In this, AJC Boone’s latest extended essay, we see the painstaking assemblage of nothing less than a classic go-to reference Bible for those who want all the evidence of Big Brotherly Love, aka The Rape of the Citizen’s Mind, in the 21st century. The regrettable 3-in-a-bed romp between amoral technology, the political class and the surveillance community is documented and evidenced in full. No only does it serve as an indelible (and fully sourced) reference of the destruction of Western democracy, it also completely nukes the “wild conspiracy disinformation” media narrative peddled by The Great Reset Alliance.
How important is it to you personally that you live in a laissez-faire liberal democracy? Could you put it into words? Explain it to a 17 year-old?
And let’s use a precise definition: a democracy is a system of governance beholden to the expressed will of the voters. Those on the losing side in any given referendum must trust they’ll win on another occasion. In a democracy, politicians are elected to serve, and they preside over a bureaucracy which exists to serve, a recognisable “Public Good”, itself an abiding subject of open debate. A liberal democracy presumes citizens’ freedom (of speech, thought, association, movement, to be left alone…); it codifies and upholds rights that citizens can use to ward off encroachments upon that fundamental freedom.
Now, by contrast, imagine living in something else entirely: a system of manufactured consent, in which the views we-the-Public hold are actually ones towards which we have been groomed and nudged, lured with the carrots of “compassion”, “safety”, and “decency” while being heartily encouraged to wield sticks against those resistant to the authorised views, whom we are taught to label “racists”, “_______-deniers”, “nazis”, “conspiracy-theorists”, or “insurgents” (believing them to be such will come, subsequently). Off-piste topics and purveyors of ungood thinking are excised routinely, and as discreetly as possible, from the conversation. Substantive policy comparisons are likewise plucked from public purview, as a box of matches would be taken from a toddler. Because SAGE. Because NERVTAG. Because national security. Because trust-the-Science. Because vapourise the haters.
As I write this, from house-arrest, face-mask in my pocket, and you read this from your own locus of mass-incarceration, wondering idly whether the Experts will allow an Easter egg hunt this year, and concluding gloomily that they probably won’t…, we ought to confess to each other that we know, don’t we? We know where we are.
(For the gullibles, the ever-hopeful prospect of getting “back to normal” is still being kicked down the road, and will be for as long as it takes the critical mass of people to forget what “normal” is.)
A documentary film, Collective, was made in 2019 about the lethal consequences of a corruption of medical supplies in Romania, which came to light after a disco fire. A dogged investigative journalist from a sports tabloid (of all things) presses politicians for answers about catastrophic failures of antiseptics in hospitals. Labs measure and report unlawful dilutions. Outraged members of the public protest against kick-back procurement practices, and they do it noisily and openly and unmolested in a public square. The health minister is ashamed of his failure to answer important questions in press conferences, and he resigns. His replacement, a former citizens’ rights activist, seeks out whistleblowers to try to understand the full dimensions of the problem.
Alongside the film’s main tragedies came, for me, a collateral heartbreak. Namely, the realisation that a humble, impoverished, and materially decrepit former vassal state of the Soviet Empire is indisputably more functionally democratic than Great Britain right now, where each element of the Romanian story would be impossible. There is no notable investigative journalism demanding that Power speak Truth, no government labs whose numbers I would trust at face value, no freedom of assembly not nullified by fear of fines and arrest, no elected official either shamed by his/her incompetence or possessed of enough integrity to resign because of it, no replacement politician particularly fussed to determine the true dimensions of problems so as to solve them, certainly not because of a commitment to “citizens’ rights”.
And so to the subject of this piece: if it is too late to make an orderly choice for genuine democracy over technocracy-in-democratic-clothing, what might we expect from the latter?
For hints and spoilers, let’s turn first to the inaugural weeks of an aspiring technocracy known as the Biden Administration, before considering the far more consequential technology-technocracy mash-up already upon us.
TECHNOCRACY AT FIRST BLUSH
What immediately strikes the eye about the new US Administration is the sheer irrelevance of the Biden-Harris twin hood-ornament — underscoring how merely-decorative elected officials are to a technocracy. Social media circulated a nano-clip of President Biden racing on an arcade Mario Kart at Camp David, while President-in-Waiting Harris telephonically exchanged sweet nothings (to wit: “They agreed on the need for close bilateral and multilateral cooperation to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, climate change, and support[ing] democracy, the White House said in a readout of the call” with President Macron and Premier Trudeau and WHO’s nominal chief.
