Peter Singer on Making COVID Vaccines Legally Mandatory

Peter Singer’s article defending the idea that vaccines for COVID should be made legally mandatory is yet another (unintentional) illustration of the intellectual and moral collapse of academic philosophy in recent decades.


Professor Singer argues from analogy. Disanalogies should begin coming to mind more quickly than they can be written down.

The first is that you put a seat belt on when you drive a car (or ride as a passenger), and when you’ve gotten where you are going you take it off and get out.

You can’t do that with a vaccine.

Seat-belts are also not one of the products of a trillion-dollar cartel consisting of several of the most powerful corporations in the Western world.

On the other hand, neither are seat belts portrayed as “free,” as are the COVID jabs. When powerful people offer you something for free and tell you that it is “in your best interest” to “serve the greater good,” and then start introducing layers of inconveniences one by one when you decline and your better judgment tells you that something is amiss with this picture, maybe you ought to listen.

An additional disanology is that seat belts and other safety features in automobiles have been developed over years, and are known to save lives. The COVID vaccines were developed in a matter of six months or so and then foisted on the populations of the world. Do they save lives? While some will dismiss the accounts as anecdotal, I read accounts every day of people who were “fully vaccinated” and got COVID anyway. If one searches for information on, e.g., COVID vaccinations in Israel, one learns that Israel has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world, and they still have enormous problems with COVID.

“Safe and effective.” Truth? Or propaganda?

For there is the question of catastrophic risk, which we know with a seat belt is absolutely minimal. Can the same claim be made for these experimental mRNA COVID vaccines?

I don’t know. No one else has convinced me that he/she knows, and that’s just the problem. There is no way anyone can know this about something produced at “warp speed” (a science fiction concept) and then rolled out and given only emergency authorization by the FDA (not the same as full approval).

People are refusing the COVID vaccine not to be obstinent or contrary, but because they aren’t buying what the Establishment is selling (for free, yet!).

Some will call this “vaccine misinformation.” My response: turn off CNN and turn on your brain!

For one thing, there have been preventatives and cures for Covid other than these experimental vaccines, such as hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and ivermectin. The former is an anti-malarial agent known for 60-odd years to be safe. Suddenly, last year, the drug was demonized by Fauci, his cronies, and The Science. Those prescribing it, usually with great success, were threatened with the loss of their medical licenses. Their evidence was scrubbed from all the major online platforms. All of a sudden, according to The Science, there was no evidence.

One study of HCQ was done in the context of its prospects as a preventative / cure for Covid. It was methodologically botched (on purpose?) and had to be withdrawn.

Is the opposition to such cures based on the fact that they can be dispensed cheaply, so that the pharmaceutical giants cannot reap billions in profits? Is it because such cures would have been capable of ending what pandemic there was in a matter of months, which was not what wealthy and powerful people wanted?

We aren’t supposed to ask such questions in public. Presentations on, e.g., the known safety and effectiveness of HCQ are scrubbed from the Big Tech owned Internet platforms. Why? What are all the corporate media talking heads and Big Tech censors afraid of?

Some will call this a “conspiracy theory.” That buzzword again!

Anyone at this point who doesn’t realize that there is more to this “pandemic” than meets the eye (or is reported in corporate media) doesn’t WANT to realize it.

We come back to: the analogy Singer draws between seat belts, known quantities, and these COVID vaccines, the long term effects of which are a complete black hole. His analogy disintegrates when we put it under the spotlight and look at it in detail.

And incidentally, how many patents do Fauci and his cronies, which include Bill Gates who isn’t a doctor or a scientist, have on vaccines generally, on which they have all made billions in passive income?? There are conflicts of interest all over the place here, and it should astound us that someone touted as one of the major moral philosophers of our era would simply overlook them!

That brings me full circle to my first paragraph.

There is also evidence all over the place that academic philosophy has pretty much collapsed intellectually despite all the seeming activity (blogs, podcasts, you-name-it) — and morally as well. This is an era that produces academic “superstars,” after all. Peter Singer is certainly that! This is, after all, the same Peter Singer who once made the bullet-biting argument that infanticide (not just abortion) is sometimes morally justifiable, especially in cases in which an infant was born with clear physical disabilities. For this he was understandably (and rightly) castigated by that community.

I suppose he would say that “my body, my choice” only applies to what liberals and lefties euphemistically call “women’s reproductive rights.” Another of those phrases indicating the extent to which “language has gone on holiday” (Wittgenstein) despite well over a hundred years now of philosophical analysis, and how we are now going backwards, not forwards.

Steven Yates has a PhD in philosophy and is the author of What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory (Wipf & Stock, 2021). This article is an expanded version of a comment I penned for the comments section under Singer’s article.

Posted in Academia, Coronavirus, Philosophy, Where is Civilization Going? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lost Generation Philosopher Looks Critically at Critical Race Theory

A deep dive into CRT claims, counter-claims, the philosophical background, and the realities of power in today’s world.

Critical race theory (CRT) is all the rage these days. One doesn’t see a newsfeed without articles on it, pro or con. Allegations surrounding it have led to disrupted school board meetings by angry parents, and even a few arrests. People have left positions of responsibility over it. Something like thirteen states led by Republican governors have sought to ban it from their school systems. Others are following suit.

Critical Race Theory: Defenders and Critics.

What is CRT? That almost appears to depend almost on who you ask. Its defenders speak of it as a recent field of inquiry, a way of looking at race in U.S. history honestly and earnestly. It originated in the 1970s, but really getting off the ground in the 199os. Its advocates say it exposes the codification of racism in America through its legal and Constitutional system. It is therefore a necessary tool for undoing the long term effects of what began in 1619 when the first slaves were forcibly brought to our shores from Africa, with blacks* seen as intellectually inferior to whites even after slavery was abolished. American institutions and practices remain permeated, almost organically, by systemic racism that leaves blacks, other ethnic groups, and other minorities behind even if the laws have changed and few reputable scholars believe any kind of intellectual-inferiority thesis.

According to its defenders, CRT is benign in intent. Its claim, they maintain, is not that large numbers of white people still consciously discriminate against blacks and other minorities, disadvantage them, or want to harm them in any way. There is a difference between systematic and systemic racism. We may well have gotten rid of most of the former and quashed most of the personal attitudes behind it, but the latter persists as a stubborn legacy of our past. These include visible imbalances in racial and other forms of parity, not rooted in specific intentions but rising out of invisible structures built into institutions and occupations, often as unconscious assumptions that continue to be made. In myriad ways, many effects of these structures and assumptions are too small to be noticed by white people, but they compound over time. Take for example microaggressions. Example: a white professor tries to compliment a black student by telling him he writes really well. According to CRT, the comment’s subtext is an unstated and probably unconscious assumption by the professor that black students’ writing well violates expectations. These do unintended harm and place racial/ethnic and other minorities at a continued disadvantage.

Defenders of CRT contend, finally, that most white people see themselves as essentially “raceless,” not having given race any deep thought: especially those of us who are older and grew up in a less diverse America. If we are white, privilege (also systemic) has made our lives, lifestyles, and values the “gold standard” for everyone. We see this reflecting a meritocratic view of America in which “everyone succeeds or fails based on his/her skills and personal responsibility.” According to CRT’s architects, this is illusory. The colorblindness advocated even by early civil rights heroes such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assumed that changes in the law would result in an America where you would be judged not by the color of your skin but the content of your character, and your race-neutral abilities. But for defenders of CRT there is no escaping the basic reality that America is not colorblind, never has been, and never will be — unless systemic racism is exposed and eradicated.

Critics of CRT see it very differently. They see an assault on American institutions and founding ideals rooted in a species of Marxism. They see it as antiwhite or “reverse” racism intended to shame and disadvantage white people, including white school children, more likely to further divide the races instead of bringing them together as it invites pushback by parents. CRT’s critics observe that defenders of CRT question their motives instead of directly answering such allegations. For according to defenders of CRT, critics seem willfully blind to all of the above, and at worse, as unconscious or conscious racists themselves — perhaps driven by visceral fear of losing their status and privileges in a country growing more ethnically and culturally diverse with each election cycle.

Respondents to the criticisms thus say that public critics don’t understand it, and are falsely portraying it as attacking white people instead of unveiling those structures and habits from which the latter uniquely benefit, knowingly or not. They point to its focus on history, revisiting U.S. history in ways that reveal events previously all but hidden (example: the deadly Tulsa, Okla. race riot of 1921). They ask why, after over 50 years of civil rights efforts, African-Americans still lag behind whites in terms of educational attainment, income, health outcomes, etc., even though the Jim Crow era is long gone. They ask, in effect, Are we not to have history texts and teaching reflecting the history of the entire population, as opposed to what mattered to the dominant group?

What is interesting is that while criticizing the alleged pretenses of white “racelessness,” the absolute last thing defenders of CRT want to encourage is any kind of racial identity among whites that would be seen positively. Top U.S. military leader Gen. Mark Milley, on the contrary, wants to understand “white rage” (his phrase). A psychoanalyst recently described “whiteness” as “voracious, insatiable, and perverse — with no permanent cure.” A few seem to believe (they’ve said so openly) that society would be better off if “whiteness” disappeared, or was eliminated! I don’t think anyone is considering actual genocide, although it may be worth asking, what are some of these people thinking (we will get into more specifics below)?

What some may be thinking is very much in tune with our postmodern (Fourth Stage) times: race is not a biological category but a social construct. What was unconsciously “constructed” can be consciously “deconstructed.” In doing so, many of CRT’s footsoldiers surely appear to be urging something akin to purposefully shaming and disadvantaging white people, even as they deny doing anything other than understanding “white rage” or countering “white privilege.” Their public statements, using phrases such as “white fragility,” seem calculated to put white people on the defensive. This, I think, is what is arousing ire such as that of the parents mentioned above who are horrified if Johnny, a fourth grader, tells mom and dad that his teacher told the class “we are all racists.” (I don’t know that such things have happened, but neither kids, nor their parents, are trained to sort out conceptual differences between what is systematic and what is systemic — which may be a reason for keeping CRT out of public schools as age-inappropriate.)

