When the Lights Are Out
Power is control.
Having control over their own life is often not enough for seekers of power. They desire control over others as well. Power, like wealth is only understandable in comparison with those who do not have it. It only has value when it is desired, when others desire it. It is not self sustaining (power or wealth) and must be fed.
Rarely is it good enough for the individual that he or she holds a certain belief. That belief must be thrust upon others (examples-Moral standards, political opinions, understanding of government or God, of freedom or truth), until everyone sees and understands, by whatever means necessary.
Of course there are exceptions, but they are rarely men (or women) of power. Hard words and harsh consequences for the believer the unbeliever, the indifferent alike flow from the mouths of power, the means to maintain the structure of power, maintain control.
Rules and laws exist to keep us safe, allow us to live together in small communities and large cities. They function best when most agree on their value. Traffic laws allow us to move from place to place in relative safety. Other laws act as deterrents (in theory) to more serious crimes like rape, assault and murder.
Most of us agree these sorts of rules and laws are good. They allow for a sense of security while setting limits on behavior that feel reasonable. We are free to think as we wish. Our private lives are our own.
Some of us choose things in our private lives that others would find offensive, criminal, morally corrupt, down right evil. While the majority of these things do not affect others, there are some who insist otherwise.
Fewer and fewer things remain private. Our internet habits are easily deciphered as is what we buy, from whom and for how much. It is conceivable that every movement we make, every word we speak or text or write, every act we commit is easily observable by someone.
And here is the essence of control-if individuals become fearful of what they do or think or say always being observable, behavior is modified. If behavior is modified for long enough, thoughts and beliefs can be changed and altered. Deviance is criminally obvious. Order is maintained and change is stifled. Secret or dark places are vilified.
We have found ourselves on the cusp of the perfect Panoptic society. The all seeing eye, always watching, always knowing. It sounds like a bad Lord of the Rings sequel. To throw in another cliche’ -Big Brother is always watching.