For when the whole vast world of men shall be — By waters ruined, ye'll wail a dreadful song.
I, the Monster, am doing the thinking, run toward the destiny I have planned for you, run without stopping to the end of the road where I have put the Bomb or the complete degradation of humanity — we're almost there, run with your eyes closed, it's easier, shout all together Justice — Patriotism — Progress — Intelligence — Dignity — Civilization.
What, you aren't running — you're sailing around on your boat, just to think! and you dare complain into your tape recorder saying what you have in your heart just wait, you poor fool, I'm going to shoot you down in flames guys who get angry and speak out are very dangerous for me, I have to shut them up if too many of them started getting angry, I wouldn't be able to drive the human cattle as I please, their eyes and ears blocked by Pride, Stupidity and Cowardice and I'm in a hurry to get them, bleating and satisfied, where I want them to go.
And I know all that is no dream, everything beautiful and good that men have done they built with their dreams but back there, the Monster has taken over for men, it dreams in our place. It would have us believe that man is the centre of the universe, that all rights are his on the pretense that he invented the steam engine and lots of other machines, and that he will someday reach the stars if he just hurries a little before the next bomb.
They drive cars because they consider the pollution created by one car insignificant, and because they do not feel personally deprived of freedom when they drive. It is also difficult to be protected against monopoly when a society is already littered with roads, schools, or hospitals, when independent action has been paralyzed for so long that the ability for it seems to have atrophied, and when simple alternatives seem beyond the reach of the imagination.
The inhabitant of the city is in touch with thousands of systems, but only peripherally with each. He knows how to operate the TV or the telephone, but their workings are hidden from him. Learning by primary experience is restricted to self-adjustment in the midst of packaged commodities. He feels less and less secure in doing his own thing. Cooking, courtesy, and sex become subject matters in which instruction is required.
When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.
No depersonalisation, no degradation of man is more effective than the one that seems to preserve the freedom of the personality and the rights of that individual. Each separately undergoes the conditioning process, which works just as well in the cages where individuals are now confined, despite their loneliness, in their millions of isolated units.
This treatment is inconspicuous since it is presented as fun, since it conceals from its victim the sacrifices it demands of her and leaves her with the illusion of a private life or at least of a private space. As the power of machines increases, the more the role of persons decreases to that of mere consumers.
Year by year it was served with increased efficiency and decreased intelligence. The better a man knew his own duties upon it, the less he understood the duties of his neighbour, and in all the world there was not one who understood the monster as a whole. Those master brains had perished. They had left full directions, it is true, and their successors had each of them mastered a portion of those directions. But Humanity, in its desire for comfort, had over-reached itself. ~
Incoming: technocracy simulacra