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December 21, 2018
So…here we are, only a year away from 2020 and contemplating another year in the struggle for survival. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we’ve got about 12 years to turn this climate change thing around and that’s just to avoid catastrophe, never mind guaranteeing a healthy planet in the future. Such a catastrophe could well involve the extinction of human beings, which would reveal just how dumb we are. Is there anything more stupid that the most intelligently-evolved species on the planet could do than commit mass suicide?
I am astounded at the tenacity, resilience and persistence of folks such as climate scientist James Hansen who, on behalf of future generations, have been shouting about the environmental threat since the late 1980s. And, since those days of his Congressional testimony Hansen, who worked for many years at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has courageously spread the word about climate change to fulfill part of NASA’s mission statement: To Understand and Protect the Home Planet.
Indeed, this was part of the mission statement of NASA until 2006 when those fateful words were quietly and very symbolically removed. Organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists were very disturbed about this development, noting at the time that research and funding opportunities related to earth science and climate change would be much harder to justify with NASA’s new focus solely on space exploration. Some may say it’s a bloody good job that we are learning more about life on other planets and how we can get there, given that a privileged bunch of us may have to flee this one at some point in the not-to-distant future. And, given the inequalities inherent in our current economic order, it will be only the rich that are saved. As for the poor and marginalized, they would be left behind to endure some sort of Mad Max-style barbarism and death.
At the recent climate summit in Poland, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned the plenary that ignoring the science is not just immoral, it’s “suicidal.” While we can feel some hope that the “High Ambition Coalition” of global North and several global South countries are committed to cutting their emissions in line with the 1.5 C temperature rise limit, there are some disturbing realities that must be confronted. Not to put too fine a point on it but achieving the 1.5C limit will require a global revolution. And it is not just about a revolution in technology. And it is certainly not about clever carbon emissions juggling and some tweaking of existing policy. It is fundamentally about recognizing that fossil capitalism, as Ian Angus calls it, is literally killing us.
This is not a new message for those on the environmental left, but for the global North mainstream, and perhaps particularly the Anglo-American portion of that mainstream, it is not an especially welcome message. Downsizing the “American way of life” implies not only radical changes to our daily consumption habits, including what we put on our plates, it also requires a radical ethos of solidarity and compassion that come into direct conflict with the individualist, competitive, growth-obsessed economic culture that dominates our societies. We are talking about a cultural shift that puts the health and welfare of people, communities and nature before profit and access to cheap “stuff.” It has almost become common place in environmental circles to point out that for everyone on the planet to live as we do in North America would require 3-5 planets. Last time I checked we only had one.
We need to directly confront the structural violence of contemporary capitalist institutional frameworks and processes brought to you by the world’s largest corporations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the various not so “free” trade agreements dotting the planet (have you seen any workers freely crossing borders lately while capital springs around boundary-less?).
These institutions provide the stage and grease the wheels (literally!) for rampant overconsumption in the global North while promising this lifestyle for increasing numbers in the global South. As living a life of dignity becomes less possible in many countries of the global South and inequality reaches what Oxfam has called “obscene” levels, the ghosts of our failed economic model appear in the form of economic refugees knocking increasingly loudly on our door only to discover tear gas or a wall. It is crucial that we recognize the connections between our Monty Python-sized ecological footprint and the economic and environmental marginalization of a significant majority of humanity. Increasing numbers of people are simply becoming irrelevant to the global economy.
Remember when we used to have dreams about technological developments meaning that time could be freed up for human beings to more deeply pursue their potential by having more of the mundane, dirty and necessary jobs done by machines? But as authors such as Garry Leech note, the “logic of capital” means that these greater efficiencies are often simply about increasing rates of profit while providing access to cheap stuff. Still reeling from “Black Friday” and heading into the holiday buying season, it is all too clear how much we like our stuff.
From a political perspective, maybe the good news is that climate change could be the great equalizer. While the effects are being and will continue to be disproportionately experienced by the poor, women, and people of colour, ultimately none of us can escape its consequences. However, in rich capitalist countries, while we face neoliberal austerity and rising inequality, we still have enough material comfort to pacify most of the population and to blind many of us to the realities of capitalism at a global level, from which we cannot separate ourselves.
