Friday, September 7, 2007

861 Fantasies of Control: The problem with those who want to "master" their environment

Message no. 861[Branch from no. 850] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Monday, April 23, 2007 6:58pm Subject: Re: weather

Chilling thoughts aren't they? The purpose, if it is true, would be to fulfill fantasies of control, as we were talking about in the posts on technophilia and technophobia. People have wanted to control the weather and natural events since we first mastered the creation and use of fire.

The other night my wife and I watched the German film "Der Untergang" ("The downfall") about Hitler's last days in the bunker in Berlin just before World War II ended. It shows him on his 50th birthday in the bunker and how he and Evan Braun cowardly committed suicide when it was clear Germany would lose the war, rather than face the consequences of their actions, as did the Goebbels (family of his right hand man) who first poisoned their five children (!) not wanting them to live in a world they could not control.

What was clear from the film was that Hitler and his Nazi party cronies were intoxicated with the fantasy of control. The wanted a world of harsh discipline and Hitler said, as the German civilians were being slaughtered by the Russian army when some of his generals said "we must surrender, our people are all dying" -- "they don't deserve any better. If they can't survive, they are weak and deserve to die. It is the law of the jungle. If our dream of controlling the world can not be fulfilled then we are worthless." Hitler saw the German people (and people everywhere else) as mere pawns on his chessboard. It didn't matter to him how many of his own "civilians" died for him to express his vision.

Hitler was obsessed by control, and his party put the idea of controlling every aspect of life on the top of the governments agenda. Unfortunately this power lust was not confined to the Nazis, and it infects people in all societies and regimes everywhere. It is as Lord Acton said a century ago, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!"

Power is about control. Have no doubt that in the search for the ultimate weapon of control even rulers in a "democratic" society will consider innocent individuals expendable.

However, we can take heart in the fact that an informed citizenry in a democratic countrycan bring about positive change. As Jefferson said, ""An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will.. . . The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe." So knowing about what our corporations and governments are doing is key to bringing eutopia to our earth!

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