By Steven Yates
September 6, 2022
A Background Report
I did not catch more than the first few minutes of Joe Biden’s teleprompted speech the other night, so it is unclear to me if he repeated the allegation that was circulating in Bidenista circles that Trump supporters are “semi-fascists.” What I heard was the usual predictable pap about the “threat to democracy” posed by “MAGA Republicans.”
We are, indeed, in a battle for “the soul of America.” I call it the narrative war, and whether it will explode from being a war primarily of words into something much hotter, remains to be seen. I think the Bidenistas may be trying to provoke acts of violence, acts that can and will be used against anyone who takes the bait.
The Big Questions for Our Era: Will we continue moving ever closer to a technologically empowered form of feudalism (technofeudalism, if you will), as we were doing for several decades prior to the 2010s? It began with welfare-statism in reverse, redistributing wealth upward into the hands of a tiny fraction of the one percent, and would end in technology-enabled de facto totalitarianism, a totally surveilled and controlled society.
Will we continue to watch as the globe gradually integrates, in top-down fashion, into a single, highly centralized political-economic power system controlled by a few dozen extended families: the superelite, GloboCorp, call them what you will?
Will this continue to be passed off as “democracy,” “the rule of law,” the “liberal world order,” etc., ad nauseam?
Will it culminate, before the end of the 2020s, in the much-discussed Great Reset, which will include the complete replacement of cash with digital currency? What is digital, we should always remember, can be tracked, monitored, and switched off by remote, making dissent from approved narratives a thing of the past.
Or: will we rediscover freedom, meaning personal, familial, and community autonomy within the bounds of moral responsibility? Historians speak of the Great Awakening? (Several, actually.) Is a new Great Awakening possible now, whether in Alexander Dugin’s sense, or something a bit more Anglo friendly?
The superelites have doubtless studied history. They understand that feudalism was the status quo for centuries. As a political-economic system it was mostly stable.
Landed elites owned and controlled everything, of course. Serfs were tied to the land they worked. Theirs were lives of drudgery and misery. They worked from sunup to sundown, just to feed themselves and their own. By law they relinquished a portion of the fruits of their labors to their parasitic lords and masters. They worked for as long as they lived, sometimes dying miserable deaths at very young ages by our standards.
What killed this system?
According to Protestant Christianity, we are all equal in God’s eyes. His judgment will make no distinction between elites and commoners. Either you have Jesus Christ as your personal savior or you do not.
Philosophically, Christianity gave rise to a freedom movement the roots of which went back at least to the thirteenth century. This era, long before Martin Luther, gave us the natural law philosophy of Aquinas and a key implication of the Magna Carta of 1215, that the king can’t simply do as he pleases. Political activity, like everything else, answers to moral principles. Basic justice calls for such practices as the right of those accused of crimes to confront their accusers in a fair trial.
The basic ideas behind science and technology, coming a few centuries later, are rooted in the Christian idea that the universe is fundamentally rational, that God made man in His image which included our rational agency. Therefore the Creation is intelligible to the human mind, and all human minds have the potential to contribute to knowledge and knowhow. Technique became the test for this. If we’d uncovered a physical principle and mathematized it (as did Newton) and could apply it to the solution of some technical problem (e.g., propulsion), this would suggest we were on the right track even if we did not have all the answers.
Throw in the Gutenberg Press, which enabled anyone to read Scripture instead of rely on Church authority, and you have the ingredients of large scale Awakening (a term I now prefer to the somewhat sullied Enlightenment).
The freedom movement developed further in the hands of philosophers such as England’s John Locke, political strategists such as America’s James Madison, and later, economic thinkers such as France’s Frederic Bastiat. These, and numerous others, endorsed personal liberty, property rights, and free enterprise within the bounds of moral responsibility understood in terms of a transcendent reality communicated to us via Scripture.
The founders of America technically did not found a “Christian nation” where religion was embodied in a national church such as the Church of England, because they hoped that respect for Scripture as a source of moral authority would be built into the culture. If the culture failed, everything else would fail. Personal freedoms and free enterprise would become corrupted by decadence which would prove uncontrollable and increasingly destructive to civilization itself.
The hope of freedom, which inspired millions, meant the death of feudalism.
Christians will say that sin was still there, however, doing its dirty work.
For the landed elites had not disappeared. They adapted to the changed environment, and used new money systems to hijack industrial civilization. They established central banks in Europe and tried to do so in America. Andrew Jackson killed their second attempt (the Second Bank of the United States) in the 1830s. They adapted again.
