Opinion Politics

Christmas 2016: A Dystopian Descent Into Tyranny But With Bells And Whistles

Christmas 2016
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It’s been a very tough winter for democracy, freedom and human rights, with the Snoopers Charter/Investigative Power Act, Digital Economy Bill and fake news all paving the way for censorship.

This article is more than just general bitching about the state of Tory rule: this is a panicked acknowledgement that we’re at the edge of the precipice, jumping straight into totalitarianism. I see nothing to celebrate here. Christmas is devoid of humanity. It’s a sinister shopping festival with forced smiles, overpriced useless junk and cheesy music. I don’t celebrate Christmas: I dread it.

From the noble teachings of a political dissident — Jesus, the content of Christmas has shifted into a fragrant violation of his most sound humanitarian and honest principles: remember the Cleansing of the Temple? Christian values are trashed and denigrated with Christmas. He would have a fit or rage with these obscene exhibits of greed. The monstrous thing is the contrast between the false prosperity of some with the extreme poverty of downtrodden pensioners, disabled and young people pushed into homelessness on the side.

The two worlds coexist in the Christmas market as parallel universes clashing – one pseudo-lavish class ignoring the other as its convinced meritocracy is real and the poor deserve it. Evil runs society and its festival is Christmas. Hasn’t anyone noticed how convenient that Jesus’ birth is celebrated with BUYING lots of shit, most of which ends up as unwanted gifts up on eBay anyway? Or forgotten in an attic? Almost like a neoliberal ploy.

I look at mountains of coloured shiny presents, with bells and whistles and Christmas carols, and I see child slave labour, suicide nets in China, desperate kids sifting through e-waste, girls getting cancer from chemicals in the production of cheap throw-away jewellery. Friends and family tell you you’re negative, and you should enjoy and live a little. Tell them they’re negative, as their collective greed craze is robbing youth of their future.

In 1989, I celebrated Christmas with promise of freedom. I was under the tree, hiding from bullets flying in the Romanian revolution, my head drowned in baubles, my eyes blinded by Christmas lights. My mum held me while my dad was out to fight with the students. On the 24th of December, we watched Ceausescu get killed on our small black and white TV, with chants of triumph. There was blood on the streets, we were hungry and had no presents. But we were free. It’s always been a liberation holiday for me, in parallel to droves of drones who celebrate here, in the West, further entrenchment in tyranny.

This Christmas is, I think, the official re-descent into tyranny for me. Snoopers Charter, Digital Economy Bill, and the mountain of other unlawful freedom-crushing legislation to come, are a tightening noose, taking our internet, that liberated us, and making it a harrowing, sci-fi jail. A form of mind control so scary and extreme nobody could have pictured this in the Gulag.

I AM IN MOURNING. I am going into 2017 a sad, terrified prisoner. The “free world” is a nightmare, and the artificial festive cheer a sideshow designed for fools to inebriate their intellect so as to not notice the deepening abyss.

(Image courtesy of Alan Cleaver on Flickr)

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Witnessing the Iron curtain collapse as a Romanian child forever colored my political leanings & understanding. Now a Labour and Momentum activist, I write for socialist paper the Word and tweet at @MaraLeverkuhn. Freedom is the ultimate goal, reclaiming democracy the strategy. The first step of which—to analytically undo sediments of mainstream misinformation.