Dave – South Essex Radical Media
The purpose of this piece is to look at some of the factors that have led us to the situation we’re in regarding the way the crisis around coronavirus has been leveraged to railroad us towards the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) / great reset. Bear in mind, this is something none of us ever voted for or were consulted about. It’s being done to us whether we like it or not. For the record, I really resent being screwed over in this way and am doing what I can to resist.
Life is complicated and there’s no one factor that has led to what all too often seems like a worrying level of acceptance of the restrictions we’ve been living under for over a year now. Some factors operate discreetly from each other… However, other factors overlap and intertwine with each other in a way that’s so complex, they will take a lot of unpicking. What I’m trying to do with this piece is reach some tentative understanding of why we are where we are. Having some understanding of this will hopefully play some part in formulating strategy and tactics as we move forwards.
As ever with anything I write about this situation, this is a subjective piece. When you experience something that adversely impacts your life pretty much on a daily basis, it’s difficult to maintain a fully objective overview. Also, given how the situation changes, particularly with the government constantly shifting the goalposts, this piece will inevitably end up as a snapshot in time.
What has happened to the anarchist movement?
I’m writing this as an anarchist and in this piece, I reflect on and try to understand why the anarchist movement has, to put it bluntly, failed to step up to the plate when it comes to providing a pole of attraction for the many people who have found lockdown difficult and who have deep fears about the direction we’re heading in. This isn’t easy to write about, not just because it feels that I’m now politically homeless, but also because speaking out on this will inevitably result in flak I really haven’t got the time or inclination to deal with. How I’ll deal with that flak is simple…I’ll just ignore it, life’s too short…
At the start of the coronavirus crisis, I pointed out that the authorities will never let a crisis go to waste when it can be used as an opportunity to leverage it to implement a pre-planned or even a semi-planned agenda. I naively thought that many anarchists would instinctively get this and start to ask some difficult questions regarding what was being done to and planned for us. By and large, that didn’t happen. When the crisis broke, far from any questioning as to how it was being leveraged, instead, the anarchist movement fell into lockstep with the implementation of lockdowns. Truly bizarre behaviour for a movement that’s supposed to have a revolutionary cutting edge.
Wearing a mask on a protest was once just a tactic for concealing your identity from the authorities. Now it has become one of the trademarks of virtue signalling with anyone declining to wear a mask being subjected to censure. If that isn’t bad enough, on top of this, there’s the exhortation from a fair number of anarchists to ‘take the vaccine’, with legitimate concerns about the safety of a still experimental ‘treatment’ being dismissed out of hand. The question that keeps going round my head is how the heck have we ended up at this point?
After some incredibly bitter rows about gender identity politics I’ve had with now former comrades in the anarchist movement, I’m extremely reluctant to return to the fray. However, given what’s happened, I feel obliged to make that return. With the widespread acceptance of the tenets of trans activism in anarchist circles, does that also imply there’s an implicit acceptance of transhumanism as well? I ask this question because there are many aspects of the 4IR / great reset agenda that could be considered transhumanist. The question has to be asked and what follows is my attempt to start to try and answer it as honestly as I can.
I’m becoming more convinced there’s some linkage between the wide promotion of trans activism in anarchist circles and the way they kick back against those of us who are trying to highlight the dangers of the 4IR / great reset agenda. Trans activism is in some part, about transcending what are perceived as the constraints of the human body in relation to expressing gender identity. This is a reversal of the view that I and many people who would see themselves as gender critical have, which is that it’s the artificial constraints of gender roles and identity that need to be challenged, not those of the human body.
Rather than seeking a resolution to understandable deep unhappiness about the constraints and expectations of gender roles, all too often, the solution is to change how you present yourself to the world to fit with your perception of what you think your authentic self really is. In and of itself, mere presentation shouldn’t really be a problem. However, when it goes beyond how someone presents themselves to the world and into the territory of surgery and pharmaceutical interventions, then for a lot of us worried about the drift towards transhumanism, it does become a problem.
Surgery and what can be a lifelong reliance on pharmaceutical interventions add up to vast profits for what can best be described as the medical industrial complex. It’s not just me thinking this is not just unhealthy but also, politically compromising. Here are two interesting readings exploring this: The technocene and the normalisation of bodily dissociation – TheQuieterOne | Final hour – Substack | May 16, 2021 and: The Gender Identity Industry, Transhumanism and Posthumanism – Jennifer Bilek | The 11th Hour | February 21, 2021.
