|"Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin', spinnin' free... dizzy with eternity" - John Perry Barlow|
Now that the “shock and awe” of recent frenzied political machinations appears to have desensitized public perception to a point of numb acceptance, it is clear that the proverbial paradigm has indeed shifted. What we once typified as a spy vs. spy world, has not only been verified, it has rapidly surpassed the post-9/11 Top Secret America surveillance standard and morphed into a bizarro alt-reality. The consequent supplanting of political “business as usual” continues to spin out of control. Just as one crisis comes into focus, two more are taking shape on the periphery, while four more are incubating in the wings.
In an earlier post, we explored a recent global shift toward an extreme right-wing or Alt-Right social and political posture. We postulated that this socio/political phenomenon was but one example (albeit an extremely unsettling one) of a more profound shift in consciousness of first, second and third world populations. The deeper transmutation appears to be a waning of the mainstream and a waxing of the Fringe. Middle or mainstream moral and ethical sensibilities are rapidly being replaced by fringe thinking… or what we at Tek-Gnostics call: “High Weirdness.”
Note: our esteemed colleague Recluse, over at the "Visup" Weblog, has done a wonderfully comprehensive series on this topic, titled: Fringe: The Strange and Terrible History of the Far Right and High Weirdness. The discerning reader can find part one of this series by following the above link. This is highly recommended reading.
In these unsettling times, the giving way of the middle to the fringe, the “Widening of the Gyre” to employ Yeats’ overused metaphor, instills a palpable angst within the shifting paradigm.
So how did Mainstream transform into High Weirdness?
Specific to the US of A, the mainstream has been closely associated with the middle-class. In our parent’s lifetime, the middle-class steadily grew, expanding economic and educational opportunity to larger segments of the population. This opportunity was labeled: the American Dream. In our lifetime, the expansion of the middle-class slowed, stopped, and is now in decline. The turnaround did not happen overnight. It took decades, beginning with the Reagan regime’s “trickle-down economics,” for the American Archons to systematically dismantle such a robust society.
A hallmark of the American middle-class was a hearty moral and ethical sensibility that honored liberty, equality, decency, fairness, hard work, and most importantly, a “live and let live” attitude. An attitude exemplified by: “I may not agree with your opinion, but I will defend your right to express it.” In return, the middle-class work ethic was reciprocated with an expanding economy. These were the principles that made (capitalist) America great.
With the demise of an expanding middle-class, a pervasive sense of scarcity… a fear of “not enough to go around,” began to erode the American “live and let live” generosity. With perceived scarcity, Capitalism got meaner… we quit caring for each other. Out of fear, generosity was replaced by greed. Working toward a common good was replaced with a self-centered “winning” mentality. Now, it just so happens that a “win at all cost” attitude aligns nicely with a “divide and conquer” attitude of the American Archons.
The erosion of the middle… of a “common good” identity left a void in American’s self-identification that was filled by a corporate identity, similar to the Japanese Saleryman culture… hence the demise of Middle America and the rise of Corporate America.
So it was that the decisive component, driven by corporate profit (read: greed) was a Capitalist form of globalization that exploited the uneven value and compensation of labor. Why pay laborers x when we can pay them 10% of x overseas? Americans aren’t dummies. We saw all this going down and began to, first recognize, then comment, then shout the alarm… wake up! All these societal changes seemed planned… coordinated… and hence the conspiracy theorist was born. It became clear that capitalist globalization was designed to obscenely benefit the American Archons… or as they have been identified in pop culture… the 1%.
The above is an over-simplification, but you can see the pivot.
The void created by the attrition of the middle has been filled by that which once occupied the periphery… the Fringe. Additionally, those whose sensibilities once occupied the middle, have re-aligned their thinking to fringe-thinking… an understandable attitude of suspicion, given the above. The danger in the current societal environment resides in over-reacting, devolving into a nationalist (read: fascist) ideology. This would play to the hand of the American Archons, a classic divide and conquer manipulation.
The fear-driven angst over the attrition of the middle leads us to our current quandary… the periphery has supplanted the middle. This cultural metamorphosis is fast becoming the predominant paradigm. Per part one of this series, we identified this perceptive transformation as: Conspiracy Culture International. Our use of the moniker: “Conspiracy Culture International” not only encompasses a much broader cross-section of world populations than does the Alt-Right, it focuses on the shared, intrinsic consciousness shift within these emerging cultures of the fringe.
Conspiracy Culture International is a massive, diverse, globally intact phenomenon. Rather than being identified by genetic heritage or nationality, its ethnicity is composed of those who subscribe to the multifaceted principles of high weirdness. Conspiracy Culture International (CCI) embraces the seemingly divergent communities that monitor or adhere to not only conspiracy & Deep State theory, but alt history, ancient alien & alien abduction narratives, PSI phenomena & the paranormal, psychedelia, occult & new age philosophies, neo-religious beliefs, astrology & magick... even cyberpunk, transhumanism & singularity.
Modern media has covered the recent socio/political changes we label Conspiracy Culture International in such a way as to focus merely on emerging Alt-Right faction. This is a disservice to the extent of change that we are currently experiencing. CCI is a big tent. It houses right, left, and centrist thinking. It accommodates both the Alt Right and the Noö Left. The Alt-Right may have generated recent headlines, but a much more profound change is taking place. Again, there is an inherent danger in over-emphasizing the Alt-Right faction of this phenomenon.
To quote (strangely enough) from a recent podcast from the Kali Tribune: "Fringe culture has gone mainstream… The emerging political archetype of a center (vs) fringe relationship is symbolized for many people by the figure of Donald Trump, the "anti-establishment" establishment man. Does a call for being anti-establishment necessarily mean the nudge to be pro-freedom? Or could it really be a veiled invitation toward an anti-social society? The emerging zeitgeist seems to point into an ominous direction of the second option."
Make no mistake, Trump is part of the establishment, not the fringe… the American Archons did not lose w/ Trump’s election.
Again, from the Kali Tribune: "The movement toward the fringe represents a shift in the perception of power… a shift in consciousness from center to extreme (right or left). Alt-right Fringe is anti-social but is sold as anti-establishment. Fringe=freedom, Center=establishment... Fringe good, Center bad" (in the words of George Gershwin: "It ain't necessarily so" - Ed).
The Fringe’s Alt right underground (aka Alex Jones, et al) is a scary element of the Fringe & it exploits the rise of CCI. Neo-Nazism embraces the Fringe’s alt-right, as it gives permission to knee-jerk fascism. Anti-ethnic vitriol is a poisonous mind-virus that is triggered by fear… fear of “the other.” It is fear… not Presidents… that build walls. It is fear that allows walls to be built.
So we need to keep an eye on such tom-foolery, but not give it any more energy than it has already siphoned. The rise of Conspiracy Culture International, despite its unsavory elements, holds great potential for creative, cooperative, expansive evolution, moving into our Brave Noö Future. CCI’s strength resides within its diversity of populations. CCI’s vision of globalization is inspired by the “Blue Marble” image of the Earth, taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft. Yeah, we’re all in this together.
So… as card-carrying members of Conspiracy Culture International, let’s celebrate our diversity. Let’s draw strength and sustenance from our differences. Since CCI is such a big tent, let us all find our particular corner of high weirdness and nurture it. As we have said before… it’s fun being weird… you should try it sometime! To quote that great Tekgnostic Saint, Gary Snyder: "Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there."
I strongly suspect that the muses are not finished with me on this subject. The ever-discerning reader of this blog may expect future installments on Conspiracy Culture International. In the next installment of CCI, we'll take an in-depth look at the often ignored community of neo-progressive, post-activist, millennial mind-fuck, rascally tricksters that we call the Noö Left. Stay tuned.