Sunday, March 8, 1998

One World Government

Were you there when the One-World Government conspiracy seized control? Somebody asked me this question on the ACLU message boards. The, you know, "free speech area." Seriously, you want to know? Was I there?

Yeah, actually I was. One minute I'm outside a disco telling some chick why John Travolta bites. The next minute...

The black helicopters came. Then darkness...

And now they wake me. I've had a hard time adjusting, let me tell you, but the fact is, I do believe in a one-world conspiracy -- namely a conspiracy to turn Planet Earth into one vast market -- and to reduce everything in it to economic units. There'll be no need to unite the governments of the world into a "One World Government" because governments will have become irrelevant.

Along with politics, religion, and the expression of individuality.

Forget "One World Government." What will matter is the "One World Market."

The Universal Market absorbing ALL OF HUMAN LIFE even as I speak ...

Think about it.

It used to be extremely important what religion -- if any -- you belonged to. People in Western Europe and America routinely killed each other over this issue. People died, thanks to their opinion about a certain wafer. Now, except for a few throwback sub-cultures, religion is increasingly a non-issue in the West. The same indifference will soon apply to nationality. Please note --

If you're upper or upper-middle class, it pretty much does now. Well-to-do people from France very casually become Americans; well-to-do people from America move to Ireland or New Zealand. They don't think twice.

Planet Earth is rapidly turning into one big rotating shopping mall. But a few things have to happen first. Anything that gets in the way of buying and selling must be trivialized, subverted, co-opted or destroyed.

The three obvious obstacles are politics, religion and individuality.

The three obvious solutions are: buy politics, buy religion, buy individuality -- and then sell them all back.

Politics involves large populations and the possibility of war -- which cuts into trade and global markets. Politics is messy. Messy problem, easy solution. Buy off the politicians.

Religion (including that subset of religion called ideology) is the wildcard, and it's often what makes people crazy in the political realm.

Christian (Islamic, whatever) tub-thumpers paint lurid pictures of blue-helmetted goons putting padlocks on Vacation Bible Schools (or Madrasas). Unnecessary drama. You don't need government goons. Just make belief irrelevant...or turn it into a twisted mirror image of everything else. Just another product on the shelf. Religious types fear the one-world government. It's the one world market they should worry about.

As to individuality, close your eyes and imagine a Rock and Roll Rebel. Their hairstyle. The clothes they wear. You can see it, right? You can see it ... exactly. You see where I'm going with this?

The Universal Market can absorb anything.

It isn't even so bad when belief turns to fanaticism. Wars lead to arms sales; abortion clinic bombings lead to record earnings for security companies; every nutcase survival camp has its mailing list, its ammo catalogs, its bunkers of dried food. Whatever crap you can think of, extreme or insane as it may be (including religious crap), it's something that somebody's selling and somebody's buying.

The Universal Market isn't just the legit market. Up top, there's soybeans, cars and CDs. Down below, there's guns, explosives, drugs and Asian child prostitutes.

The Universal Market is simply the manifestation of desire: thought becoming physical. You want a gun? Here's a gun. You want to worry about dark conspiracies? Here's the X-Files. You want to be a strutting, self-righteous wanker? Here's the Promise Keepers.

To quote Bill Hicks, Earth is turning into "The Third Mall from the Sun." To quote R. Crumb, it's a "universal field theory of marketing bullshit."

People see this massive, unifying paranoiac pattern and say it's a conspiracy. The more logical explanation is an inhuman, amoral force changing everything without pity. I live in Florida. I see this force at work every day. The world around me resembles the world of H.G. Wells' Time Machine as the Time Traveler moved through time. Buildings melt, new buildings arise, everything changes in a blur...

Behind the relentless flux? The inhuman, immoral force is money. The Invisible Hand.

Money is moving through the world like electricity, remorselessly changing everything, burning a path to the sea like Sherman on his way to Atlanta...

And it's been happening for some time.

It goes back to the Industrial Revolution, when the machines were being born, when the Romantic poets, hearts breaking for a world they already knew was dying, dreamed of lakes, hills, forests, when Mary Shelley saw an undead face in the window in a lightning flash. The first nightmare of the modern age: Dr. Frankenstein (the "Modern Prometheus") gives life to the sewn-up pieces of a dead thing using electricity. His creation has the spark of life but no soul. The Monster's not-dead/not-alive existence is torment and it turns on its creator and kills him.

Frankenstein's Monster is our future. So we fight the future. (To quote the marketing campaign for the upcoming X-Files movie.) We do our damnedest to live in the past.

Almost all of us.

The hippies wanted to "grow their own" stuff on communes; the Christians want Jesus to lead them like sheep through green pastures; the Islamicists want to keep the walls up -- and keep our nasty, amoral technocratic world from spilling in. But the shining past is just something else they sell us. No walls can last anymore -- and there's no way to go back. The Monster is coming.

The peasants with torches may have been right all along.

Originally posted as "Jack Getz" on the ACLU "Free Speech" message boards.

No comments: