Just as many predicted over a year ago, the rollout of the vaccine for Covid-19 and its implementation has introduced intense polarization and social segregation through the implementation of mandatory vaccination for employees and vaccine passports. Medical authoritarianism and the burgeoning biosecurity state are here, expanding in real time. In New York City, San Francisco, France, and Italy, vaccine passports are mandatory for entrance to nearly any indoor public venue: restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas, and more. Also, hundreds of corporations, colleges, federal and state agencies are mandating rushed emergency experimental injections with no long-term knowledge of side effects.
Yes, we’re all well aware that the Pfizer vaccine just got full FDA approval. Did anyone think that it wouldn’t? Did anyone in the media bother to ask if the forces of power, money, and technocratic medical tyrants would back down and not give full approval, considering how these forces have managed to shape reality and scare to death half of the population over a disease with a very low mortality rate? Regardless of your opinion of how severe the disease is, mandates and passports are incontrovertibly coercive, tyrannical measures. If the vaccines do not stop transmission, which the medical authorities have already admitted to varying degrees, then what is the point of these mandates and passports?
Furthermore, the vaccine passport will effectively be discriminatory since minorities are less likely to get the vaccines. African Americans especially have lower vaccination rates, for good reasons, the US medical establishment experimented on black populations throughout the Cold War and even beyond. It’s not difficult to see the ramifications of bio-digital segregations. One does not need a PhD or medical degree; in fact, these “credentials” seem to blinker one’s view in support of this new form of discrimination.
In the view of what we might term the technocracy, or perhaps the emerging biosecurity establishment, it is virtuous to separate the “clean” vaxxed from the supposedly disease-carrying, uneducated, lower-classes who won’t take these experimental shots.
All of the power and money, all the “Science ” snowballed into an unstoppable corporate/government momentum which shows no signs of letting up. All that propaganda, the deliberate lies about mask efficiency (they don’t work) and vaccine holiness (they don’t prevent transmission) they’ve been shoving down the public’s throats for over a year and a half? Yeah, the nanny-state politico-medical tyrants are not going to give up this narrative without a fight. They are doubling down on the fear and quest for total obedience and control. It suits late-stage capitalism just fine if small and medium sized businesses go under and the excess labor supply of the unemployed are evicted and go hungry. They are extraneous to the monopoly cartels which run the “economy”, which is run by giant tech corporations, the stock market, the military-industrial complex, and the FIRE sector, multinational conglomerates who operate with almost no competition in nearly every industry.
There is no way to fight back against these abuses of power through the court system. In my opinion, the most rational approach would be to boycott, in any way possible, the corporations and public institutions that are going along with vaccine mandates and passports. Part of this involves the vote with your dollars approach. Hurting the corporate lemmings and technocrat sociopaths in their wallets and lack of tax revenues are the only things they will understand.
If you were thinking of traveling to Europe, skip France and Italy. Guess what? If globally millions of tourists suddenly gave the middle finger to these two countries and vacationed elsewhere, the dent in lost revenue and GDP might actually have some effect on the political establishment. In France and Italy citizens are rightly fed up with protests every day against the passports, and many vaccinated people have burned their vaccine papers in solidarity.
Similarly, if people in the US abstained from traveling to and spending money in NYC and SF, every restaurant owner, museum board, theater, and small business would then put immediate pressure on city, state, and federal politicians to ban vaccine passports, hopefully for good. If millions of people refuse to shop and do business with companies that have mandatory vaccination requirements for their employees, it would also put immense pressure to relent.
Investors should also divest from corporations that insist on mandating vaccines for employees. It may, in fact, be legal for companies to do so, but it is frankly coercive and is a sort of crossing of the Rubicon, blurring one’s private life and medical choices with public duties, to create a new type of “good citizen”, a biopolitical subject serving capitalism with zero critical thinking skills.
For those in the workforce facing mandates, such as federal/state public employees and health care workers, if possible it is definitely worth considering if another career/job can be found. If enough teachers, nurses, etc., quit or go on strike against their employee mandates, pressure can be applied and the mandates could potentially be lifted.
It’s worth pointing out that the goalposts continue to be changed from slowing the pace of transmission to eradicating the virus- from two weeks to flatten the curve (tacitly acknowledging that coronaviruses cannot really be stopped) to mandates for wide swaths of public and private work, as well as military and police presence on the streets of Australia, to name one of the most obvious police state measures. The goalposts are changing to determine our “good citizen” status. Before, one simply had to go along to get along, obey the laws, pay taxes, and keep one’s head down; now, not only are we expected to do and say the right things, but to inject the right experimental drugs into our bodies.
My humble prediction is the goalposts are going to continue to move. The game is akin to the frogs boiling slowly in the pot; by consenting to our own freedom being curtailed and our own imprisonment, the establishment gets what it wants without having to crack down using excessive force and coercion. The innate desire to have access to public spaces, to go on vacation, will lead many people ignorant of the wider implications to accept these new dystopian measures. The horizon of getting “back to normal” will recede faster as new variants naturally emerge, as viruses tend to do, and this will continue to be used as a new scare tactic, even as death rates effectively returned to normal four months ago (May of 2021) in the US, and many other countries show no more excess deaths, or none outside normal yearly variations, as well in 2021.
The virus is now endemic, but the powers that be are going to insist upon using it as a weapon for total control over the population. We’re through the looking-glass, we now have a form of “scientism” which is irrefutable no matter how unsettled the truth really is. Statistics such as death counts from Covid are unreliable, with doctors confessing to listing Covid-19 as the primary cause of death when it’s not- dying “from Covid” is conflated as dying “with Covid”. Deaths from the lockdowns are not seriously considered, even though many scientists are on record stating that the lockdowns led to a large chunk of the excess deaths.
Frankly, the near future looks pretty bleak for the US and the chances to have an open, honest dialogue about the seriousness of the pandemic, the capitalist world-system which stands to gain by using a 21st century tech-driven shock doctrine, and the police-state that will be built on the back of the panic caused by incessant propaganda. The fault lines are deepening and Democrats yammer to “trust the science” without any understanding themselves, and are willing to demonize anyone who doesn’t get an experimental jab or wear two masks while alone in their car; while Republicans continue to frame the “reopen the economy” debate in terms of those supposedly wonderful job-creating corporations, all the while being willing to sell the average worker out for an extra buck or two. Both parties are more than willing to screw over the poor, minorities, and working classes; if either cared about their citizens’ lives they wouldn’t throw people out into the streets via the mass evictions that are already underway.
As imperial decline and rot deepen, and the domestic surveillance apparatus pulls its noose tighter against our necks, our best bet to resist these freedom-crushing decrees is to deploy citizen power, mass protests, and coordinated direct action against inhumane vaccine mandates and police-state vaccine passports.
What a strange and harrowing road we’ve walked since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade a freedom-loving people to march in lockstep with a police state.
Our losses are mounting with every passing day.
What began with the post-9/11 passage of the USA Patriot Act has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.
The citizenry’s unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security has resulted in a society where the nation has been locked down into a militarized, mechanized, hypersensitive, legalistic, self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis of every principle upon which this nation was founded.
Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, police violence and the like—all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts—our constitutional freedoms have been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.
The rights embodied in the Constitution, if not already eviscerated, are on life support.
Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more have become casualties in the government’s war on the American people, a war that has grown more pronounced since 9/11.
Indeed, since the towers fell on 9/11, the U.S. government has posed a greater threat to our freedoms than any terrorist, extremist or foreign entity ever could.
While nearly 3,000 people died in the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government and its agents have easily killed at least ten times that number of civilians in the U.S. and abroad since 9/11 through its police shootings, SWAT team raids, drone strikes and profit-driven efforts to police the globe, sell weapons to foreign nations (which too often fall into the hands of terrorists), and foment civil unrest in order to keep the security industrial complex gainfully employed.
The American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, denied due process, and killed.
In allowing ourselves to be distracted by terror drills, foreign wars, color-coded warnings, pandemic lockdowns and other carefully constructed exercises in propaganda, sleight of hand, and obfuscation, we failed to recognize that the U.S. government—the government that was supposed to be a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”—has become the enemy of the people.
Consider that the government’s answer to every problem has been more government—at taxpayer expense—and less individual liberty.
Every crisis—manufactured or otherwise—since the nation’s early beginnings has become a make-work opportunity for the government to expand its reach and its power at taxpayer expense while limiting our freedoms at every turn: The Great Depression. The World Wars. The 9/11 terror attacks. The COVID-19 pandemic.
Viewed in this light, the history of the United States is a testament to the old adage that liberty decreases as government (and government bureaucracy) grows. Or, to put it another way, as government expands, liberty contracts.
This is how the emergency state operates, after all, and we should know: after all, we have spent the past 20 years in a state of emergency.
From 9/11 to COVID-19, “we the people” have acted the part of the helpless, gullible victims desperately in need of the government to save us from whatever danger threatens. In turn, the government has been all too accommodating and eager while also expanding its power and authority in the so-called name of national security.
This is a government that has grown so corrupt, greedy, power-hungry and tyrannical over the course of the past 240-plus years that our constitutional republic has since given way to idiocracy, and representative government has given way to a kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves) and a kakistocracy (a government run by unprincipled career politicians, corporations and thieves that panders to the worst vices in our nature and has little regard for the rights of American citizens).
What this really amounts to is a war on the American people, fought on American soil, funded with taxpayer dollars, and waged with a single-minded determination to use national crises, manufactured or otherwise, in order to transform the American homeland into a battlefield.
Indeed, the government’s (mis)management of various states of emergency in the past 20 years has spawned a massive security-industrial complex the likes of which have never been seen before. According to the National Priorities Project at the progressive Institute for Policy Studies, since 9/11, the United States has spent $21 trillion on “militarization, surveillance, and repression.”
Clearly, this is not a government that is a friend to freedom.
Rather, this is a government that, in conjunction with its corporate partners, views the citizenry as consumers and bits of data to be bought, sold and traded.
