(Note: it’s random thought time. A necessary part of making up a complex story).
When describing the physical appearance of characters in my stories, I tend to leave out details such as skin colour unless it’s important to the story. It almost never is. This is deliberate since if I made all my characters clearly white European it would limit the ability of any non-white non-European reader to engage with the story. You can’t scare people if the story makes it quite clear that the horrors are definitely happening to someone else.
‘Panoptica’ is a whole different game. Everyone is equal in all respects within that world although, as usual, a few are more equal than the rest. They are just very good at hiding the fact, unlike today’s ‘leaders’. Every so often in that story I reach a point where I have to explain how a particular situation came to be. This is one of those points.
In ‘Panoptica’ there is so far little to no mention of race, religion or the like because there is no diversity in that world. I have wondered how to get to that stage from the current world where Diversity is the be-all and end-all of the policies of all main parties. How to swing it around so everyone is the same?
It was obvious, really. Lidl and Aldi showed the way.
The way to get people to want something is to make it rare and difficult to get. Tobacco Control would do well to consider that, but they will never grasp it. Limited editions of things sell out fast, whereas a production-line of exactly the same thing would sell more slowly. Eventually the production-line thing will stop selling.
If you tell people your item is one from a continuous production line they will think about whether to buy it today, tomorrow, or at all. They have plenty of time. The line keeps rolling.
Tell them there are one hundred of these items and there will never be any more and they’ll snap them up.
This is the model used by Lidl and Aldi. I was in Morrison’s earlier today, I wanted to pick up a cheap spare keyboard and mouse because they have them very cheap indeed. £6 for a keyboard and £3 for a mouse. Not the finest quality but if either of those things breaks in the middle of the night while I’m on a roll with a story, I want a quick fix to hand.
I’d been meaning to call in there for a couple of weeks, to get the spares, but there was no hurry. I knew they’d always be there. They were.
In Aldi and Lidl, if you see something of interest you have to decide there and then whether you want to buy it or not. They stock up with things – currently in Aldi it’s woodworking tools – and if you go away, think about it and come back in a few days, they are gone. They will not be stocking up with any more, not for months, maybe never. Decide right now.
Morrison’s made a sale but it took weeks for me to eventually buy those things. Aldi sold me a saw rail for £5.99 on the day I was there. It’s a good one too – surprisingly solidly made for the price.
So to make people want something, make it scarce, make it rare, make them think they won’t get it if they delay.
What has this to do with diversity? Well, there is a corollary.
If you want to make people not want something, the best way to do it is to throw it at them every day. Ram it down their throats. Rub their noses in it. Tell them that have to not only put up with it, but they are expected to enjoy it. To ‘celebrate’ it.
They will tolerate it for a while but eventually they will be crying out for it all to stop. Do you apply ‘equality’ at that point?
No. They will realise how brutal your plan is and won’t accept it. You make noises, ineffectual gestures, but you let it get worse. Much worse. Until the people are ready to accept absolutely any solution at all. Even a ‘final’ one.
Then they will demand, in their rage and hate, that final solution. They will not realise that to apply it, you must apply it to them too. They will not realise that that was the intention all along. Then you apply real equality. Everyone the same. ‘Panoptica’ takes it further but my problem was not how to finish that process. It was how to start it. Now I have a plausible way.
I also now have a plausible way to have the hidden elite in control of everything. Having them hidden is no problem. Getting them from the currently highly visible rich morons in charge to hidden devious swines in charge was the difficult transition. Rather, it was how to do it without the proles noticing.
The hidden devious swines are already in place and have been for a long time. The visible morons are a distraction. If I wanted to keep control of Europe while appearing to destroy the EU, here is how I’d do it.
Let the EU idiot administrators run out of control while simultaneously setting up regions, and setting those regions against one another. Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland, Spain, Catalonia… the list is long. Each region – not just countries any more, but regions within those countries – demands autonomy but they can’t have it yet.
