Huxley's "Brave New World Revisited" - 2014 Redux

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old formselections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the restwill remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorialbut Democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit. 


- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, published 1958

It’s always felt a bit bizarre and, indeed slightly embarrassing, that of all the books I have read in my days, Aldous Huxley’s 1932 classic Brave New World was not amongst them. Not only is the book frequently mentioned to make political and social statements about contemporary times, the novel’s concept always caught my interest. I just never got around reading it. Until late last year.

I loved this book and was very pleasantly surprised. I was prepared for a more fearful and overwhelmingly dark and twisted experience. While there were obvious elements of those things, it was a much more enjoyable read than I anticipated. Indeed, it was a very human book, as ironic as that might sound. As much as the “Controllers” in Brave New World were indeed in control, the human spirit still managed to bubble to the surface. To the point that the controllers had to designate certain islands for the iconoclasts which inevitably emerged from within the “Alpha” class. All of the drugs, brainwashing and conditioning couldn’t totally break the human spirit. As such, it was a much more hopeful and nuanced novel than I expected it to be. If you haven’t read it, I suggest making it your next book. If you have read it, read it again.

However, this post isn’t about Brave New World. While that book is indeed a creative warning, it is still fiction and a work of art more than anything else. Twenty six years after its publication, Huxley wrote Brave New World Revisited, in which he takes stock of the post World War II period. His analysis is grave. He saw the world progressing toward his nightmare much faster than he anticipated. Brave New World Revisited is a brilliant work of non-fiction and filled with almost incomprehensibly prescient predictions. It also provides a great deal of advice to future generations. Advice which we must immediately heed.

Of all the solutions Huxley focuses on in Brave New World Revisited, from proper education, to a simple acknowledgment of humanity as moderately gregarious animal not prone to over-organization; the most profound, and I think useful recommendation, is for us to decentralize. This has been a theme of mine and many other writers for some time now. Fortunately, through things like 3D-Printing, Bitcoin and other decentralized crypto-currencies, open source software, crowd funding, social media, etc, the world is moving from centralization to radical decentralization. People will be more connected than ever, but power will be more decentralized. We need to continue to push rapidly in this direction and a whole new incredible world will emerge. Indeed, it is being born as I write this.

Several years ago after reading Hayek’s Road to Serfdom I wrote a lengthy post highlighting key excerpts for those who were interested, but didn’t have the time or inclination to read the whole thing. Due to that post’s popularity and effectiveness, I have attempted to do the same with Brave New World Revisited. I hope this inspires you all to read the entire thing. Enjoy.

From Chapter 2: Quantity, Quality, Morality

And now let us consider the case of the rich, industrialized and democratic society, in which, owing to the random but effective practice of dysgenics, IQ’s and physical vigor are on the decline. For how long can such a society maintain its traditions of individual liberty and democratic government? Fifty or a hundred years from now our children will learn the answer to this question.

My Thoughts: Yes, indeed we are learning the answer to this right now. Just look around you.

From Chapter 3: Over-Organization

Under a dictatorship the Big Business, made possible by advancing technology and the consequent ruin of Little Business, is controlled by the State-that is to say, by a small group of party leaders and the soldiers, policemen and civil servants who carry out their orders. In a capitalist democracy such as the United States, it is controlled by what Professor C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite. This Power Elite directly employs several millions of the country’s working force in its factories, offices and stores, controls many millions more by lending them the money to but its products, and, through its ownership of the media of mass communications, influences the thoughts, the feelings and the actions of virtually everybody.

My Thoughts: If you talk as Huxley writes above in “polite society” you will be labeled a conspiracy theorist or kook.

From Chapter 3: Over-Organization

It is in the social sphere, in the realm of politics and economics, that the Will to Order becomes really dangerous. Here the theoretical reduction of unmanageable multiplicity to comprehensible unity becomes the practical reduction of human diversity to subhuman uniformity, of freedom to servitude. In politics the equivalent of a fully developed scientific theory or philosophical system is a totalitarian dictatorship. In economics, the equivalent of a beautifully composed work of art is the smoothly running factory in which the workers are perfectly adjusted to the machines. The Will to Order can make tyrants out of those who merely aspire to clear up a mess. The beauty of tidiness is used as a justification for despotism.


Organization is indispensable; for liberty arises and has meaning only within a self-regulating community of freely cooperating individuals. But, though indispensable, organization can also be fatal. Too much organization transforms men and women into automata, suffocates the creative spirit and abolishes the very possibility of freedom. As usual, the only safe course is in the middle, between the extremes of laissez-faire at the one end of the scale and of total control at the other.

My Thoughts: Huxley accurately notes that the “will to order” is a natural part of the human psyche. There are disciplines where the “will to order” is actually useful and necessary to human progress; however, he warns that in the social sphere it is deadly and usually ends with totalitarianism.

From Chapter 3: Over-Organization

City life is anonymous and, as it were, abstract. People are related to one another, not as total personalities, but as the embodiment of economic functions or, when they are not at work, as irresponsible seekers of entertainment. Subjected to this kind of life, individuals tend to feel lonely and insignificant. Their existence ceases to have any point or meaning.

My Thoughts: Huxley clearly sees the sprawling metropolis as incongruent with human nature and freedom. It is a theme he consistently returns to throughout the book.

From Chapter 3: Over-Organization

Biologically speaking, man is a moderately gregarious, not a completely social animal—a creature more like a wolf, let us say, or an elephant, than like a bee or an ant. In their original form human societies bore no resemblance to the hive or the ant heap; they were merely packs. Civilization is, among other things, the process by which primitive packs are transformed into an analogue, crude and mechanical, of the social insects’ organic communities. At the present time the pressures of over-population and technological change are accelerating this process. The termitary has come to seem a realizable and even, in some eyes, a desirable ideal. Needless to say, the ideal will never in fact be realized. A great gulf separates the social insect from the not too gregarious, big-brained mammal; and even though the mammal should do his best to imitate the insect, the gulf would remain. However hard they try, men cannot create a social organism, they can only create an organization. In the process of trying to create an organism they will merely create a totalitarian despotism.

My Thoughts: A simply brilliant and incredibly important warning.

From Chapter 3: Over-Organization

The impersonal forces of overpopulation and over-oragnization, and the social engineers who are trying to direct these forces, are pushing us in the direction of a new medieval system. This revival will be made more acceptable than the original by such Brave-New—Worldian amenities as infant conditioning, sleep-teachings and drug-induced euphoria; but, for the majority of men and women, it will still be a kind of servitude.

My Thoughts: Yep, he predicted our current neo-feudalistic state in 1958.

From Chapter 4: Propaganda in a Democratic Society

Given a fair chance, human beings can govern themselves, and govern themselves better, though perhaps with less mechanical efficiency, than they can be governed by “authorities independent of their will.” Given a fair chance, I repeat; for the fair chance is an indispensable prerequisite. No people that passes abruptly from a state of subservience under the rule of a despot to the completely unfamiliar state of political independence can be said to have a fair chance of making democratic institutions work.

My Thoughts: Would’ve been nice if we thought about that before we invaded Iraq (of course, the problem is our goal was never to bring Democracy to Iraq in the first place).

From Chapter 4: Propaganda in a Democratic Society

In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democraciesthe development of a vast mass communications industry concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.


For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainmentfrom poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concepts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distractions now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio television and the cinema.

My Thoughts: This brings me to a short story I’d like to share. I was on the plane as I was reading this and I put down my book for a second to look around me. I had an aisle seat, and so was at a good vantage point from which to take stock of the plane. I was actually stunned to notice that there was not a single other person reading a book anywhere around me. I actually enjoy the lack of Wifi on flights as it forces me to engage in some old school book reading. To my surprise no one else seemed to see it that way. Horrifyingly, the only people that weren’t dozing off or watching television were still on their smart phones. Even worse, at least five of them seemed to be playing the same game! It looked like some sort of Tetris game with jewels. So despite the lack of Wifi, humanity’s ability for mindless entertainment and distraction prevailed. Wifi or no wifi, these folks were going to be on their “smart”phones one way or the other.

