The Journey from 1950s Maoist Thought Reform to 21st Century Covid Tyranny – Part III

Read Time:26 Minutes

Part I and II of this essay discussed the Government’s deployment of psychological warfare techniques to induce compliance with Covid containment policies. Robert Lifton’s 1961 study of ‘brainwashing’ in China elucidates eight psychological themes that characterised 1950s Chinese Communist ideologues’ indoctrination techniques. Using both Sue Parker Hall’s and Lifton’s work as a platform to provide my own perspective, Parts I and II explored how UK Government psyops mirrored methods employed by 1950s Chinese Communist ideologues. In this final part we look at the root cause of Covid ideological totalism. The original series of articles was published on A Plague on Both Houses on 6-10 February.

The potency of expression of Lifton’s eight psychological themes during the last two years of the Covid era points strongly to an ideological totalism reminiscent of 1950s Chinese Communist ‘brainwashing’ practices. While the echoes are loud, there are of course vast differences in the environments as well as the goals of those doing the manipulating. Can we diagnose the specific cause of today’s 21st century thought reform reflected in Covid tyranny?

No, this will not be an elucidation of Mattias Desmet’s well-known and highly regarded diagnosis of mass formation psychosis in the general population. There is no question that Desmet has greatly advanced our understanding of the susceptibility of crowds to dangerous psychoses. His compelling theory in fact complements Lifton’s psychological themes of thought reform. Mass formation explains the mind of the crowd and why it buckles under the pressure of a propaganda narrative. Thought reform expands on the manipulative psychological tactics used by authorities to maintain narrative hegemony and inculcate cult adherence to a totalist ideology. 

Both frameworks have the ability to successfully traverse time and different historical events in explaining why crowds go mad or why totalitarians succeed, for a time. But they don’t explain the peculiarity about this point in history that has produced this iteration of crowd madness. They account for cults in general, but they don’t explain the ascendancy, for the first time in history, of a global cult

The presence of something closely resembling 1950s Chinese Communist mind control does not mean that Western governments are rolling out tyranny at the behest of Xi Jinping. Nor have Big Tech, Big Pharma, every Western public health authority and key Western executive branches of government been infiltrated by a network of CCP Manchurian candidates. 

The root cause of this 21st century Western totalist ideology is in fact hiding in plain sight. It’s the ‘invisible’ gorilla in the selective attention test. It’s the lens through which almost all human experience today can be viewed. If we can’t see it, it’s because we are institutionalised.

It is global capitalism. GloboCap as we shall call it – CJ Hopkins’ catchy moniker for The System. GloboCap’s authoritarianism is not accidental. It’s hard coded into the DNA of its system of oligarchies, monopolies, banks, asset managers, captured government and global agencies, powerful lobby groups, billionaire ‘philanthropist’ fronts and PR networking clubs. Covid tyranny is its natural expression. GloboCap is able to harness the psychological and material forces of extremism precisely because it is an extremist ideology par excellence. 

It is not that power corrupts but that power is a magnet to the corruptible.

Frank Herbert 

GloboCap’s entire edifice is predicated on a tiny handful of institutions – and therefore a small number of individuals who control and profit most from those institutions – leveraging capital and people to create extraordinary wealth that is extraordinarily concentrated. This is its defining feature – the wildly toxic concentration of wealth and power at the top of a pyramid scheme to beat all pyramid schemes. 2,755 billionaires own and control more resources than the poorest half the entire planet of 7.5bn people. The poorest half of the global population barely owns any wealth at all, possessing just 2% of the total. In contrast, the richest 10% of the global population own 76% of all wealth.

We have become so familiar with these numbers that they are in danger of being drained of their real meaning. And since this is a psychological and political examination, we need to understand the psychopathy that accompanies this concentration of power to reinfuse these numbers with true meaning.  

But a few more economic facts are necessary to understand the underlying political economy of Covid tyranny, which is itself the beginning of the last phase in a coup d’état that has been playing out over the last 40 years. Governments in the West are run by spiritually and morally empty men and women on behalf of GloboCap. As of 2018, 157 (78%) of the top 200 richest economic entities by revenue are corporations not governments, ensuring that these supra national entities are the éminence grise behind national economic policies. 

