The Act of Deception

In this public announcement, we have chosen to analyse the « Greek case », on the one hand because it seems indicative of what 2010 has in store for us, and on the other because it is a perfect illustration of the way in which news and information on the world crisis is moving towards « make-believe news » between blocs and interests which are increasingly in conflict. Clearly it is a « must » to learn how to decipher worldwide news and information in the months and years to come which will be a growing means of manipulatory activity. (GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin, N°42, February 16, 2010)

That is the passage from the Leap/E2020 report on the global systemic crisis that I really wanted to highlight in making the link to the article earlier. The increasing reliance on, and resort to, perception management practices (otherwise called “propaganda” or deception management) is only one of the most revealing characteristics of the Post-Enlightenment. An additional aspect of the Post-Enlightenment (or, decadence of the Age of Reason or Universal Reason, otherwise now called “post-modernity”) is the sense of the world as being something absurd, and not reasonable or rational at all.

Of these, the triumph of the Absurd is of a profounder character than the employment of narrow instrumentalist rationality to undermine the principle of universal reason, which is that “manipulatory activity” of perception management to which the authors of the article refer. Recently, I was reading a book by the great quantum physicist Werner Heisenberg called Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science.  On page 42 of the book, in which Heisenberg records the early years of Quantum Theory, I was struck by a passage that is profoundly meaningful:

“I remember discussions with Bohr [Niels Bohr] which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair; and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighboring park I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be as absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?”

This growing sense of nature and the cosmos as being “absurd” strikes at the core principle of the Modern Era: Universal Reason (and the principle of universality generally). Nietzsche, earlier, was already alert to the trend in the logic of events departing from universality and towards the triumph of the absurd.  The resistance of many earlier physicists to Quantum Mechanics and its implications (including the resistance of the great Einstein) arose from a continuing and conservative commitment to the core principle of the Modern Era — Universal Reason — the conviction that nature and the cosmos were ultimately rational and very much like a clockwork mechanism, and that the human mind should faithfully reflect this universal orderliness. In Einstein’s case, this conviction was expressed in his succinct objection to Quantum Theory: “The Lord God does not play dice with the world”. And, in that sense, Einstein was very much one of the last great Newtonian scientists.  Heisenberg’s “revolution in modern science” in this sense of nature’s essential “absurdity”  is basically a negation of the principle of Universal Reason as being sufficient and complete in itself.

Now, this trend in science (and philosophy) is paralleled in popular culture, especially after the First World War. Quite evidently, it has nothing to do directly with developments in science and physics. The triumph of the absurd over universal reason has a different root source than in the realm of ideas. The word “absurd” is ancient and comes from the Babylonian word “absu” or “apsu”, which forms the meaning of our word “abyss” (and “abysmal”, which is the feeling Heisenberg describes as his “despair” above). The Greek word for abyss is “chaos” — the Great Nothingness. Chaos only means “disorder” in that sense.  There is no order because there is nothing to order. Chaos has the same meaning as the formless and infinite and irrational (without limits or boundaries, ends or beginnings, and therefore without definition). The present mood of nihilism in late modern life and society is the irruption of the Absurd. It is the self-negation (which you may also call “suicide”) of the Modern Era. The trend is not being led by human beings. We are only its responders or respondees, more or less adequate to the challenge it presents to our society’s (indeed, our planet’s) continued existence. The irruption of the absurd not only has the same meaning as “nihilism”, but also of “apocalyptic,” in the sense of an unveiling or disclosure.

We come, in some sense, full circle here. Chaos and the Absurd have much the same significance as Aristotle’s description of Man as initially tabula rasa — blank slate. Given Nietzsche’s succinct formula for nihilism — “all higher values devalue themselves” — we have essentially the same description. We become again like an empty canvas.  But any true artist knows what to do with an empty canvas. It’s an invitation to create. And here is where, today, all propaganda and perception management justify themselves.

In another sense, we return to the chrysalid stage — the stage of transformation which we are apt to call, in our terms, “revolution”, so Heisenberg’s description of a “revolution in modern science” isn’t just pro forma or cliche.

But… more about this in the next post on the end of universality and how we can guide events more creatively than we are at present, in which we are in great peril of annihilating ourselves and the Earth.

