4, 2014
On The Crisis: 1 - Generalities
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

Prev- crisis -Next

 The things that go wrong

What kinds of things go wrong?
1.2. Since when do these things go wrong?
1.3. What is the reason these things go wrong?

2. Eleven hypotheses about the crisis

On corporate neo-fascism and surveillance:
         Effective power for the rich, effective slavery of the

2.2. Corporate neo-fascism and surveillance have

2.3. The big corporations have taken over the state
2.4. The states are spying on everyone
2.5. The main media produce nearly only propaganda
2.6. Neo-fascism + surveillance aim at corporate power
         over all

2.7. Neo-fascism + surveillance aim at a long lasting
         authoritarian rule

2.8. Neo-fascism + surveillance aim at two classes of
         people: the human rich and the partially human rest

2.9. The "war on terror" is mere propaganda for
         neo-fascism + surveillance of all

2.10. Neo-fascism + surveillance will lead to more state

2.11. Whoever controls the internet controls the world

3. On the resources to beat the crisis

4. About this file

About ME/CFS


This is a rewriting of two articles I wrote, namely this one and this one, plus a small new third section (that offers little hope).

In fact, the first two sections are restatements of similar ideas, although I suppose more will like the first than the second section, and indeed there also is one difference between the two sections: The first does not presume what happened was mostly planned, by some conspiracy; the second does presume that considerable parts of what is happening are planned, in secret, by some conspiracy (or conspiracies).

In either case, I offer hypotheses, and I offer these in a scientific spirit (much more so than a popular or journalististic spirit), which also means that I know
very well I may be mistaken.

Also, this file is the first of a series that is called "On The Crisis", and probably will be rewritten some later: See section 4.

Finally, this is a crisis file, but not an ordinary one. There may be another crisis file today, this time an ordinary one.

1. The things that go wrong 

What sort of things have gone wrong, in a major way, in Europe and the US, and since when, and why?

I give some brief and sketchy points and answers, that are only meant to help one to get things clarified, and certainly not as complete or certain answers.
1.1. What kinds of things go wrong?

There are at least six sectors of society and one of nature that seem to go wrong currently and for quite a while now:

  • the economy: The economies of Europe and the US are in a major mess and a crisis since 2008, while also nothing much effective has been done about this, other than save the banks while forcing the population at large to pay for the debts. See the crisis series.
  • health care: The health care systems of both the US and Europe are in a major mess: The dominant end is profit rather than good health care, and both the management of health care and medicine itself are corrupt in major ways. See the DSM-5 series.
  • education: The educational system, on all levels, in both the US and Europe is in a crisis, and offers far worse education for far more money than before. See my published columns.
  • politics & civil law: Politicians, political parties and legislatures are all for the most part quite corrupt in the US and Europe, and seem to attract and protect precisely the wrong kinds of careerist and naturally born posturers, liars and  deceivers (already feared by the ancient Greeks). Also, it has turned out there are no really independent courts: the courts follow politics mostly. See the crisis series.
  • public debate: There is hardly any intelligent public debate - language has grown corrupt through political correctness; public relations talk and marketing rule almost every important topic: much of the public debate - if there is any - is along public relations lines, in Orwellian doublespeak. See Bernays' "Propaganda" to get a grasp of what is going on.
  • climate: The climate gets warmer and warmer and is effectively out of control, with unforeseeable and unstoppable social consequences of many kinds.

  • surveillance and secrecy: The Western governments, especially those in English speaking countries, have decided to spy on everyone with a computer or cellphone in the entire world, on the pretext of "terrorism", but in fact to control everyone as soon as possible and as much as possible and then to killl anything radical even before it started.
 1.2. Since when do these things go wrong?

