Monday, June 6, 2011

Fill in the Blanks!

In his book entitled, Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, John Ralston Saul profiles certain technocrats from the latter-half of the 20th Century whose devotion to systems and theories have led our "promising" civil society down the path to perpetual war, economic tyranny, and pernicious dogma. Now, in the first decades of the 21st Century, we seem inundated with hard-core, déjà vu clones of systems men and women—power brokers—who have finagled themselves into advisory roles at every level, and several, into the highest judicial office in the land, even SCOTUS. When the scales of justice, once again come into balance (through revolution or massive civil rejection of the dogmas and corruptions), the names of these system sycophants will fill the blanks, list upon list. Perhaps you can fill in a few from mere observation and analysis. (The indented quotes below are from Voltaire's Bastards:)
[_____] is the most perfect example of a technocrat holding great power while crippled by a personality cleanly divided between mechanical brilliance at one extreme and childlike idealism at the other, with absolutely no thread of common sense to link the two together (p.96).
… From his appointment in [____] he carefully avoided the technocrat’s inferiority in public affairs by staying out of sight [as much as possible] while quite naturally combining enormous political power without public responsibility. … [____] was obsessive about secrecy. He controlled information flows even within the government, thus excluding certain ministers. He was, by nature, a manipulator of men and structures (p.97).
… [_____] seemed to believe that by means of a determined legal, technical, and manipulative intervention, reality would be put back in its amateurish place (p.98).
… In the context of the technocratic mind, truth, like history and events, is what suits the interests of the system or the game plan of the man in charge. Truth is an intellectual abstraction, and a man like [____] felt himself in control of the definitions (p.108).
… Almost without exception they [____] are bullies. … Their abstract view of the machinery of human society prevents them from understanding the natural flow of events and from remembering when they themselves have erred and why (p.115).
… Instead they [____] seem actually to believe that their definitions of the world will become both real and permanent simply because they are the result of applied logic. When these formulae refuse to stick, the technocratic mind, rather than deal with failure simply wipes the slate clean and writes a new definition. They are, in that sense, slaves of dogma. At the same time they tend to avoid the maintenance of linear memory. An accurate picture of recent events would prevent the constant reorganizations which they use as a means of erasing the past and justifying current actions (p.116).
Many of these “blanks” are just modern courtesans who “fit the shoe” of Mikhail Lermontov’s poem from 1837 (Death of a Poet):
You, greedy crew that round the scepter crawl,
Butchers of freedom, genius, and renown!
Hid by the bulwark of the law, and all—
[Justice], truth and honour in your steps cast down!1
When systems and theories trump human rights, perhaps it’s time for an anti-T2 Party that rejects the fallacies and corruptions of both the right and the left.

1 As quoted at p. 100-101 of Saul’s, Voltaire’s Bastards. See an additional translation at
2. As in TYRANNY where multinationals manipulate governments, governments betray citizens, and where too many citizens will not look behind the PR and propaganda that is inexorably centralizing in the name of freedom and democracy, an even more egregious power concentration than what they have been indoctrinated to fear from the left.

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