Control

Underneath our fancy justifications, and benevolent altruistic advertising-style overtures to others, our society is about control. Unlike other societies, we do not enact control on the macro level. We do it individual-to-individual.

Within a society of individualists, no external goal exists such as “uphold our values and become an epic civilization like the ancient Greeks and Romans.” There is only defense of the individual’s absolute autonomy, which requires the individual to place their own needs before many competing autonomous needs.

Equality means that we are all the same, so outside of official acts, any act by one person toward another is purely personal. There is no sense of rank or roles, just one person against another, and the one who comes out on top wins.

We are also judged entirely by our group of peers. Since there are no standards to be compared against, the only judgment of our success or failure is whether what we did appears appealing to the people around us.

When a society dedicates itself to the absolute autonomy of the individual, it makes its primary goal a negation. Our society aims to eliminate any obstacle to that individualistic, narcissistic and wholly subjective state.

For that reason, any intrusion on our absolute autonomy as individuals makes us defensive. In theory, because we’re equal, we can do whatever we want to do — unless it infringes on someone else.

However, because their right to do live in whatever reality they choose is also absolute, they will at some point be offended by what we do. Often, they’re right; our actions have consequences, and many actions will change the character of a community or society in such a way that it precludes what they want from it. This doesn’t even get into the effects on their descendants, who will be forced to inhabit the world they leave behind.

In this society, there is no obligation to accept you because you are good at achieving the goal of our civilization, or a good person. Image judges you; in the eyes of others, how do you appear? This is what you are, in a society of equals.

As a result our society has developed a manic virus of interpersonal control. If someone is opposed to you, it is your job to shout them down and re-style the situation so you appear blameless. To do so, you must control the minds of others with deceptive words and images.

When you are out there in the world trying to procure goods and services, other equal citizens are busy screwing off at their jobs or returning mediocre performance. You need to scare them, to use your power to command and control them.

You will do the same to your children, requiring years of expensive therapy when they get out of college. Since you controlled them, they will rebel against all control or anything like it, meaning they will have problems with authority. This is why the children of successful people are almost always found in leftist demonstrations.

Our society appears stable because we have neutered it. We have done that by making it unstable on the personal level, which means everyone is afraid to rock the boat, which means that all decisions are made as if by committee, deferring to compromise and the solution that deviates least from the existing path. That leaves us nowhere to go but down: a steady erosion of meaning, a constant loss of direction, an inability to make decisions, a removal of complexity and nuance.

It succeeds because this personal instability translates into very little public instability. People are terrified and mind their own business. The result is long-term decay because nothing unites them and they can’t make decisions, but in the meantime we have “peace” of the kind that happens when no one has the energy to fight even for what’s right.

This instability means that others are subservient to us because they don’t want us to be offended. In fact, that is our primary weapon: “He didn’t treat me like an equal!” We can get away with hiding behind transactions or rules sometimes, but in general, the mob rages whenever any one of its own is not treated like a little king or queen.

But the individual has no real power except defensive power. The individual then utilizes that to the max. This makes them controlling, and consequently unable to form real bonds. Children alienate. Marriages dissolve. Friends are fairweather.

The result is a society dedicated to fooling itself, for the convenience of individuals, so that each can evade the others and control enough to retreat behind closed doors. We could have a more intelligent society, but we would have to give up the myth of personal control.

9 Comments

  1. crow says:

    Paradoxically, the better the essay, the fewer the comments.
    That was a good read, and parallels closely my own experiences of human-like creatures I interact with. They look like humans, speak almost like humans, but lack any humanity, for whatever reason.
    Maybe we got invaded by aliens and didn’t quite realize it.
    I’m well on my way to not reacting to this, any more, since to do so must surely be detrimental to one’s health.
    I clock it, smile lightly, and move on. A difficult trick, but worthwhile.
    My wife and I feel increasingly fantastically fortunate to be with each other.
    How many people, any more, find themselves in a relationship – of any kind – that actually works?

    1. Jason says:

      I have a great semi-platonic, genuinely caring relationship with a lesbian model artist. I really enjoy spending time with her and I’m learning to not stick my penis inside every female friend of mine!

