Gunnar Kaiser is a writer and philosopher. On his highly regarded video channel Kaiser TV,” he conducts insightful and inspiring conversations with numerous people. As a freelance journalist, Gunnar Kaiser works for various media, including the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Die Welt, Schweizer Monat and Berliner Zeitung. Because of the differentiated nature of his reflections on the events of the last two years, this thinker has also had to endure the spiteful comments and vilification typical of today’s climate.
A book review
“One-dimensional thinking is systematically promoted by the technicians of politics and their purveyors of mass information. Their linguistic universe is full of hypotheses that confirm themselves and that, ceaselessly and monopolistically, become hypnotic definitions or dictates.”
Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, 1964
The Cult – On the Virality of Evil
If you go to Gunnar Kaiser’s website, you will find the following book description:
The Cult deals with questions that sound so simple: Why do so many go along with it? Why doesn’t anyone rebel? Why do people put up with all this? And not least: Why are so many downright in love with their beautiful new shackles?
Because of this amazing thing: The shackles put on people are merely imaginary, they are chains of the spirit. But this very fact gives them their amazing power.
And yet, therein also lies the possibility of liberation. So, in order to understand why we do not seize this possibility, we must ask why we do not want to throw off the chains of our mind… even after it has become so frighteningly clear that our captivity was never justified and its consequences are murderous.
In his book, Gunnar Kaiser takes us, among other things, on a spiritual journey to the oh-so-seldom-asked question:
Why don’t people see the flaws in the narrative? Why don’t they recognize the lack of logic, the inconsistencies, the lies, the abruptly moving goalposts that continue to be justified and believed even after mediocre attempts at explanation and cover-up? Why do the continual course corrections not make so many people sit up and take notice? Why do people have such an exaggerated trust in our authorities and media, although even the most gullible among us should have lost this trust long ago? Moreover, how could people be persuaded to support and promote the whole thing? Why do so few people realize what is actually happening right now?
What is at stake
Our world is in a state of upheaval, even the most insensitive among us would have noticed that. We are on the way towards a centrally controlled, planned economy, transhumanist-utopian world of a purely materialistic-biologistic character. Even if the reasons presented for this New World seem very reasonable and noble, this vision holds dangerous pitfalls for Kaiser. In this world, there must not and will not be any place for individual freedom, humanity, free exchange or own, let alone applied, knowledge. Since the citizen per se is “too stupid” (thanks to the power of the media, at least a large part of society has been consistently dumbed down, or at least infantilized) to see the bigger picture correctly and to act on his own responsibility, he is progressively disempowered. He is entitled only to the freedoms that the central authority deigns to grant him. Possession has lost nothing in this technocracy and is abolished. Neither freedom nor the desire for self-determination are allowed to play a role in this perfect command economy: It is about abolishing freedom and property in favor of an effective central leadership of all people, who henceforth shall function, like a command-receiving army, an anthill or a clockwork, through only a handful of individuals. Those unwilling to go along with it – the critics, individualists, skeptics, free spirits – are defined as “the problem”, “the threat” for the centrally controlled society. People who do not bow to the central opinion will be subjected to (super)state-mandated discrimination; this tendency can already be seen today in the treatment of those “unvaccinated against Covid-19”.
The goal is thus a new normality by abolishing all individual freedoms in favor of a central power/opinion which will take charge of the totality of our well-being, since we ourselves are obviously incapable of doing so.
He is talking here about the vision of Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, the man who has most of the representatives of the (hopelessly indebted) governments of the world eating (having to eat) out of his hand. His plan for a central authority, global governance, world state, technocracy and bureaucracy on a global level in a top-down approach has been in full swing for several years and has long been much more than a vision. Individual states have already subjected themselves to global governance to a considerable extent, especially through the World Bank, the IMF, the UN, Unesco, Unicef, the WHO, etc. We are in a situation where countries have become the property of their own billionaires (“Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty). Schwab sees in the pandemic for the process a valuable opportunity that has accelerated already ongoing processes for this “brave new world” – primarily, of course, for him and the elite benefiting from it and their industries. In the last two years – through a successful mixture of marketing, propaganda and psychological warfare – the willingness of the “immature citizens” to obey could be optimally sounded out by means of measures such as distance rules, masking obligations, lockdowns, curfews and vaccination coercion. Obey, comply, endure … this unholy trinity, as Kaiser calls it, is for him nothing more and nothing less than education for perfect immaturity. So whoever thinks that the whole thing is over now is mistaken! The next “pandemic” will come along in the foreseeable future, be it in the form of a new virus, or in the form of an environmental, migration, war, climate or currency crisis …
Classification of a group of people who represent the threat to society. In the past, these were people of another race/skin color/religion… today, they are citizens who stand for physical sovereignty, individual responsibility and integrity, as well as for freedom and human rights.
