Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli-born intellectual educated at Jesus University, wrote the popular meta-historical books SAPIENS and HOMO DEUS.
Both of these books were praised by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Obama, and other celebrities.
Unlike other metahistorical works like Spengler's Decline of The West or Toynbee's A Study of History, in Sapiens, Harari claims that we created civilizations through 'fictions' that enabled large-scale human cooperation.
These fictions are God, money, law, etc.
As he says, "Two Catholics who have never met can nevertheless go together on crusade or pool funds to build a hospital because they both believe that God was incarnated in human flesh and allowed Himself to be crucified to redeem our sins."
In the eyes of Harari, the social order is an "imagined order" that is then imposed on others. This order is “always in danger of collapse because it depends upon myths, and myths vanish once people stop believing in them."
In other words, it doesn't matter what you believe, since the "the mind is", in the words of the Devil from Paradise Lost, "its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."
It's worth noting that this has been the spiritual philosophy of Davos for a while now.
In the book 'Happiness Industry, William Davies talks about Davos meetings from 2014, some of which included sessions like 'rewiring the brain' and 'health is wealth.'
"Neurological, physiological, and behavioral monitoring devices are clamped together with meditation practices and pop existentialism. The philosophical deficit in the science of happiness is dealt with by importing ideas from Buddhism and new age religions."
At these meetings, Davos organizers discussed the ways in which greater well-being, measured by neuroscientific tests, could be converted into capital by new technologies that collect our personal data.
The goal with these technologies is to prove that our subjective self can be 'objectively' measured and administered, even controlled, by science and technology.
In the eyes of Harari, Big Data has announced the end of the person who possesses free will.
Harari, like Jeremy Bentham (architect of the panopticon), believes that:
"On the biological level, both our expectations and our happiness are determined by our biochemistry, rather than by our economic, social or political situation."
He even revives Bentham, saying: "Jeremy Bentham similarly maintained that nature gave dominion over man to two masters – pleasure and pain – and they alone determine everything we do, say and think."
According to Harari's philosophy, the state should reorient itself towards the goal of relieving suffering and promoting pleasure.
Rights, God, duties—these things only matter insofar as they are able to support these goals.
Only pleasure and pain is 'real'.
Like behaviorism, this utilitarian mindset reduces a free subject to a rat in a maze to be induced to do x or y.
If it wasn't already obvious, these ideas are what guided the Obama administration, and the Covid regime
The proof is in this thread: https://t.co/tkGjp8kHch
Economists like Richard Thaler, author of one of Obama's admin's favorite books "Nudge", describe a concept they call "choice architecture."
Choice architecture means that the structure and order of our choices influence the daily decisions we make:
“So, for instance, the arrangement of foods in a school cafeteria can influence children to eat better. The positions of restrooms and break rooms can influence the creativity and communality of office staff.”
Creating the choice architecture that will influence the decision is defined as "libertarian paternalism", despite the system's privileging of a certain set of choices.
Companies like Google utilize choice architecture by limiting your options for your own "convenience."
By default, Google tracks your searches and clicks; it retains that data for a specified period and uses it to target advertisements and refine search results.
You 'can' opt out of this, but the farther Google's reach becomes, the less opting out will matter to you.
Richard Thaler, like Yuval Noah Harari, wants to influence people's decisions by putting the power 'in their hands', but their evolutionary framework denies the existence of an individual capable of self-governance, of making decisions based on anything other than pleasure/pain.
The privatization of stress—saying that all our problems, be they political or personal, are rooted in our biochemistry—is less fact and more like propaganda.
This propaganda is powerful because many of us are strongly influenced by pleasure and pain.
The introduction of opioids led to an epidemic, resulting in many deaths, because a material problem was proposed with a material solution.
A solution that many of us bought into, at the cost of our own health and wellbeing, because many of us want to escape our pain
This new digital tyranny that we are buying into, by slowly consenting to the presence of more and more technology, may promise pleasure in the form of status, sex, and increased power over the material world, but do not be deceived—it is dangerous.
Our digital panopticon is different from the Big Brother of old.
As Byung Chul Han writes, "Big Brother now wears a friendly face."
He outsources his operations to us, encouraging 'users' to communicate and consume, in order to achieve the maximum flow of data and capital.
