Oriental Despotism Versus Freedom: Which 4IR?

There is no running from the 4th Industrial Revolution, but the IMF’s version of it can be stopped, Joaquin Flores writes.

On June 29th, the World Economic Forum announced its ‘Global Coalition for Digital Safety’ and its furthering commitment to censorship and the rising technocratic despotism in a press release titled, ‘World Economic Forum Launches Coalition to Tackle Harmful Online Content’. Here we are informed that the WEF will, “accelerate public-private cooperation to tackle harmful content online. It will serve to exchange best practices for new online safety regulation, take coordinated action to reduce the risk of online harms, and drive collaboration on programmes to enhance digital media literacy.”

This represents a furthering of the WEF’s commitment to coercive use of technologies, in particular what’s been termed ‘Technology Facilitated Coercive Control’.

There is no running from the 4th Industrial Revolution, but the IMF’s version of it can be stopped. What the IMF and WEF propose would not represent a 4IR in a meaningful sense, but rather a series of technical adaptations to delay technologies implicit in an actual 4IR. An actual 4IR would to the contrary liberate humanity from the centralizing tendencies of the production-driven society. It would also upend concerns on population growth and carbon by eliminating planned obsolescence.

The World Economic Forum Headquarters – Cologny, Geneva Canton, Switzerland

But in the false version of the 4IR proposed by the IMF and its WEF, we see a plan to implement technologies in very selective and limited ways, while the real aim of introducing new coercive technologies is pursued. In that sense, it is a bait and switch. And unfortunately, as a consequence, 4IR has a bad name, 3D printing is misunderstood, and the original meaning of the internet of things has been replaced with the internet for things.

We previously discussed the impossibility of running in ‘The Triumph of Mankind Over the Great Reset: Guns, Books, and the Social Contract and we gave both practical and historical references for that, dealing with early man and the fight between state-building hydraulic societies and free nomadic man. Free nomadic man lost precisely because of the technological advantage of the state-building hydraulic societies during a period that the earth cooled, rainfall declined, and deserts grew.

Marxism and Despotism

It is very difficult to understand the rationale behind the Great Reset and the ordering of industrial revolutions as is inferred in the phrase ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, without an understanding of Marxian analytic and historical frameworks. While it is typical for liberty-driven populist movements to make a heuristic inference to Marxism as the plans of the plutocracy to rule in a new way, the explanatory and predictive power of Marxian analysis is lost on them.

To wit, the type of society that can be managed by the elites in their gambit to transform from a plutocracy into a technocracy, using certain limited and targeted new technologies while holding others back, is a hydraulic society.

The work on analyzing hydraulic societies is a development of a prior analysis on the so-called Asiatic mode of production – an intra-Marxian debate on the nature of social evolution outside of Europe. But what is a hydraulic society?

Human groups living in areas like the Fertile Crescent formed into large state-building societies where waterways controlled by a ruling class were the only way to irrigate land. This important relationship between class-power, coercion, the state, technology, and access to the basics of life was explained in the Marxian analysis of ancient hydraulic societies as described in 1957 by Karl Wittfogel (1896-1988) in his seminal work, ‘Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power’.

Likewise, today’s plutocracy is developing a new kind of hydraulic society. Of course at face value, we see the push to cool the earth under the pretext of ‘global warming’, even as we are merely in a warmish eleven-thousand year period of an ice-age. It was at the start of the present ice-age that hydraulic civilizations blossomed. The cooling of the earth to work against warming, would have the effect of promoting the growth of deserts and lower crop yields. Cooling may reduce the rainfall cycle, making fresh water a more valuable resource.

Regions with heavy and consistent rainfall, whether above or below the desert climatic zones, were also ‘late’ to civilization. Wittfogel’s approach allows us to postulate that this was because a centralized despotic authority could not control access to water, and therefore did not form.

What is different now is that the coming ‘even cooler’ period being both scientifically and socially constructed, not naturally occurring, using the knowledge of technical and sociological methods which, in the area of the social sciences, was largely pioneered by Marx and the Althusserian Structural Marxism school that followed a century later. In other words, the next cooling period would be a technical and scientific project of the ruling elite. The aims would include both a monopoly over the food and water supply.

More than this, the new ‘despotic’ hydraulic society seeks to up-end other decentralizing tendencies of new technologies like 3D printing and the IoT.

Just as the word ‘justice’ is used by a corrupt establishment to obstruct actual justice, the term ‘4IR’ is being used to obstruct an actual 4IR, and put in its place a new kind of hydraulic despotism controlled by a centralized technocratic oligarchy.

The Long Road Home

There is apparently a cyclical desire to return to the life of free nomadic man, a man living on the land as part of the land, for whom daily life takes on the surreal even supernatural quality of rootedness.

But these are not simply geographic or spatial preferences, but the product of the failure of late modernity to produce a life superior to the life that man could make on his own, for his own. As we have presented, it is for society to make the case that man should join it, not man’s obligation to make the case to be included in it. Life with society comes with certain costs, and those must be weighed against the benefits. If society has no tangible benefits to weigh the costs against, then the solution is simple.

There could not be any tendency for wealth to upwards distribute in centralized societies unless, on the whole, the broad masses in that society were putting in more than they took out.

Decentralization conversely relates to an increased desire for self-reliance. With the UN and the WEF openly ‘threatening’ (in the cant form of lamentations and warnings) that food and water shortages are the ‘challenges’ of the near future, the strategic move for individuals would be to become food self-sufficient.