From Chapter 5: Propaganda Under a Dictatorship

Assembled in a crowd, people lose their powers of reasoning and their capacity for moral choice. Their suggestibility is increased to the point where they cease to have any judgement or will of their own. They become very excitable, they lose all sense of individual or collective responsibility, they are subject to sudden accesses of rage, enthusiasm and panic. In a word, man in a crowd behaves as though he had swallowed a large dose of what I have called “herd-poisoning.”


Reading is a private, not a collective activity. The writer speaks only to individuals, sitting by themselves in a state of normal sobriety. The orator speaks to masses of individuals, already well primed with herd poison. They are at his mercy and, if he knows his business, he can do what he likes with them.

My Thoughts: This is something to always be aware of. Oration to crowds is the most effective form of propaganda distribution and brainwashing.

From Chapter 5: Propaganda Under a Dictatorship

In Hitler’s words, the propagandist should adopt “a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with.” He must never admit that he might be wrong or that people with a different point of view might be even partially right. Opponents should not be argued with; they should be attacked, shouted down, or, if they become too much of a nuisance, liquidated. The morally squeamish intellectual may be shocked by this kind of thing. But the masses are always convinced that “right in on the side of the active aggressor.”

My Thoughts: This is why Obama just lies non-stop with zero shame. His strategy is to just stick to the propaganda and go with it at all costs, no matter how irrational and obviously deceptive.

From Chapter 6: The Arts of Selling

People may start out with an initial prejudice against tyrants; but when tyrants or would-be tyrants treat them to adrenalinreleasing propaganda about the wickedness of their enemies- particularly of enemies weak enough to be persecuted-they are ready to follow him with enthusiasm.


Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings and actions that make for peace and freedom. Conversely almost nobody wants war or try nanny; but a great many people find an intense pleasure in the thoughts, feelings and actions that make for war and tyranny.

My Thoughts: That’s probably the scariest and most depressing thing I read.

Chapter 6: The Arts of Selling

“Both parties,” we were told in 1956 by the editor of a leading business journal, “will merchandize their candidates and issues by the same methods that business had developed to sell goods. These include scientific selection of appeals and planned repetition…The political merchandisers appeal only to the weakness of voters, never to their potential strength. They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government, they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them.


In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous. He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience. Inured to television and radio, that audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to concentrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort. All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefor be short and snappy. The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most-and preferably (since the audience will be eager to pass on to something a little livelier than inflation or the H-bomb) in sixty seconds flat. The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to over-simplify complex issues. From a pulpit or a platform even the most conscientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth. The methods now being used to merchandise the political candidate as though he were a deodorant positively guarantee the electorate against ever hearing the truth about anything.

My Thoughts: It’s simply incredible how clearly he saw all of this more than fifty years ago.

From Chapter 7: Brainwashing

The effectiveness of political and religious propaganda depends upon the methods employed, not upon the doctrines taught. These doctrines may be true or false, wholesome or perniciousit makes little or no difference. If the indoctrination is given in the right way at the proper stage of nervous exhaustion, it will work. Under favorable conditions, practically everybody can be converted to practically anything.

From Chapter 8: Chemical Persuasion

That a dictator could, if he so desired, make use os these drugs for political purposes is obvious. He could ensure himself against political unrest by changing the chemistry of his subjects’ brains and so making them content with their servile condition…But how, it may be asked, will the dictator get his subjects to take the pills that will make them think, feel and behave in the ways he finds desirable? In all probability it will be enough merely to make the pill available…But the demand of the American public for something that will make life in an urban-industrial environment a little more tolerable is so great that doctors are now writing prescriptions for the various tranquilizers at the rate of forty-eight millions a year.

My Thoughts: Yep, it is definitely a huge problem that such a huge percentage of the population is drugged up pretty much 24/7.

From Chapter 8: Chemical Persuasion

Too much tension is a disease; but so is too little. There are certain occasions when we ought to be tense, when an excess of tranquillity (and especially of tranquility imposed from the outside, by a chemical) is entirely inappropriate.