The Gulag Archipelago utilized disciplinary power to surveil the individual in order to control his behavior. Big Data giants find it far more efficient to put that surveillance power 'in our hands', so we can exploit ourselves endlessly pursuing digital-connection and 'freedom'.
Every tweet, every click, every unique bit of data and information you add to this hive mind isn't getting you closer to your 'true' self.
It's creating a new "us"—an "us" that is devoid of political value.
We talk endlessly about ‘our democracy’ because we no longer have one.
Everything is political now, & the state controls so much of our lives because in democracies bureaucracies take on a life of their own, Cthulhu always swims left.
All the "current things", every talking point, is just learned helplessness in a world where we control nothing.
"We" the people are now "we the government" because history has been a story of intermediary powers like states, villages, guilds, and feudal classes, gradually subordinating their power to governmental and corporate entities.
The Articles of Confederation was the second foundation of a liberal government after the Dutch invasion of 1688 voided the English constitution. The 1787 constitution, like the previous two liberal creations, made an appeal to the "people" in order to centralize power.
The next centralization of power came after the first world war, with the Treaty of Versailles and the establishment of a League of nations. The escalation towards extremes alluded to by Girard, lead to a second world war, and the creation of the United Nations.
"Progress" since the English constitution has just been a regression towards what Girard calls "Undifferentiation". Everything has become the same; we are all twins in a sibling rivalry that is edging closer and closer towards absolute war, & the leveling of all distinctions.
Each step of the way, the government/corporate monopoly has reached further and further into our lives, to the point where class struggle has now been internalized.
We are now master and slave in one, trapped in our technological hall of mirrors.
Since the time of Napoleon, war, through its rules and codes, helped to create meaning by establishing new equilibria over an ever growing geographical area. But the new battleground is located within the self, and the new enemy isn't a country or ideology, but our own minds.
"Just as free-market capitalists believe in the invisible hand of the market, so Dataists believe in the invisible hand of the dataflow. As the global data-processing system becomes all-knowing and all-powerful, so connecting to the system becomes the source of all meaning."
Harari's religion—dataism—is really just a belief in the possibility of an all-knowing technological God. This God seeks to quantify everything, including our own minds, in order to connect everybody and everything to the internet of things.
One can see how this is already becoming a reality.
As Siva Vaidhyanathan writes in The Googlization of Everything:
"Overwhelmingly, we now allow Google to determine what is important, relevant, and true on the Web and in the world."
"Today it is Google that occupies the role of being all-knowing (Google Search), all-seeing (Google Earth), all-powerful (Google’s DeepMind), and all-loving (Google Assistant)."
One of the great rhetorical ploys of google is convincing us this is 'ours', that we 'made' this.
In 2006, Time declared Its Person of the Year to be You, Me, and Everyone who contributes content to new-media aggregators like MySpace, Google, Youtube, etc.
But is this new media space democratic, does it truly represent our wants and needs?
As socialism-communism promised collective ownership and control of the means of production, the internet has promised a cultural "commons" open to all, but controlled by none.
Google marxism is just state-controlled monopoly capitalism, none of us have 'made' it.
When billionaires like Elon Musk actually try to create a space for free thought, a constellation of public/private entities, from NATO to state-department funded NGO's, are there at the ready to attack free speech.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have even made the Ten Commandments obsolete, offering instead the One Commandment: “Don’t be evil.”
The nihilism of organized religion pales in comparison to this statement, which is meant soley to benefit Google and nobody else
For Google, what is “good” is what Google does, and what is “evil” is what Google avoids.
As Nolan Gertz writes in Nihilism and Technology: "what it presents as an amoral worldview is in reality a moral worldview of self-perpetuation."
The technocratic power Harari dreams of combines the formal indifference of the neoliberal worldview with the observational perspective of radical behaviorism.
The computational apparatus collecting our data does not care who we are, where we come from, what we want.
A biotech revolution may promise innovations in health care, and greater happiness, but upon connecting to this new tower of babel, we would be ceding our humanity to something beyond our understanding.
A global technological brain "does not care what we think, feel, or do as long as its millions, billions, and trillions of sensate, actuating, computational eyes and ears can observe, render, datafy, and instrumentalize the vast reservoirs of behavioral surplus that are generated in the galactic uproar of connection and communication.”
Reducing us to the lowest common denominator of sameness, for the sake of maximum informational flow, we would lose our inner self, symptoms of which already include a weakened inner monologue.