One of the “edgier” commentaries on CRT I’ve run across is here. Gregory Hood develops the idea and criticisms of it as well as I could. Some readers will hate the article, its author, and the site it appears on. I would urge them to get past such emotional responses. For then they’ll notice: Hood discusses a few things CRT unequivocally gets right! The U.S. isn’t a meritocracy. Nor is any other industrial (or post-industrial) society. It is possible to soar ahead in a capitalist economy with the right beliefs, skills, and habits, many of which have nothing to do with intelligence or personal merit, and the majority of people do not have those beliefs or skills or habits or inclinations. On the contrary, one might question the ethics of some who do.  

The long and short of it: dismissing CRT as academic mumbo-jumbo, or as racism in reverse, on the basis of a few perhaps careless remarks its defenders or by teachers without a closer look would be a mistake. We need calm. We need to find out what it might get right — and where it goes wrong if it does. The outrage factory encouraged by mass media outlets and social media platforms competing for attention and ratings is getting us nowhere.

If I were to outline the philosophical roots of CRT from my perspective as a Lost Generation Philosopher, here’s how I would do it. Some of this might seem a bit far afield at first, but please bear with me. What we will discover will be surprising: its origins are Western through and through. It is therefore hardly as radical as either its advocates or its critics realize.

CRT’s Roots in Mainstream Western Philosophy.

At the beginning of the era that led to modernity, René Descartes (1596-1650) thought he needed to ground all knowledge, scientific, theological, or lived, on a “foundation” of epistemic certainty, akin to the certainty found in mathematics (he was, first and foremost, a mathematician, and we still speak of Cartesian coordinates).

Modern rationalism thus began with Descartes’s methodological razing of all experience and tradition to the ground and proposing to start over. The idea that tradition-based experience offered an imperfect but pragmatic and acceptable basis for organizing knowledge in society began to die among philosophers. Also dying was a fundamentally Christian if otherwise somewhat diffuse notion of persons as agents in the world, created by God in His image, standing before Him as sinners needing redemption. What replaced this traditional notion in Western thought was a Cartesian abstraction, a disembodied rational intellect or “thinking thing” (the usual translation from his Meditations on First Philosophy of 1641), emerging later in classical liberalism as “the individual” or homo economicus.

Collectivism (which goes back at least to Plato) surfaced in modern times with the general will of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the collective will of “the people” standing above their private wills and able to subordinate them if necessary. The group was a supervening force over the individual, who derives his/her identity from group membership.

Tribalism, which Hood sees as our human default setting predating civilization (and he’s hardly alone!), had found a philosophical voice. Early Enlightenment thought sought to break free of tribal impulses. Our individual reason, questioning authority as well as tradition, would be our means of becoming better than we had been.

Unfortunately, though, the mainline of modern philosophy’s most articulate alternative to either Christian tradition or emerging collectivism was the Cartesian private intellect (Descartes’s “thinking thing” in his Meditations) — on which CRT’s architects pounced as white, male, straight, and European through and through.

The Jacobins saw Rousseau as the great philosophical voice of the era. They married him to the Cartesian method which they applied, de facto, to society’s institutions, especially the Monarchy and the Church. All was subjected to cold light of disembodied Reason. Skipping over the details, where this led was to the French Revolution and the Terror. (I’ve cashed out a few more details in my The Virus of Revolutionism.)

Christians had assumed that problems with institutions and social relations were products of sin, and that it was not possible to wish the effects of sin away with either philosophical method or societal revolution. Traditional arrangements (familial, ecclesiastical, etc.) in Christendom were all that held sin in check, however imperfectly. A defense of such had to wait for Edmund Burke (1729-1797), after the French Revolution. By then it was arguably too late.

For by this time Western thought was fully in the grip of the two abstractions: the Cartesian one, and Rousseau’s brand of tribalism. Jacobinism fused them into one package, and the result was a bloodbath. The Cartesian abstract intellect continued to captivate philosophers, but tribal existence more closely approximated the realities of human life on the ground even as it evolved into national existence under the auspices of the European nation state since the Westphalia Treaties (1648).  

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) took the next pivotal step, formulating his famous doctrines: (1) the mind is not a passive receptor but an active shaper of its experiences via forms of intuition and categories of the understanding; and (2) morality consists of duties deducible from pure reason. The Cartesian legacy hence continued in the guise of the autonomous Kantian noumenal intellect, shaping its experiences via a priori intuitions and categories, and inferring its duties rationally instead of finding them in Christianity.

It was a small step to the idea that different matrices of categories would yield different basic experiences: different “worlds,” perhaps. Did different groups (or tribes) shape their experiences in different ways? One ingredient was yet to be added: some groups or tribes — or maybe one group or tribe — soared ahead because of unearned advantages over other groups: colonizing them, stealing their land, enslaving them, or otherwise forcibly subordinating them, then creating “pre-legal” structures and institutional arrangements that would hold them back even if laws changed.

Georg W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) took this step, distinguishing masters from slaves, or drawing as historically and philosophically important the dichotomy between “lordship and bondage” (Herrschaft, Knechtschaft). The “lord” held sway over those in “bondage.” The latter had no rights against the former, and the relationship was one of de facto or de jure ownership, not contract: the feudal system in a nutshell.

Serfs were tied to land owned by “their” feudal lords, whose troops sought to secure the land and protect their estates from invaders. This system had operated for hundreds of years. The nation state, followed by the industrial revolution, had mostly replaced feudalism in Western Europe by the time Hegel and his students came along, but for them all this meant was the arrival of new forms of masterhood and servitude.

What interested Hegel and his followers was the different ways masters and slaves experienced the world and how this affected consciousness, self-identity, and each one’s sense of place. Those in bondage surely experienced a different “world” than those in lordship. Whose was the more correct depiction of reality? Hegel’s progeny had their right wing who identified with the lords as having the superior, i.e., more “truthful” outlook on the world by virtue of their success at conquest and domination, while its left wing identified with those in bondage as closer to reality via their experience as laborers and sufferers.   

Karl Marx (1818-1883) studied Hegel. His lords were the bourgeoisie, the capitalist overlords who held the proletariat in bondage courtesy of economic arrangements established by capitalism. Marx concurred that the two experienced the world in different ways, but held optimistically that as conditions of the proletariat worsened they would organize, force the bourgeoisie from power, and institute the “dictatorship of the proletariat” which would hold sway until capitalist arrangements were abolished.

The long term result of doing away with capitalism would be Communism as Marx originally understood it: the End of History!

This followed from the idea of class consciousness — the Marxian variation on tribalism — and the Marxian idea of history as the history of class struggle. If classes ceased to struggle, history as we understood it would end. They struggled because a dominant class controlled the means of production and a subordinate class did not. A few lords or masters had always held slaves (de jure or de facto) in bondage. The rest was details. Marx believed he had discovered an iron dialectical law of history that would end all such conflicts for good, and their end would usher in Communism.  

From Classical Marxism to the Frankfurt School.

Is it unclear what all this has to do with race, with racial-identitarianism, and with CRT? Are we not beginning to see that CRT is very much a product of the Western philosophical mainstream, and would have been impossible without it?

CRT has no place for the Cartesian disembodied intellect, which does not fit well into a tribal view of the world. But that aside, CRT is quite at home with criticizing the entire basis of a society at its foundations (“razing it all to the ground and starting over”). Its idea of race (and gender) as social constructs would make no sense without Kant’s idea of the mind as a shaper of experience and not just a passive receptor; and notions like systemic racism would not make sense without Hegel’s lordship-bondage (or master-slave) dichotomy as pursued by left-wing Hegelians.

With this background in place, we come to the twentieth century and the Frankfurt School which began to organize in the 1920s in Frankfurt, Germany, founding the Institute for Social Research in 1929.

Now before going further, a psychic barrier might immediately arise that we have to get past to see what’s going on. Some have a kneejerk reaction to invocations of the Frankfurt School as a “conspiracy theory.” I realized some time ago that such phrases are code for: this is a line of thought you’re not supposed to pursue. Back off, peon, and listen to your betters, the “experts.” Believe what they tell you to believe.

Not exactly Enlightenment fare!

In any event, we will pursue it. The Frankfurt School did exist, after all. Right-wingers didn’t invent it out of whole cloth. (We’ll return to the “conspiracy theory” narrative below.)

The Frankfurt School was troubled both by the brutal totalitarianism that had descended on the Soviet Union, and the Western proletariat’s indifference to matters of social revolution. They had an answer to the former: the Soviets skipped the capitalist stage in Marxian development according to those laws of history Marx had worked out, and so couldn’t have expected the right results. The latter foxed them, though, for Western workers desired to join, not overthrow, the bourgeois! Some were doing just that (or their children were). Prosperity under capitalism was increasing by leaps and bounds. Their dislike of capitalism blinded them to what Marx had actually said, which was capitalism was indeed an engine of prosperity and a necessary stage of human development which had to reach its full potential before it would give rise to a fully revolutionary class consciousness. So strictly speaking, nothing unexpected was taking place.

Frankfurt School philosophers didn’t see it that way.

They (Max Horkheimer, Georg Lukács, Theodor Adorno, among others) decided that the “problem” resided in cultural institutions, not mere economic arrangements. They recognized a fundamental truth: as some conservatives would put it decades later, political economy is downstream from culture. They broke with classical Marxism over its near-exclusive emphasis on class as the basis of collective consciousness and driver of revolution. Rather like Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) the Italian Marxist who developed similar ideas independently, they shifted their emphasis to culture. This opened the door to the critical theory for which they are best known.  

