Another Dispatch From The Edge

Ideological/charismatic Leadership States (whether Caudillo, Teutonic, Iberian, Hungarian, Mediterranean, Slavic or Asiatic) share many fundamental characteristics. One is that each regime energetically seeks to project a mythos of dynamic, in control and (in our parlance) ‘forward leaning’ presence. (These States differ somewhat in form and function from Wittfogel’s “oriental despotism”/Weber’s “hydraulic societies”, i.e., for our purposes their legitimation and existance depends on an ism/abstract ideology/charisma). Another myth common to them is the claim of “efficiency” — the trains on time thing, and “decisiveness”.

As we have long noted here, control of social consciousness and political narrative is the primary goal and tool — as we saw with the hyper-real U.S. based AgitProp 2001-2007. Reality is just another “brand”. Moreover, because of the Leader model, court politics seep down into the lowliest of functions; all know success and reward goes towards those who “work toward the Leader”, i.e., mold their decision-making, actions and statements to fit into the perceived regime “brand” values. In almost every case, this means that effective government collapses. Internal disarray, confusion, competition and counter-productive function are the order of the day.

There’s a simple test that works almost every time. When such regimes encounter a real world objective problem that can not be absorbed into the regime’s narrative fiction? 9 out of 10 times, the regime’s first response will be to embrace further ad hoc solutions, just hierarchically adjusted. More confusion on top of confusion. These in the States take the form of “special commissions”, “Super Cabinet Secretaries”, “Czars”, etc. But the process is the same elsewhere. All signs of internal decadence (clincally defined).

Which brings us to the Joint IED Defeat Organization, JIEDDO.

It’s very name personifies all of the above. It should come as no surprise then that 4 1/2 years into Iraq, JIEDDO itself despite the obligatory obsequiousness to the regime’s narrative, concedes this regime still can’t get organized to focus effectively on the IED situation. And right on cue — according to the expected analytical outcome, the author of a JIEDDO report evaluating their operations bemoans their inability to coordinate across government. So, Dear Reader you already know his proposed solution! Yes, establishing ‘a separate, Executive Branch agency with a “laser-like concentration on the hostile use of IEDs”.’ That’s right Dear Reader, you heard it — we need the IED Agency — a new “brand”. You just can’t make this stuff up.

So whither our footsteps in the future? Debbie Miller, President of Sterling Brands sums it up thusly:

if we aren’t careful, by 2025 our culture will have reached a place in our collective history where it is almost entirely composed of brands. The more information we have, and more access to information we have, the more capacity we’ll have to participate in the composition of every human experience.

There is the potential that for every human experience there will be a corresponding brand. There will be branded relationships, branded sexuality, branded religion, branded war and even branded children. There is the possibility that a branded government will rule us [too late on that one, Debbie - ed/] Brands will be just about anything those in power can get away with.

There will be a backlash of sorts — movements such as No-Logo and Slow-Food — but those in fact also will be branded in oder for them to be understood. The state of the brand experience has more impact on our culture than any other medium. It’s circular, it’s reach is insidious – and if we’re not very careful, it isn’t going to stop.

Debbie, without realizing it perhaps, simply says what the Stiftung noted above in her own silo of expertise. Perhaps JIEDDO would have had more impact with a better logo?