. For us everything else represents secondary contradictions at this specific historical moment. And is why we reject the arguments these forces advance about fighting dual imperialisms as anti-dialectical nonsense and a political cover.  

History has demonstrated that it would be a complete disaster if the “collective West” secured a military victory in its proxy war with Russia. For the U.S. empire it would validate their doctrine of “Full spectrum dominance” and the wisdom of their commitment to a military-first strategy to support that doctrine. It would mean that war with China was a certainty.

The commitment to global hegemony by the Western colonial/capitalist elite by any means necessary is why the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination represents an existential threat to the vast majority of humanity. A “left” position on Ukraine should at best be to support a negotiated settlement to end the war before the Dr. Strangeloves making policy in the U.S. create the circumstances that will lead to a nuclear confrontation with either Russia or China. 

The position of support for more war guided by the white-boy fantasy of military victory in Ukraine is madness. For Africans/Black folks, we ask, what self-respecting African would consciously place themselves on the same side with NATO, Europe, and the U.S. settler-state in any conflict? The fact that some continue to end up on the same side with our enemies only affirms that they have made a choice, and that choice is to collaborate with our enemies – which sadly, also makes them the enemy.

Posted in Activism, anti-war, culture, Deep State, Empire, Geopolitics, imperialism, media, Media Literacy, Militarization, NATO, Neocons, news, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy

Bombs, Bullets, and Bellicosity Instead of Brains

Signe’s second toon du jour SIGN17e Military

By W.J. Astore

Source: Bracing Views

In my latest article for, I parse the meaning of America’s latest National Defense Strategy. Hint: It’s not about defense.

More than two millennia ago, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides recounted a disastrous conflict Athens waged against Sparta. A masterwork on strategy and war, the book is still taught at the U.S. Army War College and many other military institutions across the world. A passage from it describing an ultimatum Athens gave a weaker power has stayed with me all these years. And here it is, loosely translated from the Greek: “The strong do what they will and the weak suffer as they must.”

Recently, I read the latest National Defense Strategy, or NDS, issued in October 2022 by the Pentagon, and Thucydides’s ancient message, a warning as clear as it was undeniable, came to mind again. It summarized for me the true essence of that NDS: being strong, the United States does what it wants and weaker powers, of course, suffer as they must. Such a description runs contrary to the mythology of this country in which we invariably wage war not for our own imperial ends but to defend ourselves while advancing freedom and democracy. Recall that Athens, too, thought of itself as an enlightened democracy even as it waged its imperial war of dominance on the Peloponnesus. Athens lost that war, calamitously, but at least it did produce Thucydides, a military leader who became a historian and wrote all too bluntly about his country’s hubristic, ultimately fatal pursuit of hegemony.

Imperial military ambitions contributed disastrously to Athens’s exhaustion and ultimate collapse, a lesson completely foreign to U.S. strategists. Not surprisingly, then, you’ll find no such Thucydidean clarity in the latest NDS approved by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. In place of that Greek historian’s probity and timeless lessons, the NDS represents an assault not just on the English language but on our very future. In it, a policy of failing imperial dominance is eternally disguised as democratic deterrence, while the greatest “strategic” effort of all goes (remarkably successfully) into justifying massive Pentagon budget increases. Given the sustained record of failures in this century for what still passes as the greatest military power on the planet — Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, of course, but don’t forget SomaliaSyriaYemen, and indeed the entire $8 trillion Global War on Terror in all its brutality — consider the NDS a rare recent “mission accomplished” moment. The 2023 baseline “defense” budget now sits at $858 billion, $45 billion more than even the Biden administration requested.

With that yearly budget climbing toward a trillion dollars (or more) annually, it’s easy to conclude that, at least when it comes to our military, nothing succeeds like failure. And, by the way, that not only applies to wars lost at a staggering cost but also financial audits blown without penalty. After all, the Pentagon only recently failed its fifth audit in a row. With money always overflowing, no matter how it may be spent, one thing seems guaranteed: some future American Thucydides will have the material to produce a volume or volumes beyond compare. Of course, whether this country goes the way of Athens — defeat driven by military exhaustion exacerbated by the betrayal of its supposedly deepest ideals leading to an ultimate collapse — remains to be seen. Still, given that America’s war colleges continue to assign Thucydides, no one can say that our military and future NDS writers didn’t get fair warning when it comes to what likely awaits them.