The power of corporations is summed up by Global Justice Now:

“The vast wealth and power of corporations is at the heart of so many of the world’s problems – like inequality and climate change. The drive for short-term profits today seems to trump basic human rights for millions of people on the planet. Yet there are very few ways that citizens can hold these corporations to account for their behaviour. Rather, through trade and investment deals, it is corporations which are able to demand that governments do their bidding,” [Emphasis added]

By the 1990s, governments had relinquished control of economic policies to banks and corporates. As multi-national corporations (MNCs) were elevated to supra national entities, the term “neo liberal consensus” entered the lexicon of the managerial class as the chosen euphemism for a complete transfer of economic power and control from national governments to MNCs and their ruling billionaire class.

In the service of their new masters, tax regimes turned a blind eye to the shifting of profits by MNCs to low or zero tax havens resulting in estimated annual tax revenues lost – gains for MNCs – of $125bn annually. State services are either underfunded or must be funded by other, often lower-income taxpayers – proof, if it were needed, that the system is a giant vacuum cleaner sucking money, power and control from the bottom up to the top.

The Government’s role is one of policing – to pass legislation that controls you in the interests of corporate wealth and power. The Coronavirus Act 2020 and all the other copies of it that swept in martial law across the Western world should be seen, from an economic standpoint, as the means by which $3.9 trillion in wealth was transferred to global billionaires while global workers’ combined earnings fell by an almost identical figure of $3.7 trillion. The 10 wealthiest US billionaires added $1billion per day to their fortunes during the pandemic. 

Funded by MNCs, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is one of the most important networks in the world for global capitalists. Its annual conferences held in Davos bring together political and business leaders to hammer out economic and social policies. Davos is the visible proof of how elected world leaders meet unelected members of the billionaires’ club to agree on how to pump life into the aspirations of the powerful and wealthy.

Boasting about the WEF’s reach, its chairman Klaus Schwab said: “What we are really proud of now, is the young generation, like Prime Minister Trudeau, the President of Argentina, and so on. So, we penetrate the cabinets… I was at a reception of Prime Minister Trudeau and I know that half of this cabinet, or even more than half of this cabinet, are actually Young Global Leaders of the world.” Young Global Leaders is the WEF’s political leadership grooming school. Faced with an admission by GloboCap’s PR head about its strategy to “penetrate the cabinets” of national governments around the world, do we continue to bury our heads in the sand, or do we face the fact that the entire system is rotten?

We hide what is abnormal. Conversely, to normalise the abnormal, it must be brought out into the open. This is the significance of Schwab’s admissions and Covid tyranny in general – we are being gaslit into accepting that what was once sinister and therefore hidden will become the norm. The ‘New Normal’. The World Economic Forum has no democratic relationship to citizens in any of the countries it seeks to influence and yet has a formal partnership with the UN “to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” We are being asked to accept that this is normal and that leaders around the globe will be schooled by institutions of global capital like the WEF.

The US stock market is dominated by just three giant institutional investors or asset managers: BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street (‘The Big Three’). In 2017 they managed $11 trillion in assets, more than all sovereign wealth funds combined and over three times the global hedge fund industry. By the end of 2020, this number had grown to $15 trillion – more than three-quarters of U.S. gross domestic product – prompting the American Economic Liberties Project to warn that “the outsized footprint of a few large financial companies poses new issues for the governance of corporate America, the competitiveness of our economy, the concentration of political power, and the stability of financial markets.” [emphasis added]

When the US Federal Reserve announced that it would purchase corporate bond ETFs, Blackrock’s ETF portfolio grew to its largest size ever. The Federal Reserve then hired Blackrock to manage the Fed’s purchase of ETFs from Blackrock.

Blackrock’s CEO advised the President of the United States on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. While corporate capital increases its control over the levers of power, its PR arm unironically blathers on about “achieving a more sustainable and inclusive capitalism.”

The trend of wealth concentration over three decades has led to just 30 shareholders controlling more than half of the shares in the world’s largest corporations. And because the shareholdings are spread across a wide variety of sectors, it results in a horizontal integration of influence whereby different sectors (e.g. Media and Pharma) experience a conflict of interest at the ownership level that translates operationally.

Bill Gates has invested in vaccines and expects a handsome return. When he pontificates about how long you should be forced to have Covid ‘vaccines’, he is given a global platform. Along with the academic institutes that he funds and which give him a podium from which to air his views, Big Media guarantees him airtime. Because he pays for it.

As the 2nd largest donor to the WHO, he is an unelected oligarch with influence over an unelected global institution that used its power to recommend the most illiberal health policies ever endured by citizens across the globe in modern history. And this is tacitly accepted as normal by a majority because the system rewards the accumulation of wealth with the ‘right’ to exercise power undemocratically. Consent is not required under global capitalism. It is automatically granted by the holding of wealth and power. 

What does all of this mean? It means that Covid tyranny, involving everything from lockdowns to forced vaccination, would not have happened if it had been inimical to the interests of GloboCap and its billionaire club by whom we are being held hostage. Its trajectory of power concentration, driven by the DNA encoded imperative to control through inexorable wealth consolidation, could not have landed us anywhere other than where we are today – on the brink of 21st century bio-technocratic feudalism.

What we must understand from a psychological standpoint is that, while GloboCap’s sociopathic imperative is to control resources and people, GloboCap is not an abstraction. It is managed and run by people. Those who display a preternatural ability to amass and control resources are rewarded with controlling status at the top of the pyramid. Ascending the pyramid instils them with the false belief that they are demi-gods.

But we all play our role in The System and the collective delusion shared by most in the pyramid is that the hoarders of wealth possess the perspicacity and goodwill to shape the destiny of humankind. The delusion is fed by our own institutionalisation and bolstered by the system’s PR machine, always ready to market a rock star billionaire whose brand is on the rise – a billionaire who “has an army of devotees [that] hangs on his every utterance.” One who “dreams of Mars as he bestrides Earth, square jawed and indomitable.” No, that’s not a quote from a teen idol magazine; that’s Time Magazine drooling over its new billionaire flavour of the month, Elon Musk.

The reality staring us in the face is that the ‘talents’ of the super-rich are more likely to qualify them for psychiatric counselling for Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism. Humanity has landed itself with a system in which those with the most influence on democracy are in fact those at the lowest end of the empathy spectrum and with the greatest tendency to authoritarianism and manipulative abuse.

This is what John Lennon was trying to tell us when he said that “our society is run by insane people for insane objects”. It’s why  France’s president Macron, a graduate of the WEF’s school of Young Global Leaders, forsaking statesmanship in favour of a shabby rendition of a mid-ranking mafioso, is at ease threatening to strip people of their citizenship for daring to challenge The System with the innately human instinct to exercise control over their bodies.

Why the illusion of democracy had to be shattered – system collapse

Once you strip away the heavy coating of propaganda that propelled the post WW2 Cold War narrative of Capitalism versus Communism, you are left with the bare essence of two authoritarian systems pitted against each other. It wasn’t that obvious because the West talked freedom and most believed it. In fairness, the act-as-if principle really did afford a measure of freedom that was wished for by those who didn’t have it. Make no mistake – given a choice between living in London or Moscow, I would have unhesitatingly chosen London. Capitalism’s strength lay both in the propaganda of freedom and democracy but also its granting of greater freedom to the average citizen in the West than was afforded to those living behind the Iron Curtain. 

But US support for dictatorships allied to its economic interests, and its subversion of democracies that sought to forge a path independent of US hegemony was a clue to the West’s and capitalism’s true priorities.

Following the defeat of Communism in 1989, Capitalism unchained slowly began to drop its benign mask. The neo-liberal consensus of the 1990s gave GloboCap free rein to reinvent itself by massively exporting production to low wage regions of the globe while propping up the abandoned unproductive wealthy nations with a financialised economy based on debt-fuelled consumerism.