This is a government that is laying the groundwork to weaponize the public’s biomedical data as a convenient means by which to penalize certain “unacceptable” social behaviors. Incredibly, a new government agency HARPA (a healthcare counterpart to the Pentagon’s research and development arm DARPA) will take the lead in identifying and targeting “signs” of mental illness or violent inclinations among the populace by using artificial intelligence to collect data from Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home.
This is a government that routinely engages in taxation without representation, whose elected officials lobby for our votes only to ignore us once elected.
This is a government that uses fusion centers, which represent the combined surveillance efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement, to track the citizenry’s movements, record their conversations, and catalogue their transactions.
This is a government whose wall-to-wall surveillance has given rise to a suspect society in which the burden of proof has been reversed such that Americans are now assumed guilty until or unless they can prove their innocence.
This is a government that treats its people like second-class citizens who have no rights, and is working overtime to stigmatize and dehumanize any and all who do not fit with the government’s plans for this country.
This is a government that persists in renewing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the president and the military to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely based on the say-so of the government.
This is a government that saddled us with the Patriot Act, which opened the door to all manner of government abuses and intrusions on our privacy.
This is a government that has militarized American’s domestic police, equipping them with military weapons such as “tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; a million hollow-point bullets; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft,” in addition to armored vehicles, sound cannons and the like.
This is a government that has provided cover to police when they shoot and kill unarmed individuals just for 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.
This is a government that treats public school students as if they were prison inmates, enforcing zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior, and indoctrinating them with teaching that emphasizes rote memorization and test-taking over learning, synthesizing and critical thinking.
This is a government that has empowered police departments to make a profit at the expense of those they have sworn to protect through the use of asset forfeiture laws, speed traps, and red light cameras.
This is a government that has allowed the presidency to become a dictatorship operating above and beyond the law, regardless of which party is in power.
This is a government that treats dissidents, whistleblowers and freedom fighters as enemies of the state.
This is a government that has in recent decades unleashed untold horrors upon the world—including its own citizenry—in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in the guise of the greater good.
This is a government that allows its agents to break laws with immunity while average Americans get the book thrown at them.
This is a government that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security, national crises and national emergencies.
This is a government that exports violence worldwide, with one of this country’s most profitable exports being weapons. Indeed, the United States, the world’s largest exporter of arms, has been selling violence to the world in order to prop up the military industrial complex and maintain its endless wars abroad.
This is a government that is consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population and seemingly unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.
This is a government that routinely undermines the Constitution and rides roughshod over the rights of the citizenry, eviscerating individual freedoms so that its own powers can be expanded.
This is a government that believes it has the authority to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation, the Constitution be damned.
The consensus is in — no choice, no life, no job, no nothing, without a passport. That medical, DNA scan, the retina scan, all biological systems covered, that all-encompassing passport that lists every move, every moment, every job, every purchase, every fine, penalty, tax, rental, home, significant or insignificant emotional and economic and familial event, captured in a chip. Americans are spoiled, for sure, as are Europeans, and Canadians. That mostly encompasses the Great White Hopes of those respective “countries.” The rest of us, in these “first world” environs are struggling, even with debit and credit and La-La Land accoutrements ad infinitum.
These new times in the west are old times, bubbling up, really, from the early conquest days of razing Indian families, destroying and taking over and plowing through villages, lands, territories. Entire rooms at elite Ivy League universities and museums with drawers and boxes of Native American skulls, bones, skins, eyes, belongings, sacred objects. It is the way of the Egyptologists, and it is the way of the Crusades. Pillage, set villages on fire, and now, set states and countries on fire with fear and terror campaigns in order to exact total compliancy. Services, labor, debt, future payments, extracted from us, capitalism’s marks. Victims. Useless eaters-breeders-breathers-squatters.
Here, from David Rovics, musician and protestor, with some great stuff on Dissident Voice over the years, just coming back from Denmark (and other countries in his gig line). He embraces progressivism and the forced jabs. He is a good fellow, who interviewed me, and we talked about other things tied to the ugly side of leftists and their canceling culture, censorship, etc., but this conversation about jab/mask/remote lockup mandates has not happened yet. I still have room in my brain to listen to what he says, though he misses so many points here:
Despite the prevalence of disinformation platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube being as popular in Denmark as anywhere else that doesn’t have the good sense to ban them, the anti-vaccine movement and anti-lockdown movement in Denmark never grew to the proportions of such movements in the US, Germany, France and elsewhere. But unlike those aforementioned countries, in Denmark most people have a well-founded reason to trust the government on matters of public health and safety.
In Denmark, if anyone jaywalks, they’re usually either a foreigner or an antisocial type. The overwhelming majority of Danes would never do that. This is also true in Germany and some other countries. Americans and Brits and others visiting from abroad tend to make typically American and British individualistic, antisocial assumptions about this conformist behavior. They see a crowd of Germans or Danes standing at a crosswalk, waiting for the “walk” signal, even if there’s no traffic in any direction, and they see something scary, from Children of the Corn or some other horror movie, a bunch of zombies who can’t think for themselves, or are afraid of getting a ticket. (source — David Rovics)
That’s a whole other set of discussion points from this tour he had in Denmark about what democratic socialism is, what society is, how science and government should be trusted (really?). Jaywalking and shoot, tossing banana peels on the side of the road. How dare us lazy, supercilious and egotistical North Americans! Yankees!
The unfolding global hysteria is congealing into even more lovely by-products of Big Pharma as Dictatorship. It comes in many forms and offshoots, for sure. The main functions of Western society are broken — neoliberal and conservative values (sic) have gutted infrastructure, have thrown trillions of bucks-euros to the few, have propped up this society into a very effective kleptocracy, have imbued a dog eat dog set of beliefs into a slew of folks.
We are at the point where billionaires and their lackeys in high places set the narrative, tone, and write the legislation, laws and force zero delimits on corporations and government in this “we the people” system we supposedly “fought” for. There is collapse, after collapse, after collapse, and it is apparent in the lack of governance over decades, and the adventures of imperial overreach, too.
In daily lives, professional managerial class actors are hitting the middle/upper middle class stratum, economically, through the systems of pain, fines, fees, tolls, penalties, regressive taxation, permits and litigation that eat at us, the 80 percent, from the soul and the brain and the body. We are in a time of most people not being able to navigate “the system,” and that can be any system — school, medical, social security, DMV, courts, and any number of systems of oppression and subjugation. So it is a time of chaos, now Covid Chaos, moving into more Chaos.
“People are fed up,” says Winni Paul, a management consultant whose clients have included campuses and higher-education groups. “The graciousness, the compassion, the ‘we do it for the students, we do it for the work’ — that’s gone.”
And I am with a group of teachers from many states, who are now scrambling to figure out what to do with the forced jabs, the forced proof of jabs, the forced masking, all of that, and many will not submit to the experimental mRNA, many have looked into these DNA-alternating medical devices, and they feel alone, big time. Their AFT (American Federation of Teachers) union has caved, and they see in big cities and small, all venues requiring, soon, a passport, CDC-approved vaccination card.
Delta airlines is forcing non-vaccinated employees to pay an additional $200 a month premium, AKA fine for not being jabbed. Oh, that was yesterday (August 25), and that will not be the end of it. Fools like Thom Hartman advocate ER physicians having the right to refuse treatment to anyone coming in — motorcycle accident, heart attack, broken leg, stroke — who are not vaccinated.
This is the Brave New World already outlined by the eugenicists of the 1920s, of the Modest Proposal of Swift’s time, of the middle passage days of tossing overboard hundreds of sick shackled slaves in one one-way crossing. Multiply that by hundreds of ships, tossing human beings for the sharks, alive, shackled in chains. It is the genocidal policies of empires and their corporate thugs (overlords) in despoiling cultures, murdering millions, and enslaving regions for their rubber, silver, gold, lithium, any number of things the capitalists call loot and booty. Pirates compared to the thieves from history and today seem like Fred McFeely Rogers in comparison.
Even a saint, Fauci, he is a titan of terror in his old man’s way — “over his 50-year career with the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to address the cause, to prevent or cure the exploding epidemics of allergies and chronic disease that Congress charged him with curtailing. The chronic disease pandemic is his enduring legacy. Those ailments now debilitate 54% of American children compared to 6% when he joined NIAD.” (source — RFK Jr.)
In this group of teachers, daily there are emails announcing more and more statewide jab mandates, and the teachers that have to pay twice-a-week tests, if not jabbed, well, it is filling up those school districts; and many now in this group want out, since their email boxes are filling up. Teachers, youngish and not, with no money in the bank, really, and no place to go, since I predict all new rental agreements throughout the land (except in some Breaking Bad locales) will require proof of jab x, jab y, jab z, jab infinity.
The playing field shifts hourly, and while I have a literary reading manana, in Portland, for this hour, at least, the restaurant and community room demands all to be masked. There is no shot record demand, YET, but that’s on the horizon, since Oregon is the first state to reinstate mandatory outside masking policies. But the venue’s other locations, well, the rock and roll and progressives, they want to see vax cards or proof of SARS-CoV2 free tests. The Crystal Ballroom
It doesn’t matter how many millions of people worldwide are not happy with mRNA experimental chemicals forced into the bloodstream and across the blood-brain barrier; not happy with the bioweaponry aspect of Operation Warp Speed; not happy with the therapeutics that have been disavowed and censored, which could have saved millions of lives, possibly. One size fits all, baby. This news aggregator and news maker site, well, it is almost scrubbed from all search engines:
These stories above and below are verboten in the minds of tens of millions, hundreds of millions Westerners — even though there are robust stories on other topics, besides Fauci, jabs and mRNA, and fascism in this places.
I am finding people fighting, for sure, against mandates. Hell, my one time with the doctor recently points to this: “While I did get the vaccination, I am against mandates. I am against forcing people against their will to get this. I am of the mind that people have the right to make up their own minds.” He’s older, maybe 70, is a DO, and I know the university where he adjunct taught and matriculated from, Touro University Nevada (TUN) (a private university in Henderson, Nevada. It is part of the Touro College and University System.Touro University Nevada is a branch campus of its sister campus Touro University California.)
