Our country is no longer controlled by, and for, We the People, but instead by, and on behalf of, international banking and multinational corporate interests. While the gradual, almost imperceptible takeover of our government by this corporate fascism has been evolving by design for many decades, it is a coup d'etat nonetheless and has been disastrous for the vast majority of Americans. This blog is an exploration and discussion of how this occurred, and the damage it has done to our democratic processes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Unpleasant Truths

The following essay really needs no introduction, simply because Chris Hedges rarely, if ever, requires an introduction. His writing, like that of Joe Bageant, is always on the side of reality and veracity. Brave New World author Aldous Huxley's biologist grandfather, Thomas H. Huxley, observed, "veracity is the heart of morality". Truth can only be hidden and denied for so long before time and truth seekers reveal its oft times ugly scars and aftermath, yet they search for the truth despite the consequences. Why? Because it's their moral imperative to do so. Read Mr. Hedges' latest. It's really powerful; astute, and full of so much unwelcome truth -- yet the truth it is.
By Chris Hedges

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. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second.

We have been gradually disempowered by a corporate state that, as Huxley foresaw, seduced and manipulated us through sensual gratification, cheap mass-produced goods, boundless credit, political theater and amusement. While we were entertained, the regulations that once kept predatory corporate power in check were dismantled, the laws that once protected us were rewritten and we were impoverished. Now that credit is drying up, good jobs for the working class are gone forever and mass-produced goods are unaffordable, we find ourselves transported from “Brave New World” to “1984.” The state, crippled by massive deficits, endless war and corporate malfeasance, is sliding toward bankruptcy. It is time for Big Brother to take over from Huxley’s feelies, the orgy-porgy and the centrifugal bumble-puppy. We are moving from a society where we are skillfully manipulated by lies and illusions to one where we are overtly controlled. 

Orwell warned of a world where books were banned. Huxley warned of a world where no one wanted to read books. Orwell warned of a state of permanent war and fear. Huxley warned of a culture diverted by mindless pleasure. Orwell warned of a state where every conversation and thought was monitored and dissent was brutally punished. Huxley warned of a state where a population, preoccupied by trivia and gossip, no longer cared about truth or information. Orwell saw us frightened into submission. Huxley saw us seduced into submission. But Huxley, we are discovering, was merely the prelude to Orwell. Huxley understood the process by which we would be complicit in our own enslavement. Orwell understood the enslavement. Now that the corporate coup is over, we stand naked and defenseless. We are beginning to understand, as Karl Marx knew, that unfettered and unregulated capitalism is a brutal and revolutionary force that exploits human beings and the natural world until exhaustion or collapse. 

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake,” Orwell wrote in “1984.”  “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term “inverted totalitarianism” in his book “Democracy Incorporated” to describe our political system. It is a term that would make sense to Huxley. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise and abundance of a consumer society. Political participation and civil liberties are gradually surrendered. The corporation state, hiding behind the smokescreen of the public relations industry, the entertainment industry and the tawdry materialism of a consumer society, devours us from the inside out. It owes no allegiance to us or the nation. It feasts upon our carcass.
Read the entire article at Truthdig.


MrMDLeather said...

GREAT SITE! As a Union member I understand how the bosses are running this government and ALL the associated players. This world is actually the HELL we are taught about - just follow the money to see who's in charge. (And I love flying with Sharon!)

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Mr. Leather. Yup, he who owns the gold makes the rules. You're so right.

The recent Chinese-Russian agreement to abandon the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency in its trade with each other, and other untold events by the corporate mainstream media, assure the inevitability of the dollar's continued slide this coming year. If you think the TARP give-away was outrageous, it was only pocket-change compared to what went out the back door through the Fed. I'm researching this more thoroughly and plan to post something within the next few days.

Thanks again for your comment.

Mary Mayhem said...

Awesome post! I read both 1984 and Brave New World one summer between the 6th and 7th grades (a pretty damn long time ago) because I had just moved from Louisiana to Texas and had no friends. These gems quickly became my two favorite books and contributed to much of my progressive philosophy. Since reading them and a few other similar novels, I have always feared a dystopian future, and even back then, I was starting to recognize certain Huxley-like elements in our society already take place, especially around the late 90's to early 2000's with the huge IT boom. This country has been raped by the shrewd sirens and harpies consumerism and materialsim. I don't want to be a Prole.