The impossibility of dropping out? ….
Our protest culture, whatever the historical precedents, be it baby boomers of Woodstock or back to the desert hermits and mystics of yore; whatever the worthiness of its aims, noble and earnest the approach may be; they must inevitably discover that from technocracy there is no escape, even if it appears possible that the society that weighs on mankind can be overthrown and the willing serfs of the machine can rebel and create a newer, more just, order. Rightly or wrongly, there are objections to a certain form of order. And it is interesting to ask ourselves whether, at any period of history, people have felt similarly stifled by an all-pervading order.
In most cases of course, the reverse has been true. The Anglo-Saxons, thankful for a year of respite from Viking raiders, looked for a strong king to defend them. In Shakespeare’s history plays, weakness in a ruler is considered the ultimate disaster, leading to anarchy and civil war. At moments of upheaval such as the French Revolution, tyranny has been more easily supported than anarchy. Human history has been dominated by the desire for an ordered society- often to the detriment of those very individuals who chose a “strong” man or a party of “order” only to find they had created a system of lawful illegality, an order of criminal anarchy.
…It may well be the very universality of our technological civilization that is intimidating. There is no refuge from social security card, tax filing, university education; in effect no recourse from the whole buraucratic apparatus with which the advanced state governs its citizens, more or less benevolently. It is probably less easy to lead the life of a hermit today than it was in fourth-century Egypt, and as for living the simple life of a poet, it is akin to angels beating wings of bronze and crash landing on asphalt.