The Ideologically Possessed
A common trait among the ideologically possessed is the belief that they, through the medium of a leader, an ideology, or "authorities" embedded in the service of the Party, have all the answers to the world's problems, if only the other side, they say, were willing to do it their way then everything would be just fine. Which makes any criticism of their plan directeur unacceptable, regardless of what individual truths they may bring to light. What are the value of such truths anyway, they conclude, particularly if they are critical of the Party, which, in itself, according to Chairman Mao, is "the embodiment of the Greatest Truth?" And so the need for dialogue and criticism – against the leader, the authorities and the ideology, is dispensed with and considered "reactionary," and those who expound them cancelled, censored, vilified, silenced, and if need be, murdered.
The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought (Orwell).
The possessed, then, with a clear conscience can carry out the collective will of the Party, even if it necessitates the most heinous crimes against humanity, secure in the knowledge that they are doing what is necessary to build a future more equitable society. Party leaders have all understood the Greater Truth embodied in the Party Machine and the necessity for human sacrifice – which not only represents the Greater Truth - but the Greater Good.
This is how totalitarianism grows and exercises control, primarily because of the moral failing of each individual in the collective, at a personal level. Consider the guard at Auschwitz, prodding Gypsies, Jews and others into the gas chambers, or a gulag Chekist overseeing a bunch of prisoners digging their own mass grave, or a Chinese Communist nurse, lining up Falun Gong prisoners waiting to have their organs forcibly removed, while eating lunch or engage in casual conversation with her medical comrades about their spouses, love affairs or children. Primarily, the moral responsibility for these crimes, does not rest with the leaders (il 'Duce the Chairman, the Fuhrer or the President) but their enablers: ordinary men and women who have surrendered their power and will – their very souls - and are now, just doing their job.
The tragic history of totalitarianism has demonstrated very clearly, that when people are not prepared to rule themselves, to take personal responsibility for their actions, others will, and the world they create, does not - as history has revealed - become a better place, but a menagerie: a hellhole filled with compliant souls, and a hunting ground for tyrants and other sociopaths.
The ideologically possessed have not formulated their own worldview objectively from honest ethical and moral deliberations, but rather from a "view" that has been programmed into them by others. Not a good foundation upon which to build a just, freedom-loving society. In philosophical terms, the ideologically possessed do not really have a worldview at all, but merely a set of assumptions about the world, usually derived from collectivist, utopian or messianic concepts and objectives, based on the very opposite of what, John Locke, one of the founding fathers of the Enlightenment wrote in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding:
The necessity of believing without knowledge, nay often upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than constrain others.
One of the major buzzwords of totalitarianism these days is "equity," a concept that arouses powerful emotions in the possessed; a buzzword that in itself is unattainable and diametrically opposed to any notion of human freedom and equal opportunity, and is rooted in the idea of totalitarian uniformity, as opposed to the biological, psychological and sociological truths that human beings are born with different capacities, meaning that if they are "free" they are not equal, and if they are equal, they are not free.
A free person's worldview may include philosophical, moral, ethical and religious ponderings. The duality of spirit and matter, for example, or perhaps their considerations about the origins of the universe, human nature, the existence of God and the rise and fall of civilisations. They would also have constructive and critical ideas about the state, society, science, politics, religion and economic activity. On the other hand, the ideologically possessed, rely heavily on indoctrination and censorship whilst their leadership erodes the ability of their subjects to think for themselves, to make informed choices, examine the evidence, and according to their conscience, then draw their own conclusions as a guide to action.
For every question the Party has an answer. It already knows the truth because it's "out there" which then they pass on to their converts, thus giving them the ability - without thinking too much, if at all - to separate their enemies from their friends.
How does one recognise those around us who are possessed? For a start, they are not thinkers and few are genuinely creative, they simply follow a script, and like any computer have been "programmed" to respond. All are predictably stamped from the same mould. All you need to learn is the algorithmic substrata of their ideological closed system, which is usually predicated on about five or six axioms, in other words, how they suppress and filter their experience of the world, themselves and others, to fit their ideological perspective, which is like looking down the opposite end of a telescope.
The possessed then use these axioms to generate their speech content. You really don't have to "hear" the person because you know what they are going to say, which alleviates any responsibility they have for thinking for themselves, allowing them to imagine they have full knowledge about the entire world and their capacity to believe they know who is on the side of Good (themselves, of course!) or Evil (the other). The nature of this kind of indoctrination leads to the suspension of critical thought, meaningful dialogue and free speech, which is also endemic in politics and the media today across the Western world.
The Party is not ambiguous about their goal to ferment a revolution as a prerequisite to dictatorship, and share one thing in common: they are opposed to and promote the opposite of Enlightenment values: the sovereignty of the individual, the primacy of human reason, scientific empiricism, the right to privacy, private property, and the rule of law, all of which the Party Machine despises and takes precedence over.
When you confront a possessed person, remember it's not the person you are confronting, so always look for a crack in their ideological armour, a way through the conditioning to their humanity and humility. Compliment them in some way, offer kindness, gratitude, love and friendship. And if it all fails, walk away without animosity, or regret, knowing you have shone your light into a dark place, and that perhaps, one day, your efforts will be remembered with gratitude.
© 2022 Eugene Alexander Donnini