Yet in their standard cryptolectic abuse of language and meaning, decentralization is touted as one of the features of the actually nightmarish dystopic anti-vision known as the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’. But such a claim is entirely incompatible with the actual program that is described in the pages of Klaus’s book on the subject.

Prior to the start of the present ice-age, humanity universally lived in tribes enjoying abundant rainfall, which were composed of several families. The distance between tribal settlements varied, but in many cases were relatively close.

This appears to have been the mode of life for several hundred thousand years preceding. All of this raises the question as to how people might live if left to their druthers. We paint dystopic technocentric urban living against the opposite contrast of the nomadic primitive life. By and large, settled life has benefits over nomadic life, but rural life is preferred over urban.

There’s Nowhere to Run

For reasons explained in our past work, it is not likely that free tribal human groups can live on the same planet as cities based upon human eradication and the trans-humanist paradigm. The technologically advanced group, perhaps entirely AI at some point, will come to seek and destroy the human groups, just as in the distant past the hydraulic despotisms enslaved free tribes.

Therefore, we cannot escape the 4th Industrial Revolution. It is only a matter of whose hands will control these productive forces, and which technologies and in which direction these are consciously developed by mankind.

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) proposed that a minor defect arose in Greek political philosophy over two-thousand years ago, one that confused humanity for society. Because during this low-level of technology, society did not exist independently of humanity, what was good for society was good for humanity. Therefore, a conflation arose that society and humanity was one and the same.

Martin Heidegger

This minor defect has turned into a catastrophically misanthropic contradiction today, as the gulf between a society of machines and robots and their own economy, is entirely at odds with humanity. This is why we have arrived at such misanthropic but widely accepted political programs like austerity to improve the economy , and other gems of bureaucratic wisdom along the lines of ‘bombing the village in order to save it’.

We return to our central thesis, as laid out in “Coronavirus Shutdown: The End of Globalization and Planned Obsolescence – Enter Multipolarity “. The deduction we can make regarding the film ‘Children of Men’ and Stanley Johnson’s ‘The Virus’ should become clearer: while human population growth is hypothetically a problem at some point given that human beings occupy space and the planet is not without end, the ‘population growth’ problem today is entirely prefaced upon a consumer-driven economy of planned obsolescence. It is the present cycle of production and distribution in an economy dependent on the velocity of money, with projections on GDP growth tied to velocity of money. In short it means that at present, things are designed to break.

Wouldn’t that be the central economic problem to solve if resources and ecologic impact are a concern?

But instead, the public at large is being gas-lit into thinking their ‘carbon footprint’ is the cause of ecological problems. If each product simply lasted five times longer, then all other factors being equal, the per capita carbon footprint would also reduce many-fold. All of this, of course, within the critically flawed concept of ‘carbon footprint’. But what we are showing here is that even by their own rubric, they really prefer to blame people instead of an actually sustainable method of producing goods that last.

The real neo-imperialist economics based on the religion of global warming, however, is one we will have to address separately. But in short, one can imagine an attempt to build a new religion wrapped in the language of science, which forces developing countries to pay a large portion of the local church’s tithing back to Rome.

This is how we know that the new-speak quacking about resource scarcity and ecologic impact are so dangerously disingenuous. While the optimal size of the global population is an important subject for study, we cannot approach this from the current consensus manner of evaluating scarcity and ecologic impact. At least not when the very economic theory which describes the problem is itself based upon the planned obsolescence paradigm.


The 4th Industrial Revolution we can have, places humanity in the driver’s seat. The real 4th Industrial Revolution that we can have, and build for ourselves, overcomes supply-line security and planned obsolescence problems. It places the productive forces of society, outside of any sort of conception of a centralized society, and into the hands of households.

The actual 4th Industrial Revolution worth building is based on 3D printing at the micro-local level. By this we mean manufacturing in a home garage. Having a garage also precludes the necessity of a central urban area of spatial scarcity, and the economic reality of micro-production at home is a decentralized economy and a robust local repair industry.

A Large-size 3D Printer: the Mimaki 3DGD-1800 announced in 2020 [Image: Mimaki Europe]

A decentralized economy gives rise to a decentralized political system, if we understand that political systems must conform to the socio-economic order that they are designed to work for.

The 4th Industrial Revolution we must fight for and win, is characterized by 3D printing, the decentralization of production, production for use (and not for planned obsolescence). This means a cottage industry of 3D printing, the internet of things. It means private, personalized ownership and control over the means of production.

There isn’t a tremendous concern with overpopulation since the figures used to show strain on consumption are, at best, based on a very slanted reading of scarcity which is based upon the planned obsolescence (consumerist) technique of production and distribution.

There has been a healthy rejection of the new normal. But it would be a grave mistake to believe that technological development can be frozen, and that a 20th century mode of life that many have grown accustomed to (even at the expense of health, meaning, etc.) can continue on indefinitely. As we have demonstrated, technologically advanced societies come to dominate primitive ones.

Instead of rejecting the concept of industrial revolutions as technological change leading towards changes on social organization, law, and culture, it is necessary instead to understand these socio-historical processes. By understanding them, we can use these same tools that the elites are using, but towards the building of a society worthy of the dignity of man and the rights endowed upon him by his creator.

By Joaquin Flores Via https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/07/02/oriental-despotism-versus-freedom-which-4ir/