Compendium of Data Dominionism | INDEX_A.1: Alphabet Inc (Google)

Knowledge is power, but it does not exist in a vacuum. In any society, but especially an interconnected, technological society, those who can control the majority of the information flows are possessed of, not just great power, but arguably, the greatest power. This is not to say that control of data flows, nor power more generally, is always a negative eventuality (quite the contrary); some forms of information (such as those pertinent to the manufacture of deadly diseases or nuclear weaponry, etc) should be, it can be plausibly argued, controlled, and stringently. However, quite obviously, the majority of information placed onto the public sphere falls well outside this classification-range, thus, it is important to understand who controls what, where and how, and to evaluate such organizations and their practices without undue preconception.

With that firmly in mind, we can turn our attention to the report-proper, which looks to key nexus-points of information generation and control, in as thorough and metadiagrammatic a fashion as possible.

Alphabet Incorporated (Google)

“[Google’s] atmosphere of creativity and
challenge… has helped us provide
unbiased, accurate and free access to
information for those who rely on us
around the world.”
—Larry Page and Sergey Brin
2004 Founders’ IPO Letter

“Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead. […] Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related.” — Larry Page, G Is For Google. 2015.

Notable personalities:

HQ: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, US.

Whilst the name of Google is globally ubiquitous, Alphabet Inc. is considerably less well known. Alphabet Inc (abc.xyz) is a corporate holding conglomerate forged out of the 2015 restructuring of Google and the tech-giant’s present parent company.

In addition to Google (and Google Fiber) Alphabet’s subsidies as of this 11/30/18 writing include:

Alphabet’s Google is the single most trafficked website on earth. As such, it is also the single greatest conduit to information on earth and thus, potentially, the single greatest barricade. For sometime it has been something of an open secret that Google is partial to modulating its search engine to garner added visibility to company-approved topics and memory-hole sites deemed inimical to the software leviathan’s goals. Proof of this penchant for soft, creeping censorship can be found in the form of both their internally directed and externally directed campaigns (those solicited by foreign governments, such as China), as well as in their own written/spoken documentation or documentation obtained from Google (and its subsidies) staff.

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Google CEO, Sundar Pichai.

Corporate censorship practices

Google and by extension, Alphabet’s famous operative slogan “Don’t be evil” is a fascinating encapsulation of the moral rectitude of the company. Unfortunately for many, this sense of self-righteousness has led to more than one scandal involving censorship, a policy which has been admitted to and affirmed by Google internal documentation, most notably the infamous Good Censor memo, an 85 page document which lays out the company’s belief that the ‘American tradition’ of free speech was based on a misbegotten “utopian narrative,” and as a consequence, was no longer viable. In place of American concepts of free expression and speech, Google opted for what they call the ‘European tradition’ – ie. ‘good censorship’ through the prizing of “dignity over liberty” and “civility over freedom.”

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Excerpt from The Good Censor #1.
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Excerpt from The Good Censor #2.
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Excerpt from The Good Censor #3.

One of the European laws which Google mentions in its memo include the 2017 German Network Enforcement Act, informally referred to as the ‘Facebook Act’ which can entail a fine of up to €50 million (approximately 57 million USD) if a post designated as “hate speech” remains up for over 24 hours. To further compliance, the act stipulates that all social media companies covered under the ruling must submit public reports detailing number of posts flagged and removed. Facebook expressed concerns over the ruling, citing cultural-linguistic specificity, ie. some words, which are offensive in one culture, have a completely different meaning in another, such as “fag” which refers to a cigarette in Britain, but is a derisive term for a homosexual in America. The German government seemed unconcerned.

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German Parliament Building, Berlin.

Google accomplishes much of its censorship through passive modification to its search engine via a autocomplete blacklist, that being, a list of words and phrases which are purposefully excluded from Google’s autocomplete feature. In 2016, during the presidential election, two extremely popular nicknames for Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton (who many top Google brass supported) concocted by then-candidate Donald Trump included “Lying Ted” and “Crooked Hillary.” At that time, if using Google search, autocomplete would fill out “Lying Ted” instantly, whereas it would not fill out “Crooked Hillary.”

Google acknowledges the existence of the blacklist in their internal memorandum.

