In this post, I want to discuss ‘The Establishment’ and the role it plays in controlling individual countries and to a certain extent the world.
The idea of ‘The Establishment’, by most people, was previously considered purely conspiracy theory. Over recent decades, the idea of ‘‘The Establishment’’ has gained popularity and by many considered realistic. This change in opinion is likely because of many reasons. Some of such reasons are as follows.
- The internet enables people to access more information and faster.
- The rise of social media has enabled more views and opinions to circulate.
- The actions of Government, Big Tech Companies, Mainstream Media, etc. have become more brazen (e.g. restrictions on freedom and censorship).
- The rise of globalisation and global institutions.
- Changes in Government that appear to bring almost no changes despite politician’s continuous promises of change.
It is evident that some form of establishment exists. The extent of control, the extent it is coordinated across countries, and even full structure of ‘The Establishment’ is debateable. This post will attempt to explain how various parts are linked together and how I believe they are sustained through various actions.
Who are ‘The Establishment’?
‘The Establishment’ have gained notoriety to the extent that even some dictionaries are defining the term separately to ‘establishment’. Below are the definitions provided by Collins Dictionary and Urban Dictionary (2019 definition).
Definition 1: ‘The Establishment’ is:
- the social, economic, and political leaders as of a nation, regarded as holding the chief measure of power and influence
- the ruling inner circle or dominant group of any field of endeavour, organization, institution, etc.
- established church
Source: Collins Dictionary
Definition 2: ‘The Establishment’ is:
a broad political term usually used to describe the power structure that includes, but is not limited to, the mainstream media, the permanent state, and a host of politicians and politically connected people which work to keep the status quo, especially as it pertains to the warfare state.
Source: Urban Dictionary
As can be seen from the above definitions, ‘The Establishment’ includes a network of people and organisations that aim to maintain or increase control over societies and populations of people. This network can be broadly broken down into several key groups. Five prominent groups are as follows:
- Big Business
Religion refers to the most widespread religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Non-religious. Government includes both sitting Governments as well as their main opposition parties. Media includes all major mainstream media outlets and largest social media companies. Big Business refers to the largest parent companies and the companies they control. Banks refers to large commercial and investment banks as well as national central banks.
These key groups work together to support and enforce each other through various systems. These systems can be broadly described as political, economic and social.
The political system controls how a country is governed. ‘The Establishment’ would most likely desire a dictatorship style of governance. However, history has shown dictatorships have limited sustained success. Eventually, people overthrow their dictators. Instead, it appears they are striving to create a hidden form of dictatorship. The idea is to convince people that they are self-ruled. Representative democracy fits that description. It provides the illusion that people are selecting their own leaders without offering the people any real decision-making power.
On their own, Governments are unable to maintain the illusion of choice. They need help from other groups. A great partner for them is Big Business. Governments can offer businesses opportunities to be very profitable without being solely dependent on market forces (e.g. grants for taking particular actions or contracts for providing particular products). In some countries (e.g. USA), the largest businesses can help fund election campaigns.
The most significant help Big Business can offer Government is through the media. The media can be owned by Big Business, financially supported by Big Business (e.g. advertising revenue), and/or run directly by the Government. The media controls the information presented to people. This information supports Government (could be the sitting Government or its closest opposition party) and Big Business objectives. When the media opposes the sitting Government, they are nearly always supporting the position of the sitting Government’s closest opponent. In order for the political system to be sustainable in the long-run, most leaders in representative democracies acknowledge they can only hold positions of power for a limited time.
The economic system determines what is produced, who produces it, and who receives it. ‘The Establishment’ would most likely desire complete control over production and distribution of goods and services. This would be through either complete Government ownership (e.g. Bolshevism) or complete private ownership by a single parent company. Complete Government ownership has had limited success in countries that have attempted it. It also does not support ‘The Establishment’’s political system of representative democracy and cooperation with Big Business. Complete private ownership by a single parent company would be too difficult to achieve and would not enable scope for controlled opposition tactics.
The solution appears to be a mixture of some Government controlled enterprises but with most industries dominated by several large businesses (e.g. Oligopoly). Strong cooperation between Government and Big Business maintains the advantage large businesses have over smaller ones. However, smaller businesses are still able to thrive in some markets. Recent Government actions (e.g. Covid-19 restrictions) have been used to reduce the number of small businesses.
