This episode was published on July 2, 2023. A transcript may follow.
In a wide-ranging discussion Dr. Becker and I discuss topics including his involvement with noted psychologist James Hillman, the psychology of current trends in society and politics, the prospect of an apocalypse or societal collapse, and how to cope with the epic environmental crisis confronting humanity.
This is a transcript of an episode of Aquarian Diary I published at 5:02 am on June 21, 2023 in which I discuss the astrology of mass delusion.
Greetings all, welcome to Aquarian Diary. I’m your host, John Irving. It is June 21, 2023.
Today I want to give people a general sense of when the insanity and all of the extreme and unhinged behavior we have been witnessing, socially and politically, will draw to a close, or at least begin winding down, as it often takes time for these forces to dissipate.
I’ll be displaying quite a few dates on the screen, you may want to watch this on YouTube if that matters to you.
There’s another parallel which I didn’t specifically talk about in that episode, which is the transit of Uranus through Taurus.
Uranus transited Taurus from roughly 1934 until 1942, and is currently transiting Taurus again right now from 2018 through 2026.
The previous transit of Taurus occurred during the Great Depression, which ran from 1929 through 1939, it was ended by the war effort, and World War II, which commenced in 1939 through 1945.
Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius, or the 11th house.
Aquarius is fixed air. Taurus is ruled by Venus and is fixed earth.
These signs are in a square or antagonistic relationship to each other. Uranus is in its fall in Taurus. It’s a challenging sign for Uranus to be in. So these energies do not mix well. Uranus is all about change and revolution, and Taurus is all about security and predictability. So Uranus transiting Taurus is challenging.
All signs and planets have positive and negative expressions, and Taurus can be very conservative because it desires security, stability and predictability, and Uranus is anything but predictable.
Like I said, more recently, Uranus has been transiting Taurus since 2018 and will continue to do so through the end of April of 2026.
So we have seen a tremendous amount of change, revolution and instability around Taurian themes like real estate, property, money, investments, where people live, we went through lockdowns, where people were confined to their homes. Many people relocated, they moved from the city to the country or suburbs or even to other countries. People en masse began working from home… Taurus.
There were unprecedented supply chain disruptions, we’ve now been dealing with rapid inflation and greedflation, income disparity and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is even more extreme, and so on.
Taurus also rules what we value, so we have seen a tremendous amount of changes occurring around people’s values and a lot of conflicts around values like the culture wars.
Uranus can be quite radical, so we have seen the rise of reactionary conservatism to alarming degrees, such as far-right extremism, authoritarian and fascistic movements who want to impose radically conservative, patriarchal, and hierarchical structures on other people in many of the same ways we saw through 1934 and 1942. In that case, we had an actual World War. Extremely radical behavior and very polarizing social movements.
There are currently ultra-right and openly fascistic movements occurring in countries around the world. These forces are often anti-intellectual, they reject evidence and science, try and rewrite history, they attack and undermine the media, education systems and all manner of institutions, they are frequently misogynistic, racist, bigoted and xenophobic.
They define themselves based on their enemies and create them if they don’t exist. Fascists always need scapegoats, usually the most vulnerable members of society, such as trans children. What could possibly be more cowardly and despicable than picking on vulnerable children?
Propaganda and disinformation are frequently deployed, as are threats, bullying and intimidation.
As we can clearly see, there are many parallels between when Uranus transited Taurus in the late 1930s and early 1940s and recent years.
We have also had Neptune transiting Pisces from April 2011 which will continue through 2025 and 2026. Neptune is extra potent while transiting its own sign.
The lower expression of Neptune can be delusion/illusion/fantasy being detached from reality, escapism, alternative realities.
We have seen cult-like behavior where people have fallen under the spell of demagogues, con men, grifters, while being completely unable to perceive all of their flaws and there’s a lot of projection and illusion going on.
But that also will be wrapping up around 2025/2026, roughly around the same time that Uranus leaves Taurus.
So those are two really important things right there.
Again, check the screen for dates.