My Thoughts: This is very similar to what Martin Luther King wrote in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which he states:

“Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

From Chapter 9: Subconscious Persuasion

In the light of what has been said about persuasion-by-assocation and the enhancement of emotions by subliminal suggestion, let us try to imagine what the political meeting of tomorrow will be like. The candidate (if there is still a question of candidates), or the appointed representative of the ruling oligarchy, will make his speech for all to hear. Meanwhile the tachistoscopes, the whispering and squeaking machines, the projectors of images so dim that only the subconscious mind can respond to them, will be reinforcing what he says by systematically associating the man and his cause with positively charged words and hallowed images, and by strobonically injecting negatively charged words and odious symbols whenever he mentions the enemies of the State or the Party…Because all of this is still safely in the future, we can afford to smile. Ten or twenty years from now, it will probably seem a good deal less amusing. For what is now merely science fiction will have become everyday political fact.

My Thoughts: We are living it and there’s certainly nothing amusing about it.

From Chapter 10: Hypnopaedia

A person in deep sleep is unsuggestible. But when the subjects in light sleep are given suggestions, they will respond to them. Mr. Barber found, the the same way that they respond to suggestions when in the hypnotic trance.


From the heightened suggestibility associated with light sleep and hypnosis let us pass to the normal suggestibility of those who are awakeor at least who think they are awake. (In fact, as the Buddhists insist, most of us are half asleep all the time and go through life as somnambulists obeying somebody else’s suggestions. Enlightenment is total awakens. The word “Buddha” can be translated as “The Wake.”)

From Chapter 11: Education for Freedom

Freedom is therefore a great good, tolerance a great virtue and regimentation a great misfortune.


The genetic standardization of individuals is still impossible; but Big Government and Big Business already posses, or will very soon possess, all the techniques for mind-manipulation described in Brave New World, along with others of which I was too unimaginative to dream. Lacking the ability to impose genetic uniformity upon embryos, the rulers of tomorrow’s over-populated and over-organized world will try to impose social and cultural uniformity upon adults and their children. To achieve this end, the will (unless prevented) make use of all the mind-manipualting techniques at their disposal and will not hesitate to reinforce these methods of non-rational persuasion by economic coercion and threats of physical violence. If this kind of tyranny is to be avoided, we must begin without delay to educate ourselves and of children for freedom and self-government.

From Chapter 11: Education for Freedom

But unfortunately correct knowledge and sound principles are not enough. An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood. A skillful appeal to passion is often too strong for the best of good resolutions. The effects of false and pernicious propaganda cannot be neutralized except by a thorough training in the art of analyzing its techniques and seeing through its sophistries.


In cases where the selecting and abstracting have been dictated by a system that is not too erroneous as a view of the nature of things, and where the verbal labels have been intelligently chosen and their symbolic nature clearly understood, our behavior is apt to be realistic and tolerably decent. But under the influence of badly chosen words, applied, without any understanding of their merely symbolic character, to experiences that have been selected and abstracted in the light of a system of erroneous ideas, we are apt to behave with a fiendishness and an organized stupidity, of which dumb animals (precisely because they are dumb and cannot speak) are blessedly incapable.

My Thoughts: Essentially, the reason humanity is able to create such gigantic instances of suffering relates to our higher intelligence combined with our ability to be easily brainwashed and manipulated by the nastiest of humans on the bell curve. 

From Chapter 12: What Can Be Done?

Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old formselections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the restwill remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorialbut Democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.


Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you wish to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society’s merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.


Over-population and over-organization have produced the modern metropolis, in which a fully human life of multiple personal relationships has become almost impossible. Therefore, if you wish to avoid the spiritual impoverishment of individuals and whole societies, leave the metropolis and revive the small country community, or alternatively humanize the metropolis by creating within its network of mechanical organization the urban equivalents of small country communities, in which individuals can meet and cooperate as complete persons, not as the mere embodiments of specialized functions.

My Thoughts: His ultimate conclusion, and one with which I agree, is that we need to decentralize to main free.

The older dictators fell because they could never supply their subjects with enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles and mysteries.

If you still haven’t had enough Huxley, I strongly suggest watching the following video. I hope you found this helpful, and as always…

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hedgeless_horseman's picture



Excerpts suck...if that is as far as you go. Don't be lazy. Read the entire story...unabridged. Please! When you are finished, I suggest Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury as a more than suitable second course, pairing Huxley and the perils of drug use and genetic engineering with Bradbury's frightening censorship and all too real surround television.

