satanism today and tomorrow

Big Brother's Comeback

Milchar

 

People often say that any new technology finds its application to a war first, and only later a civil usage for it appears. For example, the nuclear energy had been used in the bomb long before the first nuclear power plant was built. However, it would be more general to say that this is usually the state to become the first user of new technologies, because they are always so expensive in the beginning that only the state can afford them. War is just such a sphere of the state interests that has the greatest demand on technical novelties. However, we should not forget that a second such sphere exists, and this is the surveillance of the people's activities. This is exactly the area where the recent inventions in information technologies can be applied to a great extent.

We are already used to one of them -- the cheap, compact cameras standing everywhere for the aims of security... or what somebody means under "security". Although this is not a novelty, and analog cameras were installed the same way long before, the crucial element of any modern surveillance system is the software for processing the images from cameras. This is the area where a strategical breakthrough has been made for the last decade. As a result, now we can have:
- automatic recognition of faces, poses, and behavior from video;
- tracking the movement trajectory of the recognized object and its contacts with other objects;
- automatic search in the databases of fingerprints;
- automatic search for pornography in images and video.

Certainly, some of this was possible to do with less advanced tools already a couple of decades before. But the technologies available today allow for the state to not just watch the citizens, but to do it automatically. While the authoritarian regimes of the 20th century were limited by the fact that any widening of mass surveillance required a proportional increase of the police staff, now computers can do much of the job. This is also important that these computer technologies become more efficient with wider extent of surveillance.

Theoretically, we could expect that the novelties in mass surveillance would attract the greatest interest by the regimes in China or Iran, for example. However, in practice we can see that this is the Western countries, proud of their freedom and democracy, who are the first and the most active in implementing the newest high-tech surveillance technologies. This is not just because these technologies are a Western invention; nor is this because the Iranian regime does not need any advanced investigation methods in order to put into prison whomever it wants. The main cause is the special role of the Western countries in the world now.

No one system, including political and social systems, can stay unchanged. If it does not develop, it starts to degrade. None of the countries on Earth pretends now to provide better opportunities for its citizens than the Western countries can. The world today consists of:
- the West;
- the countries following the Western example in every sphere of life;
- the countries that has lagged behind forever and console themselves with their Glorious History, True Religion, Great Leader, etc.
That's it! Nobody else lives on this planet now. Despite of all unpleasantness of the Communism, it played an important positive role of the Western world's rival selling a different political system, which stimulated the Western countries to care about the attractiveness of their own social structure. By now, the Western liberal democracy has become a super-successful monopoly on the market of political systems. Although it won the competition deservedly, it now starts to behave like any other monopoly: worsening the quality of its product (freedom, welfare, etc.) and increasing the price (taxes and immigration barriers).

The Western mass media worry so much now about the internet censorship in China or Twitter ban in Turkey that it already starts to look like an organized campaign aiming to divert people's attention from the fact that the situation in the countries thinking of themselves as free is not much better. The Western leaders are just more concerned about different things than their authoritarian Asian counterparts. They don't care at all if people criticize their policy; what they are truly afraid of is the chance for a really new, non-Christian, culture to appear in their countries. I am speaking about a really new culture, not just a different one (the Western establishment would say nothing against if it were a conservative, patriarchal culture like the Islamic or the traditional Jewish one). The reason is that a new culture brings a different view not only on esthetics and art, but also on all actual political and social issues.

In practice, this means that, if tomorrow a new culture comes to the Western countries and gains popularity there, the day after tomorrow all the recording companies selling pops on obsolete disk formats will go bankrupts, all the vice squad officers will be made redundant, and politicians from the parties established in the 19th century will be no longer able to get their usual 40-50% votes. Certainly, nobody among these guys is interested in such a turn of history. This is even to say nothing about the great chance for the political system to be also questioned by the new culture; at least, this is exactly what happened in the 1960s, the last time when a new culture appeared in the West. Therefore, the real goal of the conservative establishment now is to not allow new 1960s to come. This is why they try to keep their control on the culture and to stop anything essentially new.

