I also stumbled across this today:
It’s a significant idea. Big Brother societies are characterised by a top-down observer watching many. In a Little Brother society, everyone watches each other. This is a more effective means of developing omniscient control, because humans are used as tools for their own surveillance.
In such a system, the inner psychology of each individual of is processed, quantified and laid bare to see. The Little Brother society erodes concepts and mores of privacy so that constituents relinquish informational control willingly. Indeed, ‘constituents’ is a particularly accurate term, for people’s primary function becomes as components of a greater whole. Each human is a cell in the semi-mechanised flesh of civilisation – Hobbes’ Leviathan realised more profoundly than he could have ever imagined.
This vast, sapient hydra does not need a head. Under the Little Brother model, civilisation is regulated by a semi-autonomous hive, a collective database of information which no group or individual necessarily controls. The old adage that “knowledge is power” is vindicated. In loose Freudian terms, the superego of every individual is connected in a massive network and all decision-making is gradually externalised. As psychological manipulation becomes increasingly sophisticated, orders can be given to the subconscious directly, essentially bypassing the ego. If Orwell’s symbol of absolute authority is a solitary staring eye, Little Brother is a monstrous Argus, an eldritch, all-seeing titan who has conquered human consciousness itself.
I think that such a society is being constructed by a combination of powerful self-interested individuals and Darwinian factors. Natural selection is the very catalyst by which life is possible, why would it’s principles not be relevant in the realm of ideas and models of social control? It is only logical that those systems that are more effective at propagating themselves become more dominant. The Little Brother model is such it a system. It is fiercely tenacious and almost impervious to damage because it is mutable, insidious and ubiquitous