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Control: Thoughts on Government, Religion, and Family.

by MaybeAndrew


So, you've decided to control a large group of people through government power? 

'Government' is hard to define, but in my opinion, it is the monopoly on violence. If other groups begin to have the ability to use violence without consequence, you are no longer in complete governmental control. With a monopoly on violence, you do have a great influence on people, people want to avoid death and pain. And if you manage to get a group of people to love you as a country, then that's even more power, but there are still two things that stand in your way. Two things between you and complete control of the individual. 

Religion and family.  

Family is the most base care, religion the next, and government the least powerful of the three. 

Because in the end, people care about getting killed, but they care about God and their eternal soul more, and people care about God and whether they go to hell, but in the end, most people naturally care about their spouse, children, and siblings more than that. 

So, if you order them to do something, they may not do it because their religion commands them not to. Or they may see you doing something that goes against their religion and rebel against you.

So, if you want to control a group of people, you will want to do something about religion. Now, you have no lack of examples. The simplest way to do this is state-sanctioned religion. Just making sure the leaders of that religion will work with you. You can simply usurp outside religion and make yourself religion, claim Godhood, demigodhood, and being a prophet. England got creative and had a mix of both, divine right + working with the catholic church.

Now, you might not want to work with a pesky religion! Easy, destroy it completely! This is a common strategy of communist/fascist countries such as Communist China, Nazi Germany, and North Korea.

Many of them started with some attempt to use religion, such as Nazi Germany's use of bible verses to justify their actions, but eventually, they found a hard time keeping even that up because anyone who has even just skimmed the bible realizes that the world domination and killing all jews is not cool with Christ. 

So, Nazi Germany took to destroying religion, but in the end, this can not be completed. Most societies and humans need some type of religion or something to worship. So, when you take away God, you leave a vacuum, one that can be filled by strange superstitions. (Like how the nazis thought the earth was an inverted globe) intently or accidentally many governments will take to filling that vacuum with their leaders. Who decided what is moral? The law! Where do they get this authority? Because our leader is the most perfect being currently in existence. 

Just look at North Korea, they literally believe Kim Jong Il could read their mind and was born in a stable under a star. (Can we have copyright claim them for that?) 

Or look at China, where Mao is literally responsible for more deaths than Hitler, or anyone in recorded history, but the man still has statues everywhere and the people think he was amazing and 'saved them.'

The power of faith!

Congrats! You've taken control of religion and government, now only one thing stands in your way to complete power. Love! Or, loves cultural manifestation, families!

Because if people are left to their own devices they will care more about their child or wife or husband than any threat of death, leader, or idea of God. This is a base evolutionary and spiritual draw. You will protect your next of kin. Your love for your family will be more powerful than your love for God or the state. 

So, if you want to control them, you have to control the family. This one has been the hardest for government to take control of throughout history. Now, the power of the family has been capitalized, royal families, marrying children off for political bonds, etc. Capitalizing on how the familial bond decreased the likely hood of betrayal. (Of course, it does not get rid of it entirely.)

Now, many groups have used propaganda to make your family work for them. Fight for your mother! Fight for your sweetheart! The enemy wants to r*pe your sister. Kill them unthinkingly! 

This works great to an extent, and many groups stop here. 

But you have come here for complete control, so, we will dive into the attempts at complete control of the family. 

Now, you could just destroy the family and the idea of love. Now, messing with how a culture sees sex is a great way to do this, since sex, is literally where all family comes from. 

1984 explores this idea a lot. 

Strategies for messing with sex include:

Detaching it from love, making it simply an animal joy, and but not one about love, therefore the bond between husband and wife, child and parent is no longer as sacred. 

Or, make sex completely shameful. Terrible. Disgusting. Only really an ends to a means. This often does the previously mentioned strategy, because people will always feel sexual things, but now they feel shame for those feelings. Therefore they are more likely to cheat on or hurt their spouse. Doing this destroys its ability to be an activity and bonding experience between two people who love each other. 

Or, making it a one-sided joy. Only the male side matters, females are just a way to get. More discussions of sexism to come. 

Another strategy is to take control of the children. Using services like public school to feed children with propaganda. Therefore they will report their parents if they are breaking the state rules. Breed disrespect and distrust. 

With no respect or trust, the bond between parent and child is no longer strong, and therefore the bond between spouses is extremely weakend as well. 

Speaking of distrust and disrespect, we can plant that in spouses too! One way is to have a strong imbalance of power. Use gender norms and roles to give the wife no voice, and thereby take away the husband's ability to feel any feeling in front of his wife besides anger and lust. A healthy spousal relationship is extremely powerful and dangerous to the government. If a general comes home from work, feeling really frustrated, and the wife helps him work through that and see he should not be angry at the people group he is being ordered to destroy, but maybe the people ordering him to do that. You have literally just silenced an entire half of the country by using the other half. It's terrible for both!

This strategy was widely used and is still used in communist china.

So, if you want complete control over a state, religion can be your enemy or your friend, depending on how you play your hand, but if you want utter complete control, the family will always be your enemy. People will always die for their families before their state. For their true love or child. So, your goal as soon as you gain control of religion and government should be to destroy the idea of family and love. Because any love stronger than love for state is dangerous to you. 

