Imagine the Compliance

Imagine the Compliance
A logo of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is seen as people attend the WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 24, 2018. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)
Roger Kimball

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

The onslaught against individual liberty is ramping up big time, especially among governments and self-designated elites whose guiding passion is to control your life.

One prominent source of this animus against liberty is the World Economic Forum, the Davos-based coterie of nanny-state busybodies.

Their most recent large-scale initiative is the “The Great Reset,” which began life in the fall of 2020, just as the panic and dislocation caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19, was really getting started.
Committed to the ethic of “never letting a crisis go to waste,” the architects of this effort at wholesale social engineering cheerfully promised “to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”
From their eyrie in Davos, these self-absorbed mandarins demanded that “every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed” in order to bring about a “great reset” of capitalism.

The true political ends of such elite enterprises are generally swaddled in emollient rhetoric about “equality,” “democracy,” etc. Thus, the public relations surrounding the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset” is festooned with talk of “stakeholder capitalism,” “equality,” “sustainability,” and other items in the lexicon of socialistically oriented political obfuscation.

The real agenda, however, is revealed in its call for “changes,” i.e., increasing taxes on the wealthy, turning away from a reliance on fossil fuels, and “building ‘green’ urban infrastructure and creating incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.”

The Great Reset has plenty of partisans among the bureaucratically inclined globalist juntas that aim to rule the world.

There has also been a lively pushback, including the forthcoming book “Against the Great Reset,” to which I contributed an essay.

Judging by the increasingly extreme policies propagated by the Davos crowd, there’s going to be a lot more where that comes from.

Just this past week, Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, told a rapt audience at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting about pills embedded with a microchip that signals to your minders when the pill has been ingested.

It is, he said, a “biological chip that is in the tablet.”

“And once we take the tablet and [it] dissolves into the stomach, [it] sends a signal that you took the tablet,“ he said. ”So, imagine the applications of that—the compliance. The insurance companies know that the medicines that patients should take, they do take them.”

“Imagine the compliance.”

Yes, I can. And so can Yuval Noah Harari, the Davos-friendly, bestselling author of pop-philosophy books warning—or crowing (it’s not always easy to tell)—that human beings are just about to exceed their shelf life and need to be replaced by something better.

Like Bourla and other performers at Davos, Harari delights in the advent of COVID because it has hastened his evolutionary designs for the human species.

“COVID is critical,” he said in a recent interview, “because this is what convinces people to accept, to legitimize, total biometric surveillance. ... We need not just to monitor people. We need to monitor what’s happening under their skin.”

Today, he explains, governments want to extend their near-total external surveillance apparatus. Already, they know where we go, with whom we meet, and what we look at, buy, read, and watch. But now tools are becoming available that will enable them to know what’s happening on and under our skin.

Harari sometimes says that he’s a partisan of freedom of expression. But he follows that up with stout denials that free will exists.

It was all right for old-fashioned people like Locke, Rousseau, and Thomas Jefferson, he explains in his 2018 book “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.”

But humanity is beyond all that now.

Now, we’re in the business of making man into gods, he says.

“We are really acquiring divine powers of creation and destruction,” he tells a blinking interviewer. “We are really upgrading humans into gods.


Along the way, Harari has made dismissive remarks about populist criticism of the media and the scientific elite, and even traditional Christianity.

All that is “fake news,” he says, insisting that humans are “hackable animals” who will soon grow out of their attachment to outmoded ideas such as the worth of the individual and free will.

“That’s over,” he says.

“The most important question in 21st-century economics may well be what to do with all the superfluous people.”

There will be so many “superfluous” people, because only a small portion of humanity will be “upgraded” to be “superhumans” who will “enjoy unheard-of abilities and unprecedented creativity, which will allow them to go on making many of the most important decisions in the world,” he says.

Tough luck, though, because “most humans will not be upgraded, and will consequently become an inferior caste dominated by both computer algorithms and the new superhumans.”

Harari is in love with the word “algorithm.”

Organisms, he repeatedly asserts, are “really just algorithms,” which, in the hands of big data companies like Facebook and Google, become “all-knowing oracles.”

Harari’s brand of techno-philistinism has many precedents, going back, I suppose, to the Garden of Eden when there was already talk of doing something that would elevate people to be “as gods.”

It’s all nonsense, of course, and predictable nonsense at that.

I remember a comment of the philosopher Arthur Danto that points out how common it is to analogize the human mind and spirit in terms of the latest technology.

In the 19th century, mechanical and then electrical models were put forth to explain—or explain away—the mind. In the 20th century, it was the turn of the computer.

Now, Harari is on the spot telling us that humanity is really just an elaborate Google search.

Hannah Arendt warned about the crude philistinism of behaviorism, not because it’s true, but because in the hands of the wrong people, it might be made to become so.

Threats to the integrity of the individual are legion. Governments everywhere seem committed to subjecting their citizens to becoming compliant serfs.

They’re greatly aided by bureaucratic supremacists like the queen bees of the World Economic Forum and their shills and confidence men.

We should resist their blandishments.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Where Next? Western Civilization at the Crossroads.”
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