In the 21st century, the social engineering of dread and longing have evolved into a bio-political arena of terror and a psycho-political culture of internalized domination. The globally deployed technology of the spectacle transforms to a creative panic industry, the pacification of the self and the silencing of multitudes. With no visible alternatives to universal pancapitalism there seems to be no need for payoffs for the disenchanted, no necessity to bribe the dissenting segments of the population and no incentive to grant extension of freedoms.1
Instead of peddling hope and visions of mutually shared commonwealth, authority is maintained by the production of synthetic fear and the need to secure property against some other. Deimos and Phobos, the gods of panic, angst and terror dominate the omni-directional realm of geo-psychological strategies in an asymmetric world war against invisible enemies without qualities. Market concentrations benefit neo-feudal power structures that know how to use access to media, private security and intelligence services to advance their interests. Austerity, power, and impersonal anonymity interface with a world replete with vast global migrations, desperation, and panic victims who willingly comply and give up liberties for shared security. An Orwellian world of competing agencies, wars, famines, and pestilence drive the panic cities of current criminal elements to traffic in sex, drugs, and war.
Private oligarchic networks of finance and business cartels cultivate relations to governmental entities controlling state agencies and military units. Media narratives and public relations strategies transform synthetic fear into advantages that produce windfalls of power and profit. This theater of fear is a skillful interplay of compartmentalized information units, privatized command centers, loyal officials and gatekeepers as well as professional Special Forces. Technocommercial Black-Ops programs that infiltrate both governmental and public spheres through experimental use of technics and pharmakon in collusion with DARPA and other shadow or Deep State agencies across the globe provide a base infrastructure for a 21st century society of control. Productions of artificial angst call for scenarios of counter-terrorist theater rehearsals and paramilitary actors as well as the professional staging of scapegoats and dupes. The dark networks draw on privatized intelligence units, so called “asteroids”, business entities which provide cover for compartmentalized operations.2
Space was formerly known as heaven and manned space flight from earth could be understood as mechanical equivalent to an ascent to divinity. Johannes Kepler suspected paradise to be located on the moon and Konstantin Tsiolkowsky, the Russian pioneer of modern rocket science, saw manned space flight as a freeway to the supernatural. In his novel “Gravity’s Rainbow” Thomas Pynchon contemplates the ambiguous interrelations between sex, rockets and magic.
Jack Parsons, a key figure in American rocketry, lost his reputation and security clearance in obsessive pursuit of occult rituals and sexual mumbo-jumbo before he diffused into space in a lab explosion in 1952. A crater on the dark side of the moon is named in memory of Parsons, a tribute to the shady cofounder of the famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The 19th century spiritualist pseudoscience of a world of ghosts and occult belief in spirits, a complex adaptation to modernity, has morphed into 20th century sciences. From social theories and “optimization” of the workplace, from operations research to scientific communication and applied psychology, many genres of academic disciplines and the influence business are rooted in the twilight zone of the netherworlds.
When Norbert Wiener, who developed his work on cybernetics from ballistics research, writes that “Communication and control belong to the essence of man’s inner life, even as they belong to his life in society” he evokes the ancient art of assessing the human personality and exploiting motivations. Developed out of clandestine mind control programs in the 1960’s, the methodical application of Personality Assessment Systems became standard operating procedure in business and intelligence. Systems of discipline and control which took shape in the 19th century on the basis of earlier procedures have mutated into new and aggressive forms, beyond simplistic theories of state and sovereignty. In the past, the science of power branched into the twin vectors of political control and control of the self.
In the 21st century the technologies of material control and subjective internalization are in a process of converging. The traditional twin operations, with which the authorities aim to win the hearts and minds, the binding maneuvers of law enforcement and the dazzling illusionist control of the imagination, are transforming into each other. Not unlike werewolves using the powers of the moon for a violent metamorphosis, contemporary agencies of power turn into shape shifters and fluctuating modes of dominance. Star Wars technology shape-shifts into applications of creative industries, into the domain of desire, imagination and mediated lunacy.