      Since discovering this blog I’ve made great progress in leading myself and my friends to take better care of each other. Sounds corny, but my inner most core of friends have all benefitted from Brett’s commentary on the lack of modern civility and responsibility.

      1. crow says:

        Comment of the week :)
        How rare is recognition and gratitude?
        Good to see you, that Jason guy!

    2. ferret says:

      You see, we have more comments. It’s relieving.

  2. ferret says:

    “our society is about control.”

    Any society is about control.

    “Unlike other societies, we do not enact control on the macro level.”

    It would be great to elaborate it: to make a picture of control on macro level in other societies and compare it with the our. And who are “we”: proles, kids, conservatives, or Obama?

    “We do it individual-to-individual.”

    It’s how we perceive it, if we reject, or forget about the existence of social groups.

    “Within a society of individualists, no external goal exists such as “uphold our values and become an epic civilization like the ancient Greeks and Romans.” ”

    OK, if I uphold my valuable hamburger, would it help? And these Greeks, where are they after upholding their values, did it help them?

    “Equality means that we are all the same”

    What is the purpose of this simplistic looking incorrect definition?

    “In theory, because we’re equal, we can do whatever we want to do…”

    What theory, where can I find something to read about this doing whatever we want caused by equality?

    “However, because their right … they will ….”

    To this point there were “us”, and now there are “they” without a noun to refer to. Are “they” the same as “us”, or something was missing?

    “When you are out there in the world trying to procure goods and services, other equal citizens are busy screwing off at their jobs or returning mediocre performance.”

    One guy is “trying to produce” what goods and services? Give couple of examples, and try to prove these goods and services were of a good value, i.e., were necessary, not merely invented for making profit or/and re-distribute the wealth. The goods and services the whole society would benefit from, not just a greedy individual or small group. Not so easy?

    “That leaves us nowhere to go but down: a steady erosion of meaning, a constant loss of direction…”

    What direction, are you aware of it? Please share.

    “This is why the children of successful people are almost always found in leftist demonstrations.”

    What about a simpler explanation: they may be better educated, more intelligent, and realize something is going wrong. Also they can see the majority of successful people make their success in a business that doesn’t produce anything valuable but profit for their owners.

    1. crow says:

      Ferret, is there some point to the endless barrage of questions and exception-taking to every sentence, that you have lately become engaged in? It’s become so odd that I have to wonder.
      Do you seek answers, or do you feel you already have them?

      1. ferret says:

        Yes, there is the point. I’m reminding that there is a need of having these questions in mind before posting next article.

        When I’m asking these questions, I’m expressing my respect to the author, showing I’m taking all written in the article seriously, not as a useless rambling. It is not my fault that almost every sentence triggers my questions.

        When I read articles by Brett, I can feel the pain he is experiencing for the Western civilization. That’s why it’s hard to me to talk about my wanderful relations with my wife and other stuff; I’m trying to be as close as possible to the topic.

        I would seek answers, if discussions were in the customs of the blog. But people are busy, and that’s fine with me. If somebody comments on my comment, I’m glad. And I’m glad to learn any opinion from other people.

        If you have time to answer any of these questions, I would be happy. Or just smile lightly, though I would never see it.

        I believe, Brett have something to say, have a mission, when posting these articles, so I’m trying to contribute to this process. And I’m also trying to find out what the goal is. The goal that is mentioned repeatedly, but have never been articulated yet.

        Crow, you know, I have suggested to Brett to give me his email address so I could write to him my comments and some of my thoughts without annoying his blog’s readers and himself (after all, it’s not a big deal to set up the rule to block messages from a certain email address). Since Brett has ignored this option, I decided it was fine with him to get comments in this blog.

        Anyway, one word from him that what I’m doing is annoying or somehow disturbing, and I will stop commenting. No offence; the civilization’s interests are the priority.

        1. crow says:

          Great stuff. If I’d asked any westerner what I asked you, it would have been pistols at dawn. Thank you for your answers. Now I know.

  3. Attila says:

    Many good points —- I find the lack of character in people around me astonishing. No values- hence no backbone of any kind. No awareness of other people except as objects to be avoided. The only ones I relate to are the yet unsocialized foreigners who act and express themselves like human beings.

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