Christmas Day 2018.
What I reproduce today is a file about the crisis, but a
considerably more theoretical (or: hypothetical) one than I publish
usually, for what I publish usually are reviews of daily journalism
about the crisis.
This file was written in the end of 2012 and is my theoretical
analysis of what is happening in the world and in surveillance.
I think it is still better than anything else that I read about
what is happening in the world and in surveillance, although there are
pieces by some journalists and others - Edward Snowden, Glenn
Greenwald, Chris Hedges, to name a few - which
I also like a lot.
But I am a philosopher and a psychologist, and I did read more than 50
years about what I am writing here, and I think I am going a bit deeper
than many others.
Since I do think so, I have reproduced the file that follows several
times since December 25, 2012, but usually not fully.
This time, the reproduction is of the complete file as published on
December 25, 2012, which means specifically that all the Notes
I wrote then are included below.
There are two sections still missing that do occur on December 25, 2012, namely the parts
¨More updates¨, which is about the rest of my site in 2012, and does
not concern the Crisis, and the part about ME/CFS,
since that is dated today.
Today I wrote only this introduction, and the final bit, which is here. And most of the original links of
2012 still work.
may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the
people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the
postmodern democracy, you only need to fool the majority of the
badly educated to run what is effectively a disguised
Constitution] only will end, due to the corruption of the people, in
despotism which will be the only form of government suitable for them."
-- Benjamin Franklin
(quoted by Gore Vidal)
1. Christmas sermon: Hypotheses about
In the tradition
of Christmas sermons, I reproduce part of a manuscript I wrote two
weeks ago, called without abbreviations "Hypotheses about Corporate
Fascism and the Surveillance State". I explain the meanings of my
terms below - see CF+SS for these terms - and
indeed have some reservations about using the term "fascism", as
explained in a note, that also explains why I
have used it.
Note that what I provide are explicitly called hypotheses: I
may be mistaken, and certainly hope I am, but on the other hand, I
think that there are good grounds to surrect or support the hypotheses I
There also is an endnote, on what this is good
Apart from that, there is a small section about more
updates I made.
Notably, I have now written all the summaries of Nederlogs
and updates for 2012.
1. Christmas sermon:
Hypotheses about CF+SS
The following series of hypotheses was started on paper, and then got
partially destroyed by accident. This is a reconstruction of that file,
that is reproduced here to help one focus one's thoughts.
on cfss: corporate fascism and the surveillance state
I define the terms I use below, and stress that what follows are hypotheses
for the most part.
Further hypotheses and points:
- The corporations have
taken over the states by propagandizing and/or by buying the states'
bureaucrats and politicians. [N.1]
- This has been going on
for a long time - decades, and certainly since Eisenhower mentioned the
dangers of the military-industrial
complex - and has mostly succeeded
since 9/11/01: The majorities of those who should control the states
(politicians and bureaucrats) now are controlled by people working for
the big corporations. [N.1.1]
- This was and is not
merely a matter of corruption and buying: Part was effected through propaganda. [N.1.2]
- This also holds for
European states in EU, and explains why prominent politicians in
diverse parties sound as if they are singing from a GOP hymn sheet, and
use GOP tactics, such as nominally taking over the moral stances of
those they oppose. [N.1.3]
- The states of Western
Europe and the US have been turned into surveillance states
where anonymous state bureaucrats in principle know all there is to
know about all ordinary citizens. [N.2]
- This has been going on
for since before 9/11/01, that much increased it, and is not only done
by state organizations but also by corporations, and in both cases was
possible because there are hardly any rational laws that can be
effectively applied to the internet. [N.2.1]
ordinary citizens do, desire, think, write, mail - their internet
activities, their phones, their bankaccounts, their interests, their
identities, their pictures, their fingerprints, their families, their
friends, their opinions, their education, the things they bought and
sold, and more - has been thoroughly recorded and filed,
whenever and wherever possible, since 9/11/2001, namely for the
eventual use, by unknown anonymous persons, possibly acting, for unknown ends, for obscure or secret organizations, or for mostly
secretively acting corporations, all possibly at unknown locations, for
much or all that has been collected in one country gets - explicitly or
deviously - shared with the US and with the police or security
forces in other countries. [N.3]
- This "sharing of
information" happens both by political agreements, where governments
agree with US state organs like the FBI or CIA that they will share
data on what are claimed to be (potential) "terrrorism suspects", and
by brute force: Whatever happens on the internet may be tracked, traced
and stored. [N.3.1]
- In this "We the
people" have been systematically betrayed by politicians of all
stripes: Their rights not to be spied upon, except perhaps
court order, issued by an independent judge, have been completely
- Likewise, and apart from
that, the internet activities of everyone have been secretively
tracked, traced, datamined, and stored for the benefit of corporations,
not only for targeted advertizing, but to get all possible information
on anyone who either may eventually become a customer, an employee or
an opponent. [N.4]
- The same additions
apply as under 3.
