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If I Can't Rule the World I Shall Destroy It

This is the cry of the authoritarian narcissist, and those who support him or her. It's a cry of despair from the minds of those who believed that reason and justice ruled the world and now realizing it's the opposite, feel betrayed but cannot see their part in it. In denial and without humility they sink into the dark hole of revenge. 

The trouble is we confuse ideology or the power of ideology with right and wrong. "Ideologies may be viewed as societally defined ideational structures that exist in order to permit latent dimensions of the psyche to become manifest in the external world." says, Richard Koenigsberg in his essay "Why do Ideologies exist".

When someone says "the real world" what they mean is the "ideational structures" that we have taken for granted as "truth". What we often call human nature is the "psychic functions" that permit certain desires and fantasies to be projected onto "reality".

The ideational structure I am most affected by is the notion of control. Raised in a nation who preached progress and who embarked on racist, colonial brutality, we argued about how to rule the world but not how to care for it. 

The male head of the household made decisions for members of his family whom he viewed as weak and childlike, who needed his strength and protection.  When things didn't go as planned the ones who failed were those who could not live "up to" the patriarch's laws.  

In authoritarian cultures, the sons learned to shut down their emotions and daughters learned how to keep silent.  Love became duty. Empathy and compassion died. 

We are born into a set of beliefs that our parents and teachers assume are right, and since we need approval from our society to survive, we learn how to adjust ourselves to an external view. It works to oppress and make obedient the people who live under its power.

I grew up believing I was good and those who behaved and thought like me were also good, and if we all thought the same there would be peace. Prejudiced and privileged, I must now swallow how wrong I was. Thanks to the Republican party in the US, I see how corrupted the white colonialist is capable of becoming. I see the harm I have caused by believing I must be in control, by holding on to control and blinding myself to the effect it has on those who have less.

The more I age, the more I lack confidence in talking about big issues. How to create or be part of an inclusive and just society is beyond my control. Things are changing. There is so much I cannot know - even on my own street. I am a stakeholder in this thing called humanity but not its ruler.

When despotic opportunists threaten what little bit of civil society remains, I feel absolutely lost. Outraged that we vote for hate rather than deal with our own discomfort because we are not in control.  You and I can't rule the world. Yet we commit endless acts of violence to support the delusion that we can. Nations are not great. And we are destroying the world because we can't rule it.

Fascist and communist movements in Europe in the 1930's, according to Hannah Arendt, recruited support from the masses dismissed as being too stupid for the other parties.

Chris Hedges, in his article The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism. writes there is only "one way left to blunt the yearning for fascism coalescing around (Donald) Trump. It is to build, as fast as possible, movements or parties that declare war on corporate power, engage in sustained acts of civil disobedience and seek to reintegrate the disenfranchised—the “losers”—back into the economy and political life of the country." 

In short,  we must declare war on our addiction to power-over and use our power to care for and heal our world in any way we can.  


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