Economic History Case Studies: The 9/11 Origins of Consumer Patriotism, Surveillance Capitalism and Lung Masturbation (2001-2021)

“Let us remember that peace can only reign in hearts that are humble and detached.”

-St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, RSCJ

“Do not look back to the past, nor forward to the future. Claim only the present, for it holds God’s will.”

-St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ

My fellow Americans, if there is anything that I genuinely despise, it will always be ignorance. Precious time and energy are at risk of being lost to the waste, fraud and abuse of the thought-stifling, the stubborn, the foolish, the close-minded. These are the kinds of people that I have learned to avoid encountering at all costs in the social interactions in my Catholic high school years as someone who enjoyed having countless different correspondences with different people from all over the world. The most important life lesson that I had realized in those four years is the overriding theme of The Fourth Estate: Know the Essence of any discernible phenomenon and know the Label that which is chosen to describe the phenomenon. There is a fundamental difference between being someone and doing something.

Personally, this life lesson of mine is a metaphysical one that shares the same primordial point of origin as the Work-Standard and the Socialist Student Economy, the morning of September 11, 2001. “Never Forget” that mist-shrouded fog before and after 9/11 is the secret to comprehending why I am a Conservative Socialist. For those who are actually curious and want to figure out why for themselves, try to focus more on the real meanings and real implications around that period in time. Avoid falling for the Cognitive Biases of the Jeffersonians and the 9/11 Truthers who continue to distort our perceptions of that what really happened in 2001, the Year of the Prussian.

For those who don’t believe me when I said that the Twin Towers were lined with Asbestos, this advertisement says it all.

“When life depends on it, you use Asbestos?”

Has anyone ever bothered to figure out what was in that dense fog when the Twin Towers collapsed? Seriously, I wrote an economics research paper that just happened to be indirectly related to the fog itself because I found out that there was Asbestos coatings that lined the steel beams of the Twin Towers. My research paper was about a “cheap spray-on Asbestos” that one of its common applications were the Twin Towers because whole floors, specifically the steel beams, were literally coated in it when they were still under construction.

How the Spray-On Asbestos is applied on metal surfaces.
The final result should look something this because that was not what I found when I saw steel beams at the Twin Towers. I saw something far worse than just Asbestos. Sure, I may have been a Financial Engineering student, but even I can grasp what this man was talking about. It’s common sense for me to expect rust and corrosion to eventually weaken the structural integrity of tall buildings! For those who still don’t believe me, I am going to excerpt portions of the text from that linked article because of the historical photographs.

This was not at all shocking for me because the product in question was widely commercialized and sold to both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, the post-1945 continuation of World War II. So popular was this spray-on Asbestos that I had also learned that the German Reich had banned it shortly before 1939 due to the “potential health hazards” of somebody inhaling sufficient amounts of this “carcinogen” into their respiratory system. But nobody outside the German Reich bothered to read the medical research because the information was suppressed for decades because of World War II, accounting for why the Twin Towers just so happened one of the major applications of this product. I know why, but is it really worth suppressing the medical research if I can save countless lives after 1945?

Is ‘mad and bad’ what springs to mind when you think of Nazi medical science? Is the late 20th century United States where you locate the groundswell of support for natural foods, vocal concerns over ill health and the environment, and campaigns against passive smoking? And is it the famous 1950 study of Doll and Hill that you associate with establishing the link between smoking and cancer? If so, this book is essential reading, but prepare to be shocked.

The medical fraternity of the notorious Third Reich emerge here in unconventional guise, not only as the champions of wholegrain bread, soya beans (popularly denominated ‘Nazi beans’), and extensive medico-botanical gardens at Dachau and Auschwitz, but also as the guys who launched a powerful antismoking campaign, waged war on cancer (in pursuit of its ‘final solution’), identified many workplace causes of cancer, and imposed bans on asbestos and carcinogenic pesticides. Nazi researchers were the first to prove conclusively that smoking was the major cause of lung cancer. Indeed, as early as 1936—the year that the young Richard Doll was attending the lectures in Frankfurt of the SS radiologist Professor Hans Holfelder—they had gathered sufficient statistical evidence to prove the cancerous hazards of what they labelled ‘passive smoking’ (passivraucher). Furthermore, suggests Proctor, it is probably as a result of the preventive measures that the Nazi regime undertook with regard to smoking—health education and the banning of ‘lung masturbation’ in trams, trains, and public buildings—that significantly lower rates of smoking related mortality from cancer occurred among German women after the war compared with US women.

