Social Control

Humans live in a world of confusion because so many things are a mystery to us, and so we write them off, but then become subverted by lurking doubts. We accept many things in our lives that we do not understand, and rationalize them as being for the best because we see no other option.

For this reason, at least two layers exist to our human world: there is the public layer, in which we explain our rationalizations to each other, and an underlying layer, understood by few, where actual cause-effect relationships are understood.

In that public layer, we reason backward from what already exists. “The economy needs” or “bipartisanship demands compromise.” Here, we are looking not just at the material world, but the configuration in which it stands now, and reasoning from that about what our future should be. This necessarily follows a single direction, because each act accepts the last as necessary and reacts to it in order to keep it from failing. It is like building a house out of a shack; we add on rooms to support existing rooms, and end up with a chaotic design.

The underlying layer remains understood by few because it requires analytical skill and patience to understand, things that require the force of character and force of intellect that are rare in any society. And so, all of the forces that actually regulate and change our society go unnoticed, while a play is acted out onstage to provide simple answers that make people feel intelligent and confident for understanding them.

Plato argues for a cave metaphor, and the ancient Vedic scribes talked about the veil of Maya, but this is not as simple as “materialism.” It is our tendency to mistake effects for causes of themselves, much as we like to see ourselves as causes of ourselves, which manifests in materiality as opposed to seeing patterns, which is what we call idealism of the German school.

We can understand patterns only through the world beyond the part of us that consciously rationalizes and uses language. Patterns must be understood on a lower level than symbols, and can be recognized frequently by aesthetics, but this requires that we reach into our inner selves where intuition resides. Through that, we can apprehend the forms or patterns that life takes, and thus understand it as a kind of language: in certain types of situations, certain patterns arise in response to certain conditions. Patterns replicate in parallel across different media — thought, information, matter, energy — and the broader our analytical reach in these areas, the less likely we are to be able to translate the patterns we see into language or equations. Instead, we must simply take them into our inner self and assess them against all else we know to intuit what is correct. This is the opposite of deduction and rational thought; “exterminate all rational thought,” as William S. Burroughs advised, opens the gateway to understanding the intuition.

As such, our only true motivation is from within, and is based in understanding, not desire. We cannot command it to be so, write laws about it, enforce it with procedures, or demonstrate it in a lab or open argument. It is a direct understanding of the world, and its counterpart is our creative side, which generates metaphors for our comprehension of it. Together, these two sides come together to give us a more accurate portrayal of the world, even if it is not literal, because we are dealing with patterns that occur over time and across multiple media, so they cannot be visualized, tokenized or otherwise reduced. They are alone in themselves, and the best we get is glimpses, but not all glimpses are equal; those glimpses which apply a focused understanding of the world are more accurate, and these are biologically possible for only a small segment of the population. Either those people are in charge, or the rest who do not understand such things declare them to be insane and reject them.

In every human event involving two or more people, the social impulse conflicts with the inner self. The social impulse is composed of what we want done to us, and how we convince others to do what we want done. Because both we and they are human, the natural tendency arises to assume that both have the same motivations because they have the same sensations, a condition which rapidly approximates solipsism. When reinforced by the group, the condition accelerates, such that reality is gradually minimized because it naturally clashes with a human-centered view of the world, and eventually inversion occurs, where the meanings of words and things are changed into their opposite. With this comes a backward thought process of rationalizing from what is, in order to feel good about it, so that others can be motivated with this good feeling to do what is necessary despite the otherwise crushing pressure of solipsism, like an exploded star becoming a black hole.

Social control occurs through the need for this manipulation. Instead of confronting reality and acting toward purpose, individuals act toward keeping the group together (“why can’t we all just get along?” howled the exasperated kindergarten teacher). This shows the dominance of the social impulse, which is entirely external and represented reversed logic, in that it argues from material motivations as a way of preventing certain acts and forcing others to occur.