By the way, this is why some conservatives speak of cultural Marxism even if the core ideas differ from those of Marx, making the phrase something of a misnomer. The Gramscian pursuit of a long march through the institutions was realized, however, especially when the Frankfurt School came to the U.S. in the 1930s fleeing the Nazis and rebuilt a small institute created by John Dewey and others as the New School of Social Research.

From Marcuse to CRT.

The most important protégé of the Frankfurt School in the U.S. was Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979). In his hands, the lordship-bondage dichotomy underwent a shift from class to race/ethnicity, and potentially to other classifications such as gender (or gender identity), an emphasis beginning with Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) more than any other twentieth century thinker. CRT’s defenders tend to trace it to the 1970s. Its most proximate source given its emphasis on legal structures, is Marcuse’s important essay “Repressive Tolerance,” which appeared in a slim volume entitled A Critique of Pure Tolerance (1965).

Marcuse’s argument in that pivotal essay boiled down to the claim that to achieve equity and social justice, basic Constitutional guarantees such as free speech would have to be curtailed, because they continue to “privilege” the dominant group — “raceless” white people — thus thwarting the expectations of the marginalized. This association of basic Constitutional ideals with “whiteness” predated anyone’s using that term pejoratively, but here we see the origin of explicit calls for differential treatment: policies that favor women and minorities while disfavoring white men.  

Marcuse was the leading philosopher of the New Left, his pervasive influence rivaled only by that of Saul Alinsky. Through such influences, calls for the nondiscrimination of the “early” civil rights era, via Dr. King’s call for colorblindness, evolved into preferences: set-asides, quotas, eventually what became known as racenorming for law school admissions, and so on.

The shift of emphasis from nondiscrimination as a process to calls for politically acceptable outcomes entered the legal system with the Supreme Court’s Griggs v. Duke Power decision (1971). To the outcomes-focused, process was an impediment. Besides, how could an employer prove he had not discriminated? Proving a negative has never been especially easy. In practice, what it meant was: every institution hired bureaucrats to collect reams of data on every applicant for every slot to which antidiscrimination law applied. This continued rather than minimized emphasis on group identity, and thwarted attempts to achieve colorblindness.

Pushback against preferences emerged quickly, Bakke v. University of California at Davis Medical School (1978) being the best known case, and continued into the 1980s, the Reagan-Bush years, leading to more cases coming before the Supreme Court (Croson and Ward’s Cove come to mind, both 1989, in which a more conservative Court let lower court decisions curtailing preferences stand).

The idea of rolling back “affirmative action” was catching on, as conservative black scholars such as Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams criticized it in book-length treatments. Sowell argued in Preferential Policies: An International Perspective (1989) drawing on examples from around the world that when government gives favors to some at the expense of others, the others eventually rebel, their rebellion hardens if ignored or suppressed, until it explodes into violence. Though Sowell doesn’t emphasize it as much, this was surely the impulse for just instead of differential treatment that fueled the original civil rights movement.

The rising conservative influence had to be countered, one might say. The results were aggregated under the pejorative label political correctness: campus speech codes, for example, and clear intellectual favoritism for, e.g., “third wave” feminists, as for reasons CRT claimed to be able to explain, not very many blacks were seeking academic careers. But white women were. Those troubled by obvious differential treatment favoring women on campuses felt the chilling effect as they watched the playing out of what Marcuse had advocated regarding race/ethnicity two and a half decades before. The so-called “culture wars” riveted a lot of people’s attention, and it was during this period, the 1990s, that CRT took off among left academics.  

Critical Race Theory Emerges.

CRT’s own advocates don’t talk about much (if any) of the above. Their own voluminous writings lament the continuing inequities between whites and other ethnic groups (except Asians and Jews), the failure of so many blacks to make substantial progress, and attributing lack of progress in large part to the delusion of colorblindness which only perpetuates systemic racism and stereotyping. As for political correctness: it is a right-wing invention against a world in which words and actions that reflect bias are no longer accepted.

Thus we hear from spokespersons such as Kimberlé Crenshaw (1959-       ), the legal theorist who originated the phrase critical race theory, came up with the idea of intersectionality, and arguably became the prime mover of identity politics as it developed in the new millennium. Other major contributors to CRT include Derrick Bell, Angela Y. Davis, Charles Lawrence III, Mari Matsuda, Cornel West, bell hooks, Richard Delgado, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Ibram X. Kendi (who coined the phrase anti-racism), and Robin Diangelo (author of White Fragility in 2018), among others.

Collectively, these women and men argue what we outlined in our opening section, that despite Supreme Court decisions going back at least to Brown in 1954, executive orders (EO 10925 signed by John F. Kennedy, EO 11246 signed by Lyndon B. Johnson) and laws passed (Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Fair Housing Act of 1968, among others), actual changes under the auspices of liberalism had been cosmetic and not fundamental.

What followed was that either there were actual race differences of the sort Charles Herrnstein and Charles Murray would champion in the most controversial chapters of their The Bell Curve (1994), an idea most scholars found abhorrent and repudiated vigorously, or there was something structurally (that is, systemically) wrong that eluded such corrections, and which liberals failed to grasp.  

Here’s where things get even more interesting.

For in this author’s view, among the things CRT gets right, alluded to above, is holding that structural elements built into Western civilization ensuring that meritocracy is largely a myth, are real and not simply hoked up by left-leaning academics. These are not mere products of any legal system, though legal systems and some of their premises give them sanction. The result is unearned advantages or privileges for some at the expense of others.

Note that the last paragraph doesn’t identify who has the unearned advantages and privileges. That is purposeful. We will return to it.

Continuing with CRT’s recent history: New York Times journalist and historian Nikole Hannah-Jones (1976-      ) developed the 1619 Project designed to unveil the full history and role of slavery in America, the jumping-off point for which was 1619 when African slaves were first brought to the U.S. She clearly overreached with her claim that the colonists fought the War for Independence to preserve slavery. Nevertheless, we had/have the three-fifths compromise, the ownership of slaves by many of the founders continuing into the 1800s, and eventually Supreme Court decisions such as Dred Scott (1857). All these, in CRT hands, served to undermine the idea that the U.S. was founded just on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  

We already noted a key postmodernist assumption that race is socially constructed, not read out of the biological world; the same with gender / gender identify, national origin, and so on, leading to compounded discrimination from combinations of these (intersectionality).

The idea, finally, is not just to study these systemic features from the past but set about to change them in the present.

This has put CRT’s advocates in a bit of a bind, since they insist they do not reject Constitutional government, are not antiwhite racists wanting a new form of educational segregation, do not advocate hostility towards or self-loathing among white people. What they say they want is a frank acknowledgment by whites of systemic racism and unnoticed white privilege built into institutions that will lead to systemic changes.

What is unclear is what this last amounts to, or where we go from there, especially given some of the hotheaded remarks cited by Paul Craig Roberts in the article I linked to above. Let me quote one recent case:

This is the cost of talking to white people at all. The cost of your own life, as they suck you dry. There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil. … I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a f***ing favor.

This is from a lecture entitled “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind” by a psychiatrist (not psychologist?) named Aruna Khilanani speaking before the Yale University School of Medicine. To their credit, Yale administrators repudiated the remark. Under fire from across the political spectrum, what choice did they have?

This is just one such case. There are numerous others, some from white scholars such as the above-mentioned psychoanalyst whose name is Donald Moss and who wrote (this is from the abstract, unedited, to an article entitled “On Having Whiteness”): 

Whiteness is a condition one first acquires and then one has — a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which “white” people have a particular susceptibility. The condition is foundational, generating characteristic ways of being in one’s body, in one’s mind, and in one’s world. Parasitic Whiteness renders its hosts’ appetites voracious, insatiable, and perverse. These deformed appetites particularly target nonwhite peoples. Once established, these appetites are nearly impossible to eliminate. Effective treatment consists of a combination of psychic and social-historical interventions. Such interventions can reasonably aim only to reshape Whiteness’s infiltrated appetites—to reduce their intensity, redistribute their aims, and occasionally turn those aims toward the work of reparation. 

No hatred being expressed of whites? No self-loathing whites encouraging other white people to self-loathe? No, I did not read the article. Its abstract was enough.

These of course could be statistical outliers. But their visibility and likelihood of provoking strong reactions makes them more, playing directly into the hands of those who see CRT as divisive and destructive.

There have been white people who quit their jobs out of sheer frustration, perhaps having been forced to listen to this sort of thing, some leaving behind angered missives like this one. White rage? I have to wonder if such folks really have any “privileges” worth speaking of, or any prospects of such — especially since in the present cultural climate, when word of such statements gets around on social media, their authors find themselves unemployable.

So if CRT is right about pervasive structural features built into American society, where does it go wrong?

Where Critical Race Theory Goes Seriously Wrong and Becomes Useless.

The first and most painfully obvious thing CRT gets wrong — Hood’s article discussed this at some length — is that white people collectively have no economic or cultural power; most have no substantive privileges, direct or otherwise, that would justify blanket usage of the term “white privilege.”

Saying this may not fit Hegelian philosophy or its stepchildren, but it surely the explains the gut-level reactions many people are having, from Republican governors down to the ex-employee who penned the tweet linked to above.

Not only are white people not an abstract collective or tribe, very few are or ever have been anywhere near levers of real power.

CRT’s defenders will reply at once that one need not be anywhere near such levers to do real damage. Derek Chauvin had authority but was nowhere near the levers of real power.

The answer is, no, of course not; but that there have been plenty of whites also killed by white cops (and a few by black cops). Whites have lynched blacks in the past; but with cases such as the Wichita Horror and many others (see here and here for just two months of cases as this is published), blacks seem almost to be trying to catch up! Their victims’ “white privilege” did not save them!  

