The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Mean Control

I've been writing books for a long time and have been fortunate with their success. My guess is that more copies of my books have been sold than those of 98 percent of all authors ... and that's something to celebrate. But compared to top-tier novelists, like NYT best selling author Dean Koontz, I'm in the minor leagues. Koontz has sold tens of millions of copies of his work, and in addition to telling a good story, he occasionally delves briefly into social commentary. In his novel, Quicksilver, Koontz writes:

Earth convulses violently when its magnetic poles shift, continental plates thrusting over or under one another, lowlands abruptly surging up, mountains crumbling, three-thousand-foot-high walls of seawater racing several hundred miles inland and scrubbing away everything in their path. Then there’s also the fact that to remain livable, the planet depends entirely on solar activity, which can decline and induce ice ages that last thousands of years, or which might one day flare violently enough to boil oceans and incinerate an entire hemisphere. 

Yet we humans have the hubris to think we can build eternal cities, stop the aging process, control the climate, and create utopia at the point of a gun. I used to believe our subconscious recognition of our true helplessness in the face of cosmic forces was what explained the insane lust for power that makes so many into murderers, rapists, thieves, and raving-mad ideologues. For their kind, such mean control allows the illusion of greatness, inspires even the foolish hope of immortality on Earth.

Over the past three years, we've seen a startling uptick in two things Koontz mentions—"hubris" and "mean control," often cultivated by ideologues who tell us that they have our best interests at heart but in fact, are far more interested in mean control. 

An interesting phrase—"mean control." I interpet it as authoritarianism accompanied by policies that are imposed on all regardless of the intended and unintended consequences of those policies and enforced by a combination of dishonesty, social stigma (against those who oppose it) and outright censorship of opposing ideas. Whether is was our disastrous Covid-19 policies (virtually all of them dishonest and ultimately proven wrong and harmful) or the current state of climate alarmism (itself counterfactual, unscientific and ultimately to be proved wrong), the ideologues exhibit breathtaking hubris to believe they can control global acts of nature.

But hubris alone isn't enough. It must be accompanied by mean control—the sledgehammer that beats opposing views into submission—so that those who apply it can achieve "the insane lust for power" that will ruin most things that our society has built and irreparably harm the most defenseless of those among us.