Banks are an important group in ‘The Establishment’. They control the money supply and strongly influence almost all aspects of economic activity. Without a bank account people are limited in what jobs they can hold, where they can shop, and they may not even be able to buy or rent property. Banks have integrated themselves deeply into both the public and private sectors. Banks can use their control over money supply to finance almost unlimited short-term Government expenditure. This enables Governments to transfer money to businesses providing them with goods and services. This money returns to the banking system to support loans and other investments. People have no control over this and eventually pay through higher inflation and/or taxes.
The social systems influence how people think and ultimately behaviour. ‘The Establishment’ would most likely desire people to believe in a strict dogmatic ideology shaped and controlled by them. This could be through strict and dogmatic religions (e.g. Islam) or through direct propaganda from the Government. Neither of these approaches fits with political and economic systems deemed necessary by ‘The Establishment’. Instead, the approach needs to be a little more subtle and a little more diverse.
The media (mainstream) is the voice of the Government (sitting and opposition) and often other establishment groups. The media focuses on issues ‘The Establishment’ want the people to be thinking about it. They typically present two-sides to these debate to create the impression of scrutiny and analysis. Different media will be biased towards different sides of the debate (e.g. Fox News against legalising abortion and CNN in favour of legalising abortion). Over time, many issues will be discussed but they become linked together. For example, a person who believes in legalising abortion will also be assumed to support climate action and gender recognition. These are entirely different issues but are pulled together so as to align with the position of a major political party. This is done to split people into just two opposing groups creating the illusion of choice. Governments take turns in addressing these staged sides of the debate to create the impression of change and the fake success of their “democratic” process.
Education institutions are the direct voice of ‘The Establishment’ through school syllabi. The education system is designed to prepare children for the workforce (i.e. Government employee or Big Business employee). At a young age, they focus on teaching children to follow instructions and memorise selected facts. This puts them into a mindset of absorbing information rather than questioning it. Later education focuses more on debate and analysis. However, this analysis is geared towards staged talking points. This often leads to a controlled opposition response to various issues (e.g. Government action on climate change). The Government can use the argument that they made changes because the people wanted them (i.e. illusion of democracy). In reality, these are the changes that ‘The Establishment’ always wanted to make.
In many countries (mostly western), Religious institutions have transitioned to a more indirect role. They are less concerned with directly controlling behaviour but more concerned with influencing it. Most Christian faiths emphasize obedience to authority and reward in the afterlife. The influence of the teachings of the church will filter through into other aspects of life. It is likely to discourage people from questioning all aspects of authority (e.g. Government, police. workplace, school, etc.).
‘The Establishment’ operates beyond national borders. They forge collaboration between countries that hold similar values and beliefs. They incite opposition to countries with alternative or framed alternative values and beliefs.
‘The Establishment’ repeatedly applies divide and conquer and controlled opposition strategies to obtain as much control as possible. Within a country they divide people to create an illusion of choice and to demonstrate that action is taken based on the will of the people. In regards to international relationships they aim to unite the country behind particular sets of values and aim to align their people with other countries that have adopted similar approaches. They also aim to villainise countries that they can argue follow different principles and values. They label these values as dangerous and a threat to their people’s values.
‘The Establishment’ aim to unite their people behind the idea of democracy. Democracy is treated as an undisputed and irrefutable good. Countries that do not practice democracy (i.e. ‘The Establishment’’s version of representative democracy) are bad and most likely dangerous. Many of these countries become labelled as enemies of freedom. Propaganda and false flag operations are often used to further demonstrate that these countries are bad and pose a threat to democracy everywhere in the world. Figure 1 contains the world map highlighting, which countries have democratic electoral institutions.
Figure 1: Democracy vs. Non-democracy
Source: Our World in Data
With the exception of just a few countries such as Singapore and Saudi Arabia, the countries shaded orange are generally considered a threat to the countries shaded in blue. Even the definition of democratic electoral institutions is binary and subjective, it quite accurately reflects the perception ‘The Establishment’ wants us to have.
We could also consider the extent of political discourse between leaders and the public. Figure 2 contains another subjective map that highlights the extent of political public consultation.
