Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rugged Individualism and Social Control

My Dear Barack, 

In 63 days you will become the most powerful man in the world.  It is my hope that these letters will help make you the world’s biggest badass, because it takes a badass to run an empire.  Touchy-feely doesn’t cut it when you’re bombing wedding parties.  Being in power means never having to say, “I’m sorry.” 

So, let’s talk domestic.  In your leadership role, you will have many missions.  One of them will be the prevention, discouragement and, if necessary, suppression of mass movements.  They are dangerous and destabilizing.  The only movement the wise leader allows is the one that is flushed down the toilet. 

The civil rights and peace movements of the 60s shook the establishment to the core, and the last forty years have been devoted to cleaning up the mess those movements left in their wake. 

Fortunately, America is less predisposed to mass movements than other cultures.  This is thanks, in large part, to the great American Myth of the Rugged Individual.  It is a study in irony, for the more an person buys into this myth, the more susceptible he becomes to social control.  A belief in individualism is an effective antidote to the class and community solidarity that is necessary for an effective mass movement. 

The instrument that makes this atomized individualism possible is the screen, be it a movie, television or computer screen.  The quintessential icon of this atomization is the lone cowboy riding into the sunset after he has single handedly righted all wrongs.  Of course, just over the horizon are waiting his agent, his accountant, his business manager, his hair stylist, his wardrobe consultant, his press agent and his personal trainer.  

An atomized society is especially important as we enter the age of economic self-destruction.  The reason the Great Depression gave birth to the horrors of the New Deal was too many collectives.  The unions were strong, as were the Socialists and the Communists.  The public was spending too much time in meeting halls and not enough time in movie theaters.   

Thank God things are different.  The unions have been neutered and most homes have a screen of one kind or another in every room.  

So, continue to preach individualism and personal responsibility and you may rest assured that no movement will arise to sully your administration as it continues to serve America’s kleptocrats. 

Your admirer,

Belacqua Jones

  

1 comment:

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