What’s Behind The Man Behind The Curtain

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Conspiracy rabbit holing can be tricky. It only takes a slight glitch in your interface with the establishment propaganda matrix to make you acutely aware that the talking heads on TV and the politicians in Washington are lying to everybody, and that’s often all it takes to get you asking questions. But once you move toward trying to get those questions answered, it can be so easy to get lost along the way.

It can be hard to even begin. The moment you start dipping your toe into the water to find out what’s really going on here you run into a wall of anti-semitic idiocy, self-contradicting paranoid ramblings, and claims about aliens and super-secret societies that are so unprovable that believing them would be tantamount to joining a religion. This alone is often enough to send people scurrying back to the comforts of the mainstream narrative, shaking their heads and chuckling about Alex Jones and gay frogs.

If you manage to keep your head through all that and get some solid footing underneath you, you find that one reliable way to figure out who’s really in charge is to follow the money. Look at who funds your politicians, who owns and funds the media, how those two factors dance with the actual behavior of your government and the stories they tell you about that behavior, and you start getting some answers to your questions about why the pundits and politicians are always lying.

It turns out that government and capitalism can be manipulated into a very unhealthy relationship with one another known as corporatism, which naturally tilts things toward a system wherein the people with the most money are able to buy up political power, that they can then use to further manipulate the system to get themselves even more money. In such a system where money equals political power, the people with the money naturally become rulers, as sure as a king or a queen is a ruler, and in order to maintain that rule they must ensure that they keep as much money for themselves while keeping it out of the hands of the public. In a system where money is political power, there can be no rulers if everyone has money.

For this reason a powerful plutocracy has emerged full of people who are naturally incentivized to manipulate things in a way that enables them to retain their kingdom, and who are therefore naturally incentivized to make alliances in order to facilitate that manipulation. Since limiting their sphere of influence to the United States would be limiting their money and power, the plutocrats make alliances within the US military and intelligence community in addition to politicians who influence foreign policy. This complex, multifaceted network of alliances between the plutocrats, the military-industrial complex, the intelligence community, the corporate media and the national security departments is what has become known as the deep state, and its existence is a well-documented fact.

From there, though, things start to get murky. The fact that so much of this network is shrouded in secrecy for “national security” purposes (actually political purposes) means it’s hard to say who is connected to whom and to what extent, and who specifically is ultimately pulling the strings on any given agenda. Mainstream Democrats these days will tell you it’s Vladimir Putin approximately 100 percent of the time, whereas conservative wingnuts will be more inclined to tell you it’s a cabal of Jewish elites holding the puppet strings. People often make up stories about what’s happening on the other side of all the opacity to suit their particular bias, in very much the same way religious people use the god of the gaps fallacy to attribute all scientific mysteries to their deity of preference.

What’s really going on behind that curtain of secrecy is subject to endless debate between conspiracy analysts of all factions, all confidently asserting that their particular take is true because they can confirm it with their bias. People have risen to fame and fortune by claiming to have the full picture of what goes on behind the curtain, but they don’t. The only people who have a clear picture of what’s happening are those who are strongly incentivized to keep it secret from the public, and even they probably don’t have a full picture of the exact dynamics of the entire deep state and all its interconnections.

All the conspiracy rabbit holes kind of dead-end at this point for anyone who’s intellectually honest with themselves. At best we’re drawing imaginary lines to connect dots in an unverifiable way between the few glimpses of transparency we’ve been given, and telling stories about those connections that are essentially faith-based proclamations no different than a papal decree.

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My approach to this obstacle is to look at what I’ve learned about humanity in general and view what I know about the deep state through that lens. And to be frank, when I look behind the curtain from that perspective, what I see is far more frightening than any sociopathic plutocrat or reptilian secret society. What I see is the possibility that there is ultimately no one behind the curtain at all.

There’s a popular classroom scientific experiment wherein students observe the way bacteria in a petri dish will reliably consume the food available to them at a rapidly growing rate, then choke to death in a pool of their own waste. The lesson is about what happens when you have uncontrolled growth in a closed system with limited resources. Humanity is undeniably experiencing uncontrolled growth, and our planet is undeniably a closed system with limited resources.

Are humans just bigger, more complex bacteria in a bigger, more complex petri dish? We have not answered this question yet. There’s nothing that I can see in the behavior of the deep state manipulators that can’t be explained by basic stimulus, response and conditioning patterns. Just as with chimpanzees, some dominant humans have fought their way to the top of the tribe to ensure their safety and security, obtained as many resources for themselves as possible, and done everything they can to stop other humans from rising to challenge their dominance. The most powerful plutocrat on earth is just another organism following its evolutionary programming to out-survive and out-thrive other competing organisms.

This is the problem I keep running up against when I look at the fate that our species seems to be headed toward: we keep repeating the same patterns over and over again, as predictably as bacteria in a petri dish. The few dominant humans at the top of the heap are steering us toward extinction via nuclear armageddon or climate chaos, and the rest of us are easily manipulated into allowing them to. They use our primal instincts of fear and greed to dupe us into supporting the status quo, over and over and over again. Watching the way Democrats were so easily herded into siding with the establishment to shake their fists at Russia after party elites were so plainly caught with their pants down in 2016 is a perfect example of this. Things could have turned around then, but they didn’t.

There are far, far more of us than there are of the ruling plutocrats and their deep state cronies. All we’d have to do is say “No, we’re not doing that anymore” and start creating a society that doesn’t elevate the best manipulators while strangling everyone else. But we don’t. We keep consistently failing to do this. We keep coasting along, following our most base instincts instead of moving toward health. If we’re really honest with ourselves, it’s entirely possible that we’re just glorified bacteria soullessly acting out our biological conditioning while our large primate brains make impotent mental noises about what’s happening and how things should be different.

The only reason I remain hopeful is because we are living in entirely unprecedented times. Seven and a half billion human brains increasingly interconnected by internet communications has never, ever happened before; there is nowhere in evolutionary biology that we can look to predict what will happen next. It remains entirely possible that something new will switch on. Sometime in the near future, this will either happen, or it won’t. Either way, we’ll have received our answer about what we are as a species.

This is the only thing that keeps me writing: the purely faith-based hope that there is ultimately someone behind the curtain after all, some spark within humanity that is capable of turning things around instead of mindlessly marching into extinction like innumerable terrestrial species before us. I speak to that spark in my little space here whether it exists or not, urging it to awaken and to never give up. Love letters to the man behind the curtain.

I really hope he exists.

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I write about the end of illusions.

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