Tag Archives: dystopia

How The Dystopian New Era of Capitalism has Come to Stay!

The Covid-19 pandemic has caught most countries unprepared! It is not just the poor, less economically developed countries that have also been badly hit. The economically advanced countries—the US and the core European Union countries—have also been equally, if not worse hit. With the help of science ,I hope that humanity will eventually overcome the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Many theories and philosophies will emerge. Many interpretations will be presented before the people and the governments.

We found ourselves in a transformed world sometime in the beginning of 2020. For the first time globally we saw empty streets, closed shops and unusually clear skies, with climbing death tolls being reported daily: something unprecedented was unfolding before our eyes.

One may ask if the difficult days we are going through but also the severity of the effects of the new pandemic is the result and the impact of the new globalized capitalist practices, not only on the economic situation, but also on our poor diet, our alienated new human lifestyle, our immobility in front of our TV screens watching Netflix, obesity, junk food or even drugs overdose . Have they degraded our biological resilience?

If, in the end, it turns out that the Covid pandemic was caused by a leak from a lab in Wuhan, China, it will rank among the greatest scientific scandals in history: dangerous research, possibly involving ethically dubious techniques that make viruses more dangerous, carried out in a poorly safeguarded facility, violently covered up by a regime more interested in propaganda than human life, catastrophic for the entire world.

It is depressing it has taken so long for the world of science, supported by most journalists and politicians, to start accepting the basic truth that no theory should be discounted without evidence — especially given the seriousness of the issues at stake and history of leaks from laboratories. A spate of strong articles seems to have suddenly changed the media narrative, despite mostly reheating material familiar to those of us who have been tracking this story for months. Among these a Wall Street Journal story, for example, about three Wuhan researchers allegedly falling suspiciously sick in November, builds on facts revealed by David Asher, former lead investigator for the State Department.

Nonetheless, the main question is whether the post-COVID 19 world will be the same as before or will it change, whether the capitalist order will become more inhuman and exploitative.

“All philosophers have interpreted the world in various ways. However, the point is to change it” Marx wrote in Thesis on Feuerbach. This was the fundamental premise of the philosophical pursuit of Marx and his lifelong companion Friedrich Engels. They analyzed human existence, the relationship between human beings and nature and the ways in which production and the reproduction of the human species and the economy take place.

While asserting that “labour is the source of wealth and prime basic condition for human existence,” Marx and Engels analysed the dialectics of nature. They pointed out how the harmony among people, land, water and air leads to changes. In Capital, Marx explained that “labour is in the first place a process in which both man and nature participate”. Marx went on to explain that labour process was nothing but the production process. He showed how labour is the source of wealth and how labour power keeps producing surplus value. In the same work, he explained how under capitalism, surplus value is appropriated by capitalists, who are the owners of the means of production. He also explained how this appropriation of surplus value leads to accumulation of wealth at one pole and the pauperisation of the working people at another. Such inequality is reflected in the miserable working and living conditions of the working people.

In addition the new era of Capitalism comes with more surveillance practices. Drawing on Shoshana Zuboff’s (2019) sustained investigation in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism along with sources infrequently highlighted in the social work literature, the focus is on some of the main imperatives driving forward new surveillance practices. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism describes how global tech companies such as Google and Facebook persuaded us to give up our privacy for the sake of convenience; how personal information (“data”) gathered by these companies has been used by others not only to predict our behavior but also to influence and modify it. This results on how this has had disastrous consequences for democracy and freedom. This is the “surveillance capitalism” of the title, which Zuboff defines as a “new economic order” and “an expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above”.

It seems likely that the future is going to witness intense class struggles for political power so that a new social order emerges in which the state shall ensure housing, healthcare, education and all means of livelihood to all its citizens, and equality, justice and dignity of all citizens are upheld.

A number of questions have arisen as we see the progression of the pandemic. Why is it that such a pandemic was not foreseen, when warning signs with avian flu, swine flu, SARS and MERS, all within the last two decades, were clear? Why is it, that with such advances in medicine, vaccines and healthcare, infections have spread so rapidly and the health systems collapsed?

The political implications of COVID-19 will continue to unfold for months, perhaps even years.

The pandemic hit after four decades of neoliberalism had depleted state capacities in the name of the ‘superior efficiency’ of the market, fostered deindustrialization through the ‘globalization’ of production and built fragile financial structures secured by magical thinking and state guarantees, all in the name of short-term profitability. The disintegration of the global economy left the wealthiest and most uncompromising neoliberal economies, the USA and the UK, exposed as being unable to produce enough face masks and personal protective equipment for their health staff, not to speak of ventilators to keep their hospitalized population alive.

These insufficiencies were caused not only by the lack of productive capacity due to changing technologies or China’s trade policies but also by deliberate policies: from universities to labs to manufacturing, neoliberalism actively promoted the fragmentation and disarticulation of a wide range of systems of provision as individual firms scrambled for short-term profits. The ensuing shortcomings were exacerbated by the destruction of state planning capacity and the disinclination of neoliberal governments to use all necessary means to mobilize industry, labour and private capital for a common purpose during the pandemic. Under pressure from the pandemic, service provision was transformed beyond recognition; online work became the norm in countless areas in a matter of days rather than the years that this transition would have normally taken, while the neoliberal worship of consumption dissolved into empty supermarket shelves, scrambles for hand sanitizer, pasta and sardines and fistfights for toilet paper.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the Achille’s heel of capitalism. Underfunded and ageing health systems across the capitalist world are crumbling whilst the global economy has entered a recessionary spiral.

Initially, the western world leaders adopted the same strategy as China by downplaying the lethality of Covid-19, but then once the crisis was out of control, they started reacting by proclaiming that the fight against the pandemic is likened to that of a World War and does not discriminate between rich and poor. At present, nearly two years after the spread of Covid-19 was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the question of how the virus first emerged remains a mystery due to the unwillingness of the Chinese regime to give us clear answer and take its own responsibilities instead of orchestrating propaganda worldwide and trying to divide the leftists at one hand and then the rest of the world!

Today, after months of ‘state-imposed quarantine’, it should be recognized that whatever the exit strategy, ‘normality’ might be a word with an ‘elusive’ meaning. The question therefore that begs an answer is rather simple: What’s next?

Photo credit: Pawel Kuczynski

How Democracy dies in a FRAGILE Dystopian New Brave World

Here we are ! Year 2021. And yes “Big Brother” can access your data from everywhere with a small hacking application and basic “hacking knowledge” . Through your email, applications or even your camera and microphone. You’ve been watched. Everyone now is a Threat to the so called “national security”. In this dystopian world you can ask yourself silly questions you didn’t think before as why: “2+2 does 5 or we stay in 4”? 2020 proved to all of us that “The memory hole” is simply a mechanism put in place  which often alienates or hides the Truth.

April 2020. The majority of people we were confined to their houses because of the new pandemic. As Clocks were striking thirteen for days now, you start asking yourself in which world we live. As the days are passing and you use some logic you may realize that the extreme lockdown measures were unnecessary in some cases as not going out after 9pm until 5am. I was not aware that this virus can come and “rape” your health system during the night and not during the day. In some cases it is unnecessary as well to wear masks. On the face masks packages it is written that they cannot protect you from the Covid 19. Therefore what is the point to wear them in your village where you can hardly get in contact with someone in a distance smaller than 1,5 meters ?

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were strik- 
ing thirteen. George Orwell, "1984" beginning of the novel

A lot of questions are biased or unanswered in this New World Order but in this dystopian democracy if you ask them you are simply a conspiracy theorist or even more a threat to our so called “democracy” or what i could call a “democracy in vitro or inside a cage” if you prefer.

Looking back on Orwell’s and Huxley’s predictions and the state of the world we are facing today, how much did they get right in their predictions of a dystopian surveillance state where every word is monitored, unacceptable speech is deleted, history is rewritten or deleted altogether and individuals can become ‘unpersons’ for holding views disliked by those in power? It turns out that a mix of Orwell’s -Huxley’s predictions were frighteningly accurate.

Two of the most monstrous regimes in human history arised and fell during the 20th century, and both were predicated on the violation and despoiling of truth, on the knowledge that cynicism and weariness and fear can make people susceptible to the lies and false promises of leaders bent on unconditional power. As Hannah Arendt wrote in her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (ie the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (ie the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

In this new reality, you can always find, as always, the good lickers of the system who try to shut up your thoughts because they wish to be a part of this new totalitarian system to increase their social and financial benefits but when this system starts to hit people in their own environment or even them they start to get depressed or we observe them becoming more and more violent. An example of this, is the corrupted Cyprus government, where I live and I observe that people who used to steal under the table the citizens, are now starting to fight their owns, in their own system. A big fight in the “mud” is in the air. As we citizens of the state we stay speechless while watching even the “Church” to take part in these cockfights or dogfights, if you prefer, at the same time the polite and eugenic oligarchs are trying to find an exodus to take the money they stole outside the country or to hide the degree of how the whole system has been corrupted since the creation of the Cyprus Republic in 1960. It is well known that in newly established democracies, corruption can be often observed as a consequence of weak democracy.

Back in 2013, the Cypriot government asked for a bailout from the EU to save, as they say, the Cypriot economy. The EU came, as a thieft, during the night and took all deposits of 100 000 euros and above in the bank accounts of all Cypriots. Oligarchs, a lot of them were clients of the current President of course, knew from before that a cut in their deposits is more than possible to take place as the EU had a rage against the big percentage of Russian customers in the Cypriot banks. The consequence of all this mess was the destruction of the weak Cypriot economy and it will need years to overcome. The cut in the bank deposits affected mostly the Cypriot citizens who believed that they would be happy inside the EU while the EU as a whole could put pression to Turkey to solve the Cypriot problem and find a good solution to the political problem regarding Cyprus. However, the Cypriot problem is more complicated that put sanctions to Turkey as the politicians never told the truth to Greek Cypriots of what they are negotiating behind closed doors.

In any case, George Orwell warned us with his novel “1984” what it was going to happen after so many years of mind manipulation as a chicken in the barn .The novel serves as a warning against absolute power of all kinds, against the manipulation of language and the loss of independent thought. In 1949, critics thought the book might lose its relevance after the fall of communism. Here we are, 70 years later, with global authoritarianism on the rise, and fake news — and the manipulation of that very term itself — tearing at the fabric of democracy.

Why Orwell’s 1984 could be about now” ?

Reading ‘1984,’ George Orwell’s claustrophobic fable of totalitarianism, is still a shock. First comes the start of recognition: we recognize what he describes. Doublethink (holding two contradictory thoughts at the same time), Newspeak, the Thought Police, the Ministry of Love that deals in pain, despair and annihilates any dissident, the Ministry of Peace that wages war, the novel-writing machines that pump out pornography to buy off the masses: Orwell opened our eyes to how regimes worked.

On the other hand, we can easily describe what we live today by Aldous Huxley’s ” Brave New World.” In complying with the government agenda, particularly at state level, we have forfeited our freedom as individuals, and generally speaking, we are living under police-state regimes. Not far as to become truer today, as people are ordering “alpha males” embryos regarding their babies they want to raise and not leave the nature to decide or the baby itself to choose its own future or even work. This is Now THE Total Dystopian Society where you whether were born to become an astronaut or a butcher to describe the New Brave World Order Barn.

In the world of Brave New World fiction, everyone was genetically preprogrammed to fit in different social statuses. The lowest social class is given ‘lower’ intelligence and has to work in factories. The upper class individuals were described as being good-looking, having (usually) perfect body shapes and being blessed with an affluent life. They can spend time going on vacations, taking drugs and having sex for fun. The higher the social status, the more intelligent and wealthy an individual would be. As readers, we are introduced to the story of a “savage” man, John, who came from the “uncivilized” area and interrupted the order of this new world. People come chasing after John; he brings huge fame to his friend Bernard, who utilizes him and brings him to the “civilized” place. John is even invited by the beautiful girl Lenina to have sex with her.

In this book, everyone was chasing after his or her own interests — the only exception was John, and he symbolically died at the end. These “civilized” people, to some extent, were just wantons — they had desires but did not consider the reasoning behind their desires, only knowing to chase the strongest one. This is why Lenina invited John to have sex with her when she found him to be sexually attractive, regardless of the fact that there was a huge social status difference between the two and their sexual intercourse was prohibited. Lenina had followed instructions since she was an infant, and she essentially lost her free will to do things, without the ability to even try to gain it back. This small episode is epitomic, and from there, Huxley askes us a few questions. Why did Lenina choose to have sex with John (even though John later rejected her) instead of following the instructions that had been inscribed to her? Why is there a clear boundary between different social classes? Are social classes pre-determined, and are they purposefully kept within a range by those in power? And the ultimate question: do people really have free will under this huge society machine? 

  • dystopian world watching

“At the moment, Brave New World’s vision of dystopia is more scary because it feels closer,” echoes Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones), who plays a high-ranking member of New London society named Bernard Marx. “It’s nearer to our range. You wouldn’t burn books, but you could distract people enough to where they wouldn’t want to read them anymore.”

“It’s a hard call because Brave New World, on the surface, may seem like the lesser of the two evils because there is this pleasure,” adds Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries), who plays an especially low-ranking member of New London society named CJack60. “But those people in Brave New World are prisoners in a cage, just like in Nineteen Eighty-Four. So, there’s this slow realization for them that they are completely controlled by this system, and I think that’s quite terrifying — to be controlled, to be a prisoner and not realize it.”

There’s always hope to end this decline of democracy soon if humanity unites against the hypocrisy of the corrupted elites.

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com