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Thanks for reading my rambly thoughts. This has been bumping around my head for a while. Good luck my fellow totalitarian governments!


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Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:32 pm
SpunkyKitty wrote a review...



Hi! Spunky here!

So, if you want to control a group of people, you will want to do something about religion. Now, you have no lack of examples. The simplest way to do this is state-sanctioned religion. Just making sure the leaders of that religion will work with you. You can simply usurp outside religion and make yourself religion, claim Godhood, demigodhood, and being a prophet. England got creative and had a mix of both, divine right + working with the catholic church.

The last sentence made me laugh so hard. It's true! Just make yourself god, and don't let people know of any other god and you're good to go.

Many of them started with some attempt to use religion, such as Nazi Germany's use of bible verses to justify their actions, but eventually, they found a hard time keeping even that up because anyone who has even just skimmed the bible realizes that the world domination and killing all jews is not cool with Christ.

"jews" should be capitalized. But what I have noticed, is people don't care what is in the Bible. They'll completely overlook anything that goes against what they want the Bible to tell them.

Just look at North Korea, they literally believe Kim Jong Il could read their mind and was born in a stable under a star. (Can we have copyright claim them for that?)

LOL Andrew!!!

Because if people are left to their own devices they will care more about their child or wife or husband than any threat of death, leader, or idea of God.

I really disagree. While this may be true in some cases, I think most people value their own life more than their family. Or it can go the other way. People also value God more than their own life. I really think it's more common for people to protect their own lives than that of a family member.

Another strategy is to take control of the children. Using services like public school to feed children with propaganda. Therefore they will report their parents if they are breaking the state rules. Breed disrespect and distrust.

Oh yeah, totally. This is definitely almost the number one way of getting complete control of a country. You twist the minds of children. Children spend more time at school than with their parents, so it would be almost impossible for the parent to reverse the damage. And that's even assuming the parent can see the damage before its too late.

You have some capitalization errors, for example, country names should be capitalized. So you should make sure everything is capitalized properly.

I think this was very interesting to read, even if I disagree with some of it.




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Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:22 pm
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Tuckster wrote a review...



Hey there Andrew! Tuck here with a review for you.

On the whole, I found your writing style to be humorous and engaging. It's reminiscent of Mark Manson and reminded me of his book Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope, which I read recently. You break a very complex philosophical topic into something understandable and digestible and interweave some humor into it. It's very well done, and it made for an enjoyable essay.

One area I think you could improve is your structure and organization. You do have a general outline (an overview of government, why religion is in opposition to complete government control, and why family is in opposition to complete government control), but there are places I felt that you meandered from that outline. Particularly with philosophical essays, an outline and structure is important to prevent the essay from feeling like a ramble. A clear thesis, carefully structured body paragraphs, and then powerful and impactful conclusion will make it easier for a reader to evaluate your argument and then come up with potential counterarguments.

Secondly, I found it interesting that you claimed in your conclusion that religion could be harnessed, but family could not. The Spartan family structure comes to mind as an example of this. If a political leader is able to harness love for a God or god, then it is natural to assume that one could harness love for family as well. At the very least, an explanation of this disparity would be helpful in understanding why the family is the ultimate undoing of a totalitarian government

And finally, as an idea for how you could expand or grow this idea, I think it would be interesting to explore "religion" and "family" as looser concepts. For example, religion is usually used to refer to outside institutions that worship a higher deity, but could also be defined to mean one's core values. Someone's religion could be loyalty to one's friends, the pursuit of pleasure, the service of friends and family, etc. "Family" is often used to refer to the parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. who are biologically and/or legally related to a person, but could also be used to mean someone's chosen family, or the people someone is willing to die for or kill for.

The benefits of expanding the ideas of religion and family are that your government is now able to control everybody. Someone may identify as irreligious, but every person has a set of guiding values. Someone may have no surviving family members, but every person has a person who is intimately close to them. For that reason, the essay may be more personally challenging and thought-provoking to your reader.

I think that concludes my thoughts on this essay! It was definitely an enjoyable read due to the style and subject matter (I'm a sucker for easy-to-read philosophical essays that go against the cultural grain), and it was fun to take some time and construct my thoughts on this. I hope that my feedback is helpful to you, and if you have any questions about my review please feel free to let me know!

Best,
Tuck




MaybeAndrew says...


Hey, tuck! Love the review and the thoughts! I probably should organize future rambles.
I find your idea of expanding religion and family interesting. I think it's a fair point, but throughout history most of the time the people most people care about most are family, and most people's core values are religion. On the subject of family and other people, they would kill and die for: As a government, it is much easier to do away with friends and chosen family, but you must allow biological families to exists if you want new citizens. Also, I agree with you that I need a bit more evidence behind my claim that family can not be controlled. But the base of my argument, is about editability. Religion is a system external to the citizens, and therefore can be edited. A family is formed biologicly, so, therefore, can not be edited. We as a government could convince a group of people what God believes, for they do not truly know, only believe, but they know how their family feels. They know if their family is starving, imprisoned, dying at war seemingly pointlessly.
Once again, thanks a ton for you're thoughts and critiques! Good luck controlling the citizians!




It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.
— Mr Collins, Pride and Prejudice