Symbolization: the good guys are visually differentiated from the bad guys (mask, QR code …).
Discrimination: the people with the “wrong” symbol are excluded from certain activities.
Dehumanization: Through appropriate propaganda, these critics are dehumanized and, with the help of the media, systematically labeled with derogatory terms and reduced to insulting labels (conspiracy theorists, tin-foil hatters …).
Organization: Event 201, “Operation Lockstep” (Rockefeller document): the state organizes and plans the individual steps and plays out all possible scenarios, as well as the pushback of citizens. Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior and Communications (SPI-B & C) in the UK: an advisory group that, faced with the new health threat, determined that people did not feel sufficiently threatened and proposed interventions to increase the perception of danger (i.e., the deliberate spread of fear).
Polarization: using appropriate propaganda, citizens are turned against each other, leading to a division of society.
Preparation: discriminated citizens are separated from the “good citizens” (isolation, quarantine …)
Persecution: confiscation (blocking of accounts, which has already taken place), identifying symbols, forced treatment, re-education.
Extermination: currently taking place only in a figurative sense: through censorship and the elimination of dissenting voices and opposition.
Denial: the “perpetrators” deny this discrimination and often even end up blaming those discriminated against.
Kaiser writes in great detail about the failure of intellectuals and their one-sided view of “the” science. In doing so, he gives us a very deep insight into the mechanisms consisting of “a mixture of fear, peer pressure, cognitive dissonance, repressive intolerance, hubris, and refusal of discourse in the name of ‘science’”. Moreover, he draws attention to the dangers of the desire for a technocracy, which, however, can only function if there is scientific unambiguity. Kaiser shows how dangerous the cult of scientification of our existence can be for humanity.
The dictatorship of science
Anyone who says “trust the science” expresses themself in a most unscientific way: “The science” does not exist in the singular! In addition to the natural sciences with disciplines like biology, virology and epidemiology, there are among others also the scientific disciplines of sociology, law, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, methodology and many more. Their analysis of current events argues for the most part in flagrant contrast to the narrative of the paid handful of experts (by whom and based on what criteria were these “experts” selected in the first place?). Moreover, science lives from hypotheses, counter-theses, experiments and from (thus always provisional) consensus. It grows, changes and must therefore necessarily integrate divergent opinions and not push them out. “Science” can thus make no claim to absolute truth, and certainly not to ultimate political influence.
Kaiser vividly describes and documents how some people – the self-appointed elite – are trying to take over the reigns of nature and absolute control over people and their “state of health” with the help of biotechnology, information and genetic engineering, and what this “elite” – regardless of any ethical concerns – is willing to put up with for it, especially since the price is not paid by themselves, but by the “immature” people (collateral damage of the measures, side effects of vaccination …).
Gunnar Kaiser describes the cult as
The totality of people who, through implied behavior, fit into the new order in such a way that they give validity to the will of the transforming elite. The cult man wants to serve the cult and bring it forth again and again with his behavior, because he expects confirmation from it.Gunnar Kaiser, The Cult
Gunnar Kaiser, The Cult
How could it have come to this?
According to Kaiser, man has an innate fear of freedom (Erich Fromm), which is the basis of his strong need to belong to a larger group at all costs. The technique of isolation and exclusion from society is indeed a time-honored means of stabilizing the power of the ruling party. Coupled with the appeal to emotions (fear) and in return with the offer of absolute security, even intelligent people can be turned into convinced supporters of a “better” new normal. Where there is no risk, there is no personal responsibility. We live in an infantilized, lulling pleasure society, characterized by hedonism, repressed insecurity and a fear of freedom, disease and death, coupled with an addiction to harmlessness. Conformism harbors an illusory security in which every thought, questioning, protest or demonstration is seen as a danger, as a criminal act, and must be prevented.
Added to this is a need for recognition, admiration, money, career, and clicks that is strongly anchored in our “Instagram-Snapchat-TikTok” clickbait society. This, too, can explain the willingness of the select experts, who, interestingly, are not an exception in this regard, to support the current narrative and destroy the competing opposing voices as swiftly as possible instead of engaging with their arguments. This strong urge for personal recognition leads many people to want to portray themselves as particularly dutiful and well-behaved in order to reap direct and indirect praise and to distinguish themselves as model students, better people, setting themselves apart from the critics and “tinfoil hatters”.
The metaphysical homelessness of the human being
The deep reason for this crisis stems from the view of the world and of man and of metaphysics: the entire approach of politics, its technocratic legitimization via “science” and the seizure of power by the pharmaceutical industry are possible only because society is dominated by a view of the world that pays homage to a pure belief in progress.
Gunnar Kaiser, The Cult
Out of all these needs comes a naïve willingness to uncritically embrace modern surveillance technologies, Big Data, genetic engineering, and healthism, and even anticipatory medicine to prevent disease. “’Science’ in the new technocracy has decided this, after all. So I don’t have to take any responsibility.” The fact that we then run the risk of giving up our humanity – which is also bound to risks, illness, convalescence, imperfection – seems to be completely forgotten at the moment.
But the knowledge of a society is distributed in society as a whole and in no way relies on particular individuals. To believe this is presumptuous megalomania, a form of hubris that we – unless we want to be put in eternal chains as slaves – should let go of as quickly as we can; and this, according to Kaiser, is entirely within our reach.
After all, human beings were born to be intelligent and happy and creative, and they will not let that be taken away from them in the long run. How long it will take depends on how we will now deal with the situation we currently find ourselves in. At the end of his book, Kaiser shows some possible solutions against immaturity, division, and obedience and for freedom and everything that actually makes us human. He deliberately does not go into detail, because this would only amount to a new paternalism.
I am one of those people for whom a vague sense of incoherence crept up quite early in 2020. In these two years I have – outside the mainstream media – read, studied, researched, listened a lot and understood less and less why so many people are so willing to go along with it. I also wondered why I am one of the few who seem immune to the “virus” of fear, conformity and submission. Moreover, since I have been talking about these issues with various scientists (doctors, biologists and virologists, but also lawyers, psychologists and philosophers), I have become increasingly aware of the enormous standardization of people outside my intimate environment: conformity, similar fashions, preferences, status symbols, entertainment programs. Hardly ever a look outside the box, always nicely well-behaved and conforming to the rules. Personally, I call them “template people”, without corners, without edges, without the profound conversations that really let us grow spiritually and take us further. Is it a coincidence that in a bookstore in Brussels I got hold of the essay “The Monotonization of the World”from 1925 (!) by Stefan Zweig, published bilingually by Allia? For two years now I have been asking myself: Where did they go? What happened? How can this be undone?
Now I have read Gunnar Kaiser’s book, whose KaiserTV has built me up again and again over these two years – even in uncertain moments.
The book is 100% recommended
And this goes for anyone who wants to delve into interesting philosophical, psychological and intellectual questions relating to the events of the current time, regardless of which “side” they are on. For me, many sections/chapters made certain people from my circle of acquaintances spring to mind and I thought to myself: “if only they read this, then perhaps they would feel a bit better in their humanity, and so might the people around them”. All they would need for that would be some time and impartiality.
Kaiser describes what is happening to us right now in a very sober, non-judgmental and neutral way. To a certain extent, he even confirms that I instinctively did “the right thing” to preserve humanity in this society which is moving at the speed of light towards a technocracy that even George Orwell would not have dared to fantasize about in his worst dreams: I rejected the measures with my head held high and simply changed my environment. I burned many bridges and built other bridges, made new friendships and cherished them regardless of contact restrictions, curfews or health conditions. So I lived and modelled my kind of solidarity and openness more than ever before and this also had the wonderful effect of allowing me to attract like-minded people. This crisis has changed me as a person and opened my eyes to what it really means to be human.
Gunnar Kaiser has put the icing on the cake with this book, a work that is second to none. He has shone the light of clarity on my confusion, providing the words and explanations I was missing. This book even offers the so-called “antagonists” an anchor to come out of this act with dignity and to grow from this experience.