In David Reisman's book, the Lonely Crowd, he talks about how a society of high growth is composed of individuals whose conformity is insured by their tendency to acquire early in life an internalized set of goals (tradition).
A moral subject is one who is subject to "power". He feels himself observed, threatened, and, in general, kept in awe (respect coupled with fear) by an internal judge.
To have an inner monologue is to be internally divided, always be in dialogue with this internal judge.
The modern person, however, is not subject to anything but himself. He is a project, endlessly reinventing himself in a narcissistic hall of mirrors.
Absent a relationship with others, he yearns for recognition, but cannot find it, leading to a crisis of gratification.
Because the moral order has been disturbed, and the self can no longer fear God, or feel his presence, the modern person feels compelled to perform more and more in order to 'please' a crowd that only exists in his mind.
This is the meaning behind 'oversocialization.'
Like Jim in the Office, when we look into a camera for TikTok or instagram, we are making eye contact with an invisible audience—an homogenous block—that doesn't exist until we hit send.
Kierkegaard would've been horrified by this reality.
Without the authority of an invisible God, the oversocialized individual relies on the visible gratifying authority of others.
He thinks he is unique, striving to equal only himself, but this deluded individualism leads to constant comparisons with others, creating conformity.
Because of social media's technomancy, everybody thinks they are the main character in their own stories now. But this has only made us all more alike. Receiving likes, sharing infographics, going to live-streamed protests, etc—has turned us into NPC's with no inwardness.
In the mind of the oversocialized person, everything becomes self-conscious, like a larp; he is compelled to constantly question himself, eavesdrop on himself, stalk and besiege himself.
In other words, an overactive superego that stifles true uniqueness—real personality.
"A society of incipient population decline", like ours, "develops in its typical members a social character whose conformity is ensured by their tendency to be sensitized to the expectations and preferences of others.”
"The goals toward which the other-directed person strives shift with that guidance: it is only the process of striving itself and the process of paying close attention to the signals from others that remain unaltered throughout life.”
Parents no longer inspire guilt in their children for the violation of inner standards, as much as they inspire shame for not being popular or socialized enough. I think we underestimate how much this has contributed to the school shooter phenomenon.
The use of shame rather than guilt contributes to violence.
The life's work of Professor James Gilligan led him to the conclusion that the fundamental cause of most human violence is the wish to 'eliminate feelings of shame and humiliation and replace it with pride.'
The mom of Ed Kemper (serial killer) would, for example, taunt him with the belief that the high status co-ed girls at her university would never date him.
In the end, he began killing those girls, becoming the ‘Co-Ed Killer’, before finishing with his mother.
In Elliot Rodger's autobiography, he states:
“If humanity will not give me a worthy place among them, then I will destroy them all. I am better than all of them. I am a god. Exacting my retribution is my way of proving my true worth to the world.”
This shame framework explains why, as @xenopol writes, a ‘nice’ straight-A middle-class students often end up in bizarre cults.
One need only think of men like Marx, H.G. Wells, Lenin, and Graham Greene—all children of the middle class.
These men were "predisposed and socialized to admire the idea of non-coerced cooperation mediated through a moral framework—often with a strong element of shame."
Middle-class people must signal to others they're trustworthy cooperators by repressing their anti-social instincts.
This middle-class preference for frictionless cooperation is why it seems plausible to idealistic middle-class men, like marx, that a society could run in such a way that people exchange goods without the intermediary of money or property.
In this 'frictionless' cooperative society, that we are now edging towards, ecumenical niceness is prized above all else.
In a nonjudgmental world, without God, all ideas are viewed as relative to the psychological and social situation of those who affirm them (emotivism).
Del Noce: "As a consequence, everything becomes purely an object of commerce. This is symbolized by the disappearance of modesty; in the most elementary forms everything is reduced to “water, sleep, sex,” falling, in short, into pure animalism."
This regression towards animalism is evident in Gen-Z—the most other-directed generation thus far.
'Goblin-mode' is an "unapologetic unleashing of the creature within."
This rejection of inner ideals—of beauty, morality, and self-improvement—is just a fully-realized version of the beliefs, or lack thereof, that guide the elites of this country.
Nihilists at heart, they view everything through the prism of other people's desires.
Obsessing over the hive mind's signals, the elites—or laptop class—have totally seceded from reality, from the body. As Christopher Lasch noticed, they live in the hyperreal world of images.
