Crisis of Democracy 3: Is the Technostructure Taking Over the Monopoly of Violence?

Crisis of Democracy 3: Is the Technostructure Taking Over the Monopoly of Violence?

Austria only recently repealed the controversial compulsory vaccination law. The Constitutional Court ruled - what a "coincidence" - on the same day on the petitions for revision of this law. It concluded that the vaccination obligation was constitutional because it had not been implemented since March 2022. Yes, you read that correctly. Does this mean that the vaccination obligation would have been unconstitutional if it had been enforced? No, because the Constitutional Court did not rule on this point! It shirked its responsibility! It merely said that the Minister of Health should have checked continuously whether compulsory vaccination was appropriate and necessary. In this respect, the Minister of Health is advised by 'experts' (guided by lobbyists). The Constitutional Court has no problem with this. Critics of the measures, such as myself, who fought the law, do.

Technostructure undermines the protection of fundamental rights

The crisis of democracy has its roots, apart from problems of participation and legitimacy, above all in the rapid erosion of the rule of law. The rule of law means - materially - the commitment of the state power to the idea of justice, and - formally - the link of the state power to the law and the law as well as the possibility of control of state measures by independent courts.

Until now, we thought that fundamental rights guaranteed us a private sphere that was inviolable and free of any state and that we could rely on the legal protection offered by independent courts in this respect. While many European countries have been teaching us otherwise for months, Uruguayan judges are showing that the protection of our children's fundamental rights is non-negotiable - especially when it comes to maximising the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.

Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, we have seen a growing shift of power towards the executive and towards controlled expert groups. The latter are the gateway to pressure group interventions. The question of whether fundamental rights are restricted or even abrogated is decided according to the interests of the technostructure - and the political executive creates the necessary conditions.
I recently mentioned here that the executive is increasingly securing special rights in the long term by declaring state of emergency after state of emergency: Italy has declared a state of emergency until the end of the year because of Corona and the war in Ukraine, Hungary exchanged the state of emergency of Corona for the state of emergency of Ukraine at the end of May, Germany and Austria now have a "special right" to fight the coronavirus. And in France, a law on "health surveillance" is to be introduced under an accelerated procedure, which will allow the executive - at any time - to restrict fundamental rights again.

Mock battle in Brussels

This trend is encouraged by two developments that we have been observing for a long time and which are very worrying: On the one hand, the creation of a flood of standards at EU level through the intervention of the technostructure handing out draft standards; and on the other hand, the use of digitisation and opaque machine learning systems in law and justice.

While the adoption of the Digital Service Act and the Digital Markets Act is welcomed as an important step in bringing order to the Internet, Brussels must realise that it comes not only far too late, but also in the wrong place. For the real threat to our societies in Europe is not hate speech or a lack of choice in online offerings. GAFAM is now at the top of the list of the biggest lobbyists in Brussels and easily dwarfs all other digital technology interest groups.

Brussels would do better to put its own institutions in order than to clean up the Internet [1]! At CEN, the European Standards Institute [2], for example, new standards or rights are constantly being created, not by the legislature but by the technostructure. In this case, there is not only a lack of creation of law by the legislative power, but also a lack of control by the executive power of the State. We are familiar with the beneficial action of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since the conditional authorisation of vaccines [3]. This transfer of tasks from the state to groups and lobbyists leads to an uncontrolled spread of the interests of the technostructure, which is increasingly beyond the control of the state.

GAFAM software drives the executive
This process is reinforced by digitalisation and autonomous control systems. These control systems are only subject to human control a posteriori, at best. While they are self-managing (e.g. traffic management systems or management systems in the financial sector), human control is no longer possible. These controls are normative and self-executing and therefore have a direct impact on societies. They serve the interests of the technostructure that created them and thus begin to control people. Microsoft, for example, has already become deeply entrenched in police and law enforcement work, as The Intercept revealed two years ago: Microsoft developed its own mass surveillance platform, the Domain Awareness System, for the New York Police Department and then extended it to Atlanta, Brazil and Singapore. The group has collaborated with a number of police surveillance solution providers, who run their products in a government cloud provided by the company's Azure division. In addition, the company is advancing platforms for networking police operations in the field, including drones, robots and other devices [4,5].

The use of software for evidence evaluation in the justice field worries even the most staunch advocates of AI-based legal guidelines. Lance B. Eliot, chief AI strategist at Techbrium , recently warned that AI-based deep fakes are being used "mercilessly against lawyers, judges and juries" .
Digitalisation forces us to a new form of separation of powers and control. If states and the EU continue to be dictated to by the technostructure, the path to an authoritarian, trans-state system is set. This is why there must be strict separation and control between energy suppliers, network operators and programme users, who should also not be linked to groups and funds. States that operate such networks should not be allowed to hold stakes in companies that operate AI programmes. Network operators of all kinds need to be placed under the control of the executive, such as energy network operators, while users in the AI field need to be placed under the control of the judiciary. But what is most urgent is that non-governmental organisations, whatever their form, should be excluded from any form of state monopoly on violence.

PS: In recent years, the EU has denounced the dysfunction of the rule of law in Hungary and Poland with great media fanfare. It has thus concealed the fact that it is itself responsible for gross violations of the principle of the rule of law. Should we accept violations of sovereignty in the Member States in the name of the power politics of the EU elites? Or has everyone already forgotten the cause of the Brexit?

This analysis was first published in: Le Courrier des Stratèges on July 12th, 2022




[3] They are granted the power for example, to approve medicinal products (normative effect with far-reaching consequences) without the legislator ever being involved in it.