Why and how societies become progressively more authoritarian is no doubt a complex
question – I don't pretend to know all the answers.
On a basic level , perhaps we can ask why we need laws in the first place.
We don't need a law which tells us to breathe – we have the basic awareness of the importance of breathing.
We don't need a law about day becoming night – this happens whether we like it or not, law or no law.
Most people understand all this and there isn't any problem.
When we lose awareness , or we don't have it in the first place, then people say' we need a law'.
Logically ,as awareness decreases ,the need for control of behaviour by law increases.
It seems to me therefore, that the solution lies in education- a far more involved ,difficult and responsible task than simply saying ' don't do that !' .
Helping people to be more aware and think for themselves might mean they change their behaviour in many ways…..' I won't buy that , it's not healthy ' or ' I don't need that to be happy ,
it's cheap rubbish ,it won't last' , and there may be those who wouldn't be so keen to see such changes, people who profit from the confusion of others.
In my experience, mature , responsible adults behave with care and attention for one main reason ,. They see that their actions always have consequences.Caring , humane individuals
understand that they cannot possibly profit from actions which cause others to suffer , and it is this simple , clear awareness which governs their actions -they don't need to ask 'Sir' if it's ok.
Why does this idea matter?
I believe we have a simple , fundamental choice.
Continue down the path to 1984.
Quite an attractive option for anyone who stands to profit from a disempowered , confused and frightened society.
Educate ,educate educate.
Cause and effect isn't so difficult to explain to youngsters. We could begin by asking them 'Do you want to be unhappy ?' and ' Do you think you will be happy if you make someone else sad ?'
My contention is that the first of these could quite possibly take us toward a very dark time .
The second could lead to a fairer , more contented , happier life.
If you have got through this, thanks very much.
All best wishes,