How we came to be ruled by Death Eaters

There are two primary methods of coercion used to enforce societal norms. The most visible is hard coercion, apparent in militias and police as well as courts, prisons, and institutional force of all kinds. The far more powerful form, without which the hard coercion would not be tolerated, is seductive coercion.

Seductive coercion comes in two forms. The first is used to create society and involves social acceptance and approval as motivators. This form of seductive coercion produces love, loyalty, and other forms of social bonding.

The second form is used to create hate and enmity and to reject another society, go to war against them or persecute them in another way. This form of coercion uses group affiliation, fear, dehumanizing propaganda and dissociation.

There are well known, although poorly understood, hormonal responses which help build both hate and love. Both are intense responses to others which are dependent on some shared experience, even if only through propaganda. Often the most intense hate is produced in the same populations which formerly experienced the most intense love, such as in civil wars or familial breakups. 

Both hate and love and the lesser emotions around them are measures of social approval. In the past, all societies used an approval economy to measure acceptance or shunning of each other. Acceptance was not simply an emotional boost, it was inclusion into the social circle which allowed access to essentials of life such as shared food, shelter and procreation. Rejection by shunning was very frequently a death sentence or at least condemnation to an extremely difficult, stressful and shortened life. At best it would mean starting all over again by trying to gain acceptance into a new society.

Dissociation

In order to create the dissociated ponzi schemes of power currently governing society, human relationships had to be replaced with the trade economy. Trade economy replaced societal approval with approval based on each person’s ability to be of service to the powerful. The trade economy eventually interrupted almost all social relationships and replaced them with industry. Social approval was replaced with currency to the point that a person’s worth is now commonly given as a currency value. Currency is a powerful seductive tool because it allows acceptance into the most privileged spots of all societies with no effort required to gain social approval or accept the norms and values of the society.

In those cultures where women and children had autonomy, patriarchy had to be instilled at the family level as the essential building block to patriarchal governance. As the trade economy created waged labour only for those who were serving the wealthy and left community and family service unpaid, women were placed at a huge disadvantage under the trade economy and made to rely solely on a father or husband for the currency which had become social approval. The marriage partnership became dissociated and turned into a master-slave or employer-employee relationship instead of one built on mutual social approval. Matriarchal societies were destroyed as the approval or ability to shun which had been the power of the women in those communities was now worthless and whoever possessed currency needed no one’s approval for societal acceptance.

The industrialization of jobs meant that work is no longer a shared and bonding community experience. The commodification of goods and services has taken sharing and giving out of communities. The state run defence militias claims to remove the need for community solidarity and loyalty. NGOs commodified human empathy, state education commodified respect for community history and tribal knowledge, official government and process dissociated community from governing councils. All of these dissociative structures have removed community bonding experiences.

Cultures which do not greet by kissing and hugging, who handshake (the old greeting to show your enemy you held no weapons) or maintain distance with cold body language, are not producing the hormones necessary to create love and empathy for each other. In a dissociated western world where partners and parents spend little time with each other, much less their community, children are raised in physical bubbles and no one except close family and friends are supposed to touch, it is hard to imagine oxytocin and other hormone levels being socially optimal for bonding. Every transaction of approval, even between parent and child, has sometimes been replaced by an exchange of currency instead of a smile, a hug or a reciprocal gesture of approval. Social shyness and waiting for approval to be gifted has been replaced by taking approval as a right, demanded by all who possess currency. Social shyness is also strongly discouraged by the trade economy which rewards aggression and demands.

Although the exact combination of hormones optimal for bonding is still poorly understood, touch and psychological support are known to be essential for oxytocin production and less oxytocin usually results in more aggression and less caring. Patients with autism and psychiatric disorders have been found to improve with increased oxytocin levels. Cultures with common physical contact such as holding hands or maintaining less personal space, which share community jobs and local jokes and stories and are heavy sharing or gifting cultures, have far more bonding opportunities.

Sex, both social and anti-social

Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover … the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. – Aldous Huxley to George Orwell

When waged labour created a class division between men and women, they became rivals and the so-called war of the sexes began or was entrenched. There is a gender divide in coercion, with hard coercion typically considered the power of men due to their physical strength and seductive coercion considered the power of women, both because hard coercion was not usually an option for women and because they were primarily responsible for the care of society during its formative years. There is also a gender divide among sociopaths. Robert Hare estimated seven times more male sociopaths than female and it has been historically easier for male sociopaths to climb to positions of power. There is an even greater predominance of men within sexual sadism disorder which seems to be manifesting in the establishment wide torture and death cults of the UK and elsewhere.

Societies ruled by seductive coercion used talking, councils and shunning, while patriarchy ruled primarily by hard coercion, police, laws and prisons. A patriarchal power structure had to take control of seductive coercion, partly by demonizing and infantilizing women and  and partly by perverting seductive coercion for their own uses. Seductive coercion has increasingly become a powerful tool of the sociopathic oligarchy.

One of the most important tools in both social and anti-social seductive coercion is sex. Sex has been used to bond couples for communal support in child rearing, but it has also been used as a weapon of war throughout history. There are evidently two distinct types of sex, one bonding and social and the other extremely anti-social.

Oxytocin, believed to play a significant role in bonding, is produced by physical closeness such as breastfeeding, everyday physical contact, massage, tantric or Taoist sex, non-orgasmic sex, cuddling, relaxation, mental closeness, social acceptance, approval and emotional support.[1] Oxytocin is also produced by stress and orgasm, and while it will help bond allies, it will also increase hatred and a lack of empathy for those perceived as outside the social group.

Rape has gone from a by-product of war to a deliberate strategy of war, whether by militia commanders in the DR Congo telling their fighters that rape will bring them magic powers or by Israel and their constant sexual war imagery and orders for war rape. It is one thing to look at the supposed motives for rape in destroying the targeted population, but we must also look at what is causing large populations of men to obey orders for mass raping and whether it is also being used as a tool to condition them hormonally to dehumanize, kill and torture their enemy. Is rape being used simply as a tool against the victims, or is it being used more to raise the level of hate in the fighter? It is possible that the DR Congo militia’s idea of rape as a tool of war for obtaining magic powers to beat their enemy is closer than the NGOs who describe it as a simple war crime.

Dopamine, is a very powerful hormone associated with addictive substances such as cocaine, mental illness such as schizophrenia, and the release of a reward hormone on learning or experiencing novel stimuli. Novel sexual experience causes a surge in dopamine, but the experience must keep changing which leads to a search for more and more extreme stimuli. After orgasm, dopamine levels plummet, leading to the addictive endless search for ever increasing levels of dopamine. The pornography that is the most popular is that which produces the dopamine highs and crashes and is therefore addictive. That is also the type which requires ever-increasing stimulation to reach the same dopamine levels and produces no bonding hormones. While sexual sadism disorder has probably been with us forever, child abuse and snuff film industries were almost exclusively created, not born. 

State and corporate control of women’s sexuality was necessary because it was a powerful coercive tool. Misogyny centres around hatred of coercion, particularly suspected but poorly understood female coercion. From the first ruling of the Catholic Church that sex should be for the purposes of procreation only, sex has been changed from the type that releases bonding hormones to the type that more closely resembles anti-social rape. Non-orgasmic sex, once used for birth control and enjoyment, was decreed sinful by the church and male orgasm became the only point to sex. Sexual contact outside male orgasm was frequently eliminated completely, which would hypothetically greatly reduce the amount of bonding hormones produced between a couple. At the same time, breast feeding was also strongly discouraged and hospitals and other institutions removed infants and children from parental care, reducing familial bonding levels still further.

Heavily dopamine producing sex, from brief encounters with sex workers, rape, pornography, and any other form of ‘hate-sex’ continued and increased as the bonding community and family life was removed. Corporate advertising removed sex progressively farther from a form of approval to a product of the trade economy. Military produced games and movies conflated sex with every form of war and violence as did the news media and the military itself. The UK media call torture, murder and dismemberment of children ‘child sex’ and ‘paedophilia’ as does the UK government’s Child Sex Abuse inquiry. Dissociated populations which no longer produced hormones at community bonding levels were taught to crave dopamine with increasingly violent and risk-taking behaviour, drugs and consumerism.

The same gratification conditioning is fed by addictions of all kinds, from drugs to addictive, harmful, and sometimes anti-social foods. The US military is developing an ‘anti-suicide’ hormonal nasal spray which is suppressing guilt, presumably through suppressing empathy, in militia members who have seen or committed atrocities. It is as ridiculous to deny the importance of stimulus choices in determining our social development as it would be to deny the importance of exercise choices in determining our muscle development. Seductive coercion and behaviour conditioning is present in every aspect of life worldwide. There is nothing at all new in this, it has always been this way. What is new is seductive coercion is now being controlled by an all-pervasive, sociopathic oligarchy who keep both their methods and their goals as state and corporate secrets and remove all choice from the society.

Freedom

“Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.” – Marquis de Sade

The freedom espoused in the rhetoric surrounding both the French and US revolutions was a very anti-social freedom. What began as a rejection of the patriarchy or state, continued as a rejection of society and a promotion of extreme freedom for those best suited to a trade economy. The pursuit of happiness became a right of any who could command it through strength to survive in an economy completely rigged in favour of the small fraternity steering both the French and US revolutions. The hated patriarchy was overthrown and replaced by the fraternity, a decentralized patriarchy without the responsibility inherent in the role. Social approval was necessary for nothing as the fraternity used currency as their dissociated approval to command all of society’s benefits. Social obligation became so dissociated from the now monetized approval that it was left to the charitable intervention of the vilified patriarchal state and fought against alongside the rejection of the state.

The sex life of the Marquis de Sade is a perfect metaphor for the actions of both his compatriots at the Jacobin Club during the Terror and the sociopathic oligarchy of today. De Sade was against the death penalty and insisted no one should ever be found guilty for anything done in the pursuit of pleasure, while his idea of pleasure involved escalating levels of torture and murder of unwilling victims. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness was always intended for the fraternity only, and the rhetoric has never matched the actions toward any outside the fraternity.

In lieu of any other understanding of the nature of the motivations of our current sociopathic oligarchy, it is not unreasonable to expect they get the same gratification from the torture, murder and destruction of their day jobs as the Marquis de Sade did from his pursuit of pleasure. With the revelations of the current ‘child sex’ inquiry into the UK establishment death cult it seems almost certain they do. Those with sexual sadism disorder do not have to indulge in any behaviour that normative people would consider sex, and do not even have to be directly involved in an act, so it is very likely that ordering wars and mass guillotine executions worked just as well for their arousal as individual torture. For those with lesser power, ordering a snuff film would also work. It is impossible to look at the war horrors combined with media sexual imagery and not see the mirror image of the child torture and death cult and media sexualization of it.

The trade economy decreed that all was for sale and everyone has a right to anything they can purchase, with no social obligations. The requirement of approval from society is presented as a horror, social obligation is depicted as robbery. ‘Freedom’ advocates were outraged at the recent #takedownjulienblanc campaign because his anti-social behaviour was restricted by a societal right to associate or not and his currency approval was not enough to buy him acceptance and access to all the privileges of belonging to all the nations in the world.

Instead of researching known contributors to dissociative personality and behaviour, societies are encouraged to embrace dissociated behaviour as ‘diversity’ and ‘freedom’, to look for unconditional acceptance instead of understanding. Any suggestion of understanding or coercing individual behaviour triggers memories of CIA brain-washing, Clockwork Orange, or Thought Reform and produces revulsion in the same populations that accept the extremely coercive and behaviour-modifying death penalty. Talk of open, societal, behaviour coercion is greeted with the same horror that once followed any suggestion of heart or brain surgery. Meanwhile, those same agencies responsible for the earlier state horrors of behaviour modification experiments have progressed to the point that no one even acknowledges their coercive social engineering.

Free will is a deeply cherished myth for many. The idea that free will is real and social auto-coercion is an attack on freedom has allowed seductive coercion to be completely controlled by an invisible corporate oligarchy which modifies everyone’s behaviour through games, food, drugs, media, dissociative structures, anti-social laws, propaganda and more. Social approval has been replaced by currency, control of social coercion has been taken by an invisible oligarchy of intelligence and corporate propagandists, control of mental health has been usurped by those feeding drugs, foods and environmental conditions that cause mental disorders.

In the past, the practice of shunning was sometimes abused and there were always people considered lesser or not accepted into certain societies for reasons most would deem unfair. Any form of coercion that can be influenced by popularity or power is corruptible. Today, people who do not feel welcomed or appreciated by one society should have freedom of movement to join another. Societies which unfairly persecute one of their members are susceptible to being shunned themselves. In OpMaryville, Anonymous retaliated against a community which had shunned a rape victim and her family in favour of her far more locally powerful rapists. The BDS and BlockTheBoat campaigns allow outside nations (independently of states) to shun Israel for their genocidal and apartheid policies. Today we have the ability to provide an instant global appeal court for any individual who feels their rights are being violated by their society.

It is impossible to deny that those in power globally are both sadists and sociopaths. It would not be difficult to manage the world peacefully, with enough resources, autonomy for all and aid in times of disaster. It is not necessary to continue to destroy the environments we live in. The horrific and genocidal big three criminal industries of human, drugs and weapons trafficking are all enabled and run by those in power. It is not enough to replace the sociopaths in power, the system which created them rewards and creates both sadism and sociopathy. Nothing less than a completely new system with new social motivators and norms will remove sadism and sociopathy from the seats of power.

Seductive coercion is a constant in society. To reject social auto-coercion is to accept tyrannical secret coercion.

– – –

See also:

Free will and seductive coercion

Witches and how they were silenced

An economy for all

Society vs dissociation

Sociopaths, Psychopaths and Death Eaters

[1] Discussion of social hormones and the types of sexual and social interactions producing them is both grossly oversimplified and poorly cited here out of necessity. It is important to recognize their role in society, but studies are far too incomplete and contradictory to give any definitive statements or cite any particular study as a final authority. There are many other hormones and environmental combinations at work than those suggested here, and research and beliefs regarding the connection between sex and hormonal balance is found in many places outside science. In lieu of specific citations, I would encourage the interested reader to conduct independent research into Taoist sex, tantric sex, sex therapy, various forms of ritual magic, magick, satanism and other occult practises related to gaining power through sex, porn addiction, sex in advertising, oxytocin, dopamine, prolactin, androgens, seratonin, cortisol, endorphins and more. I do not endorse the claims found in any of those places. The point of this article is not to point to definitive answers but to suggest where we should be looking for them.

This article has been stigmergicly translated into French.

A mythical Manichean world

“I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil.” ― Roméo Dallaire, Shake Hands With The Devil

In Shake Hands with the Devil, Romeo Dallaire, former head of the UN mission to Rwanda, described shaking hands with commanders of the Hutu militias responsible for the 1994 Tutsi genocide. He felt he was in the presence of evil, or, to his Christian outlook, the devil. When faced with incomprehensible savagery it is hard to find human nature behind it and natural to look for some invisible hand of evil. The same outlook is understandable to some in west African countries, where the leaders have for years been suspected of complicity in ritual killings, or torturing their own citizens and using their body parts as amulets for power. Compulsory membership of politicians in certain Masonic lodges and the undeniable power and wealth wielded by the powerful, support both the cult rumours and the presumed effectiveness of evil forces being invoked. These so-called powers are also sought by some militias.

