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The Emerging Nowa Huta
A global society in which citizens are but biometric datapoints
This article first appeared in August 2021, on my Academia page. It has already been widely read, in various languages, but some of my readers here may not have seen it. Subsequent events seem to confirm its main thesis.
Nowa Huta, the New Steel Mill, was a city built from scratch on the outskirts of Kraków beginning in 1949, largely for Soviet propaganda purposes but also as a site for heavy industry. Its proletariat inhabitants were meant to counterbalance the uncooperative bourgeoisie of the historic city. While it was not an obvious place for steel production, steel production there would be. Propaganda goals were less certain of success. Eventually the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarity" would get the upper hand, and the iron curtain itself would fall.
State atheism dictated that the impressive architecture of this utopian city would not include any churches. This was to be a city for a people to whom the only gods would be those of Stalinism. By 1960, however, citizens were petitioning for permission to build a church. A cross was erected without permit and Masses were held outdoors, even in the freezing cold. Whenever the illegal cross was removed by the authorities, it was quickly replaced. A building permit was finally obtained and in 1967 the construction of Arka Pana church began. A decade later it was consecrated by Karol Wojtyła, just a year before he became pope. The Lord's ark had survived the deluge and come to rest in the heart of Nowa Huta.
Flash forward some fifty years. The Chinese Communists, under a man no less murderous than Stalin, are the new rulers in the East. Silicon is the new symbol and instrument of power. A strange axis is forming between East and West. Its sound is not that of steel clanging rhythmically on steel. The Belt and Road Initiative still produces plenty of that, but before and behind and above it all is the hum of data flowing in waves through the otherwise silent world of silicon and satellites, fibre optics and 5G communication towers. A new and global city, an invisible and all but invincible Babel, is being erected. There is room in it for churches. Churches indeed have been driven within its walls or seduced to enter its gates, where they too become invisible, though hardly invincible.
The silicon world is the world of propaganda par excellence. Those who control the narrative control everything, and here it is quite possible to control the narrative, as we have recently learned. Flood the zone, as the saying goes. Counter-narratives are by definition "disinformation," and disinformation can be eliminated by algorithmic interventions or other forms of censorship. It is no longer necessary to bulldoze churches or to refuse building permits. Let them operate in cyberspace, where they can be monitored and disciplined if they get too far off narrative. The ark may reside in the city, but the city will open and shut its doors.
Christians sometimes like to think that Pentecost reversed Babel once and for all, that it created a new world order in which the kingdom of God could be constructed. Those who do think so are badly confused, however. Pentecost created the community of the new covenant, the covenant as renewed by the Messiah. It began the process of extending to the whole world, to the Jew first and also to the Greek and the barbarian, the offer of citizenship in the kingdom of God. In that sense, and in that sense only, was Babel reversed. The Church is the alternative to Babel. It is the true refuge of peace, the lasting place of security, for those who desire it. "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God," says the psalmist. Though nations rage and kingdoms totter, "God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved."
Babel, then, is also the alternative to the Church, offering its own brand of peace and security to the world. Fresh attempts at building Babel we have witnessed for millennia, yet never have we witnessed such an attempt as we are witnessing now. Has the iron curtain fallen? All curtains are to fall! Has nation been conquered by nation? All nations are to be conquered by a global technocracy that knows no borders. Their constitutions and laws have been suspended now for a year and a half, by a global state of exception (to use Carl Schmitt's term) in which emergency powers and rule by decree are the new normal. Both natural rights and legally guaranteed freedoms have been expropriated by fiat. Some of these are now being offered back on a conditional basis, in exchange for a permanent transfer of power to the technocrats. That is the way things work in Babel.