Figure 2: Deliberative Political Institutions
Source: Our World in Data
This map highlights varying degree of democratic process that occurs in each country based on consultation with the public. The map is reasonably consistent with the map in Figure 1 but there are a few countries that have democratic values that cannot be measured by how their elections if any are conducted. For example, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Vietnam were not considered to have democratic electoral institutions but still scored well in terms of democratic response to their public.
In terms of direct public input on decision-making, almost every country in the world scored badly. Only Switzerland and Romania scored above 0.5 on a scale of 0 to 1. It is apparent that we are restricted to just ‘The Establishment’’s version of representation democracy. See Figure 3 below.
Figure 3: Direct Popular Voting
Source: Our World in Data
For centuries, leaders have used religion to unite people of the same religion and divide people of different religions. It has been such a successful approach because many people are strongly drawn to their religion.
Religion plays a key role for ‘The Establishment’. It has been used to villianise people of countries and regions where a particular religion is dominant. For example, Governments and the media attempt to create the impression that Muslims are terrorists. This helps them gain support for invading Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. See map in Figure 4 for the distribution of world religions.
Figure 4: Countries based on dominant religious following
‘The Establishment’ takes advantage of the idea of discrimination by using it to accuse people of discriminating against a religious group when the criticism is directed at something else. For example, any criticism of Israel or the Israeli Government is claimed to be an attack on Jewish people or Judaism (e.g. anti-Semitic). This tactic has been used to such extremes that it has ruined people’s careers (e.g. the anti-Semitic claims made against Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of UK Labour Party).
The wealth divide is one of the strongest underlying divides ‘The Establishment’ aim to create and maintain. However, wealth is not openly used to create division between countries. Religion, politics, ideology, and culture are more openly used to divide people.
The potential acquisition of wealth triggers the use of the other strategies to divide people. For example, Saudi Arabia has supported terrorism (Every CSR Report), committed atrocities on its own people (CBC), and invaded neighbouring countries (CNN). Yet, they have faced little to no consequences from western nations. The most likely reasons are linked to wealth, wealth management and trade. Saudi Arabia owns over US$160 Billion of US debt (CNN), US is one of Saudi Arabia’s main trading partners (Imports, Trading Economics and Exports, Trading Economics), Saudi Arabians have invested heavily in US companies (CNN) and US companies have heavily invested in Saudi Arabia (CBS News). In the absence of the above, Saudi Arabia would have been invaded or heavily sanctioned years ago.
The world map below divides countries based on wealth per adult.
Figure 5: Wealth per Adult Across the World
Source: How Much
The wealth divide is more actively used within countries. Political parties often accuse each other of widening income and wealth inequality. The proposed solution is usually more Government intervention through higher taxes and handouts to lower income groups. However, income and wealth inequality continues to grow regardless of which political parties are sitting.
The ideologies that ‘The Establishment’ promote the most are freedom and democracy. They claim that democracy is essential for achieving freedom. Any countries that do not support their form of democracy are also against freedom. Figure 6 measures liberties such as freedom of expression and association for most countries around the world.
Figure 6: Civil Liberties by Country according to Freedom House
Source: Our World in Data
Figure 6 aligns very closely to both Figures 1 and 2. Thus, supporting the link between democracy and freedom based on how both democracy and freedom have been defined by the research. This connection strengthens the ability of ‘The Establishment’ to divide countries based on ideology linked to democracy and freedom.
Religious ideology also plays a role in dividing countries. Most states are linked directly or indirectly to the dominant religion in their country. The countries where Christianity is practiced more liberally tend to align with ideologies linked to democracy and freedom (compare Figure 2 with Figure 4). Countries with stricter following and required abidance to religious practices tend to be defined as having less freedoms.
Ideology is also split within countries. We often see a divide between “liberal” and “conservative” ideologies. We can see that in regards to approaches to religion, people with “conservative” values are more likely to follow their religion (perception of it) more closely than those with “liberal” values (PRRI). Both “liberal” and “conservative” ideologies should support freedom of speech. However, this support appears to only strongly extend to opinions that support their own ideologies. Censorship of opposing opinions is often welcomed and even encouraged. For example, the banning of President Donald Trump received strong support from “liberals” (Pew Research Center) and the banning of Russian media received strong support from both “liberals” and “conservatives” (Morning Consult).
A culture of selective free speech is not free speech at all. The prevalence of selective free speech strengths the control ‘The Establishment’ have over our ideologies as well as how we view the ideologies of others.
