I’m reminded of Dante’s Inferno, where the author passes through hell to reach heaven. Doing this is a very bad idea.
For me the trip took place from 1997 to 2000. I was becoming utterly disillusioned with both the educational system and American society and was very angry about my Usenet experience, which I thought might offer a hope for America but instead merely reflected and worsened the culture. Partially in fear and despair and partially to learn I put on the mantle of a totalitarian dictator with respect to the messageboards of two web-based games – Voltec’s 1-on-1 basketball game (beginning in ’97) and then Grand Slam Baseball (beginning in ’98).
The psychology of a totalitarian dictator is not like it’s portrayed in various media – the primary motivation of a dictator is to save the people from themselves. Since there is a constant interplay between dictator and the people, in order to win and turn the people into sheep the dictator needs to convince them that they are better off to put themselves in the hands of the dictator. He doesn’t do so for nefarious reasons, but because he believes them to be better off if they turn themselves in.
A common misperception is that the best defense against a totalitarian dictator is a kind of paranoia about the possibility of such – and violent reaction against anything that threatens to subvert one’s will. The best way to defend against such dictators is to be a great self-manager – to always command oneself not out of fear of subversion of the will but out of love of freedom, which requires such self-management.
The problem for me was not this project of totalitarianism, but that the project succeeded. I turned people into sheep, and they handed over their will to me. This was an abyss of horror far worse than anything else I’ve experienced or conceived.
It was inevitable following this tragedy that I become a severe enemy of totalitarianism, since I am one of the very few living humans (especially young ones) who understands it and since one of the major reasons I undertook the project was that I saw the United States moving in that direction.
I didn’t have any idea I was undertaking a totalitarian project when I started – my intellectual basis for the project was the Domination/Imitation Duology, which I developed in 1997. I noticed that people would imitate the behavior of people around them, such as people in an auditorium sitting a certain way. My focus was on the psychology of domination and to understand the basis for this domination and imitation.
Perhaps the endpoint of this line is in my allegiance to and pursuit of anarchism, which is the anti-thesis of totalitarianism.
Dante was wrong. It’s self-abusive to go through hell to reach heaven. Humans should never make that sacrifice. We need to build a society such that other humans don’t think they need to take that approach.
How’s Qt3 going? The place seemed fairly mean-spirited a few months ago when I checked in.
How have you been doing? – are there any developments in your life? Are you still writing?