"They read the long afternoon through, while the cold November rain fell from the sky upon the quiet house. They sat in the hall because the parlor was so empty and gray-looking without its wall lit with orange and yellow confetti and skyrockets and women in gold-mesh dresses and men in black velvet pulling one-hundred-pound rabbits from silver hats."

Long library cards, short televisions.

Trucker Glock's picture

Speaking of bees.  HH, based on your lifestyle, I think you would enjoy a couple documentaries about bees.  They're both on nutflix.

"More Than Honey" and "The Vanishing Bee"

Another good documentary relating to food is "Farmageddon."  Also on nutflix.

Pool Shark's picture



Huxley's dystopian future is more likely than Orwell's. People will inherently fight against totalitarianism, but will happily drown in a sea of inanity. "Amusing ourselves to Death" hits the nail on the head:


Anusocracy's picture

I would suggest following up Brave New World Revisited with reading The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.

Our innate moral sense is what the control freaks manipulate.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Present real life is more to be like "Brave New Animal Farm".

Headbanger's picture

Praise Ford... tractors!

But me say is present world more like movie "Brazil"

foodisgood's picture

How funny the ZH naggers all believe that the reality they live in is based in fiction?

Anyone here believe they create their reality or is the media you cannot taste, touch or smell more signifigant?

Stop being such naggerz and tell a story of what works biatchez.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Dear Mr. Isgood,

You are confuse expressive metaphorical relation to literature and fiction as equation of reality to fiction. You are accuse ZHer of delusional, when by fact YOU are ignore reality in front of you. Reference to literature is adjunct to fact, not replacement of fact, but because you are ignoring of fact, here is little fact sheet for you pleasure and enjoying...

  1. 2008-2013 USSA Federal Reserve is increase balance sheet $800B to $3.9T. Money you are hold in deposit in you bank is dilute approximate 1:5
  2. USSA government is lie about Benghazi, Operation Faster and Dumber, BLS statistic (not conspiracy theory, conspiracy fact with whistle blowing)
  3. Largest 10 bank in 2001 increase holding from 20% of equity to 50% of equity by 2009, to now 80% through Hank Paulson consolidation measure.
  4. NSA is collect phone record of all US citizen, is monitor call of Head of State of Brazil, Germany, and France.
  5. USSA is possess and regularly deploy killer drone to curtail wedding celebration in Middle East country.

This is not anecdote, is not metaphor, is not rely  on fiction, these is fact!

For closing, please dig hole in loose dirt and insert you are head. You are not safe, but you are temporarily feel safe.




TeamDepends's picture

Democracy?  No, no, no, NO!!!!!!!!  To the Founding Fathers democracy was a dirty word, which is why they set the US up as a Constitutional Republic.  Hence, they are labelled as terrorists by the dopes in charge.  Tyler, perhaps you could do a thread about this.

john39's picture

Look into the history of Huxley and his father. He was not an oracle, They were insiders.

Spanky's picture


For... the Neil Postman reference. A classic and well worth the read.

Comte d'herblay's picture

You are the only person I have ever seen on any forum that has read Postman's treatise on the death of our culture.

If you haven't, try, "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television"; and, "The Culture of Narcissism in the Age of Diminishing Expectations" by Chris Lasch. 


ebworthen's picture

Bradbury was a Luddite; rode his bike often rather than driving an automobile.

Add John Madden to the list, who is still alive unlike Ron Brown.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Ron Brown... Secret Service is clean up Ron Brown problem, but why is in Croatia!? Is similar to Vince Foster who is kill self with two shot to back of head.

Headbanger's picture

A very light trigger pull will cause that.

foodisgood's picture

Fortunately, through things like 3D-Printing, Bitcoin and other decentralized crypto-currencies, open source software, crowd funding, social media, etc, the world is moving from centralization to radical decentralization.

And how the frok do any of these web based squid tenticle apratuses lead me to believe they are not on a grid based idea that operates supposedly as if it were as regualr as a sun rise?

