Dispatches from Mindfuckland #2: The Imperialism of the Great Reset

“What’s less than 5 millimeters long, toxic, and literally everywhere?” the hipster turned neocon wonks at Vice recently asked. “The answer, unfortunately, is microplastics: Little pieces of plastic pollution that enter our ecosystem by way of body washes, plastic water bottles, fishing nets, tires, and grocery bags, among other things. According to a recent flood of news coverage, microplastics are coursing through our veins, sluicing over the Arctic’s ice floes, and fundamentally changing the biomes of deep-sea fish, God’s coolest looking creatures. And step aside spiders, because we’re apparently eating a credit card’s worth of microplastics (that’s five grams, per the New York Post) every single week.” But according to the disciples of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and Obama-aligned billionaire Shane Smith, there isn’t much to worry about. Vice’s follow up question reads: “Freaking out about microplastics feels pointless, so why not laugh instead?” 

Yeah, why not laugh? The jury is still apparently out among scientists as to whether this thing that’s become a mainstay of American social reproduction is bad for you or not, in the grand tradition of tobacco, oil and social media. Hell, one of the primary microplastics, nurdles, even has a silly ass name:

“A nurdle is a bead of pure plastic. It is the basic building block of almost all plastic products, like some sort of synthetic ore; their creators call them “pre-production plastic pellets” or “resins.” Every year, trillions of nurdles are produced from natural gas or oil, shipped to factories around the world, and then melted and poured into molds that churn out water bottles and sewage pipes and steering wheels and the millions of other plastic products we use every day. You are almost certainly reading this story on a device that is part nurdle.”

I found this fact about nurdles particularly funny:

“Hundreds of fish species — including some eaten by humans — and at least 80 kinds of seabirds eat plastics. Researchers are concerned that animals that eat nurdles risk blocking their digestive tracts and starving to death. Just as concerning is what happens to the beads in the long term: Like most plastics, they do not biodegrade, but they do deteriorate over time, forming the second-largest source of ocean microplastics after tire dust. (A nurdle, being less than 5 millimeters around, is a microplastic from the moment of its creation, something also known as a primary microplastic.)…

…In May 2021, a container ship off the coast of Sri Lanka caught fire and sank, releasing an estimated 1,680 metric tons of nurdles in an incident the United Nations called “the single largest plastic spill on record.” About a year earlier, in August 2020, a storm hit a ship docked at the port of New Orleans, knocking a container filled with bags of nurdles into the Mississippi River. Hundreds of millions of beads escaped from their bags, coating local beaches in white plastic and floating down toward the Gulf of Mexico. They would remain long after the spill…

…Once eaten, nurdles can tangle a creature’s intestines or make it feel as if it is full, said Benfield. A 1992 EPA report found that at least 80 species of seabirds ate nurdles; Benfield said that number has since more than doubled. Plastics provide no nutrients to animals, but an animal that fills up on the beads will eat less food as a result, meaning it could starve to death without even knowing it was starving — especially if its digestive tract is too small to pass the nurdle. Photographs from the aftermath of the spill in Sri Lanka showed fish filled with the pellets, white plastic lining their insides.”

Speaking of starvation, recent supply chain disruptions are approaching an apparently apocalyptic point of no return. “Beijing’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid has idled factories and warehouses, slowed truck deliveries and worsened container logjams. As the country accounts for about 12% of global trade, it was only a matter of time before the upheaval began to trickle across economies, threatening to further stoke rising inflation.” In addition, China has been stockpiling numerous resources through massive purchases from other nations, supposedly exacerbating inflation wildly. As, The Economist, the bourgeois rag of Britain’s Zionist-pedophile ruling class, explains:

“Over the past five years China’s purchases of everything from soyabeans to pork have soared. America’s Department of Agriculture predicts that by the middle of this year China will hold 69% of the world’s maize (corn) reserves, 60% of its rice and 51% of its wheat. All this to feed 18% of the world’s population. Last year a Chinese official said that the country’s grain stocks were “historically high” and that it had enough wheat to meet demand for 18 months.”

The Economist chose to title this article “When China worries about food, the world pays.” No longer content to remain “a journal that speaks for the British millionaire” The Economist now speaks for “Western civilization”-including its labor aristocracy-writ large. What rational people would understand as a strategic but necessary policy of one capitalist “world power” attempting to withstand the crisis triggered by the development of “globalization” under the regime of another has now become a hysterical fever pitch insisting “the Chinese” are “hoarding” to ensure the decimation of American imperialism and its European client states once and for all. If only the modern Chinese government was that cool.

But it isn’t just China that isn’t allowed to “worry about food.” The spectre of “protectionism” is haunting the Western bourgeoisie once again. India recently announced a massive export ban which will exacerbate a crunch in global wheat supplies that started as a result of climate change and has only grown worse with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to Quartz, which sometimes presents itself as a quasi-socialist publication despite being firmly aligned with Silicon Valley’s Rainbow Goosesteppers:

“Wheat prices hit a record high in March 2022, within a week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. From mid-February to May 17, prices have increased 60%. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Serbia, Lebanon, among others, have also banned exports of wheat and other grains, according to IFPRI’s food export restrictions tracker.

Adding to the tight supply, China has been heavily buying wheat—some would say hoarding—over concerns of a poor harvest of its own…

…Rising prices for wheat, sunflower meal (a byproduct of sunflower oil), soy, and corn, have also made feedstocks for chicken, pigs and cows more expensive, driving up poultry and meat prices. Argentina banned beef exports even before the war to control its spiraling inflation. Prices are soaring in India and Thailand, and in the UK, chicken prices are rising so fast, it’s on track to become as expensive as beef.”

Regardless of the hypocritical pearl clutching over the damage inflicted on “the world” (read the global capitalist system managed predominately by the Western nations) by governments taking measures to survive the current economic crisis, the crisis is nonetheless occurring and it’s only getting worse. According to the World Bank, this capitalist Earth is experiencing a historic shock to commodity markets that will keep global prices high through the end of 2024. A headline in the Telegraph reads, “The world has just ten weeks of wheat left after Ukraine war.” “These developments have started to raise the specter of stagflation,” the World Bank warns. “Policymakers should take every opportunity to increase economic growth at home and avoid actions that will bring harm to the global economy.” 

To suggest, in the midst of a global economic crisis that has as its crux a breakdown in the very infrastructure of American-managed “globalization”, that “policymakers” should increase “economic growth at home” while disengaging from “actions that will bring harm to the global economy” while simultaneously scolding countries like Russia, China, India, Egypt and so on for submitting to protectionism, is a farce. It is a farce not only because of the obvious hypocrisy of telling countries to focus on their own economies then turning around and saying “Not like that” when they do so, but also because the engine of economic growth “at home” in the nations of the “developed world” is inextricably bound up with “actions that bring harm to the global economy”, with the burdens disproportionately falling on the “developing” (always developing never developed) nations.

BlackRock and The Current “Upward Transfer of Wealth”
In 2019, as the stock market was already approaching a 2008 style collapse, a meeting of central bankers took place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Four BlackRock executives, led by former Swiss National Bank head Philipp Hildebrand, argued that it was time for the Federal Reserve, “to abandon its long-vaunted independence and join monetary policy (the usual province of the central bank) with fiscal policy (the usual province of the legislature). They proposed that the central bank maintain a ‘Standing Emergency Fiscal Facility’ that would be activated when interest rate manipulation was no longer working to avoid deflation. The Facility would be deployed by an ‘independent expert’ appointed by the central bank.” Just a few months later, the COVID-19 pandemic (origins still officially unclear by the way) swept the globe, and BlackRock got its wish. As Ellen Brown writes:

“In March 2020, [BlackRock] was awarded a no-bid contract under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to deploy a $454 billion slush fund established by the Treasury in partnership with the Federal Reserve. This fund in turn could be leveraged to provide over $4 trillion in Federal Reserve credit…BlackRock suddenly emerged from the shadows to become the “fourth branch of government,” managing the controls to the central bank’s print-on-demand fiat money…

…The national lockdown left states, cities and local businesses in desperate need of federal government aid. But according to David Dayen in The American Prospect, as of May 30…the only purchases made under the Fed’s new BlackRock-administered SPVs were ETFs, mainly owned by BlackRock itself. Between May 14 and May 20, about $1.58 billion in ETFs were bought through the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), of which $746 million or about 47% came from BlackRock ETFs. The Fed continued to buy more ETFs after May 20, and investors piled in behind, resulting in huge inflows into BlackRock’s corporate bond ETFs.

In fact, these ETFs needed a bailout; and BlackRock used its very favorable position with the government to get one…It might be argued that this bailout was good and necessary, since the market was saved from a disastrous “doom loop,” and so were the pension funds and the savings of millions of investors. Although BlackRock has a controlling interest in all the major corporations in the S&P 500, it professes not to “own” the funds. It just acts as a kind of “custodian” for its investors — or so it claims. But BlackRock and the other Big 3 ETFs vote the corporations’ shares; so from the point of view of management, they are the owners.”

This was part of a massive “upward transfer of wealth” that amounted not only to a bailout of the bourgeoisie but a great swelling of their fortunes. 5.2 million people became millionaires between 2020-2021, causing millionaires to account for 1% of the world’s population for the first time in history. This took place mostly in Western countries: “The US accounted for nearly a third of the world’s 5.2 million new millionaires last year, adding 1.7 million to the country’s total, now at 22 million. Germany followed behind, adding another 633,000 millionaires. The UK – sixth in the rankings of those countries minting the most new rich – added 258,000 millionaires, so that the country now has 2.5 million individuals with assets worth more than $1m.” An additional, “41,420 adults also joined the group of so-called ultra high net worth individuals who have each collected assets worth more than $50m. That represented a 24% jump from 2019, is the fastest annual rate of growth in 17 years, and brings the total number of super-rich individuals to 215,030.”

According to Oxfam International, “The world’s ten richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion —at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day— during the first two years of a pandemic that has seen the incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty.” To put that into perspective, “If these ten men were to lose 99.999 percent of their wealth tomorrow, they would still be richer than 99 percent of all the people on this planet…They now have six times more wealth than the poorest 3.1 billion people.” 

While I am not personally a believer in the official story (which doesn’t even really exist) of COVID’s origins, I also don’t see a reason why the American imperialists would simply lie about its existence, as some on the “conspiratorial” Left have insisted. We’re talking about the same fascists who, just since the start of this century, laid waste to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya with help from their friends in Saudi Arabia and Israel, the former of whom the United States helps conduct an ongoing genocide against Yemenis and the latter of whom the United States helps conduct an ongoing genocide against Palestinians. As the World Health Organization admitted, once COVID was unleashed on the Earth, “developing nations bore the brunt of the devastation, with nearly eight million more people than expected dying in lower-middle-income nations during the pandemic.” 

It isn’t ust COVID that is killing people in the “developing world.” The management of other diseases that disproportionately affect these nations was made much more difficult by the coronavirus and quaratines imposed to combat it. One year of COVID led to a reversal of “12 years of global progress against tuberculosis” causing a “25% decrease in diagnosis and treatment around the world.” At the same time, “over 40% of HIV testing services were disrupted globally” and excess malaria deaths caused by COVID-related complications “dwarfed” COVID deaths themselves across Africa. In the initial wave of COVD-19, people also stopped going to the doctor. A study analyzing 32 countries across Africa and Asia found that prenatal care visits dropped by two-thirds between April and September 2020, while consultations for children under five dropped by three-quarters. 

Likewise, while the governments of the wealthier Western nations could afford to fund schemes like BlackRock’s self-bailout and pump out trillions of dollars in “stimulus money” that was either hoovered up by monopoly capital and the petit-bourgeois under the guise of “small business relief” or went towards speculations on the stock market (contributing to the current crash), the “low income countries” were forced to explode their debt levels by a record $860 billion to fund relief efforts that often did little to mitigate COVID’s immiseration. As the World Bank reports:

Even prior to the pandemic, many low- and middle-income countries were in a vulnerable position, with slowing economic growth and public and external debt at elevated levels. External debt stocks of low- and middle-income countries combined rose 5.3% in 2020 to $8.7 trillion…Overall, in 2020, net inflows from multilateral creditors to low- and middle-income countries rose to $117 billion, the highest level in a decade. Net debt inflows of external public debt to low-income countries rose 25% to $71 billion, also the highest level in a decade.  Multilateral creditors, including the IMF, provided $42 billion in net inflows while bilateral creditors accounted for an additional $10 billion.” 

Meanwhile, a study conducted across Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone reported “drops in employment, income, and access to markets and services, translating into high levels of food insecurity.” One of the study’s co-authors, Mushfiq Mobarak, pointed out  that “COVID-19 and its economic shock present a stark threat to residents of low- and middle-income countries — where most of the world’s population resides — which lack the social safety nets that exist in rich countries.” Franziska Ohnsorge, co-author of a World Bank report on global growth, told France 24 that when it comes to the COVID recoveries of “developed” vs “developing” nations “it’s almost as if the two groups are on different flight paths.” 

Crashing the Plane, With Some Survivors 

In what may be a preview of the “flight path” the “developing world” is on, let’s look at the Crypto-Regime of El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele, who labeled himself “the ‘world’s coolest dictator’ to little fanfare from the supposedly “anti-authoritarian” Western media. Bukele seems to be, in spirit if not literally, a dedicated student of Operation Mindfuck, quickly building up a public relations persona as a “troll” and making sure to use social media in a way not unlike Donald Trump. Bukele has also presented himself as a radical-centrist and populist in a way which recalls the 2020 Presidential campaign of unapologetic technocrat Andrew Yang. “The two groups that created the war still want to keep governing, and what’s more, they’re corrupt,” Bukele told Germany’s Deutsche Welle after his election in 2019. 

The war Bukele is referring to is the Salvadoran Civil War that took place mostly in the 1980s and early 1990s. As Allan Nair detailed in 1984, between the 1960s and start of the civl war, the US government meddled heavily in El Savlador’s affairs, creating “ORDEN, the rural paramilitary and intelligence network described by Amnesty International as a movement designed ‘to use clandestine terror against government opponents.’” American imperialism also birthed “ANSESAL, the elite presidential intelligence service that gathered files on Salvadoran dissidents and, in the words of one US official, relied on Death Squads as ‘the operative arm of intelligence gathering.’” General Jose Alberto “Chele” Medrano, the founder of ORDEN and ANSESAL, was subsequently enlisted as a CIA agent and the USA proceeded to train leaders of ORDEN “in surveillance techniques and use of automatic weapons, and carried some of these leaders on the CIA payroll.” 

According to Nair:

“When a reformist junta briefly came to power in El Salvador in 1979, it abolished ORDEN and ANSESAL and condemned the organizations for committing human rights abuses. Since then the Salvadoran military have continued to maintain and expand their surveillance and record-keeping activities. And as in the 1960’s and 1970’s, when US agents and technicians invented and oiled the intelligence machine, US personnel remain at the center of the system.

According to a Salvadoran colonel involved in the process, the United States routinely receives copies of all major political surveillance reports compiled by Salvadoran security officers. In turn, US officials provide the security forces with information. Colonel Carranza confirmed this relationship…

…When the Reagan Administration launched a publicity campaign against the Death Squads last December, it pointed a finger at individual officers, leaking their names to the press and demanding their removal. Three of those officers were the directors of the intelligence departments of the Treasury Police, the National Guard, and the National Police.

Asked why the Administration chose to blame those specific individuals while leaving the institutions untouched, the US official in San Salvador responded: “Things generated in Washington create certain necessities that don’t necessarily reflect the true problems here, but are done for political purposes up there, and this is a good example.” The official, heavily involved in the publicity campaign, considered it a success.”

A detailed history of America’s neo-colonial involvement in the Salvadoran Civil War is impossible here, but suffice to say it played an key role in El Salvdor’s ongoing “deterioration.” Over a 12 year period, at least 75,000 Salvadorian civilians were killed, with most of these deaths being attributed to US-backed government forces and the Death Squads they supported. As one guerilla put it, “The Army wanted to exterminate the thinking and the idea of our rights in El Salvador. You exterminate the idea by exterminating the people, the women, the children, everyone. Especially the children because you kill the idea by preventing the growth of the idea. You kill the root to prevent change.” 

Daniel Alvarenga details how Salvador changed in the ruins of the civil war:

“One of the biggest marks USAID left on El Salvador is the co-founding of FUSADES (the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development) in 1983 in the midst of the civil war. FUSADES is a right-wing think tank that heavily collaborated with the far-right ARENA (Nationalist Republican Alliance) party during the war and in the subsequent two decades…

…In the post-war era, El Salvador privatized the public bank, as well as the telecommunications and energy sectors. Then, in 2001, El Salvador completely adopted the U.S. dollar, handing the country’s financial reins over to the federal reserve in Washington, D.C. A few years later, in 2005, the country was integrated into the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the United States. Further interlinking the two economies were the millions of Salvadorans who migrated to the United States due to economic hardship and violence.”

Despite Bukele, a former marketing executive, presenting his administration as “populist” he is anything but a political outsider or a champion of “the people.” After getting kicked out of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) for allegedly assaulting a female party official, Bukele joined the Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA) whose founding members came from the aforementioned Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA). Likewise, Bukele’s rise to power occurred during an election in which nearly 50% of eligible Salvadoran voters abstained.

Bukele also seems to have been appointed in response to the FMLN government’s foreign policy pivot to friendly relations with China. For example, in exchange for breaking ties with Taiwan and recognizing Beijing as the center of power in China, the FLMN government received $150 million and a donation of 3,000 tons of rice from the Chinese Communist Party. Likewise, during the Trump administration’s 2019 attempt to oust Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro in favor of reactionary neoliberal Juan Guaido, the FMLN continued to stand with Maduro and the Chavistas. Maduro’s own relationship with China was the source of Elon Musk’s infamous tweet joking about assassinating the Venezuelan president for unlimited acess to its lithium deposits.

In America, Bukele is perhaps best known for establishing Bitcoin as Salvadoran legal tender alongside the US dollar. Cryptobros like to portray this as an attempt by a “based” technocrat unpersuaded by “ideology” to get his nation off of fiat currency and away from the control of central banks. This narrative, however, is a total inversion of the truth.

In 2020 Bukele sent 40 soldiers of the Salvadoran Army into the Legislative Assembly building to force opposition politicians to approve a loan request of $109 million from the American government for his “Territorial Control Plan.” This plan, using COVID-19 as a pretext, deployed thousands of military personnel to work alongside local police in establishing martial law throughout El Salvador. Bukele’s government has insisted this led not only to a successful quarantine but a significant reduction in homicides carried out by criminal organizations. However, the Territorial Control Plan relies on alliances with Salvador’s gangs, as a report by El Faro exposed. “The pandemic was a blessing for Bukele,” Carlos López Bernal, a professor of history at the University of El Salvador, told The Guardian. “He presented an apocalyptic scenario to which the only solution, supposedly, was to give the president everything he asked for. More money and more power.”

In 2021, Bukele’s party “won” a supermajority in El Salvador’s congress, supposedly with 65% of the vote. He then fired five Salvadoran Supreme Court Justices and the attorney general before the Legislative Assembly voted to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. This decision was influenced by Bukele’s close relationship to Strike CEO Jack Mallers, descendant of Chicago finance royalty and member of Forbes 30 under 30. According to Slate: “Bukele’s government rolled out a digital crypto wallet in app form, called Chivo (Salvadoran slang for cool), which came preloaded with $30 of Bitcoin to encourage adoption. Many who downloaded it found it confusing and buggy, or that their $30 had already been stolen by identity thieves. A study by economists at the University of Chicago, Penn State and Yale found that of those who managed to access it, most cashed out their $30 and didn’t use Chivo again.”

Towards the start of May, cryptocurrency experienced what may well its worst crash yet. This ongoing crash has already wiped out $400 billion in market capitalization and bankrupted innumerable investors. As Slate notes, “El Salvador is on the verge of defaulting on its debts, which amount to close to 100 percent of its gross domestic product. This is exacerbated by the loss of value of the country’s Bitcoin holdings, which Bukele bragged he would trade with public funds on his phone while in the bathroom. As of now, he has personally cost the Treasury about $40 million—an amount equal to its next foreign debt payment, due to bondholders in June.” Just before the epic crypto crash, Bukele had unveiled plans for a city, “funded by the sale of a Bitcoin bond and powered by geothermal energy from the nearby Conchagua volcano.” Now, the country’s bonds are trading at 40% of their original value. 

Like any good con artist, cult leader, or multi-level marketing guru, Bukele has doubled down on his Bitcoin “gamble.” In the midst of the crypto crash, El Salvador hosted a “financial inclusion conference” attended by “44 central bankers from developing countries around the world.” This conference was organized by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, a “policy leadership alliance” founded in 2008 in by central banks in Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand in “close collaboration” with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2013, Bill Gates himself spoke at a meeting hosted by the United Nations General Assembly to tout the merits of “digital financial inclusion” via digital payment systems. The invite reads:

“Today 2.5 billion adults are excluded from the formal financial services sector. Yet governments, the development community and the private sector make billions of dollars in cash payments to people in emerging economies, many of them poor and financially excluded. Shifting these salaries, pensions, social welfare stipends and emergency relief payments from cash to electronic has the potential to improve the livelihoods of low-income people by advancing financial inclusion and helping people save.

During the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, UNDP, UNCDF and the Better Than Cash Alliance are hosting an event on how partnerships between governments, private sector and development organizations are helping to promote inclusive growth. It will focus on how digital payments can catalyze financial inclusion, and as a result, can be a driver of inclusive growth and development.”

When you cut through the bullshit about “helping promote inclusive growth” this sounds a lot like a new mechanism for hyper exploitation of non-Western nations.

In January 2021 the Bank of International Settlements issued a report stating, “Most central banks are exploring central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and their work continues apace amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As a whole, central banks are moving into more advanced stages of CBDC engagement, progressing from conceptual research to practical experimentation.” Since 2017, “the share of central banks actively engaging in some form of CBDC work grew by about one third and now stands at 86%.” The BIS report found that 56 central banks are now researching or developing some form of digital currency. 

During the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 programmers well versed in COBOL, a 40 year old programming language, were in high demand. This demand mainly came from state governments, who still use COBOL to dispense unemployment benefits. “Literally, we have systems that are 40-plus-years-old,” New Jersey governor Chris Murphy told CNBC. “There’ll be lots of postmortems. and one of them on our list will be, how did we get here where we literally needed COBOL programmers?” Murphy’s concerns were echoed by Kansas governor Laura Kelly: “So many of our Departments of Labor across the country are still on the COBOL system; you know very, very old technology.” Connecticut, California, New York, and Pennsylvania “still rely on decades-old mainframe systems based on the COBOL language as well.”

If all of this still sounds banal or benign to you or, like Vice’s approach to microplastics, you think we should just laugh about it, consider the following:

PRISM, the massive NSA surveillance machine “exposed” by Islamaphobic Ayn Rand fanboy and descendant of numerous lifelong feds Edward Snowden, is the direct descendant of PROMIS, software developed by a “former” NSA fed working in the private sector through his firm Inslaw. Inslaw originally developed PROMIS as a means to help the Department of Justice and local law enforcement agencies across America “update” their prehistoric filing systems in the mid-1980s. PROMIS was later stolen by Mossad spies and infamously distributed by Robert Maxwell, father of Ghislaine Maxwell, before making its way back to its homeland. In the meantime, the NSA was working on the hash algorithm that made Bitcoin possible. 

Crypto Colonizers
In 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, which laid waste to the island just three months after the government declared bankruptcy over its massive debt, largely owned by just two US hedge funds. Five years earlier, the government had turned Puerto Rico into a tax haven for wealthy Americans and others from the “Global North.” Among these new arrivals was former child star and founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, Brock Pierce. 

In 2011, Pierce, who was a friend and business partner of several men involved in an “alleged” child abuse ring in Hollywood, including convicted child rapist Marc Collins Rector, attended a conference hosted by Jeffrey Epstein. Topics discussed included artificial intelligence, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, encryption/decryption, and “new financial systems and methods.” Epstein of course counted among his many rich and famous friends Donald Trump. Steve Bannon, Trump’s friend and close political advisor in, was hired by Pierce’s Internet Gaming Entertainment firm to “land venture capital” in the mid 2000s. Bannon’s former employer, Goldman Sachs, made a $60 million investment into Pierce’s company and the future owner of Breitbart News was given a seat on its board of directors. According to Bannon, it was during this point in his career that he got the idea to appeal to angry young men who played videogames all day to build the base for a movement later branded The Alt Right. “These guys, these rootless white males, had monster power,” Bannon said.

Pierce moved to Puerto Rico during an influx of cryptobro colonization of the island, a phenomena “driven by a flood of initial coin offerings, or ICOs, in which investors pumped money into often speculative projects in exchange for tokens. In Puerto Rico, some people quickly sized up the crypto settlers, fat on get-rich-quick schemes, as exploiting the beleaguered island to write their own rules.” In 2018, when the crypto market saw a crash that was something of a prelude to the current malaise, many of these new colonists either went silent or left Puerto Rico altogether. However:

The coronavirus pandemic brought a crypto thaw in Puerto Rico. Stuck in their homes, out of work and looking for ways to make money, some islanders turned to social media and found Spanish-language instructors explaining how to invest. NFTs became popular as tokens inside blockchain games or as online avatars — like skins in the video game ‘Fortnite’ — making crypto concepts more accessible.”

According to an article in the MIT Technology Review:

Recent news reports suggest that soaring real estate prices constitute crypto’s major impact on Puerto Rico to date. Grand promises to rebuild the island’s economy on the blockchain have fallen by the wayside. Today, mugshots of cryptocurrency investors including Pierce decorate Puerto Rico’s capital city, captioned ‘This is what our colonizers look like.’

Undeterred, Pierce is eager to replicate the Puerto Rico experiment elsewhere. Bitcoin Foundation delegates have met with representatives from El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Ecuador, and Guatemala in the past year. (The Bitcoin Foundation and Pierce didn’t respond to interview requests.)”

In 2011, the same year Pierce attended Jeffrey Epstein’s conference, Bill Gates began meeting Epstein “on numerous occasions — including at least three times at Mr. Epstein’s palatial Manhattan townhouse, and at least once staying late into the nightemployees of Mr. Gates’s foundation also paid multiple visits to Mr. Epstein’s mansion. And Mr. Epstein spoke with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase about a proposed multibillion-dollar charitable fund — an arrangement that had the potential to generate enormous fees for Mr. Epstein.”

Thank You For Smoking
In 2010, a documentary titled “The Singularity is Near: A True Story About the Future” was released. It was co-directed by Ray Kurzweil and based on his pop science book of the same name and features Aubrey DeGray, Alan Dershowitz, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and Richard A. Clarke. Kurzweil a “futurist” worked repeatedly with Nick Bostrom, whose “transhumanist” organization Humanity+ not only received donations from Epstein but also received lucrative contracts with the US military. Dershowitz is obviously a longtime Epstein associate with Yudkowsky’s entire project not only resulted in the reddit creepypasta “thought experiment” of Roko’s Basilisk, but was made possible by funding from Peter Thiel. Richard A. Clarke is a former “counterterrorism czar” that worked in both the Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations and is now on the advisory board of the Thiel-funded Clearview AI. Aubrey DeGray, an “anti-aging” guru who has appeared numerous times on the Joe Rogan Experience and has been accused of being a rapist in his own right, runs an organization that has received millions of dollars of donations from Thiel and various “cryptocurrency tycoons.”

Reducing this to a personal project of Thiel or even of “Silicon Valley” as an abstract evil villain, as the left-liberal media has recently taken to doing, is to ignore the fact that Thiel, Epstein, Gates and other such characters are part of a bourgeois project that precedes their personal involvement with it. One of Thiel’s earliest forays into mainstream cultural production was through co-producing the film Thank You For Smoking with other members of the PayPal Mafia, including Elon Musk. The film, which advocates the same type of moral worldview South Park, Vice, Penn and Teller Bullshit, and various other “punk rock libertarian” pieces of media from the last 10-15 years, is based on a novel written by Christopher Buckley, the son of CIA agent and one of the founders of the modern “conservative movement” William F. Buckley Jr. Like his father, Chris Buckley was in the Skull and Bones while attending Yale, but interestingly pivoted to supporting Obama in the late 2000s.

Later, when Thiel was pursuing a scam to convince young people to drop out of college and instead work for his Foundation to create start-ups, he hired Alexandra Wolfe Schmitt to produce an MTV-style documentary series about it. Alexandra Wolfe Schmitt is the daughter of Tom Wolfe, who not only popularized Ken Kesey’s “Acid Tests” but, like William F. Buckley Jr., contributed greatly to the aesthetic, attitude and affect of the “New Right” and “movement conservatism.” Tom Wolfe was never a member of the Skull and Bones, but he was a Yale graduate and has his own ties to the CIA via his participation in the American Studies program. Despite the propaganda documentary not panning out, Thiel continued to work with Alexandra Wolfe Schmitt and in 2020 she became the first woman to ever sit on the board of Thiel’s Palantir. Last but not least, Thiel had a deep personal friendship with a member of the Mellon family who died during a bizarre “psychedelic therapy” session involving Ayahuasca. The Mellon Family was not only instrumental  in the rise of the “New Right” under Reagan, but played an outsize role in the distribution of psychedelics during the 1960s and has longstanding ties to the CIA. 

I’ll leave you with this excerpt from a brilliant essay from someone I otherwise disagree with on damn near everything these days, KT Jamieson:

“In 1995, Richard Barbrook already identified a reactionary strain within the emerging professional subclass of computer engineers, programmers, and visionary digital entrepreneurs, which he termed the “Californian ideology.” He finds here a fusion of the new left, represented by the rhetoric of anti-consumerism and the liberation of desire through hippie-like tech gurus (think Burning Man), with the free market absolutism which, in that era, was adopted as the GOP brand. For the members of this rising “virtual class,” the market was a natural force that, if not altered, could empower them to become entrepreneurial titans, their heads far above the clouds of society’s laws, with the freedom to innovate as they saw fit—while becoming fabulously rich in the process.

Today, there are a plethora of such titans, and their influence is immense. Some, like Elon Musk, have cultivated a cult following online, while others, like Peter Thiel, prefer to manipulate events behind the scenes…Prior to the Trump era, some of these strivers and losers went on to develop the ideology known as the “Dark Enlightenment” (or NRx for short). Nick Land, whose affiliation with NRx is long-standing, summarized the thrust of this ideology with a statement by Peter Thiel, delivered at a 2009 Cato Institute meeting: “Freedom and democracy, Thiel believes, are no longer compatible.”

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