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:

Dan Corjescu teaches Political Philosophy at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 17, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: No Woman, No Cry
Kathleen Wallace
Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style
Robert Hunziker
The Rumbling Methane Enigma
Frank Joyce
Will the Constitution Fail Again?
Pete Dolack
Claims that the ‘NAFTA 2’ Agreement is Better are a Macabre Joke
Andrew Levine
Biden Daze
Vijay Prashad
Not an Inch: Indian Students Stand Against the Far Right
Ramzy Baroud
Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank
Norman Solomon
Not Bernie, Us. Not Warren, Us. Their Clash Underscores the Need for Grassroots Wisdom
Ted Rall
America’s Long History of Meddling in Russia
David Rosen
The Irregulators vs. FCC: the Trial Begins
Jennifer Matsui
The Krown
Joseph Natoli
Resolutions and Obstacles/2020
Sarah Anderson
War Profiteering is Real
James McFadden
The Business Party Syndicate
Ajamu Baraka
Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted
David Swanson
CNN is Trash
Rev. William Alberts
Finally a Christian Call for Trump’s Removal
Dave Lindorff
The ERA Just Got Ratified by Virginia, the Needed 38th State!
W. T. Whitney
Mexico Takes Action on Coup in Bolivia and on CELAC
Steve Early
How General Strike Rhetoric Became a Reality in Seattle 
Jessicah Pierre
Learning From King’s Last Campaign
Mark Dickman
Saint Greta and the Dragon
Jared Bernstein - Dean Baker
Reducing the Health Care Tax
Clark T. Scott
Uniting “Progressives” Instead of Democrats
Nilofar Suhrawardy
Trump & Johnson: What a Contrast, Image-wise!
Ron Jacobs
Abusing America’s Children—Free Market Policy
George Wuerthner
Mills Are Being Closed by National Economic Trends, Not Environmental Regulations
Basav Sen
Nearly All Americans Want Off of Fossil Fuels
Mark Ashwill
Playing Geopolitical Whack-a-Mole: The Viet Nam Flag Issue Revisited
Jesse Jackson
New Hope for One of America’s Poorest Communities
Binoy Kampmark
Harry and Meghan Exit: The Royal Family Propaganda Machine
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again!
Rob Okun
A Call to Men to join Women’s March
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
We All Need to Be Tree Huggers Now
Tom Stephens
The New York Times’ Delusions of Empire
Julian Rose
Fake-Green Zero Carbon Fraud
Louis Proyect
The Best Films of 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: Into Kosovo
Colin Todhunter
Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis
Julian Vigo
Can New Tech Replace In-Class Learning?
Gaither Stewart
The Bench: the Life of Things
Nicky Reid
Trannies with Guns: Because Enough is Enough!
James Haught
Baby Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark
David Yearsley
Brecht in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail