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Monday, 2018-03-19, 4:05 PM
The Five Meritocratic Principles
1) It’s not who your parents are, it’s who you are.
2) It’s not what others can do for you, it’s what you can do.
3) Sex, race, religion, age, background are irrelevant. Talent is everything.
4) You start from the same point as everyone else, and you go as far as your talents take you.
5) The highest rewards for the highest achievers.
1) To implement the five Meritocratic Principles.
2) To abolish the monarchy since it contradicts the first Meritocratic Principle. In a monarchy, the only thing that matter is the identity of your parents. In a meritocracy, your parents are irrelevant. The advent of meritocracy is accompanied by the automatic abolition of the monarchy. No meritocrat would seek the ‘permission’ of a monarch to govern.
3) To abolish the House of Lords (the House of Cronyism), which contradicts the second Meritocratic Principle since it’s the product of patronage. In a properly constituted meritocratic system, there is no requirement for a second House.
4) To abolish Party Politics. Political parties are irrelevant in a meritocratic system. Parliament will be populated entirely by independent MPs with no set political affiliations.
5) Each independent MP is selected on the basis of their merit relating to their field of expertise. So, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is selected from amongst practising economists (and will be elected only by other economists). The Secretary of State for Health will be someone who works in the health field (and is elected only by health workers); the Secretary for Defence will be from the armed forces; the Foreign Secretary a serving official in the Foreign Office; the Secretary of State for Education a serving teacher/headmaster/lecturer. In other words, MPs in the House of Commons won’t represent a political party or a geographical constituency, but a particular field in which they have demonstrable experience, expertise and merit; and their constituents/voters will be people in the same field who can make an informed decision about their ability.
6) The Prime Minister will be elected by the MPs from amongst their number. Every five years, there will be a general election in which every MP has to seek the endorsement of their voters, or be replaced.
7) To abolish Cabinet Collective Responsibility. The principle that people should promote views with which they privately disagree is absurd and ipso facto brings politicians into disrepute. Why haven’t they resigned if they disagree with a policy? How can they defend a position that they themselves don’t believe in? If they publicly support a policy they privately reject, they are hypocrites.
8) Critiques of government policy will be provided by select committees of MPs. Special committees comprising scientists and philosophers may also be used, chosen because of their critical-thinking abilities and their expertise in challenging assumptions. Committees of artists, entrepreneurs and designers may also be called upon. Pressure groups will be given a prominent voice too since meritocracy welcomes close scrutiny.
9) To abolish the ‘moralising’ approach to politics (what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’ – the politics of principle) in favour of the scientific method (what works and what doesn’t – the politics of pragmatism).
10) To increase Inheritance Tax to 100%. No one should be able to posthumously transfer an advantage to another person of their choosing. The state should acquire all of the assets of the deceased and should allocate them on a meritocratic basis.
11) Education is the bedrock of merit, and should be accorded the highest importance in the meritocratic state. The current education system is a demonstrable failure and should be overhauled in every respect. Our education system is designed to produce shoppers (these being what capitalist democracies require to sustain their economic model). True education is the opposite of shopping. It liberates the mind, not the credit card.
12) To promote the ideas of the most radical, free-thinking, independently-minded philosophers e.g. Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Rousseau, Diogenes, Camus, the Situationist International.
13) To provide community-based alternatives to the family (based, for example, on the Kibbutz model) so that if a family fails, its members aren’t cast into the costly and counter-productive hell of state care.
In 1948, George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eight-Four. Our "liberal” western democracy claims that it has prevented Orwell’s chilling vision coming to pass. In fact, it has succeeded in producing something even worse. O’Brien himself would have been proud of what our society has "achieved”. Here’s why…
1984 Through the Looking Glass
Remember Room 101? – it contains the worst thing in the world. I invented it myself. My finest work, perhaps. Yesterday we had Winston Smith in there. He was terrified of rats. Such a prole.
Winston Smith. A snivelling individual if ever there was one. And to think he imagined that I, O'Brien of the highest echelon of the Party, might enter into an alliance with him.
Today I've decided to subject myself to an experiment. I'm going into Room 101, this time to be on the receiving end. I already know what the worst thing in the world is for me: the society advocated by Winston Smith.
In I go, into a plain room with whitewashed walls. In a moment, the Incubus Drug – a gas that penetrates to the darkest corners of my mind where my profoundest terrors lurk – will be introduced into the air. It will gather my fears, intensify them, and bring them to life.
Here comes the gas. Already, I can visualise Winston Smith, smiling slyly at me. He will be my guide, just as Virgil was for Dante in The Inferno. I feel sick.
The horror begins. We're standing in a carriage of a train that travels underground. We're both wearing pinstriped suits and carrying leather attaché cases. A crowd of similarly attired men is jostling us. I can't breathe. I feel a panic attack coming on. Mercifully, we alight before I faint. We push through a throng, trudge up a broken-down escalator and emerge into a crowded street near St Paul's Cathedral.
