The Schizotocracy, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The New Normal Reich
Well, 2023 is almost in the books, and things couldn’t be going better for the New Normal Reich. It’s been a long, strange seven years, but we’re finally back to the Global War on Terror, which, as you may recall, was abruptly preempted in 2016 by the War on Populism, which, as you may recall, was abruptly preempted in 2020 by the Apocalyptic Pandemic, which, as you may recall, was what ushered The New Normal Reich into being and brought us full-circle.
Anyway, here we are, back in The Global War on Terror, or the War on Horror, or The War on Whatever … Islamic terrorism, Russia, Trump, disinformation, racism, hate speech, conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, anti-vaxxerism, transphobians, Communists, cultural Marxists, radical wokesters, the Cult of Musk, neo-Covidians, Zionazis, climate-change deniers, decapitated baby rapers … it doesn’t really matter. Pick an enemy and join the Roman Orgy of Hatred!
The schizotocracy couldn’t care less which side of whatever you think you are on.
Yes, that’s right, “the schizotocracy.” I’ve coined a new name for the supranational network of global corporations, nominally-sovereign governments, non-governmental governing entities, media conglomerates, oligarchs, etc., that comprise the global-capitalist system that is driving the course of events in our time. I’ve coined this new name for those of my readers who suffer apoplectic seizures whenever I write about “global capitalism” (or “GloboCap,” as I sometimes jokingly call it) and its predictable evolution into “The New Normal Reich.”
I’ll tell you about the “schizotocracy,” but, first, here’s an excerpt from an essay I wrote about that predictable evolution back in 2017 …
We haven’t really got our minds around it yet, because we’re still in the early stages of it, but we have entered an epoch in which historical events are primarily being driven, and societies reshaped not by sovereign nation states acting in their national interests but by supranational corporations acting in their corporate interests. Paramount among these corporate interests is the maintenance and expansion of global capitalism, and the elimination of any impediments thereto. Forget about the United States (i.e., the actual nation state) for a moment, and look at what’s been happening since the early 1990s. The US military’s “disastrous misadventures” in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, and the former Yugoslavia, among other exotic places (which obviously had nothing to do with the welfare or security of any actual Americans), begin to make a lot more sense.
Global capitalism, since the end of the Cold War (i.e, immediately after the end of the Cold War), has been conducting a global clean-up operation, eliminating actual and potential insurgencies, mostly in the Middle East, but also in its Western markets. Having won the last ideological war, like any other victorious force, it has been “clearing-and-holding” the conquered territory, which in this case happens to be the whole planet. Just for fun, get out a map, and look at the history of invasions, bombings, and other “interventions” conducted by the West and its assorted client states since 1990. Also, once you’re done with that, consider how, over the last fifteen years, most Western societies have been militarized, and their citizens placed under constant surveillance, and an overall atmosphere of “emergency” fostered, and paranoia about “the threat of extremism” propagated by the corporate media.
I’m not suggesting there’s a bunch of capitalists sitting around in a room somewhere in their shiny black top hats planning all of this. I’m talking about systemic development, which is a little more complex than that, and much more difficult to intelligently discuss because we’re used to perceiving historico-political events in the context of competing nation states, rather than competing ideological systems … or rather, non-competing ideological systems, for capitalism has no competition. What it has, instead, is a variety of insurgencies, the faith-based Islamic fundamentalist insurgency and the neo-nationalist insurgency chief among them. There will certainly be others throughout the near future as global capitalism consolidates control and restructures society according to its values.
None of these insurgencies will be successful.
Short some sort of cataclysm, like an asteroid strike or the zombie apocalypse, or, you know, violent revolution, global capitalism will continue to restructure the planet to conform to its ruthless interests. The world will become increasingly “normal.” The scourge of “extremism” and “terrorism” will persist, as will the general atmosphere of “emergency.” There will be no more Trumps, Brexit referendums, revolts against the banks, and so on. Identity politics will continue to flourish, providing a forum for leftist activist types (and others with an unhealthy interest in politics), who otherwise might become a nuisance, but any and all forms of actual dissent from global capitalist ideology will be systematically marginalized and pathologized.
I wrote that in October of 2017, and, no, I’m not an soothsayer or a prophet. The trajectory of global capitalism as a system has been obvious for quite some time. That is, if you could see it clearly, as opposed to through an ideological lens.
Now, let me tell you about the schizotocracy. Or, rather, let me tell you about schizophrenia, which is really just a fancy name for psychosis. I want to do that because that’s where global capitalism (or crony capitalism, or the corporatocracy, or the New Normal Reich, or cultural Marxism, or whatever you want or need to call it) is inexorably taking us, i.e., into a state of societal psychosis, so it would probably be a good idea to understand how psychosis works.
What happens when you become psychotic is, you lose your ability to participate in “reality.” It’s like being in a country where you don’t speak the language. Or trying to play a game that everyone else is playing when you don’t know the rules, or the point of the game, and no one will tell you. See, normally, “reality” is just, well, reality. It doesn’t take scare quotes. It’s just “the way it is.” But it isn’t. Reality is manufactured. Which is why what is “real” has changed throughout history. (Of course, those earlier versions of reality were wrong, and our current reality is right, and future generations will never look back on our reality as we look back on the reality of people in Medieval Europe, or ancient Rome, or Mesopotamia.)
In other words, reality is a fiction … a fiction that we all agree to believe in. But that doesn’t make it any less real. On the contrary, it is absolutely real, and absolutely necessary. It is an absolutely necessary fiction. It is what makes communication and cooperation possible. It is what makes all human society possible. As long as we forget that it is a fiction. As long as we don’t perceive it as a fiction.
Which is the problem for psychotic (or “schizophrenic”) individuals. They are unable to not perceive reality as a fiction, a work of ontological fiction in progress. They have forgotten to forget that it’s all made up — which is the price of admission to our communal “reality” — so they desperately try to interpret everything … literally everything, everything that we don’t have to interpret and just take for granted.
For example, if I ask you how your car is running (assuming that you have a car), you will not have to wonder what I mean. You’ll trust that I am referring to your actual car, the physical automotive vehicle. But when you ask a schizo how their car is running, they may not know what you mean by “car.” Do you really mean their brain? Or the material “vehicle” in which their immaterial spirit is traveling? And why are you asking? Who are you? What are you? A “car mechanic”? Are you from “The Factory”? Or a Cosmic Repo-man? They can’t be certain.
Their mind is working to assemble a “reality,” alone — it does not get more alone — with the pieces of the old (i.e., our) “reality,” which no longer works as reality for them, because they watched it disintegrate into pieces, because they took way too much LSD, or had a psychotic breakdown due to a chemical imbalance, or inserted metal hooks into their pectoral muscles and were hoisted into the the air and hung there until the veil of maya finally dissolved … or whatever it was they did or suffered that obliterated reality for them.
Now, I don’t mean to denigrate obliterating reality. Such experiences can be enlightening, in moderation. But psychosis is a horse of a different color. The biggest danger, when reality is obliterated, is if you freak out and desperately try to impose a new reality on the obliterated reality, which it is nearly impossible not to do if reality remains obliterated for too long. The human mind can handle brief sojourns beyond the veil of maya, but it cannot live there. If it cannot return to our reality, it starts making up its own “reality” … a “reality” that it cannot describe to us, or even get us to acknowledge the existence of, because it is talking to us in a foreign language, which no one but the psychotic person understands.
In other words, psychosis is a failure to communicate. The “reality” the psychotic person is experiencing (i.e., constructing) cannot be communicated to anyone. Our reality is no less a fiction than theirs, but it is a fiction we all share, whereas the psychotic person exists alone, utterly alone, in their solitary (paranoid) “reality.” If they could just get us to see what they see, think the way they think, and speak their language, they wouldn’t be psychotic, and neither would we. We would all be normal. Their “reality” would be reality.
OK, so back to the schizotocracy, which is where The New Normal Reich is taking us, which I described above as societal psychosis. And, yes, we need to talk about capitalism. We need to talk about what it does to society when people let it run amok.
Now, I want to be ultra-clear about this for those of my readers who go totally ape-shit every time I write about capitalism. I have no problem with capitalism per se. I’m not an economist. For all I know, capitalism may be the best economic system in the entire history of economic systems. I am not calling on the proletariat to rise up and seize the means of production. I am writing about capitalism as an ideology, because it’s the ideology that has become our reality, the reality of the planet Earth, which it is transforming into one big marketplace.
See, what capitalism does, if you turn it loose, when it isn’t restrained in any real way by any sort of dominant value system — e.g., a religious, or cultural, or social value system — what it does is, it transforms societies into markets, and turns everything and everyone within them into commodities. It strips societies of all other values — i.e., impediments to the free flow of capital — until nothing remains but the marketplace, where exchange value is the only value and nothing has any real value in itself, or any real meaning in itself.
And the kicker is, what capitalism does next, when it’s allowed to go hog-wild on society, is it sells the desiccated husks of people’s values back to them as lifestyle commodities. Identities, religions, political parties, sexual orientations, left, right, capitalist, anti-capitalist, whatever. They are all just interchangeable commodities. Consumer products. Leisure activities. If they aren’t, if you attempt to actually live your life according to non-global-capitalist values (like, just for example, Islam, or Christianity, or communism, or any other values that impede the unbridled flows of capital), you will quickly find yourself branded an “extremist.” Go ahead, those of you who call yourselves Christians, try this … give everything you have to the poor, chase the money-changers out of your churches. See how fast you are branded “terrorists.”
Again, for my sensitive pro-capitalist readers, I have no problem with private property, and manufacturing and buying and selling things, and all that other basic “capitalism” stuff. I’m talking about what happens when we take our hands off the reins of society, and let global capitalism run society for us. What happens is, capitalism disintegrates our values, all of our values, not just the ones you don’t like. We end up living in a global market, a global market where there are no values, and nothing means anything, because anything means anything.
We end up with societal psychosis. We end up ruled by a schizotocracy. Our reality changes from day to day, as does who we thought were our allies and adversaries, depending on the fluctuations of the market. The ideological market. The “reality” market. One day we’re all “free-speech” champions, and the next we’re screeching for censorship of speech. One day people are demonizing “the Unvaccinated,” and the next they are screeching that they are being demonized. Comparing anything to Nazi Germany is anti-Semitism, until it isn’t, and wasn’t, until it was, and then wasn’t again. Trump is Hitler. Putin is Hitler. Hamas is Hitler. Netanyahu is Hitler. Anyone who calls anyone Hitler is Hitler. Men are women. Women are Hitler. The Hamas terrorists are worse than the Nazis. Israel is worse than the Nazis. Masks work, and they don’t. Stand with Ukraine. Stand with Israel. Stand with Whatever. Listerine kills the germs that brushing can’t. Have it your way. You’re in good hands. Fly the friendly skies. And so on. Nothing and no one can be trusted. No one has any values or principles, so we’re just shrieking gibberish and slogans at each other, like corporations advertising their products on a television network that no one is watching.
And, of course, just like the psychotic individual, who desperately attempts to impose a new “reality” on the terrifying chaos of the obliterated reality from which they have been exiled, many folks are going full-blown fascist and trying to ram their “truth” down everyone else’s throat in an attempt to reestablish something, anything, resembling a functional reality … a reality that isn’t up for grabs. Other people are switching off, and withdrawing from society, overwhelmed by it all. Others are searching for someone to tell them what is really going on and what to do about it. “Leaders” are coming out of the woodwork, delivering speeches and holding seminars, explaining the problem … and who “our enemy” is.
I think you know how the rest of this story goes.
And, no, for those readers who are tempted to write me and ask, I don’t know how to stop it. Maybe, if it can be stopped, that will start with people actually talking to each other, face to face, in physical reality, people who disagree with each other, who may not particularly like each other, but who are able to sit together and talk about the state of our world without it devolving into a shrieking homicidal hate fest.
As usual, I wish I had something more hopeful to end this horrible column with … especially because it’s Christmas-time, the season of joy, and love, and all that. I don’t. And, also, I’m a little distracted preparing for my trial here in Germany for thoughtcrimes. If you are in Berlin on January 23, 12:00 PM, and want to attend the proceedings, feel free to come to the District Court. The address is Turmstraße 91. We are in Room 371. It should be interesting.
In the meantime, merry Christmas and happy holidays!
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