“A great change of our psychological attitude is imminent, that is certain… we need more psychology, we need more understanding of human nature because the only real danger that exists is man himself, he is the great danger, and we are pitifully unaware of it, we know nothing of man, far too little. His psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil.”
~Carl G. Jung
In most developed societies, a knowledge of the human body is socially common and an academic necessity. We generally understand how the body’s organs function, and it’s easy to see a physical impairment. Psychological impairment, however, is often much more difficult to detect and, unfortunately, is given far less importance.
Psychology is often overlooked, undernourished, and dismissed in our world. Very little practical education on psychology is provided in most schools to manage one’s own mental landscape or to discern and navigate our social experiences with discernment and empathy. Given the trends created by government and their motives outlined in the previous sections, this should come as no surprise. However, this is a critical flaw in society, as I wrote about in my article, “The Necessity of Psychological Healing and Education”. Without access to proper psychological care, society quickly deteriorates to more desperate, dissociative, crude, and often violent means of expressing their distress.
To understand the psychology behind authoritarian systems, we first need to understand how the psyche develops and functions.
When we are born in to this world, we are completely open and vulnerable, immersed in to consequences beyond our immediate control and consent. Instinctually, as babies, we seek to bond with our caregivers, which is a developmental necessity for the foundation of both our physical and psychological well-being. Being raised as children, our instinctual drive for social belonging is conditioned in to a cultural framework (through classicism, race, religion, nationalism, etc.) which, through both positive and negative reinforcement, molds our sense of self and the values which determine how we interact with the world. Then, as young adults, our new-found sense of individuation drives us away from the familiar “nest” of our childhood, further out in to society as we expand and redefine our sense of self and where we belong in the world. Yet while the surroundings may change, the unconscious psychological mechanisms of socio-behavioral identification remain very similar, and we become further socialized in to subcultures within school (often based on class, gender, race, special interests, etc.). Yet as people grow using these reference points for the actualization of their identity and understanding of reality, they often become not just identified BY them, but identified WITH them, taking on the behavior of others as if it were their own. Due to this primal developmental mechanism, often found in the animal kingdom as well, people within society often create behavioral models through social roles as reference points to dictate personal behavior and identity, for themselves and for others. This is natural and, in certain stages of growth, can serve as an adjunct stepping stone toward self-discovery and the organization of more complex societies.
As we move in to adulthood, the impending necessity of independent survival often compels us further to assimilate to the “security” of society. Here, the government-worshipping ideologies of Authoritarianism and Statism become more deeply entwined with identity beyond childhood conditioning and adolescent sentimentality, and in to the established adult worldview deemed “necessary” for survival. Social conformity, profit, and the comforts of convenience are often given more cultural value than freedom of personal expression, exploration, and personal sovereignty. Many become so thoroughly indoctrinated and so psychologically identified to a certain set of beliefs (religious, scientific, political, spiritual, nationalistic, racial, etc.) that they feel personally threatened and may become hostile when their ideological concepts are questioned. Due to this lifelong psychological imprinting, like a global Stockholm Syndrome, most people adhere to the Authoritarian doctrines and Statist regulations of social domination, even when- upon deeper examination- they prove not to be truthful, healthy, empowering, or sustainable.
Due to this inherently hostile programming, many people simply settle within conventional assimilation for “security” and stop consciously seeking to refine and expand their sense of self. Once they attain a traditionally reasonable comfortable level through assimilation in to society, the focus shifts from self-exploration to status-seeking, material acquisition, and reproduction. Often they lose the propensity to sincerely question their lives, and no longer seek to explore their identity (except perhaps in a mid-life crisis, the very validity of which helps prove the point that people are stunted from full actualization). They become comfortable within the confines of the circumstances they have conditioned in to. While a person may hold a lucrative career, high social status, and think very well of themselves, the liberating actualization of their own sovereign autonomy, free from the dominion of government, often holds little-to-no-interest to them. Having invested so much in to a life and relationships based on a false, external identity, the deconstruction and reconstruction of their paradigm is too frightening for them. Moreover, the construct of “authority” unconsciously serves as the last vestige of infantile security against the harsh realities of the world since they think authority is supposedly here to “Protect & Serve”.
“Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.”
~ Aldous Huxley
Further hindering one’s sovereignty, the social pressure to conform and belong in a hierarchy (and subsequent fear of condemnation) is another primary element which retards independent actualization. In the prior chapter on “Government”, the analogy of viewing government as a “parent” to the “child” of society serves well to illustrate the systematic and subversive suppression of development throughout the world. This tendency toward violence and coercion for conformity is the primary characteristic which differentiates between “Dominance Hierarchies” (like Authoritarianism and Statism) from “Empowerment Hierarchies” or “Wholearchies” (like Voluntarism), where exploration, cooperation, and compassionate understanding are paramount. From birth, the distinction between “authority” and “authoritarianism” is often blurred or altogether ignored in a society conditioned to revere violence.
And in this normalization of brutality and submission to authority, the Authoritarian Follower is created. To the unconscious parts of our mind still rooted in childhood, with its authoritarian programming, confronting and abandoning the normalized beliefs of a perceived authority raises a deeply rooted fear of insecurity, abandonment, exile, and- on a primal level- death. We see this reinforced within more complex social institutions (religion, government, etc.) where dissension has LITERALLY resulted in the brutal deaths of countless millions throughout history. This largely unconscious psychological mechanism is often exploited, consciously or unconsciously, within dominance hierarchies to coerce conformity through the manipulation of guilt, shame, and fear. The persecution of righteous dissension is turned in to a demonized social spectacle, instilling fear using hostility, threats, and violence to reinforce the “legitimate necessity” of “security” in adhering to authority. This ability for seemingly “nice people” to degenerate in to a raging, hostile mob is well seen throughout history, from riots to sports. In fact, numerous scientific experiments revealed that those who are described as ‘agreeable, conscientious personalities’ are more likely to follow orders and deliver electric shocks that they believe can harm innocent people, while ‘more dissenting, less agreeable personalities’ are more likely to refuse to hurt others. In other words, “nice” people who don’t question themselves or “authority” are far more likely to commit violence than those that do.
Throughout history, the socialization of people expresses itself naturally in many ways, from families, clans, tribes, communities, dynasties, towns, cities, states, nations, and many sub-groups therein. The more expansive the group becomes, the more removed and disconnected from being able to change government the people become. When this distancing happens, it creates a greater tendency for several things to happen, most notably of which is the ability for pathological personality types to maneuver their way, lying, deceiving, and killing, through a superficially related society, and also commit violent acts on others, whether it’s police brutality or sending them off to war to kill for some far-off purported “greater political cause”. Historically, with the establishment of more vast societies comes a greater proclivity toward the use of violence, in its many forms, for political purposes (often driven by those in power for profit through industry).
The etymology of the word “violence” comes from the Latin word “violare” meaning “violation”. Indeed, the State is the most violent and violating construct hurting humanity and the environments upon which it depends. The State claims a monopoly of violence in society: wars are justified mass murder, soldiers are legal assassins, systematic poverty in an otherwise abundant society is abuse, birth certificates mark people as property, perpetual and unplayable global debt creates wage slavery, and incarceration for abstaining in the mandatory taxation to fund bloated global militarism while neglecting society’s infrastructure and social wellbeing is the epitome of physical and psychological abuse. Is it any wonder why violent behavioral pathologies are so ubiquitous in the “civilized” world? Socially speaking, Authoritarianism and Statism are the two most prevailing dominator ideologies that infect our world today, and both rely primarily on several forms of violence- coercion, subjugation, abuse, manipulation, and more. This violence, expressed through crime, sports, abusive parenting, violent pornography, rampant suicide, video games, and many other detrimental facets of society, is merely symptomatic of the causal conditions sanctioned, created, and proliferated by government. Just as people normalize prolonged stress in their bodies or prolonged behavioral pathologies (like people saying “I’m just an asshole. Deal with it.”), so too have most people normalized their society’s prolonged sickness. They don’t even stop to consider just how violently abhorrent the controlling elements of society are.
“Our entire life is built on violence or fear of it. From earliest childhood you are subjected to the violence of parents or elders. At home, in school, in the office, factory, field, or shops, it is always someone’s [violently imposed] authority which keeps you obedient and compels you to do his will.”
~ Alexander Berkman
Since virtually all people have been abused since childhood to varying degrees, most normalize this abuse to the point that they often subconsciously act out a sub/unconsciously-repressed emotional revenge by invading and violating others over whom they have power to violate. For example, children are encouraged by coaches to “beat” others in competition instead of appreciating the abilities of others to inspire and empower mutual growth. Instead of seeing all people on earth as beautiful, precious, and deserving of care, Nationalism creates a social narcissism whereby others are marginalized by notions of regional supremacy. Therefore, children are forced to say “The Pledge of Allegiance” daily in school, brainwashing the nationalist authoritarian doctrine daily before children even have the capacity to question the “pledge” they’re coerced to repeat. And so, we have been trained to see “greatness” and “success” as the domination over others, instead of reverence and mutuality. It’s clear that every facet of our lives and society is saturated in psychologically hostile ideologies that are unhealthy to our intrinsic human condition. Consequently, all this often creates the foundation of what is known as an “Authoritarian Personality“.
In a psychological study by University of Manitoba professor emeritus Bob Altemeyer, the Authoritarian Personality is described in detail. Altemeyer categorizes individuals with this sort of behavioral disposition in to two broad categories: “Authoritarian Leaders” and “Authoritarian Followers”. The “Followers” are those who support pathological people in power. They crave an Authority who is dominating and (directly or indirectly) harsh. Altemeyer defines Authoritarian Followers as having three core characteristics:
1) High degree of submission to authority
2) Willingness to attack other people in the name of the authority
3) Highly conventional attitudes
In discussing the submission to authority, lack of independent critical thinking, and the need for approval that characterizes Authoritarian Followers, Altemeyer writes:
“Authoritarian followers seem to have a “Daddy and mommy know best” attitude toward the government. They do not see laws as social standards that apply to all. Instead, they appear to think that authorities are above the law, and can decide which laws apply to them and which do not – just as parents can when one is young… If you ask subjects to rank the importance of various values in life, authoritarian followers place “being normal” substantially higher than most people do. It’s almost as though they want to disappear as individuals into the vast vat of Ordinaries.”
Though they habitually use the rhetoric of righteousness, they tend to be full of hatred, and their behavior quickly turns ugly when they are under stress. Altemeyer explains:
“They get off smiting the sinner; they relish being “the arm of the Lord.”… which suggests authoritarian followers have a little volcano of hostility bubbling away inside them looking for a (safe, approved) way to erupt….“
~ Altemeyer (2003), “What Happens When Authoritarians Inherit the Earth? A Simulation; Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy”, Vol. 3, No. 1.
Sound familiar? Perhaps you may have encountered or know of people like this. Perhaps you have behaved this way in the past?
The same zealous ignorance and Authoritarianism that drove the Salem Witch Trials is mirrored in today’s War on Terror. This impressionability and obedience of people, when provided with a legitimizing Authoritarian ideology (and/or institutional coercion), has long been studied and proven.
From the unconscionable massacres at Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the MOVE standoff, to the inept TSA molesting, abusing, and beating civilians, to an avalanche of unpunished police violence skyrocketing, or the US Military bombing, invading, and torturing innocent civilians around the world, or even just the rampantly predatory profiteering of government sponsored private agencies from insignificant municipal violations, severely pathological behavior has not only been normalized, it has been implicitly deemed “necessary” by Statists and, by implication, the “Powers That Be”. In the cases where subsequent legal action has found the State to be “excessive” (more criminal than it usually is), most punishment involves either A.) using tax money to pay off the injured parties (read: you pay for the State’s crimes) or B.) paid suspension (read: paid vacation).
As George Orwell observed, the State governs and brainwashes its subjects in to Authoritarian Followers not only by naked force but by trying to define reality, even to the extent of manipulating their thoughts through the manipulation of language, systematically lowering the standards of public education, advertising and propaganda, covertly drugging the public at great expense to taxpayers, sabotaging dissension and progressive conversations online, the unfettered bombardment of extremely harmful electromagnetic radiation, the deterioration of public care for psychological dysfunction, and many, many more…
“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.”
