How American techno-nationalism spawned a global electronic Kraken – OpEd – Eurasia Review
We might have benefited from a more equitable and decentralized international system today without the intervention of the United States on behalf of Microsoft. Big Tech subsequently inaugurated a series of crawls of techno-social functions to the detriment of fundamental freedoms.
It was the 1980s. A reborn Japan colonized a civil market after market through sheer diligence and ingenuity. In terms of quantity and quality, Japanese manufacturers were bankrupting a variety of industrial strongholds, ranging from Swiss watchmakers to American auto giants to Indian textile factories. Whether it’s school stationery, home appliances, or nylon sarees, quality and affordability can only be a product made in Japan. America was particularly in difficulty.
Land of Twilight Industries
The United States was unable to stem the tsunami of Japanese exports. Trade deficits have hit new highs over the quarters and for a while, Japan looked poised to overtake the United States as the preeminent economic superpower. It didn’t matter that the yen didn’t challenge the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
The Ronald Reagan administration was in a dilemma; its laissez-faire policies benefited Japanese companies to the detriment of American companies. A about-face was inevitable, starting with a protectionist quota imposed on Japanese cars in 1981, followed by a 45% tariff on Japanese motorcycles two years later.
While the average American wanted a Japanese bang for American money, the auto heart of Detroit wouldn’t. It even hosted a memorable “charity” saturnalia where participants were able to hit a Toyota with a sledgehammer! (Yes, the virtue signaling had pseudo-conservative roots. And this hammer today would be made in China!)
The only major markets Japan could not enter were related to the media (i.e., the production of trashy Hollywood films) and the military-industrial complex (which post-war Japan was prohibited from participating in).
Bitter trade negotiations between Washington DC and Tokyo resulted in protracted concessions. The status quo seemed to prevail, however, until a new Japanese innovation threatened to derail American hegemony forever.
The rise of TRON
Tokyo had unknowingly crossed the Washington red line when it unveiled the real-time operating system (TRON) kernel in 1984. Developed by Professor Ken Sakamura and his team at the University of Tokyo, TRON has been hailed as the world’s first operating system based on “an ideal computer architecture and network, to meet all the needs of the company.” It would also have made many disparate software (mostly US) redundant with a unified, open architecture that promised a “total computing environment.”
It was the kind of hydra that Washington’s elites saw as their only right and manifest destiny. The Japanese operating system would not only one day link a constellation of networked devices around the world, but it would also democratize a new electronic medium of communication. The future of world domination – or alternatively the Stygian mess we find ourselves in today – depended on the failure of this project.
Technology casus belli was researched, and it was inevitably found in a classic neoconservative way. After probing the belly of Japan for an incriminating offense, it was discovered that a subsidiary of Toshiba had joined a Norwegian consortium to sell submarine-related technology to the Soviet Union.
The stage was set for the usual staging. In one memorable episode, members of the United States Congress expressed their “righteous anger” over a Toshiba radio with maces and a symbolic noose. True to the zeitgeist of the 1980s, this was interspersed with the latest dispatches organized by the United States on an equally just war of the Afghan mujahedin against the “ungodly Soviets.” (For the record, this writer – who loathes communism – was pro-Soviets while in high school. Any Asian with two functioning brain cells could foresee a return to the appeasement of Islamic activism).
The denigration of Japan by the US deep state has been widely dismissed as an open form of racism. The fact that there is a deeper and more ominous game plan has never been admitted by an unsuspecting public. After all, similar hissing fits weren’t launched against the guilty Norwegian consortium. French, British, Italian, West German and even American companies that had transferred the technology to the “evil empire” were granted a relatively free pass. Hyper-publicized gas lighting and distractions were a neoconservative political art long before Democrats perfected the cult of wokism.
One operating system to rule them all
Operating systems were indeed the next big frontier in the race for full spectrum domination. In 1985, Japan had a 10-year advantage over the United States in software development. TRON is said to have fused Japanese software with Japanese hardware on computers around the world. While the Internet first saw the light of day in the ARPANET in 1969, Japan began to operationalize the Widely Integrated Distributed Environment (WIDE) system from 1988. WIDE interconnected a consortium of companies, universities and public institutions for extended communications via the TCP / IP protocol used today. At this point, the World Wide Web (WWW) was still a concept.
TRON was a game-changer and this game had to be rigged. Washington’s elites wanted future access to all networked devices on earth as a prelude to something more sinister. In 1989, after extensive lobbying from an upstart entity called Microsoft, TRON was subjected to Super 301 sanctions which effectively excluded it from the US market. Although this action was deemed “temporary”, Japan was forced to put the brakes on the TRON project or suffer consequences which can only be assumed in retrospect. (As consolation, Sony has probably been given the green light to acquire part of Hollywood).
Almost a decade later, in accordance with the software development lag between Japan and the United States, Windows 95 was born. The world has been changed forever and nothing for the better.
Alongside Microsoft, American start-ups like Yahoo, Amazon, Google and Facebook, etc. quickly merged into a monolithic global kraken that encompassed Big Media, Big Pharma, Big Government, Big NGO and everything in between. Perhaps this is the reason why TRON had to be canceled before it went global in the late 1980s.
The final frontier
The world currently looks like a digitally systematized gulag thanks to American Big Tech. The little guy now has as many “choices” and “freedom” as the COVID-19 vaccines he is mandated to take. Special vaccine passports are needed to cross state borders or to enter shopping malls, churches, schools, and government agencies. Or to keep his job!
The insatiable global kraken doesn’t just control network devices, information flows and human activity, however; he wants to access and control every human body on planet Earth. Initially, this initiative will be formulated in terms of “optimizing health” through a device integrated into the body. In the near future, a Body Internet (BIO) will monitor human physiology, emotions and thoughts 24/7. Vaccines can therefore probably give way to something much more intrusive.
The last border in this matrix is the serpentine style Homo Deus (“man becoming god”) illusion. It is highly doubtful that the seven billion people on earth can realistically qualify for this deification of the end of history. The necessary resources simply do not exist. Perhaps this is the reason why the world’s elites are perpetually obsessed with the issue of “overpopulation”. A centralized system based on artificial intelligence in BIO can decide who qualifies for Homo Deus and who doesn’t! Too many “gods” can be problematic as evidenced by the pantheons of Greece, Romans and other ancients.
Looking back, who could have predicted that the tight-fisted techno-nationalism of the Reagan administration would have turned into a global kraken that resembles techno-communism on steroids?
An abridged version of this article was published by RT September 27, 2021