by Ray Jason
In my previous essay I tried to convince you that two of the great masterpieces of 20th Century literature have been disturbingly accurate in predicting the Human Trajectory. In George Orwell’s iconic 1984, he argued that humankind faces a totalitarian future where every individual is controlled and monitored by the State. “Submit or die” might be the most accurate way to describe his dark vision. Aldous Huxley, in his prophetic BRAVE NEW WORLD, suggested that the State would dominate the masses not through force and surveillance, but by distracting them so insidiously that they do not even notice their enslavement. A catchphrase for this approach might be “Slavery is FUN!”
Many political observers contend that the increasing domination by the State is furthered by using either the Orwell or the Huxley approach. But I contend that the people in charge, who I call The Malignant Overlords, are using BOTH strategies. I also believe that the U.S.A. is the main driving force in this descent into tyranny. In my earlier essay I proposed that there are two coastal corridors where the majority of this agenda is implemented. I dubbed the eastern branch ORWELLIA and the western section HUXLANDIA. Since the first essay exposed the evils of ORWELLIA, this one will concentrate on the darkness that hides behind the smiley-face facade of HUXLANDIA.
The dominant power nodes of HUXLANDIA are Silicon Valley - just south of San Francisco - and Hollywood – just south of reality. The Valley, as the Millennials call it, is hugely responsible for the inflation of the techno-utopian-narcissistic bubble which has engulfed most of Planet Earth. Here you can find the inter-galactic headquarters of Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and most of the other gigantic cyber players.
Also lurking in the same neighborhood is the Singularity University, which has adopted as its logo an earth-toned rip-off of the comic book Super Man symbol. This is fitting, since they are trying to merge Man and Machine. However, an updated Frankenstein logo might be more appropriate.
In BRAVE NEW WORLD the citizens are so thoroughly indoctrinated that they no longer question anything – indeed they have even lost the capacity to question anything. I spent about a month in the Silicon Valley region a year ago and was dumbfounded by how everyone was embracing various technologies without examining the consequences of them.
For example, Smart Phone addicts almost never question whether their iPhones actually foster human separation instead of enhanced connectivity. For example, if I got lost while driving, I’d rather ask the kid in the 7/11 for directions rather than get them from “Siri” who sounds like she is transmitting from the dark side of Uranus. Other questions that seem to escape these devotees of The Cloud include:
· Could these electronic waves sloshing through my head be harming me or “stupidizing” me?
· Should the NSA know who I am talking to and what I am saying and where I am geo-located?
· How insane is it that people have to hire psychologists in order to prepare themselves for a “two day cyber-fast?”
· Is it possible to “go outside” without doing so in order to geo-locate Pokemon?
· Could it be that heroin junkies are actually more introspective about the downside of their “fix” than I iEverything junkies?
Aside from these unexamined issues, there is also the problem of the trend-line. Initially, we sat in front of these machines and interacted with them. In the next stage, devotees started wearing them on their bodies. But The Malignant Overlords want these machines miniaturized and INSIDE our bodies.
Don’t forget that these are the same rulers who foment perpetual war and who are delighted by the chasm between the rich and the poor. They are also blissfully cavalier about unlimited growth and un-sustainability. And they are obscene cyber-voyeurs who get aroused by having even better means of spying on us? Maybe this is why I am reluctant to let these people micro-chip me and sprinkle me with “Smart Dust?”
Unfortunately, the superficiality of modern Western culture almost forbids us from cautiously evaluating “the hot new thing.” We sheepishly let the public relations people at the corporations blind us with razzle-dazzle. Watch a video of a new iPhone release, and decide for yourself whether it looks like a cult ritual.
I believe that pondering the consequences of these techno-baubles is extremely important. We never seem to ask the most basic questions. For example, imagine yourself in a room with the design team of a self-driving car. Here are three questions that will never get raised:
· Is it natural?
· Is it valuable?
· Is it absurd?
Our society has almost completely discarded Nature - and embraced the Artificial. That’s because the artificial is man-made, and in our suicidal pride, we believe that we are the Masters of the Planet. Admittedly, we have made the planet better for humans. But in doing so, we are steadily destroying the very biosphere that supports us. So, “is it natural?” is a very important question.
“Is it valuable?” only refers to how enormous might the profits be for the corporation and shareholders. If you dare to ask whether it is valuable to society, you will be demoted from the Design Team to the Shredder Room Team.
IMHO “is it absurd?” should have been the very first question raised when self-driving cars were initially conceived. Survey 100 people and ask how many of them ever woke up one morning and said, “Wow, wouldn’t Earth be a far better planet if we had self-driving cars?” ZERO – that’s how many! And yet I personally encountered two of these Google cars meandering around the streets of Palo Alto.
These never-asked questions are vital to our future. By focusing so much time, money and brain power on un-natural, over-valued and absurd projects, we are ignoring the truly important needs of humankind. Instead of trying to merge people with computers and rather than colonize Mars, we should solve the enormous problems that plague our own world. Here’s what I would prioritize:
· Nobody should EVER go to sleep hungry on this planet, which is blessed with so many natural riches.
· We should steadily and humanely decrease our population until we again reach carrying capacity.
· Billions – yes, billions – of people should not suffer through their entire lives without ever drinking clean, delicious water.
· We should silence forever the drums of WAR.
· Our military budgets should be dedicated instead to renewing the planet’s vital systems - her air, water, forests and topsoil.
Solve these problems - and then we can talk about self-driving cars.
The reason that The Malignant Overlords are delighted by these techno-toys is because they are DISTRACTIONS. They keep people from focusing on real issues like the ones I just enumerated. The M.O.s cherish the status quo because it drenches them in wealth and power. They don’t want to change it and they don’t want people to realize that the system is great for the few and dreadful for the many.
And speaking of distractions, it’s time to scrutinize the southern sector of HUXLANDIA. Hollywood is Ground Zero for the film industry. Movies are extraordinarily powerful influences on the whole planet. They are the dominant shapers of international popular culture.
Do they focus on the injustices and atrocities that are so prevalent everywhere? Of course not - THEY DISTRACT US FROM THESE REALITIES. The Big Screen bombards us with preposterous superheroes, straight out of comic books. They depict the human condition in simple black and white terms whereby the Good Guys have to blow up the Bad Guys. There is no subtlety, no nuance, and no depiction of the actual gray zone reality of human interactions. But this good versus evil bull dung is perfect for the divide and conquer game plan of our Rulers.
The Southern sector of HUXLANDIA is also home to major portions of the television and music industries. But don’t get me started on the insipid values that these cultural Leviathans reinforce……..
Hopefully, this cautionary message has convinced you that our world is evolving in the dire fashion that was foreseen by Orwell and Huxley. The major objectives of the rulers in those books are steadily being implemented in our everyday lives. The powerful have become more powerful. An immense and almost inescapable surveillance grid has been installed. And we are drowning in slick, high-tech distractions that keep us from noticing our diminishing freedom and individuality.
When Fate blesses us with such genuine prophets, we should not ignore their messages.