I recently spent some time living in Cuba, the only country in the world, according to the World Wildlife Foundation, to have achieved “sustainable development” and where the question of what a future relationship with the capitalist world will look like is being asked very intentionally. It occurred to me while there, that from the perspective of climate change, it is perhaps even more important for usto ask what kind of relationship we will have with capitalism in the future. While our immediate issues and priorities may be different from Cuba’s, the question of what kind of values we want to live by and stand for is something that we can decide consciously, and this may be the most significant question we have to ask in contemporary politics.
So, what is to be done? What are we not doing that we should be doing? When I asked Cuban permaculture expert Roberto Perez what we need to do and what we need to talk about in the current moment to create social change in the global North that would contribute to a more socially just and ecologically sustainable global order, he replied: “When creating a political movement, I always think that things have to be attractive and sexy. The end of the world is not sexy.” We have learned the hard way that simply presenting people with the hard facts of global poverty, unjust wars and environmental degradation does not always lead to behavioral changes. This work is important and needs to happen but there is more to the picture.
The difficult thing to digest is that all of us in the global North are implicated in the continuation of the current economic model. And not because we are bad people. In actual fact, that we are all “guilty” is also good news in the sense that it highlights how we are all interdependent because our activities, purchases and general lifestyles are intimately connected to the fates of other human beings both within our own countries and around the world. In other words, changing our ways can save lives and the planet.
It is due to the everyday lifestyle choices of those in the North, and increasing numbers in China and India, along with the “threat” of those aspiring to live like us, that the capitalist growth machine keeps going. Even when we “know” what the consequences will be, it is difficult to get off the consumption train because everything we do from driving a car, to buying a pair of shoes, to flying to visit our sick grandmother, to eating a cheeseburger turns the wheels. Some people bike to work, shop ethically, and boycott factory farms, among other things, but there is still an underlying awareness that none of us can completely step off the train unless perhaps we decide to live isolated in the middle of the woods. But even living in the woods won’t work because not taking action to stop the train is also a form of accepting it—and the consequences of climate change will still be felt, even in the woods.
So, if providing people with the terrifying “facts” does not necessarily change behavior then what are we missing? Are we all just increasingly depressed and feeling more and more impotent? It turns out that the idea of the world ending really isn’t sexy after all because the changes required of us mean confronting many of our daily habits and comforts—and the less politically-minded may ask, for what? Some vague hope that paying more for my locally-produced organic veggies will make a dent in industrial monoculture crop production? Or that not buying an iPad may contribute to improvements in human rights for Chinese workers? Or not going through the fast food drive-thru may contribute to ending the systematic cruelty of factory farms? Or biking to work (if that is even possible) may mean I don’t contribute so much to fossil fuel emissions? Or putting up solar panels, getting a windmill, exploring geothermal heating etc.? And which f—king toothpaste should I buy? Why are there 20 choices?
Is it surprising that 21st century activists, and those simply aspiring to be good citizens, are a tad neurotic? The list of places and moments where ethical choices present themselves is endless. And is it any coincidence that it seems to be largely the middle and upper classes that have these options? Living ethically in North America not only requires a budget but to some degree it requires the privilege of social capital. Again, it is no coincidence that lifestyle diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes are disproportionately prevalent along race and class lines in North America.
Buddhist scholar and philosopher Joanna Macy suggests that what many of us see as apathy in our fellow citizens is actually pain avoidance. We don’t want to face our own pain and sadness and neither do we want to confront the collective pain of the broader culture we are a part of. While indigenous cultures can’t imagine seeing themselves as separate from nature and each other, those influenced by Western culture and Enlightenment thinking seem determined to see themselves as separate. This has allowed us to justify all kinds of exploitation of people, non-human animals and nature.
Yet at an existential level it saddens many of us deeply that football fields of deforestation are happening every several minutes in the Amazon, that millions of children unnecessarily go hungry every day, that increasing numbers of people are facing floods, heatwaves, forest fires, and that so many non-human animals face cruelty and torture, not to mention extinction on a daily basis, and so on. Roberto Perez believes that “people in the global North know that something is very wrong, they just don’t know where to start.”