So Neptune, transiting Pisces, all of the mass delusion, rampant and observed conspiracy theories, the inability to distinguish truth from lies, willful, if not belligerent, ignorance, denial of facts, evidence, and reality, falling for lies and propaganda and shameless con man grifter criminals. Extreme expressions of victimhood, think Donald Trump or the incel movement, or people constantly whining about the crisis of privileged white male masculinity, being completely detached from objectifiable truth or reality, the post-truth era, all of that.
Uranus transiting Taurus, radical conservatism, radical traditional cultural values – so distorted that it’s almost grotesque, extreme resistance to progress or evolution, the rejection of historical facts pertaining to the oppression of minorities, various racial and ethnic groups, deference to authoritarian and strongman leaders, despite their highly flawed moral character and complete lack of credentials.
Neptune in Pisces and Uranus in Taurus at the same time?
The United States has been the focal point of a lot of the absolute batshit crazy stuff because it has been going through its Pluto return – which I have also done episodes on – from February 2021 and will continue through January of 2024, which is when it was within a tight two degree orb.
Pluto transits are actually in effect for a wider orb than that. That is just the most intense phase. But the most intense phase will be winding down by early next year.
There has been a lot of crazy stuff going on, but there’s no question that the United States has been the focal point globally for the insanity. Just look at how radical and extreme and crazy the Republican Party and the former president and his hapless sycophants have been acting, many of whom may end up incarcerated.
In 2025-2026, Saturn will move into Aries, beginning a whole new 28-29 year cycle. This all points to 2025-2026 as being the end of the post-truth, batshit crazy era.
As much as the reactionary conservative forces are trying to put the genie back in the bottle, you cannot resist these major transits of, like, Pluto shifting into Aquarius, Neptune moving out Pisces, Uranus moving out of Taurus.
If you are in resistance to these outer planetary energies, the transits manifest as being extremely challenging and disruptive. You cannot be in resistance to these energies, they are much more powerful than you are as an individual. So the more liberal or more progressive forces are in a much better position to deal with these changing and shifting energies because they are more comfortable with change and evolution, they are more adaptable and open-minded.
When Uranus moves into Gemini in 2025-2026, it will be in a trine aspect to the sign of Aquarius, where Pluto is beginning its major 20-year long transit. This is power, Pluto, in very harmonious, easy-flowing aspect to Uranus in Gemini.
Again, Aquarius, which Uranus rules, is fixed air, Gemini is mutable air. So that relationship, when Uranus enters Gemini, commencing in 2025 and 2026, speaks of very rapid change and evolution in an air sign. Air signs are intellectual and rational. They are very fast moving energies. These are not slow energies. And like I said, that is a trine aspect that will occur for about seven years.
Again, it all points to 2025, 2026 being the end of the post-truth, bat-shit-crazy, reactionary conservative period with this insane polarization. All of the complete detachment from reality on the political right drawing to a close. So that’s the time frame. We have another two to three years of craziness to go through.
So the tide has started to turn, but we should be completely out of all of this craziness in 2025 and 2026. At least the kind of craziness we’re dealing with now.
I have been focusing here on all of the negative expressions of these energies. It goes without saying that the opposite is true as well. In fact, the majority of the people have not been expressing the negative aspects of these things. There are still many people who are very grounded in reality and who are able to differentiate between BS and reality.
So without question, it is clear that these energies are experienced differently depending on the person. Now why some people are predisposed to the negative expressions and others are not probably relates a lot to their own particular astrological natal chart.
And there are many people in the middle who aren’t quite sure where they stand. But for the purposes of this episode, I am just trying to explain why so many people are going crazy and how long it will last, and when it will mercifully end.
Finally, let’s be clear about one important thing. The dark side lies, manipulates, deceives, and engages in criminal activity. The light does not lie, cheat, or steal, just to be clear.
And yes, I am proudly biased in favor of truth and reality.
I understand that much of what’s happening is fueled by grievance, but the answer is not to burn the place down.
