Tuesday 29 December 2020

Bureaucratic virtuality synergizes with the mass media

I think it is pretty well understood by now that the mass media can and do manufacture a virtual reality (i.e. virtuality); and that as the media have increased in quantity and addictiveness (especially since the invention of 'smartphones' and social media) - this has de facto replaced reality for most people. 

In particular, the mass media virtuality effectively imposes a scale of priorities about life: what things are most important, that has absolutely Nothing to do with our actual individual lives of personal experience and common sense. 

Thus, here and now, the major global priority is a birdemic which would be invisible if it were not for the 'response' to it; warming climate change which would be imperceptible (if it even exists to a significant degree) if it were not drip-fed by propaganda, an antiracist agenda which is the inversion of reality, and a sexual revolution that claims 'equality' (in practice, superiority of esteem) for practices that everyone knows are not qualitatively 'the same as' biological sex and sexuality. 

But while the mass media role in creating a Matrix-world is fairly well appreciated; the role of the bureaucracy in doing the same is probably more important - and much less noticed and understood. Yet bureaucracy and the mass media, together, are the dominant (and growing) fact about modern life.


By The bureaucracy, singular, I refer to the fact that the bureaucracies of individual social-systems - government, law, the military and police, health, education, religion, science etc) are now all horizontally cross-linked to make a single bureaucracy - which indeed extends across the world. 

This is how it was possible to implement a global coup in early 2020. 

And the fact that the mass media is itself a part of this single bureaucracy is how the coup was concealed.

The way in which a bureaucracy creates a virtual reality was first made clear to me in 1994, when I was a lecturer in Epidemiology and Public Health, and worked in the Regional Health Authority as a research assistant to the man who went on to become the Chief Medical Officer for the UK. 

As part of my duties; I organised a conference on 'inequality' in health; and my public health boss gave a talk which stuck in my mind. The subject was how a subject like equality could (and should) be pursued through the bureaucracy. 

He described (as I remember it - I don't have notes) how the general conceptual area of 'equality' was first made into a strategic priority, by securing the necessary votes. But at that point approving of 'equality' was just a platitude without content. 

At first, he said - the subject of equality was made a recurring agenda item; which meant that every meeting would include some discussion of how 'equality' might be pursued - and this was a formal, mandatory discussion. I suppose this was the phase of raising 'awareness'.  


By this point, the strategic 'desirability' of 'increasing equality' has already been established as 'settled'. Yet at no point has there necessarily (or probably) been any broad, philosophical or moral discussion of 'Why' equality, what 'equality' means... whether the concept is even coherent?

Therefore 'equality' has already been made a strategic imperative before most people will even have noticed, and before the 'in practice' meaning of equality has been established

From this point onwards, all discussion is at the lower level of How? to increase equality; there is no longer any place for revisiting whether equality really is always a Good Thing, or 'how much?' equality is wanted, or how equality should be balanced against other strategic Goods*... 

From this point onwards the bureaucratic process is just a matter of defining operational measures and imposing them.

The next step in the bureaucratic process was therefore to operationalise the concept of equality - preferably in terms of specific, numerical measures that could be monitored, made the subject of 'targets'; and implemented in rules and laws. 


Thus is constructed the bureaucratic virtual reality - which we could formally consider a conjectural model of reality, created in terms of definitions and procedures that fit within bureaucratic imperatives; and we can see how exactly this has spread across the world over the past quarter century - but with a variety of strategic priorities. There is a virtuality of equality, others of human rights, climate change, QERTY sexual liberation (of various, often incompatible, kinds). 

There are many many such... 

And of course in 2020 we have seen the real-time development of a global bureaucratic birdemic virtual reality; which, like the others, has almost no relationship to real life; and where it does, this relationship has itself been manufactured by the virtuality. 

In other words, any apparent relationship between birdemic and experience (such as personally observable diseases and deaths) is mediated and constructed by the 'response' to the birdemic - by the definitions and classifications generated by the various bureaucracies; which in fact came-before, and and were only conjecturally related-to, any actual biological/ medical effects** of the birdemic.


What was never discussed in this lecture - and is outwith the scope of the bureaucratic perspective - is the Truth of bureaucratic reality. Because 'bureaucratic reality' is a selective, simplifed 'model' of reality, and all models (being selective and simplified) are necessarily incomplete, often biased, and may be almost-wholly false...

