The Future of Propaganda
Brave New World, here we come.
If you want to know what is the future of propaganda and perception management, “Ads that know how fast your heart is beating” in today’s Guardian will give you a pretty good outline of that future.
I don’t want to say too much about it. Since the “mind” of Late Modernity has become a very perverse thing in its deficiency at its “end of history”, I don’t want to give anybody “ideas” they can use contrary to my intents. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from the article.
I think it’s needless to say that even the “cross of reality” has a potential dark side. Even though it is conceived to emancipate consciousness from “amalgamate false natures”, as Rosenstock-Huessy believed, it is conceivable that it can be utilised for the exact opposite purpose. I don’t think I need to remind you of what happened to the ancient symbol of the swastika, or the cross of St. Andrews, or the Christian cross for that matter. The ego nature, estranged from its inner truth, can be very devious, perverse, and duplicitous indeed.
Huxley’s Brave New World or Orwell’s 1984 may be “dystopias”, but that doesn’t prevent them from being used as roadmaps to power and domination by perverse “vested interests”. Even a man like Rosenstock-Huessy seems to have been fooled in that respect. He once lumped Aldous Huxley in with Hitler and Stalin, in one of his sometimes hard-to-take statements. Rosenstock-Huessy’s faux pas is nonetheless revealing. It seems he didn’t understand dystopian literature, and even he believed Huxley was providing a blueprint and template for an “ideal” future society, which was none of Huxley’s intent, nor Orwell’s. And if a mind like Rosenstock-Huessy’s could become confused about that, why not that of others also?
There is a precedent for that in history. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is generally agreed to have been a forgery and a fiction of the Okrana, the Russian Czar’s secret police, and used to justify and rationalise pogroms against the Jews. Nonetheless, many people believed it to be a true and cunningly conceived blueprint for Zionist world domination. And whether Hitler truly believed in its authenticity or not, he used it as his own roadmap and guide in his bid for world domination.
There is a certain irony in that fact that as a piece of Russian propaganda, it rebounded on them when Hitler invaded Russia. That’s “blowback”. That’s what we call “unintended consequence”, “perverse outcome”, “revenge effect” or generally “ironic reversal”. Live by the sword, perish by the sword.
This new conjunction of techniques of psychological manipulation and control with biometric data gathering and research in neurology really does not bode very well for the future. Some will obviously use any means to satisfy their will to power and total domination. Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant, “they make a desert and call it peace”. According to Tacitus, the Caledonian chief Calgacus said that of the Roman Empire.
Those words “echoed down the halls of time”, as they say, when that hapless American army officer in Vietnam was recorded as saying “we had to destroy the village in order to save it sir”, in a statement that became iconic of the sheer nihilism and aburdity of the war in Vietnam. But the absurdity is not so much in the officer’s statement. The absurdity was that so many people believed it made sense, and still do. It has even come to be enshrined as a doctrine — “creative destruction”.
Yes, indeed. “Duplicity is the currency of the day”. Still, the Roman Empire collapsed. The Vietnam War was “lost”. Hitler’s “Thousand Year Reich” lasted less than 12 years. Churchill’s “thousand year” British Empire was gone in a few short years after he boasted of its near immortality. So, too, the USSR. Duplicity comes with a cost, for it is disintegration by another name, even when its practitioners really thought they were doing the exact opposite — creating a “unitary state”. They were simply overruled in that by the karmic law of action and reaction, which we call “blowback” now, or “unintended consequence” or “perverse outcome” or “revenge effect” or “ironic reversal”.
But they are all just so many terms for “Nemesis”, the reward of hybris.
Maybe Rosenstock-Huessy was upset with Aldous Huxley because Brave New World never concluded with a happy ending. I’m not sure how he felt about George Orwell and 1984. He must surely have been aware of it. 1984 also ends as it began — “a boot stamping on a human face, forever”. No Exit. The closing circle. Consciousness maddeningly trapped inside its own seemingly interminable tautologies forever and forever….
Like an Escher drawing, or the Möbius Strip mind. Those are images of “eternal recurrence of same”. But the other term for that is “Pretzel Logic”. Perhaps the Möbius Strip is really an image of enantiodromia. But that’s just another interpretation of the karmic law.