Toohey’s “world of future”, is this?
December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Aam Aadmi. How proud we are to call ourselves that.
NGOs. Social Service. How proud we are to call that our profession, our calling in life.
Opinions. Views. Everywhere. Talk about a topic and we are sure to refer to one or reflect their objective.
Our thoughts? “That’s what she said”.
Etiquettes. Society quos. Courtesies. Log kya kahenge? Koi dekhelega toh?
We worry so much about what others have to say about our thoughts, our actions. We try so hard to please everyone around us. Agree with each one.
Diplomacy: the flavor of the society.
All this makes me wonder: Are we living in Toohey’s “world of the future”?
Ya, guess I am still not over Ayn’s classic. But then again, are we?
“A world where the thought of each man will not be his own, but an attempt to guess the thought of the brain of his neighbor who’ll have no thought of his own but an attempt to guess the thought of the next neighbor who’ll have no thought—and so on, around the globe. Since we must agree with all. A world where no man will hold a desire for himself, but will direct all his efforts to satisfy the desires of his neighbor who’ll have no desires except to satisfy the desires of the next neighbor who’ll have no desires—around the globe. Since all must serve all. A world in which man will not work for so innocent an incentive as money, but for that headless monster—prestige. The approval of his fellows—their good opinion—the opinion of men who’ll be allowed to hold no opinion. An octopus, all tentacles and no brain. Not judgment, but public polls. An average drawn upon zeroes—since no individuality will be permitted. A world with its motor cut off and a single heart, pumped by hand. The hands of a few, very few other men who know what makes you tick—you great, wonderful average, you who have not risen in fury when we called you the average, the little, the common, you who’ve liked and accepted those names. You’ll sit enthroned and enshrined, you, the little people, the absolute ruler to make all the past rulers squirm with envy, the absolute, the unlimited, God and Prophet and King combined. Vox populi. The average, the common, the general. Do you know the proper antonym for Ego? Bromide. The rule of the bromide. But even the trite has to be originated by someone at some time. We’ll do the originating. Vox dei. We’ll enjoy unlimited submission—from men who’ve learned nothing except to submit. We’ll call it ‘to serve’. We’ll give out medals for service. You’ll fall over one another in a scramble to see who can submit better and more. There will be no distinction to seek. No other form of personal achievement.”
This most unforgiving speech by Toohey really gives me the creeps. Goosebumps. Not because of his sharp and stinging tongue but because it seems so …close to heart. A ruthless reflection of today..
And he doesn’t stop just there.
“Remember the Roman Emperor who said he wished humanity had a single neck so he could cut it? People have laughed at him for centuries. But we’ll have the last laugh. We’ve accomplished what he couldn’t accomplish. We’ve taught men to unite. This makes one neck ready for one leash. We found the magic word. Collectivism. To act together. To think—together. To feel—together. To unite, to agree, to obey. To obey, to serve, to sacrifice. The individual is held as evil, the race—as God. No motive and no virtue permitted—except that of service to the race. We’ve fixed the coin. Heads—collectivism, and tails—collectivism. Fight the doctrine which slaughters the individual with a doctrine which slaughters the individual. Give up your soul to a council—or give it up to a leader. But give it up, give it up, give it up.”
Are we giving up? Have we given up? Have we successfully sold our souls to give way to a world of collectivism?