Monday, December 9, 2019

How’s That Alternative Reality Working Out For You? by Robert Gore | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Two plus two equals four. Epstein didn’t kill himself.
At the end of 1984, Slavery is Freedom, two plus two equals five, and Winston Smith loves Big Brother. The Party has destroyed Smith’s mind, he embraces whatever narratives it promulgates. The fictive Party has solved the conundrum that bedevils any individual or organization seeking to exercise power: coercion can exact physical compliance and the desired verbalizations, but how do you compel the subjugated to think and believe as you want them to think and believe?
Our Party, the confederation of powerful people who promulgate the narratives that always point the same direction—more government and power for the powerful, less freedom for the subjugated—has yet to reach the mind control of Orwell’s Party, but not for want of desire or effort. We know the Party’s narratives: globalism, climate change, surveillance, incarceration, political correctness, open borders, free migration, fiat debt, central economic planning, socialized education and medical care, and wars on terrorism, drugs, poverty, any regime that refuses to toe the Party line, hydrocarbons, private firearms, individual rights, privacy, precious metals and cash, and socialized education and medical care. We know the Party’s institutions: governments, central banks and their central banks, intelligence agencies, military forces, police, permanent bureaucracies, multinational corporations, multilateral economic, political, and financial institutions, foundations, universities, nonprofits, and NGOs. We know the Party’s overlapping mouthpieces: the mainstream media, think tanks, government and intelligence agency propaganda organs, crony executives and their companies, Hollywood, and academia. And we know the figureheads who stock governments and their allied institutions, and the Party puppeteers who pull their strings.
The Perfect Gift
We also know the Party is not omnipotent. Just as Orwell’s Party went to all that trouble to ensure Winston Smith thought the right thoughts, our Party wants our belief, acceptance, and consent. Control is far easier to exercise on a population that accepts being controlled and gives carte blanche to its controllers. That Donald Trump, who occasionally tells inconvenient truths but has done precious little to actually change the way the government operates, elicits paroxysms of spastic rage shows just how important it is to the Party that we all think the right thoughts. 
There are two problems with the Party’s narrative management: the people who don’t believe it, and the people who do. In the Party’s perfect world, it would have a monopoly on information and interpretation. However, it’s battling a trend that began with the invention of writing: the ever-increasing availability and dispersion of information. The latest untoward development is the Internet, which allows virtually anyone to disclose a secret, reveal a lie, express an opinion, satirize, post a photograph or video, or otherwise challenge Party narratives. The many that wither under Internet scrutiny reveal the Party for what it is: a serial, unrepentant liar. 
Looking at threats to or from the Internet—intelligence agency surveillance, state censorship, and social media companies’ exclusion and elimination of disfavored political views—there is cause for concern. The threats are certainly threatening, but looking at what the Internet has already wrought argues against total despair.
Twenty years ago, the whole concept of a Deep State was fringe, a notion embraced only by kooks and so-called conspiracy theorists. There was an American Deep State with international connections and it had been running the country since at least WWII, but it really was deep, few people on the outside were aware of it. Now, the phrase is routinely cited by the president, deployed every day in the alternative media, and even the mainstream media occasionally use it.
In fact, the mainstream media has gone from denying the Deep State to telling us what a great thing it is, the last bulwark against a Trump dictatorship. So the witnesses against Trump in the House impeachment hearings aren’t State Department bureaucrats in love with their own deeply flawed Ukraine policies, protecting themselves and their Democratic cronies from revelations of involvement in Ukraine’s rampant corruption, and using second-, third-, and fourth-hand conversations in an attempt to depose the elected President. No, they’re heroes.
However, unlike the not too distant past when both bureaucrats and mainstream media commanded a certain respect among most of the populace, the House impeachment hearings got shredded in real time by the alternative media. Somewhere between 45 to 50 percent of the population refuses to believe what they’re told to believe, and that percentage is always growing (once you understand the con you don’t go back to believing it). Even a few Democrats recognized that the hearings flopped and have suggested a face-saving motion to censure Trump rather than refer the case to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it would be a nonstop embarrassment.
To counter the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme that’s run riot on the Internet, Attorney General William Barr recently restated the official conclusion that Jeffrey Epstein’s death was suicide by hanging, resulting from “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”
This perfect storm of unlucky oopsies include Epstein being taken off suicide watch not long after a previous suicide attempt and shortly before his successful suicide, suggestions that the first attempt may have actually been an assault via attempted strangulation inflicted by someone else, two security guards simultaneously falling asleep on the job when they were supposed to be checking on Epstein, one of those guards not even being an actual security guard, security footage of two cameras outside Epstein’s cell being unusable due to a mysterious technical glitch, at least eight Bureau of Prisons officials knowing Epstein wasn’t meant to be left alone in his cell and leaving him alone in his cell anyway, Epstein’s cellmate being transferred out of their shared space the day before Epstein’s death, Epstein signing a will two days before his death, unexplained injuries on Epstein’s wrists and shoulder reported by his family after the autopsy, and a forensic expert who examined Epstein’s body claiming that his injuries were more consistent with homicide than suicide.
It was years before those who questioned the Warren Commission’s conclusions didn’t have their sanity questioned. Now within four months of Epstein’s death the Attorney General felt compelled to respond to the Internet and the alternative and social medias it has spawned. Barr didn’t change a single mind―the meme is still viral—but he has prompted a new SLL word coinage for any effort by the powerful to whitewash their own lies and corruption: Epstein-Barr Syndrome, or EBS.
Thanks to the Internet, those of us who are paying attention know our Party’s narratives, institutions, mouthpieces, and personnel are evil to their rotten core. We don’t know all the details, but we don’t have to, the incontrovertible truths we have are enough. Epstein could have disclosed devastating truths about Party pedophiles, perverts, and pimps, and we’ve been Epstein-Barred too often to believe he killed himself. Once your eyes are opened, they stay open and you become an expert at spotting EBS. You reflexively reject Party propaganda and by implication, the Party itself.
Popular discontent and protests, some violent, are breaking out all over the world. A number of causes have been cited: corrupt governments, wealth inequality, domestic interference by foreign governments and institutions, rising taxes, fees, and the overall cost of living, and disconnected politicians, bureaucrats, and institutions. While all of these undoubtedly play a role, there’s one constant that is rarely cited: people are fed up with the lies. They’re enraged by the hidden agendas, incompetence, and evil the lies are meant to hide.
The Chinese government is typical, it rests on lies. You don’t need to censor the internet or institute a social credit system if truth is your lodestar.  It has told a whopper regarding Hong Kong: that a totalitarian system can accommodate a second system that confers substantially more freedom. 
Undoubtedly the US and British governments are covertly encouraging Hong Kong’s protestors and are trying to capitalize on the Chinese government’s discomfiture. While the Chines government regards the outside influences as illegitimate, it cannot tolerate a free Hong Kong even were the protests to stop because a substantial portion of their own billion-plus repressed citizens would get wind of it and ask why they cannot enjoy the same freedom.
If China finds the protests of around two million Hong Kong residents troublesome, protests from even one percent of mainland Chinese—roughly ten million people—would be a nightmare. Freedom and totalitarianism are self-evidently incompatible, and sooner or later the Chinese government will try to impose its system on Hong Kong. That’s the truth it cannot tell. The protests may serve as the pretext, or there may be some sort of creeping consolidation before the “One Country, Two Systems” charade ends in 2047. Either way, Hong Kong’s days as a semi-free enclave are numbered. Its citizens know it, and that’s the main fuel for the current conflagration, regardless of what the American and British governments are doing to fan the flames.
As I say on the Welcome page of Straight Line Logic: The truth always threatens those whose power and wealth rests on lies. Through history that has meant governments and those who align their fates with governments. However, the unbelievers may not be as big a problem for the Party as the believers. 
The Party has morons on its team: those who still believe its narratives. It doesn’t matter if true believers are PhDs, Mensa members, or billionaires, in real-world intelligence they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed. The problem with having morons on your team is that they’re, well, morons. They’re the Party’s allies, but that’s like a military alliance with Haiti. They’re too stupid or lazy to try to figure out the world they live in and aren’t going to get their first clue until the handouts stop. As collapse accelerates and reaches full fruition, the ranks of the disbelieving and cynical will only grow. You quit believing when you’re starving. The Party’s already faltering mind control effort will fail, even among the morons.
Most of the PhDs, Mensa members, and billionaires who profess belief know the con but go along with it for pelf and power. They have everything but principles and will spout Party proper-speak as long as it’s in their interest. So the Party can count on the support of the venal and the duplicitous, but how staunch and steadfast will that support be when collapse accelerates, chaos reigns, and it’s every man for himself? We’ll see.
The Party narrative is problematic not just because of the quality of people who believe or profess to believe it. The more significant deficiency is that it doesn’t correspond to reality. You can have millions, even billions, of believers who fervently believe that two plus two equals five, but that means you have millions, even billions, of intellectual cripples who can’t balance a checkbook or perform any other elementary arithmetic function. Or any of the higher operations arithmetic supports—like science and technology. 
