Today’s technology-driven, media-manipulated civilization has succeeded in imposing a degree of hyperreality capable of obscuring any vestiges of reality that still remain within the grasp of the average person. It requires a constant effort to distract from the hyperreality itself. On rare occasions when hyperreality gives a glimpse of its own functioning, it risks becoming either self-consuming or appearing as a self-parody.
NATO has faced an existential crisis since the end of the Cold War. To prove his continued relevance, he created a website called Innovation hub which is so extreme in its promotion of hyperreality, it awkwardly draws attention to the absurdity that NATO has become. The hub defines its purpose as the defense of an enlightened establishment that is constantly threatened by the forces of evil lurking behind a sinister curtain. The Iron Curtain that defined the Cold War has now given way to a new digital curtain.
The United States, NATO and the question of Russia
The hub wants to simulate the meeting of great minds and become âa place where experts collaborate and design solutions to meet NATO’s challenges. By bringing together people from different backgrounds or perspectives, the Innovation Hub generates a better understanding of the issues and promotes innovation. It aims for nothing less than a collective epiphany.
This lede emphasizing open collaboration presents the true objective of the initiative: âBOOST INNOVATION IN SECURITY AND DEFENSE. The site encourages everyone to engage in a constructive dialogue to defend a new entity that they do not bother to define. It is not the territorial integrity of Western nations or even the persistence of neoliberal ideology that guides these nations. The innovative language they use to describe it reveals what it really is: hyperreality.
The Innovation Hub seeks to develop âthe New Third Operational Dimension, in addition to cyber and physicsâ. What could it be ? Until very recently, warfare was primarily the physical activity pitting armies against armies on the battlefield. This dimension still exists, although the tendency is to either hide it in plain sight by relying on drones and withdrawing troops from the remaining battlefields.
More recently, the clamor produced by swords hitting armor, bullets, bombs and buzzing drones has been supplemented by cyberwarfare – the “second dimension of operation.” Potentially more harmful than physical warfare because it can be deployed anywhere and remains invisible during and after its effective strike on a target, cyberwarfare is regularly in the news.
By force of habit or simply by cognitive error, the media generally attribute identified examples of cyberwarfare to Russia, but sometimes also to China. The media rarely mention the real world champion in cyber warfare – Israel. When Israel is mentioned, it is never with the intention of inspiring fear.
The Innovation Hub seeks not only to prepare us for the next âThird Operational Dimensionâ, but also to involve us in its construction. NATO seems to see this effort as some sort of social media dedicated to a truly hyperreal idea of ââdefense and national security.
As we scroll down the page we see our first clue to the centerpiece of this new third dimension with this explanation: âCognitive warfare embodies the idea of ââfighting without fighting. The mastery of the cognitive domain constitutes a new major stake essential to the generation of a fighting power … Its very essence is to take control of places, groups, units, organizations and nations, by targeting and affecting the brains of their personnel, civilians as well as civilians. military.”
Today’s dictionary definition of the devil:
The idea put forward by people who believe that with the help of modern technology, and big data in particular, they can reduce other people and even entire populations to a mindless state of compliance similar to their own
Promoters of hyperreality find themselves faced with the monumental task of defining an elaborate belief system designed to nullify and replace the existing public perception of reality. The concept of cognitive warfare is a prime example. It doesn’t match anything that previously existed in the real world. In all cultures, cognition and war have always belonged to two opposing spheres. One was the domain of the clerical class, the other of the warrior class.
The average person might naively think that the idea of ââcognitive warfare describes the kind of intellectual battles that have always taken place within academic disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, history, and the sciences. Realism versus idealism or the big bang versus steady state theory could be examples of cognitive warfare.
Thinking in these terms is the kind of mistake people can make when they persist in basing their reasoning on visible reality. The hyperrealists of the NATO team offer the true definition of cognitive warfare: âIn cognitive warfare, the human mind becomes the battlefield. The goal is to change not only what people think, but also the way they think and act. Instead of starting with the reality of human cognition and exploring how knowledge can cause conflict, they choose war (extreme conflicting violence) as their starting point. Knowledge is subordinated to the need for physical aggression.
Traditionally, cognition refers to the human ability to grasp reality. In its new hyperreal meaning, it signifies the acceptance of a substitute for reality. Cognition is the result of someone who can âtake controlâ of the thinking of others. One might be tempted to consider it simply as hyper-propaganda. But instead of seeking to coax, persuade and influence, he seeks physical control.
It could rightly be called the “great replacement” (of reality). Sadly, this term was co-opted by white supremacists to express their fear that the MÃ©tis races would soon upend white Anglo-European civilization. There may even be an unrecognized connection between the two.
The language of this new improved hyperpropaganda reveals the scope of its ambition: âWithin the military, expertise in anthropology, ethnography, history, psychology, among other fields, will be more than ever required to cooperate with the military. These innovative and generously collaborative minds have chosen to “force” all the humanities to align with military strategy. Isn’t this the fundamental principle of fascism?
The contrast they draw between first dimensional warfare – dependent on bayonets, bazookas and nuclear bombs, built for an assault on human bodies – and the third dimension involves a shift towards reliance on new technologies that not only include mass surveillance but active control of the human mind thanks to Big Data, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
In their explanation Documentation, proponents of the third dimension, as they promote “an online critical thinking course”, cite this fundamental priority: “Leverage technologies, including virtual reality and AI to develop tools for the support for better cognition and better decision-making. It sounds liberating, but it only becomes possible because “the ability to manipulate the human mind using techniques and tools of neurocognitive science is constantly and rapidly increasing.”
Their message is simple: we must embrace a new generation of manipulation. âIt complements more traditional techniques of manipulation through information technology and information warfare, making humans increasingly the target of cognitive warfare. “
NATO thinkers will object that their focus on this type of aggressive hyperreality is defensive. They have no intention of using it, only to fight opponents who use it. But, as was the case in the arms race of the Cold War, there is real enthusiasm in being the one with the most destructive force and the will to use it.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949, in the aftermath of World War II, to contain the ambition of the Soviet Union to expand its influence in Eastern Europe – achieved through the agreements from Potsdam – to the rest of Europe. In 1955, the Soviet Union responded to the integration of West Germany through NATO by forming the Warsaw Pact. This materialized what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once described metaphorically as the âIron Curtainâ.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO’s raison d’Ãªtre disappeared. Instead of assuming that Europe, no longer divided into two ideological camps, could focus on peaceful construction, the Western powers decided not only to maintain NATO, but to use it to extend the tentacles of it. Western economy in Eastern Europe. This kept alive the spark that led to today’s New Cold War which still includes Russia.
But with China’s challenge to Washington’s global hegemony, things get even more complicated, forcing NATO to respond appropriately. In such a geopolitical environment, there is obviously no other choice but to establish a new hegemony built on hyperreality.
*[In the age of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain, another American wit, the journalist Ambrose Bierce, produced a series of satirical definitions of commonly used terms, throwing light on their hidden meanings in real discourse. Bierce eventually collected and published them as a book, The Devilâs Dictionary, in 1911. We have shamelessly appropriated his title in the interest of continuing his wholesome pedagogical effort to enlighten generations of readers of the news. Read more of The Daily Devilâs Dictionary on Fair Observer.]
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