When I first started making notes for this piece a month or so ago, it was to be called: Is this the dystopia you were waiting for? The future is here.
It went something like this:
The only thing separating the world today from a true dystopian nightmare is one catastrophe: one famine, one epidemic, one war. Admittedly we have been one war away from annihilation since the 1950s; from annihilation but not dystopia.
Technological advancements continue to outpace social justice, jolting the world ever closer to the cyberpunk vision. Access to firearms has weaponised social discontent. In response, law enforcement has been militarised. Security cameras, drones and satellites can track anyone, anywhere. State-sponsored mass surveillance has infiltrated our private lives: they can watch us, listen in on us, and record us through our own webcams and smartphones. The rest, we freely disseminate via social media.
The super-rich of today drive around in limousines as impenetrable as tanks, circle the world in aircrafts that never need to land, are protected by private armies of security personnel, and live in walled and gated fortresses with military-grade, automated and drone defences and fully-operational fallout shelters.
It’s almost as if those in power know something is coming, or at least fear it enough to have prepared for it: the final, ultimate depletion of fossil fuels, a massive climate catastrophe, the inexorable, irreversible slide into cataclysmic global (nuclear) military conflict, civil unrest leading to violent revolution. At the same time, they play down the dangers, playing for as much time as they can get away with.
All we need is a comic book villain.
That was a month ago. In view of recent events, I decided to revise the title. How quickly fears can crystallise.
Now we have a dangerous cabal of billionaires running the most powerful country on this planet. We have our comic book villains. We’re dealing with Class A psychopaths here, and this is their game plan: The Guardian: First on the White House Agenda – the collapse of the global order. Next, war? This may be the most important article you’ll read this year.
This is a man willing to destroy the world in order to be the king of the radioactive slag heap that is left afterwards. In an interview 12 months ago, he said that there is ‘no doubt’ that America is ‘going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years’; now he is in a position to make that happen.(1) A month ago, I wrote that it was like those in power had realised that the world was ending. I just didn’t realise that they would actually be the ones who orchestrated the end.
(1) As well as having the president’s ‘ear’, Bannon has a prominent and powerful seat in the NSC, the body that advises the president on, among other things, matters of war.