Give me absolute control / Over every living soul… I have seen the future, brother, it is murder. —Leonard Cohen, “The Future”
INTRODUCTION: This is Part 1 of a two-part essay that will appear in my forthcoming book, Words from the Dead: Relevant Readings in the Covid Age (Ekstasis Editions). My method in this book is to focus our perceptions of the Covid Age through great works of art and history, using them as a lens through which to stimulate critical thinking. Literature and poetry are far more than mere entertainment, or some enjoyable but unnecessary frill. Even popular culture such as songs and movies—to the extent it relies on the great themes of art—can be a source of deep meaning. In history—as in art—pattern recognition is everything, as the great historian Arnold Toynbee realized so eloquently in A Study of History. My goal is to help readers learn the intellectual skills that help them see through propaganda of any kind, on the principle of the old adage: If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
Due to the fact that all Star Trek franchise images are licensed, unfortunately I have been limited to using only images that appear in Wikipedia under Fair Use or Creative Commons terms. Watch this blog for the announcement of the book’s release.
- You Will Be Assimilated
Remember the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation? You know, that all-conquering, all-consuming race of cyborgs who coined the phrase, “Resistance is futile”? Well, they’re coming for you now. Except that now they wear white lab coats and wield syringes instead of lasers. And just like the fictional cyborgs in Star Trek, the first thing they want to do is inject you with a substance that will take away your individuality, your power of choice. Whether it’s the Covid-19 gene therapy or the Borg nanobots, both are designed to make you a permanent part of a great collective. Your future will be determined by this collective, for better or worse.
Who knew that Star Trek’s gripping tale of science fiction would prove as prescient today as George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? But then, we should hardly be surprised; the futuristic visions of sci-fi have always had an element of intuitive foresight, its authors using the problems of the present to forecast possible futures. It’s a tradition that dates back to Thomas More’s Utopia, published in 1516, creating the genre that has come to be known as utopian literature. The more dystopian visions of Orwell, Huxley, Zamyatin, Asimov, Bradbury, et al., are merely the other side of the same coin, and sci-fi on film is an extension of this tradition. The original Star Trek series would probably fall into the utopian category, cultured by the beaming optimism of the 1960s and its space race.
More recent attempts at sci-fi completely miss the point that the genre is about social satire, not superhuman feats; human warmth and frailty, not dazzling technology. The self-reflective aspect of satire is entirely lost to films dominated by spectacular action and special effects sequences, for example the Star Trek reboot series. Re-watch the original Star Trek series and movies to understand the vision of its creator Gene Roddenberry. Over and over again, the great stories (note: stories, not action) in these episodes emphasize two themes: 1) what I call “the perfection of imperfection,” i.e., what it is that defines us as human; and 2) the ancient classical Greek notion of hubris—the inevitable comedown suffered by those with the arrogance to make themselves gods. Hence the Greek stories of Prometheus being punished for stealing fire from the gods, or Icarus falling to his death for failing to heed the warning not to fly too close to the sun. This theme is overtly developed in the Star Trek second series episode “Who Mourns for Adonais?” and other episodes. Shakespeare is also repeatedly invoked in the original Star Trek, as in the first season episode “The Conscience of the King.” Shakespeare wrote repeatedly about the corrupting effects of power on monarchs and these portraits were rarely pretty, whether it’s Macbeth being cajoled into murder by Lady Macbeth, King Lear descending into madness, or the physically and morally deformed King Richard III, to name only three. Such themes are perennial—even eternal—because they illustrate timeless truths about how humans operate. Carl Jung dubbed them “archetypes” that arise into consciousness from the collective unconscious through the medium of art, in particular as expressed through mythology and its tropes.
With the Borg, your only choice is no choice, just as today we’re told we have no choice about the Covid-19 vaccine. “You will be assimilated,” the Borg drone in an ice-cold monotone. “Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own.” The cherished individuality and personal freedoms of humanoid species are subsumed to a Cube collective. Each Borg is no more than a cog in a vast machine, with no life of their own. (Sounding eerily familiar yet? Hint: read the nearest history of the Soviet Union you can get your hands on, especially the Stalinist period.) This sounds a lot like the Great Reset vision of the folks at the World Economic Forum and their billionaire friends. Except for “technological distinctiveness,” substitute “cultural distinctiveness,” as every world culture is expected to subsume their uniqueness to a technocratic globalism. These globalists see the sovereignty of nations—never mind individuals—as an outmoded form of governance and self-determination. All must be subsumed to what Professor Michael Rectenwald has described as a digital gulag, a form of “digital Marxism.” “To benefit global capitalist and especially monopolistic corporations, a political creed would… be internationalist rather than nationalist or nativist,” writes Rectenwald in Google Archipelago. “Ultimately, the global capitalist corporation would benefit from a singular globalized monopoly of government with one set of rules… otherwise known as global government or one-worldism.” This fits seamlessly with the Great Reset dictum that by 2030, “You will own nothing. But you’ll be very happy.” You’ll be part of the collective, your individuality erased just like the Borg.
And is the public even aware that the Canadian government not only foresees but supports “full physical integration of biological and digital entities”? “Robots with biological brains and biological bodies with digital brains already exist, as do human-computer and brain-machine interfaces,” explains the Policy Horizons Canada website. “By tapping into the nervous system and manipulating neurons, tech can be added to an organism to alter its function and purpose. New human bodies and new senses of identity could arise as the convergence continues.” Sounds like a Borg agenda to me! Interestingly, their “biodigital convergence” website was put up in February 2020, the very onset of Covid-19 lockdowns.
In the Star Trek: The Next Generation movie First Contact, the Borg theme is revived. They are after all the perfect villains, lacking any sense of conscience or remorse for their actions. They are driven by an unstoppable urge to assimilate more, more, more. That makes them as hard to beat as any of history’s psychopaths, from Genghis Khan to Joseph Stalin. It struck me that First Contact is an almost perfect analog for Covid totalitarianism. In the movie, the Borg Queen (played coolly by Alice Krige) traps Commander Data of the Enterprise (a humanoid robot brilliantly portrayed by Brent Spiner) and offers him the very gift he has been seeking all his life—the possibility of becoming more human. Borg technology has developed human-like skin grafts complete with hair and sensory organs. But—just as with the medically segregated world of vaccine passports—a steep price must be paid for this benefit. Data is expected to become the Borg Queen’s second-in-command, betray his friends on the Enterprise, and participate in the conquering of the galaxy. In other words, he must sacrifice his autonomy, his personal sovereignty, to the collective. Remember that the issue of Data’s personal autonomy as a sentient being was established early in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, in the episode “The Measure of a Man,” consistent with Roddenberry’s values and vision for the original series. It’s not hard to hear an echo of the Enlightenment principle of the rights of the individual vs. the state in that TNG episode.
Already in Israel—the most vaccinated country in the world—the vaccinated are being told that after six months their vaccinated status is no longer valid and they must take a third booster shot. Their “vaccine passport” access to government services, public buildings, concerts, restaurants and clubs magically evaporates on a regular schedule, requiring lifelong booster shots. So some people who said, “I’ll just do this to keep my job,” or, “I’ll just do this so I can travel, or see my relatives,” are waking up to the fact that there is no end in sight to this game as far as elites are concerned. It’s also important to note that in Israel, a living lab experiment for the vaccines, 50 percent of new Covid cases are among the vaccinated, with some physicians reporting that figure as high as 75 percent. To any reasonable mind this should be a giant clue that the vaccines don’t work. Thus, in the spirit of Socratic enquiry, the question would be: What is this really about, then, if it’s not about public health? And if there is a different agenda at work here, who sets the terms?
Data’s development over seven years of living with the human crew of the Enterprise had caused him to evolve a conscience consistent with his “ethical subroutine” as programmed by his creator Noonien Soong. In First Contact he chooses human ethics over pure power by cleverly betraying the Borg Queen to help save the Enterprise crew. Today’s billionaire plutocrats seem to identify with the Borg, not the flawed humans of Starfleet. Where Data sought to become more human, they seek to become more inhuman—so-called transhumanists with Borg-like implants. With a singular bloody-mindedness, they are prepared to sacrifice an entire world, like the Borg swallowing up multiple worlds in their quest for universal dominance. Klaus Schwab has outlined similar plans for global dominance of a machine ideology, particularly in his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution. As Canadian author Richard Olafson writes, “Its suggested actions are formed from an underlying philosophy that biology is limited and humankind cannot evolve beyond what it is now without merging with technology… Along with this, however, is an evident disgust with the diseased biological creatures that we are. Covid-19 has provided the catalyst to fit the roundish world into a squarish ideology.”
Yet again, leading “transhumanists” such as Ray Kurzweil are either ignorant of classical mythology or are ignorantly repeating the mistakes of its heroes by using technology to reach out for immortality. “Therapeutic human cloning, stem cell therapies, synthetic organs, molecular nanotechnology, and the digital-cerebral interface may allow us to achieve immortality in this century,” Kurzweil wrote on his blog in 2001. Having subsumed themselves to the doctrine of atheistic materialism, transhumanists cannot conceive a spiritual dimension to “immortality.” In their drive to “bio-hack” the human body and eliminate its flaws, its mortality, they are prepared like the Borg Queen to sacrifice all that we now know to be human. As Professor Rectenwald writes: “When materialism reigns, and there is nothing but matter, then literally nothing matters, including human life.”
There’s nothing wrong with making personal sacrifices for the greater good. Millions of soldiers throughout history have given up their lives for such an ideal. Two world wars were fought with great sacrifice in order to protect democracy from fascism. That’s very different from the kind of collectivism we’re being asked to sacrifice our rights for today. Our veterans fought to preserve our individual freedoms, not eliminate them or subsume them to the needs of the collective, i.e., some form of centralized state capitalism based on what Rectenwald calls “corporate leftism.” “Collectivism is so central to leftism that I have sometimes wondered whether it represents the true end, rather than merely the means, of leftist politics,” he writes. In that respect what Rectenwald describes as the “authoritarian left” now in ascendancy within the major technology corporations has more in common with the Borg than with Starfleet.
Here’s the problem: the only thing you actually own in this world is your personal sovereignty, your right to choose what you do with your own body. Once you sacrifice that, nothing is left. Any time the government comes up with another invasive product for your body, you will have no choice but to bend over and take it. By submitting, we are telling the government that we will do whatever they tell us to do, whenever they tell us to do it. And like the Borg, we’re told it’s all for the good of the collective. Your rights as an individual no longer count. It’s the age-old strategy of the demagogue who lusts after power: convince the public that they must sacrifice their rights for the sake of personal safety or social harmony. The “greater good” thus becomes the ultimate tool for social control. As explained in a video produced by The Academy of Ideas, “This collectivist mindset is foundational to communism, socialism and fascism. The doctrine of collectivism has been put into practice by many dictators, such as Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao. Death, destruction and suffering on a mass scale was the end result in each case.” Why would we run such a disastrous, failed experiment again? (And again, and again…)
In any case, this was never about a virus and never about a vaccine. The current global takeover bid is the bastard child produced by the marriage of collectivism and capitalism, not unlike modern-day China. This has been conceived by elites who seem to believe in German philosopher Hegel’s idea that the individual exists solely to serve the state and any failure to do so makes that person expendable: “A single person… is something subordinate, and as such he must dedicate himself to the ethical whole. Hence, if the state claims life, the individual must surrender it… All the worth which the human being possesses… he possesses only through the State.” It’s a concept that translated easily into the Nazi philosophy, lending itself naturally to their eugenics agenda, the logical extension of which was the death camps to cull the population of “undesirables.”
The theme of the needs of the individual vs. those of society is fully explored in the Star Trek movie franchise with the cast from the original series. In The Wrath of Khan, Spock sacrifices himself because “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few—or the one.” In order to save the Enterprise and its crew, Spock enters a sealed engine chamber, exposing himself to lethal radiation. Not quite the same as exposing yourself to an injection known to have multiple side effects—including death—when there’s no proof it prevents either transmission or reinfection. In this case, “the greater good” is an illusory one used to manipulate people. Aside from the totalitarian agenda, it’s not hard to see why: simply apply the perennially useful principle “follow the money.” Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and other technocrats—along with Big Pharma—have vastly increased their wealth since the first Covid lockdowns. Estimates of this increase range from between $300–800 billion collectively. According to Dr. David Martin, in a single quarter of 2021, Pfizer-BioNTech reaped at least $8 billion from its gene therapy-based “vaccines.”
But of course, we’re told that these billionaires and for-profit firms have our best interests at heart. Central to the theme of this essay is what we can learn from science fiction, not the fiction dispensed in the media every day. In The Search for Spock, the writers turned the “greater good” principle around. When they learn that Spock may have been reborn on the Genesis planet, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew risk their careers and their lives to save him. Now the principle is: “The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.” This is the mark, not only of great writing, but of a subtle intelligence that relies on self-reflection rather than laws and rules to guide a person to an ethical conclusion. Rules are for those with limited imagination. Such a conclusion is arrived at by applying a dialectical process of self-questioning. Socrates would have been proud. And it’s not hard to hear in The Search for Spock an echo of the Enlightenment principle of the rights of the individual, as enshrined in the first 10 amendments to the American Constitution. Its founders recognized that there needed to be a balance struck, both between the “tyranny of the majority,” and the need to protect the individual from excessive state power.
By contrast, the Hegelian philosophy at the heart of the “greater good” doctrine is precisely the opposite of Enlightenment philosophy. “The conviction that the individual is king informed the ideas of the Enlightenment thinkers of the 17th and 18th centuries and led to a rapid awakening to the connection between freedom and the individual rights of life, liberty and property,” explains The Academy of Ideas.  Only when the rights of the individual are protected can a democracy remain functional. As John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty: “The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily or mental and spiritual.”
Otherwise you have just another kind of dictatorship, or at best a quasi-medieval feudalism in which the church (today, read: Corporation) and aristocracy (today, read: One Percent) are the ultimate authorities and the only ones with rights. Everyone else is then relegated to the status of a landless serf (“you will own nothing”), often without even the right of freedom of movement. (Continuous lockdowns, anyone?) Pretty much sums up the Great Reset doctrine. What made Britain’s Magna Carta so exceptional for its time was that it was the first time a constitutional document was drafted that allowed anyone besides the king or queen any rights, though in this case only to the lesser lords and barons. Under the influence of Enlightenment philosophers, that gradually developed into the representative democracies we’ve taken for granted until now. It’s why the court ruled at the Nuremberg Trials that “…the individual must transcend the state. The state laws are made for man, that through them he may achieve a fuller life, a higher purpose, and a greater dignity.” The Nazi doctors who embodied Hegel’s doctrine, “the individual exists to serve the state,” and used concentration camp inmates as live human guinea pigs in medical experiments were tried and some of them executed.
Ultimately, the point not to be missed is this: Human rights are not “granted” by governments. They are our birthright. Call it a gift of God, or a gift of Nature if you prefer. As philosopher David Kelley observes, “…rights exist regardless of whether they are implemented in the legal constitution of a given country.” No government has the right to place conditions upon that personal sovereignty, to coerce you into bartering for it by a gradual trading off of particular freedoms. That road leads only to one place: the life of a slave in a global gulag. Digital or otherwise, a prison is still a prison. Michael Rectenwald wrote presciently in 2019 that the “authoritarian leftism” of the technocrats was leading us toward just such a digital gulag: “…the Google Archipelago is a commercial assemblage that acts increasingly like a state,” designed to fulfill the “ambitions of the globalists for one-world rule.”
And it’s important to remember that the concept of “society” or “the state” is just that—a concept, a human invention. It has no objective reality in the world. Carl Jung, who lived through two world wars, wrote: “…the ‘nation’, like the ‘state’, is a personified concept… The nation has no life of its own apart from the individual, and is therefore not an end in itself… All life is individual life, in which alone the ultimate meaning is to be found.” Thus, any government that uses a specious concept of the “greater good” as a cover for eliminating the fundamental rights of the individual is committing a crime, according to 19th century individualist Lysander Spooner: “A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime… whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber… or by millions, calling themselves a government.” Surely, it is imperative that we remember this on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials and the resulting Nuremberg Code. “Never again” is its spiritual mantra. Let’s not make this another of history’s failed promises, like the First World War supposedly being “the war to end all wars.”
