The Fatal Attractions of Techno-Fascism

Those who are serious in ridiculous matters will be ridiculous in serious matters.

— Cato the Elder, (Marcus Porcius Cato, 234 BC – 149 BC)

The enduring appeal of fascism is that it requires so little from us… so little independent thought; just our basic belief and adherence to a limited set of popularly-shared directives and narratives that once fully accepted, relieve us of the need to address stubborn questions or to fret over subtle differences of opinion and feeling. Continual propaganda is there to reassure us that we are complete, that we know all that is important to know — that we are rational, pragmatic and moral… that the science has been settled and that we are all a part of something historic.

Such a surrender to constricted narratives cuts across all classes and income brackets. Neither the most educated nor the least uneducated retain any special advantage in the face of powerful consensus-shaping propaganda.

PROPAGANDA is, of course, the life-blood of authoritarian control. Maintaining the economic, governmental and scientific frameworks of a modern technocratic “operating system” would be impossible without propaganda’s divisive assault. When truth is seen as a liability to power, it must always be disallowed, with all instances of it effectively penalized.

Radio, television, the Internet and their constant enabler, popular “science” — operate today as their own religions, reliant for their success upon the unquestioning devotion of the masses. The currency that we use to pay for admission to the electronic spectacle is our attention, and in such hyper-mediated times as these, those charges mount up exponentially, until we generally find ourselves at some point, broke and spiritually exhausted by soul-crushing denial and disconnection.

The DNA of modern propaganda is full of equal parts:  hatred, fear, ambition and duplicity. From Edward Bernays in the post WWI era, often referred to as the father of public relations, to Dr. Goebbels, the Nazi Reich Minister of Propaganda, whose hugely successful disinformation programs served as the model for the world’s political and economic leaders in the post-war era. The post-WWII era saw the founding of the CIA in 1947 at the golden dawn of full-spectrum electronic media. Propaganda in the intervening 70 years has proven SO successful at directing public opinion, that even today, only a small percentage of people fully realize just how ongoing, vast and wide-spread its subversive effects are.

If the public truly understood the extent of these control agendas, they might balk, but alas, people have consistently shown themselves incapable of standing up to it in any significant way.

Commercial media, of course, focuses on those products, stories and personalities they are paid to propagate;  i.e., those which support the financial and ideological agendas of their owners who, without exception, hold key positions in the larger global ruling oligarchy.

A central chapter in the propagandist’s bible is to simply leave unexplored stories that they do not have approval to manage and control. Such sins of omission are essential to keeping the mass of believers unperturbed by the poisonous vagaries cut into their daily news fix.

If an individual were to insist upon learning more about any of these less-discussed stories, they might come to see that while an abundance of corroborating facts is readily available, and very often hiding in plain sight, most people simply do not WANT to know, think or talk about those truths that diverge from those accepted by the majority of their peers. For the masses, such departures from the status quo initiate bouts of cognitive dissonance that can trigger literal pain and disorientation, which further serves to keep people docile and compliant to the dictates of the media.

As McLuhan said, “Only the small secrets need to be protected. The large ones are kept secret by public incredulity.”

Perhaps, the grandest illusion of all, one that must be maintained at all costs, is that both the world and the stories we tell of it, should be made to appear as though they arise RANDOMLY. The media’s coverage of events and the comments of experts must always appear entirely absent any suggestion of fraudulent manipulation.

In the terminology of the media, news must always be “breaking!” — even though in reality, we know the news is highly scripted such that it more closely resembles a cooking show, where ingredients are chopped and sliced before-hand, after which they are prepped and served up live on camera in ways designed to keep the public fixated on the comforting hash-slinging and enticingly-scripted recipes.

Technocratic-Fascism, the advanced fusion of the transnational technology-dominated corporatocracy with the authoritarian global surveillance state, prods the public into believing that they are privy to some “secret” knowledge. Witness the magical left’s lockstep belief in the absolute villainy of Donald Trump, or the magical right’s equally absolute belief in Trump as a self-sacrificing national hero.

Clearly, both parties to this progressive erosion of human freedoms need each other to close the circuit and seal the deal. Overwhelming greed on the part of the oligarchs for profit and control necessitates that their true motives remain hidden and obfuscated in a fog of weaponized storytelling.

