The ongoing fuss and bother over Brexit has, understandably, tended to overshadow many other aspects to life in the UK today but one thing that has pushed it off the front pages is the even greater furore over social media.
I have of course, written about this twice already, in both my last columns but I make no apologies for doing so again, although I will raise a related issue this time around. Even so, it is an issue that I have written of before and once again, I make no apologies for doing so yet still again. It is the hitherto uncommented upon problem of Logan’s Run. Uncommented upon by anybody except me of course.
I am sure that, for all those who know me and my habit of banging on about Logan’s Run, there are more who know not of it. So a reminder; Logan’s Run was a book, subsequently made in to a movie, with Michael York in the lead role of Logan. The story is set sometime in the future, a time when everybody lives in domed cities as the air outside is too polluted to breathe. Given the size of the dome, there are severe limits to the amount of housing available and limits to food supplies and so on, thus at the age of thirty, every citizen is required to be euthanized to make way for somebody younger. Put more bluntly, the state kills you after a mere three decades of life.
I need not go into the story any further except to say that Logan is an enforcement officer whose job it is to catch those who do not wish to die at thirty and try to escape, thus becoming ‘runners’ and while chasing one, Logan becomes a runner himself, hence the title of the tale. The relevance of this is quite marked if one compares it to the UK today – a small, over-populated place, with worries over food and housing. The big question is however, how did the citizens of Logan’s dome allow themselves to be persuaded, induced, conned or otherwise placed in to a situation where they meekly turn up at thirty to be officially bumped off by a state-sanctioned killer? The answer to that is again to be found in the UK of today.
Logan’s fellow residents had become a supine people, blindly following the state decree, and this is a phenomenon that is rearing its head more and more in this country. People no longer take responsibility for themselves, preferring to be told what to do by a narrow political elite. This is where the sometimes slavish devotion to the EU’s diktats and demands comes along; the message from Westminster, with regard to Brexit, is that despite their willingness to tell everybody else what to do, MPs don’t want the responsibility of a big political change, that of the UK leaving the EU. No, it is far better to simply be a member of a top-heavy bureaucracy than an independent sovereign state.
This flows down the chain to a significant number of others and it is why there is a love of law displayed by so many politicians. The thinking is that by creating a set of rules that cover every eventuality, nobody has to think for themselves anymore – this includes social media and its use. Politicians would rather say, ‘Let’s have a new law and tell people what they cannot do’, instead of saying, ‘Okay, we can do a little, but ultimately, it is up to people to take responsibility themselves for what they post and see on social media.’
Let’s put that slightly differently; instead of using existing laws to pursue those who post harmful and/or inappropriate content on social media, politicians prefer to take the easier path and restrict your use of it. In other words, removing responsibility from you. Parents do not have to supervise their children; its social media itself that is to blame, not you.
The result of this is that more and more young people grow up with the idea that they do not have to think for themselves. These young people then have children and bring them up with the same mindset and suddenly Logan’s Run is established and everybody dies at thirty. The most obvious manifestation of this is the way older people are treated in the UK - the old are a nuisance.
Whether it is supervising your children properly and ensuring that they are not viewing harmful material on the internet, whether it is running the country ourselves instead of being run by a distant, unelected band of self-appointed superiors, or even deciding for ourselves how many bedrooms we are allowed to have in our homes, too many in the UK today want somebody else to decide.
We are indeed on the cusp of Logan’s Run.
© Kevan James 2019
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