Macy suggests that creating spaces to acknowledge this pain and building active hope are at least part of the solution. By active hope she means a hope that does not depend on believing you will meet your goal. It is a hope that believes in the process, in what we do together today. The point being that this is not an individual journey. Interdependence means that we can’t really get out of this mess without collectively shifting the culture and without coming to terms with the fact that many of us feel sadness about the various effects of our consumer capitalist culture from climate change to species extinction to glaring inequality to human rights abuses. And as Roberto reminded me, there are many of us around the world feeling this way. But if we are to avoid stupidly killing ourselves off, then we need to begin asking ourselves: What kind of revolution is required to ensure our continued existence on this planet?
“And just like that, GOP discovers $5.7 billion for a wall,” says the incoming congresswoman. “But notice how no one’s asking the GOP how they’re paying for it.”
“And just like that, GOP discovers $5.7 billion for a wall,” says the incoming congresswoman. “But notice how no one’s asking the GOP how they’re paying for it.”
As President Donald Trump continues to throw a temper tantrum and threaten a government shutdown if he doesn’t get billions of dollars to build his infamous border wall, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) turned to Twitter on Friday to challenge the GOP trope that the federal government simply doesn’t have the money to implement bold progressive policies such as Medicare for All or a Green New Deal.
Spending legislation advanced by the Republican-controlled House Thursday night would allocate $5.7 billion to the wall, but that bill—at odds with a Senate-approved measure that lacks wall funding—seems unlikely to get through the upper chamber without Trump’s favored “nuclear option” of changing the Senate rules.
As the threat of a government shutdown looms, the incoming congresswoman highlighted the other ways—from increasing teacher pay to replacing water pipes—that lawmakers could spend the money:
Stony Brook University public policy and economics professor Stephanie Kelton, a former chief economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, responded to Ocasio-Cortez by homing in on one of the key policy items backed by the incoming representative, tweeting: “Congress authorizes the spending. Period. The mechanics of paying for a
#GreenNewDeal are exactly the same.”
Notice how it’s all about finding the VOTES. It’s how *everything* is paid for. Congress authorizes the spending. Period. The mechanics of paying for a #GreenNewDeal are exactly the same.
A Green New Deal, supported by climate advocates nationwide and a growing number of House Democrats, would couple measures to address the global climate crisis with policies to create jobs and a more just economy. While Ocasio-Cortez has called for the creation of a House Select Committee to craft such a deal, top Democrats including presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.) have been accused of trying to kill it.
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)—which endorsed Ocasio-Cortez’s successful bid to oust long-time Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) last summer—responded to news of the potential $5.7 billion in border wall funding with a focus on healthcare. Along with a rising portion of the public, both DSA and Ocasio-Cortez support Medicare for All—a proposal championed by, among others, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would guarantee healthcare for all Americans.
Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein responded to Ocasio-Cortez with some figures—suggesting that the U.S. could implement universal pre-K or provide coverage to more than 800,000 uninsured Americans with the money the House GOP wants to give Trump to bolster his anti-immigrant policies and fulfill one of his key campaign promises:
With $5.7B, you could:
— Cover 852,017 uninsured Americans
— Fund universal pre-K plan (options b/w $2B-$12B)
Granted you’d want these be recurring expenses rather than annual, but GOP also wants $25 billion for wall
— Repairing Flint’s water pipes: $55 million
Amazon’s creepy facial recognition doorbell won’t just be looking at your front porch. It will surveil the WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD and store the data in the Cloud.
Amazon’s creepy facial recognition doorbell won’t just be looking at your front porch. It will surveil the WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD and store the data in the Cloud.
At first glance of Amazon’s new patent application, one would be tempted to think it no more than a built-in “smart” security system.
But no, this facial recognition surveillance doorbell does a lot more than record would-be thieves.
According to a new report, the patent application, made available in late November, would pair facial surveillance such as Rekognition, the product that Amazon is aggressively marketing to law enforcement, with Ring – a doorbell camera company that Amazon acquired in 2018.
CNN writes, “Amazon’s application says the process leads to safer, more connected neighborhoods, as well as better informed homeowners and law enforcement.”
Yeah, that’s one way of putting it. Here’s another:
Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future, with its technology at the center of a massive decentralized surveillance network, running real-time facial recognition on members of the public using cameras installed in people’s doorbells. –Jacob Snow, ACLU
Wow. Do you feel safer yet?
It’s going to record all who walk by and gather composite images and recordings that can be stored in a cloud and accessed by law enforcement to help surveil and catch suspects.
