How Luther went viral ... Five centuries before Facebook and the Arab spring, social media helped bring about the Reformation ... It is a familiar-sounding tale: after decades of simmering discontent a new form of media gives opponents of an authoritarian regime a way to express their views, register their solidarity and co-ordinate their actions. The protesters' message spreads virally through social networks, making it impossible to suppress and highlighting the extent of public support for revolution. The combination of improved publishing technology and social networks is a catalyst for social change where previous efforts had failed. That's what happened in the Arab spring. It's also what happened during the Reformation, nearly 500 years ago, when Martin Luther and his allies took the new media of their day— pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts—and circulated them through social networks to promote their message of religious reform. – The Economist
Dominant Social Theme: An Internet Reformation has taken place – thanks to pioneers like Mark Zuckerberg.
Free-Market Analysis: The Economist "newspaper" has finally caught up to the Daily Bell. Well ... not really. Sure, this is an interesting article that The Economist has just launched (and thanks to feedbacker Thomas Molitor for bringing it to our attention) ... but the point of the article, as with all Economist articles, is in our view to mislead.
The Economist is a mouthpiece of the Anglosphere power elite, the most elite in its arsenal. Its articles are focused on free-market and business issues only within the larger context of Western military and economic power.
The need for state control in all matters, and especially regulation, is a fundament of any Economist commentary. This is because the Anglosphere elites desire the growth of nation-states and regulatory democracy in order to provide the basis for world government.
Modern elites operate entirely on a mercantilist basis. Without a state to corrupt, no "new world order" can be fashioned. We maintain that an Internet Reformation is taking place, and have been writing about this for about a decade, but The Economist will only write about it within the context of "social media."
It is like saying that the main impact of the Gutenberg Press had to do with the ability to support better and more efficient letter-writing. To buttress the argument, Economist mavens claim that Luther's theses were akin to what one might find on Facebook today.
Why is that The Economist wants to focus so tightly on social media? Why did The Economist brain trust not provide these insights earlier? Does it perhaps have to do with promoting certain kinds of social media?
We've grappled with these issues before when The Economist made its first timid attempt at what is going on today. Here's an excerpt from an editorial entitled "Wishful Thinking: Why The Economist Wants Social Media to Replace Blogs," written back in July of 2011.
The Economist Magazine is out with an article entitled "The End of Mass Media: Coming Full Circle." It actually provides us with a kind of sub-dominant social theme – that "social media" take us back to the pamphleteering days of Samuel Johnson, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine and others.
This has been, in a sense, a message of ours for many years. And here at DB, we've regularly compared the output of the Gutenberg Press and its revolutionary influence to the Internet. The Economist is about 10 years late in joining the party.
Even so ... The Economist is making the wrong comparison and doing it on purpose. Blogs and websites are a far more appropriate comparison to the Gutenberg Press than "social media."
There is likely a reason that The Economist, a power elite mouthpiece, wants to talk up social media. Here's the beginning of an article from Global Research written way back in March 2009, when Facebook only had 20 million users but was well on its way to success:
Facebook - the CIA conspiracy ... Facebook has 20 million users worldwide, is worth billions of dollars and, if internet sources are to be believed, was started by the CIA. The social networking phenomenon started as a way of American college students to keep in touch. It is rapidly catching up with MySpace, and has left others like Bebo in its wake.
But there is a dark side to the success story that's been spreading across the blogosphere. A complex but riveting Big Brother-type conspiracy theory, which links Facebook to the CIA and the US Department of Defence. The CIA is, though, using a Facebook group to recruit staff for its very sexy sounding National Clandestine Service.
The story starts once Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had launched, after the dorm room drama that's led to the current court case. Facebook's first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome 'The Diversity Myth', he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC.
The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company's key areas of expertise is in "data mining technologies."
The Internet has revealed much about the way the world really works. And more and more it seems evident and obvious that almost NO company in US, Britain and Europe becomes globally dominant without Intel vetting – and subsequent cooperation with high-ranking government officials.
These people are proxies, in fact, for Anglosphere elites themselves. And the Anglosphere elites [seem to] own almost everything worth owning. (When one owns a central bank after all, one can print money at will. Western elites control about 100 of them through the BIS.)
This was a big secret in the 20th century. It's increasingly well known in the 21st. The West's "capitalism" is mostly authoritarian, but the powers-that-be have tried to disguise it as much as possible. They are still pretending even though they have been "outed" by the 'Net.
Of course, you can have a successful chain of, say, donut shops without being bothered by snoops. But to have a world spanning company of any sort – from soda pop, to automobiles, to media, to computers and software – you'll no doubt interact with a friendly spook sooner or later.
As usual, it all comes down to control. And control is evinced via elite dominant and sub-dominant social themes. In this case, it is to the elite's advantage to promote social networks. The bigger ones – especially the main one supposedly founded by Mark Zuckerberg – are likely controlled entities that allow the CIA and other Western intel agencies to "data-mine."
Blogs, alternative media websites and other such entities do not give Western intel agencies nearly the same access that Zuckerberg's putative creation allows. However, there are other facilities – very large ones – that are apparently in league with Western intelligence: Google, Wikipedia and AOL are just three that come to mind.
Should we be complimented The Economist has finally picked up on one of the main points that we make regularly? Certainly imitiation is a form of flattery! And there is indeed an Internet Reformation taking place. It is changing the world just the way the Gutenberg Press did, by wiping away at least a century of misinformation about How the World Works. You can see another one of our articles here: 500 Year Old Global Roll-Up Founders?
The Renaissance was a direct result of the Gutenberg Press. People rediscovered science and the scientific approach that had been developed by the ancients, especially Greek mathematicians and philosophers. Once the Renaissance was underway, panicked elites of the day began to manipulate this information revolution and created first the Reformation and then the Enlightenment.
Ultimately, in our view, both of these movements backfired. While there is apparently evidence that both Martin Luther and John Calvin received covert elite support, the ultimate schisming caused by the Reformation was likely well in excess of what could be comfortably controlled.
Same with the Enlightenment that led directly to the eloquence of Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. It is very hard to control an information revolution, even when you try to direct it. Of course, elites then and now are used to ruling and don't give up easily. The idea that the underclass can acquire insights about its ongoing, historical manipulation is most frightening to those in charge of what we call "directed history."
And so the leveling continues. It is not enough to try to control the world via wars, suffering and central bank "money from nothing." It is not enough to float the false historical "great man" theme of history. It is necessary to eradicate even the most modest attempts at setting the record straight. One does this by way of "limited hangout."
What are we to make of this latest Economist attempt at twisting the truth? The image comes to mind of the religious firebrand Martin Luther sitting at his kitchen table, addressing envelopes and licking stamps. Social media, indeed. In fact, one is torn over The Economist's attempt to trivialize what is taking place today.
Conclusion: We asked earlier if we should feel complimented? That's not the emotion that comes to mind however, given the Economist's promotional repurposing. Irritation is a better descripiton. Or disgust. Maybe both.