Published On: Fri, Mar 10th, 2017

The Truman Show and smiley-faced corporate-government dictatorship

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Introduction

When you think of seminal works of art in film and literature that imagine a dystopian totalitarian state, what titles immediately spring to mind? Nineteen Eighty Four? Brave New World? The Running Man? Brazil? Fahrenheit 451?

How about The Truman Show?

Perhaps you are surprised at the mention of this Jim Carey “comedy”; that would be understandable. It looks too much like the cosy environment that its release-date cinema audience lived in, not to mention the one that some people still inhabit – lots of people still like to tell themselves that they live in a free country, and some people have quite decided that they do. Yet even when it was made, The Truman Show was an illustration of the smiley-faced fascist dictatorship that was already afflicting Anglo-American society, and more importantly, the façade of freedom within that society.

There is a great line in The Truman Show when Sylvia, the heroine of the piece, answers Truman’s concerns about missing school the next day: “there is no school!” The same applies in our society. There is no school that isn’t for programming conditioned responses, there is no state-granted learning that empowers the individual, and apart from some forms of self-employment (hence the Government hostility towards it), there is no profession that doesn’t benefit the state. And The Truman Show is recognisably a film about the total control exerted by a technocratic corporate-government upon a hapless celebrity-and-consumables-obsessed population by making them, through culturally acceptable persecution, conditioning, persuasion and deception, believe in and submit to a fraud. The fraud in question is that things have to be the way they are; that there has to be two see-sawing political parties; that the corporate friends of both don’t get to pay taxes; that, meanwhile, everyone else has to have a bank account which always somehow inflicts a charge; that cancer still can’t be cured despite all the money you raised; that you have to pay a tax to watch TV; that the government can put you in jail for withholding taxes in protest; that it has to be true because it says so in the newspapers; that the human race, not the sun, is responsible for climate change; that there is a War on Terror; that it would be unthinkable if Britain was a self-determining nation; etc, etc, etc.

Unlike the other literary/filmic warnings about Marxist/technocratic dystopia abovementioned, The Truman Show shows a hell on earth tyranny that has actually been achieved; as such it is more important than all the classics one might think of. The author suggests that if we are serious about being free, we should study The Truman Show so that we can first understand our enslavement. This essay serves as a brief explanation of the hypothesis, and it is structured in the following way: firstly the key characteristics of the film are identified so that, secondly, these features can be decoded and mapped to the landmarks of our general society that demonstrate that it is indeed a dictatorship.

The Components of The Truman Show

The fictional TV reality show after which the movie is named involves the interaction of three groups of people. We know we can separate the elements out in this way because it reflects the organisation of the cast list in the film’s credits. There are the people in Truman’s world – Truman being the unwitting star of the production; there are the people in Christof’s world – Christof being the director; and then there are the viewers who watch the show on TV.

Truman’s World

Truman lives in small town America; Seahaven is not only locked by water away from the rest of whichever state it is meant to be in, but it is locked in the 1950s (this is deeply ironic because “the 50s” characterises a utopia that authoritarians accuse constitutionalists of desiring, despite this being a decade where installation of social control continued apace after World War II). In fact, although it is covered by a construction that is so large as to be seen from space, Seahaven is only a stage set, not a real town. And although Seahaven is not real, it is a reality for several thousands of people who populate it and make it function. Christof actually says that the show has a “population of a small country” to make it work. But this isn’t the actual defining reason as to why Seahaven really is its own country. Seahaven is a corporate-baronial fiefdom owned by media giant Omnicom and separated physically and legally from the rest of the United States by the introduction of huge amounts of money to produce a localised abandonment of normal due process. In other words, it has its own law. The Seahaven stage set as its own country is an important concept that tells us what the film is really all about (The Truman Show is routinely categorised as being a film about reality TV). And we should continue to take other hints from some of the very first lines to be spoken in the film: Nothing is fake in Seahaven, says Truman’s “best friend” – only controlled. This isn’t an acting role, says Truman’s “wife”, it is real life.

