The Road to Totalitarianism (Revisited)
It feels like it’s finally over, doesn’t it, the whole “apocalyptic pandemic” thing? I mean, really, really over this time. Not like all those other times when you thought it was over, but it wasn’t over, and was like the end of those Alien movies, where it seems like Ripley has finally escaped, but the alien is hiding out in the shuttle, or the escape pod, or Ripley’s intestinal tract.
But this time doesn’t feel like that. This time it feels like it’s really, really over. Go out and take a look around. Hardly anyone is wearing masks anymore (except where masks are mandatory) or being coerced into submitting to “vaccinations” (except where “vaccination” is mandatory), and the hordes of hate-drunk New Normal fanatics who demanded that “the Unvaccinated” be segregated, censored, fired from their jobs, and otherwise demonized and persecuted, have all fallen silent (except for those who haven’t).
Everything is back to normal, right?
Wrong. Everything is not back to normal. Everything is absolutely New Normal. What is over is the “shock-and-awe” phase, which was never meant to go on forever. It was always only meant to get us here.
Where, you’re probably asking, is “here”? “Here” is a place where the new official ideology has been firmly established as our new “reality,” woven into the fabric of normal everyday life. No, not everywhere, just everywhere that matters. (Do you really think the global-capitalist ruling classes care what people in Lakeland, Florida, Elk River, Idaho, or some village in Sicily believe about “reality”?) Yes, most government restrictions have been lifted, mainly because they are no longer necessary, but in centers of power throughout the West, in political, corporate, and cultural spheres, in academia, the mainstream media, and so on, the New Normal has become “reality,” or, in other words, “just the way it is,” which is the ultimate goal of every ideology.
For example, I just happened upon this “important COVID-19 information,” which you need to be aware of (and strictly adhere to) if you want to attend a performance at this Off-Broadway theater in New York City, where “everything is back to normal.”
I could pull up countless further examples, but I don’t want to waste your time. At this point, it isn’t the mask and “vaccination” mandates themselves that are important. They are simply the symbols and rituals of the new official ideology, an ideology that has divided societies into two irreconcilable categories of people: (1) those who are prepared to conform their beliefs to the official narrative of the day, no matter how blatantly ridiculous it is, and otherwise click heels and follow the orders of the global-capitalist ruling establishment, no matter how destructive and fascistic they may be; and (2) those who are not prepared to do that.
Let’s go ahead and call them “Normals” and “Deviants.” I think you know which one you are.
This division of society into two opposing and irreconcilable classes of people cuts across and supersedes old political lines. There are Normals and Deviants on both the Left and the Right. The global-capitalist ruling establishment couldn’t care less whether you are a “progressive,” or a “conservative,” or a “libertarian,” or an “anarchist,” or whatever you call yourself. What they care about is whether you’re a Normal or a Deviant. What they care about is whether you will follow orders. What they care about is whether you are conforming your perceptions and behavior and thinking to their new “reality” … the hegemonic global-capitalist “reality” that has been gradually evolving for the last 30 years and is now entering its totalitarian stage.
I’ve been writing about the evolution of global capitalism in my essays since 2016 — and since the early 1990s in my stage plays — so I’m not going to reiterate the whole story here. Readers who have just tuned into my political satire and commentary during the last two years can go back and read the essays in Trumpocalypse (2016-2017) and The War on Populism (2018-2019).
The short version is, back in 2016, GloboCap was rolling along, destabilizing, restructuring, and privatizing the planet that it came into sole unchallenged possession of when the Soviet Union finally collapsed, and everything was hunky-dory, and then along came Brexit, Donald Trump, and the whole “populist” and neo-nationalist rebellion against globalism throughout the West. So, GloboCap needed to deal with that, which is what is has been doing for last six years … yes, the last six — not just two and a half — years.
The War on Dissent didn’t start with Covid and it isn’t going to end with Covid. GloboCap (or “the Corporatocracy” if you prefer) has been delegitimizing, demonizing, and disappearing dissent and increasingly imposing ideological uniformity on Western society since 2016. The New Normal is just the latest stage of it. Once it gets done quashing this “populist” rebellion and imposing ideological uniformity on urban society throughout the West, it will go back to destabilizing, restructuring, and privatizing the rest of the world, which is what it was doing with the “War on Terror” (and other “democracy”-promoting projects) from 2001 to 2016.
The goal of this global Gleichschaltung campaign is the goal of every totalitarian system, i.e., to render any and all deviance from its official ideology pathological. The nature of the deviance does not matter. The official ideology does not matter. (GloboCap has no fixed ideology. It can abruptly change its official “reality” from day to day, as we have experienced recently). What matters is one’s willingness or unwillingness to conform to whatever the official “reality” is, regardless of how ridiculous it is, and how many times it has been disproved, and sometimes even acknowledged as fiction by the very authorities who nonetheless continue to assert its “reality.”
I’ll give you one more concrete example.
After I happened upon the “Covid restrictions” (i.e., the social-segregation system) still being enforced by that Off-Broadway theater, I stumbled upon this article in Current Affairs about the oracle Yuval Noah Harari, the writer of which article mentions in passing that somewhere between 6 million and 12 million people have “died of Covid,” as if this were a fact, a fact that no one in their right mind would question. Which it is, officially, in our new “reality,” despite the fact (i.e., the actual fact) that — as even the “health authorities” have admitted — anyone who died of anything in a hospital after testing positive was recorded as a “Covid-19 death.”
This is how “reality” (i.e., official “reality,” consensus “reality”) is manufactured and policed. It is manufactured and policed, not only by the media, corporations, governments, and non-governmental governing entities, but also (and, ultimately, more effectively) by the constant repetition of official narratives as unquestionable axiomatic facts.
In our brave new totalitarian global-capitalist “reality,” anyone who questions or challenges such “facts” immediately renders oneself a “Deviant” and is excommunicated from “Normal” society. Seriously, just for fun, try to get a job at a corporation, or a university, or a part in a movie or a Broadway play, or a book deal, or a research grant, etc., while being honest about your beliefs about Covid. Or, if you’re a “respectable” journalist, you know, with literary and public-speaking agents, and book deals, and personal managers, and so on, go ahead, report the facts (i.e., the actual facts, which you know are there, but which you have been avoiding like the plague for the last two years), and watch your career get violently sucked down the drain like a turd in an airplane toilet.
That last bit was meant for “urban professionals,” who still have careers, or are aspiring to careers, or are otherwise still invested in remaining members in good standing of “Normal” society, i.e., not you folks in Florida and Idaho, or my fellow literary and artistic “Deviants.”
We have pretty much burned our bridges at this point. Unless you’re prepared to mindfuck yourself, and gaslight yourself, and confess, and convert, there’s no going back to “normal” society (which we couldn’t go back to anyway, on account of how it doesn’t exist anymore).
I realize that a lot of folks have probably been looking forward to that … to the day when the Normals finally “wake up” and face the facts, and truth prevails, and we return to something resembling normality. It’s not going to happen. We’re not going back. The Normals are never going to “wake up.” Because they’re not asleep. They’re not hypnotized. They’re not going to “come to their senses” one day and take responsibility for the damage they have done. Sure, they will apologize for their “mistakes,” and admit that possibly they “overreacted,” but the official narrative of the Covid pandemic and the new “reality” it has ushered into being will remain in force, and they will defend both with their lives.
Or, rather, they will defend both with our lives.
If you think I’m being hyperbolic, well, consider the epithets GloboCap has conditioned the Normals to use to demonize us … “conspiracy theorist,” “science denier,” “insurrectionist,” “extremist,” “violent domestic terrorist.” None of which signify a political ideology or any political or critical position whatsoever. They signify deviation from the norm. Any type of deviation from the norm. They are tactical terms, devoid of meaning, designed to erase the political character of the diverse opposition to global-capitalism (or “globalism,” if you are touchy about the word “capitalism”), to lump us all into one big bucket of “deviance.”
It is usually not a very good omen when nations — or totally unaccountable, supranational global-power systems — suddenly break out the “deviance bucket.” It is usually a sign that things are going to get ugly, ugly in a totalitarian fashion, which is precisely what has been happening for the past six years.
Back in July of 2021, at the height of the fascistic New Normal hate frenzy, with the military enforcing “Covid restrictions,” a global segregation system being implemented, and people threatening to decapitate me for refusing to get “vaccinated,” I published a piece called The Road to Totalitarianism. We are still on that road. Both the Normals and we Deviants. We’ve been on that road for quite some time, longer than most of us probably realize. The weather has improved, slightly. The scenery out the window has changed. The destination has not. I haven’t seen any exits. Let me know if you do, will you?