It’s funny, when I’m editing this audio, I often stop and think “Oh, I’m being hyperbolic.” and I’ll reflect for a moment, and only a moment, before I realize that I can provide credible examples of what I’m describing, things that have actually happened or are happening right now. I’m not being hyperbolic, this is all actually happening just as I’m describing it. In other words, it really is this bad, currently.
For a fuller and more detailed analysis, I will link multiple other episodes that are related in the episode description, which I encourage you to review.
I’m going to share a few podcasts simply as a public service.
I listen to this podcast every day. As far as I’m concerned, this is the best podcast. One of the most amazing things about it is that there’s nothing else like it, and I find that hard to believe. God knows what we’ll do when Ian Masters retires.
One of the most disturbing things about this podcast is she documents how many people who would have been traditionally progressive are falling into the right wing rabbit hole as a result of conspiracy theories. Anyway, it’s new, check it out.
I personally find it very interesting. It makes me think about the phenomenon of the RFK campaign in the United States. He is being promoted by many libertarian right-wing nut jobs and has the potential to siphon off absolutely critical votes that could help prevent the Republicans from winning the next election. The Republicans winning would be one of the worst possible things that could happen.
Even people in the progressive community are falling under the spell of propaganda, lies and disinformation, and even overtly and transparently racist ones.
It has eerie parallels with the whole MAGA movement and QAnon and things like that. Which to me seems to be a psyop campaign, like something the Russians would do.
I find that quite disturbing. It’s like some kind of weird mind virus, like a mental illness that is being spread around. It’s very creepy and dark.
Many of us have lost people or even loved ones to conspiracy theories. It can be heartbreaking.
The dark side can be very subtle and devious. We need to be constantly vigilant to inoculate us against its poison.
Conspirituality is another podcast in the same vein. It’s intellectually rigorous and does not pull any punches. So set your ego aside.
This is coming from a never Trump perspective. So it’s quite unusual for me to listen to something like this, but the quality of the analysis around what’s going on with Republicans and the former guy is very good and very intelligent. So it gives a different perspective than what I normally would listen to.
I subscribe to many, many podcasts, but those are a few that I thought would be relevant to this episode.
I’ll put links in the episode description to any related content and if you’re interested in a reading with me, I’ll put a link to that as well.
Many sincere thanks to everyone who supports me, especially my YouTube members. Thank you very much.
Take care, all the best, and I’ll talk to you again soon.
This is a transcript of an episode of Aquarian Diary I published at 9:11 am on June 15, 2023 in which I discuss the astrology of right-wing extremism.
Greetings all, welcome to Aquarian Diary.
I’m your host, John Irving.
It is June 15th, 2023.
This topic has been on my to-do list for a very long time.
I’ll be displaying many dates on the screen, so if you’re interested in those kinds of things, you may want to watch this on YouTube.
It took me many hours to calculate and verify all these states. You can’t just go copy them off the internet somewhere, because often there will be mistakes. That’s not to say that I haven’t made any, but I tried not to. With so many numbers, it’s quite possible to make a typo or something like that, or to omit something.
There’s a few reasons why what I want to talk about today is very important.
One, it helps explain recent trends, namely the rise of fascism and far-right extremism, which threatens liberal democracies around the world currently, including the United States, the most powerful country on the planet. Who’d have thought that would ever happen?
And it also of course explains the rise of populist demagogues, people who are typically extremely unqualified to be in the positions they’re in, and not just because of their blatant lack of expertise, but their abhorrently poor moral and ethical character as well.
At the very least, recent history has been shocking and disturbing.
Let’s not forget that a few generations ago, millions of people around the world rallied to defend democracy against the threat of tyranny and fascist dictators. Our ancestors made tremendous sacrifices to protect our cherished way of life and our freedoms. Anyone with even a superficial understanding of history knows that nobody benefits ultimately from those sorts of tyrannies except a very small handful of people. Anyone who thinks that that form of governance will provide them with some form of safe harbor is profoundly mistaken.
The other main reason that prompted me to talk about this now is that it’s just been stuck in my mind for a few weeks. And I have, very gradually, learned that when things stick in my mind, I need to talk about them, that they’re important. And I have a feeling that if I explain what is going on astrologically, it might help some people wrap their heads around this and give them another perspective that might be helpful.
Have you ever had the experience where a song is stuck in your head, an earworm, sometimes for days, until suddenly you stop and you think about the lyrics and it makes perfect sense. It’s that kind of thing.
What I want to demonstrate here today is the role of the Pluto-Uranus cycle in recent history.
As I worked on this, I realized that you could easily do a full documentary on this one topic. I’m going to keep it fairly simple because I would like people who are not highly skilled at astrology to understand the important role that these two outer planets play and how the timing might be affecting us.
The Uranus-Pluto cycle varies a lot because Pluto’s orbit is very elliptical, so it will appear to spend a lot more time in some signs than others.
When Pluto and Uranus conjunct, or when these two planets meet at the same degree, it tends to mark very important points in world history. To give you a sense of scale, Pluto and Uranus conjuncted around 1850, 1966, and the next one will occur in 2104.
Pluto represents deep and powerful transformation, metaphorical death and rebirth, the energy of raw power, which can be used for both good and bad, bringing to the conscious what is subconscious. Pluto rules the underworld.
And Uranus represents sudden insights, dramatic events, changes in perspective or circumstances, and it has a very revolutionary energy about it.
So when these two planets meet, depending on the sign, it can mark very potent and significant periods of change and transformation that can be very dramatic.
Just after the conjunction in Aries in 1850 and 1851, within a few years, the first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in the United States. Now when we look back to the effects of the industrial revolution on atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, 1850 is often used as a starting point, and prior to then is effectively a baseline for the effects of human activity.
The internal combustion engine changed every aspect of life on Earth for humanity. Imagine if we still lived in a world where it took weeks or months to traverse the globe.
The era of industrialization officially began in the year 1850 through 1938. Charles Darwin would soon publish The Origin of Species, and The Science of Epidemiology would soon be born.
All of these completely reshaped history, as well as the entire biosphere of Earth.
No aspect of human experience was left untouched.
To illustrate the potency of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in more contemporary terms, let’s consider the 1960s.
Like I said, Pluto and Uranus conjuncted in Virgo around 1965-66. Now those are the dates when the conjunction was exact, but these two planets would have been within a few degrees of each other for some time before then and for some time after then.
So that period of the 1960s is considered to be an extremely important point in modern history. And if we look at the kinds of events that occurred in the United States as a case in point, it represented a very radical shift in many, many ways.
There was the entire counter-cultural movement, feminism, many people rejected the dogmatic cultural approach from the preceding years in the 1950s. There was a very active student movement, protests against the war in Vietnam, clashes over civil rights, the moon landing, widespread concerns about nuclear annihilation – Pluto was discovered in 1930 and the first atomic bomb was used in the second world war. There were powerful movements on the part of minorities and to address segregation. The Voting Rights Act was implemented, the assassination of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. There were revolutionary changes in areas like fashion, music, art, popular culture, relationships, and sexuality. People explored different kinds of lifestyles and Eastern spirituality.
Virgo is an earth sign ruled by Mercury. Many people even explored doing things like going back to the land, rejecting modern society. Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was published, which many attribute to the birth of the environmental movement. And of course there was a whole movement of people who were, like I said, exploring things like eating and living naturally, exploring alternative forms of medicine. They rejected many aspects of modern society.
I mean, it goes on and on and on. It was enormously powerful and transformative.
And society was quite polarized, much like today in some ways. The effects of that period lasted for decades if they’re not still playing out. Huge changes which also sparked a lot of resistance from the status quo. The powers that be went to great lengths to try and discredit all of this because, of course, it threatened them and their privilege and they’ve been trying to put that genie back in the bottle ever since.
In fact, I have argued here before that that explains why education is so astronomically expensive now because young people are much less likely to rebel if they are in inescapable debt up to their eyeballs.
The next significant milestone in this story is the period around 2012 to 2015 when Uranus in Aries squared Pluto in Capricorn.
So think of the conjunction that occurred in the mid-1960s as the beginning and the first square, some 40 or 50 years later, is a test of the energies or consciousness that were being born in the conjunction back in the mid-1960s.
Even today there are still reactionary and conservative forces who are very much opposed to all of that progress.
The period between 2012 and 2015, give or take a few years on either side, was extremely dynamic.
Again, this was the period when Uranus and Aries was squaring Pluto and Capricorn, during which time we had the Arab Spring, ISIS, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and the LGBTQ rights movement. Barack Obama was president during this time. Social media, mobile phones and the internet were in their heyday. There was Hurricane Sandy, the Paris Climate Accord was signed, the BRIC nations including China and India began a rapid ascent, the negative impact of dark money really started to become clear, Edward Snowden revealed details of a vast and unprecedented surveillance network, WikiLeaks was active, the news and publishing industries were radically changing. Everything was going online, including entertainment platforms, the anti-austerity movements, there was a lot of tumult and rebellious activity that occurred during this time.
The square is like a testy, challenging aspect where the two forces are kind of at odds with each other and there’s no real clear or easy resolution. And the energies, like I said, that are unleashed from these events can take quite some time to play out.
Donald Trump began to rise to prominence around this time and was first elected in 2016. That was an extremely radical outcome.
We have also seen the rise of a lot of far-right extremism, populists and demagogues, the rising threat of fascism, liberal democracy under attack, in ways that are entirely unprecedented in modern history, concerns about civil unrest, and even the possibility of civil war. We saw Brexit, the post-truth era, rampant conspiracy theories and conspiracy-theorism, extreme forms of fundamentalism, Christian nationalism, and all of these kinds of things.
To put that in a bit of historical context, as I mentioned earlier, Uranus and Pluto conjuncted in 1850-1851, they squared each other in 1932-1934, again with some give and take on either side.
At that time, in the 1930s, Pluto was in Cancer and Uranus was in Aries. Again, that very fiery Mars ruled energy. Cancer can be very protective of home and family, or on a mundane level, the nation.
During that time, of course, we saw the rise of Hitler, which led to World War II, in following years. But it wasn’t just Germany, there were fascistic movements in other countries as well, such as Spain and Italy. Very intense and dark stuff.
Of course, the world was in the midst of a great depression, and programs such as the New Deal under Roosevelt were initiated to try and address that.
The failure of the investment, banking and finance industries created the conditions which led to the rise of far-right extremism and ultimately the Second World War.
The period of the early 2010s, of course, followed closely on the heels of the great housing market and bank failures of 2007 and 2008. The parallels between the early 1930s and the 2010s are eerie.
So we went through another square between Pluto and Uranus, like I said, around the period of 2012 to 2015, and at that time as well, I recall things like Golden Dawn in Greece, which was very fascistic, and these kinds of trends started to show up around that time. And polarization really started to take off then as well. And we saw the spread of propaganda and disinformation.
Many have said that if the US government hadn’t bailed out the banks, there would have certainly been another global depression. There’s many parallels to what happened in the 1930s.
Astrology never repeats exactly twice, because all of the other planets are moving at different speeds. So, for example, in the 1930s Neptune was in Virgo, up until the early to mid-1940s, and in the 2010s Neptune was in Pisces. And of course, Pluto has been in Capricorn more recently, whereas in the 1930s it was in Cancer.
So these are different energies and things played out differently, but there’s a lot of parallels and similarities between these periods and these events and the timing of them,
And that is what I want to make people understand. Because I have heard people make reference to, “Oh, astrology explains this, what’s going on.” And a lot of it can be explained by this cycle.
So to some degree, and again I’ll be putting dates on the screen – I’m not going to state them all here because there’s just too many of them and it’ll bore people – but the whole time that Pluto and Uranus are in squaring signs, they are kind of at each other in a somewhat antagonistic relationship.
So, for example, when Pluto was in Capricorn and Uranus was in Aries, there was that tension there.
As of now, at the time of this recording, Uranus is in Taurus, Pluto just retrograded back into Capricorn until early 2024, then it will resume its journey through Aquarius through the mid-2040s.
So Uranus and Pluto aren’t actually squaring each other anymore, in effect, is what I’m getting at.
So there was a period when Pluto was in Capricorn and Uranus was in Aries. These are both cardinal signs. And Aries is very fiery and can be assertive and aggressive and even violent in its lower expression.
And Capricorn represents the institutions and power structures of our society, everything from corporate to the law and government and so forth.
So we’ve seen tremendous amount of activity in those areas where there’s been people fighting for their freedom and independence against what they perceive as tyranny, or trying to, conversely, impose tyranny on others.
The energy can go either way. It’s kind of up to us how we express it.
But the bigger point of all of this is that we’re out of that square energy. Uranus left Aries on March 6th of 2019.
So there will be some spillover of these energies into subsequent years. But the really intense phase of that, or the triggering phase, is over. It may not look like it because things are still playing out.
Like for example, in the United States, a lot of people who abused their power or broke the law are starting to be held accountable for actions that they committed years ago. Hopefully as they are prosecuted and held accountable and brought to justice, that will put a damper on things.
Another example is it looks like Putin’s days are numbered because of his failures in Ukraine. Reality is coming to bear on all of these people and all of their actions.
Saturn is currently transiting Pisces through 2026. Pisces rules the 12th house.
One of the things the 12th house was traditionally associated with was imprisonment. Both Saturn and the 12th house are karmic. It is where we are held accountable for our karma.
During part of this cycle there was a conjunction of Pluto and Saturn on January 12th of 2020, which was significant as well because Pluto was conjuncting Saturn in its own domain. And the Saturn-Pluto cycle is a whole other subject, but that is considered to be an important development that is also often linked to the rise of the far right. Authoritarianism, fascism, and those kinds of things.
So it’ll take some time for these things to play out, but overall my point is that we are through the worst of it.
The next major aspect between these two planets will occur between 2046 and 2048, which will be the opposition, with Pluto in Pisces and Uranus in Virgo. That is a very polarizing energy as well, and that should be a very dynamic and important milestone. That’s over 20 years from now. But those of you who are younger, take note. There will be a lot of major developments at that time.
I know there’s a lot of dates and terminology. Just to summarize, the main point I wanted to make was that we can look at the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto as the beginning of major new cycles or developments, and often they move us forward to a new level.
Then there’s the squares, which challenge whatever occurred during the conjunction. It tests it. In the case of 2010s, it was questioning how far have we come with respect to what was brought forward in the 1960s, those new ways of being, there was kind of a battle between the two opposing forces.
That gets settled out, the next one will be the opposition in the 2040s when Pluto has essentially begun its transit of Pisces, which that in and of itself should be huge, because Pisces can on a higher level represent spirituality, the non-material realms, and things like psychic phenomenon, but it can also represent major endings and letting go, to create space for the new.
Pisces rules the 12th house. It’s not about ego or materialism.
So we went through a lot of tumultuous times in the 2010s and we’re still dealing with that now. But like I said, those energies aren’t really directly square to each other anymore. We have other issues going on.
Pluto in Aquarius I have talked a lot about here on my channel. I’ll put links to some of those episodes here as well, which I would encourage you to listen to. A lot of the things I predicted actually came to pass within fairly short order of Pluto moving into Aquarius. It’s just at the very beginning though, so it will take some time for that to really fully manifest.
And now we are also starting to become aware – and I think this occurred just after Pluto went into Aquarius – he masses are starting to realize the implications of the climate and environmental crisis. It’s now in everyone’s faces. And people are having direct experience with it.
Aquarius is very global in scope. It’s about all of us. And the only way to solve those problems is for countries to cooperate. Otherwise, we’re in deep trouble, if we’re not already.
So, humanity is becoming aware of global consciousness, just as I predicted.
Pluto moving into Aquarius, when it settles in there, is really about the people. It’s not about the people at the top of the pyramid. So that’s the really important thing to know.
And Aquarius is very egalitarian, and also very rational and intellectual. Whereas a lot of the far-right stuff seems to be driven based on emotion and grievance and things. That is not an Aquarian energy, typically. I don’t see that stuff persisting.