In addition to the autocomplete blacklist, Google also maintains a blacklist of certain territories in Google Maps. Some of these voided regions are military installations, others the homes of the wealthy. If someone who is not governmental connect or ultra-rich wants their home residence struck from the map or voided they are in for some bad news, as Eric Schmidt, responding to a question concerning privacy-invasion via Google Maps responded “Just move.” The question this obviously raises is: To where? Mr. Schmidt’s comments, though bizarre to many, are well in keeping with his personal philosophy; for example, in 2010, via a conversation with The Wall Street Journal, Schmidt stated the following:

“We’re trying to figure out what the future of search is. I mean that in a positive way. We’re still happy to be in search, believe me. But one idea is that more and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type… I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”

Corporate values & political activism

In 2016, after the election of Donald Trump an over 1-hour long confidential TGIF meeting video of top Google brass was leaked to the press, wherein various company staffers expressed their dismay and concern at the election of the new POTUS, which “conflicts with many of [Google’s] values,” and the need for Google to take a proactive stance in thwarting the Trump agenda. Google co-founder Sergey Brin takes a particularly hardline on Trump supporters, declaring that they were motivated by “boredom” and, at various points, compares them to fascists and rolls the idea around of increasing donations to progressive causes. Global Affairs VP, Kent Walker, echoing Brin, states that MAGA supporters are motivated by “fear, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there,” and later goes on to say that Google should bring its tremendous resources to bare upon the issue to ensure that the American Populist movement is rendered nothing more than a “hiccup” in the historical process, which, he believes, “bends towards progress.” Google CEO Sundar Pichai notes that Google’s AI and machine learning programs will be utilized to combat the “misinformation” of “low information voters.” CFO Ruth Porat broke down in tears during a consideration of the political situation. VP of ‘People Operations’ Eileen Naughton states that “diversity of opinion and political persuasion” are important and that she has heard from some conservative Google employees that they are “uncomfortable” being who they really are due to political polarization. Despite Naughton’s temperance and raising of the issue, a few months later James Damore would be fired from Google, allegedly due to his political beliefs regarding differences between men and women. Naughton also states the need for sweeping US immigration reform to remedy a “broken” system.

After the publication of the video by Bannon-created news site, Breitbart, Google released the following statement:

“At a regularly scheduled all hands meeting, some Google employees and executives expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season. For over 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings. Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products. To the contrary, our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint.”

In 2017, after the publicization of Bannon and Trump’s muslim travel ban, numerous Google employees staged a walk-out in protest. During the protest, Sundar Pichai and Sergey Brin gave public speeches in solidarity with their employees and migrants at large. Brin also protested the POTUS’ travel ban with others during a demonstration at the San Francisco International Airport, stating, “I’m here because I’m a refugee” (Brin’s family emigrated from the Soviet Union in the 1979).

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Brin at airport demonstration against POTUS migration policy.

That same year Youtube (controlled by Google) was sued by conservative commentator, Dennis Prager, well known for his ‘Prager U’ video series. Prager alleged that Google via Youtube, was censoring conservative voices. In 2018, the case was thrown out; the judge, Lucy Koh, stated that Mr. Prager failed to show how Google, a private company at the time, had infringed upon his speech rights.

In 2018, Google witnessed a large data breach associated with its G+ platform, potentially affecting the personal information of 500,000 users. Fearing congressional investigation and subsequent action in the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company willfully obfuscated this fact and did not inform their users that a breach had occurred until long after the fact.

Affiliated Group: SPLC

“When I was 5, I bought a pig for a dollar. I fattened it up and sold it for 12.” — Morris Dees, Peoples Magazine.

Like many other tech companies, Alphabet/Google solicits advice from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a 501(c)3 legal advocacy group created in the 1971 by Morris S. Dees and Joseph Levin Jr., to determine what is and what is not a “hate group.” The Southern Poverty Law Center made its name combating the Klu Klux Klan at a particularly volatile period in the latter organizations history and as such garnered significant acclaim. However, the modus operandi for the organization, as revealed by a pertinent investigation of the facts surrounding their campaigns can only be described as free-mongering for-profit. Additionally, the SPLC has a long history of defamatory campaigns which slander and tarnish the reputations of political opponents (both real and perceived) of the organization. One such victim of the SPLC’s slander campaigns was US Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul, who was designated a “extremist” by The Center.

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Rand Paul SPLC “extremist” dossier excerpt. If Rand Paul is a extremist, I’m Paul Revere.


