Invisible Dictatorship: One Dimensional Man vs the Emerging Multidimensional Individual

Germán Gorraiz López

Part I: The Bourgeois Society

Hermann Hesse in his book “Steppenwolf” (Der Steppenwolf, 1927), captures the feeling of anguish, despair and bewilderment that gripped European society in the interwar period and is a lucid analysis of the madness of an era in which the old is dying without the new having been born. In this work he scathingly criticizes bourgeois society (“the decadence of civilization”), an invisible dictatorship that annuls the ideals of the primitive individual and transforms him into an uncritical, fearful and conformist being who, sedated by the compulsive consumerism of material goods, inevitably swells the ranks of a homogeneous, uniform and easily manipulated society.

Thus, Hesse defines the bourgeois as “a person who always tries to place himself in the center, between the extremes, in a temperate and pleasant zone, without violent storms or tempests. Consequently, he is by nature a creature of weak vital impulse, fearful, afraid of giving himself away, easy to rule. That is why it has substituted power for majority rule, force for law and responsibility for the voting system. It is evident that this weak and frightened being, even existing in such considerable numbers, cannot sustain itself alone and in function of its qualities could not represent in the world any other role than that of a flock of lambs among wandering wolves…”.

Such reflections are still valid almost a century later, as the entry into recession of the European economies has implemented the stigma of uncertainty and disbelief in a society immersed in the culture of the Welfare State of the Western world.  This has subsequently led to a traumatic shock when the vertiginous transition from levels of welfare to the harsh reality of job loss and subsequent eviction, immersion in poverty thresholds and exclusive dependence on social subsidies, making a process of catharsis and subsequent collective metanoia inevitable. The term Metanoia (from the Greek metanoien), would be “a rhetorical statement used to retract some statement made and correct it to focus it in the right way to a new context”, which translated to the current socio-economic situation, would be translated as “transforming the mind to adopt a new way of thinking, with new ideas, new knowledge and an entirely new attitude to the irruption of the new socio-economic scenario”.

This will imply the double connotation of a physical movement (retracing the path we have walked) and a psychological one (change of mentality after discarding the old economic stereotypes in force in the last decade), which will have as beneficial effects the liberation of the untamed part of the primordial individual (the steppe wolf) that has remained crouched in a corner of the heart, sedated and oppressed by the tyranny of the consumerist manipulation of the current Western bourgeois society. Consequently, we will witness the emergence of a new individual reaffirmed in a solid critical conscience and sustained by values that have fallen into disuse, such as solidarity and collective indignation in the face of the prevailing corruption and injustice, who, under the slogan “forbidden to forbid”, will generate a popular tsunami of denunciation of the democratic, social and value deficit of the current ruling elite. Likewise, it will establish the constructive chaos that will end up diluting the opiate that inhibits critical conscience (compulsive consumerism) and provoke the necessary metanoia from hich a new individual (Multidimensional Individual) will be born, ready to break the rules and laws imposed by the dominant establishment.

Part II: Vaccine for Life

The current dominant system or establishment of Western societies would use the invisible dictatorship of compulsive consumerism of material goods to annul the ideals of the primitive individual and transform him into an uncritical, fearful and conformist being who will inevitably swell the ranks of a homogeneous, uniform and easily manipulated society through the techniques of mass manipulation. Thus, the German sociologist and philosopher Herbert Marcuse, in his book “One-Dimensional Man” (1964), explains that “the basic function of the media is to develop pseudo-needs for goods and services manufactured by the giant corporations, tying individuals to the cart of consumption and political passivity”.

A prime example of this would be the crusade in European countries to implement the COVID passport, which allows the vaccinated individual to have a QR code that will facilitate access to work, cultural and social life, but which would implicitly entail the obligation to be vaccinated and would violate the sacrosanct individual freedom recognized by the Constitution. Thus, the propaganda of the establishment is directed not at the individual subject but at the Group in which the personality of the one-dimensional individual is diluted and is wrapped up in the patchwork of false expectations created and common yearnings that sustain it (the vaccine is the salvation against the pandemic.

However, the outbreak of the health pandemic and the subsequent economic recession that follows implemented the stigma of uncertainty and disbelief in a society immersed in the culture of the Welfare State of the Western world, subsequently resulting in a traumatic shock when the limitations of non-sterilizing vaccines that do not prevent contagion became apparent. As a result, Western citizens will be immersed in lifelong vaccination while being controlled by the COVID passport to achieve a society that will be subjected to the dictates of the pharmaceutical monopolies of Pfizer and Moderna, with the sectors refractory to the health dictates being marginalized from the usual circuits of work, culture and leisure.

However, through the interactivity provided by the social networks of the Internet (the so-called Sixth Power that links and helps in the formation of modern identities), the endemic isolation and passivity of the submissive and uncritical individual of Western societies (one-dimensional Man) is breaking down and a new individual is already emerging. The new Multidimensional Individual is reaffirmed in a solid critical conscience, sustained by values that have fallen into disuse but are present in our atavistic code, such as the defense of sacrosanct individual freedom, solidarity and collective indignation in the face of the dictatorship of the pharmaceutical multinationals, and will be willing to break the rules and laws imposed by the dominant system (Sanitary Dictatorship).

Likewise, this individual would be provoking a popular tsunami of denunciation of the current democratic, social and values deficit under the slogan “forbidden to prohibit” and, together with the social revolts to protest against the high cost of living, could establish a constructive chaos that would end up diluting the opiate inhibiting critical conscience and could lead to a new May ’68.

Germán Gorraiz López is an economic and geopolitical analyst, he is a regular contributor to several Spanish and Latin American digital and printed publications.