I’ve written much about Edward Snowden, his back-story, and the questions that surround him. But here, I want to discuss the aftermath, because no matter how you view Snowden and what he has done, he is now being used as a symbol.
Take a hero who has broken through the veil of secrecy, who’s stolen the golden eggs from the goose’s eyrie, who’s escaped…
And put him through the meat grinder of the press.
Raise him up, put him down, praise him, excoriate him, threaten him, isolate him, adore him, and sooner or later he begins to fade from view.
His profile, his public persona has been chopped up so many different ways into so many disparate pieces that, eventually, the symbol of him no longer carries any real force.
Meanwhile, the NSA and the Surveillance State continue on. They weather the storm. Despite the exploding scandal and the fall-out, and even though certain modes of collecting information may be reduced, new strategies emerge.
Therefore, the Surveillance State becomes even more powerful than it was.
Snowden rocked the boat, but the boat has been repaired. It sails on with even greater assurance.
And regardless of how the public responds to Snowden and the NSA, it is only a partial response, because the true aims of the Surveillance State are a mystery to most people.
Surveillance is coming at us from all angles. Chips, drones, TSA checkpoints, smart meters, back-doored electronic products, video cameras, spying home appliances; our phone calls and emails and keystrokes and product purchases are recorded.
The government and its allied corporations will know whatever they want to know about us.
What happens when all nations are blanketed from stem to stern with surveillance?
Smart meters give us one clue. Public utilities, acting on government orders, will be able to allot electricity in amounts and at times it wishes to. This is leading to an overarching plan for energy distribution to the entire population.
Claiming shortages and limited options, governments will essentially be redistributing wealth, in the form of energy, under a collectivist model.
National health insurance plans (such as Obamacare) offer another clue. Such plans require every citizen to be assigned a medical ID package, which is a de facto identity card. In the medical arena, this means cradle-to-grave tracking.
Surveillance inevitably leads to placing every individual under systems of control. It isn’t just “we’re watching you” or “we’re stamping out dissent.” It’s “we’re directing your participation in life.”
As a security analyst in the private sector once told me, “When you can see what every employee is doing, when you have it all at your fingertips, you naturally move on to thinking about how you can control those patterns and flows of movement and activity. It’s irresistible. You look at your employees as pieces on a board. The only question is, what game do you want to play with them?”
Every such apparatus is ruled, from the top, by Central Planners. When it’s an entire nation, upper-echelon technocrats revel in the idea of blueprinting, mapping, charting, and regulating the flows of all goods and services and people, “for the common good.”
Water, food, medicine, land use, transportation—they all become items of a networked system that chooses who gets what and when, and who can travel where, and under what conditions.
This is the wet dream of technocrats. They believe they are saving the world while playing a fascinating game of multidimensional chess.
As new technologies are discovered and come on line, the planners decide how they will be utilized and for whose benefit.
In order to implement such a far-reaching objective, with minimal resistance from the global population, manufactured crises are unleashed which persuade the masses that the planet is under threat and needs “the wise ones” to rescue it and them.
We watch (and fight in) wars and more wars, each one exacerbated and even invented. We see (planned) famine. We are told about desperate shortages and a frying Earth. We are presented with phony epidemics that are falsely promoted as scourges.
The only response, we are led to believe, is more humane control over the population.
On top of that, we are fed an unending stream of propaganda aimed at convincing us that “the great good for the greatest number” is the only humane and acceptable principle of existence. All prior systems of belief are outmoded. We know better now. We must be good and kind and generous to everyone at all times.
Under this quasi-religious banner, which has great emotional appeal, appears The Plan. Our leaders allocate and withhold on the basis of their greater knowledge. We comply. We willingly comply, because we are enlisted in a universal army of altruistic concern.
This is a classic bait and switch. We are taught to believe that service for the greater good is an unchallengeable goal and credo. And then, later, we find out it has been hijacked to institute more power over us, in every way.
