For ‘Grandpapa’ H.G. Wells
By Kersasp D. Shekhdar
“From Bangor off the Atlantic to San Diego in the Pacific, an Iron Fog is descending around the U.S.A. Behind its periphery lie all the cities of the United States of America. New York, Dallas, Chicago, and San Francisco, all these famous cities and the populations that lie around them are subject to the obfuscation carried by this fog.” The Churchillian ‘Iron Curtain’ was not half as pernicious as this imperceptible, inchoate fog—
—For the American’s knowledge of national and international affairs, and even his interpretation of econo-political terms and terminology, has very nearly been severed from that of the rest of the world, not to mention from (a reasonable approximation of) the truth. Fewer and fewer Americans are able to neutralize the effects of the Iron Fog by means of consulting the independent media aka ‘Fake News’ sites; the vast majority of such Americans’ CNN- and WaPo-compromised compatriots are not so fortunate or so determined. This fog is concomitant with and mutually strengthened by artificially coined groupthink terms, propaganda concepts, slogans, and doublespeak. The covert goal is to establish, not merely orthodox beliefs, but, an orthodoxy of mentation – a frightening prospect. Such ‘Orthomentation’ is the harbinger of ‘Total Totalitarianism’ and is its final frontier.
The groupthink terms, propaganda concepts, &c. stealthily and furtively wheeled-up behind the American – or rather, systematically fogged around him – are somewhat more subtle than those Orwellian ones such as ‘Freedom is Slavery.’ But this should not be taken to mean that that particular gem will never be brought into play; only that the American is not quite at the point at which he will swallow whole such a jarring slogan. The average American does, however, appear to be on the brink of believing that ‘War is Peace:’ consider that in one of the vilest and most contemptible of such Orwellian inversions of reality, during Bush-Cheney and the Neo-Cons’ ‘Bringing Peace’ War of Aggression against Iraq, the aggressors had deployed the term ‘Anti-Iraqi Forces’ to denote the most pro-Iraqi patriots who were willing to sacrifice their lives fighting a savage occupying force, which, having invaded their country and tortured and killed their fellow citizens, was blatantly robbing their nation’s assets.
Impaired by the fog, Americans are unable to see through these revolting inversions; moreover, even fundamental concepts become blurred. (“What about the rest of the World?” you ask? Who cares? The only nations that ever managed to shake off conformity, benightedness, and obscurantism, and emerge from the swamps, dungeons, and cesspits of the mind were several in a swath of Western-Central Europe, and a youthful and vibrant U.S.A. was peeking out and wishing to emulate. However, jaded and dissipated before her time by 1970, she started her descent . . . following those European countries in their crawl-back, evidently. No other nations – except, perhaps, the obdurate and resurgent Rus Peoples – ever pulled themselves out of the swamps of conformity, dungeons of benightedness, cesspits of obscurantism. They question nothing, believe everything. Fog unnecessary.)
By Jove, that should have given each political wing a measured demi-dose of its own medicine (i.e. insulting, epithet-laden language, albeit apropos to each one’s conduct). Anyway, Wrong Wing or Laugh Wing; one choice unites the partisans of both: while each wing selected its distinct style of ‘MumboJumboism;’ long ago, both wings’ leaders and their followers-in-lockstep chose to forsake First Principles and Critical Thinking and donned their (undoffable) mental straitjackets.
The reason that the average American can no longer engage in Critical Thought or reason from First Principles, primarily (but not exclusively) regarding International Relations, Politics, Economics, and Society, is in the main twofold. First, American political thought – the very conceptualization of political possibilities – is deliberately restricted, by powers with vested interests, to a one-dimensional space: a horizontal sliding-scale; call it ‘X-Axis Politics,’ in which only two schools of thought are allowed to exist: Pro-Gun, Anti-Gun; Pro-Abortion, Anti-Abortion; Pro-Intervention, Anti-Intervention; Pro-War, Anti-War; Pro-Minimum Wage, Anti-Minimum Wage . . . as Benny Goodman explained, “It’s Gotta be This or That.” And as if such, shall be label it, ‘Bipolar Disorder’? is not bad enough in and of itself, gatekeepers (such as publishers with covert motives, and their bought-and-paid-for editors, newscasters, and opinion-makers) of each political ‘Wing’ zealously guard the end-points of this axis for acceptable – or permissible – thought; this leads to mental enslavement. Second, subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle), even subliminal, cause-and-effect conditioning by the controlled media and by the equally controlled school system causes another kind of reduction of thought-horizons; this occurs by the ingraining of (usually irrational or arational) mental reactions – a robotization of the human.
Throughout the ages, the ruling classes have found it necessary and desirable for members of the armed forces to be mentally enslaved and robotized. As time wore on, perhaps the puppet masters and eminences grise decided that it was just as necessary and desirable for members of the general public to be mentally enslaved and robotized too. Ergo, modified response conditioning techniques.
In the good ole U.S. of A., two or three subjects trigger furious and extreme conditioned mental reactions with 99 percent of Americans on the ‘Anti-’ end of their X-Axis Politics. One such subject is the philosophy of Karl Marx; the country’s most fervid taboo. Supposedly, so-called ‘Marxism’ equates to Communism and Communism equates to Satanism, ergo Marxism equates to Satanism – these quasi-equations are literallypresent in position pieces. Less zany arguments against ‘Marxism’ are available for those not into fanaticism. If Americans would read Marx’s original works, which are a world apart from ‘Communism’ as we know it, then, despite the outdated frames-of-reference therein and in spite of the fact that the man himself may have been co-opted by his tribe’s plutocratic powers, they may find not only that some of his ideas and proposals are very relevant to the profound economic inequities and the un-American financial systems that exist in the U.S.A. today, but that his leanings and orientations are egalitarian and deeply humane. Moreover, far from being ‘Satanic,’ Marx’s motives or sympathies are in keeping with the principles of (the compassionate forms of) Christianity – and, indeed, with now-forgotten Liberation Theology. But such notions are verboten; in fact making up one’s own mind after evaluating the facts about Marx’s Socio-Economics Philosophy (and some other subjects) is a prohibited activity, for the Left-Wing Gatekeeper hath warned the American: ‘Thou shalt not even thinkpast this boundary’ – and mere examination of Marx’s Work lies beyond that boundary. The plantation guard or overseer would restrict the physical movement of the plantation slave, the thought gatekeeper restricts the mental movement of the American thought-slave. Enslaved minds?
Another, relatively more recent but very potent, taboo in the U.S.A. is merely to question the motives or actions of the people Marx was one of: the Jews. Moreover, it is equally taboo to scrutinize any entity or movement related to the Jewish People. Even a fair question rooted in literature and history, and asked in the spirit of rational inquiry, elicits ingrained reactions from the response-conditioned man in the street in that Foremost Republic of Free Speech. Not an assumptive and loaded question such as, “What did Jews do that made Shakespeare, Dickens, Flaubert, and other writers despise them?”; but a fair and proper one such as, “Was there any reason that Shakespeare, Dickens, Flaubert, and other writers apparently disliked Jews?” It is, after all, an undeniable fact that a number of writers and other artists have cast Jews in an unflattering light and expressed unfavourable opinions about them. However, the very act of such inquiry – indeed, the very act of such recognition of fact – would automatically bring down a hail of shrill screeches of ‘anti-Semitism;’ furthermore, the authors named unjustifiably and irrationally would be labelled ‘anti-Semitic’ as well. Case closed. So-called ‘Anti-Semitism’ legislation is superfluous in a country where the great majority of the people are Walking Talking ‘Anti-Semitism’ Acts. (Reason and fairness would lead to the conclusion that the need of the hour is an ‘Anti Old White Men Act.’ Any sponsors? [Cue silence.]) These shock! horror! knee-jerk reactions leave vast tracts of viewpoints unexplored and ideas unconsidered because so many people have been programmed, not only to veer away automatically at pre-defined perimeters, but, to browbeat the small number of fellow-citizens who have avoided being fully programmed away from those perimeters as well. Robotized minds?
Mind slaves and programmed robots. Gah! ‘Freedom’? What ‘Freedom’? Who needs a Trotsky or a Stalin when in the U.S., U.K., and other falling nations, the happy people chant, “Totalitarians ‘R’ Us!” At their parties and festivities, the rule is BYOB; at their symposia and colloquia, it’s ‘BYOMS’ – Bring Your Own Mental Straitjacket.
The requisite indoctrination and brainwashing necessary to manufacture these perfect slaves begin from primary school now, courtesy of primers and readers that are foisted upon innocent little children – a tired old trick that used to be the norm . . . in the U.S.S.R. And no, one should not harbour any illusions that institutions of higher education remain bastions of Critical Thought and First Principles: one or two powerful special interests (shall we say ‘Chosen’ Interests?) have been working tirelessly to subvert America’s universities and colleges – which had not even realized the academia’s Holy Grail of an unconstrained, wide-ranging, bold, free-thinking education a la carte – and trying to turn them into slave-and-robot factories. (When even Heidelberg can fall, then what is a Columbia or a Yale?) To quite an extent the Humanities were buried alive and in their hallowed names, base imposters were substituted long ago. Yet who is now applying the coup de grace to the last vestiges of Enlightenment Ideals? Students! Instead of protesting against censorship and agitating for freedom of expression as they did once upon a time, of late college-produced slaves have been protesting against freedom of expression and demanding censorship! To protect some silly snowflake from going into theatrical meltdown, must a campus go into intellectual deep freeze? Yes, it must, and they do. Moreover, even the freedom to give and attend lecturesis off the table: if college-manufactured robots hear the words ‘Donald Trump associate’ (or whatsoever other red flag name or term), they do not need instructions to go berserk, disrupt events, and even to vandalize property causing ‘liberal’ damage any more than your computer’s operating system needs instructions from you. It is probably an even bet as to which one is more precisely programmed: Apple’s current iPhone or America’s current LibDem (aka Hilary Clinton fanboy or, indeed, Apple employee).
Forget student-hooligans and iPhone makers, Orthomentation is obligatory upon prominent Men of Science; especially upon Men of Science, and even upon Nobel Laureates: when James Watson and Tim Hunt answered questions with frank and personal opinions on, respectively, racial differences and gender issues, which opinions were in conflict with mandatory orthodox mentation, the celebrated scientists were unceremoniously burnt at the stake by the Cardinals of the Media and – astoundingly – by some sectors of Academia. Few spoke up in defence of either heretic and (apparently) no academic leader spoke up unequivocally. Yet who could? The Tyranny of Orthomentation has set loose a New Great Terror in the Academic and Scientific Community that had begun to be cleansed and subverted to a considerable extent during the Inter-War Years. Yet Academia and Science in bygone ages were free and uncorrupted, and this assertion is not difficult to confirm: many an academic or scientific journal, especially in the disciplines of Biology (Heredity- and Race-related topics), History, Archaeology, Philology/Linguistics, Anthropology, and Religion, dating from before, say, 1930 contains such findings, revelations, and inferences as are simply barred today. For the judge hath saith, “Truth is no defence!”
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So pronounce us guilty but truth to tell, an ineffable secret haunts Academia and Science: the all-essential ‘peer review’ is not an exercise solely for the purpose of ensuring rigour, standards, and quality; it works a more important purpose; a more important and sinister purpose: the peer review serves the function of Gatekeeping, verifying Conformance, and ensuring Orthomentation. Consider what occurs when, once in a blue moon, the peer review fails to accomplish its more important purpose. The paper in question is deemed to be ‘controversial,’ ‘insensitive,’ ‘bigoted,’ ‘unworthy,’ ‘hate speech,’ ‘shoddy research,’ ‘debunked,’ etc. and a focused Mini-Terror is unleashed. In short order the paper is usually retracted; the publication is often withdrawn; an apology is sometimes tendered. Deviation from the Doctrine of the New Church, called ‘The University,’ and denying its Scripture, known as ‘Science,’ are impermissible and will not be brooked. With the Faculty neutralized or corrupted, will a detachment of doughty University Trustees do battle with any of the Terrors? Until recently, University trusteeships comprised of those much-maligned ‘Old White Men.’ Well-mannered and courtly, these aged gentlemen are a dying breed and are being replaced by indoctrinated slaves and robots who must have the characteristic that they not be old, white, or men, preferably all three. The few old-time, real trustees who remain, surely cower in increasingly intolerant boardrooms. Petrified by the New Great Terror, mouths gagged, hands shackled, and heads bowed, they silently and bitterly watch the remnants of academic independence and institutional integrity crumbling into dust. Will some defiant band of rebellious students come to the rescue? Nay, no slave – let alone a college robot – ever took up a hammer and nailed even a single thesis onto a Church door, er, we mean ‘University’ door. In the main, the slaves and robots of this dismal age evidently desire the mental security, escape from free choice, and abnegation of critical thought and first principles that are the inevitable outcomes of indoctrination and programming – it is a vicious cycle. An increasing number of students, faculty, and trustees neither reach for the Apple from the Tree nor risk Hemlock from the Cup but far too many gladly eat the Lotus off the ground. Thus, no-one can expect resistance or rebellion to spring from the ranks of so-called ‘Academia’ or so-called ‘Science’ – they have become their own worst enemies.
Slaves or robots then? Which will it be? One must conclude that the Government-Media Alliance, as proxies for Big Brother, would prefer the latter. Because the robot, as opposed to the slave, does not require any guard or overseer; robots are driven by programmed rules to serve their masters, further to which they are governed by an overarching ‘Three Laws’ as the Good Doctor propounded; rather, informed. Moreover, while slaves sporadically produce inconvenient Wat Tylers, Nat Turners, and Winston Smiths, robots – if correctly ‘programmed’ – cannot revolt. Robots, after all, are advanced automata and, therefore, cannot – not ‘will not’ but can not– think outside their pre-programmed rules-based ‘brains’ (even self-learning ones). Although a robot may misinterpret some instruction in unusual circumstances to the extent that even human death may result, unlike slaves, even the possibility that robots may think from first principles or engage in critical thought is absent, ‘ThoughtCrime’ is impossible; therefore, they can not move against their masters. The (very) few who somehow manage to do so are identified as rogues and targeted for destruction, be the name Elvex, Roy Batty, or Bradley Manning (or John Doe).
But consider— could Robotitis be communicable? It is, oddly, from Nietzche that we get a hint; to paraphrase: “He who inculcates robots should be careful lest he thereby himself become a robot. And if thou program for too long the robots, the robots will also program thee.” In toying with other persons’ mentation, one befouls and warps one’s own mind. And engaging in such mind control is akin to gazing into the abyss. This unholy tinkering sets off undetectable and uncontrolled back-blasts and chain reactions that Humankind is unaware of: abyss-gazing and robotizing are transitive and contagious. The game was fraught with peril from the very start when the Hebrews dabbled in it, back in the day. Now, after two or three millennia of trial-and-error and false starts, mental enslavement and robotization techniques are coming thick and fast: Mass Media, Planted News, Subliminalism, MK-ULTRA Spin-offs, ‘Political Correctness,’ Organized Demonstrations/Marches/Rallies/Parades, Flogged ‘Bestsellers,’ Latter-Day Hollywood, Latter-Day Television, Post-1970s Nobel Prize, Post-1970s Academy/Grammy/Emmy Awards, The ‘History’ Channel, Google & Wikipedia, George Soros Fronts, ‘Social Media’ Campaigns, Touted ‘Experts,’ Infallible ‘Authorities,’ Post-Church Scientism, “Science Says” Diktat, Predetermined ‘Studies,’ Funded ‘Research,’ Identity Politics, Demographic Manipulation, &c.
With consequent uncontrolled ‘Total Programming’ looming, is Humankind on an irreversible course to Universal Robotitis? Let’s put it gently, gently: in this real Brave New World’s Final Act, I sadly suspect that World Controller Mustapha Mond himself will be, not an ‘alpha,’ but, a robot. Are you listening, Lord Rothschild? Beware: ‘I, Robot;’ You Robot. Within a century, thou and thine too will dream of electric sheep; aye, we shall all dream of electric sheep.
Dear God in Heaven! What a whirlpool Humankind is gyring into— one doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, or to turn to Buddhism – or to book a flight on Elon Musk’s new spaceship, one-way only . . .
Look! There go two elderly friends down the footpath this dark evening in 2117 as a light grey, gradually condensing, mist starts to form. One is the Chairman of the Federal Reserve; the other is the U.N. Secretary-General. As the two round a corner in their elegant Westchester County neighbourhood they run into a new acquaintance, the white-haired Chief Executive of ‘One-World One-Wire,’ the union of newly-merged AP-AFP and UPI-Reuters. Earth’s press boss joins the other two planetary supremos in their stroll. He is quite delighted to discover, upon the exchange of pleasantries and some personal particulars, that each of his companions is an Ivy League ex-President like himself. Quite obviously, this is an exceptionally well-informed threesome; what is more, they live in an exceptionally well-informed age: nearly all of those ‘Fake News’ sites are long gone and of the handful that remain, all have been ‘turned.’ Suddenly, one man sneezes mid-sentence, prompting a ‘Zay Gezunt!’ from his friend as their companion sniffles and comments on the ‘strange tingle in this mist.’ And ‘strange’ it is: for although ritzy Westchester County has neither steel mills nor smelting plants, the odour of iron fumes and metal shavings inexplicably permeates the air. Presently, a discussion commences, one of the socio-political variety – or so these three Masters of the Universe presume: for even in the best case their efforts would be futile. If even a century earlier – our time – one were to engage in a socio-political discussion and voice particular linguistic tokens – specialized words – to convey certain precise thoughts and concepts, these same words would a little too often semantically be interpreted by one’s interlocutor to connote and even denote quite different thoughts and concepts. Though encoding and decoding methods used to affect reception, so to speak, those people did have a sporting chance to communicate deep concepts, real thought. As dusk dies and night falls, we find – to our bemusement – that none of the three putative Captains of the Mother Ship is articulating linguistic tokens or specialized words; indeed, no-one is using language as it is (was?) used in our time: for the trio are conversing, quite seriously, in naught but vacuous slogans, buzzwords, and doublespeak terms – a veritable ‘Newspeak’ – as the mist turns darker, thickens into fog, and becomes impenetrable . . .
—Hark! Do we hear gales of laughter cutting through The Iron Fog? Ah! That would surely be Aldous Leonard Huxley, Eric Arthur Blair, Isaak Yudovich Ozimov, and Philip Kindred Dick; seers one and all. The celestial Bridge foursome is evidently guffawing over a grand joke – perhaps about misunderstood parables and Humankind’s derailed destiny – up in that Great Big Totalitarium in the Sky.