By Karl Radl
Irving E. Cox’s 1955 science fiction novella, ‘The Cartels Jungle’, tells the story of how a newly retired young military officer named Max Hunter falls afoul of globalist anarcho-tyranny after his fiancée, Anne, discovers a new method of mind-control (aka correct ‘mental adjustment’) and how Hunter goes about fighting that system.
The dystopian world that Cox puts Hunter in is one reminiscent of George Orwell’s more famous ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’; ostensibly, a bi-polar world of two large corporations who both operate in the only surviving city of Earth, aka Los Angeles, and enforce a phony peace on the planet after nuclear war had destroyed every other city.
In this world, the two global corporations are in partnership with an Orwellian trade union named the United Free Workers (or UFW for short) and the people have to work for one of the two corporations directly (if they possess the necessary skill set) or join the UFW. Through the novel, we see Hunter battle this ostensibly bi-polar – but in reality tri-polar – system and come out at the end only to discover that – contrary to their propaganda image – the two corporations and the UFW are run by decrepit, degenerate human beings who think only of their personal self-interest and spend all their time living in a utopian bubble created by their wealth, behaving dismissively with downright heedlessness of the daily struggles of the people beneath them.
Cox’s novella isn’t a direct parallel to our world – it was published in 1955 after all – but much of what it suggests could happen has come to pass, albeit in different ways. In the modern Western nation state, people are forced to work for huge corporations or those wholly dependent on them, such as the technology giants Google, Apple and Microsoft or the big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Purdue.
If you don’t work for such corporate giants then you are either working in a subsidiary or supplier to them or you work for the state in some form or another. The state is the modern analogy to Cox’s UFW with the state – like the UFW – artificially dictating wage levels dependent largely on how much wealth the state has in its local or national budget for that area, rather than the socio-economic utility and/or skill level of the job.
Due to the development and need for ‘good references’ in the labour market these days – particularly in the United States but a lesser version of this has developed in Europe – employees don’t tend to leave to go to work for other corporations, but instead seek promotion inside corporations which is notoriously slow and often based on internal politics and nepotism rather than merit. This means that people are tied up and personally invested in the corporations in terms of their careers like never before, but yet are also suffering extraordinarily high levels of alienation and anomie at the same time.
This means that people are staying ostensibly ‘loyal’ to corporations in terms of their employment. They are not doing so because they have bought into the corporation or its brand, but rather because they need the monthly pay check to survive and cannot easily transfer to another corporate entity because of the corporate ability to abuse the ‘reference’ system to punish ‘disloyal’ employees.
When you add in the ever-rising levels of consumer debt – usually credit card related – and the gleeful ease with which corporate creditors of private citizens will send in the bailiffs to extract their pound of flesh, then it isn’t a wonder that people’s consumerism – fed by corporations pushing products to fulfill needs that you didn’t even think you had – combined with the unmerciful use of the letter of law to crush anyone who dares to default their debts has led to the situation where people today are alienated and suffering from ennui. They are stuck in jobs that they are unable to quit or transfer to another corporate entity lest the house of cards that is the personal finances of most of the population in both Europe and the United States comes crashing down.
Like in Cox’s novella, people want the system to collapse, but the majority of the population just do their best to live as ‘men among the ruins’ so-to-speak and get on with their humdrum average lives with only members of the resistance trying to ‘make changes from inside’. This is a situation that was addressed most pointedly by the most vilified – and most successful – opponent of this econocentric system of modern times when he spoke disdainfully in ‘Mein Kampf’ about the men ‘inside the system’ who claim that they are ‘making changes’.
As Adolf Hitler pointed out – and we have in the successful election campaign of Donald Trump and him then doing the opposite of what he was elected to do – this claim – often made by those associated with the so-called ‘Alt Right’ – is nonsense precisely because it envisions both corporations and the state as static mechanical entities that will not defend their perceived interests and ideological orthodoxy, let alone aggressively do so.
So, when the ‘Deep State’ comes into play, the champions of a nationalist ‘takeover of the Republican party’ have the same problem as the resistance to the system that Cox writes about in ‘The Cartels Jungle’ in that they are stuck in the paradox of acting as enablers and enforcers of the system because they don’t want to get fired while also trying to not enable or enforce the system.
In essence, they become part of the system they profess to fight and at best do the worst thing possible by alleviating the mistaken pressure the system is putting on the people, thus turning down the temperature so that the proverbial frog is more comfortable.
What they fail to appreciate – and the lesson that Hitler offers in ‘Mein Kampf’ – is that both corporations and the state can only be viewed as large organisms – they are after all composed of and run by organisms, not mechanical devices – and that a response, and likely an aggressive response, will occur; like a body, that system’s enforcers – whether it be human resources or the police – will eject anyone who ‘doesn’t represent the values’ of that system.
This is the problem that Cox addresses by having the protagonist Max Hunter engage in a heroic one-man crusade – backed up by multiple other people who help him knowing that he is now persona non-grata within the system – against the corporations and the UFW which ends in Hunter becoming the new messiah within the system itself. It is only then that Hunter and anti-system resistance in general can make changes and it is only through one leader’s bold heroism, transformative actions and subsequent self-created ‘Messiah’ status that change occurs and the rest of the people get on with their lives like nothing of note had happened, but we are told that change will now happen.
This importance of the hero – or political messiah if you will – to radical and/or revolutionary change was outlined in detail by the British political philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, in his ‘Heroes and Hero Worship’, whereby he explained how history has been shaped not by ideas but rather by the actions and attitudes of visionary leaders.
After all, would Christianity have succeeded in propagating and spreading itself as a religion without the bloody public sacrifices of hundreds, if not thousands, of Christian martyrs in the arenas and public spaces of the Roman Empire?
I think not; it was through witnessing the strength of their belief that others converted to Christianity because they wanted to be like them and have that same strength of will and purpose.
Similarly, Hitler himself struggled up from the gutters and homeless shelters of Munich to become first a decorated war hero then a populist revolutionary, and then transformed into the visionary leader of the most socially and technologically advanced country in the world at that time. He didn’t do this through sitting on the side-lines and pontificating in editorials in the ‘Völkischer Beobachter’, but rather he cultivated his talents, refined his ideas and fought in the streets, bars and beer halls of Germany and even took to the skies to proclaim his mission to the German people. Those people then saw in Hitler and the many Nazi public martyrdoms – such as that of Horst Wessel and Herbert Norkus in Berlin – something they not only could respect but admire and want to emulate.
That is the power of the hero and what we need is not more people telling us that ‘they will change things from the inside and take over a mainstream party’ but a new political messiah.
We need a new Adolf Hitler.
And he is coming.