Cases of open violence aside, this is the central drawback of looking at people as abstract collectives — which do not even qualify as tribes as they are not real — even overlapping abstract collectives enabling academic discourses about intersectionality.

Every white person who lost a job during the meltdown of 2008, or who found himself unemployed and eyebrow-deep in debt after his job was outsourced to a third world country for cheap labor before that crisis erupted, understands viscerally that he has no privileges that amount to anything. The same is true of every white person who finds himself made expendable by a robot that will do his job for free.

Whites, especially rural whites, are the only group whose rates of job loss, chronic illness, depression, substance abuse, and suicide have been going up since CRT surfaced. I am not asserting a causal connection here. What I am asserting is that the actual structures of these populations — or lack of, in the necessary sense — creates problems for those who think these people have invisible privileges.

It might be helpful to add that neither are American blacks an abstract collective. There is more diversity within any actual group than there is between groups. Attempts at, say, reparations for slavery (advocated by CRT theorists) would result in a bureaucratic nightmare, given that when we look at ethnic populations we are not looking at systems but heaps — like sand grains coming and going on a beach rather than organized and semi-permanent structures. How would anyone go about deciding which black person is owed what, and by whom — especially as the ancestors of many people today deemed “white” by bureaucrats (hardly a “social construct” where bureaucratic purposes are concerned) were not even in the U.S. when chattel slavery existed. Decisions would ultimately be arbitrary, and almost immediately everyone would be crying foul — whites whose ancestors weren’t in the U.S. when slavery was practiced and blacks complaining of not receiving enough.  

Career academics of whatever ethnicity, protected by tenure and in some cases able to bid up their salaries because of their status as minority scholars (for which Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West have become infamous), manifestly don’t get any of this. The majority of academics look at the world through the “lens” created by their educations, received from professors who also never worked (or worked very little) outside of academia. This includes most professional philosophers even if they’ve gallantly tried to step outside the Platonic-Cartesian-Kantian axis.

This may seem manifestly unfair, but I was there and can certify: most university faculty would starve if they had to work outside academia. They’ve little understanding of how the nonacademic world works. Looking at it through categories familiar to them, they miss things that became obvious to those of us who left academia and struck out on our own, while continuing to explore and write and publish our research, especially about the barriers some of us did face and how they led us gradually to insights into how power really operates in this world.

Critical theory in its general sense that predates CRT originally aimed at identifying and studying arrangements of power and domination, and the effects these had on perception and on what we take to be knowledge. It associated the locus of power in these arrangements with concentrations of capital, and hence morphed into a critical analysis of capitalism — one which had the potential to go beyond anything Marx was able to accomplish given the limits of his time.

And here we return to that stumbling block that has doubtless hobbled many an analysis of how power operates in Western industrial civilization.  

Whether consciously or not, critical theorists wanted to analyze power but did not want to be branded “crazy conspiracy theorists” (especially once the CIA weaponized that phrase back in 1967!) So they stayed within comfortable Hegelian-derived categories and located power (and eventually the systemic biases CRT theorists claimed to see) in the system itself and in what they took to be the dominant population, not in organized groups operating clandestinely or specific personalities whose immense wealth enabled them to dominate key sectors of industrial civilization.

Critical theory thus avoided the idea that the industrial system itself generates super-elites (a phrase I use to refer to extremely wealthy persons and groups who operate internationally and clandestinely, as opposed to the visible national elites we see at the helms of governments) as it creates the systems they study.

They do not note that super-elites develop and enhance those sectors, or parts of the system, that advantage them with privileges. At the center of these sectors are global finance and its institutions which include central banks as well as corporate leviathans such as Goldman-Sachs, and appendages of loyalists extending into government, corporate media, higher education (via endowments), and elsewhere. Have critical theorists noticed how super-elite goals and systemic effects feed off one another in a kind of symbiosis? These have led to disadvantages for all the rest of us, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender identity, national identity, or profession. Super-elites almost automatically use money in ways that privilege themselves and their own while blocking the paths of those outside their orbit, especially if they advocate beliefs, practices, or ideologies seen as opposing their goals for the world.

It now seems entirely credible that racism is itself a super-elite product: engineered by the super-elites of the late 1800s who feared that working class whites and former slaves might begin comparing notes, as it were, realizing that their commonalities rooted in class exceeded their differences. (See also this, this, and perhaps this.) Efforts to keep those outside elite groups divided and hostile toward one another continue to this day.

Is this a “crazy conspiracy theory”? If it is, make the best of it!

A few academics developed elite-focused analyses. Sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) comes to mind, with his The Power Elite (1956) which coined that phrase. Some of the super-elite’s own members have opened up about where they thought the world was going, or about the world they wanted to see. One example is Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928-2017), who went from academia to co-founder of the Trilateral Commission to National Security Advisor in the Carter Administration. In the book that made his career, he wrote:

The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principle creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state…. Today we are … witnessing the emergence of transnational elites … they are composed of international businessmen, scholars, professional men, and public officials…. These global communities are gaining in strength and … it is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advanced countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook….

…. More directly linked to the impact of technology, [the threat to liberal democracy] involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. (Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970, pp. 56, 59, 252-53)

David Rockefeller Sr. (1915-2017), another Trilateral Commission cofounder (the third was Henry Kissinger) who, for decades, sat at the helm of Chase-Manhattan Bank and the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, offered this succinct and, one would think, obvious case for a superelite analysis:

For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it (David Rockefeller Sr., Memoirs, 2004, p. 405).

Rockefeller thus admitted openly to being a key member of what I am calling a super-elite, working “to build a more integrated global political and economic structure”: centralization, a consequence of which is control over our lives is significantly reduced.

Both Brzezinski and Rockefeller have gone to their eternal reward (or something like that). Klaus Schwab has stepped up in their place. He originally founded the influential World Economic Forum which in a typical year meets each January in Davos, Switzerland. At WEF confabs, invited members of the global billionaire class foreseen by Brzezinski plan “our” technologically and globally integrated future, the future they see for the world. Recently Schwab wrote reflecting on some of the advances corporations have made, only intimating the technocratic uses to which they could be put:

Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will not stop at becoming part of the physical world around us — they will become part of us. Indeed, some of us already feel that our smartphones have become an extension of ourselves. Today’s external devices — from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets — will almost certainly become implantable in our bodies and brains. Exoskeletons and prosthetics will increase our physical power, while advances in neurotechnology enhance our cognitive abilities. We will become better able to manipulate our own genes, and those of our children. These developments raise profound questions: Where do we draw the line between human and machine? What does it mean to be human?  (Klaus Schwab, Shaping the Future, p. 42).

Why are we quoting such authors in the context of a philosophical discussion of CRT? To emphasize that there is a much larger picture here, and CRT misses it completely!

Note what is not here: no Illuminati, or reptilians or space aliens; nothing about us not going to the moon or the Earth being flat and NASA hiding it. Not even QAnon or pedophiles or Elvis being alive. None of the things currently being held up to malign “conspiracy theorists.” What we are saying: (1) there is, and for quite some time now has been, a super-elite; (2) it has risen with, and is part and parcel with, centralized and monetized industrial civilization, continuing into the information age; that (3) its members are interested in “a more integrated global political and economic structure,” i.e., globalistdomination, using whatever technology is available and serves their purposes; and that finally, bringing us back to CRT, (4) they allow, through educational institutions and media corporations, narratives that function as mass distractions while they do their work of building a technocratic and neo-feudal order based on surveillance and control.  

This is the power system that eludes CRT, and always will, as long as its leaders continue swinging at windmills made of “whiteness.”

Those of us who found ourselves developing super-elite analyses of civilization have ended up on the margins of the intellectual world. We discovered critical theory, drawing attention as it did to structural features of the industrial and information age political economy that affect perceptions and knowledge via narratives (e.g., about “liberal democracy”). But we didn’t stop there. For we figured out that what matters is where money flows, because where money flows, power flows; and super-elites have spent billions on projects they wanted.

Sometimes CRT and its offshoots (Black Lives Matter comes to mind) have benefited from these money flows, via corporate dollars, to divert attention from what is really happening and ensure that whatever activists do, however disruptive they become (or are perceived as such by others as being), they will never threaten real power.  

I thus stand unconvinced that CRT in anything like its present form is going to do anything to advance the standing of African-Americans or other minorities, and for a very simple reason: the super-elites do not care two iotas about the interests of ethnic or other minorities. What are they concerned with? Building that consolidated world structure, a system to cage us all within invisible bars of surveillance and control, many of them marketed and accepted willingly.

Take the above authors at their word. They are basically soft Platonists, with their vision of where the world should go.  

There have always been people who believed themselves most fit to rule, or (like Plato) believed they had some idea of the Ideal Ruler (the “philosopher-king” of his The Republic). So in a sense, nothing I’ve said in this section ought to seem surprising, and in a more rational society, none of it would be controversial. Corporations and governments are tools of super-elites. Mass media’s primary role is to shill for approved narratives and keep the various populations — the “unwashed masses” of whatever ethnicity or gender identity — enticed by an outrage factory and entranced by whatever other local, national, or global hobgoblins (H.L. Mencken’s term), real or manufactured out of whole cloth, are available. The real shame is that so many professional educators, including philosophers who ought to know better, have fallen for it.

CRT: A Weapon of Mass Distraction?

We’ve gone deep in this essay. CRT ultimately fails at one level because it sees groups as abstract collectives or actual tribes, and thus misses where the locus of power in Western civilization really is: not with white people or “whiteness” (whatever it’s supposed to be).

In missing the real locus of power, we see a deeper failure: it fails to see how super-elites, who have the real privileges, both shape civilization and are shaped by it.

Its advocates may see super-elites who are clearly not hiding and see only “whiteness.” In which case, by placing the real purveyors of domination in the same abstract group as the white guy struggling to pay his mortgage and keep the lights on, the latter becomes angry because being told he has “white privilege” insults his intelligence.

