Downloadable Digital Dictatorships
by Margaret Anna Alice. Originally published on her Substack.
This is Part 2 of Anatomy of a Philanthropath. Read Part 1: A Mostly Peaceful Depopulation for context.
“Regulation mania, as manifested in government bureaucracy, attempts to render social interactions rational and logical by squeezing them into performed templates. In this respect, the ideal bureaucrat is identical to a computer. They strictly adhere to the logic of their system without being ‘distracted’ by the individuality of the people they ‘assist.’ For this reason, a bureaucratic system generates exactly the same frustration as a computer. We are confronted with a mechanical Other who is in no way sensitive to our individuality as human beings. A computer is not so much an unfair or unjust Other; it is an Other who imposes a relentless logic.… In this respect, the computer resembles the ideal totalitarian leader: He strictly and ruthlessly imposes his logic on the population.”
Former Club of Rome Director Dennis Lynn Meadows’s fantasies of a smart dictatorship are now being realized thanks to the wonders of biosurveillance technology, and Nazi-adjacent Klaus Schwab advisor/World Economic Forum (WEF) programmer Say-the-Quiet-Part-out-Loud Yuval Noah Harari can’t wait to tell you about it:
“The surveillance technology gave the tools how to control millions of people against their will in a much more effective way. And these tools, again, are now being exported all over the world. So, this is just an example of how the new technology changes the geopolitical balance of power, whether on a regional level or on a global level.
“And again, if you look globally, then we see that now you can really buy a package of how to create a digital dictatorship just off the shelf. There’s many countries around the world that can’t develop or don’t have these technologies locally, but they can just buy all the necessary tools and know-how and even people to operate the system from elsewhere.” (emphases mine here and in subsequent quotes)
This reminds me of the ominous “honey” presentation delivered in O Lucky Man! (jump to 1:54:23 here, or, for ever-expanding context, start at 1:47:59, 1:50:25, or 1:52:14; warning: contains graphic war imagery):
Sir James Burgess: In view of your undoubted superiority, Colonel Steiger, can you tell us why this insurrection still persists?
Colonel Steiger: The terrain is unfavorable, Sir. Jungle and swamp favor the native. That is why we need “honey.”
Sir James Burgess: Honey.
Colonel Steiger: Precisely. Your British honey. The substance known as PL-45, or in the terminology of my profession, “honey.” Let me show you some examples. Slide, please.
This is a man who has received a light exposure to this invaluable weapon.… And again.… And again.… And again.… And again.
A beer mug full of honey can create a lethal zone for all forms of terrestrial life within an area of fifteen acres.
Low-flying aircraft spraying PL-45 can cover 100 square miles in two hours.
This is all I need to finish the job.
Sir James Burgess: Mmm-hmm. Impressive. Am I to understand, Colonel Steiger, that granted supplies of adequate quantities of um, “honey,” you’re prepared to guarantee the internal stability of your territory?
Colonel Steiger: You have my word.
“Now, in the past, many tyrants and governments wanted to do it, but nobody understood virology well enough, and nobody had enough computing power and data to hack millions of people. Neither the Gestapo nor the KGB could do it.
“But soon, at least some corporations and governments will be able to systematically hack all the people. We humans should get used to the idea that we are no longer mysterious souls. We are now hackable animals.”
“But there is something new now. For the first time in history, it’s possible to completely eliminate privacy. It was just never possible before, and it is possible now. Something fundamental has changed.
“Dictators always dreamt about completely eliminating privacy, monitoring everybody all the time and knowing everything you do, and not just everything you do but even everything you think and everything you feel. Whether it’s a tyrant in ancient Greece or whether it’s Stalin, they always dreamt about it, they could never do it, because it was technically impossible. Now it’s possible.”
“The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.… You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.…
“By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well back, Winston was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen, so far as sight went. He could be heard, of course, but so long as he stayed in his present position he could not be seen. It was partly the unusual geography of the room that had suggested to him the thing that he was now about to do.…
“He put the diary away in the drawer. It was quite useless to think of hiding it, but he could at least make sure whether or not its existence had been discovered. A hair laid across the page-ends was too obvious. With the tip of his finger he picked up an identifiable grain of whitish dust and deposited it on the corner of the cover, where it was bound to be shaken off if the book was moved.”
