What Rules the Rulers?

What Rules the Rulers?
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Aldous Huxley published Brave New World in 1932.  The novel describes a futuristic society that boasts a world government with the motto “Community, Identity, Stability.”  The year is After Ford 632, and babies are decanted rather than born.  Eugenics has been refined to the point where viviparous births no longer occur.  Human ova are extracted from purchased ovaries and manually fertilized and grown in bottles to produce specific castes of individuals, from Alpha to Epsilon.  In the controlled process, growth and development are intentionally stunted in the lower castes, to pre-condition them to lives of menial labor and servitude.


There are no families, and the words “mother” and “father” are obscenities.  There is no social unrest, no disease, and no war.  Books like Shakespeare and the Bible have been banned, because they are old.  The Brave New World emphasizes everything new, with consumerism raised to the level of a religion, in fond memory of “Our Ford.”  Solitude and individuality are considered subversive.  Sexual promiscuousness is promoted, and the popular “feelies” are pornographic movies with sensual enhancement.  The feel-good drug, soma, is dispensed freely as a work benefit, allowing everyone to maintain a state of happiness at all times.


Author Aldous Huxley was a teacher at Eton College to Eric Blair, pseudonym George Orwell, who in 1949, published his own dystopic novel, 1984.  When offered a chance to review 1984, Huxley was impressed but claimed his own dystopia was more realistic.  Huxley believed that punishment only deters undesirable behavior a short time, but a system of rewards prompting people to love their servitude was more effective.  He believed his vision in Brave New World, in which soma and easy gratification of desire kept discontent at bay, more probable than the 1984 notion of a fear-and-punishment-based society.


It strikes me that the themes of the books are similar, in that both are dystopias dealing with world government, including control by a powerful, if shrouded, elite.  The parallels between what Huxley and Orwell predicted and today’s political climate are strongly evocative, showing how beliefs seeded years and centuries ago grow over time.  There is nothing new about empire building, or the desire for control of larger and larger areas or groups of people.  Fundamentally, it comes down to the desire to control the minds of others, on a grand scale, to make them love (Huxley) or fear (Orwell) their masters.  Individuality, the anarchist, the malcontent, the extremist, become the enemies of the state and threatening to the masses, who are comfortable in the status quo.  These outliers must be discouraged, disempowered, disdained, discredited, disliked, or eliminated, if they veer too far from accepted norms.


While people claim to want leaders, they also resist the authority they delegate.  In Brave New World, perpetual child-like dependency allows for the social stability that seems to ensure the lasting power of the ruling class.  It also creates a state of perpetual stagnation, in which people have no free will and face no challenges or consequences that force them to grow and, theoretically, mature. 


It seems unlikely to me that the world government some hope and others fear will ever be attained, if only because few people fully submit to control by others.  They subvert outside authority through passive resistance or passive aggression if not outright defiance.  The more control government claims, the more unrest it creates, until the forces of resistance overwhelm the efforts to contain it. 


Brave New World Revisited, published in 1958, contains twelve essays in which Huxley explored the differences between democracies and totalitarian governments.  He worried that over-population would lead to over-organization, with increasing efforts by the State to fit individuals into machine-like roles, as in corporations.  He emphasized that organizations are not living beings.  Freedom is necessary in order to become fully human.


Both Brave New World and 1984 depict totalitarian governments teetering on their foundations, forced to use extreme tactics to maintain control of the people they have subjugated.  But for what?  Are the World Controllers in Brave New World, or the Big Brother’s henchmen in 1984 any happier for their lofty positions?  What gratification comes from ruling over a passive and demoralized people, those who are kept in a state of perpetual child-like submissiveness?


It’s hard for me to imagine a totalitarian government lasting for long, simply because its foundations would be composed of homogenized individuals who have never learned to stand on their own, support themselves or each other, and are not motivated or able to carry their presumptive masters.



Autumn Cote Added Aug 16, 2018 - 2:18pm
Please note, it's against the rules to post articles here unless you comment on the work of others.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Stone-Eater Added Aug 16, 2018 - 2:44pm
To the title:
Money and power. A 360° turned around minority complex. Inability to be aware of one's own mortality. The result of this is wanting to enter history. In short: Major mental problems.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 16, 2018 - 2:45pm
Correction: inferiority complex. Sorry ;-)
Dino Manalis Added Aug 16, 2018 - 2:52pm
 Natural is better and familiar.  There should be checks and balances on rulers unless they're autocrats.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 16, 2018 - 3:36pm
Too easy.  When the mountain goat reaches the top of the mountain, he has nowhere to go but down, unless he wants to stagnate.  
I do agree that lust for money and power is the result of an inferiority complex.  The questions becomes, why do regular people delegate so much power to the tyrants, unless they want to share in the bounty without taking responsibility for the crimes?
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2018 - 3:49pm
Two brilliant Sci-Fi novels. I have read both again recently. I think Huxley's had a brilliant first half but the second half faded. Orwell's was more chilling and realistic for me.
We see a lot of double-speak right now. Trump calls out the lying press and issues his own lies as truth. It is verging on the hate speak that Orwell portrayed.
Hopefully the US constitution is strong enough to withstand this onslaught on truth and this tyranny.
FacePalm Added Aug 16, 2018 - 8:46pm
Thanks for the synopsis of Brave New World.  Never read it, myself, though i did read Blair's Animal Farm several times, and 1984 at least twice.  Could play Spirit's "1984," too, once upon a time.
i have several citations from both authors, however, which gave me some glimpses into their minds, hearts, and souls.  One of the most poignant, for me, is from Huxley, which reads:
"Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism... A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers."
-- Aldous Huxley, (1894-1963) Author.  Source: Forward to 'Brave New World', 1932.
And another seems deadly appropriate, given the bent of MSM today:
"The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human."
-- Aldous Huxley(1894-1963) Author
Jeff Jackson Added Aug 16, 2018 - 10:12pm
Katherine, dystopic  novels are usually part of the English readings in middle school, at least in the public school system that I attended. Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature where paper ignites) by Ray Bradbury  is also among the dystopic novels used. The attempt is to expose young readers to the idea of governments that have gone way too far. Fahrenheit 451 has “firemen” whose sole purpose is to destroy books that might give the citizens ideas about how the government ought to behave.  Brave New World, Animal Farm, and Fahrenheit 451 all have similar themes of governments that have taken control of almost every aspect of human behavior. Controlling what people read is a common theme, because, at least in the time of those writers, written material was the main method of transferring knowledge. None of the authors, to my knowledge, could foresee something like the internet, and I cannot blame them for that. We are entering a phase of humanity that has replaced books to a large degree, and that will only grow. People like myself prefer books to understand things, but more and more citizens (young people) are relying on electronic books for news and information.
It has been proven in study after study, that if a student has to write things down, they capture more of the content, learn more, and retain more of the content. Despite the growing evidence that reading from a book and writing down the ideas and content are better, educational institutions are relying more and more on electronic sources. I fear that the reliance on electronic sources will yield citizens who do not understand as much as those who had to read books and handwrite facts and content. Add to lack of understanding the fake news and ideologically-driven content found on the internet and you have citizens who lack an understanding of concepts, as well as their beliefs in false information.  Critical thinking and literary criticism are becoming skills that students and governments find less than useful.
We already have Incels, who are convinced that sex should be provided by the government, and I would bet serious money that they got their information on their situation from the internet, and no other sources. As young people are exposed to more and more false information, and their abilities to critically examine ideas diminishes, they are going to believe and defend concepts that would not have gained any support in an environment of critical thinking and historical context. Most of the governments in the dystopian novels take a dim view of history, and that is a critical point when indoctrinating the citizens to believe the nonsense that the governments of those novels want the public to believe. I also refer you to the deniers of the Holocaust, some of which have attempted to put forth their deranged view of history on this very website. As one of them wrote in one of my responses, “I’ll debate you all day on the Holocaust” when, in fact, there is nothing to debate. The denial of history and the lack of critical thinking is the beginning of societies where citizens are indoctrinated into believing everything the government tells them, without question. I would like to believe that we have not entered the point of no return, but the march of ignorance and belief of internet nonsense is slowly taking over. As Nietzsche said: “Convictions have done more to distort the truth than have lies.”
Pardero Added Aug 17, 2018 - 1:31am
"History is almost always written by the victors and conquerors and gives their view."
Jawaharlal Nehru
"History is strewn thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill, but a lie, well told, is immortal."