In this case, it matters less what CRT is and more what it does? Some might even call it a Weapon of Mass Distraction, and ultimately a dangerous one. It has parents and school board members flying at each other’s throats, just as it has inflamed hostilities between blacks and whites.

If we’re all looking at one another, laterally, with suspicion at best and alert for outbreaks of violence at worst, none of us, of whatever ethnicity, will look up and see what is occurring at the top!

What would I have CRT’s advocates do? I’d ask, might they be willing to incorporate super-elite analysis into their worldview, perhaps noting for starters that the one actual group to derive breathtaking monetary benefits from Captain COVID was the billionaire class, the most visible members of the American super-elite (Bezos, Gates, et al.)? Now billionaires with global-hegemonic leanings may all be white people (or not, I have no idea), but are we really to attribute to “systemic racism” or “white privilege” their not letting go to waste a crisis that destroyed the livelihoods of millions of white people as well as millions of black people?

Does that even make sense?

How about introducing a new concept: super-elite privilege

CRT’s advocates wanted a “lens” or “approach” to view society as it really is, and they take the construction of race to have been fundamental to American legal structures. If we analyze industrial civilization from its origins down through our time, during which it has morphed into an information civilization grafted onto industrialism’s financialized base, we see chattel slavery along the way but should find it impossible to see as truly fundamental. There have been other forms of involuntary servitude, most not so obvious.

The point is, most fundamental basis of a lordship versus bondage system has not been that of straight white male people over everyone else. It is the difference between those who control the levers of global finance from the top versus those who don’t, and whose lack of such knowledge automatically works against them.

And so — hoping this doesn’t sound like an afterthought at this point — how should we respond to CRT on the ground, at least until we can have a conversation about these points?  

Here is what one defender, a professional philosopher who brands himself a “philosopher of race and racism” no less, says CRT does not assert:

It does not assert that:

  • One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex:
  • An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;
  • An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual’s race or sex;
  • An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex;
  • An individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
  • An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex.

Great! I say, let’s hold CRT to this, while we do what we can to draw attention to the real places of power, and those in them.

Recall the old saw, that there are three kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and the majority who wonder what the hell happened.

We might as well accept that none of us is going to join that first group. But if we can begin to move more people from the third to the second, in numbers large enough to form a critical mass, maybe we can assume more control over our lives and our communities, however we self-identify. We may find that our commonalities exceed our differences, however much elite-sponsored narratives try to divide us. Then, by talking to one another, hearing one another, seeking out and learning from people not beholden to the present power systems, doing what we can to get inside each other’s heads and hearts, alleviating pain where we can, then maybe — just maybe — there is still time to do something to make this world a better place for us all.    

*This writer has chosen not to adopt the new mass media convention, which seems to have begun after the George Floyd riots, of capitalizing black to refer to an African-American person. Capitalizing African-American made sense, because the hyphenated words are normally capitalized apart from one another. Capitalizing black makes no sense and accomplishes nothing. It does not change a single law, provide any black person who needs it with work or assistance or life or hope, and is probably one of many of the subtle micro-aggressive measures we’ve seen that drives us apart, especially as no one in mass media capitalizes white to refer to a white person.

STEVEN YATES’s latest book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory is being published by Wipf and Stock.

Posted in Academia, Culture, Philosophy, Political Economy, Political Philosophy, Where is Civilization Going? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

James Howard Kunstler – Everyone Interested in Truth Should Be Reading His Writings

Very few people pack as many formidable ideas into articles as short as those of James Howard Kunstler. I can’t do it. Plus, he understands something most people, especially in the various freedom movements, don’t yet get:  even if 99.9 percent of everything the Establishment is putting out is crap, neither can we simply go back to the political-economic model based on extraction (which invariably leads to foreign interventionism and war), car-dependence to mostly BS jobs (David Graeber’s choice term although he spells out the word), and mass consumption and disposability. One of three things is going to happen in the near future:  (1) God intervenes directly. (2) We find and build up another way of organizing our lives and our communities, ending centralization, ending the worship of money like a god, tapping into a limitless energy source along the lines projected in the Thrive films and in my projected next project The Fifth Stage of Civilization. (3) We go down in flames, probably within the lifetimes of most people reading this. (There is a fourth possibility, of course, which is that the experimental mRNA spike protein producing vaccines for Covid-19(84) will kill off a portion of the human race before (2), (3), or even (1) happen.)

Incidentally, Dmitry Orlov’s June 4 column is also worth more than a look, as it reflects the thinking within the upper echelons of the Russian government about the status of the U.S. collapse, but since it is only, posting that here would not be the right thing to do. But you can access his material at Incidentally, your humble narrator is also on Patreon. And although money is not his god, as long as it remains one of the central gods in secular civilization’s pantheon of surrogates, he openly welcomes tips, for authors need to eat and keep the lights on, too. My site:

What If “the Big Lie” Is the Big Lie? 

by James Howard Kunstler             June 4, 2021

Maybe now that Dr. Tony Fauci has begun to spill the beans on his doings in service to the Wuhan virology lab, the phrase “conspiracy theory,” flogged by the media as jauntily and incessantly as by the soviet kommissars of yore, will have worn out its welcome.

In a sane polity, Dr. Fauci would be cooked. He looks circumstantially like an epic villain of history, who promoted and funded dangerous research activities knowingly, which led to an international disaster that killed millions of people and destroyed countless livelihoods and households, perhaps even the whole global economy, when all is said and done — and he appears to have lied at every step along the way.

As a practical matter, what is the “Joe Biden” admin going to do about him? Throw him under the bus? I don’t think they can at this point. Dr. Fauci has come to represent not just the falsehoods employed around the Covid-19 fiasco but more generally the long campaign against truth itself by a grossly illiberal Jacobin Democratic Party seemingly out to punish and destroy Western Civ.

Whether the Covid-19 pandemic was an overt tactic in that campaign, or just the result of Dr. Fauci’s catastrophic bad judgment, remains to be revealed. But at least half the country will conclude that there’s some connection between the terrible losses suffered in the pandemic year and the political bullshit they were force-fed in the four-year effort to defenestrate Donald Trump. All Joe Biden’s handlers can do now is fade Dr. Fauci out, keep him off the cable channels, and hope the public can be distracted with some new nonsense. You also have good reason to doubt that Merrick Garland will do anything but look the other way and whistle.

The downfall of Dr. Fauci is a watershed moment. There were so many more authorities caught lying over the past five years, but who got off scot-free — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, James Comey (actually, the whole FBI and DOJ E-suites), John Brennan, James Clapper, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, Adam Schiff, and the editors and producers of the news media, plus the execs of social media — who not only disabled the truth at every opportunity, but just about destroyed the public’s grip on reality.

The result has been an utter collapse of authority in this land, so that now nobody who runs anything is credible, from the current pitiful president of the USA, to most elected and appointed officials, judges, corporate CEOs, college deans and presidents, and “The Science” itself. Just remember: there is still a sizable faction in America of people who are deeply interested in ascertaining the truth about a lot of things. They are aiming to get at it, too, for example, the truth about the 2020 election. Maybe now you can begin to see why this is important.

Yet the cable news channels were really at it last night (Thursday) with Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper of CNN, and the slippery crew at MSNBC, strenuously assailing the Arizona election audit with their usual battery of opprobrious slogans: it’s a “conspiracy theory,” “baseless,” a “Big Lie.” Is it perhaps more likely now that their Big Lie is the Big Lie? It looks like we are going to find out. And perhaps not just in Arizona, because other states are warming to the audit idea.“

Joe Biden’s” DOJ may yet try to quash the AZ audit. But one subsidiary truth to be gleaned in all this is that the audit is solely a state prerogative as a constitutional matter and if the DOJ tries to lay some horseshit ruse about “civil rights” on the operation, they’ll end up with their pants on fire, maybe even an official nullification of federal action. Sound a little civil war-ish?

So, we can see that the disclosures over Dr. Fauci’s role in the origins of Covid-19 and the potential discovery of 2020 election fraud are converging toward a deep constitutional crisis this summer. If a growing number of Americans come to believe that the pandemic was a number run on them by the authorities, they may be more disposed to going forward with election audits in several states. And what happens if solid evidence is discovered and fraud is proven? Whu-oh…! Does the country perhaps have to call a re-do of the election, this time without mail-in ballots and with a more serious effort to substantiate the votes? That’s a tall order. Or does “Joe Biden” just keep ridin’ out for ice cream cones? Geopolitics may determine that. Can the nation afford to keep such a weak and illegitimate regime in power?

I’ll tell you something that could happen: “Joe Biden” (his handlers and their factotums, anyway) may try something else, another ruse to distract the public’s attention from a constitutional crisis: how about crashing the financial markets? That would do the trick, I’m sure. In fact, it looks like the Federal Reserve is already tuning that frequency in by announcing it’s “tapering” its bond buying activities, starting with corporate “junk” bonds. You know what will happen if they ramp up tapering of more bond purchases (currently around $120-billion-a-month)? Interest rates will rise — because who else will buy that paper at near-zero interest rates? (And, by the way, Russia just announced it’s about to sell off all its sovereign holdings in US dollars.) And when interest rates rise quickly, Wall Street’s current business model goes south. Wait for that!

Original posting here:

Steven Yates here., with another possibility. The Powers That Be could try to fake an invasion by extraterrestrials. Maybe that’s what this sudden “flap” about UFOs is all about. Do note that everything we’re hearing about those is coming from the U.S. military / war machine, and no, there’s no new, real evidence there that we didn’t have before. I’m waiting for the feds to say, “Please send us more tax dollars and give us more power, and we’ll keep you safe from space aliens.” Any day now!

Posted in Coronavirus, Election 2016 and Aftermath, Media, Political Economy, Where is Civilization Going? | Leave a comment

Mother. Snapshots of Lives Outside the Limelight #1

Author’s note: this was written on April 14, and is the first in an occasional series profiling ordinary people whose lives touched mine one way or another, sometimes in a big way, helping shape who I am and the views I presently hold. It is something of an experiment. If people like it, I will continue with it. I post it here for Mother’s Day. Incidentally, obviously, we’ve not yet moved as I’ve not been satisfied with any of the alternative sites I’ve looked at as a possible new home for Lost Generation Philosopher.

As I write, this week is the tenth anniversary of the passing of my mother, Alice Mae Belles Yates (Nov 14, 1923 – Apr 14, 2011). As much as I miss her, part of me is grateful she did not live to see the world as it is now.

Both my parents were Depression children and then teenagers. They were fortunate in having fathers who remained employed during those years. One of my grandfathers was a baker; the other, a railroad engineer. As pre-teens, they knew what scarcity was. They saw plenty of it, and doubtless it shaped both their mindsets for life.

They did not grow up with the sense of entitlement that dominates the mindsets of whole generations today.

Both were 18 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Both enlisted. The man who became my dad served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Cuttlefish (Pacific Theater), and the woman who became my mom trained to become an Army Nurse serving on the Island of Guam. The irony is that at time my parents were only a few miles apart, though they would not meet until they were both back in the U.S., well after the war’s end.

They married in 1952, and I popped out four and a half years later.

When I was 5, Mom took me to a public library and checked out a book on the planets. I was hooked — especially on science. Both parents believed education was the key to success in life. At the time, that was more right than not. They also believed education begins at home. I would argue, this is still right.

I grew up surrounded by encyclopedias, textbooks, treatises. We had the Encyclopedia Britannica, the World Book Encyclopedia, and a series called Childcraft. Dad (the first in his family to go to college) had a BS and an MS in chemistry, and his chemistry, physics, and biology texts lined bookshelves. Mom had earned an RN, and her medical texts were also around. Dad also loved military history, so there were plenty of books on WWII, U.S. history, one or two on the ancient world, and more.  

I’m more than aware that not every kid grows up surrounded by books and encouraged to read. I consider this a shame. Not enough has been done to encourage respect for education — the real thing, as opposed to glorified job training. This is one of the reasons we’re in the mess we’re in.

As an adult, of course, I became convinced that powerful people do not want a population of readers and well-educated critical thinkers.

I was 6 when JFK was assassinated. It was the first time I saw my mom cry. I wanted to know why she was crying, and I distinctly remember, “Somebody shot the president of the United States.” My child’s mind wanted to know, Didn’t they know he was the president? 

She had liked JFK, voted for him, and would have voted for his brother in ’68 had he not also been assassinated. My dad, a staunch conservative Republican in the big business mode, didn’t care for the Kennedys. Neither cared for Ted, by any measure the black sheep whose policies, starting with 1965’s immigration law, were divisive and destructive.

Mom was the first person in my life to plant seeds of doubt about the official narrative of JFK’s assassination. It probably began two days later, when we returned home from church to learn that one Jack Ruby had gotten past two or three dozen police officers with a loaded gun and into Lee Harvey Oswald’s heavily-guarded cell where he shot him to death.

“How does something like that happen?!” she asked my father, who shrugged.

The truth is, something like that won’t happen unless someone wants things to play out that way. Unless the Dallas Police were utterly incompetent. I doubt this.

As we watched the gloomy funeral procession on our small, black-and-white television, I recall a sense that something terrible had happened to the country.

The 1960s saw those other political assassinations: Bobby, and Martin Luther King Jr. In both cases, there were things that did not add up. One of my South Carolina friends (who’d had a relative with the LAPD in the case of the former) later presented me with decisive reasons to believe that with Bobby at least, the real killer got away.

Bobby wanted to end the war in Vietnam. Powerful people wanted that war to continue. We all figured this out later. Bobby had America’s youth in his pocket. I’m of the view that he would have defeated Nixon in one of history’s biggest landslides. The entire history of the country might have been different. Or not, since those with real power always have a Plan B. And of course, there are no ways to devise tests for what might have happened but didn’t. 

My feelings about such ideas as civil rights which flourished under LBJ’s administration and later were mostly positive. Treat people fairly. As a kid who was different because he wore glasses, was lousy at team sports, and read too many books, I knew what it was to be an outsider. I could only imagine an entire race of people treated as second class citizens. I remember reading Richard Wright’s Black Boy and being moved by it. Thus when I learned more about nondiscrimination laws in high school, I felt that they were right.

My impression of the black kids themselves, though, is that (with rare exceptions) they wanted nothing to do with us. No intelligent effort was ever made at my high school to “integrate” them. We didn’t “hate” them. We did not understand them, and they did not understand us. Most people vaguely fear what they don’t understand, and that was my white friends and I in high school.

Mom counseled being decent to them. “Most of the time if you are nice to people, they will be nice to you,” were her words on one occasion.

As she grew older, her primary political villain became Lyndon Baines Johnson (on this, she and my dad were on the same page). She was convinced that LBJ had been involved in JFK’s assassination. The older I became, the more convinced I was that even if this was false, he certainly knew the inside story. I had the impression he did what the power elite of the day wanted him to do out of fear for his own life.

He thus screwed up royally in Vietnam, and positioned the civil rights movement for its hijacking with his “Shackled Runner” argument (I’ve no idea if he read a certain essay called “Repressive Tolerance” by a Marxist professor, Herbert Marcuse). 

My mom believed LBJ committed suicide, and it was covered up. Again I don’t know if this is true or not. I do know she gave such matters thought. She’d read several of the available books on the assassinations of that era, and did not reach her conclusions lightly.

The strength of that era, the 1960s, was its optimism and openness to new narratives. Some of that strength survived into the 1970s, during which I learned the value of setting aside what “everybody knows” and snooping around on my own. I read everything from Biblical archeology to books like T.S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 1970) which sold me on studying the philosophy of science professionally.

The weakness of 1960s idealism was its ghastly inattention to the communist element, utterly unprincipled and willing to use legitimate causes to further its goals. Even Dr. King, whom I never believed was himself a communist, was blind to the communists orbiting him like hawks.

Both my parents knew I would end up a writer. My mother saw the rise and part of the fall of my academic career. She always encouraged me to write what I believed was true to the best I could. Unlike my father, who with age grew increasingly cynical. He spoke of my “big mouth” and told me it would only get me into trouble (on more than one occasion he was right).

My mother had two life-threatening health crises. When she was in her teens she had an attack of acute appendicitis. For over a week it went undiagnosed as anything worse than a really bad intestinal cramp. The other, when I was in the fifth grade, was a cervical cancer diagnosis. Emergency surgery was successful, but she had to be checked every six weeks for months afterward in case the cancer had metastasized. It had not. By God’s grace, the surgeon had got it all. 

On April 15, 1999, she suffered a massive, disabling stroke. My dad found her on the bedroom floor. When she was clearly struggling to say, “My feet went out from under me,” he knew what had happened and immediately called 911.

The remainder of my mother’s life would be a struggle. She would prove to be the greatest fighter I ever saw.

After months of physical therapy and over two years of hard work she reached the point of being able to get around the house on her own using a cane. But in May of 2002, my parents had an automobile accident. A girl pulled from a side street in their woodsy neighborhood without looking. My dad could not stop in time. Mom suffered a painful back injury, also had bone fragments lodged in her hip that had to be surgically removed. She never fully recovered from this setback. Never again was she able to walk unassisted, cane or otherwise.

My parents won a six-figure settlement from BMW, as the girl had been driving a company car as an uninsured driver. Lawyers took more than a third of it. Naturally.

My dad had received a nasty bump on the head which he would not allow anyone to examine. A few years later, he began exhibiting early signs of dementia, initially forgetting how to do easy computer tasks like empty his email trash folder. He lost passwords and made buying decisions that made no sense (in 2005 he bought a van, which Mom could not climb into without a lot of assistance).

The dementia progressed until it showed up in his bookkeeping, which by early 2008 was a shambles.

This was someone once complimented by an IRS agent on his bookkeeping skills (he was audited when I was a graduate student).

To make a long story short, Dad did not have a caretaker’s personality, but was not trusting enough to allow anyone else to care for my mom unsupervised. This was very unfortunate. Nor was he a patient person, and I will never know how much stress my mother was under because of his impatience with her worsening physical incapacities.

Then, on June 8, 2008, both had a bad fall in front of a local restaurant. Dad lost his balance, and as he’d been assisting my mom, she went down with him.

It was downhill from there on out. I had to put both parents in assisted living, but repeated falls sent them into nursing care. Both needed round-the-clock care by this time, and since I had two teaching jobs, that seemed the only option. Mom and I found a good facility. I fell into the pattern of visiting my parents every Thursday afternoon/evening and every Saturday.

My dad’s dementia worsened. Abrupt changes of venue were probably a contributing factor. He would forget where he was, even what city he was in. Not remembering how he’d gotten there, he’d ask, “How long is this vacation for?” On more lucid days he’d obsess over whether the bills were being paid, and had trouble accepting my assurance that they were. He never learned how much it was costing to keep them there; suffice it to say, the BMW settlement was a godsend! Also the fact that he’d owned stock which could be sold. He would badger my mom, and she’d tell him, “Ask Steve.” He never did.

There were days when he’d confuse me with his younger brother. Such days increased with time. Eventually he was struggling to speak coherently. Word salad came out.

One reason I can say with reasonable certainty that Joe Biden is in the early stages of dementia is that I’ve seen it up close. I know what it looks like. I take no pleasure in this. I would not wish Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia on my worst enemy. I can barely stand to watch Biden struggle to get words out when he speaks, and I understand why there was no State of the Union Address this year. What astounds me is the collective blind spot of liberals who can’t see it. I question the collective sanity of a nation that allows someone in that condition to be instilled in the White House, whatever his party affiliation or ideological beliefs.

