Saturday, January 5, 2008


About a week ago John Robb at Global Guerillas posted a truly frightening little essay called Privatopia, in which he considers what the US might look like under a fully privatized, corporate regime. Robb's not known for his optimism, and he's true to form here: the vision he presents is one in which the entire US government (along with every government around the world) has been sold off at fire-sale prices to multinational corporate interests, with what's left behind mainly functioning to service the national debt. At one point, he mentions that the privatization is popularly but 'incorrectly' termed "The Great Theft".

He goes on to paint a picture in which most of the country is continuously paralyzed by riots and civil disobedience, controlled by a mixture of surveillance technology and mercenary security forces meting out summary justice to criminals (empowered to do so by automated court systems that give their verdicts in seconds, based on evidence collected from the surveillance network.)

There was a time, not so long ago, when I would've positively lusted for a future like this: grim, dangerous, gritty, straight out of the cyberpunk novels I feasted on as a teenager. Now, older and, if not wiser, at least more jaded, the prospect of the future John Robb sees is just deeply, viscerally terrifying. Give it a read, though, because he shows exactly what the New World Order has in store for all of us.

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