One thing I notice about people who disagree with me politically is that most people who are libertarians or conservative or anarchists believe that everyone is “independent.” I hear all the time from people who espouse these views that people think for themselves, and that it’s never anyone else’s fault when someone does something.
I see things differently. I see the world as large groups of easily led cattle. It’s my belief that very few people think for themselves, and that we are collectively responsible for the outcomes of our society.
I can’t expect anyone who disagrees with me on this to change their mind. After all, someone else got to you before me, so I can’t expect you to think independently and question your established beliefs. However, I can explain what I have observed that has brought me to this conclusion.
In my experience, there are people who would rather die than think for themselves. Don’t believe me? Just look at the army. Look at religious fanatics. Look at political militants. The world is full of people who don’t, won’t or can’t think for themselves. A large percentage of the population would rather be told what is right than to seek their own answers.
I can understand why libertarians, conservatives and anarchists don’t want to think about this particular aspect of humanity: it completely junks their ideology. If there are large groups of people who depend on others not only for ideas, but also for livelihood, how can you have a society based on the flimsy belief that everyone can take care of themselves, and that those who can’t will just quietly shut the fuck up and die politely?
But I suspect most conservative leaders know this. I suspect that conservatives egg on the easily led, relying upon the very types of people they publicly claim do not exist in order to not only be re-elected, but also to instill fear in the opposition.
When Sharron Angle talks about “second amendment remedies,” or when Rand Paul holds up a gun at a rally and says that our forefathers gave us another means of changing the government, they are relying upon the easily-led nature of human beings. They aren’t trying to promote violence, they simply know that people are violent by nature and that violent people will eat up their rhetoric. And if a few Democrats get shot along the way, all the better.
Usually, people don’t “make” others do anything. That isn’t how it works… usually. Yes, Charles Manson did a good job of making people kill, but I wouldn’t put most politicians or political pundits into this category. What politicians and political pundits (especially on the right) tend to do, however, is bombard people with things like fear, anger, and the belief that they are superior, which is enough to not only make right-wingers consider violence, but left-wingers as well (who doesn’t want to kill Rush, honestly… hands?).
One particular quote that struck me when reading about the events of today comes from Republican Randy Graf, who lost to Gifford in her first congressional race. He said, “As we hear more about the alleged shooter, it seems he may be more like a person with problems whom you can’t control.”
Quite the opposite, this guy is the perfect example of someone you can control. People who are mentally unstable are the easiest people in the world to control through simple means. Sure, his math teacher couldn’t control him, but he might have had more luck if he changed his story problems to… “If I shoot 1 immigrant an hour, assuming I’m awake for 22 hours a day, how many wetbacks can I take care of in three years?”
It’s people like Jared Lee Loughner who make the world we actually live in incompatible with the ideas that people like Jared Lee Loughner think are so brilliant.
On another note… I hear he wanted to make his own form of money. Something tells me that he’ll find his calling in jail, where he’ll probably be used as currency.