All of the above developments, if you start thinking about it, and know some recent history, or are over 60, or both, as in my case, have been taking place for quite a while. Here are some temporal indicatons:
  • the economy: The present crisis started in 2007-2008, but got started in principle under Reagan, Clinton and Greenspan, namely by successive deregulations of the banking world, also obfuscated some by the arisal of PCs and the internet, that also fundamentally changed the economy: 1980-1990. See the crisis series.
  • health care: (1) The management of health care seems to have been always a mess in the US compared with Europe, but in Europe the American model has been introduced since 2000 in the name of "the blessings of market forces", and has grown steadily more expensive and worse for patients, if highly profitable for medical doctors and medical managers; (2) the practice of medical science and health care has grown a lot worse: The science grew to be an adjunct of the marketing of medicines; the health care got thoroughly bureaucratized: All of this has been ongoing since the 1980ies. See the DSM-5 series.
  • education: Both schools and universities have been giving less and less real education, normally in the name of equality, since the 1960ies - and note this is one of the changes the victims can neither really see, nor really feel, nor really understand: To be able to know and understand what they miss they need what they miss - a (half way) good education. See my published columns.
  • politics & civil law: Politics became much more of a top down market and public relations driven careerist thing especially since the 1960ies and 1970ies showed anything can be sold by TV, including actors who want to be presidents; politicians are for sale to lobbyists; opinions can be created and bought by marketing / public relations campaigns; and judges turn out to be not to be independent from politics nor able to constrain politics, and indeed for much that is new - computing and internet - there is no existing and in any case no effective legislation. See the crisis series.
  • public debate: Ongoing with the decline of education and with the rise of marketing / public relations as the tool of choice of governmental bodies, corporate bodies,  and political parties, the standards of public debate have grown ever and ever lower, and indeed many questions that should be intelligently discussed in public are either not discussed at all, or only in marketing / public relations terms that make a rational debate,-Next discussion or argument impossible. See Bernays' "Propaganda". This happened since the 1980ies (at the latest).
  • climate + environment: Since the 1950ies (Rachel Carson, Club of Rome).

  • spying on and surveillance of everybody: There are several distinct starting points: In the 1960ies, U.S. think tanks announced that soon everybody would be surveilled, that would enable the surveillers - the secret services - of diagnosing and stopping radicalism before it started; in the 1970ies there was the prescient Church report, that warned for surveilling everyone; from 2001 onwards Michael Haydon and Keith Alexander have used 9/11 and propaganda to illegally surveil everyone with a computer or cell-phone; from June 2013 the last plan and the enormous activities of the spying agencies were outed by Edward Snowden.
1.3. What is the reason these things go wrong?

The main reason the things mentioned have gone wrong is a combination of deregulation, increased power of corporations and governments, and mistaken ideas and ideals.

Again I limit myself to headings and points:

Deregulation and decline of standards:
- in education
- in banking
- in lobbying
- in law
- in medicine
- in the press

I have been writing about this often in Nederlog, especially in the crisis series and the DSM-5 series; in my published columns; and in ME in Amsterdam, about the utter disappearance of the maintenance of the law in Amsterdam and in Holland as regards illegal drugs.

I think deregulation and the associated decline of standards in many fields is in fact the main theme and the main force behind or enabler of the things that went wrong: Relativism, postmodernism, stupefication on an enormous scale through the lowering of educational standards, and specifically:

The rise of Orwellian postmodernism:
- "everybody knows that truth does not exist"
- "everybody knows that everything is relative"
- "everybody knows that everybody is equal or equivalent"

For which see Scientific realism vs. postmodernism and Morningstar shines a bright light and Yahooism with a human face. NB for those who can recall the postmodernism of the 1970ies-1990ies, and who might want to object there is much less of it: This is because so much has been widely accepted; because so many standards have been replaced by propaganda and/or public relations prose; and because the main damage, the decline of education and educational standards, have succeeded and are in force since the 1980ies.

Increased power of corporations and governments:
- since 9/11/2001 and the "war on terror"
- the introduction of the surveillance state
- datamining by Google, Facebook and others

The internet has made it possible for corporations and governments to spy on everyone; the lack of any real or effective legislation combined with the presence of computers everywhere and the apparent enormous profitability or possibilities for control made it possible for both corporations and states to spy on the population to an extent that never has been possible, and until very recently was not even conceived of by almost everybody.

Mistaken ideas and ideals:
- the "war on terror"
- the liberating forces of the market
- the desirability of spying on the population
- the European Union

If there was and is no plan to create authoritarian states in Europe and the US, that are effectively controlled by the executives and owners of the big international corporations, and/or are being run by politicians and yes-men that  corporate powers mostly control, then the fact that this was the outcome of the last 10 years must be due to the wide acceptance of mistaken ideas and ideals:

The "war on terror" is bullshit that works out as a tool to begin and impose state terrorism, in the form of forced identity papers, reading of e-mails, secret wire-tapping, and surveilled and stored internet behavior, followed by whatever a truly corrupt and power-crazed government may impose using the force and the information they acquired, including concentration camps, renditioning to torture centers, and disappearance without trial or trace.

The "liberating forces of the market" have turned out to be a ploy by corporations, e.g. in health care, first to get free from control by the law, the public and the press, by deregulating these checks and balance away, and then  succeeded by appropriating power and control over health care by its managers,  through public relations.