My niece is there, in her second year, and my DO stated, his one word of advice for her is, Cash. “Tell her to write notes to family and friends, and state: ‘please send cash.’” The doctor likes me, and he’s a jokester. He told me reads a lot, and that he did work in Amazonian for years, “saving one life at a time.” He is looking at my recent stress test, and alas, getting a cardiologist on board to maybe do more investigation on some electrical anomalies when I got up to 160 beats per minute, that is another example of the failed capitalist system: there are none here on Highway 101 on the central coast, and getting one to see me could take weeks, out of the cities of Salem or Corvallis. This is the state of medicine, after decades of gutting taxation of the rich and the corporations (who are getting us sick) and years turning medicine into a bizarre insurance scam, where doctors spend more time on the computer screen than with the patient.
So, this next reset is all about pushing more and more people into fewer and fewer public spheres, pushing people away from outliers or those defiant and dissident like me and millions. It is about controlling the masses, setting forth sophisticated bandwagon forms of propaganda, and setting afire all forms of community gatherings and robust discussions of the millions of topics of the day.
With this teachers’ group, the messages are coming in:
Governor Pritzker just announced mandatory vax for all IL teachers
Here is Dr. Peter McCullough talking about the dangers of vaccines, among other things: Basically, the vaxxed are projecting all the havoc they themselves are wreaking even as “life is pretty much back to normal among the vaccinated,” as many are bragging onto the unvaxxed. Many op-eds in publications like WaPo and the NYT are filling their pages with doctors martyring themselves and declaring they won’t treat unvaxxed anymore (to cheers from bots and humans alike in the comments section) and normalizing ending friendships based on vaccination status. But they are the super spreaders. They are the ones making children and Grandma sick. This is scapegoating at its finest.
Some great work is being done by Mike Williams @ Sage of Quay. Also, great Common Law shows being done by Crrow777 Radio Alfonso Faggiola and Lena Pu.
Want to see a man stand up to the controllers? Check out Paul Unslaved . You can also gain a little insight from some of the good First Amendment auditors like Long Island Audit.
California AB455 – this bill, if passed, will mandate the C19 vaccine for all CA employees and for CA citizens to enter any establishment except church and grocery stores:
Rally against this action set for September 8th
Some good news: a touching video of resistance to vaccine mandates in France (i cant verify the authenticity but hope it is real)
Lastly, ICYMI – Illinois’ Vax Verify – vaccination verification is tied to Experian – meaning residents will have to go through a one-time verification process through Experian to access their vaccination records. So stating the obvious – this is opening the door increasingly towards a social credit system.
Then this from one of the people on this list wanting the mandates and the draconian measures stopped:
Just a quick note: This Sunday will mark 58 years of me being active in the political sphere. Back in ’64, it was as a Goldwater volunteer. Some 6 years later, i switched sides, a consequence of the Vietnam War, the counterculture, ecological crisis,… And became much more of an activist. I have no love whatsoever for the right. But I’ve also seen the “left” act at critical points as a defender of the capitalist status quo, particularly as a consequence of the dominant tendency within the left to accept the state as if it were an institution acting on behalf of society as a whole, rather than the instrument of class power it has been since it emerged in history thousands of years ago. Both left and right (and “center”) are fully on board with the onrushing police state, while each proclaims itself to be defending the interests of humanity against the others. People need to look to themselves for solutions, and learn from historical movements, including anarchists and anti-statist socialists.
I heartily accept the motto,—”That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,—”That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men and women are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
— Henry David Thoreau, Resistance to Civil Government, 1849
Succinctly, Communist approaches to anti-statism center on the relationship between political rule and class struggle. Karl Marx defined the state as the institution used by the ruling class of a country to maintain the conditions of its rule. To this extent, the ultimate goal of communist society was theorized as both stateless and classless.
We are at 8 billion, and the planet is run by Blackstone and BlackRock and around 30 financial organizations, and around 140 corporations. The bottleneck is what the planned pandemic was all about — getting people to run away from sanity, common sense, and running into the various insane asylums. For anyone to question why some of us — who are way beyond just coming out from under the Capitalist-Media-Education rock — might doubt the purveyors of capital, scientism, control, policing, finance and corrupt drug companies, well, that is where I am now — “since the majority of people are in line for the jab, what’s your fucking lunatic problem?”
The distortions that go on under capitalism are so obscene it’s hard to wrap your head around it sometimes, on a micro level as well as a macro level. I was riding on the subway and I took a couple of trains and I was looking at the ads. The average American sees about 3,000 ads a day. One ad was for a credit card, and this is the slogan for the credit card—“Less plastic, more human—Discover it is human.” Discover is the card that they were advertising. In other words, you can actually be more human by having this type of credit card. Another ad, and this gets to the quality of life, that I pass by was about online delivery of food—how you can order online instead of having to phone somebody—and the ad read, “You’ve perfected the odds of getting to third base faster. Food delivery date night.” The obscenity and depravity of capitalism knows no depths to which it will not plumb.
This is something that Karl Marx talked about quite a bit. He was speaking at the anniversary of the People’s Paper in 1856, and I think this resonates far more with us now than it did even in his time.
On the one hand, there have started into life industrial and scientific forces, which no epoch of the former human history had ever suspected. On the other hand, there exist symptoms of decay, far surpassing the horrors recorded of the latter times of the Roman Empire.
That kind of sense of decay pervades our world as it is currently structured. He goes on:
In our days, everything seems pregnant with its contrary: Machinery, gifted with the wonderful power of shortening and fructifying human labor, we behold starving and overworking it; The newfangled sources of wealth, by some strange weird spell, are turned into sources of want; The victories of art seem bought by the loss of character.
At the same pace that mankind masters nature, man seems to become enslaved to other men or to his own infamy. Even the pure light of science seems unable to shine but on the dark background of ignorance. All our invention and progress seem to result in endowing material forces with intellectual life, and in stultifying human life into a material force.
John Bellamy Foster on ecosocialism: “Ecological resistance in the twenty-first century has more and more been informed by the development of Marxian ecology and ecosocialism more generally. However, as ecosocialist analysis has grown, various divergent branches of thought have emerged, often in conflict with each other. Based on the conviction that clarity about capitalism’s relation to the environment is indispensable for the strategic understanding of present-day struggles, this talk will present some of the new research within Marxian ecology, bringing together the core issues of the expropriation of nature and the metabolic rift, and seeking to unite the ecosocialist movements of our time.”
Another set of notes from another teacher on this V is for Vendetta Vaccines email group — I’m calling it that as a joke:
I just attended a workshop for religious exemptions, and will forward the email for any of those who wish to attend. I am also happy to share insights and notes I took to help out anyone who wishes to take this route. However, I would like to share some notes and important information discussed in this workshop.
First, if you are part a union or teachers union, Collective Bargaining needs to take place. Many unions did not have a seat at the table and have sent cease and desist letters that could delay the mandates. Remember the unions represent both the majority and the minority of their union members and even if there is only 15 percent against the mandates, those individuals should be represented. It was recommended to call your Labor Relations Representative or Union Rep to see if they have sent a cease and desist letter or are planning on it. Key word is the Collective Bargaining aspect of the unions and you may be able to ask them to do so.
Additionally, I think if you are able to file for a religious exemption it is a good way to buy time. The common law approach may be a good option for those who do not have an option. Realistically, for Californians we are a Right to Work state, and employers have the right to fire and hire at will. With either method there is a possibility of job termination which has to be considered, and I do not know exactly how the outcome has been going for individuals who have filed religious vs. common law approaches. That said I do know there have been many religious exemptions accepted and there is an appeals process if denied. If you are on a timetable and need to be vaccinated by a date that is closely approaching, the religious exemption is probably more likely to be one way to hold onto employment a little longer. My understanding of the common law approach is that it can be more time consuming because legal notices have times frames for notices, responses, and actions to take place and may not work with your deadline which again can lead to termination. Because California is an At Will Work state there may be risk to filing for any unemployment as well, so all these things should be considered before deciding which route to take.
I am not saying one option is better than the other, I am just presenting them as Option A or Option B, because I think we all have differences in our personal situations. One may work better for you personally than the other. That said, we should also have our plan B in place if neither work. Helping each other is essential and it will be good to share with one another what has worked and what hasn’t, and I do not want to argue either method, just help out in any way possible. Our differences in ideology are unimportant to me at this time. I believe there is a good portion of us, who are strong personalities, opinionated and intelligence — and these may be the wonderful unifying qualities that have brought us together at this critical time to fight for our humanity.
Take up the White Man’s Burden, send for the best ye breed,
Go bind your sons to exile, to serve your captives need –
new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child…
Take up the White Man’s burden, the savage wars of peace.
Both chronic stress and manipulative abuse can lead to an impairment of cognitive functioning. Whenever humans experience ongoing anxiety, their prefrontal cortex will generate increasingly higher levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps us deal with threats and danger. If stress — real or perceived — becomes chronic, we can get stuck in this state of high alert. The brain cannot differentiate between real and fake news. It initiates and sustains the body’s stress response for as long as you feel anxious, tense, worried, or scared.
The projected overall 2021 poverty rate is 13.7 percent of Americans.
78 percent of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck.
Roughly 30 million Americans are without health insurance.
Americans collectively hold about $81 billion in medical debt.
Approximately 325,000 Americans (age 12 or older) are sexually assaulted each year — about 1 every 93 seconds. As for those under 12, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of reported child sexual abuse. Keyword: reported.
The top three causes of death in the U.S. would be mostly preventable in a society that included economic stability, access to quality health care, protection of the environment, an emphasis on healthy eating habits, and even a modicum of humanity. Instead, each year, heart disease kills about 650,000, cancer kills 600,000, and the third leading cause of death is (wait for it) medical error — taking out at least 250,000 Americans per year. The powers-that-be test their corporate medicines and procedures on us while granting themselves immunity from liability.