So many fraudulent methods underscore the abiding value of BULLSHIT, do they not? Bullshit effectively misleads without upsetting the natural order of things or tearing apart the fabric of credibility. Nothing can stand in the way of approved messaging or the drive for constant growth which have all along been the root justifications for such elaborate systems of deception.

This is another aspect of what makes technocratic-fascism so irresistible:  a presumption that by gaining more and more knowledge about us, it comes to knows us better than we know ourselves. If we were to know ourselves better, then we would not be so easily seduced by such obvious falsehoods. Since we don’t, the “owners” of our data are freed to keep up the constant barrage of distortions.

If, for example, we did not so easily obey and swallow whole their messaging, we might soon enough notice the many contradictions that we are instructed exist, say, between the Covid monster and the daily vaporous disease statistics, or between maskers and non-maskers, between vaxxers and anti-vaxxers, between crushing economic destruction and our mewling need for safety, between the lunatic left and the lunatic right, between black and whites, between males and females… between one piece of orthogonal bullshit and another equally opposing piece.

ALL of these dichotomies are at some fundamental level necessary, at the same time they are FALSE — each constructed by skilled media professionals and deployed to overwhelm our critical thinking and that of millions of others so as to keep us from seeing what’s really going on in the darkly-veiled background.

In such remarkably cost-effective ways, human energy and intelligence are depleted, transforming us into confused and easily-controllable “lab rats.” This further puts us at risk of being forcibly cut off from each other, lest we suddenly experience ourselves as connected, interdependent and sovereign beings. If something like THAT were to happen, the driving agendas of big business, global governance and the shadow state to keep us marching in lockstep towards a more divided and disempowered future, might quickly disintegrate.

It is in such states of debilitation that one “targeted” demographic subset gets easily pitted against another; all herded into wicked mental traps with one side thinking one thing, while the other side thinks something else — such that half of us are whipped into hatred of the other half that then hates the other right back.

At this point, and after so many years of unqualified victories for those corporations and states that are the primary beneficiaries of the propaganda industry, the pathetic realization is that propaganda doesn’t even NEED to be that engaging anymore. Confident that they have the situation (and the public) in tow, the purveyors of propaganda save a ton of expense by just being repeatedly sensational, confrontational and redundant in their narratives.

Once people have learned to carry on absent the need for verifiable truth, or without the ability to discern authentic and honest voices from deceitful and manipulative ones, we gradually lose our interest in so-called “truth” altogether, preferring instead to keep splashing about in the shallow pools of unsubstantiated speculation, addictive voyeurism, presumptuous judgments and lazy groupthink opinion-shaping.

Let’s be honest… the only people who might actually CARE what any of us think about the blaring big topics of the day (masks, vaccines, climate change or Black Lives Matter, etc.) are other equally thin-skinned propaganda junkies, who still believe that the government cares about them and that the mainstream media is telling them the truth. 

In the face of such daily capitulations and especially as a result of the controlled-demolition of the world brought on by the Covid lockdown, a growing number of people have “opted out” — given up on the media bullshit and are instead turning their attention to quickly figuring out how to thrive and to reconnect energetically with others — and with truths that can only exist OUTSIDE the reach of the propaganda’s manufactured “spectacle.”

The media, of course, with their sophisticated surveillance tracking (and now contact-tracing) tools knows full well when there is an uptick in negative reactions to their toxic narratives, but since it is simultaneously aware that it is after all pushing nothing but sugar-water bullshit, it is left with little choice but to double-down and open the spigots even wider and so keep ramming even more bullshit at us.

The flood of distractions come at us so fast and so hard now as to leave us staggering under the weight of it all, lurching around like decapitated chickens desperately trying to win the approval of our peers by looking like we are at least doing the only “acceptable” thing.

Arriving at this frenzied point of screwball dissolution is the essential endgame of propaganda, in that it locks us into its agenda, at the same time it demands that we INSIST we are making these choices of our own FREE WILL!