~ Philip K. Dick
Statist Authoritarianism is a brainwashed condition whose implications cannot be over-emphasized. This manipulation to foster a “love of captivity” is a technique that has been used by governments and companies for centuries. A classic form of reality manipulation/mind control is the insidious Hegelian Dialectic of “Problem – Reaction – Solution”. In the Hegelian Dialectic, a PROBLEM is purposefully and covertly manufactured and manipulated in order to illicit the desired REACTION of public outcry, whereby the public demands a SOLUTION which as already been predetermined and prepackaged for sale from the very beginning by those who created the problem to begin with (who are now seen as saviors for proposing the solution).
“The ultimate tyranny in a society is not control by martial law. It is control by the psychological manipulation of consciousness, through which reality is defined so that those who exist within it do not even realize that they are in prison. They do not even realize that there is something outside of where they exist.”
“We are currently in the midst of the greatest epidemic sickness known to humanity. Like a fish in water who doesn’t recognize water because it is everywhere, both outside and within the fish itself, many of us don’t realize the collective insanity in our midst, as our madness is so pervasive that it has become normalized.
People taken over by the wetiko virus usually don’t suspect a thing about how they have been “conned,” or more accurately, how they have conned themselves. The wetiko culture offers no incentive for them to self-reflectingly speculate upon their increasingly depraved condition; on the contrary, the nonlocal field configures itself to enable, further cultivate, and deepen their psychosis. When someone is a full-blown, unrecognized wetiko, the field around them torques so as to protect, collude with, and feed into their psychosis in a way that entrances those around them. Similar to how an octopus squirts ink in order to hide, a psychic field gets conjured up around full-blown wetikos which obfuscates their malfeasance.
Once under the wetiko spell, people lose the capacity to recognize the wetiko pathology in others. In a situation of “group narcissism,” wetikos at different stages of the disease assume particular postures and roles relative to each other that protect and shield themselves from their own insanity and darkness. They feed and reinforce each other’s narcissism because it enhances their own.
Anyone who doesn’t buy into the arbitrarily established story is marginalized and demonized, and called either crazy, a conspiracy theorist, or even a terrorist. Such a group consensus about the nature of reality gets increasingly hard to sustain as time passes, however, as, like a house of cards ready to collapse at any moment, its vision of the world is based on the fundamental error of not being true. Strangely enough, people under the collective enchantment of wetiko become fanatically attached to supporting an agenda that oftentimes is diametrically opposed to serving then own best interests.This is an outer behavioral reflection of the inner state of being under the sway of the self-destructive wetiko parasite.
All of the mainstream, culturally sanctioned, corporatized institutions are in the business of indoctrination, telling us what to think and not think, as well as how to think. Our mind is continually being massaged into shape by the prevailing culture, our true face lifted as our spiritual pockets are picked. Our civilization has become the mouthpiece for the propaganda organ of the disease, entrancing us to “buy” into its viewpoint as we are bled to death of what really counts. The culture that informs and forms around wetiko illness is itself a channel of its transmission and growth. If we sign on the dotted line and subscribe to its viewpoint, its life-denying culture will gradually subsume us into itself, enlisting us as its agents who unwitingly do its bidding. This is how the ever-expanding, self-generating psychic empire of collective psychosis works, as it increasingly takes over and approaches “full-employment.”
We are truly in a war. It is not the war we imagine we are in, which is the way our true adversaries want it. It is ultimately and actually not a foreign war against a foreign enemy. It is a war on consciousness, a war on our own minds.“
~ Paul Levy, Dispelling Wetiko – Breaking the Curse of Evil
With society full of Authoritarian Statists unwaveringly protective of their captors, government both perpetrates the tyranny of the majority and the tyranny of a megalomaniacal minority. Like the allegory of Plato’s Cave, many people desperately believe in the “shadows on the wall” which government defines as “truth” and “reality”.
But who are the people creating these “shadows on the wall”? What sort of people comprise this minority which creates so much death and destruction all over the world? To answer this, we need to go deeper still. As the saying goes, “By their fruits shall you know them”.