So irrelevant is the titular head-of-state that video evidence of CNN’s February 16th “Town Hall with President Biden” in Milwaukee — which CNN had been flogging enthusiastically as Biden’s “first official trip since being sworn in”! — looks to have been scrubbed three days later by… CNN (see below). No one seems to care. I’m guessing the vid was removed because of a “ratio” problem (drastically more down-votes than up-votes) and/or blistering viewer commentary, Biden’s eighty-one million-strong voting bloc notwithstanding.
(Masochists may wish to watch gaffe-meet-guff in the video which can still be found here).
Instead, it’s the “professionals” who are, as Obama assured us they would be, back in the driver’s seat. A nice big juicy slab of technocratic rule-by-experts. And how’s that going, you ask?
For starters, it appears that the same people who brought us “kill-lists” with an it’s-just-business shrug in 2012 now alert us to broad new categories of enemies here here and here — “enemies” who sound puzzlingly like our friends and neighbours, or, say, the person who looks back at us in the mirror. (The above-linked National Terrorism Advisory Bulletin cautions the public about dangerous individuals harbouring “anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force.”) The manned barricade around the Capitol, installed to hold back teeming hordes of white supremacists, is rumoured to need to remain in place “at least through Fall 2021”; and the federal appetite for rounding up enemies across the country shows no sign of being sated no matter where you look – here, there and everywhere . The inanity of the charges should not imply anything humorous about the consequences. Hundreds have been arrested, and face federal charges entailing years of imprisonment and/or crippling legal bills to save themselves.
No doubt the technocrats justify their actions using something like the words of Robespierre in 1793: “Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie.”
Pressing needs of the patrie, expressed as executive actions from the technocracy (by Epoch Times and CNN), were not limited to orders about domestic enemies. They also sought to reverse as many of the last Administration’s policies as possible. And key topics — surely completely coincidentally — echoed NWO-style priorities like open borders and cultural obliteration, climate change, and biowarfare.
Various Executive Orders (EOs) will halt construction of the southern national border wall; will amnesty and count tens of millions of illegal immigrants into the census; and will end the “1776” Commission intended to teach a binding creed (civics and American history) to natives and newcomers alike.
One EO puts “climate crisis” at the heart of foreign policy and national security . Another EO leverages COVID to reinstate a biological directorate at the National Security Council (see sections 3(b) and (c). Note that when something is labelled a matter of “national security”, it automatically softens the public up to anticipate and acquiesce to secrecy and the suspension of democratic norms, as is tolerated in war-time.
Still other EOs dismantle the strategy that achieved Trump’s goal of national energy independence, and restore America’s membership in the Paris Accords. As if to acknowledge how little these measures reflect a genuine commitment to reduced carbon emissions and clean air, just days after they were announced the new Climate Envoy John Kerry brazenly carbon-footprinted himself to Iceland by private jet, in order to pick up (wait for it…) his prize for exemplary services to the environment.
Also indicating the Paris Agreement is more about power and globalist clubbiness than the environment are the Agreement’s “three overarching objectives” as cited in the relevant EO: “a safe global temperature [… just go back and read that one again], increased climate resilience, and financial flows aligned with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”. So, when President Biden has finished his Mario Kart race, will he let us know what a “safe” global temperature might be? And how planet Earth’s “climate resilience” is supposed to be sorted by a few homo sapiens with brief-cases and a solid track-record of serial inconsequentiality? (Do 25 year-old technocrats really not recognise how preposterous they are?)
In sum, the technocratic priorities are nets cast over elastically-defined “enemies”, NWO themes put on a “national security” footing, and anti-NWO initiatives of the last president halted and reversed. This underscores the reality that, as conservatives like to say, elections have consequences, and its corollary: stolen elections have consequences. We may not have voted for the technocracy, but who are we to make a fuss if the technocracy says we did?
TECHNOCRACY AND TECHNOLOGY-OCRACY
The only thing more ominous than a ludicrous technocracy is an effective one. And that, friends, is the Rosemary’s Baby that emerges from the union of technocracy and technology.
Traditionally, Americans are as tepid about technology gurus as they are about any other business moguls venturing into political leadership. Despite the obvious benefit of injecting a shot of fiscal discipline into the lumbering beast of bureaucracy (which is why many voters anomalously backed businessmen Ross Perot and Donald Trump), the norms of deliberative democracy are in important ways at odds with the (quite defensible) norms of frontier pragmatism that drive innovation-capitalism. Democracy, ideally, is horizontal, transparent, representative, and ruled-by-law; whereas innovation-oriented and cutting-edge capitalism tends to be vertical, fiendishly proprietary about information, ego- and individual-driven (for better as well as worse), and rule-defying.
Partly because these two sets of norms are incompatible, techno-gurus have been kept out of, or have seemed to keep out of, too overt a role in politics. But if technocratic governance, where “the professionals” run things, ends up supplanting messy liberal democracy, there is no longer a principled reason to hide the influence of techno-geniuses in their black turtlenecks and designer dungarees. Indeed, the revolving-door between Silicon Valley and the Beltway is already reported to be picking up speed with the new Administration now securely ensconced.