“Born” on the island, Truman grew up there, and unbeknownst to him, for all of his boyhood, teenage years and early adulthood was the subject of intense scrutiny. He is continually spied on, and his life is broadcast to the world. His wedding, for instance, was fed on big screens to crowds in sports stadia – the comparison to the mass gibbering adulation of British royalty is unavoidable. As the audience of the film, we join Truman’s life somewhere around the age of 30 (if it is 33, the author will not at all be surprised); all of his movements are still captured by over a thousand hidden cameras, and these images are piped to a television audience who appear to be addicted to them. However, he isn’t spied upon in a vacuum. The backdrop to his life is a series of television commercials which sell the products of businesses big enough to buy what must undoubtedly be the most premium advertising space on TV. This is not as passive a relationship as it sounds; Truman is sometimes pushed in front of bill boards so that they, and whatever it is they are selling, feature in the camera shot. Sometimes Truman’s “wife” launches into what sounds suspiciously like a scripted sales pitch to extol all the desirable features of a product that she just happens to be enjoying at the time. This strange behaviour in others for the sake of advertising is something that Truman doesn’t ever seem to get to grips with; in the end, when he openly asks his wife who it is she is speaking to when she acts out a commercial, it most likely contributes to Truman’s epiphany regarding the reality of his environment.

Most of the other people in Truman’s world are actors who pretend to inhabit wherever Truman happens to turn. When Truman is not in a scene with them, they are in the wings of the stage. When Truman is about to enter a scene with them, they take up “starting positions” and remain there. When Truman enters that scene, they become animated and become all the other people in Truman’s world. They are walking their dogs, or chatting outside cafes, or on their way to work, or merely taking the garden waste to the garbage can. These people only pretend to have a profession or a skill or even a leisure objective; as someone says of the town’s pilot who cannot even get an engine to start (paraphrasing), the bottom line is he can’t drive the boat, he’s an actor. So nothing is achieved in a Seahaven job that contributes to a common good; the object of every “occupation” is to maintain Truman’s delusion.

There are a small group of administrators in Truman’s world who may also be actors, but they are more likely to be operatives with higher level status conferred upon them from behind the scenes. We could categorise them as divisional directors who receive orders from a control centre that is external from Seahaven, and often directly from Christof. Key characters are of this type; Truman’s best friend, his wife, a pair of aged twins who innocuously “bump” into Truman every day. This sort of actor is also the real police force in Truman’s world (the ones who wear blue costumes have no real power). Embedded in the general populace, they leap out of nowhere to actually physically prevent Truman making illusion-shattering discoveries even to the point of assaulting him.

When Truman stumbles across these gatekeepers, or upon actors with their guard down, or picks up broadcasted direction for actors on his car radio, or encounters a technical glitch on the set, then his world suddenly, for a moment, for him, stops being normal and becomes wildly strange. These incidents are hurriedly spun on news outlets to rationalise them.  For instance, when the stage light that represents a star in the heavens falls to the ground, it is described as debris from a passing failing airplane. When Truman discovers actors lounging in a dressing room where the elevator shaft of the Omnicom building should have been, these individuals were portrayed on the next days’ news as victims of a terrible accident. Fake news indeed.

Truman is essentially a prisoner in a very cosy cell. The first American ever to be adopted by a corporation (Omincom), his parents are a soulless legal entity. In fact, the words “adoption” and “parents” are euphemisms for a state of existence outside of civil liberties.

Christof’s World

While Truman’s every move is watched, Christof hates public scrutiny, and will not let his own privacy be violated by anyone. As powerful as that sort of selective protection makes him in the real world, in Truman’s world, Christof has the final word on everything that happens. He is the director and master controller. He even dictates very important speeches to his actors when the occasion demands it. Underneath him, Christof has minions that work in a control centre, hidden from Truman’s world, who are able to regulate environmental variables in order to produce a reaction in Truman. With the ability to control the weather, to send actors hither and thither, and even dictate the rising of the sun and moon, these people are supremely powerful. They don’t play God by making awesome shows of nature to terrify Truman as if he were an ancient (not until they become desperate); the manipulation is 20th century, and low key – and amounts to the same result.

