Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantialindependent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or noindependent influence.
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"The guy is doubling down on his broken clock schtick hoping that something, ANYTHING he predicts comes true. So sad."
It is not the politicians that we can see who coordinate the world and provide impetus to policy changes, but hidden puppet masters – human or systemic – who manipulate them from off-stage. If there is a single, unifying theme around which most of the current year’s human species can coalesce across all ideological divides, it is this: the true power is hidden. ...Secrecy in public affairs puts people on edge. You cannot trust what you cannot verify, and you cannot verify what you cannot see. There’s a reason that the archetype of the oily vizier whispering honeyed manipulations in a credulous king’s ear is universally reviled. Whether the king is a good king or a bad king, if he’s really the king, at least you know who’s in charge; you know the rules he follows; you know the customs that bind him, the ambitions that drive him, the personality that animates him. There’s a certain trustworthiness to that. The power that hides itself behind the throne is power that cannot be trusted. ...In the managerial state, power is deliberately opaque. We face not a single untrustworthy vizier, but armies of them, faceless bureaucrats and nondescript functionaries who camouflage themselves within the dense undergrowth of corporate org charts. Corner one of them over a decision you dislike, and they throw their hands up and say, it wasn’t me, I’m just following policy, or best practices, or mandates, or The Science, or whatever. Try to trace the origin of the policy, and you find yourself in a bewildering web of think tanks, policy institutes, committees, and so forth, none of which is willing to take direct responsibility for the policy. ...The lockdowns are an extreme example, but really our entire system works like this. Take building codes. Wherever you live, there is a building code. It specifies in exact detail the best practices for every aspect of construction, and unless you follow it to the letter you will not be permitted to proceed with whatever project you have in mind, whether it’s erecting an apartment block or putting an extension on your deck. Where did the building code come from? It wasn’t the building inspector: he’s just enforcing it. It wasn’t the mayor or the members of the town council: they wouldn’t know where to start. No, the building code emerged from some local bureaucracy, staffed by experts, who put together its elements on the basis of things that other experts said were good things to do. You don’t know their faces or their names. You will almost never track down the specific person who put a specific requirement into the building code. It was probably decided upon in a closed committee meeting, and no one on the committee will admit direct responsibility. Indeed, the committee itself will not take direct responsibility: they were just following the best practices of other committees, modifying other building codes, in other municipalities. If you happen to disagree with some element of the building code – finding it overly restrictive, too cautious, too expensive for whatever marginal improvement in structural stability or energy efficiency it is intended to enforce – you have no way of changing it. The people on the committee weren’t voted into their positions. They don’t have to listen to the public, and therefore they don’t. Meanwhile, within their sphere of responsibility they have absolute power to enforce their diktats. Maybe you can reason with them when exceptions to the building code arise, and maybe you can’t; that’s up to them, and not to you.That’s a fairly trivial example, albeit one with implications for the housing crisis currently afflicting much of the Anglosphere. It’s illustrative of how our entire system works. We are governed by a sentient miasma of unaccountable regulatory authorities whose arbitrary powers extend into ever more intimate aspects of our lives like the pseudopodia of some vast smothering organism. Their power is seemingly absolute, yet there is never anyone responsible.Who decided on the health code? Workplace safety regulations? Environmental protections? The rules governing public parks and beaches? The speed limit? Where you’re allowed to park? Where you’re allowed to fish? How many categories you have to divide your garbage into? The stupid rules you have to follow when you go through an airport? More consequentially, who decided that our countries would cease to be nation-states, and would become the multicultural destinations of mass migration from the third world? Who made the call to break our economies with green energy policies? Was there a public debate? A referendum?In principle, all of these things are meant to be voted on by legislative bodies, or decided by elected executives. In practice, it almost never works this way. Town councillors, mayors, state legislators, members of parliament, governors, prime ministers, presidents and the like are mostly just implementing whatever they’re told by expert advisory bodies. Legislative packages for new regulatory powers are dumped on their desks, they skim it, say, eh, looks good to me, vote yay if that’s the party line of the day, and it’s off to the strip clubs and golf courses. That’s assuming it even comes to a vote. In many cases, regulatory power is simply delegated directly to certain bodies, who make things up on the