Technologies of individualization bound to controllable identities and the global machinery of homogenization are superimposing to a double-bind of contemporary power structures. The renaissance heretic Giordano Bruno anticipates these developments in his visionary treatise “De Vinculis in Genere” – a general account of bonding – on operational phantasms and the libidinal manipulation of the human spirit. The disputatious philosopher of an infinite universe, beyond his unique investigation into the imaginary and the persuasion of masses and the individual, also challenged the ontological separation between the spheres of the heavens and the sublunary world of his time.
Today, in a technological marriage of heaven and earth, there is a full spectrum military entertainment fusion of global conflict management. A strategic analysis of the enforced colonization of space and mind will certainly provide a more comprehensive understanding of the parameters of life and death on planet Earth. The extraterrestrial highway in the United States, is near the zone 51, a top secret area of the American army. In this zone “black projects” subjected to the secrecy defense are carried out. In 1994 a Congressional subcommittee revealed that up to 500,000 Americans were endangered by secret defense related tests between 1940 and 1974. They included covert experiments with radioactive materials, mustard gas, LSD, and biological agents.3
Disneyland and the global media sightings of men on the moon are exemplary for the universal power of imagination management and the spectacle. Receptiveness for the spectacle is deeply embedded in human desires for excitement, stimulation, knowledge acquisition and the construction of self esteem. Largely based on the biocybernetic exploitation of human response mechanisms that influence emotion, excitement and thrill, the technological spectacle in its play with danger and disorientation is rooted in the biology of ancient neural patterns. But its arena has been dramatically extended through technology. The machinery of the spectacle generates affect by triggering failures of orientation and control. This can be loss of physical balance, a rollercoaster ride or cognitive dissonance. The intensity of affect is directly correlated with the depth of disorientation and the more that vital human response structures are touched, the deeper the effect. Contextual parameters of relatively secure environments allow appreciating these disorientations as hedonistic experiences instead of discomfort and panic. These mechanisms trigger delight and numinous experiences, moving and enthusing audiences.
Aldous Huxley once remarked that there are two kinds of propaganda—
rational propaganda in favor of action that is consonant with the enlightened self-interest of those who make it and those to whom it is addressed, and non-rational propaganda that is not consonant with anybody’s enlightened self-interest, but is dictated by, and appeals to, passion. 4
In the years and decades ahead both invasive and non-invasive technologies will enslave the uneducated masses, luring them with technologies of delight or fear to do the bidding of the Oligarchs without little or any resistance since for the most part people will willingly give up there freedoms for comfort, security, and happiness. Of course not all will give into such notions, nor condone the power of persuasion through both extrinsic propaganda and public relations, nor intrinsically through technological pharmakon or invasive forms of implants or nanobots. But these resistant anti-bodies will like any virus be hunted down and annihilated in a society that will have become a unified fascist enclave, a mindless world of automated machines both inorganic and organic. For in the end there will be no barriers between them, only the merger and enhancement of their twined potentials. This is the dark truth-condition of our future… can we stop it? And, more importantly, will we have the tools necessary to break down the walls enclosing us in this fabricated hall of mirrors, this cognitive concentration camp?
“What I’m afraid of is a possibility of a direct contact-link between our brain, what we are thinking, and a computer network, because there we lose our autonomy.”
He warned that soon computers will be able to control the human mind, misleading the individual to believe they are still in control of their thoughts and reality. Under this arrangement, Zizek argues, humans will lose their autonomy and will become indistinguishable from the machines.
“What is much more dangerous is… if our brains will be directly linked to computers so we will lose our inner freedom. Even in the worst of Nazism… those in power could not control what you are thinking. You can have your inner thoughts… Now with a direct link between our brain and the digital network, we lose our inner freedom,” the philosopher said.
- Konrad Becker, Hypno Politics, Hyper State Control, Law Entrainment and the Symbolic Order. Center for Cognitive Liberty (2015)
- Lofgren, Mike. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. Penguin Books (January 5, 2016); Englehardt, Tom. Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. Haymarket Books (September 15, 2014)
- Valentine, Douglas. The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. Clarity Press (December 31, 2016)
- Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World Revisited. Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 1, 2014)