Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coward Old World

Recently I re-read Huxley's "The Brave New World Revisited", which is a striking narrative about his perception of his own work after two decades. Living in a foreign country which is at a forefront of "development", being an expat from the museum of the Old World, I sometimes have a visceral uneasy attitude towards modern society. Especially I despise politically correct writing, where we all have to pretend to be social anthropologists nodding with a smile when some backward father from a tribal area of Africa circumcises his daughter, as "he is preserving a tribal tradition". I so much prefer writing of F. Burton or Mrs. McGovern , where dirty is dirty, smelly stinks and stupid is simply...stupid. The following text, then, is saying more about the current myself than what I think about Huxley...

We did not come to the use of atomic transport, nor atomic helicopters, even not atomic private airplanes or cars. Huxley did not have to worry about this omission in his "The Brave New World". We are not "happily" modified to be socially useful. Use of drugs, heavy or light ones, for change of our perception of the world, is not welcome. We even limited their use to minimum, in a world which hardly justifies such a limitation. Problem of over-population is not solved, be it by some revolutionary or socially acceptable method. Developed part of the world is on a self-administered extinction path, driven by a wish for personal convenience and financial security. The other, developing, or painfully undeveloped part of the world, which does not have even theoretical chance to reach even a fraction of the wealth of the lucky ones, is on a path of uncontrolled multiplication.

Evil, "immoral" dictatorships crash in glory of civil unrest, (with a little help of "friendly" powers), or implode in simple degeneration of oligarchic power in a well connected, modern world, where revolution can be organized via a SMS messaging. Dictators themselves, chased into rat holes, get their bullet, or finish hanged, deservedly ridiculed to death, or are subject to humiliation of a War Crimes tribunal, which disposes society of them in more hygienic ways. Some even allow themselves to be dislodged by elections, but this is usually when they are safely too old or mortally ill, and are not any more bothered by earthly matters too much.

Religion as a factor did not disappear; quite contrary, its importance increased to insanity, becoming a main player in internal and international affairs of the political powers of today. Interestingly enough, it did not resurrect only in over-populated, tribal societies like that of India or Middle East, or countries stuck in the Middle Age, still waiting for a Renaissance but tuneled into the hypertech society of today, as China. No, its evil, debilitating or straightforward ill influence is sourcing from developed democratic societies like USA-the best example is a revival of the application of Creationism, which even found its path to the school curriculum.

It might be that the traditional religions as Roman Catholicism lost a bit of their appeal, under weight of sexual and financial scandals, but disoriented religions like Scientology, or politically powerful ones like Mormonism are sweeping the West. The East is overridden by "masters" of suspicious kind, procuring salvation (with only a small fee) in diminishing of wishes and will for anything on Earth. Probably as they do not have anything else to offer than nothingness-in the old days one would go to the nearby caves to find a Master in meditation, under his beard, to learn about the world. That Master would eventually get a bowl of rice, but rarely would go into building a fancy temple for himself and put purple robes. Consequence is a rare virtue, indeed.

A current trend is also a kind of swap of social order: State capitalism, which, reaching the respectable age, deceased together with Soviet Union and their gerontocrats, reincarnated in the USA, which slowly, but at a steady pace, started its shift to becoming a Third World country. Former socialist Eastern Europe countries, after a short phase of wild, predatory capitalism, transformed into a post-neokolonial status, owned by a Western financial mega-corporations. Those are mostly known for their fast retreat, after leaving the unhappy country under occupation of their kin, blood-sucking leeches of banking world, which will make certain that slaves would not have their say for at least current generation.

Africa, too poor to be sucked of blood in such a civilized way, after extremely successful operation of fathers and forefathers of today entrepreneurs, successfully drowned in a bloodbath orchestrated by their Western "friends". They are interested only in unlimited sale of the old and new weaponry there, and after leaving few generations of fatherless, homeless children to play games of war until extinction, disappeared in utter boredom.

Interestingly enough, we did not allow to be indoctrinated, awake or while sleeping, hypnopaedia remained where it was, at isolated voluntary self-learners or enthusisast. Science, that "wonderfully convenient personification of the opinions, at a given date, of Professors X, Y and Z", did not produce more than a succession of Professors. They came and went into honorable past of dusty University libraries, funded by well-wishing benefactors. Society is a too inert entity of a dynosaur ass sensibility, to be moved by such a benevolent creatures like humanists.

Over-organization of a Society is here, in a caricature of efficiency given by over-bureaucratization: see the example of European Union (beware of choking in laughter or crying!). For over-organization, good managing ideas, and also good managers, are needed. Not masturbators of powers we experience today in Europe. Could anyone sane consider European bureaucrats of today being anything else than fleas in the fur of an moult dog? Hardly. They are far, far away from all-knowing father figures of Huxley's technocracy.

Propaganda, under or out of dictatorship, became a domestic animal of today, but only in completely degenerated organisms like North Korea, where yelling of colonels came to TV and radio. Yes, in China, but even there only rarely, education under eye of the Party brought some individuals to caricature of Huxleyan vision. They are easily laughed-off even by their own kind. Human mind is far harder to condition than one could imagine, listening the words of Professor Y. Luckily, what Huxley considered under "What can be done?" is still on the list of rare surviving humanistic thinkers which did not go into (over)production of recipes for happy society or into a stamp-collecting.

It is heartening to see how completely Huxley fails to predict a future following from hands, and brains, of a generation eating hamburgers in front of a TV. Some wile minds would say that example of Obamamania and already mentioned introduction of USA as a Third World country are an effect of this, but I would rather discard it as a daily politic play, unimportant at a scale of almost 100 years of Huxleyan anti-utopia. There are many good things that particular generation did, or at least tried to do. I am less enchanted by what my generation, their children, is doing. Luckily, I see that my own and my generation's children still uses their own brain, they check book shelves, do Science and do Arts. In a world we gave them, where computers became so omnipresent, I think they are doing well, extremely well. Good luck to all of us, we will need it, not because of someone doing this or that, but because of sheer powers of Nature. We seem to be going to the stage of the cavemen of Concrete Age, still waiting for the invention of Fire.

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