Sleepers awake!

(Tim: This from John Dvorak, nicely complementing E. Michael Jones' Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation & Political Control demonstrating the utility of pornography to keep citizens' docile. And believers? If we're drinking the grace patter tweeted by our Reformed luminaries--e.g. here and here--we're likely as fast asleep as the rest of them. How much more helpful the Gospels and Epistles would be if they were that short and graceful.)

'The Internet is now the opiate of the masses, replacing religion. People are riveted to their Facebook page. Do you really think that they can be made to "take up arms" as a flash mob to overthrow the government? Any government?

The Chinese recent action tells me that China's leadership doesn't get it, at all. This is ironic, because the Chinese culture was once forced into opium addiction, but they don't realize that this is a similar situation.

If they understood the opiate mechanism, they'd let the Internet flourish uncensored. It would quickly sedate the public into somnambulance. Cutting it off is like cutting off a supply of drugs, which angers the addicted and could cause a revolt...

In fact, I suggest that cutting off of the net in Egypt caused the actual revolt, as addicts to phone service and the network went berserk, needing their fix. The best bet is to let the information flow so people are stuck at their terminals soaking it all in and making derisive tweets, thinking that does any good. Note to China: people cannot kill you if they are sitting at home in front of a terminal.

Anyway, readers, go back to your Facebook homepage and see what your friends are saying.

Comments

Neil Postman said it best:

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions". In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

"Anyway, readers, go back to your Facebook homepage and see what your friends are saying."

Yessss......masssster.......

Oops, don't have a facebook page. I guess I'll have to start smoking opium, then.

Say what? You think I'm missing the point? Why? :^)

Bike Bubba,

No need to worry abut DEA knocking on your door - Absinthe is now legal in this country . . .

Now Kamilla, absinthe is supposed to promote "lucid" inebriation......

....whatever on earth THAT one means. :^)

Kamilla,

Absinthe sold in America is thujone-free(practically, not entirely, but there's hardly any in there) so it can't give you the loopy effects that it has supposedly had on some people. (even then, it's probably not the thujone that makes you loopy, but the fact that absinthe is has a ridiculously high alcohol content. It's still totally yummy and wonderful though.)

Bringing things back to the original topic, I really like what Michael said about Orwell vs. Huxley; the one would burn the books, the other would make it (through strong liquor like absinthe) implausible that someone would read one and take it seriously.

It reminds me of Arius, whose theology might be summed up as "don't believe what the Bible actually says, let's process it through the Greek philosophers say--and perhaps with a hefty bowl of wine to boot". There are so many who would deprive us of the joy and truth we can enjoy because we're led astray to our lusts.

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