FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Hammer and the Net: Two Faces of Totalitarianism

Photo source Bonnie Dean | CC BY 2.0

Historically, there have been two types of totalitarianism.

The earliest versions (most notably Soviet, Nazi, and Chinese) would psychologically and physically relentlessly “hammer” their subjects into submission with a mix of maximum terror of all kinds, ubiquitous public and private propaganda, and mass surveillance.

Particularly in the Soviet case, this ruthless technique of power was able to deliver some levels of material if not social and political progress at a very high human cost; the consequences of which were to reverberate negatively for generations.

So much for the historically known version of Totalitarianism.

Now we come to today’s form which is less reliant on the direct application of brute force while more dependent on creating a wide ranging “net” of superintendence.

As Marx revealed so long ago, the so called “liberal bourgeois democracies” operate on two levels: the ideological and the actual.

Ideologically and culturally, the Western powers are devoted to a cult of the individual. Of the individual as more important than the collective and or system.

In reality, the Western forms of government are shills for economic and power interests that operate through either gaming the system, infiltrating it, or successfully carrying out criminal activity without detection.

A combination of police, legal, security forces, and above all political actors make all of this possible.

No one comes forth to denounce the system because the payoffs are so large and the possible retribution if one even attempts such a thing are even greater.

Thus the system of influence and manipulation is self perpetuating through the generations.

Nominally, the system appears to deliver the economic and social goods but that is not its main function despite ideological claims to the contrary.

It’s main function is the accrual of power, in all its forms, to a select group of actors who are at times brazenly visible as well as those who are far less so.

Deception, manipulation, false flags, and other intricate machinations are the daily bread of this true network of influence.

While brute force is often not necessary, that too cannot be excluded.

In short, the Western populations live, for the most part contentedly, in a new world order of totalitarianism lite.

It is up to some of us to tear the veil from their eyes.

More articles by:

March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
Renee Parsons
The Supreme Court and Dual Citizenship
Eric Draitser
On Ilhan Omar, Assad Fetishism, and the Danger of Red-Brown “Anti-Imperialism”
Elizabeth Keyes
Broadway’s “Hamilton” and the Willing Suspension of Reality-Based Moral Consciousness
David Underhill
Optional Fatherhood Liberates Christians From Abortion Jihad
Nick Pemberton
Is Kamala Harris the Centrist We Need?
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Bailouts, Bernie and the Washington Post
Russell Mokhiber
The Boeing Blackout
William Astore
America’s Senior Generals Find No Exits From Endless War
Jeff Hauser – Eleanor Eagan
Boeing Debacle Shows Need to Investigate Trump-era Corruption
Ramzy Baroud
Uniting Fatah, Not Palestinians: The Dubious Role of Mohammed Shtayyeh
Nick Licata
All Southern States are Not the Same: Mississippi’s Challenge
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Sly Encouragement of Lawless Violence
Cesar Chelala
Public Health Challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean
March 20, 2019
T.J. Coles
Countdown to “Full Spectrum Dominance”
W. T. Whitney
Re-Targeting Cuba: Why Title III of U.S. Helms-Burton Act will be a Horror Show
Kenneth Surin
Ukania’s Great Privatization Heist
Howard Lisnoff
“Say It Ain’t So, Joe:” the Latest Neoliberal from the War and Wall Street Party
Walter Clemens
Jailed Birds of a Feather May Sing Together
George Ochenski
Failing Students on Climate Change
Cesar Chelala
The Sweet Smell of Madeleine
Binoy Kampmark
Global Kids Strike
Nicky Reid
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Requiem for a Fictional Party
Elliot Sperber
Empedocles and You and Me 
March 19, 2019
Paul Street
Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting
Jonah Raskin
Guy Standing on Anxiety, Anger and Alienation: an Interview About “The Precariat”
Patrick Cockburn
The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit
Robert Fisk
Turning Algeria Into a Necrocracy
John Steppling
Day of Wrath
Robin Philpot
Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda
Victor Grossman
Women Marchers and Absentees
Binoy Kampmark
The Dangers of Values: Brenton Tarrant, Fraser Anning and the Christchurch Shootings
Jeff Sher
Let Big Pharma Build the Wall
Jimmy Centeno
Venezuela Beneath the Skin of Imperialism
Jeffrey Sommers – Christopher Fons
Scott Walker’s Failure, Progressive Wisconsin’s Win: Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic Party Convention
Steve Early
Time for Change at NewsGuild?
March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail