Governments across the world seem to be gaining more control over their populations and only a few seem to be bothered by the very obvious constraints on personal freedoms.
Why is it that people accept control so readily? Why are we so compliant?
The answer might be that political and social changes are discursive. We don’t see them coming. But, how does one explain the blatant curtailment of assumed and inalienable rights?
Maybe those rights were never there in the first place? Perhaps, we as the people, have just been duped. What we see, is only what we want to believe.
Nothing in politics ever happens by chance. There is always a science behind every decision and history has shown just how easy it is for science to control the masses. There are techniques and text books galore on how to convince people that something bad might actually be good for them. Reverse psychology works well, propaganda is even better. If we want answers we must look to the science. Science changes human perspectives.
There are three ways to seduce the masses; people are much easier to control when they feel cared for. That is, when the burden of individual responsibility is lifted. In this sense slavery may not be seen as an adverse state of affairs. People can be happy slaves. Populations are also easily controlled when they are living in fear. In addition, people are easily shaped when they are in communities of like-mindedness. Individuality is the enemy of the state.
None of these techniques are new Aldous Huxley’s classic dystopian novel, Brave New World, detailed the criteria for oppression by the state almost 90 years ago, prior to World War II; little has changed.
We are living in a technocratic world and for the most part people are loving it. The truth is we don’t see the wood for the trees. Our minds are cluttered with everyday events and material rewards for good behaviour.
The scientific tale of mental obliteration is a global phenomenon.
But, wait, we are human beings, we have minds of our own don’t we? What happened to evolution?
Let’s go back to those crucial states of emotion, fear, like-mindedness and the need for care (community). All very normal conditions, but they are also easy targets for manipulation.
Rich or poor, life has always been a struggle to survive. It has got harder because the problems are not so simple. We are a people suffering mass anxieties and they are escalating, which gives science, and in particular the pharmaceutical companies, a great opportunity to seize power over the individual.
Let’s start with fear. The world is a dangerous place, made more visible by the media. There is terrorism across the Earth, Climate Chane is upon us and although we may not feel the impacts of these events directly, they resonate with past memories. In fear we need protection (care). We give up our liberties to be protected. Yet, are we really protected? The authority that protects is also that which causes us fear.
In extreme cases governments and dictators have no qualm’s about shooting their own people, so we must comply. The masses then become, not just compliant, they believe they are on the right side, regardless of any lapses in morality or justice.
Huxley had a vision of this hell and wrote about it. Brave New World was a novel that predicted that one day we would all wake-up to a fascist dictator running our lives. Huxley knew this would happen because he witnessed the collaboration between the world’s governments and the wealthy. Fear, care and like-mindedness is how the rich made their money and controlled the masses, so governments did the same. Power escalates by controlling the masses.
The passion for power is built into the human psyche and it equates with the struggle for survival. But, the powerful have another discursive trick up their sleeve, they know that they can change the name of power discursively and/or replace it with a seemingly different system, such as democracy, which is not equality for all, as many people assume. Rather, democracy is majority rule (like-mindedness).
Democracy sets the benchmark against which power can be measured without actually having to reveal the source of the power. Documents, are a tool of democracy, they also serve to hide the source of power.
Huxley tells us that, the British and American Constitution excepted devices for limiting power, and all these devices are extremely efficient instruments for the imposition of power by small groups over larger masses. Legal documents turn the tables on the idea that there is power in numbers.
When all of the above fails, there are always the mind-altering pharmaceuticals. Legal or otherwise, drugs are the new potent form of slavery. Drugs can make people feel in control of situations. They offer a false sense of power.
Drugs can make people feel happy… for a while. Then the doses have to be increased for the drugs to be effective and eventually the recipient dies of organ failure or the fact that the drugs have magnified the original problem to such a high degree that life can no long be confronted… it is simply not worth living.
In the 1960s there was a sexual revolution that changed human behaviour. The contraceptive pill made men and women feel they had sexual freedom with no consequences. The freedom added a level of happiness. The pharmaceutical companies learned from this experiment and began making happy pills. The recipient could be happy without being responsible.
Now these mind-altering drugs have accelerated in production and effectiveness and they are changing brains and causing a disruption in the general fabric of societies everywhere in the world.
How did we get to this stage of play?
In order to get to where we are today science has had to learn about the human thought processes and how to change them. Access to the subconscious by scientists and professional practitioners is now routine.
If you go to a psychologist thinking you will come our with a mind of your own, think again! You might come away less confused, but you will be cast in the mould of what is socially or politically acceptable.
This might not seem like a bad thing. Being different is no easy way to live. Those who are different are subject to peer group pressure or worse. Being different can be an emotional roller-coaster. At the extreme end, it can also land a person in prison or a mental institution.
The emotions are stronger than reason and if any government wants to influence the masses, then it will do it through the channels of emotion aided by drugs and propaganda. This then becomes embedded into a culture and viewed as a natural and inevitable outcome of progress, or an individual life moving forward.
Huxley focused on forms of propaganda where the minds of the masses were hijacked and used for political means. Propaganda is very powerful. The brain operates on repetition, this is how we learn and how we remember. Emotional propaganda by-passes the rational elements of the human brain and excites the survival instincts. When this happens on mass it becomes a shared experience. Soon people begin to love their struggle because it doesn’t occur alone. No one is ever alone in their misery.