While in the 1960s the leaders of the Western world were caught unawares by the hippie culture and everything it brought, today's generation of the establishment has learned this lesson and knows: what exactly they should stop at any cost. Their main preventive measure is to give an ersatz of new culture to the masses instead. This is being done by two ways.

First, the Western establishment spreads the idea of so called multiculturalism, which distorts the very meaning of culture. The propaganda says that many different cultures exist in the world and they all are equal. But in fact, some cultures are treated as more equal than others. Only conservative and patriarchal cultures (such as Islamic or Orthodox Jewish) are given admittance to the Western world under the flag of multiculturalism, while newer and freer cultures (for example, B.Sh.Rajneesh's Ashram) are pursued and expelled. The aim of this is to make an impression that nothing freer than the modern Christian Western culture can exist at all. (Such phenomena of different cultures as Chinese food, Indian movies, or African hairstyles pose no treat to the existing system -- as long as they don't call people to stop watching TV and start questioning the belief that their country is really free and democratic.)

Second, the show business and pop-music industry, which developed quite independently until the 1960s, are now becoming an instrument of politics. Generally, the owners of show business have the same interest here as the state: they don't want any unpredictable changes in the culture; instead, they want to design and sell every new music style the same way as if it were a new car model. This is why since the 1970s the show business started to design new "alternative" pop styles and to build up the communities of their fans. There have been many of them since that time, and they all play the same two roles:
1) to buy the music and fashion products targeted at them;
2) to never ever try to change anything in the society.
The idols of these communities count billions on their bank accounts and pretend to subvert the foundations of music and not only music. Every second pop star is compared to Lennon or Morrison and claims to have created a new style – an alternative and deeply underground one, of course!

The leaders of the Western countries have learned that, for suppression of dissent, the Huxleyan recipes work much better than the Orwellian ones. Why put the dissidents in the Room 101 with rats when it's possible to make clowns of them instead and even sell tickets to their shows? The only thing to do is to make any revolutionary ideas not taken seriously and perceived as just another fashion trend and entertainment. If every second office employee wears a T-shirt with a portrait of Che Guevara, their bosses don't need to worry about the real Che Guevara.

This is the primary defense line of the conservative establishment, but they also have a second one: to stop spreading any new culture if it still appears. Since the internet is the most obvious way for any new culture to spread, an important goal for the conservative state leaders is now to set up and maintain a system of global control over the internet, i.e. a global set of restrictions on publishing some kinds of information. If some states introduce their own additional restrictions, like China and Turkey do, they are gently criticized for it, but it's considered to be their internal affair as long as they don't allow anything that is banned in, for example, the USA. This is because the "democratic" and the "authoritarian" state leaders have the same interest here: if even a single small country without any superpower ambitions allows to freely publish absolutely everything in its national internet domain, this can lead to a real global revolution. (However, in such a case we will probably see total censorship and site-blocking in the countries that are criticizing China for it now, and all main world media will picture this country as an infernal totalitarian regime sponsoring terrorism and drug-dealing all over the world.)

For controlling the internet, the state leaders follow the same strategy as for controlling the culture: to find corporations that have the same interests, and to help them in gaining a monopoly. The most effective instrument that they can found in this case is social networks, which have many useful features for both the political authorities and the corporations that run business on the internet. In a social network, nobody can be really anonymous, information on the users is continuously gathered by its software, and any user can be banned and reported to the police at any moment.

Surely, the establishment never forgets that not the criticism in social networks, but the uncontrolled culture is the main threat. This is why they try to ban publishing any pieces of culture on the internet. Here, they find the same allies again: the show and publishing business that holds the copyright on everything and has its own interest to stop spreading any texts, music, video and software via the internet. This is where all the campaigns against "piracy" and "electronic theft" are coming from. Now if the authors want to publish their own creations on the web, they can also face troubles due to "copyright violation". This means that the copyright on everything that we are reading, listening, watching and running on our computers belongs to the corporations. Everything that does not belong to the corporations is by default suspected of being a possible child porn, hate speech... or whatever other witches are hunted in this season.

