The Road to Fascism: For a Critique of the Global Biosecurity State (4. Fascism and the Decay of Capitalism)

Table of Contents

  1. The Return of Fascism
  2. Eternal Fascism
  3. The Fascist State and Human Rights
  4. Fascism and the Decay of Capitalism
  5. The Psychological Structure of Fascism
  6. From Kitsch to Woke: The Aesthetics of Totalitarianism
  7. Fascism and the Left
  8. The Camp as Biopolitical Paradigm of the State
  9. For a Popular Front Against Fascism
  10. On Humanity in Dark Times

4. Fascism and the Decay of Capitalism

Perhaps the most famous definition of fascism — it is the one to which I have returned over the past two years when attempting to comprehend what has been happening behind the facade of this manufactured ‘crisis’ — is that attributed to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: ‘fascism is capitalism in decay’. What Lenin more accurately said, in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1917), is that the rentier state — which is to say, a state that derives a substantial proportion of its national revenues from properties and securities, and whose economic foundation is monopoly capitalism — is capitalism in decay. In 1935, in his article on ‘The Question of Fascism and Capitalist Decay’, Rajani Dutt, a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain, extrapolated from this observation to argue that fascism was an advanced stage of this process of decay, representing a regression in the development of the forces of production in the period of the general crisis of capitalism during the 1930s. The actual source of this often-quoted statement, therefore, is not Lenin but Dutt. That said, historical fascism undoubtedly arose from the imperialist ambitions of European nations and the mass unemployment caused by the financial crisis after the Great War that was further exacerbated by the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that lasted, in most future fascist states, well into the 1930s. However, I don’t intend to revisit here the accuracy of the predictions of capitalism’s inevitable demise following yet another of the crises that occur today, a century later, with ever greater regularity, but from which it always emerges with its grip over the world ever stronger. My interest, for the purposes of this article, is in the contention that when the internal contradictions of capital accumulation reach such a stage that the existing social contract can no longer hold them together, society enters a period of revolution in which that contract is rewritten, and that fascism is the authoritarian form of that contract, which encompasses the entirety of the political, juridical and cultural superstructure. As I argued in an earlier article, Cui bono? The COVID-19 ‘conspiracy’, it is this crisis in capitalism, and not a public health crisis that was manufactured, that has occasioned the rising authoritarianism of formerly neoliberal states over the past two years, and which, in these series of articles, I am arguing signals the return of fascism as the social contract of the global biosecurity state currently in formation. This understanding of the term expands the limited definition of fascism as a never-repeatable historical moment between the two World Wars to not merely a threat inherent to the structure of the state (the axe within the collective bundle of rods), but as endemic to capitalism — which is, of course, still with us, exerts greater hegemony over our world than ever, but is undergoing, nonetheless, one of the greatest crises in its recent history.

Political economists, who are more aware than most of the devastating impact lockdown has had not only on the economies of the locked-down countries but also on the rest of the world — in which an estimated half a billion people have been pushed into poverty or worse poverty over the past two years — have belatedly started to question their government’s professed reasons for imposing them. And rather than a medically-unprecedented response to a supposedly civilisation-threatening pandemic that has turned out to have the infection fatality rate of seasonal influenza, the answers they have come up instead relate the decision to impose lockdowns to the financial crisis that threatened the global economy in September 2019, 6 months before the global lockdown of people and businesses in the wealthiest nations in the world.

I am not an economist, which is an almost unpardonable lack of knowledge in an historical materialist; and I have been helped enormously in my attempt to understand the political economy of the biosecurity state by the work of Fabio Vighi, Professor of Critical Theory and Italian at the University of Cardiff, and co-author with Heiko Feldner of Critical Theory and the Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism (2015). Vighi, whom I first heard speak at a meeting of Left Lockdown Sceptics in November 2021, has written a series of articles on the economic causes of the coronavirus ‘crisis’ that can be read on The Philosophical Salon, an online forum published by the Los Angeles Review of Books, and I have drawn on his analyses for much of what I write in this section.

As Vighi laid out in August 2021, in ‘A Self-fulfilling Prophecy: Systemic Collapse and Panemic Simulation’, in June 2019 the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the central bank of all central banks, published its Annual Economic Report. This began with the extraordinary statement that ‘It was perhaps too good to be true’ — the ‘it’ being the recovery from the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Describing current financial markets as ‘jittery’, the report identified four forces at play in the economic downturn: 1) the failure of labour to recover the bargaining power it has lost over the previous decades; 2) the role of finance on economies, including on real estate prices, credit developments and financial markets; 3) the lagging of trade behind productivity and consequent stagnation in growth in productivity in the most advanced capitalist economies; and 4) the social and political backlash against what it calls the ‘open international economic order’, which the BIS predicted will continue to cast a ‘long if unpredictable shadow’ over the world economy, and whose long-term challenges, it advises, should not be taken lightly:

‘From a historical perspective, it is not unusual to see such surges of sentiment in the wake of major economic shockwaves: the Great Depression marked the end of the previous globalisation era. It is too early to tell how this surge will evolve; but it will clearly be a force to contend with in the years to come.’

What the BIS is describing here are not only the classic symptoms of a crisis produced by the contradictions of capitalism, but also the threat of the social revolution they cause in the body politic, and which it, as the bank of highest appeal on monetary policy, is more than aware presents a threat to the global financial system. It’s worth bearing this warning in mind when considering the violence of the restrictions imposed by the global biosecurity state nine months later, and how the coronavirus ‘crisis’ has been used to entrench the powers of the biosecurity state on a permanent basis.

Of even greater concern to the BIS than the social and political rejection of globalisation, however, is the competitive threat to banks of information technology companies, whose market capitalisation far exceeds that of banks. Leveraging the vast customer bases they have secured through social media, e-commerce and search engines, and drawing on the vast amounts of data they have collected and the power of networks, Big Tech — Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google, etc), Amazon and Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), which in 2022 made up five of the eight richest companies in the world — has made inroads into financial services that threatens the hegemony of central banks over the financial sector. Indeed, the entire last chapter of the report is devoted to formulating a regulatory compass for Big Techs in finance. This leads the report to make the following policy considerations:

‘The analysis of the regulatory response to Big Techs’ inroads in finance offers rich material to examine more closely and concretely some of the challenges involved. The objective is to ensure that one can reap the potentially large benefits that such technological innovations can bring about while managing the potential risks. This requires tackling delicate issues that range from financial stability to competition and data privacy. At the core of this triangle is the treatment of data, which the digital revolution has brought to the fore. Ensuring a level playing field that promotes competition under an adequate regulatory umbrella is key. Whatever the precise answer, it will require more than ever the close cooperation of different authorities, both nationally and internationally.’

Again, it’s hard not to hear in this statement a carefully euphemised insistence that the emerging technologies and markets of the Fourth Industrial Revolution must be used to police, control and, when necessary, suppress the social and political unrest the BIS anticipates in response to the coming crisis. It also expresses the fear that Big Tech will use these technologies to monopolise financial markets. The following month, accordingly, in July 2019, the BIS called for ‘unconventional policy’ to ‘insulate the real economy’ from further deterioration in financial conditions, specifically advocating that, by offering direct credit to the economy, central banks could ‘replace commercial banks in providing loans’.

In August 2019, when the predicted crisis was almost upon us, the global debt-to-GDP ratio had risen to an all-time high of 322%, total debt had reached close to $253 trillion, Germany, Italy and Japan were on the verge of a recession, and the economies of the UK and China were contracting, BlackRock, the largest investment fund in the world with $6.5 trillion in assets under management at the time (and since then risen to $10 trillion), published a white paper titled ‘Dealing with the next downturn’. This instructed the Federal Reserve System, the twelve central banks of the USA, to inject liquidity directly into the financial system to prevent a dramatic downturn in the economy predicted to be even worse than that of the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2009. BlackRock argued that, since monetary policy (central bank interest rates on loans and the amount of money in circulation) was exhausted and fiscal policy (government taxation and spending) would not be sufficient to reverse such a downturn, what was needed was an ‘unprecedented response’. It therefore recommended ‘going direct’, which meant ‘finding ways to get central bank money directly into the hands of public and private-sector spenders’ while avoiding hyperinflation. Significantly, as an example of the dangers of the latter, BlackRock cited the Weimar Republic in the early 1920s, at precisely the time when fascism took root in both Germany and Italy. Later that month, central bankers from the G7 nations (the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and the USA) met to discuss BlackRock’s proposals.

In response to the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007 and the Global Financial Crisis it triggered, in 2010 the US Congress limited the sum to which the US Government would insure depositors to $250,000. This meant that large institutional investors like pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds had nowhere to park the millions of dollars they held between investments that was at once secure, provided them with some interest and allowed the quick withdrawal of funds like a traditional deposit account. It was in response to this need that the private repo market evolved. ‘Repo’, which is shorthand for repurchase agreement, is a contract whereby investment funds lend money against collateral assets, typically treasury debt or the mortgage-backed securities that had financed the US housing bubble. Under the terms of the contract, banks undertake to buy back the assets at a higher price, typically the next day or within two weeks. As secured short-term loans, repos are the main source of funding for traders, replacing the security of deposit insurance with the security of highly liquid collateral.

However, although the repo market evolved to satisfy the needs of large institutional investors, it also allowed banks to circumvent the capital requirements imposed by regulations on the banking system after the GFC. As a result, by 2008 the repo market provided half the credit in the US, and by 2020 had a turnover of $1 trillion per day. The danger was, a lack of liquidity in repo markets can have a knock-on effect on all major financial sectors. This happens when banks borrow from their depositors to make long-term loans or investments, and the depositors and borrowers want the money at the same time, forcing the banks to borrow from somewhere else. If they can’t find lenders on short notice, or if the price of borrowing suddenly becomes prohibitive, the result is a liquidity crisis.

This is exactly what happened in September 2019, by which time the borrower side of the repo market had been taken over by aggressive and high-risk hedge funds, which were using them for several loans at once. As a result, many large institutional lenders pulled out of the market, causing a sudden spike in repo borrowing rates from 2.43% to 10.5% in a matter of hours. However, as the economist Ellen Brown wrote in  May 2020, rather than letting the banks fail and forcing a bail-in of creditors’ funds, the Federal Reserve System, following the advice of BlackRock, initiated an emergency monetary programme, injecting hundreds of billions of dollars every week into Wall Street in order to ward off substantial hikes in interest rates. Over the next six months, the US Federal Reserve injected more than $9 trillion into the banking system, equivalent to more than 40% of the US Gross Domestic Product. By March 2020, the Federal Reserve was making $1 trillion per day available in overnight loans, effectively providing backup funds for the entire repo market, including the hedge funds. On 15 March, under the media cover and hysteria provided by the coronavirus ‘crisis’, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to 0.25%, eliminated the reserve requirement, relaxed the capital requirement, and offered discount loans of up 90 days to its preferred banks (JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Nomura, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, etc), which were renewed on a daily basis and continuously rolled over. By July 2020, the cumulative value of these loans was $11.23 trillion. Allegedly made available to meet demands for credit from households and businesses under the lockdown that was imposed state by state between 19 March in California and 7 April in South Carolina, in practice no obligations were attached to make this effectively interest-free money available to the public through, for example, loans to small businesses, reducing credit-card rates for households or suspending payment plans on mortgages. In response, demand for repo loans fell; but it took until September 2020, a year later, for interest rates to fall to 1.75%.

In the meantime, in September 2019, the month interest rates on the repo market spiked, the US President, Donald Trump, had established a National Influenza Task Force, a 5-year plan to accelerate vaccine development and promote vaccine technologies to counteract a pandemic. The following month, Event 201, organised by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health and the WHO, simulated an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus that, modelled on SARS, was more transmissible in the community setting by people with mild symptoms. In December, the World Health Organisation held a Global Vaccine Safety Summit for vaccine safety stakeholders from around the world. These included current and former members of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS), immunisation programme managers, national regulatory authorities, pharmacovigilance staff from all WHO regions, as well as representatives from UN agencies, academic institutions, umbrella organisations of pharmaceutical companies, technical partners, industry representatives and funding agencies. Finally, in March 2020, with the global apparatus in place, the WHO, ignoring all previous definitions and criteria, declared coronavirus to be a ‘pandemic’, and lockdowns were imposed across the neoliberal democracies of Western capitalism. That’s where most of us came in, and in my case began trying to understand the lack of correlation between the impact and even existence of this ‘pandemic’ and the authoritarian restrictions by which our rights and freedoms were being taken from us.

What most of didn’t know was that the Great Reset of the world economy supposedly justified and even necessitated by the ‘pandemic’ was initiated six months before it was officially declared, and not in response to a virus. What the 6 months of emergency and unprecedented measures prior to the lockdown of Western economies reveals is that, had the enormous mass of liquidity pumped into the financial sector by central banks reached transactions in the real economy, it would have triggered the hyperinflation BlackRock had warned the Federal Reserve had to be avoided. This refutes the received wisdom about the purpose and necessity of lockdown restrictions. As Vighi writes:

‘The mainstream narrative should therefore be reversed: the stock market did not collapse in March 2020 because lockdowns had to be imposed; rather, lockdowns had to be imposed because financial markets were collapsing.’

In a reverse of the narrative we continue to be told by our governments, lockdown wasn’t imposed to protect the population from a deadly and highly contagious new pathogen, but because the real economy had to be shut down, with most business transactions and consumer spending suspended under emergency powers, in order to protect it from the vast sums being pumped into the failing financial sector. As of April 2022, the total assets of the US Federal Reserve Banks, the European Central Banks, the Bank of Japan and the People’s Bank of China have risen to $31 trillion, an extraordinary and unprecedented increase from $19 trillion in September 2019, with a corresponding increase in liabilities (currency in circulation, reserves in commercial banks, central bank securities and equity capital) and therefore in risks to the real and financial sectors of the economy. Globally, over $41 trillion in assets, nearly half the world’s GDP, are now held by central banks.

But that’s not all. At the same time that trillions of dollars were being pumped into the global financial system, hundreds of millions of workers across the world were forcibly placed on furlough for months and even years on end by national governments, which effectively mortgaged in advance the future labour and production of their populations. In doing so, governments made sure that the nation states over which they presided were pushed further into debt to the financial institutions that had just been bailed out by the central banks for generations to come. Just as the fiscal austerity imposed by central banks after the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 had punished workers for the speculations of the financial sector by reducing government spending on the spurious justification of ‘balancing the budget’, so lockdown made certain that the bailout of the banks would be paid by the workers and small businessmen whose jobs and businesses had been lost, bankrupted or placed into debt by the governments enforcing lockdown on the even more spurious justification of protecting them from a threat to public health that never existed. And just as there was no bailout for those unemployed, impoverished, ruined or killed by cuts to government spending, so too there is to be no bailout today for those whose jobs, savings, businesses and lives have been ruined by lockdown restrictions. Like austerity, therefore, lockdown is economic class war waged by the financial and political ruling class against the working class, and in which — as is their economic and ideological function under capitalism — the middle-classes have sided with their overlords in administering and morally justifying the restrictions of the biosecurity state.

But what, you might ask, is wrong with this? The second collapse of the global financial system in 15 years has been averted at the cost of two years of authoritarianism, the bankruptcy of millions of small businesses, the loss of tens of millions of jobs and the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people. But isn’t that a price worth paying to avoid the collapse of capitalism and the far greater economic damage and suffering that would have caused to the world? Isn’t that the ‘bigger picture’, as the apologists for lockdown say?

The answer to this must be a very definite ‘no’, not only because the already catastrophic social, economic and political consequences of lockdown, which are very far from over, but also because the downturn in a global economy increasingly hostage to money printing and the artificial inflation of financial assets hasn’t been averted but only postponed, with debt-leveraged speculation on financial assets its only escape-route left from the structural contradictions of capitalism in the Twenty-first Century. In its drive to generate surplus value, the global economy must both exploit the workforce and, increasingly, expel it from production. This has resulted from the unprecedented acceleration in automation under the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the accompanying change in the relations of production that revolution is producing. And as the report by the Bank of International Settlements indicated, as the purchasing power of a growing part of the global population has fallen, debt and immiseration have increased. This in turn has reduced surplus value, forcing capital to seek returns in the debt-leveraged financial sector (stocks, bonds, futures and derivatives) rather than investing in the real economy.

As Vighi has argued, lockdown was both a protective measure, averting the collapse of the global financial system, and an offensive programme, implementing the revolution to a social system that in November 2021 he described as authoritarian, but which I would describe now as totalitarian. It is lockdown, therefore, that has prepared the way for the return of fascism as the political, juridical and cultural superstructure of what Vighi calls ‘emergency capitalism’. This appears to differentiate itself from Naomi Klein’s definition, in chapter 5 of The Shock Doctrine, of ‘disaster capitalism’, in not merely enabling private companies to profit from large-scale crises (war, poverty, famine, natural disasters, pandemics, economic collapse, military coups, political revolutions), but in manufacturing those crises to its own ends. This is something Klein, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, has dismissed as a ‘conspiracy theory’. But if COVID-19, according to the mainstream narrative of our governments and media, is the biggest crisis of our time, to what ends is it being put by a financial system that has just been flooded with trillions of dollars?

In his 2013 article, ‘Capitalism as Religion’, the Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben, warned us that ‘a society whose religion is credit, which believes only in credit, is condemned to live on credit’. When the US President, Richard Nixon, in response to rising inflation in the US, suspended the convertibility of the dollar into gold in August 1971, it marked the end of a system that bound monetary value not only to the gold standard but to its last remaining referent in the real world. This effectively marked the beginning of the neoliberal revolution to finance capitalism, within which money is a self-referential system of representation founded on credit. It is in this sense that Agamben (whose article is a commentary on a 1921 text by Walter Benjamin) argued that capitalism is a religion founded on belief — the Latin term for which, credere, is the infinitive form of the past participle, creditum. And after August 1971, he argues, ‘money is a form of credit which is grounded on itself alone and which corresponds to nothing other than itself’.

By detaching it from any referent in the real world, however, money was separated not just from the gold standard but also, and primarily, from labour, which for most of us — which is to say, the working class that sells its labour for a salary — is the only referent there is. It was from this threshold that labour began to lose its bargaining power, with real wages in advanced capitalist economies — that is, after being adjusted for inflation — having about the same purchasing power now as they did in the late 1970s. Remember that this ongoing failure of labour recover its bargaining power was identified by the Bank of International Settlements as one of the four main forces leading to the economic downturn it predicted in June 2019. And when money, and especially our money, has no referent, then the value of our labour and savings can change as quickly as that of homes during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-2010. Such devaluation can also happen when, as the BIS also reported, economies can no longer generate the profits to pay off their debts, and central banks print vast sums of electronic money to bail out financial institutions unable to pay the interest on their loans.

The lockdown of the Western world over the past two years — the unsurprisingly exact time set for the expiry of the Coronavirus Act when it was made into UK law in March 2020 — completed several huge strides in the Great Reset. None of these have anything to do with averting a crisis in public health, which lockdown served only to exacerbate and extend. Rather, as Vighi argues, the lockdown of the real economies of the wealthiest countries in the world achieved the following objectives:

  1. Provided cover for central banks to print sufficient electronic money to bail out the sinking global financial system;
  2. Bankrupted vast numbers of small- and medium-sized businesses, accelerating the monopolisation of markets and resources by international corporations;
  3. Further depressed labour wages and the standard of living in the West, which are both set to fall further as inflation kicks in;
  4. Enabled the growth of e-commerce and the explosion in the value of the global information technology and pharmaceutical companies that have dominated our government’s ‘responses’ to the coronavirus ‘crisis’.

As a result of which, over the ‘pandemic’, the world’s billionaires added $5 trillion to their fortunes, with Big Tech CEOs Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both of Google, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, now making up seven of the ten wealthiest men in the USA, whose billionaires have increased their wealth by 57% under the lockdown, rising from $2.95 trillion to $4.62 trillion between March 2020 and March 2022, with the total number of US billionaires increasing from 614 to 704. Such vast increases in personal fortunes, however, despite being the largest wealth transfer in recorded history, looks set to pale beside the monopoly of the world’s resources, markets and capital being implemented by the Great Rest.