63 percent of Americans reported that the future of the nation is a significant source of stress
62 percent were stressed about money
61 percent were stressed about work
51 percent were stressed about violence and crime
43 percent were stressed about health care
Fifty-six percent said that the mere act of staying informed by following the news causes them intense stress. Three out of four Americans reported experiencing at least one stress symptom in the last month — and this survey was taken BEFORE the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns.
Prices go up. Rents go up. The number of billionaires goes up. Everything goes up… except wages and quality of life. I could go on but you get the idea. Everyday life in the Home of the Brave — by definition — keeps the vast majority of its residents in a state of deep distress and high anxiety.
High anxiety = high cortisol. High cortisol negatively impacts our executive functioning, e.g.:
Inability to pay attention
Decrease in visual perception
Feeling agitated and unorganized
Loss of emotional regulation and rational thinking
This explains why so many of us jammed into supermarkets to fight each other for the right to hoard inordinate amounts of toilet paper when the dangerous and unnecessary pandemic lockdowns were implemented.
When stress is chronic and cortisol is raging, we make exponentially more mistakes. We struggle to complete tasks, we lose concentration, we forget basic information, and we repeat ourselves in conversation. Since life itself in this corrupt culture is a source of relentless anxiety, most of us live in an altered state of inefficiency and confusion. However, this reality is so normalized that it’s become invisible and we often think we’ve got it good. After all, look at all these neat gadgets we own and get to stare at all day, every day.
Think about it: We’re alive because our ancestors were the ones who used anxiety and hyper-vigilance to survive. The more casual or reckless early humans weren’t around long enough to pass on their genes. So, here we are — hard-wired with a hair-trigger fight-or-flight response — and we’re stuck in a world in which simple acts like breathing air or visiting a doctor are unhealthy or possibly lethal. Translation: We are the ideal subjects for a grand social experiment.
If you were a member of the elite class — or the proverbial 1% — wouldn’t you prefer that the masses were pliable, easily controlled, and happy to settle for crumbs? Why wouldn’t you rig circumstances in such a way as to keep billions of potential challengers off-balance, frightened, and divided? What better way to maintain power and control than to implement an insidious form of group manipulation? It’s what cult leaders do. It’s what domestic abusers do. It’s what dictators do. And what are those in power if not abusive and narcissistic sociopaths?
I know, the easiest and most alluring path for you right now is to dismiss this as a “conspiracy.” I get it. Life seems far more palatable if you choose denial. It feels so much simpler if you choose to believe those on top are not abusing you. You may even tell yourself that people never do things like create an oppressive, unfair system just to keep their fellow humans subdued and passive. If that’s your premise, let’s explore it for a few minutes.
Would the folks who run things in God’s Country ever coerce people through abusive behaviors? You might want to ask the detainees at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay. As reported by the New York Times, the U.S. hired “two C.I.A. contract psychologists” to create a program that used “violence, isolation and sleep deprivation on more than 100 men in secret sites, some described as dungeons.” Tactics included waterboarding and cramming men into small confinement boxes. The idea here was to induce so much chronic stress, it would break their resistance.
Human Rights Watch has documented other devious and abusive red-white-and-blue techniques paid for by your hard-earned tax dollars; e.g., mock execution by asphyxiation, stress positions, hooding during questioning, deprivation of light and auditory stimuli, and use of detainees’ individual phobias (such as fear of dogs) to induce debilitating stress.
The Land of the Free incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world. The Center for Constitutional Rights reports that such prisoners are “repeatedly abused by their guards, fellow prisoners, and an ineffective and apathetic system. They suffer beatings, rape, prolonged solitary confinement, meager food rations, and frequently-denied medical care.” All in the name of punishment and pacification.
Perhaps the best comparison for America’s brutal molding of its citizens is domestic abuse. The United Nations defines domestic abuse as “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.” Read that again: a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control.
Abusers, says the UN, use actions or threats of action to influence others. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone. Are you frightened by the lack of financial stability? Are you terrorized by the threat of sexual assault or injury by medical error? Does the possibility of eviction, homelessness, and poverty manipulate you into making choices you abhor, choices that violate your deepest values and individual freedoms?
If you declare “the system is broken,” just about everyone will agree with you for one reason or another. But what if it’s not broken? What if it’s running exactly as it’s designed to run? A minuscule percentage of humans make the rules and thus reap virtually all the material rewards. The rest of us suppress our desires, our individuality, and our dreams in the name of survival — in its most meager sense. We’re wounded and intimidated into submission, too programmed and fearful to even think about rebellion… let alone solidarity with all the other victims.
Pro tip: All it takes to flip the script is for each of you to change your mind. Demand more pleasure instead of less pain. It doesn’t have to be like this. In fact, it can’t be like this if we take off the blinders and see the ugliness of reality.
“To ask serious questions about the nature and behavior of one’s own society is often difficult and unpleasant,” writes Noam Chomsky. “Difficult because the answers are generally concealed, and unpleasant because the answers are often not only ugly but also painful. To understand the truth about these matters is to be led to action that may not be easy to undertake and that may even carry a significant personal cost.”
Truths like those discussed in this article are ugly and painful but that’s why the big lies are invented in the first place. On that note, I leave you with this from the English Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley:
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are many – they are few.
I remember chatting with a man from Iraq in 2016. He was driving a taxi in Germany. I wrote about him in one of my essays:
“Last month, I was chatting with an Iraqi taxi driver in Berlin. My 12 year old son and I took a cab from the Museum for Contemporary Art to our hotel. I couldn’t help but ask the cab driver why he ended up in Berlin. He said it was something to do with the availability of the visa. He stressed that he had to leave because he didn’t like Islam. He said Muslims were killing each other.
I felt very slightly sad because he sounded like he had to say that to prove that he wasn’t a “terrorist”. I told him that it was the US that supported Saddam when it was convenient. Then, the US flipped, changing its policy, as doing so became more convenient. I asked him, Taliban, al Qaeda, ISIS, same old story, no?
Then he said something unexpected. He said it was a “people’s revolution”. “We stood against Saddam”. He was referring to the first gulf war in 1991. He went on to describe how it didn’t go as people wished, and it brought about the devastating trade embargo, more war, ISIS and so on. His voice was passionate. I felt the anger and frustration against war and imperialism that I also feel myself, in his voice.”
The imperial war against countries that defy the US hegemonic imperatives involves a few steps. The target population is deprived of their basic necessities by economic embargo, trade sanctions, travel restrictions and demonization of its leader. The society is destabilized by the lack of resources and economic activities. The opposing forces in the country are generously funded by the empire to build a momentum against the defying “regime” in the name of “revolution,” “democracy,” “freedom”, etc. The communities are divided. The institutions are compromised to serve capital, adding more confusions and predicaments to the population.
Quite often this is sufficient enough to silence those who defy such interventions and it results in an overthrow of the existing order. The society is transformed to suit the colonial policies concocted by western industries, which result in resource extraction, privatization, financialization, exploitation of cheap labor, construction of US military bases and so on.
Quite a few middle eastern countries have defied such interventions resulting in proxy wars and western military interventions.
That was the war on terror which continues to this day as the US forces are freely employed against the world according to its “war on terror legal framework,” while its measures are still in place as restrictions against our legal rights as well as restrictions at airports and so on.
Many of us raised our voices against the obvious crime of invading other countries, colonizing them and subjugating them. To my surprise there were people who objected to our assertion saying that if we didn’t invade them, they would have invaded us, they were “terrorists,” and so on.
Enormous profits were generated by this huge public project, war, at the expense of the people in the war torn countries as well as oppressed people in some of the richest countries of the world. No one was held accountable for deaths and destruction. The war to save people from terrorists was a huge capitalist project to expand the power and wealth of hardened criminals who call themselves politicians, philanthropists, businessmen, intellectuals, patriots, academics, and so on.
The underlining mentality of neocolonial violence is based on prejudice against the peoples of the targeted countries. Those peoples, who reside within countries governed by “leaders” who have sworn to obey imperial policies, are subjected to tighter measures of exploitation and subjugation in order to serve the interests of the imperial institutions. The predicaments of the subject population—poverty, social unrest, and corruption, which stem from the economic subjugation, justify the mental superiority among westerners, falsely proving the inferiority of the “barbaric” population which must be “assisted” by westerners. If the leader of a colonized country attempts to amend the unfair situation by implementing policies that serve that country’s own people, the western authority would mobilize policies to remove such an element. The policies are firmly backed by the prejudice amongst the imperial population. Simple slogans and key words such as “he is killing his own people,” “save the children,” “regime,” “dictatorship” and “genocide” can trigger the colonial mentality as well as the white savior mentality in the imperial population.
Fast forward to 2021 — the era of war on virus. We are experiencing a massive wealth transfer to the rich and powerful, which can be best described by Jeff Bezos thanking his workers and customers for his rocket ride. The cynical exploitative violence inflicted against workers is found in all sectors across the country, creating destruction of small community businesses, massive homelessness, suicide surge, spike in drug related deaths. Lockdown measures are wreaking havoc in vital social relations, which must now be reorganized.
The virus event has turned the dwindling healthcare system into mask wearing, social distancing and getting injected with extremely lucrative experimental GMO drugs—which are surrounded by unprecedented numbers of injuries and deaths, far surpassing all combined prior vaccine injury and death reports to the CDC reporting system VAERS. The lockdown measures and profit oriented measures against the virus further narrowed the capacity of the general healthcare system, resolution in huge numbers of patients without vital care for their urgent conditions. Destroying the healthcare system for the sake of saving lives is only an aspect of the current mobilization. The education system, which has been under attack for generations by corporate forces, has received a blank check to fire faculties, turn classes into online tutorials, and pursue a new mission to create obedient workers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The financial institution has accelerated its herding of the population into the digital realm where people are conditioned, commodified, and exploited as data. In every industry, a massive restructuring process for profit is occurring in the name of Covid measures.
Now, I understand that respiratory illnesses can be very dangerous. If you look up articles from pre-Covid time, you find desperate calls from healthcare professionals screaming about the risk of flu epidemics due to the lack of facilities and resources. This has become reality after Covid, as massive death tolls have resulted from nursing home lockdowns. Profit oriented treatment options have been promoted while effective options were restricted, resulting in yet even more deaths and hospitalizations. But statistically, all these deaths in the US had not exceeded the range of year to year variation in death rate. This crucial fact has been observed in various countries. The Covid situation, if anything, is very much a manmade event. It can not be described as a deadly pandemic comparable to the bubonic plague. This should shatter virus event narratives propped up by “cases“ concocted by unreliable PCR tests—its inaccuracy has been highly criticized by many scientists—including the inventor of the PCR test himself–due to its arbitrary results depending on the degree of amplification in search of the targeted DNA fragments.
The above observation is strictly based on the opinions of numerous healthcare professionals, doctors, and scientists across the globe. At the very least, it must be recognized that there are significant disagreements within the field of science on every aspect of Covid-19, its treatments, and lockdown measures.
However, none of those are examined in a serious manner by the establishment. In fact, there are many instances of healthcare professionals being disciplined for reporting cases of vaccine injury, speaking against the treatment policies, and questioning the prevelant assumptions regarding the virus. Healthcare professionals are actively forced to play along with the official Covid narrative.
For the general public the mixed emotions over the contradictions have turned to frustration, and the frustration has turned to anger as if we are stuck in a pressure cooker made with official narratives and structural impediments of lockdowns and forced vaccine injection. The heat and pressure have broken down the social fabric as our daily routines are dictated by “new normal.”
So many things have happened since last year. But somehow things don’t seem to fit in right places in our heads.
We mark our sense of time and space with traditional events, daily routines and our common knowledge. When we lose those, we are left with a series of elements and dynamics without those markers.But alternate markers have been provided by those who have deprived us of the markers. Our lives are marked with lockdowns, masks and social distancing — the “new normal”.
Now we mark our lives with it.
We are told that there is a deadly disease out there and the only solution is to vaccinate. Our life and death are determined by one of the largest corporate entities, the medical industrial complex.
Just as the war on terror was described as a “crusade”—legitimizing the twisted religious and cultural superiority of the colonizers, disguising white man’s burden as humanitarian obligation — the war on virus crowns “science” as its guiding force. However, needless to say, the credibility of the “science” is proportional to the accompanying might of wealth and power—just as the facts of war are bought and sold as “journalism”. Propaganda lies fill the air as those who oppose are marked as “others” who deserve to be castigated as being outside of the protection of the gated community.
This way of framing—the medical industrial complex—is useful in understanding the dynamics within the capitalist hegemony. However, such an entity is also a part of the media industrial complex, non profit industrial complex, political industrial complex, and, of course, military industrial complex. In short, our lives are dictated by multiple dynamic forces of oligarchs, orchestrating a “reality” which firmly manifests as a capitalist framework—a cage to condition our lives based on its imperatives.
As the current virus mobilization reframes our society, obliterating existing values, norms and beliefs, the corporate institutions and their owners are consecrated as absolute beings which determine our life and death. This is why decrees legitimated by the “emergency” are acceptable political means now. This is why large corporations have gained enormous wealth. This is why our lives are herded into the digital realm where we are commodified, conditioned to be exploited, and truncated to be stripped of the mystery of life and the unknown.
But where do the anger and frustration go?
The US establishment is well aware of the boiling anger and frustration over the situation. The momentum of anger is cultivated and it is being shaped to put the people against each other—an old corporate duopoly trick, which has grown steadily as a dynamic tool of social engineering in the US. The ghosts of the Civil War still determine the means of enslavement, while allowing the ruling class to preside over the theater of “democracy,” “freedom” and “humanity”—a manufactured “reality.” Individualism, self-determination and a sense of freedom based on the sacrifices of many oppressed people are a privilege only allowed to people with economic security. This is a part of the reason why the resistance against the Covid lockdown measures encompasses a reactionary element. In particular, erroneously defining the trajectory as “socialism” or “communism”. This ironic twist, the capitalist oppression being blamed on the enemy of capitalists, once again reveals the mechanism of the imperial duopoly as well as the expansion of the exploitative violence against a formerly economically secure segment of the population, which will require tighter measures of draconian restrictions.
It is not a coincidence that the red states have embraced the opposing positions while the blue states firmly adhere to the official narratives on vaccines and lockdown measures. The subject populations are allowed to choose the mode of enslavement, but the slight differences in the choice are big enough to activate colonial hatred toward each other. The unresolved historical pain, emotion and grudge have found urgent expression against “enemies” among us. A fight between teeth baring wolves and cunning foxes, as Malcom X would call it, channels the anger and frustration safely within the capitalist framework. The media, politicians and major institutions carefully instigate conflicts among the people by demonizing opponents over vaccines and lockdown measures, while protecting “pandemic” narratives one way or the other.
Some people might think that things must get worse before it gets better. Things can certainly get worse but it looks like it only means more fragmentation of communities and destabilization of institutions, which allows further erosion of people’s interests by the capitalist domination along with justifications for its draconian measures. This probably gives a comfortable feeling for those privileged ones in gated communities. This also accompanies the exacerbation of fascist momentum, which always justifies the forces of western imperial hegemony—remember how the Trump phenomenon pushed neoliberal policies, which are embraced by both corporate parties, while justifying anything else to oppose Donald Trump, who was largely perceived as an obvious caricature of the narcissistic failing empire? The US capitalism moves forward while oscillating left and right within the acceptable spectrum of imperialism.
In short, everything is under control according to those who destroyed the middle eastern countries. The only difference is that now the target is us. We are under attack. Some of us are demonized by the establishment to play the role of scapegoats. Some of us are praised as heroes saving lives and sacrificing themselves. Our communities are being destroyed to be further consumed by the colonizers of humanity and nature.
The war on virus is meant as a crucial background of destabilization and fear which helps extract huge amount of public spending in the name of saving lives, saving environment and saving people’s livelihoods—which are all under attack by the savagery of the very capitalist domination. Since the war on virus is largely targeting the public money, we are bombarded with an unprecedented amount of wholesale propaganda narratives, as if we are thrown into the process of corporate electoral process—we are supposed to vote yes to those lucrative capitalist fixes for the capitalist problems by going along with the narratives. Public outcries against the policies are safely consumed among the populations as people are forced to fight among themselves.
Moreover, the war on virus is meant to be a perpetual war. Inconceivable “mistakes” will be made, victories would be declared here and there, facts will be revealed when convenient, while much of the facts are distorted to prop up the pretense of this vast protection racket scheme by the oligarchs. One step forward, and one step backward, our lives swirl within the torturous theater of the “medical crisis,” but the real solution is never to be found within it. The empire can not lose the war but the empire has no intention of winning the war either, for the winning can destroy the domesticated momentum of the in-fighting among the people, as well as an assortment of “activism” backed by the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, which effectively drives capitalist agendas in the name of “our democracy”. After all, we are many. The oppressors are not. The mechanism of the domestication must be kept in place to tame the masses within the feudal hierarchy of money and violence. Meanwhile, fear, doubt and real threat against our livelihood in the form of economic strangulation continue to force us to swallow the protection racket deal with the criminal enterprise.
Ultimately, the trajectory points to a complete domestication of our species through management of all means of production, its products, and the distribution system. As the peoples become products themselves with biotech procedures, the social relations within the digital realm seamlessly merge with the fabricated reality, virtually cementing the feudal hierarchy of the absolute power.
As we operate within social media outlets, as we present our identities within their frameworks, and as we are injected with GMO drugs to modify our physical response to the natural world, we have already stepped into a dangerous stage which might very well spell the end of our species as we know it.
What could Iraqis do as they suffered the deadly embargo and invasions? The question is ours now. Unfortunately, many of those who stood with the empire are still insisting on fighting the imperial war as we have become the targets of the war, demonizing our community members as enemies, repeating slogans and talking points to justify the imperial restructuring, as our communities fall apart to be devoured by the colonizers. It is no coincidence that those who oppose the current mobilization are accused of being racists, conspiracy theorists, or fascist worshippers—just as not agreeing with bombing brown people would be accused of letting brown children die by the hand of a “dictator.”
Our real enemy is not the “antivaxxers,” or the gullible people swallowing the corporate propaganda. The real enemy is the imperial oligarchs who are shaping our society in order to continue their ways of exploitation and subjugation. They are shaping the capitalist cage to squeeze the last remnants of our imagination and our connection to humanity and nature. How can we defy the colonization of humanity and nature? How can we be a part of the resistance against the criminal pyramid scheme which is bound to implode with its destructive nature? How can we build our ways to be in harmony with ourselves, with each other and with nature? We are a part of the countless people who have held the dream of such a harmony. We stand strong with them in solidarity. We are many. The oppressors are not.
The executive power in our government is not the only, perhaps not even the principal, object of my solicitude. The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be feared, and will continue to be so for many years to come. The tyranny of the executive power will come in its turn, but at a more distant period.
― Thomas Jefferson, (Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville(
It is time to recalibrate the government.
For years now, we have suffered the injustices, cruelties, corruption and abuse of an entrenched government bureaucracy that has no regard for the Constitution or the rights of the citizenry.
By “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats. Rather, I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.
We are overdue for a systemic check on the government’s overreaches and power grabs.
We have lingered too long in this strange twilight zone where ego trumps justice, propaganda perverts truth, and imperial presidents—empowered to indulge their authoritarian tendencies by legalistic courts, corrupt legislatures and a disinterested, distracted populace—rule by fiat rather than by the rule of law.
This COVID-19 pandemic has provided the government with the perfect excuse to lay claim to a long laundry list of terrifying lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level) that override the Constitution: the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die, and impose health mandates on large segments of the population.
These kinds of crises tend to bring out the authoritarian tendencies in government.
That’s no surprise: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Where we find ourselves now is in the unenviable position of needing to rein in all three branches of government—the Executive, the Judicial, and the Legislative—that have exceeded their authority and grown drunk on power.
This is exactly the kind of concentrated, absolute power the founders attempted to guard against by establishing a system of checks of balances that separate and shares power between three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.
