December 25, 2012

Crisis: Christmas sermon: Hypotheses about CF+SS

"You 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 time."
-- Lincoln

Then again, in a postmodern democracy, you only need to fool the majority of the badly educated to run what is effectively a disguised dictatorship.
-- MM
"[The 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 CF+SS
2. More updates
About ME/CFS


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 offer.

There also is an endnote, on what this is good for.

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.

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.

Hypotheses 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.
  1. The corporations have taken over the states by propagandizing and/or by buying the states' bureaucrats and politicians. [N.1]

    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]
    2. This was and is not merely a matter of corruption and buying: Part was effected through propaganda. [N.1.2]
    3. 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]

  2. 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]

    1. 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]

  3. Everything 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]

    1. 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]
    2. In this "We the people" have been systematically betrayed by politicians of all stripes: Their rights not to be spied upon, except perhaps after a court order, issued by an independent judge, have been completely destroyed. [N.3.2]

  4. 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]

    1. The same additions apply as under 3.

  5. 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]

  6. Education has been systematically simplified, stupefied and leveled, and teaches hardly any real intellectual skills. [N.6]

    1. 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]
    2. 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]

  7. In 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 Úlite 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 Úlites of the CO but the corporate Úlites: [N.7.bis]

    1. What or whoever cannot be exploited for some corporate profit deserves not to be at all.
    2. Truth is what the state organs state.
    3. Good is what the state organs order. 
    4. Whoever does not collaborate with state officials and state policies is - effectively - a terrorist.
    5. Whoever is a terrorist deserves to die.
    6. Anything is permitted against any terrorist (suspect).

  8. 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]

    1. 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]

  9. 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]

  10. 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: [N.10]

  11. 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]

  12. 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 Úlites with different principles, ends and interests. [N.12]

    1. 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.

  13. 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]

  14. The secondary end of the CF+SS I am talking about:
    Unknown, and it may be absent. Four
    possibilitiies are: [N.14]

    1. A long lasting authoritarian empire controlled by the corporate Úlite for the corporate Úliteś benefit, with features of Stalinism, but much strenghtened by the Surveillance State's absolute surveillance of all.
    2. To increase the powers of the military, the police and the states' repressive organs: This is the normal way of authoritarian states.
    3. To control the media more fully than they are now: Whoever controls the media controls the minds of the majority.
    4. 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]

  15. 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 Úlites, the corporate executives, the corporate staff, and the corporate employees, since each of these are different

    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 Úlite, 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 (including advertisements, 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.
Further hypotheses and points:
  1. Whoever controls the internet controls the world, at least implicitly.

    Namely in four ways, at least:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

  2. 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 coming decades.

  3. 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 countries.

  4. 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).

  5. 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 state propaganda.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. "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.

  10. The ideology of the corporate Úlite 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:
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 but 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, nor all the links I restored, and indeed I also may sometimes forget to mention that I uploaded something new. Otherwise, it is mostly adequate, except that there still remain links in various Nederlogs, especially those written in September and October, that need to be 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. Hazlitt's "On corporate bodies" is highly relevant to understanding this manner of creature.

Notes to the hypotheses

The following consists of some notes to the above hypotheses, that are meant to serve as clarifications. These notes are from December 26, 2012.

[N.1] 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

[N.1.1] 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.

[N.1.2] 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 people etc.)

[N.1.3] 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 others.

[N.2] 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.

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.

[N.3.1] 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.

[N.3.2] 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".)

[N.4] 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 advertisements. 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 themselves.

[N.5] 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.)

[N.6] I'm 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?

[N.6.1] 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.

[N.6.2] 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!")

[N.7] 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.)

[N.7.bis] The principles that follow seek to sketch postmodern totalitarian values.

[N.8] 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!

[N.8.1] 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, Orwell excepted.

[N.9] It also became very much easier to find, target and propagandize individuals with power in governments and governmental institutions.

[N.10] What with terrorist states who spy on their populations while keeping their decisions secret, this also may be happening in secret.

[N.11] 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.

[N.12] 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 - quite unlikely.

[N.13] This 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.

[N.14] 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.

[N.15] 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 Úlite in power

About ME/CFS
(that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komarof

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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