It’s an old cliché to say that technology in itself is neither good nor bad, but that all depends on how you use it. In the case of Information and Communications Technologies, and their out-of-control problem child, the internet, that has so revolutionised the world, today we seem to be at a key crossroads where all seems to hang on which path mankind finally treads.
Like a sharp two-edged sword, the internet and the very rapidly evolving technologies surrounding it, are poised to either usher in a new era of intellectual, cultural and spiritual enlightenment, material well-being and true cooperation amongst nations bent on resolving common global problems; or we may be about to fall into a black abyss of absolute totalitarian control; intellectual, physical and spiritual violence; and mass slavery on an unprecedented scale.
How to resolve this dilemma? We should certainly start by understanding three key issues: who really controls these technologies, what are their medium and long term objectives, why are they being used the way they are…
THE INVISIBLE MAN
One of the greatest perils we face today is the difficulty in properly identifying and distinguishing friend from foe; it is increasingly difficult to understand who – even what – the enemy or adversary is which means that society’s key vulnerability stems from its incapacity to properly identify risk, peril and danger. If you cannot see a danger approaching, it will hit you by surprise as the look-out on the Titanic so painfully learned on that fateful night in April 1912.
A vital factor for the survival and prosperity of individuals, families, communities, organisations – even entire nations – lies in properly identifying friends and enemies (or at least adversaries). There is always an “enemy” out there who either wants to have what we own, or wants to place us in his or her service, or may have a myriad of reasons for wanting to somehow weaken or get rid of us, mostly because they want to take for free something that is ours. Some will say this is basic human nature; others that it’s the Darwinian imperative of the survival of the fittest; still others will complain that it’s man’s criminal egotism. Whatever your view, the truth is that in one way or another we all live immersed in “self-protection or defense mode” which begins every morning when we close and lock our front door.
What I mean to say is that self-protection or defense is easy when you can clearly identify and understand your enemy: whether thieves at large on our streets, or foreign powers bent on subduing or colonising us. Here is where modern European languages play us a bad trick, because we use the word “enemy” with far too wide a scope. In fact, we would do well to heed the recommendations of German Jurist Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) who, like the Romans, differentiated between Inimicus (i.e., your own personal enemy whom you might hate for having done you some wrong but who is your own private affair and problem) and Hostis (i.e., a public enemy of the community and State, whom we might not necessarily dislike but who poses a threat to all and must thus be combated).
For example, two hundred years ago, it was easy for the thirteen original colonies of North America to identify as its Hostis the British Crown in London, or for the South American Viceroyalties to identify as their Hostis the Spanish Court in Madrid. A common, visible, credible enemy makes strategic planning that much simpler, for we know who he is, where he is, what he wants, and how he achieves his objectives.
Today’s challenge, however, is far greater because Hostis – the common enemy – is no longer easy to identify. We can no longer simply say “it’s the Brit’s over in London” or “it’s the Reds” or “the Nazis” or “the Japs.” Today, Mankind’s Hostis has become all too complex, often subtle and defying simple identification whether by nation, creed, race, geography, language, or any other easy-to-perceive characteristics. Today’s Hostis is everywhere and nowhere; which requires we refine our search, identifying him more by his tell-tale signs, fingerprints, “DNA” so-to-speak, than by directly perceiving him (or her).
No longer can national leaders rally mass popular support to “fight the Soviets or the Germans, or the Japanese.” A decade ago, they had to resort to weaker abstractions like the Bushian “war on terrorism,” which is meaningless until you actually define what “terrorism” is.
What we have today is basically a public invisible enemy that is very difficult to specifically pinpoint, but the effects of whose actions we all increasingly suffer everywhere. Perhaps “Global Power Elite” is the closest we can come to describing this veritable global enemy whose planetary interests and objectives for the most part run counter to the common interests of “We the People” everywhere, and yet that too is still quite abstract and faceless.
Nevertheless, and like all “invisible men,” whilst we cannot “see” the enemy we can certainly feel the effects of his actions and can thus certainly learn to trace his tracks, infer where he is now, where he’s going and what he plans to do.
In this world war, all aware citizens need to become hunters of sorts: fighting the Global Power Elite is much like tracking down a dangerous wild tiger in the forest… An experienced, shrewd and watchful hunter does not need to actually see the tiger to know that he’s close by, if he knows how to identify and understand specific tell-tale ‘tiger marks’: here, some broken twigs on a forest path; there, a dead rodent; perhaps tiger droppings by a tree or paw marks on damp soil; a specific scent, or hushed growling echoing in the distance…
A similar task faces us if we are to become free and independent: we must learn and understand who, where and what is the enemy and its weapons of war. We can certainly say that technological research, development and control are among its array of armaments. If we understand the enemy, it should not be all that hard to understand what he will do with the technology so “generously” given to Mankind.
