The extraordinary destruction of America’s constitutional republic over the past three decades has been aided enormously by the passivity of a public that has been overloaded with distractions ranging from Xboxes to XXX films. As I put it in Why Bother? back in 2001
If your goal is the economic well-being of the inner party rather than the general welfare, a strong case can be made that most people will accept their exclusion with quiet despair. Thus you can cut their services and deny them aid and they will not revolt. For those few who show signs of trouble, you simply write laws that restrict their employment, take away their driver’s license, or ensure them incarceration using whatever ruse, such as drug laws, that works.
We know who might cause trouble. They are black, latino, and white males with a high school education or less. They are the only sizable socio-economic minority in the country without a movement, without advocacy organizations, without media support. If they act out, if they smoke pot, have the wrong papers or otherwise get into trouble, we simply throw them in jail.
For less disruptive members of the society, the goal is not that they feel pain but that they not feel restless. Writing before the rise of Hitler, Aldous Huxley in Brave New World understood this principle; the people of his world took daily drugs, had plenty of access to sex, and were absorbed in such pre-Nintendo activities as obstacle golf. There were “feelies,” movies that allowed you to touch as well as hear and see; diseases had been abolished; and death had been made as pleasant as possible.
Despite warning such as found in the rise of Nazism it still seems remarkable that these efforts to distract, dismember, prescription drug, or dispose of a collective citizenry have been so successful and so rarely and so weakly contested.
Still, history also suggests that the lies, fantasies and illusions of our current elite can not survive forever. Sooner or later the public realizes not only that it is being screwed but that it needs to do something about it.
It would appear that the reaction to current conditions has moved in recent years from ignorance to hopelessness. And we are still somewhere away from a collective cry of “Enough!”
But when that call is loudly heard, when the powerful and the passive have lost control, we can expect that the social environment will move from apathy to resistance through attitude, action or anarchy. That’s the way history seems to work. And it’s often not pretty