gist (law) – the real point of an action
“We can not absolutely know that all these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert. But when we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen … and when we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house … in such a case, we find it impossible not to believe … all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first lick was struck.” -Abraham Lincoln, the “House Divided Speech”
Suppose you are negotiating with a person. You know, and they are likely to know as well, that the more advantaged one’s position, the better a deal they can make for themselves. If they are one person among many with whom you can negotiate, they will be forced to negotiate by seeking a price lower than others. If, on the other hand, there is nowhere else for you to go, and they know this, they can very well seek a handsome compensation. Other factors can play into determining the equilibrium. If you have a lot of time to search, that gives you an advantage. If you have little time to search, that gives them an advantage. And so on. In general, to get the best deal for oneself, you want all the advantage possible.
The elite, comprising the very few of the population of a society, perhaps one in several hundred thousand individuals, have enormous wealth and power, but it is not infinite. They have a key advantage over the masses, in that they are fewer and therefore it is easier to coordinate among themselves than for the masses to coordinate, which goes a great length in explaining why we cannot just overwhelm them by our numbers. To coordinate our numbers we depend on them, and if one or a few elite sought to use their power of coordinating the mass to defect against their fellow elite, then the rest of the elite would quickly coordinate their masses against the few defecting elites. Anyone who could coordinate the mass is, practically by definition, an elite. Most members of the elite, in fact, while their share of power and wealth is great when compared to that of an average member of the mass, only have little power and wealth in relation to a few among the elite, the true elite-of-the-elite, kingmakers, who have the power to elevate those of their choosing to the elite, or to destroy nearly any other elite, save those few other elite-of-the-elite. Let us call these hyper-elite for short.
Elites organize the masses through the use of formal, or institutional, tools. These include things like laws, policies, media messaging, and education. These are used to regulate and control the behavior of the masses, to incentivize certain behaviors (by attaching rewards to them) or disincentive certain behaviors (by attaching punishments to them). These tools are clumsy and vulgar, in the sense that they are required to be leveraged on the scale of millions of people, in order to derive outcomes that are more meaningful in a statistical sense. The overwhelming majority of the masses’ interactions with elites are through these channels, and an individual of the mass having their behavior controlled by the elite in some other way is the exception. That is not to say these exceptions aren’t without meaning, and we will attend to them. But in general, elites use their available tools to effect statistical influences – they are not trying to control you individually, but to organize the mass, and you along with it. This is because each individual depends on others, which relates them to the mass, and therefore makes individuals in the masses regulated more by the masses around them in their day-to-day behavior, within the confines of these tools used by elites.
Elites organize among themselves, and especially are organized by the hyper-elites, informally. That is not to say they don’t respond to the tools of mass control, but they tend to have more control over those tools and so their behavior is incentivized less by subordination to such tools and more by mastery of those tools. Elites can use these tools to attempt controlling each other, but this needs to be done in a way that accounts for the targeted elite’s relative control over these same tools. For example, if one elite ran a media campaign against another, the other might respond by directing more legal scrutiny against the former. Thus, even when they use formal tools, the conditions and circumstances by which they navigate the use of these formal tools is still informal. If one is familiar with “office politics,” that is an appropriately similar model. Personality and informal understandings are more often what effects organization between elites.
Elites and the masses negotiate between each other, effectively as competing parties. The elite are seeking to improve and maintain their current levels of wealth and power, in order to compete with one another. The masses are seeking to improve and maintain their current living standards (although that is not to say games of power and wealth can be played between them on a smaller scale). The better off the masses in general the better their position for negotiating with the elites and holding out for a better deal. This can look like them preferring to elevate politicians to power who make realistic promises to change policy to benefit them, e.g. by reducing their taxes, increasing their public benefits, building better infrastructure, and so on. The worse off the masses in general, the worse their position for negotiating. They will be more apt under worse conditions to take what deals are necessary to stay fed and keep the lights on.
Now, a seeming tangent. In order to succeed as an elite, one usually must work with others. One must use not only the official capacities of their office, but must employ the discretion of their office to benefit each other mutually. Knowing people who can do you favors is a way to improve your position when negotiating with someone else, so that you come out the better in your interactions. Not all negotiations between people are zero or negative sum game – in fact, many are positive sum, but that doesn’t mean gaining an advantage won’t allow one to take the better part of the benefit for oneself. In fact, one must, in the sense that if one does not, then others who do, will outcompete them for resources, promotions, and the like. Thus it improves one’s power to have friends who are powerful as well.
But the problem is that people in power, have power. Someone with the power to elevate you probably also has the power to destroy you. And the more one acquires power, the more opportunities for power one will have, and thus the more incentive there is to defect on friends. Once a friend has elevated you to power, they might no longer be useful to you. In fact, they might be a hindrance, if your association or need to do them favors in turn leaves you vulnerable to others in power. Thus, there tend to form gangs in power. Gangs in Washington, D.C. are just like street gangs, the difference being nothing in quality, only the quantity of power and wealth.
The members of gangs are not necessarily all like-minded individuals. In fact, it benefits a gang if their members are in very many different positions, so that they can benefit each other in many different places. It helps to have journalists who will promote you in media and help you do damage control when necessary, it helps to have doctors who will diagnose enemies with mental disorders so they cannot credibly oppose you, it helps to have bureaucrats who will impede your opposition’s political success from becoming a foundation for lasting power, it helps to have law enforcement who will cover up your crimes and pin crimes on enemies. But how can one make sure that these individuals will cooperate with you, over long periods of time when there are strong incentives to defect against one another?
