Sunday 28 May 2017

Totalitarianism-in-a-good-cause - the commonest political desire?

It doesn't much matter what people say; but if you observe what they do, advocate, approve - it seems that many or most people favour totalitarianism.

All they really want is totalitarian in-line with their own ideology or religion.

And this applies to many or most Christians too - e.g. they dream of a society in which all discourse is Christian, minds are filled with the message - and opposition to this is excluded.

By totalitarian, I mean a political system that tends towards total thought-control: that is to inculcating favoured thought and prohibiting all other thought - by whatever systems and technologies are available, effective, practical.

Many societies of the past were totalitarian in this sense that it was what they wanted - but effectiveness of imposition was limited by primitive technologies of surveillance and propaganda, or the presence within society of effective opposition, or simply by disorganisation and corruption.

Why is totalitarian thought control so common a goal, even among Christians? I think the reason is that people wrongly value action above thought (just as, in practice, so many Christians behave as if action is ultimately more important than motivation).

In other words, the 'supporters' of totalitarianism are often being, as they suppose, 'practical' and focusing on what they suppose will be most effective at controlling social behaviour.

This contrasts with the intentions of those who are behind totalitarianism, which are directed at thinking rather than action.

So - on the one hand the theory of totalitarianism, its appeal, is practical effectiveness; but the actuality of totalitarianism is that it is focused on minds and interested in practicalities only as an excuse for mind-control!

The Christian message is clear that thinking is more important than action; but clearly the two interact - and actual Christians often lose sight of this fact... they become focused on 'society', on what people do - and lapse into short-cut thinking which is coercive. It has, indeed, been quite common to Christians to lose sight that they cannot impose Christianity, it is not so much forbidden as utterly impossible.

However, what happens is that the use of coercion creates a system of interpretation that is focused on actions (eg what people say, what people do) - and once this refocus has happened then totalitarianism is appealing to Christians; since it sets no limit on the totality of surveillance and control.

Whether the system is overall physically or psychologically coercive is a matter of expediency; but both are used.

My point here is that totalitarianism has a much broader appeal than commonly realised - totalitarianism is a subtle trick of the evil demonic ruling elites. They want to control minds, to induce damnation - but they offer the promise of controlling behaviour. 

Can damnation really be induced? Well it can't be caused, but it can of course be encouraged. Agency (free will) is potential in everyone - but it may be rejected. We can allow our minds to become ruled by 'automatic' processes, we can refuse to engage our agency.

And that refusal to use agency - and instead to use superficial, inculcated, or not-human types of thinking - is exactly what the demonic powers aim-at. They aim to fill minds with thoughts that deny agency; they suppress ideas of agency, autonomy, inner reality; and at the end of this people will live and die disengaged.

Disengagement is the aim of totalitarianism - disengagement of agency. To have people so harried and trammelled that they just behave - and they never think. What such people imagine to be their own thinking is not their won - it is just some kind of superficial, robotic, habitual processing which has been drilled and applied.

In a materialist world view, totalitarianism makes perfect sense - and the desire for totalitarianism is a sign of covert materialism in Christians.

Totalitarian thinking is a kind of test - a test of our fundamental assumptions: a test of metaphysics. Most people nowadays have rotten metaphysics - and that is why totalitarianism is currently so popular among so many types of people. And that is why we have such a lot of it.   

1 comment:

Ben said...

Fantastic gap filling for me! Thank you.