During the Panel Discussion on Technology and the Future of Democracy at the same Athens event (@ 30:13), Harari revealed that COVID is the pivotal turning point that was used to persuade people to submit to biosurveillance:
“Maybe in a couple decades when people look back, the thing they will remember from the COVID crisis is this is the moment when everything went digital, and this was the moment when everything became monitored, that we agreed to be surveilled all the time, not just in authoritarian regimes, but even in democracies, and maybe most importantly of all, this is the moment when surveillance started going under the skin.
“Because really, we haven’t seen anything yet. I think the big process that’s happening right now in the world is hacking human beings, the ability to hack humans, to understand deeply what’s happening within you, what makes you go. And for that, the most important data is not what you read and who you meet and what you buy, it’s what’s happening inside your body.
“We have these two revolutions: the computer science revolution, or the infotech revolution, and the revolution in the biological sciences. And they are still separated, and they are about to merge. They are merging around … the biometric sensor. It’s the thing, it’s the gadget, it’s the technology that converts biological data into digital data that can be analyzed by computers. And having the ability to really monitor people under the skin, this is the biggest game-changer of all because this is the key for getting to know people better than they know themselves.…
“COVID is critical because this is what convinces people to accept, to legitimize, total biometric surveillance. If we want to stop this epidemic, we need not just to monitor people, we need monitor what’s happening under their skin, their body temperature …
“I’m not against surveillance, it’s an important tool, especially to fight epidemics. The question is who is doing it, and how. If you give it to a security service to do it, that’s extremely dangerous.
“Yes, now they’re using it to see whether you have the coronavirus, but exactly the same technology can determine what you think about the government. You know, anger is a biological phenomenon, just like disease. It’s not some spiritual thing out there, it’s a biological pattern in your body. With this kind of surveillance, I mean you watch the big president, a big leader give a speech on television, the television could be monitoring you and knowing whether you’re angry or not just by analyzing the cues, the biological cues coming from your body.
“So people are now watching us online, all over the world, this conversation, now, maybe even right now, the people who are watching us are being watched and analyzed.…
“We know that you’re watching this, and we also know how you feel. Are you angry about what you hear? Are you frightened? Are you bored?
“This is the kind of power that Stalin didn’t have. When Stalin gave a speech, everybody of course clapped their hands and smiled. Now how do you know what they really think about Stalin? It’s very difficult. You can’t have a KGB agent following everybody all the time. And even if you do it, he’s just watching your outside behavior. He doesn’t really know what’s happening in your mind. But in ten years, the future Stalins of the twenty-first century, they could be watching the minds, the brains, of all the population all the time and also, they will have the computing power to analyze all it.…
“Now you don’t need human agents, you don’t need human analyzers. You just have a lot of sensors and an AI which analyzes it, and that’s it, you have the worst totalitarian regime in history. And COVID is important because COVID legitimizes some of the crucial steps even in democratic countries.”
Anthony Fremont would envy such powers:
“FDA approved the first ‘electronic pill’, if I can call it like that. It is basically a biological chip that is in the tablet and, once you take the tablet, and it dissolves into your stomach, it sends a signal that you took the tablet.
“So, imagine the applications of that, the compliance. The insurance companies would know that the medicines that patients should take, they do take them. It is fascinating what happens in this field.”
“Again, I think the biggest question in maybe in economics and politics of the coming decades will be what to do with all these useless people?
“The problem is more boredom and how, what to do with them and how will they find some sense of meaning in life, when they are basically meaningless, worthless?
“My best guess, at present is a combination of drugs and computer games as a solution for [most]. It’s already happening.…
“I think once you’re superfluous, you don’t have power.…
“I don’t think that the masses, even if they they somehow organize themselves stand much of a chance.…
“What we are talking about now is like a second Industrial Revolution but the product this time will not be textiles or machines or vehicles or even weapons. The product this time will be humans, themselves.…
“But think about the world, say in 50 years, 100 years, where the poor people continue to die but the rich people, in addition to all the other things they get, they also get a exemption from death.…
“You don’t need children, you can have a pension fund. You don’t need somebody to take care of you. You don’t need neighbors and sisters or brothers to take care of you when you’re sick; the state takes care of you, the states provide you with police, with education, with help with everything, in terms of ideas, in terms of religions.”
