Cave painting in Spain (BBC)
by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB
What a free ride we had, we of the 20th century. Never thought we would have to concentrate on the problem of power. But now we are overwhelmed by a relatively few men who control us. Biologically, this is no great surprise.
Two of our hard-wired traits can cause us to submit to a dictator. One is derived from a child’s need to obey his parents, which is part and parcel of having been born as a very dependent being. From an early age humans are inclined to follow their elders’ orders.
The other is the fact that our species is hierarchical. All Homo sapiens individuals are able to identify who is above them and who is beneath them (as is true in some other species, too). It must be that everyone is born with the capacity to accept a low role on the ladder. We are all potential slaves!
A Three-Stage History
The author of Orwell’s 1984 knew that every person can be made to give in, psychologically. The star of that book, Winston Smith, was a dissident. He held out for a long time. But eventually “he loved Big Brother.”
I offer the following theory: All humans can be made to give in to the persons above them.
Note: when I say “the author of Orwell’s 1984,” I don’t mean George Orwell himself. Granted, he may have put that book together but he was, I believe, acting as a scribe for “the cabal.” They knew that humans could be manipulated in the way Winston was; they had studied the relevant mechanisms of human nature. They experimented!
I posit three stages in our history and prehistory. I’ll call the first of these “cave man.” The second is “modern man.” The third is “Winston man” – he is all alone, completely vulnerable to coercion.
1. Cave Man
Don’t hold me to the particulars of where Cave Man lived or when. Let’s just say he’s newly evolved from primates including our ancestral hominid species.
He is still close to his animal past. He has no language. Like all of us, his main focus is daily life.
Each cave man was either a follower or a leader. All societies have in their ranks a small number of leader types. They pop up from nowhere. I’ll concentrate here on the fellow who is not a leader.
How does cave man live? Each person is constrained by two things: his needs – e.g., he must obtain food and sleep — and the resources available. He can’t live “beyond his means” as there is no way to do that.
How does he make up his mind as to what to do each day? There are two guides: instinct and culture. Instincts are hard-wired. For example, it’s instinctive to bow to one’s superior; it’s instinctive for adolescent boys and girls to flirt. The fact that culture guides cave man means mainly that he imitates others. He does the done thing.
How about power within the group? The individual is at the mercy of any fellow that is more predatory. Cave man’s standard options are: to hide from the predator or to form alliances against him.
Note: if the head of the tribe is the patriarch who cares about all his progeny that is good protection against bullies.
2. Modern Man
I do not know how many millennia passed before the life of “cave men” gave way to ancient societies. Language and culture emerged early on. People gained technology such as smelting iron ore and the knowledge of how to plant seeds.
Let’s skip over the early post-cave man era and come to the twentieth century. Wow. By this point we’d acquired airplanes, libraries of books on a million subjects, and a social arrangement that allowed 90% of the people to obtain food from a market rather than straight from the earth.
We also had legalization of ownership of things and a system of money for designating the value of everything. This led to accumulation of wealth and power by a few people.
Prior to the modern era, a strong individual wanting to rise up over the weak had to use drive or talent, perhaps fisticuffs. In modern times, it doesn’t necessarily require personal strength. The rich can hire guards and hit-men.
So now we ask, how does the modern person live? There is no getting away from instincts (one still bows unconsciously to one’s superior; adolescents still flirt). But now there are elaborate cultural traditions.
As for power relations, they got shaken-up by language; people can discuss their preferences as to how to live. Written texts in particular can raise ideals for the group. These are sometimes attributed to a divine source.
Then, a few centuries ago, some thinkers endeavored to invent a power-relations system from scratch! They purported to treat all persons as having rights. They built a legal system, buttressing it with moral principle. “Freedom” was talked up.
3. Winston Man
Now we come to the crux of my theory that “all humans can be made to give in to the persons above them.” As I said, the cabal has studied human nature and can manipulate a person like the Winston character (the ‘hero’ of Orwell’s 1984).
In this section, “Winston man” means all of us in the so-called “post-11” world. The concept of a Winston man came to me when I saw, in mid-November, 2015, how readily a “terrorist” incident in Paris led folks everywhere to accept new powers for police, just as they had done after the attacks of 9-11.
The chutzpah of the cabal in arranging for these “terrorist” attacks suggests to me that they know well their power to “fool all of the people all of the time.” I am sure they have studied this in great detail. We’d better take them seriously!
How does Winston man live? In the case of cave man, I said that each person is constrained by two things: his needs and the resources available. I also said he is guided by two things: his instincts and his culture. For Winston man, those constraints and guides are still in operation. The basic human needs and instincts never change. Available resources do change; so does culture.
What’s the big deal that has made modern man change into Winston man in the 21st century? I think the big deal is twofold: demography, and concentration of wealth.
In the twentieth century, the world’s population more than tripled, from 1.9 billion to 7 billion. We rarely talk about the pressures of population on the individual and on the way it changes social structure, but it must have a tremendous effect.