The Nazi War on Cancer
Is this the true “No Fapping” sign?

How many people in New York on 9/11 were aware of the Asbestos lining the steel beams of the Twin Towers? How many people inhaled it as they were running for their lives from the ensuing Asbestos cloud of falling debris and mangled corpses? How many people are now suffering respiratory problems because nobody knew about the potential dangers of Asbestos when the Twin Towers were being built? And how many people are now dead after being diagnosed with Mesothelioma and Cancers related to Asbestos exposure? What about the accumulations of corrosion and rust on those same steel beams that also served as the same support structures?

It troubles me that, even today, most people do not know about these obscure historical facts. Everyone remains traumatized by this “New Pearl Harbor” and still looking for convenient pretexts and scapegoats. The real meanings and historical implications of that morning during the Year of the Prussian has become a sacred national myth reserved only for “the Courageous, the Driven, the Selfless.” What truly brought down the Twin Towers is also what convinced those people inside Two World Trade to literally stay at their offices after the first plane hit One World Trade. Is Kapital itself worth far more than the sanctity of human life itself?

“Fireproofing was applied directly to the long joists that supported each of the floors. Inspections of the floors with asbestos-containing fireproofing (up to the 38th floor in the North Tower) found that there were numerous areas where the fireproofing had never been applied. Top and bottom chords and truss web members were exposed, and the red lead on the trusses was clearly visible in many locations. Photo 1 shows a truss with fireproofing missing from its end where it meets the outside wall. Also, the fireproofing was frequently thinner than the 3/4 inch described in the Federal Emergency Management Agency-funded ASCE BPAT report on the collapse of the towers. Many of the problems observed were clearly the result of poor workmanship.

However, the nature of the structures that were fireproofed and application methods used could also contribute to the problem. Applying fireproofing to a long-span or any type of joist construction is difficult. The round rods and small angles making up a truss are difficult targets for the installer. Spray fireproofing materials are typically applied from the floor with an extended spray nozzle. The installer may be unable to reach or see certain areas of the trusses that must be covered. This frequently results in thin or absent fireproofing on surfaces hidden from the floor by the bottom of steel members (photo 2). In the WTC, this resulted in sections of the top surface of the bottom chord of the trusses receiving an inadequate coat of fireproofing. These are deficiencies that would have been easily discovered by the ASTM field quality assurance tests for adhesion, cohesion, thickness, and density had these test methods existed at the time of construction.

I inspected core columns up to the 78th floor but was unable to access them above that point. These inspections revealed that the bond of fireproofing on core columns had failed in many locations and the fireproofing was falling off the columns in floor-high sheets. Photo 3, taken in 1994, shows a core column from which the fireproofing had fallen off in a sheet that is several stories high. The red circle and date was the Port Authority’s response to the missing fireproofing. This resulted because the steel had not been properly prepared at the time of the initial spray application. Rust scale had not been removed prior to applying the fireproofing. The fireproofing had adhered well to the rust scale, but the rust was coming loose from the steel (photo 4).

Here are all the photographs that Roger G. Morse was referring to. How many other office buildings in America, never mind the broader Western world, have the steel beams coated with Asbestos and are showing signs of corrosion and rust?

I am willing to argue that the odds are higher a bank robbery by the Mob.

A suspect in the $1 million World Trade Center robbery showed up at a friend’s house with $10,000 cash, then went on a shopping spree and splurged on a lobster dinner, the friend said Friday.

The suspect, Michael Reed, didn’t seem to enjoy the meal, though.

“He was very scared,″ his friend, John Costello, said from his kitchen in Brooklyn on Friday.

Reed “thought he was going to get whacked,″ Costello said.

Costello spoke to The Associated Press after being questioned by the FBI. He said he believes somebody else was behind the heist and that he was talking to the AP because he, too, was afraid.

So far the FBI has implicated only three suspects, including Reed, in Tuesday’s heist. The three were identified by neighbors in Brooklyn who recognized their faces on security-camera pictures shown on television and on front pages. Neighbors described the three as having minor criminal records and drug habits.

Reed, who appeared in court Friday, is being held without bail. Melvin Desmond Folk is also under arrest.

The third suspect, Richard Gillette, was arrested Friday night in Albuquerque, N.M., when bar waitresses who recognized him from police photos called authorities.

Gillette, pointed out to officers by a waitress at Famous Sam’s, ducked into a bar bathroom to avoid arrest, but was caught in a nearby hotel lobby. Police spokesman Tony Herrera said Gillette apparently had arrived in the city by train earlier the same day.

He had $18,000 on him when arrested, officers said.

Gillette was to appear Tuesday morning before U.S. Magistrate William W. Deaton Jr. in Albuquerque, according to FBI Supervisory Agent Doug Beldon.

Back in New York, Reed’s friend Costello, who is 32 and unemployed, said he declined an invitation from Reed to take part in the robbery. He said Reed showed up at his apartment shortly after the heist with $10,000, saying his share would include an additional $240,000.

Costello said Reed did not reveal whether he had accomplices.

“I never asked him. I never talked about it. I never wanted to know,″ Costello said.

He said he urged Reed to leave the state. “But he was paralyzed with fear.″

So the two went shopping, buying $400 worth of new clothes and sneakers before riding the subway to midtown Manhattan, where they gave $50 to a beggar and sat down at an Italian restaurant for a dinner of lobster and scallops, Costello said.

-Maria F. Durand, 3 Arrested in Trade Center Heist,
ca. January 17, 1998

Alas, these are the lessons which I had learned back when I was still studying Financial Engineering. My Catholic education and Political Science took care of everything else, all of which I am now sharing with everyone reading The Fourth Estate.

Reality is extremely complex. It remains commonplace to get pinned down by countless different Cognitive Biases that can otherwise be eliminated altogether or at the very least suppressed. Today, we live in a post-9/11 America where information on the World Wide Web (WWW) constantly proliferates at rates no human being on Earth is capable of tracking every little trivial detail. Some Liberal Capitalists even convinced themselves that there is an infinite Quantity of Kapital to be generated from repurposing post-9/11 Mass Surveillance to expropriate the sensitive information of everyday people on and then selling it off to the highest bidder.

Lesson 1: Surveillance Capitalism has an historical track record of exploiting crises

It is possible to trace the origins of surveillance capitalism to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the wake of 9/11, state authorities turned to the newly emerging big tech giants to support extended surveillance programmes. With governments able to access user information on platforms such as Google and Yahoo, a common interest emerged between big tech and the state in promoting the growing influence of such platforms. If governments required mass digital surveillance to support their anti-terror programmes, then they needed the infiltration of digital tech deeper into everyday life (whether that be internet use, Xboxes, or mobile phones). The states of exception that tech companies operated in following 9/11 in part explains why such giants have proved so difficult to regulate and control, even following the Snowden leaks and Cambridge Analytica scandal. But, of course, this is not the only reason they have successfully avoided regulation. The political connections, extra-territorial forms, and unintelligible algorithms and code associated with big tech have all served to prevent effective regulation.

If the State of Exception produced by the 9/11 terror attacks enabled big tech empires to grow and escape regulation, could not Covid-19 usher in a new State of Exception within which Surveillance Capitalism can deepen its power and influence?

-Mark Whitehead, Surveillance Capitalism in the Time of Covid-19, ca. May 11, 2020

That is where Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism enters my research. Zuboff’s book is not a joke if it had beautifully pieced back together the worldwide ramifications of Social Media, Data Analytics, Personalized Advertising, Machine Learning, and Doxing by connecting them back to their original 9/11 contexts. Surveillance Capitalism ought to become a national tragedy for being the latest manifestation of the same “Consumer Patriotism”–a disgraceful jingoism–that I had witnessed growing up in Central Europe and the East Coast United States during the 2000s. This concept of generating Kapital from all the trivial information that exists on the World Wide Web is demonstrative of why most of the information online is so fragmentary and often devoid of any meaningful contexts. “Gamergate,” “SJWs,” “Antifa,” “Alt-Right,” “Cancel Culture,” “Wokeism” and “MeToo” are all variations of the same Surveillance Capitalism of 9/11. This Consumer Patriotism was supposed to lull people into a false sense of security with senseless consumption at home and senseless destruction in the Middle East in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rare indeed is the opportunity to enjoy an intelligent, educational and open-minded Internet discussion with others. There is something fascinating about, for instance, a 1985 Internet conversation about the Y2K Bug long before it became a sensational topic in the late 1990s. These moments were once the norm before the digital realm became an integral part of everyday life offline. Where on the Internet in 2021 can I find a wholesome and rewarding conversation begun by introductory messages like this one from January 18, 1985?:

