Thursday, May 25, 2023

#145 / Let's Talk About Totalitarian Dystopia


That is Caitlin Johnstone, pictured.  One of her recent postings claims that "The Totalitarian Dystopia Is Already Here." Here is an explanation, from the column I have linked:

People imagine totalitarian dystopia as some dark threat looming in the future because they don’t understand how profoundly unfree we already are right now. They think we’re free because we can choose what to buy at the supermarket and call the president “Brandon,” but we’re not. They imagine that our rulers have some grand conspiracy to create a dystopia where they can force us all to do as they wish, not realizing that we’re already in a dystopia where we are doing exactly as they wish. It really can’t be improved upon. They’re just locking it in.
Seriously, think about it: what could the rulers of western society possibly extract from us that they’re not already getting? There’s no meaningful political opposition, no antiwar movement, no anti-capitalist movement, very little critical thought — they’ve got total control. Everything we do in this dystopia is designed to funnel profit into the coffers of the oligarchs and power into the hands of the imperialists, and all efforts to resist and change these funneling systems have been successfully quashed by mass-scale psychological manipulation.
This totalitarian dystopia looks like freedom because they let us more or less do what we want, while controlling what it is that we want to do (emphasis added).
Now, I think Johnstone is right that our current public policies pretty much reflect the interests of the "oligarchs," the large corporations and wealthy individuals that have such a disproportionate impact on how our politics, economics, and society operate. I absolutely agree that we need a politics that advances an antiwar agenda, and that puts a target on the back of racial and economic inequality. 
My reaction to our politics, however, is not to tell everyone that "our rulers" have "total and complete control." I don't think that is very motivating. In fact, I think it is profoundly discouraging. If anyone were to believe Johnstone's statements to the effect that we are under the "total and complete control" of an oligarchy, then we might as well just give up, right?
Instead of telling people that "our rulers" are in control, I prefer to remind everyone that we have a system of government that will permit ordinary people to "rule" themselves. "Self-government," however, only works for "the governed," when "the governed" get involved themselves. 
I would like to hope that everyone can see that "self-government" is, at least "theoretically," possible. Johnstone seems to say it's not. I say, let's take back control of the country ourselves - instead of telling ourselves that we can't do that. 
Taking control over our own affairs is actually what "self-government" is all about. Nobody else is going to do it for us, so we need to reallocate the way we spend our time - and a lot of us have to start making "self-government" our highest priority. If we were to do that - if even 15% of us were to do that - then I am convinced that we could actually achieve the kind of world we want. 

 To Subscribe Just Click This Link

Image Credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!