THE LOTTERY

PARIJAH DIARIES 6

That gruesome quiet got inside me too, eventually. I have to shake it off.

I had a friend who worked in theatre, and between jobs he used to drive trucks, and sometimes he had to drive a truck-load of cattle to the abbatoir. Most of the journey was on the motorway, but as soon as he turned off, though there was still at least a mile to go to the slaughterhouse, he told me, the cows in the back would all start to scream. An incongruous, heart-wrenching sound, as these placid animals poured out their terror.

It must be that they could smell the blood, he thought.

And what has happened to the human herd, that they cannot taste this cull in the air? What has happened to their survival instincts? It’s the apathy, the passivity in the face of their own demise that saddens me, their refusal to commit the indecency of questioning authority, the historical amnesia that blinds them to their society’s steep dive into totalitarianism, a gross failure of historical imagination.

In a word, normalcy bias.

“For a considerable length of time,” writes Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), “the normality of the normal world is the most efficient protection against disclosure of totalitarian mass crimes.” She quotes David Rousset, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, in The Other Kingdom, 1947: “Normal men don’t know that everything is possible.”

I’ve been anticipating some kind of global collapse for a number of years now, particularly in the light of the implications of the Report from Iron Mountain and the Club of Rome‘s 1991 report, entitled ‘The First Global Revolution’ — the reassessment these documents must occasion of the role of environmentalism in the political landscape of our times. We used to talk about it five years ago sitting in the bar at Jamrock or on the verandah of my hut down by the rocks. It seemed self-evident that we could not go on as we were, that something had to give. It was impossible to know how long we’d got: but one thing was certain, I always said — that the illusion of normality would be sustained until the last possible moment. That word again: an example, perhaps, of the way an unconscious prescience sometimes manifests itself in language.

Certainly it meant that when the leaders of the Western world, in unison, announced their ‘New Normal’ dogma, alarm bells were immediately ringing. I couldn’t believe that people were swallowing the new orthodoxy — particularly the vaunted objective of injecting the population of the entire planet, as far as possible, with an experimental vaccine. It really was incredible: second rate science fiction playing out on news screens across the planet. I couldn’t believe people were buying it, and of course I had to reach out to my relatives back in the UK, none of whom seemed to be experiencing any doubt or suspicion at all. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to get through to them. C A Fitts, in particular — a commentator I take very seriously — was warning that it would be impossible, given the power of entrainment technologies and subliminal conditioning deployed in the Western televised media. It would lead only to broken relationships. But you have to try, if you have skin in the game. There’s no choice.

Fitts was right, of course. And there was much speculation, on my side of this divide, about the state of mind of the Western masses and why it was so difficult to alert them to the danger they were in. C J Hopkins wrote a series of essays comparing the task of breaking the spell they were under to that of deprogramming cult members; and developing a credible theory of totalitarianism as cult psychology applied on a societal scale: the Covidian cult. A Belgian professor, Mattias Desmet, expounded his ‘mass formation’ hypothesis, which seemed to offer a good deal less than Gustave Le Bon’s ‘madness of crowds’ or C G Jung’s ‘normal insanity’, except for the gloss of his ‘auto-hypnosis’ hypothesis. Desmet’s book, The Psychology of Totalitarianism, provoked the wrath of Peter Breggin, a legendary figure in American psychiatry, who unloaded his infinite contempt for a theory which blamed the victim and neglected the role of expert psychological manipulation deployed by governments across the developed world. In the end, perhaps no new theory is needed: perhaps this is just what happens to the human spirit under totalitarianism.

As Hopkins argued in an interview last August, “Once the transition to totalitarianism begins, you can count on roughly two thirds of the society either embracing it or acquiescing to it, not because they are in some vulnerable psychological state, but rather because they correctly perceive which way the wind is blowing and they don’t want to challenge the totalitarian regime and be punished for doing so. They are not hypnotized or under any other kind of spell. It’s pure survival instinct. … Not to put too fine a point on it, but most people are either perfectly content to conform to whatever type of society those in power impose on them as long as their basic needs are met, or they are not content [to do so], but they are cowards, so they stand by in silence.”

That’s what we have seen historically, but there is a crucial difference this time around, in that the acquiescent majority are required to undergo a potentially fatal initiation ordeal in order to progress into the new world, a ritual that is likely to leave many of its participants dead, dying or disabled; how can this represent an instinct for survival? And perhaps this is where cult psychology comes into it. A simpler answer is indoctrination and information-deprivation; the walls of censorship successfully excluding any understanding of the magnitude of the risk; simply that their consent is not informed. And we know how the capacity for critical thinking diminishes under the stress of fear. Ordinary people, in any case, judge truth not by evidence, or by logic, but by credibility; Ethos over Logos. They look for social proof; they gravitate to authority; they follow the majority. But it may also be true that there are deeper psycho-social processes in play. I find myself returning to the Iron Mountain document, which addresses the problem of finding surrogates for the non-military functions of war under conditions of world government. The report makes reference, several times, to the role of sacrifice within certain earlier empires such as the Maya and Inca, and the atavistic necessity, up to now fulfilled by the war system, of a ‘blood price’ in sealing the social contract.

I think too about a famously intriguing short story published in The New Yorker in 1948: The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, which is something of an understated masterpiece, deft, powerful and shocking, tapping into the atavistic currents playing beneath our mundanity, our modernity. If the citizens of the New Normal Order sense anything in the air, they must culture their own denial, shutting out any awareness of what might happen to them by willfully ignoring what is happening to others, thus amputating their capacity for compassion. The injection is a lottery, after all; if (as yet) nothing has happened to them, they believe that nothing ever will, and they may be right (I pray that they are) because the ‘vaccines’, we know, do not constitute a consistent product. Some participants will survive, though changed.

In our own village, unlike Jackson’s, the consequences of declining to participate were spelled out very clearly. The unconscious calculation is a no-brainer: the remote (they think) possibility of physical death versus the certainty of civil death inherent in a failure to participate. For me too, because there’s a third kind of death implicit in the choice of fear over compassion, and that’s spiritual Death, the living Death, la lingering perdition, to paraphrase Shakespeare, worse than any death can be at once: and which is, as far as I’m concerned, the essence and definition of totalitarianism. Do not go gently into that goodnight.

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2 thoughts on “THE LOTTERY

  1. Gosh! Simply enormous relief to hear your voice again. I guess I rely on it.
    Bless those who can write for they shall…..Humph. Help? Yes indeed. And thank you.
    I get so excited it’s almost embarrassing. Jamrock and your Rock ……and Zog 8’s brief account of …..at the river. …are out there like that paragraph or maybe several at the end of A Woman Named Solitude before Solitude goes to her execution she stops at the fountain and an old black woman throws her a sprig and I dare not….oeuff what was that flower? I quit.

    But, yes notify…. hurray

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