Imagine if you will that a group of, say, eight or ten of the wealthiest and most powerful corporate CEOs meets together once a year in Switzerland — or, if their inclination leans toward sunnier climes, perhaps Belize. They have drinks and a bevy of loose women at hand, though they break every now and then for gourmet meals while they discuss the coming year together: how can they maintain their positions of power and keep the money rolling in?
They might decide to gain control of the media, especially television. Then they would make sure that the airwaves are filled with news reports biased in their favor together with sporting events 24 hours a day with plenty of patriotic zeal blended into the mix — fly overs, bands blaring, and plenty of flags waving while men and women in camouflage are conspicuous and constantly touted as “heroes” fighting a war on terror that these powerful men have encouraged (because it’s good for business). This will keep the viewers occupied for much of their free time and convince them that they live in the greatest country on earth. As such, they will be much more willing to believe what they are told — more malleable, if you will.
But to augment this effort, this group decides to make sure that the vast majority of the citizenry is either unemployed (and thus dependent on the State) or holds mindless jobs for meager wages that lead them toward drugs, drinks, and the entertainment that is always ready at hand. Indeed, they promote inventions that guarantee that these folks can take the entertainment with them wherever they go — even while they drive to work or to the wide variety of recreation made available to them. Further, the schools will be teaching practical, “hands-on” courses like computer science and various technical skills that might lead the students to whatever jobs that are available and away from any course work that might get them to think – such as history, literature, and philosophy. The idea here is to guarantee that these folks are attending to things that simply don’t matter and, like those watching a shell game, are unaware under which shell the pea is hidden: keep them occupied on mindless drivel. And to put the icing on the cake, they encourage violent television shows that keep people engrossed and on the edge, a bit fearful and better able to control. To add to the mix, through the NRA, which they control, they decide to promote the purchase of hand guns and automatic weapons to guarantee that frequent acts of violence occur that are discussed in the media they own while the Congress, bought and paid for by these corporate giants, debates what course of action not to take. This heightens the sense of danger and the fear in the population that makes it so much easier to control what the citizens do and (more to the point) what they think. And while they’re at it, these men (who make more than 400 times what their average employee makes) encourage social media that guarantees that these people ‘s attention, such as it is, is turned on themselves so they don’t have the faintest idea where the pea might be hidden.
This, of course, is pure fiction, smacking as it does of a conspiracy theory. It is the fruits of a disturbed mind that borders on paranoia. Wouldn’t you say?
Sounds like typical America, circa 2014
The question is why are we in this state? Have we all given up, overwhelmed by the appearance of futility? Have we dumbed down that much as to have our lives revolve solely around social media? Are we stupid? Helpless? Do we truly not care, or possibly do we not find anything wrong with widespread spying, lack of privacy, and militant police forces?
These are the questions that boggle my mind.
I don’t know the answer to many of them, but I suspect the loss of a belief in anything (anything) beyond the self has a lot to do with it.
i’m sorry; what was the question? i was busy watching the shells and trying to keep my eye on the one with the pea!
Ha! Not you, Z. But many others.
The Masterpiece Contemporary episode tonight on PBS conveyed a similar story of paranoid fiction. The gathering of the scheming super rich was in the Turks and Caicos Islands, not that far from Belize. But close enough!
Perhaps it is not fiction after all! Thanks, Dana.