Bludgeoning America with Bureaucratese

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.

That’s a saying I learned early in my career as an Air Force officer, so I wasn’t exactly surprised to discover that it’s the NDS’s guiding philosophy. The document has an almost Alice in Wonderland-like quality to it as words and phrases take on new meanings. China, you won’t be surprised to learn, is a “pacing challenge” to U.S. security concerns; Russia, an “acute threat” to America due to its “unprovoked, unjust, and reckless invasion of Ukraine” and other forms of “irresponsible behavior”; and building “combat-credible forces” within a “defense ecosystem” is a major Pentagon goal, along with continuing “investments in mature, high-value assets” (like defective aircraft carriers, ultra-expensive bombers and fighter jets, and doomsday-promising new ICBMs).

Much talk is included about “leveraging” those “assets,” “risk mitigation,” and even “cost imposition,” a strange euphemism for bombing, killing, or otherwise inflicting pain on our enemies. Worse yet, there’s so much financial- and business-speak in the document that it’s hard not to wonder whether its authors don’t already have at least one foot in the revolving door that could, on their retirement from the military, swing them onto the corporate boards of major defense contractors like Boeing and Raytheon.

Perhaps my favorite redefined concept in that NDS lurks in the word “campaigning.” In the old days, armies fought campaigns in the field and generals like Frederick the Great or Napoleon truly came to know the price of them in blood and treasure. Unlike U.S. generals since 1945, they also knew the meaning of victory, as well as defeat. Perish the thought of that kind of campaigning now. The NDS redefines it, almost satirically, not to say incomprehensibly, as “the conduct and sequencing of logically-linked military initiatives aimed at advancing well-defined, strategy-aligned priorities over time.” Huh?

Campaigning, explains the cover letter signed by Secretary of Defense Austin (who won’t be mistaken for Frederick II in his bluntness or Napoleon in his military acuity), “is not business as usual — it is the deliberate effort to synchronize the [Defense] Department’s activities and investments to aggregate focus and resources to shift conditions in our favor.”

Got it? Good!

Of course, who knows what such impenetrable jargon really means to our military in 2023? This former military officer certainly prefers the plain and honest language of Thucydides. In his terms, America, the strong, intends to do what it will in the world to preserve and extend “conditions in our favor,” as the NDS puts it — a measure by which this country has failed dismally in this century. Weaker countries, especially those that are “irresponsible,” must simply suffer. If they resist, they must be prepared for some “cost imposition” events exercised by our “combat-credible forces.” Included in those are America’s “ultimate backstop” of cost imposition… gulp, its nuclear forces.

Again, the NDS is worthy of close reading (however pain-inducing that may be) precisely because the secretary of defense does claim that it’s his “preeminent guidance document.” I assume he’s not kidding about that, though I wish he were. To me, that document is to guidance as nuclear missiles are to “backstops.” If that last comparison is jarring, I challenge you to read it and then try to think or write clearly.

Bringing Clarity to America’s Military Strategy

To save you the trauma of even paging through the NDS, let me try to summarize it quickly in my version — if not the Pentagon’s — of English:

  1. China is the major threat to America on this planet.
  2. Russia, however, is a serious threat in Europe.
  3. The War on Terror continues to hum along successfully, even if at a significantly lower level.
  4. North Korea and Iran remain threats, mainly due to the first’s growing nuclear arsenal and the second’s supposed nuclear aspirations.
  5. Climate change, pandemics, and cyberwar must also be factored in as “transboundary challenges.”

“Deterrence” is frequently used as a cloak for the planetary dominance the Pentagon continues to dream of. Our military must remain beyond super-strong (and wildly overfunded) to deter nations and entities from striking “the homeland.” There’s also lots of talk about global challenges to be met, risks to be managed, “gray zone” methods to be employed, and references aplenty to “kinetic action” (combat, in case your translator isn’t working) and what’s known as “exploitable asymmetries.”

Count on one thing: whatever our disasters in the real world, nobody is going to beat America in the jargon war.

Missing in the NDS — and no surprise here — is any sense that war is humanity’s worst pastime. Even the mass murder implicit in nuclear weapons is glossed over. The harshest realities of conflict, nuclear war included, and the need to do anything in our power to prevent them, naturally go unmentioned. The very banality of the document serves to mask a key reality of our world: that Americans fund nothing as religiously as war, that most withering of evils.

Perhaps it’s not quite the banality of evil, to cite the telling phrase political philosopher Hannah Arendt used to describe the thoughts of the deskbound mass-murderers of the Holocaust, but it does have all of war’s brutality expunged from it. As we stare into the abyss, the NDS replies with mind-numbing phrases and terms that wouldn’t be out of place in a corporate report on rising profits and market dominance.

Yet as the military-industrial complex maneuvers and plots to become ever bigger, ever better funded, and ever more powerful, abetted by a Congress seemingly lustful for ever more military spending and weapons exports, hope for international cooperation, productive diplomacy, and democracy withers. Here, for instance, are a few of the things you’ll never see mentioned in this NDS:

  1. Any suggestion that the Pentagon budget might be reduced. Ever.
  2. Any suggestion that the U.S. military’s mission or “footprint” should be downsized in any way at all.
  3. Any acknowledgement that the U.S. and its allies spend far more on their militaries than “pacing challengers” like China or “acute threats” like Russia.
  4. Any acknowledgment that the Pentagon’s budget is based not on deterrence but on dominance.
  5. Any acknowledgement that the U.S. military has been far less than dominant despite endless decades of massive military spending that produced lost or stalemated wars from Korea and Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq.
  6. Any suggestion that skilled diplomacy and common security could lead to greater cooperation or decreased tensions.
  7. Any serious talk of peace.

In brief, in that document and thanks to the staggering congressional funding that goes with it, America is being eternally spun back into an age of great-power rivalry, with Xi Jinping’s China taking the place of the old Soviet Union and Vladimir Putin’s Russia that of Mao Zedong’s China. Consistent with that retro-vision is the true end goal of the NDS: to eternally maximize the Pentagon budget and so the power and authority of the military-industrial-congressional complex.

Basically, any power that seeks to push back against the Pentagon’s vision of security through dominance is defined as a threat to be “deterred,” often in the most “kinetic” way. And the greatest threat of all, requiring the most “deterrence,” is, of course, China.

In a textbook case of strategic mirror-imaging, the Pentagon’s NDS sees that country and its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as acting almost exactly like the U.S. military. And that simply cannot be allowed.

Here’s the relevant NDS passage:

“In addition to expanding its conventional forces, the PLA is rapidly advancing and integrating its space, counterspace, cyber, electronic, and information warfare capabilities to support its holistic approach to joint warfare. The PLA seeks to target the ability of the [U.S.] Joint Force to project power to defend vital U.S. interests and aid our Allies in a crisis or conflict. The PRC [China] is also expanding the PLA’s global footprint and working to establish a more robust overseas and basing infrastructure to allow it to project military power at greater distances. In parallel, the PRC is accelerating the modernization and expansion of its nuclear capabilities.”

How dare China become more like the United States! Only this country is allowed to aspire to “full-spectrum dominance” and global power, as manifested by its 750 military bases scattered around the world and its second-to-none, blue-water navy. Get back to thy place, China! Only “a free people devoted to democracy and the rule of law” can “sustain and strengthen an international system under threat.” China, you’ve been warned. Better not dare to keep pace with the U.S. of A. (And heaven forfend that, in a world overheating in a devastating way, the planet’s two greatestgreenhouse gas emitters should work together to prevent true catastrophe!)

Revisiting the Oath of Office

Being a retired U.S. military officer, I always come back to the oath of office I once swore to uphold: “To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Naturally, if China, Russia, or any other country or entity attacks or otherwise directly menaces the U.S., I expect our military to defend this country with all due vigor.

That said, I don’t see China, Russia, or weaker countries like Iran or North Korea risking attacks against America proper, despite breathless talk of world “flashpoints.” Why would they, when any such attack would incur a devastating counterattack, possibly including America’s trusty “backstop,” its nuclear weapons?

In truth, the NDS is all about the further expansion of the U.S. global military mission. Contraction is a concept never to be heard. Yet reducing our military’s presence abroad isn’t synonymous with isolationism, nor, as has become ever more obvious in recent years, is an expansive military structure a fail-safe guarantor of freedom and democracy at home. Quite the opposite, constant warfare and preparations for more of it overseas have led not only to costly defeats, most recently in Afghanistan, but also to the increasing militarization of our society, a phenomenon reflected, for instance, in the more heavily armed and armored police forces across America.

