Civil War for Truth: Introduction
I was never interested in politics and could barely recollect the names of the current political leadership team. But the last ten years—in particular the last two years—were far too turbulent and politics got gradually more authoritarian, which resulted in me getting gradually more political.
Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.
The last years felt like something wasn’t right anymore in many parts of society. Many people share this feeling.
At first, I couldn’t point the finger at the reasons for why all these things happened, but when I listened at the end of 2021 to James Lindsay’s podcast “Welcome to the Second Enlightenment” I was finally able to understand.
Lindsay explains in the podcast his hypothesis that we find ourselves at the beginning of a new enlightenment phase.
We all felt that the internet was a big leap forward, but we weren’t aware of the deep-reaching consequences because the transition between periods is never abrupt and hard to comprehend when living in one.
The internet age started for early adopters in the mid-90s, but it took 15-20 years until it reached the whole globe and technology became ubiquitous to enable massive parts of the population to participate in the exchange of ideas.
Maajid Nawaz reminded recently in a podcast that all
technology disrupts power structures, the invention of the internet is comparable with the invention of the Gutenberg Press. After its invention, the church lost its gated narrative over the bible because common people could start reading it themselves. This led to plenty of uprisings in Europe and the 30-Year-War. Existing power structures don’t let go of their power without a fight. But in the end, free information led to the Enlightenment.
Maajid Nawaz is sure that we are in the midst of a civil war, even though it’s not fought with physical violence.
So, the powers that be, who are losing that power need to clamp down. (…) It’s an internal civil war in a hybrid war context, over truth, and over information. Centralization versus decentralization. Basically, it’s no longer about left or right, it’s about up versus down. It’s about power versus those who don’t have power.
Maajid Nawaz, The Joe Rogan Experience 1780 – Maajid Nawaz[2:1]
Neil Oliver, a British television presenter, archaeologist, and author, formulated a possible hypothesis in an interview with Bret Weinstein on why we don’t see physical violence in this civil war. The horrors of the 20th century were committed by generations who had seen and done terrible things. Neil Oliver has his doubts that the people who are running the show now, who were born and raised in peace, have the guts to do the necessary “wet work.”
James Lindsay coins the term Enlightenment 2.0 in his podcast to describe this new period we live in.
He uses Marx’s theory of economic development as an analogy to explain his hypothesis. Without going into too much detail, Marx described human progress from Tribalism (Phase 1) over Clan Structures (Phase 2), Feudalism (Phase 3), Capitalism (Phase 4), Socialism (Phase 5), and Communism (Phase 6).
Lindsay’s main point is that we falsely believe that we were already in Phase 4 of the information economy, as we are in Phase 4 for property and material goods. Capitalism and the invention of property rights allowed humanity to make a giant step forward and resulted—after we figured out the problems of monopolies—in the creation of a rich middle class.
This belief was wrong. Lindsay argues that we recently left Phase 3 (Information Mercantilism) and just entered Phase 4 (Information Capitalism). The internet was the missing piece to reach this phase.
Nobody knows the history of the 20th century because it’s all been behind official narrative, which has been dramatically distorted in favor of generating this very corrupt information aristocracy that uses it to create a technocracy by which they rule over us, which some people refer to as the deep state (…), nobody does know the history of the 20th century accurately.
But that won’t be true of the 21st century, unless they get their way, unless they can continue to control the institutional narrative and force people via something like social credit to participate in the lie that maintains their power and advantage and their vision for molding the world as they think it should be molded regardless of what’s good for us, regardless of what’s good for any individual person. Because they become our betters, our aristocratic lords who are going to take good care of us by protecting us from ourselves. And um, they’re wrong. They’re arrogant and they’re wrong.
James Lindsay, Welcome to the Second Enlightenment[1:1]
Lindsay explains that all the political, social, and economic difficulties we see now, are a result of the breakdown of our Gated Institutions. It is an attempt of globalist, technocratic elites to keep their power and move society as quickly as possible into Phase 5 (a centralized, controlled information economy) with assisted living and thinking under the control of a technocratic regime.
Many intellectuals observe the same issues and try to formulate hypotheses for what we witness. The American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote the well-received article “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid” in The Atlantic in April 2022. Andrew Doyle wrote “The experts are lying to you” in UnHerd in June 2022. Steve Patterson wrote last year “Our Present Dark Age, Part 1”. Eric Weinstein said in a discussion with Sam Harris in 2019
I can’t think of a single institution I trust. And those are just a fraction of the articles and discussions regarding this topic.
Everybody can see the narratives of the Gated Institutions crumbling right in front of our eyes. The COVID-19 crisis made this only more obvious. We see the fraud, corruption, and incompetence of an obsolescence system. We see the “expert class” losing its shit. Likewise, we see the Gated Institutions, for example, the WEF in Davos, the WHO, CDC, NHS, UN, EU, or other institutions fail and fail again. They can’t keep up with the connected knowledge of crowds that can disprove their lies and reveal their agendas in a matter of hours.