The reality, in any event, is that Silicon Valley personalities have been actively influencing government for over a decade, enough to provoke principled, if faint-voiced, complaints about anti-trust infractions and conflicts of interest (from 2011 to 2021).
Those concerns vanish in significance beside a deep and long-standing, and largely hidden, integration of Big Tech into government. (Or, more accurately, the reintegration in the search-engine age, since internet connectivity and computer-related mass-surveillance and Siri/Alexa-type bespoke surveillance technology were born in Cold War-era government-sponsored military research. You can also read Yasha Levine’s fascinating documentation of this history.
Here are the “tech titans” almost exactly a decade ago at a 2011 dinner with then-President Barack Obama:
And the seating plan to be sure you can ID them all:
For a sense of what this means, take former Google CEO and Obama “bromancer” Eric Schmidt, a typical specimen, if arguably the primer inter pares, of tech titans. Schmidt was never merely the tech-business guy pictured on the inside back cover of one of his books (for instance The New Digital Age, reviewed, scathingly, by Julian Assange, here) ; instead, this Davos, Bilderberg, Highlands Group, and Bohemian Grove regular, an advisor to presidents, legislators, and generals, stands at a nexus of myriad ambitious projects. These cover an enormous range of subjects: conceiving the future uses of mass-data-collection, defense applications of artificial intelligence/machine-learning (including the controversial “Project Maven”), electoral politics (starting with Obama’s 2008 campaign and secretly sketching out a “$1.5bn budget” project to elect Hillary Clinton, revealed in hacked communications of her campaign staff ), public-surveillance (including the controversial “Dragonfly” programme to aid the Chinese government in monitoring citizens), a speakers’-bureau-cum-under-the-radar-geopolitical-extension of the State Department (“Jigsaw” formerly Google Ideas), public opinion manipulation (more on this below), and human life extension.
The common denominator among these activities is that they are either low-profile or hidden altogether (ie, only revealed in purloined memos) presumably because they would be objectionable to a wider public. Ask yourself how that squares with notions of Public Good arrived at by open public debate. Conceivably, a $17 billion net worth helps dispel the nagging feeling that one may possess more hubris than social genius (though that question is beyond the scope of this essay.)
IT GETS WORSE: MANUFACTURING AN ARTIFICIAL VOX POPULI
Until recent years, many of us probably paid minimal attention to the technology/government nexus, assuming that technological improvement of our government’s informatics and military operations is probably a good thing, and that secrecy and national security go together for justifiable reasons. But what about developing AI drones — arguably a step towards robot armies — or Chinese mass-surveillance, projects that caused Google’s own staff to rebel? Or stealth efforts to elect Democrats to high office that were intended to be untraceable while surpassing legal campaign-contribution limits by considerably over a billion dollars?
And yet far worse than any of these initiatives is something that offers a glimpse of the truly dystopic, anti-democratic potential of the technocratic/technological coupling. Also secretive and stealthy, it is connected to what Google is world-famous for — its search engine with 5.6 billion searches per day globally.
Dr Robert Epstein, a social science researcher, Harvard Ph.D., former editor of Psychology Today, explained in Senate testimony in June 2019 that he had found that the deliberate manipulation of search-result order (literally variations in how the results of a search are ranked down a page) creates consistent, dramatic shifts in opinions among users of the Google search engine. He calls this a “search engine manipulation effect” (SEME). Further, he found that manipulation occurs as an ephemeral and untraceable phenomenon of which users themselves are unaware. His research is described here and in two quite worthwhile one-on-one interviews, from September 2019 and November 2020
In short, Epstein unearthed an unprecedented instrument of mass brainwash. His should be a household name.
Epstein’s headline verdict was that a minimum of 2.6 million votes (and up to circa 10 million) could have been changed in the 2016 presidential election through manipulation of search results. Epstein has previously raised the alarm on the separate problem of Google’s effective “Memory Hole”-like censorship practices. Other work showed how stories biased in favour of Hillary Clinton dominated Google search results; Epstein’s research testing Bing and Yahoo did not detect similar biases. Epstein’s methodology uses the academic gold standard of randomised-controlled-trials and double-blinding where applicable. Epstein had been a Hillary Clinton supporter and remains temperamentally closer to the Democrat Party perspective than the Republican one, so cannot be dismissed as a partisan who only found the results he set out to find.
