Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Britain Today?

Another day slaving in part of the bureaucratic nightmares that are the number crunching, data-creating, target-chasing, semi-privatised, quango-fied torture instruments that were previously known as "public services". Life in Britain today, under a government that happily mixes nannying, patrician Fabianism with management psycho-babble and an almost messianic religious reverence for the "transformative power" of markets increasingly resembles the description of the "age of bureaucracy" in Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's great comic masterpiece, The Illuminatus! Trilogy:

Appendix Gimmel : The Illuminati Theory of History

(The Fourth Stage)
BEAMTENHERRSCHAFT

This is the age of bureaucracy, and to live at this time is, as Proudhon said, "to have every operation, every transaction, every movement noted, registered, counted, rated, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, refused, authorized, endorsed, admonished, prevented, reformed, redressed, corrected....to be laid under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, exhausted, hoaxed, and robbed." The governing I Ching hexagram is 47, K'un, oppression or exhaustion, the dried up lake, with the usual reading of superior men oppressed by the inferior. This is the time when homo neophobe types most rigorously repress homo neophile types, and great heresy hunts and witch trials flourish. This correlates with the number 8, signifying the Last Judgement, because every citizen is to some extent a state functionary, and each is on trial before the jury of all. The traditional Chinese associations with this hexagram are sitting under a bare tree and wandering through an empty valley - signifying the ecological havoc wreaked by purely abstract minds working upon the organic web of nature.

The 16th Tarot trump, The Tower, describes this age. The Tower is struck by lightning and the inhabitants fall from the windows. (Cf. The Tower of Babel legend and our recent power failures.) The traditional interpretations of this card suggest pride, oppression and bankruptcy.

This correlates with Libra, the mentality which measures and balances all things on an artificial scale (Maya). Typical Libras who have manifested Beamtenherrschaft characteristics are Comte de Saint Simon, Justice John Marshall, Hans Geiger, Henry Wallace, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kenneth Galbraith, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., John Dewey, and Dr. Joyce Brothers.

In Beamtenherrschaft ages there is ceaseless activity, all planned in advance, begun at the scheduled second, carefully supervised, scrupulously recorded - but inevitably finished late and poorly done. The burden of omniscience on the ruling class becomes virtually intolerable, and most flee into some form of schizophrenia or fantasy. Great towers, pyramids, moon shots, and similar marvels are accomplished at enormous cost while the underpinnings of social solidarity crumble entirely. While blunders multiply, no responsible individual can ever be found, because all decisions are made by committees; anyone seeking redress of grievance wanders into endless corridors of paperwork with no more tangible result than in the Hunting of The Snark. Illuminati historians, of course, describe these ages as glowingly as Zweitracht epochs, for, although control is in the hands of homo neophobe types, there is at least a kind of regularity, order, and geometrical precision about everything, and the "messiness" of the barbaric Verwirrung ages and revolutionary Unordnung ages is absent.

Nevertheless, the burden of omniscience on the rulers steadily escalates, as we have indicated, and the burden of nescience on the servile class increasingly renders them unfit to serve (more and more are placed on the dole, shipped to "mental" hospitals, or recruited into whatever is the current analog of the gladiatorial games), so the Tower eventually falls.

(p752-3, Raven Edition, Robinson Publishing)

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