What’s next? What Vighi calls the ‘controlled demolition’ of the real economy is already being effected through the collapse of supply chains from Russia on the justification of economic sanctions and the interruption of trade routes with China on the justification of zero-COVID lockdowns. As the real economy is reopened, businesses start trading again, consumers start buying, and commercial banks resume lending, the vast sums borrowed by commercial banks have begun to flow into markets, and the value of the savings and assets of the mass of working people will fall accordingly. This will in turn justify the implementation of the World Economic Forum’s long-heralded global digital infrastructure based on programmable Central Bank Digital Currency, mandatory Universal Digital Identity and Universal Basic Income for the millions of workers made redundant by the new technologies, markets and programmes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

War, proxy or not, has always allowed governments to load debt on the future in order to fund whatever spending it deems necessary to the present state of emergency. In this sense alone, the governments of the West have indeed been waging a ‘war on COVID’, the cost of which will be laid on their civilian populations for generations, while at the same time justifying further cuts to public spending, reductions in the standard of living and spiralling inflation. Indeed, the current crisis in food and energy prices, which we were warned about last September and is predicted to continue for two years, is conveniently being blamed on Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine — as if the previous two years have been wiped from the memories of the amnesiac consumers of the corporate media. And having been trialed over those two years with unexpected and astonishing degrees of compliance, lockdown — justified in the future by a new virus or strain of coronavirus, insufficient reduction in carbon emissions, a crisis in energy or food supplies, rising sea levels, wild fires or a myriad of other excuses yet to be invented — will be the new monetary and fiscal mechanism of global capitalism.

There can be few more convincing images of the decay of capitalism than the supermarket shelves standing empty of food in the wealthiest countries in the world, and the children of parents prohibited from working by ‘vaccine’ mandates begging in the streets of Italy, while 25 millions of tons of grain rot or burn in Ukrainian warehouses, and 20% of the world’s roughly 9,000 active container ships currently sitting in traffic jams outside congested ports, nearly a third of them in China, where residents prohibited by the state from leaving their homes for over a month now are starving. Spiralling inflation, war in Europe’s bread basket, economic embargo against the world’s largest exporter of oil and petroleum products, and interruption of trade routes with the world’s largest exporter of goods, together have created a perfect storm for capitalism, one that has been created by the global biosecurity state and its internal competition for resources, markets and the totalitarian control of the global population.

As the World Economic Foundation has been open about declaring, the Great Reset will be implemented on the devaluation of most people’s labour, savings and property, followed by global corporations stepping in to claim everything that can be owned or controlled. United Nations programmes will be key to this, allowing international corporations to direct the flow of global capital through its Sustainable Development Goals, which increase the economic advantage of already wealthy Western economies over poorer countries, administered in compliance with its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance initiative, which enables corporations to further their monopoly over global markets. Behind their ‘green’ credentials, both these programmes are instruments of what the WEF calls ‘stakeholder capitalism’, in which national governments, as we are already witnessing, are no longer the final arbiters of state-imposed policies, and private corporations, through their macro-economic management of the world, form a multi-stakeholder form of global governance. It is an indicator of who will benefit from these programmes that the man to profit most from the lockdown of the real economy, Elon Musk, who invests in clean energy, green transportation, artifical intelligence and neurotechnology, increased his already vast fortune by a barely credible 85o% in just two years to $240 billion.

The by now infamous WEF statement that ‘you’ll own nothing and be happy’, perhaps the most prophetic of the Newspeak slogans to come out of the global biosecurity state, is both a promise of Eden and a threat of expulsion to those who don’t embrace its conditions — which, as with every earthly paradise ever invented, entail total submission to someone else’s absolute authority over every aspect of our lives. Ahead of the WEF’s Annual Meeting in 2016, Ida Auken, the Danish MP, former Minister for the Environment, WEF Young Global Leader, Member of the Global Future Council on the Future of Cities and Urbanisation, and since 2017 a Member of the WEF’s Europe Policy Group, interrupted her utopian vision of the future, ‘Welcome to 2030: I own nothing, have no privacy and life has never been better’, to voice her concerns about the underclass produced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

‘My biggest concern is all the people who do not live in our city. Those we lost on the way. Those who decided that it became too much, all this technology. Those who felt obsolete and useless when robots and AI took over big parts of our jobs. Those who got upset with the political system and turned against it. They live different kind of lives outside of the city. Some have formed little self-supplying communities. Others just stayed in the empty and abandoned houses in small 19th century villages.’