A powerful tool is blackmail. If you have evidence of someone committing a crime, you can keep it to yourself as long as they cooperate, and if they defect, you can simply divulge that evidence. When great wealth and power is at stake, the more people will be willing to use such a powerful tool. Blackmail can be used not only to maintain alliances, but to maintain control over assets that one elevates to powerful positions in order to expand one’s power. What happens is someone does not find someone good at something, and then try to tempt them with the illicit – they find people who have already fallen for the temptation, then bring them in. The scheme might never be made explicit, and the blackmailer might never let on who else or how many he is blackmailing, but when one begins such a scheme, it is likely to accumulate. This is because those using such powerful tools gain more access to power, and in turn use their power to exploit more through blackmail, and so on.
The details of such a scheme do not need to be laid out, and I will not do so here. It is enough to point out that such schemes are likely to expand and wane in their use by power, and that it forms a veritable “dark matter” of power behind the scenes which would explain a great deal of the visible phenomena we know. If people are cooperating who you do not expect to cooperate – or who might cooperate only under conditions of blackmail – then because this is invisible, and largely unknown, people are left to speculate on appearances under false assumptions. If one hypothesizes these schemes of blackmail, then a lot about power becomes clear. The saving grace of these schemes is they tend to self-destruct, or else dissipate in their utility through over-use. We might say they represent an accumulation of entropy in our social systems.
Most caught up in these schemes might never think about how these schemes might eventually end, but, and this is obvious when one considers it, the most powerful players are necessarily those aware of such schemes and their utility, even if they do not personally use them. An example of blackmail material that dissipated in utility is homosexuality. During the mid-20th century, many were elevated by those above them because they were homosexuals who could be easily controlled through blackmail. Eventually, those who initially elevated them retired or died off, and many of these homosexuals attained more power. However, because no one likes being blackmailed, many of them used their influence to normalize homosexuality, such that we observed homosexuality rapidly become accepted in only the last several decades. This left a gap that was rapidly filled, replaced by pedophilia in the place of homosexuality as an easy way to control someone.
By now you’ve heard of Jeffrey Epstein, so the premise of a pedophile blackmail network is not unfamiliar. Many specifics are ambiguous, but we can be reasonably sure the blackmail involved the capturing of video and photographic recordings. The use of photography to have irrefutable evidence of someone’s wrongdoing in order to blackmail that person is an old one. What is new is technology that makes “deepfakes” possible. This is how the house of cards implodes. Within only a few years “That isn’t me, it was a deepfake created to harm my reputation” will become a valid defense. The more powerful the person in question, the more incentive to create such deepfakes in an attempt to harm them. This means the power of the schemes is lost. The ties that bind people are loosed.
The geopolitical consequences are enormous and probably catastrophic. Coalitions that used to be tightknit are now becoming undone, and with that the organization of power rapidly divests itself from these blackmail network schemes. Coalitions within governments but also coalitions across governments deteriorate. It is hard to overstate the seriousness of what is going on behind the scenes. Blackmail networks, as odious they are, offered a degree of predictability and coordination not otherwise possible without them. If the blackmail no longer keeps people in check, then uncertainty increases. People who are in power now that rose to such heights by being groomed or making mutual blackmail to forge alliances can no longer be as certain they were before their friends will not turn on them. If they are less certain, they might themselves choose to pre-empt any defection against them by defecting first. Even if they do not want to, they must certainly consider the possibility of their former friends turning on them pre-emptively as well. What used to be held tightly in place, now shifts easily. This makes it altogether certain that within the next decade, these informal alliances and organizations in control of many of the most powerful positions in institutions around the world will deteriorate. Someone will strike first, and everyone in the know will recognize that it signals the beginning of the end.
These are not unpredictable consequences, however. It is possible to see, from decades ago, how these schemes would turn out. This means that some players have certainly been organizing and investing themselves so as to benefit from how things will change.
Hence the Great Reset. What is being discussed is not only “resetting” the social contract between government and the masses, but the resetting of the organization of power itself. Those few players who have placed themselves in positions necessary to take advantage of these changes will very suddenly have a great deal of power while many players will find themselves rapidly losing power. These few players will be able to pick and choose from the many players who to bring into their new organization of power, and with that, their advantage in negotiation will indubitably require the many to compete among each other to provide those few players as much power and wealth as they can. In order for the many to gain an advantage of favor with the few, they will pillage their own people.
This is why government policies of late have the salient character of impoverishing and indebting the masses. There has been no reform re: student loans because that makes people easier to control. There has been no broad education reform because the worse off people are, the better a deal elites can make in their own favor when it comes to gaining the favor of the new, few power players. So on and so forth, when one consider the past decade or two of legislation and the politicking going into it, one gets the sense politicians are trying to run out the clock, allowing their constituents as few points in their favor as possible so that, when the inevitable crisis comes – and it will come – they are able to get the best deal for themselves. When people are hungry, afraid, and uncertain, they are more likely to take the first deal they can get. The stagnation of government is intentional. The failure to solve obvious problems that have been allowed to openly fester is purposeful, and serves those in power, because it becomes an “easy fix” they can solve instead of having to solve other significant problems. It is like starving a child because, if they were fed as they should, gaining their obedience under discipline would be harder to “buy” and would require the parent to provide other favors that are costly to them, like dessert, or a new video game, or a sleepover with their friends. Politicians are withholding as much as they can now, because if they relented and provide to their constituents what they should it would cost them more to buy their favor.
That is the gist of the Great Reset. It is not a grand conspiracy. It is a matter of politicians responding to their immediate incentives in order to survive the coming storm. And the people are sure to suffer for it.