Or: How to think about Klaus Schwab
This is one of the best things I have ever read - timely to the moment, and timeless in your understanding of the relationship between humans (and our ego/control fanaticism) and the natural world with whom we are intimately connected. Absolutely brilliant.
I've been reading Savage Gods. After all your worries that your writing might be just adding to the evil deceptions of civilization or might be meaningless, you have truly found your way through. It is good that you write these essays. It is good that you have lived and wrestled in order to be able to see and write them. It is good that you are willing to tackle the mundane and engage the confusing for the benefit of others. Thank you and your family!
Yes. Yes yes yes.
You say this in one of your responses to comment: "I do think this is a spiritual war, as well as a mateial one." I absolutely agree, and it's worth noticing the traditional ways in which religions react to oppressive regimes. I know Christianity best, so will refer to that faith's 2000 years' experience.
The church has typically divided into three tendencies. Group One will engage with the new reality and may well end up by blessing its nastiness rather than mitigating it. Classic case, the German Christians in Nazi Germany. Group Two will concentrate on the direct welfare of oppressed people, working on the margin between legality and illegality, including a degree of apparently ineffectual protest and organisation. Classic case, probably the Catholic Church in 19th century Ireland. The third, numerically smallest, group is driven inwards upon the sources of the faith, to discover ways in which its spiritual and traditional resources can be reborn as seeds ready for a hint of spring.
I'm hoping this virtual space can help Group Three.
Odd, isn't it, that two of contemporary storytellers who caught the popular imagination most, Tolkien and CS Lewis, were both horrified at the spectre of power wedded with technology, and warned against. Yet, here we are...
Bless you Paul.
First, I remember when Alex Jones was a conspiracy theorist.
Second, some links:
The EU's long-term plan for a vaccination passport, a long time in the making: "Examine the feasibility of developing a common vaccination card/passport for EU citizens (that takes into account potentially different national vaccination schedules and), that is compatible with electronic immunisation information systems and recognised for use across borders": https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/default/files/vaccination/docs/2019-2022_roadmap_en.pdf
Sweden and implanted vaccine chips: https://www.newsweek.com/people-get-microchips-implanted-that-include-vaccine-records-amid-new-covid-restrictions-1655916
Third, I also remember when an international government was able to control the movements of an entire people whom God had set free, when it forced that free people to register with an occupying military power, when it made an expectant couple homeless, created the conditions in which they were shut out of all hospitality, and then turned them into refugees. This was the world that God loved and into which he sent his son - as the tiny stone that would crush the giant statue of imperial power, in Daniel's vision. For how else could the Word have become flesh and dwelt among us, with the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth? When the world seems so dark, isn't the incarnation simply stunning?
It's fascinating to see you come to this conclusion. I hope you've also thought long and hard about what CDBC means for humanity. It's the ultimate control mechanism, digital indentured servitude. It's a truly cashless society where cash just doesn't exist and your access to life-giving supplies is dictated by your level of adherence to the religion of the Machine.
And you're correct, the vaccine passports are about normalizing our use of a digital control system. I've written about this before but stated the exact same thing just yesterday:
However, my outlook is not so cheery. I don't mean to make any assumptions but when anyone writes about the bleak outlook for humanity's immediate future they have to end on an optimistic note. Ernst Wolff does this and another writer whose name escapes me right now but who writes about totalitarianism ended one of his pieces along the lines of, "Totalitarian system always self-destruct, so this attempt will also fail".
Nazism didn't self-destruct, it had to be killed at tremendous cost. Communism did eventually collapse but the external pressures exerted on it did most of the damage. Even in that case, it took over 70 years and the deaths of tens of millions. Maoism transformed into some kind of communist capitalist hybrid and a kind of society where freedom is even more of an illusion than we in the west experience. And still at the cost of 10s of millions of lives.
Totalitarianism does rise in our civilization and it's very hard to dispose of. Now we are facing what I call "Neototalitarianism", an invisible monster you call the Machine. Invisible as it is there is no tyrant at the top, no ironfisted strongman to hate, and it's global this time. If Klaus Schwab's vision of tomorrow is allowed to manifest, we will be free-range slaves.
Even though many are waking up, I don't see an easy way of stopping this march towards dystopia. People are out on the streets almost daily and still, the Narrative continues. They literally do not care. They have their roadmap and they are sticking to it. And when they are ready they will crash the financial system and let it burn while society unravels. That's when they bring in their new system, replete with UBI as an extra carrot.
Conspiracy theory? My track record so far has been 100% with rolling lockdowns predicted in April 2020, variants, vaccine passports, and mandatory vaccinations. I'll even give you the mechanism of the engineered collapse - a cyberattack. Maybe a penny just dropped? With CDBC there are no more high street banks, they will have to be eliminated. I'll even give you a likely timeframe - Q2 2023.
The rabbit hole is an interconnected tunnel of caverns with thin walls. You just need to reach out and push your way through to the next level. No flat-earth, 5G, and chemtrails in here though. But you will need your tinfoil hat.
I feel moved to add my own comment, although the breadth and depth of my understanding falls far short here. As I struggle to sort out the meaning of the times, I am beginning to focus on myself--seeking to re-establish self-trust, intuition, spiritual engagement. My expectation for this third essay was that you would address the impact of the "omicron" variant, and for a brief moment I was disappointed that you did not lay out just how I should handle this new wrinkle. That is where I am and have been for the past two years--scrambling, desperately seeking everywhere for the Right Answers.
But, to my surprise, I ultimately reacted with a powerful sense of release, of freedom, to your words. With this new variant, whatever fictitious "control" over the virus I had because of my vaccination status has been well and thoroughly destroyed. Now it's up to me to nurture (with the help of family and community) my own sound health, as best I can, and in the old ways--rest, nourishment, sunshine, etc. and, most profoundly, with a serious deepening of my faith. This is one way--and a radical one--that I detach from the Machine. I listen to God and myself above the establishment clamor, I depend upon God and my own human grounding. I test "truth" through fearlessness and purity of heart, such as it may be.
Having sought for so many years to grasp and to solve the world from without, now I go within for a time. I cannot express how liberated I feel! It's like I am reverting to my (Irish) roots--the strength and simple practices that delivered my ancestors through poverty, disruption, oppression, all that. Such faith is work, and I'm excited to take it on.
Please excuse the narrow application of your wonderful words.
Lewis Mumford would be proud, Paul. You have shown us how what we are experiencing is the logical conclusion of his idea regarding 'The Magnificent Bribe'. It used to be that we were just rewarded by the system for playing along. There was room to opt out to various degrees if one chose. Now there will be no choice, only forced participation, keeping the 'progress and growth show on the road', as you say.
Thank you for generating such inspiration at the close. What a gift! Thank you, truly.
Gorgeous piece, Mr. Kingsnorth. Enough to push me over the edge to finally purchase a subscription! Thank you for articulating hope in these disorienting times. Not an easy thing to do while remaining truthful, but I think you did it. I felt a shiver down my spine reading those final paragraphs. Looking forward to reading the rest of your writings on here.
Enjoy your holy day.
I've been eagerly waiting for this third installment, Paul, and have not been disappointed. I've spent the last two weeks home with COVID and have had time to ponder even more than I usually do the state we are in. Just the COVID narrative alone is so unbelievable. That many, many thousands of people believe they need to keep getting vaccinated and boosted, despite the fact that those vaccines will not (we are now, finally, being told) prevent anyone from getting COVID is crazy enough. But that those same people also believe that the unvaxxed are the problem just beggars belief. I find among my friends and family many who do not buy the narrative and I am so grateful for that. But, I also know many people who do believe it and I think, what will you do when the truth wins out, as it will? Will you just re-write history? Your own part in it? Will you crumble in the face of all the lies you believed? Will you join the fight? Or will you cave, give in, learn to love the oppressor because it certainly seems easier? For the entire history of the world, The Machine has been trying to take over, with varying degrees of success. In the spiritual battle, we sometimes retreat to the catacombs or the hedge schools, we sometimes live peacefully within the light of the monastery. Once, a king slaughtered 1000's of newborn boys in an attempt to kill the one who he thought would usurp him. He failed and the boy was born. The Machine can't control everything. This week hope is born in a stable.