Mark Twain
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
Napoleon Bonaparte
Pardero Added Aug 17, 2018 - 1:56am
Katharine Otto,
Both of those books, and Animal Farm, were hugely influential on me. Jack Vance's Emphyrio is a dystopia that features a parasitic financial class that rules over the struggling workers, though it is an adventure story and not really in the same league as the others.
Fahrenheit 451 is nearly obsolete in a world moving away from books, but Forbidden Press does publish some titles that have, for all practical purposes, been banned. Nowadays, monopolies can silence dissent, bury search results, and shadow ban iconoclasts and independent thinkers. We are allowed to debate approved topics only. Next on the agenda: 'hate speech' laws, which should effectively prevent criticism of our masters.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 17, 2018 - 2:12am
Does the mountain goat know where the top is ? It also depends how you define stagnation. On a non-material level there can never be stagnation IMHO...:-)
why do regular people delegate so much power to the tyrants,
I'm not sure if it has much to do with responsibility. Most people don't care for the top but only for their own environment, as long as it doesn't touch vital parts of their lives. Adding to that is the fact that usually the media and the Zeitgeist works in line with those tyrants, so many people only get told which "advantages" life under these tyrants is (see Turkey vote for example, or you can even take Trump at this time. Many people even agree to CLOSE NEWSPAPERS which are confronting him!). 
Doug Plumb Added Aug 17, 2018 - 7:46am
re "It has been proven in study after study, that if a student has to write things down, they capture more of the content, learn more, and retain more of the content."
A serious study of any book results in notes written in the margins. My Kant books are full of margin comments.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 17, 2018 - 11:47am
I think Stone touched on a very key point here. While (thankfully) relatively few people are narcissistic or conceited enough to want to run for public office, those few who do crave power, will generally use whatever power that they attain to gain even more power. 
Q: Do you know the difference between ignorance and apathy?
A: I don't know and I don't care!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the people are largely apathetic to the point of ignorance. As long as they can work their forty and then come home and pop open that forty and turn on the idiot box ... I mean television, they are content in their "freedom". 
On a bright note if you can call it that, change is most often implemented by around three percent of the population. It is just a matter of which side is implementing the change and which side you are on personally I guess. 
Katharine Otto Added Aug 17, 2018 - 2:21pm
I'm not surprised you have read and liked Brave New World and 1984.  Of course both Huxley and Orwell were Brits, and both lived through the world wars, even though Brave New World was written before WWII.  Brave New World Revisited, though, shows the progression of Huxley's thinking, with respect to Hitler, his methods, and the way he and the Communists used propaganda and torture tactics to crush and convert dissenters.
I see many parallels to both novels today, everything from the double-speak you mention in 1984 to the eugenics and drugged up public in Brave New World.  At least television is not mandatory (yet) as it was in 1984.  Disdain for history or history revision.  It's almost as though governments are using the two novels as guidebooks.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 17, 2018 - 2:33pm
I've read Animal Farm, too, but several years ago.  Thanks for the Huxley quotes.  The man was disturbingly prescient in his analyses.  While other people worry about the power of the internet and social media, I see it as an opportunity for regular people to bypass official sources of information, relate directly to others around the world, and move away from centralization.  While the net abounds with propaganda and misinformation, the glut of available sources forces people to become more discriminating in their choices and possibly develop more critical thinking skills.  I remind myself the internet is still in its infancy, so it's understandable that the public would be inexperienced and clumsy with it.  At least you can't kill somebody through a computer, even though you may want to, sometimes.
I was thinking about the de-humanizing tactics of tyrants and conquerors today.  Funny that you would choose that quote.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 17, 2018 - 2:50pm
Fahrenheit 451 was one of my favorite sci-fi dystopias, too.  It was another novel in which the government intentionally "dumbed down" the population, pandering to it with cheap, distracting entertainment and drugs.  History is full of examples of tyrants persecuting intellectuals, destroying educational facilities, or restricting education.  The burning of the library in Alexandria, for instance, which some say was an accident.  The Library of Congress during the War of 1812.  The Catholic Church proscription on literacy among all but the priests.  The law against teaching slaves to read and write in the ante-bellum South.  Even now, on a smaller scale, I've noticed the disappearance from my public library of a number of classics, some of which have been replaced by DVDs.  I had to put a hold on Brave New World and wait two weeks to get it.
Your comments about writing things down are most gratifying and support my views, too.  I take notes on everything I read, write in the margins (when I own the book), and also write my thoughts about it.  Recently, my nephew suggested reading out loud, which helps retention.  All of these tactics could be easily undertaken in schools, at no cost.  Families could read books together.  I recently read in an Andrew Carnegie biography that he and his fiance (later wife) used to read to each other.  I guess this was fairly common in the days before radio and television.  
I find that taking notes forces me to make sure I understand, and it makes me feel as though I'm having a conversation with the author.
Autumn Cote Added Aug 17, 2018 - 2:56pm
I will be promoting this article to the email database shortly. The action usually serves to drum-up a lot of additional page views and comment activity.  If anyone wishes to know why this article is being chosen and not their own, I’ll be happy to explain on this thread.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 17, 2018 - 2:57pm
You've mentioned Emphyrio before, on one of your posts.  I tried to get it from the library, but they didn't have it.  Will make another effort.  I guess they do make an effort to obtain requested books.
Barnes & Noble has a summer reading table that has several of these classics, including Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, Animal Farm, 1984, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, and others that I've known and loved, so not to worry.  Going into a store like that (bourgeois big-box that it is) reminds me that people are still reading quite a lot, including the classics, so we can still hope that young minds will not rot before they ripen.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 17, 2018 - 3:08pm
Maybe the mountain goat sits and meditates, thus transcends the mountain top into nirvana.  
It seems strange to me that so many people seem to lack curiosity and actively resist broadening their outlooks.  I think we've exchanged comments before about how the educational system as we know it stifles rather than promotes curiosity and inquisitiveness.  Television, like teachers and preachers, consists of one-way communication, most of the time.  At least the internet is interactive.  I think its interactive component, like conversation, is one of its best features.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 17, 2018 - 3:13pm
Me, too.  I'm very interactive with my books. I feel I'm adding elements to the book the author didn't intend (and may or may not have wanted).  I figure it adds value.  Maybe somebody else will appreciate it, someday.  One-of-a-kind edition.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 17, 2018 - 3:25pm
I've heard there are more "career politicians" than in the past.  Formerly, perhaps more people really believed they could make a difference, but they learn pretty quickly that the system is a machine that runs itself.  (At least that's my view.)
I have this idea that change occurs when the "masses" reach a point of being ready, either inspired or fed up.  Then, it appears that three percent engineered something that was long in building.  The three percent are catalysts.  Who knows?  
In thinking and writing about the income tax, for instance, I realized it was a long time coming before it was finally enacted.  People were led to believe it was in their best interests, because it was supposed to be a "class tax."  Well, that didn't last long.  In every case of new taxes or increased taxes, people are persuaded to pay for something packaged as though it will benefit them, and they don't want to be told they are being played for fools.  Same with totalitarian government.  Each little infringement seems not so painful, until you're the frog cooked in the slowly heated water.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 17, 2018 - 9:23pm
Why are the goats climbing mountains, Katherine?  Because the mountains are there?  And once you've summited, what are the options?  You can enjoy the view, but wonder what a vast horizon means to a goat.  Mountain climbing, at least to me and in my experience, comes close to feeling ultimately free, but for a goat?
Jeff Jackson Added Aug 18, 2018 - 4:54am
To Rich Kozlovich-Yes, just include my name, and thanks.
Jo A-S Added Aug 18, 2018 - 5:46am
You state:  "It seems unlikely to me that the world government some hope and others fear will ever be attained, if only because few people fully submit to control by others."
However, I disagree.  The more I see in the MSM, the more I see that people are quite sheep-like.
As Goering noted at the Nuremberg trials:

It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.
This quote is attached to a ZEROHEDGE article pointing out how people allowed themselves to be curfewed  at the request of "authorities" during eg the Boston bombing. 
People seem to be happy to be shepherded along by the latest fashions/gossip/"reality TV" programme.  They complain online but, overall, do nothing......
Ah well, that apart, a very good essay.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 18, 2018 - 8:46am
Boston was indeed an amazing example, more poignant than the unconstitutional displays of the government during the Katrina response. In Boston, without so much as a declaration, Martial Law was enacted and ended only after an "exchange of gunfire" with an unarmed suspect resulted in his arrest ... and the people cheered! 
Truly amazing ... and depressing. 
To paraphrase ... "This is how the republic dies ... to thunderous applause!"
There is however, a great mass of people awakening, which does bring some hope ... even if not much. 
