Monday, 1 August 2011

We are sheep led astray?

"Democracy's a very fragile thing. You have to take care of democracy. As soon as you stop being responsible to it and allow it to turn into scare tactics, it's no longer democracy, is it? It's something else. It may be an inch away from totalitarianism."
Sam Shepard

"Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda."
Hannah Arendt - The Origins of Totalitarianism

It becomes apparent that both statements are true where the direction our society is being guided and the methods being employed to achieve that 'guidance' are concerned. The British people have refused or seem unwilling, for one reason or another, to care about democracy; have allowed themselves to be coerced by the scare tactics of our politicians and their followers in the world of bureaucracy; and have succumbed to political and social propaganda.

We learn from Wikipedia that totalitarianism is:
"a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible. Totalitarian regimes stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror."
Comparing that definition to our country today, the Lib/Lab/Con is a political system that would appear to know no limits to its authority, does strive to regulate every aspect of our lives, does disseminate propaganda through a compliant media, the Lib/Lab/Con are, in fact, a single party - they only differ on how their similar policies can be put into effecct - marked by personality cultism, insistence on control of the economy, and practise regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance in the name of prevention of terrorism and who do use terror, or the threat of terror, to achieve their aims.

To achieve mass surveillance of the population political leaders and their bureaucratic cohorts need a compliant and controlled police, coupled with an army of 'informers' from amongst the population. That this is happening is demonstrated by this article in the Guardian, which writes about an 'appeal' issued by the Metropolitan Police about anarchists, stating that anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. Any information relating to anarchists should be reported to your local police. My own views on the state are well known and all it would take is one person to overhear what no doubt the authorities would consider a form of anarchist condemnation to report me and that would no doubt result in a 4am 'alarm call'.

Richard North, EUReferendum, has commented on the story of the Welsh pub landlady fined £300 for using alternative no-smoking signs in her establishment whilst waiting for the 'officially approved ones to arrive; and comments on the stupidity of those bureaucrats and the magistrate involved. Whilst being a great admirer of Richard North for his robust and common sense viewpoints on just about any topic; I do have to take issue with him about his use of the word 'stupidity', when it would appear that there is a common purpose thread running through all the organisations and bodies that affect our lives, one that has but one aim - total control through either coercion or propaganda.

On the 'coercion angle' a further example surfaces with this story in the Mail, wherein it is reported that the police will now be fingerprinting, if they so wish, everyone they stop in the street. We are also told that these fingerprints will not be retained on file - and where have we heard similar before? How long before we reach the stage where we are stopped with the request: "Papers?" - and yes, there won't be any 'please'.

The fact we are 'scared' of our police, that we are 'scared' of the unforeseen 'knock on the door'; that to question climate change 'science' means you are considered an 'eco-warrior', or worse, an idiot; that we are conditioned to take exercise to offset obeisity; couple with a multitude of other 'nudges', ones that eventually morph into 'diktats', reminds me of how things used to be - a situation best illustrated by the content of an email I received a few days ago on the subject of 'The Green Thing'.

"In the line at the supermarket, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags, or purchase one of the store's 'environmentally friendly bags' because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." The checkout girl responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in it's day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go half a mile.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the Surrey. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums and dads into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. We didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
It is undeniable that through time there have been the most wonderful inventions that have made our lives easier, more enjoyable and provided us 'luxuries' undreamed of by our forebears. Yet can one reader point to any of these 'improvements' that has not been achieved by either coercion or propaganda, in one form or another? Even our ability to think whether to embrace the benefits of each and every 'improvement' in our lives has been eroded by either coercion or propaganda.

Think about it - and think about where the blame should lie for our current state of affairs...........


microdave said...

"Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house"

Not wishing to pour scorn on the perfectly valid points made in the story, but I couldn't help thinking of this:

Hope you don't mind.....

WitteringsfromWitney said...

md: Why should I mind? Whilst funny to a certain extent and only partly relevant to the post, I take your point.........