The US presidential election is over. Donald Trump is the president, republicans control both houses of the legislature and will shortly have a solid majority in the supreme court. We know from the internal emails of Clinton’s own campaign and their communications with the media that this election was supposed to be a sure thing. Donald Trump was never taken seriously as a candidate and was even promoted by democratic operatives as a means to make SERIOUS candidates such as Jeb Bush less electable in the general election. The pollsters, pundits, media and the entirety of the corporate funded propaganda network that surrounds the political establishment in America were laughably wrong.
What went wrong?
How is it that the entire establishment was so utterly out of touch with the reality of the situation? There is a simple answer here. They lied. The media including supposedly neutral data-driven organizations such as Nate Silver’s 538 blog were not in the business of giving an objective assessment of what was going on in the country. The media backed the Clinton campaign 100% and was actively collaborating not just in amplifying their talking points but were often working with them to help develop effective propaganda for the campaign.
The polls were also used as an instrument in this narrative to marginalize Trump as an unrealistic and unqualified candidate that had no chance of winning. Various sorts of tricks were used to falsify poll data such that Trump’s support appeared weaker than it actually was such as tweaking the statistical weightings or just straight up including a disproportionate number of Democrats in the samples. Statistical models such as Nate Silver’s work by weighting different polls based on their reliability to create a prediction but they assume the unreliability is random, if every single poll is systematically biased in a particular direction the model will fail every time.
There is also a bonus here, if you tweak poll numbers it becomes virtually impossible to detect election fraud by comparing ballot numbers to polling data. Ballot stuffing is unnecessary, an election official can simply modify the tallied count by a couple percentage points for key counties on the laptop that runs the intentionally vulnerable vote counting software. If there is no discrepancy between the polls and the ballot counts that is considered proof that no miscount took place and a hand recount of paper ballots will never be triggered.
Falsifying data provides two benefits for the media-political complex. It advances their narrative and fools otherwise skeptical citizens who still trust anything with numbers attached. It also provides effective cover if it becomes necessary to engage in outright falsification of votes. However, this causes a problem for the people who are in the business of telling lies and falsifying data. How do they know what lies to tell or when action is necessary to control the population? In order to effectively lie to the population they themselves need to access and communicate accurate information about the world. This takes us back to the founding of Wikileaks and an essay you should read if you want to understand how power is exercised.
The Media is Part of a Conspiracy
The essential insight that Assange made which lead to the founding of Wikileaks is that any organization which wishes to exercise power against many for the benefit of the few is inherently conspiratorial. The reason for this is the same as the case of Hillaries campaign and their collusion with the media. The organization must have accurate information and open channels of communication so they may effectively cooperate to benefit themselves and they must prevent others especially the public from having access to accurate information or methods of communication so they cannot defend themselves from this predatory behavior.
The public lies and private negotiations are not a superficial feature of organizations with power, they are foundational to the exercise of that power. As Hillary Clinton herself said it is necessary in politics to have both a public and private position.
If we understand that power must operate in this way several means of fighting power become clear. The first is to simply destroy the conspiracy or sever their means of communication through violence or authority, this method is commonly employed by more powerful conspiracies such as governments against smaller ones such as political opposition groups. While it is possible for less powerful groups to use violence to significant effect or temporarily disrupt the communication of larger entities, unless they immediately seize the apparatus of communication the damage is quickly repaired and the larger conspiracy has gained an easy justification to wipe out their attacker through systematic murder. When we consider only methods which will not provide a pretext for the larger conspiracy to bring it’s monopoly on physical force to bear this narrows the list.
How Conspiracies are Fought
- Attack Communication: Throttling the conspiracies secret communication. The conspiracy must have some means of both conveying accurate information to their members and coordinating action in secret. The more difficult this is to accomplish the worse their coordination will be. The nervous system of the conspiracy is slowed. In the electronic age ability to communicate is rarely the limiting factor on a conspiracy but fear of betrayal or leakers can have a significant effect.
- Attack Information: Reducing the quality of information a conspiracy can use to act on. As conspiracies often lie to others for this very reason this often takes the form of organizations which “drink their own koolade”. Too many people within an organization buying into their own lies causes difficulty acting appropriately.
- Build Rival Networks: Increasing the quality of information and ability to communicate of rival groups. While Assange did not list this specifically, these organizations are inherently parasitic and gain power based on the resources and obedience they are able to extract from the population as well as other groups. Any increase in the ability of the public to resist this parasitism decreases the power of the conspiratorial organizations. For this reason the public is as a matter of basic policy kept ignorant, divided and prevented from communicating openly among themselves.
Returning to the present election we can see something interesting. The continued publishing of Wikileaks and the rise of a new political consciousness based around open online communication brought all three of these methods I’ve listed to bear on the political establishment to an unprecedented extent. Watergate was nothing compared to the volume of uncensored internal communications Wikileaks published. Politicians and journalists were all put at an increased risk of exposure and had to ratchet back or become increasingly coded in their communications to avoid being exposed from a private email.
Pressure from leaks combined with the increasing ubiquitousness of propaganda put out to fool a more savvy public trashed the information lower level flunkies had access to. Mid level journalists and low level political operatives became koolade drinkers, the secret communication feeds which previously passed down slightly more accurate information than was fed to the public became more and more watered down and they began to buy into their own lies. Journalists were surprised when Trump won, they had not been informed that their own polls were wrong and foolishly believed them.
The vast quantity of raw information Wikileaks dumped into the public sphere finally caused the growth of significant rival information networks. In this case young mostly working class conservative men began growing their own networks of communication to process the email dumps. This was essentially a public information network that was separate from the mainstream corporate controlled media and they had high quality information to grow their nervous system with. Information that was only supposed to have been accessible to the upper echelons of a powerful conspiracy. The significance of this should not be understated, there has never before been a period in history when the working class had information and communication networks that could rival those of their masters.
I was there 10 years ago when Wikileaks first began publishing with the model that raw sources would be fed to the public and collectively processed, it didn’t work because no such public nervous system existed. Vast quantities of documents sat publicly accessible but no one in the public had the will or context to understand their significance. Wikileaks began partnering with media organizations because their hand was forced, it was not possible to give that kind of raw data to the public back then and have it broadly spread and understood they had to let the media pre-process it and vomit the results onto the public to get any exposure at all. This is no longer the case. The public has vastly more manpower available than the media does, if their lines of communication continue to expand they will quickly exceed the media in total information processing power. That tipping point may already have passed.
Victory and Aftermath
The media will no doubt continue to spend a great deal of air spreading more self-justifying lies about their role in public life and the reasons for their failure in this election but I propose to you this election was actually one of the first major tremors caused by a realignment in conspiratorial power. Brexit was another and I’m confident there are many others I am unaware of. The public was able to reject mainstream propaganda faster than media and political campaign were able to adapt and put forwards more effective lies.
Too many politicians and media bought into their own numbers and by the time they realized that they would lose it was too late to coordinate an effective response and rig the election. It is very possible to rig elections, the fact that it was not done successfully despite much political will to do so is significant. Trump won but what is far more important is that it appears Assange was right and their model of fighting back against tyrannical power in whatever form it may take (which Wikileaks is only one part of) was successful. For those of us who are still committed to those ideals of fighting tyranny in all its forms this is the start of a much larger victory. For the memory of those who can no longer fight, lets make it count.