George Orwell, Digital, and the Apotheosis Of The Electric Age
The America First Weekly: Volume IV
Every edition of The America First Weekly includes Five Questions (a Q&A with an interesting figure, pseud or otherwise), Links & Screeds (all editors get to weigh in on anything they choose), and a friends-link to an original Featured Article by one of the AFW editors.
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As the Democratic Party resurrects the dead on election day, we shall resurrect the dead for a Q&A. Here, Cassian Stylus interviews the novelist and journalist George Orwell.
Cassian Stylus: Many contemporary feminist accuse you of sexism. What would you say in response to these accusations?
George Orwell: I dislike nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones. It is always the women, and above all the young ones, who are the most bigoted adherents of the ideology, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy.
Stylus: You were a respected and combative journalist in your day. Journalists today are of a different breed, unfortunately. What do you make of the media’s silence on election irregularities in particular and their willingness to mislead the public in the interests of the elites in general?
Orwell: If you accept the lie which the media imposes— if all records tell the same tale—then the lie passes into history and becomes truth. Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past. And yet the past cannot be altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It is quite simple. All that is needed is an unending series of victories over your own memory.
At all times the media is in possession of absolute truth, and clearly the absolute can never have been different from what it is now. It will be seen that the control of the past depends above all on the training of memory. To make sure that all written records agree with the orthodoxy of the moment is merely a mechanical act.
And when memory fails and written records are falsified—when that happens, the claim of the elite to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there does not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.
Stylus: The dictates of common sense lead me to conclude that the Democrats engaged in election fraud this year. Many on the right are now enraged and energized. This will be the year, they think, to finally fight back and expose them. But let’s suppose they fight in vain and Biden is inaugurated in January. What do you envision for America if the Democrats successfully steal this election?
Orwell: It will be a world of terror as much as a world of triumph. The more the Democratic Party is powerful, the less it will be tolerant: the weaker the opposition, the tighter the despotism. But Trump and his “heresies” will live forever. Every day, at every moment, they will be defeated, discredited, ridiculed, spat upon and yet they will always survive. This drama that we’ve seen play out these four years will be played out over and over again generation after generation, always in subtler forms. Always we shall have the heretic here at our mercy, screaming with pain, broken up, contemptible—and in the end utterly penitent, saved from himself, crawling to our feet of his own accord. That is the world that they are preparing. A world of victory after victory, triumph after triumph after triumph: an endless pressing, pressing, pressing upon the nerve of power. You are beginning, I can see, to realize what that world will be like. But in the end you will do more than understand it. You will accept it, welcome it, become part of it.
Stylus: With anti-human globalists and tech oligarchs growing in power with each passing day, is there hope we might ever reclaim control over our lives and communities?
Orwell: If there is hope it lies in the deplorables. If there was hope, it MUST lie in the deplorables, because only there in those swarming disregarded masses, 85 per cent of the population of the Western world, could the force to destroy the globalists ever be generated. The deplorables, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength. would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow Davos to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? And yet——!
Stylus: It does seem that globalist propaganda has infected every major institution. Our public schools and universities, entertainment, technology and business are effectively working to undermine our families, communities, and nations. As these three are natural and to preserve them rational, globalism must root out of us any sense of “nature” or “rationality.” How are we supposed to survive this onslaught?
Orwell: They tell you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It is their final, most essential command. My heart sinks at the thought of the enormous power arrayed against us, the ease with which their intellectual sophistry would overthrow an average Joe Deplorable in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he is in the right! They are wrong and he is right. The obvious and the true have got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
*Responses have been lightly edited for style (from 1984)
Links & Screeds
Every week, each AFW editor comments on the news, shares links, talks about what he’s reading, or just rants. Presented in the order they arrive in the Managing Editor’s inbox…
Ulysses S. Musculus
There is a video circulating of an endless stream of Asian people speaking into their “influencer” lighting and camera setup. Never doubt that the regime forms the people. This is what our regime has formed, these Asian people on one end and a long umbilical cord of communication stretching to all corners of the world where someone can consume them as “content.” Industrialized digitization of man. The factory produced version of humanity which the eye of techne longs to bring into existence. This is how technology sees us. The computers are plugged in to the power outlet and we are plugged in to the computers. What human desire, deep down, wants is cute Asian girls smiling at us in pink sweaters. What we will want after we tire of them, like a used tissue, we know not, nor does technology. But the general shape of what comes after will fit the shape of the dildo in the silicon sex doll. Freud wrote about this in Civilization and its Discontents. If we can only free the libidinal drives of humanity, liberating them from their procreative nature and the stifling legal regime that that nature gave rise to, they could provide humanity with unlimited pleasure. Trust what’s in your pants. Faith in the phallus.
