Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Greatest Enemy Is The One Within

I don't watch much TV, but there is one show in particular that catches my attention. I started watching Walking Dead back in 2012 and got through the first three seasons of it, but forgot about the show by the time season four came around. In 2016, I stumbled upon a Youtube clip from season six and recalled my previous interest in the show. When I stopped watching the show five years ago the main antagonist was a man who called himself the governor. The latest antagonist is Negan. What makes Negan stand apart from all of the previous villains (e.g. the governor, terminus, the wolves etc.) is his use of psychological manipulation to exploit people for his own personal gain. His sociopathy is much more subtle than that of previous villains. One of his most profound manipulations is that he persuades his men to say 'I am Negan.' It's a short and pithy statement that expresses more than what is revealed by those three words. They are saying, in effect, that their interests are the same as his interests. What pains him pains them, and what pleases him also pleases them. They live and die for his sake. What Negan does to his men is reminiscent of what the federal government does on a massive scale. In school, children are taught, from an early age, to pledge allegiance to the flag (a symbol for the federal government). Though at first none of them understand what they are reciting, it eventually takes its grip on them. They are taught that they live in a democracy (though this is imperatively false); they are taught that they are the government. In short, they are taught to identify with a group of sociopaths that exploit their labor and emotions for personal gain. When they become adults, they are robbed of their liberty and property and receive only false promises in return. The criminals in Washington, like any good protection racket, obfuscates this fact by waging wars for seemingly nobel causes on specious pretexts. The war on terror, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, and the war on every conceivable social ill reinforces the collectivist mentality pounded into their heads since elementary school: 'we are the government.' By this logic we also spy on ourselves, rob ourselves, assault ourselves, and force ourselves into involuntary servitude. By Negan's logic he has died several deaths and betrayed himself. Neither statement 'I am Negan' or 'we are the government' is meant to be factual; it is meant to entice submission.

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