- Most that what ordinary people
- the badly educated "democratic majority" - get offered in the public
media, and especially TV, is middle of the road propaganda,
that stonewalls, avoids or lampoons all that is not middle of the road
trivialities, and that systematically avoids (almost) any really
intelligent and informed discussion of the themes that matter to a free
society inhabited by free citizens who are not controlled and spied
upon and propagandized by both state organs and corporations. [N.5]
- Education has been
systematically simplified, stupefied and leveled, and teaches hardly
any real intellectual skills. [N.6]
- High culture and high
civilization and high art of all kinds: science, art, independent
media, music, in so far as these existed, have been cut or replaced by
middle brow or low brow stuff that nominally does the same, and is more
effective as propaganda for the masses. [N.6.1]
- Additional reasons may
be that strangling high art and civilization, that often need subsidies
to exist, cost less and helps preventing that intellgent persons get ideas or find a public
for spreading their ideas. [N.6.2]
principle, corporate fascism
- defined as: the state is de facto owned and run by and for the
major international corporations, that are multinationals
and beyond state or judicial control [Note 1] -
in combination with the surveillance
state - defined as: the state's surveillance and recording
of the activities, interests, concerns, ideas, values, of its population
- means effective absolute power for a small corporate élite
plus their executives and effective slavery for the rest. [N.7]
Principles that one may see at work are like the following, that are
rather like the principles Stalin practised, except that the
beneficiaries are not the élites of the CO but the corporate élites: [N.7.bis]
- What or whoever cannot
be exploited for some corporate profit deserves not to be at all.
- Truth is what the
state organs state.
- Good is what the state
- Whoever does not
collaborate with state officials and state policies is - effectively -
- Whoever is a terrorist
deserves to die.
- Anything is permitted
against any terrorist (suspect).
- Zamyatin's "We" seems to apply most,
from the three 20th Century dystopias (Zamyatin's "We", Huxley's "Brave New World", and Orwell's "Nineteeneightyfour"),
though it may turn 1984-ish, that is, may turn more military, more
violent, and more sadistic. [N.8]
- As with Stalin,
Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and Kim Il Sung, sadism is an
important motive for those running an authoritarian state:
Repression for the sake of repression, and for the sake of frightening,
becomes an end in itself because of its appeal to those who do it. [N.8.1]
- There may be an
active plan for the creation of CF+SS (Corporate Fascism with the
Surveillance State): One reason to think so is that many Dutch
politicians, from many parties, speak as if they mouth propaganda
formulas from Republican think tanks. [N.9]
- There may be,
and soon may be many more, (secret) concentration camps, secret
disappearances, secret renditions and secret prisons, because that is
and always was the nature of state terrorism,
and because most of the propagandized and ill-educated democratic
majorities support terrorism against those who have been styled
terrorists, especially if the latter do not belong to their own groups:
- Orwell's bitter
diagnosis does apply:
"Actions are held
to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does
them, and there is almost no outrage - torture, the use of hostages,
forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonments without trial, forgery,
assassination, the bombing of civilians, which does not change its
moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side." (The Collected
Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, vol 3, p. 419)
This is simply what the majority believes: What "we" and "our" people do is
good; what "they" and "their" people do is bad - and anything is
permitted against the bad. [N.11]
- The extent of the CF+SS
I am talking about:
It is limited and extends over the United States and the European Union
mostly. It does not extend over Russia, China or India, for
these are run by different élites with different principles, ends and
- This does not mean
that the state organs of Russia, China or India may not exchange
information with the state organs of the US and the EU, nor that US or
EU citizens may not find themselves renditioned to torture-chambers in
Russia, China or India, or indeed other countries.
