Homo nudus 1

The naked human.

That’s the Great Idea of Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive President of the World Economic Forum, would-be Architect of the future of humankind which he describes as the Great Reset.

The richest people on earth fly their private jets up, up, to Davos on its alp. There among the clouds they dream together of how beautiful it will be when no one except themselves owns anything.

It is a dream of global totalitarian Communism with them and their heirs in power over everyone else forever.

They promise the rest of us:

“You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.”

“And if you dare not to be happy, we will exterminate you. Resistance is futile.”

You will be assigned food, drink, clothes, bed, transport, schooling, job, duties, leisure, sex sessions (diverse, inclusive, and equitable), health care, vacation, friends, entertainment, opinions, values, death.

Of what type, they will decide. By means of algorithms.

In my prescient book L: A Novel History (first published 2005, new edition 2012), I describe what happens when a totalitarian Communist regime – led by the eponymous hero L – that has come to power in England in the 1980s, brings about, as it must, the day when there is nothing for people to own or to eat.

Here are some passages from it:

To help us learn what many citizens must have felt at that moment when civil life broke down, we have this recollection by a tobacconist and newsagent, a Mr Bruce Waughs, a staunch Conservative by his own account, who had run his own small shop in Brixton until the revolution, and then carried on working in it when it was expropriated like all other businesses big and small, as a licensed distributor of the RED TIMES. It tells what is surely a most surprising anecdote.

My wife Stella appeared at the door, and she just stood there, looking at me with her eyes wide open and saying nothing, like someone who had just seen something happen that could not happen. I said, “What is it?” And she said, “There’s nothing! Nothing to eat. Everything’s just stopped.” It took some time for me to get the story out of her. When I did it took me even longer to grasp what it meant. Then I walked out of the shop, shut the door behind me, and was about to lock it, when Stella said, “What are you doing that for? Who are you going to lock it against?” And then it really came home to me. Well, I pushed the door open again and left it gaping wide, and I took her hand – something I hadn’t done for years − and we started walking along the street. And suddenly I felt − terribly, terribly happy. I can’t explain it. I can only say that I had never felt so happy in my whole life, not even when I was a child. And at that moment I looked at Stella, and she looked at me, and we began to laugh, and we couldn’t stop, we walked along the street laughing and laughing, and then we joined hands and began to dance, skipping round, like children, and if anybody had asked us what we were laughing at we couldn’t for the life of us have told them, not then. And all at once we weren’t alone, not alone in the street and not alone in our happiness, there were others, several others, many others, and then hundreds of others, the streets were full, and everyone was laughing, and dancing, we had seen nothing like it since the day we stood outside Buckingham Palace in July 1981 and cheered the Prince of Wales and his bride. And that was the same month our shop had been broken into and our stock looted by a mob in a riot, and Stella had cried. And I think the royal wedding had been a tonic for us, and Stella felt much better afterwards. But now what were we celebrating? The moment when we knew we might starve? It was only afterwards I could put a name to that feeling. Freedom. Somehow, in the twinkling of an eye, we had been set free. Free of what, you might say, when we were living under a tyranny, and had no notion of how we were going to go on living at all. Exactly. It was irrational. But somehow it happened. It wasn’t just having no more living to earn, no more mortgage to pay, no more bills, no more saving and budgeting, no more being told how much better Stella’s brother was doing with his furniture stores and garages than I was with my corner shop – all those sorts of worries had been lifted one by one when the revolution came eight months before, and other worries had come to replace them, heavier too, by far. Worries about the grandchildren and were they getting enough to eat, and about Stella’s mother who not only had her teeth taken away but even her wheelchair so that she just stayed indoors and we had to carry her from the bed to the chair and back again, and generally worries about whether life would ever again be comfortable and pleasant – as it had been when we had only the mortgage and things like that to worry about. And so what kind of happiness was this, what kind of freedom was it? I can tell you now – it was freedom from hope! Stella and I and all those other people made a strange discovery that day. We discovered that when you truly despair − there’s nothing to do but laugh.

It is perfectly true that on that day many people danced in the street. The New Police, mounted and on foot, descended on crowds wherever they found them, and broke them apart and sent them home. They rode or marched up, thinking that these must be the beginnings of the first genuine and justified demonstrations against a government since the 1930s, after all these years, even before the revolution, of groups playing at protest, playing at suffering, playing at reaction to pretended oppression and pretended deprivation. And the New Police were themselves so surprised at the carnival mood they found in borough after borough, that they were caught by the television cameras smiling, chatting to people in a friendly way, as they asked rather than ordered them to get off the streets. …

Bruce Waughs, the man who had laughed the day civilization stopped, was to write, in after years, this evaluation of L’s “precious gift of anarchy and dissolution”:

I soon enough found that this was not “freedom” after all. It was the extremest form of slavery – slavery of your entire being to the labour of keeping alive, supplying the simplest and most fundamental needs of life, exhausting the body and soul to keep body and soul together, in constant fear of starvation, dread of your fellow man, and a desperate urge to seize and devour whatever you can, by whatever means. For a hunk of meat you would happily kill any man or woman who stood in your way. We descended lower than savages. We became beasts.