If a person is thought to embody evil in themselves, the person is demonized in the eyes of the other. Once a large group has designated another entire group as evil, actions no longer matter. The ensuing war will have nothing to do with good actions and bad actions and everything to do with one side exterminating the other. Those facing the side designated as evil are then depicted as Good, and any behaviour of theirs will be justified thereafter as can be seen in the excuses made for Rwanda actions even today. Some groups can carry their indestructible Good status in the face of all evidence of their actions for generations and against completely different opponents, as we see with Israel and the fact that they still have defenders justifying their ‘right’ to torment and murder others.

Countries that have had an acknowledged atrocity are much more self aware and able to recognize and stop new ones. If an atrocity is outside the Overton window of what a people will believe about themselves they will deny it happened or ignore it. For Canadians, the pull of the manufactured self-image of ‘nice’ is too attractive to confront, even when faced with human rights and environmental disasters Canada is responsible for worldwide. To acknowledge that global mining atrocities are a fundamental part of Canada, that a Canadian child has now been tortured and imprisoned for the thirteenth year, that these actions cannot be blamed on one government but are part of Canada itself, is an attack on their self-image that many Canadians refuse to face. The US was previously the same with their acceptance of ‘freedom’ propaganda and their refusal to see their own police state as anything but protection.

A good guy / bad guy, personality based morality is very helpful for any who wish to wage wars or destroy the lives of others. No one has to think, just identify the Good Guys and the Bad Guys, be for the one, beware the other. We really don’t need legions of security analysts, militaries and intelligence to sort out Good Guys from Bad Guys. Bad Guys are destroying, killing, enslaving and robbing, Good Guys are creating, researching and caring for others. Bad Guys are capable of becoming Good Guys as soon as they stop the actions harmful to society and start the ones helpful to society.

The myth of free will and the myth of equality

I was one of those children forced into fighting at the age of 13, in my country Sierra Leone, a war that claimed the lives of my mother, father and two brothers. I know too well the emotional, psychological and physical burden that comes with being exposed to violence as a child or at any age for that matter. – Ishmael Beah

In order to designate someone as evil and deserving of any horror that the powerful wish to inflict on them, they must be held personally responsible for the actions of themselves and their ‘side’. In order to hold people personally responsible even for their own actions, the public must believe they had free will, something that does not exist. The idea of personal responsibility also depends on an assumption that people have equal access to information and the ability to process it. Propaganda and coercion which comes from the top is denied and blame is cast to those at the bottom who acted upon it. The propaganda masters convince the public that the weak-minded and the vulnerable must take responsibility for acting as the zombie army of the powerful who are absolved of responsibility.

For punishment to be applied equally to all, the public must believe that all are equal, which is also falseThe myth of equality is essential for sustaining this binary outlook and careful censoring of information is essential to maintaining the myth of equality. ‘Hamas is evil, bomb Gaza’ cannot stand in the face of relentless social media pictures of babies, beautiful children and wonderful people well-known to the online community being blown up by Israel. ‘Boko Haram is evil, Nigeria military should kill them all’  is shocked by images of little boys fighting and being killed on both sides or Nigeria military torturing a little girl working for Boko Haram. Hillary Clinton deplores the loss of imperial control over information and Netanyahu bitterly calls his victims “telegenically dead“. The old media control which depicted all enemies of militias as adult men with guns was essential to justify any war.

We have a tendency to think of our villains as geniuses or assume they at least have the ability to predict the outcome of their actions but for those filling prisons and dying in wars that is not always the case.

While most people recognize the ability to rehabilitate child soldiers, what of those who are not rehabilitated? If they do not bear responsibility as children, why does the responsibility for their formation descend upon them as adults? How can anyone presume to know what has happened to the mind of anyone who has lived completely different experiences than them and possesses a completely different mind?

If it is agreed that charges should only be applied to criminals who have attained a certain standard of cognitive ability, why is the same penalty applied to all at that point? If the spectrum of ability and advantage continues above the line labeled competent, should the penalties not be a corresponding spectrum? If they must attain a standard of cognitive ability, why are moral imbeciles judged by the same standards as the socially normative? Why is sociopathy not recognized as a mental illness if insanity is? What if sociopathy is a physical disease? What of those with fetal alcohol syndrome and other forms of physical brain damage that currently fill prisons and militias?

The role of drugs in convincing militias to commit atrocities and overcome guilt is seldom reported. Not only non-state militias employ drugs, the US military even has a follow up anti-guilt nasal spray to prevent troops from feeling natural remorse.

Not all opponents are worthy of hate.

Social auto-coercion

Few believe that all of their own ancestors should have been wiped out, but everyone has ancestors who displayed what we like to call inhuman characteristics. Why do we believe they are absolved from the personal responsibility we bear today if not because we accept the power of social coercion and social norms? If social coercion and social norms applied in the past, why is their power denied today? The US government acknowledged the power of seductive coercion with what they cynically called the battle for hearts and minds in Iraq. They of all people understand coercion and knew that their actions would have the opposite affect.

Any suggestion of deliberate social auto-coercion is met with howls from free will advocates, especially from the US, that bastion of personal freedoms perverted to suit corporate ends. Every intelligence agency in the world, all corporations and all militaries constantly manipulate public norms and behaviour, but an attempt for a community to regain control is depicted (by corporate media) as an attack on freedom and autonomy instead of the assertion of it.

People can somehow become convinced that if we only kill enough people, inherent goodness will shine from the survivors. In the end, we can’t kill enough people to make the world a kinder gentler place. We have proven enough times that there is no time and place immune to an outbreak of human savagery. UN peacekeeping is incompetent, political, and after the fact. We need societies resilient to violence. In the end we will need to understand each other and use social auto-coercion as we do after the horrors of every war in order to return to normal life. We need to start using it before the outbreak of any violence, not to stop Bad Guys but to stop bad actions. Instead of spending vast sums tracking individuals and their connections in the search for Bad Guys, we need to strengthen social auto-coercion and fight the coercion coming from sociopathic power.

For those who insist societies will never function without military and police hard coercion, societies worldwide did, very well. For those, usually the same people, who insist that seductive coercion is immoral, seductive coercion is what creates a society out of a group of disconnected people. For those who do not believe that coercion ought to be in the hands of the people, coercion ought never to be anywhere else. The only way to prevent coercion by a secret oligarchy is to use it as community.

“If we don’t harness their potential for good, their societies will continue to reap their capacity for evil.” ― Roméo Dallaire, They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children

Roméo Dallaire, Shake Hands With The Devill: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda (2003)

Ishmael Beah, Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (2007)

Roméo Dallaire, They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children (2010)

This article has been stigmergicly translated into French. 

World War III: A status update

A continuation of thoughts from World War III: A picture and earlier A Stateless War

Since the above articles in September 2012 and 2010, it has become abundantly clear that none of the world’s governments have any motivation or ability to stand up to the corporate multinational empires headquartered in the countries of the five eyes and their associates. The UN vote in support of Palestine in November of 2012 was a symbolic rebellion, but in the end only proved how ineffective that rebellion would be as Israel instantly paraded their complete contempt for the world’s opinion. As Israel and the US promised, the vote changed nothing on the ground. A relentless stream of new treaties and laws is entrenching the corporate umbrella that now has legal control over the world’s governments. Sovereignty is dead. Corporations are people and people are products.