Obtaining Veterans Administration benefits for my parents exemplified how stupid many federal employees really are. Applications kept coming back, “Marital status unclear.” Both were WWII Veterans, remember. The paper shufflers seemed unable to discern, they were processing applications from two Veterans married to each other. (Maybe the VA should hire a few white men? Ya think?)  

Dad passed away two days before Christmas in 2009 from vascular dementia related complications. He was 86. My mom grieved and then kept fighting, lucid as could be (everyone was watching). We had many good conversations. Still a current events junkie, she would watch CNN in her nursing home room (“Can’t you find something better than the Clinton News Network?” I would ask with a skewed smile, but she had no computer access and there were no televised equivalents of She cross-stitched when I was not around, and with only one-usable hand, her products (which I still have) were truly heroic.  

Then, in late 2010, her health began to fail. Something was going on in her blood, and neither the resident doctor nor a specialist could diagnose it (she had two transfusions). By mid-March, 2011, she was having trouble keeping food down. Her weight dropped precipitously.

At some point, she told me of a dream she had. She’d been looking at a napkin, and on it, in Dad’s distinctive handwriting, was, “I love you and I’ll see you soon.”

The fight went out of her, bit by bit. Soon she was weak as a kitten, and barely able to speak. Late afternoon, April 13, I got the call, which went something like, “You better get down here.” I stayed with my mother the entire evening holding her hand as she gradually and quietly went to sleep. She stopped breathing at 1:35 am the following morning. She was 87.

Just a few months previous — I don’t recall what prompted the remark — she’d noted something that had escaped me.

“Do you realize, there haven’t been any political assassinations since the attempt on Reagan’s life?”

All I could say was, “You’re right. Isn’t that interesting?”

Isn’t it, though? Since the early 1990s we’ve had four presidents who were hated by significant fractions of the population. Although there was abundant gun violence during those years, there were no “lone gunmen.” That we know of.

Could it be because however powerful the elites became, in the Internet age they understood: they’d never get away with what they got away with back in the 1960s? Almost no one would believe another “lone gunman” narrative these days.

I find this just a little bit encouraging. A little bit.

Steven Yates’s new book What Should Philosophy Do? A Theory should be published by Wipf and Stock later this year.

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What’s Wrong With Conspiracy Theories?

Since this title can be read in two different ways, I’ll state: James H. Fetzer is a defender and not a critic of the idea. He has done, or assembled, results of the most extensive investigations ever conducted of the Kennedy assassinations (there were two of them, after all, and in neither case does the official story stand up to criticism). These results blow the Warren Commission Report out of the water. Obtain Assassination Science: Experts Speak Out on the Death of JFK (1998) which he edited.

Professor Emeritus Fetzer has also written and edited numerous well-received works in the philosophy of science, cognitive science, research into artificial intelligence, critical thinking, and all the cognate areas, all with major publishers. Why his own critical thinking skills should mysteriously desert him when it comes to conspiracy claims is, or ought to be, a complete mystery.

So where does the topic stand now, in 2021? If you read mainstream news, you might come away with the impression that being a “conspiracy theorist” is a mark of irrationality. My conclusion, which I suspect Fetzer would share, is that conspiracy theory / theorist are nothing more than weaponized phrases. They are signs, written by apologists of dominant narratives, of points of view or lines of thought we are not supposed to go down. They open doors those with wealth and power would rather remained closed and locked.

So is there merit to “conspiratorial” thinking? Go here, learn, and perhaps gain a little wisdom (the love of which being what philosophy was supposed to be about).

Posted in Culture, Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Political Philosophy, Workarounds | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Fall of Chile

Boots-on-the-ground report.


Posted in Chile and Its Future, Coronavirus, Culture, Libertarianism, Political Economy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

So You Want to Get a PhD in Philosophy?


Posted in Academia, Philosophy, Where Is Philosophy Going?, Workarounds | 1 Comment

We Are Moving….

Lost Generation Philosopher will be moving to Medium starting in January, 2021. The primary reason is that since the (altogether unnecessary) upgrade of WordPress, the platform’s new features are too annoying, and the platform itself has become unreliable and almost impossible to use.

More details on where to find LGP when they become available.

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(S)Election 2020: Was It Stolen? (“Fact-Check” Follies, Dominion, and More)

Was the November 3 election stolen by the Democrats?

It might seem odd for a philosopher to involve himself in the issue, but even before leaving academic philosophy I was not one to shy away from controversial topics or positions, and this one surely bears the scrutiny of one who pays attention to how journalists–or those who pass for journalists today–among others, use language when they can’t lay their hands on physical clubs to swing.

If you ask those folks, you will “learn” that Joe Biden was declared the winner on Saturday, November 7. By whom? By them, of course.

I immediately penned this, where I suggested that Donald Trump walk away from that mess in the Asylum on the Potomac and found his own brand new media company, Trump Media (or some equivalent to that). There’s been slight indication he might do something like that, but more that he will begin to mount a 2024 campaign. (He will be 78, however, the age Biden is now.)

As to whether or not the election was stolen, I do not believe I’ve ever seen a war of narratives like this one!

For a representative sequence of pieces presenting the case that the election was really a (s)election, stolen brazenly, go here. You can also find accounts of the Sidney Powell and other recent legal actions on The Epoch Times site, including this just yesterday.

One side of that war controls most of the media resources, of course, but a look past their clear need to control information using weaponized, club-swinging language suggests a certain unease, or even fear. I recently wrote:

Even if the “win” was declared in corporate mass media long before all votes had been counted, and amidst large and growing allegations of fraud (dead people voting, hundreds of thousands of votes for Biden-Harris appearing out of thin air in crucial swing states, etc.).

In a media-saturated world, corporate mass media maintains the official narratives: allegations of a stolen election are then “baseless,” “unfounded,” “unsubstantiated,” “unproven allegations”; or “unverified” and “without evidence” (or “evidence-free”), based on “false information” (Flakebook loves that one!); a product of “unhinged” “right-wing extremists”; “bogus conspiracy theories”; etc. This, in addition to “racist” and “fascist” (or “neo-fascist”), is a healthy (or unhealthy!) sampling of the brain-paralysis inducing phrases I’ve seen since the November 3 fiasco.

Facts no longer matter if they interfere with official narratives and agendas. Thus the largest narrative war I think I’ve ever seen has unfolded, between those using the above demon words and phrases, and those who insist that documentation of how voting-machine technology was used to commit fraud is clear and factual, and backed with evidence that corporate media and Big Tech are censoring just as fast as they can …

And yes, vehicles filled with votes for Biden (none for Trump) seem to have appeared in crucial states like Michigan and Wisconsin at wee hours of the morning. Roger Anghis writes:

Ballots were brought in nine and half hours after the polls closed in vehicles with out-of-state plates. On Monday evening, GOP spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington tweeted out the log of a poll watcher in Detroit, Michigan, who noticed some suspicious activity going on at the location where ballots were being counted. According to the poll watcher, a number of things seemed awfully irregular. For one, an entire load of ballots came in at around 4:30 a.m. on November 4. According to the poll watcher, the shift was ending around that time but one of the men in charge of counting ballots announced over the microphone that an entire load had just come in. The poll watcher was told that the vehicles these ballots were delivered in had out-of-state plates.

The poll watcher logged that the ballots were brought in and placed on eight, long tables, but noted that the way they were brought in was irregular. The boxes were carried in from the rear of the room, which wasn’t typical at all. Also, somewhat irregular, is that every single vote was for Joe Biden.

Trump stated in the Epoch Times reproduced interview that “All of a sudden, I went from winning a lot … to losing by a little.”

I am more than aware that for many people, this is just “conspiracy theory” stuff (as is the case with any number of posts I’ve made this year in particular).

That seems to be mainstream media’s favorite phrase these days. I think I see it at least three times per day. What I read in it is, Here’s a claim or line of thought or instance of putting two and two together that we peons are not supposed to pursue, or do.

Leave It Alone, Stop Thinking, and Listen to the Experts!

I did that with affirmative action, and look at what resulted!

At present, it is as if the two different camps are living in incommensurable universes, each with its own truth (perfect for Fourth Stage postmodernity!). The two are fundamentally at war with one another. Hence the phrase narrative war.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are very much involved in this narrative war, using the easiest weapon at their disposal: censorship (sometimes deplatforming). Or, only slightly more modestly, Big Tech’s minions claim to “fact check” posts, would have you believe that Expert Opinion backs up its “fact-checking.”

Authoritative, or merely authoritarian?

A couple weeks ago, I received this. It is no longer posted anywhere I know of, so I reproduce the whole thing unedited. The author is anonymous, as is to be expected as he/she could be sued and possibly even prosecuted.

This was posted this morning on MeWe:

I can’t say this on Facebook, but I feel it’s important to say. I was a Facebook Fact Checker. And your conspiracy theories about Facebook, are more true than you realize.

I work for a company named Appen. We are a 3rd party freelance contract company. A few years ago Facebook approached us with an offer. He couldn’t legally censor people on his platform because he plead to congress that he was an open forum. So, he uses several 3rd party companies to “Fact Check”, and otherwise censor, information.

Justin Trudeau has been taking action in Canada, China, and America, to prepare us for the Great Reset, and by us, I refer to civilians. Part of this process is to work with Zuckerburg and Dorsey to restrict the flow of information, and to push the statutes of the Reset into peoples minds, repetition is the key here.

We coordinate our efforts with a company in India, from our base in Canada, to provide our censorship services to Facebook. A lot of this information, you probably already guessed. But here’s what you might not have known.

