Published On: Wed, Apr 17th, 2019

Attorney General Funbags says: Brawndo’s got what plants crave; Voting changes politics for good

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Because we are in an Idiocracy, here is an easier-to-read summary paragraph that gets to the nub of the article that will follow:

In the film, Idiocracy, the practice of watering plants with a fizzy drink, Brawndo, is killing crops and creating an apocalyptic dustbowl scenario in an America set in the future. The people have become too stupid to question the rights and wrongs of not using water, not just to give to plants, but also to drink. Water is entirely associated with toilet bowls. Likewise, it is another received idea, disseminated by commercial slogans, that has seemingly established an unchallengeable concept: Brawndo has what plants crave. Moreover, this idea has evidently been constantly reinforced as a truth through uncritical usage in discourse, and therefore repeated in the population as mantra. In terms of metaphor, it is reasonable to say that the crops in Idiocracy are representative of individual liberty in real life. It follows, then, that we could say that voting in elections does the same thing to individual liberty as Brawndo does to crops: it causes death. Likewise, the idea that people must vote to produce  individual liberty is life-threatening received thinking that has become unchallengeable. Ultimately, people must understand that a major re-evaluation is required regarding the worth of the practice that they have unthinkingly observed. Indeed, they need to realise that fundamental change is required as a matter of life and death.

In the 2006 film Idiocracy, starring Luke Wilson, and written and directed by Mike Judge, America is ruled superficially by a cabinet of “expertise” – including a kid who won a competition, the President’s “kinda stupid” step-brother, a busty Attorney General who is introduced as “Funbags”, and a man who has been sponsored to punctuate his speech (though that word gives the wrong impression) with “brought to you by Carl’s Jr”. This superficial seat of power emanates out of a dilapidated White House, complete with huge satellite dishes on the roof and junk strewn on the lawn, alongside a mega-sized plastic pool (the author’s British eye expects to see a trampoline). Underneath this facade, society is policed by an automated system that directs security force personnel – with even lower IQs than our own real life versions (hard to believe as that is). It appears that a network of vending machines and “state-service” provision payment facilities (such as the one in St God’s Memorial Hosp-ital), surveil the population and make decisions regarding the initiation of Government intervention in a situation, such as having children committed to social services if a mother cannot afford a super-sized order of fries, or of course having police attend to arrest an individual deemed by the automated system to be a criminal. Crime and other activity that triggers a response appears to be limited to transgressions against the automated system – which, given that the system is breaking down, are not necessarily deliberate – or not being able to pay for the goods being vendored through the machines by corporations that actually rule through the computerisation.

So, it is an unaccountable corporate-government that rules the Idiocracy – not that anyone could hold it to account, nor that there is anyone to hold accountable. The narration in the film explains that at some point in the Idiocracy’s history, mega-corporations bought US Government departments. What this appears to be reflective of in our real world experience is the shutting down of competition by connivance between corporations and civilian government through legislation and the production of red tape that makes it impossible for small business to trade. We also learn in the film, when there is a crisis at the corporation that produces Brawndo, it is computers that make pre-programmed decisions to ensure the survival of the corporate entity. So, there is no human decision making whatsoever whereby there is the perpetual production of a tyranny of democracy.  All the villainy that has brought the Idiocracy to the condition we find it in was committed years ago when capital ownership was taken out of the hands of private individuals in such a complete way that the needle on the political spectrum of grades of socialism travelled through fascism and into communism – full (corporate-)government control of the means of production (although the terms for differentiation become meaningless).

And Idiocracy reminds us that degeneration of a population into idiocy would be perfectly reasonable to expect as a natural consequence of capital-less society, or socialism: of people not being able to make choices because one is essentially prey for an entirely dominant hegemony that dishes out what it thinks best. The popularity of a consumer brand to a point where it monopolises a market space completely, or even virtually, is not just a concern for competing businesses. When there is only a requirement to produce one sort of consumable, as is the case in centrally-planned systems, that consumable mustn’t produce discontent and waken a desire for an alternative. Therefore, giving the consumer what he wants in the Idiocracy must always involve appealing to the coarsest and lowest common denominator.

And this is why we can call it a tyranny of democracy.

The great irony of Idiocracy is that there is no beneficiary of the tyranny. There is no one who can reap any benefits. Walt Disney’s head cannot be thawed out to have him cheat death like the god, in his Masonic delusion, he thought he was – there isn’t the knowhow to do it. Likewise, there is no ability for the elite of mankind to evolve into space creatures (or the ability to produce theatre that simulates it) and harvest the awe from the masses that it would have sown. In the Idiocracy, there is no one to enjoy fine living sustained by a slave population – everyone is equally deprived culturally and aesthetically. Everyone eats the same slop from a bucket, and drinks the same glucose fructose syrup from a big sippy-cup or teat on the end of a tube. What appears to distinguish one class from another is that some people are clearly able to afford more of the food product than others.

Let us suppose that the “haves” (as opposed to the “have-nots”) are the same sort of people that we might understand as being of the “professional class,” such as politicians, judges, lawyers and doctors, that exists at the start of the 21st century, and will survive, in the film, into the Idiocracy – although the roles  attached to the job titles largely become redundant. We’ve already seen that politicians in the Idiocracy are only going through the motions. There is no real politics. Likewise, there is no justice. The film clearly demonstrates that in a court there is only confirmation of an “obvious guilt” based on the charge. The court is biased: the suspect wouldn’t be up on a charge if he wasn’t guilty. Likewise, there is only the illusion of health care – which costs a bomb nevertheless (which, if there was time and space, could be argued as not being down to the fact that the health system is obviously private, but rather that there is no competition). Now, it is quite evident that a population that gorges on synthesised and processed rubbish will have grave health issues – and the film only suggests, by streets scenes that are far from over crowded, an extrapolation that we could make about bad food plus no medicine equating to population control. Anyway, the point is that the health care is as much a received idea concerning the welfare of the individual, or indeed society, as any other that exists in the Idiocratic system.

Idiocracy is a more than adequate portrayal of what a real fully socialist society would look like, (and it needs to be pointed out: a system being socialist doesn’t depend on any service being free on the point of delivery). Indeed, the semi-socialist system that exists in Britain (in fact, it is almost completely socialist) is entirely recognisable in Idiocracy. But even then, we might better relate the film to our own contemporary experience by imagining that outside of the core Idiocracy is a separate class of people who aren’t stupid, but in fact criminally cunning, living apart from the mess that the masses live in, and the professional classes manage. These are the people beyond the system that they control through the automation. In our experience of Idiocracy, things are not so far gone that the elite rulers don’t have to intervene, but generally people are already stupid enough so that there is no challenge to integrity of the system. This is an important point. The elite might as well be invisible.

Extrapolating further, we can draw a direct comparison between our version and the Idiocracy in the film when we recognise that the people who instituted our society are also long dead. We live in a Victorian control grid, that has been consolidated with a view to expanding its reach (into global government). It was certain Victorian aristocracy, reacting against Georgian gentrification and an ever burgeoning and powerful middle class, who out of fear of the consequences of their inability to compete fairly, engineered the democratised masses to suck out middle class wealth. There is plenty of fuel for this argument. The fact that the same families rule Britain now as did then is something that has already been covered at FBEL. It was put this way:

As a 2016 Guardian article points out: “the descendants of the wealthy of 1858 are still much wealthier than the average person in 2012”

Moreover, and ideally it would take a lengthy essay dedicated to the subject, but arguably the justice system in its current form was shaped by the Victorians. For a long time it did very nicely until the Victorians started fiddling. The powers of the quarter session courts were altered in the 1880s – which saw the creation of county councils. And historically there had been few changes made to the system of courts of assizes (which would deal with more serious offences) until the 19th century. Both sorts of court were replaced by Crown courts much later in the 20th, but one should perhaps see this as part of the consolidation that we find ourselves still experiencing today – never more keenly than this year as British Government defies the Brexit referendum. British Military Intelligence is Victorian. This is centrally significant, and doesn’t need much else said of it. The Victorians developed the Oxford Movement, and an attempt to reassert the authority of the Anglo-catholic church as a matter of state craft. It went absolutely hand in hand with the obsession with Medievalism, and a denial of the classicist renaissance and liberal republicanism. Victorian Medievalism represented a desire to rehabilitate the middle class as peasantry. The very Houses of Parliament are famously fashioned in the Victorian Medievalist style: it was a statement of intent. Victorian Medievalism has a very long reach indeed: apparently the new season of the television show, “Game of Thrones”, which by all accounts teaches the principle of divine right to rule to a drooling, mush-for-brains modern audience in a similar way that Parliament was intended to demonstrate (in a less direct fashion to an undoubtedly more intelligent and less degenerate public), had a record audience when it launched recently. Mass dehumanised industrial workforces, created by forcing people off their lands with Acts of Parliament, is a feature of the sought after Victorian feudalism, as are Labour movements and political parties demanding that everyone be equally poor.

While all this is not exactly irrelevant, it is perhaps beyond the immediate point, which is that our society is indeed an Idiocracy of the same nature, and of the same features, as portrayed in the film. Moreover – and here we get to the crucial lesson to be learnt – the idea that, in our version of Idiocracy, voting in elections is essential for the growth of something that has material benefit is one that has become received thinking in the same way that poisoning plants in the film Idiocracy is an unquestioned orthodoxy. Without any shadow of a doubt, the experience of being in the EU, and trying to escape it, is something that has caused the scales to fall from many a Briton’s eyes so that such dangerous received thinking can at last be examined. There has been a good twenty years of shysterism from Parliament regarding the EU. There was Blair’s expected referendum on the EU Constitution – shelved after it became apparent that people would vote the wrong way. Cameron had one on EU membership essentially to kill off the issue, along with the real opposition – and then when something completely unexpected happened with the result (and the author could tell this just from the crest-fallen expression of Sky’s Adam Boulton’s face on the night of the referendum count when he and his pollster chums realised that their so-called exit poll psyop – introduced by Nigel Farage – wasn’t connected to a rudder, and that real events were steering themselves) and Leave won, there has been open defiance of its sovereign – the people – in Parliament.

Clearly, a long period of experience in recent British history has shown that voting in elections – where pledges by a candidate to act as the voter desires, in return for receiving support, do not materialise and prove to be perpetually baseless – does not nurture a free society; it does not grow the crop of many individual liberties. This is clear. The problem at the stinking heart of any so-called “democratic deficit” is much more deep seated than mere choices involved, because come any new parties – like the charlatan Farage’s Brexit Party – and if they are not controlled by Government then the system sits on them with the full weight of the media, not to mention all the other facets of the state intelligence apparatus. The experience of UKIP, with sustained untrue allegations of racism, disruption by infiltration of “Trojan horses”, and actual ballot rigging in Thanet South, has taught us the truth of this. On the other hand, if a party is controlled – as the new Brexit Party, with the incredible levels of promotion it has been receiving, clearly is – then voting for it will only bring those very same pledges that are never to be honoured upon victory. Farage has been pledging to “change politics for good”. Our observations tell us that voting is all part and parcel of the apparatus to secure the hegemony against challenge.

At FBEL something very simple is proposed: stop putting Brawndo on the plants. Don’t vote in elections. A previous article, Delegitimising Parliament: why “we the people” must stop voting, provides a rationale for not voting, drawing upon the great analyser and explainer of the English constitution, Bagehot. This article argues in another fashion using contrast that should be clear to understand even in the midst of our Idiocracy. If in doubt, see the image at the top of the page.

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