*

Citizens’ lives had been getting increasingly difficult for some time before the day of hunger arrived.

At first the Winsomes had rejoiced in the revolution. It was what they had hoped for, worked for, and, as long as they could, voted for. “I don’t mind not owning my own house if nobody else does,” Ted Winsome had written cheerfully in his Revolution Issue of the NEW WORKER* (which came out six weeks after Republic Day, as his paper, like most others, had been ordered to suspend publication until all newspapers that were to continue had been nationalized, and permits granted to their editors). Had not his wife, in her capacity as Housing Committee chairperson on Islington Borough Council set an example, by compulsorily purchasing more private houses for local government ownership than anyone before or after her (until the revolution made purchase unnecessary)? He was proud that she had been an active pioneer, one of the avant-garde of the socialist revolution.

However, he was less pleased when three families were quartered in his house. And then another was sent by the Chief Social Worker (a sort of district commandant) when his own children, delighted to drop out of school, had left home to join a WSP [Workers Socialist Party] group and vent righteous indignation on landlords, capitalists, individualists, racists and speculators. All of his fellow lodgers were, in his view, “problem-families” – drunken, noisy, filthy, careless, inconsiderate and rude. (“That,” said the Gauleiter, “is why they were chased out of their last lodgings by angry co-residents on a former Council estate.” She had thought the Winsomes would be “more tolerant”.) Before he could hand over his stereophonic record-player to the local community centre – as he assured those he complained to that he had fully intended to do – one of the problem-children broke it, threw his classical records away, and also deliberately smashed his high-speed Japanese camera. His furniture was soon broken too. Precious antiques which he had restored with his own hands in hours of patient labour, were treated like fruit-boxes, to be stood on, and spilt on, and thrown about. When cups and glasses were smashed, it was he who had to replace them if he was to have anything to eat or drink out of; which meant recourse to the black market, against which he had so often fulminated in his editorials in the NEW WORKER. He started hiding things away in his room, taking special care to keep his carpentry and joinery tools from the hands of those who would not understand how he had cared for them, valued them, kept them sharp, adapted some of them to his particular needs. One of the problem-fathers accused him of “hoarding private property”, and threatened to go to the New Police with the complaint, or call in “some RI people” [Righteous Indignation – a violent Antifa-type group].

He confided to a woman journalist at his office how he had begun to suspect that “when a thing belongs to everybody, it belongs to nobody”. And he even went so far as to suggest that “as people only vandalize things they don’t own themselves, there is something to be said for private ownership after all”.

*

All industry failed after a few months of central communist management.

The bewildering fact was that the first country in the world to have become industrialized, the very home of the Industrial Revolution, the country which had once led the world in manufacturing industry, the erstwhile hub of the greatest empire in history, had become one of the poorest states in the world; a people surrounded not by wild tracts of unused land, with isolated constructions which signify the first frantic efforts to build mills, factories and mines in undeveloped countries, but by the decaying ruins of industrial might, of mills and mines and factories fallen into disuse and decay, rusting machinery, the vast wreckage of a once great industrial civilization, dilapidated monuments of human ingenuity and at the same time to human idiocy; acres of towns and cities deserted, tumbling into rubble, and all this devastation brought about not by war, not by any external enemy, but by a faction among the people treacherous out of intellectual blindness, guilty of a shallow moralistic idealism and economic folly; of a desire to be good, and a failure to be intelligent.

For it was those who had freedom and decried it, pretending they were oppressed; those who had material plenty and despised it, pretending they were poor; those who thus secreted a worm in their own hearts, and so at the heart of civilization – envy: the amazing unforeseen and unforeseeable envy, by the free and comfortable,  of the unfree and wretched of the earth: it was these self-deceiving, would-be lovers of mankind, the Ted and Marjorie Winsomes, the affluent children who squatted in the communes and protested against freedom calling it “repressive tolerance”, and those they elected, who were caught in the trap of their own lies, and brought an end to liberty in the name of liberation; an end to plenty in the name of humanitarianism; and an end to the impersonality of the law before which all were  equal, and the impersonality of the market in which all were equal, and created legal discrimination and class elitism, in the name of equality.

L: A Novel History

 

Jillian Becker   October 12, 2021

 

Posted under communism, Totalitarianism by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

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