Fiction or Real Life? What Sci-Fi can teach us about today’s politics.
By Don Rosenberg, 1/1/2021
Fiction writers, especially science fiction writers, perform an extremely valuable service for our society beyond providing endless fun for 10-year-old geeky kids. By writing about “things that might be,” they encourage us to think outside the box, consider unlikely or unpopular possibilities, and think through scenarios that could affect our current and future lives.
All of us live in the world of science fiction. We are transported into the future one second at a time and must constantly adapt and adjust to our new world. Businesses, governments and military experts must adapt to new ways of thinking or risk becoming obsolete. Many of our most successful entrepreneurs became billionaires by taking quick and bold advantage of new technologies and developing futuristic products and services we all now take for granted.
Science fiction asks the “what if?” questions that challenge us to prepare in advance to meet new dangers and opportunities. The events leading up to the election of November 2020 are a case in point.
What if unseen forces began to manipulate people into hating each other for their own purposes? The Star Trek episode, “The Day of the Dove,” explored this question.
Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek only ran for three seasons starting in 1966, but had a huge impact on many young minds as it boldly went “where no one has gone before.” Captain Kirk and his crew visited all sorts of planets and showed how different civilizations might look. Roddenberry explored issues relating to race, sex, and societal structure while speculating about technology and how it might impact future life.
“The Day of the Dove” episode featured an unseen alien life form that fed off of hatred between humans and their enemies, the Klingons. How would both groups realize they were being manipulated and figure out how to end the threat?
In our world, have we been manipulated into taking sides and hating each other? In the 2016 election, Russia set up teams of trolls on the Internet specifically to stir up division. The day after Trump’s victory, Russian operatives set up two events within walking distance of each other in New York City. One was a pro-Trump rally and the other was anti-Trump. If the Russians wanted Trump to win, why would they do this? Isn’t it more likely that their goal was to divide and weaken our country regardless of which candidate won? Aren’t there other forces at play that would benefit from a weakened United States?
What if people we trusted in powerful positions were replaced or controlled by others?
In 1954, Jack Finney wrote The Body Snatchers, which was adapted into the horror movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers in 1956 and again in 1978, (with other versions in 1993 and 2007) where alien life forms perfectly replace humans in order to take over the Earth.
Instead of alien pods, what if a foreign power embarked on a decades-long mission to subvert and corrupt developing political leaders and help them gain power and position? They would look and act like patriotic Americans until their handlers called on them to carry out specific missions. How could we ferret out and contain these embedded operatives who look and talk just like us?
The Eric Swalwell scandal is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. It is clear that China has been waging a “quiet war” against the United States on multiple levels – trade, currency manipulation, industrial and military espionage, and hacking into business, research and government computer systems. They have used bribery, blackmail and long-term embedded operatives to ensure policies helpful to the CCP.
Just like “pod people,” it is difficult to tell who’s infected and who is a real American. One way is to observe their behavior. With Swalwell, it’s interesting to see who asked for his resignation from the House Intelligence Committee, and who has remained silent.
What if surveillance methods were advanced so governments could watch everyone at all times? And what if propaganda techniques were developed that could reshape people’s minds to deny their own best interests?
George Orwell’s 1984 has had a major impact on political thought and reached far beyond science fiction aficionados. Orwell started development of the concept in 1944, and proposed life 40 years into the future where a Big Brother totalitarian regime uses mass surveillance, propaganda and brutal behavioral modification techniques to take over society. It was modeled after Stalinist Russia.
In our time a psyops war is being waged against Americans, providing slanted versions of daily news and censoring alternate information. Our language has been modified to be “politically correct,” changing our very thinking patterns to accept the “new world.”
The parallels between the fictitious “1984” and the current 2020 have been explored by many. Well-known quotes from the book apply to current times.
- He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
- The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.
- Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
- Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
- Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
- The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power – pure power.
- The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.
- War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength.
This is obvious in the Left’s constant attempts to revise our history in colleges and historic landmarks, or getting people to hold conflicting thoughts that defy logic, such as “peaceful riots” and “justified looting.” It is easy to see that the Left seeks power for its own sake, not to help “the oppressed.”
A typical sci-fi storyline starts with the hero living his normal life and then realizing something is amiss. Those around him are oblivious, and he spends a great amount of time and effort proving his case. Eventually a few people wake up and see the light. The rest of the story is spent finding ways to fight back and make things right.
Will enough Americans wake up to the massive acts of voter fraud and identify the people behind the corruption at all levels of our government, media and industry? Or will the forces of evil prevail and establish permanent dominance over all aspects of our lives?
Either way, it’s going to be a real page-turner!