“The system of checks and balances that the Framers envisioned now lacks effective checks and is no longer in balance,” concludes law professor William P. Marshall. “The implications of this are serious. The Framers designed a system of separation of powers to combat government excess and abuse and to curb incompetence. They also believed that, in the absence of an effective separation-of-powers structure, such ills would inevitably follow. Unfortunately, however, power once taken is not easily surrendered.”
Unadulterated power in any branch of government is a menace to freedom.
There’s no point debating which political party would be more dangerous with these powers.
The fact that any individual—or branch of government—of any political persuasion is empowered to act like a dictator is danger enough.
So what can we do to wrest back control over a runaway government and an imperial presidency?
It won’t be easy.
We are the unwitting victims of a system so corrupt that those who stand up for the rule of law and aspire to transparency in government are in the minority.
This corruption is so vast it spans all branches of government: from the power-hungry agencies under the executive branch and the corporate puppets within the legislative branch to a judiciary that is, more often than not, elitist and biased towards government entities and corporations.
We are ruled by an elite class of individuals who are completely out of touch with the travails of the average American.
We are viewed as relatively expendable in the eyes of government: faceless numbers of individuals who serve one purpose, which is to keep the government machine running through our labor and our tax dollars. Those in power aren’t losing any sleep over the indignities we are being made to suffer or the possible risks to our health. All they seem to care about are power and control.
We are being made to suffer countless abuses at the government’s hands.
We have little protection against standing armies (domestic and military), invasive surveillance, marauding SWAT teams, an overwhelming government arsenal of assault vehicles and firepower, and a barrage of laws that criminalize everything from vegetable gardens to lemonade stands.
In the name of national security, we’re being subjected to government agencies such as the NSA, FBI and others listening in on our phone calls, reading our mail, monitoring our emails, and carrying out warrantless “black bag” searches of our homes. Adding to the abuse, we have to deal with surveillance cameras mounted on street corners and in traffic lights, weather satellites co-opted for use as spy cameras from space, and thermal sensory imaging devices that can detect heat and movement through the walls of our homes.
That doesn’t even begin to touch on the many ways in which our Fourth Amendment rights are trampled upon by militarized police and SWAT teams empowered to act as laws unto themselves.
In other words, freedom—or what’s left of it—is threatened from every direction.
The predators of the police state are wreaking havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives. The government doesn’t listen to the citizenry, it refuses to abide by the Constitution, which is our rule of law, and it treats the citizenry as a source of funding and little else. Police officers are shooting unarmed citizens and their household pets. Government agents—including local police—are being armed to the teeth and encouraged to act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies are fleecing taxpayers. Government technicians are spying on our emails and phone calls. Government contractors are making a killing by waging endless wars abroad.
In other words, the American police state is alive and well and flourishing.
Nothing has changed, and nothing will change unless we insist on it.
Set in the year 2020, V for Vendetta (written and produced by the Wachowskis) provides an eerie glimpse into a parallel universe in which a government-engineered virus wreaks havoc on the world. Capitalizing on the people’s fear, a totalitarian government comes to power that knows all, sees all, controls everything and promises safety and security above all.
Concentration camps (jails, private prisons and detention facilities) have been established to house political prisoners and others deemed to be enemies of the state. Executions of undesirables (extremists, troublemakers and the like) are common, while other enemies of the state are made to “disappear.” Populist uprisings and protests are met with extreme force. The television networks are controlled by the government with the purpose of perpetuating the regime. And most of the population is hooked into an entertainment mode and are clueless.
Sounds painfully familiar, doesn’t it?
As director James McTeighe observed about the tyrannical regime in V for Vendetta, “It really showed what can happen when society is ruled by government, rather than the government being run as a voice of the people. I don’t think it’s such a big leap to say things like that can happen when leaders stop listening to the people.”
Clearly, our leaders have stopped listening to the American people.
We are—and have been for some time—the unwitting victims of a system so corrupt that those who stand up for the rule of law and aspire to transparency in government are in the minority. This corruption is so vast it spans all branches of government—from the power-hungry agencies under the executive branch and the corporate puppets within the legislative branch to a judiciary that is, more often than not, elitist and biased towards government entities and corporations.
We are ruled by an elite class of individuals who are completely out of touch with the travails of the average American. We are relatively expendable in the eyes of government—faceless numbers of individuals who serve one purpose, which is to keep the government machine running through our labor and our tax dollars.
What will it take for the government to start listening to the people again?
In V for Vendetta, as in my new novel The Erik Blair Diaries, it takes an act of terrorism for the people to finally mobilize and stand up to the government’s tyranny: in Vendetta, V the film’s masked crusader blows up the seat of government, while in Erik Blair, freedom fighters plot to unmask the Deep State.
These acts of desperation and outright anarchy are what happens when a parasitical government muzzles the citizenry, fences them in, herds them, brands them, whips them into submission, forces them to ante up the sweat of their brows while giving them little in return, and then provides them with little to no outlet for voicing their discontent: people get desperate, citizens lose hope, and lawful, nonviolent resistance gives way to unlawful, violent resistance.
This way lies madness.
Then again, this madness may be unavoidable unless we can wrest back control over our runaway government starting at the local level.
How to do this? It’s not rocket science.
There is no 10-step plan. If there were a 10-step plan, however, the first step would be as follows: turn off the televisions, tune out the politicians, and do your part to stand up for freedom principles in your own communities.
Stand up for your own rights, of course, but more importantly, stand up for the rights of those with whom you might disagree. Defend freedom at all costs. Defend justice at all costs. Make no exceptions based on race, religion, creed, politics, immigration status, sexual orientation, etc. Vote like Americans, for a change, not Republicans or Democrats.
Most of all, use your power—and there is power in our numbers—to nullify anything and everything the government does that undermines the freedom principles on which this nation was founded.
Don’t play semantics. Don’t justify. Don’t politicize it. If it carries even a whiff of tyranny, oppose it. Demand that your representatives in government cut you a better deal, one that abides by the Constitution and doesn’t just attempt to sidestep it.
They keep insisting they don’t do it. But companies such as the Israeli NSO Group are global vendors for regimes, whatever stripe or colour, for surveillance tools to spy on those they deem of interest. The 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden that exposed the warrantless world of mass surveillance by entities such as the US National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ caused a global rush towards encryption. Governments, left groping in the dark, sought out private providers of surveillance devices in an unregulated market. Not only could they get effective spyware; they could do so at very affordable prices.
The NSO Group was one such provider. It sees its mission was a noble thing, marketing itself as a creator of “technology that helps government agencies prevent and investigate terrorism and crime to save thousands of lives around the globe.”
The company also emphasises their mission to target those “terrorists” and “criminals” who have gone dark. “The world’s most dangerous offenders communicate using technology designed to shield their communications, while government intelligence and law-enforcement agencies struggle to collect evidence and intelligence on their activities.” The group insists that its “products help government intelligence and law-enforcement agencies use technology to meet the challenges of encryption to prevent and investigate terror and crime.”
Forbidden Stories, a network of journalists with a mission “to protect, pursue and publish the work of other journalists facing threats, prison, or murder”, sees things differently. One of the topics that figures prominently in the ranks is the Pegasus project, a collective journalism effort of global proportion coordinated by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International’s Security Lab. Its primary purpose: to expose the depredations of the Pegasus spyware, the golden child of the NSO Group.
Pegasus is a rather vicious thing, enabling those deploying it to access a phone’s contents and remotely access its microphone and camera functions, turning into a surveillance device. It was given a gloss of notoriety in 2018 when it was revealed that Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz had been one of its victims. Abdulaziz claimed that communications with journalist Jamal Khashoggi, butchered by a Saudi squad of assassins in Istanbul in October 2018, were intercepted by the Saudi authorities because of the spyware. His lawyers argued that the hacking “contributed in a significant manner to the decision to murder Mr. Khashoggi.”
On July 18, Phineas Rueckert of Forbidden Stories revealed that some 180 journalists had been selected as targets by some 10 NSO customers across 20 countries. He begins with the Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, whose phone was “regularly infected with Pegasus” for almost three years. Ismayilova was baffled on realising how the security of her phone had been compromised. “I feel guilty for the messages I’ve sent. I feel guilty for the sources who sent me [information] thinking that some encrypted messaging ways are secure and they didn’t know that my phone is infected.”
Details are then supplied. Both Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International were given access to a leak of more than 50,000 records of phone numbers selected by NSO clients for surveillance reasons. The clients are a varied bunch, from those of the autocratic flavour – Bahrain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia – to the more democratic ones, such as India and Mexico. The NSO Group, in a letter to Forbidden Stories, claimed it could not “confirm or deny the identity of our government customers” for “contractual and national security considerations”. Rueckert admits that identifying instances where the specific phone number was compromised would be difficult short of actually analysing the device. But, with the assistance of Amnesty International’s Security Lab, “forensics analyses on the phones of more than a dozen of these journalists – and 67 phones in total – [revealed] successful infections through a security flaw in iPhones as recently as this month.”
The Pegasus project is significant for revealing the sheer scale of espionage. The Guardian, a participating media outlet, promises to reveal more details about targets that “include lawyers, human rights defenders, religious figures, academics, businesspeople, diplomats, senior government officials and heads of state.” At this writing, a rather juicy detail has come to light: the potential targeting of French President Emmanuel Macron by Morocco using Pegasus.
The NSO response to the Forbidden Stories report was snootily dismissive. The account was “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources.” The company ducks the issue by suggesting that the information gathered on the individuals in question could have been obtained via other services. “The claims that the data was leaked from our servers, is a complete lie and ridiculous since such data never existed on our servers.”
As for the murder of Khashoggi, old defences are resurrected. “We can confirm that our technology was not used to listen, monitor, track, or collect information regarding him or his family members mentioned in the inquiry. We previously investigated this claim, which again, is being made without validation.”