I think we’ll experience that kind of stuff probably from now until early 2024. It’ll make a bit of a comeback. But after that, and Pluto really starts moving into Aquarius, it’s like, forget it, people aren’t going to do that crap.
Aquarius is very progressive, rational, intelligent, and independent. It doesn’t bode well for dogmatic belief systems, trust me on that.
So I hope this is helpful. It’s a huge topic to try and cover in a short period of time, but I wanted to just paint a broad brush, big picture view of this for people so that they could understand what’s going on, why, and what the timing is essentially.
I’ll put links in the episode description to any related content, and if you’re interested in a reading with me, I’ll put a link to that as well.
Many sincere thanks to everyone who supports me, especially my YouTube members.
Thank you very much.
Take care, all the best, and I’ll talk to you again soon.
Anyone following the news, even remotely, is aware that we are now confronted by a barrage of outrageous and ridiculous drama on a daily basis. From patently absurd conspiracy theories, to rhetoric that flies in the face of core democratic principles, the onslaught is relentless. In recent years this has reached such alarming proportions that we can’t help but sometimes wonder if the world has gone utterly mad.
Events that would have been completely shocking years ago now occur with such regularity that they are virtually pedestrian. So much so that many of us have become numbed or inured to them. The “new normal’ is batshit crazy. In other words not normal at all.
This phenomenon is dramatic and stark and thus is easily and readily identifiable. It is obvious and self-evident. It immediately and naturally captivates us. However, I believe there is another more insidious and sinister force at play amidst the melee that, in fact, may be substantially more consequential.
I ask you to consider the possibility that the chaos we observe is being deliberately engineered to mask or obfuscate a much more significant and systemic threat which lurks in the shadows. To my knowledge – and I am an avid reader – this hypothesis is rarely, if ever, articulated in the context I will present here.
The far-right extremist and professional provocateur Steve Bannon infamously stated that he aimed to “Flood the zone with shit.” From this very telling statement we can infer that his strategy is to promote disinformation such that it would confuse and distract the public.
Deliberately promulgating misinformation, or lies, is clearly unethical as it can cause great harm. For example, countless people died unnecessarily during the recent pandemic due to rampant disinformation. This conclusion is supported by a substantial body of statistical evidence.
What is the point of flooding the zone with shit? Why bother doing this in the first place? Dark money groups would not be funnelling untold millions of dollars into such campaigns simply for their own perverse pleasure. They may be dark but they are almost certainly not stupid.
The only logical conclusion is that the aim is to distract people from an even more nefarious agenda. To keep the population in a frenzied state so they do not notice developments that they would otherwise disapprove of. To capitalize on the distraction to implement policies that would be highly unpopular.
Not everyone is easily manipulated, however, it is not necessary to deceive everyone. They only need to mislead some critical mass to achieve their objectives.
Contrary to conventional thinking I posit that their strategy is just as effective on both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum, but for different reasons.
Many on the right are true believers – they actually believe the absurd lies.
On the left, on the other hand, people are perpetually in a state of reaction. They respond with outrage, disbelief and protest to every provocation and insult to their intelligence and ethics. Noted affronts to reality and common sense go viral, consuming a great deal of time and attention. The media predictably devotes innumerable hours to analysis. The cycle repeats every day.
One side is consumed and distracted by believing the ridiculous lies and the other is fixated on combatting their existence. It’s as if the left is trapped in a never-ending game of Whac-A-Mole. Both sides, right and left, are being deliberately manipulated.
As I previously alluded to, there is a deeper and more nefarious agenda behind all of this. Assume, for a moment, that what I have already articulated here is true.
These artificial circumstances create an intensely polarized social environment. Under such conditions politics takes on qualities akin to trench warfare and hand-to-hand combat.
Constant bickering over absurd culture war issues dominates. Political candidates who are highly unqualified and of shockingly poor moral and intellectual character are elected based on their ability to engage in the dirtiest forms of political theatre. Representatives must only have big mouths and a propensity for enraging the opposing team. It is no longer about policy or good governance, it’s about winning the culture wars. It’s a zero sum game.