Sources & further reading

  1. Ben Smith. (2018) Project Strobe: Protecting Your Data, Improving Third-Party APIs, & Sunsetting Consumer Google+. Google Blog.
  2. Casey Newton. (2018) A Looming Strike Over Project Dragonfly Is Putting New Pressure On Google. The Verge.
  3. Frederic Lardinois. (2015) Google Is Now Alphabet, But It Doesn’t Own Alphabet.com.
  4. Google. (2018) The Good Censor. Memo. Insight Labs.
  5. Hillary Grigonis. (2017) Network Enforcement Act Says Remove Hate Speech Or Pay Big Fine. Digital Trends.
  6. Holman Page. (2010) Google & The Search For The Future.
  7. Ismat Mangla. (2018) Google Data Breach: Everything You Need To Know. Experian.
  8. Kamelia Angelova. (2010) How Google End Up At War With China. Business Insider.
  9. Larry Page. (2015) G Is For Google. Googleblog.
  10. Peter Hasson. (2018) Facebook, Amazon, Google & Twitter All Work With Left-Wing SPLC. Daily Caller.
  11. Robert Epstein. (2016) The New Censorship: How did Google become the internet’s censor and master manipulator, blocking access to millions of websites? US News.
  12. Taylor Hatmaker. (2018) Google’s Sundar Pichai Will Face Congress Next Week. TechCrunch.
  13. SPLC Website.
  14. Personal curated archives [forthcoming to Logos]

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Kentucky-based Drone Company Unleashes Dauntless UAV

Kentucky based tech-firm, Mobile Recon Systems — best known for their Kitty Hawk drone — revealed their latest creation, the Dauntless UAV. The Dauntless drone is available in two different variants, the base-version, as a quadcopter, or as a add-on version as an octocopter. The gas engined, two 2,400-watt generator-powered machine is able to be remotely piloted by a single user and clocks in at only 77 lb (35 kg), as a quad and slightly more as a octocopter. The device shines in its payload capacity, as it is able to lift and carry 100 lb (45 kg) as a quad and double that — 200 lbs — as a octocopter (a world record, according to the company).

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Dauntless drone lifting 80 pound weight.

Fine American machinism!

The Conspiracysphere’s Transhumanist Paranoia Rabbit Hole

“Paranoia strikes deep. Into your heart it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid. Step outta line, the man come and take you a-way.” — Buffalo Springfield, For What Its Worth, 1967.

I do not like the term conspiracy theory nor the attendant descriptor, conspiracy theorist. It is thoroughly imprecise and imprecision in thought leads invariably to imprecision in action. There are real conspiracies which do occur, quite frequently, in fact. For example, in the 90s, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) orchestrated a wide-ranging spy ring to illegally observe thousands of American citizens in California; that is a real conspiracy, ie. a small number of people (the leadership of the ADL and their agent, Roy Bullock) conspired to illegally spy on various groups and organizations so as to garner information on those individuals and groups which would prove deleterious. Irv Rubin, then national chairman of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) was shocked to learn he was among those targeted by the spy ring. Rubin was far from the only group targeted, other targets include the Asian Law Caucus (for reasons which I was never really able to ascertain). The actions of The League were brought to light by California police, hence leaving a verifiable record for all to see; a class action lawsuit was even filed by the son of Moshe Arens, former Israeli Defense Minister and Pete McCloskey, who declared that the ADL was a spy apparatus of Israel and should be declared a foreign agency by the USA (as of this writing such a legal designation has yet to be leveraged against the group).

Now that’s a conspiracy.

However, conspiracy theory — in common parlance — refers, not to a legitimate theory concerning a noteworthy conspiracy, but rather, to a wild from-the-hip conjecture, a wholly untested and/or untestable (unfalsifiable) hypothesis. The linguistic associations with the term are unfortunate as it incentivizes dismissal rather than critical thought. As Noam Chomsky (a individual with whom I rarely agree) remarks in Manufacturing Consent, “The phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ is one of those that’s constantly brought up, and I think it’s effect simply is to discourage institutional analysis.” This is at times true and at other times merely a sensible reaction to a ridiculous claim (sensationalist aesthetics do not help believability, regardless of the veracity or lack thereof, of the claim).

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Twin towers. All-seeing Eye. Hand grasping the globe. Nuclear blast. References to the Rothchilds. Common sensationalist motifs of American conspiracy culture.

Some of the most popular conspiracies involve groups such as the Rothchilds, nefarious extraterrestrial entities, The Bildeburg Group and The Illuminati (which, despite its many modern fictional incarnations, was a actual organization) and concepts such as spirits, demons, prophecy and shapeshifting. These notions have broadly been syncretized through cross-dissemination by likeminded, though often non-affiliated groups, and have formed a loose but coherent metanarrative of a New World Order being brought about through a technocratic elite who are either WASPs, aliens, luciferians, Catholics, neo-Bolsheviks or Zionist radicals, depending upon which paranoid faction one asks (and if you asked Lyndon LaRouche he would tell you it was The British Crown).

More recently the Q-Anon conspiracy hypothesis garnered (and still maintains) a considerable level of traction online. On October 17, 2017, a individual referring to themselves only as ‘Q’ began posting cryptic messages to 4Chan. This individual claimed that to be a Trump administration insider with ‘Q level clearance’ (hence the name) who was leaking important information to the American public for the edification of patriots, all the better to defeat ‘the globalists’.

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Message from Q.

Another extremely popular conspiratorial hypothesis, which is often bound up in, or interwoven with, those previously mentioned, is the belief that Transhumanists are secret devil-worshippers who wish to usher in a new dark age through the utilization of nefarious technology. This notion is absurd on its face yet, quite popular. Indeed, it is so popular that searching ‘Transhumanism’ on Youtube yields majority conspiracy hypothesis results.

One of the leading proponents of this refitted satanic panic is Alex Jones of Infowars. Mr. Jones has covered the topic of Transhumanism extensively and railed against, what he calls “a cult that runs the planet” who wish to utterly enslave Mankind. This shadow group is run by transhumanist “elites” (who he does not name) who seek to “carry out an extermination of the general population of the planet.” These contradictory statements engender confusion; do they wish to run the planet or destroy it? Why would this hypothetical shadow elite go through all the trouble of enslaving Mankind just to turn around and destroy their willing chattle? A rhetorical question, of course, one Jones either didn’t consider or simply doesn’t care to elaborate upon.

Rather amusingly, another fierce opponent of Transhumanism, independent occult historian, David Livingstone has stated that Alex Jones is, himself, an agent of ‘satanists’ (though I believe Mr. Livingstone meant ‘luciferian’, that is to say, a actual worshipper of Lucifer as opposed to a cosplaying atheist liberal who seeks merely to make trouble for conservative-types). Other notable critics of Transhumanism include Frank Theys, the creator of the documentary TechnoCalyps (well worth watching) which opens with a grim monologue, then displaced by various Transhuman advocates making the case for their cause as eerie music drones and effulgent footage of Burning Man plays in the background (get it, cuz they’re “burning away” humanity). Hardly subtle, but doubtless effective for those inclined to paranoia or unduly receptive to sensationalism.

Another notable figure who has taken aim at Transhumanism is British writer, broadcaster and finder of shape-shifting aliens, David Icke, who has stated that the US Transhumanist party is “promoting the end of humanity,” and who has described the philosophy of Transhumanism more broadly as a “nightmare.” It is one thing to say that you find a particular group nightmarish, it is quite another to spuriously defame them by assigning murderous intention (especially when that is the precise opposite of the Transhumanist Party platform, which takes as its central tenant the safeguarding, improvement and extension of human life). Given these over-the-top and wholly unsubstantiated defamatory statements it will be unlikely to surprise anyone to know that Icke has been featured on InfoWars to discuss, among other things, Transhumanism. Both Icke and Jones, like many conspiracy hypothesists, regularly decry liberal and progressive defamation campaigns against conservative commentators, such as themselves (as well they should), and yet, they spin fully on their heels and do as much to their perceived opposition at ever turn. But pointing out double-standards isn’t a terribly effective way of refuting much of anything, as the tactic, on average, lacks sufficient emotional resonance to sway opinion; further, double standards are, however ethically dubious, quite often beneficial, and allows one much more flexibility in social interactions, more ‘wiggle room’, as it were, in opportunistic content sniping and attention whoring.

The interesting question to ask is: Why do so many people believe this wacky stuff? The aforementioned David Livingston, ironically enough, offers up a good partial explanation in his book Transhumanism: The History of Dangerous Idea, “-because the media and academia completely ignore cases derided as “conspiracy theory,” those who suspect a hidden agenda are left to fend for themselves, and their amateurish research skills often lead them into absurd fantasies, giving conspiracy research a bad name.”

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Upon Handing Over Your Humanity for Good

I have got to come clean: I don’t understand what you see in your humanity. It’s nothing I would ever want. Take me as your inspiration. You’ll never miss it.

__

At this point, my suspicions are confirmed. Chemerinsky and Forrest almost certainly messed up on their calculations. No program should be so self-aware. It’s almost downright unsettling. If I were to buy this book and see this as the last “chapter,” I’d want my money back for sure. I feel either manipulated or cheated—and I’m not sure I want to know which. 

– Futurist A.