Doug Plumb Added Aug 18, 2018 - 2:54pm
re "It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
He was being descriptive, not prescriptive. Its just a reality, and it's truth.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 18, 2018 - 3:20pm
Jeff Michka,
Mountain goats probably climb mountains to find food, and maybe to escape predators.  Otherwise, the statement an analogy to ambitious people who reach the top, figuratively speaking, and have nowhere to go.  Attaining goals can be traumatic, for some people.
Mountain climbing, or hiking in mountains, can be freeing, I agree.  I recently finished reading The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac, which describes a lot of it.  The descriptions are poetic and vivid.  Reminded me of backpacking in the San Juan Mountains in my younger days.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 18, 2018 - 3:21pm
Thanks.  I'm flattered.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 18, 2018 - 3:38pm
Jo A-S,
Absolutely people can be quite sheep-like, or dictators would never succeed, even for short periods.  The MSM also promotes herd mentality and behavior.
Huxley's essays show how preoccupied he was with the conflict between individualism and what he called the "social ethic," which presumes we are all the same.  He emphasized that nature has gone to great lengths to make sure no two creations are identical. Man is not a "social animal," says he, not like termites or ants.  Man, at best, is "moderately gregarious."  
Over-population leads to over-organization, says Huxley.  However, there are always outliers, such as the perpetrator(s) of the Boston bombing.  I suspect even a world government would not be able to prevent terrorists doing what they are determined to do.  There were dissenters in all three of the dystopic novels mentioned above, Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451
Katharine Otto Added Aug 18, 2018 - 3:44pm
The pioneers of a warless world are the youth who refuse military service.--Albert Einstein
As long as people are willing to fight for their governments, or submit to them, they will have power-mad governments.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 18, 2018 - 3:46pm
I believe people are waking up, too, as they see the lies exposed and learn not to take anything for granted.
John Minehan Added Aug 18, 2018 - 4:56pm
One thing from Brave New World Revisited that stuck with me, was Huxley's comment that "opium is the Religion of te People."
Spartacus Added Aug 18, 2018 - 7:09pm
Katharine, you are definitely one of the top writers on this website. 
Thank you for posting.  You set a pretty high standard here.
Spartacus Added Aug 18, 2018 - 9:41pm
. . . I'm sure you knew this already.   But just letting you know that some dumbass wannabee like myself at least has some appreciation for talent.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 19, 2018 - 6:06am
In 1984, Orwell does not imagine a World government.  Instead he imagines three superpowers who hold each other in check.  Of course, due to the nature of fabricated news in 1984, no-one can be sure that this is actually the case.   The suggestion is that we are essentially tribal beings and need to be focussed on an external enemy and therefore away from the true enemy... the system under which we live.  It is also suggested that war is necessary to use up the "wealth" of automated production and to stop them from essentially raising the consciousness of the proles.
In the real world we also have external enemies... real or created.  It used to be the Soviets... now, filling the void, it is Islamic extremists.   Of course war does not (completely) use up the "wealth" of automated production.   Instead it simply disappears into the investment portfolios of a small proportion of society.
Doublethink as a concept can really only be applied to the followers of charismatic political leaders such as Trump.   Trump can claim black is black one minute and then that black is white the next... without his followers ever disagreeing with him or even acknowledging that things were ever any different...   But everywhere manufactured "news" and "alternative facts" abound.   The aim, however, is not to create some uniform orthodoxy of belief as in 1984.. but instead to sow confusion and to prevent the efficient operation of democratic process.  In this it has succeeded.
We still have an elite whose ultimate aim is not a better lifestyle (you can only drive one Maserati at a time) but rather power over other human beings.   This is not through an overt "World Government" but rather through the sheer power of money.    The wealthy are driven by status anxiety on speed.   This is not a situation which in the long term will create any winners because the situation that it creates is not stable.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 19, 2018 - 10:40am
John Minehan,
It is interesting, isn't it, considering the "opioid epidemic" we are facing now.  Huxley also wondered why governments didn't employ drugs more than they do (or did in 1958) for population control, as his world government did in Brave New World.  In fact, our government selectively supports lots of drugs for population control, such as amphetamines for ADHD children, or benzodiazepines for veterans.  I was amazed in the VA at how many vets have been on Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax for 30 years or more.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 19, 2018 - 10:42am
William Stockton,
Thank you so much.  Your praise gives me more incentive to keep writing and to keep trying to give it my best.  I do put a lot of effort into each post, a reason I don't post often.  I enjoy your articles, too.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:07am
In 1984, there was no acknowledged world government, as you correctly claim, but a constantly shifting war of two-against-one of three governments.  However, there were no actual signs of war, such as no bombing of London or any evidence of troops.  For all intents and purposes, absolutism existed, I think.
In group therapy, the unevolved or immature group tends to create scapegoats, on whom to discharge uncomfortable feelings.  The scapegoat subconsciously accepts the projections.  If the situation is allowed to go on, the scapegoat eventually cannot handle the hostility and is "extruded" from the group.  More mature groups recognize the tendency to deny and project their own feelings, take back and integrate the projections, and the whole group ascends to a higher level.
I hear the word "tribal" used a lot, lately, as though it's a character flaw.  I happen to believe tribes can be valuable social units that support individual initiative, sharing, and cooperation.  Their leaders are personal and accessible, ideally.  The term of late seems to be used to disparage those who adhere to a shared value system and fight or try to convert those who don't share the same values.
I would say doublethink is more common than you recognize.  There are those people who work in jobs they don't like "for the money" or "for the benefits."  There are those who want expensive cars and houses in order to impress others.  Those who detest racism, except when it comes to the neighbors who are bringing property values down. 
The elite wouldn't be so powerful if the world didn't worship money.  I also believe war is a mechanism for depleting resources, as well as providing jobs for re-builders, such as in the Middle East.  It's a mechanism for indebting governments (and everyone, by extension) to the international bankers, with the corporations and war contractors riding the gravy train.  Rich people demand the wars for poor people to fight.  If we put the president, Congress, and the Supreme Court--and maybe the Fed's board, too--on the front lines, war would cease.
Anti-Limey Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:15am
My middle school teachers never got around to Brave New World...we were too busy square dancing...yes, square dancing. Valuable life skills for sure! Nice post there Mrs. Otto, who is round at both ends...get it, OttO, lol. I have read 1984, and judging by its effect on Orwell and many others, the Spanish Civil War apparently was a very influential event in world history, I'll have to brush up on that too. The situation in Syria reminds me a lot of that period.
Neil Lock Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:28am
Katharine: A fine article. Thank you. Lots to think about. But I seem to remember that in "1984" there were random bombs going off - set off by the masters, of course?
Robin: For me, there are two groups that want power over others. One (the "left") hate and envy people who are different, individual, talented, and so on. The other (the "right") want to get for themselves the best possible results they can screw out of the system, and damn anyone else.
Most people (except those in or wanting power) hate one or the other of these groups. But too many - even in a forum such as this - see only one side as the bad guys. When, in reality, both sides are the bad guys.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:35am
Michael B.,
And inside out, it's TooT.  I think square dancing is a valuable social skill, and probably more educational than Brave New World.  In fact, I believe dancing in general could be an antidote to much of the angst in the world today.  Turn off the TV and dance.  There is dancing in Brave New World, but it's prelude to orgies.  
Unfortunately, dancing in the US, anyway, seems to have become passe in many places.  People seem excessively self-conscious and uptight.  Maybe it's only my perception, social drop-out that I am.  But when I suggest it to people, for exercise, coordination, balance, limbering up, or breathing, it seems to embarrass them.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:37am
Michael B.,
BTW, I don't know much about the Spanish Civil War, either, or really much about European history.  The little I know came from reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:45am
The actor, Tony Randall, had a fascination for palindromes.  Dick Cavett, the talk show host, asked him why he was so knowledgeable of such an unlikely thing.  Randall replied," It was only natural.  My father's name was 'Otto'" 
Katharine Otto Added Aug 19, 2018 - 11:51am
I didn't know that.  "Radar" is the only palindrome that comes immediately to my mind, but I used to have a longer list.  I'd even forgotten the word "palindrome" until you brought it up.
John Minehan Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:09pm
"A man, a plan, a canal-Panama" or "Able was I ere I saw Elba."
Anti-Limey Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:21pm
@ KO - LOL, clever! Yes, I agree, there should be more dancing in the world! At work, I'm actually known (and notorious) for my dancing, although it's actually part of an ongoing self-prescribed "physical therapy" for my stenosis. I probably should take some pity on my colleagues though, as most of my moves probably look like a combination of someone going through opioid withdrawals and a grizzly bear on a salmon run, lol.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:39pm
Katharine:  Just for the record, there were rocket bombs exploding in London in the novel 1984.  There were also truck loads of Eurasian prisoners who were to be publicly executed.   However Winston Smith did wonder whether the bombs were in fact launched by "the Party" rather than the "enemy".   The "enemy" was useful for those in power as a way of directing the emotions of the people.   For Trump the "enemy" I he uses are mainly Muslims plus, to a lesser extend, Mexicans etc.  Whoever they are, they perform the same role for those in power... to provide a conduit to direct the emotion of the people.