When you get to this point, it can be argued that a transhumanist agenda is coming into play in some sections of the anarchist movement. However, the reality of what the anarchist movement actually thinks about transhumanism is actually a bit more complex and nuanced than this as you can see from the following: Anarcho-transhumanism – H+Pedia (the argument for) and: Is Transhumanism Compatible with Anarchism? – John Danaher – 04.05.2014 (the argument against) and also: Anarchism and Transhumanism – libcom.org – 29.05.2011. Finally, praise where praise is due, Corporate Watch have published this very useful primer where they deal with the thorny issue of transhumanism in quite a balanced way: TECH: A Guide to the Politics and Philosophy of Technology. On their own admission, it raises considerably more questions than it answers! It’s the intention of the book to stimulate and provide pointers to inform the discussion about anarchist positions on technology and in particular, transhumanism. I wish them well with this endeavour. However, despite all of this, there is still the uncomfortable truth that in the anarchist movement, there is a worrying degree of overlap between some trans activists and support for a number of aspects of transhumanism.
Has, as some have suggested, the anarchist movement been compromised by funding from certain sections of the medical industrial complex? No is the simple answer. The suggestion is utter tosh and really is a conspiracy theory – one that’s not helpful in any way, shape or form to those of us trying to dig out the truth of what’s been done to us for over a year now. Where the funding has gone is to the charities and other groups claiming to advocate for trans people. It’s these who have arguably influenced some of the thinking about the trans issue in the anarchist movement. You could see what has happened as ideological capture from a few steps removed.
The role of the Internet
If I’m being totally honest, my view of the Internet is that it’s both a blessing and a curse. As for it’s impact on society, it’s probably still too early to work out the balance between the positive aspects and some of the sheer toxicity it’s undoubtedly responsible for. Regarding it’s role in activism, it has made some aspects of what I do a lot easier but, it has also made it way too easy for toxic, divisive rows to start and to be intentionally stoked up.
The Internet has undoubtedly played a role in preparing the fertile ground for the seeds of transhumanism to germinate and then flourish. The heady, early days of the Net were full of promise and excitement about how we could connect with each other. With this exciting array of possibilities on offer, it could be argued that not enough thought was given to how some of them could end up being problematic. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but has absolutely no use is putting right what has arguably gone wrong!
In the early days of the Net, it was noted that it offered the possibility of people going beyond their real life identity and presenting themselves how they wanted to be seen when they went online. One aspect of that was switching gender. This could be seen as the start of the high tech enabled blurring of the boundary between reality and fantasy. For some in depth analysis of this, I’d recommend reading Sherry Turkle who has written extensively on this: Sherry Turkle – Selected Publications.
A brief caveat… While it can be argued that the blurring of online fantasy and reality can be seen by some as problematic when it comes to how people present themselves online, that is not in any way to be confused with anonymity. In the political and social conditions we’re obliged to operate in, anonymity is an absolute must and a right that has to be vigorously defended.
With developments in medical and pharmaceutical technology, it has become possible to start physically realising some of the desires / needs people have regarding how they want to be perceived and identified. Basically, with some genuine exceptions, it’s medicalising a problem that should be dealt with by challenging and doing away with toxic gender stereotypes. The thing is that unlike medical and pharmaceutical interventions which generate customers and profits for life, challenging stereotypes does nothing for the bottom lines of the corporations. Suffice to say, the medical industrial complex still probably can’t believe their luck in the way that some of the culture facilitated by the Net has prepared some very fertile ground for those willing to submit to a lifetime of surgical and pharmaceutical interventions.
With the medical industrial complex making and set to continuing to make an absolute killing out of the way the coronavirus crisis has been leveraged, with a cohort of people already softened up by the one or more steps removed so called backing for trans activism, you can see why quite a few activists in various bubbles across the anarchist movement start to get very twitchy when people start to question the narrative we’re being fed about the crisis. The Net has in theory the ability to link people from different backgrounds. However, as I’ve seen all too often, it also facilitates self reinforcing bubbles and some fairly rigid and sometimes toxic group think. That’s something I’ve definitely been noticing for over a year now and not in a good way either!
What’s also worrying is the way the Net has become a substitute for real life, face to face engagement instead of just a very useful add on – a trend that has been much accelerated by the coronavirus crisis. This allowance of communications technologies and artificial intelligence into people’s lives has prepared the ground for what is being, and will be done to us by 4IR and the great reset.
On the one hand, it’s understandable that in the face of an array of restrictions, organisers of events such as anarchist bookfairs have moved them entirely online just so they can happen rather than be cancelled. However, it can be argued that doing this is surrendering to the drive of the great reset to get us interacting with each other online rather than face to face. Sure, there are times when activists from different continents need to talk to each other and the Net is great at facilitating that. I’ve certainly found it invaluable when working with people on the Nevermore project I have some involvement with. However, it’s no substitute for the spontaneous creativity that comes from real life, face to face engagement. With some anarchist groups still talking about hybrid and possibly completely online events for at least the rest of 2021, I worry that they’re inadvertently ceding ground to those who want to keep us physically isolated from each other and only communicating via a screen. A communications environment where it’s all too easy to end up being tracked, monitored and if your views prove to be unacceptable, booted offline.
What also needs to be factored in is the impact of the Internet on the ability of people to engage in serious critical thinking. The factors leading to this range from the sheer amount of content that leads a fair few people to totally zone it out in a bid to avoid information overload to the culture informing engagement on the Internet where instant responses are expected. The pressure to do this makes it harder to take a few steps back and make a considered judgement rather than blurt out the first thing that comes into your head. In such a climate, being able to engage in some serious, considered critical thinking becomes a lot harder.
Is the psyops still working?
A few posts back, I put up a review of State of Fear by Laura Dodsworth: Review: A State of Fear. It’s an examination of how the government and other authorities used fear to get people to surrender their liberties and comply to the coronavirus regulations. It’s a chilling read. It’s going to be a hard read for a lot of people because once they’ve got through it, they’ll have to admit they were taken in. Let’s face it, no one wants to admit they were taken in, do they? On our part, some degree of magnanimity will be need to be shown towards those who finally admit they were taken in. It will certainly need to be shown to some of the people who currently fall into the ‘former comrades’ category…
The depressing part is noting how many people seem to have uncritically accepted the narrative and allowed it to inform and dominate their lives. Even more depressing is the level of outright hostility some have shown towards those of us who question what’s being done to us and are actively resisting it. What is frightening is the level of support for draconian measures against us. This has the potential to lead to a frightening degree of polarisation in society. Over the last five years, I’ve got used to operating in, then on and now beyond the fringes of a fractious movement. It’s a lot harder having to negotiate my way through what has at times felt like an increasingly polarised society.
However, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that lockdown fatigue is not only kicking in but growing. The compliance that remains is for a lot of people, a gesture to avoid unnecessary hassle and confrontation in a life that may already be stressful. For a growing number of people, the masks are coming off and the restriction defying gatherings are growing in number. A fair few people I’ve spoken to have said they just zone out any news about coronavirus, vaccinations and the like and just get on with leading their lives as they see fit.
I’m starting to get the impression that those behind the psyops may have overplayed their hand and rather than scaring people into continuing compliance, they’re pushing them towards zoning out instead. Away from the set piece anti-lockdown / anti-great reset protests, this is where I see the site of the resistance to what’s being done to us. What helped fuel this growing cynicism about the lockdowns and restrictions we’ve been living under was the photos coming from the recent G7 meeting where away from the staged theatre of images of masked up, socially distanced delegates, they were mixing normally as if there wasn’t any hint of a pandemic. Also, there was Ascot – no social distancing and no masks. If they think us mere plebs are going to carry on complying after this, they’ve got another think coming!
Having said this, given what has already been invested in the 4IR / great reset agenda, I’m under no illusions that because a few cracks have appeared in the facade, it’s all going to be plain sailing from this point. Assuming those pushing the agenda are aware of the pushback that’s happening, I fully expect some pretty low down, dirty tactics and psyops over the coming weeks and months in an increasingly desperate attempt to get people back under the thumb. It’s going to get messy folks, really messy…
Where do we go from here?
Given the constant moving of the goalposts by government and the ever changing dynamics of a unique situation, trying to come up with a strategy and tactics to deal with what’s being done to us is difficult to say the least. The only thing I can say is that we need to keep an eye on the long game and not allow ourselves to be distracted by short term theatrics. Easier said than done… However, so long as we bear in mind that what’s being done to us is about a lot more than just a virus and that the crisis is being leveraged to hasten the implementation of the 4IR / great reset, we can stay on track.
There’s no point in expending energy trying to convince those anarchists who have accepted the narrative to think otherwise. Unless they actively start to hinder and frustrate the resistance, the best strategy is to ignore them. I’ve moved beyond the point where I was taking the reaction from some former comrades personally – life’s too short for that. Bear in mind that those driving the divide and rule strategy would love nothing more than for the likes of me to be constantly warring with former anarchist comrades. That’s not going to happen – I know who my anger and energy has to be expended on and it’s definitely not on former comrades…
The focus has to be on the government, the corporations and all of the other shady f**kers involved in pushing the 4IR / great reset agenda. For those implementing this and who have a lot to gain from the outcome, there’s far too much at stake for them to give up in the face of street protests. Tactics have to be ramped up a few levels from just taking to the streets to considerably more disruptive forms of direct action. Privately, we can probably envisage the kind of disruptive militant tactics that could and should be brought into play. Hopefully you’ll appreciate that for very sound security reasons, I don’t want to discuss them here! As circumstances change and more information becomes available, then the analysis, strategy and tactics will change.
To conclude, it has got to the point where walking away from this struggle is not an option, if we want a future that’s worth living in. New political battle lines are being drawn and new alliances are being formed. While I’m not one to engage in hyperbole, it has to be said that we are living through a momentous period in history. What has to be remembered is that history is written by the winners. It’s imperative that we make bloody sure we’re the winners…