If you didn’t know what ‘The Nanny State’ meant, you’d be forgiven for thinking it almost sounds endearing. As if Nanny is somehow watching over you, keeping you safe in your childlike state, unaware of the big meanies out to get you in an ever more dangerous world.
A quick search of the news throws up many examples of Nanny Statism;
- The installation of CCTV cameras in creches
- Sherbet lemons and liquorice allsorts among classic sweets that could be banned in nanny state blitz on sugar
- ‘Nanny state’ council asks Aussies to dob in people who break smoking rules
- ‘Smart lamppost’ torn down in Hong Kong as fears of nanny state grow
- Are we living in a ‘Nanny State’?
Unfortunately, the Nanny state is a real and growing problem and because it is so diverse and coming from all angles, it is difficult to stop. What we can agree on, is that the Nanny State is designed to monitor and control every aspect of your life while at the same time dumbing you down so you don’t realise it. It is designed to instill a deep dependency within you on the State for all things and watch you in case you should stray outside what the state wants you to do. It is depriving you of freedom in every sense of the word – freedom of thought, expression and action. It is moulding you into a product, a commodity that can be controlled and directed as the state pleases. And invariably, the state will want you to do what Big Business wants you do do – work, consume, work. In that order. It’s a theme we will keep coming back to. The Nanny state is not some accidental over-reaching by a few zealous civil servants into your life, but a very deliberate strategy that causes people to go through life on a mindless journey of work and consumption. It strips any meaning from our lives, deprives us of the freedom to pursue our purpose and ensures that control rests with the few rather than the many.
But lets break it down so we can get a clearer picture of how the Nanny State is designed – we’ll look at three broad categories namely, 1. Dependency, 2. Deprivation and 3. Control
When you are dependent upon the state for your survival it means you are more obedient and compliant with instruction. This means the state acts to make its citizens more dependent on it for a)healthcare, b)housing, c)education and d)safety. Within this dependency system, you learn to obey and carry out the instructions given to you – making you more compliant, hour by hour, day by day.
a.) When you are dependent on the state for healthcare, you accept the status quo because your illness forces you into a position where you have no other choice. Keeping healthcare in a state where it is just enough to keep you alive to work but not good enough to actually heal you benefits big business, big pharma and those that wield the power in the state. You are just the pawn. Our Healthcare extends to the food we eat – this is why the food we eat has been destroyed by Big Business and it is now easier to produce and sell pesticide laden, genetically modified plants or antibiotic stuffed, growth hormone pumped animals. Our water is pumped full of fluoride.
Remember when food was grown organically but now producers need to take out licences and the whole process is more complicated, expensive and difficult for small businesses to do? That’s a deliberate policy.
b.) Dependent on the state for housing means one of two things – either you rent or have a house because the state provided you with one or the state controls the laws of the housing market. In the first instance, you are dependent on the state because it is the state that literally provides you with shelter for your family. In the second case, the state will make it so expensive to own or a rent a house that you will have no choice but to get on the work hamster wheel. This means you will have no time to notice what the state is doing and so you eventually end up following the crowd in the work, consume, work cycle. You cannot spend hundreds of thousands of euro on a house and be free. Unless you happen to be rich, win the lotto or get a good inheritance! The rest of us have no choice but to spend most of our lives working, for the basic human need of shelter.
c.) With Education, the state controls what you are taught but more importantly, how you are taught. It is true that the victor writes the history. The state, from day one of school, instills in all people subservience to those in authority and obedience to the system. You cannot work without being certified by the system of Education-Obedience. It is the system that everybody must fit into. The system is not designed to be of service to the user, the user must be of service to the system. Did you ever have to crawl through loops just to access something in the system? This is you fitting into the system. At very few points, is the system designed to be of any benefit to the user.
d.) Safety is one of the qualities we seek out the most. Being safe means feeling comfortable pursuing our dreams, our goals, our meaning. Living in an environment that is unsafe, engenders a level of anxiety and dependency on the state. It is a state of living in fear. How do you keep people feeling this low level trauma of being unsafe? You can allow certain people rack up hundreds of convictions for low level crimes. They are continually let out by a system that needs everyone else to feel unsafe. You can engender fear by bad new stories, or by creating ‘them’ and ‘us’ narratives. You can engender fear by telling falsehoods about other countries, tribes or people, people that are really just like you and me. Or how about the feeling that your overly expensive house will be seized if you do not keep up repayments? All these things work on fear. We do not live in a safe environment, but have stresses and strains coming at us from all angles.
If you feel unsafe, you will not attempt to change the only system you believe is keeping you somehow safe. We have a remarkable ability to prefer a bad situation than an unknown situation.
Deprivation of freedom is actually a critical component of a Nanny State because when you are deprived of real freedom, it is difficult to see how you are being controlled. So meaningless is your existence that every day is just a chore to afford life in general and in this state, we reach for anything that may lift us out of our deprivation – that means we buy things we don’t need or we go places just to say we ‘did something’ (e.g. the cinema or the mall). This consumption, this deprivation that makes us consumers instead of people is just part of the work, consume, work cycle.
Our deprivation can be broken down into 3 components – freedom of movement, freedom of thought and our spiritual freedom. Our freedom of movement is curtailed by anything that the state does that limits our ability to go where we want to without going through a process of control. Our freedom of thought is deprived by our education but also because we are so busy on the work, consume, work cycle that we cannot stop to think about what brings us real joy or what we wish to do with our lives. Our spiritual freedom is deprived because we are only able to pay fleeting moments of attention to anything other than ourselves and so we lose our connection to something bigger than us. We lose our connection to the earth, to the universe and to each other. We are individualised, named, numbered, classed – anything that enhances our belief that we are somehow separate and distinct from everyone else is a very deliberate policy. This individualisation of the person deprives us of our sense of belonging. It places us in a position of comparing ourselves to ‘others out there’, engenders the sense that we are in competition with them. It is ‘them’ and ‘us’.
Truth is, most of us don’t know who lives around us anymore. Truth is, that you’ve been individualised, disconnected and deprived of any sense of support or belonging to a tribe.
Control is the element that most people commonly associate with the Nanny state. They usually relate it to CCTV, satellites, tracking devices – anything that allows the state to monitor our movement or our activity. Ever increasing levels of control by the Nanny State induce in us ever more obedience. With every new law we lose that bit more of our ability to be free. With every new law, the sense that we are dependent and deprived increases. In barely perceptible steps. This is why we don’t notice. This is why we don’t protest. Bringing in incremental laws, slowly over time is the same as the cruel analogy of boiling a frog alive. We are the frogs.
If we think of being Free as at one end of a spectrum and being under Total Control at the other end, laws are the gentle pushes that nudge us ever more towards being under total control. We just don’t know we’re being pushed. We just don’t have time to look up from our dependency and deprivation to understand that we are being shaped into zombies, billions and billions of zombies that go to work to afford shelter, barely live healthy lives ,endlessly consume and obey, obey, obey, before finally, we lie out in our death beds, never really having lived at all.
But hey, don’t worry! At least they’re making the 4th Matrix film.