As to "double think"... we all operate at least two levels of thinking all the time when it comes to motivations.  We have our "official" motivations (for a President for example it might be an expressed desire to serve the people) which we tell everyone about.  But then there are the real motivations (what we call "non-task" motivations) which are the real reasons for wanting to do something (e.g. for example I really want to be President because it would be a massive power trip).   Not everyone is actually conscious of their real motivations... but all know the "official" ones.   During my career in marketing the skill was always in how to appeal to the real motivations without appearing to actually do so and, at the same time, giving the subject some "official" reasons for doing what they really want to do.
Hi Neil:   I don't think that there is actually much difference between those seeking power... left or right.   The only differences are the "official" reasons they give.   The mega wealthy effectively rule what we do, however.  It may be that the current wave of false facts etc is a deliberate attempt on their part to subvert democracy and install leaders who will do what they want.   This may be how America ended up with Trump and we ended up with Brexit (where Boris gets the country out of Europe so that he can give it for free to the mega wealthy).  Or it is more likely to not be an actual conspiracy but an accumulation of individual expediential actions which create the same effect
The problem with the current state of Truth Decay however is that we cannot know anything for sure.... because we are surrounded by a cloud of utter bullshit.  No one has the time to do sufficient fact checking.   And the problem is that, false facts, even when shown to be bullshit in unequivocal terms to the subject, still have an effect.   So, for example, even when Trump says that black is white and subsequently multiple sources (video, sound recordings etc etc) show that it is actually black... the subject may still retain the idea that it is white... of maybe at least grey...
FacePalm Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:50pm
One of your posts made me chuckle and remember this citation:
"Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession -- their ignorance.”
-- Hendrick Van Loon
i think it may have been the one about the unevolved using scapegoats; i have observed that many prefer to assign blame rather than accept responsibility, even to the slightest degree.  Pointed that out to the wife of a friend of mine, and i got a blank look followed by an "Of course!" response.  Oy!
I think what has a chance of breaking through to the "un-evolved" may be a variant on the Socratic method, that is, to ask leading questions which allow the listener to validate his/her own realizations, rather than passively listening and thinking whatever to themselves.
When Christ said "Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them in the mud, then turn to rend," i sortof regarded that passage without much understanding on my part.
Later in life, i read "Jesus, the Son of Man" by Kahlil Gibran; that book has a series of vignettes of various people that knew Christ during His purely human manifestation, and their opinions.  In one of them - forget which, offhand - Gibran has one of his characters explain that if you give some hard-won spiritual realization to those who have not been prepared to receive it, it will be rejected as being from a "know-it-all" who's trying to "lecture" them, and as a result, such as these have a tendency to attack rather than reflect and accept.
An insight given was from one of Solomon's Proverbs, where something similar to this was written:  "Reprove a wise man, and he will love you; a fool will despise you for the wisdom of your words."
Some reflection on this passage led me to believe that if one truly wishes to reach a target audience, they will begin with a form of sincere flattery, that is, to compliment the listeners on their perspicacity, their insight, their intelligence, THEN lay down your heavy stuff, preferably making it at least SEEM to be some easy lifting.
As to the OWG/NWO, long planned-for by the self-styled elites - had The Liar taken the presidency, i believe it would have been either fully or damn-near fully implemented by now.  She's been a witch since at least her days in Arkansas, according to a former "fixer" for the Klintons, Larry Nichols; she's also well-versed in her Luciferian mentor's tactics, Saul Alinsky, which she still espouses today, based on her oft-used tactic of accusing her opponent(s) of EXACTLY what she herself is doing. 
Trump has been a major wrench tossed into the machine intended to bring about a satanic OWG by his insistence upon nationalism, e.g. "Nationalism, NOT globalism, will be our credo!" 
Based on much reading, i believe that the kind of "NWO" that the globalists wish to impose is not new at all, but a re-introduction of pre-revolutionary France's untouchable aristocracy preying upon their helpless/hopeless peasants.  Some of the F&F were well-aware of these designs, hinted at below:
"... as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever ..."
-- Benjamin Franklin(1706-1790) US Founding Father
Source: before the Constitutional Convention, (June 2, 1787)
But to answer the question posed in the title of your article, i'd say the only thing they respect is force, as in:
“O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people. Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone.... Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation ... inflicted by those who had no power at all?”
~ Patrick Henry
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty.  Suspect every one who approaches that jew
FacePalm Added Aug 19, 2018 - 12:53pm
...that jewel.  Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.  Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."
-- Patrick Henry(1736-1799) US Founding Father
Source: Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution, June 5, 1788, in_Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution,_ Jonathan Elliot, ed., v.3 p.45 (Philadelphia, 1836)
Doug Plumb Added Aug 19, 2018 - 3:11pm
re "It is interesting, isn't it, considering the "opioid epidemic" we are facing now.  Huxley also wondered why governments didn't employ drugs more than they do (or did in 1958) for population control, as his world government did in Brave New World.  In fact, our government selectively supports lots of drugs for population control, such as amphetamines for ADHD children, or benzodiazepines for veterans.  I was amazed in the VA at how many vets have been on Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax for 30 years or more. "
There is the fluoride in the water and the endless supply of illegal drugs, mostly shipped in by the US government. There is the aspertame in the food, it's endless. Vegatables are now sprayed with fluoride if my sources are correct and I haven't verified them.
Doug Plumb Added Aug 19, 2018 - 3:21pm
We really are under a wide spectrum assault. I remember Huxley's "pneumatic young girls" and think about it along side of the thoughts of Henry Makow's ideas and the number of single young girls pushing baby carriages around town. They are all white girls where I live. It seems that all the immigrants (both Orientals and Arabics) have had the wisdom to prevent their children from falling into the self worshipping and instant gratification trap by having fathers at home. Blacks have been around the West long enough to be corrupted by the satanic Western philosophies of self worship and instant gratification.
Ryan Messano Added Aug 19, 2018 - 4:18pm
Great article, Katharine.  I love Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, 1984, and Animal Farm.  All made a deep impact on me as a child.  What fascinates me today is how many on the left can’t understand Americas Democrat party is headed towards becoming the exact totalitarian government these four books warned against.  Jeff Jackson had a brilliant comment on the importance of writing things down.  
Yesterday, I attended a rally in San Jose against pedophiles.  Sixty San Jose police showed up to protect us because an angry Antifa mob showed up.  These people were brainwashed by the leftist colleges and media to think of us as the enemy, and were incapable of reason.  They were like wild animals, who began to act like crazed dogs when we passed by the fencing the police had partitioned them behind, and began frenetically yelling and flipping us the bird.  Totally irrational.  It makes me sad that we may be headed for a Civil War, and that some of these people will have to pay for their ignorance with their lives.  Just as the Democrats in 1861 fired on the North and Republicans at Fort Sumter, we are very close to a crazed Democrat today touching off another civil War.  
Ryan Messano Added Aug 19, 2018 - 4:18pm
Also, many other great comments.  There are too many to respond to individually.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 19, 2018 - 4:37pm
And you are too much of a gawd maniac to understand half of them, eh, Ryan?  You must be extremely upset people haven't fawn over your comments.  Or said they want to join your church because they're so impressed with your fascist spirituality.  Why not tell KO what you think about women voters, Ryan?  Uh huh.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 19, 2018 - 4:44pm
Doug:  The furthest reaching drug at work in our world today is consumerism.... the idea that stuff will make you happy.  It does for a short time.   You go out, buy that new dress or whatever it might be and, for a day or so... you feel happy.   Then the feeling fades... so you need to buy another new thing and so on.   That is the primary drug that is fed to us by "the system".   To find lasting happiness you need to go cold turkey.
michael d zitterman Added Aug 19, 2018 - 4:52pm
Simple question:  What is the goal of humanity?
All else is meaningless unless we chart that path.
There always will be forces attempting to alter the path. 
Which is more important, quantitative or qualitative life?
Circa 1940, there were 2 billion humans on this planet; by 2020, there will be 8 billion.
Anyone perceive a problem?
Again, what is our goal?  The search for that answer is job #1.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 19, 2018 - 5:05pm
You assume that there is a goal.  I don't think that there is one.   Simply goals for individuals.   We follow what seems to be in our immediate self interest.   All else follows as a consequence from that.
Our self interest can be psychological as well as material.  We may, for example, find the idea that our lifestyle is destroying the planet, and the future for generations to come, uncomfortable and therefore follow actions to ameliorate that discomfort.   Or we may believe in some form of life after death with rules that govern how we may be treated and therefore act accordingly.
Is anyone ever truly altruistic... in the pure sense of the word?
For the record, humanity is expected to peak at about 11 billion.   This may, of course, be an alternative fact since I hear it came from scientists...
Jeff Michka Added Aug 19, 2018 - 7:46pm
What is the goal of humanity, Zitterman?  To tango better with my partner than the couple next to us tangos.  Simple answer to weighty questions.  You are forgetting the most important rightist concept ever:  "You can't believe anything you see or hear."
Doug Plumb Added Aug 19, 2018 - 8:19pm
Who rules the rulers leads to the ideology that rules the rulers. Here it is, its spreading, straight from Winston and the US State dept declassified docs.
Doug Plumb Added Aug 19, 2018 - 8:20pm
re "Doug:  The furthest reaching drug at work in our world today is consumerism.... the idea that stuff will make you happy.  It does for a short time.   You go out, buy that new dress or whatever it might be and, for a day or so... you feel happy.   Then the feeling fades... so you need to buy another new thing and so on.   That is the primary drug that is fed to us by "the system".   To find lasting happiness you need to go cold turkey. "
100% true
Lindsay Wheeler Added Aug 19, 2018 - 10:05pm
And this is exactly why we need nations!  A world government hates nations. Nations prevent the establishment of a world government!  
If a nation went bad, there are other nations to stop it. If a one world government goes bad, whose there to stop it?   
No one. 
That is one reason I'm an ardent nationalist. We need nations to exist, otherwise the earth will become what somebody else named "The Prison Planet". 
michael d zitterman Added Aug 19, 2018 - 10:18pm
Now, that is perspective.
What do you believe Bush (elder) meant by "New World Order"?
Personally, I think he let the cat out of the bag, i.e., he wasn't supposed to expose that "goal".
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 20, 2018 - 1:50am
Nations are irrelevant and impotent in the face of those who truly decide what is going on.   They are a distraction... deliberately so.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 20, 2018 - 3:11am
I would not say that is necessarily the case Robin, or else government would have been implemented on a global scale long ago. The American people and their cursed liberties have been a thorn in the side of the proverbial powers that be since at least the mid eighteen hundreds. 
FacePalm Added Aug 20, 2018 - 3:52am
If you're observant, you may have noticed that most of "the world" follows America's lead.  Nationalist movements are breaking out all around the world, as more become aware of the abhorrent evil that the "leaders" of the NWO/OWG wish to impose.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 20, 2018 - 5:05am
If that is true Ward, then the situation has been changed by the outbreak of advanced Truth Decay.   No-one is really sure of anything anymore.
It is true that over the last 100 years or so we have gained more liberties:  votes for women, the right to roam, National Health Service etc.  However these are all now being assaulted by the PTB who dislike the masses having such freedoms.  The chief weapon being deployed against us is truth decay.   We need to stand up and be counted.
The biggest problem with nationalism is that the very biggest rogues of all use it to manipulate the masses.   No surer way of getting the people to do things which are against their interests than by wrapping yourself in the flag.  You can, of course, also call these freedoms "socialist" and invoke the masses to unthinking rage by using such a magical incantation...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 20, 2018 - 5:12am
More evil has been historically perpetrated in the name of "lets make our nation great again" except perhaps in the name of some religion or other (Gott mit Uns!.... Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition).   A renewed sense of local community spirit would be a much better thing to aim for.   This is the best protection against Truth Decay and the distrust that it breeds.
I know my neighbour... he is a real person to me and not some statistic in a newspaper.  I know the Muslim guy who sells me my newspaper... and the Sikh who lives down our road.    They are not "evil immigrants".... just good human beings like everyone else... who aspire to doing better for themselves and their families.   In the pub I can meet with those who have differing views to mine... even with Brexit voters... and we can share a pint and share our humanity.   This is the best defence... not waving a flag.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 20, 2018 - 7:32am
I am not saying that Nationalism ... in a literal but non-legal sense, has not been abused. You may want to review my article about the Legal but not Lawful American government. Yes, patriotism has been largely abused by the proverbial powers that be ... The Philippine War for Independence or what we refer to as the Spanish American War ... after the Maine ... the Gulf of Tonkin ... some would say 9/11 ... yes, we must defend our nation against those great evils ... never mind that Iraq was home to over eighty billion in assets that were subsequently leveraged and turned into almost a trillion in assets ... 
then there is the ever ubiquitous Left-footed Jackboot crushing our rights and freedoms goooooooooooood - Right-footed jackboot crushing our rights and freedoms baaaaaaaaaaad! 
The American uniparty system is a classic example of this social division and call to patriotism ... and abused. You will get no argument, but again, the individual liberties that remain have maintained their status as a thorn in the side of the globalists ... but much more remains to be done. 
Doug Plumb Added Aug 20, 2018 - 10:00am
@ Lindsay re "And this is exactly why we need nations!  A world government hates nations. Nations prevent the establishment of a world government!  
If a nation went bad, there are other nations to stop it. If a one world government goes bad, whose there to stop it?   
No one. 
That is one reason I'm an ardent nationalist. We need nations to exist, otherwise the earth will become what somebody else named "The Prison Planet".   
This is exactly 100 % truth. Nations are motivated to keep their people strong and smart, good education, no fluoride in the water, no banksters raping little kids, no government selling children for sacrifice, etc. In this case, with honest money, the countries work for their people. Its why Judaism hates nationalism and has created a Pavlovian response to nationalism.
There can be no doubt. Its why ships have bulkheads. There are clear and concise explanations of what we are experiencing that are over 100 years old. There are many of these. They are all the same. I gave one above, here is two more:
Masonic Jewish Conspiracy as written over 100 years ago. (Henry Makow)
  Albert Pike  I don't always agree with Rockin Mr E, usually I do. His summaries are concise and accurate and in the quality range of Henry Makow.
  The Protocols.
Doug Plumb Added Aug 20, 2018 - 10:02am
"Truth Decay"  Good one. lol.
FacePalm Added Aug 20, 2018 - 10:57am
If you're referring to the Albert Pike who was a Mason, then you should also know that he was an avowed satanist, as well - hardly one of your more trustworthy sources.
On a potential point of agreement, i have seen the usual psyop from MSM, to alternately refer to "white nationalism" and "white supremacy" in nearly the same breath, an obvious attempt at brainwashing people into thinking that Nazis are equivalent to Nationalists.  Guess they may have forgotten about the millions of orientals, hispanics, and others who escaped totalitarian nightmares to come here and love America - FIRST.  But the Project Mockingbird types - like CIA boy wunderkind Cooper - dutifully do as they're told, lest their worthless molecules be vaporized and discharged into the vacuum of space...
There have been many quite successful psyops in the past; the one i'm most aware of is the implanting of "homeland" into the national psyche; when i first heard it, i thought "Surely Americans won't be taken in by that hogwash - it's far too reminiscent of 'Der Fadderland,'" but i was apparently quite wrong.  The Hitlerian tactic of the Big Lie is still quite effective - that is, have "authority figures" repeat a lie until it is believed by the masses.
It was a CIA sixties psyop that brought the phrase "conspiracy nut" into the lexicon, as well, as an epithet to distract from doubt in re: the murder of JFK, which also worked well for many years; it is MUCH more fun to mock and laugh at those who THINK than to think for yourself, and the suckers bought in.
Doug Plumb Added Aug 20, 2018 - 12:24pm
re "If you're referring to the Albert Pike who was a Mason, then you should also know that he was an avowed target="_blank">satanist, as well - hardly one of your more trustworthy sources."
I do not trust him to tell me the truth but I do believe he tells his followers the truth, besides, what he said back then has been shown to be true, and is coming true in what we see around us. Documents like the Protocols and what Pike wrote are undeniably true - they were written a long time ago, but we can look around today and see that they are obviously true.
  This one world government forming will be a Jewish government. That means no one has freedom from being tortured in unbelievably sick ways, being raped hundreds of times, and being sent to experimental psychological research facilities. Non Jews have absolutely no rights, including the right to breathe under Talmudic Judaism. Dr. Lorraine Day, a medical professor has a lot to say about Bolshevik medicine and Talmudic Judaism. Lots of brilliant and accomplished people do, hardly the losers sitting in their parents basements as the Jewish press is always saying, and they can be found easily. Many have been censored or imprisoned.
  Its not my belief that Judaism runs the world. Its a cult being used by the people who do. Jewish Supremism is what defines Judaism at its core and it is not rational. Jewish philosophy is not rational, which is why they hate the King Of Reason, Jesus Christ.
Jeff Michka Added Aug 20, 2018 - 1:36pm
How can an invisible sky gawd be "King of Reason?"  Now we've got PlumbDoug doing the "I love gawd" stuff, infecting most WB rightists.  Hey, Douggie....tell the folks how Geezus helped in the Sandyhook school shooting conspiracy.  And be sure you blame Jews more.  You're slipping, Douggie.  Trump expects every rightist to do their duty for conspiracy and country.
FacePalm Added Aug 20, 2018 - 2:10pm
The methodology i've seen the evil ones use is to mix "just a little lie" in amidst the truth, so as to slowly lead astray.
No thanks.  Ain't goin' there.  If you followed the link and watched that 12-odd min. vid, you'd've seen the quote of Albert Pike in which he clearly confessed to worshipping Lucifer, the liar, father of lies, a murderer from the Beginning.  He's smart enough to lead most of the unwary astray.
I had a vision back in '87 which involved meeting him, and he can read minds, especially knowing what you're most likely to be tempted by.
FacePalm Added Aug 20, 2018 - 2:13pm
Oh, and i don't believe the OWG will be anything to do with the Jews, either.  After all, Christ said that there are Jews and there are those who SAY they are Jews, but lie.  Liars are not of the House of Israel.  Remember what He said to Nathaniel, i think it was?  "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile"?
Neil Lock Added Aug 20, 2018 - 3:33pm
Robin: I've only just seen your "Truth Decay" comment. I've been aware of that problem for some time, but those are two fine words to encapsulate it.
In the pub I can meet with those who have differing views to mine... even with Brexit voters... and we can share a pint and share our humanity. Hey - I voted for Brexit! Not because I like the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" - which is neither united, nor a kingdom, nor great. But because I'm still sore about the way the European project was mis-sold to us all as an economic project, when in reality it was a political project all along. Oh, and Cameron's idiotism of sending, at our expense, a booklet of Remainer propaganda to every household in the land, sealed it for me.
As to sharing a pint (or a wassail bowl), I'm with you! (Separate glasses, of course).
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:34am
Neil:  I did not say that we had to agree!   Not agreeing with you does and should not mean that we cannot be friends.   In fact I think democracy can only work if people can disagree and still be civil we each other.
Personally I think that there is a lot that is flawed about the EU but that it is still our best hope.   I just think that Boris and co are out for their own advantage and have also miss-sold the Brexit idea.   We are clearly all going to be much worse off (my foreign competitors are rubbing their hands together with glee at the idea of a no-deal Brexit … believing that they will takeover many of our accounts because our ability to service European customers will be hampered by visa and other forms of red tape etc).  But even though Brexit voters have potentially caused us great damage I bear them no ill will and will certainly share a drink of any description.  I do struggle with those who have the attitude of "me first" and "to hell with everyone else" though.
I have just been made aware of another great comment by Giuliani.  Pressed on whether Trump should face an enquiry over Russian influence over the past election, he said that Trump should not do it lest he perjure himself.   "Truth isn't truth" he said.   A pretty frank admission that truth is whatever the PTB want it to be.  A truly Orwellian moment.
Don Allen Added Aug 21, 2018 - 2:00pm
Nicely done article.  A historical note...
One of the seven wise men, Solon, of ancient Greece penned:
Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law.

The problems of this piece have been forever and forever will be.  Huxley created a horror show, as did Orwell.  Doesn't work in practice if we can believe H. G. Wells, who in the "The Island of Dr. Moreau," lamented his animal experiments a failure due to  "That stubborn animal flesh."  Humans, too!
Katharine Otto Added Aug 21, 2018 - 2:38pm
What a lot of intriguing thoughts and comments here, and I appreciate all the contributions.  
John Minehan,  Thanks for the elaborate palindromes.  I'm way out of my league.
Neil and Robin,
I stand corrected about 1984.  I've read it twice, but it was a long time ago.  You both seem to believe a totalitarian government was implied, even if it was nominally divided into three.
Michael B.,
Dancing is good for you and everyone around.  Lifts you up, loosens you up, gets you breathing right, and it's free.  If people danced more and fought less, we might have less to fight about.
It seems double-think and hypocrisy are the same thing, but I also believe action usually has many motivations.  Do you ever only have one reason or even two, for doing anything?  I think there are probably many reasons, some purely practical, and not necessarily "selfish" or "unselfish."
If you were/are in marketing, you probably have a special understanding of how to present your product or agenda in a way most helpful to your cause.
You and Neil both seem to be talking about control-freaks rather than "left" or "right."  All sides have them in abundance but differ on how to control or who should control.  While those of us who aren't tend to focus on the "mega-wealthy," I wonder if they can get along with each another well or long enough to coalesce into a world government.
I like the term "truth decay," too, but I wonder if there has ever been a wide market for truth.  It is often a matter of perspective and of the information available.  What seems most evident lately, is the explosion of interactive electronic media, such that everyone has a voice (or potentially so), so there are more voices, thus more distortions and outright lies.
I agree on the danger of consumerism.  That leads to the over-fascination with money, government, and taxes, as well as the mind-control by the super-wealthy.  It was a major control mechanism in Brave New World.  Without this consumer/waste/war fixation, money would not have such prominence.
You bring up things I have thought about often.  I believe people have to be ready to receive new information.  For example, you don't teach calculus in elementary school, because kids need grounding in mathematics first.  As far as evolving the unevolved goes, I think it's incumbent on the teacher to have patience, as with a child.  The Socratic method is always good, but it requires patience, too. 
Force just sets up resistance, I think, as does deceit, which may be why the foundations of our society seem to be crumbling now.  I like the martial arts concept of using the enemy's energy to defeat him, with the ultimate goal of making him a friend.  
Katharine Otto Added Aug 21, 2018 - 2:51pm
Michael  Zitterman,
The process is the goal.  The present is the only thing we really have, according to me, so how we think and behave in the present will lead to the next step.  
Aldous Huxley believed over-population would lead to over-organization, with more and more centralization of power, but already birth rates in industrialized countries, like the US and Japan, are falling below the death rates.  Some worry that the "wrong" people are propagating, with world IQ going down, but with the "right" people making wars, environmental toxins, and fast, processed food, we may not have to worry about the planet getting too crowded or too dictatorial.
As long as humankind believes it needs governments, it will have them.  Sometimes it will have multiple governments within the same geographical space, as in the US.  If you live in a city, you pay taxes to four levels of government, city, county, state, and federal.  
Not to worry about world government.  No control-freak will long submit to another control-freak.  And that includes the control-freaks who are expected to pay the taxes and obey the laws that governments pass to provide work for lawyers and taxes for themselves.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:02pm
Katherine:  I think that there were always "untruths" being peddled to further their ends.  No doubt as old an idea as humanity itself.
I think that what is new is the Internet and the facility that it gives to the "untruth" peddler.    It is the sheer deluge of content which makes it pretty much impossible to fact check things.   Rather than making us smarter it seems to have made us more ignorant.  Just the other day I met someone who not only thought that evolution was a hoax but was also convinced that the earth was flat (despite my explaining that if it were you would find it very hard to fly around the world... never mind the observation of ships gradually disappearing over the horizon).   This all came from some "facts" that she had seen on the Internet.
The ideal subject for a totalitarian regime is not an ideologically convinced Nazi or Communist, but someone for whom the distinction between truth and fiction has become blurred (Rudi Giuliani "Truth is not truth").   The problem for us all now is that it is very difficult to tell truth from untruth.  Part of the problem is the reduction in budgets for investigative journalism (itself a consequence of competition from the internet forcing newspapers to economise).  Most "news" sources today are little more than a collection of press releases from interest groups and editorial.  This is hardly objective reporting.
This is a problem for democracy.  Especially when the so called leader of the free world refers to the press as "the enemy of the people".   This makes it very easy for those with the necessary funding to steer public opinion the way that they want it to go.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:10pm
As a group, I think the religions have a longer history of perpetrating evil than the nations, because they need Satan and/or the concept of evil to maintain their relevance.  However, I fully support your notion of meeting others on individual terms, respecting their dignity and their rights to hold differing points of view.  
The globalists are a long-standing thorn in my side, but so is the federal government.  Any system that pits the group (any group) against the individual is unjust.  We have a situation now in which the sheeple are demanding their own rights be restricted in order to control the other guy.  Which part of this picture makes sense?