External control benefits those who wield it because it is simple to achieve. You set up rules, make them vague, and then punish anyone who deviates, which is something you selectively interpret or choose to enforce. In other words, your citizens will be at all times cowering from the possibility of enforcement, and they will attempt to do things to please you in order to pre-emptively prove their loyalty. This makes them entirely subservient, and soon the need to rationalize this external control forces them to re-construct how their internal impulses work. Over time, they will stop being able to formulate objectives and analyze their own actions without your input because before they do anything, they must ensure that it will not offender the controller. In this way, people become entirely dependent on the control yet prone to rebel against it as they sense that it is changing the core of their personalities.

In our neo-Communist society, social control goes a step further by being distributed, or not directly implemented by a centralized force. Instead, the central authorities set up a reward/punishment system which mostly functions by making rewards necessary to rise above the entry level, subsistence lifestyle. For example, a controller can rule without making his ideology mandatory. Instead he simply impoverishes everyone, or at least forces large expenses upon them, and then alleviates that pain for those who affirmatively come to him and demonstrate a willingness to be obedient. Although it does not involve high technology, control is a form of mind control in this way, in that it induces people to re-wire themselves to be essentially mental servants of the controller. Taking this a step further, social control induces citizens to enforce control upon each other, with those who impose control upon others being rewarded, and those who fail to do so also fail to advance in the system. Soon there is a gold rush for having demonstrated obedience by making others obedient.

Bureaucratic society takes on this form through its pretense of meritocracy. As a way of enforcing equality, meritocracy starts everyone at zero and advances those who are willing to sit through many years of schooling, memorize all the right facts, participate in all the activities, and otherwise have their minds shaped to fit the type of behavior that society expects. This makes people into beggars who must prove their utility by sacrificing their time to be spent on essentially make-work, since very little of what is memorized is retained, and weeds out the non-compliant ones. Social control causes people to enforce on one another a competitive race for status, such as who owns what objects or has which titles. “Keeping up with the Joneses” motivates people to earn more, which in turn causes them to trade off more of their time. All of this has the effect of altering them internally, so that like citizens of ex-Soviet republics, they become unable to act of their own impetus and are entirely dependent on external cues — social, ideological, monetary, material — to know how to deal with life. Without others to follow and set standards, they are locked in paralysis at the thought of having to act.

This use of social control to morally and intellectually neuter people demonstrates the nature of bureaucracy as a control system, rather than an efficient method of administering society:

The end result of complete cellular representation is cancer. Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer. A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms. (A cooperative on the other hand can live without the state. That is the road to follow. The building up of independent units to meet needs of the people who participate in the functioning of the unit. A bureau operates on opposite principle of inventing needs to justify its existence.) Bureaucracy is wrong as a cancer, a turning away from the human evolutionary direction of infinite potentials and differentiation and independent spontaneous action, to the complete parasitism of a virus…Bureaus die when the structure of the state collapses. They are as helpless and unfit for independent existences as a displaced tapeworm, or a virus that has killed the host.

When hierarchy is abolished, such as by a revolution, all that is left is those in power. Hierarchy refers to a hierarchy within the citizenry, such that some have rank above others, as opposed to government or another party outside of society itself which, like a contractor or service provider, claims to provide quality governance and stability in exchange for income from taxes. A controller is neither of the group nor interested in hierarchy; control must come from on high, or outside of the group, and be obeyed or used to ostracize or otherwise damage the person who failed to obey. Controllers may implement a hierarchy within the political class, but this division represents power only, and not a role beyond administering control downward.

Leadership is not control. Government of any form seeks control because it is external to society and operates by reducing people to the rank of equals so that it can reward those who obey, punishing the rest by parallax motion of their social status and fortunes. Actual leadership separates the best people out from the rest in advance, does not demand loyalty tests or other methods of keeping the herd together, and emphasizes reward for successful achievement of goals. Control regulates methods as a means of limiting what people can do and therefore what they can think; leadership rewards achievement and has minimal influence on methods. As a result, leadership creates many paths to the same goal, where control creates repetitively similar paths to many different goals, since it does not operate by reward but by punishment for deviation from ideology, and encourages all other forms of deviation as a type of stochastic resonance to silhouette and emphasize the ideological narrative.

With control, mass culture is created, but control also arises from mass culture because with masses, keeping the group together is more important than having purpose. For control, purpose is short-circuited into a perpetual pseudo-purpose of always maintaining control. In this way it is both tautological and cyclic in a self-perpetuating way, although with each cycle, it seems to lose some energy because of its repetitive nature, and slowly runs down. Mass culture and control are inseparable from bureaucracy, which is the assembly-line treatment of people as identical objects upon which the state acts, and this requires imposing external manipulation on people through rewards and punishments as a means of “shaping” them to be obedient. For this reason, bureaucracy is totalitarianism

Thus, over the past 50 years, the consequence has been the rise of The Manager as the archetypal Modern Man – the manager is the cocrete terminus and manifestation of sixties spirituality. Indeed, the 60s-type rebels and cynics always become managers; and managers are the servants of The System – indeed managers are the dupes of The System.

The deal is that in return for creating and imposing The System – in return for working as-a-manager to extend the reach and power of The System via the expansion and linking of bureaucracy – the manager personally will be rewarded with wealth, power and status such that he can pursue his (or more usually her) selfish gratifications – sex, holidays, fashion, possessions…

All managers hate their work as such – and it is indeed hateful work; it being to collaborate in the intended long-term and permanent enslavement of others to a totalitarian agenda of materialism and inversion of the Good. (Bureaucracy just is totalitarianism.)

Management uses the same philosophy as other forms of control: an external authority, using external methods, manipulates people in order to shape them into a pattern of compliant behavior.

This has several negative consequences. First, it makes people entirely dependent on authority, and correspondingly unwilling to trust their own analytical ability, intuition or common sense. Second, it allows those who have no inherent wisdom to get ahead by simply being obedient and diligent, which is a form of equality when put under analysis. It also bores those who do not lack ability because for them, all of this stuff is remedial and tangentially relevant. But it delights those who find comfort in external process. People who find comfort in external process are those who are alien from the inner process by which they formulate their own purpose; control, because it is external, acts against those who have inner purpose, shaping them gradually into those who respond only to external stimulus. This is why it associates with fantasies of revenge, defense of the underdog, equality which innately sabotages the higher to promote the lower, dominance of the weak over the strong, and other fantasies.

William S. Burroughs reveals knowledge of this when he spoke of what he thought about Leftists:

All liberals are weaklings, and all weaklings are vindictive, mean and petty. (164)

Bureaucracy, Leftism and Control thus fit into the same pattern: imposition of the weaker on the strong, after subverting the strong with a mental virus based in guilt for having succeeded. This accelerates the rise of the people without souls over the small group who do all the hard intellectual and moral choice-making.

People without souls focus on the external personality of other people — obedience, social cues, favorite TV shows, shared activities — and ignore the inner core, where intelligence and moral character reside, two factors which along with the creative impulse constitute what we call the soul. That inner core is hidden from socialization, and can generate the personality from its most essential principles outward, but only if the person is self-actualized; otherwise, the personality is an artifact of the social group. Since this inner core is inaccessible to control, it represents a threat to control, which relies on the concept of universalism, or one idea applied equally in different contexts without regard for the patterns and variations inherent to those different contexts. Universalism is control because it destroys context, difference and individual traits, and replaces them with a mechanical, artificial and uniform rule which stamps out the difference between human beings so that control can remain in power. Similarly, it seeks to crush nature, which is comprised of endless variation and complexity, because nature threatens human dominion by not being human, where through social means, both individuals and groups can be dominated.

