Voices from Russia

Monday, 16 June 2014

16 June 2014. What Some People Will Believe… or… Conspiracy Theories Run Amuck at Rutherford Institute

01 madman


A new twist on the “black helicopter/big central all-knowing computer” nuttiness is the idea that the government will implant chips in everything and they’ll control the world (and us) that way. Here’s a good example of such thinking. Read it? Good! It’s BS from stem to stern, from top to bottom! All totalitarian systems run into two main limits… time… and money. Firstly, people have to enforce such draconian fiats. That is, at some point, a real person has to be involved in the affair. Sure, the NSA collects a gazillion bits of info each day… but it can only analyse a fraction of it due to constraints imposed by a lack of analysts. Fifty years ago, people predicted that money would disappear, replaced by credit cards. Well, guess what? Good ol’ fashioned cash is still around… all the better to pay bribes to the friendly neighbourhood pols and bureaucrats!

If one looks at the old USSR, one sees that totalitarianism wasn’t as pervasive as Western propaganda had it. Firstly, many people agreed with socialism, so, the organs really didn’t need to watch them. What happened is that a ton of security bureaucrats wrote memos that no one read and they received orders that they couldn’t carry out, but they pretended to. You see much the same in the contemporary US Department of Homeland (In)Security. After Stalin’s death, the number of political prisoners went down, and stayed down. It was simply not an efficient way of handling dissent. The organs’ most effective weapon was their reputation… people remembered the Stalinist methods and that alone deterred many. Actually, what the organs did was to create an atmosphere of public mistrust… that was more harmful than any imprisonment (one can say that Russia is still getting over that).

In like manner, technological totalitarianism would run up against many of the same constraints. The system would only be as good as the people who ran it. It’d be only as pervasive as funding would allow. In short, the “sky is falling” conspiracy theorists are chock fulla shit. By the way, Paul Craig Roberts is solid on many other topics, and this POS article is by a guest writer, from a crank Washington stink-tank called the Rutherford Institute. After all, there are hackers, and geeks would figure out ways to crack the system. Before you knew it, there’d be workarounds! I have faith in mankind. The conspiracy theorists will always be with us… but we don’t have to attend to them. There be goofy shit out there, peddled by even goofier people. Have a care… and do bite the coin before accepting it.


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