Friday 7 June 2019

Why do modern people actively-want a totalitarian system? (The Ahrimanic evasion)

As the totalitarian society increases in power and scope on a weekly basis, we need to ask whether an underlying reason for totalitarianism is actually that this is precisely what modern people actively want for themselves, as well as others.

If we judge people by what they say, what they do, how they vote, whom they criticize and persecute - it becomes clear that modern people desire a totalitarian system of total surveillance and micro-regulation*. A wholly un-free society in which anti-social behaviour becomes un-thinkable.

And the reason that so many modern people want this, is that modern people want, more than anything else, to evade responsibility.

This is, I believe, an existential life-decision, that goes very deep. By their revealed preferences, we may infer that modern people want to regard themselves as helpless victims, want to be protected, want to be favoured systematically. They want Not to be blamed for anything; they want it never to be 'my fault'. They want always to be able to say 'I couldn't help it'.

And they want it to be the case that any person who does try to assert responsibility or blame, any person who believes in human agency and freedom - be punished, eliminated, silenced, reprogrammed. 

In a world where evasion of responsibility is primary, a totalitarian system promises the perfect excuse of being thought-controlled.

This desire to be able to plead helplessness goes all the way to the top, where individual responsibility is replaced by committees and votes; so that nothing can ever be pinned on anyone. It includes the vast, global, bureaucracy-of-everything - so that every nation, corporation, group and individual can always claim that their decisions and behaviours were compelled, that they were merely following orders.

In sum, modern man is a willing servant of the demonic spirit of Ahriman - this kind of cold, anti-personal, reductionist, pseudo-scientific, systematised evil is dominant. And, ultimately, it is dominant because of the decisions and desires of the millions upon millions of mainstream modern people who collaborate and make careers from The System.

Mainstream typical modern Man (say, the ordinary - female - middle managers in an institution) viscerally reject the reality of their own existential freedom, deny their responsibility for their own beliefs, claim helplessness against the evil-intending propaganda they so eagerly embrace and so diligently implement and defend.

These want a totalitarian system and assert themselves to be powerless innocents. But they cannot in fact evade responsibility for their positive choice of an evil system that claims to eliminate responsibility.

Because thought cannot really be controlled - to 'be' thought-contolled is therefore a decision; and all claims of oneself being thought-controlled and therefore not-responsible are a dishonest excuse. Anyone capable of making that excuse is lying. Humans just are free in their thinking.

Instead, these people actually-are actively-evil - they are in a state of willing evil upon themselves and upon everybody else. They will totalitarianism, and totalitarianism is intrinsically evil.

And this has been their choice, it is what they want.

*It might be asked how I know what most modern people want? My answer would be as above - I am simply assuming that what people want is what they say they want - as confirmed by how they behave - with a high (but not complete) level of consistency, and over several decades. 

Anyone who disagrees and says that modern people really want something different - e.g. want to be free and responsible and others to be likewise, want to live in a world that encourages and sustains human agency... well, such claims go beyond objective appearances, and are asserting deep knowledge of the hearts of Men below the surface and despite contrary actions.

I am simply suggesting that as we descend into evil totalitarianism, people are - broadly speaking - getting exactly what they want; and are therefore personally responsible for what they (and we) get. To put it differently - our problems go very deep indeed, and they are far more wide-spread; much much deeper and more pervasive than most people realise. 


Lucinda said...

One of the things I've been thinking about is how Christ frees us from exactly this evasion of responsibility, which is an interesting thing because many regard His sacrifice as taking on all blame.

To my thinking, there are things that we are not responsible for and things we are responsible for but are simply unable to do anything about, and when we come to Christ, He relieves us of the burden of those things, which then allows us to move forward into taking on the kind of productive responsibility that is ours and forms a solid basis for agency.

I would say a lot of it is just childish fear. It can feel easier to not grow up. I tend to think that most people throughout history don't actually want the fullness of what God has to offer, based on the persistent false ideals that crop up again and again (like having no body after life, or being sexless, or being free from responsibility). And the reason we are here is experiential learning. It does seem to be necessary to have no choice (such as having a sex in this life) to really get the knowledge required to make the free choice to accept various eternal gifts. That we are "just free in our thinking" is maybe something we'll be allowed to lose, since I do think that's one of the gifts of life.

And it seems to be something many wish to lose.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Lucinda - One thing I have been considering is that many slaves have been Christian. For some slaves, there is very little control over what they do, their behaviour - they may be compelled to sin repeatedly in order to live. However this does not prevent a slave from being a holy Christian. It may even be clearer to a slave what is needed. A slave can know the good, repent sin, and follow Jesus - a slave can yearn for, and gratefully accept the gift of, a Heaven of love and creation.

Such a consideration may be relevant in the coming society.

EDFree said...

Right now I'm working as a reporter, and I see this blame-shift all the time at city council meetings. Fees for everything keep rising higher and higher, and it's always someone else's fault: China, the federal government, the latest "regulations" and "policies," never just plain and simple greed. They act like their free will to vote according to personal ethics is overpowered by the "System," though the whole idea behind voting is being able to reform or at least protest against the System with the individual's free will to make decisions.

Jack said...

In the 1930s Wilhelm Reich postulated that people actually desired totalitarianism because they desired their own repression. His theory was that sexual repression caused distortions in character which accounted for this. I think time has now definitively refuted his theory, since we now have un-repressed every damned perversity and obscenity, and yet the totalitarianism is more total than ever.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Jack - The misconception of most (not all) early writers about totalitarianism was that it was a 'right wing' phenomenon - and that is even more the case nowadays. Also (and this was almost universal, although Huxley's Brave New World was a half-exception) totalitarianism was seen from outside of any religious persepctive, so totalitarianism merely became equated with a regime including a lot of human suffering, esepcially when inflicted by sadistic officials. This made it hard to distinguish from any other type of large scale politics and from theocracy, so the usefulness of the idea was lost.