The Pentagon’s NDS is a classic case of threat inflation cloaked in bureaucratese where the “facts” are fixed around a policy that encourages the incessant and inflationary growth of the military-industrial complex. In turn, that complex empowers and drives a “rules-based international order” in which America, as hegemon, makes the rules. Again, as Thucydides put it, the strong do what they will and the weak suffer as they must.

Yet, to paraphrase another old book, what does it profit a people to gain the whole world yet lose their very soul?  Like Athens before it, America was once a flawed democracy that nevertheless served as an inspiration to many because militarism, authoritarianism, and imperial pretense didn’t drive it. Today, this country is much like Thucydides’s Athens, projecting power ever-outwards in a misbegotten exercise to attain mastery through military supremacy.

It didn’t end well for Athens, nor will it for the United States.

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‘NATO’s mission’ leaves Ukraine destroyed

“We are carrying out NATO’s mission.” As Ukraine’s defense minister acknowledges the proxy war, NATO proxy warriors disregard the toll.

(Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

By Aaron Maté

Source: Aaron Maté Substack

Unveiling its latest military assistance package to Ukraine – at $3.75 billion, the largest to date — the White House declared that US weapons are intended “to help the Ukrainians resist Russian aggression.”

For their part, Ukrainians on the receiving end see it differently.

“We are carrying out NATO’s mission,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in an interview. “They aren’t shedding their blood. We’re shedding ours. That’s why they’re required to supply us with weapons.” Repeating a rationale offered by his US sponsors in previous wars, including the invasion of Iraq, Reznikov added that Ukraine “is defending the entire civilized world.”

Receiving an endless supply of weapons from NATO countries that shed no blood of their own — all to fulfill their “mission” — is an apt description of Ukraine’s role in the US-led proxy war against Russia. And as one of its staunchest champions, Sen. Lindsey Graham, cheerfully predicted in July, that mission is using Ukraine to “fight to the last person.”

For Ukraine, the costs of fulfilling NATO’s mission are spelled out by former US cabinet secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates. Today, the pair write, Ukraine’s “economy is in a shambles, millions of its people have fled, its infrastructure is being destroyed, and much of its mineral wealth, industrial capacity and considerable agricultural land are under Russian control. Ukraine’s military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West — primarily, the United States.”

Rather than seeing Ukraine’s war-ravaged, Russian-occupied, Western-dependent condition as a reason to seek a negotiated end, Rice and Gates in fact regard diplomacy as an outcome to avoid.

“Absent another major Ukrainian breakthrough and success against Russian forces, Western pressures on Ukraine to negotiate a cease-fire will grow as months of military stalemate pass,” they warn. This result would be “unacceptable”, Rice and Gates conclude, because “any negotiated cease-fire would leave Russian forces in a strong position to resume their invasion whenever they are ready.” That is one possibility. Another possibility, unmentioned by the authors, is that a negotiated cease-fire leads to a permanent one. This would entail finally addressing the grievances of Ukraine’s ethnic Russian population – the proximate cause of the post-2014 Donbas war that preceded Russia’s invasion — as well as addressing Russia’s longstanding security concerns about NATO expansion and advanced weaponry on its borders.

On the latter issue, the Kremlin is far from the only advocate. “One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia,” French President Emmanuel Macron said last month.

Macron’s comments “appeared to go beyond anything the United States has offered” Russia, the New York Times noted. Unstated by the Times is why such an offer has yet to materialize: as defined by multiple senior US officials right up to President Biden, “NATO’s mission” is not to defend Ukraine, but to use it as a proxy to “weaken” or even cause regime change in neighboring Russia.

Accordingly, the prospect of a negotiated cease-fire must be negated. The US and its allies, Rice and Gates argue, must “urgently provide Ukraine with a dramatic increase in military supplies and capability.” A failure to do so, they warn, could lead to a scenario where “more is demanded of the United States and NATO.” For now, this can thankfully be avoided, because the US enjoys “a determined partner in Ukraine that is willing to bear the consequences of war so that we do not have to do so ourselves in the future.” For proxy warriors, there is indeed no better “partner” than one “willing to bear the consequences of war” fueled from afar.

As a gage of their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and well-being, consider the merits of Rice and Gates’ attempts to appeal to international law. The US, they write, “has learned the hard way — in 1914, 1941 and 2001 — that unprovoked aggression and attacks on the rule of law and the international order cannot be ignored.” Apparently, the US did not learn the same lesson from invading dozens of countries since 1914 – including under the Bush administration, where the authors played instrumental roles in multiple acts of unprovoked aggression, such as the invasion of Iraq. Gates, who carried on as Defense Secretary under President Obama, continued this legacy by overseeing the US bombing campaign that helped topple Libya’s government.