Their lifeless stares have no depth, they see nothing but their own reflection.
They introduced mask mandates so we would all become faceless like them.
The face, as Agamben said, is the foundation of politics, because it is the site on which everything individuals say and communicate is founded. Without it, we only have an 'exchange of messages.'
This 'exchange of messages' can only arrive in a world without passions or assets, a time when people say things, but there is no lover, thinker, knight of faith, great humanitarian, or person in despair to vouch for the validity by having primitively experienced what is said.
A total digital revolution would mean human vegetation, the end of desire—the absence of any meaningful speech
Life uploaded into the digital hive mind would mean the total consummation of the natural order, or the death of death, as Maistre said.
If Davos and Harari achieve their goal with the biotech revolution, the transition from a literary to an oral society—from an inner-directed to an other-directed society—would be complete. The conformism of this social world would be staggering.
As real world progress & innovation wanes, one can imagine a dystopia where—due to a scarcity of labor from automation, and a lack of property ownership from an extreme housing crisis—the whole world plugs into metaverse-like matrix to participate in the "high value" economy.
Instead of just collecting behavioral surplus from number logs, geolocation, search terms, dwell times, click-patterns—to nudge us into "liking" what they want us to "like"—a 'high value economy' would know everything about us, effectively turning us into puppets for Big Data.
This massive amount of data would provide corporations and governments with behavioral certainty—certainty that we gave them out of an inner compulsion to connect. Instead of death, torture, reeducation, or conversion, instrumentarianism effectively exiles us from our inner selves.
As Shoshanna Zuboff writes, "Under the regime of instrumentarian power, the mental agency and self-possession of the right to the future tense are gradually submerged beneath a new kind of automaticity: a lived experience of stimulus-response-reinforcement aggregated as the comings and goings of mere organisms."
Harari is laying the philosophical foundation for this kind of world, by submerging our inner world—our religious selves—into the collective world of pleasure and pain.
We are already almost there. The writing is on the wall.
Every world event over the past 20 years has been used to increase the surveillance powers of both the public and private sphere.
9/11 with the Patriot Act
Covid with track & tracing & microchip technology
January 6th with 'misinformation' targeting algorithms.
We are all counted people now, that watch and monitor each other as our devices bypass our awareness. Our locations, words, memories, shopping habits, entertainment preferences, and political beliefs are translated into numbers, then stored, sold, and traded by Big Data/Gov.
Jeremy Bentham's panopticon isolated inmates from each other for disciplinary purposes and prevented them from interacting.
Our new digital panopticon 'nudges' us to communicate digitally, so we can 'connect'.
But we only 'connect' in a back-porch republic with no social ties.
The more one wants to be isolated from others, the more the state/market needs to step in to regulate one's distance from others.
Zizek: “Perhaps this accounts for the strange, but adequate, impression it is difficult to avoid when one encounters a true hedonist solipsist in spite of his/her's unconstrained indulgence in personal idiosyncrasies, she strikes us as weirdly impersonal—what she lacks is the very sense of the 'depth' of a person."
We feel this lack of depth—this facelessness—everywhere we go.
You've probably noticed that everybody, and everything, is becoming the same.
Real Culture ends where frictionless refinement culture begins.
The goal of creating guaranteed outcomes through the market and the state has given us nothing new.
Nowhere is this sameness more visible than in our environment.
Coleridge foresaw the death of blood & soil, envisioning a sacred river 'Alph' flowing through the paradisiacal garden, that sinks 'in tumult to a lifeless ocean'.
With roaring waters, our ancestors cry out.
This 'liquid modernity', of globalized homogenity, is the civilization of the de-territorialized sea-people (atlanticism/thallasocracy).
It opposes the people of land, of tradition and particularism—the Eurasianists.
History = conflict between sea and land.
In liquid modernity, we now have urban sprawl, industrial zones and subdivisions, country inns and trendy bars, an homogenous landscape, rendered everywhere the same by a proliferation of franchises.
Our pleasure dome lies in ceaseless turmoil upon the earth:
Us Americans are like Sinbad the Seafarer, who discovered that this 'new world'—this land of greatness—is actually the back of a giant fish. The heat of Sinbad's pride—his celebratory fire—upsets the big fish, causing him to dive deep, drowning Sinbad.