I have a friend that raised an interesting question that I immediately tried to prove wrong. He is a programmer and has this notion that when we reach the year 2000, computers will not accept the new date. Will the
computers assume that it is 1900, or will it even cause a problem? I violently opposed this because it seemed so meaningless. Computers have entered into existence during this century, and has software, specifically
accounting software, been prepared for this turnover? If this really comes to pass and my friend is correct, what will happen? Is it anything to be concerned about? I haven’t given it much thought, but this programmer
has. I thought he was joking but he has even lost sleep over this. When I say ‘friend,’ I’m NOT referring to myself, if it seemed that way.

“I’ve never really written anything like that before”
Spencer L. Bolles

Today, I have grown to realize that very little information online can be salvaged into something more coherent because insightful, prescient, practical and timeless wisdom do not exist on the Internet. That has to be found offline, away from the PCs, tablets, and smartphones. There is no way for young people, especially those still searching on their smartphones and tablets, to learn this from their peers, let alone their own elders. It has to be learned at a personal level.

The best historical analogy, given my research and personal experiences, would have to be those controversial passages in Der Arbeiter. I am of course referring to what Ernst Jünger had written he was describing the social interactions between the “Socialist youths” and the “Nationalist youths.” When that book was published in 1932, these two German youth groups adopted some strange subcultural Labels for themselves, distorting the true Essence of who they really are as young people. In the Americanized Collective Consciousness of Weimar Germany, peer pressure and social conformity had forced the Socialist youths to become “Fascists” and the Nationalist youths to become “Communists.” Yes, that was literally what was going on in those days because for reasons that I never fully understood, the language throughout Der Arbeiter was always cryptic.

In any case, other youths chose to conduct themselves under such vague Labels like “National Bolshevism” (no relation to National Communism) and “National Socialism” (no relation to Pan-Germanic Socialism), trying desperately to help their classmates and peers cast aside their superficial differences and find real common ground. After all, they were all part of the same generation coming of age in the midst of the Great Depression. Therein lies the Ethical Dilemma I had recently elaborated in “Third Place: Student Cooperatives and the 600-Ship Navy (Pt. II of II)” and brought to the attention of another Blog in “Only a God Can Save Us.”

Philosophy will not be able to effect an immediate transformation of the present condition of the world. This is not only true of Philosophy, but of all merely human thought and endeavor. Only a God can save us. The sole possibility that is left for us is to prepare a sort of readiness, through thinking and poeticizing, for the appearance of the God or for the absence of the God in the time of foundering for in the face of the God who is absent, we founder. Only a God Can Save Us.

Death is an eternal sleep. Our actions in Life will be judged by somebody else besides me. I still sense the feelings of desperation and helplessness of these youths who tried to steer the German Reich on a different course than the one that actually happened in history. Without hope or rescue, they accepted the fate of the German-speaking world and until death relieved them. It reminds me of the same feelings of desperation and helplessness that I saw in those adults trapped in the upper floors of the Twin Towers. Without hope or rescue, they plunged out of windows and spent their final moments in midair until death relieved them.

“Work more and more at letting yourselves be led by the Spirit of God: with this divine leader you will be rich in every spiritual gift for yourselves and others; you will have prudence, firmness when necessary; in fact, the Spirit will supply all you lack.”

-St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, RSCJ

“I am where God wills me to be, and so I have found rest and security. His wisdom governs me, His power defends me, His grace sanctifies me, His mercy encompasses me, His joy sustains me and all will go well with me.”

-St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ

Categories: Economic History

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3 replies


  1. Third Place: ¡El Círculo Dorado, an Occult History of the American Civil War! (Pt. II of II) – The Fourth Estate
  2. Círculo Dorado Defusal Practice: “Just Say No to ‘Operation Rothbard’ (⇌)!” – The Fourth Estate

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