Predictably, Ukrainian soldiers that “bear the consequences of war” are facing heavy losses. Speaking to Newsweek, retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Andrew Milburn, who has trained and led Ukrainian forces for the private mercenary firm Mozart Group, reports that in the battle for Bakhmut, Ukraine has been “taking extraordinarily high casualties. The numbers you are reading in the media about 70 percent and above casualties being routine are not exaggerated.”

Ukraine is now “taking high casualties on the Bakhmut-Soledar front, quickly depleting the strength of several brigades sent there as reinforcements in the past month,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Western—and some Ukrainian—officials, soldiers and analysts increasingly worry that Kyiv has allowed itself to be sucked into the battle for Bakhmut on Russian terms, losing the forces it needs for a planned spring offensive as it stubbornly clings to a town of limited strategic relevance.” According to one battlefield Ukrainian commander, “the exchange rate of trading our lives for theirs favors the Russians. If this goes on like this, we could run out.”

The prevailing indifference to Ukraine’s death toll was recently underscored when Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, made the mistake of acknowledging it. In a speech, von der Leyen noted that Ukraine has lost 20,000 civilians and 100,000 troops since Russia’s February invasion. The Ukrainian military responded by complaining that this was “classified information,” prompting von der Leyen’s office to edit out the figure from video of her remarks.

Meanwhile, the prevailing rejection of diplomacy has even led one of its staunchest European advocates to effectively renounce it. In an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed that the 2015 Minsk II accords – the internationally backed framework for ending the post-2014 Donbas civil war, premised on granting limited autonomy to Russia-allied eastern Ukrainians – was a ruse.

Minsk, Merkel explained, “was an attempt to give Ukraine time.” And it did so successfully: Ukraine “used this time to get stronger, as you can see today. The Ukraine of 2014/15 is not the Ukraine of today… And I very much doubt that the NATO countries could have done as much then as they do now to help Ukraine.”

Merkel, whose government helped broker Minsk, was one of the few NATO leaders to develop a cooperative relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Her comments follow a similar admission from the Ukrainian leader who signed Minsk, Petro Porosenko. “We had achieved everything we wanted,” Poroshenko said in May 2022. “Our goal was to, first, stop the threat, or at least to delay the war – to secure eight years to restore economic growth and create powerful armed forces.” (emphasis added)

The claim by Merkel that Minsk was not intended to make peace, but “to give Ukraine” time to “get stronger” for war has been greeted by Putin and his supporters as confirmation that NATO cannot be trusted to uphold its agreements. (A takeaway newly bolstered by Joe Biden’s recent admission that, despite his campaign promises, the Iran nuclear deal is “dead”).

An alternative explanation is that Merkel is disingenuously attempting to appease pro-war hawks in Germany and beyond, as Moon of Alabama argues. Nicolai Petro, author of the indispensable new book “The Tragedy of Ukraine,” concurs with that interpretation, as he told me in a recent interview. The German and France-brokered Minsk process, Petro argues, were “good faith efforts to bring the hostilities to an end, at least to accomplish a ceasefire from which then further negotiations could be pursued.” The main obstacle, in Petro’s view, came from Ukraine’s far-right Ukrainian nationalists and their allies in Washington, “who basically dismissed the Minsk accords as a non-starter,” and unrealistically sought Ukraine’s complete recapture not only of the Donbas but Crimea as well.

Whether Merkel was being sincere or not, her comments reflect the fact that the aims of the Ukrainian far-right and their DC allies now dominate the NATO states, with voices for peace marginalized and diplomacy shunned.

And now, nearly one year into Russia’s invasion, the proxy war’s NATO cheerleaders have no interest in stopping the bloodshed, despite the open recognition that their mission is helping destroy the country that they claim to defend.

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Two for Tuesday

Gerry Hannah

Lou Reed

Posted in Art, culture, Music Video, Two for Tuesday, Video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Digitization Of Humanity Shows Why The Globalist Agenda Is Evil

By Brandon Smith


In recent weeks I’ve been seeing an interesting narrative fallacy being sold to the general public when it comes to the designs of globalists. The mainstream media and others are now openly suggesting that it’s actually okay to be opposed to certain aspects of groups like the World Economic Forum. They give you permission to be concerned, just don’t dare call it conspiracy.