We know they are lying.
They know they are lying,
they know that we know they are lying.
We know that they know that we know they are lying.
And still they continue to lie.
We see how their pristine leadership program “Young Global Leaders” releases morons that can’t speak properly or can’t stay scandal-free for a few months. They plagiarize speeches, books, or dissertations. We catch them when they have secret agreements, receive money from corporations, delete SMS or destroy hard drives with incriminating material. Their embarrassments get ridiculed with memes around the internet, shared and mocked. The internet doesn’t forget.
We see them panicking and answering with censorship, deplatforming, rampant biased fact-checkers, and character assassination. They attack encrypted messengers and alternate social media platforms, increase surveillance, reduce privacy, and try to outlaw encryption. They claim to fight “disinformation,” “misinformation,” “conspiracy theories” and “fake news,” but the fakest news gets released as propaganda by Gated Institutions.
They manipulate surveys and use PR agencies or Think Tanks to steer public opinion. They don’t even shy away from using psychological warfare with Nudging techniques against the populace.
They remove critical experts from the discourse or fire them from their jobs. They ask captured government organizations to give them the excuse for political measurements, or pressure independent scientists to give them the results they want. They create unelected expert groups that rule without legitimation by the parliament. When people use their constitutional right to demonstrate, they forbid demonstrations or use brute force to crush dissent. The mask is off, we see their authoritarian agenda.
The Blue Pill or the Red Pill?
Lindsay uses the metaphor in his podcast of
taking a blue pill or red pill from the 1999 movie The Matrix. The hero Neo gets offered two pills by the mysterious character Morpheus.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Morpheus, The Matrix (1999)
Being “red-pilled” means seeing the truth and being able to see through the lies and misinformation, to see the state of the world and our Gated Institutions as it is. If you take this pill, you’ll never be able to unsee it. And it will be a terrifying moment when your belief in the world’s state is crushed. So, be warned.
Why Do the Gated Institutions Break Down Now?
Jordan Peterson describes in his 2017 lecture “Personality and Its Transformations” at the University of Toronto how a system can break down on all levels at the same time:
That happens if you are an ideologue. You identify really hard with that plan. The problem is, if something comes up to confront it, well how do you act? You can’t let go of the plan, because you drown. Then you cling to it rigidly. Well, that’s no good, because then you can’t learn anything.
If that’s you, you are a totalitarian. You are not gonna learn anything. You are gonna end up in something that is close enough to hell so that you won’t know the difference. And you might drag anyone along with you.
That happened plenty of times, it’s the whole story of the 20th century. It happened over and over and over, and it happens in people’s states, it happens in their business organizations, it happens in their cities, it happens in their provinces, it happens in their states and it happens in their psyches. All at the same time.
You can’t blame the manifestation of that sort of thing on any of those levels. When a society goes down that way it goes down everywhere at the same time. It’s not the totalitarians at the top and all the happy people striving to be free at the bottom. Not at all. It’s Totalitarianism on every single level of the hierarchy.
Jordan B Peterson, 2017 Personality 22: Conclusion: Psychology and Belief[9:1] (45:00)
To understand why our Gated Institutions break down all at the same time, we need to understand the problems first and how they are connected. I’ll shine a light on the offenders like politicians, corporations, academia, science, media corporations, journalism, and social media in the next parts of this essay.
This is the first part of a seven-part series that investigates, why the last 10 years were uniquely turbulent with ever-increasing political division, rampant censorship, and growing authoritarianism. The next part will investigate our politicians and corporations.
- Corporatism and Technocracy
- Political Division
- Media and Journalism
James Lindsay (2021): Welcome to the Second Enlightenment, https://newdiscourses.com/2021/10/welcome-to-the-second-enlightenment/. ↩︎ ↩︎
Joe Rogan and Maajid Nawaz (2022): The Joe Rogan Experience 1780 – Maajid Nawaz, https://open.spotify.com/episode/1ugbn7cuab3mNgKbo81ajM. ↩︎ ↩︎
Jonathan Haidt (2022): Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/05/social-media-democracy-trust-babel/629369/. ↩︎
Andrew Doyle (2022): The experts are lying to you, https://unherd.com/2022/06/the-experts-are-lying-to-you/. ↩︎
Steve Patterson (2021): Our Present Dark Age, Part 1, https://steve-patterson.com/our-present-dark-age-part-1/. ↩︎
Frank Furedi (2022): ‘Nudge’ has no place in our democracy, https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/01/14/nudge-has-no-place-in-our-democracy/. ↩︎