- The primary end of the
CF+SS I am talking about:
Power to the corporations, over the state and over the ordinary
population, by buying, taking over, and/or turning into commercial
markets what once were the states' powers and institutions, and to
manage the majority of the ordinary citizens by propaganda, control,
surveillance, and force. [N.13]
- The secondary end of the
CF+SS I am talking about:
Unknown, and it may be absent. Four
possibilitiies are: [N.14]
- A long lasting
authoritarian empire controlled by the corporate élite for the
corporate éliteś benefit, with features of Stalinism, but much
strenghtened by the Surveillance State's absolute surveillance of all.
- To increase the powers
of the military, the police and the states' repressive organs: This is
the normal way of authoritarian states.
- To control the media
more fully than they are now: Whoever controls the media controls the
minds of the majority.
- To bring about a
radical and fast diminution of the world population, now that unskilled
human labor can be mostly replaced by computers. [N.14.4]
- Some definitions of some
key terms, and some relevant distinctions: [N.15]
As to the corporations:
Corporations are groups of persons that seek to acquire and retain
property (goods, commodities, and powers that help acquiire these) by
taking property from others.
One must distinguish corporations as
social institutions, and keep apart the corporate élites, the
corporate executives, the corporate staff, and the corporate employees,
since each of these are different groups.
As to states,
in the sense of governments:
States are groups
of persons that
seek to acquire and retain power over others
(influence, renown, force, military might, weapons) by taking power and
possibilities from others.
In the present text, "state" is used as "government", that in addition
to the above may be characterized as almost invariably being recruited
from some existing social or economical élite, in order to
run the daily doings of the most powerful organization on some
territory, through a staff of bureaucrats
and (semi-)military personnel.
Both corporations and states work mostly by propaganda
popular spokespersons, special publications) in times of peace, that
also is directed at their own staffs, if perhaps not in the form this
reaches the masses who do not belong to the staff or personnel.
- Whoever controls the
internet controls the world, at least implicitly.
Namely in four ways, at least:
- Governments and
corporations need the internet as information processors: Whoever gains
some control over some aspects of this - as do Google and Facebook, for
example - controls part of the content and the data mining that is
possible through that.
- The internet is based
on physical computers, cables and broadcasters: Whoever can control
these, as can the state organs on whose territory these items exist,
has control of the functioning of them.
- The internet, in so
far as it is controlled, is controlled by states and their organs:
Whoever controls the parliamentarians, ministers or chief bureaucrats
can shape legislation.
- Whatever runs on any
computer can be taken over by whoever can get control over the
computer: corporate or state secret spies, or state representatives
such as the police.
- The internet very much
facilitated the rise of the CF+SS, but also is one of its major weak
points: Control over all of the internet may be attempted by
supercomputers, but will be slow and partial, at least now and the
- To stop the internet, if
possible, either completely, e.g. by war, or for a large part, will
bring down the countries that rely on it, which are all industrialized
- A weak point of Surveillance
States that are in the US+EU is that their populations are badly
educated and not used to poverty: There may not be enough intellectual
talent to run a complete SS, including data analysis, and there may
arise great social unrest if the current crisis grows worse (as it will
do, the next year 2013).
