War Never Changes!

So I’ve just finished watching the show Fallout, and I was not expecting it to be quite so full of predictive programming as it was. I’ve played the game Fallout 4 and didn’t come across this underlying twisted political and Machiavellian philosophy found in the show, but to be fair I didn’t get very far in the game so maybe it’s there waiting, and i’ll have to go back to it. And you never know it may expand on the ideas in the TV programme.

Anyway, the show itself is full of conspiracy and propaganda. A big clue may have been given the release date of the series against a background of real world twisted politics and Machiavellian philosophies being pushed around the world by the media and governments, and also a fair amount of divide and conquer factional thinking in the real world too!

So without diving into the plot especially, I want to highlight some of the stand out points I think the series is making:

Leadership – The leaders in the show are shown to be duplicitous liars, and actually not leaders at all, but followers of a higher power above them. As in the real world, this type of personality is often flawed and pathetic at it’s core, and has a lust for power and money that drives it to do terrible things. It’s interesting that they would sell each other out too with the group in vault 33 caring not for the loss of their overseer, and instead trying to gain power of what remains for themselves. It’s that idea of being a king of a pile of dung, rather than doing the right thing and fixing actual problems. An interesting insight into the world of leaders is revealed when the broken water chip is discovered in the vault, and the guy who want’s to speak privately (in executive session) is asked to tell everyone instead! I also don’t isolate the Vault-Tec managers here, as Hank is right when he says Muldaver is just as bad!

Secrecy – There is a lot of secrecy in the story, and it takes the viewer through the discovery of hidden agendas and truths being exposed. It is both a revelatory experience in the context of the plot and also causes one to ponder on their own place in the world and what we are being told versus what is being hidden from us. Examples are; Hank’s secrets about Lucy’s mother, or the secrets Barb is keeping from Cooper about Vault-Tec’s intentions, or the experiments in the vaults being kept from the inhabitants of those same vaults, with the managers being given free reign to do what they like with the people in captivity.

Control – There is a strong theme of control that runs through the characters, from Maximus’ Brotherhood of steel controlling the squires and the abusive knights highlighting class differences, to the Overseers controlling the vaults and their populations. The show presents control as a negative constant in life, especially with a paternal control relationship. An ultimate control being highlighted by Cooper/The Ghoul revealing that there is always someone behind the perceived chaos. The viewer again is invited to compare this Fallout world to that of our own. As the brotherhood wear armour to protect themselves from bullets, the management class wear armour in the form of lies, and like the t-60 has a design flaw which is revealed, the manager who remains now just a brain in a jar (Bud?) has a chink in his armour revealed by Norm when he puts it to the manager that “What’s vault 32 and 33, just people to be controlled?” The reaction of the brain in a jar says it all!

False flags – The big one is that America bombed itself in a way of guaranteeing Vault-Tecs dominance and monopoly into the future, and so that it/they can outlive it’s competitors. The management meeting that Barb hosts reveals that the fear of war is the convincer for the management to get into the vaults and that the vaults are a way of beating competition through outlasting them, Time is seen as a Weapon of Mass Destruction (calling back to Iraq, 2003). This is a terrible revelation and asks you as the viewer to remember if anything in your life setup like this, maybe something that was sold as the truth, only for you to fall for the scam and end up disillusioned and sorry that you were taken in by confident authoritative individuals and that you only filled the pockets of some individual or corporation, perhaps. The organization behind them was so sure they had the answers to the world’s problems, a name in the real world comes to mind! This kind of thinking is revealed in the show as incorrect, and is presented as something to be resisted.

Society – The biggest lesson from the show is that people suck and cannot be trusted, this is the same above or below the vaults, and is irrespective of class. All humans suck, even your friends lie to you, as we see with Lucy being lied to by Maximus. With this suckiness established, Vault-Tec have a plan, they see that societal growth took place organically and without boundaries, and want to change that. They believe it took shape without guidance, and provides friction, and ultimately war among factions of human, which can be stopped. This in the real world echoes the likes of the WEF wanting to run the world as one runs a business. But they ae wrong and fail to see the beauty of humanity when it is free, rather than controlled.

Stressing The System – Another nice little nod to the WEF is at the manager table when the idea of making a vault overcrowded to promote competition, and therefore “encourage” solutions to problems that no-one bothered to fix before in a social experiment. It reminds me of the story of Wade Wilson in that oxygen deprivation tank with his body being stressing to mutate.

Science Rules – In the show we see Vault 4 that is run by scientists from the outset and the belief within is that science is absolute, but what happens? The scientists push their creativity too far and create a monster which destroys it’s masters (a well established human pattern). A scientist with their dying breaths uses the time to claim that this failure should not be used as evidence to rule out future science led endeavors! We know in the real world that science can run wild and trusting in people over evidence is the anthesis of what science should be, yet we seem to fail to learn this lesson as humans. Scientists are humans, same as the rest of us, and subject to the same human failings. Sure they have a spike in one area of intelligence, but this leads to a deficit in other areas of intelligence, morals, emotion, empathy. The point being made by the show is that we must control science, through oversight, or it will run amok.

The Power Behind The Throne – Who is it? We don’t know yet. A Fallout game (New Vegas) is hinted at being the centre of the power as Hank is headed there for season 2, and it is suggested strongly that this is the home of the “New World Order” that we may be familiar with in the real world as the controllers behind the chaos.

Conclusion – It is clear to me that the show asks the viewer a question, “Are you a part of an experiment?”. If you look around you at the country you live in, could you apply some vault thinking to the real world?

Looking forward to series 2, and i’m off to play the game again…

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