People no longer accept, or even have any knowledge of, their governance or the laws controlling them. States no longer pretend that laws apply to them. Society worldwide is ruled purely by military coercion. The uprisings which began in 2010 were thoroughly co-opted in early 2011 and used to create unending massacres and division that terrify anyone interested in suggesting change. Government turnover is meaningless in any case as the resource corporations and their security militias and media retain power regardless of political change. We need focus.

Empire on parade

The NSA revelations, like the US state cables before them, proved that things are much worse than we even thought and resistance is more futile. This message has been drummed incessantly in the past years. Since the curtain fell and both sovereignty and governance by the people were proven to be an illusion, there is no longer any pretense of maintaining the illusion. The current propaganda seems instead bent on proving the futility of resistance.

I’ve been writing for the last several years on the empire’s military coming-out in the media and what it says about their progress. We are long past the point where any transparency about military might is intended to result in change, much less reduction or disarmament. Since Obama’s earliest speeches he has been bragging about the “finest fighting force the world has ever seen” and the expansion of its empire. These are not secrets. Like in the Republic of North Korea and every previous empire, the media parade of invincible military might is meant to impress and suppress pretenders to the throne. Julian’s long ago essay on conspiracy has been turned on the people as the NSA and others make activists terrified of voicing dissent much less acting upon it. The message is also for any pretenders from BRICS or elsewhere as the US regime forces the landing of a plane containing a head of state, strip searches a diplomat and spies brazenly on allies.

Complicit military propaganda is presented as brave and daring journalism, somehow achieved with full co-operation from the empire itself. Junta kingpin Erik Prince is not shy of journalists and not at all reticent in proclaiming his allegiance only to himself. These places are not where secrets lie. This pretense of exposing secrets covers for the lack of exposing real secrets: the unheard voices of victims of Shell Oil in the Niger Delta, Areva uranium mining in Khazakstan, Niger, Gabon and elsewhere, the myriad corporate predators of the Amazon, the Kachin and Rohingya people of Myanmar, the silence invariably present wherever the corporate mafia abuses are the most extreme. Noisy debates on government transparency cover the complete lack of debate on corporate transparency. Congratulations on the democratic permeability of circles of government power deflect from the impenetrable circle of corporate power.

When the most silent voices cannot be ignored they are represented by controlled channels through NGOs and media, claiming to speak for those they are really speaking over. With a few truly heroic exceptions, the NGOs selectively report abuses and channel funding to further the aims of their government and corporate funders and enablers. The US funded NGOs in the Amazon seek to disrupt government trade with China and other competitors and rebellious governments co-opt the message for their own NGO partners and shut down the competing voices. Meanwhile, the people affected are unheard and the corporations in one form or another continue their destruction.

As people circumvent their governments to reach past the nationalist othering and connect globally, global Thought Leaders are propped up and paraded around to direct traffic for The Revolution™. They roam the world issuing platitudes of despair and futility straight out of 1984. “They control everything. Resistance is futile. Don’t use Facebook.” ‘They‘ cannot be named as they are bankrolling both the Thought Leaders and their solutions. Ideas become ideology and ideologies are branded and polluted. Opportunists are promoted, realists are co-opted, idealists are frightened and radicals are shot, just as Stratfor taught they should be. When a billionaire as invested in the status quo as Pierre Omidyar says celebrity Thought Leaders are replacing organizations it is as much a command as a statement. Read the playbook. Don’t play.

The world needs real journalism. We are decades, even centuries, behind what we need to know about the people really in power, the corporate shareholders. They must become our new celebrities, the targets of so much gossip we will soon understand their relationships and weaknesses better than we understand those of reality TV stars. These are the people we are fighting, not the figureheads and militias they pay to stand between us.

War is Peace: The year of the aggressive peacekeepers

The 2013 War is Peace initiative saw the creation of the first ‘aggressive peacekeeping’ mandates, one in the Democratic Republic of Congo and one in Mali. It isn’t risking much to predict the same will happen in the Central African Republic and South Sudan. This carries group affiliation to the natural conclusion we saw in the 2006 creation of ‘murder by an unprivileged belligerent in violation of laws of war’ dubbed a war crime by the Guantanamo Military Commissions Act. In 2006, the US decreed that the US military could kill children, but it was a war crime for children to kill US Special Forces commandos. In 2013 the United Nations allowed UN peacekeepers to retain the protection of it being a war crime to kill them while simultaneously allowing them to initiate attacks on those they deem to be a potential (not immediate) threat. Not only has the UN put the right of all legitimate peacekeepers to protection at risk, they have established precedent by which a foreign army can invade and conquer a sovereign state and have citizens tried as war criminals if they resist. The international media has been happy to accept this with no question and obediently report the killing of ‘peacekeepers’ in both Mali and the DRC with no explanation that the definition of that word has been changed to mean its opposite.1.png

 

UNSC permanent members: United States, Britain, Russia, France, China.

A look at the UN Security Council provides a clue to the escalating violence despite UN attempts to ‘establish peace’. Peace will never be produced by those invested in war. China is the fastest growing arms exporter of the past decade. Canada’s current government was incensed at being refused a seat on the UNSC just as their arms sales soared. Arms dealers are the obvious winners in the current economy. While an international peacekeeping force used at the discretion of the assembly of United Nations may once have seemed a good idea for humanity, the UNSC as run by the global war masters is just good corporate marketing strategy, enabling endless discussions about men with guns killing other men with guns and arguments over which side needs more guns.2.png

 

Professional militias, weapons dealers and would-be kingpins have hijacked every attempt at governance reform. Particularly, the gates of Libya and Syria were opened and militias and weapons are pouring at an even greater rate into Africa as they have for years into South America. Any thought of protest against most governments is a thought of horrific civil war as drugs, guns, militias, poverty, child soldiers and extremist propaganda are joined in an explosive mix of threatened instability just below every veneer. The gun culture in the United States is greater than anywhere on earth but the military and prison systems of the most industrialized states all retained the ability to obliterate any dissidents too close to home.3.png

 

The international media and entertainment industries provide non-stop advertising for the arms industry. Every conflict, real or Hollywood, is reported as ‘good guys’ killing ‘bad guys’, an endless parade of men with guns and flashy military equipment with no time for the stories of those working for peace. Men with guns is one of the most boring topics to keep covering as they are always doing the same thing, killing people, but the entire narrative is always men with guns and politicians with an occasional stat about the number of women raped. ‘There are no good guys’ say men reporting on men with guns, apparently unable to see the people illustrating their own report. The propaganda that men with guns can only be defeated by support for other men with guns has eliminated everyone else from negotiations as generals sit down to discuss peace and refuse a seat to anyone not making war. “In Congo, war has been largely fought on women’s bodies,” but power over peace is given to the men who fought. Efforts to build society are ignored or blocked, efforts to destroy it are rewarded with power.

“Guns don’t kill people!” shrieks the industry building autonomous drones. “Drugs kill”, however. Really, it’s all about who is importing and who is exporting. The idea of disarmament for peace now seems quaint and old-fashioned in most of the world, while in the country most dependent on the weapons industry it produces hysterical rage. Militias for peace have been formed all over the world, killing people to save lives. If there was the slightest chance of these weapons disturbing real power they would be abolished immediately but these freedoms are to enable the mass slaughter of those without power. Peace once meant disarmament. Now disarmament is only mentioned as an excuse for war.