By the mid-1800s the elites had devised public education which offered one kind of education to their children and another to the masses. The latter were not to be taught how to think or what to think about, except at the most superficial level. The elites did not want well-educated proles. So mass education in government schools aimed to teach discipline by routine, obedience to authority (especially the authority of governments and bosses in corporations), and trades. The children of the masses were to be taught enough literacy to read and follow instructions, basic arithmetic, and official narratives about “democracy in America.”
Most fell for it. Dissidents (many of them theologians) were too few in number to make much of a difference. Most could be written off as troublemakers.
The elites devised economic arrangements that circumvented competition and ensured that every major industry would be dominated by one key figure, e.g., Rockefeller in oil, Vanderbilt in railroads, Carnegie in steel, and so on. In Europe, the Rothschilds and the Schiffs (among others) dominated finance and could engineer panics. Their agents were at work in the U.S. Following the engineered Panic of 1907 they masterminded the Woodrow Wilson presidency and established the Federal Reserve System. This gave them effective control over the U.S. economy they have maintained ever since. Their enormous resources also enabled them to purchase control over major newspapers and establish new weeklies of their own (e.g., Time, The New Republic) as vehicles for furthering “public opinion” (as Walter Lippman called it). They continued to establish approved narratives as radio and eventually television developed as national media.
Change some of those industries and names. Think financial alchemy: George Soros. Think first technology and then vaccines: Bill Gates. From economics to transhumanism: Klaus Schwab. Social media: Mark Zuckerberg. I could name others, but you know who they are.
We’re in the present, and feudalism is being brought back apace. It was underway during the final decades of the last century, when it went by such names as neoliberalism and corporatism. These followed a period of genuine prosperity, ending at the end of the 1960s, during which the peasantry got sufficiently educated (and wealthy) to push at the comfort zones of the elites, especially when they protested elite-sponsored wars such as Vietnam.
The elites began to financialize the economy in the 1970s, starting when their servant Richard Nixon killed the gold standard. They began wrecking higher education through the simple mechanism of having it defunded following the disruptions of the 1960s, then allowing its further corruption with the rise of race and gender politics.
It would be, however, a “hard road to world order.” Too many people had figured out what was going on, having browsed big books like Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy & Hope, or running across scholars of the highest competence such as Antony C. Sutton who had documented the role of Wall Street elites in financing both Communism and Nazism.
What happened this go round was the IT Revolution and the emergence of the Internet: our era’s Gutenberg Press. As I’ve noted before, by the 2000 decade it was possible for anyone with an Internet connection to research any topic, create a website or blog, and post their results for the world to see. In this environment, control over information was impossible!
If feudalism requires anything, it is total, unquestioning consensus on such matters as who is legitimately in charge. Much else (e.g., sexuality) can be left up for grabs, because sex is such a fantastic distraction for the masses! While all varieties of sexual distractions were used very effectively, an aggressive minority of Internet researchers and authors was still able to disrupt the elite consensus at every level and in every subject era.
This all occurred during an era in which incomes were demonstrably not keeping up with expenses. Jobs were disappearing overseas. Quality was diminishing as built-to-last products made in America were replaced by disposable garbage imported from China. Corporations were getting richer as they maintained bought journalists and a bought political class. They no longer supported their employees, moreover, but were more likely to throw them to the wolves. Higher education was seen as essential although its quality was diminishing rapidly, even as its price skyrocketed.
In this environment, all the official narratives collapsed. This included those holding that the U.S. and other Western powers were really democracies in the sense of having political classes that answered to We the People, as opposed to They the Oligarchs (the elites). Support for arrangements that had been immensely profitable to the Oligarchs, such as “free trade,” collapsed. It was no longer clear that “globalization” would restore the rising tide lifting all boats that we had seen up until 1970.
Prior to around then, a fundamentally Christian culture still existed to counter secular/materialist elite domination. Thus in the 1960s Hollywood elites began to aggressively attack this culture through the entertainment industry.
Civil rights, originally aimed to fight racism and discrimination on moral grounds calling for basic fairness, were also hijacked and transformed into something divisive and destructive: replacing discrimination against minorities and women with discrimination against white men. “Abortion rights” signifies how the materialist death culture rose to full spectrum dominance.