7 responses to “The Act of Deception”

  1. alex jay says :

    Great! Now we can get into the nitty-gritty, and I will endevour to begin the ball rolling, since we can deal with so much further exchanging conceptions, observations, evidence (and dare I say intuitions) to reply to almost every sentence you elicit comment on in this short – but full of punch – post.

    First paragraph: “Clearly it is a « must » to learn how to decipher worldwide news and information in the months and years to come which will be a growing means of manipulatory activity.”

    I’ll try to be succinct on specific thoughts (as one famous personage is alleged to have said: “brevity is the soul of wit”) …

    Reply: Limiting our programmed software to the so-called – erroneous – cause of WW1 (I only use that as a starting point of the emergence to reinforce your incubation theory of “post-modernity”), we are led to believe that a snotty nosed little non-entity (Gavrilo Princip – a patsy like Lee H. Oswald) carried out “the shot heard around the world” – and all hell broke loose. It has taken almost 100 years, and to this day, the history books (the propaganda version of reality in our brainwashed Hegelian (Fichte) educational -controlled/manipulated – system regurgitates to justify and legitimise the status-quo in order to realise that there is and has been a shadow power structure that controls the planet and incrementality is on the verge of creating a neo-Darwinian (dys)-Utopia (if you’re 1% of the beautiful people you’re the chosen – NO Shit! I have met some of these people). Why all the DNA profiling? Just wait.

    Must go (and I’ve only touched on the first sentence), but:

    “The trend is not being led by human beings. We are only its responders or respondees, more or less adequate to the challenge it presents to our society’s (indeed, our planet’s) continued existence.”

    Oh dear, Scott! I have a problem dealing with “not being led by human beings”. Fortunately over these last few years, I know where you are coming from and what you mean. Unfortunately, you expose the the “red pill”/”blue pill” dilemma. Suffice to say that not only are many of the current – and historical – problems “led by human beings”, but consciousness itself is up for grabs. Propaganda is only in its infantile stages … wait for the big one!

    Of course you and I are resilient (recent studies involving the usual suspects – MIT, UCAL, usual suspects etc.) demonstrate that 20% are oblivious to hypnotism, 20% are total lemmings (in the USA it must be higher) and 60% are “stuck in the middle with you … clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right” etc..

    I’ll try to make it to your second paragraph tomorrow (if the lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise … oh the creeks … glad I’m not in Pakistan at the mo)

    Enjoy your Odyssey … and don’t her HER turn you into a pig … and cover your ears with wax when you hear the music (MTV et al – that’s the TV bullshit you’ve recently been exposed to defiling your virginity : )

  2. InfiniteWarrior says :

    Why all the DNA profiling?

    “Oooo, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then, later, there’s running and…and…screaming.” ~ Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park II

    Terribly problematic is that these things always start innocently enough. We want to “map” the DNA so we can trace our ancestral roots and perhaps even identify and disable disease-causing genes. Sounds wonderful, eh? Then, some psychopath gets an idea and, before you know it, we’re in the eugenics wars.

    Doesn’t anyone around here watch television? 😉 Of course, imaginings such as the “great” Khan Noonien Singh are meant to warn us, but there’s that little issue with listening (ntm, presence of mind).

    What was the catchphrase? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    don’t HER turn you into a pig

    Few worries there. Of all of us, Coyote is no doubt well-prepared to endure the Sirens’ song.

  3. Scott says :

    I have a problem dealing with “not being led by human beings”.

    Why? The tenure (meaning hold) of any one generation of human beings upon the earth is pretty short lived, thanks to mortality. No Illuminati-type organisation can succeed in the face of mortality. The one recent example of an attempt to steer the planet in a preferred elite direction was The World Economic Forum (Davos), and it was a miserable failure that eventually decayed into little more than a ski-club in the Alps. Ditto for the World Social Forum, in some respects.

    Our role in such times as these is pretty much limited to our responses to events, and to acting either to reveal the truth of our situation or to obscure and obstruct the truth of our situation — affirming or negating. There is plenty of the latter, of course — what I earlier called “the ocean of insanity”. In my new role in the world of business, I happen to see plenty of the latter first-hand. As a wise man once said, “they know not what they do”. Exploiting events as they unfold is somewhat different than actually causing them, and is the significance of Naomi Klein’s “Disaster Capitalism” — the exploitation of human misery and suffering for fun and profit.

