Not done thinking

When a nation is coerced into worshipping the State as the Bringer of Life, the Protector and only Harbinger of Truth, get ready for the darkest of ages.

The vital thing to remember about the Dark Ages, and the times on either side of them, is that no-one was safe – no-one.

The most energetic Inquisitor would find himself on the rack, the richest of politicians could wake to find himself being marched to the gallows as his estates burned – because there was no light, no enlightenment.

It was that time in the human psyche when a strongman thought for you, when the principal tenet of your life was fear: fear of poverty, the devil, whites, blacks, Christians, Muslims, Jew, capitalists, communists, imperialists.

And, at any juncture in history when fear is the principal tenet, we morph into the weakest and most destructive version of ourselves.

It would be fine if we could use that instinct to band together like bees or ants to defend our hive or nest, but a specific quirk in human nature has us suspecting everyone within the nest, trashing our own food-stores and set-ups, killing half our allies and weakening the entire structure to such an extent that a weak enemy, just walking past to buy a pack of cigarettes, can seize us.

And then become a tyrant…

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