Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome To Minitrue

When George Orwell looked into the heart of politics in 1948 and reversed the digits to predict a foreboding future in 1984, he placed at the core of his tale the means by which government can exert genuine control over a population.

It doesn't do to just be brutal and make the people afraid of you. Fear is a powerful motivator but it tends to work against the cause of it in the end. This is the reason for the fall of dictatorships.

What's needed, Orwell suggested in 1984, is to make the population afraid but focus that fear outward. Thus the people of Airstrip One, the Britain of the not-so-distant future, were locked in an endless war against the brutal hordes of Eurasia, viewing daily footage of an all-consuming conflagration that promised great victories at breakfast and terrifying setbacks at suppertime. Betweentimes, the exhausted population worked solely for the war effort, fearful that their very existence was in constant threat, least from the watching government of Big Brother and mostly from the enemy in a war only ever seen on the telescreens.

Soviet Communism gave the Orwell gambit a good go for decades after World War 2, trying to pursuade their people of the threat to their way of life by decadent Western mores. But the Soviets couldn't afford to wage a real war (it could be argued that in the end they were defeated by being outspent on armaments) and the fantasy of the Western threat could be all too easily shattered by the reality of happy Western tourists in blue jeans and bright clothing, and the exciting music leaking across the borders over the airwaves.

A much better option is a never-ending war against an 'enemy' that cannot be seen.

Thus 'climate change' is Orwell's perfect war, waged upon an implacable, invisible enemy and embraced greedily by governments around the world as a means of distracting the population and setting them to work in the battle against the foe while accepting more and more punishing infringements on their liberties.

It even contains aspects of the pseudo-religious worship of Big Brother. In the war on climate change, Gaia is Big Brother, corrupt scientists her high priests, politicians her cynical policemen, the left-leaning media establishment her Ministry Of Truth, and disbelievers the Winston Smiths who dare to question and must be re-educated for their own good.

-- Nick

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