The UK is a big one. Break that one up and the others will fall. It’s already a United Kingdom of four different countries. Inequalities in funding, NHS treatment, tuition fees and so on should not exist between the four component countries but they do, and they are big inequalities in some cases. These are wedges that can be used to drive those countries apart.
Scotland has already tried for independence and failed – but only just. It was a close call. Close enough that those wanting independence will try again, especially as the promises made to keep them in the UK are all going to be broken. For my fictional plan, it was not necessary for Scotland to win this time. It was only necessary for them to have that vote. The nearly 50/50 split was the perfect way to encourage those thoughts of separation, and not just in Scotland.
Now Wales wants a vote. Catalonia. The Basques. Other regions that consider themselves separate from the ‘occupiers’ will follow suit. Scotland had a vote. They all want one too. The game is on.
North Wales will split from South, North England will split from South, Yorkshire and Lancashire will want autonomy. The Home Counties will object to subsidising the outlying counties. The Highlands will want to separate from the Central Belt in Scotland, the islands are already talking about secession, and so on. The process will repeat in countries all over Europe. The EU will fall and Europe will fragment into tiny kingdoms once again. All run by puppets put in place by the hidden devious rulers. Meanwhile the EU government and central government in each country is allowed to collapse. Gone, but none of it was really in charge anyway.
A few well-orchestrated wars between those little kingdoms will soon reduce the population to easily manageable levels. Equality is then furiously enforced and it will look like real equality. Nobody owns anything. The State owns it all and lends it to you. Including the ‘rulers’ of those states. They have nothing either. Socialism endgame. You now live on a farm and you ain’t the farmer.
Where it always fails in the past is when the proles see their ‘equal leaders’ swanning about in limos in the Zil lanes while they push their Trabant to the next petrol station. Eventual revolution is inevitable.
This time, the rich leaders are hidden. The proles never see them, never hear about them. The ‘leaders’ they see are puppets and those puppets own no more than the proles do. They even work in the factories, although in the cushy jobs, not the sweaty ones.
Well, they have a little more. Just a little. A slightly nicer house perhaps. Access to a few small luxuries the proles need never know about. It needn’t cost much to keep the puppets in line. They have nothing to start with so anything at all is a bonus. Will they reveal their little extras to the proles? Hell no! The proles would rip them apart, as they have been trained to do to anyone threatening Equality.
For those puppet leaders then, both the carrot and the stick are in place. They don’t want to lose the carrot and they sure as Hell don’t want to be hit with the stick.
There will be rebels. There always are. They can be largely ignored. They will tell the proles about the ones who live like kings and will be laughed off as conspiracy theorists or will be reported to the authorities as threats to Equality. Everyone has the same as everyone else. Wanting more is just greedy (a term that is becoming ever more popular lately, have you noticed?). Greed is wrong. The greedy must be punished.
The rebels cannot organise. In ‘Panoptica’ absolutely everything is monitored all the time. Not by the wealthy few, oh no, they don’t need to bother with that. The proles will monitor each other and they will consider it a high privilege to be allowed to operate the cameras or the listening stations. Even though there is no real need. Most is automated and as long as everyone believes they are being watched all the time they will behave as if they are. That was the principle behind the real Panopticon, the inspiration for this imaginary world.
Any rebellious individual causing any real likelihood of a problem will be easily isolated and any attempt to organise can be quashed very quickly. The proles will do it. It’s like having sheep that herd themselves.
Small regions allow for severe limitations on travel, much more than is possible with current countries. How can the proles be made to accept strong border controls? Huh. They are demanding it already. There will be no point going to another region anyway, nor even to the next town. Equality means it’ll all be just the same as where you are now. Whether it is or not, you’ll never know.
London Region will believe that every region has a Marble Arch, Paris Region will believe that every region has an Eiffel Tower, and so on. Nobody is going to bother to check because… why travel to an identical place?
So that’s two backstory problems solved tonight, and the reason behind everyone’s acceptance of limited movement set in place. That means accelerated story-writing. I doubt I can have it in print by Christmas but it’s not impossible. Just very improbable.
One final thing. You do believe I’m just making all this up, right?