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Vonnegut’s Dark Vision Arrived 60 Years Early

Politics / Social Issues Nov 02, 2020 - 11:40 AM GMT

By: James_Quinn


“THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.” – Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut’s short story – Harrison Bergeron – was written in 1961, and in Vonnegut’s darkly satirical style, portrayed America in 2081 as an disgracefully dystopian nightmare. Little did Vonnegut know what he considered outrageous and 120 years in the future, would be far closer to our current dystopian reality just 60 years later. The story was brought to my attention by my wife a week ago when we were talking about the absurdity of masks, their uselessness in stopping viruses, how they are nothing more than a means to control the population, being used to spread fear, and as a dehumanizing technique.

She remembered the name Diana Moon Glampers from reading the story in high school. Never has a story that takes 15 minutes to read, captured the evilness and depravity of a government demanding “equality” in a more succinct and brutal manner. Its parallels with our current government enforced lockdown, mandatory muzzles, mainstream media propaganda, and social media censorship is uncannily accurate.

The premise of Vonnegut’s story is George and Hazel Bergeron sitting on their couch watching TV, sometime after their fourteen-year old son Harrison had been taken away by the government and jailed for the crime of being strong, good looking, intelligent, and defiant against their ridiculous regulations and dictates. The mediocre minds of those in charge had taken the American Declaration of Independence’s phrase – “All men are created equal” to a ludicrous extreme.

Their warped interpretation of our founding document failed to acknowledge the term “independence”, and the unalienable rights of all men to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are created equal in the eyes of God, but we have free choice to use our abilities to succeed or fail in life. Some people use their intellectual abilities to succeed, others use their athletic strength, and others their physical appearance and talents. The government should not dictate who should succeed or fail.

The totalitarian government in Vonnegut’s 2081 America coerces its citizens into being equal to one another in appearance, behavior, and achievements. To attain physical and intellectual equality among all Americans, the government torments its citizens through mandatory handicapping, enforced by the Handicapper General – Diana Moon Glampers.

The beautiful must wear repugnant masks or disfigure themselves, the intelligent must listen to piercing noises that impede their ability to think, and the elegant and strong must wear weights around their necks. Removal of their government mandated handicaps results in huge fines and imprisonment. Vonnegut takes the “achievement” of total equality to its most absurd outcomes. The foolishness of handicapping the best and brightest citizens to achieve total equality is unnatural and wrong. Punishing the talented by forcing them to be unexceptional and compliant, results in a society of mediocrity and mendaciousness.

Harrison Bergeron is seven feet tall, three hundred pounds, athletic, graceful, handsome, intelligent and defiant. He is the embodiment of the alpha American male, making him a dangerous threat to a government dependent upon keeping its populace fearful, sedated, cowed, average and unmotivated to defy their dictates. The handicaps placed on Harrison were heavier than anyone had ever required.

“Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides. Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. And to offset his good looks, the H-G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle-tooth random.” – Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut

Despite these hinderances, he escapes from his jail cell, bursts into the studio where average ballet dancers, masked to hide their beauty, and weighed down by bags of birdshot, are joylessly giving an unexceptional performance in front of a nationwide audience of unthinking automatons, obediently following the orders of their overseers. The warning announcement from the government before he arrived at the studio said he was plotting to overthrow the government and should be considered extremely dangerous.

In this world of the “future”, anyone not toeing the government line and exercising their right to think differently or question the government narrative is considered a traitor and dangerous. Individuality is a crime. Thinking for yourself is a crime. Enjoying life is a crime. Not obeying masking rules is a crime. Does this remind you of anything in present day America? Harrison is brave and defiant, while the majority are cowardly and passive.

Harrison rips off his steel restraints and handicaps, revealing his physical strength and magnificence, reminding TV viewers that underneath their own restraints and handicaps, they too are individuals, capable of excelling and living life fully. He declares himself emperor and selects a ballerina as his empress.

The other dancers and musicians removed their handicaps and began to play and dance up to their God given abilities. This scene offered the potential for a revolution. As Harrison and his empress danced majestically, you could visualize the mental and physical binds breaking across the country. A spirit of excellence and independence could sweep across the land and the people could break free of their government mandated trusses.

But it was not to be. Authoritarian governments, once they attain power and control, will not relinquish it without a fight. They will use violent means to keep the sheep docile and obedient.

“It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor. Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.” – Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut

The governments of the future and the present cannot allow displays of individuality and defiance of authority, or they lose their power, control and wealth. Therefore, they will resort to extreme acts of violence to enforce their will upon their subjects. Governments want passive, unthinking, obedient serfs, who do as they are told and believe whatever narrative they are peddled.