- What Stalin, Beria and
the Polit Bureau of the Soviet Union of the 1930ies and 1940ies showed
is that a quite small group can control a very large territory with a
very large population through the uses of state terrorism and
- Part of the motive for
creating a corporate fascist state, apart from the joys of absolute
power and control, is the possibility to do something about the size of
the world population: the weak, the poor, the unprofitable, the
unmanageable can all be exterminated and/or worked to death, as did
happen under Nazism and Communism.
- One possible ground for
the failure of the arisal of a CF+SS is that the current economic crisis may not have been created on purpose, and also may
not be either contained or controlled: In that case, the Western
economies may collapse, and then so will the states that so far helped
maintain and run them.
- Then again, the current
economic crisis may have been created on purpose, just as 9/11 may
have been funded with CIA-money, namely to introduce all the trappings
that enable the arisal of corporate fascism and the surveillance state.
- "The war on terror"
is - or seems much like - a program to introduce corporate fascism by
taking over the state and by introducing the surveillance
state, that watches, tracks and records all activities of all
ordinary citizens, so that these ordinary citizens can be controlled,
manipulated and propagandized.
- The ideology of the
corporate élite that is behind the efforts to realize CF+SS is
difficult to discern, except that clearly these folks - and their
spokesmen, as can be found in Fox News - believe they ought to run and
own the world and have an authoritarian and conservative agenda:
That those who control the corporations should control the states, the
people and the world, presumably because they have the right and duty
to impose their ideology on others, while their actions must be good,
because by rising to control the corporations they have shown
themselves to be the best, while force used by the best for an end
declared good by the best must be good.
I could formulate more hypotheses, and also could have formulated
fewer. As I said in my introduction, what
I offer are hypotheses, that state possible explanations
for much that I do see that I find quite frightening, and that I find
hard to explain in other terms than I attempt here.
As I also said: I do hope I am mistaken, if only because one of the
most frightening things I see is that most persons seem not to
be frightened by what happens.
And there is this, in case you do worry:
Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 1 of 4)
Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 2 of 4)
Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 3 of 4)
Carlin - Top 20 Moments (Part 4 of 4)
This is a compilation, and the
quality of the videos is not very high, but it is all relevant.
Carlin's attitude - the species is doomed, and so is the US: Enjoy the
freak show while it lasts, as long as you can - is in Part 2. (See
also: SNAFU, SUSFU,
FUBAR, and TARFU, in case you need further enlightenment about the
facts of life.)
Also, in case you want to understand your future joys a little better,
there is this, by The Young Turks:
In order as to provide even better even more personal advertisements to
satisfy YOUR very own needs, your most excellent new DVR will kindly
keep track of your bedroom practices and of your very own household:
It seems to worry very few,
and if there is to ever be any effective legislation against it, this
will only arrive when it is much too late, as indeed is the case with
all of the internet: Whatever humans can abuse, without fear of
punishment, they will abuse, especially if it is profitable or feels
nice or gives personal power.
2. More updates
Earlier today I
have uploaded a number of updates:
I made some
corrections in the last two Nederlogs, and I updated the summaries,
namely by writing the
summaries for November, which means that now all
summaries of all Nederlogs that I wrote in 2012 - 15 MB including some
not many mostly small images - have been written and uploaded.
The reason I wanted to have done this is that this serves as a
summary of what I did on my site, and I want to have it finished by the
end of the year.
So... there now is a fair, if not full, summary of my additions and
changes to my site in 2012, and
is not full because I do not list all the typos I corrected,
the links I restored, and indeed I also may
sometimes forget to mention that I uploaded something new. Otherwise,
except that there still remain links in various
Nederlogs, especially those written in September and October, that need
corrected to work as they were intended to work.
[Note 1] The term "fascism" is much and often
abused, since historically it applies to Mussoloni's party and
doctrine, that concern nations and especially the Italian nation.
My reason to use it here is that I am writing about something new, and
multi-national, that has many features in common with fascism, in that
it is authoritarian, embodies a police-state, uses state terrorism,
involves a lot of propaganda, and especially: is directed by and serves
the interest of large multi-national corporations.