Using language, tokens and social pressure to control a human herd is the essence of modernity:

Language is a virus that seeks to supplant natural order. People are able to use language to manipulate one another, and through this can get ahead with social/ideological means instead of by producing actual results in external reality. From Tom Wolfe:

Evolution came to an end when the human beast developed speech! As soon as he became not Homo sapiens, “man reasoning,” but Homo loquax, “man talking”! Speech gave the human beast far more than an ingenious tool. Speech was a veritable nuclear weapon! It gave the human beast the powers of reason, complex memory, and long-term planning, eventually in the form of print and engineering plans. Speech gave him the power to enlarge his food supply at will through an artifice called farming. Speech ended not only the evolution of man, by making it no longer necessary, but also the evolution of animals!

And William S. Burroughs from The Ticket That Exploded (1962):

From symbiosis to parasitism is a short step. The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence. Try halting sub-vocal speech. Try to achieve even ten seconds of inner silence. You will encounter a resisting organism that forces you to talk. That organism is the word.

And Friedrich W. Nietzsche in the document that kicked off postmodernism, “On Truth And Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense” (1873):

But because man, out of need and boredom, wants to exist socially, herd-fashion, he requires a peace pact and he endeavors to banish at least the very crudest bellum omni contra omnes [war of all against all] from his world. This peace pact brings with it something that looks like the first step toward the attainment of this enigmatic urge for truth. For now that is fixed which henceforth shall be “truth”; that is, a regularly valid and obligatory designation of things is invented, and this linguistic legislation also furnishes the first laws of truth: for it is here that the contrast between truth and lie first originates. The liar uses the valid designations, the words, to make the unreal appear as real; he says, for example, “I am rich,” when the word “poor” would be the correct designation of his situation. He abuses the fixed conventions by arbitrary changes or even by reversals of the names. When he does this in a self-serving way damaging to others, then society will no longer trust him but exclude him. Thereby men do not flee from being deceived as much as from being damaged by deception: what they hate at this stage is basically not the deception but the bad, hostile consequences of certain kinds of deceptions.

In other words, language is used to obscure the selfish motives of the individual which are cloaked in the idea of altruistic motives to help others. This is the essence of Crowdism.

Control, like tyranny, represents the ultimate selfishness: it is defensive in that it seeks to quash variation and independent thought in order to smash down the accurate analysis and perception of the most accomplished in force of moral character and force of intellect in our society. Control works by removing the natural leaders of society and replacing them with rote laws and a single universal standard by which all people are molded, making them replicants of the intent of the controllers, which does not offend the 90% who are weakest in the parallel of force of intellect and force of moral character, but destroys those who might know better by being able to more accurately perceive reality.

At the core of control we find the human impulse to avoid fate. Humans claim to want safety, but what they mean is freedom from being incorrect in their assessment of reality, thus subject to natural selection via physical or social means. In nature, the man who fails to make a fire on a cold night dies; in human society, the rest of the group is obligated to save him, thus dooming the group to drown in incompetents as more of them are saved and reproduce. Fate treats us all unequally. Some are born to sweet delight, and some are born to endless night, but social control would have them all be born to a state in-between, a perpetual grey mediocrity where they are safe but also prohibited from reaching excellence, beauty, realism, honor and virtue. And yet, this is popular with a crowd who by its very nature is formed of people who have nothing to distinguish themselves, therefore must rationalize that they have been wronged in order to continue believing that they are in fact good. All human efforts perish by this standard.

Inside of humanity lurks a great weakness. We try to avoid fate by eliminating possible error, and in doing so, neuter and domesticate ourselves. We are looking for excuses to do nothing, to rationalize life instead of acting it and by so doing, coming to terms with our limitations and the fate that awaits us beyond our control, like natural selection itself. This becomes a fear of life itself, and it is why every human effort fails and over time, becomes replaced by an oblivious mediocrity which dooms its original purpose and removes access to an honest enjoyment of life for all.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedIn

Recommended Reading