Most of us can accept that we’re in a world that is a twisted parody of what life should really be like. The world seems like a bizarre three-ring circus, with marching lines of honking clowns reflecting the people’s dumbfounded surrender to it all. It’s permanent absurdity. It’s Clown World. But how did it get like this?
Certainly life was not always this way. Reason used to prevail. Anyone old enough to remember the 1990s remembers a time when things mostly made sense, and the world generally appeared free of malice. There were plenty of bad things in the world then – as there always have been – but the common approach to solving these human problems was logical.
The contention of this author is that Clown World began on September 11th, 2001, with the World Trade Centre bombings in New York City.
Ever since this date, the world has been in a state of mass hysteria. This was first apparent from the lack of resistance to George W Bush’s PATRIOT Act, a set of laws that took away basic human freedoms from the American people. Some of those freedoms had, until then, been considered protected constitutional rights, but the degree of panic was so high that such concerns were ignored.
The West seemed to collectively decide that security concerns now weighed higher than liberty concerns.
The panic continued in the form of an intense fear of further attacks. With the American-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in the years following 9/11, anxiety about Muslim reprisals spiked. Indeed, there were many Islamic terror attacks in the West since 9/11. But there were also a great number of school shootings, which suggests that there was a general trend towards increased political violence.
This increase in spectacular violence (even as everyday violence decreased), coupled with a sharp increase in the presence of Muslims and Africans in the West, led to a level of tension that had never previously existed. This state of panic has now lasted for so long that it has been normalised.
This ongoing hyperanxiety has placed most people in a state of learned helplessness. Passivity and fear are now the default modes of being. The average person submissively and apathetically awaits further instruction from the television, daring not to think through the issues themself or with their friends. Desperation for relief for the anxiety keeps people engaged with the mass media.
Perhaps even worse than the terror threats has been the intensification of technological intrusions into our lives. Many people are now welded to their smartphones from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed, inhabiting a world which is often more digital than physical. This has inevitably led to a population which is disconnected from the natural world and its workings.
Most people under the age of 30 cannot remember what life was like before Clown World began. For them, the heightened panic and complete technological absorption is normal. The world has simply always been a paranoid, tense place with widespread surveillance. Any older person who claims otherwise is dismissed as viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses.
The history of Clown World has been the collapse of solidarity, the festering of political corruption, the relentless forward creep of the surveillance state and an intensification of the all-round fear of everything, pushed by a monomaniacal mass media in pursuit of a share of dwindling profits. This began with 9/11, and became a global affair thanks to the Madrid train bombings of 2004 and the London bus bombings of 2005.
Clown World intensified with the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. The collapse of American mortgage markets led to unprecedented economic measures, such as bank bailouts measuring in the hundreds of billions. After this crisis, it became impossible for the average worker to maintain the standard of living that they had become accustomed to.
This crisis was followed by record low interest rates, which allowed speculators to bid up the price of housing to the point where it was unaffordable for most people. Since 2010, Clown World has observed a sharp increase in the number of people who have moved back in with their parents. Today, more young people live with their parents than during the Great Depression.
From about 2015 onwards, it started to become apparent that the West had lost its greatest gamble, namely when it gambled on being able to assimilate millions of Third World immigrants. Those who assumed that Third World immigrants would simply adopt Western values out of gratitude were proven flat wrong.
It turned out that the leaders of Western countries, since opening the borders to the whole world in the 1960s, had effectively imported gigantic hostile elements that were now engaged in a low-level war of attrition with their host populations. The quality of life in every Western country was permanently lowered. It was the sort of mistake that could never be openly admitted to, lest the enraged populace drag the people responsible for it out into the street.
Unfortunately for the ruling class of the West, the Internet made it possible for the masses to share information that did not appear in the mainstream media. People became aware that they lived in a Clown World, and not one that was being run according to principles of wisdom or justice. The predictable consequence of widely recognising this truth: extreme anger on the part of the peoples whose countries have been destroyed.
In attempting to suppress this anger, so that it doesn’t boil over into violence, the ruling classes have pushed the intense brainwashing and narrative control that exists in Clown World at the time of writing, at the end of 2020.
At the end of 2020, the mainstream media is 24/7 brainwashing. The ruling class is doing everything they can to keep the ponzi scheme going, but the inexorable reality of currency depreciation means that the average worker in the West now has a standard of living comparable to the average Chinese worker. Young Westerners don’t have it any easier than young Chinese people when it comes to buying a house and raising a family.
2020 has seen widespread rioting across the Western World, amid immense despair at our future prospects. This is the current state of Clown World. Whether it gets better or worse from here on out is, at least partly, a matter of how well we understand the situation we’re in. This requires that we look at Clown World from both a specific and a general point of view.
This article is an excerpt from Clown World Chronicles, a book about the insanity of life in the post-Industrial West. This is being compiled by Vince McLeod for an expected release in the middle of 2020.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.