Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spinning Fairy Tales for Fun and Profit

Dear George,

Power is all about generating nonsense for public consumption. In order to stay powerful, the powerful must create Alice in Wonderland fairy tales to keep the peasants from storming the castle. (Power has zero tolerance for demonstrations of discontent.)

It is, however, misleading to speak of this nonsense as a “fairy tale”. It is much more involved than that. What is needed is a complex narrative that is more than a simple press release or a sound bite. It must be a narrative chewed over by think tanks and academics, about which books are written, scholarly articles published and policies generated.

Once this narrative has been finalized, the trickle down begins as articles appear in newspapers and magazines, and cable pundits hold forth on the tube. Slowly, the narrative seeps into the public consciousness until what began as a conceptual droplet grows into a raging torrent.

A narrative succeeds when the public is unable to conceive of an alternative to it.

The gold standard for a successful narrative is, of course, the Soviet Union. Even before World War II had drawn to an end, our leading intellectuals were making plans to paint the Soviet Union as a hotbed of godless Communism whose sole ambition was to bury democratic capitalism.

It was an historical hoot, and one of the greatest scams ever perpetuated on the American public.

The truth is that the Soviet Union was not a Communist state; it was a post-capitalist corporate state, just like us. The only difference was that they had a single multinational that was run by the state, where we have a handful of multinationals that own the state. The Soviets didn’t collapse because our brand of pseudo-capitalism was so much better than theirs. It collapsed because it never built a viable consumer base and spent too much money on armaments and missiles. We are collapsing because we built too massive a consumer base and are spending too much on armaments.

All corporate states are, by nature, authoritarian while claiming to be democratic. The Soviets exercised naked power, while we drape our power in the white robe of virtue. Both need a compliant media to dance their dance and an apathetic public too zoned out to notice the authoritarian vice that is slowly crushing them. Dissent is reduced to attending rock concerts and making fashion statements.

Bloat is the identifying characteristic of the corporate state. It needs unbridled growth just as a vampire needs the blood of the innocent to survive. Bloat is what finally brings it down as it collapses under its own weight.

Tell me George, do you hear those corporate rafters starting to groan under the strain?

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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