In the libertarian sci-fi classic, “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress,” Robert A. Heinlein describes a successful revolution of the individualistic, free-market-oriented residents of the Moon against the Earth’s tyrannical big government. The ins and outs of agitating and organizing the masses to fight the oppressive Authority feel just as realistic as the finer points of everyday life in the underground Lunar cities of the future.
The proposed revolutionary scenario could even serve as a workable model for similar real-life endeavors, if only the renowned futurist author hadn’t neglected to factor in the immanent function of any oppressive regime: systemic brainwashing of its subjects through the media, education, and entertainment channels.
If the tyrants on Earth were worth their salt, all the freedom-loving colonists would be subjected to an intense, manipulative indoctrination, which would shape their self-image as small and sinful “little guys” vis-à-vis the powerful, virtuous government that serves the powerless and protects them against all enemies, including themselves.
Thus, the government’s propagandistic narrative would establish the illusion of a society divided into three major classes: the ruling government class, endowed with benevolent powers to guide or punish; the majority class of hapless losers, whose survival depended on the government’s largesse and protection; and an unquantifiable class of demonized mysterious enemies of the government and, by extension, of the people, who would be the perceived culprits of all failures, hardships, and misery of the little guys’ everyday existence.
The majority class would itself be divided into an assortment of narrow-interest groups, held together only by the glue of government’s redistributive, pacifying and equalizing powers, as well as by their shared hostility towards the designated “enemies.”
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