“Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.”
The noose is dangling gently around our necks. Every day, they cinch it tighter. By the time we realize it’s strangling us, it will be too late.
Those who – gradually and gleefully – sacrifice their freedoms, their autonomy, their individuality, their livelihoods, and their relationships on the altar of the “common good” have forgotten this is the pattern followed by every totalitarian regime in history.
Everyone wonders how ordinary Germans could have been manipulated to participate or stand dumbstruck while their government was transformed into a genocidal juggernaut. This is how. Read Sebastian Haffner’s Defying Hitler memoir to see how this can happen anywhere—including here.
Everyone wonders how Russians could have permitted and even zealously reported fellow citizens for imprisonment and execution under Article 58, the penal code invented to incarcerate anyone who dared express the slightest whisper of noncompliance under Stalin’s homicidal state. This is how. Read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s meticulously documented The Gulag Archipelago to witness this progression of authoritarian lunacy.
Everyone wonders how Hutus could have suddenly started axing their Tutsi neighbors to death after being inundated with waves of anti-Tutsi propaganda from Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines. Read Philip Gourevitch’s We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda.
The list goes on. And on. And on. From Machiavelli’s The Prince to Étienne de la Boetie’s The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude to Edward Herman’s and Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent (and accompanying documentary) to BBC’s The Century of the Self, mechanisms of mass control have been chronicled for millennia.
George Orwell wrote,
As far as the mass of the people go, the extraordinary swings of opinion which occur nowadays, the emotions which can be turned on and off like a tap, are the result of newspaper and radio hypnosis.”
Can you imagine what master propagandist Edward Bernays would have done with access to today’s mainstream media conglomerate combined with the global surveillance infrastructure of Big Tech? And you really think that’s not happening now—with another century of psychological, neurological, and technological research under their belts?
The present ability to curate reality and coerce obedience is unprecedented, far beyond what Orwell envisioned in 1984, Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, Huxley in Brave New World, and Burgess in A Clockwork Orange.
A textbook example of Problem Reaction Solution, the current tsunami of worldwide hysteria is the latest and potentially most threatening example of mass control in history.