This is probably why the WEF is publishing articles like Psychologists Say a Good Life Doesn’t Have to Be Happy, or Even Meaningful and totally-not-a-cyborg philanthropath/Master Cylinder Mark Zuckerberg is bankrolling the Metaverse:
Harari further expounds on the “useless class” in this interview:
“After thousands of years during which humans were the rulers of the world, authority and power will shift away from humans to computers, and most humans will become economically useless and politically powerless. Already today, we are beginning to see the creation of a new class of humans, the useless class. Just as the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century created the new working class, the proletariat, so now the artificial intelligence revolution is beginning to create the useless class.”
It may be the destiny of humanity, Harari postulates, to simply be consumers (@ 8:40):
“Maybe the ultimate destiny of homo sapiens is just be consumers. You don’t need humans for anything except as consumers.…
“There are many occasions in history when people didn’t value very much other people as consumers. If you think about slave economies, so you didn’t think, ‘Oh, we should liberate all the slaves and improve their conditions so that they will buy our products.’…
“And in the future, slavery is unlikely to return. If you need less humans, you definitely don’t need slaves. But you could, for example, encounter a situation in which machines are also the consumers. You need consumers, but then, even in consumption, somebody is doing a better job than humans.…
“You could have an entire economy flourishing without humans in the loop. You can have one corporation that mines ore and produces steel and sells it to a second corporation that produces robots, and they are sold back to the mining corporation … and these two corporations can form an entire economic ecosystem, which can spread from Planet Earth to other planets and throughout the galaxy just colonizing new planets and asteroids to mine things, and you just don’t need humans in the loop.”
Harari sees COVID-19 as a global solidarity test, noting, “We need some kind of global loyalty and global identity”:
“If you want to test global solidarity, what’s easier than a global pandemic that, you know, it threatens all of us, it’s obvious that as long as the pandemic keeps spreading in one country, it poses a threat to all of the other countries because of the mutations and so forth. It’s not a human enemy, so you know, it’s all, all of us humans uniting against this terrible virus.”
He seems to salivate at the degree of control governments seized in the name of protecting the public from COVID:
“It’s not an extremely deadly virus, it’s not the Black Death, and look what it’s doing to the world. So now just try to think, What will be the implications of a much bigger problem like climate change?
“Also, conceptually, it shows that … you can change things on a massive scale. Again, you can stop all flights. You can lock down entire countries. You can actually do that, and life goes on in some way.
“And this may make us more open to radical ideas about how to deal also with climate change.”
“In this time of crisis, you have to follow Science. It’s often said that you should never allow a good crisis go to waste because a crisis is an opportunity to also do good reforms that in normal times people will never agree to.”
Henry Kissinger also relishes the opportunity COVID offered to impose a “universal world order”:
“… the pandemic is imposing on us a universal world order. It has never happened before that every part of the world was affected in a parallel way by events outside their direct control. And also, that the leaders of countries and the peoples of countries have to deal with issues of preserving themselves, but at the same time they can’t preserve themselves in this area without a solution that affects everybody. That is an absolutely unique problem. But it’s now being dealt with on a purely national basis. But we’ll be forced to look at the broader view by its internal dynamic.”
It appears Klaus Schwab has taken his mentors’ advice to heart:
“The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world.”
In other words, that “conspiracy theory” known as the Great Reset. Maybe somebody should tell Schwab it’s supposed to be secret because he sure likes talking about it a lot. He wrote a whole book with that title and named the 2020 WEF annual meeting after it and everything!
But wait, we’re still not done with Harari. I know, I’m getting sick of him, too. There’s something I have to tell you that you may not be aware of if you haven’t suffered through dozens of uncut interviews and discussions with Harari like I have.
In Part 3: Yuval Noah Harari: Not the Man We Think He Is?, I examine footage left on the cutting-room floor in an attempt to better understand the psychology of this philanthropathic enabler and how his transhumanist philosophy has impacted his advisee, Klaus Schwab.
1. Bonus points if you can figure out what’s on his socks. Pirates? Post your guesses in the comments.
© Margaret Anna Alice, LLC
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