We are also ignorant of the land we are standing on. We think it is our's to keep, but nature's cold indifference—its hidden spirits—lie in waiting to upset our ambitions right when we think we are safest at the 'end of history'.
Makes me think of haunting New England Forests.
Ernst Junger put it correctly in his book, On Pain:
“We find ourselves in a situation of wanderers traversing along endlessly over a frozen sea, whose surface begins to break up into great sheets of ice due to a change in climate. The surface of abstract ideas likewise starts to become brittle, and the depth of the substance, which was always present, shines dimly through the cracks and crevices.”
Like Prince Prospero and his masqueraders who hide from the red death outside their castle,Yuval Noah Harari and the Great Reset elites are hiding from the cold indifference—the nihilism—that lurks behind their conformist adherence to the pursuit of pleasure at all costs.
From their ivory towers, they want to create the world in their image, to turn every human being into a pleasure-seeker like them.
They will use every tool at their disposal: social media, cheap food, drugs, 'human rights', abortion, pop culture.
The more we are all alike, the easier we are to control. Harari wants to reduce belief down to fiction—separate fact from value—in order to encourage the adoption of his ideas, ideas that require no moral commitment, only dispassionate 'objectivity.'
Unlike physical laws like gravity, which 'remain true' whether we like it or not, according to Harari, "In order to safeguard an imagined order, continuous and strenuous efforts are imperative. Some of these efforts take the shape of violence and coercion."
In his book Logos Rising, Catholic philosopher E. Michael Jones writes on Harari:
"The things he considers real are fiction, and the things he considers fictions are real."
Our social constructs are supposed to explain how humans created civilization, but if consciousness—the very thing that produces these constructs—is an illusion, how can we prove anything?
Harari never asks these questions, instead, he denies the existence of the soul and free will.
But Jones is right:
"if, for example, only physical things are real then what are we to say about the idea that “only physical things are real”? Is that idea 'real' or better? If it is true, then it refutes itself."
Once again, Harari doesn't approach these deeper questions.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the philosopher behind the great reset, which claims that we will own nothing and be happy, is saying that our rights, and religions, are fictions that wear out their welcome once we stop believing in them, like during the pandemic.
To put in perspective what we've lost since the Covid regime overtook the west, here is a quote from The Truth About Covid-19, detailing all the rights that were thrown out the window during the events of 2020.
Writing about the American Declaration, Harari states:
"just as people were never created, neither, according to the science of biology, is there a ‘Creator’ who ‘endows’ them with anything. There is only a blind evolutionary process, devoid of any purpose."
Harari's account of humanity begins to make more sense in light of his next book, HOMO DEUS, where he discusses the future of technology.
Here is a clip where Harari talks about the coming revolution in biotech, where technologies like Neuralink will monitor 'under the skin'
In Homo Deus, Harari writes:
"Now humankind is poised to replace natural selection with intelligent design, and to extend life from the organic realm into the inorganic.”
Except we aren't creating technology, technology is creating a new humanity—that's what America wants.
The US government suspended the law with the patriot act, increasing the power of the surveillance apparatus, while they imprisoned 'enemy' combatants in Guantanomo Bay.
9/11 and its consequences laid the foundations for the biopolitical Covid regime.
The logic of the Anthropocene—maximum information/data flow—is moving towards the creation of an AI-powered God powered by a worldwide sensorium (the internet of things).
Here is a quote by Mitchell Heisman, who wrote a long paper about nihilism before committing suicide:
"AI might merge all of the computational power on the internet into its own power, master all of the significant information on the internet, and then reorganize the entire global brain of the internet so that it “wakes up” as the global mind of God."
From Heisman's perspective, biblical morality paved the way for human rights. Human rights, by viewing humans equally, relaxed natural selection. Once natural evolution stops working as intended, technological evolution took over.
Nazism was a revolt of the genes—a last-ditch effort to resist the logic of technological evolution. As Heismann wrote,
“Auschwitz represents technology mastered by biology. The Singularity would represent biology mastered by technology.”
Klaus Schwab wants to finish what the Nazi's started, by harnessing the power of technology for their own nihilistic ambitions.
They want to take advantage of the coming biotech revolution, or what they call the "4th industrial revolution".
Some have made connections with Klaus Schwab and the Nazi's.
Schwab's father, Eugen Shwab, was managing director of a swiss company called Escher-Wyss AG.