GloboCap’s war machine was also quick to reinvent itself following the collapse of the Soviet Union. A 1998 UK Strategic Defence Review dolefully admitted that “there is no direct military threat to the United Kingdom or Western Europe. Nor do we foresee the re-emergence of such a threat.” The Ministry of Defence’s answer to less war and more peace: “Priority must be given to meeting a wider range of expeditionary tasks”.[1] [emphasis added]. “Out of area [military interventionism] or out of business” was the new war cry of NATO panjandrums[2], aptly orienting war with business while giving a nod to Orwell by broadcasting that The System was not about to let peace get in the way of war.

And so, with the Cold War won, inefficient proxy wars could be replaced with outright barefaced invasions. That required the de facto shredding of international law on wars of aggression established under the Nuremberg Principles. That shredding took place with the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which served to normalise US and NATO invasions of any country they wished in the name of newly conjured principles such as the ‘pre-emptive strike’, ‘responsibility to protect’ or any other ginned up pretext for illegal aggression.

GloboCap was always a monster but, both militarily and economically, the Cold War was a restraint on GloboCap’s psychopathy. Endless new wars and the violent lurch to global totalitarianism precipitated by Covid is the monster unchained.

Global capital’s unfettered expansion of the financialisation of the economy in the noughties was matched only by its recklessness. When the banking titans’ chickens came home to roost, they mocked those beneath them in the pyramid by proving that, for a banker, with great power comes great abdication of responsibility. The 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) introduced another GloboCap perversion – socialising the cost of capitalism’s recklessness. 

But the paradox of a force at its apogee is that its peak also represents the point at which it is about to fall – the point at which it must go into survival mode or die. The 2008 GFC heralded the beginning of descent and the fight for survival. By the start of the manufactured Covid crisis in 2020, a badly wounded global monetary system had been limping for 10 years through an unresolved debt crisis. In September 2019 the credit markets began seizing up again with junk debt and, having kicked the can down the road for as long as was possible, there is compelling evidence that, by the end of 2019, the spectre of a far more dire replay of the 2008 GFC was now stalking the markets. A Reset was needed. 

The immediate and desperate response was to create liquidity with a repeat of the money printing of 2008. Between September 2019 and March 2020, the Fed injected more than $9 trillion into the banking system, equivalent to more than 40% of US GDP. Essentially another bailout, even bigger than the first but completely silent. That extraordinary move triggered threats and opportunities that required extraordinary management.

Throwing that amount of money at the financial markets was necessary to prevent a repeat of the 2008 panic and contagion. But that mass of money could not be allowed to reach the real economy (‘Main Street’) through retail lending, triggering overheating and hyperinflation. Enter the great economic shutdown – global lockdowns of March 2020. Fabio Vighi posits that this ‘induced economic coma’ allowed the US Fed, under a programme of government bond purchases managed by BlackRock, to temporarily plug holes in the interbank lending market and avert hyperinflation. 

GloboCap’s cancerous knack for feeding off crisis, fear and misery delivered a monumental e-commerce boon to Big Tech and vaults of vax cash to Big Pharma. The other key advantage of lockdowns to MNCs and large corporates, GloboCap’s main constituency, was that the strangulation of small and medium-sized businesses resulted in the transfer of their patronage to those large behemoths. Once proud and independent small business owners are not just the system’s collateral damage – they are the targeted victims of wealth transfer and consolidation. In wealth consolidation terms, GloboCap has achieved in two years what might have taken it 20 years in the normal hurly burly of corporate wealth consolidation. And once again, it leveraged a crisis of its own making to do it.

And where did the ‘Left’ fit into all of this? Tired of being spectators to Disaster Capitalism, the Left decided that this time it would cheer, aid and abet the whole smash-and-grab with ghoulish enthusiasm.  

And so it came to pass that in March 2020, GloboCap manufactured a “global health crisis”, took its gloves off and placed the entire planet under house arrest, frightened humanity into wearing useless masks, and humiliated billions of people with a regular regimen of painful, useless testing of dubious safety

That was just the curtain-raiser for the main act in which GloboCap’s stooge political class subjected virtually the entire planet to forced human experimentation with “vaccines” for which roughly only three months of trial data existed, and for which data now looks rigged, manipulated and generated by a trial process with less quality control than the average biscuit factory. ‘Vaccines’ being the indispensable rite of passage to the neo-feudal digital health pass that, in many places around the world, would gift back to citizens human rights that were already intrinsically theirs in perpetuity before the advent of bio-fascism – the right to buy food, work and socialise. The right to live. A diabolical trick that too many fell for.

