The Mass Society, the Leadership Society, and the Totalitarian Threat

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by Michael S. Rozeff

Recently by Michael S. Rozeff: Gary S. Gensler’s Politically-Motivated Attack on Intrade


The federal government is becoming more and more totalitarian, and it is spreading this down to states and local governments. Collecting information on everyone is a prominent control mechanism of a police state. It’s easier for the government to institute this than supposed. It does it in steps, with each step being rationalized by its supposed benefits to security. Each step is done in the name of protecting society, but each step forcibly ends peaceful social relations and erodes their foundation.

It’s harder to escape the police state once it’s in place than might be supposed. The government controls people through the currency, settlement of transactions, communications, transportation, licensing, drones, informers, and of course guns, among other means. We can't all run away to fortified farms or live on a big self-sufficient farm on top of a limited access hill.

Alex Jones has been reporting on expanding privacy intrusions since last March and before, as here and here. Add to this the Patriot Act, the excessive claims of power by Presidents, the militarization of police, and the blurring of spy agencies and police and military agencies. Add to this the power to search anyone at almost any time. Add to this the possibility of labeling almost any activity as terrorist or in support of terrorism, and what results? We get totalitarianism.

America has many societies. The great and undistinguished masses of Americans form a society, the mass society. I do not mean this in a pejorative sense. Apart from the mass society is another society. This is the Leadership. It's also been called the Establishment or the Elite. The Leadership is a society open to whoever enters it by dint of desire, fame, power, money, influence, election, or a leadership position over large numbers of people in the mass society. People in the Leadership are either in the government, supporting the government, or controlling the government. Government and Leadership are fused. They permeate one another. Mass society is there for their control and management.

The theory of American government is based upon one American society. That American society is supposed to be separate from government. It is supposed to control government for the good of this society, keeping government from becoming too powerful. The reality is that the social leaders of America break away from mass society. They form the Leadership. Their loyalty is to themselves and to government as their tool, not mass society. They support government as a means of achieving their own aims, be they wealth, influence, advancement, power or whatever. They take over the governments at all levels and control them for their own ends. They manipulate the mass society and control it. Government does not serve the mass society in this system. Mass society serves the government. Social welfare programs don't serve mass society. They control it. They enable the Leadership to maintain and extend control. They generate mass support. The masses pay for their own welfare. In the process, they lose a large chunk of the taxes they pay that is siphoned off to the Leadership.

Whatever mass society is able to get for itself or maintain for itself is done by organizing and resisting the Leadership and its governments. Mass society has to protect itself against the Leadership and government constantly.

At present, such measures as the government’s legal capacity to designate American citizens as terrorists, its legal capacity to assassinate, its legal capacity to monitor every aspect of its citizens’ lives, its legal capacity to search at airports and other transportation checkpoints, and its legal capacity to set up checkpoints and query travelers — such things are trenching on freedom and privacy simultaneously. The Leadership wants it this way. Most individuals cannot hide out on a fortified farm and escape this. The American Leadership is taking these measures, not to control terrorism or terrorists, but to control Americans in the mass society.

The calls for gun control arising out of the Newtown tragedy are self-serving for those in the Leadership who want it, and equally self-serving for those in the Leadership who do not want it. The Leadership is not monolithic.

The Leadership’s actions are all self-serving. Government people and Leadership people, in many cases identifiably one and the same, serve themselves. They do not aim to serve Americans in the mass society. Every vote, every measure, every speech, every show of emotion, every appeal to the flag or patriotism, every appeal to the American spirit, every invocation of freedom, security and American greatness, every recollection of history and distortion of it, in short, every act of anyone in the Leadership and in Government is self-serving.

The Leadership’s self-serving actions act against mass society. The Leadership sends Americans to their deaths in needless wars. The Leadership extracts wealth from Americans and wastes it. The Leadership puts in place social programs that wreck families, neighborhoods, districts, and cities. The Leadership subsidizes enterprises that produce poisonous foods. The Leadership makes drugs into crimes and imprisons millions on that basis. If ever the Leadership’s actions happen to raise the welfare of mass society, this is because such actions happen to serve the interests of the Leadership at that time.

Those in the Leadership ally with others in the Leadership if it serves their mutual interests. They both cooperate and compete with others in the Leadership. This too is self-serving. They don’t ever enact measures with the interests of mass society as their aim, unless it happens also to serve themselves.

People in mass society are also self-serving. If it serves their ends, they aim for and join the Leadership. They turn their backs on mass society. This is one way in which the Leadership reduces resistance in the masses.

The key element in this war between mass society and Leadership society is the presence of the prize, which is government and its powers. Everyone is self-serving. We can live with this and control it if no one of us gains excessive power. What has to be reduced is the capacity of each of us to serve ourselves through invading the rights of others. Government power enhances that capacity. The Leadership exploits it. If government were strictly limited and controlled by the masses, the Leadership could be rendered inoperative or greatly weakened. The masses have failed at this in America. The Leadership has been winning. It has maintained and extended its control. Government power has grown.

Government does not serve mass society. Anyone who supports government of the kind we have in America, thinking that it's doing some good for some cause, is mistaken. The liberals who think that social welfare programs help the masses are mistaken. The progressives who think that labor laws help workers are mistaken. The populists who think that farm subsidies help small farmers are mistaken. The conservatives who think that military spending protects Americans are mistaken. I realize the enormity of the charge I am making. How can all these people be wrong about government?

One of the Leadership's tools is propaganda. The Leadership constantly propagandizes in order to legitimize existing government powers and expand them. Schools and universities are part of this system of propaganda. People are taught from an early age to think of government as a necessity and as a beneficial institution. They are inundated with this propaganda. There should be rebellion against the injustice of government. What happens instead is that this is channeled into political strife. People separate themselves into political factions like liberals, conservatives, populists and progressives. They then attempt to work within the system. But they are accepting the system when they do this. The Leadership has a divide and conquer strategy in place via this party system. As long as all discontent is through these contending factions and as long as the players and the masses accept voting as the resolution of the struggles, the Leadership remains intact and in control.

The internet at present is beyond the Leadership's control. There's hope there.

Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.

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