England, 1932, Aldous Huxley’s book, Brave New World, was first published, showing the world a future where freedom was a drug induced daydream, and humans little more than a science experiment. Engineered in laboratories, each caste was perfectly created for the job they would hold in society, from the Alphas who ran the offices and reported only to Controllers, to the Beta, Gamma and Epsilon castes, who never questioned why their lot in life was merely to serve those above them. In a reverse of Hitler’s dream of eugenics, humans were no longer terminated for defects, rather defects were carefully controlled, so as to keep the lower castes in their place. The traditional family unit demonized so far that the words Mother and Father were tantamount to the worst swear words known to mankind.
After being decanted, the children were subjected to social conditioning to ensure they would not buck the system. Toddlers were shown beautiful flowers or colorful books, only to be shocked when they reached for them, reinforcing the idea that these things were evil and to be shunned. From the earliest age possible, lessons would be spoken to them as they slept, enforcing the idea that they loved their caste, that they would be miserable in a higher, or any other, caste, so as to ensure they would never try to break the mold, resulting in a world where, despite the tyrannical rule, people truly believed they were free, and were happy. Savages existed still, however, on reservations, where men and women would have children the traditional way, raising them as a family, teaching them morality and values from their religions, only to be shunned by the civilized people.
Scotland, 1945, the second World War would end this year, and Animal Farm would show a vision from Orwell, of what might have been had the Axis powers not fallen. Farm animals, left by the farmer to fend for themselves, form a society and begin to take on roles they had never held before. At first, all worked, all were fed equally, all were housed and allowed to live equally, but it would not last. The pigs, representing the ruling elite, would soon come to author more and more rules, which on paper would hold all animals equal, but as seen in socialist and communist countries time and time again, they would not feel obligated to follow their own rules. By the end, the one rule stated All Animals are Equal, Some Animals are More Equal than Others, with the pigs ultimately facing the farmers on their return, both stunned, while the other animals languished and died under the tyrant rule of the pigs who took control in the vacuum.
Scotland, 1949, George Orwell, in failing health, finished and published 1984, another cautionary tale, but on the opposite end of the spectrum. Rather than people controlled by drugs and endless distractions, Orwell’s future saw them controlled by a brutal tyrant regime. Slogans like War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength, would reinforce that mankind was always meant to serve the powerful, either by choice or by subjugation. Children encouraged to inform on family if they broke even the slightest rule, police free to do as they pleased, regardless of any law or infraction, government officials free from all laws they passed to control the masses. Brutal rule to ensure society, and the status quo, continued without change, without those in power ever having to fear they would lose their power.
Prior to any of these works being published, 1929 saw the crash of Wall Street, and the beginning of a depression the world had not seen the likes of. Having just taken office, Herbert Hoover would watch as men who had fought in World War I, and now were out of work only a short time later, would set up tent cities, or Hoovervilles, Americans left their homes to go west seeking work, some finding pay of a penny or less for a task, while their families held together as best they could. Movies such as The Grapes of Wrath showing children begging total strangers for even a spoonful of their evening meal, would tattoo on the mind and consciousness of Americans just how bad things were, and could be again without care being taken.
1933 saw the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and would herald a change in the United States, moving toward the end of the days of hunger. Over the course of his first year in office, FDR would oversee the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Civil Works Administration, banking regulation changes, and ultimately, the change in direction which would have the U.S. start back to where she was just after World War I. Men would find work paying far more than any job in the last 4 years, industry would start to return and revitalize cities, families no longer worried that they would not eat for more than a day, but at what cost. The expansion of government in that year saw control move to a level never seen in the U.S. before. Government, either Federal or State, would employ more people than ever before, some given menial tasks just to have a job, while others would provide services badly needed, such as building roads, or repairing other infrastructure.
