Friday, June 20, 2008

As William S. Burroughs said, Control Needs Time, re: the U.S.

Burroughs, in the period starting with "The Wild Boys" and ending with "Cities of the Red Night", developed an interesting notion of what Control is and how it functions. Control, with a big 'C', is the sort of capitalistic, elite control complex that dominates both the State and the media. Burrough's insight, or one of them, repeated over and over again, is that "Control needs TIME". And why does Control need time? Control needs time in which to exercise continual control. If Control established a hyper authoritarian state overnight it would defeat the purpose of controlling and exploiting people since that would also destroy completely the fabric of society itself. You might have complete control over people but what you'd control wouldn't be very good or sophisticated. So Control needs time in which to exercise and to possibly escalate the degree of control. How does this fit into the United States?


The post 9/11 world has depended on bleeding people's civil liberties, their belief in basic rights, their opposition to war, dry. There was the initial rush to install all sorts of authoritarian devices but it hit a wall where, I'm assuming, the people in charge realized that if they went any further they'd have a mass armed revolt on their hands or a civil war. After that period passed the agenda of the Bush administration was passed little by little, with stonewalling as the biggest tactic, delaying, and when stonewalling and delaying responses to people's criticisms didn't work just going on and openly doing what it was they wanted to do anyways, like invade Iraq.

But this sort of passive authoritarianism depends on a long time of guaranteed power with which the agenda can be more and more realized. If that power is interrupted the subtleness of what they've done will blow away like so much dirty dust. They seem to have no awareness that their power will be at an end in about six months, and that in four the successor of Bush will have been chosen and in place for January.

With six months left, they must be realizing that it's going to be hard to invade Iran before the clock runs out. It's going to be even harder to take action against Syria, and North Korea is probably off the table entirely, because it's a different type of situation.

The escalation of saber rattling will go no where, and even if McCain replaces Bush the Bush Control program, so to speak, will have been dismantled, leaving many more opportunities for the public to confront McCain effectively than they had with Bush. Or at least many more easier opportunities, with the word "easier" being used advisedly.

The whole 9/11 gestalt will hopefully collapse because it will have run out of the Time necessary to exercise Control in.

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