It's 26 years after the fictional worldwide nightmare scenario in the novel “1984” and one key question remains: Did it depict a right-wing or left-wing tyranny? This is important to know because as we appear to be creeping towards such a future we should prepare our kids and their kids for this brave new world...a possible world politicians never mention.
Sure, you could ask any number of people this question and the liberals would claim it was a right wing fascist dictatorship, while the conservatives would say it was rule by central government liberalism gone wild. Both views would be correct.
Author George Orwell's main shortcoming here was overestimating the speed of government action towards his dystopia and the decline of civilization. He also set the scene in his native Britain when it should have been in America, a nation where life is imitating art.
When you think about politics it can't get simpler than this: The right-wing wants to control our bodies and the left seeks to control our minds. Control of body and mind means total control. As I have said in previous articles, the global village we are in has the right and left moving closer, with the right controlling finance and the means of production and the left keeping people happy and brain dead so they won't disrupt the new All Earth Corp.....'The Spice Must Flow.'..Dune
Currently one of the biggest headaches for world politicians is the free flow of information, something that was carefully managed in 1984. Throughout history, knowledge has meant power and it was guarded closely by religious orders such as the Roman Catholic Church. By controlling information and disseminating false of inflammatory propaganda you could create the racist stereotypes that lead to the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Holocaust.
For Americans, the media, working in concert with the government, kept alive the Cold War Communist scare for 49 years after WW2 as a post war diversion before reality television took on that role. Remember, Orwell's endless war as the focal point of his book in truth is an American thing, ie., the Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican American War, Civil War, Spanish American War, WW1, WW2, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam, Iraq 1, Iraq 2, War on Terror (Afghanistan), ? We need conflict as both a diversion and an occupation....it's both a money maker and money loser.
Now the Internet has blown the lid off various national governments attempts at keeping their dealings private. Just stonewalling the established media isn't good enough today....press offices have to deal with whistle-blowing spies everywhere ready to hit the web with viral videos. The blogosphere has endless websites filled with every view imaginable.
However, as we move towards a paperless society, where everything will be either on TV or the Web, governments will again be seeking ways to control the free flow of information and they will eventually be able to do it simply by flipping a switch. But this will be a last resort from either very authoritarian or grossly unpopular governments, ie. Pakistan and China.
For now, our government, at least, is enjoying the fruits of the populist journalism and entertainment that worldwide media consolidation has brought. Since we live in a nation where virtually everything has been reduced to entertainment, who better to control this industry than massive entertainment conglomerates which tell us what we should know, read, listen to and watch. But most of all, they tell us what we should buy. It's almost like the intro to “The Outer Limits” TV show: We will control everything you experience.
Our government has no fear as long as the people are well fed, well housed and reasonably happy...the latter being the province of the mass media. It may not have been planned but it works in concert with government by keeping people occupied with mindless or mind bending TV shows, simplistic news programs and endless unchallenging movies. The media has also aided in polarizing the nation between right and left. This is important to a political leader because he just has to preach to his choir. The most dangerous thing is an intelligent middle of the road mass which can go either way and means the politician can't depend on simplistic right-left dogma.
We are now in a media age far beyond what 60s academic Marshall McLuhan ever dreamt, where reality and fantasy have merged leaving an astute person to ask: What's truth and what's fiction, what actually happened or what was produced to create a response.
From Scottish You Tube sensation Susan Boyle to an Israeli assault on a Palestinian aid flotilla, we have to depend on the integrity of strangers to provide us with factual information. Anything can be doctored and made to appear the way a journalist or his editor wants. And acceptance or denial of what we see is often based on what we want to believe, a sort of wish fulfillment.
When Susan Boyle became an Internet sensation during her Britain's Got Talent audition, her performance actually happened three months before being aired. We first saw a packed theater snickering as she came on stage and then wildly cheering as when she began to sing. How do we know that audience seen on the TV screen was the actual audience cheering for Boyle? An how come no word about this fabulous find was heard until the show's air date. Did the entire audience have to sign confidentiality agreements? I'm not questioning her performance just the packaging and presentation.
Back in 1978 the film Capricorn One, about the faking of a moon landing was a fanciful peace of fiction, even though some people still claim it to actually be true. Today, however, media technology is so advanced and people so in love with these conveniences, just about anything can be faked or manufactured...even a moon landing, and to quote comic Oliver Hardy, “No one will be any the wiser.”
The end game of all this is something Adolph Hitler was after: Weltordnung (World Order). Eventually the world will be segregated between the two basic classes depicted in 1984, people who matter, educated professionals and skilled trades people and those who don't matter, world peasantry.
Yet, both will require the same basic needs: Being fed and kept reasonably happy. Denial of these basics might lead to uprisings which will be gravely frowned upon in the future world. Even in Africa, a largely failed continent, a nation such as China will establish a neo colonial presence to exploit natural resources, yet in the process attempt to bring order and relative wealth to lawless and poverty stricken areas.
Most of the popular views of the future have centered around a world destroyed by war and disease, from The Shape of Things to Come to the recent The Book of Eli movie. But these days, the threat of global nuclear destruction is receding in the age of the global marketplace. Former enemy and adversaries now find themselves in the same economic bed and competing for a piece of the action. In such a market, physically going to war with each other might disrupt the order of things. Remember: The spice must flow.
Cooperation and pacification the top priorities in the future world. You may recall in a previous blog I explained how the mass middle class America created was a key factor in maintaining relative civility among a diverse population. Now, however, with the middle class being wiped out by globalization, it will be the job of PC mind control to maintain civil order.
Those who matter in the industrial nations will have to be kept in line via mind control and carefully screened simplistic information sources. The masses will just have to be kept in line through whatever means is necessary...the most important means being food. In such a time the Arab nations, for example, will be well equipped to prosper simply because they don't prosper. Arab culture being largely stagnant will be ideally suited to survive as it has for millennia, going nowhere...which will be in stark contrast to the so called developed nations, which after peaking,will be on a long slow decline as they now are.
Americans by that time will be back working for slave wages so we can compete with other slave wage nations. This will mean the bare essentials will have to be produced for less, which will mean cheaper adulterated and artificial food. Yet, our media will extoll the virtue of this nutritious junk as it has long done in our banal excuse for advertizing.
People, more than ever,will believe what they are told by a media that will be consolidated and if not controlled by governments, will be under the thumbs of entertainment corporations. The Internet, which is becoming a key player in the downfall of the nation state, will be the last to fall to government control simply because its useful now to governments by virtue of the information overload it provides.
With countless websites of diverse views and with varying content, which do read or view and which do you believe? Keeping people divided and polarized will be crucial in maintaining order. The Internet does a good job at this. And, even if you are moved to complain, how will you do this without any contact information given in a world where anonymity will be standard practice. One might speculate, societies will seem to be running on auto pilot, with government's only visibility being public service forces such as the police.
Once the world is united it will be the police who will be in charge of controlling the Internet and open dissent ...something that will be frowned upon in the ideal All Earth Corp. That's because dissent will be un PC in in a time when everyone will know his or her place. So, while the spice must flow freely, the free flow of information will cease.
And the question remains: Is this a right or left wing dictatorship? Oh, and is it inevitable?