Just two years later, 1935 would witness the penultimate rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany, starting with Universal Firearms Registration. His regime would boast that health care was available to more people than ever before, habits like smoking were now illegal, education was growing, and towns were safer for his work. The world, having only two decades earlier fought a bloody war, watched as they saw the country they’d been fighting began to rally back, not seeing all of the signs that war would be at their door again very soon. Under FDR, the U.S. trundled along, happily watching as men went back to work, industries thought gone once again started to boom and, ultimately, they believed the world was on a path to peace and prosperity.
The experiment with Prohibition showed the Government that the common man would not be overtly controlled so easily, but this showed them not only that they couldn’t seize total control, but rather that control needed to be stealthy and subtle to work. By 1939, Germany had left the League of Nations, treaties had been broken, new treaties signed, and on September 1, 1939, Germany invades Poland, their path through Belgium drawing Great Britain into the war. Roosevelt, knowing the American people were still very close to a bloody war, remained an isolationist, watching as Europe and Asia descended into the hell that is open warfare. By 1940, Roosevelt would send war goods to Britain, but remained steadfast in his stance that America would not fight in this war, holding that position until December 7, 1941, when Japan would attack Pearl Harbor, resulting in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and World War 2 officially starting for the United States.
June 1944 saw the invasion of France on D-Day, with Utah and Omaha beaches the focal point of the world’s attention, and 1945 would see the end of fighting in Europe, with France liberated, and Germany once again, sanctioned for their part in a world war. Post War Europe, unlike after World War I, saw Germany divided into two nations, East Germany ruled by the Soviet Union, and West Germany, a mostly free state under mostly self rule, with the United Nations, the replacement for the League of Nations, watching both new nations very closely. Hitler, having worked as hard as he did to eliminate Europeans of Jewish descent, also saw something the world had not seen in some time, the Nation of Israel officially recognized in 1948, something which would cause strife for decades. The 1950’s saw the Korean War escalate, the 1960’s and early 1970’s the Vietnam Conflict, the 1980’s Grenada, the 1990’s Desert Storm, in 2001 the destruction of the World Trade Center would see war return to the Middle East, where it would continue to the current day as of this writing.
Another change, though, was society at home during the 1950’s and 1960’s. During World War I, women took on new roles while men were drafted or volunteered for the Military, just as in World War II, only to return home to their families, or to other careers, when the war ended and the returning men re-entered the work force. The change, would begin here. Children born too early for World War II and some too late for Korea’s draft, were now able to watch in more detail, starting with photos in newspapers and magazines, then on Television in the latter part of the 1950’s and again in the 1960’s with Vietnam. War had been an abstract, only those who had a loved one return in a pine box, or grievously injured, knowing the true cost so many paid.
December of 1955, in Montgomery Alabama, saw a woman refuse to move seats on a bus, because a white passenger wanted her seat. The powder keg of equal rights had been lit, by a woman who simply was tired of giving in. Americans watched as laws proclaiming separate but equal were proven lies, as men and women who, solely based on skin color, were seen as second class citizens, said enough was enough, and soon, the movement would shake the country’s idea of equality to it’s core. From Governor Wallace having to be moved by Federalized National Guardsmen, to allow a young black woman to enter a school, to protests led by the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior, to riots and protests resulting in use of force far beyond what had been seen before, Americans once again began to see the world in a new light.
Movements for equality, for peace when a tyrant rises, for better treatment of certain people, are not new to the world, just as they weren’t new in the 1950’s and 1960’s. What was new in that time, was the media. Radio was still not an old device in this era, but it was dominated by people taught to just read the news, not to comment and theorize. The Who, What, When and Where, were all people got, the Why was for each listener to think on as an individual. Hollywood had, for the most part, been the place of fantasy, of spaghetti westerns, and people were happy as they could escape for a time without being preached to about this cause of that, but this would soon change. Other mediums were coming into their own, challenging the status quo, and setting the stage for a world unlike that which had been seen before.