As competing corporation/governments move increasingly aggressively into all continents, all sides of corporate money and media create so-called ‘ethnic’ or ‘religious’ unrest to destabilize dissidents and competitors. Any land dispute between corporations and residents is rewritten as an ethnic dispute to distract from the real aggressors and pitch people against each other instead. Extremist ideologies inciting genocide are promoted by corporate interests. Western media reports wars in foreign countries in graphic sensationalist detail and always framed as ethnic or religious, inciting civil war instead of economic reform. Media no longer obsessively cover teen suicides or anorexia because of concern over copycats, but coverage of men with guns is exempt from the responsibility to protect. “Freedom of the press!” chant those so completely coerced by cradle to grave propaganda they have lost even the perception to know when it controls them. As we have seen, freedom of speech is only accepted when only a few are allowed to speak, it loses favour quickly when all voices are allowed. If money and media removed the focus from men with guns, the world would cease to be run by them.

For any student of history, this is the preferred formula for dealing with every uprising, the reason regimes can be flipped over and over again with no change at all in the society. The United States Constitution’s first and second amendments have been inflicted on the entire world because both have been extremely useful for keeping corporate interests in power. There is now a slight possibility to push freedom of speech to the point where it can be used by everyone if we work very hard to pull up all voices that need to be heard and give them the amplification to drown out corporate propaganda. Freedom of speech for the powerless is far more important than freedom of speech for corporate media.

The solutions to peace will be found among the people trying to raise children, grow food and build society, not men with guns. ‘Foreign aid’ has been used for decades to tip the balance of power from one group of men with guns to another. It doesn’t bring peace. If all that financial control was given directly to those in the refugee camps, there would be change. This revolution is not about men with guns vs other men with guns. It is between creators and destroyers, peaceful people and the corporate mafia controlled militias, worldwide. If someone bothered counting bodies globally instead of chanting about regional unrest, this would be more evident.

The mafia won

In 2010 I wrote “There are only two possible explanations for a sovereign nation to bankrupt its own citizens and its government in order to set up a huge international surveillance and military system, “the finest fighting force the world has ever seen” that they do not actually own or control. One, everyone is completely insane, or two, it has not been a sovereign nation for a long time.”

In 2012 I wrote “The US does not actually control their own military or intelligence and the private corporations that do, do not operate from patriotic loyalty and are available to the highest bidder.”

It is time to stop pretending most governments of the world have anything to say about anything. Corporate mercenaries are in control worldwide. The only governments with control are the ones where the state is the corporations. Not only do people like Erik Prince and assorted other mafia bosses control the military and intelligence services of the world, he is (with China this time, sorry US nationalists) in sub-Saharan Africa with Frontier Resource Group (did you know you were a frontier, Africa?) investing in “energy, mining, agriculture and logistic opportunities”. He once more has his own private army. Prince will be facing off against other mafia militias in Africa, most notably his own creation Academi, formerly Blackwater. There are small and large militias doing the same in most of the world, still with a veneer of legal structure in the northern hemisphere but only because the mafia was allowed to write the laws.

While you are petitioning the US government to restrain the NSA, Erik Prince and friends are battling with other people’s lives for control of the world’s coltan (your phones). The corporations that already control your military and your intelligence have decided it is more expedient to just expand their security militias rather than deal with your governments. They are also continuing to rewrite the laws worldwide to exempt themselves from any accountability and turn people into commodities with no societal rights. As long as people refuse to accept that capitalism has failed, trade economy is tyranny, and the right to bear arms is the right to rule by mafia, they will continue to expand.

The people united will never be defeated

We have no idea whether that slogan we rediscovered in 2011 is true as we have never put in any effort to even reach all the people much less unite them. The first right of all people must be the right to communicate, directly. Without direct communication for all there is no way to see past the corporate propaganda and hear the voices with workable solutions. Revolutionary movements that could care less about all the people not at the table will not be building a new paradigm, they are simply seeking to replace the leaders at the top with themselves. Those that would rather amplify celebrities than people at risk are increasing power for the powerful and refusing to empower those who need it. If the people are ever going to be united, we must put far more energy into reaching down for those at the bottom instead of attempting to climb up to those on the top.

The propaganda which teaches that ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ can perform the same actions and still be on separate sides has been highly useful in misdirecting anger. This fight is between those who commit atrocities and those who do not. Our actions define us, not our company. All war coverage that is pitched as ‘ethnic’ or ‘religious’ is a lie. The conflict is between the idea of peace and society and the idea of war and dictatorship. We do not need leaders or affiliations, if we follow the ideas we agree with we will have the company we need. If we show solidarity by ideas, not the borders that divide us into economic markets, we can still win. If no one in China cares who is paying Erik Prince’s gang of thugs and buying his pillaged resources, if no one in Canada cares that their courts are shielding 75% of the world’s resource corporations from human rights prosecutions and no one in Australia cares that refugees from their own corporate plunder are being drowned at sea and imprisoned if they make it to Australia, then we lost long ago.

Empire is simply a concept. Laws, governing principles, property and wealth are all concepts. We are being enslaved by our acceptance of these concepts. If we remove everything between the sociopaths in power and the people they are tormenting – remove the militias, the media, the money, the governments, the corporations, the laws that protect corporations, the NGOs, thought leaders, celebrities, distractions and group affiliations – there is nothing left but a very few, very ordinary people.

We need to start the trials.

News, analysis, action

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In the past, media was protected in most democracies because in order to govern themselves, people need access to accurate and timely information on all topics relevant to their governance. The news needs to be the match that starts analysis and action which doesn’t stop till we have change. Otherwise it is silly to pretend that news has anything at all to do with governance. If news requires no action, it is probably not the news we require in order to govern ourselves. If activism requires no analysis, it is probably not informed or effective.

News

The first right of all people must be the right to communicate. Without communication there is no way to safeguard our other rights or participate in society. Everyone needs a voice and the ability to call for help in emergencies.

Corporate media was long ago co-opted as a propaganda vehicle for corporations and governments, but people still supported it for three reasons: it provided a paying job for reporters, it provided access to an audience and it loaned official credence to the news.

The laughably small amount news media pays for most stories now (if they pay at all) is no longer tempting. Having to write material to fill a slot instead of writing because a story needs to be told, writing only on topics and only to audiences dictated and then having work butchered by editors who have less knowledge of the topic than the author is not the path to job satisfaction or quality information. Editors decide their audience must be fed the exact same story in the exact same way every day. Every story that brings different information or perspective is considered ‘biased’ and modified to reiterate the standard line. News must have an established audience before it is told, which defeats the purpose of news. Articles are produced as quickly as possible, are not interactive like micro-blogging and are seldom thoughtful and crafted like the best blogs. Corporate media reads like advertising copy, inoffensive, unsurprising, unoriginal.

Once this journalism at least brought community respect. Now it is more likely to bring open contempt and public criticism. Many bloggers have received far more recognition and respect by creating their own work and publishing it their own way on their own blogs. They sometimes manage to earn an equivalent or better living as well through a combination of donations, grants, paid appearances, website ads, etc.

The audience provided by official platforms online is now largely driven by online sharing and authors are expected to push their stories on social media when they are published. This could easily be (and sometimes is) replaced by promoting personal blog posts directly to social media instead. For those who are not interested in domain values and page hits, it is far easier to create viral media without restrictive copyright and pay walls. The unrealistic delays in publishing on official platforms make them obsolete as breaking news platforms.

The official status once brought by publication in corporate media is starting to bring the opposite result. Unless the official status is needed to update an archaic resource such as Wikipedia, there is little benefit.

