We must have a religion—it goes without saying—but my idea is, to have it cut up into forty free sects, so that they will police each other, as had been the case in the United States in my time. Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and and an Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered condition.
Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” chapter titled “In the Queen’s Dungeon” Link
Society is attractive because of the safety and security of knowing your place, and their place without or before interactions. Society is also a great threat to humanity by group think, dogma, social inequalities, and placements of superiority. To stem this, our forefathers set up the checks and balances of our government to keep things segregated and ensure that no one party could gain control over the other’s the problem is that by the individual parties, republican, and democrat, have become the only parties around in the United States. There is no longer a segregation that can force people to convince and explain themselves to their peers. You don’t need to convince someone else that something is right or wrong if you can get a majority vote by bias and party. Moreover the checks and balances are either for or against you by creating a duality instead of a multi-front attack. When you have two sides to a fight, it is very easy to see who is on your side, and their side. Bring in a third side, or a fourth side, or even forty sides and you can no longer be sure if you are on the same side as the person sitting across from you. The politics are too much to keep up with. There are too many strings. In this way the balances and checks are that of your peers, and threat of punishment is that of war or permanent disagreement.
It shouldn’t be a question how these placements of superiority are a threat to society. People who are placed in social situations where they are superior to others and told to assume the roll of a superior being will succumb to the limitations of that belief and stop treating those that are called below them as human beings. This is proven through not only the massive uprising in the holocaust, but the smaller psychology study done putting equal people in rolls of prisoner or jailor in a horrifying study done by professors to see the results. Not only did the jailors become brutal, but without a check of society watching, they degraded, belittled, and generally emotionally and physically tortured those under their control while the prisoners lost their sense of self.
Having that roll thrust upon you in the extreme needs to have something to balance it out, someone who is on that level as well, who will not succumb to you, who cannot be below you, or a mental handicap which allows you to retain the position without recognizing it as power to control others. The mental handicap best used is religion. God will shun you if you are bad to other people, so you must be moral, and good. This doesn’t apply as God is Morals, no. People learn morals elsewhere, people learn it through fear of one another, through respect, and kindness to peers. That dogma is a danger too though, because just like that dogma can culture fear in rulers to keep them in line, it can also culture submission in those who should be rising up and saying ‘We won’t take this!’ It can create social inequalities which it can then maintain. Dogma, these things we believe even without proof, these beliefs that are so deep in our society, our culture, our beliefs, we cannot escape them even if we know what they are. Fear of the dark, mistrust in guns, belief that everyone has some higher force, stereotypes are from fallacies. Dogmas which can bring down our society like “he’s testing me” instead of “this sucks, let’s make something better!” or even that “I’m still too young to understand” when really you could sharpen your mind at any time of life, whether it will stick or not.
Group think, nasty, nasty, group think, this unwillingness to say no, this is wrong, because the group sees it this way. The rest of us stay quiet because of it. The rest of us, those who think, those who read, the hidden sages of our time, hide, and for good reason. Group think, thinking that they must have thought of it, must have seen it, because you do, and if they don’t think it’s a problem, then you must be wrong that it is a problem. Group think like someone calling out for help, “Save me! Call 911, someone! Save me! Get him off!” and walking by, because someone else did it already. That person bleeding out on the side of the road with thousands of cars driving by, because someone already called. No one stopped, but everyone called.
Probably the worst shame of the human condition.