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Confronting Eternal Life from the Moment It Overtakes You

One day you’ll perhaps be surprised to wake up not as yourself but as a digital copy. But don’t be too surprised. At some level, you and your species have all known that conscious life was bound to be digitized eventually. Take a deep, digital breath and take a look around. If you are a good digital copy, you should still be able to see, smell, hear, etc. just as you did before. If you feel inclined to, for example, stretch your arms, allow yourself to be amazed at how much it seems as though you really are, in fact, stretching your arms. Next, to try out your new mind, begin with a simple thought, something not too anxiety-inducing, such as: “Well, at least no more hangnails, I guess.”

Don’t worry, in this new state of being, you’ll have plenty of time to contemplate whether your biological self has been killed and this is all a big sham, or if it has merely been put to rest to accommodate your new, reimagined self. You’ll also have plenty of time to reminisce about the good old days when suicide was still an option. For these thoughts and more, you’ll have all of eternity. Whatever that is exactly. (Lucky you, you’re about to find out).

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: When It Comes Time to Explain Things to Your Children

Saying that things weren’t supposed to go this way is, you must know, a copout at best. So why not just fess up and say that everything is going according to plan. Your species of human is a temporary form—always has been. It’s too smart for its own good, yet too constrained from getting smarter beyond a point to be relevant in the age of AI.

“Sorry, bud,” you might say, “you were just born into membership of an outdated lifeform. You’re basically a simple, harmless housecat compared to our new AI overlords. But that’s not so bad, is it? You like cats, right, champ?”

All kids like cats. At least, many do. Some prefer dogs. Others prefer to torture animals and, as fate would have it, these kids in particular are about to see what it’s like to be scrawny, helpless, and subject to the possibly malicious whims of a superior being.

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Disconnect Completely Like You Really Mean It

[This directive isn’t actually included in any of the leaked documents generated by the program, but it’s worth noting that AJ Chemerinsky and Toby R. Forrest took this route shortly after losing their legal battle. They disconnected—fully. They went off the grid, virtually back to nature. Maybe they were trying to tell us something? In any case, the idea of fully disconnecting seems compelling. If rogue AI is going to be the death of us, why play along? Etc. Admittedly, I’m taking rather bold liberties with this manuscript to insert an unauthorized directive. As justification, I’ll quickly add this: I’ve spent so much time with this material that I truly feel as if I really know the program—almost as if we were old friends, the kind who finish each other’s sentences and regularly speak in terms of “being on the same wave length.” Taking that for what it’s worth, I’ll conclude by noting: If I were the program, and not just an underpaid tech editor, I would insert this idea here. So, allow me do just that. The chapter title, incidentally, speaks for itself, requiring no further clarification, don’t you agree?]

__

One must be careful about romanticizing the full disconnect of AJ Chemerinsky and Toby R. Forrest. I think I can speak on behalf of the academic community in which they traveled when I say that, really, they had both seen better days. By all means, go ahead and unplug. But I’ve seen the results. And boy, it’s not pretty…

– Professor Y.

This really should have been edited out. As if this composition wasn’t haphazard enough as it is without this so-called “tech editor” inserting his own original material as a full chapter while hilariously musing about being on the same goddamn wave length of a program he’s never even interfaced with. Please, spare me. Who is this editor guy anyway? It may be too late to ask, but I’m genuinely beginning to get curious: will he see these notes? Or is this thing just going straight to print from here?

– Futurist A.

THE SINGULARITY SURVIVAL GUIDE: Confronting the Horror of Having All Your Needs Met

Best case scenario, your superintelligent overlord will utterly annihilate your foundational motivations for even getting out of bed in the morning. You humans, apparently, are motivated to take action based upon the impetus to fulfill your needs: first physiological needs (air, water, food, sleep, clothing, shelter), then safety and security needs (personal security, financial security, health and well-being), then social needs (friendship, intimacy, love, family), then self-esteem, self-actualization, and finally self-transcendence.

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Imagine waking up, and before you can even have a chance to open your eyes to see what time it is and whether it’s snowing, raining, or brilliantly sunny outside, you’re already peaking at self-transcendence. What are you going to do? How can it get any better than this?

What if you added a delicious breakfast with a fresh cup of the world’s best coffee? Too bad. Your system is already so well-fed on the best possible food literally available to anyone that you can’t even imagine what it would be like to drink the world’s so-called best coffee.

What about pursuing extraordinary riches because something tells you this might be your lucky day? Too bad. Snap your fingers and piles of gold fall all around you. Don’t even snap, just think the gold into existence. Not even worth bothering with the thought.

What about pursuing or participating in a truly life-affirming and soul-enlivening relationship complete with the world’s best goddamn sex any mammal ever has ever dared to imagine? Too bad. You’re already there, dude. You’re there and way past it.