For an outfit such as the NSO Group, such rebuttals have proven to be meaningless. Twin lawsuits against NSO filed in Israel and Cyprus by a Qatari citizen and by Mexican journalists in 2018 revealed extensive evidence of the company’s complicity in illegal surveillance. NSO also failed to get the lawsuit by Abdulaziz dismissed, and was ordered to pay his legal costs, with the judge Guy Hyman calling the case “broad, especially in matters of the roots of constitutional values and fundamental rights”. In 2019, WhatsApp brought an action against the company, claiming that Pegasus had been used to target 1400 user accounts. For WhatsApp’s chief Will Cathcart, the Pegasus project reporting revealed “what we and others have been saying for years; NSO’s dangerous spyware is used to commit horrible human rights abuses all around the world and must be stopped.”
The Pegasus project has shed more light on the government revolt against encryption, one facilitated by private enterprise. Left unregulated, the NSO Group and its competitors can operate with vigilante disdain and amoral proficiency. David Kaye, former UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, has wisely called for a moratorium on the sale of such spyware, describing an industry “out of control, unaccountable and unconstrained in providing governments with relatively low-cost access to the sort of spying tools that only the most advanced state intelligence services were previously able to use”. Control, accountability and constraint have never quite featured in the NSO Group operations manual.
The videos are all over YouTube. Masked Israeli soldiers storm a Palestinian family’s home in the middle of the night. Parents, dressed in nightwear, are suddenly surrounded by heavily armed men in balaclavas.
Young children are forced awake. With a mix of bleary-eyed confusion and fear, they are made to answer questions posed to them in broken Arabic by these faceless, armed strangers. They are lined up in one room while the soldiers take photographs of them holding their identity cards. And then, just as suddenly as they arrived, the masked men disappear into the night.
There are no questions beyond identifying the people in the house. No one is “arrested”. There’s no obvious purpose; just a family’s sense of security permanently wrecked.
To most people watching these startling videos, such scenes look like an Orwellian nightmare. And sure enough, Israel has given this procedure an Orwellian name: “intel mapping”.
Last week, under pressure from the courts, the Israeli army announced that it had ended the practice of “mapping”, unless – and this will be a loophole easily exploited – there are “exceptional circumstances”.
Given that the families whose homes, privacy and dignity are invaded are not suspected of any offence, it is difficult to imagine what “exceptional circumstances” could ever justify these degrading and terrifying raids.
In announcing its decision, the Israeli army said that in the digital age, there were other tools it could use to gain intelligence on Palestinians, beyond randomly invading their homes with guns in the middle of the night. A statement added that it was a humanitarian gesture aimed at “mitigating the disruption of citizens’ everyday life”.
Except, of course, Palestinians are not Israeli “citizens”; they are subjects without rights living under a belligerent military occupation. And this is not about “disruption” – Palestinians aren’t facing an unexpected train delay – but a form of collective punishment, and therefore a war crime.
As a report by three Israeli human rights organisations published last November observed, “it is highly doubtful that any instance of mapping could be considered legal under international law”. Nonetheless, these home invasions are commonplace. They are integral to the Israeli army’s policy of surveilling, controlling and persecuting Palestinians.
According to figures compiled by the United Nations, the Israeli army carried out around 6,400 “search or arrest operations” in 2017 and 2018 alone – with each operation potentially including more than one home. Research by Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group, shows that the vast majority of such operations start between midnight and 5am.
In a quarter of cases, soldiers break down the door to enter, and in a third of cases, a family member is physically assaulted. Two-thirds of families have experienced these invasions more than once.
“Intel mapping” operations have been particularly difficult for the army to justify on any kind of security grounds. That led earlier this year to unwelcome scrutiny from Israel’s top court, which gave the army until August to divulge the wording of its “mapping” protocol. The army’s cancellation of the practice last week means that the rationale for traumatising thousands of Palestinian families over many years will continue to be a secret.
Habitual war crimes
The reality is that “mapping” was never really about building up a more accurate picture of Palestinian society. It has many other, far more sinister aims.
In practical terms, it is used to train young Israeli soldiers, familiarising them with the techniques of invading Palestinian homes and intimidating Palestinians – all in a safe environment for the soldiers. The army knows that Palestinian parents will be primarily concerned with protecting their children from the terrifying presence of armed intruders in what should be the family’s safest space.
In testimony to Breaking the Silence, an organisation for whistle-blowing Israeli soldiers, one soldier observed: “There’s rarely an operational motivation for it. Often, the motivation is practice, meaning we got a breaching tool [for forcing open doors] for the first time; no one knows how to use it, so it is decided that we break into a house now.”
But there are other, even darker purposes behind these random “mapping” raids. They are part of the gradual process by which the army acculturates its young soldiers into a life of committing habitual war crimes. It breaks down their sense of morality and any remnants of compassion after years of exposure in Israel’s school system to anti-Palestinian racism.
It turns Palestinians into nothing more than objects of suspicion and fear for the soldiers. Or as one Palestinian woman told Yesh Din: “The way they banged and came into the house was like entering somewhere with animals, not people.”
Terrorising Palestinians, even children, quickly becomes part of the humdrum routine of military “duties”.
But most important of all, home invasions traumatise Palestinians in ways designed to entrench the occupation and make it more permanent. They are a form of psychological warfare – a campaign of terror – against both the families and the communities they live in. They reinforce the message that the Israeli army is everywhere, controlling the smallest details of Palestinians’ lives.
Several soldiers told Breaking the Silence that the goal was to make Palestinians feel persecuted. One noted: “The bigger mission was to instill a sense of persecution in the Palestinian population. That’s not my phrase, it’s a phrase that actually appeared in [military] presentations and briefings.”
The soldiers take this guidance to heart. One said he understood the purpose of hiding his face “was to be more intimidating, scarier, and then maybe you get less resistance”.
“Mapping” raids are designed to make Palestinians believe that any kind of opposition to the occupation is futile, or counterproductive. Home invasions leave permanent scars, as women often describe feeling violated and losing a sense of pride in their home, while men suffer from the trauma associated with being unable to protect their wives and children. Children are left with anxiety and sleep disorders, and they struggle at school.
There is a further goal to these “mapping” operations when Jewish settlements have been built close to the Palestinian families being targeted. Home invasions take place on a regular basis for these families, serving as a form of pressure to encourage them to abandon their homes so the settlers can replace them.
A 2019 UN survey of an area of Hebron coveted by settlers found that over a three-year period, 75 percent of Palestinian homes in the neighbourhood had been “mapped”. One resident whose home was raided more than 20 times toldYesh Din researchers: “I think the entry [by soldiers] is just harassment, to drive us out of the house.”
Spying on Palestinians
Even some former soldiers understand that the intelligence-gathering rationales for these invasions are bogus. Several told the human rights groups that the intelligence supposedly gained from these operations was never put to later use. None could identify a database where the information was being stored.
Even if the mapping raids were primarily about collecting information, the army has far more effective means to spy on and control the Palestinian population in the occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The job of Unit 8200, one of the Israeli military’s many intelligence-gathering arms, includes listening in on Palestinian communications to find secrets that can be used to blackmail and extort Palestinians to collaborate with occupation authorities.
A so-called cyber unit in Israel’s justice ministry is tasked with spying on Palestinians’ internet and social media communications. And Israel has endless other sources of intelligence on Palestinians: collaborators, the Palestinian population registry that it controls, biometric identity documents, face-recognition technology, questioning at checkpoints, the use of drones, and the seizure of Palestinians for interrogation.
More importantly, the army knows that it can continue as before with these home invasions by using other pretexts. It will subsume “mapping” operations within even more violent categories of night raids – such as the search for weapons, interrogations of children about stone-throwing, or arrests.
Sadly, the Israeli courts have always shown a willingness to collude with the army in precisely these kinds of face-saving deceptions and cynical manipulations of language. There is no reason to believe that the Israeli legal system will do anything in practice to ensure that home invasions, whether for “mapping” or any other purpose, come to an end.
The record of Israeli courts has been consistently dismal in protecting Palestinians from Israeli army abuses. Even when the courts do belatedly rule against army protocols that flagrantly violate international law, the army invariably finds ways to undercut the ruling – usually with the court’s complicity. For years, the army has continued to use Palestinians as human shields, dragging out legal proceedings by recharacterising the practice as a so-called “neighbour procedure” or “prior warning”.
It is not hard to imagine that “intel mapping” could be given a similar linguistic makeover. And there is an additional reason to be sceptical: more than 20 years ago, Israel’s top court banned the torture of Palestinian detainees – yet, it continued almost unabated because the court created a loophole for cases defined as “ticking bombs”, when interrogators supposedly faced a race against time to extract information to save lives.
After the ruling, it seemed that every Palestinian seized by the army became a “ticking bomb”. Finally, in 2017, the court reversed its 1999 ruling when it permitted torture as long as interrogators did not cross a threshold of pain that it declined to determine in advance.
The reality is that when Israel treats its occupation as permanent, then preserving the occupation’s infrastructure – for surveillance, control, intimidation and humiliation – becomes an absolute necessity. When the occupier additionally seeks to drive out Palestinians to replace them with its own settler population, the rot runs deeper still. Palestinian men, women and children are reduced to nothing more than pieces to be swept off a chessboard.
For that reason, home invasions – the terrorising of families in the middle of the night by masked soldiers – will continue, whatever euphemism is used to justify it.
The new CEO fronting for America Inc. completed his first meeting among our Euro lapdogs – officially known as NATO – and had a more important meeting with Putin in which, according to media servants of market forces, he let him know who’s boss of the universe. Politely, of course, because even this glorified clerk understands the danger of provoking a world war which would spare few of us, if any. An unedited interview of the Russian president, available online if American authorities of freedom and democracy haven’t already removed it, clearly reveals the infantile ignorance of a network assailant posing as objective reporter and the often amused reactions of the Russian statesman and leader of a nation once hanging on the ropes under the abuse of global capital now a world power again and much of that due to his leadership. It, like so many other examples, glaringly highlights the descent of the American empire with little global power remaining but its ability to blow up earth and commit mass murder more effectively than any other nation. But it is also susceptible to almost as much horror as it might inflict on powerless nations by powerful nations now able to retaliate in kind, which we can all be thankful for since it’s the only thing stopping us from attempted greater slaughters than we already conduct which we sell as advancing the cause of peace and democracy.
