Missiles, Needles, Missions, Rifles, Projects, Bullets


Anthony Judge | Laetus in Praesens - TRANSCEND Media Service

Transformation of a Civilization of Spikes and Penis Surrogates via Global Reset Mandalas


Interpretations of reset and transformation
Transcending the unfruitful dynamics of conventional discourse: “positive” versus “negative”
Transformation maps — as “strategic mandalas”?
Missing “halves” of the Global Reset mandalas?
Learning from other social change initiatives — past and present
Knowledge cybernetics: the self-referential requirement of any viable reset
Encompassing a global dynamic of “bristling spikes” — with “spikeholder capitalism”?



2 Nov 2020 – In a period of crisis, which the conventions of global governance have been unable to address, much is now being made by elites of the need for a “Global Reset”. This has been most notably articulated and promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), and by representatives of influential institutions who have gathered at its annual Davos Forum (Klaus Schwab, The Global Reset, 2020; World Economic Forum, The Great Reset, 2020). Central to the reset is stakeholder capitalism as framed by the Davos Manifesto (Klaus Schwab, Why we need the ‘Davos Manifesto’ for a better kind of capitalism, 1 December 2019).

Use of “reset” is an appealing metaphor for techno-optimists. They are typically inspired by familiarity with the ability to reset a computer rendered inoperable by one or more applications. For critics the reset metaphor constitutes a rebranding exercise to disguise a new formulation of the New World Order strategy as variously deprecated — business-as-usual in a new guise empowered by technocracy:

The Reset is specifically associated with COVID-19, as articulated by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret (COVID-19: The Great Reset, WEF, 2020) as variously reviewed (Michael Dunford and Bing Qi, Global Reset: COVID-19, systemic rivalry and the global order, Research in Globalization, 2, 2020; Catherine Austin Fitts, Reimagine and Reset Our World, Global Research, 9 October 2020; Andrew Stuttaford, A Useful Pandemic: Davos launches new ‘Reset,’ this time on the back of COVID, National Review, 29 October 2020).

The challenge for civilization is otherwise remarkably framed by the massive investment focus on missiles and the threats they constitute — with the ultimate threat of nuclear war, as tracked by the Doomsday Clock now at seconds to midnight. This is curiously matched by the role of needles, whether to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine as the much sought cure-all, or in their role in delivering psychological relief from the stressful realities of daily life. As a new source of inspiration, a reset evokes a new fervour in some as a mission of dramatic urgency requiring worldwide mobilization — recalling the acclaimed role of such missions in the past: sustainability, socialism, communism, capitalism, religion, and the like.

Those framing the Global Reset have done so through the unusual design of interactive transformation maps as a support and focus for “strategic intelligence“. These are presented as a circular configuration of focal points whose detailed interrelationships can be highlighted by clicking on any one of them. Such a map is in remarkable contrast to the lack of ability of the UN to indicate the relationships between its flagship configuration of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with its 169 tasks — despite reference to “reset” in that connection (Mukhisa Kituyi, The Big Reset: learning from Covid-19 to fast track the SDGs, UNCTAD, 15 July 2020; Robin Naidoo, Reset Sustainable Development Goals for a pandemic world, Nature, 6 July 2020).

Curiously the circular configurations each resemble a form of “mandala” for governance. As secular mandalas however, these beg the question of how they are related to any coherent form of governance inspired by the transcendent values cultivated by the religions of the world and their adherents. The irony is only too obvious, given the violent conflicts religions continue to inspire in the light of their contrasting perspectives on the transcendent unity in which all claim to believe.

It is of course the case that the conflicts of the world continue to engender the massive production and distribution of rifles of increasing sophistication in their capacity to deliver bullets of ever greater destructive power — and the claims of many in having the right to defend themselves by those means. Curiously it is indeed “bullets” which are the primary metaphor in the articulation and presentation of bullet-pointed projects through which transformational missions are fulfilled. Given its role as a panacea, the Global Reset as an emergent strategy could then be understood as presented symbolically as a “silver bullet” — with all the magical thinking that implies.

The Reset is framed to evoke global consensus in the light of the more sophisticated applications of the social sciences — otherwise strongly deprecated as the ill-considered manipulation of public opinion in the process of “consent management” (Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: the political economy of the mass media, 1988). Presumptuously or not, in its explicit intention to enable a new understanding of the meaning of being human, there is little concern in the Global Reset with the fundamental nature of the psychological response this is liable to evoke from humans themselves. Missions of the past offer many learnings in this respect, whether those of religions or sustainability itself. In this sense, as discussed here, the 2D reset mandalas presented are only “half the picture” — cultivating a “flat earth” delusion regarding a global civilization for which at least a 3D is required.

The juxtaposition of the disparate forms cited in the title — each aspiring to reset as variously understood, and especially through their metaphorical adaptation — merits interpretation from a Freudian perspective. This is consistent with the dominant preoccupation with the penis and its functions, for which those forms are only too readily recognized as a surrogate. The curiously competitive preoccupation with rockets, capable of escaping orbit and travelling to distant parts of the solar system, is a feature of the imaginative underpinnings of that symbolic nexus. As a questionable response to the widely cited problems of capitalism, this nexus is a challenge to the conventions of appropriate discourse (Mysterious Complementarity between Capitalism and Arsenalism: metaphors crucial to sustainability and the crisis of the times, 2020).

Most curious is the extent to which the forms cited can all be recognized as “spikes”. As “protein spikes”, they feature prominently in the widely disseminated representations of the COVID-19 virus. This is currently framed as the primary threat to global civilization and business-as-usual, to a far greater extent than missiles, for example. The reset transformation maps, with their circular array of issues, might then be recognized as a questionable two-dimensional projection of the three-dimensional global form of the virus — spike-endowed.

There is therefore case for assuming that the choice of strategic patterning in confrontation with the virus is paradoxically determined by the configuration of its spikes, as separately argued (Spike-endowed Global Civilization as COVID-19: humanity “bristles” as the world “burns”, 2020). As with those cited in the title, such spikes merit exploration as artefacts of the collective imagination in response to imagined threats and possibilities — for a civilization usefully assumed to be unconscious to an unrecognized degree (Jonathan Ralston Saul, The Unconscious Civilization, 1995).

Science is proving especially diffident in clarifying with how many spikes the COVID-19 virus is endowed — despite enthusiasm for their representation to the public. The WEF transformation maps together configure an interrelated array of some 270 topics through their various circular configurations, but without any indication of how their totality is to be comprehended. In its innovative presentation of 17 such maps as articulations of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, WEF contributes to cultivation of the mystery of how 17 became the magic number of UN goals — at a time when others favour 12, 14, 15, or more — with no systemic justification on offer.

Rather than offering a simple critique of the WEF Global Reset agenda, the concern here is to frame the initiative in a broader systemic context. As with focal global strategies of the past, the question is how to detect the missing dimensions and blindspots which tend to render such strategies less than adequate to the challenge. Crucially it might be asked what those proposing vital alternatives have to offer — especially when their perspective is deprecated or ignored in the WEF framework, and despite its benediction by the UN. Why indeed does “reset”, itself implied by the appeal of the World Social Forum (WSF), seemingly lack coherence — even though the WEF and the WSF may be complementary in  a sense to be discovered?

Does the provocative juxtaposition of missiles, missions, penises, needles, rifles, and projects indeed suggest a mysterious “confluence of spikes” echoed by dissemination of the form of COVID-19? Does that juxtaposition constitute a clue to the elusive “pattern that connects” — presumably fundamental to any coherent form of global governance? Alternatively, in the seemingly surreal world of a post-truth era plagued by misinformation, is such a juxtaposition merely a symptom of apophenia? This is the tendency to mistakenly perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things — as so readily deprecated by authorities with regard to conspiracy theories (Inspiration, Conspiration, Transpiration, Expiration: towards a universal model of conspiracy theories, 2020).

As indicated above, a metaphor appropriate to the experience of a global configuration of spikes is that of “bristling” — while the world “burns”. In anticipation of the results of the election to “leadership of the free world” — one outcome was framed in those terms as follows: It would usher in a period of disorder and bristling conflict, as countries heed the law of the jungle and scramble to fend for themselves (Eliot A. Cohen, The End of American Power :Trump’s reelection would usher in permanent decline, Foreign Affairs, 27 October 2020). Given use of that metaphor, rather than “stakeholder capitalism”, is the proposed Global Reset better explored as “spikeholder capitalism”?

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Anthony Judge is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and mainly known for his career at the Union of International Associations (UIA), where he has been Director of Communications and Research, as well as Assistant Secretary-General. He was responsible at the UIA for the development of interlinked databases and for publications based on those databases, mainly the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, the Yearbook of International Organizations, and the International Congress Calendar. Judge has also personally authored a collection of over 1,600 documents of relevance to governance and strategy-making. All these papers are freely available on his personal website Laetus in Praesens. Now retired from the UIA, he is continuing his research within the context of an initiative called Union of Imaginable Associations. Judge is an Australian born in Egypt, a thinker, an author, and lives in Brussels. His TMS articles may be accessed HERE. (Wikipedia)

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 2 Nov 2020.

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