A detailed map of this transfer was prepared for the European Commission in 2018, with the larger principles set out in September 2019 by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (chaired by Victor Dzau, a man located somewhere near the centre of the aforementioned axis), just before the trigger was pulled that would set the transfer in motion. According to that map, healthcare must be digitalized. Citizens must be given identity numbers and become holders of vaccine passports, through which their domestic and international movements can be monitored and controlled. "Vaccine hesitancy" must be addressed, for the natural immune system granted by God is to be replaced by an artificial immune system dependent on Big Pharma, a system requiring constant tinkering through regular boosters. (In Israel some are headed towards their fourth dose of Pfizer.) That will facilitate the wholesale relocation of humankind into the digital identity realm and the sphere of enhanced bio-surveillance. For the resistant, whom we are being taught to regard as enemies of the people, plans for internment camps are popping up. Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz, as Hitler said.
The trigger was pulled in the autumn of 2019, when SARS-CoV-2 either escaped or was released in Wuhan. This product of enhanced function research – it is not wrong to call it a bioweapon – was well suited to its purpose. Like a bad flu, it killed the very elderly, who if they didn't die from that were sometimes fatally drugged or dehydrated. It also threatened those with co-morbidities. It was not fatal or even especially dangerous to the vast majority of people, and to the young not at all. But its kill rate was improved by decrees banning early treatment, and further improved by calling "covid deaths" what were not in fact covid deaths. Meanwhile, case numbers were wildly inflated by use of unsuitable PCR tests, giving the impression that many healthy people were sick people. This was sufficient fodder for an incessant campaign of disorienting fear-mongering, so as to create a confused and compliant populace ready for what was still to come.
What some fear is a far more serious bioweapon was also in the works. It was labeled "vaccine," though it is not a vaccine in the traditional sense but (in one form or another) an experimental gene therapy treatment. The enormously high adverse reaction and death rates the experiment has yielded have been denied or ignored, while the effects of the virus itself have been grossly exaggerated. So hot are the misinformation and whistle-blowing wars that very little in the public sphere can be taken at face value, no matter which side it represents. All this was necessary so that the gene therapies could be touted as "miraculous," their producers hailed as saviors, their critics censored, and vaccine mandates introduced.
In Rio de Janeiro, the words Vacina Salva were projected onto the statue of Jesus that towers over the city. Though it has been queried, this blasphemous image drew no great protest from the churches, which, having so readily succumbed to the campaign of fear, were seeking such a savior. They quickly got behind the vaccination campaign, paying no attention to the fact that even healthy people, at no real risk from SARS-CoV-2, were now suffering or dying in large (if imprecisely known) numbers from these "vaccines" that aren't vaccines. Even the connection to abortion and barbaric fetal research was ignored. To make matters worse, many Christians in places high and low have lined up in support of the drive to segregate society into the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, positioning the latter for the kind of ultimatum delivered in Israel. It is not to be doubted that, where vaccine passports are successfully introduced, many religious communities will not only deny the unvaccinated particular ministries, as is already happening, but will ban them from corporate gatherings, falling back on the fiction – created earlier for the purpose of banning everyone – that remote observance is a legitimate way of participating.
If Vaccines Save, Vaccine Passports Enslave
The pandemic, it is said, was always about the vaccines, and that is a reasonable claim. Indeed, the whole business is so evidently orchestrated, right down to the talking points at each phase of it, that this claim is difficult to deny. Big Pharma means to enrich itself not only by global vaccine uptake but through the perpetual sale of indulgences called booster shots. And the Gavi drug lords appear to have arranged permanent indemnification from any negative consequences thereof.
A more dramatic claim is that the endgame is population reduction, for the sake of fighting climate change; that the gene therapies are deliberately designed to damage fertility, to shorten life, and even to kill. Without proof, however, this charge should not be laid. What can be posited safely is that the people behind these therapies, though they like to present themselves as philanthropists, were also behind the suppression of early treatment protocols that could have saved many lives but in doing so would have rendered their new and lucrative drugs unlicenseable. It can also be posited, for the evidence is overwhelming, that they and their proxies have told lie after widely disseminated lie – "two weeks to flatten the curve" supplies an early example – while silencing their opponents and threatening their enemies. It can be posited that, in making billions of dollars, they have destroyed the plans, the rights, the liberties, the health, the stability of millions if not billions of people. Can we put it past them, then, to have intended this damage, rather than merely to have tolerated it?