The organized left, which once supported working people (labor versus capital), was hijacked by identity politics, which left the mostly white working class and, more and more, the middle class, floundering amidst a rising tide of inflation, joblessness, and debt-dependency. Naturally, these people turned to “populist” conservatism.
Trumpism was thus inevitable, in a disrupted culture in which genuine challenges to consensus thinking that looked increasingly discredited were technologically possible.
Just as inevitable was the Oligarch reaction to Trumpism, which began almost immediately after Trump upset their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, selected to become the First Woman President.
The reaction, however, featuring Big Tech’s algorithmic censorship and deplatforming, the exploitation of incidentals such as Charlottesville, and a rise tide of attacks on “conspiracy theories,” did not work. Too many people were not buying it.
Thus came the plan-demic, arguably the most massive power grab in human history!
Anyone who believes this to have been an unlucky accident, caused by a coronavirus that evolved in a bat, needs to read States of Emergency: Keeping the Global Population in Check by Dutch political scientist Kees Van Der Pijl (Clarity Press, 2022).
Welcome to the Narrative War!
One side includes the Deep State (CIA, other intelligence agencies, DARPA, etc.), mainstream corporate media (CNN, etc.), Big Tech (Google, Twitter, etc.), Big Pharma (Pfizer, etc.), and many other industries closely tied to governance or profiting from interconnectedness. This side handed power to the Bidenistas on January 20, 2021. As de facto descendants of those landed elites of yesteryear, this side owns and controls most of the resources, just as its ancestors did back when the feudalism of old was a mostly stable system. Today’s political economy is anything but stable, of course. So the Oligarchs are working overtime toward their Great Reset, and this includes doing everything they can to suppress, demonize, and destroy the other narrative.
Thus labels like semi-fascist, autocrat or authoritarian, superspreaders of misinformation, continued use of conspiracy theorist, and so on and so on.
The Oligarchs want technofeudalism, which would give the same level of control their de facto ancestors had — but from the standpoint of those outside their orbit would be a .ystopia of “gig” work, gaslighting, technology-based control (technocracy), and transhumanism.
Even the plan-demic has not been enough. There is still plenty of dissent out here. There are still tens of millions of people who would vote Trump into office a second time. Trump is not perfect. But he is all these tens of millions of people have, at least until someone else with the same level of charisma appears and steps forward. Hence he is being targeted for destruction.
The Oligarchy will foment violence, if it comes to that!
I think that beginning with the unprecedented raid at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 by the Bidenista-compromised FBI, the Oligarch narrative warriors are strategizing for End Game. What I think they envision: Trump is indicted by the Bidenista Department of Justice for mishandling classified documents (it is at least possible that in his haste to leave the White House in January 2021 he got careless). A second Trump presidency — the mere possibility of which terrifies the Oligarchs — is circumvented.
Lindsay Graham (once a Trump critic, if you go back enough years) has warned of “blood in the streets” if Trump is indicted and prosecuted.
Trumpism (the MAGA movement if you prefer) will still be around, but if just a few of its number can be goaded into violent, irrational action, civil war on their minds, it, too, can be discredited in the eyes of a poorly educated general public. For unless this movement gets better organized, the danger is of ultimately futile actions by individual “freelancers,” and small if well-armed groups easily put down by the immense police power of, say, Homeland Security, and then demonized in corporate media as have been the Jan-6ers.
Technofeudalism will then be our future, and all the court political commentators in corporate media can say, “We saved our democracy!”
Steven Yates’s latest book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory (2021) is available here and here. His earlier Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011) is available here.
These columns present a perspective unavailable elsewhere: of personal freedom and community autonomy, based on a philosophically-informed conservatism within a Christian worldview holding that in the last analysis, we all answer to our Creator.
This stands opposed to the major threat of our time: a sociopathic superelite using technology and financialization to gain world domination, unleashed by secular materialism and the latter’s having collapsed all forms of valuation other than money and power. Globalists see themselves as answering only to each other. They do not believe in a Higher Power. They are the culmination of the materialist / secularist / liberal worldview.
My perspective incorporates accounts of how emergencies of various sorts arise or are manufactured, how controlled media hysterics generate fear in populations, and how these enable controlled governments to grab power and do the superelites’ bidding. Hegelian dialectic: crisis, reaction, response. Foment a crisis or through inaction allow it to develop; the crisis leads to a predictable reaction within populations (“Do something!”); those with power move in with the response they had planned all along.
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