Synthesis Transition to the Future
Understanding the Two Global Forces Provides Learning to Reverse the Culture of Domination and Hegemony Brings Hope
There are fundamental changes happening in our world that are largely invisible to people. We feel them. We catch glimpses of them. We may even know them without even recognizing that we do. This screenshot from the ending scene of The Big Short tells the story of the subprime mortgage fiasco a decade and a half ago.
This is also a scene from the unfolding reality of the Two Global Forces.
There is a global force of centralized institutions of governance and finance.
And there is a global force of decentralized networks of relationships.
We need to understand, in particular, how the global force of centralized institutions of governance and finance affects us. If you allow yourself a moment to reflect upon your experience of the past quarter century, reflect without prejudice or fear of retribution, you discover that these fundamental changes touch us deeply. But we really don’t know how or why.
People in my generation, born before 1970, can talk about the difference between today and fifty years ago. Yet, we don’t really see how all this came about. We can believe that what we had in the past needs to be restored. But the conditions that we had way back in those days are unrecoverable. The world is dramatically different today than it was when I was a child. There is no comparison. We are living in a different world.
In a similar way, being born a digital native after the advent of the digital age may bring similar feelings of longing for the good old days of the past. Your generation feels this difference as inequality. You tell me that you see things as being unfair, uncertain, and disappointing. Together, we need to recognize that the world we now live in was not an accident of history but the result of the deliberate intention by people and organizations who have the financial means and capacity to act in a way to affect everyone across our world.
Wrap your head around this idea.
Is it possible and realistic to believe that every crisis of the past quarter century was planned and executed to create chaos?
With the chaos came opportunities for those who are in leadership positions in government and business to profit and gain privilege and power.
Even with plans for The Great Reset, exerting control over every human being on our planet, things do not always go according to plan. The law of unintended consequences always rears its head at the most inopportune times. Take heart, my friends, because even the most respected leaders in our society demonstrate over and over again that we all become inadequate and mistake-prone at the worst possible moment. For this reason, we must accept the call to “take personal initiative to create impact that makes a difference that matters.” This is the Circle of Impact Call to Action.
Two Global Forces
To understand our world, let’s use my Two Global Forces framework as a guide.
The global force of centralized institutions of governance and finance are the globalists who seek to centralize control of the world. They showed us with their response to the COVID virus outbreak that they do not act like responsible experts but rather mid-level administrators. From the moment that virus found its way into the human populations around the world, their response was masks, lockdowns, threats of prosecution, and an unwillingness to be transparent about the crisis. What other conclusion can we draw from this experience other than our government and business leaders found a way to bungle the greatest public health crisis in modern history?
You don’t even have to take sides to realize how badly this crisis was managed. This is the promise of a centralized global government. Apply the same scenario to the crisis of the Ukrainian war that could easily end up as a nuclear World War III, a financial crisis that makes The Great Recession of a decade and a half ago seem like a pre-game warm-up for the big game that is now being played.
Watch this clip from The Big Short. It lays out the complexity of the Sub-Prime Mortgage crisis then. I recommend you read the book as well. This is the context of the global force of centralized institutions of governance and finance.
The mindset then is the same mindset now. I’m not telling you to do anything. I’m simply saying that greed and incompetence are at the heart of the globalist plan for the world. This is where the other global force enters the picture.
There is a growing global force of decentralized networks of relationships. If you follow my podcast on YouTube or here on Substack, you will meet people from all over the world. They represent a new local community on a global scale. What does that look like? We talk about our families, especially about children. We talk about what we are learning through our work. We talk about how we can support one another. We are working not to be isolated in our own homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. We are more alike than we are different.
To understand this perspective, we need to look at the world in such a way that we can stand outside of the environment of these large centralized institutions of governance and finance and look at them objectively.
Understanding Centralized Structures of Governance and Finance
If you have been reading my Substack for a while, you know that I have written about the perspective Center and Periphery. The Center, today, is represented by the global force of centralized institutions. The Periphery represents the other 99% of the world.