Consequently legislative agendas grind to a halt. Gridlock ensues. Any policies that do get implemented are gravely insufficient, watered down and wholly inadequate. After years or decades of this the population becomes increasingly disenfranchised. Government itself is perceived as being ineffectual at best and diabolical at worst. Apathy, despair, and cynicism – if not nihilism – metastasizes like a cancer.
The constant matestrom and distractions enable dark money groups to push through nakedly partisan legislation – such as tax policies – that favour only their particular interests. Their ever expanding war chests justify and finance further interference and the attacks escalate.
It is also worth bearing in mind that people who are financially stressed are far less likely to be politically or socially engaged or to exercise their agency. They are much more easily controlled or manipulated, in other words. For instance, I have often thought that this is why young people and many parents are currently so burdened by student debt. This was not the case in the 1960’s when there occurred a significant countercultural movement which threatened the establishment. See my episode on the Powell Memo, which I published in September of 2021.
Over time circumstances have deteriorated to the point where they have become so egregious and intolerable that many embrace authoritarianism and even fascism. Surely, the adherents think, a heavy hand could finally return order to our world. Superficially, there is some reasonable justification in seeking radical solutions. However, this perspective has not considered that the current state of affairs was intentionally fabricated, nor for what end.
Many have speculated that a handful of deeply entrenched dark money interests – billionaires or plutocrats – secretly aspire to return humanity to a state of feudalism. The theory goes that they believe they are superior and deserving of privilege due to the power they wield and that have amassed. They subscribe to a very Darwinian perspective of their place in society. Them at the top and the rest of us beneath them.
In this scenario they would have control over the masses who would serve their every whim. The population would be given just enough scraps to sustain themselves but not enough to threaten the ruling class. We would effectively be living in indentured servitude. Those who contributed to their prosperity and security would be valued. The rest could be casually discarded in much the same way we dispense with worn out appliances.
I personally speculate that these select few individuals are actually well informed about the state of the global environmental crisis and its grave implications. I suspect they fear the looming breakdown of society, if not civilization itself, which will quite probably ensue.
It is epically twisted irony that much of the wealth and power they have disproportionately accumulated is directly proportional to their obstinance in preventing this crisis in the first place. Even worse, for decades they have brazenly promulgated disinformation and lobbied against regulations which would have mitigated or avoided the crisis.
Metaphorically there are vastly more people than lifeboats in many future scenarios. Many know this to be true, but few will admit it publicly. Presumably the plutocrats think that a rigid social hierarchy, with them firmly planted at the top, would be the best possible scenario in a world facing anarchy and chaos. Furthermore, they likely fear retaliation for their past obstructionism and profiteering from the root causes of the forthcoming calamity.
To be clear, I am speculating here, but what I have described is rationally plausible.
In summary the intense social polarization and disenfranchisement that we are experiencing was deliberately engineered as a means of distraction.
It’s purpose is twofold.
First, it serves to keep people preoccupied so that other more nefarious plans can be executed with minimal awareness, scrutiny or backlash.
Second, it creates the impression that good governance is ineffectual, if not impossible – that democracy simply does not work.
This then leads many people to conclude that alternatives to democracy, such as authoritarianism or fascism, may be more viable or desirable.
Absent democracy those who have the greatest influence, control or power would be the ones who are very wealthy and are politically organized. This has always been the case historically.
These interests are likely keenly aware of the clear and present danger which the global environmental crisis represents to society, if not civilization itself. This may account for the timing of their agenda, the execution of which, has apparently ramped up at an alarming pace in recent years.
If this theory is accurate clearly many people would find it deeply troubling. Therefore it would never be deliberately expressed publicly.
There is a massive paradox inherent in this grand dilemma. Our very own habits of overconsumption and our materialistic orientation have financed and therefore enabled the twin threats we now confront. The breakdown of the biosphere which has sustained us for millennia; and an epic battle to preserve democracy and the many cherished and hard-won freedoms it affords us.
Thanks to everyone for all your support.
I will put any references in the episode description.