The Pocket History of England - Part 5
Part 5 of 6
The Pocket History of England
After the second enormous debacle, the second swindle, the second great conflagrating confidence trick, many people became wary.
Many people, Peasants, Representatives, and even Professionals, began to be suspicious of grand Government announcements and sensational headline features in the Press. Many people began to question authority.
But, not enough.
Even after two such spectacular demonstrations of what unbridled greed and ambition among the rich few coupled with unquestioning ignorance and obedience among the poor many can lead to, many people could still not see that economic fairness, rationality, and justice is necessary to achieve social fairness, rationality, and justice and that both are necessary prerequisites to political fairness, rationality, and justice. Many people still felt that the most important things were their own cars and houses and washing machines and they still couldn't see how their own indifference to the broader issues left space for the Barons and Underbarons to carry on with their cynical self-indulgences and games.
And somehow the very fact of the co-existence of the growing wariness of some of the Peasants with the growing materialist self-interest of others opened the door to more and more vicious attacks upon the more enlightened Peasants and some of their more steadfast Representatives. It seemed as though the Underbarons (for it was really them running the show now), encouraged by the indifference of so many of the people, could heap more and more energy and resources into suppressing or distorting or hystericising the views of this wary minority.
This came primarily through manipulations of the "Media", which now included the new television and radio "Broadcasters" as well as the Press, and became a sort of thought war. But it also took the form of more and more militaristic responses to public manifestations and more and more secretive, counter-espial responses to public organisations.
Some of these more wary Peasants, Representatives, and Professionals began to make associations between what was happening in England and what was happening elsewhere in the world. They could see the patterns recurring all over the planet. They could see that what was now happening to Peasants of darker hue was actually a repetition of their own history, their own exploitation at the hands of the economic controllers. They could see that, as English Peasants became more effective in defending themselves from the mindless speculation of the English Barons and Underbarons, so the English Barons and Underbarons took their speculations elsewhere, to places in which Peasants were still being maimed and killed for trying to organise to protect themselves.
This tendency drove the more wary Peasants, Representatives, and Professionals to greater degrees of concern which in turn distanced them further from the rest of the people who were still more preoccupied with their washing machines, hair driers, and colour televisions.
This distancing was ruthlessly exploited by the Underbarons, their Press, and their Broadcasters. It was exploited to the degree that strong feelings of hate and distrust began to emerge between the two bodies of opinion. It was almost as if some of the 'horizontal' stratification of society had begun to disappear with the growth of wariness and so a 'vertical' schism, developing between those whose wariness outstripped their desire for material goods and those whose desire for material goods outstripped their wariness, became the centrepiece of this ruthless exploitation.
In the guise of stalwart "free enterprise" and, strangely enough, of "rugged individualism", the Underbarons and their Lackeys (yes, they even had some of them now) began to make international financial coalitions the more securely to stake out their claims to the world's resources. Vast, faceless organisations emerged with annual budgets far exceeding the annual budgets of most of the world's national governments. With Underbarons and Barons as 'Directors' and 'Chairmen' and thousands of the less wary Professionals and Merchants as 'Shareholders', the whole business of plundering and pillaging the planetary resources and of exploiting and screwing the less organised Peasants took on a strange respectability which even the most dedicated and enlightened Representatives found difficult to undermine and expose.
The 'respectability' of this plundering and pillaging owed much, again, to the Underbarons' control of the Media. The Media would happily portray the greediest of these "Enterprisers" as Heroes and staunch contributors to the general well being of humankind and would happily portray their greediest speculations as high adventure and gallant, swash-buckling personal risk-taking (which of course it never was - all the rules being in their favour from start to finish). The misery being created by all this among the world's Peasants didn't, of course, make very good copy and, besides, many of these Media people themselves liked, as indeed did many Representatives, to "dabble", as they called it, in this disgusting and immoral speculation in other people's well being.
So what can only be called Informational Crime began to emerge as a very potent determining factor in the 'Thought Wars' and also provided many of the less wary with a wonderful Career Structure.
But the greatest monstrosity, the most stupendously obscene informational crime and the most blatant exploitation of the vertical schism had yet to be perpetrated.
So out of control had the second great conflagration become that a whole new concept in mass destruction was born. Supposedly intelligent Representatives of various kinds supplied supposedly intelligent Professionals of various kinds with vast economic resources (more economic resources than the world had ever before seen concentrated into one research project) to work diligently to develop a system for dividing atoms to make explosions of a magnitude hitherto unimaginable.
No nightmare, no twisted human vision could begin to encompass the immensity of these explosions or the dreadfulness of their aftermath.
But this didn't stop the proliferation of the system. Far from it. And the proliferation of this concept in mass destruction also gave birth to a whole new system for generating energy: the "Nuclear Industry". There being no other justification for this new "Industry" than the production of unstable materials for use in systems of mass destruction, many lies had to be told. Because many of the Underbarons and Barons had speculated in the colossal extravagance of the Representatives' determination to fund this system of mass destruction at all costs, they stood to gain even further if they could further hoodwink the Representatives and the Peasants they represented into continuing, against all the evidence, to throw money in vast quantities at the new energy generating system.
This required considerable creative effort from the Underbarons' Media. But of course, as so often in the past, the Media proved to be the most effective weapon at the Barons' and Underbarons' disposal since maiming and killing.
The real beauty of the Nuclear Industry, besides the obvious one of multiplying fortunes for heavy investors, was the "Security" angle which everyone agreed had to be associated with it. Everyone agreed that you couldn't let "Terrorists" get hold of any of this unstable material. So everyone agreed that the Nuclear Industry must be allowed to keep as many secrets as it liked. And, before long, just about everything was "secret", and just about anybody who had any curiosity at all was a "Terrorist".
The Underbarons and the Barons were the top dogs.
Everybody beneath them was twice split (quartered if you like); on the one hand between being a nobody or having status, and on the other between wariness and materialism.
And anybody who asked questions could be vilified by an uncritical and sycophantic Media and, if necessary, be dealt with under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
/ to be continued
© 2011 Deacon Martin