Freedom once meant something significant for mankind. It meant ceasing to be suppressed and imprisoned by forces that endeavour to control one. The word ‘freedom’ conjured a sense of what it means, at least to some degree, to be master of one’s destiny.No longer, for many, the new freedom has almost exactly the opposite meaning. Now freedom seems to be associated with having someone or something doing one’s thinking for one; making decisions that one ‘can’t be bothered ‘or doesn’t want to make – and ultimately completely relieving one from responsibility for taking any form of action other than that which enriches one’s pocket and/or one’s narcissist fantasies.
In fact this new ‘freedom’ offers – on a plate – to the oppressor of old the chance to continue his mastery of human control, but under a new guise: the tantalizing deception of ‘convenience’. That which by-passes the need for mental creative effort (and often physical effort as well) and which makes one believe that there is really little or nothing to do, other than tap a keyboard and get tuned into a cyberspace virtual reality world which will do the rest for one. This is the great tempter of our age. The one that lays out the red carpet for a soft and sly take-over by nothing less than a non-human artificial intelligence.
Yes, the superficial seductiveness of the pocket sized touch-button technology of passivity, the human masters of which sit in Silicon Valley and the Pentagon, monitoring every move that serves the further advancement of the totalitarian central control system.
Did slavery ever lose its grip on the great mass of humanity? Have the majority always preferred the safety of mindlessness to the dangers of consciousness? Was Shakespeare on the button when he had Hamlet pose the infamous rhetorical question “To be or not to be, that is the question”.
It’s a question that should never need to be posed, and indeed never would have been had some betrayal of the divine nature of humanity not taken place, many thousands of years ago. After all, the spirit infused natural make-up of mankind provided all the fuel needed to guide us on our way to the full expression of our potentiality as universal beings. Yet a deviation from this path was established, and has proved to be a strong opiate – a formidable obstacle to the spiritual evolution of our species.
This deviation has gone so far, that nothing less than the ability to retain the power of independent thought is now at stake.
I believe that the social psychologist and historian Erich Fromm was right when he said that ‘fear of freedom’ was symptomatic in allowing the rise of fascism before World War Two, and that the prevailing sense of insecurity in society generally leads people to abandon hard won civil liberties, for the seeming safety and protection of ‘strong leadership’, regardless of its motives.
But this type of capitulation plays directly into the hands of those who are best at manipulating peoples’ fears; bringing about an ever greater centralization of power in the hands of the despotic few. A deft slight of hand, that while giving the impression of providing security and leadership, is actually a calculated step towards the totalitarian take-over.
So now, in 2018/19, we find a similar sense of insecurity gripping those who have repeatedly put their faith in cardboard cut-out political figureheads who subsequently proved to be puppets of the deep state and masters of deception. Public confidence in the old way of doing politics has steadily drained away, leaving a vacuum which has not been filled. However, the deep state has long anticipated the arrival of such a vacuum, and indeed has been instrumental in creating just the right circumstances for it.
The present state of malaise, shaped as it is by a growing despair in ‘human leadership’, offers a particularly ripe moment for bringing forward a ‘non-human’ technological solution to the organisation of day to day life on this planet. An increasing dependence on artificial intelligence as a ‘solution’ to human failings.
Day to day solutions to the needs of society were once dealt with on the ground, at community level, in a hands-on approach which drew on a shared pool of human skills, inventiveness and judgement. But such qualities have been all too quickly side-lined and the responsibilities that went with them are now left in the hands of those who design computer programmes, algorithms and internet control systems. Systems that side-step collective human participation altogether, in favor of the absolute predictability and complete uniformity of artificial intelligence.
It is the fear of freedom that makes this abdication of human responsibility to the machine such a temptation to large swathes of mankind. Much of humanity still remains conditioned to a parasitical need to be led. Once it becomes apparent that political and corporate leadership is deeply corrupted and not remotely concerned with supporting the health and welfare of human beings, nor the wider environment that supports all living matter, a state of deep insecurity is provoked within society.
A society composed of those who cannot envision what it might mean to take unto themselves a level of actual responsibility for the future and the will to reset the direction of daily life away from dependence upon a figurehead. A figurehead carefully schooled in the art of deception.