The problem arises when we need to process and understand complex and chaotic situations. The ability to think for ourselves has been short-circuited by the rise of social networks, television propaganda, and easy solutions presented by charismatic pundits and political and religious leaders. With so much information to process, it is easier to drift into mass hypnosis and go with the flow.
After all, we rationalize, I’m comfortable, and while everything may not be perfect—it’s okay. I get in trouble when I rock the boat with my family, my church, and my “friends” on social media. When my conscience reproaches me for my complicity, I consume an extra cocktail, another gram or two of my favorite drug, or an extra hour or two on PornHub.
We socialize with people who look and think like we do. We gather with our family at holidays, at church on Sunday, and peruse partisan groups on Facebook. We refuse to associate with those who trouble our thoughts. We do not stop to realize that a country of unthinking people is entirely at the mercy of ruthless individualists. It is this gradual extinction of the individual thinker that has made America succumb so readily to a dictator.
A million non-thinkers joined together in a base do not, unfortunately, add up to one thinker. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the thoughtful individual, but the fatally shortsighted habit of our day is to think only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations. One would think that our world has seen more than enough of what an unthinking mob can do in the hands of a single madman.
Unfortunately, we have forgotten our history lessons—and our blindness in this respect is extremely dangerous. People go on blithely organizing and believing in nationalistic fervor, without the least consciousness that the most sovereign countries tend to be easily maintained by the ruthlessness of their leaders and the cheapest of slogans.
They are deluded when the Church and State rope them into social organizations and reduce them to a condition of diminished thinking (i.e. “take up your cross and deny yourself” or “don’t believe what you see” or “truth is what I say”). Good religious and political leaders should instead be raising individuals out of the indifferent, mindless mass and making it clear that the ability to think critically for themselves is crucial and that the hope of the world consists of the rational thoughts of each individual soul.
Instead, emotional church services and political rallies inundate the individual with fear, shame, guilt, and victimization. When the intoxication has worn off, the base succumbs to yet another more obvious and still louder slogan. “Our leader is anointed by God.”
All mass movements, as one might expect, slip with the greatest of ease down a slippery slope represented by large numbers. We start to believe that where the many are, there is security; what the many believe must, of course, be true; what the many wants must be worth striving for. It must be necessary, and therefore it must be good.
The leaders urge us to let them do all the thinking and looking after our needs. To all questions, they say, there is an easy answer. And for all desires, we will make the necessary provision. The masses escape to drinks, drugs, and porn, which makes it easy for them to fantasize that all is right with the world. The unthinking base never thinks to ask who is paying for this paradise. They hand the balancing of accounts over to a higher political or religious authority, who welcomes the task, for their power is increased. And the more power the Church and State gains, the weaker and more helpless the individual.
When conditions like this develop on a large scale, the road to tyranny lies open, and the freedom of the individual turns into spiritual and physical slavery. Suffocating chaos is paraded before their eyes every day by the media. Propaganda and conspiracy theories thrive on social networks, and the insignificance of the individual is preached so thoroughly that they lose all hope of making themselves heard.
Resistance to the organized mass (the base) can be achieved only by the person who is well organized in their thinking. They must systematically wade through the chaos and cry out for law and order and unity. Americans must return to our founding principles—liberty and justice for all.
The Christian outlook on life has proven powerless to prevent the rise of perverted and corrupt political and religious authoritarians. Over America hangs such prevailing darkness that it is hard to see why the individual should be interested or to what purpose or ideal they should commit themself. Before this daunting problem, the unthinking person stands helpless.
The darkness is not surprising since practically all the trump cards are in the hands of the authorities. And while it is true that the promised wall bristling with barbed wire has not yet been built on our Mexican border—a wall much higher and stronger has been raised through the soul of America.
In a country where justice is uncertain, and division and fear are at work, human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator. To counter this danger, the thinking person needs to systematically work to construct a bond of love for their neighbor—no matter which side of the wall they reside. If we continue to think like victims and project our fears upon each other here in America and around the world, democracy and freedom will cease to exist. Much sooner than we might think.
It is very much in the interest of the thinking person (who treasures freedom) to ponder the value of human relationships and camaraderie—for in these values reside our unity and, consequently, our strength. When individual thinking and brotherly love stops, power begins, and violence and terror.