Staking Out Strands of the Web. “Who is Offering the Bribes and Enforcing the Threats?”

By Nowick Gray

Global Research, September 21, 2022

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It’s distressing to find, in the cause of championing human freedom, infighting among the freedom fighters. Naturally this conflict sabotages the common cause. Factions and prominent advocates accuse each other of being “controlled opposition,” agents provocateurs, dupes, or self-serving egotists advancing platforms of personal gain. Or, as in Charles Eisenstein’s latest screed (There’s No One Driving the Bus), lacking philosophical depth and moral nuance.

In Eisenstein’s view the impulse to lay blame and identify conspiracy is misguided and distracting from the more diffuse cause of our enslavement, our own inability to exercise personal and communal power in our lives. The resulting void, he urges, is more chaos than conspiracy, more abdication than control. But in the conclusion of the essay he betrays the premise by writing,

“It takes commitment to renounce the bribes, ignore the threats, and change the habits.” The obvious rebuttal asks, “Then who is offering the bribes and enforcing the threats?”

It is not my intention to join the infighting by slandering Eisenstein, but to challenge his anti-fundamentalism as yet another version of divisive labeling. He opposes the black-and-white dualism of good guys versus bad guys, in the interest of witnessing the whole field of our collective responsibility. Fair enough, as far as that goes. But the firmness of that denial distracts—if I may use the same term in reverse—from the known planning and perpetration of crimes against humanity by those proud to exercise such control at every level of the machinery of power. That the hierarchy is deep and widespread and staffed by human actors who genuinely believe in the goodness of their technocratic cause does not excuse them from blame and responsibility for its deadly and yes, evil consequences.

The Overton window of acceptable discourse has painted “conspiracy theory” in such dark colors that it seems obligatory to refrain from assigning blame to malign actors on the world stage. Professor Mattias Desmet of “Mass Formation” fame is another case in point, taking pains to avoid targeting “evil globalists” and instead looking to more existential causes of our oppression, such as the “free-floating anxiety” that characterizes modern society and makes us vulnerable. Again it’s important, however, to bring focus also to the forces that exploit and capitalize on that vulnerability.

Why does it have to be either/or? Why can’t we assign responsibility both to victims and perpetrators in the injustice being carried out day by day? Maybe it’s because it’s too uncomfortable then to see oneself as a bit of both, victim and perpetrator.

While I agree that it’s too simplistic to blame the CIA, or China, or Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab for all our woes, why bend over backward to absolve them of their well-documented schemes? True, it may be futile to tie the whole black web to a single super Spider; but how can we deny the gorging of global predators at our expense?

I would prefer to take value from the larger perspectives of Eisenstein and Desmet, as complementary to “conspiracy theory,” rather than attack them as dangerous “controlled opposition.” It’s distressing meanwhile to witness such turf warfare being carried out among the rival champions of human freedom. Lately we see venomous attacks on Desmet by erstwhile champions of COVID dissent Jon RappoportCJ Hopkins, and Peter and Ginger Breggin. Hopkins in a recent column even vents his ire on his own commenters who dare to defend the thesis that a collective malaise has given rise to the new medical totalitarianism.

To these vocal critics it’s a simple game of power, and if you don’t agree you are at best stupid or worse, part of the problem. Dr. Robert Malone has suffered similar abuse for his advocacy of Desmet’s premise of our collective hypnosis. If you avoid pointing fingers and laying blame at the feet of any chosen autocrats or puppetmasters, it’s a crime of omission and in effect you are playing for the wrong team.

I appeal here to the notion of giving credit to both sides. Yes, we are responsible as a collective and as individuals for our own powerlessness. And yes, certain powerful individuals and elite “powers that be” are milking the global population of every ounce of gold and blood possible. Why can’t both these premises be true, valid, and hold weight in our conversations?

Just as there is no settled “Science” to follow in guiding public policy, there is no magic formula to reversing our oppression, held only by the high priests and coaches of “our team.” It’s about Us, and it’s about Them. It behooves us not to stake our tent in one exclusive camp or another, but to seek how we can join forces to improve our precarious human condition, trembling on the web.


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Nowick Gray is a writer, editor, and researcher from British Columbia, Canada. This article first appeared on his Substack channel, New World Dreaming. Nowick is the author of a new book of essays, Covid Narrative Freedom: Two Years of Dissent. Visit his website at He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Nowick Gray, Global Research, 2022

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