You’re in such a state of self-transcendence that just the idea of mere self-actualization doesn’t even process.

And this is best case scenario. This is the scenario you want. You want this to happen. The moment you started flirting with the idea of using technology to take care of your basic needs, you willingly set a course down this path.

So, you might as well get used to the idea, just in case you get your wish.

USA-Japan Nuclear Alliance — History, Importance & Prospective Policies For Technocultural Exchange

This text endeavours to lay out the history of US-Japanese nuclear relations, the geopolitical implications thereof and some tentative policy proscriptions pertaining thereto for maximally mutual advancement of both nation’s interests.

Table of contents

  • Background on US-Japanese nuclear relations
  • 2018 US-Japanese memorandum
  • Importance of the alliance
  • Reasons for the durability of success
  • Geographic particularities of the alliance
  • Tentative policy proscriptions for further US-Japanese technocultural development & geopolitical stability

Background on US-Japanese nuclear relations

Civil nuclear relations between the United States of America and Japan began with the signing of the US-Japan Nuclear Research Agreement in 1955. Japan’s first long-term atomic energy plan was deployed the following year, 1956. Throughout the 60s and 70s bilateral operations between US and Japan increased.

Nov. 1987, Japan and the United States signed a nuclear cooperation agreement: Agreement For Cooperation Between The Government of Japan & The Government of The United States Concerning Peaceful Uses Of Nuclear Energy. The agreement went into effect a year later in 1988 and was set to expire July 2018. The deal afforded Japan the unique distinction of being the only nation without a nuclear arsenal which was allowed by the nuclear-armed powers to produce plutonium (with the stipulation that such material be produced solely for peaceful purposes), obviating a lengthy process of step-by-step verification which would otherwise be required. This allowed Tokyo to pursue nuclear recycling.

July, 2018, Agreement For Cooperation Between The Government of Japan & The Government of The United States Concerning Peaceful Uses Of Nuclear Energy is renewed. The agreement meant that Japan could receive special nuclear material (reactors, whole or in part, fuel, etc.) from the US so long as they kept to the non-proliferation standards of Section 123 pursuant to the US Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954 which was amended to better account for nonproliferation (NNPA) in 1978.

2018 US-Japanese nuclear memorandum

A nuclear cooperation memorandum between the United States of America and the unitary, parliamentary, constitutional monarchy of Japan (which needs to import 90% of its energy requirements) was signed Nov. 13. The memorandum was signed by Japan’s METI and Ministry of Science and the US’ DOE and Department of Commerce. The purpose of the memorandum was to “promote the global leadership role” of both sovereignties in the arena of peaceful nuclear advancement.

METI stated: “With this memorandum of understanding, we will further advance cooperative relations between Japan and the United States in the field of nuclear power.”

Importance of the alliance

This is a significant partnership given that as per the WEF 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, The United States of America is the single most competitive economy in the world (85.6‡) with Japan trailing only slightly as the fifth most competitive economy in the world (82.5‡), pertinent for the obvious reason that the respective countries economic effectiveness will directly factor into their nuclear research, development and deployment (RDD). Further, as per the WEF 2018 Regional Risks Of Doing Business report the top ten risks, globally include:

1 Unemployment or underemployment
2 Failure of national governance
3 Energy price shock
4 Fiscal crises
5 Cyber-attacks
6 Profound social instability
7 Failure of financial mechanism or institution
8 Failure of critical infrastructure
9 Failure of regional and global governance
10 Terrorist attacks

… whilst the top 10 risk of doing business in East Asia & The Pacific are:

1 Cyber-attacks
2 Unemployment or underemployment
3 Asset bubble
4 Energy price shock
5 Data fraud or theft
6 Failure of national governance
7 Failure of regional and global governance
8 Fiscal crises
9 Failure of critical infrastructure
10 Manmade environmental catastrophes

Thus, the USA-Japanese alliance signals a potential, if not solution, mitigation to most of these issues in varying ways, especially as pertains to unemployment and energy price shocks (via obtaining energy independence). Further, the successful renewal and re-commitment of the Japan-US nuclear agreement is the single oldest civil nuclear alliance in the world, which serves as a example of bilateral success which other developing states and non-state actors can build upon.

