The following is an excerpt taken from an as-yet-unfinished longer work by Andy Nowicki, tentatively titled "Conspiracy, Compliance, Control, and Defiance"
by Andy Nowicki
Man’s consciousness is invariably attended by what could be called his “programming.” That is to say, man is a needy creature, prompted by nature to desire, and strive for, certain outcomes and eventualities. This much, at least, is clearly and indisputably true. However we may argue about the origin of man’s needs—i.e., whether they were conferred upon him by chance or by fate, whether they are attributable to the loving intentions of a benevolent Creator, or perhaps are merely rooted in the cruel, unconscious whims of a variety of blind evolutionary mechanisms—we must finally recognize that, howsoever and whysoever they came about, our needs to a large degree demarcate our identity.
As men, we inevitably crave things, and those of us with fiercer ambitions are saddled with concomitantly greater, wider, and more expansive cravings; our needs ramify as we mature; if as little ones we desire only the basic things (food, sleep, oxygen), we soon grow to wish for more than the bare necessities; that is to say, our list of “necessities” cannot be said to be limited merely to that which we require for survival. Our needs eventually become less tangible, but no less real and scarcely less pressing. We begin to hunger and thirst for things like affirmation, praise, adulation, and status. The more we crave these qualities, the more vulnerable we become to those who have the power to confer such notions upon us. Thus man’s neediness is quite often the root of the psychic subjugation he endures at the hands of his would-be controllers.
The history of man is indeed replete with accounts of the powerful using simultaneous blackmail and enticement—the proverbial “stick” and its complementary counterpart the “carrot”—to enhance and consolidate their psychic domination. The rulers and the ruled over can be spoken of as existing on both a macro and a micro level; anyone who seeks control over another through manipulation is an aspiring ruler; one ruler differs from another only in the scope of his aspirations. Of course, it is possible for men to have communion with one another in a manner which excludes the unsightly and unsavory specter of manipulation. However those who truly seek to possess and maintain power must eventually make use of the manipulative arts, lest they lose their grip and forfeit the fruits of their devious labors.
Of course, the desire for power in itself renders a person psychically vulnerable; thus, those aspiring to rule over others can likewise be controlled by those whom they would typically view with contempt as mere pawns and “plebes.” The intractable compulsion to keep one’s followers forever in one’s thrall, to avoid losing those treasured minions who make up one’s power base (regardless of how large or small this “base” might be) can be immensely compromising; it is through desiring to be desired, wanting to be wanted, and loving to be loved, that a person can become supremely entrapped.
Those with an earnest desire to shake off subjugation must first comprehend the mindset of him who sets out to sets out to manipulate others for his own benefit, to enhance his own sense of control. The compulsion to manipulate is similar to the propensity to be manipulated in that both the victimizer and the victim are united by a shared neediness. The victimizer, in the course of exploiting his supposed “lesser,” in turn displays himself as vulnerable by the very fact that he has a compulsion to exploit others to obtain certain goods for himself; indeed, the victimizer’s drive to exploit also derives from an irresistible need, one that could almost be called an addiction. If the victim is a naïve dupe, and the victimizer is a shameless string-puller, both have compromised their independence and willfully surrendered to the demands of their “programming”; the dupe wants nothing more than to serve his exploiter, while his exploiter in turn shows himself unable to go without being served; each, in his own way, is capitulating to the dictates of his design; each is feeding the ravenous beast that hungers either for social supremacy (as in the case of the ruler) or mere social acceptance (in the case of the ruled). The leader wants to keep his followers in his thrall, and the follower wishes to remain in the good graces of his chosen “leader”; in truth, however, both are enslaved to a common master: namely, their conspicuous compulsion to seek status and approval.
The follower wants approval, first and foremost, but he also pines for status in the sense that he desires generally to be thought well of by his fellow men; he wants to be seen to be on the winning team, as an emulator of that which is deemed fashionable and correct, as determined by his betters. The leader, on the other hand, puts his manipulative schemes into practice principally because he aims to maintain or enhance his status, yet he also wishes to have the approval, even the acclaim, of those who choose to be his lickspittle sycophants, the better to achieve victory over his rivals: namely, those other candidates for the position of power that he either holds or hopes to obtain. The “leader” and the “follower” are in one sense master and slave in respect to one another; however, in a more profound sense, they are both slaves to their “programming.”
Man, it would appear, is an easy enough creature to control, if one knows the right buttons to push and switches to flip at the opportune moments. If we are to believe some authorities, the exercise of such control has been refined to the precision and exactitude of a science. Those who are in the business of what is called “public relations”—advertisements, political campaigns, propaganda efforts, and suchlike—zero in relentlessly upon the psychic vulnerabilities of targeted groups; billions of dollars have been spent to help these uber-experts to perfect their technique. By now, we are all allegedly at their mercy; they have effectively made us their Pavlovian bitches, and mental freedom is now a sheer impossibility; the bitter dawn of the “Brave New World” has broken; we now dwell helplessly like lobotomized, lifeless-eyed mandarins, utterly at the mercy of our handlers.
I have my doubts that things are quite so dire as this, as I suspect that man is far too complicated an animal to be so thoroughly “owned” to such an extreme degree; in any case, if man is indeed “owned,” then his “owners” (being men themselves) are also perfectly capable of being dominated by the very same instruments they have used to consolidate their rule. Moreover, the fact that he sees fit to exercise control at all is an indication of their vulnerability to be controlled, as the compulsion to be a ruler is, paradoxically enough, itself a sign of psychic weakness.