With the latest grotesquerie involving the airport backscatter X-ray scanners hitting the airwaves and newswires across a nationwide background of ever smaller, constricted and surveilled interstices in the tortured and convoluted matrix of complex national security apparatuses, a nation once heralded for its magnificent untrammeled awe inspiring sea to shining sea landscape is rapidly constricting into an infernal network of screenings, roadblocks, checkpoints, and sundry bottlenecks through which the American human cargo is funneled like the docile, captive, and compliant cattle upon which they so voraciously feed. checkpoints, and sundry bottlenecks through which the American human cargo is funneled like the docile, captive and compliant cattle which they so voraciously feed upon.
One has to ask what further indignities and outright humiliations await this forlorn assemblage of lemmings on their way to what to all appearances suggests is a most uncertain future and which has come to uncomfortably mirror the fate of those highly prized and succulent beasts whom we have increasingly come to resemble. Could it possibly be suggested that the progressive and incremental institution of these choke points upon entry to any arena of mass activity is simply conditioning and prepping the American people for an inevitable submission to possibly more draconian and extreme measures at identification, sequestering, and ultimate confinement?
Such important speculations are of course all but lost in a titillating and unseemly display of prurience as to the images produced by the "naked body scanners" and the scandalous reports of gropings and molestations which comprise the TSA goon squads attempts to "pat down" those unwilling to subject themselves to the backscatter X-rays. In a society awash in pervasive pornography, inundated with subliminally sexually suggestive media and advertising and floundering in a farrago of uninhibited and perverted sexual mores, it should come as little or no surprise that the general and ongoing violation of individual rights should now assume such a critical, invasive assault on our very physical bodies.
Indeed the ignominious disgrace of being caught naked in public is psychologically not only
something that haunts the collective nightmares but also signifies the very real conditions of absolute bondage, slavery, and helplessness in a state of captivity. Remember that the consciousness of nakedness was the first of the many Edenic curses and was emblematic of the primal separation from God and the newly forged bondage to the serpent and the thralls and curses of Original Sin. One has only to recall the recent notorious pictures of the abused and tortured naked prisoners at Abu Grhaib prison (photo right) to witness an eerily similar parallel to the psychological high tech rape and emasculation now occurring at major US airports. Forced and public nakedness and the ultimate shame and vulnerability it signifies plays an integral part in any coercive action which seeks to intimidate exploit and otherwise break the human spirit.
This inglorious state of affairs is not without precedent in the highly charged atmosphere of sexual politics which has come to play an increasingly significant role in the political arena. Though the breaking of the so-called sexual taboos and the subsequent "liberation" of sexual repressions are hailed by many as a sign of an enlightened and politically progressive society, subsequent appeals to state and civil authority to adjudicate, codify and legislate all matters sexual have resulted in unwonted intrusions by the body politic into the private affairs of its citizens all in the name of equal protection under law.
Thus the present furor over the high tech porn images being printed gratis at the nation's airports in the name of the national security state is somewhat redolent of the campaign of abortion rights activists, calling to mind their oft repeated mantras of "our bodies, ourselves" and "keep your laws off my body". The two seemingly disparate issues are joined by the correspondence of the invasive, unwelcome, and intrusive intervention of government agencies into the seemingly inviolate realm of individual privacy. More importantly, aside from any political considerations, the individual has become increasingly subject to highly impersonal technological imperatives which seek to objectify and subsequently exploit personhood and its most intimate expression in sexuality in the name of a specious collective identity and its supposed greater good.
In a wider sense it could be stated that at the core of these issues concerning our personal sexual identity rests the crucial question of individual liberty and our corresponding collective responsibility. Indeed issues of sexual identity and practice have come to assume an unprecedented primacy in social and political affairs since the advent of Freudian psychology. The application of Freud's sex theory in particular by his nephew and the "father of public relations," Edward Bernays, was elemental in the transformation of American society into a proving ground for the sublimation and exploitations of subconscious libidinal sexual energy in service to everything from Madison Avenue ad campaigns to manufacturing consent for military adventurism and the clandestine activities of intelligence agencies. At the crux of this radical departure in modern social affairs is a revealing statement of Bernays in his book "Propaganda"
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.
Freud, Bernays, and the social engineers at the notorious Tavistock Institute where the Viennese psychiatrist's theories were amplified and expanded into a largely unknown and yet highly influential program for mass social conditioning, inherently mistrusted the innate capacities and capabilities of a humankind which they believed was subject to only blind and irrational forces of the unconscious largely beyond the scope of a limited comprehension. The harnessing, direction, and ultimate exploitation of these dangerous libidinal forces by the psychological methodologies of an elite class of scientific puppet masters became the template for social control. This unrelievedly grim and rigidly deterministic philosophy has come to dominate our societies, transforming them into the mechanistic and restrictive gulags of fear which admit of such monstrosities as the backscatter X-ray devices and the repressive monolithic police state which they are emblematic of.