I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me
– Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues
Individualism is error. Radical individualism is terrorism upon society. We are all cogs in the Machine. No one man is so unique that he is able to physically depart from the Machine. Perhaps his mind may warp itself into another dimension entirely; however, he is still, until death and grave, a part of the Machine.
I grew into my era of youthful adulthood detesting the suit. It came across as this conformist straitjacket which reflected a thousand mindless robotic pawns operating brainlessly among the fields. It conveyed this pitch-perfect, well-together made-in-America wet dream. It was conformity and a symbol of corporate whoredom. Today, I still detest corporate whoring of the soul like a mouse spinning the wheel keeping myself in check that I say nothing too accurate or dare stir trouble by being too blunt about reality.
Individualism is a term which has variation. A scale can measure its meaning to one extreme or the other. On one end, total individualism, which we can equate to egoism. It’s all about self-interest and what the individual likes or dislikes, cares for or despises, and all else is error. On the other end, we cross more toward a form of socialism of society. Not economic socialism, but a sort of collectivism within reasoned limits of the individual and some of their preferences and hobbies, of which work toward, or maintain, the greater good of society. Collectivism is seen as an overall negative in American minds; at least, it appears this way to many in the conservative arena. Individualism is highly praised; though, ironically enough, it seems it is the cause of their loss of individualism. It is an oxymoron which engages in self-defeatism. Through promotion of individualism they lack collectivism through unity. Without unity that society eventually splits in half and dies off.
Collectivism can be tyrannical. A structure where Top Dog dictates every fine detail of citizen life, which is most undesirable unless one is within the ranks of Top Dog’s command. Collectivism can be unity. A society which comes together under certain absolutes which are without negotiation. The individual still has a sense of free reign, but it is restricted and that taboo is never crossed. Whatever the line is that has been established of the collective unit, it is not stepped upon or disrespected. It would crush unity, and to crush unity is to enact war against society.
I began to realize way back when that certain strands of conservatism seem to fail, if we consider the degrees of it. Conservatism could almost be in alignment with anarchy if you consider a brand of conservatism that refuses to bond with society and marks its borders at its own lawn. That perhaps is an extreme form of conservatism, or a form of isolationist conservatism. Another form branches out toward the whole of society and bonds with it and marks its borders further out encompassing a select group. This strand of conservatism may work if it’s rules are strongly enforced within that society. But the American standard conservative seems to reject the heavy involvement of government enforcement.
I rather dislike the American government. But I am not anti-government. It depends upon the Top Dog running course. Patriotic flag-waving Americans love freedom and guns and free beer alongside women with big tits. They do not like the government at all. It seems, as best observed in the newer strands of right-wing thought, that there indeed is a realistic overview of necessary enforcement if the conservative value system is to remain intact.
The question is (1) who is in charge, and (2) how do we keep Top Dog from suddenly viewing any opinion not fully conformist as an assailant to be silenced through deadly force? Whether far-left communism, or far-right fascism, or whichever label one may attach to it, the fact is that tyranny is tyranny and can easily come to haunt any who support it. And yet, what if that’s the only solution? If American breaks into civil war, and if we do not find a way to break apart and go our separate ways, then an Iron Fist must come along to silence the voices among us who attempt to stir up violence and chaos.
V For Vendetta: An Insight Into Conservative Tyranny
V For Vendetta is a film I saw around my mid-teenage years. From the moment I first saw the trailer in theaters, I knew I wanted to see that movie. And to this day it remains one of my absolute favorites films. It has the potential for so many different angles depending upon your own standing in politics and culture, or where the film holds its intent, while producing half-truths, to create a perception of one side as good and the other bad. It is full of such immense propaganda that it creates a stir of excitement in me. The universe within the film itself is fueled by characters enacting propaganda while the film itself is a form of propaganda! It’s wonderful how thick the film is laced with propaganda at nearly every turn.