This propaganda is a deviation from the abject denials we’re accustomed to hearing in the Liberty Movement for the past decade or more. We have all been confronted with the usual cognitive dissonance – The claims that globalist groups “just sit around talking about boring economic issues” and nothing they do has any bearing on global politics or your everyday life. In some cases we were even told that these groups of elites “don’t exist”.

Now, the media is admitting that yes, perhaps the globalists do have more than just a little influence over governments, social policies and economic outcomes. But, what the mainstream doesn’t like is the assertion that globalists have nefarious or authoritarian intentions. That’s just crazy tinfoil hat talk, right?

The reason for the narrative shift is obvious. Far too many people witnessed the true globalist agenda in action during the pandemic lockdowns and now they see the conspiracy for what it is. The globalists, in turn, seem to have been shocked to discover many millions of people in opposition to the mandates and the refusals to comply were clearly far greater than they expected. They are still trying to push their brand of covid fear, but the cat is out of the bag now.

They failed to get what they wanted in the west, which was a perpetual Chinese-style medical tyranny with vaccine passports as the norm. So, the globalist strategy has changed and they are seeking to adapt. They admit to a certain level of influence, but they pretend as if they are benevolent or indifferent.

The response to this lie is relatively straightforward. I could point out how Klaus Schwab of the WEF savored the thrill of the initial pandemic outbreak and declared that covid was the perfect “opportunity” to initiate what the WEF calls the “Great Reset.”

I could also point out that Klaus Schwab’s vision of the Reset, what he calls the “4th Industrial Revolution”, is a veritable nightmare world in which Artificial Intelligence runs everything, society is condensed into digital enclaves called “smart cities” and people are oppressed by carbon taxation. I could point out that the WEF actively supports the concept of the “Shared Economy” in which you will “own nothing, have no privacy” and you will supposedly be happy about it, but only because you won’t have any other choice.

What I really want to talk about, however, is the process by which the elites hope to achieve their dystopian epoch, as well as the globalist mindset which lends itself to the horrors of technocracy. The common naive assumption among skeptics of conspiracy is that the globalists are regular human beings with the same drives and limited desires as the rest of us. They might have some power, but world events are still random and certainly not controlled.

This is a fallacy. The globalists are not like us. They are not human. Or, I should say, they despise humanity and seek to do away with it. And, because of this, they have entirely different aspirations compared to the majority of us which include aspirations of dominance.

What we are dealing with here are not normal people with conscience, ethics or empathy. Their behavior is much more akin to higher functioning psychopaths and sociopaths rather than the everyday person on the street. We saw this on full display during the covid lockdowns and the vicious attempts to enforce vaccine passports; their actions betray their long game.

Take a look at comments by New Zealand’s prime minister and WEF attendee, Jacinda Ardern, from a year ago. She admits to the deliberate tactic of creating a two-tier class system within her own country based on vaccination status. There is no remorse or guilt in her demeanor, she is proud of taking such authoritarian actions despite numerous studies that prove the mandates are ineffective.

Beyond the covid response, though, I suggest people who deny globalist conspiracy take a deeper dive into the philosophical roots of organizations like the WEF. Their entire ideology can be summed up in a couple words – Futurism and godhood.

Futurism is an ideological movement which believes that all “new” innovations, social or technological, should supplant the previous existing systems for the sake of progress. They believe that all old ways of thinking, including notions of principles, heritage, religious belief systems, codes of conduct, etc. are crutches holding humanity back from greatness.

But what is the greatness the futurists seek? As mentioned above, they want godhood. An era in which the natural world and human will is enslaved by the hands of a select few. Case in point – The following presentation from 2018 by WEF “guru” Yuval Harari on the future of humanity as the globalists see it:

Harari’s conclusions are rooted in elitist biases and ignore numerous psychological and social realities, but we can set those aside for a moment and examine his basic premise that humanity as we know it will no longer exist in the next century because of “digital evolution” and “human hacking.”

The foundation of the WEF vision is built on the idea that data is the new Holy Grail, the new conquest. This is something I have written about extensively in the past (check out my article ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Secular Look At The Digital Antichrist’) but it is good to see it expressed with such arrogance by someone like Harari because it is undeniable evidence – The globalists think they are going to build a completely centralized economy and society based on human data rather than production. In other words, YOU become the product. The average citizen, your thoughts and your behaviors, become the stock in trade.