Hence, when bureaucratic-reality is enforced as real-reality - we have a 'virtuality' that is at least misleading, but in practice is manipulative. As can be seen all around us, now. 

And because the System controls production, validation and dissemination of information; we are not permitted to ask (in mainstream public discourse) whether what The System ends-up doing after all this bureaucratic development is good overall; or whether the operational definitions of 'equality' actually reflect the original common sense idea of equality. 

And 25 years later we know the answers - that there is no relationship between bureaucratic measures of equality, and real-life equality; and that bureaucratic equality is pursued without any regard at all for whether 'things overall', in real experience, are improved by it.  


The bureaucratic virtuality is indeed a demonic recipe for corruption and destruction; and when you add its synergy with the mass media - the process of evil is greatly accelerated. 

This is our world - now. 

* For example - research into 'health inequalities' was entirely focused upon (e.g.) health measures/ lifespan/ mortality differentials (i.e ratios) between social classes, sexes, races etc. The research took essentially zero account of (often) massive improvements in absolute levels of health/ lifespan/ mortality through time. This is important because many effective measures that improve health tend also to 'worsen' 'inequality' - as does mass immigration. As usual, leftism tends towards levelling down, on the one hand; and on the other, it perpetuates the same (supposed-) injustices upon which it then feeds as grounds for group resentment.

** In so far as there are any real effects - e.g. some places like Taiwan have been shut-down despite/ because-of zero detectable biological/ medical effects. Thus we see the single, global bureaucracy at work.  


BenL said...

I wonder goes through the mind of someone like that. Is it pure ambition (having 'antennae' for what they want to hear upstairs)?

Bruce Charlton said...

Ben He was ahead of the curve, and understood the process top down; but now this is mainstream habitual practice among 'managers' (which class is the most prevalent job among white collar workers).

After all, most people assume that the title (or history) of an organisation (e.g. charity, college, school, business, church...) defines its 2020 function; when the reality is that as of 2020 all organisations )whatever their tiel or historical function) have the same primary function; which is to be a compliant sub-part of the Single Bureaucracy.

Thomas Henderson said...

Christ taught as one with authority according to Mark. "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me", we are told by Matthew in the Great Commission. In Luke, Jesus honoured the centurion's authority in the story of the healing of the servant.

Authority is whole and holy when vested in a person who acts responsibly and is accountable for his decisions. One reason why hierarchy (from Greek hierarkhia, from hierarkhÄ“s ‘sacred ruler’) is so important in the Christendom model of order.

Post modernity is implicitly anti-Christian in its call for the deconstruction of hierarchy.

The Sanhedrin was a bureaucracy.

Global institutions and its media allies are set up using the Sanhedrin model. They will shape shift reality in opposition to Truth.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TH. Unfortunately as of 2020, the Christian churches have shown themselves to be part of the global bureaucracy. There is no obvious source of legitimate authority - authority is something that each Christian must discern for himself.

Faculty X said...

Would you say that: "We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one."?

In Romans 12:2 a solution is offered:

"And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

The Jehovah's Witness way of describing our world as the current 'system of things' fits well with modern times.

The trouble I have with the New Testament approach is it is essentially passive - retreat before the oppressive power of State control.

Jesus talked about how his kingdom was not of this world, so why would it be otherwise?

The true Biblical solutions were to have a society ruled by a Prophet with direct contact with the Old Testament God; or to have a Monarchy.

Anonymous said...

In general, I've noticed that wealthy and highly educated people have fallen for climate change and the birdemic more than "ordinary" folks. This surprises me, because aren't highly educated people supposed to recognize propaganda and value critical thinking? Maybe they're especially susceptible to believe in lies like the birdemic because they live in a sort of virtual reality that is far removed from the genuine struggles of everyday life?

Similarly, none of my acquaintances who are black support BLM, but I know of several upper middle class white people who do....

Thomas Henderson said...

Bruce Charlton @TH. Unfortunately as of 2020, the Christian churches have shown themselves to be part of the global bureaucracy. There is no obvious source of legitimate authority - authority is something that each Christian must discern for himself.

