The agenda of public control in America
You think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still f*cking peasants as far as I can see.
- John Lennon
I'm writing this because I received this message insinuating that (I'm not going to say from whom) that the point of the pandemic and/ or the vaccine was to "control" us. The proceeding, then, is an investigation of the notion of "control" in some depth -- one which will reveal that "control" appears rather problematic as an explanation either of the pandemic or of the vaccine. A good investigation starts with the basics, and then proceeds forward to examine the matter at hand, and so this investigation will do as much.
The introductory text of any college-level course on "control" (in the context of our present, rather anomalous, era of history), or at least the introductory text for English-speaking people living in the core nations, would have to be Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World, written in 1931 and published in 1932. If you've read this novel before reading this diary, you're more likely to understand this diary than the rest of the reading public.
Brave New World, the novel, depicted, from the perspective of the society of ninety years ago, a fictional future society in which human beings were controlled to the maximum extent that they possibly could be. The concept for it, as Huxley himself related, began with a parody of H. G. Wells' (1923) utopian novel Men Like Gods, and then developed into something else -- but that that something else became a reflection upon America -- a place where everyone imagines her- or himself to be "free" but where, of all the countries in the world, everyone is the most thoroughly controlled.
Brave New World, then, is a novel about control. A fictional extremely controlled society is imagined in this novel as a parody of a controlled society, and the controlled society was the America of 1931 -- but even more so it's our American society, here and now. This parody is done in much the way in which the fantastic societies depicted in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels served as parodies of the societies in which Swift actually lived. (Gulliver's Travels used to be a kids' book back when kids read books.)
Everyone in the imagined society of Brave New World played stupid games like "Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy" and spent their lives being entertained. The human race in Huxley's future was divided into a caste system: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons -- determined by oxygen deprivation to the individual's brain before birth in the fetus state. Huxley's caste system has to be viewed as a smack-in-the-face to American society, which imagined (and imagines) that it is clever and classless and free. And, at the top of the hierarchy of Huxley's Brave New World? The "Controllers." That was the actual name he gave them.
The residents of Huxley's Brave New World were manufactured in test tubes instead of being born because one of the Controllers hated his mommy. They were controlled from birth to death through education, propaganda, hypnosis, and drugs. Drugs in the Brave New World were imagined as having been refined into a drug called "soma" -- a drug which in Huxley's fiction had all of the good side effects and none of the bad side effects of the other drugs. All of this is, as said above, in a manner of parody through exaggeration in the style of Jonathan Swift. Here and today we are trained to go through life repeating our parents' neuroses while in education we learn to memorize and regurgitate chunks of information so we can get grades, credits, and degrees. We develop into, to semi-quote the composer Frank Zappa, "loyal plastic robots for a world that doesn't care," much in the way in which the residents of the Brave New World are such things. I'm sure the NSA has us surveilled 24/7/365 anyway, thanks to the USA PATRIOT Act, so that the shadow government can know about it if we do something we aren't free to do.
Today, it must be observed, we live in an Aldous Huxley Brave New World, though with different parameters than the distant future imagined by Huxley in 1931. We are controlled by:
- Money. This was the obsession of a 19th century philosopher whom it is useless to mention because Americans won't read his stuff anyway. It's also one of the main omissions of Brave New World, as the motivation of Huxley's Controllers was not money but rather that they wanted a society of docile servants who would not cause any trouble and who would therefore be easy to govern. Our present-day society's controllers, however, are motivated mainly by money. And, of course, they are motivated by that which money can buy: property.
Back in the day, money was based on gold; now it's based on faith in the hegemonic role of the US government in the world. The social pretense, the locus of control, is that money can buy anything and everything. This social pretense allows Congress, through the Federal Reserve, to hand large piles of cash to the alteady-rich, so they can be controllers and not controlled.
Every month, you must use money to pay taxes, rents, mortgages, and buy ordinary necessities, and you must solicit money from those who are willing to pay for your "services." You must offer "services" which are "billable," else you will not survive as an American, and you must be able to do so for the whole of your adult life (up to the point at which you will maybe be able to afford to retire, or maybe not.) In saying this, I wish to offer a "good luck" to the hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans who must rely upon whatever charity or government "temporary assistance to needy families" is available at any particular place or time, with requirements they are or aren't able to meet. Oh, and, given whatever plight you face in the world of America today, your money might not save you anyway.