Globalists also believe that data is most valuable because it can be exploited to control people’s behaviors, to hack the body and mind in order to create human puppets, or create super-beings. They dream of becoming little gods with omnipotent knowledge. Yuval even proudly proclaims that intelligent design will no longer be the realm of God in heaven, but of the new digitized man.

While Harari pays lip service to “democracy” vs “digital dictatorship”, he goes on to assert that centralization may become the defacto system of governance. He says this not because he fears dictatorship, but because that has always been the WEF’s intent. The globalist argues that governments cannot be trusted to hold a monopoly on the digital wellspring and that someone needs to step in to regulate data; but “who would do this?”, he asks.

He already knows the answer. The UN, a globalist edifice, has consistently said it should be the governing body that takes control of AI and data regulation through UNESCO. That is to say, Harari is playing coy, he knows that the people who will step in to control the data are people just like him.

At no point in Harari’s speech does he suggest that that any of these developments should be obstructed or stopped. At no point does he offer the idea that the digitization of humanity is wrong and that there are other better ways of living. He actually mocks the concept of “going back” to old ways; only the future and the Tabula Rasa (blank slate) hold promise for the globalists, everything else is an impediment to their designs.

But here’s the thing, what the globalists are trying to accomplish is a fantasy. People are not algorithms, despite how much Harari would like them to be. People have habits, yes, but they are also unpredictable and are prone to sudden awakenings and epiphanies in the moment of crisis.

Psychopaths tend to be robotic people, acting impulsively but also very predictably. They lack imagination, intuition and foresight, and so it’s not surprising that organizations of psychopaths like the WEF would place such an obsessive value on AI, algorithms and a cold technocratic evolution. They don’t view their data Shangri-La as humanity’s future; they see it as THEIR future – The future of the non-humans, or the anti-humans as it were.

Who will produce all the goods, services and necessities required in this brave new world? Well, all of us peons, of course. Sure, the globalists will offer grand promises of a robot driven production economy in which people no longer need to engage in menial labor, but this will be another lie. They’ll still need people to plant the crops, maintain infrastructure, take care of manufacturing, do their fighting for them, etc., they’ll just need less of us.

At bottom, an economy built on data is an economy dependent on illusion.

Data is vaporous and oftentimes meaningless because it is subject to the biases of the interpreter. Algorithms can also be programmed to the biases of the engineers. There is nothing inherently objective about data – it is all dependent on the intentions of the people analyzing it.

For example, to use Harari’s anecdote of an algorithm that “knows you are gay” before you do; any twisted group of people could simply write code for an algorithm that tells the majority of easily manipulated kids that they are gay, even when they are not. And, if you are gullible enough to believe the algorithm is infallible, then you could be led to believe that numerous falsehoods are true and be convinced to behave against your nature. You have allowed a biased digital phantom to dictate your identity, and have made yourself “hackable.”

In the meantime, the elitists entertain delusions of surpassing their mortal limitations by “hacking” the human body, as well as reading the minds of the masses and predicting the future based on data trends. This is an obsession which ignores the unpredictable wages of the human soul, that very element of conscience and of imagination which psychopaths lack. It’s something that cannot be hacked.

The legitimacy of the data based system and the hacking of humanity that the WEF aspires to is less important than what the masses can be convinced of. If the average person can be persuaded to implant their cell phone in their skull in the near future, then yes, humanity might become hackable in a rudimentary way.

The algorithms then supplant conscience, empathy and principles.  And, without these things all morality becomes relative by default.  Evil becomes good, and good becomes evil. 

By the same token, if humanity can be persuaded to set down their cell phones and live a less tech focused life, then the digital empire of the globalists comes crashing down quite easily. There is no system the elites can impose that would make their digital consciousness a reality without the consent of the public at large.

Without a vast global framework in which people willingly embrace the algorithms rather than their own experience and intuitions, the globalist religion of total centralization dies. The first step is to accept that the conspiracy does indeed exist. The second step is to accept that the conspiracy is malicious and destructive. The third step is to refuse to comply, by whatever means necessary.

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Don’t Trust the Government with Your Privacy, Property or Your Freedoms

By John & Nisha Whitehead

Source: The Rutherford Institute

How do you trust a government that continuously sidesteps the Constitution and undermines our rights? You can’t.

When you consider all the ways “we the people” are being bullied, beaten, bamboozled, targeted, tracked, repressed, robbed, impoverished, imprisoned and killed by the government, one can only conclude that you shouldn’t trust the government with your privacy, your property, your life, or your freedoms.

Consider for yourself.

Don’t trust the government with your privacy, digital or otherwise. In the two decades since 9/11, the military-security industrial complex has operated under a permanent state of emergency that, in turn, has given rise to a digital prison that grows more confining and inescapable by the day. Wall-to wall surveillance, monitored by AI software and fed to a growing network of fusion centers, render the twin concepts of privacy and anonymity almost void. By conspiring with corporations, the Department of Homeland Security “fueled a massive influx of money into surveillance and policing in our cities, under a banner of emergency response and counterterrorism.” For instance, all across the country, police are installing Flock Safety license plate readers as part of a public-private partnership program between police and the surveillance industry. These cameras, which upload data in real time to fusion crime centers, signal a turning point in the transition from a police state to a police-driven surveillance state.

Don’t trust the government with your property. In yet another effort to legitimize warrantless searches, police are employing “hit-and-hold” tactics in which police enter a home, carry out an initial sweep of the property, handcuff the occupants, then wait for official search warrants to be secured and applied retroactively. In the meantime, police have managed to bypass the Fourth Amendment. The rationale, to prevent possible destruction of evidence, is the same one used to deadly effect with no-knock raids. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Hard-working Americans are having their bank accounts, homes, cars electronics and cash seized by police under the assumption that they have allegedly been associated with some criminal scheme.

Don’t trust the government with your finances. The U.S. government—and that includes the current administration—is spending money it doesn’t have on programs it can’t afford, and “we the taxpayers” are being forced to foot the bill for the government’s fiscal insanity. The national debt is $31.3 trillion and growing, and we’re paying more than $300 billion in interest every year on that public debt, yet there seems to be no end in sight when it comes to the government’s fiscal insanity. According to Forbes, Congress has raised, extended or revised the definition of the debt limit 78 times since 1960 in order to allow the government to essentially fund its existence with a credit card.

Don’t trust the government with your health. For all intents and purposes, “we the people” have become lab rats in the government’s secret experiments, which include MKULTRA and the U.S. military’s secret race-based testing of mustard gas on more than 60,000 enlisted men. Indeed, you don’t have to dig very deep or go very back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins. Unfortunately, the public has become so easily distracted by the political spectacle out of Washington, DC, that they are altogether oblivious to the grisly experiments, barbaric behavior and inhumane conditions that have become synonymous with the U.S. government, which has meted out untold horrors against humans and animals alike.

Don’t trust the government with your life: At a time when growing numbers of unarmed people have been shot and killed for just standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety, even the most benign encounters with police can have fatal consequences. The number of Americans killed by police continues to grow, with the majority of those killed as a result of police encounters having been suspected of a non-violent offense or no crime at all, or during a traffic violation. According a report by Mapping Police Violence, police killed more people in 2022 than any other year within the past decade. In 98% of those killings, police were not charged with a crime.

Don’t trust the government with your freedoms. For years now, the government has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with the American people, letting us enjoy just enough freedom to think we are free but not enough to actually allow us to live as a free people. Freedom no longer means what it once did. This holds true whether you’re talking about the right to criticize the government in word or deed, the right to be free from government surveillance, the right to not have your person or your property subjected to warrantless searches by government agents, the right to due process, the right to be safe from militarized police invading your home, the right to be innocent until proven guilty and every other right that once reinforced the founders’ belief that this would be “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” On paper, we may be technically free, but in reality, we are only as free as a government official may allow.

Whatever else it may be—a danger, a menace, a threat—the U.S. government is certainly not looking out for our best interests, nor is it in any way a friend to freedom.

Remember the purpose of a good government is to protect the lives and liberties of its people.

Unfortunately, what we have been saddled with is, in almost every regard, the exact opposite of an institution dedicated to protecting the lives and liberties of its people.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, “we the people” should have learned early on that a government that repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn can’t be trusted.


Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His most recent books are the best-selling Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the award-winning A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, and a debut dystopian fiction novel, The Erik Blair Diaries. Whitehead can be contacted at Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at

Posted in Authoritarianism, civil liberties, culture, Dystopia, Economics, Health, Militarization, police state, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, surveillance state, Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment