Dictators and Deep States

I’ve been very much enjoying Tucker Carlson’s new series of videos on Twitter. Episode 4 dropped on Friday Australian time and this was one that I was particularly interested in since it touches on several issues I’ve been writing about here for the past year. For those who haven’t seen it, you can watch here.

The video is an extended joke pretending that Joe Biden isn’t behaving exactly like a dictator even though he’s having his political opponents arrested, is enriching himself and his family at the public expense and doing other things that are very dictator-like. The question which Tucker almost poses but never quite gets to is this: why does nobody see it? How can the United States of all places not see a dictator in action? After all, the country was founded on the rejection of absolute power.

The answer lies in the distinction I’ve used many times over the last year or so: exoteric vs esoteric.

The exoteric is the overt, official and explicitly recognised. In the political sphere, the exoteric tells us that Joe Biden is a democratically elected president. It also tells us he is a frail old man with a habit of falling over and a tendency to speak gibberish. Biden wears a suit, not a military outfit. In all these ways, the exoteric tells us that Joe Biden is not a dictator.

The esoteric is the hidden and secret. Psychologically, the esoteric is the things which have been pushed out of consciousness and into the unconscious. In relation to Biden, these are all the things which Tucker Carlson raises in his video: Biden’s crackhead son, his dodgy brother, numerous shady business deals with foreign nations etc. These are all matters that have been swept under the rug, pushed into the unconscious and made esoteric.

The distinction between the exoteric and esoteric does not have to relate to grand matters of politics and religion. I described an example last week with the concept of shadow work. People who commute to their workplace are doing work. But our society does not recognise that work. That lack of recognition is all it takes to push something into the esoteric. But just because we refuse to recognise something, does not mean it isn’t there.

Important matters which are pushed out of the exoteric (consciousness) and into the unconscious generate esoteric energy and that energy finds outlets that are unrelated to the original problem. That is exactly what Freud and Jung realised was happening with their early psychiatric patients. Those patients displayed neuroses that were unrelated to the underlying problem. The psychiatrist’s job is to get to the root cause of the problem and bring it to consciousness; make it exoteric.

It turns out the same thing works in the public domain. The journalist’s job is to bring the esoteric into consciousness. The propagandist’s job is to push things out of the exoteric and into the unconscious. When propaganda replaces journalism, we can expect exactly the psychological problems that Freud and Jung discovered only at the societal level. That is the reason why we are seeing obvious neuroses in our society right now. The MSM no longer does journalism. It does propaganda. The result is a tidal wave of esoteric energy looking for something to grab onto.

That’s why Tucker Carlson got booted out of the MSM and also why his new Twitter series is getting seriously interesting. However, he got it wrong by implying that Joe Biden is a dictator. The Biden presidency is the equivalent to having Grandpa Simpson in the White House. And Grandpa Simpson is not a dictator.

We know what dictators look like. They wear military uniforms. When a dictator takes out a political opponent, we expect scenes such as were recently filmed in Pakistan where Imran Khan was grabbed by a bunch of soldiers in front a courthouse and whisked away in a car. In dictatorships, we expect to regularly hear that some public figure has disappeared and we know we will never hear from them again.

An old fashioned dictatorial move: having the army arrest your political opponent

Similarly, we know how dictators come to power. They do so at the head of a large military force such as Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon. At the very least, we expect some people to get killed as in the Night of the Long Knives. These are the exoteric signals people associate with dictatorship.

Joe Biden does not look like a dictator, therefore he is not a dictator. No more thought goes into it than that. People take things on face value. They trust the exoteric. It’s this blind trust in the exoteric that forms the core battleground of modern democratic politics. Whoever defines the exoteric, official version of events wins. That’s why billions of dollars are spent manipulating the media.

One of the main tactics in that battle is to simply leave out the things you don’t want to become exoteric. Even on the internet, this technique is all pervasive. How many times have you seen a short snippet of video which gives you one interpretation of an event and then later saw an unedited version of the same video which leads you to draw a completely different conclusion? The MSM works on the same principle. It’s not technically a lie. It’s an “omission”. Whoops, we forgot about that bit. We’ll do better next time. We promise.

In dictatorships, the media is tightly controlled and promotes a single message. But Joe Biden does not send around the military or a group of toughs to rough up journalists who step out of line. Instead, as the Twitter Files showed, this is all done through the deep state and its connections with large corporations. The process by which dictatorial power is wielded in modern America is not through a single leader but a network of shady, secretive departments and their corporate allies: the deep state.

Dictators look something like this

Practically all dictators throughout history have had absolutely no shame or scruples about manifesting the exoteric, overt properties of their role. Most dictators are quite happy with their situation. You get to do whatever you like and if anybody disagrees you have them disappeared. Pretty sweet deal while it lasts. Whatever else can be said against it, there is no lying or deceit going on in your average dictatorship. On the contrary, it’s in a dictator’s interest that you know he is a dictator because you’re less likely to cause trouble.

The United States is a nominally democratic system. But this exoteric form of government does not match its esoteric behaviour. This is not an accident. In fact, it follows a long tradition within Faustian (European) civilisation.

The USA has ended up becoming what Toynbee called the Universal State of Faustian civilisation. It is to the Faustian what the Roman Empire was to the Classical. But, as with everything Faustian, it is an inversion of the Classical. Everybody knew the Roman Empire was an empire. But the United States is an empire pretending not to be an empire. It is a dictatorship without a dictator.

Right from the start, Faustian culture has been run on the esoteric. It is for this reason that Oswald Spengler is arguably the greatest historian of the Faustian because his entire work was based on his discovery that the only way to understand the real Faustian was to look beneath the exoteric surface. That’s true in politics, religion and the general culture.

Since we are talking about politics, however, let’s take some prime examples from history to show how the exoteric has never matched the estoeric in Faustian culture and why the United States represents the culmination of that tradition.

Example 1: The Christian Caliphate

The Faustian was constructed by the Christian Church which knitted together a network of European warlords into what amounted to a caliphate. This was an extension of the paradigm established in the dying days of the Roman Empire when Christianity became the state religion. The combination of Roman church and state was used as the inspiration for the new Faustian civilisation. More specifically, the Faustian borrowed the exoteric forms of the Roman Empire. But it overlaid them on what was a completely different political structure and culture. Hence, right from the start, the exoteric and esoteric were out of alignment.

The church in Europe starting around the year 1000 A.D. raised taxes and waged wars. What kind of church goes to war? A Faustian church. In fact, the early church behaved far more like a government. Exoterically, the church was a church. Esoterically, it was a government.

Various European kings came to resent the church precisely because they realised it was a politically entity that limited their power. They proceeded to wage war. The church put up a decent fight but ultimately lost at which point there was a negotiated settlement where the church and the nobility shared governmental responsibility. The church retained significant political power and the ability to extract money from the public. It took until Luther for somebody to finally demand that the church align its exoteric function (indulgences for payment) with its esoteric meaning (repentance of sin).

Example 2: The Holy Roman Empire

Our second example of the exoteric not matching the esoteric in Faustian culture is the Holy Roman Empire. As Voltaire’s joke went: it was not holy, not roman and not an empire. In fact, the epithet “holy” was added later by one of the German emperors who was trying to usurp the authority of the church in Rome. So, you had a politician pretending to be religious in order to win political power. How Faustian! Henry VIII would later go one better by making himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England.

The history of the Holy Roman Empire begins with the Carolingian Empire where the Pope crowned Charlemagne as “Roman Emperor”. From that time on, the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire claimed their authority directly from the ancient Roman emperors. When Napoleon declared himself emperor, he too claimed authority directly from ancient Rome. As always, the Faustian constructed an exoteric veneer that did not match the underlying reality.

The word emperor comes from the Latin imperator. The imperator title was originally given to a general of the Roman army who was elected to that role by his soldiers. When Julius Caesar became dictator, the senate conferred on him the title of Imperator. Later, the same offer was made to Octavian who refused it. Instead, Julius Caesar’s surname became a proxy title for emperor and was used by Octavian and others emperors down to Hadrian. The German word for emperor, Kaiser, and the Russian equivalent, Tsar, are both derived from “Caesar”.

Thus, when the Pope crowned Charlemagne as emperor, he was in fact using an exoteric title that was originally based on a democratic vote within the Roman army. The same title was later bestowed on a dictator by the Roman senate. And now it was bestowed on a northern European warlord by a Pope. Make sense?

The exoteric structure of the Holy Roman Empire was a facade. The real governance model which lay beneath had nothing to do with the Roman system. Nevertheless, for more than a millennia, people kept referring back to Rome. This is why Spengler was at pains to point out time and time again that the real Faustian was completely different from the Classical. Educated scholars, many of whom still believed that Aristotle was the fount of all knowledge, completely failed to grasp that the exoteric did not match the esoteric.

Example 3: The British Empire

Our third example of the exoteric not matching the esoteric is the one directly relevant to the current situation in the United States since it is, in fact, the precursor to the US Empire.  

Britain declared itself an empire in 1533 in all of the chaos surrounding Henry VIII’s break with the church in Rome. Because European power must always be tied back to the ancient world, Henry had his historians make up a story about how his new power was derived from the Fall of Troy. Full marks for creativity.

The new political structure in England was declared an empire mostly for marketing purposes. The decision was made not to call the King an emperor, although Henry insisted on being addressed as “Your Majesty” to copy the then emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Centuries later, George III also declined the title of Emperor in 1801 at a time when Britain clearly was running an empire. Partly this was because Britain had already gone through a civil war over the issue of absolute power and parliament would not have been happy with a king declaring himself emperor. Partly, it was because George was also an elector in the Holy Roman Empire and it would have been weird to have an emperor electing another emperor (even one who wasn’t really an emperor!).

But the real reason was because the British Empire really was different from historical empires and it therefore did not need to have anyone in the exoteric role of emperor. One of the main differences was that foreign vassal states such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand were considered not subordinate but equal to the home country. Of course, this was not really true but if there’s one lesson from European political history it’s that truth is not just unnecessary but actively harmful to the system.

Nevertheless, the functioning of the British Empire really was different to historical examples and so, once again, the official exoteric structure hid the underlying reality which became esoteric.

Most empires historically work on the tribute system whereby vassal states are required to pay a tax in much the same way that the subjects of a king are required to pay. This system is exoteric. There are formal agreements. Everybody is clear on who is the emperor and who is the vassal state. If the vassal state breaks the agreement, they can count on a visit from the emperor’s army in short order. The history of the Roman Empire is full of such “visits”.

The British Empire earned its money via trade and finance. That’s why it was able to pretend that its vassal states were really “friends” and also why it didn’t need an emperor. What it did need was a distributed network of mercantile interests, diplomats and bureaucrats; in other words, a deep state.

It’s for these reasons that some historians refer to the British Empire as an “informal empire”. But that’s just another way of saying an empire which does not manifest the external, exoteric forms. The real operation of power is pushed beneath the surface and becomes esoteric. The average person does not see the empire at work because they are judging reality by external apperances.

When the exoteric archetype is not fulfilled, the matter gets pushed down into the esoteric. Psychically speaking, it lives in the unconscious. That is why I would also say that the British Empire was the first Unconscious Empire.

The Battle Between the Exoteric and the Esoteric

Taking all this into account, the battle between the British and Napoleon was really a battle between an exoteric and an esoteric empire. Napoleon was the arch-emperor. Like every dictator throughout history, he wasn’t shy about showing who was boss. At his coronation, he had two crowns made, one which matched the Roman crown and one which matched Charlemagne’s crown. Again, the Faustian justifies itself by appeal to history. Napoleon also announced that his imperial system was to be based on the Roman model. In Napoleon, you had an attempt to create an old-fashioned, exoteric imperial system.

Ultimately, he was defeated and the esoteric, Unconscious Empire of Britain came to dominate the world. That domination lasted all the way until WW2 when Hitler and the Nazis made another attempt to set up an exoteric Empire – the Third Reich. Of course, this was also a lie since the Nazis were technically still governing under the constitution of the Weimar Republic.

The pattern which runs throughout Faustian culture in general is that the exoteric is a façade, a mask, a veneer. Faustian culture has always been run behind the scenes. It is an esoteric culture. It is, therefore, fitting that the British Empire, which had no emperor and no vassal states, would win against its exoteric competitors. But the coup de grace is the way in which that empire was silently, effortlessly and invisibly transferred to the United States in the wake of WW2.

Example 4: The US Empire

History tells us that great events are done out in the open, on the battlefield, in palaces and churches. History tells us to trust the exoteric. In the exoteric world, empires are defeated in battle. Everybody knows who won and who lost.

Once again, Faustian civilisation turned history on its head. Britain was technically on the winning side in WW2 and yet it lost its empire in the process. Conversely, the USA did not win its prize from its defeated opponents, Germany and Japan, because those defeated opponents never held the prize in the first place. It won the prize from its “ally”.

The prize which the USA won was the British Empire. In truth, it had already been won due to the enormous debts Britain had accrued to the US to pay for its war effort.

The handover of the British Empire to the United States did not happen at a political or military level. The British did not sign a document of surrender. There was no exoteric occasion to mark the transfer of power. Rather, the transfer happened behind closed doors at the Bretton Woods Conference. It was done by men in suits, not by men in military uniform. It was facilitated by technocrats, not by political leaders. Britain’s Empire was based on control of trade and finance. It was that control which was transferred to the USA at Bretton Woods.

The USA then became the second Unconscious Empire and, more importantly, the Universal State of the Faustian civilisation. There are no more exoteric challengers to that role. It’s fitting that the transfer of power also happened esoterically. To this day, most Americans are unaware that their country is an empire at all even as the requirements of maintaining that empire starkly conflict with the needs of the American public and even as the official version of events is now so far misaligned with reality that the entire public discourse in the US is complete and utter nonsense; a total fabrication.


This brings us back to Tucker Carlson. Tucker is wrong to imply that Biden is a dictator. Most dictators are good at being dictators. It’s not a job that rewards incompetence. Biden can barely finish a sentence. He is the antithesis of a Julius Caesar or a Napoleon.

And that’s the whole point. The US empire runs the same way the British did: behind closed doors. The British Empire did not need an emperor and neither does the US Empire. In fact, an emperor represents an existential threat to the system. That’s why they need to destroy Trump.

As Tucker Carlson correctly pointed out, the unforgiveable sin that Trump made during his presidential campaign was to directly challenge the US role as Universal State and suggest that the US step back from that role. That is why the whole system turned against him and not just the system in the USA but the entire global system whose interests align with the Universal State. That’s why the official narrative in Germany, Britain, Japan and Australia religiously mimics the party line from the US deep state.

We’re all in this together.

What is absolutely fascinating right now is that the deep state is having to come out of the shadows to take out Trump. Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson is exposing the system for what it is. He is only able to do that because Elon Musk bought Twitter and put an end to the censorship. Will any of this make a difference? What happens to an Unconscious Empire when it is brought into the light? Does it shrink and die like Dracula? We may be about to find out.

21 thoughts on “Dictators and Deep States”

  1. Seemingly, it doesn’t shrink and die, it simply reveals it’s true form in the exoteric, replete with dictatorial figures (albeit in an unusual, if not oddly fitting, form for our times (dictators in drag, anyone?)), censorship, desperate propagandizing, and all the absurdities oozing forth since Corona hysterics first pulled back the curtain on what was humming along under the surface all our lives, and long before.
    The long knives may yet be drawn, afterall. With their backs against the wall what else is left those who would be emperors?

  2. Cub – yeah, in order for Dracula to shrink and die, he must be brought to the light. But that is a battle that takes place in the mind and, as Jung pointed out, most people will do anything to avoid facing Dracula (the Shadow). I think we’ve seen the practical application of that idea in the last few years. Some people will die rather than confront the truth.

  3. Hi Simon,

    We’re all in this together. Are you sure about that? I heard recently, and I can’t recall exactly where, but apparently: Staying apart, keeps us together 🙂 Honestly, there were times I’d felt as if I’d awoken to find myself in the George Orwell novel, 1984. Re-read it recently out of curiosity. Almost without exception people tell me, and learned essays also suggest, that the author wrote the novel as a warning. But when re-reading the book, I couldn’t shake the gut feeling that the author, really, really, liked the society he presented us with. In some ways it was a bureaucratic society where the exoteric and esoteric were mixed up horribly. Yes, Big Brother loves you, but if you don’t love him back, things gonna end badly. Talk about messed up.

    Sorry, I digress – it’s a bad habit. The insights in your essay have astounded me. Genius insights.

    I’m of the belief that the attempts to wrest control of the narrative, are also a bit of a power play. Such things always go on and it is worth recalling that the elites in our society hardly share common goals. But also, there is a tendency to over state their competence. If failure is not punished, then caution and prudence is also generally not practiced. I have wondered whether the few folks upsetting the apple cart are aware of the many problems building, but none of them seem to be doing what they do out of altruism?



  4. Die, mask up indefinitely, actually believe the media babble, and generally dismantle all traces of culture and value structure that they share with their fellows, yes. All to avoid facing up to the truths they’ve kept unconscious all their lives.
    But I’m not sure I agree with your Dracula comparison. This feels more like a monster who has long walked amongst us in broad daylight but has somehow lost its skin, the guise that kept its monster-ness hidden to the empire’s unwitting subjects. The fear is that now the creature underneath is being revealed its only recourse is to act like a monster. Now that the unconscious empire has been glimpsed, I doubt it will simply shrink and die, but rather will need to act overtly like an empire and forcefully impose its mandates upon its citizens. Something we have got a taste of already, and may ramp up significantly in the years to come as people like Tucker, Musk, and so on further peel back the skin.

  5. I think a lot of people who opposed the Corona lockdowns were caught off guard when the esoteric deep state has shown itself – after all, before corona no one thought a western government will order and enforce a lockdown, but in reality the esoteric stractures for that were long in place, but most people had the privilage of being oblivious, because it was not being used against them.

    Simon, are you familiar with Niall Ferguson’s work “The Square and the Tower”? In this book Ferguson argues the official history tells a top down story of events directed by kings, nobles and governors who operate in a heiarchy, which is an exoteric form of power.

    But in reality, a lot of events were directed by networks of informal relations. He then argues a well functioning society needs a balance between esoteric and exoteric power, as both have inherant problems.

    Networks being graphs are subject to the Pareto principle: 80 percent of the power, recources, information, etc will go to 20 percent of the actors, and this inequality will remain hidden because of the esoteric nature.

    Hierarchys similarly have their own problems, namely a lack of flexibility, resiliance, and the formal impossibility of direct communication between people who report to different branches of the power structure.

    Therefore, a combination of an esoteric and exoteric power is necessary for a functioning society, but it seems our exoteric leaders were more than happy to surrender all of the responsibility and power to a network of “experts” not so long ago, in reverse of what you describe as what happened when the European kings grabbed the power of the Roman church.

  6. the ideal for any would-be “dictator” being to run with the hare and simultaneously course with the hounds , surely the British Monarch still demonstrates considerable ” exoteric” power and very much wants it to be seen ? In parallel, that is, with the vast paraphernalia of the Law and the Establishment, buried in meretricious frills .
    For what it’s worth, I’ve just caught a clip of the Trooping of the Colo[u]r “” a mind-bogglingly silly but significant ceremony, with even Queen Camilla in sort-of uniform. * out of proper deference to our American cousins , who are , at least in this minor aspect of life,closer to the Classics than us.
    I remarked, by chance,,the other day that the motto “IND. IMP” was on George VI’s coins etc., and we remember how Disraeli won Queen Victoria’s undying affection and admiration by ,generous chap, endowing her with the title.
    In short,while the actual, person of the dictator/caudillo does not have to be military or even flagrantly “macho” , it has helped the shrewd Faustians, with Putin and Trump, each in his own sweet way ,in denial of his feminine side.
    Random comments in relation to your analysis, indicating I should read Unconscious Empire…
    My fall-back position, nevertheless,is that , however insightful Spengler or Jung are into understanding the world, the task of philosophers is not to describe or even understand the world ,but to change it, before it is too late
    One’s default position must be to be “agin the government” or: the price of liberty is eternal vigilance

  7. Chris – exactly. That’s the same issue Dostoevsky was exploring with his Grand Inquisitor idea. Universal States do have a lot to recommend them. They provide happiness (while it lasts). Dostoevsky’s deal was you can have happiness or you can have freedom. You can’t have both.

    Cub – yes, but it’s a battle of the mind. That was Tucker Carlson’s point. Some of us can see the empire for what it is. But many people do not. What differentiates us from them is not a physical reality but a mental one. So, I think you’re right. The empire will ramp up its exoteric enforcement. It will do so alongside a massive increase in propaganda to try and keep enough people acquiescent. But a side effect of propaganda is to unleash negative esoteric energy. How long can that last for? Can you imagine how insane our society will be if they manage to keep this going for another decade or two?

    Bakbook – interesting. I haven’t read Ferguson but will put that on my reading list. I think the Faustian’s strength has always been esoteric. In that sense, the dictatorship of the technocracy is a logical outcome for Faustian culture. We don’t remember how boring the late Roman Empire was for the average person. It was a society where all the exoteric structures were still in place but the esoteric had completely dried up. Christianity came to fill the void. Again, the Faustian is the opposite of the Classical. Whatever you want to say about our world, it is not boring. We have swung to the other extreme. Our exoteric structures are irrelevant and we live almost entirely in the esoteric.

    David – the whole emperor/empress of India thing is weird. I’ve never looked into it much but apparently the British were most proud of having India in their “commonwealth”. I suppose part of the reason was that it made them an awful lot of money, far more than their other dominions. As for changing the world, I agree. I always liked the definition of religion as metaphysics + action (ceremony, rites). If you have one without the other, things go bad. According to Toynbee, we are due for a new religion and that would mean we need to align our words and our action again.

  8. Chris
    I would have to disagree with you about Orwell liking the society he presented in 1984. It is years since I have read it, but having read The Road to Wiggen Pier, Down and Out in Paris and London, Coming Up For Air, and especially Homage To Catalonia about his time in the Catalan anarchist militia in the Spanish civil war, and essays about him, he comes across as very anti-establishment and pro worker and underdog. I have always understood 1984 as an observation of the tyranny he had witnessed in Spain and during WWII, and the ongoing tyranny of the USSR at the time and a caution against the west going down the same road( the McCarthy era in the US might already have started). 1984 was just a flip of 1948 , the year he wrote it.

  9. Hi, Simon. Here is a message I sent to my mailing list on holobionts after that one of the members said, “Elite plans for their future paradise are not proceeding well, but they are not stopped, and are not openly discussed in commercial media. They look at The Limits To Growth, and depletion of their jet-fuel substrates and see that they must thin the human herd.”

    On these points made by John, there is an interesting post by Simon Sheridan,


    where he makes a distinction between two features of modern states, “exoteric” and “esoteric” — the external (exoteric) is the decisional process as it appears in the media. The internal (esoteric) is the actual decision process, not shown to the public or publicly discussed.

    This is perfectly normal: all modern states work in this fashion. States are holobionts, of a certain kind; their decision process depends on how their internal network is structured. In ancient states, the decision process was all in the mind of the Godking or the Emperor. Today, things are more complex; nevertheless it is true that for the great holobiont to efficiently move in some direction, all nodes must move in that direction. In the West, this process has evolved in such a way that no decision can be taken unless some groups or sectors of society are demonized. That is, the esoteric decision is “exoterized” by means of a narrative that implies fighting a common enemy. We have seen this mechanism operating all the time during the past few decades.

    At this point, it may appear clear to the esoteric section of the state that the climate situation (and not just that) is degrading to a level where their own dominance is threatened. Which means they have their finger on the “demonization” console. It will be interesting to see who will be the target of the next demonization round. (“interesting” in the sense of the ancient Chinese malediction). Very unfortunately, to paraphrase Lev Trockij, “you may not be interested in demonization, but demonization is interested in you”.

  10. It’s interesting re the unconscious empire and the utter intolerance of difference in regards to the esoteric in Faustian culture and the radical tolerance of difference in the esoteric in the classical. It’s very hard for Faustians to grasp that to the Classical what was important was that you performed the exoteric ritual and it didn’t matter in the slightest if you did or didn’t ‘believe’ in it. There really was no such thing as ‘authenticity’.

    What classical man ais that you respected the plurality of beliefs by engaging in the rituals of the local cult. What was not tolerated was intolerance and universal religion, and nothing signals the end of the classical and the start of the Magian more than Christianity taking over the Empire.

    Faustians don’t care if you go to church or not, or act in an unusual way but god forbid if you hold different beliefs or opinions that aren’t those that come down from the Pope and cardinals (experts and ‘science’). This is the horrific Faustian tyranny of the mind that Spengler highlighted as abhorrent to other cultures.

  11. Ugo – thanks for that. Demonisation can backfire, of course. Jesus is the prototypical example. The Deep State looks set to turn Trump into a martyr. Meanwhile, the demonisation of the unvaccinated has led to a presidential candidate who is polling well (Robert F. Kennedy) openly speaking against vaccines. It was fine when the elites were demonising external actors – Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, “axis of evil” etc. But since the Trump and Brexit votes, they are now trying to demonise their own public. That’s not a winning strategy.

    Skip – I think the reason is that the Faustian was created out of Christianity and it was Christianity which was keeping the whole thing together. Without Christianity, Europe would have gone back to lawless war bands roaming the countryside. So, everybody had a big incentive to tow the line. It’s funny to think that if the British-US empire was like the Roman, Australia would be free to develop its own culture. Instead, we get to have a bunch of ideological nonsense jammed down our throats 24 hours a day.

  12. Hi Stephen,

    Fair enough. But if I recall correctly, the bloke was fighting in Spain on the side of the very people everyone tells me over and over again he was meant to be critiquing. At best, it’s a confused world-view. I’ve observed a tendency for people to imitate what they contemplate, and it is possible that this is the case here. From my perspective, the author experienced a lot of pain in his life – as you note, and to my minds eye, 1984 represented his way out of that mess.

    So what about Animal Farm? The horse still ended up in the glue factory. The facts in that case speak for themselves.

    My view in this matter is decidedly unpopular, but based on what I’m observing of the past few years, a whole bunch of people seem to be super excited about the future presented in the book 1984. Isn’t that the core of Simon’s essay: Mixing up the esoteric with the exoteric?

    More than happy to be wrong though.



  13. Hi Chris. I think Orwell, like many others, went to Spain to fight fascism which he saw as the greatest world threat. The anarchist militia might well have seemed the purist way to do so.Upon serving there in the war,, he came to see that the atrocities by his side were pretty much as bad as the fascists. This was especially true since UK, France and US banned any arms shipments to the republic: to both sides actually, but the fascists were being fully supplied and assisted by Germany and Italy. This left the USSR as the only country assisting the republic, and ended up with situations like Soviet generals ( advisors) shooting Spanish soldiers on the spot who questioned their decisions. Then there were the phenomena of the communists and anarchists battling amongst themselves in Barcelona, and the summary executions there, especially by the communists.
    I think a lot of western intellectuals and writers, who went to Spain very idealistic about the republic, left disillusioned. I would count Hemingway, Laurie Lee, and probably Robert Cappa amongst them.
    I don’t think Orwell ever embraced 1984 as a solution.’ though he probably feared it was inevitable.
    Cheers, Stephen

  14. The most egregious example to me of the exoteric becoming esoteric is the western press coverage of the Ukraine war and now the Trump persecution. Fox news “dealing with” the journalist who put up the Biden wanna be dictator banner probably guilds the lilly. When the press self censors to that extent,it is a real mark of the success of the population internalizing the rulers message. Nazi Germany reached that point. Fortunately the west has not yet got around to suppressing various web sites that still speak out against them. I wonder about Scott Ritter, Douglas Mac Gregor, Larry Johnstone and others, about you Simon with your Covid coverage. One can but hope that they don’t get that far.
    Thanks Simon and commentariat

  15. Stephen – that raises another important distinction between exoteric and esoteric empires. In an exoteric empire, enemies are physically taken out. In an esoteric empire, you get “cancelled” – social media accounts deleted, bank accounts frozen, kicked out of your job, prevented from travelling etc. The way they handle that cancellation is that everybody gets freedom to speak until that speech gets too popular. That’s when they cancel you.

  16. Simon: “The way they handle that cancellation is that everybody gets freedom to speak until that speech gets too popular. That’s when they cancel you.”

    Ah, yes. That sounds very familiar. I grew up in Serbia, and this is precisely how it worked there in the 1990s. (The 1990s were late childhood and adolescence for me.) You could publish newspapers that were highly critical of the regime and sell them perfectly legally – as long as your readership was small enough. If the only people reading you were the ones who’d never dream of voting for Milosevic and his party in any case, then you could write to your heart’s content. Ah, but if your readership grew, that’s when you faced stiff fines, had your offices closed down, faced arrest, imprisonment, and maybe even assassination. But as long as few enough people read you, no problem, you could write whatever you liked.

  17. Ugo – thanks!

    Irena – pffft! That’s old school. We just get some computer nerd who’s working from home in his mum’s basement to freeze your bank accounts and ensure you don’t appear in search results anymore. Easy 😛

  18. Hi Simon, is the exoteric/esoteric dissonance just a built in function of our society. The example that comes to mind for me is economics. The exoteric manifestation is all about money, while the barely acknowledged esoteric reality is that the world runs on energy. All economic conversations revolve around money, very few delve into energy. With no energy money has no value. Tim Morgan at surplus energy economics explains it with more expertise than me.
    Such a massive disconnect seems to be more like a function of a system than some sort of misunderstanding or error.
    Perhaps, as Tim Morgan suggests, the exoteric can diverge from the esoteric only to a point. At some stage the difference becomes too great to maintain the fiction.
    Thanks for your thought provoking posts.

  19. Jamie – “With no energy money has no value.” Yes. But that’s only been true since Nixon closed the gold window in 1971. Prior to that, you could theoretically trade currency for gold.

    With our fiat digital currencies, we’ve made money fully esoteric. I think this actually brings the currency into line with your point, which is that money is energy. Inflation then becomes a way to reduce the amount of energy that can be unleashed for a set dollar amount. Theoretically, with a digital fiat currency, you can inflate the currency indefinitely and I’m pretty sure that this is exactly the the plan that our “elites” have in mind. But, you’re right, eventually it will clash against the exoteric understanding of the general public who have the old-fashioned idea that money has intrinsic value. What the public will do in response is another question.

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