It unsettled me when I first watched the film despite lacking any intellectual existential insight as to the totality of the movie or its scope in regards to my own country and the American government. The world of V is certainly not remotely isolated from contemporary society. The government monitors their citizens’ phone calls, they manipulate real-world events by twisting and distorting facts to warrant safety and security through societal naivety, they control what is put on TV and they set a public curfew, which is legally enforced, and claim “This is for your protection.” Part of me empathizes with their government. Another part of me recognizes and understands the destruction unleashed by V upon the corrupted tyrants for their crimes against non-combatants through a variety of methods, including experimentation. Our own government has enacted such heinous displays of horror through Project MK-Ultra and echoes the tyranny of communist regimes in their own methods of mind-control and brute, seething terror.
The universe of V is contained, submissive. They have their leader and he is not to be toyed with. If we cast aside the brutal corruption within the government and its copperheads (a.k.a. Fingermen), then we may observe a society certainly limited from being too fun or too edgy; however, given the violent uproars, protest and riots which once plagued the streets of London, it seems rather sound to be submissive and silent, lest you stir things up again.
There is a scene in which V takes hostage of a media center known for spewing highly deceptive propaganda and publicly airs his own V-TV message on the emergency channel, which can be seen by all the populace. In it he makes mark on some very unsettling things which right now resemble America. In short, he talked about how fear and desperation took hold of the citizens. They feared terrorism, they feared immigrants, they feared the loss of safety and security, they feared in perpetual motion. In turn, they gave up large portions of personal freedom for an Iron Fist who stomped out the issues and took control. Thing is, this government did not keep its side of the bargain. It turned on its citizens in many ways. One being torture and experimentation and careless killing of any who remotely step out of line. Did they stomp out the threat and civil unrest? At a cost, yes. Was it worth the cost? That depends on your own viewpoint or position within that society.
Through civil unrest and unceasing violence will thus require further violence, from a much stronger force, and become a necessity for peace. Peace through violence, in fact. Not the kind which AntiFa members promote, for they seem to only increase lawlessness and create aimless spouts of harm and property damage. But the kind which government utilizes militarism to re-establish law and order. This must be maintained to operate within a society of so many folks. It is without negotiation. Though, to what extent does militarism extend before it turns tyrannical? Until everyone lives in fear like it’s a flashback to Mother Russia’s era of the blood-lit Red Wave?
In V’s world the far-Right government is not a kind-hearted soul to the populace. Nor does it need to be in some respect; however, even I would detest tyranny from any angle after it crosses that certain line. And I might be the one lined up, put on my knees, and having my brains blows out like an animal without feelings.
V For Vendetta prompts many questions about the reach of government power when personal safety and security is threatened. It prompts questions about its involvement in media and how in-the-dark to keep citizens, as many even in contemporary America probably do not need to be aware of every detail lurking behind the scenes. It raises questions of what kind of collectivism is to take root. Through tyranny or by means of organic growth?
Cogs And Egos
Egoism is a threat to a society. Unity must be acquired to maintain a life-long environment of moving entities. Egoism is something perhaps to be looked down upon and reviled. But full-functioning collectivism has its own threats as well. This depends, yet again, on Top Dog. Who is he and what’s his heart’s intent for the populace? Do they crave power for their own egoism, or for sincere love of law and order? What if he’s religious? He may evolve into a ravenous wolf believing God speaks directly to him and he’s the only messenger who can help salvage society. What if he’s godless? Then his egoism may evolve into self-deification and thus he sets his own standard of morality, which is the very last thing you want any government to do.
Man cannot be trusted either way. Many liberals feared President Trump while many conservatives praised him with tear-watering eyes. But he is mere human and instilled with all the qualifications of a fallen creature. He should not be idolized. What leader is then required for such a problematic pending future of civil unrest?
Consider a man who is cog-minded. He is humble enough to recognize the simple truth that we are all, regardless of how you feel about it or what you say about it, part of a giant Machine. We all have different views of the Machine, but it’s still Machine. Some say the Machine can never be fully comprehended while others believe we can engage the Machine and begin to understand it. We are all cogs in a Machine attempting to turn toward its fulfillment and long-term existential goal, or you’re a broken cog spinning the way of opposition and against the nature of the Machine. Some claim they have the Manual to the Machine while others embrace blind mystery and awe of the Machine’s glorious might and unfathomable wonder. Nonetheless, we are cog. We are all spinning one way or the other in the Machine and we can either find a path toward our best suits of operation or rust and break apart while taking others along with you to the depths of mechanic destruction.
Egoism is foul. It may seem cool and hip when society is running smoothly, sure. But society won’t always run smoothly. At a given point, as the Machine begins to grunt and act up, egoism and self-interest turn into a public enemy. The lines of balance between these two fronts — egoism and cog-mindedness, individualism and collectivism — are both dangerous and affect us all. Perhaps striking the balance is best accomplished by less territory and population rather than an umbrella as large as the USA. Does that not also present a problem? How many government’s have decided to stick their own flag in another man’s territory while claiming the moral high-ground as they lay waist to them? This raises the question of the dangers of maintaining small means of territory if it leaves you venerable to another bigger, badder society with a bigger, badder armed force. Man can never be trusted.
As we engage these inquiries, it is at least clear that human nature has a way of surprising us and radically shifting gears toward the unknown suddenly the now very familiar. Reviewing history, how many screaming fans of insert-a-bloodthirsty-character have later on lived to regret it and died in agony? Fact is, we never know when the next round of unbearable bloodshed is coming, or which groups will be targeted most and hunted down. It could very well be you. Man is a self-defeating creature and history displays, without fail, that he can barely hold himself together for so long. Life is a swinging pendulum. Left and right, far to the left and far to the right, sometimes it stays longer in the middle, then keeps on swinging and taking lives all along the way. Or is the pendulum but mere distraction from the ultimate goal of the Machine in which we cogs operate?
To recognize cog-mindedness is to recognize the positive structure of unity through some form of collectivism. Extremes of individualism and ego-minded mentalities are valueless to society when blood and dust mix in the air. It’s no longer fun or edgy. It’s destructive, selfish and pathetic. When newborns are burned alive and young boys are forced to kill, when your own family is blown to gut-bits and your entire life goals are shot down the hallways of endless streams of godless killing, the egoist is certainly not the good guy of the day. And what world will this trend achieve?
Perhaps one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen was a young man, far too young to yet perish, as he had his ears sliced off, one at a time, without crying or screaming (probably) because of the extreme rush of fear and adrenaline, then he was placed on his back as a machete whacked into his throat, blood spilling, and then after a moment longer the blood filled his throat and the gargling began to take place. His head didn’t come off quite right, and so they picked him up by the hair hacking away until his head was removed. This is incivility. Or is this carnality without borders? Rather, this is the threat of a society not rooted in firm and healthy morals, a love of law and order and one not run by an egoist but a cog-minded leader who recognizes the benefits of following the best Manual to operate within the Machine.
Diversity is not a strength. It is a spoken contradiction. Setting aside ethnic tribalism and we still own a basket full of severe conundrums. Diversity in politics equates to conflict and desire for power. Even diversity in religion can pose a serious threat. Diversity in art and entertainment seems wonderful on the surface, but how often is art or entertainment an expression of the creator’s own political, social, religious or economical worldview? Diversity is adversity. And yet, what is total conformity? Misery, lifelessness and pointlessness.
It’s unrealistic to believe we can all maintain a straight line of obedience and be happy and delude ourselves into believing our cause is worthy of our soul’s totality when we’ll all die at the end of the line and suddenly wonder why we didn’t pursue that dream we once thought crazy or maybe re-evaluate the line in which you stood to serve and its true existential value. Is it probable, in that framework of society, asking such questions is akin to heresy? And by extension, a threat of societal war? Man cannot be trusted.
But we’re all still part of the Machine. So, what’s the bloody point to all this madness?