The Escher-Wyss company was a leader in large turbine technology for hydroelectric dams and power plants, but they also manufactured parts for German fighter planes.
Eugen inspired Klaus's public/private philosophy early on.
Like Klaus and his concept of “Stakeholder Capitalism”, Eugen sought to shape the nature of cultural and social interaction with projects like his construction of a railway tunnel connecting Switzerland and Italy.
Klaus emulated his father's partnership with the Nazi war machine when he became director of the newly merged Sulzer Escher-Wyss AG. The company played a critical key role in the development of South Africa’s illegal nuclear weapons program.
Klaus created a global outfit (the inaugural European management symposium), to promote the same formula for public-private partnership that we saw with Escher-Wyss during world war 2, and Apartheid.
With the 4th industrial revolution, Klaus was to take this partnership further
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing—will "blurr the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”
This blending of man and machine is edging closer to what Heisman warned about—the creation of a global brain that wakes up as a God.
Heisman's 1,905 page suicide note is an exploration in nihilism—the worldview, or lack thereof—that undergirds the Great Reset.
I don't believe it is true, but I believe it can 'become' true so long as we try to overcome nature, which is the goal of transhumanism and dataism.
Suicide is the logical outcome of nihilism. As Heisman wrote:
"Radical egalitarianism leads to radical nihilism. When all choices are equal, equality is compatible with total randomness. If all choices are equal, then the choice of death is equal to the choice of life."
It was this nihilism that enabled Heisman to discover the 'evolutionary basis for God'. He says: "Most secular people in the West are simply not ruthless enough in their nihilism to vivisect belief to death."
Most don't understand the logical endpoint of 'equality.'
"...Monotheism may have originated out of a skeptical, nihilistic, materialistic objectivity that annihilated the biologically based subjectivity of the self, and thus created something ‘out of nothing."
Continuing, he says, "In practice, this experiment in nihilism began, in part, as an experiment in systematic physicalism; i.e. an attempted systematic comparison of every subjective experience with the outer physical world."
"The attempt to be consistently materialistic yielded the tentative conclusion that the attempt to be consistently materialistic is rational self-destruction."
Heisman's attempt to be consistently materialistic resulted in the end of his life through suicide.
If life is looked at solely through the lens of biology, of pleasure and pain—as Harari perceives it—what is the point of living then if we are just going to die?
If the doomsday bunkers or transhumanist ambitions are any indication Davos fears this question more than we.
Heisman was conscious of this. His material outlook denied any purpose to existence; he viewed death as being no different from life.
Europeans are starting to think this way.
As he says: "The death of my father marked the beginning, or perhaps the acceleration, of a kind of moral collapse, because the total, materialization of the world from matter to humans to literal subjective experience went hand in hand with a nihilistic inability to believe in he worth of any goal."
Before nihilism results in suicide, it often reveals itself in the act of trying to extend one's life as long as possible in the name of 'health'. This religion of health is really just a religion of the body, of bare life.
Yuval Noah Harari and Davos know that liberalism runs against nature, and that the looming fertility crisis, environmental degradation, and economic downturn is inevitable.
But where we see collapse, they see oppurtunity.
The difference between us and them is that they don't want to reverse the decline, they want to accelerate it, so they can weaponize the singularity without any resistance.
Has anyone tried to authenticially resist it? Yes.
A man by the name of Ted Kaczynski.
Ted Kaczynski, the 'Unabomber', was a professor, not unlike Harari.
Uncle Ted, a prodigy from an early age, had an IQ of 167, and always had a rebellious streak.
He recieved the name unabomber by sending bombs to universities and airports. But he had a deeper motive.
During Ted's sophomore year at Harvard, in 1959, he was recruited for a psychological experiment that, unbeknownst to him, would last three years.
The study aimed at causing "psychic deconstruction" in subjects by humilation and severe stress.
These experiments were led by famed psychologist Henry A. Murray, a Harvard professor who was secretly employed by the CIA.
These behavioral modification experiments were part of project MK Ultra, a CIA led mind-control program.
Beginning in 1953 and halting in 1973, over the span of 20 years 86 institutions - including universities, mental hospitals and prisons - participated in CIA-sponsored experiments on human subjects.