In Vonnegut’s dystopian future the government achieved this mental state of distraction through externally applied handicaps, but in reality, they have been able to achieve this outcome through government school indoctrination centers, drugs to induce tranquility, and technology to mesmerize, distract, and propagandize an easily swayed populace.

Vonnegut was certainly warning his readers about the evils of equality as sold by the socialists/communists during the 1950s. Based on what have seen since his warning and the current drift of the country towards socialist authoritarian enforced equality – taking from the successful and giving to the failures – we have failed to heed the moral of his cautionary tale. We’ve chosen comforting lies over unpleasant truths.

Vonnegut’s two main themes were the dangers of government enforced total equality and the power of television/technology to control and manipulate our thoughts and feelings. Those with average intelligence required nothing more than to be entertained by the TV, but those with above average intelligence or abilities either willingly dumbed themselves down or hid their special attributes, to avoid the harsh handicaps inflicted by the government.

Fear of severe punishment intimidated the talented into docile submission. The quest for equality was achieved. The result was a nation of stupid, slow dullards, incapable of critical thought or achievement. Vonnegut’s question for his audience was, are we willing to sacrifice our liberty and freedom in order to achieve a government mandated and enforced level of warped equality?

Anyone with an iota of awareness and critical thinking ability can see the parallels with our current path of compulsory equality, enforced through government regulations, left wing academics, social media shaming, corporate virtue signaling, and socialist politicians. Rather than physically handicapping those with more talent and drive, they attempt to equalize for the inept and lazy by lowering the bar and heaping financial incentives upon the “disadvantaged”.

The entire BLM scam being jammed down the throats of white Americans is based on the falsehood of systemic racism and the perceived need to equal the playing field for blacks by giving them the ball on the five-yard line. We have universities ignoring SAT scores to allow minorities slots earned by Asians and whites. The entire educational system has been dumbed down to make the intellectually challenged (aka dummies) feel like they are equal to those who outperform and outwork them. Being educated at a university by academics who have never worked a day in their lives doesn’t make you intelligent, as we can plainly see by the level of ignorance in this country.

The narrative of victimhood has been flogged by the deceitful mainstream media, pandering politicians, and imparted by left wing professors to their oblivious indoctrinated students. This narrative is used to guilt those who worked for their success into volunteering their positions and supporting undeserved remunerations.

The trillions spent to alleviate the perceived disadvantages of blacks since LBJ’s Great Society implementation have done nothing but enslave millions in the chains of a welfare mentality and it’s never enough. Equality won’t be achieved until trillions of reparation bribes are paid and their criminal element are rewarded for their looting and rioting efforts in cities across the land.

The victim card is used by feminists for “equal pay”, even though the statistics they use are fake. The LGBQT movement demands special rights, rather than equal rights. Sports Illustrated now puts obese chicks and men pretending to be women in their swimsuit issue in order to be politically correct and woke. Those of a libertarian bent don’t care how others choose to live their lives, but trying to force abnormality upon the community through laws and regulations is a bridge too far. Bringing others down to further your agenda is not what this country is about. And the pushback is now commencing.

The most relevant parallel between Vonnegut’s dystopian future and 2020 has been the use of fear by the government, their media mouthpieces, and handsomely paid “experts” to herd the population into lockdown corrals, while forcing mandatory masking (muzzling) under threat of fines and imprisonment. This has been done to “save us” from a flu that will not kill 99.7% of us and is only a risk to the very old and infirm.

Even though the CDC, New England Journal of Medicine and numerous other medical authorities detailed the ineffectiveness of masks in combating viruses prior to this engineered pandemic, the authorities demand compliance and submission to mask mandates, even though the virus continues to spread despite compulsory masking around the world – except in Sweden.

In Vonnegut’s dark vision of the future, the handsome and beautiful are masked to make the ugly and average feel good about themselves. The intelligent and thoughtful are hampered by screeching sounds so they are dumbed down to the level of compliant dullards. The fear of reprisal and punishment keeps the population terrified and easy to manipulate and manage.

Vonnegut’s totalitarian government behemoth sought to dehumanize its subjects, suck the joy from their lives, and create a nation of submissive serfs, unwilling to revolt against their masters. Our power-crazed autocrats, running the show, are jubilant at the success of their demonic experiment in convincing the vast swath of humanity to love their servitude, scurrying around like masked mice, avoiding each other as if there was a real plague engulfing the world.

The un-Constitutional lockdowns are a test drive for further authoritarian measures designed to make our lives joyless, bleak and controlled by a master class of oligarchs and their henchmen enforcers. Their goal is to turn us against each other, creating a nation of snitches and equally miserable slaves for the state. They haven’t resorted to shotgun blasts on national TV, but physically attacking the non-compliant has begun.

Vonnegut’s entire story takes place with George and Hazel Bergeron planted on their couch watching TV. Vonnegut clearly believed the relatively new invention of television had become a hugely important part of our daily lives, with the potential capacity to be used by the government to sedate, rule and terrorize the population into doing what they were told. As Bernays noted almost 100 years ago, the manipulation of the habits and opinions of the masses through unseen propaganda techniques allow the invisible government to manipulate and control the minds of its citizens.

Television made this “necessary” molding of minds to the desires of the government dramatically easier. Vonnegut saw television as mainly a sedative for the masses, keeping them docile and distracted from thinking. It was also a means of coercion, as the news bulletin showed a photograph of Harrison with his good looks disfigured and strength dissipated as a visual example to viewers of what will happen to them if they do not stifle their own abilities and obey their overlords. The live executions on TV were used as a warning to everyone about the fate of revolutionaries.

Vonnegut had no idea how the power of television would be taken to the nth power with the onset of the internet, “smart” phones, and social media. The geniuses and techno-geeks assured us technology would enhance freedom and open the world to new horizons and discoveries. All the knowledge ever learned would be at the fingertips of everyone on the planet. A glorious future awaited. Sadly, for humanity, the glorious future never arrived. As Huxley predicted, technological progress has just provided a more efficient means of going backwards. Technology is used as a never-ending distraction for those with below average intelligence.

The unadulterated use of propaganda and fear has never been more evident than during this great reset pandemic scheme. The brightly colored Covid-19 case counters at the bottom of every MSM news channel screen are designed to scare the non-thinking math challenged noobs into believing mass death will sweep the nation unless they lockdown and mask-up. The government uses influencers (Hollywood idiots and sports heroes who can’t spell hero) and mass media advertising campaigns to make the plebs believe masks work and lockdowns will stop the virus. The level of willful ignorance is beyond comprehension, but a true credit to the propaganda powers of the state.

The truth is out there, but the billionaire Silicon Valley censorship police are doing their part as the enforcement arm of the invisible government overseers, to obscure, delete, and suppress any opinions not adhering to the approved Party narrative. There are thousands of medical professionals who know HCQ + zinc stops this virus dead in its tracks, but acknowledging that truth would not help enrich Gates, Fauci and the drug company complex. Therefore, it is ridiculed, scorned and banned from use by politicians and media pundits on the take. The current fear mongering has reached a new level this week as their final push to rid themselves of Trump enters the home stretch.

The talking heads screech about new all-time highs in cases and hyper-ventilate about the coming wave of death unless we elect Biden, lockdown and enforce mandatory masking. What they do not tell you is testing reached an all-time high of 1.4 million yesterday, so with the same positivity rate (with at least 50% false positives), cases will always go up. The vast majority of those testing positive have no symptoms, meaning they aren’t sick. The only thing that should matter is deaths per case. How many cases lead to a death?

At the peak in April there were 2,113 deaths per day when cases were 30,000. That was a death rate of 7%. Two months ago, there were 922 deaths per day when cases were 41,000. That was a death rate of 2.3%. Today we have 809 deaths per day, with cases at 79,000 – a death rate of 1%. Have you heard an MSM propagandist joyously declare the death rate is now down 86% from its peak and down 57% in the last two months? That doesn’t fit the narrative of fear needed to keep you controlled, cowed and compliant.

Vonnegut was right, but he was far too optimistic on the timing. The totalitarians are on the warpath. They already have control over most governments and intend a great worldwide reset to implement their socialist/communist agenda of equality for all – except themselves. They want more wealth, more control, and more power. As Orwell predicted, they seek power for its own sake. They don’t care about our lives, liberties, or pursuit of happiness. They just want dumbed down obedient workers to do the menial jobs and passively accept their fate until death.

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?”1984 – George Orwell

Of course, the antidote to this new world order is written within our founding document. The government should derive its powers from the consent of the governed. Those in charge, whether elected or unelected, have destroyed our rights, freedom and liberty. Therefore, it is our right to abolish the existing form of government and institute a new government under our original founding principles. Those in control will not relinquish their power without violent conflict. That is how Fourth Turnings reach a climax. I have a feeling the fight will begin in earnest on November 4. Brace yourself and prepare to fight for the future of our country.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence – 1776

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By James Quinn

James Quinn is a senior director of strategic planning for a major university. James has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 22-year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He is married with three boys and is writing these articles because he cares about their future. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager.

These articles reflect the personal views of James Quinn. They do not necessarily represent the views of his employer, and are not sponsored or endorsed by his employer.

© 2019 Copyright James Quinn - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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