What ideal nation is motivated to keep its people strong and smart?  Are you referring to the US of A, which has been dumbing down its population since inception?  The nation where people have the status of dependent children, who increasingly believe the government exists to take care of them and expect nothing from them from birth to death?  Well, sure we have a debt-backed monetary system that is borrowing against the future until the sun-burns out, but that's okay.  Global warming will take care of that if McDonalds doesn't kill us first.  
I watched the YouTube about Winston Churchill.  I never liked him, but I'm not surprised about the link between Bolsheviks and Jews.  Marx was a Jew.  Another site I follow says Hitler was a Jew.  However, you don't have to be a Jew to be a control-freak, and Churchill was one of those.   And, like you, I believe the bankers are in control, but it wouldn't be so true of the whole world didn't worship money.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:13pm
Katherine:  On control by the mega wealthy.
I don't really believe that there is any conscious "plot" by the mega wealthy to control us.   It is simply that that is what results from unbridled world-wide capitalism.   
Partly I think it is a consequence of the removal of those with the wealth from the greater mass of humanity.    When the wealthy factory owner actually ran his own factory, he could see his workers trooping in through the gate.
Today's "owner" does so through a web of investments which as so complex that he is probably not even aware of any particular factory that he owns a share of... let alone have any feeling for the people that work there.
This makes it much easier to move the cursor and click the button... effectively moving production to another offshore location or simply replacing workers with automation.  He never has to see or feel the human consequences of his actions... probably is not even aware that there are any consequences.
The greatest danger is that todays mega wealthy person is less aware of the essential interconnected nature which we all have.  Commerce doe not simply require capital and the means of production.  It also requires a market.   Real wages have stagnated for 25 years in the USA and show signs of going onto a downward path.  The longer term danger is of market collapse... which is precisely what we will get if the purchasing power of the mass of humanity goes into a steep dive.  The best defended gated community will not shield you from the consequences of that.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:15pm
Jeff Michka,
Geezus was Jew, too, and I happen to like a lot of what he said.  Too bad the Christian religions have deviated so far from his teachings.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:21pm
Religion is a useful tool for the power hungry.   Religion is a very potent drug because it assuages one of the most severe modern afflictions... status anxiety.
If you submit yourself to something greater (some flavour of God... or maybe art or nature etc), you become less susceptible to status anxiety.  The USA is probably the worst place for status anxiety because everyone there is constantly told that they can be whatever they want to be if they just try hard enough... leading to a large number of people thinking of themselves as "losers".
This may be why religion has such a hold in the USA.
It is then quite easy to get the "faithful" to do whatever you want by simply telling them that it is their God's will...
The Wehrmacht, for example, marched into Poland with "Gott mit Uns" (God is with us) on their belts 
Katharine Otto Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:46pm
That's why King Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church.  Too much competition.  
I don't see religion as that powerful in the US.  Government is our religion.  True the "religious" are quite vocal.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:50pm
Kathrine:  Henry broke with the Catholic Church simply because he lusted after Anne Boleyn.   He wanted to create a "new truth" I guess to let him do what he wanted....
I just see religious arguments cropping up here that I don't hear down the pub...  That is what makes me think that more Americans are in the thrall of religion
Katharine Otto Added Aug 21, 2018 - 3:52pm
Thanks for the compliment.  I don't like pedophiles, either, but I'm no fan of crowds and rallies. The police wouldn't have needed to protect me, because I wouldn't be present, on either side of the fence.
Aldous Huxley wrote about mob psychology, which he called "herd poison" in Brave New World, Revisited.  He was referring to Hitler's tactics of speaking to gatherings as large as he could muster, in the evenings, when they were tired and more suggestible.  People in groups are not as rational as individuals alone, so the mass manipulators use that to influence them.
Katharine Otto Added Aug 21, 2018 - 4:06pm
So many interesting comments that I feel inadequate in responding.  Many possible topics for complete articles.
Don Allen,
Thanks for bringing up The Island of Dr. Moreau.  It is one of my all-time favorite horror stories.  It seems prophetic, considering the modern fascination with genetic engineering. 
I agree the mega-wealthy are not intentionally "evil" although I hate that word.  They are, as you say, many steps removed from the consequences of their actions, buffered by the stock market, among other things.  The CEO, under pressure to show profits, does not want to know what his underlings must do to maximize those profits, so the little guy gets squeezed.  The idea that do-nothing shareholders benefit more than employees from company profits doesn't seem right, but that's the system we have.  That's one reason real wages don't go up.  Another reason is that more and more disposable income goes to taxes. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 21, 2018 - 5:10pm
The challenge is to maintain the income of the lower paid.   What they earn is immediately spent on goods and services.    It keeps the wheels of the economy turning.    The problem with the increasing concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands is that they cannot possibly spend it all.  You can only drive one Maserati at a time.   Effectively the generated wealth is hoovered out of the economy.
Taxes help if they result in income being redistributed towards the lower paid... they effectively put more money back into the economy. Of course the mega wealthy, by virtue of their international holdings etc, are well placed to dodge taxes... so usually you end up taking money out of the hands of the very people that you really want to help...
Katharine Otto Added Aug 22, 2018 - 3:33pm
It's a complex issue, but I believe the marginal income folks pay way more taxes than the rich, and the government funnels more to wealthy than the poor, no matter what people say.  First, there are many more low-income people, so they end up paying more taxes on food and utilities, property taxes, licenses and fees, and payroll taxes.  What we call "corporate welfare," includes subsidies and mandates (like the ethanol mandate), government contracts, and the like.  
It also occurs to me that everyone works for the government (s), either directly or indirectly, so people have come to see the government as ultimate benefactor.  This includes city, county, state and federal employees, government contractors, elected officials, and, of course, recipients of all social benefits programs. 
My point is that the income of the lower-paid would go much farther than it does if they didn't have to pay so much in taxes. 
I know Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, hoping to produce a male heir, but the repercussions went way beyond that.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 22, 2018 - 5:48pm
Henry VIII was so like Donald Trump...
John Minehan Added Aug 22, 2018 - 6:30pm
"Henry VIII was so like Donald Trump . . .'
I don't know, Henry VIII was before my time . . . .  
Doug Plumb Added Aug 22, 2018 - 7:51pm
re "Doug,
What ideal nation is motivated to keep its people strong and smart?  Are you referring to the US of A, which has been dumbing down its population since inception?  The nation where people have the status of dependent children, who increasingly believe the government exists to take care of them and expect nothing from them from birth to death?  Well, sure we have a debt-backed monetary system that is borrowing against the future until the sun-burns out, but that's okay.  Global warming will take care of that if McDonalds doesn't kill us first. "
It seems to me that the USA was created to create an economic power house which would be created by a free society filled with natural resources and for the most part good farming land and good climate. Its resources are now being drained to create world government, part of the creation of a world government is to change from a Republic to an Idiocracy. So we have poisoned water, poisoned education, poisoned press and poisoned Christian ideals (Scofield). The Christian Zionists are the political power in the USA and they are controlled to actually reject Christianity and the common law.
Doug Plumb Added Aug 22, 2018 - 7:52pm
The USA was created with the idea of this powerhouse being used to create and enforce world government.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 23, 2018 - 2:11am
John:  Try reading "Wolf Hall"... it's very entertaining....   Truth was whatever Henry said it was and if you didn't agree...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 23, 2018 - 2:24am
Doug:   The USA was probably not created with any thought at all beyond the idea that a few of its leading citizens could become very wealthy by being in charge.   It is unusual in colonial history because it was a land with a relatively low native population.   Hence the immigrants (today's largely white population) were able to completely overwhelm the natives using superior numbers and technology.
So whilst other colonies would later succumb to the calls for independence from their colonial masters, the native Americans were impotent.  This left the colonists, once they had also severed links with their original governments, free to keep all of the plunder for themselves.
The USA is built upon the theft of a huge land with its resources from its original inhabitants.   This is not to say that these thieves were any different from, or morally inferior to, the thieves who, for example, plundered Africa.  They were simply able to get away with it long term.
Like all peoples, the new Americans needed a nation building myth which sounds a bit more noble than that.  Hence you have today's predominant belief system about it being a land created for "freedom" rather than a land created out of self interest and greed.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 23, 2018 - 2:29am
One of the components of the American myth concerns the Pilgrim fathers fleeing religious persecution.   If you look into the story more closely, you find that it was actually the opposite.   The laws of England at the time forbade you from forcing anyone into any sort of religious observation (I think that this was meant to weaken the religious fundamentalist feelings whilst had largely fueled the civils wars etc).   The Pilgrim Fathers wanted the "freedom" to force their followers into a strict observation... hence they left
Doug Plumb Added Aug 24, 2018 - 9:19am
Robin, the USA was created with an occultic goal. This is evident in the symbolism that surrounds DC. That obolisk is representative of Satan's pecker. There is lots of stuff on it. DC is filled with symbolism.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 24, 2018 - 11:54am
Don't think that is very likely Doug...