There are many reasons to argue that journalism as it is practiced ought not to be a profession. While a good writer or investigator is always valuable, stories should be published when there is something important to say, not to fill a slot on demand. The people news is happening to seldom need others to translate their experience. First hand interviews and affidavits should replace journalist viewpoints. Our voices, not our votes are what gives us the ability to participate in our world and the people who tell our stories instead of just amplifying them are acting as our representatives with no mandate from us. The best articles are written by people actually affected by the news. They are the ones best able to answer questions and explain to us why their news is important. They should not have to beg some western man to find their story newsworthy and tell it through a western man filter.

Whistleblowers are journalists. The sight of whistleblowers and witnesses explaining what they found and why it is important to journalists who then turn and repeat what they have heard to an audience is a strange leftover from a long gone era. Expert opinions can also come directly from the experts, they do not need an intermediary.

In an interactive, decentralized world, the voiceless do not need someone to be their voice. They need a megaphone.

Analysis

The idea that news must be constantly new makes it an impossible option for deep ongoing analysis. Once an atrocity has been reported there is not much new to say. With no analysis or action as standard responses to news, the atrocities continue in silence and the audience attention wanders. The occasional bits of isolated investigative brilliance that make it past editors and accountants are left floating on isolated, seldom read url’s where only those that know they exist will find them.

Action

Journalism is a tool to an end, not an end. Investigators and writers who are not journalists may do their work for any or no reason; journalists are meant to bring information that the public needs to know in order to govern themselves into the public domain. The claim that journalists ought not to be activists is completely counter to the purpose of journalism. The only reason an item is newsworthy is if it requires action.

Reporters who are not activists are voyeurs. Their reporting is not journalism to aid self-governance, it is a distraction from self-governance.

There is a reason it is citizen journalism that terrifies governance. Only activists will do journalism for free and it is action that creates change, not passive reporting. Activists are not simply replacing corporate media, they are also replacing corporate NGO’s, those leeches that lie between those that need help and those that provide it and turn those in need into products to be owned and marketed.

NGO’s bring the bureaucracy and the official channels into giving. They stifle the voices of those in need except as pre-packaged marketing gimmicks and they block access to direct aid. They siphon large amounts of the aid for their own empires and spend the rest frequently without consultation with or in the interest of those it is intended for. They are also easily corruptible by political power which gives them their mandate, their access and their funding.

The huge amount of people working in NGO’s because of a desire to help those in need would be far more effective acting directly, responding to voices of those on the ground instead of power points by those who have commodified their need. Direct relationships between activists around the world have built trust and reputations. People in a position to help receive instant feedback on whether their help was effective.

Direct action and investigation can also provide real shadow cabinets to monitor and lobby government ministries and user group regulatory bodies to monitor corporations.

The future of journalism

The future of journalism is not in official platforms, page views and registered domains. The future of journalism is not in Exclusive! and Scoop! The future of journalism is not in celebrities with no knowledge of the topic who are begged to help activists aid citizen journalism. The future is not in Invisible Children or Falling Whistles style plastic-bracelets-to-stop-genocide-in-Africa commercialized snake oil dressed up as activism. Or in the centralized nodes of unofficial-official channels created out of formerly horizontal movements. Or in celebrity journalists. Or in lists of Who to Follow and Thought Leaders.

The future of journalism is in a stigmergic mesh network of amplifiers, investigators and activists who can filter and fact check news in real time, combine it with investigative global knowledge resources and create appropriate local and / or global action. The future is in collaborative investigators sharing knowledge to map everything we need to know to govern ourselves. The future is in activism and aid requested directly by the people who require it and responded to directly by the people who can provide it. The future is in the right and ability of every single person to broadcast their own voice and call for amplification when needed.

The future of journalism is in all of us.

Our right to communicate

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The first right of any person in any society must be the right to communicate. Without communication there is no way to safeguard our other rights or for us to participate fully in a society. When your right to communicate is interrupted by those who would be your voice, your face or your representative, you are being subjected to the governance of another.

Horizontal governance does not mean no one gets a voice, it means everyone does. A person or group who attempts to suppress the voices of others is attempting to seize control. Official group channels are representative governance, regardless of consensus that may or may not lie behind them. A person who interprets another’s voice instead of amplifying it is assuming control over the originator.

People giving a foreign ‘face’ to a cause are standing between us. Media who pretend to write stories about groups whose voices are never heard but write almost universally through the lens of western men instead, are ensuring that all interpretations and solutions come from the same small segment of society. Wars are told from the point of view of arms dealers and politicians, disasters are interpreted by NGO’s, most issues are never covered at all. Official channels decide what will or will not be revealed and media are rewarded for their obedience by access to more official information.

New media in its current form has made this worse instead of better. Journalists write about those powerful in social media to have their stories amplified by the same people. The news – celebrity symbiosis has only escalated as writers vie for page views. We are at risk of having increasingly narrow news coverage as platforms like Twitter move to increase amplification of already powerful accounts and hide the less powerful opinions from view.

Concentric groups, knowledge bridges and epistemic communities outlined the pitfalls of celebrity replacing epistemic communities and the need for peer ranked value of expertise. It also discussed the potential scope of shunning, photoshopping and trolling to prevent all voices from being heard. As information and voice amplification become the new symbols of power, those who would assume control of society have moved to hoard voice amplification and control the message received by the public in new ways.

The pressure for marginalized groups to stay in their marginalized roles increases as does their opportunities to escape. While it was once possible to simply identify people in relation to a more powerful figure, as assistant, wife, staff, servant, serf, slave or other, the Internet provided the opportunity for all to have an equal voice free of relation to others. The backlash to this freedom has been violent.

Depending on the group, individual voices are told their message will receive greater amplification if it comes from another, the danger of speaking openly is so great they must be protected, their individual voices disrupt the harmony of consensus, or they are part of a collective and will be shunned if they dare speak with their own name. Most importantly, the free information beliefs of many groups which threaten power have been twisted to conflate credit theft with free information.

When you are told that the actions and thoughts you know were your own belong to the group or the cause and you will be punished for claiming your own voice or actions, you know you belong to a cult with a cult leader(s). Devoting all of your work to a brand that will be used to create a bloated central figure who will then be able to control the messages of everyone while dining out on ill-gotten celebrity and collecting brand donations is no different than passing all your money to the Unification Church. The cult leaders of the 1970’s demanded money; in the age of the internet they demand fame and information control. In the 1970’s anyone who did not sign all material goods over to a cult leader was called greedy and materialistic. Now anyone who does not assign all credit to the cult leader is called vain and fame-seeking. The irony and hypocrisy is seen in the multimillionaire cult leaders of the 1970’s or the internet and offline famous would-be cult leaders of today.

It is possibly pure coincidence that every movement today that threatens the powerful is taken over by those that seek to suppress individuals and control the messages which are heard. It is undeniable that as soon as those voices come under centralized control they have ceased to say anything that comes close to challenging authority. The lack of recognition for the real source of any work makes it possible for the opportunistic to claim credit and very quickly build a following with too much celebrity and power for anyone to challenge. In the case of an internet entity such as FBI informant Sabu, this can be disastrous for the gullible.

As discussed in Idea and action driven systems, it is frequently necessary or desirable for the origin of ideas or actions to be unknown. It is essential that ideas and actions branded as unknown origin remain that way and no one is ever allowed to assume credit for them either personally or under a group umbrella. It takes only the slightest glance through all past attempts at societal change to see where every group that subsumed individual credit to ‘the cause’ has ended up, from the Communist Party of China to every Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution that became the new tyrant.