- War. Of those trillions of dollars printed up or encoded since the beginning of the era of dollar hegemony some time in the Seventies, about half of those dollars went to US preparations for war. War controls the youth of America through the poverty draft, which makes the military the employer of last resort. War makes the rich richer -- this enrichment of the rich, as Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti pointed out a month ago, was the main reason the US stayed in Afghanistan despite knowing a very long time ago that it wasn't going to win whatever war it was fighting there.
- Advertising. The primary text for the discussion of advertising as an agency of control is Leiss, Kline, and Jhally's Social Communication in Advertising. Early editions in this book explained quite baldly how advertising continually reinvents popular culture as consumer subcultures, and thus in present-day society "personality" and "identity" are significantly products of advertising. Later editions of this book try to frame the situation as being one in which the consumer is more in charge -- but none of such readings are of any consequence. Advertising does not get you to buy a particular name-brand product so much as it positions you as a consumer of such products.
- Politics. The American system is especially tight as regards political control. If your vote is to matter, and you are voting for any candidate for an office more prominent than that of city council, you must vote for candidates belonging to either of two parties, both of which (given the realities of climate change and their habitual inaction as regards those realities) are in essence death cults. Our eyes and ears on politics, moreover, are themselves controlled by --
- The mass media. If you are an American, your mass media is controlled by a tiny few corporations, all of which are in tow to the two major political parties and to what I have been calling coalition politics in America today. The mass media, at any rate, has a "wandering eye" which determines from month to month what the mass public thinks is or isn't important politically. Please read Mark Pedelty's War Stories for elaboration on this last point.
- Spectator sports. This stuff is like surplus patriotism -- if you aren't satisfied by waving an American flag outside of your house, you can wave a flag which displays the symbols and insignia of the Denver Broncos or whomever. Or you can buy tickets to see the sporting events and cheer your team on. It's also surplus mass media, for whom sports is "news" -- in fact, sports is the most accurate news most mass media will deliver. (Noam Chomsky once made this observation.)
In rooting for a sports team, you are cheering on nothing of importance, as they are all in collusion through the leagues -- but this fact will not change the loudness of your voice or the ecstasy you feel when your team wins a game. You are, in short, being controlled.
- Our pasts. This one is related to money. The ability to do anything in America today is related to one's ability to turn one's past record of having done things into an ability to convince a prospective employer to allow one to do things for money. The primary document one carries to validate one's past is called the "curriculum vitae" -- the "course of one's life" in Latin -- you spend your life "doing things" for money so that you can use that past to continue doing things for money.
- The cops. Don't piss them off.
So this is the fly in the ointment of the "control" theories of COVID-19 and its attendant corporate vaccines. It's not as if we were otherwise totally free before the pandemic and so now this disease and its developed-on-the-fly vaccines have been invented and spread around the world so as to control us. We aren't totally free, in fact we aren't really free at all in any way beyond the circumscribed notion of "choice" (from menus we are unfree to choose), and we never were free. We're all being controlled. Americans think too much of "choice." "Choice," after all, was how the ACA was sold to us -- you can "choose" your insurance provider just like you could "choose" your doctor, and so in that way you were coerced into owning whatever raw deal you supposedly "chose." "Choice," then, is how Americans are coerced into loving their collective servitude.
What would the controllers of our society want with any of this anyway? They're already dealing with a virus which has been killing off a few hundred thousand useful idiots and some hundreds of thousands of innocent bystanders here and there while leaving the vast bulk of the population alive, interrupting events right and left by which, in normal times, the public would otherwise be controlled. What do you think it did for "control" that the major sports leagues had to play all of their games last season in stadiums emptied of fans? "Control" was thousands of spectators in stands cheering or booing depending on whether or not their teams were scoring. Why would you want revolution when your team's victory was (or is) just around the corner?
And so now they've got vaccines which are of limited effectiveness and which half the public rejects even though said vaccines are being offered for free. How is that "control"? It sounds like chaos to me. They had "control" already. Omigod the vaccine is going to kill us all! This we are told daily on Facebook. Except, of course, that the elites themselves are vaccinated. Now why would the vaccine kill us if it's going to kill them too?
Okay, I'm finished. You may now go back to feeling you are free, and that your freedom is so importantly constituted by the choices you so importantly make, except of course when your evil governor asks you to wear a mask when you go into an enclosed public space.