While the corona virus has created a menace seemingly beyond what was already becoming obvious about the end of private profit domination of earth, it also unleashed the greatest outpouring of high, low and no IQ speculation, charges, countercharges and more surpassing past reactions at times of great crisis with moments of extreme fantasy bordering on dementia being experienced and practiced both by people of supposed expertise and higher education in the sciences to folks who may still dance under a full moon with their bodies covered in slime as a way to avoid cancer. Sadly, so far the slime-covered dancers are making about as much sense as the allegedly more critical gang.
The horrendous death toll inflicted by the virus is thought by many to be the work of a Chinese plot to exterminate everyone on earth but the Chinese and blame it on America, an American plot to exterminate everyone on earth but Americans and blame it on China, and assorted tales of twitness and omni-anti-social media to make those two sound relatively thoughtful. The fact that capitalism has transformed nature and made it far more easy to spread a lethal virus than to feed, clothe and shelter billions of people has escaped many, even some critics of capital who seem shocked that big pharma profits from illness. Hello? As does every and all other business entities and aspects of free market private profit pursuit which has less to do with evil individuals and far more to do with a corrupt debased system controlled by minorities at ever great cost to the majority. Dog food, bombs, broccoli, burgers, health food, high fashion, health care, garbage, death and every other aspect of life are all subject to market forces creating private profit at the mall, school, factory, lab, convenience store and all other venues where goods are exchanged by one and all except for those without enough market force, and they can just drop dead.
And this is only a small part of the dis-mis-cis mind attacks on the population to assure mass confusion that doesn’t notice billions the world over, and hundreds of thousands in America, unable to afford food, clothing, and shelter while a relatively tiny number increase their wealth to become the equal of gods while their subjects cringe at threats to what is called “our” democracy originating from people with little to no political economic power save to vote for candidates mostly bought, rented and leased by the richest of the rich who look down on them lined up at the polls, malls and battlefields from their wealth created mountain-top fortresses and smile at the blessings of capitalist democracy.
What’s a failing empire to do but continue failing, as in rushing to increase aid to Israel when a global majority has reacted in critical anger over its most recent abuse of the indigenous people whose land was taken on behalf of Europeans and the Palestinians were made to pay and are still paying for European atrocities? While the new American CEO leads a struggle to return to a form of social democracy that spreads a few more loans among the barely surviving and more taco-pizza-burgers to the fast food hungry while assuring that the system responsible for creating hunger is maintained and billions of American tax dollars continue to be rewarded to a colonial apartheid nation? And this while decent Americans in great numbers are enraged by the conditions of life of America’s indigenous people robbed of their land, culture and heritage long before Israel or the Middle East occupied any of the consciousness of Americans.
Like the humanitarian decency at the root of all Americans when reaching out to immigrant populations having the usual difficulties of discrimination inflicted first by their cheap labor exploiters and later by the native people whose jobs they take and at whose expense they frequently survive. Not to mention the difficulty of having to step over the bodies of Americans reduced to sleeping in the street while on our way to rescue an animal to save it from, um, having to sleep in the street. Are we confused? Does a snake have wings? Is a bluebird blue?
Of course, all of these systemic curses of inhumanity and often near madness can be written off as Russian and Chinese assault on our sacred democracy, enshrined in the constitution-bible, written by slave owners and others of the 1% who believed the common people should leave the important business of ruling to those with the most money, purchased knowledge and sanctification by those biblical gifts handed down – or up? – by an invisible force called god, or later, high finance.
The financialization of capitalism has cursed the world with worse contradictions than existed in the time of the system’s birth when Marx pointed out most of them. Now, money makes money without the production of anything but more money which may soon lead to much of humanity with indoor toilets eating bitcoins and excreting buttcoins while trying to live with junk filled oceans, overflowing sewers and forests turned to deserts while praying that nobody pushes the nuclear button. On the hopeful side, workers here and all over the world are acting up, unionizing and fighting for democracy in political economic dictatorships worshipped as democracies by Wall Street and its wholly owned subsidiary: the American government.
Time is growing short for Americans to get beyond symbolic challenges to capitalism that merely offer more profits by “branding” various movements with marketplace stature assuring that Gay Inc., Feminist Inc., Black Lives Matter Inc., and Latino-a-x Inc. do not, perish the thought, turn into American Democracy Inc. That is still to come and as always, we’d better hurry to join up with much of the world our media mind managers don’t tell us about but which is setting an example for everyone by opting for a system that puts the public good before private profit. So far, as expected, the American regime of warfare, petcare and egomaniacal behavior personified by Trump – which is why they had to get rid of him for exemplifying what the nation really is – has succeeded in keeping division, individual mental illness and group therapy uppermost in consciousness while social reality sinks more deeply into a massive sea of moral sewage.
The “memes” of an all too often me-me-me-me culture need to and will soon become a plural “we “encompassing all of us and leaving no one out. Capitalism cannot be saved but humanity must be, from the social pandemic of private profit first, humanity later, if ever. The viral brain surgery performed on our collective consciousness by our rulers is an aspect of capitalism and could not exist without market forces under minority and anti-democratic control. The sooner “we” understand that, the sooner “we” end pandemics and thought control on our way to real democracy in a collective human environment favoring the best for all and leaving no one out.
My, were they delighted! Politicians across several international jurisdictions beamed with pride that police and security forces had gotten one up on criminals spanning the globe. It all involved a sting by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, led in conjunction with a number of law enforcement agencies in 16 countries, resulting in more than 800 arrests. The European Union police agency Europol described it as the “biggest ever law enforcement operation against encrypted communication”.
The haul was certainly more than the usual: over 32 tonnes of an assortment of drugs including cocaine, cannabis, amphetamines and methamphetamines; 250 firearms, 55 luxury cars, and some $48 million in cash, both tangible and digital.
Operation Trojan Shield arose because of a grand dupe. It involved recruiting an FBI informant who had developed an adulterated version of the encryption technology platform Anom, to be used on modified cell phones for distribution through a range of organised crime networks. The platform included a calculator app that relayed all communications sent on the platform back to the FBI. “You had to know a criminal to get hold of one of these customised phones,” the Australian Federal Police explained. “The phones couldn’t ring or email. You could only communicate with someone on the same platform.”
The users were none the wiser. For three years, material was gathered and examined, comprising 27 million intercepted messages drawn from 12,000 devices. This month, the authorities could no longer contain their excitement.
While the criminals in question might well have been mocked for their gullibility, the trumpeting of law enforcement did not seem much better. A relentless campaign has been waged on end-to-end encryption communication platforms, a war against what policing types call “going dark”. To add some light to the situation, the agencies pine for the creation of tailored back doors to such communications apps as WhatsApp, iMessage and Signal.
Few could forget the indignant efforts of the FBI to badger Apple in 2016 to crack the iPhone of Syed Farook, the San Bernardino shooting suspect. Apple refused. The battle moved to the courts. In what has become something of a pattern, the DOJ subsequently dropped the case by revealing that it had “successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance of Apple Inc.” The DOJ then requested that a court order of February 16 demanding Apple create software with weakened iPhone security settings be vacated. By refusing to reveal how it had obtained access to the phone, government authorities had thrown down the gauntlet to Apple to identify any glitches.
In 2020, a number of international politicians with an interest in the home security portfolio released a joint statement claiming to support “strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.” A casual glance at the undersigned would suggest this to be markedly disingenuous. Among them were: Priti Patel, UK Home Secretary; William P. Barr, US Attorney General; Peter Dutton, Australian Minister for Home Affairs.
Having given nods of approval for encryption as “an existential anchor of trust in the digital world”, the ministers took aim at the various platforms using it. On this occasion, it was the “challenges to public safety” posed by the use of encryption technology, “including to highly vulnerable members of our societies like sexually exploited children.” (The battle against solid encryption is often waged over the bodies and minds of abused children.) Industry was urged “to address our concerns where encryption is applied in a way that wholly precludes any legal access.” This would involve companies having to police illegal content and permit “law enforcement to access content in a readable and usable format where an authorisation is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight”.
Cases like Anom demonstrate that there is seemingly no need for such intrusions, bells of alarm, and warnings about safety. The police have sufficient powers and means, and more besides. As with such matters, the danger tends to be closer to home: police zeal; prosecutor’s glee; a hatred of privacy. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, senior vice president at the non-profit Internet Society, is convinced of that fact. “When law enforcement agencies claim they need companies to build in backdoors to help them gain access to the end-to-end encrypted communications of criminals, examples like Anom show that it’s not the case.”
John Scott-Railton of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy makes the same point. “What this case shows is that global law enforcement is perfectly capable of mobilising a multiyear caper to get around exactly the kinds of problems about encryptions that they’ve been talking about without breaking the encryption of the apps that keep you and [me] private.”
The Australian wing of the operation had even greater extant powers of access to encrypted messages. The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 is one of those beastly instruments many law enforcement agencies dream about. It might also suggest why Australia, a nominally small partner, might have been asked by the FBI to be involved in the first place. When asked if this was the case, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested that the question be put to US authorities. For him, the AFP’s hardly impressive technical efforts were to be praised.
None of this is enough for the Morrison government, which is intent on further pushing the surveillance cart in such proposed laws as the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020, and the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020 (IPO Bill). The former would permit the AFP and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to issue a new range of warrants for combating online crime; the latter would create a system by which Australian agencies would be able to access stored telecommunications from identified foreign communication providers in cases where Australia has a bilateral agreement.
Operation Trojan Shield has again shown that calls for weakened encryption are to be treated with due alarm. Almost silly in all of this was the fact that the FBI and fellow agencies made it a demonstrable fact, undercutting their very own arguments for a more invasive surveillance system. The next play is bound to come from the criminal networks themselves, who, wounded by this deception, will move towards more conventional encryption technologies. The battle will then come full circle. In countries such as Australia, where privacy is a withering tree, the encryption debate is a dead letter.