Also, since "fascism" tends to be used as a term of abuse, to refer to
ideologies, practices, or ways of governing one strongly disapproves
of, and since I strongly disapprove of the tendencies towards - what I
call - corporate fascism, I think the usage is warranted: This is a very
dangerous road for any government to take, as it promises absolute
power to a few, by terrorizing the many.
For more see my "On corporatism"
from December 2010, that is a translation of my Dutch text "Over corporatisme" of September 2008.
corporate bodies" is highly relevant to understanding this manner
The following consists of some notes to the above hypotheses, that are
meant to serve as clarifications. These notes are from December 26,
By stressing "have" I do mean to convey this has happened. The
additional hypothesis is that it was done mostly by lobbying -
which need not just involve buying senators, members of congress,
parliamentarians, or leading bureaucrats, but also influencing them in
other ways: providing contacts, access to conferences and leading
personalities, providing funds or man power for re-elections, paying
holiday trips etc. See e.g. Jack Abramoff
This hypothesis is especially about those who formally have the power
as either high elected politicians (members of parliament, ministers)
or as high nominated bureaucrats.
Note that numerically and proportionally this is a quite small group
with large powers. The members of these groups,
in diverse states, are much easier to find and contact with the means
the internet provides.
That is: it is not merely corruption, and may not involve corruption at
all. At least part also is a matter of conviction, that may be sincere,
and may also have distinct motives (religious, free trade,
conservatism, the conviction that leaders are natural born superior
Being Dutch, I know most about Dutch politicians, but it has struck me
already around 2004 how many Dutch politicians sound remarkably like
GOP spokesmen. Since these Dutch politicians cannot be suspected of
having original minds or great intelligence, they must have it from
It seems likely this has happened, at least in principle. See e.g. "The
Spy State Tightens Its Grip" from which I quote:
The latest NSA
whistleblower, William Binney, a 32-year agency veteran who quit over
the agency’s failures that resulted in the 9/11 attacks, warns: "It
didn't take but probably a week or so after 9/11 that they [NSA]
decided to start spying on the U.S. domestically, on all U.S. citizens
they could get." Going further, he insists that the new facility will
be able to monitor everything: it "pretty much means all the
communications in the world, for roughly a hundred years."
[N.2.1] This is an elementary and important
point: It is the internet that allows government officials and
corporations to spy on people in ways that are wholly new, and far more
total - as in "totalitarian"
- then ever was possible before the internet.
[N.3] This has happened - the only unanswerd questions are
what the present extent of secret data gathering is and who will be
going to use it for what ends. The probable answers are: In principle,
everybody's internet activities are being monitored and stored - see
the link in [N.2] to "NSA keeping
details about data center quiet" and see the Wikipedia lemma on NSA.
As outlined in "The
Spy State Tightens Its Grip"
one major problem is that virtually all government decisions and
presidential directives are state secrets, as in an unfree society:
One must accept in practice, if not in theory, that whoever works for
the state is somehow a morally and intellectually superior person, to
whom things are allowed that are forbidden to other folks, and indeed
would be called "terrorism" if these other folks do these things.
One reason for this is that
the internet makes this possible, and there is no effective legislation
against its abuse. As to rendition and sharing of information on people
branded as "terrorists" or "terrorist suspects": Horrible and quite
illegal things have happened, and have been done as a matter of course,
by government officials or (semi-)military men.
These were and are acts
of betrayal, and must be quite conscious, which suggests there is a
plan behind it. As hypothesized in Hypothesis 9 of the second series
the whole "war on terror" either was a subterfuge from the very start,
or very soon was transformed into a pretext for state terrorism, and
for vastly extended mostly secret state powers, in the name of "the war
on terrorism", that is plain bullshit: The dangers of "Al Qaeda" never
have been as large as 1% of 1% of 1% of the dangers that were
constituted by the Soviet bloc plus China from 1950-1990 - when there
were no anti-terrorist measures. (For readers of Dutch, see my 2005
text "Over terrorisme".)