fly and set about enforcing them under colour of law.Politicians in our representative democracy don’t really decide anything. They serve as a distraction. They’re leader-shaped appendages of the managerial state, dangled in front of the public in order to draw attention away from the shapeless cloud within which actual power resides. They provide brief little bursts of hope – this guy will really change things! – and when the shine inevitably comes off, they act as lightning rods for popular discontent. The relationship of elected politicians to the permanent bureaucracy is essentially that of an anglerfish’s bioluminescent lure to its giant, toothy mouth.The entire system seems to be designed around maximization of the system’s ability to wield power, whilst diffusing responsibility such that identifying the actual source of power is nigh impossible, thereby shielding those wielding power on behalf of the system from any negative consequences of their decisions.This obscurantist imperative shows up in the way the system’s functionaries use language. The technocratic prose deployed by the expert class is carefully scrubbed of any authorial voice. Identifying the person behind a given policy paper, scientific paper, white paper, or what have you, based on style alone, is essentially impossible. Third person passive predominates: they never say, “We have decided”, and certainly never say “I have decided”, but always “It has been decided,” as though policies are simply natural phenomena as inevitable as hurricanes, in which human agency plays no role. This reinforces the illusion that things are written, not by all-too-human scientists, but by Science; not by human journalists, but by Journalism; not by human agents, but by the Agency. It is the uninflected, lifeless, unified voice of the Borg.The dead words with which they issue their pronouncements serve the purpose of occultation in ways beyond anonymization. It is deliberately boring, intended to cause the reader’s eyes to glaze over with disinterest. This narcotic effect stupefies the reader, makes him stop paying attention to what’s being said, and thereby defuses any opposition that might arise. It is also deliberately impenetrable: laced with euphemisms, larded with jargon, tying itself in circumlocutory knots to avoid directly saying what is being said. A poet muddies his waters to sound deep, and a squid squirts ink in the water to avoid being seen. Rather than a clear statement of intent, the reader is presented with a bewildering and lightless labyrinth hiding the hungry beast at the centre, and lulled to sleep as he tries to navigate it.The system’s operators do everything they can to avoid direct exposure to the public, protecting themselves behind layers of automation and minor functionaries. Towards the end of the lockdowns, as patience was wearing thin and tempers were fraying, it became common for chain restaurants that still insisted on masking or other nonsense to have signs at the front admonishing customers to please treat the staff respectfully, because they were not the ones who set the policy, simply the ones who must enforce it or lose their jobs. This is intended to set up a no-win situation: the people you interact with physically did not make the decisions that outrage you, and the people making those decisions are hundreds of miles away and therefore quite beyond the reach of your outrage. It seems perverse to unload on some poor seventeen-year-old hostess who’s insisting that you must wear a mask to go to the table, but the only alternative to being a jerk (aside from just walking out) is to swallow your indignation and meekly comply. This is a core strategy of managerialism: withdraw as much decision-making power as possible from the organizational periphery, and concentrate it in a location (or, increasingly these days, a dispersed work-from-home network) that never actually has to answer to the people affected by those decisions. ...The bureaucracies rely on complexity to bewilder and obfuscate; the secret police are able to enforce their secrecy as a matter of law. If the bureaucracies are a kind of dense fog that wraps itself around the world, the intelligence agencies are the malign predators that move within that obscuring mist.Spies have a certain glamour about them, but I very strongly doubt that spooks are anything like James Bond in practice. I suspect most of them are the same kind of blandly uninteresting nebbishes you find populating the more mundane elements of the system. Those that aren’t are mostly just organized criminals. ...But at the end of the day, as much as its operatives seek to conceal their humanity, all they are is human. They are as flawed and fragile as anyone else. Indeed, in many cases, when you actually see the misshapen goblins inhabiting the hidden recesses of the managerial system, it is striking what low quality humans they really are: visibly unhealthy, of middling intellect, riven by neuroses, with weak characters, deeply insecure and unhappy.Their system of control relies largely upon a game of make-believe. They pretend that they have power, they pretend that it is justified because they are highly competent, and they pretend that they use their power in order to keep us safe, to save the planet from climate change, to fight racism, to stop a virus, or whatever. The rest of us pretend that these things are genuine concerns, pretend that those threats are adequate justification for arbitrary rule, and pretend that the people making the decisions know what they’re doing. They are powerful, and so issue mandates, and we comply; and because