PUTTING ON THE CHAINS OF SLAVERY
A century ago, Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Lenin said capitalists would one day sell to the communists the very ropes with which communism would hang them. Well, not quite actually as it ended up being the other way around with communists hanging themselves with the invisible “ropes of capitalism,” enthralled as they became at the end of the Bi-Polar world with the West’s mass consumerism. An eloquent snapshot of which right after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 was a little ticky-tacky East German “Trabant” next to a powerful West German Mercedes-Benz. Indeed, a picture that was worth 1,000 words!
Twenty-two years later, something similar seems to be happening; only this time it’s the Global Power Elite enthralling us with invisible technological ropes with which millions of people are about to hang themselves, in a figurative sense, of course. Not that all of us are doing that yet, but when you look around at the growing mass population control, the noose is certainly being fitted snugly around our necks.
Humans needs time to adapt and cope with major changes. Through tens of thousands of years of history, change took place very slowly, spanning entire generations so that with each new change, social structures slowly adapted. Today, however, with the explosive advent of information technologies, telecommunications and genetics to name but a few, we’re all mesmerised and desirous to become part of the Info Cybersphere. We’ve been persuaded that we really do need to have the latest cell phones, iPod, iPad, the Internet and cable/satellite TV, iPhone and Blackberry, which potentially is a good thing, but they must be approached with discriminating caution. For they represent a two-edged sword that can either help expand our consciousness and awareness of the world around us in every sense of the word, or they can chain us unwittingly into a macro-system that has grown into a Leviathan with huge capacity to control every detail of our lives.
I am a layman so I won’t delve into the technicalities of today’s information technologies because others are far more qualified to do that, but I can tell you this: all these technologies are not as innocent as they would have us believe: i.e., so “innocent” that 5, 6 or 7 year olds can be set loose to play with video games and the Internet as if they were mere toys. Not so! These technologies must be approached with at least as much caution, prevention and awe as we do when we drive our car, knowing that just as it can safely take as wherever we want to go, if we thoughtlessly rev the engine up to 250 kmph, it can also get us and others killed.
Similarly, this two-edged sword can serve to vanquish the Global Power Elite by making us aware of their intentions and their terrible medium and long-term consequences, or it can serve them to cut our throats. In fact, this Janus-headed monster lies equidistant between them and us. Objectively, either they win and we lose, which means the world will be run by machines that they control or, we use these technologies to rally the overwhelming power of We the People, to annihilate the Global Power Elite. Where does the difference lie? In our awareness.
The Global Power Elite know full well what they are doing whilst most people don’t, and they will do everything in their power to keep it that way. Here, then, are two global armies pitted against each other. “In this corner…” a tiny but extremely powerful elite controlling a huge machine to their benefit and our enslavement. “In that corner…”, gigantic masses of mostly unaware people using that same machine but without understanding it, nor realising what it’s really being used for.
It is today so embedded into society that, increasingly, every aspect of our lives are controlled by it: whether it be work done on the Internet, Intranets, E-Trade, managing your bank account, reserving your next flight and printing your boarding pass, doing research and fact-finding, or just plain entertainment and whiling the time away. It’s a coin of which we are systematically shown only the “heads” side, i.e., all the benefits, magic, comfort and advantages of being hooked-in and on-line. “Life is so much easier now…” However, we’re not shown the “tail” side that poses a dark and lurking danger: Total Control. The Info Cybersphere represents a super-structure for total control against which individuals can do little to escape from, unless awareness dawns on them.
The key weapon wielded against all peoples in every country is PsyWar – Psychological Warfare – that has successfully: (a) incorporated two, maybe three billion people into the IT Cybersphere allowing growing partial/total control over them, and (b) persuaded billions of people to willingly accept this. The rest of Mankind – the other 3 or 4 billion are “useless eaters” as David Rockefeller once called them – just don’t count because they’re too abjectly poor and are not part of any “market”; there’s literally nothing the Corporate Overworld can sell to them. Thus, they are implicitly earmarked for controlled extermination over the next generation through war, disease, starvation, urban violence, environmental contamination, artificially induced “natural” disasters, or by just plain letting them waste away.
A quick look at some of the technological wonders they have in store for us might better illustrate this:
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY… AND DO… (AND THINK..!)
“Romas/COIN” is a super hi-tech military civilian mass surveillance and data gathering project supported by US private defense contractors (Northrop Gruman, notably), think tanks, and the US military and civilian intelligence community, with electronic capabilities to monitor and analyse millions and millions of conversations, sort key data and then re-build it to reflect specific behaviour patterns amongst individuals and groups of people, which enables projecting their future plans, whereabouts, goals and actions. This will make “preventive war” and “preventive arrests” that much easier. For now, much of this mass surveillance and data mining targets Arab speaking peoples, not just in the Middle East/North Africa but the world over, which ties in nicely with the endless “global war on terrorism.”