To reiterate once more what was said in Idea and action driven systems, credit theft has absolutely nothing to do with free information. Credit for one’s work or ideas is the right of every person, the human dignity of societal recognition and belonging and an inherent part of their identity. There is no need to ever hide the origin of information unless the ultimate goal is to isolate them and suppress or twist their messages or use their work to glorify another.

To allow local governance and solutions, local voices must be the ones which formulate problems and create dialogue. When there is a need of emergency response of the world to local problems, we must have a way to immediately amplify local voices to a global volume. For this we do not need new media or any media at all. People who are currently faceless and voiceless do not need another to be their face and voice. We need a system where urgent local news can be collected and amplified globally when necessary, and where the people of the world decide which news is important, not official news channels or celebrity nodes.

A person who takes your idea and information to use and build upon is your collaborator, tester and colleague. A person who takes your credit or your voice is your enemy, a thief who steals your societal recognition and approval for themselves and would be your tyrant.

Privacy and Anonymity

This article is part of a series: ‘Stigmergy: Systems of Mass Collaboration’.

In the past, most of the world acknowledged in both cultural norms and the law that privacy was a basic individual right. It could be argued that this right was ours in a state of nature; mammals in general do keep personal matters private to varying degrees, and privacy can in many cases be equated with personal security. Culturally, it was an accepted practice in most regions of the world that personal business and family business were to be kept private, too much disclosure was frowned upon, and ‘snooping’ was met with ‘mind your own business’. Even names were in many cultures not to be handed out in full to people outside intimate circles, and even within families personal names were not always used. That is actually the last vestige of that privacy to be found in western society; children still frequently do not call their parents by their first names but the rest of the world now does.

In our surveillance culture of today, privacy is again quite literally illegal as it was in previous totalitarian states. ‘If you see something say something’ and the FBI’s all encompassing ‘Suspicious Activity’ list have made any attempt at privacy over even the most innocuous activity grounds to suspect you of ‘terrorism’. The prying of other members of your society is supported by government and corporate surveillance of everything from your conversations and your constantly tracked images to the amount of body heat you are giving off at a ‘checkpoint’.

The agenda of the states has been transferred to the wider culture; now all forms of privacy and even introversion have come to be viewed as negative traits. Anyone who is uncomfortable with sustained eye contact is labeled as hostile or untrustworthy, anyone who works more easily in solitary is ‘having trouble integrating’ and even the new protest movements embrace all new forms of thinking except solitary. The mainstreaming of privacy invasion makes it almost impossible to avoid having your personal data made available to all, but even if that is managed, your features are available to face recognition (gait recognition, etc.) software through surveillance cameras around the world and are easily matched to all of the rest of your data by the ‘two pieces of picture id’ required to function in any easy way in our society.

Privacy

The normalizing of privacy invasion has spilled over into societies around the world. It is commonplace now for introductions to be followed by what amounts to an interrogation, with all personal and professional background demanded before acquaintance begins. It is even perfectly normal to approach complete strangers with demands to know all of their personal data. This new custom, encouraged by law enforcement in the United States, is endorsed by mainstream society. Any attempt to refuse personal information at first contact is met with indignation. The interrogator, who once would be labeled a ‘snoop’ is now characterized as ‘open’, ‘honest’, and having ‘nothing to hide’, while the victim is held to be a deviant of some sort or other and regarded with suspicion. The surveillance state has done its job when any request for privacy is met with shock, hurt, accusations of paranoia, and group shunning.

Invasion of the personal lives of individuals has been an accepted feature in the news media for decades. The public’s ‘right to know’, which once applied to the right to know all news required to participate in their own governance, essential in a democracy, became a right to know personal information. All individuals are private individuals, only their actions which affect public life are of public interest. Private individuals were labeled public individuals based on a very arbitrary assignment of all professions ‘in the public eye’ (such as entertainment) as public; the relabeling of these professions was then used to strip basic privacy rights from the professionals. While this was probably started to deflect attention from the matters those in power did not wish attention to be directed towards, and encouraged by ‘celebrities’ who were profiting from it, the custom has since expanded to include an ever increasing amount of private individuals whose personal lives are in the news for no explicable reason.

As the general population has taken over media gathering and dissemination, the media’s predatory nature has also become dispersed throughout the population. As the old media feels it has the right to use advanced surveillance attacks, stalking and sexual harassment in the form of creepshots, physical mobbing and verbal abuse to any woman who begins to have a voice in society, the internet is now also full of people who feel they are entitled to use the same tactics on any woman or girl who dares to enter the internet public forum. Any woman who attempted to work in news or politics would be met with relentless attacks on her personal life and physical appearance by old media; any woman who speaks or posts a picture on the internet now is subjected to the same treatment.

A society that has grown up with sexual harassment of women labelled as ‘free speech’ does not understand this harassment for what it is, mass censorship of female voices. The old media, instead of acknowledging their own behaviour staring back at them from the internet, lobbies against ‘cyber-bullying’, as if what they do is somehow different if it is done online, and claim the solution is for those bullied to lose all possibility of the protection of anonymity.

In order to have a society in which individual needs are respected, a balance must be struck between the right to speak and freedom of information versus the right to participate equally in society and own the truth about ourselves. Our presentation of ourselves is directly tied to our right to privacy; over exposure of even truths we are not ready to share can result in extreme mortification and trauma. We tend to overlook and belittle the impact of privacy violation, primarily as it so often is directed towards those with marginalized voices, but a look at the amount of suicides, as well as mental health problems caused by these violations is enough to show its importance.

The lack of importance placed on privacy may also be directly related to the rule by extroverts we have been subjected to since the beginnings of society. Until we had the internet, the leaders of large crowds were almost always charismatic people with a gift for public speaking and a natural resistance to personal attack, belonging to powerful demographic groups. As the internet has gained in power to the point where it is a direct threat to those currently holding power, as liquid feedback replaces public shouting matches, the powerful in the molecular world have sought to expose and control those in the online world. Any involuntary exposure has been met by violent reaction from the internet as it is the first place for many that has ever felt like a safe place to speak. One reason Anonymous and the internet in general has had a low opinion of those who seek personal fame may be that the internet is populated by those who have been persecuted and had their voices repressed by others with loud voices.

The voices of the 50% of the population who are naturally more introverted or the almost everyone eliminated from mainstream forums for one reason or another, are at least as important as those currently heard. This however, completely changes the society we are accustomed to, if the voiceless suddenly gain voices, if the creators no longer need the marketers, women do not need to speak through men, and children, the elderly, discriminated minorities, the ostracized of all societies can suddenly speak and have their messages amplified as well as anyone else. This would eliminate huge swathes of industry from communication and representative types of roles, everything from politicians, to media, to marketing companies. Not at all coincidentally, all of the lobby groups attempting to control the internet, strip privacy and anonymity, and manage access are from the groups who would no longer be required if everyone had a voice.

Personal information is power. Anyone who can obtain personal information on another has increased their power over the other; and that power ought not to be given lightly without established trust. What seems perfectly innocuous until it surfaces as e-book, revenge porn, or what ought to be irrelevant attacks on a message by character assassination of the messenger, ought to be kept private by default. Personal information is still every bit as valuable as our grandparents knew it to be. Until and unless our societies mature to the point where we are governed by data driven instead of personality driven systems, we need to recognize that freedom of speech which is actually simply a mask for suppression of the speech of others. And when we see private information being used to violate someone’s well being, it is no more appropriate to blame the victim for the existence of the information than it is for police in India to assume that if a woman has consensual sex with one man, then she can’t complain if his friends join in.