Truman is manipulated by what he learns at school, what he sees in the news, what he sees in advertising, and what he sees in entirely all of the programming of the broadcast media. Because it is vital that Truman never wants to leave the island on which he lives, most of the conditioning is aimed at making him recoil from the idea of travelling. “Who needs Europe!” screams a newspaper headline. A TV announcer presenting the film Show Me the Way to Go Home explains that it demonstrates how you “don’t need to leave home to find out what the world is about”. When Truman tells a teacher he wants to be an explorer, she replies “you’re too late, there is nothing left to discover”. Furthermore, for this purpose, Truman is traumatised by Christof and his minions when they “kill” Truman’s father in a sailing accident. This is a tool of control that above all others screams of being abuse, but in fact all the manipulation is abuse, and it is all administered without any empathy or any reference to Truman’s civil rights. Indeed, the lengths that Truman’s prison guards go to make sure he is always thwarted in gaining confidence about leaving the island are extraordinary; and psychotic. Significantly, these forest fires and nuclear plant meltdowns are always staged, the greatest effort goes into making them seem real. And meanwhile Christof confidently boasts to his audience in an attempt to justify himself that Truman is too frightened to leave his cosy prison; his is truly a demonic abuse of a human being.

Above Christof is the media corporation that makes the Truman product, Omnicom (all the names are significant), but the power that this has over Christof does not affect the content of the show. Omnicom never interferes in the editing and directing; it merely retains the power to pull the plug if it doesn’t like the results. There are many other corporations that advertise on the Truman Show, and Omnicom naturally has to keep theses advertisers happy – these are huge contributors to the survival of the project; but this seems to be the extent of the power hierarchy. The film hints that Omnicom also sells the products placed in Truman’s world; a Truman catalogue is mentioned, and seems to be a list of all the items on the Truman Show that can be purchased: we are told that everything that appears on the Truman Show can be purchased. So, the Truman Show is also a steroidal version of QVC.

We can’t leave this section without remarking on Christof’s name – Christ-of. Now, there is a lot of confusion about the difference between a Christ and the man Jesus – to call him by the name the Greeks gave him. The Christ in the Freemasonic religion of Luciferianism (and there are signs that the The Truman Show could be a retelling of Freemasonic lore – basically a lie that the power of good in the world wants to enslave) the office of Christ is for any man who makes himself a god through the possession of knowledge. Christof is not a saviour for mankind, but a Hermetic god – and Hermetic gods always understand that they have their own rather special place in the scheme of things, and that the masses have theirs. Which brings us neatly to the TV audience.

The Television Audience

The people in the real world (as it is portrayed in the movie) who watch the Truman Show appear to be addicted to it. In fact, addiction is an understatement. They appear to be psychologically damaged. Unfortunately, as the Truman Show is a world-wide sensation, there is an appallingly large portion of the real world which invests time and money in the fantasy. As the film progresses we discover some of this audience is surrounded by useless Truman memorabilia to indicate that they are also tele-shopping victims.

These people seem to emphatically link with Truman in that they appear to wish him well, and are even excited to see him exit his world; they seem to recognise his victory. However, one realises at the end of the film that the general audience only cares about Truman as they would about a soap opera character. This is made perfectly clear when two viewing security guards react to the end of the epic Truman Show by shrugging their shoulders, and turn to the TV guide to see what other “entertainment” is to be found. Unfortunately, the TV audience, who are discovered in slatternly states in their own homes (ignoring crying babies), or in bars, or at work but slacking off, do not seem to learn from Truman’s experience and apply the lesson to their own existence.

Sometimes Truman’s world is infiltrated with the TV audience who take the opportunity, not to warn Truman, which would be the heroic thing to do, but to inanely celebrate having infiltrated. The TV audience also perpetuates Truman’s imprisonment, and everything that it entails – although, they aren’t at fault to quite the same degree as the actors in Truman’s world are. The members of the TV audience are victims of their own haplessness – induced by being perpetual spectators in their own lives, rather than being players. This would have everything to do with the social engineering that their real world is subject to. On the other hand, the actors in the show are active participants who have made a conscious decision to be Truman’s prison guards in return for financial remuneration.