Sadly true Mr. Charlton. Your assessment is bang on the money. Church and state are vast bureaucracies, as are corporations, universities, schools, and hospitals. Authority has been subsumed and diffused by process.

Bruce Charlton said...

@TtL - " aren't highly educated people supposed to recognize propaganda and value critical thinking?"

I think partly it's because it is this class who produce the propaganda and live by/from its dissemination - more deeply because our civilization became atheist-materialist from the top-down; so these people are rootless and their morality merely expedience.

Jonathan said...

@TruthtoLife: Good question. I have two hypotheses.

My older hypothesis is that the ability to think abstractly comes with a vulnerability, that one is more able to believe ideology over one's own experience. The ability to think abstractly is very much conferred by IQ, so many people with higher IQs have less common sense and wackier beliefs. Low-IQ people, whatever their faults, tend to be more grounded in the concrete reality of their daily lives.

My newer hypothesis, following Bruce's post above, is that "highly educated" people are the majority of the managerial class, and joining the managerial class is a self-corrupting process, as every day one is required to sacrifice a little more integrity, working toward the corrupt goals of one's own managers. Over time, they are turned fully to evil, usually without even knowing it.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Very interesting view from the inside! I find it a bit surprising that They would discuss their strategy so openly and cynically, even behind closed doors.

"Equality" is so very obviously irrelevant to medicine that it's hard to imagine how a sufficient proportion of doctors were ever convinced otherwise. Women live longer than men, for example, so breast cancer research must be condemned as an attempt to exacerbate inequality! (Just kidding. Of course I understand that it would only count as inequality if men lived longer.)

This kind of stuff is everywhere now. My brother teaches computer science at a major research university, and their whole focus is on, you guessed it, "diversity in computing." Just how mickey mouse can you get before people stop taking you seriously? And how can computer nerds, of all people, buy into it? But they do.

Bruce Charlton said...

Jonathan - you may be interested by something I wrote on these lines:


@Wm - The atmosphere was one of hard-nosed 'idealism' rather than 'cynicism' - everybody in the room (except me) too it for granted that greater equality (in everything, whichever way you cut it) was a good thing - with equality being defined (implicitly) in terms of favouring favoured groups.

At the time, it was not made explicit that the over-riding desirability of equality would never be discussed - because the atmosphere in Public Health had already reached that point. It would have been shocking to challenge the assumption.

Which, as you say, is bizarre in medicine - where one would have supposed that good heath would be the priority - not equal health outcomes! But then the same has happened in science, education, law, the military, and everywhere.

In Britain, people have an Achilles heel about class (i.e. socialism) which goes back to Victorian times and is analogous to the US Achilles heel about race. And Socialism became focused on equalizing outcomes - rather than opportunities - from the middle sixties; when it began to be clear that opportunities were equal enough that the remaining average group differences were due to innate factors (e.g. different group averages of heritable intelligence, personality etc) which therefore had to be denied).

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

"everybody in the room (except me) too it for granted"

So the question is why were you -- why are we -- different? The answer can't be Christianity, since you were an atheist at the time, right?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - The answer was what I recently expressed as 'common sense audit' - from an early age (middle teens) I started checking my beliefs against experience. I bega as a Fabian socialist (influenced by GB Shaw) and joined teh Labour Party on my 16th birthday. But auditing my assumptions against reality I soon abandoned that , and every subsequent conclusion.

But then the question is why did I do this, when other people don't ever? Even despite being an atheist?

The answer is probably that it is a quirk of my personality - I am a spontaneous and compulsive 'philosopher'.

This would, pretty reliably, demolish incoherent falsehoods. But, until I became a Christian, I could not justify this, nor could I find anything positive as an alternative. I was essentially a double-negative kind of guy - e.g. a 'positive' goal would be something like amelioration of suffering.

Or else I would say - "If X is your goal; then you should realise that Y is sabotaging it". But I could not have grounds for saying that X was a valid goal.

As I say, it was all about coherence, and the assumptions were regarded as no more than personal and accidental preferences (perhaps from evolutionary causes) - but I regarded my own preferences and assumptions as more valid than other people's...

Some kind of hedonism is all that *can* be a goal in a mortal life, after all; since it is bound to end in death, and almost certain to suffer adverse accident and disease.