You dumb naggerz slaves to whiney ZH glasses - ask for forgiveness and actually act in a manner that is good for someone today - before it is too late.

illyia's picture

Frack you, HH. I love excerpts. I could eat them all day instead of whole meals. How would I know that I loved sushi but for excerpts. How would I know I love Brave New World Revisited but for excerpts.

I would like to order a whole meal of these BNWR excerpts, please.

Thank you.


Semi-employed White Guy's picture

Fortunately, through things like 3D-Printing, Bitcoin and other decentralized crypto-currencies, open source software, crowd funding, social media, etc, the world is moving from centralization to radical decentralization.

I'd have to take issue with this. A lot of people that are for these things are also for Democrat Party progressivism in the US and its equivalents elsewhere. This does not make a good environment for decentralization. Quite the opposite.

I do agree that Brave New World was incredibly prescient and a must read.

williambanzai7's picture

You/we are not centrally enclosed and controlled. To the contrary, we are are trapped in a distributed network and being modulated remotely.

This is Burrough's concept of a so called "Society of Control".

Although the Reds seem to be behind the curve technically, this is not a Red or Blue or other labelling phenomena.

This is a manifestation of the new techno-corporatist state.

Arguing about which politcal party/ideology is driving these developments is precisely the kind of diversion our apolitical overlords have in mind for us.

Take a look who is going to Davos this week to hobnob with Ms. Yahoo and her entourage. Cantor and Boehner, for example.

We should utilize the Deleuzean "Rizome" like properties of a distributed network to our own advantage. No matter how much they try to adapt, the statists are essentially in a pyramid formation and therein lies their potential downfall.

prains's picture

i once had a bad rash around the "groinal" area, most discomforting, I believe the doctor in charge diagnosed it as a "Deleuzean Rizome" (sorry for the slow typing as I have to copy your spelling). Damndest thing, it took months to clear up and the scratching was most unfortunate when in the company of young women. I hate that fucking Rizome....

williambanzai7's picture

It can crop up almost anywhere. I had mine up my nose.

williambanzai7's picture

Sometimes, my commentary is too compact. However, in this case I would urge anyone who is interested to explore this subject further. What I am talking about is important for those who are trying in their own small way to contribute to a counter statist inertia.

I just Googled Rhizome, for example, and found this:

As many of you know, I do not like to engage in political label tossing. What is interesting in this case is it is written by a self described new conservative. Most of what I have seen on the subject has been written by academics or from the perspective of self described radicals and/or social activists.

The concept of the Rhizome is not political. It is a "natural" metaphor for operating in a decentralized manner. It is a model for organizing group attributes when facing a deeply entrenched heirarchical structure such as a statist pyramid.   


Fíréan's picture

a rhizome (from Ancient Greek,  rhíz?ma "mass of roots",[1] from rhizó? "cause to strike root")[2] is a modified Subterranean stem of a plant  that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes may also be referred to as creeping rootstalks or rootstocks. Rhizomes develop from auxillary buds and are diageotropic or grow perpendicular to the force of gravity. The rhizome also retains the ability to allow new shoots to grow upwards.[3


nope-1004's picture

Green rhizomes bitches.


tip e. canoe's picture

the shame about Deleuze (other than his writings being impenetrable to all but a few who have the patience & time to carefully dissect them) is that he used terminology that is most associated with the political Left.   however, upon closer examination, they do seem to transcend all political labels (much like BNW) once one is willing to shed any preconceived connotations of the terminology he used.

good on ya Bill for locating an example of how Deleuzan prinicples can transcend political ideology.

been reading much on mycelial (mushroom) networks lately.   lots of Paul Stamets.   if his intuitive reasonings are correct, it seems to me that these networks are even a more accurate metaphor for a potential counter-strategy than even rhizomes are, being that they have the ability to decompose dead material and transform it into a rich layer of humus that then support plant life.  without mycelia, there are no rhizomes.

plus, rhizomes have a tendency to become invasively destructive if not kept in check, and thus undue attention is focused on ways to eradicate them (however unsuccessfully), which turn out to be even more destructive to the ecosystem as a whole.    which then requires more mycelium to decompose and then transform all over again.

examples: "Al-Queda" or other "terrorist" organizations, "Anonymous" or other hacker collectives are all rhizomes in the Deleuzean sense.   and as we have seen, the State's counter-response to these rhizomatic entities have just created more oppression for everyone.

another cool thing about mushrooms is that they seem to pop up in the most unlikeliest of places and then disappear as quickly as they appear.   there's a great little aside that Stamets makes on how psylocibins can be best found around churches, police stations & government buildings.

one of his best talks on the subject is Mysteries of Mycology found here:

rustymason's picture

Link to rhizome youtube and article at counter-currents are blocked by Websense. For my protection, I guess.