Cultural might be the most selective way of creating unity and division within and between countries. Most countries are made up of many cultures whilst also forming a national cultural identity. Every country has its own set of unique cultures. However, the cultures of some countries are considerably closer than others. Figure 7 contains the Inglehart–Welzel cultural map. The map compares countries based on values relating to tradition, self-expression, religion, language, etc.
Figure 7: Inglehart–Welzel cultural map of the world (2017 version)
The countries within the highlighted areas either form strong alliances as can be seen from the Protestant Europe, Catholic Europe, and the English speaking areas or have they have unstable relations as can be seen from Confucian, Orthodox, and African-Islamic areas.
Countries in the Protestant Europe and Catholic Europe areas are linked together through the European Union (mostly direct members or through the customs union). English speaking countries are linked by their connections to the former British Empire. Shared religion, language, customs, political structures, and traditions positively link these countries. The geographical separation of these countries may also limit possible tensions.
Countries in the Confucian and Orthodox areas are located close to each other and have histories of political tension. Many of the Orthodox countries were either part of the former Soviet Union or the former Yugoslavia. The split of these larger nations has not fully resolved the tensions between the people of the new independent nations. Some of the Orthodox countries are part of NATO such as Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Romania. Countries such as Russia, Belarus, and Serbia do not have a good relationship with NATO. The Confucian countries have a long history, which has involved major wars between China, Japan, and Korea. China controls Hong Kong and is a strong threat to Taiwan, which they do not consider a separate country.
Controlled Opposition to ‘The Establishment’
‘The Establishment’ uses ideology such as democracy and freedom as well as shared values to unite “friendly” nations against nations that they categorise as not sharing these same values and even pose a threat to them. Ironically, the nations they want their people to oppose most likely have the ideology and systems they wish they could implement but are unable to do so because of the resistance they would face. In 2013, Canada’s current Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau) even admitted he admired China’s dictatorship (CBC).
Dictatorships that suppress their people are easy to target as bad and as the enemy. Fighting the evil dictators and attempting to bring freedom to the people of these countries is promoted as a noble cause that most people can be expected to support. However, it rarely plays out that way. Instead, NATO or a group of western countries invades the country of the dictator. This leads to continuous wars that last decades (e.g. Vietnam War). Often the dictator is replaced with a new leader who is more cooperative to western demands and more willing to conform to “democracy” (e.g. Iraq). The country remains in a continuous state of civil war (e.g. Afghanistan). In some cases, the country reverts back to a previous style of dictatorship (e.g. Taliban in Afghanistan) but with the additional pain that war has been inflicted on the people of these countries. Over decades, there are multiple examples of these types of interventions in the Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia.
If military action is not taken, economic, political, and social action is instead. Sanctions are frequently used to attack countries with proclaimed bad regimes. Sanctions rarely harm the leaders of the targeted countries but instead punishes the people of these countries. Sanctions have led to mass poverty, starvation, health crises, social unrest and instability and many other problems. All of this suffering is inflicted on the people instead of the leaders who are claimed to be evil. Many of the evil dictators were previously supported by western powers (e.gs. Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, Hosni Mubarak, Augusto Pinochet, The Somoza Family, Park Chung-Hee, Suharto, Islam Karimov, Fulgencio Batista, The Al-Khalifa family, Gaddafi, and King Abdullah). Many of the leaders/leadership of the countries that we are told to oppose are part of ‘The Establishment’. They play the role of controlled opposition and tend to benefit from their evil deeds until they are eventually replaced; in most cases, this takes a long time.
‘The Establishment’ needs an enemy for the people to unite and fight against (e.g. bad regime or terrorist groups). Therefore, they choose to prolong conflicts (both military and economic). Victories are declared but the fighting normally continues and the threats appear to remain. For example, the war in Ukraine is being prolonged in several ways such as:
- the refusal to make progress through peace talks
- the help of volunteer fighters who have been brainwashed by political propaganda
- the mass inflow of weapons from the US, UK, and EU
- movement of conflict into civilian populated areas
Longer wars are good for ‘The Establishment’.
- They are able extend the use of sanctions (This causes more harm to the people of the countries involved; thus, eventually creating more dependence on Government support.)
- They can make more money building weapons.
- They can more firmly unite their people against a common enemy.
