One of the hallmarks of totalitarian systems is the criminalization of dissent. Not just the stigmatization of dissent or the demonization of dissent, but the formal criminalization of dissent, and any other type of opposition to the official ideology of the totalitarian system. Global capitalism has been inching its way toward this step for quite some time, and now, apparently, it is ready to take it.
Germany has been leading the way. For over a year, anyone questioning or protesting the “Covid emergency measures” or the official Covid-19 narrative has been demonized by the government and the media, and, sadly, but not completely unexpectedly, the majority of the German public. And now such dissent is officially “extremism.”
Yes, that’s right, in “New Normal” Germany, if you dissent from the official state ideology, you are now officially a dangerous “extremist.” The German Intelligence agency (the “BfV”) has even invented a new…
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How might we help increasingly distressed societies avoid a descent into authoritarian and or fascist governments?
This is a question on the minds and hearts of many people who anticipate further disruption, breakdown or even collapse of societies due to the direct and indirect impacts of environmental change. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we witness stupid, corrupt, repressive and diversionary responses from many governments, on the one side, and outlandish clickbait criticism on the other, which does not bode so well for us during further disruptions due to environmental damage.
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In his “Destruction and Creation” (1976), the military strategic theorist John Boyd describes what he calls a dialectic engine. He begins by noting that, as decisional agents, we develop and use concepts and models in order to navigate our environments better, but which nevertheless change as rapidly as we navigate them. (One of Boyd’s paradigm cases for this situation is provided by the dynamics of aerial dogfighting, and he himself was a well-respected fighter pilot and instructor for the USAF.)
In general, the goal of conceptually modeling navigation in this way is “to improve our capacity for independent action.” Put differently, it is intended to help us exercise and retain agency in complex decisional environments, rather than being outmaneuvered and overwhelmed (either by competitors, or by the sheer weight of…
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There comes a point in the introduction of every new official narrative when people no longer remember how it started. Or, rather, they remember how it started, but not the propaganda that started it. Or, rather, they remember all that (or are able to, if you press them on it), but it doesn’t make any difference anymore, because the official narrative has supplanted reality.
You’ll remember this point from the War on Terror, and specifically the occupation of Iraq. By the latter half of 2004, most Westerners had completely forgotten the propaganda that launched the invasion, and thus regarded the Iraqi resistance as “terrorists,” despite the fact that the United States had invaded and was occupying their country for no legitimate reason whatsoever. By that time, it was abundantly clear that there were no “weapons of mass destruction,” and that the U.S.A. had invaded a nation that had not attacked…
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Remember when the War on Terror ended and the War on Populism began? That’s OK, no one else does.
It happened in the Summer of 2016, also known as “the Summer of Fear.” The War on Terror was going splendidly. There had been a series of “terrorist attacks,” in Orlando, Nice, Würzberg, Munich, Reutlingen, Ansbach, and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, each of them perpetrated by suddenly “self-radicalized” “lone wolf terrorists” (or “non-terrorist terrorists“) who had absolutely no connection to any type of organized terrorist groups prior to suddenly “self- radicalizing” themselves by consuming “terrorist content” on the Internet. It seemed we were entering a new and even more terrifying phase of the Global War on Terror, a phase in which anyone could be a “terrorist” and “terrorism” could mean almost anything.
This broadening of the already virtually meaningless definition of “terrorism” was transpiring just in time for Obama to…
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by Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, Dec 13, 2013
A warrior is a person who prepares for and engages in warfare or fighting, not for personal gain but in the interests of his or her community. A warrior defends their people, territory, and way of life. These attributes distinguish a warrior from those who fight for personal motivations, such as money or power. Ideals such as sacrifice, courage, loyalty, and honour are often associated with the warrior.
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Suddenly we are living under war capitalism.
As in any war, people are dying. Nothing very meaningful can be said about that. One can look at the videos coming out of the high tech hospitals. They convey something of the awfulness of death in a modern clinical setting. One can hope that one’s loved ones will be spared such a fate. Life, in such conditions, is a sorrowful lottery.
Some general observations are possible though. Much of this has already been chewed over in the more perceptive media.
Who, even three weeks ago, could have predicted the wholesale move away from neo-liberal practices ? Who could have anticipated the sudden re-discovery of the long discarded ethos of the “Fordist” state and it’s paternalism – intervention, intervention, intervention – into finance, production, distribution, law, social interaction and personal behaviour?
In less than twenty days almost forty years of neo-liberal deregulation has…
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