Brzezinski’s distant mirror
Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book Between Two Ages – America’s Role in the Technetronic Era became something of a conspiracy theorist’s holy – or rather “unholy” – writ. Ironically, this came to pass precisely in the wake of fulfilment of some of Zbig’s predictions, littering the margins of the first third of his book. So he really does mention the possibility of weaponizing the weather, exercising mind control by psychotropic means and the creation of a “global consciousness” of a sort. All of this he expresses in a curious, morally vague, manner: you really can’t pinpoint whether he exalts the possibility or warns the reader about it. However, if you think that this means that he is simply being scientifically neutral, you are dead wrong. Between Two Ages is not a scientific treatise albeit it disguises itself as such. It is one of two things: either it is a philosophy of history or political pamphlet. The truth is, as it seems, somewhere in between.
Namely, “conspiracy theorists” are picking on Brzezinski’s narrative for all the wrong reasons, i.e. the book is, admittedly, authored by global mover and shaker but the real tell of his insidiousness is not to be found in passing remarks about geoingenering or smart-grids projects plaguing our present and foreshadowing our future. Although it may all very well be true, “conspiracy theorists” fail to see just how much they in fact share Brzezinski’s outlook and method. To clarify: by “conspiracy theorists” I don’t mean independent researchers of deep politics or analysts of the age of transition – incidentally, the recurring term throughout Between the Two Ages. This pejorative and derogatory label signifies people who believe that history is a planar surface which can be explained and made transparent by connecting the dots – where dots signify people, events and institutions. So, for instance, mere eventuality that someone prominent was casually connected to some contingent fact, say: attended Columbia University at the time of Brzezinski’s tenure, and later became prominent public figure, serves as a proof of “connectedness of dots”. The prime example of this is David Icke’s insight that Pope John Paul II was connected with Nazis because we are informed that he was allegedly working for some subsidiary of I.G. Farben, during the German occupation of Poland. Icke is not a serious man but he serves as an exemplary “conspiracy theorists” and displays all the peculiarities of this outlook. Namely, he fails to recognize that young Woytila was in all probability a semi-slave labourer employed in the cause of building his mortal enemies’ war machine, and that it is hard to believe that it was his dream job, for which he applied along with hundreds of volunteers, all Poles in love with Nazi’s cause and opportunities it presented. It was more likely that he just got lucky to slave in a factory, rather than to hang out with his unemployed buddies around concentration camp cantina. “Conspiracy theorists” jump to such conclusions because they are eager to produce an absolute, all pervading system of knowledge. And for this, in itself worrisome, purpose they pick the worst approach imaginable: the science of history. In this they mirror purpose and method of some of their designated bogeymen, including Zbigniew Brzezinski himself.
History has a peculiar feature of forever defying the absolute – Hegel tried to demonstrate it’s absolute and failed, Marx gave it a shot, and got millions shot dead in the process, Auguste Comte had a go at simplifying it and gave birth to sociology as a science of social engineering. And this last instance is precisely what makes Between Two Ages such an ominous book. Brzezinski disguises fairly crude philosophy of history in sociological guise, endeavouring to make our past, present and future an absolute, transparent, givens. Admittedly, the term “Change” pervades his narrative, conceived while Barrack Obama, whose first presidential campaign made it pervade everyday language of politics, was just a juvenile, but it serves only to petrify the image Zbig wants to impose on the world. He argues that humanity is on the path of “Progress” which begins with advent of institutionalised religions, proceeds to nationalism, just to be denounced by more perfect methodical worldview of Marxism, and finally, at the time of his writing, fulfilling it’s purpose in the advent of technetronic era. The book is named Between Two Ages probably because the last phase of progress is in fact the fulfilment of the purpose of history. And just what is this purpose? I believe that I won’t do Brzezinski any injustice when I propose that it is a final revocation of human being as such.
It is a peculiarity of sociology that it is always at a lack to define reality of it’s objects and, consequently, it’s proper methods. While some of it’s classics, like Max Weber, solved the problem by making sociology a kind of empirical social philosophy, using material from all other social sciences to produce strictly specialized and approximate theories and shunning the predictions of future as the devil shuns the incense, others – and Brzezinski is by and large one of them – did the opposite. Namely, sociology in it’s crudest, Comtean, form deals with mirror reflections of reality taken as absolutes and uses them to predict, or better still: project, the future. So in Between Two Ages all known history is divided into four parts and we are expected to believe that this enormous sea of time is practically sucked in these epistemological sponges till nothing else remains. Anyone in the know realizes what we are dealing with here. Division of history in such manner is possible only in imagination, not in fact, therefore we are dealing with a projected image. And Brzezinski, practical man that he is, does not project images just for the kick of it. He is drafting a plan in the form of manifest destiny. All those quantitative tables, insightful empirical observations and such are merely a ruse, because, as every true scientist knows, there is no amount of data that can support such a theoretical construction, laid out in little more than hundred pages. It’s true persuading strength lies in relying on mirror of reality, but not just any mirror. It relies on mirror of matter.
This may seem an odd proposition for most. Matter is usually understood as opaque being, that which offers resistance, or it is not understood – meaning defined – at all. However, it’s original notion is that of the receptacle of form. As sociologists don’t believe in Aristotelian, or, God forbid, Platonic forms, it is really strange when you see them inverting these notions. Namely, when someone like Brzezinski talks about “religion”, “ethics”, “technetronic society”, “internal man” and “external man” he in fact manipulates images reflected in matter. This is obvious inasmuch he doesn’t believe there is any reality in these notions, except for what they could mean to us. For instance, this is how “the inner man” or most intimate being of man – in truth his very essence – will fare in technetronic society:
“ Instead of accepting himself as a spontaneous given, man in the most advanced societies may become more concerned with conscious self analysis according to external, explicit criteria: What is my IQ? What are my aptitudes, personality traits, capabilities, attractions, and negative features? The “internal man”— spontaneously accepting his own spontaneity—will more and more be challenged by the “external man”— consciously seeking his self conscious image. „
Quasi-dialectic of inner and external man is the real purpose of Between Two Ages and we’ll come to that shortly. But the interesting thing here is method: inner man is depicted as challenged, not as a real being, but as a historically projected image. Institutionalized religion gave him first principles and definitions, nationalism transformed him in sentimental romantic, Marxism endeavoured to reconcile him with external man in revolutionary praxis; technology will finally revoke him. Now, inner man originally denotes very definite thing: for Greeks it is nous or active mind, while in Christianity it is a receptacle of Christ – a space where the Truth can lodge. In more or less all of us, it is a place where the World can’t reach us. Observe now what Brzezinski does. He quasi-historicizes this notion, making it thus a projected image. This is a method of his sociology which can be more or less reduced to self conscious dialectical materialism; self conscious inasmuch it knows that there is nothing real behind the image. Every object of science is an image reflected in a mirror of matter. It’s meaning is projected and can be depicted, but in itself it is a reflection of amorphous mirror. Hence the ease of constructing all-encompassing conceptual framework and reducing it to bare minimum or, better to say, minimum suitable for author’s intentions. There is no essential difference in Comte’s and Brzezinski’s approach – it’s evolutionary, i.e. it professes the “Progress” and, above all, “Change”, and in relation to reality it is essentially superficial. But it is quite suitable for the purpose, and that is: quasi-dialectical Aufhebung of ‘inner man’ in ‘external man’.
The real conspiratorial and indeed insidious aspect of this book – far more so than titbits about weather weapons, global consciousness and mind control – is a striving to demonstrate – and explicitly so – that the technetronic era is an age of eradication of ‘inner man’. What Brzezinski calls “increase in knowledge”, as an essence of technetronic era, is denoted as a sort of ‘outing’ of ‘inner man’, because it is the increase in knowledge that ever expands into infinity, pressuring man to subject himself to infinite forms of tests, trainings, improvements, life-long learning, etc. It is the knowledge without inner principle of unity, therefore, one could argue, something rather akin to ‘ignorance’ or, better still, re-imagining of oneself. The man becomes not a subject of knowledge, but it’s object. Who’s the subject then? His reflection in infinite, splintered, mirror of technology. If we approach reality as Brzezinski does – and that means: with implicit intention to mould it – then it really doesn’t matter what is real and what is image. The image of inner man is the inner man, and the image can be made more or less real. In this sense, technology, which in technetronic era is to finally become real environment – including the nature itself, observed as a system – is a perfected mirror of matter. Namely, while reflections in matter are crude and thus retain some of the semblance of it’s models, technology is a kind of refining this mirror, not polishing it, but, in a way, making it more fluid – like a dark water or molten, yet cold, steel. In such mirror all kinds of things can reflect as real. And to this mirror everything is external. Therefore Aufhebung is ‘quasi-dialectical’, because there’s nothing preserved in it. External man must cease to be a man, i.e. he must lose everything which is ‘inner’. We could compare the knowledge of this no-man not to ‘docta ignorantia’ of Cusanus or Sokrates, but rather to ‘learning of ignorance’ of ‘knowledge based society’ of today. This is essentially learning eradicating the learner. And for all the Brzezinski’s geopolitical subtleties and well documented political leverage exercised in past 45 years, his greatest crime is to put something like this forward as a manifest destiny for humanity, “disseminated” by USA. For how can there be a destiny for one who is no one?
In conclusion: it is a saddening thing to realize that quasi-academic style of this still all too relevant pamphlet can convince so many people that it is anything more than letter of intent. Further dumbed down and “disseminated” through myriad of posters, leaflets, sound bits and propaganda clips of globalist institutions from UN to EU it is today more relevant and more convincing to masses than it was 45 years ago. Technetronic era is the exercise in remodelling the man to nought through inversion of knowledge – a logical assassination of a sort. All increase of knowledge is exercised by sound and vision – as Brzezinski explicitly states – therefore, by means that prevent inner consideration and even interiorization of anything. Quite literary, forcing the inside out. Life-long learning required by technetronic principle is unlearning of habitual or inner for the sake of letting oneself being remoulded from the outside, according to demands of ever-changing technological reality. In the end it all comes down to making oneself external to oneself, the reaching of an absolute un-identity. If you think this is farfetched, observe how, for instance, EU wannabe legislators see the citizens of the future:
Picture speaks a thousand shrieks. This is, literary, man’s reflection in the fractured mirror. Identities fractured and reassembled at will, essences revoked – and in EU it is called “Tolerance”, of which I written extensively before. Well if Arbeit could have macht frei, why not try out Toleranz instead?
So, conspiracy theorists, beware! Brzezinski might very well be one of you.
Or you could just be a reflection in his distant mirror.