For one thing, a large population of anonymous citizens loses the social control formerly exercised by one’s local group. Each of us knows that we’re unlikely to get away with bad behavior in a small group with everyone keeping an eye on everyone.
Also, when the group is huge, everybody starts to worry that a few free-riders will take advantage — and thus make fools of the honest ones. This is a significant disincentive to remain honest. “Let’s cheat. Everybody does.”
Large numbers may even have an effect on our close relationships. Consider this quote from Orwell’s 1984:
“The thing that now suddenly struck Winston was that his mother’s death, nearly thirty years ago, had been tragic and sorrowful in a way that was no longer possible. Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there was still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.”
Orwell didn’t attribute this to demography. He was showing us a totalitarian government’s ability to carry out social engineering. Still, in a society where values are not shared, individuals are mere ‘atoms.’ And a big city is a place to which many people go as loners.
Note: I’ve claimed that our human needs and instincts remain fixed. The quote about Winston’s mother reveals a drastic change. The new, Orwellian way is in conflict with our instinctive love for family, and our human need for warm relationships and loyalty.
So will people’s emotional disappointment and frustration today force a change back to a more human way of life? Will criticism of the cabal’s outrageous social engineering bring about a renewal of love? No. Sorry. It cannot.
Why? Because “Winston man” can be forced to do the bidding of his masters.
Concentration of Wealth
The other important change today, besides demography, has to do with power relations. For two or more centuries there has been a hidden government (the “cabal”). Some men have been able to take over existing governments. Although this can be done by military coup, it’s usually done quietly, by infiltration.
The persons who arrange this must have great wealth. Perhaps their wealth gave them initially the self-confidence to act boldly. Most importantly, of course, their money lets them bribe government officials.
“Winston man” is no match for the cabal. He may have been a match for an honest democratic government – he could hope to influence legislation, or even run for office himself. But now the government is composed of yes men working for “deciders” whose names we do not even know!
Today one finds it hopeless to discuss crucial issues with parliamentarians; they seem to be in la-la land. I don’t know to what extent this was achieved by bribery. Some say intimidation is more important. There is also a very big possibility that hypnosis is used.
Concentrated wealth lets the few at the top buy up the means by which citizens’ minds can be controlled — via education, entertainment, and “the news.” In fact the cabal controls all aspects of culture — from fashion to religion. It needs to make sure no new social institutions arise, outside of its control.
The powerful even need to alter the structure of the family. As bonding is a source of human strength, it’s “bad!” Media has been promoting a lack of family ties for decades. A few pictures on a magazine cover go a long way to telling the young how they should live.
Putting the Squeeze On
Our modern society had created a marvelous apparatus for legal fairness. A court could see to it that problems were straightened out. The intelligence of intellectuals could contribute creative and rational solutions.
That recently came to an end. It is as though the public fell under a spell. Some individuals can see it, but most cannot. Presently, it is the norm to tolerate corruption in government, in science, and in the Church. People have adjusted. “Ho hum.”
The cabal’s men are counting on the fact that even their critics will eventually love Big Brother. I have often wondered how they seem so relaxed, not worried that folks will rise up against them. Look at all those angry websites and Youtube videos!
Readers of my articles at Gumshoe know that I have largely chalked our problem up to mind control. Not any more. I now chalk it up to force.
A few days ago in one of the states of Australia, it was announced that police have been given permission to shoot ‘suspects.’ That basically means that a cop (or military person wearing a cop’s badge) has free reign. He himself will be under great pressure to treat citizens with absolute disrespect.
The “Winstons” among us have no comeback for such state-violence. We can’t fight the cops physically on their own terms – do we have Tasers, drones, and bioweapons? No.
So, can Winston appeal to his elected officials, the judicial system, or the media? Nope. He is simply stuck. There is no way around the combination of official (sanctioned) force and public resignation to it.
But I went further than that in my opening claim. I didn’t merely say we’ll fail to turn things around. I said we’ll all end up loving Big Brother. That includes myself, though I had never realized it before. Yes, I will love Big Brother!
Why? Because humans are built that way. Our brain evolved a set of traits to suit a different era. We are obedient creatures (accurately labeled ‘sheeple’) and we are in awe of authority. And that’s that. Also, something deep in our brain helps us adjust to our rank in society. “Go on, kick me. Please”
So I now claim that the thing that’s killing us is biological. It’s that we insist on viewing people above us as unassailable. We gladly take up cudgels against a lowlife criminal. But when it’s a person of authority we ooh and ah like they’re holy. “Let’s bow and scrape.”
And anyway, the simple truth is: force wins. Winston knew what a wretched creature Big Brother was. He knew he wanted to stick up for the right. But once he was arrested there was no longer any way to do that. O’Brien tortured him and showed him the way to “consent” to it all.
— Mary W Maxwell lives in Adelaide, and is producing a show for the 2016 Fringe. She can be reached at maryWmaxwell. Her first book was “Human Evolution,” published by Columbia University Press – in 1984!