The Facade Is Crumbling

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2011: A Brave New Dystopia

Chris Hedges, December 27, 2010

Orwell warned of a world where books were banned. Huxley warned of a world where no one wanted to read books. Orwell warned of a state of permanent war and fear. Huxley warned of a culture diverted by mindless pleasure. Orwell warned of a state where every conversation and thought was monitored and dissent was brutally punished. Huxley warned of a state where a population, preoccupied by trivia and gossip, no longer cared about truth or information. Orwell saw us frightened into submission. Huxley saw us seduced into submission. But Huxley, we are discovering, was merely the prelude to Orwell. Huxley understood the process by which we would be complicit in our own enslavement. Orwell understood the enslavement. Now that the corporate coup is over, we stand naked and defenseless. We are beginning to understand, as Karl Marx knew, that unfettered and unregulated capitalism is a brutal and revolutionary force that exploits human beings and the natural world until exhaustion or collapse.


Our manufacturing base has been dismantled. Speculators and swindlers have looted the U.S. Treasury and stolen billions from small shareholders who had set aside money for retirement or college. Civil liberties, including habeas corpus and protection from warrantless wiretapping, have been taken away. Basic services, including public education and health care, have been handed over to the corporations to exploit for profit. The few who raise voices of dissent, who refuse to engage in the corporate happy talk, are derided by the corporate establishment as freaks.

And the hopeful and cheerful truth is:

The fa├žade is crumbling. And as more and more people realize that they have been used and robbed, we will move swiftly from Huxley’s “Brave New World” to Orwell’s “1984.” The public, at some point, will have to face some very unpleasant truths. The good-paying jobs are not coming back. The largest deficits in human history mean that we are trapped in a debt peonage system that will be used by the corporate state to eradicate the last vestiges of social protection for citizens, including Social Security. The state has devolved from a capitalist democracy to neo-feudalism. And when these truths become apparent, anger will replace the corporate-imposed cheerful conformity. The bleakness of our post-industrial pockets, where some 40 million Americans live in a state of poverty and tens of millions in a category called “near poverty,” coupled with the lack of credit to save families from foreclosures, bank repossessions and bankruptcy from medical bills, means that inverted totalitarianism will no longer work.

when these truths become apparent, anger will replace the corporate-imposed cheerful conformity“?

Our plutocrats would do well to take heed.


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    • Edger on December 29, 2010 at 00:26

  1. don’t think marx had much to add here–there were many other thinkers that said the same, before and after him.

    (new username; got locked out of old one)

  2. Although Terrence got there through shamanism and helpful plants & fungi.


    “The real struggle of life and death is not between Democracy and Communism. It’s between Capitalism and Democracy. Capitalism is the most anti-human system we could come up with. Democracy says: Everyone has an inner worth that must be nonored. Capitalism says: Those who die with the most toys win”

    • rossl on December 29, 2010 at 18:43

    Even if you don’t always agree with him, he’s totally honest and a great writer and makes you think.

    • Pen on December 29, 2010 at 19:44

    we’ll find out there’s absolutely not one fucking thing we can do about our situation except to remain pissed.

    Can’t beat their armies.  Can’t stand up to people who control WMD’s.  Can’t protect your family from people unafraid to use genome specific biological weapons on the mass populace.

    You gonna become a rogue assassin?  They got that covered too.  

    So go ahead and get pissed.  It’s all irrelevant to them.

    • RUKind on December 30, 2010 at 00:43

    We are making headway. We need to do more and do it better. Rome wasn’t burned to the ground in one day. It takes time to dismantle an empire.

    Fair, well-regulated, level field capitalism is OK. It’s the ego stuff – greed, pride, lust, sloth and the other seven deadlies – that corrupts it.

    Come to think of it, corruption is at the base of our collective problem. Our election finance system is pure, legalized corruption. And after the Citizens United decision it’s over and done. The banking mess was massive corruption. The bogus mortgages were massive corruption. Lobbying is massive revolving door legalized corruption.

    Maybe we need to fine tune some laws, write some new ones and get a real sheriff in town. See how the rich feel about prison overcrowding.

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