The conformity of the 50's, discussed in Reisman's 1950 sociological analysis (the Lonely Crowd), prompted an interest in rebels, individuals like Holden Caulfield or "beatniks" who didn't 'fit in'.
Here is a great video on conformity in the 50's:
This interest in outcasts prompted social scientists like Murray to create personality tests that would measure how socialized subjects were.
Subjects in the Harvard experiment were chosen from dozens of candidates who were screened for degrees of alienation.
"Data on each of the students were coded to protect their privacy,with Kaczynski getting the name "Lawful;' which Chase suggests might have been an ironic recognition of the potential for chaos the great psychologist could have perceived in this mild-mannered good boy."
In a paper called "Studies of Stressful Interpersonal Disputations;' published in the American Psychologist in 1963, Murray describes with a detached, objective tone the contents of the experiments he performed on Ted and others.
During the study, the students were given a month to "write a brief exposition of yourpersonal philosophy of life, an affirmation of the major guiding principles with which you live or hope to live.”
After this was completed, then the subjects and another person would be asked to debate the respective merits of both their philosophies.
When the day came, the subjects were taken to a room with bright lights and a one-way mirror.
Electrodes were attached so that heart andpulse rates could be recorded, and the event was filmed for all to see.
The students were told in advance that they would debate another student, nota lawyer. The aggressive law student was sprung as a surprise.
The lawyer was instructed to attack the student. The surprised subject typically tried to defend himself, and he became angry at having his personal philosophyso harshly criticized.
This was all by design.
"The whole scene was calculated to excite the emotional and physiological responses associated with a demeaning and even threatening situation-being strapped in under large white lights with a camera rolling in front of a glass in which only shadowy figures appeared."
"Later, they were asked to watch the film of themselves being verbally deconstructed. For the young men who took pride in their intellect and self-presentation, seeing themselves so frustrated and inarticulate was quite disconcerting and undermined their self-image."
These cruel experiments, along with his views on technology, motivated Ted to go life off the grid in Montana, where from 1978 to 1995 he would mail bombs that resulted in the deaths of 3 and the injury of 23 others.
Ted's method of killing was symbolic.
The mail system only works because every single person along the chain acts like a mindless automaton. All Ted had to do was write an address and they just "obeyed". Ted knew what he was doing was immoral, but how moral is a system that creates mindless workers?
As Ted recognized, ever since the industrial revolution, and especially after world war 2 and the invention of the atomic bomb, technology has grown at such a rapid pace that we are unnable to recognize the apocalpytic implications of our own creations.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example, the Russians did not back down for political reasons, "only for technological reasons", as Girard said, "because they knew that they would lose an atomic war."
An even more glaring example of technology's power over us comes from the Korean War, when MacArthur advocated for the use of Nuclear bombs in order to secure victory. The president and the Pentagon questioned the stretegic soundness of this decision.
So what did they do?
They put the nuclear question to a "computer", or what they at the time called an "electric brain."
Putting all ethical questions aside, they asked the computer whether MacArthur proposal would be economically profitable or not.
What did the computer say?
It said that MacArthur’s strategy with the communists would result in a nuclear Third World War, and would be financially ruinous.
The fact that the computer vetoed MacArthur’s insane proposal isn't what's scariest about this, it's that we gave this question over to a computer.
Günther Anders: “It is irrelevant that the machine’s verdict on this occasion was a veto and a reprieve, for it still constituted a death sentence, precisely because the source of possible reprieve had been transferred to a thing."
"The status of humanity was not decided by the machine’s positive or negative answer but rather by the fact that this question had actually been submitted to the thing and the answer abided by.”
War can no longer be controlled by rational means anymore.
In our globalized world without boundaries, the partisan is nowhere and everywhere, like a virus that reveals the violence of the system by using the system against itself.
A plague, like terrorism, is a symptom of the loss of differences.
“It is no accident that terrorist acts often take place in trains and planes. Terror is inherent to all reciprocity", in all exchanges between two equal parties with little differences.
Ted Kaczynski understood the logical outcome of uncontrolled mimetic rivalry between equals—mutual destruction. This might have something to do with his relationship with his brother, that some have called a modern version of Cain and Abel story.
It was Ted's brother, David Kaczynski, after all, who recognized Ted's handwriting and message in his manifesto, and turned him over to the FBI.
Ted felt like his brother was motivated by sibling rivalry, and wanted to give him life in prison, instead of death—what Ted wanted.