Be that as it may, the simplest explanation is not always the best explanation. It will not do, I think, to content ourselves with speaking of common greed, of mountains of new wealth, or of rising sea and land temperatures with which that wealth must do combat – of an insatiable love of money or a fatal religious fervor to save the planet. We must speak also, with these very same men, of determination to achieve complete domination of humanity through the erection of a global technocracy. And the crucial instrument for that is not the vaccines themselves but the vaccine passports. It was for the sake of the latter, we may surmise, that SARS-CoV-2 was produced and the pandemic trigger pulled and the putative antidotes sent squealing to market.
Vaccine passports are being presented as the only viable path back to the land of promise from which we have been exiled. In reality, these passports will set us on the path to the digital dictatorship Western luminaries seek and Chinese lords already to some extent enjoy. For they will achieve two things. First, they will make it possible to force compliance with both local and global diktats, thus changing Western society overnight from a realm of relative individual liberty to one where anything and everything can be withheld from the non-compliant. Second, they will make possible in due course the complete digitalization of human identity, such that extensive real-time data about everyone will be available to those with privileged access. This will permit the few to manipulate, even to micromanage, the decisions of the many. The "citizen" reduced to a set of biometric datapoints will appear.
Anyone who doubts this ambition, preferring to take at face value what proponents of this fearful new world are saying, should pay more attention to what they are saying. Re-reading what our modern prophets have said, beginning with Dostoevsky and Solovyov and extending to Lewis's That Hideous Strength, would be a good idea too. Or simply stopping to consider what is actually happening around us. Here in Canada the weekly death rate per 100,000 people from SARS-CoV-2 is currently zero. Yet we are forging ahead with vaccine passports as if in the grip of some killer disease. Moreover, in Canada as in America, as Charles Eisenstein has argued so powerfully, we are cultivating a mob mentality that scapegoats the unvaccinated for the rise in infections due to variants – though that rise, as eminent scientists have warned for some time, is most likely due to the mass vaccination of people who should not have been vaccinated and who have been put at risk by their vaccination. The stoking of fear and hatred towards the unmasked and the unvaccinated conveniently distracts attention from the deception and malfeasance already committed, but it also tightens the screws on the unvaccinated so that they will join the passport system.
The passport/digital identity system is the proximate goal. It always was the goal. For its sake, in places as disparate as France and Australia, people are now being denied the right to use public transport or to purchase petrol or even to enter supermarkets in search of groceries. For its sake, states and whole countries are being locked down over one or two infections. For its sake, the unvaccinated are being asked or told to stay away even from places of divine worship. It is not defence against the virus that demands these things – the very idea is absurd – but rather the inauguration of a passport system. For that system is the next essential step towards the biodigital convergence our new masters are seeking, a convergence that will "change the way we live, work, and even define what is natural or human." As Tse Hao Guang approvingly observes in Bio-surveillance in the Era of COVID-19, "The need to ensure safety and order through more direct and fine-grained monitoring of human bodies has led to these new methods of sensemaking.”
A week or so ago, announcements appeared simultaneously in the United States and Canada that domestic travel between local jurisdictions is to be restricted by federal fiat for anyone lacking the requisite proof of vaccination. In both countries, even as evidence mounts that the vaccines are ineffective and will constantly require boosters, each of which will increase their potentially fatal microclotting impact, mandates to coerce vaccination in federally regulated sectors are to be enforced. Some bishops have jumped aboard and generated parallel mandates in their dioceses, deploying punitive measures in the manner of secular authorities. Mandates covering the entire population may well follow, to judge by the latest meme found, as if by spontaneous generation, in the mouths of talking heads everywhere, demanding full authorization of "these most studied vaccines." Covering fire is being laid down for those who will move to impose the mandates on unwilling citizens – unwilling because no one knows the long term effects of mRNA therapies and because their short-term effects supply sufficient reason to worry.
Meanwhile, in Quebec – similar things are being done in Ontario and elsewhere – it was also announced that by 2025 there is to be a full digitalization not only of health but of the whole of the citizen's transactional life, which will become dependent on an identity number and QR code. This project, for which China provides the precedent, has raised concerns about cyber security, naturally, as about individual liberty. The latter concern is being ignored, here as there; the former is being stoked by proponents as much as opponents. With the global pandemic percolating nicely, variant after variant bubbling up to the surface, its global managers are deploying the same war-gaming approach they used in the run up to the pandemic itself. The bogeyman this time is a "cyber pandemic," yet another global disaster in which they will ride to the rescue.
They have already mastered the psy-op side of things, as Laura Dodsworth has documented. After cultivating fear incessantly for almost two years, they now invite our complete confidence, as in this text from the Cyber Polygon agenda for 9 July 2021:
When a crisis comes and we need help, there are two main feelings that drive people to reach out to others — trust and fear. We call on those we trust and do it in fear of not being able to cope with it ourselves. However, if the latter feeling is quick to catch, the former needs a lot more time and effort to be built. During the pandemic, we all witnessed a rise of cybercrime and came together to deal with this threat. But what will drive and influence the global community after this crisis? Will we be able to build trust and join forces against cybercrime or will we need another crisis to unite us once again?
The threat implicit in the last line will not be lost on any discerning reader. For the less discerning, perhaps it should be pointed out that Herr Schwab promised back in 2016 that within ten years we would see chips in the brain or under the skin. These chips will guarantee a certain security at the user end. Not much is said about the other end, mind you, the comptroller end. No answer is proffered to the old question, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? This is the future, they say, and there is no other. Just trust us.
No doubt they can be trusted this far: There will be a staged cyber security crisis in which ordinary internet communications will have to be abandoned. These will be restored only on a "secure" basis, requiring a digital passport system that goes beyond matters of physical health to matters of mental health, if we may put it that way – beyond bodies to minds. Access to virtual spaces will be controlled just as access to physical spaces is being controlled. Churches that thought nothing of abandoning the latter in hasty pursuit of "safety" – how is it that churches, of all places, with their crosses or crucifixes, have become champions of safety? – will hasten to recover the former, at any price demanded.
And beyond that? Ready or not, the Internet of Bodies is being built, with the assurance that it will change our lives. It will indeed change them, and in ways many will regard as improvements. But these improvements will come at a cost. Not only borders but other boundaries that shape our lives, giving them meaning and purpose, will fall. What Catholics call the principle of subsidiarity will fail. Artificial intelligence will as far as possible displace natural intelligence, just as artificial immunity is replacing natural immunity. Matters of the mind, like matters of the body, will be digitally managed and rearranged. Transhumanist dreams will be pursued with ever greater determination, even if (as Steve Fuller has explained) some serious "moral entrepreneurship" will be required in order to realize those dreams.
Such is the world to which vaccine passports grant access. Those who think they are merely a temporary measure, permitting us to return to the life we knew, are sorely mistaken. Doubtless they are the same people who are quite confident that their second "jab" was the last that would be demanded of them, or that those in charge are only too ready to relinquish the emergency powers to which they have clung for two years.
The Ark of the Lord
As Tocqueville famously foresaw, even without inkling of the technology on which it would rely, a new kind of tyranny is emerging with a reach far exceeding that of any forerunner. The tyrannies of old "weighed enormously on some, but did not extend over many." That will change. "I do not doubt," wrote Tocqueville, "that in centuries of enlightenment and equality like ours, sovereigns will come more easily to gather all public powers in their hands alone and to penetrate the sphere of private interest more habitually and more deeply than any of those in antiquity was ever able to do."