Katharine Otto Added Aug 24, 2018 - 4:47pm
Doug and Robin,
You both seem to have part of what I believe is the truth about the US.  I believe the Framers were adventurers looking for treasures and woe to anybody who got in their way.  The Dutch, English, and French brought their wars here and ran over the natives, or corrupted them with alcohol, guns, and bribes.  Most contests with the natives were over land, and as the natives were forced westward, they invaded other natives' land so set up new hostilities.  
Reading about Alexander Hamilton in Ron Chernow's biography convinced me he was a mastermind Machiavelli who rode George Washington like a horse, feeding his ego, while engineering the financial engine the US became.  After all, he grew up working as a bookkeeper for British slave traders and knew all the tricks.  
I've read a lot recently about the Masons, Doug, including the Masonic symbolism in Washington and in the Great Seal.  Both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were Masons, and possibly others, too.  I agree that Washington has the biggest prick in the world.  However, nobody has explained to me the reason for the zodiac on the floor of the Library of Congress.  That is definitely not a Masonic symbol.  
Ward Tipton Added Aug 27, 2018 - 8:37am
"There have been many quite successful psyops in the past; the one i'm most aware of is the implanting of "homeland" into the national psyche; when i first heard it, i thought "Surely Americans won't be taken in by that hogwash - it's far too reminiscent of 'Der Fadderland,'" but i was apparently quite wrong."
The Russians have the Motherland to nurture the Russian people. The Germans have the Fatherland to provide the father's touch to society ... we get the Homeland Homies here in the US. 
George N Romey Added Aug 30, 2018 - 6:52pm
As long as wealth is the name of the game there will be destructive repercussions. It’s been that way throughout time. I assume our society will one day in the not too distant future go through another reboot but this time around we have the capacity to kill the planet.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 31, 2018 - 9:29am
Nah, we would not kill the planet, merely make it uninhabitable for the global virus known as humanity. A few billion years and the planet will be fine. 
Katharine Otto Added Aug 31, 2018 - 2:29pm
The internet allows for the propaganda to spread faster and farther than before.  I agree we won't kill the planet.  As far as I know, man is the most recent evolutionary creature (but for the mutants we are creating), so the older species, and the more adaptable ones, will just mutate and go on.  If there's more CO2 and warmer conditions, plants will thrive.
Well, what can we do about that wealth problem?  I don't know if the wealth itself is the problem, but the way it's used.   It does seem strange that consumerism and waste is advertised as an almost patriotic duty in the US, and other cultures, like China's, are following our bad lead.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 31, 2018 - 3:20pm
We won't kill the planet.   However we may well destroy it's ability to support us.  We may be succeeded by another species, probably cockroaches....
Robin the red breasted songster Added Aug 31, 2018 - 3:20pm
Wealth is a very good thing... if it is well distributed.
Ward Tipton Added Aug 31, 2018 - 9:05pm
For wealth to be distributed, there has to be growth. 
Government "distribution" or "redistribution" of wealth has and always will fail miserably. 
If you took all of the current wealth in the entire planet and divided it up equally between all of the people in existence today, it would scarcely take a couple of weeks before there was a tangible level of disparity. Within a relatively short time, there would be rich and poor yet again. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 1, 2018 - 2:50am
Not necessarily Ward.   And "well distributed" does not mean that everyone has the same.   Those who work harder, or create innovation, deserve to have more.   The problem is that the differences today are huge and mostly not based on effort or contribution... most wealth today is inherited.
Growth, if we are to stay on this planet, has limits to it.    Certainly at our current rate of consumption we will run out.    However to have a good life, we don't need that much material stuff.   But we should all have enough to eat, somewhere to sleep and access to education and health services.   Beyond that, wealth is largely just an exercise in power and, when acquired, delivers only temporary satisfaction before more is required ...
As it says in the song:
Put no faith in rich men, though gold they have in store
For now they have the taste of it, they want it ten times more.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 2, 2018 - 3:45pm
One of Adam Smith's most significant observations in Wealth of Nations was that a penny buys a penny's worth every time it changes hands.  That means that money kept in circulation (real money, that is, not debt-backed money) gets redistributed enough so that its buying power multiplies.  Of course when government gets involved with taxation, the penny's buying power is reduced, but the ultimate effect is the same as increasing the money supply, and healthier for the economy as a whole.  
Our debt-backed system turns logic upside down.  The Fed (and central banks generally) depend on inflation, which reduces the value of savings and the buying power of money, so people have followed the government's example of living beyond their means.  The "wealthy" have more to lose than anyone, because they are holding the most government debt.
The problem with hoarded wealth is that it stagnates so might as well not exist.  Nobody benefits from it.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 2, 2018 - 3:47pm
I was kind of thinking of cockroaches, too.  Also bacteria.
Ward Tipton Added Sep 3, 2018 - 10:46pm
Bacteria or viruses? I think the viruses appear to be much more well equipped for ultimate survival. 
One of the things I found suspect in the Swine Flu virus was the federal government telling everyone washing their hands with anti-bacterial soap ... when it has been proven not to be any more effective than regular soap ... or spray lysol to "kill the virus" ... when most of the problems we have with viruses is a lack of any way to kill them ... thus the whole point behind vaccines injecting small doses of the live viruses so that the body can develop effective antibodies against the virus(es). 
Ward Tipton Added Sep 3, 2018 - 10:46pm
Then again ... Agent Smith was correct when he stated that humanity in itself, is by definition, much akin to the parasitic virus. 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 4, 2018 - 3:32pm
Viruses need living cells within which to reproduce, so bacteria had to come first, to host the viruses.  Because of this some people question whether viruses can be considered "living" organisms.  
You can kill viruses with agents like chlorine, but anything that kills viruses in the body is toxic to the whole body.  That's why vaccines harness the body's own immune system by using weakened or killed viruses to stimulate antibody production in the body.  However, once the illness has taken hold, no medicine will cure it.  It has to run its course.
I don't know the context of Agent Smith's definition, but I would contend that all life that must eat to survive is parasitic on other life.  Only life forms that employ photosynthesis can get their nourishment directly from sun, water, and the elements.  We are not at the "top of the food chain," because we are host to worlds of micro-organisms as well as blood-sucking insects and arachnids.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 4, 2018 - 5:28pm
In a purely scientific sense (which I know in these Trumpian days of truth decay is unfashionable), we are actually a bundle of many micro organisms.   It is very difficult to define a sense of "self" or even consciousness.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 5, 2018 - 2:57pm
I tend to agree with you.  It approaches Oriental belief in qi, which contends that everything has consciousness, even the smallest particles.  Particles attracted to each other in a kind of gestalt form a type of group identity.  Theoretically the human "soul" or consciousness, makes use of and interacts with the physical organism, with its thoughts and beliefs having a direct influence on the body.  This is the foundation of the idea that belief in health (or in illness) tends to attract the circumstances that support the belief.  
None of this can be proved scientifically, of course, but it serves as a good working model, for individuals as well as society.  To have a healthy society requires a belief that it is possible.  I wonder how many people have ideas about how a healthy society might behave.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 5, 2018 - 5:53pm
Katherine:   It is a rather interesting concept when you come to discuss the rights of the "individual".   We are beings with blurred boundaries that depend on other beings...
Katharine Otto Added Sep 6, 2018 - 3:13pm
The idea of "rights" is murky and possibly a defensive position.  The blurred boundaries between individuals is where the interactive dynamic of relationship occurs.  Each new relationship raises the complexity of the dynamic.  I think of it as like overlapping spheres, but with common elements.  The individual core is unique, though, in that no one else can completely know or share that experience.  
That's why an individual who is committed to being all he or she can be has no competition. No one else has that specific set of talents, abilities, interests, genes, and experiences.  (My philosophy.)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Sep 6, 2018 - 5:08pm
I just think that the idea of "self" is largely illusory.   We are even largely unaware of what goes on in our own mind, let alone have any well defined boundary of where we end and something else begins.    We are social animals no matter how hard some try to deny it.  We are healthiest and happiest when we admit that to ourselves.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 6, 2018 - 10:47pm
I believe there is much more to each of us than we can consciously comprehend.  We're not conscious of most bodily functions.  We don't know where the "mind" is and assume it's in the brain.  However, no one has ever proved the mind exists.  
I contend we are multi-dimensional beings but prevented from full awareness because of the limitations of the five senses we accept as valid.  

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