The "European Union" is a plan for a federal state that was not based on any tenable social or political theory, and a plan for an economic union that should not have been implemented by a common currency: Now all hang together, so will fall together if any falls, while the vast majority of the citizens of the EU is as nationalistic and chauvinistic as they ever were.

So far for these brief notes to help you and me get some perspective on very complicated processes and patterns that depend on many factors, and that for the most part exist for one to five decades at least.
Spying on and surveillance of everyone:
- everybody everywhere with a cellphone or computer is spied upon
- the only real end this can have is an authoritarian state and state terrorism
- few really see the dangers, for few really know how computers work

The "desirability of spying on the population", which is what has been practised systematically by European governments and by the US government since 9/11 is in fact a ploy to impose state terrorism - which is a fundamentally insane notion even if, as perhaps in the Soviet Union and China, it gets introduced for what seem moral reasons:

No man can be trusted with absolute power over other men, and least of all the men who run a state or large organization or their anonymous bureaucrats - if these are not controlled by effective checks and balances, such as independent courts, a real free press, and an educated public that needs not fear to speak or write as they please - for else corporate or state governors will enthrall as much and as many as they can, for that has happened always wherever they got the chance.

Hypotheses about the crisis 

This section is (1) explicitly about the causes of the crisis and (2) explicitly lists my theses as scientific hypotheses that explain the causes of the crisis - which also means that I am very clear that I am not certain.

Also, the present section is a slight reworking of two earlier files, of which the second is a reworking of the first, that I first published on December 25, 2012, which was written at a time that I did not know anything about Snowden or his revelations: This only happened only on June 10, 2013 and later.

In fact, I also think that my hypotheses of 2012 were strongly confirmed by Snowden's revelations, indeed in a way and to an extent that is rare in the social sciences.

This indeed does not mean that I am right, but it does mean that the hypotheses are more probable than they were, though that also doesn't need to mean very much.

Here is first some fixing of terminology (that you may skip):

Some definitions of some key terms, and some relevant distinctions:

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

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) on a certain territory, 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 (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.
What you should realize, though, are the enormous amounts of propaganda, advertisements, and public relations, all of which are always intentional lies or misrepresentations, that everybody who lives in the West is exposed to, and that most of the people consider "natural" and "informative", and also likes to live up to, without being forced, because they think they are better and more happy men and women when they walk in branded expensive shirts and shoes.

Hypothesis 1: On corporate neo-fascism and surveillance:
In principle, corporate neo-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 - 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 small corporate élites plus their executives, and effective slavery for the rest.
Note this is mainly a matter of definition, and as such is ept or inept rather than true or false. What is true or false (and merely probable or improbable when taken hypothetically) is that what I call corporate neo-fascism (which is a fairly classical definition), together with what I call the surveillance state, aim at absolute power for the corporate élites and their executives, and effective slavery for the rest. (And of course no politician or bureaucrat will ever admit this - and they also do not need to, for much has succeeded by now.)

If you want support for this notion: The wages have hardly risen for 30 years in the U.S.; the middle class(es) are rapidly disappearing; there are ever more poor and very poor people; the economic inequalities are growing enormously and have never been as large; the banks' managers seem to be all multimillionaires and get paid enormous sums; none of the bankmanagers has ever been punished for anything; the big corporations pay extremely little taxes, as do the rich; and hardly any government does anything real against these facts.

Hypothesis 2: Corporate neo-fascism and surveillance have succeeded
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.

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.

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

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.
This is all as I formulated it in 2012, and has been massively confirmed by Snowden's revelations. Also, it should be noted that I consider all this spying on all persons illegal, immoral, reprehensible and neo-fascistic: A government that spies on all or on a large part of its citizens is a neo-fascist government, and none of its spokespersons can be relied on in any way.
Hypothesis 3: The big corporations have taken over the state 
The corporations have taken over the states by propagandizing and/or by buying the states' bureaucrats and politicians.

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.

This was and is not merely a matter of corruption and buying: Part was effected through propaganda.

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.
This again is all as I formulated it in 2012, and has been massively confirmed by Snowden's revelations. And this certainly goes back - at least - to the 1970ies (the Powell memorandum) and has a long history. To what extent the European politicians in diverse parties have been bought I do not know, but I do know that many "liberals", "socialists", and "christian democrats" - all between quotes, because the one thing I know about them is that they are all liars - sound very often as if they are singing from the same hymn sheets that the American Republican politicians also sing from, and they also use the same tricks.

Hypothesis 4: The states are spying on everyone
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.

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.
This also is all as I formulated it in 2012, and has been massively confirmed by Snowden's revelations. However, I grant less is known about Europe than is known about the U.S., but that is more a reflection on the secrecy and lack of constitutional principles under which the E.U. works, than it is based on positive knowledge that the European situation is "less bad" than the American one. I think it is probable that everywhere some secret service has probably vacuumed up all the information there can be gotten from the internet and from cell-phones.

Hypothesis 5: The main media produce nearly only propaganda
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.

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

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.

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.
These hypotheses have not been confirmed by Snowden's revelations. Even so, I think they are quite right and quite relevant, and the simplification and stupification of the education on all levels has been going on now in the West since the late 1960ies, and also have been very little protested against.

Hypothesis 6: Neo-fascism + surveillance aim at corporate power over all
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, and not by reason nor in freedom.
This is in fact hypothesis 1 in a specific form - and it should be noted that all of what hypothesis 6 says is and was deeply anti-democratic: The state, in a democracy, gets elected by the people, and is controlled by parliaments; the new state has officials that are paid by the corporations, and/or do their biddings, and the parliaments are mostly ineffective.

Hypothesis 7: Neo-fascism + surveillance aim at a long lasting
authoritarian rule

A long lasting authoritarian empire controlled by the corporate élite for the corporate élites benefit, with features of Stalinism, but much strenghtened by the Surveillance State's absolute surveillance of all.
This also is the other part of hypothesis 1 in a specific form. Note that this is not yet quite there, though a lot of it is at least in place.

Hypothesis 8: Neo-fascism + surveillance aim at two classes of people : The rich, who have the power and are fuilly human, and the rest who are
not fully human and have no rights

The ideology of the corporate élite is difficult to discern, except that 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, and because any force used by the best for an end declared good by the best must be good.
This seems to me to be a quite good guess at the ideology of the corporate élites. Again, this is not quite there yet, although speakers for the Republicans are often quite close to hypothesis 8 (and also are rather often motivated by racism).

Hypothesis 9: The "war on terror" is mere propaganda for neo-fascism + surveillance of all
"The war on terror" is - or seems much like - a program to introduce corporate neo-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.
This is in part a restatement of the hypothesis 1, and explains "the war on terror" as not being primarily directed against "Al Qaeda" (which anyway is ridiculous), but as being primarily directed against the democratic institutions and against the ordinary people of their own countries.

Hypothesis 10: Neo-fascism + surveillance will lead to more state terrorism
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.
This is also something that is (or may) not quite be there yet, although there are many signs of it, including the threats against Snowden and Greenwald; the non-persecution of the Congressional liar Clapper; and the defense of the stealing of everyone's private information, completely regardless of any judge's opinion that the person committed probably a crime (which is the legal way, that has been mostly left).

Extra hypothesis 11: Whoever controls the internet controls the world
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.
This is thrown in because the internet is central to everything the NSA does, and because the internet is very weak in terms of laws and regulations, and especially in laws and regulations that are maintained.

3. About the resources

There are at least four kinds of people that might contribute to battling the crisis:

Ordinary people: Those without a college education, who mostly do not read books and have few intellectual interests of any kind, and constitute at least 2/3rds of any large unselected group.
Intellectuals: Those with a university degree, who do have some intellectual interests, and belong to maximally 1/3rd of the population.
Middle class: Those with incomes higher than the 10% lowest incomes and lower than the 10% highest incomes.
Upper class:
Those with incomes equal or higher than 90%.

The first thing to notice is that almost everyone receives these days far more propaganda than real and adequate information:

Almost everyone gets inundated with advertisements nearly everywhere, all of which are propaganda and lies, while also for intellectuals it is difficult to get the real news, since the mass media only offer a selection from the real news, and also present this in some very propagandistic manner. (It still is possible to get the real news, but this takes effort, and may soon be forbidden.)

The second thing to notice is that of any of these four large groups of people only a small minority may be relied upon to do anything about the system in which they live if doing this is impopular or makes them impopular.

This last fact makes it quite unlikely any revolution or rebellion will overthrow the system, the more so since everyone is being surveilled in secret: the best chance for a radical change is a collapse of the system.

4. About this file

As I said, this file is the first of a series called "On The Crisis", and in fact was compiled from two earlier files, that I rewrote some. The present file probably will be rewritten some more, but this will happen in my own section in philosophy. Also, at present all of the notes I originally wrote for part 2 have been deleted.

Finally, here is the plan for the rest of this series
"On The Crisis": seven more files with subtitles as in section 1.1 but each with considerably more detail, and
one final file that attempts some conclusions.

Most of these have to wait till 2015.

[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, that the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

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 Komaroff

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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