we comply, their mandates work, and so they are powerful.But what if we just ... stopped complying?Sure, people would risk fines, maybe even jail time in some cases.But we’re already living in an open-air prison in which you need seek permission before doing anything consequential, while the administrative overburden of the managerial state has long since become a crushing financial weight. Taxes are outrageously high, but even beyond that, there’s the increase in costs due to all of the useless eaters working their bullshit jobs, sending emails back and forth, filing reports, attending meetings, and whatever other makework it is that they occupy their time with in order to ensure that as little actual work gets done as possible. How much of the workforce is currently employed by the government, or in administrative positions in the private sector? How much does it all cost? Who’s paying for it? ...That’s the first shift in mindset that we need: from the idea that the cryptocracy is a necessary evil, to the idea that it is evil, and not necessary at all.Following that, it’s simple: ignore them.If no one is really responsible for anything, then no one’s really in charge. In that case no one really has any legitimate authority. So why listen to them when they tell you to do something? When they say ‘this is policy, now’ or ‘it’s written here that you have to do this’, maybe think about just, you know, disobeying.As an example, take Ian Smith, co-owner of the Atilis Gym in New Jersey. During the 2020 lockdowns he told the governor to go fuck himself, and kept the gym open. When the cops came and locked the doors, he kicked the doors down. When he racked up $1.2 million in fines, he refused to pay; so far he’s been able to get the fines reduced by an order of magnitude in the appeals court.There were a few other heroes like Ian Smith during the lockdowns, but if we’d had a few hundred thousand like him, there wouldn’t have been any lockdowns. There would have been no social distancing, no essential workers, no mask mandates, absolutely none of it, if people had simply refused to comply. On his own, Smith couldn’t stop it, and could be made an example of. No one wants to pay a hundred and twenty thousand dollar fine, obviously. But if he’d been party of an army? ...Take what just happened in New Mexico. The governatrix, apropo of nothing, abruptly decided the Second Amendment didn’t exist because firearms are a public health emergency. New Mexicans responded with a very large and very public open carry display, and the state’s law enforcement announced that they would not enforce unconstitutional orders. That was it for her authority.This basic principle of not automatically doing what you’re told, and sometimes deliberately not doing what you’re told for no other reason than that you were told to do it, would go a very long way towards reestablishing some semblance of freedom in the Western world. Use disobedience to claw back whatever personal agency and responsibility you can in your own life, train yourself not to take these people seriously, encourage others to do the same, and if enough people do this, eventually it will become so prohibitively expensive to manage the population that the strangling vines of this parasitic organism we call the managerial state can be hacked back to something manageable.
"The guy is doubling down on his broken clock schtick hoping that something, ANYTHING he predicts comes true. So sad." Well, Russia defeated the US and NATO in the Ukraine.
"It did? That's an interesting definition of 'victory'."
Yes it did. That is why Russia right now controls the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. And that is why the US and Europe are urging Zelensky to surrender. The Ukraine lost over 500,000 soldiers and they are finished!
Billionaire Funds the Guardian to Tune of $116 Per Reader of Print EditionIn 2021 the Guardian ran a series of adverts claiming the newspaper was “not funded by billionaires”, and “our readers’ backing gives us the independence to hold the powerful to account”. Not perhaps all the powerful. The Guardian is backed by a number of billionaire philanthropic foundations, including the European Climate Fund and the Rockefeller Family Fund. According to the investigative journalist Ben Pile, an additional $12 million grant from the Gates Foundation is equivalent alone to $116 for every reader of the print version.
The entire system seems to be designed around maximization of the system’s ability to wield power, whilst diffusing responsibility such that identifying the actual source of power is nigh impossible, thereby shielding those wielding power on behalf of the system from any negative consequences of their decisions.This obscurantist imperative shows up in the way the system’s functionaries use language. The technocratic prose deployed by the expert class is carefully scrubbed of any authorial voice. Identifying the person behind a given policy paper, scientific paper, white paper, or what have you, based on style alone, is essentially impossible. Third person passive predominates: they never say, “We have decided”, and certainly never say “I have decided”, but always “It has been decided,” as though policies are simply natural phenomena as inevitable as hurricanes, in which human agency plays no role. This reinforces the illusion that things are written, not by all-too-human scientists, but by Science; not by human journalists, but by Journalism; not by human agents, but by the Agency. It is the uninflected, lifeless, unified voice of the Borg.
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