To get us to that point, though, they must keep us in a certifiable TIZZY; constantly preoccupied, agitated, offended, and driven to attacking each other and defending ourselves against all threats, both real and imagined. The more they can get us ensnared in mind-numbing scandals and outrages, the less energy and attention will be left to notice the deeper, more manipulative and anti-human agendas of techno-fascism.

Mid-20th Century fascism was woefully limited in its technological capacities and in what concealed knowledge it could extract from its victims… and yet somehow it still proved brilliantly effective. The new technocratic-fascism arrives at the new golden dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) ready to mine the population for all the bio-capital commodification it can. Those tech giants who can invent the most efficient and ingenious means of converting human confusion, poverty, crime, ignorance and illness into “impact” investments and “human capital” markets will take their place among the prior generations’ titans of technology.

Once you come to an appreciation for the sheer SCALE of this ongoing and unlimited disinformation WAR on us, it grows a bit easier to understand why so few are able to escape the media’s influence. Oh, for a while perhaps, we might rise above it… but eventually, we all get pulled back down into the muck. Even if you kill your TV, unplug yourself from your media feeds, turn off the Wi-Fi and switch to a flip-phone, each of us, at some point, will relapse and fall off the wagon.

This is because propaganda is not just about what’s presented to us in the news or in the media. It’s even more importantly about our inability to escape the consensual layers of SOCIAL HALLUCINATION that are created and shared across all of society, and which make it difficult for any of us to function socially, absent these commonly shared reference points and signals that we have convinced ourselves are required in order to manage our anxiety, confusion and isolation, which ironically, are exactly what propaganda has always sought to cultivate.

Would that there was one sure-fire way to break propaganda’s voodoo spell over us. There isn’t. I’m not even sure how to do that for myself, or how I can best avoid falling prey to it again, just as I and most of us have done for the great majority of our lives.

What seems obvious to me now is that propaganda post-Covid, is squarely in the service of transhumanist-centered technology — so insidiously forceful that our ability to experience that uniquely human portion of our soul, is rapidly dissolving away. That there is no universal UPROAR in response to these draconian tactics, serves as proof of the plan’s effectiveness.

The effect of all this leaves us vulnerable to this planned “spiritual” disease; and cluelessly susceptible to even harsher controls from those diabolical plutocratic forces that manage the social narratives that keep us subservient to their gospel of untruths. Their continued success  necessitates their constant need to appear as something they are not.

Such perfidy is perfectly exemplified in the character of BILL GATES, who working with his Bain and Co. consultant handlers and investment managers (who had previously managed the Iraq War for Dick Cheney) create these elaborate biopharma – biocapital – vaccine – public health – synthetic food – edutech tyrannical narratives and investment pyramids that are then fed to the media and Wall Street, who repackage and serve them to the public as “beneficial” (B-Corp) financial technology instruments, which generate criminal levels of profit while at the same time they portray instigators and beneficiaries like Mr. Gates as altruistic philanthropists and “lord protectors” of the public. I am continually amazed at how many very smart people fall for this, even though Gates’ own history makes perfectly clear that he is nothing of the sort.

NOT seeing just how obvious and laughable propaganda campaigns have become in this one-size fits all era, leaves us painfully vulnerable and primed to be further overwhelmed by more of the same.

The range of today’s “master plans” of disinformation and larceny, like the UN’s “Agenda 21”, the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset” and the coming return of the pillaging “Green New Deal” are unparalleled in their scope and complexity compared to quainter (and less quantified) master plans of the past.

Looking back on the 1950’s and 60’s, when many of these grandiose plans for centralized and technocratic control were first being imagined, believing in the “American Dream” narrative and being part of America’s growing middle-class was actually a pretty sweet deal. It is in recalling a return to such bucolic and “normal” times that right up to the present form the back-story of every politician’s hollow campaign promises.

Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in, can hope to escape.

— William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands, Viking Press, 1987

Looking around at our world, we can see that the reach and authority of the transnational global capitalists who run the world’s nation-sized casinos has been cemented. All systems are now in place, up and running LIVE on that criminal syndicate’s vast web of networks. Each one of us has by now been targeted by them for surveillance and financialization — just as “nature” has, just as “disease” has, just as “education” has, just as “social justice” has, just as “poverty” has, just as “identity” has — just as nearly everything will eventually.