We enter a large glass building and sit down in an open-plan office full of…I can only describe them as human automatons. They're worse than the proles. Telescreens display endless arrays of numbers. Telephones ring incessantly. Machines bleep. The automatons shout and scream. They seem to do nothing but buy and sell, but only in a virtual sense: no actual goods ever materialise. These automatons don't do a single creative thing, just like our own proles.
All the while, Smith smiles at me…that same sly grin.
This nightmare continues for ten hours, and I thought we were cruel. Now I'm beginning to respect Winston and his kind.
We leave the building and again we descend into the crowded underground and perform our earlier journey in reverse. I imagine this is how the journey to Hell begins.
We exit at a mainline railway station and board a train. Again, I am jostled, forced to stand in stifling heat amongst a sweating, smelly horde who talk unceasingly about property prices and retail therapy (whatever that is). I'm breathless once more.
Winston is reading a newspaper. A cursory glance reveals that its authors would surely rise straight to the top of the Ministry of Truth. Every article is a Two Minutes Hate, not directed against an enemy power but some hapless individual or other. Everything they've printed is clearly false. In my society, the past is falsified to make it consistent with the present. In Winston's society, the present is falsified merely to provide entertainment.
I notice that many women are reading magazines that could easily have been produced by our Pornosec, while others have their faces buried in novels that, as I realised after peering at one that had been discarded, may well have been created by our novel-writing machines.
At last we escape from the train. Winston is still smiling. All around us are posters, but they don't proclaim the merits of Big Brother. Instead, they announce the alleged indispensability of soap powders and automobiles and a host of baubles and beads serving no purpose whatever. What's wrong with these people?
We reach a small terraced house that apparently costs a million pounds even though you can't swing a cat, and Winston invites me in. He switches on a telescreen and I watch a programme about the Thought Police. In Winston's society, they are known by the brilliant name of the Politically Correct. I wish I'd thought of that. They gibber in a language almost identical to Newspeak. They terrify even me. Some of them would appear to be members of the senior Anti-Sex League.
Next, a grey man appears and Winston announces that this is the Prime Minister. I am taking notes because I have never encountered such a fine exponent of doublethink. I have to force myself to think that way…it appears to come naturally to the leaders of Winston's society – the members of the Capitalist Democracy Party. This party is divided into three factions called Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat. I am unable to identify any way in which these factions differ. For all intents and purposes, this is a totalitarian regime.
The slogans of my Party are: War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. The slogans of Winston's Party would appear to be: Ignorance is Freedom; Stupidity is Strength; Inequality is Equality; Hypocrisy is Justice; Delusion is Truth. An excellent set of slogans!
Winston's society has many Emmanuel Goldsteins. The people are expected to throw as much abuse at them as they can muster. The Enemy of the People now goes under various names: Osama bin Laden, the President of Iran, the President of North Korea etc. One Enemy of the People was called Saddam Hussein. They went to war with him over Weapons of Mass Destruction, which he told them he didn't have, and, indeed, he didn't. They, the proven liars, relentlessly called him a liar. How wonderful. A few years ago, one of the Goldsteins was called Gerry Adams and, in an attempt to mock him, they refused to broadcast his voice, but actors were allowed to do an impression of him and say precisely what he'd just said. How bizarre is that? I really am learning valuable lessons here.
Just as Oceania is always at war, so are Winston's nation and its allies. They call it the War on Terror. Marvellous. It's the perfect means to keep the citizens on a permanent war footing (allowing all sorts of civil liberties to be swept away) and in a perpetual state of fear from which only the Government can save them. Why didn't BB think of it?
Next, I see a telescreen programme about the unemployed. These are unpersons in Winston's society. It would be easy to find work for them all simply by reducing the number of hours worked by others. But the workers in Winston's society refuse to consent to this because they prefer that others should be redundant than that their pay packets should be diminished. It brings a lump to my throat.
As I watch more programmes, I discover so many amazing facts about Winston's society. There are more surveillance cameras than people. Even we haven't managed that. Diaries are freely available in Winston's society; but none of the citizens can write, and they're all so brainwashed by consumerism that they don't have any subversive thoughts to express anyway. There are no dissidents in Winston's society – there are only shoppers.
Winston's society has people called 'Spin Doctors' who are the equivalent of our senior officials in the Ministry of Truth. Not a word of truth ever passes their lips.
Yesterday, I told Winston that the Party required him to acknowledge that 2+2=5, and I had to torture him to make him see sense. Here, they agree without hesitation. I think that's because they can't count.