This is only a bird’s-eye view of the criminality and trauma to which much of the planet has been subjected. 

While humanity was subjected to the ritual humiliations of Covid containment in the maelstrom of Disaster Capitalism, billionaires quietly opened the tills and stashed another $5 trillion into their pockets, topping up their coffers to $13.1 trillion.

If GloboCap in 2022 shares all eight psychological themes of 1950s Chinese Communist thought reform, it’s because they are both extremist ideologies whose quest is total control of the social and economic milieu. There will be no boundaries of mind or body in the quest to record not just everything you do, but everything you are. The goal is to redefine the human as a controllable record in a vast centralised database that will tell the masters of the universe all they need to know to ‘nudge’ their herd in whatever direction they see fit.

It goes without saying that China today is as shackled to GloboCap’s chains as any other nation. Using the number of billionaires per country as a simple index of wealth concentration, China ranks second in the world with 698, not far behind the US’s 724. Right-leaning schools of thought tend to credit the Chinese Communist Party with hatching the manufactured Covid crisis in a plot to subjugate the globe to communism. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, of which I don’t see enough. 

The Chinese ruling elite don’t believe in Communism any more than Bill Gates or Klaus Schwab do. However, the Chinese elite possess something that GloboCap eyes with extreme envy – the blueprint for totalitarian control. A bold bid by GloboCap to expand that blueprint across the globe can’t be expected to immediately put an end to geopolitical tensions, and China has been more than happy to dance with GloboCap to the extent that Covid containment in the West has presented China with an opportunity to bleed the West’s power to dominate the globe. It’s a dangerous game to play in a world of such tightly interlocking destinies but GlobCap’s desired trajectory is for geopolitics to give way to global economic feudalism. GloboCap is in charge of this coup.   

The socialist myth of a capitalist ‘hyper-individualism’     

There is a strain within certain socialist or leftist schools of thought that rejects individualism in favour of societal goals. This is a false choice. An autonomous individual with a healthy sense of self and who is free to choose their own path is more, not less, likely to contribute to societal good. From a psychological standpoint, individuation – the lifelong process of forging a unique healthy self-identity – is foundational to mental health pillars like decision-making, healthy relationships, setting healthy boundaries, communicating assertively, knowing oneself and knowing what one wants from life. These are the essential individual psychological foundations of a sane society. 

Running parallel to the socialist or leftist anti-individualistic strain is the myth that capitalism is responsible for ‘hyper individualism’. Even if you accept that this meaningless political identity jargon has some useful semantic value, nothing could be further from the truth. The totalist animus of global capitalism has produced an army of automatons who worship at the altar of consumerism and celebrity culture. Being forced to accept an injection of unknown safety and efficacy was regarded by huge swathes as something that had to be done to consume the ritual summer holiday or attend a pop concert. 

Covid has catalysed a state authoritarian cult whose members unhesitatingly suppressed scepticism of an insane narrative and poured their energy into complying with the most destructive episode of disaster capitalism in living memory. 

That is anything but hyper-individualism.

It’s no coincidence that its most educated members are its most fervent acolytes – the professional managerial class is the backbone of compliance with the explicit and implicit rules of global capitalism.

The dramatic way in which the hyper illiberalism of Covid containment policies hypnotised supposedly ‘free’ individuals makes a complete mockery of any critique of capitalist ‘hyper individualism’. On the contrary, the apex of global capital has heralded the dawn of hyper-cultism – a surreal nightmare in which the cult is no longer a deluded minority on the fringe of society but the majority persecuting a sane minority who feel forced to live in the matrix but are trying not to be of the matrix. We all need to get out of it. But how?

The corporate coup d’état and the next crisis

We are in the middle of a global coup d’état spearheaded by global capital for global capital. A coup d’état is one of those rare crimes in which prosecution only ensues if the perpetrators fail to successfully carry it out. Characterising politicians who have knowingly driven the most destructive policies in living memory as insane or incompetent is denialism born of institutionalisation. The perpetrators of these crimes understand better than anybody the stupidity of the policies because they know there is a method to the madness.

