Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Corporate States Of America

Rich people came to this country and took what it had. They sold it to others and became richer. When the free goods were used up they turned to theft to relive the rush of getting more and more. That money is disappearing as well. When the rich are done they will not be able to regain that rush and will have to find another way to satisfy that elusive thrill. Since they have all the money and power they will be able to choose the type of thrill. There is more than one way of feeling alive--there is also the power over life and death. Think of Rome.

They are driven to fill the emptiness inside because they are hollow men and women, devoid of self. Their true self was taken from them, usually by their parents. Their self was smothered to make way for the self their parents insisted they become. Authoritarian adults demand that their children adhere to the pattern set down by their own parents, a never-ending chain of repression and control. That emptiness and self-denial can't be filled up with religion or politics or material possessions, cannot be ignored, cannot be stopped. The authoritarian, depending on the strength of his repression, must seek out something to fill the void and will not stop unless he or she is forced to stop.

And so here we are, in the twilight of our innocence, insisting that we are children and must obey. The rich rule because they must. The poor obey because they must. It doesn't even seem to occur to most of them that there is another way. A way called "letting go." Let go of the need, of the exchange of obedience for love. Let go of the need to be special, to fill the void, to hold on to the void because you think there is nothing else. Let go, and fill the void with the person you want and need and choose to be.


zeppo said...

Ouch. Susan, you were in fine form when you wrote that. Spot on. Very good. Huzzah and all that. Want more! Although maybe you could have written it in the form of Genesis (the Bible, not the rock group). That would have been interesting.

Susan of Texas said...

Thank, Zeppo.

Heh. Now I'm imagining the post as a rock ballad.

atheist said...

Susan of Texas, this is really potent! I guess this analysis of authoritarianism, and its aeons of damage, is just where your heart is.

Susan of Texas said...

Yes, absolutely. The reason I have this blog is to talk about this, to expalin why we obey, why we are so needy. And how we hide behind politics, religion, family, and theory when we are really trying to satisfy simple emotional needs. It bleeds into everything, so I end up saying the same thing repeatedly--authoritarian abuse is a fundamental factor in why we are so messed up as a species. We're not intrinsically evil, Satan isn't trying to sway us. We hurt and we need, and we can do something about that, something that might change the world.

atheist said...

Susan, just a question, how did you know I had linked to this over at Fabius Maximus?

Susan of Texas said...

Sitemeter. It lists the sites people come from when they visit my site. It's a quick way to see who links to me, and of course I want to know if anyone's reading what I write.

I try not to think about stuff like links and popularity but I also want to know if anyone likes what I write. I keep a mental image of Althouse in my head to keep from going too far.

atheist said...

Susan, ah, sitemeter! OK, that makes sense. I should learn more about that.

I've been hanging around Fabius Maximus for a while. I went there first because I wanted a geopolitics blog. What's weird is that the guy posts many of the people that mocks and appears to take them seriously. The blog is pretty conservative in some ways, but never really wingnutty. What's neat is, they do really seem to accept anyone who can put a good argument together. It's certainly interesting.