The slums and refugee camps in which more than 2 billion people were predicted to live by 2030 long before anyone had heard of the Great Reset appear to be the intended destination of the Untermenschen of the WEF’s Brave New World, and I see no reason not to take them at their word when its spokespersons repeat the threat with such regularity, openness and consistency. This is not a conspiracy; this is the openly declared policy of global governance. In the follow-up article he published in October 2021, ‘The Central Bankers’ Long Covid: An Incurable Condition’, Fabio Vighi drew the parallels between this programme of immiseration and expropriation implemented on the back of a financial crisis and the merger of government, state and big business under historical fascism that I looked at in my previous article:

‘A cornerstone of historical fascism was industry controlled by government while remaining privately owned. It is quite astonishing that, despite the overwhelming evidence of systematic revolving doors between public and private sector, most public intellectuals have not yet realised that this is where we are heading.’

One public intellectual, however, who doesn’t have to look outside his own nation state for a model of the slums and camps of the future, has more than realised where we are heading. As one of the ideologues of the Great Reset and a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum, Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli transhumanist, Professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and personal advisor to Klaus Schwab, who counts Barak Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg among his fans and readers, hasn’t been scared to lay out the aims of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with all the frankness and ruthlessness of a latter-day Joseph Goebbels:

‘In the industrial revolution of the Nineteenth Century, what humanity learned to produce was stuff like textiles and shoes and weapons and vehicles, and this was enough for [the] very few countries that underwent the revolution fast enough to subjugate everybody else. What we are talking about now is like a second industrial revolution, but the product this time will not be textiles or machines or vehicles or even weapons; the product this time will be humans themselves. We are basically learning to produce bodies and minds. Bodies and minds are going to be the two main products of the next wave. And if there is a gap between those that know how to produce bodies and minds and those who do not, then this [gap will be] far greater than anything we have seen before in history.  

This time, if you’re not part of the revolution fast enough, then you’ll probably become extinct. Once you know how to produce bodies and minds, cheap labour in Africa or South Asia or wherever counts for nothing. I think that the biggest question in the economics and politics of the coming decades will be what to do with all these useless people. I don’t think we have an economic model for that. My best guess — which is just a guess — is that food will not be a problem. With that kind of technology, you will be able to produce food for everybody. The problem is more boredom — what to do with them, and how will they find some sense of meaning in life when they are basically meaningless, worthless.’

Harari made these comments in 2017, when he was writing his third best-seller, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018), which was praised by Bill Gates in The New York Times. Since then, the corporations and organisations whose interests he represents on the global lecture circuit have come up with another and better final solution to the problem of worthless people in the Twenty-first Century. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that Harari — who as these comments suggest is a fascist in everything but name — has become one of the most celebrated propagandists for the Great Reset, or that the apartheid State of Israel, as I will go on to discuss later, is the model for the global biosecurity state of our rapidly approaching future.

Simon Elmer
Architects for Social Housing

In the next section, ‘The Psychological Structure of Fascism’, I’ll be addressing the contradiction inherent in the emergent economic infrastructure of the global biosecurity state producing the residual ideology of fascism in its political, juridical and cultural superstructure, and whether this is consistent with a historical materialist understanding of the current revolution in global capitalism.

Collections of articles by the same author about the UK biosecurity state :

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18 thoughts on “The Road to Fascism: For a Critique of the Global Biosecurity State (4. Fascism and the Decay of Capitalism)

  1. Dear Simon,

    I received part 2 of your series on 21st April and part 4 today.

    Are parts 1 and 3 available please.




  2. This is devastating. It certainly provides the best analysis across the fields touched by the Political Economy and social reality of the new Techno Feudalist Fascism. Selling England by the pound.
    Selling England By the Pound. Gabriels Gate, a portal into a more human dimension, Un-common knowledge.
    That this devastatingly accurate analysis of the meaning of the past 3 years Fairy Story of the p(L)andemic is on a site titled Architects for Social Housing is interesting who is the New Albert Speer?
    I will read the rest of the series with much interest, on the 2008 crisis I think this corporate Watch report is the standout analysis I have read.

    Finally here is a mind map I have been building of what I call the Going Direct Paradigm.


  3. I read Vighi’s initial essay early on and it remained for me the most plausible reason for the lunacy and crackdowns. Reading his and Mr Elmer’s work fills me with dismay: It’s illuminating but terrifying to have the problems we face laid out so baldly and, I would argue, irrefutably. But we have to know.

    Given they are playing for the world and everything in it, it’s clear there will be no limits to what they can and will do to achieve their ends.

    What to do and where to go? I’m a man of limited means with a young family. All I can offer is my non-compliance.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yuval Noah Harari: “… the biggest question … will be what to do with all these useless people. …The problem is more boredom — what to do with them, and how will they find some sense of meaning in life when they are basically meaningless, worthless.”

    I think that this appalling pronouncement has been the inner spiritual truth of capitalism since the beginning. John McMurtry once described capitalism as “a system that turns living things into dead things” and cited Native Canadian Jeanette Armstrong in a statement that has long haunted me as the truth about our rising technocratic world whose cadaverous soul was already there from the rise of the industrial revolution: “…without my land and my people I am not alive. I am simply flesh waiting to die.”

    The big irony is that McMurtry himself succumbed to the Covid manoeuvre.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It seems that Harari can be viewed as a figure who is candid enough to reveal the truth about the inner workings of the prevailing ruling class mentality and the system that supports it:

    “The crucial problem isn’t creating new jobs. The crucial problem is creating new jobs that humans perform better than algorithms. Consequently, by 2050 a new class of people might emerge – the useless class. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable.

    The same technology that renders humans useless might also make it feasible to feed and support the unemployable masses through some scheme of universal basic income. The real problem will then be to keep the masses occupied and content. People must engage in purposeful activities, or they go crazy. So what will the useless class do all day?”

    The most astonishing thing about the above quote is that “employment” is raised above actual people. At which point you might think that anyone with any sense and certainly any humanity would ask: “What precisely is this thing called ‘employment’ that seems to be more important that the human species itself? One thing is for sure: This “employment” does not serve humanity. Humanity serves “employment”.

    At which point it really ought to occur to the questioner that it is not precisely humanity as a whole that serves “employment”. No – it is only the greater part of humanity that is in this degrading position. A very select portion of humanity hovers above “employment”. And so a larger truth emerges: “Employment” is only that which serves a tiny self-appointed elite.

    But even that doesn’t go far enough. Consider again, Harari’s statement here:

    “… the biggest question … will be what to do with all these useless people. …The problem is more boredom — what to do with them, and how will they find some sense of meaning in life when they are basically meaningless, worthless.”

    The meaninglessness and worthlessness that Harari refers to goes beyond all the “useless” people. Because no-one – and certainly not Harari – has the sense to ask: What is all this for? The answer is not clear and seems muddier the more you press the question. Until you realise that the meaninglessness and worthlessness permeate the entire system. Harari’s vision is based on utter nihilism.


  6. In March 2020 Harari wrote a piece which appeared in the Financial Times titled “Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus” This was right at the beginning of the covid epic when those breathlessly assured prophecies of the world to come were flying fast and furious. And Harari was in the forefront of this newly installed Book of Revelations. Every line he wrote irrepressibly prompted questions in anyone not comatose. Starting from the opening sentence:

    “This storm will pass.”

    And though littered with requisite hedging (“could … perhaps … probably …”), laid out the vision with that air of certainty that was to become so familiar:

    “Humankind is now facing a global crisis. …The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks … will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. We must act quickly and decisively. …the storm will pass … but we will inhabit a different world.

    …short-term emergency measures will become a fixture of life. …emergencies … fast-forward historical processes. … Immature and even dangerous technologies are pressed into service, because the risks of doing nothing are bigger. Entire countries serve as guinea-pigs in large-scale social experiments.

    In order to stop the epidemic, entire populations need to comply with certain guidelines.”

    After which there is a wearisomely long article (and weren’t they all wearisomely long?) in which Harari practically salivates over the almost erotically presented prospect of a world remade in the new technocratic image.

    The conclusion:

    “Humanity needs to make a choice. Will we travel down the route of disunity, or will we adopt the path of global solidarity? If we choose disunity, this will not only prolong the crisis, but will probably result in even worse catastrophes in the future. If we choose global solidarity, it will be a victory not only against the coronavirus, but against all future epidemics and crises that might assail humankind in the 21st century.”

    This is all depressingly familiar stuff now. But the shocker is that this rhapsody from Harari appeared in March 2020 i.e. at the very beginning before the first lockdowns in the UK. And not only is he outlining the path of covid. He is already speaking about “all future epidemics and crises that might assail humankind in the 21st century.”

    The audacity of the ambition is matched only by the shameless candour of the exposure.


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