Not all members of the TV audience are without redeemable qualities. There are some who watch out of concern and in order to be able to protest. When these people infiltrate the Truman Show and Seahaven, they cause events that appear incongruous in the same way as the technical glitches do – as if there is a breakdown in Truman’s normal rational experience. In fact it is the behaviour of Christof’s “secret police” who create this effect, and not the infiltrators. In security services style, they descend from behind-the-scenes and from nowhere to feed Truman an impossible sounding excuse, and to drag the infiltrator away by hook or by crook. The most effective infiltrator was Sylvia, who was effective in a purely accidental way; Truman developed a strong emotional attachment to her. This was something that his controllers could not clear away by force. She had inspired a desire in Truman to leave the island when the inevitable security personnel fed him a cover story in which Sylvia would be emigrating to Fiji (so the security state defeated itself with its own lying).

Truman’s Escape

Truman’s eventual departure from his fake reality had been preceded by a period in which he had gradually realised his predicament, and while testing reality, Truman causes himself to say and do things that look unusual. The reaction to him by the actors is designed to make Truman doubt his new emerging convictions and reject them. For instance, his best friend tells him that the reason that he feels as though he is the centre of the universe is because his is psychologically compensating for failure in his own life. He tries to reinforce a belief that Truman would not even have got through school if they, as best friends, hadn’t cheated on exam papers. This is not just more psychological abuse, but it is the message of Collectivism that stifles individual effort and reward, and was infamously sounded by the Marxist American President Obama “you didn’t build your own business”. There is other abuse: Truman is told by his wife that he is “not right in the head” when he tries to show her that the same actors circle the neighbourhood in order to populate the world, and that traffic flocks from nowhere to block his progress on the roads.

The way that Truman finally beats his imprisonment is by refusing to cooperate with it; by doing this he forces the fraud into the open. The world of Truman thereafter disintegrates into one without rationality. The moon turns into a search light; the sun comes up in the middle of the night so the town’s entire population can perform a manhunt for him.  Metaphorically, the “sunlight” also illuminates the truth of how it is the townspeople that are mad and barbaric, not Truman the “conspiracy theorist”. Being told to adopt “first positions” they attend their predetermined marks for the “Truman-goes-to-work” scene, even though the night has been unnaturally abandoned and Truman must know about the fraud. A whole town, standing motionless waiting for something to happen that cannot, looks pathetic and desperate, and crazy. And in the hunt for Truman that preceded sun rise, we also discover that the town’s folk hate Truman: “find the son of a bitch”, snarls his next door neighbour. In fact, there is a good chance that within this there is a hatred of being exposed as party to the fraud – as criminals (this might offer a psychological explanation as to the reluctance of most people to invest time in looking into real conspiracy facts).

In the hunt for Truman as he makes his escape, there is no effort to continue to try and deceive him – the focus is entirely on bodily retrieving Truman purely to exercise control over him. It speaks of a will to dominate, which is confirmed when Christof orders his technicians to kill Truman with an irresistible storm at sea. Again, Christof demonstrates a belief that he is Truman’s god (and thus had a right to destroy him). Ironically, Christof also believed he had been offering Truman a salvation from the real world – which Christof describes as sick and capable of doing harm. However, it is Christof’s creation that is sick, and noticeably, as Truman is on the verge of exiting it and is being persuaded by Christof’s disembodied god-like voice seemingly descending from sky, the watching Sylvia pleads to the God of the real universe for Truman’s release.

Decoded

Although The Truman Show is set in the United States, it is a film about a kind of Statist tyranny that was invented, honed and has been implemented for a long time now in Britain. Therefore, it actually makes a truer statement about the British Marxist state (which is surprisingly old) because of the extent of the total governmental control in Britain (the U.S. has a very healthy alternative media that is in the process of discrediting that country’s corporate-media). The Truman Show movie is an analogy of our own society, and its population in its three groups is an illustration of how it functions.

