Monday, December 28, 2009

Gentle Oppression

The twentieth century saw the birth pangs of a dynamic movement that was to reach its maturity in the twenty-first, and that was ideological totality and its child, social engineering.

The totalizing methods set into motion by Stalin and Hitler were crude affairs whose lack of sophistication and marketing acumen guaranteed their eventual self destruction.

Despite their clumsiness, these early experiments shared one thing in common with the more sophisticated ideological totality of the twenty-first century, and that was the belief that ideological implementation was possible only through the complete destruction of a nation, a community or an individual. Out of the rubble of the old would emerge a new nation, a new community or a new “man.”

The earlier attempts failed because they equated destruction with actual physical destruction. You shot all the dissidents and beat the survivors into submission. Out of this, they believed, they could build an individual who internalize the official state ideology.

You don’t rebuild the human psyche, you corrupt it. Instead of active support, the sole goal of the state should be to induce passive apathy. Once it turns citizens into consumers, the state is free to do as it pleases as long as it continues to entertain the proles. Put a prole in front of images dancing on a screen and community is doomed. This is one of the reasons the twenty-first century is devoid of alternative social movements. You have to leave the house to start one.

Parades, rallies and mass gymnastics are all passé when it come to the modern totalistic state. As long as celebs get the lion’s share of airtime and political coverage is focuses on fund raising at the expense of content there is little chance of the masses rebelling.

Corporatism is scaling heights undreamed of by the totalistic states of old because it understands that effective marketing is more important than propaganda. Noise and toys have replaced chains as instruments of control.