Notes on the abject dishonesty of the technocratic elites
We are well and truly entering a twilight zone, in which a frighteningly large number of our neighbours see us either as potential traitors or biohazards. Only a year ago refusing to shake someone’s hand because of their skin colour or some other immutable trait would rightly be condemned as intolerant, although it’s only natural to be a little cautious with outsiders. Now the rules have changed. Unprotected social proximity is to be avoided at all costs for fear of an elusive virus that has yet to be isolated. Some may have dreamed of a bright future of well-educated global citizens sharing the planet and working together to put in place the infrastructure we will need to empower us to lead meaningful lives with a sense of purpose and compassion. Alas only a tiny minority of elite policy planners and engineers will shape our destiny. At no time in history has it been harder to know whom we should trust as we depend on technology controlled by a dwindling section of humanity.
Let us delve briefly into the mindset of the conformist chattering classes who dominate academia, schooling, social surveillance and healthcare. Typically, they view themselves as left-of-centre progressives standing up for the rights of the vulnerable and sensitive to the presumed needs of special victim groups. In the heyday of the former British Empire many would have been missionaries. Although most trendy progressives consider themselves agnostics or atheists these days, one can detect a certain religious zeal in their convictions, not least in their relentless urge to educate the masses and engage with local communities, a euphemism for the helpless plebs unable to think for themselves without paternalistic guidance from outreach workers and experts. I can understand their way of thinking because I grew up in a Guardian-reading household of Labour activists. To some extent I can thank them for helping me hone the art of critical thinking in regular family discussions. We could rebel against some perceived wrongs associated with some aspects of the British ruling classes. We could go on Rock against Racism demos together and I would love Reggae bands and subversive counterculture atmosphere. When Labour lost the 1979 general election, many blamed the Murdoch press, i.e. the mass circulation Sun newspaper, for appealing to the worst reactionary instincts of local working class communities. I recall one upper-middle class activist, living in one of the town’s posher neighbourhoods, refer to his nearest council housing scheme as “our council estate”, namely “our block vote” of grateful factory workers and welfare dependents. Over the last 40 years Labour’s focus has moved from the former to the latter group. They now rate someone’s worthiness as a human being in terms of their dependence on the system and more important on their compliance. University lecturers, social workers and the long-term unemployment trapped in dysfunctional households with a history of mental health challenges have one thing in common that sets them apart from artisans, builders, mechanics, farmers, shopkeepers or lorry drivers. They all depend 100% on state and/or corporate welfare, while traditional tradespeople depend largely on their own endeavours.
Merging of Corporate and State Power
The old left clung to the notion that democratically accountable states could somehow rein in the growing power of large corporations or even take them over to protect the interests of the general public and workers alike. By contrast the new left, both in their neoliberal and radical chic garb, sing almost from the same hymn sheet as corporate PR departments. My Web-hosting company proudly supports Black Lives Matter and my bank advertises its support for annual LGBTQ++ Pride events, while the big supermarkets urge customers to donate to local foodbanks. In the mid 20th century many Western governments took natural monopolies and failing industries of strategic importance into public ownership. In the mid 1970s the UK’s largest manufacturers of cars, aircraft, coal and steel were all nationalised concerns as were the national airline, the railways, the post office and telephone network alongside gas, electricity and water supply. The Tory governments of the 1980s and early 90s privatised most of these operations in the hope of stimulating competition, improving services and lowering prices. Privatisation was the hallmark of neoliberalism, promising a new age of enterprise and shareholder accountability. In practice failing industries were allowed to fall by the wayside with the more successful parts getting snapped up by large multinationals, while telecommunications and aviation could adapt more naturally to technological innovations. Minor shareholders either failed to make much money or sold out to the big players to cash in on small returns. However, many former nationalised industries continued to behave very much as an integral part of an emerging global state, especially those involved in public private partnerships. Rather than renationalise key public services, New Labour expanded the reach of state power in lockstep with its corporate partners, by adding new tiers of public sector bureaucracy to manage outsourced services. To confuse matters further, charities evolved from makeshift voluntary organisations campaigning to help people neglected by the system into professionalised operations tightly integrated with their corporate and state partners. The State may well sentence you to a term in jail, but your prison and probation service may be managed by nominally private contractors. Likewise your rehabilitation may be managed by a mental health service that technically qualifies as a charity. Local authorities often outsource operations to private contractors or charities to evade being held accountable for their potentially unpopular activities. Indeed the main purpose of many charities is not so much to help the downtrodden regain control of their lives, as many of us once believed, but to raise awareness of new concepts and thus promote radical social change that empowers the surveillance state and engenders a culture of dependence. If a charity raises awareness of gender identity among primary school children or seeks to normalise risky sexual practices among preadolescent children, local authorities can wash their hands of direct responsibility while still covertly funding the organisation. Today charities rely heavily on corporate donations, either directly or via trusts such as Joseph Rowntree Foundation or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and from slush funds from supranational organisations that can more easily evade direct democratic scrutiny, again often via proxies and other charities, e.g. Children in Need, in theory an admirable cause, have donated to Mermaids (promoting gender confusion). More disturbing and returning to the corona-virus scare is the massive corporate funding of academia and the mass media, again often working in lockstep to promote hidden agendas. It should come as little surprise that broadly the same kind of organisations that promoted alternatives to traditional two-parent families and mass migration as the new normal have also thrown their weight behind strict lockdown measures.