1938, Action Comics launched something the world had never seen, a true super hero. Superman, a child from another world, sent to Earth to survive his home planet’s destruction, had powers unlike anyone else. Faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, the world saw a super hero rise to challenge evil in a way they never imagined. 1940 would se Captain Steven Rogers become Captain America, stepping onto the world stage to challenge Hitler, with his first cover in December 1940 showing him landing a blow to Hitler’s jaw, and side by side with Superman, launching young boys into the world of super heroes and daring do, where good would always triumph over evil, and justice would be served. By the 1970’s the world of Comic Book Heroes would have expanded so far that heroes no longer worked alone, but in groups, to tackle larger and larger issues. Villains and their henchmen were more dangerous, but again, good always won.
Alongside the comic book heroes, TV introduced new ideals as well. Where the children of the 1950’s had Little Orphan Annie on the radio, Lassie or Flipper on TV, and a few comics, children in the 1970’s had the Dukes of Hazzard, professional wrestling, more soap operas than ever before, and something totally new to television, PBS, with offerings like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers, or The Joy Of Painting, where you weren’t merely entertained, but educated as well. Schoolhouse Rock showed how a bill becomes a law, and other lessons, The Electric Company used new techniques for their graphics, and just like that, a generation of children would no longer be outside until their parents dragged them into get washed up for supper, but who would plan their playtime to coincide with their must watch programs.
Mr. Rogers gave us a world of make believe, lessons taught in a gentle and kind way, even ensuring that a blind girl wouldn’t worry about his fish by making sure to say it was time to feed them each day. Sesame Street showed a very diverse world, with monsters, garbage dwelling grouches, birds, and other creatures living and learning along side children and adults from all backgrounds. So many new ideas brought into one medium that children were inundated with them by the time they started Kindergarten. This generation would eventually learn of the Civil Rights movement, but rarely thought twice about what color their neighbor was, or why they weren’t in another class. Rather, a new class of student to be segregated emerged, Special Education, those with learning disabilities on such a wide scale, were segregated, often taught so slowly that by the time they were to graduate High School, they might be at a middle school level of education.
Education had begun changing in the 1970’s, with a generation of children growing up watching war as never seen before, watching Hollywood celebrities protest violence, while their movies and TV shows glorified vigilantes and criminals, even seeing them side with the very people the U.S. Military was fighting, entered the education field and began to teach history, literature, and other subjects in ways that not only distorted, but blatantly re-wrote history. The American Revolution was no longer a result of colonists wanting representation in how they were taxed, but because slave owning white men didn’t want to pay taxes, which of course ignores that the new nation taxed it’s new citizens. Slavery was purely an American issue, where white men didn’t want to give up their free labor, meaning the roots of slavery, those being African tribes selling their neighbors to both profit and take their land, Europeans being the buyers, and that nations to this day still allow slavery, were ignored.
Students until this point had grown up with parents enforcing hard work pays off, removing privileges from students who were failing a subject so they had time to study, employers cutting hours when a student’s work began to flag, only to see a change happen, where teachers were encouraged by coaches and other extra-curricular sponsors to make sure students passed, so as not to hurt a source of income for the school. By the time this came to light and schools stopped the practice, parents no longer held the student responsible, but questioned the teacher as to why they were failing their child. Discipline had moved from a time when a disobedient student was paddled, only to have the parent repeat that punishment, to a time when the student was given time out, not only from their peers, but from the lessons.
Manipulation became a way of life at an early age, with boys complaining the lady teacher didn’t like boys, white teachers didn’t like minorities, coaches cut people for frivolous reasons, until we moved into a time when everyone makes the team, those who win too often are excluded to give everyone a chance, and the world again began to change. In a move reminiscent of the 1940’s and 1950’s, books were removed for being too provocative, until books like To Kill A Mockingbird are removed for showing racism in the wrong way while books like Fifty Shades of Grey are sitting in public school libraries still. Students are no longer exposed to the darker side of humanity’s past, and thus, no longer shown how mankind will rise to defeat tyrants and despots, resulting in students believing the very people who stood against tyranny were themselves tyrants.