The coordinated and networked surveillance of Earth and its people is fed into algorithms that spit out solutions. This much food will go here; that much water will go there; here there will be medical care; there medical care will be severely rationed. These people will be permitted to travel. Those people will be confined to their cities and towns.
Every essential of life—managed with on-off switches, and the consequences will play out.
An incredibly complex system of interlocking decisions will be hailed as messianic.
Surveillance; planning; control.
The surveillance is expanded, not because we are constantly under threat and must be protected from terrorists, but because we can then be labeled and entered on to 10 billion squares of the game board, to be moved around or held in place.
This is the vision.
It isn’t ours. It never was. But we are not consulted.
Instead we are made witness to watershed events: the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center; the 2001 assault on the Trade Center and the Pentagon. These ops paralleled the unleashing of better and more far-ranging methods of surveillance.
We are profiled down to the threads on our clothing and DNA in our cells. But what is our profile of the technocrats and their bosses?
They are divorced from human life. They live in a vacuum. They take pleasure from that vacuum.
In 1982, I interviewed Bill Perry, who had just left his job as PR chief at Lawrence Livermore Labs, where scientists design nuclear weapons. Perry had been given the kind of job PR people long for. But one day, when he passed the desk of a researcher and listened to his complaints about budget limitations, Perry said, “Listen, America already has the means to blow up the whole planet eight times. What more do you need?”
The researcher looked up at him with a genuinely puzzled expression. He said, “You don’t understand, Bill. This is a problem in physics.”
In the same detached sense, the technocrats who want to calculate and direct our future, move by move, minute by minute, see us as components of a complex and very interesting problem.
Yes, they indeed expect to exercise power and control. But they also live in an abstraction. They deal their answers from that realm. They exercise cool passion. They see, for example, that not every single twitch of thought of every person on earth is yet mapped, so they want to finish constructing the means by which they can chart those “missing elements.” They want to complete the formula.
They view their research as a wholly natural implication of the mathematics they can manipulate. They swim in technology and they want to extend its architecture. To abandon the program would be tantamount to denying their own intelligence. They climb the mountain because it is there.
They do perceive that one factor does not fit their algorithms: the free individual. It’s the wild card.
Therefore, they are compelled to analyze freedom and break it down into DNA functions and brain processes. They assume, because they must, that the free individual is an illusory idea that flows from some older configuration of synaptic transmission, at a time in our evolution when we needed it. But now, they suppose, the engineering of human activity and thought has superseded such quaint notions. Now we all can be tracked, traced, and studied on a different and wider scale. Now we can be seen for what we really are: a hive.
Therefore, we must be instructed, within tight limits, about our various functions.
I’m reminded of a statement attributed to Nobel Laureate, Alfred Szent-Giorgi: “In my search for the secret of life, I have ended up with atoms and electrons, which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line, life has run through my fingers. So, in my old age, I am retracing my steps…”
Today’s technocrats will admit no such disappointment or existential crisis. They flourish with great optimism as they design the future world and its single society. If they run out of pieces of their puzzle to study, they’ll try to track the motion of every atom and electron and quark in the universe. They’ll delight in it.
Knowing all this, we know the terms of the war we are in.
The Central Planners have an equation: “free=uncontrolled=dangerous.”
By the gross terms of that equation, they lump us in with thugs and murderers and terrorists. They even see the normal functioning of the brain as a threat, as an intrinsically defective process, and they have long since decided that organ must be corrected with drugs and electromagnetic inteventions.
We, on the other hand, must assert, in every way possible, that freedom is real and inviolable, and we must back that up with our actions.
When individual freedom is no longer discussed in great depth by people who should know better, when it is left to wither on the vine, many programs and structures are built to take its place. But if freedom seems like a weak response to the Surveillance State and its goals, remember this: all the State power I’ve been enumerating is organized to curtail freedom, stop it, end it, make it obsolete. That enormous effort wouldn’t be necessary if freedom were merely a passing fancy. It isn’t. It’s an eternal force.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com