One of the main problems – besides the obvious privacy violations and smashing the 4th amendment to smithereens – is that facial recognition has been abysmal so far. That means if a database determines you are a suspect because you bear a striking resemblance, then the police could show up and detain you before you even drop off the potato salad to your next potluck.
While the details are sketchy, the application describes a system that the police can use to match the faces of people walking by a doorbell camera with a photo database of persons they deem “suspicious.” Likewise, homeowners can also add photos of “suspicious” people into the system and then the doorbell’s facial recognition program will scan anyone passing their home. In either case, if a match occurs, the person’s face can be automatically sent to law enforcement, and the police could arrive in minutes.
The application describes creating a database of suspicious persons. Unwanted visitors would be added to the list when a homeowner tags them as not authorized. Other people could be added to the database because they are a convicted felon or registered sex offender, according to the application. Residents may also alert neighbors of a suspicious person’s presence.But some people, such as a mail courier, could be placed on an authorized persons list. Postal service logos could be used to help identify them.
Putting people on a naughty list? Wait, doesn’t that all sound eerily similar to the social credit system rolled out in China?
“The patent describes the neighborhood surveillance system as an opt-in service,” CNN adds.
But really, it is not possible to opt out of broad brushstroke surveillance. How can I opt out of my neighbor (and Amazon, and the government) storing everything about me in the Cloud? What if my neighbor hates that my tree branch hangs over their fence? Will I go on their suspicious persons list?
“As a former patent litigator, I’ve spent a lot of time reading patents. It’s rare for patent applications to lay out, in such nightmarish detail, the world a company wants to bring about,” writes Jacob Snow in a recent ACLU report on the newest invasive technology by the company that only 10 years ago just sold…books.
“These systems threaten to further entangle people with law enforcement, ripping families apart and increasing the likelihood of racially biased police violence,” Snow claims.
He adds, “this technology puts activists and protesters in danger when exercising their First Amendment rights.”
Tests from the ACLU showed that facial recognition doesn’t correctly identify people and this leaves the door wide open to let A.I. do the justice. That means innocent people could be filling up the privatized prison system.
The ACLU tested the Rekognition software and proved that it incorrectly identified members of Congress as common criminals. Yes, the irony would be giggle-inducing in a John Oliver segment, but not so much for the innocent person serving life in prison.
This glaring inaccuracy prompted Amazon shareholders to urge the company to stop selling this tech to law enforcement. The recent patent application serves as a flippant disregard for that plea.
“The application also undercuts Amazon’s own purported defense of its face surveillance product. The company has told the public that biometrics should only be used by law enforcement as an aid, not a replacement, to human judgment. But Amazon’s patent application is pushing the technology toward automation, removing human judgment from the identification process, and instead potentially relying on data, like arrest photos, that itself is a record of racially discriminatory policing,” says Snow.
The ACLU notes that facial recognition is even less accurate for darker skinned people and that this technology paves the way for harassment and wrongful action against the formerly incarcerated. But for activists, too.
Here is a figure of the doorbell and the surveillance scope. Check out the rest of the patent application HERE:
Snow warns that the patent makes it painfully clear that this surveillance tech will not be limited to doorbells or homes.
Any complementary audio or visual device – Cough! Echo! Cough! – can be set up for biometric scanning.
Amazon is expecting to target a bevy of other biometrics such as:
In addition, the surveillance tech could even include recognition based on behavioral characteristics, like:
Imagine a doorbell – or in-home device – that can do all that.
For Snow…“It confirms that Amazon wants to enable the tracking of everyone, everywhere, all the time. And it’s apparently happy to deliver that data to the government.”
We always knew the government had boundary issues but this is just TMI – too much intimacy.
A lot of people are comfy and cozy with the idea that they are being watched all the time, like the people lining up to be scanned at the airport to save two seconds of their time.
For me, being watched under a microscope by my government makes every nerve of my being burn with the fire of a thousand hells with the added dread that there is not one minute of reprieve, nor any identity of my own except to be an eyeballed object of the all mighty, omnipresent State.
But, hey, that’s just me…
If you go to someone’s house, you’ll be on the digital record.
Imagine if a neighborhood was set up with these doorbell cameras. Simply walking up to a friend’s house could result in your face, your fingerprint, or your voice being flagged as “suspicious” and delivered to a government database without your knowledge or consent. With Amazon selling the devices, operating the servers, and pushing the technology on law enforcement, the company is building all the pieces of a surveillance network, reaching from the government all the way to our front doors.
Like I said before when I wrote about biometrics at the Atlanta International airport: it’s nearly impossible to avoid facial recognition technology today.
Yet, we do still have control over how we spend our money, our voice, and with whom we spend our time. It’s not much control in the grand scheme of things but if we rise up and fight this, our great grandchildren will honor us.
That is, if they will even understand the concept of privacy by the time they get here…
It seems like every day I stumble across a new piece of creepy tech that someone wants to add to our every day lives under the guise of “convenience” and “safety.” How will you avoid getting caught in the net? Are you creeped out by this stuff?
by: Mike Adams
Friday, December 21, 2018
(Natural News) Achieving another breathtaking win for the American people while fighting against a criminal, corrupt establishment, President Donald J. Trump just legalized industrial hemp nationwide by signing the new Farm Bill into law. The hemp legalization provision was spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), further demonstrating that Republicans support hemp legalization and agricultural freedom.
After nearly 50 years of prohibition, industrial hemp will be legal to grow across America beginning January 1, 2019. It’s another huge victory that helps Make America Great Again by unleashing the power of agricultural freedom and natural health.
“This law marks the first change in the federal classification of the cannabis plant since it was initially classified as a schedule I controlled substance by Congress in 1970, and paves the way for the first federally-sanctioned commercial hemp grows since World War II,” said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. NORML also adds:
The hemp-specific provisions of the 2018 Act amend the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 so that hemp plants containing no more than 0.3 percent THC are no longer classified as a schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
“Although hemp will no longer be in the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, prospective growers will have to submit cultivation plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), either through the state government or the USDA itself,” reports Marijuana Moment.
CBD and other cannabinoids are essentially “de-scheduled” from the Schedule I controlled substance list, but only if they are produced in accordance with the Farm Bill stipulations, meaning growers must comply with state and federal regulations which are so far not described anywhere. The USDA will reportedly regulate hemp production now, and states that wish to exert more restrictive state controls must coordinate their plans with the USDA. As NORML reports:
The Act (Section 297B) permits those US states that wish to possess “primary regulatory authority over the production of hemp” to submit a plan to the US Secretary of Agriculture. The agency has 60 days to approve, disapprove, or amend the plan. In instances where a state-proposed plan is not approved, “it shall be unlawful to produce hemp in that state … without a license.”
It explicitly allows the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes. It also puts no restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp-derived products, so long as those items are produced in a manner consistent with the law.
Under the leadership of the Trump Administration, the FDA is indicating it may pursue regulatory reforms to legalize CBD in dietary supplement products nationwide. Via a December 20 announcement from the FDA:
Among other things, this new law changes certain federal authorities relating to the production and marketing of hemp… These changes include removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which means that it will no longer be an illegal substance under federal law.
At first, the FDA reiterates that it maintains total control over CBD and that CBD is currently not allowed to be sold as a dietary supplement for the bizarre reason that certain companies are studying CBD for use as a possible prescription medication:
Additionally, it’s unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived. This is because both CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs and were the subject of substantial clinical investigations before they were marketed as foods or dietary supplements. Under the FD&C Act, it’s illegal to introduce drug ingredients like these into the food supply, or to market them as dietary supplements.
That said, the FDA signals its willingness to hold conversations with industry leaders with the possible outcome of issuing new regulations that would eliminate its current restrictions on the selling of CBD-based dietary supplements. “[T]he FDA has authority to issue a regulation allowing the use of a pharmaceutical ingredient in a food or dietary supplement,” says the FDA, implying that CBD is a “pharmaceutical ingredient” even when CBD has been around for millions of years, long before pharmaceutical companies even existed. “We are taking new steps to evaluate whether we should pursue such a process.”
The FDA further explains it will hold public meetings to solicit input on further regulatory changes it might pursue:
Given the substantial public interest in this topic and the clear interest of Congress in fostering the development of appropriate hemp products, we intend to hold a public meeting in the near future for stakeholders to share their experiences and challenges with these products, including information and views related to the safety of such products.
We’ll use this meeting to gather additional input relevant to the lawful pathways by which products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed, and how we can make these legal pathways more predictable and efficient.