The leaders of Winston's society don't need to control the past or rewrite history – they just need to provide things for people to buy. The people know nothing about the past, and don't care. A "glamour model" was asked if Winston Churchill was a Prime Minister, a President, a King or a Rapper. She answered that he was the first black President of America! A supermodel mistook the leader of the Conservative Party for a plumber (I better not let Big Brother hear about that). All of our elaborate tactics never produced results as effective as these: complete ignorance of everything that has ever happened. We must copy the non-education system of this society. Of course, I mean education.
It wouldn't matter if all the clocks struck 13 in Winston's society because time has become irrelevant, and the citizens themselves are irrelevant. They're lower than the proles.
The gas wears off. I'm back in Room 101. Well, what a turn up for the books. Far from being Hell, Winston's society is a very Heaven, the realisation of all of Big Brother's principles. I shall have to seek out Winston at the Chestnut Tree bar and shake his hand. He was right all along and will be welcomed into the Inner Party immediately. We shall implement Capitalist Democracy without delay. It turns people into morons, and they aren't even bothered…as long as they can shop.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a human with a pound sign stamped on his face and pushing a shopping trolley – forever.
Here’s how our modern society reflects Big Brother’s totalitarianism:
Big Brother – Capitalist Liberal Democracy. (No mechanisms exist, in any practical sense, to replace this form of government. It is therefore totalitarian.)
Inner Party – the Upper Class/Super rich. (The state is designed to meet their needs.)
Outer Party – the Middle Class. (They aspire to rise to the Inner Party, and are terrified of being relegated to proles.)
Proles – the Working Class. (They aspire to rise to the Outer Party, and are terrified of being relegated to unpersons. They spend all of their leisure time trying to blot out the appalling lives they lead. Heavy users of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Excessive TV watchers, particularly of chat shows, soap operas, hospital and forensic dramas, detective shows etc).
Unpersons – the Under Class. (The state is reluctant to acknowledge their existence.)
Doublethink – People are so stupid that not even in principle would they be able to understand that they hold hosts of contradictory opinions. Orwell's warning about doublethink has been realised in every regard.
Big Brother is watching you – CCTV cameras, GCHQ, MI5, MI6, Special Branch.
Newspeak – political correctness. (To "narrow the range of thought”.)
Emmanuel Goldstein – any enemy identified by the Government, or by tabloid newspapers.
Pornosec – Tabloid newspapers.
Two Minutes Hate – front pages of tabloid newspapers.
Party Slogans – the outpourings of Spin Doctors.
Ministry of Truth – Spin Doctors/Tabloid newspapers.
Ministry of Love – MI5/MI6/Special Branch/CO19/Police. The police have killed more innocent people than Islamicists.
Ministry of Plenty – Shops, particularly supermarkets, particularly Tesco: give the people plenty of what they don’t need.
Ministry of Peace – Ministry of Defence that continually engages in offensive wars.
Winston’s Diary – all freethinkers are labelled "mad” and are relentlessly mocked by tabloid newspapers.
Oceania’s perpetual war – the War on Terror.
Goldstein’s Book – "free speech” and the possibility of producing new political movements (but in practice neither is there free speech nor any hope of overthrowing the tyranny of Capitalist Liberal Democracy).
Fiction Department – Tabloid newspapers; Government League Tables; Official Government statistics.
In 1984, the Party maintains power by keeping its citizens ignorant. Capitalist Liberal Democracy does exactly the same thing. It provides a hopeless State education system so that the privately educated Inner Party members can maintain indefinite control.
In 1984, a huge effort goes into controlling the past, present and future (to serve the Party’s interests). Capitalist Liberal Democracy erases the past by avoiding teaching history in any meaningful way. It controls the future by placing its citizens in debt (Mortgages/Credit Cards). The proles had no chance in 1984, and they have no chance now.
What are the discernible objects of Capitalist Liberal Democracy?
1) To maintain the Inner Party in their positions of wealth and power.
2) To generate hordes of compliant consumers who love to shop till they drop, thus sustaining the wealth of the capitalists (who own the goods being sold). I shop therefore I am.
3) To promote consumerism as the greatest good. People are relegated to mere units of consumption. Your value in society is directly proportional to how much you can afford to consume.
4) To prevent anyone from becoming too intelligent. (The Cassius Principle – He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.)
5) To reject philosophy, science, history and indeed all academic knowledge, except insofar as it supports consumerism and the production of consumer goods.
6) To keep the people permanently stupid/distracted/in a stupor/apprehensive, via dumbed down TV, cigarettes, alcohol, Tabloid newspapers, Hollywood movies, junk food, shops full of ‘desirable’ junk, texting, web surfing, social networking, personal debt, mortgages, credit cards, War on Terror.
WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!! WAKE UP!!!
Down with Big Brother, down with Capitalist Liberal Democracy.
There is only one escape route – Vote for the Meritocracy Party.