 Michael Rectenwald, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom, New English Review Press, Nashville/London, 2019, p. 49. Rectenwald cites George Gilder as the origin of the term “digital Marxism,” ibid., p.38.
 Government of Canada, “Exploring Biodigital Convergence,” Policy Horizons Canada, February 11, 2020, accessed October 17, 2021: https://horizons.gc.ca/en/2020/02/11/exploring-biodigital-convergence/
 “Israel Vaccine Passport Now Expires After Six Months, Boosters Required,” Neil Campbell, Vision Times, August 31, 2021: https://www.visiontimes.com/2021/08/31/israel-vaccine-passport-booster.html
 According to “The Vaccine Death Report,” by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko and David John Sorenson, Version 1.0, published September 2021 (p. 17): “The Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennet even says that the people who are most at risk now, are those who received two doses of the vaccine.” See also: “Political Commentator Kim Iversen Unpacks ‘Alarming and Shocking’ COVID Data From Israel,” Children’s Health Defense, September 17, 2021. In one Massachusetts community, 74% of Covid reinfections occurred among “fully vaccinated persons,” (p. 19), as per CDC paper, Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, Associated with Large Public Gatherings — Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021,” published August 6, 2021. This was also observed in a study published by The Lancet, “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant Among Vaccinated Healthcare Workers, Vietnam,” published August 10, 2021.
 Richard Olafson, “Digital Dictatorship and Biocapitalism,” The Pacific Rim Review of Books, issue #26, Vol. 15, No. 1, Summer 2021, p. 26.
 Ray Kurzweil, “The Transhuman Singularity,” Kurzweil.net, March 27, 2001: https://www.kurzweilai.net/the-transhuman-singularity
 Michael Rectenwald, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom, ibid., p. 168.
 Michael Rectenwald, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom, ibid., p. 91.
 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, from “Elements of the Philosophy of Right,” quoted in Academy of Ideas video, “How the ‘Greater Good’ is Used as a Tool of Social Control,” emphasis mine; timestamp: 8:00: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvPKTVK10JE&t=18s
 “Billionaires Are Getting Richer During The COVID-19 Pandemic While Most Americans Suffer,” Jack Kelly, Forbes, April 27, 2020: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/04/27/billionaires-are-getting-richer-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-while-most-americans-suffer/#591611884804 “The 643 wealthiest Americans, including entrepreneurs such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk, raked in $845 billion in combined assets between March and September, growing their wealth by nearly a third,” states a more recent report dated October 7: https://localnews8.com/money/2020/10/07/billionaires-have-never-been-richer-despite-the-pandemic/ See also: “Covid vaccine profits mint 9 new pharma billionaires,” Hannah Ziady, CNN News, May 21, 2021: https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/21/business/covid-vaccine-billionaires/index.html
 “Where Covid Came From and Who Funded Its Creation: Follow the Patents and the Money,” Dr. David Martin, Common Ground magazine, August/September 2021, p. 12.
 Academy of Ideas video, “How the ‘Greater Good’ is Used as a Tool of Social Control” timestamp: 9:25.
 Sir Hartley Shawcross, October 1, 1946, concluding statement at the Nuremberg Trials.
 David Kelley, from “A Life of One’s Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State,” quoted in Academy of Ideas video, “How the ‘Greater Good’ is Used as a Tool of Social Control” timestamp: 13:10.
 Michael Rectenwald, Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom, ibid., pp. 53, 71.
 Carl Jung, from “The Swiss Line in the European Spectrum,” quoted in the Academy of Ideas video, “How the ‘Greater Good’ is Used as a Tool of Social Control” timestamp: 6:14.
 Lysander Spooner, from “No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority,” quoted in Academy of Ideas video, “How the ‘Greater Good’ is Used as a Tool of Social Control” timestamp: 13:25.