Your best and most trusted friend and coworker just texted you to say ISIS is taking credit for a suicide truck bomb attack that killed 200 people Saturday night in a busy shopping district of Baghdad, Iraq, and the body count continues to rise. If you're like most Americans and the story arouses your interest, you'll probably do two things:
- believe your friend, but
- check media sources anyway.
#1 occurs because true friendship assumes factual and moral trust. #2 is done not so much to confirm or refute the information as to satisfy morbid curiosity. On CNN International you discover, "Charred bodies still being pulled from Baghdad bombing that killed 200," and ISIS claiming credit for the event.
You're now virtually certain the report is true and the information is factually correct. But you check a third source just to be sure; one that very few Americans would even consider - the online English edition of Al Arabiya, the Saudi-owned pan-Arab television news channel. The story is also confirmed by this source, including the ongoing rise in casualty count.
If you're like most Americans, you'll now go social: you'll activate one or more online accounts to follow the feeding frenzy surrounding the event, and you'll probably eagerly join in. After all, you're now among the best-informed at the banquet, since you went the extraordinary mile to verify the story's veracity on a Muslim newsfeed!
If you're like most Americans, you'll appreciate the tragedy and loss suffered by the families of those ISIS victims in Baghdad. But you must integrate that tragedy and loss into your own bigger picture worldview. Currently at the center of that mental landscape are two events:
- the June 12, 2016 Orlando Massacre at the Pulse nightclub, with 49 fatalities and 53 wounded was also ISIS-related (the most recent event of its type), and
- 9/11, the 'big bang' event toward and around which all others in your worldview tend to gravitate and orbit.
Like every American since 9/11, your bigger mental picture worldview believes a war is ongoing between the Western and Muslim worlds, and events like the Baghdad truck bombing and the Orlando Massacre are just the latest current events proving its escalation and intensity. Like every American since 9/11, it is also true that your bigger mental picture worldview of beliefs about the Western and Muslim worlds sits atop a smoldering emotional volcano of rage, fear, and despair as a caldera of paper-thin convictions.
Here's the vital point to understand: everything written above could be revised to shift from an American or Western perspective to a Muslim point of view. To see this, and to enrich the experience of reading the rest of the post, readers are encouraged to re-read the paragraphs above and mentally make that shift in their own minds as they read.
We cling desperately to those convictions about the American-Muslim war because they are all we have left after the tangible ash, rubble, and debris of 9/11 disappeared. But the strength of those convictions is paper-thin and illusory because the beliefs they uphold ultimately are almost entirely fabricated upon information provided by global media foundations. How many average degrees of personal direct connection separate 'most Americans' and 'most Muslims?' For most Americans and Muslims there are no personal direct connections. We shatter our own credulity to suppose we actually know the truth about each other. Trusting global corporate media to provide that truth is as futile and delusional as adding salt to an ocean to dry it up: it only drowns the truth in disinformation we completely fail to grasp and floods the mind out of itself into emotional darkness.
Long before but especially since the financial crisis of 2007-08, I find that discovering the truth about the world and my place in it can best be achieved if I do my best to follow the money as a highly reliable way to gather evidence. To ensure the rationality of the truths I adopt with conviction, I rely on abductive reasoning - the logical principle and process of inferring from all the relevant evidence the simplest theory that best explains it. To facilitate this process, having these two keenly sharpened mental razors ready for use ensures the simplicity, elegance, and quality of the theory as an explanation of the relevant evidence:
- Occam's razor - among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected; and,
- Hanlon's razor - never attribute to malice anything that can adequately be explained by incompetence.
With this in mind, I'll posit just two assumptions, as follows:
- A super-elite plutocracy consisting of roughly 0.01% of the world's population (about 70,000 individuals) oversees a global corporatocracy consisting of roughly 0.99% of the world's population (about 70 million individuals), which serves the single mission and purpose of sustaining and increasing the wealth and power of the plutocracy at any cost.
- The corporatocracy carries out all executive, administrative, and operational activities required to fulfill its mission and purpose by forming a global oligarchy as a nexus of private, commercial, corporate, government, social, and other enterprise complexes through which maximum engineering and control of human activity and behavior are the primary goals.
In essence these assumptions postulate the existence of a inverted totalitarian global tyranny whereby 1% of the population constantly strives to exert maximum control over the other 99% solely to increase their own wealth and power by any means necessary (including individual, eugenic, and genocidal 'termination with extreme prejudice'). For simplicity, let's just call the global inverted totalitarian tyranny of the elitist plutocracy and corporatocracy, 'Tyrannozilla Max,' or 'TM' for short.
From the two assumptions above, if we were to follow the money and wield Occam's and Hanlon's razors, how likely are we to find the following conjectures to be true?
- Tyrannozilla Max (TM) profitability - all the fear, anger, hatred, and enmity intrinsic to contemporary Western-Muslim conflict and the ongoing military and other violence emanating from those states and conditions yield trillions of dollars in wealth for the global elite plutocracy. Year-over-year this wealth flow is steadily increasing while being concentrated under the control of a declining number of ultra-high net worth individuals. [Evidence sample: global wealth reports by Cap Gemini, Boston Consulting Group, and Wealth-X & UBS (collaboration).]
- Tyrannozilla Max (TM) control - the news, entertainment, marketing, and commerce complex within the corporatocracy is vital for widespread systematic engineering and control of thought and behavior, especially through the media generation of mass cognitive dissonance producing chronic despair and acute anxiety are generated and sustained.
- Tyrannozilla Max (TM) nonexistence - one essential objective of mass cognitive dissonance is to conceal the existence and power of the plutocracy and their corporatocracy and oligarchy and the tyranny they implement and enforce, such that in the event that any suspicion or evidence surfaces to the contrary, the sources of that information are swiftly dealt with via relentless media attack to vilify, marginalize, and by any means necessary destroy the source's credibility and the evidence itself.
Evidence samples for all three of these TM conjectures include but are not limited to these documentary films:
A brutal catch-22 applies, however: TM's inverted totalitarianism could literally be hiding in plain sight. In the August 1956 Elks Magazine issue, writing about communism, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover asserted:
The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.
For 2016 and henceforth, Hoover's remarks precisely describe why TM's existence could well be a truth so monstrously incomprehensible and beyond that it is easily concealed in plain sight. It also indicates how effectively cognitive dissonance may be used by TM further its agenda - the profound dissonance of truth so monstrous as TM becomes a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of the world's only superpower (the USA). Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four prophecies of "thoughtcrime," "doublethink," and "Newspeak" are yield a pandemic communication implosion into sheer meaninglessness, comparable only to Babel in mythic proportion. The US presidential election for 2016 is blatant evidence of the darkness of this semantic vacuum and the intensity of its cognitive polarization.
Finally, the crucial questions: if the TM assumptions and the evidence supporting them are true and factual, such that TM abductively qualifies as the simplest and best explanation of all the evidence, doesn't that mean the Western-Muslim conflict is a manufactured mass cognitive delusion? Does it not therefore follow that 99% of each of those two people groups should unite to defeat their common and true enemy, namely, the inverted totalitarian tyranny of global plutocracy and corporatocracy?
Or perhaps Chris Hedges is right; it's too late, victory is impossible and defeat is already a fait accompli. Speaking of Goldman Sachs in particular but no less truly of Tyrannozilla Max (TM) as described above:
These people are criminals .... Every single institution, from the press to universities, to the courts, to the legislative bodies, to the executive branch of government, dance to the tune that they play. And there's absolutely no way that ordinary citizens can fight back. There is no mechanism within the formal structures of power by which we can fight back. We live not in a democracy but what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls a system of inverted totalitarianism, and by that he means it's not classical totalitarianism: it doesn't revolve around a demagogue or a charismatic leader, but finds its expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. We're being destroyed .... They know no limits, they turn everything into a commodity that they exploit until exhaustion or collapse .... The death of the American empire is not a tragedy; it's probably a good thing. It's just how we're dying that is so frightening, because we're lashing out like a wounded animal, and, um, you know, empires, the tyranny empires impose abroad they always bring home, they always impose at home. Thucidides and Plutarch wrote about that in ancient Athens - Athenian democracy was slaughtered by the Athenians and we're doing exactly the same thing. Civilizations from the Easter Islands to the Ottoman Empire, the collapse of Imperial Russia ... they always exhaust their own potential and their own resources. The danger though is this time it's global. We'll bring the whole planet down with us. There's nowhere left to migrate to.
[Goldman Sachs: Masters of the World?, from mark 42:30 to end.]
I can only echo Walt Kelly's Pogo: "We have met the enemy and he is us ..." and add, "yes, 1% of the time. The other 99%? We're prisoners, slaves, victims, and collateral damage."
NOTE: as a holder of one's own peace, Sheldon Wolin (1922-2015) appears to have been a national treasure.