It seems that any site that contains real information for breaking our chains is blocked by Websense. We really need to fix that problem.

ebworthen's picture

Good stuff WB7.

We can fight the machine on ZH and other venues utilizing the same weapons as the enemy.

Keep up the visual warfare!

The pen is mightier!

Harbanger's picture

Why do we always contrast ideology based on our 2 party system?  Neither Cantor nor Boehner represent the ideology of conservatives/libertarians/constitutionalists in America.  In fact they all represent the progressive ideology of big gov. 

williambanzai7's picture

It's a long list and I don't see any self described libertarians on there.

I'll tell you something else, many Europeans use the term as a negative slur. "Oh, you are a libertarian then?"

To which I respond quoting Brother George: No, I got this moron thing I do, it's called thinking. 

Ghordius's picture

I presume Britons? then on the Continent I find it's hard to even talk about Libertarianism without having to explain first what's about

imho Libertarianism, while having ideological similarities with other movements, has strong Anglosphere cultural roots on which it regularly stumbles

in the rest of the world, you find three main ideological families: conservativism, liberalism and socialism. followed by more narrow movements like ecologists, etc.

as such, Libertarianism is an extreme/radical form of Liberalism. some excellent ideas and concepts, but very little pragmatic all-round value

p.s. from what I read from Harbanger, he would be seen as a conservative, here on the european continent. yet I guess if he would be joining a conservative party here, he would be on the liberal fringe of it

williambanzai7's picture

There is not much substance to it. The Global MSM paints anyone who disagrees with the statists as fringe libertarians. It's just a label. It's an intellectual short cut.

I will say this as well. The Central Europeans who have not drunk the kool aid understand what it is all about. Surrender one basic freedom and you might as well surrender them all.

Ghordius's picture

not much substance to what, exactly? you leave me quite confused, at this

put the "Global MSM" aside for a moment (otherwise I have to go into how things are painted in languages different from English or Chinese)

are you saying that there are two sides? statists and anti-statists? honest question

if I put my "statist" hat for a moment I'd have to ask you: prove me that basic freedoms as we understand them exist at all outside of the State Paradigm

williambanzai7's picture

I am not here to prove anything.

The simple point I am making is people whom I have met have used that label to describe something in the US, but they really have no idea what the what substance is.

It is a label they use essentially to describe "angry white American male over 50" who does not like Obamacare.  

To this I respond: "That government is best which governs least" has a corollary:  that government is worst which governs most. At this point the good old USA is on the wrong end of this spectrum. We have government, up the wazooo. And they certainly can't claim it is doing a good job.

Does this mean I am an anarchist? Absolutely not. When everything works fine the discussion becomes academic. However, when everything is in the shitter except for elitists and cronies using the state primarily as a means of entrenchment, the discussion becomes a necessary.

Ghordius's picture

I agree on the use of the label. yet I see one recurrent theme in here: lots of talk about the quantity of gov, and little about the quality

what if the choice was between a lot of good gov or very little very bad gov?

methinks that there lies the twin knot to where the discussion started, i.e. that left-right or Dem-Rep has only one dimension while I maintain that there are three directions. in the same way I maintain that gov has two dimensions, quantity and quality

but of course the answer to the first knot is unthinkable to many: change the electoral system, allow several parties. unthinkable

FrankDrakman's picture

what if the choice was between a lot of good gov or very little very bad gov?

For the former: Acton's Law says it all.

tip e. canoe's picture

sorry to butt in G, but doesn't the UK have several parties?   how has that changed that nation for the better?   wouldn't that strategy in the US just make the corruption that much more complex, especially now that a template has been drawn up across the Pond?

it seems to me that simply expanding the party system would just be a limited hangout, deluding the citizens that there is a top-down political solution to the problems that face us as a people.

