We humans like to keep a linear, categorical, literal view of things. When we say we’re in control, we’re in control — we think.
One thing we’ve never as a species quite wrapped our minds around is the inversion. This is a logical technique where you argue for something that you claim is against what you really want, but in such a way that it validates you using force or force of law to get what you want.
The most popular variant of this is claiming to fight for freedom, demand rights, or empower the disempowered. This positive goal gives you moral legitimacy to demand the inversion: If I fight for freedom, I must fight and destroy the enemies of freedom, which requires that I suspend freedom.
Instead of pointing out that “freedom” (for example) is a broken argument because, unlike natural selection or other ideas, it does not take into account all possibilities, the inverter deliberately selects an abstract, vague, fuzzy goal so that they can change the focal point of the argument to that goal — and then move the “background details” to empower their own actual crusade, which is to have power.
We’ve seen this too many times — a leader claims he’s doing something positive, and so he is given power, which he then runs away with.
We can see it in social discourse, too. It’s not socially acceptable to disagree with the empowerment of anyone, except those who don’t talk about empowering others. They could either be fascists, or they could be suggesting a more realistic solution, which makes us the fascists when we enforce it upon them.
One great fallacy here is the notion that every law must be the same in every locality. When people band together to “modernize” or “get with Progress” and target a specific area, they’re the fascists who are telling those people they cannot act as they wish.
In human history, we’ve gone through a series of oppositions where inversion was useful. First it was individual versus society, where the lone person found themselves on the wrong side of the law or social mores for something that was not unreasonable. Now we’re in the age of individuals versus the crowd of other individuals, who have banded together on an inverted idea and are using it to smash anyone they resent.
Resentment targets anyone with more of anything: wealth, intelligence, good looks, power, you name it. There is no stopping point for resentment, but when given credibility by a logical inversion, it becomes like a virus we all must obey.
If you find yourself thinking modern society is out of control, and wondering where it will end, fear these inversions. Among other things, inversions always involve symbols that sound good but are unrealistic; nature, on the other hand, created us by offering a perpetually mixed bag of good and bad that ended up producing, for the most part, good.