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The Positive Feedback Loop: How Totalitarians Instill Fear and Restrict Human Rights


Totalitarians describe a world dominated by positive feedback loops, where the slightest perturbation to a system expands unchecked and leads to instability and chaos. It is a world defined by an airplane wing in the midst of a low speed stall, where a pilot is given only one flawed, aerodynamic choice—to raise the nose of the aircraft by instinctively increasing the wing’s angle of attack. But this maneuver increases the drag on the aircraft out of proportion to the increase in lift, and without corrective action leads to catastrophe.  

Totalitarians, who exploit and manipulate the physical and social sciences to restrict personal freedom and human rights, promote subjective science which is convenient to their needs and unbalanced. Protective negative feedback loops are ubiquitous in nature and force systems towards stability and equilibrium but are ignored or marginalized in order to engender a sense of futility and fear in the general population. The ensuing desperation leads to political choices based on emotional and imperfect information and results in unanticipated excesses, persecution, and tyranny.

Marx, the unrepentant and frustrated anti-capitalist, never understood capitalism’s ability to self-correct. He mistakenly envisioned the free market as a system dominated by avarice and static behavior— a simplistic dialectic and zero-sum game that led to the exploitation of the workers and accumulation of great wealth by employers. The Marxist mindset fell victim to the presumption that positive feedback loops dominated capitalism, and the corrective, sustaining elements of negative feedback were nonexistent in a system predicated on efficiencies and flexibility to distortions in the market. 

The same erroneous assumptions pervade the ideologies of the neo-Marxists and critical theorists, which have manifested in critical race theory (CRT) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These philosophies are steeped in nihilism, victim oppression, and power structures based on phenotype. They are designed to exploit positive feedback loops, where any attempt of reconciliation or constructive dialogue is dismissed a priori as accentuating the problem. The solutions are predictable—the segregation of all subjective identity groups, the abrogation of individual rights in favor of state control, the confiscation of all personal property, and the moratorium on freedom of speech. 

The Covid-19 debacle provided an opportunity for the pharmaceutical companies, government health regulatory organizations, and the rank-and-file medical establishment to exaggerate the effects of positive feedback loops and minimize the protective outcomes of negative feedback loops in the biologic setting. To achieve these aims, it was necessary to discard centuries of medical science and the understanding that biological systems are inherently self-corrective, and infectious diseases are not an exception.  

Authoritative sources informed the public that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was destined to become more lethal as it mutated, a stunning departure to the lessons of virology. The use of therapeutics was described as a hopeless act of resignation, patients were instructed to avoid medical attention until gravely ill, and the coup de grâce—this, of all viruses, was not susceptible to the protections of natural immunity. Fear prevailed, the public panicked, and totalitarians were given free reign to do what they do best. 

The purveyors of climate change hysteria are masters of using computer modeling to introduce mass formation into all aspects of society. The models are incomplete and disregard the mitigating variables of cloud formation, climatic cycles, and the solar influences. Data is cherry-picked, paleoclimatic results ignored, and the fundamentals of heat transfer and its relationship to the electromagnetic spectrum treated as an afterthought.  

Climate change advocacy is the sine qua non of subjective science run amok. By politicizing science and dismissing detractors as heretics, the movement has successfully exploited a doomsday scenario based on exaggeration and conjecture. Its victims unwittingly forfeit their personal freedoms and economic security for themselves and much of the people of the Third World, who without access to plentiful, inexpensive energy are relegated to a life of poverty and destitution. 

Free speech serves as the bedrock of a free people. It is the purest form of a negative feedback loop. Its participants willingly participate in the exchange of ideas, where unsavory, illogical, and preposterous thoughts are judged in the public forum and soon discarded. Beneficial ones are nurtured, fine-tuned, and restated until they are transformed into workable solutions made possible by open public debate.

The great excesses of political drama that have befallen mankind are a result of censored and skewed speech that is sheltered from the stabilizing, collective intellect and commonsensical insights of a free society. The French Revolution demonstrated that not one single zealot was too pure for the revolution. 

This perversion of perspective led to outrageous examples of political absolutism. This scenario played out during the Russian Revolution and Stalinism, the National Socialism of Nazi Germany, the 20th century military warlords of imperial Japan, Maoist China, and Cambodia’s Pol Pot. Millions have died and suffered from despots who controlled all aspects of communication.

The democracies and constitutional republics of the world are being censored at the behest of elitists, who claim they alone know the “greater good.” Leo Strauss’s “noble lie” is rationalized as an excuse for the promotion of dishonestly to further what those in control define as noble.  

We are informed that free speech is dangerous and that it leads to hate, instability, and mayhem. But this disingenuous argument is the argument of tyrants, who gaslight and use words as weapons to disable a free people. Free speech is the salvation of an open, prosperous, and civil society and the embodiment of the sustaining benefits of negative feedback loops.  

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  • Scott Sturman

    Scott Sturman, MD, a former Air Force helicopter pilot, is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy Class of 1972, where he majored in aeronautical engineering. A member of Alpha Omega Alpha, he graduated from the University of Arizona School of Health Sciences Center and practiced medicine for 35 years until retirement. He now lives in Reno, Nevada.

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