First of all, though, we need to discuss who Truman represents. The clue is in the name – True Man. Truman is the empowered individual that tyrannical government fears so much. His empowerment is in his striving to achieve his potential as a human being. It is self-generated – realised from inside or perhaps God-given – and will not be dampened by the efforts of tyrannical government to make him into a slave or a feral animal without self-control nor culture. However, Truman isn’t trying to become a god; he is merely trying to become a human being – a creature according to its own kind within and of God’s other creation. That’s why ultimately the film can’t be Luciferian (perhaps a few Hollywood producers were duped at the first meeting). Because he is courageous and not a coward – like a True Man – Truman has the ability to confront the anomalies between what he sees with his own eyes and what he is told to believe; these anomalies and how a general populace decides not to notice them are the key to tyranny. And so, we conclude that the British general populace comprises of the Untrue Man – people that can’t and won’t realise their humanity.

Because Truman is the citizen most likely to rebel against the efforts to control, he is the spied upon citizen. The surveillance grid in the UK is there, in part to spot behaviour that would challenge the status quo, and to data mine to psychologically profile; to analyse the motivation to see if it can’t be channelled into some other disarming distraction. “Unpredictable behaviour has to be reported”, Christof reminds his minions in the film.

Under the Anglo-American corporate-government, of course, the greatest act of rebellion one can perform is to stop spending coin on the corporate-government; in other words, to stop buying its product. This requires an alternative; and this is another reason why there is so much disregard for privacy. The surveillance state is tantamount to corporate espionage; gauging the danger from competition; ruining the prospects of an idea before it gets any traction.

The TV Audience are the masses in the real world; the unemployed, the people on state pensions, the self-employed (the self-employed of today are very different to the self-employed of a Georgian middle class), low-level and labouring government employees (garbage collectors, police, firemen and paramedics), low-level and labouring employees of corporations (shop-assistants and bricklayers, for instance). These people are the most victimised in our society because they have been trained to receive conditioning, and then more conditioning, since their first day at state school. And while at school, because the vast majority of them do not help the teachers reach Government-imposed meaningless targets then they are effectively abandoned in the system – which, although the system is artificial, the act is nevertheless a demoralising one. Very few people generally seem to become independent thinkers in the UK education system, so that these folk don’t is no discredit to them. However, they are the most susceptible to suggestion from an authoritative voice.

They cannot imagine a life without the television set; watching TV is the limit of their cultural ambition and so they continue to neglect real self-development. They watch it because they are attracted to celebrity, and anyone on TV is a celebrity. This means that the authoritative voice that influences them comes from an array of celebrities, and they conform to it because of its attachment to celebrity. They watch the controlled world through the TV as if it is happening to someone else and not to them. Through the TV they understand the world – and so they understand the world the way that the controlling class wants them to.

They are also a captive audience for advertising, and thus guaranteed consumers of corporate products which are mostly bad for them whether it be unfavourable financial products, conduits of propaganda, or food and cosmetics laced with carcinogens. They ensure the corporate-government’s domination.

The people in Truman’s World are what we could call our “professional class”; they are teachers, doctors, managers in government or corporations, engineers, journalists, lawyers and politicians. As it happens, Truman is a real estate agent so he belongs in this class – although he is also the special case. The temptation is to call all the people of this class potential True-men, but this would be wrong. Too generally do these people facilitate the tyranny – and so generally they can never become Truman. If they do see the glitches and the suspension of normality, they ignore them. If they know how things are, then they have sold out; the risk of losing their material comfort is too high to ever rock the boat. “Are we going to walk away from our financial obligations?” asks Truman’s wife in regards going to Fiji (which is a metaphor for escaping from the control system). And so these people are helping to administer the fraud that has been manufactured by the top strata of society that sits directly above them. They do this by peopling and enforcing the systems of social control; they act within them or populate them with information that sustains the fraud. Significantly, while under the rule of tyrants, there is very little that this class of collaborators produce that is for the good of mankind; in fact, most if not all technology has applications for tyranny, and government workers, who number in their millions in Britain, do not produce any real wealth.