The “A.I. control grids” are all active and expanding. The technocratic agendas are fully functional and activated. (The March lockdown would never have happened had the critical technology not been in place.) We have been gradually “shepherded” by propaganda and not too subtle psychological torture techniques, just as we have also been physically compromised by toxins in the geoengineered air and water, by damaging electromagnetic frequency radiation, by the release of nano-particulates and artificial biology inside our bodies (either by way of inhalation or injection) which, when governed by 5G millimeter wave frequencies, will allow for remote alteration of our very DNA under the “persistent” control of A.I., which will speed the process of transmuting us into commodities, into plunderable assets, into digitally-regulated and genetically modified “livestock.”

Sadly, this is where decades of our constant acquiescence to propaganda and institutional hypnosis has brought us… bent over, grabbing our ankles and bracing for the next “BIG ONE.”

I recall as a kid, convinced that the evil genius of Hitler and Nazism had to do with him magically stealing the souls of his people and transforming these decent German people into BEASTS, possessed by demons, as if in a dark fairy tale… into something less than human.

We know that once we begin to regard others as LESS than us… as something OTHER than us, it is only a short step to unleashing our vengeance upon them, right up to and past the point of violence and genocide. Assurances that humanity has advanced beyond such descents into barbarism are just more bullshit.

Needless to say, these very same psychological imperatives are everywhere apparent in today’s propaganda; in how we are instructed to regard the Chinese, Russians, Muslims, white supremacist Trumpers, deluded depraved liberals, defective racists, misogynist sexists and inflamed “face-ists” (with their scowling disdain for anyone who questions the dogma of “e-mask-ulation.”)

Same as it ever was, you might say, but as we approach the eagerly anticipated “Singularity” with its inexorable convergence of man and machine, how will the media respond? How will they reframe Huxley’s predicted “scientific dictatorship?” In such a reassessment, how might the focus of future propaganda shift to maintain its unchallenged dominance?

I expect it will change-up the pitch and tell us that THIS time, things will be different. This time won’t be like last time. No, this time, things will have changed, so that we will no longer be “brainwashed” by the media as we were before. No, when the inevitable big change happens to us, it will not be like that. It will rather be an ascension. In it we will be transformed into advanced independent humans augmented by perfectly apportioned combinations of technology, science and engineering.

Our “designer” DNA will be carefully crafted by brilliant doctors and scientists to enhance only the “preferred” qualities in their human subjects, and under their wise direction, we will gladly do as we are told. For so great a future, we will willingly offer our support and so grow accustomed to our new life, lest we become like those poor unfortunate souls, so lost in their unreason, that they cannot fully appreciate the wisdom that derives from enthusiastically embracing PROGRESS.

In our leaders inspired and time-tested plans, we will, of course, have every convenience at our fingertips, such that doors will magically open when we approach. We will be able to call forth all manner of sights, sounds and data with the blink of an eye. We will be as supermen.

Our definitions of what is valuable and what is not will fluidly shift to suit changing circumstances. We will see ourselves as the epitome of modernity and the envy of the world… just as we have always been. We will be as American as our multi-racial forefathers, even though they lived in unenlightened times… long before today’s great social justice transformation allowed us, their proud descendants, to wake each day into this glistening and rapturous world.

In such an existence, when we ask ourselves what we might be grateful for, we will no longer need to struggle for an answer. We will know exactly what is good, true and beautiful and we will commit ourselves to those lofty ideals each and every day, and to the necessary task of eliminating all those who might oppose us in our pursuit of this best of all possible futures.

Therein too. and most mercilessly, resides the most fatal attraction of techno-fascism.

Mark Petrakis is a long-time theater, event and media producer based in San Francisco. He first broke molds with his Cobra Lounge vaudeville shows of the 90’s, hosted by his alter-ego, Spoonman. Concurrently, he took to tech when the scent was still utopian, building the first official websites for Burning Man, the Residents and multiple other local arts groups of the era. He worked as a consultant to a variety of corps and orgs, including 10 years with the Institute for the Future. He is co-founder of both long-running Anon Salon monthly gatherings and Sea of Dream NYE spectacles. Read other articles by Mark.