This is the way how the conservative establishment of the Western countries is trying to stop any new cultural forms and any progressive changes in the society – this is their minimum program. The maximum program is to return the Western society back to the "good old times" before the 1960s. They have already done quite much in this direction too. First of all to mention is the ongoing sexual counterrevolution under the flag of fighting the sexual violence. Before, they were banning erotic materials for being "indecent", now they ban them for "violence against women".

This is complemented with the hysteria around the pedophilia issue that have been heated for decades already. By pretending to "protect the children from sexual abuse", the society raises yet another generation of terrified neurotics believing in "maniac under the bed" stories, while the mass culture (which is now the main instrument of conservative propaganda) keeps on producing junk movies based on such stories. This all decreases the chance for the new generation to become creators of a new culture: a neurotic, afraid of everything since the cradle, will be clinging to the strong policeman's sleeve for life and do everything as that strong policeman says – for the sake of safety, which is always under threat, according to mass media and Hollywood.

As for the foreign policy, we can now see the Western countries playing "war on terror" while in fact supporting the Islamic terrorist groups. The conservative Christian politicians sympathize more with Islam rather than the secular modern Western culture. They want to have a strain of medieval religiosity in their access and use it when they want to roll the society back in its morality. In the USA, local fundamentalists are available, while in Europe they are being imported from Muslim countries. They help the conservative Western leaders, for example, to issue a ban on topless swimming on the quays of Paris and in the swimming pools of Stockholm not just on the politicians' whim, but due to the protests of the local Muslim community.

This is the tactics of the conservative Western establishment in their counteroffensive on the rights and freedoms that we gained in the 1960s. While Pinochet introduced censorship and banned mini skirts already on the first day after the coup, today's Western leaders are doing the same step by step, slowly: ban on prostitution in Sweden, ban on nude beaches in Spain, ban on striptease in Iceland... The citizens don't notice anything, until some day they'll wake up under a regime by no means better than Pinochet's one.

Somebody can argue: "The Europeans and Americans can stand for their rights! They will not allow to turn their countries into totalitarian regimes!" I would like to be optimistic on this point too, but, unfortunately, I can see a problem that is usually underestimated: for the citizens to defend their rights, they need first to realize that their rights are under threat. People in the West believe in the expansion of freedom and don't expect a roll-back in it, which is already going on, especially after the September 11th events. They take their rights and freedoms for granted and hardly ever think about the risk to lose them. The citizens of the Western countries are being taught from the cradle that their countries are free and democratic; a prospective of gradual slide into totalitarianism is hard to imagine for them. And the last, but not the least: the root of all totalitarian tendencies in the Western culture – the hypocritical Christian morality – is alive and thirsty for revenge after its retreat in the end of the 20th century.

By now, the emerging totalitarianism of the 21st century looks much different both from its 20th century predecessors and from today's Third World imitations. This is why it will be difficult to recognize and stop it before it's too late. The future dictators will not just stupidly oppose democracy or liberalism; they will praise it in words and stifle it in fact. We have already seen enough examples of imitation of democracy, for the new regime to be able to go without any portraits of the Great Leader and slogans, as well as without the One True Ideology and One True Party; such signs of the stereotypical totalitarianism would only alarm everybody now. Instead, the high-tech totalitarianism will have all attributes of electoral democracy, with a choice between two rotten apples and no real opportunity to elect anybody else. Probably, there will be no prison camps, maybe even no prisons at all; criminals and dissidents together will be put into Keseyan psychiatric hospitals and "cured" of "propensity for violence", "pedophilia", "hyperactivity", "sociopathy", etc. The worst thing is that such a regime will find support from a majority of the population, because it will be able to really reduce crime, since the newest surveillance technologies are being developed for this purpose first.