We have specific directives on what to fact check and how to fact check. I’m going to list off a couple of these directives:

1) First off, primarily conservative and right leaning posts on Twitter and Facebook make it to our service.

2) Left leaning posts are to be ignored and never manually flagged, it doesnt matter if it violates ToS or even federal law. If Facebook gets in trouble they blame us, and they can’t do anything because we’re not based in America, so we give the government the run around and nothing can be done. It’s worked so far.

3) Zuckerburg created a program that feeds posts automatically into our service, it analyzes content in posts, searching for common images and lines of text, and if it matches any of our guidelines it gets automatically flagged and entered into our system to be “Fact Checked”. So we don’t just go looking for conservative posts, Zuckerburg sends them to us with his automatic program.

4) If there are multiple ideas in a conservative post, only 1 of them needs to be potentially disputable. We are to flag an entire article as disputed/false/discredited/untrue/etc even if theres only 1 idea thats not completely confirmed.

5) Even ideas that are confirmed, don’t matter unless its a left leaning idea. What this translates to is as long as we all push the same idea, what we say becomes truth. That’s standard psychology, and American’s are the easiest to manipulate with this. The only thing making it difficult is their freedoms that are not common in most countries around the world, which forces us to deal with America in a different way.

6) When we write articles for Politico, NYT, etc we are allowed to mark a title or article as true as long as at least 3 of the core ideas in the article or post are potentially true. Keyword here is potentially, it can be completely false, but as long as we can cite a source that argues in our favor, we can confirm it 100% true. The inverse is also true, if we can find even 1 source that dictates something to be potentially false, we can mark the entire article/post.

7) We write articles, and then cite our own articles as evidence. Check the fine print of each article, we always cite ourselves, but what you might not know, is that only a handful of companies are actually writing the articles for dozens of websites, news media, and mass media. This isn’t unique to America, we’ve done this in countries around the world for a very long time.

8) We only allow members to join us if they pass a test, this test is an opinion based survey, however, they must answer all left leaning, or they are not allowed to join, we wont be diluted.

9) This part I cannot confirm, but I am suspicious that China has more to do with this than just their involvement with Canada, but again, i can’t confirm that, thats just my personal theory because we’re not allowed to say anything negative in our business chats about China’s government.

10) This is all preparation for the Great Reset, by getting Trump out, because he opposed the idea. Biden has agreed to go full on into it, which is why he’s been getting such a big hand from Facebook and Twitter, however, it’s much bigger than just that. In our new world order, we’ll control not just national news, but global news. By controlling the global narrative, we control what information you’re allowed to know and what you’re allowed to think.

11) There are contingencies in place. Trump cannot win. We have members of Congress a part of this, and soon the President and VP.

12) If a civil war breaks out, it will be according to our plan. We hope for it, and we tried to use race to spark it in America, If that doesn’t work, ISIS is on stand by for when Biden is in office. This was determined along time ago, or so I’m told.

13) I no longer work for this company. I registered with them using a fake identity. While I am afraid that they’ll find out, I’m hoping this post is in an obscure enough place to start leaking information without drawing too much attention too quickly. My hope is that this information gets out, but you cannot change what’s already in place.

14) I left because what they were doing was appalling to me. I can’t stand by and watch this happen. My original job was to consult with Walmart and Facebook on customer engagement and advertisement engagement, as well as website management. This isn’t what I signed up for. Now all the new recruits are immediately pushed into this Facebook Fact Checker conspiracy. It’s sickening. Ill say that Facebook at least pays up, which is the only reason I think most of us were doing it this long. I’m under a very strict NDA, so I had to use a throw away account.

15) You can’t change what’s to come, but what you can do is get the message out to not just Americans, but everyone in every country that values freedom. There are allies all over the world that are resisting this, especially in France and Australia. If you want to remain free, you have to hope that Trump can pull out a miracle, but I already know it’s not possible, Trust me when I say, they’ll make sure people die before they let him get another 4 years. If that happens, Americans, do what you need to do to keep your country free. Protect yourselves.

16) Admins, if I do not delete this post sooner, please delete this within 24 hours.

This is how official narratives are created, and how alternatives to them are bullied off stage by those with the resources to do so. I write as one who has been “fact-checked” numerous times!

What evidence do we have for the alternative narrative? We linked to one important source above, but there are others. Anyone who wants to can read Sidney Powell’s briefs for themselves (here and here). You can decide for yourself if she is a “crazy conspiracy theorist.”

But before you do, you ought to have a listen to this.

I seriously hope you’ve followed me this far!

Pay special attention to everything Joe Oltmann says from 6:00 to 16:00, where he names and outlines the professional history of the person most likely responsible for using Dominion electronic voting machines to steal votes from Donald Trump.

This person, whom I am antsy about actually identifying here (not that it would do much good), actually promised Antifa that Trump would not win, and was very much in a position to do just that (confirming our “fact checker” whistleblower above who also stated that Trump would not be allowed to win).

Needless to say, the person has literally disappeared almost entirely from the Web, including his connection to Dominion Voting Systems.

This information, provided to judges and legislators, has simply been ignored. It does not fit their narrative. It does not belong with what they’ve been told the truth is.

Although it’s an aside, this should also lay to rest, once and for all (but probably will not), the idea that governments have more power than corporations with global reach.

At the very least, we can also lay to rest the ridiculous caricatures of Sidney Powell and her actions that you will find in mainstream media. They are either uninformed or dishonest.

Finally, the Eric Mataxas video supports another of my longstanding assumptions about where we stand in our present moment. I have been assuming that cultural leftist groups such as Antifa are being used, bankrolled, by higher-echelon globalists as disruptors. They and Black Lives Matter are trying to “cancel” U.S. history and undermine Constitutional government.

They will probably not stop if Joe Biden becomes president, because he won’t be far enough to the left for them. Unlike Trump, though, Biden would not even think of invoking the Insurrection Act to put down violence coming from the left, some of it from a group he once absurdly labeled “an idea.”

Eventually such groups will cause sufficient chaos that the masses may well start begging for the intervention of someone able to step in and restore order and stability. (Add to this the draconian responses to the coronavirus that will likely continue to shut down a great deal of Main Street economic activity and church services.)

Those stepping in will be the globalists, of course.

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Is Covid-19 a Global Cult?

My first answer is, it is definitely a global narrative.

What is a narrative? It’s a story. It has central themes and is likely to have unstated premises.

What is a narrative’s purpose? That can very, depending on who is telling the narrative, whether they have political or cultural power or are trying to free themselves from political-economic or cultural power.

Truth doesn’t have to play a part in it, although it is good for the interests behind the narrative that those to whom it is addressed believe in it wholeheartedly … possibly to the point of being willing to die for it if asked to do so.

Edward Louis Bernays (from the first page of his slim book Propaganda, written in the early 1920a):

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Thoser who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. We are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

Walter Lippman, in his book Public Opinion (1922):

That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power. . . . Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach.”

This ought to raise the question: who are the “manufacturers of consent”? Who, which groups, have the money (economic power), influence (especially in corporate media and in academic), and cultural power (in the streets) to “manufacture consent”?

If you’ve no idea whatsoever, I recommend undertaking the job of finding out.

Contrast the spirit of the above quotes with that of science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein:

Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

And this, also from Heinlein:

Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

Kind of makes you think of Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech giants, doesn’t it. Not to mention “cancel culture” and its effort to eradicate every element of history it finds “offensive,” which seems to be most of it.

Only the latter is using force understood as physical coercion or overt intimidation, mostly because the cult of “woke” is, by and large, too stupid to know any better.

Turn to Covid-19. Medical truth or medical narrative? Science or cult (as if, with most science today being bankrolled by corporations or by government, there is a difference here that makes a difference)?

Before deciding, be sure to read this:

The reason for my being in here this morning. Goes without saying, this is a workaround post; it would not exist without Flakebook which blocks posts to Unz Review, and other sorts of censorship. Why the rising tide of censorship, on which I’ve commented before?

We aren’t suppose to ask these kinds of questions. We aren’t supposed to pursue these lines of inquiry, such as whether there is more to this “pandemic” than meets the eye, or, more exactly, is talked to death in the fearmongering mass media.

We are supposed to fall in line before our (moneyed) betters, the owners of our institutions and would be owners of our lives themselves. We are supposed to believe they are there to protect us, to safeguard public health. That the lockdowns / quarantines of healthy people aren’t doing more harm than any virus ever could on its own. (This, from yesterday.)

We are supposed to believe wholeheartedly in their narrative of monopoly over truth (called “expertise”), and eschew what they dismiss as “quackery” (e.g., hydroxychloroquine and zinc as cures for Covid-19), while we wait for their “expertly” produced (and likely to be oh-so-profitable) vaccine. Maybe a series of vaccines. Produced by corporations who have legal immunity from being sued for damages if you are harmed by their products.

Paranoid? Dangerous, even? I am genuinely sorry if you think so. It’s no fun, having awakened to the realization, some time ago, that your civilization is based on encirclements and controls, not freedoms (except to consume): that this is not “capitalism,” it is not “socialism,” nor is it even the “mixed economy.”

It is Third Stage industrial civilization itself, which was growing by leaps and bounds when folks like Bernays and Lippmann were penning their quiet truths, for anyone who cared to read and understand.

They, and their owners, gambled successfully that the Third Stage masses would work and count the days till the weekend when they could drink, party, and fornicate … anything except read and internalize rather densely written books about how industrial civilization really works.

They, and their owners, gambled, that is, that most Americans would inhabit the “real Matrix,” consisting of governmental, corporate, and media-reinforced narratives for their entire lives, and that the handful of us who learned to “unplug” could be dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” (or whatever) and marginalized.

These are all Fourth Stage realizations, that present-day civilization is made almost entirely of narratives, and will remain such unless enough people awaken to do something about it, figuring out what is true and what isn’t, or at least, what is worth believing and what isn’t.

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