Carefree Lifestyles or 24/7 Surveillance
Back in the 1960s and 70s most advocates of laid-back lifestyles with laxer dress codes, greater self-expression and sexual exploration among consenting adults considered themselves, at least in the West, on the liberal left. I loathed wearing ties at school so much that I ripped my tie off as I left the school gates and have avoided wearing ties ever since. I’ve always associated uniforms of any variety with authoritarian regimes. Fast forward to 2020 and trendy lefties are among the most vehement advocates of mandatory face-masks in public places, anti-social distancing and mass vaccination. All of a sudden Glaxo-Smith-Kline, the Tony Blair Institute, EU flag-wavers, Stonewall, the Green Party and Momentum are toeing the line that we must fundamentally change our way of life to tackle a hidden threat irrespective of the long-term damage it causes to millions of livelihoods and most of all to personal freedom and basic civil liberties. The common thread is the faux-progressive and semi-intellectual media that captivates the chattering classes and sets the bounds of permissible dissent among the general population. Why did we bother fighting for sexual liberation in the 1960s despite the obvious risks of sexually transmitted diseases if today we can’t share public spaces with people outside our household without keeping safe distances and/or wearing masks, visors or goggles? Why did we bother campaigning against outdated blasphemy laws if now we let the authorities police social media to censor politically incorrect opinions shared by most people until the day before yesterday?
Public Safety and Scientism
Medical martial law provides the perfect pretext to transition away from a belief system that emphasises personal freedom and democratic accountability, though the authorities still pay lip service to these concepts, to one that focuses on public safety and scientism, i.e. deference to the technocrats favoured by vested state and corporate interests. The authorities can now justify almost anything by referring to the science, as if true science emerges from an ideological commitment to find evidence that fits a pre-determined conclusion and to dismiss any inconvenient evidence to the contrary as the dangerous musings of ill-informed wild conspiracy theorists. While our local politicians still try to give us the impression that they are still in charge rather than just following orders from on high, transnational agencies refer increasingly to governance rather than government, while redefining democracy to mean allowing the public to choose between a narrow range of options approved by anointed experts. The Western press would once deride the former Soviet Union for holding elections with only candidates vetted by the ruling Communist Party. Yet we are now heading in the same direction, except instead of the Politburo and myriad subcommittees we have the World Health Organisation, the World Economic Forum, transnational agencies, tech giants and mega-billionaires. Future historians will wonder how so many people could be persuaded in such a short period of time that wearing face-masks in normal public settings could somehow save lives and thus change their lifelong habits and succumb to a form of collective OCD. Little does it matter that the average human body has over 1 trillion nanoscopic viruses, people have been conditioned to sanitise their hands, baskets and/or trollies before entering a supermarket and thus view other shoppers as bio-hazards. Many dutiful wishful thinkers take it unto themselves to confront rule-breakers such as those of us who either refuse to wear masks or, as in my case, only do so temporarily to avoid potential fines or unpleasant confrontations, but prefer to go mask-free wherever possible (I will simply not wear a mask for longer than 10 minutes). No doubt, these wishful thinkers believe their verbal warnings serve the greater good. They’re only doing their bit in a heroic battle against an evil virus by calling out virus deniers addicted to fanciful online conspiracy theory channels. It hardly matters that only 4 months ago leading government advisors in the UK warned that mask-wearing in common social settings could be counterproductive as the masks themselves would soon become vectors of disease. However, face-masks may soon be the least of our worries as the real aim is to control every aspect of people’s lives in the name of public safety.
Why bother raising the next generation of engineers?
I first became aware of massive investment in special needs education around the turn of the century. Before working in an adult daycare centre, in a hiatus in my career, I just assumed that some children needed extra help and in our more enlightened times we were at last integrating learning disabled children with the mainstream. Over the years not only has special needs education expanded, but the focus of schooling has shifted from traditional academic and scientific subjects to social justice and pastoral care. Richard Lucas of the Scottish Family Party has documented amply the Scottish Government’s obsession with promoting LGBTQ++ concepts in primary schools as well as emphasising children’s rights rather than responsibilities. What kind of society would dedicate most of its education budget to manufacture social compliance rather than raise the next generation of conscientious and industrious workers? Some may believe successive governments have simply listened to the wrong advisors and wasted valuable resources on trendy teaching techniques that have failed many children from the most deprived backgrounds. All this assumes future industries will need millions of tradespeople rather than just a small core of well-remunerated engineers, doctors and surveillance managers assisted by a larger group of enforcers and carers. Teaching unions seem much more concerned about protecting children and themselves from elusive nanoscopic viruses than the damage inflicted on the academic and professional future of working class children from chaotic households. It may be all fine and dandy for the offspring of the professional classes with computer desks in their bedroom growing up in an intellectually stimulating environment. They can do all their schoolwork online and probably learn much more from a wide range of Web-mediated courses and tutorials on every conceivable subject. Today gifted children are often bored at school anyway, fed up with hearing teachers explain simple concepts over and over again to the rest of the class. Life is very different in compact households dominated by loud home entertainment systems and game consoles with little private space for study. Stressed parents are often stuck between a rock and a hard place. They either risk confrontation with their children by getting them to do their homework or they just opt for the easy life and let their children do as they please, e.g. binge on ice-cream while playing video games into the wee hours. The latter option may please the teacher more by taking on board their lesson on children's rights and body acceptance. Yet outside the home children may no longer play freely. It seems teachers care more about whether children masks, socially distance and wash their hands every five minutes than whether they will ever grow into responsible adults with a sense of purpose and some control over their destiny. It's becoming clearer every day that most of our youngsters are being primed for a life of subservience, a kind of extended childhood on universal basic income. If they're lucky they may get a job as social distancing marshals or charity awareness raisers. Otherwise, they may win extra social credits for showing their support for the latest exercise in social engineering.