Stupid and Evil in Equal Measure: II
Mass containment as conspiracy and as emergent phenomenon.
Continued from Part I.
Heavily bureaucratised Western governments are a recent development. They are a product of the Industrial Revolution and the mass society that it enabled. Before the modern bureaucratic apparatus arose, governments behaved more legibly, towards a much more confined set of purposes. Primarily, they collected taxes and waged wars. What the bureaucracy has brought us, is a wealth of ancillary government functions that nobody even 100 years ago could have imagined, together with a suite of bizarre and unpredictable behaviour that nobody can explain. Corona has been an object lesson in all of the truly crazy and destructive things a broadly distributed bureaucratic policy consensus founded upon false premises can achieve.
Conspiratorial analysis characterises dissident thought on both the left and the right. It represents an attempt to understand, in human terms, the baffling machinations of the bureaucrats. In general, we prefer to see institutional actions as the expression of specific people, namely our elites. These are the people who, for most of human history, really were responsible for government and institutional strategy. To the extent I don’t always agree with the conspiracy theorists, it is not that I think their ideas are crazy. Quite the opposite – theirs is a deeply traditional approach to understanding political power and institutional action; if anything, it is not nearly crazy enough.
Elites, universal to human societies, are that subset of humans who enjoy the greatest social and cultural status. They are both an expression of their societies, and a force that gives their societies shape and direction. The industrial processes that turned government into this sprawling bureaucratised mess, have also done something very strange to our elites. Mass society, human mobility and technology have untethered them from the local environments that used to give them meaning. We now have a class of globalising, extra-national super-elites, who identify primarily with each other, and who have lost contact with their native populations. These super-elites are the ultraglobalist clowns at the centre of many Corona conspiracies. They are people like Klaus Schwab and Bill Gates.
These elites have a lot of prestige within the bureaucratic ranks, and in the political world, and among many of us. They command vast resources. They have furthermore developed a peculiar agenda, one which reflects their own anxieties and aspirations. In implementing this agenda, they have the same problems as everyone else: They have to manipulate the bureaucratic monolith in all of its heavy, bewildering complexity.
In fact, elite withdrawal from specific national contexts and commitment to a bland, unpalatable universalising agenda means their task is even harder. To compensate, they have adopted highly coordinated messaging tactics. The World Economic Forum, which is at base a conference circuit organised by Klaus Schwab, is one of the more visible ways that they coordinate messaging. The media everywhere – even media they do not directly own or control – is very sensitive to these tactics. By now almost all of the press is wholly given over to elite messaging.
Philanthropy is another way that they aim to influence bureaucratic structures for their own ends. Most very wealthy elites are heavily involved in philanthropy anyway; it is an enterprise by which they hope to exchange money for status. Once you have the philanthropy machine up and running, you might as well use it to promote other goals too. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works in all kinds of ways upon university, governmental and corporate bureaucracies. They provide funding for crackpot projects, steer campaign donations to amenable politicians, encourage the elaboration of specific bureaucratic sectors devoted to the stuff they like, and fund dedicated media outlets to promote their causes. They love public-private partnerships, via which bureaucrats agree to do the the things that the philanthropy machine wants and that the philanthropy machine pays for.
All of these efforts are indirect, and they don’t always work as intended. Climate change is something the elites have been pushing very hard for a long time now – and with very mixed results, despite widespread consensus that the earth will melt down in a few years. There are various problems with climate change as an action item for the bureaucrats. A big one is that the agenda it presents does not call the bureaucracy as a whole to action, speaking instead primarily to specific bureaucratic subdivisions.
In the first post, I noted that most of the small inner conspiracies of the bureaucrats are never realised. “Aspirations” is too harmless a word for these small plots, but maybe “conspirations” will do. Western bureaucracies are littered with conspirations. They are plans, ideas and goals that for whatever reason are impossible right now, but that it is hoped may be realised in the future. Many of these will just wither on the vine, but here and there, one conspiration or the other will succeed. Moreover, many of the conspirations are networked to each other. When one conspiration is sprung, it will trigger others, and a whole cascade of conspirations will come to fruition – without anybody really understanding how or why.
All those years of the elite machinery leaning on the bureaucracy to speak English, open the borders, and ban fossil fuels – that has caused many conspirations to be realised, but even more than that, it has caused a million others to take shape.
These small moments of potential energy, scattered through countless offices, can be set off by any number of things. An earthquake, Donald Trump’s election, a scientific theory that meat causes heart attacks. The chaotic happenings of the world activate some of these conspirational traps, and they don’t activate others.
To bring this basic model nearer our area of concern: You must imagine that all kinds of planners and academics have spent decades anticipating a pandemic event. Entire careers devoted to this problem, out of sight. When a pandemic happens that meets the criteria, particular conspirations are propagated throughout the system and these mouldering plots are brought to your attention. What you do not see, is all of the conspirations surrounding nuclear warfare, killer bees, or meteor strikes, which never got anywhere. What you also don’t see, are the vast majority of world events towards which the bureaucracy is wholly indifferent and which trigger no conspirations at all. Events on which the bureaucracy acts will therefore very often seem to have been planned in advance. In a sense, they were. But the conspirational bureaucrats did not cause the mobilising event, and they did not foresee the future either. They were just primed to react to this specific event, and not others.