As the greed and incompetency of the central powers grow, the people and organizations at the periphery have begun to pull away. We recognize that these people of the elite class no longer represent the interests of the 7.2 billion people who are not in their circle of influence. Let’s look at this from another perspective.
The Periphery against the Center
French anthropologist Pierre Clastres studied the primitive societies of Amazonia.
“What is a primitive society? It is a stateless society. To speak of a stateless society is necessarily to name the other societies, which is to say, societies with a state. Where does the problem reside? … I wonder why stateless societies are stateless, and it seems to me that if primitive societies are stateless, it’s because they are societies that reject the state, they are against the state. The absence of the state in primitive societies doesn’t reflect a lack, it isn’t because they are still in the infancy of humankind, and so are incomplete, or because they aren’t big enough, or aren’t fully grown-up, adult, it is truly because they refuse the state in the broadest senses, the state defined by its minimal figure, which is the relationship based on power.”
Clastres’ perspective was controversial because he was drawing a different distinction than what was at the center of the debate in the universities fifty years ago. The debate, then, as it still is in some ways, was between capitalism and communism. Both are political, social, and economic systems that require a strong state government organization to function. My generation and every generation alive has tacitly accepted the notion that the state is a necessary structure within modern society.
This is not an anarchist perspective. I want to make a distinction here so that we understand why we have the problems that we do.
We need to understand the effect that this structure has on us and the world. Clastres explains.
“… what is the theory of the state … the state is the instrument of domination of the ruling class over other people; both logically and chronologically, the state comes afterwards, once the society has been divided into classes, and the rich and the poor, the exploiters and the exploited. The state is the instrument of the rich to better exploit and mystify the poor and the exploited. My impression, based on my research and thinking that stay within the confines of primitive, stateless societies, is that the opposite is true: the initial division, the one that underlies all the others … is not the division into conflicting social groups, into rich and poor, exploiters and exploited. It’s the division between those who command and those who obey: that is … what the state is, it’s the division of society into those who are in power and those who are subjected to that power. Once that exists, the command/obedience relationship … everything is possible from then on, because someone who gives orders, who is in power, has the power to make the others do what he wants, precisely because he has the power … But the point is that when you give serious though to the way primitive societies function, as social machines, you see no way for those societies to be divided, I mean to be divided into rich and poor.”
It is this that I saw in how various governments at the federal, state, and local level used their power to exert authority over the people beyond what was reasonable. The state became the agitator of division, not the mediator of it. Clastres again.
“On the other hand, you see a lot better, you understand a lot more, and several unclear questions are clarified, in my opinion, if you assume that the power relationship comes first. That’s why I think that if we want to gain a better understanding of these issues, we have to turn the Marxist theory of the origins of the state completely upside down - that’s an enormous point, and also a very precise one. It seems to me that the state is far from being the instrument by which one class dominates the others, and therefore something that appears following a previous division of society. It’s the opposite, it’s the state that produces classes.”
If we understand Clastres’ perspective, he is saying that the state is the source of conflict in society. Another French theorist name Jean Baudrillard saw that same thing. He describes it in a similar way almost thirty years later.
In order to grasp how globalization and global antagonism works, we should distinguish carefully between domination and hegemony. One could say that hegemony is the ultimate stage of domination and its terminal phase. Domination is characterized by the master/slave relation, which is still a dual relation with potential alienation, a relationship of force and conflicts. It has a violent history of oppression and liberation. There are the dominators and the dominated – it remains a symbolic relationship. Everything changes with the emancipation of the slave and the internalization of the master by the emancipated slave. Hegemony begins here in the disappearance of the dual, personal, agonistic domination for the sake of integral reality – the reality of networks, of the virtual and total exchange were there are no longer dominators or dominated.
We see this transition in our politics today. Of course, it is about power, about the formerly dominated seeking to become the dominators. We see this in the socio-political issues of race and gender of the Global Left. What is hidden is that the Global Right has moved from domination to hegemony. Baudrillard explains.