On another, more humorous note, I read on Twitter that a man was performing PCR tests out of the back of a halal truck on Queens Blvd. That too gives me hope!
I think I concur with most of this, Paul. All I want to add is that at this point in history, I suspect the number one driver behind most of the accelerating trends and changes you've outlined is good ol' filthy lucre. Altruism and lust for power surely play some part, but the main engine for all of this is the massive revenue opportunity offered by what Charles Eisenstein calls "exponential tech".
Its Tower of Babel mania. Our tech has advanced so quickly and brought so many new fun "sci-fi" worlds into existence that the excitement cant be contained, keep building, keep building, higher, higher. No one is in charge, no conspiracy needed like you said. Its collective lust grabbing at new objects of desire without any self control, only control of others. You can feel the mass hysteria growing amongst the powerful. Hyenas in frenzy.
I read somewhere recently "It feels like we are living in someone else's psychosis." And that sounds pretty accurate. Maybe this is what an apocalypse feels like.
In better times, Paul, you could have invited everybody to Ireland for a Christmas gathering at a local pub, and probably half of the Abbey of Misrule would show up for an evening of conversation and debate, and a song or two.
I am so glad that you are a writer, and that you are writing. I live on a far flung island off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, and a few days ago we had a snow storm and a power outage for over 24 hours. I slid Savage Gods off my shelf, which had recently arrived in the mail, and proceeded to read it nonstop for the entire day, curled on the couch by the wood stove. Paul, I LOVED that book. Your musings are my musings, and are so many people's musings, particularly the artists and the writers of this world.
Today's essay is equally as important and articulate. What I like about these covidian essays is that you not only eloquently sum up exactly my sentiments on the topic, but you write in a manner that is very sharable -- these are essays I could share with friends, family members who are nervous to officially question the Narrative, but are intelligent people and know something is definitely 'off' regarding the pandemic, passports, mandates. I think your essays provide a toe-step into questioning and poking at the Narrative without the screeching of full blown 'conspiracy theory' tales that can outright turn some people off.
Anyway, thank you for Savage Gods and for these essays. I look forward to reading your trilogy series, next.
God bless to you and your family!
Thanks Paul for the closing segment of your trilogy. The world economic/cultural system is a "superorganism" as elaborated by Nate Hagens and in his construct, nobody is in control because of the interconnected complexity of it all with 8 billion inputs but the machine hasn't heard of Nate Hagens . Even if they have, the drive for power and control by the digital arms race of the technocracy will forge forward until they win or until they lose, which is an odd way to phrase it. The energy behind their push needs energy to sustain it and that is their Achilles heel even if they don't know it yet. All this technology generates yet more complexity which needs yet more energy from under the ground and that inevitable depletion may doom their battle plan. This control needs electrons and if they don't have control of electrons, they run out of bullets. There are any number of risks to their strategy which I am sure they have backup plans for but without energy, there will be no backup plan.
Faster. . . faster . . . yes, everything seems on hyperspeed nowadays. I want my fast food NOW, I want to be fit and buff looking without suffering through months of exercise and diet, I want. . .I want. Sigh. And the Machine entices and satisfies us by teasing us with convenience and being quick to satisfy our impatience.
I think Ian McGilchrist (among others) captures the dichotomy you refer to in "Master and His Emissary : The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World"- https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30280879144&searchurl=kn%3Dmaster%2Band%2Bhis%2Bemissary%2Bthe%2Bdivided%2Bbrain%26sortby%3D17&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title2. He delves into the mysteries of the human brain, and the ongoing tension between the ways in which the left and right hemispheres perceive the world, and what goes wrong when the more machine-friendly hemisphere takes over. We're seeing all that being played out right now.
Fortunately, Paul, we have you, Wendell Berry and other writers of similar ilk to help us sort all this out.
So, thank you.
In a weird way, one of my role models for the way to respond is becoming Wendell Berry's Mad Farmer: https://onbeing.org/poetry/the-contrariness-of-the-mad-farmer/
Merry Christmas, Blessed Nativity, Happy Hanukkah.