But Freud writes about another urge which must be suppressed as we release our erotics to cover the planet with cute little fuckable things. The death drive. Because the other thing we want, for better or worse, is to kill and be killed. Any reactionary ought to be concerned that when people pivot away, in revulsion, from the never ending lineup of libidinal outlets and the technology and laws that facilitate them they will pivot in the extremity to the opposite direction. Rather than an endless stream of one night stands what happens when people, in the name of liberty, demand to be killed and to kill. This is already happening for those who have eyes to see.
We lack language subtle enough to understand that rather than bringing our own urges under our technocratic control we could instead attempt to channel them naturally. There was once a time to rise up, and a time to lie down. A time to kill and a time to die. If we are going to avoid the worst, and don’t doubt that without action the worst is yet to come, we need to recover this relationship of our actions to their proper timing. The technocratic desire for self mastery is actually good. But the technocratic understanding of what the self is is what is deficient.
Untameable Native King
For those living in a paradise other than the Incorporated Kingdom of Newsomifornia, you are probably only slightly aware that we are returning to lockdowns. The Wuhan China Bat Virus has returned in force and no amount of $15,000 dinners at Michelin Star restaurants can stop it. Public schools, closed to students since March (admin/teachers/maintenance/security staff magically still being paid), will be joined by museums, barbershops, salons, zoos, amusement parks, restaurants, and outdoor PLAYGROUNDS. Yes, you heard that right, playgrounds, those notoriously dangerous structures, famous for spontaneous friendships between tiny humans, are now state prohibited vectors of disease spread.
I mean look at this guy: He’s got America’s most punchable face. He said that if police don’t kick small children off the local corkscrew slide he’ll withhold state funds. You might wish he had that same energy toward homeless people literally shitting on city streets or setting up tent communities under freeways all across the state. Shoot, I wish he had the same energy toward stopping the “High Speed Rail” project that has cost $12.8 billion for a train that takes passengers from Bakersfield to Merced. It’s the equivalent of spending that money to build a high speed rail from Peoria, IL to Fort Wayne, IN. But no, instead of worrying about the hundreds of thousands of California residents fleeing the state or the crushing regulations imposed on small businesses, he’s worried about 4 year olds on climbing walls.
And this, in microcosm, sums up the digital age’s Achilles heel. While the Electric Age, as stated in the America First Weekly Substack article, led to untamed and unchecked hedonism, the digital age brings sterility. In the face of perfect digital memory, all concerns become magnified so that the things which we should focus on fade in the face of the sheer quantity of data. Instead of focusing on China, we’re focused on restaurants. Instead of focusing on our own drug companies making money on addicting our fellow citizens, we’re focused on George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Instead of considering what happens when a government starts making unenforceable edicts, we worry about shutting down churches, limiting funeral sizes or canceling Thanksgiving.
The focus is on the wrong concern, or to say it another way, the corollary of not planning for the future is planning for a future that isn’t coming. While the people in power play the small games of “public safety”, their myopia only increases the destabilizing of their regime. Either from without, state or corporate sponsored, or from within due to populist revolt, the digital age has opened a door previously once thought closed. And no amount of Twitter censoring, Facebook fact-checking or Google algorithms can stand before it.
It will just take one man, a man of will, to open that door and the future our governor and his ilk planned to build back better will disappear into history.
During the most contested election in the modern era, and during an ongoing global pandemic and subsequent powergrab of elected officials, Twitter decided that the most important news of December 1 was that “Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page announces he is Transgender.” I quickly read the headlines, and having never heard of Umbrella Academy or Elliot Page I decided to not give a fuck.
The next day, I noticed the headline was still there, so I gave it a second thought. Is “Elliot Page” and “he” the new gender or the old? It’s very confusing, as I was assuming that many fans of “Elliot Page” would now be celebrating his transition to the female species. But what if, I wondered, “Elliot Page” is the new name? How would anyone know who the actual person in question and in transition was? Would The Umbrella Academy need to accommodate their star’s change of gender? Would the character change? Would anyone now consider watching this totally irrelevant show?
I looked closely at the image featured in the headline and could not tell if I was looking at a feminine boy or a girl with a hat on. At this point, I had given the matter a total of about 8 seconds’ thought, which were 8 seconds not scanning Twitter for election drama, so I again decided to not give a fuck.
While scanning Twitter for my election-drama fix, I saw some posts about this Elliot Page character. In disgust I rage scrolled passed the meme. Why does anyone care about Elliot Page? Why does anyone watch anything else besides The Coup 2020? Don’t you people know it’s the best show on the internet? I saw another meme, and then another, and then I realized: Elliot Page is actually Ellen Page!!! That middling actress from that one middling movie with another middling actor that came out about a decade ago! She now thinks she’s a boy! Nevermind the day-long state legislature hearings into election fraud, nevermind the numerous court cases in line to the Supreme Court, an actress no one cares about is wearing a hat! We should all, indeed, give numerous fucks!
Once the shock wore off, I found time to contemplate the new reality I found myself in. Why would a mildly attractive woman decide to change her name and don the appearance of a pubescent boy? Mildly attractive women are in high demand. Pubescent boys are rightfully ignored until they can grow facial hair. There seems to be no advantage to the transition. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that nobody cared about The Umbrella Academy and if Ellen Page will regret the awful-haircut-turned-publicity stunt when, still, nobody cares.
I could say a lot about Michael Lind’s newest book, The New Class War, but I won’t because I’m past my deadline. Instead, read this excerpt:
In 2018, Hillary Clinton told Britain’s Channel Four News: “The real question is how did the Russians know how to target their messages so precisely to undecided voters in Wisconsin or Michigan or Pennsylvania—that is really the nub of the question.” No, the real question is why so much of the US and European establishment accepted and promulgated Clinton’s alibi for her failure to follow her hussband into the office of president of the United States. A Clinton or a Bush was president, vice president, or secretary of state in every year between 1981 and 2013, an era in which working-class incomes stagnated, offshoring devastated US and European manufacturing, the world suffered the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the US plunged into multiple disastrous wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. Trump became president by running against a Bush in the Republican primaries and a Clinton in the general election.
If the WaPo was really concerned about “democracy dying in darkness,” where were they during our three decade-long dyarchy?
In every week’s edition of The America First Weekly, we provide a “friends link” (no Medium subscription required) to that week’s original article written by one of the editors.
It’s the greatest expression of American “Electric Seduction”. An album produced at the end of the 80’s and a band whose short-lived career burned itself out like a roadside flare. A last gasp before the overwhelming power of the digital encapsulated all things under its terrible, and yet terribly just grip.
Since I (Bedivere) grew up in a religious and conservative home, I had never heard of Guns N Roses (or a great many other bands) until I arrived at my public middle school. (For that matter, I hadn’t heard many cuss words till I got there, either.)
One of the most interesting cultural effects (or perhaps, harbingers) of the Great Realignment is that public censoriousness and cultural conformity is now very much the province of the left. The anarchic appetite for destruction seems to be exclusively a right-wing phenomenon. Even the socialists to the left of the Democratic Party preciously enforce abstruse personal pronoun usage rules—in fact, they may be the most censorious and conformist lot of all. That’s why the left has no future.
I’m not quite sure what we should do with our appetite for destruction—but so long as woke capital continues to construct its atomizing and antihuman regime, anarchic rebellion will come in very useful. Untameable Native King has prepared a primer on our movement’s poet laureates: Apotheosis of the Electric Age.