What happened in 2020
The incredible acceleration of a process of social evolution, which had already been going on for decades.
Social changes, that were thought to require decades to come to completion, were realized for the best part in three months - and will be completed in a few years at most.
The changes I am talking about are:
I want to clarify the use I'm making of the concepts "quality" and "defect". I am talking of these concepts as ideas that are "chosen" and approved by the whole society, not just by its upper levels.
To be more precise, it was an acceleration of the two social concepts above (single thought, control of individuals); the social changes that strengthen these concepts are to be considered as mere "implementation details".
These two concepts are perfectly consistent with a political and social view of China and its underlying Far Eastern culture. It is a deep, stable and thousand-years-old culture, with the "stated objective" of becoming the leading world cultural model within the next thirty years.
These two concepts are also "perfectly" consistent with another concept, apparently more occidental in nature: assuming that monetisation is a quality. With this I mean: assuming that monetising all actions and even thoughts, whether human or artificial, is a good thing.
From this originates a great synergy of purpose between these two political and geographical blocs, which would otherwise be in contrast.
I defined the actual social changes a mere "implementation detail" because the point is not whether they are A and B, or X and Y. The underlying point is instead to make the three social concepts that I mentioned unique and unconditional, on a global scale:
In order to be thorough, I want to list here a few social changes that are being implemented now:
Of these changes, the most important - and the only one I will focus on here - is
The universal income.
This is the basis of the whole construction, and it is the main instrument to implement the three crucial social concepts above.
The universal income shows the following features:
Note that here I am using the term "State", but this is incorrect: in actuality, each State will be replaced by supranational entities. In Europe, these will be the EU and the various European institutions - it must be understood that the national Parliaments are viewed as no more than ties and limitations, which surely must be stripped of their power.
To make an example, I will now describe a possible operative scenario of the universal income, as well as its implications:
One more example, a little less "out in the open": The State creates a number of social limitations to those that do not deserve the universal income, and "incentives" to those that do; this will render the majority of the population unable to choose to renounce to it. Some examples of social limitations: preventing access to the best schools or the best professional courses, "incentives" to the companies that hire those that deserve the universal income, "incentives" to those that spend their time with those people, creating "spheres of interpersonal relations" that will be impenetrable from the outside. Basically, if an individual accepts the logic of the universal income, when he leaves it he will become a pariah - he will not have a formation that allows him to find a job, he will not have any private savings, he will not have any social relations with so-called "decent" people.
One more observation about family. The family is potentially an enemy of the single thought, since it currently provides the main ethical frame of reference for a child. This means that today each family gives a specific "educational" mark to its children, which is potentially different from that of any other family. For the single
A thought regarding an important entity, a "stone guest", I have not yet mentioned: The Artificial Intelligences. I will only say this: "they" are completely serviceable to the concepts of single thought and control of individuals. Therefore, in the social changes we are experiencing they will become pervasive, until they move from "object" to "subject" - but this is another topic entirely, one that would not fit in the scope of this brief page :-).
Before reaching my conclusion, I would like to suggest a "third way" between the first way, "the world before 2020", and the second way, "the world after 2020":A public and transparent process of decentralisation, which is compatible with separate and different models of society. This would maintain all the concepts and the changes above, but doing so in a public and transparent, with no tricks, deceits, lies, no "newspeak", no manipulation of data, without any concept of privilege level in the access of data. This model would not be hostile towards any who try to create a society that is not based on the three concepts above, or at least not on the single thought. In my opinion, to make a fruitful cooperation possible, the best way would be to have a shared, pervasive tracking in both societies - while the concept of "black box" seems harder to realize, although not impossible.
Is this utopia? Yes, but a feasible one.
In conclusion, here follows an observation concerning my country, Italy. In the last 17 centuries Italy has been repeatedly invaded by Europe, and Europe by Asia. On the other side, Italy is a peninsula of Europe, and Europe is a peninsula of Asia. Even so, Italians are "Italians", and it has always been very hard to conquer a nation and to maintain a cultural governance over it.
P.S. I'm writing these words in a fresh pine forest next to the sea, not far from Venice, July 10th, 2020. Yet, this essay is mostly derived from my "dystopian short story" written in the period from April 24th and June 2nd, 2020