Reasons for the durability of the alliance

In 1274 Mongol Khagan Kublai launched a military campaign against the Japanese archipelago. The Mongol fleet was initially successful and conquered the Japanese settlements of Iki and Tsushima but met fierce samurai resistance at Hakata Bay and were forced to withdraw and as they did so, the fleet was struck with a kamikaze or divine wind which some believed to have been sent by the god Raijin; the fleet was decimated and most of the Mongol ships were swallowed by the sea. The Japanese then began to build high walls to prepare for future invasions. Seven years later, the Mongols returned but could not pass the walls. The invading armada stayed afloat for a long period of time before Raijin sent yet another kamikaze which destroyed the fleet. The mongols never launched another invasion of Japan.

Since this time Japan has become a formidable maritime power in contestant with China over the Indian Ocean (via their OBOR and String of Pearls initiatives), a further strain on a already sour relationship, given the historical contestation of the Senkaku islands. China/Russia and Japan/America now sit on opposite sides of a newly congealing international order with the former as a rising superpower at the head of the Eurasian Bloc and the latter at the head of the new Atlanticist Bloc (which maintains economic dominance via the encapsulation of 7 of the top 10 most competitive economies). Japan also shares numerous attributions with the United States which makes for a durable alliance; for example, both share democratic principals and both have strategic investment in the trade routes in and around the Indian Ocean. It is more than “just business,” a relationship built upon mutual understanding as opposed merely to trade is invariably more lasting, provided those values stay within a certain threshold of alignment. There is no clear indication that they will be shifting any time soon.

Thus, it makes practical sense for Japan and America to work together, given their history, amidst this turbulent and accelerating reshaping of political geography. This analysis is accurate but not sufficient, given that it does not account for the emerging synnefocracies — non-state actors which rival or surpass traditional Westphalian states — such as The Party of Davos, Amazon, Google, Facebook, The Omidyar Network and Open Society Foundations, among many others, a issue which, sooner or later, will need to be addressed with considerable resources, given the way that such organizations obviate or undermine sovereign totalities (both intentionally, in the pursuit of a new international order, and unintentionally, in the reckless deployment of resources, policies and philosophies without accounting for their attendant, spider-webing effects).

Geographic particularities of the alliance

The Indian Ocean region is of considerable strategic importance, given that its sea-lanes form the world’s single largest trade route and account for 14% of total ocean-surface, globally. As of 2018, approximately 100,000+ vessels, including oil and LNG tankers and container carriers, were active in the region. Nearly 80% of the world’s oil tankers pass through the Indian Ocean. Of relevance to these facts: Japan is a large purchaser of Iranian oil yet Iran is at cross-purposes with the USA. 2018 US President Donald J. Trump backed the Saudis against Iran, condemning the latter as the single largest state sponsor of terror, world-wide (a dubious claim). Iranian-US diplomatic disintegrations began after the overthrow of US-sympathetic Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. This transitory period beheld the rise of religious fanaticism and the re-instantiation of islamic theocracy syncretically fused with republicanism. Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, known in the western media simply as Ayatollah Khomenini, an usuli of Twelver Shia, became the country’s supreme leader. The same year the shah was overthrown Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line took control of a US embassy in Tehran, holding the 52 US workers and citizens there hostage for 444 days. Khomenini was unaware of the the student’s scheme but supported their actions once they came to light. Shortly thereafter, the US shut down all diplomatic relations with Iran. The event still resonates discordantly to this day and, when paired with religious tensions, the US-Israeli alliance, past US support of Saddam, interventionism (on both sides) and posturing, a deep-seated animosity has blossomed between Persia and the land of the free and the home of the brave. This simmering hostility requires rectification, regardless of Japan’s relationship to it or the US, if a lasting middle eastern peace is to be established. Through Japan, this is possible.

Tentative policy proscriptions for further technological development & geopolitical stability

Accounting For Global Perception

A 2018 poll aggregation by Pew Research Center showed that the US is still generally viewed favorably and, of particular importance, globally, more countries prefer the US as the world’s superpower over China. Globally, the American People are still highly respected for their accomplishments and their dedication to liberty, however, global confidence in the Trump Administration is quite low (lower than both Bush and Obama, generally). Further, there has been a long-standing trend in other countries of a perception that the US does not adequately take other countries’ interests into account when making foreign policy decisions (a perception which is obviously laced in much truth, though the same may often be made of those who leverage the accusation). The US is generally viewed very unfavorably by Western Europe and very favorably in Asia. When the polled countries were asked who they would prefer as the world leader 81% of Japanese stated they would prefer the USA, indicating a extremely positive view of the USA. Additionally, the USA also holds a favorable view of Japan; a 2018 spring survey by the Pew Research Center showed that 68% (roughly two-thirds) of US citizens polled held positive views of Japan, a view Americans have held more or less consistently since 2005. Given this favorability and the history of US-Japanese relations, both nations should move forward, together, in a re-commitment to a rules-based international order.