Hence all the people – the TV Audience class and the Truman’s world class – submit to the governance of the ruling class, and this very much smaller group of people are the ones in Christof’s world. They are people who influence the content of education and media, they are police top brass, the pinnacle of the judiciary, they are the politicians, they are the managers of corporations and banks. Christof’s minions are those people who are high up in the institutions and they are the means by which orders from on high are disseminated into society. Christof himself is the executive branch of government, which is only able to operate if it is fulfilling the desires of the people who finance it – the corporate moguls. Christof is a figure-head for a corporate-state; that is, a country that is ruled by a corporate conglomeration. In true form, Christof reveals that he owns a God-complex; “I am the creator [long pause] of a television show that brings hope to millions of people” he tells Truman. Notice the religious language and how hope of everlasting life has actually become relegated to something entirely different; he is talking about harvesting through mass addiction to television; this is the essence of corporate-government, and it is the most destructive force in history. Besides which, it is always a tyranny that wants to be the god of its people; in fact, the necessity of tyranny is coded into the religion of people who believe that they can become gods – Luciferians..

Many column inches can be devoted to pointing out the metaphor, but it is most important above all other messages to comprehend that, like the unseen corporate lords invested in Truman’s fantasy world, our corporate-government has no legitimacy; it is self-appointed and has set itself above the republican instruments that guarantee individual liberty. We, being of and looking at Truman’s world, see elections and think that they influence what happens in Christof’s world. They do not; they are merely part of the deception. If we participate in the false paradigm, we only perpetuate it.

The figures in our government do not want us to see how they transact their rule over us between themselves, and so, like Christof, they guard their privacy jealously. Their annual grand meeting at Bilderberg is studiously ignored by their “actors” in corporate-media. Furthermore, they do not engage in the system that is sustained by the actors in the fake paradigm, and they don’t want people excluded from their class to see what they do outside of the controlled system.

Conclusion

In Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell also identified three social groups: the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proletariat. He too understood the universal system for tyranny that is being demonstrated in The Truman Show. The elite class lived hidden away in comfort, the bureaucrats knew they were maintaining the tyranny, but were pathetically tied to it, and the rest of the people, the proletariat, were too ignorant to demand changes. Everything in the world outside the elite was an illusion too; the wars were not real, and the waste and the scarcity was deliberately manufactured. The Outer Party were spied upon not because the Inner Party expected revolt, but because it created the illusion that rebellion was real and a punishable offence. Every now and then, the Inner Party would act on harmless information given them by zealots (usually children fulfilling petty vendettas) about “suspicious” behaviour, or even frame candidates that the surveillance had detected indulging in non-conformist behaviour.

Nineteen Eighty Four described a world were freedom had been stamped out, never to be recovered. Things are not so bad in The Truman Show – which is a truer representation of our society – because Truman showed how to defeat the tyranny. There are lots of people in our society who have elected to stop being an actor to sustain the system; there may be a penalty in terms of a loss of income, but the system cannot yet arbitrarily kill people to force compliance. There are people who won’t opt in to being monitored or financially controlled; they won’t buy the latest communication equipment that spies on them, and they won’t submit to slavery by fiat-debt. With these people stepping out of the fantasy, if you are optimistic, it could mean that there can be a leadership to persuade the equivalent of the Truman Show TV audience to stop watching the fantasy, and become leaders in their own lives. When this happens, it will unlock republicanism which can unseat the elite. When the elite are brought down, the fake world in which we live in and watch will be brought down; education will be meaningful and the people who are the wisest will be able to accelerate into government that upholds liberty, the cleverest will be able to innovate for the benefit of mankind, the talented and the hard working will be able to succeed in a free market, men and women will be able to engage in meaningful worthwhile entertainment that will produce self-betterment.

On the other hand, the film definitely tells us that a True Man is few and far between, and the message could be to those few who can step out of the fantasy not to worry about leading the sheeple, but to make sure to liberate yourself, and to take on all the suffering, for the simple sake of being a human being.

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