(originally launched into cyberspace on 09/12/2007)
>From Tessa Rose:
More thoughts on the subject of “Innocents Betrayed”:
Something that really struck me about that movie was a common
thread running through every mass atrocity: the obedience of the
victims and the brutality of the murderers in the face of helpless
It seems to be in the nature of humans to meekly obey, and to trust
those who deserve trust the least. It has long been said that
“power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If
everyone knows this, why don’t we live by it? Why, century after
century, do we continue to give some people power over others when
we know it makes them into monsters? And why do people trust those
monsters, time and again?
It seems to me that there must be something evolutionary here.
Perhaps in Australopithicine society, authority and obedience had
strong survival value, and this behavior is encoded forever in our
genes. Humans seem to have a propensity to worship something, to
give their total trust and devotion to something larger or stronger
than themselves, and this propensity is fairly impervious to reason.
People who see the origin of government in some kind of rational
social contract may be missing an important point. Government has
never been anything so benign or useful as a contract or a tool.
Rather, government springs from deep emotional, perhaps biological,
needs for domination and surrender. People do not surrender
themselves to government for rational reasons. If you doubt this,
just listen to what people say: Government represents the people;
it IS the people; it is the best of ourselves. Government leads us
all into the future; it gives us our goals and values; it cares for
us. We belong to it. Our very lives are a privilege granted by
it. Government is god and parents all rolled into one. We owe it
our love, our devotion, our trust, and our lives.
But there is a problem with giving such devotion to an earthly
institution comprised of human beings, and that is that the human
beings who become a part of it are corrupted by the worship and
power given to them. Megalomaniacs rise to the top of the power
structure. People who lack identity and self-esteem flock into the
ranks, finding identity and esteem as part of a larger-than-life
organization. Those who possess an anti-social lust for domination
of others find a socially-sanctioned outlet for this socially
The more time people spend being part of government, the more they
are corrupted by it. As part of an institution that owns and
dominates people, they begin to see themselves as the rightful
owners and the rightful dominators of others. As part of an
institution that is worshipped, they begin to see themselves as
deserving the worship of others. Humans outside of government seem
less and less human to them.
It is important to note that people in government are likely to
have very little sense of self; that is often why they are there.
Consequently, they may feel intense hatred toward those who DO have
a sense of selfhood, purpose, and meaning apart from government.
When such unfortunate people are granted a holy mandate to destroy
the lives of those others, they will do so, as viciously as
possible. They care nothing for law, except as a weapon against
those they hate. (I speak from personal experience here.)
It is vitally important to understand that these people will go as
far as society allows them to. I truly believe (and this movie
graphically demonstrates) that the only thing standing between us
and genocide is the presence of firearms in a vast number of
Ultimately, however, these peons are not the enemy, and armed
resistance is at best a temporary and tragic solution. The real
enemy is the concept of authority and authority-worship itself. If
authority-worship is indeed ingrained in our genes, our ultimate
survival as a species may depend on our ability to understand and
resist this propensity.
The moral and civic education of our children must stress the high
value of every individual life, and utmost respect for the
“otherness” of others. They must learn that both sides of the
authority coin - meek obedience as well as the lust of domination -
are the deadly enemies of this value, enemies which must be fought
within each and every one of us. Only in this way can we build a
society that is truly social, being a network of mutually
beneficial relationships between millions of human beings.
Love to All,
Must see: Innocents Betrayed (Aaron Zellman)http://shop.jpfo.org/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=8
Must read: How to be a Successful Tyrant (Larken Rose)http://www.tyrantbook.com
Must pester Larken to finish writing:
The Most Dangerous Superstition