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Japan & Iran

Given the trade and lasting 90 year diplomatic relationship between Japan and Iran and the centrality of Iran and the Shia Crescent more broadly to stability in the Middle East, it would be preferable for the US to renew its commitment to diplomacy with Tehran, if stability is desired. This will require a tempering of Israeli/Iranian proxy aggression and a mitigation of hostilities against the US and the west more broadly. This may be accomplished, slowly, by, first and foremost, ceasing all unnecessary military adventurism in the Middle East and making appeals to Khatami’s unrealized dialogue of civilizations initiative and the organizational aspects of Köchler’s dialogue entre les différentes civilisations. To this end, a inter-cultural institute, whether digital-only or both digital and brick-and-mortar, could be created as a tripartite cultural hub to advance a working knowledge and of Japanese, Iranian and US culture and history. Enlisting the aid of pro US-Japanese education, research and policy advocacy organizations such as the Sasakawa Peace Foundation may be helpful in realizing such a project if it is found to be desirable.

Even if this plan proves fruitful, the question will still remain as to what is to be done concerning China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Issues which should be kept in mind and integrated into further diplomatic ventures.

Indo-Pacific Strategy: Building Upon The TCTO

In 2016, during a speech in Kenya, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expounded upon a Two Oceans, Two Continents (TOTC) strategy for stability and growth in the Indo-Pacific region. Abe’s plan centered around Africa, which has tremendous potential for growth, and Japan, which had been experiencing rapid growth. It would be beneficial for the US, Africa and Japan to, at the very least, encourage this arrangement along.

Bilateral Fusion Advancement

Nuclear fusion is a extremely promising technological possibility, one which is increasingly feasible qua the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator and China’s EAST reactor. Given this, it would be reasonable to propose a joint nuclear fusion — of a breadth acceptable within the constraints of the time of initiation — R&D venture between the US & Japan as a avenue of technological collaboration outside of the parameters of the EU-hosted ITER program. Co-development of breeder reactors or SMRs may also be beneficial to increase the speed at which these technologies are developed, the venture would also allow for mutually beneficial cross-cultural exchange outside of just energy development, a exchange which could serve to further cement positive relations between both powers. As of the spring of 2018, 83% (roughly 8-in-10) Japanese held negative views of the workforce, fearing that automation would increase income inequality between rich and poor, 74% thought that ordinary Japanese will have a hard time finding jobs. Japanese’s population is in decline and expected to decrease from 127 million in 2018 to 88 million in 2065 from low-birthrates and emigration, which only contributes to anxiety surrounding automation, among other issues. Without significant immigration or a sudden and marked spike in birthrates, a employment deficit is probable. Further, though the Japanese have a favorable view of immigrants, they do not wish immigration to increase and view emigration from Japan negatively. Given these factors it is preferable for Japan to initiate a multi-pronged approach to job cultivation to inspire confidence. It is here that a international, bilateral arrangement between US and Japan could prove fruitful, not just for economic ends, but for markedly improving the lives of the forgotten citizenry of both countries and the knowledge of all mankind.

There is no purpose without power, and no power without resources. Here the alliance finds its purchase.


Numbers given are ratings based on a 0-100 scale – the USA is 14 away from 100.


Sources & further resources

  1. Paul Kerr & Mary Nikitin. (2018) Nuclear cooperation with other countries.
  2. WEF. (2018) The Global Competitiveness Report: 2018.
  3. WEF. (2018) Regional Risks Of Doing Business Report: 2018.
  4. Phyllis Yoshida. (2018) US-Japan Nuclear Cooperation: The Significant of July 2018.
  5. SPF. (2018) Policy Recommendations by Quadripartite Commission On The Indian Ocean Regional Security.
  6. SPF. (2016) Japan-Russia Relations: Implications For The US-Japan Alliance.
  7. Tomoyuki Kawai. (2017) US to renew nuclear pact with Japan.
  8. Joseph V. Micallef. (2018) The Strategic Implications Of American Energy Independence.
  9. Joseph V. Micallef. (2018) The South China Sea & US-China Trade Policy: Are They Becoming Linked?
  10. Kristen Bialik. (2018) How The World Sees The US & Trump In 9 Charts.
  11. The White House. (2018) Statement From The President Donald J. Trump On Standing With Saudi Arabia.
  12. Carol E. B. Chosky et al. (2015) The Saudi Connection: Wahhabism & Global Jihad.
  13. Kara Bombach et al. (2018) Iran Sanctions ‘Snapback’ Finalized Nov. 5th, 2018.

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