    But if people knew the truth, they wouldn’t do these sorts of things. It’s just because they aren’t these “illuminati” that they wallow in greed and ignorance and narcissism. The truth about our reality has its own way of catching up with us eventually. That’s the whole meaning of “apocalypse”. The First World War was one such gotch’ya event, once you look through all the superficial analysis. There will be more such unpleasant gotch’ya events in the short-term, and no one, now, can stop the runaway train. Even the best of intentions (as infi notes) now lead to shipwreck. It is always the character of “times out of joint”.

  4. alex jay says :

    Scott: “The tenure (meaning hold) of any one generation of human beings upon the earth is pretty short lived, thanks to mortality. No Illuminati-type organisation can succeed in the face of mortality.”

    Sure, ultimately in a space-time perspective everything must end as all physical entities are mortal – except perhaps for those of Mr. Kurzweil’s persuaion : ): civilisations, empires and even the planet itself. However, while individuals’ “tenure” might be short-lived, organizations (“illuminati” or otherwise) are indefinite and trans-generational (you were taught by such an organisation – remember the Jesuits, “Black Popes” come and go but the agenda is pretty much the same as it was at the time of Ignatius Loyola). Davos or the World Social Forum are not really organisations as such, since they are constituted of mostly transient invitees and transparent in their deliberations. Contrast these talking shops to the real power broking organisations who do their scheming secretly and have pretty much steered the course of human events over the last century – transgenerational – like the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatam House presently) affiliated to its American offspring the Council on Foreign Relations, Round Table, Chamber of Commerce, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg, the Commitee of 300 (known as the Olympians), the “Robber Baron” foundations like Rockefeller etc. etc. These were all designed to promoted and ensure the continuity of concentrating power and wealth in the hands of the elite few – Neo-Darwinists – from generation to generation and stretch well beyond the mortality of their pregenitors.

  5. alex jay says :

    Oh, while I’m on shady “Robber Baron” organisations, I’ve recently read that those splendid squillianaire altruists Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation has just become the proud owner of millions of dollars worth of stock in – you can’t make this stuff up – Monsanto. Well, why not put your money with an outfit that plans to control (and poison) the world’s food supply – Bill knows a little about monopolising a market. Afterall, Monsanto did a wonderful job clearing out the weeds in Vietnam with their other beneficial product for humanity, Agent Orange.

    • Scott says :

      I have come to know quite a few of those who are called “the rich”. And one of the things that strikes me most about them is their utter naivete. Their lives revolve around money, and their stories are all about who has it, how they got it, what they do with it, and how they can get more of it. They are rather child-like, in that respect. And they are often oblivious to anything outside this rather constricted life-horizon. Bill Gates is just such.

      Yes, they are often acquisitive, grasping and greedy in much the same way as young children are acquisitive, grasping, and greedy. They are often immature human types. But, moving in the same social circles, they take their immaturity as being the social norm and assume everyone is the same way and wants the same things (most especially, their money). And as long as money has power, these people will find no lack of minions willing to do their bidding and, essentially, confer upon them social power and authority. As is said, “the love of money is the root of all evil”. But “evil” is a somewhat relative value. Remember the Times link I posted to in the first entry to The Chrysalis about Goldman Sachs “Doing God’s Work?” The man sincerely believes this. And for the same reason, the former CEO of IT&T could say with all sincerity “What’s wrong with looking out for #1?” when he testified before a US Senate hearing into his company’s role in the subversion of the Chilean democracy in its support for the Pinochet coup in Chile. He really didn’t think he had done anything evil or nefarious. It was just business as usual.

      Yes, there is an element of practiced and habitual self-deception here. They find it rewarding. “What doth is profit a man if he gain the whole world but loseth his soul” is, for them, something quite incomprehensible and unintelligible. And they would read Blake’s “More! More! is the cry of the mistaken soul; less than All cannot satisfy Man” and take away from this some meaning completely different than others. Like Mr. Gecko in the movie Wall Street, they do believe that “greed is good”, and they can marshal plenty of evidence to justify the notion that they are, indeed, “doing God’s work” even when, like Bill Gates, they form alliances with a company like Monsanto.

  6. alex jay says :

    You described Tony Blair quite well … he was doing “God’s work” as well (he must be the most delusional person on the planet – a classic narcissist). He is donating the proceeds of his book to the British Legon (returning the 30 pieces of silver). “Gee” what a nice guy …

    I thought the Times article was a bit too fair on the “great vampire squid”. I prefered Matt Taibbi’s appraisal in the Rolling Stone.

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