This new brand of tyrant is building a new city, the silicon Nowa Huta. And it is doing so through the crisis it has manufactured. Given its technological prowess, its vast wealth and power will not prove subject to the moderating influence Tocqueville fancied. "The same equality that facilitates despotism tempers it," he argued, such that men will be subject rather to schoolmasters than to despots of the more capricious type. That rings true in the West, perhaps, where the globalist state of Davos design will be very much the nanny state. But little comfort can be drawn from it, even by those who are not distraught at the reversion of "enlightened" man to his once-despised adolescence. For what is going on in the West, as in the East, is plainly as callous as it is calculated.
Our so-called soft tyranny is already proving hard-edged and, to a shocking degree, destructive of lives and livelihoods, laws and culture. Tocqueville was certainly right about the fact that "every day it renders the employment of free will less useful and more rare; it confines the action of the will in a smaller space and little by little steals the very use of free will from each citizen." It is not the case, however, that "it does not break wills" or that "it rarely forces one to act." Au contraire, it is plainly intent on breaking wills and forcing actions. As one wag put it, paraphrasing Tolkien: "One jab to rule them all, one jab to find them, one jab to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."
And the Lord's ark, is it really present in this emerging Nowa Huta? Of course it is, but it is not situated in the camp whose banner is Vacina Salva. It is not situated in the church of the health-first heresy, which displays its disordered soul in its vain attempt to save the body. Neither the Three-Self Patriotic Association nor any Western analogue provide it a home. In the true church it is always said with confidence: "The LORD of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." In the true church, though common cause be made with all who love freedom, no other refuge is sought. An illegal cross, an illegal gathering, an illegal Mass suffices, if need be, for arka pana. If the tyranny of the technocrats is to be overcome, that is how it will be overcome. For God, it seems, has sent upon the nations a deluding influence, that men "might credit the lie, so that they should be judged."
Douglas Farrow is Professor of Theology and Ethics at McGill University in Montreal, and author of the Brazos Theological Commentary on 1&2 Thessalonians. Personal © 29-08-2021.
Afterword, in lieu of an abstract
How easy it is to credit the lie, and to what devastating effects, the year since my Thessalonians commentary appeared has unexpectedly shown. Driven by a carefully orchestrated campaign of fear, whole nations have imagined themselves in mortal peril from a mere coronavirus, responding in just the fashion the campaigners wished – the many sacrificing their freedoms, their wealth, their bodies, even their lives, to enrich and empower the few. Churches also have succumbed to this campaign, ceasing their ministries of word and sacrament when asked. Brother has hid from brother and child from parent. Every manner of constitutionally and canonically illicit decree has been issued and obeyed. The methods of Beijing have become those of globalists promoting their Great Reset. Scientific and ethical norms have been abandoned. Groupthink and mob morality have begun to prevail. The mighty among men have conspired with the meanest of bureaucrats to herd humanity towards the digital dictatorship that both desire. Among the former there is transhumanist talk of computer chips implanted in foreheads or hands. An Internet of Bodies (and Other Things) is being built. Truth is whatever those in charge say it is; all else is misinformation from which they will protect us. And what games they play with truth and misinformation! I cannot see in this anything other or less than what St Paul predicted in 2 Thessalonians, though I do not pretend to know how things will unfold from here. I am heartened by those who resist, be they Christian, Jew, or whatever else, and thankful for the scientists and doctors who have spoken up at great cost, as for ordinary people who are peacefully protesting or striking or resorting to legal action. Hitler reportedly said to his generals on the eve of the sack of Poland that it was not necessary to have right on their side, only the will to win. The people we are dealing with are very like that, as he himself, on his last day, predicted they would be. Yet it is not too late for "the people who know their God" to "stand firm and take action," and it may be, in God's mercy, that "they shall receive a little help" (Dan. 11). Meanwhile, per the motto of my own university, which is sadly complicit, in Domino confido.