Sunday, March 11, 2012

The greater good

I was thinking today about something Jared said that has always bothered me, something to the effect that you have to be told things over and over in order to remember them. I don't think that's true.

You don't have to be told repeatedly that the sun's going to come up, or about the law of gravity, or that your mom likes yellow roses. You don't have to be told the traffic laws over and over, or the rules of basketball, or how to tie your shoes. That's because all of these things are either directly observable, or are necessary for your life.

Most religion, when it comes down to it, is neither.

The only reason people are so fixated on the state and religion and all the other trappings of civilization is that these value and tenets ARE repeated over and over, an intentional brainwashing that happens from the earliest days of childhood.

It's necessary, you see, in order to keep children AS frightened children, to never let them grow up to observe life on their own and make their own determinations about what's right and wrong, what's good or bad, what they think for themselves.

Parents begin it with punitive, rigid, violent upbringing (just like they got from their parents), then the schools systematically praise the compliant, the obedient, the orderly, the compulsive, and the creative and sensitive ones who think for themselves rock the boat and are shunned and crushed.

And the others see this, which reinforces the idea that obedience and conformity is safe. To a traumatized child, nothing is as important as being safe.

So they go on to be obedient, compliant, good citizens, and the sociopaths use them as stair steps on the climb to leadership.

It all comes down to power, because if most of the world is filled with frightened, traumatized children, unable to make decisions or think for themselves, then the not-so-benevolent parent can do or say whatever he likes. Perhaps a few of the more rebellious children will say or do something to resist, but the ones who the other children don't ostracize and torment into submission are easy to isolate and punish.

There are a few who make it through, though: the sociopaths, who can't feel anything except an angry lust for power, and those very special and lucky ones who either kept their sense of self-worth or were determined enough to claw their way back from the depths to regain it.

The first group is past saving, in my view. Tribal societies shunned, executed, or sent most of this group to die in war, because they knew that to keep them around was a direct danger to the tribe. Unfortunately, many of these people are now our leaders, those "parents" who are making decisions for "the greater good".

Um, yeah.

The second group is where most of our innovators have come from.

Think of what we could have done, where we could be now if that group were even 1% larger.

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