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Joe Biden and the Revenge of the Behaviorists (Why Statistical Thinking Can Get You Killed)
Ninety years ago, Bertrand Russell wrote a book entitled The Scientific Outlook.
In it, the philosopher and sometimes imperial grand strategist made the point that society has become far too complex to be left to democratic institutions. In the modern age of advanced warfare, only a scientific dictatorship could be trusted to lead society, while the thoughtless masses of human cattle should be given the illusion of democracy and freedom. Sovereign nation states must be superseded by world government and thus two parallel cultures, two educations and two moralities must be shaped.
Russell laid out his grim worldview of a master/slave dominated order in the following terms:
“The scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless and contented. Of these qualities, probably contentment will be considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researchers of psycho-analysis, behaviorism and biochemistry will be brought into play… all the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called “cooperative” i.e.: to do exactly what every body else is doing. Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished will be scientifically trained out of them.”
For the elites in Russell’s dystopic world, a different role was envisioned:
“Except for the one matter of loyalty to the world state and to their own order, members of the governing class will be encouraged to be adventurous, and full of initiative. It will be recognized that it is their business to improve scientific techniques and to keep the manual workers contented by means of continual new amusements”.
Twenty three years after writing this, Russell creepily updated his work in the form of a book called The Impact of Science on Society (1953). It was here that the celebrated mathematician and philosopher looked upon the wonderful advances in mass entertainment, psychotropic drugs, and behaviorism saying:
“It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment… This subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship. Anaxagoras maintained that snow is black, but no one believed him. The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.”
The challenge faced by Russell and his co-thinkers was not so much found in the realm of ivory tower theorizing, but rather in the practical world. For how would it be possible to induce a society to accept such conditions when their targets had only recently sacrificed so much to stop global fascism and eugenics during WWII?
The Post-War Takeover
As the spirit of patriotism and belief in scientific and technological progress was slowly suffocated throughout the long night of nuclear terror that was the Cold War, the governing class that Russell represented sunk its talons into civilization ever more deeply.
The target? Sovereign nation states and the cultural dynamics that brought these pesky new institutions into being after the 14th Century dark age which enshrined both the general welfare and the sacredness of the individual into statecraft and law. It was this movement that drove the explosion of new discoveries (and population growth) after the 15th century golden renaissance, leading up to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia and later American Revolution. This was a fire that kept oligarchs up at night and which no amount of water could permanently destroy… and they tried.
During the early decades of the post-WWII age, there was resistance of course. Leaders resistant to the renewed emergence of imperialism stood in defense of humanity’s right to access the Four Freedoms made famous by Franklin Roosevelt.
Dag Hammarskjöld, Enrico Mattei, John Kennedy, MLK, Bobby Kennedy and many other moral leaders were quickly snuffed out as the engines of industrial progress were converted into factories for never-ending wars and cheap consumer goods. Large scale infrastructure and programs of scientific exploration into space and the properties of the atom increasingly fell out of practice as society was compelled to adapt to a new paradigm in the early 1970s.
While Russell spoke well of science, it was never the sort of science that would end poverty or war to which he referred, but rather sciences of entertainment, population control, and behaviorism.
The Post-Industrial Technetronic Age: Brzezinski and Holdren
Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote a book in 1970 entitled Between Two Ages which served as a manifesto for the new Trilateral Commission which was created in 1973 under his lead. In this book, Brzezinski restated Russell’s vision in his own words:
“The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”
At this time, a new social order was unleashed as the dollar was floated on the speculative markets killing the gold-reserve industrial era of Bretton Woods in 1971, tying the U.S. dollar to oil prices in 1973 and ushering in a new deregulated epoch of “everything goes” monetarism, and post-industrial consumerism. Foreseeing this emerging unbounded age of unreason, Brzezinski wrote:
“In the technetronic society the trend seems to be toward aggregating the individual support of millions of unorganized citizens, who are easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities, and effectively exploiting the latest communication techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.”
Another figure from this nest of sociopaths emerging onto the scene during these years was a young John Holdren whose 1977 book Ecoscience (co-authored with his mentor Paul Ehrlich) outlined his future dystopia with bone chilling detail saying:
“Perhaps those agencies, combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually be developed into a Planetary Regime- sort of an international superagency for population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all-natural resources, renewable or non-renewable, at least insofar as international implications exist. Thus, the Regime could have the power to control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market. The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”
While the late Zbigniew Brzezinski’s career as a senior diplomat, architect of weaponized radical Islam, and later advisor to Barack Obama are well known, lesser known is the person and career of John Holdren.
From 2009-2017 Holdren acted as “science czar” under the Obama administration where the respected climate scientist spearheaded the defunding of NASA space exploration programs, the collapse of nuclear investments, the killing of fusion power and the re-direction of billions of dollars into “sustainable” green energy fiascos such as Solyndra.
Today, Holdren is ecstatic that he might be admitted back into the corridors of power now that the “aberration” of Trump has been removed, and a “scientifically” managed governance agenda is being quickly brought back online.
On January 27, 2021, Biden signed into effect a “Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-based Policy Making” which revives the earlier 2009 and 2010 science policy memoranda authored by Holdren. This reform calls for imposing a new Director of the Office of Science and Technology in Policy as a sort of Grand Referee to ensure that “evidence-based” policy making are enforced across all departments and sub-departments of state. Expert councils such as the Chief Data Officers’ Council and Evaluation Officer Councils will be created and empowered to keep all science in alignment with behaviorist operating systems. Biden’s memorandum literally calls for “using behavioral science insights to better service the American people” to define the decision making of the system as a whole.
It is here that the ugliness of Behaviorism and the collapse of real standards of scientific practice show their ugly heads. Many terms and techniques used by Russell’s modern governing class are consciously obscured or sanitized for the lower classes and so I would like to take a bit of time to dwell on two of the most important terms here: 1) Evidence Based Decision making and 2) Economic Behaviorism.
Evidence-Based Lying: Case Study #1
“Evidence-based decision making” may seem harmless on the surface. After all, why would we want to take actions without being informed by “evidence”? However, when one begins to scratch the surface of this term and its real-world applications, a very different picture emerges.
A 2009 article by Dr. Cathy Helgason MD pointed out that evidence-based practices (in her case, those shaping the medical practice field), stating:
“It has become clear to me that evidence-based medicine either was in its original intent, or has become, a budget cutting and potential population-control measure. Because it is wrapped up in scientific-sounding rhetoric, it has captured the attention of well-meaning physicians who want to incorporate science into their decisions, and has been sold to the public as an advancement in care.”
In her article, Dr. Helgason points out that doctors conditioned to follow such standards lose their fundamentally human ability to judge, diagnose and treat diseases which often lurk below the surface of data which computer models might pick up and transmit as probabilistic “answers” for what may or may not be wrong with a patient.
As one example, take the case of thousands of coronavirus patients whose intubations induced their deaths since “evidence-based” protocols (a LiveScience analysis reported that 9 out of 10 patients intubated on ventilators ended up dying in one major New York hospital). When frontline doctors like Dr. Kyle Sidell began making the case that COVID-19 symptoms are more akin to high altitude sickness (wherein alveoli in the lungs fail) rather than the typical flu-based respiratory problems, he was silenced for his “heresy”, and intubation was continued under the guise of “evidence-based best practice”.
When looking at how COVID-19 mortality statistics are gathered, one should not be surprised to discover that World Health Organization expert councils have mandated that all deaths be labelled “COVID-19” even if the patient died of heart attack, brain hemorrhage or broken neck while having tested positive for COVID-19. How does that affect the reading of the statistics which experts are projecting into the mass psyche?
Evidence-Based Lying: Case Study #2
Another example of the misuse of statistics can be found in large scale energy policy reforms being driven by the apparent need to lower world temperatures by 1.5 degrees in 30 years.
Sounds pretty noble right?
But what if the data sets being used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s computer models are flawed? What if vast swaths of data sets and higher astrophysical variables shaping climate change are being overlooked in the effort to transform mass behavior in accord with a technocratic elite?
What if the experts deciding which data sets used by climate models are consciously or unconsciously ignoring all data which disproves the conclusions built into their models, as Michael Mann’s now infamously fraudulent hockey stick chart demonstrates? What if increased cooling in Antarctica is ignored while increasingly CO2 detectors near active CO2-spewing volcanic zones like Mauna Loa are kept active? Can this data still be trusted? What about the 2009 and 2011 leaked emails from East Anglia climate scientists that shape all IPCC models demonstrated a vast coverup of data to justify apocalyptic outcomes for political agendas?
What if a closer inspection of CO2:Temperature relationship actually ends up showing that climate change does not follow but is rather followed by CO2 variability? What other factors cause the heating or cooling of the earth other than carbon dioxide? How could we ever find out if we are told the question isn’t worth asking because the scientific debate is over?
While contemplating these matters, the question should always emerge:
Who would benefit by all this sleight of hand? Who would want humanity to falsely adopt fearful and self-loathing states of mind in order to drastically alter its behavior?
Since statistics and evidence-based thinking are the bedrocks of Behaviorism, and since the Behaviorists of the Obama era are consolidating their power under Biden, it is now worth saying a few words about Behaviorism.
Behaviorism: Fascism By Another Name
Ignoring the fact that Behaviorism has gotten a lot of positive press in recent years (one of the leading behaviorists Richard Thaler who co-authored Nudge with fellow behaviorist Cass Sunstein, was even awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 2017), it isn’t an exaggeration to say that the school of thought is fundamentally fascist in its nature.
Why do I say this?
Well, the easy answer is to re-read Holdren’s own words from 1977 cited above and trace out his life’s policy actions. That’s the sledgehammer answer.
The more subtle but useful answer can be found in Holdren’s recent December 2020 interview on science policy in the upcoming Biden Administration (wherein he most certainly hopes to have a role):
“It is very important that, in talking about these matters, scientists separate what they know or believe as scientists from what they prefer as citizens in terms of public policy. It’s very important to distinguish between issues of fact and issues of values and preferences.”
In Holdren’s eyes, “science” and “values” are two opposing worlds.
The unscientific person might think naively that depopulation is atrocious or that a society run by an unelected master class of technicians is offensive to morality, but that is just our “subjective pollution” talking. The priest of science knows that statistical data sets and computer models are the best and only substitute for 1) mapping out and 2) manipulating reality.
For a behaviourist, subjective phenomena such as Love, Justice, Beauty, Free Will and Intentions are non-scientific pollution.
The educated behaviourist seeks only to find materialistic explanations for measurable behavior without resorting to unscientific concepts like “soul” or “mind” or “God” (these concepts being transcendental, immeasurable, unweighable and thus non-existent).
For similar reasons, concepts like “universals”, “Truth”, “Good”, “Evil” are also considered deplorable non-entities to the “scientific thinker” of Holdren’s calibre. Metaphysical gobbledygook and nothing more.
A Word on B.F. Skinner
The founder of modern radical Behaviorism, B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) was himself very candid about the scientific management of society when he wrote “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” (1971) saying that the behavioral scientist of the new post-industrial age must avoid at all costs concepts like dignity, freedom, good or evil:
“We can follow the path taken by physics and biology by turning directly to the relation between behavior and the environments and neglecting supposed mediating states of mind. We do not need to try to discover what personality, states of mind, feelings, traits of character, plans, purposes, intentions or the other prerequisites of autonomous man really are in order to get on with a scientific analysis of behavior”.
All that exists in this cold soulless world are clusters of ants calling themselves “human”, propelled by electro-neural signals masquerading as free will and urges for sex, dominance over the weak and sensual pleasure.
In a typical case of oligarchical projection, Skinner says clearly: “we must remember that wars begin in the minds of men, that there is something suicidal in man- a death instinct perhaps- which leads to war, and that man is aggressive by nature”.
And so, you see, in the minds of Skinner, Holdren, Brzezinski, or any of the giddy technocrats managing the Great Reset, it isn’t “empires” or “oligarchs striving to enslave humanity” which are the causes of humanity’s problems.
The enemy of man is in fact man himself.
And for this unfortunate “fact”, it is the duty of the elite to save mankind from himself.
If that means cleansing society of its traditional values that have deluded him into believing that such notions as Family, Nation, God, Progress or Soul are somehow sacred, then so be it. In his vicious tautology, the behaviorist high priest concludes that these ideas must be cleansed- for if they were not destroyed, then humanity would forever resist a return to feudalism under a scientific dictatorship.
Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow, BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation.