There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.
Aldous Huxley - Tavistock Group, California Medical School 1961.
How fucking true! And how fucking prophetic.
Of course, I wasn’t there so I have absolutely no way of knowing if he said it, or the context in which he meant it, if he said it, or, indeed, even if there is such a thing as the Tavistock Group of the California Medical School.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, it makes for a bloody good meme, an excellent conspiracy theory and is, as a sentiment, undoubtedly, true.
|Radio Tavistock - Broadcasting propaganda to the masses|
Okay, I doubt anyone, old Aldous included, saw that the pharmacological method would have involved a simple endorphin inducement strategy that revolved around posting shit on social-media sites and then constantly checking to see if your redundant virtue signalling has been met with universal approval. I expect the old boy was bent on a more psychedelic delivery method and bet his bollocks punting on shares in Sandoz Laboratories and their LSD production lines.
Nevertheless, who would of bet that the geeks would have taken over the asylum? Though, to be fair, we should have seen it coming when the peace-and-love generation started swapping their sandals for micro-chips, idealism for capitalism and weed for dough. Fucking hippies!
But, you see, my hippy-bashing, baby-boomer hate-filled spite is merely endemic of the wider issue and serves solely to prove the Hux right.
For he was right; we have now reached maximum divide and conquer.
As a brief diversionary tactic, my inspiration for the above term was filched outrageously from the old Who maxim ‘maximum R&B’, a term which, in turn, has transformed itself into something approximating a mix of blues, funk, hip hop and soul.
And it is soul which provides me with a tenuous, but propitious, link to the day of this article’s publication. Namely All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) where all around the world children of all faiths will be, unknowingly, performing the art of ‘souling’ - the practice of going from door to door asking for ‘soul cakes’ and in return singing prayers for the souls of the givers and their friends. Essentially, it is a celebration of the dead, transformed, however, by the neoliberal gods of capitalism (the fucking hippy, baby-boomers again) into a candy-fest and sugar orgy sprinkled with child-friendly images of witchcraft and toppings of the occult whereby we unconsciously sell our soul to the corporate devil.
Which, you know, is kind of odd, given that the Halloween festival is most popular in the good old, god-fearing, US of A, where the stars and stripes fly proudly from every white picket-fenced household and where even the dogs have short back and sides. And yet, throughout October, these self-same, small-c conservative, households will also be adorned by carved out pumpkins in tribute to the decidedly mythic Jack O’ Lanterns or Will O’ The Wisps which are a reminder of an old Irish legend concerning Stingy Jack, a drunkard who bargains with Satan and is doomed to roam the Earth with only a hollowed turnip to light his way.
|Huxley cookbook - Pumpkins of the Gods|
It is a metaphor that should serve to remind Americans, bar those of an aboriginal heritage, that they are all immigrants.
But, ultimately, does it really matter that Halloween has become Wicca for beginners? I guess not, not if the kids have a good time.
But it does bring us back nicely to maximum divide and conquer. If it is that easy to misrepresent the origins of Halloween to serve the dark arts of the corporate whore mongers then the same principles can be applied to the masses and used to fuck us all over. It’s Huxley’s Brave New World of propaganda and brainwashing writ large.
Bogus Halloween bogeymen are cropping up all over the world. Be it Brexit in the UK, Trump in the US, evangelism in Brazil or Russian troll farms infecting our timelines, their purpose is still the same. To polarise us. To scare us. To divide us.
It doesn’t matter if you’re left, right or centre. It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Jew or Muslim, if we’re fighting each other we’re not fighting them and that’s exactly what they want.
We need to raise our sights above the petty online tribalisms and look beyond the phoney politics of polarisation.
It’s time to demand better because we are better. We need to put the planet first, its people second and relegate the 1% to the stocks so beloved of their forefathers, the medieval feudalists. It's time to pelt them with their own rotten tomatoes.
It is time turn off Radio Tavistock.