look at how the game is played, whether by overt totalitarian muscle-heads, the mafia model that putin embraces from the ashes of the union soviet, the bullying model of ideological "communism" or glorious homeland fascism (all seeking to diminish the individual in the face of some "greater good") or the friendly propaganda of the corporate/consumerist state that uses the veneer of liberal democracy to excuse a "first amendment" right (corporations are people too) to convince all, from kindergarden to college, that the true expression of human fulfillment is to work for ducats so you can have enough ducats to buy enough stuff to show everybody you know that you are successful and happy (thus also same thing as it diminishes the individual in the face of a "greater good" that would be impossible without their glorious products).
individual happiness, disconnected from the machinery of production? individual happiness, embracing the greater good of mutual community? individual happiness, eschewing the happy shiny emblems of success, refusing to wave flags of awesome affiliation in the faces of their fellow human beings? dirty fucking lazy hippies, on drugs or shirley mclaine unicorn crazy new-age ohm ohm lsd fantasy mumia-t-shirt (tbogg you fucking middle-class dnc shill i'm talking to you) meth-dream marijuana melt-down a-pox-on-proper-and-serious-society motherfuckers. (there's a reason the fbi keeps tabs on the almish - they somehow accomplish a sober and somber facet while still being exactly what the ptb hate. the tie-dye happy crowd is much easier to marginalize.)
(isn't it deliciously bizarre and funny the way icon of american-dream-success-story jobs' death has tickled this lsd=innovation meme? i certainly think so)
thoughtful, allegorical fiction and sci-fi is allowed in the freewheeling propaganda of our "first amendment" liberal democracy because its suppression would be too obvious - people revolt immediately. the more applied totalitarianism of communist/mafia/fascist models do this, they fail with obvious embarrassment. all you need is a couple of solzenitchens, with secret publishing, smuggling, archipelagos, etc. to creep in from the underground and excite the public glands and the unwelcome revolution comes too quickly and obviously, oops. we like to make fun of this stupidity here in the enlightened west.
so in the enlightened west we get the democratic veneer with its "liberal" literature and arts, but there is the plausible deniability of these outrageous fictions. the matrix: people aren't "really" batteries being sucked on by some crazy conspiratorial legion of machines, those pigs on the animal farm or sorry-assed winston terrors happen "over there." easy to marginalize, to pop popcorn in our mouths and call ourselves entertained with these really fun but implausible ideas. it's just a crazy story - fun fun fun! but everyone gets it anyway, oops, and so here comes the fall, the revolution, but with more sturm and drang, more drama, more debatable points to drag it all out.
(can we really blame heinlein, bradbury, orwell and the cohn brothers? hey, i like to give credit where credit is due. clarke? now, clarke - there's an interesting cluster of ideas. what side was he on, hmm? i would say that his subversion, if any, was inadvertent at best. but i digress)
people dissatisfied in your liberal democracy? put some flag-waving "tea-partiers" on the teevee blaming intrusive government. get people on board with gutting that evil gummint, so the playing field is left clear for the exploiters - this gummint, the referees, bought off outside of the public eye.
those crazy commie intellectuals with their "big gummint" ideas? dirty fucking commie hippies that believe the matrix is real, crazy bastards. they don't deserve the air-time. ok give them air-time but let the proper-and-serious-society people point and laugh. won't you all join in? oh but same pressures that would have been there if they were overtly suppressing those dangerous allegories build and build - bitch, ain't it? you gonna ignore those numbers, really? um, no you are not - sorry.
(this would have happened without the internet, but i do appreciate the grease)
gaming systems is not sustainable. self-mesmerizing idiots believing their own propaganda: he who dies with the most toys wins. if the bastards were smart (well, if they were smart, they wouldn't be bastards), they would simply play fair.
we would simply play fair. a system like that can last a pretty long fucking time.