Google and Facebook make their enormous profits through data mining,
which is spying on people, for money, and which happens in the
industrial case mostly to be able to target individual persons by
personalized economic propaganda aka
One of the many frightening things about this is that a large
percentage of ordinary people
seem to welcome this: That anonymous folks in faraway corporations
track all they do in order to provide them with personalized ads for
just the very type of better bagel and tasty condoms they want
Here lies a very large theme: What TV and bad public education have
done to the mental capacities of human beings. (Stunted and falsified
them, is my - perhaps overly optimistic - guess.)
sorry, but if you think differently, it is because you are not very
intelligent. The fact is that starting in the 1960ies, initially
probably because of demographic pressures - "the babyboomers
generation" - the level of public education in both schools and
universities have grown much lower on average, and with a few
exceptions, as in mathematics and physics, on university level, and in
some elite universities. And again this is a very large theme: What
does this stupefication to a society and its individuals?
This merits a similar note as the last one: If you do not see this, it
is because you don't know much about high civilization.
Idem. As far as Holland is concerned, I would not be amazed if part of
the motive that strangles orchestras, theaters, art houses etc.
"because we live in a time of crisis" is, in actual fact, envy and
revenge by uncultivated and stupid but powerful bureaucrats who reason
on the pattern "What good has mathematics |"physics | classical music |
Shakespeare's plays ever done to me? Nothing: Off with
its head!". It is often motivated on strict market principles: If it
cannot make a profit by itself, it is worse than useless, and should be
terminated - as if all that is of human value is a monetary profit in
an account book. Another principle used here is that what the
democratic majority does not like - or is supposed not to like - does
not merit existence or maintenance "in our democratic society". ("If
you ain't stupid, you surely should be! Most folks won like it if you
are not like them!")
This may be considered the main hypothesis. Note that I do define my
terms, and note also that I do not agree with much social science I
have read. (There are exceptions.)
The principles that follow seek to sketch postmodern totalitarian
All three dystopias are very much worth reading, as is Zinoviev's "Yawning Heights". The
same applies to studies of Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia and Mao's
China: It is not as if the 20th Century lacked totalitarian states!
I think that the importance of sadism and malice as
motives for politicians and bureaucrats
have been much underrated by most writers on the subject of totalitarianism,
It also became very much easier to find, target and propagandize
power in governments
and governmental institutions.
What with terrorist states who spy on their populations while keeping
their decisions secret, this also may be happening in secret.
Together with - cultivated - fear this may well be one of the main
reasons a project to introduce corporate fascism + the surveillance
state may succeed: "The people" in democratic majority, "want it", in
part because they are, in democratic majority, neither intelligent nor
learned, and in part because they have been propagandized, manipulated,
pressurized and under-educated.
Russia and China are totalitarian countries, and India is a caste
society. These are not pleasant social systems, but their existence
makes world dominance by the US+EU - under any governmental system -
is formulated as if this is a planned process, directed from somewhere,
e.g. from one or several Republican think thanks. This may not be so,
but then the interesting thing is that it nevertheless works that way -
and indeed the more power a government or corporation acquires, the
easier it is to acquire yet more power.
If there is no primary end, there is no secondary end, but then [N.13]
still applies: These tendencies exist, whether or not they have been
created and are maintained on purpose.
[N.14.4] I don't mind being regarded as
a cynic. And there is a vast population problem, that may be much
lessened by killing a vast number of people. One way is by denying them
the necessities to live, while keeping them repressed by military
forces. This has happened before, e.g. in the Ukraine Famine
aka Holodomor and in the
Great Famine in Ireland.
I do like to define the terms I use, and these are attempts to provide
clear and brief definitions. As noted before, I am insufficiently
impressed by most of the social sciences I read to even try to follow
any of these. I do admit I could provide more precise longer
definitions, but these would not differ much in intent from those I do
provide: Corporations exist to make their leaders richer, and
governments exist to keep the ruling élite in power
December 25, 2018: As I started
saying, everything except this bit and the introduction that
starts this page was written six years ago.
Most of the links still work, but I replaced the links to George Carlin
with other ones, because the original ones have been removed from