Elite villains, by exerting steady pressure over many years, can expand the potential for the bureaucratic apparatus to react in certain ways. What programs actually get taken up, and how they are implemented, nobody can predict. It seems that stimuli which act upon many different facets of the bureaucracy at the same time will be favoured. An event which promotes conspirations in Public Health and Education and Defence will be more likely to set the whole bureaucracy ablaze, than an event that interests primarily the National Park Service.
The scope for successful conspiracies is therefore very limited. Western governments cannot act, except through their massive unwieldy bureaucratic apparatus, and this can only be mobilised by broad consensus within the bureaucratic ranks. Conspirators must activate the bureaucracy, but once they have succeeded in this, how the bureaucracy acts will be an unpredictable matter.
The conspirationists inside the bureaucracy merely want to propagate their agenda. They don’t care precisely what happens. Outside conspirators with concrete goals are in a much worse position. Their aims must be very short-term, preferably accomplished by the initial reaction. Aims of this nature are almost all subversive or destructive. Conspirators might have some reasonable hope of starting a war, diverting attention, wasting resources, or discrediting the bureaucracy itself. These are the kinds of things that intelligence services get up to.
Public health has been a particularly volatile aspect of our bureaucracy, for a lot of reasons: It is well networked with other bureaucratic offices, and it addresses matters of immediate relevance to many ordinary people. Here, there are many dangerous and interrelated conspirations on the verge of realisation. You can tell because sometimes, they are so over-determined by bureaucratic interest, they actually start trying to happen. Twenty years ago, a lot of pandemic planning surrounded matters of bio-warfare and bio-defence, and we had the anthrax attacks and the war in Iraq to take Saddam Hussein’s bio-weapons away from him.
Since then, the philanthropy machines have worked steadily to redirect the attention of the disease bureaucrats to naturally-occurring pathogens. This is very much the legacy of the SARS outbreak from 2003, but also of third-world Ebola outbreaks and the like. Thus the Open Philanthropy Project, in the years leading up to the pandemic, poured massive funding into the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, in the hopes that they would start thinking less about bio-weapons and more about things like SARS-related coronaviruses. In part to announce this new focus, the Centre for Health Security held Event 201 in the October 2019 – the most astounding of all the astounding planning prophecies. That curiosity aside, a global pandemic has been trying to happen for a while now, as the entirely false panic around the 2009 Swine Flu indicates.
I am an anonymous internet poster, and if I can make these observations, other people can too. Sophisticated foreign actors, once they observe that many western bureaucracies are primed to react to a global pandemic – are indeed pining for one to happen – well, that opens certain paths of action to them. I am not saying this is what happened, merely that it strikes me as the most plausible avenue for inquiry.
If there was a conspiracy to goad our bureaucracies into this overreaction, its goals were realised, or not, right away. Study the events of January, February and March 2020 for clues. This ongoing cascade of miserable insanity is the fruit of very complex processes that nobody could have planned or foreseen. And while the clown globalist super-elite have certainly done a great deal to create the potential for many of these absurdities, they were not the first movers as events unfolded. In the earliest days, it is first China, then a small western scientific clique, and finally China-friendly factions within the World Health Organisation, who did all of the implementation. Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab came later, with buffoonish books like the Great Reset, which are nothing more than attempts to make the pandemic all about the soul-destroying empty worthless stuff that they already wanted everything to be about: Sustainability, climate change, bugs instead of meat.
In the meantime, a million conspirations have matured, and the bureaucracy has ascended to new heights of power. Bureaucrats have totally sidelined elected politicians in many of our countries. The people enforcing masks in schools, daily antigen testing, vaccine mandates, social distancing, contact tracing, air filtration, ventilation, and hand sanitiser are not Bill Gates or Klaus Schwab. They are hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats implementing a hundred thousand different plans. Whatever happened at the beginning, it is clear enough that it has developed into an ongoing, global bureaucratic coup d’état. Nobody knows how to stop it.
UPDATE: A critique recurring here and there in the replies, is that bureaucracy predates the Industrial Revolution. Indeed, from ancient Rome to medieval England, there were bureaucracies also in the pre-modern world. With industrialisation and the emergence of mass society, however, the bureaucratic apparatus has expanded to the point that a quantitative difference has become a qualitative one. In their scale, complexity, and their power, modern bureaucracies are like nothing the world has ever seen before, and they cause states to behave in new and incomprehensible ways. Above all, power has been steadily diffused downwards, through the ranks of countless even mid-level functionaries, and government policies are subject to enormous inertia. Those who doubt this, should look at the military. This is one sector of the bureaucracy, which for operational reasons has tried to avoid the unmanageable diffusion of powers and prerogatives. They have gone to extreme lengths to establish clear lines of command, ensure obedience to orders, and avoid excessive consensus-based decision making. Without this overt command discipline, it is impossible for any single person to direct bureaucratic structures, or for the bureaucrats themselves to shift strategies, absorb new information, or take up fresh initiatives quickly.
We used to make things. Now we make believe. And we can't tell the difference.
I think these “ hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats” are officious petty tyrants, mid-level tools who relish in whatever level of control or power they can get their hands on. I have see them in corporations, condominium co-ops, and food co-ops. Middle management is a useless (at best) class of society; they create nothing, take much, and have all the power. I lost my job recently not because of company policy on masking, but because of the lone HR toad who pressed to have it enforced (while they completely ignore the smoking ban!).