Ghordius's picture

damn, I'm late to answer this. to keep it simple:


1. more parties change the political discourse. from black & white to at least red, yellow and blue

2. more parties make life for the single parties more difficult. a corrupted party can be more easily be exchanged with one that is less so. the same principle can be seen in the difference between a healthy market with many small participants and an oligopoly or duopoly where few have "moats"

3. the UK has the same electoral system, yes. but it has also a deeper, more fractured political landscape. so it does profit from the advantages of having several parties, even though the system itself would tend to a duopoly. note how Cameron has to steer his party more on the right so to preempt UKIP. note how the LibDem have to deliver added political value or risk losing their role

the added value of a more diverse political landscape is comparable to the market landscape. more product choice is similar to more policy choice. parties risking to lose their "market share" are more attuned to what their electorate really wants. all very human, if you think about that

groundedkiwi's picture

Enlighten me, where is central Europe?

williambanzai7's picture

Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Parts of Germany that were formerly East Germany. But I would expand it. Anyone who has lived and suffered under the boot of totalitarianism usually gets it right away.

Harbanger's picture

Many people today are out to lunch, so be it.  I read the article you linked, very interesting.  It explains the grassroot movements that are manifesting.  Interestingly, I've studied Rhizones many years ago in botany, that's when I first questioned the inevitablility of death.  In theory the same organism can live forever through clonal growth.  I'm a mad scientist, Just a funny side note.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

Not mad at all, HB, just progressive in its proper context:

An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity — technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light. — Ray Kurzweil, "The Law of Accelerating Returns,"

This is why I fully agree with Kreiger when he states:

"The most profound, and I think useful recommendation, is for us to decentralize. This has been a theme of mine and many other writers for some time now. Fortunately, through things like 3D-Printing, Bitcoin and other decentralized crypto-currencies, open source software, crowd funding, social media, etc, the world is moving from centralization to radical decentralization. People will be more connected than ever, but power will be more decentralized. We need to continue to push rapidly in this direction and a whole new incredible world will emerge. Indeed, it is being born as I write this."

Just as it it being born as Marc Andreessen writes this:

A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers.

Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it.

On the other hand, technologists – nerds – are transfixed by it. They see within it enormous potential and spend their nights and weekends tinkering with it.

Eventually mainstream products, companies and industries emerge to commercialize it; its effects become profound; and later, many people wonder why its powerful promise wasn’t more obvious from the start.

Spanky's picture

ZH ate my original comment, so I'll try again...

While I agree with decentralization, nothing you note here is decentralized:

... Bitcoin and other decentralized crypto-currencies, open source software, crowd funding, social media, etc, the world is moving from centralization to radical decentralization. People will be more connected than ever, but power will be more decentralized. -- Dick Buttkiss quoting Ray Kurzweil

The hardware is manufactured by a handful of corporations. The internet infrastructure is a collaborative effort of governments and corporations (and was originally developed by DARPA). Power generation (which runs both your home computer and the internet) is centralized. The NSA's most successful information gathering comes from exploiting individual computers connected to networks and intercepting digital communications over computerized networks (of all types).

The only secure decentralized communications are person to person, face to face, with someone personally known to you.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

Sure, DARPA was instrumental in creating the Internet. But so what? It obviously couldn't control it, nor will governments ever be able to, as the Deep Web — — will only get deeper the more it's interfered with, aided and abetted by dark wallets, dark email, dark text, dark phones, etc., etc.

The genie's out of the bottle, in other words, and there's no putting it back in.

Spanky's picture

Obviously you do not understand how telecommunications, including the internet, works at a technical level. And no cute iceberg graphic will change that fact.

Comte d'herblay's picture

"Life is a comedy for those that think, and a tragedy for those that feeeeel".

PeakOil's picture

Yes. Re: pyramids, there are some interesting thoughts posted here: Breaking Down The Pyramids That Govern – Part 1 of 2

kodachrome's picture

I think my reading of Lois Lowry's "The Giver" at such a young age is what I will attribute to my being here today.