THE YEAR OF THE GREAT HOAX IS when millions of otherwise sensible people get the crazy notion that they are able to do something to shape the society they live in; when dupes are told, and being dupes believe, that they are electing a president. Nobody tells the dupes that they're pawns; in fact, they're called voters and they're flattered and bribed, excited and entertained. Everybody joins in the game--newspapers, television, movie stars, wealthy novelists, even your friends. They all refer to the robot who's going to be president by different names and even pretend that he's different people!"
In the year of The Great Hoax [ ran my argument in 1972 when I wrote this], it was hard to find anything else to play because the people who ran the game were trying to make sure nobody dropped out and all the others wouldn't even talk about it.
The best place from which to watch the game is from the top of the nearby hillside. That's where all the important people sit--the ones who don't care which way it comes out, because whoever 'wins' will still maintain the important things of life: oil depletion allowances, bank rates, germ warfare research, agribusiness, imperialism, the space race.
From this hill there's rather an amusing view of the valley below. It's much like the medieval battles that kings used to watch: dozens of knights on grey horses (a trick of the light makes them appear white close up) rushing around with banners waving, some with a handful of camp followers, others with countless throngs.
From time to time what at first had seemed like a minor rally on the sidelines suddenly surges forward sweeping hundreds of foot soldiers with it. The crowd twists and turns as all try to see if one of the mounted men has a clear advantage and can make a run up the valley. Which is a dead end, of course.
In the year of the Great Hoax there's a role in the game for everybody, each according to his naiveté or cynicism. Some declare outright that one cipher is superior to another or else maintain that there's no difference between them (true) until the last moments of the game when they suddenly discover that more virtue resides in one quarter than the others (false).
The all-important rule of the game is that it be confined to personalities: concepts and specifics are taboo. ‘Ending’ something (such as war or poverty) or ‘increasing’ something (the size of the Pentagon or welfare) may be advocated but the rules are insistent that as promises cannot--and will not--subsequently be kept that they must not be identifiable.
Mainly though, it's important that the players keep their eyes on the board and don't start thinking in terms of 'ideas' which might distract attention from the game itself or, heaven forbid, to the people atop the hill who are running it. Welcome to the Year of the Great Hoax.
Causes John Wilcock Supports
Aung San Suu Kiy