Welcome to the Fold: Something Else!!! Dept.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2013-11-18 15:00:00 No comments

Orwell again:

George Orwell: As I Please -- 1943

If there is nothing new under the sun, if the past in some shape or another always returns, then the future when it comes will be something familiar. At any rate what will never come — since it has never come before — is that hated, dreaded thing, a world of free and equal human beings. Particularly comforting to reactionary thinkers is the idea of a cyclical universe, in which the same chain of events happens over and over again. In such a universe every seeming advance towards democracy simply means that the coming age of tyranny and privilege is a little bit nearer. This belief, obviously superstitious though it is, is widely held nowadays, and is common among Fascists and near-Fascists.

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Yes, the title's a nod to Ornette Coleman, and again these are thoughts that revolve around the world being built for Welcome to the Fold. It is essentially our world, albeit inhabited by a small, self-selecting subclass of what I guess could be called aesthetic revolutionaries. They want very much for there to be something new under the sun, and they are prepared to make it happen By Any Means Necessary.

What they are not prepared to do, though, is have this come about in a way that they cannot directly and scrutinously control. They want a new world, but they want it exclusively on their terms -- they want it to be unfold just so, like a stage-managed tour cruise where you're not permitted to deviate from the menu or the itinerary. And god help you if they catch you not having any fun; then you're really in for a spanking!

History can't be stage-managed or cruise-directed. But everyone thinks they can do that. They sincerely believe that with the right intelligence, the right pressure politics, the right weapons, the right technology, they can somehow succeed where previous generations or regimes did not.

Tags: George Orwell Welcome to the Fold history philosophy politics