“What is finished is the idea that this great country is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It’s the individual that’s finished. It’s the single, solitary human being that’s finished. It’s every single one of you out there that’s finished. Because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It’s a nation of some two hundred odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter-than-white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods.” — Howard Beale, in Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 film, Network
But that was only a movie. Who cares about that? You go into a theater, sit there in the dark for a couple of hours, walk out, and think about something else.
For several years now, I’ve been writing about the decline of the individual. The wipeout.
Every time I write an article on this subject, I receive suggestions. I should go back and re-read Marx. I need to understand the difference between “communal, communitarian, community, communist.” I should research worker-owned businesses. What about trans-substantial transpersonal sub-brain algorithmic psychology? How about the pygmies? Ego? Superego? Id?
I appreciate these and other remarks, but I’m talking about the individual, about Self, beyond any construct, beyond citizenship, beyond membership, beyond sociology or anthropology or archeology.
The individual is enshrined in various political documents, but his rights don’t originate there. Neither does courage nor imagination.
I’ve laid out the enormous psyop designed to submerge the individual in unconscious goo. This psyop depends on the repetition of words like: unity, love, caring, community, family. And phrases like “we’re all in this together.”
The individual is characterized as: lone, outsider, selfish,greedy, inhumane, petty. Turn him into an exile, excommunicated from the great body of humanity.
Here, in the usual prose, is a familiar formulation of the grand psyop: “We can no longer afford the luxury of thinking of ourselves as individuals. The stakes are too high. Finally, we must all come together and realize our presence on this planet is a shared experience. The decimation of our resources, through hatred and divisive behavior, the denial of love and community, the cold greed and excessive profit-making, the whole range of social and political injustices—all this can ultimately be laid at the door of the individual who refuses to join the rest of humanity…”
Is this manifesto valid? It’s a deception, BECAUSE it’s aimed at making the individual extinct.
And once that happens, the collective, managed by Globalist princes, will have a clear path to the control of Earth, at the expense of the rest of us. And the cruelties we now witness will pale in comparison to what is in store for us.
“When hopes and dreams are loose in the streets, it is well for the timid to lock doors, shutter windows and lie low until the wrath has passed. For there is often a monstrous incongruity between the hopes, however noble and tender, and the action which follows them. It is as if ivied maidens and garlanded youths were to herald the four horsemen of the apocalypse…The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race, or his holy cause…Collective unity is not the result of the brotherly love of the faithful for each other. The loyalty of the true believer [who surrenders Self] is to the whole — the church, party, nation — and not to his fellow true believer. True loyalty between individuals is possible only in a loose and relatively free society.” — Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, 1951
Wait. Isn’t that a bit harsh? Isn’t that too “critical and negative?” Where is the cosmic share-and-care we need to spread like butter over the whole universe? I mean, Eric Hoffer was a wonderful writer, and he was a working man, a longshoreman for his whole life, so we should admire him, but today’s prophets are wired directly into the Unity that will save us all automatically—like a toaster popping up with toast every time…right?
On some mid-west college campus, a wide-eyed kid of 19, full of hope and optimism, is studying political science. His professor is running down the catalog of stunning injustices that populate far-off regions of the planet.
The boy wants to help. His professor gives him the name of a humanitarian group that runs operations in Africa. The boy, in some sort of “personal crisis,” drops out of school and signs on with the group.
Little does he know that the charity he is now working with in Africa has ties to USAID, which in turn is a solid CIA front. The real mission of the charity, unknown to most or all of its members, is gathering information that can be used as intelligence.
Under the banner of justice, help, hope, and unity of all peoples, the charity is providing actionable intell to CIA-backed “rebel forces” who are carrying out assassinations and bombings in advance of a political coup.
The coup will pave the way for new deals with multinational scum, organized as corporations, to enter the scene and plunder natural resources and labor at more formidable levels.
Five years later, the boy leaves the charity and returns to the US. He is confused, looking for another group in which he can submerge himself. He’s hooked on groups…
The naïve have given up the ghost on their own independent existence. That is the key.
Think of some of the messages of recent pathetic presidents. Bush the Elder: “Kinder, gentler.” Clinton: “I feel your pain.” Bush 2: “No child left behind.” Obama: “We’re all in this together.”
Judging by these presidents’ murderous actions, it’s clear they were selling unity and caring and togetherness as cover stories for oppressive business as usual.
The op? Make the individual extinct, present him as a useless and dangerous and outmoded construct. Then, whatever real unity that might exist between individuals will vanish, because the population will take on the shape of a coagulated mass melted down into a cosmic glob of androidal harmony.
Artists have warned about all this. Their so-called supporters say, “Oh yes, he was a wonderful writer. Misunderstood, of course, but brave in the face of utter rejection.” The usual claptrap. Point is, these gushing advocates conveniently and easily forget what the artists actually wrote.
Here is another reminder from an Outsider who was glad to be outside. He was a hero to some. He was reviled by many.
“A bureau operates on opposite principles of inventing needs to justify its existence. Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action to the complete parasitism of a virus…Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapse. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existence as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host.”
“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”
“There is simply no room left for ‘freedom from the tyranny of government’ since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it.”
The author? William S. Burroughs. But not to worry, he was crazy. Of course he was. He didn’t profess utter loyalty to the mass of humanity. He didn’t prostrate himself before “the greater good.” He didn’t preach unity and togetherness.
He was an individual. Therefore, he is obsolete. A cherished memory of a time now wiped from the mind. Now we are all dancing and marching in the psyop.
Here’s another psyop and cultural theme: the distortion of money and the free market.
The psyop goes this way: The making of $$ is a religious event comparable to the arrival of Jesus or the appearance of the Great Buddha. Indeed, isn’t Christmas the season measured by consumer sales?
A life justified is a life of the bottom-line cash register, a poem to make Shakespeare turn pale with envy.
It doesn’t matter what a product is. If it sells, it must be good. It must mean something profound.
Nail polish, a new plastic toy, a little robot that sings songs—they’re Walt Whitman and Michangelo and Bach because they jumped off store shelves.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are geniuses because they and their companies amassed billions. It has to be so.
The team that put together Goofy Bird III, the summer blockbuster hit, are the Chaucers of our time. The box office proved it.
What product makes more money than any other? War. Therefore, Jesus wore a white leisure suit and played golf with generals and made deals for weapons systems.
“If a young man or woman today wants to express his true individuality and succeed with other like-minded individuals who have no fear of failure, the two businesses to go into are war and banking. My father told me that, and it’s stood me in good stead all these years. It’s the apotheosis of America…”
An artist named Paddy Chayefsky, in his film, Network, covered this waterfront pretty well:
“You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and sub-atomic and galactic structure of things today! And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and You Will Atone!”
Hail to the collective, managed from the top. Ah, but as I said, Network was just a movie.
Who cares about American artists? They need monuments and grants here and there, if they’re still alive, but…taking them seriously? Who would want to do that? They’re just…INDIVIDUALS.
Who would want to keep the individual alive, especially the free, independent, and creative individual? We can learn all we need about that by listening to TED lectures!
Here is another quote from an American artist. This one is REALLY not in the politically correct mode. I mean, how dare he!:
“Tomorrow you may bring about the destruction of your world. Tomorrow you may sing in Paradise above the smoking ruins of your world-cities. But tonight I would like to think of one man, a lone individual, a man without name or country, a man whom I respect because he has absolutely nothing in common with you—MYSELF. Tonight I shall meditate upon that which I am.” — Henry Miller, Black Spring, 1936
And this! From the most celebrated American poet of all! Is this what he really wrote?
“I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself/And what I assume you shall assume/For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you/I loafe and invite my soul/I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass/…Creeds and schools in abeyance…I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked…The smoke of my own breath/Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine…The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides/The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.” — Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, I, II, VI & LII
A celebration of self, and self expanded out into limitless dimensions?
And this is is our real poet laureate?
Something must be wrong.
Yes, the individual, the self—these individual artists—far too messy, too uneven, too unpredictable, too complex to fit into a scheme of the future in which we’ll all be subsumed in a cosmic order.
No, the individual, the self, must be shaved and carved so we can all meld together in a simplified enlightenment.
Here, from the universally acclaimed author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville, another quote that sticks out from the great uniform mass of group-think:
“There is the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says NO! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie; and all men who say no,—why, they are in the happy condition of judicious, unincumbered travellers in Europe; they cross the frontiers into Eternity with nothing but a carpet-bag, — that is to say, the Ego. Whereas those yes-gentry, they travel with heaps of baggage, and, damn them! they will never get through the Custom House.”
There is no doubt; these Individuals are too thorny, too different—and even different from each other. How can we build a world of unity and unified enlightenment if we let them in the door?
We must erase the memory that these people ever existed. We need to cut down space and time, leave them out, and outfit a new continuum so it will accept only the brainwashed and reduced and harmonized desires of the collective.
Yes. That’s it.
Let’s cause everyone to accept one of two things. We are either “all in this together forever,” or money is the supreme and final god of all time and space. Those are the two choices. They both flatten out the soul and prepare it for the endless gray day.
The Individual must be put into permanent exile. We can’t even say what he is. We can’t define him. We can’t hold him within borders. We can’t know what he’ll do.
Sometimes he’s up, sometimes he’s down, sometimes he’s sideways. Sometimes he embraces the whole cosmos, sometimes he’s alone in a room.
The new world can’t have him. For sake of the coming glory, he has to exit.
The Great Psyop hath spoken.
So, you see, when it comes to freedom, I’m not talking about columns and columns of people marching in one direction, most of them moving ahead together, and a few dropping out and scattering. I’m not talking about a billion androids, among whom a few thousand defect.
I’m not talking about androids or columns of marchers at all. I’m talking about Self. The individual apart from any coordinated picture, apart from any tedious idea about what a human being is.
I don’t care whether he chooses to live in a one-room apartment in New York or a commune in Georgia. I don’t care whether he votes Republican or Democrat or the Party of Golden Lucifer. I don’t care about any of those distinctions, because they all proceed from some horrendous and mutilated idea, some shrunken desiccated idea of what the Self IS in the first place.
“Well, we’re really all the same, so the choices a person has aren’t that important…”
We’re really all the same AFTER the great curtain has lowered on the individual and his psyche and his imagination and his daring. Yes, THEN we’re all the same. And then it doesn’t matter what the individual thinks or does, or whether he goes left or right or stays down the middle. THEN he begins to concoct systems and counter-systems and parochial visions he wants to impose on everyone else.
The truth is, we’re all different, astonishingly different. So different, in fact, that left to our own devices, over a long enough span of time, how each one of us would express his deepest thoughts and inventions would make the world into a completely different place.
The individual, the Self, isn’t just a little different or moderately different or quite different. The individual is a revolution all his own, a living breathing revolution.
He can become and identify with any other thing or creature in the universe—or not. He can think with seventeen brains and walk on eight legs if he wants to. He can be Self inventing more Self. He can destroy all forms and shapes of slavery—most importantly his own.
He can love and he can hate. He can experience and create emotions that have never been dreamed of. He can dance with the angels on the head of a pin or drift off past the stars.
He knows freedom is real, and he doesn’t have the slightest interest in interfering with another’s freedom.
This is what political and social movements are FOR: to establish enough freedom for the individual, any individual, so that he can then, if he wants to, become what he is, which is to say, invent his existence entirely according to his own fecund imagination. It will not be a copy of anyone else’s existence. It will not even be close.
After enough time has elapsed, it will be astonishing.
I know many people who believe they are already free and are already living life exactly the way they want to. This is preposterous. At a superficial level, yes. But beyond that, there are oceans of potential expression and invention they haven’t begun to fathom. If by “free” they mean relatively unencumbered by outside forces, but locked down tight as a drum from the inside, then yes, they are free, and good luck to them.
I’ve quoted artists in this essay because I want to impart at least some sense of how different we are from each other. This doesn’t mean we can’t bridge the gulf; of course we can. In fact, it becomes far easier when each of us is speaking with a Voice uncoupled from the “wisdom” of this joke of a society in which we currently live.
The ultimate and permanent fusion of all things is a myth and fairy tale. It’s a fairy tale bought by people who have never ventured off the reservation to discover and invent their own Voice.
If all this is true, then why do I write about the crimes of the medical cartel, the crimes of Monsanto, the corrosive destruction wrought by television? Why bother with any of this? Because I’m for authentic movements to end these crimes. The mafias of this world are out to gain as much control as possible…and finally and ultimately, this means a war against the freedom of every individual. It means writing the individual and his enormous untapped potential out of existence.
When the android-uniformity of all individuals is being sold as marvelous unity, that needs to be pointed out. When millions of people believe uniqueness=uniformity=unity, that’s more Orwellian than Orwell, and it needs to be pointed out.