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ABC Model of Power: Action Belief Consent


Our ABC Model of Power abstracts reality into three domains: Action Belief Consent.

Action is the domain of governing.

Belief is the domain of ideas about how the world is and how it should be. It influences Action and Consent.

Consent is the domain of agreement. It legitimizes Action and Belief.

The domains are a useful simplification to understand Power dynamics in the real world.

Political power (Power) is maximized within a system when the domains are aligned. Application of maximum Power is unsustainable if Action exceeds capability, if Belief contradicts reality, or if Consent is revealed as manufactured.

Using the ABC Model in the pre-modern world, say England in the Middle Ages, gives a good example of institutions that fit each domain.

England 1200s
ACTION
BELIEF
CONSENT
Monarchy
Church
Royal Council


When we model Power in the 21st century, it naturally shows vastly increased scale, specialization and complexity. Within each of the domains now is a stack of institutions. Institutions in each stack are listed in order of decreasing power.

United States 2016-2020
ACTION
BELIEF
CONSENT
Security Bureaucracies

Military

Executive

Judiciary

Experts in Universities

NGOs + Think Tanks

Media + Pollsters

Representative Orgs

Congress


Stack order is dependent on the priorities of Power. When Power prioritized neutralizing Trump, institutions with the most requisite capacity rose to the top of their stack. During the COVID Panic, there were other sets of institutions that came to the fore.

COVID Panic 2020s
ACTION
BELIEF
CONSENT
Executive

Security Bureaucracies

Health Bureaucracies

Experts in NGOs

Universities

Judiciary

Media

Representative Orgs

Lawmakers


We can use the ABC Model to understand the global dynamics of the COVID Panic.

In early 2020, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) [Executive in Action domain] influenced other countries’ perceptions of the Wuhan virus via the World Health Organization (WHO) [Health Bureaucracy in Belief domain] and media [Consent domain].

Media coverage of the epidemic elicited fear in the public. The ready salve for that fear was lockdowns used by the CCP and endorsed by the WHO. Lockdowns appeared to reduce infections in February 2020 but in hindsight this may merely have been due to the end of the flu (and now COVID) season in Wuhan.

Now that their publics were primed for the problem (COVID) and the solution (lockdowns), other countries’ Health Bureaucracies [Belief] recommended lockdowns. These recommendations were implemented by their respective Executives [Action] and enforced by police, customs, border guards, etc [Security Bureaucracies in Action].

Media coverage of these events and on what was now a declared pandemic kept fear high and manufactured Consent for each subsequent evolution of Belief and Action. At the same time, Media censored contrary views [heresy] so as not to undermine Consent.

This COVID Panic example is a typical case of how Power initiates and cycles through the real world as explained by the ABC Model. Although Belief sometimes emerges organically within that domain, in many cases it is seeded by institutions within the Action domain as a pretext for them to take action. Action > Belief > Consent > Action.

During the Security Bureaucracy/Media-manufactured Trump-Russia hoax, Security Bureaucracies [Action] needed a pretext to investigate Trump. They leaked to Media [Consent] about claims Trump was colluding with Russia. Media reported this and then Security Bureaucracies used the reporting as evidence to take to the FISA Court [Judiciary in Belief]. The Court then sanctioned formal investigations. Media also reported this, further manufacturing Consent based on manufactured Belief. Summary: "the FBI was leaking to media and simultaneously citing those same articles as underlying evidence to support their counterintelligence investigations".

When a media outlet reported "70% of Americans experiencing climate change anxiety and depression, survey finds", the report was subtweeted with the comment: "The cathedral’s domination of all consensus making apparatus allows it to manufacture a crisis, terrify its population with that crisis, and offer itself as the only solution to that crisis while silencing any dissent".

Annotating the comment with reference to the ABC Model of Power gives us the statement: "The [regime’s] domination of all consensus making apparatus allows it to manufacture a crisis [Belief], terrify its population with that crisis [Consent], and offer itself as the only solution to that crisis [Action] while silencing any dissent [Consent]".