Stay informed on hemp, cannabis and medical marijuana at HempScience.news.
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist…”
The concept of using the economy as a weapon is not an alien one to most people. Generally, we understand the nature of feudalism and how various groups can be herded onto centralized plantations to be exploited for their labor. Some people see this as a consequence of “capitalism,” and others see it as an extension of socialism/communism. Sadly, many people wrongly assume that one is a solution to the other – meaning they think that crony capitalism is a solution to communist centralization or that communism is a solution to the corruption of crony capitalism. The reality is that this is just another false paradigm.
What is most disturbing is that the majority of the public have no grasp whatsoever of the true solution to the problem of corrupt or totalitarian economies: free markets.
Free markets have not existed within the global economy on a large scale for at least the past 100 years. The rise of central banking has eroded all vestiges of freedom in production and trade. Crony capitalism with its focus on corporate power and monopoly has nothing to do with free markets, despite the arguments of rather naive socialists who blame “free markets” for the problems of the world. If you ever hear anyone making this claim, I suggest you remind them that corporations and their advantages are a creation of governments.
The protections of corporate personhood, limited liability, unfair taxation of small business competition and legislation shielding corporations from civil lawsuits are all generated by government. Therefore, corporations and crony capitalism are much more a product of socialist-style systems, not free markets. In a true free market devoid of constant government interference and favoritism, corporations could not exist and would be obliterated over time by the competitive environment. And without limited liability, business moguls that violate the rule of law and harm others would be subject to personal prosecution and jail time instead of simply paying a fine. The cost/benefit ratio for corrupt business would disappear and thus corrupt businesses would flounder.
At the very core of the combination of corporate power and government protection (what some might say is the classical definition of fascism), rest the central banks, globalist institutions and the banking elites behind them. Central banks are the stewards of the various plantations (nations) and oversee the exploitation of these societies and their labor. Major globalist constructs like the IMF or the Bank for International Settlements are the policy makers for the national central banks. They hand down the strategy, and the central banks implement that strategy in concert. At the top of the pyramid sit the round table groups and the international bankers themselves, reaping the rewards of the cycle of theft.
As noted scholar, globalist insider and mentor to Bill Clinton, Carroll Quigley wrote in his book Tragedy And Hope:
“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank … sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.”
This is an easy notion to understand, I think. That is to say, the idea of oligarchs, the 1% if you will, controlling the other 99 percent through economic leverage is something that most people can agree exists, whether they identify with the political Right or the political Left. They may only have a vague notion of the facts behind this conspiracy, but they have seen it in action in their daily lives and they know it is real. Here is where most of them start to lose sight of the bigger picture, though…
Many see the conspiracy as merely a product of profit motive. That is to say, they don’t see it as a conscious and organized effort so much as unconsciously motivated greed. This reminds me of the most famous line from the movie The Usual Suspects:
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist.”
All the evidence overwhelmingly assures us that the conspiracy is fully conscious, organized and deliberate. It is not an ugly or random byproduct of “profit motive.” This is absurd when you consider the amount of coordination that is required or the number of think tanks and secretive conferences that occur yearly, from the Council on Foreign Relations, to Tavistock, to the Trilateral Commission, to the Brookings Institute, to Davos, to Bilderberg and to even weirder circles like Bohemian Grove. These are very real centers of power that can have far reaching influence in our daily lives.
To ignore this and reduce it all down to a “natural” extension of greed is to stupidly rest one’s soft spongy head in the jaws of organized evil while pretending you can’t smell the stench of its gingivitis.
The control mechanisms of the globalists are far more complex though than simply exploiting the flow of money or the accumulation of debt. Numerous liberty activists that have accepted the reality of institutionalized control of the economy still refuse to acknowledge another very real control mechanism — the use of economic collapse. I’m not sure why this idea is taken as farfetched by people who are already versed in the facts behind globalism. Their biases just won’t allow them to look at the environment objectively and see the usefulness of collapse as a tactic to gain more leverage and influence.
I believe the key to understanding economics and the world at large is to embrace the truth that almost everything that is done in the world of politics and finance is done to manipulate public psychology toward certain ends. That is to say, the true battlefield is the human mind; everything else is secondary.