Hollywood, naturally, began to change at this time as well. In the 1980’s, a movie like Blue Thunder, where a scene shows a woman’s bare breasts for a few seconds, were rated R, and only grudgingly as opposed to X, or just not made. Television programs which would discuss adult themes were closely regulated, news programs were careful in how they spoke of things, so as to ensure they were clean in the eyes of the FCC. Just a decade later, and the 1990’s saw prime time programs on major networks, where all but the act of intercourse was shown. Teenage characters were shown wearing less than most people would wear when swimming as every day attire, and romantically involved in relationships most adults remembered not knowing about until late in High School, or possibly college, and it only moved forward from there, to modern day entertainment, where sex sells, and people are shocked at how many of the celebrities they looked up to, who are now being shown to be predators that crowds would have formed mobs to hunt down only 20 or 30 years previously.
2016 will be remembered either as the year the world began to wake up to the programming we were all subject to for 40+ years, or the year the world fully took the blue pill, and stayed in Wonderland. The election of Donald Trump, something the mainstream media said point blank was impossible, will be remembered either as the year Americans retook their power as The People, or as the year the United States gave up all freedom to tyrants. Following this election, young people rioted in the streets, destroying property, because they could not force a country to undo an election and install someone who lost. Others wailed in the streets, returning a year later to do so again, to protest. States began enacting policies that only ten years ago would be so ludicrous as to oust all in power, protecting people who entered the country illegally, many who went on to commit heinous crimes. Monuments to history, albeit a dark time in our history, were torn down by mobs who went unpunished, cities raced to remove others, to prevent just that from happening again, while many people begged for common sense, for us to not hide our history, but keep it so we may learn from it. All of this leads directly to the situation facing the American People today.
February 2018 saw an active shooter situation in Parkland Florida, where Sheriff’s Deputies were ordered not to enter an engage, where S.W.A.T. Officers who defied those orders were fired, and all but that night, students were deputized by the mainstream media to demand Americans disarm. Quotes like no one wants to face a shooter with an AR-15 were thrown around, while case after case from other parts of the country show people doing just that, and more. Law Enforcement agencies all over the country decried the cowardly actions of the Deputies in Parkland, sitting outside while a shooter was in a school, which 28 years previously was made a gun free zone by a bill sponsored by then Senator Joseph Biden. Suggestions that school districts allow those paying taxes to them to choose if teachers may choose to be armed are decried as forcing teachers who have no training to be armed, making things worse. Districts which already allowed this, and thus are far safer, are ignored, or ridiculed. The very people screaming about how evil the AR-15 is, who yell at Americans we don’t want to take your guns, are then seen marching demanding the repeal of the Second Amendment, carrying signs insulting gun owners, and others with signs blatantly saying they will pry them from your cold, dead hands.
We are at a tipping point, books/movies like Ready Player One show a world where people’s lives are so horrible they spend all the time they can in virtual reality, only to go into so much debt they literally become slaves until they die. Where a corporation doesn’t flinch at killing hundreds to stop anyone from taking away their opportunity to lock in total control over society. Movies like Equilibrium show a world where people are drugged to remove all emotion, where from a very early age they are indoctrinated to fear emotion so much they willingly take the required drugs, and those who don’t are killed. Movie after movie after TV show after TV show shows us exactly what Huxley and Orwell warned us about all those decades ago, yet we seem to be pouring rocket fuel into our handcart, ready to fly full speed into a world where we are subjugated, and made to like it. Those speaking out, begging society to step back are beaten to a pulp and called nazi, by those using the very tactics the nazis used, because history is no longer taught. Those begging people not to dive head first into a world where they will be drugged into mental oblivion are berated for denying them the right to choose, only to them be demonized for not stopping someone from going to far.
We are at the tipping point, where countries invite those who openly call for the destruction of all who do not bow and serve them, to do just that. We are watching the world burn, watching the tyrants start solidifying their power, so the question is very simple. Will you take the red pill or blue pill? Will you march to your destruction, going silently into the good night, or will you step back, will you realize that We The People have the true power? Will you rise up against those who would be your oppressors, or will you place your head on the chopping block? Only you can choose, I just hope it isn’t too late.