It Just Might Work: Inverted totalitarianism

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Anthony Harrisonby Anthony Harrison

I want to set something straight here: Inverted totalitarianism ain’t your grandpa’s form of dehumanizing government.

No, inverted totalitarianism switches out all the racial hatred and cult of personality of old-timey regimes like fascism, Nazism and Stalinism, replacing them with control of the population via the best thing in the world: money.

Basically, corporate interest runs the political game, but the illusion of democracy persists, just stripped down to its most basic right: voting. But the elections are easily managed — policy is, after all, determined by those who put the most money in the pot. With inverted totalitarianism, voters choose personalities, not viable political alternatives.

Even better — corporate mass media is in on the game, too, choosing what to withhold and cover for consumption. Largely, it’s propaganda.

All of this leads to general political apathy among the voting population, and that’s what the powers that be want: asses in the seats, tuned in on the hive mind.

And I’m here to say that sounds just grand!

In this hectic, fast-paced world of ours, who has the time to get informed and subsequently outraged? Leave those dreams with the hippie ’60s and ’70s.

It’s working already on a national scale, if Rupert Murdoch, the Koch Brothers and Citizens United serve as any indication.

I’m saying we should draw it down to the local level.

Happily, it seems like the powers that be are already a few steps ahead of me.

The General Assembly’s slashing of unemployment benefits and the education budget plays in perfect harmony with inverted-totalitarian visions of neoliberal utopia. Their current districts and voter ID laws also help ensure a well-managed election benefitting their plans.

Hope for truly local inverted totalitarianism has risen steadily, too.

For example, if Sen. Trudy Wade’s SB 36 passes to reform the Greensboro City Council, that’ll be one great bound. Softening the impact voters can have on the council by eliminating at-large members and reducing the size of the council will help ease the stress our benevolent overseers experience in getting their picks into office.

Plus, if SB 36 passes, Greensboro’s voters will be cowed into warm, comfy helplessness.

After that, the next step should be obvious: allowing Roy Carroll to buy the News & Record, and then us.

Inverted totalitarianism: Because, really, who cares?