There are too many hidden persuaders, censors and spinners for free societies to survive as open democracies. The Slog gets behind a potentially powerful mutualised information space with which to fight back
In the light of their forced interface with an ice-bucket of reality – this is true, I’m not making it up – thousands of UK-based Leftlibber Fluffies applied Thursday night and Friday morning to emigrate to Canada. To be precise, the level of online enquiries rose fifty-fold once the outcome of our General Election was known.
I understand this entirely, because such people are on the same celestial wavelength as Justin Trudeau and thus hope to join his merry LGBTQ band of brothers – or sisters depending upon self-identification. They are, however, very late to the party: last time, Justin the Space Cadet only just scraped home….and Canucks (whom I have found almost without exception to be good people) will not take kindly to an influx of yet more fascist sexuality “liberals”.
What I can’t understand is why almost none of these counterculturistas began applying to emigrate to the European Union. But then, that’s Little Englanders for you.
One prominent Leftie tweeted last Wednesday that “millions of Jews are thinking of leaving Britain if Corbyn makes it to Downing Street”. The claim lacked credibility chiefly because there are only 630,000 Jews in the entire British Isles including Ireland.
The short answer is that almost nobody is going anywhere, because most grumblers moan a lot but never actually carry out their threats. I think the recently passed British election was an object lesson in this. Given the chance to change everything, the electorate voted for “safe” Brexit and more of the same. Tribalism ruled, OK.
Very few of us are sad enough – like me, for example – to leave our birthright behind. Equally, I doubt very much if more than a few hundred thousand Brits understand the blood, toil, tears and sweat required to restore British culture to a 21st century digital version of mixed motivations that existed very successfully between roughly 1951 and 1965.
During those fifteen years, the two “main” British Parties retained their solvency based on millions of Party memberships, and a sprinkling of mainly innocent benefactors. Almost no private pensions were invested in the stock markets, and 34% of Britain’s economy was engaged in manufacturing. Today, that figure is a risible 7.9%….and all Parties exist on the back of millionaire sugar-Daddies.
Has what we call Democracy been “bought”? I would, rather, suggest that legislative, elective democracy has sold out.
Nothing about the triumph of Boris Johnson is going to change any of that.
Worse still, we now have the sole, rather pathetically misled Opposition to neoliberal power about to cast itself to two or more winds. That too would be incredibly bad for democracy…..if we still had one.
Now that Donald Trump – very much not bought by anyone – is facing farcically vindictive impeachment proceedings, one of the biggest global purchasers of politicians, media’s Michael Bloomberg, is to run for the White House on the Democratic ticket.
This is a chart covering advertising expendititure by candidate during the current run-in to the US Primaries:
Note the mustard-coloured stuff there, because it belongs to late “Democratic” candidate and Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg. The campaign officially launched on November 24, 2019. As you can see, Mikey didn’t waste much time when it comes to buying the electorate’s minds.
Michael Bloomberg announced March 5th last that he would not run for president in 2020. But now he is running. So then, clearly a chap born to become a politician. From 2001-2007, he self-identified as a Republican. So then, clearly a chap whose affiliations you can rely upon.
He is the owner/founder of Bloomberg L.P. This provides financial software tools and enterprise applications such as analytics and equity trading platform, data services, and news to financial companies and organizations through the Bloomberg Terminal (via its Bloomberg Professional Service), its core revenue-generating product. Bloomberg L.P. also includes a wire service (Bloomberg News), a global television network (Bloomberg Television), websites, radio stations (Bloomberg Radio), subscription-only newsletters, and two magazines: Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets.
Something to do with globalist media. Then.
Certainly, Michael Rubens Bloomberg (if elected, he will be 81 at the end of his first term) sincerely hopes that democracy can be bought. It is, let’s face it, his only hope.
On the subject of waiting for people to die, across the Channel and up a bit lies plucky Belgium, and in Brussels there are many EU bureaucrats (EU admin is 61% of Belgian gdp) waiting for UK Baby Boomers to die.
They, you and I know it: our more discerning, better educated and profoundly democratic baby-boomer generation is the major obstacle between the EU and the emasculation of European varietal nationality.
Taxpayer-generated slush funds are made available whenever necessary by unaccountable scoundrels like Guy Verhostadt: to support LibDem Revokers, smear the Hungarian Prime Minister and crush Greece. Should these run short at any time, the European Commission can always rely on billionaire “philanthropist” George Soros to make up the difference.
Anyone living in Paris during the election of Emmanuel Macron to power in 2017 was acutely aware of the wall of money made available to him by his almer mater Rothschild Bank, and the blanket Hello-style glorification of the ‘royal’ couple in Bloomberg media.
UK Remainers, EU federalists and La France en Marche are all backed by globalist neocon money.
Yes yes yes, but is democracy bought?
Here’s why I’m sure it is:
Lobbyists >> unaccountable Intelligence services with budgets exceeding £35 billion >> unaccountable European Commission bureaucrats with endless slush funds >> 35% of Westminster MPs enjoying a commercial relationship with the EU >> nine out of eleven UK Supreme Court Judges earning in excess of £175,000 per annum for EU federation advice >> politicised police close to becoming part of security services nexus >> appalling level of US Congress members “sponsored” by Big Business >> disgraceful level of Party donations attributable to a near-homoaeopthic number of billionaire citizens >> three-way exchange of bodily fluids between media, media advertisers, and the Whiteminster governing class.
We no longer have democracy; rather, we have a regrettable mongrelisation of oligarchy, autocracy, mob rule, conformity and corporocratic fascism.
But is more democracy, ergo sum, the answer?
Is there another ‘ocracy’ out there with a greater promise of accountable and responsible individual liberty?
Here’s something of a left-field start to this debate: 60% of all large US corporations told a freshly-minted opinion study that they “fully expect” staff layoffs in 2020.
This is information that the person on the Clapham laptop is unaware of.
Now it seems to me that, over the last thirty years, the media in general and business apertures in particular have fallen into the habit of taking a systemic view of society, at the expense of the human difficulties that tend to accrue from such neoliberal or collectivist ideologies. That is to say, there are HS2s or Zil Lanes, but the outcome is the same: a 3% Komissar or Sherman McCoy élite utterly disdainful of the ordinary citizen.
One of the terms of the systemicists I loathe is ‘headcount’. “Yeh well, yer know, we redooced the headcount”. Heads belong to humans, counting belongs to mathematics. It is, surely, an obscene train of thought that tries to blend the two.
But perhaps a lot of this is about expectations: the system is screwing everyone, so best to keep my head low and seem loyal, right?
Hold that thought. Then change channels from CNN to ECB….and listen to what hot-shot lawyer but financially illiterate new European Central Bank boss Christine Lagarde was saying yesterday as she formally took up her position as the replacement for Mario Draghi. I think of this oligarchic job-swop as somewhat akin to jailing Alfonse Capone only to find that Eva Braun has taken over, but then that’s just me: absolutely riddled with scumbigotnazi hate-prose.
Asked whether Zirp, seven years on, had been a good idea, this is what Chrissy had to say:
“People should be happier to have a job than a higher savings rate….Would we not be in a situation today with much higher unemployment and a far lower growth rate, and isn’t it true that ultimately we have done the right thing to act in favour of jobs and of growth rather than the protection of savers?”
The patronising, one-dimensional ignorance of this comment – from a woman who has demonstrated little beyond corruption and incompetence in the limelight of her career – is far beyond irritating. It leaves me stark staring frozen in my tracks terrified. Why?
- Had the savings rate remained in the normal range, the baby-boomer generation would have raised consumption and saved jobs
- Zirp was introduced to save boursecentric bankers with frontal lobe socialisation deficiency
- It seems that we are now seen as profoundly ungrateful EU citizens if we want a job and some savings. I mean, how very dare we ask for more….
- Factor out QE, you silly tart, and we don’t have any growth that might be larger or smaller
- If her strategy is to preserve jobs by stealing bank deposits, then lets have a run on the banks now, and get it over with
- There is a thing called the Age Demographic which dictates that younger people want jobs whereas retired folks want return on their capital. The clue’s in the name: capitalism.
I would guesstimate that less than 5% of Europeans saw this news, but – had they done so – closer to 30% would have known how to act upon it – viz, retain minimal liquidity in the bank account, and take all other wealth to something or somewhere far from the Madding Crowd of arrogant Bollocks that is Lagarde’s mindset.
Just about every human being on the planet lacks one thing: objective information.
Thoughts in favour of an Informocracy
In ancient Greece, demos was The Mob. Plato longed for the day when 100% of the electorate would be fully informed of the Truth in relation to the facts of any given issue.
Try as we might, we will never reach that socio-political nirvarna. But we most certainly can get a lot closer to it than we are now. This is a two-headed question: how do we increase the reach of genuinely ideology-free news and philosophy websites? And how can we shift the emphasis of www information away from top-down spin to more neutral P2P information?
I realise I have brought this up before, but it bears repetition: despite all the confusion surrounding it, so-called Web3 has the potential to provide and share information on what’s happening between ordinary ‘witnesses’ rather than false accounts handed down by élites to their subjects.
Web3 is envisaged as a space where there are no Big Business owned ISPs and social media. It is, for want of a better analogy, a digital mutualised community where élite interference and exploitation is reduced to an absolute minimum
Douglas Rushkoff makes the point that Facebook’s users are not their customers, but in fact their product. Web3 technology looks to give the opportunity for you to be a social networks co-owner, partners in crime if you will, not just their users.
As such, the Web3 movement and the people behind it are interested in letting all of us own the data we create, at the same time as giving us the opportunity to move that information, and any value created freely around the internet.
The vision is one that will take place in an environment where middle-men, for example Banks & Silicon Valley conglomerates, are not able to extract huge swaths of control, hide behind walled gardens and carry out practices that are damaging for society but good for profits.
This is achieved by the use of information blockchains – bundles of information that can’t be twisted or biased by external agencies.
The concept of the ‘Computation Layer’ is key to understanding this. Put simply, software allows human users to give instructions to the pc hardware by sending instructions to the Computation Layer (CL). The corporately owned CL, however, can obey or ignore these instructions as it pleases.
The Web 3 Computation Layer allows humans to instruct the CL to do what they want, not what the CL ‘s owners want. There is no socio-corporate ‘class system’: the CL is your slave not the other way round.
Web3 is a single-layer information exchange on which there is the promise of something close to shared factual reality. It doesn’t, in my view, rule out the possibility of change, censorship or perversion completely: but it does mean that, for any information seeker looking to establish provenance clearly, that process in far easier than it would be on Web2….and infinitely more likely to be proved genuine.
Now I have no desire to come across as Mr Fluffyhead Utopian here. Codes will be broken and bad guys in disguise will get in. With luck, they will soon be caught and ejected. But if that can become ‘the rule’, then Web3 can be the weapon that provides an antidote the creeping advance of those three percenters trying to kill Net neutrality.
Equally, there will always be the human drones and drongoes with zero curiosity, no interest in the Truth and little or no capacity to understand how important that is.
But from the Here and Now of how things stand, without such an easily accessible Truth Zone, liberal democracy is doomed: because those who seek to control us have all the weapons necessary to blackmail us with fear. Just as today, every physical venue insists that cameras are there for our protection (when we usually know they’re not) every wannabe Hitler knows that staging a barbarian attack on our gates will be enough for us to let them remove yet another freedom.
Every thinking person, as we enter 2020, should seek to know more about Web 3. Then – with a little luck – we can persuade the pointyheads who invented it to start speaking English.