But what ends am I referring to? To be more specific, the masses are constantly being pressured into more dependency, more fear, less self-sufficiency and less awareness of the grand scheme. We are encouraged to box with our own shadows, to produce for the system but not for ourselves, to struggle for minimal gains spent haphazardly on meaningless objectives, to fight with each other for scraps while remaining blind to the enormous parasites attached to our backs, to affiliate with pointless causes led by puppet politicians and controlled opposition, to never build anything ourselves, always waiting for some hero on a white horse to come and save us.
In essence, we are consistently being distracted or admonished from our natural inclination to establish free markets – free markets in thought, in trade, in information, in government, etc. The globalists are even willing to collapse entire economic systems to prevent this outcome and to keep us trapped in centralization. This prison is a mental one, for the most part. At any time, we could walk away from the totalitarian model and build our own free market systems. Getting to this point psychologically, getting people to take the first steps, is the hard part, however.
Economics as the globalists implement it is not about profit. It is sometimes about milking the population for labor or hard assets, but this is a side benefit. What economics is really about is molding minds; it is about changing the psychology of millions of people. It is about erasing inborn conscience and moral compass. It is about destroying long held societal principles and heritage. And sometimes, it is about erasing history altogether, killing most of a generation, and then writing a new history that is more suitable to the globalist ideal, which is much easier when there are so few people who remember the truth left to argue about it.
Globalists exhibit most, if not all, the traits of narcissistic sociopaths, who sometimes organize into cooperative groups as long as there is a promise of mutual gain and a structure of top down dominance. Narcissistic sociopaths are notorious for using crisis as a means to keep the people around them off balance and serving their interests. Their ultimate goal is rarely profit. Instead, they seek power; power over every aspect of every life of every person around them. A modicum of power is not enough. They want total control, and they will use any means to get it, including engineering threats and disasters to elicit compliance or to paint themselves as a necessary hero or “protector.”
A sociopath is not content to control people through fear or violence alone. They want their victims to love them; to view them as saviors instead of tyrants.
To reiterate, the goal of economic subversion is to break down the human mind and change it into something else; something less human or, at the very least, something less rebellious. One can only control people through debt and false rewards for so long before they start to recoil and revolt. Economic collapse, on the other hand, can change people fundamentally through persistent terror and through tragedy. Through trauma, the globalists hope to make men into monsters or robots.
The current system was never built to last. Our economy is designed to fail, yet few people seem to question why that is? They tell themselves that this is because greed has led the money elite to self-sabotage, but this is a fantasy. It is not just that the system is designed to fail, but that it is designed to fail according to an organized timetable.
The globalist magazine The Economist announced in 1988 the coming of a one-world currency system, one that would be launched in 2018 and that would require the decline of the U.S. economy and the dollar to open the door to the reset. It is no coincidence that we are now witnessing the beginning of a major financial crash in the last quarter of 2018. This crash was engineered starting in 2008 by central banks first through the inflation of a historic bubble encompassing almost all asset classes using stimulus measures and near zero interest rates, and it is being imploded today by the same central banks using tightening measures into economic weakness.
It is also no coincidence that the globalists have announced in 2018 that their intention is to adapt to a digital monetary system using blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. That is to say, the one world currency system predicted in The Economist is already here. They are only waiting for a crisis large enough to pressure society to accept total global centralization as a solution.
Forcing the public to embrace worldwide centralization would require several measures.
First, the current system, which as stated is designed to fail, would have to be allowed to crash.
Second, the crash would have to be blamed on someone other than the globalists and their ideology of globalism.
Third, philosophical opponents of globalism (i.e., conservatives, nationalists and decentralization activists) would have to be demonized or eliminated so that the globalists can build their new world order without opposition.
Fourth, the population would need to be sufficiently traumatized to the point of psychological submission and desperation, so that when the new system is introduced, they will be grateful for it, thus preventing future rebellion by making the public a willing cooperator in their own enslavement.
The success of such a plan is not guaranteed. In fact, I believe the globalists will ultimately fail in their endeavor as I have outlined in past articles. This does not mean though that they aren’t going to try. Liberty activists must accept the fact that the plan of the globalists involves the deliberate destruction of our current economy. Those who refuse will find themselves bewildered by the outcome of future financial developments, instead of being prepared. They will find themselves easily subdued, instead of ready to rebel. And they will wonder after it’s all over why they didn’t see it coming when the end game was so obvious.