If you are a trekkie, you are familiar with The Borg.
For everyone else: The Borg is an alien race, a collection of species functioning as drones of the collective, or the hive. The Borg forces other species into the collective and connect them to “the hive mind”. The act is called “assimilation”. The individual is lost, there is only the collective. The Borg is fictitious, of course. Or, is it?
I recently interacted with someone regarding the state and government. As the conversation progressed, I realized that I had just engaged with the collective. His statements were wrought with “we”, “us”, “majority”, and “masses”. I attempted to discuss principles and personal philosophy about violence, and the morality of the state. I commented that people who advocate the state also advocate violence and theft and support an immoral system.
He took offense to that statement and simultaneously denied AND supported it, citing “The majority makes the rules. We all have to live together and we may not like all the rules. If you do not like it, you can leave”.
When there is nowhere left to go, the road dead ends at “Don’t like it? Take a hike”.
He repeated metaphors like “play the game” and “follow the rules” as if WE are all on the same team. Yet no one can opt out of the game set in place by the system unless they leave the country. So, take it or leave. There was no middle ground or discussion about the immorality of this ideology.
I do not believe my friend is evil or violent. Though, he supports allowing the state to commit violence and theft against me under the banner of the majority. This passive act keeps blood off of his hands.
This interaction alerted me to a frightening trend – how readily and willingly others will use government as a weapon. They use it to legislate morality, to steal from their neighbors, to pay for their bad choices, and on and on. I am not singling this one person out. He is just an example of the many, many others sharing this perspective.
I re-directed the conversation to individual rights. Who can deny individual rights? It was never directly addressed. Indirectly, it was condensed to “the powers”, “team”, “rules” and “majority”. Are you picking up on a theme here?
Synopsis: There are a whole lot of people on this planet and we need the illusion that is the state to make rules and enforce them with violence, because if we are left to our own devices and are “granted” complete freedom, we would be ruled by gangs. My neighbors would suddenly flip out and transform into pillagers and plunderers. They will steal, threaten, harm, make their own rules and force me to comply at the end of a gun. The opposite of what we currently enjoy.
It became disturbingly clear to me that there are no individual rights. It was as if I was speaking Klingon. The question just did not register. The rights of the individual were void in his world.
We were going in circles and he was inconsistent in his philosophy because he does not own it. He is running a program and when presented with this “new” data, it glitched. It had nowhere to go because the pathways to individual thinking are blocked or corrupted.
The collective, authoritarian mentality is a virus. It is planted early in the minds of the young when they are plugged into the system. It is nurtured and reinforced for many years and they emerge a product of the state. They are assimilated. Once assimilated, the hive mind has consumed individual thought and creativity. It has destroyed freedom for everyone because freedom begins in the mind of the individual. There is no other way.
The illusion of the state swells in people’s minds. They cling to it like a religion and they fear living without it. The true enemy of freedom is not a group of individuals, but rather a belief that the state is legitimate, and that the individual’s rights and freedoms are irrelevant. Is there a remedy? Can the hive mind be healed? A friend reminded me that The Borg was defeated, from the inside, by helping them realize they are all individuals, one at a time.