One summer in the 50's, both boys had been spending time suburb outside Chicago, where their father caught a baby rabbit. He put it on display in the backyard in a little cage made out of wood and wire.
A crowd of local kids, David among them, gathered round, jostling to get a better view.
Suddenly there was a cry from the back: "Oh, oh, let it go!" The boys turn round to find Ted looking distressed and panicked at the sight of the rabbit visibly trembling in its box.
All the expressions on the kids faces turned from jovial to shame. It was funny to them watching the animal suffer, but Ted—probably seeing part of himself in the animal's situation—tried to save it.
That desire for freedom from being caged in the industrial system led to prison.
Ted knew, however, that we were all in a prison.
Industrial system has made our lives unfulfilling, forcing us to think and act in ways that are contrary to our nature.
We are all like that rabbit, trapped in an iron cage.
Throughout history, there mechanisms in place to keep violence at bay: Geography, weather, pagan religions based on sacrifice and scapegoating.
But now that the world is post-christian, and tightly coupled through technology and trade, there is no way to control mimetic rivalry.
As he says in Anti-Tech revolution:
"The world-system is approaching a condition in which it will be dominated by a relatively small number of extremely powerful global self-prop systems.”
"These global systems will compete for power-as they must do in order to have any chance of survival-and they will compete for power in the short term, with little or no regard for long term consequences."
A monotonic process has been introduced into human relations; a cancerous growth that is unimpeded by any and all limits.
This is why society is started to resemble John B. Calhoun's experiments, that resulted in 'behavioral sink.'
This parasitical growth, this viral violence that feeds on our desires, breeds obese people, the obesity of public deficits, the obesity of homelessness, obesity of prison populations, obesity of drugs and opioids, the obesity of mental illnesses, the obesity of pollution and built up plastic in the oceans.
This logic of endless expansion is the opposite of higher life, where difference, order, and particularity—as opposed to conformity, chaos, and sameness—reign supreme.
This opposition between higher life and lower life can be mapped onto the conflict between atlantic people's and the Eurasianists. The former desire comfort in the crowd (Nietzsche's Last Men). The lattern yearn for space—the freedom to expand one's powers with blood and soil.
Higher life is characterized by differentiation and structure; lower life, like yeast, is an amorphous blob, without form, endlessly expanding, as BAP observed.
Lower life doesn't posess excluding instincts, it is not sovereign.
Nietzsche said that learning to see means "getting your eyes used to calm, to patience, to letting things come to you."
"One must learn", he says "not to react immediately to a stimulus, but instead to take control of the inhibiting, excluding instincts."
The essence of higher life is the ability to say "no" to an impulse or stimulus.
Effort in the form of narrowly focused attention (saying "no") opens the windows of the soul. Active passivity, in the form of open receptivity, then enables new ideas to come in.
We need that initial stress and excitement when narrowly focusing on one aspect of the world, in order to open up to the whole.
It's like the process of memory where we struggle to remember something, only for it come to us unbidden when we turn away.
The nervous system is formed by a process of elimination, of saying "no", like the cell membrane.
Consciousness is formed, like a sculpture out of marble, by discarding that which is unimportant.
Matter does not produce consciousness, it limits it.
Relations, as iain mcgilchrist said, are prior to relata.
“The world is weight and volume, and it is inwardness (gravity and grace) the latter only being possible with the former."
The world is matter desiring to come into contact with other matter.
All connection is love.
We can recognize this at any time.
All experience is an experience of difference. Our sensory nerves quickly ‘fatigue’, and we become accustomed, for example, to a smell, or to a sound.
Our senses respond to the difference between values.
They respond to differences BETWEEN values because “knowledge and perception, and therefore experience, exist only in the relations between things.”
Everything is connected through separation, in the same way a couple is united as one while remaining two distinct individuals.
God made the world by dividing—night from day, heaven from earth, the sea from dry land, etc.
Before each cell replicates, the chromosome pairs divide and are actively drawn apart, later re-forming to make a new cell.
All difference, all separation, is creative love.
Man, created in the image of God, is a creative retrospection of nature upon itself.
Nature may seem like it is bending towards destruction, towards the technological abolition of man, but our fall is a blessed one.
Had Adam not fallen, Christ would never have risen.
Your writings give me a burst of alter-thoughts. An uncanny approach and a dark side to the look of things.