The climate change debate is instructive. For years people have tried to model financial markets. There’s a built in incentive: incalculable wealth awaits anyone who gets it right even 60 percent of the time. Yet nobody has done so, because financial markets are extremely complex, are influenced by myriad variables, the relationship among variables and between the variables and the markets change, and we don’t know all the relevant variables.
The same things can be said about climate modeling, except with more emphasis, because climate is more complex and has more potentially interacting variables—some of which we undoubtedly don’t know about—than financial markets. Climate models should be considered inherently unreliable, and models that purport to explain and predict climate based on one or two variables laughably so. If we can’t predict financial markets we certainly can’t predict climate. The state of human knowledge and predictive acumen just isn’t there.
Yet, on the basis of these inherently faulty climate models, many of which have already revealed their deficiencies, the world is supposed to reduce its standard of living, embrace radical, costly, and potentially deadly changes in power generation, food consumption, modes of travel, and economic activity, and hand power over to multilateral and global institutions, supposedly the only way with which the predicted consequences can be dealt. 
The problem with morons and what they believe is that reality-based non-morons can’t wall them off to live with each other and the consequences of their collective irrationality and neuroticism. They insist we live according to their moronic dictates. Conflict is inevitable. However, the quality of the two sides will be far more important than their quantity.
The Party got what it wanted from Winston Smith—a dolt who believed its self-contradictory narratives, but wasn’t much good for anything else. It’s not clear if it was even economically worthwhile for the Party to keep Smith alive. As a dolt could he produce more than he consumed?
In the coming conflict, one motivated hacker rebel will be worth at least 10 million Winston Smiths. A military specialist rebel able to organize and lead guerrilla operations will be worth at least a million Winston Smiths. And any rebel who refuses to be Epstein-Barred, sees through the Party’s narratives, fights its dictates, and has a unwavering dedication to the truth will be worth at least 100,000 Winston Smiths.
Post Scriptum
Hardscrabble Farmer is a New Hampshire farmer who regularly posts his own articles and comments on other people’s, including mine, on The Burning Platform website. He also makes the world’s best maple syrup. He commented on TBP about this post, and I thought his comment and my response should be up on SLL.
Hardscrabble Farmer
I have read a lot of your work and recognize your voice in each piece, but lately it’s become both more accessible and- what’s the word I’m looking for?- militant. Yup, that’s it.
I get the feeling you’ve crossed some personal Rubicon in your thinking.
Robert Gore
That is an incredibly perceptive comment and you hit a couple of nails right on the head.
To the extent there’s a Rubicon it’s been Trump. He has said some of the right things, first as a candidate and then as President, things I agree with and prompted me to vote for him. Most importantly, he’s questioned US interventionism and endless war. He’s also challenged political correctness on immigration, identity politics, transnational trade deals, regulation, the media, the Federal Reserve, and the bureaucracy, among other things.
Inspiring as all that has been, he has accomplished very little. Like Uncola and many others, I’m not sure if that’s because he’s a Deep State plant or because of intense Deep State opposition. In the long run, it probably doesn’t matter. The debt grows, the military’s budget grows, the government grows, we have more not less troops in the Middle East, our civil liberties shrink, and so on, an ever-expanding litany of the failures of modern governance. The Trump presidency has turned three suspicions into convictions: the problems America faces cannot be solved via conventional politics, no matter who we elect; we are amidst a 4th Turning collapse, and that collapse offers the only hope that something better might emerge.
From those convictions emerge the militancy. I’m 61 and not getting any younger. If collapse is inevitable, bring it on. And start preparing for what comes afterward. I think, and certainly hope, that the US does not survive as a political entity. Break it into enough pieces so that at least one of those pieces can be a haven for those seeking their freedom and liberty. I’ll be the first to sign up. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a violent process, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. I don’t want to fight, but if fight we must, fight I will. I’m in it to win it and I want to see it happen while I’m still alive.
To your other point about accessibility. The only power I have or want is the power of my words. I’m short-circuiting myself if people don’t understand what I’m saying, and now, more than ever, clarity on my part and understanding on their part are essential. While occasionally the $10 words and the multi-clause sentences still seem essential, often they are not. Mark Twain once said, ““The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Occasionally the right word is still the $10 one, and occasionally the right sentence is a long one, but usually the 5 cent word and the shorter sentence will do. Now more than ever I’m trying to make myself understood.
Thank you for your great comment. With your permission I’d like to repost it on SLL, along with my response.