The Seduction of the Thought Police

Most aspects of what we consider “reality” are imaginary constructs built in our minds.

Since we are effectively powerless against truly random acts of violence, people strive for security and comfort in any means possible.

When a “pain-free” easy solution to a social ill is presented, and if you have little stake in the costs involved, many will accept that cost, even if it is a false security.

Regulating fiction and art is never effective, and it never addresses the causes behind violence, but it makes us feel better.

We feel we have done something, even if it is futile.

Most of us place emphasis on our emotions and sentiments that are registered in our hearts, and have difficulty heeding insights that are constructed in detached logic by our minds that are grounded in actual numbers.

Our sense of vulnerability, made raw by savage aspects of our existence on this planet, fed to us 247 through the countless LCDs surrounding us, seeks immediate addressal.

We encounter an injustice. Our peace of mind is ruptured. We desire a solution, and we will accept the prescription given, even if we do not understand it. A sense of authority and legitimacy, and the warm feeling of compassion radiated by the speaker, will be enough to turn a blind eye upon the costs invoked.

For there never is a cost free solution.

There are moments when we will feel embolden to cry foul at those who wish to silence us, but many times this is an emotional reaction to our normality of existence. By nature, humans avoid confrontation, and when speech leads to confrontation, the natural inclination is to ask the intruding speaker to be “more polite.”

But who sets the standards for politeness? It is the majority. It is authority. Most of us will support such standards as it is believed to be an extension of our own common sense. Culture is a norm that is shared by many and most believe they are encompassing. But to those who do not or cannot share those norms, they are alienating.

The true test of free speech does not arise when it protects the status quo or the norms of our existence. The true test of free speech is tested in how a society can tolerate speech that attacks the status quo and what we hold dear.

But fighting for the rights of others to be a thorn in your side is tiring and thankless. To be perfectly frank, many of us will silently hope that people raising their voices will go away, even when we agree with them.

We don’t want to see people arguing, and that is why we give so much power to the police and administrators. We want to let the experts handle all those noisy people.

We simply want to be left alone, content in our own worlds.

We allow words like “trust,” “responsiblity” and “faith” to be is abused endlessly, but we welcome such abuses because it makes the confusing world we live in seem more manageable, more concrete.

When you move away from the talking heads and the hysteria of the bold type, it becomes easier to realize the fragility of our existence and how we are residents of worlds we construct ourselves. And yet, few wish to acknowledge such evanescence.

We seek clarity, even if it blinds us. We seek security, even if enslaves us.

Thought policing never stops a person from having evil thoughts. Thought policing makes us feel better. It does not make us safer.

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