“Dominoes of the collective begin to fall. The whole rotting structure begins to collapse, a wing here and a wing there, and the robots open their eyes and turn off their cameras.”
Several years ago, after reading an article of mine, a producer approached me about writing a movie script. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted it to be a documentary or a feature. But he wanted it to be “heroic,” he said. And long.
We had discussions. I sent him notes. The tentative title was, “Cartels of the Mind.” Another possibility was “Free Mind.”
The producer eventually wobbled, then disappeared.
Here are some of those preliminary notes. I’ve recently added one or two comments.
If you can’t see the background of a crime, you aren’t seeing the crime, you’re seeing the sensational effects, that’s all.
There are people who want their own minds to look exactly like the world. They want their minds to look like photographs of the world. This is what they strive for. The idea that they could invent something is so terrifying they opt instead for the world as it is.
This is what amused the surrealists. They started turning things upside down and inside out. They were reacting to humans who had made themselves into robots. Into robot cameras.
The Surveillance State is a robot camera. It captures everything, based on the premise that what isn’t Normal is dangerous.
The cartels of the world become the cartels of the mind.
At the outbreak of World War 2, the Council on Foreign Relations began making plans for the post-war world.
The question it posed was this: could America exist as a self-sufficient nation, or would it have to go outside its borders for vital resources?
Predictably, the answer was: imperial empire.
The US would not only need to obtain natural resources abroad, it would have to embark on endless conquest to assure continued access.
The CFR, of course, wasn’t just some think tank. It was connected to the highest levels of US government, through the State Department. A front for Rockefeller interests, it actually stood above the government.
Behind all its machinations was the presumption that planned societies were the future of the planet. Not open societies.
Through wars, clandestine operations, legislation, treaties, manipulation of nations’ debt, control of banks and money supplies, countries could be turned into “managed units”—and then, with the erasure of borders, combined into regions.
Increasingly, the populations of countries would be regulated and directed and held in thrall to the State.
And the individual? He would go the way of other extinct species.
For several decades, the pseudo-discipline called “social science” had been turning out reams of studies and reports on tribes, societal groupings, and so-called classes of people. But no reports on The Individual.
Deeply embedded in the social sciences were psychological warfare specialists who, after World War 2, emerged with a new academic status and new field of study: mass communications.
Their objective? The broadcasting of messages that would, in accordance with political goals, provoke hostility or pacified acceptance in the masses.
Hostility channeled into support of new wars; acceptance of greater domestic government control.
Nowhere in these formulas was the individual protected. He was considered a wild card, a loose cannon, and he needed to be demeaned, made an outsider, and characterized as a criminal who opposed the needs of the collective.
Collective=robot minds welded into one mind.
As the years and decades passed, this notion of the collective and its requirements, in a “humane civilization,” expanded. Never mind that out of view, the rich were getting richer and poor were getting poorer. That fact was downplayed, and the cover story–”share and care”—took center stage.
On every level of society, people were urged to think of themselves as part of a greater group. The individual and his hopes, his unique dreams, his desires and energies, his determination and will power…all these were portrayed as relics of an unworkable and deluded past.
In many cases, lone pioneers who were innovating in directions that could, in fact, benefit all of humanity, were absorbed into the one body of the collective, heralded as humane…and then dumped on the side of the road with their inventions, and forgotten.
In the planned society, no one rises above the mass, except those men who run and operate and propagandize the mass.
In order to affect the illusion of individual success, as a kind of safety valve for the yearnings of millions of people, the cult of celebrity emerged. But even there, extraordinary tales of rise and then precipitous fall, glory and then humiliation, were and are presented as cautionary melodramas.
This could happen to you. You would be exposed. You would suffer the consequences. Let others take the fall. Keep your mind blank. Do nothing unusual. Shorten your attention span. Disable your own mental machinery. Then you’ll never be tempted to stand out from the mass.
The onrush of technocracy gears its wild promises to genetic manipulation, brain-machine interfaces, and other automatic downloads assuring “greater life.” No effort required. Plug in, and ascend to new heights.
Freedom? Independence? Old flickering dreams vicariously viewed on a screen.
Individual greatness, imagination, creative power? A sunken galleon loaded with treasure that, upon closer investigation, was never there to begin with.
The Plan is all that is important. The plan involves universal surveillance, in order to map the lives of billions of people, move by move, in order to design systems of control within which those billions live, day to day.
But the worst outcome of all is: the individual cannot even conceive of his own life and future in large terms. The individual responds to tighter and control with a shrug, as if to say, “What difference does it make?”
He has bought the collectivist package. His own uniqueness and inner resources are submerged under layers of passive acceptance of the consensus.
And make no mistake about it, this consensus reality, for all its exaltation of the group, is not heraldic in any sense. The propagandized veneer covers a cynical exploitation of every man, woman, and child.
Strapped by an amnesia about his own freedom and what it can truly mean, the individual opts for a place in the collective gloom. He may grumble and complain, but he fits in.
He can’t remember another possibility.
Every enterprise in which he finds himself turns out to be a pale copy of the real thing.
The deep energies and power and desire for freedom remain untapped.
Yet a struggle continues to live. It lives in the hidden places of every individual who wants out, who wants to come back to himself, who wants to stride out on a stage.
Freedom and power again. The shattering of amnesia.
In this stolen nation.
…And so the extinct individual returns.
Petty little hungers and obsessions become great hungers.
Dominoes of the collective begin to fall. The whole rotting structure collapses, a wing here and a wing there, and the robots open their eyes and turn off their cameras.
The vast sticky web called “the people” begins to disintegrate in roaring cities and in the mind.
A new instructive message appears:
“Normal is gone. The unique individual returns.”