Meg Lee Chin

Andy Warhol predicted that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. We are now at the threshold of that future. But are we making a mistake? In an age where our most intimate secrets are publicly revealed via social media have we consented irreversibly to the loss of our privacy? Are we hurtling toward a dangerous state of affairs? If so is there anything we can do?

This encroachment into our personal lives through the vehicle of technology seems to be a foregone conclusion. Google now knows more about us than our most intimate companions. Social Media is able to track us, trace us and predict our likely behavior. Meanwhile, the accompanying cache of our personal data and the pace of it's growth expands exponentially. The machinery which would enable centralized control of the human population is evolving before our very eyes. Were this awesome power to be harnessed by a malevolent force, the results would no doubt be devastating.

Are "We the People" heading recklessly toward a surveillance state with the complete monitoring of its citizens? Are we being herded headlong into a totalitarian society? Is this a deliberate plan imposed from above by a secret elite or merely the result of a natural evolution of social order based on the innately hierarchical nature of the human animal? My guess is that it is all of the above.

The human animal may be described as being paradoxical with a dual nature capable of having both one intention and its opposite simultaneously. With his dual nature, man can love while hating, help while hurting, or enjoy himself whilst in pain. Man is both a leader and a follower, a conformist and a rebel, a ruler and a slave. This multifaceted ability lends itself to the formation of hierarchical groups where this flexibility allows him a dynamic role in the pecking order. As such, man is both a leader of those below him and a follower of those above him. The pyramid shape is a visual representation of this innate organizing pattern within human groups. At the top of the pyramid is a concentration of power.

History reveals that while the position of the players within the hierarchy is dynamic and shifting, the pattern of organisation itself inevitably defaults to this pyramid shaped formation. The top is always in danger of encroachment from the shifting structure underneath. This insecurity creates a natural impulse for this powerful minority to stay in power. Indeed they have the means to do so. Thus the powerful minority exerts greater control in an ever increasing spiral toward a self perpetuating accumulation of power. This illustrates that at any given time, the existence of a tiny group of people with disproportionate control over the fates of others is the inevitable result of man's own nature.

The accelerated evolution of the internet provides us a forewarning of the natural tendency for human systems to move toward the consolidation of power and centralized control. Ten years ago there were a multitude of auction, shopping and entertainment sites. Today that large number has been reduced to just a handful of super sites such as Ebay, Amazon, Facebook and Youtube. This new distribution system resembles a kind of socialist centralized structure but has evolved organically via the new technologies. This has happened so quickly that for the first time in history we can watch the pyramid pattern emerge before our very eyes.

Thus not only is the current worldwide movement toward totalitarian rule both a natural evolution of social order based on the innately hierarchical nature of the human being but it is also being perpetuated by an elite few bent on further accumulating more and more power. Those conspiracy loons everyone laughed at were right all along. It really does look as if we are heading toward a New World Order.

What is the solution to this terrifying current trajectory? The answer may lie within the paradoxical nature of man. For while it is true that man is innately hierarchical and sheep-like, it is also simultaneously and equally true that man is rebellious, non conformist and a free thinker. Here is the secret to our saving grace;


Modern day reality television proves that even our most popular celebrities are afflicted with this human social disease called contrariness. But despite our difficult natures we humans still somehow manage to achieve great things. It seems our natural rebelliousness actually can be a virtue and may be our most powerful weapon against the New World Order.

As a society we place a high value on being "team players" and uphold the values of conformity as being right and good. Throughout our lives we strive for harmonious relationships. Idealists dream of a world where there is no ego, hierarchy or conflict and instead is only filled with of peace, love and "positivity".

But often the very act of avoiding conflict creates conflict. In denying the shadow side of our nature we create an imbalance which sometimes corrects itself in calamitous ways. We all know hippies who in their passionate pursuit of their idealized world view become fascists. We've watched the team become a mob. We are shocked to discover that the "perfect couple" is in therapy.

Since the beginning of time, groups of idealistic humans have attempted to form the perfect society free of conflict. The idea is that if they find the right "positive" people they will succeed in creating what humans throughout history have been failing at. But inevitably cracks appear in Utopia. The hippies abandon their communes when "negativity" creeps in. There are no perfectly positive people, only paradoxical people with a dual nature.

So is being unceasingly positive and good a reasonable goal? Hypocritically we admonish the German people for their role in the holocaust. Yet the majority were only doing what we have all been taught to do, which was to be good, obedient citizens.

A more realistic philosophy would be to take into consideration the true nature of man. Mankind will never achieve a blissful state of harmony, totally free of conflict. He can however learn accept and then transform conflict into useful energy.

Our current problems are not due to too much conflict but of too little. It is the refusal to deal with small conflicts on an individual and personal scale which has escalated into worldwide problems. What we need is a revolution driven by a philosophy of personal activism. This is activism on a small scale individual level. This is not about changing things globally. This is not about changing things nationally. This is about changing things on a personal level. This is about changing ourselves as individuals.

The world trend toward totalitarianism did not take place overnight. It happened through gradual erosion of our power through passive acquiescence. The pyramid is in place because "We the People" allowed it to happen slowly and incrementally in small steps. We continue to allow it to happen every day. Each and every one of us, every single day, makes the small decisions in our lives which cumulatively contribute to the current social order.

The solution is for each of us every day to practice small acts of defiance against the little things we concede to which allow the perpetuation of the pyramid structure. These acts should not be trivial or feigned just for the sake of being rebellious. Instead they should be valid stances against the million small things which rub our souls the wrong way and for which we say nothing about. These acts should be a rebellion against the countless times we suffer the things we know are wrong, just to keep the peace. I'm not saying that you should not be co-operative with your fellow man, but rather that you should be aware of the difference between cooperation and acquiescence.

Civilization was built upon the hierarchical co-operation of good citizens and this is not a bad thing. But blind acceptance of social rules that bind rather than serve is dangerous. Going against the herd is not easy. Peer pressure is a powerful force. It takes courage to combat the discomfort we feel at the mere thought of rejection by our peers. But like any other discipline or art, the strength to be a free thinking individual can be developed. By practicing small, liberating acts of defiance one can learn to endure the discomfort. Eventually one may even begin to enjoy it.

Do this and one day you may discover that you are free from society's most trivial and inane expectations. Released from the shackles of meaninglessness, you may discover a newfound freedom which you never knew you possessed. Like Dorothy learned in the Wizard of OZ, the solution to her problems was not external but internal. Dorothy had the power within to change things all along. The all powerful wizard controlling her fate was merely a weak little old man hiding behind pyrotechnics, smoke and mirrors.

Likewise the shadowy elite of the New World Order are merely a small number of insecure control freaks hiding behind an illusion of power. Each and every one of us, each and every day contributes to the shackles of our bondage by consenting to those little injustices which serve no purpose other than to bind us. It's time to rip open the curtain, see our oppressors for what they are and realize we have the power to resist. Stop blindly following the latest celebrity, guru, pseudo-intellectual, politician, prophet or other false authority. These people are the junk food of leadership created by the pyrotechnics, smoke and mirrors of our modern day media. They have no true leadership qualities. Like junk food they fool your senses, but behind all the gloss they are sorely lacking in substance. Learn to see past the hype. Seek that which is genuine.

As a workforce, we may not be as efficient. Henry Ford might be rolling in his grave. But we will probably be a lot happier. So go ahead, reject the pyramid and behold a new era of independent, free thinkers and self-determining individuals. Stick your neck out. Thumb your nose at the crowd. Just Say "NO" to the herd.