Domination can be overthrown from the outside. Hegemony can only be inverted or reversed from the inside. … Hegemony works through general masquerade, it relies on the excessive use of every sign and obscenity, the way it mocks its own values, and challenges the rest of the world by its cynicism … Classical, historical domination imposed a system of positive values, displaying as well as defending these values. Contemporary hegemony, on the other hand, relies on a symbolic liquidation of every possible value. … This is the total masquerade in which domination itself is engulfed. Power is only the parody of the signs of power – just as war is only the parody of signs of war, including technology. We can therefore speak of the hegemony of masquerade, and the masquerade of hegemony. All meaning is abolished in its own sign and the profusion of signs parodies a now undiscoverable reality. … Globalization is the hegemony of a global power and can only occur in the framework of the virtual and the networks – with the homogeneity that comes from signs emptied of their substance.
This is a picture of the transition that is taking place in our world. While the Left continues to fight old battles of domination and oppression, the Right has created a network of global institutions centralized for the purpose of control. This is not the conservative right of America which is traditional and classically liberal, almost pre-modern in its perspective. Rather, this is the Global Right, the ancestral descendent of mid-20th century National Socialism. They masquerade as progressives and utopians, bringing salvation to the planet and the transhumanist refinement to the human race. The strategy of both the Left and the Right is global domination. The tactic is hegemony through simulations of crisis.
For example, notice how during the COVID pandemic, those in charge laid the responsibility of solving the pandemic on the people. We were told to get jabbed, wear masks, and comply with the lockdowns to save other people’s lives. It was subtle, condescending, and intentionally deflecting attention away from those actually responsible for the pandemic. Were they really telling us that they had lost control or were they hiding the fact that this was the purpose all along? It is a question that remains to be answered.
The pandemic was essentially a masquerade scenario (the simulations of The Spectacle of the Real) that deflected attention away from the intentions and incompetence of those in charge. This is what hegemony looks like. In the words of Jean Baudrillard, it is the perfect crime of murdering reality. In other words, we don’t know what is real or who to trust, as alienation and cynicism become our new reality.
Let’s be clear about what is happening. There remain forces of domination operating in the world today. However, wherever there are crises that gain media attention, these become the centers of domination operating within the larger frame of global hegemony. Think of it as a set of parallel tactics where we are softened up to more readily received hegemonic control by the globalists.
Never Fear. All is Not Lost.
There is a basis for HOPE for the simple reason that it is still possible to take action that makes a difference that matters. Do I believe that we have hard times ahead. Yes, I do. But I also know that people can choose to faint from fear or they can choose to tighten their belts and go to work at restoring order to their lives and that of their families and communities.
The realities that we face cannot be masked or denied by the casual flick of a hand. I am speaking of our direct experience with people and situations where we engaged in activities of service and community building. To use one of Jean Baudrillard’s terms, by engaging in direct interaction with people, and direct engagement with the needs of our families and communities, we reverse the polarity of domination and hegemony.
Where do you start? Two things.
First, get your financial house in order.
I know this may be difficult. But it is necessary. There are plenty of people online talking about this. Don’t take any one person’s advice as the rule to follow. Have conversations with your friends and family. Recognize that the time may come when your community will need you, and you may need them to get through the financial hardships that are coming.
Second, expand your network of relationships.
There are two aspects to this step.
First, set your expectations that your relationships will be marked by respect, trust, and mutuality. This means that you are developing direct relationships, not virtual ones. You may know someone on social media. The question is whether the relationship exhibits respect and trust.
Second, expand your network through introductions. Ask the people with who you have relationships of respect and trust to introduce you to those people who they think you should know. This introduction is not just for you. It is for both of you. The other person has something to offer you, just as you have something to offer to them. Know what you have to offer, and make it clear that a new relationship can form through the mutuality of service to one another.
Last thing for now.
Believe that you have something to contribute that does make a difference that matters.
Believe also that you have everything you need to make a difference right now.
Now to end with these words from Chinese artist and activist Ai WeiWei
“I think right now is the moment. This is the beginning. We don’t know what is it the moment of, and maybe something much crazier will happen.
But really, we see the sunshine coming in. It was clouded for maybe a hundred years. Our whole condition was very sad, but we still feel warmth, and the life in our bodies can still tell that there is excitement in there, even though death is waiting.
We had better not enjoy the moment, but create the moment.”