This is not to argue that we need laws inhibiting privacy violations, we have such laws and they only protect the powerful from exposure of secrets the public needs to know. We need a change in societal attitude, where we no longer applaud or tolerate assaults on privacy, personal attacks on public figures and, most of all, those public invasions of privacy that amount to sexual assault, whether committed by the media or the internet.

Anonymity

Even more than privacy, anonymity is viewed as a hostile act by those in power. A culture in which fame is the ultimate achievement cannot understand the value of ownerless ideas and shapeshifting personas. Anonymity has been equated almost exclusively with criminal activity by politicians and lawmakers.

Online anonymity is cherished by internet dwellers as the only means to pure thought exchange, where ideas can be judged on their own merits, unclouded by preconceived judgements based on unrelated data. Anonymity can be a revelation, as new personas can be tried on and provoke new reactions, revealing our stereotypes and inability to separate messages from messengers.

Anonymity is also simply practical safety. It has been proven enough times that authorities do not need to see any transactions or have evidence of any criminal activity to destroy your life; it is enough that you pull attention, that they are aware of your existence. The fact that you are doing nothing wrong or illegal is no protection if you have attracted the attention of someone with power or mental instability. Governments are not the only people on the internet; if you start expressing opinions you will find far more interesting opposition as well. Anonymity, once lost, can never be regained; even if you have no intention of ever expressing a controversial opinion, privacy should become a habit, like brushing your teeth.

In many cases, anonymity is the only way for a messenger to ensure their message will be heard. Either from their own association with the topic or from their association with other ideas or groups, very often the story of the messenger will override the story of the message. That is in fact the way media has been increasingly covering the news until we are at this point left with only messengers, rarely any message at all, and it is what audiences are trained to look for. Even when choosing political representation, “I don’t like him” is a perfectly accepted argument. In other cases, the message will be drowned out by the idea that the messenger is an inappropriate source, either because of association or because of who they are, such as when der Speigel and others lectured Pussy Riot on speaking at all when they had young children (and the Putin government used their identities to threaten to remove their children).

Pseudonymity is the best of both worlds for many, an identity which allows relationships but also provides control over personal information. This can be essential to create a personality which allows your voice to be heard in the way that you wish it to be. In the future, perhaps we will see everyone with at least three identities; one, to carry the two pieces of ID required by the military industrial complex, two, for family and friends in molecular life, and three, for online idea exchange.

Transparency

This article is part of a series: ‘Stigmergy: Systems of Mass Collaboration’.

It is essential to participatory government, that organizations which affect the public be transparent to the public; without full information, people are incapable of making the decisions required to participate in their own governance. In the past, any secrets by public organizations, short of war secrets, were grounds for a scandal. A free media and freedom of speech were essential in a democracy so that transparency of public matters could be ensured.

Our world has now changed so far that the public has to prove why it needs to know any information about its government and go through an expensive and labour intensive process to acquire information that will arrive, if it arrives at all, after great delay and in a very censored form. Information on corporations is simply unattainable except by illegal methods as corporations, which include prison, intelligence, military, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and even police agencies, are considered private. These private corporations now own rights to global commons such as our oceans, space and electromagnetic field, as well as the individual environments of each of us.

A huge industry has built up around filtering, hoarding, spinning and occasionally doling out to the public in innocuous bits without context, all information about organizations and actions which effect the public. The true information that reaches the public is more than drowned out by the equally huge industry of misinformation being produced and distributed by the same public organizations. Our media exists to convince us that our right to information is actually a right to know whether an arbitrarily selected private citizen has had a haircut instead of a right to the information we need in order to govern ourselves.

Another massive industry exists to gather, store, analyze and distribute every conceivable detail of private information on private citizens. Private corporations gather and store information on every aspect of individual lives and make it available to any organization with the finances or skill to retrieve it. There is no discrimination in what is gathered as organizations have decided that any private information is an unknown unknown, they may just not know if they need it or not, so they need it all.

Legal changes and popular propaganda have created such oxymoronic beasts as public individuals and private corporations to cause confusion over these very clear violations of the two basic principles.

There is no such thing as a private organization, outside of purely social groups. There is no such thing as a public person, only public actions by private individuals.

Radical privacy and radical transparency

Under the current system, even when people become convinced of the soundness of the principles of privacy for individuals and transparency for organizations and actions which affect the public, they advocate a modified version of this rule as reasonable, the result of compromise and good sense, and not radical like a whole hearted embrace of the principles would be. They point to many situations where the principles in pure form simply would not work. Principles however, if they are sound at all, must work in all cases. If they do not, there is a fault either with the principle, or the case. The answer in our current society has been to reject the principles as nice ideas which we will keep in our legal foundations but ignore in reality as they are simply not practical. A more accurate answer may be found by looking at the cases where these two principles appear to produce poor results.

The release of the US state cables was widely condemned because of the release of the names of private individuals who were providing information to public organizations. The exposure of any private individual to harm must be regarded as an ill. But if harm had been caused, it would have been caused not by the action which abided by the principles but by the earlier actions in violation of the principles. The individuals in question had a right to privacy. Why were their names recorded and placed in an extremely public and easy to access database? Why were their names recorded at all? Why did those individuals need to make secret reports about public organizations or actions to other public organizations? If the principle regarding public organizations and actions was followed, there would be no need for informants. If the principle regarding privacy for individuals was followed, the names would never have been recorded.

Another case frequently brought forward is the harm to individuals by drug cartels in South America if the cartels knew about individuals who are reporting them. Under the current system, they already know, as do the state cable informant’s enemies. Once information about an individual is stored, the principle of individual privacy which ought to protect that individual has been ignored, leaving the individual completely exposed. Again, that individual ought also to be protected by the principle of transparency for public organizations. If the entire country was working together in a structure that allowed them to expose all actions of the drug cartels, the individuals would not need to be put at risk. If we apply the two principles from the beginning, they work in every hazardous situation I have heard of so far.

Law enforcement and military around the world have claimed the right to operate in complete secret as that is the only way to catch ‘the bad guys’. Transparency would enable the public to catch the bad guys on both sides. A public that was involved in helping to enforce laws could accomplish far more than a police force could by itself, as has been proven many times. Instead of blocking the entire internet under the pretense of blocking child porn sites, the police could just ask for the public to police the internet. If child porn or terrorist plotting sites can be found by anyone, they can be found by everyone, what is required is not secrecy and censorship but a proper structure for policing which involves the public as well. The only cases in which this would not work is when the law is not one the public agrees with, which is a great method of providing feedback that the law needs to be modified to represent the people more accurately.

Diplomats and others in positions of power have complained that transparency makes it difficult for them to do their jobs. Where that is the case, the fault must be found with their jobs. The current system is a massive, tangled tortuous mess of intelligence, media, spokespeople, communication departments, freedom of information laws and lobbies, actions and counteractions attempting to maintain balance in a system which preaches democracy and practices fascism. The dichotomy and confusion is caused by the current system, not the proposed one. Entire industries would be made redundant by adherence to the principle of transparency for public organizations. Transparency in its literal sense, not selected pieces of isolated information wrapped up and presented by an official, but full transparency, of the kind that would allow any passerby to see exactly what an organization was up to. As the current powers have been asking private individuals for decades, what do they have to hide?

The kind of radical transparency that private individuals have been exposed to needs to be turned on all organizations and actions which have any impact on the public. Individuals require a right to privacy. Collaborative society requires full knowledge of organizations and actions which affect the public.

All individuals have a right to privacy. All organizations and actions which affect the public must be completely transparent to the public. These principles do not work in isolation; the fault is not with the principles, but the isolation.