Qualified public health scientists advocating measures for which there was no evidence base is not incompetence. It’s criminal. Stopping doctors from prescribing known and safe treatments to help patients is not incompetence. It’s criminal. There is no precedent for it. Violating the Nuremberg code by forcing people to accept experimental medical treatment is not incompetence. It’s criminal. 

It is understood by those who have willingly engaged in this criminality that the only way to ratify it will be to ‘get to the other side’ – the point of no return. A point at which all this grotesque abnormality will have been normalised; a point at which the New Normal cannot be undone: a point at which GloboCap will have successfully remade the world in its hideous image – a technocratically controlled monetary and social feudal system from which no one can escape. 

However, the coup is by no means going swimmingly. World leaders have gone from cheerily chanting ‘build back better’ to varying degrees of expressed emotional rage. The pretence that this was ever about a ‘health crisis’ has been dropped and there is a tacit admission that dictatorship is intended to be integral to the New Normal. Witness the self-satisfied smirk on Ardern’s face as she gloated about her endorsement of inhuman medical apartheid; Macron’s determination to “piss off” the unvaccinated; the deportation of the Number 1 ranked tennis player from Australia on the grounds that he represents a threat, not to public health, but to the Australian public’s perception of vaccines; Biden’s sweeping indictment of anyone who disagrees with his administration as domestic terrorists. GloboCap’s automatons are no longer pretending that they are motivated by human concern.

This is the system’s reaction to losing its grip on power, to its previously unspoken right to determine the parameters of debate, what we can and can’t say or do as compliant participants in the pyramid of power. Provided we understand that the system will not, indeed cannot, relent, there is every chance of forcing meaningful change. The vaccinators have clearly signalled that they have no intention to stop vaccinating – manufacturing capacity is being ramped up, variant-specific ‘vaccines’ are in the pipeline and plans are in the offing to target an array of pathogens the existence of which we are not even conscious. Their idea of the New Normal is one in which there will be a ‘vaccine’ for everything and no choice. The struggle for bodily autonomy will continue.

Yet despite the rage of political stooges in many places, there does seem to be a sudden and palpable political will in many countries, with the UK leading, to ramp down virus containment. Virus containment might go on mute for a while but global capitalism’s imperative to control will not. So, I can’t help thinking, what’s next? If it now appears that the official narrative is unravelling and our freedoms are returning, it is not out of the goodness of the hearts of the psychopaths who run The Sytem. It is simply borne of a practical recognition that neither they nor the citizenry will be able to juggle two massive disaster shock narratives at once – the global ‘public health crisis’ and the looming financial collapse. So, is the pause button being pressed on the ‘health’ crisis to soften us up for the financial one?

If Fabio Vighi is correct, global capital’s debt-fuelled financialisation of the global economy has run out of road. GloboCap’s rigged Vegas money system is broken, and a repair bill is coming. It goes without saying that MNCs and billionaires have no intention to pick up the tab. You can be fairly certain that more Shock and Awe for those at the base of the pyramid will be the preferred method of resolving the coming financial crisis. Hell bent on pushing a Fourth Industrial Revolution placing AI and robots, not people, at the centre, GloboCap has no use for its increasingly unproductive middle-class consumers. Vighi points out that senile capitalism’s “only chance of survival depends on generating a paradigm shift from liberalism to oligarchic authoritarianism.” So, will banks collapse again? Following the narrative used for 2008 bank bailouts, will we be told that there is no way to avert total financial collapse unless we agree to a lesser, albeit unpalatable, evil? Perhaps we’ll be presented with a shiny new money system? What will be the cost? The pyramid’s gears work tirelessly to socialise cost and privatise profit. It’s time those gears went into reverse.

[1] Paul Robinson, Doing Less with Less: Making Britain More Secure, Imprint Academic, 2005, Chapter 1, page 12.

[2] Paul Robinson, Doing Less with Less: Making Britain More Secure, Imprint Academic, 2005, Chapter 2, page 22.

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