- They can kill more people (e.g. depopulation agenda)
- They can enable the growth of international organisations to further centralise power (e.g. Great Reset).
- They have a distraction from other parts of their agenda.
‘The Establishment’ do a good job of dividing the people on some issues and uniting them on others so they can divide them again on an international level. Global organisations make this easier for ‘The Establishment’. They enable their members (politicians, bureaucrats, bankers, business leaders, etc.) to meet formerly and openly (e.g. World Economic Forum) or more secretly (e.g. Bilderberg meetings). These global organisations enable ‘The Establishment’ to provide global advice which can more easily become or influence national policies.
There is growing desire from global organisations and some Governments to shift more authority to these global organisations. The World Economic Forum has become the stage for outlying global plans and future policies. They make the argument that global problems/challenges require global solutions (The New American). Some of the examples used as global problems/challenges include:
- Pandemics (e.g. Covid-19)
- Climate change
- Online safety
- Food shortages
- Gender equality
- Population growth
- International trade
- Social inclusion
The World Health Organisation (WHO) was heavily involved in providing advice to countries in regards to responding to the Covid-19 outbreaks. Many countries followed the advice provided by the WHO even though it was mostly inconsistent and ineffective.
It appears the WHO desire more authority to respond to pandemics as well as other health related matters. The WHO have proposed changes to the International Health Regulations. These changes include no longer consulting with State members regarding actions to be taken in response to a pandemic (Article 9) as well as determine when a pandemic has occurred through the use of an ‘emergency committee’ (Article 12) without needing to consult member States. Many world leaders appear willing to give WHO additional powers and have been pushing for changes for over a year prior to the amendments proposed (WHO).
We should expect world events (real or faked) to be used to promote the growth of global organisations and global action. We should expect proposed global responses to war and coordinated action towards the countries deemed to be “wrong”. We should expect a stronger global position on climate change and the actions, regulations, and restrictions needed to reduce carbon emissions. We should expect global action against the spread of misinformation (i.e. information that does not support mainstream narrative). We should expect plans for new bodies and groups to tackle many other problems deemed to require an authoritarian global response. We should expect most world leaders to accept and agree with all proposed global actions.
My Views on ‘The Establishment’
I believe ‘The Establishment’ is more powerful than it has ever been. The global coordination in regards to Covid-19 and the response to the Ukraine war has demonstrated the ability of ‘The Establishment’ to implement policies and actions across many countries within a very short time. The narrative described and enacted by mainstream media, major social media, and Governments across many countries has been effective and consistent. The extremely high vaccine uptake in many countries, despite the ineffectiveness and risk, demonstrates the effectiveness of ‘The Establishment’ at manipulating people into doing what they want them to do.
I have a good idea of how the various groups in ‘The Establishment’ work together but I am less clear of how it operates at the higher levels. Is there one central authority controlling all the main parts of ‘The Establishment’? Is the control at the top contested with several different groups vying for overall power? Is the power shared across different groups? Do different groups take turns at holding positions of power? Is it a combination of some or all of the above approaches?
The level of coordination indicates stability in the power structure. I believe most leaders (political, religious, business, etc.) understand that to achieve and maintain power and wealth, they have to play within the system. Therefore, need to acknowledge limitations to their progression or risk losing everything. I believe people crave power in different ways. Some may prefer to be seen to be powerful even if some of it is an illusion than have more power but to be concealed behind the scenes. It is like the difference between the lead actor and the movie director.
What can we do?
The greatest trick ‘The Establishment’ ever pulled was convincing the world they didn't exist.
‘The Establishment’ might have been successful at obtaining significant global power and control. However, they can still be resisted and countered. We need to understand more about them and how they work. We need to share what we have learnt with other people. We need to support what we have found with evidence and logical arguments and not unsupported conspiracy theory. We also need to be open to alternative arguments that may shed light on areas we do not understand or possibly overlooked.
We need to understand the arguments presented by people who do not acknowledge the existence of ‘The Establishment’. We may not be able to convince people of our views and opinions but we should be able to explain how we have reached our conclusions. Therefore, providing people with more and alternative information so they can reach their own conclusions or revise their existing ones.
If you want to read any of my other posts, you can click on the links below. These links will lead you to posts containing my collection of works. These 'Collection of Works' posts have been updated to contain links to the Hive versions of my posts.