One part of Epstein’s ongoing research entailed setting up something akin to a network of Nielsen-rating households around the US, some of which, by design, were registered with the Democrat Party and some with the GOP. In late October 2020, just days before the presidential election, Google issued don’t-forget-to-vote public service messages. Epstein’s network reported that 100% of its Democrat-registered households received the messages, while 0% of the GOP households did. The messages were sent for four days in a row, during which time Epstein communicated by email with the NY Post about publishing something on this weird phenomenon, with two consequences: the piece Epstein had prepared was pulled by NY Post with no other coverage of this story replacing it, and Google’s please-vote messages instantly stopped.
A Wall St Journal piece published September 2018 offered what looks awfully like smoking-gun confirmation of Epstein’s SEME research when it reported the existence of internal emails at Google in which employees discussed how to “leverage search functions” to push users towards activism against President Trump’s travel ban, starting from January 2017, literally as Trump was taking office. Combined with the mainstream-press dog-pile and Obama holdovers’ sniffy, factually-incorrect opining that Trump’s ban was unconstitutional (SCOTUS ruled in Trump’s favour in the end), the American public was orchestrated to act against a policy and to falsely believe it illegitimate.
The vox populi was transformed from an organic, collective response to real-world phenomena, to a case of Munchausen-by-proxy-induced TDS. Which has lasted four years (and counting).
More recently, a whistleblowing insider leaked a closed Facebook zoom-meeting vid which shows management lathering up a bizarrely racialist reading of January 6th to ensure everyone present on the call (including former Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg, now a Facebook frontman) had a full-tank of RightThink and would carry out the needed censorship to ensure the public impression of events was the authorised one. It plays like a meeting of the Leningrad Komsomol, circa 1936.
And to bring us up to date, just days ago in broad daylight (ie: in a Reuters story), the new Administration felt it could safely and unabashedly unite technocracy and technology, and openly run Epstein’s SEME finding as a strategy by seeking the cooperation of Silicon Valley to shift public sentiment about COVID vaccination:
‘WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has been reaching out to social media companies including Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google about clamping down on COVID misinformation and getting their help to stop it from going viral, a senior administration official said…’
President Joe Biden, who has raced [sic] to curb the pandemic since taking office, has made inoculating Americans one of his top priorities and called the move “a wartime effort.” But tackling public fear about taking the vaccine has emerged as a major impediment for the administration. Since the onset of the pandemic, calls from lawmakers asking the [social media] companies to tackle the spread of COVID misinformation on their platforms have grown.
The White House’s direct engagement with the [social media] companies to mitigate the challenge has not been previously reported. Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain has previously said the administration will try to work with Silicon Valley on the issue.
“Disinformation that causes vaccine hesitancy is going to be a huge obstacle to getting everyone vaccinated and there are no larger players in that than the social media platforms,” said the source, who has direct knowledge of the White House’s efforts….’
Just as night follows day, hourly news headlines repeating misery-guts phrases about, for instance, “ruthless Tory cuts to children and families” will be followed by opinion polls revealing — surprise, surprise — that the public believe Tory budget cuts to be harming children and families. We have long seen simple low-tech repetition at work to shift opinion and create the impression of an organically-arising public sentiment for or against something.
How much more might this be turbo-charged and universalised when all the Silicon Valley favourites — Twitter, Facebook Instagram, WhatsApp, Youtube, et alia — join Google to subliminally flog the authorised Narrative-du-jour, which, time after time, upon any clear-eyed reflection, proves a risible falsehood? “Obama holdovers never ‘spied’ on Trump!” “The Trump-Zelensky call was ‘inappropriate’!” “There was no evidence of voter fraud!” “January 6th was an insurrection!” And the hoax that launched a thousand hoaxes: “Trump colluded with Russia to seal the 2016 election!”.
But the scope is by no means relegated to presidential politics. Epstein’s findings make one wonder what else is behind public certainty that, for instance, US deaths due to COVID are 225 times actual numbers, or that 40 times more “unarmed black men” are killed by police than is the case.
What might we be convinced of is merely a question of “what do they need us to believe?”
In short, what we have been watching is technocrat-mediocrities hijacking western democracy, and now coordinating ever more openly and aggressively with technology gurus to make sure they never have to give it back.
It is no wonder that language like “Great Awakening” and metaphors like “blue-pill versus red-pill” abound these days all over social media. For we are finally alert to the fact that while we were busy being entranced by pet videos, or sharing family holiday scuba-footage, or finding long-lost classmates, our telephones became homing/tracking devices and our internet use made us into human holograms composed of “details about [our] interests, work, relationships, hobbies, secrets, idiosyncrasies, sexual preferences, medical ailments, and political and religious views” (per Yasha Levine). Our detailed human portraits — hundreds of millions of them — are archived and they are mined, not just to sell us stuff, but more importantly to sell us opinions which we are being persuaded are our own.