by Kung Fu Zu 12/17/15
Like many Americans, and most of the contributors to StubbornThings, I am continually trying to understand the nature and motivation of those who mis-rule us. To my mind, members of both parties as well as numerous so-called power-brokers belong to this cabal.
Imagine then my relief when I came across a paragraph which pulled away the mask, got to the root of and exposed what actually drives many, if not most, of those in power. The following is from Orwell’s novel, 1984. The setting is a discussion between O’Brien and Winston Smith. The quote is the moment O’Brien lays bare the true motivation of the “Party.”
“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
Does this sound familiar? This is what we are up against. The power-elite of this country adhere to the above as their guiding doctrine. It is their “Golden Rule.” Of course, they will never be so crass or honest as to say such a thing, but the underlying conceit is there.
It is the same for the power-elite in Europe and Asia. In the end, “ism” means little to any of them. They will use this or that “ism” to obtain and maintain their power. They will use any ruse to suit their purposes. For example, the phony Global warming hoax is simply a tool for them to expand their power.
The belief expressed by O’Brien is as old as humanity. Some will always seek power for itself. What is different today is the fact that technology is giving the power-elite the tools to maintain an eye on, and control over, technologically advanced societies. As a teenager, I feared the potential power computers would give the State, and I am seeing my fears come true.
By combining a huge proliferation of laws, which no one can fully know or follow, with the ability to track every aspect of people’s lives, the government does not have to resort to messy physical force in order to keep the people in line. Instead, it can decide to prosecute anyone at any time as just about everyone is in contravention of some federal law or other, knowingly or otherwise. Furthermore, with its eavesdropping powers, the government can sanction political insiders who might pose a threat. Do not doubt that the NSA and FBI hold many secrets which could be used against those power-brokers who become too obstreperous. It would be a simple thing to discipline them in a very public manner in the view of millions (Think David Petreus). Few people are able to stand up to such pressure. And for those few, the government always has the option of violence.
History shows that, except in rare cases, those who reach the top are there because they crave power and are not overly scrupulous as to their means of obtaining it — not because they wish to help others. Our founders understood this and established a political system of governance which took this sad fact into consideration. They knew that all those who seek or are in power must be monitored and their power must be held in check. For most of our history, the people of the United States were able to fulfill this obligation. Unfortunately, “We the Ruled” have fallen down on the job, thus allowing too many scoundrels, thieves, and felonious types to rise to positions of great responsibility and expanding authority. We are far down the road to a government as envisioned in 1984 and if we want to avoid a lecture by our O’Brien, we had better start getting involved and take back power from the elites.
Kung Fu Zu is a conservative prognosticator who has traveled widely and lived outside the United States. • (2375 views)