2011: A brave new dystopia

posted by
December 27, 2010
by Chris Hedges  
Posted in Commentary, LAND Commentary

"The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s '1984' and Aldous Huxley’s 'Brave New World.' The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right. Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression? It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right." (12/27/10)

  • Government is the culprit in both the social scenario works of Huxley and Orwell that Chris relates. Corporations are creations of governments and therefore would not exist without them; the privileged status they obtain from government is not available to individuals. But even corporations cannot themselves physically force anyone to buy their products/services. It is government with its legalized use of force that can and does compel an individual to take actions that s/he often would not otherwise do. It is the actual or threatened use of physical force by government enforcers that results in many of the decisions that each individual makes every day. While some bureaucrat/legislator/executive in Washington DC or individual state capital may have composed some regulation/law/edict/mandate/etc, it is the enforcer – someone who is willing to initiate physical harm – who creates the fear and willingness to comply.

    Please keep the following in mind always. The politicians and bureaucrats – rulers – do *not* get out into the field and enforce their own legislation/decrees/mandates/etc or even their own opinions. Instead they depend on the enforcers to do the dirty work. Therefore the enforcers are the key!! Politicians and bureaucrats simply talk and write, even when it is to give orders – whether to enforcers or directly to ordinary citizens (via snail and email pronouncements for the latter).

    Strong negative Social Preferencing – withdrawal or refusal of voluntary association with the reasons made public – towards government enforcers who continue in that role after attempts to logically persuade them of their errors (offers of assistance in obtaining new productive jobs is a good idea for those known personally), is the needed step. Public identification (photos, names and location) of these continuing government enforcers will enable others to also Socially Preference against them, thereby increasing the social pressure to change their employment, their major interaction behavior – use cellphone cameras and the Internet to the fullest. This selective (discriminating) association to exclude those who cause harm is a potentially *very* powerful method of non-violent action, referred to as ostracism by many down through the ages. It is included in Gene Sharp's 2nd volume (of 3), "The Politics of Nonviolent Action", Chapter 4, "The Methods of Social Noncooperation".

    Even in the current very unfree societies (of which the US is a major one), negative Social Preferencing can be effectively used to influence individual social behavior and the actions of the State. I have written about this practice in general – http://selfsip.org/focus/protestsnotenough.html

    There is much more that can be done beyond groaning, hand wringing, clenching jaws and writing online articles/comments of apocalyptics/complaint. One need not – and should not, if thinking in one's own long range best interest – accept as inevitable the latest government pronouncements that are clear to many (?most?) as attempts to tighten a noose, to bring about the world of Huxley and/or Orwell.
    Originally posted at truthdig.com – http://bit.ly/g1JQtw

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