by Kelley B. Vlahos, December 14, 2010
EXTRACT: British novelist Aldous Huxley was a social critic and futurist, who is best known for penning Brave New World, which, aside from being a nearly 80-year-old science fiction masterpiece, is both an allegory and prophecy for 21st Century western society.
Huxley’s finger was on the pulse of human freedom, and he warned us over 50 years ago that it was fading fast. In 1958, he predicted that when concentrated in the hands of the “Power Elite,” rapidly evolving “mass communication” like television would be a critical tool of social and political conformity. Technology is only the medium, and it is “neither good nor bad,” Huxley wrote, but when in the wrong hands it can be “among the most powerful weapons in the dictator’s armory.” Propaganda, the suppression of the truth, particularly in democratic societies, Huxley argued, would bring upon an age of human enslavement, where instead of yokes and chains, people in celebrated “free” societies like America would be bound by the soft restraints of ignorance, incuriousness, distraction and irrationality.
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EXTRACT: In his 1958 interview with Mike Wallace, Huxley explained his concept of velvet totalitarianism:
“’If you want to preserve your power indefinitely, you must get the consent of the ruled,’ he said. Those in power will do this primarily through ‘techniques of propaganda,’ by ‘bypassing the rational side of man and appealing to his subconscious and deeper emotions’ and ‘making him love his slavery.’”
I would submit that Mr. David Brooks loves his slavery, and furthermore, is the perfect “alpha caste” prototype from Brave New World – he uses the good brains God (Ford) gave him to reflexively sustain the status quo, barking and nipping like a loyal lapdog when something or someone threatens it. The same goes for the rest of the so-called journalistic elite who have taken to the Net and on the television to discredit Assange in recent days, either through bald ad hominem or discrediting his work as “not journalism,” or “criminal.” Proto-elite scrambling among the herd of pundits across the mediascape are the worst, feeling they have to be more red-faced and extravagant in their commentary in order to stand out.
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EXTRACT: They aren’t even necessarily things we shouldn’t be reading or have some level of access to. Officials and journalists of every ilk spent the better part of this decade bemoaning the “over classification” of government information before, and especially after, 9/11. When pouring over the reams of information for the 9/11 Commission, former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, who was chairing the commission said, “Three-quarters of what I read that was classified shouldn’t have been.”
Phi Beta Iota: Since starting this fight in 1988, the single most valuable body of knowledge we have acquired over those 22 years has been our little black book of great minds that speak the truth across all functional domains. Kelley Vlahos is married to Michael Vlahos, and they are two of the most nuanced thinkers we know. The era of secrecy and top-down micro-management for the benefit of the few is over. It will not be replaced by communism or anarchy, it will be replaced by moral communitarian capitalism and panarchy. It will focus–as we should have been focused since the end of World War II–on the needs and gifts of the five billion poor who can create infinite wealth, especially when we achieve infinite free energy by turning away from the corruption associated with the scarcity of fossil fuels, and instead tap into the free cosmic energy that Buckminster Fuller addressed so ably. INTEGRITY IS BACK IN VOGUE. That's a good thing.