"Why would they be watching me?! This all is paranoia!" – somebody can say. I could have agreed in the 20th century, but not now. The main difference of the new surveillance technologies from those of the previous century is that it's no need now to select a person to watch; instead, it's now possible to watch everybody. The computational capacity and the volume of hard disks is now enough for an internet provider to keep the logs of every action of all the users and to check all pages being surfed for presence of prohibited content in real time. Quite soon it will be also possible to keep archives of video from many surveillance cameras and analyze them together: who, when and where have been, what he did and with whom contacted. (And, surely, nobody will double-check manually whether it's really happened or it's been just a bug in the surveillance software.) What will be the next after these cyber-dossiers? maybe cyber-prosecution and cyber-trials?

Thus, with the development of technologies, the state gets more and more opportunities to watch and control its citizens. Therefore, the question is: to what extent are the citizens able to resist the interference of the state into their life? First of all, it's futile to fight for the state being ineffective (for example, against ID cards, databases, registration etc.), because the effectiveness of the state mechanisms can only grow with the development of technologies. Also, any movement for prohibiting the use of already existing technologies has no prospective either, because the toothpaste is already out of the tube, and because as soon as a totalitarian regime is established, it can run further without any advanced technologies. Unfortunately, as a reaction on the high-tech Big Brother, various technophobic movements can appear, and their possible success can be even worse for everybody than what they are fighting against: a totalitarian regime in a developed country could not yet last for longer than several decades, while a "return to nature" movement can well return us into the Middle Ages rather than to "nature".

We should realize clearly that almost any humankind's invention can be turned against humankind itself. Our enemy is not the surveillance technologies, but the one who use them against us. Not the gun is the enemy, but the one who aims at us and pulls the trigger. In this case, it's the conservative establishment and the corporations whose interest is to maintain the status-quo and to stop any social progress, as in "The End of History" by F.Fukuyama.

One of the first principles of strategy says: do the opposite to what the enemy expects you to do. Let's now see: what they expect of us.
1) They expect that we will keep on consuming the products of the show business and entertainment industry and will not try to create anything by ourselves.
2) They expect that all the time that we have not spent for work or study, we will use for virtual entertainments, not for real actions.
3) They expect us to be a bit afraid of having sex freely: women are scared of rape, men are scared of being accused of a "sex crime".
So, these are the first things that we can do in order to resist the comeback of Big Brother: create, act, love. And don't fear; first of all – don't fear of what they specially want to scare us with. Any campaign of mass hysteria, such as the ones around the terrorism, climate change, new deadly diseases etc. is a reason to think on: which part of our freedom they want to take away now, and resist.

Another principle of strategy is to know the enemy and his weapons. In our case, we should know: who personally is watching us, what he wants to force us to do by such a way, what technologies he is using for it, and (the most important) how these technologies work and what are their weak spots. Proficiency in technical issues becomes vitally important in the "brave new world" where they are driving us to. The times when any smart teenager could fool the state bureaucrats are gone. Now these bureaucrats have learned the computer technologies too, and they have way more money for these technologies than we ever could have. The only advantage that we still have is to use the unwieldiness of the bureaucracy to our favor: there is much time to go from the invention of a new technology to its use by the state authorities due to various red tape issues. Also, the same way as most viruses and other malware are written to run under MS Windows, not under the quite rare alternative platforms, the surveillance technologies also count on the most usual people's behavior patterns. This creates opportunities to evade them by using uncommon standards for encoding, storing and exchanging your data. And, surely, any mass communication services that have been specially designed for collecting information on the users (first of all – social networks) should be avoided.

Don't panic. Big Brother's brain capacity does not suffice for processing all the huge amounts of information that will start falling onto him with the help of the newest surveillance technologies. In theory, they now can know everything about everybody, but in practice they will spend a huge amount of time to find: what part of information that they now have can be relevant for them in any regard. Also, any device and any software can have errors; this contributes both to opportunities to resist them and to chances for miscarriage of justice. Therefore, to know the countries that are still free of the high-tech Big Brother can be also advisable.

So, for the time being, Big Brother already starts watching you – at supermarkets, banks, airports. Not at your home yet, although... who knows, what kind of undocumented features can your new laptop and smartphone have?..