Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Brave New Nineteen Eighty-Four

In the current climate of Corporate America, and indeed Corporate Earth, it seems that discernment and a questioning spirit has been all but bleached from popular consciousness.  Today, politics seems to be little more than a form of Newspeak as outlined by George Orwell in his seminal novel 1984:

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?... Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?... The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking-not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."

- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 5

The self-parodying, utterly incredulous joke that is modern American politics seems to have no shame - ignoring the few discerning citizens that remain, or ridiculing and bulldozing them beneath a blitzkrieg of sleight-of-hand and semiotic wordplay.  Republican, Democrat - these are just supposedly comforting terms that perhaps once used to mean something, but now merely serve to create the (patently false) illusion of choice for the sleepwalkers and apologists.

As the rich and powerful of the Democrats and Republicans alike continue to peddle their shiny, corporate-sponsored nonsense - the plan continues to unfold, with very little resistance from the mainstreamers.  The dismantling of financial welfare for the poor and minorities, the squeezing and shrinking of the middle classes, and the removal of checks and balances on militant corporatism; which all adds up to the creation of a Global Mercenary Playground.  The idea is to get the mainstreamers to enjoy their Newspeak and their servitude, or to at least get them so afraid of the cognitive dissidence of genuine discernment that they will whole-heartedly pretend to enjoy it.  To elucidate this idea, here are two quotes from Aldous Huxley's often-cited Brave New world:

"And that," put in the Director sententiously, "that is the secret of happiness and virtue-liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny."

- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 1

"Till at last the child's mind is these suggestions, and the sum of the suggestions is the child's mind. And not the child's mind only. The adult's mind too-all his life long. The mind that judges and desire and decides-made up of these suggestions. But all these suggestions are our suggestions... Suggestions from the State."

- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 2

So, what are we left with in this Brave New Nineteen Eighty-Four?  We are left with what remains of our rigour and our discernment and our intution, as well as our willingness to pull back the curtain and peer with unblinking eyes at the machinations of individuals and state-controlling corporations who have anything but our best interests at heart.  These few tools are all that remain between us and the Dark Age of a complete Corporate Plutocracy.  We better start using these tools...while we still possess them.

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