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True enough. Human nature is (moresthepity) what drives all of this ... which is why it is unlikely to change any time soon. In other words, we are all royally screwed.

It is interesting and fortunate that the NSA/GCHQ scandal was still bubbling away as a news item when the story broke about the UK government's moralizing censorship crusade. Viewing these two stories through the lens of my (inevitably dim) perspective on human nature has led me to some unsurprisingly depressing conclusions. (Apologies for the cross-posting):

You might not always get what you want, but the converse is more frequently true. For example, positions of power and authority tend to be occupied by the sort of person who actively seeks out greater power and authority. In contrast, those with no real desire to dominate and control others neither seek nor achieve power. As a result, our elite political, legal and corporate offices are inevitably dominated by an elitist, authoritarian culture and mindset. For as long as we allow people to self-select, even implicitly, there is nothing we can do to prevent this.

The authoritarian mind is characterised by a desire to dominate and control others. The more invasive, disruptive and widespread the control, the more satisfying it is to the authoritarian, and the greater the validation of their elite status.

Sex; particularly issues of sexual morality; are behavioural characteristics that are tremendously intimate, personal and difficult to rationalise/control. It is this very intimacy that makes the exertion of control over sexual behaviour so very compelling: Control over sexual behaviour is like crack cocaine to the authoritarian mind.

Time and time again throughout history, those in power have sought to control the sexual behaviour of their subjects, a motive that is exactly equivalent to the alpha male in the pack controlling access to the harem, and reminding all the beta males of their status by rubbing their noses in their inability to mate.

Technology is a lever - it gives increased power to those who wield it. Modern technology is already enabling those in power to gain greater control over their subjects. It is inevitable that technology will embed itself ever more intimately in our lives, and it is inevitable that this technology will be used by the alpha males in our society to exert their domination and suppression over the rest of the population - to mock, to belittle and to abuse those who are not in power.

Basically, as technology becomes more powerful, and exerts a greater influence over our lives, the humiliating and belittling reminders of our subservient role in society will become more and more pervasive ... and there is nothing that we can do about it.

The existence of the state - and the forceful dominance of one group over another - has always been the moral equivalent of rape - but the power of the state has always been diluted to such an extent that we have been able to persist in the illusion of freedom and self-determination. Technology is ending this dilution, and the truth of our subservient relationship to the state will forcefully re-assert itself in our everyday lives.




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